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Sunday Times (SA)

Life getting harder in Zimbabwe capital

Thursday July 15, 2004 14:42 - (SA)

HARARE - Living in the Zimbabwean capital Harare is getting harder as weary
residents battle with frequent power cuts, water shortages and the
ever-rising prices of basic goods.

Harare once boasted the nickname "Sunshine City" but in the depths of a
Zimbabwean winter, it's looking less and less that way for all residents,
regardless of their income levels.

Last week the state-run power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) announced it was introducing power cuts at peak periods due
to increased demand from the cold weather and Zimbabwe's inability to find
additional sources for power imports from outside the country.

Zimbabwe imports 30% of its power, much of it from neighbouring South
Africa, but has in the recent past reportedly had problems settling its

Coinciding with the power cuts, ZESA has started broadcasting adverts every
half hour on state radio, proclaiming "ZESA: power to the people."

"While we sit in the dark with candles waiting for the power to come back on
and women stream out of the bush with firewood on their heads because they
can't afford electricity, the jingles go on and on and on," says Zimbabwe
writer Cathy Buckle in her weekly commentary.

In several suburbs of the capital, streetlamps and house-lights flicker off
at 6 pm at night -- to be restored three hours later.

There are also cuts scheduled for three hours in the mornings.

"It's every night," moans one elderly resident of the relatively well-heeled
Avondale suburb, near Harare's main hospital.

"It was Thursday, Friday and then again at half-past six on Saturday," she
complains. She adds that she keeps her bath "half-full" to be ready for
water cuts - usually advertised in the state-run Herald newspaper and on
public radio.

In June some suburbs had no water for almost three weeks. The authorities
blamed pump failures at the ageing Morton Jaffray water plant, as well as a
lack of crucial aluminium sulphate used to treat the water.

A so-called "water demand management system" was brought in: this meant
cutting off supplies to other suburbs for 24-hour periods.

Harare's opposition-led city council says it does not have the funds to
maintain infrastructure. But efforts to hike rates have been blocked by
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, who has also dismissed Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) Mayor Elias Mudzuri.

A member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, Chombo last month
declared previously approved increases "unjustified" and ordered a freeze.

The Harare city council has only held two meetings in the past six months,
says Jameson Gadzirai of the Combined Harare Residents Association, leaving
residents concerned that civic governance is being frustrated by party

"What the residents are feeling now is that council decisions are not being
implemented because of a broader agenda being pushed by the (local
government) ministry," Gadzirai told AFP.

There are other concerns. Public hospitals in the city are faring badly. The
privately-owned Standard reported this month that corpses at Harare's
Central Hospital were being rolled down the stairs from wards to the
mortuary because there was no money to repair the lifts.

Health delivery has been one of the biggest casualties of Zimbabwe's
four-year old economic downturn. Cases of kwashiorkor - a sometimes fatal
illness usually associated with times of war and famine - have resurfaced.

At least 621 were treated last year in the city's clinics, according to a
report by the council's director of health, Lovemore Mbengeranwa.

Price hikes too are a worry. Although inflation rates have fallen, from more
than 600% at the end of last year to just below 400%, prices of foodstuffs
and many basic goods continue to rise.

Faced with an outcry, the country's energetic Reserve Bank Governor Gideon
Gono last week said that "the thinking that prices ought to come down
because inflation is coming down is fallacious", the state-run ZIANA agency

Gono told the conference that prices should still be going up by about 6%.

But his figures do not square with prices on shop shelves: bread has more
than doubled in two months from around 1,200 Zimbabwe dollars (25 cents) a
loaf to 2,900 (50 cents).

Meanwhile fuel queues resurfaced last week. A wearying fact of life for many
Zimbabwean drivers over the past three years, the queues seemed to have
disappeared after the authorities removed price controls.

State radio said last week's queues were due to "logistical" problems in
fuel distribution.

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The Herald

Government battles to keep Airzim, NRZ operational

Business Reporter
THE Ministry of Transport and Communications is battling to keep Air
Zimbabwe and the National Railways of Zimbabwe operational.

In a presentation to the business leaders made at the recent congress of the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the Minister of Transport and
Communications, Mr Chris Mushowe, talked of the numerous challenges facing
his ministry.

"Rail plays a pivotal role in economic growth and more importantly economic
development," Mr Mushowe said.

Rail transport has a number of advantages over the other modes of transport
and these include its bulk carriage capacity, decongesting roads and lower
service costs.

Mr Mushowe did not mince his words when he talked of NRZ's dismal failure to
execute its mandate.

"The NRZ has failed to contribute effectively to economic growth as a result
of poor management, infrastructure and locomotive constraints.

"Basic infrastructure such as rail tracks, signalling and telecommunications
equipment has deteriorated to unprecedented levels mainly due to vandalism,
theft and maintenance backlog."

All these have contributed to a far less than satisfactory service delivery
by the national rail network.

"The tonnage moved per annum declined from 8,84 million in 2001 to 5,76
million in 2003.

"Over and above, the failure to support industry, the quality of service has
deteriorated with significant increase in the frequency of accidents and
delays in transit," Mr Mushowe said.

"The NRZ and Air Zimbabwe are dead," he added.

Aviation has seen a downturn in both the number of aircraft and passengers
into and out of the country and this, the minister said, is a direct result
of poor management.

Figures provided by the ministry show that the number of flights has
declined 55 percent since 1999 and the number of passengers into and out of
the country by 58 percent.

"The national airline has also suffered a decline in market share from 50
percent at the end of 1999 to an average of 24 percent to date. Air Zimbabwe
continues to underperform as a result of operating loss-making routes, use
of wrong type of aircraft on some routes and a huge debt overhang," Mr
Mushowe said.

In light of all these challenges the ministry recently unveiled a strategic
road-map for the sectors under its purview.

"The road-map recognises that most of the public enterprises under my
Ministry are under distress due to poor management and that recovery of
these companies depends upon an urgent implementation of an appropriate
rescue plan or turnaround strategy," the Minister said. The turnaround
strategy, which is already under implementation, focuses on a number of

It addresses the fundamental problems bedevilling public enterprises,
resolving underlying causes rather than symptoms.

"The ultimate aim of the turnaround strategy is to re-align our companies
and departments for efficient, effective and predictable service delivery,"
Mr Mushowe said.
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The Scotsman

'Sugar Daddies' May Be Spreading Aids in Africa


They have lost their youth, but gained enough wealth to buy the company of
many young consorts. These "sugar daddies" of sub-Sahara African are a hot
topic with researchers trying to explain the region's alarmingly high HIV
rates for teenage girls.

Many Aids experts believe that dangerous liaisons between married,
middle-aged men and their clandestine lovers aged 14 to 20 are partly why
teenage girls in southern Africa are five times more likely to be
HIV-infected than teenage boys.

The girls and men in these typically brief affairs open up huge networks of
infection, Aids experts say.

"Young girls who are looking for support are taking on sugar daddies who are
HIV infected. Girls as young as 10 are getting infected," Kay Roberts of
Washington-based Population Services International told a symposium at the
six-day International Aids Conference in Thailand.

It remains unclear how closely the infection rates are tied to
cross-generational sex, or even how prevalent the "sugar daddy" phenomenon
really is.

Some researchers suggest that high infection rates among young women have
more to do with their sexual anatomy being more susceptible to abrasions
that can allow HIV to enter the body.

These older men don't like condoms and prefer the younger women partly on
the belief they'll be "pure," or not infected with HIV, but also to gain
"status" among friends, according to surveys of both men and teenage girls
in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa by PSI researcher John Berman.

The girls often believe that older married men won't be HIV infected,
assuming they've been faithful to their wives, the survey found.

The "sugar daddies" are defined as at least 10 years older than their
partners, and the girls surveyed were 14-20. The men sometimes go out with
the girls socially but only with other men doing the same, and the
relationships otherwise are kept mostly hidden, Berman said.

The relationships typically end in a matter of weeks or months when the man
loses interests. Both men and girls interviewed for Berman's survey spoke of
possible reprisals - such as rape - if the girls sought to end the

In return for these liaisons, girls get money they sometimes spend on
necessities such as schoolbooks or food, but also on luxuries like "trendy
clothing, cell phones, hairstyles," Berman said.

"The trick is to get as much money as you can first, before you have sex,
because he might run away," Berman quoted one teenage girl in Kenya as

Mercy Amba Oduyoye, director of the Institute of Women, Religion, and
Culture in Ghana, said the problem stems from societies dominated by males,
and that the girls are coerced - even if they're getting money.

"Defiling a minor can hardly be consensual," she said.

Oduyoye said it's important to enlist men of stature within sub-Saharan
communities, including the clergy, to spread the message that preying on
young women is immoral.

In Uganda, Twedese Lukandema of PSI is spearheading a program to tackle
cross-generational sex by boosting the esteem of girls and teaching them
more about their bodies and how HIV spreads.

British statistician Simon Gregson has devised some rudimentary mathematical
models to estimate the effects of cross-generational sex on a country's HIV
prevalence, finding that curbing the phenomenon would tend to bring down

In theory, if people limited sex partners only to people exactly their age,
all the world's sexually transmitted diseases would end after the latest
infected generation dies.

But that would never happen in reality, Gregson notes, and he displayed for
conference delegates a graph showing that even small deviations from this
ideal can keep an epidemic flourishing.

"Large HIV epidemics can occur even with low levels of cross-generational
sex," Gregson told the symposium.

A study of 1,313 men recruited at beer halls in Harare, Zimbabwe - not
necessarily a representative sample - looked at how many of them were
married but had liaisons with teenage girls at least 10 years younger.
Interviews found that 6.5% of them did.

