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Tsvangirai will quit after 'liberation'

New Zimbabwe

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 03/20/2006 10:57:36
MORGAN Tsvangirai delivered his most passionate speech yet Saturday,
pledging to quit as MDC leader "once the people have liberated themselves."

Aming cheers from 15 000 delegates attending the party's congress in Harare,
Tsvangirai threatened to lead a wave of mass protests against President
Robert Mugabe's regime "from the front" until democracy was restored in

Tsvangirai thundered: "A storm is upon the horizon. You must prepare for a
long cold winter across the country (and) from today, fellow Zimbabweans,
kindly save a penny and stock up where possible.

"I promise to lead from the front. I promise to use all available resources
and will-power to see off the tyranny in Zimbabwe today; to assist in
putting together the building blocks for a new Zimbabwe and a new

Tsvangirai, whose party has been rocked by internal divisions, made no
mention of another faction of the MDC led by rocket scientist Arthur
Mutambara which was holding a rally in Bulawayo Sunday.

Analysts say the divisions have weakened the MDC, and doubts remain about
the viability of street protests which have previously been crushed by
security forces or failed to attract the "masses".

But Tsvangirai, backed by civic groups which have been calling for a tough
line against Mugabe's government, is convinced elections will not end
President Mugabe's 26-year reign.

He added: "The bottom line is that we must rise and confront what is before

Tsvangirai appeared to answer some critics who have suggested he was
exhibiting dictatorial tendencies, saying his intention was not to become
"life president".

He said: "A new Zimbabwe, a new beginning has no room for life presidents.
It has never been my intention to hold on to power after the people have
liberated themselves from this dictatorship. My contract with the people
does not extend beyond a certain time-frame.

"My wish is to execute our mandate in an honest and vigorous manner; preside
over a transition to full democracy and pass on the baton to another

"I believe there must be an exciting life for a pensioner - whether that
pensioner is a peasant, former factory cleaner or a former president. I
pledge to honour my word."

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MDC fails to strike gender, tribal balance

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 03/20/2006 11:31:49
ZIMBABWE'S splintered main opposition party elected new leaders at the
weekend, but failed to maintain the delicate tribal and gender balance -- a
critical factor in African politics.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the fractured Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) retained his position unchallenged. He heads the party's National
Standing Committee which only has one woman.

Meanwhile, voting was delayed by nearly two hours after a power black out at
the City Sports Centre.

The committee has no representative from the minority Ndebele population in
a substantive position, save for Thokozani Khupe and Lovemore Moyo who were
only elected as deputies to Tsvangirai and Isaac Matongo (national chairman)

A political commentator watching the developments said Sunday: "For the
first time in Zimbabwe, we have a party that does not have a Ndebele in a
substantive leadership position. If you compare with the previous set-up,
there were four Ndebeles in substantive positions.

"The treasurer was Fletcher Dulini, Welshman Ncube was secretary general,
Esaph Mdlongwa the organising secretary and Paul Themba Nyathi the party
spokesman. But that has all been reversed, and it speaks volumes about what
is really the cause of the split -- tribal interests. It's a set-up that
would shame even Zanu PF."

Nelson Chamisa, who beat Grace Kwinjeh in the race for party spokesman,
suggested Sunday that they would be looking to re-establish some balance
when the party's national council meets.

Said Chamisa: "These people were all directly elected and we realise that we
have to establish some balance, particularly with regards to women because
there is only woman in the Standing Committee. I am sure the national
council will put that right when secretaries are appointed.

"We should not ignore the fact that this has come from a very, very
successful MDC congress. All delegates are back in their districts feeling
reinvigorated and ready to confront Mugabe and his dictatorship."

The MDC has split into two after some of Tsvangirai's senior lieutenants
left him following differences over the party's policy on senate elections
last November. The other faction held its congress last month and elected
former student leader Arthur Mutambara as leader.

Mutambara addressed a crowd of about 4 000 cheering supporters in Bulawayo
Sunday, and kept up his mantra for a united opposition against President
Robert Mugabe's 26-year-rule.

However, the gap between Tsvangirai and Mutambara's camps appears too wide
to be bridged.

Tsvangirai his faction's congress Saturday, urging Zimbabweans to brace for
a series of "peaceful, democratic resistance" protests against Mugabe's
nearly 26-year rule.

"I call upon you to heed calls... for a sustained cold season of peaceful
democratic resistance," he told 14 000 supporters gathered at a sports arena
on the outskirts of Harare for a convention of an MDC faction.

He said the country's electoral system and judiciary had failed the party,
denying it clear victory in the 2000 parliamentary elections and a 2002
presidential poll.

