The ZIMBABWE Situation
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MDC Legal Affairs Report

Attached is Dave Coltart's legal affairs report. He has also submitted this to the Ncube/Sibanda meeting in Bulawayo. It is an important record of what has been achieved by the legal department over the past 6 years.

Click here to read it

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IMF Official Rejects Zimbabwe Inflation Explanation


By Blessing Zulu
      24 February 2006

A senior International Monetary Fund spokesman criticized Zimbabwe's
economic and monetary management on Thursday, in particular the
"quasi-fiscal operations" of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which have
contributed to a consolidated public deficit including the government and
central bank equal to 60% of national output.

IMF Director of External Relations Thomas Dawson took issue with contention
by the governor of the central bank, Gideon Gono, that Zimbabwe's roaring
inflation is due to the country's effort since late last year to pay down
its debt arrears to the Fund.

"We do not believe that is in fact the case at all," Dawson told an IMF
press briefing that was carried over the Internet as well. "The reality is
that inflation in Zimbabwe has been driven mainly by quasi-fiscal activities
of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe."

"The government deficit that is reported at 3% of (gross domestic product)
in 2005 is only a small part of the picture," Dawson continued. "A truer
picture of the public deficit is provided by the consolidated deficit of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and central government," which he said approached
60% of GDP in 2005, vs. 27% in 2004.

Dawson's response was sparked by a press query as to the IMF's view on the
central bank's reported printing of Z$21 trillion in new currency to
purchase foreign currencies needed to pay down IMF arrears in recent months.
Gono has been quoted as saying that such money creation has been a prime
factor in driving inflation over 600%.

The IMF spokesman questioned the link between debt payments and inflation,
saying government fiscal policy and quasi-fiscal activities by the central
bank were to blame. The central bank in recent years, and in accelerating
fashion, has made large sums available to agriculture and industry in an
effort to stave off economic collapse.

Dawson also expressed perplexity on the part of the IMF as to the exact
source of funds Zimbabwe used to pay down its debt arrears.

Explanations by Zimbabwean authorities "are not inconsistent with the
revised reserves and balance of payments data reported" to the Fund, he
said, "but we are unable to independently verify the data and explanations

He urged better reporting and greater transparency of financial accounts.

Above all, Dawson called for implementation of "a comprehensive policy
package so that Zimbabweans can benefit from a sustained non-inflationary
growth and a strengthening external position" which would allow it to meet

He rejected charges that shortages of food, fuel and medicine are due to
heavy IMF debt payments. "If in fact there have been shortages in that
regard, it has been entirely because the authorities have chosen the course
of action in not implementing (a) comprehensive package of macroeconomic and
structural reforms," he said.

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Extract from IMF press briefing

From The IMF, 23 February

Question: Do you have any updates on Zimbabwe?

Mr Dawson: Sure. And I might also add that we have an online question that
just popped up at this point from The Zimbabwe Independent, stating Zimbabwe
printed 21 trillion, Zimbabwe dollars to raise foreign cash for arrears
payments. What is the view of the IMF on this strategy?

I could perhaps start by answering a little bit of your question in terms of
the state of play, and I'll get to that one in particular. Zimbabwe has been
in arrears with the Fund for almost five years. They did increase
significantly their payments to the Fund in recent months, and as we
indicated on February 15th, have fully settled their overdue financial
obligations to our General Resources Account - that's our ordinary quota
based resources - on that day. There are still arrears to the PRGF, on the
PRGF side of the account amounting to approximately SDR 83 million.

There have been questions regarding the sources of funds for the payments
that Zimbabwe has been making during 2005 as well as in 2006. Since the
conclusion of our Article IV consultation in September of 2005, we received
further information from the authorities on sources of some of those
payments - and it would appear the authorities have used a wide range of
sources including funds from export proceeds, so-called free-funds, which
are funds not linked to exports, and a credit facility. However, the
authorities's explanation of the sources of payments to the Fund are not
inconsistent with the revised reserves and balance of payments data reported
by the authorities to the Fund, but we are unable to independently verify
the data and explanations provided, and we have urged the authorities to
improve the reporting of Zimbabwe's international reserve position to the
Fund and balance of payment data, as well as the transparency of the central
bank's financial statement disclosure framework.

