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Zimbabwe government minister says will seize all land still in white hands

Zim Online

Sat 11 February 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who also
oversees land reform, vowed to seize all land still in white hands, adding
that white farmers who have continued farming were doing so illegally.

      Dismissing speculation in the international Press that President
Robert Mugabe's government could give in to widespread criticism and stop
farm seizures which started six years ago, Mutasa said: "We are still hungry
and we want  all our land back and all our land to be used by our own
people."

      Mutasa, who also oversees food aid distribution and is one of Mugabe's
most trusted lieutenants, made the comments in an interview with state
television on Thursday night.

      He said a controversial constitutional amendment passed by the
government last August had given all farmland to the  state and that white
farmers were farming illegally because they had not sought permission from
the government to continue farming as is required under new regulations.

      "It is illegal to continue farming without a permit," Mutasa said. He
added: "They (white farmers) should apply to the  ministry of lands for
permission to farm. Amendment number 17 by that stroke, nobody is allowed to
farm unless they have permits from the Agriculture minister. To my knowledge
the (white farmers) are farming illegally."

      Following the constitutional reforms, Zimbabwe's administrative court
struck off legal appeals by farmers who were contesting the seizure of their
properties.

      Zimbabwe's chaotic and often violent land reforms have seen food
production in the country drop by about 60 percent because black villagers
resettled on former white farms lack the skills and resources to maintain
output.

      Mutasa's comments come in the wake of a call last week by the
Commercial Farmers Union that represents white farmers on the government to
declare a moratorium on all land policies to allow white farmers to use
their expertise to help resuscitate the agricultural sector and beat off
hunger choking Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline


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State rejects call to review Zim land policy

IOL

          February 10 2006 at 11:55AM

      Harare - The Zimbabwe government has rejected a call by the country's
mainly white farming union for an end to land invasions, describing a
statement by the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) as "hogwash," the
state-controlled Herald reported on Friday.

      Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said white farmers were "dreaming"
and "unrepentant", the paper said.

      The CFU last week put out a statement calling for a moratorium on the
invasions and "current agricultural policies" and implored President Robert
Mugabe's government to bring together all stakeholders to restore the
struggling agricultural sector.

      But Made said that "only dreamers would make such calls," the Herald
reported.

      "The white farmers have suddenly realised their irrelevance in the
current agricultural set-up and have decided to write statements instead of
accepting reality," Made told the paper.

      "The country's land policies are very sound and will not be frozen or
set aside," he added.

      Zimbabwe had around 4 000 white farmers in 2000 when Mugabe launched
his controversial land reform programme. There are now only 300 or so left
in farming. Agricultural production has dipped sharply, a situation Mugabe's
government blames on repeated drought.

      There have been reports of a rise in land invasions in the last few
months. Not all government officials are in favour of the new
takeovers -only last month Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono said there
should be "zero tolerance" to what he termed "disruptive activities" on
farms.

      Made said white farmers were being "left behind" as the agricultural
sector moved forward. "The train is actually moving without these white
farmers and it has slowly dawned on them that they are being left behind,"
he said.

      Recent good rains in Zimbabwe have buoyed hopes in the government for
improved agricultural production this year. - Sapa-dpa


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Zimbabwe to seize British bankers' farms

Business Report

September 14, 2004

Harare - The Zimbabwe government will take over seven farms belonging to
three prominent bankers who fled the country after being accused of
funneling huge sums of money abroad, the state-owned Herald newspaper said
Tuesday.

The properties include Zimbabwe's second biggest tea estate, the Eastern
Highlands Plantation in the Honde Valley district which has both British and
local shareholders.

The three bankers are Julius Makoni and Francis Zimuto, who were directors
of National Merchant Bank (NMB) and Nicholas Vingirai of Intermarket
Holdings. All three are currently believed to be living in Britain.

Makoni is a major local shareholder in the tea plantation, while Zimuto
owned three farms and Vingirai had two.

The trio slipped out of Zimbabwe in March, shortly after the government
launched an ambitious programme to fight corruption and repair Zimbabwe's
battered economy.

Police had said they wanted to question the men in relation to the alleged
transfer of billions of Zimbabwe dollars' worth of foreign currency
overseas.

The three have said they would not get a fair hearing if they returned home.
Their property and bank accounts in Zimbabwe have been frozen.

The government has now moved in to take that property, according to the
Herald.

An official with the Eastern Highlands Plantation - which employs about 1
000 workers - confirmed that the estate had received notice of government's
intention to take over the property but would not speculate on the reasons.


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Zimbabwe audits millers as food shortages bite

Zim Online

Sat 11 February 2006

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government's Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has
begun auditing the country's millers in the wake of worsening shortages of
the staple mealie-meal and a looming shortage of bread.

      The GMB, the only company permitted by law to buy maize and wheat from
farmers or to import the grains, is tasked with ensuring food security in
the country but its silos are understood to be empty because it does not
have hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      In a circular to millers on Friday, the GMB said its grain procurement
and distribution team would visit milling factories in a new exercise to vet
the companies and ensure wheat and maize were not being diverted to the
illegal black market.

