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

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Tehran Times

Zimbabwe calls for sharing of energy technology with Iran

FARDIS, Tehran Prov. (IRNA) -- Zimbabwean Minister of Energy and Power
Development July Moyo here on Sunday called for an exchange of technology
between his country and Iran in the fields of production and transmission of
energy.

"Iran has achieved a high-level of capability in the power plant
manufacturing sector," Moyo told IRNA on the sidelines of an inspection tour
of the Iran Powerplant Maintenance Company in Fardis, Karaj.

The minister urged his Iranian counterpart to work alongside African states
to develop the latter's power industries.

Moyo and his official entourage are visiting the country at the invitation
of Iranian Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf
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Zim Online

Police accused of gunning down suspected Zambian cattle rustlers
Mon 10 January 2005
BULAWAYO - Zambian police have accused their Zimbabwean counterparts of
shooting Zambian nationals suspected of cattle rustling and dumping their
bodies in the Zambezi river, ZimOnline has learnt.

Sources said Lusaka had withdrawn from joint border patrols with
Harare in protest against what it says is the ill-treatment of Zambians
suspected of committing crime in Zimbabwe and the alleged trigger-happy
behaviour of local police.

A police chief inspector at Zambia's Livingstone town along the border
with Zimbabwe confirmed that bilateral crime prevention operations had been
suspended over the alleged killings.

"We gathered that they are killing suspected criminals and throwing
them into the river and until we get a full explanation from the Zimbabwean
authorities, we are not going to have any joint operations with them," said
the officer, who did not want to be named.

He did not say how many Zambians are believed to have been shot by
Zimbabwean police.

Zimbabwe police officer-in-charge of anti-stock theft operations,
Bernard Gumbura, confirmed joint operations with Zambian police were on
hold.

But he said the operations will be resumed in the near future after
being suspended because of a "minor" misunderstanding over the death of a
Zambian national who dived into the Zambezi and drowned while trying to flee
from the police.

Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi also downplayed the
wrangle with the Zambian authorities saying the issue was being amicably
dealt with at higher levels.

"That matter will be resolved at the highest level. All this will come
to pass and we will be in good books again," Mohadi said. - ZimOnline.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF cook papers

Brian Mangwende and Constantine Chimakure
issue date :2005-Jan-10

.Chinos linked to MDC

SELF-PROCLAIMED commander-in-chief of farm occupations Joseph Chinotimba,
whose political flirtation with Zanu PF could come to a screeching halt if
found guilty of actively participating in the private Tsholotsho meeting,
yesterday said Harare province was manufacturing documents linking him to
the MDC.
Chinotimba's utterances come against the backcloth of documents leaked to
The Daily Mirror which purported that he had sought assistance from the
opposition to demonstrate against the provincial leadership. This follows
its decision to suspend him for allegedly attending the unauthorised
Tsholotsho meeting.
According to the document, allegedly written by MDC deputy secretary general
Gift Chimanikire to the opposition party's director of security, dated
January 3 2005, Chinotimba phoned Chimanikire requesting for between 500 and
700 youths to participate in an anti-Zanu PF Harare province demonstration.
Part of the document bearing the official MDC letterhead read: "I received
several calls from Mr Joseph Chinotimba in which he was requesting for
assistance from us.
"He wanted us to give him about 500-700 youths to participate in a
demonstration against the Harare Province's decision to eliminate him and
others from contesting in the primaries.
"I believe that at one time you once had a successful operation with him. In
my conversation with him I was a bit hesitant to commit myself since he
earlier on dealt with yourselves (security dept).
"It is because of the mentioned reason that I have decided to hand over the
matter to yourselves. Can you please investigate how sincere his request is.
"Your cooperation in this matter will be most appreciated, and please advise
us accordingly."
Contacted for comment on the authenticity of the letter, both Chinotimba and
Chimanikire dismissed the document as fabrication by some unruly elements in
the ruling party.
Said Chinotimba: "I don't think the document came from the MDC. They are
(Harare province) cooking up documents. I don't 'eat' with people in the
MDC, nor chat with them. Nevertheless, if I make contact with them I will be
trying to convert them to Zanu PF."
Chinotimba claimed that his detractors in Zanu PF wanted him out of the
party in order to scuttle his ambition to become legislator for Glen Norah.
"This is being done by my detractors. This is to derail my campaign. They
are cooking up documents. They know that maybe the politburo would allow me
to contest in the party primaries," charged Chinotimba, whose curriculum
vitae was rejected by the party's provincial co-ordinating committee last
week because of the pending disciplinary case.
The municipal employee added: "I am very popular in Glen Norah and they know
that. I am a true party cadre. These are dirty tactics. I believe in people
who tell the truth. They must investigate all phone lines and see whether I
have ever spoken to Chimanikire."
Chinotimba vowed that he would never defect to the MDC.
Chimanikire denied writing the document and laughed off its assertions,
saying he does not wine and dine with Chinotimba.
He said the signature GC on the document was not his. "My signature is GSC
not GC," Chimanikire said.
"It's a malicious document. How can I dine with Chinotimba? I don't see eye
to eye with him. Somebody in Zanu PF authored that document for reasons
better known to the writer."
Highly placed sources within the MDC argued that it was impossible for
Chimanikire to write the letter as he was currently the caretaker director
of security because the incumbent, Peter Guhu, had not been reporting for
work after he was severely beaten up by marauding MDC youths at the party's
headquarters, Harvest House, Harare, last year.
Zanu PF Harare province secretary for information and publicity Winston
Dzawo said he had not seen or heard about the document, but would ascertain
its veracity.
"I have not seen that document or heard about it. However, that seems a very
serious matter which calls for very careful investigations in order to
establish the truth," Dzawo said.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

inter-party violence erupts in Chikomba constituency

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-10

FIFTEEN Zanu PF supporters allegedly abducted an MDC youth over the weekend
at Chambara Business Centre in Chikomba constituency, Mashonaland East
province..
The youth, Godfrey Cotton was in the company of Tapfumaneyi Muzoda, another
MDC activist when the incident allegedly took place on Saturday.
The MDC candidate for the constituency, Pinnel Denga, who is challenging
incumbent Zanu PF legislator, Bernard Makokove yesterday said they were
still in the dark over Cotton's whereabouts.
"The two were at the business centre when a B1600 truck with 15 youths came
and dropped the youths who immediately surrounded Cotton and Muzoda before
bundling Cotton into the truck," Denga said adding that Muzoda managed to
escape.
Makokove allegedly owns the truck and was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Denga alleged that Cotton was then detained at a butchery owned by the
headmaster of Zimondi Secondary only identified as Huruva.
"When the incident happened I was in Kwekwe and when I tried to make a
report to the police in Featherstone, I was told to report to Chivhu and
they in turn referred me to Marondera, the provincial capital," Denga added.
Police in Chivhu and Featherstone were not reachable yesterday while a
policeman who answered the phone in Marondera referred all questions to the
police general headquarters in Harare.
Chief police spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena said he was unaware of the
matter, but added that all police stations had been empowered to handle any
crime.
He said: "I haven't been briefed on that matter at the moment, but a crime
is a crime irrespective of the motive and all police stations are empowered
to handle any reports."
President Robert Mugabe and Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri have
spoken publicly against political violence saying the law enforcement agents
would be on high alert for would-be offenders regardless of the perpetrator's
political affiliation.
Recently, Makonde legislator, Kindness Paradza and Phone Madiro both from
Zanu PF were arrested and appeared in court after inter-party violence
erupted in their respective constituencies
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'Zanu PF poll guidelines repressive'

From Our Correspondent in Mutare
issue date :2005-Jan-10

FORMER Zanu PF secretary-general and veteran nationalist, Edgar Tekere has
described as undemocratic and extremely repressive, the new Zanu PF primary
poll guidelines put in place recently.

