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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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URGENT – 30.12.04


Proposal for external structures/Zim citizens/ex-citizens/permanent residents to get involved in 2005 election


Inspection of the Voters Roll in preparation for the 2005 General Election is apparently scheduled to begin on Monday 3 January and to end on Sunday 16 January, after which the Voters Roll will be closed – ie no further additions can be made for this election.  These two weeks are a crucial period in preparation for the election.


It is proposed that ALL ZIMBABWE CITIZENS, EX-CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS go to their nearest Embassy during that period (or whenever the exercise occurs, if different from the date we have been given on good authority) and request to inspect the Voters Roll and make sure their name appears. (They may even be returning to Zimbabwe in time for the election, in any case!). It is VITAL that potential voters have their names on the roll, and MDC is still pushing for citizens and permanent residents in the Diaspora to be given their constitutional right to vote.  


“Constitution of Zimbabwe

Schedule 3.3 Qualifications and disqualifications for voters

1)      Subject to the provisions of this paragraph and to such residence qualifications as may be prescribed in the Electoral Law for inclusion on the electoral roll of a particular constituency, any person who has attained the age of eighteen years and who-

A) is a citizen of Zimbabwe; or

B) since the 31st December 1985 has been regarded by virtue of a written law as permanently resident in Zimbabwe;

Shall be qualified for registration as a voter on the common roll.”


If their name does not appear on the roll, or if they are not allowed to inspect the Voters Roll for whatever reason, they should protest as officially and vociferously as possible, and preferably refuse to leave the premises until they have been allowed to inspect the roll.


This exercise will be most effective if organised by a committee/task force/whatever – ie everyone should preferably choose the same day/time, and go prepared to dig in and not budge until a great deal of media coverage etc has been accessed.


Citizens/residents outside have the advantage over us, as the police in your countries of residence are most unlikely to arrest you and will certainly not torture you, beat you, etc. provided you remain within the law – so you can stand your ground without fear.  PLEASE - STAND YOUR GROUND ON BEHALF OF MILLIONS OF ZIMBABWEANS AT HOME WHO CANNOT STAND OUR GROUND, FOR THE CERTAINTY OF BEING BEATEN, ARRESTED AND POSSIBLY TORTURED.   YOU CAN STAY INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THAT EMBASSY FOR DAYS, WEEKS OR EVEN MONTHS!


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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Fifth Day of Christmas: The Great Food Robbery
Sokwanele Reporter: 30 December 2004
The ultimate, overarching corrupt act by the individuals who govern this country is to use their political power to deprive Zimbabweans of their right to access food.  It is a calculated evil, cynically done in full knowledge of the consequences for those who will suffer and die.  But within this over-arching corruption of policy there exist many petty, private acts of corruption intended to benefit not ZANU PF, but the individuals who perform them.
Wherever there is an inadequate supply of any essential product, there will always be those prepared to take advantage of other people’s needs. This now occurs in Zimbabwe with such sickening frequency, at every stage of the process of securing the food supply,  that one wonders if there is any morality remaining in the country.  Private corruption occurs in the production of food through privileged access to inputs – to land, irrigation equipment, capital, seed, fertilizer, draft power and transport.  It occurs again in the marketing of food produce to wholesale suppliers, the withholding of food stocks to induce price rises, and the retail selling through favoured individuals.  At every step it favours the already privileged and the party faithful, putting unearned millions into their pockets, while forcing the ordinary person, the previously much-vaunted “povo”, who have now been forgotten, to exhaust their meagre resources to acquire the bare minimum or if they have none, to starve to death.
Food production by wealthy white commercial farmers has all but ceased.  In their place we were promised that the landless thousands would grow our food, supplemented by reinvigorated communal farmers whose lands would be decongested.  But instead we find it is the rich and powerful, who already had well-paying jobs or ran their own businesses, who have started producing on farms they have acquired using their political and sometimes military muscle.  Not only have they seized the land and stolen much of the equipment on it, they have also appropriated finance capital, seed, fertilizer and draught power intended for the small-scale settlers.  Those “povo” and even war vets who managed initially to acquire land have been unable to access the inputs necessary to become productive.  Some are now being driven off the land, often again for the benefit of the already wealthy.
But what is even more shocking, if it is still possible to be shocked in Zimbabwe, is that frequently those privileged “A2 farmers” have conspired to make themselves even richer by secretly exporting produce which is desperately needed in Zimbabwe.  In 2003 we discovered maize being exported by powerful individuals to get foreign currency at the same time that donors were bringing food into the country to feed the starving.  In 2004 there are others who were given free assistance and contracted by SeedCo to produce badly needed seed maize. Instead of delivering the product back to Seed Co, they have secretly exported it.  Some of these are senior government officials, ministers, MPs, even a judge, who know full well the importance of fulfilling a contract, and the urgency of promoting the recovery of food production in Zimbabwe.  But will they be brought to account?  Hardly. Under this regime they are untouchable, protected by the police and the judiciary who are themselves complicit.
And finally we have had corruption at distribution.  In 2002 and 2003 when the only sure supply of maize and mealie meal was the black market, supplies were delivered to the homes of senior party officials, ministers, Politburo members and ZANU PF councillors.  Invariably these individuals sold at black market prices, making their own tidy profits while the people sweated to eke out a pathetic existence.  Throughout the country we have repeatedly seen maize delivered only to certain compliant millers, mealie meal made available only to shops owned by ZANU PF supporters, and free handouts to those prepared to vote for the ruling party.
And so, those who gave us Willowgate, the Government Housing Loan scam and the looting of the War Victims Compensation Fund, have now given us the Great Food Robbery.  Corruption is robbery; it is perpetrated by governments and it is perpetrated by individuals protected by governments.  And it spells disaster for the people of Zimbabwe.
Day 6: 31st December 2004
The article Sokwanele features tomorrow provides a typical account of a middle class pensioner's existance in Zimbabwe today. As awful as Ida's experience is, things are much worse for lower income pensioners.
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Sixth Day of Christmas: The Silent Suffering of Pensioners

