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IMF Executive Board Upholds Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

International Monetary Fund
Press Release No. 06/45
March 8, 2006

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met today to review Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the Fund and consider the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. The Board noted that as a result of Zimbabwe's full settlement of its arrears to the IMF's General Resources Account (GRA),1 the Managing Director had withdrawn his complaint with respect to compulsory withdrawal (see Press Release No. 06/33). Following the discussion, the Executive Board decided not to restore Zimbabwe's voting and related rights and not to terminate its ineligibility to use the general resources of the Fund at this juncture.

The Board also considered issues related to Zimbabwe's outstanding arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)-Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF) Trust Fund.2 It noted that Zimbabwe's economic crisis calls for urgent implementation of a comprehensive policy package comprising several mutually reinforcing actions in the area of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms. The Board urged Zimbabwe to continue its efforts to resolve the remaining overdue financial obligations to the PRGF-ESF Trust, and agreed that the Fund will consider further Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the PRGF-ESF Trust within six months of the date of this decision.

Because GRA and PRGF arrears are subject to separate legal frameworks, the various decisions taken by the Executive Board to address outstanding arrears to the PRGF-ESF Trust remain in place. Therefore, Zimbabwe remains excluded from the list of PRGF-eligible countries (see Press Release No. 01/40).

Zimbabwe has been in continuous arrears since February 2001 and is the only case of protracted arrears to the PRGF-ESF Trust, which currently amount to SDR 83 million (about US$119 million).



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Mutasa Threatens To "Physically Eliminate" MDC Officials

Zim Daily

            Thursday, March 09 2006 @ 12:05 AM GMT
            Contributed by: correspondent

             State Security minister Didymus Mutasa has said the
intelligence will not hesitate to "physically eliminate" mercenaries in the
opposition MDC's anti-senate faction bent on subverting the democratic
processes in Zimbabwe by seeking to illegally unseat "President Mugabe's
democratically elected government." Mutasa alleged that the MDC was linked
to an arms cache discovered in the eastern city of Mutare Tuesday. Mutasa
said the intelligence had already uncovered that there was a plot to
destabilise the country in a scheme involving opposition members and army

            "This is a disastrous way that (MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai
has chosen for himself," Mutasa said. "We will not fold our hands and allow
the anti-senate faction to subvert our democratic processes through their
regime change agenda being pursued from 10 Downing Street. The security
forces are prepared to meet any threat to our sovereignty. We know
everything that is going on."

            Mutasa said the suspect, Peter Hitchmann was "now co-operating"
and he has already revealed his principals and how the MDC is involved in
this mutiny attempt. He said the intelligence have already gathered that the
captive was working for an organization funded by the US's intelligence arm
CIA called the Freedom Movement "with opposition members Roy Bennett and
Giles Mutseyekwa as the coordinators." "We will lave no stone unturned,"
Mutasa said, adding that the government will now remove all ex-Rhodesian
officers from its security ranks.

            "We will like to sternly warn the MDC to desist from attempting
to unseat the government through undemocratic means. We will eliminate them
physically, we will not hesitate to do that," he said without elaborating.
But the MDC denied complicit in the arms cache, with MDC spokesman Nelson
Chamisa saying the allegations were part of a wider plot by the State to
arrest some of its leaders and to smear Tsvangirai and his supporters.
Chamisa said it was clear the timing of the find was aimed a derailing their
congress scheduled for next weekend.

            "We wish to state categorically, that while we believe
Zimbabweans have lost faith and confidence in elections, our desire to
effect democratic change shall be realised through peaceful, democratic
resistance," Chamisa said. Zimdaily heard that Mutare South legislator Giles
Mutsekwa and the MDC's Manicaland treasurer Brian James have already been
arrested in connection with the find, which was unearthed at Hitschmann's
house, a former member of the white settler army before independence.
Zimdaily heard that Hitschmann is a serving member of Zimbabwe Republic
Police's special constabulary auxiliary unit.

            Chamisa said the government - which has openly shown more
hostility against Tsvangirai's wing of the MDC - wanted to use the weapons
discovery to arrest prominent figures of the faction and scuttle the
congress which Tsvangirai hopes to use to galvanise his supporters for what
he has said shall be a programme of popular resistance against Mugabe and
his ruling ZANU PF party. The congress is scheduled to take place on March
17 and 18. "The dictatorship is disturbed by this event (upcoming congress),
given that earlier attempts to destroy the party over the Senate election
failed dismally," Chamisa said. According to the police, the arms cache
included AK-47 automatic rifles, machineguns, shotguns, pistols, revolvers,
tear gas canisters, flares, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a two-way
radio communication system.

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Mugabe's police arrest three after seizing arms cache

The Scotsman

POLICE in Zimbabwe have arrested three men after unearthing an arms cache
they said was going to be used by the opposition party to overthrow Robert
Mugabe, the president.

State media said police had found the cache on Monday at the home of Michael
Hitschmann, believed to be of German descent, in the eastern city of Mutare.

 Police picked up Brian James, a provincial treasurer for the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), from his home in the wealthy Mutare suburb of
Murambi early yesterday morning. Giles Mutsekwa, the opposition MP for
Mutare North constituency, was arrested in the capital, Harare.

The official Herald newspaper said the cache included an AK-47 rifle, four
FN rifles, seven Uzi machine-guns, 11 shotguns and a set of two-way radios.
The paper claimed that Hitschmann, whose father owns a security firm in
Mutare, was linked to an association of former Rhodesian soldiers calling
themselves the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement, which has vowed to oust the
government by military means.

Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the MDC, said the party was the victim of a
state plot.

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Lack of resources hinders police operations

