The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Daily News

      Lice feast on judge

      3/5/2003 7:25:49 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      HIGH Court judge, Justice Benjamin Paradza, on Monday said lice and
mosquitoes feasted on him and other inmates while in cells at Borrowdale
Police Station where he was detained after his arrest for allegedly
obstructing the course of justice.

      Paradza gives the graphic account of his incarceration in his
application to the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of his
arrest and remand.

      Paradza, a former freedom fighter, has cited Patrick Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliament Affairs, and Augustine Chihuri,
the Commissioner of Police, as the respondents in the matter.

      He accused Chihuri of effecting his unlawful arrest and detention.
      In the application filed with the Supreme Court on Monday, Paradza
through his lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, said:
      "The decision to incarcerate me in the police cells was unreasonable,
unjustified and without basis, especially when one takes into account the
nature of the allegations and also my status in society.

      "The conditions in the cells were appalling and contravened Section
8.15 of the Constitution.

      "The toilets did not flush and the smell emanating from the chambers
was unbearable. The blankets were full of lice.

      "The other inmates and I were at the mercy of mosquitoes which were
biting us unchecked. I felt humiliated and degraded as a sitting judge. I
should never have been subjected to such treatment."

      Other respondents are Andrew Chigovera, the Attorney-General, Mishrod
Guvamombe, the provincial magistrate who presided over the matter, and one
Chief Superintendent Nyathi, the arresting officer.

      Paradza was remanded out of custody to 21 March and ordered to
surrender his passport.
      Paradza was arrested for allegedly calling Justice Maphios Cheda in
Bulawayo, to ask him to handle an application to have Russel Wayne Luschagne
's passport released by the court registrar.

      Luschagne, facing trial for murder, is Paradza's friend and business
      Paradza, out on $20 000 bail, said soon after his arrest, Samkange
immediately informed the Judge President, Justice Paddington Garwe, who
allegedly told him that the police had assured him that he would be released
from police cells, which did not

      Instead, Paradza, who was arrested on 17 February, was detained
      Paradza said: "I consented to remand purely because I had no other
option. I was fully aware that my rights as Judge as enshrined in the
Constitution had been and were still being violated, but at the time of the
remand, my only thought was to be freed from the police cells.

      "I did not want to challenge the remand and face the possibility of
not being able to meet the bail conditions. That would lead me to being
remanded in custody and possibly incarcerated with inmates whom I had dealt
with in the High Court, especially notorious criminals who have been
convicted of armed robbery.

      "The thought of being remanded and meeting these criminals was

      Paradza said he was forcibly removed from his chambers the day he was
arrested, in contravention of Sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, and 87 of
the Constitution.

      The judge said the principle of judicial independence was totally
disregarded and the rule of law threatened by his arrest, incarceration and
subsequent remand.

      "It is important that the principle of separation of powers, namely
the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature, be religiously observed by
all stakeholders," Paradza said.

      "The Executive cannot act in a manner so as to threaten, intimidate or
ridicule the Judiciary.

      "The Executive could have achieved its objective to prosecute me and
still have complied with Section 87 of the Constitution without undermining
the Judiciary and also without giving the internal and international
community an opportunity to ridicule Zimbabwe about the rule of law not
being observed in this country."

Judge sues Zimbabwe over night in lice riddled jail

HARARE, March 5 - A Zimbabwe High Court judge is suing the government for
wrongful arrest over a ''humiliating'' night spent in a jail infested with
lice, branding it an assault on judicial independence, his lawyer said on
       Justice Benjamin Paradza was detained overnight in February over
allegations that he interfered in the case of a business partner which was
being handled by another judge.
       He was subsequently charged with corruption and released on bail
until a court appearance on March 21.
       Paradza's aides say the charges were politically motivated, designed
to punish Paradza for embarrassing President Robert Mugabe's government the
previous month when he freed Harare's opposition mayor, held for holding an
illegal political meeting.
       Lawyer Jonathan Samkange said Paradza had filed a wrongful arrest
suit against the government in the Supreme Court over his detention.
       ''The judge is saying he was wrongfully arrested, that the way in
which his case was handled was heavy-handed and amounts to interfering with
the independence of the judiciary, and that his detention in a police cell
full of mosquitoes and lice was degrading and humiliating,'' Samkange said.
       Samkange confirmed a report in the independent Daily News that
Paradza, a veteran of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war, was suing Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa, police chief Augustine Chihuri, Attorney-General
Andrew Chigovera and a magistrate who placed him on remand.
       In his court application, Paradza, who was appointed to the bench
last year, challenged his arrest last month on constitutional grounds.
       ''The decision to incarcerate me in the police cells was
unreasonable, unjustified and without basis, especially when one takes into
account the nature of the allegations and also my status in society,''
Paradza said, according to the Daily News.
       ''The executive could have achieved its objective of prosecuting
me...without undermining the judiciary and also without giving the internal
and international community an opportunity to ridicule Zimbabwe about the
rule of law not being observed in this country,'' he added.
       Police say the corruption charges against Paradza are not politically
motivated. He stands accused of trying to influence a fellow judge to
release the passport of Russel Wayne Luschagne, his partner in a safari
hunting business venture.
       Luschagne's passport had been held by a court under his bail
conditions on a murder charge, and police said Paradza had said he stood to
lose $60,000 if he Luschange did not get his passport back in order to make
a business trip to Spain.

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Daily News

      Police starving us, claim detained MDC members

      3/5/2003 7:42:02 AM (GMT +2)

      Chief Reporter

      ABOUT 70 MDC members have allegedly been denied food in the police
cells at Marimba Police Station in Harare amid increasing reports of police
brutality, particularly against perceived supporters of the opposition.

      The supporters were still being detained yesterday.
      The MDC supporters were arrested as they left a rally addressed by
Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader in Mufakose, which had been authorised by
the police.

      Rhodah Mashavave, an MDC information officer, was among those
      Witnesses said the police went on the rampage, beating up people
      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesperson, said yesterday: "They are
not only being denied food but legal representation as well.

      "Our lawyers are making frantic efforts to try and represent them, but
the police are denying them access to their clients. The arrests are really
      "This was a rally which had been cleared by the police. For the police
to come back after the rally, round up innocent MDC supporters, detain and
assault them, is really uncalled for.

      "More disturbing is the fact that police carried out door-to-door
visits assaulting innocent civilians for a crime that they do not know."

      Meanwhile, Nyathi dismissed a story carried yesterday by the
government-controlled Herald newspaper that 26 MDC members were arrested
outside State House for
      allegedly insulting members of the Presidential Guard.

      He said: "The only crime committed by the 26 supporters who were
detained and assaulted in State House premises was that they were wearing
MDC T-shirts.

      In a separate incident, 19 National Alliance for Good Governance
members, including that party's candidate in the parliamentary by-election,
were arrested on Saturday and detained for about two hours at Kuwadzana 2
Police Station. They allegedly contravened a section of the draconian Public
Order and Security Act when they went door-to-door campaigning for MDC
candidate Kempton Chiwewete.
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Thirty million dollar irrigation scheme on the cards

      World Vision International
      Regions: Africa, Zimbabwe

      Forty-three families in Insiza District in Matebeleland South, 100
kilometres south of Bulawayo, are set to benefit from a ZW$30 million
irrigation scheme set up by World Vision Zimbabwe.

      The Zhulube Irrigation Scheme, which is nearing completion, is going
to offer food security to almost 6 000 people in the ward. The area is prone
to recurrent droughts and this year it is already proving to be the worst in
living memory, as people did not even plough because the rains were late.

      The scheme will draw water from Zhulube Dam with a carrying capacity
of 800 000 cubic metres, which was built by the community with the
assistance of World Vision Zimbabwe at a cost of ZW$8 million.

      To ensure fairness and transparency in the allocation of land,
preference was given to the families displaced by the construction of
Zhulube Dam, those with fields taken up by the development of the irrigation
scheme and farmers with the technical background to allow the cross
fertilisation of ideas.

      "The scheme was open to everyone upon payment of a joining fee and
those who worked on the construction of the dam naturally got some
preference," said Mr Daniel Muchena, World Vision.

      To kick start the project farmers are set to engage in intensive
market gardening where they are to grow vegetables and tomatoes, the farmers
are expected to grow food crops and sell the surplus to other families in
the ward, which is expected to empower them economically.

      World Vision Zimbabwe is also working closely with local government
authorities to ensure that the food from the irrigation scheme does not
leave the programme as it is meant to benefit the local community.

