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

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   Zimbabweans based in South Africa Zimbabweans based in South Africa demonstrate against the address by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono in Midrand last weekend. — AFP.

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Zim Independent

Ministers defy Mugabe on farms
Dumisani Muleya/Loughty Dube
TOP government and Zanu PF officials have defied President Robert Mugabe's
ultimatum to surrender farms grabbed at the height of the land seizures.

A report by the Presidential Land Resettlement Committee compiled in April
confirms that ministers and Zanu PF officials are clinging to their
ill-gotten farms in defiance of Mugabe's order to give up surplus

The report, compiled by a committee chaired by Special Affairs minister for
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, John Nkomo, says the VIP multiple
farm-owners are resisting a presidential directive issued last year to
surrender their extra land holdings.

"There are cases of senior party and government officials who grabbed more
than one farm using their positions of influence," the report says. "In most
cases these officials would have received only one offer letter (for a
farm). They have clandestinely held on to numerous other farms through their

Mugabe ordered people with more than one farm to surrender the other
properties in July last year. However, his directive was largely ignored.

Mugabe then set up Nkomo's committee which started work on October 23 to
deal with the issue and to clean up the chaotic land reform exercise. The
committee includes Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Higher Education
minister Herbert Murerwa, Labour minister Paul Mangwana, and Minister in the
Vice-President's Office, Flora Buka.

It is backed up by the National Inspectorate team which comprises army,
intelligence and police officers and a national coordinating centre headed
by Willard Chiwewe. The technical advisory team is led by Charles Utete.

Nkomo's detailed report says 329 officials - including ministers and Zanu PF
bigwigs - were holding on to numerous farms.

"A total of 329 people have multiple farms measuring 55 513, 668 hectares,"
it says. The report indicates that as a result of the resistance there are
still a number of farms to be recovered.

"In excess of 45 000 hectares of land were recovered during this exercise,
but there continues to be some resistance from high-ranking members of the
ruling party and senior government officials to surrender the land," it

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

The latest land report, seen by the Zimbabwe Independent this week, reveals
that influential people in Zanu PF were allocated farms in prime farming
areas with some individuals getting farms measuring up to 2 000 hectares

According to the report senior officials and businesspeople grabbed multiple
farms during the land reform exercise.

The majority of the Zanu PF chefs, the report says, got land in the prime
commercial farming Region One, displacing mainly tobacco and cotton-growing
commercial farmers.

After defying Mugabe's order of last July, officials further resisted the
crack National Inspectorate team assigned to "investigate and recover land
from multiple farm owners".

The team includes Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, deputy CIO director Menard
Muzariri, deputy police commissioner Godwin Matanga, Brigadier General S
Khumalo, retired colonel R Dube, retired colonel Z Moyo, and senior
assistant prisons commissioner S Matunhira.

The report said it was worrying that there were people accumulating farms in
violation of government's "one household, one farm" policy, while there were
hundreds of thousands of people on the official waiting list.

It says there are 249 473 people on the Model A1 waiting list and 99 971 on
the A2 waiting list. Under A2 people were allocated more than one farm by
the Agriculture ministry which did not have clear records of land parcelled
out or beneficiaries. Double allocations of farms riddled both A1 and A2.

Past investigations by the Buka team, Utete committee and a parliamentary
committee also revealed that senior officials had grabbed farms for

The Nkomo report said there were altogether 126 843 A1 beneficiaries made up
of 22 976 self-contained, 102 786 villagised and 1 081 three-tier plots.
Under A2 there were 12 888 beneficiaries, which gives a total of 137 995
(their figure) people resettled. This figure is similar to that of the Utete
report and is a further indictment of repeated official claims that there
were 300 000 beneficiaries under A1 and 54 000 under A2 resettlement models.

Last year media reports named several senior government officials as having
grabbed more than one farm against government policy.

The report also says apart from politicians, senior civil servants, business
people and high ranking government officials who bulldozed their way into
getting more than one farm, a sizeable number gatecrashed the lucrative
wildlife conservancies and safari areas.
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Zim Independent

Church coalition remembers torture victims
Loughty Dube
IN what threatens to set local churches on a collision course with the
authorities, the Bulawayo Christians Together for Justice and Peace group
will tomorrow hold a service for victims of torture and violence in
Zimbabwe. The prayer service meeting, to be held at the Roman Catholic St
Mary's Cathedral in Bulawayo tomorrow, coincides with the United Nations
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Torture victims are expected to give testimonies on violence by the state in
the past few years.

The service will take place simultaneously with another prayer meeting for
Zimbabwean torture victims lined up at St Martin-in-the Fields in Trafalgar
Square, London.

Bulawayo Christians Together for Peace and Justice spokesperson, Father
Barnabas Nqindi, said they had lined up several torture victims who are
expected to give testimonies on torture.

"In keeping up with the international family, we in Zimbabwe will join the

rest of the world in commemorating the International Day in Support of
Victims of Torture by reminding those in our midst who use torture as a tool
to stop doing so," Fr Nqindi told the Zimbabwe Independent this week.

"We pray to the Almighty to intervene and eradicate all forms of torture in
Zimbabwe and the world at large."

Nqindi said they would also be praying against denial of access to food and

health care, and against violence and the politics of hatred.

"We will pray for human rights, especially the rights of arrested persons,"
said Nqindi.

Zimbabwe's human rights record has worsened since President Mugabe unleashed
war veterans and youth militias on the opposition following his defeat in a
constitutional referendum in February 2000.

Zimbabwe's ratings by organisations such as Amnesty International and the
United Nations Commission for Human Rights have continued to plummet.

On whether they have sought police clearance to hold the prayer session, Nqi
ndi said there was no need to seek permission as the meeting would be held
within the confines of the church.

According to Zimbabwe's draconian security laws, police permission has to be
sought before people can hold a meeting.

The service in London will be followed by a procession to Zimbabwe House
where flowers will be laid in support of torture victims and those who
succumbed to torture.
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Zim Independent

'Political interference damaging ZBC' - report
Dumisani Muleya
THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), which is technically insolvent,
is in debt to the tune of $25 billion, it emerged during a recent
parliamentary debate on the parastatal's debt assumption by government.
Presenting a second report of the parliamentary portfolio committee on
transport and communications on ZBC, now known as Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings, committee chairman Silas Mangono said the company had a $4,5
billion "historical debt".

But other MPs said the current debt amounted to $25 billion. MDC MP David
Coltart said ZBC was $25 billion in the red because "$13 billion in local
currency and almost US$2 million (about $12 billion)" were due.

Mangono said ZBCwas in a deep financial crisis due to dwindling advertising
and licence revenue as well as poor management. He said his committee heard
from former managers that it should actually be closed down.

"According to Dr Gideon Gono (former ZBC board chairman), when your
committee interviewed him on 20th October 2003, ZBC should not be operating
if we look at the balance sheet of the company," Mangono said.

"Mr (Munyaradzi) Hwengwere (former ZBC chief executive) echoed the same
sentiments. He informed your committee that in December 2002, liquidation
was imminent as was evidenced by daily notices of attachment on property."

Mangono said ZBC's situation was worsened by the current "institutional
instability and ad hoc planning". ZBC, which uses "archaic equipment", has
been unbundled into nine subsidiaries each headed by a chief executive.
These include ZTV, Newsnet, National Television, On-Air Systems, Channel C,
and four radio stations, Radio Zimbabwe, Power FM, National FM, and SFM.

A past parliamentary investigation discovered that the ZBC was stuffed with
corrupt and incompetent employees. It also found that undue political
interference was destroying the corporation.

Mangono said his committee came face-to-face with crude interference when
"an official in the Department of Information and Publicity in the
President's Office had the temerity to query why the committee wanted to
interview Mr Hwengwere".

"This depicts interference in its worst form," Mangono said. "Such
interference, if not properly checked, can have a deleterious effect on
operations of the (information) department and its parastatals."

Coltart said assuming ZBC's debt would not resolve the company's crisis as
long as it remained "overly partisan". He said ZBC operated like the
Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation, a mouthpiece for the Rhodesian Front.

Another MDC MP, Welshman Ncube, said ZBC's financial problems had worsened
under the current "Minister of Propaganda". He said $10 billion of the
current $13 billion debt in local currency "is directly attributable to what
can only be described as a misguided attempt to make all Zimbabweans think

Ncube said taxpayers were now being forced "dig deep into their pockets to
pay for the folly of a few misguided politicians".

Mangono said ZBC was biased in its news coverage, in particular during
elections. He said it was also unable "to be there when it happens" because
of "operational problems due to a depleted and antiquated fleet of
vehicles". ZBC also has "less than three cameras and a lot of obsolete
equipment". This explains, Mangono said, why "we hear the same news for the
rest of the day, everyday, up to 6:00pm".
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Zim Independent

Claws out for foreign media
Vincent Kahiya in Jo'burg and Gift Phiri in Harare
GOVERNMENT has set its sights on foreign newspapers circulating in the
country, accusing them of trying to publish secretly in Zimbabwe and using
unaccredited journalists.

Officials are making threatening noises about foreign publications including
the Mail & Guardian, which they claim to be hostile to President Robert
Mugabe's government.

At the beginning of the week, the state controlled Sunday Mail - which
usually mirrors the government's views - published a story accusing the Mail
& Guardian of using unaccredited journalists. The state weekly, quoting
unnamed sources, also questioned why the Mail & Guardian was circulating in
Zimbabwe when its major shareholder, Trevor Ncube, was running another
paper - the Zimbabwe Independent.

The impression that the story was officialdom thinking aloud was given
credence this week when MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso, in remarks that
appeared to represent a firming of his position since the weekend, described
the Mail & Guardian as "unprincipled".

He said the paper was violating Aippa by using unaccredited journalists.

"We have noticed that there are Zimbabwean journalists who are exporting
stories to the Mail & Guardian's foreign desk but who are not accredited
with the Media and Information Commission," said Mahoso.

"There are two offences here. Firstly, they are not registered with the MIC.
Secondly they earn rands for publishing their stories.

"That money is not accounted for. So you see there is a forex question here
and that of registration. It's not only Aippa, even the RBZ (Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe) would be concerned," he said.

