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Make a Plan

Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabweans are notorious, possibly even world famous, for their ability to
"Make A Plan." It is because we are so ingenious, creative, versatile and
adaptable that the country has held together for the last seven years. Life
shouldn't be like this in the first decade of the 21st century but we have
learnt to cope with almost every deprivation that has been forced upon us.
In every home we have a botched up emergency plan for electricity and water
cuts, fuel and food shortages, non existent municipal services and
crumbling infrastructure. As individuals, however, as our hold on normal
life grows ever more tenuous, so does that of the State. Every month there
are less and less taxpayers as companies continue to cut their costs,
reduce their workforce or close down altogether. As our economy shrinks,
there is less and less money and resources available to keep the government
going and so they cast their nets further afield.

This week the bands of financial control got much tighter in Zimbabwe and
it is hard to see how ordinary people will be able to make a plan to
survive the new rules. For a few weeks you have not been able to cash a
cheque for more than one hundred thousand dollars in a bank. No reason is
given. If you ask, the tellers just shrug their shoulders and say they are
following orders from above. For over a month investment and savings
institutions have been refusing to accept any new customers. Existing
customers can only make deposits if other customers have made withdrawals
for similar amounts. This week 16 Money Transfer Agencies were closed down
without any warning by the Governor of the Reserve Bank. In an unexpected
swoop, the Governor said the operating licences were withdrawn with
immediate effect for what he called "non performance and deviant

Almost all Zimbabweans who have left the country but still have family or
friends here, send money home every month through these Money Transfer
Agencies. This is how families who have been split up by economic necessity
have survived for the last seven years. One family member goes and earns
outside the country, sending money home to support the rest of the family.
It is not money for luxuries but for survival. It is money which pays
school fees, bills, rentals and medical expenses. People have being using
Money Transfer Agencies rather than government channels because they get up
to five times more money on the exchange rate. If a relation overseas was
sending say 100 American dollars a month it translated into 130 000
Zimbabwe dollars through a Money Transfer Agency. Now that same 100 US
dollars sent through the government, will only realise 25 000 dollars. This
is a dramatic difference which is going to have a devastatingly cruel
effect on hundreds of thousands of people. It means that relations abroa d
will have to send five times as much money home for their families every
month just to maintain the same level of support.

Undoubtedly some people will be able to "Make a Plan" to get around the new
ruling but many will not. Many hundreds of people are already illegally
crossing Zimbabwe's borders every day for a better life in neighbouring
countries, the numbers are bound to rise now. Until next time, thanks for
reading, love cathy
Copyright cathy buckle 14 October 2006.

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Fuel Shortages Hamper Distribution of Fertilizer to Zimbabwean Farmers


By Jonga Kandemiiri
13 October 2006

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made this week assured farmers that fertilizer
needed for their upcoming maize planting season could be obtained at depots
of the state Grain Marketing Board across the country. But a number of GMB
depots in Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Manicaland said Friday that they
had no fertilizer in stock.

A GMB official responsible for distribution said fertilizer has not yet been
distributed to all depots because of logistical problems, in particular a
shortage of fuel. But she said the state grain monopoly is in the process of
supplying all the country's depots.

Zimbabwe recently received 47,000 tonnes of fertilizer from South Africa,
funded by a US$45 million revolving fertilizer and grain import facility
that the central bank created in June under a financing arrangement with
Nedbank of South Africa.

Under the fertilizer distribution program, farmers must show a producer's
card and can only buy from a depot in their area. Ammonium nitrate
fertilizer (top dressing) and Compound D (artificial manure) are priced at
about half the market rate.

Agronomist and former Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union president Thomas
Nherera told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
if farmers can get fertiliser in the next two weeks they can still plant
maize crops on time.

Farmers in the Matabeleland South village of Nswazi told reporter Martin
Ngwenya that the high cost of agricultural inputs and a shortage of draught
power are hindering local efforts to meet planting deadlines.

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Widow of Liberation Figure Seeks to Set Zimbabwean History Straight


13 October 2006

A veteran of Zimbabwe's 1970s war of liberation now living in the United
States has published a book that says the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole,
her late husband, was the true founder of the struggle, not President Robert

Author Vesta Sithole says Ndabaningi Sithole created the Zimbabwe African
National Union party, but lost control of it to Mr. Mugabe in the mid-1970s
and was eventually cut out of decision-making through 1980 when Zimbabwe
gained independence.

Now living in the Washington area, Vesta Sithole said she decided to make
public her recollection of events leading to the split between ZANU and
ZANU-PF just as the Rhodesian regime of Prime Minister Ian Smith was
entering negotiations.

Entitled My Life With An Unsung Hero, the book is autobiographical in
approach - the author joined the liberation struggle at 19 and spent years
in exile - but also provides many new details on the life and career of
Ndabaningi Sithole, who died in 2000.

The author contends that following independence the Mugabe government
stripped Ndabaningi Sithole of his political status, social standing and
financial resources. The farm near Harare that he purchased in 1992 was
later confiscated, she writes.

Vesta Sithole told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that she wanted to set the record straight and dispel misconceptions about
the struggle for black majority rule in Zimbabwe and her late husband's role
in that process.

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Top Wholesaler, Mohammed Mussa, Jailed

By a Correspondent

HARARE - THE ZIMBABWE government has jailed a top business mogul and
Warriors team liaison officer Shariff Mussa of the Mohammed Mussa
Wholesalers empire.

Mussa was slapped with a 30-day prison term plus a $590 000 to be paid
by his company. He was found guilty of repackaging sugar and failing to
produce invoices for other goods on sale in most of his popular wholesale

Among the goods the wholesaler was accused of not producing receipts
for were 600 bags of cement.

The wholesaler could neither produce proof of procurement nor proof
for the price he was selling the cement at.

Thirty-seven year old Mussa, who is the son of the wholesaler,
Mahommed, was charged with contravening sections of the Pricing of Goods Act
in his capacity as the company representative and in his personal capacity.

Harare Magistrate Priscilla Chigumba dismissed his plea for a fine
saying he had lots of money and would not feel his punishment were it handed
down in a fine only.

She also refused to grant his application for bail pending appeal.
Mussa denied the allegations levelled against him.

The Zanu PF government has of late been arresting company directors
accusing them of hiking prices of their goods without government approval.

Bakers especially have borne the brunt of the government as it tries
to push the price of bread down regardless of rising input costs.

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Harare Water Blues Continue As National Authority Fails to Deliver


By Jonga Kandemiiri
11 October 2006

Harare residents continue to grapple with water shortages despite assurances
from the Zimbabwe Water Authority and Harare City Council that the problem
is fixed.

Residents say burst water pipes go unrepaired for days, while eastern
neighborhoods have had no water for four weeks due to lower pressure at the
Letombo Reservoir.

Critics say the national water authority's assumption of responsibility from
Harare only made matters worse, as ZINWA has failed to provide water
treatment chemicals.

Instead, it is asking the government for permission to raise water charges
tenfold from Z$8 per cubic meter to more than Z$100, arguing that water
rates are far too low to ensure the sustainable operation of the
metropolitan water supply system.

Former Harare Mayor Elias Mudzuri, now organizing secretary for the Movement
for Democratic Change faction of MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai,
said in an interview with reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that Harare should have built the proposed Kunzvi Dam long ago to
end such problems.

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MDC murders: AG orders Mwale's arrest

Zim Standard


MUTARE - The Attorney General's office has ordered the immediate
arrest of Joseph Mwale, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer
accused of murdering two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
activists in 2000.

Mwale has eluded the law since he allegedly masterminded the
gruesome murder of activists Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya near
Murambinda growth point during the run-up to the 2000 Parliamentary

Repeated efforts by international and local human rights
organisations and the MDC to have Mwale arrested have all failed amid
reports the dreaded CIO agent enjoyed political protection from the highest
Zanu PF echelons.

But the AG's office appears to have stepped up its campaign to
end Mwale's freedom once and for all.

A senior officer in the AG's office in Manicaland, Levison
Chikafu, ordered the police to present Mwale's docket to their offices on or
before 6 October.

In a letter addressed to Ronald Muderedzwa, the officer
commanding police in Manicaland, Chikafu said: "The accused is facing a
charge of murder which was committed in the year 2000. The docket was
referred to your office with instructions that you arrest Joseph Mwale and
bring him for initial remand.

"To date, we have not received any information pertaining to the
progress made by your office. I need to go through the docket with a view of
taking up the matter with my superiors. Submit the docket on or before 6
October 2006."

But by yesterday Mwale was still a free man despite the
ultimatum from the AG's office. Police sources were nevertheless confident
that one of the most wanted fugitives from justice in the country would soon
be behind bars.

Mwale is believed to be operating in Nyanga district where he is
occasionally seen at Zanu PF and government functions.

