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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Budget Hits Motorists' Pockets Yet Again

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

Richard Wiley

YET again, long-suffering motorists have been singled out for another round
of donations following the recent budget presentation.

Presumably, the Z$500:US$1 ration applies to all imported vehicles as the
powers-that-be continue to regard ANY four-wheeled passenger car as a

Nigeria Competition Bill

Your Comments Requested

My spies tell me that customs revenues on new vehicles plummeted when the
300:1 regime was implemented so expect a similar pattern to follow the
latest ill-advised directive.

If I'm not mistaken, the so-called "local assemblers" have been given yet
another break to the detriment of government revenue as a result of a 10
percent reduction in sales tax. This means that these local assemblers
contribute a piffling 15 percent of a vehicle's retail selling price to the
fiscus whereas the importers (and individuals) have to fork out 25 percent
sales tax, 10 percent import surcharge and an ever increasing amount in
import duties such that an overall "tax" portion of around 115 percent
becomes entirely possible.

As the "protective" gap increases, so does the opportunity for the locals to
increase their assembly costs.

You don't need to be a nuclear scientist to work out that these local plants
have no right to exist if they require ever-increasing assistance to remain

Besides the straight cost issue, the oft-quoted story about encouraging
local downstream production holds no water at all. As cars have become more
sophisticated and customers' quality expectations have risen, so the use of
locally-sourced materials has declined.

Not so long ago, I owned a Willowvale-assembled Familia hatchback and I
don't recall being able to identify a single item of local origin. Even the
exhaust, battery and glass were fully imported. Perhaps the paint was local,
but that's about it.

In the case of the exhaust, I can only say thank goodness as the local
rubbish fitted to lesser vehicles of the 80s and 90s barely scraped an
18-month lifespan before allowing eager exhaust gases to vent into the
atmosphere from cavities that shouldn't have developed with such alacrity.

Remember too, the dreadful "domestic" carpeting that pretended to cover the
floors of Willowvale and Mutare products? This carpeting was never
manufactured to cover humps or sharp edges and its durability factor
mirrored that of the aforementioned exhaust system.

So, with next to no local inputs, what's the real reason for the ever
increasing protection? There is no sound reason just as there is no sound
reason for not providing import tax breaks to individuals who use their own
forex to purchase cars from abroad.

I repeat my oft-stated assertion that the application of local "sales tax"
on pre-paid imports contravenes all the norms of fair taxation. If an
individual has made direct payment to an external manufacturer, then
ownership of the vehicle in question passes to the customer once the payment
is ratified.

In simplistic terms, a "sale" has taken place OUTSIDE our borders so how can
sales tax be applied to an item not sold in this country? Similarly, an
"import surcharge" is effectively a device to discourage imports purchased
with currency acquired on the local market. If the currency has been sourced
externally, why should the importer be saddled with a "surcharge"?

On a related matter, the proposal to extend sales tax to private sales of
used motor vehicles will simply encourage more underground deals and provide
even more opportunities for corrupt practices to flourish. I don't think I
need to expand on this matter but I can't resist firing another broadside at
the principle of multiple taxation. How can anyone justify the application
of tax on an object each and every time it acquires a new owner? Sales tax
is paid by the first owner and that should be the end of the road.

The pain is compounded by the huge rate of tax and the skyrocketing price of
new cars. I saw a BMW X5 3,Od advertised the other day for an eye-watering
Z$115 million. No-one could possibly pay that much money for a vehicle which
retails in (expensive) Britain for 33 000.

Assuming I'm right, the seller will now be obliged to add another 25 percent
sales tax to produce an absurd figure of Z$144 million in round figures.

Motorists' misery is compounded by the stellar increases in the "benefits"
tax on the use of company-owned vehicles. Every beneficiary is deemed to
derive the same level of benefit irrespective of the monthly or annual
mileage covered. I know of some individuals who clock up over 5 000 kms a
month on personal errands just as I know of others, self included, whose
personal use would not exceed 300 kms a month. But the penalty is the same.
What allowance is made for any company car user who carries out home
maintenance of said vehicle? The answer again, is absolutely none.

The system is plain unjust and unreasonable and is compounded by the fact
that the tax penalty is solely based on engine size and not procurement
cost. This means that the "driver" of a Mazda 626, for example, pays exactly
the same tax as the "driver" of a BMW 320i.

Now that the summer sun is well and truly burning, those of you with
leather-upholstered cars would be well advised to take steps to preserve the
original texture of the unfortunate cow you sit on.

Direct sunlight and heat are the biggest enemies of leather so if your car
has to sit outside during the day, your first line of defence is to place
sun shades in the front and rear windows. But you need to do more than that
to keep the surface supple and durable.

The first step is to clean the leather regularly, preferably with
proprietary leather cleaning solution or failing that, with a damp cloth
impregnated with a mild soapy solution.

Thereafter, the leather will just lap up an application of purpose-produced
leather food or leather cream, a commodity occasionally available in stores
specializing in car accessories or leather goods. Either use your fingers or
a small piece of clean sponge and work the cream into the leather. Ideally,
leave the muti to soak overnight and then buff lightly with a soft cotton

For maximum protection, this simple task should be carried out monthly as
far as the driver's seat is concerned but spare a thought for the upper
surface of the rear seat which is exposed to the blazing sun all the time.
This area benefits enormously from a fortnightly application of leather care

Rubber also hates sunlight and heat, so treat the door rubbers and boot and
bonnet seals to a regular rub of glycerine soaked into a small sponge.

Car of the Year

I'm on record as being ambivalent about the value of COTY awards wherever
they are held as the judging is sometimes subject to manipulation and more
importantly, the judges have a tendency to award more points for daring
interpretation than they do for practical interpretations. In the case of
the SA COTY awards, the last two years defied this trend with the BMW 320d
and Audi A4 TD1 coming out on top.

