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Almost 15,000 arrested in Zimbabwe blitz


By Africa correspondent Zoe Daniel
The Zimbabwean Government has launched a new urban crackdown, arresting almost 15,000 people who have returned to the streets since its Operation Restore Order blitz.
State media in Zimbabwe is reporting that 14,700 people have been arrested in a new crackdown the Government is calling Operation Siyapambili, meaning 'no going back'.
Most of those arrested were illegal street vendors and foreign currency and fuel dealers driven out of the cities during Operation Restore Order.
That campaign demolished homes and businesses and left hundreds of thousands without work or shelter.
Those arrested in the latest blitz were fined and released.
Police say they are using the follow-up campaign to make sure that shady dealers are not returning to Zimbabwe's streets.

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Zimbabwe arrests thousands in fresh crackdown

Mugabe's government has defended the original crackdown, saying it was meant to root out black market trade in foreign currency and other scarce commodities

5.53PM, Mon Oct 3 2005

Zimbabwe police have arrested 14,706 people in a follow-up to this year's urban slum demolitions that left around 700,000 without homes or jobs.

"Police have arrested street people, touts, illegal vendors, illegal foreign currency and fuel dealers who had crept back into Harare's Central Business District since the launch of Operation Siyapambili/Hatidzokereshure (No Going Back) two weeks ago," the official Herald newspaper said.

The arrests in Harare follow a two-month nationwide drive to destroy shantytowns which the United Nations estimates left 700,000 urban dwellers without homes or livelihoods or both, and affected another 2.4 million Zimbabweans.

Those arrested were each fined a statutory Z$25,000 (54p) and then released.

"(The latest drive) aims to make follow-ups to monitor the city so that we deal with any of those who are returning to the city and conducting shady dealings," police spokesperson Loveless Rupere told the Herald.

Rupere and other police officers were unavailable for comment on Monday.

President Robert Mugabe's government has defended the original crackdown, saying it was meant to root out black market trade in foreign currency and other scarce commodities, which it says thrived in shantytowns.

But critics have said that it has worsened the plight of Zimbabweans already struggling with an economic crisis many blame on government mismanagement, whose most visible signs have been unemployment of over 70 percent, soaring inflation and chronic shortages of food and fuel.

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Zimbabwe ranked among the world's worst economies

Zim Observer

 EDITORS (10/2/2005)

photograph by Zimbabwe has been ranked among the world's worst performing economies, a sad case overall of the development process having gone sharply awry. Owing to economic mismanagement, Harare was bestowed with the world's worst ranking (117) for the quality of its macroeconomic environment on the back of a worsening economic crisis that has reached catastrophic levels.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2005-2006 --- released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) - says the southern African country, which is going through its worst economic crisis since 1980 typified by record inflation as high as 265%, energy constraints and a critical hard cash squeeze has the lowest rankings among 117 countries covered.

"Zimbabwe is a particularly sad case, whose quick descent to the bottom of the world's competitiveness rankings reflects the continued deterioration of the institutional climate, including the disappearance of property rights, the corruption of the rule of law, and the implications these and other factors have had for macroeconomic management," noted Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of WEF.

On the WEF's Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Harare is ranked 109, 10 points low from 2004 and falling even further. Completing the bottom rankings in Zimbabwe's class are strife-torn Ethiopia at 106, newly independent East Timor 108, Bangladesh 110, Cameroon 111 and Kyrgyz Republic.

The poor ranking is despite claims by Harare that its economy is turning the corner. At 265%, Zimbabwe's stubborn inflation is one of the worst in the world while a critical foreign currency crisis has throttled the southern African country.

But Zimbabwe's peer neighbour South Africa, which appears to be profiting from the crisis, outperformed the rest of Sub Saharan Africa confirming its role as one of the few success stories in a region, which lags behind the rest of the world in terms of competitiveness. Pretoria is ranked 42, an improvement from 41 in 2004 while Botswana is ranked 48 up from 45.

Finland remains the most competitive economy in the world and tops the rankings for the third consecutive year in the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). The United States is in second position, followed by Sweden.


Source: The Standard

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Anti-Graft Commissioner Faces Arrest

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 2, 2005
Nqobani Ndlovu
A member of the recently appointed Anti-Corruption Commission and Zanu PF activist, Alice Nkomo, faces possible arrest and prosecution for allegedly failing to pay US$8 600 ($230 million) to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
The Anti-Corruption Commission, chaired by former Comptroller and Auditor General Eric Harid, was appointed last month by President Robert Mugabe to "fight graft".

In a public notice published by the RBZ, Nkomo is among 1 000 authorised dealers and exporters who were expected to have settled their outstanding export receipts by 30 September or face stern measures from the RBZ, including being handed over to the police.
The RBZ has threatened those who fail to pay their debts with "punitive action, including forfeiture of entitlement to Foreign Currency Accounts retention until such a time that amounts outstanding have been paid up".
Contacted for comment, Nkomo said: "Why are you interested in me as an individual when big companies owe the RBZ hundreds of millions of dollars? You are just being unfair to me!
"I believe that this case was closed last year after I paid what was due to the RBZ." Nkomo declined to say what she exported resulting in her owing the RBZ $230 million.
The Anti-Corruption Commissioner owns Mzingeli Safaris and Tours in Bulawayo and is a board member of various companies in Zimbabwe.
Efforts to get a comment from the RBZ on claims that Nkomo had settled the debt were fruitless as officials at the central bank were reportedly attending various meetings and seminars in Harare.

The non-remittance of the export receipts into the country within a period of 90 days is a violation of Section 5 (i) (a) of the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 22:05).
Since Dr Gideon Gono was appointed RBZ Governor, he has tightened the noose on banks, companies and individuals dealing in foreign currency, with some skipping the country to avoid arrest after being accused of externalising the much-needed forex.

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ZIMBABWE: Queuing becomes essential skill as shelves empty

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BULAWAYO, 3 October (IRIN) - Three hours of standing in a queue for maize-meal looked like it was about to pay off when the line suddenly disintegrated amid despairing groans and some furious name-calling - the supermarket had just run out of Zimbabwe's staple food.

Shoppers in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, are rationed to 10 kg of maize-meal per person, but finding it - and indeed most other basic essentials - on the shelves is no easy matter.

To get anywhere near a bottle of cooking oil, a bag of rice, a tube of toothpaste, a carton of milk, a packet of sugar, a box of washing powder or even a bar of soap, you need a reliable rumour, an eye for a queue worth joining and, above all, patience.