      "This notice serves to inform all millers that the task force on grain
procurement and distribution will conduct a reverting exercise of all
millers in the country in order to ensure compliance with the Grain
Marketing Act and any other legislation," the circular reads in part.

      Zimbabwe has grappled severe food shortages since 2000 because of
falling farm production after President Robert Mugabe expelled the country's
white large-scale producing commercial farmers and redistributed their farms
to landless black peasants.

      But he did not give the black villagers resettled on former white
farms skills training or inputs support to maintain production. Food output
has dropped by about 60 percent since Mugabe began seizing white farms.

      The grain shortages have worsened in recent weeks with for example,
the second largest city of Bulawayo going for over three weeks without any
supplies of maize-meal, the main staple for more than 90 percent of
Zimbabweans.

      Milling firms earlier this week on Wednesday warned that the country
would be completely without bread because they had run out of wheat to make
flour.

      The GMB blames the millers for worsening the food crisis by diverting
flour and maize-meal to the illegal but thriving black-market.

      Milling industry executives however say it is powerful government and
ruling ZANU PF officials who are behind the food black-market.

      "There is really no need to investigate us because the GMB should know
as everyone else does that the people who have been fuelling the
black-market and even exporting wheat out of the country are in ZANU PF and
the government," said a chief executive officer of a Harare milling firm who
did not want to be named for fear of being seen as antagonising the GMB.

      A nephew of Mugabe was last year brought before the courts facing
charges of illegally exporting 30 tonnes of wheat to Mozambique. But the
nephew, Leo Mugabe, walked out of the court a free man after the state
declined to prosecute.

      Meanwhile, police are probing ZANU PF legislator Douglas Mombeshora
after they intercepted 140 tonnes of wheat that was being illegally
transported to Zambia. The wheat is said to belong to Mombeshora. -
ZimOnline


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Zimbabwean man dies after vehicle ploughs into crowd scrambling to buy maize

Zim Online

Sat 11 February 2006

      MASVINGO - A Zimbabwean man died while seven others were critically
injured on Wednesday after a vehicle ripped through a crowd that had
gathered to buy maize on the outskirts of Masvingo town.

      The accident happened at the 10km peg along the Masvingo-Mutare
highway.

      Masvingo police spokesman, Inspector Charles Munhungei, said the crowd
had gathered along the highway jostling to buy maize from a parked Grain
Marketing Board vehicle.

      "As people gathered to buy the maize, a Toyota Hilux vehicle swerved
to the left hitting eight people in the process. One man died on the spot
and seven others were seriously injured," said Munhungei.

      The injured are said to be battling for their lives at Masvingo
General Hospital.

      Police identified the deceased as Tongai Makumbe while Daniel Mauta,
John Makumire Eulita Makoti, Mildred Jaricha, Ester Mugaga, Eunice Sakabuya
and Jester Jodo sustained serious injuries.

      It could not be established yesterday why the GMB was selling maize by
the roadside.

      Maize-meal, the country's main staple food, is in critical short
supply in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans have grappled with severe food shortages
over the past six years after President Robert Mugabe's land reforms slashed
food production on farms by more than 60 percent. - ZimOnline


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ZANU PF senator convicted of public violence

Zim Online

Sat 11 February 2006

      KAROI - A Zimbabwe magistrate yesterday convicted a Senator of
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party of inciting public violence
that resulted in the death of one of his political rivals.

      The Senator, Phone Madiro, was remanded in custody to February 15 for
sentencing. Madiro represents the constituency of Hurungwe and Kariba in the
reintroduced House of Senate.

      Delivering his judgment in the small farming town of Karoi, magistrate
Samuel Muyemeki, said the state had proved its case that Madiro led a group
of 18 youths to attack supporters of his rival Cecilia Gwachiwa.

      Both Gwachiwa and Madiro belong to ZANU PF and were contesting for the
right to represent the party in last March's general election.

      One of Gwachiwa's supporters, Tichaona Manyembere, was seriously
injured during the attack by Madiro's supporters and died two weeks later
from the injuries.

      "I find accused number one (Madiro) very guilty of inciting public
violence while others followed his instruction," Muyemeki ruled.

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has long
accused ZANU PF leaders of inciting youthful militants of the party to
commit violence against MDC supporters. But this is the first time that a
leading ZANU PF member has been convicted of committing violence against
members of the ruling party. - ZimOnline


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Zimbabweans take to the streets of Jo'burg over police harassment

Zim Online

Sat 11 February 2006

      JOHANNESBURG - About 300 Zimbabweans on Friday marched in the streets
of Johannesburg to protest against the harassment and ill-treatment of
foreigners by South African police officers.

      The demonstration was organised by the Southern African Women's
Institute (SAWIMA).

      They later handed over a petition to a senior Home Affairs official,
Shoki Tshabalala, demanding a stop to the harassment and ill-treatment of
Zimbabweans in South Africa.

