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

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Zim Online

Jailed MP barred from poll
Sat 19 February 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party will on Monday file an urgent court application seeking to
overturn a nomination court decision to bar jailed member, Roy Bennet, from
contesting next month's election.

      MDC secretary general Welshmen Ncube said nomination court officials
rejected Bennet's nomination papers to stand for the opposition party in
      constituency arguing he could not be allowed to do so while he is
still in jail.

      Bennet is the sitting Member of Parliament for Chimanimani. He was
jailed by Parliament for 15 months after he violently pushed Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa during debate in the House last May.

      The law only disallows Zimbabweans convicted of a criminal offence by
a criminal court and not Parliament from standing in parliamentary or
presidential elections.

      Ncube said: "They argued that he could not contest in the election
because he is in jail. We asked them to produce the law which states that,
but obviously they could not. We have asked our legal department to file an
urgent court application on Monday to have this decision overturned."

      The opposition party has meanwhile forwarded Bennet's wife Heather as
stand-in candidate until the courts rule whether her husband should be
allowed to contest.

      Another MDC candidate Zacharia Rioga was also barred from standing in
Masvingo South constituency because his father was originally from Malawi
making the aspiring opposition candidate a Malawian by descent. The
opposition party quickly fielded a reserve candidate in place of Rioga.

      Meanwhile, government information minister and propaganda chief,
Jonathan Moyo, led at least six rebel candidates from both the MDC and the
ruling ZANU PF party who defied orders from their parties to contest the
March 31 poll as independents.

      Moyo, whose position in the government looks more tenuous than ever
before, submitted his name as an independent candidate in his Tsholotsho
rural home constituency, a move that under ZANU PF's rules renders him
automatically expelled from the party.

      It could not be immediately established whether President Robert
Mugabe, who has repeatedly ignored calls by other senior ZANU PF leaders, to
fire Moyo will continue to retain him at the information ministry after his
rebellion against the ruling party.

      ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira would only say that Moyo's issue
was most likely to be discussed at next Wednesday's meeting of the party's
inner politburo cabinet.

      Two other ZANU PF members were by last night known to have rebelled
against the party to stand as independents.

      In Mberengwa East constituency Godwin Shiri, who lost the ZANU PF
party ticket to State Enterprises Minister Rugare Gumbo registered to
contest the election as an independent, while in Chiredzi North another ZANU
PF official, Ottilia Maluleke is contesting on an independent ticket.

      >From the MDC, three sitting Members of Parliament (MP) rebelled
against party orders to register as independent candidates. These are
Dunmore Makuwaza who is contesting in Mbare West constituency, Silas Mangono
in Masvingo Central constituency and Peter Nyoni in Hwange East

      By standing as independents the three MPs automatically cease being
members of the MDC under the opposition party's rules.

      Tendai Mswati, who was once MDC youth chairman in St. Mary's
constituency but is currently suspended from the party, also registered to
stand in that constituency as an independent.

      Charles Mpofu and Stars Mathe, who at one time or another were once
members of both ZANU PF and the MDC, are also standing as independents in
Pelendaba and Pumula constituencies respectively. The two contested the 2000
parliamentary election as independents.

      Zimbabwe Union of Democrats president Margaret Dongo is standing in
Harare Central constituency as an independent, while government critic,
Arnold Payne, will also contest in Bulawayo's Makokoba constituency as an
independent. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

High Court orders spy suspect's release
Sat 19 February 2005

      HARARE - A High Court yesterday ordered the release of parliamentarian
and senior ruling ZANU PF party official, Philip Chiyangwa, jailed since
last December on allegations of espionage.

      Ordering Chiyangwa's release, Justice Charles Hungwe said the State
had failed to produce convincing evidence that the ZANU PF chairman for
Mashonaland West province had a case to answer.

      Chiyangwa's lawyer, Chris Anderson, appealed to the High Court last
month after a magistrates' court had refused to remove the legislator from
remand. In the appeal, Anderson argued that evidence led by the state lacked
the essential elements to prove that his client had committed the alleged

      Chiyangwa was being accused together with four other men of selling
strategic information on economic and political developments in the country
to South African spies.

      Three of the accused, Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique
Godfrey Dzvairo, ZANU PF director for external affairs Itai Marchi and
former Metropolitan Bank company secretary Tendai Matambanadzo, have since
been convicted at the magistrates' court and sentenced to a total of 16
years in jail.

      ZANU PF deputy security chief Kenny Karidza, also facing the same
charges is still on trial.

      Andersen told the High Court that passing information on political and
economic developments as alleged on Chiyangwa's charge sheet could not be
regarded as the same with endangering the security of the State.

