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

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Residents plead for weapons to fight Mugabe
Mon 30 May 2005

      MUTARE - Residents in Zimbabwe's eastern Mutare city - driven to
desperation after their informal businesses were destroyed by the
government - pleaded for weapons at the weekend to wage war against the
government because they were just "fed up."

      Several hundreds of residents, who attended a meeting held at Sakubva
Beit Hall in the working class suburb of Sakubva in the city, told local
Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese, to source guns for them to fight the

      Even the presence of the police at the meeting did not deter the irate
residents with several standing up to openly declare they would rather die
trying to "remove President Robert Mugabe from power" because they had
nothing to live for after their only source of livelihood was destroyed in
the ongoing controversial campaign by the government to clean up cities.

      "We want you to provide us with guns because we are fed up," a middle
aged man rose from the crowd to declare boldly.

      With the angry crowd urging him on, the man continued: "This
government has no respect for the people. Our houses have been destroyed,
our businesses have also gone. We have nothing to live for. We are prepared
to die removing Mugabe. We don't want to hear all this talk of going to
court (to sue for compensation from the state)."

      Gonese, a lawyer and a senior member of the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party, had trouble trying to calm down the
residents who wanted him to say whether his party was prepared to lead an
armed resistance against the government.

      "Going to the bush (to wage a guerrilla war against Mugabe) is not the
solution," the legislator tried to explain. "Of course we have a wicked
government but we should seek legal recourse. That is the best solution," he

      More than 18 000 people have been arrested and goods worth several
hundreds of millions of dollars destroyed in a crackdown against informal
traders and homeless people that began in Harare two weeks ago and has now
been widened to include other cities and towns.

      The government says the campaign is meant to rid cities of filthy and
crime particularly the illegal black market which it says was thriving among
informal traders.

      But MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of unleashing the
police against residents in urban centres, all of them strongholds of the
opposition, to punish voters there for backing the MDC in last March's
disputed general election.

      The opposition leader has also accused Mugabe of wanting to provoke
spontaneous and violent reactions by residents so he could find a pretext to
declare a State of Emergency and rule by decree.

      With tension rising across the country especially in Harare where some
residents fought running battles with the police, Mugabe last Friday openly
declared he was behind the crackdown against informal traders and homeless

      As Mugabe spoke, armoured cars and heavily armed soldiers rolled into
several suburbs in Harare last Friday to help suppress swelling anger
against the clean-up operation.

      The vast majority of Zimbabweans survive on informal trading while
most of those still holding on to formal jobs must also engage in informal
trading to boost up inflation-eroded incomes. Zimbabwe's inflation is pegged
at 129.1 percent while unemployment is about 70 percent.

      In nearly every city, authorities say at least a quarter of residents
stay in illegal wooden shacks, which the government says must all be

      For example in Mutare city, Zimbabwe's fourth largest city, the city
council says there are less than 30 000 legal housing structures and the
rest of the city's estimated 1.5 million people live in wooden shacks.

      At the weekend, several thousands of families in the city had to sleep
in the open after their dwellings were destroyed by the police.

      Meanwhile, the MDC national council yesterday released a statement
calling on Zimbabweans to mobilise against the government.

      "We call on all Zimbabweans to mobilise against this assault on their
dignity, livelihoods and well-being. The National Council is calling upon
all Zimbabweans to contribute to the struggle," read part of a statement by
party spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.

      The opposition party, blamed by critics of being as lost as the
government about how to rescue the country from a deepening economic and
political crisis, did not say how exactly ordinary Zimbabweans must
contribute to the "struggle."

      The MDC statement did not also indicate whether the party had any
specific programme to help aggrieved citizens assert their rights in the
face of the government's clean-up operation. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Several women protesters arrested
Mon 30 May 2005
  BULAWAYO - Several women from the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) activist
group were arrested on Saturday in Zimbabwe's second biggest city of
Bulawayo for demonstrating against the rising cost of living.

      Jenny Williams, the leader of the group said the women were arrested
as soon as they began to march in protest against the rising cost of living,
hunger and food shortages in the country.

      "We were demonstrating against the rising prices of almost everything
and the current food shortages," Williams said.

      Under Zimbabwe's tough Public Order and Security Act, it is illegal to
organise demonstrations or meetings to discuss politics without police
approval. The women were still being detained yesterday after spending the
night in the cells.

      The activist group has organised several protests in the past against
Zimbabwe's deteriorating political and economic crisis. But the Harare
authorities have cracked down hard on the protesters accusing the group of
harbouring a political agenda.

      Meanwhile, WOZA has urged all Zimbabweans to join them in a peaceful
mass action to coincide with the United Nations World Refugee Day on June
18. The group says the protest will highlight to the world that Zimbabweans
are living as refugees in their own country.

      "We have especially selected this day as Zimbabweans are living as
refugees in their own country as they can no longer earn an honest living
through trade," said Williams. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

ZANU PF to introduce 65-member Senate
Mon 30 May 2005
  HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF will use its two-thirds
parliamentary majority to introduce a 65-member Senate when Parliament opens
next month. Parliament opens on June 28.

      Sources yesterday told ZimOnline that the party's politburo and
central committee unanimously agreed at meetings held last week to use the
party's overwhelming majority to railroad constitutional amendments to
create the Senate, first alluded to by Mugabe during campaigning in the
run-up to last March's disputed general election.

      At the time, Mugabe said the Senate would be an opportunity for ZANU
PF members who would have lost in the March 31 ballot to still have a chance
to get into Parliament.

      ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira yesterday told ZimOnline: "As a
progressive party, we always look for ways which make the party move ahead
and rule effectively. If the Senate can make the people of Zimbabwe happier
or better off, it shall be there. We are the people's party, we do what
makes them happy. On your question (about establishment of Senate), we shall
issue a statement in due course."

      According to the sources, Mugabe shall nominate five individuals of
his choice to the senate. He already appoints eight provincial governors and
12 unelected legislators to Zimbabwe's current single chamber House, which
shall be maintained as a lower House of Assembly.

      The re-introduction of the Senate, abolished in 1990, will expand the
already bloated bureaucracy to 215 legislators for a population of only 12.5
million people.

      Zimbabwe's official opposition Movement for Democratic Change and
civic groups have in the past called on Mugabe and ZANU PF not to use their
absolute majority in Parliament to unilaterally re-write the country's
constitution, instead calling for an all stakeholder-driven constitutional
reform exercise. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Church leaders rap crackdown
Mon 30 May 2005
  HARARE - Church leaders have condemned the ongoing crackdown which has
seen armed police demolish illegal structures in urban areas.

      In a statement released yesterday, the Zimbabwe National Pastors
Conference, a grouping of church leaders in the country, criticised the
government's "Operation Restore Order" saying it was an unjustified war
against the poor.

      "We call upon this government to engage in a war against poverty and
not against the poor," said the church leaders.

      The government has in the last two weeks demolished illegal structures
in most urban areas and arrested over 18 000 people accused of stoking the
illegal foreign currency market. But the campaign has deteriorated into
riots after some Harare residents fought back.

      Yesterday, the church leaders said the presence of informal traders
was a symptom of the country's five-year economic crisis.

      "The visibility of these street traders is simply a manifestation of
the economic depression which we are experiencing," the statement said. "No
amount of police action will sweep this current reality under the carpet."

      Zimbabwe is going through a severe economic crisis which has forced
the majority of people into the informal sector.

      The church, viewed as the moral voice of society, has largely been
critical of Mugabe's policies blamed for wreaking what was once one of
Africa's success stories. - ZimOnline

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Zim Standard

Govt condemned
By our own Staff

THE government came under fire last week for being "callous and insensitive"
to the people's plight in the way it is carrying out "Operation Restore
Order/Murambatsvina", without offering an alternative solution. Religious
bodies, lawyers and human rights activists blasted the government saying law
enforcement agencies had been very "provocative, offensive and
unsympathetic" to the affected people.

The government during the past two weeks launched a blitz on illegal
structures, razing them to the ground, arresting vendors and closing down
flea markets around the country. The combined operation left thousands of
people without a source of income.
The blitz also rendered hundreds of people homeless after their homes at
Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Tongogara, and Hatcliffe Extension and White Cliff in
Harare were razed to the ground.

The government's new farmers said they were stranded with produce they bring
to Mbare Musika because there were no customers as a result of the clean up

Farmers from as far as Beatrice, Goromonzi, Murehwa and Mutoko were stranded
with produce for which they had hired trucks to deliver it to Mbare Musika.

