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

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Dear Friends,

In light of the requests I put to the leadership of Hear the Word
Ministries (for example to explain to Zimbabweans the background to this
action and to refer to Isaiah 58 if they met Robert Mugabe) when I met
them on the 21st January - none of which appear to have been taken heed
of - I am very distressed by the report attached below.

The "token of love" is bad enough being made in the very week one of Roy
Bennett's workers was killed in cold blood by Mugabe's agents and
another of his workers, aged 18, raped. (Will HTWM agree to donate Z$ 30
million to these workers and their families who have been brutalised in
this manner?) Did the HTWM leadership seek to dispute Mugabe's statement
that there had been "a reduction of political violence in the country"?
What is even worse from the perspective of the Church is that Mr
Deuschle should say that, if he is reported correctly (but that is all
we have if HTWM does not clarify the position), "freedom of expression
should be exercised within the confines of the law" in the very week
that the Daily News has been closed down by this very law Mr Deuschle
refers to.

I believe that the Church now has an obligation to speak loud and clear
into this situation. This action is wrong and is deeply damaging to the
Church if not dealt with.

I have copied this mail to HTWM to invite them to set the record
straight if the ZBC has misquoted them or falsified the report in any
way. If I have not heard from them by Wednesday the 18th February I will
assume that the report is accurate.

Yours sincerely,

David Coltart

2004 expected to be a better year - President Mugabe

13 February 2004
President Robert Mugabe has expressed hope that Zimbabwe will this year
witness socio-economic and political improvements compared to last year.

The President was speaking at Zimbabwe House in Harare during a meeting
a twenty-men delegation from the 'Hear The Word Church Ministries'. Cde
Mugabe said this year should be better than last year, which saw the
's agriculture affected by drought and problems experienced in various
sectors including the political arena. He expressed concern over the
of moral values among both rural and urban people in the country saying
has led to corruption and the high prevalence of crimes such as stock
The president called for stronger partnership between the church and
in instilling moral values in society.

Cde Mugabe said it is unfortunate that some leaders are caught up in
practices such as drunkenness. He welcomed the reduction in the
incidents of
political violence saying it is positive step towards unity in the
Speaking at the same occasion, the leader of the church, Pastor Tom
Deuschle, said morality is the biggest challenge facing society today.
called on the church to speak out on social issues affecting the nation.
church leader also spoke about freedom of expression saying it should be
exercised within the confines of the law. The group presented $30
million to
the President saying it is a token of love from that church.

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Dear Members of Island Hospice,

I am a great admirer of the wonderful work your organization does and
just recently received yet another glowing report from a dear friend
whose wife was ministered to by your superb staff in her last days.

It is accordingly with deep regret that I have to write to you to
express my disappointment that you invited Zanu (PF)ís Minister of
Health to the recent opening of your new headquarters. As you probably
know I recently participated in the budget debate in Parliament and was
appalled by the stance taken by this man, and indeed all those who voted
for the Ministry of Healthís budget. The Ministry of Health has only
been allocated Z$ 700 billion which is woefully inadequate. By way of
comparison I should mention that the CIO was granted Z$ 62 billion, the
Youth Brigades some Z$ 40 billion, the Army and Airforce Z$ 815 billion,
the Police Z$ 339 billion and the ďunallocated reserveĒ in the Ministry
of Finance (which is not subject to the same scrutiny as other votes by
Parliament itself and is routinely used to supplement defence spending)
Z$ 1.3 trillion. In other words we know that at the very least this
regime will be spending at least Z$ 1,256 trillion defending itself
(plus whatever else it takes from the unallocated reserve during the
year) while poor Zimbabweans are being sent home to die from our
hospitals because of inadequate medicines and lack of medical personnel.

In these circumstances I find it distasteful that any medical
organization could associate itself with, never mind invite as guest of
honour, a man who is complicit with and largely responsible for this
appalling state of affairs. I hope that your wonderful organization will
never associate itself with such people again.

Yours sincerely,

David Coltart MP
Bulawayo South
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Makamba faces 22 forex offences-Judge slams police 'high-handedness'

By Caiphas Chimhete

PROMINENT businessman James Makamba, who is being charged with 22
counts of externalising foreign currency, yesterday became the first
victim of harsh anti-corruption regulations gazetted on Friday, when a
Harare magistrate ordered his further detention in custody until
February 27.

Lawyers for the wealthy businessman had on Friday made an urgent
application in the High Court to have him released. He had spent about
100 hours in police custody being shuttled between police cells at
Harare Central, Goromonzi, Morris Depot, Tomlison, Rhodesville,
Braeside and Beatrice police stations, without being charged.

High Court Judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye, in his ruling over the
Friday afternoon application, yesterday morning referred the matter
back to the Magistrates' Court where the businessman was finally
charged with 22 counts half of them in his personal capacity of
externalising hard currency.

Harare magistrate Jackie Mushonga ordered that Makamba be remanded in
custody according to the new regulations which say a person accused of
externalising foreign currency among other crimes may be detained for
a period of seven days, and more days later, from the date when an
order for further detention is issued.

"The accused has been remanded in custody to the 27th of February of
this year on the basis of the new legislation," said Mushonga, whose
declaration shattered the hopes of Makamba's wife and several
relatives and friends who packed Court Room 6.

The heavily-built businessman, clad in a blue bomber jacket, navy blue
trousers and black shoes, was led away by prison guards.

His lawyer, Godfrey Mamvura of Scanlen and Hoderness, said the police
had deliberately waited for Friday's new statutory instrument on graft
to come into effect in order to take away the court's power to grant
Makamba bail.

"I can rightly call it 'the James Makamba Statutory Instrument' – this
is a gross violation of the accused's constitutional right to his
liberty," said Mamvura.

Under the new graft regulations, an accused person can be detained for
up to 30 days before being charged if police insist they want to
continue investigations. Mamvura pointed out that Makamba had
voluntarily handed himself to the police when he came back from a
business trip to South Africa but despite that gesture, "the police
continued to treat him like a fugitive".

Makamba, a former DJ and a successful self-made businessman, owns
supermarkets, farms, security firms and several other properties in
Bindura and Harare. He is also the non-executive chairman of mobile
phone operator, Telecel Zimbabwe.

Makamba is a member of Zanu PF's Central Committee, a former
provincial chairman of the governing party in Mashonaland Central and
a former Member of Parliament for Mt Darwin.

According to his lawyers, Makamba was arrested at 10 AM on Monday
after returning from a business trip to South Africa. Police had in
the meantime advertised on radio that they wanted the businessman for
questioning, as if he was a dangerous fugitive on the run.

Heavily armed police and CIO officers swooped on his residences and
properties "armed to the teeth," according to his lawyers in the early
hours of Monday morning before Makamba surrendered himself to the

Makamba's Harare home, in the up-market suburb of Kambanji, was raided
by more than 50 heavily armed police while his offices were sealed. As
he arrived at the Magistrates' Courts yesterday, Makamba who was
guarded by eight armed police officers tried to put a brave face but
one could see a tormented soul behind his ready smile.

The businessman's lawyers say he only knew of the charges that he was
being held for on Friday about 96 hours after detention and said his
detention was unlawful because he was a non-executive chairman of

Earlier on yesterday, Justice Chitakunye had deplored the
high-handedness of the police when dealing with Makamba.

