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

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Zim Online

Thur 6 January 2005
  HARARE - ZANU PF deputy security officer Kenny Karidza, accused of
espionage along with four other men cannot be brought to court, because he
is unable to walk or talk properly after being severely tortured by state
secret agents, sources said.

      Intelligence sources speaking on condition they were not named told
ZimOnline that Karidza's legs were badly swollen and that for the last week
he has been unable to feed or talk properly after being tortured by agents
of the government's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

      "The man (Kenny) is in a very bad state," one CIO agent said. He
added: "He has not been brought to court to allow him time to recover. The
hope is that by Friday when he is supposed to come to court, he will be
looking better."

      Karidza, ZANU PF provincial chairman for Mashonaland West Philip
Chiyangwa, party director for external affairs Itai Marchi, Zimbabwe's
ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dvairo and banker Tendai
Matambanadzo were arrested three weeks ago on charges that they were
supplying intelligence information to foreign agents.

      Chiyangwa, who suffered a mild stroke after being tortured, appeared
in court last week and is due to reappear by mid month.

      Marchi, Dzvairo, and Matambanadzo have been at the magistrates' courts
since last week pleading to be allowed to alter their initial guilty plea to
not guilty. But Karidza, who is understood to be now detained at the Harare
Remand Prison, has been kept out of the public eye.

      Prison officials refused to answer questions on Karidza's condition
while his lawyers also refused to comment citing a court gag on lawyers and
court officials not to disclose details related to the espionage case.

      Meanwhile, state prosecutors will today continue with submissions
opposing an application by the other three suspects to alter their guilty

      An official from the AG's office Morgan Nemadire said: "The state is
continuing with its opposing response for the application for the change of

      The hearing into the change of plea application, which began last
week, is being held in camera with even close relatives being barred from

      If convicted of spying, the five men face jail terms of up to 20
years. - ZimOnline
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Mugabe succession row spreads to farm ownership
Thur 6 January 2005
  HARARE - A government drive to repossess excess farms from top ruling ZANU
PF party officials is now entangled with a vicious power struggle within the
party with only officials linked to parliamentary speaker Emmerson
Mnangagwa's faction losing land.

      Latest on the list of pro-Mnangagwa ZANU PF and government officials
to have land taken from them is Deputy Local Government Minister Fortune
Charumbira who was this week forced to surrender three out of four farms he
grabbed during the government's chaotic land redistribution programme.

      Armed police have since the beginning of the week camped at Sikato,
Acton and Cotapax farms in Masvingo province to prevent Charumbira from
entering the properties. Several more police officers have also evicted
Mnangagwa's supporters from more than 13 farms across the country.

      ZANU PF chairman and Special Affairs Minister for Lands in President
Robert Mugabe's office, who is in charge of repossessing farms from senior
government and ruling party officials, John Nkomo, could not be reached for
comment on the matter. Nkomo belongs to a faction led by retired army
commander, Solomon Mujuru opposed to Mnangagwa.

      To date only officials linked to Mnangagwa have been targeted by
Nkomo's farm repossession drive, while  those belonging to Mujuru have been

      For example, Matabeleland North provincial governor, Obert Mpofu,
belongs to the Mujuru camp and owns several farms. He has not only been
spared but is also leading the repossession of farms from Mnangagwa's
supporters in the region.

      Once the closest to Mugabe, Mnangagwa appears to have lost influence
after losing a race to become second vice-president of Zimbabwe to Mujuru's
wife, Joyce, who is now better placed to succeed Mugabe.

      The repossession of farms has become an extension of a wider plot by
Mnangagwa's rivals to demoralise his faction and eventually dismantle it,
according to ZANU PF insiders.

      Other Mnangagwa backers to lose land in the last three weeks include
Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge, Local Government Minister Ignatius
Chombo, deputy Speaker of Parliament Edna Madzongwe and deputy ministers,
Shuvai Mahofa and Tinos Rusere. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe gets top marks for muzzling Press
Thur 6 January 2005
  JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe is among three countries in the world with the
worst media laws meant to censor and stifle Press freedom, according to the
World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

      In its Press freedom report for 2004, the Paris-based WAN said the
worst attempts to create legal barriers for journalists were seen in the
Islamic republic of Iran, the former Soviet Union republic of Uzbekistan and
crisis-torn Zimbabwe.

      The WAN report reads in part: "Serious limitations of freedom of
expression in the form of national security laws, terrorism acts and
criminal defamation laws have landed scores of journalists in prison and
resigned many more to practising self-censorship.

      "The most audacious attempts to create legal barriers to stifle the
press can be seen in Uzbekistan, Iran, and Zimbabwe."

      Other countries classified among the most dangerous environments for a
free Press include Vietnam, Colombia, Philippines and China.

      Under Harare's tough media and security laws, journalists face two
years imprisonment for denigrating President Robert Mugabe. Journalists and
their media companies must also obtain licences from the government's Media
and Information Commission to operate in Zimbabwe.

      Journalists can be jailed for two years for practising without a
licence while media companies can be closed and have assets seized for
operating without being registered.

      Hundreds of journalists have been arrested in the past two years while
three newspapers including the country's only independent and biggest
circulating daily newspaper, the Daily News, were shut down for breaching
the Press laws. - ZimOnline
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Reserve Bank governor, ministers' investments trapped in closed bank
Thur 6 January 2005
  HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and two
senior government ministers' investments are trapped in the collapsed CFX
Bank Limited.

      State security minister Nicholas Goche, State Enterprises Minister
Rugare Gumbo and central bank governor Gideon Gono bought 17 percent of CFX
from the liquidated ENG Capital Investments Private Limited through an
investment vehicle known as Network Investments.

      The trio later bought 13 percent more from CFX founder Sean Maloney
when he was ordered by the central bank to reduce his stake from 66.59
percent to about 30 percent.

      Former ENG directors Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda are contesting
the takeover by the three top government officials.

      The two allege the ENG liquidator Reggie Saruchera undervalued the
shares prejudicing the former directors. They want the courts to set aside
the sale of the 309 million shares by the liquidator to Network Investments.

      CFX Bank was shut down by the RBZ on December 23 after it was
discovered that it was not in a sound liquidity position. Senior executives
allegedly concealed information on accumulated losses of $115 billion from
auditors, leading the central bank to shut down the bank.

      The bank is now under the management of a curator appointed by the
central bank..

      At least nine banks and financial institutions have collapsed in the
last 12 months as a result of gross mismanagement. - ZimOnline
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Government forks out Z$200m to save Under 17s from gruelling road trip
Thur 6 January 2005
  HARARE - The government yesterday rescued the broke Zimbabwe Football
Association (ZIFA) from embarrassment when it provided about Z$200 million
to fly out the national Under-17 team to Tanzania.

      Zimbabwe plays Tanzania next weekend in the first leg final qualifier
of the African Junior Championship to be played later this year in The

      The top five finishers at the finals will qualify to take part in the
FIFA/JVC Under-17 World Cup finals to be held in Peru in September.

      But the Zimbabwe team had risked missing out on the tie because ZIFA
could not find money for airfares. At one time the soccer body, whose office
furniture and property has been auctioned by angry creditors, had
contemplated driving the team to Tanzania, a journey of more than 1 000 km.
But the association could not raise the bus fare.

      ZIFA chairman Rafik Khan yesterday said: "The government has availed
funds and the team is leaving today on an Air Zimbabwe flight to Nairobi."

      Khan said the team would then complete the 250 km drive from Nairobi
to Dar es Salaam by road.