This IRIN reporter had heard the night before that maize-meal was on the shelves at a local supermarket, and got there first thing in the morning. Seventy other people were already waiting, and the line looped round the aisles - a shuffling, irritated testimony to Zimbabwe's economic woes.

Conversations inevitably revolved around the current hardships - water rationing in the city, the lack of basic items, the exorbitant prices when they did become available, and President Robert Mugabe's recent response to the crisis: that people had the option of eating potatoes.

"Nowadays we eat just one meal a day, at supper," one elderly man informed anybody in the queue ready to listen. "During the day we have nothing at all and I have heard my two grandchildren joke that they had air pies for lunch. The only time we have managed at least two meals is when my son, who is in South Africa, sends us some groceries."

Three hours later, tantalisingly close to the tiny storeroom from where the maize-meal was being sold, supplies ran out. As incensed shoppers accused the supermarket staff of hoarding - "You want us to die, what kind of people are you?" yelled one young man - riot police, on the spot for just such an eventuality, stepped in and the trouble was over.

Plan B was a supermarket in the town centre, but this time only 30 people were waiting in line outside, suggesting that whatever was being sold could not be that important. It turned out to be bread rather than the maize-meal, rice or macaroni Zimbabweans look for to fill their stomaches.

Not much was available in the supermarket - even beverages were scarce because plastic bottles are in short supply - but shop attendants were busy marking up shockingly high new prices.

"It's inflation and the economy that pushes us to increase our prices. In a way we are trying to cushion ourselves against the odds, otherwise we will collapse as a business," explained one shop worker.

In the last few weeks maize-meal has shot from the equivalent of US 50 cents for 10 kg to US $2.5, and rice up from $3 for a 2 kg bag to $7 - in part as a result of the government's easing of price controls.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) regards the current predicament facing shoppers as the result of greed by some business people and a standoff between government and producers over input costs.

The producers say the government's prices are unrealistic, while the authorities insist they are trying to protect consumers from profiteering and blame private business for fueling the parallel market.

"Currently there is no maize-meal in shops, not because the country has totally run out of maize but because millers are no longer doing their job, the reason being that government has denied their request to effect a huge increase in producer prices," said CCZ's spokesman in Bulawayo, Comfort Muchekeza.

"As the CCZ we are also worried about the price increases, which now seem to be coming every week," he said. "Many people are not working and the majority of those who have employment earn absurd salaries that cannot sustain them."

The current food basket for a family of five costs Zim $6 million (US $230) a month, yet an average worker takes home about Zim $5 million ($192) - nowhere near enough to pay for rent, school fees and other essentials, besides buying food.

September's 130 percent fuel price hike - the second increase in three months - is set to further stoke inflation, as will a 17.5 percent Value Added Tax on certain goods and services, the CCZ warned in a statement.

Agriculture has traditionally been the engine of the economy. Between 1999 and 2003, maize production fell by over 60 percent as a result of "shortcomings" in the government's land reform programme, erratic rains and regulated producer pricing that did not reflect market prices, according to the World Bank.

Real gross domestic product has declined by 30 percent in the last five years, accompanied by triple-digit annual inflation and a crushing foreign exchange shortage.

The World Bank has cited poor economic policies and sharply reduced development aid flows among the reasons for this, while the government insists it faces sanctions by western nations over its controversial fast-track land reform programme.


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ZIMBABWE: MSF gets go-ahead to help victims of urban cleanup

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 3 October (IRIN) - The government of Zimbabwe and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Holland have signed an agreement allowing the international NGO to provide medical assistance to people displaced two months ago during Operation Murambatsvina ('Drive out Filth'), the government's controversial clean-up campaign.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa told IRIN that the agreement would allow MSF medical and relief teams to begin operations in the Whitecliffe, Hopely and Hatcliffe areas around the capital, Harare. He said the government was aware that many displaced families were facing problems and lacked access to food, water and sanitation facilities.

"The agreement allows MSF to work in conjunction with the Harare city council's health department. Staff from the department will be attached to MSF health teams in the affected areas," Parirenyatwa told IRIN.

Steve Hide, the MSF head of mission in Zimbabwe, said he expected conditions similar to those in camps around Epworth and Chitungwiza, also near Harare, where MSF had ongoing programmes.

"We have not been allowed into the new areas as yet, but we expect the situation to be equally bad: poor sanitation, the lack of ablution facilities and the absence of basic healthcare services are still the major challenges in any displaced people's camp," Hide commented. "We will be providing clean water, ablution facilities and mobile clinic services for five days every week."

MSF already had two mobile clinics offering basic medical care to an estimated 200 people a day in the Chitungwiza and Epworth areas.

Hide said MSF was expecting to find between 700 and 1,000 families in each of the displaced camps. The offer of assistance came in the wake of reports that homeless families were returning to the high-density surbubs from where they had been evicted.

In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, over 200 displaced people had reportedly returned to informal settlements in the Richmond and Cowdray Park areas. The government-run housing programme to accommodate victims of Operation Murambatsvina was lagging far behind its stated targets because of serious cash flow and material constraints.


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Water Cuts Endanger Residents

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 2, 2005
Posted to the web October 3, 2005
Caiphas Chimhete

AN outbreak of water borne diseases looms in Harare's high-density areas because of prolonged water rationing which, at times, lasts for more than five days, The Standard has been told.
Diseases such as dysentery and cholera are associated with poor water supply.

The situation is most worrying in crowded high-density areas where several families use communal toilets.
In some cases, toilets are not flushed for the whole day, resulting in human waste piling up, creating a breeding ground for flies - an optimum environment for the transmission of diseases.
Veronica Phiri of Rugare high-density suburb, one of Harare's oldest townships said they feared for their health, especially that of children.
The threat of diseases is more pronounced in areas such as Matapi and Nenyere Flats, in Mbare, where residents still use communal toilets and water taps.
A pre-school in Kambuzuma Section 5 has been without running water for the past two weeks. The authorities are asking parents with children at the centre to assist with water.
Residents of Hatfield suburb are also experiencing water cuts.
A visit by The Standard to the suburb last week established that residents were drawing water for domestic use from unprotected wells.
Mercy Moyo (21) said for every five days, two of them were spent without water, making it difficult to maintain hygienic standards in their homes.
A senior medical consultant at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Dr Chris Mushonga, said reported cases of diarrhoeal problems have increased in the city because of water rationing.
He said apart from possible disease out outbreak, water rationing had also affected the sterilization of surgical equipment at Parirenyatwa, one of the country's biggest referral hospitals.
"Some cases are cancelled because we will not have clean water. We need clean water, which we boil for steam that is used for sterilization of equipment" Mushonga said.
The president of the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima), Billy Rigava, expressed concern over the prolonged water rationing saying it was a threat to the public health system.
Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chairman, Mike Davies, said the on-going water rationing was a direct result of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa)'s inefficiency.
He said about 30% of Harare's water was wasted through pipe leakages when it is being pumped from Morton Jaffray Water Works. In Belvedere, there were several areas where water has been leaking for days. The leaks near the Exhibition Park and at Corner Glamorgan/ Snowdon have not been attended to for days, wasting away valuable water.
Zinwa, which took over purification and water supply from the city councils four months ago, has conceded that it has no capacity to supply purified water to Harare. Zinwa board chairman, Willie Muringani, said the water crisis had been necessitated by takeover complications.
As if the water crisis was not enough, some residents of Hatfield went for five consecutive days without power after thieves vandalized a transformer.

