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Zimbabwe security agencies warn of violent Mugabe ouster

Zim Online

Thu 20 October 2005

      HARARE - State security agencies fear President Robert Mugabe's
government could be overthrown in a popular uprising, warning that worsening
economic hardships were fast eroding the patience of long suffering
Zimbabweans, according to confidential internal police communication shown
to ZimOnline.

      In a bid to forestall possible mass uprising, the Joint Operations
Command (JOC), comprising the police, the spy Central Intelligence
Organisation and the army, has drawn up a list of 55 political and civic
leaders it says are the "most dangerous individuals" who must be kept under
surveillance to ensure they do not mobilise Zimbabweans to rise up.

      Main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader
Morgan Tsvangirai tops the list that also includes Mugabe's former chief
propagandist and now independent parliamentarian, Jonathan Moyo.

      In a 20-page internal report to deputy police commissioner responsible
for operations Godwin Matanga, a police representative on the JOC, Edmore
Veterai, wrote:

      "We must not fool ourselves by believing that the situation is normal
on the ground because we risk being caught unawares. People have grown
impatient with the government, which they accuse of causing their problems
and doing nothing to alleviate them and they will do anything to remove it
from power.

      "The shortage of fuel and basic commodities and the recent Operation
Murambatsvina (home demolition campaign) has seen hostility grow and people
turning to the opposition, which they see as their Messiah.

      "They will not hesitate to join any demonstrations called for by the
opposition and the NCA (National Constitutional Assembly) in their so-called
push for change."

      Veterai is a senior assistant police commissioner and is in charge of
police in Harare province. His report dated 30 September, 2005 was also
copied to Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi.

      Mohadi this week said he was not aware of the internal report, adding
that in any case police officers do not copy reports to him because
procedure required that all matters pertaining to law enforcement be
communicated to his office through Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri.

      He said: "I do not communicate with junior officers so I am not aware
of such communication. I communicate with the Police Commissioner."

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena refused to discuss the issue saying
he could not discuss such confidential information over the phone. But
Bvudzijena said the cancellation of leave and retraining of anti-riot police
officers referred to in Veterai's report was only meant to prepare police
officers ahead of next month's senate election.

      "I cannot disclose confidential information to you over the phone,
come to my office. The cancellation of leave and retraining is meant to
ready our members for the forthcoming senate elections. That is all I can
tell you," Bvudzijena said.

      ZimOnline reporters were unable to visit Bvudzijena's office for fear
they might be arrested once the story was published.

      Under the government's draconian Public Order and Security Act and the
Official Secrets Act, it is an offence to publish confidential state
security information.

      Veterai's report calls for regular raids and searches on the homes of
leaders of opposition parties as well as their offices to seize information
about their programmes of action and whatever subversive information they
might be keeping.

      It also says Tsvangirai's walks to work to show solidarity with
thousands of workers forced to foot long journeys to work because there is
no fuel should be monitored in case the opposition leader uses the walks to
mobilise people to his cause to unseat the government.

      The report reads: "The so-called solidarity walks that were recently
started by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC must also not be taken for
granted as during those walks he will be preaching his gospel of change and
mobilising the people to overthrow the government. We must take action now
and make sure that not many of them are mobilised."

      Besides Tsvangirai and Moyo, others on the security agencies' list of
dangerous people are: MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda, secretary general
Welshman Ncube and the party's legislators, Job Sikhala, David Coltart, and
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

      NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku is also on the list so is Catholic
Archbishop Pius Ncube, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Lovemore
Matombo, Zimbabwe Progressive Teachers Union secretary general Raymond
Majongwe and Felix Mafa, of the Post Independence Survivors Trust.

      According to intelligence sources, those on the list considered most
influential will be monitored by the CIO around the clock while the rest
will be kept under close watch by the police.

      "The most influential of these individuals will be put under strict
surveillance by members of the CIO," said an intelligence officer, who
cannot be named.

      He added: "The rest will be monitored by the police who should always
gather information on what the listed individuals are doing, where and when.
The list has been given to respective provinces where the individuals
concerned live."

      This is not the first time that state security agents have put
citizens under surveillance after suspecting them of plotting against the

      Hundreds of opposition politicians, civic leaders including
journalists have been targeted before for harassment by Mugabe's government
that despite being firmly in charge also appears increasingly insecure as a
severe economic crisis fuels public discontent. - ZimOnline

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MDC leaders fail to meet amid widening cracks

Zim Online

Thu 20 October 2005

      HARARE - Top leaders of Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party who were supposed to meet yesterday to resolve
bickering in the party failed to meet amid increasing signs the party may be
headed for a split.

      The six-year old MDC is sharply divided over whether to contest next
month's senate election, with leader Morgan Tsvangirai insisting that the
party should boycott the poll, while the party's national council, many of
whose members hope to win seats in the Senate, is in favour of running in
the election.

      MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi told ZimOnline the meeting of the top
six leaders of the party that had been announced earlier in the day by party
vice-president Gibson Sibanda failed to take place. He did not give reasons
why the meeting could not take place although insiders said it was because
some of the leaders were not in town.

      Apart from Tsvangirai and Sibanda, the other members of the top six
are secretary general Welshman Ncube, his deputy Gift Chimanikire, treasurer
Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and national chairman Isaac Matongo.

      However in a sign of deepening divisions in the six-year old party
Sibanda, in a statement that according to Nyathi was issued after leaders
failed to meet, castigated Tsvangirai accusing him of having "willfully
violated the Constitution of the MDC and breached its provisions."

      Sibanda, who also accused Tsvangirai of uttering threats to party
members opposed to his position on the senate poll, said the MDC leader had
allegedly violated the party's constitution by misrepresenting the outcome
of a national council meeting last week.