In his speech last week, the Governor of the Central Bank made some comments
about the payments to the Fund, and attributed the high inflation of 2005
and 2006 to the printing of large amounts of local currency to pay foreign
exchange. We cannot reconcile the numbers that the Governor cited with the
information previously provided by the authorities on the sources of
payment. But I would make it very clear that - and I would note that there's
been the comment, allegations made both within the government, but also from
others, observers, that the high inflation in Zimbabwe in some fashion is
owed to repayment of the Fund resources. We do not believe that is in fact
the case at all. The reality is that inflation in Zimbabwe has been driven
mainly by quasi-fiscal activities of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The
government deficit that is reported at some 3 percent of GDP in 2005 is only
a small part of the picture. A truer picture of the public deficit is
provided by the consolidated deficit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and
central government, which is estimated to have reached nearly 60 percent of
GDP in 2005, up from 27 percent of GDP in 2004.

We have repeatedly urged the authorities to implement a comprehensive policy
package so that Zimbabweans can benefit from a sustained non-inflationary
growth and a strengthening external position, which would allow the country
to meet its payment obligations to the Fund. There's also been comments made
that because of payments to the Fund in some fashion, the Zimbabwean
Government, Zimbabweans have had to do without medicines, adequate food,
fuel and other essentials, and we do not believe that has been the case at
all. If in fact there have been shortages in that regard, it has been
entirely because the authorities have chosen the course of action in not
implementing the comprehensive package of macroeconomic and structural
reforms, that the Fund and including the Fund Board have repeatedly
recommended. Our regular assessment and policy recommendations on Zimbabwe
are available on the website, and I think it's quite transparent, but if
people have questions on these policies, you certainly can go through that
and we're available to answer any additional questions.

Finally, because it's a logical follow up, what are the next steps? As we
indicated in the press release last week, the next Fund Board meeting to
review the overdue financial obligations - these are the remaining PRGF
obligations - is tentatively scheduled for March 8, and at that point
Directors will have an opportunity to consider Zimbabwe's cooperation with
the Fund on policies and payments, as well as remaining sanctions and
remedial measures against Zimbabwe relating to its arrears. And, again, the
history of what those are in our press releases over the last year or so.

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Eskom not a bank for Zim power firm - official

Business Report

February 25, 2006

Johannesburg - South Africa's state-owned power company Eskom is unlikely to
lend Zimbabwe's state electricity utility money to expand one of its power
plants, as reported by a Harare-based newspaper, an Eskom official said on

Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper today cited Sydney Gata, executive
chairman of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, as saying Eskom will
lend his company $37 million (R223.8 million) to expand and upgrade the
Hwange Power Station.

"I'm not aware of anything along these lines," Steve Lennon, Eskom's
managing director of resources and strategy, said by telephone from
Johannesburg today.

"It's highly unlikely. We are not a bank.'' - Bloomberg

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Zimbabwe breaks all records for Guinness Book of Records entries (satire)


19 Feb 2006 by Lore

The Guinness Book of Records 2007 is to have Zimbabwe and its President,
Robert Mugabe, listed in every category - that alone being a new record,
which is likely to require a reprint shortly afterwards.

"A stunning achievement for such a small land," Lord Pint, the Guinness
press secretary, said as he made the announcement. "Look anywhere in the
book, you will find an entry. We can hardly keep up with the amount of
records the place is setting."

Showing off the first draft of the 2007 edition, Lord Pint of Guinness
pointed out some of the entries. "Look at this shit, man," he said excitedly
to the large group of reporters, infiltrated with members of Mugabe's feared
C.I.O. secret police, carefully camouflaged in Gucci suits and mirror
sunglasses. "Most worthless currency, world's highest inflation, Mugabe
voted into top three Dictators... stunning, see how he wiped out an entire
commercial farming system in SIX years, now the place is a basket case
instead of a bread basket. It goes on and on."

"We promise however, to have all claims verified before publishing. We have
sent teams of record proofers to Zimbabwe, but they all disappeared down
some mineshafts," he added. "There are still 'grey' areas that need to be
checked by experts."