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Mar-09

OWING to a severe shortage of resources, Zimbabwe Republic Police is failing
to provide adequate food and blankets to detained suspects at various police
Inmates revealed this yesterday when they met the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Defence and Home Affairs during its tour of Matapi, Highlands
and Harare Central holding cells.
Chairman of the committee, retired colonel Claudius Makova, said some of the
inmates interviewed by the committee said they were now relying on food from
friends and relatives.
"The inmates generally complained of lack of food, toilet paper and
blankets. They said they were now relying on supplies from home brought by
their friends and relatives, especially at Harare Central and Highlands
cells," he said adding there were, however, no complaints by the suspects of
ill-treatment by the police.
Makova said the committee noticed that toilets were blocked and water
seeping into some of the cells.
"The heating system and the sewer especially at Harare were broken down. The
maintenance unit at the station said they did not have resources to repair
the damages," he added.
During the same tour, Makova said the police officers complained of lack of
accommodation  and poor remuneration, a situation the Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri   highlighted to the same committee last year.
"The police officers said they were being paid low salaries and were also
facing accommodation problems. At the end of the day this affected their
performance," Makova said.
The Bikita West legislator, however, said the problems being faced by the
police were a result of low budgetary allocation from the central
The Ministry of Home Affairs was allocated $5,9 trillion in the 2006
national budget.
"We are aware that the Ministry of Home Affairs and ZRP didn't get what they
applied for in the budget. As such, the challenges are a result of
inadequate funding from the fiscus. These problems are also due to the
sanctions that the country is facing.
"What we are seeing is a manifestation of the problems in the country caused
by the sanctions. The country is under siege," said Makova.
During a similar tour last year inmates at Harare Remand Prison said they
had resorted to using Bible pages for toilet paper and generally raised
concerns about squalid living conditions worsened by food shortages.
The same year, the Supreme Court also ruled that the conditions at Matapi
holding cells were a contravention of human rights and ordered the
government to upgrade them.
This has, however, been hampered by lack of resources, Makova said.
Makova said the committee is expected to visit Masvingo, Matabeleland and
Manicaland provinces on similar tours before compiling a report with
recommendations to be tabled in Parliament.

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Zimbabwean Journey

"We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when
confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be
changed. When we are no longer able to change a situation - just think of an
incurable disease such as inoperable cancer - we are challenged to change

                               - Viktor Frankel -

Like a woman in childbirth, Zimbabwe is in the throes of labour. She has
come far, the seemingly unbearable pain, the relentless pressure, the fear
of what is and what might be, the knowing that no matter what, there is no
going back, only forward. The periods of relalative calm in between the next
and more powerful wave of pain, are so small and short now; more than ever
before - barely giving any significant chance of catching our breath or
energy so as to brave the next onslaught. This labour has engulfed so many
in the past, continues to threaten to drown so many of us in the ever
increasing ocean of physical, emotional and spiritual turmoil.

Every woman knows that once she has experienced childbirth she is never,
ever the same again. It is a terrifying experience, fraught with risk, with
indescribable torment between the heart and the common sense. We try to
understand the mechanics behind a process that has happened so many times
before to so many others before us. Yet we also know that we stand to lose
all we have invested in this state, and should we lose the end reward, we
are also painfully aware of the horror that awaits us; the depth of what we
stand to lose not forgetting our own sanity. Yet, we go on, for the dream
beckons and if we stop dreaming, we stop hoping and only then, is all we
work, play and live for lost.

Viktor Frankel talks about the survival rate in the concentration camps as
being 1 in 28. Yet he has also based his revolutionary new form of
psychology on what he saw in those camps. "For what then matters is to bear
witness to the uniquely human potential at it's best, which is to transform
a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human

Time and again through the progress of the birth of our new nation, we have
born witness to countless heroes and heroines who have met their
"impossible" circumstances with their personal best performance at their own
spiritual, mental self actualisation - in short; they have become who and
what God intended them to be. They have shone or continue to shine their
light for the rest of us to see our way through the darkest of days. Time
and again my heart spills over and I am galvinised into action when sent a
reminder of just how selfish we can become locked into our comfortable
homes, jobs and families. We try desperately to avoid the pain of seeing
what must be seen. Of feeling what must be felt. Of experiencing what must
be experienced. Of doing what must be done. Of being as big a part of the
birth of a new nation as any one of those saints who have dared to put it
all on the line to risk a better future for those who will come after us.

By all accounts, local and global, we are on the verge of collapse and
hopefully, rebirth. I see people walking or pushing their bikes so very
slowly early in the morning to conserve energy; I challenge you to look
carefully; let your gaze linger a little longer. You will see the skeletal
frames through the clothes, the despair and pain etched on every single face
as these poor, poor people head for their workplaces for what must amount to
close to not even enough to feed a starving family any semblance of a meal a
day. To know that should one of their children become critically ill, there
is no place to go for help, drugs or effective care. To exist every day. day
after day, to try to look after a family; no matter how hopeless. As your
eyes connect with theirs, you will see just how privileged we are to have
all we need right at our fingertips, and yet we moan, we complain, we waste
precious life energy on our opinions.

I apologize if I offend with my perceptions but the time is here to throw
off the cloak of deceit, of self-pity and of comfort. it is time to do what
must be done in order to see our country through this labour; that we may at
the very least be able to know that the suffering in our lives and those
around us is not dependant on whether or not we succeed in becoming a new
nation / government / generation. Our suffering is worth nothing if this is
all we are doing it for!! My challenge to every one of you out there is to
look deeply into your own life and see that there is meaning in our pain. in
our suffering. We are not simply looking to an end point ie:"a new country"
or "a new beginning" .... if that is all we are wanting then our journey is
worth very little. But if we can see how much we have grown and how far we
have come as a single soul and as a communal soul, if we can see that the
meaning of all this pain is growth, self-discovery and a deep, transparent
peace with who we are no matter the circumstances, then my friends, we are
already experiencing the birth of our new nation.

If the economists, history and the facts themselves are correct, we are
about to enter the final stage of childbirth. Short yet all-encompassing and
incredibly intense. Let us hold onto the quality strands that we have become
through all our experiences good and bad, let us weave our individual fibres
together so that the resultant fabric is beautiful, strong, resilient and
stands the test of time. So that, when we stand back at the end of our days,
we see that from afar, that fabric bears the colours of the New Zimbabwe
flag, flying high above the heads of a people who live together in peace,
respect and embrace each other's culture and differences. A people who are
committed to throwing aside their own needs in order to ensure that all our
children may have a brighter day where they belong.

In closing, let each one of us all over the world celebrate the part of us
that was and is, and always will be Zimbabwean. Let us see our journey as a
blessing and Divine interception in order for us to find ourselves, to test
ourselves and to discover what holds the greatest meaning for our personal
peace and happiness. For my own part, it's all those things we have here
that cost not a cent. Family, friends, sunshine, history, wide open spaces,
the people, easy smiles and greetings, informal gatherings of every kind at
every opportunity, traditions, sunsets, the first rains, my birthright, my
children's happiness at doing all the things that I did as a kid growing up
in this country. So, this is my fourth child, my fourth labour. I know that
it will probably be the hardest and most dangerous. But I also know that
there is no going back, and I shall dig deeper than ever, feel the fear and
keep on going. For great things come with great risks and my soul drives me
on. Let us do what we can the best we can. All we have to give is all we've
got ... it will be enough and we shall find ourselves and each other by
doing it.