Tekere said the new guidelines were only meant to protect the old guard from
embarrassingly losing their parliamentary seats to the more energetic "young
turks".
He said adhering to the stringent guidelines was tantamount to openly
declaring that only the chefs were eligible to contest in party polls, a
scenario that could bring unprecedented disgruntlement amongst party
members.
The controversial guidelines that have sent tongues wagging within the party
ranks and file stated that only members of the provincial executives,
national consultative assembly and the central committee were eligible to
participate in the primary polls.
Incumbent legislators who did not meet the criteria but had no disciplinary
cases against them were also eligible to stand.
Also, a card-carrying member, known as a fervent, consistent and active
supporter of the party and party's aims and objectives, but had earlier been
prevented from holding any of the structures of the party by virtue of their
employment in the service of the state, was also eligible after a waiver by
the Zanu PF elections directorate.
"The fact that they had put in place such repressive guidelines to bar the
Young Turks from contesting clearly shows that they are aware of their
overdue shortcomings and diminishing support from the masses.
"Saka hakuna vamwe vachapindawo muhutongi? Vanoda kugarapo kusvika madhongi
avanenyanga? (Shouldn't there be new blood in leadership structures? Up to
when do they want to remain in power?)
"There are, of course exceptional cases of overzealousness by some Young
Turks like Jonathan Moyo, who treaded on the feet of Zanu PF founder
members. Still these can
be disciplined discriminatingly
than dumping all of them," he explained.
Tekere who fell out of favour with Zanu PF in 1989 and formed the now
defunct Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) also took a swipe at the ruling party
for taking the ill conduct of a few "Young Turks as a scapegoat to bar all
from participating in party polls.
"Zanu PF's major problem is over reacting each time there is a trivial
mishap. Some officials are quick to blow issues out of proportion for
personal advantages.
"Leadership goes by turns. To whom then would the relay baton be passed if
there is no young blood? Do they intend to divert from the track and
selfishly run up the mountain to bury it," quipped the firebrand
nationalist.
The stringent guidelines had been widely condemned by some long time
parliamentary aspirants automatically rendered ineligible for not meeting
them.
They had even provoked demonstrations that saw the party's political
commissar, Elliot Manyika held hostage at Rotten Row offices in Harare by
party supporters expressing anger over the disqualification of certain
aspirants on the pretext that they did not meet the requirements.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

NSSA appointments illegal : ZCTU

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Jan-10

THE new-look National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board that took over
last week was improperly appointed and therefore illegal as government
contravened sections of the NSSA Act, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) claimed on Friday.
ZCTU president, Lovemore Matombo, fired a broadside at government for
reneging on earlier promises to consistently interact with key stakeholders
of the Tripartite Negotiation Forum (TNF) on critical issues.
The TNF is a discussion platform where government, labour and business meet
and strive to explore possible solutions to socio-economic challenges.
"It is a distorted board. The procedure is that the minister should consult
with stakeholders, but he did not come to us; therefore the board is
illegal.
"We are still consulting to see what course of action to take because the
actual beneficiaries of NSSA should be the workers. Any decisions taken
without workers' input are illegal," Matombo told The Business Mirror.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paul Mangwana, announced
the new board, led by chairman Edwin Manikai, while acting general manager,
Amod Takawira, would continue as an ex-officio member of the board.
The new line up excluded labour representatives.
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) president, Mike Bimha, Nimrod
Chiminya, Runyararo Kaseke, Kenias Shamhuyarira, and industrialist David
Govere, are also part of the board.
Manikai said the board constitutes a quorum and would immediately get down
to business.
Matombo said he was disillusioned because government had recently acceded at
the TNF that it would enhance communication with stakeholders.
Sources said government was mulling elbowing the rebellious labour board out
of NSSA and replace it with the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).
However, the plan may hit a brick wall as the ZCTU commands more than 30
affiliates under its ambit, compared to the ZFTU's six, meaning the ZCTU has
wider representation.
It could not be ascertained whether the remaining three appointments that
Paul Mangwana said would soon be appointed would incorporate labour.
When contacted last week, Mangwana said he could not comment as he was out
of town on other business.
Manikai was not reachable on his mobile phone.
Established in 1994, NSSA has faced several administrative hiccups such as
operating without a general manager since 1996 when Claudius Chonzi quit the
authority.
Takawira is currently running the social security board in an acting
capacity.
It has perennially been accused of not living up to its mandate as it has
paid meagre benefits to retiring and injured workers.
However, last month Mangwana said the parastatal had been unfairly treated:
"Despite the absence of a general manager, NSSA remains one of the best run
public institutions in Zimbabwe. There have never been scandals.
"You might not agree with their investment policies, but they are doing
well," Mangwana said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Gara blasts Manyika over suspension

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-10

FORMER local government deputy minister Tony Gara has blasted Zanu PF
national political commissair Elliot Manyika for endorsing his suspension
from the ruling party for allegedly participating in the unendorsed
Tsholotsho meeting.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror last night, Gara said Manyika had
erred in writing a letter dated December 20 2004 to Zanu PF Harare Province
chairperson Amos Midzi endorsing his suspension and that of war veterans'
leader Joseph Chinotimba, arguing that such a decision could only be taken
by the national disciplinary committee after a hearing.
"One would want to assume that the commissar should understand the
provisions of the constitution well as he administers it. I would request
Manyika or any other member of the party to follow the provisions of the
constitution, which is the principle act of our party," Gara said.
"Principal officers of the party should not therefore be seen to be
violating provisions of the constitution. Instead they should safeguard
them, in order to give lessons to their subordinates."
He refused to say what action he would take over the development.
Manyika's letter, copied to Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo and
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, read: "Please be advised that
your minute has been referred to the national disciplinary committee for its
consideration. In the meantime, the two comrades remain suspended."
Yesterday, Mutasa confirmed receipt of the letter, but declined to comment
on the matter.
Gara and Chinotimba have since been barred from holding public meetings in
the name of the ruling party, following a vote of no-confidence passed on
the two recently, on allegations that they participated in the Tsholotsho
meeting.
Other party members have also been warned against working with the two on
any party business.
Winston Dzawo, the ruling party's Harare Province secretary for information
and publicity, yesterday said: "The two comrades are barred from holding any
public meeting in the name of the party.
"All our districts in Harare province are advised to stop any dealings on
party issues with the two comrades."
Meanwhile President Robert Mugabe and his family returned home yesterday
from a two-week holiday in Singapore and Malaysia.
The President is expected to resume work today.
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Daily News online edition

Domestic debt hits Z$3 trillion mark

Date: 10-Jan, 2005

ZIMBABWE'S domestic debt, which stood at $590.5 billion in December
2003, had ballooned to nearly $3 trillion by November 5 last year.

Figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s weekly economic
highlights show that the country's domestic debt was $1.4 trillion at June
25 2004, $2.5 trillion at August 27 and $2,8 trillion at September 24.

The debt stood at $346 billion in December 2002. Analysts say the
domestic debt will continue to soar because of the need to fund various
imports such as electricity, grain and providing financial support for
newly-resettled farmers.

They said the high interest rates coupled with increased borrowing
that tied up a high percentage of the nation's resources would continue to
be a burden on the fiscus.

"This is an interesting figure considering that the government also
wants to give $3 trillion to agriculture," an independent economist, said.

The economist said this would double the debt because government will
have to borrow the $3 trillion.

"Besides the increase in the domestic debt, borrowing by government
results in crowding out of the business sector," he said.

"Government borrows money to pay wages and recurrent expenditure and
this increases inflation unlike the business sector which borrows money for
productive purposes."

When he took over as RBZ governor in December 2003, Gideon Gono said
the current debt overhang had an adverse impact on money supply and efforts
to fight inflation.

