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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Minister's son stops church-run feeding scheme
Thur 10 February 2005
  GWANDA - About 300 children in Gwanda town, 126 km south of Bulawayo,
could starve after local ZANU PF activists, among them the son of deputy
Foreign Affairs Minister, Abednico Ncube, ordered a church-sponsored feeding
scheme stopped.

      Deputy mayor Petros Mukwena told ZimOnline that the ruling party
activists last month ordered the Lutheran Church to stop feeding the
pre-school children accusing the church of being sympathetic to the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      "ZANU PF activists decided to stop the Lutheran Church from running
child supplementary feeding programmes because they believe the church is
working with the MDC," Mukwena said.

      "The church has been providing nutritional meals and porridge to two
pre-schools around the town. In all, at least 300 children were affected and
are in desperate need of food aid right now," he added.

      Mukwena said the town council was unable to find an alternative donor
to supply food to the children with most non-governmental organisations
scaling down operations in the area and across the country.

      A Lutheran Church official, who did not want to be named said ZANU PF
activists, among them Ncube's son, Leslie, raided the feeding centre offices
and chased the staff away.

      "We were surprised to hear that the son of deputy foreign affairs
minister Abednico Ncube had led the team that chased our staff out of the
office and locked it up," the church official said.

      The Ncubes could not be reached for comment yesterday but a member of
ZANU PF's provincial executive, Robson Mafu, defended the stoppage of the
feeding programme saying it was because the programme was being run by
anti-government elements.

      Mafu said: "It was stopped because it was running around with
anti-government plotters. Subversive organisations will not be allowed to
exist here, and they surely cannot be allowed to feed our children."

      Gwanda is located at the heart of the drought-prone Matabeleland South
province and vulnerable groups in the town such as children and people
living with HIV/AIDS have for years relied on churches and international aid
organisations to supply them with food. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

ZANU PF unleashes youth militia into MDC stronghold
Thur 10 February 2005
  KAMATIVI - The government has deployed more than 2 000 of its
controversial youth militias at Kamativi in the opposition stronghold
Matabeleland North province ahead of a key general election next month.

      The youths, accused by churches and human rights groups of hunting
down, torturing and raping opposition supporters, have already begun
patrolling villages in Binga, Hwange, near the tourist resort of Victoria
Falls and other parts of the province.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party legislator for
Hwange West constituency Jealous Sansole yesterday told ZimOnline that
people in his area were now afraid to attend meetings by his party since the
deployment of the youths.

      The opposition legislator also said the youths have been illegally
registered to vote in his constituency under which Kamativi falls.

      "People are scared of attending our meetings since word spread around
that the youths were returning. We are even more concerned that these
militias have been registered to vote here despite the fact that they come
from other constituencies," Sansole said.

      Under the Electoral Act, voters are registered in the constituency
that they live and in a parliamentary election should cast their ballot only
in that constituency.

      ZimOnline could not independently verify Sansole's claims that the
pro-ruling ZANU PF youths had been  registered to vote in Hwange West

      Deputy Youth Minister Shuvai Mahofa denied that the deployment of the
youths in an opposition area ahead of an election could intimidate voters.
She said the deployment was routine but added the youths were free to
canvass support for the ruling ZANU party because they belonged to the

      Mahofa said: "Kamativi is the Matabeleland North base for the national
youth service programme. This is a routine deployment. Besides, I do not see
anything wrong if they decide to campaign for ZANU PF because they are loyal
party and national cadres."

      The youths, trained by the government under a programme it says is
meant to inculcate discipline and patriotism in young Zimbabweans, are among
the worst perpetrators of human rights violations in the country.

      In a damning report on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, the African
Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights also singled out the youths among
chief human rights abusers and called for their disbandment. The report was
formally adopted by the African Union last week. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

IMF meets to seal Zimbabwe's fate
Thur 10 February 2005
  HARARE - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board decides
next Wednesday whether to give Zimbabwe another stay of execution or to boot
the crisis-ridden southern African nation out of the fund.

      The Bretton Woods institution last October shut down its Zimbabwe
offices because of failure by Harare to pay outstanding debt which at the
moment stands at US$280 million.

      But the board held back from recommending compulsory withdrawal of
Zimbabwe from the IMF to allow the country another chance to repair
relations with the multilateral institution.

      Zimbabwe has not had an IMF-sponsored programme since 1999 when the
money lending institution cut balance-of-payments support over differences
with Harare on fiscal policy, land reforms, human rights and other
governance issues.

      The expulsion of Zimbabwe from the IMF would escalate the country's
isolation from the international community with most donors and development
partners likely to take a cue from the institution and cut whatever little
aid is trickling to the country. -ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Secrecy as three jailed for spying for SA

      Date: 9-Feb, 2005

      HARARE - In an unprecented move never before seen in the Zimbabwean
judicial system, a Harare court yesterday made a "in camera" sentence on
three locals accused of spying for a foreign nation.

      The three, banker Tendai Matambanadzo, ambassador-designate to
Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo and Zanu PF director of external affairs, Itai
Marchi were in court when sentence was read to them.

      Court officials, however, later revealed that the magistrate had
handed Dzvairo the stiffest sentence, of six years imprisonment, with the
other two receiving five year jail terms.

      Magistrate Peter Kumbawa initially ruled that relatives and the media
be allowed to hear the sentence, arguing that: "In our culture when one is
arrested it has a bearing on many more in the family whose livelihood depend
on that person. So I believe it is only fair that the public be allowed to
listen in."

      But he ruled that whatever proceedings took place were not to be
published, either in newspapers or electronically.

      However, on protestations from state representative Morgen Nemadire,
Kumbawa gave in and asked that proceedings be held in camera, as has been
the case from the onset.

      Outside the court, Nemadire told journalists at the close of the
judge's address that sentence had been delivered and pronounced.

      "But because of the differences in the various degrees of moral
reprehensibility, the accused have received various and different prison
terms," Nemadire said. He refused to disclose the prison terms, citing the
"sensitivity of the case".

      But it emerged from court officials that Zimbabwe's
ambassador-designate to Mozambique, Dzvairo, received the stiffest sentence
of six years imprisonment, while Matambanadzo and Marchi were sentenced to
five year jail terms.

      The three, who were arrested on 8 December, 2004, pleaded guilty to
charges of selling intelligence information to foreign spies. However, their
attempts to change their pleas to not guilty were turned down by the court.

      Defence lawyer Selby hwacha of Dube, Manikai Hwacha said he was under
instructions from his clients to appeal both the pending issue of guilt and
the sentence.

      "In the circumstances, the public knows that the accused are not
satisfied with circumstances under which their guilty pleas were recorded,
and they look at the case more from being innocent than guilty of the
preferred charges," Hwacha said.