"Although data in this report are limited to beer hall patrons, the
prevalence of sugar daddies appears lower than popular perception contends,"
says the report spearheaded by Sheila Jain of the San Francisco Department
of Health and presented to the Aids Conference this week

"Prevention efforts addressing the age gap should be based on
epidemiological data and not on myths or misconceptions."
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SADC tightens screws on Zim

Njabulo Ncube
7/15/2004 7:01:45 AM (GMT +2)

PRESSURE is inexorably rising on the increasingly ostracised Zimbabwe
government to overhaul the country's electoral process in line with regional
norms and standards, following the drafting of a revised set of regulations
by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to be considered at
next month's summit to be held in Mauritius.

The revised principles and guidelines governing democratic elections
among SADC's 14 member states is seen as specifically designed to force
Zimbabwe to adhere to regional norms and standards when conducting
elections, which have been tainted by procedural and legal irregularities.

The new guidelines come in the wake of a chorus of angry voices from
the opposition and civic groups accusing President Robert Mugabe's
government of taking advantage of flawed electoral procedures to rig
successive parliamentary and presidential elections.

It has been charged that the most powerful weapon that the government,
which has been using the power of incumbency, has is deceit. Independent
observers in the last presidential election claim that the voters' roll had
in excess of 800 000 dead people registered as voters while 700 000 were not
known at the addresses under which they were registered.

The new principles and guidelines, to be tabled at the heads of state
and government summit in Mauritius, come against the back cloth of largely
sterile diplomatic manoeuvres by South African President Thabo Mbeki to
break the political impasse in the southern African nation.

Mbeki has been at the centre of the delicate arbitration between
Zimbabwe's feuding political parties, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and the ruling ZANU PF. His efforts have however so far drawn a blank
although he is still in touch with both parties which he continues to meet
regularly for consultations.

African states and institutions, which previously steadfastly refused
to censure Zimbabwe for the deteriorating political and economic situation,
have, in recent months, brought pressure to bear on Harare.

Only last week, Zimbabwean government officials made frantic efforts
to avert the adoption by the African Union (AU) heads of state and
government of a damaging report on human rights violations, prepared by the
AU's Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) and circulated in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

Although the government has, in recent weeks, proposed changes to the
country's electoral laws which currently favour the ruling ZANU PF,
opposition groups and critics have argued that these were insufficient as
they focused primarily on the monitoring of elections, not the process

While the proposed changes, which were approved by the ZANU PF
politburo, will mean, among other things, that voting will be conducted in
one day and that translucent ballot boxes will be used, they do not address
fundamental issues such as equal access to public media by all parties. The
ruling party has maintained an iron grip on the state media to the exclusion
of all dissenting voices.

However, the SADC draft, which was produced on June 9, is expected to
stir a lot of debate at the Mauritius summit, which opens on August 9 and
ends on August 17, as it seeks to address some of these contentious issues.

Political analysts and opposition political parties that have perused
the draft proposals were yesterday adamant the measures were part of
diplomatic tactics being employed by SADC heads of states, disappointed by
the unresolved political crisis in Zimbabwe, to nudge President Robert
Mugabe to return the country to normalcy.

"It is a way of trying to solve Zimbabwe's political crisis by using
SADC. Heads of state in SADC have failed using other avenues. Now they are
using the principles and guidelines governing democratic elections as a way
of forcing President Mugabe to at least ensure free and fair elections,"
said a diplomat.

"President Mbeki has failed dismally with his quiet diplomacy. It is
thought that he has found a way to short-circuit the process of solving
Zimbabwe's problems. Maybe if there are free and fair elections whose
outcome is accepted by everyone, including the opposition, the problem will
disappear," added the diplomat.

The draft states that SADC member states holding elections should
ensure that polling stations are situated in neutral places and counting of
the votes is carried out at the polling stations.

It also emphasises the use of translucent ballot boxes, among other
conditions necessary in holding elections in a democratic state and that
SADC observer missions should be deployed at least two weeks before the
voting day.

Authors of the draft, viewed as taking a sterner stance on regional
states with democratic deficits, want member states to adhere to seven
principles to ensure the conduct of democratic elections.

Some of the proposed principles include the full participation of the
citizens in the political process, freedom of association, political
tolerance, equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state
media and equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for.

The draft says there should be independence of the judiciary and
impartiality of the electoral institutions and voter education in member
states conducting elections in their respective countries, aspects analysts
and the opposition say are non-existent in present day Zimbabwe.

To determine the nature and scope of election observation and
monitoring, the draft says SADC member states should be guided by
constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens, a
conducive environment for free and peaceful elections.

It advocates non-discrimination in voters' registration and existence
of updated and accessible voters' roll.

The announcement of the election dates should be timeous, and where
applicable, funding for political parties must be transparent and based on
agreed thresholds in accordance with the laws of the land.

Member states conducting elections should facilitate the establishment
of the mechanism for assisting the planning and deployment of electoral
observation missions.

The draft also outlines the code of conduct for elections observers
and monitors that are consistent with those of the OAU/AU Declaration on the
Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.

These include the principle that the observer missions must comply
with all national laws and regulations and shall maintain strict
impartiality in the conduct of their duties.

Responsibilities for the member state holding elections would entail
establishing "impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national
electoral bodies staffed by qualified personnel, as well as competent legal
entities including effective constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event
of disputes arising from the conduct of elections".

Zimbabwe's electoral bodies, solely appointed by President Mugabe,
were compromised in this regard.

The draft further states that member states must safeguard the human
and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement,
assembly, association, expression and campaigning, prevent fraud, rigging or
any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process and
ensure adequate security is provided to all parties in the election race,
among other acceptable conditions in a democracy.
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Unmasking the double-dealer who blew whistle on Mawere

Nelson Banya
7/15/2004 7:02:20 AM (GMT +2)

BELEAGUERED businessman Mutumwa Mawere, who was specified by the
government last week, has come out fighting, accusing the whistleblower who
fingered him of being embittered after failing to get work within Mawere's

Mawere this week revealed how John Rushton, who is reportedly in line
for a $30 billion windfall from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for
blowing the whistle on several prominent businesspeople over suspected
corrupt practices, wrote to him in April, looking for a job.

It has been established that at the time of the correspondence,
Rushton had already started giving the police, RBZ officials, state security
agents and the Anti-corruption Ministry information on a host of alleged
corrupt activities by several businesses.

In the letter, a copy of which is in the possession of The Financial
Gazette, Rushton, who has extensive experience in the transport and
logistics industry, canvassed for employment "in RSA or Zimbabwe".

"As per our telephone conversation this date in Zimbabwe - I am
writing to you for consideration for employment in RSA. I have been working
in Benoni for almost a year for Cecil Muderede - but he was unable to pay
for the transport company and offices that he agreed to purchase - Nemini
Carriers - I have found it difficult to settle back in Zimbabwe and I have
(a) British Passport.

"I was offered a position by the RBZ but was never paid by them, I
would like to return to RSA if you had (sic) need for a manager of 24 years
in cross border transport, I have an impeccable record and much experience
in investigations too," Rushton wrote.

He also wrote another letter to Mawere in May.

Rushton, 59, is believed to have blown the whistle on Mawere, based on
his time as general manager at Petter Holdings, a company that held a
transport contract with Shabanie and Mashava Mines, run by Mawere's SMM

Mawere accused Rushton of desperation, saying the whistleblower had
turned to him after his association with the authorities did not yield the
desired result.

"I met the gentleman at the airport and he told me he was working for
the Reserve Bank to carry out some investigations, and I believe he did work
with them between January and February, during which time, I think, they
discovered that his information was confusing.

"How does a transport guy know the intricate details of mining
operations? The fact that he was now looking for work from a company that he
was accusing of illegal conduct shows what kind of a person the authorities
were relying on. Can you imagine that he could meet the President?" Mawere

As part of the ongoing efforts to combat graft and economic crimes,
the government, through the RBZ and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, has come
up with funds for informers who blow the whistle on offenders.

The whistleblowers are entitled to 10 percent of the total amount
recovered following successful prosecution of the alleged guilty parties.

Mawere joined the growing band of businessmen whose assets have been
frozen by the government after he was specified last week.

The move came after the government failed in its efforts to bring the
businessman, who has been resident in South Africa since 1995, back to
Zimbabwe to face charges of violating the country's exchange control

The government wants Mawere, who has built a formidable
multi-billion-dollar empire straddling virtually every economic sector, to
face trial for alleged fraud cases involving up to $300 billion.

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Inflation on long-term falling trend?

Staff Reporter
7/15/2004 7:02:45 AM (GMT +2)

THE annualised rate of inflation has continued on a downward spiral,
shedding 54.2 percentage points in June to 394.6 percent.

Coming against a background of extreme scepticism, the fall in
year-on-year inflation, which stood at 448.8 percent in May, has already set
tongues wagging as to whether the inflationary pressures are on a long-term
easing trend. Zimbabwe has had problemss controlling its inflation and
maintaining its currency at sensible levels.

However, the increase in food prices drove the month-on-month
inflation rate 3.2 percentage points higher to 9.2 percent in June.

Figures released by the Central Statistical Office show that of the
394.6 percent year-on-year rate of inflation in June, food prices accounted
for 161.4 percentage points while non-food items in the consumer price index
accounted for 233.2 percentage points.

Food inflation was 430.6 percent, down by 51.2 percentage points from
the May figure of 481.8 percent, while the non-food component was 373
percent, down from 481.8 percent in the previous month.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation rose by 3.2 percentage points to
9.2 percent.

The monthly figure has been rising steadily since the decline recorded
between March and April.

The annualised rate of inflation has been in decline since peaking at
622.8 percent at the beginning of the year on the back of concerted efforts
by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to target a rate of between 170
percent and 200 percent by December.

Independent analysts and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have
since stated that the central bank's target, which seemed optimistic when it
was made last year, was achievable.

The IMF has projected a year-end inflation rate of 196 percent in line
with the projections of RBZ governor Gideon Gono, who cut the image of an
anti-inflation hawk when he took over at the central bank.

