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ZIMDAY Monday 19 July 2004

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ZIMDAY Monday 19 July 2004 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                        From Mmegi (Botswana), 28 July
ZIMDAY                  Thursday 29 July 2004                                                     Getting a work permit the Zimbabwean way
                                                                                  Meekaeel Siphambili
In this issue:                                                                    Zimbabweans seem to be always ahead of the Labour and Immigration
Manyika named -              Financial Gazette                                    departments when it comes to acquiring residence and work permits. After
                                                                                  the regulations for employing farm labourers and herdsmen were relaxed,
Working the system –         Mmegi
                                                                                  almost every Zimbabwean taxi driver, and self-employed bricklayer has a
System not working -         Refugees International                               permit that states that he is a herdsman or farm labourer. John Mathemba
HOMELINK flops -             Zim Online                                           (not his real name) is a 24-year-old taxi driver but his permit says he is a
Little relief –              IRIN                                                 herdsman. He has been driving taxis for the past two years. He says he got
                                                                                  his own permit by placing an advertisement for a farm labourer in the Daily
Moyo loses defamation case - Financial Gazette
                                                                                  News. "It is so easy. All you have to do is place an advert in the Daily News,
Mann pleads guilty -         Times                                                and let it run for two weeks," he says. "And it's cheap to place an advert of
                                                                                  this nature in the Daily News. It only costs about P7. According to Mathem-
                                                                                  ba you need a contact number and a postal box number. "After two weeks,
                      From The Financial Gazette, 29 July                         you can attach the advert to your application forms and ask a citizen of
                   Minister cited in MDC supporter's death                        Botswana to act as your boss and hand in the application forms on your
Brian Mangwende                                                                   behalf. All you need is a work permit and a resident permit. Where you work
Former Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation,             is not really an issue. You can get a permit, which says you are a
Elliot Manyika, faces claims for $135 million in connection with the death of     herdsman, but still drive a taxi," the Zimbabwean says.
a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter and injuries to anoth-           The other way of getting a permit is by marrying a Motswana, he says.
er during violence which marred the Zengeza by-election held about four           "Even if you are married in Zimbabwe, you can still marry again in Botswana
months ago. The claims against Manyika, who has since been relegated to           and nobody would know that you have a wife back home. "A letter that con-
the obscure post of Minister Without Portfolio in the President's Office, come    firms that you are not married can be bought over the counter in Zimbabwe
amid a cacophony of angry voices over the bloodshed and shootings that            and nobody can charge you with bigamy," Mathemba says. "As long as the
have characterised Zimbabwe's elections. Violence, which has become a             wives do not meet, you are safe or you can tell your wife back home why
trademark of the country's elections, has been blamed on growing intoler-         you have to marry a Motswana and she is bound to understand. Life is
ance for political opponents and confrontation. The claims against Manyika,       tough in Zimbabwe. She has no choice as long as you bring money home".
the ruling Zanu PF legislator for Bindura who was dumped from his former          The Zimbabwean illegal immigrants, who are seen as a menace by many
ministerial portfolio in the last mini Cabinet reshuffle, are contained in High   Batswana, are said to be a blessing for many would-be homeowners. The
Court cases 8359/04 and 8360/04 in which the plaintiffs Arthur Chinozvina         self-employed Zimbabwean bricklayers are said to be charging five times
and Aurther Gunzvenzve have filed summonses implicating Manyika in the            less than their Batswana counterparts. Many Batswana rely on Zimbabwean
sudden death of 22-year-old Francis Chinozvina, an MDC activist and the           builders because they say they save a lot of money.
injuries to Gunzvenzve. Manyika is currently Zanu PF's political commissar.
In papers prepared by Magwaliba, Mathuthu and Kwirira Legal Practitioners                           From Refugees International (US), 14 July
and filed at in court on June 30 2004, it is claimed on behalf of Francis Chi-         Zimbabweans in South Africa: Denied access to political asylum
nozvina that: "On or about the 28th of March 2004 and at Chitungwiza near         South Africa is denying access to political asylum to thousands of Zimbab-
the residence of a Movement for Democratic Change parliamentary candi-            weans seeking to escape persecution. Of the 5,000 applications for political
date, the defendant caused to be discharged a firearm into the direction of       asylum filed by Zimbabweans to date, fewer than 20 Zimbabweans have
the late Francis Chinozvina and others. The discharging of a firearm in a         actually received political asylum in South Africa. But more troubling still is
public place and in the presence of a considerable number of persons was          the fact that few Zimbabweans are able even to apply for political asylum.
deliberate or alternatively grossly negligent. As a result of the defendant's     The South African government office that handles immigration, Department
conduct, one bullet from his firearm hit the person of Francis Chinozvina         of Home Affairs (DHA), has five Refugee Reception Offices in the country.