Vendors, such as Power Chipondwa, who buy the farmers' produce, said they do
not understand what the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development
stands for because it was not defending their interests.

Distressed informal traders have engaged the services of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) in their bid to sue the police and City
Council for loss of their property and business. They said they had licences
which allowed them to operate.

ZLHR director Arnold Tsunga blasted the State saying it was committing an
"act of spoliation" by taking the law into its own hands.

"Effectively, the State is at the forefront of undermining the rule of law.
In a normal situation, they should have used court remedies in order to
solve the problems but they have decided to become the accuser, the judge
and enforcement agents," he said.

The human rights lawyer said instead of protecting citizens the State
destroyed the people's sources of livelihood, a move he said promoted
anarchy in the country.

"The people can raise a very strong case against the State because the
police had no demolition orders from the courts. This move by the government
encourages anarchy. Where are they going to resettle the displaced people?"
asked Tsunga.

The Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference said they were concerned with the
manner in which the combined operation was being carried out. They said the
police had displayed lack of compassion in the face of human suffering and

"Our members, who are doing pastoral work in areas targeted by this
operation, have reported that the action of the police was very provocative,
offensive and unsympathetic to the feelings of the people ." said the
pastors' conference in a statement.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) national director Alois
Chaumba condemned the manner in which the clean up exercise is being carried

Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa (SAHRIT) director Philliat Matsheza
believes the government should have given the people enough time to seek
alternative accommodation.

University of Zimbabwe lecturer Eldred Masunungure warned that the
government blitz was bound to trigger urban unrest.
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF leaders involved in a scuffle
By Godfrey Mutimba.

MASVINGO - Factionalism within the ruling Zanu PF took an ugly twist in
Masvingo last Sunday when two senior members in the provincial leadership
were involved in a scuffle in front of politburo members, The Standard can

Sources said Masvingo South MP Walter Mzembi, who is now seen as the de
facto leader of the late Eddison Zvobgo camp and losing candidate for
Masvingo Central, Shylet Uyoyo, were at each other's throat on Sunday at a
post-mortem meeting of the recently held mayoral election.
Uyoyo belongs to a faction headed by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary
Education, Stan Mudenge, who together with Isaiah Shumba, the deputy
Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, was in charge of the electoral
process for the ruling party during the election.

Politburo members - retired air marshal Josiah Tungamirai and former army
commander, Vitalis Zvinavashe - attended the post-mortem meeting.

Engineer Alois Chaimiti of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), retained the mayoral seat unopposed after the ruling party and its
candidate bungled the process at the nomination court.

Partson Muzvidziwa, who was Zanu PF's candidate, failed to produce a valid
GCE Ordinary Level certificate with five passes.

The Standard understands that during the meeting Mzembi blamed Mudenge's
group for the ruling party's failure.

In turn, Uyoyo allegedly accused the Mzembi's faction of links with the
opposition MDC.

Infuriated by the remarks, Mzembi charged towards Uyoyo and allegedly
grabbed her by the collar. The two then started shoving each other in front
of the Politburo members.

They were, however, restrained by Zanu PF security officials who took an
irate Mzembi away while the women's league members cooled down an equally
furious Uyoyo. The circus did not end there.

Uyoyo then picked a fight with Zanu PF provincial secretary for
indigenisation and economic development, retired Major Kudzai Mbudzi, who
allegedly shouted that Uyoyo was uneducated. But they were restrained.

The new Governor for Masvingo, Willard Chiwewe, who is tasked with "uniting"
the factious province, was a mere spectator while the drama unfolded.
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Zim Standard

Queues longer as fuel crisis deepens
By our own staff

DESPITE the release of US$18.5 million by the central bank to the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) for fuel procurement last week, shortages
continue throughout the country.

Players in the oil sector told The Standard that it would take at least two
weeks for the situation to normalise because of the logistics of bringing in
the fuel, after funds were made available.
One of the sources said: "It means the transport crisis will continue.
Industry and commerce will be grounded for the next two weeks."

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last Tuesday announced that it had
released US$18.5million to the state-controlled Noczim for the procurement
of fuel.

Francis Dzanya, an economist said the delays in the supply of fuel were
mainly logistical.

"The ships that supply Zimbabwe with fuel could be out at sea and it is very
slow to transport fuel by road from South Africa," said Dzanya, who added
that the current crisis was due to shortage of foreign currency.

Eric Bloch, who sits on the RBZ board, said it would take about a week from
the time of making payment to the time the fuel is delivered.

Apart from foreign currency crisis, Bloch said, the on-going fuel crisis was
caused by the government's reluctance to increase the prices of fuels to
levels that are sustainable.

"The fuel scarcities are partially occasioned by inadequate availability of
foreign currency but, to a much great extent, brought about by the
government's resistance to greatly required price increases," Bloch said.

He said Zimbabwe was one of the countries in Africa selling fuel at lowest

"Not only has the international price of crude oil risen by 80-100 percent
over the last 12 months but, in addition, exchange rate movements have
significantly affected the transportation costs for bringing the fuel to

Meanwhile, winding queues were common last week at the few service stations
that received fuel.

As the fuel crisis continues unabated, transport problems also intensified
in most parts of the country while industry is literally grounded.

Transport problems have been aggravated by the ongoing police blitz, which
has driven most unroadworthy vehicles off the road, leaving commuters

The worst affected commuters are those from Chitungwiza, Mabvuku and Norton,
whose drop-off and pick-up points are on the outskirts of the city.

Those who live near Harare's central business district (CBD) in suburbs such
as Hillside, Warren Park and Kambuzuma and Belvedere were walking to and
from work the whole of last week.

Efforts to get a comment from Noczim chief executive officer, Zvinechimwe
Churu, were fruitless.

But Justin Mupamhanga the secretary for Energy and Power Development told
the state media last week: "We are working hand in glove with the RBZ. It's
not just about the money, but also logistics in the supply chain."

However, this has not helped improve the situation as long winding queues of
vehicles waiting for the scarce commodity could be seen stretching for up to
two kilometres at the few service stations where fuel was available.

Some motorists now leave their their cars parked at service stations in
anticipation of fuel deliveries, while in areas like Chitungwiza at St
Mary's, motorists were reportedly spending nights in the queues. "I have
been sleeping in the Kombi waiting for petrol but it has not come" Tafadzwa
Nyangande a conductor of a commuter omnibus plying the Makoni - Chirunga
route said
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Zim Standard

CIO agent shoots self
By our own staff

A senior Central Intelligence Organisation officer who shot himself to death
in Harare more than a fortnight ago might have been implicated in the
on-going spy saga that has sucked in some prominent Zimbabweans including
diplomats and ruling Zanu PF officials, The Standard has learnt.

Investigations by this newspaper have revealed that Elisha Muyemeki, a
senior CIO officer, who shot himself at his home in Mandara, Harare, two
weeks ago, was being investigated over possible links with a South African
spymaster being interrogated by Zimbabwean authorities.
Muyemeki is believed to have shot himself with his service revolver, at his
home, after he had been left alone on the premises. Zimbabwe was in December
rocked by allegations that a senior South African spymaster had successfully
recruited top government and Zanu PF officials to spy for Pretoria.

Sources in local intelligence services last week said Muyemeki, who was
under surveillance, was recently demoted from his post for making what they
said was "an elementary mistake" of not informing his CIO seniors that he
had been approached by the South Africans to spy for them.

"He made an elementary mistake of not informing his seniors when he was
approached by the spies and for that reason he had been going through a very
tough time. I think he noticed that there were some possible leads that
would lead to his incrimination," said one source.

A family member last week confirmed that Muyemeki had shot himself but could
not give any more details. "He just shot himself," said the family member,
adding that she could not give out any further details.

The Minister of State Security Didymus Mutasa declined to comment on the
incident, referring all questions to the police and Muyemeki's family.

"Go and ask those questions to the police and they will tell you what
happened. You can also go and ask the family members they are better
positioned to comment," Mutasa said before switching off his mobile phone.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said he was very busy
and could not give a comment. "I am very busy today with the operation
(Operation Restore Order) and it's very difficult for me to get information.
Try next week," Mandipaka said.

Long-serving Zimbabwe diplomat Godfrey Dzvairo was early this year sentenced
to six years in jail, while Tendai Matambanadzo, a banker, and Itai Marchi,
a Zanu-PF director, were each sentenced to five years, after they were
convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

The sentence came after the CIO trapped a senior South African intelligence
officer at Victoria Falls in December. The South African is suspected of
running a spy ring in Zimbabwe that involved the likes of Dzvairo,
Matambanadzo, Marchi and others.