"Such conduct may tend to taint the intentions the police may allege
to have," said Justice Chitakunye, making his ruling over the Friday

The judge then ordered that Makamba be taken for a remand hearing at
the Magistrates' Court at 12 noon yesterday, failure of which he was
to be released at 12:30 PM of the same day.

Opposing Makamba's application for release on Friday evening, Joseph
Jagada of the Attorney General's office who constantly consulted the
officer co-ordinating the investigations, an Assistant Commissioner
Gora had said Makamba was externalising foreign currency between 2001
and part of 2004.

"He, together with others, was selling foreign currency to Telecel
Zimbabwe, at black market rates, which would externalise it," said

In one case, said Gora, a Banket commercial farmer Mr Mudheredhe
exported maize and deposited the proceeds in a Luxembourg Telecel
account. He would then be paid in local currency using black market

"The case involves extra-territorial boundaries that is why it has
taken long," said Gora, who added: "The police are not vindictive to
Makamba. We know the contribution he has made to the country, we just
want justice to prevail."

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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Zimbabwe: A Police State

THE anti-graft regulations gazetted in an Extraordinary Government
Gazette last Friday under The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
(Amendment of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) Regulations of 2004
which amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act are some of "the
most calculated and determined assault on our civil liberties".
Zimbabwe has effectively become a Police State.

We are for the fight against corruption. But the new regulations are
illogical and completely unconstitutional. What has happened to the
time-honoured presumption of innocence before one is proven guilty?
This is a clear interference with the administration of justice. Why
detain suspects in order to investigate. Investigate and then arrest
on proven facts.

What these regulations mean is that someone with a score to settle can
simply phone the police to arrest or acting on a tip off, the police
can arrest an innocent person and detain them for lengthy periods
without recourse to bail.

This is tantamount to licensing government to abuse the courts to keep
people in remand prison without evidence of any wrongdoing.

It is defective legislation that takes away the discretion of the
judiciary to protect the civil liberties of all citizens, even those
suspected of committing crimes, until such time that compelling
evidence of crime is furnished to the courts.

It is sad and most unfortunate that the Zanu PF ruling party should be
advancing its hidden agenda this way. People not convicted should not
be deprived of their fundamental rights as citizens.

When we eventually recover our freedoms and liberties, many years will
be spent sifting through the rubble of President Robert Mugabe's
repressive pieces of legislation such as the new anti-graft
regulations and many others.

Standard Comment

The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

A case of old wine in new bottles

SHOCK and disbelief, but mostly a resounding national yawn, greeted
the so called cabinet reshuffle last week. But Zimbabweans should
never have been surprised, unless, of course, people conveniently
choose to forget what sort of man President Mugabe has been and is.

A leopard has never been known to change its spots. Experience has
taught us that the man does not change that easily. Look at his record
since time immemorial and you will understand what we are talking
about. President Mugabe rarely disposes of his friends and colleagues
however useless and incompetent they may be. He has privatised
Zimbabwe so what's the big deal?

"The problem is with you fellas in the independent Press, the
British-sponsored MDC, the Americans and the British themselves" we
can hear him say.

To say that the cabinet reshuffle is a non-event is clearly an
under-statement. It is not worth talking about. It was just a
circulation and recycling of old and tired colleagues with an addition
here and there of equally old and tired old guard who should have been
better left in their semi-retirement state.

President Mugabe has always found comfort in people who agree with
him. Disagree with him and you become a candidate for the boot.
Instead of seeing growth in differences and disagreements the man sees
nothing but enemies and saboteurs.

'Yes Cde President' is the catch phrase if you have any hope of
survival in Mugabe's cabinet. He does not want you to say no but when
he says yes you must all say yes!

Politicians in Africa particularly of the local variety engage in
politics to have life without scarcity. Poverty is a real problem.
That is why grown-up men and women behave like overgrown little
children in Mugabe's presence. It has really to do with being part and
parcel of the gravy train. It would be naive in the extreme for anyone
to think it can be anything else. It does not take rocket science to
figure out why this is so.

It has nothing to do with "combating corruption and enhancing the
country's capacity to be self-sufficient". They are in it for
themselves pure and simple!

After all, many of the ministers who have either retained their
portfolios or moved to new ones are the most corrupt individuals one
can think of in Zimbabwe. Not to mention the newly-appointed ministers
and deputy ministers the majority of whom are known to be walking,
sleeping and eating corruption big time.

This is the tragedy of Zimbabwe. And no amount of shuffling can
disguise this fact. If indeed the reason for the cabinet reshuffle was
to move from the 'war Cabinet' of 2002 which was fighting imaginary
enemies to a 2004 Cabinet to fight corruption who indeed in Zanu PF
can be spared? Not that the war against corruption must not be fought.
We are not saying that. We are merely raising legitimate concerns
about the sort of characters put in charge of this fight who
themselves are corrupt to the bone.

Yes, indiscipline must be fought. But when you put people who
themselves are, by and large, indisciplined then we continue to be in
deep trouble. Instead of stemming the tide, we sink and sink until we
sink no more. This is our worry.

We also get worried when the President says with a straight face that
the people of Zimbabwe want a large government. Really Mr President?
Which Zimbabwean people? Of this planet Earth? Really?

It is common knowledge that the Cabinet is inflated, bloated and
excessively overweight even before last week's reshuffle. It was a
cabinet crying out to be severely cut and trimmed particularly in the
context of the meagre resources and the economic problems that the
country is currently facing.

And to enlarge it the way the President has done boggles the mind. No
doubt, the ministers, deputy ministers and the newly-appointed
governors for Harare and Bulawayo, whose duties we are yet to be told,
will be using government offices and expensive vehicles to conduct
their business. But human nature being what it is, if they are not
fully occupied, the tendency will be to devote time and effort to
their own personal affairs, a situation rampant in government offices
even as we write.

We dare say deputy ministers and governors are redundant by all
accounts. We would laugh about it were it not for the tragedy that it
is given the sacrifices and immense difficulties that the majority of
Zimbabweans are going through. It is a criminal waste of national
resources to pay people who will spend more of their time tending to
their farms and businesses. But President Mugabe seems entirely
oblivious to consequences of a large cabinet on the fiscus.

The depth of this country's economic difficulties should have given
him pause for serious thought and a Cabinet reshuffle should have
equally given him a window of opportunity to at least begin to correct
the problems. But true to his nature what President Mugabe has done is
to give us good theatre.

He has clearly demonstrated that it would be wishful thinking for
Zimbabweans to ever expect a pragmatic response to desperately
difficult problems from this man. These appointments, far from
translating into benefits for the people of Zimbabwe are actually a
serious drain on the country's resources.

A God-send opportunity has again been squandered. The Cabinet
reshuffle merely became another occasion on which to repeat the
formula. It appears that the people of Zimbabwe are always at the
starting point. Be that as it may, we can only hope that those who are
engaged in the struggle to return Zimbabwe to sanity will win in the

Cabinet reshuffle. What Cabinet reshuffle? Yes, a case of saving old
wine in new bottles. Simple.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Hype, hypocrisy and hysteria

overthetop By Brian Latham

OCCASIONALLY a politician says something so breathtakingly stupid that
it takes your breath away. So it was this week with South Africa's
foreign minister, the deeply unattractive Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma.