Let us get up and look around ... and let us seize every chance to do what
is good, what is right and what is God's purpose for us here and now. Hope
is not about what lies in the future; hope is doing what's morally,
spiritually and behaviourally pure and true .... no matter the outcome, no
matter the circumstances. At the end of our days we can look back at our
Zimbabwean journey and know that it was all meant to be - so that we may
serve her and our God well. Walk with me now.

Debi Jeans

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Crackdown on 'corrupt' Zanu PF bigwigs begins

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Mar-09

THE crackdown on Zanu PF bigwigs suspected of corruption has begun.
This week, Zanu PF legislator for Chipinge South Enock Porusingazi and
Mutare businessman Esau Mupfumi have been arrested on allegations of
fraudulently acquiring over  1,3 million litres of diesel from the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim).
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
confirmed the pair had been arrested saying Mupfumi, a member of the ruling
party's central committee, was nabbed in the capital on Tuesday while
Porusingazi was arrested in Mutare on the same day.
Mupfumi, a former policeman, is being held at Rhodesville Police Station
while Porusingazi, who snatched the Chipinge South seat from Wilson Kumbula
of Zanu Ndonga's stranglehold in the 2005 parliamentary polls, is detained
in Mutare.
According to Bvudzijena, Mupfumi has two cases to answer. In the first
instance, he allegedly acquired  1 093 636 litres of diesel from Noczim for
100 buses using duplicate permits when in fact he owns about 50.
"Mupfumi received fuel in excess of his requirement," Bvudzijena said. The
Assistant Police Commissioner added that using the same modus operandi,
Mupfumi misrepresented facts once again to Noczim and received 20 000 litres
of diesel. In the case pertaining to Porusingazi, Bvudzijena said the Zanu
PF lawmaker allegedly used Chipinge South Public Works Association to
acquire 342 000 litres of diesel for his own use. Porusingazi is the
chairman of Chipinge South Public Works Association.
 Porusingazi and Mupfumi are scheduled to appear in court in Mutare today.
Mupfumi, a transport operator, recently told a weekly newspaper that last
year he received 5 000 litres of fuel, of which 2 000 were used on his 35
000 hectare tobacco crop.
He reportedly boasted that it was Manicaland acting area public prosecutor,
Levison Chikafu and himself who called for a probe into the abuse of the
Noczim subsidised fuel.
Last month, Mupfumi, Porusingazi and nine others were questioned by the
police in Mutare on allegations of abusing subsidised fuel from Noczim meant
for farming.
Their questioning came barely three weeks after Reserve Bank governor,
Gideon Gono, said in his 2005 Fourth Quarter Monetary Policy Review
statement that farmers were abusing the Noczim fuel facility, prompting
government to announce that it had blacklisted A2 farmers.
The government is yet to disclose the names of those condemned.
Under the Noczim arrangement, farmers would procure petrol at $11 000 a
litre and $13 500 for diesel - way below the official and black market rates
averaging $200 000.
Gono in his policy statement said: "As monetary authorities, we continue to
point out that the current arrangements is the fuel sector, under which
privileged few access fuel at subsidised prices is fomenting immense
leakages, where recipients of the subsidised fuel are tempted to make quick
gains through disposal of same in parallel markets, far removed from the
intended beneficiary sector of agriculture."
The arrest of Mupfumi and Porusingazi came less than a week after the
Minister of State for State Enterprises, Anti-Monopolies and Anti
Corruption, Paul Mangwana, said police would soon arrest suspected corrupt
people, among them, politicians.
He disclosed that the Anti-Corruption Commission appointed last year by
President Robert Mugabe had carried intense investigations into alleged vice
in both the public and private sector.
President Mugabe has spoken strongly against people in and out of Zanu PF
who used their privileged positions to engage in corrupt activities.

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Looming Soft Drink Shortage in Zimbabwe

Zim Daily

            Thursday, March 09 2006 @ 12:04 AM GMT
            Contributed by: wezimbabwe
             A serious shortage of soft drinks is looming Zimbabwe. Delta
Beverages Limited's non-alcoholic plant faces closure because it is failing
to raise foreign currency needed to purchase raw materials. Delta Beverages
Limited is Zimbabwe's largest drink manufacturer. Zimbabwe has had a
negative balance of payments for the past six years. The country recently
cleared its arrears with the IMF, which had been outstanding since 1999.
Zimbabwe has been facing foreign currency shortages since 1999. This has
resulted in most foreign currency depended industries nearly crumbling, the
most affected being the health and energy sectors.

            On Sunday Finance Minister, Hebert Murerwa and Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe boss Gideon Gono left Harare for meetings with the IMF in
Washington. Murerwa is reported to have said Zimbabwe would ask for
assistance. Murerwa said: "Although our voting rights have now been restored
we need technical assistance and financial assistance. We know this will not
be automatically restored but this is something we hope to negotiate... We
will be meeting the board on Wednesday." This seems, to be a shift in policy
as Robert Mugabe has is record saying that we can do it alone. The Zanu PF
regime now recognises that they cannot do it alone as was signalled by
Mugabe when he told the new British Ambassador, Dr Andrew Po*censored* that
let's build bridges. Zimbabwe's economy took a nosedive in 2000 and has
never been able to rebound. Zimbabwe's economic crisis is characterised by
runaway inflation, soaring poverty levels, an unemployment rate of 70% and
chronic shortages of fuel, drugs and basic goods.

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Zim spends $60 trillion on maize imports

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Mar-09

VICE-President Joice Mujuru has revealed that government used a total of $60
trillion in financing the importation of maize to complement the country's
food reserves last year.
Mujuru said this during a national field day organised by SeedCo at Rattray
Arnold Research Station yesterday urging farmers to fully utilise the land
to avoid such expenses in future.
She said Zimbabwe is yet to clear its food import debt.
"The country used a maximum of $60 trillion in 2005 for the importation of
maize alone", she said.
She added that the money used was meant for the building of dams, roads,
bridges and the installation of irrigation facilities to complement the
successful implementation of the land reform programme.
"A lot of money is going to social activities instead of implementing
developmental programmes", she said.
Mujuru said by importing food from other countries Zimbabwe was sustaining
those countries economies rather than its own, a situation that had fuelled
the country's inflation rate, which currently stands at 613 percent.
The country, she said, should this year avoid tendering a begging bowl for
food assistance from other countries after it had received enough rainfall
to sustain a good harvest.
She added that government would in two weeks time go around the country
inspecting those areas reported to be receiving low rainfalls in a bid to
assist the affected areas.
 Mujuru also told the farmers not to embarrass the country's leadership that
initiated the land reform programme by failing to fully utilise the land and
assured SeedCo that government would continue to support their research
"Only that way can Zimbabwe be assured that we remain on top of any
challenges that confront the agricultural industry", she said.
She also underscored the need for the private sector to take a leaf from
SeedCo and work closely with government agencies such as Arex to ensure that
farmers are equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to
use the land more effectively.
She added that government is looking at allocating land to seed houses for
breeding suitable varieties for the country so that the country may be
relieved of continuing to pump out huge amounts of foreign currency by
importing seeds every year.
"We would like to be in a position to produce enough seed for the local
market and even export some to the region.
"My message to the two Ministries of Lands and Land Reform and Agriculture,
which are both represented here, is to render our seed companies the
necessary support to enhance productivity in agriculture", Mujuru said.