      Handing over the petition to Tshabalala, SAWIMA spokesperson, Joyce
Dube, said: "We have done our research and we have discovered that the
problem with Home Affairs begins with the police officers who arrest the
foreigners for being illegally in South Africa.

      "There is no way we could be here if the situation back home was
conducive. I'm glad that I am handing this petition today to a woman who
knows the pain of giving birth," she said.

      Dube said Zimbabweans were facing serious problems at the hands of the
police who are notorious for demanding bribes.

      Three million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the country's 12 million
population, are said to living outside the country the majority of them in
South Africa after fleeing hunger and political persecution.

      Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a bitter economic crisis that has
seen millions of its nationals cross over into South Africa and neighbouring
countries in search of better opportunities.

      But the Zimbabwean nationals have complained in the past of
ill-treatment and harassment at the hands of South African police
officers. - ZimOnline


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Mugabe fails to return from annual leave

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/11/2006 04:18:14
SWELLING rumours surround President Robert Mugabe's failure to return from
his annual leave.

Mugabe takes his annual leave from December to the end of January, but as of
Friday, Vice President Joice Mujuru was still acting President.

Government sources told New Zimbabwe.com Friday that Mugabe's failure to
return to work was "sending diplomatic tongues wagging".

Constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku told SW Radio Africa last
night that it appeared Mugabe was slowly scaling down, handing over work to
Mujuru.

Madhuku said the recent signing of the draconian General Laws Amendment Act
(GLAA) into law by Mujuru was significant in that Mugabe rarely gives that
power and authority to anyone but himself. The law expert believes Mugabe is
actually grooming Mujuru.

Mujuru signed the Act, which advocates for the imprisonment of journalists
who write falsehoods, people who insults the president and bans unauthorised
gatherings, on Friday last week.

Madhuku told SW Radio: "I believe Mugabe keeps postponing his return to work
by a day. and so he is acting against the natural order of things (retiring)
when he says he wants to go back to work.

"Mujuru is very very far from the kind of person that would lead our
country. This country has enormous problems and from what we have seen of
Mujuru, and this has nothing to do with gender, is that she has no capacity.
She is just empty."

Government sources told New Zimbabwe.com last night that rather than scaling
down, Mugabe who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was "unwell".

The sources said Mugabe chaired a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday this week, but
was visibly unwell.

Asked what the source of Mugabe's medical irritation could be, the official
said: "Let's stop looking for hidden problems. The guy is 82 and at that age
nothing fuctions properly.

"The age would not be so much of a factor if he was presiding over a
peaceful, vibrant country but Zimbabwe is going through the worst crisis in
human history."

Mugabe's official spokesman, George Charamba, was said to be in Namibia on
Friday and was unavailable to comment.

Last month, Mugabe attended the 6th African Union Summit in Khartoum, Sudan,
and looked tired, his eyes bloodshot and with developed under eye sacks.

Mugabe's officials have previously rubbished reports about his poor health,
insisting that the President was "as fit as a teenager".

Mugabe's health remains one of the most secretly guarded for a head of state
anywhere.

His deteriorating health was the subject of frenzied speculation last month
after he was seen leaving a South African clinic with his wife, Grace.

Zimbabwean authorities, and the Garden City Clinic, where Mugabe visited,
maintained that he had only visited a sick relative.


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Is Zimbabwe a failed State?

New Zimbabwe

By Nilu Ndlovu
Last updated: 02/11/2006 03:45:57
ZIMBABWE is due to turn twenty six in April with one leader and one party
that has monopolised the political space.

When the country was born, there was much optimism that the country was
going to work for its people and the people were going to work to build a
new Zimbabwe not blinded by the past but challenged by the future.

If a person who died on 17 April 1980 was reincarnated today, what would
he/she say about the state Zimbabwe?

Is Zimbabwe a failed state to the extent we can define the institutional,
infrastructural and human capacity framework that characterizes failed
states?

A number of questions come to the fore in assessing the economic and
political health of Zimbabwe. Is Zanu PF responsible for the failure of
Zimbabwe to live up to the expectations of its citizens? Are Zimbabweans
necessarily blind to human induced failures? Has the opposition become
Zanufied and hence the failure to develop a strategy to respond to the
Zimbabwean dilemma? To what extent do Zimbabweans understand the nature and
depth of the Zimbabwean crisis? Who is corrupt in Zimbabwe? It is the latter
question that I believe is a missing link in our analysis of the
contemporary developments in Zimbabwe.

Some people have observed that Zanu PF is not a party without the State. In
other words, if Zanu PF did not have the control of the State, it would
wither as a party. If this was not the case, it would be difficult to
comprehend how an outsider like Jonathan Moyo almost single handedly took
control of the State while the party looked helpless.

When Gideon Gono took over as Reserve Bank governor, he also ran away with
the baton and the party is also helpless. The party has not been able to
build an institutional framework that is informed by real national interests
but has left individuals to manipulate the State for their own selfish
needs. To this end, Mugabe would have been fired if he was a CEO of a
company called Zanu PF for failure to perform and yet the members of the
company have not been able to make him accountable.

