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Fertilizer saga:Heads likely to roll

Zim Standard


      THE fertilizer saga took a sinister twist this week as it
emerged that one of the South African companies involved was allegedly used
by a local businessman two years ago to defraud the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) of billions of dollars.

       Documents at hand indicate that Industrial Commodity Holdings
(ICH), one of the companies which supplied sub-standard fertilizer to
Zimbabwe, is also implicated in the on-going trial of Harare businessman
Cyril Muderede as being part of the syndicate that fleeced the GMB of
billion of dollars.

      Muderede is out on bail.

      Test results from head of the Chemistry and Soil Research
Institute (CSRI) L.T Mupondi, dated 30 June 2006, indicate that Compound D
supplied by ICH is inferior.

      "The submitted Compound D is less than the CSRI or Standard
Association of Zimbabwe specifications on the phosphorous content and
normally would not be registered as Compound D," said Mupondi.

      A memorandum written by RBZ investigator John Ruston to the bank's
division chief, Millicent Mombeshora, dated 18 July 2006 said ICH supplied
over 823,65 tonnes of inferior fertilizer. The importation of the fertilizer
was done through the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) of South Africa.

      Sources at the RBZ said central bank governor, Gideon Gono,
acted against advice and awarded the fertilizer tender to ICH, the company
implicated in the GMB maize scandal.

      Muderede sold maize to ICH, owned by Piet Greyling. The company
would then resell the maize to the GMB, which paid for it in foreign

       To avoid detection, Muderede would `allegedly transfer his money
from his South African bank account to New York and then to Zimbabwe under
the name Oakley Investment, Muderede's investment vehicle.

      President Robert Mugabe once described the GMB maize scandal as
"high treason".

      The sources said it was amazing that ICH, named in the Muderede
trial as being involved in the money laundering, was given a contract to
supply blend fertilizer.

      "President Mugabe has a duty to order an investigation by an
anti-corruption committee to investigate Dr Mombeshora and ICH," said the
source. "and if Gono knew about this, and allowed this to happen, then their
resignations from RBZ, along with all the persons who covered up the
corruption, both in central bank and GMB should be forthcoming."

      The source said that as a result of the bungling, heads were
likely to roll this week in the Ministry of Agriculture. .

      But it was not only ICH whose integrity was brought into doubt
last week.

      There was fresh evidence that Intshona, another company
contracted to supply fertilizer by RBZ was of questionable credibility. This
is contrary to Gono's assertion that Intshona are "a formidable force to
reckon with, not only regionally but also internationally."

      A major partner of Intshona announced that it was pulling out of
the fertilizer deal, alleging that the controversial company was acting

      Profert (Pty) Limited, withdrew from the deal, citing Intshona's
"unprofessional conduct".

      The move threw into doubt Intshona's capacity to supply the
remaining 177 000 tonnes of fertilizer to Zimbabwe.

      Profert's involvement made it possible for Intshona to supply
the 33 000 tonnes to Zimbabwe.

      Abie vander Walt, Profert director, said his firm and Intshona,
which is headed by Dr Christa van Louw, operated on a joint venture basis
with regard to the Zimbabwe export contract.

      He said Profert's involvement with Intshona, a newcomer to the
market, was a vital element in Intshona's ability to secure the Zimbabwe
export supply contract totalling US$45 million.

      He said Profert was currently seeking legal advice on the

      "Therefore, Profert wishes to declare that, as the Zimbabwe
contract product conformance was determined through the official visit of
the Agricultural Ministry delegation's inspection in Durban as well as
independent sampling by the African Centre for Fertilizer Development, the
group is not accountable for fertilizer not supplied through its own
warehouse," said vander Walt.

      He said, "Profert further emphasizes that it is a well respected
and professional business with a long established reputation which conducts
itself according to ethical business practice at all times."

      Executive chairperson of Intshona Christa van Louw could not be
reached for comment. His two numbers were not reachable while the third
number was answered by a person who said Intshona had moved from the

      A search of Intshona Agricultural Products on the Internet
yielded nothing except a few Zimbabwean stories attributed to Gono.

      Analysts have queried how Intshona escaped media attention in
South Africa, regionally and internationally if it was "force to reckon"
with as alleged by the RBZ governor.

      Gono could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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Mugabe plot: Key witness vanishes

Zim Standard


      CAPTAIN Alfred Chiukira, the soldier accused of involvement in a
plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, escaped from King George VI
barracks last Friday, amid fears that his disappearance could have been

      Chiukira, who had languished in detention for six months without
being tried, was due to appear before the General Court Martial on Monday.

      The decision was communicated to him only after The Standard
sought an explanation from army public relations over his continued
detention without trial.

      The Standard had been informed that the Army was keen to keep
him under lock and key until after the conclusion of Peter Hitschmann's
trial in Mutare.

      The State claims Hitschmann masterminded a plot to kill
President Mugabe during this year's 21st February celebrations in Mutare.

      Among other allegations was that Hitschmann and his alleged
co-conspirators intended to spill used oil on the Christmas Pass section of
the Mutare highway to cause an accident involving Mugabe's motorcade.

      Chiukira was detained at the Army Headquarters in March
following accusations that he was an informant of the ex-Rhodesian soldier.

      He tried in vain to have his case heard, including trying to
send a document to Mugabe, detailing the abuses he suffered at the hands of
the army. The document was suppressed.

      A doctor who examined Chiukira certified that he had a 17
percent disability as a result of torture. He was also not allowed to see
his lawyer, relatives and friends.

      Sources said some army officials, concerned that Chiukira was
finally going to appear before the military court where he could have
exposed sensitive information about the plot, may have facilitated his

      Sources told The Standard that a soldier guarding Chiukira woke
up at King George V1 barracks on Saturday morning around 4:30 only to
discover the prisoner had disappeared.

      Chiukira apparently pretended that he was taking a late night
bathe, turned on the shower and bolted.

      When his guard woke up hours later, the shower had not been
turned off.

      Chiukira's disappearance was confirmed by a top army official
last week. It immediately triggered a flurry of crisis meetings at the

      There were fears that army chiefs may either have arranged his
escape or created conditions which made an escape attempt irresistible.

      "How could a person accused of plotting to kill the Commander in
Chief of the defence forces escape from KGVI, the army headquarters?" asked
an army source. "If prison guards can provide heavy guard to petty
criminals, how about a person who was after Mugabe's head? You would imagine
the person would be heavily guarded even by a whole battalion,"

      But as The Standard established, there was lax security around
Chiukira who faced a firing squad if he was of convicted of treason.

      All he had was an unarmed captain, as an escort.

      "The message our bosses may have sent to Chiukira was - escape
if you can and he just did that," another source told The Standard.

      The Army HQ did not respond to questions concerning Chiukira's

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AirZim fee fuels currency black market

Zim Standard


      AIR Zimbabwe passengers travelling abroad have to scrounge for
foreign currency on the black market following last month's decision by the
airline to charge airport handling taxes in United States dollars.

      The new measures became effective last month when the airline
hiked its fares by over 300%.

      Initially the airline and travel agents sold tickets
incorporating required taxes in local currency. Passengers travelling to and
from London are now required to pay US$52 over and above the fare of Z$1.4

      The taxes for travellers to China are US$11, Dubai US$8 and
South Africa US$31 respectively.

      The local currency component of the fares to the destinations is
$2.5 million, $1.3 million and $365 000 respectively.

      A snap survey by The Standard yesterday, showed the US dollar
was selling at $2 000 on the parallel market.

      Passengers and travel agents who spoke to The Standard last week
said the airline's decision had placed them in an "invidious" position.

      "The banks will not give passengers the foreign currency and
they have to source it on the black market," a spokesperson for a Harare
travel agent told The Standard yesterday. "This move has impacted on our

      Air Zim acting group CEO Oscar Madombwe said there was nothing
wrong in asking passengers to pay taxes in foreign currency since they were
collecting it on behalf of the aviation authorities.

      "Taxes accrue to aviation authorities and we are a collecting
agency. We forward the money to aviation authorities," he said.

      The AirZim boss said in the past the airline faced problems in
remitting the money to civil aviation authorities after collecting the taxes
in local currency.

      "If you go to South Africa and you want to make a phone call,
would you use Zimbabwean dollars?" Madombwe asked.

      A traveller who spoke to The Standard on Friday said the move
would only promote the black market.

      "You don't get foreign currency in a bank. So where do you go? -
The black market," said the traveller who could not be named for fear of
being prosecuted for sourcing money on the parallel market.

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Why Global Fund turned down Zimbabwe

Zim Standard

      By Bertha Shoko

      THE Global Fund to fight malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and Aids
has finally officially communicated to Zimbabwe the reasons why its Sixth
Round application was turned down a fortnight ago, ending weeks of

      Zimbabwe's application for more than US$300 million to the
Global Fund for the three diseases was turned down by the funding body's
Technical Review Panel (TRP).

      The TRP consists of independent experts in disease control and
development economics from universities and development institutions around
the world.

      The Standard understands that the Global Fund notified Zimbabwe
on Friday of the result of Round Six and that members of the Country
Co-ordinating Mechanism (CCM), are yet to meet on the matter and review the
reasons why the TRP turned down Zimbabwe's request for funding.

      The CCM, which is chaired by the Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, is responsible for preparing grant proposals
for consideration by the Global Fund.

      Although the CCM had not yet received any formal communication
from the funding body on the matter, Parirenyatwa's deputy, Edwin Muguti,
was in the State media early in the week attacking the funding body for
being "politically biased".

      Muguti, was quoted in the State media as saying he was more than
convinced that the funding body lacked objectivity and that Zimbabwe would
"go it alone" and not seek funding from organisations with ulterior motives.

      While Muguti was breathing fire, a calm Parirenyatwa told The
Standard that Zimbabwe would give the official position as soon as the CCM
had had a chance to meet and review the fund's decision.

      He said it was for this reason that he could not disclose the
reasons for the denial of funding.

      However, highly-placed sources privy to the matter, said the TRP's
main reason was that Zimbabwe sought to expand its already successful Round
Five application that had not even taken off.

      Sources said: "Zimbabwe's grant proposal was meant to expand
Round 5 application, and the TRP wants to see that Round 5 grant gets
underway and can operate well before it approves more money for the roll

      "If the Round 5 grant actually works reasonably well over the
coming year, my guess is that Zimbabwe's Round 7 application will have a
much greater chance of being recommended for funding with a few changes."

      The other reason was that Zimbabwe had included a provision to
pay health personnel extra money to compensate for inflation, in an effort
to retain their services.

      A problem arose with this proposal when it emerged that this
proposal would only benefit a few districts as this meant that there would
be impossibly large salary differences between neighbouring districts, said

       The TRP was unanimous that this would not work.

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Chinese brick firm workers have no union

Zim Standard


      THE plight of workers at a Chinese owned brick-making firm in
Harare is set to continue as it emerged this week that there is no credible
union to represent workers in the industry.

      Workers at S & M Bricks (Pvt) Limited are working under
appalling conditions in Dzivaresekwa.

      Apart from the threat of a disease outbreak, the workers alleged
poor pay and "very long" working hours without proper protective clothing.

       Their plight was first reported in The Standard, prompting an
angry response from their Chinese employer, Yumpu Meng who denied conditions
at his factory were bad. He said disgruntled workers were free to resign.