      ZIFA has over the past years struggled to fund national soccer teams.
Players have had to play without any guarantees of getting their bonuses.

      Senior national team players staged a sit-in before their departure
for the African Cup of Nations/World Cup qualifier against Angola last
October citing the non-payment of previous match bonuses. - ZimOnline

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Daily News online edition

            Mugabe clips war vets* wings

            Date: 5-Jan, 2005

            IN a bid to control the affairs of the influential but sometimes
troublesome war veterans of the war of liberation, President Robert Mugabe
has ordered that they all be conscripted into the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
(ZDF) structures.

            Tens of thousands of veterans of the armed struggle that brought
independence to Zimbabwe have often given the Zanu PF leadership headaches -
demanding recognition and a plethora of packages and privileges.

            The war veterans, a strategic ally of Zanu PF, are also mired in
leadership struggles which threaten to lessen their strength ahead of
crucial parliamentary elections next March.

            War veterans played a crucial role in the re-election of
President Mugabe in the 2002 election held amid a wave of violence and
intimidation targeted at opposition activists.

            Lately, several war veterans have vowed to challenge senior Zanu
PF leaders in primary elections to choose parliamentary candidates for a
general election to be held early next year.

            This, sources said, has unsettled ruling party stalwarts
prompting President Mugabe to move in to clip the wings of the former
freedom fighters.

            Plans to incorporate war veterans into the military structures
were disclosed by Mugabe at the recently held meeting of the Zanu PF Central

            In 1997, thousands of restive war veterans shook President
Mugabe and his government when they held a sequel of violent demonstrations
demanding to be rewarded for their role in liberating the country from
British colonial rule.

            At the height of the demonstrations, the former combatants
barged into State House demanding audience with President Mugabe over their

            The government gave in and awarded the war veterans an array of
packages and a one off Z$50 000 payment each. (Z$50 000 at that time was
considered a huge payout considering that the average worker was earning a
monthly gross income of about ZW$3 000).

            There are two associations representing war veterans in the
country - the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association, a
close ally of the Zanu PF government and the Liberators Platform, widely
seen as an opponent of the ruling party.

            Both associations compete to win the hearts and soul of war
veterans. President Mugabe, worried about the polarisation besetting the war
veterans and the somewhat wayward behaviour of some of them, has tasked
three top Zanu PF members to compile a blueprint on how best to incorporate
the former combatants into the ZDF.

            The committee comprises former top guerrillas during the war of
independence, ex-Zanla commanders Solomon Mujuru and Vitalis Zvinavashe and
a former Zipra commander Dumiso Dabengwa.

            "The President ordered that the war veterans be part of the
military so it becomes easy to control them," said one top Zanu PF member.

            "What it means is that they will be under the command of
military commanders. So if they want say, to demonstrate it will be
impossible because they will be governed by military rules which forbids
such activities."

            Some of the war veterans said although the move was good for
them financially and materially as they would be entitled to packages, it
was now difficult to participate in politics and challenge top politicians.

            Observers yesterday said war veterans have now been effectively
elbowed from participating in politics as they may be barred from doing so
by their commanders.
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Daily News online edition

      Mutasa blocks ouster of Zanu PF provincial executive

      Date: 5-Jan, 2005

      DIDYMUS Mutasa, the new Zanu PF secretary for administration, this
week flexed his muscles and stopped attempts by ruling party top members in
Manicaland from removing the party's provincial executive from office.

      The provincial executive, previously led by Mike Madiro until his
acrimonious suspension together with five other provincial chairpersons, was
saved by Mutasa's last minute intervention.

      The top Zanu PF members led by politburo heavies Oppah Muchinguri,
Kumbirai Kangai and Central Committee members Charles Pemhenayi and Shadreck
Beta are said to have been the brains behind the failed attempt to dislodge
the provincial executive which they accuse of working against Joyce Mujuru's
acsendancy to the presidium last month.

      War veterans were also involved in the bid to remove the provincial
executive. The provincial executive, then led by Madiro, strongly supported
the candidature of Emmerson Mnangangwa for the post of vice-president even
when President Mugabe and his lieutenants had made it clear they were for

      Madiro and top members of his executive worked round the clock to
secure a Mnangagwa vote but lost at the last hurdle courtesy of last minute
underground manouvres by Muchinguri and Kangai.

      Madiro and five other provincial chairmen were subsequently suspended,
initially for six months and later for five years, from Zanu PF for defying
the presidium.

      Madiro attended the ill-fated Tsholotsho indaba.

      Although most of the top executive members who worked with Madiro to
secure a Mnangagwa vote, appear to have deserted him, war veterans and
senior ruling party officials insisted they should face the same fate as
their disgraced suspended chairman.

      But Mutasa inteverned at the last minute to save the entire executive
from being dismissed on Sunday at a meeting held in Mutare to deliberate on
the CVs of Zanu PF parliamentary hopefuls.

      Mutasa is said to have stopped the dissolution of the entire executive
saying it was "unconstitutional".

      The provincial executive is now led by Shadreck Chipanga, a Deputy
Minister of Home affairs and MP for Makoni East. Chipanga, a former boss of
the national spy agency, the dreaded CIO, now wants to take over as
substative chairman.

      Sources said he was now likely to take over the post since he was
being supported by Mutasa, the most senior Zanu PF politician in the

      Tineyi Chigudu, a permanent secretary, who has the backing of
Muchinguri, is also interested in the post.

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Daily News online edition

      Speculation mounts over Jonathan Moyo*s ouster

      Date: 5-Jan, 2005

      HARARE - Speculation is rife that that Minister of Information and
Publicity Jonathan Moyo has fled from Zimbabwe amid reports that he might
the next on the list of senior Zanu PF and government officials set to be
arrested on espionage charges.

      The speculation comes at a time the government has netted Zanu PF
Mashonaland West chairman and Chinhoyi Member of Parliament Philip
Chiyangwa, banker Tendai Matambanadzo, ambassador-designate to Mozambique
Godfrey Dzvairo and Zanu PF external affairs director Itai Marchi for
alleged espionage.

      The trio faces charges under the Official Secrets Act.

      Their case is pending before Harare magistrate Peter Kumbawa.

      The acid-tongued professor has disappeared from the national airwaves
and in State newspapers, media that he has controlled since he joined
President Robert Mugabe's government in 2000.

      When the state-controlled Herald and the Chronicle in Bulawayo led
with stories defending Moyo in the publications' Saturday editions, George
Charamba, the permanent secretary in the Department of Information and
Publicity castigated the papers for "getting angry on behalf of a private
citizen" through the Sunday Mail.

      Charamba said Moyo was on official leave.

      Moyo, notorious for crafting the infamous Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), has been stripped of most of his powers
in both the government and Zanu PF.

      His alleged crime was to gather Zanu PF provincial chairmen at a
secondary school in his home area, Tsholotsho for a prize-giving ceremony,
widely viewed by the Zanu PF old guard as a meeting to discuss ways of
blocking the nomination of Joyce Mujuru as the ruling party's second
vice-president ahead of the December congress, held in Harare.

      The chairmen were slapped with six month suspension terms which were
this week extended to five years. Since that meeting, Moyo's fortunes have
dipped with his ejection from the Soviet-style Politburo and the central

      His influence within government, which had grown immensely, began to

      When Mugabe left for his annual leave in Malaysia a fortnight after
the ruling party's congress, Moyo allegedly tendered his resignation to
Acting President Mujuru but she rejected it arguing she had not appointed
him in the first place.

