Tsvangirai urges IMF not to expel Zimbabwe, wants UN
intervention Wed 24 August 2005 HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not
to expel the country for non-payment of debt saying such a move would
compound the southern African nation's crisis.
ZimOnline in Harare, Tsvangirai also called on the United Nations to
intervene in Zimbabwe arguing its fast deteriorating problems now required
more than what regional powerhouse, South Africa, the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) could do to
Tsvangirai said: "I am against expulsion because the
implications will be disastrous for Zimbabwe , no one will do business with
us. We will be under siege from creditors ..creditors will call up their
loans and the country will virtually collapse.'
Tsvangirai . . . expulsion will be catastrophic for
An IMF team arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday for
critical talks with the government, private sector and Tsvangirai's
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party ahead of a September 9
meeting of its board that could recommend the country's expulsion for
failure to repay US$300 million to the fund.
negotiating with South Africa for a US$500 million loan, part of which it
hopes to use to pay off the IMF and avert expulsion. Pretoria is understood
to have asked President Robert Mugabe and his government to commit to
dialogue with the opposition to find a lasting and democratic solution to
Zimbabwe 's political and economic crisis before it can release money to
Mugabe two weeks ago rejected dialogue with Tsvangirai and
his MDC party saying he would rather talk to British Premier Tony Blair who
he claims is the principal behind the opposition party.
Zimbabwean leader has also snubbed an AU attempt to broker dialogue with the
opposition telling the continental body's envoy, former Mozambican president
Joaquim Chissano, that his ruling ZANU PF party and the MDC could only
interact in Parliament where both are represented.
ZANU PF has
absolute control of Parliament after a landslide win in last March's general
election, which the MDC and Western governments say was massively rigged in
favour of Mugabe's party.
Tsvangirai said South African President
Thabo Mbeki, who has tirelessly and unsuccessfully worked to bring Zimbabwe
's feuding political parties to the table, had reached the limit of what he
could do to resolve his neighbour's political problems.
Zimbabwe crisis now required the intervention of the UN and the wider
international community as well as the AU and SADC, the opposition leader
He said: "I can accept the fact that Mbeki wants to be part
of the solution and we also want him to be .. But he should accept that the
situation is now beyond the capacity of South Africa alone.
need an international approach which includes the African Union, SADC and
the UN because the crisis has assumed that position. President Mbeki
therefore needs some complementary efforts from other international bodies
to solve this crisis."
Fuel, food, electricity, essential medical
drugs, hard cash and almost every other basic commodity is in critical short
supply in Zimbabwe as the country grapples its worst economic and political
crisis which critics blame on mismanagement and repression by
The veteran Zimbabwean leader denies ruining the country
and instead says its economic problems are because of sabotage by Britain
and its Western allies opposed to his seizure of land from whites for
redistribution to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe's Supreme Court dismisses judge's application to have
tribunal disbanded Wed 24 August 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's
Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an application by suspended High Court
judge Benjamini Paradza to have a tribunal set up to probe him on corruption
President Robert Mugabe last year set up a
tribunal to probe Paradza after he allegedly sought to defeat the course of
justice. Paradza is said to have sought to secure the illegal release of his
business partner Russell Lubuschagne's passport who had been arrested for
Lubuschagne was later convicted of the
Paradza on Monday became the first judge to stand trial in
Zimbabwe as the courts pursued the corruption case.
judgment delivered on Tuesday, the majority of Supreme Court judges ruled
against Paradza with Justice Wilson Sandura voting to have the tribunal
In his application, Paradza argued that Mugabe had
failed to adhere to the law in setting up the tribunal after he failed to
personally appoint the committee as required by the law.
Instead, the government had allowed Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to
appoint members of the tribunal with the assistance of chief justices from
three other countries.
Last year the Zimbabwe government appointed
Justices Dennis Chirwa of Zambia, John Mroso of Tanzania and Isaac Mtambo
Paradza accuses Mugabe's government of hounding
independent judges who delivered judgments deemed unfavourable to the state.
The Zimbabwe authorities are accused of purging the judiciary of
independent judges, leaving a pliant bench at the beck and call of
Meanwhile, High Court Judges Lawrence Kamocha and Nicholas
Ndou testifying in the ongoing trial of Paradza, yesterday told the court
that it was normal for judges to consult each other on cases they will be
working on. But the two justices maintained that no judge could influence
the outcome of a case not before him/her.
The matter resumes
today with Paradza's lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett expected to challenge the
admissibility of an audio tape which the state is using as evidence but
which the lawyer says was obtained illegally. -
SA raps "targeted sanctions" imposed on Zimbabwe Wed 24
CAPE TOWN - South Africa's foreign minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma on Tuesday criticised targeted sanctions imposed on President
Robert Mugabe and his top lieutenants blaming the sanctions for Zimbabwe's
Dlamini-Zuma was addressing students, lecturers and
politicians at the University of Cape Town.
"Now tell me, if
you are a business person and you hear your country has sanctioned the
president of that country (Robert Mugabe), are you going to go running there
with your investments? You are not," she said.
The United States
and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and top figures
in his ruling ZANU PF party after a controversial presidential election in
2002 accusing the Zimbabwean leader of failing to uphold
Dlamini-Zuma said the targeted sanctions had adversely
affected the whole country.
