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

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Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:43 PM
Subject: ZIMBABWE: Child rights affected by weak law implementation

ZIMBABWE: Child rights affected by weak law implementation

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

HARARE, 22 December (IRIN) - Zimbabwe has over 20 laws relating to
children's rights, but implementation is weak and many of the laws
breached the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), according to
a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report.

The document, 'Children and Women's Rights in Zimbabwe, Theory and
Practice', attributed the gap between theory and practice to
administrative constraints, socioeconomic challenges and a lack of human
and financial resources.

Although Zimbabwe had comprehensive laws protecting children from
violence, sexual and economic exploitation, the report noted, children
remained disadvantaged. Victim-friendly courts were hampered by high staff
turnover among court officials and police officers with child-related

Zimbabwe's Children's Protection and Adoption Act (CPAA) prohibits the
exposure of children to hazardous and harmful conditions, and using them
for begging purposes. However, because of abject poverty, the employment
of children on farms and plantations, in street trading and as beggars was
rife and often went on with the "knowledge, encouragement or instruction
of the parents".

Regarding custody and inheritance issues, UNICEF said Zimbabwean laws were
biased against non-marital children. This was in breach of several CRC
clauses, such as those related to discrimination and the right of children
with separated parents to have regular contact with both parents.

The Guardianship of Minors Act denied the father of a non-marital child
custody and access unless he had compelling reasons.

Inheritance laws, applied in the absence of a will, automatically
disinherits non-marital children but allows them to claim maintenance from
the deceased's estate if his paternity is established. The Children's Fund
noted, however, that establishing this relationship is often a difficult

The CRC provides for the compulsory registration of children at birth but
Zimbabwe's Birth and Deaths Registration Act, while making birth
registration mandatory within 42 days of birth, had no enforcement
mechanisms, and many children thus remained unregistered.

Transport costs were a further deterrent, as was the requirement for
parents to be registered themselves.

A 2003 study in Mashonaland West province revealed that 25 percent of
primary school pupils had no birth certificates, and neither did 75
percent of people in farming communities, 60 percent of parents and 70
percent of orphans. The report recommended that personnel from the
Registrar General's Office be stationed at all hospitals to register
children at birth.

The CRC calls for free compulsory education and the country's Education
Act complied with this provision but, again, there were no appropriate
enforcement mechanisms. Increased poverty and the impact of the AIDS
pandemic had also affected the school dropout rate.

The report observed that compulsory primary education could only be
realised if education was provided free of charge, as it had been in the
1980s when favourable economic conditions enabled the country to achieve
near universal primary education.

Zimbabwe has also complied with another CRC provision by providing
financial assistance to needy parents under the Basic Education Assistance
Module (BEAM), included in the Social Welfare Assistance Act.


But the system was hampered by the cumbersome procedure for filing claims,
the lack of social welfare officers to speed up the process at most
district offices and government's increasing inability to support social
services because of the continued deterioration in the economy.

While Zimbabwe's Public Health Act tried to comply with the CRC's
stipulation that a child had the right to "the highest attainable standard
of health", and had waived fees for the destitute at government hospitals,
UNICEF said economic setbacks have left government institutions facing
critical shortages of basic drugs, equipment and personnel.

In accordance with the CRC's stipulations covering juvenile offenders,
Zimbabwe had initiated the pre-trial diversion scheme under the CPAA
where, with the support of a probation officer, offenders charged with
petty crimes were diverted from the formal criminal justice system, their
cases were heard in a closed court, and sentences were imposed along
rehabilitative lines.

In practice the initiative lacked resources and to date the closest
practical option had been the community service programme, which had so
far benefited over 50,000 offenders, some of them juveniles.

Young offenders usually appeared in court for minor offences, often in the
absence of probation officers. Only one prison, Khami Medium in
Matabeleland, offering four years secondary education, was specifically
designed for juvenile offenders but not all could be housed there.

Consequently, most juvenile offenders were imprisoned with adults and
often abused. The report called for greater support for the pre-trial
diversion initiative in terms of training, infrastructure, human and
material resources.

The UN agency urged that campaigns be undertaken to raise public awareness
of the laws, with sustained training for practitioners and increased
numbers of probation and social welfare officers. It recommended a
comprehensive children's law with "a cohesive integrated all-embracing
structure and system to bring together related laws, policies, procedures
or protocols."

It also called for more investment in child issues. "Laws cannot solve
problems of hunger and malnutrition of children, abuse or neglect,
problems of street children and begging or problems of health," the report

The labour and social welfare ministry have reportedly recently set up an
advisory council to coordinate all child welfare issues in accordance with
the CPAA, and advise the ministry on the formulation of appropriate
policies and how best to apply them.