Sources said the spymaster might have implicated Muyemeki - a former
journalist in then Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications -
after intense interrogation by Zimbabwean authorities.

Dzvairo, Marchi and Matambanadzo had pleaded guilty to the charges at their
first court appearance on 24 December, but later sought unsuccessfully to
change their pleas on the grounds that their confessions had been extracted
under duress. The trial of another suspect, Kenny Karidza, is still before
the courts.
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Zim Standard

Mudede accused of electoral fraud
By Valentine Maponga

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday said it feared
that Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede might have manipulated the election
material used in the 2002 Presidential election because he took long to
release the ballot boxes.

David Coltart, the MDC secretary for legal affairs, said Mudede played his
part in making sure that the "fraud would not be exposed".
"The judgement vindicates our position that Mudede has always been a biased
civil servant and worked for one political party. Had we been able to expose
this fraud early, this would mean that we would have had new elections in
three months but Mudede played his part," Coltart said.

High Court Judge Justice Yunus Omerjee last week fined Mudede $5 million for
contempt of court after he failed to comply with several court orders to
surrender ballot materials used in the 2002 Presidential election.

Mudede was also slapped with 60 days in prison, which was wholly suspended
for 10 days, on condition that he complies with a court order issued to him
in 2003.

Arnold Tsunga, the director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR),
said the delay by Mudede definitely undermines the outcome of the case.

He said the delay affected the efficiency of delivery of justice.

"It is very sad to note that a senior government official has been found
guilty of contempt of court but it also shows the level of lawlessness on
the part of our government. With this level of lawlessness you can not
expect a country to attract investment," Tsunga said.

He said the ongoing court case had an impact on the legitimacy of the

Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, said they feared that the delay
by Mudede to submit the election materials to the courts was meant to
manipulate the evidence.

"They know very well that they stole the 2002 presidential election and
there is a high probability that the materials have been contaminated. There
is no doubt that they stole the election and we believe the ballot papers
are crucial evidence," Ncube said.

He said the judgement exposed the criminality of the State governed by thugs
who have no respect for court orders and the rule of law.

"This is not something about the judiciary but a bad government that allows
someone junior as a registrar general to constantly defy court orders. These
people should know that justice delayed is justice denied," he said.

Passing judgement Justice Omerjee said Mudede was guilty of contempt of
court after he ignored several court orders issued upon him in his official

"He has acted with impunity and disdain. It is unbecoming of any public
official or anybody else for that matter to ignore court orders. To condone
such conduct would be to undermine public confidence in the overall
administration of justice and in particular, in the integrity and dignity of
our courts," Omerjee said.

He said Mudede was content with suggesting a form of inspection not
sanctioned by law or by any of court, as a way of circumventing compliance
with the court order.

The MDC is challenging the outcome of the 2002 presidential election arguing
that there were many discrepancies in the figures recorded at polling
stations and those announced by the registrar general's office.
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Zim Standard

Firms shut down at a trot in former heavy industry hub
By own correspondent

GWERU - Several companies based in the Midlands province have fallen victim
to Zimbabwe's six-year-old economic crisis, which is taking a heavy toll on
the crisis-wrecked southern African country.

Some manufacturing, agricultural and mining companies operating here are
closing shop or scaling down operations and failing to pay their workers
adequate severance and retrenchment packages, a development that is set to
create more unemployment.
More than 600 chrome miners at Madhatter Mining Company in Shurugwi say they
fear they may be retrenched because the owner wants to sell to another
player in the industry. Industry sources say if sold Madhatter may be forced
to trim.

Shurugwi Mines acting General Manager Stanley Sigula declined to comment
saying the alleged buyout of Madhatter and the plight of the Madhatter
workers is more of a shareholding issue.

In Shurugwi, Zimasco is operating Peak Mine having closed the other
underground mine, Railway Block recently ago and remained with a core group
of contract workers doing general work.

The bulk of the Shurugwi workers are said to have been moved to Lalapansi
where Zimasco is said to be reviving the old mines they left for Madhatter
to mine in 1992.

Upon the expiry of the Madhatter contract, Zimasco moved back retrenching
workers mainly those aged 55 years and above who could not be engaged again.
Most of the workers who were laid off got home with little considering the
number of years they worked for the mine.

At Bata Shoe Company, 105 workers were retired at 55 years and given an
average of $2 million each as packages and told to wait for the maturity of
their pensions at the National Social Security Authority, which they hope to
get when they reach 60 years.

One of the affected workers, Jephious Manyanya said he worked for Bata for
33 years and got a paltry $2,7 million to face this harsh life now out of
employment. Manyanya said even if his children are no longer going to
school, he needs more money to look after his wife and himself and $2,7
million would not last them a week.

Bata's acting General Manager Emmanuel Helia said the matter was now in the
hands of the Ministry Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

Asked whether it was "humane" to give an employee who would have served for
more than 30 years just $2 million as retirement package, Helia said he was
not in a position to comment as he "does not know the living requirements of
Africans many of whom go to their rural homes and start a good life there".

More than 340 workers at the 426 000ha Central Estates Farm in Mvuma, owned
by British tycoon, Nicholas van Hoogenstraten went on strike last month to
try to reverse the termination of employment of a number of their collegues
who had pressed management for more pay and better working conditions.

Central Estates workers also alleged that many of those kicked out were not
given awarded gratuities and got as little as $600 000 each as a
retrenchment package.

The Vice President of the Midlands Chamber of the Zimbabwe National Chamber
of Commerce, Willy Muringani said it was sad to note that many companies in
the Midlands were either scaling down, closing or laying off workers at a
time when there was need for more job creation initiatives.

Muringani said many companies were closing shop quietly and secretly without
notifying the chamber and sometimes they only got to know of the
developments from the Press.
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Zim Standard

UK mission helps Guruve school
By Linda Tsetere

MASHONALAND Central governor Ephraim Masawi and Guruve North MP David Butau
on Friday failed to attend an official opening of Masomo Baobab Secondary
School in Guruve although they were on the official programme.

No explanation was given for the unavailability of the two.
The school was built with assistance from the British Embassy through their
Small Grant Scheme, meant to fund various projects in different communities.

Masawi, who was billed as the guest of honour and had earlier last week
called for the postponement setting last Friday as a suitable date, did not
turn up.

Former MP for Guruve North Paul Mazikana was however present at the official
opening and handover ceremony of the school and saved the situation.

Mazikana said he was overjoyed to be present at the event because he had
sought the assistance when he was still MP.

British Ambassador, Rodrick Pullen, said he was happy to provide assistance
to the people in the constituency and that the project was funded with no
strings attached.

He said: "We will fund projects irrespective of the political orientations
of the communities and organisations from which they come from. "

Pullen said the assistance by the embassy was "a recognition of the vital
importance of education not only for the economic development of Zimbabwe,
but also in allowing every human being to achieve their potential and lead a
fulfilling life."

The British government has for the past five years supported schools in
Guruve. Schools that have benefited from assistance include Mahuwe, Karai,
Angwa and Chikafa.

Provincial Education Officer, Lazarus Chidavaenzi, said that the
construction of the school was a welcome development, as children would no
longer have to walk long distances of up to 20km to the nearest school
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Zim Standard

Air Zimbabwe grounded
By our own staff

FUEL shortages last week grounded planes from the national airline after Air
Zimbabwe's fuel reservoirs ran dry throwing into disarray the country's
tourism recovery efforts.

Air Zimbwe's flights were rescheduled last week after the national airline
failed to secure fuel from its sole supplier BP Shell.
The group acting CEO, Cephas Tarenyika, confirmed to The Standard on Friday
that the national airline was facing problems of fuel.

On Thursday, Air Zimbabwe's flight to Bulawayo was delayed by more than five
hours and among the passengers were the Caps United Football team which was
scheduled to play Railstars.
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Zim Standard

Terror of 'black boots' in Glen View
By John Mokwetsi

THE high-density area of Glen View is generally a quiet and peaceful place.
That is if the clock is indicating 2.00AM or thereabouts.

Nowadays nobody can afford to buy beer and disturb a stressed people trying
to come to terms with nightmares of a dying nation by singing at that time
of the morning.
It was not so last Wednesday on the 25 May the day set aside for Africa Day
Our peace was abruptly halted by overzealous officers from the police
support unit popularly referred to as "black boots," who sang derogatory
songs, clearly indicating their mood to spoil a good sleep for all of us.