Sokwanele Reporter: 31 December 2004


It is difficult to imagine the plight of a pensioner in Zimbabwe today.  If you have not visited a retired person recently or if you don’t have an elderly relative whom you are supporting financially, there is no reason why you should be aware of the desperate straits to which many have been reduced.  Though even to watch an elderly person desperately scanning the shelves of the local supermarket to find just one or two affordable necessities (or having reached the pay desk, to start putting back some of the pathetic assortment of items in the basket) is surely to have a glimpse of the painful and tragic reality.  It is all the more tragic in that most suffer in silence rather than seeking charity.  Some have committed suicide rather than ask for help.


Take the case of Mrs Ida Jakes (not her real name of course but a real situation nonetheless).  Ida is 73 years old and has been a widow for 19 years.  She lives by herself  in a tiny one-bedroom cottage in an unpretentious sheltered housing complex providing basic accommodation at subsidized rates.


Ida’s late husband devoted 25 years plus of his working life to the Railways, and when he died in 1985 she received quite a decent widow’s pension.  Enough, with the annual rail pass, to take a short holiday by the sea in South Africa occasionally.  She sold the house in 1991 for the equivalent of  £ 21,000, which she invested wisely when she moved to the housing complex.


Then ensued the political chaos that began in the year 2000 and the melt-down of the Zimbabwean economy, with the most dire consequences, not least for pensioners. By 2002 it was apparent not only to Ida but to her daughter and son-in-law (who, fortunately for her, live nearby) that she could no longer come out on her meager pension and the income from her modest investment.  Overcoming her mother’s natural reluctance to receive “charity”, the daughter and son-in-law started to give her small gifts of food and cash from time to time.   As time has gone by, and with run-away inflation peaking at something like 620 per cent, the level of financial assistance necessary has increased steadily.


In 2004 Ida’s pension is Z$ 5,000 per month (the equivalent of 33 pence in the UK or 3 rand 80 cents in South Africa).    To put it into context in Zimbabwe, a loaf of bread now costs Z$ 3,500 and a litre of milk Z$ 6,600.  So her monthly pension buys a loaf of bread and less than half a litre of milk!    Eggs are quite beyond her reach at Z$ 12,000 a dozen.


In March 2004 Ida fell and broke her wrist.  Her daughter took her to hospital but the hospital authorities would not accept her Railways medical card and refused to admit her except on payment of  Z$ 3 million in cash.   On a Saturday evening the daughter and son-in-law had to call on all the friends they had to put together the cash to have Ida admitted and treated.  Two days later on her discharge from hospital they had to make good a medical debt the equivalent of  £ 400 or R 4,500.


In June Ida was diagnosed as diabetic and in need of regular doses of insulin. Her eyesight deteriorated due to glaucoma and the diabetes and she needed eye drops and new spectacles.  Her life savings, including the proceeds of sale of the house sold in 1991 for the equivalent of  £ 21,000, were now worth £ 50 or R. 5,500.   She withdrew all her savings and this paid for the first few insulin injections.


