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

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Zim cops beat up protesters
17/02/2005 21:44  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe police wearing riot-control gear on Thursday beat up
protesters, arresting 14 of them, during a march in downtown Harare to
demand free and fair elections, the organisers said.

Police charged on the 200 protesters as they approached a city park,
distributing flyers and carrying placards during the march organised by the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), a coalition of church and rights

"I can confirm that 14 of our members have been arrested. Seven others were
taken to a city clinic after they were beaten up by the police," said Jessie
Majome, NCA spokesperson.

"The police said it was an illegal march in terms of the Public Order and
Security Act.

"We have always argued that this law is meant to infringe on our right to
freedom of assembly."

Voters in Zimbabwe go to the polls on March 31 to elect representatives to
120 contested seats in parliament in elections that the opposition claims
are skewed in favour of President Robert Mugabe's governing Zanu-PF party.

The elections will be closely watched to gauge Mugabe's commitment to adhere
to principles on holding free and fair elections that were adopted by a
southern African regional grouping last year.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change has
decided to field candidates in the elections even though its leaders have
said that the vote will not be free and fair.
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COSATU pushes ahead with Zim border blockade

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

JOHANNESBURG, 17 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU) is to blockade Zimbabwe's borders early next month as part
of an intensive protest campaign to press for free and fair elections in
Zimbabwe on 31 March, an official told IRIN.

COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven said the union would also picket and
demonstrate at the Zimbabwean High Commission offices in Pretoria in the
next few weeks. The campaign was endorsed by COSATU's central executive
committee at a meeting this week.

Earlier this month the labour federation called for postponement of
elections until an independent electoral commission had been established;
controversial legislation on human rights and the media - the Public Order
and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Privacy Act
(AIPA) - had been scrapped; concerns over the voters' roll had been
addressed; and the government abides by the rule of law and ceases harassing
the labour movement, among other issues.

"It looks certain now that the Zimbabwean government will hold elections on
31 March, irrespective of the protest from whoever, including SADC [the
Southern African Development Community]. In that case, Zimbabwe will be
plunged into even deeper levels of crisis, with citizens losing hope of the
use of normal electoral amd democratic processes," COSATU's committee said
in a statement on Thursday.

COSATU has warned that Zimbabweans might resort to violence.

South Africa's Foreign Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, hinted earlier this
week that border blockades by COSATU would not be allowed. "The government's
reaction will be governed by our own laws and regulations. South Africa is a
law abiding state - we will deal with the matter according to the laws of
this country," she said at a press briefing.

When asked about Dlamini-Zuma's comments, Craven said, "The laws enshrined
in the constitution give us the right to hold demonstrations."

The campaign has been prompted by the Zimbabwean authorities' decision to
expel a second 18-member COSATU "fact-finding" mission earlier this month.
Its first "solidarity" trip to Zimbabwe in October 2004 also ended abruptly
when the group was deported.

Zimbabwe has not yet invited SADC observers to the elections, reflecting the
government's "intransigence", said the labour body.

COSATU's general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, reportedly called on the SADC
to "do everything they can" to send a team to Zimbabwe during the election
run-up. The South African Press Association quoted him as saying, "Better
late than never."

Dlamini-Zuma had earlier this week remarked, "We will be concerned if SADC
is not invited to observe the elections - we do, however, hope the
invitation will materialise." She noted that, "The SADC guidelines do not
compel any country to invite observers ahead of their elections - there
could just be internal observers ... A SADC country cannot be taken to court
for not complying with the SADC guidelines."

Meanwhile, a South African daily newspaper, The Beeld, reported on Thursday
that the SADC secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, had received a letter from
the South African department of foreign affairs on Tuesday, apparently
stating that "the issue of the legal experts' visit should not be followed

Foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa denied any knowledge of the letter.
"As far as we know we have asked the [SADC] secretariat to put together a
team of observers, including legal experts from the region. As soon as the
team is ready, they can go to Zimbabwe," he told IRIN.

The newspaper quoted SADC spokeswoman Esther Kanaimba as saying that the
secretariat "has no power" to send a legal team to Zimbabwe and were now
waiting for orders from South Africa, which chairs the Community's Organ on
Defence, Security and Politics.

"We throw the ball in their [South Africa's] court and they throw it back.
We can't do anything without their go-ahead," Kanaimba was quoted as saying.
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New Zimbabwe

Mahoso threatens to ban The Zimbabwean

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/18/2005 04:43:46
ZIMBABWE'S media watchdog, the Media and Information Commission, is
threatening to stop the circulation of The Zimbabwean newspaper, a week
after its launch.

The Zimbabwean is published simultaneously in the United Kingdom and South
Africa, with thousands of copies flown into Zimbabwe.

The MIC head Tafataona Mahoso said in a statement released Thursday that the
paper was "a threat to press freedom". He also lashed out at the paper's
founding editor Wilf Mbanga, saying the paper's moto "The Voice of the
Voiceless" was a misrepresentation and a fraud.

