The ZIMBABWE Situation
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Zambia deports Zimbabwe opposition leader

Zim Online

Fri 3 February 2006

      HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and about 10
officials of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party were early on
Thursday morning deported from Zambia where they had gone to attend
meetings, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told ZimOnline.

      Chamisa said the Zimbabwean opposition politicians had been in Zambian
town of Livingstone for two days conducting "party business", whose nature
he would not disclose, when a combined force of about 50 intelligence,
police and army officers rounded them up from their hotel rooms at around
1am and told them to leave the country because they were a "security

      The Zambian security forces who, according to Chamisa were "armed to
the teeth", bundled the MDC politicians onto cars and drove them to the
border in a convoy of about eight vehicles.

      Tsvangirai and his group were dropped off on the Zambian side and had
to walk from there to Victoria Falls town just across on the Zimbabwean

      "We were deported from Zambia after we had already spent two days in
that country. We were told that we were a security threat," said Chamisa.

      He said the Zambian security agents did not explain what sort of
security threat Tsvangirai and his group posed.

      Chamisa said the MDC was in the process of trying to establish from
the Zambian government why its leader and his delegation were deported,
adding that the opposition party would still want to return to Livingstone
to complete their business.

      It was not possible to get comment from the Zambian Foreign Affairs
Ministry in Lusaka or from the country's embassy in Harare. Tsvangirai, one
of Africa's most powerful opposition political leaders, has in the past
visited several southern African countries imploring them to help pressure
President Robert Mugabe to uphold democracy.

      In keeping with the tradition of politics in Africa, no government in
the region or on the continent has ever publicly expressed support for
Tsvangirai in his efforts to push Mugabe out of power but they have
generally treated him with a modicum of respect, an obvious acknowledgement
that he could assume power one day.

      A former trade unionist, ironically like most of Zambia's ruling
politicians today, Tsvangirai founded the MDC in 1999, building it over six
years to become the biggest threat to Mugabe's stranglehold on power.

      But the MDC's political fortunes have taken a dip after splitting into
two rival camps following disagreements between Tsvangirai and other top
leaders over whether to contest a controversial senate election last
November. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe power company warns of serious power shortages

Zim Online

Fri 3 February 2006

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electricity Authority (ZESA), which this week
began rationing power to cities and towns, says it cannot guarantee future
supplies of electricity because it does not have hard cash to pay foreign
suppliers, while its ageing generators could pack up anytime.

      In a confidential document prepared by ZESA management for Energy
Minister Mike Nyambuya and a copy of which was shown to ZimOnline on
Thursday, the wholly state-owned power company said because of the hard cash
crunch, it had defaulted on all foreign loans.

      Foreign suppliers who contribute 40 percent of Zimbabwe's total power
consumption now regard ZESA as not creditworthy and were demanding cash
upfront - cash which the Zimbabwe power utility dies not have, according to
the document.

      ZESA, which owes local lenders Z$26 trillion, owes foreign financial
institutions more than US$9 million.

      The ZESA document reads in part: "The debt has ballooned to levels
where finance institutions are no longer in a position to lend to the
utilities (ZESA's power generating and distributing firms) because they are
no longer credit worthy. The utilities have also been defaulting on all
foreign loans.

      The document says as a result "dependable and reliable supply of the
electricity service is compromised and industry cannot be guaranteed of the
availability of electricity for production purposes."

      According to the document, the state energy utility's power generation
machines had overrun the maintenance cycle and could break down anytime with
a real possibility ZESA might not be able to put them back to operation
because there is no hard cash to import spares.

       "Electricity generation machines have overrun maintenance cycles and
can break down any time and it takes much longer to bring them back into
production. A real possibility is failure to repair them at all," the
document reads.

      Nyambuya could not be reached for comment on the matter while ZESA
executive chairman, who sanctioned the document, Sydney Gata, refused to
discuss the matter when approached by ZimOnline yesterday.

      Zimbabweans will however be little surprised by the contents of the
ZESA document, used as they are to shortages of not only electricity but
almost every basic survival commodity as the southern African nation
grapples an acute economic crisis, described by the World Bank as unseen in
a country not at war.

      Food, fuel, essential medical drugs, chemicals to treat drinking water
for city residents are some of the key commodities in critical short supply
in Zimbabwe because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      For example, business last week came to a standstill in Harare and in
the second largest city of Bulawayo for about four hours because of a power
failure that ZESA officials said was a result of equipment breakdown and
failure by South Africa to maintain supplies to Zimbabwe.

