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Harare slums shock UN envoy

Sunday Times, SA

Tuesday December 06, 2005 06:16 - (SA)

By Fanuel Jongwe

HARARE - UN aid co-ordinator Jan Egeland pledged to help build new homes for
victims of Zimbabwe's demolitions campaign as he visited families living in
squalor in makeshift shelters.

"I've seen people... in very bad conditions. The needs are tremendous," he
told reporters after visiting Hatcliffe Extension, a slum north of Harare
where shacks and houses were demolished in May during Operation
Murambatsvina (Drive out Rubbish).

"I have seen a great shortage of shelter for those who lost their homes in
the evictions campaign," said Egeland, the UN under-secretary for
humanitarian affairs.

"We now have to work together much harder -- all of the partners -- to give
the shelter needed for those now in totally sub-standard shelter conditions
in so many places in Zimbabwe." At Hopley Farm outside Harare, where
thousands of demolition victims have been resettled, Egeland spoke to
families still living in shelters made of plastic sheeting, six months after
their dwellings were demolished.

"This is worse than our houses at Porta which they called illegal shacks,"
Winnifrida Chisiri said pointing at a shack the height of an average

Chisiri was among the 20,000 Zimbabweans whose homes were destroyed at Porta
Farm, west of Harare, during the demolitions campaign which the government
described as an urban renewal campaign.

"We live like animals in this small shack which has no floor. At least at
Porta we had proper homes with partitions and here there is no privacy. As
you can see, there are no floors so you can imagine when it rains. We get
soaked and sleep on the wet ground," said Chisiri.

According to the UN, some 700,000 people were left homeless or without
income or both, while another 2.4 million were affected in varying degrees
by the operation that ended in July.

"We can't expect much anymore from the government," said Johannes Ngwenya,
who lost his home at Hatcliffe Extension, where thousands were evicted in
the campaign only to be allowed by the government to return a few weeks

Ngwenya complained that the government had not delivered on its promise to
build new housing.

"It's raining and as you can see there is not much progress. All we can do
is hope government will build us proper houses one day.

In the meantime we will contend with these shacks," said Ngwenya who lived
in a hut made from pieces of plastic.

After initially refusing international aid, President Robert Mugabe's
government made an about-turn last month and accepted a UN offer to build
homes for some of those left in the cold.

The government had repeatedly complained that the United Nations had
exaggerated the number of people affected by the demolitions
and reiterated that it was able to provide new housing.

The five-week demolitions campaign happened during winter, amid severe food
and fuel shortages.

Egeland, who arrived in Harare on Saturday to assess the humanitarian
situation, is due to meet with Mugabe today.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of severe political and economic crisis, with some
80 percent of the population living under the poverty threshold. More than
70 percent are jobless and inflation is running at over 400 percent.

The UN estimates that some 4.3 million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid.


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Army 'escort' for UN envoy scares residents

New Zimbabwe

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 12/06/2005 14:01:55
ZIMBABWE deployed soldiers to monitor a United Nations (UN) envoy, Jan
Egeland, who is in the country to assess a humanitarian crisis sparked by a
government blitz on unplanned urban dwellings which left close to 700 000

During a walkabout in Harare's townships, Egeland found herself escorted by
uniformed members of the Zimbabwe National Army.

An army spokesman denied that soldiers had been deployed to monitor the UN
envoy, instead suggesting they were working on the government's rehousing
programme code named Operation Hlalani Kuhle/Garikai.

Aggrey Wushe, an army spokesman told New in a telephone
interview: "The army units you refer to were probably on construction sites
building houses under Operation Garikai. I can assure you there was no
deployment specifically to monitor the UN envoy."

However, eye witness accounts on Monday said soldiers listened to interviews
between the UN envoy and displaced people, some of whom are still sleeping
in the open.

In July, the government gave the UN envoy on human settlements, Anna
Tibaijuka, a free reign with civilian escorts only.

Some residents displaced under the government's Operation Murambatsvina
campaign said they were scared to express the full depth of their suffering
because of the army's presence.

"People are afraid to speak their minds. As you can see there are
threatening soldiers," said one woman in Whitecliff.