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Govt delaying voters' happiness: Hatendi

Brian Mangwende
7/15/2004 7:04:42 AM (GMT +2)

THE former boss of the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC),
Anglican Bishop Peter Hatendi, has slammed the electoral body as a toothless
bulldog that not only did not bark but actually slept on the job.

Hatendi, who quit his post as chairman in 2000 citing endless
frustrations in his "holy" plans to enhance democratic reforms in the
country's electoral system, widely viewed as flawed, said the current
electoral legislation tilted heavily in favour of the ruling ZANU PF even
with changes recently proposed by the government.

Zimbabwe's main political opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), has expressed similar views about the proposed
amendments to the electoral laws and has already threatened not to
participate in the 2005 parliamentary polls under the existing legislation.

"I quit the ESC because they are a toothless bulldog," Hatendi told a
group of journalists who gathered in Masvingo last week at a workshop
organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN).

"I have said this before and I will say it over and over again. The
ESC is a toothless bulldog."

Under mounting political and moral pressure to bring about electoral
reforms to suit all political parties the government, through Justice, Legal
and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, announced the
long-awaited electoral changes, which critics say seem to have done very
little to appease both the nation and opposition parties.

The changes include setting up an independent electoral commission -
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission - for President Mugabe's increasingly wily
political party which has been accused of pulling the wool over the eyes
over of the electorate, the region and the international community.

Other reforms are a reduction of the voting period from two days to a
day, the appointment of a chief electoral officer and five members by the
President, the use of indelible ink, replacement of wooden boxes with
translucent ones and the conduct of verification at respective polling

Hatendi said the electoral reforms would be meaningless if the current
constitution was not amended in line with democratic electoral laws.

"To bring about democratic elections, a new constitution and a new
electoral law are overdue," Hatendi said. "To introduce a new electoral law
before a new constitution, as suggested, is putting the cart before the
horse. Elections, being the pillar of a democratic government, must meet
democratic electoral principles. It seems the will and urgency are not

He added: "We cannot afford delaying the happiness and power of the
electorate as well as the development of personality of citizens any longer.
Where is the voice of the conscience of the nation-state, the journalists
and prophets from the church?"

Speaking at the same workshop, ZESN boss Reginald Matchaba-Hove
welcomed the government's electoral reforms, saying they were a starting
point and that the network hoped more reforms would be in the offing before
next year's general elections.

"We should not be pessimistic," Matchaba-Hove said. "At least we are
making progress and our electoral laws should be in line with regional and
international norms and standards. We will continue pressing until we have
achieved the goals of the nation."

Responding to Hatendi's proposal that the ESC and the so-called
independent electoral commission be separated because their roles were
different, ZESN said the electoral process should instead be harmonised
under one body to protect the legitimacy of poll results.

"I would like to disagree with Bishop Hatendi in that in my experience
when I observed elections in SADC, it is possible to have one body dealing
with the electoral process, instead of many players."

Hatendi had said: "In my opinion, the functions and powers of these
two bodies are not identical. One is responsible for supervision and the
other for administration and management of the election process."

However, he could not explain who would supervise the ESC, whose key
members are appointed by an interested party in the election - Presient
Robert Mugabe.

Next year's parliamentary election pits President Mugabe's ZANU PF
against Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC.
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Vultures jockey for Tsvangirai's post

Brian Mangwende
7/15/2004 7:06:39 AM (GMT +2)

THE verdict is not yet out but proceedings to his long-drawn treason
trial are drawing to a close.

Still, there is no telling which way the case will go but impatient
political vultures in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are already
jostling to complete the critical encirclement around their beleaguered
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Party insiders this week said that although the courts were yet to
decide on the fate of the former firebrand trade unionist, political
battling spawned by factionalism and the resultant psychological crises had
reared their ugly head within the fragile opposition - a loose coalition of
labour, human rights organisations and various other interest groups.

The sensitive issue reportedly boiled over on Tuesday this week when
Tsvangirai got wind of the cracks emerging within the party as a result of
intensifying jostling. Sources said Tsvangirai and MDC national chairman
Isaac Matongo had a verbal punch-up over the alleged machinations at Harvest
House - the party's headquarters.

Tsvangirai, who led the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions with
distinction as its secretary-general before switching to politics in 1999 as
the founding leader of the MDC, is on trial for allegedly plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe ahead of the disputed 2002 presidential
election which the opposition claims was tainted with violence and
intimidation against its supporters.

The High Court is expected to hand down judgment on July 29 in the
case against Tsvangirai.

The MDC leader was charged alongside the party's secretary-general and
legislator for Bulawayo North-East Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, the
Member of Parliament for Gweru Rural.

The state, however, withdrew charges against Ncube and Gasela, but
maintained that Tsvangirai, who denied the high treason charges, committed
the offence.

According to MDC sources, the political vultures belonged to two
distinct factions that have emerged along tribal lines. They said although
the factionalism was disguised as pitting so-called intellectuals against
trade unionists, the rallying point was tribal.

Pushed to the foreground by the need to take over the leadership of
Zimbabwe's biggest opposition political party, the factionalism had produced
simmering but deep-seated discord within the MDC, they said.

"At the moment, we are, as a party, operating on the basis that he
(Tsvangirai) is going to be exonerated," MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
said, "because we know he is innocent".

"I am not aware of any discussion surrounding Tsvangirai's
replacement. If there is anybody out there involved in stupid politics, they
don't belong to the MDC. Personally, I will pack my bags and leave the MDC
if I was approached to engage in destructive politics.

"In the unfortunate event that the president is convicted, our
constitution is very clear that the vice president takes over as a caretaker

"We have a struggle ahead of us. It's about removing bad governance
and tyranny in the country and making sure that we become the next
government. We are fighting so that Zimbabwe becomes a normal progressive
nation. There is no room for stupid politics."

Confirming that jockeying among the opposition party's bigwigs to fill
Tsvangirai's shoes had intensified, splitting the party into two factions
along tribal lines, high-ranking MDC officials on Tuesday said one faction
that called itself the Karangas-wezhira comprised mainly of the so-called
trade unionists. This faction was allegedly led by Matongo, while the other
consisted of an equally powerful camp, "the intellectuals", led by Ncube.

In Matongo's camp, the source said, were also the national chairperson
for the party's women's league, Lucia Matibenga, Tsvangirai's confidante
Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, MDC deputy secretary-general Gift Chimanikire and an
indigenous entrepreneur identified only as Mujikwa, among others.

Ncube's faction allegedly comprises spokesman Nyathi (MP Gwanda
North), Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MP Glen Norah), and Job Sikhala (MP
St Mary's).

The controversial Matongo, who has always been at the centre of
wrangles involving internal party elections, is reportedly eyeing the hot
seat while Gibson Sibanda, the MDC vice president, has been tipped to take
over in the event that Tsvangirai is convicted. This is in accordance with
the party's constitution.

Nevertheless, it has been said that Matongo's faction was
uncomfortable with Sibanda assuming the role of acting president for fear
that Ncube would manipulate him.

"People have begun to set themselves up for purposes that there could
be a conviction," one source said.

"Two groups have emerged, one calling itself the Karangas led by
Matongo. That group is mainly made up of trade unionists. The other group is
mainly composed of the so-called intellectuals. Another problem that has set
in is that of tribalism . . . the Ndebeles against the Karangas."

The source added: "Nelson Chamisa (MP Kuwadzana and national youth
leader) is problematic. One doesn't know where he really stands. Secret
meetings are already being held along tribal lines. The scenario is
explosive if it is not nipped in the bud. It may work against us ahead of
next year's elections and the results may be disastrous.

"The MDC's constitution stipulates that in the event of the president'
s office being vacant for any reason whatsoever, the vice president takes
over, but Matongo's camp feels that if Sibanda takes over in the event that
president Tsvangirai is convicted, Sibanda could be manipulated by Ncube,
who will become de facto president."

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Zimbabwe breathes sigh of relief

7/15/2004 7:05:43 AM (GMT +2)

THE six-month reprieve granted to Zimbabwe by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), which was on the verge of expelling the southern
African state from the 184-member multinational development institution,
will prove critical as the period will coincide with the run-up to next year
's parliamentary elections.

Analysts have indicated that the grace period, extended by the IMF's
executive board last Wednesday, should provide Harare with an opportunity to
put its house in order and demonstrate commitment to turning around its
economy, now in the fifth year of recession.

While the economic stabilisation currently being pursued with
religious tenacity by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) drew an unexpected
65 percent endorsement from the IMF executive board, it remains to be seen
how fiscal policy will complement the tight monetary policy.

Since late last year, the RBZ has vigorously sought to bring stability
to the country's financial markets by instigating consolidations in the
banking sector, stifling speculative consumption by allowing interest rates
to respond to market imperatives, reining in money supply and, in turn,

In response to the RBZ's policy prescriptions, money supply, a major
inflation driver, has been in decline since the beginning of the year.

The annual narrow money (M1) growth, comprising notes and coins in
circulation and demand deposits with the banking system, fell from 632
percent in January to 504 percent in April, while the rate of growth of
narrow money plus savings deposits and time deposits under 30 days (M2) fell
to 451 percent in April, shedding 87 percentage points from 538 percent in

Annual broad money supply (M3) growth also declined from 491 percent
in January to 400 percent in April.

Year-on-year inflation has also been in decline since it peaked at 623
percent in January. The rate of inflation slowed down to 449 percent in May,
with some analysts projecting it to decline further to 409 percent in June.

The IMF, which had a team visiting the country in March for the
routine Article IV consultations, recently came around to accepting the RBZ'
s year-end inflation projection of below 200 percent.

Concerns have been expressed that the government which, remarkably,
funds the country's elections without recourse to donor funds, might adopt
some uneconomic policies in the run-up to next year's crucial plebiscite, to
be held in March.

