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Zim Agency Appeals to UK for Aid



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Staff Reporter
Harare

THE Agricultural Ethics Association of Zimbabwe (AEAZ) is seeking one
million pounds sterling from Britain's Department for International
Development (DFID) to assist Zimbabwe's small-scale horticulture farmers to
grow export produce that could enable them to break into the lucrative
international markets.

Kennedy Chakanyuka, an official of the AEAZ which promotes high standard and
quality in Zimbabwe's horticulture, says the aid will be used as seed money
to start a revolving fund from which small growers will borrow funds to pay
for farm improvements that meet European standards.

Part of the DFID money will be used to pay for education and training in
improved production methods by the small-scale farmers.

"We have approached the DFID to help us with one million pound sterling to
train our small-scale farmers to comply with these standards so that they
can export their commodities,"Chakanyuka told the Financial Gazette this
week.

The AEAZ had also approached other donors for funding to improve quality in
the industry. The agency is also looking at linking up small and large-scale
growers as part of efforts to help improve both quality and production
capacity.

The European Union (EU) is the largest importer of Zimbabwe's horticulture
goods.

Last year Zimbabwe earned US$65 million from horticulture exports, most of
them to Europe.

In 2000, when the government embarked on its controversial land reforms that
have disrupted agriculture, Zimbabwe earned US$70 million from horticulture
exports.

But according to Chakanyuka, some European buyers of Zimbabwean horticulture
produce have given growers from the southern African nation up to the end of
2003 to comply with the EU's high quality standards or orders will be
cancelled.

For example,London's Sainsbury supermarket, a well-known stocker of Zimbabwe
horticultural produce, has already made clear that by the end of next year
it will no longer accept produce that does not conform to EU standards.

"Zimbabwe's small-scale farmers have to comply with market regulations if
they are to export to these markets," Chakanyuka said.

He said the AEAZ had links with several major standards associations in
Europe and the organisation was able to give advice to farmers on quality
issues as well as certify farm produce if it is in compliance with EU and
international quality standards.

Chakanyuka said there was growing emphasis among European consumers for
commodities to have been produced through acceptable and ethical methods.

He said the Ethical Trading Initiative, first introduced by British
supermarkets about four years ago but now enforced across the EU, emphasised
"acceptable methods" to be used in the production of food commodities.

There is also the EU's Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point under which
farmers have to ensure that their pack houses are well maintained to avoid
any contamination of exports and abide by the EU's food safety standards.

Producers are also required to practise sound environmental policies during
the production process and have to come up with clear product identification
methods to enable easier tracing of horticultural commodities back to the
country of their origin.

While most of Zimbabwe's mostly white large-scale farmers have grown flowers
and allied crops for years in compliance with EU standards, small-scale
growers need aid and training to meet the tough rules before they can
competitively enter the market.

Chakanyuka said: "Contrary to public perceptions that there is easy money to
be made from horticulture, there is a lot of work that has to be done to be
able to meet the minimum requirements of the market. "

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Nothing New About Zanu-PF's Media Strategy



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Yvonne Mahlunge-Marizani
Harare

"Not only did African interests remain unheard, as they had been in the
past; even white opinion critical of policies of apartheid and police-state
repression was suppressed by the Rhodesian Front's control of broadcasting
and censorship of the press.

"Nor was any attempt ever made by the news media to understand the goals
sought by the African liberation movement. Instead, the purpose of the armed
struggle was distorted and misrepresented and the forces of liberation
maligned as 'communist terrorists'.

"Furthermore, what clearly emerges from this account of government
manipulation of the media is that the press, although initially intimidated
and harassed into conformity by a Ministry of Information dominated by
Rhodesian Front racists and their South African allies, came around to
serving as an apologist for the Ian Smith regime and a willing purveyor of
the propaganda devised by the officials of the Ministry of Information."

Makes interesting reading does it not? Especially when one knows that the
author of this paragraph was none other than Nathan Shamuyarira, Zimbabwe's
first Minister of Information and the current Zanu PF secretary for
information and publicity.

Shamuyarira made this comment by way of a foreword to a book written by
Elaine Windrich titled "The Mass Media in the Struggle for Zimbabwe"

Now read this paragraph: " Not only did Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
interests remain unheard, as they had been since September 1999, even the
opinion of Zanu PF members critical of the government's policies and its
police-state repression was suppressed by the Zanu PF control of
broadcasting and censorship of the press.

"Nor was any attempt made by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
news team to understand the goals sought by the MDC. Instead, the policies
of the MDC were distorted and misrepresented and the MDC and its leaders
were maligned as agents of imperialism and neo-colonialism.

"Furthermore, what clearly emerged from this account of government
manipulation of the media is that the press, although initially coerced by
the necessity of marketing the draft constitution, came around to serving as
an apologist for the Mugabe regime and a willing purveyor of the propaganda
devised by the officials of the Ministry of Information and Publicity."

Soon a time will come when a critique such as this will be made, when like
all things the present government is doing come to pass.

In my opinion there will be no need to make pain-staking analyses of the
Zanu PF media strategy. It is in my analysis a mere regurgitation of
propaganda campaigns used the world over.

What is more shocking though is the striking similarity of the antics
between the professor and crew and what took place in our long-suffering
country not too long ago.

The current onslaught on the MDC is similar to that which the liberation
movement suffered at the hands of Rhodesia's chief propagandist PK Van der
Byl.

The Rhodesian Ministry of Information under Van der Byl, used specially
targeted radio and television programmes geared at ensuring that the
ordinary person's thinking was conditioned.

Programmes such as "From Rhodesia to Rhodesia" and "Padare" on the African
service of the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation(RBC) were intended to make
Africans think that Zipra and Zanla forces were a threat to their lives.

Goebbels-style, the Rhodesian Ministry of Information was a firm believer in
the concept that if a falsehood was repeated often enough it would
eventually be accepted as a fact.

Thus in Rhodesian Front films like "Pamwe chete" on the Selous Scouts; "They
who dare" on the special air service, and even the use of church leaders
through "Chaplains to the Forces", the leaders of the liberation struggle
were depicted as "Marxist terrorists".

The ZBC has learnt this lesson well and has utilised programmes such as
"National Ethos" and "Media Watch" including the main news and special
programmes commemorating Independence Day, Heroes day and so on to blow Zanu
PF's trumpet while trashing the MDC.

Regrettably the lesson belatedly learnt by Van der Byl appears lost to Zanu
PF's chief propagandist. That is, the urban populace that have access to the
electronic and print media are not easily fooled.

They are well informed and can easily spot a sheep in wolf's clothing.

Hence this investment did not produce a good return for Van der Byl -
another aspect which is repeating itself.

Consequently ZBC has had to resort to such tactics as cutting out completely
live broadcasts of interviews with the MDC or live coverage of MDC rallies
and "telling" its viewers what MDC officials say at rallies through the use
of voice overs.

Interestingly, the result of this abuse of the public media by the Rhodesian
Front led to the formation of Radio Zimbabwe which transmitted from
Mozambique, beyond the borders of Rhodesia, in the same way that SW Radio
manned by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora operates. The moral being that the
truth will not only set you free but also set itself free.

The Smith regime's information ministry successfully capitalised on
international phobia of communism, Marxism and socialism to demonise the
Patriotic Front leaders as socialist terrorists and other such names.

Even on the eve of independence, the Rhodesian Front continued to produce
material aimed at giving the impression that all was well in Rhodesia and
that the illegitimate regime was invincible, through the production of
materials like "Rhodesia Unafraid" and "What a time".

One immediately recalls the embarrassingly lame attempts to link the MDC to
terrorist activities such as the alleged plans to bomb the country's
high-rise buildings, anthrax laced envelopes at Munhumutapa; military
training in Uganda and the Eastern Highlands and even the ludicrous attempt
to liquidate Tafataona Mahoso - as nauseating as his articles may be to
some, one is more inclined to leave that duty to his Creator or let nature
take its course.

Returning to Shamuyarira, he adds: "Zimbabwe under white minority rule never
experienced genuinely free media. All the main newspapers were owned by one
company - Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Limited. Nor were these
newspapers Zimbabwean in the sense of reflecting the views and aspirations
of the majority of the population, since they were designed from the outset
to promote the cause of white settler colonialism and business interests in
South Africa.

