|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
police have seized petrol and diesel from a company owned
by a senior member of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.
The company has been accused of selling the fuel at prices far above
the official level set by the government.
The company, Comoil, is owned by Saviour Kasukuwere, a member of the
It was not immediately clear whether Mr Kasukuwere would face charges.
The state-owned Herald newspaper said police impounded 35,000 litres
The Zimbabwean Government increased petrol prices by up to 300% in
April, but the commodity still fetches higher prices on the black market.
The country's fuel shortage worsened after a trade deal with its main
supplier, Libya, collapsed in November 2002.
The fuel crisis has forced transport companies to hike their prices
and motorists are forced to queue for hours to buy the limited stocks
Apart from fuel shortages, the country is struggling with a widespread
cash shortage, inflation of almost 400% and unemployment of about 70%.
Zimbabwe's main opposition party blames President Robert Mugabe for
the mismanagement of the economy during his 23 year rule.
Mr Mugabe blames international opponents for sabotaging the economy
because of his controversial policy of seizing white-owned farms.
Mail and Guardian
Troops to man polls in Zimbabwe
Angus Shaw | Harare
27 August 2003 13:49
Zimbabwe's High Court rejected a request by the opposition on Wednesday to
block soldiers and policemen and other armed security officials from
staffing polling stations at upcoming elections for district council and two
Judge Tedias Karwi ruled the action was not urgent and could not be heard
before the elections scheduled for this weekend, said Bryant Elliot, a
lawyer for the Movement for Democratic Change.
The opposition asked Karwi on Tuesday to order the state Electoral
Supervisory Commission in charge of the elections to stop armed security
personnel working for it.
Under electoral laws, the state commission should be staffed by civilian
government employees, Elliot said.
But the commission was "stacked" with agents of from Zimbabwe's secret
police force as well as regular policemen and soldiers, he said.
There was no immediate comment from the government on the makeup of the
Zimbabwe has no independent body to run elections. Independent local
monitors are accredited by the state body and in the past have been
prevented from carrying out some of their work by commission officials and
the police and military.
The weekend elections are for local councils and mayoral posts in 16
districts across the country and two parliamentary seats. One parliamentary
seat is for a central area of Harare, an opposition stronghold, and the
other for Makonde, a ruling party stronghold in northwestern Zimbabwe.
Campaigning has been marred by allegations of political violence by both
State election commission spokesman Thomas Bvuma said it had mainly received
complaints of violence against opposition supporters.
The opposition also reported discrepancies in voter registration lists for
the parliamentary seat election in Harare, he said.
Opposition director of elections Remus Makuwaza said the names of at least 1
700 voters who cast ballots in the last elections in the district were found
to be missing from current lists.
Among missing names were Susan Tsvangirai, wife of opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Another 20 000 voters were found to have been improperly
registered for the weekend polls.
"There has been a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise those voters
perceived to be (opposition) supporters and they have been replaced by ghost
voters," Makuwaza said.
The opposition, meanwhile, reported a gasoline bomb attack early Wednesday
on the home of one of its local council candidates in the lakeside town of
Kariba in northwestern Zimbabwe.
It also reported violence against polling agents and campaigners in the
Midlands provincial towns of Gweru, Kwekwe and Kadoma.
The ruling party's parliamentary candidate in Harare, William Nhara,
reported attacks on his supporters by opposition militants in the run-up to
Foreign and independent observers of parliamentary and presidential
elections since 2000 say both were swayed by political violence, mostly by
ruling party militants, corruption and vote rigging.
Zimbabwe is suffering record inflation of 400% and soaring unemployment.
There are acute shortages of local currency, hard currency, food, gasoline,
medicine and other imports in the worst economic crisis since independence.
According to the UN food agency, at least 5,5-million people, nearly half
the population, will need emergency food aid by the end of the year to avert
famine. - Sapa-AP
Unity is best defence for Africa'
SADC leaders mull solutions to crippling AIDS statistics, poverty and
DAR ES SALAAM Southern African Development Community leaders met privately
yesterday, on the last day of their summit, to examine issues crippling
growth in the region, including AIDS, political instability and poverty.
South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said yesterday that the
only way the region could survive the crisis was by fighting it together.
Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said at the summit's opening in Dar es
Salaam on Monday that AIDS was among the biggest threats to the regional
grouping's member states, where about 14-million people were infected with
HIV or AIDS.