This increasingly notorious woman suggests that there's nothing wrong
with Zimbabwe's media laws, its tainted courts or even elections
marred by violence, rigging and corruption.

Instead the problem lies with Britain, she says. No doubt, in her eyes
at least, Britain is to blame for drawing mild mannered attention to
the fact that Zimbabwe's media laws are unfair, its courts unjust and
its elections unrepresentative.

Oh dear! Mrs Dlamini-Zuma goes on to say that Britain is obsessed by
the desire to protect its kith and kin and that the "legitimate
government" of Zimbabwe doesn't want to take orders from its former
colonial master - or should that be mistress?

The poor woman obviously received a woeful education, because it would
be embarrassingly out of character for Britain to actually do

So - Tony Blair's spin-driven government may wring its hands and bleat
about the awful conditions in Zimbabwe, but it won't actually act.
Besides, it's Europe and the United States that are making the most
noise, but perhaps they're too large and intimidating for even the
large and intimidating Mrs Dlamini-Zuma to tackle.

But all that belies the real, mind-numbing insensitivity and ignorance
of her silly statements. No one but a diehard Bolshevik could, with a
straight face, claim elections in Zimbabwe have been free and fair;
nor could anyone claim that the Goebbels-like efficiency with which
government and courts have crushed the press is conducive to freedom.

But of course, Mrs Dlamini-Zuma does both, with even more vigour than
her somnambulant boss.

She even thinks it would be "unrevolutionary" to criticise Zimbabwe.

Of course, it isn't unrevolutionary (a word no dictionary recognises)
to murder, rape, torture and starve two thirds of the population
something citizens of South Africa should bear in mind when their
revolutionary government gets up a head of steam and decides to act
out its revolutionary fantasies.

It would, of course, be wrong for a European nation to embark on a
programme of pillage, but it's entirely legitimate and even
revolutionary for an African nation to do just that.

This staggering leap of hypocrisy does make one wonder just where and
when it will all end, because when Mrs Dlamini-Zuma opens her mouth,
no one in the west has the courage to point out that she would sound
far more plausible if she took her foot out before she spoke.

That's because Tony Blair's craven government would rather watch a
country collapse than face the dreaded race card – and because George
Bush's government is still trying to find Zimbabwe on the map.

Still, surrounded by cowardice, hypocrisy and ignorance, Zimbabweans
can take heart from the knowledge that when the problem is eventually
solved, they won't have to worry about the troublesome and tedious
business of writing all those boring thank you letters. Quite simply,
there is no one to thank. Thabo Mbeki's non-existent "quiet diplomacy"
is just a euphemism for "let's sit back and watch it die so we can buy
it at bargain basement prices." Tony Blair's forelock tugging attempts
to get someone else to solve the crisis have only made things worse.
And the rest of the world couldn't, frankly, give a damn.

In the finest tradition of Zimbabwean journalism, the mixed metaphor
"the ball is now in your frying pan" just about sums up the plight
facing the millions of starving, battered and broke people from Binga
to Beitbridge.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Zimbabwean politicians, an intolerant lot

Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

THE stereotyped intolerance of African politicians to any dissent,
differing points of view, let alone opposition, is characteristically
true of Zimbabwe. I have seen this with my own eyes. It is not a view
which I hold because of indoctrination by some white neo-colonialists.

As a young man I was fairly active in the youth wings of the political
movement in Mbare from the National Democratic Party (NDP) the
People's Caretaker Council (PCC) and the Zimbabwe People's Union

We were led by, among others, the fiery freedom fighter and incisive
writer, Malakia Madimutsa. At his death, he was declared a provincial
hero instead of national hero by some who think they know better. He
often openly criticised the national leadership of Zanu PF.

At that time I refused any leadership position among the youth because
I worked for American missionaries who regarded African nationalism as
Communist inspired and, therefore, atheistic. They disapproved of my
associating with the NDP and with ZAPU but could not actually prove
that I was a member. Otherwise I would have joined the long lines of
unemployed youths in the country.

I first witnessed the intolerance of African nationalists through the
violent treatment meted out to trade unionist, Reuben Jamela. As
leader of the Southern Rhodesia Trade Union Congress (SRTUC), he was
rather ambivalent towards the National Democratic Party led by Joshua
Nkomo. He did not want the political movement to control or interfere
with his trade union movement.

Nationalist leaders demanded absolute allegiance from all sectors of
African life. They demanded unity and absolute loyalty to their
leadership. They, therefore called Jamela a sell-out, a betrayer of
the struggle and urged the people to kill him.

Jamela's house was stoned and petrol-bombed several times. Some of his
followers were badly beaten up. One or more were even killed. He fled
the then Harare Township with his family because his life was in real

After the demise of SRTUC Josiah Maluleke formed the Southern Rhodesia
African Trade Union Congress (SRATUC) which was subordinate to ZAPU.

In 1963 ZAPU held one of the biggest mass rallies in its history at No
7 football grounds in what is now Mbare. People came from virtually
all the townships in their skin hats, singing songs in praise of ZAPU
leaders, Joshua Nkomo, James Chikerema and George Nyandoro. I was
among them, wearing my mongoose (Jerenyenje) skin hat.

At this meeting one of the leaders read out a list of people who had
become sell-outs. He said these people were plotting against Joshua
Nkomo. They were educated intellectuals who did not want to associate
with the uneducated masses and their party, ZAPU. He also said they
had formed their own party, ZANU, to derail the struggle.

At first I was really angry with these people who would dare to oppose
"Chibwechitedza" Joshua Nkomo and the people's party, ZAPU.

However, as the names were read out, I became confused. Among them
were my heroes and role models; Eddison Zvobgo, Robert Mugabe, Rev
Ndabaningi Sithole, Maurice Nyagumbo, Edgar Tekere and some whom I
have forgotten. How could these "vana vevhu" (sons of the soil) be
sell-outs. I just refused to believe it.

The people were angry. They called for the blood of these traitors.
They were outraged at the fact that any African would dare to split
the nationalist movement at that stage. This was as good as selling
out to the white oppressors! Those whose names were called out and
were present at the meeting had to flee for their lives.

This marked the beginning of the violent struggle between ZAPU and
ZANU which derailed the struggle against white rule for many years.

I refused to take sides in this struggle. I hoped and prayed that
sanity would prevail and brother would stop killing brother. Some of
my friends, from both sides, died in this struggle. My friend Malakia
remained with ZAPU and helped in the formation of Zhanda, a youth
group, much like today's Zanu PF's Chipangano, which went about
beating up any ZANU supporters they could find.

For a while, I thought that George Nyandoro and James Chikerema would
play a unifying role and bring the two groups together but they
decided to remain with Joshua Nkomo and ZAPU. They became enemies of
their former friends and colleagues who were now supporting ZANU led
by Rev Ndabaningi Sithole. The black on black violence disgusted me no
end. I decided to abandon nationalistic politics and instead joined
the conciliatory Centre Party led by Pat Bashford.

ZANU tried its best to woo the masses by explaining that the dispute
between the nationalists was over what should constitute the agenda of
the anti-colonial struggle. Joshua Nkomo had remained a moderate while
the Young Turks who had formed ZANU wanted a more militant approach
including armed struggle.

When the Rhodesian Front came into power, it used the inter-party
violence as a reason to proscribe any nationalistic activities
throughout the whole country. The leadership was arrested and those
who escaped went into exile. Up to the late 1960s, there was a
definite lull in black political activity throughout the country. In
the meantime ZANU went underground and spearheaded the armed struggle
in the rural areas.