Ida continues to receive her monthly pension of Z$ 5,000 plus a modest contribution from one charitable organization towards the cost of her insulin and needles and a little help from another which settles her (already subsidized) rent.  But putting all her slender income together it in no way covers her regular living expenses let alone the mounting medical costs.   Her family covers the growing deficit.  They do so gladly, and they are pleased that they have the means to do so – though their resources are not unlimited either, and the financial strain of supporting Ida is showing on them too.


Of course Ida is one of the lucky ones.  She has a caring family living close by who are willing and (so far) able to cover her living expenses, sparing her the humiliation of abject poverty.  But many, many are the pensioners who do not have loved ones who either know their plight or have the resources to come to the rescue.


An even greater number of elderly people receive no pension at all … 


Day after day they suffer in silence.


Day 7: 1 January 2005

Our article on New Year's day tells of the wide range of people who survive with the assistance of a feeding scheme in a major city. 

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daily mirror
Old guard may cost Zanu PF poll: analysts

From Nkululeko Sibanda in Bulawayo
issue date :2004-Dec-30

POLITICAL commentators in Bulawayo are unanimous that the ruling Zanu PF
could have shot itself in the foot and risks losing next year’s
parliamentary polls in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South provinces if
it goes ahead with the new guidelines it set on Tuesday to select candidates
for the 2005 showdown.
In separate interviews conducted in the City of Kings, the commentators said
shutting out young politicians could spell doom for Zanu PF – a party that
has just undergone vigorous restructuring throughout the country.
Zanu PF’s political commissar Elliot Manyika issued a statement, saying:
“Provincial executive members, national consultative members and central
committee members are the only party members eligible to stand as party
candidates in the 120 constituencies countrywide.
“Outgoing Members of Parliament who do not meet the above criteria and have
no disciplinary cases against them are eligible as well.”
But the commentators said the party should have allowed a fusion of young
and old blood to contest the primary elections, arguing that during the 2000
general elections, Zanu PF’s old guard lost ground to the MDC in Bulawayo,
Matabeleland North and South.
The opposition snatched about three-quarters of the seats.
Gordon Moyo, the executive director of Bulawayo Agenda, said the new
guidelines were only meant to protect the old guard.
Said Moyo: “The problem with the new Zanu PF guidelines is that they are
meant to protect those people that took part in the liberation struggle only
it is not paying attention to winning seats in the forthcoming elections.
“The party has made sure that all those people who have been wallowing in
the political wilderness are brought back into the political spectrum
through the back door and also protect them from any kind of challenge from
the young Turks.
 “These are tired politicians. They make empty promises and belong to the
political archives.  They have lost elections – even within the party,” Moyo
He said that as a party that recently celebrated 31 years of existence, the
ruling party should bear in mind that cheap tricks boomerang.
Max Mnkandla, of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform Initiative (ZLP), echoed
the same sentiments.
“These new guidelines can only help create a split in the ruling party and
that is a plus for the opposition as it will be able to capitalise on the
in-fighting in Zanu PF,” Mnkandla said.
He added that the “survivors” would enter into the battlefield with the
MDC – if its stance changes – knowing fully well that their chances of
losing are high.
Lawrence Mashungo, of the National University of Science
and Technology, said the guidelines were to appease the old guard who, in
turn, protect President Robert Mugabe’s political interests.
 “Should the MDC participate in the elections next year and should the
conditions for those elections be made free and fair, then the ruling party
is in for a routing in Matabeleland,” Mashungo said.
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Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 10:27 AM
Subject: Mugabe's nephew charged with espionage

Mugabe's nephew charged with espionage


• Chiyangwa alive, to appear in court - report

• Fears for Chiyangwa as he fails to appear in court

• Chiyangwa said dead, family says he is 'fine'

• Mugabe's nephew held for espionage in Zim

• Chiyangwa held by secret service

• Chiyangwa acquitted

• Chiyangwa seeks discharge as trial ends

• Inside Chiyangwa's mansion

• Detective trailed by 'hitmen' after Chiyangwa threat

• Controvercy as Chiyangwa trial opens

• Muponda: 'My arrest was political'

• 18 cars recovered from Chiyangwa

• Chiyangwa threatens journalist with death

• Chiyangwa facing more charges?

