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Zim issues $50 000 note


24/01/2006 22:22  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe's inflation-weary citizens will soon have a new 50
000-dollar bank note to make shopping easier, announced the central bank
governor on Tuesday as he warned that the country's spiralling levels of
inflation had not yet peaked.

Zimbabwe introduced a temporary form of currency - dubbed bearer cheques -
three years ago to alleviate chronic cash shortages brought on by inflation.

Gono said: "We are pleased to announce that with effect from February 01
2006, a higher denomination of 50 000 bearer cheques would be added to the
denominational family of bearer cheques so as to bring added convenience to
the transacting public."

Monetary policy statement

But, he said his bank was still working on a new permanent form of currency
to be unveiled later this year.

Since their introduction in 2003, the purchasing power of bearer cheques,
which came in 5 000 to 10 000 and 20 000-dollar denominations had been
eroded by inflation that last month reached 586%.

Gono warned that Zimbabweans could expect inflation to shoot up to between
700 and 800% by March.

Gono said: "We urge the nation not to panic when we reach that peak",
predicting that inflation would fall to about 230% by year's end.

Zimbabweans often had to take large wads of notes into shops to make cash
purchases, while those withdrawing large sums from commercial banks could be
seen carrying it away in suitcases.

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Mugabe's self-serving elite will not fool IMF team

Business Day

Dumisani Muleya


AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) fact-finding mission arrived in
Zimbabwe yesterday, in time to see central bank governor Gideon Gono give
his first-quarter monetary policy statement. Contrary to official claims
that this year will see changes for the better, 2006 has started just as
2005 ended: on a terrible note. Zimbabwe is still groaning under the weight
of economic crisis and rampant authoritarianism.

The country, which President Robert Mugabe has ruled for 25 years, is run by
a government that has lost legitimacy. The predatory and parasitic elite at
the helm of the Zimbabwean state are now increasingly relying on repressive
apparatuses, rather than representative institutions, as instruments to
perpetuate their rule.

Mugabe's centralisation of institutions and the personalisation of power
remains a malady in local politics. Nothing has changed.

His regime's trademarks - such as the use of the state to serve narrow,
elite interests; transgression of human rights; the assault on the
judiciary; the breakdown of rule of law; political arrests and detentions;
the crackdown on private media, which saw several journalists arrested in
the past month alone; and the deployment of the securocrats for predatory
self-serving activities - are still evident.

Democracy, in its basic, procedural form - which includes free and fair
elections, as well as a strengthening of state and civil society
institutions to represent the collective will of the people - is not taking
root in Zimbabwe. Instead, politics and the political economy are being
monopolised by a discredited elite that is hanging on to power by its
fingernails, and with no legitimate platform to stand on.

While the superstructure is collapsing, the economic base has crumbled.

A casual glance at the situation reveals that the economic indicators are
grim and worsening. The IMF team will no doubt be alarmed by this. The IMF
recommendations - especially on economic deregulation to increase the role
of market forces in the economy; and reform of public enterprises, the
fiscal sector, agriculture and governance - have largely been ignored. Only
piecemeal reforms have been made - lifting selected price controls, and
relaxing the exchange rate. Structural distortions and administrative
controls are still embedded in the economy.

On the political front, the crisis of governance spawned by misrule has
worsened. Mugabe's Jacobinism still holds sway and, as a result, the
democratic space is shrinking instead of opening.

But there is a further problem. The main political parties - the ruling Zanu
(PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - are both in
turmoil. The stalled dialogue between Zanu (PF) and the MDC to break the
political impasse caused by disputed elections has all but disappeared.

Zanu (PF) is reeling from a fierce internal power struggle over who will
succeed Mugabe, while the MDC is falling apart - also as a result of
infighting. This dire situation has left Zimbabwe locked in a party
political crisis.

Mugabe's succession problem has become intertwined with the dynamics of
national politics. It is now damaging party and state institutions. What
makes matters worse is that Mugabe - instead of accepting, for the sake of
the country that he pretends to love so much, that his time as president is
now up - is digging in. In the process he is dragging the whole country with

Zimbabwe illustrates the difficulties countries face when making the
transition from a dictatorship to a democracy in societies with weak
institutions and where personalised rule has been firmly entrenched.

The prevailing touch-and-go political situation in Zimbabwe makes it very
difficult for the economy to recover. Investor confidence will remain at its
low ebb until a holistic solution - which encompasses the political and
economic spheres - can be found to sort out the crisis.

Perhaps the expected visit to Harare by United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan in March might set in motion an international process that may
lead to settlement of these questions.

SA's President Thabo Mbeki might want to use that opportunity to renew his
efforts to resolve the situation in Zimbabwe, which is a dead weight on the

?Muleya is Harare correspondent and Zimbabwe Independent news editor.

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Exports decline by nine percent in Zimbabwe

People's Daily

      Zimbabwe's exports declined by 9.04 percent from 1.58 billion U.S.
dollars in 2004 to 1.43 billion in 2005 due to persistent drought, foreign
currency shortages and a delayed re-alignment of the exchange rate, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Tuesday.

      Presenting his Fourth Quarter 2005 Monetary Policy Review Statement on
Tuesday, RBZ Governor, Gideon Gono, said foreign currency cashflows also
declined by 0.46 percent during the same period from 1.71 billion U.S.
dollars in 2004 to 1.7 billion at the end of last year.

      "Underperformance in export receipts was compensated for by increased
short-term facilities, a position that has to be reversed in 2006, through
greater export growth," he said.

      Meanwhile, Gono said gold deliveries remained subdued last year
despite the firming in international gold prices and a more favorable
exchange rate.

      He said gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners fell by 37
percent from 21,342 kilograms in 2004 to 13,453 kilograms in 2005 largely
due to smuggling.

      Large-scale producers, the governor said, delivered 9,666 kilograms
with the balance coming from small-scale miners.

      "In 2004 small scale producers delivered the bulk of gold, suggesting
that in 2005 the precious metal was largely being smuggled out of the
country," he said, adding the externalization of precious minerals starved
Zimbabwe of the much-needed foreign currency.

      The year 2004 saw the country lose 160 million dollar worth of gold to
smuggling, Gono said.

      He blamed chefs and those in positions of authority and called on the
law enforcement agents to help weed out the scourge, which was affecting the
country's economy.

      Source: Xinhua

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Zimbabwe to introduce systems to curb smuggling minerals

People's Daily

      Zimbabwe will introduce systems and reporting procedures for the gold
sector next month as it moves to curb smuggling of precious minerals, the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said on Tuesday.

      In 2004 alone, the country was prejudiced of 160 million U.S. dollars
through smuggling activities. RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, called on the
government to institute greater surveillance at the country's mines to curb
growing incidences of smuggling and side marketing.

      "Government surveillance instruments should be rigorous, with each
mine submitting detailed reports to the Ministry of Mines and to the Reserve
Bank for purposes of accounting for extraction and exports," he said.

      The governor welcomed the work that was underway to finalize the
country's mining laws, including the issue of government and indigenous
participation, monitoring of mining activities and output which, when
completed, should drive investments, productivity and earnings to
unprecedented levels.

      He noted the need for the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe
to be realigned and reoriented to assume a much more aggressive role in
marketing and ensuring early repatriation of mineral exports.

      Source: Xinhua

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UPP, UPM Kingpins Are Charlatans - Nkomo

Zim Daily

            Wednesday, January 25 2006 @ 12:20 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo has scoffed at reports that
the ruling Zanu PF party was now a crumbling edifice struggling to contain
simmering disgruntlement within its ranks currently manifesting in the
myriad opposition political formations emerging from its top executives.
Nkomo told Zimdaily the latest revelation that former Zanu PF provincial
chairman Daniel Shumba had formed a new political movement United People's
Party (UPP) came as no surprise as this was "merely a logical extension of
the Tsholotsho debacle."

