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New Zim senators lobby for high life

Cape Argus

      December 20, 2005

      They have barely started the work they were voted or nominated for,
but Zimbabwe's 66 new senators are already demanding cosy perks.

      Reports from Zimbabwe said the senators had made it clear at their
induction seminar that they covered larger constituencies than MPs and thus
wanted more pay and benefits.

      The Standard newspaper reported that the senators wanted the
government to supply them with taxpayer funded cellphones, landlines to
their homes, 4x4 vehicles, higher salaries and allowances than those paid to
MPs and international travel with spouses.

      The demands by the senators, made at a weekend orientation seminar
meant to acquaint them with the workings of Zimbabwe's newly installed upper
house, seem to vindicate opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's stance that
the Senate was never meant to be of service to the suffering masses of
Zimbabwe but an additional drain on the already bankrupt national fiscus.

      Tsvangirai called for a national boycott of the polls, which was
largely observed by the electorate. Less than 20% of registered voters
turning up to vote.

      At the senators' induction seminar, Mandi Chimene, of the
Mutasa-Mutare constituency, made an impassioned plea for the government to
allow the 66 senators more attractive perks as they have to cover bigger
constituencies than the 150 MPs.

      Parliamentary officials present told the senators that their packages
were still being worked out.

      MPs earn Z$14.2 million a month (about R1 200 at the more realistic
black market exchange rate of foreign currency) in addition to various other

      Austin Zvoma, Clerk of Parliament, said a fund had been set up to help
senators buy 4x4 vehicles, but he worried that their salaries were not big
enough to service car loans obtained from the fund. A 4x4 vehicle costs up
to Z$2 billion.

      Running the Senate is expected to gobble up billions of Zimbabwe
dollars monthly. This will increase pressure on inflation, which rose to
500% last month.

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Tsvangirai's end of year brief to the diplomatic community

20 December  2005.

Your Excellencies, once again I have invited you here on account of two
important issues.
* First, to brief you on our reading of the direction of events in the
* Second, to clarify issues, ally certain fears and apprehensions about the
state of affairs within the MDC.
Let me begin with the just-ended senate elections.
The ZANU PF sponsored senate elections have come and gone. It was quite
clear to all impartial observers that the people of Zimbabwe heeded the MDC
call to ignore the entire exercise.

Our own preliminary figures indicate that less than 20% of all eligible
voters turned up at the polls. It was indeed a victory for the people of
Zimbabwe under the leadership of the MDC. The people refused to legitimise a
process that was meant to give a semblance of stability to the very cause of
their suffering.

The outcome of the senate elections is a clear demonstration of the general
awareness and political maturity of the people of Zimbabwe.
Much more significantly, the results demonstrated that there were, and are
no conflicting political messages and strategies from the MDC. There is only
one message and one strategy:
* The message is to refuse to compromise with the dictatorship on the
fundamental issues of the constitution, democracy, human rights, the rule of
* The strategy is never to yield to dictatorship and continue with the
 The people of Zimbabwe have refused to be divided and weakened and they
have remained loyal to the founding principles and political values of the

The few candidates who secured senate seats under false MDC credentials are
not an issue at present. They will have absolutely no corrosive impact on
the fate of the dictatorship and will not enhance the prospects for
democracy and freedom, which are our primary focus. As far as the MDC is
concerned, they have compromised with the dictatorship and they only
represent themselves and their narrow interests in Mugabe's senate.

However, should they at some stage wish return to the MDC fold, they know
what steps to take or procedures to follow in order to rehabilitate
themselves. They have to subject themselves to the necessary party processes
that deal with such circumstances. In this regard, I want to state quite
clearly, that as a democratic party, the MDC is not a closed shop or
organization, which subjects members to eternal banishment.

However, what is beyond dispute is that the senate electoral exercise added
neither political value to the political process in the country nor did it
contribute to the still elusive search for a package of policies to resolve
the crisis in the country. Instead, the whole exercise was simply a reckless
and extravagant process to enable Mugabe to reduce the dangerous level of
alienation and bitterness among some of his key cronies who felt
marginalized or excluded from the regime's patronage networks.

The openings in the state apparatus created by the senate elections are
supposed to sooth the dangerous anxieties of such elements. This will enable
Mugabe to create the appearance of unity and stability within ZANU PF, with
the false belief that the expected semblance of calm and common purpose
would guarantee a smooth transmission and inheritance of his autocratic
regime by a handpicked successor. There was therefore nothing in the entire
electoral exercise for the people and the country.

Your Excellencies let me now turn more specifically to developments within
the MDC.

With regard to the MDC leadership differences, it is quite clear that the
dismal senate election results that confronted those who sought to
compromise with the regime on fundamental issues, plus the failed
adventurous and ill-advised court action against the mainstream MDC, have
combined to put an end to what some had chosen to refer to as an internal
crisis in the party. To us it was never an internal crisis. It was simply a
minority in leadership positions, tired of the democratic struggle and ready
to strike a diabolical deal with ZANU PF against the clear and better
judgement of the people. It was the people versus. a few mercenaries
peddling their own selfish interests.

Right from the start, we did not believe that what appeared to be political
strategy differences that emerged on the senate issue should become the
subject of litigation. Reluctantly we were dragged to the courts against our
will, and the result, as they say is history.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is now clear to all unbiased observers
that the incident, though sinister, never presented any serious internal
threat to the political viability and organizational integrity of the MDC.
The support base remained solid if not strengthened and confidence in the
party remained unshaken. This was quite evident during my comprehensive
nationwide campaign and it is even clearer now.

However, for our erstwhile colleagues, their decision to opt for the court
process rather than return to the political process and possible political
dialogue turned out to be a simplifying catastrophe. They are deliberately
abandoning the democratic struggle.