While controversy and dissent, essential elements of a free media, were
permitted within the narrowly defined limits set by the white Rhodesian
establishment and the South African connection, this tolerance did not
extend to African political parties, which were repeatedly silenced by the
banning of their publications and detention of their leadership.

How well the lesson was learnt. Not only were the colonial laws used, but
also when they became too weak for the task at hand, hampered by judgments
of a then completely independent Supreme Court bench, they were improved
upon by the introduction of gutter laws like the Public Order and Security
Act (POSA).

However, in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
the rocket scientist has outplayed Van der Byl, at least at face value.

In one fell swoop of the legislative pen, he appears to have extended his
control beyond the public media domain to the arena of the private media.

He has spread his tentacles through the Media and Information Commission
appointed by him in terms of section 40 of the Act.

The current commission predictably does not have a single member of the
private or independent media.

Come December 31 this year, barring the success of legal challenges mounted
by the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ) and Media
Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and one or two journalists, the full
effect of parts XI and XII will be felt.

However, even without delving into the jurisprudential analysis of the
likely judgment to be handed by the Supreme Court bench, it's unlikely that
the Supreme Court has the administrative capacity to set these matters down,
have them heard and hand down the judgment within the third and final term
of this year's Supreme Court calendar, especially after refusing to hear an
application challenging the constitutionality of section 79 and 80 on an
urgent basis.

In the meantime it is the private media that will be the main target of the
enforcement of sections 69(1) and 79(5) created through the use of the word
"may" in both sections.

In fact, one gets the distinct feeling that the current prosecutions are a
forerunner of things to come and are intended to give the media commission
ammunition to deny registration to certain specified journalists.

Even if it is argued that this is not a correct interpretation of the
objects and purpose of AIPPA, the selective application of this law begs an
explanation from the office of the attorney-general.

The attorney-general should explain how journalists employed by the public
media who author patently false stories with the sole purpose of maligning
the MDC leadership and membership have not been prosecuted, even in
instances where the attorney-general's office itself has been a victim.

Smith and his Rhodesian Front had to admit that the game was up when the
lies could no longer be sustained.

There comes a time when the truth prevails, as per the wise Shona saying,
rine manyanga hariputirwe veduwe.

Yvonne Mahlu-nge-Marizani is a Ha-rare based lawyer and a member of the MDC
national executive
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MDC Threatens Court Action Over Forex Receipts



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Staff Reporter
Harare

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this week said it had
given new Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa a seven-day ultimatum to sanction
the release of Zimbabwe's 2001 foreign currency receipts or face court
action.

MDC's economic affairs secretary Eddie Cross said the ultimatum had been
dispatched this week by the party's lawyers, who had been instructed to take
legal action against the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development if
there was no favourable response.


This follows a request by the opposition party in June for the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe to release the country's foreign currency receipts for the
financial year ended December 31 2001.

The MDC asked for the information under Section Six of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which allows a person or
organisation to make a written request to a public body for information.

Cross told the Financial Gazette: "(The Governor of the Reserve Bank) wrote
back to me and said this had nothing to do with the Reserve Bank because it
just acted as an agent of government.

"He said we must write to the Ministry of Finance. We have written to the
Ministry of Finance and they have not bothered to respond. This morning
(Tuesday), I instructed a firm of lawyers to take legal action against the
Ministry of Finance. We are giving the new Minister of Finance seven days to
respond, failure of which our lawyers are instructed to take appropriate
action."

Simba Makoni, the Finance Minister since July 2000, has been replaced by his
predecessor Herbert Murerwa, who was serving as Minister of Industry and
International Trade until a Cabinet reshuffle at the weekend.

According to the AIPPA, Murerwa can refuse to sanction the release of last
year's hard currency receipts if he feels this will harm his ministry's or
the central bank's planning, their financial and economic interests or those
of Zimbabwe.

Cross said the MDC wanted last year's forex receipts because of fears that
the hard cash had been mismanaged at a time Zimbabwe is facing critical
shortages of forex.

"What we are asking for is full transparency from the government on the
purchase and utilisation of foreign exchange. We are convinced there is
massive corruption in the utilisation of foreign exchange," he said.

The MDC's economic affairs committee estimates that the central bank
received US$1.1 billion in hard currency in the financial year ended
December 31 2001 and that it will receive US$870 million this year.

"Sight is often lost of the fact that the state buys the majority of the
foreign exchange inflows to the country at controlled exchange rates," the
committee said in a review of the Zimbabwean economy.

"In the current year, it is estimated the state will buy approximately
US$870 million at fixed exchange rates. This will cost them on average $100
to US$1 at present exchange rates. These low-cost funds will be used to
support the war in the Congo, the patronage system and lavish lifestyle of
the ZANU PF elite."
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$1.64 Required to Produce 10-Cent Coin



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Staff Reporter
Harare

THE cost of producing a 10-cent coin is 16 times more than the face value of
the denomination while a 20-cent coin costs nearly 10 times its value,
according to a report released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this
week.

According to the RBZ's annual report for 2001, it costs about $1.64 to
manufacture a 10-cent coin or 16.44 times its face value.

Each 20-cent coin is estimated to cost more than $1.93 or 9.66 times its
face value while the face values of the 50 cents, $1, $2 denominations are
at least 4.46, 2.54 and 1.24 times lower than the cost of minting the coins.

"Except for the $5 coin, most of Zimbabwe's coins are currently in negative
seigniorage," the central bank said.

Seigniorage is the difference between the cost of producing a currency
denomination and its face value.

"The magnitude by which costs of production exceed face value of coins
however declined in 2002, particularly when compared to year 2000 levels,"
the RBZ said.

"A tool and die-making project, currently at tender stage, will further
enhance benefits achieved so far."

The difference between the face value and cost of manufacturing the 10-cent
coin was 22.4 times, followed by 15.5 times for the 20-cent coins, 8.1 times
for the 50-cent coin and 5.5 times for the $1 denomination.

The news of the high cost of manufacturing small denomination coins comes
against the backdrop of massive money printing by the cash-strapped
government.

The Harare authorities need to raise more than US$300 million ($16.5
billion) this year to import food and fund drought relief programmes.

Figures from the RBZ show that the amount of notes and coin in circulation
rose from about $8.6 billion in January 2001 to more than $33.3 billion in
May this year despite the drop in economic activity.
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Agriculture Inputs Suppliers Set to Lose $100b in Revenue



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Nqobile Nyathi
Harare

ZIMBABWEAN industries providing inputs to the agriculture sector could be
prejudiced of more than $100 billion in revenue in the coming farming season
because of the government's land reforms, a development that could have
far-reaching consequences for the country's already troubled economy.

Analysts this week said demand for farm inputs in a normal season amount to
$150 billion, most of it coming from the large-scale commercial farming
sector.

They said demand would fall significantly in the 2002-2003 agricultural
season, which begins in November, because of the eviction of white
commercial farmers by the government to resettle its black supporters.

More than 90 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500 commercial farmers are expected to
have left their farms by the start of the rainy season in November.

"It's difficult to say exactly how much demand for inputs will fall by when
this whole thing is over," a commercial bank economist said.

"But if normal demand is around $150 billion and only 10 percent of
large-scale farmers are still farming, demand could fall to only $15
billion.

"These are only estimates, but it would mean that around $135 billion in
revenue that would have been earned by these input suppliers would be lost.

I would say definitely that at least $100 billion will be lost by those
companies that provide inputs, equipment and things like that."

The prejudice would affect companies which provide inputs such as seeds,
fertilisers and chemicals used to control pests and crop diseases.

Also prejudiced would be equipment suppliers as well as those firms that
might have been paid to service and maintain farm equipment.

Service providers that might have been hired to build barns, dams and
install and maintain irrigation equipment might also be affected by the
decline in large-scale commercial farming activity.

Economic consultant John Robertson told the Financial Gazette: "The seed,
fertiliser and chemicals would make up quite a bit of that $150 billion.

But it might also have gone towards the maintenance of tractors and putting
in and running irrigation equipment.