Both Chikafu and police spokesperson in Manicaland, Joshua
Tigere, could not be reached for comment on the progress of the manhunt for

In April 2000, Chiminya and Mabika were petrol-bombed at
Murambinda growth point in Buhera North, a constituency controversially won
by Zanu PF's Kenneth Manyonda.

The MDC, whose candidate in the constituency was its leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, challenged the result in court.

The High Court nullified Manyonda's victory, citing massive
intimidation and violence during the campaign.

Mwale and Kainos Tom "Kitsiyatota" Zimunya, a war veteran, were
named in the High Court as the culprits behind the petrol bomb attack, but
both are yet to appear in court.

They failed to turn up in court in 2001 where they were expected
to testify in Tsvangirai's election petition.

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Aids activists plan 'die in' over ARVs

Zim Standard

By Bertha Shoko

ANGRY activists living with HIV and Aids, plan to stage a "die
in" in Harare if the government fails to provide them with life-prolonging
ARVs in a week's time, The Standard understands.

Led by the self-styled "General Gunpowder", the group told The
Standard in Harare last week they planned to launch what they called a
"chimurenga" to force the government to provide ARVs to thousands of mostly
poor people living with HIV and Aids.

Anti-Retroviral drugs, taken regularly, can prolong the life of
people suffering from HIV and Aids.

They are not a cure of the disease, but have been proven to
prevent early death from the debilitating effects of the disease for which
medical science still has no cure, more than 25 years after it exploded onto
the scene in the early 1980s.

The activists, all with HIV and full-blown Aids, allege the
drugs are benefiting mostly "corrupt" government officials and their

The group belongs to the Zimbabwe National Network of People
Living with HIV and Aids (ZNPP+).

They said they planned to stage their "die in" at the Ministry
of Health and Child Welfare head office in Harare.

The ministry estimates there are more than 1,8 million HIV-
positive Zimbabweans. Of these between 300 000 and 600 000 are in urgent
need of the life-prolonging ARVs but only about 40 000 are accessing the
drugs in both the private and public sectors.

The "rebel" members of the ZNNPP+ said they were "unhappy and
frustrated" by the government's failure to provide ARVs to all people in
need of them.

They said they felt "betrayed and angry" and now wanted to force
the government into action.

The group is led by Joao Zangarat, "General Gunpowder" to his
colleagues. He alleges that State-run ARV programmes are benefiting corrupt
government officials and their relatives while the majority of the people
"continue to suffer", barely able to afford a monthly dose of Cotrimoxazole.

The drug is recommended for people living with HIV and Aids, as
it keeps at bay such respiratory diseases as pneumonia and others.

Zangarat said "General Gunpowder" was his name for what he calls
the "ARV Chimurenga".

He said if the government and the National Aids Council (NAC)
did not respond positively to their "frustration and bitterness" at the end
of the week, "then they must face the consequences".

He said their action would include a "die in" at the ministry
head offices or a hunger strike.

He said: "We will die there if we have to. The government has
betrayed us. We PLWAs (people living with HIV and Aids) now live like
paupers because we have no support from the government. They have forgotten
us. We are very bitter. "

A senior NAC official, who preferred anonymity, said the
ministry was responsible for providing ARVs to PLWAs.

The NAC channels part of the Aids Levy to the ministry for the
procurement of ARVs. "What happens after this is not NAC's responsibility,"
said the official.

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Msika speaks out on Gukurahundi

Zim Standard

By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - Vice-President Joseph Msika (pictured) last week
implied President Robert Mugabe was to blame for the 1980s Matabeleland

Msika said although Mugabe apologised, he did not proffer an
explanation for the atrocities when taken to task by former Zapu members.

Msika said he was not convinced with the apology for the death
of about 20 000 men, women and children in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

Msika was speaking last Saturday at a ceremony organised by the
Mafela Trust to commemorate the killing of 11 Zimbabwe People's
Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) cadres in Jotsholo in 1979 by Rhodesian soldiers.

The cadres, all from Matabeleland South, were killed while
travelling to an Assembly Point.

Sources said Msika spoke in SiNdebele, in which he is fluent. He
said: "When we asked him (Mugabe) about the disturbances, he apologised to
me personally, but I was not convinced . . ."

Sources who attended last week's meeting said there was a tense
silence after this remark.

The meeting was attended by the Zanu PF national chairman, John
Nkomo, and Matabeleland North and South governors, Thokozile Mathuthu and
Angeline Masuku respectively.

Sithembiso Nyoni, the Minister of State for Small and Medium
Enterprises Development, Zanu PF Matabeleland North chairman, Headman Moyo,
and former members of the ZIPRA high command as well as Zanu PF members also
attended the meeting.

Talking about the 1987 Unity Accord, Msika is said to have noted
that Mugabe shot down suggestions for a new name for the merged party.

"In the run-up to the signing of the Accord, a serious issue
arose over which name to use," said Msika. "Some of us in Zapu thought that
it would be wise to come up with a neutral name . . . but those people in
Zanu said they had won the elections and saw no need to change the name."

Msika said for the sake of unity, the late Vice President Joshua
Nkomo had the final say: "What's in a name?" he asked. Zanu PF was adopted
as the new party name.

President Mugabe (82), has described the Gukurahundi killings as
part of a dark chapter in the history of Zimbabwe.

Recently, Zanu PF's spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira, sparked
controversy when he said he had no regrets over Gukurahundi.

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Spies' appeal record finally handed over to High Court

Zim Standard


THE appeal record of three convicted Zimbabwean spies, allegedly
working for South Africa, has finally turned up at the High Court, 18 months
after they appealed against the conviction and sentence at the magistrate
courts' in February last year.

Lawyers representing former Zimbabwe ambassador-designate to
Mozambique, Godfrey Dzvairo, former Metropolitan Bank company secretary
Tendai Matambanadzo, and Zanu PF deputy director for external affairs Itai
March, immediately appealed against both conviction and sentence.

Harare Magistrate Peter Kumbawa jailed Dzvairo for six years,
while March and Matambanadzo were each jailed for five years for
contravening sections of the Official Secrets Act.

They were alleged to have been in the pay of the South African

Human rights lawyers said last week the delay in presenting the
court record to the High Court was a miscarriage of justice.

Tafadzwa Mugabe of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
described the development as a clear assault on justice and a direct
violation of the freedom to a fair trial.

"Imagine if that trial was held in three days and they were
acquitted. What that would mean is that they would have served 18 months for
nothing," said Mugabe. "It is up to the courts to prepare a record within
the shortest possible time."

He said the delay was "very unfortunate" since the country's
laws did not have a time limit in which an appeal record must be prepared.

The Registrar of the High Court last week wrote to lawyers
representing the three men informing them that the court had received the
appeal records.

"I now call upon you to file your heads of argument within 15
business days from the date of service of this letter. Please note that if
you fail to comply with the above, the appeal shall be regarded as abandoned
and shall be deemed dismissed," reads the letter.

Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai & Hwacha last week confirmed he
had received the letter.

"I have already started preparing the heads of argument," he
said. "I am sure they will be ready any time next week."

Chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe could not be reached for

The three were convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act
in February last year in a high profile trial that raised eyebrows after
their relatives and the media were prevented from witnessing the

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Greedy Zanu PF politicians worsen Harare water crisis

Zim Standard


ZANU PF politicians are putting spanners in the works of major
water projects in Harare, mostly for personal reasons, town planners said
last week.

They alleged the politicians, driven by personal greed, want to
personally benefit through tender deals at the expense of regular water
supplies to residents.

They said the problem had been worsened by "political meddling
and sanctioned mismanagement" by senior government officials.

All this has placed residents at risk of water-borne diseases,
including dysentery, cholera and scabies.

Some Harare suburbs have gone without water for three
consecutive months.

The creation of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa)
has exacerbated the water crisis, not just in Harare, but in other major
urban centres as well.

The independent engineers and town planners said Zinwa staff
lacked the crucial experience to tackle the enormous urban water crisis
facing the country.

The president of the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban
Planning (ZIRUP), Sasha Jogi, said "political meddling" had drowned most
projects meant to boost water supplies in Harare.

He said the construction of Kunzvi Dam, seen as the panacea to
Harare's water woes, was being hampered by the bickering between the council
and the Ministry of Water Resources and Infrastructural Development on who
should control the project.

"Initially, the council was supposed to be in control of the dam
but it was shifted to the ministry of water and now Zinwa is coming in as
well," Jogi said. "We know certain individuals want to enrich themselves by
getting involved in this project. This is not just a question of lack of
finance," he said.

Former Harare executive mayor Engineer Elias Mudzuri, said
politicians were eager to control water supply in the city because "it is a
cash cow" for most of them.

Mudzuri said the supply of water treatment chemicals, refuse
collection and most tenders were being awarded to Zanu PF officials and
their friends to facilitate the "stripping" of council assets and finance.

