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Mugabe promotes war veterans, sends junior police officers to patriotism classes

Zim Online

Thu 30 March 2006

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's government has ordered the
promotion of veterans of the country's liberation war to positions of
control in the police force, while ordering young officers who did not fight
in the 1970s war to undergo lessons in patriotism, ZimOnline has learnt.

Authoritative sources told ZimOnline that the move was meant to place
the law enforcement agency in the hands of loyalists in the face of threats
by opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to instigate popular revolt against Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party.

Junior officers, drawn from all over the country in batches of 200 to
attend lessons in patriotism and the history of Zimbabwe at the police's
Morris depot training centre in Harare, are also taught how to combat and
smother civil unrest, according to our sources.

"This (promotions and patriotism lessons) is a directive from the
higher offices to ensure the police are ready for any eventuality as
Tsvangirai has proved recently that he still commands strong support among
the people," said a senior police officer, who cannot be named because he is
not permitted to disclose such details to the Press.

In an internal communication to station commanders that was shown to
ZimOnline yesterday, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri instructed
commanders to submit to him names of all ex-combatants at the stations
together with details of their "behaviour and sense of patriotism" for
purposes of promotion. The communication dated March 24, 2006, reference
number MS 603/2006 reads in part: "May all stations submit names of all
serving former ex-combatants who occupy the rank of Assistant Inspector and
below for promotion.

"The signal should indicate the date member was last promoted, their
behaviour and sense of patriotism. Matter should be treated as urgent and
names should reach this headquarters before 28 March 2006."

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena refused to discuss the police
internal communication saying it was "privileged information" he could not
share with the Press.

The police spokesman defended patriotism lessons and anti-civil riot
training for junior officers saying it was part of the police force's
ongoing training and refresher courses for its members.

"There is nothing unusual about police officers undergoing public
order training. Training does not end during one's entry stages into the
police force but is a continuous process," he said.

Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi also defended patriotism lessons
for junior officers and said promotion of ex-combatants in the police force
was "a way of rewarding them for standing by the government in these trying
times, when traitors have infiltrated the uniformed forces. There is no
going back on that and they really will be promoted soon."

But a junior police officer undergoing patriotism education at Morris
depot described the programme as a "brainwashing exercise" where senior
officers routinely threaten their juniors with dismissal if they sympathise
with the MDC.

The junior policeman, who cannot be named, said: "We parade every day
and we are made to sing the national anthem.

"After that we are taken to lecture rooms where we are taught lessons
on public order management and the history of Zimbabwe. This is the most
boring exercise as we are subjected to long hours of brainwashing and
threatened with dismissal if we are found to be sympathising with the MDC."

The police and the army are the backbone of Mugabe's 26-year rule
ruthlessly suppressing dissension and protests by the MDC and civic groups.

But Tsvangirai, speaking at a congress of his party two weeks, ago
warned Mugabe that his rule was coming to an end, vowing to mobilise
Zimbabweans in a popular revolt against the government.

Political analysts say although Zimbabweans have largely been cowed by
Mugabe's tactics of routinely deploying riot police and the military to
crush street protests, a crumbling economy has fanned public frustration
with the government.

Zimbabwe is battling a six-year recession dramatised by acute
shortages of foreign currency, fuel and food while the rate of joblessness
is around 80 percent and the world's highest inflation rate of 782 percent,
scaled in February. - ZimOnline


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Zimbabwe runs out of TB drugs

Zim Online

Thu 30 March 2006

HARARE - Cases of tuberculosis (TB) are on the increase in Zimbabwe as
the country battles a severe foreign currency shortage to buy drugs to cure
the disease, a senior health official told ZimOnline on Wednesday.

The official who refused to be named because he is not authorised to
speak to the Press said most of the country's provinces have run out of
drugs used in the treatment of the disease.

"The country has run out ethambutal, one of the four drugs used in
the treatment of TB. So, most patients are currently taking incomplete
treatment," said the official.

Zimbabwe uses the "combination therapy" where at least four drugs are
administered to patients at once. The other three drugs - eyesonizid,
rifamtitn and pyrazinamide - are also in short supply in the country due to
the foreign currency shortages.

Contacted for comment, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare permanent
secretary Edward Mabhiza denied TB treatment drugs were in short supply,
saying while some districts could have run out of drugs, the situation at
national level was under control.

According to the Zimbabwe Millennium Development Goals 2004 progress
report, the incidence of TB increased from 121 cases per 100 000 people in
1991 to 399 cases per 100 000 in 2000.

