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Mugabe plans a lavish party as nation suffers

The Telegraph

                  By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
                  (Filed: 22/02/2006)

                  Zimbabwe's leader Robert Mugabe turned 82 yesterday in
robust health, in contrast to the state of his country.

                  Life expectancy for Zimbabweans is plunging, three
quarters of the population is short of food and inflation is 613 per cent.
However, President Mugabe is as healthy as a man his age could be. He
recently told the state press that a doctor said his "bones were not exactly
as a boy of 26, but certainly someone of 30".

                  To mark his birthday, which comes in his 26th year in
power, the state-controlled Herald newspaper ran congratulations, mostly
from bankrupt state companies, carried in a 16-page supplement.

                  The notices described him as a "beacon of light", and a
"statesman, an icon, a living legend". The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe,
unable to import fuel for a year, said in its quarter-page birthday
advertisement that it valued his "wisdom". The Zimbabwe National Water
Authority, unable to supply clean drinking water to the capital Harare,
congratulated his "legendary existence".

                  The United Nations recently estimated that the average
life span for Zimbabweans had dropped to 37 years, due chiefly to the
unchecked spread of Aids. More than 1.6 million people, one in 13 of the
population, have HIV-Aids, but only 8,000 can afford anti-retroviral drugs.

                  About 4,000 mostly young people die every week from
complications of the disease, exacerbated by poor nutrition and a collapsed
health service.

                  Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF party is meanwhile beset by internal
squabbles about who will succeed him when he steps down, perhaps in 2008. He
has begun lashing out at his cabinet colleagues, blaming them for the
disintegrating economy. Acknowledging a poor harvest despite good summer
rains, Mr Mugabe has now blamed ministers for the crop failures. There is no
maize, the staple food, in shops and bread is in short supply.

                  For decades about 40 per cent of Zimbabwe's foreign
currency was provided by agricultural exports. This has changed since 2000
when Mr Mugabe confiscated 95 per cent of white-owned farms.

                  On Saturday Mr Mugabe's motorcade will speed 165 miles
east to Mutare, the mountain resort on the border of Mozambique, for his
birthday party.

                  "It's awful that he is coming here when so many people are
suffering," said Misheck Kaguabadza, the elected mayor of Mutare, who was
sacked by the government seven months ago. His crime was to show the UN
around Mutare's poor suburbs last year after Mr Mugabe ordered bulldozers to
demolish thousands of small houses.

                  The UN said more than 700,000 people were made homeless in
the mid-winter campaign entitled "Clean out the Trash".

                  Mr Kaguabadza said: "They are going to spend billions of
dollars on a party for him and our clinics have no drugs and people are
dying of malnutrition."

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Zimbabwe arrests protesters on Mugabe birthday


      Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:37 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police on Tuesday detained 43 women activists as
they tried to march on President Robert Mugabe's birthday to press for a new
constitution in place of one seen entrenching his rule, an official said.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, turned 82 on
Tuesday in the shadow of a deepening political and economic crisis his
opponents blame on his mismanagement.

On Tuesday, police swooped on some 250 members of lobby group National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) as they walked towards parliament in what has
become a regular protest attempt in recent years, said NCA chairman Lovemore

"Police arrested about 70 people initially; some were later released but
abut 43 women are still in police custody as I speak," Madhuku told Reuters.

"It was not a coincidence that they wanted to march on Mugabe's birthday. It
was a symbolic gesture by the women to say we want a new constitution,"
Madhuku added.

Police and lawyers for the activists were not immediately reachable for

Mugabe, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, is struggling with an
economic meltdown shown in the highest rate of inflation in the world,
soaring unemployment and persistent shortages of food, fuel and foreign

Police have applied physical force and tough security laws over the last
four years to scuttle efforts by rights groups to demonstrate against a
crisis Mugabe argues is the result of sabotage by local and foreign
opponents of his drive to forcibly redistribute white-owned commercial farms
among blacks.

Last week police arrested more than 400 people in the country's two main
cities, including women with babies strapped to their backs, over an annual
Valentine's Day march against rising economic hardships, lawyers and
activists said.