Tel: +27 11 895-1900
Fax: +27 11 784-6759

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Comment - Cape Time (SA)
North Korea looms for the man dubbed Mugabe's Goebbels

A look at the career and prospects of the man dubbed "Mugabe's Goebbels" by his opponents.
Jonathan Moyo isn't taking calls. He wasn't at his office on Monday morning either. His permanent secretary, George Charamba, who contributed to vitriolic and sometimes incomprehensible newspaper columns written by Moyo, has quickly distanced himself from his disgraced boss. While Moyo was out doing whatever he is doing these days, Charamba was at a party at State House, according to his secretary, so he seems to have survived the purge that caught his boss. Moyo turned up for probably the last parliamentary session before elections on Monday afternoon, looking downhearted and isolated. It is generally agreed that Moyo's "crime" was to cross his boss. He organised an "unauthorised" meeting to oppose the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as a vice-president instead of his preferred candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa, once tipped by the media and Moyo to be Mugabe's successor. Moyo rallied six provincial chairmen to his cause. And he did it without the Central Intelligence Organisation finding out and ratting on him to the presidency. Mugabe only discovered at the last minute that his own plan to prevent Mnangagwa becoming a vice-president was in jeopardy. And Moyo is enough of a power player to know that crossing Mugabe was a fatal error.
For the record, though, did he do wrong in terms of party rules? According to political analyst Brian Kagoro, Moyo did indeed transgress the Zanu PF constitution. "Any meeting of more than three people would be seen by Zanu PF as unauthorised, and Jonathan should have known that," Kagoro said. Where does this all leave the great opportunist who until five years ago was one of Mugabe's sharpest critics? Can he perform another somersault and land on his feet? On the face of it, one would think not. Moyo's political and financial prospects look bleak. What about becoming an ordinary MP? He put time and money into Tsholotsho, in Matabeleland, his home village and the constituency he hoped to win. By all accounts, life in Tsholotsho improved as a result of Moyo's ability to deliver largesse. So in a fair primary election, he could well be Zanu PF's candidate there next year. But Zanu PF could easily block that if it chose. It says it will not allow anyone to stand for it in the March parliamentary elections unless they have been a party member for at least five years. As a Johnny-come-lately, and presuming he joined the party when he began his public association with Zanu PF in late 1999, Moyo would be too new to qualify.
Mugabe can and does appoint unelected ministers, which is how Moyo got his present cabinet post in 2000. Mugabe has indicated he will in future only appoint ministers from the ranks of elected parliamentarians. But that may not be set in stone. Moyo may have been dropped from Zanu PF central committee and was therefore automatically excluded from the politburo, but he hasn't yet been sacked from the cabinet. With a general election only three months away that is largely irrelevant. But will Mugabe bring him back after the election? He ought because he owes Moyo, but ought means little to Mugabe and Zanu PF. He ought because Moyo sold Mugabe's chaotic land grab in the most important constituency, Africa, most of which sucked up his every word, not only about how it was correcting genuine historical injustices, but even that it was legal, constitutional and a roaring success. He arranged field visits for African visitors and selected journalists to carefully chosen farms. He entertained them lavishly at the most expensive and popular restaurant in Harare, and engaged them with the full blast of his considerable charm.
"Zanu PF owes him," says Kagoro. "He delivered the top prize, he got the hugely popular Daily News off the streets and crafted new media legislation, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which delivered journalists to Harare Central Police Station in record numbers. He got every journalist not on a Zimbabwe passport out the country and changed the political lexicon to include the blame and fear mantras of 'Tony Blair' and 'sovereignty'." His cabinet colleagues, some of whom loathed him, nevertheless applauded his achievements. There is speculation, and so far that's all it is, that Mugabe will fob him off with an ambassadorship. The joke among his many enemies is that he will get North Korea. We in the media cannot be expected to feel much sympathy for his plight. But - digging deep for impartiality - the few foreign correspondents who have survived his purges will miss his occasionally perspicacious descriptions of ourselves in his columns. And it was cool, for a while, being the "running dogs of imperialism".
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Business Day (SA), 22 December
Harare’s fate in SADC’s hands
Jonathan Katzenellenbogen