In an interview with New, a defiant Mbanga said he would
continue to produce and distribute the paper. Mahoso was merely expressing
an opinion, he said.

"The Zimbabwean is a gigantic media fraud," said Mahoso. "The MIC has been
shocked by Wilf Mbanga's misrepresentation of the latest media fraud to hit
Zimbabwe as a genuine newspaper representing the Voice of the Voiceless."

"It is a matter of public and professional concern who the funds and
subsidies for this paper are from, what the funds or subsidies are for, how
the funds or subsidies are accounted for and audited, by whom the funds or
subsidies are to be audited and what fundamental interests the providers of
the subsidies have.

"Therefore, the sort of media dumping perpetrated by Mbanga with the
assistance of European and North American slash funds is wrong on three
counts: It violates sacred media ethics, it contravenes basic business
practice and abuses and threatens press freedom.

"The MIC will, therefore, not hesitate to take necessary steps to stop those
three abuses and to protect our national and sovereign print media," Mahoso

Mbanga told New that he was not surpised by Mahoso's threats
against the paper.

"They don't want any alternative voices," said Mbanga. "It should be pointed
out, however, that as far as we are concerned they haven't banned
it...Mahoso was just expressing an opinion which he is entitled to. We will
continue to produce a paper for Zimbabweans, irregardless of what Mahoso

Just recently, Mahoso threatened to shut down another independent weekly,
The Weekly Times -- because they had delayed delivering a copy to his
office. His commission has also been responsible for the closure of the
popular Daily News and Daily News on Sunday sister titles, and the Tribune
To get a copy of The Zimbabwean delivered to your doorstep call
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MDC Boss's Arrest Puts SA Zimbabwe Policy in Spotlight

Business Day (Johannesburg)

February 17, 2005
Posted to the web February 17, 2005

Dumisani Muleya And Rob Rose

Zimbabwean police arrested the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) elections director yesterday - a move likely to give the lie to SA's
claims that the political environment in Zimbabwe has improved.

Ian Makone was arrested by police at a Harare hotel while addressing a
conference of MDC candidates for next month's parliamentary elections.

Police allege he was addressing an illegal gathering.

The crackdown is the latest in a wave of repressive arrests of officials of
the MDC ahead of the polls.

It follows that of MDC candidates Thokozani Khuphe and Nelson Chamisa, who
were arrested recently for allegedly holding meetings without police

Makone's arrest could entrench the perception that Zimbabwe remains a police
state that brooks no opposition.

The latest crackdown comes a day after South African Foreign Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said she was satisfied Zimbabwe was taking
steps to ensure free and fair elections under Southern African Development
Community (SADC) election guidelines.

Yesterday, MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi contradicted DlaminiZuma's
statement, saying Makone's arrest proved the opposite was true.

There is also no clarity on whether a SADC technical team will even be
invited to observe the elections as the organisation has not yet received an
invitation from Zimbabwe's Independent Electoral Commission.

Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday that "we do hope the invitation will
materialise" and that "we will be concerned if the SADC is not invited to
observe the elections".

SADC Parliamentary Forum secretary-general Kasuka Mutukwa said the
organisation was expecting an invitation from Zimbabwe's government soon. He
said that election observers would need to be in the country "at least two
weeks" before the election, "but the election is still six weeks away, and
it is still possible to receive the invitation".

Nathan Shamuyarira, spokesman for the ruling Zanu (PF), said yesterday that
the SADC election observers were "welcome to come to observe the election"
as far as his party was concerned.

However, analysts remain sceptical as tensions continue to rise.

Yesterday, a US-based press freedom watchdog expressed outrage at a police
raid of foreign correspondents' offices in Zimbabwe.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it was gravely concerned
about the harassment of journalists Jan Raath, Brian Latham and Angus Shaw
on Monday and Tuesday.

"CPJ is disturbed at this ominous development and calls on the government to
cease its harassment of independent journalists," said director Ann Cooper.

Raath writes for the Times, Shaw works for the Associated Press, while
Latham is a correspondent for several South African newspapers.

Police initially said they were investigating espionage allegations against
the journalists.

They claimed they were checking to see if the journalists were accredited.
Finally, they said they were investigating whether a satellite phone used by
Shaw was licensed.
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New Zimbabwe

Mbeki has failed the people of Zimbabwe

By Brighton Musonza
Last updated: 02/17/2005 18:46:58
IT is appalling how the South African (government) regime has taken it upon
itself or connived with the embattled Zanu PF regime
to carry out Zimbabwe's Foreign Ministerial functions ever since Zimbabwe
went into the current political impasse.

Now, these are people in just 12 years of independence who have seen off
Nelson Mandela as President and they are now preparing to find Thabo Mbeki's
successor and yet for reasons best known to themselves, they think we can do
with an old tyrant for over a quarter of a century.