She added: "Who can dare speak ill of the government and its policies as
well as our current living conditions? You never know they might come back
for us."

Following her visit to Zimbabwe, Tibaijuka went on to produce a damning
report which concluded that up to 700 000 poor urban dwellers had their
homes and businesses razed to the ground "with disquieting indifference to
human suffering".

The Zimbabwe government dismissed the report as a pre-determined hatchet job
by the US and British governments. President Mugabe even extended a personal
invitation to UN secretary general, Koffi Annan, to come and assess the
situation for himself.

Mugabe's officials hope the UN envoy who arrived in the country Monday will
conclude that Tibaijuka's report was "full of exaggerations".

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SAA sends Zim fuel by road


06/12/2005 07:10  - (SA)

Waldimar Pelser

Cape Town - In order to prevent its aircraft from running out of fuel in
Zimbabwe, South African Airways is transporting jet fuel to Harare and
Victoria Falls by road from Durban.

The serious fuel shortage in Zimbabwe has forced British Airways and, which are locally run by Comair, to carry extra fuel and fewer
passengers, in some instances, to have enough fuel for the return flights.

The Zimbabwean national airline, Air Zimbabwe, two weeks ago nearly ran dry
and had to cancel several of its local and international flights.

Sarah Uys of SAA said the situation in Zimbabwe had forced the airline to
take its own "strategic fuel supply" to that country.

"We buy fuel at BP's Durban refinery and transport it by road to Harare and
Victoria Falls, from where it can be delivered to our aircraft if

Uys said the only danger was that SAA's supply tankers might not be able to
deliver the fuel for some reason.

Comair's Stuart Cochrane said BA and were carrying enough fuel
for the flight to Zimbabwe and back because of the "serious fuel issue in

The extra weight meant that about 10 less passengers could be carried.

"This is standard procedure in the case of a situation such as the one in
Zimbabwe," said Cochrane.

BA had been able to buy small amounts of fuel in Harare in the past.

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Zimbabwean church official says elections don't help starving people

Catholic News Service

By Bronwen Dachs
Catholic News Service

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- The estimated 10 percent voter turnout in
Zimbabwe's elections for a new Senate was not surprising as the country's
food, fuel and foreign currency shortages worsen, said Alouis Chaumba, who
heads Zimbabwe's Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.

"We are tired of elections," he said in a telephone interview from the
capital, Harare, noting that "they are definitely not adding value to our
lives here."

The Nov. 26 election for the 66-seat Senate, which will have the final word
on new laws, "is seen as just another walkover for the ruling party,"
Chaumba said. "Of far more relevance to our lives is the fact that prices
are going up every day and basic groceries are beyond the reach of most" of
Zimbabwe's 12 million people, he said, noting that "there are people
starving in the drier regions of the country."

With laws that guarantee seats to various ruling party loyalists and a
boycott campaign by the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, President
Robert Mugabe's governing ZANU-PF party was set to win before voting

The poll follows the March 2005 general election in which 81-year-old
Mugabe, who has ruled the southern African country since independence from
Britain in 1980, was re-elected.

"The government should be focusing on the crisis the country is in, not more
elections," Chaumba said.

Mugabe's much criticized land redistribution program -- which has disrupted
agricultural production -- and recurring droughts are widely blamed for the
severe food shortages.

Most Zimbabweans are "living in destitution and desperation," the
Harare-based Zimbabwe National Pastors' Conference said in a statement. "We
are amazed at the patience of the people of Zimbabwe who have remained
composed under the current economic conditions of impoverishment," it said.

The statement has the support of the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace, Chaumba said, adding that "we fully understand the plight of workers
in Zimbabwe because most of them are members of our congregations."

The conference said it was "very concerned about the heavy-handed manner" in
which the police and army in early November disrupted "what was evidently a
peaceful procession" organized by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions to
highlight an unemployment rate of about 80 percent and the rocketing cost of

The pastors said they "identify with workers in Zimbabwe when they mobilize
themselves in peaceful protests in the face of socioeconomic conditions that
are increasingly depriving them of their God-given rights and dignity."

Several trade union leaders and about 100 members were arrested ahead of the
Harare march, which was declared illegal by the government.