       Inquiries to establish which union represented the workers
revealed that clay and brick making industry workers had no union.

      The Cement and Lime Workers' Union (CLWU) told The Standard it
applied to the Registrar of Trade Unions in 2004 for accreditation to
represent the neglected workers but had still not received a response.

      The office of the Registrar of Trade Unions falls under the
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, headed by Nicholas

      A senior official with the registrar of trade unions, Clemence
Vusani, refused to comment on the delays in issuing the licence. He referred
all questions to Goche's ministry.

       Goche could not be reached for comment.

      But a senior official with CLWU, Raston Nyirenda last week said
the office of the registrar of trade unions had cited a critical shortage of
personnel and stationery as the cause for the delay in processing the

       "Apart from that, there is also a 'yellow union' called The
Brick and Clay Workers' Industry which is trying to block us from
representing those workers," said Nyirenda.

      Investigations by The Standard established that the Brick and
Clay Workers' Union (BCWU), led by Douglas Mudzi, was linked to the Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU).

      Reports say that ZFTU is a creation of the Zanu PF to counter
the growing influence of the larger Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

      "To be honest with you these guys (BCWU) have no office and have
only one official, Mr Mudzi," said an official in the Ministry of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

      Efforts to contact Mudzi were fruitless.

      Meanwhile, controversy related to the S&M Bricks continued last
week as it emerged that some unscrupulous union officials were taking
advantage of the workers' plight for personal gain.

      Last week, the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers'
Union (ZCATWU) suspended two senior officials for allegedly conniving with
S&M Bricks management to flight an advertisement denying allegations of
gross abuse of workers' rights at the company.

      The advert suggested that a report carried in The Standard about
the appalling conditions at the firm was false.

      ZCATWU general secretary Charles Gumbo said the union suspended
Alex Masarafuta and Morgan Mazarara for dealing with matters outside their
jurisdiction as well stealing the union's letterhead.

      "We have suspended them pending dismissal," said Gumbo. "We can't
have rogue elements in our union. We suspect they got some kickbacks,"

      ZCTU deputy secretary general, Japhet Moyo, said the umbrella
body would soon dispatch officials from its organising department to
investigate the matter.

      "I made consultations with our legal department and established
that we cannot write to the Minister but we have to go through the union.
But since we don't have a union, then we will send officials from here,"
Moyo said.

      The ZCTU had said it would write to Goche to intervene on the

      Last week, the ZCTU said previous investigations into the
reported appalling working conditions at Chinese-owned companies in
Zimbabwe, were being stymied by government protection of the owners.

      Moyo said they had encountered problems investigating the
Chinese firms because it seemed to be the government's policy not to
antagonise China, the lynchpin of its "Look East" policy.

      Since the government launched its new policy, after the
imposition of targeted sanctions by the West, it has invited Chinese firms
to invest in the country.

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Women demand 50% stake in political leadership

Zim Standard


      GENDER activists last week launched a campaign to fight for a 50
percent women representation at all levels of political leadership and

      Over 100 women marched from the Africa Unity Square to Harare
Gardens where opposition women politicians gave solidarity speeches. Zanu PF
legislators however, snubbed the campaign launch, which is being run by the
Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU).

      The women wore black and white attire to represent their demands
for what they termed "Zebra" listing, one man: one woman ratio in all
aspects of political and decision-making positions.

      Harare North MP Trudy Stevenson told the marchers the time had
come for women to be recognised as able leaders.

      "We have to start at the grassroots going up," she said. "One
day we should to have a woman president, as happened in Liberia. As women,
we constitute 52% of the Zimbabwean population, yet many years after
independence, we have only 22.2% representation in politics."

      She said Harare women should start now to campaign for the City
Council elections to be held sometime next year."

      Harare City Council elections are long overdue and a commission
chaired by Sekesai Makwavarara, elected on an MDC ticket, is currently
running the city.

      Regina Dumba, the vice-chairperson of the Women Coalition of
Zimbabwe, urged women who turned up at the marchers not to vote for
political parties that do not address the issue of equality (between men and

      Women performed dismally in the Rural District Council (RDC)
elections held last month.

      Although official statistics were not readily available last
week, it was estimated that women only managed to get slightly more than 150
council seats out of the 1 275 wards in the 59 districts. There are only
eight women out of about 305 urban councillors.

      WiPSU director Rutendo Hadebe, said obstacles faced by women
wishing to enter politics could be overcome.

      "There are a lot of solutions such as changing electoral systems
and introducing quotas," she said. "Political parties, however have not been
meeting the commitments they made before an election."

      During the 2005 parliamentary elections Zanu PF committed itself
to at least 35% women candidates.

       Abigail Damasane, the deputy minister of Women's Affairs, Gender
and Community Development, last week said the equality of men and women was
vital to the establishment of a just and developed society.

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Which Mugabe poser helps man escape conviction

Zim Standard


      A Rusape man, arrested earlier this year for staging a one-man
demonstration against "Mugabe", was recently acquitted by a provincial

      Rusape Provincial magistrate Loyce Mukunyadzi found Charles
Zinyembe not guilty of contravening Section 16 of the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).

      The State had argued that his one-man demonstration was against
President Robert Mugabe.

      But his lawyer, Chris Ndlovu of Gonese & Ndlovu legal
practitioners successfully argued that his client could have directed his
anger at any other Mugabe besides the President.

       Zinyembe marched from Vengere Township to the Rusape Town Centre
holding a Big placard written in bold letters: "Mugabe must go now. No
violence joins in the march. We have suffered long enough. It is now or

      "During the trial we argued that the words on the placard did
not constitute any crime," said Ndlovu. "We argued that the name Mugabe
alone, without any prefixes does not refer to the President. There are so
many Mugabes who are in positions of authority."

       He said only one witness, a woman war veteran, was called in to
testify during the trial, which lasted for less than four hours.

      A number of Zimbabweans have been arrested for complaining about
President Mugabe over the past six years. He stands accused of running down
the economy of a once prosperous country.

      A recent attempt by leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions to stage a demonstration against soaring poverty in the country was
brutally suppressed by the police, who allegedly beat up the unionists.

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Constables beat up senior police officer

Zim Standard

      By Nqobani Ndlovu

      BULAWAYO - An attempt to gatecrash his girlfriend into a
Bulawayo music show earned a senior police officer a thorough beating from
two constables whose duty was to ensure everyone paid an entry charge.

      Constables Pearson Mawolera and Tendai Kachomba were fined $8
000 for assaulting former Deputy Commander for Bulawayo province, Assistant
Commissioner Mpumelelo Sunduza earlier this year.

      The two officers were charged with assaulting Sunduza after he
tried to get his girlfriend, Constable Patience Moyo, admitted into a Tongai
Moyo show without paying.

       The incident took place on 4 February this year at Matopo Rock
Motel in Matobo where Moyo and his backing group, Utakataka Express, were

      The state led by Jeremiah Mutsindikwa said Mawolera and Kachomba
assaulted Sunduza following an altercation over entrance to the show.

      The incident occurred after the senior police officer tried to
get Constable Moyo into the show free of charge, much to the annoyance of
the junior officers manning the gate.

      They would have none of it.

      The State said the altercation degenerated into a fight, which
ended with Mawolera and Kachoma double-handcuffing Sunduza from the back and
beating him on the head with a baton.

      The constables were represented by Ndabezinhle Mazibuko of
Calderwood, Bryce & Hendrie Legal Practitioners.

      They were convicted of a lesser charge of common assault when
they appeared before senior Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Cephas Masaka
Sibanda on Wednesday.

      The two had pleaded not guilty to assault with intent to cause
grievous body harm. But they were slapped with a five-month jail term,
wholly suspended on condition that within that period they do not commit a

      Sibanda noted that it was the court's finding that there was an
element of provocation by Sunduza.

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Ephraim Chamba and the true meaning of 'Zvechisa'

Zim Standard

      By Bill Saidi

      EPHRAIM Chamba must have thought I was pulling his leg when I
asked him the meaning of a phrase in Oliver Mtukudzi's album, Tuku Music.
"Zvechisa?" he asked. Then he laughed; Chamba had a rich, infectious laugh,
which seemed to originate deep in his throat, right down to the pit of his

      It had what someone has called a contagious joy.

      On occasion, he would switch to the Korekore dialect and bombard
me with four-letter words, which would have made a sailor blush, as they
used to say.

      Zvechisa is the refrain of a song about child sexual abuse, one
of my favourites in Tuku Music. The girls begin the song with Ndozviudza
aniko, sounding so helpless, you have to remember the singers are married
women - or have experienced the equivalent of matrimony.

      When next Chamba telephoned me he paraphrased the word into
Zezuru, which he could have done at the beginning. I suspected he had
contrived the interval so that he could have a huge guffaw.

      Chamba loved to laugh. When you were with him you were
guaranteed many laughs, some at your expense, but most at the wild, woolly,
weird ways of the world.

      After they buried him at Warren Hills cemetery, many people
spoke of Chamba's input into music. Mtukudzi himself had something to say. I
was reminded of Zvechisa and concluded that Chamba himself had penned that
line for Oliver - they were close and both loved the dialect.

      Chamba's death came too suddenly: it reminded me of David
Zamuchiya's, also in a road accident.

      These are people you never imagine ending their lives in such a
mundane fashion - death in a road accident is the ultimate in the mundane, I
heard it on TV, for the first time. I listened intently for any clues to the
contrary. There were none; he had indeed died in a car accident.
Unfortunately for me, at the time, there was not enough fuel in the car to
travel very far, at least not to Chisipiti.

       Chamba and I had known each other for years, being products of
Harare Township. I had never known him as anything other than a broadcaster,
as he had probably known me only as a newspaper reporter who moonlighted as
a singer.

      For me, Chamba and Dominic Mandizha were the personification of
the African service of the entire network.

      Our singing group, the Milton Brothers, established a virtual
bond with Mandizha, although Chamba seemed always in the background, a
shadowy, avuncular presence like a guardian angel.

      On my return in 1980, he was one of the first people I
approached about a house to rent. We took a ride to Westwood and examined a

      During the drive, we reminisced about "the good old days". By
that time, Chamba was in public relations: soon, both he and Mandizha would
not be in broadcasting.

      Years later, I would walk into a small office in Jason Moyo
Avenue: Chamba would share the office with Lawrence Vambe, my
editor-in-chief at African Newspapers in the 1950s. Vambe would be
publishing a magazine; Chamba would be dabbling in public relations. You
should have heard the three of us talking about what might have been!

      Vambe once observed that, although he considered himself one of
the pioneers in journalism in this country, not once did anyone ever ask him
to speak of his experiences, or share them with the younger generation.

      Zvechisa: it's frightening that, after independence, the
government and Zanu PF decided anyone who had thrived in any profession
before independence, must have been a collaborator, a sell-out, a lackey of
the racist regimes.

       You have only to listen to and watch the state electronic media
to know what a tragedy that policy inflicted on the country.

      You have only to read the State publications to appreciate how
half-baked journalism is now being glorified as "the real thing".

      All of it gives you a new dimension of Zvechisa, to which Chamba
would have responded with his rich, throaty laugh.

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Pius Ncube disowns 'soft' National Vision document

Zim Standard


      THE head of the Roman Catholic for the Archdiocese of Bulawayo,
Archbishop Pius Ncube says he is extremely disenchanted because someone
watered down the recently launched Churches' discussion document.