      Shortly after that, Moyo was said to have left Zimbabwe for Namibia
where he is allegedly staying in as he waits to start work at the University
of Namibia. Last week he was said to be in the Middle East but his exact
destination or whereabouts have remained unknown.

      Efforts to establish his whereabouts proved futile yesterday as most
sources only speculated on what might be happening behind the scenes.

      Emerging from being Mugabe's harshest critic in the 1990s and as late
as 1999 to become Mugabe's undisputed disciple, Moyo has been publicly
humiliated by both Mugabe and his equally combative Vice-President Joseph

      Moyo has not responded to several private media reports chronicling
his rise and fall from grace within the ruling party's structures and

      But Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a University of Zimbabwe lecturer
said Moyo's fate rested in Mugabe's hands.

      He said: "From Moyo's silence, I get a feeling that he has become a
sensitive matter in government. The truth about where he is or what has
happened to him would be best explained by him when he decides to return to
public life.

      "If he went for an ordinary leave then he would be available to
explain everything but if there are other reasons then Mugabe would be the
only one to clear the situation," said Dzinotyiwei.

      A senior ruling party official who refused to be named yesterday said
Moyo was viewed as a mole by several senior Zanu PF politicians but the
information minister did not take heed of Vice-President Msika's warnings.

      "Traitors always face the same treatment wherever they are," the
official said. "He had grown too big, demonising everyone he disliked,
irrespective of their position within the party and government."

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Daily News online edition

      Exiles vow to stay put in South Africa if MDC boycotts poll

      Date: 5-Jan, 2005

      PRETORIA - Zimbabweans exiled in South Africa say they will not go
back home if the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) does not
participate in the parliamentary election in March.

      They told Daily News Online they would accept any party that would win
a free and fair election.

      "This year we want people at home to be allowed to choose leaders of
their choice. There is no way and reason for us to hang around here if
Zimbabwe holds free elections and the economy is stabilised," said Albert

      "If the elections are free and fair we will support the victor whether
it's Zanu PF or MDC. We want to unite and start building our country," said

      They said they were prepared to go home immediately after free and
fair elections.

      "I want to go home and join my family. I don't want to be here and I
hope we are going to avoid the mistake we made in 2000," said Samuel Mumera.

      Queen Madi who is married to a Zimbabwean exile said: "I wish the MDC
would win the election. I don't like the leadership in Zimbabwe at the
moment. I want the MDC to be allowed to participate in the poll so that the
Zimbabweans who are suffering here can go back home."

      Jeffias Shangwa from Zaka said he was worried that the MDC was
threatening to pull out of the election.

      "We can't call them elections if the MDC does not participate because
it is the strongest opposition party in Zimbabwe," said Shangwa.

      Another exiled Zimbabwean, Moris Moyo said having elections without
the MDC was like endorsing a Zanu PF government.

      "We can not go home if it goes that way," said Moyo.

      The MDC has threatened to boycott the 2005 parliamentary poll but most
of its supporters want it to participate.

      The party was currently consulting with its provincial structures and
has announced it would make its position on the poll sometime this month.

      There are an estimated 2.5 million exiled Zimbabweans in South Africa
and one million in the United Kingdom.

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Daily News online edition

      Mnangagwa sucked into war vet*s murder probe

      Date: 5-Jan, 2005

      POLICE in Kwekwe have arrested seven suspects linked to the brutal
murder of Livingstone Dhukwara, a well-known Zanu PF activist, whose death
demonstrates the extent of infighting within the ruling party circles ahead
of the March general election.

      Senior officials at Kwekwe Central Police Station yesterday said the
suspects were picked up on Monday and taken to Harare Remand Prison for
further interrogation.

      They are David Chisora, Solomon Shumba, Gonamomber Mabasa, Stephen
Kalissa, Kenias Sibanda, Moses Murada and Emmanuel Musara.

      "It's true we have picked the seven suspects as part of our
investigations and they are being held at Harare Remand Prison," said the

      Dhukwara, whose age could not be ascertained, was found dead on 18
November at Grasslands Farm, four days after he mysteriously disappeared
from home.

      His body was decapitated and decomposed.

      Since the 2000 general election, which saw the ouster of ZANU
Politiburo member and Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa by
little-known Blessing Chebundo of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Kwekwe has been the hotbed of political violence mainly
between opposition and ruling party supporters.

      Although the police had initially attributed Dhukwara's death to
suicide after they allegedly found a suicidal letter besides his body, they
later launched a fresh probe after several unconfirmed versions of his death

      At the time of his death, Dhukwara is understood to have been
embroilled in a bitter wrangle with one of the suspects over the ownership
of the farm the deceased was occupying.

      It is alleged the suspect, a senior Kwekwe City Council official, had
interests in the farm.

      However, a faction of the war veterans' association sympathetic to
Colonel Abednigo Undenge has alleged that Dhukwara, who was a member of the
latter's campaign team, could have been killed by party insiders sympathetic
to the other two candidates contesting in the party's primary election.

      Undenge, a member of the Zimbabwe National Army, is set to lock horns
with retired army brigadier Benjamin Mabenge and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
Speaker of Parliament in the party's primary elections on 15 January.

      The eventual winner will then contest the Kwekwe seat against
opposition party candidates in the March 2005 general election.

      However, supporters of Mabenge and Mnangagwa denied the allegations in
separate interviews yesterday.

      "This dirty campaigning will not take us anyway, let's just allow the
police to carry out their investigations and bring the culprits to book,"
said a ZANU PF follower linked to Mnangagwa's camp.

      Efforts to get comment from both Mnangagwa and Mabenge were fruitless.

      Several political analysts at the Midlands State University in Gweru
who spoke on condition of anoninymity attributed Dhukwara's death to
infighting within the ruling party.

      "As long as the three candidates fail to agree on who should represent
the party in next year's general election, this fatal infighting will
continue," said one of the analysts.

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A troubled 2004 - Yearender

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

JOHANNESBURG, 5 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's ongoing political impasse
continued to impact negatively on the country's already weak economy
throughout 2004.

Reports of a worsening humanitarian situation, triggered by food shortages,
dominated news headlines, with the World Food Programme providing aid to 4.4
million beneficiaries in March. The UN food agency has forecast that an
estimated 5 million Zimbabweans may not meet their basic food needs in the
lean season before the April/May 2005 harvest.

The UN Children's Fund in June reported that malnutrition levels in urban
centres had doubled over the past four years and significantly worsened in
Bulawayo, the second city.

Deepening poverty and rising prices denied poor households access to basic
commodities which were disappearing of shop shelves, only to resurface in
the more expensive parallel market.


The country's economic crisis, now entering its fifth year, also put
increasing pressure on already fragile public health and social welfare
services: equipment breakdowns and staff shortages due to widespread
dissatisfaction over salaries and working conditions continued to plague

Hyperinflation forced private medical practioners to hike consultation fees
to cope with rising costs, while the lack of funds for adequate sanitation
led to outbreaks of cholera and malaria, further stretching the resources of
the health sector.

In December the government introduced a bill aimed at stemming the tide of
medical professionals leaving the country. The bill will allow for public
sector health workers' salaries to be set separately from those of other
civil servants.


Problems that had bedevilled the agricultural sector in 2003 continued into
2004 as newly resettled farmers complained of the lack of government

Contrary to the official position that land acquisition had officially ended
in 2002, the mid-year period saw the acquisition of more properties. Notable
among these was the highly productive Kondozi Farm, where an estimated 5,000
farm workers lost their jobs, and many of them their homes.