He said treasury and monetary authorities and the private sector were
engaged in active discussions over the idea to ring-fence this debt and come
up with innovative instruments to deal with the entire outstanding domestic
debt.

Gono then proposed a special facility bond where government issues a
zero-coupon bond which investors purchase at a discount. He also proposed a
weighting system to determine the discount factor for the said bond.

The governor said government, together with the private sector, would
request friendly countries to issue foreign currency-denominated bonds in
international capital markets.

The foreign currency raised would then be sold to the RBZ and the
local currency used to extinguish domestic debt while the foreign currency
with the RBZ could then be used to repay part of the foreign debt or meet
the country's import requirements.

Zimbabwe's balance of payments position has remained weak largely as a
result of poor export performance and continuing importer demand

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Daily news online edition

Government to pour in Z$1.4 billion into Zifa coffers

Date: 11-Jan, 2005

THE government, through the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture
is expected to pour in over Z$1 billion into the bankrupt Zimbabwe Football
Association (Zifa) to save it from collapse, the Daily News Online has
gathered.

Zifa has in the past year been battling to raise money to run the
country's most popular sport and to date, office furniture and cars
belonging to the national association have been auctioned for failing to
service debts.

The headquarters of Zifa, in Harare is in a sorry state due to the
deep-rooted financial problems. Office property like chairs, desks, filing
cabinets, television sets, boardroom chairs, match balls and printers have
all be auctioned.

Even the country's national teams are being affected by the financial
problems that each time a team wants to travel outside the country on
assignments, government has had to chip in.

Sources told The Daily News Online that after a marathon meeting
between Zifa officials led by chairman Rafiq Khan and the education
minister, Aeneas Chigwedere last week, government agreed to assume the debt.

The debt is believed to be hovering around a staggering $1.4 billion.
The Zifa board is said to have inherited the debt from previous executives.

A senior official from Chigwedere's ministry confirmed the latest
development.

"The minister (Chigwedere) is expected to hold a Press conference
anytime soon to reveal the package which will save the national association
from total collapse. Government realises that it will be a tragedy if they
fail to save Zifa from their serious financial problems.

"But the Zifa officials need to put their house in order in future
because the government cannot keep on assisting them on a daily basis.
Football is big in Zimbabwe and it needs to be run professionally," said the
official.
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Zim Online

DISGRUNTLED ZANU PF SUPPORTERS DEMAND OVERHAUL OF ELECTION CRITERIA
Monday 10 January 2005
HARARE - About 500 supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party
on Monday resumed protests against the party's old guard for blocking party
Young Turks from rising to leadership positions within the party.

In a sign of a deepening power struggle within the party ahead of a
crucial general election in two months' time, the disenchanted supporters,
who converged at ZANU PF's Harare headquarters, demanded that an internal
party election to choose candidates for the March poll be deferred until the
criteria to select prospective candidates was overhauled.

The demonstrators, who last week blocked ZANU PF political commissar
Eliot Manyika from leaving the party's headquarters until he addressed their
grievances, castigated Manyika and party chairman, John Nkomo for being
dictatorial.

They also claimed the two senior officials were manipulating the
candidate selection system to prevent more popular junior leaders from
contesting the election.

A woman demonstrator, who said she had travelled from her rural home
to Harare for the protests, told ZimOnline: "The primary elections cannot go
ahead under the current scenario. The primaries must be deferred so that the
selection criteria can be changed."

Another protestor quietly held a placard written: "So, where is the
democracy?"

Manyika, who chairs ZANU PF's elections directorate that approves
candidates, was said to be held up in a meeting reviewing complaints by
party supporters over the selection of candidates and could not take
questions.

Under the new selection criteria, only members of ZANU PF's central
committee, provincial and district executives or its national consultative
assembly are eligible to run on the party ticket. Many Young Turks are
excluded under this requirement

Most notable among those barred from standing for ZANU PF in the March
election are government information minister and propaganda chief, Jonathan
Moyo and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. - ZimOnline

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Malnutrition and related diseases expected to rise

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 10 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - Malnutrition and related diseases are
expected to rise in Zimbabwe, peaking in the January to March 2005 period,
warned a new report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

While staple cereals are increasingly unavailable in rural areas, maize
prices on the parallel market continue to climb, limiting the ability of
households to buy enough food to satisfy their needs, said both FEWS NET and
the World Food Programme (WFP) in separate reports.

Food security is declining in most districts, particularly those in the
traditionally dry Masvingo and Matebeleland provinces in the south of the
country, according to WFP.

The cost of living in urban areas has increased steadily over 2004, and the
majority of urban households struggle to meet their basic expenditure
requirements, FEWS NET said. The "alert status" of the report was given the
highest priority of "emergency".

For those that can afford it, a maize meal shortage is also being felt,
according to news reports. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe told IRIN that a
cheaper alternative, an unrefined version of maize meal popular among
Zimbabweans battling high prices, was not available in markets last month.

"High inflation and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) monopoly over marketing
maize are exacerbating the situation," said FEWS NET, adding that the
erosion of real incomes in both rural and urban areas meant people had been
forced to cut back on consumption.

The cost of food as well as non-food items increased by 92 percent from
January to November 2004, but wages failed to keep up. According to the
Consumer Council, the minimum industrial wage of Zim $500,000 (about US
$86.96) could cover only 31 percent of the November expenditure basket.

Neither the social protection nor targeted feeding programmes established to
address the food needs of the aged, orphans, chronically ill and other
welfare cases could adequately address the food insecurity problem facing
both urban and rural communities in Zimbabwe, said the early warning
network.

The Zimbabwean government has insisted that its farmers produced a bumper
maize harvest of 2.4 million mt and would not require WFP aid. But a report
released by the parliamentary portfolio committee on lands and agriculture
said that by October last year the GMB had received only 388,558 mt.

A Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report in April 2004
projected that around 41 percent of the rural population (3.3 million
people) would be food insecure from December 2004 to March 2005 if the price
of maize reached Zim $750/kg. Maize is already selling at above Zim
$1,100/kg in most rural areas, reaching Zim $2,000/kg in the worst hit
districts, FEWS NET said in a report released in November.

"At current prices, therefore, the projected food insecure rural population
is arguably higher than 3.3 million people," the US-funded early warning
unit noted.

The humanitarian community faces a difficult working environment in
Zimbabwe, and relations between the donors and the government are strained.

But, FEWS NET urged, "The humanitarian community in Zimbabwe needs to find
fresh ideas, palatable to both the government of Zimbabwe and the donor
community, to expand the limited working space in which they are currently
forced to operate."

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CNN

Lack of pathologist leaves murder cases stalled
Zimbabwe's economic crisis has hurt state health services
Monday, January 10, 2005 Posted: 10:31 AM EST (1531 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The bodies of at least 30 suspected murder victims
have been lying in morgues across Zimbabwe for up to eight months since the
government's only forensic pathologist quit his post, police and health
officials said Monday.

Without forensic evidence, murder investigations could not proceed, police
spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said. And families of the victims could not
collect the bodies for burial until forensic autopsies were done, he said.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Alex Mapunda left government service in May.

While other doctors can do autopsies after car crashes and other mostly
accidental deaths, none is qualified to gather or present criminal evidence
to the police and courts, officials at the main Parirenyatwa hospital said.

Services in understaffed state health facilities have crumbled during
Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980.

Authorities did not give the reason for Mapunda's departure. But acute
shortages of medicines and equipment, poor salaries and the spiraling cost
of living have sent many doctors, nurses and other professionals looking for
work abroad.

At least 3.2 million Zimbabweans are living or working outside the country,
according to the central bank. It has been trying to persuade them to send
money home to ease shortages of hard currency needed to important medicines,
gasoline and other critical supplies.