      Describing the National Vision document as "soft as
decaffeinated tea", Ncube alleges that some areas were altered while several
pages were removed from the document that was originally signed by the
clergy in Zimbabwe.

      "You see, I think someone leaked - among the three bodies from
the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and
the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference - somebody leaked it to the
government and the government was demanding that before it's published
certain pages should be removed and I see it's really toned down. It's not
the original document that we agreed upon as churches."

      The outspoken cleric was speaking during an interview with SW
Radio Africa on the ongoing National Vision document launched recently by
the three main church groups in Zimbabwe.

      Ncube said although the document is very soft it may still be
usable but he castigated the meddling by the State.

      He said: "But I don't like the bullying of the government. This
government has done enough harm, enough bullying. They are causing suffering
on people and now they must come over and bully us the churches. That was
supposed to be our document. Not their document. I am pretty angry about

      Although he said he hadn't finished comparing the launched
document with the original, the Bishop believes the critical areas were
toned down. For example, there was a whole paragraph on the media,
illustrating how there is no free media, but Ncube claimed the government
cut out the whole paragraph and just added one sentence that says the media
is polarised and not working for national unity.

      When asked if he thought the church was trying to confront wrong
without offending the Mugabe regime, he responded: "As a church we are too
soft in such a way I wonder if we are going to make any headway."

      He also agreed with sentiments that outspoken critics like
himself may have been used to legitimise what some have described as a
Mugabe- sponsored initiative. He said he truly hoped it was their (churches')
initiative but was not aware that the government would pull out certain
pages from the discussion document.

      "I am extremely disenchanted, having seen how they have done a
lot of damage to our original document."

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Police accused of assaulting students

Zim Standard


      TEN Masvingo State University (MASU) students, arrested
following a demonstration against worsening learning conditions at the
institution, were beaten by police in custody, student leaders have said.

      Over 300 students took to the streets waving placards in
Masvingo city before police disrupted their protest and arrested organisers.
They demanded that the government address poor conditions at their
institution and unsuccessfully sought to present a petition to Governor
Willard Chiwewe.

      Narrating their ordeal to The Standard, the students said they
were assaulted by police officers while in custody for two days.

      Gideon Chitanga, Zimbabwe National Students' Union (ZINASU)
vice-president who was among those arrested, said they were severely
assaulted by police who accused them of being used by the opposition MDC to
destabilise the country.

      "I am in great pain, we were severely assaulted all over our
bodies by police officers who took turns over the two days we were in
custody. They said ZINASU leaders were opposition activists serving the
interests of the enemies of the state," Chitanga said.

       "They want us to be silent when we are suffering," he said.

       Another student, Edison Munyero described his ordeal in police

      "We had two days in hell. They beat us with batons, clenched
fists and booted feet. We were threatened that if we held another demo we
would be killed. They also said the beatings were just a warning, as next
time we could lose our lives."

      Masvingo police spokesperson, Phibion Nyambo, denied that
students were assaulted while in police cells. "I don't remember anyone
being assaulted by police officers, kungotaura kwemastudents but they were
not assaulted. Actually I am not the one who dealt with the issue; call
Oliver Mandipaka, he is in a better position to answer you on that one,"
said Nyambo.

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Whites among 99-year land lease recipients

Zim Standard


      SIXTEEN of the 120 farmers awarded 99-year leases last week are
white commercial farmers affected by the government's largely chaotic and
violent land reform programme.

      The Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform
and Resettlement, Didymus Mutasa confirmed this last week:

      "Yes, we gave them the leases. This decision was taken as a
start and we will continue issuing those leases until everyone has received

      But he said no white farmer whose farm was confiscated during
the land reform would be awarded the 99-year lease.

      "It would not make sense to take a farm from someone and then
give it back to them." said Mutasa. "We are carefully considering this
matter because all those who are getting these leases will not be removed
from those farms."

      One farmer granted a land lease was Dennis Streak, the father of
Zimbabwe's former cricket captain, Heath Streak. He was due for eviction
after being handed a confiscation notice. But he is now being allowed to
stay on the land after impressing the government with the production on his
farm since the notice was issued.

      Although some farmers see hope in these latest developments,
Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG) chief executive, John Worswick, said the
99-year leases are not a viable solution as they would not serve as
collateral and/or be transferable.

      "You can't build a new tenure system on a seriously infringed
land system," said Worswick. "Obviously they are going to use a political
screening process to award those leases."

      JAG represents 4 300 dispossessed white farmers, only 300 of
whom have received compensation from the government.

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Zimbabwe, Africa's gateway to 'Egoli'

Zim Standard


      ILLEGAL immigrants from several African countries are using
Zimbabwe as their transit point into South Africa, where they seek economic
and political refugee status, investigations by The Standard have

      A month-long probe confirmed that local businesspeople had
formed a syndicate which facilitates the movement of immigrants past
Zimbabwe's borders for a "handsome fee".

      Most of the immigrants are from politically volatile countries:
Eritrea, Somalia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

      Some are from Angola, Nigeria, Zambia and Malawi, and are
trekking down south in search of economic fortunes not easily accessible in
their own countries.

      "It's a regional syndicate, because it involves people in
Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa." said a local transporter.

      He was hired two weeks ago to ferry immigrants from Nyamapanda
border post to Harare.

      "The refugees have contact people in the three countries, who
facilitate their movements for a fee."

      The transporter said each immigrant pays between US$200 and
US$400 to each contact person.

       Most of them have no proper travel documents and use illegal
crossing points on Zimbabwe's porous border.

      "Personally, I suspect some of them are fugitives from justice
in their own countries, which is why they are using clandestine methods to
get into South Africa," said the transporter.

      Two weeks ago, he said he was hired during the night to ferry 16
immigrants of Eritrean origin from Nyamapanda border post to Harare. They
were dropped off at a businessman's house in Belvedere, where they stayed
for two nights before continuing their journey down south.

      "All the travelling is done at night to avoid police detection.
But when we meet them (the police) we pay them," said the transporter.

      "As things stand today, you know no-one would resist the US

      While The Standard was still investigating the racket, 15
Somalis were arrested near Kanyemba border post while trying to enter the

      They are now detained while investigations continue.

      The group was assisted by two Zimbabweans and a Zambian to cross
the crocodile-infested Zambezi River.

      Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Inspector Michael
Munyikwa said the police suspected the Somalis were on their way to South

      "Preliminary investigations established the 15 suspects crossed
into Zimbabwe on 16 October with the assistance of a Zambian, identified
only as Joseph," Munyikwa said.

      Chief police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said Zimbabwe has,
for a long time, had problems with illegal immigrants from central, north
and the Horn of Africa. He said the police were working closely with the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the

       "This is not a new issue," said Bvudzijena.

      "We have had this problem for a long time. But refugees should
seek asylum in their first country of call, who are their immediate
neighbours. Some of them are criminals, while others have military
backgrounds. So if we get them, we screen them thoroughly," said Bvudzijena.

      The Commissioner for Refugees in the Ministry of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare, Isaac Mukaro, referred all questions on the
immigrants to the ministry's permanent secretary, Lancester Museka.

      "I am too junior," he pleaded.

      At the time of going to print, Museka had not responded to
questions faxed to him.

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Appeal for help

Zim Standard

      By Our Staff

      ELEVEN-year-old Kudzai Chivhunze from Mvurwi is appealing to
well-wishers for donations so that she can undergo a bone marrow transplant
in South Africa as a matter of urgency.

       Kudzai suffers from a condition known as aplastic anaemia and
treatment for this condition is not available in Zimbabwe.

      She is currently admitted in the coronary care unit at
Parirenyatwa group of hospitals where doctors have been trying to stabilise
her condition until she can be treated in South Africa.

      Kudzai needs about R1 million to undergo surgery and restore her
health. Her family is also appealing for assistance to take care of local
medical costs as they are finding it increasingly difficult to meet them.

      A room in the intensive care unit at the hospital costs about
$100 000 a day and Kudzai has been there since September.

      Donors can deposit their contributions into the following
Agribank Account Number: 010504654011 or get in touch with Kudzai's father
on contact number 091 768 283.

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MDC duo to appeal to Supreme Court

Zim Standard

       Nqobani Ndlovu

      BULAWAYO - Two senior officials of the pro-Senate Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) are to apply to have their case of distributing
subversive material referred to the Supreme Court.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the director of elections, and Sithatshisiwe
Sibanda, the Matabeleland South administrator, will make their application
early this week.

      The State has accused them of distributing material which could
incite soldiers and the police into anti-government demonstrations.

      They are accused of violating Section 30 of the Criminal Law and
Codification Act.

       Through their lawyer, Thomson Mabhikwa of Mabhikwa, Likhwa &
Nyathi Legal Practitioners, the two are set to make an application to have
their case referred to the Supreme Court when they appear in a magistrates'
court again on Wednesday.

      Mabhikwa confirmed that his clients would take the matter to the
Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the charges against

      "We will challenge the constitutionality of the sections under
which the two are charged, as they violate the Declaration of Rights and
basic human rights as enshrined in the constitution," Mabhikwa said.

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Business leaders decry proposed incomes, prices law

Zim Standard

      By Our Staff

      BUSINESS leaders are worried that if the National Incomes and
Pricing Commission Bill became a law, it could dry up investment.

      It could undermine even further the already frosty relationship
between industry and the government, they said last week.

      The industrialists, speaking strongly against the proposed law,
said it might deal a fatal, knockout blow to the deteriorating economy.

      The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries CEO, Joseph Malaba,
said he was worried that the commission would not be granted full autonomy,
making it susceptible to government interference.

      The National Incomes and Pricing Commission Bill empowers the
Minister of Industry and International Trade to direct the commission on
policy issues.

      Commission members would be appointed by the President.

      Malaba said he would rather see the commission granted full
autonomy so that it would not be manipulated by the government.

      "The major concern is what flexibility the commission will have
to review prices in the hyperinflationary condition in which industry is
operating," he said. "The commission can consult but it should maintain an
independence (from the government) and be impartial," Malaba said.

      The CZI CEO said giving the minister power to direct policy
would compromise the independence of the commission.

      "What happens in cases where the commission holds a view
contrary to the minister's?"

      The industrialist said he would want the commission to be given
the authority to effect price reviews without consulting the minister and to
appoint its own board members, instead of the minister, as stipulated in the

      Malaba was speaking at a public hearing dealing with the Bill,
organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Foreign Affairs,
Industry and International Trade on Tuesday.

      Zimbabwe National Cha-mber of Commerce economist, Bothwell Deka,
said the Bill could deter investment.

      Deka said the timing of the introduction of the Bill was wrong,
as the economy was undergoing a crisis, with industry short of foreign
currency to boost productivity.

      "The country is trying to lure investors and none of them would
want to come if there is a law that allows price controls. We should be
having a market-driven economy."

       Deka said instead of introducing the Bill, the government could
use statutory instruments because they were easier and quicker to amend.

      "Having a piece of law that will take time to repeal is to do
ourselves an injustice. The worry is: to what extent would the producer be
allowed to increase prices vis a vis the costs?"

      Tapiwa Maponda, who said he was speaking in his personal
capacity said the government would have a "hard time" implementing the law
because most price increases were driven by the informal sector.

      He said shortages and prices racketeering could be expected once
the Bill became law.