South Africa has persistently
refused to openly criticise Mugabe's style of governance in Zimbabwe
preferring a policy of "quiet diplomacy" towards the embattled Zimbabwean
Dlamini-Zuma also vigorously defended Pretoria 's much
criticised "quiet diplomacy" policy at the meeting.
is a sovereign country. We have no leverage over them. We can only
negotiate, we can only talk to them.
"We seem to think there is a
lot we can do to force Zimbabwe to go this way or that way. What is it we
can do to force them, tell me? What is it? Nothing, except of course through
negotiations," she said.
She however said South Africa was willing
to assist Zimbabwe resolve her plethora of problems.
recently offered a US$500 million loan to Harare to avert an economic
meltdown in Zimbabwe subject to Mugabe agreeing to engage the opposition in
talks in the search for a lasting solution to the country's
But Mugabe has stubbornly refused to engage the
opposition whom he says are a front for the British out to reverse the
country's liberation war gains.
Mugabe has also snubbed an
African Union initiative to broker dialogue between the two main contending
parties. - ZimOnline
Former Mugabe's propaganda chief still on EU banned
list Wed 24 August 2005
HARARE - The European Union (EU) has
maintained former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's chief propagandist,
Jonathan Moyo, who is now an independent politician, on its list of Harare
officials banned from its member countries.
The EU, United
States , New Zealand , Switzerland and Australia three years ago imposed
visa and financial sanctions against Mugabe, his wife and top officials of
his government and ruling ZANU PF party accusing them of rigging elections,
human rights violations and failure to uphold the rule of law.
Moyo's name is included on an updated list of 126 Harare officials banned
from the EU dated July 29, where he is cited as "former Minister of State
for Information and Publicity in the President's Office, born 12. 1.
It was not possible to immediately establish from the EU
whether it had altered its sanctions policy to cover former members of the
As information minister, Moyo crafted tough
media laws under which journalists and newspapers must register with a
government Media and Information Commission in order to practise in the
Journalists face two years in jail for breaching the
registration law while newspapers will be closed and their equipment seized
by the state if found publishing without a registration certificate from the
During Moyo's tenure, four newspapers
including Zimbabwe 's biggest circulating and non-government controlled
daily paper, the Daily News, were shut down while more than a 100
journalists were arrested from breaching tough state press
Moyo was fired from the government by Mugabe when he opted to
stand in last March's disputed election as an independent candidate after
ZANU PF had barred him from standing as its candidate. -
Harare - An Anglican bishop who is a
strong supporter of President Robert Mugabe was brought before an
ecclesiastical court investigating charges ranging from inciting murder to
besmirching the church.
On Tuesday, Jeremy Lewis, acting as prosecutor,
postponed pursuing the most serious incitement to murder charge against
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.
The 55-year-old clergyman arrived wearing a
jewelled cross over his dark suit and crimson shirt at Tuesday's hearing
held in a golf clubhouse across the road from one of Mugabe's official
Kunonga had not yet been asked to admit or deny the charges,
for which he could be expelled from the church, defrocked or merely
If convicted, he could appeal within the hierarchy of the
200-million member global Anglican family of churches.
refuses to provide funding
The case was the culmination of a long series
of disputes between Kunonga and parishioners and other members of the
clergy, who bought the charges.
The local Anglican Church had refused to
provide funding for the prosecution, which was being financed by
Other charges alleged Kunonga intimidated and
improperly fired priests, ignored church law, commandeered bank accounts and
foreign exchange, and "brought the diocese into contempt".
was accused of ordering the removal of Cathedral memorials to Zimbabweans
killed in the first and second world wars as well as pioneers of former
white-ruled Rhodesia and to victims of the 1972-1980 independence
Archbishop Bernard Malanga, head of the Church of the Province
of Central Africa, which had authority over Zimbabwe, appointed Malawian
supreme court judge James Kalaile to hear the case with Zambian bishops
Leonard Mwenda and Albert Chama assisting.
Kalaile was a prominent
lay member of the Anglican Church in Malawi.
Priest can't give evidence
James Matizha, defending council, won an adjournment until
Thursday, claiming charges had been changed at the last minute. Prosecutor
Lewis said Kunonga was apprised of the charges two years ago.
for the key witness to the incitement to murder charge, former Zimbabwean
priest James Mukunga, to give evidence via a closed circuit video link from
a secret location in London, were disallowed under local rules of
Lewis said Mukunga feared for his life if he returned to
Zimbabwe, but might be prepared to testify in neighbouring
The incitement to murder charge might be heard later in
Kunonga was accused of inciting members of Mugabe's feared
Central Intelligence Organisation and "war veterans" militia to murder 10 of
his critics in the local Anglican hierarchy.
received letters from Kunonga in 2003 with instructions to pass them on to
the intelligence organisation and war veterans, urging them to "meet" the
Against odd, Zimbabweans keep their children in school HARARE
23 August - Against great odds, Zimbabwean parents and caregivers are
keeping their children in school, and in some cases increasing national
enrolment, UNICEF said today. At the same time, the UN Children's Fund
called on international support for Zimbabweans to ensure this positive
culture does not disappear in the face of harsh economic
Against a backdrop of a declining economy, rising
unemployment, an orphan crisis, the world's fourth highest rate of HIV/AIDS,
inflation at 254%, and over the past two months mass homelessness as a
result of a government 'restore order' campaign, different sources of
national education statistics show that Zimbabweans have continued to
demonstrate their resolve to keep their children in school.
primary school enrolment rates have risen from 92% to 96% (from 2000 to
2004), while nearly four out of five orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)
continue to go to primary school (77%). There is no significant difference
in primary enrolment of orphans and non-orphans, and there is gender parity
in primary enrolment.