In hindsight, were it not for the ANC, Zimbabwe could be basking in
democracy and economic prosperity by now. South Africans have misled the
world big time on the Zimbabwean situation. Remember the infamous claim by
Mbeki in each and every international gathering that "Zimbabweans are
talking to each other" or "there will be a solution in Zimbabwe by December"
and yet there was no horse trading at all.

Mbeki has been doing most of the work for Mugabe. He has been inviting the
MDC to South Africa and getting them into revealing their strategies and I
bet he has been telling the bloke across the Limpopo. This has been
happening and I think Tsvangirayi should have stuck to his guns when he
attacked Mbeki's policy.

The current trade imbalance between South Africa and Zimbabwe does not need
any form of diplomatic discussions but a robust and confrontational approach
because I just don't see them (SA) giving-in and hence their need to
maintain the status quo. They have benefited more than most from our
problems, in dragging most of our industrial base into theirs, lending Zanu
PF fuel and energy and turning that debt into equity, snatching our mines
(platinum), banks (CBZ), retail (Edgars), and ESKOM is waiting to pounce on
ZESA, also demanding preferential special rights to our land. So here is
another imperialist black government next door, masquerading as big brother,
centre point of which the Global corporate world is taping into African
resources without its daft nationalists realising.

As far as I am concerned there is no reason for Zimbabweans to offer too
much respect to South Africans, given how these guys have helped curtail our
economic progress. I have one personal example - I sent a trailer home and
it was charged R12 500 by South African customs in Durban, but I paid ZIM$8
million for it to the Zimbabwean government for Customs Duty. Can we all see
where the cost of our imported Capital equipment is going?

Before the farm invasions and all the economic mismanagement, our regime
talked a lot about unfair trade imbalances between the two countries, but
disappeared into thin air in exchange of some political firing cover when
Zanu PF chose power in place of economic growth.

When I saw the SA Foreign Minister, Dhlamini Zuma waffle her way into the
Zanu PF spin machine last night - I said to myself, herein lies our problem.
She now sees herself as another Joyce Mujuru of SA and the whole grand plan
is being seized to abuse gender imbalances at the expense of our poor folks.

It's true, we haven't heard anything from Stan Mudenge, the Zimbabwean
Foreign Minister for ages but Zuma and our Zimbabwean Ambassador to South
African, Simon Khaya Moyo have merged the synergies of two mediocre, old
school nationalists parties into some weird arrangement in which Zuma finds
herself speaking and defending Zanu PF without giving a damn look at Lindela
Refugee Centre.

If I was Mugabe, I would rather have left a legacy of a fair trading
arrangement between South Africa and Zimbabwe than loads of land without
takers. Right now, we can't import farm inputs because South Africa will
charge us incredible figures for their Port handling charges and on top of
that they are demanding a ransom in special rights to our land.

With all the talk of a United Nations Security Council permanent seat for
Africa, I think South Africa does not seem to be an ideal candidate for that
post, judging by their inability to solve the Zimbabwean scenario. Thabo
Mbeki has been travelling to most of the Continent's troubled spots, at one
time he went straight from the airport to attend another a meeting without
taking a bath (SA media), portraying a peace-maker but yet he is a peace
rocker in the neighbourhood. His acquaintance with African despots and the
likes of Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti is a manifestation of incompetence
and therefore, we pray they lose to Nigerians who are more action oriented.

Nigerians police West Africa through ECOWAS and they don't hesitate to
interfere, while SADC has become an irrelevant regional organisation which
looks after the leadership and not its people.

Our inflation, unemployment and political stalemate is cooked, baked and
repacked in South Africa, by a coterie of daft ANC nationalists trying to
rescue their fellow comrades on the verges on extinction across the Limpopo,
while the Global corporate world repatriates profits under their noses.
Musonza is a business studies student in England

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Zim Online

Chief Justice blasts justice minister
Fri 18 February 2005

      HARARE - Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday criticised
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa for acting beyond his mandate when he
asked the Zambian, Malawian and Tanzanian justice ministers to nominate
judges to a tribunal to probe a Zimbabwean High Court judge.

      Under the law, only President Robert Mugabe can appoint such a

      Chidyausiku said: "The minister's letter (to ministers of justice of
Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania) is unfortunate. I do not know why he thought he
had the power to appoint members of the tribunal."

      Harare High Court judge Justice Benjamin Paradza has appealed to the
Supreme Court to disband a tribunal set to probe him for allegedly
attempting to defeat the course of justice arguing that the committee was
not selected according to the law.

      Paradza is accused of phoning a Bulawayo High Court judge to release
the passport of his business partner, Russell Labuschagne, which had been
seized by the state to prevent him from fleeing after he was charged with
murder. Labuschagne was later convicted and is serving a 15-year jail term.

      Justices Dennis Konani Chirwa from Zambia, John Mroso from Tanzania
and Isaac Mtambo from Malawi comprise the tribunal set to investigate

      The Supreme Court reserved judgment on Paradza's application to have
the tribunal disbanded.

