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

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Democracy Watch - 2.

Administering a democratic system is a huge task if it is to be done
properly. In the first place the voters must be adequately informed of their
options, they must then be allowed to vote freely and without interference
or intimidation and then the vote must be counted and reported accurately.

Three simple tests of a democratic system. How does Zimbabwe measure up just
weeks before the next scheduled elections for Parliament?

1.. Information. We have 15 newspapers, 4 radio stations and one
television channel broadcasting in Zimbabwe. Of these 7 newspapers and all
electronic media are owned by the State, 6 of the other newspapers are owned
by Zanu PF in various forms and only two weeklies are really independent.

The State/Zanu PF controlled media is tightly controlled and may only carry
news and information that is approved by the officials that are responsible
for media coverage. The opposition may not even advertise in the Zanu PF
controlled media. The news and other coverage are totally hostile to the MDC
and its civic allies and are used simply to promote the position of Zanu on
every issue. Speaking to the average citizen who is not politically minded
and who have no alternative sources of information it is astonishing how
effective this propaganda machine has become.

Particularly damaging has been the loss of the Daily News and the total
control of the electronic media. I estimate - based on distribution numbers
and hours of broadcasting every day that less than 5 per cent of media
exposure is committed to telling the truth and that includes three external
radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe on shortwave. This control of the
media is reinforced by total control over all forms of public meetings -
controls which do not apply to Zanu PF.

2.. The Right to Vote. We have at most 3 million people in the country
are eligible to vote and might register and then physically turn out. The
rest are outside the country (3,5 million adults) or are too young, or are
ruled as being ineligible for one reason or another. The voters roll has 5,6
million names on it - 2,6 million "ghost voters". Some are dead; some are
duplicates others are now outside the country.

All those who have left the country are to be denied the vote - they are a
group that is now potentially larger than the voters who remain in the
country. We are the only country in the region that denies their citizens
who are living abroad the right to vote. In fact when you work out who can
vote and will be allowed to vote, it represents only about 42 per cent of
potential voters who are alive!

On top of this astonishing fact, the whole process of voter registration and
maintaining the voters role is partisan and controlled by officials - paid
by the State -but loyal to Zanu PF. The systematic exclusion of voters who
might be sympathetic to the MDC is carried out on a regular basis. Voter
registration is intensive in areas controlled by Zanu PF and where they
believe they can control the vote in an election.

3.. The Vote Itself. In the two previous elections where Zanu faced
serious opposition, they used the mobile stations to rig the election and to
stuff ballots. They also used the two days over which the election was held
to decide what was needed to win and then to carry out the required
activity. In those elections we had about 4500 fixed stations and 1100
mobile stations - each mobile using 4 separate locations to record votes. In
2002 the number of polling stations in MDC strongholds were reduced and the
rate at which votes were recorded held down so that up to 400 000 potential
voters were eventually turned away.

This time the vote will be on one day and there will be no mobiles. To
capture 3 million votes at the rate of 2 minutes per person would require 10
000 poling stations. In fact, given the inefficiencies of the system I
estimate we will require 12 000 polling stations to record the vote in one

In 2002 we counted the vote at 120 counting centers. This time we will count
at all 12 000 polling stations. The logistics of this situation are
mind-boggling. It is one thing for a government to deploy staff and
officials to 12 000 polling stations, it is quite another to supervise what
goes on at each polling station - especially in the more remote rural areas
where Zanu thinks they can control the vote. The potential for vote rigging
and ballot stuffing is enormous. If MDC cannot cover every polling station
with trained and committed personnel from the opposition we are likely to
see a repeat of the 2002 elections and end up with a government that is not
recognized as being legitimate.

In the Ukraine election just re-run, the international community deployed 8
500 observers. In Zimbabwe we can expect no more than a few hundred at
most - and then these will have limited resources for travel and
communications. Any meaningful supervision must therefore come from the MDC.
NGO's this time (unlike 2000 and 2002) will be excluded by law, from the
whole process from voter education to polling agent training, deployment and
supervision. We will need at least 60 000 polling agents and at least 1200
vehicles to deploy people and supervise activity and to respond to any
problems on the day. Our agents will have to be deployed on Friday and stood
down on Sunday. Many will require food and other support in the field.

This whole process is supposed to be under the control and management of an
Independent Electoral Commission. New legislation provides, not for an
Independent Commission but a "Zimbabwe" Electoral Commission, which is not
independent or autonomous and has not even been appointed. Instead we have a
totally partisan structure in place, which is managed by State Security
Agents and the Military personnel, all of whom are selected for their
loyalty to Zanu PF.

In 2002 this partisan structure was overseen by a group of powerful
Ministers who actually gave the orders and decided what was needed for Zanu
to "win" at any cost. No doubt the same situation will prevail this time
around - the only difference being that they will not have Saturday night to
decide how far to go. This time those decisions have to be made in advance
and the action to be taken agreed and implemented during the one day of

For voters in Zimbabwe who are eligible - remember that you can check your
vote and change your constituency if it is wrong, from the 17th to the 30th
of January this year. Go and do this as whatever the conditions under which
we will vote, the March 2005 elections may be an opportunity to change the
circumstances under which we live today.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 12th January 2005

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11 January 2005


Political transitions present delicate moments for many nations, especially
in Africa. In our case, hundreds of pro-democracy activists and MDC
supporters died during the current transition. As a peace-loving people, we
opted for a smooth transition through a Constitutional path, through an
election, through the ballot. We remain committed to that route.

The regime reacted violently and imposed its will, leading to an
uncomfortably long political stalemate. Five years of political violence
have failed to dampen the spirit of the people. The majority have seen
through the futility of violence as a political weapon and as a campaign

Judging by the mood on the ground, we understand that the people are
determined to end the primary phase of our transition in 2005. Thereafter,
we shall move onto a new political stage that demands national unity and
national healing. We are now on the home stretch after we passed through one
of the bloodiest periods of our post-colonial history.

Through latter-day exhortations to its supporters to display some form of
political civility in the run up to the next election, the regime is, at
least, sending out a positive signal to the people. I must recognize and
record what appears to be a change of rhythm within the police force,
especially the force's public stance towards direct, physical violence.

Although pockets of rogue elements still exist here and there, by and large
we have witnessed a decrease in cases of open violence against political
opponents. We are willing to work with the police and Zanu PF to open up
Zimbabwe's political space.

Beyond the election, we wish to state once again that we have no intention
of pursuing a campaign of retribution once we assume power. There is no need
for any person to turn against the people, purely out of fear of an MDC
government. The people have long expressed their revulsion at attempts to
repeat the scenes of the past five years.

Our vision is to create a platform for the victim and the perpetrator to
experience the joys of justice, peace, stability, freedom and prosperity.
Differences shall be recognized and respected; our diversity shall be
celebrated and accepted as a source of strength; our political contrasts,
separate ideologies and organizational make up shall assist our nation to
reap the benefits of honest political pluralism.

Our vision directs us towards a holistic view of our past, understanding the
desperation of a failed nationalistic elite. We understand Africa's known
dilemma arising from the historical failure of the continent's liberators to
extend the ideals of the struggle against colonialism to the people in the
post-independence era.

There seems to be confusion as they try to come to terms with post
liberation political formations which shun violence as a means to effect
regime change. We recognize the weaknesses of the former liberation
movements and their general lack of preparedness to tackle the challenges of
a complex post-colonial era. We aware of the contribution of our national
heroes to the liberation of the continent from colonialism.

We seek a society without political hooligans, private armies and militias.
We yearn for the day state institutions devote their entire time to public
service. We wish for the day when political competition assumes the
character of a national sport, with players seeking free and fair
victories - beyond the current lust for a brutal annihilation and burial of
each other's persons or organizations.

With referees enjoying national legitimacy and pride, we cherish a time when
conflict management and resolution take centre stage in all facets of our
political activities. In 2005, Zimbabweans crave for love, wish to set up
peace committees, aspire for a society awash with media forbearance, and
expect abundant political space in the hope of a lasting end to the national
crisis. There is absolutely no need to look back as we grapple with the task
of a new beginning, a new Zimbabwe.

Hooliganism, private armies and militias are a product of failed regimes;
regimes that thrive on terror. We understand 50 000 thoroughly conditioned
youths have since graduated at various training camps countrywide. We care
for the future of every Zimbabwean youth. These children need help. They
need jobs. They need food; they want peace. Please, send them back to their
homes, to their families. Allow them to prepare for a new Zimbabwe. We shall
need all their creative energies for a positive, productive and intensive
reconstruction programme very soon.

We believe Zimbabweans are determined to deny violence an acceptable face;
to strike it off our political culture. Violence is a sign of weakness; and
as a political formula can never bestow legitimacy to any regime. Let us
campaign openly, without the usual make-belief theories and propaganda
portraying this or that organization as a party on a recovery path.