The disciplinary committee of the party has since met to hear the cases of
Welshman Ncube, Gift Chimanikire, Fletcher Dulini Ncube and Trudy Stevenson.
As a result of those hearings, all of them were found in breach of the party
code and were suspended from holding office in the party for various lengths
of time. In the case of Gibson Sibanda, the disciplinary committee found him
guilty as charged and suspended him from carrying out the duties of Vice
President but afforded him the opportunity to present his case to the
National Congress if he so wishes. However, should they continue with their
activities to undermine the party, then of course the disciplinary committee
will have to reconvene in light of those new circumstances.
It is quite clear that the disciplinary committee has been extremely fair
and lenient in the circumstances considering, the gravity of their

Your Excellencies let now me take you into my confidence, but I am sorry I
cannot reveal any more specific details than I am going to give you.

It is now quite clear to all that what had seemed to us as a genuine
difference in political strategy over the senate issue turned out to be much
more sinister development than originally appeared to be the case. The
strategy was to weaken the party, destroy the leadership, give themselves
new credentials as the so-called reasonable elements within the MDC and
thereby enhance their political understanding with ZANU PF. This was
supposed to result in the demise of the MDC as the democratic fighting force
that it is today.

Your Excellencies, we have irrefutable evidence that our erstwhile
colleagues had entered into a secret political pact with ZANU PF for a
co-habitation political project in an expected post-MDC political

As an initial demonstration of their good faith, sincerity and reliability
as the new partners to ZANU PF, they had to take part in the senate
elections. Subsequent strategies included the removal of those in the
leadership considered by ZANU PF to be stumbling blocks, alter the central
focus and policies of the MDC, compromise its values to resonate with those
of ZANU PF and pave the way for a second Unity Accord.

We are fully briefed and painfully aware of the extent to which ZANU PF is
the dynamic force behind the destabilization of the MDC. Our erstwhile
colleagues are not reading from an independent script. They are not free
agents or autonomous operators. Instead, they are ZANU PF's fifth column
inside the MDC. We are aware of the level of logistical support and the
quantities of material assistance that ZANU PF is providing to our erstwhile

In the past few days it has been brought to our attention by reliable and
impeccable sources that the turbulence within our party over the past eight
or so weeks was also designed to create a convenient opportunity and
circumstances in which some in the leadership, including the MDC President
are to be harmed and even physically eliminated, and the heinous crime
blamed on intra-MDC conflict. This project is still very much alive and

Your Excellencies will recall that only a few days ago, on December 12,
2005, the Quarter Master General of the Zimbabwe National Army, a certain
Major-General Chedondo, when addressing crack troops in Gweru, was captured
on Zimbabwe TV referring to me as National Enemy No.1. It is well known that
in military practice there is only one way to deal with those identified as
enemies of state-----that is physical elimination. We take that announcement
as an open intention to do grievous harm.

I have chosen to inform you about these ominous developments so that the
international community are forewarned that the responsibility for any
subsequent bloodshed within the MDC should be placed firmly and squarely at
the door of ZANU PF and the Mugabe regime.

From our point of view, there is every reason for ZANU PF to opt to pursue
this diabolical and desperate course of action. Having failed to destroy the
MDC through formenting internal strife and dissension the strategy is now to
snipe from outside.

I have to remind you Your Excellencies, that ZANU PF have every reason to
opt for this despicable course of action. It is the only way through which a
successor to Mugabe can be expected to inherit his dictatorship. There is a
general realization within ZANU PF that any succession plans cannot escape
the reality of a democratic contest conducted under electoral circumstance
that are vastly different from the fraudulent ones that have maintained this
dictatorship for so long.

A handpicked successor stands very little chance of maintaining the present
infrastructure of political repression and electoral rigging to ensure
success. In addition, such a successor will be unlikely to effectively ward
off international pressure for a post-Mugabe election under conditions that
demonstrate a semblance of freeness and fairness and cannot win such an
election. That is Mugabe's perennial nightmare. That is the soft underbelly
of the present dictatorship.

The cutting edge of the overall ZANU PF's current strategy is, therefore, to
utilize everything in their power to disrupt the MDC, render it an extremely
weakened political force incapable of successfully fighting an election even
in the context of changed electoral circumstances and under international

In the absence of a strong viable opposition force that the MDC is today,
the mandatory subjection of Mugabe's successor to a popular plebiscite
expressing the people's will become simply a ritualistic formality. As
preferred by ZANU PF, Mugabe's succession will then become a meaningless
ritualistic formality similar to any dynastic succession model. The
leadership squabbles within the MDC must therefore seen in the context of
the succession dilemma within ZANU PF. Tragically some of our former
colleagues have chosen to be foot soldiers in this strategy. In this regard,
both the party and its leadership face grave danger in the months ahead.


It is quite evident that the major task facing the MDC is to continue to
survive as democratic fighting force mobilizing the people in an incessant
struggle against the dictatorship. We are under no illusions about the task
before us. It is going to be a long and arduous journey with supreme
sacrifices if need be, but one which must be travelled and overcome.

The staring point of our new strategy would have to be the renewal and
revitalization of the MDC to ensure that it remains a vibrant fighting
political force. In that regard, the preparations for our National Congress
have reached an advanced stage and are progressing smoothly. Branch
elections and ward and district congresses have been concluded, while
provincial congresses are under way and will be completed by the end of
December 2005. Early in the New Year the party will be ready for the
National Congress.

 However, we realize that one of our major weaknesses in the past was for
the broad democratic forces to engage in determined but isolated struggles.
Without going into unnecessary details in this forum, I want to say that it
has now become vital to forge a single democratic force with a common agenda
and a common purpose. The current operational parameters and composition of
the Broad Alliance will have to be reviewed and solidified and a yearlong
common strategy mapped out and implemented.

Your Excellencies, many of you have witnessed similar struggles between the
forces of democracy and dictatorships throughout the world. It is easy to
criticize but difficult to even begin to imagine what those of us in the eye
of the storm, in the front line, are facing. Such struggles are not a
one-day wonder or quick fix episodes. They are long, hard and dangerous,
taxing the resoluteness of even the most committed democrats. We face
exactly the similar circumstances as those who struggled before us in many
places throughout the world. We urge you to continue tirelessly doing
everything possible to assist in the resolution of this crisis of
Exercise mercy, understanding and sympathy in your judgement of our

I Thank You.