      "The food that is going to be grown from the irrigation scheme is
mainly for the community's consumption and the surplus is going to be sold
within the community and we are working closely with the local authorities
to enforce that," said Mr Muchena.

      To ensure the sustainability of the project a local committee has been
set up and is already active in the day- to- day management of developments
within the project and the catchment area to avoid siltation of the dam.


      Irrigation project threatens wildlife sanctuary

      Staff Reporter
      3/6/03 9:11:48 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government's plan to grow food crops using irrigation in Masvingo
could result in the loss of a wildlife sanctuary that environmentalists this
week said could be ploughed through as part of the project, scaring off
foreign hunters who are tomorrow expected to bid for hunting concessions at
the park.

      Under the Nuanetsi irrigation project, the government has contracted a
Chinese company to develop 100 000 hectares of land in a deal it says will
lead to Zimbabwe, facing severe food shortages, being restored as southern
Africa's bread basket.

      Environmentalists said Hurungwe Safari Area, located in the lower
Zambezi valley, could be affected by the project and in fact officials of
the District Development Fund and Agricultural Development Authority had set
up a base in the safari area.

      The two government-controlled departments are spearheading ploughing
under the Nuanetsi project.

      Sources said a manager had already been deployed to the area in
preparation for ploughing and planting, despite objections from the
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority base station
in Marongora.

      The Hurungwe Safari Area, a sanctuary for several wild animals
including cheetahs, leopards, elephants and black rhino, is under the
management of the National Parks.

      Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema confirmed that his
ministry had been warned of the danger to the wildlife sanctuary.

      He told the Financial Gazette: "I have heard about it, someone called
me on the issue. I am told that there is a farm located in that area, maybe
that is where they want to plant.

      "I have since asked for maps from National Parks to see if the parks
area is being affected."

      He said he would take "appropriate action" once he was satisfied that
the area that would be affected by the irrigation project was part of the
National Parks.

      He said: "We do not want to make noise about it then at the end of the
day this place turns out not to be a national parks area."

      But officials with the National Parks, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said they were concerned that the presence of agricultural
machinery at Hurungwe Safari Area could affect the sale of hunting
concessions, scheduled for tomorrow.

      They said foreign hunters would want to be taken around the sanctuary
for onsite inspections and they might be put off by the presence of the

      The National Parks officials said if the safari area was affected by
the irrigation project, it would be another blow for wildlife sanctuaries in
the Zambezi valley, which have been hit by a spate of invasions by landless

      They said many of the settlers had begun planting crops on parks set
aside for wildlife.

      "Several places such as Chiufe area that is located in the Charara
estates have been affected by people settling themselves where they want,"
said one official.

      "There are also people from Hurungwe area who have resettled
themselves illegally in the national parks area. Now we are being told that
Hurungwe Safari Area has to be ploughed for the Mashonaland West food

      He added: "Every time we raise these issues of people settling
themselves in our weekly meetings, we are told this is a politically
sensitive matter which can only be solved by politicians."

      Zimbabwe's wildlife industry is estimated to have lost more than $6
billion and 50 percent of its wild animals through poaching in the past two
years, which has been worsened by the invasion of white-owned farms by
ruling ZANU PF supporters.

      Some villagers who were carried away by the euphoria of the land
invasions settled themselves in wildlife areas, causing damage to habitat
that environmentalists say could take more than a decade to restore

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US$35m Diamond Mine to Open Soon

The Herald (Harare)

March 5, 2003
Posted to the web March 5, 2003

Nelson Banya

THE US$35 million Murowa project, set to become Zimbabwe's largest diamond
mine, is expected to take off soon following the successful resettlement of
142 families.

Viability problems besetting the mining industry as a whole had cast further
doubt on prospects of the project ever taking off the ground.

However, prospects in the sector now look bright following the introduction
of a new export support rate of $800 for every one United States dollar last

With reserves at an estimated 16,5 million tonnes at an average grade of 0,9
carats per tonne, the Murowa kimberlite-hosted diamond project would, once
operational, be the biggest in the country.

Mining giant, Rio Tinto Zimbabwe, which is bankrolling the project committed
US$25 million to a feasibility study since 1997, would initially mine some
500 000 tonnes of kimberlite annually, with the possibility of expansion in
later years.

The diamond project has the potential of creating over 300 permanent jobs
and earning the country massive foreign currency inflows from the precious

Murowa Diamonds is understood to have secured a multi-million dollar loan to
finance the resettlement of the 142 families who resided on the project's

"The resettlement exercise made steady progress in the second half of 2002
and the 142 families affected took occupation of their plots.

"A company, Murowa Diamonds (Pvt) Ltd has been formed to progress the
project and, for accounting purposes, is being treated as a subsidiary of
RioZim," Rio said in a statement.

A project team is now in the process of investigating means of using
existing equipment to accelerate production from the ore-body.

This would ensure that mining of kimberlite-hosted diamonds from the
Zvishavane mine would begin within a short space of time.

"As well as resulting in some production being achieved within a short time,
the success of this approach would assist in financing the main project."

The Murowa diamond project, located 40 km out of Zvishavane, had been
stalled by problems in resettling people from the area for exploratory and
exploitation purposes, since August 2001.

However, RioZim said all was now set for progress on the Murowa project.
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Clark keeps pressure on Zimbabwe
Prime Minister Helen Clark is backing an extension to Zimbabwe's suspension
from the Commonwealth.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who is the current commonwealth
chairman, and the leaders of Nigeria and South Africa, form a Commonwealth
troika, set up to oversee the year-long suspension from the 54-nation body.

The suspension is due to expire in March but Howard wants it to remain in
force until the next leaders meeting in December.

Nigeria and South Africa want the suspension lifted. Clark says it would be
bizarre to do lift the suspension when things have got worse in the
strife-torn nation.
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The Guardian

U.S. Assails Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe

Tuesday March 4, 2003 11:40 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department says the government of Zimbabwe and
its supporters are using intimidation and violence in a ``sustained
campaign'' to suppress civil society and opponents.

Spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday that more than 100 participants in
various political events have been arrested since Friday while pursuing
basic rights such as attending rallies and engaging in free speech. In some
cases they have been beaten.

In addition, he said, 23 members of the clergy were detained while seeking
to present a petition concerning police brutality to the police chief.

Recent suggestions by government officials and some members of the
international community that conditions are improving in Zimbabwe ``have no
basis in reality,'' Boucher said.

Zimbabweans ``continue to suffer greatly under an economic collapse of
enormous scope and severity,'' he said.

He said the Zimbabwean government has done nothing to address fundamental
concerns about human rights, rule of law and basic respect for democratic
values that led the United States and other countries to take steps last
year against Zimbabwean leaders, including denial of visas.

``The United States will continue to assist the citizens of Zimbabwe and to
maintain pressure on the Zimbabwe government until it reverses its assault
on human rights and on the rule of law,'' Boucher said.
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      New forex rates apply to all sellers

      3/6/03 8:58:29 AM (GMT +2)

      BANKS yesterday adjusted the mid-rates for major foreign currencies in
response to a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) directive to devalue the
Zimbabwe-United States dollar rate from $55 to US$1 to $824, which the
Ministry of Finance says will apply to all sellers of hard cash, not just

      Central bank director for banking supervision Steven Gwasira directed
financial institutions to make the change last Friday after the Ministry of
Finance announced an export incentive scheme under which exporters would be
paid a rate of $824 for their foreign currency.

      Last Friday's Government Gazette specifies that the rate of $55 will
now apply to cases "where the state is the buyer or seller of foreign
currency using the foreign currency pool managed by the Reserve Bank."

      "The mid-rate at which the Zimbabwe dollar may be exchanged in the
inter-bank market with the United States dollar shall be $824 to the United
States dollar in every other case," the Government Gazette says.

      Finance Secretary Nicholas Ncube told the Financial Gazette this week
that the new mid-rate would apply to all sellers of foreign currency and not
just exporting companies.

      He said: "What we have said is that anyone who brings in foreign
currency is technically an exporter and this we did to harness as much
foreign currency as possible."

      Banks were yesterday quoting the mid-rate of US$1-$824 to all of their
customers, including ordinary individuals.

      The banks have also devalued the Zimbabwe dollar-British pound rate
from $92 on Tuesday to around $1 300 yesterday.

