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

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Washington Times

Uprooted Zimbabwe farmers on move

By Fred Bridgland
LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

JOHANNESBURG - When Alan Jack, a Zimbabwean farmer, was summoned to meet
Nigeria's president during a visit to the capital, Abuja, he never envisaged
that two months from then he would be packing his bags to emigrate.
††† Yet this weekend, Mr. Jack is making final arrangements for a pioneering
expedition of more than 200 farmers from Zimbabwe who will set off on a
1,800-mile journey across Africa to settle in a remote Nigerian state.
††† At the personal invitation of President Olusegun Obasanjo, they will
become the first white commercial farmers in the country's history.
††† Mr. Jack, a maize and tobacco grower, has been given 2,500 acres of land
in Kwara, along the upper reaches of the Niger river, and granted "pioneer
status," entitling him to a five-year exemption from tax or import duties on
farming equipment.
††† In return, he has promised to bring modern farming methods to Africa's
most populous nation, which spends $3 billion a year importing food -
including rice, sugar, chickens and milk - which it could grow for itself.
††† Mr. Jack's farm at Guruve, in northern Zimbabwe, was expropriated four
years ago under President Robert Mugabe's land-grab program. Mr. Jack had
been planning to leave Africa altogether when he was invited to inspect the
fertile land - seldom farmed before - along the Niger and found himself face
to face with the Nigerian president.
††† "Why leave Africa and go to Australia?" Mr. Obasanjo asked. "We do not
want to take away what is good for Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe, but I believe
that it is in the best interests of Africa that you do not leave."
††† A number of farmers have left Zimbabwe in the aftermath of Mr. Mugabe's
policy of land "redistribution," which has left farms idle and the country
dependent on secret grain imports to sustain the myth that it can feed
itself. Hundreds have moved to neighboring Zambia and Mozambique, but Mr.
Jack and his colleagues are the first to take their skills halfway across
the continent to Nigeria, whose economy revolves around revenue from its oil
reserves.
††† Bukola Saraki, the newly elected governor of Kwara state, is
spearheading a national drive to wean Nigeria off oil-based revenues, which
have totaled more than $374 billion over the past 40 years, and make it
self-sufficient in food.
††† "In Kwara, we don't have oil, but we have 2.3 million hectares [5.7
million acres] available for agriculture," Mr. Saraki said.
†††† "If I truly thought our peasant farmers could take us where we want to
be, I would probably not have invited the Zimbabweans, but we decided the
only way to push agriculture was through commercial farming."
††† The governor approached the Zimbabweans after trying to launch a "Back
to the Farm" campaign last year, only to discover that Kwara's peasant
farmers, most in their 60s and 70s, were unfamiliar with modern technology
and had no capital to buy tractors.
††† "When we found oil [in the Niger delta], we didn't ask people in
southern Nigeria to look for shovels to dig for oil," said Mr. Saraki, who
trained as a banker. "We brought in foreigners with expertise. Our land is
an asset that isn't being utilized. The only way to do that is to bring in
people with the necessary skills."
††† William Hughes, one of his pioneer team, was regularly voted Zimbabwe's
top dairy farmer, producing 5,000 liters of milk a day. After receiving
death threats, he was forced to give up his farm and his life's work and now
plans with four other Zimbabwean dairy farmers to build the first modern
dairy in Nigeria.
††† Locals insist that the new immigrants will be welcome. Mohamed Alasan,
headman at Yelwa, said: "We want the whites to come and run the sugar estate
because they won't mismanage it."
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Business Report

††††† Critics says parliament set to become an implosive,
self-congratulatory institution

††††† The Pan African Parliament (PAP) of the African Union will be hosted
by South Africa, and its delegates will be temporarily seated at Gallagher
Estate, neatly wedged between pulsating Pretoria and jostling Johannesburg.

††††† Developers, architects, estate agents, caterers, masseurs and bankers
are lining up to schmooze, wine and dine the African elite that will descend
on the not-so-civilised plains of the Midrand. It is expected that
representatives from 53 African countries, international observers,
hangers-on and their spouses will come armed with credit cards and dollars
seeking the best that money can buy.

††††† A veritable feast of opportunities beckons and no stone will be left
unturned in the new scramble for Africa that is likely to characterise the
invasion.

††††† The local opposition's snot en trane about how much this will cost
taxpayers is germane only in relation to accountable spending of the public
purse. More pertinent is that the PAP seems set to be a repository of "kept"
men and women unlikely to seriously challenge the hegemonic hold of South
Africa and Nigeria over the pace and scope of continental development.

††††† Not unlike the emerging enclave economies dotting the African
landscape and the proliferation of elite accommodation bedevilling grass
roots development, critics assert that the parliament is set to become an
implosive and self-congratulatory institution
††††† . What it will lack in substance it will make up in fantastic outfits,
cars, self-adulation and consumerism.

††††† But that's the cynical view.

††††† On a more positive note, the institution will be a consultative forum
for five years, eventually acquiring legislative authority to pass laws for
the entire continent. It will gather for two two-week sessions a year to
oversee governance and security.

††††† The PAP follows the secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development as the second African Union institution to be housed in South
Africa. To this end, it places a responsibility on its host to see that
clean water, sanitation, adequate housing, electrification, jobs and medical
care top the agenda when the PAP meets.

††††† While Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has overstayed his welcome at the top
of the food chain, his continued grip on power must not be allowed to
fracture an already divided continent.

††††† There are equally important issues that need to be addressed.

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Washington Post

Mugabe Said to Use Law as Political Tool
Dissidents Face Zimbabwe's Justice System
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, July 18, 2004; Page A18

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe -- Remember Moyo, a burly man with sad, withdrawn eyes,
was arrested on Nov. 11, 2001, and beaten repeatedly and savagely over the
next several days. He was charged with murder.

The day after the arrest, Moyo said, police pummeled and stomped him by the
side of a road. At a police station outside this southern city, he was
stripped, his hands were tied behind his back and his feet were shackled to
a metal ring hooked to a wet cell floor, he said. Several times, he said,
thugs let themselves in at night and beat him bloody and mute.

"This thing, you cannot forget," said Moyo, who had been an intelligence
official and bodyguard for Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change. "You can try, but it just sticks."

The beating Moyo suffered and the murder charges against him and several
other men were part of an attempt to cover up two killings ordered by
officials of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, the Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, according to human rights
activists, opposition members and church leaders. The case, they contend,
underscores how Mugabe has used the law as a weapon against his political
opponents.

Moyo, who spent more than two years in prison without bail, was released in
April. On Monday, prosecutors acknowledged that they no longer had a case
against Moyo and five others charged with him.

In the first years after white rule ended in Zimbabwe in 1980 and Mugabe
assumed power, this landlocked southern African country of 12 million was
largely regarded as a beacon of democracy and prosperity on a troubled
continent. But in recent years, Mugabe's government has curbed the right to
public assembly, shut down newspapers, expanded police authority to detain
suspects without charges, put the main opposition leader on trial for
treason and taken control of thousands of private farms.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups have chronicled the
decline of the rule of law, saying Mugabe uses the criminal justice system
to punish his rivals and protect his allies, and that to oppose him is to
invite false arrest, torture and even death.

"These people are innocent," said the city's outspoken Catholic archbishop,
Pius A. Ncube. "That's what they do all the time in ZANU-PF. . . . We're
dealing with such a devilish government here, all to defend one man: Robert
Mugabe."

The government has consistently disputed such claims, blaming them on what
it has termed treachery by its opponents, dishonest journalists and meddling
from the British, the country's former colonial rulers. Mugabe and other
officials have characterized Moyo and his co-defendants as terrorists out to
undermine Zimbabwe's peaceful democratic system.

The roots of Moyo's case, as detailed by human rights activists and in court
documents and news reports, can be traced to the national election in 2000.
It was the first contest in many years in which Mugabe's party faced
significant opposition -- from the Movement for Democratic Change, which had
been formed the year before.

The new opposition drew support from human rights lawyers, farmers, civic
activists and some former members of ZANU-PF. One of them was Patrick
Nabanyama, a ZANU-PF activist who believed that the ruling party had grown
corrupt. In the parliamentary race in June 2000, Nabanyama made a public
break with the party and backed an opposition candidate, David Coltart, a
white lawyer.

