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

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SACP cautiously optimistic about Zimbabwe
February 15, 2004, 06:07 PM

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has expressed cautious optimism
that Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu(PF) government and opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) are committed to future formal negotiations.
However, the SACP said today it was "uncertain" about the degree of
commitment to serious negotiations, particularly from the side of Zanu(PF).
"We are concerned that there might be a lack of urgency. We are also deeply
concerned at the continued repression of workers, opposition activists and
of journalists," it said.

"Such measures do not help to create a climate in which serious
negotiations, in which both sides assume full, patriotic responsibility for
taking their country out of its crisis," Blade Nzimande, the SACP general
secretary, accompanied by Jeremy Cronin, his deputy, told reporters in
Johannesburg today. Nzimande said his party believed that for too long the
public debate in South Africa about Zimbabwe had been dominated by a
conservative liberal paradigm. "South Africans must not allow themselves to
be manoeuvred into a position in which it seems that the ANC-led government
needed the negotiations between that country's political party's to succeed
more than Zimbabweans themselves."

He was speaking after a three-day meeting by the SACP's central committee,
at which considerable time was devoted to the "deepening crises" in

Failures and delays
In December the SACP sent a formal delegation to Zimbabwe. It met senior
Zanu(PF) cabinet ministers, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of MDC and the
leadership of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions. Cronin told reporters
that negotiations were fundamentally about Zimbabwe's needs. "Failures and
delays should be blamed on the relevant Zimbabwean formations."

"Zimbabwe is an allegory for South Africa, and it is supposed, if
implicitly, to represent the inevitable outcome when they (a black majority
government) take over." He said that when the SACP held discussions with the
two Zimbabwean parties, they both indicated they were committed to
negotiations, but the impression "we got from Zanu(PF) was that they were
scared of sharing power they felt under siege".

Cronin said although Zimbabwe was a neighbour and South Africa wanted to see
that country's' problems solved, "they should assume responsibility". "It
was however important for South Africa to give them (Zimbabwe) as much
support." Nzimande said the SACP agreed that the land question was central
to consolidating Zimbabwe's independence struggle. - Sapa
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Outrage over new Zim detention law

      February 15 2004 at 04:45PM

Harare - Opponents of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime were in
uproar on Sunday over new laws that allow authorities to hold suspects
accused of economic crimes for up to four weeks without bail.

New regulations decreed on Friday give police the power to detain for a week
people suspected of economic crimes including corruption, money laundering
and illegal dealing in foreign exchange and gold, even where there is no
reasonable evidence of their guilt.

The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act) regulations also specifically disallow courts
from granting suspects bail for seven days.

They can be detained for another 21 days if "prima evidence" of criminal
involvement is produced.

      The regulations 'undermine the principles of the rule of law'
The constitution allows police to hold suspects for only 48 hours. After the
period expires, they have to be brought to court where they may ask for

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that "we do not want to
have a situation whereby our investigating officers spend a lot of time in

MDC secretary for legal affairs David Coltart said in a statement Sunday
that "this Draconian legislation is reminiscent of legislation used by the
(white minority government of former prime minister Ian) Smith regime and
the apartheid regime in South Africa to deny people their liberty."

Lovemore Madhuku, head of the National Constitutional Association which is
lobbying for a new democratic constitution, said the regulations "undermine
the principles of the rule of law.

"Police need to investigate first before they arrest, not the other way

Human rights lawyers said they feared the decree would be used against
Mugabe's opponents. "They can pick up anyone they don't like, keep them
inside for a month, and then claim they are being investigated for
corruption," said one who asked not to be named. - Sapa-DPA

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Gulf Daily News

      African farmers eye new markets

      KIGALI: Finding ways to get African farmers better access to lucrative
American and European markets topped the agenda yesterday as leaders and
senior officials from 20 African countries met in Rwanda.

      Members of the New Partnership for Africa Development, or Nepad,
worked to hammer out a common position on how to convince the United States
and European countries to reduce or eliminate the massive agricultural
subsidies they give their farmers, Claver Gatete, a senior Nepad official,

      The African leaders and officials "are trying to see how African
countries, African products can access markets in developed countries ...
where they are providing subsidies of almost $1 billion per day for
agricultural products," Gatete said.