Certainly, it's practicality that counts in the long run for Mr. Average.
This factor seems to have been overlooked by the European COTY judges in
particular, as many of their selections over the last 20 years have been
dismal commercial failures. A string of mediocre Fiats have hi-jacked this
award over the years (thanks to a proliferation of Italian journalists?) but
quite the biggest shocker was the Rover 3500 SDI of the late 70s. Remember
that fastback-shaped leviathan that rusted with alacrity and spent more time
in the workshops than on the road?

I mention all these idiosyncrasies because the winner of this year's
European award is the controversial Renault Megane which is fine up front
but which is blighted with Renault's awkward and ugly new corporate rump
which for all the world makes the car look constipated.

The more avantgarde among the world's motoring pen pushes will hail this new
styling venture as a courageous and bold new direction in automotive
presentation, but I'm not too sure.

I genuinely hope that the weird elements don't put off too many potential
purchasers as the rest of the Megane bristles with practical innovations
such as keyless-go and starter-button ignition to name just two.
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Stop Insulting the People's Intelligence

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

NOTHING better demonstrates that the government of Zimbabwe lives on a
planet far removed from the problems facing this country than plans to
introduce a test next year to determine the patriotism of civil servants.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) announced last week that it would
introduce measures next January to assess the patriotism of all civil
servants and those intending to join the public service.

"People are just working without commitment to government policies and those
of the ruling party," said PSC secretary Ray Ndhlukula.

"If we deliver service, we bring success to Zimbabwe. We want to ensure that
every citizen is served by the government and that is why we want committed
Zimbabweans in the civil service."

Those found wanting, he said, would be sent for training and those still
unable to make the grade face dismissal.

It's alarming that a regime facing enormous and complex problems such as
life-threatening food shortages and an economy in its third year of
recession can waste time on something as frivolous as this.

Public servants are fleeing in their thousands for so-called greener
pastures, leaving the country's health and education sectors on the verge of
collapse, and yet the government seems determined to speed them on their way
through such senseless measures.

As admirable as Ndhlukula's goal of ensuring that every Zimbabwean is served
by the government is, it's clear that this is not the way to achieve it.

Since the government seems to define a patriot as one who supports the
ruling ZANU PF, we are faced with yet another system that has the potential
to degenerate into a mere witch-hunt for civil servants who have the
audacity to hold divergent political views.

Millions of Zimbabweans could therefore be illegally discriminated against
through the loss of jobs, promotions and denial of service because they
support a party that is not ZANU PF.

Reports that youths being trained under the controversial national service
programme are to be given top priority at tertiary institutions raise fears
that those public servants deemed to be unpatriotic could swiftly be
replaced by these loyal ruling party cadres.

Given the alleged military nature of this national service training, such a
scenario raises the spectre of the government's gradual militarisation and
politicisation of all sectors of the public service as it uses all means to
cling to power.

The PSC has to go back to the drawing board on this issue. The demotivation
and inefficiency within the civil service that the government seems to have
misinterpreted as lack of patriotism has a simple solution.

The government must simply stop wasting precious national resources trying
to implement policies that do not address the real problems facing Zimbabwe.

Public servants are demotivated because they are poorly paid and some of
them work under extremely trying and deplorable conditions.

This and only this is responsible for the mass exodus of nurses, doctors,
teachers, pharmacists and other civil servants, as well as for the
devil-may-care attitude of many government workers.

Only when these issues are addressed can long-suffering Zimbabweans begin to
enjoy first-class service from civil servants and only then can the country
see the success envisaged by Ndhlukula.

Zimbabweans are concerned with life and death issues and it's time the
government stopped insulting their intelligence by dreaming up measures
supposedly to help the public but which are really meant to distract them
from their suffering.

The government would be better served dumping this proposed patriotism test
in the trash bin, for that is where it belongs, and rolling back its sleeves
so it can come to grips with the real crisis devastating this once
prosperous country.
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Business Day

Political murders in Zimbabwe hit 86


HARARE - At least 86 politically motivated murders were committed in the 12
months since June 2001, a human rights coalition said in a report today.
"The vast majority of these victims were killed because of a real or
perceived association with the main opposition party," the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), according to the report by the Zimbabwe Human
Rights Forum, which documented the cases of more than 900 victims of
political violence.

The list of victims included some supporters of the governing Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), as well as white farmers
and black farm labourers.

MDC supporters constituted 51% of the victims of political violence, while
non-aligned or apolitical victims comprised 47.6%. Zanu-PF supporters made
up 1.4% of the victims.

"The problem of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe is not a black on
white war based on the redistribution of land and its ownership. The problem
rather is an intolerance of or lack of respect for political pluralism," the
report said.

Of the murder victims, 55 were MDC supporters, eight were Zanu-PF
supporters, six were of unknown political affiliation, five were war
veterans, another five were farm workers, two were white farmers while the
rest were newly resettled black farmers.

The report documents details of torture, assault, rape and other forms of
abuse such as intimidation, abduction, unlawful detention.

In addition to providing dates and places at which the alleged abuses took
place, the latest report outlines names of alleged perpetrators of violence
as identified by the surviving victims.

Members of parliament from both ruling party and the opposition have been
named in the report as among the alleged perpetrators of politically
motivated violence.

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ZIMBABWE: World Vision to feed 60,000 malnourished children

JOHANNESBURG, 6 December (IRIN) - Close to 60,000 children across Zimbabwe are expected to benefit from a supplementary feeding scheme from December to March next year, World Vision said on Friday.

The organisation's Harare office said US $17,000 had been allocated for the purchase of 21 mt of porridge mixture on a monthly basis.

World Vision director Rudo Kwaramba told IRIN: "The programme is directed at children under five years but we are hoping to include 6 to 7 year old children soon. Already blanket supplementary feeding has commenced in areas where World Vision has been operating. The under-five group receive daily wet feeding at community-based feeding points."