The main opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has said it will soon decide whether or not to contest the country's parliamentary elections, scheduled for March next year. A few months ago the party "suspended participation" in all elections on the grounds that it was impossible to hold free and fair elections in the current environment. Squeezed as the MDC is by the weight of oppressive legislation that effectively bars it from mounting a proper campaign and by widespread intimidation, a decision not to participate in the polls would seem to be a foregone conclusion. After all, some believe, participating in the election will show that the party has not learned the lessons from March 2002, when the majority of international observers said President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party stole the poll. With only three months before elections, there are no indications that the climate of political intimidation is about to evaporate. The Mugabe government has an armoury of laws it can use to prevent the opposition from holding rallies and campaigning. And the extensive use of the ruling party's militia is building fear among the voting population of being identified with the opposition party. The government has such tight control over the diminishing rural infrastructure that to vote for the opposition could have the effect of denying families food or medical attention.
Despite the dice being loaded against the MDC in the election, there are strong reasons the party should participate. The first is that by not participating, the party will not be represented in parliament to provide opposition to Zanu PF rule and to attempt to put a brake on the party's legislative excesses. Secondly, participating in the election keeps the MDC on the field of Zimbabwean politics. A boycott would mean that should it wish to launch another protest or a disobedience campaign, it would have an improved organisational base with which to do so. And thirdly, the MDC does not have any other options, apart from participating in the vote, to mobilise and gain supporters. Despite the advantages of participation, it would be foolhardy for the MDC to enter the campaign without publicly made guarantees from regional leaders that they are prepared to isolate Mugabe if the election is not free and fair. The MDC leadership and its members will enter an election campaign at considerable personal risk to themselves. They should not expect police protection from violent attack by Zanu PF aligned militias. They will also face the possibility of detention or imprisonment on arbitrary grounds.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) now has a clear instrument with which it can hold Zimbabwe to account the principles and guidelines on elections agreed on at its summit in Mauritius this year. The MDC and civil society groups say Zimbabwe has already violated them, but the silence from the SADC holds. At yesterday's meeting of the "troika" of past, present and future foreign ministers who chair the SADC's Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security, the election was discussed . Early in the new year, the SADC will meet Zimbabwean officials to discuss reforms of their electoral laws . If the SADC wishes to send a forceful message on the matter, it has little time to do so. SA and most of the region are keen for the MDC to participate in the election. But it is asking a lot for the party to go into the election unprotected. The SADC can best provide this protection, but considering the past sycophancy of regional leaders towards Mugabe, private promises to the MDC are insufficient; these must be made publicly. Then there is the matter of whether the poll is free and fair. In 2002, in the face of massive thefts of ID cards necessary to cast a ballot and the late opening of polls that denied voters in mainly opposition areas the right to vote, the SADC and SA's official observer mission declared the poll free and fair. Clearly, the MDC also needs guarantees about whether the observer missions will uphold the SADC's guidelines. In short, the MDC's participation has to depend on whether or not the SADC will offer protection, now something it can do easily . The question has to be whether the SADC will seize this moment.
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Business Report

Zimbabwe maize demand boost exports
December 22, 2004

Johannesburg - South African maize exports rose to a five-week high last week on demand from Zimbabwe, even though the country has repeatedly said it reaped more maize than it needed this year.

South Africa last week shipped 5 060 tons of white maize to Zimbabwe, 3 106 tons to Lesotho and 2 028 tons to Botswana, the biggest shipments since it exported 29 342 tons of maize in the week to November 12, the SA Grain Information Service said on its website yesterday. 

President Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe rejected food aid this year and said Zimbabwe reaped a record 2.4 million tons of maize after it evicted most white commercial farmers from their properties and replaced them with black farmers.

In the week before last Zimbabwe imported 6 530 tons of maize from South Africa. Last week South Africa imported 278 tons of white maize from Malawi and 32 688 tons of yellow maize from Argentina.
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Business Day (SA), 22 December
SADC push to lure MDC back into Harare poll
International Affairs Editor

In a move that could result in the main opposition party in Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), dropping its boycott of next year's elections in the country, officials from the region are to meet with government officials in Harare to review the country's electoral laws. The aim of the meeting will be to ensure that the laws adhere to standards set by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the running of elections. The meeting will come just months ahead of Zimbabwe's poll due in March next year. The MDC is to decide in coming weeks whether or not to boycott it. According to sources, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gave the go-ahead for SADC talks on his country's pending electoral law reforms at a recent meeting in Pretoria with President Thabo Mbeki. The planned talks with Zimbabwean authorities were discussed yesterday in Pretoria at a meeting of SADC's "troika", which consists of the past, present, and future chairmen of the group's organ on politics, defence, and security. Also discussed at the meeting, which was chaired by SA's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (pictured left) and attended by Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Lesotho Foreign Minister Monyane Moleleki and Namibian Foreign Minister Marco Hausiku, were preparations to send SADC election observers to the country.
SADC's protocol on principles and guidelines governing democratic elections was passed earlier this year at a regional summit in Mauritius, and the group faces the challenge of ensuring Zimbabwe adheres to them. The MDC says that the country is in violation of most of the guidelines, mainly because changes over the past few years imposed restrictions on its ability to campaign and due to the intimidation of its supporters. Changes Mugabe may make as a result of the meeting with SADC may satisfy most SADC countries about Zimbabwe's adherence to fair election practices, but it may be insufficient to satisfy Europe and the US. Mugabe recently said that observers from the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth would not be allowed into the country to observe the election. Officials from SADC member countries are due to meet in Lesotho next year to discuss budgeting and other arrangements for SADC's official election observer mission to Zimbabwe. A senior official said yesterday that SADC members would "gain comfort" about the March elections if the Zimbabwean electoral laws were compliant with SADC's principles and guidelines. Ministers also discussed how to fund SADC's regional peacekeeping training centre in Harare now that European funders had withdrawn their commitments because of "smart sanctions" against Zimbabwe. A member of a delegation at the meeting said that SADC had protested to the EU about its imposition of what it saw as collective punishment of the region with the withdrawal of funding because of a disagreement with one country.
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No easy bargaining for trade unionists in Africa

Cosatu chief defends Zimbabwe visit, saying African leaders are intolerant of worker activism

MOST African leaders are not tolerant of trade union movements, says Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Speaking after recently being elected as an executive board member of the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU) , Vavi said the organisation should pay attention to the fact that most leaders on the continent find unions a "nuisance".