Asked if there was any substance to the information that the Mail & Guardian
could soon find itself in trouble with Zimbabwean authorities, Mahoso said:
"You should contact the people who have that information. All I can say is
that the Mail & Guardian is unprincipled because it is using unaccredited

Mahoso had problems explaining who the complainant in this case was. "Are
you knowledgeable about Aippa? If there is a violation of the law, then the
commission institutes investigations. This story was in the Sunday Mail, a
duly registered entity in Zimbabwe. Because the Sunday Mail has carried the
story, it is a complainant. Besides, the commission can institute its own
investigations. All foreign desks should be registered. Reuters, AFP and
even the Chinese news agency Xinhuanet's foreign desks are registered with
the commission."

Ncube on Wednesday said the Sunday Mail article was a good example of how
the Zimbabwe government had over the past five years abused the state media
to pursue narrow political agendas and to victimise perceived opponents.

"It is one example of how state-employed journalists have prostituted
themselves to the political elite and done away with all pretence at
professionalism," said Ncube.

"The story is defamatory, malicious and highly irresponsible. It serves no
public good at all. Its sole intention is to portray me and the Mail &
Guardian in bad light and to help the Media and Information Commission build
up a case against the paper.

"I am disappointed that MIC chairman Dr Tafataona Mahoso gave the story some
respectability by commenting before verifying the veracity of the claims in
the story," he said

Ncube said the M&G was not using unregistered journalists in Zimbabwe.

"What would be the point of doing this when we have our own pool of
registered journalists at the Independent and the Standard? All we have are
Zimbabwean-based columnists who contribute to the M&G which is distributed
all over the world. We have no plans now or in future of publishing in
Zimbabwe as claimed in the story.

"And for the record, we have turned around the Mail & Guardian in just under
two years and our circulation is growing in both South Africa and the region
as our audited circulation figures will attest."

Meanwhile, Mahoso came under attack this week from the Tribune which accused
him of displaying "dangerous ignorance of the law".

Mahoso last week issued a statement to say out of the 20 000 ordinary shares
held by the Tribune's publishers only 100 had been issued. The MIC said the
failure to issue the other 19 900 shares was one of the reasons it had used
to close down the paper.

"Therefore, failure to produce board resolutions on the fate of the 19 900
shares was one among the several reasons for the cancellation of the
licence," the MIC said.

But the Tribune, in a statement last Sunday, shot back, accusing Mahoso of
"dangerous ignorance of the law".

"His fight against private media is not based on the laws of the land, which
he does not understand, but on a sheer wish to repress independent voices,"
the Tribune said in the statement.

"His failure to understand the difference between authorised and issued
share capital is appalling to put it magnanimously."

Mahoso flatly refused to comment on the Tribune press statement saying the
case was sub judice.
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Zim Independent

Zim delays Transfrontier National Park appointment
Godfrey Marawanyika
ZIMBABWE has delayed the appointment of a substantive coordinator for the
Gaza, Kruger and Gonarezhou Transfrontier National Park despite a South
African-based organisation offering to pay the successful applicant. Once
completed the park will become Africa's biggest wildlife sanctuary merging
three game parks - Kruger in South Africa, Limpopo in Mozambique and
Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe. The combined project will be known as the Great
Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

The delay in the appointment of a coordinator follows the cancellation of
interviews for the prospective candidate by the National Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority.

South Africa and Mozambique already have full-time employees.

Peace Parks of South Africa says it is willing to fund Zimbabwe's

The delay in the progress of the project from the Zimbabwean end has led
investors from South Africa to assist Angola in its restocking of parks and
infrastructural development.

National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general, Dr Morris
Mtsambiwa, this week confirmed the delay.

"Within seven days we should be holding interviews. The delay was because of
technical problems as we wanted people outside the Parks Authority to also
apply," he said.

"Since we did not get enough response we have decided to interview those who
applied and most of them are employed by the Parks and Wildlife Authority."

Infrastructural development is also lagging behind on the Zimbabwean side
compared to its two project partners.

The project has also been greatly handicapped by lack of funding from both
the private sector and government.

However, in last year's budget government availed $2,2 billion towards the
parks initiative.

Tourism minister Francis Nhema this week confirmed that Angola was getting
assistance from South African investors but said this was a regional
position adding that they had seconded someone to the parks authority to be
the coordinator.

"There is a regional agreement to assist them. The last time when we met as
Sadc ministers in Angola the hosts asked for assistance from everyone.
That's why South Africa is assisting them," Nhema said.
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Zim Independent

Lawyers slam detentions
Munyaradzi Wasosa
THE Law Society of Zimbabwe has criticised the police for the rise in
arbitrary arrests and detention of suspects.

In a statement on Tuesday the society's president, Joseph James, deplored
what he called unnecessary arrests and detentions.

"There has been an increasing tendency to arrest and detain persons who are
facing relatively minor offences," James said.

"In fact, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has pointed out that the detention
of a person who has been arrested should only be effected where it is

James said according to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Chapter
9:07, detention was only necessary for serious crimes.

"The Act says detention can only be effected in situations such as when the
alleged wrongdoer is a threat to society, or he or she may abscond or is
facing serious charges," he said.

James cited the arrest of school heads over school fees in April which he
described as unnecessary.

"It is in this vein that the arrest and detention of persons such as
headmasters who are employees of schools, and board members of media
organisations is to be deplored," James said.

James also said the arrest and detention of people for minor offences over
weekends constituted abuse of power by the police.

"The police arrest and detain the accused persons just before or over the
weekends, and this is unnecessary and uncalled for," he said.

In an interview yesterday, James, himself a criminal lawyer, said weekend
arrests led to accused people being held for more than the normal period of
detention of 48 hours, which constituted an infringement of their rights.

"In many instances of weekend arrests, the detention period is exceeded
because the police know it is difficult for the accused to find a lawyer
during weekends," James said.
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Zim Independent

Chanetsa helped nuns occupy Malabar Farm
Munyaradzi Wasosa
FORMER Mashonaland West governor Peter Chanetsa allegedly sanctioned the
seizure by nuns of Malabar Farm in Darwendale, even before the 874-hectare
farm was listed for compulsory acquisition, the Zimbabwe Independent heard
last week.

Sagar Farming (Pvt) Ltd managing director, Arthur Swales, who is leasing the
farm, said in a statement that a Chinhoyi Arex official revealed in 2002
that Chanetsa wanted half the farm for the nuns.

In November 2002, Sister Helen Maminimini, the superior-general of the order
of the Little Community of the Blessed Lady, six nuns and a Chinhoyi Arex
official, Shepherd Muvhunzi, asked Sagar Farming for land for the nuns.

Swales said an unidentified nun from Father O'Hea Memorial Hospital in
Kutama then brought LA3 forms to be completed.

"We were confused as the wording on these forms was not relevant to our
position since the farm had never been listed," Swales said.

LA3 forms are an agreement to downsize a farm in compliance with government
policy that every agriculture region should have a particular farm size.
Swales took the forms to the Chinhoyi Arex offices in December the same year
seeking clarification.

It was then that Muvhunzi disclosed that Chanetsa wanted the nuns to get
half of the farm.

"After looking at the forms, Muvhunzi said the portion we had offered the
nuns for use was not good enough," Swales said. "He said we should divide
more of the farm as the (former) governor (Peter Chanetsa) wanted the
sisters to have half the farm."

Muvhunzi could not be reached for comment.

This paper was told that Muvhunzi had quit Arex and was now lecturing at
Chinhoyi University.

On June 20 2003 a meeting attended by Swales, Maminimini and Zvimba district
lands officer, Stanford Katonha, was held at the Ministry of Lands offices
in Chinhoyi.

Swales said: "At this meeting, Katonha said the governor for Mashonaland
West, Peter Chanetsa, had instructed him to get a subdivision of 340
hectares for the LCBL sisters, or he would gazette the farm and issue a
Section 8 (acquisition) order."

Chanetsa refused to comment saying he was no longer in government. "I cannot
speak on behalf of the government because I am no longer the governor,"
Chanetsa said. "When I retired in November last year, I left all government
issues, therefore go to the incumbent governor and ask him."

In a letter carried in this paper on June 11, Maminimini said she wanted the
farm seizure to be kept a secret "to prevent confusion".

"The agreement between Swales and us that farm issues should only be
discussed with the regional superior and myself was to prevent confusion in
administration," Maminimini said.
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Zim Independent

Political tension up in Manicaland
Munyaradzi Wasosa
POLITICAL tension is running high in Manicaland amid claims by the Movement
for Democratic Change that police are acting with Zanu PF officials to bar
the opposition from holding campaign rallies.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week, MDC Mani-caland
provincial information secretary, Pishai Muchauraya, said police were
preventing his party from holding rallies.

"We are facing two major problems especially in Chimanimani," Muchauraya
said. "We have the police as an institution barring us from holding
political rallies on the one hand, while Zanu PF through violence on the
other hand is preventing our supporters from having political gatherings."

Muchauraya said the MDC had made six applications to the police in Chipinge
to hold rallies but was turned down.

"We requested clearance from Chipinge police to hold rallies, some of which
were to be addressed by Chimanimani MP Roy Bennett, six times, but we were
turned down by the police," Muchauraya said.

He said the police said there was a possibility of Bennett being attacked by
incensed Zanu PF supporters after the incident in parliament when the MDC MP
floored two Zanu PF ministers.

"They said it was not possible for the MDC to have rallies addressed by
Bennett because they did not have enough manpower to protect him or anyone
else in the event of a Zanu PF attack," Muchauraya said.

Bennett was involved in a brawl in parliament last month in which he floored
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Anti-graft minister Didymus Mutasa.

Zanu PF supporters, in retaliation, launched an anti-white campaign that saw
the abduction and assault last month of Birgit Kidd, a Finnish citizen who
lives in Chimanimani.

The police officer commanding Chipinge and Chimanimani, Chief

Sup-erintendent Musarashana Mabunda, could not be reached for comment.

Muchauraya accused the police of acting as an extension of the ruling party.

"It seems the police, instead of being apolitical, are now a wing of Zanu PF
as manifested by their refusal to allow us to hold rallies in Chimanimani
and other areas in the province," he said.

Muchauraya also accused Zanu PF of using violence to intimidate voters in
Chimanimani, one of the MDC's rural strongholds.