      The three were being charged together with ruling party Zanu PF
provincial chairman Philip Chiyangwa and the party's deputy security officer
Kenny Karidza. The trial of the other two is continuing.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Bennett set to be free from jail next month

      Date: 9-Feb, 2005

      HARARE - The jailed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of
Parliament for Chimanimani constituency, Roy Bennett, is likely to be
released from prison at the end of next month - seven months earlier than

      According to parliamentary rules, Bennet could say goodbye to Mutoko
Prison if President Mugabe goes ahead and dissolves parliament on March 30,
2005, a day before Zimbabwe's general elections.

      Bennet was jailed for one year by a Parliamentary Committee of
Privileges after he was found guilty of assaulting another MP, Justice and
Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa during a parliamentary debate.

      According to a University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and human rights
activist, Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, Zimbabwean law stipulates that any jail
sentence imposed on a member of parliament should come to an end as soon as
the sitting parliament that imposed the sentence is dissolved.

      The present parliament is due to be dissolved on March 30 to pave the
way for elections scheduled for the next day.

      Bennet, who has been nominated by MDC to fight to retain his
Chimanimani seat despite his imprisonment, has so far served three months of
his 12-month jail term. Efforts to have him released on bail pending his
appeal against conviction have failed.

      Media reports have indicated that the outspoken parliamentarian has
now sustained blisters on his hands because of hard labour in the remote
prison. He is also said to be battling both physically and mentally with the
conditions at Mutoko Prison.

      Although appeals have been made by his lawyers that their client is
likely to suffer irreparable prejudice, there appears to be no movement by
the judiciary to settle the Bennett case, with the High Court allegedly
delaying processing the application to review the Parliamentary procedure
that resulted in Bennett's incarceration.

      High court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has still not passed judgment
in a case brought before him in November last year by Bennett, applying for
bail, pending the outcome of the Review application.

      Although a Supreme Court challenge has been lodged on the grounds that
Bennett was denied a fair trial as guaranteed by Zimbabwe's constitution, no
date has been given by the court to hear this case despite its obvious

      Legal experts have indicated that Bennett's nomination to fight for
his parliamentary seat from jail is in order since his incarceration was not
as a result of a criminal offence.

      Bennett will go down in Zimbabwe history as the first candidate to
fight for a seat in parliament without being afforded the opportunity to
campaign for it, due to his languishing in prison.

      Bennet currently represents Chimanimani constuency after winning the
seat in the 2000 parliamentary elections when he defeated Zanu PF candidate,
Munacho Mutezo.

      In the forthcoming elections, Bennett is set to battle it out with
economist Dr Samuel Undenge, who controversially won the ruling party's
primary elections after beating Mutezo and Misheck Beta.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Like other parastatals, ZABG will bleed economy

      Date: 9-Feb, 2005

      THE spin doctors of the latest government megabank, the Zimbabwe
Allied Banking Group, have painted an incredibly glowing picture of its
prospects. A story in the government's chief mouthpiece, The Herald, says
ZABG "is set to transform the face of banking in the country by offering the
most competitive business conditions in the industry".

      The mouth-watering details then follow: the bank will lend money at
105 percent, 5 percentage points below "perennial cheapest lenders Standard
Chartered Bank".

      This government-controlled bank may not fare any better than any of
the other parastatals which have nearly bled the country dry with their
profligacy with public funds.

      Granted, a few of them have done relatively well, but the overall
assessment of their performance suggests the taxpayer has been ripped off.

      Over the last few years, but particularly after 2000, the government
has made no secret of its intention to virtually halt the privatisation of
the wasteful parastatals.

      If anything, the government has now launched a widespread programme of
taking charge of agriculture and banking. The reason is not that it has
discovered a new talent for managing large enterprises.

      Mostly, the reason is political. In the banking sector, the
 revolution" started with Gideon Gono's arrival at the Reserve Bank of

      It is Gono who engineered the formation of the ZABG.

      In the process, he infuriated the owners of the banks forced into this
marriage of inconvenience. A number of them have gone to court to prevent
their forced inclusion into ZABG.

      What that will do to the credibility of the banking sector remains to
be seen. But it is obvious that not many foreign investors will be keen to
come to Zimbabwe until the financial air has been cleared up.

      What taxpayers must worry about is whether the ZABG will not go the
way of other financial parastatals. Agribank is not exactly the roaring
success that it was hoped to be and Zimbank, which replaced the old Nedbank
of the UDI era, has not distinguished itself as one of the most trusted
banks in the land.

      At some stage, the government, in setting up the Privatisation Agency
of Zimbabwe (PAZ), had signaled a refreshing confidence in partnering the
private sector in the development of the country. But its political
direction so offended so many potential supporters, the PAZ may have become

      In any case, the role of the private sector in the economy seems to
have been relegated to a distant also-ran. The portents are bleak.

      The rest of the world, even the former communist economies, are
entrusting development more and more into the hands of the private sector.
Most appreciate the hazards of unbridled control of the economy by the
private sector, but even they are aware that the days of a
centrally-controlled economy are as dead as communism itself.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News online edition

      Trouble for cutting off minister*s water supplies

      Date: 9-Feb, 2005

      Harare - Two Harare City Council employees face disciplinary action
from Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya after they cut off water supplies to a
government minister in Harare last Friday.

      Water was disconnected from the house of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo, after his alleged
failure to settle a $3 million bill.

      Chombo has made headlines by suspending Harare's mayor and most of its
councillors on the grounds that they were failing to deliver services to the
capital's residents.

      The workers, identified as Willard Mubvumbi and another only as
Pachawo, are both meter readers. They refused to comment.

      A senior council official at Rowan Martin Building, the city council's
revenue authority headquarters, yesterday told The Daily News Online a
disciplinary hearing was pending against the two employees who participated
in one way or the other in disconnecting water services to the minister's
residence at 20 Clairwood Road, Alexandra Park .

      Chombo, according to the council officials, owed the council nearly $3
million in unpaid water charges.

      "Their supervisor, Mr Makwembere, asked the two workers to submit
written narratives of the events leading to the water termination at the
minister's house," the official said. "We are simply waiting to see what
action the town clerk will take against the two men. He simply directed that
he needed a written response."

      On Monday Mubvumbi and Pachawo submitted their responses to Chideya
but no action has been taken yet.

      The senior official explained that on Friday Mubvumbi was assigned to
go out in the Borrowdale area to disconnect water services to the residences
of all people who owed the cash-strapped Harare City Council money.

      "Mubvumbi went on to the minister's residence without knowing he had
got into Chombo's premises," the source said. "After he finished work he
left for his home only to return on Monday facing a reprimand from his
superiors who accused him of carrying out unassigned tasks."

      Yesterday, Chideya refused to speak to The Daily News Online when
contacted for comment.