"I think that the government has the fanciful belief that in the end,
small-scale growers will become customers of similar importance to these
suppliers, but that won't happen because most of them will be growing for
subsistence."

The analysts said most beneficiaries of the government's resettlement
programme would not have the money to spend on inputs on the same scale as
large commercial farmers.

The government says it has set aside about $8.5 billion to finance the work
of the resettled farmers.

But opposition Movement for Democratic Change shadow minister for
agriculture Renson Gasela estimates that it will cost at least $70 billion
for the new farmers to grow just one hectare each for subsistence.

"Where are the farmers going to get the money to plant just one hectare of
food for themselves?" he said.

The analysts said the drop in demand would be the last straw for most input
suppliers, many of which are already experiencing declining sales because of
the instability in the agricultural sector, the backbone of Zimbabwe's
economy.

They said a further fall in the purchase of inputs was also likely to result
in a decline in output across the agricultural sector.

In the tobacco sector for instance, a fall in seed sales has already caused
the industry to revise downwards next year's potential crop.

NMB Bank said in its latest market commentary: "Seed sales by 9 August were
reported to be down 27 percent at 222.8 kilogrammes when compared to 304.3
kgs during the same period in 2001.

"According to the ZTA (Zimbabwe Tobacco Association), this would translate
to potential hectarage of 44 563 hectares against 58 855 hectares the
previous season.

"Small-scale farmers account for 53.1 kgs to date compared to 43.0kgs in
total in 2001. The reduction in area planted would result in significant
declines in tobacco, which is a major foreign currency earner for the
country. The country is already facing severe foreign currency shortages and
while these shortages will not be solved by tobacco exports alone, every
effort should be made to avoid further reductions in exports."

The resettlement scheme is expected to have adverse implications for
manufacturers directly dependent on agricultural output as well as other
industries, which would be indirectly affected by a decline in agricultural
output and exports.

According to statistics from the agricultural pressure group Justice for
Agriculture, the sector contributes US$765 million or 38 percent of
Zimbabwe's total exports.

If 90 percent of commercial farmers stop farming, the country will lose
US$689 million.

Robertson said: "Manufacturers will lose their customers and the raw
materials coming from agriculture. Then there is a set of industries that
are not related to agriculture but will also be affected.

"The textile industry for instance is closely linked to the clothing
industry and once you lose the cotton that clothing depends on, you put in
danger the industries that depend on this.

"We are generating a mess of inconsiderable proportions that reaches into so
many different areas. The whole thing is so wrong and we are only beginning
to see the fringes of the difficulties that are still to come."
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Strategies in Economic Growth



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 29, 2002
Posted to the web August 28, 2002

Harare

Financial factors have been assigned strategic importance in economic
development. But different factors have been isolated for different regions.

In Asia the role of an unrepressed financial market in mobilising savings
and allocating investments is emphasised while in Latin America emphasis is
on the role of inflationary finance - the scope for using deficits to
enhance growth and, increasingly, the connection between high and unstable
inflation and poor economic performance.

In Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular it seems the emphasis lie on
both factors - the financial sector is repressed with consequent negative
real interest rates that have discouraged savings on the one hand.

Efforts by government to establish a scientific research centre (SIRDC) to
enhance technology development should be applauded, but noted that the
efficient use of resources does not only depend on the application of
superior techniques but also on policies and institutions.

It is against this background that I note the importance of financial
factors in influencing economic development and look at the consequences of
repressing the financial sector.

Financial repression is a major impediment to economic development. It
exists through the unnecessary regulation of the financial system. To
understand the effects of financial policies on economic development, one
must distinguish conceptually between regulation, restriction and repression
of financial activities.

Regulation is always necessary in financial markets. Banks participate in
money creation through a process called multiple credit expansion process,
which involves offering loans to their customers using deposits from the
public.

By regulating the ability of banks to create money ,monetary authorities
maintain the solvency of banks hence stability of the monetary system.

Authorities establish rules concerning bank capital and requirements for the
relationship between debt and capital or between deposits and reserves.

They supervise risk taking by controlling the quality of loans and requiring
set-asides when loan quality deteriorates.

At times, however, regulation of financial activity can become excessive,
that is, costly in terms of efficiency and welfare. For example, in Zimbabwe
insurance companies are required to hold 45 percent of their investments in
low yielding government stocks while banks are required to keep 50 percent
their deposits in the form of statutory reserves with the RBZ. This affects
free flow of resources to economic sectors and financial available to the
private sector.

Financial restriction becomes financial repression when regulations that
limit competition in the financial are combined with high and growing
inflation.

Therefore, the difference between a regime that is merely restrictive and
the one that is repressive depends less on the quality of the measures than
on the effect that the measures exert on real variables, such as the real
rate of interest or real demand for money that depend on inflation.

The major effect of financial repression is on savings and investment and
therefore growth. Despite the arguments supporting low interest rates it has
been realised that this often leads to negative real interest rates because
of the escalating inflation.

It should be noted that this hope of increasing investment by lowering
interest rates in a bid to increase investment would not succeed because the
source of these investment funds (savings) will have been discouraged
through negative real interest rates. Investment funds come from savings and
for savings to be boosted interest rates must be increased otherwise it will
not be profitable for savers to deposit their money with financial
institutions. This is very evident in Zimbabwe. Reflecting the high
inflation environment and low nominal interest rates, overall savings have
declined from about 25 percent of GDP in 1997 to current levels of below
10percent. This is bad development for the country because high domestic
savings are a prerequisite for investment and sustained economic growth.

The fall in savings rates have, therefore, denied the economy resources for
productive investment. As a result, the investment ratio declined to around
8.7 percent in 2001 from levels of around 15 percent in the 1990s, which is
below the 25 percent minimum thresholds recommended by the African
Development Bank. As a result the country has stagnated from 10.4 percent
1996 to -7.3percent in 2001. This year the economy is expected to fall by a
significant 11.1 percent.

It is against this background that the Government need to remove constraints
by the authorities on the financial instruments especially the interest
rate, that is, financial liberalisation. The argument is that controlling
interest rates repress the financial sector, stunts growth and results in
the misallocation of resources. The policy prescription here is to raise
institutional interest rates and\or reduce the rate of inflation.

The optimal result is to abolish interest rate ceilings altogether to
maximise investment and raise further the average efficiency of investment.

It should be noted that the issue of interest rates is just one aspect of
the many issues that the Government need to address to put the economy on a
sustainable growth path. Equally important is the issue of the exchange
rate. Given that the exchange rate is a central price linking the economy to
the rest of the world, it undermines development when it is misaligned like
is currently the case. Managing the exchange rate along simple, stable rules
is critical. These stable rules must ensure that cumulative overvaluation is
ruled out by a policy of devaluation that keeps in line with domestic
inflation. The rate system should also be uniform as it applies to
commercial transactions. Although, in isolated circumstances, there can be a
case for taxes or subsidies to promote specific economic or non-economic
objectives, using explicit taxes and subsidies rather than the disguised
form of multiple exchange rates is almost always preferable.
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FinGaz

 Zim corruption worsens

 - Staff Reporter
  8/29/02 3:52:13 AM (GMT +2)

      CORRUPTION in Zimbabwe worsened markedly this year, according to
international investors who ranked the country as the world's 76th most
corrupt nation in 2002 versus last year's ranking of 68.

      An annual survey by the world's anti-corruption watchdog Transparency
International (TI) released this week shows that Zimbabwe's corruption
perception index (CPI) worsened by 0.2 CPI points this year from last year's
figure of 2.9 CPI points, chalking an overall figure of 2.7 points.

      Included in this list of corrupt nations are Tanzania, Honduras, the
Ivory Coast, Russia and India.

      Last year TI's corruption survey covered 91 countries compared to 102
this year.

      Under the CPI index, the least corrupt country gets 10 points and the
points decrease as a country is perceived to be more corrupt.

      Of the 102 nations covered this year, about 70 of them - including
many of the world's poorest - scored less than five points, with countries
such as Nigeria, Bangladesh, Angola and Kenya scoring less than two points.

      "Political elites and their cronies continue to take kickbacks at
every opportunity. Hand-in-glove with corrupt business people, they are
trapping whole nations in poverty and hampering sustainable development," TI
head Peter Eigen says in the report.