UN agencies estimate that of the 6.7 million Zimbabwean's facing critical food shortages, three million are women and children who are either malnourished or undernourished.

The relief organisation said it was feeding more than 6,000 children in the Gonono village, 260 km northwest of Harare, where the government-controlled Grain Marketing Board has scaled down maize distribution from once a week to once a month.

The agency was also delivering a monthly supplementary ration of 10 kg corn-soya blend to 65,265 HIV/AIDS patients in districts severely affected by the food crisis.

Some 34 percent of Zimbabweans between the ages of 15 and 49 are living with HIV/AIDS and there are more than 600,000 AIDS orphans.

To contribute to maintaining livelihoods and help avert reliance on food aid, World Vision said it was also implementing a large agricultural recovery programme.

But the organisation said sourcing seed had been a challenge as there were shortages throughout the region and the government had recently purchased all the maize seed available in the country for its input scheme through the GMB.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472

[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN
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Daily News

Zanu PF and the Masowe alliance

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

Death, including that of people we may not be particularly fond of, is
always saddening.

So it was only natural for The Mole to be saddened, as no doubt many
other Zimbabweans must have been, by the death of 10 members of the Johane
Masowe Chishanu Apostolic Faith sect, struck by lightning while gathered for
a prayer meeting in Chitungwiza two weeks ago.

People still felt sad in spite of so many bad things being said about
the Mapostori ever since the late Border Gezi turned the church, en bloc,
into a wing of Zanu PF, making them a permanent and very conspicuous feature
at all the party's events.

But even then, many people must have found it curious that President
Mugabe saw fit to go on national television to express his sorrow and
condole the church's leaders over the deaths. True, those who have closely
followed his political career will tell you that Mugabe is not particularly
known for his judiciousness when speaking about his political friends and

Far too often, he is given to going to extremes and saying some very
undignified things.Like when, at the burial of Sheila Hove, the wife of
former minister Richard Hove, he described her as having been "a man and
half" despite the fact that she had made headlines for all the wrong reasons
and had died in very inglorious circumstances. Or when he silenced male
critics of Shuvai Mahofa's romantic escapades by telling them to shut up
because he knew that they too "have girlfriends".

Or the countless nasty things he has said about Tony Blair and Morgan
Tsvangirai from the day he labelled the former's government "gay gangsters"
and the latter as "a teaboy".

From our observation of his constantly changing relations with the
late Joshua Nkomo, we all know, of course, that he will have nothing good to
say about anyone who refuses to give him blind support politically and that,
on the other hand, he will see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil about
anyone prepared to give him that blind support like the Apostolic Church
members who were recruited into the ranks of Zanu PF by Gezi, are doing.

Nevertheless, it was the height of imprudence for him to go on
television and say what he said about them following the sad incident. This
was especially so considering that, weeks earlier, he had maintained a
deathly silence following the passing away of Garfield Todd and Learnmore
Jongwe, both of whom were regarded by many Zimbabweans as political
luminaries who ought to have been declared national heroes.

Cynics have for some time now been saying that it is a great honour to
be denounced by Mugabe and a curse to be praised by him. The Mole tends to
agree. There certainly is something to worry about if Mugabe openly praises
you - something connected to integrity or moral rectitude - usually a lack

n Have the people who work for Zanu PF's propaganda mouthpieces that
pass for newspapers at Zimpapers become so allergic to the truth that they
have stopped reading real newspapers?

That certainly seems to be the case with those who work for the
Bulawayo-based Sunday News.

Otherwise how else can we explain the phenomenon of their having so
thoroughly embarrassed themselves by labelling as "exclusive" the front page
lead story of their 1 December issue when it had already been published in
The Daily News more than three years earlier?

The supposedly "exclusive" story, written by the paper's magazine
editor, Sifanele Ndlovu, under the headline King Lobengula's gold chain
stolen, read in part: "Two artifacts of immense historical value, including
a gold necklace belonging to the last Ndebele monarch, King Lobengula, have
been stolen from the Natural History Museum in Bulawayo.

"The Executive Director of the Department of National Museums and
Monuments, Dr Godfrey Mahachi, yesterday confirmed that King Lobengula's
priceless chain, which is more than 100 years old, and an extremely valuable
gold watch that belonged to a pioneer missionary, the Reverend Robert
Moffat, have mysteriously disappeared from their glass display cabinets . .

Now can someone please tell us how anyone could have labelled that
story exclusive when on 24 July 1999 The Daily News carried the following
story headlined Lobengula's gold necklace stolen: "A gold-coated necklace
belonging to 19th Century Ndebele king, Lobengula, and a gold-coated
wristwatch used by English missionary, John Moffat, have been stolen from
the Natural History Museum in Bulawayo. Police said the rare artifacts are
worth $1,2 million. The items were on display in the Chiefs Hall on the
first floor. Display items are locked in glass cabinets . . ."

The only difference is that the missionary is named as Robert Moffat
in the Sunday News story and John Moffat in The Daily News story. So you
see, far from being an exclusive, it was a very, very old story.

I have a small piece of advice which the editor and staff at the
Sunday News might find valuable: as the slogan goes, "Stay with the crowd,
read The Daily News!"
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Daily News - Letter

Really sad to see our country fall into ruins

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

I am a concerned Zimbabwean who, like many others, has left the
country of my birth in search of, not only greener, but also safer pastures.
From a distance, I watch with a feeling of despair as my beloved country is
brought to its knees with alarming rapidity.

I remember growing up in the sprawling high-density suburb of
Entumbane. The future always seemed full of aspiration, prosperity and
continuity. I always listened intently every time the then "Honourable
President Mugabe" addressed our young and hopeful nation.

His addresses always seemed to be encouraging and reassuring,
especially to the young. Food shortages, unemployment, corruption,
oppression and all the socio-economic problems bedevilling the country today
did not exist.