We were all caught unawares and the message in one of the songs was clearly

They sang: "Hamusati maneta kurohwa baba, hamusati. Mbiri yechigandanga
ndiyo mbiri yatinayo baba. (You haven't had enough of being beaten up. We
are famed for roughing up people)."

We held our breath.

Nobody dared to peep through curtains to catch a glimpse of imposing
Dongfeng trucks, one of the benefits of our "Look East policy".

Residents of Glen View knew only to well what these vindictive people are
capable of.

In 2000 when angered by the government's insensitivity to their needs as
well as police brutality, the people of Glen View torched a ZUPCO bus.

The sight that followed was not for the faint-hearted.

Baton-wielding police came in the dead of the night to exert revenge.
Door-to-door, they went hurling abuse, beating and harassing innocent people
who could not defend themselves against the might of the law enforcement

At one house in Glen View 1, police allegedly kicked an old woman. The woman
allegedly died two weeks after being beaten up. We were therefore scared.

But last week around 4AM Glen View was up in smoke as a result of the
much-criticised Operation Restore Order.

They went about burning market stalls, a major source of income for mainly
unemployed people.

People watched helplessly as the Black boots razed to the ground structures
that have been dominant in people's lives.

Still they sang daring the people to revolt. Some even went as far as
telling on-lookers that the law was theirs to respect or disregard.

One old woman openly wept as she climbed off a Mbare commuter omnibus with
her fresh vegetables to find her stall at Makomva shopping centre up in

"How will I feed my children? Where will I get other planks? Have mercy on
us, we have suffered enough," she wailed.

But one Black Boot shouted: "Shut up vanhu vasingazive kuvhota. Next time
you will know were to place your X."

We all got the message. The clean up was political.

In Glen View 3 the police brought down their feared baton sticks on
resisting residents.

In neighbouring Budiriro a "black spot" according to the police, there was
heavy presence of anti-riot police ready to pounce.

At about 6AM police razed down the respected "Kumarobots" home industry,
long a supplier of furniture to many established furniture houses in Harare.
But that was when hell broke loose.

In the words of my friend Tawanda Mwerenga: "People fought their own
revolution. Violence repaid violence with violence. Baton sticks with
stones. We rose and we are proud. We said no to police brutality and we said
no to colonial-type oppression. We might have not won the battle but the war
is yet to vanish."

Mobilising each other hundreds of people stoned the imposing Dongfeng trucks
and other cars.

The logic being that nobody was allowed to drive when everybody was fighting

The people whose stalls and cabins were destroyed led the march to the Glen
View council hall.

There, they brought down the whole side of the security wall overlooking
Patrenda Way and destroyed the hall's windowpanes.

They proceeded to the Municipality offices where they brought down the fence
and looted some computers and accessories.

The TelOne building was not spared. A security officer at the Municipality
building fired warning shots, rescuing the situation. But he ran for dear
life because his gun was no match for the people's anger.

By 6PM Glen View resembled a graveyard. As if in conspiracy, Zesa had
switched off electricity. There was also no water.

Everybody who wanted to save their skin retired to bed to avoid a backlash
from a police force that is as partisan as it is violent. There were genuine
fears that soldiers would be called in to beat up people for daring to
defend their livelihood.

There were unconfirmed reports that people in Budiriro and Glen View area 8
were beaten up. At at a beer hall at Makomva shopping centre patrons ran for
dear life as the Black Boots ran amok.

But Glen View rose and the police felt it. A hungry man is an angry man.
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Zim Standard

Chaotic land reform scuttles seed exports
By our own staff

ZIMBABWE has not exported any seed since the 2000 land invasions that
paralysed the country's agricultural sector, a seed breeding company has

Seed Co (Pvt) Limited recently said seed production had drastically
decreased during the past five years because of the land invasions, which
were spearheaded by war veterans.
As a result, said Seed Co, the country has not been able to export seed
since the 2000/1 agriculture season.

The company said in statement: "No exports have been made from Zimbabwe
since the 2000/1 season as seed production decreased substantially with the
advent of the agrarian reform.

"Recovery is being made through recruitment of new farmers as seed growers,
but skills, experience and commitment take time to development."

New farmers are being recruited and trained to boost the production of seed
to meet the needs of all farmers.

However, speaking at Seed Co media tour at Rattray Arnold Research Station a
fortnight ago, Paul Rupende, a maize breeder at the station said, it would
take a long time to realize the fruits of the training programme.

"The process is, however, slow because seed breeding requires time,
experience and human input," Rupende said.

He said: "The company has established research stations in other African
countries including Zambia, Kenya and Cameroon - a move that will see them
help in the improvement of food production."

Speaking at the same event, Ephrame Havazvidi, head of Rattray Arnold
Research Station, a research branch of Seed Co, said the research function
of the group would continue to impact on the food security of Zimbabwe.

Havazvidi said: "The research function of the Seed Co group has, is and will
continue to impact heavily on the food security of Zimbabwe by way of
providing the unsubstitutable seed security to the nation."

Research being carried out by Seed Co at Rattray Arnold station involves
various breeding programmes in maize, soyabeans, wheat, beans and groundnuts
that have resulted not only in the upliftment of productivity of crops in
our country but also in some parts of Africa.

Havazvidi said Seed Co had become a one of the leading producers of high
yielding and widely adapted maize hybrids-most of them resistant to tropical
diseases such as grey leaf spot, streak and mottle viruses leaf blights cob
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Zim Standard

Kuwadzana in the dark
By our own staff

RESIDENTS of Kuwadzana Extension suburb in Harare have been without
electricity for the past 10 days and they are bitter that this is disrupting
their daily routines.

Parts of the same suburb have electricity although they also experience
regular power cuts.
The residents said due to electricity black out, basic food stuffs such as
milk and meat were going off.

Ganyani Khosa, one of the residents, said he had incurred huge losses as a
result of interrupted electricity power supplies to the suburb.

He said affected residents were now using firewood for cooking, while cases
burglary had drastically increased as criminals took advantage of darkness.

"We emptied the refrigerator since all the meat had gone bad by Saturday 21
May 2005. I can not afford the expenses of seeking compensation from Zesa
for all my perishables that have gone bad," Khosa complained.

An official at Zesa headquarters said some "fuses at the sub-station in the
suburb had blown off" and the parastatals was trying secure replacements.
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Zim Standard

Mudzuri blasts State move to control Harare water
By Foster Dongozi

OUSTED Harare executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri says plans by the government to
control the capital's water supply is a sinister move to raid council
coffers of money generated by selling water to residents and companies.

In an interview with The Standard, Mudzuri said the government wanted to
embark on a scorched earth policy in plundering the coffers of the council
as punishment for supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
The Minister of State for Water Resources and Infrastructural Development,
Eng Munacho Mutezo, recently announced that the Zimbabwe National Water
Authority (Zinwa) would take over the running of bulk water supply to

Zinwa is a parastatal that falls under Mutezo's ministry.

Mudzuri said: "The whole thing is a plan by the dictatorship to raid the
coffers of the council because they have no other sources of revenue after
they plundered the once vibrant economy. Water provision is a cash cow for
the council because it generates a lot of money."

He said there were fears that as the State ran out of money, it would soon
grab other income generating arms like housing and refuse collection.

He said: "Handing over the water department to Zinwa will lead to the total
collapse of service delivery because like any other State controlled
parastatals, it is inefficient. Zinwa is not experienced in running a large
water department such as the Harare Water Works. Zinwa is failing to
maintain small pumps, which supply water to small growth points. If they
take over Harare, there will be total collapse of service delivery."

He said the Zanu PF government had kicked the MDC out of office at Town
House after realising that they were efficient and served the interests of
the people.

He said when he came into office in March 2002, after walloping Zanu PF's
Amos Midzi by more than a quarter of a million votes, he introduced a
100-day delivery strategy, which was meant to create a culture of

"Under that strategy, all water and sewage bursts were supposed to be
attended within two hours of the report being made. If the matter was not
attended to it was sent straight to my desk and I would make sure the issue
was attended to."

Mudzuri said while they were attending to pot-holes, local government
minister, Ignatius Chombo, started interfering in the running of the affairs
of Harare.

Mudzuri said: "Although he admitted to me in private that the MDC led
council was doing a splendid job, he was under pressure from the Zanu PF
leadership to either recruit me to join them or face problems."

Mudzuri said when they sought powers to borrow money for the capital's
development, Chombo refused to authorise the request.