Aspiring Zanu PF candidate for next year's parliamentary election, Munacho
Mutezo, was named in the High Court as having led Zanu PF supporters in the
invasion of MDC district offices in Chimanimani last month.

The High Court last week ordered Police Com-missioner Augustine Chi-huri to
evict Zanu PF militia who invaded Kidd's property at Chimanimani business
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Zim Independent

Sweden scales down operations in Zim
Munyaradzi Wasosa
SWEDEN says it will maintain its firm stance towards the Zimbabwean
government over human rights abuses and repressive media laws, and has
revealed plans to scale down operations in the country.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent last week, Swedish ambassador
to Zimbabwe, Kristina Svensson, said her country was sticking to the
European Union resolution on Zimbabwe.

"We are members of the European Union, and we are fully supportive of the
EU's position on Zimbabwe," Svensson said. "We will therefore not change our

Zimbabwe fell out with the international community, including the European
Union, in 2000 following the government's violent land invasions and
elections that were widely viewed as flawed.

The EU imposed targeted sanctions on government officials which bar them
from entering EU member states. Svensson however said she was optimistic
that the frosty relations between Harare and Stockholm would soon thaw.

"I sincerely hope that we soon will be back to a normalised relation between
our two countries where our two governments cooperate, and we can intensify
our support to Zimbabwe," Svensson said.

However, in the meantime operations were being scaled down, she said.

"This year we will further decrease the number of staff in the embassy and
one of the posts will be moved to Mozambique," Svensson said. "We are
definitely relocating our regional department of Water Resources Development
to Mozambique on August 15 this year."

In a statement to mark the Swedish National Day, Svensson also said Swedish
aid in Zimbabwe has drastically decreased due to what she termed "changes
that have taken place" in the country.

"Although our Swedish community in Zimbabwe has decreased considerably
during the last few years, we remain committed," Svensson said.

Sweden recently invited Zimbabwean journalists on a study tour of the
country's media system in a bid to rebut government claims that Sweden's
media laws are worse than Zimbabwe's draconian Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo blocked state media journalists from
going to witness the Scandinavian country's undemocratic media laws.

In 2003, the Swedish parliament adopted a bill for global democracy in which
economic aid would be given to countries that uphold basic principles of
democracy and respect for human rights.

"The principles that Sweden supports today are the same principles that were
supported by (Swedish) missionaries," Svensson said.

"They are the same principles that motivated us to support the future
leaders of this country."
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Zim Independent

Bill in offing to clamp down on NGOs, churches
Gift Phiri
GOVERNMENT plans to table a Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and
Churches Bill in a move that analysts say will allow it to clamp down on
what it sees as errant operators.

The Bill, which has already been drafted and is expected to be tabled in the
next parliamentary session starting in July, will allow government to have
greater influence in the operations of NGOs and churches.

The Bill proposes a code of conduct for all churches involved in
humanitarian aid. The monitoring of NGOs, especially those involved in food
aid, "will ensure they do not mix humanitarian work with politics".

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mangwana said the
Bill was aimed at dealing with churches and NGOs that were inciting people
to rebel against government.

"Some NGOs and churches are causing confusion in the country because they
are converting their humanitarian programmes into politics," said Mangwana.
"The government cannot allow that to happen, so we are saying they should
come under scrutiny where we revise all the modalities of their operations
in the country. Failure to do that we are going to simply close all the
doors and not allow them in this country anymore because the Bill will set
out a code of conduct which they will be expected to stick to," said
Mangwana in an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week.

NGOs operating in Zimbabwe have been at loggerheads with government over the
past three years, with government accusing them of promoting foreign
interests and those of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Government two years ago ordered NGOs to register under the Private
Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act, a law that civil society blasted as
"undemocratic" and too restrictive on the operations of NGOs.

MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi said the Bill reflected the "pariah
state" that Zimbabwe has become.

"These are part of attempts to turn this country into a fascist state," said
Nyathi. "Clearly the government has become paranoid and is trying to control
virtually all aspects of life. This is how fascists or dictators behave."
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Zim Independent

Poaching threatens megapark project
Munyaradzi Wasosa
THE illegal occupation of Gonarezhou National Park by the Chitsa people
threaten the implementation of the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park

This comes amid reports that the illegal settlers continue to destroy the
wildlife population in the park through rampant poaching activities.

In a report tabled in parliament last week, the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Mines, Energy, Environment and Tourism, accused Chiredzi South
MP Aaron Baloyi of encouraging the occupation of the park.

"The chief lands officer and the local MP for the area, during oral
evidence, clearly showed that they are backing the occupation of the Chitsa
community in the park," the committee said.

Committee chairman Joel Gabhuza told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that
Baloyi said the Chitsa people's occupation of Gonarezhou was justified.

"Baloyi himself told us that the Department of National Parks should leave
the Chitsa people alone and instead extend Gonarezhou into the Ngwenyeni
area towards Mozambique," Gabhuza said.

He said poaching of wildlife was rampant in the park.

"People are poaching game for commercial use and subsistence, and the
illegal settlers have destroyed a 10km stretch of the park's perimeter
fence," he said.

The Chitsa people invaded about a third of Gonarezhou at the start of
countrywide farm invasions in 1999 claiming it was their ancestral lands
taken from them in the 1960s.

The committee said the occupation was scaring away investors and threatened
the implementation of the tri-nation megapark involving Mozambique, South
Africa and Zimbabwe.

"It sends bad signals to other parties to the agreement and investors as
well as setting a bad precedent to other communities adjacent to national
parks," the committee said.

"Great strides have been made in South Africa and Mozambique in implementing
the project due to donor support," the committee said.

"However, in Zimbabwe donor support has been virtually withdrawn due to
negative sentiments held by donors on the implementation of the fast track
land resettlement programme."

The three countries signed a treaty in December 2002 formalising an earlier
agreement to implement the project.

The park includes Limpopo, Kruger and Gonarezhou national parks in
Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively.

The committee said Zimbabwe was lagging behind in implementing the project.

"A lot has been documented by NGOs interested in the area on the

implementation of the project and very little seems to be happening on the
Zimbabwean side," the committee said.

The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is the implementing agency for

The committee said National Parks operations director Vitalis Chadenga
conceded that infrastructure in Gonarezhou was far from ideal.

"The National Parks director informed us that the park has very poor
infrastructure in terms of road networks within and linking the park to
other areas of the transfrontier park," the committee said.

The committee said the $300 million budgeted for the rehabilitation of the
park's roads was not enough.

It added that the authority had no funds to repair the Runde bridge damaged
by cyclone Eline in 2000 and that there was no electricity.

Under the Public Sector Investment Programme, $35 million was provided in
the 2004 budget for the installation of power lines in Gonarezhou.
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Zim Independent

MPs urge broadening of Zim sanctions
Gift Phiri
BRITAIN'S House of Commons last week heard calls for the extension of
European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe to include all key figures in the
governing Zanu PF party.MPs complained that EU sanctions against President
Robert Mugabe's regime were not tight enough. They called for the extension
of the EU sanctions list to include a travel ban on Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) governor Gideon Gono who they said was bankrolling the ruling party
through his monetary policies.

"The Zimbabwean government is threatening to starve millions of people,
spending extortionately on defence and sending the head of the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe to this country with his begging bowl to stump up cash to
sustain their brutal tyranny," said John Bercow, a Conservative MP.

"Wouldn't it be better to seek to extend the EU sanctions so that the head
of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono, is included in them? In my view that would
be a vital contribution in humanitarian terms to helping the people of
Zimbabwe who have suffered too much for too long with too little help from
the outside world."

Gono two weeks ago travelled to Washington where he held meetings with
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank officials for balance of
payments support. During the trip he pleaded with the Bretton Woods
institutions not to expel Zimbabwe for its arrears.

The RBZ governor proceeded to the United Kingdom where he attempted to
persuade the estimated 400 000 Zimbabweans to use a new government
initiative, Homelink, to send money to relatives back home. By offering the
same exchange rate as the black market, the scheme is expected to inject
millions of dollars in hard currency into the government's bankrupt coffers.

International development minister Hillary Benn told the House that
Britain's sanctions policy against Zimbabwe was coordinated with the
European Union and the Commonwealth.

"As the honourable gentleman will be aware, the sanctions that were reviewed
earlier this year were extended," said Benn.

"There is always an argument to be heard about which names should be
included on that list and which should not, but the list was extended. The
action that he advocates in relation to Dr Gono would not affect Dr Gono's
current visit, but the government has always said that, along with our EU
colleagues, we shall continue to review the effectiveness of the sanctions
to make sure that we take the right steps to affect those who are
responsible while not further harming the people of Zimbabwe."

Although Gono has played a key role in sprucing up Zanu PF's battered image,
he is not on the list of 95 Zimbabwean officials banned from visiting the

Other MPs blasted the Zimbabwean government for its misguided policies. Sir
Nicholas Winterton said he was angered that despite the serious problems
facing Zimbabwe including the chronic fuel, food and currency shortages, a
contracting economy and growing starvation, the government had ordered 12
jet fighter aircraft and 100 military vehicles from China.

Benn said the international community should continue to apply pressure on
Zimbabwe to halt the continuing erosion of democratic principles. He said
although the EU had imposed an arms embargo, assets freeze and visa ban
against Zanu PF officials, other African states needed to exert more
pressure on Zimbabwe.
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Zim Independent

      Govt obsessed with information control

      Gift Phiri

      THE government of Zimbabwe has become increasingly paranoid about the
flow of information in and out of the country and analysts fear this could
be part of efforts to narrow democratic discourse ahead of elections next

      The obsession with information control had led to the closure of
critical newspapers and the expulsion from the country of most foreign
journalists previously reporting from here, they say.

      Several local journalists have been arrested under government's
draconian media laws enacted soon after President Robert Mugabe's
controversial reelection in 2002.

      Just last week Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge threatened to
shut down United Nations (UN) agencies over their alleged failure to control
the flow of information from Zimbabwe. Mudenge accused UN officials of
"spreading lies" about Zimbabwe, deepening the rift between the country and
the world body.

      Mudenge summoned a UN World Food Programme (WFP) representative to his
office to explain a report compiled by one of its officials that outlined
increasing crime and lawlessness in the country.

