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Knives out for Zimbabwe central bank governor

Zim Online

Tue 28 March 2006

      HARARE - The knives are out for Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono with Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya the latest among a
growing list of senior government officials to criticise the reformist RBZ
chief and to call for his wide-ranging powers to be clipped.

      Nyambuya - clearly peeved at Gono after the governor blocked his
proposals for huge increases in power tariffs - attacked Gono during a
meeting of President Robert Mugabe and his Cabinet two weeks ago, accusing
the RBZ chief of breaking "legal statutes" to usurp the powers of the
Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC).

      The ZERC, which falls under Nyambuya and regulates energy tariffs, had
last month successfully appealed to the government to be allowed to hike
tariffs by 770 percent spread over a nine-month period.

      The Cabinet however virtually rescinded the decision, allowing
relatively lower tariff increases after Gono told Mugabe's executive
committee that the huge tariff hikes proposed by Nyambuya and ZERC would
fuel inflation and derail attempts to revive Zimbabwe's collapsed economy.

      But Nyambuya in a document submitted to Cabinet on March, 7 2006,
heavily criticised Gono, accusing him of overstepping his mandate and said
the central bank governor was stalling the development of the energy sector
in his bid to keep inflation figures down.

      Nyambuya's document, a copy of which was shown to ZimOnline reads in
part: "The above points to clear interference by the RBZ in its quest to
meet its own inflation targets at the expense of the electricity supply
industry requirements to sustain operations.

      "With the appointment of the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory
Commission (ZERC) June 2005 there is need for role clarity given the
continued usurping of ZERC powers by the RBZ even in the existence of legal

      The Energy Minister charged that apart from interfering with the
tariff regulation, Gono was also stalling plans to expand Zimbabwe's
electricity generation capacity by delaying releasing financing for a joint
Zimbabwe/Iran project to expand the Kariba Hydro Power Station.

      "The Kariba expansion project has already been forestalled even after
the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between RBZ and EDBI of Iran
on 19 January 2005.

      "The following issues are still outstanding from the RBZ; financing
terms, 15 percent down payment or US$30 million, loan financing agreement
and financing of 40 percent civil works," Nyambuya's document states.

      Both Nyambuya and Gono were not available for comment on the matter.

      But the disclosure of Nyambuya's strong criticism of Gono comes amid
reports in the local Press last week that the RBZ governor - tasked by
Mugabe to fix the limping economy - had also clashed with Finance Minister
Herbert Murerwa over the economic direction of the country.

      Murerwa, who has overall responsibility over economic policy, is said
to have accused Gono of acting without consulting him and of overstepping
his role as monetary policy chief to undertake quasi-fiscal activities.

      Several other senior government officials are also said to have
criticised Gono accusing him of behaving like a "Prime Minister". The Press
reports however quote Gono denying Murerwa's charges and insisting that he
has always acted after consulting the presidency, Cabinet, relevant
parliamentary committees and other key stakeholders.

      An affable character, Gono - seen as among the few doves in a
hardliner government - was appointed RBZ governor in 2003 with the task to
chart Zimbabwe's economic revival path.

      He has been praised for bringing discipline back to Zimbabwe's banking
sector and has won plaudits for saving the country from expulsion by the
International Monetary Fund by paying off outstanding debts.

      But Gono's inflation fighting measures have been a huge flop with the
key rate now above 700 percent and still rising. - ZimOnline

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Police arrest two Zimbabwean university student leaders

Zim Online

Tue 28 March 2006

      BULAWAYO - Police arrested two student leaders at Zimbabwe's National
University of Science and Technology (NUST) and prevented hundreds more
students from entering the campus for non-payment of fees.

      NUST student union president Beloved Chiweshe told ZimOnline that two
members of the union, Clever Bere and Themba Maphenduke were picked up by
the police for addressing hundreds of students who had gathered outside the

      Chiweshe vowed students would not pay the new fees which the
government says are necessary to keep the university running.

      He said: "The police have arrested two student leaders and the
majority of students have been turned away for not paying the fees. As we
talk, there is nothing happening at the university. As students we have
resolved not to pay these ridiculous fees."

      Last month, thousands of students in universities and tertiary
colleges staged demonstrations across the country protesting against plans
by the government to hike fees by more than 100 percent.

      The students also said they were not happy over their low payouts and
falling standards at state universities and other tertiary institutions.

      Protests by students at Zimbabwe's universities and technical colleges
have become routine because the government, which is also battling a severe
six-year old economic crisis, does not have money to run the institutions. -

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Bodyguard who was suspended for indecently assaulting Mugabe's wife dies

Zim Online

Tue 28 March 2006

      HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's personal bodyguard, Senior
Assistant Commissioner Winston Changara has died.

      Changara, who was reinstated to his post two months ago after he had
been suspended from his position sometime last year for allegedly indecently
assaulting Mugabe's wife, Grace, died in Harare yesterday after a short

      Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed
that Changara had died but said he was unable to shed more light on the
circumstances leading to the death.

      "Yes, he has died but I cannot tell you more at the moment. We are
going to make a special announcement on his death later," said Bvudzijena.

