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

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Zim Online

Thur 13 January 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's High Court has slashed the sentence of Briton Simon
Mann and is reviewing the sentences of 64 other men jailed together with him
on charges related to a coup plot against the government of Equatorial

      Harare lawyer Jonathan Samkange, representing the group, told the
Press on Thursday that the court had reduced to four years a seven-year jail
term imposed on Mann last September after he was convicted of attempting to
buy weapons without a licence from the state-owned Zimbabwe Defence

      "The High Court made a review of his (Mann's) sentence and reduced it
to four years after we made representations. We are still awaiting the
judge's decision on the other guys because we have also made representations
for a review," Samkange was quoted saying.

      He did not give a date when the court will deliver judgment on the
appeal for review of sentences of the other 64 men, all of whom hold South
African passports.

      The court last month allowed the 64 South Africans to appeal to the
Supreme Court, Zimbabwe's highest court, against both their sentences and
convictions, but barred Mann from making a similar application.

      Two out of an original group of 70 men were acquitted by a Harare
magistrate, one died in prison and two were released on health grounds after
falling ill.

      Meanwhile in South Africa, Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, was  today heavily fined by a Cape Town court
after pleading guilty to having assisted the failed coup plot.

      Thatcher, 51, who pleaded guilty in a bargaining deal with the state,
was fined about US$500 000 and given a four-year suspended jail sentence.

      If he fails to pay the fine by Saturday, he will have to serve a
five-year term.

      Thatcher, who is also wanted by Equatorial Guinea authorities for his
role in the coup plot was arrested by South African police last year on
charges that he raised US$275 000 to help finance the overthrowing of
Equatorial Guinea leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

      The cash was allegedly to buy a helicopter for use in the execution of
the coup but which Thatcher maintains he believed was for use as an air
ambulance. - ZimOnline
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Daily News online edition

      AIPPA strikes again

      Date: 13-Jan, 2005

      THE Weekly Times, a newspaper published in Bulawayo, was duly
registered with the Stalinist Media and Information Commission before it was
sent on the streets.

      Now that it has hit the streets, the MIC says it is not conforming to
its original agenda. And the only reason we can find is that the newspaper
is not conducting itself like a poodle of the government and

      Zanu PF.

      The MIC chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, warns the paper could be closed
down and its registration cancelled if it doesn't comply with its original
intentions, as enunciated in its application.

      Even Mahoso, whose sense of humour many people find distinctly
wishy-washy, must see how absolutely ridiculous this whole storm in a tea
cup is.

      So far, the newspaper has not libelled anyone, either in government or
in private life. So far it has not called for the overthrow of the
government by unlawful means.

      So far, it has not called President Robert Mugabe any nasty names. So
far, it fact, it has done nothing that, in any other country claiming to be
democratic could be construed as "unpatriotic, disloyal or subversive".

      Publishing an interview with Archbishop Pius Ncube is hardly
subversive. His political views may get up some people's noses, but that
cannot amount to performing an illegal act.

      And yet here is Mahoso warning the paper of hell and damnation unless
if it turns itself into another mealy-mouthed government rag like The Herald
or The Sunday Mail.

      Jonathan Moyo's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA) was always going to be difficult to implement in law. This is
because it basically infringes the citizen's right to freedom of
expression - a point made by many of its international and local critics.

      The intention of AIPPA was manifestly malicious from the beginning.
Its target was the journalist who is taught to question and question again
government intentions towards the governed.

      Such a journalist, because they quite often stumble upon corruption in
high government places is considered an enemy of the state. Any journalist
who is inclined towards being curious about government conduct which seems
designed, not for the benefit of the people in general, but for a few people
in government, is considered unpatriotic under AIPPA.

      It is to be hoped that the many critics of AIPPA within Zanu PF and
the government who kept quiet for some misguided commitment to party unity
will come out in the open, now that the law's architect has had his
political wings clipped.

      It would be a victory worth savouring, for every journalist in the
country, if Mahoso's evil designs against The Weekly Times were officially

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Daily News online edition

      Gono to present fourth quarterly monetary policy review

      Date: 13-Jan, 2005

      RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono will present his fourth
quarterly monetary policy review in the third week of this month. Investors
will be watching the policy with keen interest although many believe there
should be no major surprises.

      Analysts say the statement will act as a progress report on the
policies already pronounced in earlier reviews. He is expected to respond to
feedback from the mining sector on his October platinum measures, which
observers said would hurt the sector.

      In his third monetary policy statement last year, Gono directed all
platinum miners to liquidate their offshore accounts and open foreign
accounts with local banks. Observers feared this move would scare away
potential investors from the growing platinum-mining sector.

      Gono is also widely expected to touch on the gold industry, where
miners have been complaining about low prices offered by the central bank.
There is serious lobbying in the sector for the RBZ to increase the gold
price to world market levels. The miners want the price increased to more
than $120 000/gramme.