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Harare Loses Its Glow

The Herald (Harare)

January 8, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Tandayi Motsi And Alfred Chagonda
Harare

HARARE'S basic infrastructure, much of it dating back to the 1950s, is in
bad shape and residents hope the new commission will prioritise its
upgrading.

Water supplies fall far short of demand, much of the water distribution
infrastructure in the inner suburbs is long overdue for replacement, street
lighting needs urgent attention, roads need to be repaired and in many cases
rebuilt, refuse removal needs to be upgraded, and a whole culture of
cleanliness needs to be put in place.

Many believe the city can be turned around, but it will require the
commission to concentrate on the basics to the exclusion of almost
everything else.

"This used to be one of the best cities in Africa, but today one wonders
what has really gone wrong with the city fathers," remarked a middle-aged
woman recently as she strolled in the city centre.

She was passing through the Centenary Footbridge opposite Town House in
Harare that is littered with human waste.

The curtain has finally come down on 2004 but in rerospect, will the
residents of Harare have something to smile about in relation to the
services offered by the city council?

The story of Harare city is a sad one as nearly all the critical services
offered by the city are rapidly deteriorating.

Residents in the eastern suburbs of Mabvuku, Tafara, Epworth, Zimre Park and
Msasa Park had a bleak Christmas holiday after their taps ran dry.

They resorted to fetching water from unprotected streams and wells exposing
themselves to water-borne diseases, while others had to turn to friends and
relatives in nearby suburbs.

"The situation is really appalling. I don't know how they (council
officials) could have felt or handled the situation had it affected them
directly. We have had enough of this and I think it's time council found a
lasting solution," said Mr Tofirei Pedzisai of Tafara.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr Phillip Chigwende of Hatfield who did not
hide his disappointment: "This was the worst Christmas holiday (without
water) and those responsible at Town House should simply resign."

Harare public relations manager Mr Lesile Gwindi said the disruptions were a
result of faulty pumps at Morton Jaffray Water Works.

However, the eastern suburbs have endured long periods without water because
they lie at a gradient, making pumping difficult.

A slight hitch in pumping immediately affects the eastern suburbs and since
this is a perennial problem, the city fathers must address it once and for
all.

Residents argue that they are paying rates hence they have a right to demand
commensurate services from the council.

As if the water crisis was not bad enough, most Harare residents also have
to grapple with the failure by the local authority to collect refuse on
time.

The situation at Mbare Musika, most shopping centres in the suburbs and even
in the streets of Harare in terms of uncollected refuse leaves a lot to be
desired.

Refuse collection has been erratic in the capital, resulting in rubbish bins
going for months without being collected in some areas.

This has prompted residents to dump refuse indiscriminately, thereby further
reducing the glow of the city and exposing entire families to diseases.

Besides posing a health hazard to residents, uncollected refuse is an
eyesore.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius
Chombo recently told Glen View residents that the Government was not happy
with the refuse collection in the city and had set a deadline for a review
of the contracts awarded to private companies.

However, the council failed to meet the October 15 2004 deadline set by
Government for the review of refuse collection contracts.

Mr Gwindi acknowledged the deadline set by Government had lapsed but said
the local authority had made great strides in addressing the problem of
refuse collection.

Furthermore, motorists in Harare, once dubbed "Sunshine City", have also had
to grapple with potholes dotted on the capital city's roads.

Some residents mockingly say the city should make the potholes into "tourist
attractions", as some of them now resemble small dams.

Other residents have taken the initiative to fill up potholes in their
suburbs with rubble rather than wait for the city council to come to their
rescue.

In a recent letter in the Herald's Letters to the Editor column, a Tynwald
resident said as a new residential area the suburb was yearning for
attention from the Harare City Council, which has done nothing to improve
things since it started taking shape in 1998.

"The suburb needs streetlights and regular garbage collection, but it would
seem this is a completely forgotten area and I doubt if it exists on the
Harare maps," said the resident.

The resident said the Harare City Council had lost sight of why it was put
in office and residents should take it upon themselves to keep their suburbs
clean.

The other area that the city authorities seems to have forgotten to attend
to during the year is street lightning and faulty traffic lights.

It has become common to see signs at road intersections in different parts
of the city warning motorists that robots are "out of order".

As a result of this, several accidents, some of them fatal, have occurred at
such road intersections.

Combined Greater Harare Residents' Association vice-chairperson Mr Israel
Mabhoo says the problems facing the capital needed collective action.

"The challenges facing the city can only be solved through collective action
by all stakeholders but it appears the city fathers have adopted a
go-it-alone attitude," he says.

"The world over the concept of local authority development involves the
participation of all stakeholders and we hope the commission now running the
city will engage the residents on the way forward."

The association, he says, has tried to engage the local authority with the
view to address the mounting problems but such efforts appear to have hit a
brick wall.

"Perhaps time has now come for residents to demand justification by the
council why they should continue paying rates when services are
deteriorating," he says.

Mr Gwindi is on record as saying the city is striving to improve service
delivery at all costs.

Recently, the local authority embarked on a programme of towing away
vehicles found parked at undesignated places, a move that has stirred a
hornet's nest with some "victims" claiming it was too high-handed.

The city has also embarked on a massive campaign to spruce up its image in
order to reclaim its status as one of the cleanest cities in Africa.

The clean-up campaign involves cracking down on illegal street vendors and
food outlets, garbage disposal and removal of street people from the Central
Business District.

The issue of the street people has been a thorn in the flesh of the Harare
authorities for many years.

They have been removed in the past, only to resurface again after a few
weeks.

Perhaps the proposal by the Government to establish a fund in support of the
removal and rehabilitation of people living in the streets would be the
lasting solution to the problem.

In his 2005 Budget statement, Acting Minister of Finance and Economic
Development Dr Herbert Murerwa said the fund would receive contributions
from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders.

The City of Harare seems to be fighting an uphill battle in its quest to
deliver services hence there is need to redouble its efforts in order to
restore the capital to its original glamour.

Yes, 2004 has gone by and one only hopes that this year there will see a
paradigm shift by the city fathers in the delivery of essential services.
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Commission Postpones Meeting On City Budget

The Herald (Harare)

January 8, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Harare

THE Commission running the affairs of Harare City Council yesterday
postponed its first meeting for the year to deliberate on the 2005 budget
after one of the commissioners noticed glaring inconsistencies with the
budget figures.

The meeting was closed to the public and media.

Commission chairperson Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara confirmed that there was a
problem with figures but could not explain further.

"We want to come up with a budget that addresses the needs of the
ratepayers", she said.

She said the officials were asked to look into the problem areas and correct
the anomalies.

The commissioners then went into a closed meeting in Ms Makwavarara's office
while the officials were left to correct the wrong figures.

Public relations manager Mr Lesley Gwindi said another meeting would be
convened early next week.

He said council was worried because the budget formulation process was
running late.

Harare is proposing a $1,1 trillion budget and intends to raise $398 billion
through revenue collection and will incur a budget deficit of $783 billion.

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From The Cape Times (SA), 10 January

Infighting among Mugabe's party members could benefit MDC at polls

Harare: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has returned home from holiday to
find his ruling Zanu PF party divided by damaging squabbles over candidate
selection for a general parliamentary election due in March. Political
analysts say the unprecedented infighting among Zanu PF members and
simmering anger over the recent promotion of a high-flying politician may
work in favour of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at the
polls. "The fears are real. A divided Zanu PF will struggle to put up a
strong campaign against the MDC... and for the MDC the longer these quarrels
run the better," said political analyst Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the
University of Zimbabwe. The government-controlled Sunday Mail reported
complaints came from all 10 provinces. Only three provinces had registered
complaints just five days ago when a group of Zanu PF supporters
demonstrated against the exclusion of some candidates and detained a senior
party official in charge of selection. The private Sunday Mirror newspaper
reported that Mugabe's key war veteran supporters have warned the party to
handle the selection of the candidates carefully, saying the drive against
so-called rebels could help the opposition.

