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Zim govt official arrested for diamond smuggling

Mail and Guardian


      Harare, Zimbabwe

      03 March 2007 08:28

            A senior director in the Zimbabwe government has been arrested
at Harare International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle diamonds,
reports said on Saturday. William Nhara, who is also spokesperson for the
ruling party for the Harare province, is still in police custody.

            "We confirm that he [Nhara] was arrested on Thursday at Harare
International Airport in connection with the illegal possession of
diamonds," police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena told the state run Herald.

            "He is also alleged to have attempted to bribe a police officer
when he was arrested."
            The value of the diamonds was not disclosed.

            Nhara attempted to bribe the police officer with $700, the
report said.

            The daily also quoted unnamed police sources as saying Nhara was
detained at the airport where he had escorted a Lebanese woman who is
believed to have been travelling to South Africa with the precious stones.

            According to central bank governor, Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe is
losing $40 to $50-million every week through the smuggling of precious

            Recently, a Harare magistrate was nabbed together with seven
other people in the western town of Mhangura where they were allegedly
panning for gold.

            Gold deliveries in 2006 was 10,96 tonnes, down from 13,45
tonnes, owing to a combination of factors including, lack of equipment,
reduced exploration and illegal trading and smuggling.

            In January, authorities vowed to press on with a crackdown on
illegal gold and diamond miners that has seen the arrest of nearly 31 509
people since November and left miner one dead.

            Police have recovered 3,6kg of gold and 7 868 diamonds since the
blitz was launched in November. - Sapa-AFP

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Terror in Marange

Zim Standard

  By Caiphas Chimhete

      TATE security agents guarding diamond fields in Manicaland have
unleashed a reign of terror, shooting and assaulting villagers arrested for
illegal mining in the area, The Standard was told in Marange last week.

      Their actions, so far unreported, have prompted village heads and
businesspeople to call for an independent inquiry into what they allege are
human rights abuses on a daily basis.

      Police, some on horseback, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
agents, and youth militia have flooded the area, declaring the mining fields
of Chiadzwa"no-go areas".

      Only local people are allowed to go beyond Bambazonge Business Centre,
about 20km from Chiadzwa on the Mutare road.

      But even then, they still have to produce identity cards or explain to
the Operation Chikorokoza Chapera officers what they seek in the area.

      When The Standard arrived at the centre on Wednesday, it heard
grotesque tales of human rights abuses by the state security agents.

      The villagers said at least three people have been shot in Marange
while several others have been severely assaulted.

      Although The Standard news crew was prevented from entering Chiadzwa,
it tracked down some of the people allegedly brutalised by the security

      Twenty-three-year-old Modern Chibururu of Marange said he was shot in
the left knee.

      Chibururu said he was lucky to have survived. "They were spraying
bullets as if they were in a war zone but only one hit me in the knee. I
think God intervened."

      It was on 28 January around midnight, he said, when the police
surrounded the field and threw a "search light" into the air, sending over
30 illegal miners scurrying for cover.

      "We started to run in different directions and they were firing and
ordering us to stop. After a few metres, I felt a sharp pain in the knee and
fell down, bleeding," said Chibururu.

      When he fell down, he said, the police assaulted him severely and
forced him to limp on one leg for one and half kilometers to their camp,
with blood dripping from his injured knee.

      "They are very cruel. Although I was in pain, I saw some miners being
assaulted; they were wailing like toddlers," he said.

      Chibururu was taken to Marange Clinic and later transferred to Mutare
general hospital.

      A medical report from the clinic confirms he was shot and shrapnel
from the bullet is still lodged in his knee since he has failed to raise
money for the operation.

      Chibururu's sickly mother, 57-year-old Edith, says she has nothing to
her name except a few chickens, and is devastated.

      "I expected him to look after me and these other kids but now he is
crippled," she said.

      Edith said she had to sell her six chickens and two guinea fowls to
raise money for her son's medication.

      She only managed to pay $18 000 for X-ray and $30 000 for pain

      Another victim of the bloody diamonds, William Mwaziyangeyi (26) of
Nemaramba in Chimanimani could barely walk. He thought he would not be able
to walk again after being assaulted by the police.

      "Some people fainted as they assaulted us. As they beat us, they
forced us to sing Gushungo haana mhosva, (Gushungo (Mugabe's totem) is not
to blame)," he said.

      The song composed, by Hosia Chipanga, exonerates President Robert
Mugabe from Zimbabwe's current economic problems

      After the assault, Matsvina said he was taken in by sympathetic
villagers who offered him sanctuary until he recovered four days later and
managed to limp home, over 30 km away.

      But village heads and businesspeople in the area are not happy and are
calling for an investigation.

      A local businessman, who refused to be named, said: "What is happening
here needs investigation because I don't think senior government officials
approve of this."

      To avoid the beatings, a number of the illegal diamond miners now buy
their way into the diamond fields. One miner, who requested anonymity, said
they pay the security agents $10 000 to enter the protected areas.

      But when they have finished they share the spoils with the officers.

      "Every person surrenders half of what they would have managed to get,
so they can be allowed in again next time. Mai Mujuru vachasvika rave zuru
(Mrs Mujuru will find her mine claim empty)."

      For easy identification, the mining fields are known locally as KwaMai
Mujuru, KuMbare and KuMabhohera.

      Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said he had not received any
report of abuses in Marange.

      "But there is an operation against illegal miners. Talk to Inspector
Banda, he is in charge of the operation."

      Banda could not be reached for comment.

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Zanu PF purges anti-Mugabe provinces

Zim Standard

  By Kholwani Nyathi

      BULAWAYO - Zanu PF has started purging provincial leaders opposed to
President Robert Mugabe's plans to remain in office until 2010, ahead of a
crucial central committee meeting later this month, party officials toldThe
Standard yesterday.

      The central committee meeting will consider a controversial resolution
on the election harmonisation, seen as Mugabe's ploy to remain in office.
Mugabe's term expires next year.

      The resolution failed to garner unanimous support from all provinces
when first tabled at the party's conference in Goromonzi last year.

      The party then took the unusual step to defer its adoption, mandating
Zanu PF structures to discuss resolutions before they are considered by the
central committee later this month.

      But sources said a number of provinces have joined Mashonaland East
and Harare provinces in opposing the 2010 harmonisation resolution.

      In a desperate bid to whip the provinces into line before the central
committee meeting, the Zanu PF commissariat led by Elliot Manyika last week
began dissolving provinces opposed to Mugabe's "manoeuvres".

      Bulawayo province, after discussing the election harmonisation, is
said to have taken "a stand against Mugabe".

      It turns out the province endorsed the controversial proposal ahead of
the Goromonzi conference but changed its stance after "appreciating what it

      Last week Manyika wrote to the Bulawayo provincial leadership telling
them to prepare for fresh elections in the next two weeks.

      He did not give any reasons for "dissolving the executive". The letter
seen by The Standard is dated 21 February 2007 and copied to Zanu PF
chairman, John Nkomo and the secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa. It
instructed the executive to prepare for elections on 11 March.

      Provincial chairman Mcloud Chawe was given the letter by a messenger
soon after a Zanu PF meeting early last week.

      "Our stance on the ZINWA take-over could have angered the leadership
but the bigger picture is that we were contemplating changing our position
on the harmonisation of elections," said a party official who requested

      On Friday, Zanu PF provincial spokesman, Effort Nkomo, confirmed they
had been told to prepare for elections in the next two weeks.

      But he hinted that his executive would not give up without a fight.

      "We had an emergency meeting yesterday (Thursday) after we received
the letter from Manyika and we resolved to write back to him and ask for
reasons why the province is being dissolved," Nkomo said.

      "The meeting resolved to seek clarification from Manyika because he is
the one who on 29 May 2005 told us that we had become a substantive
executive until 2009 when elections in the other provinces are due."

      Nkomo said they were taken aback by the letter because "as far as we
are concerned we are the only executive in Bulawayo in recent history that
has posted positive results by winning by-elections and also had an MDC
councillor, Stars Mathe, defecting to us."

      But Nkomo did not want to speculate on whether they were being
punished for taking a stand against Mugabe. "That cannot be the issue
because we are entitled to our views as a leadership."

      Mutasa said he could not comment on the issue "because I am not the
one who wrote the letter".

      However, repeated efforts to raise Manyika on his mobile phone were
unsuccessful while John Nkomo was said to be in South Africa.