      Gold miners also want the central bank to review the exchange rate.

      The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines president Ian Sanders said there was
need for the upcoming monetary policy review to address the exchange rate
and foreign currency retention system if the industry is to register growth
this year.

      He said there would be instability in the sector if these issues were
not addressed.

      "Miners must be allowed to retain more than 50 percent of their
foreign currency proceeds instead of the current 40 percent which is really
not viable. The exchange rate of US$1:$824 should be scrapped altogether,"
Sanders said.

      "There is also need to review the value of the local currency in
relation to inflation. For instance, last year the cost of production went
up by 170 percent while on the other hand, revenue grew by less than 50

      The RBZ is buying gold at $92 000/gramme. Those that opt to sell in
foreign currency get 50 percent of the payment in Zimbabwe dollars and are
allowed to return 40 percent in US dollars while the remaining 10 percent is
paid at the rate of US$1:$824.

      Mining companies also want clarification on the new empowerment policy
and the legal framework.

      "The upcoming review should address the legal framework especially the
black empowerment policy. The monetary and fiscal policies must be
strengthened if we are to have any growth in the sector this year," said

      It is believed that the governor will once again avoid the contentious
issue of devaluation, which most sectors want addressed urgently. President
Robert Mugabe is against devaluation. However, a number of exporters are
currently bleeding due to the exchange rate regime.

      The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce said the review statement
would be unhelpful if it did not deal with the overvalued Zimdollar. He said
there was need to ensure the viability of the export sector by correctly
valuing the dollar in relation to the market forces.

      "The review must address exchange rate problems otherwise some
exporters will close shop," the ZNCC said. The industry body also said it
was important to solve the banking crisis once for all.

      "The banking sector is chaotic. The situation in the financial sector
is dangerous. There is need for stability."

      The ZNCC said Gono must explain how the proposed Zimbabwe Allied
Banking Group would operate. "There is need to explain the share issues.
What they are worth and whether they are tradable. These are issues of
material importance to the affected businesses."

      Other sectors are likely to demand more. There is likely to be some
monetary measures to boost the agriculture sector where production this year
is likely to hit rock bottom due to lack of inputs and continued commotion
on of the farms.

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Second Tsvangirai treason trial postponed

          January 13 2005 at 05:20PM

      Harare - A Zimbabwe court on Thursday postponed a second treason trial
of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pending a state appeal against his
acquittal on an earlier charge of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe.

      Last October the High Court found Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), not guilty of plotting to assassinate Mugabe
and seize power before 2002 presidential elections.

      The state later applied to the Supreme Court to contest the acquittal,
but the matter has yet to be heard.

      On Thursday a Harare magistrate's court adjourned to May 24 a case in
which Tsvangirai is charged with trying to force an elected government out
of power through street protests in June 2003.

      His lawyer Chris Mhike said after the brief court session that the
defence would apply for a dismissal of the case against Tsvangirai when the
matter resumed.

      The first treason case rested on a secretly taped video of a Montreal
meeting between Tsvangirai and political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, at
which prosecutors said Mugabe's "elimination" was discussed.

      High Court judge Paddington Garwe said the prosecution had not shown
beyond reasonable doubt that Tsvangirai had sought Mugabe's assassination
and a coup d'etat.

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Zanu(PF) to endorse Moyo's poll exclusion

January 13, 2005, 16:30

Zimbabwe's ruling party has rejected an appeal by a controversial minister
stopped from contesting March parliamentary elections in a row over
President Robert Mugabe's possible successor, party officials said. Jonathan
Moyo, the information minister, and more than a dozen other senior officials
have been barred by provincial executives of Mugabe's Zanu(PF) from standing
in primary elections to select candidates for the March polls. Moyo had
asked the party's national election directorate to reverse the decision.

Political analysts say the ongoing wrangles in Zanu(PF) could boost the
fortunes of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which
charges that Mugabe rigged the last two major elections in 2000 and in 2005.
The MDC is expected to participate in the March polls despite threatening a

Zanu(PF) officials said today the national election directorate had endorsed
decisions by the provincial executives barring some officials from the poll
for disciplinary reasons, or with questionable party credentials. Mugabe was
chairing a meeting of his Zanu(PF) inner cabinet today to consider a final
list of candidates who will contest primary elections on Saturday, the
officials said. "There is almost no chance that Moyo and the other officials
who were suspended are going to be allowed to stand," one official told
Reuters. "A decision has already been made and I don't see it being

Mugabe's Zanu(PF) has had a series of squabbles over candidates for the
March polls after some provincial councils imposed some representatives and
agreed to reserve at least a third of the 120 parliamentary seats for women
candidates. The rare public quarrels followed a bitter dispute over the
nomination of Joyce Mujuru, a woman government minister, as the second
vice-president of Zanu(PF) and of Zimbabwe. Her nomination blocked the rise
of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the speaker of parliament, a man regarded for years
as the most likely candidate for the post - seen as a stepping stone to
Mugabe's own top job.

