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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index



16 February 2005




The police today disrupted a training session of the MDC’s 120 candidates which was being held at the Sheraton Hotel in Harare. They arrested MDC Director of Elections Ian Makone who is currently being held at Harare Central Police Station.



At the time of writing the police have yet to inform Mr Makone of the charges he is  facing.



The meeting, which started at 10.30 am, was attended by all 120 of the party’s candidates for the 2005 elections. It was a strategic planning and training session ahead of the nomination court on Friday 18 February and the launch of the MDC campaign in Masvingo on Sunday, 20 February. 



Three plain clothes police details arrived and demanded to sit through the meeting. They then told the gathering that the meeting was illegal under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and that all those present should leave immediately or face arrest.



The MDC notes with concern the continued disruption of its campaign programme and the continued harassment of its candidates and leaders. The disruption of MDC meetings is a clear violation of the SADC guidelines on the conduct of free and fair elections.



In addition to the disruption of the party’s public meetings, our advertisements and editorials continue to be rejected by the public media in clear violation of the same SADC principles.



We reiterate our position that we are participating in this election with a heavy heart and under protest. We have only agreed to participate because our supporters on the ground wish to exercise their inalienable right to vote and continue the struggle for democracy at all levels.



The people of Zimbabwe want a new beginning. We have a manifesto which provides policy solutions to the key issues of the day: food and jobs. We know that this Manifesto will resonate with the people of Zimbabwe and this is why we are confident of victory on 31 March, even though the elections will not be free and fair.



Today’s events make a mockery of statements claiming that Zimbabwe is on course to hold free and fair elections. Such statements only serve to encourage the Mugabe regime to further breach the SADC principles on democratic elections. 



Paul Themba Nyathi

MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity



Comment from Mr E. Cross:

Just read this press release from the MDC this afternoon. This whole election process is developing into an absolute farce! We are expected to contest an election in 45 days. We do not have the voters roll (the one sold to us last week is out of date), we cannot advertise in the State controlled media, we are subjected to propaganda 24 hours a day on radio and TV. Our meetings are being banned or disrupted, campaigners cannot distribute flyers on the street, we have to have permission to put up posters! Our vehicles are being confiscated and held at Police Stations. We have over 400 court cases pending against MDC candidates and activists and there are more arrests every day. Returning officers have still not been appointed and we have no idea of where polling stations will be. Zanu is handing out food at its rallies and forcing people to attend rallies. No observer missions have been invited and there are arrests of remaining international journalists working as "stringers".
Yesterday the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "good progress was being made towards a free and fair election in Zimbabwe". That is simply nonsense. The Government here has clamped down even more on the electoral process. The decision on the Daily News - which we know is in its favour, was supposed to be out on the 7th - the Judge still has to release his judgement.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dear Colleagues

Attached please find a briefing paper on Media and the 2005 Parliamentary
Election prepared by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe.

The briefing paper reviews minimum standards for election coverage and the
provision of direct access for political parties contesting the March 2005
Election. The paper also analyses Government's commitment to implementing
provisions of the Electoral Act, Broadcasting Services Act and the spirit of
the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections in
relation to provision of equal access to the state media before elections.

If you have any comments or queries please contact Primrose Matambanadzo or
Dumisani Gandhi in the Advocacy Department.


Primrose Matambanadzo

Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
15 Duthie Ave
Alexandra Park
Tel/Fax: 263-4-703702

Media and the 2005 Parliamentary Election -
Briefing Paper 1
16 February 2005
"A free and fair electoral process is virtually impossible to attain without
the active participation of an economically healthy, free and effective
mass media."
Media Coverage of the 2005 Parliamentary Election
Zimbabwe's 2005 Parliamentary elections cannot be deemed to be free and fair
if the media are not able to report freely. In addition, voters must be able
to access accurate information that allows them to make an informed
democratic choice about the representatives they vote for. Similarly,
candidates have a right to convey their views to the electorate.
The electorate has a right to be informed at all times, especially during
elections, and this should not be portrayed as a privilege. Information
disseminated by the media should enable individuals to develop their own
opinions and make informed decisions. To do this, voters require fair and
accurate information about a party's policies and programmes, as well as
information about aspiring candidates.
Media institutions should be especially aware of their basic professional
responsibility to provide fair, accurate and balanced coverage of elections,
particularly relating to the parties contesting the election. This applies
Voter education - material, telling the electorate why and how they should
vote, produced by electoral authorities or the media themselves
Editorial coverage - news and current affairs coverage under editorial
control of the media. (this coverage of the election is not controlled by
the authorities or the candidates.)
Direct Access coverage - This is material produced by the political parties
or the candidates themselves in order to use the media to tell the
electorate about their policies.
Political opponents of government have a right to be heard in the publicly
funded media, which is usually controlled by governments (particularly in
Zimbabwe), especially at election time. Precisely because these media use
public funds they have a responsibility to cover all contesting parties and
candidates fairly and without discrimination.
In addition, all media institutions should not be unduly restricted in
carrying out their activities. As noted by former UN Special Rapporteur on
Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Abid Hussein "in pre-election periods.the
State must ensure that the media is given the widest possible latitude" in
order to achieve "the most fully informed electorate possible."
"The media - television, radio, newspapers, magazines, posters and pamphlets
and other forms of verbal and written communication - are central to the
electoral process. Without these, candidates and voters would be
hard-pressed to gather and share information and views."
The main focus of scrutiny with regard to election coverage should be the
public media, which depends on public funds. This includes Zimbabwe
Broadcast Holdings (ZBH), the national public broadcaster. As all its four
radio stations and the country's only television station are owned by the
State - and not the government - it therefore has a national public duty to
report without bias and provide equitable access to the airwaves to all
political parties and their candidates.
Minimum Standards:
There must be clear guidelines and minimum standards against which to
measure media coverage of elections in terms of fairness and balance. There
are no standards in Zimbabwe that have been set by a body that governs
elections. Below we outline basic minimum standards that MMPZ has previously
identified as being central to the media's duty to inform the electorate
about election issues. At the very least:
All publicly funded media, particularly ZBH, should carry impartial voter
education, telling the electorate what the vote is for, as well as who is
entitled to vote, and how and where to do so.
Direct access programmes must be broadcast free of charge on an equitable
basis according to rules set by the electoral authorities (the Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC) or the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission).
Political parties may receive additional paid access, but this should be
subject to set limits.
Allocation of airtime for direct access programmes by the public broadcaster
must be on a fair and non-discriminatory basis. This includes providing
equal prominence for the contesting parties and their candidates.
A code of ethics governing the content of direct access programmes should be
drawn up prior to the commencement of any election campaign. Ideally, these
should be established and adhered to at all times, irrespective of
No direct access programming should be broadcast in the 24 hours before
voting starts or on the day (or days) of the election itself.
All media should report election news fairly and professionally, clearly
distinguishing fact from comment.
Media should not be legally liable for defamatory statements made by
candidates and party officials during broadcasts, and an equal right of
reply should be provided to offended parties.
An independent authority, such as an election commission acting in
consultation with senior representatives from media organisations and the
contesting political parties should ideally set these standards well before
any election campaign. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), a creation
of recent legislation, was appointed on 20 January 2005. However, it is
unclear how it will relate to the constitutionally established ESC, or
whether it will improve the transparency of the election management process.
At the time this report was being compiled no electoral authority had
invited any debate about establishing election-reporting guidelines.
Direct Access to Public Media by Political Parties Competing in the Election
Direct access refers to the allocation of broadcast time for political
parties during which they may broadcast material or programmes that they
have produced themselves. The broadcaster should not edit direct access
material, as it is the only vehicle for political parties to express
themselves to the electorate directly outside of campaign rallies.
MMPZ recommends that the allocation of direct access be the responsibility
of a truly independent electoral commission, preferably in consultation with
representatives of the political parties and media institutions. It is
preferable for direct access in Zimbabwe to be provided free of charge by
the public media, at least for broadcasting, mainly because opposition
political parties are unlikely to be able to afford the same extent of paid
political advertising as the governing party. Print media should offer
advertising at the lowest rate of advertising and similar space should be
available to all parties.
While there is an obligation on the public media to provide equitable direct
access to political parties, there is no similar obligation on the private
media. This is because the private media do not depend on public money;
their survival depends on their commercial success; their popularity in the
market place. However, private media that do provide direct access must
offer the service to all contesting parties on the same terms.
Below we outline the fundamental nature of direct access and how it should
be applied.
Similar space and time should be made available to all candidates and
Different systems of direct access may be applied to print and electronic
media and to privately and publicly owned media.
Limitations may be placed on the amount of private advertising allowed per
candidate or party, as is the case with the amount of free access allocated,
which must also be predetermined.
Criteria, such as ethics and restrictions on the content of material, must
be set out clearly by an independent authority presiding over the election.
The media may choose to accept or refuse liability for material broadcast
during direct access. However, it is preferable that the media not be held
accountable for direct access programmes prepared by political parties.
The broadcaster must decide on the time when broadcasts take place with the
emphasis on achieving optimum exposure for candidates without adversely
affecting programming schedules.
Allocation of direct access should be done on the basis of equity or
equality. This is examined in further detail in Table 1 below.
Table 1:
Equality vs. Equity
Equality Equity
The same amount of time for all parties contesting the election regardless
of the amount of support that they command.Fair amount of time for parties
contesting in the election according to the amount of support that they
Time will be split equally amongst all contenders even frivolous ones with
no supporters or those merely seeking free publicity.Main contenders in the
election are allocated the most access.
Works best where there are fewer candidates and parties. Or where the
support that each party commands has not been determined by any previous
election. Where there are too many contestants time will have to be divided
into impractically small portions.Works best in a well established democracy
where clear measures of past electoral support exist. May however obstruct
emergence of new political initiatives.