      "Corruption is perceived to be dangerously high in poor parts of the
world, but also in many countries whose firms invest in developing
countries," he notes.

      Compared to its neighbours listed in the survey, Zimbabwe is only
better than Zambia, which is ranked number 80, down from 76 last year.

      Botswana, the least corrupt country in Africa, moved two positions up
from 26 last year to 24 this year while Namibia also gained ground, moving
from number 30 to 28.

      South Africa and Mauritius moved one position up each to 38 and 42
this year respectively.
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FinGaz


Farmers' lawyer gets death threat

- Staff Reporter
 8/29/02 3:49:20 AM (GMT +2)

      JEREMY Callow, the Harare lawyer who has successfully helped hundreds
of embattled commercial farmers challenge the seizure of their farms by
President Robert Mugabe's government, yesterday said he feared for his life
after receiving a death threat from an anonymous caller this week.

      Callow, a senior lawyer with Stumbles & Rowe, a Harare law firm, told
High Court judge Justice Benjamin Paradza when he appeared in the court to
represent more farmers that he had been warned that if he goes to Karoi
again he would be killed.

      "Someone called me at about 06:25 am on Monday and told me that if
they see me going to Karoi, they will kill me," Callow told the court after
successfully securing a court order invalidating the government's Section 8
orders issued to about 50 farmers.

      He said he was worried about the threat in the light of a case where
three weeks ago ruling ZANU PF's militant war veterans openly attacked court
officials in Chipinge.

      The mob accused the court officials of being lenient to people
suspected of burning down three tractors owned by the government's District
Development Fund by granting them bail.

      Callow said he travels to Karoi frequently to represent his clients in
court, the bulk of whom own farms in the Hurungwe-Tengwe-Karoi area.

      He said he is writing a report, which he would give to the police and
the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

      Meanwhile Justice Paradza issued a consent order invalidating Section
8 orders issued against 54 farmers, most of them from Mashonaland West
province.

      Nelson Mutsonziwa, from the Attorney-General's Office and representing
the government, said the state conceded that proper procedures were not
followed in issuing the orders so they were of no force and effect.

      In all the cases, the government's initial Section 5 orders indicating
its intention to seize the farms were only served on the farmers and not on
the registered property rights holders, making all subsequent orders
technically invalid.

      Mutsonziwa said in such cases, where the orders have been struck down
as invalid, the government will have to re-start the whole process once
more.

      But some of the farmers involved have already been evicted from their
properties while those who tried to resist have been arrested.
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FinGaz


EU to plug travel ban loopholes for Zim chefs

Staff Reporter
8/29/02 3:53:28 AM (GMT +2)

      AN emergency motion will be tabled before Europe's Parliament next
week to tighten a European Union (EU) travel ban on Zimbabwean government
and ruling ZANU PF party officials, according to a member of the European
Parliament.

      The motion will be tabled by Geoffrey Van Orden, the vice-chairman of
the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee. It seeks to plug
loopholes that have enabled several Zimbabwean officials to travel to EU
member states despite the economic bloc's smart sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe's leadership for its promotion of lawlessness.

      Van Orden's motion follows widespread protests this week against a
visit by Zimbabwean Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to France to
attend a meeting of the International Police Organisation (Interpol), of
which he is a committee member.

      Chihuri is on the original list of 20 Zimbabwean political leaders and
officials forbidden from travelling to EU countries since February.

      The EU's sanctions, which include the freezing of assets of the
affected officials and an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, were extended in July to
include 52 other officials in response to worsening human rights violations
in Zimbabwe.

      "We have been very keen to ensure that international measures against
(President Robert) Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe are effective," Van Orden
told the Financial Gazette.

      "Among the EU measures is a travel ban on individuals of the Mugabe
hierarchy, these include the commissioner of police.

      "The commissioner of police is at the moment in an EU member state,
namely France. Clearly the EU travel ban is not working very effectively.
What we will be insisting on is that further measures are taken to ensure
that these loopholes are blocked. We don't expect Mugabe and his ministers
to take the EU seriously if they can travel quite freely."

      He said the "small print" of EU regulations would have to be
scrutinised to ensure that any loopholes are closed.

      But attempts to deal with the loopholes might be hampered by rules
governing other international organisations, which might oblige the EU to
allow even banned officials to attend meetings there.

      Zimbabwean officials on the EU's banned list are, for instance,
allowed to travel to the EU to attend meetings of the United Nations.
President Robert Mugabe and several of his officials were earlier this year
allowed to enter Rome because of this regulation.

      Interpol, whose headquarters are in Lyon in the south of France, is
also an independent global body with diplomatic status similar to the UN
headquarters in New York.

      French Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau this week said
Chihuri was allowed to participate in the Interpol meeting because of a
"special rule" that allows members normal access to Interpol's headquarters.

      He added: "In this case, we have both the right and the obligation to
allow Interpol members to participate in the organisation's meetings."

      Van Orden admitted that the status of organisations such as the UN
might hamper the effectiveness of the EU's travel ban but said the bloc had
to close as many of the loopholes as possible.

      "The UN business is a real problem and I don't think we will be able
to get over that," he said. "Fidel Castro has been allowed to travel to New
York to attend the UN General Assembly meeting, that's an indication of how
difficult it would be. But what we have to do is close down as many of these
loopholes as possible."

      In response to France's statement over Chihuri, he said: "If France is
saying that, our answer is that it is a disgrace that such a person has a
position in Interpol. As the commissioner of police, he is head of an
organisation that is an instrument of oppression in Zimbabwe and the fact
that he turns up at an Interpol meeting is a real disgrace."

      Van Orden said he was also trying to persuade South African President
Thabo Mbeki to toughen his stance against Mugabe.

      Mbeki has been criticised for failing to vigorously condemn the
Zimbabwean government's human rights abuses and its economically destructive
policies.

      "I'm calling upon him to take more serious measures and join the
international community in measures against Mugabe," the MP said.
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FinGaz

      Govt continues crackdown on defiant farmers

      Staff Reporter
      8/29/02 3:54:05 AM (GMT +2)

      TWENTY-NINE more white commercial farmers had been arrested in the 24
hours up to yesterday as the government continued with its crackdown on
farmers who are refusing to leave their farms following the expiry of the
August 10 deadline.

      The evictions continued as it emerged that a meeting between the
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) leadership and state Vice President Joseph
Msika last Wednesday aimed at halting the evictions had failed to yield
anything.

      CFU officials who attended the meeting said Msika had directed them to
meet Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Local Government Minister Ignatius
Chombo, who are in charge of the government's controversial land reforms.

      The farmers had hoped that the meeting, a follow up to the one they
held with Msika last month, would result in the government extending its
deadline to forcibly evict 2 900 farmers from their properties.

      Before the evictions started, Zimbabwe had about 4 500 white
commercial farmers, most of them nationals of the country.

      "We held the meeting with Vice President Msika but nothing came out of
it," CFU president Colin Cloete told the Financial Gazette.

      "He told us to meet with ministers Chombo and Made. Even the issue of
policy never came up. There are still cases of farmers being arrested but
the situation is a little bit better compared to last week."

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said yesterday afternoon that 29
farmers had been arrested on Monday and Tuesday to bring the total held so
far to 306.

      "The total number of those arrested as of Tuesday is 306 from 277 on
Sunday," he said. "The arrests will continue as long as the farmers are
breaking the law."

      Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for Justice for Agriculture group which is
seeking to challenge the evictions in court, said she was still to receive
any reports of arrests or violence on the affected farms this week.

      Cloete said the CFU would however meet Chombo this week to deliberate
on the evictions but ruled out meeting Made who he said was uncooperative.
Made has on several occasions spurned meetings with the CFU.

      But even as the CFU sought to talk to Chombo, any hope of halting the
evictions and reaching a compromise was dealt a severe blow by President
Robert Mugabe who declared on Tuesday this week that such talks served no
purpose.

      "There is no room for talks, there is no room for any negotiations
because the real owners of this land are asserting their rights and
reclaiming their land," Mugabe was quoted as saying by state television.