We all know the rest. In 1980 ZANU came back as victors. They won the
first one-man, one-vote elections by a landslide. We all rejoiced and
shouted, "Pamberi ne ZANU." President Robert Mugabe's inaugural
address to the nation was a classic masterpiece full of
reconciliation, tolerance and good sense. He followed this up by
forming a government of national unity with the losing ZAPU. Zimbabwe
was now going to show the world what real African nationalism was all

Did we? No, Siree. We reverted back to our stereotype of crass
intolerance. Before long, there was the fall-out between ZAPU and ZANU
which culminated in the massacre of thousands of ZAPU supporters in
Matabeleland. Joshua Nkomo had to flee the country for dear life. He
only came back to surrender his party to ZANU to form the so-called
Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF). Zimbabwe was now a one-party State, which
pleased President Mugabe greatly. He was not going to brook any
opposition by all means.

Did we learn anything from our history of intolerance? Not a thing.

Writing in Sites of Struggle, Brian Raftopulous says: "No doubt the
anti-colonial movement produced a strong impetus and momentum for
common interests. However, the nationalist movement was also the
terrain of disputes both over what should constitute the agenda of the
anti-colonial struggle, and over the definition of national unity.
These often vibrant debates were central to the building of a national
movement: unfortunately, its formative period also witnessed the
tendency of the nationalist leadership to curtail debate and suppress
opposing views.

This intolerance, which was a strong feature of the nationalist
liberation struggle, has reared its head in post colonial Zimbabwe,
where the State has often demonstrated an overzealous proclivity to
impose narrow definitions of the nation and national unity on the
people of Zimbabwe."

They are, indeed, an intolerant lot!

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Mugabe tightens screws of repression

By Caiphas Chimhete

CONTRARY to the official hype that the recent Cabinet reshuffle by
President Robert Mugabe, aims to address the country's myriad
problems, analysts are convinced the inclusion of former military
personnel into the recycled Zanu PF old guard, is designed to tighten
screws of repression ahead of the 2005 general election.

Many dismissed the reshuffle as "a non-event" similar to previous
ones, where the same "old redundant loyalists" of Mugabe are awarded
with high-ranking posts.

Of the new appointments Mugabe made last Monday, most of the
debutantes have a military background or are former freedom fighters
with no track-record or experience in handling economic development
and democratic governance issues.

"This is basically militarising the Cabinet. This shows that we are
moving towards a more repressive era, in which Mugabe would control
every bit of society," said Gordon Chavunduka, a former University of
Zimbabwe vice-chancellor.

Among the newly appointed ministers with a military background are
retired Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, former Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) boss, Shadreck Chipanga, and retired Brigadier
Ambrose Mutinhiri.

"None of them has experience in development-related matters but would
know how to control the increasingly disgruntled Zimbabweans through
military means," commented Chavunduka.

If recent by-elections in Gutu North and Marondera, in which both
Tungamirai and Mutinhiri were elected Zanu PF MPs respectively, are
anything to go by, then Zimbabweans should brace for a more violent
2005 general election.

Violence in the two constituencies was largely blamed on the ruling
party's supporters.

Since the 2000 parliamentary elections, in which Zanu PF narrowly
scraped through against a formidable challenge from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the governing party has
increasingly become reliant on the use of violence to "win" elections.

During both the parliamentary and presidential polls, several
opposition party members were tortured, maimed or murdered for
campaigning for the MDC.

Mugabe, who turns 80 this month, has also brought back some of his
trusted "old guard" in the Cabinet to spearhead his traditional
onslaught against dissenting voices ahead of next year's general

A surprise inclusion is long forgotten former minister and Speaker of
Parliament, Didymus Mutasa, dusted off from the political scrap-heap
to the newly created post of Minister of Special Affairs in the
President's Office in charge of the Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies Programme.

Mutasa, MP for Makoni North, is accused of having intimidated and
caused the torture of opponents in his constituency forcing them to
vote for Mugabe during the 2002 presidential poll. Mutasa, however,
denies the allegations.

Former freedom fighter Webster Shamu made it back into Mugabe's inner
circle as Minister of State for Policy Implementation, while Witness
Mangwende, former transport minister and finance minister Herbert
Murerwa were relocated to less influential positions as Governor for
Harare and Minister Higher and Tertiary Education respectively.

Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga was the only one booted out of
the enlarged cabinet.

Political commentator Brain Raftopolous described the reshuffle as a
"rotation" of Mugabe's loyalists, who are basically in the Cabinet to
protect the President's interests. "It is a consolidation of politics
of the last few years designed to perpetuate Zanu PF's repressive
rule," said Raftopolous.

Another analyst said although some of the former military men and old
guard do not occupy strategic positions, they will play a critical
role in ensuring that Zanu PF maintains its grip on power.

"Mugabe wants them (old guard) back into the Cabinet because they now
know the tricks and can stand up to the impending political heat,"
said one analyst.

Since coming to power 23 years ago, some analysts noted, Mugabe had
consistently appointed trusted loyalists with liberation war
credentials to his Cabinet. An attempt to enlist so called
'technocrats' such as former finance minister Simba Makoni and banker
Nkosana Moyo flopped after the duo fell foul of Mugabe's self-saving

After swearing in the the new ministers, Mugabe last week said the new
Cabinet would focus on fighting corruption and enhancing the country's
capacity to be economically self-sufficient."It is now an internal war
to fight corruption and tendencies to access wealth through illegal
means," said Mugabe.

However, most analysts were unconvinced saying there was nothing in
the new appointments to enhance the capacity of Mugabe's Cabinet to
fight corruption in the country. They noted that graft is also
deep-rooted in the ruling party itself.

Former Governor of Matabeleland South, Welshman Mabhena, said last
week's Cabinet reshuffle is characteristic of Mugabe when he is

"Mugabe has never run a civilian government. Zanu PF itself is a
guerrilla party and when Mugabe is in trouble he falls back on his old
friends, otherwise how do you explain Mutasa's appointment. He is a
known failure," said Mabhena.

Mugabe retained most of the combative ministers, who spearheaded
controversial policies that are widely viewed as responsible for the
current political and economic chaos in the country. Some of those who
survived the chop include the increasingly unpopular trio of
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
and Joseph Made, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

"These are the same people responsible for our current problems and
yet, somehow, they are expected to find solutions for problems they
have themselves created," said Wilfred Mhanda, the president of the
Zimbabwe Liberators'Platform (ZLP).

He said the reshuffle was the cornerstone of Mugabe's campaigning
strategy this year.

"Things are getting more difficult for Mugabe each passing year and to
survive he needs his 'Yes men' who will do anything to ensure his
survival because their own survival depends on him,' said Mhanda.

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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

UZ staff vow to stage indefinite strike

By Valentine Maponga

UNIVERSITY of Zimbabwe workers, both academic and non-academic staff,
have once again agreed to go on an indefinite strike starting tomorrow
jeopardising plans by the college to open early.

Joseph Mhlaule, the president of the University Teachers' Association
told The Standard that all the lecturers have agreed to go on strike
after it was made clear that they would not get transport and housing
allowances, which they were awarded through arbitration last year.