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Mugabe Regime 'Totally Unacceptable', Says Archbishop Tutu

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

February 21, 2006
Posted to the web February 21, 2006

The regime of President Robert Mugabe is 'totally unacceptable' because of
its gross human rights violations, South African Nobel Peace Laureate
Desmond Tutu said.

The retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town said he once "admired" Mugabe,
who was at one time "the brightest star in the African firmament," who had
brought reconciliation and reconstruction to his country after the war which
ended the rule of the white minority.

"But something happened to him, because now he oversees something that is
totally unacceptable. We, and all of Africa, should be prepared to say that
violation of human rights is violation of human rights, whoever does it."

The anti-apartheid crusader spoke to journalists after addressing the 9th
World Council of Churches in Brazil. Its theme is a prayer: 'God, in your
grace, transform the world.'

Archbishop Tutu said economic progress in Africa needed a just world
economic order and good governance. "We have been our own worst enemies.
Africa has had a succession of corrupt governments - though Mobutu and
Savimbi were encouraged by the West. But we too have responsibility."

Archbishop Tutu in an impassioned speech to the WCC Assembly called for
united Christian witness. "A united church is no optional extra," he said.
It is "indispensable for the salvation of God's world".

"We can be prosperous only together. We can survive only together. We can be
human only together."

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Ncube Faction Says It Will Not Share MDC's $8 billion

Zim Daily

            Wednesday, February 22 2006 @ 12:06 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent

             Bulawayo MDC faction spokesperson Priscilla
Misihairabgwi-Mushonga has said her dissident faction was not prepared to
share the $8billion it is set to receive under the Political Parties
(Finance) Act ostensibly because her faction does not recognise the
leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai, whom she claimed was fired from the
opposition party. The statement sets the tone for a potential bruising legal
battle between the rival sides. Tsvangirai's spokesperson William Bango
declined comment saying the issue was part of congress agenda and whatever
action the MDC would take would be guided by the resolution passed at
congress slated for March.

            Mushonga however maintained that there was still one MDC saying
the split had no legal endorsement. "There is only one MDC and that is us,"
she said. "We will not share the money because there is no legal position in
terms of the split. This is why we continue to run the administrative issues
of the party under Professor (Welshman) Ncube." Government announced this
week that it would release $8 billion to the Ncube faction as part of the
$20 billion allocated for the June 2005 to June 2006 parliamentary calendar.
The ruling Zanu PF will receive the rest of the cash.

            Bango however blasted the greed in the Ncube faction saying
colleagues were forgetting that when the party was formed it had a paltry
$200 in its coffers, and worked hard to get to where it is today. But
Mushonga said her faction was not interested in discussing history adding
that they were more committed to the ongoing leadership renewal in her
faction, which has stirred a hornet's nest by the arbitrary roping in of
Arthur Mutmbara into its ranks. Mushonga denied that her faction was in bed
with Zanu PF, assertions shared by many Zimbabweans moreso following the
prefential treatment given to the faction in allocating the funds.

            "(Justice minister Patrick) Chinamasa was just following
tradition used over the past years in the disbursement of these funds,"
Mushonga said. "The money is given to the administrative wing of the party
and the MDC administration is under Prof Ncube. William Bango knows this,"
Mushonga said. Zimdaily understands all the signatories of the opposition
party's finances are in Ncube's faction. These signatories include secretary
general Welshman Ncube, his deputy Gift Chimanikire and Treasurer Fletcher
Dulini Ncube. Chinamasa told a local weekly that communication with regards
to the disbursement of the money is made through the secretaries for
administration of the eligible parties and in this case they are Didymus
Mutasa for Zanu-PF and Prof Ncube for the MDC. Said Chinamasa: "While I
notice that the MDC has been ravished by a split and, in fact, there seems
to be two MDCs, the law remains blind to that split. As far as the law is
concerned, it still looks at the MDC as a party which is intact.

