Fri 27 Apr 2007
JANE FIELDS IN HARARE
ZIMBABWEAN tyrant Robert Mugabe strikes terror into many Zimbabweans -
including his central bank governor, it emerged yesterday.
So anxious not to offend the authoritarian Mr Mugabe is Dr Gideon Gono, the
governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), that, when he announced a
huge devaluation, he insisted it wasn't really a devaluation at all.
Mr Mugabe, 83, is famously opposed to any form of devaluation of the
Zimbabwe dollar. He wants exporters and tourists to continue selling their
hard currency to the cash-strapped authorities at the official exchange rate
of 250 Zimbabwe dollars to $1 US (500 Zimbabwe dollars to the pound). That's
about 100 times less than the street rate.
Mr Mugabe and his lieutenants' refusal to move the exchange rate has forced
many exporters to shut. Almost all of the country's gold mines have closed
down, while growers of tobacco - once Zimbabwe's main foreign currency
earner - have refused to sell their crops, sending Zimbabwe further into
economic crisis. Businessmen and locals sent foreign currency by relatives
abroad risk arrest and prison if found trading their notes on the parallel
Yesterday, Dr Gono effectively devalued the Zimbabwe dollar 60-fold in a
last-ditch bid to persuade tobacco farmers to sell up and holders of hard
currency to surrender it to the central bank.
However, the central bank chief maintained he was sticking to the official
Dr Gono said Zimbabweans would still have to exchange their hard currency at
the 250:1 US dollar rate - but would then have their payouts upped by a
"drought accelerator factor" of 60. "There is no devaluation," Dr Gono
insisted. "The exchange rate policy remains as is."
This means a tourist who sells £100 to an RBZ office will get 3 million
Zimbabwe dollars. Previously, the payout was 50,000 Zimbabwe dollars.
Friday 27 April 2007
By Nqobizitha Khumalo
BULAWAYO - Only six African countries and Pakistan are exhibiting at this
year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZIFT) as major Western countries
continue to shun the troubled southern African country.
South Africa, Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner, is also absent from the
fair which opened on Tuesday in the second biggest city of Bulawayo.
The foreign countries that are participating at the fair are Mozambique,
Malawi, Sudan, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania and Pakistan.
A visit to the trade fair grounds showed that only flea market and small to
medium-scale enterprises were the only ones that had taken up space at the
low-key trade fair.
ZITF chairman Nhlanhla Masuku told ZimOnline that 690 local companies were
participating at the fair, down from the 713 companies that took part in the
fair last year.
Masuku said the decline in the number of foreign exhibitors was due to some
foreign companies exhibiting at the fair through local agents.
"The traditional companies are here since they are exhibiting through their
gents but the fact that they are represented by other people does not
necessarily mean they are not here," ¯Masuku said.
The trade fair ends on Saturday.
European and American firms have since 2001 been boycotting Zimbabwe's trade
fair in protest against President Robert Mugabe's human rights record and
failure to uphold democracy.
Mugabe, who denies the charges, has however been courting Asian countries
through a "Look-East" policy through increased ties with China, Malaysia and
other Asian nations.
This year's trade is being held under dark cloud of a worsening economic
crisis for the country that has seen inflation at the 2 200 percent mark.
The economic crisis has also seen shortages of fuel, essential medicines and
basic commodities. - ZimOnline
Friday 27 April 2007
By Wayne Mafaro
HARARE - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (UCCB) has
said Zimbabwe's long-running political and economic crisis is because of
misgovernance and a lack of moral leadership.
In a letter hailing the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC)
for standing up to oppression, the UCCB said it was calling on the American
government and people and the international community to support the push
for a negotiated settlement to Zimbabwe's crisis.
In an unprecedented Easter Sunday message to President Robert Mugabe,
the ZCBC called on the Zimbabwean leader to embrace democracy or face
The ZCBC warned in the pastoral letter to Mugabe's government that
anger was rising among a populace suffering worsening economic hardships and
boldly predicted mass uprising unless the government conducted democratic
elections next year.
The Harare government however rejected the pastoral letter and instead
pointed out the fact that the ZCBC was able to go public with a letter that
was highly critical of the government only because Zimbabwe was a "free
country" in which citizens could freely express their opinions.
Describing ZCBC's letter to Mugabe as brave and a strong cry for
justice, the American clergymen said Zimbabwe's crisis was "at once a crisis
of governance, a crisis of moral leadership and a spiritual and moral
Zimbabwe Catholic church leaders have also received support from Pope
Benedict XVI, the bishops of Britain, the Symposium of Episcopal Conference
of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe economic crisis which has left the
majority of the country's 12 million people mired in poverty as unemployment
rockets and inflation surges to 2 200 percent.