Hefty gratuities paid to veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war in 1997
quickly come to mind, as do several perks that have been proposed for
traditional leaders, key arbiters in the ruling ZANU PF party's quest to
retain the rural vote.

Although there have been conflicting reports on Zimbabwe's food
situation, with the government indicating that the country would not need to
import any grain, some analysts have said it was likely that the country
would, in fact import, thereby putting a further strain on the tenuous
foreign currency reserves.

Economic consultant John Robertson said the ball remained firmly in
Harare's court, adding that amortisation of Zimbabwe's debt with the IMF,
estimated to be around US$300 million, would be the only way of
re-establishing full participation in the development agency's activities.

"We need to repay. The IMF is not a donor agency, but a development
agency. We will not get back if we do not go beyond the token repayment we
have been making, but this is not going to be easy because we do not have
the money and might have to import food, among other critical imports,"
Robertson said.

He, however, said it was unlikely that the Bretton Woods institution
would expel Zimbabwe, even when the executive board reviews its decision in
six months' time.

"It (the decision to suspend expulsion) means that they are not
willing to expel us at this stage. It is not necessary in practical terms as
we are not active members anyway. There is no real need.

"We will, however, have to show that we have changed course, but it is
very likely that even then, the suspension will be extended," Robertson

Best Doroh, principal economist at the Financial Holdings group, said
while the stay of execution extended by the IMF did not amount to a blanket
endorsement of the country's economic policies, it demonstrated that the
institution was taking note of developments on the monetary side of the

"What it brings out is that there is a degree of confidence returning.
They would want to give the RBZ governor time to see if he can come up with
a credible turnaround programme, obviously with an eye on the repayment

"What is important is that both the monetary and fiscal policies
complement each other and that there be no policy reversals," Doroh said.

Zimbabwe was last year divested of its voting rights by the IMF, which
then launched proceedings to expel the crisis-ridden southern African state
from the organisation.

Harare has, however, undertaken to make quarterly US$1.5 million
repayments which, analysts have noted, could take up to 50 years to settle
the country's total obligation to the IMF.

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Reform reduced to senseless land grab orgy

7/15/2004 7:06:15 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who those disillusioned with multiple farm
ownership under the scandal-tainted land reform programme say should move
beyond rhetoric and contemplate action, has issued yet another ultimatum to
influential ZANU PF members to surrender extra farms.

"We are going to have one-man-one-farm. Even if you have two wives,
you are entitled to only one farm. Those with more than one farm should
surrender the rest and remain with one farm," President Mugabe told
delegates to his party's Fourth National Youth Congress last Saturday.

The ZANU PF leader is under heavy moral pressure to give a semblance
of credibility to his anti-corruption claims by dealing with his colleagues
who have violated the government's stated one-man-one-farm policy.

At the weekend, the President admitted that he had been inundated with
complaints concerning "amadala" (political heavyweights) in the ruling party
who continued to own many farms through proxies.

Observers this week said President Mugabe's admission that he had been
overwhelmed with complaints about deep-seated corruption in what is
increasingly becoming a controversial land reform programme underlined the
extent of frustration simmering within ZANU PF's rank-and-file over the
government's failure to act against multiple farm owners.

The frustration has deepened, especially as the revelations of
multiple farm ownership come against a background where most of the people
who bore the brunt of the liberation war, one of whose key reasons was the
emotive issue of land ownership, have been condemned to the dust bowls.

Does this then mean that President Mugabe is now going to decisively
act against the coterie of corrupt and self-centred ruling class politicians
who have reduced what was ostensibly meant to be an equitable redistribution
of the country's key resource to correct a historical injustice into a
senseless land grab orgy?

"Highly unlikely," said one political commentator, "because there is a
significant number of influential ruling party members involved in this
scandal. It is going to be embarrassing to shame members of his party in

According to the latest confidential report compiled by Special
Affairs Minister John Nkomo's Land Reform Committee, business people
connected to ZANU PF have also joined the land reform gravy train, amassing
several farms, some measuring 2 000 hectares each.

In total, the committee reports, 329 people had multiple farms
measuring 55 513 688 hectares. These have continued to cling firmly to
several lucrative properties in a clear rebuff to President Mugabe's
official one-man-one-farm policy.

Reads part of the report: "A total of 329 people have multiple farms
measuring 55 513 668 hectares. In excess of 45 000 hectares of land were
recovered during this exercise but there continues to be some resistance
from high-ranking members of the ruling party and senior government
officials to surrender the land.

"This resistance and the clandestine manoeuvres have a combined effect
of maintaining the status quo on the ground as regards the issue of multiple
farm ownership."

According to the latest audit, there are 249 473 landless people on
the Model A1 scheme waiting list and 99 971 on the A2 list. The report says
double allocations riddled both schemes as the Agriculture Ministry, headed
by Joseph Made, then had no computerised data on land parcelled out to

President Mugabe has on several occasions pleaded with his Cabinet and
other ZANU PF supporters with extra farms to surrender the properties for
possible redistribution to deserving landless blacks. It is however
important to note that just like two other government-sanctioned audits of
the land reform exercise, the latest report is silent on the identities of
the 329 people with multiple farms.

Political commentators this week however expressed fears that the
figure of 329 multiple farm owners being provided by the land audit report
could be an understatement as a majority of party "chefs" used proxies in
registering the properties.

They said the government's inaction over the sensitive issue could
suggest that there were powerful politicians caught up in the net whom
President Mugabe was wary of upsetting by sanctioning their prosecution.

They claimed that the President would not want to act against those
who corruptly acquired land at a moment the ruling ZANU PF was riven along
factional lines ahead of the crucial 2005 parliamentary elections.

Lovemore Madhuku, a critic of President Mugabe and chairman of the
National Constitutional Assembly, a constitutional reform lobby, said the
President could not remedy the corruption in the government's "chaotic land

"The figure of 329 people said to have more than one farm is not
realistic because almost every one in ZANU PF has more than one farm. On
paper they appear to have one farm but in reality they have more than one
because most registered the farms in the names of relatives," said Madhuku.

"When you run such a chaotic land reform programme as done by Mugabe
and ZANU PF, it is impossible to have checks and balances because of the
depth of corruption in the party.

"Mugabe does not have the capabilities to rectify the anomalies . . .
there was no set criterion, no independent body to allocate the farms. It
was a free for all and now it's next to impossible to truly audit the
exercise and clearly identify who owns what farm," he added.

The covert machinations used by officials to register properties in
the names of distant relatives, the observers said, rendered any audit of
the land exercise an onerous and impossible task.

They said President Mugabe should have moved to arrest multiple farm
owners with the same speed the veteran politician displayed in arresting
businessman James Makamba and Finance Minster Chris Kuruneri for allegedly
externalising foreign currency.

Max Mkandla, leader of the War Veterans Liberators Peace Initiative, a
grouping of former freedom fighters advocating peaceful elections in
Zimbabwe, said President Mugabe's lenience towards top officials implicated
in multiple farm ownership was baffling.

Mkandla, who fought as a ZIPRA commander during the war of liberation,
said: "Unless he starts arresting some of the top chefs with more than one
farm we, progressive war veterans, will remain sceptical of his leadership
qualities, especially considering his age.

"It has to be noted that taking action against multiple farm owners
will not be a stroll in the park because the audits of the land programme
have shown that there was rampant corruption. In fact, what is clear is that
the majority of top leaders in ZANU PF are corrupt," he added.

The war veteran said continued dilly-dallying by the 80-year-old
President in punishing culprits fingered by the latest audit report by Nkomo
would cast doubt on his leadership qualities at a time the majority of
people and the international community were calling for his exit from active

"He (Mugabe) is no longer the Mugabe we knew that immediately took
action against (Dzikamai) Mavhaire when he said Mugabe must go," added the
war veteran.

The latest report shows that there were altogether 126 843 A1
beneficiaries who took up 22 976 self-contained, 102 786 villagised and 1
081 three-tier plots. Under the A2 model, there were 12 888 beneficiaries,
giving a total of 137 995.

The latest figure of resettled people released by the Nkomo report is
similar to one in the Charles Utete land report of last August.

The figure clearly contradicts the government's salesmen, who
continually parrot that a total of 300 000 people have been resettled in

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Shed rogue stigma

7/15/2004 7:36:19 AM (GMT +2)

Up until last week, it appeared that Zimbabwe would be written off by
the blundering International Monetary Fund (IMF), with whom the crisis-hit
country has had a turbulent relationship.

Indeed since June last year, speculation had swirled about Zimbabwe's
imminent expulsion from the Bretton Woods twin and it was just a question of
time as to when the international monetarists would finally slam the door on
what the greater international community now considers a pariah state. Of
course government has protested this, which it feels as unjustified
hostility, contempt and ostracism, though some would say it is a stark
reminder that perception is taken as fact!

In the past 12 months or so, expecting the IMF to have Zimbabwe as
part of its global plans would have been dismissed as hopefulness bereft of
realism. It would have been delusional, to say the least because, according
to the sceptics, the fences could not be mended as they had irretrievably
been broken, given the government's intransigence. The die was cast and the
smart money was on expulsion.

As would be expected, among the ruling class politicians who have the
head-in-the-sand ostrich mentality, the mooted expulsion provoked a muted
response. The politicians, whom no one seems to be taking seriously any
more, wanted the world to believe that Zimbabwe's political and
socio-economic life would remain unshaken with or without the IMF. But
nothing could be further from the truth because the country's fragile
economy felt some "tremor". As it is, the country is already feeling the
financial pinch of the IMF's continued absence.

It is against this background that Zimbabweans from all walks of life
must have breathed a collective sigh of relief at the revelations by the
self-assured Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono that what could
have been an inglorious exit from one of the key institutions of the world
has been put on ice for at least six months.