"There is a distinct threat of some communities in our nations disappearing,
or being so debilitated by the combined effects of this disease, loss of
skilled or other labour, and costs of medical care, that generations of
social and economic progress risk being completely wiped out," Mkapa said.
"Whatever we do, we must be able to give our people real hope that the war
on poverty and AIDS will be won sooner rather than later."
Mkapa also pleaded that "no weapons in the cultural and scientific arsenal
should be off limits" in the fight against AIDS.
South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has advocated a diet
of onions, garlic, olive oil and the African potato to relieve symptoms of
After years of legal wrangling the South African cabinet ordered the health
ministry earlier this month to have a full AIDS treatment plan ready by the
end of September.
A report by Unaids says the lack of availability to affordable food is
worsening the prevalence of HIV in southern Africa, where about 15,5million
people are facing starvation.
"Where the resulting lack of availability of, or access to, affordable food
is greatest, the prevalence of HIV is also alarmingly high," the report
Delegates also focused on security matters, as well as ways to help Zimbabwe
deal with its economic crisis, and the effects of European Union-US
Expert warns of pitfalls in Zimbabwe
SEEFF Zimbabwe warns that bad advice from amateurs can cost Zimbabweans
millions of dollars and has done so over the past few years.
John Spicer, MD of Seeff Zimbabwe, says that during periods of upheaval or
high risk in a country, particularly in an environment where interest rates
are a fraction of inflation, owners of properties, businesses, shares and
motor cars will not sell unless they have to.
Shortages will increase as inflation does, although often ironically the
value of these properties or businesses may drop in real terms, says Spicer.
"Thus confusion dominates Zimbabwe's property market today, and, combined
with soaring building and maintenance costs, has given our amateur property
experts a field day," says Spicer.
He says security, condition (or age) and proximity to amenities have become
increasingly important, but it needs an expert to assess the effect on
different properties in the various areas. "Bad advice from amateurs can and
has cost Zimbabweans millions of dollars over the past few years. Sellers
losing up to 50% of the true value of their homes through bad advice or
badly worded agreements are not unusual," says Spicer.
The prices of some residential properties are higher than in SA, due to
shortages of secure, well-appointed and wellmaintained homes in certain
sought-after areas, as well as astronomical local building costs.
However, he says, a large proportion of Zimbabwe's national housing stock in
all areas and price ranges is probably still dropping in value in real
terms, due to increasing neglect and the country's economic decline.
Spicer says investors should realise that with no willing sellers there are
no bargains around.
"What they will find is that an investment in the right property in the
right area will double in value in real terms when stability is achieved."
Rights Forum Concerned By Barred MDC Candidates
August 27, 2003
Posted to the web August 27, 2003
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has expressed concern about the barring
of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidates from
contesting this weekend's urban council elections.
The forum, a coalition of civic organisations, said the prevention of MDC
candidates from nomination for the polls scheduled for August 30-31 was
"unlawful, undemocratic and barbaric".
The MDC said a number of its candidates had been blocked by ruling Zanu (PF)
militants from nomination for the council elections.
Zanu (PF) mayoral candidate for Bindura, Martin Dinha, last month declared
himself the winner after his MDC rival, Fred Chinembiri, was physically
stopped from being nominated by ruling party supporters.
"In Makoni, Chegutu, Bindura and Hurungwe West several MDC candidates from
the towns were victimised and prevented from registration hence several Zanu
(PF) candidates won uncontested seats," the group said in a report.
"There were also reports of assaults on candidates. Albert Ndlovu of Chegutu
suffered a broken neck after he was reportedly attacked by Zanu (PF) youths.
As a result, he failed to submit his nomination papers.
"We urge all candidates to report the incidents of violence surrounding
elections to the police and the Electoral Supervisory Commission," the group
"We further implore the police to investigate such reports promptly, in a
nonpartisan manner, and to deal with those responsible accordingly, to
ensure a peaceful and impartial electoral process," the forum said.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network said it was worried that there were
"scenarios where candidates had been declared winners in violence- ridden
wards and constituencies, meaning that the electorate has been denied a
chance to participate freely in elections".
Mail and Guardian
NNP: SADC lost opportunity to help Zim
27 August 2003 15:53
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) lost an opportunity to
help solve Zimbabwe's problems by supporting President Robert Mugabe in
Tanzania this week, the New National Party said on Wednesday.
Mugabe received a rapturous greeting in the East African country's former
capital, Dar-es-Salaam, at the opening session of the SADC ministerial
summit on Monday, where delegates called for an end to the sanctions against
NNP spokesperson on foreign affairs Dr Boy Geldenhuys said in a statement
the SADC leaders had wasted an opportunity to find a solution for Zimbabwe.