The supply of water treatment chemicals in Harare has been
dogged by allegations of favouritism. There have been accusations that
Highdon Investments, owned by McDonald Chapfika, had been allowed to keep
the chemicals supply tender toHarare because of his links with Zanu PF.

Mudzuri also alleged that plans to build Kunzvi Dam, the
expansion of Morton Jaffray Water Works and the upgrading of the water
pumping system have been stalled by politicians.

"The technical aspects of how to improve water supply in the
city are well-documented," said Mudzuri, "but political meddling would not
allow it to happen. Some people are benefiting from this chaos."

Mudzuri was dismissed as executive mayor of Harare by the
government in 2003 on allegations of mismanagement.

Mudzuri said the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
Urban Development, Ignatious Chombo, "must stand accused" of handpicking
Zanu PF "faithfuls" with no idea of how to run the affairs of the city.

Despite glaring failures to turn around the fortunes of the
city, Chombo has re-appointed the commission running Harare, headed by
Sekesai Makwavarara, several times.

The Combined Harare Residents' Association (Chra) has called on
Zinwa to cede to the municipality the responsibility of supplying and
administering water because it has failed to provide the services.

Chra spokesperson, Precious Shumba, said the absence of a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Harare city council and Zinwa was
disastrous and is a "corrupt business arrangement". Chra said Zinwa was a
"State project" to expand its feeding trough. "Benefits only accrue to
selected individuals and organisations whose allegiance is well-known," said

Harare City Council spokesperson Percy Toriro said he could not
comment because construction of dams, reservoirs and supply of chemicals was
now the responsibility of Zinwa.

Zinwa board chairman Willie Muringani last week blamed the
current water crisis on the low water charges, which he said were

Health experts say the urban centres are sitting on a health
time bomb as the water crisis worsens. In the Harare suburbs of Mabvuku,
Tafara, and Waterfalls residents are drinking water from unprotected wells,
exposing themselves to water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
Some are selling purified water to desperate residents.

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Mhanda faces theft charges

Zim Standard


PROMINENT war veteran and former director of the Zimbabwe
Liberators' Platform, Wilfred Mhanda, is facing theft by conversion charges.

Court documents show that Mhanda, who resigned from his position
as the director of the ZLP, was supposed to appear in court in May jointly
charged with Wilson Nharingo, a former Programmes Co-ordinator. The case
failed to take off due to unclear circumstances.

A fresh date has to be set but there are indications this could
be at the end of October.

Mhanda is being accused of withdrawing money from an offshore
account of the organisation in Botswana without the approval of the board
between 17 and 20 November 2003.

The two are alleged to have bought vehicles and equipment using
donor funds.

Mhanda is alleged to have bought a Toyota Corolla while Nharingo
allegedly bought a Toyota Surf.

In papers forming the complaint against Mhanda and Nharingo, the
ZLP says it was prejudiced of US$15 500.

The two also stand accused of inflating their travel allowances.

Wabata Munodawafa, the ZLP director, and Celestino Gavhera, the
Chairman of the Finance Committee, lodged the complaint on behalf of the
National Council.

Mhanda who resigned on 24 June 2004 has indicated the charges
were trumped up. He is expected to plead not guilty in a case that is likely
to expose the infighting in the ZLP.

The organisation holds a long delayed Annual General Meeting on
28 October in Harare where a new leader will be elected.

The AGM was supposed to be held in December last year but was
postponed because of financial constraints.

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The courage of Sibonile Moyo

Zim Standard

By Deborah-Fay Ndlovu

BEING told someone you met for the first time only a few days
before has died can be a traumatic experience.

I was in the office last Thursday when I received a call from
the director of Girl Child Network, Betty Makoni to say Sibonile Moyo (not
her real name), a 16-year-old rape survivor I had interviewed a week ago,
had died. She apparently died on Sunday and was buried last Thursday.
Sibonile was a young, exuberant girl who had refused to give up on life
despite her traumatic childhood.

She was lying on her death bed at the GCN Empowerment Village
for girls in Rusape, when I met her. She had ugly sores on her lips and
spoke slowly because of excruciating pain in her throat and abdomen. The
matrons at the centre said she had been diagnosed with HIV two years ago.
She had not eaten in two days and had diarrhoea. She was vomiting and could
not drink water.

She was drifting in and out of consciousness and occasionally
muttered in her sleep. Still, she remained optimistic that she would live. I
remember her saying to me: "I am going to be fine tomorrow. I prayed and I
know God will answer me."

Little did she know that her life had been marked and shortened
by cruel relatives.

Sibonile wanted to tell her story so Zimbabwe could hear and
sympathise with rape survivors.

This is her story as I heard it from her:

"I think I was about 12 years old and living with my aunt in
Bulawayo when I was raped by her husband. It was with her consent because
they did not have a child and hoped I would produce an heir for them. It was
painful for me that my aunt agreed with that scheme but I had nowhere to go;
my father died and my mother disappeared to Harare without trace.

"After that, my aunt's gardener started forcing himself on me. I
ran away from their house and went to Harare in search of my brother. I did
not have his address so I stayed on the street. By then I was ill. I decided
to go to a hospital in Harare and that was how I ended up at Girl Child
Network, after I was referred to them by the police."

I relate her story so that the nation can realise the impact of
rape and see to it that justice can prevail for the sake of our children and
our women.

After hearing Sibonile's story I wondered what kind of a nation
this was. It has simply failed to take care of its children, with reports
that 6 000 girls report being raped a year. I felt angry at the justice
system. But somewhere in my heart I prayed that I would never bear a girl
child. Sibonile's trauma was too much to bear. Maybe nothing can be done for
her but there are other children whose lives have been left in tatters
because of rape.

There was also 13-year-old Rutendo Nhari (not her real name),
another rape victim, from Zvishavane who contracted HIV after being raped by
six men in February this year. Thematrons said she had a wart removed from
her. She is a young girl living with the shame of rape. Her self-esteem is
low and she told me she could never play with children at her school because
she feels they blame her for what happened.

She complains of backache and mysterious genital discharge. The
men who raped her were sentenced to five years each in prison. She believes
this was an injustice. Yet she remains optimistic; she dreams of working for
Girl Child Network "so that I can help other girls who have been in my

Visiting the village depressed me but I remember Sibonile, with
a smile. I will always remember her as the girl who fought death and taught
me something about life. Rest In Peace, Sibonile.

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Zimbabwe could lose out on World Cup windfall

Zim Standard

By Foster Dongozi

POLITICAL observers say postponing the presidential election
from 2008 to 2010 would cost Zimbabwe billions of dollars in potential
revenue expected to be generated by the World Cup finals in South Africa.

Zanu PF spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira, was recently quoted in
the state-controlled media as saying consultations were in progress in Zanu
PF on the postponement of the election.

With its two-thirds majority in Parliament, Zanu PF can easily
push through any legislation without consulting the opposition.

Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) faction, told The Standard the postponement
would be "suicidal" for Zimbabwe.

"If the country is to benefit from the World Cup windfall then
Shamuyarira's statement is a question of the left hand not knowing what the
right hand is doing. Zanu PF wants to destroy any opportunities that the
World Cup could bring to Zimbabwe and Southern Africa."

Chamisa said holding the election in 2010 would mean that, based
on Zanu PF's history, there would be violence after the election.

"Tourists who would want to visit Zimbabwe during the football
tournament are unlikely to come to a country suffering from the
after-effects of a violent election campaign," he said.

Chamisa said his party was against the postponement of the
election, insisting the only priority was a new constitution produced by all

Gabriel Chaibva, spokesperson for the Arthur Mutambara-led MDC
faction, said: "The Zanu PF government obviously has no strategic economic
thinkers. What this might mean is that there will be zero tourists if they
go ahead with their politically criminal agenda to extend the president's

"It will depend on when the World Cup will be staged in 2010 but
it will be difficult to convince tourists to visit the Victoria Falls."

The acting Minister of Information and Publicity, Paul Mangwana,
said as far as he was aware, nobody had linked the holding of the
presidential election to the World Cup.

"I had not thought about it," he said. "I don't think anybody in
political circles had thought of that. But we as a government have since
1980 held our elections in line with our constitution all the time. On a
lighter note, maybe those who would have lost the election can always go
next door to South Africa and watch the World Cup to drown their sorrows."

Since the 2000 election, tourists have shunned Zimbabwe, after
an orgy of violence before and after that election.

A number of embassies advised their citizens not to visit
Zimbabwe, for their own safety.

Celebrities who used to visit Zimbabwe regularly have kept away.
Pop queen Madonna was in Malawi while Hollywood's Angelina Jolie and her
husband Brad Pitt recently stayed in Namibia where their child was born.

After the birth, they thanked the Namibian people for their
hospitality and urged other Americans to visit the country.

