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

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Zim Online

No alternative but to 'test the odds and pray'
Mon 26 July 2004

      MANICALAND - Eight-month pregnant Chenai Nyambuya smiles as she
patiently queues outside Zongoro Clinic near Manica Bridge here in Mutasa
district, about 50 kilometres east of Zimbabwe's eastern border city of

      Dressed in a blue blouse and a green and yellow wrapper, she rubs her
protruding tummy while she explains what has become a growing frustration
for the region's women. "Expectant mothers here are unhappy about the water
problem," she says, "we really fear delivering under conditions like this,
including terrible infections, just like in the olden days."

      The small health facility has not had access to running water for at
least seven years, following the breakdown of a windmill built by a
non-governmental organisation.

      Members of the local community are particularly exasperated because,
they say, being without water is something they've complained about - and
lived with - for too long. Plans by the local authority to install water
pipes at the clinic were shelved long before 1997 and, since then, nothing
has been done.

      As Nyambuya slowly bends forward to rub the small of her back she says
some women are so worried about the hygiene at the clinic they borrow money
to travel to give birth somewhere else. But for the rest, like her, who are
too poor, she says,  there is no alternative but to 'test the odds and

      A middle-aged woman stands behind Nyambuya. She introduces herself as
Dorica Gwavava, explaining she has come to the clinic with her grandchild,
who was orphaned when both his parents died of AIDS last year. Her hands
tremble as she becomes increasingly angry, trying to find the words to
express her emotion.

      "When patients come here and are given tablets by the nurses,
sometimes they cannot take them because there is no water. Many times the
staff just tell us to take the tablets home," she says, adding 'But what if
you need supervision?'

      Her pleated multi-coloured skirt swirls in the breeze as she pauses
and then grimaces, as if in pain, before continuing. "When mothers deliver
here we do our best, as a community, to help so we fetch lots of water from
the stream to clean up the place. But now we definitely have a crisis; it
has to be cleared up."

      At this point village elder Kudzanayi Mwenje, who has been following
the discussion with keen interest, clears his throat. His combed grey hair,
shaven chin  and well-ironed green overalls indicate he pays attention to
his appearance. He also pays attention to politics, as he suddenly says
Manica Bridge area residents should not discuss 'its water problems' because
      the local authority 'has ears everywhere'.

      Then another village elder, Batsirai Mwandiyambira, pushes through the
queue to announce: 'Ladies and gentlemen, I feel pity for our dedicated
nursing staff." Clutching a brown lager bottle in his left hand, and
gesturing with the other, he continues: "Only the shameless ones do not see
our nurses fetching water from the stream. Whose side are our administrators
on?', he
      pleads, adding 'and where else are nursing staff prepared to work
under such conditions?"

      Mwandiyambira says he wishes a good samaritan would come and help the
community repair the malfunctioning boreholes.

      Another villager, Geoffrey Chimwecho, says residents should also
shoulder some of the blame for their current problems. He accuses
'unscrupulous people' of defacing and damaging the windmill. "The issue of
vandalism is a serious one,' he says, 'we must work with the district
councilor to stop it before our problems increase.' Geoffry suggests all the
headmen should
      cooperate with one another to find a joint solution.

      Contacted by Zim Online, the head of the Mutasa rural district
council, Maxwell Gudza, initially claimed that he was not aware of the
crisis at the clinic, but then he corrected himself by saying he had
received reports of vandalism. Gudza insists the local authority has met
with community leaders 'countless times' to explore the situation. He
promised he would summon the
      ward councillor, Herbert Muchirahondo, to investigate the matter

      In the meantime, patients and staff of Zongoro Clinic tempt fate as
they continue to receive medication and treatment without purified, running
water. Zim Online
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Zim Online

Top government and ruling party officials in defiance of Mugabe
Mon 26 July 2004

      HARARE - Senior government officials and ruling party politicians in
Zimbabwe, who grabbed several farms each under the controversial land reform
programme, have transferred the excess farms into the names of relatives and
friends in an attempt to keep the state from repossessing them.

      Investigations by Zim Online established that top bureaucrats and
politicians,  among them Lands Minister Joseph Made, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo and Zimbabawe Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga,
had in the last few months transferred several properties into the names of
relatives and friends.