            "For that reason I communicate with the secretaries for
administration of the parties that qualify. So I must obey the law and not
take into account what I have not been informed of." This position seemed to
correspond with Mushonga's statement, raising speculation that there could
have been a covert meeting to discuss this issue with the faction. Chinamasa
maintained that he did not know of the MDC split while it is now common
knowledge that there are sharp and irreconcilable differences. "There is no
split," Chinamasa was quoted, apparently locked in denial or conveniently
refusing to acknowledge facts on the ground. "We are not aware of anything
to that effect that has been brought to the Speaker of Parliament. We still
know the leader of the MDC in the House to be Mr Gibson Sibanda and the
Chief Whip to be Mr Gonese. I have no right to go into the internal politics
of the MDC. Their quarrel is none of my concern," he said.

            Meanwhile the new kid on the Bulawayo faction MDC block, Arthur
Mutambara has issued a statement saying he joined the faction because it was
part of his "civic duty and obligation to develop political and economic
solutions to the country's current problems." He outlined three points which
he called "success factors" that he claims would boost the faltering
faction's dwindling fortunes. "Reunification of all democratic forces
fighting for change in the country, the need to refocus and energize the
vision, values and strategy of these forces and the development of a
comprehensive macro-economic blueprint that resolves the economic crisis."

            He said the MDC split was "distressing" adding that the party
top leadership has failed to unite the ranks of the movement. "As the party
goes towards two separate congresses, the infusion of new leadership,
untainted by current disagreements, is imperative to facilitate the
reunification process," he said. "It is in this context that I define the
framework of my entry into Zimbabwean politics. As a member of the MDC, I am
prepared to work with anybody who shares the above terms of reference."

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Made, Midzi, Mushowe To Go In Cabinet Reshuffle

Zim Daily

            Wednesday, February 22 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
             President Robert Mugabe is expected to order another
"Development Cabinet" reshuffle - with three under-performing ministers
earmarked for dismissal. Well-placed sources within the ruling Zanu-PF party
told Zimdaily that Mugabe was "almost certainly" going to reorganise the
Cabinet he assembled in April last year and that heads would roll in the
process. Mugabe's action against his ministers was expected following a
damning report by the secretary of Cabinet compiled after an appraisal
ordered by Mugabe.

            Zimdaily heard that his report, handed over last week,
recommended the immediate "restructuring of government" and revealed
systematic corruption and gross incompetency among three ministries.
Zimdaily understands that Mugabe was "certainly going to offload"
Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Mines and Mining Development minister Amos
Midzi and Transport and Communications minister Chris Mushowe.

            Speaking at State House in an interview broadcast Sunday,
without mentioning any names, Mugabe said he was unhappy with the perfomance
of his development cabinet. Zimdaily heard that the investigation team he
assigned had strongly "recommended the restructuring of government". Mugabe
was said to have told the secretary thathe would take full cognisance of the
findings . He was said to have promised to "examine them" and take "urgent

            Zimdaily heard that Mugabe was angered by a key finding of the
report that his ministers and top Zanu PF officials were "sleeping on the
job." He said to be very bitter about the shortage in fertiliser, the
leakages in gold and the appalling state of the transport network,
particularly failure to turnaround NRZ and Air Zimbabwe. Although the report
is being kept under wraps, those who have seen it say it mentions ministers,
governors, top ruling-party officials, senior civil servants, army,
intelligence and police officers as "failing dismally to commit themselves
to work."

            After seeing a copy of the preliminary report, Mugabe was said
to have ordered ministers one by one for a face-to-face appraisal, a
development that Zimdaily heard was ongoing. Mugabe openly showed his
disgust at the deadwood and "incompetence" in his cabinet during the Sunday
interview. He said: "There is a lot of self-centeredness that one sees
amongst some of my ministers. When we talk of national development and a
development cabinet, we would want to see each and every minister and each
and every ministry moving towards the attainment of the goals set," he
said."You can just look at how we tried to plan for our agriculture this
year. Why should we have run short of fertilizer?" Mugabe said not much was
done to make inputs available and this would militate against an otherwise
good season.