"We need a short, sharp, programme of action to free ourselves," said the
former trade union leader who has led the MDC since its formation more than
six years ago.

"If we should come out of our present crisis, the solution will not come
from Europe or America.

"The solution is here in Zimbabwe. Only sustained efforts by all Zimbabweans
will bring the desired results."

Here is a full list of the officials elected into the MDC's National
Standing Committee:

PRESIDENT: Morgan Tsvangirai (unopposed)
DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thokozani Khupe, MP (beat Welshman Mabhena, Gertrude

NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Isaac Matongo (unopposed)
DEPUTY NATIONAL CHAIRMAN: Lovemore Moyo, MP (beat Fidelis Mhashu, Sekai

SECRETARY GENERAL: Tendai Biti, MP (beat T. Mashakada, I. Makone, E.
DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL: Tapiwa Mashakada, MP (beat I. Makone, P. Gwanyaya,
Seiso Moyo)

ORGANISING SECRETARY: Elias Mudzuri (beat Paul Madzore, Murirwa)

INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY: Nelson Chamisa, MP (beat Grace Kwinjeh)

TREASURER: Roy Bennett (unopposed)

Also elected were the chairpersons of the youth and women's assembly, with
Thamsanqa Mhlanga and Lucia Matibenga winning respectively.

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 18th March 2006

Big, bold and brassy was the UK response to Zanu-PF's attempt to undermine
the MDC Congress.  The MDC in the UK joined the Vigil to protest against
Mugabe's inept efforts to taint the MDC with trumped-up treason charges.
The UK diaspora gathered outside Zimbabwe House buzzing with anger at the
threat to the last vestiges of democratic space.  Ephraim Tapa, Chair of MDC
Central London Branch, said the MDC Congress was the only way to deliver
Zimbabwe from Mugabe's tyranny. The MDC-UK's Publicity and Information
Secretary, Mathew Nyashanu, said that every gathering we have in Britain was
an embarrassment for a terrorist government and gave the diaspora an
opportunity to articulate its case to the international community.  We were
pleased that the Chair of the MDC-UK Women's Branch, Suzeet Kwenda-Ruwona,
and others from branches throughout the country were there to express their
outrage at what is going on in Zimbabwe.  Among MDC branches represented
were Leicester, Birmingham, Sheffield, South Bedforshire, Southend and

We can't let this diary go by without recording that Francesca, our 15 year
old supporter from Kent, has written to Mrs Blair in her capacity as a human
rights lawyer, and also Tesco and Sainsbury's questioning their involvement
in Zimbabwe.  The replies were not satisfactory but she is setting an
example of lobbying which should inspire others.

A popular innovation was a poster "Take a shot at Mugabe" which showed a
picture of Mugabe with his mouth agape superimposed on a dartboard.  It was
extraordinary how warlike the anti-war protesters were who came past us on
their way from a big protest in Trafalgar Square.  Many of them demanded
darts.  Another snapshot on our last Winter Vigil: a fellow drinking from a
can of beer who appeared to be a typical down and out approached us.  We
immediately thought he was touting for money but instead he gave us £10.
With unexpected support like that we can only believe that Spring will bring
change and new growth in Zimbabwe.

Best wishes to our friends in Bristol who mount their first Vigil (sister to
our Vigil) next Saturday (25th March).  We are sending representatives from
our Vigil to support them.  The Bristol Vigil will be held from 11 am - 3 pm
at the corner of Cheltenham Road and Claremont Road.  We understand from the
organisers that they will be supported by the local Zimbabwe Women's Refugee
Group.  They are also expecting Tabitha Khumalo, the prominent Zimbabwean
trade unionist.  They have good music lined up as well. Directions: from
Temple Meads Station, catch the 73 bus to Cheltenham Road and get out at
Colston Girls School.  Continue walking up Cheltenham Road and at the cross
roads you will see the Vigil as the top of Cheltenham Road leads onto
Claremont Road.

FOR THE RECORD: 115 signed the register.

FOR YOUR DIARY: Zimbabwe Forum, Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28
John Adam Street, London WC2 (cross the Strand from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go
down a passageway to John Adam Street, turn right and you will see the pub).
·         Monday, 20th March, 7.30 pm - Elizabeth Bishop will talk about her
work with the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.
·         Monday, 27th March, 7.30 pm - Yvonne Marimo of the Zimbabwe
Women's Network will talk about social issues affecting women of the
Zimbabwean Diaspora.

Vigil co-ordinator

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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"Here We Come" says MDC-UK Chair

The election of a new MDC leadership under Morgan Tsvangirai has been
welcomed by the MDC-UK Chair, Washington Ali, as a signal to Mugabe that the
writing is on the wall.