      Labour disputes would increase, because employers would freeze

      The Bill provides for a five-year imprisonment for any person
found to have increased prices exorbitantly.

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'Cost of drugs shoots up 2,5% daily'

Zim Standard

      By Deborah-Fay Ndhlovu

      THE cost of drugs is rising by a shocking 2.5 percentage points
every day due a shortage of foreign currency and an increase in the cost of
raw materials.

      The pharmaceutical industry said yesterday that a 100% increase
in production costs each month was fuelling the surge in drug prices.

       "There have also been massive increases in costs of other
locally sourced inputs," chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Association, Erasmus Chindove said last Thursday. ". . . plastic packaging
and paper products have gone up by on average 100% per month. Wages went up
by 95% in July and another 120% for the last quarter beginning October.

       "Utilities like electricity and water have also gone up

      He said middlemen were exploiting the foreign currency crunch to
inflate the price of drugs.

       But the industry was in talks with the Ministry of Industry and
International Trade to stem the price hikes. The Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare had been consulted.

      "The scarcity of foreign currency in the formal sector and the
resultant drug shortages, have seen the emergence of unscrupulous briefcase
businesspeople (known as runners) who import drugs using their own foreign
currency," said Chindove, "and are at liberty to charge any price they

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IMF heads for Harare

Zim Standard


      A staff mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will
be in the country next month for its "long overdue" Annual Article IV

      The consultation is an annual meeting the IMF holds with

      During the mission's stay, IMF holds meetings with all
stakeholders, including government ministries, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
labour and business.

      IMF senior external relations officer Gita Bhatt, confirmed to
Standardbusiness that the team "will be coming to Zimbabwe in early

      "The mission will be headed by Ms Sharmini Coorey," Bhatt said.

      Bhatt could not be drawn into revealing the actual dates, though
Standardbusiness understands the mission will run from 5-16 December.

      The IMF was scheduled to arrive in July but could not make it as
both the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were busy
preparing the fiscal and monetary policies respectively.

      Relations with the Bretton Woods institution have not been rosy
after Zimbabwe reneged in settling its arrears.

      Zimbabwe has been in continuous arrears since February 2001 and
twice survived the axe by making eleventh-hour payments to IMF.

      In February this year, Zimbabwe cleared its arrears under the
crucial General Resources Account ahead of the March board meeting which
spared itthe axe.

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RBZ causes confusion

Zim Standard

      THE inconsistency in policy at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has
been sending shockwaves on the financial markets, leaving investors confused
over where to put their money.

      The confusion was apparent in both the stock and money market
last week, where both share prices and interest rates dropped.

      Last week was particularly bad for the industrial index which
slid 2.14% points to close on Wednesday at 415 072.73 points. Analysts said
investors were edgy after the scrapping of the seven-year economic
stabilisation bond and the reduction of threshold for the five-year
financial stabilisation bond to 20% from 25% of balance sheet size.

      "Investors are concerned because there is still the unresolved
issue of the bonds," said an analyst with a stockbrokers' firm. "They might
have scrapped the ESB but at the back of the investors' minds is the thought
that the governor (Gideon Gono) is going to put something in its place."

      The analyst said stockbrokers were worried that the 2007
national budget might announce measures not favourable to the industry.

      "Gono is convinced the stock market is the main driver for
speculation and he did mention in his last monetary policy that they would,
along with fiscal authorities, be developing instruments to reorient the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to productive activities. They are the policymakers
and will do what they see as right. Our fear is: more taxes coming our way."

      ZSE boss Emmanuel Munyukwi said theirs was the most expensive to
invest in throughout Africa because of various taxes, including withholding
tax, value added tax and stamp duty.

      Wednesday's losers included TA which went down $35 to $350.
Cottco and Hippo lost $20 each to $160 and $300 respectively.

      Some of the gainers included Radar, which upped $35 to $150,
Gulliver added $15 to $45 and rebranded DZLH firmed $10 to $210.

      The mining index retreated 0.08% points to close at 158 815.64
points sparked by a $1 loss in Hwange to $230. Bindura gained $20 to $420.

      The Money Market was not spared the losses, with deposit rates
crashing to 30% for 7-14 days from 150%, 50% for 30 days and 100% for 90

      "The pressure to remove deposit rates was erased after the
scrapping of thebond. Also the statutory reserves due on Monday were not as
high because the size of deposit for banks had been reduced, so rates
started to come down," said an analyst with a Bulawayo bank.

      He expected interest rates to drop even further this week as $30
billion should be coming into the market by way of CPI coupon payments and
government salaries.

      "This is of course in the absence of interventions by the RBZ."

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High inflation could sideline Zimbabwe from COMESA

Zim Standard


      ZIMBABWE will not enjoy the benefits of a common market and
single currency unless the economy moves with the rest of its counterparts,
an official at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
has said.

       Speaking on the sidelines of the Trade and Globalisation
workshop at Wits Business School early this month, Dr Chungu Mwila, COMESA
director responsible for Investment Promotion and Private Sector
Development, said low inflation levels were a prerequisite to join the elite

      COMESA, a 20-member grouping of African nations, envisages to
create a single market and a single currency by 2018. The creation of a
single currency is dependent upon a strong economy with low inflation

      "They (countries with high inflation levels) will be excluded
from enjoying the benefits. Once things are sorted out economically, they
can come in," said Dr Mwila.

       Zimbabwe has a year-on-year inflation of 1 070% as of October,
the highest in the COMESA grouping.

      Dr Mwila said that countries that fail to enjoy the benefits
will not be expelled from the grouping but will be monitored by a central
bank to see whether they are putting their houses in order.

      He said that countries without import cover would not enjoy the
single currency benefits.

      "If you don't have import cover for two weeks it is impossible
to integrate with countries with import cover of over four years," he said.

      Other benefits of a free market include a borderless region,
free mobility of factors of production, common investment area and
integrated transport network.

      At least 13 countries are participating in the Free Trade Area
where tariffs are abolished and COMESA has a vision of Customs Union in

      The Customs Union will establish a common external tariff to be
used by member states and will abolish the non-tariff barriers. In 2018,
COMESA is expected to feed into the greater continental African economy.

      COMESA has also reconstituted itself as Eastern and Southern
Africa to bring on board other Southern African Development Community
members in the on-going reciprocal Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
with the European Union.

       African, Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries used to enjoy
unilateral trade preferences with the EU for almost three decades under the
Lomé Conventions.

      The Fourth Lomé Convention was replaced by the Cotonou Agreement
in 2000, which extends these unilateral trade preferences up to the end of

      Negotiated World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatible reciprocal
trade agreements, EPAs, will replace the current non-reciprocal preferential
trade regime. These EPAs have to be concluded by no later than the beginning
of 2008.

      COMESA was founded in 1993 as a successor to the Preferential
Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA), which was established in

      COMESA formally succeeded the PTA on 8 December 1994 upon
ratification of the Treaty by 11 signatory states.

      Currently it has 20 members - Angola, Burundi, Comoros,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland,
Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

      President Robert Mugabe last week at attended the 11th summit of
COMESA in Djibouti.

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ZIMRA under fire for 'frustrating' bureaucracy

Zim Standard

      By Our Staff

      MOTORISTS have complained over the failure by the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority to expedite the issuing of import certificates.

      The delay, they said, was frustrating their efforts to acquire
new number plates.

       Zimbabwe Independent chief executive officer, Raphael Khumalo,
said they had to wait for more than three weeks before receiving the

      "We bought the vehicles from individuals who import them from
Japan. After signing the agreement of sale, the individuals took the cars
for clearance with CVR (Central Vehicle Registration). They were given new
number plates and registration books," Khumalo said.

      "After they gave us the cars we repeated the clearing process
and had to go to ZIMRA to get an import certificate to take to the
municipality so we can get registration books and new number plates. We had
to wait for two weeks before we could get the certificate: in the past it
took just a day."

      He said he did not understand why the process of registration
had to be done twice.

       ZIMRA corporate communications manager, Priscilla Sadomba, said
the delays in issuing the certificates were caused by a shortage of number

      "The sole supplier of number plates is failing to meet the
demand. To this end, shortages and inconsistent supplies are creating
backlogs which ultimately bottleneck the system," Sadomba said.

      She said the types of number plates in short supply included the
square-square, long and square, private motor cycles and commercial

      Sadomba said the shortage was likely to continue until the
supplier could meet the demand.

       Zimind human resources manager, Fay Vermaak however said ZIMRA
had nothing to do with number plates and could not understand the delays.

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Govt's bungling playing Russian roulette with people's lives

Zim Standard


ZIMBABWE'S uncaring conduct and bungling - and not Western imposed
sanctions - showed last week how they are the greatest threats to the lives
of ordinary people.

The Global Fund, which provides funding in the fight against malaria,
tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS last week, announced it had turned down
Zimbabwe's application for funding. It dashed the hopes of thousands of
people, who expected that approval would enable increased access to
treatment drugs.

While the reasons for the rejection were not given immediately, the
explanations for the Fund's decision are no secret. The establishment of the
AIDS levy was a positive move. It showed a country's determination to
demonstrate to the world that despite limited resources, it had a specific,
measurable, achievable and realistic response to the pandemic.

Any funding organisation looking at such a local response to the crisis
would be swayed to pour resources into the country to buttress the
government's efforts. But that is not Zimbabwe's position.

The AIDS levy is a magnet of controversy. Concerns have been raised about
levels of transparency in the way the levy is disbursed with teachers
throughout the country questioning who the beneficiaries are because their
members have failed to access ARVs, despite paying levies regularly.

There are also damning accusations of the ruling party bigwigs raiding the
levy and elbowing out the majority, lending credence to allegations that so
many of the schemes set up by the government, purportedly in the interests
of ordinary Zimbabweans are, in fact, a camouflage.

Concern over rampant abuse, by politicians, of Anti-Retroviral drugs donated
by the international community and failure to put a stop to the practice,
are at the core of the Global Fund's rejection of Zimbabwe's application for
the Sixth Round.

As a consequence of the abuse of the drugs, external organisations involved
in the fight against HIV and AIDS are channeling drugs through
church-related health institutions. Such a shift is a damning
vote-of-no-confidence in the structures set up by government to roll out
provision of ARVs.

Although the Deputy Minister of Health, Edwin Muguti, was recently forced to
recant his damning assessment of the National Aids Council, which
administers the Aids levy, the consensus was that his condemnation of the
National Aids Council (NAC) reflected general public perception of NAC's
misplaced priorities and how vulnerable it was to political interference.

The bulk of the funding Zimbabwe had applied to the Global Fund would have
gone to scaling up supply of ARVs but rejection of the application means
that only about 40 000 people out of more than 600 000 people who actually
need ARVs can continue to access the life-prolonging drugs from state-run
programmes and in the private sector.

The rejection effectively scuttles any plans to put thousands of infected
people on ARVs and the government must shoulder the blame for jeopardising
the lives of people who are in urgent need of treatment.

A dark cloud hangs over this year's World Aids Day, which is three weeks
away because there is little to cheer when more than 550 000 known cases
have no access to drugs.

Approval of Zimbabwe's application would have been the ideal Christmas
present for hundreds of Zimbabweans in need of treatment, but the government's
avaricious and reckless approach means it would rather sacrifice lives in
order to guarantee its comfort.

The alternative is for the international community to increase support for
the supply of the ARVs through church mission hospitals and various other
voluntary organisations that have set up clinics for people who need
treatment. This way the level of government interference will be minimised,
while those in need have access to the drugs.