MMPZ also recommends the following system for direct access that has been
implemented in South Africa:
All parties and candidates should receive a basic allocation regardless of
past support or how many candidates they are fielding.
Parties and candidates should receive an additional allocation based upon
past electoral support.
Parties and candidates may receive an additional allocation based upon the
number of candidates that they are fielding.
Past Experience with Direct Access in Zimbabwe
Table 2:
Election & yearSummary of direct media access
1990 - Presidential & ParliamentaryZBC broadcasting monopoly abused by ZANU
Election adverts comparing the opposition to AIDS and car crashes dominate.
ZANU PF accorded 30 minutes per day and opposition parties 4 minutes per

1995 - ParliamentaryElection Coverage Committee (ECC) established comprising
the directors of ZBC. ECC controlled broadcast coverage of the elections.
All political parties contesting allocated 1 hour of coverage between 27
March and 7 April.
Those parties fielding candidates in at least 15 constituencies received an
extra 30 minutes of free airtime on ZBC TV1 and Radios 1, 2 and 4. Parties
with fewer than 15 candidates received only 5 minutes extra.

2000 - ParliamentaryZBC solicits advertisements from political parties for
the parliamentary election campaign. But in practice political
advertisements are not run throughout most of the campaign.
Direct access coverage consisted of a 15-minute television slot for each
party divided into five-minute English, Shona and Ndebele segments.
There was no direct access slot on radio.
A television programme Election 2000 provided each party with a 25-minute
slot towards the end of the campaign to present their views.
No similar slot was available on radio.
There was equality in direct access, however this was countered by heavily
skewed news coverage in favour of ZANU PF.
13 June 2000 - MDC secured Supreme Court ruling ordering ZBC to fulfill its
obligations to carry broadcasting services impartially, without
discrimination on the basis of political opinion and without hindering
persons in their right to impart and receive ideas and information.
Ruling was largely ignored and on eve of the election two ZANU PF adverts
were run - the only ones of the election.

2002 - PresidentialZBC established "10 golden rules" on direct access and
political advertising for the period following the sitting of Nomination
Courts on 31 January 2002 until the polling days on 9 and 10 March 2002.
ZBC decided on time allocated to party candidates and their representatives.
"Each candidate or representative will be allocated time specified by ZBC".
This made no reference to equality or equity in access.
Direct access was restricted to political advertising that would be
"accepted in the normal way".
Use of inflammatory and defamatory language inciting members of the public
to be violent was banned. However ZANU PF candidate, Robert Mugabe, was
allowed to use such language, which was not edited out of news coverage.
ZBC reserved the right to drop or edit what it considered to be "offensive"
material in political party programmes.

The lack of an independent electoral body to set guidelines for direct
access and to monitor its implementation resulted in ZBC (now ZBH)
establishing its own, often obscure and subjective, rules to govern direct
access and subsequently monitoring their own performance. It also resulted,
as evidenced above, in ZBC engaging in news coverage, current affairs
programmes and interviews that are overtly biased in favour of the ruling
party, ZANU PF.
The SADC Principles and Guidelines and Media Coverage of the 2005 Elections
Much emphasis has been placed on Zimbabwe implementing of the SADC
Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections before the March
2005 Parliamentary Elections are conducted. Government has, on several
occasions, asserted that it is taking all steps possible to ensure that it
complies with the principles and guidelines. Indeed, according to President
Mugabe, during his State of the Nation address on 9 December 2004, Zimbabwe
is now "more than compliant with the standards and guidelines, we developed,
agreed to and adopted at SADC and as SADC (sic)."
The SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections only
briefly dwell upon media in relation to elections within the SADC region,
however it is worth conducting a preliminary analysis of how Government has
complied with this essential element of democratic election processes. Below
are the sections of the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic
Elections that refer to the media:
2. Principles for Conducting Democratic Elections
SADC Member States shall adhere to the following principles in the conduct
of democratic elections:
2.2.5 Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media.
6. Rights and Responsibilities of SADC Election Observers
6.1.3 Unhindered access to and communicate freely with the media;
7. Responsibilities of the Member State Holding Elections
Safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the
freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, and campaigning as
well as access to the media on the part of all stakeholders, during
electoral processes as provided for under 2.2.5 above;
The SADC guidelines recognize access to the media and media freedom as a
critical element of democratic elections. The call for equal access to the
media in section 2.2.5 at the very least requires that all parties have an
equal opportunity to express themselves to the public through the media for
an equal length of time before an election. To satisfy the requirements of
the SADC principles and guidelines, media coverage of elections must be fair
and evenly balanced. By implication there must also be media freedom as a
media sector that is heavily censored or risks censure for coverage of
certain issues will be unable to offer equal access to all parties. Section
7.4 goes on to make it clear that the State is responsible for ensuring that
an instrument is in place to facilitate equal access and that monitoring and
enforcement mechanisms are in place to guarantee that the state media
carries out this duty.
In addition to according equal access to the state media to all political
parties, the Zimbabwe government must facilitate "unhindered access" to the
media for SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM). Any interference or
attempt to limit communication between the media and the SEOM will
constitute a violation of the principles and guidelines.
Government Sentiment
There has generally been confusion and contradictions regarding the extent
to which Government intends to comply with the media-related requirements of
the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. In the
Zimbabwe Independent of 17 September 2004, the Minister of Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, was quoted saying that the
Government of Zimbabwe was "working on creating a conducive electoral
framework in line with the SADC principles. This will include equal access
to the public media by all political parties and programmes will be
introduced on television and radio soon." Chinamasa also reportedly told the
Independent that ZBH had received a directive from Government to implement
Minister of Information and Publicity in the President's Office, Jonathan
Moyo, later adopted a contradictory position that political parties with "no
loyalty.should not expect to be treated fairly." It was not made clear who
would judge the loyalty of various political parties against what criteria.
For the avoidance of doubt, Minister Moyo went on to make it clear that
"until and unless we have a loyal opposition it will not be possible for
them to have access to the public media. For them to get access to the
public media, they should show their loyalty to the country."
This absurdly impractical and subjective requirement for access to the
public media, defined at the Government's discretion, inherently denies
opposition political parties the SADC guidelines' requirement for "equal
opportunity for all political parties to access the state media".
Furthermore insisting that political parties must have the same ideology and
practices as the ruling party before they can access the state media clearly
goes against section 2.2.3 of the SADC principles and guidelines which
identifies "political tolerance" as a principle of democratic elections.
Government appears to remain ignorant of the fact that equal access to the
media is not a privilege to be reserved for those they regard favourably,
but a right of all political parties.
The Electoral Act (Cap 2:13) Section 3 (c) (iv) declares the right of
political parties "to have reasonable access to the media" as a general
principle of democratic elections. However it has been pointed out that this
section does not confer a "specific and actionable right that can be
claimed .without reference to the laws governing the media in Zimbabwe."
Government appears to have exonerated the print media in particular from
providing political parties with access advising that "a newspaper can, in
fact, decide not to cover any political party or candidate during an
election and that decision would not be in contravention of any law." This
perpetuates the situation in which Zimpapers may refuse to accept paid
political advertisements from opposition political parties while flighting
several full page advertisements per issue for the ruling party, as was the
case during the March 2002 Presidential elections. Regulations must be put
in place that compel the government-controlled print media to give paid
access to political parties on an equitable basis if it decides to accept
such advertisements.
Broadcasting of election material during election time is regulated under
the Fifth Schedule of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) (Cap 2:06). Part 2
of this schedule lays out the conditions for broadcasting political matter
and in section 2 (1) specifies that "if during an election period, a
broadcaster broadcasts election matter, the broadcaster shall give
reasonable and equal opportunities for the broadcasting of election matter
to all parties contesting the election." The broadcaster is therefore under
no obligation under the Act to provide free broadcasting or indeed to
provide any broadcasting of election matter at all. However should the
broadcaster choose to do so they are required to provide "reasonable and
equal all parties contesting the election."
Government has set no time frame for equal access to the media but has made
it painstakingly clear that the time at which equal access shall be accorded
has yet to begin. While ZANU PF has unlimited access to the electronic media
for electioneering purposes, Minister Chinamasa has, since his comment in
September, stated that media coverage will only be awarded to "parties
contesting the election during election time." "Election time" is prescribed
by the Broadcasting Services Act as "thirty-three days before the polling
day for the elections and ends at the close of polling day or the last
polling day."
Therefore it is most unlikely that opposition parties contesting the
election will receive equitable media coverage before February 26 or 27,
depending on the interpretation of this ambiguous statement. Chinamasa
himself stressed this when he was reported as saying "you can't have a
country that is perpetually on elections from January to December. Outside
election periods, broadcasters are free to determine what news to
According to the Broadcasting Services Act, "reasonable and equal
opportunities" must be accorded to all contesting political parties to
access the public media in the 33 days leading to the election. This remains
to be seen.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF continues to be given unbridled media access for the
purpose of campaigning for the March 2005 election well before the
nomination courts were due to sit, including extensive coverage of its
primary elections. Such biased and exclusive coverage so close to an
election is a clear violation of the spirit of the SADC Guidelines, which
call for "equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state
The Situation on the Ground
In December last year ZBH reportedly refused to accept MDC advertisements
for broadcast citing the MDC's indecision as to whether or not it would
participate in the election as the reason behind the refusal. Rino
Zhuwarara, ZBH board chairperson, claimed that the adverts had been turned
down because the MDC had yet to confirm whether they would participate in
the election and until their position was clear they would not be accorded
access to the media. However MDC spokesperson, Paul Themba Nyathi, was
reportedly informed that the adverts were considered 'confrontational'.
Since then, the MDC has announced its intention to contest the election, but
there was no valid reason even prior to this why ZTV should have denied the
MDC an opportunity to flight an advertisement whether or not it was
contesting the election.
In the print media, the government controlled Zimbabwe Newspapers Group
(Zimpapers) has also refused to publish advertorial material from the MDC.
However, the Daily Mirror and The Weekly Times have flighted advertisements
placed by the MDC relating to its policies and encouraging the electorate to
register to vote and to inspect the voters' roll. The Daily Mirror has also
carried the MDC's advertisements regarding their decision to participate in
the election. ZANU Ndonga, which has confirmed participation in the
election, has written to ZBH requesting access to the media, but has yet to
receive a response on ZBH's position regarding the matter.
Interviews during ZTV News on 3 January with Welshman Ncube, MDC
secretary-general, and on Radio Zimbabwe on 4 January 2005 with ZANU
president Wilson Kumbula, were interpreted by the Daily Mirror as the
beginning of equal access to public media for all political parties
contesting the election. The Financial Gazette of 13 January 2005 echoed
this sentiment: "the ZANU PF government under immense pressure to level the
electoral playing field as Zimbabwe's crucial parliamentary polls draw
closer, is partially opening the airwaves to opposition parties."
Use of officials other than from ZANU PF as sources for political stories
were interpreted as allowing the opposition equal access to the public
media. "Remius Makuwaza (MDC) was widely quoted in the state controlled
Herald of 6 January 2005, while another ZANU Ndonga official was quoted
confirming his party's participation."
However both parties and the Government itself, were quick to dismiss this
suggestion. No framework for equal access has been drawn up and made public.
George Charamba, Permanent Secretary in the Department of Information and
Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet, pointed out that
Kumbula and Ncube had only been on the news because they had "made news"
that day and "nothing more". Furthermore, he clarified that the Government
had only undertaken to avail equal access to the media during the
arbitrarily defined 'election time' as described in the Broadcasting
Services Act. Charamba went on to note that as at the date of the interview
(4 January 2005) "We are still far away from that period."
Clearly, even by mid-February, conditions for fair and equitable access to
the state media by all political parties still do not exist, and
furthermore, these media organisations continue to favour the ruling party
while suppressing the activities of the main political opposition. Neither
the ESC nor the ZEC have set minimum standards for election coverage and for
direct access and mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing these standards.
Such instruments should be in place by now (six weeks before the election)
and fair, equitable and balanced coverage of political parties should be a
permanent standard for the public media sector. But at the time that the
contesting parties launched their election campaigns, this was still not the
case, and again represents a violation of the spirit of the SADC guidelines.
On 10 February 2005, Minister Moyo announced that the Government would
gazette regulations to govern access to the electronic media by political
parties for campaign purposes on or after the sitting of the Nomination
Courts on 18 February 2005. It remains to be seen whether these regulations,
set without consulting media organisations or the political contestants,
will provide a fair and effective framework for implementing equal access to
the electronic media by the contesting parties, and whether ZBH will comply
with the requirements of the Broadcasting Services Act.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Farmers Face Water Cuts