"Their unconditional support ... might create an impression with Mugabe that
he can ignore the official opposition, dismiss them and keep them under
control with violence until the next elections."
He said it also created the impression Mugabe did not need to negotiate a
The SADC is the only body with the necessary integrity to convince Mugabe of
the importance of a political agreement with the Movement for Democratic
"Their inability to take up this responsibility might cost them dearly," he
said. -- Sapa
Cash depositors arrested
A HARARE bank manager and a former commercial farmer who helped
members of the Cross-border Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) deposit $20
million into a local bank have been arrested by the police and charged under
the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the Daily News has
sources yesterday said Elisha Chidombwe, a manager with
Zimbabwe Banking Corporation (Zimbank) in Harare, and Daniel Weidman, a
former commercial farmer, were arrested on Friday when they assisted CAZ
president Killer Zivhu to deposit $20 million belonging to members of his
The money, earned from cross-border trading
activities, was brought
into the country so that it could be re-injected into the banking system,
which is facing severe cash shortages.
Cross-border traders were given until last Sunday to repatriate their
money, as part of measures to alleviate the cash crisis.
who are said to be hoarding billions of dollars in cash,
had been assured that they would not face any prosecution if they deposited
their money before the deadline.
However, sources said when Weidman made the
deposit on behalf of CAZ
members before the expiry of the deadline, he and Chidombwe were arrested
and charged under Section 6 (1) (a) 3 of POSA.
They were charged with economic sabotage and "furthering
insurrection in Zimbabwe by inflicting financial loss upon the government of
Zimbabwe", police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
The two were only released on Monday after
the Attorney-General (AG)’s
Office refused to prosecute them under POSA.
They were subsequently charged under Statutory instrument
which was issued early this month. The regulations prohibit traders from
holding on to more than $5 million in cash.
makes it unlawful for financial institutions to charge
commission on cash, and empowers the police to seize large amounts of money
from individuals and traders.
Sources said the AG’s Office had, however, refused to
Chidombwe and Weidman under the new regulations.
Weidman yesterday confirmed the arrest, saying: "The actions of the
police were unprofessional. How could we be arrested for helping someone
deposit money in a bank? It is like a big joke. But you should talk to my
lawyer for more in-depth information."
His lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, could
not be reached for comment before
going to press yesterday.
Chidombwe also could not be reached for comment yesterday. Police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said he was still checking details on the matter
by the time of going to print last night.
But according to police sources,
Weidman had approached Madombwe after
Zivhu asked him to assist in depositing into banks cash held by members of
According to the
arrangement, CAZ members would deposit cash into a
Zimbank account and receive bank cheques.
Zivhu yesterday told the Daily News that
after the arrest of Chidombwe
and Weidman, members of his organisation would find it difficult to
co-operate with the government to deposit "billions of dollars we are
holding into banks because of the government’s double standards".
Lawyers also questioned how the two could have
intended to fan an
uprising against the government when they were in fact helping in the
repatriation of Zimbabwean currency that had been stashed outside the
The two, who spent the weekend in
holding cells at Southerton Police
Station, had also been accused of conniving to disrupt the circulation of
currency and, in the process, undermining the Zimbabwean government.
But, according to
statements given to the police by the two, some of
the money deposited by the cross-border traders was already being disbursed
to bank clients who were queuing for cash.
Zivhu said: "There was no need for anyone to be arrested because the
money was found in a bank. We were not counting it in the streets, but it
was in a bank and it was already being disbursed to the bank’s clients. This
kind of action by overzealous policemen won’t help anyone. "Where do they
want us to put the money – in the streets? We are now afraid of depositing
our money with banks and we might just be forced to hold on to our money,
which amounts to billions. We were watching how the government would react
to our overtures and we now know." By Farai Mutsaka Chief Reporter
Chinamasa accuses province of disloyalty
MUTARE – Manicaland province has been underdeveloped for the past 23
years because it lacks "patriotism", Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa has told the people of Manicaland.
Speaking on Saturday at a public affairs event to garner support for
Ellen Gwaradzimba, the ZANU PF candidate for this weekend’s Mutare mayoral
election, Chinamasa said Manicaland was "full of people opposed to the
"This province lacks patriotism. Since
independence in 1980, all the
opposition parties had their leaders from Manicaland," Chinamasa said.
