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

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- 11th APRIL TO 14th APRIL

I left Harare with Brian Hungwe, an SABC TV reporter
and Davis, the camera man and set off for Chiredzi.
When we got to Chivhu, we turned off and travelled
along the Gutu Road. From Chivhu, we drove for
approximately 300 km to Chiredzi and did not see a
solitary animal even though we passed several game
ranches and conservancies. Most of the game fencing
had been vandalized, the wire obviously utilized to
make wire snares. We passed hundreds of plots occupied
by settlers who had destroyed the surrounding
vegetation in order to plant maize which was in a
sorry state due to the fact that this is a low
rainfall area. Several of the plots were actually on
the game ranches and conservancies.


We met Gerry Whitehead of Whitro Ranch, part of
Chiredzi Conservancy. Gerry has been evicted from his
ranch but we asked him how many animals are left on
his property since the land invasions and he gave us
the following figures:

Eland 200 12
Wildebeeste 450 - 500 50 - 55
Zebra 120 35
Impala 500 - 600 120
Nyala 30 0
Giraffe 60 9
Waterbuck 65 - 70 9
It was estimated that 75 - 80% of the animals on
conservancies countrywide are now dead at the hands of

That afternoon we received information that the
remains of a wildebeest had been found and 2 poachers
had been arrested so we went to investigate. The
poachers were interviewed by the TV crew.

During the interview of the poachers, a truck came
down the narrow strip road, laden with Africans and
household goods. We stopped them and discovered that
they were farm workers who had just been evicted from
their home by war vets so they were also interviewed.
They had no idea where they were going as they were
now homeless.


We visited Gary and Theresa Warth of Wasara Ranch,
part of Chiredzi Conservancy. Gary and Theresa are
expecting to be evicted any day now. They are
currently co-existing with 831 settlers, 436 of whom
are the settlers' children. 84 013 metres of wire has
been stolen from their game fencing since December
2001 and their wildlife which was previously abundant,
is almost non existent. The only animals we saw at
Wasara were 2 tame elephants which Theresa is
training, a small family of warthog and one impala.

Gary told us that the poaching is seasonal. The
settlers prepare their fields, plant, then poach while
waiting to reap and then eat the crops with the
poached meat. This increases in winter until the cycle
begins again. If the season is poor as in a drought
year, the poaching will start earlier and be more

We then left the Chiredzi area and proceeded to Mike
Clark's place in Mwenezi which is on the Beitbridge
Road, 114 km from Beitbridge.


Mike took us on a round trip through the Nuanetsi
Conservancy, approximately 200 km on dirt roads.
Throughout the whole trip, we literally did not see
one live animal. Mike told us that 2 years ago, the
same roads on which we were travelling were actually a
hazard because there was so much wildlife there that
if you didn't keep your attention firmly focused on
the road, you stood a good chance of hitting an

We stopped at the game ranch of Lawrence Nicholson in
Mateke Hills where the TV crew filmed the remains of a
zebra and a giraffe which had been caught in snares.
There is so little wildlife left, that it was even
difficult to find dead animals, let alone live ones.

We made our way back to the Beitbridge Road and paid a
visit to Sam and Janet Cawood of Kleinbegin Ranch in
Bubi. Sam and Janet are also co-existing with war
vets. Kleinbegin is part of the Bubye River Valley
Conservancy and Sam and Janet started their safari
operation there in 1966, building up and protecting
their wildlife for the next 30 years. They gave us
figures of how many animals they started with, what
the numbers had increased to by March 2000, and how
much is left now. It must be noted that through
breeding, the numbers increased significantly by March
2000 in spite of the fact that some animals were lost
to predators such as cheetah, leopard and lion and
others died during the drought periods.

Giraffe 105 135 5
Eland 175 412 0
Zebra 30 72 15 - 20
Wildebeeste 36 85 25 - 30
Kudu 250 885 10
Impala 275 470 50
These figures show that Kleinbegin has lost 95% of its
wildlife to poachers in the past 2 years.

In addition to game ranching, Sam was also doing
cattle ranching. He was particularly upset about an
area of 130 hectares which he kept free of cattle and
wildlife. The purpose of this was to allow the natural
grasses to grow for cattle fodder. There are 3 types
of grass which grow naturally and are very valuable in
cattle fodder. These are Panicum Maximus, Cenchris and
Eurochloa. Through the years, he would reap this grass
and pack it into bales and store it. During the
drought periods when there was no grass growing for
the cattle to feed on, Sam would bring out his
precious bales of fodder and his cattle were never
affected by the drought. He saw his cattle through 5
drought periods by doing this.

Now, however, the war vets have ploughed up his 130
hectares of grass and destroyed it. They have planted
their maize there which doesn't even germinate because
this area is not suitable for maize, being a low
rainfall area.

The devastation we witnessed on this trip was
heartbreaking. I can't see any hope for our country
unless we have a change of government soon. When we
formed the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, it was
with the intention of assisting National Parks to
minimize the poaching before it was too late but with
no law and order in place, and the government actually
encouraging the slaughter, it is impossible to fight
something of this magnitude.
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The Herald

Coal crisis forces ZSR to stop operations

Herald Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Sugar Refinery has again stopped operating its Harare plant
owing to inadequate supplies of coal from Wankie Colliery, it has emerged.

Sources at the sugar refinery last week said the plant was closed on Monday
and scores of workers temporarily laid off until the situation improved.

"The plant is closed and there is no production taking place," said a

"It's the same old story - no coal."

ZSR managing director Mr Patison Sithole has in the past blamed the
situation on the failure by the National Railways of Zimbabwe to ferry coal
from Wankie Colliery.

ZSR requires 100 tonnes of coal daily and an additional 100 tonnes to start
up after shut down.