The Herald (Harare)

February 16, 2005
Posted to the web February 16, 2005

Elita Chikwati And Tabitha Mutenga

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) is contemplating cutting water
supplies to farmers who owe the authority $30 billion.

However, there are concerns that the move could hamper the 2005 winter
cropping programme.

Commercial and small-scale farmers across the country owe Zinwa a total of
$30 billion in unpaid bills, with some arrears dating back to last May while
other bills are still accumulating.

But farmer organisations yesterday said the water authority should consult
the unions first before taking any action.

Zinwa public relations officer Mrs Marjory Munyonga said the authority's
decision to cut water supplies would obviously affect irrigation in most

Farmers were given 30 days from the billing date to pay up their bills or
have their supplies cut.

The water supplies would only be reconnected on receipt of payment.

Irrigation is the answer to the country's erratic rainfall patterns and
mid-season dry spells which make it difficult for farmers to depend on
dryland cropping.

"Nevertheless, if the situation continues, we will be left with no option
but to cut water supplies to commercial and A1 farmers," said Mrs Munyonga.

"Sometimes the situation becomes a national crisis. For instance, when a
sugar plantation fails to pay for the irrigation and we cut its water
supplies. This will cripple the whole nation as there would be a shortage of

Besides farmers, urban and rural authorities owe Zinwa more than $6,3
billion in unpaid bills and failure by the authorities to pay is adversely
affecting operations of the water utility.

Zinwa is now seeking Government intervention to recover the funds.

Mrs Munyonga, however, added that the authority was having problems with
some resettled small-scale farmers who were drawing water from rivers to
irrigate their crops. There was no way of cutting supplies to such people,
she pointed out.

"We can no longer maintain dams and most of them are under threat. In the
long run, the authority will not be able to provide water to farmers," she

The authority is failing to maintain and repair pumps and pipes and this
will result in farmers getting less water, as more water is wasted through

The shortage and inefficient supply of water would not only affect farmers
but the economy as a whole.

Zinwa was now planning to hold campaigns at grassroots levels aimed at
educating the farming community on the importance of water management,
starting with the Manyame and Mazowe catchment areas.

This follows realisation that most newly resettled farmers were not familiar
with the procedures involved in accessing water.

In a related matter, Zesa Holdings has threatened to disconnect electricity
supplies to defaulters countrywide who owe the parastatal over $158 billion.

Zesa immediately came under fire from farmers' organisations, who accused
the power utility of endangering the curing of irrigated tobacco.

What was disturbing was that some farmers whose electricity supplies were
cut off were told to also clear the arrears they inherited from the former
white commercial farmers.

Efforts by the affected farmers to have the situation corrected were
fruitless as they were told to pay up or risk having their transformers
removed and installed on other properties.

Some farmers complained that Zinwa and Zesa were taking their corrective
measures at the wrong time as this would stall their cropping programmes.

Water charges are currently pegged at $55 000 per megalitre for commercial
irrigators, industry, urban centres and mines, while in communal irrigation
schemes, where water is pumped, it now costs $30 000/ML.

Communal irrigation schemes where the irrigation water flows due to
gravitational force pay $25 000/ML.

The charges were reduced late last year to relieve farmers of the previous
charge of $82 500/ML, which had been gazetted last year.

Farmer organisations have urged Zinwa to re-examine their costing structures
before cutting water supplies to farmers.

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union president, Mr Davidson Mugabe, said
farmers should pay their water bills but Zinwa should first discuss their
water costs with farmers and farmers' representatives before threatening to
cut water supplies.

"New farmers need nurturing since expensive water bills make their farming
business prohibitive if authorities like Zinwa do not assist them in the
development of their irrigation facilities," he said.

The threat by the water authority will affect cropping activities at a time
when the Government was looking forward to expanding the irrigable land in
the country from 100 000ha to 300 000ha countrywide.

A Zimbabwe Farmers' Union executive director, Mr Dzarira Kwenda, said Zinwa
lacked proper communication systems with their customers.

"Their calculations are not clear and I think they sometimes bill farmers
without the knowledge of the farmers.

"Zinwa should at least devise a way of collecting revenue at point of sale
to ensure that all farmers are able to pay," said Mr Kwenda, adding that
some farmers were not aware they owed Zinwa money.

He suggested that the parastatal should localise the revenue system and ask
farmers pay their bills at local district offices.

"As much as Zinwa should be given their money, they should also look at
other ways of collecting rather than cutting off supplies," he said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe opens airwaves for political campaign 2005-02-17 03:08:18

          HARARE, Feb. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean government on
Wednesday gazetted regulations for all political parties wishing to have
access to electronic media to campaign for next month's parliamentary

          Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo said in an
gazette that the country's sole public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), would ensure that contesting political parties
or candidates are given equal access to radio and television to air their
campaigns messages.

          When broadcasting election programs, Moyo said, the ZBH shall
ensure that the broadcast is clearly identified as an election broadcast and
identified or announced in a similar manner both at its introduction and its

          "The licensee (ZBH) shall not broadcast any election program that
incites or perpetuates hatred against or vilifies any group or person on the
basis of their political affiliation," said Moyo.

          The public broadcaster shall also ensure that during the election
period, news and current affairs programs relating to the election are
presented in a balanced, fair, complete and accurate manner, according to
the gazette.

          Two main political parties, the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) will contest the election scheduled for March 31.

          The regulations come against the backdrop of a successful launch
by ZZNU-PF last week of its manifesto while the MDC is due to launch its
manifesto in a few days time. Enditem

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Put Me On Trial Now, Kuruneri Appeals to Court

The Herald (Harare)

February 16, 2005
Posted to the web February 16, 2005


THE Supreme Court yesterday postponed indefinitely a constitutional
application by incarcerated Finance and Economic Development Minister Chris
Kuruneri seeking the court to make a determination on whether the delay in
bringing him to trial is not a violation of his right to a fair trial within
a reasonable time.

Kuruneri is seeking an order to declare that the time he has spent in remand
prison without being tried violated his constitutional right to be tried
within a reasonable time.

The minister, who has made several unsuccessful bail applications, contends
that the time which he has spent in remand prison exceeds the reasonable
threshold as stipulated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the supreme law of
the land.

He has been in remand prison since April last year, the longest period spent
by any of the high-profile businessmen and people who were arrested last
year as the Government clamped down on alleged perpetrators of economic

Telecel Zimbabwe chairman James Makamba, who was arrested in February last
year, was released in August when the High Court acquitted him on five
counts of externalisation of foreign currency.

He had spent six months in remand prison during which he unsuccessfully
tried, on several occasions, to be freed on bail.

Businessman and farmer Cecil Muderede was finally granted bail in October
last year after numerous abortive applications since his arrest in March.

Kuruneri, represented by Mr George Chikumbirike of Chikumbirike and
Associates, has made several unsuccessful bail applications.

He engaged Mr Chikumbirike after the lawyer successfully applied for bail
for Makamba and Muderede.

Kuruneri's hearing was postponed to allow the State to be furnished with all
the documents by the defence in relation to the case before it can respond
to the case.

Kuruneri has been charged with externalising large sums of foreign currency.

He is accused of externalising US$500 000, 37 000 British pounds and 30 000
euros between 2002 and April last year.

The Supreme Court last month granted Kuruneri leave to appeal against the
High Court decision to deny him bail.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Poll Campaign Expenses Soar

The Herald (Harare)

February 16, 2005
Posted to the web February 16, 2005

Sifelani Tsiko And Tandayi Motsi

AS the electorate has become increasingly discerning and sophisticated, the
political campaign has now become a contest to win the voters mind.

Gone are the days of political harangues when all that the voter remembered
at the end of a rally is how the candidates lips moved.

This development has seen campaign costs becoming prohibitive with
advertising emerging as the greatest contributor to the ever-escalating
costs, in the build-up to the watershed poll on March 31.

The enormous campaign expenses have become major headaches for prospective
legislators who now have to dedicate most of their time towards fund-raising
campaigns, if they are to cover expenses for campaign staff, their food,
lodgings, stipends, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs as well as campaign
materials, such as posters and T-shirts.