      Tsvangirai told journalists after the council meeting that councillors
had remained deadlocked 50:50 and that he had to use his casting vote in
favour of boycotting the November 26 election,  a position contradicted by
Nyathi in a statement claiming the council had voted 33:31 in favour of
contesting the poll.

      Sibanda also said Tsvangirai breached the party constitution when he
wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission informing it that the MDC had
resolved not to participate in the senate election.

      It was not possible last night to establish from Sibanda whether he
was proposing any action against his party leader as his phone was not being

      Tsvangirai would not comment directly on the statement telling
ZimOnline to find from Sibanda "what he hopes to achieve by the statement."

      But the opposition leader was confident the party would not collapse
because of the bitter wrangling.

      He said: "The party is not going to collapse. Yes we are facing a
turbulence but the plane has not crashed, we will remain afloat as long as
we have the support of the people who are after all, the owners of the

      The divisions over the senate poll rocking the MDC have brought to the
fore deep rooted differences in the party over what strategy to use to
unseat President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

      Analysts have warned that the divisions could see the break-up of the
six-year old party that was launched in 1999 to become the biggest threat
yet to Mugabe and ZANU PF's 25-year hold on power.

      Tsvangirai - a fiery trade unionist during his stint at the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions - has vehemently opposed the senate election saying
it will be rigged by ZANU PF and that in any event, the proposed senate
would be of no value in a country that should be better directing meagre
resources to fighting starvation threatening a quarter of its 12 million

      He is backed in his position by the party's key youth and women's
wings. But several other top leaders of the MDC say the party should not
surrender political space to Mugabe and ZANU PF by boycotting the senate

      The other faction of the MDC pushing for the opposition party to
contest the election is said to be led by secretary general Welshman Ncube
and includes executives of at least six of the party's 12 provinces. Both
Tsvangirai and Ncube however deny their party is riven by factionalism. -

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Thousands of clean-up victims may fail to vote in senate election

Zim Online

Thu 20 October 2005

      HARARE - Several tens of thousands of people may fail to vote in next
month's senate election after being displaced from their constituencies
during the government's controversial urban slum clearing campaign that the
United Nations says affected at least 700 000 people.

      The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has
previously said the clean-up blitz was solely meant to disperse voters from
its urban strongholds.

      Under the Electoral Act, voters can only vote in the constituency
under which they were registered. With voter registration for the polls
having closed on October 14 and the inspection of the voters' roll ending on
October 23, observers say thousands of internally displaced people may fail
to vote.

      Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) spokesman Etoile Silaigwana
yesterday said displaced voters would be required to complete transfer forms
at inspection centres as required by the Electoral Act.

      The ZEC is responsible for running elections.

      They will need documents like a certificate of occupation, a lodger's
card issued before 17 October, written statement from the landlord
confirming residential address together with electricity or rates bills in
the name of the landlord, if they are to vote.

      Voters could also seek a sworn statement by the employer, confirming
residential address or hospital bills or envelopes with post markings
reflecting the voter's address in order to re-register.

      Silaigwana however denied that the stiff requirements were meant to
exclude opposition voters, adding that the ZEC had done everything to ensure
that any who wanted to vote will be able to vote.

      "I don't see how that can exclude anyone. No one is going to be
disadvantaged in any way," Silaigwana told ZimOnline.

      "These elections are constituency-based and for you to be able to
register you must have those documents but you can speak to the Registrar
General (Tobaiwa Mudede) on details of the actual requirements."

      Mudede could not be reached for comment on the matter last night.

      But the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a local
pro-democracy non-governmental organisation, said the voters' roll to be
used in the poll was in shambles after the mass movement of people during
the urban clean-up campaign.

      ZESN director Reginald Matchaba-Hove said: "There is no voters' roll
of integrity following the displacement of so many voters. There was no
proper delimitation of boundaries and we don't even know how they decided on
the constituency boundaries."

      State media reported two weeks ago that the urban clean-up blitz was
masterminded by the government's spy Central Intelligence Organisation to
forestall opposition protests against results in the March 31 parliamentary
election, which the MDC maintains were rigged by ZANU PF.

      Displaced voters who opted to return to their rural areas need letters
from village headmen, who the opposition accuses of being used by ZANU PF to
intimidate villagers to vote for the ruling party. - ZimOnline

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Soaring health costs push Zimbabweans to consult traditional healers

Zim Online

Thu 20 October 2005

      NYANGA - Nine in every 10 Zimbabweans cannot afford the cost of
healthcare and more people are turning to traditional medicine to avoid high
prices charged in the formal health system, ZimOnline learnt this week.

      According to the Association of Medical Aid Societies (NAMAS), just
over a million lives or less than 10 percent of the country's 12 million
people are covered by health insurance.

      The association blamed the country's economic crisis for the dwindling
pool of lives insurable by health insurance. Medical aid cover is usually a
benefit of employment.

      "It, therefore, follows that as employees lose employment due to
retrenchments brought about by the prevailing economic challenges that have
reduced the production capacities of many companies, they automatically
deregister from medical aid and become a burden on the public health
delivery system," said NAMAS chairperson Florence Kazhanje.

      This is expected to affect the standard of Zimbabwe's public health
sector, already struggling to survive due to sustained cuts in budgetary
allocations. It is also expected to worsen the living standards of
Zimbabweans, 60 percent of whom are not expected to live beyond 40 years,
according to a recent United Nations report.

      Consultant economist John Robertson said the number of jobs in
Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector - the main source of members for medical aid
societies -has declined by 24 percent in the past seven years from more than
210 000 in 1998 to just above 150 000 last year.