• Chiyangwa arrested

• Msika warns Chiyangwa

• Chiyangwa threatens cop in court

• Chiyangwa implicated in ENG scandal

• Zanu PF bids to oust Msika

• ENG directors charged with fraud
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 12/30/2004 03:24:39
PHILLIP Chiyangwa is alive although a bit slimmer, according to his family,
and has appeared in court charged with selling official State secrets to
foreign agents.

The state-run Herald newspaper finally broke a two-week information blackout
on the Chinhoyi legislator's whereabouts on Thursday morning with a banner
headline 'Spy ring smashed'.

"A spy ring allegedly involving flamboyant businessman and Chinhoyi
legislator Phillip Chiyangwa and three others has been smashed," the paper

Chiyangwa's appearence before a Harare magistrate late Wednesday afternoon
ended days of rumours that he had suffered a stroke, was in a coma or dead
after being tortured by Zimbabwe's secret agents.

Chiyangwa and his three co-accused have now been handed over to the police
after state security agents from the Central Intelligence Oerganisation
satisfied themselves that there was a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Chiyangwa, and the other men appeared
separately before the same magistrate Peter Kumbawa. They were expected to
appear in court again on Thursday.

Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, Metropolitan
Bank company secretary Tendai Matambanadzo, and Zanu-PF external affairs
director Itai Marchi were brought to court in leg irons before Kumbawa asked
the guards to unshackle them.

The Herald, although not revealing the details of the charges, said Dzvairo,
Matambanadzo and Marchi may already have pleaded guilty and been convicted,
with only sentencing still to come, but other reports said there were
defence efforts to change the pleas.

It is understood that the four have been charged under Section 4 of the
Official Secrets Act. This section is the lesser of the two sections that
deal with passing on confidential State information.

Section 4 deals with those who pass on information which they have acquired
or been told in confidence to unauthorised people. They face up to 20 years
in jail on conviction, but the judge or magistrate can impose a fine instead
of the prison sentence or as well as the jail term.

The harsher section 3 applies to those who first acquire the information by
active spying, and those convicted face up to 25 years in jail without the
option of a fine.

Chiyangwa, who was dressed in a black casual outfit, a jersey and sandals,
had an opportunity to chat with his wife and relatives before the court
proceedings began, the Herald said.

"He could be seen whispering to his wife and daughter whom he said had just
arrived from abroad following rumours that he had died. In an apparent
attempt to raise his spirits, some of the relatives could be overhead
jokingly telling Chiyangwa that he had lost weight during the period he was
in detention," the paper said.

There was however, less glamour for Matambanadzo, Dzvairo and Marchi when
they were brought to court in leg irons clad in khaki prison garb.

The Herald says they "appeared jittery and continually glanced around the
packed courtroom".

Magistrate Kumbawa ordered that the leg irons be removed before proceedings
could commence.

"It’s not proper that they be brought to court in leg irons. Can you go back
and remove the chains?" he said.

The prison officers complied with the order and immediately unshackled the
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Mugabe allies charged in Zimbabwe spy case
Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:59 AM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean authorities have charged four men including senior figures from President Robert Mugabe's party with selling state secrets to foreign agents, the official Herald newspaper has reported.

The report on Thursday ended an official silence on the arrest of flamboyant businessman Philip Chiyangwa, a senior member of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, which local private media first reported nearly two weeks ago.

The Herald said Chiyangwa appeared in court on Wednesday charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Zimbabwe's new ambassador to neighbouring Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, ZANU-PF external affairs director Itai Marchi and Tendai Matambanadzo, an official at a local commercial bank, also appeared on the same charges, it said.

Wednesday's court proceedings were closed to media and the public. The men's lawyers were not immediately reachable for comment on Thursday, when the four were due back in court.

Chiyangwa, a ZANU-PF legislator and the party's chairman in Mashonaland West province, was arrested in January 2004 on charges that he had interfered with a fraud probe and threatened a policeman investigating the case.

Chiyangwa was later cleared of the charges, which his lawyers said were linked to feuding within the ruling party over who should succeed Mugabe, expected to retire in 2008.

The succession row has seen the suspension of seven top ZANU-PF officials.

They are accused by the party of convening a secret meeting to push for Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa's candidacy for the post of party vice-president, seen as a stepping stone to the top job.

