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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM 28th APRIL 2004

Email: justice@telco.co.zw; justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw
Internet: www.justiceforagriculture.com

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
justice@telco.co.zw with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

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JAG OLF 261
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"For success, attitude is equally as important as ability."

--- Harry F. Banks
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OPEN LETTER FORUM
Letter 1. Subject Sense of Humour

Dear Jag,

The intriguing and spectacular display by Zimbabwe's fiscal system is
extremely difficult to explain to citizens in the first world. But as usual
a Zimbabwean living there can sum it up with great humour so that many of
us abroad can laugh and cry in a very knowing manner. I shall not give the
name of the author just in case it causes him to be liable for a "midnight
knock" from the CIO; I am sensitive to that.

"Since the appointment of a new Governor of the Reserve Bank some four
months ago we have seen 5 financial institutions closed down (and many
people left without access to their money as a result) and interest rates
fluctuating between 1 000% and 0%. You think I am kidding? Just in this
last week my meager investments went from from 200% to 30% with no
indication of what will happen next! The only thing that is reasonably
constant is the fall of the Zimbabwean dollar - now at about 8 500;1 to the
British pound.

Two cups of coffee with 1 slice of cake cost more than our first house 30
years ago.
How about our time share annual levy which was $10 000 - 4 years ago - and
now is $1 000 000.
It takes a lot of effort just to stand still in Zimbabwe. Inflation is as
frightening as ever!" - Zimbabwean resident, 26.04.2004.

I am not sure that the CEO of Zimbabwe, or his Financial Lieutenants on His
Board would qualify for jobs in the first world. It would be difficult to
give a recommendation for the Governor of the Reserve Bank because he took
on the job in full knowledge that an economy can only run on Security of
Tenure. He even bought and paid for his own farm rather than just join the
gravy train and take a farm. Surely he must have full comprehension of the
absolutely imperative aspect of Title in an economy if he took the care to
actually take his money to buy his Title? What now Mr. Reserve Bank
Governor, what shall I tell the World?

The basis of the Quinnel Case is the attack on Title which the Third
Chimurenga has been all about.

Biographer Abroad.
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Letter 2. Subject PR Communique - 23 April
Dear JAG
Please thank Eddie Cross - good to be reminded that nature is more powerful
than the evil that men do and our Zimbabwe will still be here when the
dictator and his cronies are no more. Just hope that my generation is
still here to see it.

Margaret Brown
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Letter 3. Subject Power & Money - Not Land
Dear Jag,

The lengthy report on land redistribution problems in Southern Africa
published by the International Crisis Group is a highly comprehensive
document which has identified the politicization of the whole exercise by
Zanu with outstanding clarity. The authors are to be commended for their
literary achievement of documenting the Third Chimurenga.

However, at the end of the report, the authors start to look at possible
solutions. Some of the highly theoretical and academic hypotheses put
forward are a cause for enormous concern. That such such theories should be
published by such a highly respected international organisation is in
itself a major concern.

I quote:
"Zimbabwe's white farming population is an aging one....
While some commercial farmer groups insist that up to 60-80% of their
members would return to farm on property if it was returned, these
estimates seem very high.
A realistic estimate is that maybe 30% of former farmers would actually
return if the political and economic climate stabilised.
In general, there should be a pattern of A 1 distributions around larger
existing commercial farms."

1. "Zimbabwe's white farming population is an aging one.."

Trends in the first world generally show "aging populations:" - (the
Australian Government is trying to encourage larger families because of a
declining birth rate and an aging population - forty years ago there were
3,5 children per family and now there are only 1,7.)

* Does this not perhaps mean that the white farming population was in line
with the first world trends? - whilst the general trend nationally was the
reverse - half the population under the age of 16?

* Personally I can think of many farmers who ran highly sophisticated
farming operations with managerial structures, and the staff were paid
bonuses on productivity - a first world managerial style that encourages
productivity and accountability.

*In Australia it is against the law to discriminate against people on age -
an organisation like the International Crisis Group should know better! -
My mother has just got married at the age of eighty - what is wrong with
that? What right has anybody (including the Crisis Coalition) to say she is
too old? Everybody is aging - everybody alive today is older than they were
yesterday. Simple!

*I can think of other people who are also eighty, and supposedly well
educated, who should know more about human rights and an independent
judiciary based on their education. They are also aging, like the white
farming population and the rest of the world.

2. "A realistic estimate is that maybe 30% of former farmers would actually
return.."

* How many farmers choose to return to their properties should not be part
of the equation.

*The issue at stake is security of tenure - not the colour of the Joe Soap.

*Once there is rule of law, human rights and property rights there will be
security of tenure.

*Once these are in place, land will again have value and the economy can
grow, and create wealth and stability for its citizens.

*The higher the % of returning citizens (of all colours) the greater the
chance the country has of developing because the rest of the world will say
that Zimbabwe is a true democracy, and hopefully foreigners will visit it
to play cricket amongst other things.

3. "There should be a pattern of A 1 distributions around larger existing
commercial farms."

In Australia there are commercial arable farms of thousands of acres - 3
000 acres is common and will be operated by two people. Efficiency and
economies of scale dictate that these farmers are fully subscribed on that
operation. When they make a profit they pay tax - lots of tax - and this is
used to uphold the law and educate people into the professions of their
choice. Potential young farmers - of any age, colour or gender can work on
these farms for the harvest or other busy periods for a decent wage, and
then go back to college to study.

*I believe it to be a tall ask to expect the returning commercial farmer to
resort to an antiquated paternalistic role in the community. A number of
the farmers that have had the most problems during the Third Chimurenga are
the very farmers who built good business relationships in the community -
Roy Bennet is a good example, and the late Martin Olds, Alan Dunne and
Charles Anderson are good examples of the lengths that Zanu would go to get
rid of such community minded people that might challenge their absolute
power fixation.

* Agriculture must now become a professional business throughout the entire
land - Joshua Nkomo realised that the problem was lack of Title in the then
TTLs and now Communal Lands. Chibero, Gwebi, Esigodini, Mlezu, ART Farm,
Trelawney, Blackfordby and the likes will have to form the backbone of
agricultural training. The commercial farms - and there are very few now -
will then be the practical training grounds.

The problems in Zimbabwe over human rights, property rights, racial
matters, land and rule of law stem from two factors. Now there is a
perceived problem about the racial balance in cricket - the two factors
have the same common denominators. They are simply POWER & MONEY for a
selected few.

4. Imagine Zimbabwe as a listed Company. Rate it on a scale of 1 to 10.

*In purely business terms how will the CEO of Zimbabwe Ltd., and its Board,
rate against Microsoft or General Motors?

*How well are the 11,5 million shareholders doing?

*How well is the agricultural component of Zimbabwe Ltd. performing?

*How is the Cricket component performing?

*How good is it at keeping key personnel?

*How is its International Image faring?

*What was their score out of 60?

Consistent underperformance generally results in bankruptcy or judicial
management, followed by a new broom on the Board.

The question is when?
Dark Joe Sipo.

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All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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Reuters

Suspension used to force England to tour
Thu 29 April, 2004 04:23

LONDON (Reuters) - The threat of suspension from international cricket was a
last-minute change to the sport's regulations put in to force England to
tour Zimbabwe, England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tim Lamb has
been quoted as saying.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said last month it would suspend any
country refusing to fulfil its tour obligations for anything other than
security reasons and would also levy a $2 million (1.1 million pound) fine.

Lamb was quoted as saying the decision to introduce the sanctions as changes
to ICC regulations was taken at the last minute before an ICC board meeting
in New Zealand in March.

"I think certain members of the ICC, who...were concerned about England not
completing the tour (to Zimbabwe), discussed what could be done and saw a
change in regulations as rather an elegant way of putting pressure on
England," Lamb was quoted as saying in Thursday's Guardian.

Lamb said a meeting of ICC chief executives in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in
February had approved tabling a motion at the meeting in Auckland that would
ensure countries fulfilled their tour obligations.

The motion did not mention changing the regulations to include the penalties
of suspension and fines, and this was raised only one day before the board
meeting, he said.

"It was not until 11th-hour discussion on the eve of the meeting itself that
it was proposed as a change to the regulations," said Lamb.

"The ICC president and chief executive had no idea on the eve of the meeting
it was going to happen."

The ECB has been embroiled in a political battle over whether to tour
Zimbabwe, after the British government said it has serious concerns about
the human rights record of President Robert Mugabe's government.

The ICC accepts that a country can cancel a tour if directly ordered to do
so by its government, but the British government, despite its concerns about
Zimbabwe, has said it is leaving a final decision to the ECB.

Des Wilson, chairman of the ECB's Corporate Affairs and Marketing Advisory
Committee, resigned on Tuesday over the Zimbabwe tour and the ICC's new
penalties.

In his resignation letter Wilson accused the ICC of imposing "draconian and
disproportionate" penalties on countries which refused to tour other nations
for moral reasons.

He said the ECB should tour only under protest while seeking "to change the
protocol so that no other country can be coerced in this way".

Also on Thursday, the Daily Telegraph said Australia had been the principal
driving force in ensuring the sanctions became part of the ICC regulations.

If suspension had not become part of the regulations, any decision not to
tour would have been referred to a disputes committee and the most severe
punishment would have been a fine, the newspaper said.

"However at Australia's insistence, it was made a regulation and this gives
the ICC the power to suspend England for a year, which would mean no Ashes
tour next year and such heavy losses the English game would be bankrupted,"
the newspaper said.

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The Telegraph

Government offer get-out on Zimbabwe
By Mihir Bose
(Filed: 29/04/2004)

The Government are considering a series of measures to help England's
cricket team avoid touring Zimbabwe, including holding a debate in
Parliament.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, told an all-party group of MPs that while
the Government could not instruct the England and Wales Cricket Board to
pull out of the tour, they were prepared to do anything short of that to
help the ECB convince the International Cricket Council that the tour could
not go ahead because of force majeure. The ECB would then avoid the
possibility of being suspended from international cricket, and consequently
losing revenue estimated at 50 million.

Straw is prepared to allow a debate in both houses of Parliament and MPs
would be given a free vote on the issue of whether England should tour
Zimbabwe this autumn. While not amounting to a direct ban by the Government,
a vote against the tour would carry great weight.