Critics blame the crisis on repression and wrong polices by Mugabe
such as his controversial land redistribution programme that knocked down
the agriculture sector, which was the mainstay of the economy.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since its 1980 independence from
Britain, denies ruining the economy and instead blames his Western enemies
for sabotaging Zimbabwe's once brilliant economy. - ZimOnline
Friday 27 April 2007
By Prince Nyathi
HARARE - Experts from United Nations (UN) food aid agencies arrived in
Zimbabwe on Wednesday on a three-week long visit to assess the country's
food security situation, ZimOnline has learnt.
The officials from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and
Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have already started their assessment,
according to Jaspal Gill, WFP's information officer in Harare.
"Yes, they are here and they have already started work. They are scheduled
to meet government officials and then tour the countryside," said Gill.
Gill could however not reveal the size of the UN delegation saying they had
already lined up meetings with senior officials in President Robert Mugabe's
government over the food security situation in the country.
Sources within the agriculture sector told ZimOnline that the UN officials
were likely to meet, among others, Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo, State
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa who is also in charge of land reform and
resettlement as well as Labour and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche.
Goche's ministry issues permits to international relief agencies to
distribute food aid in the country, while it also runs the government's own
food aid programme.
Zimbabwe, once regarded as the breadbasket of southern Africa, has been
battling severe food shortages over the past seven years after President
Robert Mugabe seized white farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
The farm seizures slashed food production by 60 percent resulting in most
Zimbabweans relying on food handouts from international aid agencies.
Mugabe has been keen to portray his land reforms as a success. For example,
in 2004 he banned food aid agencies from operating in Zimbabwe arguing that
the country had harvested enough to feed itself.
The Zimbabwean leader only relented at the last minute allowing the food aid
groups to distribute food to millions of starving people around the country.
The southern African country is this year facing severe food shortages after
the country only managed to harvest a paltry 600 000 tonnes of grain,
against national demands of 2.4 million tones. - ZimOnline
By Torby Chimhashu in Bulawayo
Last updated: 04/27/2007 10:36:44
ZIMBABWE'S Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono, has made an impassioned plea
to the government to give amnesty to all businessmen who fled the country
after being charged with economic crimes.
Gono said Zimbabwe requires healing, adding that it was imperative for the
government to forgive those who were hounded out of the country facing
externalising foreign currency.
Said Gono: "Within the context of the on-going Social Dialogue, the idea of
an amnesty linked to the return of all externalised resources by Zimbabweans
who have left the country is one worth pursuing.
"As I stated in January 2007, this nation, more than anything else, requires
a great deal of healing, not only among individual families, neighbours,
villagers or Churches, but also requires tolerance and forgiveness towards
one another, guided by the spirit of economic patriotism and a branding of
Zimbabwe as the rallying point for all our endeavours."
Gono's appeal was met with thunderous acclamation from the packed Large City
Hall in Bulawayo, where he unveiled his Monetary Policy Interim Review
Several top bankers fled Zimbabwe in 2004, ironically when Gono began his
first term as RBZ governor.
Among those who left Zimbabwe were the founders of National Merchant Bank of
Zimbabwe (NMBZ) - Otto Chekeche, Francis Zimuto, Julius Makoni and James
Mushore - who all earned their full stripes as bankers of topnotch after
steering NMB to lofty heights during their reign.
The quartet is reportedly based in the United Kingdom.
Other bankers were former Trust Bank Holdings chief executive officer and
founder William Tapera Nyemba , Chris Goromonzi, Nyevero Hlupo, Barbican
Bank boss Mthuli Ncube and Intermarket chief, Nick Vingirai.
Zanu PF longtime supporter and Metropolitan Bank founder Enoch Kamushinda
and Africa Resources Limited top man, Mutumwa Dziva Mawere also suffered the
Other businessmen who fled include former Telecel boss James Makamba and ENG
Management's Gilbert Muponda, who is now based in America.
Manila Standard, Philippines
X is a writer from Zimbabwe. His job pays him 200 thousand Zimbabwean
dollars a month.
His transport costs alone, though, come up to 220 thousand. Then he still
has to cover his rent, utilities, groceries and other expenses. He has a
young wife; they don't think they can afford to have a child yet.
X is resourceful. Once a week, he hops over to nearby Botswana to buy car
paint. He hauls it back to his hometown, where, because of the influx of
second-hand vehicles, demand for paint is high. This activity fetches him an
additional 5 million dollars, so he is pretty much covered. He says his
friends have their own means to get by.
Still, he does not like to keep his millions in the bank. Inflation rate in
his country is close to 1,800 percent-and that's not a typographical error.