Asked what he meant, the head of Guinness PR explained: "Well, it is
difficult to work out if they have the highest incidence of AIDS in percent
of the population. The people die even as we count them. The statistics just
don't seem to stand up. Then there is the debate over how many refugees
crossing the Limpopo river into South Africa were actually eaten by
crocodiles. How many people were struck by lightning or were actually fried
stealing copper wire from transformers, therefore cheating the rules? Also,
was Mugabe's 'Operation Clean Out Filth', which made three quarter of a
million people homeless in two weeks, really that fast?"

Late news
Reports that the record for the fastest disappearance of a test cricket side
is to be challenged by a group of ex-England players have been denied by the

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Mugabe blasts imperialists and gays


      Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:53 PM GMT

By Cris Chinaka

MUTARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe told a crowd of
thousands at his birthday party on Saturday that Zimbabwe was under threat
from imperialism, and delivered a blistering attack on gays.

Mugabe, who turned 82 on Tuesday and has been in power since independence
from Britain in 1980, is struggling to contain an economic meltdown that
includes the highest inflation rate in the world.

He frequently launches tirades against the West, which he accuses of
sabotaging his once vibrant economy in retaliation for his seizure of
white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

"Bear in mind that the monster of imperialism is continuously and
dangerously lurking in the bush awaiting a more favourable opportunity to
devour our national sovereignty," Mugabe said.

"We must never ever lose our sovereignty, our power to rule ourselves, our
right as Zimbabweans to govern Zimbabwe, to determine our own destiny," he
told the crowd at his official birthday party in the eastern city of Mutare,
set in a scenic valley surrounded by rolling mountains.

Western governments and African church, labour and human rights groups have
in turn accused Mugabe of stifling dissent and stealing elections through
intimidation and fraud.


Mugabe said Zimbabweans should remain "in a state of readiness to fight the
enemies who might dare attack you, invade you or claim through the use of
arms that a portion of Zimbabwe belongs to him. Unless you are committed to
that, you are not a Zimbabwean in full."

In a one-hour speech, he recounted the history of colonialism and said black
Zimbabweans were treated like slaves by whites.

Topics included the HIV/AIDS pandemic which Mugabe acknowledged was
decimating the population, attacking what he called falling moral standards.

He also launched another blistering attack on homosexuality -- he has
previously described gays as worse than dogs and pigs -- saying it was

He said in Shona, "leave whites to do that", and condemned churches for
blessing gay marriages. He said his government would jail clergy who granted
gay marriages in Zimbabwe.

Thousands, including schoolchildren, packed the local stadium to celebrate
Mugabe's birthday and were entertained by song, dance and poetry.

The public celebrations, which saw Mugabe showered with gifts by government
and party officials, came as Zimbabweans struggle with economic problems
many blame on their leader, including chronic food, fuel, and foreign
currency shortages.

Mugabe co-led Zimbabwe's national liberation war in the 1970s, but critics
say he has ruined a once-prosperous country. Unemployment is 70 percent,
while inflation is over 600 percent.

Mugabe denies the charges and accuses the West of seeking to replace him
with a puppet government.

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Thousands go hungry at Mugabe birthday party

      February 25, 2006,

      By Tagu Mkwenyani

      Mutare (AND) THOUSANDS of residents have been disappointed at
President Robert Mugabe's birthday party held in the eastern border city of
Mutare this afternoon.

      The residents left the venue of the 21st Movement Celebrations angry
after failing to get food. The few who did get food, which was only made
available after 2: 30 pm when Mugabe had finished delivering a long speech,
were served with cabbages.

      Children were mainly affected as they had arrived at Sakubva stadium
as early as 9; 00 am. Disappointed residents said they did not expect to go
home hungry after attending Mugabe's birthday. "It has come as a major
disappointment for me, seven hours in the sun without any food. This shows
great insensitivity to our plight. Speaking at the function, Mugabe who has
turned 82 urged youths not to use condoms.

      "Personally I don't like condoms. People should get married and when
they reach 82, they would be tired of sex," said Mugabe who heads a country
that is afflicted by an HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mugabe also said gays and
lesbians had no place in Zimbabwe saying his government would not hesitate
to jail them. "We will throw them in jail," said Mugabe who also threatened
to castrate rapists.

      But while the ordinary people have left the party hungry, chefs are
currently feasting at Queens Hall in town where food has been reserved for
government officials and those connected to Mugabe. The residents are also
bitter that the commissioners running the city of Mutare, which has
organised the festivities, have used their money without their approval to
spruce up the city in preparation for the feast.