            Mugabe also blasted the continued leakage of minerals,
particularly gold. "We pledged to ensure that the mines would operate at
full blast that the leakages we had experienced earlier would not occur."
The cabinet was set up after the March 31 parliamentary elections. Zimdaily
heard that Mugabe was planning to incorporate members of the newly created
Upper House who were elected recently into his new look cabinet. He was
however said to be pleased with the performance of Health minister David
Parirenyatwa, whom Zimdaily heard that scored eight of ten in the appraisal.

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Fuel Pricing System On Cards

The Herald (Harare)

February 21, 2006
Posted to the web February 21, 2006

Martin Kadzere

GOVERNMENT is working on a fuel pricing mechanism that takes into account
its procurement costs, movements in international prices and the exchange
rate to eliminate distortions in the industry.

The ministries of Economic Development and Energy and Power Development have
already started working on the model, which is expected to be in place soon.

Without giving the actual timeframe, Economic Development Minister Mr Rugare
Gumbo said: "The model will be in place as soon as possible.

"What we have done with the Ministry of Energy was to work on the proper
fuel structure in line with our thinking and it should be presented to the
Cabinet for approval shortly."

Since the deregulation of the industry in 2004, the private players have
adopted distinct pricing models, taking into account import and labour
costs, increases in international oil prices amongst a host of other

However, the liberalisation of the fuel industry has seen prices spiralling
with petrol and diesel now selling at between $150 000 and $250 000 at most
service stations.

"We are very much aware of the disparities that are in the sector in terms
of fuel prices and our structure will clearly spell out how fuel should be

Minister Gumbo slammed some fuel operators who wanted to make "a quick buck"
at the expense of the nation.

"Their cost build-up is not even justifiable," Minister Gumbo said.

"Global oil prices have dropped from US$69 per barrel in January to US$61
per barrel last month against the background of increased international
supply and we expected stabilisation of prices, but that has not been the

Fuel pricing has become a contentious issue in recent months, forcing the
Reserve Bank to scrap the foreign currency-denominated fuel coupons, citing
abuse, earlier this month.

And considering the inflationary pressures triggered by fuel price
increases, it was imperative for Government to expedite the implementation
of a sustainable pricing mechanism. The setting up of the Incomes and Prices
Commission is also expected to assist in stabilising fuel prices.

The IPC was approved by the Government in September last year and is
scheduled to become operational this year.

Zimbabwe has been facing intermittent fuel shortages over the last five

The effects have been felt throughout the economy with workers turning up
late for work and farmers failing to deliver their produce to the market.

Late last year the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, was forced to ground its
entire fleet when it ran out of aviation fuel.

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Mafia passport dealings exposed