The report also estimates that TB cases went up by about five fold in
the last 15 years, from 9 132 cases in 1990 to 30 831 cases in 1995 and 51
918 cases in 2000.

Worsening poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic are said to have
contributed to the resurgence of TB which thrives on weak immune systems. At
least one in every four Zimbabweans is also said to be infected with HIV
which causes AIDS.

A six-year old economic crisis - that began when the International
Monetary Fund pulled out in 1999 and worsened after President Robert Mugabe
destablised the mainstay agricultural sector with his farm seizure
programme - has only helped compound the health crisis with essential
medical drugs in critical short supply because there is no hard cash to pay
foreign suppliers.

Food, fuel, electricity and nearly every basic survival commodity is
in short supply also because there is no foreign currency to pay for
imports. - ZimOnline.


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Mugabe's bodyguard declared national hero

Zim Online

Thu 30 March 2006

HARARE - The ruling ZANU PF party's politburo on Wednesday declared
President Robert Mugabe's personal bodyguard Winston Changara a national
hero.

Changara died on Monday at Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare after a
short illness.

A government minister Chen Chimutengwende said Changara, had been
declared a national hero in honour of his illustrious record in protecting
Mugabe and other senior ZANU PF leaders during Zimbabwe's 1970s war of
liberation and after.

"He (Changara) was accorded national hero status because of the
unselfish role that he played during the liberation struggle and after the
war," said Chimutengwende.

Changara will be buried at the National Heroes Acre shrine in Harare
on Friday.

But sources within the police say Changara died a bitter man after he
was demoted from his post last October after he was accused of indecently
assaulting Mugabe's wife, Grace.

Changara rejected the charge insisting he was being victimised by
Mugabe's wife for exposing her extra-marital affairs. He was reinstated to
his position two months ago after a committee probing him found him not
guilty. - ZimOnline


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Zifa accounts in shambles

Zim Online

Thu 30 March 2006

HARARE - A scheduled hand-over take-over ceremony at Zifa House in
Harare turned out into a farce as the old regime at the soccer governing
body failed to present audited accounts for the past year, ZimOnline has
gathered.

Wellington Nyatanga was last weekend elected the new Zifa chairman to
replace Rafiq Khan.

But three days into office, the reality of the enormous task before
him struck Nyatanga straight into the face after the ousted team failed to
present the audited books to allow a smooth hand-over of power.

A board member who was elected into office last weekend told ZimOnline
last night that no proper books of accounts were presented at the meeting.

"It will be difficult for us to start work because the financial
situation at Zifa is not clear. The old board has failed to produce audited
accounts.

"Now we don't know who is owed money by Zifa and who owes us money.
But the chief executive officer and the accounts people have been ordered to
work round the clock to produce the financial records.

"The previous board member who was in charge of finance (Cuthbert
Dube) has also been requested to help so that the financial position is
clear before we start afresh. We would want to inherit debts we know about
to avoid a situation where problems might surface later.

"The new board member for finance (Gladmore Muzambi) is also busy
trying to rectify the situation so that everything is perfect. Maybe the old
board was too busy with the African Cup of Nations finals that they forgot
to put their financial records together," said the top board member.

The new board replaces that of jailed former chairman, Khan who had
been at the helm for the past three years. Zifa's finances have always been
a thorny issue and it remains to be seen how Nyatanga's board will handle
the situation. - ZimOnline


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Zimbabwe Cricket appoints local audit firm to probe accounts

Zim Online

Thu 30 March 2006

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed a local audit firm to probe
its accounts in response to calls by disgruntled stakeholders who have
raised serious allegations of corruption and financial embezzlement by the
board's top brass.

The forensic audit will be undertaken by Ruzengwe and Partners, a
Harare-based firm that critics doubt has the capacity to placate the
disgruntled stakeholders who had hoped a reputable international company
would be appointed to do the job.

The critics fear Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka and managing
director Ozias Bvute might set parameters within which the audit firm will
operate.

There were calls for Chingoka and Bvute, who are at the centre of the
allegations, to step down to allow for an independent audit.

But instead the Sports and Recreation Commission purged all board
members who were anti-Chingoka and asked the veteran administrator to
appoint a firm to all but probe himself.

However, Chingoka has confidence in the capability of the audit firm
to produce acceptable results.

"Ruzengwe and Partners is an independent, internationally recognised
auditing firm accredited to the list of auditors of institutions recognised
by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe," Chingoka said.