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A prayer for our wayward leadership

Zim Standard

       sundayopinion by Elizabeth Marunda

      IN order to realise democratic objectives, a people-driven
constitution for instance, it is proper to work as a team.

      All the members should feel like part of the team and they
should be prepared to listen to each other. They should be able to
understand each other. They should be able to empathise but most
importantly, they should be able to forgive each other.

      Forgiveness, however, becomes meaningful and useful, if those
forgiven stop deliberately sinning against the poor, helpless and voiceless.
If those forgiven, stop deliberately sinning against those they know are
prone to forgiving, for how long, men and women of cloth, shall the people
of Zimbabwe keep on forgiving?

      A political leadership that deliberately, keeps on making false
promises in order to win elections, abuses people's taxes thereafter in
order to enrich itself, has no sense of right and wrong, shows no respect
for human or property rights, and deliberately ignores that people of
Zimbabwe have rights. Could it be that they forget that the people of
Zimbabwe have rights?

       If so, Lord, we beseech you, to give the Church leadership and
its flock, the power to pray daily and to remind themselves of these rights
through the Holy Anger Prayer.

      Let us pray. "God helps those who help themselves. Indeed we
helped ourselves and fought the colonial regime system of segregation. God
was by our side, as evil is not the way of the Lord. Dear Lord, you were
able to help us because we knew Lord, what was wrong, and what we wanted. So
we were able to fight and remove it.

      "Look at us in Zimbabwe today dear Lord. We are not clear on the
role of our national leaders. We do not understand, Lord, that when we vote
for a councillor, MP, the president of a country, dear Lord, they are there
to serve us, the people of Zimbabwe.

       "Unfortunately Lord, we do not seem to know that each one of us
pays tax in the form of sales tax, value-added tax, capital gains tax or
income tax and other excise duties.

      "We are not even aware Lord that these taxes we pay are supposed
to enable us receive services, not as beggars on the receiving end, but as
rightful owners of those services.

      "Dear God, get into our hearts, minds and tongues. Help us
clearly express ourselves and articulate our needs to the political leaders.

      "Lord help the political leaders know, that the people of
Zimbabwe are now aware, that the leaders are the people's servants - people's
servants, who should use taxes, which is people's money, for making sure
that, school fees is affordable, books are available, teachers and lecturers
are well paid, and that college students go on attachment to gain experience
for business creation or employment.

       "Lord, one is not through yet. Drugs should be made available,
medical staff should be well paid and all clinics and hospitals well

      "The leaders dear Lord, should provide each and every one of us,
with affordable housing, affordable energy for lighting, cooking and
business operations, as well as affordable transport so that we can visit
relatives in rural areas.

      "We also want to conduct our business, happy in the knowledge
that we have affordable water for domestic and agricultural use, and can
afford grain from the Grain Marketing Board. We want well-paying jobs,
revolving loans for all, as well as transparent criteria for receiving those

       "Lord, a final reminder is that, we the people of Zimbabwe are
not beggars for services, but rightful owners of those services. Give to
Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

      "Let us end with a word of caution to the Church leadership,
with a part interpretation and direct quote from Amos (Chapter 4): Listen to
this you Church leaders, and your spouses for those of you who marry. You
Church leaders of Zimbabwe, you grow fat like the well fed cows.

      "By supporting a political leadership that ill-treats the weak
and oppresses the poor, the days will come when the suffering and the poor,
will drag you away with hooks, and everyone of you, will be like a fish on a
hook. You will be dragged to the nearest break in the wall, and thrown out.'

      "Dear Lord, thank you for giving us this time to share amongst
ourselves what lies in our minds and hearts. We now know Lord the role of
our politicians, when they abuse their political power and proclaim
themselves master over us, yet they are our servants.

      "They claim victory in elections, when we all know they have
rigged and lost.

      "They abuse our money for their personal satisfaction, while we,
like petty men and women, walk under their huge legs and they stand like a
colossus and we peep about to find ourselves dishonourable graves.

      "Our wrath as people of Zimbabwe shall be witnessed. The holy
anger evoked, like the holy anger of Jesus of Nazareth, over the abuse of
his father's temple. Amen!"

      * Dr Elizabeth Marunda is Human Resources and Business
Consultant and Social and Political Commentator.

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National Vision document buys time for government

Zim Standard

      sundayview By Pius Wakatama

      AFTER years of fighting for their rights against the formidable
odds of a partisan army, police, government militias and press, Zimbabweans
were tired indeed. Then, came the good news. The Church in the form of the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Catholic Bishops Conference and Zimbabwe
Council of Churches, was going to step in and put things right!

      There was the visit to State House by the representatives of the
Church. Some of us hopefully thought that finally, the President was going
to have the riot act read to him by God's representatives on earth. Nothing
of the sort happened. The men of the cloth came out smacking their lips,
smiling broadly and singing the praises of the government and the President
as a "man who really listens to his people".

      When asked about the details of the meeting with the President
the bishops and pastors were secretive and refused to divulge much, thus
kindling and fuelling people's suspicions that a sell-out was in the offing.

      This was further confirmed when the church leaders called for a
national day of prayer ignoring the traditional one, organised by the
Intercessors led by Rev Chimbambo. The day of prayer was held and was graced
by the First Family, government ministers and the usual Zanu PF entourage.
It was a State affair in full regalia, with all the accoutrements of pomp
and majesty. Our hearts sank.

      After the publication of the National Vision Document it became
known that the President had suggested to the church leaders at the State
House meeting that they initiate discussions among all Zimbabwean
stakeholders to help solve the problems bedevilling the country. So, in
truth, the whole exercise was a government and not a church initiative as
the public had been led to believe.

      Some of us, who have long concluded that this government is not
only unwilling but incapable of getting us out of the mess they got us into,
became perturbed. "What is the government's motive?" we asked.

      In Shona we say: "Mwoyo chena wei kuti tsvimborume ibvise mwana
wemvana dzihwa?" In other words there is reason to be suspicious when,
suddenly, a bachelor takes an interest in the welfare of an unmarried mother's
baby. The answer is not far to see. The country is in deep crisis and the
people are restless. They are tired of suffering and being fed a diet of
lies. They need change so much so that anything can happen. Zanu PF is in a
corner and is desperately looking for a way out.

      Under the present circumstances Zanu PF would not win a single
seat in a free and fair election. In desperation they are furtively and
disjointedly trying to push presidential elections to 2010. President Robert
Mugabe is rumoured to have told top Zanu PF leaders that a decision to hold
election in 2008 would depend on how Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, was
able to stabilise the economy. Of course, he is totally mistaken to even
think that the economy can be stabilised without major political and
economic policy changes. In fact, one shouldn't even be talking about policy
changes because our now divided and confused government has no coherent
policy to talk about. What is really needed is a change of government.

      With pressure growing daily from civil society, political
parties, church groups and the international community, it became apparent
to the President that the balloon was liable to burst. Being the master
Machiavellian tactician that he is, he decided to let some of the steam out
of the balloon and also buy time for his much vaunted "economic turnaround
programme" to take effect.

      This he did by asking the three church bodies to initiate
national discussions through the National Vision exercise. And, our gullible
but well-meaning bishops and pastors swallowed the bait, hook, line and

      What is happening now is that Zimbabweans are letting off steam
in a Zanu PF controlled environment thus lessening the pressure on the
government. By getting church groups, civil society and political parties
debating the National Vision document and even throwing verbal stones at
each other, Mugabe has successfully diverted the people's attention from the
real issues. Bravo, Gushungo!

      Mugabe never had any intention to act on whatever document the
church leaders came up with. He wants to buy time by getting the whole
country dialoguing about issues whose solution everybody knows. This is why
the National Vision Document is called a "discussion document." He never
promised to abide by its recomendations.

      What can people discuss about their suffering when the cause of
it is well known? These clerics, however sincere they may be, are being used
to hoodwink the public and the international community that the leopard is
changing its spots. In their document the clerics say: "Zimbabwe would
benefit from a restoration of mutually beneficial relations with the West
without sacrificing its sovereignity, its national purpose, its interests
and the principles that inform its sense of justice."

      What sense of justice? If there was an iota of justice in
Zimbabwe there would be no need for the National Vision document because the
evils enumerated therein would not exist. If the church leaders had any
wisdom in them, they would have accepted the President's call for dialogue
but set essential conditions.

      They should have insisted on a return to the rule of law, the
repeal of oppressive laws like POSA and AIPPA, the depoliticisation of the
military and the police and the disbanding of the notorious Border Gezi
militias. If the President had agreed to this then we could say that we are
embarking on real dialogue.

      With AIPPA and POSA in place it is impossible to hold any
meaningful discussions nationally since civil society and political parties
are essentially hobbled. How can they go to the people to inform them about
the issues of the Vision Document when meetings without police permission
are proscribed?

      While the church leaders were drafting their vision document and
in it piously proclaiming that their task is to manifest God's presence and
activity in all spheres of life, ZCTU leaders were being brutally tortured
and arrested for daring to stage a peaceful protest march. What is
astonishing is that most of civil society including the Zimbabwe Christian
Alliance raised a hue and cry about this blatant abuse of human rights. The
EFZ, the ZCC and the ZCBC were conspicuous by their very loud silence. How
could men and women, who claim to be representing God, be silent in the face
of such sinful behaviour?

      Where did their prophetic voices go when the President endorsed
the barbaric behaviour of the police? Were they mesmerized into
speechlessness by the tea and cake as well as the grandeur of State House?

      The National Vision Document captures well the situation
prevailing in the country today. However, it does not bring anything new.
Therefore to call it a discussion document does not make sense. Why should
people waste their time discussing the causes of their suffering when these
are well known?

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

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Zim Standard Letters

'Chiefs will rue the day they accepted government bribes'
      TRADITIONAL leaders in other African countries must be hanging
their heads in shame because of the behaviour of our chiefs.

      What is happening now has been foreseen by many of our astute
observers. When chiefs were given and accepted brand new cars from the
government, they actually sold their souls to the devil, who is now calling
the shots. Our chiefs will soon rue the day they accepted the bribes from
the government.

      The President of the Chiefs' Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira,
has no right whatsoever to interfere in the political thinking of villagers.
What he said to villagers during a recent Voice of America broadcast was
very belittling and of poor taste to the villagers.

      His patronising attitude towards the villagers was very
distasteful, especially taking into consideration his youthfulness compared
to the poor and disgraced people he was lecturing.

      Charumbira maybe the villagers' chief but holding that position
does not give him the right to talk down to people who are older than his
father, had he been alive. If Charumbira has a personal advisor, he should
fire him because the advisor is evidently misleading the chief. Otherwise
our conclusion is that the chief is behaving immaturely and that he is being
arrogant, or both.

      I have never heard villagers speak so openly about the hatred
they harbour for their young chief as they do now.

      President Robert Mugabe is better advised to look into why the
villagers have developed such intense dislike for Charumbira as a
traditional leader, because this is how Zanu PF drives supporters away - not
that the ruling party does not deserve it.

      Charumbira appears to be trying very hard to get on the right
side of Mugabe, but in my view, he forfeited the chance when he was Deputy
Minister of Local Government and has joined the gang of failed ministers
from Masvingo.

