Around Zim 3-08-06

Gokwe rally marks significant shift in rural support
GOKWE - Isaac Matongo, the National Chairman in the Tsvangirai MDC, has said a rally they held in Gokwe last week day clearly demonstrated a significant shift in the rural areas towards the opposition.

ngo said for a long time Zanu (PF) had relied on violence and intimidation to block the MDC from making inroads in the rural areas. But according to the MDC over 10 000 people attended a rally in an area called Kwa Sahayi, in Gokwe, and the fact that they attracted such a crowd bore testimony to the ever increasing disaffection with the ruling party and a search for new solutions to the country’s problems.
Matongo said because there had been a reduction in the number of incidents of violence people were now coming out in large numbers to show their true allegiance. The rally was a lively affair with people voicing their concerns. He said farmers in the area were withholding thousands of bales of cotton because the market was so bad they could not make enough money to survive.
The opposition believes Zanu (PF)’s dominance in the rural areas is now nothing more than a ‘perception’ and that people are voting with their feet and attending opposition rallies. – SW Radio Africa

Armed ZESA employees steal cables
By Tererai Karimakwenda
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has been losing electric cables, transformers and other valuable components due to theft for many years. It has long been suspected that much of the loss was due to insiders who knew the location of key equipment and had access to security information.
But now armed gangs of ZESA employees have been seen at night by residents in and around Harare stealing from their own employer. One woman near Murombedzi Road said the thieves she saw one night arrived in a ZESA truck and were in their ZESA uniforms.
Choosing to remain anonymous for her safety the woman said the group fired a couple of shots into the air to scare residents. They then proceeded to cut cables and unscrew transformers at the local plant near her house. She witnessed the whole thing but was too afraid to report it to the police.
Meanwhile, Bindura has been without water in many parts for several days now. Bindura council officials appeared on state television this week complaining that two water pumps had been damaged by ZESA’a power load shedding.
This was the second time since last month that pumps had been damaged in the town. The Reserve Bank bailed them out the first time by providing Z$13.5 billion for replacement parts. Now Bindura officials will have to go back for more if they want to restore normal water service to the town. – SW Radio Africa

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