"It is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Zimbabwe. Their report will be there for all to see."

Disgruntled stakeholders last September called for a forensic audit
into the Zimbabwe Cricket finances after the country recorded a shocking $2
billion loss in the 2004-2005 season when it had realised a profit of $12
billion the previous season.

Provincial chairmen compiled a dossier that questioned the splashing
of billions of dollars on cars, buses and an outside broadcasting van among
other things. The dossier also suggested dubious awarding of tenders as well
as underhand deals at the cricket association.

The dispute led to the arrest of Chingoka and Bvute over their foreign
currency dealings following a probe by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
instigated by the dossier.

Chingoka is battling to hang on to his position after a number of key
players resigned during the dispute to leave Zimbabwe with no option but to
give up their Test status as they could not field a team in the longer
version of the game. - ZimOnline


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The Grey Zone



From a subscriber

"The Grey Zone" is a dark, but powerful film(now being re-run on DSTV's
movie channels)), which takes a harrowing look at the choice made by Jews,
who collaborated with Nazis in the camps to secure their own
survival.....quite literally a life or death choice. They couldn't save the
people already scheduled to die, so the question was whether they should die
with them, or bargain with conscience & destiny for their own survival. In a
nightmare world in which the rules of morality, justice and law (except the
laws of the persecutors !) no longer applied, people were forced into a
'grey zone' of survival vs principle. The grim, unflinching reality is
overwhelming & too close(for comfort) to much of what is happening in the
surreal & bizarre world that is Zimbabwe today! Some of the parallels are
painful....one can't help but wonder just how many are presently living in
the 'grey zone', in order to give themselves an advantage, in an
existence(it can't be called 'a life' anymore!!) that has spun totally out
of control. No one knows what new horror or nightmare the next day will
bring, to add to the existing litany of grim & insoluble daily traumas!

Since zanu-pf transformed from a pseudo democracy to an unapologetic &
murderous tyranny, life for the average citizen has become increasingly
unbearable. Human rights are non existent. Terror reigns supreme.The
unmitigated madness continues without sign of an end. The mood of
hopelessness & frustration is pervasive. No wonder people are tempted in
these dire conditions to make unpalatable choices they would never have
contemplated in normal circumstances....they compromise, acquiesce, & do
deals with the devil......and all this inevitably prolongs the nightmare, &
perpetuates the maelstrom.

There are, of course, degrees of 'grey zone'.....from those who simply look
the other way, avert their eyes, and keep a low profile( but those who are
not against the evil, are guilty of condoning it!!) to those who do whatever
it takes to cut a deal & stay in the comfort zone. On the extreme end of the
spectrum are those treacherous individuals who have leapt into the fray with
demonic glee, driven by sheer power lust , greed, sadism & criminality.
They have played the past six years for everything they could wrench from
it!

Mugabe's deliberate, relentless, & efficient destruction of a once lovely
country is so diabolical & obscene that it is beyond the understanding of
'normal ' people. It is this that has pushed people to aberrant
behaviour...not that that excuses it. The far reaching effects have impacted
every single Zimbabwean's life....many lives have been lost, & not a few
have been shattered beyond repair. At the very least most will take years to
recover. NONE OF US WILL FORGET. Whether we forgive or not will be
something each individual will have to deal with personally, according to
his own convictions.

The soulless creatures guilty of Zimbabwe's descent into fully fledged
basket case...... every last one of them....from the drugged rent-a-thugs,
paid & trained to maim & kill, right up to the tyrant (& his henchmen) in
statehouse, who has directed this sordid dark tragedy.....& all the
unscrupulous "businessmen" in-between, only interested in making a fast
buck,( nomatter what the consequences to others)...........ALL OF THEM,
every torturer, rapist, murderer & thief...will sooner or later have to face
their demons!!! The Creator will ensure a berth booked in hell for them,
of that we can be sure! Without any doubt Mbeki can be added to this
group....posturing behind the lie of 'quiet diplomacy'!! If the man was a
true statesman, with the whole region's interest at heart, he would NOT be
supporting & promoting the most vicious regime in Africa's history!!! His
hidden agenda has conveniently blinded him to the extent of the enormous
humanitarian disaster spinning out of control under his very
nose.............for that he too will be held accountable!

And what of those skulking in the 'grey zone'? Will their temporary
reprieves, and the transient advantages they have bought by trading their
souls, & by turning their backs on decency, bring them peace of mind in a
new Zimbabwe? Alas, their lost integrity in non-returnable. .....gone
forever in the winds of change. Will they survive the nightmares that will
come to torment them for their sins?