So as soon as he gets his hard-earned money, X dashes to the supermarket,
stacks up on supplies to last his family for a month, pays his bills, and
then goes to the black market to exchange the rest of his money for US
dollars. He keeps his prized possession, his foreign currency, under his
pillow. He says it helps him dream of good things.
In recent days, X has stumbled upon a piece of good luck: A professional
training out of the country where he is provided with accommodation and
transport allowance as well as a modest stipend to cover his day-to-day
X now holds on to his precious euros, careful not to go on a shopping spree
or buy any more food than what he actually can consume. He says the
aggregate allowance is equivalent to five years worth of income-both from
trading and writing. If he scrimped hard enough, he will be able to afford a
car upon his homecoming. Would that not be fancy?
Not at all, he says. In fact, not even halfway through this course, he is
already looking around for similar opportunities that would keep him out of
Zimbabwe for a few more weeks or months.
Yes, according to him, it is that bad.
Zimbabwe is a country of 13 million people, 3.5 million of which are
scattered in various other parts of the world. The unemployment rate is 80
percent. Gross domestic product shrunk 5.7 percent last year and has
actually contracted 30 percent in the last 10 years. The exchange rate is
erratic: In 2000, 1 US dollar was equivalent to 55 Zimbabwean dollars. After
three years, the US dollar fetched 824 Zim dollars. By end 2006, it went
back to 250-all because the central bank decided to slash three zeroes from
the convoluted rate.
It is quite a story, one unlikely to exist under present conditions. But it
does. X's colleague, Y, says that when the government feels it does not have
enough money to fund certain projects or pay for some imports, the President
only has to write a nice letter to the central bank governor and the
printers start churning out more money.
The Zimbabwean "situation" has become an enigma for the rest of the world.
Most agree that even the most well-researched, sophisticated economic
solutions would not work until the present administration realizes what a
mess it has made out of everybody's life. This ill brings down the entire
country, heaping trouble upon every citizen-old and young, educated or
illiterate, male or female.
Ultimately, no economic changes can be introduced without an overhaul of the
political system, more so in the absence of political will.
Thus, desolation and helplessness permeate the streets. Despite the
abundance of millionaires that populate them.
Relative to Zimbabwe's, the Philippines' economic performance looks
By leaps and bounds, our growth, inflation and balance of payments figures
are more handsome. We have clear targets and, at least on paper, we know how
to go about achieving them. See, economic advancement is not mere
propaganda, contrary to what the opposition says. The country is really
making progress, judging by the numbers that don't lie and are in fact
validated by impartial international organizations.
What, then, remains wrong?
The problem is not economic; it is social. It is not the government per se;
it is governance.
The issue is not whether there are prospects for sustainable growth; it is
whether the inequitable income distribution will ever be addressed.
Will the poor ever be empowered, contribute to the country's output and
partake of its gains? Will a greater portion of the population be able to
cross over the poverty threshold?
The question is not whether the government can generate enough funds to
support basic services and infrastructure projects; it is whether the money
is used prudently and released only for purposes earlier identified.
Will the corruption menace ever be overcome? Will there be an end to
politicians enriching themselves at the expense, literally and figuratively,
of the people?
In Zimbabwe, everybody is in a rut.
Here in the Philippines, many are in a rut with a few chosen ones thriving
in posh villages. And from a moral point of view, that's equally bad.
Church Times, UK
by Pat Ashworth
ANGLICAN bishops in Central Africa have for the first time ever put
out a combined statement on the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Their pastoral letter, which denounced violence and highlighted the
effect of sanctions on the poor, was widely interpreted as pro-Mugabe, and
drew scornful comparisons with the uncompromising Easter letter issued by
Roman Catholic bishops . But light has since been thrown on its context by a
respected signatory, the Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Mwamba, and
by the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, who returned on Wednesday
from a diocesan visit to Zimbabwe.
The African bishops declare themselves "concerned and pained at the
distressing occurrences that have been taking place in Zimbabwe". The
deteriorating economy, they say, has left ordinary Zimbabweans unable to
make ends meet.
They continue: "This, we note, has been exacerbated by the economic
sanctions imposed by the Western countries. These so-called targeted
sanctions, aimed at the leadership of the country of Zimbabwe, in reality
have affected the poor Zimbabweans, who have borne the brunt of the
The bishops call on Western countries to lift the sanctions, and the
British and American governments to "honour their obligation of paying
compensation to the white farmers". They then ask the Zimbabwean government
to "provide a framework of peace by creating a conducive environment for
dialogue and tolerance".