      The commission forked out billions of dollars to fill up potholes and
clean the streets ahead of Mugabe's visit to the city. Business people were
also ordered to refurbish their building by putting a fresh coat of paint on
their properties.

      AND Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe's "future leader" elected opposition president

HARARE, Feb 25 (AFP)

Former student leader Arthur Mutambara, considered Zimbabwe's "future
leader" in the 1980s, returned home a week ago after 15 years abroad to be
elected president of the country's divided opposition.

Mutambara was chosen the unopposed leader of the so-called pro-Senate
faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) late Saturday at the
first of two opposition leadership conferences.

The former student activist arrived in Harare last Sunday, after more than a
decade in the United States and neighbouring South Africa.

He returned to Zimbabwe saying that the MDC needed new leaders following the
infighting which led to the split in the party.

"As the party goes towards two separate congresses, the infusion of a new
leadership untainted by the current disagreements is imperative to
facilitate a reunification process," Mutambara said.

Born in May 1966, he attended school in the eastern Zimbabwean district of

Synonymous with the militant student activism of the late 1980s Mutambara is
credited with leading protests against state corruption and profligacy which
led to the temporary closure of the University of Zimbabwe in October 1989.

Following a series of student strikes in 1989, Mutambara was arrested and
detained together with trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, who was later to
become the MDC leader and former opposition lawmaker Munyaradzi Gwisai under
laws that were used to emasculate black nationalists before independence.

Mutambara was one of the first two Zimbabweans to be awarded the prestigious
Rhodes scholarship in 1990 to study at Oxford University where he became the
first Zimbabwean to obtain a doctorate in robotics and mechanotronics.

In 1996 he was a research fellow at the United States' National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) before having brief stints as a researcher
and lecturer at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvannia and the
Massachusets Institute of Technology.

Now based in South Africa, he is chief executive officer and marketing
director of Africa Technology and Business Institute and still commands
respect among students, academics and civil society.

Political commentator Bill Saidi said mainstream politics might be "a
different ball game" for the man whose name evokes images of running battles
between anti-riot police and slogan-chanting university students.

"He was quite radical...he revitalised the student movement and we always
regarded him as a future leader bringing in something new to the student
movement," Saidi said.

"But politics is a totally different ball game and to think that he can lead
a party that aspires to rule this country is a bit too ambitious. He needs a
bit of time."

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Bulawayo gathering


The events of this weekend of 25 and 26 February shall come and gone.
A group of former leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change are
exercising their constitutional right of freedom of association and could
decide to form a new political organization.
We welcome them to the turbulent political scene in Zimbabwe as we continue
our struggle to dislodge the Zanu PF dictatorship.
May we however urge them to urgently look for a new name so that they are
not confused with the Movement for Democratic Change founded by the working
people of this country led by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. That
formation of the working people's convention remains intact and led by the
former secretary general of the ZCTU, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The legal and constitutional position regarding the leadership of the MDC
remains unchanged. Morgan Tsvangirai, as confirmed by the unchallenged High
court judgment of December 2005 remains the lawful President of the Movement
for Democratic Change until a Congress convened, in consultation with him,
is held or until the High Court judgment is set aside by a competent court,
whichever comes first.
We have no doubt in our minds that our fellow citizens in the new political
formation, the majority of whom claim moral constitutional superiority will
uphold the rule of law and the Constitution of the MDC and do the right
thing without being compelled to do so.
The struggle that we have is about removing a dictatorship and resolve the
crisis of governance in our country in order to usher in a new Zimbabwe and
a new beginning governed by a people driven democratic national
The people's project is unstoppable.

Nelson Chamisa MP
Secretary for Information and Publicity

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MDC congress haunted by food shortages

      February 25, 2006,

      By George Nyathi

      (AND)BULAWAYO-ZIMBABWE:There was commotion at the opposition MDC
congress in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe this morning as party supporters denounced
party leadership for failing to provide them with food.

      The party supporters sang songs with deragatory language accusing the
pro-Senate faction of being failures and exposing them to the worst hunger

      The supporters said they had spent more than three days without eating
anything as the party leadership had failed to provide them with food. Some
delegates from Masvingo as well as students from the Harare-based University
of Zimbabwe were stopped in their tracks as they tried to loot some food on
tables meant for delegates. MDC security personnel had to be called in to
quell the commotion but the hungry delegates did not budge. The delegates
said the party had failed to book them into reasonable lodges where they had
been told they would be accommpdated but instead forced them to sleep in the
open without blankets.