Mugabe (80), in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is expected
to retire at the end of his presidential term in 2008, and his other
vice-president, Joseph Msika, is not considered a serious contender as he is
also in his 80s. Moyo and six Zanu(PF) provincial chairmen, who have been
suspended for five years, is accused of organising a meeting in his rural
district of Tsholotsho that tried to block the elevation of Mujuru and to
push for Mnangagwa's promotion.

Moyo, a combative figure who has spearheaded Mugabe's propaganda campaign
over the last five years, has angered some senior officials with his
abrasive style. He has been dropped from the policy-making central
committee. He was unavailable for comment today. - Reuters
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Families of mercenaries bitter over Thatcher ruling

January 13, 2005, 15:30

The families of the men currently being held in a Zimbabwean prison for
plotting to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea have expressed
disappointment at the sentence handed down to Mark Thatcher. Thatcher
pleaded guilty in the Cape High Court this morning to his involvement in
last year's failed coup.

Alwyn Griebenow, the lawyer for the men in the Zimbabwean prison, says: "The
families are bitter because one of the financiers walked out of court with a
fine and suspended sentence." Thatcher walked out of the Cape High Court
this morning with a R3 million fine and a four-year suspended sentence.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, he will assist with further

Certain quarters believe the sentence was a mere slap on the wrist. Mark,
the son of Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, pleaded
guilty to a role in last year's failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.
The ruling means Thatcher will be free to leave South Africa once he pays
the R3 million fine. He plans to join his wife and two children who are in
the United States.

Thatcher walks free
Thatcher was arrested on August 25 last year at his Cape Town villa on
charges of contributing $275 000 to help finance the suspected plot to
overthrow Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the long-time Equatorial Guinea leader. The
cash was to buy a helicopter, which Thatcher said he believed was to be used
as an air ambulance.

Thatcher walks free while friend Simon Manne, who approached him for help to
purchase the helicopter, is serving time in a Zimbabwean jail along with
several South Africans who were arrested enroute to Equatorial Guinea.
Jeremy Sarkin, a law professor at the University of the Western Cape, says
given the circumstance the National Prosecuting authority has done well in
prosecuting this case. Sarkin says the sentence will also send a clear
message that the South Africa government will not tolerate mercenary
activities on shores.

The ANC Youth league described the sentence as a slap on the wrist. Lawrence
Vikele, the Youth League spokesperson, says the sentence is a miscarriage of
justice and the National Prosecuting Authority should review how they
negotiate deal as this one is unfair. Baroness Margaret Thatcher has
expressed relief that the matter has finally been concluded.
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Iranian President Expected Next Week

The Herald (Harare)

January 13, 2005
Posted to the web January 13, 2005


IRANIAN President Mr Moham-mad Khatami is expected to visit Zimbabwe next
week to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries which have
so far seen the Islamic republic extending more than US$15 million line of
credit in the agricultural and broadcasting areas among other fields.

The middle-east country's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Hamid Moayyer, said the
visit by Mr Khatami is part of the solidarity and support Iran has always
shown to Zimbabwe and other African countries that had to fight for
independence from imperialist countries.

Iran has so far handed over 420 tractors and 23 combine harvesters.

It is currently installing technical equipment at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings as part of the Zimbabwe-Iran Joint Commi-ssion.

"The purpose of the visit by our president is to show solidarity as Zimbabwe
is under sanctions from its enemies and another purpose is to expand our
relations especially in the economic field," said Mr Moayyer in an

"There will be a number of Memorandums of Understanding between the two
countries to be signed following our President's visit here and Zimbabwean
businessmen are also invited to Iran to explore ways they can do business
with Iran."

Mr Moayyer said Iran will help Zimbabwe in as many fields as possible and to
this end, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde July Moyo is
currently in that country to find ways Zimbabwe can get energy from the
oil-rich country.

The ambassador also castigated the sanctions imposed by western countries on
Zimbabwe and described them as unfair and unjustified.

"I will however be quick to say these sanctions are a blessing in disguise
because Zimbabwean people would be obliged to work hard and stand on their

"Iran has been under sanctions from America for the past 25 years but 90
percent of our products are produced in Iran with the country importing very
few," he said.

Mr Moayyer dismissed as false allegations by the western powers that there
was no rule of law and democracy in Zimbabwe.

"I do not agree with these allegations by western countries because this is
a Government based on the vote of the people of Zimbabwe who elected
President Mugabe, a prominent person in the struggle against colonialism in
this continent," he said.

Iran has helped ZBH and is currently installing broadcasting equipment that
would see the company moving from analogue to digital broadcasting in line
with modern technological advancement.
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      Fifa warns Zimbabwe
            By Steve Vickers
            BBC Sport, Harare

      A visiting Fifa delegation has given the Zimbabwe Football Association
(Zifa) a final chance to solve its leadership and constitutional problems.