We have a national responsibility, a national duty, beyond our personal
interests, to seek a lasting solution to our problems and end the current
wave of anxiety among the people arising from our past actions. We must
strive for well-managed transition in which both the winners and losers
emerge stronger.

As political parties, we can take our cases to the people in a robust manner
without trading unnecessary insults. We can register a significant shift in
our political mindsets and in our personal attitudes if we were to confer
directly to identify the main impediment to a smooth transition from one
generation of leaders to another; from the old guard - wisdom, history,
warts and all - to a fresh crop of patriots, keen to start afresh and take
the nation to new heights.

Our neighbours have invested a lot in us, in an attempt to rescue us from
our squabbles and our sinking ship. Our neighbours want the region to forge
alliances with other influential trading blocks soon after our elections.
Our neighbours are embarrassed by our behaviour as a pariah state. We must
respect them. The MDC is ready to clear suspicions, to address deep-rooted
misconceptions and to accord any concerned party the necessary confidence,
so that together we can nudge our country towards a final resolution of the

In my consultations with all the SADC leaders, it is clear that their main
worry is centred on the future. SADC realizes that the endurance of the
people has now been stretched to the extreme limit and there is no telling
how much longer they can continue to tolerate the agony that is multiplying
itself almost on a daily basis. SADC has had enough of desperate Zimbabweans
and SADC knows the nature of the crisis in this country.

There is a consensus in SADC that Zimbabwe cannot withstand any further
battering. SADC is aware of the serious questions, demanding serious
answers, which our people are asking every day. SADC has faith in 2005 as
the year with all the answers.

I have been assured by our members and structures at home and by most
influential SADC leaders that they shall exert sufficient pressure onto the
regime to enable our elections to pass a SADC public confidence test.
Wherever you are, in your communities, in other political parties and in
civil society, let us rise and make sure that Zimbabwe succeeds. We must go
an extra mile and seize an exit arrangement for a permanent solution to our
transitional anguish.

Together, we shall win.

Morgan Tsvangirai

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".

Thought of the Day: By Sea and Land and Air We Go -

"Aye. Fight and you may die. Run and you will live - at least, a while.
And, dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade
all the days, from this day to that, for one chance - just one chance - to
come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they
will never take our freedom?"

(William Wallace)


Letter 1: THE WRONG TREVOR SHAW, received 10th January 2005
by Patsy

Hi there

I read with interest the letters that have been circulating regarding
Trevor Shaw and his appeals for funds to feed Joyce.

But please, make it known that there are TWO Trevor Shaws in the Gweru
area. 'Chicken Trevor' whose appeal went out and 'Beef Trevor' who is NOT
involved!!! 'Beef Trevor' has been in Australia and should not be confused
with 'Chicken Trovor'.

A lot of damage could be caused to this young man if the record is not set

I do not have an email address for Debs and Jeff White, but, I would like
them to know that this is not one and the same the same person!!!

Regards, and happy New Year



Letter 2: FROM SHAW, received 10 January 2005
by Reg & Beti-Ann McLean

Dear JAG

I read with horror the various replies to Mr Shaw's letter and the ensuing
confusion of "Beef" Trevor Shaw and "Chicken" Trevor Shaw.

I trust this has been sorted and that Mr Trevor Shaw (Beef) from Somabhula
has been given an apology.

Reg & Beti-Ann McLean


Letter 3: LETTER TREVOR SHAW, received 7 January 2005
by Les Coulson

Is trevor shaw's letter genuine or a hoax?!

Surely, he can't be serious.

Les Coulson


Letter 4: Ingutcheni, received 7 January 2005
by Eric Harrison

Dear JAG

Please make an appointment with the Warden of Ingutcheni to recieve a
Mr.Trevor Shaw as soon as possible. This guy has gone beserk and I
certainly hope that they do not need more than half a dozen beds at most to
cater for his ilk. If this is the thinking of the rest of CFU, I'm afraid
we were doomed a long time ago.

Eric Harrison


Letter 5: LOOKING FOR A FRIEND, received 10 January 2005
by Dick Nash

Dear JAG,

I know that this is possibly not in your terms of reference but I wonder if
you can help me locate someone who was farming in Rhodesia and later in

Ian Campbell and his wife Bev, who I knew many years ago, were, I think,
farming, possibly north of Harare. Ian must have left St George's College
in about 1959 or thereabouts. I would greatly like to be able to contact
them if you have an address available.

With best wishes to you,

Dick Nash.


Letter 6: RE: LETTER BY TREVOR SHAW, received 9 January 2005
by Charlie Warren

Dear Jag

Please allow to comment on the letter written by Trevor Shaw, Mr Shaw I
find your "appeal" in extremely poor taste, considering all the factors in
Zimbabwe, past and present and to a degree the future, you are a disgrace
to your community and if you feel you had to appeal for anything..... make
the appeal for food to feed the starving masses in Zimbabwe, NOT the fat
cats of a regime that does not care about their people, I am led to believe
you were in Southern Australia recently to buy a farm or something of the
sorts, makes one wonder to the fact that your appeal is to grease the palms
of the powers that be to get your capital out of Zimbabwe while selling
your community down the drain, reminds me of the old days when we were told
not to be wary of our enemies but of our so called friends. You are
despicable Mr.Shaw, and the sooner you meet your maker, the better for your
community and 99% of ALL Zimbabweans.

Go to hell .... you sell out!!! It is people like you who are filling your
pockets at the expense of others, while living the best of both worlds.

I can promise you one thing, YOU would never have my mandate to represent
me in ANY part of this mad world. If you have a conscience, read this and
weep. I write from Johannesburg, where we still have freedom of speech.

Charlie Warren Johannesburg


Letter 7: RE: Mr WHALEY'S LETTER, received 9 January 2005
by Peter Cray

Dear JAG

I share the bemusement expressed so well by Mr Whaley in his letter which
appeared on the Open Letter forum on 5 January.

Mr Shaw, writing to Mr Whaley on behalf of the CFU, says that 'we are all
to blame for disunity' and urges farmers to unite behind a policy of
offering yet more olive branches (at 1 million dollars a shot) to those who
have stolen everything from so many farmers and, implicitly, of yet more
negotiation with those same thieves and wreckers. The disunity he condemns
is the result of the fact that the majority of those who farmed in Zimbabwe
in 2000 consider such a policy to be immoral, short-sighted and inevitably
ineffective. Any such policy serves only to prolong Zimbabwe's agony and
delay the day when everyone, farmers, ex farmers and the wider Zimbabwean
population, can benefit from a fair, transparent and productive land policy
that repairs the hideous damage of the last five years and establishes a
proper framework for the future. That is the aspiration that all farmers,
past and present, should unite behind.

Regrettably I do not seem to have the generosity of spirit to wish, as Mr
Whaley does, 'good luck to those willing to sell their souls'. Personally I
am ashamed that people I once liked and esteemed are prepared to debase
themselves and betray their friends by associating themselves with the
incoherent and distasteful nonsense preached by Mr Shaw and his fellows. I
am particularly dispirited to see such sentiments expressed when a
courageous and distinguished farmer is imprisoned in a squalid Zimbabwean

Am I lacking in pragmatism? Well contemplate what the CFU's pragmatism has
earned us since 2000. Not a lot.

Peter Cray


Letter 8: RE: OLF (320 and 321), received 8 January 2005
by Ben Freeth

Dear JAG,

What Trevor Shaw has written from the CFU to the Midlands farmers is
nothing new. Cloete, Hasluck, Hawgood, Taylor-Freeme and many of the
farmers still on the ground , led, continue to lead and live by the same
policy. The good thing about his letter is that he has exposed this
policy, that is echoed through so many of our countries organisations, for
what it is: appease; collude; acquiess; collaborate; join with the Party;
engage; and always pay out to the perpetrators of evil to save your skins

He has exposed from the once wealthy and strong organisations of this
country the moral bankruptcy and fawning weakness that underlie them. They
are not prepared to confront evil, or even expose it but rather want to
dialogue, pay and therefore legitimise evil men in their positions of power
; and at the same time they want us to have "faith"[ Shaws words] in their
Quisling type leadership style and "unite" [Shaws word] around it. Such
policy will ultimately lead to complete destruction... Our faith needs to
be in the God that will eventually judge each one of us. Our unification
should be around standing against evil for what is right.

It would be nice to see an apology and a retraction of this appeasment
policy by the CFU through the popular outcry and withholding of fees of
members both past and present. My experience is that we sadly never

Ben Freeth


Letter 9: DONATIONS FOR MUJURU, received 9 January 2005
by Trevor Midlane

Dear JAG

It is with utter disgust that I read a recent ZW News article concerning
remaining Midlands farmers being urged to donate cattle,maize,chickens for
a party being organised by Zanu PF for Mujuru. Trevor Shaw CFU Chairman-
Midlands sending a letter to farmers urging them to think carefully as
individual names will be taken of those who donate.