As the election neared, Nabanyama said he began receiving death threats. The
culprits, he said, were so-called war veterans, a loosely organized force
loyal to the government and consisting mostly, but not entirely, of former
guerrillas in Zimbabwe's war against white rule in Rhodesia, as the country
was then known, in the 1970s.

"I have been subjected to several death threats since last month by pseudo
war vets," Nabanyama wrote in a letter dated June 19, 2000, addressed to the
Daily News, an independent newspaper since closed by the government.
"Killing me will not stop the change. Instead, MDC is daily gaining
support."

That afternoon, before Nabanyama got a chance to mail the letter, a gang of
men seized him at his house and bundled him into a waiting vehicle as his
wife and daughter looked on.

The abduction initially drew little attention from authorities. But Coltart
and other opposition members organized vigils to keep pressure on the
government to investigate.

Over the next few months, authorities arrested 10 war veterans in connection
with Nabanyama's disappearance, including Cain Nkala, a Mugabe loyalist and
the local head of a war veterans association.

After Nabanyama had been missing for a year, prosecutors upgraded the
charges to murder. Nabanyama's body has never been found.

As the trial date approached, reports reached opposition leaders that Nkala
intended to implicate top officials from the ruling party in Nabanyama's
killing. He never got the chance.

On Nov. 5, 2001, a gang abducted Nkala in much the same style that Nabanyama
had been taken, bundling him into a waiting vehicle as his wife watched.
Nkala has not been seen since.

Coltart, Archbishop Ncube and others said they believed that Mugabe's party
was involved in Nkala's kidnapping, which they described as an attempt to
eliminate him before he could implicate party leaders in the killing of
Nabanyama.

But the police and the government put the blame for Nkala's disappearance on
the Movement for Democratic Change. "The MDC and their supporters should
know their days are numbered," Mugabe said at Nkala's funeral, according to
news accounts. "The time is now up for the MDC terrorists, as the world has
been awakened by the death of Nkala."

Moyo, now 36, was arrested as police began a highly publicized roundup of
more than a dozen opposition activists in connection with Nkala's killing.

Two other opposition activists who were arrested in connection with Nkala's
murder, Sazini Mpofu and Khethani Augustine Sibanda, were shown on
state-controlled television seemingly directing police to Nkala's body, at a
site a few steps off a road outside the city. The grave was so shallow and
obvious that Nkala's toes stuck through the dirt.

Prosecutors charged Moyo, Mpofu, Sibanda and three other opposition
activists with Nkala's murder. Court proceedings began soon afterward, and
remained front-page news in Zimbabwe for the next 2 1/2 years.

But in court, where some independent judges remain even after years of
Mugabe's efforts to consolidate power, the government's case began to
unravel.

Mpofu and Sibanda said police threatened and beat them, then dictated
confessions that the two were forced to write and sign. Sibanda said agents
from the Central Intelligence Organization had abducted him and compelled
him, through torture and threats, to participate in a plot to frame the
others for the murder.

Cross-examination of police officers also revealed numerous inconsistencies
in their accounts, according to a ruling in March by the trial judge.

Perhaps the most damning was the inability of police to explain why their
own investigation diary recorded that Sibanda supposedly pointed out the
location of Nkala's body to police hours before the diary showed he was
taken into custody. The trial judge rejected police explanations that the
illogical diary entries were merely mix-ups.

The diary also revealed that officials from ZANU-PF and Mugabe's office
directly intervened in the case to deliver intelligence two days after
Nkala's disappearance. That same afternoon, police raided opposition
headquarters. What the diary described as an undercover "ferret team"
started developing leads tying the activists, including Moyo, to Nkala's
disappearance.

Accounts of beatings and torture also emerged during the testimony.

After hearing these and other stories, High Court Justice Sandra Mungwira
ruled that the confessions and the police testimony were so tainted as to be
inadmissible.

"In conclusion I would comment that overall the evidence of the State
witnesses who are police officers is fraught with conflict and
inconsistencies," the judge wrote in March. "The witnesses conducted
themselves in a shameless fashion and displayed utter contempt for the due
administration of justice to the extent that they were prepared to indulge
in what can only be described as works of fiction."

Mungwira also held open the possibility that, as the defense claimed,
government agents -- whom she called a "third force" -- had twisted the case
to their own ends.

The following month, Moyo, Mpofu and Sibanda -- who had been denied bail for
more than two years -- were freed from prison. The three other suspects had
been given bail earlier.

Then, this week, prosecutors told the judge that they had no case remaining
against five of the suspects, including Moyo. The sixth, Sibanda, still
faces the possibility of prosecution when the case resumes on July 26.

Attorneys for all the defendants, however, say they are confident that their
clients will soon be exonerated. If that happens, no one will have been
brought to justice for the killing of either Nabanyama or Nkala.

Coltart, now a member of parliament, said: "This is the history of ZANU-PF
in microcosm. They've used violence to achieve political objectives. . . .
They have killed their own and portrayed it as an attack on their own by
others."

Moyo is broke and sick, suffering from a variety of maladies including
dizziness, weakness and headaches that he blames on the beatings he endured
in police custody. He fears more violence leading up to the national
elections in March.

"This next coming election will be the killing election," Moyo said. "People
will die."
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The Telegraph

Dictator sues British 'coup plotters'
By Miranda Mclachlan, Philip Sherwell and Jane Flanagan
(Filed: 18/07/2004)

A former SAS officer and three other men alleged to have been behind a plot
by mercenaries to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea are being sued in the
High Court in London by the government of the West African state.

British lawyers acting for Equatorial Guinea and its president, Teodoro
Obiang, say that they are seeking millions of pounds in compensation on the
rarely-cited legal grounds of civil conspiracy.

Court documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph name Simon Mann, an Old Etonian
scion of the Watney brewing family and a former Scots Guards officer, who is
being held in jail with 70 other alleged mercenaries in Zimbabwe.

They were allegedly en route to overthrow the regime in Equatorial Guinea,
but they insist that they had been recruited as security officers at a Congo
diamond mine.

Also named in the documents are Eli Calil, a Chelsea-based oil tycoon; Greg
Wales, a London businessman; Severo Moto, the exiled opposition leader; and
two of Mr Mann's companies.

Lawyers for Mr Calil and Mr Wales, on whom the papers were served last week,
denied the accusations. Mr Calil's solicitor, Imran Khan, said that he would
be offering "a vigorous defence". "There is no substance to the claim," Mr
Khan said.

Sarah Webb, representing Mr Wales, also said that the "proceedings will be
defended vigorously". Her client said: "What is going on here is the attempt
by President Obiang to hang on to power."

Mr Moto, who is based in Madrid, told The Sunday Telegraph that he had
spoken to Mr Mann about arranging "protection" for him on a planned trip to
Equatorial Guinea in March but said that he was not aware of any coup plot.
He said Mr Calil was a good friend.

Mr Mann is a neighbour and friend of Mark Thatcher, son of Baroness
Thatcher, in the exclusive Cape Town suburb of Constantia. He was involved
with Executive Outcomes, the South African mercenary company, and Sandline
International, the outfit at the centre of the arms-to-Africa scandal in
Sierra Leone.

The unusual legal action in London comes as Mr Mann and his South African
co-accused, who were arrested at Harare airport in March, face key court
cases in Johannesburg and the Zimbabwean capital this week.

Deep fault lines have opened up between Mr Mann and his fellow defendants.

The other men, many of whom are black soldiers who served in the
apartheid-era South African army, believe that their legal prospects would
be better there than in Harare. The South African government, however, has
refused to seek their extradition from Zimbabwe.

Mr Mann has now dropped out of their joint appeal against that decision, to
be heard tomorrow in the Johannesburg constitutional court, and has
appointed a new legal team to seek his transfer to Britain. At present, he
is in solitary confinement in Chikurubi maximum security prison.

The move has angered relatives of his fellow defendants. "Simon Mann is the
linchpin of the whole operation," said Marge Pain, whose 60-year-old
husband, Ken, was the flight engineer on the seized plane.

"He got my husband and all the other guys into this mess and now he seems to
be cutting and running. It's not right."