"Laws that deny citizens space for peaceful protest are unjust and therefore
ungodly," the conference said, noting that "an increasing number of
Zimbabweans are beginning to wonder whether citizens should have an
obligation to respect and obey such repressive and oppressive laws."

Chaumba said the rule of law has collapsed in Zimbabwe.

"Courts now rule in favor of the government and, without recourse to the
law, there is nowhere to go," he said.

Also, the central government interferes with local governments to the extent
that it is "impossible for mayors to do their jobs" without being ruling
party loyalists, he said.

The country's "only hope" is an international initiative "to highlight the
problems here," he said.

Noting that Zimbabwe is a signatory to many international human rights
commitments, Chaumba said, "African countries need to put pressure on it to

Regional groups such as the African Union and the Southern African
Development Community "are not sending strong signals" that Zimbabwe needs
drastic change, he said.

"Our liberation history is haunting us," Chaumba said, noting that "many
(current) South African leaders were housed in Zimbabwe" during apartheid
"and it would be seen as discourteous to criticize their former hosts."

While "they must acknowledge that brotherhood, they still need to call a
spade a spade where human rights are being violated," he said.

Chaumba said Zimbabweans are "still suffering the effects" of Mugabe's
Operation Drive Out Trash, in which government agents destroyed shantytowns
in an attempt to force the residents to return to rural areas. Thousands of
poor Zimbabweans were left homeless by the operation, which began in May.

In early November, "people who were still living in the open were rounded up
and put in a holding camp" on the outskirts of Harare, Chaumba said.

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Vote of no confidence in Zanu PF!

5 December 2005
Zanu PF support base shrinks in the rural areas
The recent threats by Emmerson Mnangagwa to Zanu PF supporters assumed to have defected to the so called United People’s Movement in the Midlands highlight the on-going turmoil and deepening divisions in Zanu PF which started late last year.
Mnangagwa is mistaken. He is a minister responsible for rural housing and rural amenities. He should steer away from political movements and shifts in the hearts and minds of our hard-pressed nation. He should inform the nation on how many houses, if any, in the rural areas he has improved during the past six months.
The people of Zimbabwe are now united under the banner of the MDC and are determined to fight the Zanu PF dictatorship from all fronts. The Senate election exposed Zanu PF.
Zanu PF has disintegrated in the Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland, Bulawayo, Harare and many other parts of the country because of the ongoing factionalism and the emergence of the UPM, whose political catchment area was supposed to anchor within the mainstream Zanu PF. In Masvingo, for instance, the party does not even have functional structures.
Zanu PF remains hanging onto rag-tag elements of the old guard whose peers were recently selected for the Senate, a moribund institution designed to buttress Robert Mugabe’s patronage system.
Traditionally, all Zanu PF members and supporters come out to vote in whatever election. But what we saw during last week’s Senate election confirms that the party’s support base has dwindled significantly. The low voter turnout shows that the party’s faithful have crossed the floor and joined the MDC, especially in the rural areas. The people gave Zanu PF a vote of no confidence and listened to the MDC message to stay away from the useless Senate election.
The final results show that a mere 631 347 people cast their votes out of 3 239 574 registered voters – a percentage poll of 19.48 and the lowest recorded in Zimbabwe since 1980.
Since the 12th of October 2005, Zanu PF and media mouth pieces have authored and celebrated numerous obituaries of the MDC, under an erroneous view that the MDC has headed for a major collapse. That is far from reality.
The MDC is set for a comprehensive renewal process, taking advantage of the failure of the Zanu PF project to destroy the party.
Our Congress process is moving on smoothly and a new, robust and vibrant organization is now in the making following the Zanu PF inspired turbulence that rocked our organization in the past two months.
We are on a firm ground, directing the political agenda and in charge of a message that resonates with the majority.
Zimbabwe needs a new beginning. Only the MDC shall provide the vehicle and platform for a new Zimbabwe.
Nelson Chamisa, MP
Secretary for Information and Publicity

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Report: US, China in competition in Africa

Boston Globe

Urges regarding oil-rich continent more as a partner
By Sue Pleming, Reuters  |  December 6, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The United States faces stiff competition from China for oil
supplies from Africa, and Washington must take a more strategic view of the
continent by investing more resources there, US experts said yesterday.

