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New Zimbabwe

What Mugabe can and cannot do with your e-mails

By Robert Ndhlovu
Last updated: 06/02/2004 21:02:21
FOLLOWING government moves to force Zimbabwe's internet service providers to
block or pass to the government any internet content considered
'subversive', our IT expert Robert Ndhlovu looks at what President Mugabe's
regime can and cannot do with your e-mails.

LET me shed some light on what the Zanu PF government can and cannot do
regarding censoring email content for Zimbabwe internet users.

While we all know that its a violation of human rights, Mugabe and his
cronies will still go ahead and do it anyway, given their well recorded
track history of intolerance.

The Zimbabwe government can illegally force local ISPs (internet service
providers) like MWeb, Telconet, ZOL, AfricaOnline etc to open locally
registered domains ONLY.

Local domains are handled by ZISPA an internet registry in Harare formulated
under Zimbabwean laws.

Domain names ending with ,, are the ONLY ones the ZANU
PF thugs can try to interfere with.

Examples of such emails include the following - these are random examples.,,

BUT all emails that are not local domains like .net, .com, ,
CAN NEVER be accessed. Because the email servers that serve these are either
in J'burg, Los Angeles, New York or London and are owned by big companies
like Yahoo or Hotmail - both Microsoft products.

So as long as you use international emails to send sensitive information,
there is no way Zanu PF dunderheads can open them, unless of course you give
them your password.

Hacking of multi million servers at Yahoo or Hotmail not only calls of the
highest code crackers in the world but is virtually impossible because of
encryption thats is now being used.Even the FBI would have problems cracking
your Yahoo password unless its made of less than for ur letters and its a
common word like frank.

Pass this kind of information around so that people know that you can never
access anyone's international email. Even Mweb cannot open your email
because the email is stored in a remote server probably in California or UK.

So advise Zimbabweans to use emails from,,, - in short ANYTHING that is NOT registered in
Ndhlovu is an IT Consultant based in New York, USA and worked for two ISPs
in Zimbabwe prior to relocating to the US

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MWeb 'will obey' Zim e-mail snooping laws
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 06/02/2004 12:00:38

MWEB said on Tuesday that it will block or divulge the source of its
customers' e-mail messages if required, by the Zimbabwean authorities.

The government in Zimbabwe has proposed new contracts for all internet
service providers (ISPs) that will force them to block content or report
"malicious messages".

AFP reported on Tuesday that an official at one ISP raised questions as to
whether the contract was legal and also said it would be "practically
impossible to monitor and check on all e-mails communicated through our

MWeb is the largest of about seven or eight ISPs in Zimbabwe.

Mike Ehret, General Manager of MWeb Zimbabwe, explained that MWeb has,
through its membership in the Zimbabwe Internet Service Provider Association
(Zispa), asked the Zimbabwean regulator for the industry for clarity and
comment. According to Ehret, MWeb will participate in the discussions
between the regulator and the ISP association.

The proposed contract, which was seen by AFP, requires that all ISPs must
ensure that "objectionable, obscene, unauthorised or any other content,
message or communications infringing copyright, intellectual property right
and international and domestic cyber laws... inconsistent with the laws of
Zimbabwe are not carried in his network".

The contract also 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".

MWeb Africa's general manager, Harry Aucamp said, "MWeb is used to operating
in highly-regulated environments. For MWeb the privacy of their subscribers
is paramount. We believe in respecting the privacy of our subscribers and
the release of subscriber information will only be made available under
lawful compulsion."

Concludes Aucamp, "We are in the business of providing internet services and
are obligated to act within the provisions of the laws of the specific
countries in sub-Saharan Africa we operate in."

In December President Robert Mugabe vowed his country would control the
means to get information to its citizens, and emphasised Zimbabwe's

But in March, the Supreme Court outlawed as unconstitutional legal
provisions that gave the president powers to eavesdrop or intercept e-mails
or telephone conversation.

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Some Internet Service Providers Opt Out of Zimbabwe Government Effort to Spy
on Citizens
Tendai Maphosa
02 Jun 2004, 14:27 UTC

Some Internet Service Providers in Zimbabwe are refusing to cooperate with a
government effort to obtain information about people who send, what are
deemed, politically sensitive messages. Some Zimbabwean Internet Service
Providers are refusing to sign a new contract, sent to them by the
government, that contains the new requirement.
An executive at one provider says the contract is illegal because the
Zimbabwe Supreme Court ruled last year that reading people's e-mails is
illegal. The executive, who asked not to be identified, said the government
has failed to monitor the e-mails itself and is now asking the Internet
Service Providers to, "do their dirty work for them."

The new contract presented by the government requires the providers to
ensure they do not carry any messages that are objectionable or obscene or
that have any content that breaks Zimbabwean or international laws. It also
requires the companies to report any such messages to the government for

Another Internet company official said his company is also not signing the
contract because complying with it would be an infringement on people's
right to privacy. He says his customers could sue the company and put it out
of business.

If the companies do not sign the contract, the government could block their
access to the Internet.

Analysts see the government move to control Internet messages as an effort
to further stem the flow of information before elections next year. The
government already has a monopoly on broadcasting, and it closed the
country's biggest independent daily newspaper last year.

Zimbabwean police last year arrested 14 people for circulating, what they
called, a subversive e-mail message. It is said to have called for violent
demonstrations and strikes to force President Robert Mugabe from office.
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The Guardian
Report: Dismal African Economy 'Disaster'

Wednesday June 2, 2004 7:16 PM


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - A report released Wednesday by the World
Economic Forum called Africa's stagnating growth the worst economic tragedy
of the 20th century.

