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

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Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 4:56 PM
Subject: It's all about numbers

Dear Family and Friends,

As I sat at my desk on Saturday morning I thought it might be of interest
to type, for the record, the headline report on ZBC's 8 am radio news
because the war of numbers about Zimbabwe's harvest continues. The
headline story was as follows:

"The government says internal food assessments indicate that the country
will harvest an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of maize. This exceeds the
annual national food requirement by six hundred thousand tonnes."

This week James Morris, the UN envoy for humanitarian needs in the region,
said that if our government's harvest figures were accurate it would be
"one of the most remarkable turnarounds in history." For those of us with
eyes to see, these are just numbers and as we struggle with day to day and
find ways to bulk out our meals, we worry more about other numbers.

My friend Ernie worries about the number 17 because this is the number of
people he is supporting on his wage which is just below the almost one
million dollar monthly poverty datum line. Ernie supports himself, his
wife and their two children; his widowed sister in law and her three
children; his two unemployed brothers; his mother and six other members of
his extended family. For the last three years some of the 17 people that
Ernie supports have also received help in the form of international food
aid. But now our government says it doesn't need that food aid anymore, it
says it doesn't want to "choke" on donor food and Ernie looks at the
number 17, puts his hands over his face and tries to come up with another
way of supplementing his income. He's tried everything from mowing lawns
at the weekends to buying and selling second hand clothes, but in the end
there are just too many mouths to feed and too few hours in the days.

I worry about the number 5 because that is how many years Ernie has left
before he reaches Zimbabwe's life expectancy which is now just 33 years. I
also worry about the number 34 because that is the percentage of our
population infected with HIV and Aids.

So many people have asked me why we Zimbabweans don't do something to
change our situation here. Listening to human rights lawyer Beatrice
Mtetwa talking on Short Wave Radio Africa last week I found myself
agreeing out loud with her answer to this question. Beatrice said that the
problem is that we are all so caught up with day to day issues like paying
bills and affording food and clothes that we just do not have the time or
energy to worry about the bigger issues of governance, democracy and human
rights. How right she is because when it comes down to it, if you are
supporting 17 people, you cannot afford to do or say anything that may
jeopardize their lives. Everything in Zimbabwe is about numbers these
days, and all the numbers are about politics. Until next time, with love,
Copyright cathy buckle. 26 June 2004áááááá
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available outside Africaá from: ; ; ;á in Australia and New Zealand: ;á Africa:
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Inside the crazed court of Robert Mugabe

Andrew Meldrum finds hope amongst the brutality, chaos and corruption of
Zimbabwe in his memoir, Where We Have Hope, says Kate Kellaway

Sunday June 27, 2004
The Observer

ááááá Buy Where We Have Hope at

Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe
by Andrew Meldrum
John Murray ú17.99, pp272
Andrew Meldrum is positive about Zimbabwe: his title is, in a sense, his
slogan and the image on the cover, of a Zimbabwean girl with worn trainers,
a pretty smile and a skipping rope, makes the heart skip too. In choosing
this optimistic stance, for which I was grateful, he emulates the spirit I
remember from teaching there from 1982-5, which I had supposed to have been
all but extinguished by Mugabe's disastrous, seemingly unending regime.

Meldrum was a journalist in Zimbabwe for 23 years and made headlines as the
last foreign correspondent in Harare, where he wrote for The Observer and
the Guardian, before being illegally ejected in May 2003. He describes his
trial in June 2002 (he was acquitted) and his ejection, but on the whole it
is Zimbabwe, not Meldrum, which is centre stage.

His writing is driven by a passion for the country and its people. He was
never an opportunistic, visiting reporter. And when forcibly escorted onto a
plane at Harare airport, he was leaving home.

It is no mean achievement to remain hopeful when writing about brutality,
chaos and corruption, and Meldrum does not flinch from the most harrowing
stories. I did not know the extent of the Matabeleland massacres of the
Eighties at the time because, like many expatriates, I had been quick to
swallow Zanu PF's party line. But it is now calculated that between 10,000
and 20,000 people were killed in Mugabe's name.

Meldrum describes calmly, in equally shocking detail, the more recent
torture of supporters of the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change.

He is quick to doubt - and to entertain. I had wondered whether Mugabe was
gradually deranged by his own power. It is fascinating to learn that as
early as 1981, Meldrum had observed a slipperiness about the man. He was
'stiff, starchy and distant at all times'.

Meldrum wanted to feel elation during his first interview with the country's
leader but was left ambivalent. Soon afterwards, he found reasons to
conclude that Mugabe was a 'cold, calculating manipulator who did not care
how many lives would be lost so long as he consolidated his power'.

The book begins with Meldrum's deportation, then reverts to his arrival just
after independence in 1980. He moves pacily, slowing for more recent
history: Mugabe's bigotry, rigged elections, stage-managed 'land reform',
the murder of white farmers and food shortages. And he makes the canny point
that Mugabe and Ian Smith are 'two sides of the same coin'.

His lively account of the MDC brings hope to the story, as do the inspiring
Zimbabweans he met. He champions heroic women: Beatrice Mtetwa, his fearless
lawyer; Margaret Dongo, the politician who dared to challenge Zanu PF, and
his 'best friend', Mavis Ngazana, an Aids counsellor in a country that
denies its epidemic.

Where We Have Hope is essential reading for anyone who cares about Zimbabwe
and its future. Let us - with Meldrum - hope it will soon be out of date.
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New Zimbabwe

Zanu PF kicks out Paradza

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/27/2004 14:13:12
MAKONDE Member of Parliament, Kindness Paradza has been kicked out of the
ruling Zanu PF party, reports said.

The Zanu PF Mashonaland West Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC), the
highest decision-making body in the province, was unanimous in finding
against Paradza, the official weekly Sunday Mail newspaper reported.

Paradza faced a total of five counts of misconduct including giving
interviews to hostile media and also seeking funds from the British
government for his weekly Tribune newspaper which has since been banned.
Paradza was also found not to have a Zanu PF membership card.

Paradza's expulsion is with immediate effect. Phillip Chiyangwa who chaired
the five-hour meeting said: "It was unanimously agreed that Paradza be
expelled and the decision of the province is final. I will formally write to
the party's Politburo and Central Committee informing them of our decision.