      But sources in the Police Protection Unit which he led told ZimOnline
that Changara looked "stressed out after the problems" he encountered last

      "You could tell that he was no longer his former self since his
suspension was lifted two months ago. He had become too defensive.

       "Before his death, he had also tried to tender his resignation from
the force but was persuaded to continue by some senior officers who felt
that resigning would have been an indirect admission that he had committed
the crime," said a senior officer who refused to be named.

      Changara was last October demoted and banished to the Police
Commissioner's pool, an internal police facility to punish and frustrate
errant senior officers after Mugabe's wife Grace complained to the President
that the officer had indecently assaulted her.

      But Changara told an internal team probing him that Mugabe's wife had
fabricated the charge in a bid to cover up her extra-marital affairs. The
senior police officer was reinstated to his position two months ago after a
committee set up to probe him found him not guilty. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabweans plead hunger in court

Zim Online

Tue 28 March 2006

      MASVINGO - Twenty hungry Zimbabwe villagers on Monday admitted in
court to stealing maize, telling the magistrate they would have starved to
death if they had not stolen the staple food.

      Masvingo magistrate Andrew Hamandishe admonished the mostly elderly
villagers for stealing but still accepted their plea, sentencing them to
18-months in jail each, all suspended.

      The magistrate suspended 12 months of the jail terms on condition the
villagers paid Z$15 million to Aftranz Transport, the haulage company that
was transporting the maize when it was stolen from one of its trucks that
had broken down along the Masvingo-Beitbridge highway.

      The other six months were suspended on condition the villagers do not
commit a similar offence for the next five years.

      The villagers from Chivi district, about 80 kilometres south of
Masvingo town, looted 240 bags of maize from the truck which was abandoned
by the roadside.

      "We were very hungry your worship. That is why we stole the maize.
Some of us had spent days without having a decent meal and we could not die
while food was just a few metres away from us. For us to stand before you
today it is because of that maize," the villagers told the court.

      But the magistrate said the court could not condone people stealing
simply because they were hungry.

      "If we allow hungry people to loot whatever they come across, then
there will be chaos in the country. You are elderly people who should have
realised that stealing does not pay," said the magistrate.

      Zimbabwe is facing severe food shortages after President Robert Mugabe
seized large commercial farmland from whites for redistribution to landless
blacks six years ago.

      The farm seizures slashed food production by at least 60 percent
leaving Zimbabweans to depend on food handouts from international aid groups
for survival. - ZimOnline

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Governor accused of grabbing farm from widow

Zim Online

Tue 28 March 2006

      MASVINGO - Masvingo provincial governor Willard Chiwewe is embroiled
in a bitter farm ownership dispute with a widow after he grabbed the
property owned by the woman near Lake Mutirikwi about 20 kilometers east of
Masvingo town.

      Chiwewe, who chairs the provincial land committee in charge of farm
allocations in the province, last month took over the property from the
Ganyani family and is said to be planning to build lodges on the property.

      The Zimbabwe government listed the property for acquisition under the
country's land reform laws arguing the property  was being under-utilised.
The farm has since been offered to Chiwewe to take over.

      On Monday, the widow Cecilia Ganyani whose husband died about 10 years
ago, expressed disappointment over Chiwewe's farm take-over.

      "My late husband's farm is being taken over by these powerful
politicians. I am a widow and could not fully utilize the property because
of financial difficulties. But this is my property, if I had money I would
take the governor to court," she  said.

      But Chiwewe defended the farm take-over saying the property was
severely under-utilised. He also said the whole deal was done above board.

      "I am actually planning to build lodges on the farm and start farming
seriously. I have an offer letter from the responsible ministry and to say I
am grabbing the farm is very wrong," said Chiwewe.

      Several government ministers and senior civil servants have been
accused in the past by civic groups of grabbing farms from mainly former
white owners under the government's chaotic land reforms over the past six

      The farm seizures have slashed food production by at least 60 percent
leaving once-food sufficient Zimbabwe depending on handouts from
international aid groups for survival. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe drafts new anti-terrorism laws

Mail and Guardian

      Harare, Zimbabwe

      27 March 2006 01:49

            Weeks after police in Zimbabwe announced they had discovered an
arms cache in eastern Zimbabwe, the authorities in Harare say they are
introducing new laws to combat terrorism, according to reports on Monday.

            Under the recently-gazetted Suppression of Foreign and
International Terrorism Bill, anyone who undergoes training for terrorism,
recruits people to undergo terrorist training or who possesses weapons for
the purposes of terrorism could face life imprisonment, the Herald newspaper

            News of the proposed legislation comes just weeks after police
in the eastern city of Mutare announced they had arrested a group of people
in the east of the country who were bent on causing acts of "terrorism".

            The nine men, who included four members of Zimbabwe's opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, were arrested after weapons were
found at the Mutare home of a white security expert Michael Hitschmann.

            Hitschmann -- who is a registered arms dealer -- is still in
custody facing charges of conspiracy to possess weapons for insurgency.

            The MDC said the case against its members was trumped up, and
state prosecutors later dropped terrorism charges against them and four
ex-policemen. That development appears to have annoyed at least one of
Zimbabwe's top cabinet ministers.

            National Security Minister Didymus Mutasa this weekend accused
police of "bungling" their investigations into the case.