      Between 2004 and 2005, Zanu PF had no substantive provincial
leadership in Bulawayo after its chairman, Themba Ncube, was expelled from
the party after he allegedly took part in the infamous Tsholotsho

      Last week Mugabe revealed in a ZBC interview that he feared that the
proposal to harmonise elections had sparked fierce opposition because some
people wrongly thought that he wanted to prolong his term.

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I'm still in charge,says Makwavarara

Zim Standard


      SEKESAI Makwavarara, the chairperson of the illegal commission running
Harare yesterday said she would defy the High Court order declaring her
commission illegal and serve out her fourth term at Town House.

      A day after Justice Lawrence Kamocha ruled her commission "unlawful,
null, void and of no force and effect", a defiant Makwavarara said only
Ignatious Chombo would remove her.

      Chombo is the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban

      Makwavarara said: "We are working. Can we be stopped by these silly

      Asked if she was not defying a court order, Makwavarara quipped: "Only
the Minister (of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development) can
stop me from working."

      Makwavarara, who has enjoyed Chombo's protection despite a groundswell
of opposition from disgruntled residents, said she was not in Harare when
the judgement was passed on Friday but would chair a commission meeting

      "We have an urgent meeting of the commission on Monday - phone me
afterwards," she said.

      Chombo could not be reached for comment yesterday but Sternford Moyo,
who represented Nomutsa Chideya, warned commission members who decided to
administer the city without lawful authority risked being sued by residents
in their individual capacities.

      Moyo said: "Individuals who continue to stubbornly mismanage the
affairs of the city, knowing at law they have no lawful authority, expose
themselves to serious litigation from residents. The decisions they make
open themselves individually for damages, expose the city to the possibility
of not being able to function legally. Their decisions or resolutions are
open to challenge on the grounds that they are illegal."

      Commenting on the likelihood of an appeal by the commission against
the judgement which sanctioned Chideya's resumption of his job at the Town
House, Moyo said the commission was illegal; hence it had no power or
authority to do such a thing.

      "Before they do that, they should consider whether they have the
authority to do so. An illegal body cannot go to court. For a city such as
Harare, the capital city of a state, to be controlled by an illegal organ is
highly scandalous. In fact, it is the height of lawlessness," said Moyo.
"They are going to court to protect their positions. It's an abuse of
council funds and the appeal process."

      The Standard understands that buoyed by the judgement, Chideya on
Friday reported at his office briefly and told the Chamber Secretary
Josephine Ncube that he had taken the afternoon off. He said he would come
to work on Monday. This is said to have caused panic at Town House.

      Yesterday, Chideya said: "Justice has prevailed. I would like to thank
the Almighty, pastors and prayer groups for their support. I am sure with
their support we will prevail under the circumstances."

      Precious Shumba, the spokesperson of the Combined Harare Residents'
Association, welcomed the ruling but expressed concern over Chombo's failure
to obey court decisions in the past.

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CIO break up anti-ZINWA protest

Zim Standard


      BULAWAYO - Dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents on
Friday confiscated anti-Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) placards
before hounding civil society activists protesting the proposed take-over of
the management of Bulawayo water by the government parastatal.

      This happened at a meeting addressed by Munacho Mutezo, the Minister
of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development.

      Mutezo was about to address the Bulawayo Press Club but the function
was hijacked by Zanu PF activists and CIO agents. The meeting was moved from
the Press Club at Palace Hotel to Rainbow Hotel where the ruling party was
in charge.

      Civil society activists who have criticised the proposed take-over of
the city's water were ejected from the meeting by menacing security agents
and Zanu PF activists for allegedly interjecting during Mutezo's speech.

      Among those forced out of the meeting were Busani Ncube of Bulawayo
Agenda, Mbuso Fuzwayo and Qhubekani Dube both of Ibhetshu Likazulu who
recently organised a "Gukurahundi memorial".

      Ncube, Dube and Fuzwayo also claimed that the State security agents
wanted to arrest them for leading calls for resistance to the take-over of
the city's water management.

      The posters confiscated by the state security agents sought to rally
Bulawayo residents against the take-over of the city's water management.

      Some of them read: "No to ZINWA" and "ZINWA water causes death".

      Last week the colourful posters were pasted in strategic areas across
the city.

      In his address, Mutezo was at pains to defend the ZINWA take-over of
the management of water and sewer reticulation from local authorities,
saying the government had realised the councils were failing to upgrade the

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Residents reject Harare commission plan

Zim Standard


      HARARE residents have reacted with revulsion to plans by the illegal
Commission running the affairs of the capital to force residents to install
security lights at the gates to their properties in medium and low-density

      The residents said the commission which has failed to install street
lights, collect refuse and to cut the tall grass in Harare was abandoning
its responsibilities.

      The Harare Commission which is made up mainly of Zanu PF officials is
chaired by political turn coat, Sekesai Makwavarara. The High Court ruled on
Friday that her commission was illegal.

      However, it has already approved the proposed new by-laws which will
force residents to install security lights at their gates.

      In high-density suburbs, general lighting is provided through tower
lights while street lights have been used to light up medium and low-density

      The draft by-laws read: "Every occupier shall, at his own expense,
provide, erect and maintain front perimeter security lighting on his
property. Every property shall be illuminated by a minimum of two perimeter
security lamps at each side of the gateway to the premises."

      Property owners who fail to install security lights will be fined by
the Harare municipality.

      Precious Shumba, the spokesperson for the Combined Harare Residents'
Association, said in an interview with The Standard: "Since the proposals
cannot be effected now, we urge all residents to lodge their objections with
the Municipality. The illegal commission has realised that it has no money
to fund its operations and that is why it now wants to cede its
responsibilities of providing street lighting to already over-burdened

      Jimmy Tembo, who owns a house in the medium-density suburb of Westlea,
was livid with the decision taken by the unelected Zanu PF commission

      "The failures that we have witnessed in Harare are a reflection of the
rot and inability of the central government to do anything about the
collapse of service delivery in all sectors of the Zimbabwean society."

      Tembo added: "The reason why we have commissioners who make
anti-people decisions is because they were appointed by Zanu PF and Local
Government minister, Ignatious Chombo. Commissioners are therefore
answerable to Zanu PF and not the people of Harare."

      Duncan Kasirori who built his house in Westgate low-density suburb
said he was equally appalled by the Harare Commission's decision.

      "Right now we do not have any street lights, making some sections of
our neighbourhood very dangerous for home owners and their families. If the
Zanu PF commissioners feel the areas have not become safe, then they should
assume their responsibilities and provide adequate street lighting in the
affected areas. As responsible property owners, we would naturally put in
place adequate security measures to protect our families and properties,"
Kasirori added.

      Another home owner in Tynwald said based on the proposed by-laws; it
was evident that the government appointed commissioners had not done any
research on the issue.

      The resident, an expert on providing home security, said the street
lighting was the most effective form of ensuring crime free neighborhoods.

      "Where street lighting is adequate, we have very effective security
measures that can be employed. One of these is to keep the house in the dark
and install what are known as motion sensors which would flood the area with
light as soon as any movement of burglars or intruders is detected. The
advantage with such devices is that they save electricity unlike flooding
the property with lights for the entire night."

      However, Harare Municipality Public Relations manager, Percy Toriro,
allayed the residents' fears.

      "The issue has not been concluded. After this, the next stage is for
the proposals to be discussed where residents will be consulted and they
will have an opportunity to indicate their willingness or non-willingness."

      On fears that the commission could ignore the residents' views and go
ahead and implement the proposals, Toriro said: "The normal procedure is
that residents' concerns are taken into account."

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'Sterile Bob' not Mugabe, rules court

Zim Standard

  By Godfrey Mutimba

      MASVINGO - Two men from Chivi, facing charges of undermining and
insulting President Robert Mugabe by implication in a song "Bob is sterile",
were freed after a Masvingo magistrate found insufficient evidence on which
to convict them.

      Gibson Murinye (36), and Collen Mwachikopa walked out of the Masvingo
Magistrates' Court free men after magistrate, Daisy Mugobo declared there
was not enough evidence to show they had insulted Mugabe.

      Mugobo said such cases had been on the rise in Masvingo but police
were failing to produce sufficient evidence to lead to convictions.

      "Police should find sufficient evidence in such cases before they
bring the accused here," said Mugobo.

      Outlining his defence, Tongai Matutu of Matutu Kwirira & Associates,
for the defendants, said merely mentioning the name "Mugabe" or "Bob"
without specifying the first name of a person should not be considered an
insult against the President.