      "There is a persistent trend of malicious intent on the part of some
UN staffers in Zimbabwe who are deliberately demonising this country and its
leadership through lies and misinformation," Mudenge said. "It is
unfortunate the United Nations in Harare continues to tolerate people who
tarnish the name of Zimbabwe. This is unacceptable to the government."

      A WFP official, Denis Mpanda, whom Mudenge said was "probably drunk",
compiled the report warn-ing of a sharp rise in violent crime, including
street robbery, rapes and vehicle hijackings.

      "He just sits down, his hang-over gets to him, and he puts it out,"
Mudenge said.

      He also complained about an official at the UN Development Programme
who previously descri-bed Zimbabwe as "a no-go country" where policing was
ineffective and the lives of UN personnel were in danger.

      Mudenge accused UN officials sympathetic to the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change of using their positions to promote a political agenda
with "evil intent" against the country.

      Mudenge's comments came soon after UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's
special envoy for humanitarian needs in southern Africa, James Morris,
cancelled a planned trip to Zimbabwe, saying neither Mugabe nor his top
officials were available to meet him.

      In fact officials had been working on plans for the visit for over six

      Mudenge warned the UN that if it continued employing "political
zealots who seek the cover of the UN to propagate treacherous messages, then
the government would take appropriate action". He said failure by the world
body to control the flow of information from Zimbabwe could lead to the
collapse of the UN system in the country.

      The government's obsession with information flow was also illustrated
last month when the state proposed new contracts for all Internet service
providers (ISPs) meant to force them to block content or to report
"malicious messages".

      The contract obliges ISPs to "provide, without delay, all the tracing
facilities of the nuisance or malicious messages or communications
transported through his equipment and network, to authorised officers of...
the government of Zimbabwe, when such information is required for
investigations of crimes or in the interests of national security".

      In December Mugabe vowed that Zimbabwe would control the means to get
information to its citizens, and emphasised Zimbabwe's sovereignty. But in
March, the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional legal provisions that
gave the president powers to eavesdrop or intercept mail, e-mails or
telephone conversations.

      Despite the court order, the state went ahead and proposed the gagging
order for all ISPs.

      Information minister Jonathan Moyo recently clashed with Zanu PF
spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira over the interview Mugabe had with Sky News of
Britain.  Moyo said "it was outdated and no longer relevant to think that
the only way of speaking to the world is via Sky News, BBC and other
colonial mouthpieces".

      He said nothing would be gained by communicating "through colonial,
neo-colonial, imperialist and oppositional mouthpieces". He said it was
better to communicate through the "national media", over which he appears to
exercise total control.

      Ruling party sources say Shamuyarira, who had organised the Sky News
interview, was opposed to Moyo's policy of shutting out the outside world
while bombarding the country with Zanu PF propaganda.

      As if to confirm this notion, government two weeks ago shut down
another independent national newspaper - the third in less than a year.

      The banning of the weekly Tribune came hard on the heels of the forced
closure of the Daily News and its sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday in
September last year. The Tribune had recently been bought by a consortium of
five managers headed by an MP from the ruling Zanu PF, Kindness Paradza. But
that didn't stop the paper from criticising government shortcomings.
Paradza, a former journalist, was suspended from Zanu PF last month for
criticising Zimbabwe's restrictive media laws in his maiden speech to
parliament in March. He said the laws, which also prohibit private
broadcasting, discouraged investment in the media.

      The speech was condemned by his party chiefs who accused him of
conspiring with Britain against Mugabe.

      Paradza said the banning of the newspaper was a "barbaric act" and has
vowed to fight it in the courts. He has already sued the Media Information
Commission and its executive chairman Tafataona Mahoso for illegally
shutting down his paper. The reason given for the closure was that the
Tribune had changed ownership and directors without informing the MIC. But
Paradza said his paper was being targeted for its independent editorial

      Under the new media law, the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, all news organisations and journalists are required to seek
licences from the MIC to operate in Zimbabwe. Scores of Zimbabwean
journalists have been refused registration. All foreign correspondents who
used to be based in Harare have been expelled.

      Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe coordinator Andy Moyse said there
were concerted efforts by government to shut down all critical sources of
information ahead of the parliamentary ballot scheduled for March next year.

      "These are part of moves by government to shut down all democratic
space and civil rights," said Moyse. "It is in fact a campaign to terminate
all critical sources of information ahead of the next election."

      Moyse said government would want to have all the democratic space to

      Political analyst and Southern Africa Publishing House chairman, Ibbo
Mandaza, acknowledged that there were attempts to control the flow of
information from Zimbabwe.

      "But we need to look at each case's merits or demerits," said Mandaza.
"For instance, the case of the closure of the Daily News and the Tribune is
still before the courts and it would be sub judice to discuss them. I would
rather reserve my comments."

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Zim Independent


A fearful party hides behind repression
THE ruling party's campaign to close democratic space and criminalise
opposition to the regime was given voice in parliament this week with claims
that disruptions of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono's roadshow meetings in
Britain and South Africa and calls to extend sanctions to include Dr Gono
were "an attack on the economic interests of the country" and therefore a
crime under the law.

This followed remarks made in the London Times by MDC secretary-general
Welshman Ncube.

Nothing more graphically illustrates the siege mentality currently gripping
a party that more often prefers to communicate its mastery of power. The
motion tabled on Wednesday linked MDC "treachery" to moves by the ICC to
suspend Test cricket matches against Zimbabwe.

Several chickens are coming home to roost here. Firstly, Zanu PF's attempts
to hijack Gono's monetary reform programme are exposing him to international
embarrassment, just as political interference with the ZCU has isolated
Zimbabwe's cricket team. The world reacts to what it sees. It doesn't need
the MDC to stimulate a response to mounting signs of repression.

This week we have seen attempts to tighten the already draconian provisions
of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the regime's
chosen instrument in suffocating press freedom. An independent newspaper has
been closed down under the provisions of that Act, ostensibly because it
breached registration rules but in reality because its publisher spoke his
mind in parliament on laws that choke off investment. The case brought
against him is manifestly devoid of merit and exposes a woeful ignorance of
business practice by the regulatory body.

The Botswana authorities have been castigated for allowing the Voice of
America to utilise broadcasting facilities in that country at a time when
Zimbabwe has refused to open up its airwaves in conformity with a court
ruling and persists in manipulating the public media in a way that benefits
ambitious individuals in Zanu PF instead of the public generally.

It is an abuse of power writ large. At the same time Zimbabweans are
arrested for exercising their right to protest against unjust laws.
Forty-six women were arrested in Bulawayo this week for demonstrating
peacefully against Posa. And despite a court ruling striking down provisions
of the Posts and Telecommunications Services Act relating to the monitoring
of mail, the state is again attempting to lean on Internet Service Providers
through the back door of operating contracts.

Then there is the climate of intimidation generated by government's growing
paranoia. Newspapers have been denounced in vitriolic terms for carrying
remarks by Vice-President Joseph Msika on the occupation of Kondozi farm or
those by Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo on land reform. And United Nations
security officers have been reprimanded for warning about crime and
insecurity in the country.

In defence of its propaganda claims of abundant harvests, government has
refused to meet UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's special representative for
humanitarian affairs James Morris while the UNDP/WFP has been prevented from
assessing the crop situation on the ground.

This is playing politics with people's lives on a grand scale and has
inevitably attracted world-wide condemnation. On Wednesday UN agencies said
two million people in Zimbabwe were at risk from food shortages.

Morris said this week he applauded the government's willingness to take
responsibility for feeding its people. But he said it would be "one of the
most remarkable turnarounds in history" if the country in which the WFP was
feeding more than six million people last year could now support all but the
most vulnerable on its own. UN crop forecasts estimate Zimbabwe will produce
only half the food it needs this year.

It is against this background that Zanu PF is attempting to work up charges
of "treachery" against those who have the genuine interests of this country
and its people at heart. Zimbabweans abroad - a growing proportion of our
overall population forced into exile by failed economic policies - have
every right to express themselves on what they think of Gono's Homelink
scheme, especially when they are not allowed to do so at home.

Gono himself said last weekend in Midrand that protestors should have their
say. In practising democracies that is unremarkable. Only in Zimbabwe is it

So long as it continues to prevent democratic discourse, close newspapers
and harass the opposition with repressive laws, Zanu PF will be confronted
by people impatient with its empty mantras and demanding change.

Tyranny and repression work only in the short term. Eventually dictatorship
gives way to democracy. Zanu PF's pretence that it is besieged by foreign
forces is a self-evident lie. There were no foreigners protesting in Britain
and South Africa last week.

They were Zimbabweans exercising the rights they have been arbitrarily
stripped of at home because the ruling party fears freedom of expression.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Poll win supersedes national needs

OFFICIALLY, the next parliamentary elections are to take place a full nine
months away, in March 2005.

Whether that will be so or whether the elections will suddenly be brought
forward to an earlier date remains to be seen, although the president has
outspokenly said that there is no intent to spring an earlier than as yet
announced poll.

After all, he may well suddenly decide that it is strategically merited to
do so, in order to catch the opposition unaware and ill-prepared. And it
could well be politically prudent to do so ahead of inevitably pronounced
food shortages.

Despite the categorical statements by several ministers that Zimbabwe will
have a surfeit of food this year, on the ground it is well and widely known
that the reverse is the case. All but those who find it in their own best
interests to be oblivious to the realities are very conscious of the fact
that the 2004 commercial maize crop will, at the most, be 30% of that
projected by the government.

And present indications are that despite strenuous, albeit belated, efforts
by the government, the winter wheat crop will also be markedly less than the
government expects.

However, whether or not the elections are brought forward from March 2005,
it is undeniably apparent that the government is strenuously preparing
itself for the polls, for once again - as has been the case prior to all
previous - the virtually sole motivant for any governmental actions and
ministerial statements is clearly in order to garner votes.

There is a total disregard for that which would be in the best interests of
the electorate. Instead, the acts embarked upon are such as perceived to
influence the electorate to support the ruling party, and to eliminate
support for the opposition.

So too are the many statements made by the governmental hierarchy,
encompassing assurances which cannot credibly be expected to be fulfilled.
The determination to hijack the elections with diverse actions which are,
prima facie - but not in actuality - in the best interests of the populace,
is of such magnitude that there is a total disregard for any prejudicial
consequences of such actions.

