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Zim Standard

Maize meal runs out
By our own staff

AN ACUTE maize-meal shortage has hit Zimbabwe and people are battling to
acquire the basic commodity.

A snap survey of the country's major cities revealed that all supermarkets
did not have maize-meal.
The Standard also established that most supermarkets around Harare had gone
for days without maize-meal. If at all there was any, it would be refined

But the marketing director of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zvidzai
Makwenda, denied that there was a shortage of maize- meal in the country. He
insisted that they were regularly supplying both supermarkets and millers
with maize-meal and maize.

"Had I been in the office I would have given you the statistics of the
maize-meal and maize we supplied to both the supermarkets and the millers.

" The reason why there is only refined maize-meal in the supermarkets is
because the millers want to make more money from this expensive maize- meal
as well as stock feeds which are made from the residue," Makwenda said.

However, a significant number of supermarkets said they last received
maize-meal more than three weeks ago and were uncertain of when new
deliveries would be made. "We last received maize-meal about two weeks
before Christmas and since then we haven't received any," said an employee
at a supermarket along Cameroon Street.

At Denenga Supermarket, they last received their orders of maize-meal about
three days ago. By yesterday afternoon no further deliveries had been made.

"Upfu huri kunetsa baba. Kana hukauya hauite two hours husati hwapera
(Maize- meal is very scarce these days. It does not last two hours)," said a

The situation is the same in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city.
There were only limited stocks of the super-refined maize-meal in one of the
major supermarkets, costing $16 790 for a 5 kg, while 10kg and 20kg cost $28
000 and $54 000 respectively.

"We placed orders for maize-meal some two weeks ago and up to now we are yet
to receive deliveries from both the GMB and producers from around the city,"
said a hypermarket branch manager, who declined identification.

Kholwani Sibanda, the owner of a retail shop in Bulawayo said he was buying
maize grain from the Midlands province for milling, which he, in turn, sells
to the public.

"Prices are going up on a weekly basis due to the acute shortage of the
basic commodity but hungry people don't mind. The black market has
mushroomed and it is cashing in on desperate customers," Sibanda said.

The situation is worse in Manicaland, where the distribution of the few
supplies of the commodity is being carried out on "political lines",
particularly in Chipinge and Mutare.

Mutare has gone for nearly two weeks with erratic supplies, driving
residents to seek substitutes like yams and sweet potatoes.

The well-to-do are going for rice, spaghetti, potatoes and macaroni.

Clara Chimuti of Dangamvura's Area 3 suburb said she had gone for a week
without eating sadza. "I have not had the chance to taste sadza as if I am
in a foreign land. This is disgusting, to say the least."

Aaron Simukai told The Standard he was asked to produce a Zanu PF membership
card before he could gain entry into state-run GMB depot in Mutare, which
was manned by youth militias.

He said this was after he had told them he wanted to buy the staple food. "I
was turned back when I told them I did not have one."

The GMB Mutare depot manager, a Mr Kadyaridzire, was not immediately
available for comment, despite repeated visits to his office by The

But, Prosper Mutseyami, the MDC Manicaland vice chairperson said in Chipinge
MDC supporters were being denied maize meal.

"Only Zanu PF supporters are getting access to Silo maize meal in Chipinge,
especially in Gaza suburb.

The situation is equally bad in Masvingo. Long queues of people are common
whenever maize meal is delivered to the supermarkets. During the Christmas
and New Year holidays there were only two outlets with maize meal, prompting
residents to form long queues near Landmark beerhall, where supplies
appeared to be regular..

President Robert Mugabe last year told the international community that
Zimbabwe had enough food to take the nation to the next harvest season and
did not need any food aid from donor agencies.

Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) however said more than two million
people were in need of food aid. So far, nearly 180 people in Bulawayo,
mainly children under the age of five, have died of malnutrition, which is
linked to food scarcity.

The government last year pegged the harvest at 2.4 million tonnes of maize
although the situation on the ground has proved otherwise. The country
consumes more than 5 000 tonnes a day.
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Zim Standard

Defiant Sibanda slams Zanu PF Presidium
By Foster Dongozi

MILITANT war veterans chairman Jabulani Sibanda, says the Zanu PF presidium
comprising President Robert Mugabe, Vice Presidents Joseph Msika and Joyce
Mujuru, and national chairman John Nkomo has become too powerful and needs
to have its wings clipped.

"The powers of the presidium need to be checked. People cannot choose their
central committee and parliament representatives anymore. If the powers of
the presidium are not checked there will be no democracy in Zimbabwe," said
the combative chairman who is battling to retain control of the war veterans
association, which Mugabe, the patron says should be re-organised.
He has also been barred from participating in the ruling party's primary
elections in Bubi-Umguza constituency.

"The presidium has usurped the powers of congress, they are now the congress
and the constitution of Zanu PF. Where then is the people's power?"

Sibanda has been barred from Zanu PF for four years after allegedly
participating in a meeting in Tsholotsho, whose agenda was to effect change
to the hierarchy of the ruling party.

"The era of fearing other people is now past. Even if people met in
Tsholotsho, there was nothing wrong with that as people are free to meet
anywhere and discuss their future."

Sibanda hinted that aspiring parliamentary candidates who had been elbowed
out to make way for bigwigs would defy party directives and participate in
the primaries.

"If the people in Umguza and others want us to represent them, then we will
do that. There will be a lot of surprises when people vote for their
favourite candidates," he said.

Sibanda who has displayed scant respect for Msika, Nkomo and Dumiso
Dabengwa, his perceived detractors, said the three were not defending the
party against the opposition.

Jonathan Gapare, a Bulawayo based businessman who was muscled out of the
primaries in Chivi South also warned against the imposition of candidates.

Zanu PF chairman, John Nkomo, jumped to his party's defence, saying what was
taking place was nothing out of the ordinary. "Are you suggesting that
people should not be disciplined if they breach the party's disciplinary
code? " he asked.
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Zim Standard

Concern over fate of spying suspect
By Valentine Maponga

RELATIVES of Kenny Karidza, the Zanu PF deputy chief for security being held
on allegations of spying, say they have not been given a chance to see their
family member since December when he was detained by secret security agents.

A close relative told The Standard that efforts to ascertain his condition
had proved fruitless.
He said Karidza's wife, Rubie, who is based in the United Kingdom and their
two children were grief stricken over the matter.

"Rubie says the kids are always crying She doesn't even know what to do with
them; they are devastated. They were supposed to come back home just before
Christmas for the holiday but because of what happened they could not," said
the relative.

Court sources said the family had secured the services of prominent Harare
lawyer, George Chikumbirike.

Karidza briefly appeared before magistrate Peter Kumbawa on Friday and was
remanded in custody to 14 January.

State prosecutor Morgen Nemadire confirmed that Karidza has been remanded in
custody but would not give any further details.

"It was just an interim remand but I did not even attend. I think you know
the position. I cannot give you any further details," Nemadire said.

The media and the public were barred from attending the proceedings.

Chikumbirike was seen around the court trying to secure the case record soon
after the court proceedings.

When approached Chikumbirike said he was not in a position to make any
application because he had failed to secure the record of the case.

"I am not yet in a position to make an application. I can not make any
application before I get to know the charges being levelled against him
(Karidza). I will be coming back here on Monday," Chikumbirike said.

He added that he came to the court early in the morning but only to be told
that the matter had already been heard.

Karidza is facing charges of contravening section 4 of the Official Secrets

Also charged in the case are Zanu PF Central Committee member Phillip
Chiyangwa; Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique, Godfrey Dzvairo;
Zanu PF external affairs director Itai Marchi; and Tendai Matambanadzo
formerly of Metropolitan Bank.
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Zim Standard

Rural teachers seek transfers to escape violence
By our own Staff

MUTARE - Scores of teachers last week converged on the offices of the
Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture regional offices in Mutare seeking
transfers from rural schools to peri-urban and urban stations.

Nearly 100 teachers, some of who spoke to The Standard, cited transport
costs and the fear of potential violence as the general elections draw
closer as the main reasons for seeking transfers. However, their quest was
met with disappointment.
An education official at the Manica Chambers offices, which houses the
regional offices of the Ministry of Education said the teachers should leave
their applications and await responses from the Ministry.

"Leave your transfer letters to urban schools and will get in touch with you
as vacancies open," said the official.

The teachers had reacted to an advertisement at the offices which called on
them to report to the offices if they intended to move from their present
stations to new ones.

Some of the teachers from as far as Buhera, Makoni, Marange, Chimanimani,
Mutasa and Nyanga said they preferred to be in the city, where they would
save on transport costs for travelling to the city for shopping during
month-ends and when they needed to attend to private business.

Travelling has become expensive, with rural transport operators charging as
much $2 500 a kilometre.

Other teachers said they wanted to get out of rural areas before the March
elections were held.

A teacher from Makoni, who spoke on condition he is not named, said he
feared for his life. "We just have to come and teach in town where it is
safe," he said.

In the 2000 parliamentary election and the 2002 Presidential elections
teachers were targetted for violence mainly by ruling party activists,
including war veterans. They were accused of being MDC activists and
sympathisers. Some of them were harassed, beaten up and forced to flee their
rural schools.
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Zim Standard

Teachers reject pay hike
By our own Staff

THE Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says the new salaries for
teachers announced by the government recently fall below their expectations.

Under the new salary scales for 2005, a newly qualified teacher now earns a
basic monthly salary of $2,5 million, up from $670 000.
PTUZ is demanding a starting salary of $5 million a month.

Raymond Majongwe, the secretary general of PTUZ, said they were disappointed
with the increment.

"We are quite disappointed at the scales. Unless we are guaranteed quarterly
increases during the year we will not be able to survive on these salaries,"
Majongwe said.

He added: "True, they may make a difference in the first month or two, but
we will be back to our poverty stricken levels by the third month. We are in
the process of consulting Union structures on the way forward."

However, Denis Sinyolo, the secretary general of Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (Zimta), said he was not prepared to comment on the new scale,
saying the issue of salaries was private and confidential.

"In the past we used to talk to the press about teachers' salaries but we
have received complaints from our members who are not comfortable with their
salaries being a public issue. We can no longer discuss salaries and other
forms of remuneration with the Press," said Sinyolo, who refused to say
whether their members were happy with the salary increment or not.

Last year, Sinyolo revealed to The Standard that teachers were getting
paltry allowances, some as little as $700 a month and reports say some
teachers feel such disclosures expose them to ridicule from the children
they teach.
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Zim Standard

Chanakira heads for Nigeria
By Kumbirai Mafunda

KINGDOM Financial Holdings Limited (KFHL) founder and former deputy chairman
Nigel Chanakira is headed for Nigeria after breaking ranks with the
financial giant late last year, StandardBusiness can reveal.

Chanakira who is the group's founding shareholder and founding chief
executive officer, eleven years ago pioneered the establishment of KFHL,
which was born out of a discount house.
Associates close to Chanakira, the straight-laced banker disclosed that he
was headed for the West African nation, where he will take up a position
with Econet Wireless Nigeria (EWN), which recently won an injunction against
VMobile. Chanakira sits on the board of directors of Econet.

Chanakira, who is based in Johannesburg, is also involved with two companies
in Nigeria. He is chairman of Motivating Africa Institute, and is a
non-executive chairman of E-transact Global, a revolutionary banking
technology firm that provides electronic mobile banking services on the

"He has been offered some exciting prospects on the continent," said the

Chanakira confirmed he is exploring some openings now that he is out of

"There are exciting business opportunities I want to pursue," that was all
Chanakira could say when reached for comment from his Johannesburg base.

New and stringent central bank regulations that came into effect on
September 30, 2004 prompted Chanakira to bow out of one of the few remaining
private commercial banks in the country. Under the unbendable rules,
executive directors who sit on the boards of banking institutions and bank
holding companies are not permitted to hold more than 10% shareholding. This
new regulation has already seen quite a number of bank executives slashing
their shareholding or resigning from some financial institutions.

Chanakira's stake in KFHL, sources indicated stands at plus or minus 10%.
However his stepping down could pave the way for the 38 year-old banker to
increase his shareholding in the financial group. With a rights issue
offering in a week's time, sources indicated that the former deputy chairman
could increase his shareholding to 25%.