      ZANU PF national chairman and Special Affiars Minister in the
President's office John Nkomo, tasked by Robert Mugabe to repossess excess
land from politicians, told Zim Online he was facing resistance. Nkomo
confirmed that several of his multiple farm owning colleagues had
re-registered extra farms under names of close relatives and friends.

      Nkomo said, "It is true that some of the officials implicated in
multiple farm ownership are denying that and are saying the other farms were
allocated to their relatives. But the investigations by our teams concluded
that these officials had been allocated the farms. We are still looking into
these matters."

      The ZANU PF chairman would not reveal the names of the politicans
involved nor state what measures  were going to be taken to repossess the
land now registered in the names of relatives and associates.

      A Land Review Committee set up by Mugabe last year to review and fine
tune his chaotic land reforms established that about half of the 11 millon
hectares of farmland confiscated by the government from white farmers had
been handed over to government and ZANU PF officials. Some of the
politicians are said to now own as many as six farms each.

      Mugabe, who says no Zimbabwean should own more than one farm, ordered
the state and ZANU PF officials to surrender the excess farms. But they
ignored the order, forcing Mugabe to instruct Nkomo to repossess the land.
Zim Online
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The Herald

Preparations for agricultural show at advanced stages

Business Reporter
PREPARATIONS for the annual showcase, the Harare Agricultural Show 2004
whose dates have been set from 23-28 August have reached advanced stages.

"Preparations for the show are in full swing now, with many companies
cleaning up and refurbishing their stands," spokesman of the Harare
Agricultural Show Mr Chido Makunike said.

The theme for this year*s show is "The Discovery of Recovery!" The idea
behind the theme is that, as tough as things are for companies, it is up to
every stakeholder to play a pivotal role in the economic revival process.

"No knight in shining armour is going to come from anywhere and institute an
economic turnaround for us. If there is going to be an economic recovery we
have to help to bring it about," Mr Makunike added.

The Harare Show is a platform where companies in the country showcase some
of the products and services that they offer.

It is also a place where exhibitors effectively reach out to potential

Tied to the recovery theme is the fact that many companies are made to
realise the importance of marketing themselves even when consumers complain
about how their dollar buys less with each passing day.

Companies this year are expected to exploit this opportunity as economic
stabilisation is beginning to be realised.

"The response of exhibitors to this year*s show has been so tremendous since
entries for individual stands are no longer being accepted.

"The total number of stands occupied is being counted and will soon be
available. Entries are however being accepted for display sections in which
many exhibitors showcase their products under one roof".

Many have signed up to exhibit under the agricultural produce section, but
more entries are still invited and welcome, particularly in the tobacco
industry and other agro-based sections.

There has also been an overwhelming response from those involved in cotton
and maize growing while documentation on livestock entries is still being

For the past two years there has been a reduced movement of cattle across
the country due to the foot and mouth disease although expressions of
interest in displaying cattle from farmers has been registered.

Their ability to do so will depend on their cattle being officially declared
to be disease-free and being given regulatory approval to be transported.

Gate prices are still to be decided, but as every year, a good compromise
should be sought between charging an entrance fee that reflects economic
realities and making the show accessible and affordable to the public.

The official opening of the show will be on Friday 27 August with the guest
of honour usually a regional president expected to officiate.
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The Scotsman

Diplomatic tussle over Scot's statue


A VANDALISED statue of David Livingstone is creating diplomatic tension
between two African countries.

The figure marks the occasion in 1855 when the Scots missionary and explorer
first set eyes on the then un-named Victoria Falls.

Livingstone, from Blantyre, Lanarkshire, named the falls after Queen
Victoria when he revisited the site in 1860. The landmark forms part of the
border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

For decades, the bronze figure has stood looking out over the waterfall from
the Zimbabwean side. But now, Zambian officials have asked for it to be
moved to the actual spot where Livingstone first spotted the falls - on
their side of the border.

They want the figure re-sited to coincide with the 150th anniversary next
year of the moment when Livingstone first encountered the falls. Zimbabwe
has snubbed the request and is insisting the statue remains in its original

The statue was vandalised two years ago by supporters of Zimbabwe's
president, Robert Mugabe, who claimed it was a symbol of colonialism.