In particular, no consideration is given to the extent that the economy may
suffer as a result of those actions and, therefore, to the probable medium
and long-term prejudice to the populace which the government is pretending
to assist, solely in order to obtain the voter support which it needs if it
is to be returned to power.

Examples are numerous, but among the highlights was the foolhardy, immensely
damaging confrontation, some six weeks ago, launched by the Education, Sport
and Culture minister against the independent schools. He forced 46 schools
into temporary closure, contending that their fees were excessive and,
therefore, he refused approval of such fees.

The facts that none of the schools operated for financial gain, that they
are as subject to the impacts of inflation as are all commercial
enterprises, the populace and the government and that in most instances the
majority of parents had accepted the need for the fee increases were all of
no consequence to him.

The minister was prepared to place the education of tens of thousands of
children in jeopardy and, if necessary, have the schools become insolvent
and close for the sake of a short-term political gain of being able to
demonstrate to the electorate the depth of the ruling party's concerns to
minimise costs of education.

In like manner, the Local Government and National Housing minister last week
unilaterally imposed a freeze upon scheduled increases in rates chargeable
by the city of Bulawayo. Although the city is faced with massively rising
costs, including salaries and wages, imported requirements for road
maintenance, water supply, sewerage management and much else, he applied
severe, authoritarian dictate to prevent the city from obtaining the funding
it needs.

And the only conceivable motive for doing so is in order to impress the city
's residents as to how vigorously the government - ie the ruling party - is
conscious of their hardships and is determined to minimise them.

The minister is in a "win-win" situation for, when the municipality becomes
even less able then it is at present let alone as it was previously - to
service the city's needs, he can attribute all blame to the city fathers,
most of whom are members of the opposition party.

He will be able to assert that all responsibility for a further collapse in
the city's street-lighting systems, its traffic lights, refuse collection
and so forth lies wholly in the hands of the Bulawayo City Council,
notwithstanding that it will have been his actions as he deprived the
council of the required wherewithal to service the city's needs.

The minister sought to justify his action on the grounds of an improving
economy, but there is little to support any contention that the economy is
undergoing an upturn. Admittedly, inflation has declined over the last five
months, and is now at a backbreaking rate of 448,75% only.

But there is little, if anything else, to support his contention. Between
1998 and 2003, total manufacturing output fell by 40% and continues to fall
in the face of shrinking consumer spending power and loss of export
viability for most exporters.

It is recognised by all other than the myopic leaders of the ruling party
that agriculture is in a continuing decline, with a near-total destruction
of the tobacco industry, a massive shrinkage in output of maize and other
cereals, decimation of the national herd and unemployment for more than 300
000 former farm workers.

Tourism is similarly deeply distressed, with no recovery in numbers of
tourist arrivals - exclusive of cross-border traders defined by the
government as tourists. Much of the mining industry is on a
care-and-maintenance basis.

Moreover, although the year-on-year inflation rate has fallen from 622,8% in
January 2004 to 448,75% in May 2004, the compounded month-on-month inflation
for the period of January to May was a devastating 42%. Not exactly
indicative of an improving economy!

Again, it must be with elections in mind - over and above trying to please
"the Boss" by telling him what he would like to hear - that motivated the
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement minister to claim a 2004 total grains
crop of over 2,8 million tonnes, including a crop of commercially produced
maize in excess of 2,4 million tonnes. The minister must know that such
figures defy the wildest of imagination.

After all, the commercial farmers, inclusive of newly resettled farmers, the
suppliers of agricultural inputs, the relief organisations and many others
are fully aware that there is as much prospect of Zimbabwe achieving such
crop levels this year as there is of it having a rocket scientist who can
successfully launch a spaceship to Mars before the end of 2004!

By now an almost traditional vote-gathering modality is for the government
to give vociferously expressed assurances that the Matabeleland Zambezi
Water Project, first conceived of in 1912, is about to come into being. It
is irrelevant to point out that the government does not have the trillions
of dollars necessary to convert that project from a mirage into reality.

It is equally irrelevant to point out that if the funding is sought
commercially, the resultant debt- servicing burden will be unsustainable and
the cost of water will be prohibitive for all consumers - be they in
agriculture, industry, commerce, domestic consumption or otherwise. The
project can only be viably funded with international aid and soft loans, and
those will not be forthcoming for so long as Zimbabwe is an international

Despite those realities, the government assured the populace of
Matabeleland - ahead of the 2005 elections - that commencement of the
project was imminent. The same assurances were forthcoming ahead of the 2000
parliamentary elections and the 2002 presidential poll.

One waits with bated breath to witness the government's next attempt at
collecting votes. Perhaps, by mistake, it will be some act which will
benefit economic recovery.
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Zim Independent


Press puppies puddle party parade

 ZIMBABWE'S ambassador to South Africa, Simon Khaya Moyo, has been
complaining that a Sunday Independent story by "discredited and disgraced"
journalist Basildon Peta claiming that Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono had
been "sent packing" by irate Zimbabweans in Midrand at the weekend was a
fabrication. Peta was "a decomposing puppy", Moyo said.

In particular, the ambassador objected to the report that he had been pelted
with salt-shakers and cutlery. Where were his injuries from this attack, he
asked? The well-attended meeting was full of peaceful Zimbabweans wanting to
know more about the Homelink scheme, Moyo said.

Then "20 hooligans carrying MDC placards interrupted the governor as he took
the podium". They were paid R20 each for their efforts, he claimed.

But the rest of the audience "restrained themselves".

"Shame to their sponsors," Moyo said of the protestors. "These misguided
hooligans will remain in limbo for a very long time while others seize the
golden opportunity. Zimbabwe shall prosper and indeed shall never be a
colony again."

We found it rather strange that the "discredited and disgraced puppy" Peta
should be blamed for this version of events when it revealed marked
similarities to a report carried by the Sunday Mail.

Gono and his team had expected protests, the report said, but the governor
was willing to let the demonstrators in.

"However, the protestors refused to allow him to address the meeting," the
Sunday Mail said, "singing, dancing, throwing missiles and doing press-ups."

Eventually "the governor had to leave".

So not quite the glowing success the ambassador would have us believe!

And who inserts silly lines like "Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again"
into his and other people's statements? Why can't Zimbabwean officials be
allowed to think for themselves without this sort of heavy-handed
assistance? After all, SK was a senior party official when his current
creative directors were just "puppies"!

We had a good chuckle over the Herald's latest descent into delusional
journalism. Under the heading "Refugees opt for Zim", we were told over 10
000 were being sheltered here.

"Zimbabwe's long years of peace, tranquility and stability, coupled with a
good human rights record since Independence in 1980, has seen the country
attracting the refugees."

Good human rights record? What planet are these guys living on?

Why are over three million Zimbabweans living abroad? What conditions forced
two million to seek refuge in South Africa with thousands more streaming
across the Limpopo and into Botswana every month?

How does 10 000 compare with three million? And who in their right mind
would try and pretend Zimbabwe has a good human rights record?

Only last week United Nations security officers were being threatened by the
authorities for daring to suggest that Zimbabwe wasn't altogether stable and
peaceful. What sort of society is it that has to insist that it is stable
and peaceful and that those claiming otherwise could be liable to

Those asserting that Zimbabwe is stable and peaceful may want to ask Mrs
Kidd what her experience was!

This week, the Sunday Mail came up with one of its many speculative
masterpieces that only the most naïve of its readers would take seriously.
It claimed the Mail & Guardian of South Africa wanted to "clandestinely"
publish in Zimbabwe without registration.

The paper was also using unregistered local journalists to write
"anti-Zimbabwean stories for foreign publications", the Sunday Mail claimed
without seeing the need to produce at least some evidence.

Of course this would have been hard to come by. Why would the M&G want to
use unregistered journalists when there are so many registered ones who the
government's Media and Information Commission is putting on the streets by
closing down their newspapers?

And how would it be possible to publish such a high-profile newspaper
"clandestinely" under a paranoid regime like this one?

To his credit, MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso appeared sceptical about the
Sunday Mail's fictional report.

"If that is the case (publishing clandestinely), then this is a serious
matter that needs to be looked into," was his luke-warm response.

Since Trevor Ncube's acquisition of the M&G in 2002, it had "lost
considerable readership in South Africa", the Sunday Mail claimed.

An anonymous South African editor was quoted as saying "most publishers and
journalists" in South Africa did not understand why Ncube needed a South
African paper to cover Zimbabwean stories when he already had a Zimbabwean

"Ncube is just a hatchet man, that's why his paper is lynching everyone who
represents African interests," the "editor" said. The paper had been
critical of the ANC and lambasted the likes of Jacob Zuma, we were told.

Who is this brave South African editor, full of opinions but who wants to
remain anonymous?

And being critical of the ANC is an offence?

The M&G, as the recent survey by The Media magazine, cited by the Sunday
Mail, revealed, is one of the few South African publications to have
increased its circulation in recent years.

Why didn't the Sunday Mail ask the advertising agencies that monitor these
things for their findings? They are freely available. And is the M&G not
allowed to cover Zimbabwean stories just because the publisher owns another
paper in Zimbabwe?

Soccer fans appear miffed, to say the least, over ZTV's refusal to bring
them any coverage of Euro 2004. The Sunday Mail's TV reviewer Garikai Mazara
last week said he had received a number of queries from viewers. But he
gallantly defended the public broadcaster's refusal to screen the matches.

"There has been a major shift in policy by ZTV since they started
restructuring, a shift which has seen the television company thrust its
synergy towards promoting our local values or the Pan-African paradigm,"
Mazara ventured, bravely voicing the official line.

ZTV had undergone a "tremendous makeover", he claimed, and their general
focus had changed, "mainly leaning towards decolonising the local mental
framework. Such a change had been met with some resistance, which given
time, will dissipate." People tend to "realign their emotions", he

They certainly hadn't realigned their emotions by the following Sunday.

Viewers were livid about being deprived of the opportunity to watch one of
the world's leading football championships and weren't going to be
bamboozled by the regime's mantras about "decolonising the local mental

They wanted to see the action. Period.