The sugar plant also needs four days cover of up to 100 tonnes of coal.

Mr Sithole did not respond to questions sent to him on Wednesday.

Sugar is one of the basic commodities that have been in short supply since
last year.

Traders on the black market are selling sugar at prices way above the
gazetted prices.
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The Herald

Mumbengegwi takes a swipe at Kansteiner

Herald Reporter
UNITED States Assistant Secretary of State Mr Walter Kansteiner was recently
humiliated by Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to Britain Cde Simabarashe
Mumbengegwi when he called for a regime change in Zimbabwe at a meeting
convened by the Africa Royal Society in London.

Although Mr Kansteiner's formal address focused on such issues as promotion
of private sector involvement in Africa's development especially in trade,
democracy, transparency and conflict resolution, he was later asked what the
US was going to do in regard to the situation in Zimbabwe.

Mr Kansteiner responded by saying that there was no democracy and respect
for human rights in Zimbabwe.

He said his government wanted to see the country start a political process
whereby the present Government was replaced by a transitional government,
leading to free and fair elections.

Mr Kansteiner said the US would accept the outcome of that process
regardless of who would have emerged winner.

It was after his response that Cde Mumbengegwi asked him whether he was
aware that his government had angered the world by ignoring international
opinion by its involvement in the domestic affairs of sovereign states.

On the question of democracy in Zimbabwe, the High Commissioner reminded Mr
Kansteiner that the 2000 parliamentary elections were unanimously ruled free
and fair by all observers including those from the European Union and the
United States.

"As for last year's presidential election, more than 15 regional and
international observer groups ruled the election free and fair. The one
isolated adverse report, which came from the Commonwealth, has since become
totally discredited," said a source that attended the meeting.

On the question of human rights, the High Commissioner reminded Mr
Kansteiner the US and the EU-sponsored resolution on human rights in
Zimbabwe was heavily defeated at the United Nations Human Rights Commission
in Geneva.

This was the voice of the only international human rights body set up by the
United Nations, which Mr Kansteiner conveniently chose to ignore.

On the issue of democracy, the High Commissioner said the US Assistant
Secretary of State's allegations were rejected by Sadc, Comesa, AU, ACP and
Non-Aligned Movement.

Mr Mumbengegwi also asked Mr Kansteiner when the US was going to listen to
the voice of the international community.

The High Commissioner's remarks were greeted with applause.

The address by Mr Kansteiner was aimed at galvanising support against
Zimbabwe ahead of his visit to South Africa and Botswana.

However, South African President Thabo Mbeki has already hinted to Mr
Kansteiner that Africa was not prepared to have foreigners dictating how
they should govern themselves. President Mbeki recently said that
Zimbabweans were capable of solving their own problems.

He said foreigners should not say wrong things about the continent in order
to further their own interests.
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The Herald

EU helps Zim fight food shortage

Herald Reporter
THE European Union has given 102 vehicles, electrical equipment and five
million euros to the World Food Programme to strengthen Zimbabwe's response
to the current food shortages.

Another 40 millions euros were said to have been set aside and could be
accessed any time.

This is despite the deteriorating relations between some European countries
and Zimbabwe.

The donation was handed over to the World Food Programme on Friday.

It included 102 4x4 Nissan vehicles with high frequency mobile radios, 40
high frequency radio base stations, 22 rub halls (for extended delivery food
storage), 700 tarpaulins (plastic sheets), 68 desktop computers, 106 lap-top
computers, 20 fax machines, 54 printers, 54 power surge protection units, 20
photocopiers and 12 solar panels.

The vehicles would be used to strengthen the capacity of WFP's implementing
partners to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Head of the European Union in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Francesca Mosca said the
organisation would continue assisting the people of Zimbabwe for as long as
it was necessary.

"In spite of better rain the country is still in need of humanitarian
assistance and the EU is ready to continue its support for the people of
Zimbabwe hit by the crisis, the decline of the economy and the HIV/Aids
pandemic," she said.

She said her organisation's priority was to assist people in need.

"Assisting people in need is our priority as the European Community. To us
this is substantial and concrete expression of European solidarity towards
the millions, who have suffered because of the food crisis in Zimbabwe," she

Mrs Mosca added that the donation was meant to boost the capacity of the WFP
to deliver aid to the most vulnerable.

Providing the organisation's implementing partners with office equipment,
technical support, training and transportation assistance was seen as
improving the efficiency and effectiveness of food distributions.

The WFP deputy director Mrs Gawaher Atif received the donation.

"Our implementing partners, non-governmental organisations, are our link and
front line support to millions of people who receive food donated to WFP by
the international community.

"The generous donation by the EC will help to strengthen distribution and
monitoring capacity of the NGOs we work with to provide hungry people with
basic food supplies," said Mrs Atif.

Since February 2002, WFP had distributed more than 340 000 tonnes of food in
Zimbabwe to five million people.

Forty-eight districts out of the country's 57 were covered.
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Tensions mount as Zim treason trial resumes

      May 12 2003 at 12:54AM

Harare - The trial of Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
was set to resume in Harare on Monday against a background of widening
political and economic tensions in the southern African country.

Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been
charged with plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe ahead of last
year's presidential elections, which Mugabe won.

Tsvangirai denies the charges, alleging he was framed by Mugabe's
government. If convicted of treason, he faces the death penalty.

"It (the trial) is going to resume tomorrow," Tsvangirai's lawyer Innocent
Chagonda told AFP on Sunday.

      'The will of the people shall prevail'
The high-profile trial of Tsvangirai began amid a blaze of publicity in
February and was adjourned nearly eight weeks later in March, when Harare's
High Court went into recess.