      But the unprecedented energy crisis forecast in the ZESA document is
one of the clearest indications of how major systems and infrastructure are
collapsing in Zimbabwe after six years of economic decline. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe birthday bash to blow US$1 million

Zim Online

Fri 3 February 2006

      HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is planning to splash
more than US$1 million, enough to buy a million litres of fuel which is in
short supply in the country, during President Robert Mugabe's birthday

      Mugabe turns 82 on February 21.

      Ruling ZANU PF chairman for youths in the eastern Manicaland province
where the celebrations are set to be held, Enock Porusingazi, told ZimOnline
on Thursday that they party was going all out to raise the needed funds.

      "Our budget is running into millions of American dollars. In fact, we
are expecting to use between US$1 million and $2 million to celebrate our
president's 82nd birthday.

      "We are going to do everything possible to raise this money to ensure
that the celebrations are successful," he said.

      Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a bitter economic recession which has
seen the country fail to import necessary products like fuel, essential
medicines and food because there is no hard cash to import the commodities.

      The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and major
Western governments accuse Mugabe of ruining what was once one of Africa's
strongest economies south of the Sahara.

      But Mugabe denies ruining the country blaming the crisis on sabotage
by Britain and Western governments whom he says are punishing his government
for seizing white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks six
years ago. - ZimOnline

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SABC crew kicked out of Zimbabwe press briefing


February 02, 2006, 19:45

Herbert Murerwa, Zimbabwe's finance minister, has asked an SABC News crew to
leave a press briefing in Harare where he discussed the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to the country. Murerwa accused the SABC of
being hostile to Zimbabwe.

After briefing the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Murerwa recalled the
SABC crew, saying only that the IMF had expressed concern about spiralling
inflation, property rights and continued low production in the agriculture

Earlier, the IMF demanded Zimbabwe make good on a government pledge to stop
farm invasions which had crippled commercial agriculture. An IMF team held a
meeting with senior government officials and the central bank in Harare
before heading to Washington. They will report back to the IMF board of
governors who will decide the country's future membership of the body next

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IMF asks Zimbabwe to ensure farm seizures over-paper


      Thu Feb 2, 2006 1:22 PM GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund has demanded Zimbabwe
make good on a government pledge to stop farm invasions which have crippled
commercial agriculture amid worsening food shortages, local media reported
on Thursday.

An IMF team ended a weeklong visit to Zimbabwe on Wednesday and will now
present a report to the Fund's executive board which is scheduled to meet in
March to decide the southern African country's future with the body.

The IMF team held a meeting with officials from President Robert Mugabe's
government and the central bank on Wednesday before heading to Washington.

"At that meeting, government officials agreed to end all new farm
occupations and respect property rights in order to restore investor
confidence," the privately owned weekly Financial Gazette said.

Central bank and government officials were not available for comment on

Mugabe's government, which in the past has supported the land invasions, has
seized large tracts of white-owned commercial farms for landless blacks
under an occasionally violent policy that was launched in 2000.

Last week, central bank Governor Gideon Gono said the government had finally
pledged to end continuing farm invasions by ruling party supporters which
critics say have contributed to a 50 percent decline in farm output over the
last six years.

But some of Zimbabwe's dwindling number of commercial farmers remain
concerned that the government will not halt the seizures, which have helped
boost its political support among the rural black majority.

The IMF assessment visit to Zimbabwe comes as the country faces a March
deadline to clear millions of dollars in arrears to the Fund or face

The IMF team was also looking at structural issues in Zimbabwe's economy,
which is now in its fifth year of a punishing crisis seen in shortages of
food, foreign exchange and fuel, triple digit inflation and rocketing


The Financial Gazette said the IMF was concerned that a lot of budgetary
burdens have been shouldered by the RBZ following its intervention in
support of agriculture, state-controlled corporations and local authorities.

The Fund criticised a recent move by the central bank to limit movements in
Zimbabwe's currency in line with actual volumes of foreign exchange traded
on its fledgling interbank market, with daily movements limited to a maximum
of two percent in either direction.

The Zimbabwe dollar has not moved against the greenback since Jan 24, while
rates on the black market have soared to above 145,000 compared to 99,201 on
the interbank market.

The IMF was satisfied with the source of Zimbabwe's $120 million (68 million
pounds) payment made to the Fund last September, the Financial Gazette said.

RBZ officials insist the payments were made from export earnings, inflows
from expatriate Zimbabweans and locals working for foreign-owned
organisations who are paid in foreign currency. But some economic observers
had raised questions about the payment, suggesting the country did not have
enough cash itself to pay its arrears.