Morgan Tsvangirai.

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Tsvangirai says ZANU PF plotting to assassinate him

Zim Online

Wed 21 December 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday said President Robert Mugabe's
ruling ZANU PF party was plotting to assassinate him after plans to foment
internal strife in the MDC and destroy the party from within flopped.

      Addressing Harare-based foreign diplomats, Tsvangirai said ZANU PF was
behind bitter divisions rocking the opposition party for the past three

      Tsvangirai said ZANU PF had hatched a plan that would have seen MDC
secretary general Welshman Ncube and other top leaders ousting him to take
over control of the opposition party and eventually agreeing to a
"co-habitation pact" with Mugabe's party.

      But a spokesman of Ncube's faction of the MDC, Paul Themba Nyathi,
immediately dismissed as "stupid allegations" claims by Tsvangirai that the
faction had bought into ZANU PF's plot to weaken the opposition party and
confine it to a junior role in a post-Mugabe era.

      The MDC leader said after failing to instigate an internal coup
against him, ZANU PF had now opted to physically eliminate him and other
leaders of the opposition party seen as hardliners and unwilling to submit
to Mugabe's government.

      Tsvangirai said: "We are fully briefed and painfully aware of the
extent to which ZANU PF is the dynamic force behind the destabilisation in
the MDC.

      "The turbulence within our party over the past eight or so weeks was
also designed to create a convenient opportunity and circumstances in which
some in the leadership, including the MDC President are to be harmed and
even physically eliminated, and the heinous crime blamed on intra-MDC
conflict. This project is still very much alive and active.

      "From our point of view, there is every reason for ZANU PF to opt to
pursue this diabolical and desperate course of action. Having failed to
destroy the MDC through fomenting internal strife and dissension, the
strategy is now to snipe from outside."

      Tsvangirai, who said recent utterances by a top army major that he was
Zimbabwe's 'enemy number one' should not be taken lightly, told the
diplomats that he had confided with them about threats to his life so that
the "international community was forewarned that the responsibility of any
subsequent bloodshed in the MDC should be placed firmly and squarely at the
door of ZANU PF and Mugabe."

      Ncube, Nyathi, MDC deputy president Gibson Sibanda, Deputy secretary
general Gift Chimanikire have pushed hard for Tsvangirai's banishment from
leading the MDC since disagreeing with him over whether to contest last
month's senate election.

      The MDC leaders say Tsvangirai should be barred from leading the party
after he breached its constitution when he rejected a decision of its
national council to contest the November 26 senate poll.

      Tsvangirai rejected the senate vote saying it was pointless since
Mugabe and ZANU PF were going to rig the poll and also said the ballot was a
waste of resources in a country that should be focusing all its energies in
fighting hunger threatening a quarter of its 12 million people.

      The MDC leader ordered ordinary party supporters to boycott the poll
and mounted a vigorous campaign for voters to stay away from the election,
which appeared to resonate with ordinary people with the poll recording a
below 20 percent turnout, the lowest turnout in any national election to

      Ncube and his faction of the MDC appeared to lose further political
ground to Tsvangirai when the High Court rejected two weeks ago their
application seeking the court to bar Tsvangirai from leading the MDC.

      Tsvangirai told the diplomats that the senate project was only part of
ZANU PF's wider scheme aimed at achieving a soft-landing exit plan for

      The MDC leader said the new senate would help Mugabe dole out jobs and
perks to disgruntled lieutenants in ZANU PF and create a semblance of
togetherness and unity in the ruling party, while in the process ensuring a
smooth transition of power to his chosen successor.

      Meanwhile by weakening the MDC by placing it in the control of
moderates, Mugabe and ZANU PF would have guaranteed that whoever the veteran
President chooses as successor would never be subjected to a tough political
contest in an election as the opposition would have undertaken to accept a
junior role under a ZANU PF government, the opposition leader charged.

      But Ncube and his faction first had to prove their sincerity and
reliability as new partners to ZANU PF by agreeing to enter the senate race,
said Tsvangirai.

      He said: "As an initial demonstration of their good faith, sincerity
and reliability as the new partners to ZANU PF, they had to take part in the
senate elections.

      "Subsequent strategies included the removal of those in the leadership
considered by ZANU PF to be stumbling blocks, alter the central focus and
policies of the MDC, compromise its values to resonate with those of ZANU PF
and pave the way for a second Unity Accord."

      The first Unity Accord was signed by Mugabe and the late nationalist
Joshua Nkomo, which saw Nkomo's PF ZAPU party swallowed up by ZANU PF.

      PF ZAPU, whose ZIPRA guerrilla army fought the war of liberation
together with Mugabe's ZANLA guerrillas, was mainly supported by the Ndebele
people in Zimbabwe's southern region, the same region from where Ncube,
Sibanda and Nyathi hail.

      Refuting Tsvangirai's assertions Nyathi said: "He (Tsvangirai) must
know that none of us will hobnob with ZANU PF but I wonder why a responsible
person would peddle such false allegations before diplomats. He is totally

      "This shows that he is not fit to be president even of a burial
society. By claiming that we want a Unity Accord number two, Tsvangirai is
alleging that Ndebeles are trying to get another accord with ZANU PF. He is
being tribalistic. He is saying these things simply because he has nothing
to do and say."

      But Tsvangirai charged in his statement to the diplomats that not only
did Ncube's group buy into ZANU PF's agenda, they also received material and
logistical support from Mugabe's party which the opposition leader said was
determined to neutralise the threat the MDC poses to its continuance in

      He said: "There is a general realisation within ZANU PF that any
succession plans cannot escape the reality of a democratic contest conducted
under electoral circumstances that are vastly different from the fraudulent
ones that have maintained this dictatorship for so long.