The report said in 1970 Africa accounted for one in 10 of the world's poor,
but by 2000 nearly half the world's poor were African. Economic growth has
been so dismal that most sub-Saharan countries are worse off than they were
at independence.

The report, written by Elsa V. Artadi of Harvard University and Xavier
Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University, said Africa's demise is linked to
military conflicts, corruption, absence of the rule of law, undisciplined
fiscal policies, poor infrastructure and low investment.

``There should be no doubt that the worst economic disaster of the 20th
century is the dismal growth performance of the African continent,'' they

Per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa is $200 lower now than in 1974, they
said. That is a decline of 11 percent over 25 years when the rest of the
world averaged an increase of 2 percent a year.

``This evolution is extremely worrisome, if we consider that Africa was
already extremely poor in 1974,'' the authors said.

The report was part of a package surrounding the Forum's Growth
Competitiveness Index for Africa, released Wednesday in Maputo, Mozambique,
where the organization is holding its annual African Economic Summit.

At least seven African heads of state and more than 20 ministers and
business leaders from the continent are attending the summit that will focus
on ways to accelerate the pace of development in Africa.

President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique opened the summit Wednesday,
telling the 750 delegates that they need to help find ways to meet the
economic challenges facing Africa.

``These challenges include unemployment, poverty, good governance, peace and
stability, and sound economic management,'' said Chissano.

The president pointed to Mozambique as an example of what can be achieved.
He said the country has been hailed for the last 12 years as a postwar
rehabilitation success and has reduced absolute poverty from 69.4 percent of
the population in 1997 to 51.1 percent last year.

However, Mozambique remains one of the poorest and most indebted countries
in the world. It ranks 20th out of 25 on the Forum's Growth Competitiveness
Index for Africa.

The index measures a country's potential to achieve sustained economic

Botswana ranked first of the 25 African countries surveyed, but it measured
36th out of 102 countries measured worldwide. Chad ranked last on the
African list and 101st globally.

The Forum, in its summary, said the long awaited renaissance of the African
economy has not taken place. Mauritius and Botswana seem to be the only
countries that have experienced high, sustained per capita income growth, it

It cited the once relatively prosperous Zimbabwe, which ranked 22 in Africa
and 97 worldwide, as an example of what goes wrong, saying it had the worst
economic environment in Africa.

``Zimbabwe has seriously backtracked in the areas of individual freedom and
human rights, with the efficiency and the stability of its economy suffering
greatly from self-inflicted and misguided policies,'' it said.

Part of the problem, the Forum said, is that Africa cannot attract enough

It noted that return on investment in Africa is about a third lower than the
rest of the world. It is also a very high risk because of political
instability, price volatility, uncertain economic environments and the
tendency of governments to engage in sweeping policy reversals.
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Financial Times

      Economic rankings highlight Africa's troubles
      By Tony Hawkins in Maputo
      Published: June 2 2004 18:53 | Last Updated: June 2 2004 18:53

      Botswana was ranked on Wednesday as Africa's most competitive economy,
even though it stands in only 36th place in the world league.

      The World Economic Forum's African Competitiveness Report 2004,
released in the Mozambique capital to coincide with the opening of the
forum's annual African economic summit, said the rankings underscored the
continent's generally poor performance and its "serious economic and
institutional problems".

      Botswana took top place for the first time among 25 African countries
evaluated in the study, based on a combination of official economic and
social statistics and other data on factors such as corruption, the impact
of HIV/Aids, infrastructure and access to financing.

      South Africa, ranked seventh in the two previous reports in 1998 and
2000, has moved up to third place in the organisation's "growth
competitiveness index".

      Ironically, some of the continent's fastest-growing economies fill the
bottom places, with oil producers Chad and Angola ranked 25th and 24th
respectively. Host country Mozambique, also one of the continent's best
performers with growth averaging over 7 per cent annually in recent years,
slips down the table two places to 20th spot.

      Zimbabwe, which scores poorly on most of the indicators used and is
the world's fastest-shrinking economy with GDP down an estimated 40 per cent
since 1999, actually moves up a place to 22nd from 23rd.

      Perhaps most surprising is Gambia's rating, ranked for the first time
in sixth place ahead of Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania and Ghana.

      While some rankings such as South Africa's evidently make sense in the
light of political and economic changes, others seem odder. Malawi's sharp
improvement is certainly not justified by economic fundamentals, while
Botswana's promotion to top spot comes at a time when with most economic
forecasts point to a marked slowdown in economic growth, due primarily to
the impact of HIV/Aids.

      World Economic Forum economist Augusto Lopez-Claros notes that African
countries score poorly globally, mostly falling into the bottom third of
world rankings. Most of the places at the foot of the global league table
are filled by African countries. These poor rankings, he says, pinpoint the
areas where policy reforms are urgently needed.

      Arguably, the most striking chapter of the report, on how Africa
should position itself in the global trading system, warns that preferential
trading systems among African countries have failed to increase regional
trade or lead to greater international trade.

      This is unlikely to be well received at the meeting. Much emphasis has
been placed on regional integration schemes and specifically on the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), which will be high on the
agenda during the three-day summit of political and business leaders.