The party's business interests have never performed and, if anything, Mugabe
has never trusted blacks to be in charge. Instead people like Rautenbach,
Glynn and Victor Cohen, Bredenkamp, Roger de Sar, Zed Koudinaris, Tony
Kates, Joshi btother, Adam, etc have been entrusted by the party to benefit
from its business ventures. In fact, Mugabe did not care about the economic
health of his own party but was and is more concerned about remaining in
power.

The Kenyan scenario that is fast destroying the Kibaki regime has not played
itself into the Zimbabwean crisis largely because Zanu PF has managed to
Zanufy its opponents to the extent that the difference may be the same. The
opposition parties have not been able to define to the people of Zimbabwe
what the agenda for change is. They all seem preoccupied with taking over
State control. Gono and Mugabe have already publicly privatised the State
with the apparent blessing of the IMF and yet the people of Zimbabwe like
Zanu PF members have not seen through the strategy and exposed it.

To what extent is the failure of Zimbabwe a result of Zanu PF policies and
programs is a critical question that requires analysis. Yes it is true that
Zanu PF has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and yet the MDC has been blamed
for this. How can an opposition party without the means be responsible for
bad policies that discourage progress and investment? Zanu PF has
externalised its people through wrong policies and yet the blame is
elsewhere.

Zanu PF has defied market principles by controlling the price of foreign
exchange in an environment that has limited supply of the commodity and yet
rational market players have been targeted? Zanu PF has single-handedly
created the black market and yet blames Blair and Bush. Zanu PF has
externalised black Zimbabwean businesspeople and yet the blame is shifted to
the victims. Zanu PF has destroyed the agricultural sector of Zimbabwe and
no blame sticks on General Mad(e). If you remove the (e) from the General's
name you get the picture. How did General Mad(e) manage to make Mugabe the
most productive and efficient farmer in Zimbabwe to earn him the post of
Minister of Agricultural destruction?

The answer lies in what is called zero cost agriculture where ARDA supplies
all the inputs and the farmer gets all the revenue. In some case, ARDA even
ensure that production from its farms is invoiced from the farms of the
Chefs. In all these instances, the opposition is not able to articulate how
a party that has cost more suffering for Zimbabweans and put the economy in
an intensive care unit, can be trusted to continue punishing its people.

The failure of Zimbabwe may only be in the eyes of the people who are not in
Zanu PF. It is fair that we situate ourselves in the minds of Zanu PF to
better understand how a failed State in the eyes of the world and the
opposition can be changed. Some call it regime change and others call it an
environmentally induced change. In Zimbabwe's case, the environment is
conducive for change and yet change catalysts are missing in action.

One should respect the fact that Mugabe has managed to assemble a cabinet of
blind intellectuals who individually know that the Emperor is naked and yet
continue to cheer him for fear of retribution. Some people have observed
that Mugabe ceased to be a President or CEO of Zimbabwe in the late 1980s
and is now virtually a King without a Kingdom. As King, he is not concerned
about the day to day management of the country and even his party, but has
opened the door for his boys to destroy the very institutions that are
required for a functional state. The efficiency with which they have built
empires while maintaining an anti-corruption stance is remarkable. The RBZ
is now the biggest crime investigating unit with the Governor also being the
Chief of Police. With a King who got into power with minimum training and
modest tastes, the state is no longer what the people of Zimbabwe bargained
for.

The future President of Zimbabwe is increasing being determined outside both
Zanu PF and MDC. It is important that we analyze critically how a few
individuals we can describe as "Mugabe's Man" have systematically staged a
coup de etat in the knowledge that the founding fathers of Zanu PF have no
clew about money and how to manage institutions.

It is ironic that the intellectual property of Zanu PF resides in a few old
people and yet the beneficiaries of the party's misguided policies are the
very people who during the day are part of the system and at night are
villains. However, when the villain is the gatekeeper, the rules change and
it is important that we address the question of Zimbabwe's failure as a
state in the context of the case studies of the individuals who are really
responsible for masking the true nature of Zanu PF as Zimbabwe's most potent
poison for primitive accumulation.

This primitive accumulation, if not exposed, poses a significant challenge
to the democratisation process. The new gate keepers will one day use the
proceeds from the current institutionalised corruption to determine the
future of the country and once again I only pray that we will not be as
helpless as Zanu PF members and Zimbabweans in general.
Nilu Ndlovu is a Zimbawean academic based in Canada


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Fuelling an economy in ruins

Courier Mail, Brisbane
 

Zimbabwe Line
MILLIONAIRES' row ... waiting for the grain store to open in Tsholotsho where three eggs can cost up to $Z50,000, which is the latest denomination printed by the Government and it's worth about $A40 as inflation heads towards 800 per cent under Robert Mugabe's rule. Picture: AP


11feb06

THE extent of Zimbabwe's financial crisis has been illustrated by the release of a $Z50,000 note that is hardly worth the paper on which it is printed.