      "The cutting edge of the overall ZANU PF strategy is to utilise
everything in their power to disrupt the MDC, render it an extremely
weakened political force incapable of successfully fighting an election.

      "In the absence of a strong viable opposition force that the MDC is
today, the mandatory subjection of Mugabe's successor to a popular
plebiscite expressing the people's will becomes simply a ritualistic

      Tsvangirai - who has promised to lead the MDC in a new programme of
mass democratic resistance to press for democratic reforms and a new
constitution allowing for free and fail elections - told the diplomats that
the way forward was to revitalise the party at the next congress scheduled
for next February and to solidify the party's unity with other civic
partners in a strategic broad alliance. - ZimOnline

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Toll fees introduced

Sunday News, Zimbabwe

Sunday News Reporters

LOCAL and foreign registered motor vehicles will from tomorrow be required
to pay toll fees in line with other countries in the Southern Africa
Development Community and the money will be used to repair and maintain
regional trunk road networks, a senior Government official has said.

LOCAL and foreign registered motor vehicles will from tomorrow be required
to pay toll fees in line with other countries in the Southern Africa
Development Community and the money will be used to repair and maintain
regional trunk road networks, a senior Government official has said.
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Cde Christopher Mushowe said
with effect from midnight tomorrow, all vehicles coming into and travelling
out of the country would now be liable to pay the toll fee.
"I would like to take this opportunity to inform members of the public that
as from midnight 19 December 2005, all vehicles coming and going out of
Zimbabwe will be required to pay a road toll fee (road access fee)," he said
in a statement.
Light foreign registered vehicles will be required to pay US$10 or 60 Rand
or 50 Pula. All foreign registered vehicles will not be allowed to pay in
local currency.
The Minister said foreign registered vehicles would be paying beyond what
they are paying at the moment for transit travel.
Locally registered light vehicles will be required to pay $300 000 and
locally registered heavy trucks will pay $600 000.
"The money will be used to repair and maintain the regional trunk road
network to provide an acceptable service for the country. The kind
cooperation of the public is requested to ensure success of this noble
venture to provide sustainable quality infrastructure and the country to
facilitate trade and the movement of goods and services," said Cde Mushowe.
Government mooted the idea of introducing toll fees some time back, but has
taken long to implement it in line with other countries in the region.
The country is expected to generate huge sums of money in foreign currency
during the festive season as millions of Zimbabweans based in other
countries will start trooping into the country in large numbers to visit
their relatives back home.
Already, there is a hive of activity at the Plumtree and Beitbridge border
posts as thousands of Zimbabweans based in Botswana and South Africa have
already started coming home.
Meanwhile, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe will supply public transport
operators nationwide with fuel during the festive season to ensure an
effective public passenger transport system during the holidays, NOCZIM
marketing and distribution officer, Mr Krispen Mashange said yesterday.
This comes against a backdrop of widespread fears that the commodity might
dry up during the year-end holidays as a result of closure of fuel
refineries in South Africa.
South Africa's fuel refineries temporarily close down starting this week to
pave way for the upgrading of the facilities to enable them to meet the SA
government's new clean fuel supply policy.
The new policy comes into force on January 1, 2006, when refiners may no
longer add lead to fuel and have to reduce the sulphur content in diesel.
South Africa is the major supplier of fuel to countries like Botswana,
Namibia and Mozambique, which already are facing fuel problems following the
move as South African fuel companies battle to meet domestic demand.
Zimbabwe imports fuel from all these neighbouring countries.
Mr Mashange however said there were adequate fuel supplies for the festive
season and South Africa's crisis was not going to negatively impact
"We have a programme that we have arranged for the festive season to ensure
that there are adequate fuel stocks during this period. An arrangement has
been made with the bus operators and as from this week, they will start
receiving fuel allocated to them directly from us.
"About 200 000 litres were allocated to bus operators. They are set to get
another allocation of 200 000 litres this coming week. This should be enough
to ensure that there is adequate transport during the festive season so that
the people move without any hassles.
"We have another arrangement with bakeries as well. As for the general
public, they are assured of getting fuel from all the service stations that
have contractual agreements with NOCZIM," Mr Mashange said.
NOCZIM has about 100 service stations nationwide from which they sell fuel
to the public.
"We have to set the record straight on the selling price of the fuel. Diesel
is going for $20 800 per litre, while petrol is pegged at $22 300," he said.
Only last week fuel prices shot up to $120 000 per litre as oil companies
were now openly selling privately-imported diesel and petrol on the open
Official fuel prices increases were last effected in September from $10 000
for petrol to $22 300 and $20 800 a litre for diesel, up from $9 600 per
The gazetted prices have however become unavailable owing to the fall in the
value of the Zimbabwe Dollar which is now trading at $75 000 to the
greenback at the inter-bank exchange rate.
Following the deregulation of fuel by the Government recently, private
importers have been importing petroleum products mainly from South Africa
and Botswana.
Fuel imports account for up to 25 percent of the country's total annual
import receipts.
However, some of the leading private importers based in Bulawayo who spoke
on condition of anonymity said the South African crisis was going to impact
negatively on Zimbabwe's fuel supplies.
"It's much easier for the southern parts of the country to source fuel from
either South Africa or Botswana as compared to Beira (Mozambique). As we
speak now, we do not have enough diesel because the commodity is not even
being supplied in South Africa. Beira can come in as stop gap measure, but
it will be costly for this part of the country," said a fuel dealer.
The fuel dealers raised fears that South Africa could put a ban on fuel
exports to neighbouring countries following the closure of the refineries.
By the time of going to press it could not be established whether South
Africa and Botswana, which also gets bulk of its fuel from South Africa, had
introduced restriction to curb shortages in their countries.
Airlines in South Africa were unable to refuel and the shortage has caused
flight delays and hoarding of fuel by motorists who are uncertain about the
Mr Colin McClelland, director of South Africa Petroleum Industry Association
on Wednesday downplayed the gravity of the impending shortages when he
briefed parliamentarians in that country on the shortage.
He said, ".the only real shortage is diesel in Cape Town -- generally
speaking, we are okay."
"The shortage has not been the result of cleaner fuels policy, but of an
underestimation of the bridging stocks necessary while refineries made the
change-over -- we underestimated the time necessary to bring the refineries
back on steam."
Zimbabweans are allowed to import 2 000 litres of fuel from neighbouring
countries on a daily basis without a licence.
This has seen scores of people, particularly fuel dealers, regularly
flocking to Botswana to purchase fuel for re-sale locally at exorbitant
The Government has always encouraged individuals with free funds outside the
country or foreign currency accounts to import their own fuel.
The importation of fuel by individuals is helping to augment the supplies
that are being put on the market.
More foreign currency has also been availed to Noczim because of its
strategic position as a distributor of petroleum products to Government
departments, industry, the public transport sector and agricultural sector.
Other oil companies were awaiting cheap Government fuel supplies at the
regulated prices of around $20 000 per litre and were not sure whether the
authorities had given suppliers the green light to charge their own market
It is understood that most companies were using recent sentiments by the
Minister of Finance Dr Herbert Murerwa that it was "critical that market
pricing mechanisms be embraced, which are central to ensuring the viability
of industry, as well as the well-being of consumers" to mean that there were
no more price controls.