Criminal proceedings begin in Harare on Wednesday, when Mr Mann will face
four charges relating to immigration and aviation offences, and possession
of dangerous weapons.

His legal representative said last week that Mr Mann "absolutely denies" the
allegation that he was leading a coup. "The idea that some 70 or 80 men
could mount a successful coup against any government is militarily laughable
and amounts to Boys' Own propaganda," he said.

Despite Mr Mann's new legal ploy, Zimbabwe is widely expected to extradite
the men to Equatorial Guinea in return for a deal to supply oil at
discounted prices to prop up the country's collapsing economy.

In London, the statement of claim on behalf of President Obiang and his
government has been lodged in the Queen's Bench division of the High Court
and was served last week on Mr Calil and Mr Wales. The solicitors are
seeking court permission to serve the documents on Mr Moto in Madrid and Mr
Mann in jail in Harare.

Mr Calil is also under investigation by a French judge over allegations of
illegal payments involving the oil giant Elf-Aquitaine.

An ethnic Lebanese entrepreneur with British citizenship who lives in a
mansion off the Kings Road in London, he made his millions as an oil trader
in Nigeria. His actor son George appears in Holby City.

He has hired Lord Bell, once Margaret Thatcher's public relations adviser,
to put his case.

The documents claim that the alleged conspirators met in London, Madrid and
South Africa to plot a coup with Mr Mann and Nick du Toit, a South African
businessman now in jail in Equatorial Guinea.

Mr Wales, an old Africa hand whose business interests have ranged from a
mine clearance operation in Somalia to consultancy work with Executive
Outcomes, said that he had met Mr du Toit to discuss legitimate business
deals in Equatorial Guinea.

He denied that he was involved in any coup attempt, but said that there were
frequent rumours of such plots. "Equatorial Guinea is the sort of place
where if you don't hear that a coup attempt is being planned, then there's
something wrong," he said.

The South African government has been determined to clamp down on mercenary
operations being run from its soil. The Sunday Telegraph has been told that
its intelligence services had been tapping Mr Mann's phone and monitoring
his activities in the run-up to March's events.

Equatorial Guinea is a small, malaria-infested country on the Gulf of Guinea
which has been ruled by Mr Obiang since he overthrew his uncle in 1979. It
is enjoying an oil boom following the discovery of large deposits in the
mid-1990s - daily barrel production is slated to rise from the current
450,000 to 750,000 - but the proceeds have mainly been pocketed by the small
ruling elite.

America aims to obtain at least five per cent of the oil it needs from
Equatorial Guinea over the next few years as it seeks to lessen its reliance
on Middle East supplies.

The US state department, however, has been extremely critical of the
country's human rights record. Last week, Senate investigators issued a
highly critical report linking the Obiang family to secret accounts valued
at about £500 million at Riggs Bank in America.

a.. Additional reporting by Kim Willsher in Paris
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Zim† Standard

Zanu PF chefs in dirty media war
By our own Staff

THE tussle to succeed President Mugabe has spilled into the newsrooms of the
State-controlled Zimpapers and the Zanu PF mouth-piece, The Voice, sources
have revealed.

They said a senior official in the Department of Information and Publicity
in the President's Office has ordered journalists at The Herald and The
Chronicle and the Sunday publications - The Sunday News and The Sunday
Mail - to stop publishing stories that portray some veteran Zanu PF
politicians in positive light.

Those being targeted include Zanu PF vice president Joseph Msika, chairman
John Nkomo, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party's secretary for administration and
Nathan Shamuyarira, its secretary for information and publicity. Nkomo and
Mnangagwa are tipped as the most likely to fight out the battle to succeed
President Robert Mugabe when he eventually retires.

According to sources, the camp which has issued instructions to sideline the
veteran politicians has in its ranks the likes of younger Zanu PF
politicians Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Chinamasa and Joseph Made.

The so called Young Turks' association with Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo has resulted in them getting favourable publicity in Zimpapers'
newspapers which are controlled by Moyo.

Nkomo, Mnangagwa and other senior Zanu PF heavy-weights have resorted to
using the little read Voice to get some good publicity because Zimpapers has
become a no go area for them. The Voice is run by Shamuyarira, Moyo's boss
in the ruling party.

In Bulawayo, senior journalists at The Chronicle said they were under strict
orders to write little or no reports on political gurus in the region except
Andrew Langa, the deputy minister of transport who is not regarded as a
threat by the Young Turks, sources said. "We have been instructed that
except when it is absolutely unavoidable, photographs of political
heavyweights in Matabeleland like Dumiso Dabengwa or Bulawayo Governor Cain
Mathema should not be used on the front page of the newspaper," said one
senior journalist. "We have been told that they belong to the inside pages
and can only appear on the front pages when being portrayed in a negative
light," the senior journalist at the newspaper claimed.

He said only Mugabe, Moyo, Made and Chinamasa as well as Reserve Bank
Governor, Gideon Gono, were guaranteed good coverage.

Mnangagwa has generally been ignored by the State controlled media while
Nkomo, Msika, and Shamuyarira have recently been lampooned by newspapers
from the Zimpapers stable. Nkomo now depends on his weekly column in The
Voice to announce party programmes. Mugabe himself has not been left
untouched by the media war.

A day after addressing the Zanu PF Youth Conference last week, Mugabe's
photograph - as is the tradition - did not grace the front page of The
Sunday Mail or The Herald on Monday.

Instead, the publications had photographs of Moyo and his coterie of
associates launching his pet musical project, Back2Black double CD, in
Victoria Falls. Among those invited to the Victoria Falls jamboree were
fellow political greenhorns, Francis Nhema, Made, Christopher Mushowe,
Ignatious Chombo, Chinamasa and Flora Bhuka.

The entire leadership from Matabeleland, including the three governors, were
snubbed.
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Zim Standard

Chiefs to run urban cities
From Savious Kwinika in Hwange

HWANGE - IN a move that is designed to usurp the powers of MDC mayors
controlling many of the key towns and cities, the government intends to
establish provincial councils presided over by governors and chiefs to run
Harare and Bulawayo, The Standard has established.

The new set up will start in Zimbabwe's second largest city - Bulawayo - and
would spread to other main cities countrywide.

While Harare has been "neutralised" following the dismissal of Executive
Mayor Elias Mudzuri, a powerful MDC-dominated council led by Japhet Ndabeni
Ncube is running Bulawayo.

Bulawayo's Governor Cain Mathema - appointed by President Robert Mugabe
early this year - is currently tussling with Ndabeni-Ncube for the control
of the city, a bastion of opposition politics.

Revelations of the government's intention to establish provincial councils
came out during a three-day workshop on local governance held in Hwange last
week.

Bulawayo acting provincial administrator, Linsie Manjengwa, said Mathema
would lead the "new Bulawayo metropolitan council". Executive Mayor
Ndabeni-Ncube and traditional leaders from the five districts would be part
of the council.

"According to the proposals made we are going to have a provincial council
set up comprising the Bulawayo mayor, PA, traditional chiefs and district
administrators with the Governor being the provincial council chairman,"
said Manjengwa.

Several councillors, NGOs and civic groups have described the new
development as amounting to "ruralising" the major towns and cities.

This follows hot on the heels of the creation of urban metropolitan
governors' posts for Harare and Bulawayo believed to have been made to
reduce the MDC's influence in urban areas, where it draws most of its
support.

In Bulawayo, the government has already gone further and incorporated five
rural district councils.

Bulawayo councillors - who asked how the new provincial councils would
work - expressed grave concern over government's "emotional" and "crude"
reaction to political opposition.

Bulawayo Town Clerk Moffat Ndlovu told participants that the new
metropolitan province directive had created lots of problems on the city's
development plans.

"The government does not understand the implications of this arrangement,
instead, it is creating lots of problems. We are definitely experiencing
political challenges and these political challenges must be addressed
immediately," said Ndlovu.

He said the Urban Councils' Act did not provide for the creation of
governors and provincial councils.

"Without amending these laws, the Governor has no role in Bulawayo except to
co-ordinate State functions such as the Heroes Day, Independence Day and
Defence Forces Day," said Ndlovu.

The Bulawayo Affirmative Action Group regional president, Sam Ncube, said
the creation of provincial councils would cause lots of problems, not only
to Bulawayo, but also to the entire nation.