      Western countries spend about $300bn a year supporting their farmers,
subsidies that African countries argue undercut the competitive advantage of
one of the continent's main industries.

      The subsidies have "really prohibited" African farmers from selling
their produce in Western countries, Gatete said.

      The two-day summit began on Friday when 16 nations launched a
self-policing system intended to combat negative perceptions of Africa and
make the world's poorest continent more attractive to private investors.

      Angola became the 17th country to join the initiative known as the
African Peer Review Mechanism, said Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

      Under the initiative, countries will open themselves up to scrutiny by
independent agencies, such as the UN Economic Commission for Africa, which
will consult with governments, the private sector to gauge economic and
political conditions, focusing on corruption and the investment environment.

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele reporter

12 February 2004

If Zimbabwe were a free country – which by any standard it is not – the nation’s flags would surely be flying at half mast this week.  For last week the Chief Justice effectively sentenced media freedom to death. In his ruling in the case brought by the Independent Journalists’ Association of Zimbabwe Chief Justice Chidyausiku (a close associate of Mugabe and former member of his cabinet) upheld the constitutionality of certain key sections of the restrictive media laws controlling local journalists and foreign correspondents.  At a stroke he awarded Mugabe’s chief spin doctor Jonathan Moyo (sometimes known as minister of propaganda and misinformation) the power to decide quite arbitrarily who may practise as a journalist in Zimbabwe and who may not.   Surely the dream of every dictator. 


The Act which confers these awesome powers on the junior minister (and his Media and Information Commission) is the infamous Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) – a misnomer if ever there were one for an Act clearly designed to obstruct and impede the free flow of information.  AIPPA requires all journalists to be registered with the Commission and prohibits them from practising without accreditation, and it was these provisions which were being challenged in the Supreme Court.  The challenge was brought on the basis that these provisions infringed on the general right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution. But by a tortuous and contrived process of legal reasoning the Chief Justice managed to arrive at the conclusion that the freedom of expression guaranteed by section 20 of the Constitution did not apply to the press.  Hence journalists enjoy no such right and the state and its agents are entitled to decide just who may work as a journalist and who may not.  Hence reporting by license, and effectively the end of media freedom in Zimbabwe.


All but one of the Supreme Court Judges hearing the case went along with the Chief Justice and his curious process of reasoning, but one courageous Judge did not.  In a powerful dissenting judgment the country’s most experienced Supreme Court Justice, Wilson Sandura, (and the only one who has so far escaped Mugabe’s purge of the judiciary) ruled that the offending sections of AIPPA were indeed ultra vires the constitution and therefore should be struck down.  Expressly disagreeing with Chidyausiku on the latter’s restrictive interpretation of section 20 of the constitution, Sandura said:  “It is pertinent to note that there is no rational basis for distinguishing the practice of journalism from the exercise of the right of freedom of expression because the two are intertwined”.


The effect of the majority judgment was as immediate as it was profound.  The country’s only independent daily paper, the Daily News, which had bravely resumed publishing on the strength of a number of successful cases brought in the lower courts, was immediately taken off the streets, its journalists now subject to a mandatory term of two years imprisonment for practising their profession without a license from Jonathan Moyo.  Likewise other experienced writers who lack - and given their independence of thought, are most unlikely ever to be given - the necessary accreditation. At a stroke Mugabe has achieved through his junior minister and with the willing cooperation of his hand-picked team of Supreme Court Judges, the power he long coveted, to shut down the independent media and silence the voice of dissent in Zimbabwe. The nation should indeed be in a state of mourning.  


Chidyausiku’s politically partisan ruling has already been slammed by many who cherish the principle of press freedom.  From within Zimbabwe Abel Mutsakani, the managing editor of the Daily News and president of the independent journalists’ association which  challenged this odious system of reporting by license, said: “This is the final nail in the coffin of the independent press.  We are devastated and heartbroken”.  


The Southern Africa Journalists’ Association commented:  “surely even those judges who see their role as being to appease the regime of Robert Mugabe only, must at times be restrained by their consciences in the long-term interests of their own country in which their children live”. 


And the General Council of the Bar of South Africa called the judgment “a double blow to justice”.   Because the judgment was given by the Chief Justice it was, in the words of this august body of South African advocates, “not only a blow to freedom of expression, but also to the independence of the judiciary … (and therefore) to be doubly deprecated”.