"We have started the process of looking for candidates to represent Zanu-PF
in Makonde should there be any by-election," Chiyangwa told the Sunday Mail.

Paradza, a former journalist who worked at the Financial Gazette becomes the
second ruling party official whose loyalty has been questioned after Finance
Minister Chris Kuruneri was found to possess a Canadian passport.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Now Moyo hits us with his music


ZIMBABWE'S Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is now literally singing for
his supper - he is to launch a propaganda album next month.

The 26-song, double-CD collection titled Back2Black and an accompanying
video will be launched in Zimbabwe's leading holiday resort town, Victoria
Falls, on July 10.

Moyo's department is picking up the tab, which is believed to run into

A group called PaxAfro is understood to have recorded the album although
some of the songs were compiled and produced by Moyo, according to a
musician associated with the project.

Moyo, who studied music in the US, has in recent years roped in musicians,
Zimbabwe's national soccer team and even beauty queens in bids to shore up
the battered image of President Robert Mugabe's regime, which is battling
with a deep political and economic crisis.

According to the invitation to the launch of Moyo's album, the country' s
information department will pay some of the expenses of the function.

The department has made a block booking at the five-star Elephant Hills
Hotel where lunch and dinner will be provided to guests for free. The launch
itself will take place on a boat.

Moyo has defended Mugabe's beleaguered regime tirelessly, using whatever
platform available.

However, he has of late found himself clashing with colleagues - including
Mugabe's London-based international publicist David Nyekorach Matsanga - in
a vicious power struggle for Mugabe's job. Mugabe is set to retire in four
years' time.

Matsanga, a Ugandan, recently accused "thugs" associated with Moyo of
assaulting him at the Harare airport and robbing him.

And this week, he called Moyo an "indefatigable gay pig and shallow-minded
gay rant".

Matsanga said he had written to Mugabe, asking the president to control his
"minister of disinformation and regime change from within".

"The agony of defending Zimbabwe abroad has brought self-inflicting damage
and misery to my international image. I faced the Zimbabwe situation without
fear but with devotion and passion," Matsanga said.

"[But] the last few months have seen an upsurge in dirty gay toxins printed
against me in the government-owned newspaper, The Herald." Matsanga accused
Moyo of engineering "rabid gay attacks" against him.

The Herald has slammed Matsanga, taking him to task over his former role as
spokesman for Ugandan rebel movement the Lord's Resistance Army, which has
been accused of killing, raping and torturing people.
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New Zimbabwe

Sunday Times fights Mugabe, Nujoma

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/27/2004 10:54:19
THE Sunday Times is fighting an attempt by Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe and Namibia's President Sam Nujoma to hijack its name for propaganda

The newspaper has taken legal steps to fight plans by Mugabe and Nujoma to
launch a regional newspaper called the New Sunday Times, widely believed to
be a direct challenge to the Sunday Times - which has exposed greed and
corruption in Zimbabwe and Namibia, as well as the economic and political
crisis in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe this week stepped up its efforts to launch the new newspaper.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who is leading the media crackdown in
the country, is spearheading the project.

Moses Magadza, who is to edit the New Sunday Times, has been dispatched from
the state-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers Group (Zimpapers) to Namibia to prepare
for the launch.

Sources said Magadza, the assistant editor of the state-run daily The
Herald, is in Windhoek to finalise issues on staff, offices, computers, and
logistics. So far the paper has only two cars, one for the editor and one
for the newsroom.

Dummy editions have already been produced and the paper's masthead is said
to be similar to that of the Sunday Times.

But attorneys acting for the Sunday Times have written to the publishers of
the new paper in both Namibia and Zimbabwe, warning them that any use of the
name New Sunday Times would constitute an infringement of the Sunday Times's
rights to the well-known trademark.

The letter was sent to Namibia's New Era Publishing Corporation, which is
wholly owned by Nujoma's government, and to Zimpapers. New Era acknowledged
receipt of the letter, but there has been no response from Zimbabwe. The
Sunday Times is distributed in both countries.

"The Sunday Times is a credible and trustworthy newspaper, and we will not
allow Mugabe and Nujoma to hijack its good name without putting up a fight,"
said Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya.

"We will continue to investigate and publish stories of interest to the
people of Southern Africa, regardless of the discomfort this may bring to
those in power."

It is understood the new paper will be funded by the Zimbabwean and Namibian
governments as well as by Zimpapers and New Era.

Moyo has visited Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique to make contact with
state-media organisations to counter the "hostile press" - Zimbabwe's
independent press; South African papers, in particular the Sunday Times and
the Mail & Guardian; and foreign media.

Zimbabwe's government-controlled Sunday Mail this week warned that
authorities want to gag the Mail & Guardian for using "unaccredited"
journalists and for printing and distributing its editions "clandestinely"
in the country.

The government-appointed Media and Information Commission is to probe the
Mail & Guardian. Commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso and Moyo have presided
over the closures of the Daily News, Daily News on Sunday and the Tribune. -
Sunday Times Reporter

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Zim Standard

Mohadi sues Made
By Nyasha Bosha and Savious Kwinika

. Minister wants war veterans evicted from farm AS the government's chaotic
land reforms continue paralysing further the country's agriculture industry,
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi is suing his Cabinet colleague, Joseph
Made, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, in a bid to stop
the illegal resettlement of war veterans at his farm in Beitbridge, The
Standard can reveal.

Mohadi who owns Lot 1 of Lot 10 in Jopembe Block in Beitbridge says he has
incurred costs close to $300 million after some war veterans illegally
settled on his farm with the blessing of Made.

These invaders were interfering with workers, pegging new plots as well as
cutting firewood on the farm, he says in court papers filed with the High
Court in Bulawayo.

The Home Affairs Minister says some of the settlers have even cut the
security fence erected at the farm letting loose 75 steers worth $32,5

Represented by Mtombeni, Mukwesha and Associates, Mohadi has been granted
interim relief by the High Court which barred Made and the other respondents
from disrupting farming activities on his plot.