The suburb was plunged into darkness on a Saturday but the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) only reconnected power on the following Wednesday.
Zesa general manager (corporate communications), James Maridadi, confirmed the problem, saying preference was being accord to new installations.

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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Mobilizes for Senate Poll

By Carole Gombakomba and Blessing Zulu
03 October 2005

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has announced that it will not hold internal primary elections before the national senate elections that President Robert Mugabe has directed be moved up to the end of November from mid-December as earlier scheduled.
Amid reports of factional divisions within theZimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, party officials said candidates will be chosen at district and provincial levels.
But one Zimbabwean elections expert warns that bypassing primaries will diminish the transparency of the process, and lead to heightened factionalism in the party.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Chairman Reginald Matchaba Hove further said advancing the election date complicates preparations for the ballot, as the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party has yet to decide if it will field candidates. It questions the legitimacy of the senate, and the good faith of the government.
Fifty members of the new senate will be directly elected in the ballot, while President Mugabe will select another 16 for a total of 66 seats.
Mr. Hove’s organization mustered up some 6,000 poll monitors in the March 31 general election, but he said it will only monitor the senate vote if the MDC takes part in it. Beyond this, Mr. Hove said that the current economic crisis in the country, where fuel and food are in critically short supply, further complicates matters.
Reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with ZANU-PF senior official William Nhara, principal public affairs director in the president’s office.
 Mr. Nhara said the only major challenge facing the ruling party is candidate selection, but added that this should be completed within the next two weeks.
A senior opposition official said the opposition won’t be pressured into contesting the senate election election simply because the president has moved up the date.
Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu asked MDC Legal Affairs Secretary David Coltart if the new proposed election date seems intended to force the MDC’s hand.
Elsewhere, a Finance Ministry official says the president has demanded Z$200 billion ($2.65 million) funding by the end of this month for the senate elections – significantly more than the Z$30 million which was initially budgeted when the ruling party revived the senate with one of several constitutional amendments passed in August.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, this ministry source said most of the money would be spent on fuel and other logistical expenses. The official said the government will also spend heavily on media ads to encourage a strong popular turnout.
Reporter Blessing Zulu asked Zimbabwe Election Support Network Chairman Reginald Matchaba Hove if such costs are warranted under current economic conditions.

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Govt Workers On Go-Slow

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 2, 2005
Posted to the web October 3, 2005
Valentine Maponga

GOVERNMENT employees say they are reducing the number of days they report for work because transport fares and food prices continue to soar.
The workers, mostly urban teachers who stay far away from their respective schools, say they are finding it difficult to commute to and from work daily.

Investigations by The Standard revealed that many teachers had resorted to going to work a few days a week in order to save on transport costs.
One teacher from Mabvuku High School said he could no longer afford to go to work everyday because of the high transport fares.
"I have to board two buses before I get to work. I spend over $60 000 everyday on transport alone. Life has become unbearable and I am now contemplating leaving the profession to start something else," said the teacher, who declined to be named.
The lowest paid civil servant earns a gross monthly salary of $1.4 million, far below the poverty datum line, which is now above $7million.
"I think the government is not serious if they expect one to live on a salary of just $1 million. This amount is not even enough to cover the transport fares," said one civil servant working in Harare.
The workers' representative organisations have since rejected an across the board transport allowances increment that was awarded to its members by the government.
The associations warned that the meagre transport allowance increments could trigger demonstrations by civil servants.
George Nasho Wilson, the secretary general of the Civil Service Employees Association of Zimbabwe, said their members were very disgruntled after the government failed to respond to their grievances. "If the salaries are not revised soon, we are going to witness some disruptions," he said.
The government awarded $45 9104 transport allowance a person a month effective from the beginning of September.
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general, Raymond Majongwe, said civil servants were on an unofficial strike.
"Most civil servants are managing to pull through these hardships by borrowing to make ends meet. As I am speaking to you right now most civil servants who are going to work are already on strike but it's another thing to declare a strike," Majongwe said.
Initially the workers were demanding a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 150%, a housing allowance of 300% and a basic $7 million salary for the lowest paid civil servant.

The executive secretary of the Public Services Association, in letter addressed to the association's provincial executives and affiliates on 22 September, said the amount was not enough to meet the daily transport costs incurred by the workers.
"The government position on announcing the mid-term fiscal policy review last week, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa deferred the general public service salary reviews to the 2006 budget."

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Angry Doctors Plan Next Move After Govt Offers Peanuts

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 2, 2005
Posted to the web October 3, 2005
Caiphas Chimhete

MORALE among doctors has reached rock bottom after government awarded them a paltry $98 000 transport allowance instead of the 800% salary hike they were demanding, The Standard has been told.
The doctors were last week awarded $98 000 transport allowance on top of the $880 000 they were getting before the increment.

Zimbabwe Medical Doctors' Association president, Takarunda Chinyoka, said the doctors were "angry" and currently holding "consultative" meetings on what actions to take to force the government to accede to their demands.
"I cannot say what we (doctors) will do because we are still discussing and consulting. But what I can tell you now is doctors are frustrated, in fact, they are angry and this could affect their performance," said Chinyoka, who did not rule out industrial action.
A doctor who requested not to be named, said some of the junior doctors were already on "a sort of a go-slow" because of frustration and disgruntlement.
"It's unannounced but you can see from how they work that everything is not normal. If this issue of salaries and allowances is not resolved urgently it could degenerate into a strike," said the middle-ranking doctor.
In the past two months, at least 21 junior and middle-ranking doctors left the public sector to seek better-paying jobs elsewhere after the government failed to increase their pay.
Over the past few years, strikes by doctors and nurses for better pay and improved working conditions have become common in the country and as a result the health service delivery has collapsed.
The doctors staged a crippling strike in July demanding an 800% salary increment and better working conditions.
The junior doctors, who earn a basic of $5.7 million a month, went on strike in August demanding that their salaries be increased to $47 million.
Apart from the paltry gross monthly salary, the junior doctors get $440 000 housing allowance, $50 million in the form of a car loan and $10 million housing loan.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says a family if six will soon require about $10 million a month.
Because of poor salaries and working conditions, doctors are leaving the country in droves in search of greener pastures in countries such as Botswana, Canada South Africa, the United Kingdom and the US.
Others have joined the private sector where salaries and working conditions are far much better than those in government service.