      "This reflects the fact that the manufacturing sector has not been
performing over the past few years, which has led to cuts in employment,"
said Robertson.

      Manufacturing output has declined by more than 46 percent between 1997
and 2004, according to figures from the government's Central Statistical

      A recent study by the Community Working Group on Health showed that an
average family now required at least Z$2 million a month to meet the cost of
healthcare. But the average Zimbabwean worker earns a net salary of about $3
million or less per month.

      Doctors' consultation and hospital fees have increased by more than
400 percent since January 2005.

      Health insurers have resorted to quarterly increases in member
contributions in order to keep pace with galloping inflation now pegged at
359.8 percent.

      A visit to the doctor now costs between $480 000 and $2 million,
depending on whether one is seeing a general practitioner or a specialist.

      Tonderai Mukeredzi of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe warned that the
high consultation fees made it difficult for most ordinary Zimbabweans to
seek medical attention from conventional medical facilities, forcing them to
turn to traditional healers.

      Giving an example of how health has become inaccessible to the
majority of Zimbabweans, Mukeredzi said new doctor's consultation or
hospital admission fees announced a few weeks ago were the same or more than
the average wage of a domestic worker, which is $1.2 million.

      "As a result of these challenges, the proportion of deaths occurring
at home continues to increase as patients fail to cope with the cost of
hospital care," said Mukeredzi.

      He cited a recent Harare City Council report which put the proportion
of people dying at home at about 42 percent.

      "Many patients are shunning health services while it has become the
norm for relatives to transfer their sick patients to the rural areas until
they die to avoid costs," explained Mukeredzi.

      According to the CSO, hospital admissions have progressively declined
from an average of 14 000 patients a day in 1999 to just above 4 000
patients daily.

      The plight of Zimbabwe's sick is aggravated by the unavailability and
high cost of drugs.  Most essential drugs such as anti-retrovirals (ARVs)
are not available due to shortages of foreign currency.

      Food shortages gripping Zimbabwe have also worsened the situation with
malnutrition diseases on the rise in the country.

      Commercialised former government drug stores, NatPharm, said its drug
stocks average 50 percent of monthly requirements at any given time. -

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Crisis meeting at Tsvangirai home staves off MDC split

Business Day

Posted to the web on: 20 October 2005

Dumisani Muleya


Harare Correspondent

AN EMERGENCY meeting between Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and his deputy Gibson Sibanda prevented the announcement of an
official split of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at a press
conference by party "rebels" yesterday.

The eleventh-hour crisis meeting, held at the MDC leader's Strathaven home
in Harare, could alter the party's course and perhaps that of local
electoral politics in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai and Sibanda met as the MDC faction led by secretary-general
Welshman Ncube assembled journalists and diplomats at a local hotel to
announce the dismantling of the MDC and a revolt against Tsvangirai.

After the meeting in Strahaven, Sibanda said Tsvangirai had agreed the party's
top six office-holders should meet in the afternoon to resolve the crisis.

However, the meeting failed to take place because party chairman Isaac
Matongo and deputy secretary-general Gift Chimanikire were unable to attend.

After that, events took a dramatic turn, with Sibanda, who was apparently
acting as mediator, lashing out at Tsvangirai.

In a scathing attack on the party president, he said Tsvangirai had for some
time been willfully violating the party constitution, and the current crisis
was a "culmination of sad events since the beginning of the year".

Sibanda said Tsvangirai had violated the party's constitution by
misrepresenting and overriding the national council's decision to
participate in next month's senate election.

He said Tsvangirai had "grossly misrepresented" last week's clear 33 to 31
council vote to participate by claiming there was a deadlock and that he had
cast a decisive ballot to boycott the poll. There were two spoilt votes.

At the time, Tsvangirai accused members of buying votes.

He also alleged the issue was deteriorating into an "ugly ethnic contest",
contrary to the "MDC philosophy".

Sibanda said yesterday there was no "deadlock", and that in any case even if
there were, the constitution had no provision for an executive vote.

By writing to the electoral commission to ban MDC candidates from the
election shortly after the vote, and embarking on a "national crusade"
against the poll, Sibanda said, Tsvangirai also deliberately violated the
MDC constitution.

"By his actions, the president has willfully violated the MDC constitution
and breached its provisions," Sibanda said.

He said Tsvangirai's conduct was "contrary to the party's principle of open,
transparent, and democratic decision-making".

Sibanda also cited as evidence of the MDC leader's intransigence his
leniency towards a gang of MDC youths, including Tsvangirai's bodyguards,
Washington Gaga and Nhamo Musekiwa, who were banned from the party for
attacking senior party members.

Sources said Tsvangirai was poised for a launch counter attack today in
which he could announce a purported expulsion of the "rebels" backing Ncube.

Sources said Tsvangirai could also haul the "rebels" before the party's
disciplinary committee, but the problem was that it was chaired by Sibanda.

A senior MDC official said: "The situation is deteriorating. It looks like
we are now determined to go down fighting ourselves."

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RSF - worldwide press freedom index 2005

Reporters without Borders
From: RSF Afrique / RSF Africa
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:11 PM
Subject: : North Korea, Eritrea and Turkmenistan are the world's "black holes" for news

The 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index and all press releases about it are embargoed until :
06:01 Paris time (04:01 GMT) on Thursday, 20 October 2005 !!!


North Korea, Eritrea and Turkmenistan are the world's "black holes" for news

More and more African countries move up the list

North Korea once again comes bottom of the Reporters Without Borders fourth annual World Press Freedom Index, released today. It is closely followed in the 167-country list by Eritrea (166th) and Turkmenistan (165th), which are other "black holes" for news where the privately-owned media is not allowed and freedom of expression does not exist.