More than a dozen top officials, including controversial Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo, have been purged from Zanu PF's top bodies and from
the election race after an earlier row over Mugabe's likely successor. Moyo
has appealed to Zanu PF to reverse a decision which stops him from
contesting the parliamentary elections. He was dropped last month from the
party's top bodies over charges that he and other senior officials tried to
block the rise of Joyce Mujuru as one of Zimbabwe's two vice presidents,
putting her in line to succeed Mugabe. Moyo and six other senior officials,
who were suspended from the party for five years, are being punished for
seeking to promote Speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa as a candidate
for co-vice president against Mujuru. Mugabe has not made a public comment
on the squabbles since he came back from vacation. The MDC, which says Zanu
PF rigged the last two polls in 2000 and 2002, has threatened to boycott the
election unless reforms are put in place to ensure what it calls a level
playing field. Mugabe denies manipulating previous elections. His Zanu PF
party dismisses the MDC as a puppet of Western powers it says have sabotaged
the economy in retaliation for Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.

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From The Observer (UK), 9 January

The last hope for a dying game

continued from yesterday...

Waiting at the airport for England to arrive from Johannesburg, David Morgan
called me over to his table. He and Mike Soper were eating cheese toasties.
'Tell me, Tom, do you think things are getting better or worse in Zimbabwe?'
I told him that things were much worse. 'But,' he protested, 'the last time
I was here people were queuing for many hours to buy petrol and bread.
Today, there are no queues.' Later, when I mentioned Morgan's comments to
David Coltart, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's shadow
justice minister, he was contemptuous. 'Morgan has no idea what is going on.
There used to be price controls so everyone could afford fuel and bread, but
there was not enough to go around. So there were queues. Now there are no
price controls and no queues. And people can't afford what's on the
shelves.' The England players eventually arrived looking as if they were
about to do a tour of duty in Falluja. They stared solemnly ahead as police
outriders led them to their five-star hotel, Meikles, in central Harare. The
next day, both the Times and Guardian made much of some graffiti on Robert
Mugabe Way saying 'England Go Home, Shame on England'. But most Zimbabweans
remained either unaware of or unbothered by the tour. The political nuances
did not worry them. If sport is escapism, they are more interested in
football, at home and abroad.

On the morning of the first game I heard a familiar voice in the breakfast
room. 'I'd like a cheese omelette and a rooibos tea.' It was the BBC's
Jonathan Agnew. He was tired - and late. He was angry that England were in
Zimbabwe but also frustrated at how hard it was to explain to people back
home the complicated situation. 'The fact that Gary in Sheffield says "pull
the boys out" without knowing anything about it doesn't really help,' he
said. We talked about the cricket for a bit before he said: 'But the cricket
doesn't matter, does it? It's all downhill from now on.' There was a meagre
crowd of about 100 at the Harare Sports Club. But it was a sunny day, the
pitch looked pristine and, after all the delays, it was a relief to be
watching cricket. The England fielders huddled together as the Zimbabwe
openers walked out to polite applause. The series that few people, and
certainly not the England players, wanted to take place had begun. Zimbabwe
made a slow start and were 45 for one after 10 overs. The crowd grew and by
the time Tatenda Taibu came in at 80 for four there must have been more than
3,000 in the ground, making a lot of noise. About 70 per cent were black -
so that was one 'quota' fulfilled. But some of the white Zimbabweans were
supporting England in protest at what they see as the politicisation of
their team. The evidence of emerging black talent was there right in front
of us as 19-year-old Elton Chigumbura hit a powerful half-century. In the
end, Zimbabwe were all out for 194. England won comfortably, establishing a
pattern for the series.

A few days later, justice Ebrahim greeted me warmly at the Harare club.
Black and-white photographs stared down from the walls, showing faces of
young white men. He led me to a secluded table and looked at me expectantly.
'There are two sides to every story,' he said. Ahmed Ebrahim, an ethnic
Indian, is short, wiry and scrupulously polite. He was until recently a High
Court judge. Dressed in a blazer and club tie, he recalled the nine years he
spent in London as a young man. After the Lancaster House Agreement of 1980
that opened the way for black majority rule in Zimbabwe, the British invited
talented young civil servants to London for special training. Ebrahim was
one of them. 'There was nothing I liked more in those days than sitting down
with a cup of coffee and reading the English papers,' he said. 'But now the
English press is not what it was. When it comes to cricket they print lies.'
In a high-pitched but authoritative voice, he said that, in 2000, 20 years
after independence, only five of the 29 senior administrators at the ZCU
were black. At independence there were as many as 200,000 whites in the
country; in 2000, when the farm invasions began, there were 70,000; today,
there are as few as 25,000, many of them elderly. 'I and a minority of other
administrators recognised that if left unchecked it would only be a matter
of time before cricket died in this country. But when a choice had to be
made between a black and a white player, the white player always got the
nod.'

The white players held the board to ransom, he continued. In 2000, for
instance, when Zimbabwe toured the West Indies, he claims that 'the players
decided they didn't want the coach Dave Houghton any longer so they forced
him out'. The allegation was later backed up by Ali Shah, who was tour
manager at the time. 'It was the tail wagging the dog,' he said. 'The
players always had to have their way. Davie wanted to drop Alistair Campbell
and pick Craig Wishart, but the royal family of Andy Flower, Grant Flower,
Campbell and [Guy] Whittall wouldn't stand for that.' Houghton now coaches
Derbyshire. Ebrahim is considered something of an enigma by the MDC. As a
judge he was resolutely independent. He ruled against the government's
land-reform programme. But, as one insider told me, as a cricket
administrator he 'provides a perfect foil for the more radical elements of
ZC. And when he complains that Zimbabwe had crushing defeats before - losing
to England by an innings and 209 runs at Lords in 2000 and by an innings and
175 to Australia last year - he ignores the reality that all teams have bad
days. Zimbabwe might not have been a strong team, even with Streak, the
Flower brothers and Murray Goodwin (who quit the team in 2000, to
concentrate on playing for Western Australia and Sussex). But they were
tough and competitive. You could not say the same of Taibu's young side.

The England players began to relax after a few days in Harare, but the tour
management never did the same. Andy Walpole, the squad's harassed media
manager, protected captain Michael Vaughan from difficult questions and my
request to talk to coach Duncan Fletcher, who was born in the old Rhodesia,
was rejected 'due to the sensitive nature of the tour'. Fletcher is a
Zimbabwean who once captained his country. What does he think about cricket
in the country of his birth? What does he think about England's tour? No one
knows. The day after England won the second one-day international by 161
runs, the tour moved on to Bulawayo. I arranged to meet Heath Streak on his
ranch, an hour to the north. When we last met, at his flat in Birmingham (he
was playing for Warwickshire), he said he missed the space of his home in
Zimbabwe. Now, it was not hard to see why. On every side stretched mile upon
mile of acacia trees, red earth, scrubland and endless sky. As I approached
the homestead, an impala leapt gracefully in front of the car and round a
bend I came upon a herd of zebra. Later, when Streak gave me a tour of the
farm - which has been reduced by two thirds under the land-reform programme
to 4,000 hectares - we came across wildebeest, kudu and eland. Out here
cricket seems a distant game. 'People like Bvute say the door is open to
come back but there's still a lot of turmoil at Zimbabwe Cricket,' Streak
said. 'The behaviour of Bvute, and Max Ebrahim, goes unchecked and they
haven't been made accountable for what they've done.'