The ECB have been looking for several months for an argument to present to
the ICC saying that a case of force majeure - an unexpected and
uncontrollable event - had made it impossible for England to fulfil their
obligation to tour.

When the ICC board met in Auckland early last month David Morgan, the
chairman of the ECB, took along a letter from Straw saying that the
Government did not wish the ECB to tour. This was written after much
consultation between the ECB and officials of Straw's department. After
consultation with their legal team, the ECB were confident that the letter
could convince the ICC that this constituted force majeure.

However at the meeting Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the ICC, read
out a statement that Prime Minister Tony Blair had made when the
Commonwealth acted against Nigeria, banning all contact - including sporting
contact - and the ICC concluded that Straw's letter was merely advice.

It remains to be seen whether parliamentary debates, ending with resolutions
calling for England not to tour Zimbabwe, would carry more force. If they do
not, then England will have to bite the bullet and go. A majority of ECB
board members are coming round to that view.

Meanwhile, there continues to be growing unrest within the ECB about the way
the organisation's management have handled the Zimbabwe affair.

This unrest was fuelled by the fact that a paper making the moral case for
not going to Zimbabwe produced by Des Wilson, who resigned on Tuesday from
the ECB board, was not circulated to all the board members or even discussed
before it was made public.

As revealed by The Daily Telegraph on Monday, this anger led to the chairmen
of the first-class counties holding a meeting in Gloucester to which neither
Morgan nor Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive, was invited.

The Daily Telegraph understands that at the meeting the chairmen decided to
throw out a proposal to streamline domestic cricket by reducing the number
of four-day and one-day games. Instead they decided to set up their own
review committee to look at the entire domestic structure.

Zimbabwe's rebel players, meantime, have agreed to make themselves available
for selection. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union said yesterday: "It has been
agreed between the ZCU and the 15 cricketers who have up to now been
unavailable for selection that . . . [they] will be at practice with effect
from April 30."

The dispute, which escalated on April 2 when the ZCU installed Tatenda Taibu
as captain after Heath Streak questioned the composition of the selection
panel, is set to continue at arbitration.
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Sunday Times (SA)

France backs SA mediation in Zimbabwe

Thursday April 29, 2004 06:42 - (SA)

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier says the South African government
should be given another chance to try to resolve the political crisis in
Zimbabwe.

"There is this mediation which has started and which is difficult," he said
of SA President Thabo Mbeki's initiative to mediate between President Robert
Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party.

"What I have understood is that we have to give another chance to this
mediation, a mediation for an African country and by Africans," he told a
news conference after meeting with his SA counterpart, Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma.

"That is why we will continue to back this effort at mediation by different
regional heads of state, especially by President Mbeki."

Mbeki has come under fire from political detractors for his stance on South
Africa's northern neighbour, plunged into crisis after presidential
elections in March 2002 that returned Mugabe to power. International
observers and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have alleged the vote was
rigged.

Zimbabwe is currently in the grip of its worst ever economic crisis, with
inflation at more than 622%, 70% unemployment and critical shortages of
fuel, medicine and food.

AFP
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The Herald

Airzim ordered to come up with turnaround strategy

Herald Reporter
THE Minister of Transport and Communications, Cde Christopher Mushohwe, has
directed the board and management of Air Zimbabwe to come up with a
turnaround strategy for the national airline.

The minister, who met members of the board and management of the airline
yesterday, challenged them not to be preoccupied with the maintenance of the
status quo but to let their focus be directed on the core business of the
airline.

"To continue to allow a situation where customers are never sure whether
there will be food service on the airline or not, whether the airline will
take off or not or whether a ticketed customer will not be told that he or
she will not have a place, is no longer an option.

"There has to be predictability and reliability all the time. The negative
and unpleasant image and conduct of cabin attendants should be rooted out
immediately.

"To do business as usual should not be accepted. Management and employees
must always be customer-driven, and realise that the customer is the
paymaster," he said.

The minister said the turnaround strategy should focus on a brand that can
guide, support and innovate the airline to reclaim its historic position of
excellence.

He said teamwork, fairness and uprightness were virtues that should also be
enshrined in the turnaround strategy.

"The board, management and the workers have to work together in coming up
with a turnaround strategy, which is all-embracing and a product of
teamwork.

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FinGaz

Talks initiative dead

Brian Mangwende
4/29/2004 7:14:03 AM (GMT +2)

RENEWED efforts to bring Zimbabwe's two feuding main political parties
back to the negotiating table have hit a brick wall with ZANU PF,
increasingly nervous about a negotiated settlement, now showing signs of
ill-feeling over the sincerity and impartiality of the arbitrators.

Impeccable ZANU PF sources confirmed yesterday that there was a whiff
of suspicion within their ranks, with some senior party officials, who are
jealously guarding their positions, alleging that some of the church leaders
pushing for the negotitaions were sympathetic to the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). The church leaders from various denominations have been at the
forefront of trying to bring the MDC and the ruling ZANU PF to the
negotiating table which they abandoned almost two years ago.

The sources said that the church leaders, who have been trying to
strike a political settlement between the two parties since last year, met
John Nkomo, the ZANU PF national chairman, and the ruling party's
information chief Nathan Shamuyarira a fortnight ago.

They, however, emerged from the meeting disheartened as it dawned on
them that chances for the resumption of the long-stalled talks were getting
slimmer after the ruling party stalwarts put a damper on their initiative.

The sources, who could not say exactly what transpired during the last
meeting, said the men of cloth had since realised that they were not making
any significant headway as ZANU PF was seemingly interested in dragging the
"talks about talks" until the 2005 parliamentary elections. Their protracted
efforts to bring back the two parties to the negotiating table after the
talks had initially been put into the freezer, have so far drawn a blank.

Despite the moral pressure being exerted on the parties to find a
solution to the country's political crisis, the public posturing ostensibly
in support of the talks by the ruling party and repeated assurances by
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, nothing has materialised mainly
because ZANU PF is not interested in the talks.

Efforts by the clergy have been further complicated by President
Robert Mugabe's speech during the 24th Independence celebrations in the
capital where he insisted on contrition by the MDC as a pre-condition for
any meaningful talks to resume.

But the opposition party, seen by ZANU PF as a Western front, has
strongly rejected the President's pre-conditions and instead insisted on its
demands that include levelling the electoral playing field for it to
participate in next year's parliamentary plebiscite.

"We held a routine meeting with ZANU PF leaders on the possibility of
the resumption of talks just before Easter," said Bishop Sebastian Bakare.
"There was nothing special about it, it was just routine. Once there is
something dramatic, we will let you know."

Pressed to disclose what really transpired in the meeting, Bakare
said: "There is nothing that I could say that this was the result. We will
continue trying. Ask ZANU PF what transpired."

Shamuyarira, a former Cabinet minister who still commands a lot of
respect among the ruling party's ranks, said details of the meeting were
confidential and not for publication.

"These are confidential discussions and not for publication,"
Shamuyarira was quick to say. "That's all I can say for now."

Bishop Trevor Manhanga, who was recently in Italy reportedly to seek
the Vatican's intervention in the Zimbabwean crisis, said he was still
waiting to get a full briefing on the proceedings from his colleagues.

South Africa, currently at the centre of this arbitration, has
persistently insisted that delegates from the two political parties were
meeting informally, but both have maintained they were not.

President Mbeki has assured the world that talks between ZANU PF and
the MDC, which gave the ruling party a run for its money in the fiercely
contested and controversial 2002 presidential election, would have resumed
by June.

But nothing tangible seems to be taking place on the ground. The
euphoria touched by what were then seen as prospects for the negotiations
between the country's two main political parties has since lapsed into
scepticism and downright depression.

The talks, put on ice about two years ago after both parties failed to
agree on the agenda, were widely expected to go a long way in resolving the
country's political and socio-economic problems, which have reduced Zimbabwe
into a basket case.

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FinGaz

Fuel price increases imminent

Staff Reporter
4/29/2004 7:15:26 AM (GMT +2)

INTERNATIONAL prices of fuel have crept upwards in United States
dollar terms in recent weeks in a development that should see sporadic price
reviews of the product locally, The Financial Gazette can reveal.

Industry players said the world prices of petrol, diesel and
illuminating paraffin, quoted in US dollars, went up substantially by
between US$3 and US$5 per barrel since the beginning of last month.

Other African countries are factoring in the increases, but local
petroleum industry players are still digesting their full impact.

Masimba Kambarami, chairman of the Petroleum Marketers' Association,
said pressure had been on for the past one-and-half months, but hinted the
adjustments by industry players would be minimal.

"The increases will be there, but not substantial because of many
issues such as the foreign currency auction system and interest rates, which
are on their way down," he said.

Kambarami said the depreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar, which firmed
following the introduction of the novel foreign currency auction system in
January, would have a serious effect on fuel prices.

Any increase in fuel prices is likely to fly in the face of the
government's efforts to fight inflation, which came down by 20 percentage
points to 583 percent in March.

Increases in fuel prices would also vary from one procurer to the
other as some fuel wholesalers might choose to maintain old prices and make
their money by increasing volumes.

In South Africa, the department of energy hinted this week that the
wholesale price of diesel and illuminating paraffin would increase.

For instance, the price of diesel with a sulphur content of 0.3
percent was expected to rise by two cents, while that of diesel with a
sulphur content of 0.05 percent would go up by four cents a litre.

Illuminating paraffin would increase by seven cents at the wholesale
level and nine cents under the single maximum national retail price. The
adjustments were based on the international prices for Brent crude oil
moving in a band of US$30 to US$34 a barrel.

Zimbabwe operates a system akin to a two-tier pricing structure where
the national fuel procurer, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, sources
the product at subsidised prices for use by government and other essential
service providers.

Private players within the fuel industry charge commercial rates,
which are constantly monitored by the government to ensure there is no
profiteering.

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FinGaz

Retired High Court judges recalled

Brian Mangwende
4/29/2004 7:17:05 AM (GMT +2)

IN a desperate bid to cope with the huge backlog of civil and criminal
cases, the High Court has recalled to the bench four retired judges to fill
in the vacuum left by senior judicial officers who have left for greener
pastures.