Today, in a foreign country, I lament the demise of our dear nation. I
watch in despair as all my dreams and and hopes turn into nightmares.
Terrified, I watch helplessly as our once honourable President
uncontrollably turns into a caricature of the African president.

Undreamt-of shortages, unemployment and economic chaos have become the
order of the day. Our once prosperous nation has become a disgrace, making
headlines in newspapers in all corners of the world for all the wrong
reasons.I sadly bid farewell to all my dreams and to the sanity that once
prevailed in what has now become the ruins of Zimbabwe.

Lafa elihle (All hope is lost).

Bekezela Moyo


United Kingdom
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Daily News

Stop beating our citizens, Mozambican mayor pleads

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

From Brian Mangwende recently in Manica, Mozambique

THE government has been urged to withdraw its soldiers from the Forbes
border post in Manicaland or risk the twinning arrangement between the City
of Mutare and other cities in Mozambique.

The Zimbabwean soldiers have been accused of beating up Mozambican
citizens at the border post. The call was made by Mougene Cadiero, the Mayor
of Manica town in Mozambique, on Wednesday during the signing of a twinning
arrangement between his town and Mutare. In a prayer, during which Cadiero
pleaded for divine intervention, he said solemnly: "God, please help to
remove the soldiers from that border. They are assaulting our people every
day. It's terrible." The soldiers are deployed in and around Mutare to
intercept smugglers who sneak commodities such as cigarettes, sugar, bread,
cooking oil, flour, maize-meal and alcohol into Mozambique. So far, two
Mozambicans, suspected to be illegal cross-border traders, have been shot
dead by the Zimbabwean soldiers. Following the fatal shootings, diplomatic
relations between Zimbabwe and Mozambique became strained.

Soares Nhaca, the Governor of Manica Province, condemned the
Zimbabwean security forces over the killings and beatings. But Oppah
Muchinguri, his counterpart in Zimbabwe's Manicaland Province, remained
adamant that relations between the countries were cordial. "Zimbabwean
soldiers are beating up our citizens either at the border or in their
country," Cadiero said in a separate interview. He said the twinning
agreements could be jeopardised if the soldiers continued the beatings.

Hundreds of traders, mainly Mozambicans, have allegedly been assaulted
by soldiers and the police manning all illegal entry points along the
border. Those arrested are taken to the Grand Reef Infantry Battalion
cantonment in Mutare, where they are allegedly subjected to further assaults
before being ordered to pay a fine of up to $500 for their freedom.

The twinning agreement between the two cities was signed by Lawrence
Mudehwe, the Executive Mayor of Mutare, and Cadiero, his counterpart in
Manica town. The agreement is designed to promote economic, cultural, social
and employment links and boost industrial development between the two
nations. Mudehwe said: "After signing this agreement, Mozambique and
Zimbabwe are now one. I don't think it will be proper to continue putting in
place restrictive measures such as visas to travel to Mozambique. "If I am
visiting my brother or counterpart in Manica, I don't believe I need a visa
and vice-versa. We have been friends for a long time and it should stay that
way. So far, we have signed a twinning agreement with Chimoio."
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Daily News

Cash-strapped CFU retrenches staff

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

By Takaitei BoteFarming Editor

THE Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) is facing serious financial
problems because of disturbances caused by the land issue to the extent that
it has retrenched 15 workers so far.

CFU president Colin Cloete said in an interview that uncertainties
caused by the land reform programme have resulted in many farmers stopping
paying levies and subscriptions to the union.

Out of the 2 900 commercial farmers issued with eviction notices in
August this year, only 600 are said to be actively farming, putting the
union in a precarious financial position.

According to union officials, the retrenchments are being implemented
from top to bottom in all the CFU branches countrywide.The most senior
position to be abolished so far is that of deputy director responsible
commodities, formerly occupied by long serving official, Dr Jerry Grant.
Grant, who joined the union in 1986, left the CFU at the end of November.

Also affected by the redundancies are commodity associations where
executive officers have been axed. Three crop associations - the Zimbabwe
Grain Producers' Association, the Cereal Producers' Association and
Commercial Oilseed Producers' Association - have retrenched staff and pooled
resources to become one association. The new name for the merged
associations is Grains and Oilseeds. The total number of CFU workers was 75
before the retrenchments. The staff complement now stands at 60.

Besides financial problems, the CFU has been hit by divisions. David
Hasluck, the CFU director, announced his retirement last October and gave 30
days' notice to be relieved of the position he had held since 1994. Hasluck
resigned following pressure from the CFU Matabeleland region which did not
agree with his accommodating stance towards the government on the
controversial issue of farm evictions. Hasluck's post has, however, not been
abolished and the union is yet to appoint a new director.

CFU president Colin Cloete had also resigned in October over
disagreements within the union on the approach to farm evictions. Cloete
was, however, re-appointed by the CFU national council last week, with Mac
Crawford from Matabeleland coming in as vice-president responsible for
regions, while Dough Taylor-Freeme was re-confirmed as the vice-president
for commodities.

The government's discredited land reform programme is blamed for
bringing commercial agriculture to an almost standstill with many farmers
leaving the country through evictions and uncertainties of tenure.

Sectors seriously affected by the withdrawal of commercial farmers
from mainstream agriculture include tobacco, wheat, paprika, oilseeds, beef,
ostrich and dairy. These sectors were dominated by commercial farmers over
the years.
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Daily News

Media workshop slams ZBC for promoting hate, violence

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PARTICIPANTS at a media workshop in Harare yesterday accused the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) of promoting violence by propagating
hate language and distorting the truth about the situation in Zimbabwe.

Church representatives and human rights activists at a workshop on the
promotion of non-violent language in journalism, accused the public
broadcaster of "deliberately lying" in stories involving the opposition.

"What we get from the ZBC on a daily basis are deliberate lies," said
Webster Zambara, of the organisation Non-Violent Action and Strategies in
Social Change.