      The authors, Maria Oliva of the European Central Bank and Luis
Rivera-Batiz of Columbia University in the US, conclude that trade
agreements with developed countries show "greater promise at the present
time". This is despite the fact that African agricultural products are often
"excluded or penalised" in such north-south trading schemes.

      The authors suggest that African countries need to participate more
actively in multilateral trading negotiations while also considering
unilateral liberalisation which, they say, worked well in Chile in the

      In his contribution on the impact of HIV/Aids, Alan Whiteside of the
University of Natal in South Africa, describes the epidemic as a hidden tax
on trade and investment, which will decrease economic growth.

      "Africa is not, and cannot be competitive unless this issue is firmly
addressed," he concludes.
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The Mercury

      Farmers in court for staying put
      June 2, 2004

      By Basildon Peta

      Twenty-three white cattle ranchers have reportedly appeared in a court
in the southern Zimbabwean town of Mwenezi for allegedly refusing to vacate
properties which have been designated for compulsory seizure.

      Although Zimbabwean land seizure laws purport to spare areas that are
not suitable for agriculture, such as cattle ranches, the 23 had been told
they had to leave their properties. They refused to move.

      Zimbabwe recently passed a new law requiring farmers to leave their
properties once notices to seize them have been published in the government

      The fiercely contested law has since been passed by parliament and
will wipe away the small band of remaining white farmers.

      Fewer than 600 white farmers remain in Zimbabwe from an initial total
of 4 500.

      State media reports said that the farmers appeared before magistrate
Timeon Makunde after they were arrested for allegedly contravening section
9(1) of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act, which required them to vacate
their land.

      Under the Act, farmers are required to vacate their properties within
90 days of receiving notification.

      The 23 were remanded to July 15 on $10 000 bail each (about R15).

      The state-owned Herald said: "They are still at the farms to this day
and their property, including cattle, is still there in defiance of the
order for them to leave." - Independent Foreign Service

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      Malaria kills 602 people in Zimbabwe since beginning of this year 2004-06-02 13:19:29

          HARARE, June 2 (Xinhuanet) -- At least 54 more people died as a
result of malaria last month, rising the total number to 602 since the
beginning of this year in Zimbabwe, local media reported on Wednesday.

          Stanley Midzi, the deputy director for disease prevention and
control in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, was quoted assaying on
Tuesday that Hwange and Gokwe North are the hardest hit areas.

          Midzi said a report carried out by a team of health professionals
from the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization who were sent to
Hwange and Gokwe North, revealed that the deaths are attributed to late
presentation of malaria symptoms.

          Malaria symptoms include headaches, fever, vomiting and general
body aches.

          "Due to the increase in malaria cases, the Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare has deployed nurses trained to manage malaria in Hwange and
Gokwe North for three weeks to attend to cases due to the disease in the
area," said Midzi.

          He said the two areas do not have nurses trained to treat malaria
cases when outbreaks occur.

          "Environmental health officers have also been sent to Hwange and
Gokwe North to inform people in the two areas about ways of detecting
malaria symptoms and the importance of seeking early treatment if one
suspects that one has acquired malaria," said Midzi.

          Midzi said the country is still in the malaria season due to the
prolonged wet season.

          A normal malaria season starts in November and ends in early May
but is this year expected to end sometime this month

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Driver protest causes traffic jam at Beitbridge

A traffic jam at Beitbridge

Trucks, trucks and more trucks was all you could see at Beitbridge

June 02, 2004, 05:25

Traffic came to a standstill at the Beitbridge border yesterday after trucks were unable to cross to Zimbabwe due to a protest by Zimbabwean truck drivers.

The drivers were protesting against delays in processing of custom and excise payments in Zimbabwe. Officials from the South African Revenue Service say South Africa has no control over the situation, but they are doing their best to assist.

The backup of trucks reached four kilometres yesterday morning and most were carrying perishable goods. Most had received clearance to cross days ago, but were still there due to an alleged parking shortage on Zimbabwe side of the border.

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PCB having second thoughts
about hosting Zimbabwe in October

'Everyone is concerned with the situation in Zimbabwe
and it is going to be discussed at the ICC meeting: Rameez

By Waheed Khan

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is now having second thoughts
about hosting a depleted Zimbabwe side in October this year and will discuss
this issue during the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting this month
in London.

PCB chief executive Rameez Raja said that the Zimbabwe issue was one of the
main items on the agenda of the ICC executive board meeting on June 27.

"Obviously everyone is concerned with the situation in Zimbabwe and what the
future holds for them. I think guidelines for Zimbabwe cricket are going to
be discussed at the ICC meeting and even on the sidelines," he added.

Rameez said so far the Board had not directly contacted the Zimbabwe Cricket
Union on the issue of the October tour.

"But we are waiting and watching. We have some other options in mind that we
will put forward to the ICC board this month if the crisis in Zimbabwe
cricket is not resolved," he stated. Sources in the board confirmed that the
PCB was now reluctant to host Zimbabwe for a test series in October and
wanted to cancel the tour.

"The PCB officials are going to London for the ICC meeting armed with two
options. They have gone through the ICC's ten year programme and found out
that West Indies, Sri Lanka and England are three teams which are free in
October this year," one source said.

While the PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan leaves for London on June 17th, Rameez
will follow on June 21st.

"Since the PCB has to organize a certain number of international matches at
home every season as per commitments with its television rights holder and
sponsors it is considering the option of organizing a triangular or
quadrangular one-day competition in place of a full series against Zimbabwe
in October," the source disclosed.