      Some women were seen with babies strapped on their backs trying to
queue for food but the stronger youth pushed them aside and headed for the
front where the food was being served. Party's acting president, Gibson
Sibanda apologized for the confusion saying that the party had
under-budgeted for the congress. "This is the Zimbabwe that we are talking
about when we say that Mugabe must go. Look at what happened this morning.
There was a lot of confusion and there was the shortage of food. "We want to
apologize to our members and supporters that this was a problem caused by
the ever-rising cost of food in Zimbabwe.
      We thought we had adequately budgeted for the congress and it was
unfortunate that we got many people and the pices were too high. We want to
assure you that we are looking into the issue and from today onwards, things
will be in order," Sibanda said.

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CIO suspends Daily Mirror journalists

New Zimbabwe

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 02/25/2006 13:40:40
THE Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) has intensified a purge against
staff perceived not to be towing the line at the Daily Mirror, amid
revelations of the firing of two senior journalists this week.

The paper, previously one of Zimbabwe last independent newspapers, has been
taken over by the spy agency using State funds.

The axing of the two journalists follows the sacking of two other managers
as the battle to weed out elements perceived to be loyal to suspended Mirror
founder and Chief Executive, Ibbo Mandaza gathers momentum.

Sources said Friday that the Mirror's chief reporter, Sydney Kawadza, was
fired while senior reporter, Takunda Maodza, was suspended this week on
allegations of non-performance.

This follows the suspension of the Mirror group's financial director Ngoni
Mangadze and senior accounting officer, Francis Kutinhi, also this week.

Since the CIO took over control of the Mirror, three other reporters were
suspended and later reinstated. News editor Patson Matsikidze remains
suspended. Last year, they also chased away all journalists who were on

The CIO is said to be making frantic efforts to replace staff who were there
during Mandaza's reign with satte agents and loyalists.

Sources said one of the affected journalists, Maodza, who was assigned by
the paper's editors to cover the "MDC desk", had been suspended on
allegations that he was a "MDC correspondent".

"The fact is that the CIO-controlled board did not understand that Maodza
was assigned by the editors to cover the MDC. They constantly accused him of
being an MDC and ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) sympathiser," a
source said.

Late last year, the High Court ruled that Mandaza should return to work, but
the CIO have been defying the order directing workers not to co operate with

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Governor slams council, police for laxity

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-25

HARARE Metropolitan governor David Karimanzira says the resurfacing of
illegal street vending and backyard tuck shops in some parts of the capital
indicated laxity on the part of the police and municipal authorities.
Reviewing a pass-out parade of 257 police officers at Morris Depot in Harare
on Thursday, Karimanzira said selling goods at undesignated points was
unhygienic and precipitated criminal activities.
He said: "I have also noted with concern the resurfacing of illegal street
vending and backyard tuck shops in Harare.
"This trend is worrisome as it indicates laxity on the part of police and
municipal authorities.
"The sale of goods in undesignated places had not only precipitated a haven
for criminal activity but it also posed a health hazard to members of the
The government embarked on Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order last year
destroying all backyard shacks, tuck shops and illegal vending sites
nationwide in an endeavour to rid cities and towns of squalor and vice.
However, the illegal activities are slowly returning while vendors have
devised ways to avoid detection while selling their wares in the Central
Business District (CBD).
The daring ones actually play cat and mouse games with law enforcers.
Karimanzira, who is also the Resident Minister, castigated corruption saying
the scourge was of great concern to the government and was negating the
economic turnaround programme.
"Regrettably, the effects of corruption have largely stalled economic
recovery programmes resulting in dismal losses and a decline in service
delivery especially in municipal authorities and major parastatals," he
On corruption within the police force, Karimanzira said:
 "I wish to express my gratitude for the sterling job that the ZRP has done
to exorcise corrupt malcontents within the organisation."
He said the police had an important role to play in turning the economy
around by curbing unprincipled business practices.
There were 108 females among the graduates.
The governor commended the ZRP for affording equal opportunities to both

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