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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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ZIMBABWE: Reports of torture, assault continue
      IRINnews Africa, Tue 24 Jun 2003
      JOHANNESBURG, - Allegations of torture by the security forces in
Zimbabwe have continued, a coalition of human rights groups said in their
latest report.

      "The majority of the perpetrators were reportedly dressed in army and
police uniforms and, as such, the victims plausibly concluded them to be ZNA
[army] and ZRP [police] personnel. [This] identity appears to have been
confirmed by the use of police and army vehicles, and by arrest and
detention at police stations following the act of torture," the Human Rights
Forum said in their May update.

      "Soldiers and police officers have on many occasions been reported as
forcing entry into victims' homes, assaulting them with baton sticks, booted
feet and open palms, apparently on the basis of their real or perceived
support of the opposition MDC [Movement for Democratic Change]," the report

      The Human Rights Forum, a coalition of 14 NGOs, said it received
reports of assault by members of the ruling ZANU-PF, pro-government youths
from the Border Gezi National Youth Service Training Centre, members of the
war veterans association and MDC youths.

      The forum recorded 16 cases of torture, one of murder, one
abduction/kidnapping and six cases of assault between 1 to 31 May. It also
said there were 58 violations of people's freedom of expression/association
or movement, 24 unlawful arrests (defined as an arrest made with no
reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed) and 13 cases of
unlawful detention (defined as detention for more than 48 hours without
access to redress through the courts or subsequent release without charge).

      Violations pertaining to freedom of association and expression were
perpetrated mainly around public protests such as a 5 May demonstration held
in the capital, Harare, by MDC women protesting the conditions faced by
Zimbabwe's women, the report said.

      From January to end May, the forum recorded 442 cases of unlawful
arrest, 266 of torture, 180 assaults, 136 unlawful detentions, five
politically related murders and five rapes.
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Zimbabwe air force head says MDC offered him bribe

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, June 24 — Zimbabwe's air force chief said on Tuesday the country's
main opposition party had offered him money to try to win his loyalty, and
to persuade army generals loyal to President Robert Mugabe to cross sides.
       Air Marshall Perence Shiri told a High Court trying opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on treason charges that two legislators from the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) sought the military's support ahead of a March
2002 presidential vote.
       Tsvangirai and two party colleagues could face the death penalty if
convicted of charges of plotting to assassinate Mugabe before the elections.
They all deny the charges.
       The MDC leader has mounted his own court challenge to Mugabe's poll
victory, which the opposition and several Western countries condemned as
fraudulent, and has accused Mugabe of ruining the country's once bountiful
       Last Friday the High Court granted Tsvangirai bail after he was
detained for two weeks on separate treason charges. In that case he was
alleged to have told his supporters to overthrow Mugabe through protests.
       Shiri told the High Court that MDC members of parliament Job Sikhala
and Tafadzwa Musekiwa had met him twice in January 2002, saying Tsvangirai
wanted him to be a key adviser when he came to power.
       Shiri said he was suspicious of the MDC's agenda and had told the two
he had difficulties with their policies, but would be bound to respect their
victory if they took power in the elections.
       ''Sikhala said that if I was agreeable to working with the MDC and to
talk to the other generals, the rank and file and the war veterans to accept
the MDC, the MDC was prepared to pay me 10 million (Zimbabwe) dollars,'' he
       ''I told them that I was not interested in their money... that I am
not a mercenary for hire,'' he added.
       Under cross-examination, Shiri said he had assumed from the meeting
that the MDC was looking for a constitutional route to power, adding: ''But
I am not sure whether that was the case.''
       The treason charges against the three MDC officials hinges on a
videotape of a meeting in Montreal between Canadian-based political
consultant Ari Ben-Menashe and Tsvangirai, who allegedly discussed Mugabe's
       Ben-Menashe, labelled an unreliable witness by the defence, has
admitted he taped the meeting solely to get evidence for the government but
denied entrapping Tsvangirai or being paid for it.
       The defence says the video was doctored to discredit the MDC, the
most potent challenge to Mugabe's power since he led the country to
independence from Britain in 1980.
       Mugabe rejects the MDC's charges that his mismanagement is to blame
for the collapse of Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy. The country has chronic
shortages of fuel and foreign exchange, one of the highest rates of
inflation in the world and a food crisis affecting half of its 14 million
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Carrying Fuel in Containers Banned

The Herald (Harare)

June 24, 2003
Posted to the web June 24, 2003


Motorists carrying fuel in containers will now have to obtain permits from
the Government as the State moves to curb the selling of the commodity on
the thriving black market.