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2006-Feb-22

A hard-to-crack international crime web operating as consultants is helping
in the mass production of counterfeit passports and national identification
cards (IDs), which are illegally distributed to hundreds of locals and
diasporans in desperate need of the documents, The Daily Mirror has
Investigations carried out by this paper revealed that the so-called
consultants identify
the names of dead people, or those living in remote parts
of the country that they establish might never require passports.
They then extract their particulars from the birth entry record at hospitals
where the people were born (if required), arrange new birth certificates,
IDs and new passports, which are then accompanied with their customers'
The syndicate is well knit that it does not alter official documents while
the  passports bear the necessary serial numbers and accompanying proper
receipts and relevant computer entries are also captured.
This has made it difficult for the Registrar General's office to detect the
anomalies and apprehend most of the culprits.
As a result, thousands of Zimbabweans, both living and dead, are sharing
similar names.
Last week, seven officers from the RG's office were arrested for alleged
fraud involving passports.
  The network extends to major hospitals in Harare and Bulawayo where nurses
are allegedly working in cahoots with crooks to illegally extract birth
Further investigations revealed that Zimbabwe is not alone in these
well-knit illegal deals.
In the UK, a more advanced biometric national ID system that will include 13
fingerprints and a digital facial recognition is on the cards after the
government in that country unearthed criminal activities involving passports
and IDs.
The electronic recognition system in the UK will be used to validate the
identity of a person holding an ID.
Reports however indicate that the system fails to detect the fraud in at
least  13 500 cases at British airports every month.
The detection system is said to have problems with recognising fake identity
holders with bald heads, blacks and those with brown eyes.
Analysts this week said the solution is for Zimbabwe to introduce a similar
system under the new plastic IDs and passports to bust the syndicate.
Terrorism suspects travel on multiple identities.
On September 11, 2001, hijackers who bombed the World Trade Centre in the
USA used 30 false identities.
Due to the high costs of flying between the West and Zimbabwe, The Daily
Mirror also discovered, the tricksters capitalise on the Diaspora to charge
between $65 million and $100 million for passports and other documents,
depending on the urgency of the matter.
With the high demand for passports from Zimbabweans in the Diaspora whose
passports either expire or may need documents for their newly-born babies,
some of these illegal consultants are clocking up to $1 billion per month,
which is more than what some formally registered companies are netting in
The system also works handy for wanted criminals and other locals requiring
urgent documents.
They are swindled out of amounts ranging between $15 million and $20
The RG's office previously faced a critical shortage of application forms
due to the high demand of the highly sought-after papers by Zimbabweans
seeking greener pastures abroad.
This triggered massive leaks of forms onto the black market, but it was
difficult to identify the actual source of the leakage.
Investigations last week revealed that the forms stray at the point of issue
as officers, reeling under meagre salaries, contract illegal consultants to
issue the forms at a fee.
However, the forms are now readily available and in Harare the RG's office
has decentralised to the city's district offices but stringent requirements
are attached to the issuance.
For instance, a lodger in the capital has to have an application backed by
an affidavit signed by his or her landlord, showing they are Harare
residents. They are also required to produce electricity or telephone bills
bearing their names.
But even then, it is proving difficult to plug black marketeering. Instead
of paying the gazetted price of $20 000 for the application forms, they are
now available at $500 000 through "middlemen".
In  2002, the government introduced a new Zimbabwean passport with strict
security features in a bid to halt the fraud.
However, investigations also revealed that the old passport has been turned
into a cash cow by fraudsters.
Little attention is given to the old passport and corrupt officials feast on
the documents that are in circulation at home and in the diaspora.
"I want to assure you that even if you transfer Gono from the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe, he will never get to the root of this. Each time one system is
identified, people sit down to re-strategise," said a former civil servant
in e-mailed accounts to The Daily Mirror.
The advantage of dealing with fraudsters is that it takes about three hours
for one to get a passport, whereas going through the formal channels means
having to wait for between 18 to 20 months to have the travel document,
outside emergency travel documents.
The passport office is under pressure to process large volumes of
applications. Applicants who formally applied on May 20 2005 whose documents
this newspaper saw will collect their passports in November this year.
Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede, yesterday confirmed that his office had
covered ground in plugging loopholes but refused to divulge the strategy.
"The problem is that if we tell the media how we are detecting the fraud,
you will write about it and criminals will run away.
"There are cases currently before the courts and as soon as these are
cleared, we will be in a position to tell you. But we have covered ground
and criminals are being arrested," he said.

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Zimbabwe plans to reclaim European market

People's Daily

      Horticulture industry of Zimbabwe have come up with broad-based
production plan as the country gears to reclaim its status as the leading
fresh produce supplier to the European market, reported the English-language
newspaper Herald Wednesday.

      The production plan, drafted in partnership with some international
fresh produce marketing agencies, will see the country focusing its
attention on increasing its vegetable exports to Europe during the second
quarter of this year.

      A slump in production as a result of three consecutive droughts,
compounded by erratic supplies of chemicals, have seen the country being
toppled from its position as the leading European supplier by countries
including Kenya and South Africa.

      High-level negotiations aimed at ensuring that the country increases
its export quota to the Dubai Flower Auction Center are already underway
between local horticultural producers and some United Arab Emirates
marketing agencies.

      Source: Xinhua

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Ministry delays public servants' pension benefits

The Chronicle

Harare Bureau

THE Ministry of Finance is allegedly dragging its feet in reviewing public
servants' pensions' benefits, worsening the plight of fixed income earners
in an inflationary environment.