Now, that a little sunshine is breaking through the dark clouds for
what could be a deeper rapprochement between the IMF and Zimbabwe is cause
for celebration (although sceptics would say not just yet) for Zimbabweans,
who only know too well what expulsion would mean, especially at this irksome
moment when the economy is crisis-hit and the country has a battered
international credibility where our creditworthiness has been reduced to
junk status.

As we have said before, we hold no particular brief for what the IMF,
with its sometimes misplaced missionary zeal for fiscal rectitude, stands
for or what it has done in the past. But the harsh reality is that it is a
key and influential institution from which other international financiers
take their cue. The stark fact is that we can only ignore it at our own
peril. In other words we need the IMF but the Fund does not need us. It is
as simple as that.

Admittedly, what we get from the IMF as balance of payments support
amounts to the proverbial drop in the ocean. But we need its seal of
approval by way of that support. Expulsion would have sent a damning and
ominous signal to the international community that Zimbabwe has its needle
well and truly stuck. This would stiffen the hands of those other financiers
that have been sitting on the fence because no one would want to touch
Zimbabwe even with a barge pole.

This is why we feel that the better-than-feared decision by the IMF to
give Zimbabwe a six-month reprieve is a confidence-bolstering move which is
the clearest sign yet that although it abandoned Zimbabwe midstream in the
late 1990s, the IMF's confidence in what used to be Southern Africa's
reassuringly resilient economy has not completely evaporated.

Of course we are mindful of the fact that though the reprieve could
buy Zimbabwe some vital breathing space, it is temporary. Still, the move
not only offers prospects for a breakthrough towards the resumption of
balance of payments support to stabilise public finances, if Zimbabwe does
not play hard ball. But it might just provide the much-needed fillip to the
circumspect foreign investors, financiers and donors, following their
stampede for the exits over the years.

Now that all hope is not lost on Zimbabwe, the
regional-bread-basket-turned-basket-case, the pressure is now on the
government to shed the rogue state stigma with a view to being reintegrated
into the community of nations. This it can do by: improving its human rights
record, a major point of bitter attacks by the international community, and
resolving the political crisis born of growing intolerance, confrontation
and hatred for compromise which in itself has tended to spoil everything
good coming out of Zimbabwe. The country also has to remain on good terms
with its lenders such as the IMF, which it owes US$300 million, among

This would be a victory for pragmatism because, as we stated in our
editorial of December 11 2003, no country is an island. This is what we
would call listening to the voice of reason and the influence of realities -
something hitherto alien to the local breed of politicians. We can only hope
against hope, that the men and women who constitute our government will
exhibit that exceptional personal responsibility and put national interests
ahead of political expediency.

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Zimbabwe farmers aid Zambia's renaissance

7/15/2004 7:35:52 AM (GMT +2)

KAYANJE FARM, Zambia - After a decade of ruin in the 1990s, Zambia's
agriculture sector is enjoying a renaissance - due partly to an influx of
white farmers from neighbouring Zimbabwe.

From Zambia's point of view, the timing could hardly have been better.

Its policy of providing land to local and foreign farmers - part of a
strategy to broaden the country's economic base - coincided with a
controversial land reform programme in Zimbabwe that put many commercial
farmers out of business.

"They have come to live here as equals . . . the new farmers have come
to jump-start agriculture . . . they have boosted tobacco production in a
short time," said Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana.

Ejected from Zimbabwe, 56-year-old Chris Thorne is one of several such
farmers helping to lead Zambia's agricultural recovery. In 2003, the Zambia
Investment Centre said 125 farmers had settled in the country, with
investments totalling US$107 million.

The Tobacco Association of Zambia estimates that around 75 Zimbabwe
tobacco farmers and their managers have settled in southern and central
parts of the country.

"Everything is pointing towards Zambia's success (in agriculture) due
to good government policies," said Thorne at Kayanje farm, 50 km northeast
of the capital Lusaka.

"This farm is a huge expansion project . . . this coming season we
will produce half a million kilos of tobacco. This year we are going to sell
220 tonnes of tobacco and we will also grow 40 hectares (100 acres) of wheat
next year."

Under a 10-year project pioneered by Barclays Bank Zambia, a unit of
London-based Barclays, and Africa Leaf Tobacco (Zambia), a subsidiary of
Universal Leaf Tobacco Co, farmers like Thorne get money to grow their
businesses and pass on their skills to locals as part of the deal.

The scheme is expected to spur a big jump in production.

Chimwemwe Mtonga, Barclays Bank Zambia head of agriculture, said the
country's total tobacco output was estimated at 16-18 million kg this year,
of which 10 million kg would be contributed by the new farmers. Zambia's
tobacco output in 2003 was around 7.2 million kg and 3.0 million kg the
previous year.

The expansion also means an increase in much-needed agricultural jobs
and investment. On Kayanje alone, the current staff complement of 400 will
rise to 600 in the 2004/05 season.

"We will (slightly) raise the area for maize production from 240
hectares in the 2003/04 season to just about 250 hectares the coming season
. . . this farm was not utilised for more than 25 years," Thorne said. In
the previous three years, only 50 hectares was farmed on Kayanje.

It is not all plain sailing. High inflation and continuous fluctuation
of the kwacha currency worry the farmers.

"Our profit margins are being reduced by high inflation as a result of
a re-valued rand," said Thorne in a reference to South Africa's currency.
Farmers buy the bulk of their raw materials from South Africa.

Despite these concerns, Zambia is confident that agriculture will soon
be a major economic driver for the country as it diversifies away from
copper and cobalt mining.

Thousands of hectares of virgin land are being offered free to local
and foreign investors for agricultural activities.

"There is no doubt agriculture is the future of Zambia and land will
be given to anyone interested in growing cash crops," Lands Minister Judith
Kangoma-Kapijimpanga said.

As well as boosting its tobacco industry, Zambia plans to launch
year-round maize growing in the country's vast wetlands and aims to increase
output by around 40 percent to two million tonnes in the 2004/05 season.

Sikatana has said preliminary indications suggest this year's maize
harvest would exceed 1.4 million tonnes, from 1.2 million tonnes in the
previous season.

"Our aim is to increase maize production to two million tonnes in the
coming season (2004/05) and thereafter we will be increasing our output by
one million tonnes every other season," he said.

The contrast with Zimbabwe's fortunes is striking.

Once the breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe is battling one of the
world's highest inflation rates and widespread unemployment, a situation
that many critics blame on government mismanagement, including its land
reform programme.

Although Zimbabwe told international donors in May it would not need
emergency food aid on predictions of a bumper harvest, many analysts and
Zimbabwe commercial farming groups have said the country could face a

Zambia, on the other hand, has bounced back from severe food shortages
that affected more than 14 million people at their peak early last year.

- Reuters

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African leaders finally ready to take off their blinkers?

7/15/2004 7:29:10 AM (GMT +2)

THE release of a two-year-old report on human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe compiled by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights
(ACHPR) gives Zimbabweans a glimmer of hope that finally, African leaders
could be ready to take off their blinkers.

The report, which covers the run-up to and the aftermath of the 2002
presidential election, was tabled at the third AU Summit in Addis Ababa last
week. It is scathing in its criticism of "blatant human rights abuses, a
flurry of repressive legislation, political violence, torture and arbitrary
arrests of journalists, opposition Members of Parliament and human rights

Despite fighting mightily to forestall the release of this document
into the public domain, Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge failed spectacularly.
This despite a helping hand from South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, who once again demonstrated beyond doubt how cosy things have
become under Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy.

In the end, Mudenge pledged that Zimbabwe would respond to the charges
within seven days. And unless the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe is
to be allowed to continue to behave like a spoilt brat, Mudenge should not
take this task lightly for a number of reasons.

The first is that since the ACHPR report was compiled, political
violence has continued unabated and abuses in all the categories cited have
escalated. Moreover, the situation is bound to deteriorate further as
preparations for next year's general elections gather momentum.

Zimbabwe's response to the ACHPR report should therefore not be a
cavalier academic exercise to get critics off the government's back on the
international stage while it continues its various crackdowns and assaults
on civil liberties at home.

How Mudenge handles condemnation of abuses from two years ago will be
a barometer of the government's commitment to introducing reforms to restore
democratic governance. All existing undemocratic practices must be
dismantled whether or not they are cited in the ACHPR report.

The second reason that should influence Mudenge to think twice about
continuing to try to pull the wool over everybody's eyes is that this
deceptive strategy has failed. The fact that his fellow African Foreign
Ministers would not be swayed in Addis Ababa when he tried frantically to
prevent the tabling of the scathing report should tell the Foreign Minister
the tide has turned. Crying wolf no longer works.

Gimmicks and diversionary tactics such as the minister's claim that he
did not see the report earlier because it was sent to the wrong ministry
will raise further uncomfortable questions. If it is indeed true that the
Ministry of Justice received and sat on such an important document for
months on end, what picture does that paint of the workings of this
government? Does the right hand know what the left is doing?

Mudenge should also know that the inevitable but now tired and
thoroughly nauseating tirades scapegoating the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) resorted to by some government officials do nothing
to help his cause.

Who, for example, can take seriously the ridiculous claim by the
government's information department that the MDC "smuggled" the ACHPR
document onto the AU agenda at the behest of British Prime Minister Tony

Rather than represent credible protestations of innocence, these
illogical claims that shy away from commenting on the substance of the
report actually serve to confirm the old adage that "a guilty conscience
needs no accuser". The issue is not how the report was released, but what
the government of Zimbabwe has to say about the charges of gross human
rights abuses levelled against it.

As Mudenge himself could also not resist invoking Tony Blair's name by
accusing the authors of the ACHPR report of being "Blair's messengers" it
will be interesting to compare how he fares in dealing with a situation
similar to one the British Prime Minister and American President George W.
Bush have faced recently.

I refer of course to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq by American and
British soldiers. When the ugly revelations about these human rights abuses
exploded, the British and Americans did not try to shift the blame to
anybody else.