"I know if you generally talk on such an issue you are likely to feed into Afropessimism, but one can safely say there is a tendency among African politicians to signal left and turn right," he says. "And once they turn right they become very, very impatient with the trade unions."

Referring to Zimbabwe, Vavi says some African leaders do not like the fact that unions speak out against the enrichment of a politically connected few. Cosatu is very critical of President Robert Mugabe's government and was recently expelled from the country while it was on a fact-finding mission.

Vavi says Cosatu's problem with the Zimbabwean government is its continued violation of basic human rights. The continued suppression of freedom of the press and trade unions' right to protest is "problematic".

The second problem in Zimbabwe, says Vavi, is its shambolic economy .

"We want to urge the government of Zimbabwe to find a solution to the economic problems which are resulting in joblessness and widespread poverty among ordinary Zimbabwean workers," he says. "Their inflation rate is above 300%. Their economy has declined about 20%, the unemployment rate is very high and the government does not want to acknowledge these problems."

Cosatu already plays a critical role in the international labour movement. The ICFTU, in which Vavi also serves as a member of its steering committee, represents 150-million workers and more than 150 labour federations around the world.

Vavi says Cosatu will add an African voice to the organisation, which he describes as the "voice of the marginalised" in the world.

"Participation in such a structure helps us to keep abreast of all those economic debates that have an impact on our local economy," he says.

"It also helps us understand the balances of forces in the global economy."

He says the organisation is relevant, especially after a recent report by the International Labour Organisation showing that almost half of the world's workers live on less than a $1 a day.

"This is unacceptable. We cannot continue to live in a world where people are filthy rich while others are dying in poverty."

Vavi has also served on the World Commission on Social Dimensions and Globalisation. Cosatu participates in the African Labour Federation, and has bilateral relations with trade unions in Ghana, Nigeria, Swaziland and Tanzania.

The federation is developing working relations with unions in Africa's Francophone countries.

"We need to break the divisions caused by language within the labour movement. Such divisions are very, very dangerous. They are a typical by-product of colonisation," he says.

Cosatu is helping to build capacity of unions on the continent by conducting leadership training courses and sharing its expertise and experiences, says Vavi.

He says Cosatu is respected worldwide as a strong labour federation that contributed to ending apartheid and continues to vigorously defend workers' rights in postapartheid SA.

He says Cosatu affiliates also follow their federation's trend of participating in world labour organisations.

Unions such as the South African Democratic Teachers Union and the National Union of Mineworkers hold either the presidency or the vice-presidency of their world associations .

"It is amazing how much work still has to be done on the continent to improve the position of trade unions, and Cosatu is playing a very important role in that," Vavi says.

"Hence, our stance on Zimbabwe is nothing new but a continuation of what we already doing in other African countries such as Nigeria," Vavi says.