"Zimbabweans are making many sacrifices so that
their children can continue going to school," said UNICEF's Representative
in Zimbabwe, Dr Festo Kavishe. "General enrolment is up, while families who
have been greatly stretched by absorbing this country's 1.3million orphans
are somehow finding the means to keep orphans in school. Having said this,
recent surveys show signs of strain in the families' ability to support
their children to go to school. I can think of no clearer reason why
Zimbabweans deserve the full support of the international
Even the most recent data from a UNICEF-led UN assessment of
the impact of the Operation Murambatsvina ('restore order') on children's
schooling status across Zimbabwe - and despite numerous relocations caused
by the operation - shows that 90% of children affected by the Operation
remain in school.
"There's no doubt this is the strongest piece of good
news story coming out of Zimbabwe," said Dr Kavishe, "though at the same
time we must strive to ensure that quality teaching is nurtured while we
continue to aim for 100% primary school enrolment." To make this happen,
UNICEF says a constructive and positive engagement with parents and all
stakeholders is timely.
With this in mind, UNICEF will support the
Ministry of Education and all its partners to launch a Back to School
campaign in September. The campaign will seek to re-enroll all children who
dropped up during Operation Murambatsvina and access those most vulnerable
children who were not in school prior to the operation.
remains the engine to drive Zimbabwe's long-term prospects, and it is clear
from this data that Zimbabwean parents know that," said Dr Kavishe. "With
additional international assistance we can support the admirable endeavours
of parents and communities across this country."
* * * For further
information, please contact:
James Elder UNICEF Zimbabwe
Communication Officer Tel: (263) 91 276120 firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
questioned on Tuesday the wisdom of "smart sanctions" imposed on the
Zimbabwean government by Western countries, particularly the European
"Now tell me, if you are a business person and you
hear that your country has sanctioned the President of that country [Robert
Mugabe], are you going to go running there with your investments? You are
not," she said.
Dlamini-Zuma was responding to questions
at the University of Cape Town where her department held an inaugural imbizo
(meeting) for the exchange of views on foreign policy.
Dlamini-Zuma said although the sanctions -- imposed by the United States and
the EU after intimidation and violence in Zimbabwe's general election in
March -- target individuals, they have a general effect on the
"Of course there are things also that I think
Zimbabwe could have done better ... But of course, these problems then
became a vicious cycle because if you are isolated, you can't get capital,
you can't get foreign currency and you are not able to pay your debts to the
IMF [International Monetary Fund] and so on," she told the audience of
academics, students and politicians.
South Africa's much-maligned quiet diplomacy is the correct stance to take,
and asked why, when opposing sides negotiate in pre-democracy talks in South
Africa, the same is not applicable to the Zimbabweans.
"Our foreign policy is two-fold: it is predictable, it's consistent, because
it's based on our own internal values. So, if we value negotiations in South
Africa, why do we want fighting in Zimbabwe between us and the
Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa is willing to
advise and assist Zimbabwe in making the right decisions in a
"Zimbabwe is a sovereign country. We
have no leverage over them. We can only negotiate, we can only talk to them
... We seem to think there is a lot we can do to force Zimbabwe to go this
way or that way.
"What is it we can do to force them, tell
me? What is it? Nothing, except of course through negotiations," she
She said all the Western countries that advocate
megaphone diplomacy have achieved nothing, except to isolate them from what
is happening in Zimbabwe.
Dlamini-Zuma fielded a wide
array of questions from the floor, including one from Canadian student
Bryant Greenbaum about South African mining companies named as "violators"
by the United Nations in their operations in the Democratic Republic of
Greenbaum caused a minor stir when he put a brown bag
over his head and stood up, demanding that Dlamini-Zuma respond to questions
on Sudan and Zimbabwe and not extol the virtues of women in politics, as she
was doing in response to another question.
Dlamini-Zuma continued with her pro-women talk, chastising Greenbaum and
telling him to wait his turn. -- Sapa
AS IT began emergency
consultations in Harare yesterday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
fact-finding mission urged the Zimbabwe government to take urgent measures
to save the country's economy from collapse, sources said.
faces expulsion from the IMF for its failure to repay arrears of $295m.
Yesterday's call came ahead of the fund's board meeting on Zimbabwe's fate
in the international lending organisation on September 9.
fact-finding mission will be in Zimbabwe for a week.
said the IMF team told Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa and Zimbabwe Reserve
Bank governor Gideon Gono to adopt a comprehensive policy package to tackle
the worsening economic crisis. The team is also expected to meet President
Robert Mugabe, among others.
Harare is banking on SA to provide money to
clear its debt, although there are still disagreements over conditions on
political and economic reforms.