The influential Council on Foreign Relations said in a report that Africa
was growing in strategic importance, particularly for energy supplies, and
the United States should go beyond the usual humanitarian approach and view
the continent more as a partner.
''By 2010, Africa could be providing the United States with as many oil
imports as the Middle East," said Anthony Lake, cochairman of the think
tank's task force that wrote the report and a national security advisor in
the Clinton administration.

The report predicted Africa would have the biggest incremental increase in
oil production of any region over the next two or three years and said China
was gaining a greater foothold in oil-producing African countries.

''It is increasingly in US interests to locate new oil sources outside the
Middle East," said the report, pointing to West Africa's sweet crude, which
was easily transported to the eastern United States.

China now receives 28 percent of its oil imports from Africa, mostly from
Angola, Congo, and Sudan, said the report, adding that Chinese investment
totaled about $4 billion in Sudan, making it Khartoum's biggest foreign

Beijing was becoming a bigger player on the west coast of Africa, the
continent's biggest oil-producing area.

China recently made a $2 billion loan to Angola secured by future oil
deliveries to win an oil exploration bid and, in July, China and Nigeria
signed an $800 million crude oil sale deal.

The Bush administration has said China is courting ''rogue" states in Africa
like Sudan and Zimbabwe and ignoring their human rights records in favor of
closer economic ties.

Lake said as the Darfur crisis worsened in Sudan in 2004, China had used its
position on the UN Security Council to dilute repeated resolutions on the

China also courted Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, seen by the United
States as having wrecked his country's economy.

Beijing's influence in Africa is likely to come up during talks on between
US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and key Chinese officials. The
State Department's point person on Africa also visited China recently and
expressed US fears over its role in Africa.

The report called for a US-Africa energy forum to promote cooperation and
develop public-private partnerships. In addition, it said US companies
trying to compete in Africa needed more government help to win deals now
going to Chinese firms.

It suggested the US diplomatic presence be upgraded in energy-producing
African countries and that there should be Cabinet-level visits to those

A former US ambassador to South Africa, Princeton Lyman, said Africa was too
often viewed as a ''humanitarian backwater" and given scarce diplomatic and
intelligence resources.

Asked about the report, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the Bush
administration was engaged ''in a strategic way" in Africa and wanted to
cooperate more closely with China on Africa.

''Rather than competition, I would say the United States views its role and
its work with other nations in Africa as a process of cooperation and
coordination in pursuit of what the countries of the region are looking
for," he said.

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Zimbabwe cricketers have top officials in sights

Yahoo News

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwean cricket officials and players met here for the
first time in their bid to oust Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Peter
Chingoka and managing director Osias Bvute.

Problems at ZC led to the resignation two weeks ago of national team captain
Tatenda Taibu, who teamed up, along with all other contracted national
players, with the country's seven provincial chairmen in a bid to have
Chingoka sacked and Bvute suspended.

ZC vice-chairman Ahmed Ebrahim hosted the meeting, and dubbed the demands as
"the only way forward". A further meeting of at least the 40 attending here
Monday will meet again Wednesday to consolidate their position.

"We half expected Chingoka and Bvute to turn up and declare our meeting
invalid, but they didn't do so. We'll see if they come to the next one,"
Ebrahim told AFP on Monday.

Ebrahim said the players had insisted during the three-and-a-half hour
meeting that "they would not play for Zimbabwe if, in some way, Chingoka and
Bvute regained control.

"But they would commit themselves to us. This means they will practice and
train ahead of the Asia Cup tournament in Bangladesh during January."

He added: "With the overall strength of the turnout, we feel we can bring
about recovery of Zimbabwe cricket, even though the finances have been
reduced to dire levels, and even though it will take a long time.

"This is a start, and we hope we can gather growing support, not least from
TV organisations, sponsors and many backers.

"We have an awfully long way to go. But 200 employees are relying on us, as
well as the great number of cricket supporters in this country. We are in a
period of great change," Ebrahim said.