Talk show hostess, Oprah Winfrey is a regular visitor to South

Several years ago, such international stars would have included
Zimbabwe in their itinerary. Michael Jackson once made a surprise visit to

Givemore Chuma, a football fanatic says because of the pariah
label attached to Zimbabwe, World Cup teams which would have in the past
preferred to be based in this country for the tournament might opt to go to
other countries, including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Malawi.

"Based on the friendliness of the people of Zimbabwe, I am
convinced that countries like Cameroon, if they qualify for the finals,
Brazil, Argentina and England would have wanted to train and be based in
Zimbabwe. But I doubt they will now want to use our facilities because of
the tense political climate."

A member of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on 2010,
Enivah Mutsau, said they were "upbeat" about reaping profits from the World

"We cannot afford to be negative all the time; we want to assume
that things would have become more stable, by that time, including the
political situation. If there are elections, it does not necessarily mean
there will be a negative outcome because elections happen all the time
around the world."

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Starving villagers plead for donor assistance

Zim Standard

By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - Villagers in Matabeleland North have appealed to
donor agencies to resume food handouts, saying they face starvation after
last year's poor harvest.

Despite the average rains last year, some areas in the
drought-prone south-western part of the country are affected by serious food

Villagers who spoke to The Standard during a recent visit said
their children were dropping out of school because of hunger as they spent
hours searching for food.

"We did receive some rain," said Nollen Tshuma, a mother of five
at Mahlabathini, "but we recorded poor harvests after some of the crops were
destroyed by the rains.

"Our children cannot attend school as they cannot concentrate on
empty stomachs."

Another villager, Hezekiah Mahlangu, said: "We are crying for
donors to assist us with the little supplementary feeding programmes as we
face starvation."

Some villagers claimed hunger sometimes forced them to eat wild

Some of the worst hit areas are Mahlabathini, Jiba-Jiba, Gomoza,
Maname, Gwampa, Silwane, Ndibimbili and others near the Gwayi-Shangani

The food crisis, according to the villagers, has been worsened
by crippling water shortages.

A recent report by the World Food Programme confirmed the crisis
in Matabeleland North.

"Teachers and local leaders interviewed in Matabeleland North
and South expressed apprehension for the coming months due to insufficient
food at household level resulting from poor harvests in the 2005/06
agricultural season," read the report.

MP for Lupane, Njabuliso Mguni, confirmed there was a food
crisis in some areas due to poor harvest.

Mguni also confirmed the worst-hit areas faced water shortages
as well. "There is no water as most of the boreholes are broken down and
need repairing.

"There is a food crisis as most villagers recorded poor
harvests. The worrying situation is that villagers have to drink water from
dams used by cattle and other animals, thereby exposing themselves to

This is at a time when some parts of the country, such as
Bulawayo, have been hit by maize-meal shortages.

But the government insists the country recorded a bumper harvest
through the success of the army-assisted agriculture project, Operation

The WFP, according to reports, ended its Vulnerable Group
Feeding programme last April after the government indicated there was enough
food for the nation.

But on Wednesday last week WFP said 1.4 million people in
Zimbabwe will need food aid in the six months until the next summer harvest.

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Harare Polytech dean of students appeals against conviction

Zim Standard


HARARE Polytechnic College's dean of students, Taurai Gavi,
convicted recently by a Harare magistrate of smearing acid on students'
clothes, has appealed against both conviction and sentence to the High

Harare Magistrate Chipo Matibiri recently convicted Gavi of
smearing acid on clothes belonging to Student Representative Council (SRC)
president Stephen Matenga and his secretary, Taurai Machekeche.

Gavi, according to papers filed at the High Court last week,
argues that Matibiri erred and misdirected herself in convicting him on the
basis of the evidence given in court.

He has challenged the sentence imposed on him as excessive and
out of proportion to the offence.

Matibiri had initially sentenced Gavi to 16 months in jail
before she conditionally suspended three months on condition he performed
420 hours of community service at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

But Gavi through his lawyers, Chinamasa, Mudimu, Chinogwenya &
Dondo, alleges Matibiri failed to appreciate the fact that from the evidence
produced, the State failed to discharge the burden of proof required in
criminal matters to convict an accused person.

The lawyers also argue that the magistrate erred and misdirected
herself by convicting Gavi on the basis of "speculative reasoning and
conjecture without making specific findings of fact" to justify a

"The learned magistrate ought not to have rejected the applicant's
(Gavi's) version of events since that version was reasonably possibly true.
More particularly the magistrate did not give due regard to giving the
benefit of the doubt to the appellant," wrote the lawyers.

They also argue that the two complainants (Matenga and
Machekeche) might have other enemies, who took advantage of the situation
between Gavi and the students who are members of the SRC.

Contacted for comment, College principal Stephen Raza last week
said they were still to decide on Gavi's fate following his conviction.

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ZTA chief bemoans shoestring budget

Zim Standard


THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)'s capacity to promote the
country's image as a safe tourist destination is hampered by a shoestring
budget, the agency's boss said last week.

Shingi Munyeza was speaking on the sidelines of the official
opening of the Zimbabwe International Travel Expo 2006 last week.

He said, by contrast, Zimbabwe's neighbours have given their
tourism promotion bodies enough resources to market their countries as safe
tourist destinations.

Munyeza said: "ZTA has less than US$500 000. South Africa has
budgeted US$60 million, Botswana US$10 million and Zambia US$6 million to be
used for image building."

He said when equipped with adequate resources, the ZTA had the
capacity to generate the recovery of the country's image. Munyeza said
tourism was now on the upswing, as exemplified by the number of buyers at
this year's Expo. Over 350 buyers from 35 countries took part at this year's
Expo which ends today.

"This is a significant jump, the perception is thawing and we
are establishing relationships with our traditional markets. Our new markets
have responded in a meaningful manner," said Munyeza.

The 2006 Expo was elevated to national status following
recommendations from the Tourism, Image and Communications Taskforce of the
National Economic Development Priority Programme (NEDPP) launched early this

The NEDPP is a new economic model envisaged to have input from
all stakeholders to bring the economy, in free-fall over the last six years,
to a better footing.

The industry is picking up its pieces after suffering a downturn
in the aftermath of the 2000 land reform exercise.

The sector employs 200 000 in both the direct and ancillary
industries. Its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 6%
from a peak of 12%. GDP is the market value of all final goods and services
produced within a country in a given period of time.

Last year tourism earned Zimbabwe US$98 million, with
anticipated receipts of US$1 billion in 2010.

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Farmers' union chief blasts new settlers

Zim Standard


MUTARE - A leading black commercial farmer has attacked
newly-settled farmers for wasting vast tracks of land acquired under the
controversial 2000 land reform programme.

Wilson Nyabonda, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers'
Union (ZCFU) said last week most of the newly-acquired farms were now
"derelict" because the new farmers were not using them productively.

Nyabonda told a farmers' fundraising dinner at Odzi Country
Club: "After touring farms here in Odzi, I got very disappointed because
there is no production. Our people are not doing anything at the farms.
Something must be done because we cannot allow things to continue like

The club is a few kilometres from Kondozi Farm, which was seized
by the government-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA)
but remains underutilised.

Nyabonda's organisation represents mostly black commercial
farmers. Before attending the dinner, Nyabonda, vice-chairman of Tanaka
Power, a major producer of agricultural equipment, toured several farms in
the Odzi area, a bastion of commercial farming activity before the farm
invasions in 2000.

"The government should repossess all under-utilised commercial
farms because we want people who produce for the good of the country," he

Even President Robert Mugabe has berated the new farmers - now
dubbed "cellphone farmers"- for turning the once productive commercial farms
into weekend braai resorts.

At the Manicaland Agriculutural Show in Mutare recently, several
residents complained at the conspicuous absence of agricultural produce at
the annual showcase.

The absence of agricultural produce at the show was blamed on
little output from commercial farms, most of which are now owned by the
newly settled farmers.

Most of them are Zanu PF party politicians.

Since 2000, Zimbabwe - once the breadbasket of the southern
African region - has faced serious food shortages, particularly in dry parts
of the country such as Masvingo, Manicaland and Matabeleland.

But government officials have remained defiant - blaming
successive droughts for the serious decline in agricultural productivity.

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Concerns raised over new biotechnology law

Zim Standard


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe gave his seal of approval to the
controversial National Biotechnology Authority Act, paving way for the
establishment of an authority to regulate the activities of the industry.

The Act, which came into effect last month, has sparked heated
debate, with questions being raised about the government's about-face on a
policy to embrace biotechnology.

A Harare scientist was concerned that biotechnology could
increase the probability of developing new diseases and activate genes for
plant toxins causing allergic reactions.

The business community is worried that agricultural exports
could decline.

But, Biosafety Board registrar Abisai Mafa has dismissed
criticism and believes biotechnology is "the way to go" if the gap between
developing and developed countries is to be bridged.

