The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Foreign investors put on hold Zimbabwe mining projects

Zim Online

Tue 14 February 2006

      HARARE - Foreign and local investors in Zimbabwe's troubled mining
industry have put on hold all exploration, expansion or Greenfields projects
because of uncertainty over proposed new legislation that could see mining
firms either losing control or huge portions of their investments, ZimOnline
has learnt.

      In a confidential document prepared for Mines Minister Amos Midzi,
Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines warned that investors could totally abandon the
country if the government went ahead and forced mining firms to surrender
stake to either the state or black Zimbabweans.

      The Harare administration is working on new legislation that will see
foreign-owned mining firms forced to cede significant portions of their
investments to historically disadvantaged persons (HDPs), a reference to
Zimbabwe's majority blacks long excluded from the rich mining sector by the
country's previous white rulers.

      It is not yet clear how much stake the government would want to see
transferred to blacks but President Robert Mugabe last year publicly
declared that he wanted to see foreign firms giving up 50 percent of
shareholding to blacks.

      The Chamber said perception among investors was that the government
wanted to expropriate stake in private mines much as it has seized
white-owned farms without paying for them for the simple reason that neither
the state nor black Zimbabweans had the resources to pay for 50 percent of
the country's mines, estimated to be worth more than US$20 billion.

      "With the value of the mining industry business at more than US$20
billion, it is also the perception that neither the government nor the HDPs
can raise this amount of money to purchase 50 percent shareholding in
existing mining companies," the Chamber said in the document dated January
20, 2006.

      The Chamber, regarded as the voice of mining in the country, added:
"It follows that if government is to meet this stated objective of
participating in every mining company in Zimbabwe, it can only do so through
expropriation, cession or legislated nationalisation.

      "With this perception, both potential foreign and local investors have
stopped committing both borrowed and equity funds towards exploration,
expansion or Greenfield projects for fear of losing both control of the
business and a big portion of their investment."

      It was not possible to immediately get comment on the matter from both
the Ministry of Mines and the Chamber.

      Zimbabwe boasts some of the world's biggest deposits of platinum,
chrome, palladium and significant reserves of gold and diamonds but has seen
its mining sector stagnate because of an economic recession that has stifled
progress in all sectors and also because of demands by Mugabe that he wants
foreign firms that operate the country's biggest mines to cede stake to

      Mugabe, whose farm seizures have plunged once food exporting Zimbabwe
into hunger, says he wants the firms to give part of their stake because no
one can have "absolute ownership" of the country's natural resources.

      Platinum giant Zimplats has because of the uncertainty about future
mining legislation put on hold a US$2 billion expansion project at its
platinum mines in the country.

      Zimplats, which last year produced 494 tonnes of platinum, is 86.9
percent owned by South Africa's Implats. Local investors are entitled to 15
percent of Zimplats under existing law but a consortium of black Zimbabwean
businessmen has struggled since 2004 to raise cash to pay for the stake.

      A flight of investors could deliver the knock-out punch to Zimbabwe's
mining industry, already weighed down by a plethora of viability problems
that have seen at least 13 mines closing down over the last six years.

      Mining last year earned US$626 million or about 44 percent of the
country's total hard cash earnings. - ZimOnline

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159 arrested in anti-Mugabe protests in Bulawayo

Zim Online

Tue 14 February 2006

      BULAWAYO - Police brandishing whips and some carrying guns broke up
demonstrations by women and students in Bulawayo city and arrested 159 of
the protesters who were marching across the city calling on President Robert
Mugabe to resign.

      The students from the National University of Science and Technology
and members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were by late last night
still being detained at Bulawayo central police station. A one-year old baby
taken along with its mother who was part of the demonstrators was also in
police cells.

      WOZA leader Jennifer Williams, who was among those arrested, told
ZimOnline that the protest was part of a Valentine message to Mugabe and his
ruling ZANU PF party to address Zimbabwe's fast-deteriorating economic
crisis and ensure availability of basic commodities.

      Williams said: "We were marching for bread and roses. We deserve roses
and the  dignity they stand for. Our message to the regime, Mugabe in
particular, is that he has failed and should just leave office. We are tired
of starvation."

      Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a severe economic recession described
by the World Bank as unseen in a country not at war. The economic crisis has
manifested itself in high inflation which according to figures released by
the government's Central Statistical Office yesterday shot up to 613.2
percent in January, up from the 585.5 percent recorded the previous month.

      In addition, the economic crisis has also spawned acute shortages of
food, fuel, electricity, bread, essential medical drugs and just about every
basic survival commodity.

      The women and student marchers, who numbered more than 500, were
carrying red roses and waving placards some of which read: "We are dying of
starvation and all we need is food on the table. Not cheap politics."

      Mugabe, blamed  by critics of ruining Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy,
routinely pleads innocent of the charge of wrecking the  economy and instead
blames Western countries he says are sabotaging the southern African
nation's economy to fix Harare for seizing white-owned land for
redistribution to landless blacks.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the arrest of the Bulawayo
protesters but said no charges had been laid against them yet because police
were still carrying out investigations.

      The police sometimes with the help of Zimbabwe army soldiers regularly
use force to break up demonstrations by opposition supporters and other
government opponents.

      Meanwhile, the police on Sunday night heavily assaulted informal
traders near Harare's Market Square bus termini. Baton wielding police
officers descended on the traders as they checked their goods after arriving
by bus from Botswana.

      One of the traders told ZimOnline: "It was hardly 15 minutes after we
had disembarked from the bus and we were checking our goods to see whether
everything had been offloaded from the bus when a police truck suddenly
appeared from around a corner.

      "The policemen jumped off the truck and just started beating us
without saying why they were beating us. We just had to run away."

      A police spokesman, Oliver Mandipaka, said that he was not aware of
the incident but said people were free to make formal complaints to police
authorities if they felt they were treated unfairly by members of the law
enforcement agency.

      "I am not aware that anybody was beaten up by the police. Anyone who
thinks he has been unfairly treated by the police should make a formal
complaint and we will look at that," Mandipaka said. - ZimOnline

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Judge unleashes veiled attack at Tsvangirai's poll petition

Zim Online

Tue 14 February 2006

MASVINGO - A top Zimbabwean judge has said it is not the duty of the
judiciary to spring anyone into political office, in what virtually amounts
to a rebuke against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who has petitioned
the courts to nullify President Robert Mugabe's 2002 re-election victory.

Tsvangirai, who lost by about 400 000 votes to Mugabe, wants the courts to
overturn the election result and order a fresh ballot, arguing that the
veteran President used violence and outright fraud to cheat him of victory.

But Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, a senior judge of Zimbabwe's High Court, said
politicians should not relocate political battles into the courts but should
go to the people to canvass their support in order to win or retain
political office.

"Let me warn those who want to use the courts to gain political power that
it is not the duty of the courts to spring anyone into power or to maintain
anyone in power," said Justice Bhunu on Monday marking the opening of the
High Court circuit in Masvingo.

He added: "Those wishing to do so should go to the people to garner support
because it is the people who can give them such power and not the courts".

The judge said Zimbabwe's courts had acted with professionalism and
independence in dealing with political disputes between Tsvangirai's
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF
party. He said those criticising the bench were doing so to demonise
Zimbabwe as punishment for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned land.

Zimbabwe's bench, reconstituted after Mugabe purged independent judges, has
been criticised by among others the African Commission on Human and People's
Rights for failure to defend the rights of ordinary citizens and political
opponents of the government.

The courts' failure to expeditiously resolve Tsvangirai's petition against
Mugabe's re-election three years ago as well as various other poll petitions
by the opposition has often been cited as an example of the bench's
unwillingness to rise up to its role as a neutral arbiter in cases seen as
politically sensitive.

The refusal of the courts to grant orders sought by human rights lawyers to
bar the government from evicting thousands of families during its
controversial urban clean-up campaign last year has also been mentioned as
proof that the bench would rather avoid confrontation with the Executive
than stand up for the rights of defenceless citizens.

Tsvangirai's petition is now before the Supreme Court, the highest court in
the country, after the opposition leader sought relief from the court saying
the High Court had inordinately delayed in finalising the matter three years
after it was lodged. - ZimOnline

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Inflation shoots to 613.2 percent

Zim Online

Mon 13 February 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's year-on-year inflation surged to 613.2 percent in
January, up from the 585.5 percent which was recorded the previous month,
according to figures released by the government's Central Statistical Office
(CSO) on Monday.