            "Indeed this latest gimmick is a futile attempt at hiding the
political links between the United People's Movement and the UPP," Nkomo
said. "We are supposed to be so naive as not to see that the so called new
political formations are two parties are movers and shakers of the
Tsholotsho process." Nkomo alleged that the objective of the two parties,
one headed by ex Zanu PF Information Tsar Jonathan Moyo and the other by
Shumba, was to divide people along ethnic lines and " to undermine the unity
of our people." Nkomo said Shumba and Moyo were never committed Zanu PF
cadres but joined the ruling party to "feed their selfish and corrupt

            "Having failed to destroy Zanu PF from within, they have now
come out of the woodwork to pursue their narrow selfish interests in the
public domain," Nkomo said. "Their politics of subterfuge that thrives on
anti-unity and anti-people strategies and tactics is doomed to fail." Both
the UPM and UPP position papers blasts official malfeasence in the ruling
Zanu PF party, the breakdown in the rule of law, poor economic policies and
general mismanagement by the governing Zanu PF. But Nkomo said: "We exposed
their Tsholotsho machinations and brought them to book and now they discover
all these unsavoury things about Zanu PF. They have suddenly stumbled onto
the democratic bandwagon calling for the restoration of rule of law and free
market economy."

            Both Moyo and Shumba left the ruling party unceremoniously after
being fingered in the infamous Tsholotsho meeting that was aimed at blocking
the elevation of Joice Mujuru to the post of Vice President in favour of
Zanu PF kingmaker Emmerson Mnangagwa. Nkomo accused Shumba and Moyo of being
"opportunists and charlatans eager to cause mayhem in the coutry." He
further alleged that there was no longer any credible opposition in Zimbabwe
charging that they were all "puppets" driven by donor largesse. "The current
squabbles in the MDC and the emerging UPM/UPP dichotomy are an explicit
manifestation of cheque book politics and sell-outism, " Nkomo said.

            He claimed that his Zanu PF party was fast gaining ground. "Zanu
PF continues to emerge victorious in areas that hitherto had been labelled
MDC strongholds," Nkomo said in refence to the senate and council election
results announced recently where the ruling partuy garnered the majority
seats. "UPM/UPP will meet the same fate - total rejection by the patriotic
and peace loving people of Zimbabwe," Nkomo said. "Zanu PF is the vanguard
party of all patriots. It is the present and future," Nkomo claimed. But
under the tutelage of Zanu PF the economy has continued to perform dismally
with unemployment at 70%, inflation almost 600% and poverty and starvation
stalking the land.

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Zimra Collected Z$32,1 Trillion In Taxes In 2005

Zim Daily

            Wednesday, January 25 2006 @ 12:17 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
            The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) was this week crowing
about a 33 percent positive variance in revenue collection for 2005, which
is best attributed to galloping inflation, mainly in the second half of the
year. The authority has sought to extract credit from its ability to raise
$32.1 trillion dollars against the budgeted $23.5 trillion, saying the
positive variance "is the fruit of the initiatives that were undertaken to
improve revenue collections."

            In line with the latest government fad- governance by
operations- Zimra launched no less than 4 'operations' last year to stem
leakages from the system. However, inflation, particularly after Finance
Minister Herbert Murerwa panicked and hiked value added tax (VAT) from 15
percent to 17.5 between September and December, was always going to make the
revenue target a cinch. Stunted revenue collection in a lethargic first half
saw Zimra recording inflows amounting to $9.7 trillion, way below the
target. However, with resurgent inflation closing the year at 585.8 percent-
giving an average rate of about 435 percent in the second half- revenue was
always going to surge. Prices rose by an average 150 percent in the first
half of 2005.

            Murerwa has since revised the VAT rate downwards back to 15
percent as the government announced a $105 trillion revenue target for 2006.
VAT supplanted individual income tax to make the biggest contribution to
revenue last year, weighing in with $10.55 trillion- a 33 percent
contribution that was 46 percent above the target. Individual income tax's
contribution was marginally below target and its overall contribution of $9
trillion was 28 percent of total revenue. Company tax also registered
positive growth, partly due to the introduction, in 2005, of a current
payment system that aims to beat the effects of inflation due to the removal
of a time lag.

            Contributions from customs duty, which took an expected
battering from the government's Operation Murambatsvina- which destabilised
the informal sector and cross border flea market traders, declined
marginally from 13 percent in 2004 to 12 percent last year. The collections
from this revenue head- $3.85 trillion- were 61 percent above budget,

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Court to rule on Shoko suspension

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/25/2006 13:26:01
THE High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment in the case in which Chitungwiza
mayor Misheck Shoko is seeking the nullification of his suspension.

Addressing journalists soon after the chamber hearing, Shoko's lawyer,
Tendai Biti, said Justice Anne Marie Gowora would pass judgment either on
Friday or Monday.

"Judgment has been reserved. Judgment would be made either on Friday or next
Monday," said Biti.

Local government minister, Ignatius Chombo and Chitungwiza municipality are
the respondents.

Shoko went to court last week seeking the reversal of Chombo's suspension
saying it was driven by "political malice".

Shoko added that his suspension was unlawful and was undertaken without
consultation, in violation of the law.

He also claimed the minister had orchestrated a plan to cripple the
municipality, including cutting fuel supplies to Chitungwiza in order to
find grounds to hound him out of office.

"The respondents' actions were grossly unreasonable, were motivated by
political malice and capriciousness and were done when no reasonable grounds
existed justifying invocation of Section 54 (2) of the Urban Councils Act
Chapter 29:15," said Shoko in his founding affidavit.

Chombo has since appointed a commission composed of Zanu PF apologists to
run the affairs of Chitungwiza. He has done the same in Harare and Mutare
where elected opposition mayors have been replaced by his appointees with an
unlimited term.

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Tribalism is back

The Zimbabwean

BY WILF MBANGA LONDON - As the consequences of Zanu (PF)'s misrule become
increasingly apparent, even to those with their snouts still in the feeding
trough, the party itself is beginning to fracture. Poverty, hunger,
unemployment and the collapse of health and education are taking their toll
at every level. Ruling party supporters were cushioned for a long time by
the Mugabe regime's highly effective patronage system. But, together with
everyone else, they are now feeling the pinch. Despite the almost total
control of information and the constant spewing of pro-government
propaganda, all Zimbabweans can see the writing on the wall. It has become
painfully apparent that Zanu (PF) can no longer provide, even for the party
faithful. Things are falling apart. Things will not get better. As a result,
people are resorting to desperate measures. They are swimming across the
crocodile-infested Limpopo to South Africa, they are walking through the
bush to Botswana and Mozambique. They are hunting for wild fruit and digging
for roots. A return to basic survival instincts is now apparent in politics
too, as people seek security in tribal and family groupings. The unity
accord of 1987 put a damper on tribal politics and Mugabe himself carefully
allocated posts across the tribal divide to keep everybody happy. As he
enters the sunset of his life, he doesn't seem to care any more. Family
feels safe and that's all that really matters. Zanu (PF) itself is
splintering. In addition to Jonathan Moyo's Tsholotsho-based United Peoples'
Movement, we now have the United Peoples' Party (UPP) led by former Zanu
(PF) Masvingo provincial chairman and war veteran, Daniel Shumba. Shumba and
his group are determined that the post-Mugabe era should not be a Zezuru
dynasty. Their anxiety has stemmed from the carefully orchestrated Zezuru
stronghold comprising the current triumvirate - Mugabe, vice presidents
Joyce Mujuru and Joseph Msika, the heads of the army, police, air force and
CIO and many permanent secretaries. Implosion from within now seems a more
likely fate for Zanu (PF) than electoral defeat by the now splintered MDC.
Political confusion is the result. There are disturbing precedents in
Africa, notably Kenya, where discontent with ruling autocracies has lead to
a proliferation of opposition parties and consequent victory for the those
very autocracies. Africa's curse, it would seem, is that there are always
too many Chiefs and not enough Africans.