            Under the proposed new laws, the Zimbabwe government will be
able to designate any organisation it believes is a "foreign or
international terrorist organisation" and declare it unlawful, the paper

            There will be penalties for people who the government considers
to have supplied information to terrorist organisations.

            "Any person who collects or supplies information for purposes of
foreign or international terrorist activity shall be guilty of an offence
and liable to a hefty fine or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or
both," the Herald said. - Sapa-DPA

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Zimbabwe Food Security Remains Precarious Ahead of Harvest


      By Peta Thornycroft
      27 March 2006

USAID's Famine Early Warning Systems Network, FEWSNET, has listed Zimbabwe
as a food emergency country in its latest assessment. FEWSNET says 52
percent of the rural population survived the first months of 2006 because of
international food aid.

Zimbabwe's food situation in both urban and rural areas remained precarious
in 2006. FEWSNET said the availability of the staple food, corn meal, was
erratic and grossly inadequate throughout the country.

The shortages continue despite imports of more than 800,000 tons of corn
from neighboring South Africa in the past year.

Except for one or two districts most of Zimbabwe has had adequate rain this

But small-scale and new farmers struggled to get seed and fertilizer, which
was in short supply, and many planted their corn too late for good results,
according to the Commercial Farmers Union.

Nevertheless, latest crop estimates show that Zimbabwe may have grown
substantially more corn than the previous season, and it may only be short
about one-third of the corn it needs for human consumption.

International donors say they are not sure of the exact size of the corn
harvest, but early indications are that they may have to feed far less than
the approximately four million people now receiving their help.

Distribution of emergency food aid always drops off during harvest, which
begins within weeks. Donors say they hope to feed a maximum of two million
people until the next harvest in 2007.

Zimbabwe's agricultural production collapsed after President Robert Mugabe
began confiscating white-owned commercial farms in 2000. These farms
produced more than 40 percent of Zimbabwe's export earnings, and now the
country is critically short of foreign currency.

Until the seizures began, Zimbabwe had been self sufficient in food for

FEWSNET says that the high price of corn meal means many people are unable
to afford it. Zimbabwe's inflation is now 782 percent per year. FEWSNET
reports independent economists say as the economy continues to falter,
inflation is unlikely to slow in the near future.

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ZCTF Report - delivery of Landrover Spares

Click here to see details of donations
27th March 2006
Our heartfelt appreciation goes to John Gillon and the Hwange Conservation Society (UK) for their donation of spares for the National Parks landrovers in Hwange National Park. The spares, valued at around ZWD500 million, arrived on British Airways two weeks ago and have been delivered to Hwange. At the same time, we delivered a few donated items, such as oil, gate valves, rope and fan belts which we were unable to fit in the vehicle on the last delivery An inventory of all the items received by the warden of Main Camp, is attached.
Due to the current economic problems in the country, National Parks have been struggling to maintain their vehicles in Hwange National Park and it is impossible for them to operate efficiently without transport. They need the landrovers for anti poaching patrols and to ensure the regular maintenance of the pumps and pump engines. 
A special thanks to Christine Shields who organized a very successful Valentine's Dinner/Dance in aid of the Hwange Crisis. The money raised has enabled us to pay the duty on the landrover spares and also covered the expenses involved in delivering the parts to Hwange. A big thank you to all those involved in this fundraiser and to all the people who supported it.
There is still some money left in the kitty which we are putting towards another load of fuel for Hwange National Park. Their fuel tanks are dry again and fuel will be needed for the vehicles once they have been repaired. There is still a lot to be done in Hwange. We still need to get more pump engines and spares and fuel is an ongoing problem. If anyone can assist with anything at all, we would be most grateful. Our contact details are at the end of this report.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Phone       263 4 336710
Fax           263 4 339065
Mobile       263 11 603 213

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New MDC national executive and portfolio secretaries

Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:48 AM
Subject: New MDC national executive and portfolio secretaries