Agricultural production continued to decline and Zimbabwe lost its position
among the top six tobacco producers in Africa. Efforts to restock the
heavily depleted national herd faced major challenges as outbreaks of
foot-and-mouth, anthrax and tick-borne diseases continued throughout the

By the close of the year anthrax and the spread of the army worm continued
to pose serious threats to animal and crop farming in many parts of the


After hitting a record high of around 620 percent in January, the official
inflation rate dropped to 150 percent by the end of 2004 but still left
Zimbabwe with the highest inflation rate in the world. The Reserve Bank
attributes the current drop to tighter fiscal policies aimed at reining in
rampant profiteering and a lucrative black market in scarce commodities and
hard currency.

The Reserve Bank's efforts to control inflation and fight corruption in the
banking and financial sector saw eight banks placed under curatorship by the
end of the year. Many businessmen were arrested while others fled the

Finance minister Chris Kuruneri, businessmen James Makamba and Mutumwa
Mawere were among the ZANU-PF leaders arrested on various charges of
corruption and externalising foreign currency.


At the African Union (AU) summit in July in Ethiopia, President Robert
Mugabe thanked the AU for helping to "recover more than 11-million hectares
of stolen land without paying one cent", and was rewarded with a round of
applause. Despite targeted sanctions by western countries against ZANU-PF's
top brass, Mugabe has enjoyed the respect of many of his African peers.

The year began badly for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). Its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, faced treason charges and a possible
death penalty if convicted. The MDC's decision to suspend participation in
national elections on grounds that they were not fair contests allowed
ZANU-PF to gain three more parliamentary seats unopposed.

A change in the party's fortunes came about later in the year from an
unexpected source - the judiciary. In October Tsvangirai was acquitted of
the charges.

Tsvangirai embarked on a whirlwind world tour soon after his release which
succeeded in regional leaders apparently taking heed of his calls for
political reforms in Zimbabwe. A Southern African Development Community
(SADC) summit in August in Mauritius called on the Zimbabwean government to
implement SADC electoral guidelines.

Although complaining that the guidelines were not enough to level the
electoral field, the MDC has claimed victory over their partial adoption by
the government. It has yet to decide on whether to participate in the March
parliamentary elections, but the MDC finished the year better off than it

The government, meanwhile, continued to push ahead with a controversial
bill, now awaiting Mugabe's signature to become law, that will ban civic
organisations from carrying out human rights and voter education campaigns,
and also bans foreign funding on the grounds that NGOs could be used as
fronts by anti-ZANU-PF forces.

Despite calls for amendment, the strict Public Order and Security Act
remained in force and no attempt was made to amend the Broadcasting Act,
which gives the government total control of radio and television broadcasts.

Despite being a signatory to the SADC electoral guidelines, which call for
media access by all parties, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings has refused to
carry MDC adverts on its radio and television channels.

There were increasing reports of factionalism within the ruling party at the
end of 2004 in the run-up to ZANU-PF's congress in December, at which a new
vice-president was chosen after the death of veteran leader Simon Muzenda.
Joyce Mujuru's path to the vice presidency was cleared by a ZANU-PF congress
resolution, which stated that one of the party's two deputy presidents had
to be a woman. Her nomination was deemed significant given Mugabe's promise
to resign in 2008.

Six of the party's top officials, who had met ahead of the congress
allegedly for the purpose of thwarting Mujuru's election, lost their
positions in the party's decision-making organs in the crackdown that

Among them was controversial information minister, Jonathan Moyo, who held
the meeting at his Tsholotsho home. Moyo was the author of the repressive
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), and the
Broadcasting Services Act. AIPPA resulted in the closure of the popular
newspaper, The Daily News, and its sister publication, The Daily News on
Sunday, at the beginning of 2004.

Moyo's misfortunes coincide with those of colourful business
man and high-profile ZANU-PF member, Philip Chiyangwa, who was also opposed
to Mugabe's choice of vice-president.

Chiyangwa and four senior ruling party officials, including Zimbabwe's
ambassador to Mozambique, were placed in solitary confinement in December on
charges of spying for "foreign powers". They allegedly provided confidential
ZANU-PF information to embassies based in South Africa.

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Zim airwaves not open for us, says opposition
          January 05 2005 at 02:19PM

      Harare - Zimbabwe's radio and television stations, controlled by the
ruling Zanu-PF party, are not open to opposition parties despite recent
airtime given to members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
Zanu Ndonga, the opposition says.

      For the first time this week, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
(ZBC) allowed MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube and Zanu president Wilson
Kumbula airtime.

      Neither party has been allowed on television or radio since the
violence marred 2000 parliamentary polls.

      Still, Ncube said, "As long as ZBC reports in a speculative and
partisan manner, they have not opened the airwaves and we are not going to
participate in the election. If they invite us using the agreed structure,
then we will consider it."

      Meanwhile Zanu Ndonga spokesperson Reketayi Semwayo said, "The move to
allow us on radio was only to put pressure on us and other opposition
parties to participate in the election, despite government's resistance to
implement Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines.

      "With two months to go before the polls, time is running out for the

      "We want them to repeal all draconian laws like the Public Order and
Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as
well as disband the militia."

      Zanu Ndonga, which holds a single seat in parliament, says that it
"shared the same stance" as Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC party.

      General elections are set for March this year, but the MDC, which
controls almost half the elected seats in parliament, has said it may
boycott the polls if Zanu-PF does not comply with SADC protocols on the
holding of elections.

      It is also demanding that Zanu PF repeals harsh press and public order
laws implemented during the last four years of political upheaval in
Zimbabwe. - Sapa
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Stockport Express
New and safe life after fleeing Africa


ENJOYING a new life in Bramhall: publican Craig Scott.

AFTER fleeing from troubled Zimbabwe over two years ago, Craig Scott and his family have now settled in Bramhall where they are running a cosy local pub.

The 51-year-old father of four, who owned a stud farm in Harare, Zimbabwe, decided to leave the country after Robert Mugabe’s government started to implement its controls.

He said: "We came to England with the minimum amount of money to build a new life, as it was only a matter of time before we were forced out.

"Even since we have left Zimbabwe, it has changed dramatically and the country won’t get better under Mugabe’s rule."

During the week Craig would work in Zambia while his wife Lynn managed their stud farm, then he would go back at the weekends to help out.

He said: "Stud farming was a very big business. Farming was the life blood of the country but this was being destroyed and skilled people were leaving or being forced out.

"Mugabe targeted the farmers and tried to control how we paid our wages by using bully boy tactics."

Since arriving in England, Craig and Lynn decided to pursue a career in the pub industry. Now they are the tenants at the Bromale Pub on West Park Road in Bramhall.

"My wife and I decided to get our pub qualifications, we have done relief management in a few different places, including Exeter and Burnage and have been at the Bromale since the end of March.

"It is hard work but it is also challenging and we like that," Craig said.

Even though Craig says he loves Zimbabwe, he did not feel it was best for his family to stay.

He sent his eldest son to Australia where he studied journalism and his daughter attended the Royal Northern School of Ballet in Manchester.

Now their two youngest children go to school locally.

Craig said: "In Africa if you don’t work, you starve, and we tell our children to make the most of their education so they can lead a good life.

"At this time there are no opportunities for them in Africa, so it was not worth staying in the country.

"It is a safe society here, everything is good apart from the weather. But if things do change in Zimbabwe then I would like to go back."