      The CSO said the new inflation figures were pushed up because of
rising housing, school and food costs. At 613.2 percent, Zimbabwe's
inflation remains one of the highest in the world.

      Zimbabwe, in its sixth year of a bitter economic recession blamed on
President Robert Mugabe's policies, has seen inflation spiraling out of

      Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono last year predicted that
inflation, described by Mugabe as Zimbabwe's "enemy number one," would soon
hit the 800 percent mark in March before it starts falling down.

      But independent economists fear inflation will continue to rise given
Harare's lethargy in addressing the six-year old crisis. - ZimOnline

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Fuel voucher system scrapped, queues form again at pumps

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

JOHANNESBURG, 13 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Long queues are once again forming
outside petrol stations in Zimbabwe as the government moves to scrap its
programme allowing people to buy fuel with foreign currency.

Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono told the official Sunday Mail that he had
cancelled, with immediate effect, the programme allowing motorists to
purchase fuel with foreign currency coupons at designated service stations.

Gono said members of the public were abusing the system and engaging in
speculative and parallel market activities.

"The foreign currency fuel coupons framework was introduced in August 2005
as a vehicle to mobilise free funds and increase the availability of fuel
for the motoring public as a contribution towards the turnaround of the
economy. However, though the facility performed well during its early days
of inception, some members of the public started to abuse the facility and
used it for speculative and parallel market activities, thus militating
against its main objective," Gono was quoted as saying.

Fuel coupons had to be redeemed at various foreign currency purchasing
centres to reimburse authorised dealers and coupon holders in local
currency. The central bank said the deadline for redeeming coupons was 28

Economist Dennis Nikisi told IRIN that the announcement would not affect
direct fuel imports by service stations, and Gono was "hoping to end
parallel market trade in fuel - the danger was that fuel was selling at a
premium on the black market, as people were engaging in arbitrage".

Motorists now had to pay for fuel in local currency, so there was "no
opportunity to sell it on the black market", and exploit differences between
official and parallel market rates for fuel and foreign currency.

"I've been in touch with a number of service stations myself, and the ban on
foreign currency coupons has not affected their ability to import fuel [as
it affects only consumers]," Nikisi said. "But what I have discovered is
queues again forming at petrol stations. This is simply because the
commodity is not available at several fuel stations."

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Cholera outbreak kills 5 more in Zimbabwe capital


February 13, 2006, 13:45

A cholera outbreak that has hit several parts of Zimbabwe has claimed five
more lives in the capital Harare, taking the death toll countrywide to
almost 30, the official Herald newspaper said today.

Zimbabwe has suffered periodic outbreaks of cholera and other diseases in
the last few years, straining a health system struggling amid a severe
economic crisis many blame on President Robert Mugabe's government. The
Herald said a new cholera outbreak in Harare's Epworth township had killed
five and left 20 others ill. It said health authorities had set up a
treatment camp in the township.

Cholera killed three people in another Harare township last month, and state
media reports indicate the disease has killed over two dozen others in the
rural districts of Buhera, Chikomba, Chivhu, Gokwe and in the midlands city
of Kwekwe. Health officials were not immediately available for comment.

Analysts say the outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe's cities is particularly
worrying as urban centres are grappling with broken-down sewer systems,
water cuts and failure by municipal authorities to collect refuse from
residential areas due to chronic shortages of fuel. - Reuters

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The Role Of CIO, Mbeki In MDC Infighting Exposed - Part 1

Zim Daily

            Monday, February 13 2006 @ 12:45 AM GMT
            Contributed by: Zimdaily

            The bitter infighting that has been going on within the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) since the fateful meeting on October 12 last
year has spawned any number of conspiracy theories. On the one side Gibson
Sibanda, vice president of the MDC and Professor Welshman Ncube,
secretary-general, stand accused of secretly conniving with South African
President Thabo Mbeki to undermine MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, needless
to say to their own political and material advantage.

            On the other side Morgan Tsvangirai has been accused of
colluding with ZANU PF in a plot executed by former army general Solomon
Mujuru, whereby Tsvangirai betrayed his party by pulling it out of the
senate elections in exchange for certain undisclosed "political rewards".
Conspiracy theories abound; these are only two of the many that circulate.
As they move along the gossip chain they are inevitably elaborated and the
details become more picturesque. Sadly it seems that all too many
Zimbabweans feel bound to accept one or another of the prevailing theories -
depending on where their political sympathies happen to lie - without
beginning to engage their own critical faculties.

            The view we put forward here is that both sides in the intense
leadership struggle are thereby playing right into the hands of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) which not only benefits from the resulting
division and confusion but actually planned it that way. And the meticulous
planning began many years ago.

            Zimbabweans should never forget that for the past quarter
century one of the foremost functions of the CIO, which operates as the
intelligence and security arm of ZANU PF, has been to undermine and destroy
any credible opposition offering even the slightest threat to the party's
hold on power. Moreover they have always assumed the right - which the
Mugabe-led government has never challenged - to achieve this objective by
whatever means are deemed necessary, including unlawful and extreme
violence. Consider for example the chilling words of Emmerson Mnangagwa,
then Minister of State Security and responsible for the CIO in March 1983, a
matter of weeks after the deployment of the infamous 5 Brigade in
Matabeleland North.

            He told a rally at the Victoria Falls that the government was
considering as one option the burning down of "all villages infested with
dissidents". The dissidents were, in his words, "*censored*roaches" and 5
Brigade was the "DDT" brought in to eradicate them. A few weeks later in a
parody of the Scriptures he said: "Blessed are they who will follow the path
of the Government laws, for their days on earth shall be increased. But woe
to those who will chose the path of collaboration with dissidents for we
will certainly shorten their stay on earth". Mnangagwa was speaking as the
Gukurahundi reign of terror was just getting under way - an act of genocide
that was to claim the lives of between 20,000 and 30,000 victims in
Matabeleland and the Midlands.

            The ostensible aim of Gukurahundi was to deal with a dissident
problem in Matabeleland and for this purpose Mugabe assembled a massive
force, including the notorious 5 Brigade, thought to number between 2,500
and 3,500 combat troops. But the threat posed by dissident activity was far
smaller than the government contended. According to the 1997 report of the
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and Legal Resources Foundation,
entitled "Breaking the Silence: Building True Peace" at the peak of
dissident activity their numbers did not exceed 400. In short Mugabe was
taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut. The wider purpose of the exercise
however, which soon became apparent, was to eliminate ZAPU as a party with a
significant power base beyond the control of ZANU PF with the aim of
establishing a de facto one party state. Hence the deliberate blurring of
the distinction between the dissidents and "collaborators" - their supposed
ZAPU supporters - and the use of equal violence against both.

            In the ensuing reign of terror the CIO worked hand-in-hand with
5 Brigade. Mugabe's intelligence network played a major role for example in
the enforcement of the food embargo in Matabeleland South in 1984, in
rounding up thousands for interrogation at army camps such as Bhalagwe, and
in the associated acts of torture and brutality best chronicled in the
report "Breaking the Silence".

            When considering the pivotal role of the CIO in keeping Mugabe
in power for over 25 years we do not need to resort to speculation or
conspiracy theories of our own. Rather can we rely on the facts which
largely speak for themselves. It is well known that during the liberation
war Robert Mugabe and those close to him forged strong links with a number
of authoritarian regimes, including China, North Korea and Romania. ZANLA
cadres were sent to China for military training. (At the same time the ZAPU
leadership under Joshua Nkomo was cultivating links with the Soviet Union,
where for example Dumiso Dabengwa received training under the KGB and the
East German Stazi) The significance of Mugabe's close relationship with the
political leadership of countries which were in effect under one-party,
militaristic rule should never be under-estimated. Not only was he exposed
to the rhetoric of communist ideology; he was also provided with a unique
opportunity to study closely how authoritarian regimes maintained their hold
on power. He and those who later rose to the top leadership of ZANU PF - and
particularly those who were to assume political control of the CIO - were
able to understudy the masters of state repression and learn from them some
valuable lessons on dealing with any popular opposition.