causing serious and severe injuries as a result of which he died immediate-       There are two offices close to the Zimbabwe border. The largest office, in a
ly." It is claimed that before his death Chinozvina was a commodity broker        shopping center in the Rosettenville section of Johannesburg, has been
earning $1 million monthly and supporting several dependants including five       moved and closed repeatedly since October 2003. There are no signs iden-
minor children left behind by his late brother.                                   tifying the office, but it is easy to find if one looks for the hundreds of people
The plaintiff claims, on his own behalf and the minor children, from Manyika      clustered in an alley trying to gain access. Asylum seekers sleep overnight
$20 million in respect of funeral expenses, $30 million for his own loss of       to get a good place in line and queue for hours. One asylum seeker told
support and damages and $40 million for loss of support and damages for           Refugees International, "This is the third time I’ve been here… I’ve never
the minors. In the second case, Gunzvenzve claims that as a result of the         been in, you just wait in line."
shooting, he sustained a huge hole across the shin, severe wounds around          While DHA has acknowledged its problems and is working on a "turnaround
the lower part of his knee and severe damage to the knee cartilage and            strategy," in the words of DHA Director General, Mr. Barry Gilder, it "still has
tendons and wants $45 million from Manyika. Gunzvenzve's claim is for $20         a long way to go." All of the offices are woefully understaffed, resulting in a
million for medical expenses incurred, $15 million for future medical ex-         backlog of up to 80,000 cases waiting to be reviewed. DHA claims that
penses and $10 million for damage, pain, suffering, shock, disfigurement          Zimbabweans do not face more barriers than asylum seekers of other na-
and loss of amenities of life. Manyika's address in both summonses is cited       tionalities, but that is contrary to the direct observations of RI. A Zimbab-
as 55 Shaneragh Road, Mandara, Harare. Contacted for comment, Manyika             wean told us that he lined up at 11 a.m. the day before the office opened so
said he had sold that property in 1999 and had not had sight of the sum-          he could be first in line. "They only took one Zimbabwean that day. I was
monses. "They are dreamers," Manyika said. "I sold the house in 55 Shane-         number two." While the senior management of the Immigration Department
ragh in 1999. I don't live there anymore. As far as I am concerned, that story    acknowledged to RI that Zimbabweans have the right to be considered
is a non-starter. The police have already said that I was nowhere near Chi-       refugees, Refugee Reception officers were unable to state whether or not
tungwiza on that day."                                                            Zimbabweans had the right to political asylum in South Africa. Staff in the
In earlier press reports published in the government-controlled media, police     Reception Office told RI that Zimbabweans were not a priority because
spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena exonerated Manyika, saying the Member               "there is no civil war in Zimbabwe, so there is no reason to apply." Other
of Parliament for Bindura was in his constituency at the time of the incident     Zimbabweans told us they were denied access to the process because they
and that his alibi had been confirmed by the Electoral Supervisory Commis-        did not have valid passports. Even the UN agency in charge of refugees
sion chairman, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, police officers at a roadblock in Ma-         could not agree. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
zowe, personnel at Mazowe Hotel and employees at his farm. Bvudzijena             (UNHCR) in South Africa was also unable to provide a clear determination
was quoted as saying: "As much as we would want members of the public             as to whether Zimbabweans qualify for asylum. They told RI that they were
to come forward with information, we will only tolerate reasonable and subs-      waiting clarification themselves from Geneva.
tantive information that can be used in a court of law". The police subse-        Corruption is widespread within the Department of Home Affairs and the
quently arrested a 43-year-old Arcturus man identified as Ernest Matsotso         South African Police Services. RI interviewed people who told of being
in connection with the Zengeza skirmishes. Matsotso has since appeared at         asked for a bribe merely to receive a letter giving them an appointment to
the Harare magistrates' court in connection with the matter. The bloody           present their asylum claim. Police officers ask for bribes to look the other
Zengeza by-election was won by ZANU PF's Christopher Chigumba, who                way when rounding up undocumented asylum seekers or those whose
trounced MDC's "imposed candidate" James Makore. Makore has since                 temporary permit of stay has expired. One Zimbabwean told us, "I was
filed a petition in the High Court challenging the outcome of the poll results,   stopped while walking down the street. The policeman asked for my papers
arguing that the by election was riddled with violence. The Zengeza seat fell     but told me that for 200 Rand [U$33] he would not deport me." At the Linde-
vacant following the abrupt departure of MDC legislator Tafadzwa Museki-          la detention center, bribes are demanded for release, while deportees can
wa to the United Kingdom citing security reasons.                                 also pay to jump from the "deportation train" on the way back to Zimbabwe.