He added: "We had Ndabaningi
Sithole, Muzorewa, Dongo, Tekere, and now
we have Tsvangirai, all from Manicaland province. And these people have been
known to be leading actors against the government."
The late Sithole was the leader of
ZANU (Ndonga), while Abel Muzorewa
represented United Parties. Margaret Dongo was the leader of the Zimbabwe
Union of Democrats and Edgar Tekere formed the Zimbabwe Unity Movement.
Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has posed the
most serious challenge to the ruling ZANU PF in the past 23 years.
Chinamasa said: "This is the most
fractured province in the country
and we pray this will end by your voting for our candidates." He said the
province would not develop if such trends of "divergence" were allowed to
continue. "We come to you on bent knees so that you may vote wisely by
voting for ZANU PF candidates, especially for the position of mayor,"
Gwaradzimba will face
Misheck Kagurabadza of the MDC and independent
candidate Patrick Matsanga in the mayoral race.
The poorly attended meeting to garner support
for Gwaradzimba was also
attended by Oppah Muchinguri, the provincial governor, and resident
minister; Kenneth Manyonda, Industry and International Trade Deputy
Minister, as well as Joseph Made, the Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement
Buhera South MP and ZANU PF Politburo
member Kumbirai Kangai, Shadreck
Chipanga, MP for Makoni, and Munacho Mutezo, the ZANU PF secretary for
administration in the province, also attended the meeting.
State makes U-turn
THE government has verbally agreed to allow the World Food Programme
(WFP) to continue distributing food, according to United Nations
co-ordinator in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo.
He said the assurance was given at a meeting
held last week with
Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, who this month issued a directive
indicating that food aid would now be distributed by government structures.
Angelo told the Daily News that he was hopeful that
would sign a new memorandum of agreement for 2003/4, in which the assurance
would be given in writing.
He said: "We’re
working on that together and we’ve a draft we are
still discussing. The picture will be clearer in a week’s time when we’ve
another major meeting with the government."
There were fears that the government’s
directive would force donors to
abandon aid to Zimbabwe, whose government is accused of denying food aid to
its opponents. The WFP had told its implementing partners to stop
distributing food aid if the government insisted on taking over
Analysts say this
would have meant certain starvation for a large
number of the 5.5 million Zimbabweans said to need food aid because of
severe shortages resulting from drought and a controversial state land
Angelo said for the time being, "the (memorandum of understanding)
signed with the UN system is still valid . . . The basis of the agreement
with the government is that we implement our programmes with total
It was not possible to secure comment yesterday from Moyo.
Pasipamire ordered to return equipment
THE High Court on Monday ordered former ZANU PF provincial chairman
for Harare Christopher Pasipamire to immediately return more than $200
million worth of irrigation equipment he allegedly seized from a farm in the
Banket district, which he took over early this year.
application by D S Sinclair (Private) Limited, High Court
judge Justice Ann-Marie Gowora ordered Pasipamire to restore equipment,
including sprinklers, pumps and motors, to the grading shed from where it
The judge also barred Pasipamire from using the
equipment and ordered
that he show cause why D S Sinclair, which was represented by Paul
Christopher Paul of Wintertons, should not be allowed to remove its property
from Solario Farm.
Pasipamire took over
Solario Farm, which belonged to D S Sinclair
(Private) Ltd, in February this year. The farm had been listed for
compulsory acquisition under the government’s land reform programme.
D S Sinclair director Roy
Sinclair said he moved from the farm after
he was served with a notice of impending acquisition, and he locked his
equipment up in a grading shed on the property.
When he returned to his property, Pasipamire
allegedly denied him
access to the shed.
"I made it clear to
the respondent (Pasipamire) that he was not to use
the applicant (D S Sinclair)’s equipment until and unless an agreement for
the acquisition of the equipment had been entered into between the applicant
and the respondent and payment in respect thereof paid," Sinclair said in
his founding affidavit. "No agreement has been reached in this regard."
said in June this year, he was informed by a caretaker at Solario
that Pasipamire had broken the padlocks on the grading shed, taken the
irrigation equipment and was using it to water his winter crop.
reported to the member-in-charge at Banket (Police Station) that I
was being prevented from removing the equipment," Sinclair said. "I have
also had the theft of the equipment last week reported, but it does not
appear to me that the member-in-charge is at all sympathetic to the
He said he feared the equipment could deteriorate, go
missing or be
damaged if Pasipamire continued using it.
an opposing affidavit filed by his lawyers Mhiribidi, Ngarava and
Moyo, Pasipamire said he entered into an agreement with D S Sinclair
allowing him to lease the equipment or buy it.