Highly placed sources told The Financial Gazette this week that the
four recalled judges are Justice George Smith, who retired in June 2003,
Justice Rogers Kosa, Justice Mohamed Adam and Justice Nicholas McNally.

Justice Smith, who is the longest serving judge with 19 years of
experience on the High Court bench but never made it to the Supreme Court,
confirmed he would be back on the bench for a period of four months.

"I'll be back in the High Court next month," Justice Smith said.

The judicial system has failed to cope with the increasing number of
cases piling up on a daily basis. Of late, the courts have been flooded with
high profile cases involving government officials and business people caught
up in the anti-graft crusade.

Also among the unspecified number of cases pending in the High Court
and Supreme Court are several petitions by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change challenging the results of the 2000 parliamentary
plebiscite.

There are currently six Supreme Court judges instead of eight, while
the High Court, which should have at least 35 judges, has only 16.

Judge President Paddington Garwe said he was unaware whether his
retired colleagues had indeed been recalled, but stressed that if that was
the case, then it was normal as it was part of the judges' pension
conditions to serve for a term if the need arose.

"I am not aware that they have been recalled, but I can confirm that
it's part of their pension conditions," Judge President Garwe said, adding
that the High Court was doing its best to cope with the huge backlog under
the current circumstances.

Since the expropriation of land began in 2000, relations between the
judiciary and the executive have been acrimonious, resulting in the forced
early retirement of Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay from the Supreme Court
bench amid claims of threats of violence and persistent pressure from ZANU
PF for him to step down.

Justice Gubbay was accused of sympathising with white commercial
farmers who were violently evicted from their properties by war veterans to
pave way for the majority of landless blacks under the controversial
fast-track land reform programme.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, widely seen as a ZANU PF
sympathiser, replaced Justice Gubbay who took over from the first black
Chief Justice, Enock Dumbutshena (now late).

About half of the judges, in both the Supreme and High Courts, have
left the bench due to what analysts said was the erosion of the rule of law,
outright harassment, demeaning acts and remarks targeted at the judiciary
and the government's contemptuous disregard of court orders.

Since then, there has been a spate of resignations by senior judicial
officers including magistrates and prosecutors in protest, among other
issues, against poor remuneration and conditions of service.

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FinGaz

Is Kuruneri's arrest a mere smoke screen?

Brian Mangwende
4/29/2004 7:18:14 AM (GMT +2)

BELEAGUERED Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri's chickens are
coming home to roost at the worst possible time.

His weekend arrest comes at a time when President Robert Mugabe's
government is at a crunch point. The government is undertaking a
self-cleansing exercise amid fears that it might bequeath a terrible legacy
to the erstwhile regional breadbasket, which has so far suffered an
unprecedented economic meltdown.

Up until now, President Mugabe's furious critics who blame the
government for turning a blind eye on corruption, have been watching the
unfolding drama in the ongoing anti-corruption crusade with complete
indifference.

But attention was this week avidly focused on the arrest of the
54-year-old Kuruneri as the government, for the first time, took its
anti-corruption scythe to senior officials. Kuruneri's arrest came as
President Mugabe, who had previously been accused of applying the law
selectively, repeated his sentiments that no one would be spared.

Critics had always argued that the anti-graft crusade was being
applied like a spider's web, which catches the small insects and lets the
big ones through. Up until Kuruneri's arrest, only the less influential
politicians had been netted. It was against this background that some
critics agreed that the arrest of Kuruneri denoted some genuine seriousness
in President Mugabe's anti-corruption drive, which all along has been
dismissed as a vote-catching gimmick ahead of the 2005 parliamentary
elections.

Others were, however, not convinced that Kuruneri's arrest and
subsequent incarceration would raise a political storm within the ruling
party's ranks. They claimed that the net immediately closed in on him
because he lacked political clout and the government, desperate to convince
the highly sceptical public that no one was above the law, wanted to make an
example of the hapless Kuruneri.

That Zimbabwe's political life did not change noticeably or that there
was no tremor caused by the arrest of such a seemingly high-profile
government official seemed to give credence to this argument.

A humiliated Kuruneri - widely seen more as an intellectual than a
political heavyweight - became the first high profile casualty of the
ongoing crackdown on corruption following his arrest last week on charges of
contravening the exchange control regulations and the country's citizenship
laws.

The minister was on Monday remanded in custody to May 11 on charges of
dealing in foreign currency involving R5.2 million, 34 371 pounds, 30 000
euros and US$582 611.99 and possessing two passports - one Zimbabwean the
other Canadian. It is against Zimbabwean laws to hold dual citizenship.

A South African newspaper, the Sunday Times, first broke the story on
Kuruneri's investments in Cape Town which was later picked up by the local
media.

He becomes the second minister in President Mugabe's Cabinet to be
arrested following that of former Lands and Agriculture Minister Kumbirai
Kangai in 2000. Kangai was arrested but later acquitted on charges of
defrauding the Grain Marketing Board of $228 million when it imported 460
000 metric tonnes of maize. He was a key member of ZANU PF during the
country's war of liberation.

Party sources said what could have spurred the internal security
agents to dig deeper and bring the finance minister to book were media
reports which suggested that President Mugabe could have been behind the
controversial R30 million mansion being built by Kuruneri in Cape Town. The
media reports claimed the President was using Kuruneri as a front. Kuruneri
himself publicly denied this and stated that President Mugabe had nothing to
do with his real estate investments in South Africa.

"The President had to be cleared," said a party source.

Through the local state media, Kuruneri, the Member of Parliament for
Mazowe West, denied any wrongdoing saying his hands were clean. "It is clear
that I have not been in violation of any Zimbabwean laws as I could not have
externalised resources that did not originate from Zimbabwe," he was quoted
as saying.

He said his funds were legitimate as they originated from consultancy
work conducted outside Zimbabwe and maintained he had not broken any local
laws. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which controls the country's financial
levers has, however, insisted that earnings from professional consultancy
services conducted outside Zimbabwe should be deposited in individual
Foreign Currency Accounts.

But mystery still surrounds his possession of a Canadian passport,
which the state alleged he used to travel to South Africa on personal
business.

Analysts were this week unanimous that if the state security agents -
who only acted on a report from a South African newspaper - were totally
unaware of Kuruneri's financial activities, then it was a damning indictment
on their part. They, however, said this was highly unlikely.

"He may have been set up, because, who is Kuruneri in the eyes of ZANU
PF?" political analyst Alois Masepe said. "Did they wait to get reports from
South Africa to act or they set him up to convince us that they are serious.
I would like to believe they (government) knew about his financial
interests, home and abroad. The gimmick continues.

"If they didn't know, then there is something seriously wrong with our
intelligence system. It raises questions as to how much more they know, but
turn a blind eye. Kuruneri is on the periphery. We are waiting to see them
target the core ZANU PF gurus. At the moment, we are dealing with invited
guests to ZANU PF."

Chairman of Transparency International Zimbabwe Chapter John Makumbe,
whose organisation has ranked the Southern African country among the most
corrupt nations in the world, said although ZANU PF was engaged in self
cleansing, more senior party officials rumoured to be guilty of corruption s
hould be investigated.

Small fish who do not pose a threat to ZANU PF's sustenance continue
to be sacrificed for cheap political gain, Makumbe claimed.

"It's part and parcel of self cleansing on the part of ZANU PF,"
Makumbe argued. "Who's is Kuruneri in ZANU PF? A nobody. He is on the
periphery. It's a smart way of offloading corrupt wood in the party, but it
will still remain a political gimmick until President Mugabe starts hitting
at party heavyweights."

Makumbe continued: "If Kuruneri's appointment as Minister of Finance
was a serious one, then it demonstrates President Mugabe's gullibility. Why
he appointed him in February only to lock him up in April goes to show that
no homework was done before the appointment. It took independent South
African newspapers to expose him for the government to act. Yet they shoot
down the private media who expose these corrupt tendencies. One can argue
that they (government) don't really know who is and who is not corrupt until
the private media exposes them," Makumbe said.

Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and
political analyst had this to say: "It's really difficult to tell at this
stage what this means politically, but I think Kuruneri has a case to
answer. What will happen when it's all over will give us a glimpse into what
is really happening behind the scenes."

Kuruneri has always courted controversy. When he was the Member of
Parliament for Bindura and general manager of the Urban Development
Corporation (Udcorp) in the early 1990s, he was sucked into a controversial
$5 million deal involving development corporation. He was initially charged
together with Christopher Mushonga for contravening the Prevention of
Corruption Act arising from the sale of a Glen Lorne plot to Udcorp by
Mushonga.

It was initially alleged that Kuruneri had been bribed by Mushonga to
facilitate the deal between the latter and Udcorp. They were, however, both
acquitted on charges of contravening the Act for lack of evidence.

Only last year in a marked departure from tradition by a senior
government official, Kuruneri publicly admitted the government was stymied
as to which way to go to arrest the economic melt-down. He told a Zimbabwe
National Chamber of Commerce and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-organised business
meeting that government was governing "through guesswork".
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FinGaz

Does Zimbabwe have the Press it deserves?

Njabulo Ncube
4/29/2004 7:18:47 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - With access to information and the right to free expression
now increasingly considered key to the building of democracy, media workers
the world over celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

Zimbabweans, currently engrossed in a debate on socio-economic and
political problems besetting the country, are also wondering if the media
they have is the media they deserve.

This comes against a back-cloth of what are widely viewed by
government critics as repressive media laws. These include the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and
Security Act.

The laws have raised a hue and cry from the country's fragmented media
industry and human rights groups, who say the regulations have imposed new
limitations and controls on journalists.

The critics argue that restrictions imposed by these new rules should
have been swept away with the rubble of the colonial Ian Smith regime.

Already, the draconian AIPPA, crafted by Professor Jonathan Moyo, the
Minister of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President, has
claimed the scalp of the country's hugely popular independent daily tabloid,
The Daily News, which was closed in September last year, throwing nearly 200
journalists and other media workers onto the streets.

The newspaper, owned by self-exiled Zimbabwean businessman Strive
Masiyiwa, was closed down after the Supreme Court ruled that it had broken
the law by operating without a licence as required under AIPPA.