Two other top MDC officials stand accused with Tsvangirai: Welshman Ncube,
the party's secretary general and Renson Gasela, the shadow agriculture

Expected to testify on Monday for the prosecution was one of the policemen
involved in investigating the alleged treason plot - the fifth of 11 state

The state's main witness, Canada-based political consultant Ari Ben Menashe,
has already testified.

The treason charges arise from a barely audible video tape of a meeting
Tsvangirai held with Ben Menashe in Montreal in December 2001. Ben Menashe
alleged that Tsvangirai had asked him at that meeting for assistance to
"eliminate" 79-year old Mugabe. But Tsvangirai's lawyers allege that the
consultant deliberately tried to entrap the opposition leader.

Tensions between the MDC and Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party have increased in the last two

The MDC staged a widely-followed two-day strike in March to protest alleged
misgovernance, and then supported a second stayaway called by the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) last month.

That strike was called to protest a hike in petrol prices of more than 200

Tsvangirai and the MDC have warned there will be further strikes. The MDC
has been placing full-page advertisements in the private press stating: "The
will of the people shall prevail".

The opposition leader has also however said he is willing to meet with
Mugabe and the ruling party to chart a way out of Zimbabwe's current
political problems.

Last week, three African leaders - Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria and Bakili Muluzi of Malawi - came to Harare for talks
with Mugabe and Tsvangirai in a bid to break the political deadlock.

Mugabe appeared shortly after the talks to say that Tsvangirai must accept
him as president before any inter-party talks could resume, something the
opposition leader is unlikely to do.

The 51-year old former trade union leader has refused to accept Mugabe's
victory in the March 2002 presidential polls, and will challenge it in

This week the MDC filed an urgent court application to force the High Court
to set a date for the long-awaited election petition.

At a rally Sunday in the country's second city of Bulawayo, attended by an
estimated 20 000 people, Tsvangirai urged thousands of party supporters to
take to the streets in support of his demand for a re-run of last year's
presidential poll.

"What the MDC wants to do is for people to go on the streets in numbers. And
if we go on the streets (President Robert) Mugabe will know it's over for
him," Tsvangirai said.

He did not set a date for the protest. "The dates for the mass action will
be announced soon," he said. - Sapa-AFP
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Daily News

      Fuel crisis hits Air Zim

      5/12/03 7:40:08 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      Air Zimbabwe, one of whose planes had to make an emergency landing to
refuel in Lusaka, Zambia, yesterday morning, has only three days' supply of
Jet A1 fuel left.

      The national airline might have to ground some of its planes if it
does not receive deliveries by Wednesday.

      Air Zimbabwe spokesman David Mwenga told The Daily News that the
airline's fuel stocks were running low.

      He, however, denied that the plane that made an emergency stop-over in
Lusaka yesterday, delaying passengers, had run out of fuel.

      Mwenga said the Harare-bound flight, UM767 from London, had been
diverted to Lusaka to refuel to enable it to fly to Johannesburg.

      He said Air Zimbabwe had opted to refuel in Lusaka to conserve the low
stocks in Harare.

      "You have to understand that we are facing severe fuel shortages in
this country. But it is absolutely not true that the plane had run out of
fuel," he said.

      "We wanted to use the same plane to go to Johannesburg.

      "But since we did not have enough Jet A1 here, it had to divert its
route to Lusaka for refuelling."

      Zimbabwe is facing a severe shortage of liquid fuel, stemming from a
serious foreign currency squeeze that has adversely affected the country's
industry and commerce.

      The crisis has also crippled the public transport system.

      The government, in a desperate move, has asked banks to source foreign
currency from the parallel market at whatever rate to ease the worsening

      Mwenga said the national airliner, which is already operating below
capacity because of a decline in international and domestic travellers, had
enough stocks of Jet A1 fuel to last between two and three days.

      The Air Zimbabwe spokesman said the parastatal had no indication as of
yesterday when it might next receive supplies.

      "We have enough stocks for two to three days. Fuel companies would be
in a position to say when the next deliveries of Jet A1 will come," Mwenga

      He said there was little the airline could do once stocks ran out but
to wait for deliveries.
      Meanwhile, passengers on Flight UM767 yesterday said they had been
delayed by about two hours in the Zambian capital while the plane refuelled.

      The plane, which left London at 1930 hours on Saturday, was scheduled
to land at Harare International Airport at 0630hours.

      However, it arrived about two hours late after the diversion to Lusaka

      Frustrated passengers who were on the flight yesterday said the pilot
had told them that the plane would not reach its destination unless it
refuelled in Zambia.

      "The pilot said the landing was unavoidable as the plane had run out
of fuel," said a passenger who phoned The Daily News and identified himself
only as Robert.

      "It was a very risky decision which the pilot made to take off at
Gatwick International Airport when he really knew that there was not enough
fuel to take the plane to its destination. What if Zambian authorities had
refused to refuel that plane? We would be still stuck in Lusaka."

      But Mwenga said British aviation authorities would not have allowed
the plane to depart London if it did not have enough fuel to reach Harare.

      He said the airline was very much aware that it had inconvenienced
passengers and their waiting relatives and friends.

      "But they must not get down to tarnish the image of Air Zimbabwe by
saying we risked the passengers' lives," he said.

      "While we delayed these people by about two hours, only a mad pilot
with about 200 passengers aboard would take off if there were not enough
fuel stocks in the tank.

      "It is normal in the aviation industry that planes divert routes and
make stop-overs to refuel.

      "But it has been a long time since we diverted any flight."
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Daily News

      Shortage of notes threatens banks

      5/12/03 7:47:23 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporters

      THE liquidity crisis in Zimbabwe's financial sector could erode
confidence and contribute to the collapse of local financial institutions,
analysts have warned.