Last November, the ministry undertook to adjust pensions in line with upward
reviews in civil servants' salaries effective from January 1 this year.
The minimum tax-free pension contribution was supposed to rise to $6 million
from $120 000 per month while "the exempt portion of proceeds from rental
and investment income, earned by elderly taxpayers' would increase from $2
million to $12 million monthly".
However, the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare indicated
in a recent statement that reviews could not be implemented in January as
earlier envisaged, as some grey areas still had to be looked at.
"In keeping with policy to review levels of pensions each time there is a
review of salaries for members of the public service, the Pensions Review
Tribunal recently met to review the level of pensions following salary
increases awarded to civil servants," it said.
"Their recommendations are currently being considered by the Minister of
Finance as required by the Pensions Review Act.
"The Director of Pensions regrets therefore to advise that State service
pension increases will not be effected in January as was anticipated.
Increases will be effected in February backdated to January."
No comment could be obtained from the Secretary for Finance, Mr Willard
Manungo, who was said to be in marathon meetings.
However, sources in the ministry said the February increases were still
being considered, adding there were doubts the increases would be effected
this month.
Annual inflation figures hit the 613 percent mark as at January 31, thereby
further eroding pensioners' already meagre benefits. Yearly inflation is
projected to reach 800 percent by March.
This is bad news for retired workers under the National Social Security
Authority scheme who are said to be receiving monthly benefits of as low was
$100 000, just enough to buy two loaves of bread or one 500g packet of
National Railways of Zimbabwe pensioners are no better off with Press
reports suggesting that some were receiving payments of $50 000.
Other schools of thought hold that no pension can meet the cost of living.
But instead, pension payouts, among other factors, depend on the amount of
contribution that one makes during their time of employment and the level of
deduction considered.
Although substantial amounts of money could indeed be coming from
investments made in varying areas, analysts say, these could be directed to
reserves, as future retirees need to be catered for as well. - HB

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A combination of hunger and HIV creates special challenges in Zimbabwe

International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Date: 21 Feb 2006

by Leigh Daynes, eastern Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Red Cross uses innovative methods to reach 18,000 people
through its home-based care programme for people living with HIV and AIDS,
and 36,000 children affected by AIDS. Among the projects are giving advice
on running a small business and paying school fees.

Near Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, ten women run a chicken rearing cooperative
that has spin-offs for the whole village of Muchaangira. Dananai, which
means unconditional love, has been an income-generating lifeline for the
past three years.

"We aim to encourage the community to work together as a group," explains a
member. "As a group, we rear chickens. Selling some of them enables us to
buy food for children in the village who have been orphaned by AIDS.

"It's also important for us to be able to pay our children's school fees.
The income we receive from selling chickens helps us pay these fees and buy
uniforms, books and stationery. At the moment the price of chickens is
really high."

As well as supporting the group with business advice, a local Zimbabwe Red
Cross volunteer provides its members with information about good nutrition
and hygiene.

Deep in the bush in eastern Zimbabwe, Phiaodonia Chivandire, 18, lives with
her younger siblings. The children were orphaned by AIDS five years ago.

"I have two brothers and one sister," Phiaodonia explains.

"We did start to plant a small garden to grow some food but the rains washed
it away. We have some seeds and we would like to plant them but there's no
one to help us. Our relatives and neighbours can't help. We'll try and
replant the garden," she says.

As part of its home-based care programme, the Zimbabwe Red Cross is paying
for Phiaodonia and her eight-year-old brother, Tinashe, to attend school.
The youngsters also get food aid from the World Food Programme.

Phiaodonia has plans for the future that depend on her education.

"I'm waiting to hear if I passed my school exams. I'd like to go back to do
an 'A' level. I want to complete my studies and train to be a nurse," she

Assistance to vulnerable people in Zimbabwe is increasing, thanks to a
seven-country emergency food insecurity appeal in Southern Africa launched
by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The emergency operation plans to reach 388,800 people in Zimbabwe. Of these,
148,600 people will get food aid, 114,000 will benefit from agricultural
starter packs with seeds and fertilizers, 24,000 will have the benefit of
draught animals such as oxen to develop their land, 46,000 will have drip
kits or irrigation schemes, 15,000 will have boreholes drilled or
rehabilitated, 1200 will get latrines, and 40,000 will benefit from hygiene

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Look East Policy - Mugabe Amongst Friends

      February 22, 2006, 1 hour, 22 minutes and 11 seconds ago.