However, the regulations were immediately greeted with mixed views from
motorists in and around Harare.

Some welcomed the move while others had reservations saying the Government
should ensure fuel was available on the market rather than resort to stop
gap measures.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde Rueben Marumahoko,
yesterday said the permits would be obtained from his ministry.

"If, for example, someone has a funeral or is a farmer who needs diesel, he
has to apply to the ministry to be given permission to carry the fuel to his
farm otherwise he will get arrested," said Cde Marumahoko.

He, however, could not specify the quantity of fuel one should seek
clearance for from the ministry.

It is, however, understood that farmers who need to carry fuel are supposed
to submit their identification cards, letters from the Department of
Agricultural, Research and Extension Services and evidence of ownership of
the equipment requiring the fuel when applying for permits.

Owners of grinding mills are expected to produce operating licences, while
miners are required to produce an application letter and identity card to be
vetted by officers at the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.

Individuals who wish to carry fuel and have special cases are required to
submit identity cards, an application letter, state the purpose for which
the fuel is needed, car registration number and routes and dates of travel.

Cde Marumahoko said the regulations were introduced in March and that each
case was treated according to its merits.

The permits are renewable after a certain period of time and are collected
from the ministry's offices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Government recently accused commuter omnibus owners of re-selling on
black market the fuel they get from designated service stations.

Some operators are said to have completely withdrawn their services opting
instead to queue for fuel, which they would in turn re-sell on the black

Mr Collen Moyo said the move did not make sense, as there was no fuel on the

"For them to do so, is the commodity available? How do they prove the fuel
will be carried to the said destination," he said.

Mr Moyo said for the policy to be binding Government would have to increase
the number of police details to enforce the regulations.

He said people carried fuel in containers other than their vehicle tanks
because the commodity was not readily available.

Mr Edward Tavaziva who welcomed the idea said motorists should instead carry
fuel in metal containers that have breathing space.

He noted that the idea was noble because it protected motorists in the event
of a road traffic accident.

Mr Tavaziva said he carried fuel in a container each time he travelled out
of Harare because there was no fuel elsewhere.

Mr Alexio Dzumbunu suggested that the permits should be issued for a
specified period of time.

He said the problem with the regulations was that not everyone had the time
to queue for the permits.

"We do not have time, unless there would be agents at service stations to
issue those permits," he said.

Mr Dzumbunu said some cases like funerals did not warrant applying for
permits because they were not planned for.

He added that Government should just ensure there was enough fuel on the
market rather than resort to stop gap measures.

Another motorist who declined to be named said Government should allow
market forces to determine the prices of fuel.

Mr Dereck Pollock said he would always carry fuel with him because it was
not readily available on the market.

Police were yesterday reported to be confiscating fuel carried in containers
at various roadblocks around the city.

Tafadzwa Kapuya said Government should work out ways of sourcing enough
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Reserve Bank Fails to Inject New Notes

The Herald (Harare)

June 24, 2003
Posted to the web June 24, 2003

Walter Muchinguri

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is yet to introduce new notes into the official
system despite an earlier undertaking that at least $24 million in $500
notes would be injected into the market mid this month to alleviate the cash

The delay, it is understood, could be caused by the fact that it has become
costly to produce the $500 bills and that the central bank is actually
contemplating phasing them out.

However, efforts to get comment from RBZ proved fruitless over the past

Reserve Bank Governor Dr Leonard Tsumba told journalists earlier this month
that a subsidiary of the RBZ, Fidelity Printers had already taken delivery
of 500 000 sheets of money paper early this month which was already being
used to print additional notes.

As an additional measure the central bank introduced three shifts at
Fidelity Printers to ensure that notes were swiftly made available but this
has not happened.

Officials in the banking sector yesterday said they were still queuing to
receive the notes from the central bank.

"We have been advised that we should start getting something this week but
we are still not sure of the day the money will start coming through," said
one of the officials.

The cash crisis has resulted in the re-introduction of the old $20 notes,
which were in circulation in the 1980s and early 1990s but were then phased
out in 1996 following the introduction of new notes.

A number of people were on Friday surprised to receive these notes from
commercial banks.

Many believe that the old $20 notes were durable than the new notes that
were introduced in 1996.

Bank officials confirmed that the money was part of the soiled notes that
the central bank was reintroducing into the market.