"You hear one moment that some people are hoarding fuel. The
opposition has done this and that. Anyone who can read between the lines can
tell that these are deliberate lies, and some of the lies they broadcast
fuel violence.

Zambara said the ZBC's Supa Manziwanzira's presentation was highly
subjective, considering "the way he frowns on television when reporting on
the opposition parties".

Derek Chiteve of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe took issue
with the promotional songs broadcast nearly every 30 minutes to solicit
public support for the government's controversial land redistribution

"How do you view Chave Chimurenga (It's now war) and Hondo YeMinda
(War for Land)? ZBC is communicating violence through these songs and the
question is whether hate language depends on who is communicating the

Hondo YeMinda, composed and sung by Dickson "Cde Chinx" Chingaira,
denigrates blacks who associate with whites as "sellouts" and the whites as

Mandiwanzira, a newsreader with the ZBC, speaking at the workshop,
called on the media to desist from "painting a picture of doom".

"Let's not make it a daily routine that our people should wake up and
read bad news," he said.The workshop, organised by the Ecumenical
Documentation and Information Centre in Southern Africa, is part of the
centre's three-year programme to advocate for peace. It brought together
representatives from the Muslim and Christian communities, civic society and
journalists from various national institutions.

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Business Day

Will-o'-the-wisp Nepad needs show of force

Peer review of an African autocrat can prove bona fides of continental
revival plan

A FOREIGN diplomat recently posted to Pretoria said she was keen to
understand what the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) was
really about, but was having big problems.

She said that after three years in her previous posting in Beijing she was,
at least, able to gain a basic understanding of the inner workings of the
Chinese Communist Party. In her time in SA she did not expect to attain the
same level of understanding about Nepad.

"Nepad is like I don't know what you call it in English," she said,
gesticulating in a frustrated manner. "It's like foam," she finally said.

This diplomat is not alone in trying to get a grip on what form the Nepad
agenda and institutional framework will actually take.

Since the Nepad document was launched in October last year, business,
nongovernmental organisations and donor governments that wish to contribute
to or influence the initiative have had problems doing so.

Nepad has been more an inspirational idea rather than a hard proposal with a
step-by-step action plan for the continent's revival.

But increasingly, whether it is in the area of peer review or actually
speeding up delivery of cross-border infrastructure projects that can
demonstrably improve lives, Nepad needs to show that it is alive and

Yet there is confusion and continuing changes and ambiguity relating to
Nepad. Some of this may be beneficial. There was confusion in Pretoria about
whether it would include political review. Now this is settled and it will
include this.

However, there is also ambiguity, probably intended, about whether Libya's
autocratic and maverick leader, Muammar Gadaffi, would be on the
implementation committee as was intended with its expansion.

Angola, one of the new members of the committee, has taken up its seat, but
Libya has not yet been elected to fill a place for the north African region.
This continuing ambiguity hampers transparency, but in this case helps Nepad

Adding to the confusion of what Nepad is really about is that there are no
publicly available documents on what the initiative means for individual
countries or the African regional groupings.

A lack of public understanding is compounded by the Nepad website, still
under construction, lacking a full list of official documents.

There are three areas that could help Nepad avoid drift and heavily
influence its future credibility in upholding government accountability and
ultimately its ability to generate confidence and economic growth.

The first is whether Nepad can achieve some independence, even within the
African Union (AU). The second is achieving credibility of the peer review
mechanism, which is at the core of Nepad's push for more government

The third is how Nepad will find the means to engage with business and
nongovernmental bodies.

Despite widespread concerns that placing Nepad within the AU could
potentially lead to its watering down as it becomes subject to trading in
African diplomacy, this has now been decided upon. How it will take place is
still far from clear, but could have definite implications for Nepad's
future credibility.

In about a year from now, the Nepad secretariat, the body that has been
promoting the initiative, will be absorbed into the AU. One option then
would be to spread out secretariat programmes among the various AU agencies.
That would risk the destruction of much of the international enthusiasm that
the initiative has been able to build.

Another option would be to make Nepad a special programme of the AU with a
high degree of autonomy. The Nepad heads of state implementation committee
and its steering committee would remain in place and this special Nepad
organ would be able to perpetuate its own identity.

If Nepad were made a special programme of the AU, it would hold a similar
status to that of the specialised agencies, such as the United Nations
Development Programme.

The second area that will heavily influence Nepad's evolution is peer
review. If this mechanism cannot deal rapidly and openly with the big
violators of good governance like Zimbabwe or Liberia, Nepad will remain a
good idea on paper. If effective, peer review could be used as the key
instrument of leverage to help give impetus to the idea that Nepad is a real

Prior to Nepad's absorption into the AU, peer review will be voluntary. Once
Nepad is part of the AU it becomes compulsory and can take on the tough
cases. However, the heads of state on the Nepad implementation committee
still have several crucial decisions to make about the appointment of a
panel of eminent Africans who will oversee the process and what agencies
will be responsible for the technical work.

If peer review is to really be effective it cannot stand on the ceremony of
the presentation of reports to heads of state.

That could turn out to be more a mechanism for excuse and delay rather than
action. The strength of the European Union's peer review is that it is
constant and affects the moral authority a government has in making an
argument. Ultimately there is always the sanction of expulsion, as was
threatened in the case of Austria.

The third area, that of involving business and civil society, is replete
with problems of establishing whether a group is representative of a
legitimate constituency. Nepad now has a host of business groups clamouring
for its attention.

Part of the problem is channelling this enthusiasm and finding ways to
co-operate, whether it be on policy proposals or projects.

The long-term nature of Nepad is often emphasised by officials, but it is
unlikely that outside of governments there is this sort of indulgence in
patience. The time has come for Nepad to prove its credentials and there is
no better way than through a show of force perhaps by way of peer review on
one of Africa's autocrats.