Journalists there simply relay government propaganda. Anyone out of step is harshly dealt with. A word too many, a commentary that deviates from the official line or a wrongly-spelled name and the author may be thrown in prison or draw the wrath of those in power. Harassment, psychological pressure, intimidation and round-the-clock surveillance are routine.

East Asia (Burma 163rd, China 159th, Vietnam 158th, Laos 155th), Central Asia (Turkmenistan 165th, Uzbekistan 155th, Afghanistan 125th, Kazakhstan 119th) and the Middle East (Iran 164th, Iraq 157th, Saudi Arabia 154th, Syria 145th) are where journalists have the toughest time and where government repression or armed groups prevent the media operating freely.

The situation in Iraq (157th) deteriorated further during the year as the safety of journalists became more precarious. At least 24 journalists and media assistants have been killed so far this year, making it the mostly deadly conflict for the media since World War II. A total of 72 media workers have been killed since the fighting began in March 2003.

But more and more African and Latin American countries (Benin 25th, Namibia 25th, El Salvador 28th, Cape Verde 29th, Mauritius 34th, Mali 37th, Costa Rica 41st and Bolivia 45th) are getting very good rankings.

Western democracies slip back

Some Western democracies slipped down the Index. The United States (44th) fell more than 20 places, mainly because of the imprisonment of New York Times reporter Judith Miller and legal moves undermining the privacy of journalistic sources. Canada (21st) also dropped several places due to decisions that weakened the privacy of sources and sometimes turned journalists into "court auxiliaries." France (30th) also slipped, largely because of searches of media offices, interrogations of journalists and introduction of new press offences.

At the top of the Index once again are northern European countries Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands, where robust press freedom is firmly established. The top 10 countries are all European. New Zealand (12th), Trinidad and Tobago (12th), Benin (25th) and South Korea (34th) are the highest-ranked countries in other continents.

Press freedom, economic development and independence

Countries that have recently won their independence or have recovered it are very observant of press freedom and give the lie to the insistence of many authoritarian leaders that democracy takes decades to establish itself. Nine states that have had independence (or recovered it within the past 15 years) are among the top 60 countries - Slovenia (9th), Estonia (11th), Latvia (16th), Lithuania (21st), Namibia (25th), Bosnia-Herzegovina (33rd), Macedonia (43rd), Croatia (56th) and East Timor (58th).

The Index also contradicts the frequent argument by leaders of poor and repressive countries that economic development is a vital precondition for democracy and respect for human rights. The top of the Index is heavily dominated by rich countries, but several very poor ones (with a per capita GDP of less than $1,000 in 2003) are among the top 60, such as Benin (25th), Mali (37th), Bolivia (45th), Mozambique (49th), Mongolia (53rd), Niger (57th) and East Timor (58th).

Two reasons for improvement

More African countries are moving up into the top half of the index each year thanks to their progress in the fight against impunity and the abolition of prison terms for press offences such as libel and slander and the printing of inaccurate news.

While those that usually respect press freedom - Cape Verde (29th), South Africa (31st), Mauritius (34th) and Mali (37th) - kept their positions in 2005, Mozambique jumped from 64th to 49th place. Heavy sentences passed on the killers of Mozambican journalist Carlos Cardoso helped to calm a situation which was difficult in the late 1990s. Decriminalisation of press offences in the Central African Republic lifted the country from 104th to 82nd place and Angola (76th) also improved its ranking further due to legal reforms as it emerged from a long civil war.

Continued failure to punish the murderers of Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso (78th) and unfulfilled promises of decriminalisation by President Abdoulaye Wade in Senegal (79th) prevented these countries from moving up, though the situation was worse in Cameroon (83rd), where journalists are still routinely thrown in prison. Internationally-observed elections allowed Guinea-Bissau (71st) and Liberia (83rd) to move up slightly.

Continuing violence

Unjust laws and repressive governments held back some countries where there is genuine news diversity, such as Madagascar (97th), Guinea (102nd), Kenya (109th), Chad (109th), Mauritania (127th) and Ethiopia (131st).

Press freedom sharply deteriorated in some countries. Gambia, with general mistrust between media and government in recent years, dropped to 130th place because of the unpunished murder of journalist Deyda Hydara and the increasingly hostile attitude to the media by President Yahya Jammeh. In Sierra Leone (126th), political and police violence against journalists worsened an already bad situation with the murder of Harry Yansaneh, who replaced the jailed Paul Kamara as editor of the daily paper For Di People.

Despite efforts by journalists to defend themselves in Somalia (149th), the country is still one the continent's most dangerous places for the media and has not managed to emerge from general disorder. Two women journalists, the BBC's Kate Peyton and Duniya Muhiyadin Nur, of the radio station HornAfrik, were killed during the year in Mogadishu.

Pervasive violence and repression, backed by often absurd laws, prevented any improvement in the ranking of the Democratic Republic of Congo (146th). Zimbabwe (153rd) meanwhile continued downward, with one of the continent's most ruthless regimes facing a courageous but poorly-equipped independent press. In Eritrea, which at (166th) is bottom-but-one of the world ranking, press freedom has not existed since 18 September 2001, when the privately-owned media was abolished.

Reporters Without Borders compiled this Index of 167 countries by asking its partner organizations (14 freedom of expression groups from around the world) and its network of 130 correspondents, as well as journalists, researchers, legal experts and human rights activists, to answer 50 questions designed to assess a country's level of press freedom. Some countries are not mentioned for lack of information about them.