The source said that PCB was also willing to play a separate one-day series
with Zimbabwe in October and than organize the triangular or quadrangular
with Zimbabwe and other teams. "But the PCB is certainly not keen on playing
a test series against a depleted Zimbabwe side and will ask the ICC to
reschedule the test series instead of playing against a second string side.

The PCB is even willing to have no international cricket in October and
concentrate on its first class programme with all the main players
participating," the source informed. The ICC recently pressurized the
Zimbabwe cricket union to cancel a test series against Australia and only
play one-dayers.

Zimbabwe's convenor of selectors, Steve Mangongo, however has asked for the
Zimbabwe team to be given more time to prove it can still live up to Test

Mangongo, who has been instrumental in the development of the current
captain, Tatenda Taibu, believes that in two to three years, the side will
be able to compete on an equal footing once again.

"We should be given a two or three-year grace period with all the necessary
support from the ICC so we can sustain ourselves," Mangongo told BBC Sport.

"We should be allowed to continue with our Test programme, but at the same
time have more games for the A team. By then, things would have stabilised
and the youngsters would be able to hold their own, and then it would be
fair to judge us."

Zimbabwe's Test status is to be addressed at an ICC board meeting.

The clamour for suspension is growing louder by the day, with big names such
as Steve Waugh and Nasser Hussain having adding their opinions on the

"It would be retrogressive to kick Zimbabwe out of Test cricket - [the game]
needs more countries playing, not fewer," said Mangongo, adding that he
hoped that the dispute with the 15 white rebel cricketers would soon be
resolved. "I hope that some of them will come back, we still need them for
the good of the game, and I believe that some will return to Zimbabwe
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Zim gives Kaunda 'heartache'
02/06/2004 09:18  - (SA)

Deon de Lange

Pretoria - Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda says South Africans
should have more patience and understanding for the economic and political
problems in Zimbabwe.

Kaunda, 80, made this remark in Sandton on Tuesday at the introduction of
the Kenneth Kaunda work project.

This project forms part of the South African section of the American Habitat
for Humanity Project, which aims at building basic, affordable homes for
lower income communities.

Kaunda said the problems in Zimbabwe were causing him heartache but added
that these problems had a long history and were not as simple as people

"The land reform problems in Zimbabwe have come a long way.

"In the eighties Baroness Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister at that
time, requested Robert Mugabe in my presence to postpone his planned land
reform programme for ten years to give the British government the
opportunity to put alternative plans in place.

"Her successor, John Major, went ahead with these plans but when the Labour
Party with Tony Blair as leader came into power, the plans were scrapped."

Kaunda, who escaped from many attempts to assassinate him and was sent to
jail at least three times, said the work that he was doing at present gave
him much more satisfaction than all his years in politics. "What we are
doing now, is nothing more than what freedom fighters all over Africa have
promised for years - to build houses for the poor."

He smiled when he replied to a question whether he was planning to get other
ex-leaders in Africa involved in the project and said he was already in
discussions with his colleagues of old.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in the USA in 1976 and the South African
affiliate has already built 1 300 houses since 1996 in three provinces.

Kaunda will visit South Africa again between 22 and 26 November to join
volunteers in the building of at least 25 houses in Mamelodi, Pretoria
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From The Daily Mirror, 2 June

Govt in massive maize imports...amidst claims of bumper harvest this season

Godfrey Mutsago,Takunda Maodza and Innocent Chofamba Sithole

In a development that has ruptured official statements claiming a bumper
harvest this season, emerging reports indicate that government is spending
hundreds of billions of dollars on maize imports with the assistance of
US-based companies. London-based newsletter, Africa Confidential reports
that government has secured the assistance of two US companies - Sentry
Financial International and Dimon Incorporated - in the massive food imports
in which the officially denied maize-for-tobacco swaps are alleged to
feature prominently. Dimon is the world's second-largest tobacco leaf trader
and is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange. The newsletter claims that
some 400 000 tonnes of maize were transported from South Africa to Zimbabwe
between April and May this year and that this figure included government
imports. A letter from a prominent local bank (name supplied), dated
November 15 2003, addressed to the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
acting chief executive officer Colonel Samuel Muvhuti, reveals Sentry
International's offer of credit worth US$700 million, to fund Zimbabwe's
imports of food and other goods. "The bank is pleased to extend to you an
offer of US$80 million for the importation of grains," the letter reads,
explaining that Sentry International is arranging finance with "security
being provided by tobacco merchants" as part of the US$700 million credit

Contacted for comment yesterday, Muvhuti confirmed that the country was
importing food, contrary to assertions that more food would "choke" the
nation. "Yes we are importing maize. Government, in fact, has gone into a
deal with the United States company (Sentry International) to source food
for us and the food is intended to feed the nation during the time farmers
would be harvesting," Muvhuti said. However, the GMB boss claimed that
government was only using US$46 million (Z$243.8 billion) for the grain
imports, contrary to figures claimed in the report. "Whoever made the report
did not have a full report. That report is malicious and mischievous as the
figures alone tell an anti-Zimbabwe stance. I can confirm that the deal was
worth about US$46 million. The picture the authors of the document are
giving is to try to show that Zimbabwe has failed to produce enough food
especially after the land reform," he said. Muvhuti added that Sentry
International would buy food from ideal countries where it would be cheaper
for Zimbabwe. "It is up to Sentry to decide the countries from which to buy
food. Hopefully they are looking for food in countries like Argentina and
South Africa," said Muvhuti.