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Homelink update

The Zimbabwean

OWN CORRESPONDENT LONDON - A meeting is taking place this week between
agents acting for Masimba Msipa and disgruntled Homelink customer Tendai
Mauchaza, whose beef against Msipa was highlighted in The Zimbabwean last
week. Following that report, Msipa contacted this newspaper to complain. He
was assured of his right of reply and promised to give his side of the
story - which he had not done at the time of going to press. Contacted for
comment Mauchaza said Msipa had phoned him and accused him of
misrepresenting the facts. Meanwhile, another Zimbabwean (name supplied) has
reported being duped through the Homelink scheme. He bought a house in
Mufakose for -22 000, but when he realised that he could have got something
much better for his money he cancelled the deal. He told The Zimbabwean that
the people he dealt with had been extremely rude and abusive and that it had
taken him three months to get his money back. "I was impressed by the
Reserve Bank's Road show in UK two years ago and believed it was a good
scheme. But I was totally wrong. It is a disaster," he said. Please contact
us about your experience with Homelink.

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Where does the power reside?

The Zimbabwean

WASHINGTON - Some commentators are calling for MDC president, Morgan
Tsvangirai, to step down because he has not won any presidential or
parliamentary elections since 2000. This type of logic is like some
passengers blaming the bus driver for not getting to his destination when
everyone knows the bus had mechanical problems beyond the drivers control;
unless if he could get the passengers out to push the bus all the way to
their destinations! I would suggest the MDCs power and influence can be
described as latent. Latent power inherently renders the party essentially
weak unless it can mobilize its resources and massive support to attain its
objectives through means other than the electoral process. For the
opposition movement in Zimbabwe the latent people power must be transformed
into real power. This means mobilizing peoples power not so much to get
everybody to vote, but to engage in other strategies like mass action and
civil disobedience that will lead to desired objectives without going the
futile and frustrating electoral route. It is therefore an
oversimplification to suggest that the split in the MDC has weakened the
party. The partys power does not reside in the leadership but in the
followers. There is no evidence of a significant split among the followers.
No one has taken a scientific poll to prove this. The big problem is none of
the MDC leadership has ever come up with a strategy for confronting Mugabe
outside the electoral system. Welshman Ncube is on record as saying that his
prosenate group will continue to participate in elections no matter the
circumstances. He even said even if the elections were to elect a janitor
they would participate. This proves the lack of depth, lack of strategy,
lack of vision in the superficial politics of accommodation being so
fanatically pursued by the prosenate group. MDC leadership was essentially
weak long before the split. Had they engaged in a systematic and deliberate
program of civil disobedience instead of being faithful disciples of the
flawed electoral system MDC leadership may have managed to galvanize people
into a mass protest. Historically, the opposition movement in Zimbabwe and
Africa has never been a single-party entity. When ZAPU and ZANU split in the
heydays of nationalist politics each party engaged in an armed struggle
simply because of the futility of pursuing electoral politics. This split
did not, ipso facto, weaken the opposition politics in Zimbabwe. The same
applies to apartheid South Africa where there were two distinct parties, the
ANC and PAC and later the MDM. There is room for multiparty opposition
politics in Zimbabwe. If the MDC leadership has irreconcilable differences
they should amicably part because they will need to form a broad based
alliance or front against Mugabe. There is a very strong case for unity in
order project a united front against Mugabe. But as the history of African
nationalism has shown, this may not always be possible. In some cases it may
only serve to perpetuate existing problems that led to the disunity in the
first place.

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MDC - towards Congress 2006

The Zimbabwean

Ten of the 12 Provincial Congresses have now been held - well attended in
all cases by delegates from the Branches, Wards and Provincial structures.
New leadership has been elected and in most cases there is a general
improvement in the quality and character of the leadership that has been
elected. Some 15 000 people will be eligible to attend Congress as delegates
and these together with our guests will mean that we will have a very large
number of people at Congress. This will be our second Congress - the first
being in late 1999 when we met at the National Aquatic Sports Centre in
Chitungwiza. This year we go to the National Sports Centre in Harare. At
Congress, the process of healing the wounds of the split in our leadership
will finally be dealt with and a full contingent of national leaders
elected. Congress will be a real celebration of the democratic spirit in
Zimbabwe. A celebration of courage and determination to stand up to a
tyrannical dictatorship in defence of our rights as people. A celebration of
survival; in spite of all that has been thrown at us over the past six
years, we are still here, still in good spirit and still determined to
finish what we started out to do in 1997. The second aspect of the Congress
will be to cement the consensus we have evolved together over the past six
years in respect to our philosophy and ideology as well as the policies that
flow from those foundations. We are a social democratic movement and as such
our policies will reflect our commitment to the welfare of our people and
the development of our country. To facilitate this a full policy review is
under way. The third aspect will be to work out how we are going to achieve
our main goal - that of effecting regime change in Zimbabwe. There are very
few in Zimbabwe today who do not accept that Zanu (PF) has completely failed
to manage our political and economic affairs. We have seen the most rapid
collapse of an economy in African history - and in a country that is not at
war and has no internal armed struggle. This has been a self-inflicted
collapse and the regime shows no sign of either understanding what it has
done or how to fix the problem. We have no alternative but to now seek their
removal from power and the instillation of a new government that will tackle
our massive and urgent problems and restore our dignity as a nation. The
question is how? We have tried the democratic route and been frustrated at
every hurdle. The report on the Presidential election in 2002 is now out in
draft form and being examined by Party leaders. It is a completely damming
indictment of the whole electoral process as developed and managed by Zanu
(PF) since 1980. It reveals a completely manipulated and corrupted voters
roll, a sophisticated system designed distort the roll to accommodate every
sort of electoral fraud. It uncovers the role of the "Command Centre" a
sinister body run by the military and security agencies that actually
administers all elections from the headquarters of the CIO in Harare and
that has links to every polling station in the country. It shows how this
body distorted the results - blatantly manipulating the voting figures that
were coming out of the polling stations themselves. It reinforces our claim
that the Registrar General's Office is totally partisan and is actually the
main agent used for the manipulations and distortion of voting rights,
citizenship and creating the capacity for vote fraud on a massive scale. We
have tried the legal route - we took 35 of the June 2000 election results to
Court, as is our right in terms of the law and our constitution. It took the
Courts five years to hear 12 cases - award seven to the MDC and dismiss five
and the rest fell away when the next elections took place. In only two cases
were the electoral challenge procedures completed, MDC won both but so late
that our extra Members of Parliament never had a chance to attend even one
session. Then there was the legal challenge to the election of Mugabe as
State President in 2002. He purportedly won that by a significant margin but
we know that in fact a two-thirds majority defeated him. We took this to the
Courts within 30 days of the election - today, five years later, the case
has still not been heard and in desperation we have now appealed to the
Supreme Court. So no democratic means, no legal means - what next? We
ourselves rule out violence and armed struggle - we have been down that road
before and see no future for anyone there. So what way to go? Well first we
have to set our goals - that is in the process of taking shape in the MDC
but I think it is going to be a new national, peoples driven constitution.
Once that is in place then a normalization period to stabilize the situation
on the ground (food and security) and then fresh elections under
international supervision. "You will never get Zanu (PF) to agree to that" -
agreed, therefore there will have to be some use of force and here we will
use the methods refined over the past centuries by similar populations
living under tyrannies - civil disobedience, strikes, stay aways, boycotts
and pressure on all associated with the regime to concede the need for a new
beginning. At recent rallies the leadership of the MDC spoke to thousands of
its supporters and outlined to them their thinking. There is no doubt about
our need. No doubt about our determination and we have no doubt about our
eventual victory. History is on our side, the people will prevail and this
time Zanu (PF) will have no place to hide, not even in Pretoria. As Roy
Bennett said at the recent Council meeting "we have won seats in Parliament,
taken control of a majority of the Cities and Towns and what have we
achieved for our people - nothing!" He asked? "In what way can we say that
what we have been doing in the past six years has benefited the ordinary man
in the street?" He said this in support of a call for radical new strategies
to confront Zanu (PF) in all spheres and for the MDC to abandon strategies
that do not yield change. He is absolutely right.