There are 300 junior doctors, 150 middle ranking and well below 100 specialist doctors in the country. But the country needs at least 2 000 general medical practitioners and 500 specialist doctors for government central hospitals, estimated Chinyoka.
The crisis in the health sector, which is experiencing a serious shortage of drugs and equipment, is felt more acutely in government health institutions. Last week Chinyoka said less than 100 specialist doctors are serving the whole country.

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Fuel Starts Trickling In

The Herald (Harare)
October 3, 2005
Posted to the web October 3, 2005
FUEL supplies started trickling in over the weekend with all Total service stations in Harare and Bulawayo receiving allocations since Saturday.
A survey by The Herald showed that both petrol and diesel were delivered to Total filling stations over the weekend and long queues of motorists had formed.

Petrol attendants interviewed said that Total service stations received each between 8 000 and 17 000 litres of diesel and petrol.
The fuel inflows come in the wake of assurances given by President Mugabe on the sidelines of a Politburo meeting held on Wednesday last week.
Addressing hundreds of war collaborators and Zanu-PF supporters at the ruling party's national headquarters, President Mugabe said fuel supplies were expected to improve shortly as Government was fighting to mitigate the socio-economic challenges facing the country.
"Fuel supply is expected to increase in the next few days and will gradually improve in the next few weeks," the President said.
Zimbabwe is facing an acute shortage of fuel owing to the unavailability of foreign currency arising mostly from the constraints of the illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries.
A fuel attendant at a service station in Glen Norah suburb said they had received 10 000 litres of diesel and 8 000 litres of petrol on Saturday and were expecting more deliveries today.
Motorists began getting fuel on Saturday evening and yesterday morning and long queues of vehicles could be seen at Total service stations throughout Harare.
The queues, however, disappeared when stocks ran out in the afternoon.
One motorist, who only identified himself as Mr Sithole, thanked the Government for the measures being taken to improve the availability of the commodity and expressed hope that more would be done to address the fuel situation.
"We are extremely grateful for the Government's efforts, but more has to be done to ensure consistent availability of this precious and essential commodity," he said.
The Secretary for Energy and Power Development, Mr Justin Mupamhanga, said Government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the availability of the commodity.
"We are working flat out to ensure that the fuel situation improves in the country. As you know, President Mugabe promised that the fuel situation is going to get better and this is part of the effort to fulfil that objective.
"The Government has always been consistent in its efforts to ensure the ready availability of the commodity," he added.
The Government is also working on a feedstock project to generate biodiesel and 10 percent of sugarcane production has been earmarked for this purpose.

There are also plans to import crude oil for refining within the country. At present, Zimbabwe imports refined petroleum products.
The shortages have been worsened by irregularities in the allocation and transportation of fuel from the Port of Beira in Mozambique, where millions of litres have been diverted to other markets even after Zimbabwean importers paid for them.

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Staff Exodus Troubles St Giles

Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
October 2, 2005
Posted to the web October 3, 2005
Bertha Shoko

THE continued loss of skilled and experienced medical staff at St Giles' Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Harare is one of the major problems that the health institution is facing, a senior official at the organisation has said.
St Giles', is one of the country's largest medical rehabilitation centres offering, among other things, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, psychological and counselling services to those with various natural or accident induced disabilities.

Speaking on the sidelines of the institution's 41st anniversary, William Nsangwe, chief executive officer (CEO), of the rehabilitation centre, said the problem of brain drain in the health sector remains a major challenge, not only for St Giles', but the rest of the country.
Nsangwe lamented how the rehabilitation centre was losing young and experienced staff whose services are in demand overseas and in the region because as most of their medical staff had specialised skills.
"We at St Giles have done reasonably well to retain our medical staff but because we are donor-driven organisation it is difficult to satisfy most of them. The young generation doesn't stay that long. They are restless and want greener pastures," Nsangwe said.
St Giles' rehabilitation centre was established in 1964 but was formally registered as a medical centre in 1966.
Since then the centre has expanded to at least nine departments involved in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities.
Nsangwe said the medical centre now has a staff complement of about 110 medical staff and another 60 supporting staff.
At the 41st anniversary celebrations 10 days ago, the institution held an open day where it exhibited the work of its various departments, in an effort to educate the public on it operations.

The centre offers education to children with disabilities and special needs and boarding facilities are available to children who cannot commute to and from the centre.
During the anniversary celebrations, which were graced by Miss Zimbabwe Oslie Muringai and patron of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust, Kiki Divaris, visitors were treated to songs, drama and dance from students at St Giles'.

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Soldiers sent home

Zim Standard
By Caiphas Chimhete

THE cash-strapped Zimbabwe government is reducing the number of soldiers in barracks in an effort to cut on expenditure amid reports of severe shortages of food and other rations in the camps, The Standard has been told.

Sources last week said the army had directed some soldiers to leave the barracks while others have been asked to take leave days, as it emerged that the government was failing to provide for them.

"Quite a number of soldiers have been asked to take days off while others were told to commute from their homes to cut on costs, especially food," said a soldier stationed at the Presidential Guard, just outside Dzivarasekwa suburb in Harare.

But Army spokesperson, Aggrey Wushe, said the soldiers were not going on leave due to shortage of food but because they had accrued a lot of days during their tour of duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Wushe said most of them wanted to "encash their days" but failed because they could only do so at the beginning of the year.

"We have food to feed them until the next financial year. We can keep them in the barracks but mazuva avo anozorasika manje (but the days they accrued will be forfeited)," Wushe said.

The Army spokesperson said after Zimbabwe's withdrawal from the DRC at the end of 2002, the soldiers were given a grace period, between 2003 and 2005, to take off days or get paid for them.

He said some soldiers managed to take their days off but for those who did not "we are saying take them now or they get forfeited".

Military personnel in barracks eat and drink from the "mess", where food and drinks are heavily subsidised by the government.

A parliamentary committee on Defence and Home Affairs in 2003 discovered that the army was sourcing its goods at parallel market rates, although its budgets were based on gazetted prices of goods.