Said Ncube: "I tell you, Bulawayo as we know it has gone . it is dead."

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Zim Standard

Heads of private schools decry education crisis
By our own Staff

HEADS of private secondary schools that were closed by the Ministry of
Education, Sports and Culture in May following increments in fees and levies
without the ministry's approval have, for the first time, voiced grave
concern over what they described as the "education crisis bedeviling the
country".

A Committee of Heads of Independent Schools of Zimbabwe (CHISZ) which met in
Marondera last week said the current crisis has serious effects on the
standards of education in the country.

Education is one of the many sectors reeling from the effects of the current
economic meltdown.

"Amid the very real crisis that currently affects all our schools, we cannot
remain silent about the daunting prospects the future will bring unless
there is some relief.

"We are seriously concerned about the deleterious effects upon the country
as a whole which failure to resolve the crisis will engender, as well as the
resultant reduction in the quality and variety of education Zimbabwe will be
able to produce," said the committee in a statement.

The statement was signed by 13 representatives from different schools.

The Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, in May
illegally closed 45 non-government schools that hiked fees by more than 10
percent without the approval of the Secretary of Education.

Riot police were deployed at the school premises to stop them from reopening
for the second term. The move affected more than 30 000 children. The
schools were forced to revert to the old fee structure despite the fact that
many said it was not economically viable.

"Collectively and individually, we have had to deal with bureaucratic
confusion, police harassment and arrest, the illegal closure of schools,
intimidation, distortions, half-truths and misinterpretations, and
intransigence in our efforts to remedy the situation through normal
channels," said the school heads.

The statement concluded: "We offer our sympathy to our colleagues in the
Government and church school Sector who have been suspended for similar
reasons as those that have affected us.

"We thank the great majority of our pupils' parents who have supported us so
far, and we call upon all reasonable people, in and out of the education
sector, to use their influence wherever and whenever possible to bring this
needless crisis to a conclusion."

Among the school heads that wrote the statement include Arundel, Chisipite,
Christian Brothers College, Hillcrest, Gateway, Masiyephambili, Midlands
Christian College, Petra, Lomagundi College, Peterhouse, Peterhouse Girls,
St Georges College and St John's College.

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Zim Standard

Former ESC boss blasts new electoral reforms
By Caiphas Chimhete

FORMER chairman of the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), Bishop Peter
Hatendi, has criticised the electoral reforms announced recently by the
government saying they have a 'negligent effect' on next year's elections
unless accompanied by far-reaching constitutional amendments.

Bishop Hatendi, who served as ESC chairman from 1985 to 2000, said effecting
the electoral reforms without making various changes to the constitution was
like 'putting the cart before the horse'.

'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 democratically elected principles,' said
Bishop Hatendi speaking at a Zimbabwe Election Support Network
(Zesn)-organised workshop in Masvingo last week.

The Anglican Church Bishop, who resigned from the ESC in 2000 because 'the
commission was powerless and not independent from government', described the
ESC – headed by lawyer Sobuza Gula-Ndebele – 'as a toothless bulldog'.

If the reforms are to work perfectly, said Hatendi, several laws such as the
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) would
have to be revisited for them to be in tandem with the reforms.

The Constitution was the absolute law of the country so the new electoral
reforms should not 'contradict' the supreme law or vice versa, said Hatendi.

'We might have the reforms today but Mugabe, using the Presidential Powers
Act, might change the goal posts a few days before the elections. There has
to be a holistic approach … not piecemeal,' said the Bishop, who suggested
the scrapping of most of President Robert Mugabe's 'excessive powers'.

For example, in September 2000, Capital Radio (Pvt) Limited took the
government to the Supreme Court to challenge Section 27 of the Broadcasting
Act (1957) which provided for a State monopoly over all broadcasting in the
country.

Although the Supreme Court found the Act to be unconstitutional, the
government promulgated the Broadcasting Regulations, with a six-month life
span, through the Presidential Powers Act. The regulations were described as
draconian.

AIPPA restricts access to official information by the media and the public
and also impacts negatively on electoral issues such as voter education, a
role that would be assumed by the IEC.

However, Zesn chairman Reginald Matchaba-Hove said he did not quite agree
with 'putting the cart before the horse' theory as alluded to by Bishop
Hatendi.

'It is better to accept the little positive changes that we have achieved
but still strive to achieve more,' said Matchaba-Hove, whose organisation
has been advocating for electoral reforms.

Matchaba-Hove however said the electoral reforms alone, though welcome, were
not the means to free and fair elections.

He said democracy, human rights and the rule of law were of fundamental
importance to holding a free and fair poll.

'New electoral laws and processes will not necessarily bring about free and
fair elections. It is imperative that we be guided by values and principles
that are shared by the majority of civilised humanity,' said Matchaba-Hove.

The government recently succumbed to pressure from civic society and
opposition parties and admitted to an independent, publicly funded Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) that would be accountable to Parliament.

However, the chief electoral officer will still be appointed by Mugabe
casting doubt on the independence of the body. 'The will and urgency to
effect holistic electoral changes are not there. Where is the voice of
conscience … conscience of the nation State,' said Hatendi.

According to the new electoral reforms, the President will appoint five
members of the commission and its chairman, in consultation with the
Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and four other members from a list of
seven names submitted by Parliament.

But Zesn in a booklet titled Electoral Reforms suggested that IEC should be
composed of nine members, two of whom are nominees from non-governmental
organisations (NGOs).

It said two members should be lawyers, four House of Assembly nominees while
the chairman would be nominated by JSC in consultation with the Law Society
of Zimbabwe. A suitable candidate would then be approved by two-thirds of
Parliament.

Electoral laws in Zimbabwe are not in tandem with the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) norms and standards on elections.

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Zim Standard

Harare not yet off IMF hook
By Kumbirai Mafunda

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's distressed administration is not yet off the hook
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) whose executive board has delayed
Harare's expulsion from the 184-member fund to December.

In a statement released soon after the fund's recent meeting, the IMF said
Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Production (GDP) has fallen by 30% over the last
five years and another 4-5% decline is expected this year.

Year-on-year inflation -undoubtedly the highest in the world - reached 600
% at the end of 2003.

Unemployment, currently estimated at 80%, is increasing while social
indicators -which were once among the best in Africa -have worsened, and
the widespread HIV/Aids pandemic remains largely unchecked.

Despite weird claims of a bumper harvest this year by President Robert
Mugabe and his Ministers, severe food shortages would necessitate massive
food imports and donor assistance in the crisis-racked southern African
nation.

'Directors attributed these developments mainly to inappropriate
macro-economic policies and structural changes that weakened its economic
base,' said the IMF.

The Bretton Woods institution once again took a swipe at the violent and
disorderly implementation of the land reform programme, which it blamed for
the sharp reduction in agricultural production.

Concerns about governance and human rights issues and the continued lack of
clarity about property rights have severely damaged confidence, discouraged
investment and promoted capital flight and emigration, said the fund at the
end of the meeting meant to consider a complaint by the fund's Managing
Director regarding calls for Zimbabwe's compulsory withdrawal from the IMF.

The grievance stemmed from Harare's overdue debt obligations and
non-cooperation with the fund.

Contrary to claims by central bank Governor Gideon Gono reported in the
State media that Harare was off the hook, the multilateral lender was
adamant that the country must improve its co-operation with the fund and
adopt a comprehensive policy package aimed at halting the further
deterioration of the socio-economic situation before relations could be
normalised.

Harare was also ordered to increase payments to the fund. As at the end of
June, Zimbabwe, which has been in continuous arrears to the IMF since
February 2001, owes the IMF US$309 million.

The resumption of some payments from Zimbabwe -a meagre US$9 million paid
so far since January -and limited improvements in economic policy persuaded
the IMF to postpone the compulsory withdrawal of the southern African
country.

However the IMF directors said the resumption of payments is insufficient to
stabilise the country's arrears to the fund.

'Executive directors expressed grave concern over the continued and sharp
decline in economic and social conditions,' read part of the IMF statement.

Although the board's decision does not impose further sanctions on Zimbabwe,
it tests Harare's capability to sort out its economic mess and its ability
to settle overdue financial obligations.