Katzenellenbogen is International Affairs Editor at Business Day.

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Daily News

DRC to get 3 200 more peacekeepers

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations Security Council cleared the way
on Wednesday for nearly 3 200 additional peacekeepers to be sent into the
eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the central
African country's long civil war grinds down.

A resolution approved unanimously by the 15-nation council raised the
UN troop ceiling in the vast and mineral-rich nation to 8 700 from the
current 5 537 in an effort to advance the peace process - which has been
moving forward at a glacial pace - into its final phase.

In that phase, rebel and foreign soldiers who have been fighting in
the four-year civil war would be disarmed and sent home to be re-integrated
into civilian life.

The vote on the resolution was delayed by a day when the United States
tried to add language to the text that would have kept US peacekeepers in
the DRC from the reach of the International Criminal Court.

There are currently no US peacekeeping soldiers in the DRC and
Washington dropped the effort after other council members refused to go

The new court was set up to pursue atrocities like genocide, war
crimes and gross human rights abuses. But US President George W Bush has
rejected it, arguing it could be used by a malicious prosecutor to ensnare
US peacekeepers. - Reuter

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Daily News

10 000 foreign tourists view total solar eclipse

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

From Ntungamili Nkomo at Marula and Oscar Nkala in Beitbridge

ABOUT 10 000 foreign tourists on Wednesday braved the heat and ignored
a cholera threat to descend on Zimbabwe's southern border town of
Beitbridge, to view the total solar eclipse.

Business came to a virtual standstill as workers and residents joined
to witness the rare natural phenomenon. The majority of the foreign solar
enthusiasts were from South Africa, Europe and the United States of America.
They saw the eclipse from various strategic points in the town, or its
surrounding areas.

A water shortage which had threatened the tourist turnout in the town
was rectified a day before the eclipse. A senior official of the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority said: "We faced a water problem early this week,
but we solved it hastily, and I'm really glad about the high turnout."

Beitbridge hotels were so fully booked up that some of the tourists
had to cross the border into Zimbabwe in the morning in time for the

Some of them said they chose to view the phenomenon from the
Zimbabwean side of the boundary because it lasted longer by 22 seconds.

Centain Dexter, a British national from Hong Kong, said: "We had heard
about the problems bedevilling the country and the water crisis in this
town, but we chose the Zimbabwean side because the eclipse lasted 22 seconds
longer than in South Africa."

Poverty in Dulibadzimu also stole the limelight as tourists jostled to
take pictures of the slums and talk to the residents.

Asked whether they saw Zimbabwe as a safe destination, most said they
needed more time to assess the situation.

"The situation as we read in the newspapers is unbearable and bad.
People are dying of starvation because of President Mugabe's
thick-headedness, and someone must tell him to stop killing his people,"
said Anthony Trew, an Australian.

Meanwhile, in the western part of the country, hundreds of motorists
on Wednesday morning converged at another Zimbabwean border town, Plumtree,
to view the total solar eclipse which occurred shortly after 8am.

Motorists drove to the town from neighbouring Botswana, South Africa
and Zambia. Plumtree is 100km south-west of Bulawayo.

The natural phenomenon was occurring for the second time in as many
years and was experienced also at Gwanda, Maphisa, Kezi, parts of the Matopo
National Park and West Nicholson.

It swept across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique
and Namibia. In some of these countries the eclipse was only partial.

Bulawayo had only a partial eclipse, but scores of people thronged the
border towns of Beitbridge and Plumtree where full preparations had been
made to witness the total blackout.

The high turnout of tourists was remarkable, particularly after the
country suffered isolation from the international community mainly because
of the lawlessness that characterised the eviction of white farmers from
their farms by the war veterans since the year 2000.The eclipse is likely to
have generated a lot of cash inflows, especially foreign currency which is
in short supply in the country.

Two leading hotel owners in Plumtree said their hotels were fully
booked and they had made huge profits.Venesia Ruzive, a manager at Plumtree'
s Omadu Hotel, said: "My hotel was fully booked up, and there were many
tourists who obviously brought a lot of foreign currency."

But she said she was surprised that so many white people came visiting
in spite of the sour relations between Zimbabwe and the Western world.

The Plumtree Hotel manager said they were fully booked up for the
occasion, and as a result were actually running short of food supplies. At
Marula, where a large gathering was expected, not much took place.

A Daily News crew was taken by Derek Viljoen to his lodge. He said he
had incurred great losses as there had been a low occupancy at his lodge.

"The turnout was disappointing, and I think the problem was fuel and
the bad image of the country right now," he said.
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Daily News

AAG wants forex flows

12/6/2002 (GMT +2)

From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

THE Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has called for the establishment of
banking facilities at border posts to tighten the flow of foreign currency
into the country.

The group's spokesman also called for a 100 percent devaluation of the

The organisation was reacting to reports that illegal foreign currency
dealers would use foreign couriers to bring in hard currency .

Sam Ncube, the AAG regional vice-president, said that practice should
not be allowed as it would perpetuate the foreign currency black market and
render ineffective all efforts to control it.

He said the flow of foreign currency should not be controlled by
individuals. "It must be controlled, and the best way to do that would be to
get people to declare their forex at the entry points where banking
facilities are made available. The money should be exchanged there and not
be allowed to fall into wrong hands," said Ncube.

He said the Vapostori women who operate the so-called World Bank
foreign exchange in Bulawayo's streets, should not be banned outright, but
should be turned into government agents to collect forex and submit it to
the government at a commission.

"The money sustaining the country at the moment is that which comes
from Zimbabweans working outside the country.

"Had we been relying on local industry and commerce alone, this
country's economy could have long crumbled. This is why there is an urgent
need to harness the available foreign currency for national economic
purposes," said Ncube.

He said that there was also an urgent need to devalue the dollar by
about 100 percent.

