News Shorts 14/4/06

ZIMTA on teachers' abject poverty
VICTORIA FALLS - The 60,000-member Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (ZIMTA) held its annual conference here this week under the theme "Uplifting and Consolidating the Status of Teachers in Zimbabwe."
"Teachers are preoccupied with their abjec


t poverty, moonlighting to make ends meet instead of devoting their full attention to providing quality public education to the learners. Their morale is low and it is difficult to motivate hungry professionals who cannot afford to send their children to school, or afford basic needs,” said chief executive office Peter Mabande. – Own correspondent


IYASA tours Austria
HARARE – Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts, popularly known as IYASA, has embarked on a four-month tour of Austria. Widely hailed as Zimbabwe’s leading dance group, will perform its latest project China K, sponsored by the Austrian government.
The play highlights the suffering of women in Africa. The group’s director, Nkululeko Dube, said the performers who were to feature in the play had shown great maturity over the years and had demonstrated their capacity to tackle any challenge in a professional manner.
“We have never worked with puppets and that alone is a challenge which will bring a new dimension. The play includes various actors of different races. For example, we as an African group, will use English as a means of communicating. The Austrians will speak in Dutch and there are German actors too,” he said. – Own correspondent


ZLHR offers free legal help
HARARE – The City authorities have announced that they intend to repossess undeveloped stands and tear down illegal structures erected since last year’s evictions and demolitions. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said it was ready to help people who risked losing their homes.
The warning came on the eve of the first anniversary of Operation Murambatsvina. Tafadzwa Mugabe of ZLHR encouraged residents to comply with regulations, ensure that construction met council standards and title deeds were in order and offered free legal help to do this.
“We are ready to assist people to meet the legal demands of local authorities and the state to avert what happened last year,” he said. “Last time, residents were told to regularise their houses, but before they could do that they were razed to the ground, and that is what should be avoided.”
Officials from residents’ associations in the Harare suburbs of Mbare, Glen View and Dzivarasekwa said council officials had already started evicting residents from their uncompleted houses. Police have also intensified efforts to remove illegal street traders. – IRIN


Govt bans help for Hopley
HARARE – The government last week banned the international NGO, Christian Care, from making general food distributions in Hopley Transit Camp, just outside Harare, where around 6,500 victims of Operation Murambatsvina are housed in temporary shelters, some no more than plastic sheeting.
“We have been told to do what is termed ‘targeted’ feeding,” an NGO employee said. “This means we can only feed the elderly, the sick and child-headed families – we have been told to exclude those able to fend for themselves. We have had no option but to go ahead with the demands of the government, through its officers from the ministry of social welfare.” The directive was made reportedly on the grounds that the settlement was seen as a stronghold of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. – IRIN

‘Freedom-fighter priest’ named Bishop of Chinhoyi
HARARE – A Jesuit priest detained twice and then expelled by the Smith regime in the 1970’s has been named the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Chinhoyi.
Father Dieter Scholz SJ, aged 67, succeeds the late Bishop Helmut Recktor as shepherd of the more than 84,000 Catholics in Chinhoyi.
Until his elevation, the German-born missionary was director of Silveira House, a centre of education and formation for leadership and development outside Harare. While working with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace from 1972 to 1978, first as vice-president and then president, Fr Scholz was arrested under the Official Secrets Act and the Law and Order Maintenance (Emergency Power Regulations) Act and imprisoned twice. He was deported from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) on August 12, 1978.
The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe still awaits the appointment of bishops for the dioceses of Gweru and Hwange that have been vacant since 2004. Gweru became vacant after the death of Bishop Francis Mugadzi, while Hwange has had no shepherd since Archbishop Robert Ndlovu was transferred to Harare to succeed the late Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa. – CISA

Zimbabwe media to fight internet law
Information is power

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