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Farm Workers Forced To Work At Gunpoint At Grabbed Eastern Highlands Farms

Zim Daily

            Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            Two evicted white farmers have filed a Z$646 million law suit in
the High Court against intelligence and military officers that grabbed their
farms and later looted property in the eastern Highlands. Whiley Johnson and
Roy Bennett are seeking compensation for the plunder of their property from
Ashanti and Redfern Farms in Chipinge. The lawsuit came as the General
Agriculture Platation Workers Union (Gapwuz) expressed concern that farm
workers in the eastern Highlands were forced to work the land at gunpoint by
the new farm owners who grabbed the farms from white owners.

            Gapwuz secretary general Getrude Hambira told zimdaily that the
new farm owners were coercing the farm workers to till the land at gunpoint
charging that they were attempting to sabotage the new land owners. "Vari
kuti makafumisa varungu (You made white commercial farmers rich) and now is
our turn," Hambira said. In their heads of arguments, Johnson states that
they had to resort to legal recourse after "police inaction" in dealing with
the chaos on the farms.

            The Zimbabwe Republic Police have often been accused of being
used by Mugabe's government to target political opponents. A spokesperson
for the Commercial Farmers Union alleged that police officials were helping
the looting and police trucks were ferrying marauding supporters of the
ruling Zanu-PF to these farms. The spokesperson said the organisation had
witnessed police vehicles being used in the "well-orchestrated" farm
            "The reason why we have had to evacuate so many families is
precisely because of police inaction," said the farmers' spokesman, who
requested anonymity.

            "The (police) are encouraging the lawlessness. They help them
(the looters). We have seen property being destroyed and farmers being
assaulted in the presence of the police." Vehicles belonging to the police
were seen loaded with stolen harvested crops, fertiliser and household
furniture, the spokesperson said. But a police spokesman, Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, rubbished the reports of officers helping
looters. "It's unfortunate for anyone to suggest that we are participating
in criminal activity," he said.

            Bvudzijena said police were doing all they could to help white
farmers, but said they did not have the resources to assign details to every
individual white farmer. But Johnson said: "If they have been active, then
can you get them to explain why 45 farms have been looted and why houses
have been destroyed and property stolen on all these farms in broad

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Price hikes bite incomes

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Oswelled Ureke
issue date :2005-Dec-06

ZIMBABWEANS are set to quickly lose the benefits of tax relief measures
announced in the 2006 national budget as prices of most goods and services
have suddenly shot up in response to government's removal of all forms of
price controls.
Last week, the government shifted the taxable threshold from $1,5 million to
$7 million and announced a nontaxable bonus of $20 million.
The government's move to remove price ceilings has resulted in prices of
basic commodities and services shooting up at an alarming rate.
Prices shot up soon after the budget announcement on December 1, pushing the
poverty datum line (PDL) upwards - from $11,6 million to $12,9 million.
According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ), some notable increases
have this month been recorded.
The prices of washing powder rose by 61,6 percent, sugar 52,2 percent, rice
57,7 percent, meat 28,7 percent, fresh milk 31,5 percent and flour 18
Besides the basic goods mentioned by the CCZ, rentals have also gone up by
at least 50 percent, with accommodation rates for high- density housing
closing in on those for low and medium density areas and even surpassing
them. Bus fares have also gone up and proposals by various school
authorities indicate that tuition fees could rise in the New Year.
The buying power of the tax-free income for ordinary Zimbabweans will be
gobbled up by these increases, according to McDonald Mangauzani, the
national treasurer of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ),
whose members in November agitated for an 836 percent salary increment to be
factored into the budget.
"With the rate at which prices are soaring, by January the $7 million will
not even meet transport and accommodation costs.
"Given that $6,9 trillion of the $7,4 trillion education allocations goes
towards salaries, we foresee a situation whereby teachers will only be
awarded a 100 percent increment, meaning that a graduate teacher could earn
only $6 million, which is way below the PDL. At least the government should
undertake to review our salaries quarterly," he said. A bank employee, who
spoke to The Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity, said the upward review
of the taxable threshold was only a piecemeal measure.
"Look at the $20 million tax-free bonus. Who is earning that anyway? It
would seem as if a lot of good has been done, yet already some people are
getting a bonus of as low as $10 million, which is barely enough to meet a
month's basic needs," he said.
While applauding the efforts to increase the disposable income for ordinary
Zimbabweans, Collin Gwiyo, acting secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions (ZCTU), said the step "fell far short of the ZCTU's
expectations" of a taxable threshold at par with the PDL.
Economic analyst, Innocent Makwiramiti commended govern-ment for adjusting
the taxable threshold but quickly pointed out that supply did not meet
demand, resulting in the increases in the prices of basic commodities.
Said Makwiramiti: "The Minister (of Finance) should be commended for that.
The supply side of the economy is what remains bad. There is a shortage of
goods on the market and acquiring them is dependent on foreign currency
availability. As long as we do not have the foreign currency, it is going to
be difficult to rein in the increases.
"It is not surprising that come January, the price of bread will be $100 000
per loaf.
"The removal of price increases is okay because that is what business wants
but it will also have an impact on inflation in the short-term."
Another economic analyst, Isaac Kwesu, while also applauding the government
for cushioning the public from excessive taxation, concurred with
Makwiramiti that the threshold was not sufficient and would have been eroded
by inflation by January 1 when it becomes effective.
"To correct one fundamental means relaxing the other. While the $7 million
may not be sufficient to cushion workers it remains a positive move.
Inflation will go up in the short-term but as predicted by the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe it will come down. At least something is better than nothing,"
said Kwesu.