National Executive and Portfolio Secretaries


Name                                      Position


 Morgan Tsvangirai               -  President


Thokozani Khupe                  - Vice President                            


Isaac Matongo                       - National Chairman                    


Lovemore Moyo                    - Vice National Chairperson        


Tendai Biti                             - Secretary General                     


Tapiwa Mashakada                - Deputy Secretary General    


Roy Benett                             - Treasurer General 


Elton Mangoma                     - Deputy Treasurer General         


Eng. Elias Mudzuri                - National Organising Secretary  


Morgan Komichi                   - Vice National Org. Secretary  


Nelson Chamisa                    - Secretary for Information         


Lucia Matibenga                   - Chairperson Women’s Assembly


Tamsanqa Mahlangu             - Chairperson Youth’s Assembly  


Tabitha Khumalo                  -Deputy Secretary Information


Dr Mfandaedza Hove           -Secretary for Economics


Seso Moyo                           -Secretary for Lands


Dr Gwarazimba                    - Deputy Secretary for Lands


Innocent Gonese                   - Secretary for Legal & Parliamentary Affairs


Jessie Majome                      - Dep. Sec. for Legal & Parliamentary Affairs


Dr Madzorere                       - Secretary for Health


Eddie Cross                          - Policy Coordinator General


Getrude Mthombeni               - Secretary for Labour & Social


Cephas Makuyana                - Deputy Sec. for Labour & Social


Fidelis Mhashu                     - Secretary for Education


Editor Matamisa                   - Deputy Sec. for Education


Prof. Gordon Chavunduka   - Sec. for National Integration


Sekai Holland                       - Sec. for Research and Policy


Dr Elizabeth Marunda          - Dep. Sec. for Research  and Policy


Joel Gabhuza                        - Sec. for Mines & Environment


Edmore Marima                    - Dep. Sec. Mines & Environment


Sessel  Zvidzai                      - Secretary Local Government


Last Maengahama                 - Deputy Secretary Local Government


Dr Tichaona Mudzingwa      - Secretary for Defence and Home Affairs


Prof. Elphas Mukonoweshuro - Secretary for International Affairs


Grace Kwinje                        - Deputy Sec. for International Affairs


Paurine Gwanyanya              - Sec. Transport Logistics and Welfare


S. Mhlothwa                         - Dep. Sec. Transport Logistics and  Welfare


E.  Sithole                              Committee Member


Masimba Ruzvidzo                Committee Member


Silas Matamisa                       Committee Member


Giles Mutsekwa                     Committee Member


Steven Mudenda                    Committee Member


Hilda Mafudze                       Committee Member


National Council Members




1.  Harare Province


Morgan Femai                      091 364 271



Last Maengahama                091 904 477



Gilbert Shoko                       091 340 576


Org. Secretary

Tichaona Munyanyi


Women Chair

Rona Dandajena


Youth  Chair

Costa Machingauta


2.  Bulawayo Province


Agnes Mloyi                     09- 521273



Reggie Moyo                       091 904 512



Siphiwe Ncube                     091 924 107


Org. Secretary

Victor Mapungwana              091 924 512


Women Chair

Gladys Gombami                   023 320 625


Youth  Chair

Thamsanga Ncube


3.  Chitungwiza Province


Martin Magaya                      023 259 471



M r Tsikwa                            023 307 103



Mutero                                   023 754 621


Org. Secretary

Gelbert Dongo                       091 768 629


Women Chair

Lilian Mashumba                    070 22041


Youth  Chair

Takay Mlambo                      070 21655


4.  Masvingo Province


Edmore Marima             011 231 941/0248 2218



Tongai Matutu                         091 900 977    



Bernard Chiondengwa              091 409 358


Org. Secretary

Misheck Marava


Women Chair

Ethel Mabhugu                        091 925 989


Youth  Chair

Kennias Chauke                       091 240 155


5.  Manicaland Province

Vice Chairman

Roy Bennett                 091 231 298



Elton Mangoma           091 216 347



Brian James                011 605 214


Org. Secretary

Prosper Mutseyami       091 924 185


Women Chair

Keresencia Chabuka


Youth  Chair

Knowledge Nyamhoko     091 919 495


6.  Matabeleland North Province


Morgan Komichi  011 430 921/011 436738



Gift Mabhena                   091 900 709        



Richard  Lowe                  091 239 178


Org. Secretary

Corneliius Mbayiwa


Women Chair

Alphina Ndlovu


Youth  Chair

Sengezo Tshabangu              091 164 426


7.  Matabeleland South Province


Lovemore Moyo  023 249 503/011 616 227



Mqabuko Ndlovu           023 813 569



Lizzie Khupe                  091 655 464


Org. Secretary

Wellington  Chidzingwa    011 420 425


Women Chair

Sipho Dube                         086 22439


Youth  Chair

Morgan Ncube                    091 654 639


8.  Midlands North Province


Cephas Zimuti                    023 280 603



Settlement Chikwinya        091 940 877



Henry Madzorere               011 404 239        


Org. Secretary

Tongai Choga                       


Women Chair

Basey Ngoma                             068 22637


Youth  Chair

Lazarus Chacha   


9.  Midlands South Province


Sicino Dube                       0517-243/394



Patrick Kombayi                     054 220213



Peter Munyuki                        091 924 083


Org. Secretary

Antony Chamakwinya     


Women Chair

Emma Muzondiwa                   091 813 754


Youth  Chair

Lewellin Sibanda                      0518- 351


10.  Mashonaland West Province


Jephat Karemba                 091 404 450



Michael Chinembiri           067 28358



Biggie Haurovi 


Org. Secretary

David Mungezi                   053-3820/3807


Women Chair

Jane Vhurumu                     067 26871


Youth  Chair

Mukudzei Chigumburu


11.  Mashonaland East Province


Theresa Makone                 091 231 667



Patrick Chabvamuperu       023 823 928



Shepherd Jani                     078 22764


Org. Secretary

Piniel Denga                       091 850 548


Women Chair

Viginia Gwena                    011 768 558


Youth  Chair

Samuel Kamundarira          091 850 550


12.  Mashonaland Central Province


Biggie Chigonero               011 508 533



Freddy Matonhodze    



Allan Mckormick            


Org. Secretary

Thabani Khoza                  058 2369


Women Chair

Martha Muronzi


Youth  Chair

Tonderai Samhu





Secretary For Women

Evelyn Masaiti               011 606917


Org. Secretary Women

Lucia Masekesa          


Secretary for Youth

Solomon Madzore       023 815 725 


Org. Secretary Youth

Willard Somerai              091 850 507




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ZCTU hopes to bring in sanitary pads every month

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

      ©  IRIN

      Women have borne the brunt of Zimbabwe's economic crisis

JOHANNESBURG, 27 Mar 2006 (IRIN) - Undeterred by the hefty duty imposed on a
consignment of sanitary pads donated to Zimbabwean women hit by rocketing
prices, the country's labour federation plans to import them regularly.