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UN to distribute food aid in Zimbabwe


February 02, 2006, 16:45

The Zimbabwean government has given the United Nations access to distribute
food in the country. The organisation says four million people have been
targeted for food aid.

James Morris, the UN secretary general's special envoy for humanitarian
needs in Southern Africa, says the UN World Food Programme needs US$63
million to provide food for about 10 million people in Southern Africa.
Morris was briefing the media in Johannesburg after a two-day visit to

Morris says the situation in the Southern African region is being
exacerbated by the high prevalence of HIV and Aids, which renders people
unproductive and leaves millions of orphans to feed. The UN has identified
seven needy countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi,
Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.

The envoy will be looking at the situation in Malawi over the next two days.

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Zimbabwe pensioners support fund appeal for funds

Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 9:50 AM

Hi Everyone,
Passing on Hannes's request for help.  He does such an amazing job with his regular trips up to Zim. to help the oldies his own time & with his own transport say nothing of the trials he endures getting the stuff thru' the border at Beit Bridge!!!  He really deserves a medal!  But the help & joy he gives to the old folk is all the reward he needs.  Please help Hannes to help the pensioners. Many thanks.
----- Original Message -----
From: Botha, Hannes
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 7:16 AM

Greetings Colleen,

                                         I am off to Zim again at the end of February to take food hampers and medicine to pensioners in Masvingo, Chivu, Gweru, Shurugwe, Kadoma, Bulawayo, Esigodini and Zvishavane. A bulk donation will also be made to S.O.A.P in Bulawayo .This is the first of four trips planned for this year.The other trips will take place at the end of May, August and November.
                Colleen please could you pass this email onto your mail list as the Zimbabwe Pensioners Support Fund is in need of some funds. The cost of a trip is in the region of R45,000. My normal donors are starting to feel "punchdrunk" as I now go up every three months and I don't want to "kill the goose that lays the golden egg" . Foodhampers are given to approximately 250 pensioners, and that excludes the donation to S.O.A.P. The fund therefore has to expand its donor base .What would be ideal is monthly donations of R100 or R200 into the fund from contributors, as that would be a steady income and we can then budget accordingly .At the present time it is "crisis budget"and we often have to decide which home has to have some item left out of its hamper.The prescription medicine alone costs R5448.
                 The funds banking details  are,

                CHEQUE ACCOUNT
                BRANCH CODE  270952
                A\C NUMBER     62058668230

                Should anyone like to know more about the fund's work in Zimbabwe please contact me at the following
                cell             0845893221
                landline       013- 7900934

                Colleen please pass this appeal on and ask those you pass it onto, to pass it on again. Remember these pensioners built Rhodesia and are now on hard times through no fault of their own.

                 Thanks for your support,
                                              HANNES BOTHA

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Breakthrough site offers Zim fuel solution online

Last year an internet start-up called launched a call card
that enabled the Zimbabwean diaspora to buy call vouchers enabling Zim
relatives to trigger prepaid calls internationally. The
service was quite technical and didn't adopt all too well but what it
did do though is reveal the power of SMS as a means to deliver
Vouchers and Value to someone in Zim.

Building on that model the team have restructured over the last 6
months to offer a range of goods and services (that will nodoubt grow
in 2006) available to YOU the diaspora to buy, and send in real-time in
the form of Mukuru Vouchers to a recipient in Zim. These vouchers,
sent via SMS and email are redeemable at the Mukuru 'Agent' on the
ground in Zimbabwe.

Though remarkably simple, the site enables the diaspora to provide key
products and services to their friends and relatives at the click of a
button. Wire Transfer, Cheque, PayPal and Credit Card offer the Buyer
a range of payment options where upon payment clearing,
send a Voucher email and SMS to your intended recipient.

So what's for sale?
FUEL !!!: Diesel and petrol, with a collection depot in Harare,
Birmingham Rd Station.
TRAVEL : Coach tickets for between Harare, Mutare, Bulawayo and Johannesburg
COMMUNICATION : BackChat Vouchers - prepaid international call PINs
useable in Zimbabwe

What's coming up ahead?
The Mukuru team are confident about the real-time attraction of the
site and insist that they will be listening closely to consumer wishes
about what YOU would like to see on the site.  They will be pursuing a
range of products and services including sugar, DSTV subscription,
buddy cards, airtime, tyres and more. launched yesterday  1st  Feb on create a Mukuru Account, log in and send a Voucher
home today.

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Zim to Take Charge of Regional Anti-Corruption Bod

The Herald (Harare)

February 2, 2006
Posted to the web February 2, 2006

New Ziana

ZIMBABWE will assume chairmanship of a key regional anti-corruption body in
August this year, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.