Perhaps if Peter Chingoka had agreed to meet him, things would have been
different. Streak said his letter to Hogg in which he first threatened to
resign was born of frustration 'that I couldn't have an audience with
Chingoka. I felt he should have made the time to see me. But Vince Hogg told
me several times that Peter thought it wasn't necessary.' Streak, like most
of the rebels, believes money is at the root of ZC's mismanagement. He
points to the 50,000 honorarium paid to Chingoka in 2003 - a huge sum in
Zimbabwe terms. And the ZCU's decision to send the entire board to Australia
for the tour last year was a sign of how wasteful the organisation could be.
'They spend nearly $150,000 on a jolly to Australia when back here you've
got clubs collapsing. Queens [in Bulawayo] couldn't play a fixture the other
day because they had only one bat.' But what of Streak's own interest in
money? I was shown emails between his agent, Ray Warner, and the ZCU human
resources manager, Wilfred Mukondiwa, that reveal Streak was seeking a
substantial pay increase to return to play for Zimbabwe. In one email, sent
on 6 October 2004, Warner reminded Mukondiwa of Streak's contract at
Warwickshire. 'The package is worth comfortably in excess of six figures,
for what is effectively six months' work. If the ZCU are serious about Heath
returning to play international cricket in the future any offer must be
equal to or preferably above what Heath will be earning in England.'

Streak denied that he would have come back without the issues of
accountability being sorted out. But the size of his demands and the
timing - in the middle of the ICC inquiry - were ill-advised. I asked Streak
why the black and white players used different buses while on tour in
Australia. He said it was simply a 'cultural thing'. 'The white players
would come to breakfast early, the black players would walk in three or four
minutes before we were due to leave. The first bus would fill up, then the
black guys would come out with their toast in their mouths and get in the
other bus.' But, according to Ali Shah, there was a racial problem. 'I got
on the white bus and asked one of the players why there were no blacks on
board. He replied, "Because they stink". Even in the dressing room you'd
have whites on one side and blacks on the other.' Heath Streak is certainly
not a racist. But the question that has to be asked is whether as captain he
should have done more to unify the team and remove the segregation. In
Bulawayo, England's superiority made for tedious cricket. When they easily
won the fourth and final match, everyone, it seems, was relieved the tour
was over. I then called Geoff Marsh at home in Perth. Neither the ICC nor
any journalists had attempted to speak to him since he left Zimbabwe for
good in September. 'I was coach of Zimbabwe for three years,' he said. 'I
never get asked by the ICC for my version of events. Why not?' He is
'depressed' by what has happened to the game in Zimbabwe. After the white
players left he fought on with the youngsters until the end of his contract,
but, he said, it was an impossible task. 'You just couldn't do it. It's the
same thing for Phil Simmons now. He hasn't got a chance. You know, we won
two games against West Indies little more than a year ago. The grounds at
Bulawayo and Harare were full, we had black and whites off their seats. And
then we had a very good tour of Australia in 2003-04.'

Yet by the time the squad returned from Australia, everything had changed.
'One meeting and that was it. All the good work was thrown away.' Marsh
believes that it will take at least 10 years to create a decent Zimbabwe
side. "The shame is that Tinashe Panyangara and Elton Chigumbura were both
in the frame to play the next Test series. With Blignaut, [Doug] Hondo,
Streak and [Travis] Friend that would have been a powerful attack.'
Throughout this tortured affair there was always ammunition for the
different camps - arrogant white players, a corrupt cricket board and a
morally bankrupt world governing body. Now the clubs in Zimbabwe have
started to revolt against the power of the ZCU and their costly rebranding.
Teams from Mashonaland are threatening to pull out of all ZC competitions.
This month, weakened Zimbabwe once more begin Test cricket, against
Bangladesh and then South Africa. Can cricket ever thrive again in this
blighted country? 'The whole thing boils down to this,' said Marsh. 'Does
world cricket want the Zimbabwe issue sorted? If it does, it can be easily
sorted out. You've got to get the best players on the field. If you can do
it, you can be competitive. Without your best players, especially in a
country as impoverished and weak as Zimbabwe, you are doomed.' In reality,
sporting normality is not possible while Robert Mugabe remains in power. In
the meantime, the infrastructure of his country collapses, his opponents are
imprisoned without trial and millions of people cannot even afford a loaf of
bread. What place has cricket in such a land?

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Resettled farmers need assistance

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

HARARE, 10 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - Most of Zimbabwe's newly resettled farmers have
had a slow start to the main planting season, and experts warn that this
might jeopardise the country's food supply this year.

New farmers, particularly those who were given the A1 communal model farms
during the fast-track land redistribution programme that commenced in 2000,
cited a lack of draught power as the main obstacle to planting.

At an A1 farm about 40 kilometres north of the small town of Mvuma in
Midlands province, more than half the settlers said they had been forced to
adopt zero tillage, known locally as "chibhakera", a simple technique of
planting seed into the soil with little or no prior land preparation.

Tavaka Bhasera, 54, told IRIN that since the first rains fell in the second
week of December last year he had managed to cultivate less than half an
acre of land. Bhasera moved to the farm in January 2003, while his family
remained at his rural home in Chivi, over 180 km away.

He had decided to leave most of his family members behind because the
government had instructed them not to build permanent structures on the new
plots, a situation he said made him uncertain about his future as a new
farmer.

"The situation here is disturbing. I, like most of my neighbours, do not
have cattle to use as draught power. As you can see, I don't have a cattle
pen and a goat is the only form of livestock I can boast of. As a result, I
have been forced to use my own hands to till this land, which is almost
virgin," said Bhasera, who is also the headman of the farm.

He said he had also left his cattle in Chivi, partly because of the
uncertainty and also due to the lack of means to transport them.

Resettled farmers have been promised tractors to help them with tillage
through the government's District Development Fund (DDF).

"All the time we travel to Chivhu, [where] DDF officials say they are coming
soon, claiming that they are ploughing in other areas. However, we wonder at
which places they are using the tractors because we have not heard of anyone
in this area who has received their services," Bhasera remarked.

The official Herald newspaper recently quoted DDF director-general James
Jonga as saying that less than half of the fund's 733 tractors were still
operational due to the lack of foreign exchange to keep the ageing fleet
running.

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is also chairman of the
cabinet task force on inputs supply and distribution, said farmers were
encouraged "to use all forms of tillage, namely mechanical, manual labour,
animal draught power and tillage co-operatives, in order to bring more land
under production in this agricultural season."

Director of the department of Agricultural Research and Extension Services
(AREX), Shadreck Mlambo, warned that this year's harvests were under threat.
"Right now, we are still far away from completing land preparation, and time
is fast running out," he said.

In the Guinea Fowl area, a former dairy farm hub about 50 km south of the
Midlands city of Gweru, farmers are pooling resources to till as much land
as possible.

"The DDF has helped some of us, but the number is very small. Considering
also that we do not have cattle and donkeys to use as draught power, we sat
down and decided to come together as families to [plant] ... using
chibhakera [zero tillage]. The programme is done on a rotational basis to
ensure that every household gets its chance. Also, those who have cattle
have come to our rescue, but they do so for a fee and are overwhelmed," said
Guinea Fowl resident Margaret Chimbwa.

Thanks to this communal programme, known as "nhimbe", Chimbwa's family had
managed to plant two acres of crops, but this represented a small fraction
of her 15-acre plot, which had largely lain fallow since she moved to the
farm three years ago.

Even though the government had provided each household with 30 km of maize
seed and two bags of Compound D fertiliser, for use when the crop begins
germinating, the effort would be wasted if farmers were unable to till
enough land, she added.

Davison Mugabe, president of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Trade Union (ZFTU), an
organisation representing about 12,000 black farmers, urged the government
to invest "massively" in agriculture if the land reform exercise was to
succeed.

"Land reform will become a success story with massive injection of
investment by the government. There is need for bigger credit facilities for
the farmers and much more mechanisation, as well as the rebuilding of the
national herd of cattle, while inputs [should be] provided at affordable
prices. Without this, we will continue to underperform," Mugabe said.