I suspect that most remaining farmers in Zimbabwe are still operating
because of their "sympathetic leanings towards Zanu PF" i.e. deals with fat
cat politicians.

If this is indeed the case then I point out the similarity of such
behaviour as to that of the occupied French during the 2nd World War who
chose to sympathise with the Germans. When liberation occurred (as it will
certainly happen in Zimbabwe) these sympathises were severely punished by
the French people who had resisted the German occupation. This is a very
similar situation to what occurs today in Zimbabwe.

I for one greatly look forward to this day of retribution.

Yours Sincerely
Trevor Midlane


Letter 10: The CFU - A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, received 9 January 2005
by John Robinson

The Editor,

Joe Whaley has emulated Queen Victoria - he is not amused.

The CFU's cosy or expedient relationship with a Mr. Hunzvi some years ago
did not really take everybody in, it seems.

"Commercial farmers want to sup with the devil with the hope that they can
buy time. There is no buying time here. The white commercial farmers are so
evasive and it is their evasiveness that is going to expose the membership
of the CFU."

Tsvangirayi 2001).

It is time.

John Robinson


Letter 11: YOUR NEWS (OLF 320+321), received 7 January 2005
by John Brown

Dear JAG,

Thanks for your e mail.

There were two commercial farmers who found themselves in the guts of a
megalomaniac. One had been completely chewed up and when he met up with
the other, all he could remember was what beautiful white teeth his host
had eaten him with. The second farmer had to admit that he had never seen
the teeth as he had come in through a different route.

John Brown


Letter 12: MIDLANDS CFU, received 10 January 2005
by Eric Harrison

Dear JAG,

This has just come in - I don't care if it is through the FA structure or

For anyone to be thinking like this at this stage, is wrong.

The fact that Doug has put his signature to it, is of concern.


----- Original Message -----
From: Kim Devlin
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 9:57 AM
Subject: Midlands
Dear Eric,

Thank you for your concern at the content of an email sent from Midlands.

This matter is unique to the province, primarily dealt with through the
F.A. structure, farmers have chosen through their elected membership to
manage this difficult situation through an appeal for a donation.

This is not a directive from head office, nor is it CFU policy.

Your are welcome to contact me directly for further discussion on this

Doug [Taylor-Freeme]


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture (JAG).


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374?
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines

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From The Daily Mirror, 11 January

Land reform puzzle takes new twist

Clemence Manyukwe

State House employees are set to displace at least 1 500 people settled on
Little England Farm, Mashonaland West, as the cryptic land reform puzzle
takes a new twist. According to legal documents filed with the Chinhoyi
Magistrates Court, where the Minister of Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, John Nkomo is the plaintiff, the return address of 19 of the
people the government seeks to resettle is State House. The State House
workers have already been issued offer letters to occupy the farm. "The said
farm is designated for the A2 model where it will be divided into 51 plots.
The plaintiff has already identified suitable people to occupy the said
plots from the waiting list. . .Several verbal notices have been given to
the defendant to vacate the said farm, but despite the demand defendant has
refused and neglected to give vacant possession to plaintiff," reads part of
Nkomo's particulars of claim. The minister attached to the court papers a
list of the intended beneficiaries, giving their names, national identity
numbers and addresses, among other information.

Last year, the High Court stopped the lands ministry from evicting the new
farmers on the grounds that the State had not followed the proper legal
channels. The government was also ordered to find alternative land for the
occupiers before evicting them. However, in his particulars of claim, Nkomo
alleged that the families occupied the property in September 2002 - way
after the cut off date for land occupation - therefore were not protected by
the Land Acquisition Act, which accommodates only those who moved onto farms
before March 2001. The settlers claimed they had moved onto the property at
the height of farm demonstrations in 2000 spearheaded by the war veterans to
address the issue of equitable land redistribution between the minority
whites and the majority blacks. Despite being outnumbered, the whites owned
vast tracks of fertile land white the blacks were crammed on infertile land
mainly in the rural areas. The ex-fighters' actions were with the blessings
of President Robert Mugabe and the government who later crafted laws to
justify their move. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), representing
the new farmers, told The Daily Mirror that they opposing papers to Nkomo's
court application were being prepared. A lawyer working on the matter, who
refused to be immediately identified, said it was unfortunate that the
government took such action against people who had occupied farms at its
instigation in 2000.
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The Herald

Birchenough Bridge weak

ONLY one vehicle at a time is now allowed cross Birchenough Bridge across
Save River in Manicaland province because the suspended bridge can no longer
sustain heavier loads than those initially designed.

Workmen controlling traffic at the bridge said not more than one vehicle is
allowed to cross the bridge because it vibrates every time a vehicle passes
over it, which made it necessary to make sure that all vehicles that pass
over the bridge do not exceed the stipulated weight.

"We are controlling all vehicles that pass over the bridge for 24 hours to
make sure that only one vehicle at a time crosses no matter how small it
might be," said Valentine Sibiya, one of the workmen at the bridge.

"Other heavy haulage trucks are forbidden from crossing the bridge
altogether if the drivers refuse to off-load their cargo to cross the bridge

"Overloaded buses are sometimes required to let their passengers disembark
and cross the bridge on foot before they can board again after crossing the
bridge," he said.

Government in the 1980s first imposed a weight restriction of 40 tonnes but
this was further lowered to 25 tonnes and further to about 12 tonnes.

In 2003, the Ministry of Transport and Communications undertook structural
repairs and repainting on Birchenough Bridge after defects were detected.
Residents form Birchenough Bridge Growth Point said the bridge remains a
distinguished landmark in the area with people coming from all corners of
the country and beyond to have a glimpse of the bridge. The bridge's
structure is minted on the country's 20-cent coins.

The suspended bridge, replicating the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia,
was opened to traffic in December 1935.
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Daily News online edition

Zanu PF chickens have come home to roost

Date: 11-Jan, 2005

IT is difficult not to sympathise with Zanu PF members who are crying
"foul" over the rejection of their favoured candidates for the parliamentary

These candidates are not being allowed to take part even in the party
primaries, leaving some of them no choice but to contest the seats as

Those standing in the urban areas have a particularly hard time
raising enough hope for victory to even want to continue protesting. There
are very few indications so far that Zanu PF could dislodge the MDC from its
urban domination.

So, these Zanu PF aspirants may be whistling in the wind. Even in
Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare, where their party has waged a naked
campaign to undermine the opposition-dominated councils, there is little
evidence the voters are ready to endorse a party they rejected so massively
in 2000.

But our sympathy for them must be tempered with amazement and
cynicism. It must be assumed that as members of Zanu PF, they believed, at
one stage or the other, that their party was truly democratic, that it
played by the rules.

Like loyal party members they did not believe criticism that Zanu PF's
interpretation of democracy was so flawed, the point was not even worth
discussing at any intellectual level.

The government, which is entirely Zanu PF-controlled, has passed laws
and made declarations which have been condemned as undemocratic, not only by
home-grown opposition parties, but also by international organisations and
foreign countries.

Their party's policies led to the country's suspension from the
Commonwealth, after which the party leader, reacting to a decision to
prolong the suspension, decided to pull Zimbabwe out of a multiracial
grouping from which it had benefited tremendously, in education, the law and

If the members thought all this was not their party's fault, that the
rest of the world was treating it unfairly, then the chickens have come home
to roost for them.

Their demonstrations, which led the party president to address them in
an impromptu rally outside the party headquarters on Monday, must certainly
convince Zanu PF that it is time to introduce real democracy within the
party, if not within the country itself.

Zanu PF has tried to run the country like a vast refugee camp during
the liberation struggle, which is why the reaction to the success of the MDC
in the 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential elections was the
introduction of draconian legislation against the independent media and the
opposition parties.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public
Order and Security Act (Posa) were both designed to curtail open criticism
of Zanu PF, which could rouse the people to protest against the party's
dictatorial rule.

The present crisis may be remedied through party concessions to the
protesters. But the party's road to the harakiri which many critics have
predicted for it remains wide open.

If the disgruntled members can't see the precipice at the end of that
road, then they are to be pitied even more. - Editorial

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Zim Online

Wed 12 January 2005
HARARE - A top-level Southern African Development Community (SADC)
delegation is expected in Zimbabwe next week to assess whether conditions in
the country comply with regional guidelines for democratic elections,
sources told ZimOnline last night.

Zimbabwe holds a general election in March and the country's main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has threatened to
boycott the crucial poll arguing that electoral laws and conditions do not
conform with standards agreed by SADC leaders in Mauritius last year.