      The local currency-pula rate is now $160 from $10.95, the euro $903
from $61.62, the rand $105 from $7 and the Japanese yen is around $7 from

      But Ncube denied that the government had devalued the Zimbabwe dollar,
which has been pegged at $55 since 2000 despite the country's severe foreign
currency shortages and inflation differentials with its trading partners.

      Zimbabwe, whose hard cash squeeze has led to the birth of a thriving
parallel market, has inflation of 208.1 percent compared to the single or
double-digit inflation of most of its trading partners.

      Ncube said: "Those who import will use the rate of $55, which kills
your argument of devaluation."

      He said the rate of $55 would still be used for those requiring forex
for the importation of critical commodities and goods such as fuel,
electricity and raw materials.

      But analysts questioned the government's decision to use the rate of
$55 for importers while those selling hard cash would be paid devalued

      They said that by buying foreign currency at $824 and selling it at
$55, the RBZ would be forced to fork out the difference, which amounted to a
direct subsidy.

      Consultant economist John Robertson said given Zimbabwe's dwindling
revenues, the RBZ could either run down its reserves or would be forced to
print more money to meet the difference.

      "They (RBZ) are going to run down their reserves and to me the current
arrangement will not last long," he said.

      "They can print more money but that's where all the distortions like
inflation and money supply growth come in," he added.

      First Mutual Life fund manager Nyasha Chasakara added: "It's not
economically practical (and) you risk creating chaos and allowing the
parallel market to come back."

      The government hopes to curb the parallel market by adjusting the
fixed exchange rate.

      Banking executives said the devaluation would go a long way towards
reflecting the real value of the local currency and this could result in
increased inflows of foreign currency into the official market.

      But foreign currency dealers yesterday said it was too early to
determine whether the new mid-rates would result in the immediate
improvement of foreign currency inflows.

      The latest weekly foreign currency inflow statistics released by the
central bank yesterday show that inflows totalled US$1.3 million in the week
February 27 to March 5 2003, an improvement from US$600 000 for the week
ending February 26.

      NMB Holdings deputy managing director James Mushore said the
government, through the RBZ, should constantly review the Zimbabwe dollar in
line with inflation and this would assist in eradicating the parallel

      "In our view, it is a step in the right direction but I believe the
government should review the rates in line with the rate of inflation and
get our currency to where it should be," Mushore told the Financial Gazette.

      "In reality this is a devaluation by any name you can call it."

      - Staff Reporter


Forex Rates

Botswana Pula
Japanese yen
South African Rand
British pound
United States dollar


      RBZ ponders $1 000 note

      3/6/03 9:08:13 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has resolved to introduce a $1 000
note and is now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Finance, an official
in the central bank said this week.

      The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Reserve Bank
officials had discussed introduction of the higher denomination note at a
meeting last month and had agreed "in principle".

      "The introduction of the new note was agreed at but we are just
awaiting for regulatory approval," he said.

      "When we introduced the $500 note, this was meant to be a store value
currency, but due to the economic meltdown, there is now need for a higher
denomination note."

      The central bank this week did not respond to questions sent by the
Financial Gazette.

      However, the introduction of the $1 000 note has been necessitated by
soaring inflation, which rose 208.1 percent in the year to January.

      While the cost of commodities escalates, Zimbabwe is experiencing a
shortage of $500 notes, presently the highest denomination, forcing
consumers to carry around large bundles of $100 notes to pay for their

      Reserve Bank officials say the shortage of notes is the result of
foreign currency shortages, which have affected the RBZ's ability to import
special paper. - Staff Reporter
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      Talk about the sad story of Zim in the queues

      Sydney Masamvu
      3/6/03 9:33:20 AM (GMT +2)

      THIS past Saturday, a colleague of mine had to fork out $600 for a
one-way trip from Chitungwiza to the city centre, after enduring a
three-hour wait for transport.

      He told me that there were more than 2 000 people stranded at
Chitungwiza's Makoni shopping centre, all of them jostling and shoving to
get into the few buses that could take them to their destinations.

      They were disgruntled and tempers were high because many people had
missed crucial appointments.

      According to my friend, a distraught mother unashamedly wept when it
became apparent she could not make it to the bank on time to withdraw money
to pay school fees and buy uniforms for her son. He was due to start his
Advanced Levels on Tuesday.

      Welcome to Zimbabwe, a land of queues.

      Go to any major high-density suburb in Harare and the situation is the
same. Commuters to Kuwadzana, for instance, have to fork out as much as $500
for a one-way trip.

      Almost a week after prices went up, fuel shortages actually seem to be
worsening, although no one seriously expected the price hike to resolve the
crisis, whose causes are deep-seated and will not go away overnight.

      But it's painful to queue for a commodity that is expensive and at the
same time not available.

      It is even more painful to be still queuing for fuel five long months
after the President himself assured the nation that he would personally
handle the crisis. We are still eagerly waiting for the ultimate
presidential solution.

      I would like to believe that the President is still shooing away the
arrogant British imperialists who are hijacking our oil ships on the high

      The scandalous revelation that the British were pirating ships full of
petrol and diesel bound for Zimbabwe was the scoop of the century for the
state media. Unfortunately, they have never bothered to follow it up, even
though it is of tremendous public interest.

      Anyway, queues and shortages have become the order of the day, if not
a way of life in Zimbabwe.

      Now there is even a shortage of money! Millions of Zim kwacha in your
bank account will not save you from the unpleasant experience of going to an
automated teller machine (ATM) to be told that the bank is "afraid (it)
cannot offer any services".

      Why? Because most people are anxious to avoid being loaded down with
the $100 bills the banks are giving out in their banking halls because of a
shortage of $500 notes, and would prefer to queue at the ATM, which
eventually runs out of notes.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, supposedly the national granary of
foreign currency, has itself been hit by a serious hard currency squeeze and
is unable to procure special paper to print money.

      Can things get any worse?

      A former work mate recently arranged that I have a 25-litre container
of cooking oil that I can share with my relatives for the next four months.
This is what we have been reduced to.

      Everywhere you go, you are bound see a queue for fuel, bread, sugar,
mealie-meal, margarine, tampons, you name it.

      As time consuming and time wasting as these queues might be, they
offer a golden opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe to indulge in some
introspection about their lives and the problems faced by this country.

      Even though these queues are now being patrolled by the police, let's
use them to converse with each other and freely exchange ideas. After all,
with all the restrictions now placed by the laws against public gatherings
and free speech, these queues are Godsend.

      As you push your car along that 10-kilometre queue to close that
all-important gap between you and the fuel tanks, you must ask yourself and
fellow motorists: what have we done to deserve this?

      As you queue for two days waiting for mealie meal from donors at
Siboza shopping centre in Zvishavane, ask yourself and fellow hungry
villagers: is this the Zimbabwe that we fought for?

      As you queue for tampons and cotton wool at Juru growth point, ask
yourself and other women: is this the Zimbabwe that our mothers sang for
when they chorused "hona Mukoma Nhongo, bereka sabhu tiende (Comrade Nhongo,
take up your gun and fight for freedom)"?

      As you queue for cooking oil at Renkini in Bulawayo, ask yourself and
others in the queue whether Umdala Wethu would have been proud of the
results of the liberation struggle for which he sacrificed so much.

      As you wait at three o'clock in the morning for margarine and a pint
of fresh milk at Machipisa shopping centre at my beloved home suburb of
Highfield, ask yourself and others: is this what the much harped about
sovereignty is all about?

      When the teller at your bank politely tells you he or she can't give
you your hard-earned money because the bank has no notes, ask if this is
what the Third Chimurenga means for Zimbabwe.

      Ask yourself and fellow sufferers how best you can improve your lot,
how you want to be governed and how this can be achieved.

      It is actually in the best interests of the once-people's government
to make sure that Zimbabwe's restive population doesn't spend its time in
these queues, stoking its resentment day by day.

      It would be in the best interests of the government to put things
right so that Zimbabweans can return to living their normal lives.

      Otherwise who knows what might happen when they begin to use the
opportunity afforded them to take a long, hard look at what has become of
this country.

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      Zim farmers, workers under survey

      3/6/03 9:23:15 AM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG- An assessment to determine the number of farm workers
and resettled farmers in Zimbabwe in need of food aid is currently underway
following reports that this sector may have to be added to the list of at
least 7.2 million people who already need food aid in the country.

      "We have concentrated on people in the communal areas but we recognise
that there are (food) needs in some of the communal farming areas," World
Food Programme (WFP) Zimbabwe country representative Kevin Farrell told

      He said he had been informed that "some" far-mworkers and resettled
farmers in Mashonaland, Matabeleland and Masvingo faced uncertainty about
their food security but the numbers of people affected and the extent of
their needs was currently being assessed.