The move is part of President Robert Mugabe's bid to keep up with runaway inflation. But the word on the street is to spend it quickly. As the Zimbabwe dollar has been notoriously prone to counterfeit, the $Z50,000 note – technically a cheaply printed "bearer's cheque" – expires at year's end.

In fact, a use-by-date is hardly necessary with the Reserve Bank Governor warning inflation will soon nudge 800 per cent.

Upon issue, the new note only carried the purchasing power of a loaf of bread, a kilogram of the staple maize meal or about three eggs – none of which are in guaranteed supply. In Zimbabwe, $Z50,000 converts to about 40˘ Australian at the official exchange rate and as little as 20˘ on the black market.

Featuring a gaudy, Monopoly-like print of the world famous Victoria Falls, this latest complement to the Zimbabwe currency is fast being associated with "a plunging precipice", in a light-hearted e-mail doing the local rounds.

Zimbabwe opposition legal affairs spokesman David Coltart said Zimbabwe needed a $5 million note ($20 to $40). "The rate at which inflation is going, it will be in need of replacement before it has even been distributed to all the banks throughout the country," Mr Coltart said.

"The new note buys an absolute maximum of five litres of fuel, sold at old prices, but as from late last week it probably would only buy between two and three litres."

Zimbabwe is in the throws of economic hemorrhaging, with unemployment at about 80 per cent, power outages, chronic fuel shortages and about 4.3 million people reliant on international food aid this year. The International Monetary Fund, holding talks in Harare this month, has called for improvements in governance.


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South Africa opposition to quiz Mbeki on Zimbabwe statements



      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      09 February 2006

      On Thursday The Democratic Alliance party in South Africa said they
plan to submit parliamentary questions to President Mbeki regarding his
statements to the SABC that Zimbabwe's opposition reached an agreement on a
new constitution with the ruling party 2 years ago. The decision to quiz
Mbeki came after both factions of the Movement For Democratic Change
rejected Mbeki's claims that he had received a draft copy of the agreement
initialed by both the MDC and ZANU-PF. SABC aired the interview last Sunday,
and by Monday questions regarding the truth of his comments were being
raised by the press.

      D.A. national chairman Joe Seremane told us they wanted to know who
reached the agreement and when, and who was responsible for the breakdown in
the negotiations. Seremane said president Mbeki continually gives the
impression that he is defending Robert Mugabe, while the Zimbabwe meltdown
continues to get more serious. Mbeki told SABC the talks between the MDC and
ZANU-PF had ended because "new problems arose between themselves". But
Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga, who was the MDC shadow foreign minister 2
years ago, told us it was ZANU-PF that pulled out of the talks. Seremane
said he wants Mbeki to specify why the talks ended.

      A statement released by the D.A. on Thursday said:
      "This is not the first time that President Mbeki has been seen to lay
the blame for the failure to resolve the political and economic crisis in
Zimbabwe on the MDC. The MDC has previously made it clear that they do not
regard President Mbeki as an honest broker. The President's comments on
Sunday will only serve to underscore the impression that he is biased
towards ZANU-PF and that he harbours an enormous distrust for the Zimbabwean
opposition."

      Seremane said South Africa can take a much firmer stand on Zimbabwe
and force the 2 sides to find a solution through negotiations. He also
believes more pressure can be put on Robert Mugabe by imposing smart
sanctions to limit supplies of electricity and water. Seremane added that
pressure to change can also be exerted on the Zimbabwe government if they
want to continue doing business with South Africa.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Mzi Khumalo in Zim damages claim

Mail and Guardian

      Ciaran Ryan

      10 February 2006 09:47

            Controversial mining magnate Mzi Khumalo is at the centre of a
$7,4-million damages claim that got under way this week in the Harare High
Court.

            This is reportedly the highest ever damages claim in Zimbabwe's
history, and relates to the purchase of Lonmin's gold mines in Zimbabwe by
Khumalo's Pemberton International Investments for $15,5-million in 2002.

            Zimbabwean tourism and marketing tycoon Lloyd Hove, who also
heads up Stanmarker Mining, claims his company was sidelined when Khumalo
snapped up Lonmin's Independence Mining, comprising five Zimbabwean gold
mines, in violation of a joint venture agreement signed by Metallon and
Stanmarker in 2002. Hove initiated discussions with Lonmin in 2001 with a
view to purchasing its five gold mines, with annual output of about 190 000
ounces of gold a year, making it Zimbabwe's largest gold mining group. A due
diligence was carried out and finances arranged for the purchase of these
assets.

            Soon afterwards, Khumalo approached Lonmin and subsequently
entered into a joint venture agreement with Stanmarker. This was at a time
when the Zimbabwean government was making noises about introducing a law to
compel foreign owners of mining assets to take local black partners on
board.