"I must have touched an open wound last Sunday when I suggested that the
scrapping of the Euro championships was somehow good for us," the besieged
Mazara wrote. "What vitriol I got in my e-mail box."

People were looking for him at the National Sports Stadium, "ostensibly to
vent their anger", he was warned.

Mazara pleaded that he was only playing "devil's advocate" in reflecting the
official view the previous week.

"Last week many might have misconstrued my contribution to mean that I was
defending the stance by ZTV. Nada, I was just putting facts on the table."

And, as if to make up for his devilishness, he did a good job this Sunday in
reflecting public disaffection.

Just because ZTV withdrew coverage did not mean people weren't watching the
matches, one caller said. One simply had to visit sports cafés and clubs
around Harare to see how people were packing them to watch Euro 2004

ZTV should not expect viewers to renew licences when they were "forcing us
to watch what we don't want", another said. She said "many more are shifting
to DStv because ZTV is not giving them an option".

Mazara ended up conceding that we need a window through which we can see the
world around us. But he remains seriously deluded in thinking the 25% left
of viewing that is not local content provides it.

That window, like all others in the country is being slammed shut. The
information iron curtain is descending across the land. Only now when it
blacks out their favourite sport are Zimbabweans waking up to the danger!

In another report headlined "Private schools overstaffed" the Sunday Mail
quoted Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere as saying among such schools was
St George's College which had an enrolment of 600 students versus 65
teachers. This gave a teacher/pupil ratio of 1:9. Thus the school was
overstaffed by 40 teachers, he declared. Parents were being made to pay
salaries for superfluous staff.

But the headmaster's secretary at St George's told the paper enrolment was
720 versus 44 fulltime teachers, giving a teacher/pupil ratio of 1:16. She
also explained that they offered 15 subjects at O level and 15 at A level
plus other subjects not normally on offer at government schools such as
music and drama. But it is clear the Sunday Mail was too lazy to find out
the correct enrolment figures.

Where did the minister get his statistics? Dreamt up just like most of his
historical accounts?

 Muckraker was happy to get into the contorted workings of the Zanu PF mind
this week courtesy of Lowani Ndlovu who appears so provoked by the
succession debate it makes him choke with fury. To help us put that debate
to rest, he told us Emmerson Mnangagwa, John Nkomo, Joseph Msika and Sydney
Sekeramayi and their sponsors couldn't be in the running to succeed
President Robert Mugabe because they don't lead or represent any discernible
movement in the ruling party. The truth, thus spoke the Oracle, "is that
today the revolutionary task of the ruling party is being led by the new
resettled farmers.specifically the peasant farmers and war veterans".

The conclusion therefore must be that "this is a movement inextricably
intertwined with President Robert Mugabe's leadership and is therefore not
interested in any succession because they do not see or have any leader who
is irreversibly committed to true and total land reform from a white
minority to a black majority. This is why the chiefs' meeting in Masvingo
last month unanimously asked President Mugabe to stand for re-election in

So it had nothing to do with the massive pay hike they were given (3 000% in
the case of headmen)? And the future of this nation is going to be
determined by peasants and the few remaining war veterans, the majority of
whom probably don't even read Lowani's convoluted columns?

Unfortunately Lowani didn't disclose the other social movements through
which other leaders might emerge. So what happens when Mugabe finally quits
by whatever means since everything is "intertwined with his leadership"? Or
will his  departure mark the death of the party, according to Lowani's
thesis, since none of the others are "irreversibly committed to true and
total land reform"?

 It looks like the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has some explaining to do about
its inflation figures. This was clear at a recent NECF meeting when Consumer
Council of Zimbabwe regional manager Comfort  Muchekeza asked to be shown
"concrete benefits to the man on the street" of the allegedly falling

The Sunday Mirror quotes him: "We read in the press that from November 2003
to May this year, year on year inflation has fallen from 600% to 448% and
month on month inflation has also fallen from 33% to 6% over the same
period. We are also told that by the end of June this year foreign currency
reserves were at US$675 million, more than double the whole of last year's
figure of US$300 million.

"Consumers have no need for statistics, they want to be told that the price
of bread has dropped from $3 000 to $1 500 and that drugs are now readily
available in hospitals due to availability of foreign currency. Where is the
foreign currency going?"

We have no doubt millions of Zimbabweans are asking the same question,
seeing as the excitement in the state media has failed to translate into
cheaper food or affordable water and electricity bills. Instead prices of
all basic commodities seem to buck the inflation trend. Latest bullish
projections tell us inflation could drop below 200% by year-end. But what
does that mean to a family that receives a water bill of $20 million and is
told to pay up or we cut supplies?

Muchekeza warns: "The RBZ must not create an impression of over-expectation
among the citizens or they will end up with egg on their face."

 It seems like the chickens are coming home to roost for Ignatius Chombo.
Harare's popularly elected first executive mayor Elias Mudzuri was hounded
out of office ostensibly because he had failed to deliver proper service to
ratepayers. Only two weeks ago over a dozen MDC councillors were suspended
by the self-important Local Government minister for disrupting council

So now we have the apple of Chombo's eye, Sekesai Makwavarara, his blue-eyed
boy Leslie Gwindi, the original town clerk whom Chombo ordered reinstated,
Nomutsa Chideya, and President Robert Mugabe's appointee Witness Mangwende
all presiding over the affairs of Harare against voters' express wishes.

But, as fate would have it, Harare is experiencing unprecedented water
problems with cuts now lasting for 24 hours in most suburbs. Why is Chombo
not as enthusiastic to crack the whip as he was in raising all sorts of
calumny against MDC councillors and their mayor? Now that Zanu PF has
virtually stolen the reins at Town House why is central government not
releasing the resources that were denied the Mudzuri council?

We can be certain that there will be no spontaneous demonstrations organised
by Zanu PF to protest this shoddy service!

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Zim Independent

Gono backs Mugabe on land
Ngoni Chanakira
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has spoken out strongly on the
emotive land issue, pointing out that both white commercial farmers and new
black farmers are key cogs to the country's agriculture wheel.

Defending his monetary policy statement to an audience gathered at Oxford
University in the United Kingdom on June 14, Gono said the land issue was
however irreversible.

He also threw his weight solidly behind government's recent decision to
introduce 99-year leases for farmers, saying the initiative had removed
uncertainty on land tenure and enabled the banking sector to support

Zimbabwe and the UK have been locked in a diplomatic row over the
controversial land issue ever since the fast track resettlement programme
was introduced by President Robert Mugabe three years ago.

The UK and most Western nations including the United States have blasted the
land programme saying it was not transparent.

President Mugabe and his government, on the other hand, contend the
programme was necessary and has benefited landless peasants.

Gono's sentiments also come as tension between the Commercial Farmers Union
and the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union continues to rise.

Gono, who has just returned from the United States, UK and South Africa,
told the Oxford University gathering that diversions of views had largely
been on how the land redistribution process was or could have been effected.

Analysts however point out that the land programme benefited a few
government ministers, politicians and business executives with strong
political connections.

The economic crusade took Gono and his team to the US (Dallas, Atlanta,
Philadelphia, New York and Washington), the UK (London, Birmingham and
Oxford) and Johannesburg, South Africa.

"Numerous and varied international opinions have been and continue to be
passed on Zimbabwe's land redistribution programme," Gono said in London.

"Diversions of views have largely been on how the land redistribution
process was or could have been effected. This notwithstanding, it is
heartening to note that there is mutual consensus among all Zimbabweans and
the international community that this process was an inevitable chapter the
country had to go through for an equitable distribution of Zimbabwe's
primary national resource - land."

He said to establish a quick turnaround in agricultural production and hence
cultivate a broad-based participation in economic production the RBZ,
through the banking system, was working closely with both "white commercial
farmers and the new black farmers" providing working capital and other
resources to retool the sector.

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Zim Independent

Nine parastatals to go
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has earmarked nine parastatals
for restructuring and privatisation by 2006.

The parastatals being considered for offloading include Air Zimbabwe,
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Zimbabwe
Iron and Steel Company (Zisco), Tel*One, Net*One and the Forestry Company of

Government has not privatised any of its parastatals over the past two

PAZ spokesperson Priscilla Mapuranga this week confirmed that the
restructuring would cover a wide range of options from complete to partial

"The options range from complete or partial privatisation of various
public-private partnership that introduce market incentives into the
state-owned enterprises but enabling the government to retain strategic
equity holding," she said. "The focus for the public enterprise reform
programme for the period 2004-2006 will be towards the restructuring and the
turnaround strategies of the public enterprises."

Government hopes the restructuring programme will, among other things,
attract foreign direct investment, reduce public sector borrowing and access
globally competitive technology.

PAZ had been made redundant by government's privatisation policy shift last
year, which resulted in any proposed restructuring or unbundling being put
on hold.

Instead government opted for commercialisation of the non-performing

Government has considered that agricultural parastatals be created to bring
"transparency in the pricing and marketing of commodities".

Over the years, government has been extending financial support to
loss-making parastatals.

Despite the bailout, they have continued to operate below capacity with some
failing to provide basic services.

Government has a 100% stake in Air Zimbabwe.

The PAZ hopes any improvement in the national airline will directly

influence "perceptions on Zimbabwe and impact on its development, as it will
contribute to the tourism sector".

Air Zimbabwe had attained a bad reputation for its sudden cancellation of

The PAZ says it hopes the ZPC will help power importation since the country
imports 35% of its electricity needs.

It says this would be done through the energy sector reforms to be
implemented by ZPC under a "fast track capacity expansion programme to
reduce dependency on imports".

Zesa's unbundling process has so far led to the creation of ZPC, Powertel,
Zesa Enterprises, Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company and the Zimbabwe
Electricity Transmission Company.

Mapuranga said the NRZ's restructuring exercise would take the form of
unbundling and concessioning through long-term contracts.

The PAZ says it is scouting for an investor that would inject a 30% equity
into both Tel*One and Net*One.

She said various strategic measures were being implemented at Zisco, which
had now engaged an advisor to work on its balance sheet.

The move is meant to pave the way for increased private sector
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Zim Independent

Gono's trip overshadowed by politics
Shakeman Mugari
WHEN Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono quietly slipped out of the country
two weeks ago he had three main missions on his agenda. This week he
returned home almost empty-handed, having accomplished less than he had

His first task took him to Washington hoping to persuade the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) to resume much-needed balance of payments support.