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Too good to be true

The Zimbabwean

We knew it was too good to be true. Recently, we were rejoicing that a body
of the African Union had finally had the guts to issue a statement
criticising Zimbabwe's appalling human rights record. But the resolution,
passed by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights imploring the
African Union to condemn Zimbabwe for a range of abuses, has been thrown out
by the organisation's Council of Ministers. The reason? Certain procedures
were not followed. What a pathetic excuse! Of course, we should not really
be surprised by this. The surprise was that the resolution ever made it as
far as it did. After all, the majority of African leaders who make up the AU
were not popularly elected. The current chairman, Sudanese leader Omar
Hassan al-Bashir has been condemned by the international community for his
dictatorial rule and the way in which he has suppressed people in the Darfur
region. His fellows include leaders such as Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the
despotic head of Equatorial Guinea, and the likes of DRC's Joseph Kabila who
shot their way into power. These are some of the people who decide on human
rights for Africa. They don't know the meaning of the words. So we cannot
really expect anything from this motley bunch of dictators. But there is
hope. A few years ago the report by the commission would never even have
made it to the Council of Ministers. There are many who are interested in
human rights in Africa and are working away behind the scenes to change
things. There are also a number of African heads of state who believe in
democracy, such as John Kufuor of Ghana, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia
and Botswana's Festus Mogae. They may be outnumbered at the moment but we
beg them to continue highlighting the tragic plight of the majority of
Africans. They need to be bold enough to cast their lot, not with the
handful of oppressors, but with the multitudes of decent people who deserve
a better deal. From today, Thursday, the heads of state will meet in
Khartoum at the AU's annual summit. The delinquents among them will no doubt
congratulate each other on how they have skilfully managed to outwit the
democrats and stifle debate on the appalling behaviour of the Mugabe regime
in Zimbabwe. We hope the democrats will somehow manage to distance
themselves from the despots. Perhaps they could stand apart when the time
comes for the happy family group photos.

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The Patriotic Military Forum

The Zimbabwean

EDITOR - We announce the creation of the Patriotic Military Forum, the Voice
of Soldiers. We are the Command Council. We are officers from the ranks of
the Zimbabwean Defence Forces who have held always to the worthy ideals.
Some of us are War Veterans from the Second Chimurenga. Each one of us
serves the nation and the Revolution. We are not an opposition party. We
spilt our blood in the Chimurenga. We reject the imperialists and their
puppets. Comrade President Robert Mugabe is the leader of the Chimurenga and
our father in the Struggle. He has smitten our oppressors. We thank God for
him. But our Zimbabwe labours under tribulation. Corruption and greed are
everywhere. We cannot defend the Government when the government does not
defend the people. Our children are not fed. Our patriotic forces lack fuel
and equipments. See, Zimbabwe! The water needs to flow. It is time for the
Comrade President to accept the gratitude of the nation. He has laboured
long in the vineyard. He should take his rest. We demand the removal of all
selfish ministers like Minister Chombo, they are the ones who are guilty of
corruption and incompetence and the suffering of the people and they will
pay the price. We have spoken. We will speak again. We call on the loyal
sons and daughters of Zimbabwe to listen. THE COMMAND COUNCIL, Zimbabwe

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Teachers flee poverty datum lin

The Zimbabwean

BY MAGUGU NYATHI JOHANNESBURG - The place is calm and peaceful, a gentle
breeze lifts up the curtains sending a shaft of light into the room. There
is no furniture, water or electricity in the room, only a pile of old
blankets and a few books in a corner. This is central Johannesburg, in one
of the dilapidated flats typically occupied by Zimbabweans who have fled to
South Africa. Nhlonipho Mudawu is a newly arrived teacher. "For a long time
I witnessed the departure of my fellow country men. But I never thought I
would leave. I thought the situation was going to improve. But it got worse
every day, until it was my turn," he told The Zimbabwean. With
hyperinflation rising to 585.8 percent in December, the new pay for teachers
in Zimbabwe falls far below the poverty datum line (PDL) - Z$17.2 million,
more than twice what college-graduate teachers are earning. The country's
economic meltdown, caused by well-documented corruption and mismanagement,
has seen Zimbabwe's education sector, which used to be the pride of
President Mugabe's post-independence achievements, crumble beyond
recognition. Teachers and students are on the run. There is nothing left to
motivate teachers, and parents are not satisfied with the quality of
education being offered in most schools. The influx of teachers into South
Africa has reached its highest record ever, with the progressive Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe, South African Chapter, registering over 400 teachers in
the month of January only. "The are an average of 20 teachers registering
with the PTUZ-SA every day and this number is likely to increase soon as
more teachers are leaving Zimbabwe for greener pastures. These teachers
include head masters and college lectures with MBAs," said Bongani Nyathi,
the chairman, in a recent interview. "It's unbelievable that a government
can spend zillions of dollars in training teachers and lose them due to
mismanagement. I was still hoping for Zimbabwe's revival but now I don't
think it can survive without all these key services. First it was engineers,
doctors, nurses, defence forces, now the teachers. I wonder who would be
next?" said Simba Manyanya Zimbabwean economist and part-time lecturer at
Wits University. He said there were more than 10,000 qualified Zimbabwean
teachers in South Africa, most of whom were no longer practising teachers.
"About 3,000 are employed by private colleges and only a small fraction of
no more than 50 are employed by the government. It is obvious from these
figures that teachers are the largest professional group outside the
country," he said.

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New Murambatsvina report

The Zimbabwean

HARARE - At least 820,000 people are suffering severe psychological trauma
as a result of Operation Murambatsvina when their homes livelihoods were
bull-dozed, a new survey shows. The survey, titled -Making Life
Unbearable,- was conducted by ActionAid International, working with the
Counselling Services Unit, the Combined Harare Residents Association, and
the Zimbabwe Peace Project. The researchers questioned 1,195 people in 58
high density wards in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo _ asking them about
trauma, HIV/AIDS, legal issues and their losses. Nearly one-fourth of the
people interviewed had at least one person living with them with HIV/AIDS,
mostly now receiving no care, treatment or nutritional support. -gThis
represents a conservative number of households of about 5,407," said the
report. -gThis is an absolute minimum of 5 000 individuals whose lives are
at risk." -gIf there was not a complex emergency prior to May 18, 2005, the
Zimbabwe government-fs callous implementation of Operation Murambatsvina has
now made a complex emergency a categorical fact," said the report. -g -c
Ordinary people are now suffering serious psychological disorder as a
consequence of their treatment, and this will seriously impede their ability
to cope with the adversity that they now must face." The survey results
contradict claims by the Mugabe regime that it demolished the homes of
criminals and illegal dwellers. In many cases, the victims were paying
rates, had other official permission to live where they were, and suffered
huge financial losses. "Combined with the effects of the destruction of
their homes and their livelihoods, it is even more improbable that these
people will heal unaided," the survey said. Its findings are in line with
those of the highly critical UN investigation.