      Scattered throughout the whole province are incomplete projects
such as dams, buildings, roads and bridges to name but a few. Despite
producing luminaries such as the late Dr Eddison Mudadirwa Jonasi Zvobgo, it
is difficult to say what they achieved for the province.

      Now each time Charumbira speaks to the people of Masvingo, he
appears to make matters worse. The Constitution of Zimbabwe does not empower
chiefs to drive away villagers from their ancestral homes, simply because
they happen to belong to political parties opposed to the ruling party.

      If the ruling party wants the support of all Zimbabweans, all it
has to do is to improve the lot of all the people of this country. Chiefs do
not own any land in this country, therefore they should not threaten
villagers for political reasons.

      It is my humble view that Charumbira has a lot of urgent matters
to attend to. For example, the road from Bush Mead turn off to his homestead
through to Nemanwa Growth Point should be graded and tarred. The road from
Stop Over turn off to Renco Mine through Bondolfi and Mapanzure Business
Centre is in an appalling condition. It requires regrading and tarring. A
recreational hall at Mapanzure Business Centre has not been completed, while
a number of dams remain uncompleted.

      These, in my view, are worthy projects for the chief to help in
ensuring that they are completed rather than wasting time picking up fights
with defenceless villagers. Just what do our MPs do in Parliament when
financial votes for districts' development are debated? Are they busy paging
through catalogues of new makes of vehicles which they want purchased for
them by the government?

       Charumbira and his advisors need to revise their approach and
for once start working for the people. Choosing to work for the government
of the day has always alienated traditional leaders from the generality of
the people of this country.



      Society has a duty to care for orphans
            THE economic problems that we face have been caused by a
vast array of factors, many of which the average Zimbabwean cannot do much

            When a breadwinner dies it is the dependants who feel the

            Losing somebody close to you is a traumatic experience
that most people have gone through, at one stage or another in their lives.
It is in the period after mourning and when significant donations from
church members have run out and only the close family remains, that the true
meaning of losing a parent dawns upon the child.

            The hunger, the loneliness and the inadequacy of most
necessities grips the child who has nobody to turn to. Rarely can siblings
in such circumstances strengthen each other, as they face similar problems.

            It is, in my view, the responsibility of people within
communities, to assist the guardians of the children, to fill up the vacuum
left by the parents of the children. The community refers to the church. It
would be very hypocritical of any Christian church or its members to neglect

             As one of the worst effects of the HIV/ AIDS scourge, more
than 1,2 million children within our country have no parents. This has left
many families being headed by children, who have no sources of income.

            By ignoring or abandoning these children, society will be
forsaking the future of our country.

            Tawanda Mahere


            A vision without the people
                  ZIMBABWEANS should reject the national vision
document because they were never consulted during its preparation. It would
be naïve for anyone to endorse any document such as the National Vision,
whose origin is suspect.

                   The emergence of this document comes hard on the
heels of another being crafted by the civic society, labour, political
parties and pressure groups under the supervision and co-ordination of the
Christian Alliance of Zimbabwe.

                  The Christian Alliance convened a stakeholders'
conference some months ago where everyone was invited to participate in
exploring strategies to save Zimbabwe from the current quagmire. Right up to
now consultations are being conducted and the document is being revised and

                  Among most people, the general view is that the
National Vision Document is a product of the intelligence services and the
ruling party and that its main objective is to counter the Save Zimbabwe
campaign that is driven by the Christian Alliance.

                  The NVD was first seen when Bishop Trevor Manhanga
handed it over to President Robert Mugabe. But we did not empower those
pastors to write the document on our behalf. Zimbabweans have the capacity
to chart their own destiny without the so-called State House pastors
masquerading as our ambassadors, when their mission could be to protect the
Zanu PF regime through the derailment of any people-driven process such as
the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, which is a people's initiative.

                  It is the duty of every Zimbabwean to ensure that
they do not allow projects whose origins can be traced to the intelligence
services to block initiatives launched by ordinary Zimbabweans. As ordinary
citizens, we suspect hidden forces are at work and behind the National
Vision Document. Our suspicion is that this is Zanu PF's hidden hand.

                  Bishop Manhanga's declaration during the launch of
the document is to me clear testimony that the Office of the President is
connected to the document.

                  In future, church leaders should learn that before
embarking on any process or programme that involves the people, they should
work with the people and not Zanu PF leaders or anyone responsible for the
country's decay.

                  Zimbabweans should not participate in dangerous and
undemocratic programmes.

                   Kurauone Chihwayi


            In sympathy with victims of State brutality
                  AS a patriotic citizen of Zimbabwe, I would like to
express my deepest sympathy and solidarity with those who were brutalised by
this barbarous regime for merely marching and asking it to improve the lot
of the majority of our citizens.

                  I was unsettled by the arrests and brutal assaults
of leaders of the labour movement and their counterparts from the civic
society by youth militias disguised as uniformed police and the Gestapo-like
Central Intelligence Organisation.

                  Such horrendous violence against defenceless
citizens by a government that purports to be a custodian of democracy must
be condemned in the strongest of terms.

                  As for South African President Thabo Mbeki, SADC and
the African Union, it's time for a total shift from the so-called quiet
diplomacy. It is time for a tougher stance against President Robert Mugabe
and his government.

                  Zimbabwe has become an impediment to both Southern
Africa and Africa's advancement of democracy and development.

                  S T M


            Use long chop-sticks to dine with the Chinese
                  RECENT developments in Africa are a cause for
concern and Africa should beware of the wolf in sheep's clothing. It seems
our political leaders are oblivious to the intentions of China, our up and
coming wealthy friend.

                  I am all for development in our backward countries
but Africa would rather remain poor and underdeveloped than to become
subservient and enslaved to a foreign superpower.

                  The problem with African countries is a poor record
of governance. Each African country is endowed with untold wealth, despite
the early colonial plunder, but because of poor governance, we have created
greedy, unscrupulous beasts who are never satisfied with their legal

                  African countries have always been able to develop
their own countries. Funds for such development have always been made
available by well-meaning Western countries. Unfortunately, money meant to
benefit the poor of Africa has been systematically laundered in foreign
lands by our own leaders.

                  Many of the so-called development projects are
nothing but white elephants scattered all over Africa. What makes China
believe that it will be able to improve the lot of African countries? What
magic wand does China possess to transparently develop Africa? It is no
secret that China has the largest population on earth. With its current fast
development, it is running short of natural resources and space for human

                  Zimbabwe should make peace with the enemy it knows
best, instead of courting the Chinese. We run the risk of being the new
dumping ground for cheap Chinese goods. Once the Chinese have flooded our
country, it will not be easy to get rid of them.

                  I hope that our leaders are supping with the Chinese
using long chop-sticks otherwise they will have their fingers burnt.

                  Be warned


            Teachers cheated, abused, underpaid and swindled
                  TEACHERS are an essential force for good in any
society all over the world, but in Zimbabwe they are a cheated lot, despised
and lowly paid.

                  Unscrupulous governments of this world have been
known to abuse their teachers for very little pay. Zimbabwean teachers are
among the worst paid workers in the country.

                  As if to rub salt into a wound, teachers in Zimbabwe
are cheated by their own government, which seems bent on squeezing every
cent from their meagre salaries. The teachers are also cheated
professionally when they are encouraged to further their education on half
pay. They are pursuing degree programmes in administration and special needs

                  By letting so many teachers take up such courses,
the government is not being sincere because it knows full well that only a
few posts will be made available in schools. Only one teacher is required at
each school to cater for special needs children and there is only one post
of an administrator in a school - that of the headmaster or principal, which
can only be created through retirement, dismissal or death of the incumbent.

                   Once an administration post is created in a school,
only those administrators working at head office have an opportunity of
getting the post because of their proximity to the centre of

                  The government is aware of this fact yet it keeps on
encouraging teachers to study for these degree programmes. It would be less
disappointing for teachers who acquire the degrees if they were to receive
some form of financial recognition for their efforts.

                  Financially, these degree programmes are a burden to
the teachers because they are not awarded scholarships. Instead, they are
given 50% of their salary and as a result they struggle while pursuing their
further studies. Is it practical and realistic that teachers on study leave
end up applying for expensive loans from banks when there is no hope of
improved salaries?

                  Teachers are further cheated when they are made to
complete dubious appraisal forms at the end of the year. These appraisal
forms are really meaningless because they do not improve the performance of
the teacher because, on the contrary, the quality of education in Zimbabwe
has gone down since the introduction of these questionable appraisal forms.

                  To worsen matters, teachers are required to use
their meagre resources in order to photocopy the single genuine form from
the government that is given to each school throughout the country.

                  Yet in many of the schools because of scarcity of
resources, teachers are buying teaching aids. As a result of the hardships
facing teachers, the majority have become mobile tuckshops, selling sweets,
biscuits, soap, cooking oil and various other basic commodities in order for
them to make ends meet.

                  My advice to teachers is that they form a powerful
trade union to look after their interests. The current teachers'
organisations have proved ineffective because most of their leaders are at
the beck and call of the government.

                  The last form of cheating by the government is
through State-endorsed loan-sharking. Addresses of these loan sharks appear
on salary advisories indicating full endorsement by the government of these
money lenders. As a result of the poor salaries that teachers receive, they
sell their souls to the loan sharks.

                  The government is given a share of the loan sharks'
spoils and the money lenders laugh all the way to the banks.

                  It is an insult to be a teacher in this country. The
government does not appreciate the sterling effort being made by these
educators because when it suits the government, the teachers are threatened
on suspicion that they support opposition parties.



                  Story was a masterpiece

                  I would like to congratulate the entire Standard
editorial team for exposing the Ministry of Agriculture, Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board for corrupt tendencies.

                  I strongly believe the author of the fertiliser
scandal story deserves an award for investigative journalism.

                  That was a brilliant story! If the Head of State,
President Robert Mugabe, could respond to such a story, it shows that you
have played your role as an independent media. Keep up the work.

                  I see the RBZ Governor, Dr Gideon Gono also
responded to your story, but the bottom line is that the story was a master

                  We are behind you guys.

                  S P K


                  South Africa


                  less talk, more action  please!

                  MUCH has been written and talked about as Zimbabwe
tries to scale up promotion of tourism. It is therefore surprising that
while some people are talking of travelling to Berlin, London and the Far
East to drum up support for tourism to ensure Zimbabwe features more in
their travel plans, the authorities seem to miss some of the elementary

                  It has to be understood that before we go out we
should put our house in order - or that the product we propose marketing is
spruced up.

                  Last week, while travelling to Harare International
Airport to welcome a relative who was arriving in the evening, two things
reminded me of how far we still have to go before we can expect results and
dividends from the numerous drives to attract external visitors to come and
marvel at our beautiful country and the varied tourist products on offer.

                  Driving up from the Coca-Cola turn off to the
airport we came across stretches of the road where there is total darkness.
After the 1 Commando Barracks, there was another stretch of the road in
total darkness, right up to St Patrick's Road. That was the pattern right up
to the airport.

                  Why is it not possible for the relevant authorities
to ensure that the whole route from the Harare International Airport has
street lights, or don't they ever inspect these things?

                  They should stop talking and start doing something
that will ensure as a country we are serious about welcoming visitors.