"We are going to bring the sanitary pads in every month, otherwise it is a
pointless exercise," explained Wellington Chibebe, secretary-general of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

After an appeal on a South African radio station at the beginning of the
year, the ZCTU collected 12 million pads in South Africa last month, but the
consignment was stuck in Johannesburg when Zimbabwe's Revenue Authority
refused to waive a US $7,000 duty because the union was not registered as a
charitable organisation.

"We have managed to raise the money for the duty through our various
well-wishers and we should receive the consignment in three weeks," said
Chibebe. ZCTU is conducting a provincial needs assessment and will then
distribute the pads through its affiliates' branches. Women employed in the
informal sector will also have access to part of the consignment at branches
of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Sector Association.

A packet of 10 sanitary pads costs US $10 in Zimbabwe, where the average
salary ranges between $50 and $100 a month. Unable to afford the pads, most
women have to resort to unhygienic alternatives, which could have long-term
effects on their reproductive health, according to Zimbabwean activists.

The country in the throes of a severe economic crisis, with inflation at
almost 800 percent as a result of recurring poor harvests and the
government's fast-track land redistribution programme, which disrupted
agricultural production and slashed export earnings. The government blames
unofficial sanctions by western nations for Zimbabwe's economic woes.

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Every yard counts in Zimbabwe run

Mercury News, San Jose, California

By Kimra McPherson
Mercury News
Sybelle Paulsen ran just an eighth of a mile Sunday. But those 220 yards
helped to make a big difference.

The Woodside 2-year-old was one of the youngest to try the course at the Run
for Zimbabwe Orphans at St. Joseph Catholic School in Mountain View.
Hundreds of runners turned out to raise money -- one $5 entry fee or $10
T-shirt at a time -- for orphans at the Makumbi Children's Home.

``We talked about how kids in other countries don't have everything we have,
but we can still do things to help,'' said Amy Paulsen, Sybelle's mother.

In its seventh year, the event has grown from a cross-country meet to a
full-blown cultural festival, complete with exhibits on Zimbabwe's geography
and entertainment from a Santa Cruz-based African band. Last year, the run
raised $17,000 -- enough to support 48 of the orphanage's 85 children for
one year.

Ellen Clark, a Los Altos resident and physical education teacher at St.
Joseph, started the run after her son spent a year volunteering in Zimbabwe.

Based in the village of Murombedzi, Will Clark saw how AIDS had devastated
the country: According to 2003 UNICEF estimates, 1 million children had lost
at least one parent to AIDS and 120,000 children under 14 were living with
the disease. But he also learned about Zimbabwe's arts, culture and music -- 
often overshadowed by tales of the country's poverty and disease.

Ellen Clark's visit to her son, plus a Time magazine story about AIDS in
Africa, pushed her into action. She placed a phone call to Zimbabwe,
searching for an orphanage that could use financial help. She got connected
with the Jesuit province in the capital city of Harare, which pointed her to

The first year's race netted about $5,000. The next year, $8,000. The total
has grown steadily since then, with more runners signing up for the races -- 
which range from the 220-yard course for preschoolers to a mile course for
school-age children and adults -- and more people contributing to the
festival. One of this year's booths featured a taste-test of sadza, a corn
porridge. Another displayed sculptures made by Zimbabwe's Shona people.

``The people who come to this event go home and they know more about
Zimbabwe than they did before,'' said Clark, who founded the non-profit
Sustainable Living Foundation in 2003. ``That's what we're trying to instill

Kelsey Browne and Andrea Raymond, both sophomores at Palo Alto High School,
stood at a booth called ``The Receiving Tree.'' Their goal, they said, was
to get people to think about what gifts Africa had given them. They handed
paper tags to passers-by, who jotted down their thoughts and hung the tags
from the bare branches of tiny model trees.

By mid-afternoon, bunches of the tags -- celebrating elephants, music and
the courage to survive in tough situations -- fluttered in the wind.

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Zimbabwe Backs-off Mine Ownership Proposal

         By THOMSON DIALOG: NewsEdge Posted: 3/27/2006 11:46 AM

        (Rapaport...Financial Times) Under intense pressure from South
Africa's mining houses and the International Monetary Fund (IMF,) the
Zimbabwe government has been forced to backtrack on its proposal to
nationalize mines in the country.

      A few weeks ago, mines minister Amos Midzi announced that the
government would acquire 51 percent of foreign-owned mining companies, with
25 percent taken without any compensation. However, on Monday Midzi visited
Zimplats in which Sout Africa's Impala Platinum (Implats) holds a 86.7
percent stake in a bid to allay investor fears of a looming mine grab.