"The Reserve Bank has been injecting soiled notes into the market to
alleviate the shortage of notes in the market place so some of those old
notes from way back are mixed up with the new money which is soiled.

"Under normal circumstances the soiled notes are supposed to be destroyed,"
said one bank executive who declined to be named.

The central bank has been introducing smaller denominations as part of its
strategy to alleviate the shortages of $500 notes on the market.

It has become common for banks to dispense $50 and $20 dollar notes when
disbursing large sums of money.

RBZ is understood to be making frantic efforts to prepare for the
introduction of the new $1 000 note at the end of November.

Banks were instructed to come up with their own measures to lure deposits,
and to encourage the use of cards as opposed to bank notes when making

Some of the measures include the promotion of non-cash financial
transactions, including raising cash guarantees on cheques, increased use of
innovative electronic money, point of sale facilities and other forms of
direct debits.

Most people in the country have been struggling to get money since May when
the shortage of notes surfaced in the country.

Most banks are still giving daily allocations of between $10 000 and $30 000
per individual.

Long winding queues have become a common feature while some banks have on
several occasions closed their doors before end of business after they run
out of cash.

Commercial banks have suspended the Zimswitch facility on their Automated
Teller Machines preferring to reserve the available cash for their clients.

Unscrupulous traders with large sums of money are cashing in on the
shortages by "selling" money to desperate clients.
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Cox blasts governments on Zimbabwe inaction

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PAT COX - the European Parliament's President has urged member states to "take action" (Photo:
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Parliament's President has launched a scathing attack on member states for their "weak" and "tardy" response to political violence in Zimbabwe.

In a letter seen by the EUobserver, President Pat Cox castigates the Council's collective response to a government clampdown following a nation-wide strike in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

Sent early last week to the European Council Chair and Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, Mr Cox's letter urged member states to "take action" to address the "deplorable deterioration" in the country.

Opposition calls for workers to stage the week-long 'stay away' caused the Zimbabwean economy to virtually shut down and resulted in Robert Mugabe's government threatening "severe action" against protesters.

Reports indicate that more than three people may have been killed by government-backed forces.

Mr Cox was reacting to a statement by member states - which was also condemned by the Zimbabwean opposition as a "disgrace".
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Powell wants pressure on Mugabe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that South
Africa and Zimbabwe's other neighbours should put more pressure on
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for the sake of political change.
If they do not act, unrest in Zimbabwe would continue to threaten stability
and prosperity in southern Africa, he said in a opinion article in The New
York Times on Tuesday.

"They can and should play a stronger and more sustained role that fully
reflects the urgency of Zimbabwe's crisis. If leaders on the continent do
not do more to convince President Mugabe to respect the rule of law and
enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, he and his cronies will
drag Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to ruin," he added.

Powell said the solution in Zimbabwe was for the ruling party ZANU-PF and
the opposition to negotiate constitutional changes to allow for a transition
of power.

"With the president gone, with a transitional government in place and with a
date fixed for new elections, Zimbabweans of all descriptions would, I
believe, come together to begin the process of rebuilding their country," he

The United States has taken a hard line against Mugabe since last year's
presidential elections, based on trying to isolate his government
internationally. President George W. Bush has said Mugabe was not a
legitimate leader.

But Zimbabwe's neighbours have been reluctant to follow the U.S. lead on
isolation. Botswana and Angolan leaders said this month that public
criticism of Mugabe would only make him more intransigent and the country
should be left alone.
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This is London

We must speak out on Mugabe
By Aminatta Forna, Evening Standard
19 June 2003
Events of the past few days in Zimbabwe demonstrate - if proof were needed -
that the country is close to meltdown. This week Robert Mugabe publicly
warned of reprisals against people demonstrating against his regime. Another
opposition leader has been arrested. Elsewhere, a high court judge seized
and took over a farm while the owner was away.

Yet while George Bush has openly encouraged pro-democracy protesters in
Tehran to oppose their regime, both he and Tony Blair continue to sit on the
fence over Zimbabwe.

My own experience tells me that we have only to look at what happened in a
country like Sierra Leone, where I grew up, to realise what is possible in
Zimbabwe. The damage wrought by Mugabe's regime closely mirrors events in
Sierra Leone a decade ago. It has been called "a new kind of war": economic
ruin followed by the breakdown of law and order give rise to armed conflict,
culminating in anarchy.

As in Sierra Leone before the war, in Zimbabwe an ageing ruler clings onto
power. The police, the army and the judiciary have been subverted to the
cause of keeping him there and allowed to reap the rewards of kleptocracy.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, is faced with a second treason
charge, under laws which have been grotesquely misused for the purpose.