Dec 22 2004 08:05:07:000AM Sphiwe Mboyane Business Day 1st Edition

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Daily HIV/Aids Report (Washington, DC)
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
Global Challenges
Nearly One Million Zimbabwean Children Have Lost One or Both Parents to AIDS-Related Illnesses, UNICEF Official Says
Nearly one million children in Zimbabwe have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses, Dr. Festo Kavishe, UNICEF's representative to Zimbabwe, said in a statement, Zimbabwe's Herald/ reports. Kavishe said that at least 1.8 million HIV-positive people live in Zimbabwe, and 2,000 people in the country die of AIDS-related illnesses each week. Many of the people dying of AIDS-related illnesses are parents and primary income earners, meaning that thousands of children are left to "fend for themselves," Kavishe said, according to the Herald/ Many children who lose parents to AIDS-related illnesses live with their extended family, but Kavishe said, "In such instances, finding enough money to send the children to school, feed them and clothe them is not always possible," adding, "We cannot afford to have more than 20% of the country's children more likely to fall out of school, more likely to be malnourished or involved in hazardous forms of labor" (Herald/, 12/20). About 26% of Zimbabwe's population is HIV-positive, and life expectancy has fallen from age 52 to 37 since 1990, according to SAPA/ Zimbabwe is in its "worst economic crisis since independence" and is facing medicine shortages (SAPA/, 12/20).
Helping Orphans
Kavishe said that fulfilling the rights of children who lose parents to AIDS-related illnesses presents many challenges, but those challenges are "based on the choices that governments and citizens of different countries made," according to the Herald/ "It is time to redefine our priorities and redefine the choices we make, especially those we know will have a detrimental impact on the right to a good childhood," Kavishe said. He praised the Zimbabwean government's National Plan of Action for orphans and vulnerable children, which aims to provide basic services for at least 25% of the country's AIDS orphans in 2005, according to the Herald/ "We encourage government and donors alike to commit the needed resources and political will to ensure that we reach all the children in the country who are at risk of losing their childhood with the safety nets they so badly need to preserve their basic rights," Kavishe said (Herald/, 12/20).
Washington Post Profiles Clinical Trial in Nigeria Testing Tenofovir for HIV Prevention
The Washington Post on Wednesday profiled the Nigerian arm of an ongoing clinical trial that is testing the antiretroviral drug Viread -- which is known generically as tenofovir -- to determine if it can reduce the risk of HIV infection. Researchers in the city of Ibadan have enrolled approximately 125 commercial sex workers, who were recruited from several brothels and have been taking the drug once a day since July (Timberg, Washington Post, 12/22). NIH, CDC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are funding three separate studies of Viread, which is manufactured by Gilead Sciences. The drug is FDA-approved for use as a treatment for HIV infection and has been shown to boost immune response and lower viral levels in the bloodstreams of patients who are resistant to other antiretrovirals. CDC has granted $3.5 million to fund trial sites in San Francisco and Atlanta, while the Gates Foundation awarded a $6.5 million grant to Family Health International to conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial including 2,000 HIV-negative volunteers at sites in Cambodia, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi. NIH also awarded a $2.1 million grant to University of California-San Francisco researchers to test Viread in 960 HIV-negative Cambodian women, most of whom are commercial sex workers. However, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in August ordered a stop to the planned human clinical trial in the country because of the possible effects of the drug on trial participants (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/2). The initial results of the Nigerian study are expected in 2006, the Post reports.
Female-Controlled Prevention Method
According to researchers, one of the "most appealing aspects" of using Viread daily to reduce the risk of HIV infection is that "women could take it privately at a time of their choosing, without a husband or other sexual partner knowing," the Post reports. Married women, including those who are monogamous, currently are one of the most vulnerable groups to HIV infection because "husbands who have sexual relations with other women may be unlikely to take precautions or alert their spouses," according to the Post. "World over, it is much more difficult for somebody in a long-term, supposedly faithful relationship to use a condom," Helene Gayle -- president of the International AIDS Society and director of HIV, tuberculosis and reproductive health at the Gates Foundation -- said. If the trials find that Viread is safe and effective for HIV prevention, some say that the drug could be packaged with other medications taken on a daily basis, such as oral contraceptives, to "make it even easier to use," according to the Post. However, the trials raise a "number of scientific and ethical questions, any of which could prevent it from ever being widely administered" -- including the "safety and practicality of a long-term daily drug regimen for healthy people" and "[c]omplaints" from advocates of traditional vaccines and microbidicdes who say that the studies are "costly diversion[s] from other research," the Post reports (Washington Post, 12/22).
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ADF to Fund Region's Tsetse Fly Campaigns

The East African (Nairobi)
December 20, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
East African trypanosomiasis occurs in parts of East and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, reports BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia are to benefit from a multimillion dollar project funded by the African Development Fund (ADF) to eradicate sleeping sickness on the continent. The project, approved by the Fund on December 8, is also meant to improve food security and economic losses associated with the disease.
The Creation of Sustainable Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis (T&T) Free Areas in East and West Africa Project forms the first phase of a wider programme on the continental level, co-ordinated by the African Union's Pan-African T&T Eradication Campaign (PATTEC).
"The Project will help improve food security in the six countries participating in the first phase - Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya - through the integration of suppression, control and eradication technologies, while ensuring the reclaimed areas are equitably, sustainably and economically exploited," says a statement from ADF.
The project, covering an area of 180,000 square km with about 14.8 million people in the implementation areas, will clear 13 million hectares of T&T.
It will also train 600 technical staff, 1,800 extension staff, 3,600 village technicians and 1,200 village leaders. It will enable an estimated increase in production of crops and livestock, 19,000 tonnes of meat, 99,000 tonnes of milk, 7,000 tonnes of sorghum and 15,336 tonnes of various crops in the project areas.
The ADF funding consists of a loan of $67 million and a grant of $4.4 million. The six participating countries will share the loan, while the grant will benefit the countries as well as PATTEC.
The entire programme will cover 37 tsetse fly-infested sub-Saharan countries.
The first phase is expected to start in June 2005 and run for six years. It will be executed by government ministries or departments mandated to address the problem of T&T in the participating countries.
The consultancy services will cater for technical assistance services for the insectariums and the line ministries; training, technical support to GIS staff, development of the project manual of procedures and the mid-term review. They will also facilitate land use planning, monitoring, baseline surveys, audit, studies and fly release services.
Tsetse and trypanosomiasis is a major constraint to the attainment of food security and middle-income status in the six participating countries.
African trypanosomiasis is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal if not treated. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in Africa. It occurs in two forms: East African trypanosomiasis and West African trypanosomiasis.
East African trypanosomiasis is caused by the parasite trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense while the West African trypanosomiasis is caused by trypanosoma brucei gambiense.
East African trypanosomiasis occurs in parts of East and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. West African trypanosomiasis is found in parts of West and Central Africa.
In rare cases, an infected pregnant woman can pass the infection to her baby. Infection can also be transmitted of blood transfusion or organ transplant, but very rarely. Trypanosomiasis can be diagnosed by laboratory tests on blood and spinal fluid.
According to experts, the East African trypanosomiasis is usually confined to woodland and savannah areas away from places where people live. Tourists, hunters, game wardens, fishermen, and other people who work in or visit game parks in East and Central Africa are at greatest risk of infection.
The risk of infection increases with the number of times a person is bitten by a tsetse fly. Therefore, tourists are not at great risk for getting trypanosomiasis unless they travel and spend long periods of time intsetse fly infested areas.
Worldwide, 20,000 new cases of both East and West African trypanosomiasis are reported each year. Since 1968, 17 cases of East African trypanosomiasis have been reported in the United States; fewer cases of the West African form of the disease have been reported.
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Health Services Bill Passed