      Leslie Gwindi, the council's public relations manager, also refused to
comment. He initially promised to furnish this reporter with details of the
case but when contacted later his mobile phone went unanswered.

      The Harare City Council has been facing financial problems and has
failed to deliver essential services to the residents like refuse

      Services delivery has deteriorated since the dismissal of first
democratically elected Harare Executive Mayor, Engineer Elias Mudzuri, in
April 2003 by the government for alleged incompetence, financial impropriety
and alleged mismanagement of council affairs.

      Chombo has since appointed commissioners to run the city, a move seen
as an attempt to undermine the political support for the local authority,
which is dominated by the opposition MDC.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai visit sparks fights

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2005-Feb-10

OPPOSITION MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's return to Masvingo Central
constituency after causing a furore when he reportedly conducted a disputed
primary election last month, was marred by violence and demonstrations that
left some party supporters injured, police and eyewitnesses in Masvingo said

Tsvangirai's bodyguards and party youths allegedly went on the rampage,
beating up anyone who dared force their way into the venue where the MDC
leader was convening a meeting to chisel out differences in the political
hotbed of Masvingo Central.
The rifts emerged in the aftermath of incumbent MP Silas Mangono's loss to
represent the MDC in the March 31 general elections.
Mangono lost to lawyer Tongai Matutu in an election allegedly overseen by
As a result of the skirmishes, Tsvangirai reportedly left the meeting in a
huff through the backdoor as tempers skyrocketed.
Tsvangirai, who kicked off his party's campaign in Masvingo province, held a
constituency meeting at 5pm at the Civic Centre Hall, but all hell broke
loose after some senior party members were barred from entering the venue.
Opposition party insiders said the major purpose of the highly charged
meeting was to resolve the impasse between Mangono and Matutu.
Mangono has since received temporary reprieve after the MDC's national
council ordered that the management committee investigate the matter.
Said a source who attended the meeting: "His visit was met with peaceful
demonstrations by party supporters who were holding placards screaming, 'No
to dictatorship - we want free and fair primary elections'."
The source said Tsvangirai evaded the demonstrators who were massed outside
the hall by entering straight into the venue of the meeting without
bothering to hear their grievances.
But that did not deter the disgruntled protestors, who continued chanting
slogans denouncing "dictatorial" tendencies by the party leadership and
demanding that Tsvangirai address them.
"He was angry when he entered the hall and suddenly his bodyguards and
youths assaulted the demonstrators and people who were seeking audience with
him. One woman, a councillor named Franscica Shea of Ward 3, sustained a
fractured hand and was rushed to Masvingo General Hospital.
"She reported the matter to Masvingo Central Police Station," the source
The demonstrations reportedly turned nasty amid claims that ward
chairperson, Afiel Gono, lost his teeth in the skirmishes, while Cllr
Misheck Gapare was also injured and whisked to the provincial referral
Shea confirmed she was indeed assaulted by the youths. "I was assaulted by
the youths when I was trying to get into the hall where the meeting was
being held as I am in the structures of the party in Masvingo Central.  As I
speak now, I am in Masvingo General Hospital where I am receiving treatment.
"Vakandirova nehwamanda (They beat me up using a kudu horn) and I reported
the matter to the police. Tsvangirai akatobva achitiza pahall pacho
(Tsvangirai bolted from the meeting) as people were angry."
According to Gapare, Tsvangirai's bodyguards, and youths believed to be from
Matutu's camp, assaulted demonstrators while Kuwadzana legislator and
national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa watched.
An irate Gapare said: "We only heard through rumours that Tsvangirai was
coming to address the problems in Masvingo Central and when we heard he was
addressing a meeting at the Civic Centre, we went there, but were barred
from the meeting by party youths and Tsvangirai's bodyguards.
"The people then started singing outside, protesting and demanding to talk
to the president. They (Tsvangirai's bodyguards and the youths) responded by
beating up everyone, yet we wanted the president to explain the exact
situation to us. We feel Tsvangirai is not being honest with us in this
matter. We thought he was coming to solve the problem but he has instead
ended up creating more problems for the party in Masvingo."
Tsvangirai is reported to have overturned the MDC national council's
decision to investigate the dubious circumstances surrounding Matutu's
victory by declaring him the candidate for the March 31elections.
"He overturned the decision by the national council and declared Matutu
candidate for the election," another source said.
"He said if Mangono wanted to stand as an independent candidate, he should
do so and would lose, as the people would simply vote for the party, not
individuals," added the source.
Mangono yesterday insisted he was going to stand as the MDC candidate for
Masvingo Central.
"I spoke to the people and they expressed their anger and disappointment
over events in Masvingo Central. The people that Tsvangirai refused to
address advised me to stand as an MDC candidate for Masvingo Central. I will
not stand as an independent candidate as I am a full member of the MDC. I
have now left the matter in the hands of the people," said Mangono, who also
confirmed that violence occurred at the Civic Centre that day.
 Police in Masvingo confirmed that violence erupted during the MDC meeting
addressed by Tsvangirai at the Civic Centre Hall.
"Violence occurred when factions within the MDC clashed during a meeting at
the Civic Centre, but we have not yet arrested anyone.  A woman was injured
and has since reported the matter to the police in Masvingo," said Partson
Nyabadza, the provincial police spokesperson.
Yesterday, MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said: "I have heard that
rumour, but the truth of the matter is that I don't have the full details.
So I cannot confirm."
Nyathi said he had no clue on the progress the party had made in resolving
the "Mangono-Matutu debacle" in Masvingo, referring all questions relating
to primary elections to organising secretary Esaph Mdlongwa.
Mdlongwa said: "I don't know the progress they have made so far on the
Mangono case but the president (Tsvangirai) is in Masvingo. They haven't
come back to update me on the progress they have made."
Efforts to contact Chamisa or William Bango, Tsvangirai's personal
assistant, were fruitless yesterday.
The Daily Mirror is reliably informed that Tsvangirai and Mangono ignored
each other throughout the Tuesday meeting.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Gara company faces eviction