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Mawere addresses Forum

The Zimbabwean

LONDON - Exiled businessman Mutumwa Mawere refuted claims by the Harare
regime that sanctions had harmed the country, when he addressed a recent
meeting of the London Forum.

The Mugabe regime itself was applying sanctions to the people of Zimbabwe,
denying them food, jobs and the basic right to own property or businesses,
he said.

Mawere was in London to defend his companies against a state takeover. He
rejected claims in the state-owned press that was a "fugitive", saying that
he had lost his Zimbabwean passport and was effectively a non-person in

In South Africa Mawere had studied the policy of Black Economic Empowerment
(BEE) that the ANC Government has been pursuing, and had seen this as a
blue-print that could be applied in Zimbabwe to generate jobs and wealth.

Instead, the Mugabe regime had passed a law by decree, which was
specifically aimed at stripping Mawere of his business assets. Instead of
using existing laws government created spurious grounds of "State
indebtedness", as a basis to take over the running of the companies.

Mawere said the law should be seen in the context of the wider stripping of
property rights in all sectors of Zimbabwean society - from commercial
farmers through to the homeless victims of Operation Murambatsvina. - Own

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Zimbabweans denied dignified funerals

The Zimbabwean

So many Zimbabweans are dying that burial at Harare's cemeteries is becoming
a privilege of the rich.

HARARE - Luis Mutero's last days of life and his subsequent death portray
the scale of collapse of basic services that historically had supported the
common people.

Luis, 38, was one among millions of unemployed Zimbabwean youths. For much
of his life, he was what is commonly referred to in Zimbabwe as a
"small-time dealer", the means by which millions of formally unemployed
Zimbabweans eke out a bare living by selling essential commodities on a
small scale.

But Luis fell ill. He could no longer trade and he became homeless. He was
forced to hop from one relative to the next seeking shelter. As his health
got worse, he was admitted to Harare Central Hospital, the main state
hospital in the capital city catering for the teeming poor. In Harare
Central, Luis became a victim all over again. He was discharged after three
weeks because the hospital was experiencing a critical shortage of essential
drugs, including those necessary to treat his ailments, and vital equipment
was breaking down because of a lack of money to import spare parts.

However, Luis was hit with fees of more than Z$3 million [about US$29] for
his hospital stay. That was the beginning of his nightmare. The hospital
refused to discharge him until the bill had been paid.

Luis did not have the money. Nor did his widowed and unemployed mother, who
was told her son would not receive water, food or clean bedding until the
fee was paid. For two weeks Luis lay in his bed in pain without food or
water. He could only eat when or if his mother could raise the bus fare to
travel from Mabvuku, on the eastern outskirts of Harare, to the hospital on
the western boundary of the city.

She was already struggling to put food on the table for her other six
children, and so Luis lay neglected on his hospital bed for days and nights
until he gave his last gasps.

But the hospital's mortuary refused to release his body until the bill had
been settled. Three days after Luis died, the family managed to raise the
money and only then could they start organising his burial.  But now, to
their horror, they discovered that registered funeral parlours were charging
between Z$30 and 50 million for the cheapest grave space and other funeral
costs. Illegal operators charge about half this amount.

So many Zimbabweans are now dying - many from AIDS-related infections and an
increasing number from hunger-related causes - that burial at Harare's
cemeteries is becoming a privilege of the rich. A grave space at the
low-income Granville cemetery costs from Z$5.5 to 8.5 million during
weekdays and Z$10 to 15 million at weekends.  This is in a country where the
lowest paid people earn less than Z$5 million a month and the majority earn
barely three times more, and where a large number of family breadwinners
have died from HIV/AIDS, leaving families headed by the elderly or by

Luis was eventually buried in a coffin that looked as though it might fall
apart if not handled carefully. Only a few relatives accompanied the body
because they could not afford to hire a bus to ferry mourners.  There were
none of the usual flowers and wreaths at the funeral in Mbare, one of Harare's
poorest suburbs. Mourners could not afford them. They also went hungry,
because Luis's immediate relatives did not have enough money to feed them.

"People are slowly losing their right to dignity in life, and what angers me
the most is that the government is also taking away that right of a
dignified burial. People are being hit twice, in life and at death," said
the mourning uncle Phillip Mutero.

With more than 200 people dying each day nationwide from HIV/AIDS, it is
inevitable that more and more families will resort to non-customary burials.
In an attempt to alleviate the crisis, Harare City Council has launched a
public relations campaign to show that cremation is both quicker and cheaper
than burial. - IWPR

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Anticipate a changed Africa - Verryn

The Zimbabwean

'recognize that this is a God moment for us'


As starvation tightens its grip across Zimbabwe, increasingly desperate
exiles brave the crocodile-infested waters of the Limpopo to try their luck
in South Africa.  Pregnant women and mothers with young children drag
themselves to Johannesburg, where many of them appeal to the churches for
safe haven.

At Johannesburg's Central Methodist Mission, Bishop Paul Verryn works
tirelessly with volunteers and staff to feed and shelter these homeless
refugees.  In the endless queue of people waiting each day outside his
office, five or more are from Zimbabwe. Without a regular source of food or
blankets, the Bishop stretches scant supplies to meet the most pressing

Women and children sleep in the sanctuary of the church every night, while
homeless men wrap themselves in blankets and sleep head-to-toe like sardines
in the meeting rooms above.  Conditions for 200 people in a church building
not meant for housing are a nightmare, said the Bishop, but a far sight
better than living rough on the inner-city streets.

Some of the women appealing for help are refugees in the truest sense of the
word.  "Just recently we had a small family of a child, a mother and a
father who came down.  They had been to an MDC rally, leaving their
seven-year-old at home.  He had been beaten up and was crying outside the
house.  They decided to move.  I won't tell you of the rest of her story
because it is too horrendous for words, but they certainly left Zimbabwe in
great fear of their lives."

Young girls harassed to join the youth militia are also appearing more
frequently at Verryn's office.