      The country has been hit by a shortage of notes in the past few
months, which some banking sector officials say is the result of Zimbabwe's
foreign currency squeeze, which has made it difficult for the Reserve Bank
to import special note paper.

      But central bank officials this week attributed the note shortages to
the hoarding of cash by the public and illegal foreign currency dealers.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe officials said more than $200 billion
could be in the hands of the public and the illegal dealers.

      The shortage of notes has contributed to long queues at automated
teller machines, which are often unable to supply bank customers with notes.

      Some banks have also been forced to tell customers in their banking
halls that they cannot supply them with money because they have insufficient

      Local analysts told The Business Daily that this could adversely
affect the public's confidence in Zimbabwe's financial institutions, because
they could not understand why sound banks would not be able to supply money.

      The analysts said this could result in some customers holding on to
their cash instead of depositing it with banks, because they were afraid
they might be unable to withdraw the money when they needed it.

      A decline in deposits would affect bank earnings, the analysts said,
affecting their viability.

      Some economists said the plight of local financial institutions could
be compounded by Zimbabwe's worsening foreign currency shortages, which they
said were also affecting banks' income.

      They pointed out that those banks whose profits had been augmented by
trading on the lucrative parallel market for foreign currency would be hit
by the tightening of exchange controls.

      Analysts say regulations requiring exporters to lodge 100 percent of
their earnings with the central bank and those banning bureaux de change
have contributed to a decline in hard cash inflows on the parallel market.

      Economic commentator Jonathan Kadzura said: "Banks have traded on the
parallel market for a long time and have cheated the public that they are
doing well at the expense of good corporate governance.

      "But now the greenback is no longer there and banks are left behind
and subsequently their services alone cannot sustain the appetite for

      Analysts said it was necessary for the central bank to intervene to
stem note shortages before they affected the stability of Zimbabwe's
financial sector.

      Banking officials say the panic withdrawal of notes has worsened
shortages, as has the hoarding of cash for speculative purposes.

      Commentators said some of the money was being used on the parallel
market for foreign currency.

      "Because of corruption, people are keeping money in cash and the money
is going to the parallel economy," said National Economic Consultative Forum
spokesman Nhlanhla Masuku.

      It was not possible to secure comment from the Reserve Bank on its
plans for resolving the crisis because central bank officials have not
responded to written questions from The Business Daily.

      However, the Reserve Bank is said to have this week ruled out printing
more money against a background of declining economic activity.

      Analysts said printing money would fuel inflation, which rose 228
percent in the year to March and is expected to reach 500 percent before the
end of the year.

      The analysts said the timely intervention of the central bank would
avert the collapse of several financial institutions.

      Kadzura said: "It would appear that the problems reflect the inability
of the bank to conduct its role efficiently and effectively."
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Daily News

      Thieves stun court

      5/12/03 7:48:07 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      TWO stock thieves last week stunned the court when they asked the
presiding magistrate to grant them bail so that they could go home and dig
the money they hid in a hole before their arrest.

      Collen Dehwe, 40, and Charles Chiimba, (age not given), made the
request soon after they were each slapped with an effective six-year jail
term after being convicted of stock theft by Harare magistrate Judith

      Dehwe and Chiimba said they wanted to go to their communal homes
because nobody would find the hidden money, but Tsamba rebuffed their
request and asked them to write letters to their relatives informing them of
the whereabouts of the money.

      However, the duo will effectively serve one year after Tsamba
suspended 36 months from their sentence for five years on condition of good
behaviour. Two years were further suspended on condition that they pay
restitution to the owner of the stolen beasts before 31 December.

      Prosecutor Janet Haruperi alleged that on 20 April, the complainant
discovered that there were four beasts missing from the stock he had just
received from his suppliers.

      He then asked Dehwe, who was his herdboy and was responsible for
keeping these cattle, but Dehwe assured him that all the cattle were there.

      It was alleged, the complainant then checked his records and, in the
slaughter books, he discovered that there was the name of Chiimba who had
slaughtered two beasts on 31 March and was paid an amount of $502 000 by a
certain butcher.

      On further investigations, the complainant discovered that Chiimba
allegedly slaughtered two other beasts and was paid $454 000 by the same

      Chiimba was then arrested and he failed to give a satisfactory account
of how he got the four beasts and there were no records of any permit shown
to Dehwe confirming that he had received any stock for slaughter from

      Furthermore, Chiimba went to confess that he had been used by Dehwe to
act as if he had sold these four beasts to Koala Butchery and in return was
promised a share from the proceeds of selling these cattle by Dehwe.

      The beasts were valued at $952 579 and nothing was recovered.
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Daily News

      Seven deported from Malawi for visa scam

      5/12/03 7:49:21 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE police in Malawi last week arrested and deported seven Zimbabweans
in connection with a scam in which Zimbabweans are allegedly forging
Malawian travel documents in order to emigrate to the United Kingdom without

      Malawian citizens do not require visas when travelling to the UK.

      A passport officer at the Malawian High Commission in Harare, who
refused to give his name, could not be drawn into discussing the
circumstances leading to the arrest of the Zimbabwean nationals.

      "We have a new passport system which we have just completed and it is
impossible for one to steal another person's passport," he said.

      He said the embassy's switchboard was jammed with telephone calls from
people concerned about the issue of the new passport system and of
Zimbabweans attempting to beat the United Kingdom's stringent visa
regulations by travelling on Malawian passports.

      Embassy sources said Luke Kabwe, Brain Dube and Jonathan Charakupa
were allegedly arrested and interrogated by David Kwanjana, an immigration
officer in Malawi, after they applied for passports with forged birth

      The identities of the other deportees could not be established.

      During the interrogation, Kwanjana reportedly detected that the trio
was not fluent in the Malawian vernacular languages of the districts they
had entered in the passport application forms.