The sources said the South African loan
was not discussed yesterday but could come up in talks with Mugabe later
"The team's entry point was to review the recommendations it
made to the government in June. They wanted to know how far the government
has gone to implement recommended policy measures," said one of the sources,
who declined to be named.
In June, the IMF told the government to
take decisive action to lower the fiscal deficit, tighten monetary policy
and work towards the establishment of a unified, market-determined exchange
It also urged Zimbabwe to adopt structural reforms, such as the
removal of administrative and price controls, in order to ease shortages and
restore private-sector confidence.
The IMF, which has projected a
1,6% economic shrinkage for Zimbabwe this year, has warned output would
decline sharply this year, in part due to the continued difficulties in
agriculture which have been exacerbated by drought and worsening foreign
The fund told Harare clearly that unless there was a
fundamental policy shift, the budget deficit would grow markedly -- partly
due to the cost of higher food imports, interest payments and higher pension
It also said that the central bank's substantial producer and
credit subsidies, and budget deficit would fuel a sharp increase in money
supply, and hence inflation, which surged from 164% in June to 254% in
The sources said the IMF reminded Harare again to rebuild relations
with the international community because this was "a critical part of the
effort to reverse the economic decline".
However, Zimbabwe has not
done much to address these issues, except for lifting the state-run Grain
Marketing Board's monopoly by issuing import licences to private-sector
Murerwa said during a supplementary budget announcement last
week that licences had been issued to private importers to bring in
1,2-million tons of grain desperately needed to fend off
"Total maize production is down to between 750000 tons and a
million tons, against a national requirement of 1,8-million tons," he told
parliament. He said only 300000 tons had been imported.
yesterday confirmed he had met with IMF officials but would not give
"They arrived on Sunday and I had meetings with them this
afternoon," he said.
A statement would be issued at the end of the
meetings, he said.
Even if Zimbabwe does obtain a South African loan to
pay its arrears, this will not unleash additional IMF resources. Bankers say
the country will have to carry out the reforms the IMF is insisting on
before any new loans can be considered.
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 23 Aug 2005
(IRIN) - After almost a month of delays in getting relief food to Zimbabwe,
the South African Council of Churches (SACC) has asked the South African
government to intervene.
"The SACC has requested Rev Frank Chikane,
director-general of the presidency, for help, and he assured us last night
that the necessary documents will be processed soon," said Rev Ron Steele on
behalf of the SACC on Tuesday.
Relief aid for Zimbabweans affected by
the government's controversial crackdown on illegal settlements and the
informal economy was expected to leave South Africa two weeks
Two trucks carrying 37 mt of food aid, including white maize, sugar
beans and cooking oil, have been waiting in a depot for clearance since the
first week of August; another truck laden with blankets is currently in a
bonded warehouse in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
food relief was stalled when the Zimbabwean government requested assurance
that the maize was not genetically modified (GM); the documents declaring
the maize's GM-free status were submitted the following
According to sources, the SACC is now attempting to get an
exemption from duty for the relief aid.
The NGO Christian Care is to
distribute the goods for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches to the
A report by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka said more than
700,000 people had been affected by the demolitions of shanty settlements in
and around urban centres, which "breached both national and international
human rights law provisions guiding evictions" and had created "a
Trial of a High Court judge puts judiciary in spotlight
[ This report
does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 23 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - As the trial of a High
Court judge arrested for allegedly obstructing the course of justice gets
underway in Zimbabwe, law experts say the proceedings are likely to bring
the independence of the judiciary under close scrutiny once
Judge Benjamin Paradza is facing charges brought against him by
state prosecutors in 2003 of attempting to defeat the course of justice by
telephoning fellow judges and asking them to release the passport of a
business partner accused of murder. Paradza has denied the allegations, and
last year stalled the proceedings of the inquiry by lodging a constitutional
case in the Supreme Court.
Paradza's arrest was roundly condemned by
human rights groups, who accused the government of cracking down on
independent-minded judges and packing the courts with sympathetic ones. The
rights groups maintain the charges are political and linked to a series of
perceived 'anti-government' rulings made by the judge.
A month before
his arrest, Paradza ordered police to release Mayor Elias Mudzuri, head of
the opposition-controlled Harare municipal council at the time; the judge
also struck down eviction notices against white farmers, although he is a
veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence.
Police have insisted that the
case is purely criminal.
Irene Petras of Zimbabwe's Lawyers for Human
Rights told IRIN: "This trial will, once again, give the courts an
opportunity to show just how able they are to deliver justice fairly. So
far, it has been evident that judges are expected to toe the party line;
failure to do so often results in unfair treatment."
between the government and the judiciary have been less than cordial ever
since judges ordered police to remove militants occupying white-owned farms
in the runup to the 2000 parliamentary elections.
Several judges -
including former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay - have been forced to resign
or retire early.
"The problem right now is that lawyers and the
Zimbabwean public seem to have lost confidence in the justice system,
chiefly because the courts are seen to be partial to the government. There
are also several incidents where court orders have been disobeyed, which has
contributed to a culture of impunity," commented Joseph James, president of
Zimbabwe's Law Society.
He added that the perception that judges had been
compromised arose mainly from the benefits they had reportedly received from
the government in exchange for their support.