            In terms of this agreement, a new joint venture company would
acquire Independence Mining, with 40% going to Stanmarker and 60% to Khumalo's
Metallon group. The Zimbabwe Independent reports that Metallon was to
provide all the funding for the acquisition, while Stanmarker would seek
approval from the Zimbabwean government for the joint bid in accordance with
the country's foreign investment rules.

            Stanmarker has accused Khumalo and Metallon of acting in bad
faith by going behind its back and purchasing Independence Mining in
violation of the joint venture agreement, which expired in September 2002.
According to one Zimbabwean businessman close to the case, the next day
Khumalo flew to London and concluded a deal with Lonmin on behalf of
Metallon, having failed to conclude a similar deal on behalf of the joint
venture.

            "Suddenly, the day after the joint venture agreement expires,
Khumalo is on a plane to London and has bought Independence for himself,"
says the businessman, who asked not to be named. "Meanwhile, Hove believes
he has joint venture partners who are acting in his best interests."

            The businessman says Hove had financial backing of his own and
was quite capable of doing the same deal that Khumalo did, but he chose to
honour the joint venture agreement and leave the negotiations up to Metallon's
appointees. That, say those close to the case, was Hove's fatal mistake.

            Stanmarker originally claimed $12-million from Metallon based on
its valuation of the assets at the time of the deal, but has since agreed to
drop this to $7,4-million.

            Veteran Zimbabwean advocate Chris Anderson asked Metallon
negotiator Peter Gain how Khumalo paid for the Zimbabwe gold assets. Gain
replied that the funds were advanced by Deutsche Bank to Mawenzi, a company
controlled by Khumalo, and were to be offset by funds raised from the sale
of Harmony shares on the JSE.

            Around this time, Khumalo netted himself more than R1-billion
through the sale of Harmony shares in what has become known as the "Simane
affair". Simane was a broad-based grouping of mine workers and community
organisations that was to become Harmony's black empowerment partner.

            Khumalo managed to intercept most of these shares for himself at
a hefty discount and sold many of them into the market at a handsome profit.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) came up with soft funding for
Simane, and it was several months before Harmony realised that Khu-malo had
bagged the shares for himself.

            Adding further controversy to the deal, Khumalo reportedly
advanced a R6-million loan to two IDC executives tied to the deal. He was a
protégé of murdered mining tycoon Brett Kebble, though the two had a famous
falling out in later years resulting in Khumalo's resignation as chairperson
of JCI.

            In the Harare High Court this week, Stanmarker's lawyers
attempted to paint a picture of dubious business dealings by Khumalo. Gain,
who helped compile the joint venture agreement, admitted that though he was
authorised to negotiate on behalf of the joint venture parties, he had never
had any contact with Hove. The first time he had seen him was this week in
court. Stanmarker is claiming that there was no intention by Metallon to
conclude a purchase agreement with Lonmin until the joint venture agreement
expired and the way was cleared for Metallon to bag Independence for itself.

            Metallon subsequently sold 30% of Independence to another local
business grouping, Manyame Consortium, but this arrangement is in dispute.

            Zimbabwe's Business Digest reported that Khumalo had tried to
buy out Manyame's shareholders with a $3-million offer, and then list the
group on the JSE. Manyame's shareholders are now bringing a separate case to
force Metallon to disclose its financial results and ascertain whether they
are due any dividends.

            Manyame reportedly paid $9-million for its 30% share, more than
double the price Khumalo paid for his shares. At Khumalo's $15,5-million
purchase price, a 30% stake is $4,65-million. Manyame paid $1-million of it
in cash, with the rest to be paid out of dividends. Manyame shareholders say
they have not been given information on the operations of Metallon Gold
Zimbabwe (formerly Independence Mining), and are therefore unable to
ascertain the state of their loan account, which was to secure its share
purchase.

            Khumalo was not expected to appear in court in Harare, and
lawyers involved in the case expect a decision within the next two to three
weeks now that the case has been wrapped up.

            Summarising the events of the week, one Zimbabwean businessman
says: "Mzi Khumalo hasn't made too many friends up here."

            Khumalo and Metallon executives could not be reached for comment
at the time of going to press.


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Tsvangirai era a thing of the past, says pro-Senate faction



      Friday, 10 February 2006, .

      By Oscar Nkala www.andnetwork.com

      In a move that will seal the split of Zimbabwe's major opposition
party, the Gibson Sibanda-led faction of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC says it will elect a new leader at its upcoming congress because the
Morgan Tsvangirai era is 'a thing of the past.'

      In a wide ranging interview with AND, Bulawayo provincial spokesman
Victor Moyo said they had nothing to do with the Morgan Tsvangirai
led-faction. He added that the party would be unveiling a new leadership
after the congress.

      He admitted that the split, which he said was over, had set the
struggle against ZANU PF back but said it was all in the 'nature of
politics' that such divisions occured.

      "The split is no longer an issue and I fail to understand why the
media remains so obsessed with it. That is a thing of the past, we are now
looking foward to the election of new leadership at congress. All the
confusion will be cleared there. We will elect a leadership that will take
the struggle against ZANU PF tyranny to a new level," Moyo told A.N.D.