The cost of advertising, which skyrocketed in the last five years, has
pushed the cost of political campaigns beyond the reach of many.

A survey conducted by The Herald recently indicates that it now costs
between $29 000 and $140 000 for one printed T-shirt depending on the
quality and type of material.

Posters now cost between $6 000 and $10 000 depending on the size and
quality as well.

On average, politicians say they need between 200 to 2 000 T-shirts and
between 200 to 1 000 posters per constituency.

Using the market rate of $35 000 for a T-shirt, an aspiring candidate would
need $17,5 million for a batch of 500 T-shirts and up to $3 million for 500
posters, each costing $6 000.

Television and radio costs are by far the most prohibitive.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) charges $5,4 million per minute and
up to $2,7 million for a 30-second television advert.

A radio advert costs $2 million per minute and up to $1 million for a
30-second commercial.

The print media is also expensive, as a candidate has to fork out between
$10 million and $20 million for a full-page colour advertisement.

A black and white full-page advertisement costs between $5 million and just
more than $10 million while a half-page colour advertisement requires $5
million to $10 million.

If a political party were to advertise on television for a week, 10 times a
day for a 30-second advertisement, it would need a budget of up to $189

To air a 10 minute radio advertisement a day and for a week, a political
party or candidate may have to cough up $140 million.

It is thus timely that, in line with the Political Parties Finance Act of
2001, the Government disbursed a total of $6,5 billion to the countrys two
major political parties this week.

From this amount, the ruling Zanu-PF party received $3,380 billion and the
opposition MDC $3,120 billion.The disbursement was done according to the
number of votes each party garnered in the last general election.

This windfall will enable the two parties to oil their campaign machinery
for the March 31 plebiscite.

Zanu Ndonga, with only one seat in Parliament, does not qualify for State

Officials from both Zanu-PF and MDC have welcomed the disbursement of the
funds, as they said that although the money is not enough it would, however,
assist them to implement various party programmes.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Finance Cde David Karimanzira said that the funds are
a welcome development.

"We need to develop our politics and democracy so that the if political
parties need assistance they get it, and most countries are doing that," he

Cde Karimanzira said the funds would not be used specifically for the partys
campaign for the forthcoming election but that the ruling party would decide
on how to utilise the funds for other programmes as well. He said Zanu-PF
had initially set a target of $20 billion for last years youth, womens and
Fourth National congresses, as well for the current campaign period. The
figure has, however, been revised upwards to about $40 billion after
factoring in inflation.

"I am not in a position to say how much has been raised as of now but I can
only say a substantial amount of money has been raised and we are still fund
raising," Cde Karimanzira said.

MDC treasurer Mr Fletcher Dulini-Ncube said the multi-billion-dollar funds
would assist his party in its campaign programmes. He said the MDC is still
working out how much money it will need for this years campaign programme.

"We are still working on the budget and a substantial amount is needed
considering the rising inflation. We might as a party want to assist those
candidates who dont have the financial resources by allocating them about $2
million each," Mr Dulini-Ncube said.

In the 2000 parliamentary election, Zanu-PF won 52 percent of the vote while
MDC won 48 percent, which made the two parties eligible for State funding.

In an interview with The Herald, University of Zimbabwe lecturer and
political analyst Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei said the disbursement of the
funds is a noble idea since the countrys laws prohibit political parties
from receiving foreign donations.

"This is one aspect under which political parties can be funded as a way of
minimising support from outside," he said.

Professor Dzinotyiwei said although it was a good idea for the two main
political parties to be funded by the State, the parties should raise their
own funds and not rely solely on the treasury.

"The two parties should try hard to raise the funds on their own. Funds from
the treasury should be channelled towards (economic) production and these
are some of the issues which Parliament should review," said.

However, another UZ political analyst, Mr Eldred Masunungure, said there was
nothing wrong with credible political parties such as Zanu-PF and MDC
receiving funds to support their programmes from the Government.

"Development should not be viewed in a restrictive manner as you cannot talk
about economic development without speaking about political development," he

"In Western Europe credible political parties are funded by the state and to
me this is something to be celebrated and not condemned as this assists in
our political development."

In March 2003, Zanu-PF and the MDC shared $250 million for the period June
2002 to June 2003.

Zanu-PF which received 52 percent of the votes cast in the June 2000
election, got $127,5 million while MDC got $122,5 million after receiving 48
percent of the vote cast.

Under the Political Parties Finance Act, a political party whose candidate
gets at least five percent of the vote cast is entitled to the same
proportion of the total money appropriated as the total number of votes cast
for its candidates.

Prior to the 2000 general elections, Zanu-PF got the whole $35 million as it
was the only party which met the criteria for funding.

MDC is the first opposition party to benefit from State funding.

In 2000, the two parties shared $65 million and $100 million in 2001.

"It takes money to pay your campaign staff, to meet their day-to-day needs
and lodgings," says one aspiring candidate. "It takes money to advertise, be
it T-shirts, caps, headscarves, party flags and stickers and posters.

"It even takes more money to raise more money," one candidate said as he
lamented the escalating costs of political campaigns. Parties and candidates
are now being forced to weigh options as part of cost-cutting measures.

Others believe the use of e-campaigns (a term coined to describe web-based
communication programmes) can help politicians to reach the section of the
electorate, which has access to computers particularly in urban areas.

Some candidates are even considering using cellphones to send text messages.

"Its still premature to talk of this, but its a possibility," says an IT
expert with a leading Internet provider.

Some aspiring candidates say that there is need for ZBH to provide free air
time for political debate before elections to enable candidates and parties
get their messages across to voters at reasonable cost and to enable the
public to hear about the electoral issues so as to decide on the best

The escalating campaign costs are, however, not peculiar to Zimbabwe alone,
for example the 1996 US election cost about US$2,7 billion and this surged
to over US$4 billion in the 2004 presidential race which pitted John Kerry
against George Bush. Analysts say this translates to about US$17 per US
citizen when broken down.

In some Western countries, the law restricts labour unions, financial
institutions, corporations and other affluent individuals from funding
candidates and political parties.

Thus expensive campaigns should never be used as grounds for deviating from
the law, since candidates in the Western hemisphere which have more
expensive campaigns always respect the laws of their countries.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

Mugabe deals new blow to attempts to ensure fair poll
Dumisani Muleya and Rob Rose

IN a new setback to SA's efforts to ensure fair elections in Zimbabwe,
President Robert Mugabe looks set to shut out a top-level Southern African
Development Community (SADC) pre-election assessment mission.

Sources in Harare said yesterday Mugabe had already told the SADC team that
it would be welcome only as part of the regional bloc's poll observer team.

The original idea was for the team to visit Zimbabwe ahead of the elections
to assess whether electoral guidelines adopted by SADC recently have been

SA's government was looking to the existence of the SADC mission to silence
criticism that it is doing nothing to encourage Mugabe to allow a free and
fair election, and that Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) is being allowed to run
riot over civil freedoms ahead of the poll.

Ironically news of Mugabe's move came as Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma told a media briefing in Parliament yesterday she was concerned
at delays by Mugabe's government in issuing invitations to the team.

The invitation had been expected last week, Dlamini-Zuma said, "but we are
still hoping it will materialise".

She claimed, however, that Zimbabwe was taking steps to ensure free and fair
elections, and there were signs that campaigning had been less violent than
in previous years.

Dlamini-Zuma also gave a thinly veiled warning to the ruling African
National Congress's (ANC's) alliance partner, the Congress of South African
Trade Unions, over its threatened blockade of Zimbabwe's borders.

She said that government would deal with a blockade "according to the laws
of this country".

"I don't know if there is a country which says that anyone can go and
blockade borders," she said.

Her spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa was more blunt, saying that any protest "that
disrupted economic activity would be a matter for the relevant authorities".

Yesterday Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said the federation was still
"thrashing out these issues" at its three-day central executive committee
meeting, which ends today and it would outline its plans on Zimbabwe

The proposed blockade arose when a Cosatu delegation led by its general
secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was deported from Zimbabwe last month, reigniting
tensions in the alliance over Zimbabwe's stance on free and fair elections.

Police director Sally de Beer said Cosatu's planned blockade had been
discussed at the "higher levels" of the force, and "we will ensure peace and
stability at the borders".

"We are not going to get dragged into a political debate . but we are
prepared for any eventuality," she said, while refusing to disclose details
of these preparations.

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said that any blockade of Zimbabwe's
borders "would put the South African government in an invidious position".

"Putting pressure on Mugabe's government through a blockade is likely to
breach some provisions of the law, so it depends how government and the
security forces handle a delicate situation," he said. With Sapa-AP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment from ZWNEWS, 16 February

False sovereignty

There are only six weeks left before the crisis in Zimbabwe lurches to new depths, and once again the regional and the wider world finds themselves locked in dispute over whether Zanu PF has won a legitimate election. Few doubt that Zanu PF will win this election. Zanu PF says it will win because it has won the support of the people. Most other groups believe that Zanu PF will win because the party and the government have done everything to ensure that it will win. SADC and the rest of Africa are saying very little, presumably because it is rude to comment on a process before it is over. The catch phrase for the forthcoming election is rapidly becoming "damned if you do, and damned if you don’t", and this is not merely applicable to the MDC. SADC - and any other group that wishes to observe this election - are in much the same dilemma as the MDC. Witness the difficulty that SADC is having in securing an invitation to visit Zimbabwe. So far neither the members of the Defence and Security Organ, nor a SADC legal team, have managed to get an invitation. And the Zimbabwe government expels all unwanted guests, as Cosatu have found to their cost. Their dilemma is simply this: if they criticize in advance they will not get invited, having declared, by so criticizing, their affiliation with the running dogs of Blairite imperialism. If they wait for an invitation, they will end up having to judge the election on what they are allowed to see. Despite the findings of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the vast outpourings of Zimbabwean and other bodies on rights violations, they will find it hard to conclude that that part of the electoral process which is revealed to them is not free and fair. They will have to report on what they actually observe, and, since SADC and the AU have had little to say about the background to these elections, they will not be able to use any background knowledge in reaching a judgement.

