The ZIMBABWE Situation
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The Zimbabwean

Supermarket prices: Harare northern suburbs






Mealie meal

10kg, refined















6 (450g)










Blue, 750g





Bath, 125g





plain, 2kg


































cooking oil











white, 1kg














In a separate little box

Other items – prices this week

Washing Powder - 200 grams


Close Up Toothpaste - 100 grams (Cheapest)


Staysoft - 750 mls


Jik - 750 mls


Easter Eggs Marshmallow - 8


Sweets No name brand - 300 grams


Peanut Butter - 1 litre




Chimombe - 500 mls








Chicken - One Regular Size


Kapenta - 500 grams


Cooking Oil 2 litres




Oats (Local) - 500 grams


Museli Imported - 500 grams




School Exercise Book - A4 size




Bicycle Tyre




Mens Underpants - 3


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WOZA defy govt

The Zimbabwean

HARARE - The frightened Mugabe regime responded with brute force this week
as courageous members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) took part in
peaceful  Valentine's demonstrations demanding an end to hunger and hatred.
Terrified policemen, armed with whips and batons, arrested hundreds of women
and babies, and threw them behind bars.  Their only crime was singing love
songs and handing out roses. The women offered no resistance to this brutal
crushing, but continued to sing as they were carted off in open trucks, some
of them borrowed from the Harare Municipality.

"Why are Mugabe and his strongmen so afraid of singing women carrying
flowers?" asked one political commentator. "This shows how weak they really
are - and they know it. The women of WOZA are the true heroes in Zimbabwe

The women had made no secret of their intentions to hold Bread and Roses
protests on Valentine's Day - but they took the police in Bulawayo by
surprise by demonstrating on Monday instead of Tuesday. The police responded
by whipping them, separating them from their leaders and jailing about 160.

Undeterred by this violent response, the brave women of WOZA took to the
streets of Harare on Tuesday to spread their message of love. An estimated
300 women and some 14 infants were arrested by anti-riot police while they
were demonstrating outside parliament at lunchtime.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has noted the arrests with grave
concern and said the women had been charged with violating section 24 of the
notorious Public Order and Security Act for participating in an unsanctioned
procession.  The women have denied the charges.

"We are outraged that those arrested were exposed to heavy rains and the
harsh elements as they were detained in the open police courtyard at
Bulawayo Central police station for several hours before being moved to
cells at around 22:30hrs. Such treatment is inhuman and degrading and flies
in the face of basic fundamental rights that are due to all human beings,
including the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Basic Principles for the
Treatment of Prisoners (1990) which provide that all detainees shall be
treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human
beings and shall not be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment," said the lawyers in a statement.

The imprisonment of the babies is a direct violation of accused persons'
rights, which state that "no female detainee who is breastfeeding a baby
shall be detained without the authority of the Officer Commanding the
Province, who must examine each case and decide on the necessity of
detention".  ZLHR said there was no indication that such an investigation
had been carried out and strongly condemned the police for endangering the
health of the babies and their mothers through mass detentions.

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News Roundup

The Zimbabwean

Appeal for info on missing youths

JOHANNESBURG - Two Movement for Democratic Change youths who went missing in
2005 during internal disturbances fuelled by the Central Intelligence
Organisation are still to be found after almost one and half year

Musawenkosi and Liberty Ncube were alleged to have abducted in Hillbrow in a
drama that claimed the life of another activist.

Five MDC activists were arrested and are still languishing in remand prison
waiting for a trial date. Although no comment could be obtained from South
African Police, it is believed that they have stopped searching for the two,
who are believed to be dead.

MDC South Africa was rocked in a serious leadership struggle at the time.
Members who had fled the Mugabe regime's violence and intimidation were
demanding posts in the executive from members who had come to South Africa
before the party's formation in 1999.