The source said the SADC leaders and the two Zimbabwean political
parties had agreed that Mbeki, who will lead the delegation, shall announce
the visit shortly.

Authoritative sources in both the ruling ZANU PF party and the MDC
said a three-member delegation comprising South African President Thabo
Mbeki, Botswana President Festus Mogae and Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha
Mosisili were expected in the country next week.

According to the sources, the troika's visit follows last year's
visits to South Africa by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert

"The MDC president told Mbeki that Mugabe was not complying with the
standards set in Mauritius. Mugabe later told Mbeki during his own visit
that he was ready to subject himself to a peer review on compliance ahead of
the parliamentary elections in March," said one source.

Efforts to get comment from Mbeki's office last night were fruitless
with his spokesman Bheki Khumalo said to be away on leave while Khumalo's
deputy Malerato Sekha was said to be away with the South African President
in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Under the SADC electoral guidelines, independent commissions must
oversee polls while electoral laws and processes must be fair and
transparent. All political parties must be allowed access to the public
media while human rights and the rule of law must be upheld during

The MDC accuses the government of half-heartedly adhering to the
regional standards and says a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission proposed by
the government will lack independence because its chairman will be appointed
by Mugabe while its other four members will be nominated by a
government-dominated parliament. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Blair mourns death of democracy in Zimbabwe
Wed 12 January 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's crisis is because of a failure of governance and the
death of democracy in the southern African nation, according to British
Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Writing in the latest edition of leading business magazine, The
Economist, Blair, a constant critic of President Robert Mugabe, called on
the international community to continue working to end the crisis in
Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.

Blair wrote: "In Zimbabwe we see the great damage that can be done to
a country, its economy, its people and their potential by the destruction of
democracy and the failure of governance.

"We have worked with the international community to identify
benchmarks to help Zimbabwe restore the rights and prosperity of its people.
Should all this matter to the rest of the world? For democratic governments,
it should because it matters to our

Mugabe has accused Blair of working for the ouster of his government
from power to revenge Harare's seizure of land from white Zimbabwean farmers
most of whom are British descendents. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

MDC blames judiciary for poll petition delays
Wed 12 January 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party yesterday rejected claims by the
country's Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku that it delayed the hearing of
its leader Morgan Tsvangirai's application challenging President Robert
Mugabe's re-election two years ago.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party legal affairs secretary
David Coltart instead blamed downright sloppiness by the courts for delays
in Tsvangirai's appeal against Mugabe's victory in 2002 and in 40 other
petitions by MDC candidates in a general election two years earlier.

Coltart cited as an example a petition challenging the victory of the
ruling ZANU PF party's Kenneth Manyonda in Buhera North constituency, where
he said the court record vanished from the High Court and the MDC has been
unable to proceed with the challenge.

"In the Buhera North poll challenge, the entire court record
disappeared and because of this, we have not been able to pursue the matter.
The High Court lost the entire proceedings," said Coltart.

Out of the total appeals by Tsvangirai and MDC candidates, 23 have
been abandoned, while 15 have been completed with judgments given and 10
appeals noted against the judgments.

Chidyausiku, who was speaking at the opening of Zimbabwe's legal year
on Monday, said Tsvangirai's appeal in which he accuses Mugabe of winning
through violence and downright fraud is held up as the parties' lawyers
hackle over preliminary issues.

Other petitions by MDC candidates in the 2000 general election had
been delayed because the litigants had refused to follow a timetable for the
hearing of the appeals and kept on postponing hearings, Chidyausiku said.

Critics accuse Chidyausiku, a former civil servant known to be
sympathetic to Mugabe and ZANU PF, of blocking the resolution of the

Zimbabwe holds another general election in two months' time rendering
the resolution of the petitions now almost academic. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

State power company hikes tariffs by 126 percent
Wed 12 January 2005
HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)
has hiked tariffs by 126 percent following the scrapping of a government
energy subsidy.

The tariff increase, the second inside five months, is with immediate

ZESA hiked tariffs in September last year by 18.9 percent citing
increases in postal service costs.

The government power company's corporate affairs general manager,
Obert Nyatanga, said the latest tariff review was in line with
recommendations by consultants to ensure a cost reflective tariff structure
after the government this year cut a Z$1.4
trillion subsidy to ZESA.

"ZESA cannot continue (carrying) the heavy burden in the absence of
the subsidy), hence the decision to implement the recommended cost
reflective electricity tariffs," Nyatanga said in a statement.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, regarded as the voice of the
country's business community, said it wanted to study the tariff schedule
first before it could comment on the impact the tariff increase is going to
have across the economy. - ZimOnline
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ABC, Australia

Zimbabwe press regulations under fire
The United States has condemned new media laws in Zimbabwe that will see
unlicensed journalists jailed for up to two years.

"We are quite concerned about this law, about tightening of restrictions on
journalists and the amended media law that they have passed," State
Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

The amendment to Zimbabwe's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Amendment Act was signed into law by President Robert Mugabe on Friday.

It was passed by Zimbabwean legislators in early November after weeks of
intense debate.

"Zimbabwe's media law has often been used to close down the country's
independent daily newspapers and we think that the new amendments to this
law can only make matters worse," Mr Boucher said.

Under the new regulations journalists who work without a government license
now face a two-year jail sentence or a fine or both.

A state-approved media commission has powers to accredit journalists.

It also bars foreign journalists from working permanently in the southern
African country.

The move "raises serious doubts about whether the [Mugabe] Government is
committed to hold a free and fair parliamentary elections in March," Mr
Boucher said.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo last year defended the
amendments as intended to "protect the state from attacks by enemies of the

Two independent newspaper groups have been shut down and scores of
journalists arrested under a previous media law.

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Mugabe moves to quell internal squabbling
January 11 2005 at 04:58PM

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has moved to heal a rift
within his ruling Zanu-PF party over the selection of candidates for a
general parliamentary election due in March, state media reported on

Political analysts say wrangling within the governing party - linked
to the issue of Mugabe's successor - could work to the advantage of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Mugabe addressed scores of angry supporters protesting on Monday at
what they called the imposition of candidates for the parliamentary
elections, the official Herald newspaper said.

"Comrade Mugabe said he was surprised to see the demonstrators yet the
process to select the party's candidates for the primary elections had not
been concluded," it said.

Mugabe, in power for a quarter of a century, told party members at the
protest at Zanu-PF headquarters they needed to be united and understanding
to come up with winning candidates.

"The party is not dead; it is standing strong. Are you aware that such
thinking pleases the MDC," it quoted Mugabe as reacting to placards saying
Zanu-PF was disintegrating.

No date has yet been set for the March elections.

More than a dozen officials have been purged from the ruling party's
top bodies and as election candidates, after a row about Mugabe's likely
successor on his expected retirement in 2008.

Former information minister Jonathan Moyo and several party colleagues
have appealed for Zanu-PF to reverse a decision which stops them from
contesting the parliamentary elections.

Moyo, who has spearheaded the government's political campaign over the
past five years, was implicated in a secret meeting of party officials to
promote their candidate as one of Zimbabwe's two vice presidents - against
Joyce Mujuru, who was appointed under a Zanu-PF drive to boost the role of

The ruling party is to make a final decision on January 15 on its
candidates for the March poll, which the MDC has threatened to boycott
unless electoral reforms are made to ensure fairness.

State television on Tuesday quoted the chief judge, Godfrey
Chidyausiku, as saying the High Court was ready to hear an appeal by MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai against Mugabe's victory in a 2002 presidential
election, but that the case was being hindered by preliminary legal
wrangling between both parties.

Several MDC officials have also lodged court challenges to their
defeat in 2000 parliamentary elections the opposition charges were rigged by

The ruling party insists it won fairly in both polls, and dismisses
the MDC as a puppet of former colonial power Britain, which it says has led
a campaign to sabotage Zimbabwe's economy over Mugabe's seizure of
white-owned farms for blacks.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe to raise $3.2 million for tsunami victims

Tuesday January 11, 2005 14:50 - (SA)

HARARE - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe has unveiled plans to raise at least 3,2
million dollars in aid for Indonesia's earthquake and tidal wave victims,
state media said on Tuesday.

Deputy chief secretary in the presidency, Ray Ndhlukula, said the fund's
target was 20 billion dollars.

Although the tsunami-hit regions include several Asian countries and parts
of Africa, Zimbabwe's aid will go to Indonesia, the worst affected of the
Asian countries President Robert Mugabe has been appointed patron of the
Zimbabwe Tsunami Disaster Fund whose committee comprises government, the
business community and churches.

At least 157,000 people have been killed by tidal waves that hit Asian and
Indian Ocean shorelines on December 26. Two Zimbabwean businessmen, Steve le
Roux and Clive Baron, who were holidaying in Thailand at the time, are
feared dead.