Notable among the other respondents were Edson Mbedzi, the Beitbridge
district administrator and the chairman of the war veterans in the area, an
AP Mbedzi.

Justice Maphios Cheda - sitting in Bulawayo last month - ordered that the
war veterans and settlers immediately vacate the Minister's farm or risk
being evicted by the Deputy Sheriff, assisted by police.

Justice Cheda also ordered all the 26 applicants to stop pegging new plots
on Mohadi's land and to stop interfering with his workers as well as to stop
cutting firewood on the property.

In affidavits that formed the basis of his application, Mohadi said as a
result of the interference by the invaders, he had not been able to utilise
his farm.

He also revealed that he failed to service a loan of $107 million obtained
from ARDA to install irrigation systems on the farm because work on the
property was "constantly and persistently" being disrupted by the illegal

"I have suffered prejudice of high proportions from the continued activities
of Made, AP Mbedzi, G Ndlovu and Ernest Nguluvhe, their members and I have
failed to properly and fully utilise my farm.

"I have incurred huge expenses in order to fully embark on commercial
agriculture. I have been unable to put resources to fruition and good use as
a result of aforementioned and illegal activities," said Mohadi.

Contacted for comment, Mohadi referred The Standard to his lawyer, Advocate
Moses Mtombeni.

Said Mtombeni: "The matter is already in the courts; the issue really is
about boundaries and what my client wants is for those people (invaders) not
to interfere with his agricultural activities. The Minister acquired land
just like everyone and he needs to continue peacefully with his activities.

"We are already working with the Deputy Sheriff because we have also
obtained an eviction order," said Mtombeni.

Yesterday Made said he was not cited as a respondent in the case.

"I am not aware of that," said Made, before terminating the conversation.
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF bows down to pressure on poll reforms
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE "sweeping" electoral reforms instituted by the increasingly paranoid
President Robert Mugabe's government recently were a result of excessive
pressure from regional leaders as well as from some "moderates" within the
ruling party's Politburo, it emerged yesterday.

Sources said regional leaders - including South African President Thabo
Mbeki, who has been advocating dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC - had
threatened not to recognise next year's poll, slated for March, if the
electoral laws in Zimbabwe were not in tandem with the SADC "norms and
standards" on elections.

In the past two years, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
has taken its electoral reforms campaign to regional leaders and the
international community.

Apart from that, another source said Mugabe was under immense pressure to
institute reforms from his lieutenants within the Politburo, who believe
that there should be life for the party after the 80-year-old leader retires
or leaves office.

There have been several caucus meetings in the past few weeks by some
members of the Politburo, Zanu PF's supreme decision making body, and the
party's Central Committee.

"It was a Politburo initiative," said an official source in the governing

The sweeping electoral reforms include all the demands that had been put
forward by the opposition MDC as conditions for participating in next year's
general elections.

State media reports yesterday suggested that there would be an independent,
publicly funded Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that would be
accountable to Parliament.

However, the chief electoral officer would still be appointed by Mugabe,
casting doubt on the independence of the body.

The President will appoint five members of the commission and its chairman,
in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission and four other members
from a list of seven names submitted by Parliament.

Under the new reforms, voting will be reduced from two days to one day while
an ad hoc court will be established to immediately deal with disputes
arising from the poll within six months.

The Registrar General's Office will partly cease involving itself in
election matters although it will continue to register voters.

MDC secretary general, Welshman Ncube, said he was happy that Zanu PF had
finally realised the importance of the electoral changes.

"It is heartening to note that Zanu PF has accepted the MDC leadership. This
is what we have been saying that we wanted Mudede to go and that voting
should be conducted in one day . these are MDC's five demands for the
restoration of legitimacy in the country," he said.

Ncube said the long-awaited reforms came after the party's vigorous campaign
locally, regionally and internationally to bring pressure to bear on Mugabe'
s government.

"We took our campaign to the people in Zanu PF, the general public, regional
leaders and the international community and these are the results," said

"We look forward to the implementation of these electoral changes."

Ncube was hopeful that Zanu PF would soon recognise the MDC's "Restart
Programme" for the stabilisation and reconstruction of the economy to ensure
the delivery of jobs, houses, health and educational services in the

Ncube said the MDC was, however, opposed to the appointment of the ZEC
chairman by Mugabe because the commission could be "completely subservient
to Zanu PF like the Media and Information Commission led by Tafataona

The Media and Information Commission (MIC), whose chairperson was appointed
by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, has been accused of being
pro-government and against independent media houses.

"We do not accept the idea that the appointment of the chief electoral
officer be done by Robert Mugabe.

"We believe that the method of appointment of all members of the commission
cannot be unilaterally declared by Zanu PF without consulting other
stakeholders in particular the MDC as this is a constitutional matter," said

The acceptance of the electoral reforms before the 2005 general elections is
a slap in the face of Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, who recently declared that there would be no reforms
prior to next year's poll.

The electoral changes also come barely a month before Zimbabwe hosts a SADC
Parliamentary Forum to discuss electoral reforms in the region.
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Zim Standard

ZFU vice-president quizzed over farm murder
By Valentine Maponga

ZIMBABWE Farmers' Union (ZFU) Vice President Wilfanos Mashingaidze (61) was
arrested in Mvurwi last week after a man was found dead at his Centenary
farm, police have confirmed.

Mashingaidze, together with an unnamed cousin, was arrested on 18 June and
charged with the murder. The deceased was identified as Gift Landmond, a
security guard at Mashingaidze's Glasala Farm.

Investigations by the police established that the shovel suspected to have
been used as the murder weapon belonged to Mashingaidze, leading to his

"After it was discovered that the shovel belonged to the farm, the owners of
the farm were asked to explain but failed to give satisfactory responses,"
said a police source.

Mashingaidze was interrogated by the Criminal Investigation Department
officials in Bindura, before being taken to court on June 23 for initial

Police spokesperson, Inspector Andrew Phiri, confirmed the arrests and added
that investigations were still in progress.

"Yes he was arrested last week after a man was found dead on his farm. He
appeared in court yesterday (Friday) and prosecution was declined on the
basis that there was no clear evidence linking him to the murder. So it
means he is now out of custody," said Phiri.