Zimbabwe boasts of an estimated 34 000 soldiers, a figure which in military circles in considered too high for small country with no external threat.

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RBZ grants Gono farming loan

Zimbabwe Standard
RBZ grants Gono farming loan
By our Staff

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Gideon Gono awarded himself a loan under the Productive Sector Facility but last week refused to say how much he received.

Many A2 farmers have complained to The Standard newspaper, accusing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe of only giving loans to well-connected people such as Government ministers, senior civil servants, Zanu PF stalwarts and captains of industry.

Gono was speaking on Wednesday afternoon during a tour of Bevking which is one of the plots at Kintyre Estates owned by Joe Mutizwa, the chief executive officer of Delta.

Although Gono was happy to divulge that Mutizwa had received a total of $7.5 billion to build green houses and to start his fresh roses export programme, he was evasive when cornered on how much the RBZ, which he controls, awarded him.

"Yes, I received a loan for my farming activities but I can not say how much I received," Gono said.

Gono, who has become the darling of Zanu PF politicians, said he used the loan for rose production at his farm near Norton.

"I am growing roses on 10 hectares, tomatoes and maize seed."

He denied allegations that only the elite were benefiting from the loan scheme.

The governor said it had been established that many A2 farmers were under-utilizing large tracts of land which were parcelled out to them under the land reform programme.

Most of the A2 farm beneficiaries are senior Zanu PF officials, senior civil servants and captains of industry.

"When we approve loans, we are neutral. We are blind to the fact that the applicant is connected. We don't look at the person's status. We only look at how impressive the proposal is."

Gono also used the opportunity to condemn the fresh farm invasions being spear-headed by senior Zanu PF officials and the Central Intelligence Organisation.

"The economy is about to take off but some people want to pull us down. They want to invade farms when the rains are about to fall. How can you invade farms when tobacco has just been planted? Where were you when others were getting land?" asked the governor.

He described those spearheading fresh farm invasions as criminals.

"That can not be condoned. The people doing that are criminals and that should be stopped. I am saying this without fear or favour and that is what Minister Didymus Mutasa wants."

When The Standard reminded him that Mutasa was recently quoted saying more farms would be taken, Gono shot back: "I don't know about that."

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Bitter war of words erupts as Sibanda attacks Nkomo

Zimbabwe Standard

By Foster Dongozi

BELEAGUERED War Veterans Association chairperson and former Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Jabulani Sibanda, has challenged the ruling party's national chairman, John Nkomo to resign from the party.

The prickly Nkomo was equally combative when asked about Sibanda's brazen challenge.

"We insist on discipline," Nkomo said testily before switching off his cell-phone.

In an interview with The Standard last week, Sibanda said Nkomo's continued stay in Zanu PF was unhealthy for the ruling party. Nkomo is also the Speaker of Parliament.

Sibanda has had turf wars with the ageing former PF Zapu old-guard, including Vice President Joseph Msika, Nkomo, former Zipra supremo and cabinet minister, Dumiso Dabengwa and Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

He accuses the Zanu PF leadership in Matabeleland of laziness and corruption, and insists the party has lost almost all Parliamentary seats to the Movement for Democratic Change because of their failure to deliver.

Nkomo chairs the ruling party's disciplinary committee, which last week resolved to expel Sibanda from the party.

In the expulsion letter, Nkomo wrote: "Following that decision (to suspend you) from Party activities for a period of five years, you continued to carry out anti-Party activities in that you were quoted in the press extensively making disparaging remarks against the Party leadership including the Presidency.

"The National Disciplinary Committee unanimously agreed at its meeting on 11 August 2005 to rescind your suspension and decided to confirm its earlier decision to expel you from the Party with immediate effect."

The letter says Sibanda made the "disparaging remarks" in interviews he granted to The Standard newspaper.

Sibanda was breathing fire when he learnt of his suspension.

"My suspension is a non-event. I joined Zanu PF voluntarily after the 1987 Unity Accord after so many ugly things had happened and it follows that if I leave Zanu PF it would be voluntary. If John Nkomo is allergic to criticism or does not like criticism, then he must resign from the party and not go on a spree to suspend members."

Sibanda said there were attempts to hound him out of the party as the leadership regarded silence and docility as signs of loyalty.

"Cde Edgar Tekere spoke out against corruption in the party and he was expelled. Cde Eddison Zvobgo spoke out and he fell on hard times. The same also happened to the late Chenjerai Hunzvi who fought for the rights of war veterans. It is not in me to be meek when people are making mistakes and destroying the party."

Sibanda said he still believed the Zanu PF presidium had usurped the powers of congress by imposing unelected leaders on party members.

"People have been denied the right to elect their own leaders. There are a lot of people in Zanu PF and government who have not been elected by the people but by a few individuals at the top.

The majority fought for freedom but now a tiny minority is ruling on behalf of the majority. My problems are not just with John (Nkomo) because he is also representing those that think like him."

He said when he was local government minister, Nkomo had presided over the expulsion of local authorities in Harare, Binga and Lupane.

He said the Zanu PF leadership also wanted to banish him from the war veterans' association so that they could control it.

"Nkomo and company feel threatened when popular figures want to contest elections because they know they would lose their legitimacy if some people are elected into power.

"They are always appointed into positions of authority and yet their counterparts, President Robert Mugabe and Joice Mujuru are always subjected to elections. Even the late Vice President Muzenda, as old as he was, he died when he was the Member of Parliament for Gutu North. Msika and Nkomo don't want to go for elections because they know that they are not popular and would therefore lose."

He said some leaders in Zanu PF shied away from elections, alleging that they could not be subjected to elections because they were national leaders.

Sibanda asked: "But if the President of the country can go for elections, why would his juniors be afraid to go for elections?"

Sibanda's political fortunes have nose-dived after he was alleged to be behind a powerful group which wanted former Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa elevated to the position of vice president, ahead of Mujuru.

Mnangagwa had commanded the backing of six out of the 10 provinces in the country.

However, the Presidium moved in quickly to pave way for Mujuru by suspending the six ruling party provincial chairpersons.

Asked to comment on the ill-fated Tsholotsho meeting, Sibanda said: "I did not attend the meeting, but there was nothing wrong with it. Is there anything wrong with people attending a prize-giving ceremony? Is there anything wrong with people discussing political and business developments in their country?"

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Hamadziripi snub explained

Zimbabwe Standard
Hamadziripi snub explained
By Walter Marwizi

HENRY Hamadziripi, the late veteran nationalist who was denied hero status by the ruling Zanu PF last week, was punished for being openly critical of President Mugabe when he began to consolidate his grip on the party, about 30 years ago.