"We had a meeting today (Friday) of both non-academic and academic
staff and we have agreed to go on strike as from Monday until our
allowances are granted to us," said Mhlaule.

A source at the UZ told The Standard that the workers gave the
authorities a 14-day notice, which expired last week, but there was no

The strike will affect students scheduled to write their end of first
semester examinations, which they failed to write last year because of
another strike by the lecturers.

"We have heard that the university council is trying to engage the
services of outsiders and some workers at campus who are not
participating in the strike so that they will invigilate the exams,"
said the source.

The lecturers insist that even if the exams were conducted, they have
resolved that they would not mark them.

UZ lecturers are paid a basic salary of $2,5 million per month as of
last month after the government awarded all civil servants an
increment of 250% at the beginning of this year.

After the arbitration process last year, the lecturers were told that
they had been awarded a basic salary increment of up to $2,5 million
plus 30% of the same amount for their housing and transport allowances
backdated to July last year.

Last year, the government appointed a new council for the University
of Zimbabwe, whose main task was to resolve the thorny issue of
salaries and help in the recruitment of additional staff but nothing
seems to have materialised.

University authorities were not available for comment yesterday.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Made, Msipa clash over dairy farms

By Richard Musazulwa

GWERU – THE Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has ignored
directives from Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa not to resettle people
on highly productive dairy farms, resulting in many farmers abandoning
milk production.

This emerged at a land report back meeting held last week in Gweru
which was attended by the Minister of Special Affairs responsible for
land, John Nkomo.

Msipa, who heads the province's Land Resettlement Committee, said
dairy farming in the province was now under threat as the ministry
continued to resettle people on productive farms.

He said his committee had recommended that dairy farms in the province
should not be interfered with.

"Because the ministry continues to offer people land, some of the
dairy farmers have already stopped producing milk. They have sold
their dairy cows and equipment after people settled on the dairy
farms," said Msipa.

He said this had disturbed plans to put Midlands on the map as the
best milk producer in the country and prevent a looming milk shortage.

The meeting resolved that all new offer letters for land in the
province should be done through the Governor's office to avoid further
confusion in land redistribution.

At the same meeting, Msipa and his committee pledged to allocate land
to members of the Zimbabwe National Army who fought in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) war.

Msipa said the land would be given to the soldiers soon after about 25
multiple farm owners in the province surrendered their other plots to
the District Land Identification Committee.

"All A1 plots surrendered should be handed back to the District Land
Identification Committee. Consideration in the distribution of these
plots be given to decongestion of communal areas as well as members of
the army who were in the DRC," said Msipa.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Chinos booted out of Gutu

By Henry Makiwa

WAR veterans' leader Joseph Chinotimba was recently embarrassed by
retired Air Marshall Josiah Tungamirai who ordered him out of Gutu
after he tried to harass losing Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
candidate Crispa Musoni.

The usually boisterous Chinotimba was forced to eat the humble pie a
fortnight ago by Tungamirai, the newly-elected Member of Parliament
for Gutu North, who ejected him out of his campaign team after
complaints that the bearded ex-combatant was harassing Musoni's staff.

Chinotimba raised Tungamirai's ire when he stormed Zouma, a cafe owned
by Musoni, accompanied by six other Zanu PF heavies and began to tear
down MDC campaign posters in the shop.

The group threatened to beat up Musoni's staff. The MDC candidate, who
is reportedly related to Tungamirai, appealed to the former Airforce
chief who ordered Chinotimba out of Gutu.

Tungamirai yesterday confirmed to The Standard that he had reproached
Chinotimba for his violent behaviour and the threat to Musoni's staff.

"The likes of Chinotimba are still young men ... Vachine ropa
reviolence (their blood boils for violence)," Tungamirai told The
Standard in a telephone interview yesterday.

"I just cooled him off and told him to return to Harare where they
employ violence in their campaigns. Here in Gutu we are mature and
seasoned politicians," said Tungamirai, a former guerilla leader in
President Robert Mugabe's pre-independence Zanla forces.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Up the Limpopo

"NOES" certainly had it the night we visited Limpopo Restaurant at the
airport. First negatives expressed were by myself and Meryl
Streep-lookalike, Turia McOran-Campbell about the extraordinary
architecture of our deserted, so-called international, airport.

"Siess, No!" escaped my lips as I stared in wonder at its remarkably
vulgar excrescences.

"No passengers!" followed, walking along eerily echoing empty marble
halls, watched by blinking neon signs above closed (mostly empty)

"No flights, worth mentioning": after checking electronic
departure/arrival board.

I've only occasionally, and at breakneck speed, hurried through the
new building but Turia, a blonde estate agent/art dealer, has recently
flown South fairly frequently; she's had more time to stand and stare
at this costly white elephant.

More negative snorts that, at 7.56PM, the 8:00PM Jo'burg flight we
were to meet had "landed" electronic indicator announced. No
indication had it touched down two seconds, two minutes, two hours
ago. (Anything's possible with AirZim.) And, of course, with new
set-up you have no glimpse of the apron. (Hear even air-traffic
controllers can't actually see anything other than on radar!)

No sign of my daughter's in-laws (uplifting the youngsters.) No hint
of anyone in authority to say what had happened to the Jo'burg flight.
Up to bar/restaurant: found someone who "guessed" the plane had been
in no more than a minute or so: no bags on carousel. Relief: chilled
articles of a moderately intoxicating nature ordered. Served seconds
before my 22-year-old daughter hove into sight; she and husband were
alabaster pale.

Under 20 passengers on the flight. After swiftly clearing formalities,
Adele and I had a flurry of "chuggles" (hugs/cuddles.) Shook hands
with son-in-law, Mark Vincent, and his folks, who whipped them off for
a good night's kip, after travelling 28 hours from near Oxford to
Ha-ha-ha-rare (fun capital of southern Africa.)

One customer in the sprawling, perhaps 200-seater, restaurant; one
more flight due (also from JHB, 50 minutes later: about 15 pax.)
Flight out to Cairo cancelled. Two menus appeared. I spurned one: "We
don't eat breakfast at 8 o'clock at night, tatenda."

"No," said the waiter, we mentally renamed Norman, in the absence of
his name plate badge. "There's light meals fish and

The one other diner gingerly approached our table. "Excuse me," he
whispered clutching what looked suspiciously like an autograph book.
"Are you Meryl Steep?"

"Certainly not" I protested at this crass impertinence. "I'm Eugene

Turia fancied fish; tickled to see under "From the Sea": pan
fried/grilled bream ala (sic) Zambezi $29 500; grilled trout $34 500.
What's the difference between these and "fish and chips" $18 500 on
the mini-menu? we asked Norman. "No fish tonight." he told us, to our
amazement. "But you just suggested fish and chips," I complained. An
eloquent shrug said it all.

"Do you have wine?" I asked.

"Yes" he told us...and disappeared. On reappearing, with aluminium
gravy boat of tomato sauce of improbable hue, I asked for wine list.
"Yes, wine," he repeated, one of very few affirmatives all night.
"White? red? dry?, sweet? fortified? local? imported?" I demanded.

"Wine!" he said firmly, producing a "split" (two-glass bottle) of
Meadows Chenin-Blanc, not quite as chilled as it should be; "tulip"
glass not quite as clean as it could be, leaving it to Turia to open
and pour herself. I took over. Norman's horrified glance said he
realised any chance of our tip buying him a duplex in Borrowdale was
rapidly diminishing.