      He said the faction was not worried about statements coming from the
Tsvangirai-led camp alleging that they were working with ZANU PF for a
political accomodation. Moyo said the allegations were just as unfounded as
pronouncements to the effect that theirs was a tribal faction.

      "We are so concerned about the struggle against ZANU PF that we hardly
have the time to respond to statements from politically immature beings who
cannot follow laid down constitutional guidelines. In the same way, we
dismiss the tribalisation of this split. That we have executives in all
provinces of this country proves the fallacy of such thinking and exposes
the desperation of those behind them.

      "We just do not understand, and we will not believe it unless if
Tsvangirai and his supporters want to tell us the Matabele population of
Zimbabwe has suddenly ballooned to encompass the whole country. Fortunately
Zimababweans are mature enough to see through this facade of lies from
desperate politicians," Moyo told A.N.D.

      The two factions are preparing for parallel congresses. Political
analysts have warned that the period immediately after both congresses may
be dominated by legal battles over which faction retains the party names and
symbols.

      A.N.D Africa


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Chideya threatens to fire City workers

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-10

HARARE Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya on Wednesday held marathon meetings with
council management at Town House and reportedly threatened to dismiss anyone
siding with city turnaround strategist, Chester Mhende, as the battle for
control of the capital city continues.
Highly placed council sources said the circus at Town House had taken
another twist with the Town Clerk, who is the city chief executive, saying
he would not tolerate any employees defying his orders.
"We spent the better part of the day attending meetings. He (Chideya) warned
us in no uncertain terms that anyone who sided with Mhende risked losing his
or her job," the source said on condition of anonymity.Chideya and Mhende,
who are reportedly in South Africa, were conspicuous by their absence during
yesterday's stakeholders

meeting with business people. Council's business development unit (BDU) boss
Alois Masepe chaired the convention.
The Town Clerk could not be reached for comment yesterday, but a statement
released on the same issue and co-signed by Chideya and commission
chairperson Sekesai Makwavarara, said the situation at Town House had
normalised.
"The city of Harare would like to inform that all is well within the city's
administration and operations. All what has been coming (out) in the press
has been resolved. The city's main thrust now focuses on its turnaround
strategy and service delivery," the statement reads.
It adds: "The city is currently discussing with its key stakeholders on how
to revamp service delivery and focus on shelter, industrial development and
employment creation for its citizens."
During the meeting, prominent Harare business executive, Muchadeyi Masunda,
bemoaned the petty fights at Town House saying ratepayers were being
short-changed because of political games being played by some individuals.
"There is need to de-politicise civic issues. Let's go back to what local
governance is all about..The fight between Chideya and Mhende is
unacceptable," he said.
Chideya and the government-appointed strategist have been involved in a
dogfight for control of Town House, with Mhende saying The Town Clerk must
be investigated for favouring suspended waste management acting director,
Leslie Gwindi.
Local government minister Ignatius Chombo has declared that Chideya was
overally in charge at Town House.
Yesterday, the ministry's deputy secretary responsible for administration
and public relations, Musavaya Reza, said the commission had been directed
by the government to resolve the impasse urgently.
"The minister has said to both parties that the emphasis is on service
delivery. The issue of who is who, is a baby of the commission, but the Town
Clerk remains as such and the chief executive of the council. The commission
chairperson has advised the minister that they (commission) would discuss
the issue sometime next week and would look at all issues that have been
raised," he said.
Reza, who is also the Provincial Administrator (PA) for Metropolitan Harare,
insisted that the commission would best deal with issues involving Harare.
He did not indicate what action the government would take if the chaos
continued.


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Houses handed over in Marondera

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

From Our Correspondent in Marondera
issue date :2006-Feb-10

OVER 100 beneficiaries of Operation Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle at Emswood here
were officially handed over their partially-built houses on Wednesday by
Marondera East legislator Sydney Sekeremayi.
The defence minister said the rampant theft of building material on site had
prompted the government to deliver the houses to the 106 beneficiaries
before completion.
Although construction work on most of the houses was over, water and sewer
reticulation pipes were yet to be laid.
As a stop gap measure, Sekeremayi said Blair toilets must be built urgently
to avert a health crisis.
"We have agreed that beneficiaries occupy their houses while we urgently
complete the nitty-gritties. But, in the mean time, blair toilets have to be
constructed in-order to avert another cholera outbreak," said Sekeremayi.
  The MP also noted the need to quickly construct a shopping centre, clinic
and school in the suburb.
Given the economic challenges and the need for cash, Sekeremayi urged
beneficiaries not to be tempted to sell their houses.
"The mayor of Marondera has to come together with all other stakeholders to
find
ways to develop this area," he said.
"We don't want a situation where people abandon the area because it would
have lagged behind in development."
The government introduced Operation Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle as part of its
massive, decent and affordable house delivery programme across the country.
The exercise was also meant to rid cities and towns of crime and squalor.
Beneficiaries were drawn from people affected by last year's Operation
Restore Order/Murambatsvina and urban residents who had been on the housing
waiting lists for some time.