      "The two did not specify which Bob or Mugabe they were referring to in
this matter. There are several Bobs and Mugabes; how does the State witness
know whether they were referring to Leo, Sabina or Chief Mugabe? Are they
saying all matters of infertility or of reproductive health are related to
Mugabe?" said Matutu.

      The lawyer then turned the tables when he said it was the police
themselves who were making serious allegations that the President was

      Mugobo acquitted the two and urged the police officers who arrest
suspects in such cases to bring enough evidence to the courts.

      According to the State case, on 15 November last year, the two men
were allegedly driving and drinking at Chivi growth point when they met a
female friend who asked to be taken to her home.

      It was on their way to her place that they broke into a song, which
the State alleged insulted the president.

      They were stopped by a police officer who claimed he heard them
singing "Bob hauna vana tora vana vaPamire udzorere kumhuri yavo, Mugabe
chibva pachigaro chero ukauya wakabata pfuti hatikendenge.(Bob you have no
children, take Pamire's children and return them to their family. Mugabe
leave the presidency; even if you come for us with guns, we don't care)."

      Titus Taruvinga prosecuted.

      Cases of citizens being dragged to court for insulting the president
are on the rise in the country.

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'Unproductive' new farmers booted out

Zim Standard

  By Kholwani Nyathi

      BULAWAYO - The government is quietly evicting "unproductive"
newly-resettled farmers in Matabeleland South to make way for former white
commercial farmers in yet another bizarre twist to the chaotic land reform
programme unleashed in 2000.

      Last week, it emerged that in a case to be heard in the High Court in
Bulawayo, two new farmers evicted from the prime farming area of Esigodini
are seeking an urgent order declaring their evictions unlawful.

      Edward Mangena and Malaki Mpofu say Matabeleland South governor,
Angeline Masuku, ordered their eviction from Plot Number 2 of Lot 32 and 33
Essexvale Farms after she accused them of underutilising the properties.

      Ninno Flamino, a commercial farmer who runs Wilsgrove Farms, in the
same area, took over the two plots. But Mangena and Mpofu in their
application argue that they were evicted without a lawful court order and
want to be reinstated.

      The first respondent is Flamino while Midard Khumalo, the Umzingwane
district administrator, is the second, and the officer-in-charge of
Esigodini police station, an Inspector Ndlovu is the third.

      Other respondents are Governor Masuku, National Security, Lands, Land
Reform and Resettlement minister, Didymus Mutasa and Kembo Mohadi, the
Minister of Home Affairs.

      Mpofu and Mangena want the respondents interdicted from interfering
with the occupation, use and possession of their plots. They want Flamino
and Khumalo to pay the costs of the suit.

      In their founding affidavits, the two say they were allocated the land
in 2001 under the fast-track land resettlement programme by Khumalo.

      Stella Mary Coulson was the previous owner of the farm.

      Their problems started in 2003 when Masuku visited the farms during
the rainy season and accused them of underperforming. She ordered them to
hand the properties to Catherine Stone of High Acres and Flamino.

      Through their lawyer, Sindiso Mazibisa of Cheda & Partners, Mangena
and Mpofu argue the governor's order was illegal. They allege that following
the order Flamino destroyed their crops and caused their arrest after which
they spent 10 days in custody in Esigodini.

      They were acquitted by a magistrate.

      "In 2004 we applied for loans through Agribank, which were granted in
varying amounts. The Governor once again froze our accounts and had us
denied the loans in a bid to have us forcibly evicted from the farms to pave
way for Mr Flamino," they allege.

      In July 2005, Flamino allegedly came to their plots, cut the locks,
took away engines, disconnected water and went to ZESA offices to disconnect
their electricity supplies and converted the account into his own.

      The two farmers approached Mutasa to intervene in the dispute and the
minister reportedly assured them they were protected by law from any

      But they have since been dumped at South Lean Farm, also in Esigodini
where they have no offer letters from the government.

      Mangena and Mpofu argue they cannot engage in farming at their new
plots because there are no proper "facilities to engage in agriculture".

      At the time of going to Press the respondents had not filed opposing

      The government last week expressed increasing frustration at new
farmers allocated land in a haphazard manner who are failing to perform.

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Minister says no maize for MDC

Zim Standard

  By Nqobani Ndlovu

      BULAWAYO - A deputy minister confirmed last week he had barred
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) councillors from distributing grain in
his Insiza constituency.

      Andrew Langa of the Environment and Tourism ministry, said: "Yes, I
have said they should not get maize from the GMB (Grain Marketing Board)."

      A pro-Senate MDC spokesman accused Langa of engaging "in politics of
the stomach"in a desperate attempt to revive his party's "waning political

      The Arthur Mutambara-led MDC won four wards in the district and Langa's
order is seen as punishment for the villagers who did not vote for the
ruling party.

      Insiza is one of the districts hardest hit by drought in Matabeleland
South and food shortages have become perennial. Langa reportedly told a
meeting at Sibasa Hall in Insiza last week that MDC councillors should not
be involved in the sourcing of maize from the Grain Marketing Board.

      His wife, Clara,is the manager of the Insiza GMB depot but she was not
immediately available for comment.

      Councillors with the assistance of village heads, chiefs and the
district administrator (DA) compile lists of starving villagers which they
pass on to the GMB, which in turn allocates the grain according to

      But Langa said that should now be left to Zanu PF councillors, village
heads, chiefs and the DA.

      Observers in Insiza said this was not the first time Langa had been
accused of sidelining MDC supporters in the distribution of food relief.

      Pro-Senate MDC spokesperson for Matabeleland South, Thandeko Zinti
Mnkandla, condemned Langa's behaviour saying he was engaging in "politics of
the stomach" in a desperate bid to revive his party's waning support.

      "We believe that Langa is implementing a national policy of the ruling
party where people are denied food because of their party affiliation.
Zanu-PF has no support and it is pursuing the cruel politics of the stomach
to get support," Mnkandla said.

      "Food is a basic right for all and this action shows how corrupt,
cruel and diabolic Zanu PF is. But we are not going to forget those that are
using food as a political weapon. They will have to account for their

      Thousands of people are likely to face starvation in Matabeleland this
year following widespread crop failure in the drought-prone provinces.

      International aid organisations have in the past warned the government
of President Robert Mugabe against using food as a political weapon.

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Nail-biting intrigue in Mugabe succession riddle

Zim Standard

  By Kholwani Nyathi

      BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 83rd birthday at
Gweru's Mkoba Stadium last weekend, publicly firing the usual salvos at the
Movement for Democratic Change and the British government - but few of them
are likely to have any impact on the intended targets.

      Not surprisingly, he accused them of trying to topple him from power,
which was old hat as well. But other denunciations appeared to be aimed at a
new group of "enemies" - the "enemy within".

      Birthday messages displayed at the stadium and the uneasy atmosphere
at the top table could have sent mixed signals about the real "enemies", the
people uppermost in Mugabe's mind as he contemplates the future of what even
he must now consider his shaky presidency.

      One poster read "Mugabe for 2010", but was inexplicably removed from
the stadium before the celebrations got underway.

      Another poster said "Succes-sion politics not ouster politics" and
drew the attention of many observers. It seemed to shift the identity and
location of the architects of "regime change" from foreigners to Zimbabweans
in Shake Shake building in Harare, not London or Washington.

      Since last year's Zanu PF con-ference in Goromonzi, where a number of
provinces believed to be linked to the Mujuru faction refused to endorse
Mugabe's plans to extend his term to 2010, Mugabe has spoken strongly
against those already eyeing his post. He has repeatedly declared that there
is no vacancy.

      Vice-President Joice Mujuru, once considered Mugabe's favourite and
presumably "safe" conte-nder for the presidency, boycotted the celebrations
a few days after Mugabe reportedly came short of ruling her out of the
presidential race in a ZBC-TV birthday inter-view.

      Mugabe reportedly accused the Mujuru faction of using former Zanu PF
secretary-general Edgar Tekere to rubbish him politically.

      His comments were edited out, including his statement that by doing
what she did, Mujuru had scuppered her ambitions to succeed him.

      Her husband, Solomon Mujuru, turned up alone at the stadium, about 30
minutes after Mugabe's arrival. The former commander of the army, regarded
as a kingmaker in the Zanu PF Politburo, looked isolated as he took his
place next to the President of the Senate, Edna Madzongwe.