Reporters Without Borders
World press freedom ranking 2005
      Country Note
1   Denmark 0,50
-   Finland 0,50
-   Iceland 0,50
-   Ireland 0,50
-   Netherlands     0,50
-   Norway  0,50
-   Switzerland     0,50
8   Slovakia        0,75
9   Czech Republic  1,00
-   Slovenia        1,00
11  Estonia 1,50
12  Hungary 2,00
-   New Zealand     2,00
-   Sweden  2,00
-   Trinidad and Tobago     2,00
16  Austria 2,50
-   Latvia  2,50
18  Belgium 4,00
-   Germany 4,00
-   Greece  4,00
21  Canada  4,50
-   Lithuania       4,50
23  Portugal        4,83
24  United Kingdom  5,17
25  Benin   5,50
-   Cyprus  5,50
-   Namibia 5,50
28  El Salvador     5,75
29  Cape Verde      6,00
30  France  6,25
31  Australia       6,50
-   South Africa    6,50
33  Bosnia and Herzegovina  7,00
34  Jamaica 7,50
-   Mauritius       7,50
-   South Korea     7,50
37  Japan   8,00
-   Mali    8,00
39  Hong-Kong       8,25
40  Spain   8,33
41  Costa Rica      8,50
42  Italy   8,67
43  Macedonia       8,75
44  United States of America (American territory)   9,50
45  Bolivia 9,67
46  Uruguay 9,75
47  Israel  10,00
48 Bulgaria        10,25
49 Mozambique      10,50
50 Chile   11,75
51 Dominican Republic      12,25
-  Taiwan  12,25
53 Cyprus (North)  12,50
-  Mongolia        12,50
-  Poland  12,50
56 Croatia 12,83
57 Niger   13,00
58 Timor-Leste     13,50
59      Argentina       13,67
60 Botswana        14,00
-  Fiji    14,00
62 Albania 14,17
63 Brazil  14,50
-  Tonga   14,50
65 Serbia and Montenegro   14,83
66 Ghana   15,00
-  Panama  15,00
68 Nicaragua       15,25
69 Paraguay        15,50
70 Romania 16,17
71 Congo   17,00
-  Guinea-Bissau   17,00
-  Seychelles      17,00
74 Moldova 17,50
-  Tanzania        17,50
76 Angola  18,00
-  Honduras        18,00
78 Burkina Faso    19,00
-  Senegal 19,00
80 Uganda  19,25
81 Lesotho 19,50
82 Central African Republic        19,75
83 Cameroon        20,50
-  Liberia 20,50
85 Kuwait  21,25
86 Guatemala       21,50
87 Ecuador 21,75
88 Comoros 22,00
89 Malawi  22,75
90 Burundi 23,00
-  Cambodia        23,00
-  Qatar   23,00
-  Venezuela       23,00
-  Zambia  23,00
95 Togo    23,75
96 Jordan  24,00
97 Madagascar      24,50
98 Turkey  25,00
99 Georgia 25,17
100        Kosovo  25,75
-  United Arab Emirates    25,75
102        Armenia 26,00
-  Gabon   26,00
-  Guinea  26,00
-  Indonesia       26,00
106        India   27,00
107        Thailand        28,00
108        Lebanon 28,25
109        Chad    30,00
-  Kenya   30,00
111        Kyrgyzstan      32,00
112        Ukraine 32,50
113        Malaysia        33,00
-  Tajikistan      33,00
115        Sri Lanka       33,25
116        Peru    33,33
117        Haiti   33,50
118        Swaziland       35,00
119        Kazakhstan      36,17
-  Morocco 36,17
121        Djibouti        37,00
122        Rwanda  38,00
123        Bahrein 38,75
-  Nigeria 38,75
125        Afghanistan     39,17
126        Sierra Leone    39,50
127        Mauritania      40,00
128        Colombia        40,17
129        Algeria 40,33
130        Gambia  41,00
131        Ethiopia        42,00
132        Palestinian Authority   42,50
133        Equatorial Guinea       44,00
-  Sudan   44,00
135        Mexico  45,50
136        Yemen   46,25
137        United States of America (in Iraq)      48,50
138        Russia  48,67
139        Philippines     50,00
140        Singapore       50,67
141        Azerbaijan      51,00
142        Bhutan  51,50
143        Egypt   52,00
144        Côte d'Ivoire   52,25
145        Syria   55,00
146        Democratic Republic of Congo    57,33
147        Tunisia 57,50
148        Maldives        58,50
149        Somalia 59,00
150        Pakistan        60,75
151        Bangladesh      61,25
152        Belarus 61,33
153        Zimbabwe        64,25
154        Saudi Arabia    66,00
155        Laos    66,50
-  Uzbekistan      66,50
157        Iraq    67,00
158        Vietnam 73,25
159        China   83,00
160        Nepal   86,75
161        Cuba    87,00
162        Libya   88,75
163        Burma   88,83
164        Iran    89,17
165        Turkmenistan    93,50
166        Eritrea 99,75
167        North Korea     109,00

Bureau Afrique / Africa desk
Reporters sans frontières / Reporters Without Borders
5, rue Geoffroy-Marie
75009 Paris, France
Tel : (33) 1 44 83 84 84
Fax : (33) 1 45 23 11 51
Email : /
Web :

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Tsvangirai fell for Zanu PF bait

New Zimbabwe

By Bekithemba Mhlanga
Last updated: 10/20/2005 13:24:10
IF NOT now then when?

This is a question that many would have asked about matters coming to a head
within the Movement for Democratic Change. Watching events in Zimbabwe over
the last twelve months one would have mused on how long Morgan Tsvangirai
was going to resist the bait from Zanu PF - if you say you are in charge
then prove it.

Jesus resisted such taunts in the Bible many times - if he indeed was the
son of God why did he not ask his father for all sorts of favours - but he
resisted because all these issues when not the pressing items on his agenda.