Thus, SADC and the AU find themselves in a dilemma wholly of their own making. They have denied bad governance, gross human rights violations, and electoral irregularities in the past, and hence will be unable to find these in the present. Once again Mugabe has manoeuvred Africa into a battleground of his own choosing, but one in which SADC and the AU has been complicit in allowing to develop. This dilemma hinges on Africa’s acceptance of a trivial definition of sovereignty, and is built into the Constitutive Act of the AU. War, coups, and genocide are now recognized as the basis for disregarding sovereignty, and allowing intervention in the affairs of another state. Not, however, the usurping of power through irregular elections. So SADC and the AU can have nothing to say about Zimbabwe heading for another stolen election, apart from pious exhortations to follow the new standards and guidelines of the various African regional and continental bodies. As various spokespersons for the Zimbabwe government have pointed out, these do not have any legal force, and, hence, Zimbabwean sovereignty rules supreme. In Zimbabwe, as in many African countries, the question of sovereignty centres on the validity of elections: where the power of sovereignty lies in demonstrating that the government has the support of the people through acceptance of the voting process. This consensus is established in two ways. Firstly, it is shown by the clear demonstration that the game was played in a fair manner, with no undue preference for any participant. Secondly, it is shown by the engagement of the citizenry, and by the demonstration that the party that wins has popular endorsement. Here, the greater the involvement of citizens and the larger the turnout, the more confidence we can have in the moral mandate of the winning party to govern. The ANC governs with such a moral mandate through an accepted electoral process and a huge majority of the vote.

Here is the dilemma for Zimbabwean political parties, Zanu PF excepted. It is stated quite clearly in the MDC’s statement in which they indicated their intention to participate. They note that the rules of the game are still not fair:

More than ever the electoral playing field remains uneven and unequal. Rule of law concerns have not been addressed. The media remains muzzled. Free assembly is proscribed by the Public Order Security Act. The recently appointed Electoral Commission is yet to prove its independence. The shambolic voters’ roll continues to be the principal vehicle for electoral fraud. The Constituency boundaries have been subjectively gerrymandered whilst militias and militia bases continue to multiply. International observers continue to be unwelcome.

They also note that the involvement of the citizenry is also less than desirable:

The Council expressed concern over the violation of the one-man, one-vote principle, through the continued disenfranchisement of Zimbabweans because of their ancestry, place of residence and a deeply flawed voter registration and management regime.

Hence, the MDC concludes that "a free and fair election is not possible in Zimbabwe under the present conditions", but they will nonetheless have to contest: damned if they do, and damned if they don’t!

However, unlike the AU and SADC, the MDC have made it plain that a position on a flawed outcome can be determined in advance of polling. As they stated: We participate under protest. We participate without prejudice.

This could not be better put. The end of participating is not to validate an unfair outcome, but to show that the outcome is unfair. Such a conclusion is not possible without participating. Only participation can show the extent to which the rules of the game are fair. The MDC went further, however, and stated clearly that it will not be bound by an unfair result: they will participate without prejudice. Against the background of recent elections, such a blanket statement is only sensible. In 2000 and 2002, the MDC accepted the prejudice and went to the courts - all to no avail. Not one single election petition was resolved in a manner that redeemed the prejudice suffered by the MDC in those elections. So the MDC must clearly hold out other options if prejudice is once again the outcome, but what could this be?

Actually, there can only be one sensible option this time around, and that is to refuse to validate the election by taking up places in the parliament. If you reject the process and the outcome, then you cannot then participate in the charade that follows. The flawed elections in 2000 and 2002 were given partial validation by the continued participation of the MDC in the phoney governance that followed. Although they attempted to mitigate against validation through the numerous election petitions, the MDC presence in parliament gave strength to the veneer of false sovereignty used by Zanu PF to block all attempts to resolve the crisis. Quiet diplomacy never had a chance while Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF could claim legitimacy through the active participation of an opposition party in parliament. It is really very simple: insist on seeing the conditions on the ground now, indicate clearly whether these are satisfactory or not, and indicate that there will be costs for an invalid result. The way is then open for a proper resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis. If all accept the election, then well and good. If none accept the election, then it is off to the negotiating table, to a transitional authority, a new constitution, and finally valid elections. This is what Zimbabweans actually want and what common sense dictates. The March election represents either an opportunity or a cost. After all, this election is not about how wonderful are the SADC Principles and Guidelines, or a test of the AU’s new-found maturity. They are a test of whether Zimbabwe has consensus about its governance and its moral right to join the community of nations

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zim cops 'harass' journos
16/02/2005 11:38  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean security police on Tuesday raided the offices of four
Harare-based foreign journalists for the second day in a row, and carried
out an lengthy search for evidence of what they said were "illegal

The eight policemen and two government officials examined documents
belonging to Jan Raath, who writes for the Times of London and Deutsche
Presse-Agentur, Angus Shaw of Associated Press, Brian Latham of Bloomberg
economic news and freelance photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, said Beatrice
Mtetwa, their lawyer.

They produced no legal warrant authorising the search, and said they did not
need one where an offence was suspected, she said. More than two hours they
left and posted a guard on the door of the office in central Harare to stop
anyone from "interfering with the office, they said.

On Monday, security officials questioned Raath, Shaw, Latham and Mukwazhi on
allegations of spying, working illegally as journalists and of using
unauthorised communications equipment.

Under draconian new media laws, journalists are liable to sentence of up to
two years in jail for working without a licence from the state-appointed
Media Commission. On Monday night police came to raid Latham's Harare home,
but he was not there.

Observers said the raid was an indication of a government crackdown on the
small remnant of foreign correspondents all Zimbabwean citizens left in
Harare ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for March 31.

Last week police were searching for freelance television journalist
Cornelius Nduna who they claimed was in possession of "sensitive videotapes
and resuscitated three-year-old charges of "publishing falsehoods against
veteran local columnist Pius Wakatama. - dpa
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

New farmer accused of stealing 145 beasts

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-16

A NEW farmer on Dunburry Park Farm in Marlborough, Harare, who allegedly
stole 145 beasts worth $145 million during the bloody 2000 farm occupations
was Monday hauled before a Harare magistrate on stock theft charges.
According to court papers, the owner of the farm who was thrown off the
property was Thomas Bayley (sic)
Dzingai Nevhunjere (46) was granted $5 million bail by provincial magistrate
Cremmah Chipere and ordered to reside at the farm until the matter is
Granting bail, Chipere ruled: "The offence committed is of a serious nature
and extremely prevalent.  As submitted by the State, it is true that the
seriousness and the likely sentence upon conviction may heighten the desire
to flee, but the presumption of innocence has rested in your favour. You are
ordered to remain in the confines of Dunburry Park Farm until
the finalisation of the case, serve for the purpose of remand at the Harare
Magistrates' Courts," Chipere said.
Although the trial date has been set for May 4, Nevhunjere is expected to
reappear in court on March 1 for routine remand hearing.
Allegations are that on April 13 2000, Bayley drove his friend's domestic
worker to town and upon return Nhevunjere and a gang of youths denied him
entry onto the farm.
Poles and drums were allegedly used to barricade his way.
Bayley then left 970 cattle and 210 calves at the property.
Nhevunjere allegedly took charge of the cattle and barred Bayley from ever
setting foot on the farm again.
On April 5 and 7 2002, the accused allegedly moved 20 of the beasts to his
Omeath Farm in Mvurwi.
Thirteen beasts and three calves were recovered from Omeath in November 2003
after Bayley positively identified them.
On several occasions, some of the loot was allegedly slaughtered for
consumption and the number of cattle stolen was said to be 145.
In July 2002, Bayley was
 finally allowed onto his farm and he collected 835 cattle and 210 calves.
Last Friday, police from the Anti-Stock Theft Unit visited the farm and
recovered four beasts and two calves belonging to Bayley from Nhevunjere
following a tip off.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF to use bicycles in campaign

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-16

THE ruling Zanu PF will use bicycles in its door-to-door parliamentary
election campaign; The Daily Mirror has been told.
Speaking after receiving 2 500 bicycles valued at $1,5 billion from Jayesh
Shah, the managing director of Gift Investments, David Karimanzira, the
ruling party's secretary for finance said Zanu PF's door-to-door campaign
strategy is with a difference.
"Voting is going to take place in one day and polling stations have been
increased to within walking distance from people's households. Because we
have adopted the door-to-door campaign the bicycles are going to be useful
to reaching out to people in various areas," Karimanzira, the governor for
Mashonaland east, said.
He added that they were emphasising on the use of bicycles because they were
cheaper and could be shared.
Zanu PF started the door-to-door political campaigns in 1990, amid
allegations that the exercise was intimidatory.
In the run up to the watershed 2000 parliamentary election, the National
Alliance for Good Governance (NAGG) which does not register a tremor of the
political Richter scale, adopted the same strategy, but was widely ridiculed
in various quarters.
This year, the opposition MDC   took a cue from the ruling party and also
embarked on a door-to-door campaign in urban areas.
Karimanzira declined to reveal Zanu PF's parliamentary election budget,
saying fundraising was a continuous process.
"We have been raising funds since the youth, women's and the people's
congress and up to now we are still receiving donations. It would not be
proper to set targets because we want to receive donations from as many
people as possible," said Karimanzira.
The ruling party last year posted a $15,5 billion loss because of
difficulties and constraints it faced in mobilising funds and resources in
the past years.
There were also allegations that some individuals siphoned funds from
companies in which the party has shares.
In his financial report to Zanu
PF's fourth national people's congress last December, Karimanzira attributed
the deficit to the increase in the party's needs
saying the situation was worsened by failure by party related companies
including Mike Appel (12,5 percent), Tregers Holdings (31,22 percent),
Catercraft (50 percent), Zidlee (27,50 percent) and First Banking
 Holdings (28 percent), to contribute to the party's coffers.
Zanu PF has interests in the companies through its wholly owned investment
vehicle, M&S Syndicate.
Three directors of M&S Syndicate fled the country soon after the
commencement of
 a probe launched by the party on allegations of corruption, while 13 others
at Tregers
 Holdings were arrested on charges of externalising foreign currency and
illegally dealing in foreign currency.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Maya to stand for MDC in Mhondoro