      The State did not immediately indicate yesterday whether it will be
appealing against Hungwe's ruling. It could not also be established whether
Chiyangwa's lawyers managed to serve prison officials with the High Court
judgment so he could be freed.

      Chiyangwa suffered a mild stroke while he was being tortured by state
secret agents after his arrest. His brother James said yesterday: "This is
quite a relief to the whole Chiyangwa family. I hope to enjoy the weekend
with my brother." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

MDC scoffs at state's opening up of airwaves
Sat 19 February 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party has dismissed new government regulations allowing all political
parties access to state radio and television as cosmetic and aimed at
hoodwinking the region that Harare was complying with set guidelines for
democratic elections.

      In a statement released this week, MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
also queried why the government had pledged to open up only the airwaves
while retaining the vast state newspaper empire for its exclusive use if it
was serious about ensuring a truly free and fair poll in March

      The opposition spokesman said that previous and unfulfilled promises
by the government to clean up the chaotic voters' roll and set up an
independent electoral commission were evidence that the latest promise by
the government to permit all voices on air
      were insincere.

      He said: "All these reforms are cosmetic, primarily aimed at tricking
the region into believing that Zimbabwe is complying with the set

      "We have proved this with the new but ineffectual electoral
legislation, the appalling state of the voters' roll, the continued refusal
and delay in inviting SADC election observers and the militarisation of the
electoral process."

      Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has directed that all political
parties be allowed time on state radio and television which previously only
focused on President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

      But Moyo said the directives will not apply to state newspapers. The
biggest two daily papers in the country are all controlled by the state and
often used to propagate ZANU PF campaign messages. The two biggest weekly
papers are also run by the state.

      Under a protocol agreed by Southern African Development Community
leaders last August, all political parties must have access to state-owned

      The protocol also requires the government to allow independent
commissions to run elections to ensure human rights and the rule of law
during elections. - ZimOnline
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chiyangwa free at last

Simba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Feb-19

.as Kuruneri, Bennett stay in

BUSINESSMAN and politician Phillip Chiyangwa is now a free man.
High Court judge Justice Hungwe yesterday gave back freedom to the Zanu PF
Mashonaland West chairman who has been languishing in remand prison since
December last year on allegations of snapping the Official Secrets Act.
Handing down judgment in which he blasted magistrate Peter Kumbawa who
incarcerated Chiyangwa, judge Hungwe said: "The way the magistrate handled
the matter was untorward and injudicious. The language he used was
"It has become a trend that a suspect is virtually tried, charged and
sentenced by the press. The magistrate carried the media's view into the
court.. the applicant is entitled to his immediate release."
The judge said that the State's case was porous as it lacked incriminating
Hungwe-sitting in a motion court-described Kumbawa as overzealous.
Soon after the judgment, Chiyagwa's family who had thronged the High Court
to hear the verdict of their beloved jumped with joy, hugging and kissing
each other.
Chiyangwa's brother, James, said justice has prevailed maintaining his
brother was innocent.
James said to his brother's wife: "Your prayers have been answered" as she
wept with joy, while his sons jumped up and down.
Chiyangwa went missing on December 15 2004, soon after presenting a
Parliamentary portfolio committee review report on the 2005 budget.
Since then his whereabouts were shrouded in mystery until he appeared in
court on 29 January facing charges espionage charges he vehemently denied.
On his initial remand appearance, Chiyangwa, through his lawyer Canaan Dube
of Dube Manikai and Hwacha legal practitioners, complained that he was
abducted by unidentified men, blindfolded and detained in solitary
confinement with no toilet facilities.
He said he was grilled for hours, intimidated and moved from place to place
where it stunk of urine.
While in custody, Chiyangwa suffered a mild stroke, he claimed was a result
of ill-treatment by his captors.
Meanwhile, Justice Hungwe dismissed a bail application by incarcerated
Finance Minister and Mazowe West legislator Chris Kuruneri saying he could
not be trusted because he held dual citizenship-Canadian and Zimbabwean.
Kuruneri's lawyer was granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
On the same day, Hungwe dismissed with costs a bail application by MDC
legislator Roy Bennett who is in a rural prison in Mutoko after Parliament
found him guilty of flooring Justice Minister  Patrick Chinamasa.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Shareholders in troubled banks lose stake to ZABG