      Zifa has been under scrutiny football's the world governing body since
a leadership crisis began in early 2003.

      After a two-day visit, the three-man Fifa team has persuaded the
government-run Sports Commission to lift the suspension it imposed on the
entire Zifa general assembly last September.

           Zifa council dissolved

      This will pave the way for a new constitution to be adopted by the
assembly in the next six months, under the guidance of Fifa.

      Elections will be held from provincial level upwards for all key

      Fifa development officer for Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, warned that
"this will be the last roadmap from Fifa", implying that Zifa risks
suspension if the exercise is not completed successfully.

      Zifa presently has only three board members, with others having been
suspended, but three "constructive critics" will be added to the board see
the process through.

      Fifa's head of associations, Vincent Monnier, expressed concern at the
level of in-fighting in the Zimbabwean game.

      "The mentality must change in Zimbabwe; people can't question every
decision made by the board," he said.

      "Unity and reconciliation is needed, not destruction."

      However, serious doubts remain as to whether opponents of the present
leadership will be prepared to lend their support.

      With Zifa going through a financial crisis, the Sports Commission has
agreed to take over all of the association's debts, which amount to over

      Zifa has recently had most of its assets, including a vehicle donated
by Fifa, auctioned to pay its debts to a car hire company.

      Fifa executive member Ismail Bhamjee believes that Zimbabwe now has an
opportunity to move forward.

      "Zimbabwe has been unable to take its rightful place in world football
because of personality clashes and constitutional and financial problems,"
he said.

      "It's a country with great potential and talent."

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ZNA Receives 22 Vehicles From China

The Herald (Harare)

January 13, 2005
Posted to the web January 13, 2005


THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) yesterday received a total of 22 Troop
Carrying Vehicles (TCV) from the Chinese government as a gesture of
fostering the cordial relations between China and Zimbabwe.

The vehicles are set to transform the ZNA into a well-equipped,
highly-mobile and hard-hitting force.

Speaking at a ceremony to handover the vehicles at KGV1 Barracks in Harare,
the Chinese Embassys charge daffaires Mrs Ma Deyun said the vehicles were
procured after the two countries signed an agreement for co-operation in
different areas of interest.

She said China and Zimbabwe have enjoyed good relations since the days of
the liberation struggle and they have always supported each other in times
of need.

"We are proud of the achievements we have made in various areas of
co-operation," said Mrs Deyun.

ZNA Commander Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, who received the
vehicles on behalf of the army, thanked the Chinese for the donation.

He said the vehicles would go a long way in alleviating transport problems
that the army has experienced of late.

Lt General Sibanda said most vehicles the ZNA had been using were obtained
from Western countries but they were now grounded because spare parts could
not be acquired owing to sanctions imposed against the country.

Sanctions have been imposed on Zimbabwe by Western powers, particularly
Britain and the United States after Zimbabwe embarked on the Land Reform
Programme which saw thousands of blacks being allocated land acquired from
white former commercial farmers.

"We will be holding elections in March so the army vehicles are coming at an
appropriate time. This is testimony to our increasing co-operation with
China," said Lt. Gen. Sibanda.

He urged the ZNA personnel to look after the vehicles properly.

Trade and economic co-operation between Zimbabwe and China has grown

Under the partnership with China, several joint venture companies have been
established in the country.

China also remains the biggest buyer of Zimbabwes tobacco.

Under the Zimbabwe-China Joint Commission, Zimbabwe has benefited through
the Chinese Governments concessionary and interest free loans and grants.
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This is London

Is Chelsy a bad influence?
By Patrick Sawer, Evening Standard
13 January 2005
Prince Harry's ill-considered appearance in a Nazi uniform has once again
focused attention on his girlfriend, glamorous Zimbabwean heiress Chelsy
Davy. When Harry started secretly dating the blonde 19-year-old nine months
ago there were those who thought her influence on the prince would be a
positive one.

Prince Charles, for one, was reported as saying he approved of her and hoped
she would be a "calming influence" on his son.

But others pointed out that Chelsy's circle of friends includes committed
party animals who admire and probably encourage Harry's hellraising

Indeed, despite their relationship blossoming into a full-blown romance - to
the extent that there is even talk of marriage - Harry's boisterous bachelor
behaviour goes on unabated. From scuffles with photographers outside clubs
and dodging his bodyguards to go drinking, to swastika-wearing at parties,
he shows little sign of maturing.

A more fundamental question hangs over the relationship - does Chelsy's
background make her unsuitable as consort for a prince? Since their affair
became public last November several photographs of Chelsy modelling tight
jeans and crop tops have been published, alongside her quoted desire to be
"really, really famous". That cannot have endeared her to the Queen, who is
understandably concerned about any potential members of the family spending
too long in the glare of publicity.

Then there is the question of Chelsy's father, Charles. His links with the
despotic regime of Robert Mugabe would cause grave embarrassment should he
join the family as Harry's father-in-law.