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-10

AN agro-based company directed by former deputy minister Tony Gara faces
eviction from the Willowvale Industrial area after being dragged to court on
allegations of failing to pay nearly $10 million in rentals for the past
three months.
Gara, the former local government, public construction and national housing
deputy minister and his brother, Willis, are directors of the company called
AOG Agri Products (Pvt) Limited. The firm risks eviction from a factory in
one of Harare's industrial areas for allegedly not paying rentals since
October last year.
In a case filed at the Harare magistrates court on November 3 2004 by
Nyaruti Property Investments (Pvt) Limited, the applicant wants AOG Agri
Products evicted and pay damages.
According to the summons, the applicant wants the court to grant: "an order
confirming the cancellation of the lease agreement between plaintiff and
defendant in terms of which plaintiff leased to defendant property known as
Factory Unit 3, Stand 329 Affirmative Way, Willowvale, order for
the ejectment forthwith of defendant."
According to the summons, the Garas must pay nearly $2,3 million for October
2004 and another $2,2 million every month since November last year till date
of eviction making a shortfall of $9,9 million. The applicant is also
demanding an interest of 2,7 percent from due date to date of payment for
the property, whose lease agreement was signed in June 2001.
However, AOG Agri Foods maintain that their bill is clean, and as far as
they are concerned, they owe Nyaruti Property Investments nothing.
"This is disputed. Defendant did not at any time fail to pay rentals as is
alleged. This is disputed. No due notice to vacate was ever given to
defendant," reads part of the plea. Gara was recently barred from contesting
in Zanu PF primaries after receiving a no-confidence vote from the Harare
provincial coordinating committee.
The constituency seat he was eying, Mbare, went to city of Harare commission
member Tendai Savanhu.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Postal voting case not urgent: Chinamasa

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-10

THE Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa
onTuesday filed his opposing affidavit in the Supreme Court against an
application by some Zimbabweans in the diaspora seeking to order the
government to allow postal voting in the March general elections.
In their urgent chamber application (SC.22/05) filed nearly two weeks ago,
Jefta Madzingo and six others, all residents in the United Kingdom cited
Chinamasa and the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede as the first and second
respondents respectively.
The Electoral Supervisory Commission and the Attorney General, Sobuza-Gula
Ndebele were cited as the third and fourth respondents.
In his opposing affidavit Chinamasa, represented by Ernest Jena of the Civil
Division of the AG's office, argued that the matter was not urgent and that
it was impossible for the respondents to satisfy the applicants' demands
before the elections.
He said: "I am advised by my legal practitioners that this matter is not
urgent. Provisions which are the subject of this application have been in
the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:01) which came into operation on the 28th of
March 1990 and have been carried over to the new Electoral Act (Chapter
"It is clear this matter raises issues which would require an overhaul of
the electoral laws and mechanism thereto.
"For respondents to satisfy, the prayer sought by applicants, if granted by
this Honorable Court in time for the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections,
appears, in my humble view, far fetched and impossible."
Chinamasa added that it was not necessary to deal with the matter as an
urgent one since the framework for the general elections was already in
The applicants, who have constituted themselves into a group called the
"Diaspora Vote Action Group", sought an order to declare their exclusion
from the eagerly awaited March polls null and void.
About 3,4 million Zimbabweans are resident outside the country.
 "The applicants and all registered voters resident outside Zimbabwe be and
hereby declared eligible voters in all parliamentary and Presidential
"The respondents be directed to set up structures to allow and enable
registered voters outside Zimbabwe to vote in the forthcoming parliamentary
elections and all future general elections thereafter," read the court order
sought by the applicants.
In his founding affidavit, Madzingo argued that in terms of Section 58 of
Zimbabwe's constitution and other electoral laws, denying Zimbabweans abroad
the right to vote in national elections back home was discriminatory and
without basis at law.
"I contend that as a Zimbabwean in the diaspora, I am entitled to vote in
the upcoming general elections and I believe that the provisions of Section
20 of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:01 accepts that certain voters may not at
all times be in their normal constituencies as and when general elections
are held and I believe that the provisions of Section 20 of the Electoral
Act Chapter 2: 01 accepts that certain voters may not at all times be in
their normal constituencies . . . once the government expects us to
participate in the economic and social development of the country, it must
of necessity ensure that we also participate in the country's political
process," Madzingo said.
Chinamasa, however, said the constitution of Zimbabwe in section 58 and
Schedule 3 provided for the qualification and disqualification for
registration as a voter.
"According to the constitution of Zimbabwe a person has to be a citizen of
Zimbabwe or permanent resident in Zimbabwe to qualify as a voter.
"The Constitution of Zimbabwe further empowers the prescription of residence
qualifications in Electoral Law. Our Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), in turn
provides for disqualification on grounds of absenteeism from Zimbabwe for
twelve months or more, among other reasons," he said.
Madzingo also argued that the government had initiated programmes clearly
showing that Zimbabweans abroad were an integral part of the country's
economic and social life and, therefore, should not be excluded from voting.
He mentioned the Homelink initiative and the Diaspora Housing Scheme, in
which Zimbabweans outside the country remit foreign currency and are
encouraged to buy homes in the country through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
Madzingo also said the government fully accepted that all citizens were
entitled to participate in the country's political and electoral processes
by being signatory to various international legal instruments.
He cited the Sadc principles and guidelines governing democratic elections,
the African Charter of Human and Political Rights and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
On the Sadc Guidelines for democratic elections, Chinamasa said they were
only "a roadmap to guide countries during the conducting of their elections
in terms of their laws."
He added that the guidelines were not legally binding.
"They are not a protocol. They are not enforceable or amenable to
The Sadc Guidelines and Principles are a political document pegging out for
the region, a roadmap which we must all follow towards a perfect democratic
future," Chinamasa said.
 Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of Kantor and Immerman represents the
The Supreme Court is yet to set the date for the matter to be heard.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MZWP benefits not immediate

From Nkululeko Sibanda in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Feb-10

RESIDENTS of Bulawayo, Matabeleland north and south will only be able to
benefit from the mighty Zambezi River in 2007 when construction of the
Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be completed, an expert has said.
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project chief engineer, Dinga Tshabalala,
made the revelation during a tour of the dam site by Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono recently.
If the project is completed, it has the potential to turn the parched
Matabeleland region, hit by perennial water woes, into a green belt.
Tshabalala urged the central bank and the government to commit themselves
financially for the fruition of the project
"I am sure that with your continued support in the coming years, this
project would become a reality. We are looking at concluding this dam in the
coming two years after which it would be handed over to the government and
also to other key stakeholders.
"We still have two other phases that we are going to go through and I
believe that the two would be the most taxing phases of the dam
construction," Tshabalala said.
Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo praised the central bank for funding
the venture. He said now that a financial commitment had been undertaken
there was no going back on the project.
"I am grateful that we are here today to realise the start of a dream that
was started in 1912. It is an open secret that since then, successive
governments have been talking about the Zambezi Water project but they have
not committed themselves financially to the project.
"The tour by the RBZ governor is so important in that it really shows that
the central bank governor is committed to making sure that the dreams of the
thousands of people of Matabeleland will now be a reality once this pipeline
is completed and we applaud (Dr.) Gono for the move to come down and see for
himself the situation on the ground," Nkomo said.
MZWP chairman Dumiso Dabengwa said the RBZ's commitment meant the long
overdue project would finally materialise.
"We have been facing financial constraints over the years and that is why
some people have been asking what has been happening to the project. Now
with the support that has been granted by the central bank, I would like to
promise the nation that we will not fail," said Dabengwa.
"This is the opportunity for those in the agricultural industry to start
looking at which projects they are going to embark on so that when the
project is completed, it will be all systems go and the province would be
abuzz with developmental projects."
Gono called on all stakeholders to rally behind the venture, as it was the
mainstay upon which the economic fortunes of Matabeleland could be turned
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Harare council budget complete