Back to menus. On asking what "pork chop zingara" was, we heard a long
mouthwatering description of a rich ham-and-cream sauce which I'd
(wrongly) assumed would contain ginger. "Right, sport, two of those!"
Several salivating minutes later: no zingara sauce pork chops,

"Fancy a starter?" I asked, on the point of gnawing rather grubby
table cloth or tissue napkins. No mushroom soup ($14 500), no chicken
soup, no deep-fried mushrooms ($19 000).

"Does that mean chicken breasts "ala fungi" are also 'off'?" I asked.
Norman concurred. Whoopee, another "yes". No fish cocktail ($18 000);
no Greek, green or chicken salads ($6 900-$9 200).

A twinge of gout previous day said red meat wasn't a good idea, but we
were exhausting options. "T-bone steak, medium-to-well-done, please."

"No steaks!" was the retort. Couldn't tell if he was embarrassed about
the empty larder or secretly, triumphantly, basking in our
discomfiture! A passing superior thought they had fillet ($29 500);
pepper, T-bone and sirloin definitely "off".

"Bit warm for it, but they must, surely, have daily special: haricot
braised oxtail?" ($23 000) Turia, mused hopefully. "No oxtail,
tonight!" Positively-Negative Norman trumped her overheard rhetorical
question ecstatically.

They had chicken Kiev. It swam in more garlic butter than the Ukraine
produced either of in its last Soviet-era Five-Year Plan, but tasted
good at $28 200. My steak also tasted fine (without a $2 300 extra
sauce two out of three "off".) It looked, however, like no fillet seen
previously. Having just fed household pets, it would be unkind to
dogs' breakfasts to say the ragged meat looked like that much maligned
dish. If I were the butcher, buyer, chef or Norman, I'd be ashamed to
cut, sell, purchase, cook, present or serve such a thin bedraggled
untypical lump of nyama. Fillet steak? I've seen more handsome dollops
of soup meat.

Chips were fine, generously portioned. Vegetables were stir-fried in
oil long past its best, in far too much of the stuff, not up to
temperature. Disgusting greasy- tasting mess. Rolls and butter were
good! Vinegar came in little plastic sachets. Wasn't sure of the
etiquette...did I tear the corner off one with my teeth and hand it,
opened, to my companion, or splash the stuff on her chips, or did we
rip our own packets to bits? Letter to The Spectator's "Dear Mary"

Norman, now doing a passable impersonation of Uriah Heep, sidled up
mid-chew, not half-way through our main (and only) course saying they
were closing (9.20PM) could I pay? Body language told him I thoroughly
objected to leaving the steak I'd waited ages for. Embarrassment
turned to horror when I produced cheques and sundry credit cards.
"Who's it payable to... CaterCraft?"

"Don't think we accept cheques these days."

"Well, shamwari, we've a problem, then, because I haven't enough loot
for what we've had and to get my car out of your usurious car-park." A
cheque on either of my long-established banks proved acceptable, he
discovered with obvious relief.

We never learnt if puddings ($11 500 - $13 800) were available, but
fully expected No! Two punters left; an impatient visible staff of 10+
clearly wanted to go. A pastry fell out of cardboard tray carried
towards cold room, snatched up and replaced among other delicacies!

"If we don't want to get locked in, we'd better voetsek," I whispered.
We left the zillion dollar plus Harare International Airport at 9.38PM
as empty as Great Zimbabwe at midnight, fondly recalling the "old"
restaurant in the "old" airport; paid a president's ransom to recover
my wheels. Bedraggled street adult appeared out of bush, armed with
mallet and rock, at Dieppe Road robots. He peered into my estate car
rear window, leaving in unhurried disgust, spotting nothing worth
stealing. Oh what fun dining out can be.

ABF in Billy Fudpucker's. Guy farming in Mozambique, asked: "Hey,
Dusty, is that chick with you Meryl Streep?"

"Sure!" I told him. "Straight from Hollywood, via the airport. Wanna

Food cost $57 700; drinks (already taxed at source): two lagers, local
spirit and mixer, wine split: $21 043 48 and then (mistakenly I'm
sure) hit another $3 156 52 VAT). Menus state meal prices rounded-up
(really? totally surprised!) and include VAT. Neither of us could make
any sense of the bill and, as I'd left specs at home, I couldn't
decipher fine, faint print until next day.

Bottom line (good job we've both a sense of humour) for two people:
$81 900: single course, largely indifferent food, poorly presented,
dreadful service, no ambience, drinks dear, parking outrageously

NO we won't be in a hurry to repeat the experience.

Half-a-star, early February 2004.

Limpopo Restaurant, Harare International Airport. Open 06:30 probably
until your seventh mouthful of supper, daily. Tel 575157-9.

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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Trust formed to help victims of atrocities

By our own Staff

BULAWAYO An organisation called the Post Independence Survivors' Trust
(PIST) has been formed in Matabeleland to assist survivors of the
"Gukurahundi" atrocities and to campaign to have perpetrators of the
heinous crimes during Zimbabwe's 1980s civil war brought to book.

The new organisation will be launched in Bulawayo this week at a
function expected to attract traditional leaders, churches, local
politicians, academics and civic society representatives, as well as
survivors of the brutal military campaign against supporters of a
dissident group then allegedly loyal to the late Vice President Joshua

The Zimbabwean government in 1983 launched a military campaign in the
Matabeleland and Midlands provinces to flush out a group of
dissidents, reported to number less than 100, whom it accused of
trying to violently overthrow the then young government of President
Robert Mugabe.

Thousands of civilians, estimated to be more than 20 000, are said to
have been killed during the brutal campaign code –named "Gukurahundi"
(Shona description of early rains that sweeps away all the dust) and
spearheaded by a special Korean trained military unit then known as
the "5th Brigade".

PIST founding members say they have already submitted an application
to police for clearance to conduct the official launch of the
organisation, in accordance with the Public Order and Security Act.

PIST Executive Director, Felix Mafa, told The Standard that they would
seek to assist the post independence "survivors of the genocide in all
manner possible by seeking reparation, compensation, redress and
financial restitution from the perpetrators".

"As I speak right now, we know all the perpetrators of the 1983-86
genocide and they have to pay for their wrongdoings," said Mafa.

The organization would be involved in counselling the survivors,
victims and the relatives of the deceased, said Mafa.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Equipment failure puts Mat cancer patients in danger

By Wilson Dakwa

BULAWAYO A considerable number of cancer patients, many of them
children, have died in the southern provinces of Matabeleland, the
Midlands and Masvingo, after they stopped receiving treatment for the
disease following the breakdown of the only cancer treatment machine
at Mpilo Central Hospital, a year ago.

The linear accelerator machine, which is used to administer
radiotherapy to cancer patients, has been broken down since March last
year and this has affected the treatment regimes of more than 4 000
people suffering from the disease.

The situation is so grave that health authorities at Mpilo fear that
more deaths will be recorded unless funds are sourced urgently from
the government and donor agencies to repair the machine.

At least $237 million dollars is needed to repair the machine while
$339 million is required for a completely new one.

James Chinyanga, the Chief Radiographer at Mpilo Radio Therapy Centre,
told The Standard that the only other available radiotherapy centre
was located at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.