State Enterprises, Anti-Monopolies and Anti-Corruption Minister Mr Paul
Mangwana said the country would lead the Eastern and Southern African Money
Laundering Group (ESALG) for one year, taking over from incumbent chair,

The group was set up to spearhead the fight against corruption on a region
scale through, among other ways, co-ordinating and harmonising
anti-corruption laws.

Mr Mangwana said Zimbabwe's elevation to ESALG chair was in recognition of
the country's anti-corruption crusade, which has seen a number of
high-profile arrests.

Among these is former Finance Minister Mr Chris Kuruneri, who is facing
charges of illegally externalising foreign currencies, and several top
banking executives.

Mr Mangwana said the country would strongly push the anti-corruption agenda
during its chairmanship, and focus on curbing money-laundering in

"We want to create stronger mechanisms of collaboration in the region as a
whole. We want to stop the situation where one steals in Zimbabwe and safely
invests in Mozambique or vice versa, for example," he said.

On the local front, he said corruption levels were still high but shortly
"there will be more corruption arrests and prosecutions than new cases of

He said graft was declining in the parastatal sector, where the
anti-corruption net has been focused in the last few years.

The Government set up the anti-corruption ministry and commission a few
years ago to fight growing graft, estimated to cost the economy hundreds of
billions of dollars annually.

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RBZ's New Law On Commercial Banks Sends Waves of Discomfort

The Herald (Harare)

February 2, 2006
Posted to the web February 2, 2006

Jeffrey Gogo

AFTER September 2006, a very thin line could separate stable and rocky
commercial banks. A line so thin but thick enough to avert a return to the
2004 crisis of confidence or, worse still, produce an entire repeat of

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's new law on commercial banks' minimum capital
requirements has certainly sent waves of discomfort within the industry.

Last October, RBZ announced that commercial banks needed to beef up their
capital to a minimum of $100 billion then (or US$10 million) by September
this year. No big feat, so it seems!

But then after September, banks would be required to link the US$10 million
(about Z$1 trillion) to the ruling exchange rate as their minimum liquid

Although the measure is meant to guard against bank failure, this could mark
an incisive turning point in the history of the sector. The new regulations
might represent a watershed for the development of the industry or could
point to a shift of events altogether in the war for survival.

Well, some giant banks, such as CBZ, Barclays, StanChart and Stanbic, could
comfortably still be sitting on huge cash resources given strong earnings
achieved in the prior year, it is certainly a worrying thought to smaller
banks, at least as measured by last year's profits.

Financial analysts say the post-September capital decrees could paint
pictures of gloom in the industry, particularly for small players who have
struggled to grow market share and profits.

As an urgent matter, analysts believe the only way banks could survive is by
adopting stricter policies that minimise costs while simultaneously
bolstering revenue.

This could manifest in the form of mergers, consolidation and/or
acquisitions -- transactions largely expected to take centre stage in the
industry this year.

A recent Kingdom Stockbrokers economic report noted: "An issue that may
bring hard times to the financial sector is that of minimum capital

"In coming up with the figures, the (Reserve) Bank considered the bare
minimum outlays required to start up these types of institutions, as well as
the need to maintain the public's confidence in the banking sector.

"Although a couple of banks had complied with the $100 billion limit by
December 2005, having US$10 million at the ruling exchange rate in the
post-September period would be a very difficult task for a lot of banks, a
development that should see another round of banking crises."

Although in 2005, the Reserve Bank declared the financial segment
"financially sound and stable", there has been a lot of pressure on
commercial banks to meet the new statutory requirements.

From last year, it can be noted that there was a deliberate policy of
increasing market share, as banks jostled to attract an unsatisfied and
hugely disgruntled public that appeared to have regarded the demise of some
banking firms last year as a "great betrayal".

CBZ Bank benefited most, as it increased its market share to 17 percent in
line with Barclays, whose share of the market actually declined to this
figure. StanChart remained tops with a 21 percent market share (all
statistics dated as at October 31, 2005). All other banks were below 10
percent with Met Bank commanding a market share of slightly above 1 percent
being the least.

Others, such as Kingdom Bank and NMB Bank, appeared to have been
significantly undercapitalised, and were, as a result, forced to ask
shareholders for additional working capital.

Subsequent to this, Kingdom issued a $100 billion rights offer while NMB
came to the market with a $64 billion rights issue, which were both
adequately supported. These were the only two among institutions that had
been suffocated by the hazards of the previous year which managed to turn
the tables to their advantage.