      "We are conducting surveys to get a handle on the numbers involved and
hope to have reliable information soon," Farrell said.

      "The issues farmers face now are a result of the past growing season
where the country had an unmistakeable drought which affected production in
the 2002 season," he explained. "This is the hungry season," he said
referring to the period that farmers' stocks from last year were finished
while new crops are not yet ready to eat.

      He said that in addition, farmers resettled on vacated land, had
battled with seed and fertiliser and did not have heavy equipment for
ploughing. Some did not even have draught power.

      A recent Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) report said
that the number of commercial farm workers affected by the fast-track
resettlement programme had increased from about 488 000 in August to about 1
million in December 2002.

      This was due to the government's fast track resettlement programme
which, the report said, left between 600 and 1 000 commercial farms
operational. This was a sharp decrease from about 3 000 farms last year and
about 4 400 when the land reform programme started in 2000.

      Compounding difficulties associated with the land reform programme has
been a drought in many parts of the country and an economic crisis that has
increased inflation and made food purchases difficult for families.

      Earlier last week, FEWS NET urged NGOs, donors and the government, to
prepare to extend the current Emergency Operation, which ends in March, for
another year, due to worrying indications that the next harvest will not
meet the country's food needs.

      Current maize imports were coming in at less than half the national
demand of about 150 000 metric tones per month and, combined with poor
harvest prospects and anticipated low stock levels, initial estimates
suggest that Zimbabwe will need to import between 930 000 metric tones and
1.3 million metric tones of maize for 2003/4.

      Meanwhile, Farrell and Brian Donnelly, the British High Commissioner,
signed an agreement last week for Britain to donate US$8.5 million to WFP.

      The money will contribute to WFP feeding programmes in Zimbabwe until
the middle of this year, when a new appeal is expected for the country.

      In exchanging the documents with the British High Commissioner,
Farrell said: "WFP is very grateful for this extremely generous donation and
ongoing support from the United Kingdom."

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      Our history should be forward-looking

      By The dream of stones
      3/6/03 9:30:16 AM (GMT +2)

      There can be no gainsaying the fact that our nation is going through a
political and social and economic crisis.

      This turbulence has been further highlighted by the confrontation
between the forces of liberation and the forces of domination.

      However, the representatives of the forces of liberation and freedom
seem to be non-committal or simply lack the requisite strategic know-how to
eradicate the oppression being meted out to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe.

      As it is, the ZANU PF government is bent on maintaining a stranglehold
both on the seat of power and also on the minds of the people. The continued
harping about anti-colonial rhetoric at the expense of concrete delivery of
services expected of government appears to be the only trick in the bag of
the government.

      Obviously, this trick is aimed at mass hypnosis. Whether the mass
hypnosis has really worked remains to be retold in history but this must not
deter us from our quest for a new and better future. Suffice to state that
any system based on a foundation of fabrication will inevitably collapse
under the weight of its own incredibility. For the majority, the sooner this
happens, the better.

      Already, the Establishment is exhausted of its own lies, and as hunger
gnaws the spirit of the nation; the truth will speak for itself. Beneath the
surface, the Zimbabwean society is increasingly re-orienting itself toward
the ideal of community, responsibility and opportunity with respect for
freedom, peace, justice, security and prosperity.

      No one will stop the future from descending on our tormented nation.

      The only question is: what are the good-hearted sons and daughters
doing in preparation for tomorrow's arrival? We must strive to prepare our
fields, in our own individual capacities, knowing fully that when the time
for harvest comes, our individual efforts collected together, will construct
a humane vision for our children, future generations and us.

      It is idle to believe that the underlying cause of the ongoing turmoil
in Zimbabwe is essentially about land.

      While land-ownership has been skewed in favour of the white minority,
the events of the past two years have tilted the arrangement in favour of a
few black party political apparatchiks.

      The skins may have changed, but the heart of the game is still the
same. Because of this, the potential of another revolt surrounding land
distribution in the country, is highly likely.

      It is clear that the Establishment has successfully used the question
of land as a pretext to hoodwink the gullible, and suppress dissent. What
could have been a glorious human revolution was hijacked to fulfill a few
selfish desires that have little to do with the people's agenda.

      While regrettable, the land-reform related beatings, torture, and
killings have exposed the exercise for what it is: the greatest bloody fraud
in the name of the dispossessed.

      We must fight for our emancipation. The primordial right for the sons
and daughters of Zimbabwe to speak out and access the nations' resources in
a fair and equal manner must be re-affirmed. The continuation of the
dehumanising aggression amidst us must be apprehended, and sanity brought
back to the House of Stones.

      The crisis of our age consists of our quest to become authentic
Zimbabweans, free to express and become who we want to be. It certainly does
not consist of a mere change in the face of leadership, but a change, which
will affect our traditions, culture and actions in the form of government.

      Today, the nation seeks, not a cosmetic change but a skin-deep and
fundamental change that will address numerous unfinished beginnings of our

      In this endeavor, it is critical to recognise that the circumstances
that surround us cannot change unless we make a definitive choice to change
ourselves. The capitulation of the majority to the selfish and crooked
schemes of the Establishment only serves to gives credence and makes it easy
for that Establishment to continue plundering and prescribing.

      The more completely that the Establishment has reduced the people to
breadwinners, the more it has hoodwinked, confused, and manipulated.

      In the face of this confusion, we must strive to know ourselves,
because in self-knowledge lies power, self control and success. At the
moment, there is too much clutter within the spirit of the nation. To clear
it requires a doubling of effort on every front.

      In order to progress, we must acknowledge history, including all its
ugly faces - but this acknowledgement should not in any way be
self-defeating as is the case in the country today.

      Instead, it should serve as a starting point for us to recognise what
needs not be repeated in the present and in the future that we envision.

      Clearly, a lot that the nation could have gained through re-opening
the past in the form of addressing the land issue has been lost mainly due
to the selfishness of our political leadership. Totally negating our past is
perilous. We cannot risk ignoring our past but a past that imprisons us
loses its purpose in our present being.

      In my opinion, history should be forward-looking, in the sense that it
should encourage introspection of present circumstances, based on past
experience, an active introspection that ushers the nation into the
unexplored world of tomorrow with a foundation and a resoluteness never to
repeat mistakes of history. History should not consist of doing the same
things all over again. That's insanity.

      The freedom that we seek in this nation is not to be found in the past
or the future. We seek freedom in the present, because it is in the present
that freedom only exists. Freedom cannot be backdated, or postponed or
mortgaged. It exists in only one place: here and now.

      In Zimbabwe, it is non-existent. We must fight for it rather than
expect it to rain on us like manna. Freedom without struggle is a passport
to new forms of enslavement.

      The inevitable birth of a new dawn in Zimbabwe will be preceded by a
period of pain. We must brace ourselves, knowing fully that in the end we
will prosper, and the Zimbabwean flag will once again fly proudly in all our
hearts. We were not born to suffer, but to stand up against the concoction
of circumstances and prosper.

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      A year after the controversial presidential poll

      Masipula Sithole
      3/6/03 9:35:59 AM (GMT +2)

      IT is a year after President Robert Mugabe was sworn in following his
controversial win over Morgan Tsvangirai in last year March's presidential

      It is perhaps unfair to ask where are we now, a year after, because
everybody knows that we have done badly, very badly on every front in

      In March last year, inflation was 104 percent now it is over 200
percent; unemployment is now running over 70 percent; The Zimbabwe dollar
was valued at $650 to the American dollar at the "real" market value in
March last year now it is $1500 to the US dollar. There is no end insight.
By all social indications we are less stable now than we were a year ago.

      Internationally, we had many friends as we entered the March
presidential election, now we are a pariah state; even our great Libyan hope
seems to be taking a second look at us.

      The French neo-imperialists are looking at us covetously in what
appears to be the "second scramble" for Africa, which we naively think we
are playing them against the British.

      We have lost a strategic neighbour Botswana that finds our human
rights violations and governance generally offensive. It is only a matter of
time before we lose two or even more neighbours as the crisis deepens.

      In March last year there was milk and bread in the supermarkets, now
there is none. Occasionally, you could find cooking oil and butter on the
shelves, now there is nothing.

      In March last year, petrol and diesel were expensive but at least
these could be found, now the number of cars in queues waiting indefinitely
is depressing - all over the country.