The Herald (Harare)
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
THE Health Services Bill, which seeks to remove all health workers and other support staff in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare from the Public Service Commission and placing them under the Health Services Board, was passed by Parliament on Monday with amendments.
Another Bill, the Finance (No 2) Bill 2004, which seeks to amend the Finance, Income Tax, Stamp Duties, Value Added Tax, Estate Duty and Custom and Excise Acts sailed through without amendments.
The two Bills will become laws once President Mugabe assents to them.
According to the Health Service Bill, the affected workers would fall under the Health Services Board, whose establishment and functions are covered in the Bill.
The board would be responsible for crafting the health workers' conditions of service in consultation with associations and organisations representing health service personnel.
It may alter the conditions of service of existing members of the health service, but no member's fixed salary would be reduced except in cases where the member has been found guilty of misconduct or has consented to the reduction.
In the event of a member or a former member being aggrieved by any verdict reached or punishment imposed on them, the Bill provides room for appeal to the Labour Court.

The Financial (No 2) Bill also seeks to alter income tax bands from the present minimum of $2,4 million a year to $12 million a year.
The Bill also proposes the increase of tax-free bonuses from $100 000 to $5 million with effect from last month.
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'Zim Contributed US$1m Towards Fund'

The Herald (Harare)
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
ZIMBABWE contributed US$1 million towards the Global Fund but this has not worked in the country's favour as it continues to be denied access to the money, a cabinet minister has said.
The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said the country had contributed the little that it could afford at the inception of the Global Fund with the intention of benefiting from it at a later stage.
"However, we continue to be denied access to the funds. This is despite the fact that our proposals are excellent and are even more transparent than some of the countries that have been given the funds," he said recently.
Zimbabwe applied early this year for US$218 million to finance the country's HIV and Aids programmes and US$30 million for tuberculosis programmes.
This application was rejected in April this year and an appeal was made but the technical review committee turned it down in September.
The first application by Zimbabwe to the Global Fund was in 2002 when the country applied for US$8 million for malaria and US$14,1 million for HIV and Aids.
The money from the Global Fund was meant to increase the prevention of HIV infection among the youths, expansion of prevention of HIV transmission from mothers to children, increase the supply of drugs for opportunistic infections and to provide skills education in school.
The Global Fund was established in 2001 to fight TB, malaria, HIV and Aids wherever these diseases occur around the world.
These diseases are said to be killing more than six million people each year and the numbers continue to grow.
Funding from the Global Fund was expected to save millions of lives, stop the spread of diseases and halt devastation to families, commu- nities, communities and economies around the world on humanitarian grounds.

Government and other stakeholders have since said the denial of funds to the country by the Global Fund is political.
The people sitting at the helm of the fund, said Dr Parirenyatwa were British and American respectively, whose relations with Zimbabwe are at an all time low.
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Trip crisis inspires business brainwave
A WORCESTER globe-trotter came up with the idea for a new business, which could prove to be invaluable to travellers and holiday-makers the world over, after being seriously ill while in Africa.
Martin Hook, from Powick Mills in the city, left all of his personal documents in a hostel while he was hooked up to a drip in a Zimbabwean hospital in 1998 after contracting a life threatening case of amoebic dysentery.
Fortunately for him nothing was stolen, but it was this experience that prompted Martin, 42, to think about setting up - a service which provides scanned copies of important travel documents.
Martin met Charles Huthwaite, a member of the West Midlands IT Association (WMita) committee, at a Profit Through Innovation meeting in June this year and the duo launched the company.
The website, which costs £25 a year to use, offers replacement copies of tickets, travellers cheque receipts, driving licences, vaccination certificates and other important documents.
Travellers are given their own password-protected safe which can be accessed from any internet location and the site is available in six languages.
It also provides important links to help plan trips, find local cash machines or accommodation when overseas and a world wide Embassy finder for consular help.
Martin, who also runs a vinyl graphics consultancy, said the increasing threat of crime highlighted the necessity for this site when away from home.
"People are now travelling more frequently to further and more exotic destinations than ever before," he said.
"If the originals of important documents are lost or stolen then being able to visit an internet cafe, log on to your personal online safe and print off the scanned images is invaluable."
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sabc NEWS

EU says Zimbabwe rights group ban harms democracy

December 22, 2004, 15:15

The European Union (EU) criticised today a new Zimbabwean law banning foreign funded rights groups, saying it undermined democracy in the country.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) party used its parliamentary majority to pass a law on December 9 obliging non-governmental organisations operating in Zimbabwe to register with a state-appointed body, and banning foreign funded rights groups.