"How can a judge be
independent when he has received land from the government? James asked.
"This automatically means that he is at the whim of the
ItIt seems, according to a report in the
Guardian, that the International Cricket Council will ignore a tardy plea
from the British government to ban tours of the trouble-torn Zimbabwe by
It will apparently endorse a programme that commits
all nations to visit the African state at least once between 2006 and 2012.
The timing of the UK call is interesting in that it comes just after
England's abridged tour last winter with the team not due to return to
Zimbabwe for several years. This was 18 months after the last
English-Zimbabwean hullabaloo over their World Cup fixture in Zimbabwe and
refusal to shake hands with President Robert Mugabe if he presented
The chief executives of the Test-playing nations meet in Dubai
this week to discuss the ICC's future tours programme, and are likely to
recommend a six-year cycle during which every nation will have to play each
other home and away at least once.
The British foreign secretary Jack
Staw and the culture minister Tessa Jowell have written to ICC president
Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Speed, the chief executive, urging the body to take
sanctions against Zimbabwe following human rights abuses in the
The letter was sent in support of similar pleas from the
Australian and New Zealand governments.
Without a clear government
instruction not to tour governing bodies face fines and possible suspension
from international cricket (unless the two parties agree to suitable
compensation), if they do not play as planned.
New Zealand were recently
threatened with such prior to their current tour of Zimbabwe, but the return
tour for later this years has been cancelled.
If the SA media is to be
believed, Pretoria is at last playing hardball with President Robert Mugabe,
setting terms for a loan, reportedly of up to US$500m, that are simply
unthinkable. For Mugabe to agree to the terms that the media believe are
being demanded by President Thabo Mbeki would be tantamount to signing his
own political death warrant. As if on cue, during his annual Heroes Day
address on Monday in Harare, Mugabe was perfectly explicit, rejecting what
he called "shrill calls from many quarters, including those whom we expect
to know better (a clear reference to SA) for the so-called talks with the
MDC". Zimbabwe officials have said little about the talks, aside from
insisting they are confidential and that there is no possibility that the
ruling Zanu PF party will agree to re open talks with the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change or to re running the recent elections and
repealing repressive laws. Such conditions have been rejected out of hand by
Zanu PF. But whether Mugabe fully appreciates the gravity of the economic
situation is unclear.
Last week, in stark contradiction of the upbeat
crop forecasts from government, the chairman of the committee of bankers
charged with sourcing finance for the forthcoming agricultural season gave
bankers a very downbeat assessment of harvest prospects for 2006. He warned
that output would be seriously constrained by shortages of inputs,
fertiliser, pesticides and fuel, as well as bank credit. So yet again
government's much-promised agricultural turnaround has been postponed. Many
other sectors - manufacturing, tourism and, to a lesser extent, mining - are
also being subjected to "slow strangulation" by the shortage of foreign
currency. The reality is that there is not going to be an economic recovery
in Zimbabwe without substantial and ongoing foreign assistance. With China
giving very little by way of immediate financial support, Zimbabwe's sole
remaining hope is SA. Accordingly, if any SA loan is to be used primarily to
pay Zimbabwe's US$295m in arrears to the IMF, as is being speculated, it
would do little for economic recovery - unless it were to be part of a
package that would re open borrowing from the IMF, the World Bank and the
donor community at large. This is unthinkable at present so why is the IMF
sending a team to Harare in 10 days ?
There are two plausible
answers. One is to provide an updated assessment for the fund's executive
board, due to meet on September 9 to consider Zimbabwe's expulsion. The
second - less plausible - is that in return for an SA pledge to repay
Zimbabwe's arrears, the IMF has agreed to start talks with Harare about a
staff-monitored programme (SMP) that would pave the way for an eventual IMF
debt-rescheduling deal, possibly by 2007. Pretoria's finance ministry and
central bank officials know full well that whatever financial package SA
provides will be no more than very short-run bridging finance. The question
is a bridge to what? To a return to international legitimacy and access to
international capital markets? Or a bridge that enables the Mugabe
government to stagger on for another six months or a year before again
knocking on doors ? The reality is that Zimbabwe is running a
balance-of-payments deficit of at least $600m - and possibly a good deal
more - in 2005. A $500m loan will not go very far unless it is part of a
much broader political and economic package.
Firmino Mucavele, the incoming Nepad Secretariat CEO, says Africa
will not be to meet the UN millennium development goals by
Mucavele cited financial resources to the tune of $100 billion a
year to meet the objectives of eradicating poverty and disease within 10
Mucavele says Africa will only meet these goals by 2025, because
it's all about financial resources and the challenge is also implementation.
Since the inception of Nepad about four years ago, enough mechanisms have
been created to meet the critical challenges such as poverty and disease
facing the continent's states.
He also urged Zimbabwe to join Africa
Peer Review Mechanism, to allow greater dialogue with other African
countries. Mucavele's call come while Zimbabwe officials began a week of
serious talk with a delegation from the International Monetary fund, which
will decide whether to strip the country from its membership.
he believe if democracy is to take place in Zimbabwe, people need to have a
right to talk, the right to participate, and that's what will solve the
problems of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has been the only SADC country that has seen
a negative growth rate, with region's growth increasing in 2004 by 4.1%, as
compared to 3.1% rate in 2003. The fastest growing countries are Mozambique,
Angola and the DRC with rates peaking at 11%. While many say farewell to
Wiseman Nkuhlu, the outgoing Nepad CEO, whose era has seen more than 20
countries signed up for the Africa Peer Review Mechanism. Most importantly,
Africa is now taken serious by the world's powerful nations and no longer
can the G8 meet without the voice of this continent.