Over the past three years Chanakira, who was voted the top 100 global
leaders of tomorrow in 2001 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), had been
spearheading KFHL's regional and international initiatives while based in
South Africa.

His focus was on strategies and realizing opportunities outside Zimbabwe and
this culminated in the establishment of Kingdom Bank Africa (KBA), the
financial arm, which is now responsible for the regional and international

Other sources hinted that the unrelenting unsubstantiated reports from some
sections of the media suggesting that police were keen to interview
Chanakira over foreign currency dealings in which some directors of Econet
were arrested could have influenced Chanakira's decision.

"That was becoming a cost to KFHL," the sources said.

Econet founder and chief executive officer, Strive Masiyiwa, was not
immediately available to confirm Chanakira's appointment.

In his personal capacity, Chanakira has received a number of accolades
including being chosen the Empretec Zimbabwe Entrepreneur of the Decade in
2003, the Zimbabwe Institute of Management Manager of the year 1996 and
Success Motivation International World Client of the Year in 2002 to name
just a few.
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Zim Standard

Pensioners to work for food
By our own Staff

MORE than 30 retired employees from the Karoi Town Council have allegedly
been asked to go on the food for work programme as the authority cannot
afford to pay out their pensions, The Standard has learnt.

Instead of monthly pensions, the ageing workers, some of them in their
sixties, will have to engage in manual work such as gully reclamation and
patching up of roads for a paltry $60 000 a month.
Council chairman, Chomusaona Mtisi, however, denied the allegations.

Mtisi said: "The Karoi council is still paying its pensioners and those on
the food for work programme are there voluntarily. The allegations are not
true, those are blue lies, and retired workers are being paid their

He said until recently the council experienced financial problems in paying
out pensions.
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Zim Standard

Illegal gold panning threatens Kwekwe
By our own Staff

THE City of Kwekwe faces a potential disaster if portions of the city caving
in because of illegal mining and indiscriminate blasting of support
infrastructure of the shafts and tunnels at Globe and Phoenix Mine by a
syndicate of illegal gold miners are not stopped.

A visit by The Standard correspondent to the city on Thursday revealed that
the situation has become so bad as massive damage has already been caused
underground by the gold panners who, locals believe might be enjoying the
support of influential politicians.

Mining experts said the activities of the illegal gold panners were
threatening the city adding they suspected destruction of underground and
surface infrastructure within a radius of 400 metres.

Ground offices, surface engineering structures and underground mine support
structures at Globe and Phoenix have been dug out by the panners who have
also tampered with the mine's main electrical substation and vandalized its
foundation and security fence.

The illegal miners have inflicted massive damage to the mine rail tracks and
huge cracks have developed along the shaft from level 1 to level 2.

The mine security staff is reported to have been overwhelmed on numerous
instances and forced to watch as the makorokozas looted the mine.

Much of the shaft barricades at the mine have been destroyed with the level
pillars systematically damaged causing serious underground and surface
instability of the mine.

At the Chaka Plant another marauding group of makorokoza, armed with
traditional weapons, allegedly descended on the plant recently and
vandalized milling equipment and stole gold concentrate for processing at
numerous mills that have mushroomed all over Kwekwe.

Kwekwe police said that they were arresting up to 10 illegal miners daily
and urged the mine authorities to improve the security situation if the
problem is to be contained.

Homestake Mining and Technical Services, Pvt, Ltd, technical operations
manager Edson Shambamuto said by blasting support pillars and timber
underground, the makorokozas were threatening the city's ground stability.
"Some of the shafts extend for over three kilometres below the city," said

The mine, which was recently offered a lifeline of $5 billion by the
Zimbabwe Development Bank to prop up its activities failed to resume
operations as planned due to the deteriorating safety conditions

Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema said on Friday he was not
aware of the activities of the illegal miners. " I will try to find out what
is happening," said Nhema.
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Zim Standard

DDT detected in breast milk
By Caiphas Chimhete

A LOCAL scientist has expressed concern over the high levels of
Dichloro-Diphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT) contamination in human breast milk
and fish eagle population in the Kariba area.

Professor Charles Nhachi of the Clinical Pharmacology Department at the
Medical School at Parirenyatwa Hospital said although the effects of DDT on
babies was still to be ascertained, its high concentration level in human
breast milk was "worrying".
The revelations come just a few months after the Minister of Health and
Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, re-introduced the pesticide for the
indoor residual spray (IRS) programme for the control of mosquitoes, which
cause malaria.

"The levels of DDT in breast milk in the Kariba area is very high and very
worrying although we don't know yet the effects on suckling babies. Studies
still have to be done to ascertain the implications," said Nhachi, who has
carried out studies on the effect of pesticides on humans, animals and the

Studies carried out by Clinical Pharmacology Department over the past 10
years indicate that Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa with the
highest level of DDT contamination in the environment.

In Kariba, about 7346 nanogrammes per gramme of DDT were found in breast
milk while in Esigodini in Matabeleland an estimated 1933 nanogrammes per
gramme of milk fat were found. Although DDT was never sprayed in Harare, 805
nanogrammes per gramme of milk fat - extracted from maize, rapoko and other
vegetables - was identified.

"Harare has this problem because it relies heavily on vegetables and other
farm produce from areas outside, where a lot of spraying has taken place,"
said Nhachi, who added that DDT was only poisonous if a person swallowed
about 300 milligrammes at one time.

An Evaluation of DDT and DDT residues in human breast milk in Kariba area,
carried out in 1997 concluded that most of the DDT found in breast milk was
from fish and vegetables.

"It (Kariba) is also the main supplier of fish to the local population and
the people also eat vegetables from backyard gardens which is another source
of DDT pollution. It seems therefore that the main source of exposure to DDT
is diet," noted the study.

Nhachi said it has been proved that protracted use of DDT prior to its ban
in 1990, resulted in the drastic reduction of the fish eagle population in
the Kariba area. The pesticide, which is not easily bio-degradable,
accumulates in the environment and affects the growth of a number of plants
as well as compromising the normal formation of the egg shells.

"It's a well known fact, even the government knows that. DDT was only
re-introduced after a risk benefit analysis because if you don't spray you
have more people dying of malaria," said the scientist.

Zimbabwe banned the use of DDT in 1990 because European Union (EU) countries
had threatened not import beef and vegetables from here because it was
contaminated with the pesticide. It is now being re-introduced because it is
affordable "but definitely bad for the environment."

Prior to the re-introduction of DDT for vector control, Zimbabwe had been
using Pyrethroids, pesticides which are less toxic but very expensive.
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Zim Standard

Vendors play cat-and-mouse with police
By Caiphas Chimhete and Rutendo Mawere

THEY have to keep looking over their shoulders ready to run at the slightest
sign of the authorities.

With their wares precariously balanced on their heads, fleeing the youthful
and energetic municipal police officers, most of them recruited from the
controversial militia training camps, is not always easy.
But the alternative is too ghastly to imagine. If they can't evade the
municipal police, they get arrested, can lose their wares, pay fines and
return empty-handed to their poverty-stricken homes.

Such is the existence of Harare's myriad small-time vendors constantly
engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with municipal police officers daily on the
increasingly filthy streets.

With the unemployment rate topping 70 %, companies downsizing and
retrenching as well as school-leavers flooding Zimbabwe's ever-shrinking job
market, for most people street vending has become the only way to survive.

The vendors sell anything from seasonal fruit like mangoes, mazhanje,
tomatoes, green or roasted maize, vegetables, edible termites to home-made
samoosas cooking oil, fish and domestic toiletries like bath soap,
toothpaste among other things. In most cases, their commodities are cheaper
than those in retail shops.

Simon Simango, a 40-year-old man retrenched from a manufacturing firm, said
he was surviving on street vending since losing his job in 2000. But he said
it was increasingly becoming difficult due to raids by municipal police.

"It is hard to believe that they arrest us for eking out an honest living at
a time the economy is down. How do they want us to survive? They want us to
steal?" asked Simango, as he pushed a cart loaded with green maize.

Simango said if he manages to escape the daily raids by the municipal
police, on average he makes a profit of $100 000.

Amai Malvern from Mufakose said she resorted to selling vegetables and
fruits in the streets after failing to secure a vending place at designated
council market areas.

With young Malvern strapped to her back, the single mother of four said she
had no other means of supporting her family. The frequent raids by the
police, municipal police and youth militia were impacting negatively on her
daily income.

"At times, the police arrest and confiscate our wares in the morning, if
that happens it means we will go back home empty-handed because we either
give them kick-backs in order for them to release us or we pay $50 000
fines," said Amai Malvern.

She claimed vendors paid bribes ranging from $10 000 to $20 000 to avoid

On a good day, the 36-year-old mother said, she nets more than $100 000 but
it was rare these days because of daily police raids.

Earnest Muyengwa, another vendor, who operates along Mbuya Nehanda Street
also said although business was good, he could even make more were it not
for the "overzealous" municipal police.

"We are disturbed from profit-making by the municipal police who seize our
goods. Police should concentrate on thieves rather than harassing people who
are trying to make an honest living," Muyengwa said.

When asked why he did not use the designated areas, Muyengwa said such
places did not offer brisk business. This, he said, meant lower takings at
the end of the day.

That apart, vendors at designated points pay rentals to the council, which
most people try to avoid.

Muyengwa said vendors who applied for licences from the city council were
allocated places in industrial sites where there was no business, forcing
them to trek back into the central business district.

"We use the pavements because this is where our market is and we have access
to many people compared to those at designated council places," said Moffat
Phiri, who operates from an open space near Copacabana.

Samuel Denda said business depended on the types of goods one sold.

"I sell mangoes and mazhanje, which are in season. There are so many people
in the same business and sometimes we are forced to reduce the price down
because they are perishables," he said, pointing to several vendors selling
the same fruit.

Local authorities have, on several occasions, accused the vendors of selling
their commodities at undesignated points, causing unnecessary crowding and
littering the streets.

Harare City Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, denied that municipal
police officers solicited for bribes from vendors, insisting that they were
very professional.

"I have not received reports of bribes. In any case, when we arrest them we
take them to the police where they pay fines," said Gwindi, declaring the
vendors were "a menace".
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Zim Standard

Development for votes, Zanu PF's credo
By our own staff

BULAWAYO - Earth moving equipment roared and rolled at full throttle in
various parts of rural Matabeleland clearing land and repairing roads during
the course of 2004, much to the astonishment of peasants, who were surprised
by this sudden burst of activity in their long-neglected areas.

"We welcome these development projects," said 40-year-old Khosana Mlilo of
Gwalanyemba, in rural Matabeleland South. "It appears government has
realized we need better roads as much as people in other parts of the
country do. We are just like them."
Both Matabeleland North and South in southwestern and western Zimbabwe
became a bustle of activity in infrastructural development, which included
roads, bridges, medium-sized dams and other development projects ahead of
general elections next year.

In the 2000 general election, Zanu PF candidates suffered most humiliating
electoral defeats in the Matabeleland region, on the back of Mugabe's stoic
refusal to publicly apologize for unleashing the notorious North Korean
trained 5 Brigade on innocent civilians during the anti-dissident campaign.

With hindsight, the governing Zanu PF party last year appeared to have
pulled all the plugs to endear itself with the electorate in Matabeleland,
who overwhelmingly spurned Zanu PF in the 2000 general and 2002 presidential

No one knows for sure whether the peasant electorate in Matabeleland has
been impressed by the sudden change of government attitude towards its once
neglected area.

The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project - a major pipeline project meant to
solve Bulawayo and most of the arid rural Matabeleland's been stuck in the
planning stages for years. Although the governing party incessantly touts
the project to create the impression that government is committed to
equitable development, many now realise this is only for electioneering
purposes each time national polls are in the offing. This is borne out by
the fact that little headway is made thereafter.

Last year the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe made available a $12 billion loan
facility for the MZWP to carry out its activities bringing total
disbursements for the project to $25 billion. Towards the end of the year,
however, the project was taken over by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority
(ZINWA) throwing into doubt its future.

Matabeleland South province witnessed state employees literally putting
their noses to the wheel amid the whir and grind of earthmoving equipment as
they laboured putting together the Guyu to Manama road, the
Guyu-Gwanda-Maphisa road and the Bulawayo-Kezi to Mphoengs road.