They denounce all forms of violence, and emphasise: "We want to make
it unequivocally clear to all of our people that we do not condone what is
happening in Zimbabwe." They call for "a culture of governance that respects
the sanctity of life", and urge the Church to be prophetic, and to offer an
effective pastoral ministry to the downtrodden.
Headlines in an Associated Press report proclaimed: "African Anglican
Bishops support Mugabe", and the pro-Mugabe Herald had "Anglican Bishops rap
sanctions". SW Radio Africa reported "Anglican Bishops blasted for
supporting Mugabe", and another AP report described the Anglican Church as
"traditionally muted in its criticism of the government, with its leaders
generally toeing the ruling party line".
But Bishop Mwamba, who gave a keynote address to senior judges and
others at the Ecclesiastical Law Society Conference in Liverpool earlier
this year , said on Tuesday that the letter had to be seen in the context of
the Anglican situation in Zimbabwe. The spirit in which it had been sent was
to support the progressive forces and the need for change, and was not in
any way meant to be pro-Mugabe, he said.
Choosing his words carefully, the Bishop commented: "As you can
imagine, in Zimbabwe there are divisions within the Church itself, and so
there was a need to wean certain hearts and minds to be able to put forward
a statement all the bishops could subscribe to.
"In that sense, yes, it does not appear as sharp as the pastoral
letter from the Catholic bishops. It took a middle-of-the-road pastoral
approach. Nevertheless, the sting is there in calling for drastic change,
for the government to be called upon to create a conducive environment for
that, and for the Church to stand forward and speak sharply in the context
of its calling and prophetic ministry." The Bishop described it as "the
beginning of a long journey of bishops moving together - very gently, for
need of carrying certain of our friends along."
Bishop Baines added his own view of the story. He made unwanted
headlines himself while on a ten-day visit with 20 members of his diocese as
guests of Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda (News, 5 April). Under the headline
"Media lies about Zim - British clergyman", a Herald story said that Bishop
Baines had "criticised his country's media for peddling lies about the
situation in Zimbabwe, and said London has no right to dictate how Harare
should run its affairs."
Speaking from Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Bishop Baines said that after a
courtesy call to the Midlands Governor in Zimbabwe, Cephas Msipa, the
Governor had asked to meet him. He had not expected two national
journalists, a television cameraman, and a reporter from President Mugabe's
office to be present as well.
"I took the judgement that if we pulled it at that point and said 'no
media', then it would have come out that we were frightened of the
discussion," he said.
A discussion in which sanctions were mentioned and questions permitted
elicited a response from Mr Msipa that was both "frank and fair", said
Bishop Baines, who described the Governor as having remained honourable
throughout. The journalist - who later ran a story, "Clergyman slams UK
media lies" - then accused the UK, among other things, of backing the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
"I came back robustly, and told him I seriously disputed much of what
he had said in terms of content and analysis," the Bishop said. "I told him
that the ban on media, and particularly British media, did the country more
damage than being open to bad stories and misrepresentations, and that, if
they closed their doors to the media, they could not then complain that the
media got the information second-hand, and the country did not get the
stories it liked. "I told them the ban was counter-productive, and that
Zimbabwe was blaming everyone but Zimbabwe for the plight it was in."
The TV report did not appear, but when the headlines came out, Bishop
Baines rang the Governor. "I told him, 'I could go back to the UK and say we
were the victims of Zimbabwean propaganda and manipulation, but I'm not a
coward. I'm doing you the courtesy of telling you now that's what I'm going
to say when I get back.' He understood, and was very embarrassed," said
Regarding the African bishops' letter, which had been used to
criticise the Archbishop of Canterbury, he said: "The bishops have a serious
problem with the Bishop of Harare [the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga]. If they
divide, there are other implications that may give Bishop Kunonga what he
wants. I appreciate the silence of the Anglican bishops more than I did
before I came. It's a mess. But they are not being silent on the ground."
By Kate Hoey
Last Updated: 1:35am BST 27/04/2007
Zhou Chunxiu's domination of the women's race in the London Marathon last
Sunday was another signal of how far the Chinese have progressed in every
sport since they were awarded the Olympic Games in 2001.
There is no divide between sport and the state in China and the notion that
sport and politics should not mix is unthinkable. But even in the UK it is
rare these days to hear anyone repeat that phrase. Over the years government
has increasingly regulated sport and all the political parties compete for
the endorsement of sporting stars to give them 'street cred'. But there is
still a reluctance by government and sporting bodies to speak out on what
are seen as 'difficult' issues - particularly those which have a moral
dimension. We saw that clearly with the buck passing between the cricket
authorities and ministers over the 2003 cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe.
