[February 14, 2006]
(Comtex Community Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)HARARE, Feb 14, 2006 (Xinhua
via COMTEX) -- A total of 355 people were rounded
up in Harare on Monday for various offences, as police intensified
campaigns to thwart illegal activities in the city center.
The suspects were arrested under an operation code named "
Operation Valentine", which was recently launched by police to
curb illegal activities this week.
Police were targeting vendors who were selling foodstuffs to
people at undesignated points in the city center, in breach of
council's orders to stop such activities.
Tuesday's Herald newspaper quoted police sources as saying that
foodstuffs were likely to spread diseases such as cholera and they
were going to enforce provisions of the Health Act to stamp out
Of the 355, 120 were arrested for vending, 148 for obstruction
on pavements or traffic lights, 50 for touting, five for street
garaging, five motorists for dangerous parking, two for conduct
likely to provoke breach of peace while 25 people were arrested
for public drinking.
Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Loveless Rupere
said the operation was launched after police observed that crime
had become cause for concern in the Central Business District.
Rupere said the operation was continuing until there is sanity
in the city and police would be highly visible day and night to
He urged the public to join in the fight against crime and
desist from the habit of buying food from undesignated places.
ZIMBABWE's rampant year-on-year inflation for last month surged to 613,2%,
gaining 27,4 percentage points on the December rate of 585,8%, raising fears
it is marching towards the 1000% mark.
The Central Statistics Office said yesterday that inflation accelerated due
to rising costs of food, housing, education, water, electricity, gas and
Central bank governor Gideon Gono said recently the inflation rate would
rise to 700%-800%, breaching the 622,8% record of 2004, before decelerating.
Analysts have warned that, barring a major policy shift, inflation could hit
1000% by the end the second quarter.
Analysts said that, given the controlled prices of goods and services and
parallel market activities, inflation could already be at 800%.
The critical factor in driving inflation has been growing money supply
through massive printing of paper money to finance government expenditure
and prop up collapsing economic activities.
Broad money supply growth has been on an upward trend, from 177,6% in
January last year to 411,5% in December.
Since 2003, the central bank has dished out a record Z$46- trillion in an
attempt to arrest economic decline. But the money has largely ended up in
Further inflationary pressures have been fuelled by wage and salary
adjustments, price increases and black market activities.
Following the revision of value added tax from 15% to 17,5% and introduction
of a number of new tax measures in September last year, the prices of goods
and services have escalated.
The yawning budget deficit of 8,6% is also a severe problem.
Government has been struggling to reduce its huge fiscal deficit largely
caused by government's rising wage bill from 15,5% in 2004 to 20% of gross
domestic product last year.
Zimbabwe's economy shrank 3,5% last year after a 4% decline in 2004 and a
10,5% fall in 2003.
Mail and Guardian
14 February 2006 08:00
The poverty line for a family of five living in Zimbabwe is now
Z$20-million (about R1 200) a month, Harare's Herald newspaper reported on
Its website quoted the Central Statistical Office as saying the
average five-member Zimbabwe family has to spend at least Z$7,8-million a
month on food to remain healthy.
This average family would need to spend just more than another
Z$12-million a month for accommodation, transport to get to and from work to
earn this money, fees to educate children at the cheapest government
schools, clothes and shoes.
There is no provision for any luxury or even a toy, the paper
said, adding than inflation is running at 600%. In South Africa, it is about
The minimum family income, just enough to live in frugal
decency, went up by Z$3-million a month since December last year.
Even a single person requires just more than Z$4-million a month
for food, housing and other basic expenses.
The Herald said those with incomes less than the poverty datum
line are quite likely to be going hungry, living in very unhealthy housing
or be inadequately dressed. -- Sapa
The Times, UK February 14, 2006
From Jan Raath in Epworth
WHEN police knocked down Joram Kombonyatsera's home under
President Mugabe's notorious "Operation Sweep Out The Filth" in June, they
were so thorough that they smashed the concrete drain that he had built to
make sure that he would not return.
They used rubble from the houses that they had destroyed to fill
in wells that served 750 families in this section of Epworth, a huge slum on
the south-eastern boundary of the capital, Harare.
Mr Kombonyatsera did return, like many of the 700,000 people
across the nation estimated to have lost their homes in the operation. He
now lives in one broom-closet-sized room that survived the destruction. He
draws water from newly dug shallow wells and defecates in a cleft in granite
boulders close by. "Nowhere else to go," he said.
The effect of such changes, the overloading of sewerage systems
and a chronic shortage of fuel for refuse carts is now being felt as a wave
of cholera, previously rare in Zimbabwe, sweeps the country.