      Zimbabweans allegedly use Malawians to fill in the applications
declaring them as their parents in their desperate bid to get passports to
travel to Britain.

      In an interview with The Daily Times of Malawi, Bryson Bendala, Malawi
's immigration spokesman, said the information that the Zimbabweans entered
on their passport application forms was suspect and the police intervened.

      "Apart from their poor accent, information entered on their
application forms, as regards to ages and appearances, raised suspicion and
they were eventually arrested," Bendala said. He said the seven were fined
and ordered to leave Malawi.
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Daily News

      Zvidzai to represent MDC in Gweru poll

      5/12/03 7:49:59 AM (GMT +2)

      From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      THE MDC has named Gweru businessman, Sesel Zvidzai, as the party's
candidate in the mayoral election scheduled for either August or September
this year.

      The ruling Zanu PF is yet to name its candidate to replace the
incumbent mayor, James Bwerazuva, whose second and final four-year term ends
in August.

      Under the provisions of the Urban Councils' Act, Bwerazuva is barred
from seeking another term of office as executive mayor.

      Laison Mlambo, the MDC provincial chairman for Midlands South, said
Zvidzai beat his rival Edson Kurebgaseka in the party's primary elections
held in Gweru on Friday last week.

      Zvidzai got 15 votes against Kurebgaseka's two votes.

      "Initially we had seven aspiring candidates but five of them were
disqualified for various reasons," Mlambo said.

      "These included prominent businessman Patrick Kombayi, Padmore Kufa,
councillor Enock Chikweche, J P Kwaramba and a Mr Musiyazviriyo."

      Kombayi, the city's first mayor at independence, could not be reached
for comment yesterday.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF fails to nominate Makonde candidate again

      5/12/03 7:51:42 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      CONFUSION marred a Mashonaland West Zanu PF provincial executive
meeting in Chinhoyi on Saturday after the party failed, for the third time,
to come up with a candidate for the Makonde by-election. Five new candidates
declared their interest to run in the polls.

      A source who attended the meeting yesterday said the party would
convene another meeting tomorrow - the fourth one - after seven candidates,
including journalist Kindness Paradza and President Mugabe's nephew, Leo
Mugabe, declared interest in the seat.

      The seat fell vacant after the death of Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, in March. President Mugabe is
still to announce the date for the by-election.

      Mombeshora had stood on a Zanu PF's ticket in the 2000 parliamentary
election after the party had disqualified Paradza.

      It was argued when Paradza was a journalist on The Financial Gazette,
his tone of writing was not in line with Zanu PF and government's policies.

      "It seems factionalism in the province has raised its ugly head
 again," said the source. "We thought the race would be between Paradza and
Mugabe. And we thought by consensus we would have a candidate on Saturday,
but we now have to convene another meeting possibly this week after five new
candidates declared their interest at the weekend."

      Other contestants are: Artwell Seremani, Fanni Chikomba, Douglas
Tendai Mombeshora, Emmanuel Chisvo and Lahliwe Murefu, the only female
candidate in the race.

      Philip Chiyangwa, the party's provincial chairman yesterday confirmed
that a candidate was not chosen on Saturday but dismissed allegations that
confusion reigned after five new candidates declared their interest.

      "The situation is still under control," said Chiyangwa.

      Seremani's candidacy is reported to have caused sharp discontent among
the Mashonaland West Zanu PF stalwarts who want either Mugabe or Paradza.
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Daily News

      Fuel shortage affects Nyamandlovu water supply

      5/12/03 7:52:12 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      THE country's acute fuel shortage has seriously affected water
supplies in the Nyamandlovu District of Matabeleland North.

      The aquifer that serves the area depends largely on diesel engines to
draw water from boreholes and deep wells for human and livestock

      Since the start of the fuel crisis, some residents, including schools
and clinics near the Nyamandlovu business centre, have been getting water
from the nearby Nyamandlovu railway station.

      But National Railways of Zimbabwe authorities recently stopped them by
effectively blocking all taps, saying that water was flowing towards the
railway line and could endanger trains.

      Casper Moyo of Muntu Farm said that they use a diesel engine but due
to the current fuel shortage, they have tasked villagers to look for diesel
to get the engine running.

      Villagers get water from communal tanks, drawn from boreholes and
wells by diesel-powered engines.

      "This is not healthy because people just dip their cans without first
washing them," said Moyo.

      Joseph Makhosana of West Junction said, because of the shortage, they
were now having to walk for more than 3km to get water. He said local people
recently asked their councillor to source funds to sink at least two
boreholes for the area but they were still awaiting a response.

      Similo Ndiweni of Nyamandlovu centre said residents get water from one
borehole at the centre, but the water was muddy and unfit for human
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      Smuggling reaches alarming levels at Chiredzi

      5/12/03 7:52:48 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      SMUGGLING of basic commodities has reached alarming levels at the
Sango border post in Chiredzi, amid police reports that goods worth over
$100 million have been impounded since January this year.

      The once dormant border post has become a hive of activity as hundreds
of people scramble to cross into neighbouring Mozambique to sell their

      The police said they had increased manpower at the border post.

      In an operation termed Bvisa Chipfukuto (remove the pest), the police
here said they impounded sugar and other basic commodities worth about $20
million destined for Mozambique where there is a ready market.

      "We have increased our patrols at the border post in order to deal
with the situation," a police spokesperson said. "Goods worth over $100
million were seized as people tried to take them out of the country."

      The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) has also alleged that cattle worth
over $100 million have been smuggled out of the country into Mozambique.

      In an earlier interview, Mike Clarke, the CFU regional spokesman said
the beef industry is on the brink of collapse as stock theft continues to
rock most commercial farms in Mwenezi and Chiredzi.