"I have never prevented the
applicant from removing his equipment save
for what we had agreed that I can use," Pasipamire said. "I have the right
of use in terms of the agreement the parties entered into.
"When I started preparing the land, Mr
Roy C Sinclair was actually
helping me with both equipment and ideas. He is the one who gave me the
go-ahead to prepare the land after assuring me that he would sell his
irrigation pipes, sprinklers and other equipment to me."
Sinclair said he never agreed to lease the equipment to Pasipamire.
"I agree that the respondent always wanted to buy
pipes," Sinclair said. "I refused because the prices that he was prepared to
pay were too low.
"At no stage have I agreed to lease the equipment to the respondent.
"It is significant
that the respondent does not state what price was
agreed upon or what rent was agreed upon," Sinclair said.
Intimidation rife, says MDC
GWERU – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) yesterday said six
of its polling agents had been abducted and several Midlands candidates for
this weekend’s urban council elections had been intimidated in the past few
weeks. MDC provincial chairman for Midlands North Isaac Muzimba said many of
the opposition party’s candidates in Kadoma and Kwekwe were "living in fear"
after being visited at night and intimidated by suspected state security
agents in the past week.
"My office has been inundated with reports of these
strange visits by
state security agents, some of them known activists of the ruling ZANU PF
party," said Muzimba.
In Kadoma, Muzimba
alleged state agents were using a police Defender
truck marked "Kadoma Rural" to visit homes of the party’s council candidates
and force them to direct them to the homes of those who had nominated them.
six MDC polling agents were abducted and allegedly tortured
at Chana Primary School in Mbizo suburbs by suspected ZANU PF supporters.
They were only released after about three hours following the intervention
of the police.
Muzimba alleged that ZANU PF supporters in a Mazda
the agents when they were distributing campaign fliers in Kwekwe.
The police allegedly impounded the abductors’ car, a
blue Mazda 323
with registration number 437-845S, and released it a few hours later.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could neither confirm
nor deny the
reports, saying he was still trying to secure information from the police
provincial headquarters in Gweru.
In Makonde, an
MDC election agent was attacked by members of a gang
known as the "Top Six", according to the opposition party’s information
About $34 000 was stolen from the election agent.
"A report was
made to the police, and the culprits were arrested with
the assistance of members of the police Support Unit, but they were later
released," the MDC said yesterday.
Meanwhile, former ZANU PF councillor for ward 2
in Gweru Job Sibindi
was attacked and severely injured by suspected ruling party supporters last
State insensitive to people’s plight
REPORTS by this newspaper yesterday of the police burning down 1 000
homes belonging to villagers resettled by the government at Windcrest Farm
near Masvingo city must have brought back to many Zimbabweans painful
memories of the bad old British South African Police (BSAP).
sadistic style of the colonial BSAP, which ransacked and burnt
villages to make way for the new white land owner, the police this week
destroyed homes and property at Windcrest worth an estimated $100 million.
All in a bid to force the resettled peasant families make way for a senior
How times change!
"people’s police" could and should have used more humane
methods to remove the villagers from the farm, if at all they had to be
evicted from land allocated to them two years ago by none other than the
That at a time when Zimbabweans – but more so poor
villagers such as
those at Windcrest – can barely make ends meet, the police could then see it
fit to burn down people’s homes, property and food is a clear testimony of
who and how they are.
With this kind of
performance by the Zimbabwe Republic Police against
powerless peasants, who needs the British Broadcasting Corporation or Cables
News Network to tell the world that the government of Zimbabwe does not
respect the rights of its citizens?
Indeed, human and civic rights groups have complained
in the past few
months that the police and other state security agencies were taking a
leading role in perpetrating human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
There have been equally alarming reports of citizens
ill-treated and tortured while in police custody, with some said to have
even died because of the torture.
There have also been
frequent reports of selective justice, with the
police accused of using
the law to target opponents of the government for punishment.
The government and its police have been quick to
dismiss these charges
as mere propaganda spread by enemies of this country opposed to its
controversial land reforms.
And one would
have thought that if the police cared, they would follow
up their pleas of innocence by action on the ground to show they are the
professional people’s police force that they claim to be.
But the events at Windcrest
on Monday all but confirm that the police
have indeed become a
mere band of high-handed and overzealous strongmen out to protect the
interests of the ruling elite.
The poor villagers had to
be bundled out of the place at all and
whatever costs because one of the fat cats in the government wanted the farm
for himself and his family.