Vice President Joyce Mujuru pledged early this month that the country would
do all it can, no matter how small, to help the tsunami victims because
"Zimbabwe is a nation of caring people".

Zimbabwe's money-raising initiative, the latest in a global outpouring of
aid, comes from a country hit by alarming poverty and HIV/AIDS rates.
According to UNAIDS, 1.6 million adults, or 24.6%, are living with HIV and
AIDS in Zimbabwe.

Additionally, the regional food security watchdog Famine Early Warning
Systems Network (FEWSNET) has warned that more than 2.2 million rural
Zimbabweans are in need of food aid.

Zimbabwe has been in the throes of economic crisis with high inflation and
unemployment since elections in 2000 that were marred by violence, and a
land reform programme that has seen thousands of white-owned commercial
farms seized and handed over to landless blacks.


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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mugabe gives in

Tinofa Karonga
issue date :2005-Jan-11

. . . relaxes primary poll rules

BARELY 24 hours from his annual leave in the Far East, President Robert
Mugabe - the only man holding Zanu PF together - yesterday swiftly moved to
fill up fissures that had emerged in the ruling party over polling
The President, who is also the ruling party's President and First Secretary,
relaxed stringent guidelines the party used last week to select candidates
for primary elections scheduled for Saturday in the party's 10 provinces,
ahead of general elections in March.
The move, seen by political commentators as a strategy to patch up the
cracks threatening to tear Zanu PF down the middle, effectively threw a
lifeline to those who had been excluded by the guidelines set by the
national elections directorate led by political commissar Elliot Manyika.
For the second time in 10 days, demonstrators yesterday besieged the party's
headquarters in Harare seeking a review of the guidelines they saw as a way
to impose candidates in some constituencies.
There were also cases of people being declared sole candidates, even though
there were others who felt they qualified to stand in the primaries.
The guidelines stated that only members of the provincial executives,
national consultative assembly and the central committee were eligible to
participate in the primary polls while incumbent legislators who did not
meet the above guidelines but had no disciplinary cases against them were
also eligible to stand.
Addressing the disgruntled ruling party activists demonstrating against the
imposition of candidates in their constituencies, President Mugabe said:
"Tinonzwisisa zvichemo zvenyu. Zanu PF ibato rinotungamidza zvido zvevanhu
pamberi. Saka vanhu chindosarudzai mumiriri wamunoda anogona kukumiririrai.
Hamuchaita zvokusarudzirwa nemusangano. (We are here to address your
concerns. Zanu PF is a democratic party where everyone's wishes are
respected. It is now up to you to go and select candidates of your choice
who are capable of leading you because the party is no longer going to
impose candidates on you).
President Mugabe, however, said those members of the party who had pending
disciplinary cases against them and those who were facing charges in court
were not eligible for the elections.
"Those members of the party who have disciplinary cases against them are not
eligible for elections. We are not going to change the date for the
primaries. All primaries will take place on January 15," he said.
The party's co-vice president and second secretary, Joyce Mujuru, Manyika
(who is also the party's national elections directorate chairman), secretary
for administration Didymus Mutasa and secretary for legal affairs Emmerson
Mnangagwa accompanied the President when he went to address the restive
Turn to Page 2

The relaxation of the guidelines is not likely to benefit aspirants like
former local government deputy minister Tony Gara, war veterans leader
Joseph Chinotimba, Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the
President's Office Jonathan Moyo and the six provincial chairpersons
suspended for allegedly participating in the unsanctioned Tsholotsho meeting
last November.
However, Chinotimba, who wants to contest in Glen Norah, was later seen
surrounded by his supporters a few hundred metres from the party
headquarters, singing and dancing, in the hope that he had been given a new
lease of life.
Moyo has since appealed to the party's national elections directorate
against the allocation of the Tsholotsho seat he was eyeing to women
candidates in line with the quota system introduced by the party at its
December congress.
Last week, Zanu PF supporters demonstrated in Harare against what they
termed imposition of candidates and literally held Manyika hostage.
The members demonstrated against Harare province, which had elected
unopposed Minister of Mines and Mining Development Amos Midzi to stand for
Hatfield/Epworth constituency, Cleveria Chizema for Glen Norah and Tendai
Savanhu for Mbare.
People from Mutoko also condemned the retaining of the Mutoko North seat by
Deputy Finance and Economic Development Minister David Chapfika unopposed.
Zanu PF activists drawn mainly from Mutoko North, Mbare, Glen Norah,
Hatfield and Gutu South had been waiting for their concerns to be addressed.
A highly placed source in the party told The Daily Mirror last night that a
number of aspiring legislators whose curriculum vitae were rejected by
provincial coordinating committees would take part in the primaries.
"I understand that people who were disqualified during the PCC vetting
process in Masvingo, Midlands and Harare were given the green light to
contest in the primaries," said the source.
Last night, Manyika confirmed that President Mugabe had addressed the angry
supporters, but declined to give details. He referred all questions to the
President's press secretary, George Charamba, who was, however, not

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Judiciary blames MDC for delays in poll cases

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-11

THE judiciary has distanced itself from delays in finalising election
petitions filed by the opposition MDC against Zanu PF victories in 40
constituencies and instead blamed the litigants for non-cooperation with
judges set aside to deal with the political litigation.
Soon after the bloody parliamentary polls in 2000 in which Zanu PF lost 57
seats to the MDC, the opposition party filed petition after petition against
the ruling party's victories citing gross human rights violations including
rape, torture, displacements and muzzling of the Press in favour of Zanu PF.
There has been a chorus of angry voices from the MDC and civic society over
the delay in dealing with the petitions.
Already, President Robert Mugabe has set March as the month the general
elections would be conducted despite the pending court petitions.
During the official opening of the legal year at the High Court yesterday
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said the delay had resulted in adverse
public comments, despite the fact that the High Court had appointed six
judges to deal with the petitions.
Said Chidyausiku: "In the year 2000, immediately after the general
elections, 40 electoral petitions were filed in High Court.
"At that time I was the Judge President and I immediately realised that
there was a need to ring-fence these petitions to ensure that other
litigants were not crowded out of the High Court. I appointed three judges
to preside over the petitions.
"The judges were instructed to set down one case after the other until they
were all completed.
"This was not done because petitioners were unable to come to court one
after the other until all cases were completed. If litigants had co-operated
and the plan followed, there is a good chance that the cases would have been
completed within a year-and-a-half."
Chidyausiku said the judges sat in chambers for months without hearing the
cases because the parties were not ready to come to court.
He added that after he left the High Court in 2002, his successor Judge
Paddington Garwe appointed other three judges to handle the matter and a few
cases were heard that year.
"However, towards the end of 2002 it was noticed that hardly any of
the matters were taking off.
"There would be requests for postponements by the lawyers and judges
would have the matters set down again, only for matters to be again
postponed. All the three judges were underutilised during the third term of
Chidyausiku added that in January 2003, Judge President Garwe convened a
meeting with all legal practitioners involved in the petitions.
It was agreed, he said, that cases would be dealt with upon request from
both parties, but no one had come forward.
A lawyer who spoke to The Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity soon after
the opening questioned Chidyausiku's silence on the matter only to go public
now-a tactic he said resulted in the nation casting doubt in the judiciary.
"The public no longer have faith in the justice delivery system especially
over delays that are important as the election petitions. It would have been
better if the explanation were given when they realised that the two parties
were causing delays in finalising the petitions. It now appears that they
just want to save their faces," he said.
The MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart said, "I am not going to
get into an unseemly debate with the Chief Justice, the facts speak for
Of the 40 petitions that were filed, 23 were abandoned, while 15 were
completed with judgments given and 10 appeals noted against the judgments.
Three cases have reached the Supreme Court and are awaiting judgment. If the
Sunday decision is upheld it will open up chances for Chinhoyi businessman,
Faber Chidarikire who is also eyeing the same seat.
Incumbent legislator Phillip Chiyangwa is currently in remand prison on
allegations of espionage and seems to be out of the race.
Manyika and ruling party national chairman John Nkomo were unavailable for
comment yesterday.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Sparks expected to fly at ZABG launch