Experts have however ruled out Zimbabwe's chances of reconciling with the
IMF in the short term.

'It is shocking that the government of Zimbabwe is being given a verbal
assault by the IMF and yet they are celebrating … the suspension of Zimbabwe
is still there and there are no balance of payments support yet. The IMF
statement is a public admonition of the Zimbabwe government,' said Tendai
Biti, the opposition MDC's secretary for economic affairs.

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Zim Standard

1,4 m Aids orphans by 2010
Aidswatch with Bertha Shoko

THE number of children orphaned by HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe is set to increase
by 53,5 percent from 761 000, as of last year, to 1,4 million in 2010, as
many HIV-positive parents become ill and die of Aids, according to
projections in the 2004 Children on the Brink' report.

Children on the Brink is a joint report published each year by UNICEF, the
United States Agency for International Development (USaid) and the Joint
United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids).

The report estimates that the orphan population in sub-Saharan Africa will
increase from 12 million last year to 18 million in the next decade,
presenting a percentage increase of about 49,6.

There were an estimated 1 820 000 Zimbabweans living with HIV last year and
135 000 Aids deaths among adults in same year while in sub-Saharan Africa
they were about 23 million adults infected by HIV in the same year.

This year's report, says Southern Africa is the most affected region in the
world where an estimated 12,3 million children have been orphaned by Aids.

The report notes that the number of children orphaned by Aids will continue
to rise for 'at least another decade' as adults living with HIV succumb to
Aids-related illnesses.

'Sub Saharan Africa is home to 24 of the 25 countries with the world's
highest levels of HIV prevalence and this is reflected in the rapid rise in
the number of orphaned children,' reads the report.

'Millions of children have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV and Aids.
The most affected region is sub Saharan Africa where an estimated 12,3
million have been orphaned by Aids. This orphan population will increase in
the next decade as HIV positive parents become ill and die from Aids.'

The 2004 report observes that 'orphaning'' due to HIV/Aids is not the only
way that children are affected by HIV and Aids.

'Other children made vulnerable by HIV/Aids include those who have an ill
parent, are in poor households that have taken orphans, are discriminated
against because of a family member's HIV status, or have HIV themselves,'
notes the Children on the Brink report.

'HIV/Aids has joined a host of other factors including extreme poverty,
conflict and exploitation to impose additional burdens on society's
youngest, most vulnerable members.'

As mitigation, the report proposes that causes of vulnerability of children
orphaned by Aids be addressed and that there be reintegration of the child
into society through emotional and psychological support

'To children and households in communities affected by HIV/Aids addressing
only Aids-related problems and ignoring other causes of children's
vulnerability does not make sense.

'Programmes should target geographic areas seriously affected by HIV/Aids
and then support the residents of these communities in organising to
identify and assist the most vulnerable children and households ...'

The report also says that because children have lost their primary
caregivers, they are more than ever, in need of care and stability
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Zim Standard

Zim health sector on brink of total collapse
newsfocus By Bertha Shoko

THE health delivery capacity of public health institutions has been
adversely affected by the poor economic environment and some clinics and
hospitals are now operating without essential drugs and medical supplies.

Zimbabwe's public health sector -once the best in sub-Saharan Africa -is
now reeling as a result of neglect and inadequate funding by the government.

Years of economic turbulence and rampant inflation, averaging almost 600
percent a year, have left the health sector on its knees.

Contributing to the deteriorating health standards has been the acute
shortage of foreign currency from the late 1990s and the withdrawal of
support by international donors to protest allegations of maladministration
by the government.

Although the foreign exchange supply situation has improved, the price of
medicines and medical supplies remains highly prohibitive.

Over the years, Zimbabwe has witnessed a massive brain drain and the health
profession has been one of the worst affected sectors. Recent investigations
by The Standard revealed that major hospitals in the capital city -Harare
and Parirenyatwa -are operating below capacity because of inadequate staff
and the shortages of basic drugs and medicines.

At Harare Hospital, patients with serious wounds that require dressing and
cleaning at least once a week, were last week being turned away because the
hospital had no bandages.

'I have been told to go back home because there are no bandages. They have
said I should keep this one clean because it will be a while before they get
some more supplies. I am afraid the wound might develop infection if it is
not cleaned and changed regularly,' said a helpless Paul Sadomba from Warren
Park who was injured at work when a layer of bricks fell on his leg.

Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, also a referral hospital, recently
suspended major operations such as those in the caesarian section because
there are no anaesthetic drugs and intravenous fluids. In cases of
emergencies, patients are asked to provide their own intravenous drips.

The fact that major hospitals are suffering is a major reflection of the
general decay in the state of affairs at other smaller health institutions
in remote areas in the country. City council-run public clinics have also
not been spared the rot.

Besides the prolonged strike by nurses and doctors, which is now into its
third week, Harare City Council has failed to keep a constant supply of even
basic drugs such as paracetamol and those for tuberculosis and malaria.

At Kuwadzana clinic in Harare there were no TB drugs and general painkillers
when a Standard news team visited a week ago. Patients were being given
prescriptions to buy the drugs at private pharmacies.

In normal cases TB treatment is administered for free because it is part of
the government's policy to control and eradicate the disease.

'TB patients are supposed to collect their drugs every week and are not
supposed to abscond treatment for whatever reason. This erratic supply of TB
drugs is a danger to patients,' said a nurse who spoke on condition of
anonymity.

Mufakose clinic, also in Harare's high density suburbs, has been closed for
more than two weeks now, as the strike by nurses continue.

Getting Zimbabwe's health sector back on track requires strong political
will, according to medical experts.

'The bottom line is that there is need for proper management of resources,
experienced staff, adequate remuneration of health personnel to avoid
further brain drain,' said Dr Billy Rigava, chairman of the Zimbabwe Medical
Doctors' Association (ZIMA).

'I would feel that government has not given the health sector the importance
it deserves,' said Rugava.

' If they had given the health sector the same priority that they have given
to the land reform and giving land to landless Zimbabweans, then they would
not be any problem in the health sector to talk about,' he said.

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Zim Standard

MDC to probe Chitungwiza violence
By Valentine Maponga

THE Movement for Democratic Change has set up a commission to investigate
problems in Chitungwiza in what insiders fear could be a way of building a
case against controversial St Mary's MP, Job Sikhala, ahead of the 2005
general elections.

The commission -which is headed by MDC legislator Esaph Mdlongwa -is to
establish why there has been violence in Chitungwiza between youths in
Zengeza and St Mary's. Sikhala has at times been at the centre of some of
the clashes and, at one point, his house was stoned.

Party sources say it is only after the commission has presented its findings
that Sikhala will be vetted by the party's structures to determine if he can
still represent the constituency in the March 2005 general elections.

The MDC has carried out a confirmation exercise in all the constituencies
that have sitting Members of Parliament except in St Mary's.

Those MPs who have been confirmed by party structures in their
constituencies will automatically be the MDC's candidates in the 2005
elections.

So far five MPs have since failed to garner the two thirds majority support
from the structures that is required. These are Trudy Stevenson (Harare
North), Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa (Seke), Bethel Makwembere (Mkoba) and Dunmore
Makuvaza (Mbare East).

'Those who have failed to make it in the first phase still have a chance to
represent the party when they contest in the primaries that are going to be
held soon. It is an urgent matter for the party, we need to confirm all the
candidates in time so that they have time to campaign,' said Remus Makuwaza,
the party's elections director.

MDC sources say some party activists were wondering why a commission had
been appointed before the vetting exercise was done in St Mary's.

'It looks like they (authorities) want to raise as much murk as possible
that will discredit Sikhala. This would certainly be used to influence party
structures when they vet him. It is not surprising the party superiors
regard Sikhala as troublesome,' said a party official who declined to be
named.

Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary general, said the commission to
investigate the violence in Chitungwiza was set up by Gibson Sibanda, the
party's vice president.

'The commission is not investigating (Job) Sikhala or anyone in particular
but as a party we need to know the causes of the violence in the area and if
there is anyone behind it, that should also be established,' said Ncube.

Ncube said the commission's report would be used in the selection process in
St Mary's.

'It is prudent for us to get the information in the constituency before
carrying out the confirmation exercise there. The commission is going to
make recommendations to the party and efforts would be made to try and
reunite all those who have been fighting,' he said.

