Around Zimbabwe 1-06-06

Police force to double
HARARE - As part of its repressive measures against any possible popular uprising, the Government of Zimbabwe plans to more than double the size of the police force, from 23,000 to about 50,000.
Last month the force was reportedly refusing to allow t

housands of resignations from disgruntled rank and file members due to poor salaries and working conditions. Many were also unhappy at the way the force had been turned into an arm of the ruling party and become riddled with corruption.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has received $15 trillion to finance the operations of the force. Speaking during a tour of Hwange Police Station, home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, said the money would be used for ‘the upkeep of officers and 100 percent expansion of the force through recruitment’.
He said that for the police force to fully combat all forms of crime, including high profile ones in the country, there was need to meet the internationally accepted police officers-people ratio.
“Normally, the standard ratio recommended is one police officer to 500 people and in Zimbabwe the ratio stands at 1:2 000 or more, which serves to tell that the police are being out-numbered by the people,” said spokesman Chief Supt Mandipaka. – AND

Fire guts Gokomere dorms
HARARE – Gokomere Secondary school’s logo is fittingly inscribed: Vincere Caritate which means, ‘conquer with love’. This spirit and philosophy was put to great test on Sunday, May 21, 2006, when eight dormitories were gutted by fire leaving 95 Form One girls without accommodation.
The fire, suspected to have been caused by an electric fault, gutted the dormitories while the pupils were attending a church service. The service was aborted as the entire school rushed to the girls’ hostels where they tried to put out the fire using water. By the time the Fire brigade arrived from Masvingo, some 45 minutes later, the blaze had already been extinguished. But not before about 40 girls lost all their belongings – clothes, uniforms, food and books in the inferno.
In addition to physical destruction, fire takes a tremendous emotional toll on people, their families and community. It must have been a horrendous experience for those young girls to walk into a building after the fire and find everything gone with winter is upon them. It is not enough to express sympathy.
Those young people at Gokomere need ’empathy and action’ so that they can realise their dreams like many others who passed through Gokomere. The fire that gutted eight dormitories and belongings of the young girls but it can not destroy the fire and spirit of Caritate.
Those of us who passed through Gokomere have felt challenged by the plight of our former school and we have launched an appeal in response to the tragedy. An Account where RTGS transfer payment can be made has been opened (this means you can transfer your money from your bank account in Zimbabwe to this account). It is important to quote the details below: Genesis Investment Bank, RBZ Account number: 20-16427 REF: Gokomere Reunion Account The account is being administered by: Dominic Musengi – Head of Legal and Corporate Services [email protected] Tererai Mafukidze- Legal and Corporate Legal Services Manager (Trust Holdings) Oripa Makombe nee Muzvidziwa- Human Resources Manager (Seedco Group) A weekly report on the inflows and outflows will be made to all concerned. Just let the account administrators know as soon as you have effected payment. Vincere Caritate! – Msekiwa Makwanya can be contacted through [email protected]

Re-shuffle imminent?
HARARE – A cabinet re-shuffle is expected shortly as President Robert Mugabe prepares emergency measures to cover up the worsening economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
The dismal showing of the ruling party in the recent Budiriro by-election has been read as the national sentiment against government and has piled pressure on Mugabe to relinquish power to a transitional government amid weeks of damaging headlines.
Mugabe met this week with inter-denominational church leaders to discuss the deepening multi-pronged crisis in the face of a growing clamour for his administration to accept a transitional arrangement.
Zimbabwe Council of Churches president Peter Nemapare, who was accompanied by seven other church leaders, said they had a “frank discussion” and had “emphasized the need for re-engagement with the opposition, civic groups and the international community to find a lasting solution” to Zimbabwe’s crisis.
Mugabe has been told that a reshuffle would distract attention from the mounting crisis if, as experts predict, the opposition manages to tap into citizens’ deep well of disenchantment with the crisis and mobilize mass action.
Mugabe hopes that by revamping his front bench he will dispel the sense of a drift that has gripped his government and give himself some political breathing room.
There is widespread expectation that he will put new faces in charge of Agriculture and Mines. – Change Zimbabwe

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