      By ANDnetwork .com

      Harare:  The world's fastest growing economy, China, and its fastest
shrinking, Zimbabwe, are most likely to forge ahead with consolidating
economic and diplomatic ties in 2006 and beyond.

      Isolated and reeling from sanctions imposed by the West since February
2002, including a theatrical withdrawal from the Commonwealth, President
Robert Mugabe announced a look East policy in 2005, following a state visit
to Beijing.

      At its core, the Presidency for the past two decades harboured central
planning command economy ideologies - the North Korea style.

      Mugabe, an avid follower of the Marxist-Leninist school-of-thought, on
numerous occasions pronounced himself and his party Zanu PF as Socialists,
but very few in the West listened as the country was frog-marched by the
Bretton Woods institutions into market reforms.

      Zimbabwe's international relations with the West, hence international
financial institutions, were never built on meeting of minds - it has been a
marriage of convenience with failure scribbled all over from the onset.

      Mugabe desperately wants balance of payment support and aid, given his
quarter-century rampant mismanagement of the agro-based economy and
half-hearted implementation of market reforms. The West wants democracy and
good governance - to spread across Africa and beyond - thereby safe guarding
private property rights which are the hallmark of a capitalist global
economic system.

      The Presidency prescribes nationalisation of farms and enterprises,
with state owned companies (parastatals) driving the national economy;
though empirical evidence across the globe pinpoints to virtual collapse of
such companies or so-called 'national jewels.'

      According to Zimbabwe media, in a report titled Operational Challenges
of Parastatals, released last quarter 2005, state companies such as the
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority (Zesa), Zimbabwe Iron & Steel Company (Zisco), Rural
Electrification Agency, District Development Fund (DDF), Civil Aviation
Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz), Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company (Zupco), Cold Storage Company (CSC) and Hwange
Colliery are in a precarious state.

      However, in China and President Hu Jintaou, Mugabe will realise that
there is no free lunch on planet earth given the global economic system
currently in existence. But he will be amongst friends - rich, communists
and singing from the same hymn behind closed doors.

      This is a first in the history of mankind, for a communist political
system to successfully implement market forms and be on the verge of
becoming a superpower - predictions are that China will be the largest
economy on planet earth by 2050. Currently it's pegged third behind Germany
and the US.

      The People's Bank of China, that country's central bank, announced
recently that foreign reserves had increased US$50 billion in the last
quarter 2005 to peak at a record US$819.9 billion - this is only second to
Japan's circa US$847 billion.

      About 70 percent of these reserves have been invested in US government
and corporate debt. It is about time for China to halt these relatively low
yielding investments, which basically are a wealth-transfer. Besides
investing in its booming economy, will the Communist Party leadership decide
to deepen investments in the developing world in pursuit of ever-scarce

      Southern Africa, just like the Middle East and Latin America, is
important to Beijing's unprecedented short to medium term raw material

      The Presidency, enjoying a meeting of minds with the Communist Party
leadership, can play a crucial role in facilitating investment deals given
its stranglehold on Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent the Democratic Republic
of Congo as well as solid diplomatic ties with Namibia and Angola. The
balance sheets of the state owned enterprises need to be sorted before any
Chinese aided cross border investments.

      The extent to which Zimbabwe, given its strategic geographical
location, can be the Chinese investment and development gateway into the 300
million sub-Saharan Africa market will depend on how far Mugabe is willing
to dream.

       Most crucially, no matter which cardinal point Mugabe turns to, he
will soon realise that private property rights in today's global arena can
not be wished away. The rule of law, political stability, acceptance of the
global economic order, and good governance are the only viable safeguards to
investments, economic stability and prosperity.