      Although he did not change his line, he appeared to be on the retreat.
Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, on a crusade to persuade the
IMF to resume lending to Zimbabwe, is also said to have been urged by the
global lending facility to reconsider the proposal. During his recent trip
to Washington D.C. for the IMF executive board meeting on Zimbabwe's
arrears, Gono said the mines debate was a hot issue.

      The mining sector is a pillar of the Zimbabwean economy, earning $626
million in 2005 and representing 44 percent of the country's total foreign
currency revenues. It contributes 4 percent to gross domestic product. The
Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and other stakeholders have said the policy
proposals would cause irrevocable damage to the mining industry. Implats CEO
Keith Rumble met President Robert Mugabe last week to discuss the issue.
Zimbabwe, holding the world's richest platinum deposits after South Africa,
is the main area of growth for Implats. South Africa and Zimbabwe hold about
90 percent of the world's known platinum reserves.

      On March 22, Gono cancelled a press conference that was expected to
have been attended by captains of industry at the last minute. The press
conference was expected to have touched on the issue.

      Sources at the bank say this was to allow Mugabe or a senior minister
time to set the record straight.

      Government sources in Harare said Mugabe was expected to clarify the
issue at a Zanu (PF) central committee meeting on Friday before making a
public pronouncement. They said they expected Midzi to be made the fall guy
in the fiasco. Already the minister is being castigated for making public a
policy decision that was not clear, sources say.

      The confusion also exposed underlying divisions in Mugabe's cabinet
over the controversial policy, which experts warn will have potentially
damaging consequences for an already struggling economy. Similar grabs have
resulted in the collapse of agriculture in Zimbabwe, the country's major
foreign currency earner and a key contributor to gross domestic product.
Some sources said Midzi's comments were partly a publicity stunt after
Mugabe suggested last month he was one of his incompetent ministers. Mugabe
also hit out at the trade and industry and of agriculture ministries.

      Mugabe's cabinet was said to be divided over the mine grabs. Sources
said ministers with interests in mining wanted the law on indigenous
shareholding while others were against it.

      The minister's remarks have clearly worsened Zimbabwe's political risk
as an investment destination. Midzi has created problems for himself and
government over the mines controversy, a source said. He will be censured
either publicly or in private by Mugabe or any of his senior ministers next
week. Sources said those in government saw the economy as the potential
cause of Mugabe's downfall and were angry with Midzi's outbursts.

      Neither Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba nor Midzi were available
for comment. But Midzi has denied that his policy amounted to

      Copyright 2006 Financial Times Information Limited
      © 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved.

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"Operation Restore Order" creates more chaos in Bulawayo

      March 27, 2006

      By George Nyathi

      BULAWAYO (AND)The Government initiated "Operation Restore Order" has
failed to clear vendors off the streets of Bulawayo as continued running
battles between the vendors and the police continue.

      The vendors have vowed to remain on Bulawayo"s streets until the city
fathers, the Bulawayo City Council, restores their vending malls that were
destroyed by the police during "Operation Murambatsvina".

      Before the clean-up operation, vending was orderly with council having
constructed sheds where the vendors used to operate from, making it easy for
council to collect revenue from the vendors as well as managing garbage.
      However, all this was swept away by the rioters police support unit
acting on orders to rid the pavements of the city of Bulawayo of vendors.
      Bulawayo Mayor, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube was once quoted as having said
that the government had destroyed his council"s goose that had over the time
laid the golden eggs, thereby leaving the cash-strapped council reeling from
financial dire straits.

      He also indicated that of all the cities and towns across the country,
his council had stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of managing
vendors and also in terms of realising income from the vendors.
      Today"s stroll across the city shows that there is vending everywhere
in the city, with supermarkets playing the role of the preying ground for
the vendors.

      The situation has deteriirated to such an extent that the vendors have
now taken to blocking supermarket entry points as they try to scrounge to
the few customers at their disposal. This has however incenvenienced other
users of pavements as they have to make-do with the ever-hustling vendors.
      In interviews with AND, the vendors vowed that they would continue on
the streets until the government reversed its decision to remove them from
the previous set-up.

      The vendors also accused government of having pushed them to areas
where there was no business at all.
      "We are not going to leave these places or stop operating from these
supermarkets. The reason is simple: We cannot be seen operating from these
stalls that are very far away from the customers.
      "We were content with the set-up that was made by council where we had
sheds which we were operating from and we believe that the government has to
create that kind of situation for us to vacate these supermarkets. Without
that, we will always play hide and seek with police," said one of the
vendors, Mbulawa Moyo.


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Zim plans Aids awareness exams


27/03/2006 18:42  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe government plans to make school pupils take exams in
HIV and Aids awareness in a bid to bring down infection rates, a newspaper
reported on Monday.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa said that, starting at primary school
level, pupils should take exams in HIV/Aids just like they do in other
subjects, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.

"HIV and Aids should be an examinable subject, the same as English, so that
children learn about it at an early stage," the minister said in an

Zimbabwe is battling to contain one of the world's highest rates of HIV and
Aids infection.

"Right now, primary school pupils are being taught about HIV and Aids from
Grade Four (age eight) but there is no final examination in Grade Seven (age
11)," Parirenyatwa added.

At least 1 in 5 Zimbabweans is estimated to be HIV-positive.