The CIO is alleged to have infiltrated the organisation to heighten the
tension. CIO underground operatives are said to have masterminded the
killing of another MDC activists and the kidnapping of Mhlanga and Ncube.
Lookout Mabhanga Ncube, a Zimbabwean activist, has appealed for those who
might information about the two to come forward.

"If they are dead, we need to give them decent burial. We need to know about
their whereabouts because

a person can not just disappear," said the grieving Lookout. - Zakeus

Exiles allege victimisation

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government has intensified its campaign to
deny Zimbabwean asylum seekers refugee status with hundreds of applications
denied every week by the Department of Home Affairs.

Most of Zimbabweans interviewed by The Zimbabwean this week said the
Department of Home Affairs was coming up with flimsy excuses to deny them
refugee status.

One woman who refused to identify herself for fear of jeopardising her
appeal application said interviews were now a mere formality as officials
had already rejected their applications.

"They accuse people of having travelling back to Zimbabwe during the time
they applied for asylum

papers," she said.

Others Zimbabweans are alleged to be holders of South African identity
documents or Zimbabwe passports.

The Zimbabwe Action Support Group has condemned the process. "It really
shows that the South Africa government does not recognise the crisis in
Zimbabwe. They are working hand-in-hand with the Mugabe regime to punish
Zimbabweans who have fled. Thabo Mbeki should work around the clock to solve
the crisis as the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa is overburdening
this nation's economy and social services," said the group's spokesperson,
Roders Mudarikwa.

The Director of Home Affairs, Busisiwe Mukwebane-Tshehla denied the

"We do not look where the person comes from.  Each application is assessed
on merit," she said.

Zimbabweans now suspect that the agreement signed between South African
Intelligence Minister Ronnie

Kasrils and Zimbabwean Security Minister Didymus Mutasa has come into

The governments agreed to work hand-in-hand on security matters, with South
Africa monitoring

Zimbabwean civic organisations and activists. - Zakeus Chibaya

Journos in exile form news agency

JOHANNESBURG - Africa and the world's first ever news agency by journalists
living in exile was launched in South Africa recently.
The Centre for African Journalists (CAJ News) was founded by former Zimbabwe
Standard Bureau Chief for Matabeleland region, Savious-Parker Kwinika.

The agency aims to create job opportunities for African journalists living
in exile, help them re-orient with the local media and restore their dignity
and lost pride.

Kwinika, who is also furthering his studies in Journalism and Media Studies
at Wits University is working with 18 other journalists from around Africa.

The head of Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University, Professor Anton
Harber, said the formation of CAJ News would help SADC and African readers
to see the true picture about Africa.

"This is good news not only to the journalists in exile but for the whole of
the SADC region and Africa.  I hope the journalists from around Africa will
be able to tell a true story about Africa," said Prof. Harber.

Echoing same sentiments was the secretary-general for the Southern African
Centre for Economic Justice (SACEJ), George Dor, who urged the mainstream
media in the region to support the new agency.

"I hope the mainstream media houses from around the SADC region will support
the journalists by directly buying news from them, and that CAJ News will
expose corruption, economic injustices by the world's financial institutions
such as the World Bank and IMF, bad governance and corruption," said Dor. -
CAJ News

'We are drinking raw sewage'

HARARE - These are some of the highlights of the parliamentary debate last
week on the state of living conditions in Harare:

Hon. Trudy Stevenson (Harare North)

.If you do not watch where you are going you can actually disappear in one
of these holes..

We are drinking raw sewage..

The residents will say: "We do not see why we should pay you because we did
not elect you. ..

On the 21st of December 2005 the excuse given by the Minister for not
holding elections in Harare is that there are no new ward boundaries..

Hon. Leo Mugabe (Makonde)

.When the Minister acted, we saw a decisive decision being taken by the

The potholes, electricity and sewerage that she has talked about, I would
like to move that the Minister of Local Government must take immediate
action and make sure that all those areas are rectified..

Hon. Edwin Mushoriwa (Dzivarasekwa)

.Out there we have a Commission which for more than two years has been
headed by somebody who does not even have grade 7 and somebody who cannot
even think of a turnaround plan...