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-16

FORMER National Alliance For Good Governance (NAGG) president Shakespeare
Maya, who crossed the floor to the MDC mid-last year, has won the ticket to
stand for the opposition in Mhondoro in the March 31 general elections.
Maya, one-time Zanu PF apologist
who quit the ruling party over policy differences to form NAGG before a
surprise switch to the MDC, is expected to meet his biggest challenge from
Cottco boss, Sylvester Nguni.
Nguni is standing in for Zanu PF.
But until the last weekend's development, the nomadic politician's position
in the MDC had been shrouded in mystery.
Maya, triumphed in Mhondoro after convincingly walloping rivals in
intra-party polls there on Sunday.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror on Tuesday, Maya said the MDC
leadership gave him the green light to participate in the Mhondoro primary
election even though the MDC constitution hindered him.
The opposition reportedly wavered its statutes to enable Maya to stand.
"The party leadership approved that I stand in Mhondoro, an election I won
the support of all the 12 wards as the
other six contestants garnered nothing," he said.
On the selection of candidates for national and local government elections,
the MDC constitution among other prerequisites, clearly spells that: "a
member shall be of good standing if he or she - is a fully paid up member of
the MDC and with the exception of the first election, has been a member for
at least two years."
Maya explained yesterday that he had applied for the right to participate in
the intra-party polls, and the "MDC opened up the political space which I
welcomed, in Mhondoro."
Going down memory lane, Maya
 said while he left Zanu PF in 2000 after he was denied the right to stand
against deputy Speaker of Parliament, Edna
Madzongwe for the same seat, he ditched NAGG after realising it was
impossible to dislodge President Robert Mugabe's 24 year old government with
any other
political force other than through the MDC.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Moyo keeps Zanu PF guessing . .

Brian Mangwende Assistant Editor
issue date :2005-Feb-17

Moyo keeps Zanu PF guessing . . .

Will he go solo?

SPECULATION was rife in the capital this week that beleaguered Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo would tomorrow drop a bombshell and forward his name
for nomination as an independent candidate for Tsholotsho in next month's
parliamentary polls.
President Robert Mugabe has proclaimed March 31 2005 as the date for the
general elections and February 18 2005 as the nomination day when all
contesting candidates should file their nomination papers for the showdown,
which mainly pits Zanu PF with its archrival, the MDC.
Observers have perceived some of his vitriolic utterances targeted at the
leadership to mean that if denied the chance to stand on a Zanu PF ticket,
he would try to pull the rug from underneath the ruling party's feet and
stand as an independent.
However, they warned that he should be prepared to face the music if he
decides to go it alone.
The junior minister was ostracised by some of his colleagues in Zanu PF
after he allegedly convened a meeting in Tsholotsho meant to scuttle the
ascendancy of Joyce Mujuru to the presidium in favour of strange bedfellow,
Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The alleged plot was also reportedly meant to see shuffling of the ruling
party's presidium as follows; Mnangagwa (co-vice president), Tenjiwe Lesabe
(co-vice president), Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa (national chairman)
and Moyo as the incoming secretary for administration.
The move angered the party's top leadership, especially President Robert
Mugabe, resulting in the expulsion of six provincial chairpersons, before
the Tsholotsho seat was reserved for women - a move Moyo did not take
He subsequently appealed, but drew a blank.
Following his sacking from the ruling party's politburo and failure to get
into the central committee, Moyo has made frequent utterances in the media
to the effect that he will fight tooth and nail to represent the people of
Moyo, who reportedly poured millions of dollars worth of developmental
projects in Tsholotsho, claims that he has a right to reap the fruits of his
sweat and has clearly hinted that no one, including Zanu PF, can stop him
from representing the constituency in Parliament.
In a statement seen as an attempt to whip up the emotions of the people in
the Matabeleland region and published in a local weekly, Moyo said: "It
would be a betrayal of the people of Tsholotsho and the people of the region
and our nation if I discontinue the work. If anything, now is the time to do
more and better of the same. What is going on is not discouraging me. It is
inspiring me. It tells me that there is a lot of hard work to do under very
difficult circumstances. I will definitely not be stunned and just stand
with my hands folded and watch. I take it as a challenge."
In an outburst against the party hierarchy, particularly national chairman
John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa, Moyo was quoted in The Herald's publication
of January 14 2005 saying: "I wish to respectfully remind them that Zanu PF
is larger than any one or two individuals and any attempts to personalise
the party are ultimately bound to fail. In any event, Cdes Nkomo and
Dabengwa should know that there is no one ticket to heaven; there are many
such tickets and that's why there are many religions and all with tickets to
Contacted for comment on the possibility of the President's spin-doctor, who
has made more enemies than friends during his flirtation with the ruling
party, standing as an independent candidate, Zanu PF's secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa said Moyo would have automatically expelled
"According to our primary election rules, if you stand as an independent
then you have automatically expelled yourself from the party. My hope is
that he will not do that. These are not the last elections in the country.
My personal plea is that he should not do that. He should listen to his
elders if he respects them. He should not jump from one position to another
as if he does not have any principles. If he does that he must do it under
serious consideration."
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku - whose
organisation has been vigorously fighting for a new constitution ahead of
the March polls - said Moyo could only stand as an independent with the
blessing of President Mugabe.
"If he were to stand as an independent it would be because he will have
President Mugabe's backing," Madhuku said.
He questioned why President Mugabe had up to now not fired the architect of
the constitutionally challenged Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA) following the Tsholotsho debacle.
"If it so happens that Moyo stands as an independent, you can be assured
that in future he will be welcomed back into Zanu PF under the pretext of
forgiveness. Moyo is not a fool. He knows there is no life in being an
independent candidate," Madhuku added.
Efforts to get a comment from Moyo proved fruitless last night  as his
mobile phone went unanswered.
According to a local weekly, about three weeks ago, Moyo snubbed
celebrations in Matabeleland North to mark the appointment of Joyce Mujuru
as the country's first female vice president, and instead met four
traditional leaders in Tsholotsho whom he send to apologise on his behalf to
Vice President Joseph Msika on damning letters he wrote to national chairman
John Nkomo and politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa.
The chiefs reportedly begged Msika to allow Moyo to stand in Tsholotsho.
However, sources said, Moyo has not withdrawn litigation against Dabengwa
and Nkomo over the Tsholotsho issue.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister accused of victimising rival

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-17

THE MINISTER of State for State Enterprises and Parastatals, Rugare Gumbo is
allegedly exerting pressure on the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to fire its
Midlands regional manager Goodwill Shiri for daring to stand against him in
the recent Mberengwa East Zanu PF primary elections, The Daily Mirror has
been told.
Sources at GMB said Gumbo had instructed the parastatal to fire Shiri on
allegations of politicising food distribution in the constituency during the
run-up to the primary polls.
The sources said Shiri was summoned to Harare by GMB acting chief executive
officer Samuel Muvuti on February 7, 2005 and instructed to campaign for
Gumbo for the March 31 parliamentary election, a directive he reportedly
Last Monday, Shiri reportedly received a call from GMB operations manager
identified only as Dzawo and was asked to resign or risk being fired.
On Tuesday, Shiri confirmed that he was asked to resign.
"I received a phone call on Monday from head office to the effect that GMB
was under pressure from Minister Gumbo to fire me. I was asked to resign,
but I told them that I will not do that," Shiri said. "I will rather be
fired than resign."
He said his only offence was to challenge Gumbo in the primary polls.
GMB's Gweru depot manager, Patrick Kotera who hails from Mberengwa East and
reportedly backed Shiri would be transferred to Mashonaland West at the
instigation of the Minister, the sources said.
In an interview, Kotera confirmed the development, but declined to give
"I am not authorised to comment, the CEO is the only person who is allowed,
so talk to him. I am such a small boy that I cannot comment," he said.
GMB's acting chief executive officer, Samuel Muvuti, on Tuesday denied Shiri's
claims, which he said "showed disrespect for one's seniors."
He added that Shiri has not yet appeared before a disciplinary committee,
but declined to say when he would.
Muvuti added that they had not received any directive from Gumbo and refused
to discuss the matter further arguing that not everything was for the press.
Gumbo also dismissed Shiri's claims, but added that the fact that he stood
against Shiri does not make the latter immune to charges of politicising
grain distribution.
The Minister said " drastic action" must be taken against Shiri and any
other person who abused government property.
"In Mberengwa it is there in black and white that he (Shiri) committed a
crime, so should I ignore it because I fought him in the primaries? Not only
Shiri, but anyone else who abuses government property must be punished,
because we cannot accept that kind of corruption," said Gumbo.
The Minister added that Shiri continued abusing the grain "up to last
In the primary election, Shiri gave Gumbo a run for his money and at one
time was declared the winner.
But his dream crumbled after the Minister appealed against his opponent's
victory. The Minister later won the primaries.
After the primary election, the GMB sent an investigation team to Mberengwa,
which concluded that he had a case to answer from allegations that he had
abused the institution's grain and vehicles to win votes, and had to face
disciplinary action.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC enters rural areas with ease: Ncube

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-17

THE opposition MDC has courted traditional chiefs in its bid to break the
ruling Zanu PF's stranglehold in rural areas.
A highly placed source within
MDC's national executive told The Daily Mirror that the opposition party had
since approached some chiefs in Guruve, Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Mhondoro and in
other parts of Mashonaland East Province soliciting their support ahead of
the March 31 parliamentary polls.
They reportedly received a warm welcome.
"We received a warm welcome in all areas we went to seek assistance and they
promised to assist us because all that the people need now is change. We
have not yet encountered any problems in doing our job unlike in 2000 when
most areas were declared no go areas for the opposition," the source said
without revealing the identities of the chiefs they had met so far.
The source added: "The war veterans have opened up for us to do our
MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube said the exercise was not targeting
chiefs only, but everyone in rural communities including teachers and
ex-freedom fighters.
"The exercise is targeting everyone in the rural areas including chiefs,
teachers and war veterans. It is not specifically for chiefs as being done
by the ruling party, but for everyone. We have not yet come across any
problems in our campaigning in the rural areas," Ncube said.
Zanu PF has been accused of manipulating traditional leaders to win votes in
the rural areas and the government has introduced a number of perks
including vehicles that the chiefs buy at subsidised prices.
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ignatius
Chombo said he was unaware that the opposition was approaching chiefs for
He said he would find out if the reports were true.
"I don't know that but what I know is chiefs were given powers by the
government and soon the Traditional Chiefs Act would be amended to establish
chiefs' provincial and national courts of appeal to hear appeals by
litigants," Chombo said.
The President of the Chiefs'
Council of Zimbabwe, Jonathan Mangwende, declared that chiefs will not
campaign for any political party and urged parties to campaign on their own.
"We won't tolerate any chief campaigning
for the opposition party (or any other party). If there are some of the
chiefs who are doing so I am not aware of that," Mangwende said.
Sometime last year Mangwende showed
his allegiance to the ruling party urging President Mugabe to stay on until
the Head of State decides to leave office and not be perturbed by any
external forces bent on  effecting regime change in the country.
"We did a splendid job of campaigning for you during the Presidential
election and my colleagues are disturbed by rumours that you want to retire.
We want you to stay," Mangwende said then.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mawere takes govt to court