He also visited the United Kingdom to convince Zimbabweans in the diaspora
that his Homelink initiative was a patriotic, safe and convenient means of
sending money back home.

Another issue on the agenda was to sweet talk investors into pouring

funds into the economy.

But judging by recent events in the UK, Gono has achieved only modest
success on all three missions.

He, however, says the trip was a success.

The reasons for his failure is more political than economic analysts say.

The political crisis in Zimbabwe will continue to haunt Gono's efforts to
resuscitate the economy, which has been affected by President Robert
Mugabe's policies.

His drive to lure investors will hit a brick wall because Zimbabwe is still
classified as a risky investment destination.

His attempt to persuade people in the diaspora to send money back home will
not yield much because they want a change of government, political experts

The Bretton Woods institutions will not give financial support unless the
Zimbabwean government is committed to pay its mounting debt and stop
destructive economic policies.

Gono might be trying to sell noble and viable policies but because of his
association with the regime his initiative could come to nought, analysts

"His visits achieved nothing. He got nothing from the multilateral
organisations (IMF and World Bank). And the stumbling block is politics,"
said Eddie Cross economic advisor to the Movement for Democratic Change

"The country remains suspended and the government's token payments have not
changed that. It's the political crisis in this country that is causing
problems for him.

"The answer is in addressing the political crisis before we engage the
organisations otherwise we have no chance of getting foreign aid and balance
of payments support."

The IMF has in the past expressed concern over what they called destructive
economic policies.

Zimbabwe owes about US$273 million to the IMF and continues to lag behind in
terms of payments.

Analysts also said they feel the lack of agreement in the government on the
role of the IMF also add to the organisation's sceptical attitude towards
Gono's overtures.

In his monetary policy statement Gono said Zimbabwe would reengage the
multilateral organisations in order to pay off its debt.

"We will engage whoever we owe money," said Gono in the statement.

This bold statement was however immediately shot down by President Mugabe
when he again attacked the IMF. This inconsistency in national policy also
made Gono's task in Washington more difficult. The World Bank and the IMF
remain concerned about the political turmoil in the country, which has not
improved since the last election.

Gono's setbacks continued in the UK where angry Zimbabweans who protested
against the Homelink initiative confronted him.

Hundreds of Zimbabweans in the diaspora are reported to have taken to the
streets in protest against both Gono and his Reserve Bank team that is
having Homelink road shows.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora want their voting rights before they can send
money back, the media reports say.

They were, according to reports, also demanding a regime change.

"The attitude of the three million people in the diaspora is that Gono is a
front man for the Zanu-PF government," said an economic analyst with a local

"The feeling is that Gono is part of the regime that has brought so much
chaos. So sending money is as good as helping Zanu-PF clean up its mess."

Other analysts said they felt that due to the their illegal status
individuals in the diaspora are likely to be reluctant to use an official
institute to send their money.

They note that most Zimbabweans in the UK are either political or economic
refugees who are uneasy about revealing their whereabouts.

"People in the diaspora might want to send money home but they want
something in return and that is their right to vote. It's indeed a tall
order for him," said a local economist with a leading bank.

"As for the IMF issue I think Zimbabwe must just pay up to get more. And our
politics also comes in. Zimbabwe's high-risk profile will continue to haunt
Gideon Gono and government's efforts to lure foreign direct investment and
to acquire foreign funding for local business. Local business firms have
been battling to secure funding for their business due to the uncertain
political and economic situation."

Leading business intelligence organisations continue to produce damning
analysis of the country's risk profiles and environment.

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Zim Independent

Cheap goods influx turns sour
Godfrey Marawanyika
STUNG by the job losses and continued inflows of goods from the Far East,
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has raised concerns on the
dumping of finished and cheap quality products in the country.

Acting ZCTU secretary-general Collen Gwiyo said the government's decision to
look to the Far East had hit hard some of the local industries, especially
those in the leather, electrical and clothing industries.

"We have always raised concerns on the opening up of our markets for a long
time but government refused to listen," he said.

"Problems really started when our previous trade agreement with South Africa
was cancelled soon after their Independence. From Zimbabwe's economic point
of view it makes sense to go back to the previous agreement with its

For the past two years, Zimbabwe has begun to experience a massive influx of
shoddy and inferior products largely from China, Malaysia, Pakistan and

The products, which have literally flooded the market, have since led to the
slow collapse of the local industry, something which the government appears
not be taking into consideration.

The economic and policy shift has seen the government appealing to local
industrialists to do more business with companies from the East.

Previously, industrialists and employers used to do a lot of business with
many Western countries but since the introduction of sanctions after the
election in 2002, the government has been heavily lobbying that the latter
do more business with the East.

"We are not only worried about the sub-standard products from the Chinese,
Malaysian or Singapore products," Gwiyo said.

"Many times the workers are paid poor wages that are way below the minimum
quality threshold. The truth is that government is to blame for our problems
in the industries right now. They simply opened up the markets, and they are
not even concerned with some of the quality of the products."

Gwiyo said many of the products which find their way into the country, were
not durable at all in the process citing the example of the high inflow of
shoes from the East.

He said most of the shoe products did not have a long life-span when
compared to the shoes that were made locally.

"Zimbabwe has got one of the best leather industries in the world, but right
now a number of employees have been affected by the shoes made from either
China or Malaysia," he said.

"Worse still some of the products do not even last for 10 months. We are
also worried that when these so-called new investors come here they bring in
a huge number of experts, at the expense of our local guys."

Gwiyo said the economy was not largely benefiting from the influx of goods
from the Far East.

"Some government officials are benefiting from their coming here, but if you
look at it the country has nothing to show for their investments," he said.

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Zim Independent


Nuns didn't tell the truth

IN response to the letter published in the Zimbabwe Independent from the
Superior General Sr Helen Maminimini, I would like to correct certain
misleading information.

Sister Maminimini mentions a "plot" and goes on to mention "small scale
farming". She goes on further to indicate that "an Arex officer advised us
that the land, already allocated for LCBL (Little Community of the Blessed
Lady) use, was too small to carry a few beasts", and most amazing of all "we
continued with our farming activities but suddenly he (Mr Swales) engaged
the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture".

I wish to give a correct account of the nuns' complicity in the invasion of
Malabar farm. A report was sent to the leadership of the Roman Catholic
Church in Harare asking them to investigate the matter and report back, as
the media were interested in publishing the story. This was followed up with
several phone calls to them but they failed to reply. Only two weeks later
was the article accurately published in the Zimbabwe Independent of June 4.

During November 2002, six LCBL sisters approached both Mr Harvey (farm
owner) and myself (farm lessee). They had two Arex officers with them, a Mr
Mavunzi and a Mr Reward. At no time was subdivision or land ownership
mentioned, and they merely requested a few small lands alongside the Manyame
river frontage. Of course we were happy to assist, thinking and believing
that we could assist in helping the mission hospital supplement their food

On March 20 2003, the LCBL sisters requested a meeting at the farm and an
Arex officer called Bartholomew Mupariwa attended at the sisters request.

At this meeting we asked the sisters: "Are you Al or A2 settlers?" The reply
was "Neither, we are commercial farmers". They were asking for title deeds
and land ownership. We explained that to get title deeds they would need to
purchase a farm, and told them that Malabar was Mr Harvey's only property,
therefore his only source of income. The future of our 80 employees and
their families hung in the balance.

When all this was happening, the farm was not listed. Under intense
pressure, we gave the LCBL the use of an additional 20ha arable. They now
had the use of 55ha arable and several fenced grazing paddocks. On June 3
2003, we discovered LCBL employees putting up poles for a "boundary fence",
demarcating 110ha of the farm's total 160ha arable land for the LCBL
sisters. It also included most of our irrigation lands. We were told that Sr
Notvurgo (the farmer nun) had instructed that should we have any queries we
were to phone the district administrator at Murombedzi.

I then phoned the late Bishop Helmut Recktor, in desperation, and he said he
would talk to Sr Electa about it. Later Sr Electa phoned me, absolutely
furious that I had phoned the Bishop.

We then had a meeting with Mr Stanford Katonha (Zvimba district lands
officer), a Mr Ernest Chikambi, a representative for LCBL (also an A2 new
farmer on neighbouring Rocklands farm), Mr Vitalis Matambudziko (an Al
settler on adjacent Taunton Farm), Mr Zimuto, a Zanu PF councillor and
headmaster of Kasawe School, Bartholemew Mapariwa and a police officer from
ZRP Darwendale.

At this meeting we are told by Mr Katonha that Mr Harvey had one week to
give the nuns part of the farm or he (Katonha) would issue a Section 8.

I asked Sr Manimimini in front of all present, whether as head of the LCBL
order she was happy to take part in this. Her reply was "yes".

On November 14 2003, Sr Notvurgo and Ernest Chikambi arrived and Chikambi
was extremely angry that we were intending to plant for the 2003/2004
season. He said he would be ringing DLO Katonha to "sort us out". I then
phoned the Ministry of Lands Chinhoyi, and spoke with an official, who asked
if the nuns had ever shown us a letter of offer.

When I replied in the negative, he said it was highly irregular so we were
allowed to continue farming. On November 17 2003, an ambulance from Father
O'Hea Memorial Hospital drove into our barnyard. Present were: Sr Joanna
Mawire, the matron of the Father O'Hea hospital, Sr Notvurgo, Eernest
Chikambi, and Katonha.

Katonha was extremely rude and was shouting at both Mr Harvey and myself. He
said that he could demarcate and allocate this farm as he wished, and that
when we left, we would remove nothing off the farm. I went to see what all
the noise was about, and could not believe my eyes to see both sisters

On December 1 2003, Katohna, being driven by a nun in a white pickup,
arrived and served us with a Section 8 Order, I wish to make it known that
Mr and Mrs Harvey own no other property in Zimbabwe or anywhere else in the
world and that the lease income from Sagar is their only source of income.

On Monday May 3 2004, Katonha and three sisters arrived. Katonha said we had
24 hours to leave the farm as the LCBL sisters had been given 495ha of the
farm, which included the houses and barns, sheds etc. I refused, telling him
I had a lawyer's letter confirming that the Section 8 had not been
registered with the Administrative Court, and was therefore ineffective.