The most recent charge stems from his call for people to stay away from
work. In Sierra Leone in the 1970s my own father, who defied the president
and blew the whistle on a violent and corrupt regime, was one of the first
to be tried on trumped-up charges of treason.

My family and others were terrorised in our homes by unemployed youths
recruited as government thugs. They wore red shirts. In Zimbabwe Mugabe's
"Green Bombers" perform a similar function.

The parallels are not lost on ordinary Zimbabweans. I received an anonymous
article from a writer who had read my memoir on the upheavals of
post-colonial Africa, The Devil that Danced on the Water.

They commented: "The similarities are frightening ... I am convinced that,
unless God, somehow, intervenes in our situation, we are heading the same
tragic way that Sierra Leone went."

I have been back to Sierra Leone four times since the British sent troops
there, and not once have I heard Sierra Leonians dismiss Britain's role in
ending the bloodshed as an act of "neocolonialism". On the streets of Harare
there are desperate calls for Bush and Blair to come and "Saddam" us.

Yet Mugabe, when he wants to silence Whitehall and nudge South African
president Thabo Mbeki back into line, needs do no more than to raise the
spectre of colonialism, and Britain turns tail. This week he did so again by
threatening to expel Britain's ambassador in Harare.

Colonialism had plenty to answer for, but the British government cannot
continue to be paralysed by Mugabe's rhetoric. Military intervention would
be premature, but the injustices taking place in Zimbabwe are as deplorable
as those in Iran or Iraq. The squeamishness of Blair and Jack Straw in
speaking out is more misplaced now than ever.

The ordinary office and factory workers in Zimbabwe who risked the wrath of
Mugabe's thugs in staying away from work this week deserve more robust
support from Britain.
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Agribank Gets $4.1 Bn to Finance Food Projects

The Daily News (Harare)

June 24, 2003
Posted to the web June 24, 2003

THE Agriculture Bank (Agribank) of Zimbabwe Limited has received US$5
million ($4.1 billion at the official exchange rate) from the Arab Bank for
Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), to be used to finance agricultural
and food industry projects, it was learnt yesterday.

Agribank said in a statement released on Monday that the money would be
loaned to private entrepreneurs operating in Zimbabwe's agriculture and food
processing sectors, who would use it to procure mostly capital equipment.

The projects involved should be 'substantially' owned by Zimbabweans who
would be expected to export their products, the company said in its
statement. The minimum loan awarded under the arrangement will be US$50 000
($41.2 million) and BADEA will contribute up to 50 percent of the total
project costs while Agribank will provide at least 10 percent of the total
project costs.

'The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa has, through the
government of Zimbabwe, made available US$5 million to Agribank for the
financing of agricultural and food industry projects,' Agribank said in its

'BADEA's contribution would be at most 50 percent at total project cost.
Agribank's contribution would be at least 10 percent of the same (while)
beneficiaries will be expected to take responsibility for the balance,' the
Zimbabwean bank added.
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Land Experts Point to a Lack of Progress in Land Reform

The Namibian (Windhoek)

June 24, 2003
Posted to the web June 24, 2003

Christof Maletsky

AN informal meeting of land experts from southern Africa have expressed
concern over a "lack of real progress" in land redistribution in the region.

They say governments have failed to come up with viable policies and

A regional 'think tank meeting', held in Pretoria recently, was called by
the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) regional office to analyse
constraints to sustainable land reform.

Namibia was represented by land policy consultant Dr Wolfgang Werner.

The meeting said Namibia has been unable to devise technical solutions to
land use problems arising from the high costs of resettling small-scale
farmers in a sparsely populated semi-arid pastoral environment.

"Namibia has the usual policy dilemmas (economic production versus poverty
alleviation) in the communal and commercial areas and of deciding what the
role of stakeholders (national, regional, traditional leaders, local users
and occupiers) should be," the report said.

It added that the policy differences are played out in tensions between the
"highly politicised" Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation and
the more technocratic Ministry of Agriculture.

"Weak leadership, management and chronic incapacity in the former [Lands]
have been a major constraint".

This, they continued, is reflected in the comparative performance of two
different types of land redistribution programmes: the Ministry of Lands'
land settlement programme for the landless, "which has been a dreadful
failure", and the Ministry of Agriculture's affirmative action loan scheme
(facilitated by the Agricultural Bank) for emerging black commercial
farmers, which seemed to be a success in terms of its stated objectives.