We have kwashiorkor in the minds of the people running Local Government.

Once you have a person like Hon. Chombo calling himself a doctor, you start
wondering what type of education he has..In a discussion with Hon. Mugabe he
admits privately that Hon. Chombo is a liability to Zanu (PF)..

Hon. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (Glen Norah)

.I kept praying because barely ten years ago, I was actually proud of being

It is unfortunate when we come into this House, whether it is because Hon.
Chinamasa looks at them with a bad eye and they are afraid that something
will happen to them or whatever, they will not then stand up and agree...

Hon. Thembinkosi Sibindi (Hwange East)

.if that money is misused then he can fire the council. But now he is firing
from nowhere. It is like a misfiring car. He needs a new engine..

There are no roads, no bridges but you have a minister who claims to be a
doctor. He is a doctor of destruction. I think this man needs to be taken to
a Zion church because he needs assistance. ..

Hon. Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South)

.We had two councillors who were selling "juice" cards by the roadside but
they won the elections..

Hon. Walter Mzembi (Masvingo South)

.The solution is in us going together as MDC, NDU, other political parties
that may come in future and us Zanu (PF) who are always here, to seek
foreign investments that will improve our country. .

In Masvingo, we had the dishonour after the last council elections of having
the Deputy Mayor who is a security guard being the Chairman of the Finance

Hon. Prof Welshman Ncube (Bulawayo North-East)

We know that so many of them are well educated and they hold PhDs but they
remain uneducated.  If they were, this country would not be in the sorry
state that it is today, the collapse of infrastructure, Harare is in a mess,
Bulawayo is in a mess, there is no fuel and the country is on its knees but
it is managed by highly educated people. . You need to cross the nearest
bridge before you worry about the bridge which is 10 km away. I cannot go
with Hon. Chinamasa there to engage the international community when he
refuses to engage me on my concerns about my right to hold a meeting in
Zimbabwe. - Own correspondent

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Detention Watch from Zimbabwe Association

The Zimbabwean

LONDON - Shocking news this week has included the shutting down of one of
the most hard working and competent firms of immigration solicitors.  Noden
Solicitors has now ceased to practice. Staff were given no notice of the
decision to cease trading and were stunned to receive the news on the very
day that the company closed its doors after 20 years of quality service. The
Law Society is now dealing with Noden's clients and we understand will be
allocating cases to other legal firms.

Most Zimbabwean clients of Noden should be all right despite the closure. In
general Zimbabwean cases are moving very slowly as the Home Office awaits
the hearing of the AA case in the Court of Appeal, and as yet, there are no
dates for this hearing. One group of Zimbabweans - those who have travelled
into the UK on Malawian passports - are in a more vulnerable position than
other clients.

However, we are hopeful that the particular solicitor who specialised in
those cases will be employed in the near future by another firm, and will be
in a position to continue with these cases. Many of our members have been
helped enormously by Noden in the past and we wish all the Noden staff well
and hope they find other jobs swiftly.

Many Zimbabweans in the asylum process face considerable difficulties with
the welfare and support services.  Access to financial support and
accommodation is often problematic. The ZA met with a very experienced
welfare practitioner from the College of Law this week.  Following the
discussion and suggested plans for further cooperation, we hope to be in a
better position to tackle some of the welfare issues facing Zimbabweans.

A proposed pilot scheme may see the practitioner taking on a small number of
referred cases.  An assessment of the scheme as it progresses will direct
our future moves in this area.  In addition to this some ZA committee
members will be attending training courses on Asylum support in the near

As a result of the publicity surrounding an enhanced incentivisation scheme
encouraging asylum seekers to return to their home countries, the ZA office
has received many queries. We met staff from the International Organisation
of Migration (IOM) this week to try to clarify the situation.  More
information has been acquired through this meeting enabling us to answer
some questions more accurately.