When I asked for the letter of offer, Katonha flew into a rage and said he
had instructed the sisters never to show us their letter of offer.

Interestingly, the sisters plated approximately 10ha of maize in one of the
lands allocated to them in 2002/2003 season (land preparations all done by
us, free of charge).

Using the same piece of land, they planted even less in the 2003/2004
season. They have never ever used the balance of 40ha arable that we gave
them the use of.

It is a disgrace to the church that these nuns invaded a farm working with
undesirable elements. Father Thamm recently came and extended his and the
church's sincere apologies of the nuns' unbecoming actions.

Ansy Swales.

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Zim Independent


What is happening to diaspora forex?

FIGURES released by the Reserve Bank of funds flowing from the diaspora
since the introduction of the Gono/Bloch "auction rate" initiative provide
interesting reading.

The Financial Gazette (June 10) reported that as much as US$16 million (a
little later "an estimated US$20 million") has been received since the new
measures were introduced. The Zimbabwe Independent (June 11), reports Gideon
Gono's announcement that an average of US$750 000 a day was being recovered,
with "some agencies sometimes receiving as much as a million US dollars in
one day".

And I read with interest the statement by RBZ exchange control division
chief Moris Mpofu (Zimbabwe Independent, June 11, page 17) that all foreign
currency mobilised under these arrangements will be directed for auctioning
at the currency exchange.

But is that actually happening? Let us consider. An average of US$750 000 a
day builds to a weekly (six-day) total of US$4,5 million or a monthly total
of US$20 million. Interesting, and good news for Zimbabwe. But since the
introduction of the "diaspora channel", the twice weekly forex auction has
had its "amount on offer" increased only by US$500 000 (US$8 million to
US$8,5 million from May 17), a total of US$1 million a week or US$4,5
million in a month.

I realise, of course, that these are early days, and I am sure Gono is
preparing, as soon as a pattern is established, to increase the amount on
offer commensurately with the level of funds received each week.

However, it will be interesting to see how long it will take before the
amount on offer rises to US$10 or US$12 million twice weekly to cater for
the US$20 million apparently now being received.

On another tack, I note that many bids are turned down at the auctions: in
the six weeks from May 3 to June 10, in fact, 3 711 bids totalling US$57
million or so were refused against the US$100 million allotted. Some
unsuccessful bidders will no doubt reapply, perhaps successfully.

The remainder? And there must be many others unable to provide them
information necessary to allow them to apply to the auction for forex. If
this US$20 million increase were made readily available for all, how much
more successfully this country would be able to face the task of recovery.
And many more Diaspora dwellers might be persuaded to move their forex back

If the twice-weekly amount on offer were not increased in line with the
amounts being received daily according to Gono, one might be inclined to ask
where the unoffered balance was going and what it was being used for? And
one might then have to counsel those in the diaspora to consider whether, in
happily sending their funds back to Zimbabwe through this means, they might
perhaps be funding the purchase of grain through the back door to fill GMB
granaries for issue to starving voters next March (if they vote Zanu PF, of
course), or for a host of other useful purposes - for one party only.

PNR Silversides,


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Zim Independent


Gono's reforms show past folly and evil

SO Gideon Gono has forgiven his fellow bankers and politicians for forex
offences, but not "Mr Citizen" or "Mr Businessman" (Zimbabwe Independent,
June 11).

A businessman who acquired forex on the parallel market to keep his business
going, give his family bread, reward his shareholders fairly - all moral
activities - is now fined or imprisoned.

Surely Gono's reforms show the folly and evil of what went before. And why
weren't these reforms instituted years ago? Any fool could see the future
then when billions of (then) valuable dollars were given to "war vets".

Soon what was political was legal, which would have delighted the homicidal
and immoral Mao.

Cowardly, wasn't it, as well as disastrous and immoral? I haven't mentioned:

"Thou shalt not steal".

Lying is sinful yet we were told farmers could keep one farm and would be
recompensed for improvements.

So legality means illegality and over 20 years ago reconciliation meant
whites being "reconciled" to the premier's dictum that they had no future in
government service.



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Zim Independent


Where is the Homelink money?

IF the Homelink scheme is such a resounding success, bringing in US$750 000
a day, why is it only US$8 million that continues to be made available on
the three auction days every week since the introduction of the public
foreign exchange auction?

Last week the demand varied from US$16 million to nearly US$24 million.

I notice that most of the "people" who are claimed to have pledged to send
more money through Homelink appear to be Zimbabwean students abroad.

It is not beyond our rules to use them as rented mobs - with the students
only too happy to come for free meals. My statement is informed by the
rented crowds who are being used to demonstrate how popular numero uno is
among the masses in the region.

Tirivanhu Mhofu,


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Zim Independent


Is this Christian love?

PLEASE allow me a space in your paper to advance a few thoughts. Many
peace-loving Zimbabweans were shocked by an article which appeared in your
paper on June 4, reporting that three Little Community of our Blessed Lady
Sisters led by their Superior General sought the assistance of Zanu PF
youths to invade Malabar Farm in Darwendale.

If this is true, I wonder what these nuns were and are up to. How can they
demand that someone who had been on the farm for many years is given just 24
hours to vacate?

If they wanted a farm, why did they not apply to the Ministry of Lands and
Resettlement for a piece of land as many Zimbabweans did without employing
violent means.

This was a clear case of intimidation. These nuns have demonstrated the
worst Christian love of their neighbour and that kind of love is
reprehensible and unchristian. They should ask themselves if Christ ever
invaded someone's property without the owner's permission?

True, it was a good idea to get a farm for self-reliance programmes and
projects. But their action can be likened to a thief who goes out at night
to force someone to hand over his property at gun-point.

I would encourage these confused and misguided nuns to emulate the examples
of the SJI Sisters, the Dominican Sisters, the Carmelite Sisters, the
Precious Blood Sisters, the Mary Ward Sisters who got their pieces of land
through the correct channels without causing pain to other human beings.

Remember, my dear ladies, the Bible which you always read every morning and
evening teaches in Matthew 25:40 "whatever you do to the least of my
brothers, that you do unto me". It goes further to say: "You shall love your
neighbour as you love yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

If Christ were to come today, would he justify your invasion of Malabar
Farm? How would you feel if your farm at Martindale was invaded and you were
given 24 hours to leave?

I am sure you will receive a decree of praise from Zanu PF for invading
Malabar Farm.

Samuel Nyoka,

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Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

'Don't give up'

I HAVE in recent weeks said goodbye to a number of ambassadors who have
served their countries with distinction in Harare under very trying

They include Javier Sandomingo of Spain and Peter Schmidt of Germany who
both did much to ensure the European Union spoke with one clear voice on the
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.

Peter left last weekend and will soon take up the reins at the German
embassy in Tunis. He speaks fluent Arabic which should help him settle in to
his new post.

Peter invariably managed to put together at his functions a broad
cross-section of Zimbabweans - and Germans - who could meet and discuss the
country's problems in a cordial atmosphere. Very often his efforts to
improve relations with his hosts, such as encouraging ties between Harare
and Munich, were thwarted by political obduracy.

Javier and his New Zealand-born wife Megan did much to raise Spain's profile
in this country but, like so many other long-established diplomats,
witnessed with sadness the country's decline.

Javier spoke at a Spanish national day function over a year ago of his
country's experience: an isolated fascist dictatorship cut off from the
prosperity of its neighbours and locked in the mantras of the past. But,
upon the departure of its dictator and restoration of democracy, it quickly
became a modern and prosperous nation at the heart of Europe.

Now we are preparing to say goodbye to Sir Brian Donnelly who leaves for the
UK soon after a three-year tour of duty with his wife Julia. As he pointed
out at his farewell party last Friday, which was held in tandem with the
Queen's Birthday, he is the only British high commissioner here who has been
transformed overnight into an ambassador, following Zimbabwe's departure
from the Commonwealth.

Sir Brian spoke of the frustrations successive British envoys have
experienced in dealing with their host government.

He quoted from a predecessor: "There is a deep suspicion and even conviction
that the British government is determined to undermine and overthrow the
elected government and that the high commissioner is the chosen instrument
to achieve this."

That was Lord Alport, high commissioner from 1961/3, speaking of his vexed
relationship with Sir Roy Welensky's federal government.

"So nothing much has changed," Sir Brian observed to laughter from the large
throng gathered on the lawns of his official residence in Chisipite.

"We were both sent here to persuade a sitting government to give its
opponents a fair chance to express their opinions and to face up to the need
for radical change if this country was to ensure prosperity and a harmonious
future," he said. "Unfortunately that message was as unwelcome in 2001 when
I tried to deliver it on my arrival as it had been in 1961 when Lord Alport,
as Harold Macmillan's representative, was trying to give practical effect to
Macmillan's winds of change speech. And, as is often the case, it is the
messenger who gets the blame."

Echoing Australian ambassador Jonathan Brown who left in April, Sir Brian
spoke of the people he had seen both in communal areas and towns struggling
to eke out an existence "and being offered ideological panaceas instead of
sustainable development programmes".

"We have seen people who have suffered physically and emotionally simply for
standing up for their civil rights," he added.

But democracy, he pointed out, as elections in India and Europe had recently
demonstrated, had a wonderful way of biting back at those in power when they
least want it to.

His critics have suggested he was sent here to effect regime change, or "do
a Milosovic", he reminded us. But they had not done their homework.

"When I left Yugoslavia in 1999 Milosovic remained firmly in power and
apparently invulnerable to democratic challenge," Sir Brian said.

"His downfall came only several months later when he tried to steal one
election too many. And then it was not any single ambassador, or even any
foreign government that was responsible. It was the Yugoslav people who
simply decided that they had had enough.

"So my final message to all Zimbabweans who want to see political tolerance
and economic prosperity restored in this country is simply this: Do not give
up hope now. The tide of democracy will prevail."

Whatever the views of our hostile leaders, Zimbabweans will wish Brian and
Julia all the best for the future. We admire diplomats who speak up for
democratic governance and the rule of law.

The new ambassador is Dr Rod Pullen who was until recently high commissioner
to Ghana. He will therefore know something about autocratic African states
obliged by their people to undergo the transformation to democracy and

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