"The gap between rich and poor countries is a result of applying
technology in whatever form. Developing countries have the resources but
cannot exploit them and biotechnology will help Zimbabwe overcome this
challenge," Mafa said.

His organisation is due to be transformed to the National
Biotechnology Authority under the Act. The authority shall be tasked with
the drafting of a policy to guide research and approve imports and exports
of biotechnology products, among other things.

Mafa said the policy, which should also provide incentives such
as tax rebates for researchers, has been drafted.

"The National Policy on Biotechnology is still to be launched.
It was developed simultaneously with the Bill in 2004 but I am not at
liberty to talk about it until it has been launched."

Biotechnology refers to a science of manipulation of living
organisms. It covers cloning and the development of genetically modified
organisms, among others.

The government will also appoint a board to oversee the
operations of the authority while Biosafety committees shall be established
at every biotechnology research centre.

The Act also stipulates that the government will impose levies
on producers, processors and buyers of biotechnology products.

A National Biotechnology Fund shall also be set up in response
to concerns raised by scientists that the government and industry have not
been contributing enough funding to encourage research.

The research, Mafa said, shall be regulated in response to
safety concerns.

"A laboratory will be registered to make sure there are no
fly-by-nights and permits would be valid for a year. Risk assessment shall
be done to determine the impact on the environment," said the registrar.

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Mixed reactions to Gono's new measures

Zim Standard


HISTORY has a tendency of repeating itself. In November 2002,
the then Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa,
shocked Zimbabweans when he closed bureaux de change, saying they were
fuelling the black market.

Four years down the line Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor
Gideon Gono cancels the licences of Money Transfer Agencies (MTAs) citing
non-performance and defiant behaviour by most players in the sector.

Gono on Monday introduced a raft of measures designed to
stimulate the economic turnaround. In his Memorandum to Financial
Institutions: Fine-Tuning of Monetary Policy, Gono said the new measures
were designed to fight the inflation scourge and stabilise the economy,
which has been in meltdown for seven years.

"With inflation reduction remaining the overriding objective of
the central bank, it has become necessary that additional measures be
implemented, so as to stabilise the economy in the medium term," Gono said.

He announced that financial institutions should partake in the
five-year stabilisation bond which each licensed institution will hold as a
performing asset in its books with effect from tomorrow.

The bond counts as a collateral asset for accommodation purposes
and it has an annual coupon rate of 500% (year 1) 250% (year 2), 100% (year
3), 25% (year 4) and 10% (year 5).

Gono hiked the accommodation rates to 500% from 300% for secured
lending and from 350% to 600% for unsecured lending.

Economic commentators interviewed last week said policy shifts
by monetary authorities highlighted the difficult situation the country was
operating under.

"As an economy we find ourselves to be in a difficult situation,
hence the continuous changes in policies to address outstanding problems
like inflation," said David Mupamhadzi, an economist with the Zimbabwe
Allied Banking Group (ZABG).

Mupamhadzi defended the rate hike, saying there was an increase
in speculative purposes as people were borrowing on the money market and
reinvesting it on the stock market.

"There was a strong performance of the stock market against
reduced performance of the economy. The only way out was to increase
interest rates in order to curtail credit creation," Mupamhadzi said.

He said the significant reduction of interest rates in the mid
term monetary policy review, although a noble gesture to avail cheap money
to finance production, had backfired.

"We have structural rigidities; even if money is available, it
will not mean an increase in production," he said.

Economic analyst James Jowa agreed: "The real issue was low
production, not because of the unavailability of cheap loans but of the
environment, which is not conducive to business growth.

"The environment is not conducive for people to engage in
serious production. There is political uncertainty and macro-economic
variables such as inflation (and) foreign currency are affecting

Jowa said the measures implemented were coming too late "unless
they were making wholesale changes to the political environment".

"Politics is stifling whatever chances are there for economic
revival, especially if you don't have support from international financial
institutions," he said.

Mupamhadzi said the closure of MTAs would not kill the parallel
market. "The parallel market reflects the acute shortages on the ground
although it does not reflect on the actual price. Closing MTAs won't kill
the parallel market."

Jowa blasted the closure of MTAs as an action which would
backfire as it would result in activities going underground and the parallel
market rates running further away.

He said the closure of MTAs would send wrong signals to
potential investors, especially those who wanted to invest because they
would not be sure whether their industry would be spared.

Eddie Cross, an economic adviser in the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) had reservations on the stabilisation bond, saying
the government was "trying to force the private sector to fund government

"Who on earth is going to lend money to people without
securities such as leases?" he asked, referring to the 99-year leases the
government is still to issue.

Acknowledging that 99-year leases were an incentive to long-term
investment, Jonathan Kadzura said the leases should be selectively given,
based on performance. Kadzura said financial incentives given to agriculture
should be complemented by the availability of policy incentives, such as the
pre-planting prices to boost productivity.

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Travel Expo good idea that's hostage to the times

Zim Standard


THIS year's Travel Expo is a great idea but, like so much else,
it is hostage to the crisis blighting the country.

It is indisputable that Zimbabwe has numerous areas of tourist
attraction, but before any significant efforts to lure back international
visitors can produce results, there is need to understand why previous
efforts at promoting tourism have not yielded the desired results.

Any long-term solution to reclaim the favoured tourist
destination status that Zimbabwe enjoyed must begin by recognising factors
that led to the flight of major airlines from this country and with it the
decline in the flow of tourists. Pretending that these factors have no
bearing on tourism - or that Zimbabwe is the victim of a foreign conspiracy
to "tarnish" its image - is to miss the point and consequently any attempt
at resuscitating significant tourist traffic is an exercise in futility.

The turning point in the flow of tourists to this country was
when major international airlines decided to give Zimbabwe a wide berth. The
flight of tourists from Zimbabwe was accompanied by the relocation of the
gateway to the region from Harare to South Africa.

The exodus of airlines was determined by the volumes of air
travellers to this country, which suffered the serious effects of the
political crisis and the on-going problems of fuel for both airlines and
motorists. The crisis appears to have worsened in recent weeks. This in part
is the background against which Travel Expo that ended yesterday was held.

Organisers of Travel Expo have to tackle several major
challenges. The current fuel crisis is not the best form of advertising for
the country. Shortages of commodities - partly the product of ill-advised
price controls - and daily power cuts are major deterrents. There is also a
human rights dimension.

A nation that persecutes its citizens makes tourists nervous
because they could find themselves being caught up as law enforcement agents
charge at, assault and arrest people at gatherings. Tourists watching in
amazement or found taking pictures of such scenes could pay dearly. Pictures
of trade unionists being assaulted in the back of police trucks have been
broadcast around the world giving the impression of a brutal dictatorship.

Tourists do not want destinations where they are pestered by
swarms of street urchins and beggars. Soaring unemployment that gives rise
to crime is a bad advertisement for tourism.

Apartheid South African never attracted as many tourists as
democratic South Africa does because of world revulsion towards its
policies.Zimbabwe needs to appreciate the world's concerns over issues of
good governance. It also needs to understand that each day presents new
competitive destinations, and that once lost a market is difficult to

Zimbabwe has embarked on several marketing campaigns but it is
critical that an audit be undertaken in order to gain an appreciation of the
little progress that is being made.

In the absence of major airlines that used to fly into Harare
more than a decade ago, the burden is on the national airline to ensure that
it has a record of reliability. Its performance in this respect is common
knowledge, even though a reliable and efficient service would make a
significant contribution to foreign currency generation.

But much progress could be made if the industry stopped
pandering to the whims of politicians and playing political correctness.

Real long-term solutions will rise from the ashes of the demise
of tourist traffic over the past decade once we acknowledge and rectify the
factors that led to the collapse of the industry in the first place.

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Rank hypocrisy in business sector

Zim Standard

Sunday Opinion By Itai Zimunya

THE talk of the town in business circles is the recent arrest
and detention of business leaders by the police on charges of "illegal"
price increases.

The police operations were authorised by the Ministry of
Industry and International Trade.

The arrests and detentions invited the ire of industry as
represented by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) including the
Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism,
Bakers' Association of Zimbabwe and the Chamber of Mines.

This article seeks to match the inconsistencies of the position
of Zimbabwean business leaders with the broader environmental factors that
affect their drive for normal profits.

Specifically, the greatest controversy came when business
leaders celebrated the arrest and described the torture of leaders of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on 13 September as "expected". Within a
week, the same business leaders shed crocodile tears over the arrest of
their "holy" servants. It seems that business takes the arrest and detention
of labour leaders as "normal" and the arrest of business leaders as
"illegal". This is rank hypocrisy, lack of principles and testimony of the
existence of poor corporate governance in Zimbabwe.