"Tsvangirai is a symbol of our struggle against the regime.  The MDC
Congress has reaffirmed that he is the man to carry us forward."

Mr Ali said Mugabe has had his time.  The people have had enough.  "We have
been watching and now we are going to start acting.  Here we come."

Washington Ali was speaking after a well-attended MDC demonstration at the
Zimbabwe Vigil in London last Saturday.  He said the diaspora must join
forces to confront the regime.  Tsvangirai had extended his hand to
dissidents to come back to the party and join with those leading the

On the failure of the state's treason charges against MDC activists, he said
the torture of detainees showed the pressure the Mugabe regime was under.

Washington Ali was interviewed by the Zimbabwe Vigil.

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe suspends fertiliser plans

Business Report

March 20, 2006

Zimbabwe had suspended plans to buy and combine three fertiliser companies,
the Sunday Mail reported yesterday, citing trade and industry minister Obert

Plans to combine Sable Chemical, Zimbabwe Fertiliser and Windmill were on
hold as they would "compound" shortages, said the Harare-based paper.

Fertiliser production in Zimbabwe has fallen to about 30 percent of
capacity. - Bloomberg, Maputo

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Harare cuts vegetable oil production

Business Report

March 20, 2006

 Zimbabwe's National Foods Holdings suspended production of vegetable oils
due to a lack of raw materials caused by a foreign currency shortage, the
Zimbabwe Independent said, citing spokesperson Linda Musesengwa.

Zimbabwe's biggest miller and cooking oil producer, partly owned by Anglo
American and Tiger Brands, expected to resume production in May, the paper
reported on its website on Friday. Sales of edible oils account for a fifth
of the company's income. - Bloomberg, Johannesburg

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MDC factional congress to vote on boycotting future polls

      March 20, 2006

      By Andnetwork .com

      Delegates attending a major conference of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led
faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
were Sunday expected to vote for a boycott of all future elections held by
President Robert Mugabe's government, reports said.

      Many supporters of MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai were reported
to have turned out for the weekend congress in the Zimbabwean capital

      On Saturday, Tsvangirai told his supporters to intensify their
resistance to the 'tyranny' of Mugabe's government, according to one

      'The call is made to you once again to intensify the peaceful
democratic resistance to the current tyranny,' The Standard quoted
Tsvangirai as saying.

      'Your resilience to reclaim your rights has shaken Mugabe's corridors
of power,' he added.

      The delegates were due Sunday to vote on new policy decisions,
including whether or not to boycott future elections and participate in

      Elections for internal party positions were also due to be held,
although there was unlikely to be any real challenge to Tsvangirai as party

      Tsvangirai claims Mugabe and his ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) stole victory in elections held in 2000,
2002 and 2005.

      The MDC split late last year over whether or not it should participate
in elections for a new senate. A rival faction held its own congress in the
second city of Bulawayo last month and elected their own leader, firebrand
former student leader Arthur Mutambara.

      Source: Standard/Agencies

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Police probe illegal lion hunting

      March 20, 2006

      By Andnetwork .com

      THE National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has reported to
the police the alleged illegal killing of a lion in the Gwayi Conservancy by
a professional hunter, the Sunday News has learnt.

      Bulawayo's Criminal Investigations Department is probing the hunter
(name supplied) who works for a company owned by a prominent politician in
Matabeleland North province (name supplied).

      The Sunday News cannot name the politician and his hunter because the
Parks Authority is reluctant to publicly reveal them. The handing over of
the case to the police follows internal investigations by the Parks
Authority, which concluded that there were serious irregularities in the
lion hunt.

      The Gwayi area was placed under moratorium by the Parks Authority to
curb a significant drop in the lion population and allow for the improvement
of the trophy quality. The hunt, during a legitimate ban, was therefore
illegal. Sources close to the goings-on told the Sunday News that the Parks
Authority completed its own investigations.

      "We finished our investigations some time back. All we have done is to
hand over the issue to the Criminal Investigations Department at the Central
Police Station in Bulawayo," said an official who declined to be named for
professional reasons.

      Contacted for comment on Friday, the authority's public relations
manager, Retired Major Edward Mbewe, would not reveal further details but
confirmed that investigations are underway.

      "That issue is under investigation. At the moment we are trying to
establish where the lion was hunted. What actually happens in hunting is
that a farmer is not supposed to hunt in any other farm except one's own.
When you are allocated a lion quota and the lion happens to move outside
your farm, it ceases to be yours.

      "I can confirm that Kusile district was last year allocated a lion
quota. That we do not dispute. What is of interest to us is to establish the
point of execution of the hunt. That is what we are investigating at the
present moment," said Rtd Major Mbewe.