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-10

THE long awaited Harare City Council 2005 budget is now complete and is
expected to be presented to the commission today or tomorrow before it's
made public, council officials told The Daily Mirror yesterday.
Presentation of the city's budget has been suspended thrice because of
abrupt suspensions of and subsequent resignations by MDC councillors who
cited Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo as the root cause of the
capital's woes.
 Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya confirmed amendments to the budget had been
finalised, but referred further questions to spokesperson Leslie Gwindi.
"We have finished the whole process (drafting the budget), but talk to
Gwindi he will provide you with more information," he said.
Gwindi said the process had been completed and was now awaiting its
presentation by the council's finance committee to commission running the
capital's affairs for adoption.
"It has been completed and the draft has to be presented before the
commission for adoption before its presentation to the public," Gwindi said.
"I don't have the date at the moment, but call me again tomorrow (today) in
the afternoon."
The delay in drafting of Harare's budget was caused by the firing and
subsequent resignations of most councillors in the then MDC dominated
council leading to the collapse of council operations.
Chombo only appointed a commission to run the affairs of the council last
December, way after most city councils had presented their proposals to the
government for approval as stipulated in the Urban Councils Act.
The city fathers have since asked the government to allow them to implement
quarterly increments suspended last year with a view to improve the
precarious financial position, but the request fell on deaf ears.
Chombo could, however, not be reached for comment yesterday while his deputy
Chief Fortune Charumbira referred questions back to his boss.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ignorant councillors 'a liability'

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Feb-10

BULAWAYO executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube yesterday attributed the city's
poor service delivery to councillors' failing to understand "basic and
fundamental issues" in the operation of local authorities.
Addressing journalists during a breakfast meeting he called for various
media houses, Ncube (pictured) said some councillors were vocal on trivial
issues and in most cases played to the gallery, instead of finding solutions
to a myriad of problems faced by the city.
"The standard of debate among some of the councillors that sit in the
chamber at times leaves a lot to be desired. Some of the councillors do not
debate issues, but concentrate mainly on waffling," Ncube said. He added:
"It is even a scary experience even before one opens their mouth. You
eventually know that one is going to waffle before they open their mouth.
Someone might spend an hour talking and you will discover from the hour they
would have spent, only the speech they would have made in ten minutes makes
Ncube said most of the councillors spent precious hours "talking rubbish"
and tarnishing each other's images, at the expense of discussing
socio-development issues for the city. "The calibre of some of the
councillors here is questionable and that is why there is need for those
aspiring to be councillors to have at least O Levels. You will not be
surprised to find out that most of the councillors we have do not have even
Grade Seven, yet they are given the task of discussing issues that affect
the council and also to plan for the city," Ncube added.
He also bemoaned the lack of discipline in some of the councillors in the
chamber, averring that some of them boycott meetings for five months, only
to emerge in the sixth month to avoid being ejected from council as per
provisions of the Urban Councils Act.
Turning to the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) - earmarked to
benefit Bulawayo more than any other part of the region - Ncube said his
council had taken a back seat on the project and allowed the government to
oversee it.
"That (MZWP) is now a government-funded programme and we decided to let the
government do its part.  We will come in when our part also comes, as the
water to be drawn from the Zambezi would be pumped to Bulawayo, which is our
jurisdiction as a council. "Therefore, there are plans to construct a
treatment plant in Cowdray Park suburb where the water would be purified
before being fed into the city's main water source," Ncube said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF youths in court for besieging police post

Fortune Mbele Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-10

ABOUT 30 Zanu PF youths last Saturday allegedly took over a police base in
Norton in a bid to rescue a colleague who had been arrested on charges of
political violence, a Harare magistrate, Cremmah Chipere, heard yesterday.
The youths were arrested the following day and charged for breaching
provisions of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Prosecutor Ndabezinhle Moyo told the court that the youths, led by Shepherd
Tsomondo - husband to the ruling party's one-time aspiring candidate for
Manyame constituency Bybit Tsomondo - stormed the police base to rescue
their colleague.
Allegations are that Tsomondo and his gang were tipped that MDC members were
in Katanga township and decided to carry out an investigation, which yielded
After failing to locate the MDC members, the
 youths indiscriminately attacked people in
Katanga they perceived to be members of
 the opposition.
They also attacked their properties.
During the attack one of the youths was arrested and taken to a police base,
where the rest allegedly followed, seeking his release.
They allegedly assaulted members of the police force using stones and
stabbed one of them with an unidentified object.
The police allegedly scurried for
safety and sought reinforcements, while Tsomondo and the youths took over
the base.
The youths were reportedly subdued after police reinforcements from Norton
Police Station intervened.
Tsomondo and the youths were
not asked to plead and remanded in
custody to today for a ruling on their bail application.
Catherine Muzavazi, representing Tsomondo and ten of the accused persons,
argued that the incident was not
politically motivated, arguing that Tsomondo was only trying to quell a
simple misunderstanding between the complainant and the youths.
However, opposing the bail
application, Moyo said there was a possibility of the accused committing
crimes against the backdrop of the
election mood. "The political wave that we are in and the poll dates having
been set, this is a volatile period and for that reason it will be premature
to grant the accused bail," Moyo said.
He added that President Robert Mugabe had openly declared zero tolerance on
political violence.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe: `Pay Hikes for War Vets And Traditional Chiefs Could Slow Down

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

February 9, 2005
Posted to the web February 9, 2005


The Zimbabwean government's decision to award a large increase in pension
payouts to former liberation war activists from this month is expected to
have long-term repercussions, economists told IRIN.

The minister of public service, labour and social welfare, Paul Mangwana,
announced last week that former nationalists who had been detained by the
colonial government would receive a hike of more than 1,000 percent in their
state pensions as a once-off payment.

Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), warned the
government last year that such a large payout would throw plans to reduce
inflation off course.

Compensation under the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees
Act, awarded to thousands of people who were detained, restricted or
imprisoned by the colonial government, will reportedly run into trillions of
Zimbabwean dollars.

The independent Standard newspaper said the once-off payments would be worth
Zim $10 million (about US $1,654) each, amounting to Zim $60 billion (US
$9.9 million). There are reports that former detainees who did not register
with the veterans association are now scrambling to do so, which could push
the number of beneficiaries to 25,000, raising the bill to US $41 million.

Last week the government also reportedly raised the allowances and salaries
of headmen and village heads by 150 percent, with effect from January.