Members have continued to visit the ZA office by appointment. On such a
recent visit we heard of yet another 'legal' representative, this time in
the Hastings area, charging large sums of money for questionable legal
assistance. Once again please be reminded of the need for caution if parting
with money - you may just be throwing it away - and always get a receipt!

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WOZA film wows UK audience

The Zimbabwean

LONDON - A crowd of 80 or more attended the first screening of the
documentary film, 'From WOZA with love', at the School of Oriental and
African Studies (SOAS).  The event was organised by the student's society
'Friends of Africa'.

Filmed in Zimbabwe by a cross-section of un-named journalists and edited in
the UK by Lois Davis, the film shows the women of WOZA, 'Women of Zimbabwe
Arise' in action.  We hear from individuals like Magadonga Mahlangu as she
outlines the group's aim to resuscitate love in the face of violence and
hate in Zimbabwe - even at the risk of being beaten each time they
demonstrate peacefully.

The film shows women of all ages in discussion - forceful, outspoken and
articulate - and shows them constantly out on the streets, spirited, strong,
marching and singing.

Only at the end of the film, in the distance, do we see women forced on to
an open truck by the police and youth militia who routinely beat them up and
arrest them. This is because anyone caught filming will have their cameras
smashed or be beaten themselves.

WOZA was formed in 2002 to empower women and give them a platform to express
themselves on issues that needed to be addressed.  'At WOZA we teach each
other' says one of the women in the film 'and our minds open up!'

Another says proudly, of a street march to which she went with her baby on
her back, that she went to prison with the child because she wanted rights
for herself - and rights for that child.

Commitment is total, as is clarity about the policies and programmes they're
pressing for.  In a country brought to its knees by lust for political
power, WOZA's non-partisan grassroots concerns are a desperately-needed
antidote (power of love versus love of power, to paraphrase a favourite
slogan of theirs).

Inevitably, the film ends with a reference to Operation Murambatsvina
(clear out the trash) which has ruined livelihoods and made 2005 the
toughest year yet for women and children in Zimbabwe.  WOZA's capabilities
have never been more vital.

From the young women in the room comes a feeling that what WOZA is achieving
is a template for communities anywhere struggling for equality and human
rights. You watch these women in action together and despair vanishes.
Everyone interested in the role of civic movements should see the film. -
Own correspondent

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Daily News to reappear soon?

The Zimbabwean

HARARE - The Daily News could be back on the streets by mid-March if the
Media and Information Commission complies with the recent Harare high court
ruling that it should reconsider an application by the paper for an
operating licence.

Reporters Without Borders has urged the MIC to comply with the order

The publishers would write to the MIC this week reminding them that in terms
of the Act (AIPPA) they have 30 days to consider the application and grant
the licence, said Sam Nkomo, chief executive of Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe (ANZ).

"They have our application already.  We have complied with the requirements
of the law and the chairman himself (Tafataona Mahoso) conceded in court
that the application met the MIC's requirements," he said.

"The MIC has been misinterpreting the Chidyausiku judgement but the Makarau
judgement has confirmed what the Supreme Court ruled initially - that the
MIC must reconsider our application. The commission has been abusing the
justice system," explained Nkomo.

The 30 day period specified by the act will be up on March 8 and we expect
to be granted a licence by then.
In its ruling last week, the high court set aside the MIC's decision to deny
the paper a licence in response to a complaint filed last July by ANZ's
lawyers pointing out that the Mahoso had refused to recuse himself from the
case, even though the Supreme Court had found him to be biased.
High Court judge Rita Makarau, said the MIC's refusal to approve the licence
was biased and that it should therefore reconsider the request.
The legal battle has been ongoing since the Daily News and its Sunday
edition were banned in September 2003. In February 2004, the battle reached
the Supreme Court, which took a year to issue a ruling. Because of enormous
financial difficulties and its desire not to expose its journalists to the
possibility of arrest, the Daily News decided to stop publishing pending a
resolution of the dispute. - Own correspondent

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State media gives absurd coverage to IMF visit

The Zimbabwean

HARARE - The fact-finding visit to Zimbabwe by an International Monetary
Fund delegation provided a new opportunity for the state-run media to
demonstrate the absurdity of its coverage and its ludicrous attempts to
stifle criticism of the authorities.