The centre was however inaccessible to patients from the three
provinces because most of them were too poor to afford the high cost
of transport and accommodation to travel to the capital.

"As a result, some have given up and are now suffering at home. Quite
a considerable number have died and we are worried that if the
situation is not rectified immediately, more deaths will occur,
especially among children," said Chinyanga.

The department has also run out of drugs for administering the
chemotherapy needed to treat certain cancers and as a result, patients
are being asked to buy their own drugs, which is proving difficult as
a full course of treatment costs about $3 million.

Chinyanga said the centre had now stopped treating some diseases such
as cancer of the cervix, kaposi sarcoma a cancer of the skin breast
cancer and HIV-related cancers. Also affected are those suffering from
cancers of the lung, throat, brain, colon and rectum.

The radio therapy department has also been seriously depleted by a
critical shortage of staff after most of its radiographers left for
greener pastures. Only one radiographer is left out of a staff of 15
and currently, there is only one physicist instead of three.

The nearby Department of Nuclear Medicine has also not been spared as
its main machine, the simulator used for the diagnosis of cancer has
also been out of operation for more than a year.

"The situation here is so bad that any help from any quarters be it
government or private sector, would be greatly appreciated to help
save the lives of our patients. We are hopeful that someone will
appreciate our plight and come to our rescue," Chinyanga said.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Respect the opposition, says Lesotho minister

By our own Staff

BULAWAYO: Visiting Lesotho Minister of Justice, Human Rights, Law and
Constitutional Affairs, Moses Masimine, says opposition political
parties should be treated with respect since they are governments in

The Lesotho minister's remarks come at a time when the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is
facing treason charges for allegedly plotting to assassinate President
Robert Mugabe.

"Any government worth its salt should give full respect to the
opposition because they help by offering constructive criticism for
nation building," said Masimine.

"African governments, including Zimbabwe, should have full respect to
the opposition because they are the governments in waiting," he added.

The Lesotho minister was speaking at a Press conference hosted by the
Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) at a hotel in
Bulawayo on Friday.

He said when opposition political parties made constructive criticism
compounded with their enthusiasm for nation building; they should be
treated with respect.

Masimine said his tiny mountain kingdom had more than 10 political
parties which were recognised by the government for their positive
contribution towards nation building.

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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Labour shortage threatens production by new farmers

By Caiphas Chimhete

THE current labour shortage on Zimbabwe's commercial farms, largely
attributed to the depressingly low wages offered by resettled farmers,
is exacerbating an already precarious food situation facing the
country, experts have warned. They said if the situation is not
urgently addressed, Zimbabwe which is already suffering a huge grain
deficit could face a serious food crisis this year.

Presently, most farm workers have withdrawn their labour from the
newly resettled farmers citing far below the stipulated minimum wages
they are being paid.

The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe
(GAPWUZ), a body that represents the interests of farm workers, last
week confirmed that most farm workers had left the newly resettled
farmers, a development that affects the country's food security

"Most workers are reluctant to work for the new farmers because they
do not pay well and this has a bearing on the country's food security
situation," said GAPWUZ secretary general, Getrude Hambira.

Hambira said the majority of the newly resettled farmers pay their
workers wages well below the stipulated minimum of $38 300 a month.

"While there are a few individuals who pay well, the majority of the
new farmers pay $15 000 and $20 000 per month, which is nothing under
the current economic hardships," said Hambira.

Crops such as beans and maize, which require weeding, have been
seriously affected by the labour shortage on many farms. Most of the
new farmers, on the other hand, cannot afford herbicides or machinery
to replace human labour.

Acting director of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union (ZCFU),
Cleopas Mandebvu, confirmed that Zimbabwe had a critical shortage of
labour on the farms but played down the repercussions on national food

He said other than relying on human labour, the new farmers should buy
machinery with loans from Agribank to boost their production. Agribank
recently received billions of dollars from the government for
on-lending to new farmers without, or with little, collateral

Mandebvu said apart from low wages offered by the new farmers, the
farm workers now preferred to venture into gold panning, which they
find more lucrative.

"It true most new farmers cannot match the stipulated wages but the
farm workers have also been lured from the farms by attractive returns
from gold panning,' said Mandebvu.

The situation is worsened by the fact that the overall cropping area
of maize has declined due to the shortage of inputs such as seeds and

According to a recent assessment by the Agriculture Rural Extension
Services (AREX), the maize cropping areas for 2003/2004 are projected
at 1,1 to 1,2 million hectares.

This is slightly below last year's cropping area and a reduction of
about 10 percent from the 1995 to 2001 average of 1,3 million

The estimated production levels of maize represent between 30 and 50
percent of the annual requirement of 1,8 million metric tonnes (MT).

But agricultural experts said Zimbabwe would not attain the projected
maize output due to the shortage of farm labour and a host of other
problems, including the scarcity of seed and fertilisers.

As a result of the shortage of labour, many new farmers are using
child labour. In most farms, children have dropped from school to
provide cheap labour to the new farmers. Some of the children work on
the farms early in the morning before lessons start and after school.

The government last week accused non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
of luring farm workers away from their employment by providing them
with food, thereby sabotaging the country's production capacity.

Despite the fact that the new farmers are reluctant to pay the
gazetted minimum wage, GAPWUZ is currently negotiating with the
farmers to have the minimum wage raised from the current $38 300 per
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Mugabe's new look Cabinet: 'shifting books on a bookshelf'

By Kumbirai Mafunda

ECONOMIC analysts have dismissed President Robert Mugabe's reshuffled
Cabinet as a "non-event" and say the new look team would not address
Zimbabwe's myriad of problems.

The analysts said the 80-year-old President had only "shifted the
books around the bookshelf" as nearly every player in the line-up had
worn the helmet before.

Mugabe only dropped Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga thereby
according to experts once again missing the opportunity to prune the
ranks of dead wood among his ministers.

The new Cabinet, which was sworn in on Tuesday, had only two major
surprises: the addition of forgotten old-war horse Didymus Mutasa and
of failed banker David Chapfika at key ministries to tackle corruption
and restore confidence in Mugabe's economic policy.

Mutasa bounced back as Minister of Special Affairs in the President's
Office in charge of the Anti-Corruption and the Anti-Monopolies
Programme, while Chapfika landed the deputy finance and economic
development post.

Experts said Mugabe had once again displayed his disdain over calls to
arrest runaway government expenditure by bloating his Cabinet with new
posts and effectively creating new executives posts downstream.

The experts pointed out that the major cause of Zimbabwe's
hyperinflation was the government's need to service its huge domestic
bill that is created by the need to maintain an excessively large
public service.

"It is a reward system for individuals at the expense of the masses,"
said an economist who declined to be named.

Instead of following former Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa's advice
to reduce recurrent expenditure by targetting government spending,
Mugabe appointed an enlarged Cabinet that swelled the number of full
ministers to 28, up from 25.

New ministries include Mutasa's, Elliot Manyika's non-portfolio post,
John Nkomo's Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Webster Shamu's
Ministry of State for Policy Implementation and Josiah Tungamirai in
the Ministry of State for Indigenisation and Empowerment.

"It is quite big - even the British government with its huge
population doesn't have such portfolios," one diplomat observed.

"As he ages, President Mugabe feels he has to reward more and more of
his friends with ministerial positions and ministerial cars," added an

Although other experts contended that there was an urgent need to
fight graft, they said the creation of an Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies Programme under one ministry was unworkable.