Most of the former liberation soldiers have remained loyal to the ruling
ZANU-PF, while village chiefs have been important to the party's strength in
the countryside.

Economist and member of the RBZ's advisory board, Eric Bloch, said the
payouts made more political than economic sense.

"That is blatantly an act of vote buying ahead of elections in March, and
that will have a negative impact on the government's deficit, as it will
have to resort to more borrowing. The decision will counteract the bank's
efforts to fight inflation," Bloch told IRIN in an interview.

In 1997, the government made an even larger payout to war veterans after
they protested their living conditions - a move that had disastrous
consequences for the economy.

Tendai Biti, secretary for economic affairs of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, claimed, "The doling out of millions of dollars for
purposes of political survival is an indication of how insensitive the
ruling party is. It does not matter to them if the economy is affected by
their ill-advised decisions. All they care about is remaining in power."

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Deccan Herald

Caught with his pants down!

A multi-talented Zimbabwean international athlete who has won several awards
in regional competitions as a female athlete has been arrested after it was
discovered that he is a man, reports said on Wednesday, AFP reports from

Samukeliso Sithole, 17, was arrested last week after a female friend, who
had undressed in full view of the athlete, found out that he was a male, the
state dailies The Herald and Chronicle said.

The friend lodged a complaint with the police and Sithole was arrested for
alleged impersonation and offensive behaviour.

Sithole, however, insists that he is a woman, even though a medical doctor
has confirmed that he is a man.

He told the court during an appearance on Tuesday that he was born with both
male and female organs and a traditional healer gave him herbs that helped
him become 100 per cent woman.

Because his parents neglected to pay the traditional healer his full fees,
his male organs recently grew back, Sithole said.

In recent years, Sithole has taken part in international youth athletic
events such as hurdles, javelin, shot putt and triple jumping.

In June last year, he won a gold medal for Zimbabwe at a regional athletics
tournament in Botswana where he competed as a woman.

He also scooped up five medals in Mauritius last year.

He has been ordered to return to court on March 3 for another hearing.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Spy case a sign of historical tensions with Pretoria

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

HARARE, 9 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The espionage case in which three Zimbabweans
were jailed this week for selling state secrets to South Africa has
underlined a historical tension between the two neighbours, according to

The three informants, convicted of breaching Zimbabwe's Official Secrets
Act, were this week sentenced to between five and six years in prison by a
regional magistrate in the capital, Harare.

Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique, Godfrey Dzvairo, was slapped
with an effective six years behind bars, while ZANU-PF director for external
affairs Itai Marchi and former Metropolitan Bank company secretary Tendai
Matambanadzo were each jailed for five years. Philip Chiyangwa, a ZANU-PF
legislator and President Robert Mugabe's nephew, is awaiting trial on
similar charges.

Historical and ideological differences have characterised the relationship
between South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) and ZANU-PF.

"Traditionally, ZANU has always been an ally of [South Africa's] Pan
Africanist Congress, while the ANC had been an ally of PF-ZAPU [ZANU's
uneasy partner during the liberation war]," former government minister and
Matabeleland North governor, Welshman Mabhena, told IRIN.

As Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis unfolded in 2000, with
controversial legislative elections and a violent land distribution
programme, South Africa found itself with limited intelligence and

"The ANC had to gather information through covert means to understand the
developments within the ZANU-PF," said Chris Maroleng, an analyst with South
Africa's Institute for Security Studies.

South Africa needed information to assess whether "progressive forces open
to engagement" within the Zimbabwean ruling party were in the ascendant,
which would help them in their talks to resolve the political standoff with
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said Maroleng.

"This [espionage] trial [exposed] that the relationship between the two
governments has never been as sound as portrayed," noted Mabhena. "The
Zimbabwean government has obviously been misleading the South Africans about
the so-called peace talks with the opposition and, in the process, leading
the ANC leadership up the garden path."


Back to the Top
Back to Index


South Africans fear for Zimbabwe land after deal delay

February 09, 2005, 15:45

White South African farmers fear they could lose their land in neighbouring
Zimbabwe after officials failed to sign a deal today intended to protect
them from controversial land seizures. Several South African farmers have
already lost land under Zimbabwe's policy of confiscating white-owned farms
for redistribution to landless blacks and other farms have been earmarked
for expropriation. Pretoria has tried to negotiate a pact with Harare to
protect them, but South Africa's Star newspaper said today the signing had
been delayed for a third time. Officials in South Africa and Zimbabwe were
not immediately available for comment.

But Lourie Bosman, president of farmers' union Agri South Africa, said
Zimbabwe officials had on several occasions indicated they did not believe
South Africans should be exempted. "I think the statements that we received
from the Zimbabwe government is that the land reform process doesn't take
citizenship into account. That is what worries us," Bosman said. Bosman also
said hundreds of South African farmers owned land in Zimbabwe, drawn by its
favourable soil and climate.

South Africa's Trade and Industry minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said in November
the pact, first mooted three years ago amid fears that South African-owned
property would be confiscated, was close to being signed. But The Star
newspaper reported that the signing was put off twice last year due to the
unavailability of officials from both countries. It did not say why today's
signing, due to take place in Cape Town, had been called off.

It added that 15 South African-owned properties in Zimbabwe had been
earmarked for expropriation. South Africa is Zimbabwe's most important
trading partner. Officials say the agreement would allow South African
farmers to take legal action if their property was seized. They would also
be allowed to refer any investment related dispute to international
arbitration. Critics of Zimbabwe's land-seizure policy say it has ruined the
country's agricultural sector which was once the backbone of the economy. -
Back to the Top
Back to Index

'Soviet-Style' Farming Policy Mooted to Feed Zimbabwe

Business Day (Johannesburg)

February 9, 2005
Posted to the web February 9, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

ZIMBABWE's Reserve Bank has turned the spotlight on the deepening food
shortage in Zimbabwe as officials confirmed that up to 15 children and
elderly people have died of malnutrition in the second city of Bulawayo last

At least 14 people, most of them children aged between three and four years,
died last month, Zimbabwean health officials have confirmed.

Bulawayo mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube has confirmed that the deaths in the
city were due to malnutrition.

The bank has recommended the state urgently implement a command economy
agricultural policy to boost production and prevent further starvation.

The Soviet-style agricultural production system is expected to be launched
soon, after the central bank's call for urgent, radical measures to
resuscitate the collapsed sector.

The central bank has said there is now a "compelling case (for) command
agriculture" in order to ensure food security.

"Without such a system the farming community may trend (sic) towards
production of nonfoods crops, which threatens food security," the bank said.

Official sources said the scheme would start soon in view of the recurrent
food shortages, with the state deciding what crops farmers should grow and
when. Under the system, the state would provide funding, seeds and equipment
to farmers.