"The police are still investigating the matter and they have to gather as
much evidence as possible before can he be taken in again," he said.
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Zim Standard

Corpses tumble downstairs as Harare Hospital crumbles
By Valentine Maponga

STAFF at Harare Central Hospital - one of the country's largest referral
hospitals - are being forced to roll bodies down the stairs from wards on
the upper floor to the mortuary which is on the ground floor because some of
the elevators are no longer operational.

A Standard news team that visited the hospital recently was told of
deteriorating standards, with some disgruntled morticians taking their time
to remove bodies from wards - forcing the nurses to wrap them in mattresses
and roll them down stairs because the hospital's dilapidated elevators have
not been repaired for a long time.

This show of disrespect for the dead, workers at the institution said, was
just a tip of the iceberg of how things have deteriorated at the hospital,
once one of Zimbabwe's best performing hospitals.

Last week, Standard reporters were shown intensive care patients in the B7
and B8 male wards on the Third Floor being lifted up and down the stairs
whenever they needed to visit other wards for specialist treatment or any
other reason.

Workers said the nurses had complained to the authorities about their poor
working conditions but nothing has been done for months.

"We are forced to lift bodies down the stairs, which is very difficult for
us to cope with. One risks suffering back-ache from lifting heavy loads up
and down the stairs," said one nurse who refused to be named.

The Standard found that the elevators that are still operational only go as
far the Second floor so that movements to the upper floor can only be
undertaken manually.

Some of the lifts -from Otis Elevator Company - were condemned as being
beyond their service span and cannot be repaired. Standard investigations
showed that the rot is not confined to elevators only.

Harare Hospital - like most other health institutions in Zimbabwe - is in
dire need of medicines, equipment and medical supplies. There is also a
serious shortage of professional staff as hundreds of nurses, doctors and
pharmacists have left the country for greener pastures.

Estimates show that almost half of the nurses trained in Zimbabwe are lost
annually to better paying jobs in South Africa, Britain, Australia and the
United States.

Sources said morticians, who are supposed to remove the dead from the wards
to the mortuary, have "their own timetable" and often left this task to the
nurses on duty.

"When a person dies in this ward we just have to roll him in a mattress and
pull it down the stairs," said another nurse, who added that even that was
too strenuous for the overworked nurses and their student helpers.

Edwin Muguti, the acting medical superintendent at the hospital, said he
could not comment on the matter.

"I am not in a position to comment since I am just acting. You can call next
week and talk to Dr Tapfumaneyi when he is back from leave," said Muguti.
Chris Tapfumaneyi is the medical superintendent.
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Zim Standard

Mau Mau faces UK deportation
From Foster Dongozi in London

LONDON - Zanu PF stalwart and former boxing promoter, Stalin Mau Mau, faces
deportation from the United Kingdom where he sought sanctuary two years ago.
The Home Office has launched an investigation into his businesses and how he
acquired papers to stay in the UK, The Standard can reveal.

The Daily Telegraph - a UK newspaper - on Monday last week reported that Mau
Mau's businesses under investigation included a supermarket in Leigh-on-Sea,

Mau Mau, who contested the 2000 parliamentary elections on a Zanu PF ticket,
was trounced by the Movement for Democratic Change's Tendai Biti before
retreating to lick his wounds in the safe bosom of the former colonial
master in 2002.

The story in The Daily Telegraph was co-authored by David Blair, a
journalist who was deported from Zimbabwe a few years ago at the onset of
the government's crackdown on the media.

The story was broken after police and immigration officers started
investigating an organisation called Zimbabwe Community in the UK after its
founders - Albert and his wife, Grace Matapo -were accused of forging
documents and providing false life histories for more than 1000 Zimbabwean
asylum seekers.

Albert Matapo was exposed in a sting operation conducted by the BBC's Radio
Five Live in which he allegedly boasted that for 1 000 pounds, a Zimbabwean
asylum seeker could get a false passport and be coached into duping
immigration officers "through lying to the white man" by claiming to be
persecuted for being members of the MDC. In the sting operation, Matapo also
admitted helping four close relatives of Cabinet Ministers, who are
themselves not allowed to set foot in Europe or the US after Zimbabwe was
declared a rogue state amid accusations that the 2002 presidential elections
were rigged.

Matapo was granted asylum in 2002 after claiming he could not return to
Zimbabwe as his membership of the MDC could endanger his life.

In fact, according to The Daily Telegraph, Matapo actually fled to the UK to
escape an angry mob he had allegedly conned of their money after promising
them entry into the UK.

Mau Mau said he entered the UK legally while Matapo could only meekly utter:
"If I am guilty, I must go to jail." He did not offer to return home to

The participation of David Blair in the investigations could dash the hopes
of many ruling party lackeys who want to continue staying in the UK as he
could easily flush them out after having met them in Zimbabwe.
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Zim Standard

State dams programme collapses
By our own Staff

THE construction of major dams in Zimbabwe, billed as the only solution to
turn drought-prone areas into productive farmland, have virtually stalled
due to under-funding and failure by government to pay foreign contractors
engaged to do the work, a recent Parliamentary report has revealed.

The second report of the Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture Water
Development, Rural Resources and Resettlement on Major Dam Projects said the
delays have deprived would-be beneficiaries a source of livelihood as well
as general national development.

Those that feel deprived are poverty-stricken rural people who were
displaced by the dam projects and have not been compensated.

"Scattering projects around the country without completing them creates
animosity between community and their local leadership," noted the
committee, which was headed by Zanu PF MP for Zhombe, Daniel Mackenzie

The committee said it was worrying that budgetary allocations for major dams
were grossly inadequate while the release of available funds by the Ministry
of Finance was "too erratic".

Some projects ran for only three months at most, before work came to a
standstill, it noted. Apart from that, the government failed to pay the
foreign contractors - mostly from China and Malaysia - prompting them to
stop construction.

As a result of the delays, the cost of construction has also ballooned,
reaching frightening figures, due to the current hyper-inflationary

Major dam projects that are facing such problems include Tokwe-Mukosi,
Gwayi-Shangani, Dande, Marovanyati, Kunzwi, Matezwa, Mutange, Wenimbi and

Construction work at Tokwe-Mukosi dam in Masvingo - which was started in
1998 and was supposed to be completed in 2002 - has encountered several

It is now estimated that the grand project, which is set to benefit communal
and commercial farmers in the drought-ridden province of Masvingo, can only
be completed in 2006.