Inner-city missions like Central Methodist in Johannesburg are hugely
important in meeting the needs of the poor, but resources for this kind of
ministry are thin.  The church co-ordinates a feeding scheme for rough
sleepers, but it isn't enough.

"What we need first of all is funding to get this building into a state of
acceptable cleanliness.  The second would be if we could cook at least one
balanced meal at a central spot every day for everybody because people are
scrounging all sorts of food from rubbish bins.  I worry myself sick that
they are going to get poisoned because they are not eating fresh food and
because many of them are already health compromised," said Verryn.

"And once one starts that kind of feeding scheme, it needs to be
sustainable.  You can't raise people's expectations and then tell them, 'No,
for the next four weeks, there's not going to be any food.'  So, that's the
second thing. Third, there are basic needs for people to be able to get to
and from the Home Affairs department . Most of that happens in Pretoria, so
that's a train fare there and back."

Although the outside world may think that what is happening at Central
Methodist is commendable, Verryn finds himself "very ambivalent about the
quality of what we are able to do here and would want it to be very

"Some of the people we have in the building are extraordinary people:
accountants, school teachers, qualified nurses, a doctor.  Some are very
ingenuous in the way they are making jobs and little projects trying to
begin. So, sometimes just a little seed money for somebody to go and start a
small business would make all the difference.  We have wire artists, people
who are making fly fishing lures.  We have ballroom dancing, a drama group,
all sorts of enterprises.  Our goal is to try to enable people to take
responsibility for their lives; to reduce dependency is a critical

Verryn urged the Church to pray for a politically sustainable solution for
the Zimbabwean crisis.

"The second thing I would pray for is that while peace is not in place,
people seeking asylum and refuge find a more humane welcome in the countries
to which they flee, and that in South Africa, we have the opportunity for
them to be granted full refugee status, almost in response to the way we
were hosted and cared for during the difficult years by the Zimbabwean
government of that time.

"And thirdly, it would be so good if we could pray for the health of
refugees on every level.  Some people come here who are really very sick.
They are young people and there isn't enough to sustain them and bring them
to a place of health.  Unfortunately, we have had two people die in hospital
in the last week:  one young man of 19 and another who has a two-month-old
baby back in Zimbabwe.  The tragedy is enormous so health is a big issue for

"And then finally, prayers that begin to recognize that this is a 'God
moment' for us in South Africa.  That Zimbabweans and people from the DRC
and other exiles who seek help are a gift, especially to the Christian
community.  It's an opportunity for us to open our hands and knuckle down
and be what we say we are.  And in actual fact to be transformation agents
and to recognize that the people who come across our borders are given to us
for a very short while.  And that they may be the people who ultimately are
the agents of change when they return to their countries.  And for us to use
the opportunity of them being over here to inculcate standards of care and
humanity that anticipate a changed Africa.  Those are my prayers for the
church in Lent."

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AIPPA protects coup plotters

The Zimbabwean


'Even Mugabe has no access to information'

HARARE - To many Zimbabweans, reports of military groups calling for the
violent overthrow of Mugabe provide a glimmer of hope that their suffering
will soon end. The claims also arouse great concern that such action may
plunge the country into a civil war.

Skeptics, however, view the militant claims with suspicion, largely because
of the scanty information about them.

From the trickle of information coming out of Zimbabwe, the independent
press has gleaned that the militant groups are believed to have reached
advanced planning stages and could carry out a coup to remove Mugabe at any

Since the claims emanate from inside the country, independent journalists,
most of whom have fled the country, may not be able to penetrate the iron
curtain provided by the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA), to reach such networks and dig out the information, which is of
great interest to the public, and also to Mugabe himself. The draconian
AIPPA, which Professor Moyo should have called NAIPA (No Access to
Information and Privacy Act) muzzles the press so much that the country is
now in virtual darkness.

Independent journalists may therefore not be able to locate the leaders of
the Zimbabwe Patriotic Resistance Forum (ZPRF) or the Patriotic Military
Front (PMF), especially because they are believed to be right inside Mugabe's
government. The militants also make a great effort to remain secret, and
almost certainly enjoy a great amount of cover that even the CIO may not be
able to uncover early enough to save Mugabe.

The burden therefore remains on the shoulders of the state media, who are
exempted from the clutches of AIPPA. The state journalists have been
entrusted with the duty of informing the nation on matters of great
interest, just like these claims that some people are planning a violent
removal of Mad Bob. This is a crucial moment when the government that
employs them is in great need of vital information, and it would be an
immense disservice to their bosses if they do not do the work.

The basic information they need is already on the table. The people who are
plotting to overthrow the government that pays them are believed to be in
the CIO, the Zimbabwe National Army, the Zimbabwe Military Police, the
Zimbabwe Republic Police.  They include retired ex-army chiefs and war
veterans who are Zanu (PF) office bearers and government officials.

Unfortunately, there are virtually no real journalists left in the country,
as there are no doctors, teachers, business people, farmers and so on. Even
the beggars have fled, and the real cops now work for South African security
companies because they would not stand the mad orders they had to take.

If, however, by any slim chance there were any enterprising ones among them,
they would be detained, tortured, fired, murdered or expelled from the
country, even before they reached the juicy sources of information - thanks
to AIPPA and the Public Order Security Act (POSA).

The information blackout therefore persists - denying even Mugabe himself
access to information. If he does not repeal it as a matter of urgency, he
is sure to remain uninformed till his own lieutenants overthrow him and lock
him up in Chikurubi.

Meanwhile, the real plotters would continue enjoying the immunity provided
by their positions in the armed and secret services, aided by AIPPA of

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Urgent media reforms needed - Chinamasa

The Zimbabwean


HARARE - Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, launched this week into what
appeared to be a veiled attack on the privately-owned media. He pressed for
'urgent reforms' in media coverage to 'assist in beaming out to the outside
world our (Zimbabwe's) aspirations, our stories and our world view'.

The comment has been viewed by many as 'contradictory' due to the mass
coverage set aside for Mugabe's 82nd birthday, an event that appeared to be
a campaign to improve presidential popularity.

No less than 16 stories and two 16-page supplements were published by
government newspapers during the birthday celebrations and regular
programming on ZBH  television was suspended to make room for 100-minute
interview with the President.