What happened to government’s "people first" mantra, or
is it some
Or, could it be, as one of the
villagers at Windcrest summed it up,
that: "The government is insensitive to our plight." He might have been
But the question
still stands: for how long shall they continue to
trample on our rights and on our children’s future while we stand aside and
At your service – the essence of leadership
IN a speech given at the induction of a Rotary Club president in
Bulawayo in July 2002, I began by quoting from an address given by Dr
Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town.
Speaking in the United States of America on the Middle
East crisis in
April 2002, he said: "God is weeping over what He sees in the Middle East.
God has no one except ourselves, absolutely no one.
"God is omnipotent, all powerful. But also impotent. God
dispatch lighting bolts to remove tyrants as we might have hoped He would.
God waits for you, for you to act. You are His partner. God is as weak as
the weakest of His partners, or as strong as the morally strongest."
Could we equally say "God is weeping over what He sees in Zimbabwe"?
Among the many challenges and difficulties
we face as a nation in
turmoil is a lack of good, honest, transparent, accountable and
incorruptible leadership in all sectors of society.
Zimbabwe is an unwell nation and the need for
principled leadership is
clearly evident as never before.
So what then is leadership?
To some people, leadership means
power, honour, prestige, personal
advantage, being above the law.
But in reality for Christian believers (as well as those
religions), leadership means none of these things. Instead, it is all about
service to others.
"Let us be servants of one another," St Peter said.
Leadership-service calls to everyone,
the young as well as the old,
the handicapped as well as those with vigorous health, the educated, the
uneducated, worker, employer, student, unemployed, rich and poor.
Leadership does not mean great wealth, a great
education or an
important position. It means initiative. A willingness to serve and an
idealism rooted in the divine truth. As a leader, have your head in the
clouds but your feet firmly on the ground.
requires an understanding of these twin concepts: "I am
important". "I can make a difference."
Maybe you cannot change the world, but you
can change the world around
abound everywhere: at home, at work, at
school, at church, in sports clubs, in the community.
The late Mother Teresa of Calcutta had this
to say on the subject of
leadership: "You have a leadership mission to fulfil, a mission of love, but
this must begin in your own homes . . . Let us begin in the place where we
are, with the people with whom we are closest and then spread out."
A famous historian said: "Our greatest
business in life is not to see
what lies dimly at a distance but to do what clearly lies at hand."
So what can one person do, you may ask?
I believe each one of us is –
without exception – confronted with the challenges and obligations of
leadership in these critical times. A leader is one who:
- Knows the way
- Shows the way
- Goes the way
So get more involved, dear reader, in fulfiling
of home and family life. Get more involved in taking a courageous and
intelligent stand where principles are at stake. Get more involved in
participating in church, civic duties, business, sporting. What can you do
for your home, family, friends, neighbours, members of the community that
you are not doing already? What each person like you does or fails to do in
providing his or her share of leadership helps or hurts everyone. Most of
the tragedy of our times is not so much due to the power of the evil-doers,
the corrupt, the greedy or the selfish, as to the failure of those blessed
with sound ideas to put them into practice. As ordinary citizens of this
land, we should be leaders too, beacons of hope in a nation that is filled
with despair and hopelessness. And what is hope? "Waiting with certainty,"
one writer said. It is more than wishing. Hope is a confident anticipation
of something or someone yet to come. And so, dear reader, are we signs of
hope in our country, in our communities? Hope looks for the good in people
instead of harping on the worst. Hope discovers what can be done instead of
grumbling about what cannot. Hope pushes ahead when it might be easy to
quit. Hope says: "Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness,"
which is a reminder that God blesses the slightest possible effort to put
right what is wrong. Hope opens doors where despair closes them. Hope
carries on in spite of heartaches. Hope accepts tragedy with faith and
courage. If we, as sensitive, concerned citizens of Zimbabwe, raise our
sights and resist the temptation to be concerned mostly about self, we can
help to bring about that "Peace on Earth" of which the angels sang at
Bethlehem and for which all people yearn. The smallest flame that we as
leaders can light is far better than any amount of negative fault-finding.
In our own way, each one of us can implement the divine concept: "Be not
overcome with evil but overcome evil with good."
By Mike Neville
Mike Neville is a Bulawayo-based concerned Christian and a lay
minister in the Anglican Church.
Police allegedly seize traders’ cash
BULAWAYO – Dozens of flea market operators have alleged that police
unlawfully confiscated their money following a blitz against suspected
illegal foreign currency dealers.