Masimba Rushwaya
issue date :2005-Feb-19

ORIGINAL shareholders of troubled commercial banks - Trust, Royal and
Barbican - have lost their stake in the institutions to the Zimbabwe Allied
Banking Group (ZABG).
The shareholders are not entitled to any stake in the banking group.
An investigation by the banks' curators revealed that shareholders in the
financial institutions had negative equity where liabilities exceeded
Such a position had led to the financial institutions losing their capital
and hence the loss of the shareholding.
Trust has a negative equity of $1.309 trillion, Royal $128 billion and
Barbican $16 billion.
In an offer document to all depositors, former workers and creditors to the
banks, ZABG says that the curators had also recommended the selling of the
banks assets-worth $722 billion- to ZABG, while the amount owed to the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through the Troubled Bank Fund had been ceded
to the government through the Alliance Financial Service (AFS) - which would
become the major shareholder of ZABG, through the conversion of the debt to
ordinary shares.
AFS will hold 87 percent, with the balance of 13 percent in the hands of
However, AFS intends to reduce its stake to 10 percent in the shortest
period possible.
Trust Bank was the flagship of Trust Holdings whose main shareholders were
Trust Employees (10.63 percent), NRZ Pension Fund (8.06 percent), Ludham
Investments (7.98 percent), Zesa Staff Pension Fund (7.22 percent) and Old
Mutual Life (6.74 percent).
Barbican was in the hands of Zesa Staff Pension Fund (21.37 percent),
Exchequer (9.41 percent), Selcam Investments (7.91 percent), Alcaston Invest
(7.31 percent) and ESC Staff Pension Fund (5.79 percent).
The Zesa Staff Pension Fund appears to be the biggest loser as it has lost a
combined 29 percent in the two banks.
Royal Bank was not listed but its directors appeared to have the controlling
The offer also includes a reduction of creditors and depositors to
accommodate the shareholder loss; issue of preference and ordinary shares to
depositors and some creditors and the already effected payment to depositors
of amounts up to $5 million, which totalled $43 billion.
Depositors of up to $50 million will be offered Class A 545 day preference
shares, depositors of above $50 million to $100 million Class B 730 day
preference shares and those above $100 million ordinary shares.
The ordinary shares have a nominal value of one cent and are issued at $100
000 each.
They will carry a vote for each share and are not redeemable.
The preference shares are also at $100 000 each and have no voting rights
and are redeemable at the issue price on due date or convertible into
ordinary shares at the option of the holder.
However Class C preference shares that will be issued to financial
institutions are not convertible and are redeemable at the issue price.
Retrenchment workers of the banks will get a one-off $5 million payment and
will be further paid, on a monthly basis, half the monthly salary for a
period of three months.
The balance of the retrenchment package will be converted into shares just
like depositors where the first $45 million of the balance will be converted
into preference shares.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

UZ lecturers launch opinion poll

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-19

SENIOR lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe's Department of Political
Science this week put their thumbs on the political pulse of the nation when
they launched an intensive parliamentary election opinion poll countrywide.
The poll, expected to end on March 9, comes against a backdrop of a hive of
speculation - whetted by a host of politically inflamed issues, among them,
equal radio and television coverage and constituency delimitation - about
the victory chances of the ruling Zanu PF and the MDC.
The MDC temporarily suspended participation in any of the country's
elections protesting against what it described as a lopsided political
landscape and piecemeal electoral reforms engineered to "remove Zimbabwe
from the international agenda."
Political analysts James Kurebwa, told The Daily Mirror that the rationale
of the poll was to elicit political attitudes and predict likely voting
behaviour in the forthcoming parliamentary election.
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Tibetan beauty banned from pageant in Zim
          February 19 2005 at 05:14PM

      Dharamsala, India - Miss Tibet Tashi Yangchen has been expelled from
the Miss Tourism World beauty pageant in Zimbabwe due to pressure from
China, an official said on Saturday.

      Yangchen, who arrived in Harare on February 13 was told by the
organisers that the Chinese embassy there had objected to her taking part in
the February 26 event, according to Ngawang Samdup, spokesperson of the Miss
Tibet pageant.

      "It is unfortunate that politics dictates events of young women and
their aspirations," Samdup said.

      According to the Tibetan official, Taiwan is represented in the
pageant as Chinese Taipei while Hong Kong is named as a representative of

      Miss Tourism World has been running for 20 years with 72 countries
taking party in the 2005 event.

      China occupied Tibet in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959
after a failed uprising against Chinese rule and now lives in exile in the
northern hill resort of Dharamsala. - Sapa-AFP
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      Zimbabwe registers candidates for parliament vote

      Sat February 19, 2005 10:33 AM GMT+02:00
      By Cris Chinaka

      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe registered candidates on Friday for March
parliamentary polls in which President Robert Mugabe's party goes in with
seats already in its pocket under electoral rules critics say are designed
in his favour.

      Political analysts say although Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is almost
certain to retain power in the March 31 vote, he faces a credibility problem
over elections already dismissed as a "total farce" by some of his rivals.