Mihir Bose, who went to Zimbabwe to cover that series for The Daily
Telegraph, was refused accreditation and deported, and told that he was
singled out because as a holder of a British passport, Zimbabwean officials
thought he would try to whip up more trouble between rebel cricketers and
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) who were highly politicised and firmly
under the thumb of Robert Mugabe's regime.
The controversy over sporting links with Zimbabwe now looks to flare up
again. Danny Jordan, the chief executive of South Africa's 2010 football
World Cup organising committee, gave an assurance last week that Zimbabwe
could be used as one of the bases for the national squads preparing for
Africa's first football World Cup. Quite apart from security issues surely
teams would not want to be used as propaganda tools to prop up Mugabe's
There is a special irony that the most high profile and successful use of
sport as a method of influencing the politics of a country was the sporting
boycott of apartheid South Africa. Now South Africa refuses to condemn the
behaviour of its neighbour and continues to support the ruling party.
So why are we not isolating Zimbabwe by the same methods? Why is the
International Cricket Council not suspending the ZCU over the continued
politicisation of cricket? They have recently suspended the USA Cricket
Association for irregularities at board level which pale into insignificance
by comparison with the corruption of the ZCU.
International pressure is needed to make Mugabe accountable for his despotic
rule and a sports boycott should be one part of that.
Unfortunately, just as Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC,
maintains that playing cricket with Zimbabwe benefits the country so the
same attitude is being adopted about China by the Olympic family.
When Beijing was awarded the 2008 Games, concern was expressed about its
lack of human rights and whether it was a fit country to host the world's
largest sporting festival. At the time much was made of the IOC's 'bet' that
staging the Olympics in China would be a force for good.
Part of the agreement that China signed was that journalists would be
allowed to report freely from anywhere in the country in the run-up to 2008.
Despite repeated reports that local officials are ignoring the new
regulations that were supposedly introduced to allow this to happen, Jacques
Rogge, the IOC president, still claimed a few weeks ago that "the 20,000
journalists who come to the Games will show China as it is". Yet there have
been widely reported incidents of intimidation of both domestic and foreign
journalists in China. This is especially true of those who wish to report
So are the IOC going to hold China to the promise they made? How can China
be shown "as it is" when travelling freely is virtually impossible? What is
it that the Chinese government is so keen to hide, for example in Tibet?
Well for a start journalists would sense the climate of fear in which most
Tibetans are living under. They might report on the widespread torture of
'political prisoners' and learn just how many have been kept in prisons for
years: they would hear how the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai
Lama, is vilified and see the constant attack on Buddhism by state police.
A recent UN report concluded that torture remains "widespread" in China.
These and many other aspects of life in China are what Beijing wants to
hide. They don't want Olympic athletes competing in the spirit of
sportsmanship to know the brutal realities of what it is happening in Tibet.
So they ignore the binding agreements with the IOC and it seems the IOC will
ignore them too.
It is certainly too late to stop the Olympics in Beijing but it is not too
late for Olympic associations to speak out and demand that China keeps its
promises. Unless there is substantial progress in the next year on the human
rights situation, the 2008 Games in Beijing and the Olympic image will be
But then as international sport today is more about money than sportsmanship
will anyone notice?
External relations - 26-04-2007 - 17:11
In a resolution adopted on Thursday by 68 votes to 1 with 0 abstention,
Parliament issues a hard-hitting condemnation of the Mugabe regime. MEPs
call on Member States to apply the EU's existing restrictions on Zimbabwe
strictly, including the arms embargo and the travel ban. They also urge that
all aid to Zimbabwe be delivered exclusively through NGOs, the EU being the
most important donor to the country.
In the wake of the violent break-up of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign prayer
rally organised on 11 March this year by opponents of the regime - two
people were killed and more than 300 were arrested - MEPs strongly condemn
the Mugabe dictatorship for "its relentless oppression of the Zimbabwean
people, opposition parties and civil society groups and its destruction of
the Zimbabwean economy".
The House condemns the murder of opposition activist Gift Tandare and the
arrest of Morgan Tsvangirai, chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change,
Nelson Chamisa, Grace Kwinjeh, Lovemore Madhuku, William Bango, Sekai
Holland, Tendai Biti, Arthur Mutambara and many others treated brutally by
the police forces.
Acknowledgment of crisis by neighbouring countries
Parliament takes heart from one new development : "the recognition by SADC
that a crisis exists in Zimbabwe and the appointment of President Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa to facilitate dialogue between Zanu-PF and the
EU must apply its own measures in full
However, the EU must play its part too, and Parliament calls on the Council
"to ensure that all Member States rigorously apply existing restrictive
measures, including the arms embargo and the travel ban". MEPs are also in
favour of enlarging the list of banned individuals so that it encompasses
even more of Mugabe's power structure, including government ministers,
deputies and governors, military, the CIO and police personnel, and the
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
In addition, Parliament calls on the Council to ensure that no banned
persons are invited to, or attend, the planned EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon in
December this year.