The situation has not been helped by the fact that a full bench of the
country's highest court has since thrown out an application by the
Independent Journalists' Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ) challenging AIPPA,
while numerous other court actions by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
(ANZ) have met with little success, much to the displeasure of media
workers.

As the country marks World Press Freedom Day, whose theme this year is
"Restore my right to hear and be heard", the question journalists, media
workers and publishers will be asking themselves is: where to after this?

But is it true, as argued by critics, that the ZANU PF government, in
power for 24 years, does not tolerate criticism?

Media experts, representatives of journalists' unions and political
commentators who spoke to The Financial Gazette this week were unanimous
President Robert Mugabe's beleaguered regime was wary of media pluralism.

They said the government would continue its campaign to "fight the
enemy in the media", a declaration made by officials from the Department of
Information and Publicity when they met editors from the Zimpapers group in
Harare recently.

Lovemore Maduku, chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly,
said Zimbabweans deserved a better media than that on the ground. He said
contrary to the official position, there was no press freedom in Zimbabwe.

"We are not enjoying media diversity. We do not have an independent
daily to compete with state dailies. The independent weeklies that are
operating are not sufficient.

"At the state newspapers, there is also a lot of interference by the
government," said Maduku, a lawyer by profession. "We are not happy with
AIPPA. It is squarely responsible for this bad state of the media in our
country."

Stanford Moyo, a lawyer with a Harare firm who represented IJAZ in its
failed Supreme Court case challenging AIPPA, said it was scandalous that
journalists in Zimbabwe had been denied the right to elect their own media
controlling bodies.

Moyo, addressing journalists and lawyers at a Media Lawyers Network
annual conference in Masvingo, said the Media and Information Commission
(MIC),which licenses journalists , comprised state-appointed commissioners
and was only answerable to Minister Moyo.

"Other professions in this country enjoy the democratic right to elect
their own controlling bodies, but not journalists in Zimbabwe. The MIC is
not elected. Journalism is no longer a profession any more as its practice
is now under the control of central government," he said.

"The laws that have been put in place are heavily loaded against
journalists. I am not surprised that many journalists have left the country
to do menial jobs in the diaspora.

"We are a country that oppresses journalists. Zimbabwe does not
respect freedom of the press and expression."

The government loathes a critical stand from the media because it
alleges the country's independent papers are sponsored and manipulated by
Western governments, particularly Britain and the United States, which have
accused President Robert Mugabe's government of human rights abuses.

The government denies the charge and says the independent papers are
being used by the two Western powers to try and effect regime change in
Zimbabwe

Relations between Zimbabwe and Britain, the former colonial master
which ZANU PF accuses of refusing to atone for its colonial sins, became
frosty after Harare seized white commercial farming land to resettle
landless black peasants.

The rift widened following a hotly disputed presidential election in
2002, won by President Mugabe and subsequently challenged in court by the
opposition.

"The media in Zimbabwe is being used as an extension of foreign policy
by Western powers through promotion of hatred, contempt, internal strife and
implied political disaster. There is serious polarisation that has resulted
in decay in ethics, professionalism and responsibility.

"The media in Zimbabwe confuses freedom of expression and media
freedom. Freedom of expression can be unlimited but media freedom cannot be
unlimited," said the MIC.

"Certain sections of the media in Zimbabwe are being used to demonise
nationalist and pan-Africanist political parties that went through the
liberation struggle to restore independence in Zimbabwe. And this is done
through calculated propaganda based on the theoretical principles of liberal
democracy and human rights.

"These do not defend the national interests just like what CNN (Cable
News Network) would do to American national interests or what BBC (the
British Broadcasting Corporation) would do to the British national
interests," it said.

John Makumbe, a political analyst and a critic of the government who
teaches political science at the University of Zimbabwe, bemoaned the crisis
in the local media.

"We certainly do not have the media we deserve," said Makumbe. "We are
now stuck following the closure of The Daily News. We have to wait for the
weeklies - The Financial Gazette, The Independent and The Standard - to get
to know what is happening in the country. We cannot rely on the state media
because most of the time, it contains nothing for the readers," said
Makumbe, who is also chairperson of Transparency International Zimbabwe, an
anti-corruption watchdog.

Makumbe said the independent weeklies needed to be complemented by at
least one independent daily in exposing graft in both the government and the
private sector.

"The weeklies are not enough. It is a shame and scandalous that small
countries such as Botswana have up to eight independent papers," Makumbe
said.

"When the question of the state of the media in Zimbabwe is asked, the
obvious and immediate picture that comes into mind is the closure of The
Daily News, the paper that came onto the scene in 1998," said Matthew
Takaona, president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ).

"As one goes further, the news content found in the state-run media
organisations like The Herald, New Ziana and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) are bound to come to mind," said Takaona, arbitrarily
dismissed as news editor of The Sunday Mail by the government about two
months ago for allegedly addressing troubled journalists at The Daily News.

"After the closure of The Daily News, the media pluralism we have in
this country is now infinitesimal," added Takaona.

Takaona said the ZBC's monopoly was a great source of frustration to
the citizens of Zimbabwe.

"We cannot, as a people who are independent and free, be condemned to
a situation of listening to one opinion every minute of our life and have no
alternative. We cannot be condemned to watching vulgar dances despite calls
by the public, whom it (ZBC) should be serving, to stop those dances. The
state media is abusing the public and they (government) get away with it,"
he said.

The ZUJ boss said fear had also become one of the worst enemies of
press freedom in Zimbabwe. Fear could also explain the atrocious content in
the media, he said. Even AIPPA itself had instilled fear in that journalists
were now afraid to be associated with editorial material that appeared to be
against the persuasions of the MIC.

"There is the fear that if you are found to be in such a position,
then you may lose your registration or it may not be renewed after 12
months, effectively ending your job as a journalist in Zimbabwe. AIPPA has
caused the collapse of the media in Zimbabwe," said Takaona.
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FinGaz

RBZ wants an extra eye to watch banks

Nelson Banya
4/29/2004 7:19:19 AM (GMT +2)

THE recent announcement by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor
Gideon Gono that international ratings would be mandatory for all banking
institutions is clear evidence that it is no longer business as usual in the
sector, which has been accused of operating on autopilot and disregarding
the radar.

The banking landscape, which came close to an outright meltdown due to
the proliferation of non-core speculative activities that resulted in
malignant asset-liability mismatches and downright imprudence, is now
evolving, owing to the ever increasing number of requirements meant to
ensure probity and that the events of the past quarter do not recur.

With effect from January 2005, all banking institutions will be
required by the RBZ to subject themselves to a reputable international
rating system.

"In line with global trends and the need to encourage local banks to
conform to international best practice, with effect from the 1st of January
2005, there will be a mandatory requirement that each banking institution be
subject to an agreed international rating framework.

"Banks are, therefore, encouraged to prime their operations and
systems for this critical requirement, which is also meant to enhance the
scope for easier brokerage of correspondent banking relationships between
local financial institutions and their international counterparties," Gono
said.

Many Zimbabwean banking institutions subscribe to the
Johannesburg-based Global Credit Rating Company (GCRC), although they did so
of their own volition in order to boost their profiles.

GCRC executive director Dave King told The Financial Gazette that his
company, which has a dominant position in emerging markets and is spread
across the African continent, had received inquiries from many local banking
firms.

"There are about 12 banks which we rate in Zimbabwe right now. Others
have shown interest in coming on board, even before the recent policy
announcement," King said.

As part of the rating process, GCRC conducts full due diligence
analysis, which includes poring over financial statements, returns filed to
the RBZ and on-site inspections to check on the risk management processes.

At the peak of the banking sector crisis in January, GCRC, which has
operated in Zimbabwe since 1997, could only provide ratings for no more than
eight banking institutions - less than half the total in the sector.

At the time, said King, many other banking industry firms had not
submitted data for the ratings at the critical time, forcing the renowned
rating firm to withdraw all ratings previously pronounced on banks that had
not complied.

Only Standard Chartered, Barclays, the Central Africa Building Society
(CABS), Kingdom Financial Holdings, the Merchant Bank of Central Africa
(MBCA), the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), First Banking Corporation
(FBC) and Rapid Discount House were included in the January survey carried
out by GCRC and, incidentally, all came out with favourable ratings in the
BBB- category and above.

Interestingly, though, one of the firms that got the thumbs-up from
GCRC, Rapid Discount House, has since been closed by the RBZ, which found
the institution to be in a financially unsound condition.

Five other financial institutions - Intermarket Banking Corporation,
Intermarket Discount House, Intermarket Building Society, Barbican Bank and
Barbican Asset Management - have also been closed during the just-ended
quarter, which signalled the end of the halcyon days in the financial
sector, which had survived the five-year recession that hit the Zimbabwean
economy.

The central bank has signalled that the financial sector storm is
virtually over and has been actively working on rebuilding confidence. The
latest move constitutes an active attempt to not only boost battered
confidence, but also provide some form of oversight through the
international credit ratings.

To date, foreign-owned banks have consistently scored high in the
international ratings, confirming their "quality" status, which the now
discerning, long-suffering depositor is on the lookout for.

Banks occupying the top half of GCRC's rating at the peak of the
crisis - Standard Chartered, Barclays, CABS, MBCA and CBZ - are all foreign
controlled, with locally owned FBC, Kingdom and the closed Rapid making up
the minority.

King said although there "was a long time to go to full confidence,
the central bank did a fantastic job handling the crisis in a very difficult
environment".

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FinGaz

Mission impossible for ailing parastatals?

Hama Saburi
4/29/2004 7:20:11 AM (GMT +2)

STRINGENT conditions attached to the future funding of state-owned
enterprises which depended on a life-support system from the fiscus may as
well be the missing link that had eluded Zimbabwe in its quest to root out
slackness in the running of parastatals.

Analysts said the tight conditions, read out to the perennially
loss-making parastatals last week by central bank governor Gideon Gono could
uncover the dirt that had been swept under the carpet for many years,
marking the return to financial discipline and viability.

The top brass in these loss-making entities, they said, might also
discover that the message directed at indigenous bankers in Gono's monetary
policy review last Wednesday aptly apply to them as well.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) boss, who has the tough task of
cleaning market imperfections embedded in the local economy, told indigenous
bankers who have been squeezed by an acute liquidity crunch caused by
improper banking practices to either "shape-up or pack-up".