            Evidence that Mugabe was a good student of authoritarian rule
was provided as early as 1977 when he used his dominance of the ZANU faction
in Mozambique to introduce a programme of "political re-education" for those
colleagues who were suspected of having any leanings towards unorthodox
ideologies or harbouring any personal ambitions which threatened the
established leadership. Those who were forced to undergo this form of
indoctrination included none other than Augustine Chihuri, now Mugabe's
trusted Commissioner of Police and the journalist Justin Nyoka who was later
to take on the role of his information chief. The experience was evidently
traumatic. None of those who underwent the re-education programme would ever
talk it about it subsequently. (In passing we note the similarity of purpose
between this programme and the re-education of the country's youth under the
youth militia programme some 25 years later).

            It was significant also that within six months of independence
Mugabe led a delegation of ministers to North Korea. Accompanied by Joyce
Mujuru and education minister Mutumbuka, Mugabe returned to his old mentors
to sign a pact of friendship. At the same time (though Zimbabweans were only
to learn of it much later) he entered into an agreement for a team of North
Korean instructors to train a new military force which would be independent
of the normal command structures and answerable only to Mugabe - what was to
become the infamous 5 Brigade. The mandate of the new brigade was to quell
internal dissent, a euphemism for crushing any political opposition.

            When General Halle Miriam Menghistu, who had imposed a brutal
form of dictatorship on Ethiopia and been directly responsible for starving
many of his citizens to death, needed a place of asylum to escape justice in
his own country Mugabe was quick to provide it. What is less well known is
that he arranged for Menghistu to become a consultant to the CIO. No doubt
the former dictator found the income useful and the CIO could benefit from
his wide experience in suppressing dissent.

            This article is in three parts. Part 2 will feature in our
tomorrow's edition

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How colliding cultures cause water shortages

Innovations Research

            Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council) 13.02.2006

      Rainmakers and civil servants, specialists and farmers understand
water policies in markedly different ways. This is why international policy
instruments for managing water resources do not succeed, and the consequence
is water shortage. This is shown in a dissertation in political science from
Göteborg University in Sweden.

      Every year five million people die because of the lack of clean water.
This is not because we lack the knowledge to manage water or even because
there is not enough water, but because of how we regulate and organize water
resources. Therefore, international experts have developed a coordinated
policy for water management, combining ecological, market, and democratic
principles. More and more countries and international organizations are
subscribing to this so-called 'Integrated Water Resource Management,'

      Is IWRM thus the solution to the extensive misuse of water?

      Political scientist Patrik Stålgren's dissertation examines what
happened with IWRM when the policy was implemented in Zimbabwe. He points
out how various water users have different conceptions of water. They
inhabit different worlds of water.

      "If various players have different interpretations of IWRM, their
cooperation is hampered. For an international policy instrument like IWRM to
be able to support national decisions, we must first understand how it is
interpreted by national and local water users," says Patrik Stålgren.

      When IWRM is implemented, it is reinterpreted by water users from the
perspective of their respective water worlds. IWRM will therefore mean
different things to different players. Patrik Stålgren develops an
analytical model for understanding how these reinterpretations occur and how
this impacts the outcome of IWRM. The model is based on international
political theory and is elaborated with the help of number of interviews
from Zimbabwe, one of the first countries in the world to reform its water
policy in keeping with IWRM. Today the policy is advocated by the UN, and
all international assistance donors use IWRM as a basis for supporting water
management in developing countries.

      Stålgren's analysis shows that there are four worlds of water in
Zimbabwe. Each one interprets IWRM differently. "Water as Zimbabwe" is
embraced by the government and is based on a striving to build a unified
nation-state, but at the same time it includes powerful racial categories
that fuel the interpretation of IWRM. "Water as Gold" characterizes the
commercial farmers' reinterpretation, based on a historical notion of how
the white man brought the fruits of civilization to the black Africans.

      The third perspective, "Water as Science," is typical of the engineers
that administrate water in Zimbabwe. Patrik Stålgren shows how IWRM caused a
series of conflicts among various groups of engineers, which led to this

      He interviewed several so-called 'rainmakers' and spiritual mediums
about their views on IWRM. Their world, "Water as a Gift from the Gods," is
based on the idea that the spirits of their ancestors govern the
distribution of water. They reinterpret IWRM so as not to let it threaten
their world view and social positions.

      "If rainmakers, civil servants, and international assistance workers
understood each other's world views better, then water management would
function better. We have to factor this into Swedish and international
assistance policies if we are to be in a position to help save those who are
dying today because of a lack of water," concludes Patrik Stålgren.

      Title of dissertation: Worlds of Water: Worlds Apart

            More information:

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Govt takes over all irrigation equipment

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-13

THE government has mandated the Ministry of State responsible for Water
Resources and Infrastructural Development to take over all irrigation
equipment on newly resettled farms, The Daily Mirror has learnt.
Minister Munacho Mutezo did not elaborate on the dynamics involved in doing
that, but he confirmed that the exercise was underway.
"Yes, we have embarked on the programme, but talk to me a few weeks down the
line and I will advise you of the progress on the ground," he said.
The development comes in the wake of disputes on farms where farmers are
reportedly fighting over irrigation equipment left by commercial farmers
after their properties were specified for resettlement.
Some farmers have not been fully utilising the irrigation facilities, as
they are small-scale, while thieves have also wreaked havoc, causing reduced
production on farms.
Eben Makonese, chief executive of fertiliser giant, Chemplex, recently
called for the rehabilitation and expansion of the country's irrigation
networks to enhance improved agricultural production.
He said: "Rehabilitation and expansion of the country's irrigation network
is required. This will reduce risks brought about due to droughts.
Rehabilitation and extension of the irrigation infrastructure will also help
restore and increase hectarage of winter wheat and barley."
The government has stressed that all equipment on farms is state property.
The issue of irrigation equipment and other farming implements that existed
on farms taken over by the government during the accelerated land
redistribution programme that commenced in 2000 have been a source of
A significant number of the affected white farmers insisted that the
equipment was theirs and they should be entitled to dispose of them the way
they liked.
Some of them are reported to have managed to smuggle the equipment out of
the country, while others sold them off through auctions.
The government has always wanted the equipment to remain on the farms in
order to avert decline in production on the farms. Irrigation is considered
vital to agrarian reform, particularly in the wake of successive droughts
that have drastically reduced food production in the country.
Some unscrupulous new farmers, in addition to the thieves, have also
vandalised the implements and even taken it upon themselves to sell it for
personal gain.
The equipment has also caused acrimony among farmers settled adjacent to
each other, due to misunderstandings over who should be in control of
it.There have been outcries that powerful people muscled their way onto
farms that enjoyed good infrastructure, at the expense of those who would
have been given offer letters to settle on those properties.

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Should the diaspora vote?

Votes being counted
As Uganda prepares to go to the polls, should its expats have the right to vote?

So far almost a dozen African countries including Burkina Faso, Mali and South Africa allow their citizens living abroad to cast their votes. And Ghana and Morocco are in the process of giving their expats the same rights.

But in 2000, Zimbabwe stripped its nationals living abroad of their right to vote.

With millions of Africans living outside the continent, should more countries give their expats the vote? Or when you leave your country, do you also leave behind your right to have a say in how the country is run? What impact would the diaspora have in your country's politics?