One of the few remaining lights in Zimbabwe has been extinguished and the darkness which every dictator covets for his evil deeds, is now almost complete.



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Zimbabwe Mirror

Harare municipality vows to intensify war against vendors
Kristofah Mahove

The Harare municipal police are set to intensify their war against illegal
vendors operating from within the city's central business district..

While the city council says it will deal ruthlessly with the illegal
vendors, the latter have vowed to continue going about their business
despite the harassment by the municipal police, known as the "blue bombers".

The City of Harare's public relations manager, Leslie Gwindi, told the Daily
Mirror that the city would be firm with the vendors, saying they would use
"any means necessary" to rid the city's central business district of the
vendors, who have turned almost every street corner into a market.

council had tried all it could to accommodate vendors at designated points
but those unauthorised to vend continued to violate city by-laws.

He said there were enough designated places to cater for all licensed

Gwindi highlighted that, the city had a duty to manage the activities of the
vendors, ensuring that they operated in accordance with council by-laws.

He also added that, the municipal authority would soon swoop on street
families whose numbers keep on swelling.

The vendors, however, accused the council of being insensitive to their
plight, and vowed to fight to the bitter end.

Those who spoke to the Daily Mirror said the council should realise that
they were only trying to earn an honest living and faced real starvation if
the council continued with their crackdown.

They said no amount of harassment or arrests by the municipal police would
deter them.

"It seems these people want us all to be robbers. This harassment is
uncalled for and should stop now before things get out of hand," said one
vendor, who spoke as he fled from the "blue bombers" at the Speke Avenue
terminus this week.

The "blue bombers", who were recruited by council recently, have been
fighting running battles with the vendors in the past weeks. Some of the
clashes have been quite serious, with a number of vendors and some of the
police officers sustaining injuries.

Some ordinary residents castigated the municipal police for harassing the
vendors, saying they should leave them to fend for their families.

They said the harsh economic conditions currently prevailing in the country
have forced most people, who have found themselves out of employment for a
number of reasons, to venture into street-side vending.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairperson, Mike Davis
said although he recognised the need to make the city clean and facilitate
the free movement of transport, there was no need for the council to be

He questioned the wisdom of using the "blue bombers" when there are more
humane ways of dealing with the vendors.

He said there was need for council to educate residents on the importance of
keeping the city clean, adding that this could be done through the
distribution of education materials to the residents.

Gwindi, however, could neither deny nor confirm that the municipal police
were indeed graduates from the national youth services training centres.

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The Telegraph

      ICC will have to accept anti-Mugabe sentiment
      By Donald Trelford
      (Filed: 16/02/2004)

      The England and Wales Cricket Board have agreed not to announce a
decision on November's planned tour of Zimbabwe until after a meeting with
the International Cricket Council in New Zealand on March 10.

      Their chairman, David Morgan, has been invited to explain and defend a
powerful ECB report recommending that the visit be cancelled, chiefly on
moral and political grounds.

      The report - extolled last month in the British media and by all
political parties in a public relations triumph for Des Wilson, head of the
ECB's marketing committee - has been attacked by ICC members and the
overseas media for "breathtaking arrogance" and "high-handedness and

      What was so cheering about the report was that it made such a contrast
with the feeble and muddle-headed approach of our cricket authorities in the
past, who had fumbled the ball so badly over issues such as the 1968
D'Oliveira affair in South Africa and the cancellation of England's visit to
Zimbabwe in the last World Cup.

      In the David Gower campaign of 1991, in which I played a minor walk-on
part along with Harold Pinter, Tim Rice and other "rebels", we argued that
Lord's had moral as well as legal obligations to cricket and a duty to stand
up for the traditional values of the game where they were threatened - as we
thought they were when Gower and wicketkeeper Jack Russell were omitted from
a tour party to India simply because their style did not fit the identikit
pattern favoured by the dour England management.

      The ECB report makes an unanswerable case for cancelling the Zimbabwe
tour. It does not adopt a "holier-than-thou" attitude or argue that we
should take our bat home rather than play in undemocratic countries.

      It carefully balances the pros and cons of this particular case,
including the ECB's obligations to the game's world governing body, and
concludes that Robert Mugabe's regime is so far beyond the pale in terms of
torture, oppression and denial of the rule of law - a view shared by the
Commonwealth, incidentally, to which nearly all cricket-playing countries
belong - that for England to go there would be seen as condoning or
endorsing evil.