Gono proceeded to dangle about $165 billion worth of loans to state
enterprises and local authorities, which they can only access after meeting
stringent conditions.

"After July 31 2004 the facilities will cease to be available to the
institutions. Applications for support must be accompanied by credible
turnaround plans to rid themselves of current bottlenecks, including manning
levels, board and management structures, which make economic sense," said
Gono.

"Without these supporting documents, the Reserve Bank will not avail
them of the productive sector monies, which are cheap and necessary for
their turnaround. At the end of July 2004, the Reserve Bank will publish
which of these parastatals and local authorities will have succeeded in
accessing the funds, while failure to do so will reflect shortcomings
inherent at the institutions, which stakeholders will naturally get to know
about."

Analysts this week described the conditionalities as a tall order for
the parastatals, which have not exactly justified their existence because of
their persistent funding from the Treasury.

Almost every parastatal is limping because of acute cash-flow
deficiencies caused by operational constraints and debt overhang in a high
interest rate environment.

As of November last year, the total contingent liabilities for the
entities excluding the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) exceeded $62 billion.

GMB, which enjoys a monopoly in the purchase of grain from farmers,
had trading and accounting losses in excess of $60 billion as of that date.
The parastatals also had more than US$755 million owed to international
creditors, which they cannot pay because of the shortage of foreign
currency.

The shortages of hard currency, blamed on poor exports and the lack of
balance of payments support that became evident after the International
Monetary Fund pulled out of Zimbabwe, has virtually dried imports of
essential inputs and raw materials.

At the same time, the parastatals cannot access external lines of
credit due to the country's high political risk worsened by the heightened
animosity between Zimbabwe's main political parties, the Movement for
Democratic Change and the ruling ZANU PF.

Infrastructure for most of these parastatals has continued to
deteriorate due to limited resources for maintenance and limited new
investment, among others.

Anthony Mandiwanza, chairman of the Cold Storage Company, which has
just laid out a recovery path, admitted that it would be "mission
impossible" to try and get the economy back on its rails until such a time
when parastatals start to tick.

Mandiwanza, who is also the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries and managing director of a former parastatal, said the conditions
were standard practice adding, "they are workable and indeed must be
applauded, because parastatals should not escape issues of corporate
governance."

Within the next six months to December 2004, the RBZ has pledged to
extend cheap funds to parastatals at 50 percent interest rate.

The national passenger airline, Air Zimbabwe, which had been thrown
out of the International Air Transport Association because of non-payment of
fees, was offered a maximum loan of $7.5 billion.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which has been transformed into
ZB Holdings and has not made a profit since 1980, may also get $7.5 billion.

Other parastatals set to benefit include the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority ($30 billion), the National Railways of Zimbabwe ($20
billion), the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company ($30 billion), Wankie Colliery
($15 billion), the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) ($10 billion)
and the Agriculture Rural Development Authority ($25 billion).

A local analyst, Farai Dyirakumunda, said the funding was meant to
create a suitable environment, where service delivery is uninterrupted, for
the entities to operate viably.

Insistence on credible turnaround plans, he said, was meant to ensure
that funding is not sunk into a bottomless pit but is channelled towards
enhancing capacity utilisation and working capital relief.

"The July 31 deadline may be an issue though, but they (parastatals)
have a couple of months to sort themselves out. The loan is also for a
period of six months, which is rather limiting for certain institutions
given the lengthy turnaround time in some cases," said Dyirakumunda.

Dyirakumunda said the institutions should be run on commercial lines
and could possibly diversify their product lines into high margin products.

For example, he said, ZUPCO could venture into haulage, which is a
high margin business.

"This is working for PTC and definitely there is scope for them
(parastatals) to be run on commercial lines, but what is needed are proper
control systems and structures.

"The end goal should be to privatise or at least fully commercialise
them. This funding should be a gradual step towards that," he said.

Entities that have been privatised so far have successfully weathered
the storm and are holding their own on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)
where they now rank among the country's bellwether stocks.

Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited became the first parastatal to be
privatised and listed on the ZSE in 1997, followed by the Cotton Company of
Zimbabwe.

Economic consultant John Robertson said while it would be tough for
the parastatals to measure up to standard, the RBZ should be applauded for
trying to instil discipline in organisations.

"It was long overdue and it should never have been allowed to get this
bad and I hope it will not get worse than this," said Robertson.

"It's going to be hard, but obviously they (parastatals) will continue
to run. It's the first step to getting them back. You cannot make up for
what has been lost, but you can certainly reinstate the technical
requirement."

Robertson said the parastatals would now need to avoid interference
from politicians if they are to get back on the rails.

He said despite clear legislation on the reporting procedures for
parastatals, some have not published their accounts since 1976 and it was
confusing where they got their figures when requesting for subsidies from
government.

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FinGaz

Msika breathes fire

Staff Reporter
4/29/2004 7:14:29 AM (GMT +2)

IN what could trigger a showdown between the Presidency and three
Cabinet ministers, Vice-President Joseph Msika has vowed not to rest until
the recent invasion of Kondozi Farm in Odzi has been reversed.

Msika is the chairman of the Land Acquisition Committee. His stance
could bring him into direct conflict with three Cabinet ministers -
Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Information and Publicity in the
Office of the President and Cabinet, Agriculture and Rural Development
Minister Joseph Made and Transport and Communications Minister Christopher
Mushowe. The three have insisted that the disputed farm belongs to the
state.

Before Moyo's intervention, Made and Mushowe had been at loggerheads
with Edwin Masimba Moyo, the majority shareholder of Kondozi, over the
acquisition of the farm which enjoys Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status.
Under the law, a farm with EPZ status cannot be compulsorily acquired.

Kondozi Farm, also known as Canvest Farming, exports flowers and
vegetables to Europe and South Africa.

It employed 5 000 workers before it was taken over. Msika said he
would rather die with his views than allow thousands of farm workers to be
rendered jobless and homeless especially under the current economic
environment.

Speaking at a field day at Old Citrus Farm owned by ZANU PF chairman
for Mashonaland West, Philip Chiyangwa, last Friday, Msika said:

"I don't work with newspapers . . . the truth will always prevail. Our
land reform policy is one. Even ZANU PF and PF ZAPU had a similar policy
that's why it was not difficult to unite. Orientation to the people . . . we
dovetailed into one. Yes, small institutions like ARDA (the Agricultural
Rural Development Authority) and DDF (the District Development Fund) are
very important, ladies and gentlemen. But I can't support someone who will
evict 15 000 women and children and throw them on the streets. I won't
support that. I will not support that. Even if all of you support that and I
remain alone in my view, I'll die with my views."

He added: "Something is brewing in Mutare . . . Kondozi. Seventy
people came to my house and woke me up around 4 am. I asked what the problem
was and later told them to go and see John Nkomo . . . but they said they
had sent a delegation to him to no avail. I told the Manicaland governor
(retired major general Mike Nyambuya) to allow the people to go back."

The delegation that met Msika seeking the reversal of the evictions
included chiefs and headmen from the province.

During the Easter holiday, heavily armed riot police and soldiers
using water cannons, forcibly evicted the farm workers to pave way for the
smooth occupation of the property by the Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority (Arda). Arda is currently on the property.

The displaced farm workers and their families are now living out in
the open along roadsides with their household goods and other possessions,
hoping that someone would soon address their plight.

At the same occasion the vice president, who publicly admitted a rift
within the ruling party, called for unity and castigated those seeking the
demise of their colleagues.

He said prior to the visit to Citrus Farm, he had been advised not to
attend the field day because of claims that whites were still on the farm
using Chiyangwa as a front through FSI, owned by business mogul Mutumwa
Mawere.

"I received a telephone call yesterday from someone urging me not to
attend this field day," Msika said. "But I said since I was in charge of
land redistribution, it was my duty to go and see the progress being made
and hear for myself the nature of the problems there. But the person
insisted . . . I will not disclose his identity. I said 'now that you don't
want me to go, the more reason why I should go'."

He added: "I was told that the farm was being used by whites. If we
see that you have brought back the whites clandenstinely . . . We will
remove you and your white man off the property. I knew what was happening
here . . . I knew FSI was here . . . and that Chiyangwa was renting farm
equipment from them. There is nothing wrong in renting equipment from those
that have it. I personally rent equipment."

Msika then said Chiyangwa had himself to blame for his arrest on
allegations that he obstructed the course of justice, perjury and contempt
of court because he was too outspoken.

"Chiyangwa has his mistakes, he talks too much," Msika said. "That's
what I want to tell him as a brother. Don't talk too much, you will be held
accountable and responsible. He never committed a crime here (Mashonaland
West) but there in Harare."
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FinGaz

For first time in 45 years, Trade Fair opens without its chairman

Staff Reporter
4/29/2004 7:16:38 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - The 45th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
(ZITF) opened here on Tuesday without its chairman Mthuli Ncube, who is
allegedly hibernating in South Africa amid revelations police want to
question him on economic-related crimes.

Although the government and the ZITF Company played down the impact of
Ncube's absence from the fair, which runs until Saturday, exhibitors said it
was embarrassing that for the first time in the event's 45-year history, it
was being held without a chairperson to welcome participants.

"It might look like a small matter, but this has never happened," said
an industrialist who has participated at ZITF for several years.

"It's not proper. He (chairman) must be running around with ministers
and other invited guests, but this is now being done by the general manager,
who has a lot on his hands, as he has just been appointed to the post."

Ncube, the chief executive of Barbican Holdings, left the country in
inauspicious circumstances after investigations by the central bank revealed
its flagship commercial bank was technically insolvent.

Ncube, who is also the chairperson of the government-run National
Investment Trust, joined several Zimbabwean banking sector chiefs who have
sought sanctuary outside the country - mainly in South Africa, Britain and
the United States - following allegations of financial irregularities.

Samuel Mumbe-ngegwi, the Minister of Industry and International Trade,
said the absence of Ncube was insignificant because the ZITF had not
experienced any problems.

"You can see the trade fair is proceeding. So the issue of the
chairman being not here is insignificant," said Mumben-gegwi at a press
conference.

"The ZITF management is firmly in charge and you can tell by the
activity here.