Veterans of the liberation struggle, irked by the way Zanu PF snubbed Hamadziripi, bared their souls to The Standard last week, revealing intricate details of alleged rebellions and counter rebellions that characterised the last stages of the war of liberation.

These had largely been forgotten 25 years after independence, but a short statement from Mugabe was enough to rekindle memories of the dark days of the struggle when the leaders turned against each on ethnic lines, in purges that at times turned bloody.

Mugabe said Hamadziripi differed with the party in a major way in 1977 resulting in an armed revolt that "he masterminded".

After the statement, no meeting was convened by the Politburo to consider a request for provincial hero status that came from Masvingo province, leaving relatives to bury him without any honours, set aside for heroes of the struggle against colonial rule.

Cautioning The Standard to refrain from publishing details that implicated either dead or surviving leaders of Zanu PF in often bloody or embarrassing encounters for unity's sake, the veterans said after looking back at these "dark days", they were not surprised at the way Hamadziripi had been treated.

They said Hamadziripi, who was part of a select few, charged with prosecuting the war, had questioned the wisdom of allowing Mugabe to take over the party after the death of Herbert Chitepo.

He had also openly challenged Mugabe in various meetings held in Mozambique and was seen as leader of a faction keen to see a Karanga taking charge of the struggle.

Together with other members of the Dare reChimurenga (war council), Hamadziripi was thrown into detention in Zambia following Herbert Chitepo's assassination, which created a leadership vacuum in Zanu PF on 18 March 1975.

Realising the dangers of a leadership vacuum, the Dare agreed that Mugabe, third in line as secretary general, should takeover the leadership of the struggle since Ndabaningi Sithole had fallen out of favour after reports that he had denounced the struggle.

However, The Standard was told, Hamadziripi openly questioned the idea of letting Mugabe takeover the leadership without consultation.

A veteran of the struggle, Happison Nenji known by his Chimurenga name, Webster Gwauya, said Hamadziripi expressed reservations about allowing Mugabe to take over.

"He (Hamadziriripi) said to his colleagues in the Dare that what they had done was alright but that the best way was for them to come out of detention and discuss the issue together. Two members of the Dare must have leaked this information to Mugabe," said Nenji who hand-delivered a letter from the Dare to Mugabe, giving him the green light to lead the revolution.

Another veteran, Mapiye Gasvo Wekwete, said a rift developed between Mugabe and Hamadziripi after other cadres he named, impressed upon Mugabe the need to do away with Hamadziripi whom they said was a threat to his leadership.

"Hamadziripi had more roots with the forces than Mugabe. Remember he had been in the Dare. These people kept on telling Mugabe that there was need to uproot Hamadziripi using (Josiah) Tongogara. Things went bad thereafter…," Wekwete said.

He said it was no surprise that Hamadziripi and several others accused of trying to overthrow Mugabe's leadership, ended up being arrested and thrown into the pits in Mozambique. A year later they were subjected to great suffering for months. They were only released in December 1979 and Hamadziripi and the other victims went on to contest the 1980 elections under Zanu.

Tongogara, the commander of the Zanla forces who was to die in a controversial car accident in Mozambique shortly before independence, was said to have been heavily involved in the purges that occurred as Mugabe consolidatted his power.

"These people (Hamadziripi and others) would have died if Samora Machel had not insisted that he did not want to see blood being shed in his country. Vaikandirwa sadza sembwa (they were treated like dogs)," Wekwete said.

Nenji, who was several months in the pits with Hamadziripi said: "Takaonda zvokuonekwa mugogodya." (We became very, very thin).

Rugare Gumbo, who has joined Mugabe's government, said on Friday: "We want to build the nation. We don't want to open old wounds unnecessarily."

Zanu PF spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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Muguti attacks Britain

Zim Std

By Linda Tsetere

CHIRUMHANZU - The British embassy on Friday commissioned a new mortuary and a classroom block in Chirumhanzu, but Edwin Muguti, the MP for the area, seized the opportunity to blame the British government for Zimbabwe's problems.

Reacting to reports of drug shortages and deaths of patients who can not access anti-retroviral drugs in the district, Muguti, who is the Deputy Minister of Health, said: "A lot of people are dying from HIV and Aids because the country cannot buy these drugs from outside. This (suffering) is all because of the sanctions that the British government has imposed on us."

Officials at Holy Cross Mission Hospital where the mortuary was constructed at a cost of $100 million confirmed the drug shortages and said the situation was affecting service delivery.

"There are a number of problems that we have. Among these are the staff shortages. There is one doctor in Mvuma and he last visited us in March. Above all there is a critical shortage of all drugs and among these are anti- retrovirals and most people need them," said an official at the hospital.

The official also added that there was no ambulance to ferry people to its major referral hospital, St Theresa's Hospital, situated 38 km from Holy Cross Mission Hospital.

However, Chief Chirumhanzu thanked the British embassy for their support saying the mortuary would go a long way in helping his people.

"Today we give thanks to the British embassy. This mortuary means that people no longer rush to bury their relatives or take dead bodies to Hama while waiting for burial." Hama Mission Hospital is 40km away.

The classroom block at Chengwena School was constructed at a cost of $200 million and was fully furnished by the British embassy.

The headmaster at Chengwena School, Alexander Mauto, expressed gratitude to the British embassy for its assistance, saying all their pleas to the corporate world had fallen on deaf ears.

The embassy has also helped the school by roofing five classrooms whose roofs were blown away by a hailstorm in 2002.

The First Secretary at the British embassy, Gillian Dare, said the British embassy was happy to help and that all the projects were genuinely funded and meant to benefit the society.

"We will fund all projects irrespective of the political orientations of the communities and organisations from which they come," Dare said.

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No let up on political violence: Report

Zim Std
By our staff
CASES of political violence increased considerably from January to June, reveals a human rights report.

The report, Political Violence Report June 2005, compiled by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum notes that 439 people were assaulted and 17 abducted in cases related to political violence perpetrated by security officers.

Also 518 cases of unlawful arrest, 488 incidents of illegal detention and four of rape were recorded during the period under review.

Most of the political violence occurred in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in March and after the polls, which were also followed by "Operation Murambatsvina".

In March alone, there were 259 cases of assaults, six of abduction and 86 of unlawful arrests while in May, 34 cases of assault, three of abduction and 315 of unlawful arrests were recorded.

There were also reported deaths.

One of the deaths recorded in March, was that of Zanu PF supporter and war veteran, Gift Chimbandi, who was burnt to death under unclear circumstances.

During the month of June, another person was allegedly tortured and left for dead by five soldiers for calling "Operation Murambatsvina" a "Tsunami".