Mr Davy is the founder of HHK Safaris, which represents a number of big game
hunting and safari concessions in Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe's minister of policy
implementation Webster Shamu is one of Mr Davy's business partners.

Zimbabwe's shadow chancellor Eddie Cross said: "Shamu is an absolute hood,
one of the worst. I would not even shake hands with him. Yet Charles Davy
and his partner do business with him."

Furthermore Mr Davy seems to have managed to retain control of his farming
holdings, estimated at one per cent of agricultural land in Zimbabwe,
despite Mr Mugabe evicting thousands of other white farmers.

Mr Cross said: "We cannot burden children with the sins of their parents.
But the truth is the Davy family's offspring have been given a life of
luxury off the back of political patronage in a country where many suffer.

"It would be a sad day when the British royal family showed tacit approval
for the business practice here."

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Zim Says No to Polls Postponment

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

January 13, 2005
Posted to the web January 13, 2005

Times Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN authorities have ruled out postponing parliamentary elections
scheduled for March this year.

The country will instead strictly adhere to the constitutional provision of
holding free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to Zambia Kotsho Dube said in Lusaka yesterday that
the recent amendments to that country's electoral laws were more than
compliant with the guidelines of the Southern African Development Community

Dr Dube was reacting to remarks by opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai for authorities in that country to postpone
the polls until modalities to facilitate free and fair elections were put in

Mr Tsvangirai, shortly after he met President Mwanawasa on Tuesday, said he
would have loved that parliamentary elections be postponed because there was
not enough time between now and March to harmonise the electoral process.

But Dr Dube said, "The parliamentary elections scheduled for March will not
be postponed.

Zimbabwe has adhered strictly to the constitutional position of holding free
and fair elections every five years.

"Further, the idea that participation in the elections would be tantamount
to committing suicide boggles the mind. For Zimbabweans who fought a
protracted armed struggle to secure the right to vote, the forthcoming
election offer yet another opportunity to consolidate their freedom and
independence," he said.

He said the MDC suggestions to suspend elections would not hold because the
recent amendments to the electoral law in which the country's main
opposition participated actively in parliament, were compliant with SADC
guidelines on free and fair elections.

"Accordingly, the electoral law is collectively owned by both parties as
well as the nation as a whole.

The effort at deepening democratic space in SADC is part of the region's
effort at delivery of social development," Dr Dube added.

The Zimbabwean opposition leader is going round SADC countries to solicit
support to ensure that the forthcoming elections were free and fair and also
to discuss the political and economic situation in that country.

And Mr Tsvangirai on Thursday evening told a newsmakers forum organised by
the Press Freedom committee of The Post at Chrismar Hotel that instability
in his country would continue because of Government's disregard of the rule
of law.

Mr Tsvangirai accused Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of promoting
anarchy by deliberately violating human rights.

He alleged that Zimbabwe was today in total misery economically because
President Mugabe remained adamant and disregarded the rule of law.

"Zimbabwe today faces a leadership crisis arising from disputed elections.
Food shortages are rampant, the economy is declining at the fastest rate in
the world while the health delivery system has completely collapsed," Mr
Tsvangirai said.
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SADC to focus on food security in 2005

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

JOHANNESBURG, 13 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - The Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) will this year focus on improving regional food security through
increased production and the establishment of a regional reserve facility to
deal with emergencies.

In his 2004 year-end speech spelling out the priorities of the bloc in 2005,
SADC secretary-general Prega Ramsay said the region should intensify food
production. Despite a drop in the cereal deficit from 2.96 million tonnes in
the 2003/04 marketing season to the current 1.96 million mt, many countries
still faced huge shortages and food crises of varying proportions.

The SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources directorate would spend
2005 implementing the organisation's Dar es Salaam Declaration on
Agriculture and Food Security, adopted by heads of state at a meeting in the
Tanzanian capital in May 2004.

Ramsay said SADC had come up with a Strategic Action Plan, which seeks to
boost food availability and accessibility, promote food emergency
preparedness and regional trade, and also contains long-term investment
programmes to improve economic performance.

The region would incorporate food security planning into the Regional
Indicative Strategic Development Programme (RISDP), a master plan that sets
strategies and targets for achieving regional food security by 2020.
Business plans being prepared for the RISDP would be submitted to the SADC
Council of Ministers in the first quarter of 2005.

The Regional Food Reserve Facility, a priority component of the declaration,
will act as a food reservoir in case of emergencies.

A plan to control livestock and crop diseases to boost production has also
been drawn up. "We have drafted a regional migrant pest control strategy to
focus on quelea birds, red locusts, army worms and grain borers. It will
also focus on the control of common livestock diseases," Ramsay announced.