                  Tirivanhu Mhofu

                  Emerald Hill


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Barefoot in the sun

Dear Family and Friends,
Visiting an elderly couple this week the talk tuned to their recent sixty
second wedding anniversary and the knowledge that sticks in my mind is that
have been married longer than I have been alive. I asked the couple about
children and grandchildren and they told me of developments in their lives -
family in South Africa and another in England. How very sad it is to take in
fact that there is nothing to keep Zimbabwean children in Zimbabwe any more.
Even worse is the fact that Zimbabwean parents now actively encourage their
children to leave the country - to go to places where there is training,
opportunity, stability and - the prize of all prizes: jobs.

This week an opposition MP has been exposing the horrific facts about life
expectancy in Zimbabwe. Men are expected to stay alive for 37 years and
for just 34 years. Today you can expect to live longer than this even in
or Iraq. When you know those figures you know why parents encourage their
children to leave Zimbabwe. If you think about the fact that a woman is only
expected to live for thirty four years, you must also think of the children
bears when she is twenty five - they will be orphaned before they even get
senior school. What then are the chances for those orphaned children - will
live as long as their mother did, will they even be able to finish school
learn a trade in order to support themselves and their children  - it is
unlikely and paints a very bleak picture for the future of Zimbabwe.

Talking about all this with another elderly man, recently widowed and in his
seventies, he wiped a tear away. He said I'd make him think of his three
all in their thirties. One son he had buried last year, he was just thirty
three. Another was now in Malawi, trying to make a living as a stranger in a
strange land and the third was desperately trying to find a place where he
settle and survive - he had tried and failed in four countries in the last
years. Nowhere felt as good as "home" - if only there was a way for him to
survive and make a decent living he would come home to Zimbabwe in an
In true Zimbabwean style we cracked jokes as I left - it is not the done
to leave people on depressing  notes in these dreadful times and so we
about his new underpants. He had finally managed to save enough money to buy
three pairs of new underpants - each costing the same as half of his entire
monthly pension.

In a couple of weeks time the ruling Zanu PF party will be holding their
congress. They have been in power for 26 years, just eight years less than
women are expected to live. At the time of the Zanu PF Congress in 2004
inflation was 132%, by December 2005 it was 585% and now it is 1070%. What
disgrace for a party who have 26 years experience at running a country.
this year the delegates will find the courage and moral responsibility to
patting themselves on the back and start thinking about the ordinary people:
about the children who can't wait to get out of the country; about the
who can't wait to send them away. About the elderly who are destitute and
and about the orphans - over a million of them. If the delegates to that
conference want to grow old in Zimbabwe and have their grandchildren playing
barefoot in the sun nearby, then those delegates know what must be done and
it must be done now.
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy Copyright cathy buckle, 18
November 2006

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Don't blame it all on Mugabe

New Zimbabwe

By Simba Phiri
Last updated: 11/19/2006 01:33:34
I READ with growing sadness the sentiments aired by some learned compatriots
of mine on the crisis in Zimbabwe, and solutions to it.

I initially resisted the urge to write but I have succumbed.

Zimbabwe's historical past influences people in their opinions, but surely,
that divides the nation. Or does it?

All you need to ask is: are we one people? One nation? What values do we
give to our children?

It is with these questions in mind that I seek to respond to the article
Mugabe's Prosecution and Punishment (read article ), authored by Admore
Tshuma and published by this website on November 8.

The purpose of this article is to point and remind the reader that
nationhood cannot be achieved by echoing tribal sentiments but working as a
people and as a nation to achieve harmony. Gone are the days when we needed
tribal marks for identification. What we need now is a nation of one people
and one Zimbabwe.

Tshuma's article has been interesting but in a sad sense. The premise of
that article is that "The unprecedented economic meltdown coupled with gross
violation of human rights in Zimbabwe merits the prosecution and punishment
of Robert Mugabe" .

Life in Zimbabwe is now very tough and I can only empathise with my
compatriots at home and abroad. What I seek to dissent on is the idea that
so and so caused the economic meltdown and the issue of tribal rhetoric in
the arguments. Some of the statements are mere claims based on hearsay, and
are not accurate.

The government in Zimbabwe was criticised for introducing free education in
the early 1980s and they were told people should pay for hospitals instead
of giving free medication and treatment. The argument given was that of
sustainability of the services and where the government was to get money to
pay for the services. People from poor backgrounds managed to study up to
university level as a result. Up to this day, Zimbabwe has one of the
highest literacy rates among third world countries.

In countries like the United Kingdom, Lord Rees-Mogg advocates for educating
only the top 5% of the population but what happens to the rest? Maybe the UK
has a very visible class structure that will sustain that school of thought
but not for Zimbabwe. I get the sense that some international organisations
always want to stay ahead hence their opposition to the quest for knowledge
by the poor child. Mugabe was against the deeply-divided class system. So I
feel it is not fair to criticize everything that Mugabe has done.

If there was a global village why is it then that the English FA is lobbying
on FIFA to ban national teams from holding training camps in Zimbabwe prior
to the coming football World Cup tournament to be held in South Africa? Is
it not about freedom of choice, freedom of association and liberty?

Foreign nations should not interfere and try to influence the relationship
between Zimbabwe and other nations. It feels like there is some agenda to
make and portray everything done by leaders who refuse to take orders from
the West as bad. The West says there should be free trade yet there are
organisations like World Trade Organisation, G7, EU that are basically
cartels who feel violated when countries like China increase trade with
third world countries.

Tshuma also mixes up his facts by suggesting that Mugabe wanted to establish
a one-party state after the unification of Zanu and Zapu. If the Ndebele
were a hindrance to a one party state in the late 80s, why then did Mugabe
seek to unite the parties?

In fact, extermination is too strong a word to refer to the developments in
Matabeleland. If Mugabe was trying to "exterminate" the Ndebele's using
"genocide", then the international community, mainly Britain, are guilty of
complicity as they actively supported the government in what they were

The point that Tshuma misses completely is that Mugabe more than likely
distrusted Zapu leaders after the so-called "arms caches" were found in
Matabeleland just after independence. Compounded with the events at
Entumbane, any reasonable leader would have acted in the interests of the
state. It seems implausible that Canaan Banana (President) and Enos Nkala
(Minister of Defence and at one time Home Affairs), both notable Ndebele
individuals, would not lift a finger but actively participated in a
"genocide" against their own tribe. It does not add up.

I have never traveled to countries like South Africa, where there are
different tribes, but they seem to be working together as South Africans for
the better of the nation.

The historical facts of Zimbabwe show that the Ndebele and the Shona have
never been united as a people and as a nation. When the white people arrived
in Zimbabwe in the 1880s, the Ndebele people were raiding on the Shona's,
burning homesteads, looting from the granaries, taking away their cattle and
their beautiful women. Some Shona viewed the white man as the messiah who
would deter the Ndebele's from raiding the Shona's.

In the first Chimurenga in the 1890s, the two tribes were fighting for the
same cause -- to drive out the white man. But they were doing it separately.
Both tribes were defeated and the white man ruled Zimbabwe without any
problems till the 1950s. When the second Chimurenga started in 1972, it was
being fought with bases along tribal lines meaning that Zipra forces were
aligned to Matabeleland and Zanla forces to Mashonaland.

After independence, some people from Matabeleland clearly showed that they
identified with the Zulus and other tribes in South Africa. Many people from
Matabeleland claim to be South Africans when they are outside the boarders
of Zimbabwe. This is reasonable considering the shared roots and language.

It's good to identify with a powerful tribe like the Zulus, but it has the
effect of not giving the Ndebele nation the opportunity to work hand in hand
with the Shona nation as one people of Zimbabwe, one nation. I am not
suggesting that the Ndebele are less patriotic but most Ndebele consider
Zulus as brothers and sisters and the Shona's as "the others". Surely,
geographically, that is not good for Zimbabwe as people from Bulawayo and
surrounding areas would rather go to Jozi than go to Harare to look for a
job. Is it because the South Africans make them feel welcome or the Shona's
are just hostile? I am still trying to find out.

I am not Shona and neither am I Ndebele. I grew up suffering the labels like
"Achimwene", "muBwidi" etc but I have noted that some people from
Mashonaland feel aggrieved because they were being raided by the Ndebele's
and all their fat cattle and beautiful women being taken away.

I feel, therefore, that to blame all these feelings on Mugabe is unfair. I
have also noted some successful inter-marriages between the Shona's and the
Ndebele's as well. I have friends from both tribes and I speak both
languages. I think Zimbabwe is divided due to mistrust that stems from
historical times. The duty is on noble Zimbabweans to leave tribal
sentiments and work progressively for the development of the country.

At the present moment, Zimbabwe is divided along tribal lines. It's also
very clear politically and economically. I firmly believe if the will was
there, the Zambezi Water Project would have materialised.

Sadly, Tshuma's arguments are tainted by tribal sentiments. Surely, do you
really blame Mugabe for a Shona person who works in Bulawayo but is not keen
to learn Ndebele?

Tshuma stooped really low when he wrote: "Mabhena said Mugabe blames
Ndebele's for his miserable, fatherless childhood".

Who said his childhood was miserable? I read the book "Robert Mugabe" in the
late 80s and I don't remember it mentioning anything about an unhappy
childhood, and neither does it mention about his father going to live with
another woman, let alone a woman from Bulawayo. Mugabe's home boys from
Zvimba cast doubt to these claims. Or maybe Tshuma is implying that a
fatherless child has a miserable upbringing?

Why do Zimbabweans need Blair and the international community to push Mugabe
out and be brought to account? It sad and it is a shame that Tshuma would
invite foreigners to decide the fate of his country of birth.

One weakness about democracy is that it can also breed tyranny. More than
ten constitutional amendments were made since 1980. The nature of the
Zimbabwean politics is such that it's very easy for the ruling party to
change or amend the constitution, and that has nothing about Mugabe being

To answer the questions I posed in my opening paragraph, I would like to
point out that Zimbabweans need to teach their children to see other
children as children and not as Shona or Ndebele children. We need to see
each other as men, women and children and not muShona, muNdebele or maShona
or maNdebele. We should learn and even teach our children to desist from
using tribe as the main defining characteristic.

My parents are from the Tumbuka tribe in Northern Malawi but I was born and
bred in Zimbabwe. I am proud to be Zimbabwean. My children know they are
Zimbabweans. I don't preach to them the gospel of them being different from
the Shona or from the Ndebele. We should be one people and one nation.

Sadly even at UZ, people were campaigning for SRC positions using tribal
statements and people were voting along tribal lines as well. I guess there
are people who are saying to their children we are hungry because this Shona
is ruining the economy. The child will notice and remember the
distinguishing feature (Shona).

If we get a Ndebele president, the Shona will say "this Ndebele man has done
this and that to the economy". That is a road to disaster. Even when the MDC
split, the Welshman Ncube faction realised the tribal factor that tends to
shape the politics of Zimbabwe and quickly co-opted a Shona man to lead the
party in the form of Prof Mutambara. Prof Ncube could have led the party,
Gibson Sibanda could have led the party. Or is it an acknowledgement by the
faction that a Ndebele leader could not sell his policies to the large Shona

Such is the politics of Zimbabwe and that has to be weeded out. As long as
people continue to see each other along the Shona-Ndebele divide or mubwidi,
we will always be divided as a nation, divided as a people forever.

Let me conclude my urging all forward think compatriots to shed off the
tribal skin and wear the coat of a proud Zimbabwean people and nation. Lets
not criticise a leader because he is allegedly Shona or Ndebele. Let's
criticise bad government policies and leave out the tribal element that only
serves to divide our lovely nation.