"A crisis in the banking industry would be something the recovering economy
would love to see last," said an economist with a Harare bank, who cannot be

"There is need for stability in the sector. Institutions that would not be
in a position to meet the new requirements would be better advised to merge
with technically stronger partners or seek additional capital injection."

However, Zimbabwe's capital requirements might not be the toughest on the
continent. Nigeria recently announced its minimum capital levels for
commercial banks at US$100 million, and promptly liquidated about 15 banks
that failed to satisfy the laws.

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'Mbeki kneels before Mugabe'


02/02/2006 08:42  - (SA)

Neels Jackson, Beeld

Johannesburg - Should South Africa disconnect Zimbabwe's electricity supply,
it could bring the Zim government to its senses.

President Thabo Mbeki, however, feels inferior to Zimbabwean president
Robert Mugabe and supports him rather than put pressure on him.

This is the opinion of Pius Ncube, outspoken Roman Catholic archbishop of
Bulawayo, expressed in an interview in Pretoria where he attended the
meeting of the conference of the Southern African Catholic Bishops'
Conference (SACBC) and strongly attacked Mbeki regarding his handling of the
Zimbabwean question.

He had expected the South African government to exert pressure on the Mugabe
regime but instead Mbeki supported Mugabe, he said. "Mbeki kneels before
Mugabe," Ncube said.

Asked if the disruption of the power supply would not be a drastic measure,
Ncube said anything that would help in bringing the Zimbabwean government to
its knees should be done.

He said it should be remembered that Mugabe has been in power for 26 years
and this gives him a feeling of superiority over younger heads of state such
as Mbeki. The result is that he pays no attention to them.

Children will not go back to school

"He [Mugabe] would never have done this with former president (Nelson)
Mandela. He was afraid of Mandela because Mandela was of a moral giant,"
Ncube said.

Ncube said things are very bad in Zimbabwe.

Half of the country's school-going children will not go back to school
because they simply don't have to money to do so.

With an inflation rate of 800% people were finding it extremely difficult
just to survive. "Where one South African rand was worth Z$13 000 in
December, it now equals Z$22 000.

"Fuel is scarce and dealers even dilute it with water and other substances
to make it go further at the pump," Ncube said.

There is no talk of civil resistance because the Mugabe regime has a very
active espionage system in place.

Ncube said it is estimated that one out of every five people in the cities
are spies. This includes teachers, other civil servants, policemen and
soldiers. They even spy on each other.

"Everybody is afraid of saying anything because it can land them in serious
trouble. The result is that there is a deafening silence. There is no

SA Presidency spokesperson Murphy Morobe said nothing said by Archbishop
Ncube was new.

SA's position on Zimbabwe is well known and there is nothing further to add.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, president of the SACBC, said they received feedback
from Ncube regarding the Zimbabwe situation and will arrange a meeting with
the Zimbabwean Catholic bishops' council to establish how they might be able
to alleviate the situation.

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New Television Channel Offers US Viewers Insight on Africa


      By Howard Lesser
      02 February 2006

Television programs originating in Africa are beginning to make their way
into American homes, thanks to a new network called the Africa Channel,
which has been making its debut in various US markets since September of
last year. The station is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and is
financed by an executive board that includes African-American civic leaders
like former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and former Alabama senator Donald
Stewart, as well as professional basketball players Dikembe Mutombo and Theo

One of the private company's main objectives is to demystify Africa for
American viewers and change common North American perceptions from images of
hunger, poverty, jungles, and natural disasters to those that celebrate
Africa's rich and diverse cultures.

The outlet's Zimbabwe-born chief executive officer, James Makawa, tells
English to Africa reporter Howard Lesser, "First and foremost, we are an
entertainment network that is designed to inform and entertain. And we are
also very well positioned on the Internet. There are some exciting things
that we've got planned that will tie in directly to what we are doing on the
television channel. So the idea here is to showcase Africa in a way that
people are going to be surprised, engaged, and will see a whole new way of
living and life that they're not used to seeing."

Most of the programs running on the Africa Channel originate in Africa,
particularly in South Africa. The content ranges from "Africa Music," a kind
of MTV musical experience, to the contestant program "Big Brother Africa,"
to "Carte Blanche Africa," a fast-paced news magazine show, to a daily dose
of the African soap operas "Generations," and "Isidingo," which have never
before been carried on stations in US media markets.

CEO Makawa says he's hopeful that Africa Channel is about to sign a
distribution deal with a major American cable carrier that will greatly
expand its penetration of US cities. The goal is to eventually have its
lively program lineup also carried on stations in Europe and Africa.