Initially, the project, won by Salini-Impregilo, a joint venture between two
Italian firms, was supposed to cost $389 884 324 in 1998 but it has since
jumped to $70 billion.

The report said: "The subcontractors require about US$200 000 per month to
service their machinery.

"However, they have not been able to access this foreign currency from the
Foreign Currency Auction Market. As a result, unnecessary work stoppages
occur every now and then thereby hampering progress."

When complete, the dam will be the largest inland lake in the country with
an annual yield of 340 million cubic metres of water with the potential to
irrigate 25 000 hectares.

Another dam project that has been on the cards for a long time is the
Gwayi-Shangani, which is part of the long awaited massive Matabeleland
Zambezi Water Project (MZWP).

The project, which has been riddled by political posturing and lack of
funding, is meant to augment water supplies to Bulawayo and Matabeleland,
which has always experienced perennial water problems.

The water problem has caused "flight of investment" from the city to other
areas in the country with reliable water supplies.

"Surrounding communities will also benefit from the project as some water
will be released along the way and used for irrigation purposes thereby
creating a green belt along the pipeline," said the committee.

The project contract was supposed to be financed through a
build-operate-transfer scheme by a Malaysian firm, ZIMAL, in partnership
with the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT). However, the funding from
Malaysia never materialised, forcing the government to consider going it
alone on the project.

Other than bearing huge charges for the termination of the contract, the
government does not have the capacity to individually develop the project.

"Besides, the committee does not believe the government has the capacity to
undertake a project of such magnitude using its own resources, taking into
consideration funding problems faced by other major dam projects currently
in progress," noted the committee.

Presently, work at the Dande Dam project, which is supposed to provide
irrigation water to 4 000 families in Chitsungo and Mashumbe in Guruve
North, has stopped and the tunnel contract, China National Water and
Hydropower Engineering Corporation has already returned to China.

"Regarding the dam contractor, staff is still on site with their equipment,
which is lying idle and yet accumulating standing charges," the committee

Progress was delayed by financing constraints, particularly the foreign
currency component, which was severely affected by the pull-out of the
Africa Development Bank (ADB)) in 2000 due to non-payment of arrears by

When the contract was signed in 2000, the project was to cost $284 million
but it is now estimated to be well above $10,5 billion.
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Zim Standard

War veterans squabble over farm equipment
By Valentine Maponga

A ROW has erupted among new farmers resettled in Mashonaland East after some
farming equipment, which they say was designated for their use, was found
stashed at a farm belonging to provincial Governor, David Karimanzira.

Karimanzira, however, told The Standard recently that the farm equipment was
brought to the farm without his knowledge.

Said Karimanzira: "A lot of people leave their property at the farm . and
that does not mean its mine. Some have left their scotch carts there. We
also have our own irrigation pipes at the farm."

The new farmers settled at the AI Saratoga Farm along Shamva Road say some
Zanu PF politicians were conniving with senior government officials to deny
them farming equipment seized from white former commercial farmers.

Advance Gwangwava - a war veteran also known as "Comrade Stix" - said
irrigation pipes from Saratoga were removed on the orders of one Jani from
the President's Office and found dumped at Colga Farm along Mtoko Road.
Colga belongs to Karimanzira.

"Last year, water pipes were removed and Jani said he had bought them and in
order to carry out their removal without interference, he brought with him
some police officers from Juru growth point," alleged Gwangwava.

The Standard recently visited Karimanzira's Colga Farm and found huge stacks
of irrigation pipes on the property.

A guard at the farm confirmed that a lot of irrigation equipment, including
pipes, had been left at the farm but he was not sure who owned them. Most of
the pipes were dumped near three giant sheds at the farm when The Standard

"As you can see there are a lot of things that have been brought here and we
are not sure which property came from Saratoga and other farms? Unongoonawo
nekuwanda kwazvakaita haungazivi kuti zvakabva kupi uye ndezvani, (You can
see for yourself; with all this equipment from different places, it is
difficult to tell what belongs to who)," said the guard.

Sources at the Governor's office in Marondera said most of the pipes being
kept at Colga belonged to Jani, whom they said was a senior official in the
President's Office.

According to the sources, Jani was allocated land at a farm in Marondera but
could not move onto the property which turned turned out to be council land.
Efforts to trace Jani were fruitless.

The new farmers said two well-known people in the area - Martin Kurimba and
Steven Nyamukacha - last month even tried to move a giant cold room at
Saratoga that was being used to store fresh farm produce on instructions
from Jani.

"Jani threatened us by showing us his picture standing next to the
President," said one of the new farmers, Kapembedza.

He said only the intervention of the District Administrator for Goromonzi,
Erick Samunda, prevented the cold room from being forcibly taken away from

The government recently gazetted a law that bars anyone from removing farm
equipment from farms that were listed for resettlement amid widespread
reports of looting of such equipment.
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Zim Standard


Pressure on Mugabe bearing fruit

... But much more needs to be done for all our efforts to succeed WE have
always held the view that governments everywhere respond to pressure.

That, fortunately, includes the intransigent and stubborn variety like the
one we have in Zimbabwe at the moment.

The electoral reforms published yesterday by the Government Gazette which
masquerades as The Herald are not sweeping by any stretch of imagination.
But they are a step in the right direction. Pressure must therefore be
intensified to push President Mugabe to go the whole way and not to continue
to protect his turf by hook or crook.

We obviously welcome the fact that the partisan Registrar General's Office
will no longer be involved in the organisation and running of elections. And
we further welcome the shift from having two days of voting to one day.
However, we aver that the independent body to be called the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) tasked to run the electoral process will not be
sufficiently independent if its members are to be appointed by the

What will the difference be between the current Electoral Supervisory
Commission (ESC) and the proposed Zimbabwe Eelectoral Commission? Is this
not like giving with one hand and taking it away with another?

The President, as the leader of a political party contesting elections,
should have no part to play in the appointment or setting up of an
Independent electoral commission.