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Operation Garikayi: State urged to include other players

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-06

VISITING UN under secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland yesterday said the government should embrace
other players in Operation Garikai/Hhlalani Kuhle given the huge amount of
resources needed to provide decent accommodation to the homeless.
Egeland jetted into the country on Saturday as part of preparations for UN
chief Kofi Annan's expected visit to assess the government's massive
reconstruction programme - a successor to the May urban cleanup.
Annan was invited by President Robert Mugabe after his envoy on human
settlements to Zimbabwe, Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, issued a damning report on
the cleanup in which she accused Harare of displacing 700 000 people, among
other issues.
The government rejected the Tibaijuka report and accused her of being
one-sided and pandering to the whims of the West.
Speaking after visiting Mavambo Trust Community-Based Centre for orphans and
vulnerable children in Mabvuku yesterday, Egeland said:
"There are a number of good projects (under Operation Garikai) but the
(major) problem is the (lack of adequate) resources. We now have to work
together (the UN, donor agencies) to meet the shelter needs. We have to work
much harder."
Earlier on Egeland toured Hatcliffe Extension, White Cliffe and Hopley Farms
He expressed concern at the plight of Hatcliffe residents, saying they were
living under difficult conditions.
"The needs of the people are tremendous. People living in Hatcliffe are in
very bad condition," he said.
Most residents at the settlement were living in tents provided by donors
with no regular supply of clean water and proper ablution facilities.
They rely mostly on water provided by Unicef. The UN agency has also been
providing similar services elsewhere were Operation Murambatsvina affected
Said Taurai Tichatonga, a settlement dweller: "We have been living in the
tents since we were brought here from Caledonia transit camp and were only
allocated houses last week on Thursday.  While our condition is better, we
still do not have clean water and toilets and I believe the situation is
worse for those in tents, especially during this period of rain."
At Hopley farm residents also complained of having no regular provisions of
clean water and food, and appealed to donors to respond to their plight.
"There are so many problems here, including those of water, food and
overcrowding. Just two weeks ago, there were others (people) who were
brought in from Mbare.
"We hope this visit will lead to improvement of our lives because we are
suffering here," said Gift Mbofana who was evicted from Porta Farm.
Various government officials accompanied Egeland on the tour, among them
Harare Metropolitan governor, David Karimanzira, deputy minister of local
government Morris Sakabuya and some Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officers.
Besides the tour, the envoy also met representatives from local churches and
civil society.
Egeland is expected to meet President Robert Mugabe today, after visiting
Bulawayo and Matabeleland South.
He will leave the country on Wednesday.