Last September the network made a rather extraordinary debut in its first US
market in the southern state of Louisiana. It went on the air in the city of
New Orleans the same week that Hurricane Katrina wreaked unprecedented
devastation across the Mississippi Delta region.

Despite the widespread loss of electricity and means of communication, James
Makawa says, "People in the middle of the hurricane were sending emails and
information saying this is the most colorful channel they had ever seen.
They couldn't believe the fashion that they were seeing. They couldn't
believe the music they were hearing. And so the initial feedback we have
received from those specific markets has been absolutely tremendous."

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RBZ experiences policy implementation problems

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-02

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) continues to experience problems in
implementing its monetary policy due to lack of support for its paper on the
back of the continued volatile economic environment and pricing issues, a
local financial firm has said.
Kingdom Stockbrokers Pvt Ltd said in its report ended January 27 that given
the continued high inflation situation, banks expected higher returns on the
Treasury bills tendered yet the RBZ, in a bid to maintain cost to government
low, often rejected such high interest rate bids.
"This situation resulted in excess liquidity on the money market, thereby
depressing interest rates and weakening monetary policy despite the
existence of high accommodation rates," the firm said.
"Furthermore, the volatile economic environment has seen investors adopting
a short-term investment view of around 30 days yet the RBZ, in a bid to
assist in the government's domestic debt restructuring exercise, has been
issuing longer-dated paper.  This mismatch obviously has meant low take-up
of government and RBZ paper, a situation that has again resulted in excess
liquidity on the money market, lower interest rates and weak monetary
In view of this, the central bank had decided drop the "willing buyer,
willing seller" approach when conducting its Treasury bill tenders but to
make sure that all banks participate fully in the tenders so as ensure 100
percent take-up.
 According to the Fourth Quarter Monetary Policy Statement presented on
January 24, 2006, this involves licensing all primary dealership with effect
from  April 3, 2006.  The license will only be renewed if the primary
dealers adhere to certain laid down rules.
"We are of the view that if this primary scheme works and proves effective
then the current equity market bubble will burst as the resultant money
market shortages will see a permanent re-establishment of positive real
interest rates which will bring the long-lost glitter back to the money
market.  It is only then that monetary policy can become effective," Kingdom
 Since October 24, 2005 when banks held a meeting and pegged the exchange
rate at $60 000 per US dollar, the Zimbabwe dollar had depreciated by 39.5
percent to $99 202 by January 27, 2006 on the interbank market, Kingdom
 The movement to $60 000 represented a 56,7 percent depreciation in the
local unit from $26  004,5 to the US dollar.
These depreciations of the local unit had alarmed the authorities who had
then decided to link any future movement in the exchange rate to the amount
of foreign currency inflows.million are received.

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Incessant rains hinder maintenance of roads

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-02

THE incessant rains and erratic supply of materials have affected the
filling up of potholes and general maintenance of roads in the capital,
Harare City Council spokesperson Madenyika Magwenjere said yesterday.
Besides the roads, Magwenjere added that power cuts and mechanical faults
were affecting the smooth functioning of traffic lights.
Most of Harare roads are littered with potholes making life difficult for
motorists and the situation has been worsened by the constant breakdown of
traffic lights.
"The city is aware that the roads are so bad and that some of the robots are
not functioning well. We have engaged temporary labour to fill potholes but
we have been affected by the shortages of bitumen on some occasions and we
have had to fill them with earth. The rains have also made it difficult by
washing away some filled potholes and widening them in the process,"
Magwenjere said.
He said the power cuts by Zesa were affecting the programming of the traffic
lights and added that as a result council had tasked the director of works
to come up with daily updates on the state of the roads.
Magwenjere added that as a long term solution to the problem, council would
be installing solar powered traffic lights this year.The city installed the
initial solar powered traffic light last year.
Meanwhile, council yesterday met with church leaders to brief them on the
turnaround strategy being embarked on by the city.
Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya said Harare had been affected greatly by
withdrawal of support from the World Bank and other international financers
since 2000.
"Service delivery in the city has not been offered to acceptable levels. The
major challenge is that of funding for infrastructural development that used
to come from the World Bank and the African Development Bank before
sanctions were imposed in 2000," he said.
The town clerk said Harare had been prejudiced of funds by charging
sub-economic tariffs and the overwhelming increase in population currently
estimated to be 3 million.
Chideya said it was necessary for the Church to enlighten their
congregations on their civic responsibilities.
"There are also instances where some people have deliberately sabotaged
council infrastructure and we have discovered foetuses in the drains on some
occasions," the town clerk added.
Harare has been conducting meetings with various stakeholders on the
turnaround strategy adopted in 2004 and will next week meet with business