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Fuel scam at city council

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-20

HARARE City Council has directed all heads of departments to give detailed
explanations on fuel consumption by their departmental vehicles following an
audit that showed over 4 000 litres of fuel were dispensed between September
and October without requisite permission from the town clerk.
The biting fuel crisis has forced council to make it mandatory for all its
officials, minus commission chairperson Sekesai Makwavarara, her deputy
Tendai Savanhu, city strategist Chester Mhende and the HoDs, to refuel only
with the town clerk's authority.
 Joseph Issa, Harare's audit manager, presented the report to the audit
committee on December 7 after Chideya instituted investigations into whether
council vehicles allocated fuel between September 22 and October 6 had been
authorised by his office.
"The objective of the audit had been to ensure that all council vehicles
which obtained fuel more than once between 22 September 2005 and October 6,
2005, had been authorised by the town clerk and to establish whether
allegations that fuel attendants were being bribed to issue more fuel than
the quantity stated on the authorising memorandum were true," reads part of
the minutes.
In his report, Issa said 4 422,9 litres of petrol were disbursed without the
town clerk's permission during the period under review.
"He (Issa) reported that the users had cited that they had not been aware of
the authorisation system before refuelling and the majority of the vehicles
had been refuelled through verbal instructions from the stores controller
and buyer although the stores controller and buyer denied the allegation,"
the report further reads.
Issa also said a special audit of a vehicle from the City Treasurer's
department had been conducted after it was allocated 73,7 litres of petrol
between September 30 and October 3.
The audit committee then resolved that all HoDs should submit detailed
reports justifying high fuel intake by vehicles under their portfolios. "All
heads of departments (are ordered) to submit detailed reports justifying
high fuel consumption of all vehicles falling under their purview at the
next audit committee meeting," the minutes added.
The audit committee also recommended that dip reading be done daily as a way
of controlling fuel consumption.
 "The acting city treasurer (Cosmas Zvikaramba) ensures that the continuous
reading meter is repaired or replaced as recommended before; that the acting
city treasurer ensures that dip reading is done daily as a base of the
Zvikaramba was also ordered to write a progress report on the implementation
of the coupon system at the committee's next meeting.
Harare has been facing a crippling fuel shortage that has severely affected
the city's service delivery of waste disposables.
At a hearing before the parliamentary committee on local government earlier
this year, Chideya admitted that the municipality had resorted to buying
fuel on the parallel market.
At one stage, the entire council fleet of 40 ambulances was grounded largely
due to inadequate fuel and lack of spares, while similar problems have also
hindered refuse collection.
Zimbabwe is battling to address a perennial fuel headache that has
effectively curtailed the performance of every sector of the economy due to
foreign currency shortages that have been coupled with a sharp rise in fuel
prices on the international market.

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Banks struggle to serve clients

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Dec-20

COMMERCIAL banks need to recapitalise their growing electronic services by
buying and installing new automated teller machines (ATMs) that offer funds
considerably above the nationwide limit of $800 000 on each transaction in
order to reduce queues, members of the public said yesterday.
In the past month several local commercial banks, most of them in the
central business district, have been exposed to resurgent queues in banking
halls and at ATM points.
The queues have revived fears of the country returning back to the 2003
nightmare when banks ran out of cash.
The resurgent queues at bank ATMs in the past weeks have been largely
attributable to the annual 13th cheque salary awards but members of the
public yesterday said banks needed to install more ATM's, improve their
banking hall services and increase the minimum limit beyond $800 000 to
reduce the queues.
Presently all local banks that operate ATMs offer cash limits of $800 000
for each transaction that can be repeated for up to seven times before a
customer exhausts the daily minimum a bank can offer.
"Commercial banks need to increase their cash limits because $800 000 is no
longer enough because of inflation," Chrispen Chinhoyi from Mbare said.
He was one of about 50 members of the public that were queuing to withdraw
their money at a bank located along First Street in Harare.
" Most of the ATMs are old and some of them do not work so we spend more
time standing in the queue. If they increase the cash limits people would
spend less time in the queue."
He said the poor quality of the ATMs, some of which were constantly breaking
down, was resulting in people spending an additional 10 minutes just
withdrawing their money on top of more than an hour standing in the queue.
The hyperinflationary environment that has characterised the country since
April this year has forced most people to make large transactions in order
to meet the increasing costs of goods and services.
Lazarus Maengahama from Glen View said the long queues at the banks were
having a negative effect on the production output of most companies.
"Companies are losing many production hours because people are spending
hours in queues. I think I will spend roughly more than an hour just
standing in the queue today," Maengahama said.
Yesterday scores of people could be seen queuing to withdraw their cash at
several bank ATMs situated along First Street.
At one building society along the same street, which happened to have the
longest queue of close to 100 people around mid-day, only one ATM was
Customers standing in the queue had few kind words for the bank, saying
banking hall staff did not entertain all customers that had ATM cards.
"If you have an ATM card they do not allow you to withdraw your money in the
banking hall. So we all have to stand outside. That's why the queue is
longer," one person, who preferred anonymity, said.
Marima Jairos, who was standing at the end of the queue when the Business
Mirror visited, said the long queue at the building society was a major
" I do not know if I will be able to get money today in this queue. The
queue moves slowly and most people do not stand in the queue but they turn
up when their turn comes," Jairos said.
The resurgent queues appear set to worsen as people switch into serious
spending gear this week after most industrial companies closed for the
Christmas and New Year holidays.
To stem local currency shortages over the festive season, the central bank
two months ago gave a veiled threat to the banking sector that it will
punish them with unspecified action if they do not make an effort to manage
the currency.
The bank said there were increasing incidences of creeping indiscipline by
some financial institutions in handling currency.
"There is clear evidence which indicates that some commercial banks are
providing huge volumes of cash to parallel market operators and not raising
any alarm to the central bank as required and at times circumventing the
money laundering guidelines to please the dealers," central bank governor
Gideon Gono said in his last monetary review statement in October.
He said there were outcries of discrimination by some banks in the
distribution of currency denominations in favour of preferred parties at the
expense of individuals.
"As monetary authorities we may be compelled to take action against errant
commercial banks."