He said the water, refuse collection and sewage problems could have been
rectified if the government had not interfered in the affairs of Harare.

He said: "We had come to an arrangement with our German sister city, Munich,
for them to assist us in those areas. The assistance would have included
things like vehicles, exchange programmes to share information but the
Germans pulled out after the council was suspended because they only work
with elected councils."

On the attacks by the police and the Harare municipality on residents,
Mudzuri said the government had tested the patience of Zimbabweans too far
and that they would soon meet fierce resistance from the people.

He said: "You cannot play with the people's feelings for so long. The
government's decision will backfire one day and the people of Harare will
fight back in a big way."

He said as the elected executive mayor of Harare, he was aware that there
were designated areas like some flea markets in Harare, where people were
authorised to trade informally. "I do not condone lawlessness but the
question that remains is why has the government turned against its own
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Zim Standard

Family now needs $4m per month - CCZ
By our own correspondent

BULAWAYO - A family of six will now require about $4 million a month to
survive after recent increases in prices of almost all basic commodities in
the country, a Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) official said last week.

Bulawayo regional manager for the CCZ, Comfort Muchekeza, told The Standard
on Thursday that although the council was still working on the figures, a
family of six needed about $4 million a month.
"We are still working on the figures for this month, but prices of basic
commodities have gone up, for example bread is now $4 500. I think the
monthly figure is now slightly below $4 million," Muchekeza said.

In April the monthly breadbasket stood at about $2.3 million.

Most of the basic commodities immediately shot up after the 31 March
parliamentary elections.

A loaf of bread now costs $4.500, up from $3.500 while a 10kg bag of super
refined maize meal is now fetching between $30 000 and $35 000 in most

A 2kg packet of sugar costs $7 500 but it is being sold for $20 000 on the
parallel market.

Muchekeza said the monthly breadbasket figure would top $5 million soon due
to acute shortages of basic commodities, which had seen a thriving parallel
market mushrooming, where goods are sold at thrice the official price.

Commuter operators who are buying fuel from the parallel market, say they
pay between $8 000 and $15 000. As a result, commuter operators are charging
$10 000 a trip during peak hours.

The projected breadbasket figure for the month of May also doubles the
salaries of most workers in the country.
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Zim Standard

      No end in sight to Chitungwiza's sewage woes
      By our own staff

      A sewage problem that has dogged the sprawling Chitungwiza town for
the the past few years seems set to continue as raw sewage can still be seen
flowing freely in the streets exposing residents to communicable diseases,
The Standard have observed.

      In crowded high-density suburbs such as Unit H, D, N, G and St Mary's
the raw sewage flows in front of houses, attracting swarms of flies and
exposing the residents to diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.
      Denford Mutungura of Unit G said: "Children are exposed to diseases as
they play right in the effluent. We are tired of reporting these cases to
the authorities with nothing being done."

      The road that connects Makoni Shopping Centre and Unit G has become
notorious for sewage flows, which stagnate in the potholes characteristic of
the city's roads.

      "I no longer mind the sewage. I think people are now resistant to
diseases, otherwise they would have died a long time ago," said Stella
Chauke, a mother of three.

      Apart from the diseases they are exposed to, the residents have also
to contend with the foul smell from the raw sewage.

      Residents of the town say they are infuriated by the high rates they
are being charged by the council when the local authority is failing to
deliver expected social services.

      A survey by The Standard indicated that there was little service
delivery in the town.

      Collin Gwiyo, the deputy mayor for Chitungwiza, conceded that they
were having serious problem with the sewerage.

      Gwiyo said: "There are some perpetual cases such as in Unit H and St
Mary's and those that are reported and attended to as and when they happen.
We have interim measures to the crisis but we are implementing long-term

      "Based on the new revenue collection we have the capacity to deliver
and people should expect changes. Now we have seven trucks back on the
road," he said.

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Zim Standard

Clean-up blitz shows policy bankruptcy

WHEN a government or local authority is prepared to render about a million
people homeless, without affording them either time or an alternative, it is
time to take a stand and call a spade a spade.

Zanu PF and the government have a habit of creating chaos and then turning
around to present themselves as gallant knights in shining armour, coming to
the rescue of the defenceless, poor and victimised.
It is abhorrent that anyone, claiming to represent or act in the interests
of the public could consider rendering as many as a million people homeless
in the middle of biting winter weather.

It seems Zanu PF wants to depopulate the urban areas by driving people into
the countryside, in the forlon hope that it can increase its support base.

It is inconceivable that the government can believe it is doing the right
thing when hundreds of people are seen lining the streets of Harare late at
night waiting for transport to take them home. Many, frustrated by having
waited for long periods walk home, putting themselves at risk.

The government's damage control exercise, as explained by the Minister of
Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Ignatious Chombo, is
nonsensical and an insult to the intelligence of the people of this country.
The government should not delight in the suffering of people when it does
not have a ready made alternative for them.

In normal circumstances, one plans, consults, implements on a limited scale,
evaluates, modifies and then implements, always mindful that if things do
not go according to plan, there is an alternative scheme or progress is
halted in order to revisit the drawing board as well as consultations.

These processes are palpably absent from the various operations being
conducted by the government, Harare City Council and the other local
authorities in Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo.

Those driving the latest assault on citizens trying to eke out a living
given the current hardships refuse to take cognisance of history and for
this; they will be condemned to repeat it. There could not be any poignant
reminder of how the colonial administration sought to protect big
businesses, while emptying the townships of excess workforce, and how
ironically the "people's government" is slavishly re-enacting the same

It is hard to resist the temptation that the government is intent on
following Joseph Stalin and the Chinese revolution when they drove their
urban populations into the countryside in a bid to demonstrate how Communism
in the Soviet Union and how the agrarian revolution in China respectively
could be transformed into unparalleled successes.

Today, the world is more the wiser because history has proved how
short-lived, brutal and costly Stalin's and the Chinese experiments were.

There are many ways of cleaning up Harare if both the government and Harare
City Council are so desperate to present and capitalise on the tourist
traffic to the 2010 soccer extravaganza in South Africa.

The one question that the government and the local authorities have not been
able to answer is why the hurry to destroy in order to rebuild, when there
is so much cost, anguish and destabilisation involved.

During 1991, just before the Commonwealth summit, the government created
Porta Farm and a cluster of hovels known as Hatcliffe Extension. Later, it
was to create Dzivarasekwa Extension, another squatter camp. Ahead of the
2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential election, the government encouraged
homeless people to invade White Cliff Farm on the western outskirts of
Harare. It was a landscape of largely squatter shacks - the same structures
the government and city council to demolished.

Porta Farm, Hatcliffe Extension, Dzivarasekwa and White Cliff are living
testimony to the government's lack of planning and commitment to provision
of decent accommodation for its nationals. How then it proposes to address
the overcrowding in the high-density areas when it has a legacy of squatter
camps is mind-boggling.

The government and the City Council are demonstrating that they do not care
about visiting more hardships on people for which they have failed to create
jobs and housing.

In a year of food shortages, owing to poor harvests, it would have been more
helpful if the government concentrated on ensuring that everyone in need of
food gets it while putting in place proper mechanisms for demolishing tuck
shops and what it terms illegal shacks, even though the city council was
accepting levies collected from the lodgers and owners of tuck shops.

Zanu PF prides itself in implementing the wishes of the people. Is this just
empty campaign rhetoric or whose interests does the current blitz serve when
its short-term effect is to render families hungry and homeless, at a time
when the government clearly does not have the capacity to meet the needs of
the thousands of people affected.

The latest relentless blitz against commuter buses, flea market and tuck
shop operators shows the people in government and the unelected
commissioners running Harare for what they are - self serving and power

The council needs to explain where its planning and building inspectorate
departments were when the illegal structures were erected. What the
government has done is no different from what the Ian Smith administration
used to do. The difference is that in the case of Ian Smith, the people at
least understood why.
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Zim Standard

ZESA gets lifeline
By Ndamu Sandu

CASH strapped power utility ZESA Holdings has been given a lifeline to
effect a tariff hike, StandardBusiness has learnt.

Industry sources said the issue of a tariff increase was discussed at a
Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and a go-ahead was given to ZESA. Although
StandardBusiness could not get the percentage point increase in tariffs
agreed in Cabinet, sources say it was not going to be the 126% announced by
the power utility early this year.
ZESA in January announced a 126% tariff increase as one of the
recommendations made by a South African energy consultancy firm, Sad-elec.
Sad-elec was commissioned by ZESA last year to work out an energy pricing
model that would ensure its sustenance.