"We are optimistic the fair will be a resounding success as we have
exhibitors from China, Botswana and other nations," he said.

About 600 foreign and local exhibitors are taking part at this year's
trade fair, whose theme is "Promoting regional trade".

Namibian President Sam Nujoma will officially open the fair tomorrow.
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FinGaz

ZANU PF suspends Paradza

4/29/2004 7:17:32 AM (GMT +2)

ZANU PF's Mashonaland West province has issued Member of Parliament
for Makonde, Kindness Paradza, with a prohibition order suspending him from
carrying out party duties in his constituency.

The order comes against the backdrop of Paradza's attack in Parliament
of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and
allegations that he solicited for support to take over The Tribune newspaper
from businessmen sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change.

Paradza, who has been in parliament for less than a year, is being
accused of conspiring to undermine the ZANU PF govern-ment's policies,
disrespecting the party's hierarchy including President Robert Mugabe, gross
indiscipline and fanning disunity among party cadres.

In a letter to Paradza, John Mafa, the deputy party chairman for
Mashonaland West and chairman of the provincial disciplinary committee said
the MP had undermined the party's authority in comments attributed to him
and published in the state media.

Part of the prohibition order reads: "You are suspended from carrying
out any party work in the Makonde district and particularly Makonde
constituency. You will appear before the disciplinary committee on due dates
and in this case on May 27 2004, at the ZANU PF provincial office, Old
Hospital, Chinhoyi, or such other place as may be suggested in writing by
the chairman of the disciplinary committee."

The Sunday Mail last week reported that Paradza, the publisher of The
Tribune, was heavily involved in an attempt to buy a controlling stake in
Africa Tribune Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd by seeking funding from the defunct
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe bosses Strive Masiyiwa and Sam Sipepa
Nkomo.

However, Paradza denied the allegations in comments attributed to him
in The Herald, saying: "There is nothing like that. I have never talked to
Strive Masiyiwa since 1996 and I have never talked to Sam Sipepa Nkomo and
they are not involved in any way in the takeover of The Tribune. We have
since taken over management of The Tribune and we have paid for it in full
using our own resources . . . They can go ahead with the meeting. I will go
to Makonde and win hands down."

The order went on: "May we take this opportunity to remind you that
only party cadres authorised by the party, stand and win against the
opposition hands down. ZANU PF never goes for parliamentary elections
against each other since those that hold such high office are expected to
hold high the values of the party's virtues."

The letter was copied to the Minister of Special Affairs and ZANU PF
national chairman John Nkomo, Minister without Portfolio Elliot Manyika,
provincial chairman Philip Chiyangwa and the district coordinating committee
chairman identified only as Makumbe.

- Staff Reporter
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FinGaz

Manager nabbed over $7b Trust Bank fraud

Staff Reporter
4/29/2004 7:20:59 AM (GMT +2)

A FORMER senior manager with Century Bank, Charles Nyoka, was arrested
this week in connection with a fraud case involving $7.7 billion fleeced
from Trust Bank late last year.

Police picked up Nyoka, the general manager of Century Bank's treasury
department, earlier this week leading to the recovery of goods and cash
amounting to $4 billion.

It is alleged that Nyoka, in connivance with Trust Bank officials
employed in the treasury department - Menard Diva, Clemence Tapiwa Mudangwe,
Simbarashe Mwonzora and Clifford Maveto - and an outsider Witness Mahata
siphoned a total of $7.7 billion from Trust Bank.

It is alleged that they used forged electronic transfer forms to enter
$5 billion into Century Bank account number 1601-159936-020.

The remaining $2.7 billion was allegedly transferred to Datvest
account number 0114009613901 held at NMB Bank, Angwa Street branch in
Harare.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could neither deny nor confirm the
latest developments, referring all questions to Andrew Phiri who could not
comment by the time of going to press.

It is alleged that Nyoka received the funds, which were transferred to
Century Bank through Michell Brophy's account number 1601-159936-020 held by
the bank.

Nyoka is accused of opening a call account with Century Bank where he
transferred $3 billion. On December 1 2003, Nyoka allegedly withdrew $1.26
billion from the call account and he was allegedly given $20 million as his
share of the spoils and invested the money with NDH limited.

The following day, Nyoka allegedly facilitated a withdrawal of $598.5
million from the call account and he was allegedly given $9.5 million as his
share and he invested the money with NDH limited.

On December 3, 2003 Nyoka allegedly facilitated the withdrawal of $288
million from the call account and he allegedly benefited $4.5 million and
invested the money with NDH.

Nyoka allegedly benefitted to the tune of $34 million and managed to
withdraw $10 million and the balance of $24 million was frozen and is still
being held by NDH.

Trust Bank dragged Datvest, its managing director Remo Pollastri and a
local businessman Yusuf Ahmid to court on allegations that part of the $7.7
billion was deposited in a Datvest account.

Datvest used $2.7 billion to purchase NMBZ shares through ABC
Stockbrokers.

The 14 million NMBZ shares were bought through a special bargain price
of $187.50 per share of which 12 million shares were purchased from Pfuko
Investments owned by NMBZ staff.
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FinGaz

Comment

How far will govt go?

4/29/2004 7:40:09 AM (GMT +2)

THE talking point in Zimbabwe this week is the arrest of the
beleaguered Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri, accused of violating the
country's exchange control regulations. He now has the distinction of being
the first high profile government official to be nabbed in the anti-graft
crusade.

For some, with the unprecedented move to arrest a Cabinet minister,
the authorities have just taken the first few steps towards their pledge to
decisively deal with graft. To these people, government has now assuaged the
general perception that in its anti-corruption drive, it is applying the law
like the proverbial spider's web which catches only the smallest of insects
and lets through the big ones.

However, for the legion of sceptics who had watched with deepening
concern the festering cancer of corruption eating at the very fabric of
Zimbabwean society, the government will have to do much more to earn
plaudits for honesty and sincerity over the anti-corruption drive.

While the arrest of the minister has to a certain extent captured the
nation's imagination, the sceptics, who are obviously and justifiably bent
on stiffening the government's hand, have burning, pertinent questions.
These include: how will the situation develop from here? Will this prise
open the previously opaque areas of public figures' lives? Could it be that
Kuruneri is a political lightweight who lacks a power base of his own and is
therefore expendable? Does the government have the sincerity, political will
and capacity to take what might turn out to be a double-edged sword to its
full expression? Why the missionary zeal now when corruption cases have in
the past been swept under the carpet? Is there anything fundamentally
different between the corruption then and now? And most importantly, is the
government no longer intimidated by the fear of risking the ire of the enemy
within?

These questions will inevitably crop up because this is Zimbabwe
where, for the rich, powerful and influential politicians and their cronies,
justice has at most been cheap and at worst blind. The questions are born of
a healthy scepticism among Zimbabweans who are showing anger and
consternation over deep-seated corruption. In any case, nothing is hardly
what it seems in Zimbabwean politics.

In short, what is being questioned here is government's commitment and
sincerity to rid the country of corruption, which is blamed squarely on its
shoulders. A significant portion of the country's long-suffering people
believe that corruption fed on a deeply rooted political patronage system.
It was through political connections and back-scratching relationships that
politicians, whose assets must now be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny,
cut underhand deals to the detriment of the economy.

Who will forget the crony capitalism perfected at the now defunct
United Merchant Bank (UMB) owned by the late eccentric and self-proclaimed
black economic empowerment activist, Roger Boka? The bank, which operated
for just three years until it imploded under its absurdities in 1998, had a
mountain of delinquent loans where funds were pumped to politicians and
politically well-connected businessmen who ran up large debts in misguided
expansion plans. The bank, which lacked pre-lending assessment which, under
normal circumstances should really be the basis for the initial decision
whether or not to extend credit, fell prey to greedy politicians.

The goings-on at UMB, which up until now was Zimbabwe's most
scandalous banking failure, sent some seismic disturbances throughout the
financial sector which are still reverberating to date. Other than one or
two individuals who were declared prescribed persons and despite the hiring
of a firm of international "forensic accountants", no one was arrested. This
was despite the fact that the original sources of these funds could have
been the pay-as-you-go pension house, the National Social Security
Authority, the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation and the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe, among other public institutions. Sadly this is
seemingly being treated as water under the bridge.

Another issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is the unresolved
issue of the uncouth social welfare cheats who unashamedly looted the War
Victims Compensation Fund. There is also the abuse of the VIP Housing
Scheme, the rot at NOCZIM which almost ground industry and commerce to a
halt and the corruption at the Grain Marketing Board which bordered on
treason as a significant number of people faced starvation. The list is
endless.

These and many others haemorrhaged the economy. They also implicated
some of the country's biggest political egos, who are walking the streets
free, or even worse, holding public offices. Now that the government is
moving from rhetoric about the fight against corruption and "contemplating"
action, doesn't this provide a perfect window of opportunity to revisit
these cases with a view to bringing the culprits to book irrespective of who
they are and then throw the keys into the deepest part of the Zambezi River?
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FinGaz

Govt must develop a national youth policy

4/29/2004 7:46:00 AM (GMT +2)

FUTURE development in the field of youth may well depend upon the
ability of governments to manage substantial changes and improve the
situation of youth under conditions of limited or moderate growth.

Achieving the necessary combination of macro-economic and macro-social
strategies has been one of the major problems faced by many governments.
Hence it is extremely important to further improve the managerial abilities
of governments as well as policy-making and the development of
infrastructures in the field of youth.

The determinants of the situation of the youth - economic,
environmental, socio-cultural and demographic - may be influenced to varying
degrees by policy interventions. The need, therefore, is to ensure that
these interventions are balanced.

Such a process will clearly depend upon the ability of youth to
articulate their own interests and to mobilise enough support for them. The
role of governments will be to initiate a broad-based dialogue with the
youth, to support their activities and to enhance their active participation
at the decision-making levels in society.

Last week I identified the crisis of unemployment as one of the major
cancers facing young people. With emphasis now being placed on small- to
medium-scale enterprises as a national development strategy, it is crucial
for the relevant ministry to initiate multiple economic schemes directed
specifically at the youth. The same applies to the Ministry of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment Creation itself and the Agriculture
Ministry, including any other ministry where an opportunity for the
advancement of youth and the effective utilisation of their vast development
potential exists.