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'Mugabe, Zanu-PF, your days are numbered'

The Zimbabwean

BY MARTINE STEMERICK Roy Bennett, the newly elected provincial leader for
Manicaland, rejects the MDC power struggles as a distraction from the real
issues facing the people of Zimbabwe. "The leadership wrangles and power
positioning . . . have confused the grass roots: they have no understanding
of it," he said in a recent interview. Dismissing council and other
elections as a smoke screen that serve only to give Mugabe's regime the
appearance of democratic authority, Bennett said bluntly: "The sentiment of
the people of Zimbabwe is that there are no more elections. There's no time
to play games with a dictatorial, oppressive, human-rights abusive
government. "What are we doing by getting into elections with them, or
talking with them, or negotiating with them? This year is a time for action.
It's a time for the MDC to consolidate, to show its power by people power,
and show Mugabe and Zanu (PF) that their days are numbered. We will only
ever go back into elections when the process is free and fair, when there is
a democratic dispensation, and when there is a proper constitution in
place." Bennett emphasised that he could only speak for Manicaland, "where I
was personally involved. After that Congress, there was a total air of
vibrancy in Manicaland. People are ready to move. They are expectant. They
are waiting to get involved, they are waiting to strategize, and they are
waiting to take this regime head on. People are no longer worried about
being arrested. They are no longer worried about dying. They want to move
their country forward and take possession of their country from the grass
roots so that there is good governance and a free market system," he said.
Asked about the weaknesses and divisions among the MDC, Bennett attributed
the infighting among party leaders to Zanu (PF) and CIO infiltration. "The
leadership has been lacking because of the oppressive system Zanu (PF)
employs to run the country: the arrests, the sums of money going in and the
buying off of people." He said the ruling party had used a divide-and-rule
strategy for creating havoc in the MDC, facilitated by the Political Parties
Finance Act, which allows opposition supporters to be arrested and put into
jail. "Because finances have been coming into the MDC which people have had
access to and not been accountable for, the individuals who have benefited
from those funds have forgotten about the grassroots. They have forgotten
about the people who put them there. They have become all powerful with that
funding and formed themselves into a kitchen cabinet, eating that money and
forgetting about the people and the purpose of the MDC, which is to lead the
country to new governance." Bennett agreed with the conclusion of several
other commentators that the MDC's internecine wrangling served only Zanu
(PF). He called for the leadership to leave the past behind and come
together in unity and unanimity to tackle the real issues that afflict the
suffering people of Zimbabwe. "I believe what is happening now, whether
President Tsvangirai has erred or not, whether Welshman Ncube has erred or
not, they were given the responsibility by the people of Zimbabwe to lead
them. And they must be respected for their positions and they must lead the
people." Bennett dismissed the notion of hashing and rehashing all of the
who-did-what-to-whom quandaries that have divided the party in the last few
months. "We, the people of the MDC, must rally together, forget the
individual agendas, forget who has been bad, who has said what, to unite in
a common purpose to give the leadership back to the grassroots that put us
there and lead us through this period that we are going through now." "This
is the year that it's going to happen. In 2006, Zanu (PF) is going! The
people are sick and tired. Zanu is finished. The people will restructure,
reformulate, reorganize their leadership and we will move forward." The MDC
must stop gnawing itself to pieces. While the leadership is tying itself in
ever more destructive knots, the people at grassroots are saying, "Let's
move! let's move!'" "The majority of the people in the MDC have suffered.
We've suffered and lost. We've been beaten. We've lost our homes, had family
members killed. We want to move forward." - Roy Bennett spoke to Violet
Gonda of SWRadioAfrica on "The Hot Seat" programme January 10, 2006

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Zimbabwe Women's Network

The Zimbabwean

is a non-political, non- profit organisation set up in 2003 to create a
platform and a forum where Zimbabwean women asylum seekers, refugees and
migrant workers could benefit from various social, legal and economic issues
as they settled in the UK. Our vision is to enhance the quality of life for
Zimbabwean women and their families, especially with regard to protecting
the welfare and development of our children. We work to foster unity among
Zimbabweans, to promote our culture and traditions and to contribute to our
common welfare - 'Ubambano Lwabo Mama' - 'Kubatana kwa Madzimai'. As a
self-help organisation, inspired by the ideals of community development and
the women's movement, we espouse personal and collective responsibility,
interdepence as well as direct local action by the women for the women. Our
ethos is that of empowering and enabling, rather than being protective or
prescriptive. As part of our capacity-building programme, we are working
with strategic partners to deliver training opportunities. Our courses are
free of charge to Zimbabweans interested in contributing to their own
development and that of their community. The capacity building programme,
four full days, 21 Feb, 28th Feb, 7 & 14 March, will cover the following
modules: a. Understanding the sexual health needs of young people from
African and BME communities b. Understanding religious and cultural issues
in promoting sexual health among young people from BME communities c.
Working with parents as partners in promoting sexual health among young
people from BME communities d. Developing strategies for promoting and
delivering sexual health services among young people from BME communities.
Other courses include: Choosing a Database, 31 January, Women only 10-4.30;
Funding and fundraising, 2 February, Women only 10-4:30; Consultation for
women by women services - 16 February, Women only 1-3:30pm; Planning 6
February - Women only 10-4.30pm; Meet the funder for small groups 8 March,
Women only 10-4.30pm; Managing your organisation 20 March, Women only 10am -
4:30pm; Writing Better Fundraising applications - Thursday 9 February
10am-4.30pm; Managing your community building - Tuesday 21 February
10:4.30pm; Social Enterprise - 25 January 10am - 1pm and many more. In
keeping with the UK government's strategy on teenage pregnancy, we are
offering a two-day workshop 'Speak Easy' - Learning to talk to our children
about sexual health. The dates for this workshop will be 20 and 21 March but
there will be an information giving session on January 26 from 9.30am -
2.00pm in Ealing. All the above workshops will take place in venues in
Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and
lunch will be provided. We are also looking for volunteers to work in
various roles within the organisation such as coordinating and writing our
newsletter, designing publicity and promotional material, designing and
maintaining our database, maintaining our website and community advocates to
take part in our outreach project where you will be visiting those who are
ill in hospital, visiting those in detention centres and providing peer and
emotional support to those affected by HIV/AIDS. - If you are interested in
any of these workshops, please contact Maureen Ndawana on 020 8847 2244 or
07960857286 or Yvonne Marimo on 07886 241 757. Or fax your details to 020
8847 0011. All bookings are to be made via the network ZIWNUK.