Zambia's tourism minister, Patrick Kalifungwa, in a move coinciding with the
100th anniversary of the naming of the Zambian town of Livingstone, opened
up negotiations for the statue to be taken to Zambia.

A formal request to move the statue was made to Zimbabwe by Donald Chikunbi,
the director of the Zambian National Heritage Conservation Commission,
during a visit to the country. However, he was told Zimbabwe was not willing
to part with it.

Mr Chikunbi said: "The people of Zambia feel the statue should be in its
proper place - where Livingstone first saw the falls. But officials from the
Zimbabwean government have refused to comply with our request to have it

"It is disappointing, as the statue would have formed the centrepiece of our
anniversary celebrations to mark Livingstone's life next year.

No-one from the Zimbabwean embassy in London would comment on the issue.

Livingstone, who spent 30 years in Africa, first sighted the falls, then
known as Mosi-oa Tunya ("The smoke that thunders") by the Leya people, in
November 1855. He travelled nearly a third of the continent, from its
southern tip almost to the equator.
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The Star

      Human rights concerns must take precedence
      July 26, 2004

      By Nicole Fritz

      Those of us sitting in the Constitutional Court last Monday were
witness to many ironies. Poignant ironies, as when Francois Joubert, counsel
for the suspected mercenaries, explained the conditions his clients were
forced to endure in detention - shorts, sandals, no jerseys, insufficient
food in a cold Harare winter - and Justice Dikgang Moseneke responded that
he knew what it was like to be made to wear shorts and sandals in prison in

      Some of the other judges will probably have had this experience too.
And it is a mark of how far we have come as a society that the court
listened with obvious empathy when 15 years ago, had it been MK operatives
detained in the Harare prison forced to endure these conditions, no South
African court would have been likely to hear the matter.

      There were more perplexing ironies, as when the court listened to
Joubert explaining that it was not a matter of applying to Zimbabwean courts
to obtain relief for his clients.

      He had, in fact, already done so and obtained judgment from these
courts ordering the relief. It is not a case of him appealing these rulings.
Rather, his problem is that the Zimbabwean authorities will not enforce the
orders. They give the lie to the notion that courts vindicate individuals'

      They cannot do so unless there is an executive prepared to enforce the
courts' orders and in Zimbabwe there is none.

      There were also moments when, if you closed your eyes, you could
imagine you were in a different court altogether - a surreal, Kafka-esque
court - as when one of the judges asked whether there was any reason at all
to suspect that Equatorial Guinea would not give the detainees a fair trial.

      Court etiquette, and good strategy, do not permit that counsel give
snarky replies, but Joubert might well have replied: "My apologies My Lord,
you must have an incomplete record. Had you read the Amnesty International
and International Bar Association's report on the state of the judiciary in
Equatorial Guinea, you couldn't ask that question seriously."

      Ironies aside, the court has an inordinately difficult issue before
it. On the one hand the court will recognise that matters of international
criminal co-operation and diplomatic intervention, for the welfare of
nationals or otherwise, are rightly conducted at the level of the executive.

      This concern must caution against the court too readily issuing an
anti-executive order. On the other hand, it is argued that there exists a
reasonable apprehension that the detainees' rights to life, to security of
person, to freedom from torture are gravely at risk if South African
intervention is not more forceful.

      If the court issues a pro-detainee ruling and orders the South African
government more actively to intervene, it risks causing diplomatic offence
to Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea, which may have long-term implications for
the conduct of South Africa's foreign relations. If it doesn't, it risks
violation of the detainees' rights.

      To whom then should the benefit of the doubt be extended? Should it be
given the states, assuming that they will conduct themselves as states
should, or shown to the detainees? The greater harm is to be suffered by the
detainees and it is this that argues most persuasively, perhaps, that the
balance should be tipped in their favour.

      A related concern animated the court on Monday: what if it ordered the
South African authorities to intervene on the detainees' behalf and Zimbabwe
or Equatorial Guinea refused to co-operate. Its orders would then have no
effect. The perverse irony, of course, is that this concern argues against
ordering South Africa to deal with those states least likely to co-operate,
precisely the states most likely to violate rights, and deal only with more
co-operative states, for which court orders are least needed.

      Here the court was obviously concerned for the response of third
states, but there was an echo too of the Zimbabwean courts' predicament.
What should courts do when the executive refuses to enforce its orders?