      Mugabe did nothing to acknowledge his presence, as the spouse of the
Vice-President, as tradition de-mands at such government and Zanu PF

      Instead, he spent consi-derable time heaping praises on his other Vice
President, Joseph Msika.

      He also showered accolades on the two late Vice-Presidents Joshuam
Nkomo and Simon Muzenda. But there was no mention of Joice Mujuru.

      Jethro Mpofu, a political ana-lyst, said the atmosphere at the
celebrations was a clear indi-cation that Mugabe was now feel-
      ing "lonely ideologically and physically" because of the succes-sion
wars swirling in his party.

      "Mugabe has become an op-position within Zanu PF," he said. "It is not
only the Mujuru faction that does not agree with him but everyone else, save
for the security apparatus still propping him up. No one agrees with him."

      In the ZTV interview, Mugabe reportedly speaks glowingly of Emmerson
Mnangagwa and his role in the liberation struggle in
      what observers said was an indi-cation the veteran leader wanted a
successor who would protect him after he finally retires.

      Zanu PF secretary for the youth, Absolom Sikhosana, downplayed the
controversy over Mujuru's absence at Mkoba on Saturday.

      He said she had no obligation to attend the celebrations "as they were
meant for the youth".

      Sikhosana, who led the pre-parations for the communist-style event,
did not want to comment on messages displayed at the celebrations, insisting
that "the story is that the celebrations went on very well".

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Zanu PF chefs loot donations at Mugabe birthday party

Zim Standard

  By Nqobani Ndlovu

      BULAWAYO - Senior Zanu PF officials helped themselves to donated food
and beasts meant for President Robert Mugabe's 83rd birthday celebrations in
Gweru last weekend.

      As a result, thousands of people reportedly went back home on empty
stomachs,The Standard has confirmed.

      Thousands of people were turned away at Mkoba Stadium on Saturday
after they were lured to attend the celebrations organised by the 21st
February Movement with promises of a "feast".

      About $300 million was raised for the festivities while 36 beasts as
well as several tonnes of maize- meal were donated following an aggressive
fund-raising campaign.

      Struggling parastatals were also forced to donate.

      But according to insiders, some of the donations were hijacked by
ruling party officials in the province. Out of the 36 beasts, only 20 were
slaughtered and the rest are now reportedly on two farms in Gweru.

      Members of the catering committee, mostly Zanu PF activists, allegedly
helped themselves to some of the donated food meant for the guests, sources

      Contacted for comment, Cephas Msipa, resident minister and provincial
governor for the Midlands, confirmed some of the beasts were at his farm
"for safe-keeping".

      A member of the fund-raising committee admitted he too had some of the
animals at his farm, again only for safe-keeping, he said.

      But the Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairman, Kizito Chivamba, said he
was not aware that some of the animals had been taken for safe-keeping.

      He said an audit would be carried out on items used to make the event
a success.

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New Ziana journalists paid 'peanuts' and late

Zim Standard

  By Our Staff

      NEW Ziana, a government-owned multimedia company is paying "peanuts"
to its journalists: $40 000 a month.

      And the shocking news is that the organisation is failing to pay the
journalists the "pittance" wages on time.

      The disclosures were made last week by disgruntled journalists who
demanded the resignation of the company's chief executive officer.

      Reached for a comment on Thursday, the CEO Munyaradzi Matanyire said:
"I think . . . Why don't you wait and call me next week. Everybody is doing
negotiations right now. Our people are negotiating." He would not respond to
calls for his resignation.

      Apart from the news agency, New Ziana publishes community papers: The
Gweru Times, Masvingo Star, Pungwe News, and The Telegraph.

      The Harare Post, an ambitious publication targeted at the Harare
market, dominated by major publications, folded last year.

      The journalists said their $40 000 basic salary was enough to pay
commuter bus fares for 10 days. Short trips in Harare now cost $2 000 and
they need $4 000 every day in bus fares alone.

      The journalists are much better than receptionists and sales
representatives who earn $35 000.

      At the time of writing, the workers at the New Ziana had not been paid
their February wages. They said they now spend most of their time updating
their CVs because they did not see any future of the organisation, said to
be the brainchild of former information minister Jonathan Moyo.

      Recently, New Ziana property in Bulawayo was put under the hammer
after the company ignored demands to pay their
      $1 million debt to a security company.

      The company has been ordered by an arbitrator to pay its workers 70%
salary increments backdated to March 2005 with an interest of 30% a year.

      An arbitrator ruled the company must give its workers an additional
180% salary increment backdated to October last year with interest at the
current rate.

      New Ziana, however, appealed against the judgement and the employees
will wait a little bit longer to get the money.

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Smuggling costs Zimbabwe US$50m

Zim Standard


      ZIMBABWE is losing between US$40 million and US$50 million a week
through the smuggling of precious minerals, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono told a parliamentary portfolio committee last week.

      Gono's disclosure to the Defence and Home Affairs portfolio committee
amounts to an annual loss of US$2.6 billion, enough - by some calculations -
to launch the economic turn-around.

      Zimbabwe requires between US$2.5 billion and $3 billion a year to put
the economy on an even keel but was raising only half of that amount.

      Gono said: "No other country is blessed to the point where precious
minerals anongonyuka ega (just appear on their own). We are losing between
US$40 million and US$50 million a week through smuggling of gold, diamond
and all precious minerals."

      Gono's stunning revelations corroborated oral evidence by small-scale
miners to a portfolio committee last month there was rampant smuggling of
minerals by influential politicians.

      He said the little foreign currency raised was being used to import
other basic commodities, such as maize and wheat, as well as settling debts
inherited from previous governors.

      "While I am busy looking at yesterday's debts, I cannot keep pace with
today's requirements," Gono said.

      He was called to the committee after pleas by the Registrar-General
Office, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) for
foreign currency to import various components.

      The police require foreign currency to boost their vehicle fleet, now
a skeleton 1 500 against the 15 000 required.

      The defence forces require US$2 million to buy a
numerically-controlled machine for the manufacture of spares. The RG's
office is failing to provide passports and IDs.

      Gono told the committee, in light of the foreign currency crunch
nationwide, he would attend to the police, ZDF and RG's office needs later.

      Zimbabwe is desperately scrounging for foreign direct investment after
falling out with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, among other
institutions. Zimbabwe's external debt stood at US$4.1 billion at the end of
October last year while external payment arrears totalled US$2.2 billion.

      Only last week, the IMF said Zimbabwe remained ineligible for aid
under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility-Exogenous Shocks Facility
(PRGF-ESF) Trust as it had reneged on US$129 million arrears.

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Wooden spoon for TelOne

Zim Standard


      TELOne has won a wooden spoon from the government's "Look East" policy
as its US$100 million deal with a Chinese firm flopped after the
government-owned landline provider failed to raise the down payment.

      As part of a deal signed with Huawei Technologies, TelOne would roll
out 1.6 million subscribers over 10 years and replace analogue with digital

      TelOne technical director Hampton Mhlanga told a parliamentary
portfolio committee on Transport and Communications the deal collapsed after
the parastatal failed to raise the down payment.

      "When the agreement was signed, it was based on the understanding that
we would obtain loans from the Bank of China and Eximbank China, but it didn't
work out," Mhlanga said.

      He said TelOne had staggered its expansion programme, confining it to
phases. The first phase results in the issuance of 30 000 lines through a
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Wireless Local Loop Network. Eight base
stations have already been installed and Mhlanga said the project "is now
99.9% complete".

      He said the wireless technology system had been tried and tested in
Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria and a Chinese province with 50 million people.

      He said the wireless technology was cheaper to run compared to cables,
which local cable manufacturer CAFCA could no longer manufacture.

      Portfolio committee chairperson Leo Mugabe said NetOne's affairs were
"worrying" as revenue from incoming calls had dwindled over the years.

      TelOne managing director Wellington Makamure told the committee the
company was a net caller: it was paying out more on outgoing calls.

      Makamure told the committee TelOne had 79 analogue exchanges, some as
old as 55 years. He said the 72 digital exchanges had an average age of 15

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EU blasts Zimbabwe for crackdown on opposition

Zim Standard


      THE European Union (EU) has condemned the government for intensified
crackdown on its perceived enemies and called on the country's neighbours to
assist Zimbabwe's "suffering" citizens.

      Addressing the France-Africa Summit recently in France, the president
of the European Union Council, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed
deep concern over the socio-political climate prevailing in Zimbabwe.

      She said the on-going intimidation of political opponents, harassment,
threats against farmers and even destruction of poor people's homes was not
justified in any way.