      However, impeccable sources within the Parks Authority told the Sunday
News that the lion hunt was conducted on a private farm.

      "It is true that Kusile district had a quota allocated to them to hunt
a lion. Our investigations established that the lion hunt took place in a
private farm. The story of investigations being underway is all but just a
smokescreen as some people are trying to protect some big fish who could be
involved," said the source.

      Meanwhile, on a separate matter, there is controversy as to where the
Hwange Rural District Council recently got the permission to hunt down and
kill two problem lions that were causing havoc in the Mabale communal area.

      The Minister of Tourism and Environment, Cde Francis Nhema, agreed in
a telephone interview on Friday that he had an informal discussion on the
issue of the problem lions, dismissing any chance of him having granted
official permission.

      "Yes, they talked to me about the problem lions. I consented that
something had to be done. But if they went on to kill the lions then that is
a problem as they were supposed to follow the right procedures," Cde Nhema.

      He said usually the problem animals with regards to lions consist
mainly "the old lions that no longer have the strength to go on a full hunt
and then turn to easy prey such as people and livestock. At other times
other smaller animals might be influenced to follow the stray one".

      Rtd Major Mbewe confirmed the killing of the Mabale lions, but
explained that the Parks Authority was not involved.

      "Last year, the Hwange Rural District Council granted us permission to
track down the lions and kill them. The permit expired before we could even
locate the animals and we pulled out. When the problem resurfaced they were
supposed to communicate again with us so that we could go and assist them.
Investigations are underway to establish what exactly transpired," he said.

      The illegal killing of lions in Matabeleland North province comes at a
time when lion researchers have projected a drastic decrease in the
population of the big cat amid fears of extinction.

      "The current thinking is that . lions in Botswana and Zimbabwe are
safe (at least from disease). Loss of habitat and prey species is what will
impact our lion populations in the next ten years," said Dr Andrew
Loveridge, the head of the lion research team based at Hwange National Park.

      Commenting on fears that a disease resembling Human Immuno-deficiency
Syndrome is wiping out lions, Dr Loveridge said: "I am assuming that you are
talking about FIV (Feline Immuno-deficiency Virus). If so, there was some
research done in Botswana that suggested that it might be a problem.
However, it has since been shown that while lions do get the disease, they
have antibodies to the virus. As such, they do not die from it and probably
do not even show any symptoms."

      FIV was first discovered in a domestic cat in California, United
States, in 1986.
      Research shows that FIV among domestic cats, like HIV in humans, is
often lethal.

      Source : Sunday News

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Asylum seekers forced to return to using supermarket vouchers

· Refugee groups angry over revival of divisive system
· Home Office says cash is incentive to stay in UK

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Monday March 20, 2006
The Guardian

Asylum seekers are to be forced again to live on supermarket vouchers
instead of cash five years after the government scrapped the controversial
system because it was unfair and unworkable.
Ministers will ask the Commons tomorrow to approve the return of the
much-criticised asylum voucher system and confirm that thousands of failed
asylum seekers should not be allowed to receive cash help.

The decision has angered refugee welfare groups, who say the vouchers
stigmatise asylum seekers, damage community relations and are more difficult
to administer than cash. The system sparked so much outrage when it was last
tried five years ago that the then home secretary, David Blunkett, was
forced to scrap it.

"There is no fairness in stigmatising people by forcing them into a
different system when all they want is to buy a few necessities," said Maeve
Sherlock, the chief executive of the Refugee Council.
The vouchers can only be used to buy food and drink in a limited number of
supermarkets and shops, which often do not provide culturally suitable food
such as halal meat, or can only be used in city centre branches. No change
can be given, which means asylum seekers sometimes pay more than anybody
else, or buy things they don't need to make up the amount.

The vouchers are to be paid to more than 5,000 failed asylum seekers who
qualify for "hard case" support because they cannot be sent back to
countries such as Zimbabwe, Somalia and Iraq, which Britain considers
unsafe, or there is no safe return route or the asylum seeker is too sick to

They get a bed and either three meals a day and no financial support or £35
in vouchers each week to buy food and toiletries. MPs will be asked tomorrow
to confirm this return of vouchers and approve the extension of their use
for other essentials such as nappies or clothes.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the decision had been taken to reintroduce
vouchers because "hard case" support provided a limited form of help for
those about to leave Britain: "It should not act as an incentive to remain
in the UK once they have exhausted their appeal rights."

The immigration minister, Tony McNulty, has said the immigration bill to be
voted on by MPs tomorrow allows provision of cash or vouchers. But refugee
groups say local providers are being told they can only use vouchers.