Send us your views and experiences using the form on the right. Or you can send us an SMS text message to +44 77 86 20 20 08. If you would like to take part in the Africa Have Your Say radio programme on Wednesday 15 February at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Your comments:

As a Ugandan I feel cheated that I won't be going to the polls on February 23
Grace Okeng

Working and living abroad does not strip one of their citizenship and the right to participate in national governance. In any case Africans living abroad remit a lot of money back to their countries to support their economies. It is therefore unreasonable to deny them the right to decide who should be entrusted with the governance of their countries. As a Ugandan I feel cheated that I won't be going to the polls on February 23.
Grace Okeng

Definitely, expats can vote wherever they live even though they do not reside in their countries of origin. According to a reliable source from the government of Sudan, many southern Sudanese who fled the civil war many years ago, would have a chance to cast their votes during a referendum in 2011. By that time the southern Sudanese will determine their future whether the country will remain one nation or two. Contributions in whatever way have huge impacts in the countries of origin.
Peter Tuach, Minnesota, USA

Most people living in diaspora do not understand fully what's on ground in their countries hence giving them a right to vote might not be a good idea. The man on the ground should call all the shots!
Joel Chiutsi

They should satisfy their consciences by participating, whether their votes count or not
Pascal Maduekwe, UK

Africans living outside the continent should be allowed to participate in the electioneering process. Because home is home, it is their right, and most of them intend to return to Africa. However, some people would argue that it's needless for Africans in diaspora to cast their votes, since their votes will not count, considering the degree of electoral malpractices in most parts of the continent. My personal opinion is that they should satisfy their consciences by participating, whether their votes count or not.
Pascal Maduekwe, Nigerian in Bournemouth,UK

I do not know the position in other African countries, but I would say a definite no in Nigeria. First of all, elections in Nigeria are usually massively rigged so that the outcome do not reflect the true expression of the people's will. Secondly, due to a dearth of reliable statistics, nobody knows exactly how many Nigerians are out there in diaspora. If only we are able to organize a fair poll in Nigeria, I believe the verdict of Nigerians living in the country would be a fair reflection of the wishes of the electorate, including those living outside.
Abdulai Musa, Nigeria

The right of a citizen to vote is inalienable - whether the person is in the country or not. To interfere with that right is an unjustifiable breach of a person's Fundamental freedoms.

Joyce, the right to vote does not depend on whether one is rich or poor; it depends on citizenship. And all citizens have equal rights - check the constitution.

Absolutely not. They have abandoned us to live in the lap of luxury in the West while we must starve at home.
Joyce, South Africa

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U.N. hypocrisy on human rights

Washington Times

By Nat Hentoff
February 13, 2006

    Pakistan's Mukhtar Mai became an inspiration to human rights defenders
throughout the world when -- after being publicly gang-raped by order of a
village council for an alleged act by her brother, which she was not
involved -- she bravely defied the council and got a higher court to
overturn the verdict. On Jan. 20, she was scheduled to be interviewed at the
United Nations, but, as the New York Times reported, the United Nations
canceled her appearance.
    At the U.N. television studios, she was to appear in "An Interview with
Mukhtar Mai, The Bravest Woman on Earth." But Pakistan protested because
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz would be at the United Nations that very day,
and accordingly, the U.N. officials didn't want to embarrass this dignitary.
Said U.N. undersecretary-general for communications, Shashi Tharoor: "We are
obliged to take into account the views formally expressed by member states."
But it was only after news accounts of what happened that
Secretary-GeneralKofi Annan, very embarrassed, offered to reschedule Mai, to
be cosponsored by Pakistan.
    Then, recently, for only the second time in U.N. history, a movie,
"Che," glorifying the ruthless presiding executioner in Castro's Cabana
prison from 1957 to 1959 was permitted to be filmed in the U.N.'s General
Assembly, with Mr. Annan's authorization.
    While he was commander of that notorious Havana prison, Che Guevara
ordered and often personally executed (according to the Free Society
Project's Truth Recovery Archive) more than 200 Cubans. As the archival
project's director, Maria Werlau, said to the Jan. 30 New York Sun, "Che
stood for the opposite of what the U.N. charter upholds." The glowing
promises of the U.N. charter, however, have often been betrayed. Steadily
increasing numbers of black Africans in Darfur, for example, have been
murdered, gang-raped and torn from their villages by the government of
Sudan, while the veto power of China on the SecurityCouncil, where this
celebration of Guevara was filmed, precludes any meaningful intervention by
the United Nations.
    Not only the United Nations honored the murderous Che Guevara. In the
Dec. 25 New York Sun, William Meyers reported on the continuing exhibition
at the International Center of Photography in New York of "Che! Revolution
and Commerce."The wall text speaks reverently of the "classical, even
Christ-likedemeanor"ofthis"youngand charismatic idealist who gave up the
security of his middle-class world for his convictions."
    The one time I met Guevara,atthe Cuban mission to the United Nations, he
expressed one of his convictions. Guevara professed not to understand
English. So, looking at him and his interpreter, I asked this idealist: "Can
you conceive however far into the future a time when there will be free
elections in Cuba?" Not waiting for his interpreter, Guevara broke into
laughter at my naively ignorant question. He made it clear that I had no
understanding of a true people's revolution, firmly guided by Maximum Leader
    While being hospitable to the further mythicizing of Guevara in a movie
though initially turning away Mai, "The Bravest Woman on Earth," the United
Nations continues to undermine its potential to live up to its charter by
its failure so far to change the repellent composition of its ludicrously
named Human Rights Commission.
    To his credit, Mr. Annan is trying to get the support of enough U.N.
members to create a smaller human rights commission,whichthe
world'smostbarbarous human-rights abusers would not to be qualified to join.
But, as a Jan. 20 Washington Post editorial, "Impasse on Human Rights,"
points out, among the so-far effective resisters to this vital change are
Egypt and Pakistan, along with "several Caribbean countries." Unless Mr.
Annan's changes go through, when this grotesque parody of a human rights
commission meets again in Geneva next month, its decisions will still be
made by such chronic crushers of human rights as Sudan, Cuba, China, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Russia and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
    In its newly published World Report 2006, Human Rights Watch ends its
grim report on Zimbabwe with this telling paragraph: "Western governments,
in particular the United Kingdom and United States, have failed to convince
other (African) influential governments (especially those in the South) to
take a stronger stand on Zimbabwe...China, Russia and other African
countries state that Zimbabwe does not warrant discussions at the Security
Council because they claim it is not a threat to international peace or
    Zimbabwe is only a monstrous daily threat to its own people, but the
United Nations is indifferent to the brutally repressed people of Zimbabwe.

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If You Can't Have Bread, At Least Have a Circus

TCS daily

By Peter F. Schaefer :