The party post subsequently went to liberation war veteran Joyce Mujuru, whom Mugabe went on to appoint for a similar job in government.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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‘Chiyangwa tortured’

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2004-Dec-30

ZANU PF legislator for Chinhoyi, Phillip Chiyangwa was allegedly blindfolded
and tortured by his captors while in detention until his final appearance in
court yesterday – a fortnight after he went missing – a Harare Magistrate’s
Court has been told.
The businessman’s lawyer, Canaan Dube, said this when his client appeared in
court on charges of contravening provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
Through Dube, Chiyangwa, who is also the party’s Mashonaland West provincial
chairman, claimed he was kidnapped and detained under humiliating conditions
until his appearance in court yesterday.
Dube told the court that the legislator was blindfolded and moved from place
to place, detained in solitary confinement with no toilet facilities,
subjected to intimidation, threats and interrogated for hours.
“He was moved from place to place where it was stinking of human urine. He
is a hypertension patient, a condition known to the captors,” Dube claimed.
“His health seriously deteriorated due to the ill-treatment to the extent
that he suffered a mild stroke which was confirmed by Dr Mangwiro and a
government doctor (Dr Mandishora), who both recommended he be hospitalised,
but the captors ignored.”
Dube further alleged that since Chiyangwa was kidnapped, he was persistently
denied access to his lawyers.
Lloyd Mhishi and Selby Hwacha assisted Dube.
Soon after Chiyangwa lodged the complaints, Morgen Nemadire, of the Attorney
General’s office, partly read allegations against the legislator, before
Kumbawa cleared the court.
Because of the national security nature of the allegations, the press,
relatives and the public were not allowed to hear the circumstances
surrounding the charge.
After the court proceedings, Chiyangwa’s lawyers told The Daily Mirror the
case had been adjourned to today when he is expected to apply for refusal of
The legislator arrived at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts clad in a T-Shirt,
black sweater, a pair of synthetic pants and a pair of black sandals, under
heavy security guard and appeared at ease.
Meanwhile, banker Tendai Matambanadzo, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique
Godfrey Dzvairo and Itai Marchi, also appeared in the same court yesterday.
The three appeared in court clad in prison garb with leg irons. But before
proceedings kicked off, Kumbawa ordered the leg irons be removed.
Kumbawa then ruled that since the initial remand was held in camera, it was
only logical to continue the case in camera as it was a national security
matter and in accordance with the laws of the country.
Chiyangwa, whose case was yet to be heard, seized the opportunity and walked
out of the courtroom to hug and kiss his loved ones under the watchful eye
of state security agents who thronged the court building.
Back in court, Kumbawa said: “During the first appearance of the accused, it
was ruled that the matter be heard in camera because of the nature of the
case. Today it has to proceed in camera, unless there are any changes.”
But Dube objected: “We want to know the basis why the matter be in camera.
We were not in court when our clients were first brought here. We do not
know whether there was a certificate to justify why the matter must be in
Kumbawa was not amused by Dube’s remarks and questioned why he was not
informed about the decision to hear the case in camera when he took
instructions to defend the accused persons.
“Are you saying when you took instructions you were not told about this
issue? As lawyers we get instructions before taking up cases. We are not
like n’angas who just use divine powers,” Kumbawa added.
In his response, Dube said since his client’s arrest about a fortnight ago,
he was denied access.
Nemadire later explained that the State had invoked provisions of the
Publicity Restriction Act, which bars hearing of national security matters
in public.
The trio’s case continues today.
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Top ZANU PF official accused of espionage detained at military camp.
Thur 30 December 2004

  HARARE - Ruling ZANU PF party provincial chairman and top businessman,
Philip Chiyangwa, arrested by state secret agents two weeks ago allegedly
for espionage is now being detained at a military camp just outside Harare.

Intelligence sources told ZimOnline that Chiyangwa was now being held at One
Commando Regiment Barracks along Airport road after spending more than a
week at the secret service Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)'s torture
chambers at Goromonzi, less than  80 km east of Harare.

The camp, which is the headquarters of Zimbabwe's elite One Commando
brigade, is also the location of the military's torture chambers. Two
independent journalists, Ray Choto and the late Mark Chavhunduka, were
severely tortured there about six years ago after publishing a story
claiming that some top commanders had been arrested for plotting a coup.

The body of the late Congolese President Laurent Desire Kabila was also kept
at the same camp for several weeks after his assassination three years ago,
while Harare and Kinshasa claimed he was still alive.

"He (Chiyangwa) is now a guest of the military at One Commando barracks.
From there we expect him to be brought to court between now and next week,"
said one source, speaking anonymously.