"The Zimdollar has been static for so long while everything else has
been going up. The idea of multiple exchange rates causes confusion. We need
one officially recognised figure," said Ncube.
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Zim Independent

Political crime takes root in Zim - report
Dumisani Muleya

POLITICAL violence is increasingly becoming blunt and ugly as perpetrators
adopt callous and shocking methods against their victims, a human rights
group has said.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said in an analysis of on-going violence
that political criminals had become prevalent and ruthless. The human rights
abuses report covered the period from June last year to June this year.
It said crimes committed included murder, attempted murder, torture,
unlawful arrest and detention, abduction or kidnapping, rape, arson and
other forms of organised violence.
"Generally, murders were allegedly committed in a brutal manner, often using
low-tech implements such as knives, batons, axes, hoes, knobkerries,
sjamboks or chains," the report said.
"In many cases deaths were the result of injuries sustained when the victims
were tortured."
The report said attempted murders were perpetrated using knives although in
some instances firearms were used.
"The majority of individuals targeted were perceived or actual MDC
(opposition Movement for Democratic Change) members, officials or
supporters," it said.
It blamed Zanu PF militants and war veterans for many of the crimes.
According to the report, Zanu PF supporters made up only 14% of the victims
in cases where political affiliation was known because most political thugs
were pro-government.
"The rest were MDC supporters," it said. "The high number of MDC victims
shows that there was a concentrated attack on members of the opposition."
Arbitrary arrest and detention were also major political problems, the
report pointed out.
"Arrest and detention were almost always accompanied with some form of
torture," it said. Often multiple techniques were employed on the victim.
Torture methods included beatings with batons, whips or sjamboks, including
falanga, the use of water such as mock drowning, choking, and sexual
humiliation, including injury to the genitalia or removal of clothes before
being beaten.
It said in some cases, victims who were normally abducted to torture camps
were blind-folded and thoroughly beaten.
"Sometimes victims were forced to shout ruling-party slogans or to salute
pictures of the president," the report said.
Abuse of a sexual nature was also prevalent. "Sexual violence was used as a
weapon to spread terror and humiliate the opposition," the report said.
"Women were targeted for being physically weaker and less likely to report
the matter.
"The sexual torture includes forced rape by male abductees of their fellow
female abductees witnessed by both the perpetrators and others," it said.
"Sexual torture has further ramifications such as infection with HIV/Aids,"
the report said.
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Zim Independent

CFU members free to contest land seizures
Augustine Mukaro
THE Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) will not stand in the way of its members
challenging government's chaotic land reform programme which has seen over
90% of commercial farmers forced off their properties.

Re-elected CFU president Colin Cloete said it was the union's constitutional
mandate to support its members when they challenge government in court.

"We will not challenge the generality of the land reform programme," Cloete

"We will try as much as we can to accommodate whatever resolution government
comes up with for the future of the farming sector but if members decide to
challenge their evictions in court, we will definitely support them."

Cloete said many members had been completely dispossessed and had nothing to
live on.

"Some farmers have lost their lifetime investment and there is no way the
union will not support them," he said in what observers see as a firming of
the CFU's position.

Analysts said the CFU's policy shift was a result of pressure coming from
the dispossessed farmers.

The CFU had been rocked with divisions on how to tackle government on the
land reform programme, leading to members drifting to Justice for
Agriculture which has adopted a more robust stance against government.

Cloete, who recently resigned amid internal divisions, was re-elected and
Mac Crawford, the chairman of CFU Matabeleland branch, was elected to the
post of vice-president.
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Cloete Bounces Back As CFU President

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

ZIMBABWE'S embattled white farmers have unanimously re-elected former
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) president Colin Cloete to head the
organisation, a few weeks after he resigned amid divisions in the union.

Sources in the CFU said Cloete, who resigned last month, was reelected at a
meeting held on Tuesday to choose a new leader and will head the
organisation until its next congress in 2003.

Mac Crawford, the chairman of the CFU's Matabeleland branch, was also
elected vice president in charge of provincial regions in what union
officials said was a move to incorporate representatives of farmers in
Matabeleland into the top leadership.

There was no comment from Cloete, who was said to be attending a council
meeting yesterday.

Cloete resigned in October following disagreement among members over how the
CFU should respond to the government's agrarian reforms under which at least
90 percent of Zimbabwe's commercial farms were taken over in what the
government says is a plan to redress colonial imbalances.

Facing eviction from their properties, commercial farmers could not agree
whether to continue engaging the government in dialogue or to challenge the
farm seizures in court.

Cloete was accused by some members of failing to adopt a tough stance
against the government while others are said to have sided with him and
pleaded with him to rescind his resignation.

A CFU official who attended the Tuesday meeting said: "The CFU told him
(Cloete) that 'we don't want you to resign' and the election was unanimous.
The union also felt that Matabeleland should be incorporated into the
leadership and elected Mac Crawford."

David Hasluck, the CFU director, who also announced his retirement last
month, is leaving the union tomorrow after 22 years of service. The union's
deputy director, Jerry Grant, is expected to take over from him.

According to statistics from the CFU, less than 1 000 of Zimbabwe's 4 500
commercial farmers are still farming, which will contribute to a significant
drop in output in the 2003 agricultural season.
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CSC to Honour Beef Producers' Debts

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S largest meat processor, the cash-strapped Cold Storage Company
(CSC), was this week expected to begin paying more than $200 million it owes
to beef producers for cattle slaughtered at its abattoirs since March,
according to company officials.

CSC board member Lovegot Tendengu said the government-controlled firm, which
was allocated $700 million in the 2003 national budget presented this month,
had cobbled up a comprehensive package for the payment of cattle producers.

"We now have the money and the producers will be paid in the coming week
(this week)," he said.

Tendengu said the CSC's budget allocation would be used to recapitalise the
technically insolvent parastatal, whose assets were threatened with seizure
earlier this year after it failed to pay debts owed to several local banks.