                                                                                  In 2003, over 100 Zimbabwean asylum seekers were unlawfully detained in
                                                                                  the Lindela Detention Center. Zimbabweans comprise the second largest
group of deportees. Most are repatriated without ever having seen an immi-          secure accommodation in one of the country's working class suburbs. "The
gration official. According to organizations that work in Lindela, there are        monthly rental for a typical five-roomed home in a high-density suburb,
very few immigration officers who work in the facility. "On any given day           where the majority of people live, is between Z$800,000 and Z$1.5 million.
there may be between two and zero for a facility that holds up to 5,000             Even if they are not taxed, they then can only afford a two-roomed home -
people." There is no Refugee Reception Officer in Musina, a town that rests         whether or not they have a family - so where are they going to get money
on the major thoroughfare between South Africa and Zimbabwe. If an asy-             for food? There's no money for food, school fees, transport."
lum seeker were to request to apply, they would be directed to go to Preto-         "What I'm saying, basically, is there should be huge tax breaks - in fact, I
ria or Johannesburg, over five hours away. No transportation would be pro-          would suggest that a person earning up to Z$2 million should be tax free -
vided. RI interviewed Zimbabweans along the border who told us of being             but we know the government has admitted that it is getting the greatest
arrested and immediately dropped over the border without any contact with           portion of its revenue inflow from individual taxes, so that suggestion would
immigration officials. Police and Army in the border regions rely on spurious       not be viable for them," he added. All these factors have had a "very nega-
methods to identify Zimbabweans, such as asking questions in a South                tive impact on the urban poor" and more and more people have had to turn
African language or checking which arm bears a smallpox scar. According             to the informal economy to earn a living. "Everywhere you go now in Harare
to an NGO working in Musina, "The police have no training. Some people              you see people selling this and that on the street - that to me is a sign that
are being deported because [Zimbabweans] are darker."                               things are not in order," Nikisi concluded. The IMF has attributed Zim-
                        From Zim Online (SA), 29 July                               babwe's economic decline mainly to inappropriate macroeconomic policies
                 HOMELINK does not bring home the bacon                             and structural changes that weakened Zimbabwe's economic base. "In
Foreign currency scheme flops                                                       particular, the disorderly implementation of the land reform programme has
Harare - A new scheme, meant to tap into hard currency held by Zimbab-              contributed to a sharp reduction in agricultural production. Concerns about
weans living and working abroad and called Homelink, has failed, Gideon             governance and human rights, and the continued lack of clarity about prop-
Gono, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has admitted.              erty rights have severely damaged confidence, discouraged investment,
Under Homelink, Zimbabwean exiles are encouraged to send money back                 and promoted capital flight and emigration," the Fund said.
home to relatives and friends using banks and other official channels. Reci-
pients in Zimbabwe would get the money in hard currency if they so wished.                              From The Financial Gazette, 29 July
Gono now said said during a review of monetary policy function earlier this                            Minister Moyo loses Daily News case
week that he would reconsider Homelink. People were only using the                  Brian Mangwende
scheme to obtain scarce foreign currency from the official market which they        The High Court yesterday ordered Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to
would then sell on the illegal parallel market. The RBZ chief said Homelink         pay $2.5 million in defamation charges against The Associated Newspapers
had by last Monday raised US$23,3 million from Zimbabweans in the dias-             of Zimbabwe (ANZ). ANZ, publishers of the defunct Daily News and The
pora. Gono, who in the last three months visited Zimbabwean communities             Daily News on Sunday, successfully sued Moyo following defamatory
in South Africa, the United States of America and Britain to encourage them         statements he made against The Daily News and its staffers in The Herald
to use the Homelink system, said at the time he was hoping to raise                 on May 17, June 3, June 10, June 14, June 15 and June 18 2003. The High
US$300 million per week through the scheme. To ensure that foreign cur-             Court also ordered Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) Private Limited to
rency sent through Homelink remained in the official market, Gono said, 'all        pay $5 million and columnist Nathaniel Manheru to pay $250 000 as the
receipts under the Homelink channel will be converted to local currency at          second and third respondents respectively. Herald editor Pikirayi Deketeke
the diaspora rate of Z$5 600, or the auction rate, whichever is higher, and         claimed that he was Manheru. The judgment was handed down yesterday
no payments shall be given out in foreign currency'.                                in the High Court on behalf of Justice Yunus Omerjee. Details of the full
                                                                                    judgment are yet to be made public. The defendants' lawyer, Johannes
                            From IRIN (UN), 27 July                                 Tomana, said his clients would definitely appeal against the judgment. "De-
           Tax breaks bring little relief for urban poor, economist                 fendants are going to appeal against the decision within the prescribed 14
Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's government has announced tax breaks aimed                 days," Tomana said. Simon Sadoma of Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, the
at stimulating the ailing economy and easing the erosion of incomes caused          lawyers representing ANZ had this to say of the judgment: "It's a victory for
by soaring inflation. Economist Dennis Nikisi told IRIN on Tuesday that "the        press freedom." Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) director Sarah
tax break announced is a good start, but certainly not the whole solution to        Chiumbu said: "It's a progressive move by the judiciary because of late the
the problem" of ongoing erosion of household purchasing power, even                 media has been receiving a lot of negative judgments. We hope that such
though inflation had slowed from a peak of 600 percent last year. "Inflation        cases, when they crop up, are handled on merit and not influenced by poli-
is increasing, but at a slower rate, so as long as we do not address the            tics.