According to the source Chiyangwa, accused over espionage together with a
coterie of senior ZANU PF officials and other individuals linked to the
party, may not have been the ring leader of a group that is alleged to have
supplied intelligence information to British and Israeli spies.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to Mozambique, Godfrey Dzvairo; ZANU PF deputy
security officer Kenny Karidza, party external affairs director Itai Marchi
and banking executive Tendai Matambanadzo are also being detained by the CIO
over the same espionage charges.

"From what has been deduced from interrogations so far indications are that
although he might be the most prominent of the group but he was probably not
the leader," the source said.

The other four people accused with Chiyangwa appeared in court on Christmas
eve but the Press and relatives of the accused were barred from the hearing.
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Zim Online (SA), 30 December
Government official forces church to cancel Christmas donation

Matabeleland South - An insistence on observing political protocol saw orphans and poor villagers at Insiza here in Matabeleland South province lose out on a chance to get some food and clothes to brighten their Christmas. A ceremony to hand over the gifts sourced from well-wishers by the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe was cancelled at the last minute after the local ruling Zanu PF party Member of Parliament (MP), Andrew Langa, declared nothing be given to the needy villagers unless he was there. The church had planned to give out books, medicines, crop seeds and mealie-meal to the needy here two days before Christmas. It is now holding back the gifts until it can arrange a date convenient to Langa when he can be present to allow the handing over of the goods. Church social worker Sheba Dube, told ZimOnline, "we had to call off the event because at the last minute we got a message that the MP (Langa) said that nothing should be distributed unless he was there." She said the church had also planned to host a Christmas party for orphans in this impoverished district soon after handing over the gifts but that also was cancelled thanks to Langa. "We were planning to have a Christmas party for the orphans because some of them were not going to be able to have a party like everybody else," Dube said. Hundreds of villagers and orphans who had turned up for the Christmas party and to receive gifts had to return home hungry and empty handed, according to Dube. The cancelled gift ceremony is not the first setback for the church's philanthropic attempt in Insiza. Two months ago the church tried to hand over books and medicines to a local traditional chief. But the chief declined to receive the goods saying the church should have gone through the government district administrator. The church was only able to give out the goods after the administrator had given permission that it could do so. Langa, who is also government deputy Minister for Transport and Communications, could not be reached for comment.
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Daily Mirror, 30 December
Bennett’s lawyer complains over inhuman treatment
Clemence Manyukwe

Jailed Chimanimani Member of Parliament (MP) Roy Bennett’s lawyer has written to prison authorities voicing concern over alleged inhuman treatment her client is being subjected to at Mutoko Prison, where the legislator is serving a one-year sentence. Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, of Kantor and Immerman law firm, complained that when she visited the prison, she opted not to see Bennett as the lawmaker was dressed in prison garb which exposed his body. "I was unable to visit Mr Bennett because… he has been issued with prison garb that exposes his buttocks and private parts. As a female lawyer you can understand my difficulty in visiting him both from a cultural and humanitarian perspective," read part of Mtetwa’s letter, which is contained in a Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLFH) press statement calling for an urgent resolution of the legislator’s matter. Bennett is serving time in prison after a Parliamentary Privileges Committee found him in contempt of Parliament for the May 18 incident in which he assaulted the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, who is also the Leader of the House, during a debate on the Stock Theft Bill.
Zimbabwe Prisons Service spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda, could not comment on Mtetwa’s letter yesterday, saying she was on leave. However, apart from Mtetwa’s concerns, in its statement, the ZLHR complained over delays by the High Court to deliver judgment in Bennett’s case that was heard as an urgent matter last month. "On the 1st of November an urgent application was heard by the High Court seeking the release of Hon Bennett pending the determination of the appeal and review as lodged with the High Court. Notwithstanding, the fact that the Speaker of Parliament issued another certificate purportedly ousting the jurisdiction of the court, the matter was heard on the 9th of November 2004, on an urgent basis. Judgment was reserved and to-date the judgment remains with no cogent reason for such a delay has been proffered," added the statement from the legal practitioners’ body, which is led by Arnold Tsunga. Notwithstanding the court’s throwing out the Parliamentary Speaker’s second certificate, the court obliged with his first one on October 26 not to hear the case, arguing that it was also being heard in the House.
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The Herald

Inadequate capital injection hampers ZMDC’s efforts to revive closed mines

Business Reporter
EFFORTS by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to revive its closed mines have been hampered by funding constraints, the Herald Business has learnt.