Last year the government predicted a bumper maize harvest of 2.4 million mt.
However, a report released by the parliamentary portfolio committee on lands
and agriculture said as of October 2004, the state-owned commodity buyer,
the Grain Marketing Board, had received only 388,558 mt.

A Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report in April 2004
projected that around 41 percent of the rural population (3.3 million
people) would be food insecure from December 2004 to March 2005 if the price
of maize reached Zim $750/kg. Maize is already selling at above Zim
$1,100/kg in most rural areas, reaching Zim $2,000/kg in the worst hit
districts, FEWS NET said in a report released in November.

"At current prices, therefore, the projected food insecure rural population
is arguably higher than 3.3 million people," the US-funded early warning
unit noted.

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Tobacco Exports Realise US$226m

The Herald (Harare)

January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Harare

ZIMBABWE earned US$226 million from the exportation of both flue-cured and
burley tobacco to various markets around the globe in 2004.

This figure shows a marked decrease from the US$318 million realised from
the sale of the two types of tobacco in 2003.

The fall in exports is a reflection of the decline in the volume of the crop
produced in the country since the turn of the century.

Flue-cured tobacco, which is the most attractive variety in the country,
accounted for the bulk of the earnings - US$224,19 million from the sale of
68,9 million kilograms.

Burley, which is less popular, accounted for just US$2,44 million from
slightly more than 1 million kg of the crop sold last year.

Tobacco remains one of the single largest foreign currency earners in
Zimbabwe, accounting for as much as 20 percent of the country*s total forex
receipts. Figures released by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board show
that a total 5,48 million kg of tobacco were exported last December to fetch
a total US$18,7 million.

This was a significant decrease from the 9,58 million kg valued at US$34,3
million exported in November last year.

It is projected that tobacco exports from Zimbabwe would remain depressed
during the next six to eight months before they begin to firm depending on
the success of the current season.

Current tobacco exports are a reflection of the total yield realised by the
country in the last two seasons and a further decline in production from
last year*s 68 million kg would see receipts plummeting.

Stakeholders in the tobacco industry have declared the 2004-05 season as the
turning point for the industry as production is expected to rebound to at
least 160 million kg under Vision 160.

Under Vision 160, various stakeholders including farmers organisations, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Agribank and other financial institutions would
pour resources, in cash and inputs, to boost output.

According to monthly figures supplied by the TIMB, February 2004 was the
best month for tobacco exports. A total of 10,7 million kg were exported
against an average of 6,89 million kg for the other months. But actual
figures show that there were instances, for example in May, when only 2,9
million kg were exported.

Tobacco from the 2004 selling season only started finding its way to the
export market in September, suggesting that the country still has some
tobacco in stock.

Zimbabwe*s tobacco remains popular with merchants on account of its superior
blending quality and is always in demand.

The golden leaf finds a ready market in the European Union, Asia and the
Middle East.

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Harare's Problems Can Be Solved

The Herald (Harare)

EDITORIAL
January 10, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Harare

HARARE has definitely lost its glow and does not meet the standards expected
of a major African capital city.

And yet so many of the problems are still easy to fix and the expertise to
fix them does exist, mainly in the technical branches of the municipality
but also in the very large private sector the city hosts.

The more serious problems form a very short list: inadequate water supplies
most days, potholes in the roads, badly maintained street lighting, serious
delays in rubbish removal, litter or filth in the streets and along
highways, and beggars and vendors making life a misery for those working in
the city centre. Street crime in the main business areas is a very small
problem, thanks to some innovative and adequate policing. In suburbs there
is a need to rebuild several of the old neighbourhood watches and bring them
up to strength, but generally, with some glaring exceptions, the police are
doing adequately to well.

Harare is now back in the hands of a commission following an overlong period
of political infighting and most elected councillors giving up the struggle.

In theory, a commission should be non-political in its outlook, although
anyone with political ambitions to be a long-serving mayor of the capital
could probably gain massive majorities in elections simply by restoring the
city's lost glow.

The first three priorities of the city council must be the water, roads and
the rubbish issues. Water shortages date from the rejection in the early
1990s of expert engineering advice. It is time to take it. Work must be
accelerated on renovating the older half of the Morton Jaffray Waterworks,
building up pumping and reservoir capacity, expanding the two main sewage
treatment plants and building the two new planned plants for the south-east
and north-west drainage basins.

A programme for the planned replacement of old water mains has to be
renewed.

We agree the water programme cannot be finished overnight, but it can be
started and hard deadlines for each stage fixed.

The road network is getting worse and potholes are now a serious problem.
Surely teams could be sent out to patch these properly, and this might mean
remaking short stretches of road in some areas while longer-term renovation
is planned and implemented. Harare suffers from the fact that a significant
fraction of vehicles using the city roads, including many kept overnight in
the city, are registered outside the city, largely because neighbouring
municipalities and rural district councils charge less.

This starves the road account of much-needed cash.

Toll gates have been suggested, but a simpler solution would be to lobby the
minister for local government to introduce a flat licence rate right across
Zimbabwe, preferably at Harare rates. Neighbouring councils should not
object since they will need much higher licence fees once they lose the
diverted Harare money.

Rubbish removal is a sore point. The contracting out has not worked in all
areas and far too many of the small companies supposed to collect rubbish
have just one or two trucks. A truck breaks down and the rubbish piles up
for weeks. The municipality might have to take this back. Litter on the
streets is more of a residents' problem. A council needs to create the
culture that people do not throw litter around. Enforcing existing by-laws
would help, as would a publicity campaign and the provision of more public
bins. Something has to be done to curb uncontrolled vending, begging and the
activities of the self-appointed car marshals. More well-designed people's
markets are needed, although the private sector flea-markets have filled a
large gap.

Parking problems would ease considerably if the city could implement the
theory that parking revenue goes towards provision of new parking.
Unfortunately, the "marshals" divert the money that should go to the city,
and the city needs to take this operation back so it can reduce parking fees
and build more parkades. There is nothing impossible about putting Harare
back on the map as one of Africa's city jewels. It just needs a strong focus
and a council or commission ready to fix the basics and enforce contracts or
by-laws.

We hope the new commission will take up the challenge and just do something,
instead of talking about doing something.

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Nepad Comes Up Short 3 Years Later

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

January 9, 2005
Posted to the web January 10, 2005

Ken Ramani
Nairobi

Because African governments have failed to explain initiative's ideals to
the people, and donor countries have given it a wide berth, its future seems
grim.

Three years after its formation, the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad) is still struggling with an identity crisis.

Nepad's proponents are still grappling with preliminary details, while
Western donors have ignored groups that could help the initiative achieve
its objectives.

Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu, who chairs the Nepad Steering Committee, argues that
the initiative should be evaluated not in terms of the funds it has
mobilised, but rather on its ability to galvanise political will and
encourage African countries to develop their own programmes and implement
them.

While conceding that broadening ownership in Africa remains a big challenge,
Nkuhlu said: "The majority of African people do not have access to
information about Nepad, and this must be given urgent attention with the
support of all stakeholders."

Apart from Canada, which has already pumped into Africa over Sh11.4 billion,
no other member of the G8 most developed countries seems ready to support
Nepad initiatives.

Formed in October 2001, Nepad is an amalgam of South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki's Millennium Partnership for African Recovery Programme and
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade's Omega Plan. Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika bought
the idea, joined the bandwagon, and the quartet became Nepad's high priests.

The initiative was later adopted by the defunct Organisation of African
Unity during its last summit in Lusaka, Zambia, a move that was immediately
endorsed by the G8 in Genoa, Italy.

But Dr Samuel Nyandemo, a University of Nairobi economics lecturer, says:
"Nepad is an amorphous outfit that only exists in the minds of its
architects and West donors.