Instead, they acknowledged that something terrible had occurred and
undertook to investigate every incident so as to bring culprits to book. As
I recall, officialdom in this country went ape in expressing self-righteous
indignation against Bush and Blair over these violations of Iraqi prisoners'

Now that it is Zimbabwe's turn to address similar accusations, we wait
with bated breath to see whether the government will accept full
responsibility for what took place.

Will it be principled enough to order investigations into the
incidents cited in the report so that perpetrators can be prosecuted? Will
it be prepared to introduce reforms to remedy some of the problems cited in
the report or will it continue to resort to its well known tactics of
evasion that say: " Don't look there, we have something terrible to hide"?
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Hyperinflation hits Zimbabwe law

7/15/2004 7:30:46 AM (GMT +2)

IT has been stated before and it must be reiterated that the
fundamental business of law from a capitalist standpoint is to ensure
justice and equity.

People can only take pride in their legal system if the system serves
its purpose well. However, there is one aspect of our law that is deeply
worrisome because of the way it threatens the justice delivery system.

A case in point is the chaotic state of affairs in our statute law as
relates to almost all clauses that provide for payment of fines by

These provisions are commonly referred to as penalty clauses and
almost every statute has them. They are put in place to ensure compliance
with the relevant statute by punishing offenders either through imprisonment
or payment of fines.

The dangerous scenario is that almost all fines provided for in the
various legislations currently in existence have been rendered irrelevant
and ludicrous by the harmful effects of inflation.

The hyperinflation caused by economic mismanagement has tremendously
reduced the value of our currency, so much so that what used to be a fair
and reasonable penalty years back is no longer so today.

It must be observed that every sentence imposed on an offender must be
reasonable, fair and commensurate with the gravity of the offence in
question. Only in barbaric and undemocratic judicial systems do you find
excessive or too trivial sentences which are disproportionate to the offence
in question.

A fine that is either too low or too hefty leads to an injustice and
in the process undermines the purpose of punishment, which can either be
rehabilitative or retributive.

In view of this observation, it becomes obvious that judicial officers
handing down sentences in statutory crimes have a grave difficulty before

To illustrate the point, the Miscellaneous Offences Act provides that
a person found loitering for purposes of prostitution shall be liable to a
fine not exceeding $100 as an alternative to imprisonment. It is apparent
that payment of a fine of $100 in the present economic circumstances is
highly nonsensical and grossly out of touch with reality.

This scenario is common across the whole spectrum of our statute law.

A trial magistrate or judge who finds himself trapped in this dilemma
faces the possibility of opting for a custodial sentence, thereby causing an
injustice where the accused would ordinarily have been in a position to pay
a fine.

On the other hand, magistrates are guided by rules of procedure and
cannot hand down a sentence that falls outside the provisions of a statute.
Such a sentence would be incompetent and unlawful. So, in strict compliance
with the law, a magistrate must either order payment of the trivial "fine"
or order incarceration of the offender.

This existing scenario poses a great danger not only to the
administration of justice in general but also to people's right to liberty
and equal protection before the law. It illustrates one banal way in which
state-orchestrated injustices continue to be perpetrated. It is an extreme
travesty of justice to haul an offender to gaol because of a legal mess
created and sustained by politicians.

The bitter irony is that the same law that is put in place to ensure
justice and equity at the end of the day, due to administrative
incompetence, bureaucratic bungling and oversight, ends up becoming a hazard
to people's freedoms.

The blame for this anomaly must first fall on the office of the Law
Reviser in the Ministry of Justice. It is this office that is tasked with
ensuring that all our law is synchronised and is in tandem with economic and
general societal transformations. This is because the law as an institution
is never static, but is always in motion, responding to changes shaping our

It is perplexing why the responsible office has not taken drastic step
s to ensure that our statute law is compatible with currency realities.

But again, the mammoth responsibility of revising and reviewing all
our law can never, and must never, be left to one man who operates in a
poorly equipped office.

The other individuals deserving blame are our politicians. They are
the ones who have mismanaged the economy, creating the legal mess that is
before us.

There is one reason why the government may have taken time to
intervene: this is because of its preoccupation with engineering oppressive
legislation to safeguard its hegemony.

It is abundantly obvious that most statutes promulgated in the last
few years are unconstitutional, oppressive and extremely alienated from core
developmental issues. This is most unfortunate because law must be used more
to create an enabling economic environment for the sake of development
rather than obsessively dwelling on abrogation of the rule of law and
depriving citizens of their rights.

The responsibility of overhauling our statutes in the above-stated
regard is burdensome, and likely to face insurmountable hiccups.

Finding a solution to this colossal problem is onerous and it would
appear the solution can only come from politicians. This is because until
the economy improves and inflation stabilises, the problem will only invite
piecemeal results that might further compromise our legal system.

It is suggested that the government, with the assistance of all
stakeholders, introduce a quarterly or regular review of all active
statutes. Such reviews must, in the end, ensure that all existing penalty
provisions bear a worth that is closer to existing currency values.

As an aside, the government also appears to be unaware that it is high
time the Internet sector was regulated. The provisions of the Postal and
Telecommunications Act 4 of 2000 are inadequate in their attempt to regulate
this valuable sector.

As observed earlier, the government's interest is only aroused when it
concerns issues that threaten its existence. It springs into action and
vigorously employs every legal or illegal trick available to save its soul.

This can be observed from its recent attempt to circumvent the
constitution by entering into private treaties with Internet service
providers -treaties that are patently illegal because they violate
provisions of the supreme law of the land.

At law, these agreements are known as contracts in fraudem legis,
meaning that they are in violation of the law. Such contracts are
unenforceable by virtue of their being illegal.

It is hoped that a fuller discussion will be made of how our law has
responded to the Internet revolution.

lVote Muza is a legal practitioner with Gutu & Chikowero law firm in
Harare. He can be contacted on e-mail address:

Website address:
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AU report catches ZANU PF with its pants down

7/15/2004 8:00:29 AM (GMT +2)

WE are in desperate need of another politics. But it is no longer the
politics of the clenched fist, the power of the punch.

Ours is the politics of interlaced fingers, a politics that develops
when the "I" and the "You" come together as "We", when people clasp their
hands, warm palms touching, fingers woven together, to build a rebellion
that deeply interconnects us. A rebellion of relationships that embrace
differences, a rebellion that desires to share rather than to take power.
(From the book We Are Everywhere)

The kind of politics employed in the Zimbabwe and Africa of today is a
horrendous reminder of simpering bootlicking, disastrous back-biting and
unhelpful mudslinging as has been aptly revealed by the African Commission
on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) report and the suppression of its
exposure of the Zimbabwean revolution.

How ZANU PF managed to squash the unflattering ACHPR report on
Zimbabwe and how the whole African Union suffocated the human rights
atrocities therein, is a serious cause for concern owing to the following

lThe fact that it was only Zimbabwe's human rights issues that were
strangled shows that the ruling party has a much more powerful, vice-like
grip on Africa and its Union than the illusions we all held before.

lThat ZANU PF is able to conceal revelations of scary human rights
abuses committed during the last election is testimony that it is a party
that has not repented and will continue to haunt and dehumanise the
electorate in next year's crucial election.

lLastly, it is crystal clear that ZANU PF grossly lacks transparency,
accountability and reliability as a government that is willing to rule in a
fair, just and democratic manner.

It is foolhardy to suggest that the commission that drafted the report
was working in cahoots with British Prime Minister Tony Blair because that
was clearly the work of African brothers who saw things through an African
microscope and fortunately had the audacity to lay bare what's been swept
under the carpet for too long a time.

The core crisis in Zimbabwe is not only about land, not only about
human rights abuses but about both and how miserable Zimbabweans have become
because of the two.

ZANU PF chose to build its economy on the land and it is this land
issue that has brought about human rights abuses as the party battles to
force the significance of land on unwilling non-farmers.

What with gloomy reports about imminent starvation, ZANU PF must be
mindful of the fact that they sowed the land and must therefore prepare hard
and fast to reap the sand storm.

The human rights abuses in this country can only be linked to the
British and the Americans, in that the ruling party manipulates these
countries' sympathy for the opposition to dehumanise those against its

The human rights abuses are real because they are a testimony from
brutally victimised black brothers detailing their forgettable experience to
other black brothers.

It is baffling that when the BBC documentary on Zimbabwe's youth
national service was screened in media forbidden within these borders, ZANU
PF was quick to show us that it was a documentary imbedded with several
untruths and half-truths.

Why can not the same be done with the ACHPR report? Did they stumble
on something too close to reality?

This nonsense of linking the MDC as willing collaborators to that
ignoble report is paranoid madness. ZANU PF has been caught with its pants
down, period!

In fact the exposure of the report must be a wake-up call to ZANU PF
to promptly repent and vow to cast such terrorist activities at the back of

No matter how much the public media might fervently apologise through
idiotic viewpoints from equally pathetic sympathisers; kindergarten children
will tell you that this would be the first ever smoke without fire.

The Zezurus will soundly explain it thus: avhunduka chati kwatara
hunge ane katurike.

A plethora of ZANU PF sins is being swept under the carpet and the few
we are exposed to have been allegedly committed by insignificant victims
like Chris Kuruneri and James Makamba.

That report has perforated a soft spot within a ruling party scared
stiff of documented international exposure.

The fact that ZANU PF has not been able to respond to the report
within the stipulated time is a convincing indication that this time, it was
a slash below the belt.

The party's apparent arrogance of sickeningly boasting that they are
"not in a hurry to respond" is a forlorn attempt to conceal satanic
revelations that are set to dearly cost them in the next general elections.

Here is a party that has created infinite enemies locally, regionally,
continentally, internationally and even within its own Cabinet, politburo
and central committee.