The state-controlled Daily Herald newspaper reported yesterday
that five people had died of cholera in Epworth and another twenty were
being treated in a tent encampment there. They were believed to have drunk
infected water at a wedding.
The Health Ministry announced another eight new deaths in the
Kwekwe and Gokwe districts in central Zimbabwe. Twenty-seven people are
reported to have died of cholera across the country in just over a month -
eight of them in Harare. At least another 250 victims nationwide are being
"The Government says it is nothing unusual, that we have seen
cholera in Harare before," said Peter Iliff, the secretary of Zimbabwe
Doctors for Human Rights. "They're wrong. It's in the heartland now. Before,
cases in Harare were traced to people who had brought the disease with them
from neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Malawi. Now it's home-grown.
"There is transmission inside the city now. There is going to be
a lot of cholera," Dr Iliff said.
Epworth has no water-borne sewerage system. Cylindrical pit
latrine buildings stand alongside nearly every home in what is one of
Zimbabwe's most densely populated areas. "When it rains like this, the
toilets can fill up and spill over," said Edmore Chirenje. "When it is hot,
the smell is terrible." Even where there are sewers, they are often choked
through lack of maintenance.
The Government reacted to the outbreaks of cholera in Harare by
shutting the main township market near the city centre and relocating it to
other townships where there is no provision for lavatories or water. Police
have also banned street fish and meat vendors.
The threatening health catastrophe posed by the swamp of human
waste in the townships is compounded by mountains of uncollected rubbish in
the city, including one outside the gates of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of
the Sacred Heart.
HOW IT STRIKES
.. Acute intestinal infection caused by eating food or water
contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae
.. Source of contamination in an epidemic is usually the faeces
of an infected person
.. Infection is largely by ingesting contaminated water or
food; person-to-person transmission is rare
.. Often few or no symptoms. In severe cases they include
profuse watery diarrhoea, vomiting and leg cramps, which can lead to
dehydration and shock. Without treatment death can occur within hours
.. One in twenty victims have severe symptoms
.. Easily treated, replacing lost fluid and salt with oral
.. With quick treatment, fewer than 1 per cent die
Sources: WHO; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
By Blessing Zulu
13 February 2006
As economists and even the head of Zimbabwe's central bank had predicted,
inflation continued to rise in January to a 613% annual rate after 585% in
December, the Central Statistical Office said, citing housing and food costs
and school fees.
The latest push in consumer prices brought the 12-month rate within hailing
distance of the country's all-time high inflation rate of 623% reached in
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono said in his recent monetary policy
statement that inflation should peak at around 800% in March before
Elsewhere, analysts were voicing pessimism about the chance of an
agriculture-based economic recovery following the threat by State Security
Minister Didymus Mutasa to impose "criminal sanctions," on white farmers
raising crops without authorization on land that the state in effect
nationalized with a 2005 constitutional amendment.
He said white farmers working land had not applied to the government to
plant crops after the nationalization measure, though no such requirement
Labor and Economic Development Research Institute Director Godfrey Kanyenze
told reporter Blessing Zulu that Harare has only itself to blame for its
Zimbabwe has been plagued for months with critical shortages of food, fuel
and other commodities as the agricultural sector, which earned a large
portion of the country's export foreign exchange earnings, has collapsed
under the shock of land reform.
Tuesday, February 14 2006 @ 12:03 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
University of Zimbabwe student leaders have written to the
United Nations secretary general protesting the shock increase in tuition
fees at Zimbabwe's main universities. Tuition fees shot up fivefold last
week, shocking students and their families.
Government claimed to have increased the fees in line with the
cost of education in the country. According to the new fees structure, arts
students will have to pay Z$30 million a year, up from around six million.
Medical students now have to pay Z$45 million up from nine million. But it
is some postgraduates who will face the biggest hike.
A year's tuition would cost between $60 and $90 million, up from
around $1 million. In a letter to Anan, which was also copied to UZ
chancellor President Mugabe, his vice Levy Nyagura, the Parliamentary
Commitee on Education, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the NGO Human
Rights Forum, the students said the new fees' structures were not only
unaffordable but "a direct threat to our fundamental right to education
embedded in the universal declaration of the human rights."
"It is a clear reversal of the gains of the revolution, which
thousands of the sons and daughters of this land died to achieve," the
petition, signed by UZ Information chief Mfundo Mlilo said. " We doubt that
the Chancellor, His Excellency, the President Cde. Robert Mugabe was
consulted who at the time you made this decision was in Khartoum (Sudan)
where all presidents in Africa endorsed a plan of action developed by a team
of ministers pledging to devote sufficient resources to what they termed the
Second Decade of Education. They acknowledged the existence of parallel
initiatives in education on the continent such as Education For All, the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and NEPAD."