A US-funded organisation, Famine Early Warning Systems Network, said last
month that 5,8-million Zimbabweans - almost half the population - would need
food aid before the next harvest in April.

Under the new system, farmers would be bound by official contracts to
produce stipulated targets of particular crops.

State agencies would monitor farmers' activities.

The proposed system recalls the collectivisation of agriculture in Soviet
Russia under Joseph Stalin from 1928, which ended in overall state control
of agriculture. During this process, property owners were "liquidated" in
their thousands and famine dominated the lives of millions of Russian

Food production dropped drastically; at least 4-million died in the
resulting famine (mostly in Ukraine). But Stalin succeeded - in 1936 about
90% of Soviet agriculture was collectivised.

Productivity, however, was very low. The existence of famine was denied and
those who talked about it were treated as counter-revolutionary elements.

Zimbabwe's agricultural sector is in ruins following wholesale land seizures
by government which began in 2000.

Thousands of large-scale mostly white-owned commercial farms were
confiscated, often violently, by President Robert Mugabe's government during
a land reform campaign which worsened the country's political and economic

At least 15 white farmers were killed by state-sponsored farm invaders
during the state land grab, and tens of thousands of farm-workers were
displaced. In the process, commercial agriculture and food production
dramatically shrunk, leading to serious food shortages.

Botswana's President Festus Mogae met Zimbabwean's Minister of Special
Affairs, John Nkomo, in Botswana yesterday.

Nkomo, who is also chairman of the ruling Zanu (PF), was accompanied by the
Zimbabwean ambassador to Botswana, Phelekezela Mphoko, and other officials.
Mogae was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe,
Minister of Presidential Affairs Phandu Skelemani and other officials.

Mogae was briefed on developments in Zimbabwe and the meeting closed with
assurances from both sides of a "mutual desire to further consolidate the
longstanding friendship and solidarity".
Back to the Top
Back to Index

AU Adopts Report Criticising Mugabe

Business Day (Johannesburg)

February 9, 2005
Posted to the web February 9, 2005


AFRICAN Union (AU) members have officially sanctioned a human-rights
assessment highly critical of President Robert Mugabe's human rights record,
ZWNews quoted the Cape Times as reporting yesterday.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said on Monday that the executive council
of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights adopted a report -
tabled in December 2001 - on Zimbabwe's poor treatment of its citizens, and
the report "was now part of the AU's official record".

"We hope that the Zimbabwean government takes notice of the recommendations
from the AU," Arnold Tsunga, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
was quoted as saying this week.

The commission recommended the following changes:

The judiciary be made fully independent.

The youth militia, known as "green bombers", should be dismantled and their
camps closed.

A review of sections of repressive security and media laws.

A fully independent electoral commission be set up and police be freed of
political control.

Nongovernmental organisations should be allowed to operate freely.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Embassy Mag, Canada

Engaging Zimbabwe
While it may be difficult to make headway with Zimbabwean government
officials ("Safety In Numbers," Feb. 2), it is certainly possible,
nonetheless, for the Canadian government to play an effective role in
working with other African governments and inter-governmental organizations
to achieve a resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe. Amnesty International and
a number of other Canadian NGOs visited Zimbabwe and South Africa in
May/June 2004 and in consultation with civil society there produced a report
and numerous recommendations for action on the part of the Canadian

Unfortunately, we have yet to receive a response to our report from FAC
despite months of repeated requests on our part. As to the Zimbabwean
Ambassador's claim that Canadian parliamentarians should verify human rights
allegations with him, we have always encouraged the twinned Canadian MPs to
engage with Zimbabwean embassy officials and they have most certainly done
so in the past as has our organization. The key to the success of our MP
Twinning Campaign remains the commitment on the part of Canadian
parliamentarians to show solidarity with their at-risk Zimbabwean
counterparts and to advocate on their behalf for governments to promote and
respect the human rights of all Zimbabweans.

Alexis Kontos
Southern Africa Coordinator
Amnesty International Canada
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Episcopal News Service

      Worship resumes in troubled Zimbabwe Anglican parish

      Tuesday, February 08, 2005
      [Ecumenical News International] An Anglican parish in a Zimbabwean
township has held its first service since December last year when church
members boycotted church services in protest at the suspension of their
resident priest.
      The service on January 30 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Glen
Norah township, Harare, was led by Paul Gwese whose suspension had been
lifted the previous week.

      Gwese was suspended by Harare's Anglican bishop, Nolbert Kunonga,
after the priest allowed opposition lawmaker Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga
to make a donation during a thanksgiving service on December 16.

      "There was peace at the church," churchwarden Bernard Nengomasha told
journalists after the service on January 30.

      Still, the priest would be leaving the parish, Nengomasha indicated.

      "We had a normal service led by Pastor Paul Gwese as a farewell to the
church," he said.

      It was not immediately clear where Gwese was going but Nengomasha
denied reports that Gwese had been transferred to another parish in
Mhondoro, a village 100 kilometres northwest of Harare.

      "He is going to do something elsewhere," Nengomasha said.

      Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who made the donation to the parish, is the
member of parliament for Glen Norah and foreign affairs spokesperson for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.

      Kunonga has made no secret of his support for the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union -- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party. He once described
opponents of President Robert Mugabe as "dogs barking at an elephant."

      Following Gwese's suspension, members of the parish at St. Francis
sought a meeting with Kunonga but he snubbed them.

      Two weeks ago, angry parishioners staged a demonstration outside a
cathedral in central Harare where Kunonga was attending a church service.

      [Stringent laws controlling media in Zimbabwe prevent effective
reporting in the country.]

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Kingdom Bank defrauded $167m

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-09

TWO Kingdom Bank Westgate branch tellers who allegedly connived with a
briefcase company to defraud the financial institution of $167 million were
arrested last Thursday.
Phillip Gambiza (27) of Kuwadzana and Edmore Munyanyi (22) of Warren Park
were assigned by Kingdom Bank to receive and verify new account opening
forms and give cash to account holders on demand.
Some time in October last year, Gambiza and Munyanyi allegedly connived with
one Nyagotsi of a shelf company named Drainjet Investments and opened an
account for the firm with the bank.
On January 26, Nyagotsi allegedly deposited a fraudulent cheque worth $167
million drawn on a Zimbank account belonging to Renaissance Asset
Nyagotsi, still at large, then allegedly withdrew $100 million on January 31
and $40 million on February 2 this year.
When the alleged offence was discovered only $27 800 00 was left in the
account.Gambiza and Munyanyi were not asked to plead to two counts of fraud
when they appeared before magistrate Cremmah Chipere on Monday.
The suspects were remanded to February 21 on $2 million bail each.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