"You can't combine anti-corruption and anti-monopoly because the two
concepts are not compatible," said a leading economist.

Other critics said no amount of "Cabinet gymnastics" would changes
things in Zimbabwe because no minister really had the power to change
anything because Mugabe controls all the ministries.

"The ministers run on strict orders from the President so nobody is
allowed to do what is necessary," said John Robertson, an independent
economic consultant.

Tendai Biti, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's shadow
secretary for economic affairs, said the new Cabinet was really a
"campaign Cabinet" for the governing Zanu PF party.

"Logically, they had to trim the Budget but the expanded Cabinet is
totally irresponsive of the financial consequences of a bloated
Cabinet," said Biti.

"There is no change. It is only a recycled Cabinet," said ZCTU
economist Tendai Makwavarara, who added that Mugabe's last Cabinet,
which he dubbed "the war Cabinet", only managed to seize more farms
than sorting the country's multifaceted economic crisis.

"Unless we demonstrate that there is genuine democracy, we are not
going to get economic and development aid," said Bulawayo-based
economic commentator Erich Bloch.
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The Standard (Zimbabwe), 15 February 2004

Harare rated the worst city

By our own Staff

HARARE has been branded among the worst cities for expatriates to
reside in the world, authenticating Zimbabwe's accelerated slide into
disaster, according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit's
hardship survey.

The hardship survey, released a fortnight ago by the world's leading
provider of country intelligence, states that Harare suffered the
greatest actual drop in living standards because of "ongoing unrest".

Out of the 130 ranked cities, Harare is at number 113 which is a
plunge down eight places from its 106 position recorded during the
last survey carried out in December 2002.

At 113, Harare ranks jointly with Iran's Teheran, Bogota, Colombo and
Vietnam's two cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

The EIU describes the situation in Africa and the Middle East as a bad
and "worsening".

Overall, the African average for hardship rose by 1,1 percent to 46,2
percent since the last survey was conducted, whose average was 45,1

"Hardship scores in Africa and the Middle East have increased by just
over 1% since the 2002 survey. This is partly because the situation in
Zimbabwe has continued to worsen under President Robert Mugabe and
partly because the situation in Iraq has had a negative impact on
surrounding countries like Kuwait," says the EIU.

In Africa, only South Africa's capital city Pretoria scored well. It
was ranked at number 80 and followed by Casablanca (Morocco) and
Africa Cup of Nations' host, Tunis, jointly at 95.

Political and religious violence, combined with under-developed
infrastructure and inconsistency in the availability of goods, place
both Algiers at 125 and Lagos at 127 in the classification of cities
entailing serious hardship .

Other African cities to rank dismally include Gabon's capital,
Libreville at 111, Cameroon's Doula ranked 112, Dakar rated 122 and
Nairobi at 119.

Austria's Vienna joined Melbourne (Australia) and Vancouver (Canada)
at the top as the easiest cities in the world for expatriates to live

As in the previous survey, Port Moresby the capital of Papua New
Guinea is branded the worst place to live at position 130.

Port Moresby, according to the EIU, is a dangerous place because of
lack of security, corruption and high humidity.
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ZIMBABWE: "No tighter EU sanctions"
JOHANNESBURG, 16 Feb 2004 (IRIN) - Sanctions imposed by the European Union
(EU) against the Zimbabwean government look set to be renewed this week, but
are not expected to be significantly tightened, a European parliamentarian
said on Monday.

"I am disappointed," said Geoffrey Van Orden, the British Conservative party
spokesperson on human rights in the European parliament.

The EU sanctions, implemented two years ago but due to expire on 20
February, included a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and other leading
officials, froze their assets in Europe and banned the sale of military
equipment by EU members to Zimbabwe.

Van Orden, who has been lobbying for "tougher sanctions" and widening their
scope to include businesses, moved a resolution in the European parliament
to that affect last month.

Van Orden said: "The only change expected is the inclusion of 90 names - 10
more than those contained in the previous list - of Zimbabweans facing
sanctions. The list will be updated to include the new Zimbabwean cabinet
ministers and all the regional governors. The previous list contained the
names of only some of the governors."

EU is expected to renew the sanctions by the end of the week.
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Hindustan Times

††††† Zimbabwe arrests nine cricketers for 'dancing nude in rain'
††††† Agence France-Presse
††††† Harare, February 17

††††† Zimbabwean police arrested nine white Zimbabwean and Botswanian
cricketers at the weekend for dancing nude in the rain in the middle of the
cricket grounds in the northwestern town of Hwange, police said on Monday.

††††† Inspector Andrew Phiri said the nine were arrested for crimen injuria
(offensive behaviour) for indecently exposing themselves during traditional
annual anniversary celebrations of the formation of the Wankie Cricket Club.

††††† The club was set up five years ago on Valentine's Day. The cricketers
allegedly took off their clothes after a stoppage due to rain then rushed to
the ground and danced in full view of all cricket fans.

††††† "Nine cricketers were arrested. They are being charged with crimen
injuria. I think they will appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday)," Phiri told

††††† "They were playing cricket, following the normal cricket rules and
when it started raining all the officials and players left the ground.

††††† "All of sudden these nine undressed, rushed back to the centre of the
ground and started dancing around naked ... nude, nude.

††††† "They showed their private parts to all the people in the ground ...
And to some it was offensive," said Phiri, adding that it was not yet clear
why the men had danced naked.

††††† He said some spectators took photographs, police were informed and
followed up with arrests.

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Demanding Cash Up Front Illegal: State

The Herald (Harare)

February 14, 2004
Posted to the web February 16, 2004


THE Government has evoked provisions of the Medical Services Act that
prohibits health care providers from demanding cash up front from patients
on medical aid.

Under the Medical Services (Medical Aid Societies) Amendment Regulations
that were gazetted yesterday, no health care provider shall refuse to
provide service to any person who produces a valid medical aid card.

This follows an impasse between the Zimbabwe Medical Aid Society (Zima) and
the National Association of Medical Aid Societies (Namas) over consultation
fees to be charged by private doctors.

The impasse, which has been in existence since last month, has resulted in
medical doctors unilaterally increasing consultation fees from $8 000 to $46
500, while specialists doctors are demanding as much as $115 000.

The doctors are also refusing to accept medical aid cards and instead demand
cash up front from patients.

According to the new regulations, the consultation fee to be paid to the
medical doctors shall be the amount agreed between Namas and Zima.

In the absence of an agreement between the two parties, the consultation fee
shall be specified by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare in a
Government Gazette.

No health care provider shall demand consultation fee or deposit from
patients with valid medical aid cards, while medical aid societies are
required to reimburse medical doctors for their services within the maximum
settlement period.

Medical aid societies and health care providers that fail to adhere to these
regulations will be prosecuted.

The impasse between Zima and Namas has led to the suffering of patients who
have to pay double, initially to their medical aid societies and then
private doctors who do not accept medical aid cards.

The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa recently
issued an ultimatum to the two parties to reach an agreement as soon as
possible, failure of which, he said the Government would evoke provisions of
the Medical Services Act. Private doctors resorted to demanding cash up
front alleging that some medical aid societies were taking time to reimburse

The impasse between Namas and Zima had however, resulted in a decrease in
business as an increasing number of patients were now visiting council
clinics for treatment.
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