And a multi-billion dollar "capital" was slated for construction at a
degenerate and desolate rural trading post - Lupane despite overwhelming
evidence of stagnation at most of the growth points dotted around the 58
districts nationwide.

Focus shifted to a multi-million dollar investment in infrastructure such as
housing for State workers in which 2 300 stands were to be developed. A
modern water reticulation system, modern office blocks and a supply dam were
to be carved out of scrubland in preparation of establishing a town without
an industrial base, about 170km north of Bulawayo.

The ruling party is upbeat about its prospects of regaining the rural seats
it lost to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) particularly
in Matabeleland, which it had neglected for years in the vainglorious hope
that residents of the region would realize their mistake in supporting
opposition to President Mugabe's cherished one-party-State dream.

Progress and development have become the catchphrase whenever Zanu PF has
campaigned in Matabeleland lately. Zanu PF politicians have made it ritual
to remind the electorate that they would derive immense benefits and
attention from the State by voting for Zanu PF and its candidates.

In the Tsholotsho constituency where unelected government spin-doctor,
Professor Jonathan Moyo had pegged his claim, the Bulawayo-Tsholotsho road
was in the process of being widened to enhance Zanu PF's chances in
elections during March this year.

Despite party focus on Matabeleland as a way of endearing itself with the
electorate some of the prime projects meant to bolster the industrial
progress of the region were abandoned or suspended. Wankie Colliery Company
suspended coal exploration in the Lubimbi area of rural Hwange because
government delayed approving the project. The project in Chief Khavula's
area was expected to generate 2 000 jobs. The locals prompted the chief to
cast doubt on government's sincerity in promising development in

Bungling by bureaucrats in Matabeleland South stalled some multi-billion
development projects with the discovery that funds provided by the
government for these projects had been left lying untouched. Civil servants
were blamed for sitting on $10 billion of development funds for the

Similarly, equipment valued at $210 billion for a potato and fruit juice
project initiated by the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo at the Balu Estate
owned by ARDA just outside Bulawayo was discovered lying idle at Bulawayo
Airport. It has been lying there for the past decade. The Ekhusileni Medical
Centre, another of the late vice president's brainchild, closed down because
$600 million of administration funds could not be accounted for.

Although Zanu PF won the Lupane by-election in March nearly 60 percent of
the registered voters in this rural Matabeleland constituency chose to
ignore the poll, thereby snubbing Zanu PF's carrot-and-stick promises of
billions of dollars in development funds.

Observers say the snub by the electorate could be instructive.

"It is difficult to assess the fickle nature of the rural voters. But how
both parties failed to convince the bulk of the electorate to go to the
polls still baffles me," said former combatant, Max Mkandla of the Zimbabwe
Liberators' Peace Forum, a more progressive grouping of independence war
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Zim Standard

Public media 'propagating hatred against Govt critics'
By Richard Musazulwa

GWERU - The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holding (ZBH), the country's sole
broadcaster together with the dominant government controlled newspaper
group, Zimpapers, continue to engage in a disinformation campaign in which
they regularly propagate hatred and disaffection against government critics.

Dumisani Gandhi, an advocacy officer with the Media Monitoring Project
Zimbabwe (MMPZ) said this during a Community Information Rights Monitoring
and Lobbying Strategic Workshop held recently in Gweru.

Ghandi said according to MMPZ findings, the prime targets of hate speech
were the MDC, civic groups, whites and individuals including journalists. He
said under these circumstances, such language could be a recipe for civil
strife in the highly polarised political environment such as the one
prevailing in the country.

Gandhi gave recent examples as Nathaniel Manheru, The Herald columnist, who
described the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as a "many
headed monster whose every limb carries its patenting scales and trait of

The advocacy officer said: "Hate speech against groups and individuals has
regrettably become an entrenched journalistic culture in the government
controlled media, particularly in the print media, while those targeted by
the hate language were not given the right to defend themselves.

On individual attacks by the State media, Gandhi said it was regrettable to
read a column by Manheru describing the outspoken Roman Catholic Archbishop,
Pius Ncube, as "the man who wore a face filled with hate but not divine
hate, but of a common villager struck with spiteful jealousy ... And when
raw hate darts out it is seasoned with a bit (of) raw, uncooked saliva
...The best medicine is to ignore the idiot, to leave him to wallow in his
un-catholic hate."

He said the same columnist had been employing threatening and racist
language and recently attacked The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard
Group Projects Editor, Iden Wetherell.

"The government has taken advantage of its control of the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) and Zimpapers to widen its reach and circulation
to promote the ruling Zanu PF party and denigrate its opponents.

"The government has hijacked and abused the public media in order to spread
hate propaganda and engage in blatantly partisan reporting as demonstrated
by Manheru and another columnist, Lowani Ndlovu's vitriolic attacks," Gandhi

On information rights, he said there had been a sustained violation of the
public's right to information and freedom of expression from the beginning
of the year.

"Between February 16 and November 9, 2004 MMPZ monitored 27 arrests of
journalists and in the same period the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
was used to disrupt 45 meetings organised by the MDC and civic society
organisations," he said.

Gandhi added that in the same period 435 people were arrested and charged
under the same law or released without charge.

Ironically, there were no recorded disruptions or ban on the activities or
meetings of the ruling Zanu PF.

"By doing this, the government has suppressed democratic activities in the
country and has all but exhausted the international community's criticism of
its governance record," Gandhi said.

The workshop, which was attended by Public Information Rights (PIRF)
committees from the Midlands and Masvingo, also covered the legal
environment where the government has introduced a wide range of repressive
laws curtailing all manner of civic and political liberties.

The workshop also considered the concept of monitoring and documenting
information rights violations, strategies and logistics of community
monitoring, advocacy and lobbying strategies.
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Zim Standard

More rights abuses in 2004, says report
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE cold-blood murder of Francis Chinozvina in the early hours of Sunday
March 28, 2004, shocked residents of the politically volatile Zengeza
high-density suburb of Chitungwiza.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) youth activist was shot in the
chest when a mob of Zanu PF supporters and youth militia raided the home of
James Makore, then the opposition candidate in a by-election.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at a private hospital in Harare.

The suspect, a Zanu PF functionary Ernest Matsotso of Arcturus, is on trial
for the offence.

Chinozvina is one of hundreds of victims of politically motivated violence
that rocked the country last year. There were several reported cases of
murder, assault, kidnapping, torture, displacements and unlawful arrest
during 2004.

The Human Rights NGO Forum, a coalition of 17 non-governmental
organisations, expressed concern at the continued human rights violations in
the country. It said Zimbabwe's human rights record "looked bleak."

"A cursory examination of the protection of the human rights for the
Zimbabwean populace over the period January to September paints a gloomy
picture," said a report by the coalition.

Statistics made available to The Standard by the Forum indicate that between
January and September 12 people were killed in politically motivated
violence, 202 were unlawfully arrested, 7491 were tortured while 329 were

The report alleges that state agents, youth militia and Zanu PF supporters
perpetrated the bulk of the cases.

In a 15-page report, the MDC said seven of its members of parliament, 53
party officials, and hundreds of activists were subjected to arrest,
intimidation, beatings or torture in 2004.

MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, believes Zanu PF will intensify
violence against opposition supporters as it campaigns for the 2005
elections. He said Zanu PF uses violence consistently to intimidate people.

He fears that the incidents of politically related assault, kidnapping,
displacements, murder, torture and unlawful arrest would intensify as the
March 2005 general election draws near.

Ncube dismissed Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri's statement that the
police would deal sternly and impartially with perpetrators of political

"In fact it is not only Zanu PF militia and war veterans that perpetrate
violence. The CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation), police and army are
involved on the side of the ruling party," Ncube said.

Other than politically motivated violence, human rights abuses of ordinary
Zimbabweans by government took several dimensions in the past year. For
example, the government, evicted Porta Farm residents from a place it had
allocated them some 14 years earlier.

The residents were forcibly evicted by the police and youth militia despite
a High Court granting them temporary relief from the action. During the year
under review, the government ignored several court orders, making the
legislature virtually irrelevant in the current political environment.

"This year was quite bad because despite protests by civic groups against
human rights violations, the government intensified its disregard of human
rights violations and a lot more repressive laws were mooted," said
Sternford Moyo, former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

There are several draconian bills, coined deliberately and specifically to
narrow the democratic space of the people, awaiting President Robert
Mugabe's signature. These include the Non-Governmental Bill, Electoral Bill
and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill.

Others are the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Bill) that criminalises
the journalism profession and makes criticism of Mugabe a crime, and the
Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act, which allows detention of suspects of
up to 21 days without bail.

Already, Zimbabwe has a host of repressive laws. The government continued
with its onslaught on alternative voices through obnoxious laws such as the
Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

"As long as these legislative tools are there, it will be difficult for
Zimbabweans to enjoy their rights. There is need to repeal these laws as a
matter of urgency," Moyo said.

He said this year, and successive years could only be peaceful and human
rights friendly if there is dialogue between Zanu PF and MDC to reduce

"There should be good will and some efforts to improve the situation. There
should be more tolerance and moves to unite the people and reduce hate
language," Moyo said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira was not immediately available for a
comment, while government, through its media, has dismissed reports of human
rights violations as lies being spread by enemies of the State.
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Zim Standard

Women farm workers bear the brunt of land seizures
By our own staff

MANICALAND province has the largest number of displaced farm workers living
in appalling conditions, with female workers the worst affected, according
to a recent study.

An estimated 350 000 former farm workers and their families were left
homeless and without jobs after the government took over farms that provided
sources of livelihood for the former farm workers.
A recent study by researcher Lloyd Sachikonye into the condition of the
former farm workers shows that in many instances farm takeovers resulted in
loss of entitlement to housing on the farms, basic social services such as
health and education, and subsidized food.

"Workers who have been displaced are stranded on farms or their outskirts,
while others seek to find shelter in fast growing informal settlements where
social conditions are desperate," says the report, which investigated these
conditions and examined the coping strategies of the farm workers.

The study was commissioned by the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ),
which is committed to the empowerment of farm workers in order to help them
achieve a better and secure life and the creation of an environment that is
conducive to the holistic growth of commercial farming communities.

The report describes the farm workers as a marginalised and vulnerable
group, which in many ways had its political and social rights restricted for
many years.

"The overall picture is one of massive job losses in the region of 70
percent of the original farm workforce, although more precise estimates are
not possible," says the report.

Both the newly resettled and new large commercial farmers, according to the
report, have fewer financial resources and lower production capacity to
absorb most of the former permanent farm workers.

Despite the massive job losses, a considerable proportion of farm workers
continue to stay on the farms, with as many as 50 percent of the former farm
workers still on the farms even when they no longer have jobs.

But the report says female workers have been adversely affected much more
than their male counterparts, in terms of employment losses. More than 50
percent of female workers and nearly 60 percent of seasonal female workers
lost their jobs as a result of the land reform programme. This compares with
30 and 33 percent of permanent and seasonal male workers respectively.

The survey data also suggests that there has been a decline in permanent and
seasonal female workers of 63 and 42 percent respectively living on farms.

"That substantial proportion of female and male workers no longer living on
farms must be experiencing considerable hardships wherever they maybe now,"
says the report.

But the report points out that one of the immediate consequences of the
government's land reform programme in the large commercial sector was a
decline in production, which it warned would have "profoundly negative
consequences" for the sector, the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and
foreign exchange earnings.

Supporting this point, the report says about 90 percent of the 160 farms
surveyed had experienced a halt or drastic decline in production and
therefore employment.

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Zim Standard

Zanu PF plot to raid Aids Fund despicable

TIMES are hard even for Zanu PF, although it will not say so. One
confirmation of its impecunious state is a recommendation at its recent
national congress that it takes charge of the Aids levy.

The other confirmation was that at the start of its congress, only $2
billion out of a required $22 billion had been raised. This partly explains
Zanu PF's anxiety to access the Aids levy.
A lot of companies that provided various services will be owed considerable
sums until the governing party conjures up a way of raiding and accessing
funds such as the Aids levy.

Zanu PF's appetite for money is, of course, over and above the Political
Parties Finance Act, which last year saw hundreds of millions of dollars
being doled out.