      "I therefore appeal also to Zimbabwe's neighbours to join us in doing
as much as we possibly can to help the suffering people there," Merkel said.

      South Africa is viewed as a key player in seeking a solution to
Zimbabwe's socio-political and economic crisis.

      The police last week defied a High Court order allowing the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change to hold a rally in Harare.

      The police beat up opposition supporters, injuring scores of them in
the process, as they battled to prevent them from assembling. They went on
to ban the holding of rallies and demonstrations in Harare and Chitungwiza
for three months in contravention of the Public Order and Security Act
(Posa). Under Posa such a ban by the police cannot exceed a month.

      In May 2005, the government razed to the ground thousands of houses
under Operation Murambatsvina, rendering more than 70 000 people homeless.

      Turning to the continent, Merkel, however, expressed optimism of
prosperity and economic growth. She was also hopeful that new structures
that have emerged, such as New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad)
and the Africa Union (AU) would spur the continent's growth.

      "We are witnessing positive signs from Africa in connection with
economic growth, for example. At more than 5%, this growth is stronger than
it has been for the last 30 years," Merkel said.

      She however noted with concern the issue of climate protection and the
prevention of global warming, which threatens to inflict great suffering on
African countries.

      Other problems, said Merkel, included the consequences of climate
change, civil war and migration.

      "We are also called upon to summon up the determination necessary to
combat terrible diseases such as Aids as well as poverty and terrorism,"
Merkel said.

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Nkayi poultry business run from Toronto

Zim Standard

  TORONTO - From money transfers to
virtual grocery stores, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have been outdoing each
other as they seek ways to provide for families back home and earn profit in
the process.

      Each new venture comes in with some innovation as the expanding field
of Internet brokers breeds stiff competition.

      One of the new ventures is Traditional Traditions from Canada. Do not
be fooled by the name; this has nothing to do with culture. It is, in fact,
a poultry business with its head office and collections in Toronto, chicken
runs in Nkayi district, distribution centre in Bulawayo and its market is
spread throughout the Diaspora.

      Mark Mkhabela, the owner of Traditional Traditions is leasing a small
space on his uncle's land in Nkayi where he raises chickens with the help of
family members.

      "When they are ready for the market, the chickens are taken to
Bulawayo where they are slaughtered and processed," Mkhabela told MAP
Feature Service.

      People in the Diaspora who wish for their families to eat chicken and
eggs place orders to Mkhabela in Toronto via e-mail or the phone.

      "I immediately relay the order to Bulawayo where they have to deliver
the chickens and/or eggs to the homes of customers within 24 hours otherwise
the customers will be entitled to get their order free," said Mkhabela.

      He said orders were coming at an average of 50 a month and from people
as far field as Australia, UK and the US. - MAP Feature Service.

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Aiding and abetting corruption  proving lucrative for ministers, politicians

Zim Standard


      ONE reason why the acting Police Commissioner could not name
politicians involved in illegal gold mining activities is because they
apparently enjoy immunity from prosecution, while the failure of an RBZ
official to identify the culprits suggests lack of confidence in the
law-enforcement agencies' capacity to offer protection to whistle blowers.

      Last month the Deputy Commissioner of the Police, Godwin Matanga,
while acknowledging before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that there
were senior people involved in illegal gold mining activities, was reluctant
to identify them.

      A senior RBZ official, Mirirai Chiremba, who also testified, asked for
the media to be excluded during presentation of evidence. It was not that
the official did not want to warn the culprits -the police have the
information. It was the fear of daring to name where the police chief quaked
in his boots.

      The two incidents are an indictment on the police and a loud statement
on levels of corruption in Zimbabwe. They, in part, explain why the
Leadership Code of the early 1980s could not be implemented and why the work
of the Anti-Corruption Commission could prove stillborn. They also explain
why the government's whistleblower scheme has not turned up spectacular
findings. They also render the Ministry of Anti-Corruption a public
relations exercise, for the consumption of the gullible, or to hoodwink the
international community.

      Former Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi, tried the same trick when
his regime was embattled but everyone, including the international
community, saw through the sham.

      It is disappointing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee did not ask
for written names of the culprits - because the police have them. It is
hardly likely that a top police officer could have bluffed the committee or
that he could concede that there were senior people involved in illegal
activities without evidence to back up his charges.

      The Committee should have insisted that he produces the evidence which
formed the basis of his testimony. Otherwise the Committee is arguing its

      Most of the small-scale miners who appeared before the committee were
genuinely scared for their lives, yet no protection was extended to them.

      Adding to the concerns of the small-scale miners is the fact that
despite identifying the Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and
Tourism, no effort appears to have been made by the law enforcement agencies
and the Anti-Corruption Commission to move in swiftly to interrogate her.
This confirms fears that the inertia is intended to allow the trail to go
cold, thus allowing the culprits ample time to cover up.

      The government should therefore not expect Zimbabweans to take it
seriously when it says it wants to tackle corruption head-on.

      Which is the greater evil, victims of the government's failure to
provide sufficient urban housing (Murambatsvina) or those who are bleeding
the economy?

      Zimbabwe has become one large enterprise for senior Zanu PF
politicians to pillage and plunder. The case of the agricultural support
facility clearly demonstrated who the main looters were. Today they are the
same people at the forefront of illegal mining activities, in which only the
small fry gets caught while the big fish go scot-free.

      If the government really wanted to put a stop to corruption it could
do so, but that is not in the interests of those ruining this country.

      That is why there is a deliberate strategy to do nothing about the
discovery of diamonds at Chiadzwa in Marange area of Manicaland when
Zimbabwe suffers from an acute shortage of foreign currency and there is no
attempt to facilitate formal mining of the diamonds so the country can begin
to benefit from the sale of the stones.

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Information power not for megalomaniacs

Zim Standard

  Sundayopinion By Bill Saidi

      INFORMATION is power: an extremist feminist organisation, through a
shrewd use of IT, convinced potential members God was a woman and created
Man by accident.

      But once She had decided She couldn't de-create him, She resolved to
punish him, by condemning him to eternal servitude to Woman.

      Information is power: the Holy Bible is the most well-read book in
living memory, but Christianity has still not penetrated the most populous
country in the world - China.

      Information is power: Mao's Little Red Book may have been a bestseller
while he lived, but it can't be today. The Holy Bible might just pip it in

      What would the Catholics, the Anglicans. the Pentecostals, the
Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Amish and the Mormons do
with all those former communists?

      Information is power: Every day on ZBC-TV, the government newspapers
are provided with free advertising, which is denied to the independent
papers. The Herald, the government conglomerate's standard-bearer, ought to
be the largest-selling newspaper in the region, but it isn't.

      Which goes to prove that although information may be power, when it is
in the hands of megalomaniacs, it can be as impotent as expired Viagra.

      Which happened to The Herald, at the height of the popularity of The
Daily News, oh, eons ago . . . it now seems.

      The government mouthpiece's circulation dropped so dramatically, the
mandarins in Shake Shake building were tearing out their hair with hysteria.

      But I digress: after the destructive Operation Murambatsvina was
unleashed on a half-starved, half-employed and half-healthy urban population
in 2005, a government apologist moonlighting as a journalist of integrity
tried to sell me this incredible story: the International Monetary Fund had
told the government it could be back in their good books if it cleaned up
Harare's central business district and allowed legitimate business to
prosper, unencumbered by the shady methods of the flea markets.

      Why, I asked, wouldn't the government make the most of this veritable
bonanza of a PR coup?

      The counterfeit journalist was stumped. Once again, I thanked the
Greek goddess of the good journalist for rescuing us from a fate worse than
. . .

      There must be a goddess of the good journalist - Greek, Roman,
Polynesian, Zimbabwean, or Ukrainian - who cares? There are patron saints
and goddesses for doctors, Formula One racing drivers, pimps, politicians,
mountain climbers, sex workers, palmists, soothsayers, fakirs, gamblers,
fire-eaters, levitators - people who levitate? - and secret agents like
James Bond and Mata Hari. Why not for journalists?

      For instance, after the 2000 parliamentary elections, would-be
do-gooders swarmed the editorial offices of The Daily News.

      Their pitch went something like this: how was this paper going to
sustain its sales, now that the elections were over? No more politics, they

      One proposal: go for crime and sex, great, big pictures of women with
big . . . something or the other. That always sold papers. Look at The Sun,
in Britain, with their famous Page Three Girl.

      The Sun is still the largest-selling daily in the UK and their formula
has worked wonders for circulation.