The State-run mining corporation was forced to close or offload several of its loss-making mines over the past 10 years due to a hostile economic climate and falling prices on the international market.

ZMDC chief executive officer Mr Dominic Mubayiwa says plans to resuscitate the closed mines and others operating at below capacity had failed to take off in 2004 due to under-funding.

"As a parastatal, capital is a major constraint and our activities should be internally funded.

"As a result we failed to implement some of the ideas to revitalise our mines due to capital constraints," said Mr Mubayiwa.

However, he said ZMDC would remain committed to ensuring that all closed mines under its wing were reopened, adding that projects initiated in 2004 would be completed in 2005.

"We are continuing to conduct due diligence in some mines which need our attention and we are not only targeting closed ones but also mining entities which are failing to realise their full potential," he said.

The corporation has been allocated $3 billion of the $52,6 billion, which was allocated to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in the 2005 National Budget.

Mr Mubayiwa said although the allocation is inadequate, the corporation would continue with its strategy to acquire big mining entities that have a potential of adding economic value to its existing portfolio.

The ZMDC portfolio includes Messina Trading Development Corporation (MTD, which is under its Mhangura wing), Lomagundi Smelting and Mining, Kamativi Mine, Elvington Gold Mine, Sabi Gold Mine, Lynx Mine and Mhangura Copper Refinery.

Kamativi Mine was closed down in 1994, Sabi Gold Mine in 2000 followed by Madziwa Nickel Mine while Connemara Gold Mine and Elvington ceased operations in 2003.

"The reasons for the small allocation are understood and we want to ensure that this small allocation must be used wisely in respect of new national mine policy," he said.

In the past ZMDC failed to recapitalise owing to poor viability and heavy debts.

The corporation was also hit by the fall of mineral prices on the international market.

Cost reduction measures were introduced in 1999 to counter the fall of prices, but this failed to bear fruit because the corporation was already in a heavy loss-making situation.

The country has been losing millions of dollars following the closure of strategic mines due to inadequate funding and foreign currency shortages.

The mining sector contributes about 4 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it is projected to register a positive growth of 7,5 percent next year after recording an estimated growth of 11,6 percent in 2004.

Its contribution to the GDP and foreign currency generation is also expected to significantly increase in 2005 due to the changes in the national mine policy.

The recovery of the sector is mainly underpinned by the significant increases in output of gold, nickel, platinum and palladium.

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The Telegraph - India
Zimbabwe look to prove a point

Dhaka: The Zimbabwe cricket squad, led by wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu arrived here Thursday for their first Test series since they were banned from playing Tests for six months by the ICC.

Zimbabwe didn’t have Test status for tours by Australia and England following two massive losses to Sri Lanka in May. They hosted Australia and England for limited overs matches only.

The Zimbabweans will play two Tests against the No. 10-ranked Bangladesh, who haven’t won a Test since gaining full membership of the ICC in 2000. The tour will open with a warm-up match between Zimbabwe and a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Chittagong on Saturday. The first Test starts there on Thursday and the second Test in Dhaka from January 14. Five one-day Internationals will follow the Test series.

Bangladesh are coming off ODI and Test series losses to India, but have been buoyed by an upset win in the second of three one-dayers.

The Zimbabwean’s arrival was delayed by two days because of flight disruptions in India following last weekend’s tsunamis, which killed more than 77,000 people in south and south-east Asia.

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Winners and losers in ... Zimbabwe

Friday December 31, 2004
The Guardian

It was a good year for ... Robert Mugabe
Aged 80 and in office for 24 years, Robert Mugabe further consolidated his power in 2004. He pushed aside challengers within his Zanu-PF party and installed non-threatening vice-presidents.

He saw fresh legislation passed which increased restrictions on the press and human rights groups and gave him new powers over elections. Fit and spry, Mr Mugabe is well placed to lead his party to victory in parliamentary elections.

So secure did he feel that he left this week for his traditional January holiday at Malaysia's Langkawi Island, despite the devastation caused by the tsunami to neighbouring islands in the Andaman Sea.

It was a bad year for ... almost everyone else
Beset by food shortages, inflation that averaged more than 200% and unemployment of more than 70%, most Zimbabweans struggled in 2004. The economy declined for the fifth consecutive year for a cumulative loss of 40% in GDP. According to Unicef life expectancy was 33 years and HIV/Aids has infected 25% of the population. An estimated 3,000 people died of Aids each week and there are about 1 million Aids orphans.

More than 3 million of the country's 13 million have left.