The commission is expected to be through with its report within a week and
make recommendations to the party's executive.

Sikhala, however, told The Standard he was not aware of any commission at
work in his constituency or Chitungwiza in general.

'I don't know of any commission … but what I know is that the party is
carrying out a confirmation exercise in all the 52 constituencies,' said
Sikhala.

'If the commission that you are talking about is about solving the problems
in Chitungwiza then it is good for the party and my constituency. Some of
these problems should be resolved once and for all,' said the MP.
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Zim Standard

Fear as Green Bombers invade State newsrooms
By our own Staff

AN atmosphere of fear and trepidation has gripped some State controlled
media organisations around the country amid reports that graduates of the
notorious Border Gezi National training camps have been attached to some
newsrooms ahead of the crucial March Parliamentary elections, The Standard
has established.

Their mandate, according to some journalists in the State media, will be to
monitor the political inclinations of staff working for government run news
organisations, following suspicions in ruling party circles that a majority
of employees at government controlled news organisations may infact be
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters.

Plans are also afoot, insiders say, to infiltrate independent newspapers,
regarded as anti-establishment by the Zimbabwe government to monitor their
activities.

The graduates are also expected to act as political commissars of the ruling
party at the work-places and whip media practitioners into line, The
Standard was told.

Informed sources at government run media organisations said the graduates,
who are studying journalism at Harare Polytechnic also underwent the
National Strategic Studies (NSS), a new subject recently introduced at
colleges by the Zanu PF government.

Insiders say the subject is in favour of Zanu PF and its leadership and also
glorifies their role in the armed liberation struggle.

Some senior journalists working for government media organisations have
vowed to resist attempts to saddle them with the Green Bombers.

'If authorities want to flood the newsrooms with those hoodlums then they
can go ahead as we will simply resign,' said senior reporter.

Another journalist in Harare yesterday said panic had also set in after
'suspicious looking' students reported for attachment recently.

'Journalists in most newsrooms are nervous about the presence of a few shady
characters who flooded our newsrooms recently. Some of them just come to sit
and they hardly know how to write a story.

In the past, editors would discuss with us on the number of students to be
absorbed for attachment but this time, we had an avalanche of people who are
said to be on attachment but because we don't have enough computers and
desks, they just loiter around and get into everybody's way,' said a
disgruntled journalist with the State media.
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Zim Standard

RBZ pumps $12bn into Zambezi water project
Loughty Dube/David Edmeades

BULAWAYO -The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has thrown the Matabeleland Zambezi
water project a lifeline by injecting $12 billion into the scheme, a move
that has seen contractors returning to the construction site, The Standard
has established.

Chinese contractor, Chinese Electrical Machinery and Equipment (CEME), has
returned to the site after abandoning work late last year following
government's failure to pay what it owed the company.

The Chinese company was demanding to be paid a total of $25 billion for work
it would do this year with half of the amount paid upfront.

However, it is not clear to whom the $12 billion was loaned since the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) is not permitted to carry out
transactions on the money market since it is not a registered company.

RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, confirmed this week that the central bank had
released the money and that the Chinese company was already at the site. 'We
have been monitoring the progress of the MZWT and were concerned with the
progress. As a result we have availed $12 billion towards the commencement
of the water project and the Chinese company is already doing work on the
ground,' Gono said.

He, however, said the RBZ was not taking over the project but was just
ensuring that it takes off the ground. 'The RBZ has not taken over but just
provided funds to kick-start the project. The administration and the day to
day running of the project is still under the Matabeleland Zambezi Water
Trust,'Gono said.

It was not clear whether the money was released to Hope Mount Services, a
company formed by the MZWT to source funds for the project. Gono refused to
shed light on the matter citing client confidentiality.

'Any banker would not reveal confidential information about the client but
all these details will be announced soon,'Gono said.

Hope Mount Services has failed to raise the US $50 million that it had
promised to secure to kick-start the project.

The long awaited water project has been on the drawing board for over 100
years but previous governments had always deferred it due to the huge costs
involved.

Government this year availed only $300 million towards the pipe-line project
which, when completed, will pump water from the Zambezi River to the arid
Matabeleland region. The Standard understands the money has already been
exhausted before work on the project started.

The water project has been mired in controversy with the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change alleging that the government was using it as an
election gimmick to win elusive Matabeleland votes while the government says
it is committed to ending the region's perennial water problems by
implementing the ambitious scheme.

Meanwhile, business executives in Bulawayo complained to Gono about the
escalating crime rate in the city's central business district with some
challenging him to look into the security issue. They alleged that crime in
the city was having an adverse effect on tourism and investments as thieves
and robbers were having a free rein in the city.
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Zim Standard

††††† Mau Mau back, says UK probe a hoax
††††† By our own Staff

††††† FLAMBOYANT boxing promoter and Zanu PF stalwart, Stalin Mau Mau is
back in Zimbabwe, The Standard has established.

††††† His arrival comes hardly two weeks after local and international Press
reports said British police and immigration officers were investigating him
in connection with his businesses in Essex and how he had acquired documents
to stay in the United Kingdom.

††††† The British Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Mau Mau's name had
cropped up during investigations of an organisation called Zimbabwe
Community in the United Kingdom.

††††† Contacted by The Standard yesterday Mau Mau said he was in the country
to prepare two boxers in his stable for title fights in July and August in
South Africa.

††††† "Misheck Kondwane will fight Antony Chesa for the Pan African Boxing
title on July 30 while Farai Master will fight for the World Boxing
Federation's Inter-Continental title on August 6," said the veteran boxing
promoter.

††††† He deftly parried questions about his stint in the UK and
circumstances leading to his being placed under investigation.

††††† "I returned back home on Tuesday. Nyaya yeku UK inotoda takagara pasi
takatarisana. Otherwise if we talk on the phone, we might end up misquoting
each other and then topedzisira takunetsana." (The UK issue requires that we
discuss face to face to avoid any misunderstanding).

††††† Mau Mau said the story concerning his alleged investigation should not
be taken seriously because its co-author, David Blair, was a discredited
journalist who was deported from Zimbabwe.

††††† Mau Mau reportedly sought sanctuary in the UK in 2002 after be
received a drubbing at the hands of the MDC's Tendai Biti in the 2000
parliamentary elections.
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Zim Standard

Zim losing out on HIV/Aids global fund

THE 15th International Aids Conference which ended on Friday in Bangkok,
Thailand provided yet another opportunity to the world take stock and point
the way forward on an epidemic which has ravaged this continent in general
and sub-Saharan Africa in particular for decades.

Last month, Zimbabwe held its own first ever conference on this epidemic in
as many years, whose theme was apt and appropriately titled Taking Stock:
Looking to the Future. Clearly, there is no shortage of passion and
dedication of those in the field including our own Ministry and Health and
Child Welfare to tackle this disease.

But despite these concerted efforts to fight HIV/Aids, we do not seem to be
stemming the tide. The incidences of new infections are not decreasing.
Young women in the 15 -24 age range are extremely vulnerable not to mention
the married women category who are at great risk because of the small house
syndrome.

Human nature is human nature everywhere. But in Africa, things are
different. Men in this part of the world tend to run several women at once.
In the west, it is generally one woman at a time. Therein lies the
difference in the manner in which HIV and Aids is spread. Little wonder
therefore that in western countries the rate of new infections has dropped
dramatically.

Consider these facts: Of the more than 38 million people infected with the
HIV virus worldwide, about 25 million of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. The
United Nations Development Programme reports that life expectancy for
citizens of eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa namely Angola, Central
African Republic, Lesotho, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zambia and
Zimbabwe has fallen since 1990 to 40 years or less due largely to the
HIV/Aids pandemic. The fall is as much as 20 years in some countries -very
frightening indeed! And it is now very clear that an Aids vaccine is still a
long to way off.

In Zimbabwe, the epidemic is on the march. Yes, there is indeed a strong
focus on Aids: by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare,by
non-governmental organisations, by businesses, citizens and non-citizens
alike. Yes, there is growing cooperation and collaboration, working together
to address the HIV/Aids problem.