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Tempers flare at Zanu-PF protest
          January 05 2005 at 11:36AM

      Harare - Zimbabwe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front (Zanu-PF) party was wracked by further divisions on Tuesday when
ordinary members briefly held hostage National Political Commissar Elliot

      Protesters, many of them from Zanu-PF's Women's League, blocked the
entrance to Zanu-PF's looming headquarters in downtown Harare, refusing to
let Manyika leave the premises until he addressed them.

      Attempts by Manyika's driver to force the Mitsubishi twin-cab through
the crowd failed as angry protesters swarmed the vehicle. Efforts by police
to disperse the crowd failed.

      Eventually Manyika, a fierce Mugabe loyalist, emerged from the car.

      "I am not running away," he claimed. "I have been called to an urgent
meeting by Zanu-PF national chairperson John Nkomo and I am coming back to
attend to your grievances."

      Meanwhile the Zanu-PF protesters said they were unhappy with the
imposition of candidates for soon-to-be-held party primary elections.

       Zanu-PF leaders have in recent days banned, barred and dropped
several senior members, denying them the right to hold office in the ruling

      The move, which has been described as the worst split in Zanu-PF since
the 1970s, has seen the party divide into several factions.

      Rural divisions have also erupted in recent weeks, with police having
to quell fighting between Zanu-PF factions.

      Recent skirmishes in the eastern district of Marconi have seen
agriculture minister Joseph Made accused of fanning violence by "hiring
thugs" to disrupt meetings held by his opponent in the primaries, member of
parliament Gibson Munyoro.

      The alleged violence prompted Munyoro to write to Zanu-PF leaders,
complaining that his meetings had been disrupted.

      "To my surprise, Dr Made has been hiring thugs in the form of workers
from the local Grain Marketing Board depot in Marconi district to disrupt my
peaceful meetings, despite warnings by the police in nearby Rusape to
campaign peacefully," Munyoro wrote in a letter to Zanu-PF chairperson John

      Made denies the allegations.

      The intra-party violence follows similar charges that saw gangs of
warring Zanu-PF thugs clash in the northern Lomagundi district in December.
Supporters of Zanu-PF lawmaker Kindness Paradza and Leo Mugabe, the
president's nephew, clashed at Hombwe business centre, resulting in several
arrests. - Sapa
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      Zimbabwe to send aid to tsunami-hit Indonesia 2005-01-06 01:59:53

          HARARE, Jan. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe will send aid to the
tsunami-hit Indonesia, the country's Vice President Joyce Mujuru here said
on Wednesday.

          "We are organizing something, once everything is ready, it willbe
sent to you," she told the ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Hupuro
Supardi after signing a book of condolence at the embassy.

          She could, however, not specify the type of aid Zimbabwe will send
to the Asian nation, which has lost tens of thousands of people due to the

          "On behalf of the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, my familyand
my own behalf, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences for the
great loss caused. May the souls rest in peace," read the message she wrote.

          Speaking in an interview, Supardi said Indonesia was grateful for
the support it has received from the international community.

          "This is a tragic incident," Supardi said. "Many of our citizens
did not make it to see the dawn of 2005. We are grateful to the
international community for the support they have extended to the people of

          The tsunami swamped the coasts of Thailand, Sri Lanka, India,
Indonesia and the Maldives towards the end of last month after a massive
undersea earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale near the Sumatra

          Other countries that were also affected by the tsunami, which left
a trail of death and destruction, are Malaysia, Myanmar and Somalia. Enditem
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Bogus committee evicts farmers

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-06

THE controversial land reform has taken a new twist as it emerged yesterday
that a phony lands eviction committee is on the prowl in Mashonaland Central
province-clandestinely issuing withdrawal notices to resettled farmers, The
Daily Mirror has learnt.
The bogus committee reportedly moved into the province before Christmas last
year and held several meetings with the ruling party's "leadership" there,
claiming they had been tasked to clean up the mess on farms in that
Deputy police commissioner, Godwin Matanga, head of the genuine lands
committee tasked to deal with the contentious issue of multiple ownership,
distanced himself and his crew from the latest counterfeit team saying: "My
committee has not yet moved into Mashonaland Central. People in that
province claiming to belong to my committee are fake. That is the only thing
I can say. I am not allowed to talk to the press," said Matanga.
Matanga, who has in the past kept the operations of his committee a closely
guarded secret, then referred further questions to former foreign affairs
secretary, Willard Chiwewe.
New farmers in the province, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
bogus committee moved into the province shortly before Christmas and held
meetings with the local leadership notifying them of its "intention to clean
up the mess" on farms.
In an earlier interview yesterday Chiwewe declined to comment on the issue
regarding the committee or issues related to ongoing farm evictions.
However, he said: "I have nothing to do with that committee, as you are
claiming in your writings everyday. I do not hold an executive post. I am
only a special advisor to Minister John Nkomo (Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement)," Chiwewe said.
But when told Matanga had referred all questions to him, Chiwewe asked The
Daily Mirror to go back to the deputy commissioner.
Mt Darwin MP, Savior Kasukuwere refused to comment saying the media had been
spreading malicious rumours that he had been arrested.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister Nyoni pins hope on Manyika

Bulawayo Correspondent
issue date :2005-Jan-06

EMBATTLED Small Scale Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni,
whose bid to contest in Zanu PF Nkayi primary elections was scuttled on
Sunday by Matabeleland North Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC), says
she was hopeful that the party's national election directorate will overturn
the unfavourable decision.

The PCC refused to accept Nyoni's curriculum vitae to contest in Nkayi.
In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, Nyoni said her fate would
be decided by the national election directorate chaired by Zanu PF political
commissar Elliot Manyika, when it meets next week to vet nominations from
the party's 10 provinces throughout the country for the primary polls slated
for January 15.
"I cannot commit myself to commenting on this issue at the moment, because
the final decisions are yet to be made by the national election
 directorate," Nyoni said. "I propose that you get in touch with me next
week. I will able to comment on the outcome of the final exercise to vet the
candidates for the elections by the directorate."
In December the Matabeleland North PCC barred Nyoni from standing in Nkayi
arguing that she belonged to Bulawayo province. It further argued that
Matabeleland North had enough candidates to represent the party; hence it
would not allow outsiders to invade the province and battle for
constituencies with locals.
On Sunday, the PCC accepted CVs from Obediah Moyo and Dunana Nyathi to
contest in the Nkayi primaries ahead of Nyoni.
Sources in Zanu PF yesterday said it would be improper for the national
election directorate to accept Nyoni's candidature given the reservations of
the Matabeleland North PCC.
Nyoni is said not to belong to the party's structures there.
Apart from Nyoni, other prominent personalities failed to make the grade
because of stringent guidelines set by the ruling party last week.
Among those who were not nominated were Information Minister Jonathan Moyo,
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri
(currently in remand prison on allegations of externalisation), Chinhoyi MP
Phillip Chiyangwa, war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba and former Local
Government Deputy Minister Tony Gara.
Nyoni, Chinamasa and Kuruneri risk losing their ministerial positions if not
directly elected into parliament, as President Robert Mugabe had since
declared that his next Cabinet would be comprised of elected legislators
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Kingdom Bank dismisses closure talk