A count by Zimbabwe's media watchdog, the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
(MMPZ), showed that through a total of 19 stories on the subject, the state
broadcasters and newspapers depicted the IMF delegation as being impressed
with the regime's so-called turnaround policies. None of them even mentioned
the IMF's grave concerns about the regime's fiscal ineptitude, soaring
inflation and the deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

The coverage was so distorted that the first hint listeners received that
the IMF was less than happy with what it found came from the finance
minister himself, Herbert Murerwa. ZTV quoted Murerwa as saying that the IMF
had expressed some concern over the Zimbabwe administration's policies -
although he added hastily that he was confident Zimbabwe would retain it
membership and the IMF was 'impressed'.

Naturally no attempt was made to seek comment from independent analysts or
the IMF - and the state mouthpieces, The Herald and The Chronicle, followed

"In fact, the official dailies' blindly positive portrayal of the IMF as
being happy with the government's economic programme was belied by their
revelations that the two parties . had agreed on the need for an overhaul of
at least five key policy areas," the MMPZ said in its report covering Jan.
30 - Feb. 5. "These included an end to farm invasions and the protection of
property rights, privatization of  parastatals, civil service reform,
reducing the money supply and clearance of the IMF debt."

The private media, however, were generally candid, telling the truth that
the IMF remained unimpressed by the economic policies of the Mugabe regime.
The Financial Gazette, SW Radio Africa, Zimbabwe Independent and Studio 7
all reported that the IMF was actually pressing the authorities to
undertaken major policy reforms to resuscitate the economy.

The same critical approach was continued by the private media in stories
about the indicators of economic decline, including steep price increases,
power shortages and the collapse of the health service.

They blamed these woes on the regime's failed policies. In contrast, the
state media's approach is to report the obvious, such as prices soaring,
garbage piled up, lights going out, but making no link to the general
economic mismanagement.

Increased penalties for breaching the country's notorious laws against
freedom of speech and freedom of the press appeared a bit much, even for the
state mouthpieces, The Herald and The Chronicle. Both newspapers left out
the fact that breaches of these internationally condemned laws now carry a
jail term of up to five years, though they reported the hugely increased

Studio 7, however, put the matter into perspective. It quoted prominent
lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa as saying the stiffer penalties were "part of the
continued assault on the freedom of the media in Zimbabwe.

MMPZ said the radio station exposed the continued harassment of member of
civic society and individuals perceived as anti-government.

For example, it reported the arrest of students conducting research for the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on the effects of Operation Murambatsvina
on grounds they were working "for foreign news organizations.

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Justice delayed is justice denied

The Zimbabwean

We find it odd that a High Court judge would use the occasion of the opening
of a regional court circuit to make a political statement.We find it odd
that a High Court judge would use the occasion of the opening of a regional
court circuit to make a political statement.  Quite clearly his intention
was to ingratiate himself with the Mugabe regime - perhaps in the hopes of

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu's sycophantic grovelling is a stark indication of
just how low Zimbabwe's once internationally respected judiciary has sunk.

Bhunu sanctimoniously proclaimed that it was not the duty of the judiciary
to 'spring anyone into office or maintain anyone in power'.

Nobody is asking him to do that!

If that is what he thinks Morgan Tsvangirai's petition before the Supreme
Court is all about, no wonder it has taken more than three years for the
High Court to even hear the case, forcing him to appeal to the Supreme Court
to intervene.

Surely Bhunu is not unaware of the maxim: Justice delayed is justice denied?

Tsvangirai's lawyers mounted a court challenge alleging massive electoral
violence and fraud during the 2002 Presidential elections.