It is our prime argument that police brutality and illegal
arrests remain the same, irrespective of the class, colour and religion of
the victim. This is what the Zimbabwean business community lost sight of.
Their ideology is based on very selfish and outdated concepts of slavery:
"you are not human until you are a business leader". This is a shame.

It is clear there is a stalemate at the Tripartite Negotiating
Forum. Labour is advocating for the minimum wage to be pegged at par with
the Poverty Datum Line (PDL). But business is arguing that such a move would
be disastrous to their entrepreneurial objectives. Yet there was need to
separate contentions at the TNF and issues of State terrorism.

The militarisation of the State must be seen as part of the
factors that have made Zimbabwe a rogue State. The welfare issues raised by
labour and the price increases by business were and are supposed to be the
agenda of the relevant ministries.

But because the various ministers are too busy with "farming",
they do not respect dialogue as a way of solving problems, hence the resolve
to use force, even where it is not necessary.

In their joint statement the business leaders note on point one:
"We condemn unreservedly the manner in which the police have gone about
arresting and incarcerating our managers. There are clearly laid out
procedures that respect the rights of citizens."

Point four states that, "as key players in the economy we should
focus our attention on inflation and speedy implementation that guarantees
the reversal of the downward trend and change our fortunes".

These statements confirm our position that the business
community have alienated themselves from the Zimbabwean community and have
given themselves a demi-god status; they want to entice favours from the
government by promising "to reduce inflation and turn around the economy".
This is a lie, from an economic and political stand point.

The Zimbabwean business community is not the sole key player in
the economy; the government and labour are equally key players. The rise of
the Asian economies was not necessarily because of an eminent business class
in that region, but the availability of highly trained and relatively
cheaper labour was a significant factor.

The Asian governments played significant roles in the rise of
their economies too. To suggest that the "private sector can resolve the
Zimbabwean economic crisis" is a fallacy that must be dismissed with the
contempt it deserves.

The economic crisis in Zimbabwe is a microcosm of the broader
political demise. The economy will not fix the political crisis, but the
political settlement will help create an environment where the economy can
be kick-started.

In brief, while the business community have every right to
defend their minority turf, they should end there and not go to the puerile
extent of celebrating labour's suffering.

The government's method of fixing prices does not make any
economic sense. It is simply a security strategy to ward off civic protests.
Under such circumstances, we advise business not to comment.

It is important to highlight the point the Zimbabwean government
is the chief author on the Zimbabwean crisis. The use and belief in a
military-style of governance and the adoption of a command economy is
detrimental to labour, industry and the government itself.

Present-day Zimbabwe is a military state. Industry is aware of
this, and it is time they became clear that foreign currency does not follow
commands but quality of goods and services, and a politically peaceful

* Itai Zimunya is a socio-economic researcher.

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Why Domestic Violence Bill is necessary

Zim Standard


THE Domestic Violence Bill is being introduced because there is
no law at present governing domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence
rely on common law.

The police were inactive as they always referred even the worst
cases of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) as domestic. A victim of GBH at best (if
entertained) could be asked to go and get the perpetrator so that the matter
could be discussed as civilised beings.

Here a crime of assault has been committed but because the
accused is someone who has a duty to take care and love you, the police
would not treat it as criminal. I have never been able to understand the
logic behind this.

Now imagine if the police had problems in arresting someone who
had just punched you in the face in the name of love, what fun they would
have with you if you were to report that your estranged husband has just
raped you. I can hear the charge office buzzing with one constable shouting
on top of his voice: "Hey John, come and listen to this!"

And another officer saying: "Ambuya muri serious here murume
wenyu akakubhadharirai lobola? (Are you serious this is your husband who
paid dowry for you?)"

Never mind that this man had gone to live with a small house
that is known to be HIV-positive and has sent more men into the ground than
the bubonic plague.

Secondly, there has been an escalation in the number of domestic
violence cases. Musasa Project in recently updating its 1996 findings
discovered that one in every four women experiences actual physical violence
during her lifetime that 99% of perpetrators are men and 99% of the victims
are women.

The purpose of the Bill therefore is to seek to protect and give
relief to people living in violent relationships. It seeks to try and
prevent, as far as possible, domestic violence. It also seeks to provide a
clear definition of what will constitute domestic violence. In addition, it
will provide a more harmonised procedure.

The Bill will protect men, women, children (born in or out of
wedlock, adopted and stepchildren). It will protect domestic workers,
boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as former spouses.

It is important to define what constitutes domestic violence. It
is physical abuse, such as beating up, punching, pushing or a threat of such
assault. It is sexual abuse, such as rape, indecent assault, unwanted sexual
touching or exposure. It also encompasses emotional, verbal and
psychological abuse such as repeated insults likely to cause mental injury.

Economic abuse such as unreasonable disposal of economic
resources or assets and maintenance is also a form of domestic violence.
Intimidation or causing fear in another person, as well as harassment,
stalking and damage to property are other forms of domestic violence.

Entry into another's residence without consent of the other
party; deprivation of reasonable use of home; abuse caused by cultural
practices that discriminate or degrade women such as virginity testing,
forced marriages, pledging women and girls in order to appease avenging
spirits; as well as abuse of a person because of their age, physical or
mental incapacity such as unsubstantiated rumours of old women being witches
constitute domestic violence.

It is important to consider how the Bill proposes to protect
victims of domestic violence. The police have a special duty to advise and
assist victims of domestic violence and also there will be a special
domestic violence section at every police station with trained personnel to
deal with domestic violence.

The Bill will provide for stiffer penalties, while there is an
aggravating feature when a crime such as assault has been committed by
someone who has a duty to take care of you and love you. It also provides
for a protection order.

A protection order covers the difference that exists at the
moment between a peace order and protection. The special feature of a
protection order, apart from directing the perpetrator to stop the violence,
it is issued with an arrest warrant.

It may be applied for by the victim.

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Serious contradictions in Gono's monetary crusade

Zim Standard

Sundayview By Mfandaidza Hove

WE are surprised that the latest statement by the Central Bank
does not discuss the achievements or shortcomings of its penultimate policy
statement. Such a review would have helped to contextualise the latest
statement in terms of what the new policy interventions are aimed at.
Furthermore, as the latest statement does not specify its goals and
objectives, we are convinced that this statement is another attempt to
harass the productive sectors of the economy.

Even where claims of harassment are denied, one cannot fail to
see that these latest statements, like the previous ones, are based on wrong
premises. It is wrong to believe that the reduced inflows of foreign
currency into the Central Bank and the hyperinflationary trends are due, in
the main, to speculation and corruption.

We continue to point out these problems originate from the
systematic disruption of the productive activities in the economy coupled
with policies that condone corruption designed to reward Zanu PF's
sycophants for their support.

In addition, the poor performance of the economy emanates from
the unwarranted interference of the State in the management of productive
institutions in the country. Until both the government and the Central Bank
are prepared to commit themselves to addressing these fundamental issues,
the high level of inflation, the high incidence of corruption, and the
adverse effects of speculation will continue to haunt the economy.

In his monetary policy statement on 9 October, the Governor of
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Gideon Gono, appears to have accepted
the unconstitutional nature of his quasi-fiscal activities.

In this regard, he states: "It has become necessary to institute
stringent measures that restrict and forbid non-performing parastatals and
local authorities from accessing Central Bank support. Parastatals and local
authorities are hereby advised that their first port of call for financial
assistance shall be their parent ministry".

We commend him for finally realising that he is not the Minister
of Finance in this country. However, we wish to remind him that his
intention to continue to print money in support of Zanu PF's discredited
"land-grab" exercise through the so-called Agricultural Sector Productivity
Enhancement Facility (ASPEF) is clear evidence of his continued misuse of
the office of the Central Bank Governor. Clearly, this practice does not
only fuel hyperinflationary conditions in the country, but also perpetuates
the corruption attributable to Zanu PF cronies involved in the acquisition
and sale of agricultural inputs.

In addition, we hope that his statement that "parent ministries
and management responsible for these institutions are hereby advised to
seriously take note of this position", is not issued as part of a public
relations exercise in advance of the International Monetary Fund's proposed
consultative visit to this country.

More importantly, we are persuaded to believe that the Central
Bank has now accepted the fact that the dismal performance of most
parastatals is not due to undercapitalisation, but to the high levels of
mismanagement and the blatant exploitation of these institutions by
government and its high profile politicians

We note with interest the Central Bank's contrived see-saw
movement of the interest rates in the country. While the newly introduced
interest rate regime is still negative in the context of the high levels of
inflation, we continue to be confounded by the Central Bank's motives in
hiking and lowering the rate willy-nilly whenever they issue a policy
statement. Investment decisions take a long time and hence changing interest
rates haphazardly every two or three months, cannot be of any assistance to
the prospective investor.