"In the above instance, it is reported that the soldiers refused to take the victim to the police," reads the report.

About 20 members of Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested in June for holding a demonstration against the clean-up operation as well as commemorating World Refugee Day in Bulawayo.

Ironically, the demolitions of people's houses, which started in May, continued in June, the same month that the world commemorated World Refugee Day and the International Day against Torture, which are on 20 June and 26 June respectively.

"The Human Rights Forum deplores the heavy-handed manner in which the demonstration was quashed and urges state agents to respect the peoples' right to freedom of expression," said the report.

The Forum also says the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) also threatened a student activist and his family at their rural home in Goromonzi.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) intervened, taking the matter to the courts, where an order was issued barring the CIO and Zanu PF supporters from harassing him or evicting his family.

But the threats continued despite the order.

"These are disturbing reports in light of the fact that the government has been on record many times ignoring court orders. The Human Rights Forum urges the government to respect judgments of the courts and demonstrate that the law applies to every Zimbabwean," says the report.

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Top Zanu PF official denied bail

Zim Standard
By our correspondent

RUSAPE - The High Court has dismissed a bail application by Albert Nyakuedzwa, a top Zanu PF official in Rusape who is facing charges of murdering a war veteran, on the grounds that he has pending cases of political violence.

Nyakuedzwa is the Zanu PF district chairman in Rusape and campaigned for Joseph Made, the agriculture Minister, during the Zanu PF primaries for Parliamentary elections last year. .

He is also the regional manager of the Grain Marketing Board in Manicaland and distributed grain and farming inputs to villagers in Makoni West encouraging them to support Made ahead of the late Gibson Munyoro.

High Court judge, Justice Udya dismissed the bail application saying Nyakuedzwa and two Zanu PF supporters had a pending case of violence and kidnapping. Nyakuedzwa was arrested together with five other ruling party activists who were, however granted $500 000.

The five are Blessing Kanombirira, Maruwa Kurira, Samson Chari, Delta Mandibaya and Fungai Murisa. They were ordered to report at Rusape Police Station every Friday before 6PM.

Allegations against Nyakuedzwa and his accomplices are that they fatally assaulted Tina Wilson Mukono at Atlas Crusher Farm in Makoni District, after accusing him of stealing metal roofing sheets and electric cables from Muhonde Farm.

Mukono was declared a provincial liberation war hero and was buried at the Manicaland Provincial heroes' acre in Mutare a recently.

Tapiwa Godzi of the Attorney-General's Office opposed the application saying Nyakuedzwa was unrepentant and likely to commit similar offences.

Nyakuedzwa, allegedly at Didymus Mutasa's behest, led a group of 27 people that severely assaulted a provincial war veterans' leader, James Kaunye who had expressed his desire to challenge Mutasa in Makoni North. Mutasa is the Zanu PF secretary for administration. They were arrested and brought to court where they were granted $300 000 bail each. They were ordered not to engage in acts of violence before their case was finalised.

Their trial on this case is still to come before the courts.

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Mathema lambasts NGOs for providing boreholes

Zim Std
By our Staff

CAIN Mathema, the Resident Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, is unhappy with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for sinking boreholes in remote areas as they step up efforts to solve the water problems rural communities are facing.

Speaking at a Matabeleland North Development Committee meeting held in Bulawayo last week, Mathema said the NGOs should build roads and desist from sinking boreholes stressing "we want metered water".

"Why don't we have tarred roads in the province? Why should the NGOs not come and construct roads? Why should they put more emphasis on hand pumps and boreholes?

"There are no hand-pumps in Europe. We want metered water. Boreholes must go," Mathema said.

Several NGOs have been in the forefront of helping disadvantaged people solve their problems in most of Zimbabwe's remote areas. Water has however, remained a critical area, prompting donor agencies to channel resources towards the construction of boreholes in dry areas.

The purpose of the Matabeleland North Development Committee meeting was to discuss, among other issues, the implementation of provincial programmes, receive reports on progress and to address constraints faced in their implementation.

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Government fails to deliver Asia tsunami donations

Zim Std

By our staff

MORE than seven months after officials mobilised resources in cash and kind worth over $6 billion to assist victims of the devastating Asian tsunami disaster, the government is yet to transport the remaining batch of donations to the affected, The Standard has established.

At the beginning of this year, government set up the Zimbabwe Tsunami Disaster Fund to help the victims of the disaster, which affected Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and the Maldives on 26 December last year.

Sources at Air Zimbabwe last week said the remaining donated goods were still stored at the national airliner cargo warehouses awaiting dispatch.

The fund's target was to raise $20 billion and an account in its name was opened at one of Zimbank branches with President Robert Mugabe as the patron.

The first consignment of donations, a planeload of water and other donations in kind was sent to Indonesia in February.

Many Zimbabweans responded promptly to the fund.

Deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula who is also the chairperson of the fund confirmed to The Standard that the goods were still in Zimbabwe.

"Nothing has happened so far but we are still trying to organize transport. We have also approached the Indonesian Embassy for transport support but nothing has materialised," Ndhlukula said.

He said most of the goods were non-perishables and these included books and blankets.

Indonesian Embassy secretary for the information, Sukando Sukando, said they were trying to find the best and cheaper way of transporting the goods.

"It is now very expensive to transport donated goods to the affected areas. Now the people in need of the donations are from Aceh, which is very far away from the capital Jakarta, and therefore it would be very expensive," Sukando said.

He added that the people who urgently require aid were school children and the old people around areas near the Singapore border.

Air Zimbabwe cargo officials also confirmed that the goods were still under their custody.

"There have been frantic efforts to transport the goods and some were being flown to Indonesia via Singapore," said an official.

Malaysia, Myanmar and Somalia were also affected by the Tsunami, although the effects were not as devastating as in Indonesia and surrounding areas.

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Govt stoking suspicions of neglect

Zim Std

BULAWAYO'S water crisis is well documented. It was therefore particularly striking to hear to a government minister professing ignorance of the predicament facing the country's second largest city.

Anyone who has been around and has lived in this country and cared enough about the welfare of Zimbabweans would know.

When it suits it the government it is in charge, but when it does not, it distances itself, practising benign neglect.

In September 32 schools in Bulawayo faced closure, a few days after the beginning of the third term. The threatened closure was triggered off by water shortages in Bulawayo.

When the Minister of State for Water Resources and Infrastructural Development, Engineer Munacho Mutezo, visited Bulawayo in August, the State-run Chronicle newspaper quoted him saying there was nothing the government could do to alleviate Bulawayo's water crisis that has, predictably, impacted negatively on the city's high-density suburbs and industrial activities because the ministry had not been formally approached.