The saturation seeped from newspapers and television to the airwaves of
radio where the 90-minute speech was also aired and, according to Zimbabwe's
media monitoring project team, 'praised Mugabe's liberation war credentials
and leadership qualities'

The coverage has been described by the independent media to be a
governmental attempt to get 'even more control and less diversity'. They
claimed that the Mugabe Government 'is determined to suffocate all
independent thought and replace it with its own narrow, Zanu (PF)

This is supported by the retort from Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe's ambassador
for South Africa, who spoke out against SA's Business Day newspaper for
reporting that Mugabe had verbally attacked President Mbeki. Moyo criticised
the author of the article stating: "he and his like minded (sic) are too
small to drive a wedge between Mugabe and Mbeki because Zimbabwe is not for

The interpretation by the MMPZ is that the media is failing to act in its
professional capacity that should see a balanced account of events
communicated to the public.

The Watchdog role of the media is also being hindered by governmental
controls and pressures.  The state media in its entirety failed to question
the cost of the lavish birthday celebrations - a point of public interest to
Zimbabweans suffering under the current economic crisis. They also failed to
report the arrests of demonstrators challenging the extravagant affair.

The 'Zimbabwe Independent' described the celebrations as 'the clearest sign
of his (Mugabe's) detachment from events on the ground'

Former student leader, Arthur Mutambara, was also the victim of unbalanced
media attention. 'Spot Fm' used the story to endorse the government's view
using Zanu (PF) official, William Nhara as its only source. He said: "MDC
should not be taken seriously as it does not have a solid agenda and a
programme for the people of Zimbabwe", while ZBH'S coverage was described by
the Monitoring commission as 'condescending'.

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Party Politics

The Zimbabwean

      Mutambara's speech dissected
      EDITOR - I was not impressed by Mutambara's speech on becoming

      "The pre-1980 Robert Mugabe is part of the revolutionary tradition
that defines us," he said.  Are we set for more chimurengas? Does he support
bands of men shooting people up with guns?

      "We revere Mbuya Nehanda," he said. Are the spirit mediums going to
run his
       faction as they have run Zanu (PF) all these years too?
       "There was need for a land revolution in Zimbabwe." What is wrong
       land reform? Revolutions are violent, chaotic bloody things. We have
       enough of revolution in Zimbabwe. There are more orderly ways of
       things than through revolution.
       "Some western governments reneged on agreements." He sounds like a
       (PF) party parrot here. Which western governments? What agreements?
Why did
       they "renege?"
       Mutambara never even mentioned land tenure and property rights. Does
       want to continue controlling the people like every government before
him by
       not giving ownership of land to individuals throughout the
       Mutambara sounds as though he is a Zanu (PF) mujiba, not a World Bank
or IMF
       mujiba necessarily.
      CONCERNED, Harare

      Mutambara a 'sell-out' - Mutasa

      HARARE - The ruling Zanu (PF) party is increasingly getting unsettled
with MDC

      pro-senate faction leader Arthur Mutambara, with government's
intelligence chief Didymus Mutasa alleging that the robotics professor was
an undercover Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative recruited to
pursue the US's imperialist agenda. Addressing a belated 21st February
movement celebration in Hurungwe East at the weekend, Mutasa urged a timid
Zanu (PF) audience to reject Mutambara's leadership alleging he was a
"sell-out" recruited by US President George Bush to "cause illegal regime
change in Zimbabwe."

      Although Zanu (PF) has over the years sold President Mugabe's
candidature based on his academic achievements, Mutasa, in a move that
smacked of double standards, told the Zanu (PF) supporters that one did not
need to be a professor to lead. "Musatyisidzirwe kuti tine maProfessor aiwa
(Do not be intimidated by the composition of the MDC faction which has two
professors (Prof Welshman Ncube and Mutambara)," Mutasa said. "Hutungamiriri
hauna mhosva nema Professor.

      Solidarity platform

      LONDON - A non-partisan platform open to Zimbabweans from all walks of

      life who agree to work together against a common enemy while

      their own individual political stance has been mooted here.

      The organisers believe such a platform would be a healthy and
democratic path to take in the collective endeavour to remove Mugabe and his
long-failed Zanu (PF) Regime.

      They advocate bringing Zimbabweans together under a Solidarity Banner
both inside the country and throughout the Diaspora in a unity of purpose to
defeat the common enemy.

      "When the common enemy has been defeated and to consolidate true
democracy, those who want to form different political parties and do so.
But for now working together in Solidarity is the only way forward in
Zimbabwe," said a spokesman for the founding group.

      "It is important that we waste no time in campaigning for a Zimbabwe
Solidarity Action right across the world. Members of existing political
parties will not need to abandon their political ideologies, opinions or
policies. Only we, the people of Zimbabwe, can make a real difference to the
plight of the people of Zimbabwe today, he said. - Own correspondent

      MDC responds to ZASG 'faked rally'
      I would like to respond to the article that appeared in The Zimbabwean
on Page 8 of the 2 - 8 March edition in my capacity as the organiser of the
meetings held in Johannesburg on 25 and 26 February on behalf of the MDC in

      As part of the MDC's programme towards preparations for the Congress
in March, which took the delegation to Britain and America, the purpose of
the visit to South Africa by Mr Matongo and Ms Thokozani Khupe was to
address concerns and listen to recommendations expressed by party members
living in South Africa, and to update them on congress preparations. Mr
Matongo informed members that Diaspora Party structures would be fully
incorporated into the main organisation and highlighted the need for members
to organise themselves into structures in preparation for the selection of a
representative South African national executive team.

      The National Chairman Mr Matongo at no stage stated that ZASG '...had
misled the nation and the SADC region that it had a public following, yet it
was being run by one man'.

      I was present at all meetings addressed by the delegation and I wish
to state that Mr Matongo acknowledged the contributions made by
organisations and individuals towards the struggle for a free and democratic

      I also wish to set the record straight that Ms Thokozani Khupe did not
'insist that the MDC supporters in South Africa were not doing much for the
party..' as stated in the article in the same edition on page 2, entitled
'MDC appeals for Congress funds,' but instead acknowledged the hardships
faced by Zimbabweans taking refuge in South Africa. She expressed concern at
the divisions that had been created in South Africa and acknowledged the
gatherings' commitment to a united and strengthened South African MDC party
structure under the leadership of the President Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. -
Jacqueline Zwambila, MDC Chegutu Parliamentary Candidate

      The errors are sincerely regretted. - Editor

      MDC New Zealand backs Tsvangirai

      AUCKLAND - Members of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) met in Auckland last week and made the following

      1.      The situation in Zimbabwe needs all people to unite and
confront the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe.

      2.      It is time concerned Zimbabweans, wherever they are, get
involved in efforts to bring about change, rather than watch from the
terraces as the situation continues to deteriorate.

      3.      MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, has made enough effort to
bring back his colleagues who have strayed from the vision to remove the
dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe from power, but his efforts have been
repeatedly spurned.