He called on large- and small-scale farmers in the region to diversify
crop-farming activities to include 'energy farming', such as growing sugar
cane for the extraction of ethanol, and oil-bearing crops for fuels like
bio-diesel and household cooking oil. Apart from creating rural employment,
energy farming also contributes to satisfying local and national energy

Largely because of drought, many southern African countries suffered
shortages in 2004. With the exception of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa,
all southern African countries are listed by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) as food-deficit areas. According to the UN Humanitarian
Early Warning System (HEWSWEB), Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho
faced major food crises during the past year.

Crop and livestock diseases remained a problem, with Botswana, Malawi,
Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe all recording outbreaks of
foot-and-mouth disease. Zimbabwe and Malawi ended the year facing serious
outbreaks of army worm just as the cropping season began.

Chris Kaye, who heads the regional UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)), told IRIN that his organisation was working
closely with SADC to develop strategies aimed at improving regional food
security. Country-by-country vulnerability assessment surveys were being
conducted in cooperation with the SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural
Resources Directorate to get a regional picture of the situation.

"We have adopted a holistic approach, which includes research on various
elements that impact on food security - we are looking at the effects of
such diseases as HIV/AIDS, and other [factors]," said Kaye. "OCHA is also
providing technical and material support to food security initiatives in the

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Toronto Free Press

Message of hope arrived in Zimbabwe

by Judi McLeod,

January 13, 2005

If you are one of the average Canadians or Americans who responded to’s request for emails of hope and encouragement to Heather Bennett during the recent holidays, it worked.

As the months of her husband MP Roy Bennett’s imprisonment by the Robert Mugabe Government wore on, Heather, facing life without him, was getting depressed and discouraged.

Just before December 25, there was a surge in incoming emails from North America to, and it made Heather and her two children feel a little less alone.

"We take it one day at a time. We try to be positive but it’s not easy," a grateful Heather told Canada Free Press in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe yesterday.

Without a court trial, Roy Bennett began one year’s hard labour in prison on October 28.

"He’s lost so much weight. They only feed them twice a day. Just one cup of rice and one serving of cabbage stew, no meat. I am so worried about him," Heather told CFP.

Time hangs heavy for the anxious wife who is permitted to see her husband just twice a month, and only for 10 minutes per visit.

Roy Bennett, the only white farmer Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe’s opposition, is being forced to work long hours under the hot Zimbabwe sun. Badly blistered, he is covered with body lice.

There was no court of law to take testimony for the crime of which he was accused. Bennett was tried and sentenced by the same people who have harassed and tormented his family and workers ever since his election: the Robert Mugabe government–the only law in current day Zimbabwe.

What kind of crime could land him in jail without a trial? The crime came from his angrily pushing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who had taunted him publicly, on the floor of Parliament. Chinamasa had called Bennett’s father and grandfather "thieves" and "murderers" and told Bennett that he’d never be able to again return to his coffee plantation, taken by Mugabe’s treacherous ZANU-PF government.

Bennett’s sincere apology to the Justice Minister brought no sympathy and no justice.

Since first being elected in 2000, Bennett has consistently stood up to Mugabe’s treatment of the Zimbabwean people.

Just two months after Election Day, Charleswood, ZANU PF thugs raided Bennett’s hard-worked coffee plantation. The plantation, which hired hundreds of blacks, and had just paid off all of its bank loans, was driven into bankruptcy. Its animals were slaughtered wholesale, and the tons of coffee that came from plants long nurtured were exported to faraway Germany.

During the raid, Heather, four months pregnant at the time, was held hostage at knifepoint and made to dance and sing ZANU PF songs in the rain. Two of the plantation’s workers were killed in front of her. When she finally managed to escape with their two children, she had miscarried their third child.

Like so many other Zimbabweans, Roy, Heather and their children were forced to start all over again from scratch. Even that did not stop the feisty MP. Always a farmer at heart, he took a job as a travelling salesmen to keep his family together and the bills paid.

Given all that has happened to them, the separation is particularly painful. Their 20th anniversary passed with the couple being separated. Ditto for Christmas and New Years.

In the beginning, there was always the hope that outrage expressed by the international community would soon set things right.

But the outside world seems not only to have forgotten Zimbabwe’s loneliest political prisoner, but the longsuffering people of Zimbabwe.

No matter how dim the wick, the candle of hope keeps burning in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's loneliest prisoner

Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on, the Drudge Report,, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at:

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From The Star (SA), 13 January

Zimbabwe could be facing food disaster

Maize crop predicted to be the smallest in decades

Harare - Zimbabweans are hungrier than ever this summer and the situation is
deteriorating fast as basic food prices escalate and mealie meal disappears
from supermarket shelves. To make it worse, early predictions for this
season's maize crop are that it will be the smallest in decades. Last week,
the regional forecaster, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet),
issued its December report, saying the situation had now developed into an
emergency. However, some of its information has already been overtaken by
sudden increases in the cost of basic food and a widespread shortage of
maize meal, even in leading supermarkets. Next week, the UN Food and
Agriculture Organisation is expected to complete its national crop
assessment, and early indications are that agricultural production could
turn out to be a disaster in a season of almost average rainfall. "It may
turn out to be as bad as 2001, which was a drought year," said a top
official of a leading humanitarian non-governmental organisation, who asked
not to be named. "Imports of South African maize will never be able to come
in fast enough to feed the population, even if people could afford to buy
mealie meal," he said.