To find a peaceful and democratic solution to Zimbabwe's problems the
African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) need to
develop an informed, honest and objective consensus as to its origins and
avoid public pronouncements that unwittingly distort the
This particularly applies to South Africa where, on
occasion, the government's pronouncements on Zimbabwe's various ills appear
to be guided by a revisionist narrative of developments in post-independence
President Thabo Mbeki appears to be of the view
that graft and economic mismanagement are not the principal causes of
Zimbabwe's debt. Instead, he points to the massive spending programme on
education and health that took place in the 1980s to address the legacy of
inequality inherited from the colonial era. This noble and impressive
programme, however, was mainly paid for by external donors and not from
money allocated from the public purse.
commitment to social justice was transient. The little public money he
invested in this programme essentially stopped in 1990.
At this point, Zimbabwe's debt was $3,24-billion, 25% of gross domestic
product, and, therefore, manageable. Contrary to the South African view, it
was events after 1990 that account for today's chronic debt
The adoption of the poorly thought-out Economic
Structural Adjustment Programme, the military adventure in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, the massive, unbudgeted, hand-out to war veterans in
1997, and the endemic corruption that took root across all levels of the
government precipitated spiralling debts that by 1998 had reached
$4,716-billion and which today stand at an estimated
The gaps in South Africa's analysis of the
situation raise concerns about the policy objectives behind the proposed
loan. If South Africa is firmly of the view that Zimbabwe's debts are an
unavoidable consequence of post-independence obligations then this indicates
a disturbing belief that a lasting solution can be found primarily through
bilateral economic support.
The Movement for Democratic
Change, therefore, suspects that South Africa is going to provide a loan
with or without conditions. The absence of any conditions would be a grave
error for three main reasons.
Firstly, paying off Zimbabwe's
debts without addressing the conditions that have made Zimbabwe's need to
borrow inevitable would prove to be a profligate exercise. Secondly, giving
money directly to the Zimbabwean government, without any safeguards,
increases the potential that the money will be abused for the purposes of
political manipulation or profiteering by government
Thirdly, and most importantly, the crisis in
Zimbabwe is essentially a political one and therefore it requires a
sustainable political solution.
Any extension of credit
must be conditional upon irreversible steps being taken to secure a
sustainable political settlement. If not, our collective fear of Zimbabwe
becoming a failed state could easily become a reality that will have huge
socio-economic consequences for South Africa and the broader SADC
A further concern is that, as the bulk of the money
on offer appears to be directed towards paying off arrears, it will have
little impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans suffering on the ground.
Given the scale of our humanitarian crisis, it would be a tragedy if the
loan did not include a tranche for the purposes of immediate humanitarian
Time is not on our side. Mugabe needs to be persuaded
that his obstinacy towards a process of national dialogue is driving the
country he fought hard to create towards the brink of collapse and plunging
the people he helped to liberate into a state of unprecedented
SADC leaders need to be cognisant of this. If the
region is to meet its development objectives it cannot afford to maintain
the collective deafening silence that has accompanied the United Nations
report that documented the displacement and humanitarian crisis that
followed Operation Murumbatsvina.
Tendai Biti is the
Movement for Democratic Change secretary for finance and
national chairman John Nkomo yesterday said the five-year suspension slapped
on six provincial chairpersons who participated in the unsanctioned
Tsholotsho indaba last November still stands. There would be no reprieve for
the former party bosses. The six participants to the meeting, who
threatened to tear the ruling party apart, are: former Masvingo chairman
Daniel Shumba, Midlands' July Moyo, Manicaland's Mike Madiro, Matabeleland
North's Jacob Mudenda, Lloyd Siyoka of Matabeleland South and Themba Ncube
of Bulawayo. Former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association
(ZNLWVA) chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, who also reportedly attended the
abortive caucus, was suspended for four years. This prompted President
Robert Mugabe to appoint a committee led by Dumiso Dabengwa to restructure
the veterans' leadership. Speculation has been rife that the six could be
re-engaged by the party to patch cracks caused by the illegal meeting and
the emergence of a "third force" advocated by the alleged architect of the
Tsholotsho gathering, former information minister Jonathan Moyo. But
Nkomo, who also chairs the ruling party's national disciplinary committee,
said Zanu PF had not changed its stance regarding the penalty meted out on
the six. He also denied being approached for clemency. "We are not doing
that (lifting the suspensions)," he said. "They have never approached me and
the judgment that was passed still stands." Contacted for comment, July
Moyo, who was minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare before
he fell from grace, said: "I have no idea on what you are talking about."