The government has officially announced that the country is set for a bumper
harvest this season, and optimistic estimates by agriculture and rural
development minister, Joseph Made hover above 2.3 million tonnes of maize.
President Robert Mugabe in his recent interview with the British Sky News
also said the country would produce the estimated 2.3 million tonnes,
thereby ruling out the need for food relief. "We are producing it this year,
definitely. Our estimates are there and they are showing us we will have
enough food for the country and with a surplus," he said. Made last night
said he was tied up and could therefore not take any questions while his
permanent secretary, Ngoni Masoka requested questions in writing. During the
first three months of this year, extension workers with the Department of
Agriculture, Research and Extension (AREX), working in conjunction with the
Central Statistics Office (CSO) carried out crop surveys in all districts.
However, their estimates have been disputed by other stakeholders in the
agriculture sector who predict an 800 000 tonne deficit. The government has
already told the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) that its relief efforts
would no longer be necessary, drawing sharp concerns from UNDP resident
representative, Victor Angelo who openly doubted the country's capacity to
achieve food self-sufficiency this season.
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From SW Radio Africa, 1 June

Deputy mayor evicted

Harare city MDC councillors Monday night defied a government directive and
conducted elections to elect a new deputy mayor of the City. The Councillors
unanimously elected the ward 17 councillor representing Harare north, Dr
Christopher Mushonga, as the deputy mayor taking over from Sekesayi
Makwavarara. Makwavara walked out of the meeting before the elections were
held. However there was drama at the Town House in Harare Tuesday when
heavily armed riot police stormed and forcibly evicted the new deputy Mayor
from his office. Dr Mushonga was led away from his new office by the riot
police who also manhandled and beat up his lawyer.
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From The Daily Mirror, 2 June

New deputy mayor suspended

Nkululeko Sibanda

Barely 24 hours after being elected into office, new Harare deputy mayor
Christopher Mushonga has been suspended from performing any council business
by local government, public works and national housing minister, Ignatius
Chombo. The suspension letter was handed to Mushonga yesterday afternoon,
but gave no specific reasons for his suspension. Mushonga was elected deputy
mayor on Monday evening by at least 28 councillors after the then acting
Mayor, Councillor Sekesai Makwavarara walked out on the councillors
following the moving of the motion to elect a deputy mayor for the city. In
an interview yesterday, Mushonga said that he was first forcibly evicted
from his office by heavily armed riot police officers, allegedly at the
instruction of minister Chombo. "I sensed trouble early in the afternoon
(yesterday) when a contingent of armed riot police forcefully ejected me
from the office upon an instruction by minister Chombo and Harare governor,
Witness Mangwende. This was followed by a letter that was delivered to me at
4.30 pm that notified me that I was among several other councillors that had
been suspended by the minister. He did not specify why he had suspended us,
but only said that he was investigating a number of issues," said Mushonga.
He however said that he felt there was no reason the minister suspended them
after councillors elected him in a lawful meeting that was called by the
former acting mayor Makwavarara. Added Mushonga: "This is a clear testimony
that in all these cases of council turmoil, there was a ploy by Chombo and
Mangwende to protect Makwavarara. "However, it should be known that we as
council will tomorrow (today) go back to court to seek an interdict that
would bar the minister from further interfering in council affairs. "We will
also seek to nullify the suspension by the minister so that business can
continue as normal." However, Chombo was not available for comment yesterday
as his mobile phone went unanswered well into the better part of the evening
and neither was Governor Mangwende.
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From eAfrica (SA), 2 June

Visa scams proliferate as Zimbabweans seek to flee

Angela Makamure

Harare - Evelyn Mudzongachiso represents the last link in one of Zimbabwe's
many chains of modern misery. The worse things get under President Robert
Mugabe's deepening repression, the more people are attempting to leave the
country. As more people try to get exit visas, foreign embassies tighten
their requirements. The harder it becomes to get a visa, the greater the
demand for bribes. 'I am a teacher by profession and I am getting nothing,
so why should I be patriotic to a system which is not grateful to what I'm
offering?' said Mudzongachiso, a resident of a suburb outside Gweru in
central Zimbabwe. 'Why should I continue suffering like this? It is more
convenient to pay [a bribe] than spend four or more days queuing just to be
let down.' Interviews with people outside the British and South African
missions in Harare suggest a system of coordinated corruption in which
police officers monitoring the queues act as middlemen for embassy
employees, allegedly taking kickbacks for the officials inside and later
sharing the spoils. People who pay the bribes gain faster service. Those who
don't may wait for days and then have their applications denied. The going
price for help in acquiring a visa to South Africa is $180, according to
Mudzongachiso and others, while the fee outside the British High Commission
can be more than four times as much - prohibitive sums for most Zimbabweans.