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800 Attend Mutamabara's Chitungwiza Rally

Zim Daily

            Monday, March 27 2006 @ 02:00 PM BST
            Contributed by: Zimdaily

             In a clear test of Mutambara's popularity, a paltry 800 people
attended the Chitungwiza rally with an estimated half from Tsvangirai's
faction singing loudly and provocatively. The rally, meant to introduce MDC
faction leader Arthur Mutambara in St Mary's Chitungwiza must have sent a
clear signal to Welshman Ncube who miscalculated and undermined Tsvangirai's
popularity in Zimbabwe.

            A group of nyau dancers who were also performing adjacent to the
jeering supporters worsened the situation. This irked some Mutambara
supporters who charged towards the nyau dancers and Tsvangirai followers.
Only the quick reaction by the police averted a violent clash, said the
state owned daily.

            Riot police dispersed both the nyau dancers and Tsvangirai
supporters, making it possible for Mutambarais rally to proceed unhindered.
Mutambara told supporters if the opposition party failed to remove Zanu-PF
from power through democratic means, it would resort to demonstrations and
mass stay-aways.

            "We are not afraid to use demonstrations and mass stay-aways to
remove the government. We will not rule out using violence because this is
still our option," he said.Mutambara referred to Tsvangirai as "my brother"
saying efforts should be made for him and his followers to join his faction.
Mutambara's calls for violence, follow similar threats by Tsvangirai who
pledged to incite civil disobedience in his quest to unseat the government.
Vice-President Joseph Msika had dismissed Tsvangiraiis calls as empty talk
meant to cause mayhem in Zimbabwe.

            The ruling Zanu-PF partyis secretaries for information and
publicity Nathan Shamuyarira and Elliot Manyika said the MDC's calls for
violence undermine democracy and could lead to bloodshed.


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Malaysian media in Zim boost tourism


          March 27 2006 at 01:14PM

      Harare - Seven journalists from Malaysia are in Zimbabwe this week as
the southern African country battles to restore its dilapidated tourism
fortunes, a newspaper reported on Monday.

      The Malaysian news delegation will be followed by one from China, as
Zimbabwe seeks to strengthen its ties with new friends from the East.

      The state-controlled Herald said the reporters would tour Zimbabwe's
top tourism sites, including the Great Zimbabwe monument in the centre of
the country and Victoria Falls, which is one of the seven wonders of the

      Once a popular stop for backpackers as well as moneyed travellers,
Zimbabwe's fortunes as a tourist destination took a nosedive when President
Robert Mugabe launched his controversial land reform programme in 2000.

      "A destination is better sold by the nationals of any targeted country
hence our efforts to invite these media practitioners," said Karikoga
Kaseke, the chief executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).

      "More tourists are, therefore, expected from these countries following
positive indications already showing," he was quoted as saying.

      In January this year, the ZTA said diminishing tourist arrivals were
of "major concern" to the industry.

      According to figures announced then, tourism arrivals shrunk by 27 per
cent in the third quarter of 2005, compared to the same period the year

      A delegation of French "opinion leaders" is also due to visit Zimbabwe
soon, the Herald said. - Sapa-dpa

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Gleaning expertise

Star-Telegram, Texas
A curious story of redemption, resilience and plain common sense is playing
out in the state of Kwara in west-central Nigeria.

It's one of those stories that periodically emerge from a continent long
neglected by the complacent West and provide hope that Africa may one day
break free of poverty, war, famine and poor leadership.

The story, reported most recently on Wednesday by National Public Radio, is
that Kwara's Gov. Bukola Saraki has been wooing white commercial farmers,
evicted from their land in Zimbabwe, to bring their expertise to Nigeria.

A first batch of 13 farmers established farms during the past year, with
such government help as land allocations, generous loans and long leases,
and now have produced their first crops. NPR said another 40 Zimbabweans are
planning a move to Nigeria. About 100 are expected to be farming in Kwara
within a decade.

The white farmers were among the many victims of Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe, who during a quarter-century of misrule has driven his
once-promising southern African nation to ruin.

In 2002, Mugabe confiscated the land of the last of about 4,000 white
commercial farmers and, in many cases, turned their farms over to
ruling-party cronies. Zimbabwe, which once exported food throughout southern
Africa, now depends on foreign food aid to avert starvation.

Many of the farmers, whose forebears had lived in Africa for many
generations, lost everything. Some made new lives in Zambia, Mozambique,
Malawi and Uganda.

Nigeria, at first, was not a likely choice. It had never had white
commercial farmers, and President Olusegun Obasanjo seemed to be a close
ally of Mugabe.

But Saraki figured that if Mugabe was foolish enough to expel these highly
efficient food producers, he could surely use them in Kwara, a fertile
region of undulating hills, valleys and plains traversed by the upper
reaches of the Niger River and its tributaries.

Obasanjo agreed.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with about 129 million people, sorely
neglected its agricultural sector after it became a major oil producer in
the 1960s. It spends about $3 billion a year of its oil wealth to import

Saraki hopes that the transplanted Zimbabweans will jump-start a commercial
farming sector for his west African nation.