This must be done in a planned and coordinated manner and not the ad
hoc and opportunistic approach of the government which is only meant to
serve partisan political interests.

Joint ministerial projects involving two or more ministries can be
initiated so as to pool the scant resources that may be available. In an
effort to develop and promote youth entrepre-neurship, the government can
establish special fund schemes to cater for various specific youth problems
within the broader national economic developmental framework.

The idea should be to tackle the unemployment crisis at the grassroots
and emphasis could be put on the creation of small-scale industries and
cooperatives; and rural-based employment opportunities, including related
services - credit, legal and technical advice.

Special attention should be given to the situation of youth within a
human resource development policy; the situation of youth employment,
promotion and coordination of training in appropriate skills, including
managerial training, orientation to the world of work and attitudinal
development.

What is extremely important is that these special fund schemes should
guarantee access by young people to credit and loan facilities without
collateral.

If the nation is serious about indigenisation and black empowerment in
the field of youth, then we must just dispense with the requirement of
collateral because the majority of youth simply do not have it. The
viability of the proposed project itself coupled with the proven abilities
and expertise of the beneficiaries should be enough collateral and the
government must act as guarantor. Other special categories of funds can be
introduced which require a minimum of collateral.

State-run businesses and enterprises could be enlisted to provide
counterpart financial and technical support for such schemes. Cooperative
schemes involving young people in the production and marketing of goods and
services should be developed.

Government can also provide incentives for private sector
participation materially and financially so as to broaden the resource base
of these schemes. For example, government can cut or reduce taxes on private
businesses, especially multi-national companies, trans-national lobbies and
elite trade associations which willingly and voluntarily dedicate certain
percentages of their profits to these various youth schemes.

The Central Bank, within the broad context of its monetary policy, can
also give strategic support including providing incentives for banks and
other financial institutions within its jurisdiction to participate in
support of the national youth development policy, which will eventually
benefit the same businesses and financial institutions in the long run.

But for this to be successful it requires that the development of the
national youth policy itself must go through the rigorous process of
broad-based and comprehensive consultations involving multiple stakeholders
like government, youth organisations with all their diversity, non-
governmental organisations, the private sector, the financial sector, civil
society etcetera. All stakeholders will then obviously fell that the
national youth policy is their own by virtue of having made an input into it
and will be naturally inclined to support it.

There must be specific legislation evolving from this broad-based and
comprehensive consultation process, giving the youth themselves substantial
power of supervision over the implementation of these special fund schemes.
Infact these various schemes should be the creation of a statute or Act of
Parliament which clearly spells out the functions to which the funds will be
put, the various responsible authorities and /or institutions which
disburse/ administer the funds, upon what preconditions or requirements, the
monitoring and evaluation strategy and so on and so on.

The disbursement process must be decentralised to all the provinces
although there may be a central control mechanism if that is found
preferable. Provincial and district monitoring and evaluation networks can
be developed to supervise and take stock of the success or otherwise and the
rate thereof, of the various youth projects. The monitoring and evaluation
networks will make appropriate recommendations upon a careful and informed
analysis of the situation on the ground and the grounded realities of the
youth themselves.

Within funds designated for youth employment government should
designate fixed percentages / quotas for programmes supporting the efforts
of young women, youth with disabilities and other various sub-categories of
youth who find themselves at the margins of society. There are many young
people who have either lost their jobs in the acquired farms or have been
displaced or in some other way prejudiced by land acquisitions, and those
ones also deserve special attention.

For the foreseeable future almost half of the developing world's
population will continue to be classified as rural. With such large numbers
of people living in rural areas, emphasis must also be placed on involving
youth in learning improved agricultural practices through both formal and
non-formal training. Experimental commercial farming programmes directed at
young people should be initiated, including direct marketing groups,
production and distribution co-operatives to bring agricultural products
directly from young farmers to consumers.

The aim of such groups will be to reduce food shortages and losses
from defective systems of food transport to markets. The improvement of
educational opportunities in rural areas is necessary to provide incentives
for rural youths to stay in their communities as full participants in rural
development. The growing urban segment of the population is becoming
increasingly dependent upon agricultural production that must be geared to
creating enough surplus to feed the growing population of non-producers. In
my view, increased production will to a large degree depend upon incentives
at the farm level. In the same vein, rural to urban migration will be
reduced only when the apparent disparity between the two sectors is reduced.
However, in effect our future in the global economy lies in our ability to
make a paradigm shift from the land-based economy to the knowledge economy
characterised by information technology, financial services, biotechnology,
manufacturing, mechatronics and automation.

In many situations students, even though integrated into the formal
educational structure, may suffer from a disjunction between education and
the world of work as well as from an inadequate socialisation process. Few
statistics are available to trace the transition of youth from education to
employment, and from their situation as children to new roles as spouses and
parents, hence it is difficult to properly analyse and plan for these key
elements of the life cycle. Such young people are often destined for the
margins of society, where they are abused and exploited.

There has to be closer co-operation between education officials on the
one hand and employers on the other so as to facilitate planning of
curricula that meets the concrete needs of society, by looking at the
situation of young people within a human resource development policy.

Art, music, theatre and dance, including other cultural activities can
also be vigorously promoted as a source of income for creative and
innovative young people, especially if this is coupled with an equally
vigorous marketing of our tourism industry. When looking at the situation of
youth in the promotion and development of the national culture, it is
important to strengthen and co-ordinate all governmental and
non-governmental activities at the level of the family, school and
community, involving parents, public authorities (whose role would be
primarily to motivate, organise and co-ordinate), school authorities and
youth organisations, so as to ensure a multi-faceted yet coherent
transmission of cultural heritage, both respectful of the past and vitally
modern.

Youth cultural participation, which expresses itself in artistic
amateur groups and activities of cultural centres, is an ideal field of
action for youth. It is essential to promote the social recognition of youth
participation in the creation of new forms of art and cultural values, to
encourage them to consider culture as an important part of life. Culture is
not a stable or self-contained but an interactional phenomenon,
characterised by a high degree of variability (within cultures as well as
between them) constant negotiability and multi-directional adaptability.

The rebellion of youth against authority is meant to keep institutions
flexible and not to reject the heritage of past generations. To ask the
youth to speak only to one another is to leave them without history; to ask
them to speak to adults is to ensure continuity in man's heritage. We appeal
to the older generation to leave behind a good political culture of
tolerance, unity and co-operation. Such a culture is the back-bone of
success for future generations.

This contribution can not be exhaustive, hence emphasis that
developing a youth policy requires a multiple-stakeholder and holistic
approach. Youth policies should be wide-ranging including measures directly
and indirectly concerned with youth activities, as well as elements
concerned with the role and place of young people in each area and sector of
national life.

This should encompass the role and place of young people in education
and training; in agriculture and rural development, in health and the
promotion of primary health care; in commercial and industrial development;
in the protection and improvement of the environment; in the promotion and
development of tourism and the national culture; in science and technology;
and in community organisations, trade unions and political institutions.

Isaya Muriwo Sithole is a Harare-based legal practitioner.
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FinGaz

Zim's participation in park project doubtful

Staff Reporter
4/29/2004 7:24:15 AM (GMT +2)

Zimbabwe's participation in the multi-billion-dollar Great Limpopo
Transfrontier Park (GLTP) is in doubt following bickering over the awarding
of title deeds.

It has emerged that the private sector, which was billed to develop
Gonarezhou National Park, has spurned government's offer for a stake in the
initiative unless they are given title deeds for their specific areas of
interest.

The project, which also involves Mozambique and South Africa, has
suffered protracted problems on the Zimbabwean side as there is no
development as yet of requisite infrastructure such as roads, bridges,
hotels and lodges, a senior official in the Tourism and Environment Ministry
said.

In Zimbabwe, the area included in the extended park has had many years
of successful conservation and sustainable use, either in the form of a
national park or private game ranches with much of its tourism potential
remaining largely unexploited, industry players said.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government had pinned its hopes of
developing the park on the private sector.

The ministry official said players in the tourism industry were now
sitting on the fence following government's refusal to grant them land
rights. It has also emerged that families which were illegally resettled in
the buffer zones of the park have stayed put despite government assurances
that they would be removed.

"The private sector has shelved plans to invest in the area with no
land rights. They want to be given title deeds," said the ministry official.

The government has made very little, if any, progress in the
development of the park.

Zimbabwe's partners in the project - Mozambique and South Africa -
have already committed a combined R105 million for the park on the strength
of multilateral donor support and strong domestic economies.

Concerned players in the tourism industry said this had left Zimbabwe
the only country among the three failing to implement the project, or at
least move at the same speed as its counterparts.

"No local or foreign investor will come to invest under the current
circumstances.

"There are also fears that government will take over the properties
after the park has been developed," she said.

It has also emerged that government has allocated grants to the
National Parks Authority and the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe to develop the
area.

"On its own, government is not able to develop the park, hence the
invitation to parastatals to join the project.

"This means Zimbabwe will not immediately benefit from the park,
touted to be the world's largest wildlife sanctuary," she added.

A chief executive of one of the country's leading hospitality groups
said illegal settlers have to be removed from the park.

"It is difficult to commit billions of dollars in an investment we are
not guaranteed ownership of the land. The settlers have to go if any
progress is to be made," he said.

The regional wildlife park was set up to promote tourism.

Analysts have said tourism has been one of Zimbabwe's few bright spots
but it, too, is losing its glitter as there are now less tourist arrivals
amid a dented international credibility.
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FinGaz

Prevention of Corruption Act: how effective is it?

4/29/2004 7:41:57 AM (GMT +2)

Rooting out corruption is a pre-condition for a successful democracy.

Only a strong leadership with dedication and moral authority embedded
in unquestioned integrity can successfully do so.

It is hoped that the government will intensify its crusade against
corrupt individuals and organisations. To start with, the government must
learn to respect its own laws so as to prove its commitment to the rule of
law and the creation of order in the country.

As early as 1985, the government saw the need to deal with corruption
and passed the Prevention of Corruption Act No 34 of 1985 (The Act).This
statute is now Chapter 9:16.

Although this Act has been part of our law, it has to some extent
remained obscure and unavailable for use against high-level corruption.