Coming up in 2005 ... elections
In parliamentary elections in mid-March, Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF is set to defeat the main opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai (above right) because it controls all aspects of the poll - from drawing up constituency boundaries to vote-counting. Zanu-PF is expected to win more than enough seats to alter the constitution.

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The Herald (Harare)
December 25, 2004
Posted to the web December 30, 2004

THOUSANDS of people were stranded at Mbare Musika bus terminuses yesterday afternoon as they failed to get transport to travel to their rural homes and other destinations for the Christmas holiday.
The situation was worse at bus stops along the major highways leading to other towns.
"We have been here since morning and we are failing to get transport. We might have to travel on Christmas day," said Mr Cosmas Dube waiting to hitch hike for Gweru transport at the Harare Show Grounds.
At Mbare Musika, there were few buses and scores of people could be seen jostling and shoving as they were trying to board the few buses that were available.
"Most buses will have to go to their destinations and return to pick passengers because there are many people travelling to different parts of the country," said Mr Davison Chitimbire, a bus driver with Musasiwa Bus Services who plies the Harare-Chiredzi route.
Because of the large numbers of people, police at Mbare Musika post said there were numerous cases of petty thefts recorded during the day.
A police officer said most of the culprits had been arrested and police would remain vigilant to make sure that people travel freely without losing their money or possessions to thieves.
"We have arrested several people mostly youths for such offences as pick pocketing," he said.
He said riot police were also making patrols to maintain order at the country's biggest bus terminuses.
However, besides the transport shortage, some Harare residents who would spend the Christmas holiday in the city were busy making last minute preparations for the Christmas holiday.
At Mbudzi, along the Harare-Masvingo highway, people who sell goats said business had been good for the whole week with people forking out as much as $350 000 to buy a goat for the festive holidays.
"I have sold seven goats since Tuesday and I am looking forward to sell more during this festive period," said a middle-aged man who refused to be identified.
Those travelling by private vehicles seem to be on top of the situation as fuel was available at most service stations.
Fuel prices were temporarily reduced early this week for the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The interim secretary of the Petroleum Industry Fuel Procurement Committee, Mr Roderick Kusano said the prices of fuel imported through the Mozambican port of Beira would be pegged at $3 600 and $3 650 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively down from average prices of over $4 000 per litre.
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Bearer Cheques' Lifespan Extended

The Herald (Harare)
December 27, 2004
Posted to the web December 30, 2004

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has extended the lifespan of some bearer cheques to January 31, 2005 and others to June 30, 2005 depending on when they were issued.
The extension of the lifespan of the bearer cheques was published in Statutory Instrument 231 of 2004, RBZ (Postponement of Expiry Date of Certain Reserve Bank Bearer Cheques) Notice, 2004 in last Friday's Government Gazette.
The notice said bearer cheques specifying an expiry date of January 31, 2004, whose expiry was postponed to December 31 2004, by the Financial Laws Amendment Act, 2004, was postponed to January 31 2005.
"The expiry date of every Reserve Bank bearer cheque specifying an expiry date of June 30, 2004, whose expiry was postponed to December 31 2004, under the Financial Laws Amendment Act, 2004, is hereby postponed to June 30 2005," read the notice by the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Herbert Murerwa.
Bear cheques were introduced as legal tender in September last year after the country experienced a serious cash shortage between May and September.
The shortages were mainly caused by the depreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar's purchasing power due to inflation and externalisation of the local currency by cross-border traders.
Initially, bearer cheques were meant to last for a six-month period but their lifespan has been extended on numerous occasions.
They come in $5 000, $10 000 and $20 000 denominations.
Their extension to mid-next year gives the central bank ample time to work on a roll over system that will see the bearer cheques being phased out to be replaced by notes next year.
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The Tribune - San Diego

Man Allegedly Swallows Man's Finger in Bar

Associated Press

A man allegedly bit off and swallowed another man's finger during a bar brawl, court officials said Thursday.

Alex Nyarubakora, 39, appeared in court in the town of Chitungwiza, 15 miles south of Harare, on Wednesday charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Isau Janhi said Nyarubakora was arguing with his wife in a bar last week when he became angry at a second man's attempts to intercede.

After the two men began fighting, Nyarubakora is accused of biting off his opponent's finger, chewing and swallowing it. No remains of the finger were found by police at the scene, Janhi said.

Nyarubakora was freed on bail to reappear on court on Jan. 14. He faces the penalty of a fine or imprisonment.

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