      We are watching ourselves decay.

      The question is: for how long can this continue?

      Basically there are two issues here: issues of the current drought and
issues of governance.

      Nature controls the current drought but certainly we control issues of
governance. These came long before the current drought. At times we did not
see the drought because of the way the governed blinded us to the obvious.

      Consequently, even if nature were kind to us and ended the current
drought, our fundamental problem, the problem of governance would not have
been solved.

      So, while we wait for the drought to end, let us put our heads
together, as responsible citizens and address this issue. Accordingly, let
us start talking to each other.

      I am inclined to accept the view that, ultimately, the solution to our
problems of governance will come from the people of Zimbabwe themselves;
that way we can feel ownership of whatever government we establish. If it is
Mbeki or Obasanjo or Gaddafi (God forbid) who establishes such a government,
it is behoven to them not to the people of Zimbabwe. Outsiders can only
facilitate dialogue. Even then, that should be only in rare circumstances
when it is impossible to talk among ourselves.

      Frankly, I am not convinced we have failed to talk among ourselves as
Zimbabweans. We did it in the 1980s right here without Mbeki or Obasanjo
under even more severe and extra ordinary circumstances.

      Former President Banana is still here. Father Mukonori and Bishop Pius
Ncube are here. Bishop Patrick Chakaipa and Bishop Hatendi and Reverend
Wutaunashe, etc, where are you while the nation bleeds? Why don't you see
the President and Tsvangirai for God's children sake?

      Civil society where are you? Is it not the task of civil society to
facilitate these discussions and this dialogue? Why wait for Mbeki and
Obasanjo? They have their own countries to run, you know.

      It is almost certain that we are headed for civil unrest unless
serious discussions involving the ruling party and the MDC start soon. We
don't have too much time to squander anymore. We have to be seen to be doing

      Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
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       . .and now to the notebook. . .Ordinary newsprint will do

      3/6/03 9:36:08 AM (GMT +2)

      As reported in this newspaper earlier this year and repeated by the
state-controlled Herald this week, the reason queues in banking halls are
now so long is because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has run out of
foreign currency to print the required amount of money.

      But Mukanya wonders what the fuss is all about?

      Why doesn't the RBZ just go ahead and print the money on ordinary
newsprint? In fact, the central bank should have started doing this long
before now given the deplorable value of the Zim kwacha.

      And for students of economics please note, if the examiner asks you
what happens when a government wantonly prints money to fund dubious wars in
foreign lands, violent and corrupt land reforms as well as national youth
service projects, the answer is: they will soon run out of even the paper to
print their worthless money on.

      ZNA's latest killing list

      The evidence is too
      glaring for even the most sycophantic of government supporters not to
see that far from being the professional force it claims to be, the Zimbabwe
National Army (ZNA) could use a serious overhaul.

      First ZNA commander-in-chief President Robert Mugabe is blamed by many
of his countrymen for running down a country that was once the pride of

      And as if not to be outdone, the ZNA's top military commander, Vitalis
Zvinavashe, stands accused by the United Nations of looting Congolese
resources while his men died at the front during the senseless war in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      Meanwhile, ZNA soldiers seem to think they can kill innocent women and
children just to blow off steam.

      Mukanya brings you here the ZNA's latest killing list:

      Last week a private from the army's All-Arms Battle School shot dead
his wife, daughter and mother-in-law, as well as his sister-in-law and her
son before turning the gun on himself. A 12-year-old who was at the private'
s home was seriously wounded but survived the shooting.

      In December last year, another ZNA soldier smuggled his service rifle
all the way from Chipinge to Gweru where he shot dead his wife and her
11-year-old cousin before again turning the gun on himself.

      Last June, another ZNA man, Allen Zimunya, shot and seriously injured
five people at the Presidential Guard headquarters in Harare's Dzivarasekwa
high-density suburb. He also turned his firearm on himself.

      Mukanya grieves for the many defenceless women and children killed by
men they clearly trusted and the many more that are sure to die at the hands
of our professional and patriotic ZNA men.

      Clearly the army needs to take a long, hard look at itself.

      Amnesties don't work

      Addressing re-
      gional magistrates and chief law officers at a community service
workshop in Harare last weekend, Judge President Justice Paddington Garwe
had this to say about the presidential pardons Mugabe has lately generously
granted convicted criminals:

      "The granting of amnesties has become a stop gap measure that has not
always produced the desired effect."

      So, if Mukanya may ask, who has been advising Mugabe to be so generous
with these presidential amnesties of his?

      Apart from ensuring that dangerous criminals are quickly back on the
streets, the only other result Mugabe appears to have achieved is to ensure
the freedom of ZANU PF militants jailed for a variety of violent crimes
committed against opposition supporters.

      Which makes Mukanya wonder whether this in fact explains why we have
continued to have these presidential pardons being extended despite the fact
that the stated result is never really achieved.

      ZANU PF's strange bedfellows

      It seems ZANU PF's
      unofficial public relations officer David Nyekaroch- Matsanga also
loves the good world the British have created on their muddy spot.

      According to Britain's Sunday Telegraph, Matsanga is a refugee in
Surrey England where he lives together with his wife and four sons when he
is not at his favourite watering hole at the Harare Sheraton.

      In case some of you don't know who Matsanga is, he is a former
spokesman of the Ugandan bandit outfit the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The
LRA is well known for raping, killing and maiming ordinary Ugandans.

      Matsanga, in order to please his ZANU PF friends, regularly writes
articles, especially in the Sunday Moyo, castigating anything British.

      If one is to read between the lines of a comment made by a British
Home Office official in the Sunday Telegraph, Matsanga's days in the UK
might be numbered.

      The official made it clear that the British government is "not
prepared to offer sanctuary to people who abuse our hospitality".

      What strange fellows ZANU PF is bedding these days! There is this
Matsanga guy and of course that Ari Ben-Menashe fellow.

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      A nation adrift

      3/6/03 9:34:35 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST Friday the riot police arrested 23 members of the clergy as they
walked peacefully to the Police General Headquarters in Harare to present to
the Police Commissioner a petition ironically protesting several incidents
of forceful detention of clergymen.

      On the same day in Bulawayo, 42 cricket fans were arrested and
detained after Zimbabwe's World Cup match against Holland.

      Their crime? Exercising their democratic right to criticise a
government that has become intolerant of the least sign of opposition. At
the time of writing this comment on Tuesday, lawyers for the detained
cricket fans believed their clients would be kept in custody until

      In an attempt to prevent them from returning to the Queen's Sports
Club for Zimbabwe's Tuesday match against Pakistan perhaps?

      Intriguingly, these arrests all took place on the same day that
President Robert Mugabe was at pains to tell his allies in the Far East that
Zimbabwe's problems could be laid at the door of Western powers who were
spreading destabilising misconceptions.

      "We in Zimbabwe have realised that the powerful nations deploy their
powerful global media systems to undermine economics through misconceptions
and downright misinformation," he said when he launched an exhibition of
Zimbabwean products in Singapore.

      "The world has been fed with so much lies and misinformation. While
their entrepreneurs are busy expanding their agro-industries, they are busy
telling the world that Zimbabwe is in the throes of chaos."

      This is a refrain that the government has been singing for about four
years and which tragically fails to acknowledge the chaos in the country and
the ruling ZANU PF's own immense contribution towards that meltdown.

      For all intents and purposes, Zimbabwe is a nation adrift, limping
daily from one crisis to another, all of them self-inflicted except the
drought and all of them played out in the full glare of the world's gaze.

      The government would do well to remember that the world's eyes are
fixed unblinkingly on Zimbabwe even as it attempts to woo investors and
trading partners to replace the Western countries that have turned their
backs on it.

      ZANU PF's increasing use of its mail fist against citizens who are
merely exercising their democratic rights of free expression and assembly is
being observed by the French, the Thais, the Malaysians and the
Singaporeans, the very people the government seems to believe hold the key
to Zimbabwe's economic salvation.

      So too is the escalating repression of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, especially in the run-up to this month's by-elections in
Highfield and Kuwadzana.

      No doubt these countries take note of reports of ongoing farm seizures
at a time international agencies have made it clear that Zimbabwe faces
another year of food insecurity, partly because of the government's own
misguided policies.

      Here is a government going all out to lure investors and trading
partners, but at the same time doing all it can to ensure that no sane
investor will set foot in Zimbabwe.

      For surely, despite their ill-considered bleating in support of the
Zimbabwean government at the Non-Aligned Movement summit last week, these
countries use the same criteria as the rest of the world before risking
their money in any investment destination?