There has always been concern about accountability of levies collected from
taxpayers under the government's various schemes. The latest suggestion does
nothing to allay those fears.

At the beginning of last year, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
withdrew three of its representatives from the board of the National Social
Security Authority (NSSA) amid allegations of maladministration of the
pensions body.

For each working individual, employers and workers make joint monthly
contributions to NSSA. In withdrawing its representatives, the umbrella
labour organisation said it was unhappy with the operations of NSSA, which
"seem clouded in secrecy". It was also disgruntled that despite the
contributions made to NSSA, contributors could only expect a maximum of
between $12 000 and $18 000 a month in pensions - barely enough to afford
10kg of maize meal or alternatively three or four loaves of bread.

While NSSA vehemently denied allegations made against it, there is no
debating it is far from the hedge against poverty in retirement that it was
touted to be. The general impression is that the government misrepresented
facts about NSSA in order to get employers and employees to support the

The concerns over how NSSA is run and the management of its funds fuel
apprehension about what could befall the Aids levy.

David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, in his report
to the just-ended Zanu PF congress, held in Harare, said: "Zanu PF as the
ruling party and originator of the Aids funds should assume control of the
fund's administration at all levels. There is urgent need for tighter
control measures to ensure accountability during disbursement of the funds .
and should take primary responsibility for the fund and supervise
disbursement at the lower levels."

The government's own record at accountability in disbursement of funds
should be sufficient to trigger alarm bells over the proposal to take over
control of the Aids funds.

The rationale for this is that the funds will be better used to achieve its
objectives. Many, however, will find little evidence to convince them that
this is anything other than a disguise for legitimizing a raid on the fund.

Instead, the motivating factors behind the proposal by Parirenyatwa appears
to be the need to settle the huge bills incurred in hosting delegates to the
December five-day congress.

The second factor is the predicament the ruling party faces in funding its
election campaign. It had hoped that by passing laws that bar
non-governmental organisations from involvement in civic and voter
education, inflows from international non-governmental organisations would
necessarily find their way into the government's machinery.

But with increasing indications that the inflows are in fact drying up, the
ruling party is attempting to find ways of financing its 2005 election
campaign. It will not wake up to the reality that even its traditional
benefactors cannot come to its aid because of the economic problems created
by Zanu PF.

But the arrogance of the ruling party never ceases to amaze. The Aids fund
is from contributions by people across the political spectrum, and
suggesting that its control be located within the ruling party just serves
to demonstrate Zanu PF's contemptuous view of the people of this country.

The truth is that under the present arrangement, it would be difficult for
Zanu PF to help itself to the funds that is why it is promoting this

But as its appetite grows, it will not be long before a suggestion is made
that the carbon levy/tax, the Zesa levy, the hotel levy and the road levy
all fall under the direct control of the ruling party.

In its vindictive mode the government forgot to appreciate that in passing a
law that forbids receiving of foreign funding it was setting a trap, which
would eventually ensnare it. The chickens are coming home to roost.

It would be a sobering lesson if for once Zanu PF fails to raise all the
money it requires for its election campaign. It is important to shock it out
of its false sense of security, by bringing it to a level it will begin to
appreciate the hardships caused by policies of the ruling party.

While most of the more than 9 000 delegates, although officially only 7 200
were expected, believe they came to Harare on holiday; they must begin to
appreciate that we are the authors of our own demise and that unless we own
up and face up to it, we will not learn anything.

It is important that Zanu PF is prevented from accessing the Aids funds, not
only because it is not a party political fund but also because the ruling
party's intentions are sinister. It is trying to abuse people who contribute
to the fund and the fund itself. It is also time Zanu PF was told that it
has taken people for granted for too long.

What Zanu PF forgets is that, as in all the laws driven by malice that it
has helped to craft, these same laws will be used against it. Zambia
provides material for sobering reflection. Zanu PF attempts to hijack the
Aids fund must be stopped dead in their tracks.
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Zim Standard

Splits, spies and secret assignations
overthetop By Brian Latham

THE troubled central African regime was torn asunder this week with
allegations of splits, spies and secret assignations.

Such were the tremors rippling through the banana republic that many said
not since the 1970s had the Zany Party been in such trouble.
Much of it started months ago. The consequences of a meeting in the arid
wastes of the western provinces weren't foreseen. The purpose of the meeting
was simple enough - to lend support to an un-elected Zany strongman in a bid
for the troubled central African nation's second (and completely
superfluous) vice presidency.

But after decades of support for the would-be vice president, the Most Equal
of All Comrades changed his mind. Instead he appointed a Zany strongwoman,
causing massive waves of consternation in the Zany Party, particularly in
rural areas where the idea of being ruled by a woman was seen as being too
revolutionary even for the most zealous of revolutionaries.

Still, those who attended the meeting in the arid western wastelands
suddenly fell from grace. Among them were such notables as the once highly
favoured misinformation minister, the Minister of What Justice, and six out
of ten provincial chairman.

Surely this was the strangest move to make just before a general election?

But no, more was to come. A Zany faithful with a penchant for collecting
suits and fast motorcars suddenly disappeared from the scene. A few weeks
later a spate of arrests saw the men in dark glasses and cheap nylon suits
"bust a spy ring" in the words of the Daily Horrid.

So far, no one has been told whom they were spying for. Reading between the
lines, the foreign power could be the United States or Britain. It could
even be the more troubled than ever central African nation's fraternal
relative down south. Who knows?

Of course, in due course the Zany Party would love to inform troubled
central Africans that Britain conspired to topple the government. It could
be true, but a country that seems to be run by a leftist breakaway from the
Women's Institute isn't likely to have the cojones to embark on anything
more courageous than lengthening queues for its hospitals and making its
ridiculous little roads even less navigable.

Of course, it could be America, assuming the Americans have found the
troubled central African banana republic on the map. Perhaps they have . it
took them only a week to find Tsunami victims, but this is a bit further
away and they've never been here before. (They did try a brief expedition
several thousand kilometres to the north not so long ago, but after a brief
flurry that saw them thrashed to a pulp, they made a hurried retreat, never
to return.)

So . could it be the troubled central African dictatorship's brothers to the
south. Seems possible, but unlikely. After all, the leader of the confused
southern African nation has made no secret of his intention to emulate the
Most Equal Of All Comrades just as soon as the voters down there fall asleep
for long enough for him to get away with it.

Either way, between the secret assignation in the west and the spies,
massive splits have divided the Zany Party into so many sections - which
seems to have been the "foreign power's" intention all along. It's a curious
sort of success story, but the first to come out of the troubled central
African basketcase in five years, so one should take one's pleasures when
one can.

The question, of course, is whether just three months before important
polls, the opposition More Drink Coming Party will be able to take advantage
of these splits. Again, it seems unlikely.
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Zim Standard

Out goes the Monkey, in comes the Rooster
marketmovers with Rangarirai Mberi

CHINESE astrologers must have had the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in mind
when they divined the stars and declared 2004 "The Year of the Monkey".

For how else would you describe a year in which the ZSE had a string of
suspensions, was battered from every side by uncertainties, only to ram
through the million point mark when it should have been in snooze mode,
trying to forget a bad year.

If you believe any of that horoscope mumbo-jumbo, "the animal which hides
within your heart" sways your destiny. Scary, especially now that the Zhing
zhong astrologers have declared 2005 "The Year of The Rooster". If the ZSE
behaved funny throughout the past year because it had a monkey inside it,
make your own conclusions on how stocks will perform in this Year of the

Remember the Year of the Monkey. You had five suspensions; FML, Barbican,
Trust, CFX and TZI. Two of these companies in particular, FML and CFX, were
suspended for monkey business.

FML was canned three times; for its links to failed ENG Capital, for
clouding information about Capital Alliance and for trouble at its key asset
management division.

Then CFX swung from the bushes with its own monkey business. Century had
monkeyed around with computers, it was said. Apparently, Century bosses had
fun pulling profit figures at random out of a monkey hat.

Financial stocks came in for much scrutiny in 2004, the market reacting to
an RBZ crackdown on what it claimed was monkey business in banking.

The Chinese astrologers responsible for labeling 2005 The Year of the
Rooster curiously describe this male chicken - particularly its crow - as a
sign of a new dawn, a fresh start after a dark night.

Considering that 2004 saw not even one IPO, ZSE management will hope that
this year does indeed bring a new start. The ZSE will be looking to moving
away from dealing with monkey business, towards preparing the market for the
excitement of new listings and - Lord please - finally getting the bourse

"Our move from Chiyedza House was mainly because we had found bigger space
for our operations since the old offices were becoming smaller for our
growing needs," ZSE CEO Emmanuel Munyukwi said last week at the bourse's new

It will be interesting to see which Rooster rules the roost at the end of
this year. Is it going to be one of the smaller growth stocks, which ruled
2003 - which, by the way, was The Year of the Ram? The big caps, the
defensive stocks, ruled in 2004.

MarketMovers' seven bucks worth analysis forecasts good times for telecom
stock Econet. The Mascom disposal will give the country's largest mobile
operator US$14 million for network expansion. Econet has 260 000
subscribers, and plans to double that by year-end. Provided costs are
restrained, this will substantially grow revenues and profits. Econet is
currently trading at a price to earnings ratio of 0,73x.

RTG and Zimsun will suffer in the first half because of the March election,
retailers and agro-processors will wilt in below average rainfall and
Finhold will stop boring us stiff with endless cautionaries.
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Zim Standard

Battle looms over taxation of informal sector
By Kumbirai Mafunda

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's administration, which resumed economic talks with
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) last month, could be headed for
a fierce brawl with the militant labour body over its proposal to widen its
tax base by bringing the informal economy under taxation.

In a desperate bid to broaden its shrinking revenue base, the government
says it will incorporate and tax the large informal economy. In revenue
proposals outlined in the 2005 National Budget statement, Acting Finance
Minister Dr Herbert Murerwa disclosed that strategies to bring the informal
sector into the tax net were being developed.

Their implementation, Murerwa said, would improve revenue collection, and
relieve the unfair tax burden on individual taxpayers. Sources hinted last
week that subsidiary legislation proposing the implementation of presumptive
tax on selected sectors of the economy is being finalized.

But the country's largest labour alliance last week sneered at the plan
saying the government wanted to reap where it didn't sow. The ZCTU, which on
numerous occasions has had brushes with the government over its
mismanagement of the economy, says it will gang up with others opposed to
the unpopular tax as it has done in the past to forestall its enforcement.

"We will fight it the same way we are fighting individual tax," declared
Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU's secretary general.

With virtually all-foreign currency transactions, fuel purchases and basic
commodities now being sold through the exorbitant parallel market;
Zimbabwe's economy is now in informal mode. Economists say it is reasonable
to infer that the informal economy has exploded since the onset of the
ongoing economic crisis.

With manufacturing increasingly ceasing operations and in the process
churning out thousands of workers out of formal employment, the informal
economy is expected to grow substantially. Thousands of retrenchees are
increasingly finding some safety nets in informal employment.

Chibhebhe, the firebrand unionist, said the government's plan is a
confession that the formal sector has not made any significant contribution
to revenue collection. He said any moves towards taxing the informal economy
would "strangle the sector to death".

"These are people who are trying to grow. You tax where you have made an
input," Chibhebhe said.

Independent research indicates that the informal economy now employs more
workers than the formal economy. It is estimated that 1,9 million people are
employed in the informal economy while the formal economy only absorbs 1,3
million people.

Murerwa's annexation of the informal economy, analysts say, is an admission
that the government is feeling the heat of the economy, which has been
imploding for six years. The poor performance of the economy during this
period has impacted negatively on revenue collection hence the government's
intention to tap into the significant growth of the informal economy.

"You can't just tax anyhow," says Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labour
and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ). "It is
tantamount to milking a cow without feeding it. It will bleed to death."

Kanyenze says taxing the informal economy amounts to government reaping
where it did not sow. He recommends that the first step be the formalisation
or integration of the informal economy into the mainstream economy.

"The business death rate in the informal sector is high whereas the birth
rate is low. So before you tax the informal economy you need to empower the
informal sector participants. You need to integrate them into the economy,"
recommends Kanyenze.