Mudenda refused to comment and referred all questions to Nkomo. "Ask the
national chairman, otherwise I have no comment," he said. The other four,
however, could not be reached for comment. The six attended the Tsholotsho
meeting just before Zanu PF's national people's congress last year,
pointedly to scupper the ascendancy of Joice Mujuru to the vice-presidency
of the party and subsequently the State. Mujuru was later nominated second
party vice-president and Zimbabwe's first female vice-president. Her
appointment was part of the female empowerment drive by Zanu PF that also
saw one-third of the party's candidates in the March 31 general elections
being women. The meeting is believed to have been organised by Jonathan Moyo,
who later won the Tsholotsho seat as an independent, to canvass support for
former Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa. Moyo was fired from
cabinet after he refused to drop his candidature as an independent.
Mnangagwa, who was the party's powerful secretary for administration, was
awarded the less influential legal affairs portfolio in Zanu PF's supreme
decision-making body outside the Central Committee - the
Politburo. President Mugabe later appointed him Minister of Rural Housing
and Social Amenities in the current cabinet. Didymus Mutasa is the new
secretary for administration, while Nkomo is now the Speaker of
THE annual Harare Agricultural
Show kicked off yesterday with most exhibitors showcasing their products and
services while several others were still in the process of constructing
their stands. While the show is basically an agricultural event, other
sectors of the economy such as the information technology (IT), police,
government departments, women's organisations, universities, and HIV/AIDS
organisations were also in participation. Participants said while the
event had attracted few visitors on the first day, they expected numbers to
swell in the coming days. Namibian president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, who jetted
into Harare yesterday is expected to officially open the exhibition
tomorrow. Among the exhibitors were the National Aids Council (NAC) whose
programme officer for Harare, Edward Dembedza said the organisation had
embarked on a programme to assess the impact of HIV and AIDS on agriculture
and food security in the country. Dembedza said the programme is
specifically designed for women who usually face the burden of providing for
relatives suffering from AIDS-related illnesses. He urged men to take an
active role in caring for AIDS patients. "We have introduced this programme
specifically for the agricultural show targeting women. Society still expect
them to be caregivers compared to their male counterparts", he
said. Statistics reveal that of the 37,8 million infected people worldwide 17
million of them are women. In Sub-Saharian Africa, 57 percent of those with
HIV infection are also women. In Zimbabwe women are 1.35 times more
likely to contract the disease than males. Infection rates among the
15-39 years age group are 12 percent higher in girls than in boys, according
to the NAC. Dembedza said efforts by the NAC to fight the AIDS pandemic in
the country are registering meaningful progress as the prevalence rate
decreased to 21,3 percent of the total population this year compared to 24,6
percent in 2004. He added that their stand at this year's agricultural show
is full of entertainment. There would be several theatre groups that will
be showcasing traditional dances, dramas and music all in the vein of
conscientising Zimbabweans about the dangers of the disease. Yesterday,
Hunters Theatre company were the first to perform at the exhibition where
they belted traditional songs aimed at teaching the public about the dangers
of the pandemic. "We have four groups that will be entertaining visitors to
our stand through song, dance and drama. That is aimed at alerting the
people on the dangers of the disease," he said.
Rushwaya/Givemore Nyanhi issue date :2005-Aug-23
THE Ministry of
Finance and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) have held talks with the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) over the new 10 percent withholding tax on all
tradable securities, in a bid to break an impasse that has seen business
grind to a halt on the local bourse. Yesterday ZSE chief executive officer
Emmanuel Munyuki confirmed the talks where government is now considering
replacing the controversial 10 percent withholding tax on gross sales with a
10 percent capital gains tax. "We held a meeting with ministry officials last
week on Friday and they clarified on the calculation of the new tax that
will be charged on turnover," Munyuki said. "We are still working on the
new mechanism." The new tax will now see government receiving revenue from
the profit proceeds of the sale of a share, that is if the price of the
share would have appreciated. Munyuki however, said that there had been
no trade on the stock exchange yesterday, making it the fourth day that the
local bourse has been in limbo after the ten percent withholding tax was
spelt out in the mid-term fiscal policy review. "Yes stockbrokers turned
up for trade but there was no business today because there are still
concerns about the tax. However, we are working on the new clarification
from the ministry." Bright Chikore, managing director of Interfin Securities,
and who was privy to the meeting, added they had proposed to Zimra that
stockbrokers should not collect the capital gains tax on behalf of the
revenue collector, as this would be very tedious given that they had many
clients. "Under the current set up it does not make sense for us to collect
revenue on behalf of Zimra. This would entail us having to check whether an
investor would have made a profit from the sale of any shares before
calculating the tax due. "Imagine doing this for 5 000 clients on a daily
basis. In any case what happens if a seller claims to have made a loss in
the sale of his shares, who would have the time to verify this?" He added
that they had recommended that Zimra should collect the tax on their own and
maybe on a quarterly basis, which would make the process easier to all
concerned. "In addition we told them that there were other ways that
government (which is broke) could collect revenue from the stock exchange
without threatening the latter's existence," Chikore said without
elaborating. Chikore dismissed insinuations that there was a boycott on the
ZSE but said the new dispensation on prescribed assets for pension and