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The politics of food

The Zimbabwean

BY RENSON GASELA HARARE - Rain is life. Look at the transformation around
the country since end of November. Rain makes grain. Because the rainy
season was delayed this year, the crops are generally young. January is
normally a very dry month. However, this year, it has been extremely wet. It
does appear now that we are going to have an extremely good year as far as
rainfall and its distribution is concerned. With such a promising season,
what prospects are there for sufficient food? The young crop is already
suffering from fertilizer deficiency. If ammonium nitrate was to become
available now, a lot of the crop could be saved. But even if fertilizer was
to be found now, there would not be enough food produced this year. For a
start, seed availability this season was only 30% of national requirement.
Another factor is tillage. I witnessed a very embarrassing scene in Gweru on
December 20, 2005 at the Arex offices. For one of the few times since the
start of the season, there was farmers' diesel available. Hundreds of
farmers went to queue for allocations. As Arex staff was serving farmers on
a first-come-first-served basis - senior army, police and Zanu (PF)
officials were jumping the queue, resulting in a riotous situation where
police had to send dogs to restore order. The point here is that government
is selling fuel to these farmers at the end of the ploughing season. I
believe the ruling party has a deliberate policy to keep Zimbabwe in a
semi-permanent food deficit situation and my reasons are as follows: a) Land
Reform: While the need for land reform in acceptable as a means of resolving
the land question, the manner in which it was done was clearly never
intended to solve the land question. One only needs to look at the
beneficiaries to see what its intentions ultimately became. There is land
audit after land audit. Those who own multiple farms are not touched. There
are millions of hectares lying fallow. b) Inputs: The parliamentary
portfolio committee on Lands and Agriculture in 2003, made specific
recommendations on how to deal with the inputs, having had evidence from
stakeholders. When the report and recommendations were presented to
parliament, Minister Made specifically rejected both report and
recommendations. See Hansard of 17th December 2003 Columns 2140-2142. Last
year 2005, the same portfolio committee came up with the same findings and
made nearly similar recommendations. Again, these have not been accepted.
Can we really believe that President Mugabe does not know why there is no
fertilizer! Can we really believe that he has over the past five years
actually failed to ensure that his Ministers perform? c) Operation Taguta: -
Having recognized the failure of the land reform programme, the government
decided late last year to mount Operation Taguta. This is the army going
into the underutilized farms and literally taking them over by tilling the
land and putting in some crops. Operation Taguta is trying to plant maize
even as late as now. When did the regime discover that land was
underutilized? Is the army the right vehicle for food production? Are not
some of the military people also failing in their individual capacities to
produce food? Is this not an admission of the failure of land reform? We
understand that the army has thousands of tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate
Fertilizer for Operation Taguta. Since it is so late now to begin ploughing
and planting any crops why not release the fertilizer and save the crop on
the ground? To complete their goal, the government now wants to spend $1.5
trillion buying the shares of fertilizer companies. All the fertilizer
companies are operating at below capacity due to shortage of foreign
currency, which the government should provide if they were serious about
agriculture. It would appear that the government is deliberately sabotaging
the fertilizer companies by failing or refusing to provide them with foreign
currency. If this is not so, where are they going to get the foreign
currency after nationalization? One can only conclude that the whole idea is
the perfection of the patronage system when they are in full control. d)
Food Aid: The government was fully aware that their pipe dream of 2.4
million tonnes of maize in 2004 was not there. Last year the rains were
poor. Even as they claimed they had too much maize, they never stopped
imports, during that big surplus year! Zimbabwe has been eating secretly
imported maize over the past 24 months. However, when it was obvious to
everybody that people were starving the government refused food aid. e)
Operation Murambatsvina: The government found a formula of controlling
people in the rural areas. This is done through the system of Wadco and
Vidco. Each Wadco or Ward has a ZANU PF employee who is paid by government
through Ministry of Youth. This official works with village heads and ward
councillor. With perennial induced food shortage, this structure ensures
compliance of rural people. The patronage system has been perfected. In the
urban areas, the people are much freer and make their own decisions. The
hundreds of thousands of informal traders were self-sufficient and therefore
did not look upon the state to do anything for them. Their lack of
dependence meant that government could not control them as those in rural
areas. The time has come for the people to say enough is enough.

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Desperate for leadership

The Zimbabwean

BY LITANY BIRD Dear Family and Friends, A friend recently sent an email
describing how activists manage to cope in circumstances where fear, stress,
insecurity and unrest continue for long periods of time. Determination,
principle and routine, seem to be about the most important factors to
consider. As the situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate, more and
more activists seem to be falling silent or just disappearing from sight.
The recent split of the MDC has left most Zimbabweans feeling alone,
betrayed and desperate about how to cope and which way to turn. It is now
very difficult to keep depression and despair at bay and prevent "burn-out".
Our lives have been in turmoil for six years and many days it seems as if
nothing will ever be the same again. Houses for sale are now quoted in
billions of dollars, those for rent are in the multi millions, a visit to a
doctor is Z$2 million and the smallest handful of basic groceries carried in
one plastic bag easily costs a million. The horror of this reality comes
quickly when you know that an ordinary teacher for example, or a nurse,
takes home only Z$5 million. The men and women entrusted with educating our
children and saving our lives cannot afford to live in Zimbabwe any more. In
homes across the country municipal accounts for January have just arrived
and they have left residents absolutely staggering in disbelief. In my
hometown the municipal charges have increased overnight by almost 600
percent. We should be saying, in disgust and outrage that we will not pay
for services not being provided - street lights that don't work, garbage
that is not collected, water that is filthy or roads that are collapsing.
But we do not; without brave and strong leadership we are a country and a
population afraid and so instead we search desperately for ways to survive,
to find the money and to pay for almost non-existent services. In the very
early mornings you see the real people of Zimbabwe going out to do whatever
they can in these wet January days. Men and women, and even children who
should be in school but can't afford to attend anymore. They go to little
roadside gardens to dig and weed maize, beans and pumpkins - crops which are
hungry for fertilizer and whose meagre yields will be dramatically reduced
when the night time thieves start coming around and helping themselves.
Other people go out into the bush to pull down tree branches for fuel wood
or they go collecting mushrooms and wild fruits -to eat and to sell. One day
after the other, one foot in front of the other we carry on, struggling,
praying, hoping - we cannot afford to burn out. Until next week, Ndini
shamwari yenyu.

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Birthday celebrations obscene

The Zimbabwean

Elsewhere in this issue we carry a story about Zimbabweans being forced to
fork out millions of dollars that they don't have so that Zanu (PF)
supporters can once again gorge themselves at a celebration of their aging
leader's 82nd birthday party. In the light of the fact that millions of our
people are starving, foraging for roots and wild fruits to feed their
emaciated children, this is obscene. We condemn this extortion on behalf of
the government in the strongest possible terms, and commiserate with the
still-employed civil servants who undoubtedly will once again fall victim to
'voluntary/compulsory' deductions from their salaries at source. We
encourage them to resist this illegal practice with a lot more backbone than
they have demonstrated thus far. If Mugabe wants to throw a party to
celebrate his birthday, let him jolly well pay for it himself like everybody
else does.

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Mtetwa target of state papers' hate campaign

The Zimbabwean

BY A CORRESPONDENT HARARE - A vindictive personal attack by Information
Secretary George Charamba on human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa underlined
the extent to which the state-controlled media, particularly the press,
propagate hatred against perceived opponents of the Mugabe regime. The media
watchdog, Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), in its report covering
Jan. 9-16, also noted that just a week after making ridiculous claims that
the good rains spelled economic revival, all the media "reflected an economy
in turmoil." Charamba's prominent column in The Sunday Mail was prompted by
an interview Mtetwa gave to South Africa's Mail and Guardian, and which the
Zimbabwe Independent picked up, attacking Zimbabwe's repressive media laws.
Instead of addressing Mtetwa's points, Charamba tried to undermine her legal
credentials, sneering that she sought to make a name for herself in
journalism. "Such unprofessional outbursts severely undermine ethical
journalistic standards and practice, to which the government-appointed Media
and Information Commission has seemingly remained blind," said the MMPZ.
While giving Charamba a big show, the state media ignored an urgent High
Court application by Chitungwiza mayour Misheck Shoko challenging his
suspension from office. The Daily Mirror also skipped this important story,
but it was reported by SW Radio Africa, which made an error in its report,
Studio 7 and the Financial Gazette. On the economic crisis, MMPZ said that,
apart from Radio Zimbabwe, the state broadcaster reported prominently the
huge surge in inflation from 502.4% in November to 585.8% in December. Spot
FM even quoted an economist as saying inflation will worsen. But, as ever,
the state media avoided linking the country's economic misery to
mismanagement by the regime. In Bulawayo, The Chronicle excelled itself by
peddling the absurdity that that hyperinflation and the general economic
decay were a "consequence of the sabotage unleashed on our economy via Tony
Blair's machinations, with support of most European Union countries." The
Herald seized on rhetoric from the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) -
combining state, business and labour - as the latest panacea. However, the
monitors noted that in a rare moment of candour, The Herald reported
analysts as saying a new currency "would also develop a chain of zeroes" as
long as inflation remained high and productivity low. The independent SW
Radio Africa did not report the inflation rise, and The Daily Mirror's
coverage was along the lines of the state media. Adopting a more analytical
approach, Studio 7, the Independent and The Standard cited analysts as
predicting inflation could hit 800-1,000% by year's end. As in the previous
week, none of the media covered the cholera outbreak adequately, failing to
make independent investigations and relying on official sources for
information. "Almost all the updates on the spread of the disease in
official papers were buried in reports that narrowly fingered vendors,
particularly those in Mbare, as the source of the pestilence, while
simultaneously stressing how the authorities had taken effective action to
contain the disease," said the MMPZ. Officials were quoted as saying
Operation Murambatsvinva, which rendered hundreds of thousands homeless and
without livelihoods, had enabled the disease to be contained. The state
press also passively quoted Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo as
saying he would organise collection of refuse, fixing of potholes and
repairing of street lights in Harare - with no reference to the fact that
the state-appointed Commission which is supposed to run Harare had failed to
do this.