Muchena Zigomo
issue date :2005-Jan-11

FIREWORKS are expected with the looming launch of the Zimbabwe Allied
Banking Group (ZABG), as concerns have arisen over accountholders' access to
funds locked up in the participating banks amid rising uncertainty regarding
how the banks will operate.
Banking industry sources said tense moments were expected when the landmark
banking group begins operations next month, with some accountholders who
have funds in the participating banks still unclear over the status of their
The ZABG is an amalgamation of some of the country's troubled financial
institutions, which were closed down at the height of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s clean up of the banking and financial services industry
last year.
However, while the banking group is expected to turn around the fortunes of
the ailing banks, its rollout has been mired in uncertainty, which has also
resulted in the delays in its unveiling.
Initially the group was scheduled to begin operations on January 3 2005, but
"several unforeseen technicalities" have forced the central bank to defer
the bank's entrance onto the market.
Key among these factors was the issue of remuneration for the group's senior
management officials, which sources said was "yet to be rationalised".
Acting RBZ governor, Charity Dhliwayo, said authorities were still polishing
up their work before the launch of the bank sometime next month.
Industry players said they were also still in the dark over the looming
launch of the ZABG, which is capitalised to the tune of $2 trillion.
The sources said the industry had adopted a wait and see attitude prior to
the launch of the banking group, which would evolve out of the ashes of
about 7 troubled financial institutions.
In the midst of these uncertainties, the problem of accountholders' lack of
awareness as to how much of their funds they will be getting has also
According to the central bank's Troubled Bank Resolution Framework, which
outlines the modalities of ZABG's rollout, only those clients who had
$5million or less in their accounts with the closed banks will get all of
their money back.
The RBZ has divided the amounts of deposits in the closed banks into three
categories, small deposits (less than $5million), medium sized deposits
($5million to $50million), and large deposits (above $50million).
"All customers with small deposits in banking institutions being amalgamated
into the ZABG will be paid off by the end of January 2005. Creditors with
medium sized deposits shall convert their claims into equity. All large
deposits shall also be converted, in full, into equity," the RBZ said.
It added that all deposits converted into equity shall be eligible, subject
to the ZABG board's discretion, for redemption after a period of 18-24
months or upon the listing of the ZABG on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)
"whichever occurs first".
While the clause is included in the framework, industry players say very few
accountholders are aware of it and this could cause problems when the bank
is eventually operational.
"The problem is that some of our accountholders are not aware of the fact
that their money is going to be converted into equity and these people have
been persistently asking us when the bank will be opened so they can get
their money," said an official with one bank under curatorship who declined
to be named.
Upon its launch the ZABG is expected to face a critical confidence crisis,
as its participating banks have already been caught on the wrong side of the
central bank.
The fact that the banks initially failed to manage their finances and
corporate governance practices could also affect the success of the ZABG
"That is a concern but at present I would say apart from these initial
concerns, there is a generally positive sentiment towards the bank, and this
is mainly because the ZABG is associated or has come out of an initiative of
the Reserve Bank," Interfin Securities research head Farai Dyirakumunda
The establishment of the ZABG has been met with immense government support,
which has moved quickly to fast-track legalities bringing the banking group
to fruition.
According to a local daily, RBZ Governor, Gideon Gono, will soon appoint
Stephen Gwasira, who is the central bank's head of supervision and
surveillance, to head ZABG as chief operating officer of the allied banking
group while Dominic Magwada, managing director of Trust Bank, would be
appointed head of the retail division.
Andy Hodges will head the treasury division, while NDH founder Never Mhlanga
is expected to head the asset management arm.
Sydney Mabika, former head of personnel consultants,Lorimark, would be
brought in as chief of human resources.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Some farmers selling fertiliser on black market

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-11

SOME newly resettled small- and large-scale farmers are abusing a government
facility that permits them to buy fertiliser in bulk from the Zimbabwe
Fertiliser Company (ZFC) by selling it on the black market at Mbare Musika.
Subsistence farmers interviewed by The Daily Mirror at the terminus
yesterday said the new farmers - working in cahoots with dealers at Mbare
Musika - were ripping them off as they cannot buy the fertiliser directly
from the ZFC.
"Look, we have been told that only the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and ZFC
are supposed to make fertiliser available to small- and large-scale farmers
and other registered dealers. Are these men here bona fide farmers to access
the commodity from the organisations, only to sell it on the black market?"
asked one angry farmer from Murehwa.
ZFC managing director Richard Dafana said his company had received reports
that fertiliser was being sold on the parallel market.
Dafana said: "We do not have a mechanism to control the farmers from selling
the product after they obtain it from us. I suggest that the police must
raid stalls at Mbare Musika, as they do in established shops, to keep the
price of the commodity within the reach of many."
Dafana said it was disappointing that farmers were abusing the input scheme
introduced by the government.
"The majority of farmers obtain the commodity through the GMB and when they
come to us (ZFC) they are simply coming for collection. Usually they come
with papers from GMB with receipts, just to collect the fertilizer. Only
private farmers can buy directly from us without documents of authenticity,"
Dafana explained.
Ammonium Nitrate (AN), which is not being sold in shops, is easily available
and accessible at Mbare Musika.
A 50 kg bag of the fertiliser is being sold at the terminus for between $180
000 and $200 000, instead of the retail price currently pegged at $59 205.
The Mbare Musika dealers confirmed that they were working in cahoots with
some commercial farmers who provide them with the fertiliser at low prices.
"Many resettled farmers lack working capital and are forced to re-sale part
of the consignment to us," said one vendor who preferred anonymity.
A team of fertiliser vendors who were interviewed at the terminus echoed the
same sentiments, saying that was their only means of survival.
When The Daily Mirror arrived at the terminus, consignments in small
quantities could be seen displayed for fear of being harassed by the police.
"We are constantly running away from police. That's the reason why we sell
the fertiliser in small quantities near the terminus," said another vendor.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Staff shortage riles judicial system

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-11

THE increase in the workload and decline in the complement of judges have
created difficulties in speedily resolving cases before the courts, Chief
Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said yesterday.
He said from the statistics available, the workload faced by the courts had
continued to mount, while the number of judges and support staff remained
constant and had in some instances decreased.
In 2002-2003 the High Court had a complement of 22 judges, although the
figure has gone down to 14 due to retirements, resignations and deaths.
Chidyausiku said the Harare High Court received 209 cases, compared to 124
in 2003, while 513 appeals came from the Magistrates court - an increase
from the 228 that were heard the previous year.
A total of 1 431 bail applications were also received in 2004, an increase
from the 1 146 received in 2003, while 470 of these remain uncompleted.
Criminal reviews that were before the High Courts in 2004 were 7 739,
against 7 321 in the same period the previous year, while civil matters
increased from 11 158 in 2003 to 12 103 last year.
"Five hundred and eighteen civil appeals were received from the magistrates'
court, against 349 for the same period last year; 1 787 default applications
were received against 3 284 for the same period last year," Chidyausiku
He said 1 197 applications for pre-trial conferences were received in 2003,
against 1 547 last year, while the High Court issued 4 658 orders, compared
to 3450 in 2003.
There was less activity in the Sheriff's Office, where 74 instructions were
issued, with 63 being withdrawn and only seven sales in execution being

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Courier Mail, Brisbane

One of the great travesties
Comment by Malcolm Conn
ALL the concern about whether the overwhelmingly successful tsunami relief
match between the Rest of the World and Asia should have received official
status has been completely misdirected.

One of the greatest travesties perpetrated in cricket took place in
Chittagong during the past week, where Bangladesh hosted Zimbabwe in an
officially sanctioned Test.

That Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 221 runs to win their first Test in 35
attempts over four years is not a cause for celebration but a reaffirmation
of how low Zimbabwean cricket has tumbled.

The ruined African nation should have been stripped of Test match status
when most of their decent players, who happen to be white, walked out in
support of sacked captain Heath Streak last year and were themselves sacked.

Bangladesh should never have received Test match status in 2000 given they
did not even have a first-class structure and their national team found any
number of excuses to avoid playing Australian state teams to gauge the
strength of their national side. Bangladesh at their best would struggle to
compete with a state side; Zimbabwe belong in club cricket.

Ricky Ponting was shocked to see how low the standard of Zimbabwean cricket
had tumbled when Australia played a second XI in a warm-up match on their
pointless tour there in May, when the Test series was postponed.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland doubts anything has

"We certainly harboured concerns at the time when the Test series was
postponed and we continue to harbour those concerns," Sutherland said
yesterday. "The performance of the teams needs to continue to be monitored."

The future of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be decided at the next full
International Cricket Council meeting in Delhi in March.

But the tangled web of international cricket politics, which facilitated
Bangladesh's arrival and Zimbabwe's survival, will ensure the problem is
unlikely to be confronted head on.

The most logical, simple solution is for Zimbabwe and Bangladesh to play A
sides from other Test nations regularly at home and away until they win many
more matches than they lose. This would give both countries the
international exposure they desperately need to develop without compromising
the integrity of Test cricket.

The main Test nations claim that integrity is paramount and were prepared to
vote against Zimbabwe last May once it became clear how poor their
international team had become. Zimbabwe side-stepped the issue by
volunteering to postpone Test matches for six months but that self-imposed
ban has now ended.

By reducing Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to A team status it would free up the
demands on the worthy Test nations, who must play each other at home and
away in at least two Tests and three one-day matches every five years.