question of a complete moratorium on price increases [for basic goods and                                    From The Times (UK), 29 July
services], then [the tax breaks] are meaningless," said Nikisi, director of the                  ‘Mercenary' leader admits trying to buy weapons
Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe. Finance                From Jan Raath in Harare
Minister Herbert Murerwa announced the tax breaks on Monday at a mid-               A former British SAS officer at the centre of an alleged plot to overthrow a
term review of the government's financial policies. "High rates of inflation        West African dictatorship pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to acquire
have not only eroded the real value of incomes but have pushed up most              military weapons. Poker-faced and lank-haired, Simon Mann rose from his
employees into high tax brackets. This undermines disposable incomes,               seat alongside 69 other alleged mercenaries in Chikurubi maximum security
critical for stimulating aggregate demand in the economy," Agence France-           prison near Harare to admit the conspiracy charge that carries a penalty of
Presse quoted him as saying. The individual tax-free threshold will be raised       up to ten years in jail in Zimbabwe. But he denied buying £100,000 worth of
from Z$200,000 to Z$750,000 per month from 1 September.                             rifles, machineguns, anti-tank weapons, rocket launchers and explosives
As inflation cuts into incomes, there has been further evidence of increased        without a permit. The second charge, under the Firearms Act, carries a
vulnerability among ordinary Zimbabweans, leaving them less able to pro-            maximum penalty of five years. Mr Mann and the other 69 were arrested in
cure basic goods and services. In a recent press release the International          Harare on March 7 where they were allegedly planning to load the weapo-
Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe's GDP fell by 30 percent over the last            nry for use in an attempt to overthrow the Government of President Obiang,
five years and another 4-5 percent decline is expected this year. "Unem-            of the recently oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea. For the first time since
ployment is very high and increasing, social indicators, which were once            their arrest at Harare international airport, evidence was given in the large
among the best in Africa, have worsened, and the widespread HIV/AIDS                white-painted shed that serves as a courtroom, surrounded by heavy securi-
pandemic remains largely unchecked. Severe food shortages have necessi-             ty.Group Captain Hope Mutizi, the marketing manager of the state-owned
tated massive food imports and donor assistance," the Fund noted. IRIN              Zimbabwe Defence Industries, from whom Mr Mann was allegedly buying
reported earlier this month that the capital, Harare, had seen a rising num-        the weaponry, told the court he had been doing business with Mr Mann’s
ber of kwashiorkor cases. The symptoms of kwashiorkor, caused by inade-             company, Military Technical Services, for up to five years. This latest deal,
quate protein consumption, include a bloated stomach and spindly arms               however, was done "very clandestinely". Mr Mann told him that "as little as
and legs, and can result in death if not treated. In his health report for 2003,    possible would be put in writing". There were no "end-user" certificates for
the city's director of health services, Dr Lovemore Mbengeranwa, noted that         the weapons. The final payment, of £50,000 in cash, was delivered by a
instances of diagnosed kwashiorkor had risen by 11.1 percent. A total of            representative of Mr Mann’s at the Harare Holiday Inn hotel on March 5, he
621 cases were treated at council-run clinics, of which 97 percent were             said. Two days later, Mr Mutizi met Mr Mann in a hangar at Manyame mili-
children under the age of five. Mbengeranwa told IRIN that "food vulnerabili-       tary airbase next to Harare airport to check the consignment. "We were
ty in urban areas is increasing at an alarming level due to economic instabil-      suddenly surrounded by armed men," he said. "We were asked to produce
ity in the country".                                                                the government authority for sales of weapons." On Tuesday, the other 68
NGOs had earlier warned that a recent 150 percent hike in the maize pro-            pleaded guilty to charges of violating immigration and aviation laws, which
ducer price, as well as a 50 percent increase in bread prices, brought on by        carry maximum penalties of two years and one month in jail respectively.
a shortage of flour, was going to result in staple foods becoming increasing-       The trial continues today. François Joubert, the veteran South African attor-
ly inaccessible to ordinary Zimbabweans. "Most Zimbabweans cannot afford            ney and head of the defence team, has withdrawn from the case. He re-
mealie [maize] meal ... when it is available in the retail outlets," a represent-   fused to give a reason.
ative of a food security monitoring agency told IRIN in May. Nikisi said aver-
age salaries of between Z$500,000 and Z$700,000 were not enough to

				
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