      By Edmore Tobaiwa AND Zimbabwe

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A new dimension in Zim politics

Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 8:51 AM
Subject: A new dimension in Zim politics

Dear Editor,


I hope my views will find some space in your widely read publication.


I see Mutambara’s involvement with opposition politics as a new and probably positive dimension to the politics of Zimbabwe. I’m very cautious when I say “probably”. Arthur’s first words about this surprising move were about reunion of the MDC factions as well as getting all pro-democracy forces to work together, this is indeed positive. However, his classic error was his decision to join an MDC faction instead of MDC as a full movement. “Which faction was he supposed to join?”, one may ask. The simple answer is that he should have played the perfect role of a uniting force from outside each of the factions but within the movement. One does not need to be in one of the factions in order to be MDC. Coltart is a perfect example and this is what real gentlemen and visionaries do when things are the way they are.


By joining Ncube and his gang, Arthur has shown the world that he is an opportunist who only wanted to join a party if he was promised the highest office. Otherwise how would anyone view his silence for many years, when the struggle needed him most? Mutambara and all those who think like him may need to be reminded that even in politics, there is apprenticeship to serve. Student politics, the only level of politics Arthur really got involved with, those many years back, is just not enough! My personal opinion is that the MDC would emerge a much more formidable force if it had people like Arthur, Morgan and Welsh in its top leadership, puling in the same direction. We would then have a very healthy balance between academia, political wisdom and experience. Tsvangirai is a lot more politically experienced than Welsh and Arthur put together while the two professors have exceptional academic records, which would indeed be good for the MDC, put together.


May I then humbly ask Mutambara to reconsider his move and seek to reunite the two camps for the good of the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe. This is the best time for Arthur to show Zimbabweans that what he learnt and experienced during his many years of absence from our political scene, will be useful in shaping the future. Only after that, must he start dreaming of being the ultimate leader. As it is, it is just another futile exercise and he will soon be licking his wounds. I hope it is not too late for him to start seeing this simple wisdom. Using his connections with people like Biti, Chamisa and others, I feel the new kid on the bloc could put himself on the map if he allowed wisdom to prevail and do the right thing at this crucial moment of our struggle.



United we stand!


Auckland, New Zealand


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MDC UK in support of Arthur Mutambara

The majority of people in diasporas or dispersions are in support of
Professor Arthur Mutambara as the right candidate to remove zanu pf.We have
gone through consultations and had recieved full support for Arthur
Mutambara such that even politcians that were in support of the
antisenatorial group are willing to cross the floor in support of Arthur

Zimbabwean members of parliament have shown exprssions against the way the
intelligence has been handling people of  different political views.Death
threats were issued to mdc officials and some have been beaten just because
they expressed a difference in political opnions.This indicated that Morgan
Tsvangirai has been admiring Robert Mugabes dirty tactics such that people
are saying we no longer expect another Robert Mugabe to preside over our
land.Members of parliament were now living in fear of both Zanu pf and
Morgan Tsvangirais intelligence agencies such that the presence of Authur
Mutambara is an answer to their prayers for a new leader.

Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe are now suffering from an impregnability
of consuming a political humble pie.The presence of Authur Mutambara will
disqulify both leaders[Morgan and Robert] from the zimbabwean political
presence shall make the two dictators vanish into thin air.

We strongly oppose tribal politics such as that was practiced in the
past.People have been asking questions about why is it that in mdc
Tsvangirai,Matongo and Mativenga are the heads and people from other tribes
are doing the tail jobs.Yes, the answer is that they are Karanga.This
reminds me of Hebert Chitepos assasination during the liberation
struggle.Chitepo was killed simply because he does not come from
masvingo.That was a very foolish reason for terminating someones life.Why is
that they want to dominate and can even kill?Professor Authur Go Mutambara
is not tribalistic and we anticipate a rejuvinated mdc with equal tribal

May GOD bless Professor Authur Mutambara.
This letter is prophetic,i prophesy that Authur Mutambara shall be the
of Zimbabwe.
 Frank Mamvura[secretary for information and publicity mdcuk]
PHONE07766592005  LAND01902420153

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