      One response is that courts should not issue orders that it
anticipates will be met with non-compliance. It invites contempt for the
institution, a true showing of the emperor's new clothes.

      But in a constitutional order committed to human rights, the onus
should be cast differently. If an order would vindicate individuals' rights,
then it should be issued regardless of the anticipated compliance.

      And perhaps where non-compliance is expected, the duty is so much
stronger, in that it shows up the extent to which the executive, in South
Africa or in Equatorial Guinea, acts in bad faith.

      .. The Star's Contributing Editor is a lecturer at the Law School,
Wits University
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The Herald

Norton councillors exempt themselves from paying rates

By Nelson Chenga
NORTON Town Council has resolved to exempt all its 12 councillors from
paying rates and water charges on their residential properties.

The move, approved at a special meeting of the finance and development
committee last month, is with effect from the beginning of July 2004 and in
direct contravention of the Urban Councils Act.

This is over and above the council's approval, at the same meeting, of
increases in monthly allowances to the councillors in yet another direct
defiance of a clear Government directive that requires all local authorities
to produce audited accounts before effecting increases.

The council backdated the allowances to January this year.

"That as a matter of policy sitting councillors be allowed 100 percent
rebate on rates and water charges with effect from First July, 2004; on
condition that the rebate shall only apply to the property at which the
councillor is residing and provided that the property is within Norton
Council area," read the council resolution contained in minutes dated June
16 2004.

"This was considered as reasonable compensation for the time and effort
spent by a councillor on civic affairs and duties," said the minutes.

According the minutes, the resolution arose during discussion to review the
councillors' allowances as recommended by the Ministry of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing to all local authorities that they review
upwards their councillors' stipends. In a circular dated May 14 2004, the
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing notified all
local authorities that ordinary councillors' minimum allowances be set at
$135 000 per month.

Chairpersons of town boards, vice-chairpersons and chairpersons of
committees had their allowances pegged at $150 000, $145 000 and $140 000

"Councils may exceed the above threshold provided they seek the minister's
express authority," said the circular from the ministry. The move by Norton
Town Council is also likely to raise the ire of residents, who have been
refusing to pay what they deemed exorbitant rates charges.

The cash-strapped council also resolved at the special meeting in June that
Norton should seriously consider accessing Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe loans
for infrastructure development and to "repay other loans which were
attracting very high interest charges and penalties for late payments".
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Sudan Tribune

Blame the UN cheerleaders
lundi 26 juillet 2004 01:06.
By Mark Steyn, The Australian

July 26, 2004 -- I see the next decade's "Never again" story is here. Just
as we all agreed the 1994 Rwandan genocide should never be allowed to happen
again, so - in a year or two - we'll all be agreed that another 2004
Sudanese genocide should never be allowed to happen again.

But right now it is happening, and you can't help wondering where all the
great humanitarians are. Alas, Sudan doesn't seem to have much appeal to
them, lacking as it does the crucial Bush angle and affording little
opportunity for use of words such as "neocons" and "Halliburton".

In the Fairfax press, Robert Manne is still too busy fighting the last war -
"Iraq is the greatest disaster in the recent history of US foreign policy.
Nothing is more important than to try to understand how this catastrophe
occurred." And if that means rehashing the same old column backwards and
sideways for another two years - WMD, Andrew Wilkie, neocons, Cheney - he's
prepared to do it.

There's an old, cynical formula for the prominence accorded different
disasters by American editors. It runs something like : one dead American
equals 10 dead Israelis equals 100 dead Russians equals 1000 dead Africans.
But, to the average progressive columnist in the Western world, what matters
is who killed you. 30,000 dead Sudanese don't equal one Iraqi prisoner being
led around Abu Ghraib on a dog collar. But the minute the Yanks go in and
accidentally blow up a schoolhouse, injuring an eight-year-old girl, the
Mannes of the world will discover a sudden interest in Africa.

Manne's big gripe about Iraq seems to be that it was an "unnecessary,
unlawful and unjust war". Each to his own. The Steyn Doctrine, such as it
is, is that there's never a bad reason to take out a thug regime.
Unfortunately for the beleaguered villagers of Darfur, the Americans so far
are playing by Manne's rules. The USAF could target and bomb the Janjaweed
as effectively as they did the Taliban.