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Elephants bring untold suffering to communities

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-20

THE ballooning elephant population in Zimbabwe has resulted in untold
suffering of people living around jumbo-infested areas, in the wake of an
international row over possible ways to control the growing numbers of the
endangered species.
Twelve out of 27 Zimbabweans killed by wild animals between January and
October this year were trampled by elephants, according to a report produced
by the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources
 Zimbabwe is currently home to more than 100 000 jumbos, a number that is
double the national parks' carrying capacity.
National Parks and Wildlife Authority Director General Morris Mutsambiwa
said there were 390 000 elephants in the Southern African region lying
between Tanzania and South Africa.
He said Botswana had the largest elephant population of 120 000, followed by
Tanzania and Zimbabwe with 100 000 each, while the balance was shared
between South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi.
"An Elephant Management Task Force met in Victoria Falls in May to discuss
ways of dealing with overpopulation of elephants and identified four tools.
"The first option was that of relocating the animals from high to low
concentration areas within the Sadc region, but it would be expensive," said
He added that the use of contraceptives as an elephant birth control measure
was also discussed.
Further, Mutsambiwa said the delegates discussed 'source-sync' dynamics of
elephant population control.
Under this method, a straying animal would be utilised by the community into
which it would have entered.
Mutsambiwa added that the task force discussed culling, but added that the
method faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups from Western Europe.
To compound the elephant problem, the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (Cites) does not allow Zimbabwe to slaughter above 500
jumbos a year.
"There is a lot of emotion when it comes to elephants. Cites alone cannot
deal with the problem because it is the international community which fights
for rights of animals that prevents us from killing animals. They actually
see Campfire as being in the business of killing animals," said Campfire
director Charles Jonga.  He added that any one of the Western organisations
could fund a Cites meeting and easily sway opinions.
One elephant trophy bears US$10 000. For participants to enter the hunt they
have to pay a fee in foreign currency. Most of the hunters are from Europe
and could pull out any form of support from trophy hunting if they decided
the beasts were being cruelly killed, said Jonga.
While the row over elephants continues, ordinary Zimbabweans have had to
bear the brunt of sharing meagre resources with the giant beasts in a land
ridden by a three-year drought. A hundred jumbos have died so far.

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British govt to continue supporting Zimbabweans

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-20

THE British government will continue to support the poor and vulnerable
people in Zimbabwe, its envoy to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Rod Pullen, has said.
 "Britain will continuously support the Zimbabwean underprivileged people.
The provision of more than 30 million pounds sterling in assistance each
year to Zimbabwe will go a long way in raising the standards of living for
ordinary people," the British diplomat said.  "Most is spent on helping in
the health care, especially (as) related to HIV and Aids."
He said Britain was also providing food aid to the needy, in addition to
supporting communal farmers and women groups with inputs to be
"The Department for International Development (DFID), the ministry of the
British government responsible for development cooperation worldwide, is
working with the National Aids Council (NAC) and other organisations to help
the society," Pullen.
"Britain also supports small projects proposed by communities and
community-based organisations. For this, we have a budget of around $26
billion per year which allows us to support around 40 projects across the
whole of Zimbabwe."
The British envoy was speaking at the commissioning of a $650 million house
at Chinyaradzo Children's Home in Highfield, Harare,
recently. The embassy provided the money used to renovate the house as well
as purchase its furniture and domestic appliances.
"I understand that the house is designed to accommodate 10 children together
with their house mother in a way that helps to foster a sense of family
spirit amongst those living in the unit. For any country, be it Britain or
Zimbabwe, our children are our future," Pullen said.

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Zimbabwe army 'moves onto the land'




By Sue Lloyd Roberts
BBC News

Zimbabweans scavenging for food

Many Zimbabweans are now scavenging for food

In an attempt to rescue his failing programme of land redistribution, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is trying to involve the army in a "command agriculture" programme.

"Instructions have already been passed onto battalion commanders," a Zimbabwean army major told the BBC.

Five years after Mr Mugabe ordered the seizure of the white-owned commercial farms, agricultural production has halved.

Mr Mugabe has admitted that the people to whom he gave some 4,000 farms have some responsibility for the country's current problems.

"Mugabe is now saying that the people who are on the farms are opposition supporters and that they are sabotaging the country. He says the army must take over," the major said.