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Hunger - the main problem

The Zimbabwean

BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT About 15 years ago I drove around a corner on our
farm and found a body lying in the middle of the dirt road. I only just
managed to stop in time and discovered that it was a teenaged girl who, when
I tried to help her up, appeared to be confused and weak. She seemed to have
fainted so I took her to our local clinic. Every time the clinic sisters
asked her what was wrong she repeated the word 'nenzara.' Real hunger was so
far from my mind at that time that at first I thought she was using it to
cover something else. Maybe the girl was pregnant? But the sisters
questioned her more and it turned out that she really hadn't eaten for a
couple of days. I was appalled that such a thing could happen in the midst
of plenty. As we investigated further, we discovered that her alcoholic
grandmother spent what little money there was on drink. It was easy to solve
that particular hunger problem and the girl received a basic food allowance
every month. It was the first time that I'd heard the Shona word for hunger
used in its real sense. When I was hungry I often used to say "Ndafa
nenzara!" But not any more. Hardest of all is feeling so helpless when faced
with hunger on this scale. Wherever I go I see it. It's etched in deep lines
on thin worried faces. It's in the large round eyes of the children that
peer so hopefully into my car. It's the oedema and bronzed skin and hair of
kwashiorkor and it's the child who says that he is nine when I thought that
he was about five. Nenzara is now right next door in the family of the
gardener who has five children and is paid the minimum wage. (20 loaves of
bread a month) A friend of mine chatted to a young man outside her bank
recently and he told her that 'hungriness is the main problem.' As a result
of that conversation and cognisant of Audrey Hepburn's advice that 'for a
slim figure share your food with the hungry' she has started feeding a few
people from her home. She has an interesting clientele. They include one
neighbour's domestic staff, street boys, the messenger from the office down
the road and an unemployed domestic worker and her three children who stay
across the road where her oldest son works as a caretaker. There is one man
who comes for lunch who is known locally as 'the war vet.' He was sounding
off to the others about how it was all going to get better when all the
whites have finally left the country. 'Then we'll start again,' he'd said
confidently, My friend's cook is quite a fearsome fellow and he bellowed
that there was to be no talk of a political nature if they wanted to be fed.
But as she served the so-called war vet she heard her cook say to him, "Kana
varungu vakaenda hapana chaunowana kana kupiwa sadza raurikuwana hauriwani!"
(If all the whites leave then you won't get even this sadza for lunch!) The
war vet still comes for lunch everyday and has been heard to say with
exquisite politeness that perhaps not all the whites should leave! I watched
a food program in operation. A thin but handsome young man carefully picked
up the few spilt beans that were on the desk of the interviewer and put them
in his sack. Typically the gesture of a tidy mature woman, it was poignant
in one so young. He has one child, his wife is dead and he's HIV positive.
It was only because of this that he's classified as 'chronically ill' and
qualified for what is called extra food aid. Otherwise the church would not
have been allowed to give him more than general food aid. That is 25 kilos
of maize, a litre of oil and a couple of kilos of beans. There's a bizarre
twist to the cruel decree that allows extra food aid only to the chronically
ill. The stigma attached to an HIV positive status has not only been booted
out of the closet it's become a passport to survival. Anna is 23, her
husband is ill and her five-year-old son has TB. The baby has kwashiorkor
and has just come out of the feeding unit at Harare Hospital. She's been
told that the child needs milk every day and eggs. They may as well have
said Beluga caviar and fois gras, because her husband has no work. He fishes
with little success in the polluted, weed choked Manyame River but is really
too weak to walk that far. The very old and destitute don't qualify for
extra food - which amounts to some peanut butter, mahewu, rice, kapenta and
more beans. I watched a Grandmother leave. She'd lost her livelihood due to
the ban on vending and she looked after six orphaned grandchildren but
didn't qualify for extra food because they were all well. The logic is
worthy of Afghanistan under the Taliban. We don't yet see those Biafran or
Ethiopian stick people in Harare but what we do see are the ramifications of
hunger. A largely malnourished population, children who die of kwashiorkor
and starvation, people who quickly succumb to diseases such as TB and Aids
and the premature death of the elderly. I fear that we'll not hit the
headlines until we can produce the stick people to feed the media. Some
people seem numb. I first saw that numbness on the faces of the North Korean
crowd who welcomed Mugabe to that country in the 1980's. His visit was
widely covered on local TV and I watched horrified at the expressionless
faces of the thousands who lined the streets of Pyongyang. They chanted
'Mugabe, Mugabe, Mugabe' and waved little flags but their faces were dead,
totally devoid of expression. They looked like wind up toys or programmed
automatons. Is that what fear does to people? Fear combined with hunger and
deprivation is a deadly mix.

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Time ripe for exhausted nationalism?