Events in Zimbabwe and their repercussions, both within the country and for
Namibia and South Africa, dominated the discussions.

The report from the meeting said governments have failed to allocate the
financial and human resources needed to address the land situation.

"At the same time, donors have found it increasingly difficult to justify
the allocation of aid resources to land reform in the region. This
reluctance is due to the lack of viable policies and programmes and is also
a response to policy trends - in practice if not in rhetorical terms - away
from the pro-poor agenda that donors feel should be the focus of land reform
policies," the report said.

The meeting found that land grabbing by elite groups is evident across the
region, even where new legal frameworks protect existing local land rights.

"There are also signs across the region that problems are due to a failure
of governments which are varyingly authoritarian, centralised and
indifferent to human rights issues," the group of 14 experts said.

The group said neither Namibia nor South Africa are any closer to finding
land reform solutions and expressed concern about "grave consequences" if
the two countries allow the current impasse to continue.

"The cost of taking no effective action could be very high indeed. The
political will to get to grips with land reform is apparently lacking and
perhaps best understood in the context of other, more acute, concerns facing
these governments".

The think tank said the 'willing-seller, willing-buyer' concept must be
dropped if it is found to be a constraint.

"We felt that there are several issues around this subject that need more
investigation, such as the real nature of the constraint it imposes, and
whether it is the supply of land or the other conditions (price and who gets
land once it is redistributed) that are the real problem".

According to the group, donors in the region see assistance for land reform
as politically sensitive and complex, likely to result in negative
consequences whatever the moral foundation, and therefore best avoided.

The report urges donors not to "walk away when things turn sour, but [to]
rather tread carefully and maintain a base flow of support.

Nor should they give up on promoting a redistribution agenda,
notwithstanding the disaster unfolding in Zimbabwe, which seems to have
become the reference point in spite of it really being the worst case
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SA man's death: Suspects held
24/06/2003 14:24  - (SA)

Bulawayo - Police in Zimbabwe have arrested three men in connection with the
murder of South African tourist Conan Thomas at Hillside Dams in Bulawayo on

Thomas, who was strolling at the picnic spot in the company of his
girlfriend, her father and her two young sisters was shot dead by one of
three assailants.

He was a sound and lighting student at Allenby College in Gauteng.

Bulawayo police on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of the three suspects, but
could not be drawn into giving more details about the circumstances
surrounding the incident.

Leon Bezuidenhout, the father of the Thomas's girlfriend Megan said police
brought the suspects to his home early in the morning.

He positively identified them as the men who had shot his would-be son-in
law before robbing them of property and cash valued at Z$12m (about R11

"The suspects have been arrested and the police brought them to my place for
identification early today before taking them into custody," said a
grief-stricken Bezuidenhout.

He said the shortage of commercial flights in Zimbabwe had hampered the
transportation of Thomas's body to South Africa for burial.

"We are working out logistics on the transportation of the body to South
Africa. We were looking forward to ferrying it sometime today or tomorrow,
but Air Zimbabwe has told us there are no commercial flights," he said.

As a result, said Bezuidenhout, they were now arranging for the body to be
transported by road through Zimbabwe's Beitbridge border post.

"All things being equal, the body will be leaving on Thursday at the
latest." he said.

Bezuidenhout, an official at a South African tourism company, said Thomas's
murder was typical of the violence he said was common in Zimbabwe. He said
there was no hope of a revival of the tourism industry.

"It is so pathetic that tourists who bring in the much-needed foreign
currency in Zimbabwe can be murdered like this.

"Zimbabwe's tourism industry has ground to a halt because of the rampant
lawlessness and if the government cannot stop it then there is no hope for
its revival at all," he said.

Late last year, an Australian tourist was killed by unknown assailants in
the resort town of Victoria falls before being robbed of his possessions.
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Grain Marketing board Seizes 350 Tonnes of Maize

The Herald (Harare)

June 24, 2003
Posted to the web June 24, 2003

Sifelani Tsiko

THE Grain Marketing Board recently impounded at least 350 tonnes of maize
worth over $45,5 million from farmers and companies which include a major
milling firm.

GMB chief executive Retired Colonel Samuel Muvuti told The Herald that 100
tonnes of maize were impounded on Thursday last week from one of the
country's largest milling companies, National Foods, which had illegally
sold the grain to Ostarama Feeds of Bulawayo at a whooping price of $497 500
per tonne.

According to Statutory Instrument 235A of 2001 only the GMB is allowed to
trade in maize and wheat grain.