"The European Union expresses its concern on the adoption of the NGO bill which will...have severe consequences for the operations, even the existence of many local and foreign NGOs active in Zimbabwe," the Dutch EU presidency said in a statement.

The bill "...will further reduce the democratic space in Zimbabwe...If the bill is implemented immediately, the EU's ability to provide assistance to Zimbabwe will be significantly affected."

The government of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has accused some NGOs of working with Western countries to undermine his rule. On the same day it passed the NGO bill, parliament also passed electoral reforms the opposition said did not go far enough.

Foreign critics have said Zanu(PF) rigged parliamentary elections in 2000 and the 2002 presidential poll, and accuse the government of widespread human rights abuses.

The EU said the bill could limit the ability of NGOs to conduct governance work, and so raised new concerns over parliamentary elections due in March. It also regretted its likely impact on social, health and humanitarian programmes.

The EU has imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle and accused the government of intimidating the opposition and muzzling the media. - Reuters

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Ease Plight of HIV/Aids Orphans

The Herald (Harare)
December 22, 2004
Posted to the web December 22, 2004
THE HIV/Aids scourge has seriously ravaged Zimbabwean society as more and more children either become orphans or are infected by the disease.
Nearly one million children have lost at least one or both parents, a situation that has also resulted in hundreds of child-headed families.
A visit to Granville Cemetery in Harare also paints a very sad picture of infant mortality.
Rows and rows of graves indicate a growing number of children dying before they have reached the age of three.
Most of these were infected either during pregnancy, at birth or through breast-feeding.
Zimbabwe is also among the top four countries in the world with the highest prevalence of HIV/Aids infection.
At least 1,8 million Zimbabweans are living with the virus and nearly 2 500 die every week.
While these children may have an extended family, most have become homeless or fend for themselves as relatives are also battling to cope with the prevailing economic challenges.
Relatives are no longer interested in taking on board extra mouths to feed.
This leaves orphans open to all sorts of harsh conditions that eventually expose them to Aids.
As Zimbabweans slowly walk into 2005, it is important to reflect on the plight of children who have been orphaned because of this pandemic.
There is also need for the Government to place the needs of orphans high on the agenda for next year, as it is quite evident that more and more children will lose parents to the pandemic.
The Government has an obligation, as the ultimate custodian of these children, to ensure that they receive care, support and protection.
However, many orphans, especially girls, fall prey to "Good Samaritans" who sexually abuse them in exchange for food.
One orphan was driven into prostitution after being promised a job in the city.
She is said to have slept with 100 men in six months at a brothel in Waterfalls.
She is now, inevitably, HIV positive.
There are so many other orphans who also come into the cities with relatives who enslave them into unpaid domestic work.
Some are raped and dumped onto the streets the moment the employer discovers they have fallen pregnant.
The only intervention possible that could curb the pandemic is to make anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) available for free like what is happening, for instance, in Swaziland.
There is need for the adult population to live longer so that they can be able to fend for their children into adulthood.
ARVs are known to prolong lives for decades if taken properly.
However, because Zimbabwe was denied access to Global Fund support for HIV and Aids programmes, it is imperative that we also take advantage of other therapies that would bring relief to people living with HIV and Aids.
Zimbabwe has to take a much more proactive approach to the pandemic in order to save the population.

There are so many known therapies that could bring relief to people living with HIV and Aids, but there seems to be a sluggish approach to implementing such remedies.
The fact remains that not many will be able to access anti-retroviral treatment (ART) and that means that Zimbabwe will be faced soon with a whole generation of orphans.
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Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 11:00 PM
Subject: Christmas letter

Christmas 2004

Dear friends in and around Harare North

I write to you as another year in our struggle for democracy draws to a
close and as we face an even more difficult year, with the General Election
slated to take place in March and with practically none of the conditions
for a free and fair election insisted upon by SADC and MDC being put in

What is the point, many of you ask – and indeed I am virtually under siege
as people declare either that they are leaving, that they will not vote,
that MDC has betrayed them, etc. etc.

I believe that when things seem most hopeless, that is when you sort out the
men from the boys – and the women from the girls! – and that is the time
when you need to stand firm, because it is a sign the other side is
desperate, and fighting with no holds barred.