Muchena Zigomo
issue date :2005-Jan-06

KINGDOM Bank Limited, the banking subsidiary of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
(ZSE) listed Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited (KFHL) has brushed aside
speculation that the bank is facing solvency and liquidity problems, and
could close within the next few weeks.
Senior officials at the bank said contrary to "mischievous rumours" that
Kingdom's finances were shaky, the bank was in fact in a sound financial
state and there was no possibility that it could be shut down or placed
under the management of a curator.
The officials said there was no evidence to corroborate widely spreading
rumours that Kingdom would soon be closed, making it the seventh bank to be
shut down by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in almost a year.
"Those are just rumours
 and there is no evidence of that at all. If you go into any Kingdom Bank
branch in the country today, anyone who asks for their
money - no matter how much it is - would able to get it without any
problems," Kingdom's
chief operating officer, Frank Kufa said.
Another senior official at the bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
also said the bank had never failed to meet its clearing obligations as part
of the bank clearing system, where bank cheques cleared on a daily basis.
"Normally, one of the first indictors that a bank's position is not stable
is that it fails to pay its obligations at (the bank) clearing (system) and
its cheques are rejected by other banks or it would be suspended from the
clearing system, but that has not happened to us.
"We have always been in a sound position and even when other banks were
making recourse to the Reserve Bank's Troubled Banks Fund we never did that
because our position was solid," the official said.
Due to its status as one of the few remaining commercial banks on the local
banking scene, Kingdom had reportedly benefited from the closure of a number
of other banks at the height of financial sector clean up last year.
Some of the clients who had accounts in the banks placed under curatorship
moved their money to Kingdom and the 'traditional' triumvirate of Barclays,
Standard Chartered and Stanbic banks, as well as Kingdom, The Jewel Bank and
However, the continued closure of indigenous banks has reportedly cost the
remaining indigenous banks some of their clients, as they have reportedly
experienced a 'mini' run on deposits due to the counter party risk
associated with being locally owned.
"Unfortunately there
 is this misguided notion now that all indigenous banks are
 no-go-areas and this has affected deposit bases in local banks
considerably," an investment
analyst with a local merchant bank said.
Shortly after the closure and placing under curatorship of CFX Financial
Services' subsidiary CFX Bank limited three weeks ago, account holders of
some of the remaining indigenous banks again became jittery and started
withdrawing money from their accounts in the remaining local banks.
The effect could possibly be worse at Kingdom Bank, as rumours that the bank
was in trouble have rapidly gained momentum over the past year.
"This talk started about
a year ago when the very first banks were closed by the central
 bank and unfortunately, since that time, Kingdom has always
 been the 'next in line',"
Kufa said. KFHL was recently given the green light to pursue an investment
plan in Zambia, where the company has been granted an operating licence and
will shortly be setting up a merchant bank in addition to its other regional
initiatives in Botswana and Malawi.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The price commuting pupils pay

Phillip Chidavaenzi
issue date :2005-Jan-06

PARENTS always want the best for their children, and it is an all-too-common
feature to see children-particularly high school girls-having to traverse an
entire city in commuter omnibuses on their way to school.
But, more often than not, the parents, who believe they would be serving
their daughters' best interests, do not realise at what cost they are
sending their children to the 'far away' schools -apart from the
astronomical fees and levies.
With time, the girls-with the somewhat imprudent use of their feminine
wiles-end up devising means of getting 'free' transport and put their
transport fares to other uses.
This often happens through striking friendships with the commuter omnibus
crews and they would end up slipping into a culture of casual transactional
sex in exchange for the 'free' rides to and from school.
According to the Zimbabwe Human Development Report 2003 (ZHDR), transport
costs ate into students' shoestring budgets, and as such, "students have
relationships with commuter omnibus drivers who give them free transport in
return for sexual favours", which puts them at a higher risk of HIV
Robert Mhishi, a Harare-based social analyst, noted that research had shown
that men were prepared to fork out more money for "un-condomised" and
penetrative sex, and the money on offer would often be too much to resist
for the female students who are often in desperate circumstances.
"The commuter omnibus crews are often flashy as they tend to shower the
girls with lots of money while buying them chips, pizzas and fried chicken
from fast foods outlets and often driving the girls around in their
omnibuses," Mhishi said.
It was better for parents, he said, to send their daughters to schools in
their neighbourhoods where they could go back home during tea and lunch
breaks as a means of minimising their chances of getting entangled in risky
sexual relationships.
Although there are no available statistics outlining the prevalence of HIV
among students in institutions of education, the ZHDR indicated that they
were believed to be high in secondary and tertiary institutions.
This trend was also confirmed by the 2004 UNAids Global Epidemic Update,
which made a chilling confirmation that nearly 80 percent of all HIV
infections within the 15-24 age bracket were women.
The majority of women within the 15-24 age-group, according to Fungai Hove,
a gender consultant, are likely to be in high school, with a few others in
tertiary institutions.
She said such a scenario was a huge drawback in the fight against the
continued proliferation of HIV which-according to the 2004 UNAids
Update-reached an all-time high in 2003.
Gender differentials in poverty are reflected in HIV and Aids prevalence and
impact. Although the sex ratio between males and females is about 1:1, HIV
prevalence of young women below the age of 20 is five times higher than
their male counterparts.
An analysis of Aids infection patterns across the globe, and Southern Africa
in particular, shows that there are glaring gender disparities in the Aids
pandemic, which had taken the highest toll on women, whose majority belong
to society's most disempowered fringe.
Messages on HIV and Aids, Hove said, tended to ignore the specific needs of
women and girls, and that was also reflected in the female students'
exposure to infection.
"Anti-Aids campaign, constituted by our messages on HIV and Aids, has failed
to consider the specific needs of women and girls, and the often difficult
reality of their daily lives as they care for the infected and affected,"
she said.
She noted that while young girls were bombarded with preventive measures
anchored in abstinence from sex prior to marriage, condom use during
transactional sex and fidelity in marriage was insufficient.
"In most cases, girls begin engaging in sex far much earlier than boys and,
together with elder women, are often not in a position to negotiate for sex
owing to power imbalances in such relationships, especially during
transactional sex," she said.
Although keeping girls in school for longer periods was believed to be
effective in ensuring that they were not sexually active- thus much safer
from infection -emerging socio-cultural dynamics were proving that method,
as a protective mechanism, was equally ineffective.
"It is these same teenage girls at school who are also involved in
transactional sex, and this means we still have to do more. The knowledge
they acquire through education helps in increasing awareness about HIV and
how to avoid it, but is that enough?" she queried.
 According to the 2003 official figures, HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe among
the 15-49, which is the economically active group, is pegged at 25 percent.
Life expectancy at birth has progressively declined from 61 years in 1990 to
the current 43 years, in tandem with the increase in HIV prevalence.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

new boarding fees justified - parents

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-06

HIKING of boarding and school fees by most schools and private colleges,
which caused an outcry from some sections of society, has been received with
mixed feelings.