      "We will have to import the breeding herd because the situation is
getting out of hand," Clarke said. "Smuggling of beef into Mozambique is now
the order of the day and the country's beef industry is on the verge of
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      Brace for final push, urges Tsvangirai

      5/12/03 7:53:32 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      THE MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his party is mobilising its
structures for the "final push" in the struggle for the removal of Zanu PF
and the establishment of democratic governance in the country.

      At a separate rally in Harare, other MDC leaders called on the
residents to brace for a mass demonstration against Ignatius Chombo, the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, to force
him to quash his decision to suspend Harare Executive Mayor, Elias Mudzuri.

      Addressing an estimated 20 000 people who thronged the White City
Stadium in Bulawayo, Tsvangirai said the party would soon announce a date
for mass action against
      the government, which he said will take the form of street protests.

      "For the past three years Zimbabweans have made many sacrifices in the
fight for democracy. Some have been killed, others have been arrested or
imprisoned. The time has come for everyone, including the suffering Zanu PF
members, to get ready to make the final push and finish this business. When
we call on you to come out, everyone, except for the sick and elderly,
should come out and take for the streets," said Tsvangirai, to deafening
applause from the crowd.

      He said the MDC would not fail to govern the country because they had
a record through their Members of Parliament and executive mayors who were
governing several cities.

      Although he did not give an exact date for the mass action, Tsvangirai
's deputy, Gibson Sibanda, said the action was "just round the corner".

      The statement was reinforced by the party's secretary-general
Professor Welshman Ncube, who said the MDC was aware that "democracy could
not be achieved by just sitting at home".

      On the inter-party talks pushed by Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa, Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Tsvangirai
said the party would not back down and withdraw the court challenge against
the legitimacy of Mugabe's victory and recognise him as head of State.

      Said Tsvangirai: "Mugabe is saying that we should recognise him as
president and withdraw our petition before he talks to us. We will not do
that. Our position is that the talks should be unconditional and we
communicated that to the three Presidents.

      "This country is going through the most difficult times because of
Mugabe and his cronies, we cannot allow him to dictate any conditions for
talks, if there are going to be any talks at all. The Lancaster House
negotiations that brought independence would not have succeeded if Ian Smith
had been allowed to set conditions. They were held while war, which was the
only pressure Smith understood, continued. That is what we are going to do.
We will not shoot anyone but use the power of the people to effect change,"
said Tsvangirai.

      Meanwhile, addressing about 8 000 residents in Budiriro, Harare, Job
Sikhala, the St Mary's MP said people must turn out in their thousands to
support Mudzuri.

      "Business must grind to a halt when the decision to fight Chombo's
interference into the affairs of the Harare City Council by suspending
Mudzuri is announced," Sikhala said.

      He said Chombo was only an individual without the power to force
Mudzuri out of his office as if he elected him.

      "Mudzuri was suspended because his performance underscored what the
MDC-led government would do when elected into power and he was performing
well where successive Zanu PF-led councils failed," Sikhala said.

      "You must know that Mugabe cannot contain the anger residents have
about Mudzuri's suspension."

      Mudzuri told the gathering that he would quit if they decided that he
did not measure up to the task.

      "If residents do not want what I am doing as their mayor, I can leave
council," he said. "The churches, residents, business and industry must come
up with their committee to pass a verdict on my performance as mayor.

      "The police have chased me away from meetings intended to discuss
problems such as the refuse collection system and the water crisis, but they
have escorted Chipangano, the Zanu PF vigilante group into town, to
demonstrate against me."
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      Women arrested during Mothers' Day procession

      5/12/03 7:54:44 AM (GMT +2)

      From Ntungamili Nkomo in Bulawayo

      FORTY-SIX of the 200 women who defied the police by taking part in the
Mother's Day commemoration in Bulawayo on Saturday were arrested and
detained for more than five hours at the city's central police station.

      The placard-waving demonstrators had defied a police order denying
them permission to hold the celebrations, which were held peacefully in
Harare where the police told the women to remain within the confines of
Africa Unity Square.

      Perpetua Dube, a Bulawayo lawyer who represented the protesters, said
her clients were arrested while in a procession but were later released
after paying a $3 000 admission of guilt fine each.

      The women carried placards some which read: "Enough Is Enough, We Want
Our Rights, Love Us, Respect Us and Allow Us Our Dignity As Mothers Of The
Nation, Our Families Need Peace - Stop Violence, Rape And Torture."

      They also carried brooms to "sweep away the dirt that has accumulated
in Zimbabwe". The Movement for Democratic Change expressed solidarity with
the women and lashed out at the government for being repressive and
insensitive to gender issues.

      "The MDC unreservedly condemns the arrests of women who took part in a
march to celebrate Mother's Day in Bulawayo on Saturday," Paul
Themba-Nyathi, the MDC spokesman said in a statement.

      "The decision by the police to arrest women for observing a day which
is commemorated by millions of other women worldwide demonstrates the
repressive regime's insensitivity to gender issues."

      Dube said it was disturbing that women could be arrested while
commemorating internationally recognised occasions earmarked for them.

      She criticised the police saying they had maintained a hard line
stance on women by arresting them when celebrating similar events in the

      In February, a number of women were arrested and assaulted by
anti-riot police during commemorations for Women's Day and Valentine's Day.

      "It's very disturbing that women can be arrested for no apparent
reason other than celebrating an international day recognising their
existence and importance on earth. If they can be arrested just like that,
then the purpose of Mother's Day diminishes and the occasion becomes
irrelevant. It is actually baffling, to say the least, why the police
behaved the way they did," Dube said.

      Jenny Williams, the Women of Zimbabwe Arise spokesperson, said the
civic group had decided to hold the commemorations a day before Mother's Day
to register their concern over the escalating and widespread women rights
abuses in the country.