      What concrete support have most of these allies offered to fuel, forex
and food-starved Zimbabwe in the last four years? What real assistance and
investment is likely to come from them in the future given the instability
prevailing in Zimbabwe?

      Flowery statements cost the French and the Non-Aligned Movement
nothing in material terms, for they are unlikely to put their money where
their mouths are.

      It is unfortunate that ZANU PF is allowing itself to be hoodwinked
into believing the opposite so that it can comfortably continue with its
disastrous policies at the expense of millions of long-suffering
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      Orphanages to build own clinics

      By Zhean Gwaze Staff Reporter
      3/6/03 9:14:10 AM (GMT +2)

      FACED with the prospect of more than 840 000 potentially HIV-positive
AIDS orphans, Zimbabwean orphanages are canvassing for donor funds to build
clinics to care for children who would otherwise have to endure
opportunistic infections without the medical care that is beyond the reach
of many Zimbabweans living with HIV.

      According to statistics from the National AIDS Council (NAC), there
are more than 700 000 children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe. At
least 30 percent of them are cared for by orphanages and the rest are living
within the community.

      But a survey by the United Nations' Children's Fund last year found
that the number of AIDS orphans could have risen by more than 20 percent in
2010 in Botswana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

      A large number of these orphans will themselves be infected by HIV,
the virus that causes AIDS and will require frequent treatment for the
opportunistic infections that will plague them because of their weakened
immune systems.

      Joyce Chavarika, deputy superintendent of Matthew Rusike Children's
Home in Harare, told the Financial Gazette that Zimbabwean orphanages had
decided at the end of last year to build clinics to cater for the needs of
the growing number of AIDS orphans.

      "We agreed that we are no longer only caring for destitute and
abandoned children because the number of HIV/AIDS orphans in the society was
increasing at alarming levels," she said.

      "Every orphanage is to set up a clinic to cater for the orphans in the
homes as well as those in their outreach programmes in the community," she

      Representatives of children's homes would not disclose how much the
initiative would cost, but said they expected it to run into millions of
dollars because of the escalating cost of building materials and land.

      The price of building materials shot up by 300 percent in the last 6
months partly because of rampant inflation - which rose 208.1 percent in the
12 months to January - and shortages of the materials.

      Cement shortages are expected to worsen because of the suspension of
production by Zim-babwe's major producers.

      The orphanages will also be faced with very high prices of drugs and
medical equipment, most of which are imported and will need foreign currency
at a time the country's is battling a severe hard cash sqeeze.

      Matthew Rusike Children's Home superintendent Astonishment Mapurisa
said the proposed clinics would also need to pay competitive remuneration to
the health care workers who would run the facilities.

      "Each home has individually forwarded proposals to various local and
international donors for them to pledge their assistance to the project," he
said. "Some are trying to negotiate with their councils to be allocated land
to set up the structures."

      An orphanage official who spoke on condition of anonymity added:
"Donors now acknowledge that we are battling with escalating medical costs
and they have shown some willingness in supplying us with the money,
essential needs and drugs for free."

      Representatives of children's homes said they had a five-year plan
that would lead to the mostly donor-funded clinics being fully operational
by 2007.

      The clinics would treat the opportunistic infections associated with
HIV infection and also provide counselling to patients.

      Officials of local orphanages said they had decided to undertake the
initiative because they could no longer rely on state assistance to care for
HIV/AIDS orphans.

      The government's declining allocation of revenues to the health and
social sector has meant that state hospitals and clinics, as well as the
social welfare department, do not have the capacity to care for the growing
number of Zimbabwe's AIDS orphans.

      State health facilities are losing staff to other countries because of
poor pay and also have very little resources to import drugs to treat
opportunistic infections or the anti-retrovirals that would slow down the
progression of AIDS.

      The shortages of health professionals, drugs and medical equipment has
forced many state facilities to discharge HIV-positive patients into the
care of their families, who do not have the skills to meet their needs and
cannot afford basic medication, let alone anti-retroviral drugs.

      A snap survey of local pharmacies revealed that a variety of
anti-retroviral drugs available in Zimbabwe ranged in price from $20 000 to
$700 000 for a month's course.

      A spokesperson for the NAC said: "We don't have the mandate to import
anti-retroviral drugs but the government has and we can only lobby for their
provision. Because of the economic situation and the high cost of the drugs,
not everyone has a chance to access them."

      SOS Children's Village director Carol Smith said even though her
organisation was not supplying anti-retrovirals to the children in its care,
its medical bill was still very high because of the cost of other drugs.

      The cost of medication has risen by more than 200 percent in the past
two years, partly because of the country's foreign currency crisis and
shortages of drugs.

      Smith, whose organisation cares for 3 000 orphans, added: "Although we
don't pay for anti-retroviral drugs, the cost of our medical bill is so high
because the drugs are not available at the clinics and we have to purchase
from the pharmacies where they are quite expensive."

      Representatives of orphanages said the worst affected children were
those in the rural areas, where shortages of drugs and other resources have
combined with Zimbabwe's food crisis to worsen their plight of HIV/AIDS

      Children of Hope Foundation director Anne Kaunda said that out of the
more than 10 000 rural orphans registered in the Midlands, the organisation
could only look after 500 because of a shortage of resources.

      The foundation relies entirely on handouts from the community, well
wishers and donors.

      Kaunda told the Financial Gazette that the Department of Social
Welfare only provided financial assistance for orphans in children's homes,
prejudicing the majority of Zimbabwean orphans, who are cared for within the

      The Children of Hope Foundation director said the financial assistance
that was made available by the department was also inadequate to meet the
needs of the country's children's homes.

      The homes are each given $600 000 a year when most of their annual
budgets actually exceed $20 million.

      Orphanage officials said children's homes were supposed to receive
free medication from the Department of Social Services, but they had
recently realised that the department was no longer renewing the medical
permits of children who were terminally ill.

      "So we are getting ready (through the proposed clinics) for the
possibility that one day we will have children that need palliative care,"
Chavarika said.
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      Sanctuary echoes to tales of torture

      3/6/03 9:13:26 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - St Mary's Cathedral in Bulawayo is buzzing with tension
before the Prayers for Peace service begins on Thursday.

      Survivors of torture are going to speak at the service, which is being
led by Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo. The archbishop has taken a firm
stand against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, leading a protest at a
cricket match.

      He is a smallish man with a smiling face and he is joined in the
sanctuary of the church by other Zimbabwean church leaders, and a delegation
of South African clergy led by Archbishop Rubin Phillip of KwaZulu-Natal.

      The dim, candle-lit interior of the church begins to fill - the
congregation is made up of torture survivors, some of whom will speak, and
members of the opposition.

      Ncube begins by saying that the service is vital because the church
has become the last open space for democracy in Zimbabwe.

      "The people have been muzzled by the government, but they have the
right to testify to what has happened to them," he says.

      Phillip's greeting to the congregation is of "warmth and affection".

      He says, "God did not decide to sort out a world gone astray from
above, but by sending his own son into the world to suffer and redeem".

      The archbishop says the South African delegation of churchmen are with
the people of Zimbabwe to identify with the pain of their struggle against
the regime and to protest against gross abuses of human rights.

      He thanks God for those who are prepared to stand up and be counted on
the side of good, and that the struggle is a peaceful one.

      Peaceful it might be, but there is a moment of tension when Shari
Eppel stands up to give a statement on behalf of survivors of "torture and
organised violence".

      "There are a number of members of the CIO - state security police -
here. We have taken note of you and we know who you are. If you are here to
pray you are welcome, if not we ask you to leave."

      Nobody moves.

      Members of the congregation light candles from flames held by the
bishops and then place them on the altar. They are to commemorate those who
have been the victims of torture and violence.

      Later, wooden crosses will be brought up to the altar to mark the
lives of those who have died.

      It is time for the survivors to stand up and tell their stories. There
are representatives from Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, Matabeleland and
Manicaland who speak.

      One of those to speak is Sithabile Dube (not her real name).

      She hands her baby to a man, who carries her to the back of the
church, and Moyo ascends the stairs to the altar. In the flickering
candlelight she is an impossibly thin figure, dressed in a navy skirt and
sleeveless blouse.

      She stands next to Ncube, who is going to translate for her, and
begins to tell her story. It begins well, although the archbishop has to
bend close to her as she speaks quietly.