More than 1 000 manufacturing companies have closed shop during the last
five years. The wave of closures has not been arrested as attested by the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), which says 25 companies are
struggling to survive while eight more faced closure by the end of 2004 due
to a cocktail of economic troubles.
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Zim Standard

Ruth Chinamano, a true heroine
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

AS I watched the flag draped casket with Mrs Ruth Chinamano's body inside on
her final journey to Heroes' Acre, along Mbare's Pazarangu Avenue, my
thoughts went back to about 45 years ago when I first knew her. She had just
come from South Africa with her husband, Josiah.

They stayed in Mbare on this same Pazarangu Avenue, three houses from No 14,
where I lived.

They stayed with Mrs Chinamano's sister known as Amai vaBonnie. This was
before they got their own house in Highfield.

Everybody in our neighbourhood got to know Mrs Chinamano within a very short
time. This was because every morning she would jog, in a gym suit, along
Pazarangu into Runyararo Street, along Daniel Avenue, into Ardbennie Road
and then turn left back into Pazarangu.

In those days, women just did not put on trousers. Upon seeing her running
in her gym suit some women would frown and shake their heads in disapproval.
However, Mrs Chinamano soon won them over by waving at them and smiling
cheerfully as she ran. In no time everyone was talking about the unusual
woman who ran every morning wearing trousers. Her strange ways were soon
accepted when the neighbourhood learnt that she was a highly educated
"muroora" daughter-in-law from South Africa.

At the height of the struggle for independence, Mrs Chinamano came back to
Mbare to mobilise the women. Most of the educated women were not interested
in radical politics. They were mostly interested in clubs and welfare

This did not deter Mrs Chinamano who soon found her element among the barely
educated market women of Mbare who knew what suffering was. She and her
compatriot, Mai Sally Mugabe, worked tirelessly in galvanizing the women
into organised action. Their utmost success to me was that they were able to
recruit my humble and rather reticent mother and turn her into a fiery
freedom fighter who, with others, sang defiantly as they were led into
prison cells for breaking the nefarious Law and order Maintenance Act.

Some of the women they conscientised and cajoled into action became the
pillars of the struggle for freedom in Mbare. Many of them are now late,
including my mother, Mai Ellah Wakatama. The few still living wept openly as
they viewed the body of their mentor as it lay in state in Mbare's Stodart
Hall. These included women like Mai Kadyamatimba, Mai Nyamurowa, Mai
Chipwaya, Mai Sabau, Mai Danger, Mai Marowa, Mai "Hitler" Mudzongo, Mai
Mhindurwa, Mai Murwisi and the then young Mary Dokotera Marere. These are
but a few of the host of women brought into the struggle by Mai Chinamano,
not only in Mbare but also in the then Rhodesia as a whole.

Mai Chinamano was self-confident and courageous. She imparted these same
traits to her comrades in Mbare. They gave the struggle against white rule a
new dimension and great momentum. She was indeed a hero. My only wish is
that the heroine status would have been bestowed upon her in her lifetime so
that she would have enjoyed the honour and gratitude Zimbabweans are
showering upon her posthumously today.

Mai Chinamano was not alone in her selfless and heroic struggle against
colonialism. This was characteristic of our nationalist leaders in the Youth
League, the African National Congress, the National Democratic Party, the
People's Caretaker Council, the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union and later the
Zimbabwe African National Union. They fought for the love of Zimbabwe and
the betterment of her people. This is not so today. To most of those
jostling for political positions today political office is the road to
riches, a comfortable life-style, money in foreign accounts and to hell with
the suffering masses.

Phillip Chiyangwa, the wealthy Zanu PF provincial chairman who was arrested
recently summed up this way of thinking. He said: "Do you want to be rich?
Then join Zanu PF."

I listened as Vice President Joseph Msika described how they struggled
together with the Chinamanos with no thought of their own safety, let alone
personal aggrandisement. How could they when everything was dark and the
odds so much against them? Not many people were interested in political
positions then because it meant banishment, imprisonment or even death. It
pained me to hear him speak of the mafikizolos who have infiltrated Zanu PF
for personal gain and are now destroying it from within.

To our veteran old guard of freedom fighters I can only say, you brought
this upon yourselves and the party. You were only interested in smart alecks
who told you of ways and means to stay in power indefinitely. Their
strategies and gimmicks composed of deceitful propaganda did not take into
account the real needs of suffering Zimbabweans at all.

You rewarded these fakes with positions of power and influence, ignoring the
faithful ones who worked quietly alongside you and told you the truth about
the real situation on the ground. Those who dared to tell you and to publish
the truth were labelled sell-outs and puppets of the British.

Harsh laws like POSA, AIPPA and the NGOs Bill were passed to silence and
punish them. Some of them, including myself, were arrested and are
constantly being harassed by mere crooks who have no idea what the struggle
was all about.

It is true that Zanu PF is now but a shadow of its former self. It is
riddled with corruption, thievery, graft, violence and treachery. The
corruption within that party is now so putrid it smells to high heaven. Real
heroes of the struggle are pained at what the party has become. Those lying
at Heroes' Acre must be turning in their graves with grief.

One day I was driving from Marondera and stopped at Nhekairo's for a lunch
of sadza and mazondo. Who did I see but Amai Chinamano alighting from her
truck? I went over to greet her. She shook my hand warmly and drew me close.
"Keep writing the truth, young man", she said. "I am with you. My Josiah
would never have accepted the evil that is going on in our country today.
This is just not what we fought for."

I must say I went away elated by her encouragement. She had also called me
"young man". Everybody calls me "Mudhara Waks" these days. I felt really
good and my sadza and mazondo have never tasted as nice as on that day. I
again vowed to keep writing the truth as the Lord leads me.

We are daily bombarded with propaganda telling us that the British formed
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in order for them to
recolonise Zimbabwe. Tell me, who in the MDC was ever arrested on
allegations of selling State secrets to foreign powers? Who in the MDC owned
multiple stolen farms, some of which had to be embarrassingly repossessed by
government? Who in the MDC has been arrested for fraud in the financial
sector? Who in the MDC has been arrested on allegations of externalising
ill-gotten foreign currency into so-called enemy bank accounts? Didn't the
police, the other day, say a high-ranking Zanu PF official had a case to
answer regarding public violence? What became of it? Isn't that corruption
in high places?

Surely this is the time to say enough is enough. The real sell-outs in
Zimbabwe are not the criminal and corrupt self-seekers in Zanu PF. They are
the cowards who say politics is a dirty and dangerous game and would rather
not be involved. They, like sheep, keep quiet when their rights are trampled
on with impunity and the wealth of their country is plundered in broad
daylight. And, when they meet the corrupt fat cats they salute and pay
homage, like slaves, instead of spitting in their faces and showing them
that they are nothing but common criminals. Such cowards are useless to
Zimbabwe, to themselves and to their wives and children. When the story is
told in later years, their children will definitely spit on their graves.

Zanu PF is empowering women by bringing them into the fore in politics. Let
us hope that these women will follow the example of Mai Chinamano who
selflessly lived for the truth and the real liberty and prosperity of

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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Sent: Sunday, January 09, 2005 8:12 PM
Subject: "Stay calm, I am still in the race!"

Dear Family and Friends,
The adjectives are flowing and getting more descriptive by the day as
reporters, analysts, commentators and writers try and describe the
unbelievable events occurring as Zimbabwe approaches parliamentary
elections. For a change we aren't describing clashes between Zanu PF and
the MDC, but the infighting within Zanu PF as their primary elections
approach. Heads are rolling, cliches like "you reap what you sow" are
coming true and the list of high profile casualties is growing by the day.
Some writers talk of " boiling discontent" and "fatal infighting" while
others describe "a purge against rebellious cadres", "spurned party
bigwigs" and a "vicious power struggle within the ruling party."

Whatever adjectives we use, there are enormous and very surprising
omissions from the lists of who will be taking part in the Zanu PF
primaries. Gone it seems is Jonathan Moyo, the present Minister of
Information, suspended for holding an unauthorized meeting in Tsholtsho.
Gone is the Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa. Gone is President
Mugabe's nephew, Philip Chiyangwa the Chinoyi MP who once bragged that he
owned 500 suits and is now in custody facing charges of spying and trading
in state secrets. Gone is the Minister of Finance, Christopher Kuruneri
who has been in prison for months on currency charges. Gone, or almost, is
the man who started out as a municipal security guard but soared to infamy
and notoriety when he stuck grass onto his hard hat and announced that he
was "the" man in charge of farm invasions. I am of course talking about
Joseph Chinotimba who is clearly very annoyed that he will not be able to
stand as a candidate in the Zanu PF primaries. In a quote in the Zimbabwe
Independent newspaper this week, Chinotimba said: "People of Glen Norah
should stay calm because I am still in the race to represent them." He
also said that the decision by the Zanu PF co-ordinating committee to bar
him from standing was "done by individuals who have vendettas and I am
going to appeal. I am still the candidate. We have a clever President, and
he will deal with the matter."

So, as the elections get close and the Zanu PF primaries get closer,
Zimbabweans are getting a good look at what has really been going on for
the last five years. Other big names who have either been suspended from
the party, implicated in plots, accused of espionage or simply sidelined
from the power struggle are: war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda
(suspended) ; Zanu PF Chairmen of Manicaland, Midlands, Masvingo, and
Matabeleland north and south (all suspended); Ambassador designate to
Mocambique Godfrey Dzvairo, Zanu PF Director of external affairs Itai
Marchi and Zanu PF deputy security directory Kenny Karidza (all for
allegedly spying and trading in state secrets)

And meanwhile, as the big men struggle, squabble and threaten, we, the
ordinary people in the street shake our heads in disgust and despair as we
wonder if any of them, even one, give a damn about us, the voters who will
elect them into power. Until next week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy
buckle 8th January 2004.
"African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available outside Africa from: ; ; ;
in Australia and New Zealand: ; Africa:
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Yahoo News

Zimbabwean man charged in Toronto for running tsunami charity scam

TORONTO (CP) - Police have charged a Zimbabwean man with fraud for falsely
posing as a charitable worker and collecting tsunami relief donations for an
organization that doesn't exist.

The man would present a charitable tax list in the name of a non-existent
religious institution called Inter Schools Denominational and Christian
Centre, Toronto police said. He then provided donors with a tax receipt.

None of the money was going to legitimate charities supporting the Asian
tsunami relief efforts, police said Saturday.

The 44-year-old man was arrested while in possession of bogus Red Cross

Elmon Muringwa has been charged with defrauding the public.

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Zimbabwe's most powerful woman or a pawn?
Basildon Peta
January 09 2005 at 03:41PM

When Joyce Mujuru styles herself as "a very strong, courageous and determined woman", this is no self-help Geri Halliwell talk.

After all, how many would dare abandon family life and school at the age of 18 to join a ferocious liberation war and raise children in the bush while bringing down choppers and eluding enemy bullets?

A story doing the rounds in Harare further defines Mujuru's extraordinary human qualities.

According to the cryptic tale, when she hears that her husband, a former army commander and highly influential Zanu-PF politician Solomon Mujuru, has sired children out of wedlock, she goes out of her way to locate them to establish whether their mothers have the wherewithal to look after them.

She urged farm invaders, 'return with blood-soaked T-shirts'
If not, she takes the children into her own custody at one of the family farms in Ruwa, near Harare, without even consulting her husband. Many of the children in their household are not hers, those close to the family say.

"My war experiences changed my life," says Mujuru, who was born into a poor peasant family of 12 and left home as a teenager in 1973 - against the wishes of her parents - to join Zanu-PF guerrillas fighting the Ian Smith regime from Mozambique.

"I became very strong and learned to make decisions and not wait for men to decide," she adds. She is an affable character, yet ruthless when duty calls. On joining the war, Mujuru adopted the nom de guerre of "Teurai Ropa", or "Spill Blood" in English. She immediately lived up to that appellation.

On February 17, 1974, a group she was assigned to during an incursion into Zimbabwe encountered the Rhodesian security forces and was brutally dispersed, leaving Mujuru to face the enemy on her own. A wounded colleague threw her gun to Mujuru and implored her to flee. But she had other ideas. She took aim at a helicopter descending to kill her.

"Incredibly, I hit the machine and there was a lot of black smoke and it crashed. A big explosion followed," she was quoted as saying of the incident, in which all the white occupants of the helicopter died.