      "If you (the white farmers) want to live with us, to farm alongside
us, we the rightful owners of our ancestral land will carve out some land
for you ... but you cannot decide what you will have in our country," he
said.

      Mugabe in June snubbed the farmers' offer for dialogue saying they
should instead meet Msika, which makes Chombo's pending talks with the
farmers irrelevant
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FinGaz

      Mugabe has not heard message: Canada PM


      8/29/02 3:54:42 AM (GMT +2)

      OTTAWA - Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien wants to hold
discussions with international partners about the deteriorating situation in
Zimbabwe when he is in Johannesburg at an environmental summit next week,
officials said this week.

      The troubled African country is plunging into ever deeper chaos as the
government of President Robert Mugabe presses ahead with a plan to force 2
900 of the remaining 4 500 white commercial farmers to quit their land
without compensation.

      Britain, the United States and Australia have all expressed dismay at
events in Zimbabwe, where an estimated six million people face starvation
over the next six months as drought, mismanagement and political turmoil
slash food output.

      Leaders of the Commonwealth of mainly former British colonies
suspended Zimbabwe in March for holding what were widely seen as rigged
elections.

      It set up a troika of the leaders of Australia, South Africa and
Nigeria to decide what more action might be taken.

      "The prime minister is more and more concerned. We have not seen many
positive developments since we last spoke about our concerns (in March)...he
will wish to use the opportunity (World Summit) to discuss Zimbabwe," a
Chretien aide told reporters.

      Chretien will be in South Africa from September 1-3 to take part in
the World Summit on Sustainable Development, where many other world leaders
will be present.

      "If at all possible in Johannesburg, the prime minister would wish to
sit down with some of his partners, maybe the troika members, and look
perhaps at what the Commonwealth, the European Union and the Americans can
do," the aide said.

      "The prime minister does not feel that President Mugabe has heard the
message," he added, saying there were no plans at present for a meeting
between Chretien and Mugabe.

      Although Chretien generally takes little interest in foreign affairs,
he has a strong commitment to Africa and persuaded world leaders at a summit
in June to devote more effort to solving the continent's woes.

      Stockwell Day, foreign affairs spokesman for the main opposition
Canadian Alliance party, called on Chretien to crack down on Mugabe.

      "The (Canadian) government's actions to date have done little more
than tap Mugabe on the wrist. Given the magnitude of the crisis that has
been provoked in southern Africa, this is simply inadequate," Day said in a
statement.

      Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from
Britain in 1980. He says his land drive is aimed at correcting colonial
injustices which left 70 percent of the country's best farmland in the hands
of white farmers.

      Aides to British Prime Minister Tony Blair - another major player in
the Commonwealth - said on Sunday he would refuse to let Britain's argument
with Zimbabwe overshadow the summit.

      - Reuter
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FinGaz

      Farmers need $10.5 bln for exit packages

      By MacDonald Dzirutwe
      8/29/02 4:00:17 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S white commercial farmers, battling to continue with farming
in the face of forced evictions by the government, need up to $10.5 billion
to pay exit packages to thousands of farm workers, most of whom have only
lived on farms, it was established this week.

      But the farmers' ability to pay their workers is hamstrung by the
stoppage of farming operations in the past 24 months because of disruptions
caused by militant ruling ZANU PF party loyalists who occupied farms in the
name of land hunger.

      There were however contrasting figures this week on the number of farm
workers who will be hit by the eviction of at least 2 900 white farmers out
of a total of 4 500 in the country.

      The evictions started after August 10 and are continuing.

      The Justice for Agriculture Group (JAG), a splinter union representing
commercial farmers who are challenging the evictions, said 232 000 farm
workers employed by the 2 900 farmers needed to be paid retrenchment
packages before leaving the farms.

      But the General Agriculture Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe
(GAPWUZ), which groups farm workers, said 150 000 members needed exit
packages.

      GAPWUZ secretary-general Clemence Sungai said the 232 000 announced by
JAG included casual workers.

      Sungai said the majority of the 150 000 workers would however receive
between $50 000 and $70 000, which would add up to between $7.5 billion and
$10.5 billion.

      He said the highest retrenchment package paid to any worker to date
was $164 000.

      "It is difficult to say how much each worker is being paid on average
because this depends with the number of years served by each worker but most
are receiving between $50 000 and $70 000," Sungai told the Financial
Gazette.

      According to a bargaining agreement between the Agriculture Labour
Bureau (ALB) and GAPWUZ last year, the lowest paid worker in the agriculture
industry is paid $4 300 a month and the highest paid worker gets $11 550.

      There was no comment this week from the ALB, which represents farmers
in labour issues. ALB chief executive Ewen Rodger was said to be busy and
had not responded to questions sent to him by this newspaper last week.

      The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), the umbrella group for the white
farmers, last December said the commercial farming sector which used to
employ 300 000 workers had a total annual wage bill of $15.1 billion.

      Sungai said farm workers had been sidelined as the farmers and the
government continued to haggle over the issue of compensation. He noted that
the farmers had recourse to legal action but workers could not afford this.

      The 150 000 farm workers, plus their families, make up half a million
people who will become homeless if the evictions stand.

      Sungai said GAPWUZ had approached donors and the union's international
secretariat to address the critical issue of food security for the displaced
workers, most of whom have nowhere to go because many are from neighbouring
countries.

      "We have approached donors and our international secretariat to help
us address the issue of food security for the displaced. But we still
continue to talk to the government so that our members can get land to
address the problem of displacement."

      According to Sungai, about 1 000 workers have been resettled under the
government's controversial land reforms.

      He said so far requests to have land set aside for other affected farm
workers had been snubbed by the government, which argues that farm workers
have to apply for land just like anyone else.

      Sungai said some farm workers had thus migrated into urban centres and
more were expected to join them in the next few weeks.

      "Many workers cannot afford the rent in big cities like Harare and so
what we are seeing is an explosion of squatter camps on the outskirts of the
major cities. This is becoming the only alternative."

      He said GAPWUZ was having weekly meetings with the government to
update it on the number of farmers who were being partially compensated by
the state for their seized land so that his union could make a follow up to
ensure that workers were paid.

      But some farmers say they owe loans to local banks, which makes it
difficult for them to pay their workers unless they get fair compensation
from the government.

      The CFU says only 106 farmers have received partial compensation for
their properties since the fast-track land reforms started in June 2000. The
government has refused to pay for the land but for improvements such as
houses on the farms.

      A senior CFU official said: "While farmers are not against paying
workers retrenchment packages, most of them have to get compensation from
the government to meet such expenditures.

      "It is no secret that a majority of the farms have not been operating
at full capacity due to disruptions by illegal ZANU PF occupiers and this
again has impacted on the farmers' ability to pay retrenchment packages."
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FinGaz


      'War Cabinet' lacks clout to save Zim

      By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
      8/29/02 4:01:11 AM (GMT +2)

      BESIEGED President Robert Mugabe barricaded himself behind loyalists
and radicals in his "war Cabinet" this week but analysts say the ageing
leader has too many battles on too many fronts to win the fight to save his
political life.

      The analysts, surveying Mugabe's Cabinet announced at the weekend,
said growing international pressure, especially after South Africa's
President Thabo Mbeki last week made known he was in favour of tougher
action against Mugabe by the Commonwealth, would eventually wear down the
veteran leader and his so-called 'war council'.

      University of Zimbabwe (UZ) business studies professor Tony Hawkins
said Mugabe's new team was unable to reverse the deepening economic malaise
unless Mugabe reversed his land reforms to win back international aid vital
to resuscitate the crumbling economy.

      In due course, Hawkins warned, popular discontent caused by worsening
economic hardships could explode into a popular uprising against the
78-year-old Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980.

      Regional economic superpower South Africa has been Mugabe's most
critical ally so far, resisting moves by the 54-nation Commonwealth to
impose sanctions against Harare.

      But Mbeki said last week he now agreed with Australian Prime Minister
John Howard, who heads a special Commonwealth committee on Zimbabwe, on the
need to "vigorously address the present state of affairs in Zimbabwe".

      Howard favours the imposition of trade sanctions against Zimbabwe and
its expulsion from the Commonwealth - in the same way Fiji was chucked out
of the club of Britain and its former colonies when the Pacific nation was
plunged into crisis by a military coup two years ago.