Home Office research published in 2002 when the decision to scrap their use
last time was announced said many asylum seekers felt embarrassed using the
vouchers. They often faced difficulties at the supermarket checkout and
hostility from other customers behind them.

Ms Sherlock of the Refugee Council said the government may claim it was only
a short-term measure but reality for many on "hard case" support was that a
cashless system would be a long-term way of life because conditions in Iraq,
Zimbabwe and Somalia showed no improvement.

"People whose applications have been rejected only get any support if they
sign up for voluntary removal and follow all the rules. So why does the
government still feel they have to be stigmatised, and made to jump through
hoops to get the basics they need to survive?" she asked.


Vouchers were originally introduced by Jack Straw when he was home secretary
in April 2000 as a replacement for cash benefits to deter economic migrants.
This provoked a successful campaign by refugee welfare groups and the unions
led by Bill Morris, retiring Transport and General Workers' Union general
secretary. They were scrapped by David Blunkett after he became home
secretary. He said they were "too slow, vulnerable to fraud and felt to be
unfair by both asylum seekers and local communities". When she was
immigration minister Angela Eagle said "moving to cash will mean that asylum
seekers will be able to spend their money where they like, and they will not
have a limited choice of shops in which they can use their vouchers".

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RBZ Hikes Banks Statutory Reserves Again!

Zim Daily

            Monday, March 20 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
             THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has increased statutory reserve
ratios for banks, the second such measure in as many months, in a bid to
stem credit expansion. As a consequence, commercial and merchant banks will
now have to deposit 60 percent of their call and demand money with the
central bank, up from the previous ratio of 55 percent announced last month.
Statutory reserves requirements on discount houses have also been hiked from
30 percent to 45 percent. Banking industry sources told Zimdaily that the
central bank had resorted to this aggressive policy as a means of achieving
the goal it had targeted through the shelved new primary dealership

            "The central bank realises there is a lot of money lying about,
especially with institutions that have large deposit books. The move is
meant to achieve what the primary dealership was meant to achieve, to halt
credit expansion," a Harare banking analyst said. Two major banking firms,
CBZ Holdings and Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited release their 2005
financials today. The central bank also hiked the bank rate from 700 percent
to 750 percent .

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Massive Power Rationing In The Horizon

Zim Daily

            Monday, March 20 2006 @ 12:03 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent
             ZIMBABWE's power utility will introduce a massive power
rationing programme which will see most parts of the country being switched
off for periods ranging up to six hours from June In a circular to captains
of industry and commerce, by the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company
(ZEDC) business leaders were advised of the prolonged blackout which would
negatively affect companies and inconvenience a lot of families.

            According to ZEDC the massive power rationing will be in winter
(June -August) ironically when electricity consumption it at its highest.
"Owing to the precarious nature of electricity supplies in the country over
the winter peak load period, ZEDC may (on an as when required basis) have to
curtail demand in order to maintain supply and demand balance particularly
during peak-loading times which are usually 0600 - 1000 hours (mornings) and
1700 - 21 00 hours (evenings)," reads part of the memo.

            The memo said consumers in Harare and Chitungwiza, would be the
first to experience load-shedding on the first of June with the rest of the
country to follow in subsequent weeks. The memo does not however say whether
the situation would improve in summer. "ZEDC may disregard the load-shedding
programme and may switch off certain areas in cities for whatever period and
without advance warning in the event of a serious deficit in power
 supplies," reads the memo.

            The proposed winter supply cuts come at a time when the state
power utility is battling to raise foreign currency to pay for imports from
South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Mozambique who
supply 40% of the country's power requirements. The three countries
especially South Africa experience winter around the same time as Zimbabwe
and therefore will be unable to maintain the same level of power exports to
their crisis-hit neighbour.

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No to polls, says pro-Senate MDC

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Takunda Maodza
issue date :2006-Mar-20

THE MDC pro-Senate camp led by Arthur Mutambara says it will not take part
in any election in the country until the 2008 presidential race to give the
opposition party enough time to market its new doctrine and ideology.