Recently the front page of the Washington Post had a headline which said:
"The Realities of Exporting Democracy, A Year after Bush Recast His Foreign
Policy, Progress Remains Mixed."
A week later in his State of the Union speech, the President said:
"So the US supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East.
Elections are vital, but they are only the beginning. Raising up a democracy
requires the rule of law, and protection of minorities, and strong,
accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote."
Mr. Bush obviously understands the essential elements of a real democracy,
so our problem must be in the execution -- because Muslim terrorists have
just been elected in Palestine in a landslide. As a result alarmists all
over the world are intoning that democracy has failed. But democracy didn't
fail in Palestine. As with capitalism in Latin America, real democracy
wasn't tried. Our models failed, our analyses failed, and our assistance
programs failed. But democracy didn't fail.
Recent "elections" in the Middle East have given us a mullah who is truly
mad, an autocrat getting another term (his fifth or sixth, but who's
counting?) and, sadly, in Iraq another government where the Shi'ite clerics
will hold the real power.
But our disquiet should not send us back down the road to paternalism or
pragmatism -- especially since those tendencies are what got us in trouble
in the first place. In October 2003, Newsweek's cover article said:
"[T]he main source of rising unemployment and stagnant economies in the Arab chronic illiquidity.a lack of modern . financial tools to lure cash
out of burgeoning black markets. . . The challenge today is how to
revitalize those dormant financial systems and harness the Arab world's huge
reservoir of unreported capital."
Today's political problems in the Middle East have their root in economics.
Removing these twin roadblocks is a huge challenge.
Should we then return to realpolitik and the notion that nations have
interests, not friends? Or should we just let Mr. Carter carry on counting
votes and hope things will sort themselves out in time? Unfortunately,
voting alone can lead to what Fareed Zakaria calls an "illiberal
democracy" - one that fetishizes voting without ensuring true
Mr. Bush must insist that his vision of true democracy be reflected in our
aid programs, because having the right idea is not enough. Our strategies to
help poor countries become democratic and capitalist have not yet been
translated into effective programs. We know this because our tactics have
not produced many stable, liberal democracies or capitalist market
Any complex process -- promoting democracy or economic growth for
instance -- tends to be chopped up into discrete parts for purposes of
management. What then happens is that experts in, say, the process of voting
tend to work independently of experts in political party building. Even if
someone has the big picture, no one can implement it. So even on a strategic
level, vital political and economic components are stove-piped into their
distinct bureaucracies.
To draw these parts back together in our planning and implementation, we
need to return to first principles. The purpose of government, according to
Locke and the Founders, is to "protect life, liberty and property." In fact
Locke says, "The great chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into
commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation
of their property." A century later Alexander Hamilton said, "The
preservation of property is the primary object of the social compact." The
rule of law is the foundation for all modern political economies and
essential to the protection of even the most basic rights.
In poor countries the people have already saved trillions of dollars. But
they keep every penny of it frozen in property, mainly their homes and
businesses. Now, even the World Bank acknowledges the fundamental nature of
defending property through law -- because, if there is no supporting web of
property and contract laws, titles are meaningless. And if there is no
meaningful connection between the people and their elected leaders, a modern
nation cannot emerge because elected officials, no matter how
well-intentioned, cannot touch the lives of the overwhelming majority of the
poor without good law. By itself, voting just ends up swapping one crooked
autocrat for another.
This undertaking is crucial to our long-term survival since the so-called
"South" has nearly five billion poor people none of whom lives in capitalist
democracies. So they are unlikely ever to develop. The history of the last
half century of Western "help" is not comforting. There isn't enough money
in the West to buy economic development, nor can elections alone sustain a
democracy. The North has transferred over $2 trillion dollars to the South
and none of the countries at the end of the aid spigot have developed
democratic capitalism.
It is true that a few have progressed a bit, but most countries in Africa,
for example, have actually experienced declining living standards since
independence. A recent UN FAO report says that there are more deaths in
Africa from malnutrition now than in the 1990s and one need go no further
than looking at elected President Mugabe in Zimbabwe to see why.
If we measure success by equating democracy with voting, and prosperity with
money, the logic of our actions compels us to arrange elections and to give
poor people those things which mark a modern society; roads and bridges,
schools and clinics. But a modern society is not simply the GDP -- it is the
institutions of capitalism and democracy. And only good laws can create
these institutions. If we want to poor countries to modernize, we have to
help them establish the underlying legal structures of modernity.
Of course electoral commissions, safe polling places and other election
machinery are critical, but for a true democracy to be "raised up" such
isn't nearly enough. What one votes for must be connected to the person's
daily life. For aid officials worried about "optics," good legal systems are
less visible than the things associated with modernity. Officials can cut a
ribbon at a clinic, for example. Elections are normally quite dramatic. Both
make good press (especially when President Carter flies in to bless the
outcome, as he did in Palestine). But most voters don't care. If voting were
all that mattered, Haiti would be a thriving democracy not the hemisphere's
perennial basket-case.
This is not to suggest that democracy be put on hold while the country
becomes prosperous. Capitalism and democracy can run in parallel. But timing
matters. One cannot rush democracy and slow-walk economic reform. Since
electoral politics tends to be a game of preserving the status quo, it is
important to establish the basic legal and economic system before the
political system solidifies. I would even argue, reluctantly, that in Iraq
had we rushed real, meaningful economic reforms based on law, and then
slow-walked democracy, the country would be a calmer place that was well on
the road to real nationhood. People with jobs don't become insurgents, and
people with homes and businesses -- protected by government -- don't turn
around and attack those self-same interests. A direct connection between
voting and economic security, should result in representatives with a
mandate to protect individuals' interests, not to provide handouts or
accrete power around a faction.
Last summer the Washington Post ran a piece explaining that the current
problems of the political leadership in the Philippines were not important
to the lives of the poor. But in fact, the entire political process has
never been of much concern to poor Filipinos. This is so because a large
majority of them don't live or work under the rule of law and so political
leaders have no legitimate means to connect to them. The country is, quite
literally, ungovernable.
If a poor person in Manila wanted his neighbor's house and killed him to get
it, he would face jail because most countries -- democracies and
dictatorships -- do a pretty good job of keeping the streets safe. But if he
just threw his neighbor out on the street, there is really little that the
law could do because most poor Filipinos have no title that proves to
authorities that the house is theirs. So many of them hold their property
and businesses informally. Thus Filipinos have few options for justice.
After former grade-B actor Josef Estrada was elected president in 1998, the
international press was shocked. "Why," they all asked, "would Filipinos
elect a crooked, drunken, philandering buffoon as president?" But the honest
answer was, "Why not?" If you can't have bread, at least have a circus. The
sad truth is that Philippine presidents can do little but entertain, so in
1998 they elected an entertainer. Elections in the Philippines are little
more than a chance for poor people to sell their vote for a few bucks.
But when the law protects a person's home and his life, the political
equation changes dramatically. Then, those who make and administer the law
directly affect the lives of the poorest voters. Elections will actually
matter to the people. Only at that point will they tend to select leaders
rather than entertainers. Economic opportunity fertilizes the growth of a
civil society, which is the only real support for an electoral democracy.
Votes alone are bricks along the Yellow Brick Road. Behind the curtain of
electoral democracy, we'll find no wizards, only men.
Peter Schaefer was a senior official at the U.S. Agency for International
Development during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

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Zimbabwe to open new coal mine to deal with power shortage

People's Daily

      Hwange Colliery Company Limited ( HCCL), the Zimbabwe's sole coal
producer, will before the end of this month open a 50-million-U.S.-dollar
opencast mine as part of its response to the anticipated power deficit that
will affect Southern Africa next year.

      HCCL managing director Godfrey Dzinomwa was quoted by the Sunday Mail
as saying that HCCL has taken the lead to help power utility Zesa Holdings
secure power requirements ahead of the 2007 regional deficit, ushering in a
ray of hope in energy self- sufficiency.

      Dzinomwa said the new mine will see the coal-mining giant increase its
production output by at least 30 percent before the end of the year.

      He said the first phase of the capital-intensive project would include
the deploying of some of the company's mining machinery and the hiring of
more equipment from earthmoving companies to complement its equipment,
including the resumption of operations.

      The first phase of the project will also see the new mine produce an
initial output of about 50,000 tons a month.

      The second phase of the project will be implemented between May and
June, the HCCL boss said, adding that this would include the purchase and
delivery of loading, haulage and drilling machinery, thus raising production
output to anything between 100,000 tons and 120,000 tons monthly.

      "Much ground work has already started towards the opening of the new
opencast mine and our initial output target is at 50,000 tons a month," he

      "This development marks our first response to the anticipated power
deficit that will hit the region as we also want to be self- sustainable in
terms of power generation as a country," explained Dzinomwa.

      Dzinomwa added that the quality of coal from the new mine has a high
grade of phosphate and sulfur content, making it of exceptional quality.

      He said, however, to produce coke, the coal from the opencast mine
will be mixed with that from the underground mine.

      The HCCL operates an underground and opencast mine that produces five
million tons of coal annually, with the present opencast mine constituting
85 percent of production output.

      The company is aiming at increasing its coal production output by
50,000 tons, up from 400,000 tons, to 450,000 tons by March this year.

      Source: Xinhua

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People Turn to Faith Healing

The Herald (Harare)

February 13, 2006
Posted to the web February 13, 2006


AS the costs of conventional medicine continue escalating beyond the reach
of many, more patients are turning to faith healing to beat the crunch.

Surveys conducted by The Herald this week revealed that many people now
first seek the services of faith healers and traditional medicine and only
consult conventional doctors or clinics when they have no other option.

Unlike in past years when one would seek medical attention for common
ailments like headaches, only serious conditions are taken to the doctors

People interviewed by The Herald said they now took ailments like headaches,
stomachaches, pregnancy check-ups and chronic conditions to traditional and
faith healers where the services were mostly free.

The decision to go to the clinics, hospitals or doctors is only taken when
one feels that faith healing and traditional medicine have failed.

Mr Patrick Matuka of Glen Norah said he was asthmatic but had not visited a
medical doctor for the past two years.

"Instead, I consult faith healers and get prayed for.

"Sometimes when I feel congested and experience breathing difficulties, I
just make a quick trip to my faith healer and I will feel better thereafter.

"Some people used to scoff but now they understand that besides dealing
effectively with spiritual problems, faith healers are very competent at
curing ailments and they do it for free, all you have to do is believe it
works," he said.

Mrs Angeline Mamvura of Highfield, who had suffered from persistent chest
problems for three years, echoed these sentiments saying she was cured after
visiting a local faith healer.