      Meanwhile, ruling ZANU PF party chairman for Mashonaland West province
Philip Chiyangwa, who is accused of espionage, was further remanded to March

      Defence lawyers unsuccessfully attempted yesterday to have the state
ordered to stop continuously postponing the matter and instead set a trial

      State prosecutors argued that the police needed more time to complete
investigations against Chiyangwa who has been in custody since he was
arrested last December.

      Three other senior ZANU PF officials accused together with Chiyangwa
of selling intelligence information to South African spies have since been
sentenced to a total of 16 years. - ZimOnline

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC wins court case

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Feb-18

IN a landmark judgment, the Bulawayo High Court yesterday ordered the police
to stop interfering with the MDC's door-to-door voter registration
verification exercise using their interpretation of the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).
The restrictive POSA replaced the Law and Order Maintenance Act used to
suppress the black majority during the colonial era.
The order was granted with the consent of the Attorney General's Office.
Justice Mafiosi Cheda delivered the ruling following an application by
Zimbabwe's main opposition political party after the police barred the MDC
from conducting door-to-door campaigns in Bulawayo South.
The litigant in the matter was MDC Bulawayo South vice chairman Samuel
Maponde, while the officer commanding Bulawayo suburban district, Chief
Superintendent Muzambi was the first respondent.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and the Minister of Home Affairs Kembo
Mohadi were cited as the second and third respondents.
Cheda judged: ".the Zimbabwe Republic Police be and is hereby interdicted
from preventing, barring or in any way interfering with the voters roll
verification and analysis process being conducted by the applicant and
"That the voters roll analysis and verification process be and is hereby
authorised and allowed to continue."
Cheda also ruled that Mohadi should bear the cost of the suit.
Maponde applied to the High Court following his arrest and subsequent
detention alongside six others at Bulawayo's Donnington Police Station.
In his founding affidavit, Maponde said: "It has become clear that the
police on the instruction of the first respondent will not allow us to
conduct the exercise although there is nothing in the law (POSA) which
permits them to do so and there is potentially no violation of any law in
the exercise being conducted. The conduct of the police has far reaching
consequences in the democratic process of this country."
Nicholas Mathonsi of Coghlan and Welsh represented Maponde, while Munyaradzi
Nzarayapera of Dube and Partners appeared for the respondents.
Bulawayo South legislator David Coltart, through Maponde, had embarked on
the verification exercise, well after the government-sanctioned inspection
of the voters roll had ended - to flush out ghost voters.
He claimed that details of some of his voters had been tampered with, a
development that could result in them being barred from voting.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Mathonsi said the matter was set down
unopposed with the consent of the AG's office.
The lawyer said the order was unique in that it was the first of its kind in
Zimbabwe and would apply to all constituencies.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

IMF spares Zim

Masimba Rushwaya Business Editor
issue date :2005-Feb-18

THE Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday
decided to give Zimbabwe a stay of execution with a postponement of a
recommendation for the compulsory withdrawal of the country from the Fund,
subject to a further review in six months time.
The Board said it had considered the increases in payments from Zimbabwe
since the last review in July 2004 and improvements in the country's
economic policies in reaching its decision.
Said the Fund: "This will provide Zimbabwe with another chance to strengthen
its co-operation with the Fund in terms of economic policies and payments.
The Executive Board will consider again the managing director's complaint
regarding Zimbabwe's compulsory withdrawal from the Fund within six months
or at the time of the Executive Board's discussion of the 2005 Article IV
consultation with Zimbabwe, whichever is earlier."
It added that its decision would provide the country with an opportunity to
significantly strengthen its co-operation with the IMF, with the aim of
addressing its economic decline and resolving its overdue financial
obligations, prior to the Executive Board's next consideration of the
managing director's complaint.
"The Executive Board noted that Zimbabwe has taken some initial policy steps
to arrest the economic decline, but concluded that these efforts remain
insufficient to decisively turn around the economic situation.
"The Board called on Zimbabwe to adopt and implement a comprehensive
adjustment programme as a matter of urgency, in the areas of fiscal,
monetary, and exchange rate policies and structural reforms," said the IMF.
While welcoming Zimbabwe's payments of US$16.5 million to the IMF since the
last review, it said this fell short of bring a major semblance of stability
to its arrears to the IMF.
The IMF added: "The Board noted the authorities' intention to further
increase payments to the IMF from the second quarter of 2005, and urged
Zimbabwe to make every effort to increase payments and resolve its overdue
financial obligations to the IMF."
Zimbabwe has been in continuous arrears to the IMF since February 2001 and
as at February 15 2005, they totalled US$306 million, or about 57 percent of
its quota in the IMF.
Compulsory withdrawal is the last step in a series of escalating measures
that the IMF applies to members that fail to meet their obligations under
the articles of agreement.
The latest development comes on the back of two visits by officials from the
Bretton Woods institution in November and December last year.
In both cases, the IMF said if it was to help Zimbabwe, the country needed
to demonstrate enhanced co-operation with the Fund through a comprehensive
policy package that included rapid macro-stabilisation, substantive
structural reforms and the strengthening of governance issues to improve
investor confidence.
There were also calls for an increase in debt repayments
to the Fund and to rebuild relations with other official creditors. On his
part, President Robert Mugabe said he was prepared to have a "meaningful
relationship" with the IMF.
Zimbabwe appears to have released a comprehensive policy package that
encompasses the monetary policy statement
and its reviews and the 2005 national budget (fiscal policy).
Government also launched the policy framework document - Zimbabwe: Towards
Sustained Economic Growth - Macro-Economic Framework 2005-2006.
Structural reform is taking place with respect to the recapitalisaton and
reforms in the parastatal sector.
A Fund mission led by Sharmini Coorey came in December 2004 and met with
senior government officials as well as the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries (CZI), the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the
opposition MDC, who are reported to have pleaded with the IMF not to expel
The purpose of the trip was to undertake a technical update of developments
in Zimbabwe, and the government's new forward-looking policy agenda.
Despite the apparent goodwill, the IMF last year closed its Harare office.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Aids wreaks havoc in the teaching profession