The current situation which has seen elections being managed by the
Registrar General's Office, the Election Directorate, the Electoral
Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs and the Delimitation Commission had resulted in a lot of confusion
in the whole electoral process.

Zimbabwe needs a genuine and truly independent electoral commission to
manage and supervise all necessary processes for holding of elections -
independent in the truest sense of the word. The proposed electoral reforms
must conform with the Sadc electoral standards and norms.

These standards and norms are very clear on how the political playing field
can be leveled for all political parties to feel confident about the
electoral process.

So it is most important that Sadc leaders continue to make concerted efforts
in this regard. For there is no doubt that it has been as a result of the
perseverance of courageous Zimbabweans and the pressure from the Sadc
leaders in particular and the international community in general that Zanu
PF has been dragged, albeit kicking and screaming, to make the concessions
that it has made though not far reaching enough.

What is now needed is for the regional leaders and the international
community to do much more to convince President Mugabe not only to complete
the reforms to the country's electoral system but also to repeal the
repressive laws and respect the rule of law.

Zanu PF must also be persuaded to enter into meaningful dialogue with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change. There is no way the playing field
can be leveled without the repeal of the Public Order and Security Act
(Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).

Zanu PF's stranglehold on the content of broadcasting and the so-called
public print media must be brought to an end. The importance of all
political parties having equal access to the media in any electoral process
cannot be over-emphasised.

The opposition MDC, civil society and the independent media have taken up
the cudgels to keep up pressure on the ruling party and we have got this far
because of this as well as the support from our neighbours and the
international community as a whole.

We also strongly believe that there are many men and women of goodwill
within the ruling Zanu PF party who want to come together with fellow
Zimbabweans in order to work out the rules of the political game. They know
that the current Zanu PF machine has become an obstacle to their long-term
interests and want normality to return to the country.

We can point to South Africa where men and women across the great divide
have succeeded in breaking barriers in the interest of the continued
development of the country. If it happened in South Africa, it can also
happen here. After all, we live in the same country and we have to go on
sharing it.

Change is always difficult. It implies pain and inconvenience on the part of
Zanu PF. But members of the ruling must know that they can never be secure
politically unless the electoral playing field is leveled.

By these electoral reforms, albeit half-hearted, the ruling Zanu PF has
signaled a new mood; a new engagement on issues with the opposition and the
rest of civil society. Prevention or cure, only we Zimbabweans can find
solutions to our problems.

Yesterday's published electoral reforms represent good small strokes
pointing out more of the failing, to say "half-empty rather than half-full".

Obviously we expect a more full glass from President Mugabe in the not too
distant future.
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Zim Standard

Over the Top
By Brian Latham

Dreams in fantasy land YOU can, of course, believe anything you like. You
can believe that everyone in the troubled central African nation will have
full bellies this year. You can believe that patriotic and revolutionary new
farmers will have grown the food that fills those bellies.

It's entirely up to you whether you believe these things or not.

You can even believe the troubled courts in the troubled central African
police State will resolve disputed election results from four years ago -
and that they'll do so before the next elections.

And if you're being really optimistic, you can persuade yourself that the
courts care about these things. You can even believe they're brave enough to
show us they're independent.

You can believe that the most equal of all comrades will hand over the reins
of power to a democratically accepted successor. You might even believe that
the Zany Party will reach consensus without infighting and turmoil.

Of course, you might believe that all the banned newspapers will win their
court challenges so that troubled central Africans can read the news they
want to read without risking a long weekend in police cells.

And you may even believe the troubled central bank will regain control of
the economy and bring inflation to below, say, 500 per cent within a year.

If you're really chancing your arm, you might want to think that, yes,
troubled central Africans in the Diaspora will send real money home to save
us all from perdition and penury.

Or you might prefer to dream of the day when you can walk into the
supermarket and fill your trolley with everything you want, pay for it and
put behind you the planning for shortages brought about by what the Zany
Party refers to rather dubiously as economic saboteurs.

You may even put on your double strength rose tinted spectacles and tell
everyone that the More Drink Coming Party will win more seats in the next
parliamentary elections.

Perhaps you believe the More Drink Coming Party has a plan that extends
beyond sitting on its collective bottom and waiting for the Zany Party to
devour itself.

Or that the troubled central African basket case will suddenly find itself
back among the community of nations with a sack full of proper money.

You may even have faith in the community of nations and believe, even now,
there are those planning to save the troubled central African banana
republic from bankruptcy.

You may not think our southern neighbour will lift a finger, but you hope
others will. (Though why Terrible Thabo should be singled out more than
anyone else is a mystery. He's done no more nor no less than anyone else.
You don't see Tony "Emily" Blair doing anything more useful than practicing
expressions of gratuitous concern either, do you?) Still, if you believe any
of this, you probably also believe in fairies - and no, I'm not talking
about Emily.

On the other hand, like 99 per cent of troubled central Africans, you know
that none of it's true, but that the truth is out there. Just like in the X
Files, except this time the aliens seem to have taken over and could
possibly be living in the misinformation minister's head.

Still, never mind. Over The Top will reveal the truth for you. No, there is
no food. The succession debate will get ugly and the successor will have no
democratic mandate. The last elections will not be resolved before the next
elections begin - and the next elections will be bloodier still. The courts
will subscribe to Zany Party philosophy and the More Drink Coming Party is
at least right when it says the rival Zany Party will devour itself. The
end . so hurry up and drink your coffee because it's cold.
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Zim Standard

Lies, electioneering and poodles

The big lie WAS it Abraham Lincoln who said you can fool some people some of
the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time, or words to that

A recent survey by the United Nations, contrary to Uncle Bob's widely
reported claims, says more than two million people in rural Zimbabwe will
need food aid in the next year.

The report by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee - on which the
government has a representative - says a survey carried out in April shows
that about 2,3 million people in the rural areas will need food aid before
the next harvest.

That alone relegates to the dustbin ridiculous claims by Uncle Bob - and
promoted heavily by the Nutty Professor and the lapdogs at Zimpapers - that
we have had a bumper harvest and won't need food assistance.

The report is even more shocking: it says an earlier assessment had revealed
that the situation could be dire in the urban centres and concludes that
before next year, about five million Zimbabweans might need food aid.