      Hundreds of candidates, mainly from the ruling party and the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), registered on Friday with
electoral courts around Zimbabwe to compete for 120 parliamentary seats at
stake in the March polls.

      Zimbabwe's parliament is made up of 150 members, but under the
southern African country's current electoral laws, 20 of the seats are
reserved for presidential appointees and 10 for traditional chiefs, drawn
from ZANU-PF's rural strongholds.

      The MDC, which was formed five years ago and remains the biggest
political challenge to Mugabe's rule, won nearly half the elected 120 seats
in the last parliamentary elections in 2000, but Mugabe boosted his numbers
with the 30 reserved seats.

      The MDC had threatened to boycott this year's polls, saying electoral
reforms adopted by Mugabe under pressure from the international community,
including the appointment of a nominally "independent" commission, were not
enough to guarantee a free and fair election.

      Mugabe denies charges by the MDC and many Western powers that he
rigged the 2000 parliamentary polls, and his own re-election in 2002.


      Political analysts say while Mugabe is campaigning for a two-thirds
majority in the new parliament, growing divisions and unprecedented quarrels
in ZANU-PF ranks over his likely successor have left the party weaker.

      "It's too early in the campaign to see whether he will get that number
(100)," said Lovemore Madhuku, a political commentator and chairman of
political pressure group National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

      Those divisions have been highlighted by Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo, who registered to contest the elections as an independent candidate,
risking expulsion from the government and the ruling party.

      Moyo, a controversial figure who has spearheaded Mugabe's media and
public relations campaign over the last five years, was barred from standing
on a ZANU-PF party candidate ticket after a row in the party over Mugabe's
likely successor when he retires in 2008.

      Mugabe, who turns 81 next week and has been in power since Zimbabwe's
independence from Britain in 1980, says Britain has mobilised Western
support for the MDC because it wants him out of power for seizing
white-owned farms for blacks.

      Britain denies the charges.

      The veteran Zimbabwean leader routinely lambasts British Prime
Minister Tony Blair at his campaign rallies, and says his ZANU-PF party will
"bury Blair and the puppet MDC" in the March vote, which he has branded the
"anti-Blair elections."

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Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 4:45 PM
Subject: Three percent pass rate

Dear Family and Friends,
With less than six weeks to go before parliamentary elections, the
situation is heating up dramatically in Zimbabwe. In an early Valentine's
Day walk last Saturday, 500 WOZA women carried roses and spread the
message "Choose the power of love rather than the love of power". They
were obviously seen as a threat because 40 of the women were arrested by
police in Bulawayo.

Three days later and with just six weeks to go before elections, the MDC
were holding a training session for their 120 parliamentary candidates at
the Sheraton Hotel in Harare. The police said the meeting was illegal
under POSA and proceeded to apprehend the MDC's election director Ian
Makone and warn everyone else to leave immediately or they would also be

On Thursday 200 NCA protestors took to the streets in Harare distributing
flyers and carrying placards calling for free and fair elections. This
demonstration was also broken up by police, this time in riot gear, and
the day ended with seven people in clinics being treated for assault and
fourteen others being arrested.

On Friday a three man delegation from South Africa's official opposition
party, the Democratic Alliance, came on a fact finding mission to
Zimbabwe. Like COSATU a couple of weeks ago, the DA didn't get very far
and were denied entry and turned back at Harare Airport.

You would think that with so much going on the Zimbabwean television would
have been full of news stories about these happenings. But day after day
our news bulletins were not about women being arrested for carrying
flowers, or men assaulted and arrested for calling for free elections, our
news bulletins were about computers. Night after night President Mugabe
has been headline news, handing out computers to remote rural schools. At
one such school the President revealed the shocking examination figures
which illustrate better than anything else the diabolical state of
Zimbabwe's education system. Speaking at a school in Shurugwi he said: "In
Silobela they had a 3% pass rate. Here there was a pass rate of 8%. In
other areas it is 6%."

This week the South African Foreign Minister said she was satisfied that
Zimbabwe was taking steps to ensure free and fair elections. For those of
us that are living here and seeing computers if we support Zanu PF or
arrests and prison cells if we don't, the Ministers words are insulting
and nauseating. I don't know why, but because she is a woman, I had hoped
for more from Mrs Dlamini Zuma. I wonder if she would be brave enough to
face arrest for carrying a rose, to be assaulted for asking for a free
election or even to send her child to a school here where the pass rate is
just 3%. Mrs Dlamini Zuma could have given hope and inspiration had she
been brave enough to just highlight even one of the things that happened
this week in Zimbabwe. What shame on her. Until next week, with love,
cathy.Copyright cathy buckle 19th February 2005
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available  from: ;
Australia and New Zealand: ;  Africa:
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