The report was presented to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development
last year. Sad-elec in its report said ZESA was charging sub economic

Announcing the intention to increase tariffs, ZESA said government had made
it clear to the power company that the State could not carry the electricity
tariff subsidy of $1,14 trillion this year.

The increase in tariffs is envisaged to push upwards the weighted average
electricity cost. Currently the weighted average tariff is $104 per kWh
against the recommended tariff of $235 per kWh.

The proposed increase in tariffs by ZESA drew criticism from industry, which
said the move would impact negatively on companies currently operating at
below capacity.

ESA requires more than US$13million per month to meet electricity import
obligations, service debts and buy spares for refurbishments. Last year, it
was forced to reverse a 400% tariff hike after the Association of Business
in Zimbabwe (ABUZ) won a High Court injunction nullifying the increase.

The power utility reduced the tariff increase to 45%.

The power utility generates 1 440 megawatts (MW) of total national
requirements through Kariba South Power Station (750 MW), Hwange South Power
Station (590 MW) and a small thermal (100 MW). This constitutes 68% of
national requirements.

Imports account for 650 MW representing 32% of national requirements through
Eskom (300 MW), Hydroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (250 MW) and 100 MW from
Societe National d'Electricite (Snel) of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Obert Nyatanga, ZESA's Corporate Affairs Manager, said he was not privy to
what had transpired at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

"I haven't heard about what was discussed in Cabinet. Talk to the ministry
as they are better qualified since they attended the Cabinet meeting," he

Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary Justin Mupamhanga confirmed
that Cabinet had discussed about tariffs charged by the power utility though
he had not heard more information about the Cabinet meeting. When pressed on
what percentage points to be effected Mupamhanga said: "You will be informed
officially. Why do you want to rush things?"
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Zim Standard

Zimsun says tourist numbers increasing
By our own Staff

HOSPITALITY concern Zimsun Leisure group says it has seen a growth in
tourist arrivals from international and regional sources despite the
prevailing negative sentiments of Zimbabwe as a tourist destination.

Announcing the group's results for the year ending March 31 2005, CEO Shingi
Munyeza said the group had recorded a significant increase in arrivals from
United States of America.
"Of note is the 50% increase in guests from the United States of America
from 4 024 to 6 117," Munyeza said.

Munyeza said the number of guests from the United Kingdom had also increased
34% to 2 071, compared to 1 544 in the previous year.

Arrivals from Japan firmed 58% to 2 879 compared to 1 822 in the year under

Munyeza attributed the increase in arrivals to thawing in perception of
security concern and "value for money" because of a weaker currency in
comparison to South Africa where the rand has firmed against major

Munyeza warned that shortages being experienced in the country if not reined
in, would impact on service delivery.

"If shortages are managed, we (Zimsun) have an exciting year," he said.

However volumes from the markets noted constituted 7% of the group's total
business in comparison to total guests arrivals of 15% in 2000.

Munyeza attributed the slight growth in international business over the
prior year to the group's continued focus 'to engage with tour operators
world-wide through participation in trade shows and updating details of our
product offering in travel catalogues".

In its year- end results Zimsun recorded a turnover of to $176,224billion a
308% increase from the previous year.

Average room occupancy decreased to 38% from 42% in the previous year.

Local operations contributed 85% of group turnover. The Elephant Hills
recorded 924 million profits in the year under review compared to $1,3
billion loss in the year comparable.
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Zim Standard

Local firms reel as economic climate worsens
By Allen Tichaona and Kumbirayi Mafunda

ZIMBABWE Phosphates - Zimphos - is one of several companies contemplating
sending some permanent workers on forced leave to rationalise its operations
in light of the biting foreign currency shortages.

Company sources said Zimphos management were throwing around a number of
ideas in the event that "push comes to shove" and one of the options is to
send workers on forced leave.
Biting foreign currency shortages have also forced bottler Mutare Bottlers
to axe about 200 workers. Industry sources said many firms were planning
widespread retrenchments, or downsizing, to react to worsening economic
conditions dramatized by lack of hard currency to import raw materials,
intermittent power cuts and the fuel crisis.

"The biting foreign currency shortages has seen the company's operations
being severely handicapped and as a result the company is taking proactive
measures so that they are not taken unawares," said a source at Zimphos.

Apart from forcing workers to go on leave, the fertilizer manufacturing
company is also looking at introducing "weekly shifts" where a group of
workers work for one week and another one the following week. It is also
toying with the idea of shutting down some plants. Zimphos is 100% owned by
Chemplex Corporation, a group that has various interests in the fertilizer
manufacturing industry. Eben Makonese, Chemplex's CEO, confirmed that
Zimphos was experiencing foreign currency problems and has since
communicated their position to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) since the
company was of strategic importance to the agricultural industry.

Meanwhile, Mutare Bottling Company, one of the country's leading bottlers
has now succumbed to Zimbabwe's six-year old economic crisis and is axing
more than 200 workers at its bottling plant, Standard Business has
learnt.Workers from the border-based bottlers told Standard Business that
the lay offs were necessitated by reduced production of carbonated soft
drinks owing to an erratic shortage of concentrates, fuel and crowns to cap
bottles. Mutare has vainly failed to secure foreign currency to import soft
drinks concentrates from Swaziland.
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Zim Standard

Bloodbath at the ZSE
marketmovers with Kumbirai Mafunda

STOCKS plunged weeklong with the ZSE suffering one of its worst carnages in
2005 characterised by triple and double-digit losses for the benchmark
industrial index.

Investors gave up hope and not even a short holiday break in the middle of
the week could stop the blood letting. Deepening concerns over the conduct
of dual listed counters accused of siphoning foreign currency and the
massive hike in interest rates led to the worst week of trading this year.
The market responded negatively to the monetary policy review statement just
a day after its unveiling peeling off a significant 153 562 20 points. The
ZSE tumbled 320 182 96 points to close Thursday at 2 821 836 59 and cap a
dreadful week for the stock market.

"We are seeing a giving up of hope on the part of investors," said a leading
equity trader. "This is a direct response to Gideon Gono's contractionary
monetary policy report."

Investors were unnerved by a Reserve Bank report that incriminated the ZSE
as a hub for speculative trading stocks. Stocks were further driven down by
down beat profit reports that came through the week. The week also kicked
off one of the heaviest reporting weeks and some of the companies to report
were ART, hospitality and leisure giant Zimsun and ZSR.

Strategists were unanimous that the market holds the capacity to recover
from the current bloodbath muscled by illiquid counters that they said were
unlikely to come off easily.

"Recovery is going to come. Panic sellers will keep selling and counters
will become oversold and will eventually go to correct levels," observed one
market veteran.

As investors were channelling funds to the lower risk market, the money
market traded in surplus due to a shortage of short term paper. The RBZ was
only issuing the 6 months paper.

"Rates are depressed and if the central bank continues to float the 181 TB's
there will be resistance," dealers warned on Friday.
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Zim Standard

High seed cost threaten tobacco
By our own Staff

ZIMBABWE'S chances to fix its agriculture-based economy has taken a heavy
knock following reports that seed manufacturers have hiked the price of seed
tobacco by 600%.

Tobacco, the golden leaf, is one of Zimbabwe's key crops and a major foreign
currency spinner. The Harare government has pinned its hopes of an economic
recovery on a successful farming revival.
Tobacco representative bodies and growers told Standard Business that the
Tobacco Research Board (TRB) - a research institution that serves the
tobacco growing community - had directed all seed houses to hike the price
of seed tobacco from $10 000/gram to $70 000/gram, far off the reach of many
small tobacco growers.

Seed houses indicated that the TRB - which is funded predominantly by a levy
and grants from growers, the government, and the tobacco trade and seed
sales - had recently circulated a memorandum commanding them to increase
their prices.

The TRB, seed houses said, did not state the justification for the whopping
price increase but informed sources in the industry said it wanted to recoup
losses it incurred as a result of growing excessive quantities of parent
seeds for this year's crop.

TRB sources said it had put too much seed out hoping to entice farmers to
surpass the 160 million kg crop that was targeted by the Reserve Bank. The
central had forecast a bumper crop of 160 million kg under its "Vision 160"
programme but that has failed dismally because of poor planning, drought
conditions, lack of capital and the rising cost of inputs.

Zimbabwe is projected to sell only 85 million kg this year, the second
tiniest crop since independence from Britain in 1980.