The ZimVac survey, carried out in April, contradicts Uncle Bob's claims that
the country will be able to feed itself.

No wonder the government went ballistic when the UN called for an
independent assessment on this year's harvest after the wild claims by the
Great Leader in his interview with Sky News.

Bulawayo lapdog

I MUST confess I gave up on the lying Chronicle long back and no longer read
it . unless it's at gunpoint.

I am of the opinion that no-one in their right mind should spend their
hard-earned Zimkwacha to have their intelligence insulted by the trash the
bearded one peddles as news on a daily basis.

Because of the blatant lies in The Chronicle (such as reports that the MDC
plotted to bomb high-rise buildings in the sleepy second capital), I have
since been convinced that there are better uses for one's increasingly
useless Zimkwacha than to contribute to Bin Laden Ndlovu's salary.

Baring the fact that some say, rightly or wrongly, that the bearded one does
have weird ways of distributing his salary - like entertaining women of
dubious repute at midnight in his office, or consulting n'angas to remain in
frisky Nutty Nathaniel's good books - I believe The Chronicle is really the

It is a publication only fit for other hygienic purposes should one find
themselves in a spot of bother without the necessary ablution support

The other day, however, my interest was aroused when a colleague pointed out
that while we are appalled by Puffy's antics to lie and cover up for
Jonathan Nathaniel Manheru Moyo everyday, worse things are happening in

A casual flip through Tuesday's Chronicle bears testimony of how the bearded
one has become the campaign manager for Nutty Nathaniel.

As probably the whole of Zimbabwe knows, the junior Minister of
Information - who has never been elected to any position of note in Zanu
PF - wants Tsholotsho next year, badly.

He tried to ramrod his way through - in his usual crude fashion - by
announcing that he had been nominated "unopposed" to be the governing party'
s candidate for the rural outpost, but for once Uncle Bob put down the

The Great Leader, realising that he would allow a free-for-all (even for his
own position), announced that anyone wishing to stand as a Zanu PF candidate
had to undergo a primary selection process.

That is why the Nutty Professor has a bee on his bonnet and has enlisted the
services of the State media to snatch Tsholotsho.

On the front page of Tuesday's Chronicle is a full frontal picture of Jona
and a story saying he was "in a state of unbelievable shock" at the death of
Chief Mbulawa of Tsholotsho.

Before announcing to the whole world - and of course the prospective voters
in Tsholotsho - that he was making a personal donation of $4 million to the
funeral of the late chief, our Jona mourns: "We are left searching our souls
helplessly asking God and our ancestors why us in Tsholotsho?". Crocodile

Peta's uppercut

WOODPECKER's former colleague at the paper that was once pink, Basildon
Peta - the Johannesburg-based Africa Correspondent of the Independent News
and Media Group (UK) - has dismissed as "superior madness" claims by Uncle
Bob's envoy in Pretoria that he fabricated a story about RBZ chief Gideon
Gono's torrid reception in South Africa last week.

In the report, which drew Simon Khaya Moyo's ire, Peta said angry
Zimbabweans pelted Moyo and refused to be addressed by Gono at the Gallagher
Estates in Midrand.

Peta said he found it strange that Moyo was now denying a "straight forward
fact that happened in the full view of the world and was reported by
international media".

Said Peta: "Perhaps the only good thing about Moyo's insane rantings is that
they make the job of telling the world that Zimbabwe is in a mess today,
because it has many idiots in its ranks, much easier."

Woodpecker could not get Khaya Moyo's response - which is likely to be just
as colourful - at the time of going to Press.

Farewell, Baby Doctor

STILL on matters journalistic, Woodpecker would like to mourn his former
collegue and dear friend, the late Wilson Dakwa.

Dakwa - known to close friends at Herald House in the mid-1980s as "Baby
áDoc" - was the other half of the famous Dakwa brothers who excelled in
journalism in Zimbabwe just after independence in 1980.

Dakwa, nicknamed "Baby Doc" (while his brother Painos became "Papa Doc"),
was an easily noticeable figure in the newsroom with his Afro hairstyle and
dark CIO-like glasses.

When he joined The Herald, he immediately made a name for himself through
investigative township reports. One of his most famous stories was an exposÚ
of a family working for a white commercial farmer who were so poor that they
fed on white maggots that are found in pigs' droppings.

Baby Doc was a principled journalist who crafted his reports without fear or
favour and when it became fashionable to bootlick Zanu PF at The Herald, he
like many others resigned.

Even when he took early retirement from the ZBC - to escape the circus
brought about by Nutty Nathaniel - he continued to write great
human-interest stories. One of his last reports, which was in last week's
Standard, was about the outcry in Bulawayo over escalating rentals of city

To his last breath, Baby Doc remained a real man of the people. Farewell
Baby Doc.
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Zim Standard

Land reform: how successful has it been

A lot has been said by senior government officials and those with similar
views to the government, proclaiming the success of the land reform

I confess to being only a casual observer of the events as they unfold,
concerning the above, but I find it strange that in the last few days alone,
the same people have said or reported the following:

áThat there is now going to be a "total re-organisation of the land
ownership system in the country".

áThat new farmer tobacco growers have decimated indigenous forests causing
the international market to consider boycotting Zimbabwe tobacco until the
situation is rectified.

áThe farmers need 25 000 tractors country-wide, but less than 1000 have
still to land or be assembled in the country this year.

áThat poachers who decimated game populations on conservancies thought that
the land was for arable use only but now know that benefits can be obtained
by reviving the wildlife sector.

How successful could it have been?

'Wary and Weary'

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Zim Standard

Exposing the fallacy of Zim media laws

BORNWELL CHAKAODZA, Editor of The Standard was recently part of a delegation
of Zimbabwean journalists who undertook a study tour of Sweden under the
auspices of the country's Embassy in Harare and the Swedish Institute in

The purpose of the visit was to provide the journalists with a glimpse of
Swedish society and culture, specifically Swedish laws on freedom of
expression and access to information. The following is first of a two part
series on his impressions of the visit.