"Our farming sector is largely driven by peasant farming," Saraki told the
British Broadcasting Corp. last year when the first Zimbabweans began to
arrive. "And small family groups don't have the capital for mechanized
farming or the ability to raise credit from banks. We need to have
commercial farmers to do that. We thought: 'Those are farmers. Zimbabwe
doesn't want them. I'm sure they'd rather stay in Africa than go somewhere
else.' "

One of the farmers, Dan Swart, told NPR that teaching "the finer points of
farming and finance" could "make Nigeria the breadbasket of west Africa."

Added another farmer, Alan Jack, who has coordinated the Zimbabweans' move
to Nigeria: "We're very happy here. We're back doing what we do best, which
is farm. Africa needs more success stories."

It is, indeed, good news that the victims of tyrannical rule in one part of
Africa have picked up the pieces of their lives and found redemption in
another part of the continent -- and that an enlightened state governor had
the good sense to tap their expertise.

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Mzi's never-ending woes

Mail and Guardian

      Godwin Gandu

      27 March 2006 09:29

            Mining magnate Mzi Khumalo has lost what is reportedly the
largest damages claim in Zimbabwe's history. This is after his company,
Pemberton International Investments, the investment vehicle of Metallon Gold
Corporation, was ordered to pay Zimbabwe's Stanmarker US$7,4-million in
damages for a breach of contract in which it elbowed the latter out of the
acquisition of Lonmin's five gold mines in Zimbabwe.

            Lonmin was Zimbabwe's biggest mining operation, which produced
190 000 ounces of gold annually.

            Stanmarker chairperson and tourism tycoon Lloyd Hove initiated
negotiations with Lonmin in 2001, with a view to buying the five mines. In
the deal, Metallon Gold and Stanmarker would own 60% and 40% of the
investment respectively.

            High Court Judge Yunus Omerjee ruled this week that there was a
"breach of trust", in that Stanmarker was kept in the dark in the subsequent
negotiations between Metallon Gold and Lonmin.

            Metallon then made the bid for itself and pursued negotiations
with Lonmin. Its effort was successful, which resulted in it acquiring
effective control of the Lonmin investments at the exclusion of Stanmarker.

            "The defendant does not pass the good faith test," Judge Omerjee
ruled. "It is to be noted that the duty of good faith does not permit one
partner to outsmart the other partner, as it appears to have happened," he

            "It is my conclusion that the defendant is way in breach of its
continuing mandate imposed on it by the duty of good faith," he ruled.

            Khumalo's woes, at home and abroad, appear far from over.
Following the purchase of the five mines for $15,5-million, Metallon
subsequently sold 30% of the operation to another local business grouping,
Manyame Consortium, but this arrangement is in dispute. Zimbabwe's Business
Digest reported that Khumalo had tried to buy out Manyame's shareholders
with a $3-million offer, and then list the group on the JSE.

            Manyame's shareholders are now bringing a separate case to force
Metallon to disclose its financial results and ascertain whether they are
due any dividends. Manyame reportedly paid $9-million for its 30% share,
roughly double the value of a 30% share of the $15,5-million Metallon paid.
Manyame paid $1-million of it in cash, with the rest to be paid out of

            Manyame shareholders say they have not been given information on
the operations of Metallon Gold Zimbabwe (formerly Independence Mining), and
are therefore unable to ascertain the state of their loan account, which was
to secure the share purchase.

            On the local front, Khumalo will continue his specialty of
putting out a range of fires. His flagship operation Metallon Gold has been
in the process of listing for some time. That looks increasingly unlikely as
last month the company lost its CEO, Greg Hunter, and financial director,
Mark Rosslee. The duo joined London-listed exploration firm Central African

            Khumalo's other operations include building work at Zimbali
Lodge. This takes place against the background of his continuing battle with
authorities about a R200-million fine that hangs over his head in connection
with the repatriation of funds he placed offshore.

            This forms part of a number of questionable transactions Khumalo
was involved in. A few years ago, Khumalo netted himself more than
R1-billion through the sale of Harmony shares in what has become known as
the "Simane affair". Simane was a broad-based grouping of mine workers and
community organisations that was to become Harmony's black empowerment
partner. Khumalo managed to intercept most of these shares for himself at a
hefty discount and sold many of them into the market at a handsome profit.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) came up with soft funding for
Simane, and it was several months before Harmony realised that Khumalo had
bagged these shares for himself. Adding further controversy to the deal,
Khumalo reportedly advanced a R6-million loan to two former IDC executives
tied to the deal.

            Khumalo recently engaged in a roughly similar transaction.
Following the purchase of a joint controlling stake with Bulelani Ngcuka's
Amabubesi Investments in construction company Basil Read, Khumalo was found
to be exploiting his empowerment status. Having purchased the shares at 82c,
Khumalo sold some of his shares in the open market at prices of more than

            This was after trying to buy out minority French shareholder
Bouygues, Travalaux Public, in a move that was downplayed by Basil Read as
"a formality" required by JSE rules of anyone who takes a controlling stake.
The French said "Non". In both, the sale of Harmony and Basil Read shares,
Khumalo had diluted the empowerment status of the two companies and made a
handsome profit in the process. The standard practice would be to sell to
another black investor to maintain the empowerment shareholding.

            Khumalo could not be reached for comment.

            Additional reporting by Ciaran Ryan and Thebe Mabanga

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