Addressing two separate rallies in Mhondoro-one in Kawara village and the
other at Monera Business Centre at the weekend, St Mary's legislator Job
Sikhala said the opposition party was currently on an outreach programme
expected to cover all provinces.
"We are not going to participate in any polls because our new president has
new strategies on how to win elections and unseat the Zanu PF government
through the democratic route," he said.
He described the impending local government polls scheduled for August this
year and any other by-election that might come before the 2008 presidential
polls, as non- events.
"They are non-events. Each and every cent belonging to the party must be
channelled towards its revival. Every arsenal must be used to foster the
race for 2008 presidential elections," added Sikhala, who is the camp's
secretary of defence.
He told the gathering that Mutambara would soon reach each and every cell in
the country meeting the people, exchanging views and marketing new
The legislator agitated for constitutional reforms that would consolidate
all elections. "We want the presidential, parliamentary and mayoral
elections to be held all at once. Zimbabwe cannot afford to be holding
elections time and again,-its unaffordable," he said.
Since its divorce from the Morgan Tsvangirai anti-Senate camp, whose
congress was in Harare over the weekend, the Mutambara faction has adopted
new principles. Its new ideology, according to the camp, recognised the
important role played by the country's heroes in liberating Zimbabwe from
its former colonial master, Britain.
Of late the MDC pro-Senate camp has been singing liberation war songs at its
rallies. Addressing provincial party structures in Chitungwiza a fortnight
ago, Mutambara confirmed the new ideology his party was pursuing.
The newly elected MDC leader also stressed the importance of giving land to
the majority saying: "We also want land (President) Mugabe says we do not
want it because we are sell outs and puppets. Land must go to the people,
the poor, and the peasants
"We are also coming in with the tradition of the liberation war recognising
the role played by people like (Hebert) Chitepo, (Josaya) Tongogara, Nikita
Mangena and John Nkomo.
No one owns the history of the liberation struggle. We are coming in the
tradition of the ZANLA and ZIPRA fighters." he said.
"We are also anti-imperialist and against the colonisation of Africa. We are
an African patriotic opposition party, a people that know their history."
The pro-Senate camp participated in local government elections in
Chitungwiza and Bulawayo since it cut ties with Tsvangirai, but both MDC
factions lost heavily to Zanu PF.
The anti-Senate camp went on to field Francis Dhlakama in the Chegutu
by-election that the Mutambara faction ignored.
Zanu PF is set to reclaim the Budiriro constituency in Harare following the
death of Gilbert Shoko early this month if both MDC factions stick to the
election boycotts.
While the anti-Senate camp has not categorically stated that it will not
partake in elections, reliable sources said Tsvangirai was increasingly
becoming uncomfortable with the electoral route.
Meanwhile, Mutambara yesterday addressed his first rally in Bulawayo since
his election as MDC president last month where he stressed the need for a
new constitution.
According to our correspondent in Bulawayo, Mutambara said: "We are going to
put pressure on Zanu PF to come up with a people oriented constitution and
hold elections under such new constitution. If that fails, we are going to
employ plan B"
He would not elaborate what course of action the opposition party would
employ on plan B, but ruled out usurping power undemocratically.
The former University of Zimbabwe student leader pledged to dump commercial
white farmers, Britain and America in their quest for a new era.
He added the MDC of the Tsvangirai epoch found it difficult to be accepted
by African countries as an opposition party because of its links to white
commercial farmers, Britain and America.
"As we are refocusing the MDC, we are saying no to puppetry. We will no
longer be driven by white farmers, (Tony) Blair or (George) Bush," he said.
Mutambara, who reiterated his support for the agrarian reform, added the MDC
pro-Senate camp was currently spreading "its born again message to African
"We are now making sense to (South African President Thabo) Mbeki. We stand
for African values. We will not hesitate to condemn violation of people's
rights be it in America or Britain." Mutambara said
He promised to kick start a variety of developmental projects in the
Matabeleland region to empower local communities.

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'Discipline war veteran for intimidating governor'

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Patience Nyangove in Marondera
issue date :2006-Mar-20

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has asked the President's Office and the
Ministry of Defence to take disciplinary action against the war veteran, who
a fortnight ago allegedly intimidated Mashonaland East governor, Ray
The war veteran, Mavis Makoni, on March 1 allegedly went to Kaukonde's
offices during his absence and spoke badly about him to a Mandizha, the
resident minister's secretary.
According to a letter dated March 13 from PSC offices in Marondera and
addressed to the President's Office and the permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Defence, Makoni is alleged to have said Kaukonde possessed
supernatural powers that made people fear him.
The letter further alleged that Makoni went on to place small stones
(muteuro) in artificial flowerpots that were in the governor's office, which
where said to possess supernatural powers that would neutralise Kaukonde's
It further stated that on further inquiry by the PSC to try and solve the
matter amicably Makoni refused to co-operate.
"On further inquiry to resolve this issue amicably, Mrs M Makoni has refused
to co-operate and even write an incident report on what transpired.
"She has shown a lot of arrogance and intransigence to both the offices of
the governor and the Public Service Commission.
"The Public Service Commission views such behaviour as indecorous and
threatening. Mrs. M. Makoni has thus put the Public Service into disrepute
by her actions and her failure to apologise to the Honourable governor for
what she is alleged to have done or to give a formal explanation for her
intrusion in the governor's office leaves a lot to be desired," reads part
of the letter.
The letter also stated that the PSC recommended that a formal investigation
be conducted with regards to Makoni's behaviour and that she formally
apologises to Kaukonde.
When The Daily Mirror broke the story about a fortnight ago Makoni said:
"Why should I apologise to Kaukonde, I went to his office to collect my $50
000 his secretary owed me and I never placed any stones," said Makoni.