"These large milling companies complain day in day out that they are not
getting enough maize and yet they go on to sell the maize to other companies
at higher prices," said Rtd Col Muvuti.

"This is illegal and unprofessional. It's un-businesslike. The grain we are
giving them is for them to mill and sell to consumers."

GMB sells a tonne of maize for $9 600 to millers but unscrupulous dealers
and some milling companies were re-selling the maize at prices ranging from
$200 000 to $500 000 a tonne. The development comes in the wake of fears
that some unscrupulous individuals and companies were hoarding maize with
the intention of re-selling it later at exorbitant prices on the black

One of the directors at National Foods, Mr Peter Keen, admitted in a letter
dated June 19 to the GMB that his company had offered to sell the maize to
Ostarama since this was surplus imported maize.

"This serves to confirm that National Foods Limited were approached by
Bateleur Ventures (on behalf of Ostarama) to sell 100 tonnes of imported
maize," he said in the letter.

"Ostarama are currently critically short of maize for the production of
their ostrich feeds. I agreed to this request on condition that the relevant
movement permit was acquired from GMB and the price of the maize would be
our imported cost which is US$180.

"This 100 tonnes equates to a small surplus from our imported consignment,"
read part of the letter.

Col Muvuti criticised millers strongly for undermining Government efforts to
ensure that food reaches consumers on time.

"These people are always attacking GMB for not giving them enough maize and
yet they take the same maize and resell it at higher prices.

"They are not playing their part to ensure that maize meal gets to the
consumers. What these people are trying to do is to create a crisis
environment in terms of grain shortage to frustrate people of Zimbabwe for
their own ulterior motives," he said.

"Where is the surplus coming from when they are getting the grain at highly
subsidised prices?"

The 100 tonnes, which was impounded, was taken to GMB Bulawayo depot.

Another 200 tonnes which were bought from Chipunza Farm at a cost of $497
500 per tonne by Ostarama Feeds and handled by Bateuler Ventures Commodity
brokers was also impounded recently from Hortico.

A total of 50 tonnes were also impounded from a Gweru-based brewer, Go Beer
Breweries, after the company purchased the maize directly from farmers in
the Charandura area for $150 000 a tonne.

The company's representatives appeared before the courts on Tuesday and the
case was deferred to 30 June. The 50 tonnes of maize was impounded and
delivered to GMB Gweru depot.

"We are taking them to court. We are the sole trader of grain in the
country," said Col Muvuti. "We have intensified our operations to try and
bring these criminals to book."

GMB has impounded 1 800 tonnes of maize worth more than $234 million since
the marketing season opened on April 1.

It has suspended a total of 26 small to medium-scale millers for various
offences related to the illegal trading of maize. Suspension may lead to the
companies being de-registered.

In all the cases the buyer and seller are charged for violating Section
40(2) of the Grain Marketing Act and Statutory Instrument 235A of 2001 which
prohibits buying, importing or dealing in any controlled product.

Pungwe Breweries of Mutare is also under investigation for purchasing 50
tonnes of maize from farmers in the Vumba area at $160 000 per tonne.

At least 20 tonnes of maize were impounded from FSI Agricom in a case in
which a contracted farmer, Mr Benson Thondlana, of Middle Sabi moved the
maize from Manicaland to the FSI farm in Chegutu.

The farmer now faces charges for failing to deliver maize to GMB and
contravening Section 40(1)(a) of the Grain Marketing Act.

Last month, a Norton-based poultry farmer Mr Peter Drummond was convicted
and fined $200 000 for contravening the Act.

The farmer purchased 59 tonnes from four co-operative millers and some
farmers around Norton.

The four co-operative millers were de-registered by the GMB following their
conviction in court last month.

The four millers are - Mbuya Bhona, Kushinga, Kuguta and Nharira.

Last month another separate quantity of 96 tonnes was impounded in Harare
and Bulawayo while the maize was in transit from a farm in Karoi to

Royal Harare Sports Club contravened section 40(2)(e) of the Grain Marketing
Act after purchasing 19 tonnes of maize from farmers in the Banket area.

The maize was impounded and delivered to GMB Aspindale Depot in Harare. The
matter is still pending before the courts.

Large milling companies have complained that they were not getting adequate
supplies of maize to meet the huge demand for maize meal.

"We are getting next to nothing," said Mr Ian Kind, the managing director
for National Foods recently said. "These amounts we are getting are really
pathetic. Our main plant has a capacity of milling 1 000 tonnes a day but
our allocation for the last month did not allow us to mill for half a day."