She was named as one who looted the War Victims' Fund
The incident marked a turning point in Mujuru's guerrilla reputation once news of it spread through the camps of Zanu's armed wing, Zanla, in Mozambique. She was soon to be elevated to being one of the camp commanders.

When President Robert Mugabe's campaign of confiscating white farms for redistribution to blacks began in earnest in February 2000, Mujuru ruthlessly endorsed it. She urged farm invaders to go and return with "blood-soaked T-shirts and shorts of white farmers and any of their black collaborators".

At independence in 1980, Mujuru, then semi-literate and aged 25, became the youngest cabinet minister in Mugabe's fledgling government, with the sports, youth and recreation portfolio.

Now Mujuru is - officially at least - firmly in line to succeed Mugabe when he retires as expected in 2008. This comes after her historic elevation to the post of vice-president of both party and country at the Zanu-PF congress last month.

Yet, despite her steely nerves and heroism, Mujuru was probably surprised by her sudden rise to prominence.

While the debate on Mugabe's possible successor gathered momentum in recent years, Mujuru's name never featured. In fact, if Mugabe's 53 ministers and deputies had been ranked in terms of their chances of being a Mugabe successor, Mujuru would have occupied one of the last three slots.

"No one ever contemplated her as obvious presidential material," says Lovemore Madhuku, a University of Zimbabwe analyst and chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly.

"A good reputation in war does not necessarily translate into good leadership. To some, her long presence in cabinet has more to do with gender balance than competence. In 1980 she became a minister knowing nothing else but how to hold a gun."

So what is behind Mujuru's spectacular rise? Many analysts, including Eldred Masunungure, a University of Zimbabwe political scientist, believe Mujuru is merely a pawn in a dangerous political game.

Her influential husband, who probably gets more of Mugabe's ear than she does, has much to do with her rise. It was his determination to block Emmerson Mnangagwa, a rival and former cabinet minister and speaker of parliament, that resulted in Mujuru's elevation. But from where does Solomon Mujuru draw his power?

It is universally accepted in Zanu-PF that without his active support, Mugabe would have been a nobody. Mujuru and the late Josiah Tongogara led the Zanla forces while Mugabe languished in jail from 1964 for 10 years.

At the time of his going to jail, Mugabe was a mere secretary for information in Zanu, which was formed in 1963 and was under the leadership of the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.

Mugabe seized control of Zanu in 1975 after his rival, Herbert Chitepo, who had been appointed by Sithole, to lead the party while both Mugabe and Sithole were in jail, was assassinated by a mysterious car bomb in Lusaka.

Mugabe had slipped into Mozambique after his release from jail, with the active support of Solomon Mujuru, who implored the guerrillas, most of whom had never met Mugabe, to accept him as their leader.

"As a result Mugabe owes [Solomon] Mujuru an eternal favour," said one Zanu-PF insider.

Mujuru took over the command of the army at independence in 1980, retiring 10 years later to go into business. However, he remained an influential member of Zanu-PF's politburo, where he clashed with Mnangagwa, long considered to be Mugabe's favoured heir.

This happened when Mnangagwa, then a powerful cabinet minister, thwarted Mujuru's bid to buy into the multibillion-dollar Zimasco, a chrome mining and smelting concern in Zimbabwe's Midlands province, in the mid-1990s.

Mujuru, who prefers to work behind the scenes and is not known to be power-hungry himself, is said to have declared that he would throw his name in the ring if Mugabe ever opened the way for Mnangagwa to rise to the top office.

Such a battle for control of the party would have been too ghastly even for Mugabe to contemplate.

When Mnangagwa became tainted by allegations of corruptions, including a United Natons report that linked him to the looting of resources in Congo, a perfect opportunity was provided to Mugabe to sideline him and opt for Mujuru's camp.

The cover for this manoeuvre was feminism - a requirement that one of the co-vice-presidential posts, to replace the late Simon Muzenda, be reserved for a woman.

This effectively blocked Mnangagwa, as the other vice-presidential position is held by Joseph Msika and must also be reserved for someone from Matabeleland, in line with a 1987 unity accord with Joshua Nkomo's Zapu.

The move to elevate Joyce Mujuru led to the infamous meeting at the rural home of Jonathan Moyo, the information minister, where an attempt was made to plot a strategy to sabotage Mujuru's rise. Mugabe got wind of the meeting, leading to the demise of several top officials who had been Mugabe's confidantes, including Moyo himself.

Daniel Molokela, a prominent Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights activist, says that after the Mugabe tragedy Zimbabweans must brace themselves to face something even worse: "A Mujuru presidency in Zimbabwe in 2008."

Mujuru has not particularly distinguished herself in any of the various cabinet portifolios she has held. She should have resigned in 1998 when she was named among senior officials who looted the War Victims' Compensation Fund.

Her admirers credit her for taking time to go back to secondary school in between her busy schedule after she was appointed minister in 1980. She earned six ordinary level passes in the process, a certificate below matric, and is now rumoured to be aiming for her first degree through correspondence.

To those who laughed at her broken English, she had one question: "How come it is acceptable when the Chinese, Germans and all other foreigners speak in broken English? English is not my first language."

Few observers see her as presidential material, and many believe that if she is elected to State House she will be a puppet of her husband and Mugabe. Yet the prospect of Joyce "Spill Blood" Mujuru becoming Africa's first woman president now seems to have become almost inevitable.

    • This article was originally published on page 5 of Sunday Independent on January 09, 2005
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From The Observer (UK), 9 January

The last hope for a dying game

The England team have been and gone, but cricket in Zimbabwe, like the
country itself, remains in turmoil. Tom de Castella spent three months in
Robert Mugabe's fearful nation and, in this special report, he talks to the
white rebels and the black administrators to discover the truth about the
racial tensions destroying their sport.

The meeting that killed cricket in Zimbabwe took place on 11 March 2004.
Three of the selectors were present - Max Ebrahim, Ali Shah and the former
Australia batsman Geoff Marsh - as well as captain Heath Streak and Vince
Hogg, managing director of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union. That morning the team
to play Bangladesh in a one-day international had been signed off by Justice
Ahmed Ebrahim, ZCU vice chairman and father of selector Max Ebrahim, and
announced to the press. There were nine white players in the team and two
blacks, Tatenda Taibu and Dion Ebrahim (no relation to Ahmed and Max). The
instigator of the meeting, Ozias Bvute, had not arrived. Bvute is an
increasingly powerful figure: then he was ZCU director of integration and
now he is about to be appointed managing director of the rebranded Zimbabwe
Cricket, on a reported salary of 7,500 a month. Hogg called him up on
speaker phone. 'Gentlemen, this side you have selected is unacceptable in
this day and age in Zimbabwe,' Bvute told the meeting. 'You will reselect
the side.' The selectors argued that the team had been chosen on merit.
'Gentlemen you will reselect that side,' Bvute persisted. He explained that
he would be failing in his duty to his 'constituents' if he did not increase
the number of black players in the team. His constituents soon arrived at
the meeting along with Bvute himself. They turned out to be from the
Mashonaland Cricket Association, the most influential cricketing province in
the country. They warned that if the selectors did not choose five black
players, the pitch at the Harare Sports Club would be invaded and the wicket
dug up.

Max Ebrahim, in a spirit of compromise, suggested that fast bowler Andy
Blignaut and batsman Mark Vermeulen, both of whom had been recently injured,
should be dropped. A double match fee would be paid to Vermeulen for him to
sit out the game. Streak and coach Marsh were incensed at the suggestion.
Lovemore Banda, the team's media manager, then addressed the meeting. He
said that black people were unhappy that the wider political changes in
Zimbabwe were not reflected in team selection. 'Look at the farms. We got
independence in 1980 and in 2000 people grew tired of waiting and took the
land. If there is no change in cricket then people will give up waiting and
take cricket as well.' At half past eight, after four-and-a-half hours, the
meeting was adjourned. Justice Ebrahim arrived half an hour later to talk to
Bvute and the Mashonaland delegation. They agreed to let the game against
Bangladesh go ahead uninterrupted. But, in return, Justice Ebrahim assured
them that more black players would be picked from now on. The following day,
Streak scored 45 and took four wickets as Zimbabwe won by 14 runs. But angry
that no disciplinary action was taken against Mashonaland, he wrote to Vince
Hogg warning that unless there was major change he would resign the
captaincy. He later phoned Hogg to say that he would retire from all cricket
if his demands for a change in the selection panel and the removal of Bvute
from a position of influence were not met. The ZCU accepted his resignation
and appointed Taibu, then a 20-year-old, in his place. Streak and 14 other
white players responded by refusing to play for Zimbabwe. It was the
beginning of the end for them.

One afternoon towards the end of November I visited the Harare Sports Club
where the groundsman, Robin Brown, was preparing the pitch for the first
one-day international against England. 'I don't think there'll be much for
the bowlers but I'd like to have seen Harmison banging it down,' he said,
pointing at the white, dry wicket. Steve Harmison had refused to represent
England in Zimbabwe for moral reasons. Later, back in his office, Brown and
I discussed the turbulent past nine months in Zimbabwe cricket. 'I think the
rebels shot themselves in the foot,' he said of the absent white players.
'They put 10 points on the table and got nine and a half of what they
wanted. The only thing ZCU wouldn't do is get rid of Max Ebrahim or Ozias
Bvute.' I was struck by the contrasting pulls on Brown as a white man
working for an organisation that some say is prejudiced against whites. He
and Vince Hogg were accused by Bvute of sabotaging the Harare wicket when
the reshaped Zimbabwe side, led by Taibu, were bowled out for a record low
of 35 by Sri Lanka in a one-day international on 25 April 2004. 'It didn't
worry me in the least,' Brown said. 'If it came from people who knew about
cricket, I'd have challenged them. We prepared the best wicket we could. It
had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the way Chaminda Vaas
swung the ball.' Yet when he turned to cricket development he sounded like
an evangelist for the brave new world of Zimbabwe Cricket. 'It's
mind-boggling. We sit there as whites in our little world and the rebels sit
there and say nothing's happening to cricket in the country, but when you
actually go out to the townships and have a look, the progress that's being
made is amazing. I think the consensus of opinion is that if Streak doesn't
want to come back it's not a problem. Bring on England, we want to see them
play, we want to see how we're doing and then next year the guys will
develop because there's some exciting talent.'

This is not a view you would hear in the calm of Harare's Botanical Gardens,
where the remaining rebel white cricketers assembled for their last meeting
following their failure to convince an International Cricket Council inquiry
that ZC was guilty of racism against them. 'There's never been a strike like
this in sporting history,' said their lawyer Chris Venturas, who is a close
friend of all-rounder Grant Flower. 'These guys have come short, but
generations after will benefit from this fight because the world of cricket
is a more transparent place.' Listening to the players' grievances one
wonders why, rather than racism, they did not sue ZC for incompetence. Their
decision not to choose a black advocate, despite being recommended one, was
foolish. Not that the judges themselves emerged with much credit: having
promised the players they would be able to give their evidence in camera ,
they failed to enforce the ruling when Bvute and Max Ebrahim refused to
leave the courtroom. The inquiry eventually collapsed without the players
giving their verbal evidence. The leading rebels - Grant Flower, Stuart
Carlisle, Craig Wishart, Trevor Gripper, Neil Ferreira and Streak - felt let
down. 'Regardless of whether there are goals or quotas,' Carlisle told me,
'when you've got documents saying a crowd at a cricket match should be 75
per cent black by the year 2005 and there should be seven non-whites in the
team, that's discrimination.'