      It would also undermine the policy of the British Government, as a
letter to the ECB from the Foreign Secretary makes clear. Conservative and
Liberal Democrat spokesmen have called for the tour's cancellation in even
stronger terms.

      This is an argument that should carry weight at the ICC summit, for
their rules acknowledge that member countries are sometimes obliged to act
according to their governments' wishes.

      Why, one might ask, are India and Pakistan now playing each other
again? Because their governments allow it.

      For the ICC to suggest that politics and cricket can be kept apart is
naive and hypocritical. In this case the Foreign Office have fallen short of
giving instructions to the ECB to cancel the tour, because they have no
power to do so.

      But they have gone about as far as it is possible to go in a democracy
to make their disapproval clear. If that is not force majeure in the full
legal sense, then the ICC's rules need amending.

      There have been threats that September's ICC tournament might be taken
away from England in favour of another host country. But why would the ICC
damage their own tournament and jeopardise their commercial arrangements
when one of their central tenets is that contracts are sacred?

      The ECB are right to discuss the Zimbabwe problem with the rest of the
world cricket community, but the ICC should be in no doubt that England have
decided not to go.

      For their part the ICC should be safeguarding the real interests of
cricket and asking themselves how these would be served by punishing the ECB
and thereby sending out an international message of support for Mugabe. We
can still hope the old tyrant solves the problem by dying or losing power
before November.

      Neil Back's battered visage is evidence of the brave service he has
given his country over the years by putting his head and body on the line.

      Those qualities were never more needed than in the Rugby World Cup,
when he played a crucial role in neutralising the immensely powerful French
and Australian back rows.

      He deserved better treatment than to have his England career
terminated so abruptly by Sir Clive Woodward. The reason given for the
decision - lack of "form" - is so unconvincing that one has to wonder if
there was something more personal behind it. As someone who campaigned for
Neil when successive England coaches said he was too small I am naturally on
his side, but nevertheless I think it was time for him to go.

      Richard Hill is a worthy successor on the open side and, at 35, Back
should have bowed out with Martin Johnson. Then he would be remembered for
his blazing performances on the field rather than petty squabbling off it.

      Viscount Mountgarret, who died last week, must be the only Irish peer
to have been president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

      He was known for his eccentric interventions at annual meetings of the
MCC. Once, in a debate on whether sons should have priority on the members'
waiting list, he seized the microphone and announced enigmatically: "All I
can say is this: It's a wise father who knows his own son."

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Scoop, NZ

      Work permits for Zimbabwe nationals extended
      Monday, 16 February 2004, 4:46 pm
      Press Release: New Zealand Government

  Work permits for Zimbabwe nationals extended

  A work permit policy for Zimbabwean nationals, which was introduced in
February 2003, will be extended due to the continued instability within
Zimbabwe, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel announced today.

  The special open work permits, valid for 12 months, were granted to
Zimbabweans already in New Zealand on 20 February 2003.

  "As the situation in Zimbabwe has not stabilised, Zimbabwe nationals in
New Zealand under temporary entry provisions may not be able to return home.
Therefore, the government has extended the special open work permit policy
for another 12 months for Zimbabweans who qualified under the 2003 policy."

  Eligible Zimbabweans will need to apply for a new permit at the nearest
New Zealand Immigration Service branch before the expiry of their current

  Lianne Dalziel said approximately 2600 Zimbabweans in New Zealand on
temporary permits could be affected by today's announcement.

  Zimbabwe nationals would continue to be eligible for temporary entry or
residence under standard policies. Further options for residence are
currently under development.

  Copyright (c) Scoop Media

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The Herald

'Billions externalised'

By Sifelani Tsiko and Freeman Razemba
BUSINESSMAN and Zanu-PF Central Committee member James Makamba allegedly
externalised billions of dollars in both local and various international
currencies while it emerged yesterday that he had not handed himself to the
police but was arrested in the Avenues.

Figures released by the police yesterday showed Makamba, who took his bail
application to the High Court yesterday, allegedly externalised US$716 000,
ZW$1 120 114 207, £63 650 and R1,8 million.