"We just got a memo from TRB asking us to comply with the new prices which
we hadn't discussed about," said an official at one Harare seed house. "They
said if we don't comply they would recall all the seeds but that price is
too much."

The official said they had only sold a kilogram in seed for the irrigated
flue cured crop against 20 kg to 30 kg sold this time last year.

At a meeting held at Kutsaga Research Station last week to find an amicable
solution to the seed cost, sellers were asking for $40 000/gram for but the
TRB had not yet responded to the proposal. Although grower bodies hinted
that TRB would sort out the price issue this week, analysts and growers were
unanimous that they were now running against time, as seedbeds should be
complete by this Wednesday.

Angry growers were reportedly boycotting buying seed raising concerns that
this could also affect next year's crop. Economic analysts say it would was
going to be increasingly difficult to convince newly resettled small-scale
farmers to take up tobacco growing because of rising inputs.

"Small scale farmers are not going to grow this year. They are asking too
much from them," said one economic analyst.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union president Davison Mugabe warned that the
seed price hike would impede production of the export crop.

"We are expecting some adjustments on that price because we want to
encourage more planting of tobacco this season," said Mugabe, who also grows
tobacco in Mashonaland West. Repeated efforts to reach TRB's General Manager
Anxious Masuka were fruitless before going to print.
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Zim Standard

Excessive State control throttles exports
Sundayopinion with Jupiter Punungwe

IT is ten o'clock in the evening of Thursday 19 May 2005. I am sitting on my
bed my chin firmly planted in my hands, wondering just where our country is

The doctor, Dr Gideon Gono, has just delivered a speech littered with
excellent English. My problem is that apart from the English I am finding it
difficult to find anything else excellent about the speech. The so called
'monetary policy' has again skirted around the major ill of our economy -
botched attempts by the state to control almost every aspect of economic
I think it is time we faced the truth - our government is leaning towards
Marxist policies of a state controlled economy. The free market sheepskins
that had been donned in the early 90s are being slowly cast off to reveal
the Marxist wolf underneath. The government is trying very hard to control
almost every aspect of economic activity from the exchange rate to the price
of fuel.

The supposed intention of these controls is to protect what government calls
'the consumers' who in the more ideological terms of the 1980s would be
described as the masses or the povo. Needless to say these controls are not
achieving the intended aim of protecting consumers. There is no way that the
State can be said to be protecting me - a petrol consumer - when I fail to
find petrol at the nearest service station, but can only find it in dark
alleys and shady street corners at ridiculously high prices. The people
benefiting are the middleman selling the petrol and the corrupt government
(NOCZIM?) officials supplying petrol to him in the first place. There is no
way that my mother, buying sugar at $20'000 for 2kg and mealie meal for
$30'000 for 10kg can be said to be benefiting from the controls.

In fact the controls have the nasty side effect of making it near impossible
for industry to operate profitably. As a result the capital base of the
industries whose goods are being controlled has been slowly dwindling,
reducing their capacity to serve a growing population. Those multinational
industries who can afford it have relocated to neighbouring countries while
the hapless industries who can't relocate, usually owned by indigenous
Zimbabweans have gone under or are struggling to make ends meet.

Look at the transport sector for example, the buses of major operators have
virtually disappeared from the roads - Chawasarira, Kukura Kurerwa, Musasiwa
Bus Service, Power Coach, Shu Shine to name but a few. Even ZUPCO is limping
along on an unprofitable basis only being saved from total collapse by
countless infusions of taxpayers' money.

Industry is suffering because government controls in effect prevent industry
from benefiting from increased demand of their services and products. The
end consumers who the government is trying to protect are left more exposed
to exploitation by middlemen as goods become scarcer. The middlemen who
benefit do not have any stake in industry therefore they do not reinvest the
benefits in the capital base of the industry.

In a free economy industry would get better profits from increased demand
and reinvest some of those profits into capital projects leading to improved
and cheaper products. The better profits would also attract additional
players into the industrial sector fostering competition, resulting in
better service and again cheaper products.

Consider the transport sector of 10 years ago, the sector was profitable and
competition was so stiff that operators were ferrying commuters to
Chitungwiza for free on some days. In those days overloading a bus was taboo
because there were so many of them plying routes. Now profitability of the
sector has been destroyed by iron-fisted government control of fares and
commuters are spending almost the entire night waiting for buses along
Julius Nyerere Way.

They will be lucky if they manage to squeeze onto the open pan of a lorry or
a pick-up and make it home. If they board a bus they will be packed like
sardines with almost a hundred standing passengers instead of the stipulated

The governor's measures also do not address bureaucracy and simple lack of
information from government departments. Trying to export anything from this
country involves navigating a maze of corridors with many doors leading to
dead end rooms with no way out and one would be lucky to find a way out of
the maze and see the light of day after a couple of months. This bureaucracy
also fosters corruption as along the maze of corridors you will come across
officials who want you to grease their hands for them to show you the
quickest way out.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the governor. He is serving a government that
simply doesn't want to admit that the root cause of economic decline is
mismanagement by its actions and policies. Of course, they have been aided
by a few other factors, such as hostility from the world's richest
countries, but the root of the problem is firmly planted at their door. One
of the biggest problems of our government is their inability to gather
accurate and objective information, analyse it impartially, take the advice
of experts and simply admit it in those cases where they have been wrong.

Take for example the issue of the exchange rate. The way our exchange rate
has been managed for the past 5 years has been slowly throttling the export
sector and driving industries out of business. Economics is a behavioural
science. A lot that affects the economy depends on the behaviour of
individuals and the motivation they have to behave the way they do.
Regulations and controls, of course, form part of the motivation for
individual behaviour, but they are not the only motivation and in many cases
they are superseded by other individual motivations such as the need for
personal profit. Where the export sector is concerned, the regulations and
controls of the exporting country often do not matter at all because the
importer may not fall within their jurisdiction.

Take for example a Malawian importer of Zimbabwean washing powder. The
Malawian's motivation is that they want to make a profit, not that they want
Zimbabwe to make a lot of foreign currency. Suppose the Malawian has a
thousand US dollars. He knows very well that if he goes to a bureau in
Lilongwe, or approaches a foreign currency vendor at Mwanza, Tete or
Cuchamano he will get 20 million Zimbabwe dollars (open market or
'blackmarket' rate unfortunately is the rate used by other countries, not
the rate we want) enough to buy let's say 2 000 boxes of washing powder. If
he carries his US$1 000 to Harare and goes to a bank in Zimbabwe, the
governor says he should get only 9 million zimdollars (auction/diaspora
rate) enough for only 900 boxes.

Zimbabwe has every right to regulate trade on Zimbabwean soil. The Malawian
does not dispute that and he knows very well that his goods will be
confiscated at Nyamapanda if he does not comply with Zimbabwean laws. So
instead of buying washing powder in Zimbabwe on the governor's terms, he
would rather spend US$100 taking a bus to Jo'burg or Messina were he can buy
1 800 boxes of washing powder instead of the 900 the Zimbabwe exchange
controls want to force him to buy.

And Zimbabwe can do absolutely nothing about it. We cannot start abducting
Malawians or any other neighbouring country's citizens and forcing them to
buy in Zimbabwe. We cannot even prevent them from travelling across Zimbabwe
because doing so breaks regional and international transit laws and if push
comes to shove the Malawian could go to South Africa via Mozambique at a
little extra cost. I hope this scenario clearly illustrates one of the ways
in which we are throttling our own exports. It also illustrate how we are
managing to throw away the geographical advantage we have over South Africa
in terms of access to regional markets.

To be continued next week
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Zim Standard

Leaders cursed to self-destruction
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

MANY people stop me on the street and ask why I haven't been writing my
column in The Standard lately. "I enjoyed it so much," they each say.

These people think that they are encouraging me to continue writing when in
fact they couldn't be more discouraging. You see, I don't write for people's
enjoyment but to wake them up to the dangerous predicament our country finds
itself in.
A sympathetic fellow writer looked at me knowingly and said: "I understand
your problem, my friend. You are suffering from 'writer's block'. This
afflicts all writers at one time or another. Take a break. Inspiration will
come again after you are rested."

I wanted to say: "Bull shit" to him but the fellow meant well so I agreed
with his diagnosis of "my problem".

The truth is that I went through a period of depression as I continuously
thought of Zimbabwe's predicament. I felt so helpless, especially after my
court case for "publishing falsehoods" and Zanu PF's win of the 31 March
general elections. I had said to myself, "What's the use of writing?"