Aid, say MEPs, must be delivered through genuine non-governmental
organisations and must reach the people for whom it is intended without
being intercepted in any way by agents of the Mugabe regime. In 2006, the EU
donated ?193 million in total.
The House backs the initiative of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to
send a delegation to Zimbabwe to "ascertain the situation on the ground".
This investigation should be carried out as soon as possible. MEPs insist
that the government of Zimbabwe grant access to the country to all members
of any such delegation.
Britain and South Africa urged to use their positions on the UN Security
Lastly, the resolution calls on the United Kingdom, which assumed the
Presidency of the United Nations Security Council this month, "to put
Zimbabwe on the agenda of the Security Council", and "anticipates that South
Africa will play a constructive role as a non-permanent member of the
By Jonga Kandemiiri
26 April 2007
Officials of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said the confederation
will not be holding May Day activities in four locations because its
organizers fear for their lives.
The ZCTU said it has ruled out organizing workers day celebrations in the
towns of Marondera, Norton and Bindura in Mashonaland East, West and Central
provinces, respectively, and Triangle in Masvingo, due to their volatile
The union's general council will finalize May Day plans on Saturday.
The union has accused the government of President Robert Mugabe of economic
mismanagement resulting in plunging living standards for workers. It staged
a two-day general strike earlier this month that most observers said had
little impact in business centers. An estimated 80% of Zimbabwean workers
ZCTU Acting Secretary General Japhet Moyo told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that despite the effective no-go zones in some
areas for May Day celebrations, his union is planning major events in other
By: Barnabas Thondhlana
Published: 27 Apr 07 - 0:00
The government of Zimbabwe has deployed security agents at the country's
major gold-mining firms to monitor gold production following concerns over
Mining Weekly has established that officers from the police gold squad and
the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), whose role is to maintain State
security, were deployed at the mines about four weeks ago and are likely to
remain stationed there for the next six months.
The move is said to have been instigated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ), which speculates that production declared by the mines has declined
because of smuggling.
Mining Weekly has been informed that three police officers and one CIO agent
has been deployed at each of the targeted gold mines and has been instructed
to monitor the entire production process, from extraction to smelting.
"They are recording every step of the production pro- cess and are working
in shifts," a manager at one of the affected mines tells Mining Weekly.
Inspectors from Fidelity Printers & Refiners - an RBZ subsidiary and the
only authoried buyer of gold and silver in Zimbabwe - have reportedly
intensified visits to gold mines.
Zimbabwe risks losing its right to sell gold directly on the international
market if it fails to produce 10 t/y, the minimum required for a London
Bullion Market Association (LBMA) licence to do so.
Zimbabwe produced 1,4 t in January and February, and commentators say it
could fail to achieve the LBMA-prescribed mini- mum production this year.
Government suspects that the dropping levels of gold production are a result
of rampant smuggling, but miners say the decline is caused by the overvalued
exchange rate and delays by the central bank to pay for their gold
The central bank is yet to pay miners for gold delivered three months ago.
Commenting on the presence of police and CIO officers at gold mines, Chamber
of Mines CEO David Murangari says: "For the mines, that is not an issue -
they are more worried about the local gold price and being able to get their
foreign currency payment for gold lodged with the central bank timeously.
"The situation is serious because some mines can no longer get lines of
credit from their suppliers of essential chemicals and inputs."
The chairperson of the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines, Energy,
the Environment and Tourism, Joel Gabbuza, says the committee is aware of
the presence of security officers at gold mines.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
By Patience Rusere
26 April 2007
Sources among Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations said officials
within the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare denied taking steps toward
the deregistration of NGOs as announced recently by Information Minister
Ministry directorate officials said in a meeting with NGO representatives
that they had no knowledge of any such initiative, according to National
Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Program Director Bob
But civic organization leaders remain wary of Harare's intentions,
Muchabayiwa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe.
By Carole Gombakomba
26 April 2007
A Harare court has set a trial date of May 9 in the case of Gift Phiri, the
chief reporter for the London based weekly newspaper The Zimbabwean who
stands accused of practicing without a license under the country's draconian
Phiri could face up to two years in prison for breaching the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act, better known to many Zimbabweans
Phiri has accused police of torturing him in custody and said he is now
facing official harassment following his lawyers' notification of police of
his intent to sue. He is being treated for a broken arm and soft tissue
damage sustained in the alleged beatings.