A combination of land seizures, which led to the collapse of most commercial
agriculture and drought in 2001/2 resulted in the largest programme of food
distribution in Zimbabwe's history. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said
this week: "We have not released figures for this season's maize crop as we
are not yet finished with late planting for the second part of the season."
Last year, President Robert Mugabe told donors to keep their money as he
claimed Zimbabwe had grown a record maize crop of 2,4-million tons, but only
a sixth of what he predicted was delivered to the Grain Marketing Board,
according to statistics released in parliament. "High inflation and the
Grain Marketing Board monopoly over marketing maize are exacerbating the
situation," said Fewsnet, adding that inflation on food prices was at 143%
in November. However, between December 22 and January 10, mealie meal, when
available, increased by nearly 50% on a 10kg bag in a leading supermarket
chain. The price of meat increased by more than 10% in the same period and
milk, when available, now costs about R8,50 a litre. Most food crops are
grown in the hot Mashonaland West province, but agricultural analysts say
about 70% of a small maize crop was planted too late. "We are seeing people
still planting now, which is ridiculous," said an analyst. Mugabe this week
vowed to press ahead with controversial land reform policies.
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Botswana Daily News

      Immigrants threaten residents
      13 January, 2005

      RAMOKGWEBANA - The influx of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe could
have an impact on crop production in some parts of the North East District.

      Some residents of Ramokgwebana said during a kgotla meeting that
labour and home affairs minister Moeng Pheto addressed in the village on
Monday that they were unable to attend to their fields for fear of attacks
by illegal immigrants who roam the area.

      A woman said at the meeting that she was afraid of visiting her field,
which is far away from the village, because she met the illegal immigrants
all the time.

      Other speakers at the meeting agreed with Minister Pheto that the
illegal immigrants were a threat to the nation and Botswana's economy.

      Therefore, they added, government should find an alternative to the
money-consuming cycle of repatriating the illegal immigrants, who return
soon after arrival in their country.

      They said the illegal immigrants took Botswana for a ride because of
its good human rights record. The immigrants often surrender to the police
for ease of returning home.

      Other residents spoke of the need for the nation to co-operate with
the police in dealing with problems created by illegal immigrants; the
police should also respond timely to reports.

      The foot-and-mouth buffer fence along the border with Zimbabwe should
be electrified to avoid vandalism.

      Another speaker complained that public transport operators along the
Francistown-Ramokgwebana road prefer Zimbabweans over Batswana because they
overcharge them. This has left residents without transport.

      They said the Zimbabweans who spend nights at the border post cause
havoc in the nearby homes at night, as houses are broken into and goods

      For his part, Minister Pheto said the problem was worsened by Batswana
who habour illegal immigrants. BOPA

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Write: Box FM701, Famona, Bulawayo Mobile: +26311-213-885


WOZA means ‘Come forward’.  By women for women and with women, across race, colour, creed, class or political persuasion. Empowering women to be courageous, caring, committed and in communication with their communities.


EDUCATION FOR ALL! A BROKEN PROMISE OF 1980!                                               BEFORE WE VOTE IN 2005 CHIGWEDERE MUST GO?


In the first 20 years after Independence we built our education system up and by the year 2000, over 90 % of children went to school. Since then we have turned the best education system into a social catastrophe. By 2003, only 65% of children enjoyed schooling. The author of the catastrophe is current Minister of Education, Comrade Chigwedere. We are not announcing a civvies day to raise funds we are saying enough is enough and calling for a Protest Day. Before we vote in 2005 Chigwedere must go as he has failed to deliver! 


This right is also in The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and in our Education Act. The international community also undertook to provide EDUCATION FOR ALL by 2015 and an equal number of boys and girls in school by year 2005! According to the United Nations, as recently as 2000, 90% of young Zimbabweans went to primary school. The highest attendance in Africa. But by 2003 that figure has plummeted, to only 65%.  (Source The Zimbabwe Standard article by B. Philips)



Government money spent on schools almost all goes to teachers’ salaries – they give the schools nothing for books, stationery, buildings, maintenance, sports, equipment, cleaning etc. To keep the schools running, parents have to pay for everything else! WHY IS GOVERNMENT NOT ALLOCATING ENOUGH MONEY FOR OUR EDUCATION? BAD POLICIES HAVE DESTROYED THE ECONOMY. Little money is allocated to the Education Budget. The rest is spent on the wrong things i.e. Buying votes, National service, Cars for chiefs and headmasters. On Tuesday 11 January 2005, how many children will be sent home for non payment of school fees whilst on the same day the Zimbabwe secret services will spend one billion dollars they managed to win from the state budget.