Surely the honourable judge would agree that it is the duty of the judiciary
to ensure that the wishes of the people expressed through the ballot box are
upheld by the government of the day.

If the people cannot change their leaders legitimately, through the ballot
box, and rely on the courts to establish whether or not electoral fraud has
been committed - the alternative is rather ghastly.

I wonder just how Justice Bhunu thinks such issues can be resolved?

The chief justice himself, Godfrey Chidyausiku, set up electoral courts just
before the 2005 general elections to settle expeditiously any disputes
resulting from the electoral process. We would have thought that this would
send a message to members of the bench that electoral matters needed to be
given high priority to avoid a repetition of 2000.

The sorry events of that general election brought shame on our country and
our judiciary. Several Zanu (PF) held seats were declared invalid by the
High Court after MDC lawyers proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there
had been widespread intimidation and violence, as well as outright rigging.

Through an abuse of the judicial system, the affected members appealed to
the Supreme Court, which still has not heard the appeals, six years later.
This allowed the fraudulently elected Zanu (PF) MPs to sit in parliament for
its entire five-year lifetime, making laws, drawing salaries and enjoying

The constituents were denied their right to choose their leaders and in many
cases suffered bitterly for having dared used their votes against the ruling

The first step for any new administration to take would be to ensure that
such obviously politically motivated judges as Bhunu are asked to step down
as soon as possible.

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MDC leadership approved Ncube-Chinamasa talks

The Zimbabwean

EDITOR - JR Mutare makes false and unsubstantiated claims against Professor
Welshman Ncube, the MDC Secretary General. He casts negative aspersions on
Professor Ncube's integrity as a leader and makes malicious allegations that
are clearly meant to project him as an unreliable and manipulative
character, who went into negotiations with Zanu (PF) without the approval of
his party. He also tries to project Ncube as someone who is in the habit of
doing things behind the backs of his colleagues.

We state the true facts surrounding the much talked about informal dialogue
with Zanu (PF), for the benefit of JR Mutare and others, who might have also
been falsely made to believe that Ncube went into negotiations with the
ruling party without approval from his party. He was appointed in his
capacity as the Secretary General of MDC, by the National Executive, to head
the party's negotiating team with Zanu (PF). After the collapse of the
formal dialogue facilitated by the Secretary General of the African National
Congress, Kglema Montlante and a representative from President Olusegun
Obasanjo, it was felt that the only realistic and available option to
resolve the country's national crisis was through a negotiated settlement.

In order to clear the ground for a formal dialogue with the ruling party, it
was proposed and agreed by the National Executive that Ncube engage his
counterpart Patrick Chinamasa. It was agreed that the constitution should be
revisited. The two therefore negotiated around the content of a new
constitution which could be used as a gateway to fresh elections.

During the entire process Ncube briefed both Morgan Tsvangirai and Gibson
Sibanda weekly and obtained their consent to each part of the draft
constitution as it evolved.

On completion, the party's management committee discussed it and took it to
the National Executive where it was further discussed and agreed to in

The writer also falsely alleges that POSA and AIPPA were drafted by Ncube
and Chinamasa. This allegation is not worth responding to. Since when has
Jonathan Moyo become a credible source of information?

Why would a serious political observer rely on Nathaniel Manheru's column?

It is a matter of public record that Ncube, and the late Dr Eddson Zvobgo,
as members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, passed an adverse report on
both POSA and AIPPA, which the committee described as "the most calculated
attack on our civil and political liberties." It was only after the adverse
report that the Minister of Justice, with Professor Jonathan Moyo
protesting, decided to make concessions and redrafted some of the provisions
of AIPPA. As a result of the redrafting, the Parliamentary Legal Committee
decided to withdraw its adverse report on AIPPA.

Those records will show that Professor Ncube, Hon David Coltart, Hon Tendai
Biti and others, strenuously opposed each and every close of both AIPPA and

Paul Themba Nyathi,  Secretary for Information and Publicity

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