Over the years, it has on isolated occasions been applied against a
few public officials charged with low-level and sometimes even trivial
transgressions.

The purpose of the Act, as provided for in its preamble, is to "
provide for the prevention of corruption and the investigation of claims
arising from dishonesty, or corruption, and to provide for matters connected
therewith or incidental thereto".

It can clearly be observed that this legislation had very noble
objectives. Its fundamental aim was to prevent the incidence of corruption
among public officials and the society at large.

However, the alarming high levels of corruption permeating every
anatomy of our society illustrate hopeless failure in the application of the
Act.

All evidence proves that the government has been apathetic in its
quest to deal with economic debauchery and kleptocracy.

Over the years moral decadence and a peculiar propensity to indulge in
personal aggrandisement has crept into our society. Gradually, moral
imperfection has corroded and devalued our moral integrity, culminating in
the wanton looting and plunder that is now commonplace.

It is argued here that if the Act had been applied robustly and
consistently without fear or favour, corruption would not have escalated to
the crescendo it has currently reached.

Lack of will to apply this statute had almost rendered it obsolete,
but now it can easily be an effective arsenal available to the government in
its graft-busting endeavours.

This article seeks to investigate those sections of the Act relevant
to the fight against corruption and possibly suggest means of consolidating
them. It is only through an effective law, coupled with strong will on the
part of the government and other relevant role-players like Parliament, that
the prevalent rottenness can be reversed.

The Act identifies categories of officials who must not indulge in
corrupt practices. These are, but not limited to: trustees of an insolvent
estate; liquidator of a company; executor of a deceased estate; legal
representative of a minor, prodigal, or imbecile; a public officer and any
member of a board of directors.

Later sections of the Act also identify "any person", including a
member of the public, thereby broadening the list of possible culprits
targeted by the Act.

Section 3 outlines a host of what are deemed to be corrupt practices.
Thus, it is being corrupt for one to solicit, accept or agree to accept a
reward as an inducement to perform or not to perform any act. It appears the
case of the Reserve Bank official alleged to have solicited a bribe to cover
suspects in the foreign currency scandal would be covered under this
section.

Any person who contravenes this section, if convicted, is liable to a
fine or imprisonment or to both the fine and imprisonment. The value of the
fine shall be three times the value of the gift or consideration.

Just as an illustration, if a police officer receives $1 million to
destroy a docket, the fine upon his conviction must be $3 million.

It is important to note that one can be imprisoned for a period not
exceeding 20 years.

Although this Act provides for such a heavy penalty, the courts have
been hesitant to impose it. But in view of the prevalence of corruption, our
courts must adopt a firm position and register society's abhorrence of
crookedness by imposing exemplary custodial sentences and heavy fines.

Further, upon the conviction of a corrupt individual, the court can
declare any goods or gift paid forfeited to the state.

Section 6 creates an interesting scenario. Where the Minister of
Anti-Corruption suspects any individual to be involved in corrupt
activities, he can cause such an individual to be "specified". Effectively,
such a "specified" person will not, among other things, be allowed to
operate a bank account, to dispose of his property or to perform duties as a
director of a company, except with the authority of an investigator
appointed by the minister. The said investigator shall report his findings
to the minister.

The Act is silent about what course of action the minister must take
upon receipt of the report. And it is here that the statute is found
wanting. It can only be assumed that the logical step to take would be to
surrender the report to the police for possible prosecution of the corrupt
individual.

Nothing further in the Act is said about the frozen bank accounts nor
the lifting of the "specification". Perhaps it is the investigator's report
that will dictate the course of events.

The above analysis of this otherwise important section proves that
this law is half-hearted and toothless when dealing with high-level
corruption. Most business moguls, individuals, public officials, companies
and civic organisations have allegedly indulged in corrupt activities but
only a few have been specified; in fact, the only individuals so specified
have been the suspects in the "gold scandal". The rest, it appears, have
escaped the uncoordinated attempt to net them.

This is so despite the abundant evidence of corrupt activities by
these individuals and organisations. The Act, particularly Section 6, has
not been effectively applied, perhaps due to ignorance, goodwill or some
sinister reasons best known to the powers-that-be.

There are individuals who, within short time spans, have amassed
obscene wealth well beyond their means. These have taken advantage of the
laxity in our law and the government's ineptitude and have built empires of
wealth hardly justified by the incomes they earn.

With the collusion of public officers and other accomplices, they have
looted, laundered, pilfered, indulged in speculative activities and
"externalised" vast sums of money to the detriment of the economy.

This ultra-selfish class of Zim-Mafias, syndicates, gangsters and
white-collar hoodlums caused havoc to our economy while the government
remained aloof.

The sole reason why our economy is in its present sorry state is
because there has been a deliberate disregard of public accountability and
the promotion of anarchy. If the government had effectively monitored
activities of individuals and organisations by applying the provisions of
the Act, our economy would certainly not have degenerated to the extent it
has.

There is need for Parliament to revisit the Prevention of Corruption
Act and fine-tune it. Rather than merely specify suspected corrupt
individuals and organisations, it is suggested that more robust and ruthless
measures be taken. These must be practical and effectively deal with all
manifestations of economic debauchery.

Such new laws must be inclined towards recovery of the ill-acquired
wealth for the benefit of the state. To start with, it would be proper to
render impecunious suspected corrupt officials by forfeiting their property
to the state pending investigations. Where there is prima facie proof of
corrupt dealings, the state must be allowed, through a court order, to
recover products of ill-dealing. Such court orders are commonly known as
Anton Piller orders in other jurisdictions.

This suggestion is made because crooked individuals are smart and have
means of hiding their wealth if current means are applied.

It is therefore suggested that a special court be created. It would
also be prudent to mandate the Attorney-General's Office with power to both
investigate and prosecute individuals and organisations suspected of
corruption. This office has the necessary expertise and experience. Of
course this exercise can only be a success if necessary funding is provided
for such a daunting activity.

.. Vote Muza is a legal practitioner with Gutu & Chikowero law
firm.
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FinGaz

SA bank warns of sharp interest hike in Zimbabwe

Dumisani Ndlela
4/29/2004 7:27:10 AM (GMT +2)

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Standard Bank has warned of a sharp
interest rate surge in Zimbabwe in the short term, with more pressure for
higher rates and a depreciating currency in the medium term.

The decline in inflation witnessed last month would slow down and the
figure would start increasing towards the end of the year, the bank said in
its latest overview of the country's inflationary situation released last
Friday.

"Inflation pressures should be re-exerted in the second half of the
year," the bank said.

It said monetary policy tightening had not been accompanied by fiscal
policy tightening, thanks to the preferential lending scheme at 30 percent.
This, Standard Bank said, undermined monetary policy, with one arm working
to reduce inflation and the other increasing it.

Domestic debt

The situation was unsustainable and would eventually lead to rapid
growth in the government's domestic debt.

Standard Bank said the discontinuation of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) financial bills had precipitated a collapse in nominal interest rates
from about 300 percent to 20 percent on the interbank market.

Meanwhile, treasury bills and the 10 percent compulsory bills were no
longer being issued, resulting in a sharp increase in liquidity.

The government had offered into the market two-year treasury bonds
issued at par with a coupon of 150 percent and quarterly interest payments.

The central bank had also recently signalled its intention to re-issue
RBZ financial bills, but at much lower interest rate, probably in early May.

"From this information, it is clear monetary policy stability, as far
as interest rates are concerned, is not assured.

"In the short term, we expect interest rates to rise to 150 percent
(from current 0-20 percent) in the interbank market in line with the yield
offered by the government when issuing bonds.

Inflation

"In the medium term, accelerating money supply will exert pressure for
higher interest rates and a depreciating currency," the bank said.

In his maiden monetary policy review recently, RBZ governor Gideon
Gono gave a clear signal of the central bank's resolve to tame inflation,
saying non-concessionary borrowings on the market were "excessively high".

The RBZ indicated a policy decision to limit any rate hikes, but
keeping them appropriately aligned to prevailing inflation levels.
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FinGaz

$250 bln govt bond raises paltry $90 bln

Nelson Banya
4/29/2004 7:22:35 AM (GMT +2)

THE $250 billion two-year government bond floated two weeks ago only
raised $89.5 billion at the first tender, prompting calls for additional
incentives that would enable money market dealers, who had been sidelined on
this issue, to canvass for support in future.

Dealers said although it was not expected that the whole amount would
be raised in one fell swoop, the fact that the issue came with no commission
for discount houses and other money market intermediaries had also
contributed to the stunted response.

"We are not canvassing for the bonds because there is nothing in it
for us," a money market dealer told The Financial Gazette last week.

Nyika Chideme, an executive director at discount house Highveld
Financial Services, said the decision not to avail commission might have
been influenced by the need to minimise costs.

"Traditionally, we canvass for the funds, but this time, they removed
the commission. They may be trying to minimise costs.

"However, because the amount involved in the bond is high, we expect
them to re-tender. Pension and provident funds will seek to increase their
exposure in line with the prescribed asset ratio requirements," Chideme
said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono last week issued a
stern warning to pension and provident funds over their prescribed asset
obligations.

Gono charged that most of the funds were not in compliance and the
authorities would soon crack down on them.

Pension funds have in the recent past complained about what they
termed high-prescribed asset ratios, particularly at a time when the
prescribed assets such as government stock and treasury bills were yielding
sub-inflationary returns.

Life assurers, life reinsurers, self-administered pension funds and
funeral assurers have a prescribed asset ratio of 45 percent while non-life
assurers and non-life reinsurers' obligations stand at 30 percent.

Industry players are currently agitating for lower prescribed asset
ratios.

As of December 2003, life assurers' asset holdings averaged nine
percent, non-life assurers 31 percent, life reinsurers five percent,
non-life reinsurers 14 percent, funeral assurers 21 percent and self
administered pension funds 19 percent.

The government bond, which was floated to retire short-term debt, came
with several attributes, among them the fact that the stock qualifies as a
prescribed and liquid asset which can also be used as collateral for repo
and overnight accommodation from the RBZ.

In addition, the stock is exempted from withholding tax. At the time
of the latest floatation, government stocks accounted for about one percent
of domestic government debt, which rose to about $1.5 trillion in March.
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