The following morning, at the Harare Sports Club, the press were waiting for
David Morgan, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, who was trying
to save his team's tour after 13 British journalists were refused entry to
Zimbabwe. The young Zimbabwe players were having catching practice, led by
their West Indian coach, Phil Simmons, who replaced Geoff Marsh when his
contract expired. The previous day I had spoken to Simmons about the
journalists' accreditation issue. 'I agree that the media can help to spread
cricket around the world,' he said, warily. 'But I can't get involved in
this. This started long before I came here.' This, of course, was an oblique
reference to politics, so I asked about the wider situation in Zimbabwe. He
sighed and then laughed knowingly. 'I've not had any problems but things are
hard for the people. I know there's a big issue about the country and so on,
but there are a lot of countries where there are human rights issues.' The
photographers waited idly for a bemused Morgan to emerge from a meeting. The
feeling was that the tour would be cancelled. I spotted Robin Brown walking
across the outfield and asked whether his wicket had been carefully prepared
in vain. 'No, they're coming,' he said, smiling. 'I've just had a call. The
information ministry is saying they made an administrative error.' That
evening in his spacious hotel suite Morgan was full of praise for his
colleagues John Carr and Mike Soper, for various ZC officials and the
British Embassy staff. 'I believe my decision to instruct the team to stay
in Johannesburg overnight was critical.' He evidently believed he had won a
great victory. England, he said, would have lost the respect of the other
cricket nations if they had not tried to reach a compromise. He used his
favourite phrases - 'closure' and 'acceptable non-compliance' - before
concluding that it 'does much more good for international cricket to be here
than to stay away'.

If only it were that simple. In Bulawayo, the relaxed second city in the
south, I met John Tlou, one of the demonstrators at Zimbabwe's match with
Holland during the 2003 World Cup. They held banners proclaiming 'War for
peace and justice, not land', and sang songs in their native Ndbele with the
chorus 'Where is Olonga?' Henry Olonga had been dropped after he and Andy
Flower wore black armbands to protest against the 'death of democracy' in
Zimbabwe. 'The cameras were facing us across the pitch so the police tried
to arrest us,' Tlou continued. 'We dispersed but they started to arrest us
one by one.' At least 29 protesters were taken to the cells. 'We were there
for four days. There were 23 of us in one small cell, the women were in a
different one. I am 49 and was the oldest so they said I was the ringleader.
They threatened to beat me. In the end, they beat the youngsters instead.
The police wouldn't release us until the cricket was over. The court cases
are still going on. It's all part of their plan to inconvenience us.' Before
arriving in the country, I called Ozias Bvute from England. Bvute has risen
from nowhere to become second in command to ZC chairman Peter Chingoka. I
did not expect him to talk to me but he was surprisingly open. 'It's no
secret that there's hostility between our two governments, but sport has
nothing to do with politics,' he told me. 'Of late the discussion has been
whether England should tour on moral grounds. But if you say, as some are
continually claiming, that people are disadvantaged in Zimbabwe, surely you
should come out and uplift the people with five days of marvellous cricket?
When Live Aid went out for the people of Ethiopia, it was to help the

To be continued...
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New Zimbabwe


Mugabe and the enemy within
Last updated: 01/10/2005 01:17:03
ZIMBABWEANS, ladies and gentlemen, where is the trust?

If you were wearing the flaccid brains and rancid shoes of old Robert
Gabriel Mugabe, you would certainly ask this question albeit rhetorically.
You would want to know from the gods, from the ancestors and from God the
Almighty why all hell is seemingly breaking loose upon your face! May be
only the fear of being labelled a paranoid and yellow-footed coward forbids
Mugabe from openly asking his gods such definitive questions.

All the same, the signs of trouble and turmoil within the so-called
united Zanu PF are beginning to split the indestructible nucleus of Mugabe's
hell. It is only a small fissure, but the repercussions are dreadful, with
the chain reaction working on the inglorious party with immeasurable
alacrity. The list of suspects arraigned so far for espionage mitigates
towards the presence of a chain reaction.

Before the dust has settled on the grand felonies of financial
impropriety committed by Zanu PF bigwigs, newer and more serious allegations
of espionage have been preferred against some more senior Zanu PF and
government officials. Included in the list of internal shame is the luckless
Phillip Chiyangwa who is still on bail for charges of externalising foreign
currency as well.

No one who has suffered under Mugabe's repression will feel pity for
what has happened to his little secrets. No one with a soul that yearns for
unfettered freedom and a conscience that detests murder and tyranny will
feel sorry that the secrets of the evil state have been let out. Deep in his
old heart, Mugabe knows what damage has been done out of the letting out of
his secrets. It is not about him building a uranium enrichment plant in
Zvimba. It is not about his army testing some potent biological weapon. It
is not about Zimbabwe having acquired weapons of mass destruction from Pyong

Certainly, Zimbabwe does not have many state secrets to worry its
neighbours and the rest of the free world. The only secrets in Zimbabwe have
to do with Mugabe's methods of surviving the political turbulence and the
economic turmoil in his country. Maybe the accused traded that secret?

The acts of violence against his perceived opponents, the
disappearance of anti-Mugabe political activists, the rigging of elections
and the deliberate starvation of the people could be some of the secrets
that Mugabe would want to keep within his little chest kept safely at his
serfdom of Zvimba. These secrets have since been eluding the international
community. Even Zimbabwe's neighbour of the quiet diplomacy fame, Mr. Thabo
Mbeki does not think Mugabe harbours such evil on his own people.

"Brutus has started causing disillusionment and mayhem within
Mugabe's well-guarded camp. The palace guards and servants are all potential
suspects who can plunge the blade deep where it hurts most!"
To Mugabe, such secrets mean a lot. They define him, his party and his
rough-edged ideals. The secrets of such profound magnitude have to be
jealously guarded, lest they fall onto the prying hands of his detractors.
Now it seems the unthinkable has happened. The secrets are now in the wrong
hands. This only spells disaster for Mugabe and ZANU-PF. It portends doom
and despair for the embattled dictator from Zvimba.

I am not particularly sorry for the intelligence disaster that has hit
Mugabe's government at all. I think many Zimbabweans feel the same on this
latest misfortune to hit Mugabe's ego. It is not lack of patriotism to
rejoice at the apparent fall from grace of the secrets of a disgraceful
government. The government deserves all the misfortunes that can either
naturally or unnaturally and even preternaturally befall an illegally
organised union of murderers and rapists. Mugabe's government proverbially
deserves to be afflicted by all fleas from a thousand Libyan camels (the
Afghani camels may have been fumigated)!

It is natural to suspect that the cleansing ceremony will be an
expensive one. It will include more people having their freedoms curtailed
through telephone bugging and trailing by ignorant intelligence operatives.
There is a possibility that the state will deny the so-called secrets as its
secrets at all. The government will go on to claim that the accused traded
stale and deliberately doctored information, which had been placed as bait
for them to take.

If the truth be told truthfully though, the whole spy issue is part of
the greater picture of regime change. Mugabe should only blame himself for
shouting too much against people he cannot handle. He had been used to
mishandling his docile people. Mugabe has been insulting everyone who has a
genuine concern on the plight of the Zimbabwean people. We all recall how he
has rabidly yelled about Blair this and Bush that. Perhaps this Blair and
that Bush are now using his trusted lieutenants to poison his platter. This
is how the ball of international espionage and counter espionage is played.
When you play rough, expect to be kicked roughly as well!

I am sure we all recall how Mugabe has been daring the USA and the
United Kingdom to do in Zimbabwe what they did in Iraq. He even bragged that
the super-powers would not touch Zimbabwe because the country did not have
any oil! Hoping for solidarity from other African dictators like Nguema and
Gaddafi, Mugabe has been spitefully waiting for the amassing of heavy
weaponry in Botswana and Mozambique for the final push.

For sure, Zimbabwe is not Iraq. The super-powers would not waste their
resources doing another 'Iraq' in Zimbabwe when so many hungry stomachs are
up for financial inducement. A hungry citizen would do what is best to feel
his stomach even if it means temporarily dining with the enemy. The
Chiyangwa's and the Karidza's were found wanting and ready to do the dirty
jobs for Mugabe's enemies. Proverbially, Rome would not face a terrible war
to remove the ambitious Julius Caesar when the sharpened dagger of Brutus
could do the job with limited collateral damage. It seems a number of
purchasable people in the mould of Brutus who are willing to do the job have
been identified.

Perhaps this will teach Mugabe not to go about disturbing the hornet's
nest. The super-powers that have recently been suffering Mugabe's harangues
have their man where they want him; on the run and on the defensive. There
would be no cruise missiles to be fired, no bunker-buster bombs to be aimed
at his multiple palaces and no cluster bombs to be dropped on columns of
desperate personal armies. Brutus has started causing disillusionment and
mayhem within Mugabe's well-guarded camp. The palace guards and servants are
all potential suspects who can plunge the blade deep where it hurts most!

It is a matter of time before is it triumphantly announced 'ladies and
gentlemen; we got him curtsey of his own people!'

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New Zimbabwe


Indecisiveness could cost the MDC

Last updated: 01/09/2005 23:22:02
THIS is an open letter to the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai and the
rest of the opposition party's leadership in Zimbabwe. I decided to write
you this open letter after reading a very sad story in the latest edition of
the Zimbabwe Independent.

The story to say the least makes some very sad reading. According to
the story, a threat of a split by some 'party dissidents' has forced the
party to reconsider its plans to boycott the much anticipated 2005
Parliamentary elections. The said dissidents were not happy with the threat
to boycott the elections to such effect that they had resolved to contest in
the 'urban areas' under the banner of a new hastily formed party.

Such a situation, if it could ever happen is too ghastly for many long
suffering Zimbabweans to contemplate. It could cast a decisive spell of doom
on the very existence of the MDC itself.

Yet such a tricky situation could have been avoided in the first
place. That is, if the MDC leadership had been more decisive and resolute
over the issue of the elections. Indecisiveness could cost the MDC in terms
of its prospects in the forthcoming elections.

It is my strong contention that the MDC leadership is unnecessarily
walking a tight rope in its current clumsy attempts on diplomatic
showmanship. The party is busy tempting fate at the expense of its assumed
appointment with a glorious destiny in terms of its future in the Zimbabwean
political process.

The threat of an election boycott was from the first instance
ill-conceived and could not have any serious effect on the Zanu-PF strategy
for the 2005 elections. It is common cause that Zanu-PF has always dismissed
any threats of boycotts from the MDC with contempt. In any event, the ruling
party has always deliberately distorted the threats as a sign of panic and
weakness on the party of the MDC.

What further made life easier for the Zanu-PF election strategists was
the mere fact that the MDC continued with its exercise of selecting
candidates for the elections. In particular, a lot of publicity was derived
from the fiasco that surrounded the controversy over the candidature of Job
'Wiwa' Sikhala, its current MP for St Marys.

It is therefore likely that in spite of the threats of boycott by the
MDC, Zanu-PF has always operated on an assumption of eventually
participation on the part of the MDC. But whatever its intents and purpose,
the boycott threat should have been decisively dealt with during or shortly
after the December 2004 Zanu-PF Congress.

"The MDC leadership is unnecessarily walking a tight rope in its
current clumsy attempts on diplomatic showmanship. The party is busy
tempting fate at the expense of its assumed appointment with a glorious

The MDC could have cast its ominous shadow on the delegates of the
Congress by coming up with a strong public statement on its serious intents
to take over the political reins in Zimbabwe. In any case, there was a lot
of doubt and uncertainty within the ranks of the Zanu-PF members over the
handling of the Tsholotsho debacle.

It is my contention that the MDC should have made a clear and decisive
before the nation took its Christmas break. The festive season is always a
good opportunity for many people to decide on their plans and resolutions
for the new year ahead. As such, the cloud of uncertainty that has been
surrounding the participation of the MDC in the 2005 elections could have
affected the thought processes of many would be opposition party voters.

A lot of Zimbabweans would have wanted a clear signal from the MDC
leadership. It is therefore likely that they were to some extent
disappointed by the failure of the MDC to map out a strategic stance
vis--vis the 2005 polls. There was thus a strong need for resoluteness and
decisiveness on the part of the MDC leadership.

As such, the apparent indecisiveness on the part of the MDC could cost
it seriously if it eventually announces its decision to participate in the

Time is not on the MDC's side. The elections are most likely to be
held in March. That is less than three months away from now. Time could thus
prove to be of essence in terms of deciding on the impact of the MDC on the
voters and the elections themselves.
It is therefore submitted that as part of the plans for the way
forward, the MDC should as soon as possible come up with a clear and
decisive stance.

It is further recommended that the MDC should participate in the
elections under protest. The MDC will duly advise the voters, the Diaspora
and the international community that notwithstanding its strong reservations
on the compliance levels of electoral reforms to date, it will still field
candidates in the polls.