The government, which intervened to prevent the seizure of CSC assets, last
month issued a $6-billion guarantee with a 10-year tenure to Time Bank,
Kingdom Bank, Trust Bank Corporation, CBZ and the curator-managed Genesis
Investment Bank Limited to cover debts owed to the five banks by the
troubled meat processor.

Cattle Producers' Association (CPA) chief executive Paul d'Hotman said the
CSC had notified beef producers of its intention to make outstanding
payments in the next few days.

The CPA represents the interests of large-scale cattle producers, who mainly
rear cattle for export. Most of the producers export their beef through the
CSC, which slaughters cattle for export.

D'Hotman said the association had received verbal assurance from the CSC
that cattle producers would be paid interest on the money owed to them.

"The CPA has been notified by CSC that outstanding payments to producers
whose cattle was slaughtered at CSC since March will be processed in the
next few days," d'Hotman said.

"The CSC has given verbal assurances to CPA that interest will be paid."

Company officials said the CSC had not yet resumed beef exports to the
lucrative European Union (EU) market, suspended because of an outbreak of
foot-and-mouth disease in Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces last August.

Zimbabwe's annual EU beef quota of 9 100 tonnes has the potential to earn
the country more than US$40 million.

Zimbabwe, whose national herd has fallen by more than 400 000 since August
2001 to 5.8 million, is still struggling to control foot-and-mouth, with a
severe foreign currency crisis causing shortages of vaccines.

The outbreak is partly blamed on the unauthori-sed movement of cattle into
conservancies and game ranches by war veterans at the height of Zimbabwe's
land invasions in 2000.

Tendengu said exports were crucial for the survival of the CSC and that the
company was working closely with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS)
to bring the epidemic under control.

Meanwhile, DVS director Stuart Hargreaves said Zimbabwe had still not begun
exporting beef to Libya, six months after a deal was concluded by the Harare
and Tripoli authorities, because the Libyans were demanding beef from
foot-and-mouth-quarantined areas.

"Even the beef exports to Libya will not start because the Libyans will not
accept any beef from the foot-and-mouth-infested areas," Hargreaves told the
Financial Gazette.
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Josaya Hungwe's 'Pure Lie'

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

November 27, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

Parker Graham

Agricultural Research and Extension Services (Arex) experts say Masvingo
governor, Josaya Hungwe, lied to the nation recently when he said the winter
maize crop being harvested in Chiredzi will feed Zimbabweans for the next 10

Describing Hungwe's claim as a "pure lie", the experts said such a
statement, coming as it did from a senior government official expected to
tell the nation facing a food crisis the truth, was unwarranted and

"That's why our country is always experiencing problems; the national
planners are misinformed by politicians such as Hungwe who want to gain
mileage out of anything.

"Suppose they stop making prudent plans to acquire grain from abroad in view
of the assertion by Hungwe that there is already enough stocks to feed the
nation for 10 months, what will happen to the starving nation? Such
misleading information is poisonous to the nation," said an Arex official.

He added: "What I know as an expert who is on the ground is that the winter
maize is able to feed only a fraction of the Chiredzi population for eight
months and not the district, province or the entire country as claimed."

Masvingo provincial administrator, Alfonse Chikurira, told The Standard the
maize from Chiredzi could not possibly feed the entire nation for 10 months

"The winter maize crop had a total tonnage of 8 000 under a 1 800 hectare
piece of land. This maize will be shared throughout the country in small
quantities so that others may taste the winter maize," said Chikurira.

Zimbabwe requires well over 1000 000 tonnes of maize for 10 months.

Early this year Joseph Made, the minister of lands and agriculture, after
going around the country monitoring the crop situation from a helicopter,
dismissed expert advice on looming maize shortages saying Zimbabwe had
enough to last until the next agricultural season.

He is now eating his words.

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U.S. encouraged but wary on Zimbabwe press charges

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 - The United States said on Thursday it was encouraged,
with reservations, that a Zimbabwe court has dropped charges against three
The privately owned weekly newspaper the Standard said on Wednesday
the court had dropped charges of ''abuse of journalistic privileges by
publishing falsehoods'' against Bornwell Chakaodza, Farai Mutsaka and
Fungayi Kanyuchi.
State Department spokeswoman Jo-Anne Prokopowicz said: ''While we are
encouraged by this action we continue to condemn the Mugabe regime's ongoing
attempts to stifle the free press as part of its brutal campaign to ensure
its continued rule.''
The United States says it does not recognize President Robert Mugabe
as legitimate leader of Zimbabwe because it believes that presidential
elections in March were flawed.
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Masiyiwa Named in CNN/Time Global Poll

Financial Gazette (Harare)

November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 6, 2002

STRIVE Masiyiwa, the founder and group chief executive of technology giant
Econet Wireless, has been named one of the world's 15 most influential young
business executives in a CNN/Time Magazine poll.

Masiyiwa was chosen together with 14 executives from 11 countries out of
more than 100 business people nominated by the correspondents of CNN and
Time magazine.

Other high achievers named in the poll include Richard Barton, the 35-
year-old founder and chief executive of web-based travel agency Expedia,
Carla Cico, chief executive of Brasil Telecom, Samsun marketing chief Eric
Kim and Dee Mellor, vice-president of GE Medical Systems, part of the US
behemoth, General Electric.

CNN and Time said the executives named had transcended national borders and
were regarded as leaders in their industries.

"But their biggest achievements - even for the chief executive officers
among them - may lie ahead," the media organisations said in a statement.
"They hail from 11 countries but share a sense that the world is their
market - and their home."

Masiyiwa said he was humbled by the recognition of the achievements made by
Econet, which was founded in Zimbabwe almost 10 years ago.

"The award is even more special in that I was not even aware that I had been
nominated to join such leading business luminaries who were selected by the
organisers," he said.
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