Masimba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Feb-17

GOVERNMENT targeted businessman, Mutumwa Mawere has dragged the State
appointed administrator of SMM Holdings Afaras Gwaradzimba and three others
to court over the administrator's public declaration last week that all
companies that were technically linked to Mawere would be placed under his
In case number 777/2005 filed in the in the High Court of Zimbabwe on
February 14 2005, Mawere as director of SMM Holdings (SMMH) and THZ Holdings
cites Gwaradzimba, AMG Global Nominees, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as respondents.
In his affidavit, Mawere claims that although the Minister of Justice placed
SMM under reconstruction on September 6,  2004 in terms of a reconstruction
order that appeared in a Government gazette sanctioned by the regulations
published on September 3 2004, being the Presidential Powers (Temporary
Measures) Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies) Regulations
2004, SI 187 of 2004, "no opportunity was given to SMM or its shareholders
to make representations as contemplated by section 41 of the regulations.
He further adds that in terms of section 20 of the regulations, Gwaradzimba
was required to produce a scheme of reconstruction within two months.
"The board of SMM was dismissed by the first respondent (Gwaradzimba) on
September 6 2004. There was no meeting with the board neither has any
proposed scheme of reconstruction been produced. In addition, SMM was not a
debtor of the government of Zimbabwe as stated.
 The RBZ has lent through banks more than $1.5 trillion to the productive
sector as part of the monetary measures to support exporters like SMM and
yet the reconstruction has only been targeted at companies alleged to be
linked to me.
 The government is not in the business of lending money to companies but
following the implementation of the monetary measures, there has been a
concerted effort to cripple the company by the government with a view to
taking it over," Mawere claimed.
He adds that an Advocate, Matane Mphahlele was appointed by the chairman of
Southern Asbestos Sales (SAS), a Mr P Mariemuthu to resolve the case where
the buying agreement between SAS and SMM was cancelled by the Minerals
Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).
Mphahlele came to Zimbabwe twice in August 2004 and met with MMCZ, SMM and
the government ministers Herbert Murerwa, July Moyo, Amos Midzi and Patrick
Chinamasa."However he (Mphahlele) informed me that he was advised by Onesimo
Moyo, the general manager of MMCZ that the decision to specify and
subsequently take over SMM was political and there was no merit in his
continued involvement."
"The third respondent (Chinamasa) has made it clear in public statements,
reported in the media of Zimbabwe, that he and the government of Zimbabwe
are determined to obtain control of SMM, and in that regard I attach two
newspaper articles setting out the publicly stated views of the third
I contend that the third respondent was motivated by a desire to expropriate
my beneficial ownership in all assets deemed to be controlled by me, without
having to acquire those assets lawfully, and without paying compensation in
respect of them," Mawere said.
The businessman goes on to add that he was of the opinion that Gwaradzimba
was not truly representing himself as a government appointed administrator
in terms of the reconstruction order but was using AMG Global Nominees
(where he is the beneficial owner) "to purchase the shareholding in the
applicants (SMM and THZ), or whether he is on a frolic of his own outside
his mandate as administrator.
 I contend that the first and second applicants are entitled to know the
true identity of the principal or principals for whom the second respondent
acts as a nominee. I verily believe that such principal is the government of
Zimbabwe, but I cannot confirm that from the evidence made available to me."
To buttress his point, reference is made to a witness statement dated
January 18, 2005 submitted in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division
in England. The statement relates to an application made by AMG to force the
applicants to recognise them as the holder of all the shares in the place of
Africa Resources Limited.
"It will be seen from the witness statement that Gwaradzimba makes no
mention whatsoever of the fact that he is the government appointed
administrator of SMM.      This critical fact has been withheld from the
courts in England because clearly the first respondent does not wish to
disclose the connection between himself and the government of Zimbabwe and
the attempts by the government to use all resources available to it to in
effect nationalise the two asbestos mines, without paying compensation."Mawere
further questions why, if according to documents prepared by Gwaradzimba,
some of which are filed in case number HC 12064/2004, he through AMG, would
want to invest in SMM if it was "hopelessly insolvent."
He charged that the administrator was using funds of SMM, as evident in the
purchase of 37 percent of shares in CFI Holdings from ZimRe Holdings by SMM,
to purchase assets rather than the creditors of SMM."It is apparent that
from the witness statement, annexure A15 that the second respondent (AMG)
has paid a sum of US$2 million for the purchase of shares which are worth in
excess of US$300 million. I have been unable to find any facts to show that
second respondent is able to source foreign currency outside Zimbabwe
without breaching Exchange Control Regulations."
He added that it was clear that AMG could only purchase shares from SMM and
THZ with the approval of an Exchange Control authority in terms of section
15 of the Exchange Control regulations 1996.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Showdown looms in Mutare

From Our Correspondent in Mutare
issue date :2005-Feb-17

A SHOWDOWN is looming between the Manicaland Provincial Administrator (PA)
Fungai Mbetsa and the Mutare City Council after the PA directed the
municipality not to effect proposed tariffs for January until the parent
ministry approves the levies. Mbetsa confirmed ordering the local authority
not to increase tariffs until proper channels have been observed. "We had
given them the directive. It was more of advice and warning for them to
observe the proper channels," the PA said. "The proposed tariff hike was
illegal in that Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has not yet
approved their budget for this year. Furthermore, the local authority was
defying the same minister's freezing of all tariff hikes in the city till
April this year." The cash-strapped MDC-led council had hiked rates by 105
percent for high-density suburbs and 112 percent for low density suburbs
effective January citing operational and viability problems. Mbetsa said
even if Chombo had not frozen tariff hikes, increasing rates for low density
suburbs by 105 percent was still in defiance of statutory instrument 68/2004
directing local authorities not to increase rates for high density areas by
more than 75 percent. Mutare executive mayor Misheck Kagurabadza could
neither confirm nor deny his council was indeed deadlocked with the PA's
office. He asked this newspaper to forward questions in writing first and
promised to phone back. But by the time of going to print last night, he had
not responded. However, impeccable sources in council confirmed receipt of
the PA's written directive discussed in a meeting last Monday and resolved
to defy it "on grounds that they had no other means of raising funds apart
from hiking rates." "There is no way we can adopt the PA's directive. We
need money to function and it would be illogical for the PA to give such a
directive and at the same time expect sound service deliverance from us,"
complained a councillor who requested anonymity. Mutare Residents and Rate
Payers Association chairman Jeoff White has accused the PA of trying to
create an unworkable situation for the Mutare City Council. Recently, Mbetsa
recommended to the secretary for Local Government Public Works and National
Housing, David Munyoro, to appoint an independent team to carry out an
administrative systems audit at the local authority.
Mbetsa confirmed ordering the local authority not to increase tariffs until
proper channels have been observed.
"We had given them the directive. It was more of advice and warning for them
to observe the proper channels," the PA said.
"The proposed tariff hike was illegal in that Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo has not yet approved their budget for this year.
Furthermore, the local authority was defying the same minister's freezing of
all tariff hikes in the city till April this year."
The cash-strapped MDC-led council had hiked rates by 105 percent for
high-density suburbs and 112 percent for low density suburbs effective
January citing operational and viability problems.
Mbetsa said even if Chombo had not frozen tariff hikes, increasing rates for
low density suburbs by 105 percent was still in defiance of statutory
instrument 68/2004 directing local authorities not to increase rates for
high density areas by more than 75 percent.
Mutare executive mayor Misheck Kagurabadza could neither confirm nor deny
his council was indeed deadlocked with the PA's office. He asked this
newspaper to forward questions in writing first and promised to phone back.
But by the time of going to print last night, he had not responded.
However, impeccable sources in council confirmed receipt of the PA's written
directive discussed in a meeting last Monday and resolved to defy it "on
grounds that they had no other means of raising funds apart from hiking
"There is no way we can adopt the PA's directive. We need money to function
and it would be illogical for the PA to give such a directive and at the
same time expect sound service deliverance from us," complained a councillor
who requested anonymity.
Mutare Residents and Rate Payers Association chairman Jeoff White has
accused the PA of trying to create an unworkable situation for the Mutare
City Council.
Recently,  Mbetsa recommended to the secretary for Local Government Public
Works and National Housing, David Munyoro, to appoint an independent team to
carry out an administrative systems audit at the local authority.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ministry faces critical shortage of engineers

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Feb-17

THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is facing a critical shortage
of engineers, which has led to environmental degradation in areas where gold
panning is rampant.
Tinaye Chigudu, the ministry's permanent secretary, said the shortage of
qualified mining personnel was making it impossible to monitor and
disseminate anti-environmental degradation campaign to gold panners.
Scores of gold panners widely known as amakorokoza have besieged towns such
as Kwekwe, Shurugwi, Bindura and Zvishavane in search of the precious stone.
The panners have, however, left a trail of environment degradation.
"We know that panners are not practising environmental precautions because
currently the ministry does not have enough manpower to train these people
on environment friendly panning. Government is, however, trying to address
the situation," said Chigudu.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Stand-off over suspended councillors cripples Chegutu

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-17

THE issue of the 11 suspended Chegutu Town councillors remains unresolved
eight months down the line, a situation that has impacted negatively on the
development of the small farming town.
The standoff has resulted in the municipality failing to hold a full council
meeting since June last year.
The 11 councillors, all from Zanu PF, were suspended last June to pave way
for police investigations after a government-appointed audit team branded
Chegutu town "a hunting ground for thieves."
The audit team unearthed rampant corruption in council involving the alleged
siphoning of $150 million from council's drying coffers.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, Chegutu MDC executive mayor
Francis Dhlakama, said it would be in the interest of residents if the
municipality had councillors.
"At the moment there is only the Town Clerk and me. I am looking forward
that in his wisdom the minister (Local government, public works and national
housing Ignatius Chombo) would do the right thing so that people may make
their input through the councillors," he said.
Yesterday, Chegutu legislator, Webster Shamu who is also the Minister of
State for Policy implementation in the President's Office, said the
councillors' saga was "a process," and expressed hope for a quick solution
to the stalemate.
"We support the minister, and we do not condone corruption. We hope the
matter will be taken to its logical conclusion and we want to see justice
done," said Shamu.
Yesterday, Chombo could not be reached for comment and the ministry's
permanent secretary David Munyoro asked for "a face-to-face interview" which
this newspaper granted immediately.
However, when this reporter went to interview Munyoro the same day,
surprisingly he was barred from seeing the civil servant who is answerable
to the public.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZANU-PF out wooing women

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

HARARE, 16 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - A decision by Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party
to field 30 female candidates in the March 2005 parliamentary elections has
had mixed reactions.