Tsvangirai is only human and can never be compared with Jesus by any
reasonably measure.

What he must be ruing though now was his tactless and unwise decision to
seek a referendum of his moral worthiness through the senate elections - to
run or not to run.

Tsvangirai is paying the consequences of his indecisiveness and lack of a
firm hold over the party and inability to take strategic decisions when
asked to do so.

Jonathan Moyo is probably telling anyone willing to listen that he made his
point about the leader of the MDC a long, long time ago. The man is not fit
to lead the party let alone to be the President of Zimbabwe!

The MDC should not even be in the position that it finds itself in today.
But the confused signals from them over the last few years about elections
have brought their problems squarely on their dinner table.

Despite protests that the MDC is clear that Zanu PF must be challenged
through democratic processes of which an election is one of them, the MDC
has continued to cry foul about the circumstances and environment in which
the elections take part.

The party protests that the senate elections are a Mugabe gimmick to sort
out pension benefits for his cronies. The party then votes vehemently
against the constitutional amendment that makes this possible, but still has
an argument about whether to participate in the elections or not!

Unfortunately this does not show democracy in the party as both sides in MDC
will argue but shows crass stupidity and downright confusion.

For Tsvangirai to even go down the route of suggesting that votes have been
bought and sold, that ethnic factors are being brought to play a part in
this is unfortunate.

Welshman Ncube should also not be afraid to state his Presidential ambitions
if he has any. There is nothing wrong with a Ndebele person leading the
party after all the whispers that "MDC iparty yeMandewere" have been hade
for a long time.

After all if you are going to be punished for stealing a lamb you might as
well be punished for stealing a goat.

If not now then when?

Bekithemba Mhlanga is a Zimbabwean journalist living in Surrey, England. He
can be contacted at:

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Tsvangirai and Mugabe: a larvae and butterfly scenario

New Zimbabwe

By Elliot Pfebve
Last updated: 10/20/2005 13:22:16
THE question on the Movement for Democratic Change's participation in the
Senate elections is fraught with political risks. The debate currently
raging among MDC leaders needs a sober analysis with constructive criticism
to yield an ever lasting solution to a country in limbo.

Is the President of the MDC right to take a decree over the Senate issue? Is
the National Council the supreme body of the MDC decision process? What
lessons can be learned from this confusion?

Although personally I am in favour of not only a boycott of the Senate but a
complete boycott of anything Zanu PF including the Lower House, neither
Morgan Tsvangirai nor Welshman Ncube wield any power to solely decide the
fate of the MDC. How then do we justify continuing sitting in the same
parliament that passed the controversial Senate?

The National Council is the supreme decision making body and its mandate is
to make decisions on a democratic vote process to achieve a consensus.
Although the National Executive can convene and make urgent decisions in the
absence of the National Council, such a decision must be ratified by the
National Council which has the power to over rule the earlier decision of
the leadership.

Constitutionally, even if the "Top Six" would have made a decision over the
Senate issue, this would still need to have been ratified by the National
Council which is drawn from all 10 provinces of the country. The MDC is a
democratic party and as such, political checks and balances are necessary to
avoid a Zanu PF look-alike monster.

The party has survived up to this day not because of the charismatic top
leadership alone but mainly because of its liberal and democratic
constitution. The constitution has been the pillar through which political
cohesion has succeeded where very few political parties have survived before
it. When we talk of the rule of law, we talk of the respect of a democratic
constitutional process. As the old saying goes, democracy favours fools, the
decision of the National Council no matter how unpalatable, must be adhered
to, otherwise we risk making ourselves worse dictators than the monster we
purport to eradicate. Neither Tsvangirai nor Ncube have the powers to veto a
constitutional political consensus.

As I see it there is no political crisis in the MDC but a constitutional
crisis. The parties involved are very much aware of what is expected of them
by the MDC constitution and must stop abusing their offices to confuse the
loyal supporters. The MDC leadership should use political persuasion rather
than dictatorial decrees to solve their differences.

Flashing comments and counter comments in the press without solving the
differences is a sign of political immaturity. Remember the press is not the
MDC and the MDC is not the press!

While I agree that there may be leadership misfits in the current MDC, I am
convinced that the MDC has the power to unseat Zanu PF. Zimbabweans must
stop glorifying wrong decisions by whoever and for whatever reasons; such is
what has driven this once prosperous country into one of the poorest nation
on Earth.

Never, ever, ever, must the MDC be forced into politics of patronage. Morgan
Tsvangirai, by using the press to highlight internal feuds, risks handing
power to Zanu PF on a silver plate. That will spark public anger against
him. Tsvangirai needs to abide by the constitution, as everybody else is
expected. If he cannot convince his colleagues that boycotting the senate
would accelerate change, then who will?

What is required is a leadership that does not view divergent views as
rebellious but necessary debate to enhance democracy. We cannot label Robert
Mugabe a dictator if we are dictators in the making. In a country like
Zimbabwe where we have been ruled by a dictator for over 25 years, it is
easier to replace Mugabe with another dictator: larvae and butterfly
scenario. The butterfly is indeed the larva and the larva is the butterfly.
Elliot Pfebve is a human rights activist and former parliamentary candidate
for the MDC now lecturing in the UK. He can be contacted at:

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Mugabe's nephew busted over illegal exports

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 10/20/2005 13:55:14
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's nephew and Makonde Member of Parliament, Leo
Mugabe, was nabbed by Zimbabwean cops Tuesday for making illegal exports of
flour worth over $500 billion, reports said.

Leo Mugabe, a controversial former boss of Zimbabwe's football governing
body, Zifa, was expected before a Harare magistrate Thursday for an initial
remand hearing.