      "International pressure is once again mounting against Mugabe and this
time it is not just the European Union (EU) or the United States of America,
but from the Commonwealth as well," said Brian Raftopoulos, an associate
professor at UZ's Institute of Development Studies.

      He added: "By appointing radicals into the Cabinet, Mugabe is sending
a clear message that he is committed to riding out the crisis but he is
treading on increasingly fragile ground at home and internationally."

      He said Mugabe's favourite land reforms were most likely to end in
unprecedented disaster, with even worse food shortages than is the case now.

      Nearly nine million Zimbabweans - more than half the population -
require food aid this year after Mugabe's land reforms and a drought
combined to slash food output by more than 60 percent.

      "Mugabe will be forced to resort to more repression but in the process
will incur more wrath from the international community," Raftopoulos noted.

      The respected analyst spoke as Australia this week stepped up its
criticism of Mugabe, accusing the former socialist guerrilla leader of
conducting ethnic cleansing against white farmers whose land he is seizing
without compensation for redistribution to some blacks.

      Washington's State Department weighed in against Mugabe by dismissing
his war Cabinet as a commitment not to steer Zimbabwe out of its crisis.

      Last week the US said it was working with Mozambique, Botswana and
South Africa on isolating Mugabe but later appeared to backtrack on the
statement after the three African countries denied any involvement.

      Raftopoulus said Mbeki had in the past given mixed messages on
Zimbabwe only because the South African leader did not want to antagonise
some of his pro-Mugabe colleagues in the 14-nation Southern Africa
Development Community.

      He said Commonwealth sanctions would cut off Zimbabwe from the rest of
the world because the country is encircled by mostly Commonwealth members.

      The 15-nation EU, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland have
already imposed targeted financial and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his
top officials for their alleged promotion of violence in Zimbabwe and
stealing a presidential election in March.

      Hawkins said because the newly appointed Cabinet lacked individuals
with enough clout to control Mugabe, Zimbabwe - which already has a fixed
exchange rate and price controls on most goods - would see more Soviet
Union-type command economics.

      "As a result, the decline of the economy can only accelerate," he
said.

      "There will be more shortages of goods, inflation will continue to
rise and so will poverty, unemployment and national debt.

      In short, the economy will collapse and only God knows what happens
after that."
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FinGaz

      Mugabe clears the decks for Mnangagwa

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      8/29/02 4:03:25 AM (GMT +2)

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has appointed nine non-elected ZANU PF
politicians as Cabinet ministers in a reshuffle which cleared the decks for
the takeover as head of state of Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa,
long Mugabe's heir apparent.

      The 27-member Cabinet saw Mugabe loyalists Witness Mangwende and Amos
Midzi being given full ministerial portfolios, bringing the complement of
non-elected ministers to nine from seven previously.

      Other ministers in this category are Vice President Joseph Msika,
Presidential Special Affairs Minister John Nkomo, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo, Justice Minister Patrick Chinama-sa, Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made, Health Minister David Parirenya-twa and Sithembiso Nyoni, who
is in charge of small-scale industries.

      Political analysts this week said Mugabe's upping of the number of
non-elected officials in his Cabinet was tailor-made to consolidate his
power base.

      Masipula Sithole, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ), said the fact that non-elected ministers were at the forefront of the
critical decision-making process both in the government and ZANU PF's
Politburo meant that Mugabe was consolidating his power as well as
allegiance to himself.

      "These non-elected ministers are appointed into Cabinet by Mugabe and
they owe their allegiance to him first and foremost," he said.

      "By having more of these, Mugabe is simply consolidating his political
power base and influence."

      The analysts spoke as ZANU PF insiders said the new Cabinet was
structured in such a way that most of its members would promote Mnanga-gwa's
candidature to take over the leadership of the party and government.

      Sources said most of those in the new Cabinet from Masvingo, the
Midlands, Mashonaland Central and West provinces were linked to Mnangagwa's
camp.

      Mnangagwa, helped by Mugabe to land the Speaker's job after Politburo
members led by retired army chief Solomom Mujuru had opted for Cyril
Ndebele, was conspicuous by his presence at the swearing-in ceremony of the
new Cabinet at State House on Monday.

      The insiders said although Mnangagwa was not a Cabinet member, he was
heavily involved in crucial decisions taken by the government, using his
role as ZANU PF's boss for administration.

      Mnangagwa, long touted as Mugabe's blue-eyed boy and preferred choice
of successor, has in public denied harbouring any presidential ambitions.

      The sources said the departure from the political scene of former
finance minister Simba Makoni, considered a threat to Mnangagwa's ambitions,
had left the Speaker virtually unchallenged in ZANU PF as Mugabe's
successor.

      Makoni had been often mentioned as a possible Mugabe successor and is
understood to have enjoyed the support of Mujuru's powerful camp.

      The insiders said Mnangagwa was now the only ZANU PF veteran among
possible successors left, holding influential positions both in the party
and the state apparatus.

      They said the re-assignment of John Nkomo to take charge of Special
Affairs duties in the President's Office had been a result of hard lobbying
by hawks in ZANU PF, who want a hardliner to be in control of the Ministry
of Home Affairs to crack down on political opponents in the country.

      The purge currently taking place in the upper echelons of the Central
Intelligence Organisation is a also grand plan aimed at promoting
Mnanga-gwa's candidature and in the process neutralise Mujuru's influence
there, they said.

      Apart from Mugabe, Vice President Simon Muzenda also backs Mnangagwa's
candidature. Both see Mnangagwa as their personal assistant and are
confident that their security and lavish lifestyle are secure with him at
the helm.

      Although backed by ZANU PF's two powerful men, Mnangagwa himself has
not been sitting idle in his sleek campaign to position himself for an
eventual takeover.

      A shrewd politician, Mnangagwa has lately been raising his public
profile by addressing rallies and officiating at many important party and
government functions.

      The insiders say Mnangagwa has also been going around the country
holding workshops within the party structures in a move they say is designed
to silently sell his candidature and image.
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FinGaz

      Sanctions hit Mnangagwa

      By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
      8/29/02 3:48:38 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa has abruptly
cancelled an official trip to Switzerland, it was established this week, as
it emerged that the government has frozen trips to Western countries by
officials targeted under smart sanctions slapped on President Robert Mugabe
and his top hierarchy.
      Mnangagwa was supposed to lead a four-member parliamentary delegation
to an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference scheduled for September 23
to 27 in Geneva.

      The IPU talks will attract 147 parliamentary delegations from around
the world.

      Official sources yesterday said Mnangagwa had cancelled the trip,
visas for which were supposed to be approved in Berne, fearing possible
embarrassment on arrival in Switzerland.

      The speaker of Parliament is one of 72 government and ruling ZANU PF
party officials barred from travelling to the 15-nation European Union (EU)
as part of smart sanctions imposed by the economic bloc because of the
government's human rights abuses, attacks on a free Press and bad
governance.

      Switzerland, which is not an EU member, has also imposed similar
individual sanctions to plug potential loopholes. Canada, New Zealand and
the United States have also taken similar measures against Zimbabwe's ruling
elite, which include a freeze on their assets and an arms embargo on the
country.

      The cancellation of Mnangagwa's trip comes barely a month after
another parliamentary delegation comprising ZANU PF women legislators,
including deputy speaker Edna Madzongwe, was denied entry into Sweden to
attend a conference.

      Last month Britain denied entry to ZANU PF's secretary for the
disabled Joshua Malinga, who had tried to fly from London to New York for a
conference.

      Official sources said the government had frozen all official trips to
the West for those on the sanctions list because of fears of further
embarrassment.

      Almost all government ministers, except those appointed in a Cabinet
reshuffle at the weekend, and members of ZANU PF's supreme policy-making
Politburo organ are on the black list.

      "There are virtually no trips being undertaken to Europe now by any
government ministers and politicians on the list," a senior official in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Financial Gazette.

      "There is a freeze on that side because of the current circumstances."

      The sources said senior officials at permanent secretary-level, with
the help of Zimbabwean diplomats abroad, were now undertaking most overseas
trips and handling government business there.