ZANU-PF's female members have been asking for the quota since 1999, but
complying with the request six weeks before the elections on 31 March would
suggest that the party is using it to attract votes - now that the rhetoric
on land reform has all but worn out.

Despite the participation of 16 MDC female candidates, the party is unlikely
to match ZANU-PF's 30 percent of female representatives. Women will oppose
each other in at least five constituencies, and both parties are fielding
women in traditionally 'no-win areas': ZANU-PF in 10 urban constituencies,
and the urban-based MDC in nine rural constituencies.

In the 2000 elections, 55 women stood - over 40 from the ZANU-PF and 12 from
the MDC - but only a total of 16 made it into parliament, three of them
nominated by President Robert Mugabe.

The largest number of women representatives has been 22 in the 1995-2000
parliament, but since women constitute 51 percent of the population, "it is
good strategy to woo them with the quota," Professor Eliphus Mukonoweshuro,
a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, told IRIN.

The 30 percent quota promised to women has not been fully implemented - the
ruling party would need to field 40 female candidates for the 120 contested

Thirty-six seats were designated for women in the ZANU-PF primaries: some
were elected unopposed, while others replaced male candidates sidelined for
allegedly attempting to derail Joyce Mujuru's elevation to the
vice-presidency; other seats, initially designated for women, were instead
declared open, and many women lost to male candidates. Demonstrations
against the alleged impositions followed, and thirty women's seats emerged
from the exercise.

Deputy Speaker of parliament and ZANU-PF member Edna Madzongwe said the 30
seats would not be permanently reserved for women, but that each "primary
election would have its own designated ones [seats] - what is permanent is
the 30 percent requirement".

Dr Lovemore Madhuku, law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and chairman
of the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of civic organisations,
claimed that ZANU-PF "had no gender policy", save the belief that women were
"gullible and easily manipulated".

According to Mukonoweshuro, if ZANU-PF genuinely wanted more women in
parliament it would ensure a bottom-up approach in implementing their gender
policy. "If you start from the level of parliament and there are no organic
roots extending downwards, it will collapse," he told IRIN.

Nomutandazo Jones, acting director of the Zimbabwean Women Resource Centre
and Network (ZWRCN), commented, "We need to start from the grassroots and
include chiefs, who are the custodians at that level - we can't talk of
parliament when the grassroots are afraid to stand up."

The ZANU-PF candidate for the Gutu North constituency in Masvingo province
and an MP since 1985, Shuvai Mahofa, said she would lobby for "a law for 50
percent female representation, starting with urban and rural councils, and
finally parliament", instead of each party doing as it felt. She also
intended seeking a 30 percent chairmanship of portfolio committees, with
similar reforms in government.

Neither party has made any significant attempts to increase the
effectiveness of their female representation. Tsitsi Matekaire of the Women
in Parliament Support Unit (WIPSU) said, "Last year we went through some
Hansards [records of parliamentary proceedings], to find out what women were
saying, how often they were speaking and when, so we could help where there
was a need - we found some were not participating."

WIPSU is trying to capacitate women in terms of research material and
confidence building to help them push the female agenda more effectively.

But the women's success also depends on their respective parties' agendas.
"ZANU-PF women had been pushing for a quota system since 1999 - suddenly,
they have it, but the Domestic Violence Bill is still pending four years
later," Matekaire told IRIN.

ZWRCN holds regular economic literacy programmes with female MPs on the
budget and its impact on women, but little of this effort has been reflected
in parliamentary debates or in the portfolio committees, where the women
oversee the functions and finances of ministries and help implement
recommendations from civil society.

In four years of engagement with the women, Jones said, there had been only
one real success: calling for an audit of the AIDS levy.

Mukonoweshuro said women pushed into parliament by party machinery were
unlikely to perform in their individual capacities.

"If you can't read and understand a draft legislative bill, you don't belong
in parliament. You should remain at the grassroots, and ensure that a
suitable candidate can take up your struggle," he told IRIN. "To be able to
call in the head of mines, in the context of a portfolio committee, you need
to understand how the industry functions. If you are a maker of clay pots,
how do you grasp the highly empirical knowledge required in parliament?"

He said political parties should seek professional women as candidates, and
be willing not to view such women as a threat. Looking for suitable
candidates should also be ongoing. "We need to build capacity from one
election to another, so that there are always well-groomed women to take up
the challenges."

ZANU-PF MP Mahofa, who is also deputy minister in the gender ministry, said
since independence in 1980, women had helped to pass worthwhile laws, such
as the Age of Majority Act and the legislation allowing customary law wives
to inherit property.

The women's caucus, a product of the last parliament, consisting of ZANU-PF
and MDC female parliamentarians, had lobbied for the Sexual Offences Act
with its stiff penalties for rape. For the first time, in any parliament, a
woman had headed a portfolio committee - the powerful public accounts group,
which oversees matters of government finance and helps to identify problems
in parastatals.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

MP Pushes for Answers On Costly State-Run Papers

The Namibian (Windhoek)

February 16, 2005
Posted to the web February 16, 2005

Lindsay Dentlinger

THE operations of the Government daily newspaper, New Era, and its
partnership with Zimbabwean newspaper group Zimpapers, have become a topic
of discussion in the National Assembly.

Shortly after the special session resumed yesterday, DTA MP Johan de Waal
fired a barrage of questions at Information and Broadcasting Minister
Nangolo Mbumba, questioning the treatment of New Era journalists, the
daily's expenditure and its investment in the partnership of the weekly
newspaper, Southern Times.

De Waal claimed that New Era journalists had not been paid overtime since
the newspaper went daily in August, saying that New Era journalists have
been contributing to The Southern Times without additional remuneration.

De Waal further wanted to know how New Era could afford to sponsor a soccer
tournament to the tune of N$300 000, while there was allegedly no money to
pay overtime to its staff.

Mbumba was also asked whether the company Adforce Advertising, contracted by
New Era and the Southern Times to conduct strategic workshops, had obtained
the contract through proper tender procedures.

Without revealing the shareholding of the company, De Waal asked the
Minister whether he knew its composition and whether he did not deem this to
be a serious conflict of interest.

He also sought an assurance from the Minister that New Era staff were not
using their credit cards for travelling expenses, while at the same time
pocketing per diems.

De Waal then turned his focus to the New Era-Zimpapers partnership.

He asked how much Government had invested to date in the production of the
Southern Times, which was first published and distributed in the region in

Conversely, he also questioned how much Zimpapers had pumped into the

Mbumba is also expected to provide feedback on how many copies of the
Southern Times are sold per edition, as well as the current monthly
advertising income of the publication.

Mbumba was asked to reply to the questions by next Thursday.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe forex auctions struggle to meet demand

      Wed February 16, 2005 5:18 PM GMT+02:00
      By MacDonald Dzirutwe

      HARARE (Reuters) - Import demand at Zimbabwe's foreign currency
auctions is exceeding supply, raising fears of the return of a parallel
market, analysts said on Wednesday.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last year introduced weekly auctions as
part of reforms by President Robert Mugabe's government aimed at reviving an
economy hit by acute shortages of hard currency which strangled fuel and
electricity imports.

      The central bank says the auctions have largely extinguished a
thriving black market for foreign currency, but analysts say strains are
already showing, with demand surging more than 200 times since introduction
in January 2004 while inflows have only doubled.

      On Monday importers put bids for $101 million but only $11 million was
alloted. When the thrice-weekly auctions begain, bids were around $478,000
while the amount on offer amounted to $5 million.

      "The danger we face now is that the skewed situation at the auctions
will entice some people to the parallel market, which will create havoc for
our economic recovery," Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president
Luxon Zembe told Reuters.

      The Reserve Bank says foreign currency inflows into the formal market
surged to $1.7 billion last year from $301 million in 2003.

      But industry officials said this is inadequate to meet demand, with
some companies drifting back to the black market, at whose height in
December 2003, the local unit traded at 7,000 against the U.S. unit against
the then official rate of 824.

      The exchange rate was at 6,048 at the last auction on Monday.

      Analysts said the closure of many firms, including key exporters, in
the past five years had made Zimbabwe a net importer and its growing import
bill could only be eased by more foreign direct investment and restoring
ties with donors.

      Agencies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank
stopped lending to Zimbabwe in 1999 over policy differences with Harare.

      "We can not reduce imports ... so the idea would be to increase
foreign currency inflows. We need FDI and international lenders although
this will be very difficult," said Anthony Hawkins, a professor at the
University of Zimbabwe.

      IMF executives will meet later on Wednesday to decide whether to expel
Zimbabwe from the Fund although analysts say the decision could be delayed.

      Critics says Mugabe's government has mismanaged the economy, leading
to a 30 percent contraction since 1999.

      But Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, accuses
some businesses of working with his foreign and domestic foes to sabotage
the country's wealth over his seizure of white-owned farms for blacks.

Back to the Top
Back to Index