      The people who buy that paper are no different from the people who buy
newspapers in Zimbabwe . . . men full of machismo.

      The difference? The men overseas have more money than their Zimbabwean
counterparts. Yet when you consider how Zimbabweans are able to make ends
meet in the face of hyperinflation and the lowest wages in the civilized
world, they have to possess a talent, or the help of the Mongolian goddess
of victims of megalomania.

      Others offered this: change allegiances - as if we had other
allegiances apart from the truth (honest!)

      What they proposed was quite simple: confess you backed the wrong
horse but had now come to your senses and realised there was no alternative
to Zanu PF.

      There was one teensy-weensy problem: would Zanu PF believe us? At what
bend, on this Road to Damascus, did we see the light? They would ask

      It was always possible that Zanu PF, the old masters of Tamba
Wakachenjera, would string us along, let us believe they believed we had
indeed seen the light, and then WHAM! When we least expected it, they would
come at us with guns blazing, and subject us to the worst humiliation we had
ever endured.

      After that, none of us would ever enter journalism again.

      But that Tibetan goddess of good journalism came through again. It
took the huge hammer of AIPPA to shut down the paper, in the end.

      I often wonder what would have happened if the owners had taken the
advice of the phony do-gooders, and chosen the soft-core porn route.

      But we live in a country where the leadership, although professing to
be Christian, is so intolerant of any form of dissent it makes you wonder
why they allow the opposition to sit in the same Parliament with them.

      Then you look more closely at the opposition and you realise why. At
some stage during their existence since 1999, the MDC struck fear in Robert
Mugabe's heart.

      Today . . . they need the Eskimo goddess of opposition parties to help

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Govt misleading on new higher, tertiary fees structure

Zim Standard

  sundayview by Gideon

      The recently announced higher and tertiary fees structure, as
publicised in the State media recently is misleading. In fact, it is an
attempt to create an impression that the government is keen on making
education not only affordable to everybody, but, also to sustain a fallacy
that it seeks to maintain higher standards of education, hence the reference
to Zimbabwe's education role and status within the Sadc region.

      It is clear that the increase in fees by 2 000% is out of the reach of
many guardians. The majority of students come from impoverished rural areas;
their parents' incomes, if any, do not automatically increase with the turn
of the year since such parents are not in formal employment.

      Zimbabwe's crisis has destroyed both the formal and informal sectors
of the economy. Consequently most parents are no longer in formal
employment. Given that the same guardians have to pay school fees and levies
(primary and secondary), nearly amounting to the same amounts, the new fees
for tertiary and higher education are wildly out of reach for many potential
graduates and their guardians.

      It is astounding that the government did not gazette food and
accommodation fees, leaving it to the discretion of individual institutions
yet these are the most expensive and are pegged at more than Z$500 000.

      Education has not only been commercialised outrightly and made a
luxury, but the system has become bluntly discriminatory against the poor.
Where does government expect the students to live and what will they be
surviving on during the course of their studies?

      Food, accommodation, transport and books (exercise and texts)
constitute the most expensive aspects of education. Factor in the currently
sky-rocketing rate of inflation and the subsequent rapid increase in the
price of basic commodities - and everything is absolutely out of reach of
many students. By gazetting tuition fees only, the government is abdicating
its duties of protecting the poor and vulnerable of our society and making
education realisable by all. Incidentally it is the poor who need education
most in order to change their fortunes.

      The worsening deprivation among students at colleges and universities
has made the institutions breeding grounds for prostitution and all sorts of
corruption as students desperately struggle to eke out a living, while
continuing with their studies.

      Students expose themselves to HIV and Aids, rape and all forms of
violence. In the extreme, most students have dropped out at a rate more than
the modest 31,5% that the Zimbabwe National Students' Union (ZINASU) has

      One of the State's publications reports that Masvingo Polytechnic
College is deserted. As education becomes too expensive, students take
greater risks, illegally skipping the border into South Africa, Botswana and
Mozambique, to perform menial jobs.

      Can any Zanu PF and or government official stand up and brag about
Zimbabwe's educational role and status within the Sadc region? We have an
educational crisis - a national disaster - which the government is refusing
to acknowledge.

      A visit to any institution of higher learning today will show that
students live four to six in a single room and walk about 30km to and from
college every day, on empty stomachs. They also have to scrounge like
everybody else for basics, which are in short supply. This is no fiction.
Anyone concerned can come to Masvingo and confirm this with students who
stay at Runyararo West, Rhodene and in the farms close to Nemamwa Growth
Point, where they are crammed in ramshackle structures, reminiscent of
shanty towns - without running water, ablutions or lighting.

      How are students expected to study and how can the education system
produce a polished global academic under these circumstances? Clearly, these
conditions are not conducive for any kind or level of study. They actually
speak volumes about how much our education system and standards have

      * Gideon Hlamalani Chitanga is ZINASU Vice-President

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Revisiting Madzimbamuto vs Lardner Burke case

Zim Standard

  reflections with Dr Alex T

      A few weeks ago, I wrote in these pages applauding the speech given by
the Judge President, Justice Makarau, my old mentor. I found her stance
remarkable, particularly in view of the brouhaha surrounding the purchase of
a luxury vehicle for Governor Gono by the RBZ. It seems that the pleas of
the judges have been heard, which is all very well for them, but one hopes
that the thrust of Justice Makarau's speech is not lost in the stampede to
gratify and regale the men and women of the law.

      Whilst responding to the plea of judges, some of whom were clearly
becoming pauperised is to be commended, there is understandable disquiet at
the objects of gratification that have been provided, when the operational
aspects of the justice system, including the needs and expectations of the
impecunious foot-soldiers - the clerks, messengers, interpreters, require
urgent prioritisation.

      But the greatest uneasiness arises from the perception of the hasty
response as an attempt to mollify judges with material possessions and the
consequent hazard it poses to the autonomy of the judiciary.

      Today, I would like to relate a story - one that will be familiar to
the judges, to my colleagues in the Law or anyone who has had the pleasure
of reading Constitutional Law, and many Zimbabweans who lived during the
colonial period after UDI. It will also be very familiar to the generation
of politicians currently in charge of the country's affairs, because they
were adversely affected by its consequences. Of the hundreds of legal cases
that I read during my four years in law school, the case of Madzimbamuto v
Lardner Burke stands out. It had everything that intensified both my
interest and curiosity about the nature of the law and the conduct of those
charged with its administration and interpretation.

      The case arose in Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known then, in the context
of the Unilateral Declaration Independence ("UDI") by the Smith government
on 11 November 1965. The case, which went through three courts and seven
judgements in all, occupies several hundred pages of law reports, the
reading and understanding of which is a daunting task.

      I do not intend therefore, to burden the reader with the complexities
of this case but would like, in the simplest terms to which one can possibly
reduce the case, to use it to make a point about judicial independence in
the face of undue pressure from the executive. In my desire to unscramble
the case for the reader, I inevitably run the risk of over-simplification,
which may upset some of my legal colleagues, but I proceed with the hope
that they will understand and forgive, in the comfort of knowing the
principal object of this contribution.

      Daniel Madzimbamuto was a nationalist, fighting alongside others, for
majority rule, whilst Lardner Burke was minister in charge of justice in the
Smith government. Madzimbamuto was detained under a state of emergency
shortly before the Smith regime announced UDI, stating that Rhodesia had
become an independent sovereign state and proclaimed a new Constitution
("UDI Constitution") to replace the 1961 Constitution ("Old Constitution").
Under the Old Constitution, the State of Emergency under which Madzimbamuto
was being detained was due to automatically expire after 3 months. As that
deadline approached, the Smith government extended its duration and to
maintain the detention of individuals detained under the previous emergency.

      Mrs Madzimbamuto brou-ght a legal challenge on behalf of her detained
husband. Her application was remarkably simple - she asked the Court to
declare that her husband's detention was illegal and for his release. Mrs
Madzimbamuto's arguments were that all actions and laws made under the UDI
Constitution lacked legal validity in light of the existence of the Old
Constitution, which the British had declared to still be the legal mandate
and that UDI was void and of no effect. The reality on the ground however,
was that, for all intents and purposes, the Smith regime retained effective
control of the country, including the civil service and the security

      The case was significant because it was a clear test of the legal
authority and legitimacy of the Smith regime, which on its side, argued that
it had successfully created a new order and the illegitimacy of its tactics
were irrelevant because it was in effective control. The judges in the
Rhodesian courts were therefore being asked to make a hard decision, one
that brought into sharp focus the clash between allegiance to legal
principle and the demands of political expediency.