We have just witnessed an attempted rebellion in ZanuPF, and the fallout
from that is far from over.  Six out of the ten provinces were part of that
rebellion – as was a senior leader of the ZanuPF war veterans.  Now we have
many powerful but disaffected politicians.  Do you believe they will all
simply throw in the towel, when their entire future is at stake?  What kind
of primary elections are likely to take place in that party, with this
amount of division and animosity?

Yes, it was a clever move to appoint Joyce Mujuru Vice President – but the
majority of the people see through the gender dimension of that appointment
to the real reason – tribal politics.  And I believe that the majority of
Zimbabweans are disgusted to see that in the 21st century, after 17 years of
so-called Unity Accord, Mugabe reverts to tribal politics to retain his own
power.  This is not the Zimbabwe we want.  This is not the way forward out
of our national crisis.  (By the way, have we heard anything out of the
mouth of Joyce Mujuru since she was appointed?)

When the enemy is fighting amongst themselves, attack!  Only a fool would
give up at this point.  Yes, obviously the first battle is over the playing
field itself – and that is precisely where MDC has been putting most of its
efforts.  Hence national pressure all this year, as well as the regional and
international initiatives led by President Morgan Tsvangirai in November –
and some of the results of those initiatives are just coming out now.  Note
that MDC has still not announced its decision to participate or not– we are
still working for more concessions on the SADC principles and guidelines.
Nothing is impossible.

So as we gird our loins and bosoms for battle, I wish you all a very Happy
and Blessed Christmas season with your family and friends.  As we celebrate,
let us spare a thought for Roy Bennett in Mutoko prison and his family (our
Chief Whip went to visit him yesterday 21 Dec with a letter signed by all
MPs)– and for all those who are suffering and who have suffered and died in
our struggle for a New Beginning for our beloved Zimbabwe.

Trudy Stevenson MP
Harare North Constituency

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It is that time of the year again w h e n w e c e l e b r a t e Christmas. It is the time for rejoicing and
sharing: the time when we sit down with our families and
extend goodness and charity to our families, friends and neighbours.
It is saddening that for the fifth year running, the nation
experiences unprecedented suffering due to high commodity prices
and diminishing wage value. We are spending a fifth consecutive
hungry christimas. The crisis of governance in Zimbabwe is now
clear for all to see.
The past year has seen continued food shortages. Of course
government claims that you all have enough maize, that your
granaries are full and that therefore you are not starving. We all know
this is false. The government has even said to the donor community
that they should take their maize elsewhere. The truth is that
Zimbabweans need food. Under my government in a new Zimbabwe,
we will open doors to international food aid and allow food relief
agencies to assist the vulnerable rural and urban folk in need of food.
As a long term strategy we will rationalize agriculture with a view to
increasing productivity and promoting self-sufficiency.
Prices for basic commodities continue to skyrocket. The
government claims that inflation is receding and that therefore the
ordinary man on the street can afford a decent living. I am aware that
most Zimbabweans are earning salaries way below $750 000 per
month. The workers representatives, the ZCTU say workers need
more than $1,5 million per month for basic survival. We agree with
the ZCTU.
The danger posed to the country by the scourge of HIV/Aids
pandemic remains unabated. With more than 1,8 million
Zimbabweans living with the virus this scourge threatens the
nation's very existence. It threatens the future of our children. Our
priorities in the AIDS scourge should be in declaring it a national
disaster thereby elevating the issue as a national priority. We need to
show compassion and ensure that all AIDS patients have access to
cheap Aids drugs to mitigate their condition without delay.
Millions in the national workforce remain unemployed because
there are no jobs. Massive retrenchments are taking place
everywhere as hundreds of companies close shop in this hostile
economic environment.
Our education system has virtually collapsed due to
mismanagement and corruption. Poor working conditions,
remuneration and intimidation have negatively affected the morale
of our teachers and shortchanged the students. We believe in
creating a future for every child in Zimbabwe. Corruption is an
enemy of the people and should be eliminated from our society. Our
civil servants deserve the best. Their morale is an issue of primary
concern to us.
Zimbabweans deserve a violence free environment. We need
peace. An environment where citizens and visitors alike are able to
go about their daily lives confident of the inalienability of their
The MDC, through its economic blueprint, RESTART has outlined
its policies on issues of the economy, land, health and HIV/Aids and
However, the year 2004 has given us a ray of hope. In August SADC
adopted a regional protocol on elections, which will have far
reaching effects on election national management in the region. By
adopting the protocols SADC accepted our leadership and
reaffirmed the universality of our demands for free and fair
elections. SADC accepted that equal access to the media, an
independent election management system and free campaigning
among other issues are prerequisite for a legitimate government.
The spirit of Mauritius gives us a starting point for a new
beginning. Legitimacy is equal to Democracy. We will continue the
democratic struggle, the struggle for political space until the SADC
protocols are realized in their entirety.
As we celebrate Christmas and the New Year let us spare a thought
for the poor and vulnerable in our midst as well as those of our
cadres who died during the course of this struggle for change.
Zimbabwe needs a new beginning.
I wish you a prosperous 2005.

Morgan Tsvangirai
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