Edward Sanudi
issue date :2005-Feb-18

A SPASM of coughing overwhelms the teacher in the middle of delivering a
lesson .  His half-opened eyes seem glassy and lifeless.  All the pupils can
only stare at the teacher who now looks remarkably dark and his acne more
"Mukondazi chaiwo. Arikuona moto (This is Aids. He is suffering a lot),"
whispers one pupil with a cruel streak, feeling spiteful pleasure at the
teacher's discomfort.
This sad scenario, now a common occurrence in Zimbabwe's classroom, beckons
for the revisiting of strategies in the fight against HIV and Aids spread in
the teaching profession.
Education - a vital vehicle for development - is being compromised by the
devastating impact of HIV and Aids.
The system has been hit hard by the deaths of qualified teachers, reduced
productivity of an ill teacher and in some cases led to the employment of
unqualified and inexperienced staff.
Quite a lot has been written and said about the plight of the teacher in
Zimbabwe, ranging from abortive job actions to the deteriorating education
However, nothing so far makes chilling reading as the HIV and Aids
statistics released in The Daily Mirror sometime ago.
About 30 181 of the 100 603 teachers in Zimbabwe are infected with HIV and
Aids. These figures, for both primary and secondary school teachers show
that HIV and Aids is causing a big drain in the teaching profession.
Underlying factors released by the United Nations Development Programme on
Human Development in Zimbabwe 2003 that make teachers very vulnerable to
infection, location plays a major role.
This calls for the Ministry of Education and Culture to consider the welfare
of teachers who are deployed in rural areas.  Teachers should be encouraged
to move in with their spouses.  If this is not possible, the transfer
process should be less rigorous.
Majority of teachers who do not stay with their spouses, spend most of their
time at bottle stores, drinking on account.
Drunk and under the cover of darkness, they "import macatch" into the school
premises.  Others venture into the "lines" where quite a number of women are
very willing to engage in protected or unprotected transactional sex.
The policy of having qualified personnel in all schools, regardless of how
remote, is a noble one.
There should be at least two teachers training colleges in each province,
one for training primary school teachers and the other secondary school
teachers.  Those wishing to be teachers should then attend colleges in their
provinces and to be deployed in the same province upon graduating.
This would encourage teachers to move in with their spouses as no great
traveling distances are involved.
A teacher from Rushinga who spoke on condition of anonymity said that he was
very lucky to be at the same school with his wife.
He pointed out that teachers who don't stay with their spouses were in the
habit of bringing different women into the school compound on daily basis.
He hoped that the Ministry would look into the matter of HIV and Aids in the
profession urgently instead of wasting time on trivialities like national
uniform and changing school names.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZEC reverses Chinamasa decision

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-18

THE newly created Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) yesterday reversed the
government's decision compelling aspiring parliamentary candidates to
produce long birth certificates during today's nomination exercise under
unclear circumstances.