      The matter went through three courts: the General and Appellate
Divisions of the High Court of Rhodesia and the Privy Council in the UK.
Overall, despite differing somewhat in their decision on the legality of the
Smith government, the judges in the Rhodesian courts came to the conclusion
that its actions and laws were valid on grounds of necessity, being
necessary measures for the maintenance of peace and order. It was decided
that the security situation in the country required that the state of
emergency be allowed to continue. It did not matter to the judges, that
Madzimbamuto's rights were being violated or that the "insecurity" to which
they referred was a result of people trying to assert their civil rights.

      In fact, two of the judges in the Appellate Division even accepted
that the UDI Constitution and the Smith government had acquired legal
status. Not surprisingly, the Smith regime hailed the decisions as victories
because they gave it de facto recognition.

      Interestingly, one judge in the Appellate Division, Justice Fieldsend
was not willing to accept the legality of the UDI Constitution but even he
was prepared to recognise the actions of the government, on the basis of

      A remarkable event happened when Mrs Madzimbamuto decided to take the
battle to the Privy Council in the UK - being the final forum of appeal
during that time. The Solicitor-General of Rhodesia made a radical
announcement, stating that the orders of the Privy Council would not be
obeyed by the Rhodesian government. Zimbabweans today will be familiar with
similar reckless statements that have been made by government ministers to
threaten and push judges into submission.

      The Solicitor-General's political announcement, clearly in defiance
and contempt of the judicial authorities, was surprisingly accepted by the
judges but most notably, Justice Fieldsend resigned in protest. Three
Africans who were on death row, who could have appealed to the Privy Council
were executed within the week of that announcement. What is significant here
is that the judges in Rhodesia had effectively recognised the legal
authority of the Smith government. The judges kept office and recognised the
UDI Constitution, even though they had been appointed under the Old
Constitution, which they had sworn to protect and obey.

      The Privy Council decided in favour of Mrs Madzimbamuto, holding that
the actions of the Smith government lacked legal validity. It stated that it
was not for the judges to recognise the acts of an illegal regime. But the
victory was only of theoretical significance, because the Rhodesian judges
refused to accept the decision of the Privy Council. This refusal prompted
one of the judges of the High Court, Justice Dendy Young, to resign in

      So in Justice Fieldsend and Justice Young, the story has two unlikely
heroes, besides Mrs Madzimbamuto, the unsung heroine of the case. The two
judges had remained faithful to their oath and refused to be cowed into
submission by the illegal regime, and therefore asserted their independence
by resigning and refusing to serve under the circumstances. It is worth
noting here, that when independence finally arrived in 1980, the new
government duly recognised Justice Fieldsend by appointing him as the first
Chief Justice of Zimbabwe. I like to think that the nationalists had
recognised the integrity with which he had carried himself, sticking to
principle rather than submitting to political expediency. It is ironic
therefore, that the same people who once recognised the value of judicial
independence, appear to have adopted the same tactics of the Smith regime in
the Madzimbamuto case - bullying judges and putting them in very difficult

      The judges faced the risk of losing their jobs if they had refused to
recognise the Smith government and it could therefore be said that in
deciding as they did, they were protecting their own interests. But it would
have been a price worth paying for adhering to their oaths and legality.
Justices Young and Fieldsend set the right precedent, preferring to lose
office than to capitulate to the pressure exerted by the executive. They
arguably occupied a privileged position in society but they gave it up as a
matter of principle.

      As Zimbabwe moves towards ever more uncertain times, the courts will
be called upon to make very difficult decisions. And as the current
Zimbabwean judges may be aware, they face similar and perhaps worse
pressures but capitulating to such pressures would be a betrayal of their
office and indeed the millions who look to the court as the final bastion
for the protection of their rights.

      *Dr Alex T Magaisa can be contacted at wamagaisa@yahoo.

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Zimbabwe doctors end strike after reaching pay deal


Sat Mar 3, 2007 12:58 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's doctors have halted a two-month strike over
pay that plunged the country's creaking health system into crisis, the
health minister said on Saturday.

David Parirenyatwa told Reuters the government had agreed a pay deal with
the doctors, who wanted better salaries to keep pace with Zimbabwe's roaring

Nurses and paramedics had also joined the strike, paralysing a public health
system already stretched by the burden of HIV/AIDS, but they returned to
work last month after agreeing a separate pay deal.

"That is now a thing of the past. Everything is back to normal,"
Parirenyatwa said.

Government doctors stopped work in December demanding an 8,000 percent wage
increase, while government could only offer a 300 percent hike.

Before the industrial action, state doctors earned Z$56,000 a month, worth
about $224 at the official exchange rate but about $7 on the black market.

The president of the Hospital Doctors Association, Kuda Nyamutukwa,
confirmed doctors had agreed a pay deal with the government, but declined to
give details of the new wages.

"Everyone is back at work now ... the (Health Services) Board has offered us
a new pay package," Nyamutukwa said.

President Robert Mugabe's government has come under increased pressure from
workers who have borne the brunt of a deepening economic crisis, which has
seen inflation soaring to almost 1,600 percent.

The authorities last week averted a full-scale strike by government
employees when it awarded them the second wage increase in as many months
after teachers -- who make up the majority of civil servants -- began a

The government has begun talks with trade unions and business leaders over a
proposed wage and price hike it hopes will arrest galloping inflation.

Analysts have warned rising discontent over the economic meltdown in
Zimbabwe could trigger street protests against Mugabe's government.

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Mugabe surprises E Guinea


03/03/2007 19:33  - (SA)

Malabo - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived in the economic capital
of Equatorial Guinea in an unannounced visit on Friday, said an airport

He was met at the airport by his Equatorial-Guinean counterpart, Teodoro
Obiang Nguema, at the start of his trip to Bata, which a source close to the
government said was for "purely private" reasons.

The two heads of state planned to hold talks during Mugabe's trip, which was
due to end on Sunday night, a presidential source on the Equatorial-Guinean
side said on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.

In a highly-publicised visit to Equatorial Guinea in November 2004, Mugabe
was proclaimed a "saviour" in Harare and Malabo for having foiled a coup to
overthrow Obiang.

The alleged leader of the plot, Briton Simon Mann, was sentenced to four
years in a Zimbabwean jail. Malabo is seeking his extradition.

Mann is fighting the move, as he could face the death penalty in Equatorial

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A Hundred Days

Dear Family and Friends,
On the roadsides between towns and cities the grass is nearly two metres
tall and it is ripe: green at the base, yellow and golden above. As you
travel along the roads the swaying and flowing of the grass is a calming,
peaceful, almost mesmerising sight. The kilometres pass and the view
doesn't change and it suddenly strikes you that something is wrong. This
shouldn't be the view of Zimbabwe's farms in March and you wonder where
everyone and everything is. For scores of kilometres passing prime roadside
farms there are no workers in the fields, no great stands of ripening
maize, no smoke coming from the flues of tobacco barns, no sign of life or
production at all. There are no cattle or sheep getting fat on the grass -
tons of free food for animals is standing on the roadsides and in the once
fenced fields and paddocks just going to waste. When you ask Zimbabweans
how often they eat meat, many will say once a fortnight, or once a week if
they can afford it. Meat has become a luxury and yet there are no animals
to eat the grass - how utterly absurd.

This week no sooner had President Mugabe left the country on an official
visit to Namibia then the gloves came off back at home. The Governor of the
Reserve bank went walkabout - not to banks and financial institutions, as
is surely his mandate, but to farms - and with the ZBC TV cameras in tow.
This was not the usual government type tour where the armchairs have been
dragged out under the tent and there is microphone, flowers and a vast
number of men in suits and women in fancy dresses and larney headgear. The
Governor didn't have a flower in his buttonhole the way the politicians
usually do but he was wearing a track suit and strode out to see the crops
on a couple of farms. The entourage seemed to be mostly soldiers and
cameramen and they often had to run to keep up.

After six years of ludicrous statements by the previous Minister of
Agriculture when promises of a bountiful harvest were the annual litany,
the Reserve Bank Governor broke ranks dramatically. "There are some people
who have become professional land occupiers," he said, "vandalizing
equipment and moving from one farm to another."  Dr Gono said that the crop
of maize presently in the ground would be likely to only produce 600 000
tonnes of maize. This is a dire and diabolical admission that should cause
widespread alarm and consternation. Assuming a population of 12 million
people in Zimbabwe, allowing half a kg of maize per person per day, there
is only enough maize in the ground for 100 days. Dr Gono admitted that
Zimbabwe was already importing maize and said: "For us to import food in a
country that has had a land reform programme is a shame." Precious foreign
currency needed to buy medicines and chemicals, spare parts and fuel was
going to have to be diverted to buy food in a land blessed with sun,
fertile soil and summer rainfall.