      Then suddenly she is falling; in what looks like slow-motion, she
pitches sideways off the pulpit and stumbles before running towards the door
of the cathedral.

      Eppel gets to her before she falls and she is hustled out of the
cathedral through a side entrance.

      There is a stunned silence among the congregation who minutes before
had been expressing their solidarity with murmurs of outrage.

      Another person who gives evidence of abuse and torture is Job Sikhala,
Movement for Democratic Change Member of Parliament for St Mary's
constituency. He was picked up by the security police and told that he was
to be charged with trying to overthrow the government and planning an
uprising against (President Robert) Mugabe.

      He denied these allegations and, after a number of days at Harare
central police station, was booked out by a number of policemen, who took
him to an unknown destination.

      "They stripped me and beat me on my buttocks and feet, but I would not
admit to the lies they were trying to force me to admit to. All the time I
had a hood over my face. Then they attached electric gadgets to my second
toes and shocked me.

      "After that they shocked me on my private parts and then put
electrodes between my teeth and under my tongue. At this stage I collapsed.
One of my tormentors seemed to be drunk and urinated on me. I had also lost
control of my bladder and they screamed at me and told me to roll around on
the floor to clean up the urine. Then they made me lick it up."

      Sikhala was then taken back to Harare Central and released.

      After the service, buses begin to leave for various destinations.
There is concern about getting those who have told their stories out of the
cathedral and to safety.

      Concern, especially, for Sithabile Dube who has exposed the ZANU PF
training camps.

      After the crowd has left, the security branch move in to take away
Archbishop Ncube. The other ministers and bishops, including Rubin Phillip,
remain with him, offering some form of protection.

      Eventually the security police give up and leave.

      On Friday, they are back waiting for Ncube and once again Archbishop
Rubin Phillip and other churchmen go to wait with him.

      This time, however, the standoff is reasonably brief. Ncube agrees to
speak to the security police. He is warned that the church service the night
before was too political to be a religious service.

      Archbishop Phillip leaves for South Africa after giving a hasty
interview to the SABC. And he leaves by air.

      "I'm really worried about that young woman, Dube," he says. At the
time Dube and her baby were safely out of harm's way.

      For how long is anyone's guess. - Cape Times

      (Sithabile Dube's real name has been withheld for security reasons)
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      CIO warn Pius Ncube

      Staff Reporter
      3/6/03 9:12:40 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - State security agents have warned outspoken Roman Catholic
Archbishop Pius Ncube to stop dabbling in politics after a prayer service
during which female recruits from the national service programme made
allegations of rampant sexual abuse, it was learnt this week.

      Ncube, who has taken a firm stand against human rights abuses in
Zimbabwe, said the warning was delivered by two members of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) at St Mary's Cathedral at the end of last

      It was conveyed after a "prayers for peace" service held at the
cathedral last Thursday, at which victims of torture and political violence
gave testimonies of their experiences.

      Ncube, who was in the company of clergymen from Matabeleland as well
as a delegation from South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal led by Archbishop Rubin
Phillip, was told that the government was not happy with his politicisation
of sermons during church services.

      He said the state security agents wanted to arrest him soon after the
Thursday night service, but failed when other church ministers and bishops,
including the visiting clergymen from KwaZulu-Natal, resisted attempts to
whisk him away.

      Ncube said the CIO operatives however returned on Friday and spoke to
him, telling him that Thursday night's service was too political to be a
religious service.

      "The CIO came to the cathedral on two occasions, I was with other
clergy," he told the Financial Gazette. "They told me that they were not
happy with some of my preaching, especially the church service on Thursday

      "If it was not for the clergy that were with me, I think they intended
to arrest me. They failed because of our togetherness."

      He said he had told the security agents that the church could not
divorce hunger, economic hardships and political violence from religion, nor
could it turn a blind eye while people were suffering.

      "I'm now afraid and am now staying in different houses," Ncube said.
"There are more victims of torture out there who are not willing to talk,
but if we are to fight this, we need to be strong and fearless."

      During last Thursday's service, seven victims of political violence -
six former female national service trainees and Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) legislator Job Sikhala - testified that they had been tortured
in the last few months.

      They made allegations of physical abuse and rape against state
security agents, supporters of the ruling ZANU PF and male recruits being
trained under the so-called national youth service programme.

      The controversial programme has been slammed by critics for training
ruling party militia that have terrorised opposition party supporters.

      Allegations of sexual abuse of female recruits as well as MDC
supporters and members of the public have also been made against some of the
male recruits and their instructors.

      The government has denied the allegations of torture and sexual abuse.

      However, a former recruit, who said she was a fugitive from one of the
youth training centres, reduced members of the congregation to tears as she
recounted how she was sexually abused and impregnated by a senior Bulawayo
war veteran at one camp.

      The former recruit, who is from the Midlands province, showed the
congregation a child she claimed was conceived after one of the rapes. She
also alleged that she had contracted HIV, the virus that caused AIDS,
because of the sexual abuse she had endured.

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      ZRP refuses to file case against top cop

      Staff Reporter
      3/6/03 9:06:40 AM (GMT +2)

      NELSON Chamisa, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
candidate in the Kuwadzana by-election, this week charged that the Zimbabwe
Republic Police (ZRP) had refused to open a docket against a high-ranking
officer for death threats that have been denied by the ZRP.

      Chamisa says Assistant Commissioner Langton Tagwira, the officer
commanding Harare province, threatened him with death on Tuesday if he
continued to campaign for this month's by-election.

      Tagwira has denied the allegation.

      Chamisa told the Financial Gazette he had attempted to report the
alleged death threat at Harare Central Police Station and at a police
sub-station on First Street, but had been told by officers that they could
not take a report because this might compromise their jobs.

      He said: "We wanted a docket to be opened against Tagwira for
threatening me with death but the police officers refused.

      "The police officer we saw (at Harare Central) immediately phoned his
bosses to ask for advice and later told us that he had been ordered not to
record anything from myself or any of my associates.

      "We then went to the First street sub-station where the officers there
told us that the case was complicated and they would be fired if they opened
any docket against their boss.

      "They advised that the best I could do was to make a report to the
Complaints Against Police Desk."

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena denied that Chamisa had been
threatened, saying therefore there was no basis for a docket to be opened.

      "To suggest that he was threatened with death is seeking cheap
publicity because that never happened. It is just a way to appeal to the
local and international community and act as if they (MDC) are being
harassed," said Bvudzijena.

      "Chamisa is a candidate and we normally call these candidates in to
advise them on how best they can campaign without causing violence. That was
the purpose of the meeting. Why should anyone threaten him?"

      But Chamisa alleges that Tagwira made the threat in the presence of
his campaign manager, Charlton Hwende, during a meeting on Tuesday.

      He said he had instructed his lawyer, Sheila Jarvis of Atherstone and
Cook, to demand an explanation from Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri on
why the police had refused to open a docket.

      The lawyer will also seek clarification on whether the ban allegedly
imposed by Tagwira reflected the ZRP's official position.

      Jarvis would also write to the Electoral Supervisory Commission and
protest against the ban, Chamisa said.

      Jarvis confirmed yesterday that she was handling the matter but said
she could not comment until she had been fully briefed by Chamisa.

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      Foreigners to buy fuel in hard cash

      By Godfrey Marawanyika Senior Reporter
      3/6/03 8:57:51 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Ministry of Energy and Power Development has proposed that foreign
motorists travelling through Zimbabwe should pay for fuel in hard cash, as
part of short-term measures - including fuel rationing and decontrolling the
price of blend petrol and Jet A1 fuel - to alleviate the country's liquid
energy crisis.

      The proposals are contained in a document entitled Position paper by
the Ministry of Energy and Power Development on the short-term proposals to
improve the fuel situation in the country, which was submitted to the
government-business-labour Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) last week.

      TNF sources said the document was debated last Tuesday and would be
the subject of further discussion next week.

      They said at next week's meeting, the three partners could either
fully endorse the document or suggest further adjustments before the
proposals were considered by the government.

      In the document, a copy of which is in the possession of the Financial
Gazette, the Ministry of Energy says that Zimbabwe has to stop subsiding
foreigners and curb the illegal cross border trade of fuel.

      It says: "Foreigners have taken advantage of the existence of the
foreign currency parallel market, which has made Zimbabwe's fuel cheaper for
them. Foreign motorists therefore drive into the country with empty tanks
for them to fuel in Zimbabwe.