      4.      Morgan Tsvangirai is the legitimate leader of the MDC until
congress elects another President.

      5.      We don't recognize the meeting held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's
second largest city last weekend as an MDC congress, and the one and only
MDC congress to be held in Zimbabwe this year is the one that will take
place on 18 and 19 March 2006 in Harare.

      6.      The desire by Professor Arthur Mutambara, leader of the
opposition grouping formed out of the meeting held in Bulawayo by mostly
former MDC officials, to bring back the break away group into the MDC, is a
welcome initiative, and should the concerned former MDC officials realize
the need to confront the regime in order to bring about a better life for
all Zimbabweans, the door must be kept open for them to do so, provided they
follow the appropriate procedures in so doing.

      7.      MDC New Zealand will respect the resolutions that will come
out of the 18 - 19 March 2006 congress.

      8.      MDC New Zealand will mobilize Zimbabweans based in New Zealand
to work towards creating democratic space in Zimbabwe.

      9.      MDC New Zealand will share notes with other MDC structures in
the Diaspora in an effort to come up with a common approach for Zimbabweans
in the Diaspora in the struggle to bring about a better life for all

      10.  MDC New Zealand will always strive to give a realistic impression
of the true Zimbabwean situation to the New Zealand and South Pacific
communities. -  Ben Magaiza, Public Relations Officer, MDC New Zealand

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MDC to walk the talk

The Zimbabwean


HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai's faction of the MDC is gearing itself for active
resistance politics. This is the message the party's leadership will take to
its congress at Harare's City Sports Centre next weekend.

"The time for talking is over. It is time to walk the talk," said Nelson
Chamisa, secretary for information, in an exclusive interview with The
Zimbabwean this week.

Ten thousand delegates are expected to attend the congress under the banner
of "Rallying the people for a new Zimbabwe".

"We want to get a mandate from the people on the way forward, particularly
in terms of participation in elections in view of the skewed nature of the
electoral process under the control of the Zanu (PF) government," said
Chamisa.  "The rigging continues and we believe it is futile to follow that

He said the party had invited all the rebels, who held their own congress in
Bulawayo two weeks ago, to attend this congress. "This is the only platform
for raising the leadership issues that have split the party," said Chamisa.
"So we hope they will attend and participate meaningfully so that we can all
go forward."

Other democratic forces in Zimbabwe, including churches, civic organisations
and pressure groups have also been invited to attend, as have diplomatic
representatives and political parties from the region.

A number of constitutional amendments will be tabled for discussion at the
congress and are expected to generate active input from the provinces.

All party posts will be up for grabs and prospective candidates have already
begun campaigning for these.

Chamisa emphasised that the MDC was a broad-based party, which sought its
mandate from its supporters at every level.  "Morgan Tsvangirai is not the
MDC.  The people are the party," he said.  "Congress is expected to
demonstrate this very clearly."

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Divided, we attack from all sides

The Zimbabwean


Never mind how anyone interprets the differences in the MDC, the reality is
simply that humans never view things the same. Sadly, the politicians who
have been a beacon of hope, to whom the duty of reinstalling democracy and
economic recovery was entrusted, are busy getting at each other's throats.

It may not be accurate to credit the CIO with the split in the MDC, but that
alone provides powerful ammunition for Zanu (PF) and the two MDC factions to
gain political capital against each other, while the so-called senate still
has to find something to do, several months after it was imposed.

The MDC may not have needed to debate the senate issue in the first place.
At that stage the opposition party had long realized that it would never win
elections held under current circumstances which permit wholesale rigging by
the ruling party.

The only wins the MDC ever got were in its strongholds, where voters voted
so overwhelmingly against ZANU (PF) it rendered the rigging ineffective.

Effectively the MDC leaders are squabbling over something that doesn't
actually exist, and Mad Bob must be laughing his head off at the success of
his political jugglery.

"Even the squabbling in the MDC won't stop us in out 'look east' programme,"
was one of his recent quips.

With or without the 'senate', the MDC has to abide by its conviction to lead
the people out of the Zanu (PF) tyranny and economic chaos. Instead of
wasting their time on the senate circus, the MDC leadership should explore
innovative means of making more people realize the urgency of changing
national political and economic policies. It has to mobilize everyone,
including the army, police and even Zanu (PF) members themselves.

Nonetheless, if the MDC chaos develops into a complete split, it may as well
be accepted as democratic action, and possibly the clichéd blessing in

Remember that in 1962 the Zapu leaders argued over whether to agree to a
settlement with the colonialists or demand the country back with the barrel
of a gun. Joshua Nkomo preferred to settle the matter peacefully with the
British, and wanted to use his prerogative as leader for a final decision.
There developed the 'pro-armed struggle' and 'anti-armed struggle' factions
of the party. Those who opposed Nkomo, the 'pro armed struggle' group that
included Mad Bob, labelled him a sellout and dictator. The same happens
today when Morgan Tsvangirai uses his prerogative to take a pragmatic
decision for the MDC about the senate issue.

The central issue that split Zapu at that time was nevertheless much more
important than the senate farce that threatens to divide the MDC today.
Provided there is no change of policy or political suicide in either MDC
faction, the perceived split would also provide a second front for the two
MDCs to remove ZANU (PF) from power.

As a violent man himself, Mad Bob knows that well-orchestrated violence
could unseat him in a day. That scares the hell out of him and plays havoc
to his deteriorating mental health, as he strives to cling on to power and
avoid getting jailed or executed for his heinous crimes.

The emergence of the Zimbabwe Action Support Group probably explains the
increased numbers of Mad Bob's CIO operatives in Joburg. However their
skills, or their absence, still have to be tested. In metropolitan areas
densely populated by Zimbabweans their cover is often easily blown, and some
of them are rumoured to have been murdered.

The Men in Dark Glasses also betrayed Mad Bob in the late 1990s by not
informing him early enough about the imminent formation of the MDC, which
drove him real mad.

In the face of a threat of violence, no one needs to be reminded how the mad
one reacts. He may already have the Chinese training another murder squad
for him in the army, with which to wipe out resistance to his rule as he did
with the Gukurahundi in the 1980s.

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ZESA signs deal with China's Catic

The Chronicle

Business Reporter

ZESA Holdings Limited has signed a US$10 million deal with China National
Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) for the supply of working
capital to refurbish power equipment.