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Platinum giant meets President Mugabe

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Business Reporters
issue date :2006-Mar-20

AS controversy continues to dog recent government proposals to have a major
stake in most mining companies, it has emerged that platinum giant Impala
Platinum (Implats) Mines has held a meeting with the highest office in the
Implats revealed that it held a meeting with President Robert Mugabe last
Wednesday over the contentious issue prior to the Minister of Mines and
Mining Development, Amos Midzi's rendezvous with key players in the sector
the very next day.
Said the platinum miner, "Implats confirms that CEO (chief executive
officer), Keith Rumble, held a meeting with His Excellency Comrade Robert
Mugabe and senior members of the Zimbabwe government on Wednesday 15 March
2006. These discusssions centred on the recently announced Cabinet approved
draft proposals relating to ownership of the Zimbabwean platinum industry.
These discussions were open and frank and it was confirmed the draft
proposals were still work in progress."
The latest development comes amid silence on the part of the mining industry
as to what exactly transpired during their meeting with Midzi last Thursday.
They also did not elaborate what their position is with respect to proposed
amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act announced by government two weeks
A source at gold miner, Metallon Corporation, said the Ministry of Mines and
the mining industry had agreed that the issue being discussed is
industry-wide and should thus be dealt with by the representative body, the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Mines.
When contacted for comment, Chamber of Mines chief executive David
Murangari, however, 'delegated' the onus to his chairman Jack Murehwa.
Murehwa, when contacted last week, said: "We will issue a statement in due
course. All I can say is we discussed all issues pertaining to the
proposals. Midzi is looking at our reports and we are waiting for his
He will take our response to Cabinet and probably Parliament. But it is very
difficult for me to give you a fixed time framework."
Murehwa is also the corporate services executive of Zimplats Holdings, whose
South African parent company, Impala Platinum (Implats) Mines has expressed
reservations about the mining proposals vis-à-vis its prior signed agreement
with the government.
South African platinum and gold companies with vested interests in the
country have expressed their anxiety over their investments in Zimbabwe and
have called for bilateral agreements to be signed between Harare and
Pretoria to protect their property rights.
If passed in Parliament, the amended law would see government and or
people holding no less than 51 percent of equity in large-scale mines or
mining of precious minerals, which would have to be achieved in 7 years
after promulgation of the new legislative piece.
Most industry players chose to remain apparently apprehensive and tight
lipped on developments thus far, while Midzi could only confirm meeting
industrialists over the issue and agreeing to adjourn briefly for government
to digest submissions of the mining community.
Announcing the set of broad proposals to the mines and minerals legislation
Midzi, about two weeks ago, indicated that the mining industry had been
given a week within which to respond to proposals by government on the
amendment to the mining act.
"Yes we met (last week) and agreed on a position. The industry has made its
submissions and we are going to look at them. We are, however, going to
reconvene pretty soon but we have not yet set a date," said Midzi.
He, however, said proposals by government that at least 51 percent of equity
in all of the country's foreign-owned mines should be owned by the state and
indigenous people is purely state policy and nothing more.
In saying that, Midzi was responding to enquiries by the Business Mirror on
allegations from some quarters that his set of proposed amendments to the
Mines and Minerals Act were not unanimously approved by Cabinet.
Allegations were that Midzi's proposals, which would result in active state
and indigenous people participation in large-scale mines and precious
mineral exploitation, had been heavily criticised by some high-ranking
cabinet ministers.
However, in response to that Midzi said: "The position is clear. What I have
told the nation is government policy."
The amendments to the mining legislation are, Midzi maintained earlier on,
broad based proposals, which would have to go through the House of Assembly
and the Upper House for debate and refinement before they can be passed into
When announcing the set of proposals Midzi supported the proposed position
saying the world over it is a well known fact that all minerals are state
property and as such government was entitled to a significant stake in all
large scale mines and in exploitation of all precious minerals such as gold
and diamond.
Also included under the list of minerals the state would be expected to have
significant equity if the law being debated at these elementary stages would
be recently discovered uranium deposits.
For gold, said Midzi, government would only participate in large-scale
mining operations.
If the current piece of legislation is successfully repealed then the state
would be entitled to a 25 percent non-contributory equity, in the respective
mining operations, but pay for the remainder and that law would apply right
away to greenfield projects, while it would take effect in 2 years for all
existing ones.
Midzi said government and or the indigenous people should own no less than
50 percent equity of the said mining operations in 7 years after the passing
of the legislation whose amendments have of late become the talk of the
country and the international community.
Analysts agree the reasoning behind the initiative is noble but the strategy
is ill advised and could have serious repercussions if not properly planned
as was the case with agriculture when gross errors were made in addressing
imbalances that had seen only a few whites own more than three quarters of
the country's prime agricultural land.
While proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act would result in no
less than 51 percent equity being transferred to government and or
indigenous people, the mining industry indicated that it was only
comfortable with ceding 30 percent equity.
Most large scale mines and mining operations for precious minerals are owned
and done by foreign mines. These include the Zimplats owned by Impala
Platinum Mines of South Africa, which is listed on the Johannesburg and
Australian Stock Exchanges.
Zimplats is the country's biggest platinum producer and owns Ngezi and
Makwiro Platinum Mines.
Zimbabwe's largest but locally unlisted gold producer Metallon Gold is owned
by South African business magnate Mzi Khumalo. The company owns How Mine,
Mazowe Mine, Redwing Mine, Arcturus Mine and Shamva Mine.
Another major player in the mining industry is Rio Tinto Zimbabwe Limited,
which owns Renco Mine, Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, Empress Nickel Mine, Sengwa Coal
Mine and also used to own Patchway Mine, which was closed in 2003.
Also not to be left out in the league of major players in the country's
mining industry is Anglo Gold, which is owned by Anglo American Corporation
and Falcon Gold Zimbabwe owned by Falcon Gold International and owns Dalny
and Venice Mines.
There are fears, however, that the initiatives to ensure more active and
meaningful state and indigenous people participation in mining could deal a
severe blow to the country's international profile with regard to respect
for observance of international private property rights, which Zimbabwe is
signatory to.
Latest developments have sent shock waves across the country and the outside
world and threatens to negatively affect the only remaining sector that has
resisted the economic meltdown to continue bringing in foreign currency as
well as attract reasonable foreign direct investment (FDI).