It is not the business of the Central Bank to determine the
"lending asset orientation for commercial banks". Such decisions must be
left to these institutions. In a functioning market economy, commercial
banks routinely make these decisions, and are guided by the need to maximise
shareholders' wealth within the constraints imposed by acceptable corporate
governance practices and their corporate social responsibilities.

Recent examples of the so-called "unacceptable face of
capitalism" in this sector were in direct response to a dysfunctional
economic environment emanating from an illegitimate national government, a
pariah State, endemic corruption, a seriously compromised national integrity
and persistent political intransigence.

The situation in the petroleum fuel industry has been
characterised by gross inefficiency serious shortages and endemic corruption
since the establishment of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM).
The parastatal has long been one of the sources of the patronage system in
this country. A lasting solution to the problems in this sector will have to
include a thorough review of the role and need for an organisation such as
NOCZIM in a country where its predecessor, private enterprise, was clearly
capable of procuring and marketing petroleum products.

Clearly the Governor's involvement here is yet another
demonstration of his dominance of all fields of economic activity in this
country. Herbert Murerwa is reduced to a glorified book-keeper of the nation
but only in so far as it relates to transactions which pass through his
Ministry. If those passing through the Central Bank are included (as they
should), the country's budget deficit increases to well over 60% of our
Gross Domestic Product and not the farcical 3% frequently claimed.

We are also surprised that the Governor has the nerve to state
that the nation's productive sectors are adequately supplied with fuel. Any
casual observer will attest to the serious shortage of the commodity
throughout the economy, and that its shortage is seriously constraining
productivity and contributing to the unacceptable inflationary trends
assailing the economy.

With respect to electricity generation and supply in the
country, The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is broke and has
been for a very long time now. The principal cause of this is the authority's
unviable tariff structure. The present position is that ZESA finds itself
between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, it urgently requires substantial amounts of
foreign currency to maintain and update its plant and equipment (generators
and related equipment) to enable it to generate the 60% component of energy
that it is capable of producing locally; and on the other it needs equally
large amounts of foreign currency to pay for the 40% that it has to import.
This is against the backdrop of severe foreign currency shortages throughout
the economy.

These problems have resulted in economically crippling power
outages that have further reduced the operating capacity of commerce and
industry notwithstanding the fact that these sectors are already operating
at an average of 25% of capacity.

All in all, the problems in the energy sector also emanate from
the country's national governance crisis. Until this is resolved, the much
needed capital investment will not be forthcoming both domestically and
through foreign direct investment.

If the decision to close Money Transfer Agencies (MTA) was due
to their corrupt and gross indiscipline as claimed, surely the sensible
action to take is to develop supervisory mechanisms that lead to acceptable
corporate governance practices. This, of course, assumes that these agencies
were a reliable avenue for the inflow of significant levels of foreign
currency. Given the extent to which the exchange rate which they are
permitted to use is seriously overvalued (Z$250 to the US$1), this is
unlikely to have been the case. Their closure therefore, is of no
consequence to the level of foreign exchange earned by the country.

As we have argued before, foreign exchange shortages are a
symptom of the economic meltdown that our country has been plunged into by
this illegitimate government.

Once again the Governor continues to stray into territory that
is not constitutionally under him. The management of the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange (ZSE) falls under its Registrar who in turn reports to the Minister
of Finance. The Governor states that ".the ZSE has become a platform for
creating vast amounts of paper -wealth without real productive activities on
the ground". In this regard, the Governor continues to address symptoms
rather than causes of the country's economic meltdown. He needs to be
reminded that the stock exchange "bubble" will persist for as long as
Zimbabwe's economic fundamentals continue to be seriously compromised. Among
others, the economic mismanagement of the country has resulted in negative
real interest rates on the money market; as a result, rational investors
will continue to prefer to invest in equities simply because these are
likely to offer them greater returns.

With respect to the Governor's measures related to revenue
collection, once again we remind him that this is the responsibility of the
Minister of Finance to whom the Director-General of the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority reports. In any case, measures to withhold capital gains tax are
already in place at the ZSE and we are not aware of anything new in his
statement other than overzealousness.

In conclusion, the sum total of the Central Bank Governor's
statement is that it amounts to an admission of the inflationary effects of
the worthless money that he continues to print for the short-term benefit of
loss-making state-owned enterprises.

With respect to his support of the Zimbabwe National Water
Authority (ZINWA), he recently declared that "we will print money as a
quasi-fiscal operation to allow ZINWA and Harare City Council to deal with
their immediate local currency challenges". Clearly, the Governor is totally
oblivious of the hyperinflationary consequences of his actions, and yet he
claims to be fighting the country's number one enemy-inflation!

*Mfandaidza Hove is the Secretary for Economic Affairs for the
Movement for Democratic Change (Morgan Tsvangirai).

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Zim Standard Letters

Shamuyarira defence of 'genocide' provocative
NATHAN Shamuyarira is a provocative, tactless, reckless and
tribalistic person and he has always been so.

I'm responding to the interview Shamuyarira gave to The Standard
(01 October 2006 to 07 October 2006, headlined "Gukurahundi remarks spark
fresh uproar. No regrets on 5 Brigade: Shamuyarira") pertaining to the
atrocities they committed against the defenceless citizens of Matabeleland
and the Midlands.

Shamuyarira is quoted as having said: "It was because the
dissidents were killing people that Gukurahundi went to correct the
situation and protect the people." He further says: "We killed vana Gwesela
in my own province in Mashonaland West, in Sanyati. We killed him because he
played havoc. In Matabeleland, they killed Shona-speaking teachers; it's not
true that Ndebeles were the only victims. Europeans in Mat South fled their
farms and went to hide in the city."

This is a tired argument that has long lost the propaganda
relevance it may have held in the 1980s. Not even one sane Shona-speaking
person believes this nonsense. Now everybody knows what victims knew then:
that the Gukurahundi atrocities were an act of genocide and crimes against
humanity. The intention was genocide and genocide is what they committed.
The intention was ethnic cleansing in Matabeleland and the Midlands. The
world now knows.

Shamuyarira will very soon know that the world is no longer
fooled by racial and tribal propaganda. There will soon be an International
Tribunal for Zimbabwe and Shamuyarira and his criminal gang will be in the
dock. Such defences as Shamuyarira tries to advance have been tried before.
They have never worked. And they won't work.

The Nazis said they committed genocide to defend the Aryan race.
Slobadan Milosevic said he was defending Serbs. The Hutus said they were
defending themselves. Sudan says it is defending innocent civilians. Zanu PF
says it committed genocide and crimes against humanity to defend Europeans
and Shona-speaking people.

None of these defences has ever worked and none will ever work.
You may have had good intentions when you moved in militarily, but if you
later change to acts that constitute genocide and crimes against humanity,
you are guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

You may have gone to a shop to (lawfully) buy your groceries,
but if you are in the shop and you decide to steal, it is your latter
intention that has any relevance in a court of law. If a police officer,
well-intentioned in attempting to stop a crime of shoplifting being
committed by an old woman forms an intent to rape the woman as punishment,
only a moron will suggest that rape is not punishable.

As for Dumiso Dabengwa and his fellow shameless Zanu PF
mandarins, he is right in saying he cannot speak on behalf of the people of
Matabeleland and the Midlands on genocide or any other conceivable subject
on earth. Dabengwa and his colleagues don't represent us in government;
rather they represent President Mugabe in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

Cain Mathema, Thokozile Mathuthu, Cephas Msipa and Angeline
Masuku are no different from ancient colonial governors who represented
British interests in our country. I'm happy that Dabengwa is waking up to
the reality of his uselessness. He and others from Matabeleland who are in
Zanu PF are hostages; and they know it. Pretending is not going to solve
anything. I'm only disappointed that it has taking the former Zipra supremo
this long to wake up to reality.

Effie Mazilankatha-Ncube

Executive Director & CEO

Matebeleland Empowerment Services Association.

Envoy's defeatist remarks will not help Zimbabwe
IT is very common for twitchy diplomats to sing a
different tune when a new government in their respective countries is
appointed. We know Sweden has a new government, and a new foreign affairs
minister who may have a different stance on Zimbabwe to the one presented by
the previous regime's trusted representative to Zimbabwe.

That said, the basis of my argument is to challenge the
envoy to swallow his pride and start working. His previous remarks presented
him as an opportunist keen to take full credit for any reforms the Zanu PF
government would institute in the name of "bridge- building" with the West
and its people.

But diplomacy is much more complicated than just
piggy-backing on opportunistic remarks by a tired president.

Being a seasoned diplomat, the Swedish envoy should know
that this is where his job begins. Defeatist remarks can never be tolerated.
When President Robert Mugabe's head appears harder than the soft stance he
presented during the time the British diplomat presented his credentials, it
is when real diplomats should speak out, engage and move the difficult
situation backward. Not cowardly remarks about withdrawing and giving up.