"This is an idea which Mugabe got from China, where the army is used in agriculture and industry".


The major risked his job and his life in talking to us. We met on a street in the capital, Harare, late at night and interviewed him in the safety of a car, away from the eyes and ears of Zimbabwe's network of informers.

Zimbabwean soldiers

For farming, you need experience and commitment. The army has neither

Roy Bennett, former MP

Leaving the land

I asked the major whether he believed the idea would work.

"I don't think it will because soldiers are not trained for farm work," he says.

"They're trained to fight. They don't have the skills. It's out of desperation that he's doing this. It will not work."

Others I spoke to in Zimbabwe agree. John Robertson, the country's foremost economist, pointed out that "the idea has been tried out in China, North Korea and Stalin's Russia and look where it got them."

Roy Bennett, a former opposition MP who lost his farm in the recent seizures, describes the scheme as "a non-starter".

"For farming, you need experience and commitment. The army has neither."

Many soldiers and other officials have already been given land individually under the land reform programme.


A country which once exported grain must now import 80% of its foodstuffs.

A Zimbabwean malnourished child in a hospital bed

Children are dying of malnutrition

The hospitals are filled with malnutrition cases with the very old and the very young the worst affected.

Surrounded by children suffering from HIV and in the advanced stages of malnutrition, Dr Julie Kanaki, who works at a mission hospital near Bulawayo, says, "the situation is hopeless and getting worse".

The hospital puts children on an emergency feeding programme, releases them but they are back within weeks because, the doctor says, their parents have "no meat, eggs, beans, sugar or milk".

Food queues

In the town, the queues for basic foodstuffs are getting longer.

The soldiers cannot afford the most basic food stuffs. Soldiers are really pissed off

Zimbabwean army major

The battle for land

In cities like Harare and Bulawayo, people line every street in the hope of a shipment of grain, mealie-meal, flour, oil or sugar.

With inflation at 600%, a loaf of bread now costs $85,000 Zimbabwean dollars.

"Our wages have not gone up in a year," the major says. "The soldiers cannot afford the most basic food stuffs. Soldiers are really pissed off."

Will there be a mutiny in the army?

"No," he replies. "Government informers are everywhere in Zimbabwe, including in the army.

"The soldiers want to rebel, but it is impossible."





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Zimbabwe officers on UN missions urged to be true envoys

Xinhua 2005-12-21 01:50:09

          HARARE, Dec. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean forces on United Nations
Peace Keeping Missions should be true envoys of the county and desist from
tarnishing the image of the country, Police Deputy Commissioner, Godwin
Matanga, said on Tuesday.

          Speaking at a send-off ceremony for five Zimbabwe Republic Police
officers who leave for Liberia on December 23, Deputy Commissioner Matanga
said "detractors and enemies" of Zimbabwe were deliberately and continuously
demonizing the country.

          "It is not for you to be carried away and join in the fray nor
should you seek to pass comment on those issues as it may not be your
prerogative to address," he said.

          He called on the officers to perform their tasks with diligence,
professionalism and discipline.

          He advised the officers to value their bodies and shun acts that
might defile them physically and emotionally, and called on them to protect
themselves and their spouses from the HIV/AIDS scourge.

          Meanwhile, Matanga welcomed three Zimbabwe Republic Police
officers from a year-long UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sierra Leone.

          The team had been in the war-torn West African nation since
September last year.

          The peacekeeping mission is folding operations on December 31 this
year and another will be established to allow for only advisory services
from UN Civilian Police Department.

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Mining Firms Scandal Unearthed

The Herald (Harare)

December 20, 2005
Posted to the web December 20, 2005

Martin Kadzere

AT least five small and medium mining firms are said to have smuggled
minerals worth more than US$100 million since the beginning of this year.

This emerged following investigations into operations in the sector by the
Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

"The scandal has been unearthed by our team which we dispatched to
scrutinise operations of various mines and as of now, five mines have been

"Preliminary investigations have revealed minerals worth over US$100 million
have been illegally exported since the beginning of this year," a senior
ministry official said.

Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Mr Tinos Rusere confirmed
the developments but declined to give further details.

Herald Business understands that two gold mines in the Midlands Province and
three producers of ferrechrome, magnetise and diamond production have so far
been caught in the net. The official said they had also established that
some big companies could also be involved in similar shady practices and
"investigations are underway at some mines".

The official added that the minerals had been smuggled to South Africa from
where they would be shipped to various international markets.

"It is strange that some companies have been importing magnetise although we
have vast deposits of the mineral currently under exploitation in the

The Government instituted investigations into the mining sector when
deliveries through formal channels did not show any signs of improvement
despite measures to ensure accountability.

The latest development could be part of joint efforts by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe and the Govern-ment to flush out unethical practices in all sectors
of the economy which have prejudiced the country of billions of dollars in
potential revenue.

Zimbabwe's mining sector has largely emerged unscathed from the various
economic challenges that have plagued other sectors of the economy.

According to mining experts, mining had the potential to contribute much
more to economic growth were it is not for smuggling and other illicit deals
by some operators.

A number of new and expansion projects are earmarked for the sector next
year, with foreign investors -- particularly from China and India -- showing
interest in the lucrative sector.

The country has large deposits of gold, platinum, nickel, chrome and
diamonds but mining's contribution to Gross Domestic product continues to
fall short of expectations.

Zimbabwe is reputed to have the largest underdeveloped near surface platinum
reserves in the world (around 165 million ounces) along the Great Dyke.

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Zimbabwean women in Jo'burg prostitute themselves in survival battle

Zim Online

Wed 21 December 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - For 19-year old Tambudzai Masenyani, there is something
about Johannesburg that constantly fights against her will to express

      For her, Johannesburg is a cold, monster-like city whose large
concrete buildings appear ready to snuff out the little twitches of life in
her frail body.

      Masenyani's calculated moves and constant perking behind her shoulders
are a clear testimony that she is aware of  her vulnerability and the
dangers that lurk around her.