The Zimbabwean

As the IMF visits Zimbabwe this week, PATRICK BOND, examines the diplomatic
brokering behind the SA loan to Mugabe and how this could affect the next
stage in Zimbabwe's political destiny. Mugabe's alliances have generally
been maintained the past five years, and both external and internecine
rebellions have been crushed. Regular predictions that the ruling party will
fragment - mainly due to ethnic factionalism - have never reach fruition.
After three decades of control over Zanu (PF) and six years' experience
harassing a strong opposition party, Mugabe has an even stronger grip on his
politburo. Evidence of his dominance during this period includes the
expulsion, demotion or jailing of figures with substantial regional or
sectoral power bases, such as the giant old stalwarts Ndabaningi Sithole,
Joshua Nkomo and Enos Nkala (1980s); failed party reformers Edgar Tekere,
Eddison Zvobgo and Margaret Dongo (1990s); and tycoon Philip Chiyangwa,
finance minister Chris Kuruneri, chief spokesperson Jonathan Moyo and
parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa (2000s). However, with Mugabe
apparently now unable to raise basic hard currency for importing petrol,
food and other vital necessities, the time is ripe for the next stage of
what might be termed 'exhausted nationalism'. When Simba Manyanya and I
began using this phrase in 2002 (in Zimbabwe's Plunge), as shorthand for
Mugabe's incapacity to deliver a higher standard of living, it was not clear
that the nationalist project could be reinvigorated, at least in a manner
the masses would find compelling. The problem of 'exhausted nationalism'
also applies to South Africa, where SACP deputy secretary Jeremy Cronin once
famously translated it as the 'Zanufication' of the African National
Congress (he was hurriedly forced to apologise). In turn, this is why the
vigorous debate now underway on lending to Mugabe is so revealing. For it
appears that Mbeki and the IMF have, to borrow the quote above, successfully
shaped the discourse within which policies are defined, and indeed a
proposed loan of $500 million from South Africa to Zimbabwe may circumscribe
what can be thought and done. A reported $160 million of that was originally
earmarked to repay the IMF, with the rest ostensibly for importing (from
South Africa) agricultural inputs and petroleum. According to Pretoria
spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe, the loan could 'benefit Zimbabwean people as
a whole, within the context of their program of economic recovery and
political normalisation.' Much of the debate in South Africa concerns
whether Pretoria is putting sufficient - or indeed any - pressure on Harare
to reform, as Netshitenzhe refused to clarify speculation that both
political and economic liberalisation would be conditions for the proposed
loan. Mugabe spokesperson George Charamba revealed the process on August 14:
'We never asked for any money from South Africa. It was the World Bank that
approached Mbeki and said please help Zimbabwe. They then offered to help
us.' A Pretoria-based Bank economist, Lollete Kritzinger-van Niekerk,
confirmed that her institution 'is not ready to thaw relations with the
ostracised Harare'. Other reports - in the usually unreliable but
consistently pro-government Herald - were that a top IMF official and a US
diplomat also needed a back channel. According to the IMF's own news service
in mid-August 2005: "The issue of the proposed loan from South Africa to
Zimbabwe has taken a new twist amid revelations that the US government
approached South African president Thabo Mbeki to bail out Zimbabwe, The
Herald (Zimbabwe) reported yesterday. A highly-placed Western diplomat in
South Africa, who is closely following the deal, told that IMF deputy
managing director Anne O. Krueger approached President Mbeki and asked him
to advance financial support to Zimbabwe ahead of the IMF summit set for
next month, The Herald (Zimbabwe) reported yesterday. The diplomat said Ms.
Krueger made her move in the run-up to the African Union summit in Sirte,
Libya, which was held from July 4 to 6. Ms Krueger is reported to have told
President Mbeki that a South African loan would enable Harare to pay its
dues to the IMF and, in so doing, strengthen the case against Zimbabwe's
expulsion from the institution. President Mbeki, the source said, was
surprised that a high-ranking IMF official could make a case for Zimbabwe.
However, Ms Krueger is reported to have pointed out that South Africa would
lose more from Zimbabwe`s expulsion since no other country would want to
assist Zimbabwe after that, and this would have a negative effect on the
South African economy." Notwithstanding some mildly adverse impacts on
investor confidence and refugees, whether Zimbabwe's ongoing economic crash
is entirely negative to South Africa remains disputed. In October 2005,
Fitch ratings director Veronica Kalema remarked to the Financial Mail that
Zimbabwe 'is a small economy. It could collapse and South Africa would be
fine.' The same article quoted Harare-based business economist Tony Hawkins
on the 'upside', namely, that: "South Africa has gained market share in
exports, tourism and services. SA's share of investment in Zimbabwe has also
risen as there has been an element of bargain-basement buying by some mining
and industrial groups. SA is also taking significant skills from the
country, especially scarce black skills in health, education, banking,
engineering and IT. 'It would be too much to say that SA has benefited in
net terms, but there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that it is
securing some gains from the crisis.'" - to be continued.

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The Zimbabwean Letters

Calling all women
EDITOR - I am look to Zimbabwean women to be the bridge to the future of
human kind in our country's crisis. It is my belief as a man of today that
the women of today must bring unique leadership styles in Zimbabwean
communities, which are focused on building our real values basing on
cooperation, kindness, honesty, compassion, and more nurturing. Women have
the capability to turn around the crisis that has been created by Zimbabwean
men for their selfish, and self satisfaction without considering the poor
and long suffering people of Zimbabwe. There are many selfish men who are in
leadership in our country. They have been trying to quick fix the crisis but
at the same time rushing to practice corruption. I am dying to see
Zimbabwean women working hard to improve their peers who are tied up right,
left, front, back, and center back home. Ladies, to truly make a turn around
in that country, there is need for women's effort here to work together with
men and we need to know deeply not lightly that we are part of, not apart
from, which is something greater and quite enduring. Just before I go, I
have to give you an assignment to do on your spare time. Please open your
bibles and look for Proverbs 31 verse 10-31. It reminds me of my late number
one(1) mom. How beautiful is it that God Himself did not limit you women?
NICHOLAS MADA, Zimbabwean activist for democracy, USA
Let's be brave
EDITOR - I was born in Filabusi in the southern part of Zimbabwe. A country
I can hardly remember. The only thing I still remember vividly is my
teachers and friends when we were teasing each other about our future, to
others it happened in a positive way. I left my country hoping that I would
make a change for my family and neighbours, but this only led to pity and
sorrow. My countrymen, let us show the world that we do care about Zim as we
all know who is standing in our way. Although to others they might think
about surrendering and turning their back on their families, I say: No,
let's be brave. The time will come when the sun will shine forever. I am
saying to all the outsiders: Please stand with us as we are being oppressed
by our notorious dictactor and his compatriot. Enough is enough: We are not
scared of him. What is he thinking about the economy and currency? I know to
him human beings are flies. You lunatic old man who can't see the tears of
your people. I want to reunite with my family, but under these circumstances
I can't. It will be like making a restaurant inside a grave. Let us stand
and fight for our freedom! A DUBE, South Africa
Do they have a conscience?
EDITOR - It is with a heavy heart that I write about Zimbabwe. This country
used to be a pride to me with its beauty and it's friendly and vibrant
people. Now all this has been taken over by a dark cloud of GLOOM. I have
heard the old say it is better to go back to the Smith regime because we had
enough to eat and roofs over our heads. I did not experience the Smith
regime but I know for certain that it is painful to be oppressed but it is a
killer when the oppressor is of the same colour! Your brother your father!
Zimbabwe is to be enjoyed by the rich whilst the poor die destitute, alone.
The Sunshine City only shines for those 'few'. Do these people have a
conscience at all? Do they sleep soundly in their lavish houses at night
knowing that the most of the people are out there in the winter cold? Do
they fill their stomachs on the comfort of knowing that thousands are
starving because their means of survival has been uprooted over-night? I am
neither politician nor saint but what I know is the government should at
least have tackled the already existing problems before giving us fresh
problems. Our attention is not diverted from the malpractice by these
turmoils. We can see and feel the blow and you know who else can......GOD!
Disturbed by Morgan
EDITOR - I am disturbed by the similarities in speech between Robert Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai. He insults the pro-senate group just like Mugabe
insults his opponents. He claims that Zanu (PF) bought the pro-senate group
just like Robert Mugabe claims that the West bought him. He talks of 'I will
do this and do that' as if everything rests with him just like Robert
Mugabe. What about the committee he leads? He says the pro-senate group did
not win the seven seats but was given by Zanu (PF), therefore, the few
Parliamentary seats the MDC won in March was also a gift, so, I look forward
to the MDC giving back those seats to Zanu (PF) by their MPs resigning from
the upper house. Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. That's fair. By
the way, Robert Mugabe had very credible evidence from Ben Menashe that
Morgan Tsvangirai wanted to eliminate him, just as he has credible evidence
that Zanu (PF) bought Welshman Ncube! Nelson Chamisa should also guard his
tongue lest he becomes another Jonathan Moyo before he left Zanu (PF)! Some
wise people say resorting to insulting your opponent shows that one is
bereft of ideas. Food for thought. M. J. SIKHOSANA, (Anti-Abusive Language),
A warning to SA
EDITOR - The South Africans have embarked on a suicidal method to kill their
democracy. Boycotting elections when they are held in a free and fair
atmosphere is fatal. If the nation is not happy about the performances of
one party, then the best solution to air discontent is to vote for the other
party. Everybody must be involved in such national issues as elections. One
must never be left out for whatever reasons. We want to warn South Africans
never to stop participating in elections as we made the same fatal mistake
in the late 80's and the 90's. The time we realised we had made a fatal
mistake, it was too late, because the system had fortressed itself and could
not be shaken. We now wanted to vote but that was now a privilege rather
than a right. SA : Go our in full force and vote. Do not let other people
decide your destiny, you have to have a voice in your country. You are lucky
in that you are still able to go and vote for a party of your own choice
therefore use this opportunity to say your sentiments before it is snatched
away from you because it will. CONCERNED ZIMBABWEANS ABROAD, (South Africa)

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