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State telecomm firms owe workers $850bn

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Golden Sibanda
issue date :2006-Feb-10

THREE state-owned telecomm companies-TelOne, NetOne and Zimpost - now owe
the 2 416 workers they dismissed about a year ago for embarking on a
collective job action an estimated $850 billion in salary arrears since
sending them packing.
For embarking in the job actions, deemed illegal by the three companies,
TelOne dismissed 1 524 workers, NetOne 53 and Zimpost 839.
Although the exact figures are still being worked on, the Communications and
Allied Workers Union (CASWUZ) acting secretary general Reward Musiwokuwaya,
told the Business Mirror that taking into account the balances owing as of
October last year, the 2005 last quarter increases and those for January
this year, the amount owing by the trio would be no less than $850 billion.
Musiwokuwaya said TelOne awarded its employees a 150 percent salary increase
last month, the same rate Zimpost awarded to its employees.
He said NetOne was still bargaining on what increment to give its workers,
but he added that he firmly believed the total amount owing would be in the
$850 billion region.
The amount owing to sacked Zimpost workers would be inclusive of the grand
total owing to the affected employees of the three companies only if the
determination of the Labour Court, before which the case currently is, comes
out in favour of the workers.
NetOne, TelOne and Zimpost have not been paying the dismissed workers since
sending them home for participating in the alleged illegal collective job
action and thus the accruing salaries.
NetOne and Zimpost used Statutory Instrument 130 instead of dealing with the
matter in terms of provisions of the Labour Act as provided for in the Post
and Telecommunications Companies' Code of Conduct.
Because NetOne sidestepped that technical requirement, it has found itself
on the losing end before an independent arbitrator, and both in the Labour
Court and High Court.
Its appeal against the lower courts' determinations is currently before the
Supreme Court.
The two companies should have used provisions of the Code of Conduct in
conjunction with those of the Labour Act as provided for in the former,
which is the first source of reference for directions on how to address
illegal collective job action by employees.Category 4 of the communications
sector's Code of Conduct reads: "instigating and or taking part in unlawful
job action to be dealt with in terms of the Labour Relations Act Chapter
(28:01)."
TelOne in turn applied only sections of the Code of Conduct and did not
follow that up with provisions of the Labour Act, Section 106 to 107, which
lay out the procedural channels it should have followed before getting
permission from the Ministry of Labour to sack the workers.
Dismissed TelOne workers challenged their employer before the High Court and
judgment came out in their favour but the fixed telecommunications operator,
though belatedly, as the time within it was allowed to do so had lapsed,
indicated that it wished to note its appeal before the Supreme Court.
When the two telecommunications companies lost the cases before the various
courts that have so far heard the labour disputes, the companies were told
to reinstate the employees without loss of salary or benefits.


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Maize seed, fertiliser shortage hits Matabeleland

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-10

DESPITE the current rains, crop farming is facing a major setback in
Matabeleland province due to the critical shortage of seed maize and
fertiliser.
While the cut off point for planting this farming season is almost over,
some farmers in Matabeleland were still looking for short-term seed
varieties of maize, soya beans and sorghum. Maize and fertiliser have been
in short supply since the onset of the planting season.
While seed companies claim that they have released enough seed on the market
for the 2005/2006 farming season, the supply of the commodity remains
erratic countrywide.
A critical shortage of foreign currency in the country has also resulted in
fertiliser companies producing quantities well below normal requirements of
farmers countrywide.


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New committee to supervise cities, towns

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-10

GOVERNMENT will soon create another committee made up of former local
authority employees to supervise the performance of municipalities in both
urban and rural areas.
The committee, once in place, expected to be led by former Bulawayo town
clerk, Mike Ndubiwa.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, Musavaya Reza, yesterday said the committee would be making
recommendations to the minister on the operations of the local authorities.
"The minister will soon announce a small team of retired local authorities
practitioners, which is going to re-look at all local authorities in both
urban and rural areas. The committee will then make recommendations to the
minister on improvement of service delivery," he
said.
Reza said government was concerned with re-vitalisation of local authorities
to improve service delivery with the minister of local government, Ignatius
Chombo, scheduled to travel to Masvingo next week to monitor the city's
operations.
Chombo has already visited Chinhoyi, Karoi and Kariba where he read the riot
act on authorities there to improve service delivery and reduce bickering
over petty issues.
Last month, the minister established eight committees to spearhead the
clean -up of the capital following a cholera outbreak.
Besides the latest committee, Chombo last month set other committees
countrywide comprising of district administrators, provincial administrators
and offices of governors, again to monitor local authorities operations.
Most councils in both urban and rural areas are facing viability problems
caused by shortages of funds they attribute to years of charging
sub-economic rates and tariffs, although some observers have raised concerns
of financial mismanagement.

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