insurance funds meant there were too many shares on sale with not enough
buyers to go round. Chikore added that Zimra officials would be coming back
to them with a feedback on their proposals tomorrow. After making history
by not trading on Wednesday and Thursday, the stock market suffered on
Friday when sellers began reducing the offers of their shares - the only
option left for sellers in a market with no buyers. Listed counters were
forced to weaken their share prices on Friday as no solution to the
stalemate appeared to be in sight on the local bourse, arguably the second
biggest of its kind on the continent following after the Johannesburg
Securities Exchange (JSE) of South Africa. The 10 percent withholding tax
charged on the gross profit of all shares traded on the bourse, coupled with
the new directive for pension and insurance funds to calculate their
prescribed asset ratios at market value, prompted investors to retreat from
the stock exchange. The measures resulted in sellers having shares on their
hands that no investors were willing to buy. On Friday offers on the
industrial index weakened on the local bourse to 3,927,304.04 from
4,207,981.21, a 6.67 percent slump, as some counters were forced to reduce
the offer prices of their shares in search of buyers. The mining index also
suffered a significant 11.07 percent decline. Yesterday the offers for
several counters continued to slide and the industrial index closed 25,
841.07 points (0.66 percent) lower at 3,901,462.97 points. The mining
index was unchanged at 595,228.66 points. The only trade was recoded in
First Mutual Limited, $25 down at $50. Zimbabwe has 79 companies listed on
the ZSE, five of which are currently suspended. The listed companies are
involved in the business of buying and selling of shares on the stock
market. Murerwa said the 10 percent withholding tax placed on the sale of
securities was part of measures aimed at raising revenue required to boost
Kembo in Mutare issue date :2005-Aug-23
MUTARE City Council is being
sued for an undisclosed amount of money by municipal police recruits
allegedly discharged at the behest of Tinaye Chigudu, the Manicaland
Governor, in order to accommodate National Youth Service
graduates. Confirming the lawsuit, acting mayor Norman Togara said the 37
recruits sent home during the course of training two weeks ago were
demanding either reinstatement or compensation for the inconveniences
caused. Togara, not the Dynamos defence stalwart, said though it was the norm
for such recruitment to be done through the labour ministry and on merit,
Chigudu had directed that all council police recruits be replaced by the
Green Bombers. Chigudu, who is also the resident minister, acknowledged
that he was interfering with council business because there was no
transparency in the recruitment drive as MDC supporters were getting
preference. He described insinuations that he was favouring Green Bombers as
a cheap ploy by the opposition MDC-led city council to rubbish the
governor's office in particular and the image of the Zimbabwe government in
general. "That is absolutely baseless and nonsense. I am not even aware of
that either in my capacity as Governor and Resident Minister or (interim)
Zanu PF chairman for this province," the governor said. "Well, but still
it is government policy that these youths be absorbed in government
departments and related organisations. If we fail to accommodate them, then
why were they trained in the first place?" asked Chigudu. He added: "I have
already agreed with local government minister (Ignatius) Chombo that council
consult with me when recruiting staff. This was after reports that they
recruited only MDC members and employed ghost workers to milk
ratepayers." Chigudu further said that though priority was given to national
youth service graduates when recruiting, that did not mean "throwing away
others." There was need for non-graduates and graduates to interact for
meaningful development, he added. But the acting mayor maintained that
the governor had abused his office to bulldoze preferred recruitees into
council. Apart from expelling the recruits, Togara further claimed that the
governor had previously presented his own list of 50 Green Bombers to be
absorbed into the city engineer's department effective beginning this
month. The order followed reports of council using huge amounts of money on
wrong priorities and hiring workers along party lines.
Association denies involvement in Mutare mayor's
From Our Correspondent in Mutare issue date
STUNG by accusations that it was fully behind the suspension
of Mutare's MDC mayor Misheck Kagurabadza last month, the Mutare Ratepayers
Association (MRA) has vehemently dismissed these assertions as baseless and
meant to cause despondency in the eastern border city. MRA organizing
secretary Nathan Mhlanga stressed that the association was apolitical and
had nothing against the opposition-dominated Mutare City Council so long it
executed its civic duties efficiently and above board. Whatever MRA did, he
explained, was in line with its core-business of monitoring the activities
of the local authority than being an appendage of any particular political
party. Local government minister Ignatius Chombo suspended Kagurabadza
together with city treasurer Kudzanai Mumbengegwi and his deputy Silas
Mapindu for alleged insubordination and maladministration. The
allegations emanate from his issuing unauthorized car loans of $1,5 billion
to top council officials in addition to hiring nurses without the minister's
consent. Mhlanga's remarks come in the wake of a barrage of criticisms of the
MRA by some concerned sections of society for its alleged pivotal role in
the mayor's suspension. "These people said since the election of
Kagurabadza in August 2003, the MRA had adopted a "militant" approach to
Mutare city council which they baselessly blamed for mistakes of the
predecessing Zanu PF led council," he said. "They further said the
ousting of Kagurabadza was even long overdue as it was earmarked for April
last year when the MRA staged a demonstration demanding the removal of the
mayor on allegations of inefficiency, amongst others," Mhlanga
added. Kagurabadza declined to comment saying this might derail
investigations. But Mhlanga had defended the MRA stance, which he said was in
the interests of ratepayers. "Kagurabadza dug his own grave and should
never blame anyone. It is our responsibility to monitor the activities of
council as a pressure group," Mhlanga said. "As such there was no way we
could turn a blind eye when things were going the wrong way," he