Investigations conducted by The Daily Mirror have established that some
parents feel there was no need for an outcry given the spiraling cost of
living, hyper-inflation and the ever rising cost of basic commodities.
Several parents who were queuing to pay school fees in Harare said the new
boarding fees structure, some of which shot up by more than 500 percent,
were justified as most children in boarding schools were reportedly
"These figures seem to be very ridiculous but the truth of the matter is
that our kids are starving in these institutions. From a human perspective,
the fees appear way above ground but all is not well in boarding schools,"
said Judith Hungwe who has two children at a local high school.
The high school is one of the schools that hiked its boarding fees from $150
000 to  over $2 million per term.
Some of the parents interviewed, however, expressed concern over the
untimely move taken by most of these colleges and added that they could have
been informed about the changes on time.
"The fees have soared beyond our reach but we are just going to  hang on,"
said a parent at Nyadire College in Mutoko. Nyadire College hiked its
boarding fees from $150 000 to $750 000.
Most headmasters interviewed by this paper could not express their feelings
on the issue but concurred that all was not well in most schools with
boarding facilities.
The government has been criticised for its delay in approving requests for
fee increases by some schools.
"Our main worry is the Ministry, which is taking long to approve submissions
for fee increases by most schools," said one headmaster
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister versus wife

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-06

Solemn moment . . . DAGGERS have once again been drawn in Mashonaland East
province where the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation, Ambrose Mutinhiri, is being challenged for the Marondera West
parliamentary seat by his wife, Tracy.
This is not the first time the Mutinhiris, who are said to have been on
separation for more than three years, have locked horns.
Last year, Tracy was talked out of the race by the provincial executive
including, Mashonaland East chairperson, Ray Kaukonde.
She was being backed by the district co-ordinating chairperson Marondera
West (Chihota) Foster Gwanzura.
After Tracy was convinced to step down in favour of her husband, Gwanzura
immediately openly declared interest in the same seat, with Tracy backing
But the new Zanu PF regulations bar Gwanzura from standing, effectively
bringing Tracy back into the game.
Tracy has now returned to haunt her husband and submitted her curriculum
vitae for consideration. She met the party's stringent conditions and now
faces her husband in the constituency primary election scheduled for January
Unsettled by the development, the provincial executive now wants to elbow
Tracy out of the race once again, saying she should make room for her
husband and incumbent Member of Parliament.
The provincial leadership is arguing that Mutinhiri should be allowed to
carry on by virtue of him being a Cabinet minister and a more senior member
of the party.
Each province boasts of the number of people appointed to Cabinet by
President Robert Mugabe. Therefore, the province would rather have the
husband carry on as MP than have a new MP who might not be considered for a
ministerial position.
Sources in Zanu PF yesterday told The Daily Mirror that the provincial
leadership, led by Mudzi legislator Kaukonde, wants her to step down and
pave way for the former soldier.
After being disqualified, Gwanzura - who enjoyed majority support in
Marondera West - initially backed Tracy before he was summoned by the party's
Mashonaland East leadership and asked to rally behind the minister.
Gwanzura yesterday said that he had withdrawn his support for Tracy in
favour of the husband.
 "I was called by the chairman (Kaukonde) and he convinced me to support
Mutinhiri," Gwanzura said. "I have agreed with the chairman and the
provincial leadership to pave way for Mutinhiri. He is a big person in the
party and government."
Gwanzura said he was now working with the provincial leadership to persuade
Tracy to withdraw from the Marondera West constituency race.
"I will talk to Mai Mutinhiri to withdraw. This time we give him (Mutinhiri)
five more years in Parliament. The next round is ours," Gwanzura added.

Kaukonde yesterday said the change of heart by Gwanzura was good for Zanu
"This is a good development. We don't want people to fight in our province.
The situation puts us in an awkward situation. Campaigning at times gets
dirty and you can imagine if they start talking dirty about each other in
order to win votes. This would open up old wounds," Kaukonde said.
But Tracy denied having been approached saying: "No one approached me from
the provincial executive. Gwanzura tried to talk to me this afternoon, but
we had network problems. I have submitted my CV."
Mutinhiri, who served as the PF Zapu chief training officer under the late
Vice President Joshua Nkomo, was appointed minister last year.
He replaced the ruling party's national political commissar, Elliot Manyika,
now a minister without portfolio in the President's Office.
Mutinhiri, a member of the ruling party's central committee, became a
brigadier soon after the amalgamation of the defence forces in 1980.
Late last year, it was reported that his support base had dwindled, while on
the other hand, Tracy gained popularity.
Tracy is the party's deputy provincial chairperson and an ex-officio member
of the Marondera West DCC.
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Zimbabwe anger over money protest
Bank note
With inflation above 100% larger bank notes have expiry dates
Zimbabwe's government has criticised "mischievous political slogans" which have been turning up on banknotes across the country.

Cryptic messages have appeared stamped on the notes calling for an end to the government of President Robert Mugabe.

State media have published photographs of cash stamped with the captions "enough" and "get up, stand up".

The government says it is a crime to deface notes and warns culprits they will face "the full wrath of the law".

Deputy Finance Minister David Chapfika said that he thought the slogans had been put there by members of the opposition.

"We are still doing our investigations but the slogans appear to be synonymous with slogans used by certain characters in the opposition," the deputy minister told Reuters news agency.

Last year an underground group known as "Enough is Enough" said it was responsible for putting similar messages on packets of condoms.

They also quoted the late Bob Marley's popular protest song Get up, stand up for your rights.

He performed the song at Zimbabwe's independence celebrations in 1980.

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The Weather.

I have often stated that when people think about agriculture in this part of
the world they must take into account the huge mean variation that exists
here in rainfall from one year to the next. We suffer from a mean variation
in precipitation of about 40 per cent - one of the highest in the world. In
much of the Midwest of the USA for example, the same calculation brings up a
mean variation of about 5 per cent.

What this means is that you can never be sure of just how much rainfall you
are going to get, and more particularly, how it is going to fall. Most of
Zimbabwe gets between 450 and 850 millimeters of rain a year - mainly
between the 15th of November and the end of March. In this period of about
145 days we have to grow whatever we need to live on for the rest of the
year or store water so that we can extend the growing period with

I live in the south of the country and we generally consider that three
years stored water is about enough to carry us through a difficult patch. At
present we have about 30 months supply of water in the dams that serve
Bulawayo - not bad by recent standards, but not enough.

Right now we are well into the traditional wet season and in Matabeleland we
have had about two weeks of actual wet weather. Our rivers have run once for
a couple of weeks and are now dry again. It is unseasonably hot and this is
reducing the effectiveness of any small rainfalls.

Normally we say that crops must be in the ground by the 15th of November.
Research shows that after this date the maize crop will loose about 5 per
cent of its potential yield every week. The reason being daylight hours,
temperature and rainfall. Other crops can be planted much later and even
into the New Year but only if the growth cycle is very short.

What are the prospects so far in the current season in Zimbabwe? Not very
good I am afraid and the situation is deteriorating daily. The reasons are
quite simple: -

1.                   The crop was planted very late due to shortages of just
about every input item that is involved, from financing to fertilizer. Of
particular importance is that seed of the specific varieties needed was in
short supply - actually, was not obtainable in many cases.

2.                   The area under cultivation is tiny - even in the
Communal Lands. The reasons for this are not hard to see. On commercial
farms there is simply no security for anyone and nobody is doing much beyond
subsistence. In the Communal areas the shortage of manpower for ploughing
and other heavy tasks is a major problem. If your breadwinner lives in
Johannesburg he cannot come home to plough as he might have done in the

3.                   Germination rains have been very poor and the current
hot dry weather is doing a lot of damage - in many cases we are seeing a
total write off of the crop in the ground. The situation is especially bad
in the south and east of the country. The northwest and the Gokwe area seems
to be a bit better but not much.

Conditions are in fact much worse than last year and people are saying they
do not even have any prospect for green vegetables or maize in mid season.
Hunger looms over thousands of homes throughout the country.

In South Africa a similar crisis is developing and they have scaled back
estimates of their maize crop to 5 million tonnes - half of last years crop
on a similar area under cultivation. Bad news for South Africa and the
region as a whole as we have used South Africa as a backstop for maize
supplies in recent years. Just this past week I saw a trainload of 37 bulk
grain wagons on the rail line to Bulawayo.