      They said since the sanctions were imposed at the beginning of the
year, not more than 10 trips had been undertaken by government ministers for
the purposes of attending international conferences.

      None of the trips had been for the purpose of attending bilateral
meetings.

      The sources said Mugabe, who has been using United Nations-sponsored
conferences to sneak into Europe and the United States, had not attempted to
travel on official bilateral visits to any EU member states or other Western
countries.

      Although not supposed to affect ordinary Zimbabweans, analysts say
Western smart sanctions have adversely impacted on the country's already
tottering economy, beset by mismanagement, corruption and a recession.

      They say this is because Zimbabwe has been excluded from virtually all
the international community's initiatives supposed to deal with Africa's
grinding poverty and underdevelopment.

      They noted that calls by the international community for the
tightening of the sanctions because of Zimbabwe's deteriorating political
climate and human rights abuses could only compound the country's problems.

      The Zimbabwe government has meanwhile said it is working on
comprehensive retaliatory measures that could include the introduction of
exit and entry visas for both its domestic and foreign foes
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FinGaz

Letter


Time to stand up is now


8/29/02 1:12:06 AM (GMT +2)

EDITOR - Ladies and gentlemen, for how long shall we stand and watch? For
how long shall we endure the pain?

For how long shall we be tortured? And for how long shall we be skinned
alive?

The calls are louder for all to hear: let us now stand up and reclaim what
it ours.

In a few days' time, ladies and gentlemen, we will all have real extended
families. Our cousins, brothers and sisters who have been fending for
themselves doing business with the farming communities will soon join us.

Remember that even if you are in an urban area, you do business with the
farming communities. It is either you work at a farm implements shop, a
seedling company or a tractor firm, but tomorrow you will be on the streets.
Why is this happening to us Zimbabweans?

We all know they all have bank accounts in Asia now. They all are watching
satellite television. They all own farms; they all have access to petrol and
we are left to die because we are being sacrificed.

Sacrificed not because it's our wish, but because they want to stay in power
forever. They want to feed on our sweat forever and they want to continue
turning us against our business partners in life.

Is Muammar Gaddafi black? Is Fidel Castro black? Are all his friends Black?
No! So why should we be told that it is a black-white issue? Why, why, why?

Let's look around ourselves. None but ourselves shall liberate our
motherland. Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia, through the
so-called "quiet diplomacy", are now getting the skills of our farmers onto
their lands.

They all know that no sane leadership can dispense of these skills. These
farming skills are well sought after. Imagine 200 years of farming skills
being emptied into the coffers of other countries in a single bout of
madness.

Is it because since his days are numbered he doesn't care? No one has the
right to be there?

To all the white community, don't despair. They might throw you into jails,
they might beat you up, but remember one thing: the masses of Zimbabwe need
you.

We all need you. You are one of us. You belong with us. Find temporary
shelter within urban
centres, but we want you back on the farms; we want you to share your
experience with your black brothers in a logical set-up where there is rule
of law.

To Mugabe, Patrick Chinamasa, Jonathan Moyo and Joseph Made, remember what
quiet diplomacy from your African brothers means: chase the farming skills
and we get them. After
that we the Zimbabwean populace are reduced to beggars. We beg for jobs in
South Africa, Botswana and now Angola. They spit on us, they tell us to go
back and farm.

Now is the time - we have to stand and reclaim what is ours, ours and ours.


Tichatonga Zvedu,

Harare.
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FinGaz

      The project requires national consensus, Your Excellency

      Masipula Sithole
      8/29/02 1:02:57 AM (GMT +2)

      I DON'T mean the project to evict white farmers from their farms. I
mean the project to defy the international community.

      This should be the first task of the so-called "war Cabinet" announced
by the President last weekend: its first order of business should be to
create a national consensus on the objectives and strategy of the "war"
against the international community.

      Even if the project had been to evict the white farmers from their
farms, it would still have been prudent to have first created a national
consensus on how to approach the land reform issue.

      That would have minimised the present polarisation, not only on racial
lines but - and more importantly - on party and even family lines, right
across the country. We have been polarised since 2000, except that the
situation has moved from bad to worse.

      What many had delightfully thought was a "Cabinet of technocrats"
announced by the President after the June 2000 parliamentary elections was
in fact dominated by "hawks" who have finally triumphed in the "war Cabinet"
announced last weekend. If this "war Cabinet" does not quickly stop and
reflect, it will lead us to catastrophic disaster.

      In fact, the country needs a "peace Cabinet"; the "hawks" should
quickly turn into "doves". The country needs consensus-builders not
polarisers.

      We need a national consensus if we are going to engage the
international community in an adversarial stance, as we seem to be doing.
Even so, are we sure we can win the battle, let alone the war?

      Ian Smith had the requisite national consensus of at least his white
constituency. But he later failed and blamed it on the "great betrayal" by
Britain and the international community.

      But it is this national consensus which sustained the Smith regime for
15 years. Lack of it in our circumstances won't take us very far, starting,
as we do, from an economy near collapse.

      Moreover, it is doubtful whether there is consensus among ZANU PF
supporters on this project. The Cabinet reshuffle partially speaks to this
point. What is worse, not too many of our people believe we can go it alone.
Ask around.

      Not only do we need a national consensus for this project, but also we
need a regional approach and strategy. We need regional consensus. Many in
the region don't agree with the way we have carried out the land reforms.

      Moreover, they know we are deeply divided and polarised. This is why
some in the region and beyond wanted to assist us to "talk" to each other.
In our typical arrogance, we rebuked them.

      We cannot continue this way. Let us stop and reflect and do the right
thing while we can.

      As it is, we face expulsion from the Commonwealth in March next year,
if not before this year is over. So far we have dismally failed to fulfil
the conditions for the lifting of our suspension from the Commonwealth. Next
is the likely suspension from the Southern Africa Development Community, and
probably the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa as well.

      As we speak, we are the showcase for the New Partnership for Africa's
Development's success; as such we may be "peer-reviewed" out of the African
Union if we continue behaving out of step with the international community.
If human rights conditions deteriorate and the violation of international
law begins to be cited as in the case of Yugoslavia's Slobodan Milosevic, we
even risk being suspended from the United Nations.

      Maybe it does not matter, since we are an "independent" and
"sovereign" state.

      I have not even talked about the possibility of mandatory economic
sanctions against us by our neighbours and the international community. It
is nave to think our neighbours will never impose economic sanctions
against us; hence the wisdom of consulting them before our actions.

      Likewise, military action against us is an option, particularly when
we start talking of and setting up "war Cabinets", be it figuratively.

      Our neighbours could respond by setting up "war Cabinets" of their
own. Given tense borders, this could cease being a figure of speech.

      Common sense should tell us we couldn't win against these odds, even
if we may be right and our military is the most experienced in the region.
As it is, we have no choice but to cooperate with the international
community and cut our losses while we can. The situation will continue to
get worse.

      Governance should be about creating national consensus. Yet our
government, at least for the past three years running, has been combative
and confrontational with its citizenry and with the international community.
The ZANU PF regime has behaved in the manner of a liberation movement
instead of a governing party.

      Governing is about building national consensus. The question is: can
ZANU PF make this transition?

      Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
Institute.
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FinGaz

      Government arrears on IMF debt rise to US$134 million

      Staff Reporter
      8/29/02 1:32:33 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S outstanding commitments to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) have risen to more than US$134 million in the past two months, with
the government paying only US$3.15 million or 0.37 percent of budgeted
interest payments.

      Figures released by the IMF this week reveal that Zimbabwe's
outstanding commitments to the Bretton Woods institution stood at 102.1
special drawing rights (SDRs) at the end of July.

      An SDR is an artificial currency unit made up of a basket of national
currencies used by the IMF and other international bodies in transactions
with their members.

      It is an international reserve asset also used as the unit of account
by several other international organisations, including the World Bank.

      Zimbabwe was suspended from receiving IMF technical assistance in June
after failing to meet arrears on its debt to the Fund, which then stood at
US$132 million.

      The Ministry of Finance this week conceded that it had failed to pay
interest on its external debt during the first five months of this year due
to an acute shortage of foreign currency.