The requirement had courted the ire of opposition parties - who argued that
it was a deliberate ploy by the government to reduce competition in the
forthcoming general elections.
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa
announced on Wednesday that the long birth certificates were needed to
verify the citizenship of the prospective legislators, and not designed to
exclude people from participating in the polls which have drawn so much
attention both home and abroad.
Contacted for comment on the contentious issue yesterday, Chinamasa
confirmed ZEC had reversed the decision on long birth certificates.
"ZEC has reversed the decision," Chinamasa said. "They have informed me that
it's no longer a requirement and will accept the short birth certificates.
Contact them for more information on the matter."
ZEC chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi yesterday demanded written
questions on the matter, but did not respond to them at the time of going to
print last night.
The opposition parties argued that the requirement for a long birth
certificate had a negative impact on candidates who had short birth
Spokesperson for the MDC, Paul Themba Nyathi, described Chinamasa's earlier
decision as "obnoxious and unnecessary in a country purporting to be a
He added that in a democracy the people were the ultimate deciders of who
should govern and no one else.
National chairman of Zapu Federal Party (FP), Jethro Mkhwananzi said it was
suspicious given that it had never been a requirement since 1980 to produce
long birth certificates in order to participate in elections.
"Since 1980 we have never produced a long birth certificate and given that
most of our candidates are above 40 it would have been difficult for them to
obtain the long birth certificate," he said.
The elections are likely to be a two-horse race between Zanu PF and the MDC,
although a number of minority parties have said they would participate in
the elections.
President of the National Alliance for Good Governance, Llyod Chihambakwe
said they would  field candidates only in urban constituencies because the
ruling party youths and supporters had declared rural areas "no go areas".
President of the Democratic Party, Wurayayi Zembe however, said by taking
part in the elections, opposition parties would be helping Zanu PF to
oppress the people and destroy the country.
"We demand that all political parties that have vowed to participate in the
bogus elections must pull out, reject and boycott the evil polls in defence
of democracy. The DP warns other political parties and independents that by
participating in fraudulent and undemocratic elections, they are helping
Zanu PF to oppress and destroy our country," he said.
Zembe said a new constitution was the pre-requisite for democratic elections
in the country.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Party pulls out of election

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-18

LITTLE known opposition political party, Zimbabwe National Congress (ZINC),
formed last August ahead of the March parliamentary elections, has withdrawn
from the polls.
It becomes the second party, after the United Parties (UP) to pull out of
the parliamentary race.
Addressing a press conference in Harare on Wednesday - the party had
initially called to unveil its manifesto and candidates - ZINC interim
president Godwin Mutambirwa said they had reversed their decision to
participate in the crucial polls and shifted focus on the need for a new
constitution in Zimbabwe.
"ZINC finds it impossible and cruelly unforgivable to fight against combined
national consciences thereby betraying the national constitutional crusade
agenda by participating in an election whose format pre-determines the
"We will not allow ourselves to be used as decoys just to add to numbers of
opposition aspirants in an election that cannot be won by opposition
parties," he said.
The government has since decreed that a new constitution was not a priority,
following the rejection of the referendum of  February 2000.
The indistinct opposition party is also part to a loose coalition of
political parties in the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) that
petitioned President Robert Mugabe on the need for an all stakeholders'
conference on a new constitution.
"Does the government acknowledge the existence of genuine opposition
political parties? If it does, then why not talk to the opposition or at
least listen to its demands and make an invitation for debate?
"If government does not acknowledge existence of opposition political
parties then against who is the government or ruling party contesting in the
March 31, 2005 general and other subsequent elections?" asked Mutambirwa.
He was also at pains to deny that lack of resources had forced them to pull
out of the elections, claiming ZINC had completed selection of its
candidates for the 120 constituencies on time.
"Our structures are in place and we are ready to contest in all
constituencies, in fact we conducted our primaries and we have candidates
for all 120 constituencies. We have enough resources to participate," he
The main opposition party, the MDC, suspended its participation in all
elections last September to pressure government to implement Sadc guidelines
on democratic elections.
They have however, since reversed the suspension and will contest the
crucial polls saying they were doing so under protest.
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New Media Regulations for Zimbabwe Elections By  Peta Thornycroft
      17 February 2005

Thornycroft report - Download 404k
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Zimbabwe's opposition says new public media regulations published by the
government late Wednesday have come too late for the election on March 31.
The government says political parties will be allowed to buy campaign
advertisements and that free and fair media coverage will be allowed during
the campaign.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is now legally allowed to accept paid
advertisements from political parties for broadcast in the election period
that begins on Februrary 26. But the new regulations say campaign material
should have been handed to the ZBC by February 11.

Movement for Democratic Change secretary general Welshman Ncube says he
wrote to the ZBC in early February about placing campaign advertisements,
but was told to wait until the onset of the election period.

Mr. Ncube said the regulations now made it impossible for the MDC to
advertise on Zimbabwe's only television and radio stations, which are
government controlled.

Andrew Moyse, director of the Media Monitoring Project that observes media
in Zimbabwe, said the new regulations would exclude the MDC from
advertising, even if it had the money to buy air time. He said the MDC had
not been allowed to advertise during the past two national polls.


Mr. Moyse said there was a High Court order from the 2000 parliamentary
election ordering ZBC to provide fair and balanced news and current affairs.
He said the ZBC consistently has ignored the order for the past five years.
He said the state broadcaster is constitutionally bound to provide
non-partisan news, which he said is ignored in every newscast on radio and

Mr. Moyse said when the Zanu PF Party launched its election campaign last
week, the state broadcaster provided four hours of live coverage, and that
the journalists and camera crews were all wearing Zanu PF campaign regalia.
He said in the last national poll three years ago, Media Monitoring Projects
statistics showed that 96 percent of political coverage was given to
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF and the four percent in which the MDC was
featured were negative or false reports.