BUT....for every sad & despicable case who has sold this nation out, or
contributed in any way to the present catastrophe, there are many more
thousands of fine upstanding people out there....principled, courageous men
& women, some of whom have endured the unimaginable, & have lived to fight
another day. They have not and NEVER will concede, in this struggle for
change!! Knowing some of them has been an incredible honour! It will be
those fine Zimbabweans who will build our new free & truly liberated
country.

Colleen Henderson.


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MP demands fraudster deportation

BBC
Sungaradazzo Mudgyiwa (from Whitstable Times)
Sungaradazzo Mudgyiwa stole the identity of a woman from Wales
An MP is calling for a fraudster who stole more than 100,000 in benefits to be deported.

Sungaradazzo Mudgyiwa, from Zimbabwe, is back in the council house in Whitstable, Kent, where she was living before her conviction in 2004.

Local MP Julian Brazier said he backed the trial judge who said Mudgyiwa, who has served a year in jail, should be deported on her release.

The Home Office said people were not currently being returned to Zimbabwe.

Mr Brazier, Conservative MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, said: "A court has recommended she should be deported and it is time the Home Office did it.

'Common criminal'

"With asylum cases, where there is a threat to someone from the brutal regime in Zimbabwe, then deportations are very difficult.

"But this woman is a common criminal who worked a huge benefits scam. The sooner she goes back to Zimbabwe the better."

Mudgyiwa falsely claimed benefits including income support, council tax and child benefit by assuming the identity of a mother-of-two from Wales.

She obtained and slightly altered the birth certificate of Kim Daniels.

Kim Daniels
Kim Daniels was unaware her identity was being used in the scam

Mudgyiwa called herself Sheena Kim Daniels, a name she is still using.

"It is unbelievable that somebody can just receive a copy of your birth certificate and take over your life," said the real Kim Daniels.

"I was unaware of what was going on until a council officer came to my home and told me I was claiming benefits up in London."

Mudgyiwa was sentenced to four-and-a-half years at Canterbury Crown Court, of which she served a year before returning to Whitstable.

She has refused to comment.

The Home Office said in a statement that it was working to resolve concerns about Zimbabwe identified by the asylum and immigrations tribunal.


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New rights body should be independent, say activists



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

JOHANNESBURG, 29 Mar 2006 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean activists have reacted with
caution to the government's proposal to set up a human rights body.

The official Herald newspaper reported that the cabinet had approved a
proposal to amend the constitution, allowing the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission to be established.

It would have a mandate to receive, investigate and redress complaints
relating to human rights. "It would also have the responsibility to promote
and protect human rights as the country continues with its quest to create a
culture of human rights observance," said the newspaper.

"It is absolutely important that any such commission is independent,
transparent, and any determination made by the body must be honoured," said
Eileen Sawyer, director of the Human Rights Forum (HRF), a coalition of 17
Zimbabwean NGOs.

Zimbabwe has constantly been criticised for alleged human rights violations,
more recently after Operation Murambatsvina, which the government said was
aimed at clearing slums and flushing out criminals, left more than 700,000
people homeless or without a livelihood in the winter of 2005.

Earlier this year, the African Union's African Commission on Human and
Peoples' Rights criticised the clean-up operation and expressed concern over
the "continuing deterioration of the human rights situation" in Zimbabwe.

The UN Country Team in Zimbabwe commended the government's initiative to set
up the commission, saying in a statement that it would enhance human rights
in the country and, "equally, we believe that it is a factor that will
assist in Zimbabwe's compliance with its regional and international human
rights obligations".

The team urged the government to set up the commission through a "process of
consultation with all the relevant stakeholders".

John Makumbe, a senior political science lecturer at the University of
Zimbabwe, was dismissive of the government's initiative, calling it "window
dressing to appease the authorities' critics and legitimise its actions".


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Zim out of birth control pills

News24

29/03/2006 14:04 - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe, grappling with chronic foreign currency shortages with
have hit imports of fuel and electricity, has now run out of contraceptive
pills used by the majority of women.

"Birth control pills are in short supply with most pharmacies in and out of
Harare having run out of stock," the state-owned Herald newspaper said on
Wednesday.

"I am not even sure when the next supplies will be coming because my
suppliers are saying they are experiencing some difficulties in procuring
oral contraceptives," one pharmacist told the paper.