He will be charged with illegally dealing in controlled products, the
state-run Herald newspaper reported.

Mugabe, also chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport
and Communications, is said to have exported 30 tonnes of flour to
Mozambique early this year.

Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said: "I can
confirm that he (Leo Mugabe) was arrested on Tuesday for illegal exportation
of 600 bags of flour (30 tonnes) to Mozambique or alternatively dealing in
controlled products.

"He will appear in court on Thursday."

The Zimbabwe government, grappling with food shortages affecting half the
country's population has specified maize and wheat products, meaning that
all dealing in these grains must be through the Grain Marketing Board, a
government controlled firm.

The GMB's board has to approve any maize or wheat sales if they have to be
moved across a radius of 250 kilometres.

Smuggled sugar and flour are sold cheaply in Mozambique, undercutting the
production from that country's own industries, which have complained
bitterly against unfair competition.

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Nkomo aborts Geneva trip

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Oct-20

SPEAKER of Parliament John Nkomo at the eleventh hour aborted his trip to
Geneva for an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference that started on
Monday under hazy circumstances.
Nkomo, also Zanu PF national chairman, was supposed to have been accompanied
by three legislators - Zanu PF's Leo Mugabe (Makonde) and Margaret Zinyemba
(Mazowe West) as well as Gilbert Shoko (Budiriro) of MDC.
However, the trip did not materialise with Nkomo refusing to shed light on
why the Swiss visit had been cancelled.
An announcement on Parliament's notice board indicates that Nkomo and the
MPs were scheduled to have flown to Switzerland sometime last week.
A source at Parliament yesterday said the three MPs had been granted visas,
but were told that the trip was off "at the last minute".
It was not clear whether or not Nkomo had obtained a visa for the trip, the
source added.
"The Speaker and the MPs had all been cleared to travel, but there was a
U-turn at the last minute. The other MPs got visas for the trip and they
really wanted to go. I am not sure if the Speaker managed to get his, but as
an IPU meeting, he should get it.
"It is not being said why they cancelled the trip when it had been made
clear that they were definitely going to Geneva. There has also been talk
that their request for foreign currency had been turned down," the source
said. In an interview yesterday, Nkomo declined to give reasons for failing
to travel to the central European country as scheduled.
"Just leave it like that, just leave it like that. Isn't it that you are the
one who called me? I am telling you to leave it like that," said Nkomo.
Zinyemba confirmed having obtained a visa to travel to Switzerland. She also
said she had been informed that their trip had been  cancelled, adding that
the Speaker of Parliament was better placed to comment on the matter.
"Yes we were supposed to travel to Switzerland but after getting the visas,
we were later informed that we were no longer going anywhere. I do not know
why the trip was cancelled, l am just a small fish. You better ask the
Speaker," said Zinyemba.
Mugabe was reportedly out of the country on other business.
A person who answered the phone at Mugabe's house, said the Makonde MP was
on foreign business trip "but not in Switzerland."Clerk of Parliament Austin
Zvoma, said the trip had been cancelled because of important priorities
"The trip was cancelled due to other commitments such as preparations for
the Senate. Getting a visa does not mean that one is going to travel," Zvoma
said in apparent reference to the three  MPs reportedly granted visas.
Besides the Geneva flop, Nkomo is also scheduled to travel to the US this
monthend for a UN Parliamentary hearing at Emperor State Building in New

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Zaka West MP in Net*One lines saga

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Mirror Correspondent
issue date :2005-Oct-20

ZAKA West Member of Parliament Marble Mawere is embroiled in a
Net*One/Easycall lines saga, with allegations emerging that she resold lines
meant to service her constituency at an exorbitant $2,5 million each.
 Police at Zaka said more than 60 people paid for the lines but they had
never got any feedback from the MP concerning the lines, fuelling
speculation that these people could have been duped.
However, six months down the line after Mawere's constituents paid for the
pre-paid Easycall lines, they are still to receive them, let alone get a
definitive explanation from the MP.
"More than 60 people paid for the lines from May this year and up to now
people are still eagerly waiting for their allocations," said Detective
Sergeant Farai Makawa of Zaka Police Station.
Makawa also said that even some police officers in the area had paid for the
seemingly non-existing cellphone lines.
"What is worrying is that the MP kept on assuring people that the lines
would soon be disbursed but it seems as if nothing will ever come out of
that arrangement," he said.
While some of the hoodwinked people had informally registered their
complaints with the police, so far no action had been taken against the
legislator, Makawa said.
"Police at Zaka are still waiting for orders from the top to deal with this
high-profile issue," he said.
The aggrieved people paid Mawere $2,5 million for the at Net*One lines six
months ago, when they were going for $420 000, meaning Mawere overcharged
her constituents by 430 percent.
It is against the service providers' regulations to resell the lines for
The lines were availed to legislators for distribution at the Net*One price
to their respective constituencies, in a move aimed at enhancing
communication there.
A nurse from St Anthony's Mission Hospital (Musiso) on condition of
anonymity, said she had paid Mawere money for a line, but it now seemed that
the legislator had used the money for her private affairs.
"Mai Mawere had her victory celebrations recently at Jerera Growth Point.
"Rather than giving people back their hard-earned money, she decided
otherwise. It is clear from the real situation on the ground that she might
have channelled our money for her victory celebrations," she said.
When The Daily Mirror caught up with the legislator at her shop in the area,
Mawere confirmed having collected people's money for cellphone lines, but
said she also had not yet received anything from Net*One.
"Some people in the constituency paid for the lines, but we are still to
receive them and I can not tell when we will get them," she said.
Mawere also threatened this reporter with unspecified action saying MPs were
closely linked to the Establishment.
She warned that they possessed the power to make life extremely difficult
for The Daily Mirror staffers if the story was published.
"Iwe unofunga kuti VaMugabe vangabvumira kunyorwa kwezvinhu zvakadai.
Munozviomesera upenyu (do you think the President will allow such stories to
be written.
 "It will make life difficult for you)," she warned.
Mawere also demanded to know the people who had broken the suspected scam to
this paper saying she wanted to deal with them.
"Give me the names of the people you spoke to because I want to talk to
them. Even if you do not give me their names, I will soon find out," she
She later advised the reporter to play down the story thus: "Chingosiyana
nenyaya yacho mwanangu. (just ignore the story)."
Before the March 31 parliamentary polls, former Information and Publicity
minister Jonathan Moyo, minister of Transport and Communications Chris
Mushohwe and Paul Mangwana then of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare
were reportedly implicated in another Net*One lines saga.
The lines were meant to service parliamentary constituencies.