The government's media regulations for the March election were drawn up by
information minister Jonathan Moyo, who also crafted the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act that makes it illegal for
journalists to work without accreditation.

It was under this legislation that Zimbabwe's only privately owned daily
newspaper was banned in 2003. Many journalists have also been arrested under
this law.

Mr. Moyo has rarely been seen in public since he was dropped from the Zanu
PF politburo in December, following political infighting in the ruling party
over who will succeed Mr. Mugabe.
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Saudi Press Agency
       S.Africa says Zimbabwe land pact to be signed

           Cape Town, Feb. 17, SPA -- South Africa remains confident it will
sign a pact with Zimbabwe to protect the property of its citizens in that
country, after an earlier agreement was put off, a top official said on
      "We believe it is going to be signed ... we are working towards a new
date," South African Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa told
      Several South African farmers have already lost land under Zimbabwe's
land reform policy of confiscating white-owned commercial farms for
distribution to landless blacks.
      No exact figures are available, but a number of other farms have been
earmarked for expropriation.
      Pretoria has tried to negotiate a pact -- first mooted three years
ago -- with Harare to protect them but the signing of a deal was delayed for
a third time earlier this month.
      "We are working on getting a new date following the failure to sign
the last time around, we have also discussed it with our minister of foreign
affairs to just indicate to our minister some of the concerns," Mpahlwa
said. He was speaking after signing a similar agreement with Angola in Cape
      Officials say the Zimbabwe pact would allow South African property
owners to take legal action if their property is seized. They would also be
allowed to refer any investment related dispute to international
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Cape Argus

      Zimbabwe's election machinery in disarray
      February 17, 2005

      By Peta Thornycroft

      Zimbabwe's election machinery is in turmoil, and apparently incapable
of providing even the barest logistics for parliamentary
      elections in six weeks.

      Meanwhile the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is under
intense surveillance, with daily arrests of officials and candidates, and it
believes there is a deliberate attempt to prevent some candidates from

      Yesterday, MDC election manager Ian Makone was arrested by police at a
candidate training workshop in a Harare hotel that was declared illegal and
ordered to disperse. Makone was released later.

      Candidates for 120 constituencies must confirm participation in the
election at nomination courts tomorrow, but there are no officials

      available to process their applications.

      The MDC says it has been trying to find "someone, anyone" to check
candidate's details ahead of nomination courts in 10 provinces.

      "We have written to the Zimbabwe Election Commission repeatedly, but
they ignore us," said Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the MDC.

      And the voter's roll of 5.6 million is probably inflated by up to a
million duplications, according to a recent population survey by the
University of Zimbabwe's department of statistics.
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Zimbabwe police release MDC election chief

February 17, 2005, 12:00

Zimbabwean police have released Ian Makone, the elections director of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He was arrested yesterday after being
accused of holding an illegal meeting in contravention of that country's
security laws.

Paul Themba Nyathi, the spokesperson for the party, has described the
disruption of their meeting as annoying, irritating and an inconvenience.

However, he says, the police actions will not deter them from pressing on to
reach their goal.

"We know that the police are operating under instructions from Zanu(PF) to
distract our operations. We also know that we have a police force that is
partisan that has no idea of its role. We are aware of that and we take this
as part of a struggle," he said.

Nyathi says there was no reason for them to ask for permission for the
meeting. The meeting, he says, was for aspiring party candidates who were
being prepared for tomorrow's nominations.

"There was no need for us to seek police permission for a party meeting. It
wasn't a meeting open to the public."

Meanwhile, police have not commented on Makone's release.
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Kuwait Times