Doing so will be critical in the sense that it will afford the voters
the chance to have a choice in the elections. At the same time, it will be
in line with the party's well known commitment to change only through
peaceful means such as elections.

In the meantime, the MDC would be busy mobilizing its members, the
churches, women coalition, civic society, labour, students, and other social
movements to start to prepare themselves for a decisive final push on the
regime. The final push would be in the form of a massive protest against the
flawed elections results.

The MDC and its broad alliance partners would then lead thousands of
disgruntled Zimbabweans in the process of peaceful civil disobedience in
such places as Africa Unity Square, outside the Parliamentary buildings. The
action would only end after a negotiated process that would facilitate an
election re-run or the immediate resignation of Mugabe and his geriatric

This strategy was used successfully in Madagascar, Yugoslavia and
Kenya. It was also recently used in the Ukraine.

Granted, Mugabe might be tempted to use military force. But if the
numbers are too many, he might be forced not to use the forceful option. At
the end of the day, the decisive factor will be a serious strategic plan of
mobilizing Zimbabweans to come out into the streets and take the destiny of
their country in their own hands -
Daniel Molokela is a lawyer, a former student leader and is currently
the National Co-ordinator of the Peace and Democracy Project in
Johannesburg, South Africa. His column appears here every Monday

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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Donors ditch MDC
Staff Writer

IRKED by the MDC's dilly dallying in announcing its position to participate
in the parliamentary elections scheduled for march, some of the party's
traditional donors are holding back funding, a move that has left the party
in a financial quandary ahead of the crucial polls.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi however said his party is "generally
comfortable" with the state of its finances and quickly added that at no
time have they received foreign funding. "I refer you to the Political
Parties Finance Bill, it forbids us from receiving any foreign funding. We
depend on our general membership for funding" Nyathi said.

Observers say the MDC which has been keeping its supporters in suspense on
whether to participate or not in the plebiscite could be paying dearly as
donors are now confused with the party's position on the election. Sources
close to the MDC say senior party officials have recently been globetrotting
with the begging bowel in hand, trying to convince donors to come to their
rescue. The MDC which in the past five years spent billions in lawsuits
after dragging government to court over the outcome of the 2000 legislative
elections and the 2002 presidential poll is said to be limping financially
and could find the going tough as funds allocated by government to the party
through the Political Parties Finance Bill is inadequate to run the

Political commentator Augustine Timbe said that "donor fatigue" seems to
have crept into some of the sponsors who have realised that the MDC does not
stand a chance to win the poll if parliamentary by-elections held in the
past five years are anything to go by. Zanu PF trounced the MDC in ten out
of the twelve by-elections held since 2000 while the opposition party only
managed two seats in its stronghold of Harare.

Timbe said these victories and the confusion which has sat in the opposition
over its threat to boycott the election, have buoyed Zanu PF which is now
confident of routing its nemesis come march. "They have realised that they
have lost the political clout and are now in disarray. With inflation going
down and the agrarian reforms successfully completed the MDC is no longer
relevant", he said.

According to observers, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy of Britain
which has been accused by the Zimbabwean government of using some local non
governmental organisations as conduits to channel funds to the opposition
has refused to open the purse citing MDC's indecision.

The foundation which receives funding from the British government and has
three representatives from three major political parties in Britain on its
board is credited for helping in planning the MDC's election campaign
strategies in 2000 and 2002, a claim Nyathi flatly dismissed.

The MDC could have shot itself in the foot by delaying to make the important
decision to take part in the forthcoming elections as supporters and donors
seem to be deserting the party.
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The Telegraph


Sir - The tsunami disaster may generate further casualties if donors
continue to switch their charitable giving to the Far East.

My organisation, for example, has already lost two substantial sums,
switched away from the provision of essential medicines and food to Second
World War veterans and their widows who have been reduced to destitution by
the wrecked Zimbabwe economy and ruinous inflation.

This cause - and of course many others - may be less dramatic, but is just
as worthy of support as the woeful events of Boxing Day.

We must be able to continue to provide life-saving aid, or hundreds of the
elderly may die miserable deaths.

Tom Benyon, Director, ZANE, Upminster, Essex
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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Food security under control - Muvuti
Mabasa Sasa

UNCERTAINTY still surrounds the true nature of Zimbabwe's food security
situation over this year with the government, non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change sending out
conflicting information; and the latter claiming this year's humanitarian
disaster could surpass last year's.

However, Retired Colonel Samuel Muvuti, the acting chief executive officer
of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) dismissed fears of a humanitarian crisis
saying everything was under control.

"Why be alarmist about it? We have received about 500 000 tonnes of maize.
At this time last year we had 250 000 tonnes and yet we managed. This figure
represents a surplus that the farming population does not need and has
released to the rest of the nation," Col Muvuti said. The government last
year declared that the country would harvest around 2.4 million tonnes of
maize against a national consumption figure of 1.8 million tonnes as well as
a wheat harvest of 250 000 tonnes. Annually, the nation consumes some 480
000 tonnes of wheat.

MDC shadow agriculture minister and the legislator for Gweru Rural, Renson
Gasela told the Sunday Mirror that according to information he had, around
400 000 tonnes of maize had gone through the Grain Marketing Board. The
government is expecting to receive 1.2 million tonnes of maize through
formal channels by March when the marketing season ends.

The GMB's acting CEO admitted that the 1.2 million tonne target might not be
achievable but there was still going to be enough maize to see the nation
through to the next regular planting season.

According to figures from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO),
this year's maize harvest would only be 708 073 tonnes. Gasela said, "There
are people who need food aid right now. The government recently admitted
that less than one quarter of land that is normally under a maize crop was
worked on. How can you expect people to start planting seed in January? This
year's disaster could be worse than the one we experienced last year."
Retired Colonel Muvuti, however, reassured the nation saying there were
adequate stocks to supply low rainfall areas like Matebeleland North and
South, and parts of the Midlands and Masvingo province.

"People like Gasela deliberately ignore the fact that most Zimbabweans have
rural homes from which they access most of their grain requirements. The
pressure on the GMB is negligible as its mandate is to supply people with no
land on which to plant their own grain." An official with aid organisation
Care International supported Colonel Muvuti saying he did not see any need
for large-scale donor operations in Zimbabwe this year.

He said, "Besides, most of the aid will be directed to Asia following the
Tsunami disaster. You can't begin to compare Zimbabwe to Indonesia." Charges
of inaccurate output projections have become easier to believe over the
years as a succession of forecasts have turned out to be woefully divorced
from reality. At one time, the country exported maize only to re-import it
later as it emerged stocks were not sufficient to feed the nation.

The problem of inputs has yet to be fully tackled as fertilizer and seed
producers often complain about the lack of profitability of the business
while new farmers argue that these necessities are priced beyond their

Maize seed demand for the current rainy season was estimated at around 35
000 tonnes but some observers said less than 15 000 tonnes were released
onto the market. Fertiliser manufacturers indicated they needed US$20
million to meet annual demand but they were only allocated less than US$10

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Sunday Mirror, Zimbabwe

Ruling party in primary elections quandary
Kuda Chikwanda

.As affected candidates cry foul

ALL'S not well within the ruling Zanu PF after aggrieved party members
accused the ruling party of imposing candidates for its forthcoming primary
elections whose goal is the selection of candidates to stand in the
parliamentary elections pencilled for March this year.

Discontent is rife within the 41-year-old revolutionary party after a number
of candidates were elbowed out of the running for legislator status as
senior politicians imposed themselves in their respective constituencies - a
scenario that does not augur well for the party's performance in the
parliamentary polls.

Some constituencies have been declared "No Go" areas for other candidates
interested in representing the areas.

The party recently ruled that only prospective candidates who were members
of the Central Committee, the National Consultative Assembly and the
Politburo could contest in the coming plebiscite.

Incumbent Zanu PF Members of Parliament (MPs), who were not in any of the
three outlined bodies, were granted a waiver that allows them to contest in
the ruling party primary elections, only on the condition that they have a
perfect disciplinary record in the party.

The guidelines on primary elections contradict President Mugabe's remarks
earlier on this year in which he declared that all aspiring candidates
should not be imposed but rather elected in the primary elections, thus
paving way for all interested persons to contest in the primaries.

Prominent politicians to fall by the wayside include embattled Information
minister Jonathan Moyo; Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa; incarcerated
Finance minister Chris Kuruneri; Chinhoyi legislator Phillip Chiyangwa; war
veterans' association deputy national chairman Joseph Chinotimba and former
local government deputy minister Tony Gara.

In the Midlands, Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was
implicated as beneficiary-in-chief of the Tsholotsho misadventure, stands
unopposed in Kwekwe Central constituency.

The stringent requirements set out by ruling party's commissariat
effectively bar retired Brigadier Benjamin Mabenge and Lieutenant Colonel
Abednico Undenge, who had expressed interest in the seat, from contesting.

Mabenge - Mnangagwa's former campaign agent in the tightly contested 2000
Parliamentary elections in which Mnangagwa lost to little-known MDC's
Blessing Chebundo - was considered the greatest threat to what is known in
Zanu PF as a sustained Mnangagwa hegemony in the constituency.

Furthermore in Midlands, it has been indicated that there will be no
primaries in nine out of the 16 constituencies making up the province.

Daniel Mackenzie Ncube (Zhombe), Joram Gumbo (Mberengwa West), Francis Nhema
(Shurugwi), Flora Bhuka (Gokwe/Nembudziya), Jason Machaya (Zvishavane),
Francis Chikwira (Gweru Central) and Enos Size (Mkoba), will all stand
unopposed in the primaries.

Of the remaining seven constituencies in which primary elections will be
conducted, only two are a "free-for-all" affair as the other five have been
reserved for women.

Mashonaland East is faring no better.

In Mutoko North, Deputy Finance Minister David Chapfika was recently
declared the constituency's sole candidate, rendering primary elections in
the traditional Zanu PF stronghold of no consequence.

Aspiring legislator in the constituency, Hilary Simbarashe was effectively
sidelined after he failed to meet the requirements set out by the party's
national commissariat.

Ironically Chapfika failed to make it into the three powerful bodies, but
survived on the technicality that he is Mutoko's sitting legislator.

In Harare, fracas broke out at the Zanu PF headquarters as supporters of
maverick war veterans' leader, Joseph Chinotimba protested against the
decision to bar Chinotimba from representing constituents in Glen Norah on
the technicality that a vote of no-confidence was passed in him by the
Harare province on his alleged role in the Tsholotsho debacle.

As a result, former Harare Commissioner, Cleveria Chizema has been touted as
the sole candidate for Glen Norah.

The protests saw Zanu PF Political Commissar Elliot Manyika being held
hostage in the Zanu PF headquarters briefly last week as the protestors
demanded an explanation that Manyika provide explanations as to why their
preferred candidates were being barred from representing them.

The protesters demanded explanations as to how Minister of Mines and Mining
Development Amos Midzi had clinched the right to stand unopposed in the
Hatfield/Epworth constituency, thereby elbowing out former legislator for
the area, Irene Zindi.

One protester demanded of Manyika: "We want you to explain how Midzi was
chosen without anyone voting for him. If the situation is not addressed then
his wife and children are the only ones who will vote for him in the March
elections. You surely cannot do without our support." Gara, touted as
Chinotimba's alleged partner in crime in the Tsholotsho fiasco, had been
eyeing the Mbare seat but lost to newly appointed Harare Commissioner and
Politburo member, Tendai Savanhu.

The Zanu PF Harare Province passed a vote of no confidence in Gara following
disgruntlement on why he had invited Moyo to make donations in Mbare.

Manyika failed to confirm or deny disgruntlement over the marginalizing of
candidates in the primary elections owing to anomalies brought out by the
guidelines set by the party's commissariat.

Proving to be evasive, Manyika refused to comment on people who had been
declared sole candidates in certain constituencies or those who had declared
themselves the unopposed candidates in their respective areas.

"We are not aware of anyone declaring themselves sole candidates for any
constituency, and we certainly don't get it from the media. However, we will
cross that bridge when we get there," said Manyika.

However Manyika said the party was only aware of such scenarios in
constituencies earmarked for women so as to fulfil the one-third quota.

"No one can declare that they are the sole candidates for any constituency.
Besides, the National Electorate Directorate is not yet finished with
vetting," said Manyika.
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