Except for the occasional "thank you" gift, she had never paid the faith
healer for the services.

Madzibaba Henry of the Johane Masowe sect said prophets within his sect were
able to assist people with ailments.

"Just like a doctor can prescribe that one take an antibiotic, we prescribe
the injection of the Holy Spirit to heal.

We can even advice one to drink lemons or honey and water, after praying for
them and they will be healed.

"The healing that we administer is a healing we ask for from God and while I
am not going to boast, we have seen miraculous recoveries taking place," he

Another faith healer Madzimai Spiwe, who operates from Glen View, said by
consulting faith healers, people could be advised in advance of an impending
illness and get relevant remedies.

"Just like a check-up where a doctor can find that there is something wrong
with one's chest, we can do the same through faith and vision and therefore
ask for guidance from the one above, over the best course of action," she

Madzimai Spiwe attends to people from as far away as Bulawayo who bring
their sick relatives to her.

Last week, several latest cars were parked at her residence while more could
be seen arriving and she said the majority were sick while some were coming
because of social problems.

It costs as much as $1 million and $1,5 million to consult a medical
practitioner these days.

After one is given a prescription for drugs they can expect to spend at
least $4 million, which for most people is astronomical.

The problem is even worse for people who suffer from chronic illnesses like
asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, as they need constant medical
attention and drug supplies.

A simple cough mixture now costs more than $300 000 while some antibiotics
can sell for over $1 million.

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Corruption and lack of resources plague Operation Garikai in Gwanda

      By Tererai Karimakwenda
      13 February 2006

      After the government demolished homes and businesses in the so-called
"cleanup" Operation Murambatsvina in 2005, promises were made to provide
housing for the nearly one million families that had been left homeless.
Critics questioned the practicality of embarking on such a programme, when
resources were already scarce and the country was struggling to acquire
basic commodities such as food and fuel. But as usual, government ignored
advice from experts and other stakeholders, and began making plans to build
houses around the country. But now this housing scheme, known as Operation
Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, is reported to have stalled. A lack of funds and
resources have foiled the construction phase, and corruption in the
selection of beneficiaries has been reported countrywide.

      Journalist Warren Moroka travelled to Gwanda this week and visited the
sites where construction of houses for the demolition victims is supposed to
be taking place. Moroka said there was no activity in progress and most of
the houses there are not complete. Some structures have no doors or roofing
and there is no electricity, water or a reticulation system. In short,
Moroka said the houses are inhabitable. As for the selection of
beneficiaries, Moroka said there are allegations that civil servants, police
and military personnel, and relatives of government officials were being
given houses under Garikai. In Gwanda, MP Abednigo Ncube's 2 children are
alleged to have received houses, and it is believed the intended recipients
are largely still living in squatter camps without running water or

      Moroka said this is the same problem plaguing Garikai in Beitbridge.
Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohade, who represents Beitbridge in parliament,
even called for the total revision of the selection process, arguing that it
was mired in corruption. Moroka visited the mayor of Gwanda on Monday, and
reports that the mayor also agrees there needs to be a change in the way
beneficiaries are chosen. As for construction, Moroka said it will take 15
billion Zimbabwe dollars to build a sewage system, and 12 billion Zimbabwe
dollars for the water and reticulation system. Doctors have expressed
concern that water borne diseases like cholera and dysentery will continue
to take lives and spread if clean water and sewage are not made a priority
by government. No plan to resolve this problem has been revealed by
officials, and residents' organisations have not been consulted.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Indigenous firms breaking the law

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Oswelled Ureke
issue date :2006-Feb-13

MANY indigenous businesses continue to flout the law by operating outside
the legal provisions governing their existence - a situation which abets
graft and makes it very difficult to stamp out corruption.
Despite a clean-up exercise last year that targeted unlicensed and
unregistered businesses in Harare's central business district (CBD), many
companies have continued with underground operations.
A survey by this newspaper showed that a number of bottle stores in the
downtown Kopje area, in residential suburbs and shopping centres such as
Chikwanha business centre in Chitungwiza were operating as bars and
nightclubs yet they were only licensed to sell liquor.
On many occasions the police raid such areas, only the patrons are arrested
and the business owners are let off the hook, with some residents claiming
that the local police are bribed through beer and money to turn a blind eye.
Investigations by this newspaper revealed that there were some companies
registered for specific lines of business but were diverged into other
trades, while in some cases companies operated on expired licences. The
Daily Mirror also discovered that a number of fast food outlets in the city
centre did not meet basic health standards yet continued operating. In one
such place, a toilet directly connects with the main dining area.
There is also a proliferation of businesses that specialise in compact disc
(CD) writing, flouting copyright laws which prohibit the external
reproduction of recorded works.
Sources revealed that in the Midlands province, panners sold gold to some
licensed companies who instead of remitting it to the RBZ through Fidelity
Printers sell the precious mineral in neighbouring countries such as
Botswana and South Africa.
There have also been revelations that some companies are paying their
employees way below the gazetted $6 million monthly wage, with some commuter
transport operators reportedly paying their workers as little as $4.5
This is in spite of the fact that the proprietors will be pocketing huge
profits in some cases. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe recently revealed
that an average family requires $21 million to scrap through the month, even
though observers say that figure is too low.
A number of nightclub, shop and hair salon workers interviewed at shopping
centres in Warren Park I, Kambuzuma and Glen View 3 over the weekend charged
that their bosses were in the habit of fabricating allegations of theft and
firing them at month end just in order to avoid paying employees.
Female workers said they were being forced to have sex with the bosses in
order to get jobs or continue in employment. In some of the cases, they are
forced to work long hours but are not given overtime payment.
At Glen Norah B shopping centre, one female nightclub employee said she
worked on all days of the week and had gone for eight months without a
break, yet she was getting only $3 million per month.
Harare police spokesperson Inspector Loveless Rupere said business people
who flouted the law should be brought to book.
"We appeal to members of the public who see those crimes being committed to
contact so that we arrest the culprits. It is illegal to operate a bottle
store like a bar without a bar licence and people should differentiate
between a bar and bottle store licence," he said.
The police spokesperson urged employees who were being ill-treated by their
employers to report such cases to their national employment councils so that
the issues could be dealt with in accordance with labour laws. Luxon Zembe,
the president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said while
the organisation was aware of companies that flouted laws in their
operations, it did not have specific details about such activities.
He said: "Illegal activities are happening on the ground but we do not have
specific details. Contact me on Monday so that we can have a thorough
discussion over the issue."
The Daily Mirror recently unearthed a scam in which a Harare woman,
Sibongile Maonde, ran an establishment called Savvycare Training Institute,
purporting to be a nurse trainer when she was reportedly not licensed to do
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president, Lovemore Matombo,
said a number of cases had been brought before his union, in which employees
were either poorly remunerated or had been unprocedurally retrenched by
their employers.
"We have been called upon to arbitrate in a number of cases in which workers
were being paid way below the minimum wage, a trend that can still be found
in many companies
 "We need a demarcation on the aspect of indigenisation because it is being
abused and misused. It is an ideological position and should not be about
colour. During the liberation struggle, Hebert Chitepo and Josiah Tongogara
said we were fighting against the system of exploitation, yet we still find
that system. It is not different to the Smith times," said Matombo. Critics
have pointed out that the country's indigenisation programme has many
The government embarked on an exercise to empower hitherto marginalised
blacks at independence, but the programme, say the critics, has benefited a
few individuals who have succeeded by exploiting their hapless employees.
Late last year, footwear manufacturing company, RK Footwear owned by Indian
national Nagin Ratanje closed shop and laid off 51 workers without benefits.
A crackdown on financial institutions in 2004 by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) governor Gideon Gono unearthed a lot of illicit dealings, which
resulted in the arrest of a number of the country's business chiefs. The
crusade found on the wrong side of the law business leaders who included
Barbican Bank's Mthuli Ncube, Royal Bank, Intermarket's Nicholas Vingirai,
National Merchant Bank's (NMB) directors Julius Makoni, Otto Chekeche and
Francis Zimuto, ENG Asset management Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda,
among many other hitherto respected business executives.
Former Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri who is understood to own
Plastic manufacturing company, Quality Package Products, and Telecel boss
James Makamba were also arrested for allegedly externalising foreign