Bvudzijena, the national police spokesman, however, denied
the charge, saying the confiscated money would be returned to the owners
after it was proved that they were innocent.
"To me it sounds like they are just
trying to make a big issue out of
nothing. According to police procedure, the items taken from a suspect by
police are taken down and later returned after the case has been finalised,"
Some of the alleged
victims of the raid yesterday claimed that they
were later given bank cheques equivalent to the amount of money taken by the
move is believed to be aimed at alleviating the serious shortage
of bank notes that has gripped the country for the past three months.
Police last Wednesday cordoned off an area along 4th Avenue and
confiscated money from people who were found with any amount exceeding $50
According to new laws concerning the carrying of
cash, an individual
is not allowed to carry any amount of cash exceeding $5 million.
Elsina Mpofu, a flea market operator, said police
confiscated her $300
000 which she had obtained from the sale of blankets.
"I was going to use the money to pay for school fees
but the police
would not listen to me," she said.
the flea market operators said initially police had told them
that they were looking for foreign currency but when they could not find any
they then confiscated any cash they found.
Mildred Sigauke, another
person who had her money taken by the police,
said they told her that a bank cheque was going to be issued to her today.
"I want my money
back in cash and not in cheque form. This is totally
unfair because no one can tell me what to do with my money," she said.
the flea market traders, the majority of who are women,
besieged Bulawayo Central Police Station demanding to get back their money.
They were twice dispersed by riot police.
Yesterday some of the women whose
money was confiscated said they were
going to seek
legal recourse to get back their money.
Miners’ Federation probes Masuku
THE Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) has assembled a five-man team
to probe allegations of misconduct against Gold Mining and Minerals
Development Trust (GMMDT) chairman Nhlanhla Masuku, the Business Daily has
According to minutes of a meeting held in
Harare last Friday, the team
is led by federation president Nixon Misi.
The ZMF is the umbrella body for the country’s
small-scale miners, who
are the intended beneficiaries of the GMMDT, which was set up by the
government to boost gold output by small-scale miners and curb leakages of
Projects recommended by the Trust
are supposed to receive funding from
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
It was not possible to ascertain yesterday what power
ZMF had to probe
Masuku. Efforts to secure comment from ZMF officials were unsuccessful.
According to the minutes of last Friday’s
meeting, the organisation
has mandated, "following continued Press reports over alleged corruption",
five of its senior members "to probe Masuku and, if found fit, to demand his
team is supposed to "compile areas of misconduct to
include use of Masuku’s consultancy firm USK Consultancy".
The organisation also said
it was concerned by the delay in funding
several gold mining projects.
The Business Daily reported last week that five of
recommended by the Trust for funding by the Reserve Bank had proposals that
were prepared by Masuku’s USK Consultancy.
The Mines Ministry’s chief engineer’s department is said to have
raised queries over the projects, which it said had failed to satisfy
certain criteria for funding.
Masuku, the founding GMMDT chairman,
yesterday said the miners may be
"correct" to concern themselves with the delay in funding of projects, but
had no mandate whatsoever to interfere with his institution.
He added that the ZMF had not informed his
organisation of its meeting
and its outcome, adding that the organisation was basing its resolutions on
Press reports .
Masuku told the
Business Daily: "On complaints of not having received
funding, they may be correct (to concern themselves). As GMMDT, we referred
about 10 projects to the Reserve Bank, which in turn gave the proposals to
the Mines Ministry, but we have not heard from the two institutions."
At its meeting,
the ZMF also resolved that its taskforce would also
look into the resignation in June of Charles Chipato, the GMMDT’s former
Apart from the GMMDT, the ZMF also intends to swoop
on Giles Munyoro’s
National Miners’ Association of Zimbabwe (NAMAZ), because of allegations
that officials in the organisation are abusing their positions for personal
According to minutes of the Friday
meeting, the ZMF is claiming that
"donor funds and subscriptions" poured into NAMAZ have not been accounted
for and "most of its interests have been converted into" use by officials of
the association. Further, it is charged that gold milling centres in the
prime production areas of
Filabusi, Kadoma, Shamva and others "have been either sold off, closed
or given to colleagues".More importantly, the ZMF resolved that it is to
take over the running and daily business of NAMAZ from 1 October 2003, in
order to reorganise the institution.It was not possible to secure comment
from NAMAZ officials on the ZMF’s allegations.