It is every parent’s responsibility to send their children to school and it is the Government’s responsibility to provide an education. You may not be able to pay up but you have a voice to speak out. Join the Protest Day to help demand a better future for Zimbabwe. Protest at your local School. Protest at Ministry of Education offices! Tell Chigwedere to PACK and GO.


Kungumlandu womzali wonke ukuthi afundise abantwabakhe. Kodwa sekusehlula ukubhadala indleko zesikolo. Umtwana ongakhaliyo ufela embelekweni! Ngakho ke khuluma kuzwakale. Xhasa ekutshengiseleni ekufuneni imfundo yabantwabethu lekusasa enhle. Tshengisela esikolo sangakini lemahofisini ezemfundo. Uthi uChigwedere kaqoqe okwakhe ahambe!  Udubo luzalele ekhaya!


Ibasa remubereki kuti aone kuti vana vake vadzidze uye Hurumende  inofanirwa ikubatsiira kuti vanhu vese vakwanise izvi.  Ungatora vana chikoro asimwari akakupa inzwi rokutaura. Ngatibatenei pazuva rokuratidzira kuti kuve neremangwana rakanaka revana vedu muZimbabwe. Mwana asingacheme anofira mumbereko! Semubereki kunze kwemari yechikoro, unotarisirwa kutenga zvipfeko zwechikoro – mabhuku, zvinyoreso, nezvimwe. Ungazvikwanisa here. Neku dura kozvoita. Ratidzirai pachikoro chiripedyo nemi nepa mawofisi ezve dzidzo. Muudzei Chigwedere atore twake aende kunozororo mwana wese anofunirwa kudidza. Sing: Chii Chati Gwederere Kuchikoro.




We have debated on whether to regard School headmasters as friends or enemies.  School Development Associations and parents seem to carry more burdens on their shoulders and school heads need to show us that they are committed to educating our children. They must help us to remind the Government that they promised us free primary education and affordable senior schooling. For the first 20 years we had one of the highest enrollments in Africa.  We have had enough and are calling for a Day of Protest and are telling Chigwedere to PACK and GO!

What happens to the millions raised from Civvies Day, Yellow Day, and Fun Day?

About $6000 is expected for each child. Four classes in each grade x 7 Grades, bringing an estimate to 1260 children contributing $7 million? In one school last term there were 3 ‘days’ in succession demanding a contribution from parents. Children who did not pay up were told they would not get their school report. Sponsorship Forms is another area of disgruntlement. Children are given forms of 25 lines and told to raise at least $ 500 per name. If the children do not raise this money the parents are made to pay up.

LEVIES: Levies are always on the increase but where do those millions go? Children are now even told to bring toilet paper to school. Now there is a special Levy – where does it go? We have to contribute $2000 per child per week for firewood to cook donated porridge, as we cannot afford food in our homes. $2000 per child, 45 children per class comes to $ 90000, never mind that approximately 1260 children will pay that $2000 raising at least $2 million. Surely just $ 50000 worth of firewood is enough to cook for 1260 children? What happens to the rest? Some parents complained that they have to pay a Water bill. Parents contributed but the water is still off. Children now have to bring their own drinking water to school. Some parents have complained that a Grade One enrollment fee is too high. 

TEACHERS SALARIES: The Government promised us free primary education but now we are paying to train the teachers. Is this true? If it is not why are parents given this impression?           Government must clear up the confusion about the payment of teachers’ salaries. 

BOOKS: There are no textbooks and exercise books for each child: Some parents have to buy text books and all parents now have to buy exercise books – gone are the days when Government used to respect us and provide exercise books. Text books can be shared by up to 10 children living at least 5 kilometres apart, meaning they have to do their homework and then walk to hand over the book to the next child and so on.  We know that printing costs have gone up and up but there is need for consultation to find a way forward.

RURAL SCHOOLS: Reports received from Matabeleland. A notice in the Clinic saying that parents who have not paid school fees will be denied access to the Clinic. From Mashonaland a report being investigated is that money made available for building is possibly not being used correctly. Headmasters are said to be punishing latecomers by making them fetch and carry river sand and bricks, denying children access to learning. The same person also reported that children who do not own proper school shoes have their other shoes confiscated if they wear them to school.

Send your comments to:  Woza Moya P. O. Box FM 701 Famona Bulawayo


In the next issue: Valentines Day Theme:  The Power of LOVE Can Conquer the Love of POWER! Simba rwe Rudo Runokunda Rudo rwe Simba! Amandla Othando Anqoba Utando Lwamandla!

Ask for a copy of the Sisterhood Bond / Sungano Yemadzimai / Isibopho Sabomama.


This newsletter was printed with funds raised from the 440 km Sponsored Walk conducted by

WOZA to protest against the passing of the NGO Bill. Thank you for your contribution!!

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