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Governor lambasts farmers, Arex officials

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Feb-02

MASHONALAND East governor and resident minister Ray Kaukonde has lambasted
some newly resettled farmers and Agricultural Research and Extension
Services (Arex) officials for allegedly abusing farming inputs they access
at subsidised prices from the government.
Most of the inputs, namely fuel, fertiliser and seed, have found their way
on the black market where they are sold at exorbitant prices.
Addressing councillors and government officials at Mutawatawa Shopping
Centre recently, Kaukonde said such level of corruption must be exposed.
"Arex officials are giving inputs to undeserving people. Some are even
giving them to their girlfriends who operate hair saloons, I do not
understand whether these women use the diesel to shampoo their clients'
hair," Kaukonde said.
"You think we are fools who are not aware of your sinister activities.
 Arex officials are now on the fore front of abusing inputs, this is really
a very serious issue."
He said turning around the country's economy would not succeed if corruption
was not exposed at all levels.
"The economy can only turnaround when we are all committed and do not
condone corruption," he said.

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Researchers Find First HIV Decline in Southern Africa


      By Jessica Berman
      02 February 2006

For the first time since the start of the AIDS epidemic, researchers are
reporting a decline in the percentage of men and women infected with HIV in
southern Africa. The findings are from a study conducted in eastern
Zimbabwe, where researchers speculate the AIDS prevention message is
starting to have an effect.

The study was conducted in Zimbabwe's eastern province of Manicaland, and
involved 10,000 men and women between the ages of 15 and 54.

At the beginning of the study in 1998, the HIV prevalence, or percentage of
people in the region living with the AIDS virus, stood at 23.5 percent. At
the study's conclusion, the overall prevalence had dropped to 20 percent.

The steepest decline was among young women between the ages of 15 and 24.
The percentage of women who were infected with the AIDS virus dropped from
16 percent  to 8 percent, a 50 percent reduction.

There was also a 23 percent drop in HIV prevalence among young men between
the ages of 17 and 19.

The results of the study are published in the February 2 issue of the
journal Science.

The study's lead author, Simon Gregson of the Imperial College in London,
believes the AIDS prevention message finally got through to young people on
a personal level.

"It got to the point where almost everyone in these communities already
knows somebody who has gotten very ill with AIDS or died from AIDS," he
said. "So, the whole thing has become very real to people. And people
realize that this is not something which only happens to those involved in
prostitution or people who are very promiscuous. It is something that can
happen to everybody. So, unless they are very careful themselves, there is a
chance they will get infected."

Gregson says factors that contributed to the decline in Zimbabwe's HIV
prevalence include information on how to prevent the spread of the virus to
pregnant women, the widespread availability of AIDS counseling, HIV testing
programs, and inexpensive condoms.

Gregson is hopeful the downward trend will continue.

"If those people can manage to sustain their sexual behaviors as they get
older, then that should gradually spread through the population over time,"
he said. "And the overall level of HIV rates will come down. That is
certainly hoped that that would be the case. But it's certainly early days
at the moment."

To experts, the Zimbabwe experience proves the importance and success of
prevention strategies in countries in southern Africa where HIV prevalence
has remained stubbornly high.

Writing in Science, Richard Hayes of the London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine says despite the lure of anti-viral drugs, prevention
measures must remain a top priority for international public health.

"Otherwise, we are going to have an ever-increasing number of infected
people and it is going to be very difficult to sustain treatment for all
those people," he said.

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Zimbabwe players back on strike

Cricinfo staff

February 2, 2006

Zimbabwe's professional cricketers, who ended their strike three weeks ago
on the understanding that Zimbabwe Cricket would address contract and
payment issues, have announced that they will not be available for selection
after collective talks with the board broke down.

In a letter delivered to ZC offices in Harare, they said that no contracted
player would now be available for any kind of international, regional or
domestic match other than for their clubs. But ZC reacted swiftly by saying
that it refused to recognise Clive Field, the players' representative, and
that it would speak to each player individually with a contract offer. This
was described by the players as a "divide and conquer" approach to
negotiations. "They want to pick people off one-by-one rather than deal with
them en masse," Field said. "Zimbabwe Cricket has really had it now. The
players relented from a similar position to give ZC a further three weeks
until the end of the month to pay the large sums of money owed them. They
are now simply walking away."