The ICC meeting again will consider a detailed report on the structure of
international cricket, with the possibility of expanding the cycle to six

There is a possibility that Zimbabwe and Bangladesh may be restricted to
home series, to develop the game in their country without imposing huge
financial burdens when they tour.

Cricket Australia lost about $1 million hosting Bangladesh in Darwin and
Cairns during 2003 and about the same amount when Zimbabwe toured last

There is also the prospect that the international cricket Zimbabwe and
Bangladesh play will be halved, so they tour each country at home and away
every 10 years.

But even weak international teams can earn millions of dollars in television
rights and a vote at the ICC board table can be a powerful thing.

Any significant change at ICC level requires seven of the 10 Test countries
to agree. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have two of those votes and the four Asian
countries, dominated by wealthy and powerful India, which also include
Pakistan and Sri Lanka, rarely break ranks.

Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are likely to play less international cricket in the
future. Until they improve significantly they should not be playing any at
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Star Tribune

Editorial: Free Maggie/Alaskans rally 'round elephant
January 12, 2005 ED0112A
There are African elephants and there are Asian elephants, but there is only
one Alaskan elephant. To animal-rights groups, the national
zoo-accreditation group -- and, probably, most anyone who thinks a modern
zoo should not condone suffering -- that's one too many.

Still, the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage is trying to hold onto Maggie, a
full-grown female from Zimbabwe who has been on her own there since a
companion, an Asian female, died of a foot infection in 1997. By way of
rejoinder to its critics, the zoo management is enlarging the concrete barn
in which Maggie must spend the long sub-Arctic winter, and also plans a
first-of-its-kind, $100,000 exercise treadmill. No kidding.

Now, the idea of watching a 4-ton elephant work out on a treadmill might
strike you as funny. One can imagine flanking the machine with murals of the
African savannah, or perhaps placing a projection TV at the far end,
displaying images of an attentive male.

But in reality, where Maggie has the misfortune to live, this approach to
caring for animals -- especially one with an elephant's social needs -- is
sickening. The treadmill is not about easing her arthritis, as the
zookeepers say, or helping her lose some of the fat she has put on. It's
about holding onto a 20-year star attraction, no matter what.

The Alaskans are also bucking a praiseworthy trend in which zoos that can't
properly house their elephants are setting them free in special sanctuaries,
where they can roam widely in something like their intended climate. The
Detroit Zoo has permanently closed its exhibit; San Francisco's is moving
its two elephants to sanctuary and, by city ordinance, can't get any new
ones unless it provides them with a 15-acre habitat, probably impossible.

Room to roam outdoors, on natural surfaces and in a suitable climate, is an
important requirement of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the
industry's accreditation body (it helps to prevent foot infections, a
chronic problem of elephants confined on concrete). But so is social
grouping: AZA urges that female elephants be kept in groups of three or
larger; solitary confinement is "inappropriate."

The AZA should not be mistaken for a radical animal-rights outfit. Rather,
it is a professionally staffed, industry-supported organization which helps
maintain the commercial viability of zoos by ensuring that their programs
meet sensible standards of animal health and well-being. Indeed, of the 10
U.S. zoos that activists have spotlighted for their shabby treatment of
elephants, all but Alaska's are AZA-accredited (as are this state's
Minnesota, Como Park and Lake Superior zoos, none of which has an elephant

So far, the Anchorage operation has declined to seek accreditation -- which
may not prove, but certainly permits, an unfavorable conclusion about its
regard for professional standards. But it may have more trouble keeping a
deaf ear turned to the many Alaskans who, despite their reflexive resentment
of interference from the world they call Outside, are organizing a boycott
to force Maggie's parole.
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Repeal Draconian Media Law

The Daily News (Harare)

January 11, 2005
Posted to the web January 11, 2005

THE removal from remand of the four Zimbabwean journalists from the Zimbabwe
Independent weekly newspaper this week by Harare magistrate Crema Chipere is
welcome but one must add, it is just little done, much more needs to be

The four scribes, former editor Iden Witherell, current editor Vincent
Kahiya and reporters Dumisani Muleya and Itai Dzamara were arrested for
publishing a story which accused President Robert Mugabe of commandeering an
Air Zimbabwe plane to Geneva, in Switzerland to attend an international

The same story also claimed that President Mugabe had taken possession of
the Boeing 767-200 plane to Indonesia and Singapore. According to the
charges before the court against the reporters, the story was defamatory to
the President, government and the community.

But thank God, magistrate Chipere has ruled that the state has failed to
provide a trial date. The four journalists are among more than 40 scribes in
the country who have been brought before the courts for various charges
since the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) was enacted.

That piece of legislation has practically emasculated journalists,
especially those working for privately owned newspapers like the Daily News
and Daily News on Sunday,Tribune, Standard and The Independent.

The brainchild of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, AIPPA has become the
bane of journalists in the country and most scribes are hoping that one day,
Parliament will revisit the Statute books and either amend or repeal the Act

Speculation is rife that President Mugabe will appoint a new information
minister soon and that would pave the way for the removal of AIPPA from the
statute books.

Most of the journalists who have been arrested, detained or charged through
AIPPA look forward to the appointment of a new information minister.

The amendment of AIPPA would inevitably see the end of the Media and
Information Committee chaired by Tafataona Mahoso, another thorn in the
flesh of the media fraternity in Zimbabwe.

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The African Human Rights Summit in Dakar

This Day (Lagos)

January 11, 2005
Posted to the web January 11, 2005

Jude Igbanoi

Human rights activists from all over Africa converged on the Senegalese
capital Dakar recently for the 36th Session of the African Commission for
Human and Peoples Rights. JUDE IGBANOI who was on the team of Nigerian
lawyers facilitated by the Open Society Justice Initiative to attend the
session reports

From the entire continent of Africa they all came, government
representatives, non-governmental and civil society organisations, lobby
groups and concerned individuals with observer status. The common interest
was the protection of basic and fundamental human rights. Language, colour
or religion was no barrier. From November 23 to December 7, human rights
defenders brainstormed with their counterparts from other countries and with
the representatives of various African governments. The sessions were quite
exciting, the debates robust and the arguments were passionate, but the
issues from country to country were not too dissimilar. There was no doubt a
meeting of minds on sundry issues. One of such issues is the controversy
over the abolition or retention of death penalty. An overwhelming majority
of participants pandered towards abolition. Those are the pro-lifers. The
few countries and organisations that came with anti-abolition positions
could not garner any significant support from participants. The Senegalese
President Abdulai Wade, who addressed the Session, is noted to be a
committed supporter of the abolition of death sentence. It is on record that
the octogenarian is a holder of three Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics,
Economics and Law and is a professor in the three disciplines. In fact he
was the pioneer Dean of the faculty of law at the University of Dakar. The
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is an acclaimed advocate of the
abolition of death penalty.

Egypt for instance took their anti-abolitionist position based on their
conviction that there is no worldwide consensus on the issue. Sudan took the
position that death penalty should only be resorted to only in extreme
situations of heinous crimes. The Nigerian government in its usual approach
to such matters dilly-dallied and posited that death penalty is in her
statute books and Constitution and therefore must be handled with utmost
care. However, the Nigerian delegation quickly pointed out the on-going
debate on the issue and the Presidential Committee that is currently holding
nationwide consultations. It was also reported that no executions have been
carried out in Nigeria in the past few years.

Another monumental advancement that was achieved at the session was in the
commissioning of Special Rappertuers on prisons. A further step was taken in
the unanimous agreement by delegates and participants to commence a
Prisons-Hotline where every country can report on prisons situations in
their individual countries.

Reports from the various countries however painted a very pathetic picture
of prisons conditions. Egypt for instance expressed very serious concerns
over the inmates in Egyptian prisons. 35,000 prisoners were quoted to be in
detention without trial, some were even said to have served their full
sentences but not released. Egypt also urged the Commission to prevail on
their authorities to review or relax the State of Emergency powers, which
were put in place for security reasons with regard to terrorism. Uganda,
Mauritania, Kenya and Gambia all painted very gory pictures of their
prisons. A special case was made for Mauritania by the wives of the
detainees of alleged coup plot who were denied access to members of their
immediate families. Ghana also made a case for married inmates and posited
that family ties must not be severed on account of detention.

Torture also formed a central issue which occupied the attention of
participants. The conference took the issue so serious that an interactive
session was convened to discuss in details ways of tackling the monster.

The Special Forum for human rights NGOs saw various organisations from all
over the continent present their positions on sundry issues. Notable among
these were CLEEN led by Mr. Innocent Chukuma from Nigeria, Minorities Rights
Group International, Association for the Prevention of Torture, The African
Society of International and Comparative Law, Sudanese Jurists Union,
Amnesty International, Equality Now from Nairobi, International Workforce
for Indigenous Affairs from South Africa, Egyptian UN Association, World
Organisation Against Torture, Wives of Military Prisoners, House of Human
Rights, ZIMRIGHTS from Zimbabwe, Media Institute of South Africa, Anti
Slavery International and several others. In its submission, CLEEN
maintained the same position with Media Rights Agenda over the issue of
civilian oversight of policing and advocated that a mechanism be put in
place for holding the police accountable for human rights violations.