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TelOne to launch electronic directory

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Givemore Nyanhi
issue date :2005-Oct-20

FIXED telephone network utility, TelOne that is set to print the 2005/2006
telephone directory by the end of this year, has introduced an electronic
version of the directory.The online edition of the directory is set to ease
the problems that industry and commerce has been facing after nearly three
years without receiving an updated version of the telephone directory. "The
new directory covers the entire database in the print version and we hope
that it will help in the operations of industry and commerce as we work on
printing the 2005/2006 directory," Phil Chingwaru, TelOne public relations
manager said yesterday. He added that the fixed telecommunications company
still planned to release the latest print edition of the directory by the
end of this year. Like the print edition, the online edition, available on
the company's website, covers the country's more than 350 000 subscribers
But unlike the print edition, that has two volumes; one for Harare and the
other volume for the rest of the country, the online edition has a national
scope and covers two main sections of residential and commercial
subscribers.Chingwaru said work on the creation of the electronic directory
commenced last year and it became operational recently.
"The introduction of the online directory is in line with international
technological trends where the business community is increasingly moving
towards e-commerce."
The new technology is in line with the company's initiatives aimed at
turning turnaround its operations in line with the broader national economic
turnaround strategies underway.
Early this year a memorandum of understanding was signed between the
government of Zimbabwe and the government of the Republic of China as part
of partnerships with a number of companies in the world's most populous and
fastest growing economy. Zimbabwe's rural areas are set to have at least 230
000 telephone lines installed in a deal struck between TelOne and Huawei
Technologies, a global player in the telecommunication industry. This is
expected to result in the country's fixed telephone subscriber base almost
doubling to abut 650 000.The investment is expected to result in a
considerable reduction on the fixed telephone waiting list, which TelOne has
struggled to serve.TelOne was unbundled from the former Post and
Telecommunications Corporation (PTC) in the late 1990s and broken into three
strategic but separate entities that however still remain 100 percent
government owned. The changes, which gave birth to Net*One, Zimpost and
TelOne, were ushered in by the liberalisation of the telecommunications
sector during that period.
The liberalisation also resulted in the entrance of private owned operators
such as Econet and Telecel, both of them now significant market shareholders in the mobile communications sector.

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Parirenyatwa Hit By Staff Shortage

The Herald (Harare)

October 19, 2005
Posted to the web October 19, 2005

Beatrice Tonhodzayi

A STAFF shortage at Parirenyatwa Hospital is straining the country's
HIV/Aids treatment programme.

Instead of 25 physicians, the hospital has only eight.

This came out during a tour of the hospital's Opportunistic Infections (OI)
Clinic by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Parirenyatwa,

The minister wanted to have a first hand assessment of the progress being
made in terms of scaling up Anti-Retroviral treatment.

Co-ordinator of the adult OI clinic, who is also one of the only two female
physicians operating it, Dr Chiratidzo Ndhlovu, said because of staff
shortages the clinic was only operating at between five to 10 percent of its

The clinic was also only operating twice a week, on Mondays and Tuesday
because the two physicians who volunteered to serve the clinic had other
duties throughout the week.

The rest of the days were committed to counselling except for Thursdays when
the space would be open for the renal clinic.

"We see at least 42 patients a day and these are not all new cases but
reviews as well. The numbers have been increasing lately because several
patients from the private sector have now turned to us because of the high
cost of drugs in the private sector," said Dr Ndhlovu.

A month's course of ARVs in the private sector is selling for close to $1,2
million while in the public sector the same course costs $50 000.

Because of the staff constraints, it was taking up to six weeks before a
patient could go on treatment, a time period which the second physician
working in the OI clinic Dr Noleen Munyandu said could be shortened if there
was adequate manpower.

It was also confirmed that some patients have died while waiting to go on
treatment because of the lengthy process, which includes various tests to
ascertain one's adherence and also their body's ability to cope with the
drugs, which are lifetime drugs.

This has been criticised roundly by the public, most of who have lost
relatives during this process of going back and forth from the hospital.

Officials at the hospital, however, said they had adequate stocks of ARVs,
in fact, enough to cover their patients for the next two months, and the
major problem was that of staff and space in which to operate the clinic.

A small cramped room was operating as the OI clinic in use.

Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief executive Mr Thomas Zigora said
another space had been identified, to start operating as soon as some minor
touch-ups were done on it.

Staff constraints have also hampered operations at the paediatric OI clinic
where out of the four nurses initially deployed to work there, two had since
resigned while one was currently on leave.

Out of 540 registered adult patients 380 are on treatment while out of more
than 200 registered patients at the paediatric OI clinic 60 were on

Dr Parirenyatwa said it was his hope to have close to 100 000 people on the
public ARV treatment programme by end of year.

Currently, some more than 20 000 people are on the public treatment
programme, which started last year.

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