But then the Not In Our Name crowd would get their knickers in a twist and
everyone would complain that it's unlawful unless it's authorised by the UN.
The problem is, by the time you've gone through the UN, everyone's dead.

The UN system is broken beyond repair. The Security Council was unable to
agree even on a resolution merely expressing some criticism of the Sudanese
Government - China, Pakistan and Algeria scuppered that. In May, even as its
proxies were getting stuck into their ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan was
elected to a three-year term on the UN Human Rights Commission. This isn't
an aberration : Zimbabwe is also a member. The very structure of the UN,
under which countries vote in regional blocs, encourages such affronts to
decency. The Sudanese representative immediately professed himself concerned
by human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

As the Canadian columnist George Jonas put it, the UN enables dictators to
punch above their weight. All Elfatih Mohammed Ahmed Erwa, the Sudanese
Government's man in New York, has to do is string things out long enough to
bog down the US call for sanctions in the Gauloise-filled rooms. "Let's not
be hasty", Erwa told The Los Angeles Times. And, fortunately, not being
hasty is something the UN's happy to do in its own leisurely way until
everyone's in the mass grave and the point is moot.

A few days ago, the Australian Red Cross announced that three nurses from
NSW were among those trying to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Good for them. But, if we were really serious about alleviating it, we'd
stop using that pathetically evasive word "humanitarian". "Humanitarian
crisis" is fine for a hurricane or a drought, but not a genocide.

The death and dislocation in Sudan is a political crisis, worsened by
political decisions every step up the chain - from the blood-drenched
militia to their patrons in Khartoum to their buddies in the African Union
to the schemers and cynics at the UN. It's "multilateralism" that magnifies
some nickel and dime murder gangs into a global player. As for the West, if
it's only "lawful" when it's sanctioned by the UN, then the almost
inevitable "failure to get agreement in the Security Council" is the perfect
cover for governments who would rather sit things out.

HERE'S another line for "multilateralists" to ponder, from a report by W.F.
Deedes from Darfur in Britain's Daily Telegraph : "Aid agencies have found
it difficult to get visas."

The UN confers on its most dysfunctional members a surreal, postmodern
sovereignty : a state that claims it can't do anything about groups
committing genocide across huge tracts of its territory nevertheless expects
the world to respect its immigration paperwork as inviolable. Why should the
West's ability to help Darfur be dependent on the visa section of the
Sudanese embassy ? The world would be a better place if the UN, or the
democratic members thereof, declared that thug states forfeit the automatic
deference to sovereignty. But, since that won't happen, it would be
preferable if free nations had a forum of their own in which decisions could
be reached before every last peasant has been hacked to death. The
"coalition of the willing" has a nice ring to it.

One day historians will wonder why the most militarily advanced nations
could do nothing to halt men with machetes and a few rusting rifles. Just
over a century ago, after Kitchener's victory over the dervishes at
Omdurman, Belloc wrote :

"Whatever happens

We have got

The Maxim gun

And they have not."

We've tossed out the Maxim gun for Daisycutters and Cruise missiles. In
Darfur, meanwhile, the Janjaweed on their horses are no better armed than
the dervishes were. But we're powerless against them because we have
fetishised the poseur-multilateralism of the UN as the only legitimate form
of intervention. And, because of it, in Sudan as in Rwanda, hundreds of
thousands will die.

Mark Steyn is a columnist for Britain's Telegraph Group and the Chicago
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The Herald

Chegutu mayor Dhlakama arrested

By Zvamaida Murwira
CHEGUTU mayor Francis Dhlakama, his deputy Phineas Mariyapera and some
councillors were last week arrested and brought before a Chegutu magistrate
at the weekend when they were remanded in custody.

Officer-in-Charge for police in Chegutu Inspector Ganyani confirmed to The
Herald yesterday the arrest of the senior council officials and their
subsequent appearance in court, but could not shed more light on the nature
of their charges.

He referred questions to the Criminal Investigation Department (Serious
Fraud Squad) officers, who could not be reached for comment.

All councillors, including the mayor, have been on suspension since last
month to allow investigations by an audit committee set up by the Minister
of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde Ignatius Chombo.

Dhlakama assumed office on an opposition MDC ticket in 2001 while other
councillors were elected under the ruling Zanu-PF aegis.