"We are not allowed to buy our maize and the amounts we are getting are
totally not viable. We would like GMB to supply us with a bigger allocation
that would enable us to become viable in this business," he said.

On average the GMB said it deals with about 50 cases every month and the
majority of the violations involve farmers and members of the public who
fail to deliver grain to the nearest GMB depot.
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Motorists alert

Source: SW Radio Africa 23 June
Make certain that your doors are locked and your windows are shut when stopping at any intersection or robot anywhere in Harare.  Street kids are now picking up used syringes and needles from hospital rubbish tips, filling them with water and stabbing motorists through their windows.  Obviously, the syringes and needles are contaminated, so the results of this experience could have nasty long-term consequences.  (Also, if air bubbles are pumped into your bloodstream, this will result in an almost instantaneous coronery.)
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House Robberies

We are becoming alarmingly concerned by the high numbers of house robberies.

Here are some tips for you to try and remember.

Keep your gates closed and locked at all times.
Do not allow ANYONE onto your property.
Your domestics should have a telephone number for them to contact you if
they are uncertain about who to let in.
If Police want to come in, you should get their names, station, and number
and then phone the station to confirm their ID's. DONT let them in until
these have been confirmed.
Do not allow your domestics to have keys to the house, you are setting them
up for the robbers.
Keep front and back doors locked during the day where possible.
Check that your alarm system is working every 10 days.
All entry and exit doors must be locked around 5.0pm -5.30pm every day.
Many robberies take place in the early evening.
Remove and replace old rusty burglar bars and install good strong ones.
Ideally your bedroom areas should be sealed off from the living areas by
sturdy metal grill doors, padlocked, and YOU keep the keys.
Make sure your cellphones are in the bedroom with you at night and not left
lying around the house.
KNOW the number to call your local police and a neighbours number in case
they have to go and fetch the cops.
Make sure all windows are shut when you retire for the night.
Have as many outside lights on as possible all night.
Dogs should sleep INSIDE the house.
Check that your alarm is ON when you go to bed, if you have relatives or
children coming home late, MAKE A PLAN
Before you open the back door in the
morning make sure no one is lurking outside.
If you must have verandah doors open in the evenings, install a metal grill
gate so that no one can get in.
Mothers and others who get home at lunch time every day, try and change the
times that you arrive, being so reliable and punctual every day of the week
tells the robbers exactly when you'll be home.
Above all, if you suspect there are intruders in your home at night DO NOT
GO AND INVESTIGATE, stay in your bedroom, lock the door and call for help.
Get everyone into one bedroom if possible.
Having safes at home is no longer a good idea - these robbers are looking
for money, jewellery, weapons, and electrical items.
This all seems painful and "do we really want to live like this" If we are
going to live in Zimbabwe we have to take these precautions as do residents
of many, many other countries.
By the way, 2 more people have been victims of robberies on the airport road
after leaving the airport, windows smashed and bags snatched.


Mary van Heerden - Anti Hijack Trust

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 24 June

Snap election?

Last Friday, the Herald quoted Mugabe: "We should start preparing for the
(parliamentary) elections now because 2005 is not far away. There is only
one and half to two years to go. In the Midlands, the five seats we lost
must come back". On the weekend, the Sunday Mail quoted justice minister
Chinamasa: "The countdown to the 2005 parliamentary/general elections has
begun. Considering that it is less than two years from now, it is correct to
state that the 2005 parliamentary/general elections are around the corner.
Preparations for elections must now begin and given the tasks to be done and
that lie ahead, the schedule of implementation is going to be very tight".

Mugabe does not have the two-thirds majority in parliament necessary to
amend the constitution. If he held new elections, and manufactured that
two-thirds majority, he could dispense with the constitutional requirement
for a fresh presidential election should he retire. A new president, of his
choosing, could then be shooed into State House - without so much as a
by-your-leave. It isn't rocket science. After all, the Congo did something
similar, and nobody raised an eyebrow. And Kabila Jr.'s backers didn't even
bother with a constitutional amendment.

But two years to go? Tight schedule? The smart money is now betting on a
snap election - well before 2005. "OK," Mugabe will say to the opposition.
"You want fresh elections? Let's have them." There will be more rigging than
in Nelson's navy and no independent monitoring. Just an official South
African delegation, led perhaps by Mosiuoa Lekota, or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
(or should that be Dlamini-Mudenge?). And the timing? Well, Mbeki did say
Mugabe would be gone within a year. Which means a general election within
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From The Times-Picayune (US), 23 June

Fraud suspect pulls disappearing act

After 20 years, he was to return to N.O.