British and South African officials deny any corruption in their offices.
But 12 police officers and five army officers were arrested after police
conducted a raid in January at the British High Commission in Harare in an
effort to curb visa-related scams. 'This is a clear symptom of deep-seated
problems in Zimbabwe,' said Love Madhuku, a professor at the University of
Zimbabwe. 'Police officers are being forced to ask for bribes because they
have been taught to be corrupt by the present regime.' Monitoring the exodus
from Zimbabwe is problematic because most people leave illegally. It is
estimated that more than 479,000 Zimbabweans have officially emigrated since
1997 to seek work in South Africa, Botswana, Britain and the US. They
represent a fraction of the total number estimated to have left the country
in recent years. According to sources within the South African embassy in
Harare, more than 20,000 Zimbabweans apply for visas every month. Roughly
2,500 more jump the fences at the Beit Bridge border crossing. The British
High Commission in Harare, which received 1,700 applications in January
alone, now accepts only 25 a day. In 2001, relatively early in the present
crisis, the Southern African Migration Project (SAMP) surveyed 900 Zimbabwe
professionals, most of whom were black. Nearly 70% said they were committed
to emigrating within five years, citing deep dissatisfaction with inflation,
rising taxation, scarcity of goods, declining salaries, deteriorating
medical services and declining education and economic opportunities for
their children. Inflation peaked late last year at 600%. Eight in 10
working-age Zimbabweans cannot find a job.

The government has applied new restrictive measures in an attempt to stem
the drain. Recipient countries have also tightened visa requirements. The
South African embassy now charges about $150, the British about $65.
Applicants must also provide a number of other supporting documents,
including a letter of invitation from a resident of the recipient country,
bank statements for the visitor and host and such proofs of residence. 'With
the new requirements in place you can see no one can afford that,' said
Tendai Mudzingwa, a cross-border trader. 'Some of us go to these countries
on business and I have to go there almost every month. We have families to
feed and with these problems bedevilling us, we are prepared to part with
our money in order to get visas.' SAMP found that tighter emigration
policies tend only to deepen the desire to leave. Higher hurdles, combined
with deepening poverty, have also created more opportunities for graft.
'People are suffering because there is a governance crisis in this country,'
said Roy Bennett, an opposition member of parliament for Chimanimani in the
Eastern Manicaland Province. 'Everyone is trying to survive.' But with no
end in sight to the crisis, people seem undeterred. As Chido Makunike, a
political analyst, observed recently: 'For most, the decision to go to the
UK . is a response to seeing more and more of the doors to improving one's
station in life at home closed off.'
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Looming cereal deficits in rural districts

JOHANNESBURG, 2 Jun 2004 (IRIN) - Cereal deficits are expected in 20 of
Zimbabwe's rural districts during the 2004/05 marketing year, the Famine
Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said in its latest food security

National cereal availability would be "less of a problem, compared to last
year", due to an anticipated improvement in the maize and small grains
harvest, government cereal stocks of about 200,000 mt (as of 31 March) and
food aid imports since 1 April, as well as "secured food aid in the

However, food access "will remain a major problem for highly vulnerable
households in both urban and rural areas", with cereal deficits predicted in
about 20 rural districts, mostly in Manicaland province on the Mozambique
border and the two Matabeleland provinces in the south and west of the
country, said FEWS NET.

"About 60 percent of Zimbabwe's population live in rural areas and base
their livelihoods largely on crop production and livestock husbandry ...
when crops fail and local markets are disrupted, the rural population must
rely on a number of coping strategies that have been developed over time,
including reduced consumption, increased efforts to generate cash income,
and painful changes in expenditure," report noted.

It was therefore critical that the government and its partners "put in place
more effective market mechanisms to supply grain to deficit areas".

The picture was somewhat different in urban areas, where commodities were
available on the market but affordability was a major problem.

"While basic foodstuffs such as maize meal, maize grain, sugar, flour, salt,
cooking oil and meat are available on the market, the majority of poor urban
households cannot afford to buy these commodities. Both annual and monthly
inflation rates have declined since January, but remain precariously high
and continue to erode real incomes," FEWS NET reported.
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Negligent Record-Keeping Costing State

The Herald (Harare)

June 2, 2004
Posted to the web June 2, 2004

Sifelani Tsiko

Poor and negligent record-keeping by Government agencies is exposing the
Government to major legal, financial and political risks as valuable
documents disappear curtailing efforts to weed out corruption and

Archivists and information science experts say there are numerous cases of
lost reports, missing files, missing tender or contract documents,
mutilation or vandalism of essential records and defacing of books, journals
and other publication in government departments and other public utilities.

Officers in various government departments are unable to account for missing
items and reports making it difficult to improve service delivery to the
public and the general business and public administration.

Reports abound of files that are missing at government departments that deal
with pensions, title deeds, birth registration, tax, company records,
deceased estates, court and criminal records among others.

"Good recordkeeping protects the rights and interests of citizens in their
dealings with governments and their agencies by ensuring essential evidence
in the form of records," says one information science expert.

He says many people have failed to access their pensions after they are told
by officials at the pensions office that their files are missing or were
'misplaced' and in some extreme cases that there cannot be found.

"Recordkeeping is not given any priority at all," says Mr Ivan Murambiwa,
the director of the National Archives of Zimbabwe. "It's often neglected and
affects the quality of recordkeeping and the general management of
information systems."

Government records provide support for ongoing business and for internal and
public accountability and archivist say they form an "irreplaceable part of
our collective memory and cultural heritage."

Recordkeeping in Zimbabwe, they say, has declined to a point where lack of
good records is seriously hampering the conduct of government business and
undermining basic accountability to the public.

In November 2001, a parliamentary public accounts committee hit out at the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for failing to adequately
manage public financial assets owing largely to poor accounting practice and
data capture.

Two months ago, this committee also reported that some parastatals were
failing to compile their reports properly something which seriously
compromises record management systems and public accountability.

"We have a major crisis on our hands because most of the parastatals'
finances are in shambles because no one has been bothering to follow up on
the submission of financial statements and ensuring that the parastatals
account for the money that they receive from the fiscus," Ms Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga was quoted as saying.