      George Bush and the elections in Zimbabwe

      By Simon Tisdall in London: Groundbreaking elections in Afghanistan,
Ukraine, Palestine and Iraq, extolled in President Bush's "dawn of freedom"
inaugural address, have encouraged western hopes that democratic values are
gaining universal acceptance. But this winning streak, if that is what it
is, will come to a shuddering halt next month in Zimbabwe. President Robert
Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party look poised to steal parliamentary
elections on March 31 in the same violently fraudulent way that, say
Zimbabwe's opposition and international observers, they stole past polls in
2000 and 2002. "All the indications so far are that the elections will be
stolen," the British Conservative MP Michael Ancram said yesterday. "I hope
this time we will respond with more than rhetoric." Mugabe launched a
three-pronged strategy on Friday in a speech to handpicked party candidates.
As in the past, he ridiculed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, as colonialism's toadies. He
accused the MDC of taking instructions from Britain and the US. Banners in
the Harare convention hall where he spoke declared it was "Time to bury
Blair and his puppets". Mugabe, 81 this month, was particularly rude about
Condoleezza Rice, the African-American new US secretary of state, calling
her a "girl" who should know that "the white man is not a friend". Ms Rice
described his regime last month as one of six international "outposts of
tyranny". The second prong of Mugabe's campaign strategy is repression on a
scale surpassing previous polls. New regulations have banned unlicensed
meetings of more than 10 people, further restricted independent election
monitoring and human rights groups, banned MDC newspaper advertising,
tightened press curbs, and given Mugabe control of the electoral commission.
Voting rolls are reportedly out of date and at least 3 million Zimbabweans
who have left the country for political or economic reasons cannot vote.
Intimidation and violence by youth militias is continuing unchecked.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai faces a second, specious treason charge in May.
Especially troubling for Mugabe's neighbours is his failure to adopt
electoral standards agreed last August with his peers in the 13-country
Southern African Development Community. This has embarrassed South Africa's
president, Thabo Mbeki, who has maintained that "quiet diplomacy" by African
countries is the best route to reform. The Commonwealth wields even less
influence than before, following Mugabe's decision to quit the organisation
in 2003. Mugabe's other tactic concerns food. Agricultural output has
collapsed in the five years since the seizure of white-owned farms began,
although the official reason is drought. According to a US- funded report
last month, almost half Zimbabwe's 12.5 million-strong population now faces
imminent food shortages, the biggest emergency in Africa after Ethiopia.
Having claimed last May that Zimbabwe could feed itself and told UN and
other donors to take their food aid elsewhere, Harare admitted last week
that 1.5 million were in immediate need. But rather than ask for resumed
outside aid, officials said staple corn meal rations and cash would be
distributed to needy households. Limits have been imposed on individuals'
purchase and transportation of corn meal, reinforcing the state monopoly.
The MDC and church critics say food handouts are being used as an electoral
weapon, as in previous polls. Ancram said food was a "political lever" and
accused the British and regional governments of betraying Zimbabweans, black
and white, through inaction. "Quiet diplomacy has become a synonym for doing
nothing. Our government is somehow embarrassed by Zimbabwe. But there's
nothing colonialist about fighting oppression. "When [UK finance minister]
Gordon Brown went to Africa, his map had a big hole which is Zimbabwe,"
Ancram said. "Condoleezza Rice's comments about outposts of tyranny may mean
the US is going to internationalise it. "But I want Britain to take the
lead. It would be a disgrace to leave it to the US. The government has
effectively walked by on the other side." (Guardian)

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Dear All
The following has just been received...they are talking of a week to ten days without internet access.
Please be advised that there are continuing problems with routing and bandwidth at TelOne.  This, as a result, interferes with our Internet and e-mail service delivery to customers.  Many of you will continue to experience slow Internet browsing and delayed e-mail delivery.  All dot com addresses are particularly affected and customers will be unable to access these sites. 
The Zimbabwe Internet Service Providers Association (ZISPA), have issued a notice which will be published in the Herald (18/02/05), the Standard (20/02/05) and the Zimbabwe Independent (18/02/05) this week.  This notice is to assure customers that the problem is national and affects all Internet Service Providers.  TelOne is urgently attending to the matter and are hoping to have the problem resolved soon. 
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your continued patience.

 ZISPA would like to notify all Internet and e-mail users in Zimbabwe, that TelOne has been experiencing problems with routing and bandwidth since Friday last week.  This has interfered with the service delivery of Internet Service Providers in the country, resulting in slow Internet browsing and delayed e-mail delivery for customers.  TelOne has assured ZISPA that they are urgently looking into the matter, and expect the problem to be resolved within the next seven to ten days.
In the meantime, all ZISPA Internet Service Providers are making whatever arrangements they can to ensure the best possible service under these difficult conditions.
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The Scotsman

      Murdered Teen 'Will Be Deeply Missed'

      The family of a teenager allegedly murdered by a soldier in Poole,
said today she would be deeply missed.

      Sandra Wiles, 19, was found strangled to death by her flatmate at her
home on Poole Quay, Dorset, on February 2 this year.

      Ms Wiles, known to her family and friends as Sands, was born in
Harare, Zimbabwe, and was one of six children with four sisters and a
younger brother.

      Her parents, Pamela and Ryan Wiles, moved the family to Poole in
September, 2002, in search of a new life away from the problems of Zimbabwe.

      Mrs Wiles said: "Sandra worked with adults with special educational
needs and had an empathy with, and a love of, those she cared for, all the
more because one of her sisters has similar special educational needs.

      "Sandra will be remembered by family and friends who knew her for her
compassion, her empathy, and for her gregarious and fun-loving disposition.

      "Sandra will be deeply missed by all her family and many friends. Our
trust remains firmly in the Lord Jesus Christ who has taken her to a better
place by far."

      Her family described Ms Wiles as "a vivacious and attractive woman who
had a solid Christian faith that helped her during her life".

      A post mortem at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, showed the
teenager, who was reported by local media as working for a Bournemouth
escort agency, had been strangled.

      George Tayali, 27, of the Household Cavalry Barracks in Windsor, was
arrested at Heathrow Airport soon after the body was discovered and has been
charged with her murder.

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