Prof Jasper Okello, also an economics lecturer at the same university, says
Nepad's direction is still muddled.

"We were told it was to make the investment environment in the continent
better, but nothing to that effect has happened," he says.

Mr Peter Ondeng, the immediate former head of the Nepad secretariat in Kenya
said: "It is a new spirit of optimism emanating from the continent, a
historic opportunity for both Africa and the international community to work
together in a renewed spirit of partnership."

To make the continent attractive for foreign direct investments (FDIs),
Nepad came up with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to which all OAU
(now African Union) member states were expected to submit.

Under the APRM, countries voluntarily engage in self-monitoring in relation
to democracy, governance and socio-economic development.

Each country's rating is expected to guide potential investors in deciding
where to invest.

The business environment, risks involved in terms of security, corruption,
infrastructure, among others, are also expected to appear on the APRM
scorecard.

Nepad has now developed comprehensive policy frameworks and indicative
priority plans for each sector and African countries have demonstrated
commitment to implement sectoral plans.

However, lack of political will to act on commitments remains a major
concern not only in the continent but also among the G8 members.

Since its inception, only Kenya, Rwanda, Mauritius and Ghana have shown
enthusiasm for APRM.

Due to bickering over the constitution reform, Kenya missed the maiden
review by APRM and the exercise was pushed to a yet-to-be-decided date this
year.

But considering that no consensus is in sight with regards to a new
constitution, APRM could remain a pipedream and as such affect FDI inflows.

The country has, however, laid a foundation for the peer review exercise.
For instance, the University of Nairobi's Institute of Development Studies,
Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research Analysis, African Centre for
Economic Growth and the Centre for Corporate Governance have been
incorporated to lay the strategy on reviewing political, economic and social
governance, which are thought to be crucial ingredients in ensuring a
conducive environment to do business.

And taking into account the number of Nepad member countries, it could take
long for the review to cover the entire continent, assuming all AU member
states are willing to take part in the exercise.

Neither Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe nor Muammar Gadaffi of Libya has shown zeal
in pursuing APRM ideals.

This also applies to many North African countries where the western kind of
democracy practised in most sub-Sahara Africa is alien.

Somalia, which has still not been able to get its government functioning
since 1991, has enough problems of its own and technically cannot
participate in APRM, as do the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and
Sudan which are all faced with civil strife.

The continent is not short of international, regional and sub-regional
institutions with mandates ranging from promoting economic integration,
human rights and conflict to peacekeeping matters. These institutions
include the East African Community, African Development Bank (ADB), Economic
States of West Africa (Ecowas), Southern African Development Cooperation and
Comesa

Nepad was not formed to compete with, but rather to complement, their
efforts by engaging in trade negotiations and encouraging change of policies
on the continent to attract investments.

South African church leaders argue that Nepad is little more than
re-colonisation of the continent with the consent of African leaders.

They say the initiative could leave African economies at the mercy of
Western powers.

And some critics argue that the charter establishing Nepad was drafted and
debated at high levels without the input of ordinary Africans, who are
expected to own it. It is seen as an initiative that could lead to
privatisation of basic services such as water, health and education, which
would then be sold back to Africa at a profit.

Richard Pithouse, of the University of Natal, Durban, criticised Nepad's aim
of opening African markets to the West. "Nepad is not an African concept and
will not benefit Africa," he said, adding it would leave Africans and their
resources open to exploitation.

Its proponents argue that Nepad could put Africa's development firmly on the
global agenda and generate a new confidence in the continent, correcting
perceptions that it was a doomed continent.

Experts argue that it is important to prioritise meaningful debt
cancellation for Africa if sustainable development is to be achieved. Debt
relief could provide budget support for public investment in social
services, such as health-care and education as well as the provision of
water and electricity.

Nepad was also to propose decisive structural changes to the existing
international financial and trade systems, including proposals such as an
international currency transaction, tax and special protection for
vulnerable African industries.

But three years later, Nepad has not done enough on that front. The world
trading and financial regime still remains largely skewed against Africa.

Observers say most initiatives from the West, such as African Growth and
Opportunity Act of the US and Commission for Africa, are distractions that
could vanish as soon as there's a change of leadership in America and
Britain.

For instance, in the event that Tony Blair is not relected this year, it is
doubtful that the Commission for Africa, his brainchild, would survive under
a government formed by his greatest enemies.

The Agoa initiative, introduced by then US Bill Clinton, the World Trade
Organisation's new rules in apparel products that took effect on January 1,
2005, have made it irrelevant.

Quotas to the US market for African cotton products have ended.

Okello argues that for Africa to develop, Nepad should encourage countries
to ensure affordable cost of doing business so as to attract direct foreign
investment.

"As long as 40 per cent of the cost of production is consumed by things such
as poor infrastructure, high electricity and telephone tariffs, the cost of
services and goods will be expensive, making the continent a no-go-zone for
potential investors," argues Okello.

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Radio Netherlands

Rumblings within Mugabe's ZANU-PF
Josh Maiyo and Theo Tamis, 10 January 2005
Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe is facing stiff opposition from within
his ZANU-PF party ahead of parliamentary elections in March. The row was
sparked off by Mr Mugabe's choice of candidate for vice-president.

Mr Mugabe has purged over a dozen officials, including information minister
Jonathan Moyo, from the party's top organs. The officials have also been
barred from running in the elections in March.

Mr Moyo and several others were ditched amid allegations that they tried to
block the rise of Joyce Mujuru as one of Zimbabwe's two vice-presidents,
putting her in line to succeed Mr Mugabe upon his expected retirement in
2008.

Political analysts say the current squabbling may work in favour of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at the March polls.

"The fears are real. A divided ZANU-PF will struggle to put up a strong
campaign against the MDC... and for the MDC the longer these quarrels run
the better," commented political analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the
University of Zimbabwe.

Consolidation
But Lerato Mbele of the South African Institute of International Affairs
disagrees. She rejects the view that Mr Mugabe is losing his iron grip on
the party:

"We should see it as him consolidating his authority, if not power, over the
party. And by that I mean he's just regaining a level of control and trying
to establish a level of cohesion within the party ahead of the March
election."
Disastrous period
Ms Mbele stresses that the last year and a half have been disastrous for
Zimbabwe: the economy has collapsed, the currency has dropped to record
levels, and after its suspension from the Commonwealth, the country has
increasing been treated as an international pariah.

"The fact that some of those ruling party members who had been involved in
the process of black economic empowerment in Zimbabwe are now being
sidelined due to corruption allegations means that ZANU-PF is trying to
clean up its image ahead of the elections, and possibly means that the party
is trying to get in a new breed of leaders who are now going to formulate
policy for ZANU-PF and Zimbabwe in the new millennium."
"That looked as though ZANU-PF was in disarray and Zimbabwean leadership as
a whole was in disarray. And what you're seeing now, I think, is a
spring-cleaning action from the executive of ZANU-PF, especially at the
Politburo level. They're wanting to have an engineering of new ideas and
thoughts - and this is why we are seeing the emergence of people like Joyce
Mujuru."

Substantial support
In Ms Mbele's assessment, President Mugabe still commands substantial
grassroots support - "his liberation credentials are still very much
intact," and so is the reputation of ZANU-PF as an anti-colonial,
land-oriented, peasant-oriented political movement that dominated politics
since independence from Britain in 1980.

But given that Mr Mugabe is 80 years of age and reportedly suffering from
prostate cancer, it's imperative for his party at this point to start
contemplating who is going to rule ZANU-PF in the post-Mugabe era.

"I think President Mugabe wants to go out in a dignified way and wants to
restore some of his former glory, and he realises that, in order to do that,
he has to have somebody who is going to carry the legacy of Robert Mugabe
and ZANU as the party of liberation with the kind of political identity and
authority that they had during the first decade of independence."

Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, all rights reserved

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