Here is a party playing ball in its own half as it frantically makes
efforts to defend an unpopular winning streak and strategy whose end is more
nigh than the birth of a child conceived today.

The time of the oak, the clenched fist, the power of the punch, of
violence, of torture, terrorism is seeing its last days.

African brothers are taking the onus of repudiating one of their own
who still insists "he can still punch".

The AU should just open that Pandora's box whether or not our fiercely
defensive foreign ministry responds or not.

It's election time again, we must ensure it never happens again.
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...and now to the Notebook

7/15/2004 7:33:03 AM (GMT +2)

Zimbabwe is one country on earth where one can never cease to be
amazed. Unless one is dead, surely they will find something amazing in
Zimbabwe between sunrise and sunset - especially if they care to watch the
owners of this country playing their politics . . . or is it bellytics?

Ever heard of a cruel stepmother who put red-hot charcoal on a child's
palm and asked the kid to carry it with care?

Look at this one. Aeneas Chigwedere, a historian who -possibly because
of a critical shortage of skilled personnel -also doubles as a Minister of
Education, Sport and Culture! Don't ask if he himself is cultured.

In his accustomed wisdom, this man imposes a blanket freeze on fee
increases on all schools, because "they are racist and they use astronomical
fee regimes to discriminate against children from poor families".

In this hyperinflationary environment, these schools, per force, have
to apply for ministerial permission to increase their fees . . . or else
they risk being closed and the defiant authorities arrested!

And this permission is never granted to any school. This, we are told,
is aimed at protecting our children's right to education. Never mind the
quality of education that is resultant from a situation where money is never
enough for anything . . . food, books, let alone equipment for use in
practical subjects!

We will not as well mention the mess that he and other glory-seekers
have caused in soccer as they try to endear their regime to thoroughly bored
Zimbos by inviting themselves into the popular sport!

And in another ministry, one for Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, Ignatius Chombo, after disembowelling the Harare City
Council, goes on to impose a freeze on all municipality rates.

No matter how much things seem to be getting out of hand because of
inflation, he argues that the rate increases are "not justified". Apart from
the hyperinflation, we wonder if the minister would accept any justification
whatsoever, no matter how genuine.

Never mind the rate freeze, the local authorities are still expected
to perform . . . pump clean water into homes, collect rubbish and keep roads
user-friendly, among other things, or else the minister will sack them for
"gross incompetence, insubordination" and such other high-sounding, but
hollow, allegations!

In another ministry, that of Agriculture, the "technocrat" there,
Joseph Made, continues to play monkey games with everyone's life. But
farmers and cotton merchants are at the moment the ones closer to the flame.

Because this season was better than the past three, cotton farmers
produced a good crop. But merchants, citing the vagaries of international
prices, cannot pay more than a measly $1200 per kilo.

The resulting standoff is a good opportunity for those marathon but
barren meetings involving the minister. And the 'technocrat", in his wisdom,
start ratcheting threats of possible "intervention" to help the farmers get
what he says is enough to allow them "to go back to the fields" this coming

So these cotton merchants have no option but to buy the crop at the
price that is much higher than that which they will sell it - the GMB way.
Remember GMB buying maize at $30 000 per tonne and selling it to millers at
about $9 000 per tonne?

It sounds more curious that this minister shows a lot of concern about
cotton farmers going back to the fields, but the same seems not to be the
case with grain producers.

After a thumb suck, the minister imposed a producer price of $750 000
per tonne, which the farmers say is too low to meet their input costs, let
alone allow them to go back to the fields. These complaints have been
falling on deaf ears as the minister's GMB is moving around expropriating
grain and giving the poor farmers dud cheques!

One cannot help but wonder for how long this populist way of running a
country will go on.

Last weekend saw the launch of a double music CD by our own Info
Minister, the all-rounder, Cde Jonah. This was at the magnificent Vic Falls,
amid excess pomp and fanfare, which included a boat cruise and lots of
bacchanalian revelling. And so many joined in the razzle-dazzle.

First, we got from the brainy minister a double cassette, and now we
have double CD . . . 26 good tracks all composed by a part-time musician!

We all hope and pray that "entertainment-starved" Zimbos will find the
music sweet enough to spend their hard-earned Zimkwacha on.

Anyone who would care to find out more about this music project is
free to visit one of the following websites:,, or

Cynical as usual, Zimbos are asking which donor so generously
bankrolled this project. Hopefully not our exchequer as has become the

But still on websites, it would be not so much of a bad idea if one
would also make regular forays into this other new website: This is a good one . . . lots of juicy stuff about
everyone and everything! Try it.

But then, the only problem is that we are not sure of the veracity of
the articles!

Hear, hear, hear . . . the rumour mill has it that a woman is the
cause of the great schism in Mashonaland West province. Yes, a woman, of all
the things on earth, is the source of the war that has sucked in the Great
Uncle and chiefs and is threatening to rend structures of the great
revolutionary party apart! For now, please don't quote me.

Scandals aside, CZ would like to pass his commiserations to Cde Fidza
over the theft of his two executive suits by his maid. We are really sorry.

The fortunate part of it is that, courtesy of his computerised
wardrobe, the flamboyant and showy MP managed to discover that something was
missing and recovered the loot from this maid before it found its way to

CZ's only wish is for God to give him a similar wardrobe - even a
second-hand one -and he would be happy all his life like a puppy with two

News reaching CZ is that young Makhosini Hlongwane, that noisy ZBC
reporter who wanted to outdo Cde Reuben Barwe in their unique style of
reporting, is now girding himself to battle it out with two other ZANU PF
heavyweights for the eucharistic ticket to represent the ruling party in
Mberengwa East in the coming elections.

We wish him all the best. For now, the advice that we can offer him is
that he should talk to Kindness Paradza first.
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Harare's roads fall into darkness

7/15/2004 7:34:35 AM (GMT +2)

ONE of the problems with going overseas is coming back, if you get my
drift! You see, the appalling state of our roads and the general lack of
maintenance such as garbage collection is all the more obvious when you've
become accustomed to the standards maintained overseas.

Frankly, there's no proper excuse for the shambles that is evident all
over Harare. The number of potholes grows and grows just as the number of
non-lit lamp posts exceeds those that do work. Take a drive down Harare
Drive between Borrowdale Road and Drew, and you'll see (if you've got good
night vision) what I mean.

It's positively dangerous if the truth be known, and it is something
which the Zimbabwe Road Federation has been taking up with the City of
Harare, along with other issues such as the overdue introduction of
roundabouts, the lack of road maintenance and the excessive number of
commuter omnibuses which create parking chaos in Harare's CBD.

But the problems are not unique to Harare. On one of my bi-monthly
visits to Gweru, I was horrified at the state of the road between the Snake
Park and Turnpike Service Station, not to mention the patchwork quilt which
greets you in the environs of Kadoma and Kwekwe. And then there was the
simply ludicrous speed limit posted near Turnpike Service Station which
exhorted motorists to drive at 40 km/h and then 20 km/h. We won't worry
about the lack of road markings as their absence is common on any road you
drive on.

What does get my goat is the incessant policing of carbon tax and ZBC
licence payments. It's impossible to drive any distance without being asked
for proof of payment of these iniquitous "taxes." At one such inspection
point near Chegutu, I was pulled over in a brand new car while dilapidated
vehicles, one of which didn't have any form of red lighting lens attached to
its behind, were glibly waved through.

Surely if the manpower can be found to check tax payment, it can also
be found (or diverted) to attend to more pressing matters such as KK "long
distance buses" travelling at 130 km/h with a full load of passengers.

Roundabouts, as regular readers will know, constitute one of my
favourite subjects as they are, mostly, so much more effective than traffic
lights. The Zimbabwe Road Federation feels the same way, but its efforts to
spur the introduction of these devices appear to be resisted by the City of
Harare on cost grounds.

I find this excuse tenuous to say the least as I'm certain that a good
proportion of the costs can be recovered by letting the structures to
commercial concerns who in turn would be responsible for overall maintenance
and upkeep in return for advertising rights.

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Monitoring of Forex Usage Necessary

Financial Gazette (Harare)

July 15, 2004
Posted to the web July 15, 2004


The foreign currency market has experienced a significant increase in the
demand for foreign currency since April, a situation that is feared to
propel the parallel market.

The amount of bids, which averaged US$14.45 million and US$11.93 million in
April and May, respectively, shot up to $19.97 million in June and further
to US$29.8 million during the first 12 days of July.

As a result, the amount of bids rejected which averaged US$6.45 million and
US$3.76 million in April and May, respectively rose to US$11.2 million in
June before shooting up to US$20.3 million this month.

Although the Reserve Bank increased the amount of foreign currency on offer
to the auction market, the amount has fallen short of the demand.

Having offered an average of $8 million since 29 January, the central bank
increased the amount to $8.5 million on May 24 and $9.5 million on June 24,
a situation that shows that there is a significant demand-supply mismatch.

The monetary authorities should take these developments on the foreign
currency market seriously as they threaten to reverse the gains that have
hitherto been made with respect to inflation - the country's number one

Annual inflation, which stood at 622.8 percent in January 2004 declined to
448.8 percent in May while monthly inflation declined from 13.7 percent to
six percent during the same period. In addition to the fiscal and monetary
measures introduced in the 2004 National Budget and the Reserve Bank's
Monetary Policy Statement, this inflation deceleration was due to the
stability in the foreign exchange market since the inception of the auction
system in January this year.

Supply side policies meant to create positive supply responses in output,
employment and foreign currency generation especially with regard to the
concessional productive and export finance facilities also contributed
towards the dampening of inflation.

Although it is obvious that the amount of foreign currency on offer is less
than what is required to the extent that some requests like the purchase of
motor vehicles and other luxury items are not even considered by the Reserve
Bank, the sudden increase in the demand during the said period is very

The coincidence of this increase in foreign currency demand with the rally
in the equity market means that, in the presence of negative rewards on the
money market, some easy money is being made somewhere somehow reminiscent of
a speculative attack on the exchange rate.