State blasted for dilly-dallying on observers

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-09

ZIMBABWE's opposition political parties are fuming over the government's
delay in inviting foreign observers into the country for the March 31
general elections saying the impediment was an indication that there were
skeletons in its cupboard.
Zimbabwe holds its sixth parliamentary polls on the last day of next month,
but so far no foreign observers have been invited despite a promise in
Parliament to do so by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in December last
The Southern African Development Community's (Sadc) guidelines on the
holding of free and fair elections stipulate that observers should be in a
member country three months in advance.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the MDC shadow foreign minister said she contacted
the African Union (AU) and Sadc whether both had received any formal
invitation from the government but the answer was an emphatic no.
"We have been in contact with the AU and the Sadc Parliamentary Forum, but
they have not been invited as yet. It shows that government is not serious
about the issue of observers at all," she said.
Zanu (Ndonga) spokesperson Reketayi Semwayo echoed Misihairabwi-Mushonga's
sentiments and expressed concern that one of Zimbabwe's oldest political
parties was deeply worried by the government's dilly-dallying on the issue
of inviting observers.
"Time is running out and as a political party that is going to contest the
election next month we are worried. We do not even know who is going to
observe the polls," Semwayo said. "We have questioned the ministry concerned
about that issue but it is unfortunate that they think we are troublesome.
We are saying as a nation we are mature but is this maturity?"
NAGG president Douglas Chihambakwe was of the opinion that the delay in
inviting observers was synonymous of the long serving Zanu PF government's
trickery when it comes to election.
He said it was up to the opposition parties to press government to invite
"It's not reluctance, it is politics at its best. This clearly explains what
type of government we are dealing with. The Zanu PF led government is a
trickery. They are not worried at all about the issue of observers because
they know they won't lose anything with observers coming or not," he said.
The opposition parties were unanimously agreed that observers should have
been here from the day voter registration kicked off. For them to be present
on the day of the elections was "purposeless," the opposition concluded.
Chinamasa could not be reached for comment yesterday, but last month the
minister told a press conference soon after the Zimbabwe Election Commission
was put in place that foreign observers would only be invited after
President Mugabe proclaimed the election dates.
"We have to set our institution in place before we invite observers,"
Chinamasa said then.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chegutu begs for $2,5 billion

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-09

THE Municipality of Chegutu says it needs at least $2,5 billion to improve
ageing sewer and water purification plants, which have seen the council fail
to provide adequate water supplies to residents in the small farming town
about 100km west of Harare.
The town's executive mayor Francis Dhlakama said on Monday  that the Mupfure
purification plant was dilapidated and needed urgent attention.
"The demand for water has grown and we are failing to supply water to
residents as there are continuous breakdowns at our water treatment plants.
The water works at Mupfure should have been upgraded a long time ago and we
now have to implement the design strategy that was drawn up last year to
improve water reticulation," he said.
Dhlakama said they would approach the market to borrow the $2,5 billion,
which he said was inadequate to overhaul the systems completely.
The sewer plants were old and needed upgrading, he added.
"The $2,5 billion is still little to completely overhaul the water systems,
but there are constraints that hinder us from borrowing what we would wish
to borrow," he added.
Local authorities seek the approval of residents when borrowing money as
stipulated in the Urban Councils Act. However, Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo has discouraged councils from borrowing
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai woos rural vote

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-09

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the weekend kick-started his party's March
parliamentary election campaign in Masvingo province, with the intention of
wooing support from the pre-dominant Zanu PF strongholds, the rural areas.
The opposition last week announced that it would contest the March 31
general elections, having kept the nation guessing for five months, after
suspending taking part in any election in Zimbabwe until the southern
African nation fully implemented the Sadc protocol governing democratic
After lifting the suspension, the MDC said it would concentrate its campaign
more in the rural areas, as it digs for the fight for its life in the
parliamentary election. On Sunday, Tsvangirai's campaign team was in Gutu,
before going to Zaka and Chiredzi the following day-contrary to reports in
the government controlled media that he had left for the Americas. The team
yesterday took its glitzy campaign to Masvingo town, where Tsvangirai was
last night expected to resolve the opposition's problems in Masvingo Central
constituency.MDC organising secretary Esaph Mdlongwa confirmed to The Daily
Mirror on Monday that Tsvangirai was in Masvingo province campaigning for
the opposition party.  He said he was not sure whether the opposition leader
would deal with the Masvingo Central case.Mdlongwa said: "He is visiting the
whole of Masvingo province and is in charge of that province. This is
campaigning time." Tsvangirai is alleged to have conducted a primary
election in Masvingo Central last month, which saw incumbent legislator
Silas Mangono losing poll to lawyer Tongai Matutu.
Mangono had since filed an appeal with the MDC's national council, which
last week ordered a probe into how the intra-party poll was handled. Sources
within the MDC yesterday said Tsvangirai was expected to meet the aggrieved
parties last night at Masvingo's Civic Centre to resolve the dispute.
Mangono yesterday said of the latest development: "I don't know anything
about that."
A reliable source in the province yesterday said Matutu's camp had
invited party supporters to meet with Tsvangirai.In a document that was
leaked to The Daily Mirror last week, Mangono claimed that the opposition
party leader had ambushed him when he personally conducted the primary
election in his constituency without his knowledge.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Zimbabwe expels trade unionists
Thur 10 February 2005
  HARARE - The Zimbabwe government yesterday deported two officials of the
regional Southern African Trade Union Coordinating Council (SCTUCC) who were
in the country to meet the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

      The officials, Bobby Marie and Wilhelmina Trout, arrived at Harare
International Airport aboard a South African Airways flight yesterday

      They were coming to meet ZCTU officials today and tomorrow to plan for
the setting up of a Southern African Trade Union Co-ordinating Council
leadership academy in Harare in April.

      But in the same way Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU)
leaders were booted out of Zimbabwe last week, the two officials were
intercepted by immigration officials and secret service police who grilled
them on the purpose of their visit to Zimbabwe.

      After not less than two hours, the SATULA officials were bundled out
of the airport and back onto the SAA plane that had brought them to Zimbabwe
in the first place.

      Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, in charge of immigration, last
night said he was not aware of the deportation of the two trade unionists.

      He told ZimOnline: "In all fairness, you would not expect me to get to
know everything that happens in all departments that fall under my ministry
. . . immigration officers can make their judgments and deport if they are
suspicious of the motives of anyone coming into the country."

      ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibhebhe accused the government of
being overzealous in its handling of anyone it wrongly or rightly perceives
as a potential opponent.

      He said: "It baffles the mind to think that one needs government
clearance in order to plan for a trade union leadership academy.

      "We are obviously disappointed that the meeting failed to take off as
these officials have already been deported and that the leadership academy
might not (be set up) in Zimbabwe."

      COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi and his 15-member delegation
were last week deported and declared persona non grata after attempting to
enter the country to meet ZCTU leaders and to assess whether conditions
exist for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe next month. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index