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GMB depot head arrested

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patience Nyangove in Marondera
issue date :2006-Feb-13

POLICE have arrested the assistant depot manager of the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) based in Marondera, on allegations of contravening the
Anti-Corruption Act.
Mashonaland East police spokesperson Inspector Darlington Mathuthu last week
identified the suspect as Francis Badzarigere, who he said was still in
custody pending appearance in court.
"We arrested Badzarigere on allegations of contravening a section of the
Anti-Corruption Act. He is still in custody as investigations continue," he
Allegations are that on January 26 this year, Badzarigere received four
tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser meant for beneficiaries of 'Operation
He reportedly notified the parastatal's operations marketing directorate in
the province that the fertiliser consignment had been damaged by rain.
Badzarigere was instructed to wait for an assessment team to inspect the
spoilt fertiliser.
But he allegedly connived with another official and diverted 80 bags of the
white fertiliser to a colleague without the consent of the directorate.
When the assessors visited the depot, Badzarigere reportedly lied that the
top dressing granules had already been disbursed to intended beneficiaries,
yet he is said to have hired a truck to ferry the fertiliser to Numbers 9
and 10, Mandley Farm, in Ruwa.
Further investigations showed that 45 bags of the fertiliser had been used
while the remainder are yet to be accounted for amid suspicion they
might have sold on the black market.
There have been many cases of GMB officials abusing their positions to
divert the grain utility's products for personal gain.
High-ranking officials have also been fingered in illegal deals involving
the products, with some of them being accused of buying such items like
grain and wheat them at cheap prices and then selling them at exorbitant
prices elsewhere.
The utility is considered a sensitive facility by the government in a move
that is meant to ensure food security to the nation.

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AirZim to resume Kariba flight

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patson Ndhlovu
issue date :2006-Feb-13

IN an effort to promote the country's tourist destinations, national airline
Air Zimbabwe has disclosed plans to relaunch the Kariba route in June this
Tourism has the potential of bailing out the country from the foreign
currency doldrums it is currently going through, if properly marketed.
The flight was suspended last year due to viability concerns as it was
attracting a few passengers.
"Air Zimbabwe will be relaunching the Kariba route around June this year.
"Kariba is one of the tourist destinations that is essential and it is just
appropriate to offer flights to these areas", said Stephen Nhuta, Air
Zimbabwe's marketing director.
Nhuta said the national airline is making sure that they link the route with
the majestic Victoria Falls and Johannesburg.
Plans to reopen the Kariba route were rejuvenated after wide consultations
with hoteliers, tour operators, ground transporters and other stakeholders
in the tourism industry on the feasibility of the route. He added that the
new flight would be operating between three and four times per week in its
first months of establishment. The flight schedule would then be reviewed in
relation to demand and its attractiveness to the market.
The route will be plied by the newly acquired MA60 aircrafts from China.
Unlike the Boeing aircrafts, the MA60s have a low fuel consumption rate and
they can land on the small airports in the country's resort areas.
The national airline is currently going through a turnaround programme being
executed by a strong board led by human resource specialist Mike Bimha.
Meanwhile, the national airline said it would this week launch its summer
schedule in the capital. The schedule will see Air Zimbabwe servicing routes
that include Bulawayo- Johannesburg, Victoria Falls- Johannesburg and
Harare- Nairobi via Dar-es-Salaam among others.
As a passenger and cargo carrier, the airline currently services the
domestic destinations of Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo, regional
destinations of Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Gaborone (with Air Botswana),
Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Entebbe, Lubumbashi and Mauritius.
International destinations include London, Singapore, Beijing and Dubai.
Air Zimbabwe, which boasts of a clean safety record since independence, said
it is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand its markets through
entering into partnerships and alliances with other airlines. Currently, the
airline has a code sharing agreement with Air Botswana, seat purchase
agreements with Air Malawi and East African Airlines, and pro-rate
agreements with other international partners.
The airline also operates commercial charter services to cater for groups of
between 100 and 200 people to domestic, regional and international

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Economic hardships hampering volunteerism

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Paidamoyo Chipunza
issue date :2006-Feb-13

THE number of community home-based caregivers quitting voluntary work
continues to rise amid grinding poverty worsened by souring economic
hardships and social instabilities.
Interviews recently conducted by The Daily Mirror with caregivers from Glen
View, Budiriro and Mufakose suburbs in Harare revealed that volunteerism was
being ditched as people now searched for employment which gave them a
monthly remuneration to help make ends meet.
Christine Kambarami of New Dawn of Hope said most caregivers dropped out
within three months of joining care work for economic reasons.
"Because of the harsh economic situation prevailing in the country, most
people caregivers drop out in search of employment or better rewarding
initiatives," she said.
Kambarami said her organisation currently boasts of 60 volunteers, but the
number had since drastically been reduced to below 40 owing to lack of
motivation to do the noble work.
She said lack of resources during care work also affected the operations of
"Most caregivers lose hope when they visit patients and have nothing to
assist them with. Customarily, we know that when you are visiting patients
you bring them food or medication for them to feel better, but in this case
our resources are very limited," Kambarami said.
Sipiwe Ngwerume of Chiedza Home of Hope called for the District Aids Action
Committee (DAAC) to train more secondary care-givers as the number of drop
outs vis-ā-vis patients continued rising.
At least 95 Chiedza caregivers are looking after more than 500 patients in
Glen View alone.
"The number of people in need of our services is continuing to rise in Glen
View versus the number of caregivers we have.  In fact more are dropping out
due to rising pressure," she said.
She also lamented the scarcity of resources saying the DAAC was only giving
a fraction of what the affected community needed.
"In most cases we do not get enough resources. Care-givers need protective
clothing, disposables, and even washing soap, but sometimes they go for
months without these necessities," she explained.
Ngwerume said they were only getting food packs comprising a packet of
kapenta, cooking oil, peanut butter and mealie meal, which however, was not
The National Aids Council's Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC)
co-ordinator Sibusisiwe Marunda, said NAC would always try to do its best to
help the needy, but budget constrains limited their handouts.
An estimated 600 people receive home-based treatment in Zimbabwe.

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Another RG's Office employee up for corruption

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-13

BARELY a fortnight after seven employees of the Registrar General's Office
were arrested on corruption charges, police on Thursday arrested another
passport officer on similar allegations.
Mary Jane Chapfika (45) allegedly received $33 million from Jowett Zinyemba
as kick-back for facilitating processing of three passports.
Chapfika allegedly connived with Gerald Makusha (36), Rose Mashava (25),
Peter Machekera (27), Brian Kaswaurere (22), Slyvia Makombe (28) and
siblings Lydia and Samuel
Chiodze, 22 and 20,
They were all denied bail by Harare magistrate Rebecca Takavadiyi. Chapfika
was on Friday also thrown behind bars with the magistrate ruling that she
was not a good candidate for bail.
The other seven were arrested on allegations of conniving to issue out nine
passports without authority. This comes at a time when the government is
making frantic efforts to weed out corruption in all sectors of the economy.
Mukusha, Mashava, Machekera, Kaswaurere, Makombe, and the Chiodze were
arrested after the principal processing officer at the RG's Makombe Building
offices, Jemina Mildred Mudyiwa, became suspicious of people following up on
The State alleged that about three weeks ago, the seven hatched a plan,
processed, produced and issued out nine passports to unidentified people in
one day against the
Ministry of Home Affairs' procedures.
Giving evidence, in opposing bail at the Harare Magistrates' Court, the
investigating officer, Detective Assistant Inspector David Musingwani, said
each passport was produced within two hours.
They allegedly receipted $100 000 for each passport instead of the $1,5
million, thereby prejudicing the government of $12,6 million.
In a statement to the police, Mudyiwa said on verification with the Harare
passport office where the application forms originated, it was discovered
that the receipts and the batch numbers appearing in
the computer system did not exist.

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Chinhoyi Hospital patients providing own blankets

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Paidamoyo Muzulu in Chinhoyi
issue date :2006-Feb-13

The Chinhoyi provincial hospital is battling to procure coal from Hwange for
use at its boilers, resulting in patients being asked to bring their own
blankets and bed linen, the health centre's medical superintendent has said.