The audit report from the ministry had recommended that the council be
dissolved and a commission be appointed to run council after it had cited a
number of irregularities, including that of defying the minister.

Inspection of the council books by the audit committee unearthed various and
massive financial irregularities, prompting the institution of a
fully-fledged fraud investigation by the Zimbabwe Republic Police Commercial
Crime Unit.

The report described the councillors as "highly corrupt" and gave examples
of cases where a number of residential stands were sold at give-away prices
to cronies.

Some workers were said to be appearing on two payrolls - one for permanent
staff and the other for casual workers.

Numerous cases of money being banked in wrong accounts and diversion of
funds meant for some projects were also cited.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing also produced a damning report last month, which cited
factionalism to advance a well-known "mafia and crime racket" whose purpose
was to violate other people's rights for political purposes.

The committee recommended that police fraud and commercial crime units
should investigate some council officials.

Mariyapera, several councillors and council employees were mentioned as some
of the individuals who were engaged in the fraudulent activities.

The report revealed that council funds raised through the sale of stands and
unbilled services in respect of rates and water charges could not be
accounted for as no books of accounts were kept.

Mariyapera allegedly employed a youth group known as the "mafia", whose
specific task was to unleash violence on staff members that refused to carry
out his order, the report revealed.

Mariyapera was said to be running the show as Dhlakama was said to be taking
orders from his subordinate.

The damning report said there had been a general breakdown of governance of
the council.

Mariyapera and some councillors were also accused of deliberately ignoring
their duties as policy makers while they were usurping powers of other

The report also claimed that there was a crime racket in council in which
Mariyapera's relatives were placed in strategic positions like cash
collection points.

Lack of financial records in council was cause for concern as funds were
withdrawn from council coffers using manual receipts.
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The Herald

State fires 13 councillors

By Michael Padera
GOVERNMENT has fired the 13 Harare City councillors who were suspended in
early June for interfering in the management of council affairs.

The councillors were sacked on Friday.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde
Ignatius Chombo, said the councillors were found guilty of disrupting
council meetings.

He said the disruptions had resulted in the decline of service delivery for
the city.

The dismissed councillors are Christopher Mushonga, Peter Chikati, Shingirai
Kondo, Peter Karimakwenda, Last Maenga-hama, Tapfumaneyi Bangajena, Wendy
Dehwa, Tichanzii Ganda-nga, Elijah Manjeya, Wellington Madzivanyika, Linus
Paul Mushonga and Oswell Badza.

Six other councillors - Falls Nhari, Fani Munengami, Jerome O'Brien, Kenneth
Nhemachena, Benjamin Maimba and Tsaurai Marima - were expelled from council
last year for conduct inconsistent with the governance of the city.

The latest dismissal brings to 19 the number of fired councillors and leaves
Harare with 26 councillors.

However, there seems to be confusion in the councillors' camp as some say
they would challenge the dismissal with others saying chances of winning the
case were very remote.

Clr Manjeya yesterday said challenging the Government decision would be

"We do not have any chance in the courts. There is no justice," he said.

He said Cde Chombo failed to lay specific charges against them, adding that
it was disturbing to note that they were fired for carrying out their

"The problem is that (Cde) Chombo has taken over the operations of council.
He has said it before that he does not want an MDC council for Harare," said
Clr Manjeya.

The MDC, which dominates the Harare City Council, is also the main
opposition in Parliament.

But Clr Maengahama said the councillors would contest the sacking.

"We will challenge the dismissal. At the same time we will seek a political
solution," he said.

He, however, said the court challenge was a formality since they
(councillors) had lost confidence in the judiciary system.

"We just want to put it on record that we were not happy with the
dismissal," he said.

Clr Kondo refused to comment yesterday, saying he would only do so today.

The councillors recently appeared for a disciplinary hearing before a
Government-appointed committee that was chaired by Manicaland acting
provincial administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa.

Other members of the hearing committee were Masvingo provincial
administrator Mr Felix Chikovo, Kwekwe City Council chamber secretary Mr
Edward Mapara and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority legal advisor Mr
Chinondidyachii Mararike.