      "We were simply saying we want enough respect as we are subjected to
all kinds of torture and humiliation in this country. Our rights are not
observed at all.

      "Zimbabwe has to understand that the struggle for independence came
and passed, but the struggle for women emancipation continues. We are
oppressed, and it's time we voiced our concern and said enough is enough,"
Williams said.

      In Harare, about 800 women from all walks of life converged at the
Africa Unity Square on Saturday where they displayed placards, sang, danced
and prayed for peace, love and respect.

      Paurina Mpariwa, the MP for Mufakose, on Saturday said this year's
Mothers' day was more of a "cry" than a "celebration" as the economic
climate was not conducive for women to celebrate.

      "Zimbabwean women cannot enjoy themselves because there is no peace,
they are being battered, there are shortages of basic commodities, therefore
it is really difficult for all mothers to celebrate and enjoy themselves
when they cannot fend for their children," Mpariwa said.

      She said unlike in the good old days when children and fathers would
spoil their mothers on such a big day, it was now a thing of the past due to
the harsh economic conditions Zimbabweans were facing.

      "Mothers however are the most affected because they have a
responsibility of fending for the family," said Mpariwa.
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Leader Page

      What justification for year's pay on 42 days' work?

      5/12/03 7:41:03 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      Speaking on Short Wave Radio Africa last week, Harare North Member of
Parliament Trudy Stevenson (MDC) said that when the current Parliamentary
year closes later this month, in a 52-week year, Zimbabwe's Parliament will
have sat for a total of 42 days.

      How do the leaders of our country expect to resolve Zimbabwe's massive
problems in only 42 days?

      I would have thought it would have taken every single one of those 42
days to just try and resolve the food crisis, the results of which grumble
in our bellies every day.

      Without even trying, I can name nearly a dozen life-sustaining food
items which are either non-existent or in critically short supply right now
in our country - maize, flour, bread, sugar, oil, margarine, milk, baby milk
powder, cereals and eggs.

      If Zimbabwe's Parliament took just one of these items per day and
tried to work out why it is no longer available and what they are going to
do about putting it back on our shelves, then I would feel they have earned
their annual salary and all the perks that go with it.

      Once these problems were resolved perhaps the parliamentarians, could
have spent one day discussing what to do about the fact that for the past
three years we have been short of petrol and have now literally ground to a

      They could have given another day to diesel, another to paraffin and
another to gas.

      Once these problems had been discussed, our MPs could perhaps have
spent one day talking about how people are supposed to find the money to pay
the outrageous fares now needed to get to work, if they are lucky enough to
have a job.

      Parliamentarians could have allocated another four days to talking
about and resolving the complete collapse of Zimbabwe's health service.

      They could have given one day to finding out why multiple thousands of
doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, specialists and laboratory technicians
have fled the country.

      Another day discussing the fact that just over half of the country's
population - the women - can no longer even keep themselves clean during
their monthly cycles because there is no cotton wool or sanitary wear for
women to buy on Zimbabwe's shelves.

      At least one parliamentary sitting could have been spent talking about
the fact that all of our hundreds of rural clinics have nothing more than
paracetamol to offer their patients.

      They could have asked each other how diarrhoea, malnutrition, virus
infections, tuberculosis and broken limbs can be resolved with a mere

      They should have given at least one day to discussing how we are going
to stop the wildfire spread of Aids; how we are going to improve the lives
and nutrition of people infected with Aids and what we are going to do about
over a million Aids orphans and hundreds of child-headed households.

      How long should have been allocated to discussing Zimbabwe's

      I would suggest at least five days.

      One for teachers' totally unrealistic salaries, another for how the
cost of school uniforms, books and even ball-point pens has become
completely unaffordable.

      The other two days could have been spent on just what exactly has
happened since the suspension of the Cambridge examinations, the massive
scandals and corruption within the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council, the
chaos with lecturers' salaries at the University of Zimbabwe and how
university students are prostituting themselves to buy food and books.

      Just talking about these four issues could have accounted for 17 days,
leaving another 17 to discuss and resolve the fact that eight out of every
10 people are unemployed; over 300 000 farm workers are homeless and
destitute; inflation is over 230 percent; 3 million Zimbabweans are in exile
in other countries and that vast proportions of the population are selling
even the clothes off their backs in order to just survive.

      Instead, the precious 42 days of Parliamentary sitting were spent
changing the laws to grab land and to oppress people, denying looting
diamonds from the Congo, denying anarchy and arguing about if murder, rape
and torture are human rights abuses or not.

      As Zimbabwe dies on its feet, precious time was wasted by ministers
telling about aerial flights from which they saw lush fields of non-existent
food; ministers insisting that Britain is trying to re-colonise us, or
ministers shouting and pushing out their chests, insisting that they are not
engaged in "liaisons" with members of the opposite sex in the South African

      These 42 days have been a national disgrace and our parliamentarians
have clearly forgotten how they got to sit in those red leather chairs and
who pays them to be there.

      Look to your conscience, Mr Minister, because we have had enough of
being used and abused.
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      MDC should map out new strategies

      5/12/03 7:42:02 AM (GMT +2)

      IT WAS magnanimous for President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi to invite the
MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to Lilongwe to discuss the way forward for
Zimbabwe, which is stuck in a political and economic quagmire.

      Coming together, they say, is a beginning. It is a foot in the door.
What is more important is for both Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe to
reach a workable agreement so that the suffering in Zimbabwe comes to an

      If Tsvangirai's travel restrictions are relaxed or lifted, the MDC
should seize this opportunity and travel to Malawi with a mission to save
the nation whose economy is now in tatters.

      Tsvangirai's travel documents were seized along with those of two
other senior MDC officials, Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general, and
Renson Gasela, the shadow minister of agriculture, who are all on trial for
allegedly plotting to kill Mugabe.