While Dr Gono was trekking around farmland, President Mugabe was speaking
in Namibia. He was presenting a different face of Zimbabwe and at a big
public function he said: "I can safely declare that the land and
resettlement plan of our government was completed successfully."

Confusion reigns because as one leader talks of a success, another talks of
shame, food imports and land vandals. A hundred days, the Reserve Bank
Governor said, food for twelve million people for just three and a half
months. Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy Copyright cathy
buckle 3rd March 2007.

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Mugabe the trump card in Zim pack


            Basildon Peta
          March 03 2007 at 11:53AM

      Embattled Zimbabweans have devised new methods of venting their anger
at their increasingly unpopular leader, Robert Mugabe, who turned 83 last

      Mugabe's government has tightened the vice of repression over the past
two weeks, jailing several opposition leaders and banning opposition rallies
and meetings around Zimbabwe.

      Taking a leaf from wars in the Middle East, Zimbabwean activists are
circulating a specially created deck of 55 playing cards to identify the
"most wanted" members of Mugabe's government who they believe should face
trial for crimes against humanity.

      The deck of cards method was successfully used by American-led
coalition forces in Iraq to identify the "most wanted" members of Saddam
Hussein's regime.

      The Iraqi cards were designed to display the names, faces and titles
of the Iraqis to help soldiers and Marines in the field should contact
occur. Each deck had two Jokers, one showing Iraqi military ranks and the
other, Arab tribal titles. The executed Saddam Hussein was depicted on the
ace of spades.

      Copying the same method, Mugabe is being shown in each deck as both
the ace of diamonds and the ace of spades. He is shown sitting on an
Emperor's chair surrounded by bags of money and a box of diamonds from the
DRC to depict some of the vices that Zimbabweans want him tried for.

      Mugabe deployed a third of Zimbabwe's army to help the late DRC leader
Laurent-Desire Kabila stave off a rebel onslaught in 1997 in exchange for
vast mining concessions. Analysts say nothing has been repaid to the
Zimbabwean treasury for the war efforts, while politicians and army generals
benefited privately from the mining concessions.

      Mugabe's young wife, Grace Marufu, is shown as the queen of hearts
holding shopping bags from Los Angeles, New York, London and Paris. Before
she and her husband were banned from Britain, Grace had established
international notoriety for her shopping escapades amid poverty in Zimbabwe.
She had reportedly become a favourite at Harrods in London alongside
prominent Hollywood celebrities like Liz Hurley and Tom Cruise.

      Other Mugabe cronies in the deck of cards include his deputy Joyce
Mujuru, cabinet ministers Emmerson Mnangagwa and Patrick Chinamasa, and
police and army generals responsible for the human rights clampdown in
Zimbabwe . Former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is shown as the joker
with his face attached twice to a lengthy python.

      Previously, Zimbabwean activists had put Mugabe's face on toilet paper
as well as condom packets.

      This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on
March 03, 2007

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Central Bank Sets Up Company to Run Quasi-Fiscal Operations

The Herald (Harare)

March 3, 2007
Posted to the web March 3, 2007

Business Editor

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has established FISCORP Private Limited to take
over its quasi-fiscal operations with effect from March 1.

This is consistent with the announcement made by RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono
in his January Monetary Policy Statement that the central bank sought to now
concentrate on its core business, weaning off the quasi-fiscal operations to

Among other things, the new company is expected to collect and administer
outstanding loans given under the various productive sector support
facilities by the central bank over the last three years.

When Dr Gono took over the reins at the central bank in 2003, he introduced
various finance facilities for agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the
export sector, among others, to offer cheap funds as a strategy to revive

FISCORP will also provide ancillary technical and advisory services to
beneficiaries as provided for in the various RBZ frameworks establishing
such facilities.

The handling of any outstanding funds under these facilities will now come
under the FISCORP umbrella.

The new company, owned 100 percent by the central bank, will be headed by Mr
Matthews Kunaka as the chief executive. Prior to his appointment, he was
division chief, internal audit and compliance at the central bank. Former
division chief Economic Support Facilities Mrs Winnie Mushipe has been
appointed FISCORP general manager for the Agricultural Sector Productivity
Enhancement Facility (ASPEF) and other special support programmes.

Mr Rongai Chizema has been appointed general manager Parastatals, Local
Authorities Reorientation Programme Facilities (PLARP). Before this
appointment he was the RBZ's division chief, Parastatals Reorientation
Programme (PARP).

Mr Kunaka is a chartered accountant who holds a Master of Business
Administration (MBA) from the University of Delaware in the United States,
specialising in finance.

He is also a holder of a Master of Science degree in Strategic Management
from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of
Accountancy Honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe.

Mr Kunaka is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
and an associate member of the Institute of Management and the Computer
Society of Zimbabwe.

He has previously headed the Zimbabwe Newspapers Group, the Institute of
Chartered Accountants and was also chief executive of the Independent Media

Mrs Mushipe holds a Bachelor of Arts Social Science degree in Economics from
Wolverhampton University in the UK and has attended various management and
technical programmes in Zimbabwe and abroad.

She had over the years driven economic support programmes put in place by
RBZ to support the productive sectors. She has headed the Credit Guarantee
Company and the Apex Unit that was responsible for the management of the
World Bank Enterprise Development Project.

Mr Chizema, who has had stints with the Ministry of Finance, the Zimbabwe
Investment Centre, ZimTrade and Intermarket Holdings, joined the central
bank in May 2005.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Economics degree from the University of
Zimbabwe, a Masters of Arts Development Economics from the USA and a diploma
in Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management from UNISA.

"The Governor wishes FISCORP (Pvt) Ltd management all the best and is
confident that they will ensure completion of all ongoing projects and
secure 100 percent collection of all outstanding disbursement and thus
enable the bank to attain the set money supply reduction targets as part of
the ongoing fight against inflation," said a statement from the central bank
last night.

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Ian Mills, international correspondent and musician, dies

From ZWNEWS, 3 March

By Maureen Johnson

Journalist Ian Mills, who reported on Rhodesia and Zimbabwe over four
decades for the British media and international news agencies, has died at
his home in Harare. He was 74. Mills' byline was for many years perhaps the
best known from the country to foreign audiences. Between 1973 and
independence in 1980 he covered for 14 different outlets what had become a
major news story as the Rhodesian Front tried to hang on to white minority
rule and the civil war escalated. These included the BBC, three major
international news agencies, Reuters, Agence France Presse and United Press,
and British national newspapers with political leanings as diverse as the
liberal Guardian, and the right of centre Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. He
continued reporting on the country's upheavals, including Robert Mugabe's
land seizures and clamp down on press freedom, until retiring from
journalism two years ago. Mills, however, was a journalist with a real
hinterland. He was a talented musician. He played in bands, and composed and
taught many disciplines ranging from classical music to rock. In his later
years, his great love was jazz. He was performing and teaching music in
Harare until a few months before his death.

Ian Henry Mills was born in Dorking in England, and came to Rhodesia when
his Scottish parents settled in Mutare in 1949. He started work in the
African Affairs department of the civil service, becoming a fluent Shona
speaker. He then joined the King's African Rifles until switching to
journalism relatively late in life aged 26. Mills got a job on the then
Rhodesia Herald, now the state-run Herald, becoming its political
correspondent and winning a Commonwealth Press Union award. In 1973, he took
over a freelance business run by Peter Niesewand, a journalist deported by
Ian Smith's regime. Amusing, charming and generous both as a host and with
his encyclopedic knowledge of his adopted country, its history and its
politics, Mills was an invaluable source for visiting correspondents. He was
also a terrific mimic and raconteur. Mills and his wife, fellow journalist
Heather Silk, entertained literally waves of foreign reporters at their
home. For most of the visitors the vicissitudes of the country, from
bloodshed to economic chaos, were essentially a story. For Mills, it was
much more. He wrote with deep knowledge and without bias about his home.
Mills is survived by Heather and their daughters Melissa, also a musician,
and Camilla, who recently left school, and by two sons from a previous
marriage, Stephen and Paul.

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