The suspension came after the councillors defied a Government directive
stopping the holding of elections to choose a new deputy mayor and standing

"It has come to my attention that certain activities on your part continue
to interfere with the management of council affairs, thus hindering the
efficient operation of council and subsequently the delivery of services to
the people of Harare," said Cde Chombo when he suspended the councillors.
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Mail and Guardian

MDC faces crucial by-election


      26 July 2004 07:11

Zimbabwe's embattled political opposition faces a crucial by-election for
one of three parliamentary seats needed by the government to secure the
passage of amendments to the Constitution.

The country's largest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), has seen its representation in the 150-seat Parliament whittled down
over the past four years to 52 members from 57 in a series of by-elections
marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging.

Now one of those 52 seats is up for grabs, vacated by the death on Saturday
of an MDC lawmaker, and a win for President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party
would put it within striking distance of the two-thirds majority it needs to
pass amendments to the Constitution.

Zimbabwe has been racked by political and economic troubles since February
2000, when Mugabe was resoundingly defeated in a referendum on a new
Constitution that would have entrenched his rule indefinitely.

A spokesperson for the MDC, headed by veteran union leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, said on Sunday he hoped diplomatic pressure by other African
nations would ensure a fair contest when voters go to the polls in Seke, on
the southern outskirts of Harare. Under Zimbabwean law a by-election must be
held in the next 90 days.

"We are in the business of politics because of our undying optimism," said
party spokesperson Paul Themba-Nyathi. "We are confident that with the
amount of pressure that is being exerted there are possibilities Seke might
be held by us."

The only other opposition party in Zimbabwe, Zanu-Ndonga, holds a single
seat in Parliament. The other 97 lawmakers belong to Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party -- 30 of whom were nominated for the job, not elected, by the
80-year-old authoritarian leader under a constitutional amendment passed in

Themba-Nyathi said his party was counting on the 14-nation South African
Development Community to keep the crucial by-election fair.

Heads of state from the regional organisation are scheduled to meet soon in
Mauritius to discuss electoral standards and principles, he said.

The seat in Seke became vacant with the death on Saturday from undisclosed
natural causes of MDC lawmaker Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa, who won it in
Zimbabwe's last general election in June 2000.

In that election the MDC claimed it was cheated of victory in half of the
races for seats won by Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

Mugabe has been in power since the country won independence in 1980.

Under his leadership, the government sent ex-guerillas to seize 5 000
white-owned farms under a land reform programme critics say threw the
economy into turmoil. - Sapa-AP
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From The Sunday Mirror, 25 July

Govt guns for Mawere properties - takes over agro-processor FSI Agricom's

Mirror Reporters

In a development that smacks of vindictiveness following its failure to
extradite business mogul Mutumwa Mawere from South Africa last month, the
government is expropriating farms owned by the beleaguered businessman's
agro-processor, FSI Agricom. FSI Agricom is understood to have decided to
focus their attention on cotton procurement and sponsoring outgrowers after
government made a decision to acquire its farms. The apparent bid to stall
FSI Agricom operations comes in the wake of reports of other attempts to
take over concerns in which Mawere, who the Zimbabwean police want in
connection with allegations of externalising of foreign currency, is said to
have interests. The Zimbabwean government recently specified the business
tycoon, who has since 1995 been resident in South Africa where he obtained
that country's citizenship. The Sunday Mirror is reliably informed that the
board of the farming concern met close to a fortnight ago where the way
forward for the company was discussed in light of the expropriation of its
farms by the government.

"The board is said to have discussed the way forward for the company and
ways to keep the company operational after its negotiations with the
government to de-list its farms failed to yield positive results", the
source said. He also added that the move has caused panic among the
employees of the group amid speculation that the organisation may fail to
raise funds for retrenchment packages. The government designated four farms
owned by FSI Agricom under the Land Acquisition Act in a move viewed as the
beginning of the expropriation of assets owned by Mawere, who was specified
under the Prevention of Corruption Act. FSI ran a number of agricultural
projects countrywide and is set to sever links with various traders it had
business with. Although FSI managing director Ivan Savala refused to shed
light on the latest development, the Sunday Mirror has it from a well-placed
source that the company has already advised various firms with which it had
entered into contracts of its impending closure.