The students said the decision to raise the fees was "sputum
aimed directly at the academic face." "It is unprocedural as it is wrong and
we doubt if the students especially of this university will accept them,"
the petition said. "We fear the pandemonium that will befall the institution
of higher learning as you make to implement this.... We are sure you know
that many students of this university come from peasant grounds and will
never afford these fees."
The students accused Mugabe of being a hypocrite. "You are aware
Comrade Minister how your own education and that of our President Robert
Mugabe was funded," the petition said. " Remember the Catholics who funded
President Mugabe's education because Amai Bona could not afford the fees."
Government awarded the students a 90% increase in payouts and yet approved a
5000% increase in tuition fees.
The students demanded an immediate withdrawal of the new fees
structure and to initiate negotiations with student leaders. Zimdaily
understands that opening of the new term has been delayed by two weeks
because of the fee hikes. Gift Nyandoro, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Youth
Network for Good Governance, an organisation that lobbies for student
welfare in tertiary institutions, said the hikes were "unsustainable". He
predicted "sit-ins, strikes and lecture boycotts" if the authorities went
ahead and implemented the new fees.
"There's no way you can expect a student to foot such a bill,"
he said. "Where would a peasant son or daughter find such fees?" Students
have met the increase with howls of protest describing the hikes as
"astronomical." "The increase actually means education is going to be out of
the reach for many as the fees are astronomical," said one student.
The Herald (Harare)
February 14, 2006
Posted to the web February 13, 2006
MUNICIPAL clinics in Chitungwiza have been hit by a shortage of essential
drugs and equipment after a major supplier severed its contract with the
cash-strapped council over non-payment of a bill running into billions.
The latest development comes amid revelations that Nat-Pharm cancelled its
contract with the council in December last year after the municipality
failed to settle its bills.
Although Chitungwiza Health Services Director, Dr Mike Simoyi and the Town
Clerk, Mr Simbarashe Mudunge could not disclose the exact amount owed to
Nat-Pharm, they confirmed they were in arrears since December last year.
"I know we had our last consignment in November last year and there has not
been anything delivered to the town's four clinics since then," Dr Simoyi
As a result of the unavailability of equipment, including material for
expecting mothers at delivery, all clinics in Chitungwiza have been
referring all cases to the already overloaded Chitungwiza Central Hospital.
Dr Simoyi confirmed Chitungwiza Central Hospital was complementing their
efforts as and when they had problems in the ante-natal units.
"In fact, it was reported to me that Chitungwiza Central Hospital now
requires us to provide its ante-natal clinic with some beds to deal with an
overflow of expecting mothers," Dr Simoyi said.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital, whose labour ward is still to be expanded,
cannot cope with the current 30 deliveries per day while its nursing staff
in that area is not adequate.
The situation has led to the labour ward having to make some mothers deliver
on mattresses and attending late to some emergency cases.
Municipality clinic officials interviewed yesterday said they were asking
expecting mothers to bring their own cotton wool as they have not received
any supplies since November last year.
Expecting mothers need plenty of cotton wool and suture material during
delivery to curb blood loss.
Despite failure by the municipal clinics to execute any deliveries,
expecting mothers have continued paying maternity fees to clinics, which was
increased to $1,2 million this year.
Dr Simoyi said the money they charge expecting mothers was for the
ante-natal and post natal care.
"We would want the situation to improve so I will table the drug payment
issue tomorrow (today) so that we find ways of ensuring timely payments in
future," Dr Simoyi said.
February 14 2006 at 01:22AM
Harare - Villagers are starving in southern Zimbabwe due to the acute
shortage of grain, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said on Monday.
Mohadi, who is also the member of parliament for the arid Beitbridge
constituency of southern Zimbabwe, told state radio that although recent
rains have increased hopes of a good harvest, there was insufficient grain
to meet people's present needs.
"It's really terrible, there's no grain whatsoever. Our people are
actually starving," Mohadi said in a rare admission of the scale of food
He said small milling companies were to blame, as they were receiving
consignments of scarce grain from the state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
to the detriment of ordinary people.
"Small millers are being given allocations to the detriment of the
people, and there's nothing left for them," he said. The GMB is the only
body authorised to buy and sell grain in the country.
Last week a private business weekly reported that the government was
probing millers for allegedly fuelling the black market by hoarding grain
allocated to them by the GMB and then selling it above the official price.
Dismal harvests over the past five years have reduced Zimbabwe, a
former regional breadbasket, to a country dependent on grain imports.