Missing files, incorrect data entries and in some cases the failure to
record data by government departments has hampered efforts by the
Comptroller and Auditor General's office to carry out comprehensive and
sound assessment of their activities.

Reports from the Auditor General in the past 15 years have identified poor
recordkeeping as a problem in government departments undermining service
delivery and accountability to the public.

Findings by the parliamentary committee and the Auditor General highlight
significant links that exist between mismanagement, corruption and abuse of
power on one hand and poor and negligent recordkeeping on the other.

"Poor recordkeeping attracts corruption like flies to a carcass," one
renowned archivist once remarked.

And, sources in key government departments allege that there are deliberate
cases of illegal destruction of records, mutilation and vandalism of
documents to destroy evidence that might implicate certain people under
investigation for corrupt activities.

This results in the loss of evidence which might be required by courts,
ministers, auditors, archivist and politicians in case of calls for a public
inquiry by the Government or Parliament.

"It's the attitude more than anything else at various levels," says
Murambiwa. "Its not just in Government but in the private sector as well."

"Recordkeeping is the least of the company's priority in terms of human
resource provision.

"Most organisation do not professionalise that area in terms of employing
qualified people to manage records and space allocation for the protection
of the records.

"What heads of such institutions forget is that for any decision-making
process to take place it must be supported by records (in their libraries or
archives)," he says.

"You need evidence that will aid the decision making process. If you don't
care about how the records are kept how then do you trust your decision

Recordkeeping and information management, he says, should be a the heart of
the governance system.

"For auditors to make an opinion they require records, for the judiciary to
deliver justice they require accurate records and politicians too, require
accurate records to make decisions," the archivist says.

"When you have got bad record and information management systems, it
nourishes corruption," he says. "People know they will not be held
accountable since there won't be any evidence."

Good recordkeeping, he says, supports all communication and decision making
and ensures that the public has a continuing understanding of the role of
government and its relationship with the people.

"With good recordkeeping, it naturally leads to transparency and
accountability in how organisation are run," Murambiwa says. "One will be
accountable for his actions."

University of Zimbabwe deputy librarian, Mr Jabes Mamvuto says cases of book
vandalism, theft and the defacing of records are on the increase and more
than 50 students are called for disciplinary hearings every week.

"Its really on the increase," he says. "Students mutilate or pluck out a
whole chapter defacing books and making them ineffective for circulation."

He says most students cannot afford to buy books due to poor pay outs and
the rising costs of books.

Mr Mamvuto says lack of trained information and records specialists is one
major challenge facing many institutions.

"People who keep records are not trained. Records are lost, resources are
not being channelled to this critical area resulting in growing cases of
vandalism and theft," he says.

There are many challenges facing local archivists. These include lack of
resources, the poor quality of paper used in the storage of government
records, high staff turnover and lack of resources to buy electronic data
storage devices which make it easier to store and retrieve information.

"We need to professionalise records and information management in Zimbabwe,"
says Mr Murambiwa. "Steps have been taken to improve the situation through
various programmes to teach students and others at the Bulawayo and Harare

"Graduates should be recruited both in the private and public sector in

"We risk losing a major part of the corporate memory or our national public
memory unless we come up with strategies as a country to manage records and
information," he says.

Archivist say proper recordkeeping serves two purposes. First it is a
prerequisite to effective accountability.

Without it, they say, critical scrutiny by the Parliament, Auditor General,
the Ombudsman and judiciary can be blunted.

Secondly, archivists say records themselves form an integral part of the
historical memory itself.

They say best practices in recordkeeping are built on a thorough
understanding of the functions performed by a government agency, a
systematic assessment of the needs of records stakeholders and the creation
and ongoing management of records in accordance with these needs.

And, unless positive steps are taken to strengthen existing government
recordkeeping and information systems, flies of corruption will thrive on
the carcass of poor recordkeeping.
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AirZim to Increase Flights to London

The Herald (Harare)

June 2, 2004
Posted to the web June 2, 2004


National carrier, Air Zimbabwe, said yesterday it was adding two flights to
London to meet increased passenger demand on the route, its most lucrative
foreign destination.

Airline senior manager, commercial planning, Forbes Zaranyika said Air
Zimbabwe would add a Tuesday flight to London from June 22, and a second
Sunday flight to the same destination from July 18.

"This is our peak season to London, and we are experiencing high passenger
demand on the route. This is why we are introducing the flights," he said.

Currently, the airline flies to London three times a week, on Wednesdays,
Fridays and Sundays, but Zaranyika said this was not coping with demand.

He said Air Zimbabwe was currently averaging a load factor of around 80
percent on the route, which is way above industry average.

"We are also trying to make optimum use of our two long haul aircraft, and
London offers us this opportunity," he said.

He said the airline was also exploring new routes such as Dubai and Bangkok
in the Middle East and Asia, to take advantage of increased tourist inflows
to Zimbabwe from the two regions.

Zimbabwe recently signed a tourism agreement with China, which has seen a
growing number of Chinese travellers coming to the country.

In the first quarter of the year, China recorded the highest growth in terms
of tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe, a trend industry experts expect to increase
in the coming months and years. - New Ziana.
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World Newspapers Condemn Zimbabwe Repression

World Association of Newspapers (Paris)

June 2, 2004
Posted to the web June 2, 2004


The Board of the World Association of Newspapers has called for the repeal
of Zimbabwe's draconian press laws and for President Robert Mugabe to
immediately cease all attempts to silence independent media.