However one of the most crucial issues that came up for debate at the
session was the future and proposed merger of the African Court of Human and
Peoples' Rights and the African Court of Justice, which are both
erroneously, viewed as organs of the African Union. The debate assumed a
life of its own as passions were quite high. Individuals, NGOs and
representatives of various African governments freely expressed their views
on the vexed issue. In what appeared to be a formidable alliance, all NGOs
present came out in one voice to vehemently oppose the merger of the two
courts. Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo as current Chairman of the AU
had proposed the merger of the African Court of Justice and the African
Court on Human and Peoples' Rights essentially as a cost saving measure. A
greater percentage of the participants were of the view that a merger will
create serious problems. This is because the two courts are not of the same
status. While the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights is already in
existence with judges sitting and the instruments ratified, the African
Court of Justice is yet to be so ratified. They therefore don't enjoy the
same status. One major underlying difference is that the African Court on
Human and Peoples' Rights as stipulated in Article 34 paragraph 6 is
accessible to individuals and NGOs, while the African Court of Justice can
only be accessed by states. A merger would then mean starting from afresh
the process of intensive lobbing for ratification by African states, because
a new protocol will be required to effect the merger. This will translate to
many years of hard work and a lot of financial obligations for NGOs and
other stakeholders. In the opinion of Chidi Odinkalu who is Africa Director
of the Open Society Justice Initiative, its like taking one-step forward and
two steps backward. The view of most of the Nigerian lawyers who attended
the session including Barrister Saka Azimazi of the National Human Rights
Commission, Abuja is that President Obasanjo was ill informed and improperly
advised in choosing the merger option for the two courts. This basically is
because the merger is inconsistent with the Maputo Accord, which stipulated
that the two courts would operate independently.

The 36th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights has
come and gone but the issues it threw up are alive and still raging. Whether
it is the situation in Daffur, crisis in the Congo Democratic Republic,
armed conflict in the West African Sub-Region or the remaining vestiges of
racial discrimination in South Africa, delegates, human rights defenders and
observers have returned to their various countries with a renewed zeal and
empowerment to crusade against rights abuses by African governments. As
Professor Emmanuel Dankwa of Ghana puts it, sessions of the ACHPR have gone
beyond a mere exchange of papers and speeches. African heads of government
are listening and the international community is watching.

For the delegates, there couldn't have been a better venue than Dakar. The
weather was most agreeable and the conference facilities at the Meridien
Hotel President were simply fantastic. There were excellent translations in
English, French, Arabic and . The experience for Nigerian delegates was
altogether an eye opener. Some Nigerians for instance observed with
amazement that there was not a single minute of power outage in the city of
Dakar for the entire two-week duration of the conference. In fact many vowed
that when next they plan a holiday, Dakar would be their destination. Given
the number of Europeans that flood Dakar as observed from the hotels,
holidaying in Dakar is no doubt a wise choice. It has been said that the
Nigerian ruling class pilgrimage to Dakar either for the famous
architectural designs, which the city is known for, or to consult Marabouts.
It is my prediction that future Nigerian itinerants would visit strictly for
holiday and leisure.

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New Political Party Comes On Stream

The Herald (Harare)

January 11, 2005
Posted to the web January 11, 2005


A NEW political party, the Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance (ZIYA), is gearing up
for the forthcoming general elections and says its candidate selection
process is nearing completion.

ZIYA secretary for information and publicity Mr Daniel Mbanje said the party
had identified candidates in 80 out of the country's 120 constituencies, and
the process was still underway in other constituencies.

ZIYA was launched in July last year in Harare after an all stakeholders'
conference, which drew delegates from all the country's provinces.

The party, Mr Mbanje said, was formed out of the realisation that Zimbabwean
youths have been "marginalised".

He said though his party supported the correction of gender inequities in
decision-making, its main concern was that youths were a forgotten lot.

The party has a dual understanding of youthfulness.

"To us a youth is one who falls below the age of 40 years, though we welcome
those above 40 years strictly in an advisory capacity.

"Youthfulness also manifests itself in the form of ideas, anyone with fresh
ideas, is to us a youth as that constitutes a youthful paradigm of thought,"
Mbanje said.

The ZIYA ideology is "pan-African social democracy" and the party firmly
believes in such people-centred programmes as agrarian reforms.

"There is no way we can forget that colonialism afflicted our society with
the scourge of poverty," he added.

Mbanje says ZIYA respects the country's laws, such as the Political Parties
Finance Act, which bars foreign funding of political parties;

"'Our party is receiving a lot of financial support from the local business
community, we also have various fundraising ventures and some of our members
who are business people in their own right, also support the party

The party says it has strong support in three provinces; Manicaland,
Midlands and Masvingo and is making inroads in Harare where the electorate
is disgruntled with the MDC's track record over the past five years.

Mbanje attributes ZIYA's failure to make headway in the other six provinces
mainly to lack of adequate financial resources, and resistance by the
mainstream parties.

The party has however come under attack from some MDC members who are
accusing it of trying to legitimise a Zanu-PF victory in the forthcoming
elections, by contesting the poll. Mbanje says ZIYA makes its own decisions
just as the MDC made its own decision to boycott the poll.

The party is confident that it will win some seats as it believes it has a
duty to bring new ideas to the august house.

"What we saw in the past five years in parliament where blows were exchanged
instead of ideas is deplorable as it will not take our country anywhere."

The party's secretary-general, Moses Mutyasira says his party has already
been approached by several disgruntled members of both Zanu-PF and the MDC
who wish to contest the elections on a ZIYA ticket.

Mr Bernard Nyikadzino, the ZIYA National Director of elections sees nothing
wrong with the country's electoral landscape and hailed the new electoral

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Inspection of Voters' Roll Starts Next Week

The Herald (Harare)

January 11, 2005
Posted to the web January 11, 2005


THE inspection of the voters' roll for the March general elections will
begin on Monday next week, Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has said.

Mr Mudede said in an interview that everything was being done to ensure the
inspection of the voters' roll commences next Monday.

"The inspection of the voters' roll will be conducted countrywide as from
January 17 to 30, starting from 7am to 5pm in rural areas and 6pm in urban
areas," he said.

Mr Mudede said his office would comply with the decision of the Delimitation
Commission and prepare the voters' roll in accordance with the new

He encouraged voters to go and inspect the roll on the days and centres that
will be published in the Press.

"Registered voters are encouraged to visit the inspection centres to verify
if their personal details are recorded correctly and cause corrections to be
made where necessary.

"Those who have turned 18 years are also advised to visit the centres to
register as voters in order to qualify as voters for the March parliamentary

Voters wishing to transfer to other constituencies, Mr Mudede said, would be
asked to fill in the relevant documents at the centres during the course of
the exercise.

Mr Mudede said the department was prepared to face the challenges that would
be brought about by the Electoral Act.

He, however, would not comment on the change from two days of polling to one
day since the exercise begins during the forthcoming March parliamentary

The elections will be conducted under a reformed electoral system in line
with the Southern African Development community (Sadc) principles and
guidelines on democratic elections.

Parliament has passed the Electoral Bill and the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission Bill which seek to reform the country's electoral system in line
with the Sadc guidelines.

Both Bills now await presidential assent before they become law. Of the 120
constituencies in the country, Mashonaland East and West have 13 each,
Harare 18, Mashonaland Central 10, Manicaland 15, Masvingo 14, Midlands 16,
while Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South have seven each.

Currently, the country has 5 658 637 registered voters.

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Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Tsvangirai Jets in

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

January 11, 2005
Posted to the web January 11, 2005

Times Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived in Lusaka yesterday
to discuss the political and economic problems in that country with the
Zambian Government and other stakeholders.

Mr Tsvangirai said he was visiting Zambia to explore methods and solutions
to the problems.

"We are in Zambia to discuss the political and economic impasse that has
beset Zimbabwe with President Mwanawasa and other stakeholders," he said.

The opposition leader who had a closed door meeting with MMD national
secretary Vernon Mwaanga, was hopeful Zambia would assist in the crisis.

Yesterday he was scheduled to meet the Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU)
and the Church to exchange views on the political situation in Zimbabwe.

He said it was important to find solutions to the crisis in Zimbabwe quickly
more so that the country would have parliamentary elections in March this

Mr Tsvangirai is today expected to meet President Mwanawasa at State House
before featuring on the Post's news-markers forum programme at Chrismar
Hotel this evening.

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