Deputy Business Editor
Zimbabwe – a dream turned into a nightmare
I have a dream that one day things will return to the good old days:
The days when one would go to the bank and get one’s money as and when
one needed it.
The days when keeping one’s money was not a criminal offence.
The days when one could
afford three decent meals for one’s family per
when one would buy sweets, chocolates, ice-cream etc for one’
s children whenever coming from work.
Those were the days when children
would wait expectantly for their
parents to come home from work.
The days when families could visit each other during
then could afford to visit relatives living in other parts of the city.
One could still afford to travel from Mabvuku to
Warren Park, from
Mbare to Glen View and from Sakubva to Dangamvura.
The days when one could afford a plate of sadza at
lunchThe days when
artistes’ music would be played on the local broadcaster irrespective of
The days when we had
ministers responsible for tackling national
issues and not musicians who, because of their political power, crowded out
poor musicians for airplay.
The days when one would rush home to watch the 8
o’clock news on
The days when the only advert
that you saw was for a paying company
and not party adverts.
Those were the days when one would grow any crop one decided to and
one was not forced to deliver them to some dubious parastatal.
when one would get fertiliser, agro-chemicals and seed
without any difficulty.
The days when one could get a bag of maize-meal in
a shop without
Those were the days when people
could get medication from public
hospitals and clinics.
days when being a nurse, teacher earned some respect in
Yes, those were the days when motorists
didn’t need to buy containers
for fuel. The days when fuel was available at all service stations without
having to queue.
Those were the
days people could afford to build houses in towns and
cities. Yes, the time when even the average employee could still afford to
be a house-owner.
I am not talking about a period not very far from now.
Do you share the same dream with me? Think seriously about
Maxwell Tapera Masiya Harare
Zimpost rates ridiculous
We read with shock and amazement Zimpost’s advertisement in
Wednesday’s (20 August) issue, stating the new postage rates.
A local letter up to 20 g will
cost us $300 and an airmail letter to
our relatives in Europe weighing up to 10 g – $2 100. That must surely place
us right at the top of the international ladder, as far as postal tariffs
To send a birthday or Christmas card – which usually
weighs over 10
g – to Europe will set us back $4 200. Using the rate of $845 to the US
dollar, this works out at US$4.97, or about 4.45 euro.
Just to compare: last week we received, via airmail, a
15 g from our daughter who lives in Europe, and guess how much postage she
had to part with?
Only 0.75 euro, or well below
20 percent of what it would have cost us
to send a similar card to her!
And now for the fun part: after the rate for local letters
to $100, Zimpost ran out of $100 stamps in no time. For several months now,
we have had to use two $35 and one $30 stamp to make up $100.
So to send a letter, you will have to affix nine stamps.
six – if you are lucky enough to find $50 stamps.
Stamped, Stomped, Stumped
Imminent danger looms
In parts of Greendale which rely on a high level water tower,
residents have had water for a total of seven days in a period of almost
four weeks. Water goes off for long periods of seven days at a time, then is
restored for two or three days and then goes off again for another week.
Municipality’s chief water engineer appears to be unable,
or unwilling, to take any steps to rectify this.
His explanation is that the
water pumps and treatment plant cannot
cope with the water demands of Harare. He has no solution.
In the meantime the city planners keep on
approving new housing
developments, all of which will need water.
Surely it is time this crisis was highlighted! To have
water for only
seven days in a period of three-and-a-half weeks is a serious situation.
Please would your reporters investigate the problem
and highlight the
imminent danger all residents of Greater Harare are facing if money is not
put into upgrading the water treatment plant and the pumps urgently?
How are the unconnected to buy maize in this chaos?
I do not know who to bring this to the attention of!
I reside in Bulawayo in the Hillcrest area, and there have
numerous deliveries of maize made, obviously by food aid organisations.
I do not know who organises this, but feel there
should be better
control. We have heard of the various deliveries, and have gone to purchase
the maize, only be told we were not entitled as we do not live in that
We then went to Hillside,
where a delivery was being made, but the
police got to the front of the queue, and bought many bags, leaving nothing
for the rest of us in the queue.
We were then told we could purchase from the post
office, to then be
told that the vendors (who sell their wares on the pavement and probably do
not even have a permit!) had bought it all and had taken this maize to their
homes to sell it in town or at the markets at an inflated price.
This is definitely not fair.
We all had to register with our police stations, and purchase books
that would be marked in of what maize-meal we bought.
This has not
happened for over six months now. How are we supposed to
get food to feed ourselves and our families when there is this unfair
business going on?
Concerned and Hungry Resident