"Laws exist to protect President Mugabe from criticism while he is able to
make unrestrained attacks on his critics in the media and civil society,"
said the WAN Board in a resolution issued during the World Newspaper
Congress and World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the world's press
which drew more than 1,300 publishers, chief editors and other senior
newspaper executives to Istanbul, Turkey.

The resolution said:

The Board of the World Association of Newspapers, meeting at the 57th World
Newspaper Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, 30 May to 2 June 2004, deplores the
continuing attacks against independent media in Zimbabwe.

Journalists are subject to persistent abuse and threats in state-controlled
media, and are threatened with arrest under draconian media and security

Laws exist to protect President Mugabe from criticism while he is able to
make unrestrained attacks on his critics in the media and civil society.

Under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (2002), a
Media and Information Commission has been set up to license journalists and
media organisations. The Commissionšs chairman has demonstrated his
hostility to the independent media and regularly abuses private newspapers.
At the same time, the law of criminal defamation is used to suppress
critical voices in the media.

The independent media is finding it increasingly difficult to perform its
role as a public watchdog given the hostility and lawlessness of
ruling-party officials and the closure of democratic space.

The government has declined to license alternative radio or TV stations
despite a court order to remove the statešs broadcasting monopoly. Voters
are unable to make an informed choice because they do not have access to a
diversity of views.

The Board of WAN calls for the elimination of the repressive provisions of
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, together with the
Public Order and Security Act, and for these and other attempts to silence
independent media to be ceased immediately.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000
newspapers; its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 13 news agencies and ten
regional and world-wide press groups.
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New Zimbabwe

Mengistu an eyesore on our landscape

By Gabriel Shumba
Last updated: 06/03/2004 04:27:59
THE Accountability Commission-Zimbabwe (AC) joins the Ethiopian Ambassador
to Zimbabwe's call for the handing over of Mengistu to the Ethiopian
authorities. In calling for the immediate extradition of ousted Ethiopian
dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam back to Ethiopia to stand trial for genocide
and crimes against humanity, the Ambassador, Duna Mufti is not alone.

The Zimbabwean taxpayer who funds Mengistu's royal existence in the country
at a time when Zimbabwe is reeling under the worst economic episode of its
history finds it easy to rally behind such calls. Even more passionately,
human rights organisations like the AC are affronted that this dictator (who
killed more than a hundred of his opponents every night during his reign)
should have been granted asylum in Zimbabwe. Mengistu has been and remains
an eyesore on our country. This is more so when millions of Zimbabweans have
been forced to flee into exile owing to President Mugabe's dictatorial

The AC finds it even bitterly ironic that a world-shunned tyrant like
President Mugabe, presiding over a ruined country, should play magnanimous
host to another dictator in this day and era. The AC strongly believes that
Zimbabwe's continued harbouring of Mengistu makes a mockery of the
high-sounding doctrines of NEPAD and the African Renaissance.

Although the AC abhors the death penalty, it is of the opinion that the law
should catch up with leaders who abuse their power while they are in office.
Perpetrators of human rights abuses should be made answerable for their
crimes so that Africa can cultivate a new culture of combating impunity and
encourage leaders to rule in terms of a contract with their citizens.

In light of the above, it is regrettable that one beacon of hope on the
Continent, South Africa, continues regularly to host notorious dictators
like President Mugabe of Zimbabwe and recently, the ousted Haitian
President, Bertrand Aristide.
Gabriel Shumba is the Legal Director of the Accountability

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


In the end,

we will remember

not the words of our enemies,

but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King. Jr.



Letter 1.  Subject: Mr. Mawere

Dear Jag,

Mr. MAWERE is obviously a particularly talented man. Some of his actions
and now some of his words provide ample food for thought. It appears that
the Government now has a grudge against him; if not, the chances are, that
he has something that they want from him - probably money or assets, or
both. The manner in which ZAPU's assets were seized in the 80's and the
White Farmers' assets are still being seized will give an idea of how the
Government operates. FSI Agricom is just one of Mawere's Zimbabwean
companies - the one that managed to lease 632 FARMS from the Government
after they had been seized illegally without compensation from White
Zimbabwean citizens.

Now Mr. MAWERE appears to have a new "born again" perspective on property
rights and human rights since his harassment: "Those companies are not
Mawere's companies; they are Zimbabwean companies with LEGAL RIGHTS
conferred upon them like any NATURAL PERSON. Any moment you undermine the
sanctity of such institutions created by men to promote their own
interests, that nation diminishes its capacity to exist in the civilised

Is Mr. Mawere saying that he actaully supports the ethos of the QUINNEL
case? It would be very difficult to prove his sincerity if one of the 632
farms FSI leased just happened to be Mr. Quinnel's farm. But technically,
if FSI has leased any one farm owned by a Zimbabwean Company, FSI will have
to make amends or else Mr. Mawere will need to change his mind and
conscience again to defend FSI's actions. Meantime Mr. Mawere's assertion
that "Zimbabwe has diminished its capacity to exist in the civilised world"
cannot be denied, indicating that he perhaps supports the sentiments of
Helen Suzman and Desmond Tutu.

Surely the time is now ripe for Mr. Mawere and Mr. Kuruneri to set up a
consultancy service to guide Zimbabean entrepeneurs on how to do business
with the likes of Mr. Gono, Mr. Bloch and the Zimbawean Defence Industry?


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
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