A similar picture is emerging for other key sectors. Cotton normally handles
dry periods better and has a much longer growing season. The tobacco crop is
declining in potential as commercial growers are still being dispossessed by
the Government and the new growers struggle with a myriad of problems and
inexperience. I personally would think that we will be lucky to get a crop
of 60 000 tonnes this year - less than last year and only a third of current
"official" estimates. As for the maize crop - if we grew 700 000 tonnes last
year, I cannot see us growing anything like that this year, conditions are
much worse.

This is of course exactly what Mugabe wanted - and the timing of the next
election in March this year is absolutely spot-on. Elections will hit
communities across the land at a time when food stocks and availability will
be at their lowest level of the year. Zanu will control all basic food
supplies and will use this power to coerce communities to vote for them.
There is little the MDC can do to change this situation. We cannot even
explain to the people what is happening.

How did the old system overcome these problems in the past? Well for a start
the commercial tobacco farmers used to plant about 125 000 hectares of
tobacco and then to grow maize as a following crop to pick up fertilizer
residues. This made tobacco growers an important source of maize - growing
about 600 000 tonnes in a poor year and more in a good year.

It was estimated that the original 6000 commercial farmers could irrigate,
if required, up to 268 000 hectares of land. This meant that if water was
available in farm dams and rivers, farmers could plant early (the best
yields of both tobacco and maize are with crops planted in October) and when
a hot dry spell struck - like now, they could put a couple of inches of
water on their lands. This would save the crop and enable the commercial
farmers to produce something when others saw their crops fail. Average
yields on commercial farms were very high - 2000 kgs per hectare of tobacco
and 6 tonnes of maize were common.

All of this has gone - swept away by a tide of reckless, politically driven
hooliganism. Now we face the elements without a safety net and the
consequences for all our people are dire. Mugabe's proud boast of a record
harvest has been swept away by a tide of new data. His prediction of a 28
per cent recovery in agricultural output this summer now looks more like yet
another year of hunger and a still further decline in total output. But it
puts a new weapon in his hands, and after all - that is what counts with
Zanu PF. The welfare of the people is the last thing on their mind.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo 5th January 2005
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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 4 January

Joyce no cause for rejoicing

Everjoice J Win

In Shona culture we believe that November is an inauspicious month. You don't
get married or brew beer for the ancestors during that month, otherwise you
will be cursed. And indeed, bad things do happen in November. First Yasser
Arafat died. Then Condoleezza Rice was named new United States Secretary of
State. And just when we thought nothing worse could happen, Joyce Teurai
Ropa Mujuru was made vice-president of Zanu PF. One can't help but be angry
with little text and e-mail messages congratulating me and all Zimbabwean
women for Mujuru's election as Zanu PF's new vice-president. A crucial
distinction must be made: there are female persons; then there are women's
women. The only thing Mujuru and Rice share with other women is biology. My
sisters may chide me, but how else is one supposed to greet the elevation of
a woman who publicly declared: "There is nothing like equality [between men
and women]. Those who call for equality are failures in life"?

Mujuru was lauded by the patriarchal media when she made this assertion at a
Salvation Army church women's meeting in 1998. She has not been known to
speak out for women's rights issues in public, in Parliament (where she has
sat since 1980), or in any notable forum (the short stint as minister for
women's affairs notwithstanding). Women have entered the political arena in
Southern Africa in increasing numbers. We have learnt that unless we are
present and participate equally at decision-making tables, our needs will
not be adequately met. But we have also learnt that it is not enough to
simply want to be there. It is no longer sufficient just to talk about
balancing the numbers. Those of us in civil society who are called upon to
support women in leadership, need to know why we are supporting them. I do
not want to work with radar-less women who seem to think that politics is a
value-free science, or those who abuse office. What we need are women who
will use their leadership positions to liberate themselves and other women.
Trading on their biology alone is not good enough. I am angry with the kind
of women who at every other time in their lives forget they are one of us,
and remember their vaginas only when it suits them.

Women in leadership or aspiring to leadership have often argued, validly,
that other women do not support them. But if these women make their views
known so publicly, like Mujuru, should we celebrate them as our own? If they
don't bring in a different vision or values to those that currently prevail,
why should anybody be congratulating them about their election? Why should I
be asked to vote for other women, when all I am getting is same old, same
old? Mujuru has her own liberation war history credentials. Despite a number
of newspapers' attempts to cast her as a front for her husband, the woman
has been there, done that, and was overdue for higher office. She has been
in Cabinet since 1980. Yet still we have to ask: Why is Mujuru being
elevated at this particular moment? What is it that Robert Mugabe and his
men have seen in her that they had failed to see in 24 years? What if she
does succeed Mugabe and must clean up his mess? Once again we could see a
woman being brought in when things are so bad that she ends up getting the
blame when nothing changes for the better. This gives grist to the mill of
those who say: "See we told you, what can this woman do?" The expectations
of women have been raised. "This one," they think, "will finally stand up
for our rights." I am certainly not holding my breath. As many would say in
Shona, "Mujuru murume pachake" [Mujuru is a real man]!" She can stay one of
the boys, but we need a few good women with whom we can identify and support
as our own
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Socialist Worker

Blunkett's last victims fighting for justice
by Gavin Capps

AT THE very moment David Blunkett was tendering his resignation at 10
Downing Street before Christmas, 50 Zimbabwean refugees and their supporters
were angrily demonstrating outside.

Nothing has personified the racism of the former home secretary and his
government more than the relentless persecution of black Zimbabweans forced
to flee to Britain.

Blunkett's most recent move was simply staggering in its callousness and

While New Labour was loudly knocking Robert Mug-abe's human rights record
for six, the Home Office began to quietly bowl "failed" Zimbabwean asylum
seekers back into his hands.

Enforced returns were resumed after Blunkett lifted a two-year suspension of
deportations on 16 November.

The suspension was originally won by the struggles of refugee groups and
human rights lawyers who targeted the airlines ferrying claimants to almost
certain torture.

The two organisers of last month's protest, Arthur Molife and Brighton
Chireila, told Socialist Worker, "Blair and Blunkett are killing us twice by
sending us back home.

"The British government has put fear into the asylum seekers who were
tortured by Mugabe, which is why we haven't protested here for so long.

"About 25 Zimbabweans have been deported since the suspension ended and
nearly all of them have disappeared without trace.

"The airlines take their passports and hand them over to the security
officers when they touch down in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe.

"Their waiting relatives never even see them get off the plane."

The protest was filled with people who have heartbreaking stories.

Norah said that her husband, Rafael, had been picked up a week before when
he made his monthly report to the local authorities in Salford.

A member of the Zimbabwean opposition MDC, Rafael had been so badly tortured
in Zimbabwe that he could hardly walk and was about to go into a Manchester

"Now he's in a prison bed in a detention centre near Oxford and they're
about to fly him back," said Norah. Leah's nephew was apprehended at work in
a factory in Dover and immediately deported.

Leah said, "Thulani was an MDC member in Bulawayo, where he was tortured and
harassed. My sister went to Harare airport after the British put him on the
plane. But she never saw him there."

The protesters handed in petitions to Downing Street and the Foreign Office.

After the demonstration, they launched the UK Zimbabwean Community Campaign
to Defend Asylum Seekers to coordinate a series of national anti-deportation

Its first act was to plan a demonstration in London on Saturday 29 January.

All refugee organisations, anti-deportation campaigns and trade unions are
going to be invited.
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