Phiri writes from the UK. He can be contacted at:

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Operation Noah

Can you identify this photograph?
We appreciate your help

The Sunday Telegraph in London are doing an article on Operation Noah and Rupert Fothergill. They have supplied us this rather wonderful photograph and asked if we can identify the boy in the picture.

Can anyone help?

The winner will get a free copy of ouyr DVD Operation Noah for their reward!

Name The Boy
Who can tell us who the boy in this photo is? Taken during the days of Operation Noah. Thanks.

For more on Operation Noah
Contact Us
phone: 302-981-7138

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JAG job opportunities updated 17 November, 2006

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG
Job Opportunities; or



Secretary in tourism/hunting needed. Word, Email and common sense required.
Is a very interesting and can be very entertaining too. Salary negotiable.

Ad inserted 19 October 2006

Vacancy: Farm Manager, Lusaka Zambia

A vacancy is available for a dynamic farm manager just outside Lusaka
Zambia.  The ideal candidate would be:-a single, Black- Fordby Graduate or
educated type of person.  The farm produces: - tobacco, maize, wheat and

Attractive salary, normal farm perks and production-based bonus will be
offered.  For further information, Phone 00 260 1213633 (evenings) or 00 260
or 04 443017.


Ad inserted 19 October 2006


Our wonderful bookkeeper/secretary is leaving for South Africa and we need
to try and replace her.  Mornings-only in a small but chaotic office in
Hillside, Bulawayo - for a wildlife and ostrich ranch.  Mostly bookkeeping
(to trial balance plus company tax, VAT returns, salaries and PAYE), trophy
export documentation and some secretarial (emails and letters).
Meticulousness, common sense and a good sense of humour all essential.  To
start in December (end-November for handover if possible).

Please email in the first place to with contact
details and previous experience.


Ad inserted 19 October 20006

Childminder Wanted

Mature maid wanted to look after children, cook all meals, clean house, all
basic domestic chores.  Must have experience and traceable references.
Accommodation and competitive wage offered. Emerald Hill area.

Call Mrs. Revolta 339733 or email


Ad inserted 19 October 2006

Vacancy exists for husband/wife couple to assist in running rural superette.
All benefits: i.e., vehicle, house, medical aid.
Please submit CV's to  Phone for reply to 011 408 986.


Ad inserted 19 October 2006

Consultants Wanted

Consultants wanted for a 40 day project in Zimbabwe. Anyone interested
should contact  A good knowledge of Zimbabwe's sugar
industry and farming conditions in the low veldt would be extremely useful.

 1.  Rural Development Sociologist

The person must have a thorough understanding of Zimbabwean rural society
and social and economic characteristics of Zimbabwe in general. Experience
with gender, environmental, social, economic and poverty issues is
essential. The person must have at least 5 years experience in the
formulation and evaluation of development programmes.

2.  Agronomist

Ideally the person must have a post-graduate degree in agronomy. The person
must have at least 10 years of experience with the Zimbabwean sugar sector,
and substantial experience in irrigated agriculture in general.  Overall,
the proposed team must have a thorough knowledge of business skills for full
understanding of the larger players in the Zimbabwean sugar sector,
as well as development skills to assess issues related to the smallholder
sugarcane growers.


Ad inserted 26 October 2006


A plastics packaging manufacturing company situated in Msasa is looking for
suitable applicants to fill the position of Finance Manager.


-          -          Managing and guiding the day to day activities of the
accounting department.
-          -          Managing relationships with the company's bankers
-          -          Sourcing of finance & investment of excess funds
-          -          Forecasting, compiling and reporting financial
performance to stakeholders as required.
-          -          Managing and development of company information
-          -          Dealing with the tax authorities as need arises.
Qualifications & Experience:

-          -          An appropriate degree in accounting or professional
qualification (CIS/CIMA/ACCA)
-          -          Experience in a manufacturing environment,
-          -          Experience in the use of computerized accounting
software an added advantage.

Competitive package including Company Vehicle.

Applications for the above post accompanied by a detailed CV should be
forwarded, before 10 November 2006, by candidates directly to:        The
Operations Director, via e-mail to


Ad inserted 09 November 2006

Temporary position from the 27 November 2006 to 15 December 2006.  Locality
Mt. Pleasant.  Position is to fill in for General Manager who is going to be
away from the 3 December until the New Year. Basically it will be to oversea
the operations in conjunction with the Factory Supervisor and send off the
final shipment on the 15 December 2006.  The operation is textile based.
The ideal person needs to have a good working knowledge of knitting and
sowing as well as good administration skills.  Must be computer literate in
Word, Excell and E-Mail. Forward C.V. to soonest.


Ad inserted 17 November 2006

Farm Job Vacancy in Nigeria
Kwara State Government, Nigeria , is looking for a General Manager for an
Agricultural Training Farm, situated 30kms. NW of Ilorin .
The position entails the managing of the 1000ha farm, growing 200ha. Maize,
100ha. Cow Peas and 100ha Cassava, with livestock being Catfish, Broilers
and Layers. In addition, with the assistance of 5 technical staff, train 100
Agricultural Students the practical aspects of Commercial Agriculture.
The contract is for two years, commencing on the 5th January 2007. The
contract is renewable and notice is six months, to take effect at the end of
the cropping season.
Terms of Employment:
Salary - US$50,000.00 per annum
Accommodation - Fully furnished, three bedroomed house on farm,
with air conditioning throughout.
Staff - One cook, one gardener, one official driver and 2 security
Two economy air tickets per annum to country of choice
                   One official Govt. vehicle
                   One 4 wheel motor cycle
                   Free electricity, water and fuel within Kwara State .
                   Internet facilities
                   Four weeks leave per year.
Interested parties, please contact Colin Spain - e mail address Please attach recent C.V.


Ad inserted 17/11/06

Maid required for family home in Umwinsidale area.  To start immediately.
Must speak good English,  be energetic, over 30 years of age having finished
having their own family, washing, ironing, house work and basic cooking
would be useful.  Accommodation is offered and husband and 2 children still
at school are welcome.  Attractive salary to the right person.  Contact
499101 or 011207930 with contactable references.


Ad inserted 17/11/06

SAP and ORACLE Developers
Oxford IT are looking for experienced SAP and Oracle Developers willing to
relocate to various countries around Africa.  Ability to speak various
languages is a plus.
Please email your cv to ensuring all your contact
information is up to date, or call Sarah Vale on 309274 for further
The position closes Tuesday 21 November, cvs sent after that date will not
be considered.  The sooner you send in your cv, the better chances you stand
of qualifying for a shortlisted interview.


Ad inserted 17/11/06

Website Developer/Print Artist
Oxford IT are looking for experienced, top notch individuals to work on
website development and/or print design in Luanda, Angola.  Knowledge of
graphic applications (Photoshop/DreamweaverColdFusion) with experience in a
wide range of software developer skills and ability to speak either
Portuguese or Spanish is a plus.

Please email your cv to ensuring all your contact
information is up to date, or call Sarah Vale on 309274 for further
The position closes Tuesday 21 November, cvs sent after that date will not
be considered.  The sooner you send in your cv, the better chances you stand
of qualifying for a shortlisted interview.


Ad inserted 17/11/06

Gateway School Trust has three vacant positions, and as a Christian
Organisation, we need to fill these vacancies with mature Christians.
Interested candidates please apply to the Gateway School Trust Offices at
303143 on or before the 24th of November 2006.

Lovett Manduku
Chairman Gateway School Trust



a) Responsible for preparing salaries and wages for all Gateway Trust School
staff for the Primary and High Schools.
b) Sort out all month end deductions and mandatory deductions such as PAYE,
NSSA ZESSCW, Medical Aid and Pension.

a) Mature person who will work with minimum supervision and is able to also
work after normal working hours to meet deadlines.
b) Able to handle confidential information.
c) Good PR oriented.
d) With relevant qualifications.


a) Responsible for all aspects of  Grounds Maintenance of the two Schools.
b) Supervise and coordinate all construction and building projects in the
c) Manage all Grounds staff.
d) Purchasing of materials required for the running and upkeep of the

a) A self motivated person.
b) A multi skilled individual who is familiar with repairs and maintenance
of field equipment.


a) Responsible for Gateway School Trust :
Finances - Human Resources - Policy - Legal Affairs · Capital Projects -
Labour Relations.
b) Liaison between Gateway Schools with Government and other Trust Schools
c) Look after the Pastoral needs of the people in the Gateway School Trust

a) A mature Christian.
b) Ability to communicate with people at all levels of society.
c) A vast experience in the Business Sector essential.
d) Ability to plan work and execute the decisions of the Board of Trustees.


Ad inserted 17/11/06


We are looking for a reliable, hard working honest middle aged gentleman to
fill the position of Water/Land Manager in the Bumi Area.

Please could all CV's be emailed to: or




Ad inserted 19 October 2006

Bookkeeper / Administrator

I am a 23 year old lady that currently works & resides in Harare.  I will be
relocating to Gweru in December and I am looking for a placement in the
above position or similar.  I am capable of performing the following

- Cashbook (manual & computerised)
- Petty Cash payments and analysis
- Bank Reconciliation's
- Debtors Invoicing, Statements & Debt collections
- Creditors Analysis, Reconciliation's and payments
- Budgets and Cash flows
- Journals and Ledgers
- Monthly Income Statements
- Draft Year End Financial Statements & Income Tax Computations
- Salaries and wages administration
- Capital Gains Tax Calculations and reconciliation's
- VAT Calculations and payments
- PAYE Calculations, payments and reconciliation's
- NSSA payments and administration
- NEC payments and returns
- ZIMDEF payment and returns
- Medical Aid administration

- Company Secretarial work (statutory returns) such as forms CR14, CR6, CR2,
Annual Returns, Company formation and registration procedures.
- Functions of moderate Personnel Management

Computer Literacy:
- Pastel Versions 5 - 8
- QuickBooks (moderate knowledge)
- Belina Payroll
- Microsoft Office

For a detailed Curriculum Vitae please contact: P. Russell - 011 646 268 or
756 841 or 756 850 or


Ad inserted 09 November 2006

Houseworker required.

Must be mature, clean, honest and hardworking.  Cooking would be an
advantage but not a prerequisite. A good salary is offered along with
excellent accommodation  to the right person.  Please phone 04-301467 , cell
011 614 233 or email to:


Ad inserted 09 November 2006

Bookkeeping done at home

Anyone looking for someone to do their books on a monthly basis, on Pastel,
Monthly Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss produced?  Please contact or phone cell 011 400 754


Ad inserterted (17/11/06

I am a Bsc Hons In Agric( Crop science) graduate and currently working on a
tobacco farm in Nyazura area as a Farm Manager, doing mainly tobacco and
potatoes.  I am looking for a similar placement elsewhere in Zimbabwe or
Zambia.  Available from 1December 2006. I have six years experience in
agronomy and farm management with special skills in:
planning cropping programmes farm staff and general labour management
drawing & implementing farm budgets, general farm cost control sourcing and
procurement of inputs marketing produce  planning and directing farm
providing expert advice in production of the following crops;  tobacco,
maize,potatoes,peas,babycorn, sweet corn,cabbages, beans, butternut.

For my detailed C.V e-mail  or telephone 011433837

For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 18 November 2006)

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