It is unclear whether the minister was speaking in his personal capacity or on behalf of the government, because as early as 1997/98 a $25 million budget was drawn up - by the then ruling party dominated Bulawayo city council for a pipeline to convey water from two dams in the area to the city's main water reservoir. But there has been little political will to proceed with the construction of the pipeline.

The proposal for a 25 - 30km pipeline between Ncema Water works - where Bulawayo draws its water supplies - and Mtshabezi and Mzingwane dams was presented to Vice President Joice Mujuru. Construction of the pipeline is one of the immediate responses the government can make if it is committed to addressing the plight of the people and industries in Bulawayo.

Another immediate possible response lies in rehabilitation of boreholes drilled to draw water from the Nyamandhlovu aquifer. Seventy-eight boreholes were drilled to supply water to Bulawayo, but the lawlessness that accompanied the much celebrated but chaotic "agrarian revolution" saw the bulk of the boreholes being vandalised to the extent that only eight remained functional. Fourteen more have since been repaired by the Bulawayo City Council, bringing the total of those working to 22. But 56 of the 78 boreholes still require repairing.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority has taken over the provision of water for Harare and has been promised support in this endeavour by the central bank. To the best of our knowledge, the decision did not follow a formal request to the government. In fact, the government intervened, citing concerns by residents of Harare and health implications. Bulawayo should benefit from similar treatment from both the central bank and the government.

The differences in the manner in which the government reacts to Bulawayo's water problems stoke suspicions of neglect. If there was desire to treat the same problem afflicting the two cities equally, the government would have moved to address the problems simultaneously.

The tardy response to Bulawayo's water crisis has forced companies to close, costing many jobs, yet Bulawayo used to be the industrial hub of this country. Last year the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries published a report on an estimated 1 000 company closures throughout the country because of reasons ranging from water, viability and foreign currency problems. A sizeable number of these were in Bulawayo.

Unless the water crisis is addressed it will be a struggle to attract investment to the area. Yet Bulawayo's proximity to Botswana and South Africa make it an ideal investment destination.

Harare is already talking about fast-tracking the construction of Kunzvi Dam, which will become the new water supply source for the capital city in the next three years. Bulawayo instead is fed promises of Shangani-Gwayi Dam, when the immediate response should be the 30km pipeline, which would also bring much-needed contracts and employment to the companies and workers respectively.

The perception of neglect is in part responsible for the ruling party's rejection by Bulawayo residents, with the first spectacular protest against Zanu PF being its loss in the 2000 parliamentary elections. The rejection was the least Bulawayo could do to show displeasure at what - in the view of the residents - appears a pattern of systematic neglect of the city and the region, leading to the collapse of many industries.

The establishment of the office of metropolitan governors was intended to superintend the activities of executive mayors, because the government was unhappy with the powers of mayors. It thus created a superstructure to oversee executive mayors and areas under their jurisdiction. One of the supposed functions of the office of metropolitan governors is to alert central government to the requirements of areas under their authority. This does not appear to have happened in the case of Bulawayo. Otherwise the minister would not have professed ignorance of the water crisis in Bulawayo.

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The log in your eye

Zimbabwe Standard

Shavings from the Woodpecker

Hypocrites WHY do I get the impression that the State media is clamouring for Welshman Ncube to take over the leadership of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)?

Week in, week out we are being nauseated by so-called authoritative reports - quoting never-to-be-acknowledged sources - that the good professor, who really is quite a capable and likeable fellow in his own right, is gunning for Morgan Tsvangirai's job.
Even if that was true, isn't it what democracy is all about? Why are we not being told who is gunning for Uncle Bob's office now that the great leader has said he is not standing for the presidency after 2008?
Is it because it is much easier to trash the MDC than to discuss the thorny issue of the Zanu PF succession battle?
The greatest tragedy to Zimbabwean journalism is that after the Nutty Professor assumed control of Zimpapers in 2000, many reporters in the State media abandoned all ethics and were content to lie everyday if that would make them remain in the good books of one Jonathan Moyo. (By the way why is he so quiet? Hey wena Jona, what happened to the Third Force?)
Needless to say, the trend has continued, even when Moyo has been relegated to the political wilderness.
And like parrots who have learnt a particular tune, some journalists at the State media continue to lie blatantly hoping that such lies would endear them enough with senior Zanu PF officials to get promoted.
Take for example the story about the MDC's participation in Senate elections. Tsvangirai has come out against his party's participation because he says nothing has changed since 2000 when - to him and his supporters - Zanu PF stole the ballot. Tsvangirai says the Senate election will be pre-determined just as the March 2005 poll was.
Welshman Ncube, on the other hand, merely told this newspaper that the MDC's national council reached a decision before the March election to force change by contesting every election and by-election, a position now being bandied about in the State media as Welshman challenging Morgan!
And if the MDC's national council has yet to meet, where did The Herald get the "sources" who told them that the council met and "snubbed" Tsvangirai as reported in the paper? Are those "analysts" and "sources" not just a figment of the reporter's fertile imagination?
The MDC's top team (including both Tsvangirai and Ncube) has been meeting its provincial structures country-wide to sound them out on the Senate issue. The party's position on whether or not to participate should, therefore, be only known when the national council finally meets, in a week's time. Anything else is pure fiction.
Eagle lands
SO the Eagle has finally landed and a good time was had by all. Delta Beverages' new lager - aptly named Eagle - swooped onto mother earth to quench the thirst of hungry and Zimkwacha-challenged Zimbabweans who can no longer afford other costly waters of immortality.
The long awaited beer, which is to be priced for the down market, is made of sorghum. One journalist who tasted it at its launch at Borrowdale Race Course on Friday night says it reminds him of the pre-Independence Chibuku!
But so tasty was the brew to the palates of a group of young entertainers hired by Delta for the night's entertainment that they decided to take some home without permission.
An alert security official, with strict orders not to allow anyone to take the beer out of Borrowdale, couldn't exactly tell whether one of the young musicians was struggling to lift a ngoma because of the effects of the Eagle … that is until he peeped into the hollow back of the ngoma. Lo and behold, the "talking drum" was packed to the brim with enough Eagles to make a crate!
More butter
A WIFE was calmly making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband.
Suddenly, he burst wildly into the kitchen.
"Careful ... CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter."
"WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK!
Careful ... CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! HURRY UP!! Are you CRAZY? Have you lost your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. QUICK, USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"
The wife stared at him.
"What the hell is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"
The husband looked at her and calmly replied: "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving."  The log in your eye

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