Although the war on HIV/Aids is being fought on many fronts - prevention,
treatment and care -there is no doubt that this disease has become the
leading killer in this country and elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. The
incredible orphan crisis in this country and elsewhere has to be seen to be
believed. Women and children are at the heart of this HIV/Aids crisis. We
are, indeed, dealing with a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions.

Unlike all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe is losing out as
far as the international partnership against HIV and Aids in Africa is
concerned. The people of Zimbabwe are being punished because of the
misgovernance and wayward behaviour of their political leadership.

We are not benefitting from the UN-sponsored global fund that was
established to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Neither are we included
in the 15 target nations of President

Bush's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. Countries such as Mozambique with
little or no infrastructure such as laboratories to utilise the fund do know
what to do with the avalanche of funds coming their way.

This is the tragedy of Zimbabwe. South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and
Mozambique are benefitting immensely because of their good governance and
good human rights records. these countries are accessing the anti-retroviral
drugs and more testing is taking place because of the funds that are being
made available by the international community, while Zimbabwe is being
shunned and ostracized.

Former President Nelson Mandela's fervent appeal at the 15th International
Aids Conference in Bangkok last Thursday for governments and businesses to
donate generously to the war on HIV/Aids must have done wonders for his
country South Africa -a country with the highest percentage of people
affected with HIV and Aids. This is what happens when you have political
leaders in and out of office who are highly respected and admired by the
international community.

We need cheap generic Aids drugs and accelerated testing to halt the
progression of HIV and Aids in Zimbabwe. But we cannot hope to make a
difference if we are cut off from the global resource base that other
sub-Saharan countries are tapping into because of the misdemeanors four
political leaders.

It is in this context that we call on the international community to make a
clear distinction between the political leadership of a country and the
population of a country. People cannot be made to suffer for the sins of
their leadership. By all means, punish the leaders but spare the citizens.

We are talking about a global emergency. And for the most part, leaders are
not affected. It is the people who are devastated by the social and other
consequences of HIV and Aids.
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Zim Standard

It's now an ordeal to listen to ZBC

THE quality of broadcasting in Zimbabwe has taken a serious nose-dive. It is
now an ordeal to listen to any of the local radio stations which play the
same boring music by amarteurish local bands day in and day out. The radio
stations are just like my old CDs; I can't expect anything new from them.

The person who decreed the 100 % local content is obviously enjoying
watching DSTv because if he was subject to the local content ruling, he
would see sense and drop this ridiculous rule. And if we are so serious
about local content, why do we not extend it to everything else.

Why not, for instance, have 100 % locally assembled cars so that everyone,
including President Mugabe and the ministers, drive the Mazda 323 etc. This
would certainly amount to leading by example.

I am so sick of the whole charade that I now switch my radio on in the
evenings to listen to Metro FM and Studio 7 on the AM band.

Brian J

Harare
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Zim Standard

Setting the record straight on Kariba

I AM sure you all know basically what has been circulating in the news media
in regard to Kariba Municipal Council affairs in general, and the
councillors and me in particular.

I shall not go into much detail of the allegations that have been made,
suffice to say that my councillors and I have done nothing to be ashamed of;
nothing dishonest and nothing secretive.

Following the last article in the national news media, a team of
investigators has been dispatched to Kariba and, recently, representatives
from the ratepayers' associations, the councillors, my heads of departments
and I have been interviewed. A report will be compiled and presented to the
Governor, Mashonaland West.

While it is not clear why the responsibility for this urban council has
drifted away from the provisions of the Urban Councils Act and now falls
under the Provincial Governor, Mashonaland West, we welcome the
investigation, as it will hopefully unveil the truth with regard to council
activities.

What the investigation will not reveal though, is the real reason for the
constant attacks by a particular individual using the national news papers,
The Herald and The Sunday Mail, as a platform to launch his campaign.

Much time and effort has been wasted, many meetings disrupted and
considerable delays to progress inflicted as a direct result of these
attacks. I am no longer prepared to sit back and accept this constant
onslaught.

In the interest of progress, I owe it to the people of Kariba to expose the
nature of the beast and to urge the news media to desist from publishing
unsubstantiated libelous and defamatory articles.

Samu Mawawo has been involved in Kariba for quite some time but I have had
very little, if anything, to do with him prior to my nomination as mayoral
candidate for the MDC.

Mawawo, together with seven accomplices, six of whom were said to be members
of the Zanu PF ‘Top Six' from Chinhoyi, arrived at the premises of my former
employers looking for me, apparently to ‘persuade' me to withdraw my
nomination.

There they met my wife who confronted them and resisted their abuse. On
their departure my wife discovered that her cellphone had gone missing. She
called the police, who reacted very swiftly, made follow up efforts and
arrested six members of the gang.

Mawawo was found in possession of my wife's cellphone. The others arrested
were: Admire Ndlovu, Ellias Saida, Taengwa Kadzanga, Stewart Torongo and
Dominic Chiweshe. The police investigation report is No. CR 65-69/01/03.

It was revealed that the group had been attacking various other MDC
councillor candidates and supporters and had stoned and ‘petrol bombed' some
houses. Incidentally, there was a shortage of petrol at the time and the
‘bombs' were filled with diesel instead and were not very effective!

The accused were held in remand and attended court on various occasions
before finally being granted bail in early September last year, after the
elections!

Mawawo and his associates had spent about five weeks in custody, largely
because of my wife's response to the intimidatory attack on her -and the
case is still on-going. The charges include theft, kidnapping, assault,
assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, damage to property and
various other charges. My wife is a witness against them.

The accused appear to have been abandoned by their former associates and
they are without even legal representation at their trial hearings. They
appear to have no valid defence against most charges and face incarceration
if convicted.

Mawawo claims to be the chairman of the Kariba Incorporated Area Residents
and Ratepayers' Association (KIARRA).

He broke away from the original Kariba Residents and Ratepayers Association
which was dominated by the low density residents, and formed his association
which, by all accounts, was functional at some time prior to my term of
office. His association has been Zanu PF-oriented.

Early this year a new Zanu PF dominated residents and ratepayers'
association was formed and is headed by a Isaac Mbongo, who advised me that
the new association had been formed and was not associated with KIARRA. Two
additional MDC, initiated residents and ratepayers associations have since
been formed and are in association with each other.

We now have five residents and ratepayers' associations, four of which do
not wish to be associated with Mawawo or his association, which leaves
KIARRA on it's own.

At consultative meetings with residents held in both high density areas, the
Zanu PF leadership in Kariba disowned Mawawo saying, 'we did not send him.
He does not report to us. He is not our representative'.

The two MDC initiated associations do not believe he has any followers, nor
do the rest of the ratepayers. Mawawo has lodgings here, which is where his
wife resides, but it is believed that he is employed in Karoi and presumably
resides there. One wonders why he should be so interested in the affairs of
Kariba.

It is my opinion that Mawawo has embarked on a personal vendetta against me
because of the part my wife and I play in his very uncertain future.

John Houghton

Executive Mayor

Kariba
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Zim Standard

Zimbabwe now a totalitarian State
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

WHEN Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain it had as its head of
government, the former guerilla leader, Robert Mugabe, an avowed
Marxist-Leninist. From the word go, he set about creating a Leninist,
totalitarian, one-party State under his party, the Zimbabwe African National
Union (ZANU).

The World Book Encyclopedia describes totalitarianism as "a form of
government in which the State controls all phases of people's lives".

Totalitarianism allows only one party, headed by an absolute leader. He
maintains his power over the party and the rest of the people by force and
violence. Freedom of religion does not exist. The State permits only those
churches and ministries that co-operate with it.

The labour unions are outlawed. The ruling party dictates the country's
economic policy. The government strictly controls all means of
communication. It usually abolishes private schools and forces public
schools to teach the party line, or ideas and policies approved by the
party.

Communist Russia established the first totalitarian State in 1917. Other
modern totalitarian States included Nazi Germany, from 1933 to 1945 and
fascist Italy, from 1925 to 1943.

In order to establish a totalitarian regime in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe is
faithfully following in the footsteps of Vladimir Lenin. This is despite the
common saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat
its mistakes.

Russia abandoned as unworkable the political philosophy of the atheist Lenin
who, at one time said, "There are no morals in politics, only expediency."