Our beautiful country is hurtling towards destruction and our stiff-necked
leaders will not listen to advice from any quarter. They seem to have the
tragic flaw caused by avenging spirits. In Shona this is called "Ngozi". The
elders say, "Kana munhu ane Ngozi haarairike". (When one is possessed by the
Ngozi spirit he/she cannot be advised).

Ngozi is the aggrieved spirit of a tortured or murdered person who returns
to torture and destroy those who tortured or killed him/her. It leads that
person to do things which will lead to his suffering and self-destruction.

This seems to be the situation with our Zanu PF leaders today. "Vanenge vane
Ngozi" (They seem to be possessed by the avenging spirits, which are leading
them to self-destruction. The tragedy is that they are taking all of us with

I have started writing again because there seems to be a glimmer of light at
the end of this dark and terrible tunnel. Zanu PF's fear of losing power
should be gone now that they have won the elections by hook and crook. The
question now is: "Whither now Zimbabwe?"

Our hope and prayer is that they may or can shake off the spirits that seem
to be tormenting them, listen to reason, swallow their pride, admit their
mistakes and begin to lead the nation to peace and prosperity.

The other day I listened to someone castigating President Thabo Mbeki of
South Africa for not putting the screws on Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe because
Zimbabwe was trampling on human rights.

He also criticised the African Union for sending Joaquim Chissano, former
Mozambican president to talk to Mugabe about the critical situation in the
country. "Chissano can never be tough with Mugabe because they are buddies,"
he said.

In the past I have also ranted and raved against the South African President
for "propping up Zanu PF". However, after much reflection during my period
of deep depression, I tried to see what I think is his point of view. He
probably realised that our Ngozi afflicted-leaders are looking for the
slightest excuse to light the powder keg and Zimbabwe would go the way of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia
and other such African tragedies.

Let us now pray that their fear of losing power and facing retribution for
their actions is now gone and they are prepared to listen to their genuine
friends. President Mugabe has taken a faltering but good first step by
listening to the United Nations' Secretary-General Kofi Annan and agreeing
to discuss the countries worsening food crisis with James Morris, director
of the World Food Programme. Our thanks go to Annan for his personal

Zimbabwe is on the verge of mass starvation due to its unplanned, chaotic
and often violent land reform programme as well as drought. Let us hope that
the help will come in time since Mugabe's request is rather late. Just last
year, he declared that Zimbabweans would be "choked" if food aid was foisted
upon them. He advised would-be donors to go elsewhere with their food. He
needs to "climb down" on more issues in which we are taking the wrong

Let us hope for more such personal intervention from those who claim to be
Zimbabwe's friends, especially South Africa and China. China is a fast
developing giant today mainly because it came out of its shell and has
opened up to pragmatic political and business relations with Western
countries. They need to advise their friends in Zimbabwe that confrontation
with the West is detrimental to its development.

The Cold War between the East and the West is over and done with. Our
government needs to devote its efforts to supplying the political
requirements for economic and social development instead of carrying on
about academic issues of colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism.
Zimbabweans need food, clothing and shelter and not useless and defunct

Way back in 1967 Daniel Lerner, then Ford Professor of Sociology and
International Communication at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
wrote about politicians in Afro-Asia in the book, Communication and Change
in Developing Countries. He said:"Once these leaders make development the
major goal of political action, professional specialists in development
planning will be indispensable allies rather than suspected adversaries. The
anti-imperialist posture of the charismatic leaders in Afro-Asia may have
been useful during the early years of transition from colonialism to
nationhood. This purpose has now been served: the old colonies have already
become new nations. Anti-imperialism now is not merely an obsolete gimmick;
it is often a smokescreen that conceals the nation's long-term political
interests of leaders who wish to stay in power at any price. Much of the
anti-Western propaganda in Afro-Asia today obscures the divide between
political independence, which has already been achieved, and economic
development, which most new nations have barely started to seek.
Anti-Western slogans may still make it easier to raise cheers at political
rallies, but they certainly make it harder to raise levels of economic

Zimbabwe would do well to listen to Dr Lerner's' words of wisdom. There is
nothing wrong with our "Look East" policy. However, we must not use our
relationship with the East to recreate the long-ended polarisation and
dichotomy between the East and the West.

Sometimes we embarrass our Chinese friends when we use bilateral occasions
with them to lambaste the West. They are working hard to forge closer
working relationships with the West for their own economic development. The
Cold War is over. The name of the game today is economic development through
multi-lateral relationships with all nations in what is now the global

I totally agree with Munyaradzi Ushewekunze who, writing in The Daily Mirror
of 16 May 2005 said, "If the truth be told, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is
beginning to lose grip on the economy, especially prices for no other reason
but that Zimbabwe is a pariah State, isolated, yet battered economically.

".This should sound a wake up call to the government to swallow its pride,
discard populist policies perpetuating the current economic drag and
urgently re-engage the West, especially the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) to recoup Zimbabwe's investment fortunes."

Fossilised writers like Dr Tafataona Mahoso and the blinkered gang at the
government mouth piece, The Herald, should seriously take note of these
patriotic sentiments and take heed.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.
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Zim Standard

Freedonia's inimitable reign of terror
By Dumisani Mpofu

THERE was fear and confusion in Freedonia. The security agencies were all
over the streets and there was great gnashing of teeth and wailing.

Menacing security agents, some on horseback policed the streets. It was as
if there had been a military take-over and law enforcement agencies were on
high alert.
Almost everywhere there were cries of "Maihwe! Mamalo!" We cringed, even
though we were not the immediate victims. We could hear, blow by blow the
assaults on the victims. We prayed because were very afraid.

Freedonia's quiet old man said he had not seen such a thing since the 1950
and 1960s when the colonials were in the habit of driving indigenous people
out of the city centres or raiding the locations - areas where the
indigenous people were confined to in the urban areas.

Tears welling up in his eyes (we suspected it was the anger that memories of
such events triggered), the old man said he saw no difference between what
was happening in Freedonia and what the colonials used to.

He broke the silence: "Wherever the colonials are, they must be enjoying
what is happening. I tell you there were times when we were not allowed in
the city, just as they are doing to the Kombis. In the locations, they
raided whole areas demanding to know who had passes to stay because everyone
who had no 'legitimate business' was supposed to be in the reserves
(reserves of excess workforce). Most of you, who are young, must watch Cry

Cry Freedom was a documentary which, among other things, told of the
brutality of security agents in a neighbouring country. The documentary was
a study in the use of brute force against defenceless people.

Hundreds of security officers were emptied onto the streets of Freedonia.
You could tell where they had been because there were numerous scenes of
smouldering wreckage - a landscape after a demolition derby. Fear ruled our

After many of the Kombis - public transporters - were barred from entering
the city centres, all over towns in Freedonia hundreds of people gathered in
various places, either on their way to work - for the lucky few still
employed because it was rumoured that four fifths of Freedonia's working
population had lost their jobs during the past half decade - or home.

The predicament that many of the inhabitants of Freedonia found themselves
in was that this country of the free and brave had a law which outlawed the
gathering of more than half a dozen people. Freedonians worried that the
long lines of people could be construed as a gathering without permission
from the relevant security authorities. They feared arrest.

Freedonians also feared and wondered each day whether the shacks they lived
in and had left behind in their daily search for a source of livelihood
would escape the wrath of the law. Many wondered what they would do if in
the middle of one of the coldest season to hit the country they returned
home at night to be greeted by their young children, huddled in tattered
blankets and crying because what they called their "home" was demolished. It
would be hard to start wandering in search of accommodation in the middle of
the night.

Armoured personnel carriers and some awesome military equipment called
Dongfengs were deployed everywhere in a formidable show of strength.
Terrified residents said they heard the security agents in the vehicles
shouting and singing "tasvika vokubvondora (the demolition guys have
landed)" and "basa tasiya tagwaza (Mission accomplished)". It was enough to
strike terror in the hearts of many.

Freedonians wondered, but the answers were hard to come by. The military had
taken a recent delivery of troop carriers from the Far East. These ferocious
looking things were visible everywhere. Some mischievous people said this
was a sign of Hokoyo - beware of danger.

Freedonia's Air Force had also taken delivery of fighter planes, also from
the Far East and then there was an announcement that the country expected
delivery of navy boats because Freedonia had decided to establish such a
force to police the three major rivers and the inland lakes. The patrols
boats had already been ordered, again from the Far East.

Freedonians wondered about this militarization. It was one of the sources of
their fear. They asked what the meaning of all this could be.
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