      The opposition leadership should consult their supporters and map out
a new strategy because sticking to tough demands might not yield anything

      The demands made by the MDC are justified. But because politics is a
game of wits, the survival of the nation must never be put at risk. The MDC
must make it clear to Muluzi that Mugabe's rigid stance is selfish and will
never lead the country out of the abyss.

      Mugabe insists that the MDC should first recognise him as an elected
and legitimate Head of State before he can engage in any dialogue. The MDC,
which is challenging in court Mugabe's re-election as President last year,
says there should be no conditions for talks.

      The opposition should seriously consider the idea of a transitional
government, even for up to one year, while preparing for a fresh election to
be supervised by an independent body such as the United Nations.
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      Figure this out!

      5/12/03 7:43:01 AM (GMT +2)

      Is it not interesting that Zanu PF and ZBC have accused nearly
everyone of supporting the opposition?

      Churches, labour organisations, urban dwellers, industrialists,
non-governmental organisations, teachers and other civil servants and, most
recently, the banks have all been accused of backing the opposition.

      If all these organisations and people truly support the opposition,
then who supports Zanu PF? If the ruling party has no support from all these
groups and people, this could tell us a big story about all the elections
conducted since 2000.

      Someone at Dead BC should surely have the brains to figure this out.

      M Ndlovu
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      There's only one tool in Mugabe's kit - violence

      5/12/03 7:55:42 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana

      A WORKMAN whose only tool is a hammer, is counter-productive; he sees
every task as requiring some hammering.

      He cannot make even a simple table because it is practically
impossible to hammer a table into existence.

      One has to have other requisite tools for measuring, cutting, planning
and chiselling for a table to be made.

      President Robert Mugabe compares well to a workman whose tool kit
contains only one tool.

      All problems that continue to afflict the country have not been
attended to because in his entire workshop, there is only one tool -

      Yet despite its continued use by the government, violence has proved
beyond any grain of doubt to be a non-effective panacea for our problems.

      The country has sunk into the morass because the diversity of problems
could not be solved by the violent application of fear, pain, injury or
death to opponents.

      Many a time Mugabe has clenched his fist and violently punched the
air, but the problems, like cancer, continue to sap the once vibrant

      He also has on numerous times tightened his face and sworn by his late
mother, sadly though, to no improvement in the degradation of the
socio-economic standards.

      State-sanctioned violence has been applied so much that it is an open
secret that the government no longer has any conscience. Its conscience went
away without official leave a long time ago and none in the so-called "war
cabinet", including Mugabe himself, ever bothered to trace it.

      It was flushed away together with bath water.

      With the slogan, "Zanu ndeye ropa" (Zanu is a bloody party), the Zanu
PF government has made every effort to live true to its slogan.

      The bombing of The Daily News printing press and offices, and that of
the privately-owned radio station, Voice of the People, confirm that even
non-personae are not immune from the violence.

      Dialogue is as far removed from the government as olive oil is from
the devil.

      Violence is the government's second nature as evidenced by its
continued use of the term "Chimurenga" (uprising).

      During the dark era of the chaotic land grab, all the
government-controlled media was awash with "Chave Chimurenga" (It's now time
for war) advertisements, clearly conveying the message that to all intents
and purposes, violence is its trump card.

      That the government thrives on violence is a myth only to the very
cynical - what with High Court judges and many other lower-ranking judicial
officers quitting the Bench, teachers, mainly those based in the communal
lands, seeking transfers or resigning, and political opponents gone scary?
Violence is as close to the Zanu PF government's heart a Romeo is to Juliet'

      The mediatory role being played by Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Bakili
Muluzi and Olusegun Obasanjo can easily be a wild goose chase if they do not
take into consideration the government's adoration for violence.

      It is crucial for the honourable presidents to understand that beneath
the designer suits worn by government representatives at the talks, lie
hearts and minds of architects of many gruesome injuries and deaths whose
victims' only crime was holding divergent political views.

      A breakthrough can only be realised by urging (sorry, urging is an
inappropriate term), by compelling the government to desist from its
practice of violence.

      Given the brutality with which the government treats its opponents,
the only reason why Mugabe trails Ugandan former President Idi Amin on the
list of dictators is that the former has not yet added cannibalism to his

      As members of the Commonwealth troika, Mbeki and Obasanjo reduced
themselves to caricatures of an ancient African tribesman by embarrassingly
siding with their counterpart amid his daylight deviancy.

      It was surprising to see them mistaking the hound for the hare.

      Their blind loyalty cost them several kilogrammes of respect and

      Hopefully, this time around they are wise enough to know that a
long-handled spoon is a prerequisite when one has a date for lunch with the

      With Zimbabwe on the verge of total collapse, the glossing of Mugabe's
intransigence is a dire threat the three presidents have to confront and
tackle head-on.

      It is high time Mugabe was put on the leash and made to toe the line
of good governance.

      The global village we now live in has no room for one who wants to
"keep his Zimbabwe" for his own inflated ego.

      The writer is a social and political commentator
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      One more task for Bush to do

      5/12/03 7:43:32 AM (GMT +2)

      President George W Bush will go down in the annals of history as a man
with zero tolerance for tyrants and dictators.

      His swift and decisive action in dealing with Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein once and for all in spite of worldwide protests clearly demonstrates
the type of world leader that he truly is.

      The President of the United States of America has one more task
staring at him in the face - free the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe from
an evil and brutal dictatorship.

      Given the insignificant weaponry of Zimbabwe, it will be a few days'
work to get the ordinary man, woman and child truly liberated and free from
an oppressive dictatorship, repression, intimidation and state of
hopelessness in our truly beloved country.

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