Marxist-Leninism led the Soviet Union to untold human suffering and economic
ruin. Faced with economic collapse, Russia abandoned Marxism, dismantled the
totalitarian machinery and is now building a free democratic State based on
free-enterprise.

In order to achieve this one party-State, Robert Mugabe violently bludgeoned
the only credible opposition party, the Zimbabwe African Peoples' Union
(ZAPU) into submission. Its leader, Joshua Nkomo was hounded into exile. The
notorious Fifth Brigade was unleashed upon the minority Ndebele, most of
whom supported ZAPU. Thousands died.

To avoid further decimation of the Ndebele population, Joshua Nkomo
capitulated and signed the now much celebrated "Unity Accord" to form Zanu
PF. This was touted as unity between ZANU and ZAPU with the PF standing for
patriotic front when, in actual fact, ZAPU was effectively swallowed by ZANU
to establish a one party State.

After independence, Britain, the former colonial power, started to fund a
land redistribution programme, as it had promised. This was stopped in 1990
because the aid was not benefiting the poor, as intended, but government
officials and Mugabe's relatives and friends.

Through corruption and poor governance, the once robust economy of Zimbabwe
started to totter. When they saw that their war-time comrades were enriching
themselves, veterans of the liberation war vociferously and threateningly
demanded a piece of the cake.

Frightened by this turn of events the government dished out to them billions
of dollars which were not budgeted for. The country also embarked on a
costly military adventure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prop up
the regime of an unelected dictator, Laurent Kabila, who had promised untold
riches to those who would rescue him from rebel armies. He was later
assassinated by one of his own guards.

Soon the country was broke and had to print money which was not backed by
real wealth. Inflation started to soar and the common people could no longer
afford to buy basic commodities.

The people of Zimbabwe desired change. They, therefore, joined the newly
formed opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in their thousands.
Facing this challenge, the ruling party crafted a new constitution which
would guarantee its continued stay in power and presented it to the people.
In a referendum, the people, led by the fledgling MDC, overwhelmingly
rejected it.

Zanu PF could brooke no such opposition to its hegemony. The new party was
met with unprecedented persecution. In order to rally the people against it
President Mugabe said it should be crushed because it, was a puppet of the
British who were bent on recolonising Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe land has always been a bone of contention between whites and
blacks.

Through colonisation, the minority whites had allocated to themselves about
60% of Zimbabwe fertile land and forcibly moved the majority blacks to poor
soils. This imbalance, Zanu PF had ignored for years. But, because white
farmers had backed the new political party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, a
young trade unionist, the land issue came to the fore. Whites had to go.

White farms were violently seized from about 4 000 white commercial farmers.
These were allocated to Zanu PF heavy weights, troublesome war veterans and
some peasants. White farmers who resisted, even those who had bought their
farms after independence, were imprisoned, tortured, raped or killed.

The government propaganda machine went into top gear. The people's champion,
Zanu PF, was now taking land from the white oppressors and giving it to its
rightful owners, the landless blacks.

This worked very well for Zanu PF for the 2002 Presidential elections were
in the offing. Zanu PF won the election but neutral observers and the
opposition allege that they were rigged.

In view of the expense of media propaganda and waste of manpower required to
obtain a forgone conclusion in elections, one wonders why the totalitarian
dictatorship bothers with elections at all. My conclusion is that they hold
elections in order to create the illusion of complete support by the people.

In all totalitarian dictatorships much effort is expended to appear as the
popular and lawful leadership. The results of this procedure (charade) are
not only for home consumption. They provide propaganda abroad to help
maintain the myth of democracy when, infact, Zimbabwe is a totalitarian
State.

With general elections slated for March 2005, President Mugabe and his Zanu
PF party are pulling all stops to make sure that they win the elections by
hook or crook. Faced with the real possibility of losing power to the MDC in
the year 2000 elections, Zanu PF wooed mostly rural voters with the
so-called land reform programme.

Now that the land card is played out the indefatigable Zanu PF has found
another one. It is going to use food as part of its campaign strategy in
next year's elections.

Zimbabweans and the international donor community were astounded when the
government and President Mugabe proudly announced that the country was going
to reap a bumper harvest. He therefore, told a United Nations crop
assessment mission to stop their work and leave the country. He said the UN
should take their aid elsewhere.

"We are not hungry," said the President. "Why foist this food upon us."

Starving Zimbabweans listened in disbelief. The President was either grossly
misinformed or he was deliberately lying. The later is true for this is a
well planned election tactic to use food as an incentive for people to vote
for Zanu PF in the coming elections. This will also move the prying eyes of
the donor community and the United Nations from observing Zanu PF's
underhand shenanigans.

According to donor agencies the country is not going to meet its food
requirements. The reputable German development agency, Friedrick Ebert
Foundation, in a report commissioned two months ago titled Famine in
Zimbabwe, predicted that Zimbabwe would have food shortages of between 600
000 to 900 000 tonnes.

Gift Phiri, writing in the Zimbabwe Independent on May 21 2002, said
according to a statement sent to that paper, Victor Angelo, UN resident
coordinator in Zimbabwe said, "We are concerned that should a food
assistance need be identified later in the year, and were the government to
issue an appeal at that time, a very rapid response may not be possible."

He who has ears to hear, let him hear...
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Zim Standard

RBZ tightens screws on money
By Kumbirai Mafunda

THE RESERVE BANK of Zimbabwe has prescribed new conditions that are aimed at
inhibiting borrowers from easily accessing the cheap funds that are being
ditched out under the Productive Sector Facility (PSF).

Under a new criterion for considering applications for rollover of existing
loans that was circulated to exporters at the end of June, the central bank
said the rollover interest rate for loans approved from July 1 will now be
50% per annum, up from 30%.

The performance variables for non-exporters to be considered for rollover of
loans will be the potential to create employment by at least 10%, and reduce
prices by at least 25% respectively over the last quarter.

For exporters to qualify for this extension, beneficiaries have to show
evidence of confirmed export orders, actual export performance and a
remittance record.

The central bank expects an increase of at least 20% in exports by the
beneficiaries over the period they are being reviewed.

However, a 25% tax on export proceeds is militating against the viability of
exporters to the extent that some have suspended exporting citing the
non-profitable blend rate, say experts.

'We are operating against an environment where we have lost our markets and
to try to regain them is another problem,' observed Luxon Zembe, the
president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).

The tightening of the lending conditions comes in the wake of reports that
beneficiaries of the funds were abusing the cheap money by investing and
committing the borrowed funds into non-core projects and investments.

Of late, the benchmark industrial index has been bullish scaling past the
900 000 psychological mark last week, fuelling suggestions that some of the
cheap money was being invested in ZSE stock.

The concessional financing scheme that is being disbursed to various
productive sectors and capped at a revolving fund of $1,5 trillion was
introduced by the central bank in 2003.

The main beneficiaries of this facility have been the manufacturing sector -
which chewed up to $683 billion -and agriculture ($522 billion), mining
($115 billion) as well as transport, which has accounted for $69 billion.

The new capping is meant to balance the need to stimulate a supply response
while at the same time containing the potential downside of demand-push
inflation arising from increased money supply.

The central bank said future disbursements to productive sectors would be
financed from repayments of maturing loans into the fund. The refunds were
due at the end of June.

Other additional conditions are that non-exporting borrowers should
demonstrate that they managed to maintain at least constant staff levels
during the period under review and that there were no retrenchments.

They are also expected to show that any price increases were not greater
than 42%, which is consistent with inflation levels during the period
January to May 2004.

Borrowers who can demonstrate scope for price reductions and increase in
employment levels will be given priority.

However, Zembe says the 42% ceiling is an understatement of the rise in
inflation.

'Prices have gone up by more than 42% given the increasing costs of
electricity and rates. That is going to be restrictive to borrowers in this
sector who are also going to be disadvantaged by the 42%,' observed Zembe,
who said access to the cheap funds needed to be broadened to all economic
sectors rather than selected ones.

For exporting borrowers to access funds, the central bank says they should
be exporting at least 50% of output.

Witness Chinyama, an economic analyst with Kingdom Financial Holdings, says
the new conditions - which he likened to a carrot and stick approach -are
intended to generate more foreign currency.
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