      "By ensuring that foreigners pay in hard currency, this will make them
pay a reasonable price for the fuel and it will also go a long way in
channelling foreign currency into the formal market. The ministry is
therefore recommending that foreigners should pay in hard currency."

      It was not possible to ascertain from Energy Minister Amos Midzi how
this system, if it was implemented, would operate.

      But sources within the TNF said foreign motorists might be asked to
pay forex at points of entry, where they would be given coupons that they
could redeem at chosen service stations around Zimbabwe.

      They said the ministry was considering involving the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority, which would collect forex from motorists at entry points and
which would also station officials at service stations participating in the

      The sources said the modalities of the scheme would, if the Energy
Ministry's proposals was adopted, also be worked out in conjunction with the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

      In its proposals, the Ministry of Energy pointed out that a system in
which foreigners paid in forex for goods and services in Zimbabwe was not
new and was already operational in the tourism industry.

      Foreign tourists in Zimbabwe usually have to pay hotel bills in hard

      But analysts this week warned that foreigners might be unwilling to
part with their money at entry points since holding coupons would not
guarantee them that they would be able to secure fuel once in Zimbabwe.

      Witness Chinyama, the chief economist of Kingdom Financial Holdings,
said the foreigners might be forced to queue for petrol and diesel like
local motorists, even though they had already paid for fuel.

      "This scheme has to be worked out properly otherwise it could create
trade division instead of trade promotion," he said.

      Other proposals by the Ministry of Energy include a sustainable
pricing structure that would contribute towards increased fuel inflows.

      The government last week almost doubled the price of fuel but some oil
industry executives believe this is inadequate to encourage companies to
begin procuring fuel now that they have been given permission by the
government to do so.

      In the past, only the state-controlled National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe has been allowed to purchase fuel, but the company has no foreign
currency, leading to stock outs.

      The Ministry of Energy is also proposing "price cross subsidisation"
and the de-regulation of the prices of unleaded petrol and Jet A1 fuel.

      According to the ministry's document, product cross subsidisation is a
pricing system that would take into account the economic value of each

      "Considering that diesel is mainly used by the productive sector, any
upward price adjustment would lead to price increases across the board," the
document said. "Any price review should therefore take product cross
subsidisation into consideration.

      "Paraffin is a product used mostly by the poor who need protection
from huge price hikes. The use of blend is two-dimensional. It is used
significantly in supporting the business sector and also for luxury
purposes. In our price proposals, upward price adjustments are heavier on
blend than on diesel and paraffin."

      The ministry said by decontrolling the prices of unleaded petrol and
Jet A1, the government could encourage companies to import the products.

      It said it was also proposing price trigger mechanism, fuel rationing
and price discrimination for the near future.

      A price trigger mechanism would result in pricing that was responsive
to both international and local market forces, the ministry said, adding
that price discrimination would allow fuel price differences based on engine

      "Consumers driving non-commercial vehicles with large engine
capacities should pay relatively higher prices," the ministry said. "In any
case, such people, who can afford these luxury vehicles, should be able to
pay such prices.

      "In the face of continuing difficulties associated with shortages of
foreign currency to purchase fuel, the ministry is actively considering fuel
rationing so that everyone gets something from the available fuel stock."

      The rationing would involve allocating agreed quantities of fuel to
"specific organisations, companies and individuals".

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      Envoys fail to pay rentals

      By Sydney Masamvu Assistant Editor
      3/6/03 8:56:45 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last week had to urgently supply
foreign currency to prevent the eviction of Zimbabwe's ambassadors to Rome
and Switzerland, whose residential rents had not been paid for the last five
months, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.

      It was not possible to ascertain how much money had been paid by the
central bank, but the officials said the foreign currency supplied last
Wednesday was only enough to temporarily stave off the evictions of Zimbabwe
's ambassador to Italy, Margaret Muchada, and her counterpart in Switzerland
Chitsaka Chipaziwa from their residences.

      Chipaziwa is the Zimbabwean government's permanent representative to
the United Nations (UN) in Geneva.

      Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, who declined to be named, said
the evictions of the pair was scheduled for last Thursday after the
government failed to pay their rents for the past five months.

      The officials could not say whether rents for Zimbabwe's chanceries in
Rome and Switzerland were up to date.

      But they said several written warnings to settle the rent arrears on
the ambassadors' residences had not been heeded because of the country's
severe foreign currency crisis, which has also affected the payment of
salaries to Zimbabwean diplomatic staff.

      "We made a hasty plea last week to the Reserve Bank to provide
whatever amount of foreign currency it had to make part-payment for the
rental arrears in Italy and Switzerland," an official told the Financial

      "They (ambassadors) were left with barely a day before they were
kicked out of their homes. We had to work to avert a diplomatic

      The Foreign Affairs officials said the ambassadors' landlords were now
demanding a commitment from the Zimbabwean government that full settlement
would be made shortly or else the diplomats would be evicted.

      They said threats of eviction had dogged several Zimbabwean missions

      One official said: "Of late, we have been dealing with these issues of
threatened evictions from our embassies in Europe. Recently, we had to deal
with the Belgrade issue, which we have resolved."

      Foreign Affairs senior secretary Willard Chiwewe yesterday admitted
his ministry was facing problems in paying diplomats' rentals and salaries
because of acute hard cash shortages.

      The government has had to prioritise imports of food, electricity and
fuel with the little forex it has.

      "Yes, it's true there are problems with payment of diplomats' rentals
and salaries because of the foreign currency issue, which has become a
national crisis known by everyone," Chiwewe said.

      "We are however working flat out to address these issues and I am
happy to say our diplomats abroad have been soldering on under difficult
conditions," he added.

      Apart from meeting the salaries of its diplomats abroad, the
government also has to pay allowances for their spouses, who are not allowed
to work in foreign countries.

      Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources say some of the spouses of
diplomats have been forced to breach these regulations because of
non-payment of salaries.

      They said a series of crisis meetings were held this week within the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulting in recommendations to close some
missions and merge others, reducing staffing levels.

      But only President Robert Mugabe has the power to open or close
embassies in any country. The Foreign Affairs officials said earlier
recommendations by the Public Service Commission to close some missions had
been shot down

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Business Day

What Bob says Thabo said about Tony

HARARE Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has committed an apparent
diplomatic faux pas, by claiming that President Thabo Mbeki gave him details
of his confidential discussions with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mugabe was quoted in the state-owned Herald newspaper as saying that Mbeki
told him that Blair had admitted his government was wrong in opposing
Harare's sweeping land seizures.

Mugabe says the admission came in Mbeki's talks with Blair at Chequers, the
British premier's country residence. If Mugabe's claim is true, it would be
the first time he had leaked details of talks with other heads of state.

Mbeki's office and the British dismissed the claim yesterday. Mbeki's
spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, said Mbeki always followed the practice of not
repeating what any leader told him.

A British diplomat said: "There is absolutely no way the prime minister
could have said that. It is simply a fabrication."

In the report, Mugabe said: "Blair admitted to President Mbeki that they
were wrong and that we are right." He said Mbeki also told him that Blair
regretted his government "treated Zimbabwe as a minor if not nonissue during
its first two years in power".

Blair had admitted his government "did not realise the complexity of the
Zimbabwe land question during the run-up to the 1998 land donors conference.
By then it was too late as he (Blair) and his ministers had dug in and
misled the public and created an anti-Zimbabwe media frenzy."

Mugabe is provocative' : Page 8

Mar 05 2003 06:35:22:000AM Dumisani Muleya and Jonathan Katzenellenbogen
Business Day 1st Edition


            Delegates in Pretoria to discuss Zimbabwe
            March 05, 2003, 18:00

            Talks that could point the way to a brighter future for Zimbabwe
are underway in Pretoria with a seminar involving Zimbabwean government and
opposition figures. The seminar, a brainchild of the Institute for Democracy
in South Africa (Idasa) is geared at setting an agenda to get Zimbabwe out
of the present crisis.

            Paul Graham of Idasa says the delegates are to discuss questions
of constitutional reform, redevelopment of a culture for democracy and the
re-establishment of a human rights regime.

            Graham says President Robert Mugabe and his government seem to
be running out of options. Cracks are beginning to show within Zanu-PF with
senior members now also calling for change.

            John Battersby, a journalist, says: "Although the crisis is very
far advanced in terms of the economic meltdown, in terms of the famine and
those kinds of things, the search for a political solution is at a very
early stage."

            It might be a small beginning but the delegates, including
European Union and Southern African Development Community representatives,
believe it is a step in the right direction for Zimbabwe.

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