Ambassador Sten Rylander must continue to seek a solution
to Zimbabwe's woes. If you cannot engage, then you will go nowhere. After
all, it gets more exciting when the challenge is insurmountable.

Pretty Maminza


This reasoning defies logic
I was one of the fortunate people who went through
the education system when our school standards were very high and our
teachers trained students to world-class standards.

However, having said that I don't have any amazing
academic qualifications or letters behind my name. It is frightening to
think that my logic and understanding of economic issues seems to be far
superior than that of our government and the governor of the Reserve Bank.

I have read with much interest in The Herald of many
reports - nay, indeed threats - against company executives who dare to
ignore the "price control crack-down" imposed by the government and the
central bank. It is amazing to see that other supposedly "learned" men such
as the national police spokesperson and the Minister of International Trade
are also condemning the increases being experienced because of the cost of
living, especially since the introduction of our new "monopoly" currency.

Could one of these educated people enlighten me? How
does one sell a commodity (say a litre of petrol) for $320 when they have
initially paid $650? The same applies to the bread problem that we
experienced recently and a million other things.

How are companies expected to cover running costs,
pay employees, purchase raw materials, sell at controlled prices and remain
in business?

Logic and mathematics tell me that no one can
continue in business if they sell their goods at half the price they paid
for them. Does the government intend to subsidise these companies?

Surely the government and the governor should be
able to work out that this practice does not make for good business sense.
Sooner, rather than later companies will go bankrupt.

Come on, the country's top economists. Let's look at
things logically and instead of throwing insults and threats around, let's
get together and find a solution.

R Martin


Mhlauri let the nation down
THE recent downfall of the Warriors at Kamuzu
Stadium in Malawi left all the supporters of the national soccer team,

My question is: Can we still trust Charles
Mhlauri, the national team coach? Supporters are baying for his blood, which
is an indication that Mhlauri's marriage with the Warriors has hit a brick

How can a coach of Mhlauri's calibre bring
home poor results, especially given the fact that he was recently in Germany
on a refresher course? The supporters expected nothing but victory. He let
Zimbabweans down.

Under the mentorship of Sunday "Mhofu"
Chidzambwa the Warriors played against Algeria, Cameroon and Egypt in
Tunisia two years ago. While they fell to Cameroon and Egypt, they trashed
Algeria, through goals from Joel Luphahla and Adam Ndlovu.

However, under the guidance of Mhlauri, the
boys played against Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana in a group of death. They
fell to the Eagles and the Lions of Teranga but outplayed the Black Stars of

This shows that Chidzambwa was better than
Mhlauri because under him the Warriors were able to score six goals but
under Mhlauri they only managed two goals.

If we continue under Mhlauri's leadership we
will never make it to Ghana for the continental showcase. I believe Rahman
Gumbo and Moses Chunga can do a better job for us in Ghana in 2008.

Warriors' fan




Who changed street name?

I had always known that as Chair of the Commission
running Harare, Sekesai Makwavarara, carried some clout. But I was not aware
the powers she wielded extended to changing names of streets without due

We have relatives in the Harare suburb of
Marlborough. They live in Colleen Crescent. But not anymore if Makwavarara
and her merry-making band have their way!

On a recent visit to our relatives I discovered that
the street has been renamed Collen Crescent!

Such arbitrary action or incompetence characterises
the level of chaos at Town House and yet it is on this kind of performance
that one minister believes the commissioners are doing well. Doing what
well? Is there something we don't know? No wonder people continue to spurn
Zanu PF.

Dumisani Mpofu



  No diplomacy to talk about

  A letter in your 1 to 7 October 2006 issue
by Godwell Manyangadze headlined "Opposition must consolidate now or
disintegrate" cannot go unchallenged!

  For Manyangadze to allege that Professor
Arthur Mutambara is now defending the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) is a dangerous allegation and gross injustice, thought up by people
with sinister motives such as the CIO itself.

  For the record, Professor Arthur Mutambara
has never and will never support and let alone defend the CIO. But, that's
not to say he will either just keep quiet when someone is deliberately keen
to present himself as squeaky clean to the world and wants to hide behind
the name CIO for his well-known and well-documented acts of violence.

  It is indisputable that those who attacked
Trudy Stevenson belong to Morgan Tsvangirai's camp. If ever they are CIOs,
as alleged by Tsvangirai, then, they are CIOs born and bred by him.

  That a more diplomatic way should have been
chosen for cleansing both sides is a question that will continue to
challenge us. But there is absolutely no diplomacy to talk about here: let
the truth, no matter how painful, be said.

  As for seeking help from outside which the
writer suggested Tsvangirai should do - he has always been seeking help from

  Lovemore Machengedzera

  Glen Norah


  Some musicians are authors of their own
  THE fate of showbiz personalities in
Zimbabwe has, since independence, been a sad one, with a good number of them
seemingly able to defy gravity. But their staying power was only interrupted
when fate decided to intervene. They died veritable paupers. Tales abound of
one-time hit machines dying as paupers not only in the rich countries but
here in Zimbabwe.

  This is recalled after a call during last
week's meeting, for musicians to have some arrangement that will see them
come to each other's rescue when the hard times befall their kind. While
this is not the first time such a call has been made, one still has to ask
why some musicians have seemingly made it without the "beneficence" of their

  While unions of any sort are laudable, it
still has to be asked who is responsible for the welfare of showbiz
artistes? Would it be fair to appeal to a musician who has struggled to
build a small empire to meet the expenses of the funeral of a hard-living
urban grooves artist all in the name of "solidarity" and industry empathy?

  I believe these are important questions
because they are pertinent in the Zimbabwean society whereby folks expect to
have it easy through the sweat of others.

  There are a number of musicians who have
made a difference in their lives and surely they cannot be held to ransom so
that when the bowl is passed around they are expected to give generously.
The question is: who is responsible for an adult's behaviour?

  There has always been the issue of artistes
not earning enough from their royalties despite their popularity. Yet one
still gets the impression some are not so worse off because they have made
the transition from the ghetto to low-density suburbs.

  While one would choose to invest and build a
nest for their children, others however elect to wait for galas and then
blow the largesse. When misfortune strikes, it finds them in deep slumber
and then the bowl is passed around for alms.

  Marko Phiri



  SA is going the same route as Zimbabwe
  LISTENING to the British Broadcasting
Corporation broadcast the other day; I was astounded by what Archbishop
Desmond Tutu said about South Africa. One would be forgiven for thinking
that Tutu was talking about Zimbabwe.

  The events in South Africa, according to
Tutu are chillingly similar to events in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe went to war in
order to right a historic wrong. The citizens of the country supported the
war wholeheartedly in the belief that life was going to improve. The
morality of the war was never questioned because the colonial rulers were
ruthless - they raped our children, they beat up our parents, they destroyed
our homes, they brooked no opposition from any quarter and their hallmark
was murder and mayhem. For this, Zimbabweans had no choice but to wage war
against the colonialists.

  Zimbabwe has gone full circle to yesteryear.
Values of human life have been discarded into the dustbin of history. For
the past six years or so, human life has become worthless. Our leaders have
become so self-centred and callous. Inflicting pain or killing an opponent
has now become a game to be enjoyed by the perpetrators. Raping of women and
minors is now the norm throughout the country.

  Zimbabweans have lost their respect for the
laws of the country because they see the laws being flouted by those in
authority. Political opponents are being burnt alive and their homes
vandalised yet the perpetrators are not apprehended and brought before the

  Property is no longer safe or protected by
law, human rights are ignored and the most powerful man in the country, the
President, openly encourages violence against Zimbabweans while his
supporters ululate and cheer him on. What is happening to Zimbabwe? Have we
now become so barbaric and bloodthirsty as to cheer the President when he
tells the police to attack us when we protest? What type of Zimbabwe is the
President going to leave us, including his own family, when he preaches
mayhem and murder in the country?

  People used to say that age mellows
grown-ups - alas, I cannot say this for our President, who seems to have
become more cruel than ever. He respects no one in the country, let alone
the world. Is it a surprise then when Zimbabweans have become so immoral?
Our leaders have completely forgotten what they fought for. They have
transformed themselves into the old colonial masters. Reminds one of George
Orwell's Animal Farm.

  South Africans no longer have any respect
for life, the law and humanity, according to Tutu. The people of that
country have become frighteningly materialistic and greedy. What South
Africans have become, sadly, fits Zimbabweans. South Africa could be going
down the same route as Zimbabwe. The mere thought of this is very
frightening. People of goodwill like Tutu should be courageous enough to
stand up and fight tyranny in South Africa.

  The poverty which has gripped Zimbabwe is
mainly on ethnic grounds because the majority of the impoverished people are
the ones who were deprived of their livelihood on the nationalised
commercial farms.

   The ululating ethnic group is better off
because they can pick up crumbs from the leaders' sumptuous table. This is a
recipe for a national disaster.

  Prophetic Tutu


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