Phiri told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he
had been licensed by the Media and Information Commission to report for a
newspaper in Harare and had applied for renewal of his license to report for
A new group of Cuban doctors under the Zimbabwe-Cuba health program has
arrived in Zimbabwe to help boost the health sector in this southern African
country, ZBC News reported on Thursday.
The program was launched in 2000 to supplement the number of doctors in
Zimbabwe's hospitals, at a time when the health sector is bleeding from
The latest group of Cuban doctors comprises 64 young men and women trained
in the areas of paediatrics, gynaecology, neurology, radiography, forensics,
dentistry and general medicine.
Head of the Cuban medical brigade in Zimbabwe Elision Fernandes said the 64
new doctors bring to 136 the total number of Cuban doctors currently
deployed in Zimbabwe.
The group is currently on a two-week English language course, after which
they will be deployed to provincial, central, and district hospitals
The Cuban doctors in Zimbabwe provide a comprehensive program that includes
offering health promotion and prevention campaigns to Zimbabwean
This has seen some Cuban doctors working in some remote and rural parts of
Zimbabwe where some Zimbabweans experts shun.
Cuban medical practitioners are renowned throughout the world and they have
been deployed in various parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Latin
America, according to ZBC News.
The French government and the University of Zimbabwe have signed a
memorandum of understanding that will strengthen assistance given to the
university by the French government, ZBC News said on Thursday.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the French ambassador to Zimbabwe G Jugnet
said the agreement is important in that it fully recognizes the need to
further develop the teaching of French in Zimbabwe.
He said there is need to continue strengthening ties with Zimbabwe in the
field of education in order to further develop the understanding of the
French language at a higher level. France will continue to support all
efforts being made by the university to offer training of the highest
standards to students.
The University of Zimbabwe's Vice Chancellor Professor Levi Nyagura said the
university's faculty of arts and the department of modern languages students
have benefited directly from the assistance of the French government and the
signing of the memorandum of understanding will enhance cooperation between
the two countries.
The history of cooperation between the government of France and the
University of Zimbabwe's department of modern languages dates back to the
1960's when the French government started to actively support the teaching
of French in Zimbabwe.
By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 04/27/2007 07:03:33
BUNGLING British Home Office officials have threatened to deport a
Zimbabwean journalist to IRAQ.
Genius Chitiyo, a former chief sub-editor of banned Daily News on Sunday
applied for asylum in the United Kingdom in October last year.
But in a letter rejecting his asylum application, dated April 13, the Home
Office threatened to send him to war-torn Iraq.
The Home Office letter read in part: "You have claimed that your removal to
Iraq would be a breach of the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights).
"In order to engage the United Kingdom's obligations under the ECHR, you
would have to show that there was a real risk of you suffering a flagrant
denial of your rights under that Article."
Chitiyo was one of several Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ)
journalists arrested by the Zimbabwe government after police marched on the
paper's offices in Harare and closed it down in 2003.
To add to the confusion, the Home Office letter then touches on Zimbabwe,
disputing Chitiyo's claim that he was arrested, although he presented a
letter from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists confirming his detention.
The Home Office said: "It is not accepted that you were arrested in October
2003 as you have claimed.''
The British government also refused to accept a letter from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- for which Chitiyo says he is a
member -- confirming that the journalist has done some work for the MDC.
The Home Office letter, signed by one C. Pethard of Reliance House, Water
Street, Liverpool, quotes the MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube as having
said that ". . .only the Secretary-General was authorised to confirm a
Chitiyo's MDC confirmation letter was signed by Tendai Biti, the
secretary-general of another MDC faction who assumed the position when the
MDC split into two factions in 2005.
Chitiyo, who has worked for the now defunct Daily Gazette and Sunday Gazette
and later the Financial Gazette, told of his shock at the Home Office
Chitiyo said last night: "I was surprised. My initial thoughts were that
when these guys get our claims, they already want to dismiss them, they
don't take them seriously.
"You can tell they are not concentrating...they are dealing with a case but
they forget the nationality of the claimant. That is very strange."
A Home Office spokesman last night said while it is policy not to discuss
individual claims, they would look into Chitiyo's case.
"Clearly, a mistake has been made," said the spokesman.
Scores of journalists have fled Zimbabwe in recent years to escape
harassment by government security forces. Many now work in South Africa,
Britain and the United States.
Last month, Edward Chikombo, a Zimbabwean photographer who supplied pictures
of opposition torture victims to the international media was kidnapped from
his home in Harare and murdered by suspected government agents.