By Susan Finch, Staff writer

In the nearly 22 years since federal authorities in New Orleans issued a
warrant for his arrest on charges of bilking the government of Egypt out of
$7 million by falsely claiming his New Orleans company had shipped it 11
million pounds of frozen chickens, Alexander LeGault has been on the lam.
Not that the feds haven't known where to find LeGault, a Wisconsin native in
his early 50s. They've tried repeatedly, and without success, over the years
to get him returned to New Orleans from Canada, where he has lived since
1982. But on May 30, it seemed prosecutors were about to get their wish.
Under a deportation order from Canadian authorities, LeGault that day was
scheduled to board a flight in Montreal that would ultimately bring him back
to New Orleans for trial on conspiracy and fraud charges that a grand jury
formalized into an indictment in 1986. Once again, however, LeGault gave
authorities the slip. He never showed up for his flight from Montreal's
Dorval International Airport, and Canadian immigration officers who went
looking for him came up empty-handed, according to a report in The Gazette,
a Montreal newspaper.

It was the latest turn in LeGault's long-running battle to persuade Canadian
immigration authorities that with a business, seven children - six of them
born in Canada - and several employees in Canada, he should be allowed to
remain there. In Montreal, LeGault was an officer of a political consulting
firm headed by a former Israeli military-intelligence agent named Ari
Ben-Menashe and had become involved in a treason trial under way in Africa
since February. Because Ben-Menashe claims the firm was asked two years ago
to help with a plan to assassinate Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, he and
LeGault were scheduled to testify for the prosecution in the trial of three
men accused in the plot. LeGault was eliminated as a witness, though, after
he did not travel to Africa because of ill health, according to a recent
account in the Harare Daily News. The Harare newspaper also said that in
recent treason proceedings, an attorney for the defense read aloud a letter
from a Canadian lawyer that said LeGault was about to be deported to the
United States. "The (Canadian) government has bought him a plane ticket to
New Orleans. The American authorities will be waiting for him when he gets
there," the letter said.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, federal prosecutors in Louisiana have
first dibs on LeGault, chronologically speaking. LeGault and a co-defendant,
Alphonse Joseph Demots Jr. of Detroit, were accused in federal court in New
Orleans of causing a London bank to transfer $7 million to a Florida bank
account of their New Orleans firm, Southern Federated Cooperatives, by
falsifying a shipping document to say that the chickens had been loaded onto
ships bound for Egypt. Demots has long since faced the music on the charges
against him. He pleaded guilty to wire and mail fraud in 1984 and served two
years in prison. According to the 1986 indictment still pending against
LeGault, he and Demots had no intention of supplying the chickens. Among the
phony documents they gave the London bank to carry out their scheme, the
indictment said, was a certificate that said the birds had been slaughtered
according to Islamic religious rites. The bank in London was to be repaid
the $7 million by an Egyptian bank that was financing the chicken purchase,
according to the indictment, which said a Cyprus broker for Southern
Federated Cooperatives was also defrauded in the scheme. Florida prosecutors
also want their hands on LeGault: He is accused of swindling hundreds of
elderly citizens out of $13 million in a securities fraud scheme between
1993 and 1996, Montreal's Gazette reported recently.
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From News24 (SA), 23 June

Zim's Moyo 'almost drowned'

Harare - Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, 57, almost drowned
with his family and bodyguards at the weekend when the houseboat in which
they were sailing on Lake Kariba hit a tree stump, the Herald newspaper
reported on Monday. The report said the normally prolix Moyo was "in a state
of shock" and unavailable for comment. Police spokesperson said the
houseboat was carrying 14 occupants including the former academic, his wife,
children, sister, two "security aides" and four boat crew members when the
fibreglass hull was pierced shortly after 18:00 on Saturday and began taking
in water. The Herald said Moyo, appointed to the cabinet after masterminding
the ruling party publicity campaign in the June 2000 parliamentary
elections, "nearly drowned" although he and his family were able to get into
two small fishing dinghies being towed by the houseboat, which was partly
submerged but still afloat when police responded to rescue calls at 22:30.
The Herald said there were no lifejackets aboard, in violation of safety
regulations. Moyo and his family were embroiled in an incident at a
Johannesburg Hotel at Christmas, when South African police had to be called
to pacify a family quarrel.
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