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Mnangagwa denies links with new party

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-06

THE Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities and Zanu PF's secretary
for legal affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has distanced himself from the United
Peoples Movement (UPM), state radio reported yesterday.
In a Power FM morning bulletin, Mnangagwa was said to have distanced himself
from the movement.  He also warned  ruling party leaders in the Midlands
that anyone seen working for the UPM, which is linked to former information
minister and independent Tsholotsho MP Jonathan Moyo, faces expulsion from
Zanu PF.
The station also announced that Mnangagwa, a former Speaker of the House of
Assembly, said this during a Zanu PF Midlands Provincial Co-coordinating
Committee (PCC) meeting over the weekend.
Former Zvishavane MP and Zanu PF Central Committee member Pearson Mbalekwa,
who resigned from the ruling party mid this year was, according to the
station,  leading the UPM in the Midlands.
Last year, Moyo was accused of generally hatching a plan to influence the
choice of candidates to occupy the party's presidium and in particular
working for the defeat of Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who was being
challenged by Mnangagwa.

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Beer prices go up

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Dec-06

PRICES for clear and opaque beer went up more than 40 percent at most retail
liquor outlets the day after the budget announcement and muffled Christmas
bonus cheers awarded to workers by Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa.
This is the fourth time since April this year that the price of beer has
shot up, resulting in clients changing their drinking habits.
Most retail operators and supermarkets nationwide increased the prices of
Castle, Lion, Pilsner and Black Label from $25 000 a "pint" up to anything
between $35 000 and $56 000 without deposit.
Bohlingers and Zambezi have shot up to an official $50 000, but some outlets
are selling the commodity well above that price while a Scud has risen from
about $30 000 to $35 000.
Before, the green bottles fetched at least $35 000.
The Eagle beer now costs $28 000 - up from $20 000.
These increases are expected to result in drinkers digging deeper into their
pockets for their favourite lagers.
In addition, the increases came soon after Murerwa's budget
uncharacteristically reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) to 15 percent from 17.5
percent, saying he expected producers to adjust prices accordingly.
VAT is consumption tax that is levied at each stage of production based on
the value added to the product.
In September beer prices went up by an average 25 percent in response to the
new VAT tax rate.
A month later, in October the prices were increased by a further 25 percent.
 A survey showed that leading hotels across the country are selling beer for
at least $110 000 or four times the price of the same commodity in a
In nightclubs and restaurants in the capital, a "pint" is now selling for
about $100 000.

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War vets want Zanu PF to finalise land reform

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Dec-06

THE ZIMBABWE National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) says it
would push Zanu PF at its all-people national conference to be held in
Esigodini, Matabeleland South, this week to focus on the finalisation of the
land reform programme, especially issues regarding leases and multiple farm
Interim national chairperson of the ZNLWA re-organising committee, Andrew
Ndlovu said the five-day conference, which starts on Thursday, must come up
with clearcut policies on land and agrarian reforms.
War veterans are a key ally of the ruling party and were at the forefront of
the country's fast track land reform programme in 2000.
"As war veterans we are saying it is high time that the government should
finalise outstanding issues such as leases and multiple farm ownership,"
Ndlovu said. "We still have some people who are clinging on to large chunks
of land when some of our comrades do not even have land even to grow
vegetables on."
He said during the conference, the former freedom fighters would also push
for the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), which
he said is the only panacea to the region's current perennial water
"Water and agriculture are inseparable. The Matabeleland Zambezi Water
Project has been in the pipeline for a long time and we feel with the advent
of the agrarian reforms this is the right and crucial time for the project
to be speedily implemented," Ndlovu added.
The issue of war veterans' welfare  would also feature prominently during
the ruling party conference.
"We really appreciate that the government has done quite a lot for the
welfare of our comrades, but we believe there is still room for improvement.
"We want issues such as re-vetting of some of our comrades who were left
during the initial exercise to be also looked into", he said.
President Robert Mugabe early this year appointed a three member committee
comprising of former army generals, Vitalis Zvinavashe, Solomon Mujuru and
former Zipra intelligence supremo, Dumiso Dabengwa to restructure the war
veterans association.
The committee has recommended that the ZNLWVA be under the army's
Apart from dealing with the concerns of the war veterans, the Zanu PF
congress is expected to debate the party's state of affairs.

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