Telecel, the countrys third largest mobile phone company where he is
director, is alleged to have externalised £1 050, R2 078 416 and ZW$1 475
649 102.

Police said Makamba was being charged both in his personal capacity and as
the director of Telecel.

Makamba was arrested last week after returning, reportedly, from a business
trip in South Africa.

Police had launched a manhunt for the businessman whom they said evaded them
even at the Harare International Airport.

"An appeal had to be made in the media leading to his eventual arrest in the
Avenues and not at a police station. It is important and pertinent to note
that Makamba did not hand himself to the police as speculated in some
sections of the media," police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne
Bvudzijena said.

Charges preferred against Makamba were only a tip of the iceberg, he said,
adding the businessman allegedly exported maize to South Africa whose
proceeds were banked in a Telecel foreign currency account in Luxembourg at
least four times.

"We believe the charges so far preferred against Makamba are only a tip of
the iceberg and as we continue with our investigations more charges in
connection with externalisation or contraventions of the Exchange Control
Act are going to be levelled against him," said Asst Comm Bvudzijena.

He said police lawfully held Makamba in their custody and had moved him from
one station to another, a normal practice during extensive investigations.

The investigations included perusal of voluminous documents lawfully
obtained through a warrant of search.

"A provincial magistrate in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act
issued a warrant for his further detention at the expiry of 48 hours while
in police custody," Asst Comm Bvudzijena said.

He called on members of the public to appreciate the nature of the alleged
crimes that bordered on economic sabotage that "threatened the societal
fabric," saying such crimes were viewed seriously and exhaustive
investigations would be carried out.

"Other directors (of Telecel) are also being charged in their individual
capacities and they include Ms Jane Mutasa and Anthony Carter, the
locally-based directors," he said.

It is understood that a warned and cautioned statement was recorded from
Mutasa who is jointly charged with one of her children.

"That warned and cautioned statement was recorded last week and she is
expected to appear in court soon," said Asst Comm Bvudzijena last night.

The businessman who appeared at the Harare Magistrates Courts on Saturday
and was remanded in custody to February 27 this year, yesterday made a fresh
bail application at the High Court.

His lawyers filed an urgent bail application at the High Court and ruling on
the case is expected today.

The defence team, comprising Messrs Godfrey Mamvura, Thakor Kewada and
Joseph Mafusire, all of Scanlen and Holderness applied against his continued
detention before Justice Antonia Guvava.

"The judge wants to see the other application which was made on Friday,"
said Mamvura following a hearing of the case in chambers.

"She wants to have that other file which was submitted to the magistrates

"She will make a decision tomorrow morning (Monday). Its most likely going
to be before 10 oclock," he said.

In their bail application, Makambas lawyers are arguing that there was no
way the businessman could abscond or interfere with evidence and
investigations as he had offered his property running into billions of
dollars as security.

"There is no reasonable apprehension that he is likely to abscond or
interfere with evidence or investigations," said Mr Mamvura. "He has
property which he has offered as security

"There is no sane person who can abscond and leave behind property running
in billions of dollars."

They maintained that Makamba had handed himself to the police without
mentioning the station he presented himself to.

On Saturday Harare magistrate Jackie Mushonga ruled that Makamba be remanded
in custody invoking the new Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
(Amendment of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) Regulations of 2004.

Under these anti-graft regulations, a person charged for corruption, money
laundering, laundering of proceeds of crime, externalisation of foreign
currency and other crimes related to trade in grain, gold and other precious
stones can be detained up to 21 days and no court can grant bail to such
persons from the date an order or warrant for further detention is issued.

Mushonga ordered that Makamba be remanded in custody to February 27 in
accordance with Statutory Instrument 37 of 2004.

The State was represented by Chengetai Gwatidzo of the Attorney Generals

Makamba is alleged to have contravened, in his own capacity, section
C/5(1)(a) of the Exchange Control Act Chapter 22:05 as read with section
4(1)(a)(1) of the Exchange Control Regulations Statutory Instrument SI
109/96 where he faces 11 counts.

He also faces fraud: alternatively c/s5(1)(a) of the Exchange Control Act
Chapter22:05 as read with section 11(1)(a) of the Exchange Control
Regulations Statutory Instrument 109/96 involving four counts.

It is alleged that on 45 occasions Telecel, where Makamba is chairman, which
is not registered as a foreign currency dealer, received foreign currency
from different people in contravention of the foreign currency regulations.