Last week a company spokesperson confirmed government had acquired four of
the company's highly mechanised farms measuring a total of 4 305 hectares.
But Zimbabwean police still intend to interrogate Mawere in connection with
fraud of Z$300 billion involving African Associated Mines (AAM), the owners
of Shabanie and Mashava Mines, where the mogul has a direct interest. But
Mawere denied that he was involved in the day to day business at AAM and was
just a shareholder. Zimbabwean authorities contend that Mawere, through AAM
and a South African based company also owned by Mawere, Southern Asbestos
Sales (SAS), had "for years defrauded the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by
producing falsified documents and failing to repatriate foreign currency
earned via Zimbabwean exports in violation of the Exchange Control Act". SAS
is said to have imported asbestos from AAM at a lower price than should have
been the normal case arguing that the mineral was of a low and inferior
grade. SAS would then allegedly re-export the commodity to other markets at
the real price.
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From ZWNEWS, 26 July

Hwedza violence

The opposition candidate for the Hwedza constituency in next year's
parliamentary election and her brother-in-law cam under attack on the
weekend, the MDC said yesterday. The party said that Bob Makone was abducted
on Saturday by a group of Zanu militia and taken to a rally held by Aeneas
Chigwedere, the minister of education. Bob is the younger brother of Ian
Makone, who is an MDC official and the husband of Theresa, the aspirant MP.
Bob Makone was held and tortured overnight, before being released on Sunday
morning. Chigwedere's rally had originally been scheduled to have been held
at Makarara, but the venue was changed to Musavadye School, which is very
close to the homesteads of the Makones. The group who had abducted Bob
Makone later returned to the Makone homesteads threatening Theresa Makone
with death for daring to stand on an opposition ticket.
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Comment from The Financial Mail (SA), 26 July

Zim and the victim condition

By Itumeleng Mahabane

A friend I respect and admire intellectually recently said to me quite
casually , "Bob (Robert Mugabe) gave me free, quality education, which is
why I can be here in SA and be successful." It is a disturbing yet
understandable explanation of why the black Zimbabwean middle class is muted
in its condemnation of Mugabe. Frantz Fanon, the most academically
influential anti colonial activist, would probably see that as the
consolidation of urban middle-class interest that occurs in most
postcolonial societies. However, this self-serving attitude does not explain
the tolerance of many black South Africans of human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe. Nor does it explain their crude and crass celebration of Mugabe
(Joseph Stalin, too, was once a valorous comrade). If it is not out of class
self-interest that many South Africans seemingly cannot or will not consider
the plight of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe, how else do we explain the
cheering for the man - for example, for his supposed courage in putting Tony
Blair, the "colonialist", in his place?

The unfortunate answer may be race - or rather, what is better described as
the "victim condition". It would be naive to pretend that racism, including
the subliminal sort, does not exist. Indeed, discrimination or prejudice
against blacks is an enduring bigotry. This is why black people find
themselves in a situation where they define themselves only in terms of race
and as historical victims of racism. We react, justifiably, with outrage
when whites ask, "Why is it always about race?" Our interaction with the
world is primarily driven by exactly that, race. Most South Africans who
implicitly support Mugabe, without stopping to think about his ultimate
victims, are completely focused on the idea of an African leader standing up
to whites or imperialists . The danger with race as a definitive prism is
that one becomes primarily and even wholly fixated on remnants of racism to
the exclusion of all else. In the case of Zimbabwe, it is to the exclusion
of the indignity visited upon fellow blacks which, were it being done by
whites, we should certainly be up in arms over.

We have internalised race and racism, something that Fanon predicted, just
as he predicted that the consolidation of urban middle-class interest could
see black leaders become as abusive of their citizens as the colonialists
were. There is reason for our emerging young democracy to be concerned about
this. An obsession with race and, consequently racial justice, should not
consume us to the point where it obfuscates other critical concerns and
allows the emergence of a self-serving middle class. Friends responded to a
question I posed in this regard by saying the primary agenda for SA should
be to replace white people who remain in positions of power. Questioned
further, they suggested that this was because white people in power were
proving to be an obstacle to true transformation. If that were the case then
surely their removal would be necessary for transformation to occur, but not
its fundamental objective. My friend's earlier assertion sounded like the
consolidation of a middle-class interest under the cover of racial justice.
The danger is that this self-interest can easily be carried over into policy
and government. Then the jump to a situation where suddenly we all become
victims of that self interest becomes frighteningly easy
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