This year the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) also plans to
supply emergency food aid to some three million Zimbabweans, or a quarter of
the population. - Sapa-dpa
Zimbabwe and Zambia are working together to develop trade,
agriculture, tourism, education and communication for the mutual benefit of
Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said on
Monday that the cooperation was expected to resolve all historical
imbalances caused by colonialism.
He was speaking during the official opening of the 14th session of the
Zambia, Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation.
"We have engaged into a mutual action towards the development of both
countries," he said. "It is my sincere hope that Zambia and Zimbabwe will
remove any hurdles standing in the implementation of decisions that will
deepen cooperation between them."
Ronnie Shikapwasha, Zambia's Foreign Affairs Minister, said the two
countries could benefit more from the Victoria Falls - one of the seven
wonders of the world - that they share.
"In this regard, the two countries should collaborate in the
developments at Victoria Falls," Shikapwasha said.
He recommended joint packaging, marketing and advertising of common
resources and joint participation in international tourism fairs and
exhibitions, trans-boundary natural resource management, and heritage
management in a bid to uplift the status of both countries.
"To this effect, there is need to come up with an expanded program of
cooperation such as Zambia- Zimbabwe general tourism bilateral sector
agreements," Shikapwasha said.
He noted the abundant opportunities for mutually beneficial
cooperation in the agricultural sector in such areas as fisheries, research,
control of large grain borer and migrant pests management, in order to
increase food security.
Other outstanding areas of cooperation such as traditional medicine
development should also be pursued, urged Shikapwasha.
Zambia and Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation started
in 1981 with a view to face the challenges of globalization with added
strength and vigor.
The Herald (Harare)
February 14, 2006
Posted to the web February 13, 2006
THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) yesterday received
state-of-the-art hydro-geological computers worth $5,3 billion from the
United Nations Children's Education Fund (Unicef).
In a speech read on her behalf by Mr Munesu Munodawafa, principal director
in her office, Vice President Cde Joice Mujuru said Zinwa was mandated,
through the Water Act, to efficiently manage Zimbabwe's water resources,
whose effective management called for comprehensive data and records.
Cde Mujuru stressed the need to identify appropriate software that would
assist the water authority in gathering, analysing, processing and archiving
hydro geological information.
"I would like to sincerely thank Unicef for this generous donation. I am
very much aware that Unicef is heavily involved in a number of programmes
and projects in the country.
"On behalf of the Government and the people of Zimbabwe, I would like to
thank you very much for standing shoulder to shoulder with us during these
trying times," Cde Mujuru said.
She said the donation would help in providing information on water
facilities in any ward or district with respect to types of aquifers,
borehole yields, depths, diameters, functionality and water levels.
Cde Mujuru highlighted the importance of easy access to essential
information, which she said was vital in planning and budgeting for
"I would like to take the opportunity to urge and encourage Zinwa to
effectively utilise the software for the benefit of all stakeholders,
especially those in the rural water supply sector," said Cde Mujuru.
Unicef country representative Dr Festo Kavishe said the fund continued to
strive to support programmes, in the water and sanitation sector, that
reduced child mortality, offered improvement of health and education and
contributed to poverty reduction.
He said in 2004, upon request from the Government, Unicef supported the
development of a consolidated domestic water supply and sanitation national
"As the country gathers momentum to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals, this policy will act as an excellent guide for overall national water
and sanitation development," said Dr Kavishe.
He said Unicef -- as the leading UN agency for water and sanitation -- was
co-ordinating interventions in these areas in Zimbabwe.
Dr Kavishe said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) start with children
and could only be met and sustained when the rights of children to health,
water and sanitation, education, protection and equity were realised.
He said lack of information had created challenges in effective monitoring
and reporting on MDGs on water and sanitation.
"It is in view of this challenge that Unicef feels obliged and is proud to
support Zimbabwe in its efforts to improve monitoring of the water and
sanitation sector through information collection, management and sharing,"
He said Unicef provided aid worth US$60 million to Zimbabwe over the past
five years and would continue to help in different sectors.
Minister of State for Water Resources and Infrastructure Development,
Engineer Munacho Mutezo said the donation was timely and was bound to help
Zimbabwe achieve its goals by bringing resources and expertise together to
manage water in a holistic manner.
"We as a ministry and Zinwa cannot express our joy as one of our dream comes
true today. We are both mandated to plan, develop and manage the water
resources of the nation.
"The planning aspect of our mandate involved gathering data on all available
water resources in the country, both ground and surface water.
"We have had two databases on groundwater, one developed in the mid-80s,
which became obsolete and was replaced by another one in the late-90s, which
again rapidly became redundant in a short space of time," he said.
Eng Mutezo urged Zinwa staff to fully make use of the equipment and look
after it properly saying accurate information would assist Zimbabwe to
effectively develop and manage water resources.