Given that the official market rates are stable within a range of between $5
300-$5 350 to the US dollar, the attack could only happen to the alternative
market due to the said long payments pipeline.

In other words, the parallel market is likely to be back with a bang, hence
the sudden increase in the demand for foreign currency on the auction

As already noted, the authorities need to something about it in order to
sustain the current positive inflation developments.

Proceeds from the bullish equity market due to low money market yields can
also be used to fund parallel market activities.

It is against background that it is quite in order for the monetary
authorities to want to know the usage of the foreign currency that is being
sourced from the auction as it is should be used to fund productive
activities only, not speculation. Faced with such a challenging economic
situation what is the way forward?

Current positive fiscal developments need to be maintained while efforts to
ensure that the productive sector regains its locomotive role as the engine
of economic growth should be maintained as increased growth of goods and
services in the economy is a very potent way through which inflationary
pressures can be dissipated.
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ZCU accepts three-person tribunal

Wisden Cricinfo staff

July 15, 2004

The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has agreed to the ICC's arbitration process to
resolve its differences with the 15 rebel players, though the players
themselves are yet to agree to the plan.

The ICC's system, which was specifically devised as an alternative to the
drawn out disputes resolution process, involves a three-person tribunal,
sitting in Zimbabwe, whose decision on the matter will be "final and
binding". One member will be nominated by the ZCU, the other by the players,
and the chairman by the two nominees.

The ICC will meet with Chris Venturas, the players' legal representative,
tomorrow (July 16), but has made it clear that it is not willing to wait
much longer for their decision on whether to accept the arbitration process.

"The ICC has advised the players of its strong preference to have this
matter dealt with as quickly as possible and has expressed its reluctance to
provide this extension which would leave these matters unresolved," said a
statement issued on Wednesday. "It has now asked the players to fast-track
their decision on whether they will agree to this proposal to allow the
matter to move to the next stage."

However, Venturas has said the rebels were already involved in the formal
ICC disputes resolution process and were reluctant to abandon that method.
"Whether we actually go to arbitration at this moment is an issue," said
Venturas. "We have a dispute mechanism pending with the ICC as we speak and
we are not happy to withdraw it yet. We might relinquish certain rights and
remedies if we withdraw that ICC dispute resolution which we initiated two
months ago."

Venturas added that the players would prefer a domestic resolution to the
problem, saying: "It's a Zimbabwean issue and we want Zimbabwe to sort it
out. But if my clients are better off proceeding in this courtroom in the UK
then we'll have to abide by that."

Most of the rebel players are currently in England touring as a side called
the Red Lions. They played the first of six games on the three-week tour
yesterday, against Lashings, a celebrity cricket side.

However, Stuart Carlisle, who is captaining the Red Lions, has said in the
past that it would be difficult for the players to resume a working
relationship with the ZCU because of the damage caused by the row between
the two.

"Some of the individuals in the ZCU that have helped cause the problems have
to be booted out of cricket completely," he said. "The cancer must be
cleansed. If that happens then I'm sure we can work together."

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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New Zimbabwe

MDC MP Misihairabwi arrested

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 07/16/2004 04:17:15
OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi
has been arrested for contravening a section of the Miscellaneous Offences
Act, her lawyer said.

Charles Maunga told Zimbabwe's independent SW Radio Africa that the
firebrand Glen Norah MP is accused of threatening an unnamed complainant,
and in another incident of being in possession of a gun when she visited her
constituency earlier this week.

The MDC's information department said Misihairabwi was ordered to report at
Harare Central's Law and Order Section just after 9am. She was immediately
arrested on arrival.

Misihairabwi spoke to SW Radio on Tuesday after ruling party militants went
on a rampage in her constituency, assaulting opposition supporters. She
lodged a complaint with the police but no arrests were made.

Misihairabwi was recently confirmed as the MDC candidate for Glen Norah
constituency for the forthcoming parliamentary elections to be held in March
next year.

The ruling Zanu PF is said to be fielding notorious war veterans leader
Joseph Chinotimba who is reportedly criss-crossing the constituency trying
to garner support.

Chinotimba has reportedly been distributing free goodies and has also
arm-twisted the State controlled Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco)
into diverting several buses to the constituency.

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Zim, Zambia in statue feud
15/07/2004 14:23 - (SA)

Wilfred Zulu

Lusaka - Zimbabwe has refused to give the David Livingstone statue, which
stands in the town of Victoria Falls, to Zambia.

Zambian tourism minister Patrick Kalifungwa asked the "Visit Zambia 2005"
committee to negotiate for the statue to be taken to Zambia, as the Scottish
missionary first saw the world-famous falls from the Zambian side of the

National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) director, Donald Chikunbi,
visited Zimbabwe last week and was told that Zimbabwe was not willing to
part with the statue.

Livingstone first sighted the falls, then known as Mosi-oa Tunya (the smoke
that thunders) by the local Leya people, in November 1855 and later visited
it again in 1860 and named it after Queen Victoria of England.

Next year, Zambia celebrates 150 years since Livingston first saw the falls
and 100 years since the town of Livingstone was established.
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New Zimbabwe

ENG's Muponda: 'My arrest was political'

GILBERT Muponda and Nyasha Watyoka of ENG Capital Management were the first
casualties of a financial sector 'clean up' instituted by Reserve Bank chief
Gideon Gono. Muponda has skipped bail and made a dash for freedom. Here, he
writes exclusively for New, explaining why he believes ENG
could have survived and his arrest was motivated by 'other reasons'

By Gilbert Muponda
Last updated: 07/15/2004 21:40:56
IT has been widely reported that I sat on the ENG board. It should be made
clear from the start that I was not a Director of ENG ASSET Management P/L.

It should be noted that ENG Asset Management P/L was one of the Companies
within a group of companies which employed more than 300 people. ENG
HOLDINGS was the holding Company which owned/controlled various business
entities including Century Holdings, Century Discount House, Allied
Conveyors, Hybri Premium Finance and others.

Secondly ENG ASSET MANAGEMENT P/L did not collapse but it was voluntarily
wound up in response to a changing operating environment. This fact has
never been reported on to the public .ENG management approached the High
Court and sort and secured a winding up order and this simultaneously served
to secure all the creditors of ENG ASST MANAGEMENT P/L.

This decision was made after a careful analysis indicated that this strategy
will result in all creditors being paid in full, should the liquidation be
done transparently and diligently. Even up to now that Company can fully pay
back its capital commitments. Therefore no creditor will be prejudiced.

On the allegations being levelled against the Company it is clearly a matter
with which most Zimbabweans are now familiar. It is a public secret how many
Institutions failed to pay maturing investors. Several Institutions failed
to pay amounts bigger than ENG ASSET Management's, yet there were no

The RBZ only responded by dishing out tax payers' funds to these
institutions. It's not clear how this will be recovered and what criteria
was used as other institutions were left to collapse and others were put on
life support.

ENG ASSET MANAGEMENT P/L was much better off as the management had made a
comprehensive plan which secured the creditors .So it is clear that the
allegations and the arrests were motivated by other reasons other than
failure to pay maturing investment contract.
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Asian Fakes Flood Zim

Financial Gazette (Harare)

July 15, 2004
Posted to the web July 15, 2004

Munyaradzi Mugowo

COUNTERFEIT Asian goods which have flooded the local textile and clothing
industry since market reforms introduced to Zimbabwe under the economic
structural adjustment programme, continue to force local players out of the

This, economists say, has eroded Zimbabwe's comparative advantage in the
textile industry, linked to its rich raw material endowment seen as a
guarantee of low production costs and an incentive for raising output and
economic growth.

Speaking at the National Export Strategy Conference held at the Harare
International Conference Centre last week, clothing and textile industry
players said the market was rapidly moving towards a situation of predatory
pricing, which adversely affected local manufacturers.

They said policies had to be devised quickly to counter the proliferation of
fake Asian goods and help local firms reclaim their diminishing market

David Whitehead, Zimbabwe's leading textile concern, is currently
negotiating a possible merger that should help it consolidate its market

Analysts say the merger may be a last-ditch attempt to save the troubled
textile company from imminent collapse, a development that would feed
Zimbabwe's already high unemployment rate of 70 percent, in addition to
undermining the country's gross domestic product.

Efforts to get clarification from the company's management were futile
because David Whitehead has entered a window period during which it cannot
divulge information until publication of its financial results.

Economist Eric Bloch blamed the government for failing to come up with a
comprehensive policy to ensure local companies stayed afloat even in the
face of external competition, while at the same time challenging the huge
transnational corporations on the international arena.

He said it was sad that local manufacturers were increasingly being elbowed
out of their own market by outside firms.

"We must have an even playing field. We don't seem to regard it as important
to gazette incentives and subsidies for our manufacturers here.

"By contrast, Asian, especially Chinese, textile and clothing firms are
heavily subsidised and produce their goods at low labour costs. Cushioned by
these subsidies and incentives, Chinese textile and clothing manufacturers
can afford to produce and sell at a loss," Bloch said.

"Competition must be based on quality and not on foreign subsidies," Bloch
added, urging greater intervention by the government.

Long winding queues can be seen on a daily basis at Chinese and Lebanese
shops, particularly in the capital Harare, as Zimbabweans, hard-hit by a
recession now in its fifth year, jostle to buy imitations sold at sub-market

The incessant queues have only served to encourage further importation of
the fakes.

Bloch said Zimbabwean manufacturers were also hamstrung by unfavourable
government policies, including bureaucratic customs clearance of basic
production inputs.

He said subsidies, price support and other production incentives could help
stop shady market practices such as predatory pricing.

Predatory pricing, where price is administered below the average costs of
local manufacturers, often prevents expansion of the home companies, with
some even being forced to close.
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