Collete Mawire, the medical superintendent, told The Daily Mirror last week:
"Patients are being asked to bring their own blankets and bed linen when
admitted.  This is not the ideal situation and we recently placed an order
for blankets so that we do not burden patients by directing them to bring
their own." The boiler is failing to provide adequate hot water due to the
shortage of coal that the hospital has been failing to procure.  Mawire said
suppliers are charging exorbitant prices in order to supply the coal.
"Coal has been in short supply at the hospital due to lack of funds.
Operations at the boiler have been at a bare minimum (for some time now). We
could not procure coal from merchants as they charge inflated prices," the
medical superintendent said.
He, however, indicated that the situation would improve after the hospital
received money from government."Funds from the central government were
finally received at the end of January and we have now placed orders for the
resources that were in short supply.  We hope our situation would improve
until the end of the first half of the year," added Mawire.
Meanwhile, the provincial governor's office has intervened in the fuel
crisis that had paralysed operations at the provincial referral centre, with
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) supplying 5 000 litres of diesel.
The situation, Mawire said, has been made no better by intermittent power
supplies in Chinhoyi town, with theatre operations being among the most
affected services.  Because the generators at the hospital are powered by
diesel which is scarce, the centre has been plunged into darkness on many

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Makwavarara to squander $35bn on furniture

From The Herald, 13 February

By Michael Padera

Plans by the cash-strapped Harare City Council to spend $35 billion to
procure furniture and curtains for the mayoral mansion in Harare's posh
Gunhill suburb have brewed another wrangle, this time pitting Harare City
Commission chairperson Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara against town clerk Mr Nomutsa
Chideya over expenditure and tender procedures. According to the Urban
Councils Act, local authorities can buy goods and services of up to $300
million without going to tender. At least $10 billion was needed for
curtains and a further $8 billion for the furniture, bringing to $18 billion
the cost of furnishing the mansion. However, the total cost is expected to
balloon to $35 billion since the money was to be borrowed from other
departments over a five-year period at an interest rate of 70 percent per
annum. Sources from City Treasury yesterday told The Herald that only $3,9
billion had been budgeted for curtains and furniture while the remainder
would have to be borrowed since Ms Makwavarara was keen to move immediately
into the multi-billion dollar mansion. The sources said Mr Chideya wanted
the purchases to be done through a tender system to reduce costs. The
matter, which has been on the backburner for sometime now, came to the boil
following recent power struggles at Town House pitting Mr Chideya and city
strategist Mr Chester Mhende.

Ms Makwavarara, who has until now been living in the mansion's guesthouse,
began moving her property into the mansion at the weekend. When The Herald
visited the mansion last Friday Ms Makwavarara denied the news crew access
claiming she was "too busy". She later phoned to pour scorn on the news
crew. "Get out of the fights at Town House. I know who is giving you all
that information. That person has failed to do his job. You have to respect
me. I do not want that attitude (visiting the mansion)," she said. Ms
Makwavarara said she was supposed to move into the mansion two years ago but
had been unable to do so, accusing Mr Chideya of putting spanners in the
works. "I am moving into the mansion with or without the curtains and
furniture. The mansion was built for the mayor. (Mr) Chideya has failed to
buy the curtains and furniture, so I am moving in," she said. She also
confirmed having moved some of her property into the mansion. Asked whether
as someone holding such a high office she was not tarnishing her image by
her actions, Ms Makwavarara said she would use her own curtains and
furniture in the mansion. "I am tired of people failing to do council work
who only resort to fighting. If they have no money I will use my own
furniture," she fumed.

Sources allege that some of the suppliers and providers of interior décor
for the mayoral mansion are Ms Makwavarara's friends. Ms Makwavarara could
neither confirm nor deny the allegations, saying: "Everybody was invited. I
do not care whether it is my sister or friend. All I want is to see the
house furnished." Mr Chideya, who has just come out of a bitter power
struggle with city strategist Mr Chester Mhende, refused to comment on the
latest saga. "I do not have any information in that regard. Talk to your
sources properly," he said. Ironically, the feud between Mr Chideya and Mr
Mhende took a turn for the worse when Ms Makwavarara, who normally consults
Mr Chideya over meetings, last week addressed heads of departments
accompanied by Mr Mhende. The town clerk was conspicuous by his absence. Mr
Chideya, however, won the battle to control Town House following Government
recommendations that the city strategist submit his curriculum vitae to him
as required by council employment regulations. The city council is failing
to collect refuse, service roads, repair street and traffic lights, among
other functions, citing financial constraints.

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Govt Takes Over 7 Fugitive Bankers Farms

Zim Daily

            Monday, February 13 2006 @ 12:45 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The Zimbabwe government has taken over seven farms belonging to
three prominent bankers who fled the country after being accused of
funneling huge sums of money abroad. 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. 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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Zanu PF Wins 7 Council Seats Unopposed

Zim Daily

            Monday, February 13 2006 @ 12:42 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The ruling Zanu PF party has won seven rural and urban council
seats after the opposition failed to field candidates at the close of the
nomination court last week. The seven candidates were declared duly elected
at the end of the nomination court and will assusme office as councillors
with effect from March 4, the date set aside for the elections in other
areas, including the Chegutu Mayoral election.

            Elections will take place in seven wards where more than one
candidate filed nomination papers. The winning Zanu PF councillors were
Patrick Chimbiri (Buhera Ward 16), Kurauzvione Dandira (Gutu Ward 35),
Jeffrey Muruzi (Kadoma Ward 3), Rumbidzai Nyabote (Mutoko Ward 7), Walter
Chidakwa (Zvimba Ward 21), Titus Sithole (Zvishavana Ward 15) and Everisto
Manyengawana (Rusape Ward 7).

            For the Chegutu mayoral election, Zanu PF managed to field
Martin Zimani who will do battle with MDC incumbent mayor Francis Dhlakama.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission spokesperson Utloile Silaigwana told zimdaily
that the commission was now training presiding officers for the elections
that will be held in Bulawayo Ward 3 and 12, Chegutu Ward 7, Kadoma Ward 7,
Binga Ward 3, Bubi Ward 20 and Zvishavane Ward 2.

            "Election officers have already been trained and we are now
training presiding officers. We are going to embark on voter education
programmes soon to educate voters on the documents to take to the polling
stations, the ward boundaries and generally how to vote.We urge people to go
and vote," Silaigwana said.

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VoP Directors' Bail Conditions Relaxed

Zim Daily

            Monday, February 13 2006 @ 12:41 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            A Harare magistrate relaxed the reporting conditions against
Voice of the People (VOP) radio board members Friday when they appeared in
court for a remand hearing. David Masunda, VOP chairman, his deputy Arnold
Tsunga, and board members Lawrence Chibwe, Nhlanhla Ngwenya, and Millie
Phiri, all of whom are accused of operating a radio station without a
licence in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), are on Z$4 million
bail each.

            The bail conditions for the accused were relaxed after their
lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, successfully applied for a reconsideration of the
bail conditions. The VOP executives will no longer be required to report to
the police every Friday. An application for refusal of further remand is
expected to be made at the next hearing on 28 February.

            However, Isabella Matambanadzo, the sixth accused, is not
subject to the same remand conditions because she is currently residing in
South Africa. She will only appear in court when the trial commences on a
date still to be fixed. The VOP executives are accused of contravening
Section 7 (1), as read with paragraph 4 and 5 of the BSA Chapter 12:06,
which deal with broadcasting and signal carrier licenses. It is alleged that
the accused illegally established an office in Harare, which they equipped
with computers, and that they produced unauthorized programmes which were
transmitted through the Internet to Radio Netherlands.

            The broadcasts were then beamed into Zimbabwe through a relay
station in Madagascar, without an operating licence. VOP director John
Masuku, who is appearing before the court separately, is also on bail on
charges of breaching the country's broadcasting laws. Masuku was arrested
after the police raided the VOP radio station's offices in Harare on 15
December 2005, at which time the police also confiscated computers,
equipment and administration files.

            Three VOP employees - Nyasha Bhosha, Maria Nyanyiwa and Kundai
Mugwanda - spent four nights in police custody following the raid. The three
were subsequently released without being charged. These developments have
taken place against the backdrop of the bombing of  the VOP offices on 29
August 2002 .

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