Journalists Gift Phiri and Luke Tamborinyoka were also abducted and tortured
by security forces as President Mugabe's government battles with growing
Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
Job Opportunities; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Contracts in the DRC
Wanted: for six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers. One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production. Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a
Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
We have a vacancy for a mature/semi retired man to join our team. The
position would be as workshop manager to be in charge of maintenance and
repairs of all farm equipment. Accommodation and competitive package
offered for the right person. Situated 30km from Beit Bridge (Zim)
Please send CV/References to email@example.com or
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY AT NO COST
We are looking for a business partner in Bulawayo or Gweru or Masvingo to go
into a 50/50 venture to offer instant passport and visa photographs. We will
provide all equipment and training. The equipment comprises 1 compact
digital camera and 1 printer (the size of a supermarket till). The partner
will need to have a shop outlet close to the CBD and be able to devote a few
square metres of floor space to the passport/visa photography. The partner
will operate the venture and share all costs and profits on a 50/50 basis.
No photographic experience is required. The net profit to each party should
be in the region of USD 600 (equivalent) per month. Please reply to
firstname.lastname@example.org giving details of your location and any other
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Management Couple / Professional Guide
Management couple/professional guide needed to run small, exclusive, safari
camp in Kariba/Matusadona as soon as possible. Salary and benefits
negotiable depending on experience and qualifications - please contact one
of the following:
Steve - email@example.com Phone 013 43358 011 207 307
Wendy - firstname.lastname@example.org 0912 307 875
Belinda - email: email@example.com phone: (04) 301494/301496 or 011 603
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
To co-ordinate all aspects of transport for cane haulers, mechanical
background is a pre-requisite
Please contact Rob Buchanan, E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell 082-3371290, Tel 033-3431106
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Manager for Sawmill
We are a large furniture manufacturing company (J.W.Wilson Int (Pvt) Ltd).
Based in Harare. We are currently looking for a manager for our sawmill in
Matabeleland, which supplies our Norton factory with teak.
The position entails travel to the mill in the Thlotsho area spending 2
nights, 3 days, a week at the mill attending to the management of the mill.
We feel that the job would suit a person with a farming background.
Should you need any further details please contact me at email@example.com
of phone on cell 0912231 511 or Harare 620131.
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
COMPUTER STUDIES TEACHER - PRIMARY
A leading Independent School in Zambia requires a teacher of Computer
Studies for September 2007. Experience in a CHISZ school in Zimbabwe or an
Independent School in South Africa is essential. A good US dollar salary is
offered along with accommodation and other benefits which include medical
There is a possibility of other vacancies at both primary and secondary
arising in the future and interested teachers with appropriate experience
should register there interest.
A brief resume should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Looking for an honest hard worker in Harare to work in the house as well as
in the garden. We would prefer a mature male who has experience.
Please if there is anyone out there who is leaving or knows of someone
please contact me on 011207583 or 0912308410.
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Busy office in Avondale requires a full day lady to take care of
correspondence and general office duties. Email/computer knowledge an
asset but we can teach
you what you need to know. Pleasant working environment - to start as
early as possible.
Please contact - email@example.com
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
I am a South African farmer who needs employers for the following vacancies:
1: A person with mechanical knowledge who can do welding and am able to work
with steel as well. He must be reliable, able to attend to my vehicles and
help with general work on the farm and with the cattle
2. A reliable chef, housekeeper. He/she must have experience in western
I would like to see references which can be e-mailed to the following E-mail
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
Available to oversee construction operations and
alterations/modifications, assess and monitor quality control; submission of
appraisals for repairs and maintenance undertakings, and other associated
For further information please reply to the following contact.
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
25 year old female recently returned from London looking for PA/Secretarial
* 6 1/2 yrs work experience (all in London)
* Advanced knowledge of all Microsoft Office Programs and other
* Shorthand 110 wpm
* Typing 70 wpm
* Eager to learn and take on new challenges
Please email Louise for cv or further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
FULL OR PART TIME EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT
I am an active, multi-skilled retiree seeking a fresh challenge. I have
extensive and long-standing knowledge of the Agrichem and Veterinary
supplies industries with over twenty years experience in management and
research. I am computer competent, multi-lingual, and have good
communications skills with all segments of Zimbabwean society. I will
consider full or part time engagement in any field.
Please contact me on 885236, on cell 0912 535737 or e mail at:
(Ad inserted 26 April 2007)
A husband & wife team looking for employment with accommodation in Harare.
They both come highly recommended; he in the garden and she with housework,
cooking and child minding. They have 4 children, 3 of whom are school
going. Current employer does not allow the family on the property so he
spends his entire earnings on visiting them every 6 weeks in the Eastern
districts. Please phone Julie on 011 605 083 or evenings only on 744156;
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
email@example.com (updated 26 April 2007)