      "Only $173.4 million or about one percent was paid against a target of
$46 billion," the ministry said in its latest Treasury Bulletin.

      Total interest on both the domestic and external debt paid between
January and May 2002 was $22.4 billion against a target of $46 billion,
which resulted in "savings" of more than $23 billion.

      Zimbabwe has since 1999 skipped payments on its foreign commercial and
concessional loan payments because of an acute shortage of foreign currency.

      The first time was in April 1999 when the cash-strapped government
missed payments on a loan from the World Bank, a development that blocked
the release of funds from other key backers of the country's stalled
economic reforms.

      The external debt repayments have been affected by the erratic inflows
of hard cash, which are presently estimated at about US$50 million a month,
well below the country's normal monthly requirements of about US$200
million.

      Former finance minister Simba Makoni had early last year indicated
that the government had set aside almost US$500 million for servicing its
total external commitments although analysts had at the time dismissed the
target as optimistic because of the country's deteriorating economic
fundamentals.

      The Zimbabwean authorities owe more than US$4.5 billion to several
multilateral institutions and Western countries.

      These include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the
African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the United States of
America, Britain, France and Germany.

      The defaults on the external loan commitments have cost Zimbabwe
crucial economic aid worth millions of American dollars, triggering a
crippling balance-of-payments crisis and severe shortages of fuel and other
essential commodities.
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FinGaz

      It's Mugabe who needs to be reshuffled

      Sydney Masamvu
      8/29/02 1:18:15 AM (GMT +2)

      SINCE Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, President Robert Mugabe has
made countless reshuffles, all purportedly to improve the fortunes of the
country.

      And yet in all the past 22 years, we have seen more or less the same
leaders from the ruling ZANU PF party holding different portfolios in the
government.

      Every time there has been a reshuffle, Mugabe has been quick to point
out that he has assembled an action-oriented and result-driven team to push
Zimbabwe to prosperity.

      The state of the economy in the year 2002 reveals that the men
mandated to take the stewardship of the economy especially have all failed
to achieve this goal.

      Enos Nkala, the late Bernard Chidzero, Ariston Chambati, Herbert
Murerwa and Simba Makoni have failed to deliver.

      This brings out the real question which begs an honest answer: who and
what is the problem in Zimbabwe?

      I personally believe without any doubt that Mugabe is the chief
problem of Zimbabwe. Any sane human being would agree with me that none but
Mugabe is the source of all our problems.

      We need to look no further than Mugabe or beyond Zimbabwe's borders to
get to know why we are failing as a country or to find scapegoats. We need
not look for saboteurs in Europe because the real saboteurs are here in
Zimbabwe.

      Zimbabwe's problems centre on sound leadership. The problem is Mugabe
because he is at the core of the leadership issues.

      The problem is certainly not Makoni, not the devaluation of the local
dollar, not the land, not Britain, not Tony Blair, not America nor George
Bush, not the EU, not the MDC, not Morgan Tsvangirai and not the private
media which is only doing its job and an honest job at that, given all the
state's impediments to stifle us.

      It's the leadership stupid!

      No amount of reshuffles without addressing the issue of Mugabe being
at the helm of the country will get Zimbabwe back on its feet.

      We can even have reshuffles on a daily basis but as long as they skirt
the issue of Mugabe continuing to be in charge, then this is an exercise in
futility.

      Any day longer that Mugabe spends presiding over the affairs of the
state means that the more we are sinking as a country.

      I have said this before and I will repeat it: this country has the
capacity to at least get back to some form of normalcy and start afresh with
anyone at the helm but Mugabe.

      Mugabe has caused the problems that we face and has compounded them
each day he has remained in office, hence the mess that our country has
become in just 22 years.

      The bottom line is that the policies of this country evolve around one
man, Mugabe, no matter how unworkable they are.

      What he thinks and feels has to be implemented, no matter how
impossible.

      Nothing drives the point home that Mugabe has run out of ideas than
his recall of Herbert Murerwa to head the Finance Ministry from which the
minister had been booted out barely two years ago.

      At the Industry and International Trade Ministry, where Murerwa was in
charge before his weekend promotion, nothing of any use to the nation was
ever done but the imposition of price controls on essential goods which are
now in short supply.

      You wonder what has now changed which will make Murerwa deliver. If
anything, the conditions on the ground for bringing about results as finance
minister have worsened than when he failed in the same capacity years back.

      Does anyone remember what Mugabe himself once said about Murerwa while
on a visit to Botswana? Mugabe said Murerwa was running his ministry like a
funeral parlour.

      I just hope that two years down the line, Murerwa has bounced back to
run his ministry as a maternity home. We wait with bated breath for results.

      What Mugabe actually did this weekend was assembling a team of clowns
for the ultimate circus to take place.

      It was an exercise of assembling more stooges, more puppets and more
boot-lickers, never mind the statement that it is a war Cabinet, whatever
war he is fighting and against who.

      Mugabe should have spared us the faked "dissolution" of the Cabinet by
simply firing Makoni, for essentially that was the purpose of the entire
exercise.

      When failed politicians such as Witness Mangwende are dragged back
from the political wilderness of the past seven years, you should know that
Mugabe has indeed run out of ideas or credible individuals to steer this
country out of collapse.

      As for others who were appointed and re-assigned, it is a sheer waste
of time and public money to have them. In fact, it is nonsensical even to
acknowledge them. They are mere stooges and jay walkers in ZANU PF, that's
all.

      Mangwende's bungling and blundering at Foreign Affairs in
post-independent Zimbabwe, in Agriculture during the 1992 drought and in
Sport during his visit to Cameroun are well documented issues - even in
pubs.

      I hope that this time round he has sobered up, which no doubt will be
helped by the fact that there will be no more foreign or European trips,
thanks to the Western sanctions on the country's leadership.

      But if you honestly believe that Mangwende can deliver anything to
ease the crisis, as Mugabe thinks, then you can believe that Joseph
Chinotimba will be the next head of state of Zimbabwe.

      In short, as long as the principal cause of the crisis remains
unshuffled - that is Mugabe - then Zimbabwe's circus will continue and only
worsen.
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MSNBC
 
Britain's Short says Mugabe policy ''unforgivable''



LONDON, Aug. 28 Britain's development minister Clare Short said on Wednesday the world must do all it could to help Zimbabweans facing catastrophic famine caused by the ''gross and unforgivable'' policies of President Robert Mugabe. 

       But she said the crisis in Zimbabwe could not be allowed to derail a summit in neighbouring South Africa which aims to set a course for sustainable global development.
       ''You cannot let each international U.N. meeting be hijacked by the latest crisis in the world, or the country that is most grossly misbehaving,'' Short told Reuters in an interview.
       ''We must all do all we can to help the Zimbabwean people and what Mugabe has done to his country is gross and unforgivable. But to let that hijack a crucial international conference would be wrong,'' she said.
       Zimbabwe is plunging into ever deeper chaos as Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, presses ahead with a plan to force 2,900 of the remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation.
       An estimated six million people face starvation over the next six months as drought, mismanagement and political turmoil slash food output in a country which was once the breadbasket of the region.
       The crisis prompted Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien to call this week for discussions with international partners about the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe when he attends the Johannesburg summit next week.
       But Short reiterated Britain's insistence that delegates in South Africa should focus their efforts on the wider picture.
       ''Hijacking a conference on sustainable development for future generations would be an error. It wouldn't do anything for Zimbabwe and would throw away something else.''
       British Prime Minister Tony Blair has come under pressure from political opponents to take a stand in Johannesburg by refusing to share a platform with Mugabe and pressing African leaders to get tough with Zimbabwe.
       Short said the world had little chance of influencing the veteran leader.
       ''We will continue to use every forum to try to get progress. But the situation is that President Mugabe doesn't listen to anyone including his neighbours,'' she said.
       Mugabe has said the land reforms are designed to correct nearly a century of colonial injustice that left 70 percent of the best farmland in the hands of white farmers.
       Opponents in Zimbabwe and abroad allege that the best farms are being given to Mugabe's friends and allies, including his wife Grace, and not to landless peasants.
       ''It could all end in a catastrophic famine. That's the way it's pointing,'' Short said.
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