In his individual capacity, it is alleged Makamba, on 11 occasions
approached his company Telecel Zimbabwe and sold foreign currency when both
himself and Telecel were not authorised foreign currency dealers.

He is also accused of having operated a bank account with a Johannesburg
bank and through facsimile and other means transferred money to the United
States or other countries on at least four occasions in contravention of the
Exchange Control Regulations.

Asst Comm Bvudzijena said according to the Companies Act the directors were
liable for the companys illegal activities.

In a related incident Mashonaland West farmer Cyril Muderede last week
appeared in court on allegations of fraud, externalising funds and theft by
false pretences.

Police said Muderede bought grain from local farmers which he sold to local
millers in the pretext that he imported the crop.

He was as a result paid in foreign currency and the money banked in his
South African account, the basis of his charge of theft by false pretences.

He also faces charges of externalising funds and contravening a section of
the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act although details of the amounts involved
could not be ascertained yesterday.

"We do not have the figure off hand but he was charged in court last week,"
said Asst Comm Bvudzijena.

Muderede was last year raided by Grain Marketing Board officials who found
him with large stocks of maize.

The grain was seized by the GMB.

The arrests come in the wake of revelations that the country could have lost
billions of dollars in foreign currency that could have been externalised
through exports of crops and precious minerals such as gold, among other

While the country suffered a critical foreign currency shortage, the South
African Government reported a huge upsurge in imports from Zimbabwe, which
could have earned the country over R2 billion last year.

A number of local companies also managed to finance the acquisition of
financial institutions and companies in the region and abroad using the
scarce foreign currency, which could have been channelled into the
acquisition of fuel, medical drugs and other vital imports. Other companies
however, managed to secure offshore loans for their foreign investments.
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The Herald

Move to establish pension schemes exposure

Herald Reporter
THE Commissioner of Insurance and Registrar of Pension and Provident Funds
is now working to determine the extent of exposure of individual pension
schemes and a whole range of policies managed by the insurance and the
pension industry following the collapse of some financial institutions.

"Much public concern has been expressed as to the impact of some of the
recent unfolding negative revelations in the financial sector, in particular
exposures to ENG Capital Investments and other financial institutions," said
the office of the commissioner.

In light of these developments in the financial sector, the office of the
commissioner said it was now taking steps to establish the possibility of
exposure of pension schemes, life and all other policies managed by the
insurance and pensions industry.

"It has so far been agreed that all the pension funds and companies in the
insurance business submit their detailed investment registers individually
so that we can assess the risks of exposure," the office of the commissioner

The Commissioner of Insurance and Registrar of Pension and Provident Funds
said it had already started instituting corrective measures that would among
other things ensure that there was a strong and stable pensions and
insurance industry with a responsible and accountable management.

The financial sector has been hit by a serious liquidity problem following a
clampdown by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which introduced a battery of
measures to bring sanity to the sector.
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The Herald

We didn't stop women from demonstrating: police

Herald Reporter
POLICE yesterday said they did not stop any Valentine's Day demonstrations
by Zimbabwean women but their application had not been granted by a Bulawayo
High Court.

Police chief spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena denied
international Press reports that the Police had dispersed demonstrations on
Saturday countrywide.

He said Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) went to Bulawayo High Court seeking
an order to be allowed to demonstrate but it was turned down.

"The group of women had made an application with the Bulawayo High Court and
it was turned down but we never thwarted any demonstrations," he said.

He dismissed the reports saying that they were only trying to be heard by
the international community by taking advantages of such a day.

"They are only raising issues so that they would be heard by the
international community. These are the very same people who need publicity,"
said Asst Comm Bvudzijena.

"Why would they demonstrate on Valentine's Day."

Women of Zimbabwe Arise spokesperson Mrs Jenny Williams was quoted by the
AFP on Saturday saying that they wanted to demonstrate so that Zimbabwe
returns to love again.

She alleged that they had been given permission to hold the demonstration.

"The demonstration is about Valentine's Day. We are saying Zimbabwe is
crying and want to love again. We must defend our right to love," said
Williams who was quoted by AFP.

Last year WOZA switched its similar demonstration to politics, which police
believe was the reason why the High Court did not grant them permission to
demonstrate this year.
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