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Baboons wreak havoc in Bulawayo

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Our Correspondent In Bulawayo
issue date :2006-Mar-20

BABOONS have become a menace in some parts of Bulawayo's western high
density suburbs where they are destroying crops and terrorising residents.
The marauding baboons have wreaked havoc in Tshabalala, Emganwini Pumula and
Nketa where they are reported to be raiding houses as well as destroying
crops in the fields.
Last week police shot dead one of the baboons after a troop had besieged a
block of flats in Tshabalala.
"We woke up in the morning and discovered that two baboons were perched on
top of the roof. Everyone was really shocked," said Nisbert Ngwenya, a
resident in the high density area.
When The Daily Mirror news crew arrived at the block of flats recently, a
huge excited crowd had formed booing the two wild animals, which appeared
confused and overwhelmed by the occasion.
According to residents, the baboons were taking advantage of the green
vegetation due to recent rains to reach residential areas undetected.
"I have been a resident here for more than 30 years, but I have never seen
baboons or any wild animal for that matter freely roaming residential areas
in the city. These are signs of changing times," remarked an elderly
Last year, a baboon believed to have travelled all the way from Victoria
Falls hiding in a National Rails Of Zimbabwe (NRZ) wagon caused a scene in
the city centre by terrorising people.
The cheeky baboon was taken to Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage home where it
was later released into the vast Hwange National Park.
No official comment could be obtained from Wildlife and Parks management
authorities in Bulawayo at the time of going to press yesterday.

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Zimbabwe pork products shortages

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Mar-20

THE Pig Industry Board (PIB) says Zimbabwe might soon experience a shortage
of pork products because of a critical lack of stock feed.
PIB director Paul Ndiweni warned on Thursday that the looming shortage
was likely to affect the viability of the industry.
He said farmers were now resorting to non-conventional foods to sustain the
"The shortage is going to affect viability of the industry and our excellent
market," Ndiweni said.
The PIB boss said maize shortages in the country had resulted in reduced
feed production by manufactures and called
on stakeholders to come up with stop gap measures to avert a pork shortage
on the market.
Maize constitutes 70 percent of stock feed for pigs with soya bean weighing
in at 25 percent.
The high demand for maize has forced the government to prioritise the
milling of the staple maize meal for humans ahead of stock feed.
Zimbabwe's annual grain requirement stands at 1,8 million tonnes and has
been forced to import maize from South Africa to boost its strategic
Last year alone, the government channelled at least Z$60 trillion towards
grain imports.
Maize production has been affected by recurrent droughts in the past five

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