      Behind this youthful figure is a young woman who has been bruised,
abused and robbed of her youthful innocence.

      "We thought that Johannesburg was some form of earthly paradise when
we were in Zimbabwe. My life in Murehwa was unbearable after my parents died
of AIDS. I had to do something to look after my two younger sisters and

      "I came to Johannesburg with this hope that I would get a job as soon
as I stepped out of the taxi and be able to send some groceries back home
for the family.

      "Unfortunately, things did not work out that well for me. First, I was
gang-raped in the city. I had to be treated for a sexually transmitted
infection at Hillbrow Clinic," she says.

      Masenyani's story rings a bell among a host of young Zimbabwean women
who fled their country in search of better economic opportunities in South
Africa. For these women, life in Johannesburg reads like a page scripted in

      Zimbabwe's economic crisis, described by the World Bank as
unprecedented for a country not at war, has seen millions of young
Zimbabweans flee the country en masse in search of better economic
opportunities elsewhere. But this mass movement of people has triggered its
fair share of social problems according to some of the women who spoke to
ZimOnline in Johannesburg.

      Sibusisiwe Mlambo, a vivacious 29-year old woman, says she has no
qualms in her decision to source extra-cash through her nocturnal activities
on the streets.

      "I not saying prostitution is good but it's better than being
miserable your whole life and your children failing to go to school. I loved
my husband, a degreed teacher in Zimbabwe. But he was soon a pauper as he
could no longer look  after us and I left him.

      "The situation is pathetic back home. It is better here as I can
afford to give my two kids a decent meal every day," said Mlambo, with no
tinge of a bothered conscience whatsoever.

      With Zimbabwe's six-year economic crisis manifesting itself through
hyperinflation of 502.4 percent, acute shortages of  nearly every basic
survival commodity, many of the southern African nation's 12 million people
have been left with little choice but to flee the country in droves.

      While the trend in the past had been that of men leaving their wives
to search for the all-powerful rand in  Johannesburg, the tables have been
turned as more women make the "Great Trek" southwards in search of a better

      Another Zimbabwean woman, Chipo Moyo, says she feels trapped as she
"works" for a boss from West Africa who runs a brothel in Hillbrow.

      "I'm virtually a sex slave. I'm being forced to have sex with any man
who can afford to pay for the services. What pains  me most is the fact that
the Nigerian who owns the club gets the bigger part of the payment.

      "I don't like what is happening to me but where will I go if I leave
this place?" she says.

      But not all Zimbabwean women in South Africa have found themselves
trapped in this nefarious dark world of sin. Ayanda Nkomo, a 33-year old
Zimbabwean woman in Braamfontein runs a successful marketing company that
employs at least five people.

      "I was born on the wrong side of the border but I don't regret ever
coming here," she says with an air of confidence.

      "South Africa has opened doors for me. I have my own business and soon
I will be running my own magazine. Really, what else could I ask for,"
boasted Ayanda. - ZimOnline

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Official arrested for taking bribe

Tue, 20 Dec 2005
Police anti-corruption units at Beit Bridge have arrested another
immigration official at the border post, police said on Tuesday.

"The third man was arrested on Tuesday at 10am taking R400 from an illegal
foreigner from Zimbabwe," said Inspector Ailwei Mushavhanamadi.

"He was letting the Zimbabwean get inside South Africa without documents."

Mushavhanamadi said the anti-corruption units were working "full-time" at
the border post.

He said two other officials were arrested two weeks ago, and had appeared in
court. However, he could not name them.

According to City Press, a border post police man was arrested in May for
taking a R150 bribe from a Zimbabwean.


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Beitbridge border post situation deteriorating


December 20, 2005, 17:30

An SABC news team says the situation is deteriorating at the Beitbridge
Border Post on the South African side to Zimbabwe, despite an insistence by
the home affairs department and SA Revenue Services to the contrary.

Adrian Lackay, a SARS spokesperson, insists there was only a scuffle between
the two.

Today, police arrested an immigration official for an alleged corruption.
This brings to four the number of border officials arrested since last week.
This includes a customs official who assaulted an SABC TV News crew

Today, the Limpopo government commended police for acting quickly in
arresting some of these officials. "On our part, we can't identify ourselves
with any act that seeks to undermine such important constitutional provision
such as freedom of the press," says Mogale Nchabeleng, the spokesperson for
the Limpopo premier's office.

There have been reports of a go-slow strike by border post officials.
Traffic build ups at the border, however, remain a challenge.

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SA, Zim border crossing fraught with problems


          December 20 2005 at 07:08PM

      Beit Bridge border post is fraught with problems, an
inter-departmental committee found in a visit to the port of entry from
Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

      Apart from "phenomenal" traffic congestion, there was little signage,
too few toilets and immigration staff lacked commitment, dedication and
discipline, found the Border Control Co-ordinating Committee (BCOCC), a
sub-committee of the justice, crime prevention and safety and security

      Tempers have been running high at the border post since the start of
the festive season with travellers having to wait hours in long queues to
have their documents processed.

      The staff complement was increased by 12 to 17 customs officials on
Sunday to help ease the pressure, and 15 mobile toilets would be in place
there by Wednesday.

      "Ordinarily at this time of year we do have an increased number of
people crossing the border to their respective countries and this does cause
some congestion," Home Affairs department spokesperson Nkosana Sibuyi said
on Monday.

      "But, having visited Beit Bridge this weekend, I can say we have
enough officials there to handle the situation," he said.

      However, the queue of vehicles at the border has since been reported
to stretch 12km.

      A festive security plan was being initiated by the provincial joint
operational and intelligence structures to resolve the crisis, the BCOCC

      It would address traffic congestion on the N1 highway to the border,
and the need for emergency medical services at the border.

      The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the police were being roped
in to tighten security.

      Pedestrian congestion would be tackled through "effective queue
management" and access control. - Sapa

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