In a telephone interview yesterday, ZESA executive chairman, Dr Sydney Gata,
said that the transaction, which was concluded on Monday this week was aimed
at replacing obsolete equipment to increase efficiency in energy supplies.
"We have just concluded another US$10 million transaction with CATIC for the
supply of working capital to upgrade power networks. Actually the equipment
arrived in the country on Monday and today (yesterday) we are just
concluding other important factors of the deal with the Chinese," said Dr
He said that ZESA was facing foreign currency shortages that had adversely
affected operations and the supply of electricity.
"We are not accessing foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe due
to the dwindling foreign currency inflows. This is really creating
challenges in terms of our day to day activities," said Dr Gata.
He said the deal with CATIC was in line with the parastatal's five-year
Investment Development Plan aimed at raising US$2 billion to finance the
development of additional power sources.
Dr Gata said that ZESA was courting three foreign partners to inject more
foreign currency.
"While we acknowledge our smart partnerships with CATIC it is imperative to
note that ZESA is in the process of engaging technical partners who will
inject foreign currency in order to boost our electricity supply base," he
Dr Gata said that the machinery from CATIC would enhance ZESA operations to
meet the changes in the international power generation systems.
"This is the second part of our agreement with the Chinese after we entered
into another contract for the supply of electrical equipment late last
 year," he said.
Under the agreement, ZESA would contract farmers to produce tobacco and
cotton. The crops would then be exported to China in exchange for the
working capital.
Dr Gata said that ZESA would soon seal a US$15 million deal with South
Africa's power utility, Eskom.
"Eskom is interested in assisting us with foreign currency but the talks are
still in progress and I will provide further information if the negotiations
are concluded," he said.
Dr Gata said that CATIC had in the past five years invested more than US$3
billion in ZESA projects as the power utility planned to increase power
supplies ahead of the expected shortfall within the Southern Africa Power
Pool (SAPP) next year.
"Our talks with China are through the guidelines of the Government's Look
East Policy that is aimed at increasing co-operation with Asian nations," he
Dr Gata said that ZESA was restructuring its operations to improve its
financial performance after incurring huge losses in the past two years.
In the full year to 31 December 2004, ZESA posted a $2,3 trillion loss, from
a $230 billion loss in 2003.

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Zim to scrap import tariffs

The Chronicle

      By Alfonce Mbizwo, Business Editor

      Zimbabwe will scrap tariffs on products from countries in Southern
Africa, within two years, as part of a regional free trade protocol, a trade
expert said yesterday.

      Already, hundreds of products from the region are now entering the
country duty-free after a tariff phase down of five-percentage points from 1
January this year.
      "Zimbabwe implemented a new tariff regime with regards to imports from
the SADC region in line with the trade protocol.
      "We reduced the duty by five percentage points such that some of the
products that were attracting 15 percent duty are now at zero percent," said
Mr Farai Zizhou, a trade expert and chief economist with the Confederation
of Zimbabwe Industries.
      Zimbabwe has been reducing tariffs each year by an average five
percent points with a target to achieve a zero tariff regime by the time the
SADC Free trade protocol comes into effect in 2008.
      However, concern remains about some member states that are still
worried about the implications of free trade on their industry and have
defaulted in reducing their tariffs.
      Zimbabwe, along with Zambia and Malawi was criticised by the SADC
Secretariat for failing to come up with a list of goods that would be
exempted from tariffs, which Mr Zizhou dismissed as untrue.
      The SADC secretariat said the delay has jeopardised prospects that
SADC region will be a free trade area among member states by 2008.
      Malawi is said to have defaulted on its commitment to reduce tariff
schedules but its acting Director of Trade in the Ministry of Trade and
Private Sector Development, Mr Harrison Mandindi dismissed the report,
saying it was operating within the trade agreement of 1996.
      He said Malawi had indicated that it would reduce tariffs at a slower
pace in line with its economic development and that it had been given more
time to reduce tariffs because it was an Low Development Country.
      Mr Mandindi also said implementing the SADC protocol would have meant
Malawi allowing imported goods, which are manufactured cheaply outside the
country, to enter duty free and compete with locally manufactured goods on
the market.
      Mr Zizhou said was Zimbabwe unconcerned by the slow response from
other nations, saying Zimbabwe was fortunate to be party to several
agreements that promote duty free trade.
      "For us we are neutral because we benefit from both the SADC and the
(proposed) Comesa Customs Union)," he said.
      Zimbabwe also has bilateral trade agreements with Namibia, Mozambique
and Malawi, which allow it to trade duty free with those countries based on
rules of origin.
      With less than two years left before the SADC free trade protocol
comes into effect, the preparedness of member states will be the focus of an
inter-ministerial meeting scheduled for Botswana next month.
      South Africa has already zero-rated all products with the exception of
sugar, clothing and textiles, whose export are governed by different

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Parts of Bulawayo still without power

The Chronicle

Chronicle Reporter

Parts of Bulawayo were last night still without electricity supplies despite
repeated assurance from the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZESA)
that power would have been restored by close of business yesterday.

A survey carried out by Chronicle yesterday evening revealed that suburbs
such as North End, Hillside, Burnside and Four Winds were still plunged in
darkness since Saturday.
Mr Dan Magwenzi of Hillside, said ZESA Holdings had not yet attended to
faults despite them having made several reports.
"We have meat and other perishables in the refrigerator and they have gone
bad. These people should swiftly react to reports. We are sleeping early
because there is nothing to do. We can't watch television. It's a
 nightmare," he said.
Mr Magwenzi said some of his neighbours had electricity.
A North End resident who asked not to be named, said power had not yet been
restored since Sunday afternoon.
"There are no power supplies here and we have made several reports and ZESA
people told us that they would restore power by today (yesterday) but
nothing has been done. We even phoned them referring to an advert in
Chronicle but some of the senior engineers professed ignorance over the
deadline stated," he said.
The resident said the persistent power cuts were damaging electric gadgets
such as television sets and refrigerators.
However, electricity was restored in some suburbs on Tuesday night,
especially in the western suburbs.
"We did not have electricity since Saturday but power was restored yesterday
(Tuesday)," said an Entumbane resident.
However, a resident of Emakhandeni suburb said some sections of the area
still did not have power.
In a notice flighted in this newspaper yesterday, the ZEDC (Western Region)
said everything was being done to normalise the situation and said all the
areas that were affected would have supplies by close of business yesterday.
"The strong winds caused severe damage to power supply equipment, mainly due
to trees falling on power lines. The damage was very extensive mainly in the
low density suburbs where most residents maintain trees on their premises,"
said ZEDC.
The ZEDC said it was not possible to restore power supplies within one day
because there was an overwhelming number of faults.
The most affected areas were Southwold, Hillside, Waterford, Burnside, North
End, Morningside, Matsheumhlophe, Morningside, Emakhandeni, Entumbane and
some parts of Nkulumane.

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