Health officials were not immediately available for comment.

Most Zimbabwean women, grappling with an economic crisis shown in soaring
consumer prices and static salaries, rely on short-term oral pills which
cost about Z$20,000 ($0.20) a month. Longer-term contraception requires up
to Z$4m.

The southern African country has suffered acute foreign currency shortages
since 1999 due to poor export receipts, a problem compounded by the
withdrawal of key foreign donor support mainly over policy differences with
President Robert Mugabe's government.

Mugabe denies critics' charges that he has mismanaged a once-promising
economy since assuming power at independence from Britain in 1980, and says
local and foreign opponents of his programme of forcibly redistributing
white-owned farms to blacks have sabotaged the economy.


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Journalists threaten to go on industrial action



March 29, 2006

By Tagu Mkwenyani

Harare (AND) JOURNALISTS from the state owned news agency, New Ziana
have threatened to go on industrial action as a result poor salaries. They
are among the worst paid journalists in Zimbabwe, taking home as little as
Z$2 million a month.

In an notice to their management, copied to the ministry of
Information and Publicity, the journalists could not wait any longer for
their plight to be addressed. "We as New Ziana workers we have been patient
enough for the whole of 2005, working under harsh conditions but management
never considered our difficult situation. Our last hope is to go on
industrial action." said the journalists.

They listed their grievances as "our 70 percent backdated to January
2005 has not been paid and 2000 salary increment has not been effected...
Salary delays since September 2005 are not being communicated to staff." New
Ziana, a brainchild of the former minister of Information Jonathan Moyo, has
been experiencing serious cash flow problems since 2001 when a process to
unbundled community newspapers started.

The papers which, had always concentrated on community news, were
turned into political publications, which articulated government position on
controversial land reform exercise. They also openly campaigned for the
ruling Zanu PF in the 2000, 2002 and 2005 elections, resulting in sales
slumping and advertisers shunning them.


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Growing calls for Zimbabwe to abandon 18th amendment



March 29, 2006

By Tagu Mkwenyani

Harare (AND) THERE are growing calls for the Zimbabwe government to
abandon plans to amend the constitution in order to make a provision for the
establishment of a human rights commission. Such an arrangement would be a
record 18th amendment in just 26 years.

The move comes at a time when civic society organisations are stepping
a campaign to force the government to come with a new homegrown
constitution. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the
government's moves are 'suspect and deceitful'. "The exercise is meant to
cover up continued human rights violations against innocent citizens notably
political opponents.

The Zanu PF government has no human rights culture and hence the
shameful attempt to set up a Commission without consulting other
stakeholders," said Morgan Changamire, the deputy spokesperson of a faction
within the opposition MDC. Changamire said to show its commitment to
establishing a proper and effective human rights council, the government
should first investigate all pending human rights violations with a view to
prosecute offenders. Notably among these, Changamire said, was an unresolved
case in which a Central Intelligence Organisations operative Joseph Mwale is
alleged to have killed an MDC activist Tichaona Chiminya in the 2000 general
elections.

He added it was important for government to officially recognize and
interact with existing human rights bodies like ZimRights and others. He
said government should "consult all stakeholders and agree on the mandate
and composition of the proposed Human Rights Body, (and) acknowledge and
commit itself to work with Regional, Continental and International bodies
without the usual denials and vacillation."

Zimbabwe (AND)


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Police swoop on airport officials after huge heist

Mail and Guardian

Johannesburg, South Africa

29 March 2006 11:12

Three Airports Company South Africa officials have been
arrested in connection with the multimillion-dollar heist at the
Johannesburg Internationl airport over the weekend, police said on
Wednesday. The two men and a woman are among five people taken into custody
for the robbery so far.

Two foreign nationals were arrested at South Africa's Beit
Bridge border post with Zimbabwe two-hours after the robbery on Saturday,
said Superintendent Vish Naidoo. All five were expected to appear in the
Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning.

While gunmen held up guards at the airport gates on
Saturday, others armed with AK-47 rifles held up guards and police at a
South African Airways aircraft and helped themselves to bags of currency
flown in from Britain.

No shots were fired and no-one was injured.

Naidoo said detectives had recovered an undisclosed amount
of money, two rifles, a pistol, a bolt-cutter, magazines and ammunition.

More arrests could follow, he said. Naidoo said earlier it
was not known how the men gained access to the airport.

He could not confirm reports that $16,5-million was taken
in the heist. - Sapa

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