OVER and over again, Jonathan Moyo and Tafataona Mahoso repeatedly said it.
But that does not make it true. Shameless and constant repetition can make
even the ugliest of media fantasies seem true if they are not exposed for
what they are.

Here, I refer to the patently absurd claim that the satanic Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) is modeled along the lines
of the media legislation in that land of Nobel prizes - Sweden. Nothing
could be further from the truth.

Through the Swedish Embassy in Harare and the Swedish Institute in
Stockholm, a number of Zimbabwean journalists had the good fortune to visit
this beautiful country to study how the media laws are actually applied in
practice and to see what exactly happens on the ground.

Let me get straight to the point. One of the most liberal and progressive
freedom of the media laws that I had the privilege to come across is the
Freedom of the Press Act of Sweden.

Here, openness is the rule and secrecy the exception. Every citizen has the
right to have access to official documents and this right is guaranteed in
the Swedish Constitution. The principle of public access means that all
documents and information in the keeping of a public authority either
central government or local government are accessible to the general public.
Both in theory and practice, this means a Swedish citizen can ask to read
the Prime Minister's mail.

There are, of course, exceptions to the principle of public access. For
example, specific clauses relating to matters of national security or to
protect the integrity or privacy of ordinary citizens e.g. medical records
of patients. But the more important thing here is that legal justification
is always required before a public authority can refuse access to documents
or information.

A government can cite specific clauses in refusing access but it is the
court of law which has the last word whether or not a particular document
can be withheld from citizens.

Indeed, the conditions under which Swedish journalists work are rather
special compared with the conditions in most other countries including much
of Europe. In the European Union, including Britain for example, all public
documents are secret and it is the governments of these countries which
decide whether or not to allow access to public documents.

Unlike in Zimbabwe, registration of a media organisation in Sweden is a mere
formality akin to registering any company under the Company Act. It is a
totally administrative affair. Journalists are neither registered nor
accredited. Anyone has a right to become a journalist.

Press cards for identification purposes are issued by the Swedish Union of
Journalists. It is not permission to work as a journalist. It is not a legal
requirement and a number of Swedish journalists do not hold press cards and
they go about their business without anybody bothering them.

It is unheard of in Sweden for a media house to ask for permission to
publish. And once registered like any ordinary company, such registration
cannot be withdrawn. It is actually written in the Swedish Constitution that
anyone has the right to publish as long as they have the money and an Editor
who is legally responsible for anything that is printed or published in the

The right to publish can never be withdrawn because the Swedish society has
long been united in the belief that journalism and journalists have an
important role to play in the democratic process. Sweden does not close

For a very small country with a population of about 9 million, Sweden can
justifiably be proud of many things: the then pop group Abba, Tennis
players, Siemens, Volvo and on top of all these things, freedom of speech.

I am not trying to celebrate other people's mythologies here but the free
media landscape in Sweden strikes me as something to be emulated by people
who cherish free speech in this world. Unlike in Zimbabwe, where the
government is endangering the health of not only journalists but Zimbabweans
of all colours and creeds, there are no government tentacles controlling
anything in Sweden.

One of the things that made Sweden such a fascinating place to visit was the
institution of Press Ombudsman set up by Press organisations to regulate
themselves. The State has nothing to do with it. In fact, the whole system
has the desired effect of shutting out the government from the media arena.

Four Press organisations namely the Association of Newspaper Publishers, the
Association of Magazine Publishers, the Swedish Union of Journalists and the
National Press Club own the system of Press Ombudsman.

Unlike in Zimbabwe, the self disciplinary system of the Swedish Press is not
based on legislation. It is entirely voluntary and wholly financed by the
four press organisations. And these organisations are responsible for
drawing up Sweden's Code of Ethics for the press, television and radio.

In Sweden, Freedom of the Press Act is written in such a way that it is very
difficult to win a libel case. The act is tilted very much in favour of free
speech. It is very strong on Press freedom and very weak on the need to
protect the integrity of the individual.

There is nothing remotely resembling our own Aippa, ZBC or the Media and
Information Commission in Sweden.

We know that God watches all of us. But I doubt whether he watches Zimbabwe

The role of the Press Ombudsman in Sweden is to receive and take decisions
on complaints from members of the public who have been hurt or ill-affected
by what has been published about them. The system has all to do with
maintaining ethical standards and professionalism on the part of the media.
The general public has someone to turn to for redress in the event of being
offended or hurt by the media.

If a newspaper is formally cited by the Press Ombudsman and subsequently by
the Press Council that it has hurt the feelings of a member of the public,
the newspaper must publish the decision or criticism of the Press Council in
a very visible way and not hide it somewhere in the newspaper.

The newspaper also pays a fee as a way of contributing financially to the
running of the Ombudsman office and the whole system of self regulation. The
Press Ombudsman is really the spokesperson for ethical values in journalism
not the government. He is part of the civil society appointed by the four
media organisations referred to and not the government appointed Mahosos of
this world as we have in Zimbabwe.

In this country we are labouring under the heavy hammer of the wrongly named
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. That is why the New
York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists recently placed
Zimbabwe on its list of the "World's worst places to be a Journalist". How
such a country can be remotely equated with Sweden defies all logic. In
Sweden, journalism is a separate entity and not a wing of a ruling party as
is the case with ZBC and Zimpapers here in Zimbabwe.

Clearly, being in Sweden gave me a different perspective on how the Swedish
media operates in practice.

Of course the attitudes and practices enshrined in Swedish legislation with
regard to rights of public access and openness and the professional code of
ethics of the Swedish Media industry are things which have been shaped by
their own culture, political traditions and economic system.

But coming from a repressive environment like our own here in Zimbabwe, I
came away very confident of its merits. And when democracy and press freedom
returns to Zimbabwe as it surely will in the not too distant future, a leaf
can be drawn from the book of Sweden.

Being always neutral and avoiders of conflict, Sweden has something to
offer. There are some negatives of course like the perception widely held
that it is one of the most sexually permissive societies on earth and morals
being on the looser side. Everything is Sweden is very expensive as I

But positives include their past unflinching support for liberation
movements, their welcoming of political refugees and the on-going great
contributions to international aid - and of course their openness and public
access to official documents which is unparalled worldwide.
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