The issue was supposed to have been resolved by January 31, and it is now
likely that the lawyer acting for the players will issue a summons against
ZC for almost $200,000 owed in backpay. Given that the board is widely
reported to be almost broke, it is hard to see how it could settle the debt.

Field said that it was unlikely that players would accept the contracts
unless the issue of outstanding monies was also settled, but he urged them
to see what ZC was prepared to offer. ZC officials were likely to speak to
all 25 players in line to be offered contracts today, and those involved are
likely to meet again to review their collective position.

Given that only yesterday Roger Brathwaite, the chief executive of the West
Indies Cricket Board, told Cricinfo that he was monitoring the likely
strength of the tour squad before deciding whether to cancel the proposed
visit by Zimbabwe, this could lead to a decision being made sooner rather
than later.

The strike will also mean that the Fairweather provincial one-day
tournament, which started this week and is due to resume tomorrow, could be
postponed or scrapped as the five provinces are likely to struggle to be
able to field sides.

© Cricinfo

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Zimbabwe, Namibia discuss social welfare management

Xinhua 2006-02-02 02:43:12

          HARARE, Feb. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- A two-day bilateral meeting between
the Zimbabwean and Namibian ministries of Labor and Social Welfare is
expected to culminate in the signing of an amended Memorandum of
Understanding that will see the countries cooperate on all labor and social
welfare issues.

          A nine-member Namibian delegation of labor and social welfare
experts, headed by the minister, Alpheus Naruseb, arrived in the country
this week ahead of next week's 32nd African Regional Labor Administration
Center (ARLAC) Governing Council Meeting for Ministers.

          The meeting for ministers will run concurrently with a high level
symposium on the role of labor administration in promoting social security
for sustainable development.

          The bi-lateral discussions, which started on Thursday, are
expected to culminate in the signing of an amended, all inclusive Memorandum
of Understanding on Friday, replacing the existing document which was signed
in 2003 when the Namibian ministry only dealt with labor issues.

          Former ministers July Moyo of Zimbabwe and Marco Hausiku signed
the understanding within the framework of the Permanent Joint Commission
that was established in 1992.

          Forms of cooperation include labor relations, labor law reform,
labor market information, social security, labor dimensions of land reform
and occupational health and safety.

          The ARLAC governing council meeting for ministers on Thursday is
set to discuss the issues. Twenty-five English-speaking African countries
form the membership of ARLAC. Enditem

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Sex for houses scandal in Bulawayo

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      02 February 2006

      There are reports that soldiers attached to the government's
controversial housing programme Garikai are involved in a sex for stands
scandal in Bulawayo's Cowdray park.

      Our correspondent in Bulawayo Themba Nkosi said three women confirmed
that the practice is rampant among those desperate to acquire stands for
their families.

      'The women are being told that there is nothing for nothing in
Zimbabwe today and if they want a stand they have to sleep with the
soldiers,' said Nkosi.

      Some desperate women in the city, whose families were made homeless by
government's controversial Operation Murambatsvina, are allegedly giving in
to the soldiers' demands and end up sleeping with them.

      The majority of residents who were affected by Murambatsvina
      in Bulawayo are still trying tofind alternative accommodation. Most
have either moved in with relatives or are still living rough in the city.

      Bulawayo is also facing a severe shortage of mealie-meal. Retailers
and shop owners last had supplies of the commodity some weeks back.

      'People are having to queue for long hours to buy mealie-meal which is
in short supply here,' said Nkosi.

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Can the students help in healing the MDC rift?

Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 1:13 AM
Subject: BTH: Can the students help in healing the MDC rift?

Can the students help in healing the MDC rift?

The President of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, Washington Katema,
speaks to Lance Guma about the organisations efforts in trying to heal the
rift within the MDC. He gives details of their meetings with both MDC
president Morgan Tsvangirai and officials from the pro-senate faction of the
party led by Gibson Sibanda. What are the major sticking points? What did
they, as a national students union, suggest as a way forward? In the event
of a total break down of talks, what will be their position regarding a
strategic partnership with either of the two camps?

Lance Guma
SW Radio Africa

Behind The Headlines
Thursday 5:15 to 5:30pm (GMT) live on the internet at
Friday     5:15 to 5:30am on Medium Wave broadcasts 1197khz
Also available on internet archives after broadcasts at

SW Radio Africa is Zimbabwe's only independent radio station broadcasting
from the United Kingdom. The station is staffed by exiled Zimbabwean
journalists who because of harsh media laws cannot broadcast from home.

Full broadcast on Medium Wave -1197KHZ between 5-7am (Zimbabwean time) and
24 hours on the internet at

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