The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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FinGaz

Comment

Food aid prolongs nation's suffering


8/1/02 8:28:38 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWEANS, many of whom are threatened with starvation, are
undoubtedly grateful for the food aid that is being given to them by several
foreign governments.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the aid is perpetuating and
prolonging the wider suffering of Zimbabweans by giving them a false sense
of food security when they should be seriously confronting the causes of
their starvation in a rich farming land.

As long as the food handouts continue to come in, many in Zimbabwe and
especially the government will not bother to examine why the country has
sunk to this pathetic level, let alone to take corrective action.

The government's defiant seizure of productive commercial farms and
the occupation of most of the farms by its supporters have been the main
catalysts of the famine, pushing down output of the staple maize by as much
as 60 percent last season.

No doubt, the drought which hit southern Africa only worsened the
situation.

But let no one shy away from the undeniable fact that it is the
government's own actions, more than anything else, which have triggered the
current suffering of its own citizens.

It follows therefore that the government and it alone must take action
to correct its irresponsible policies which have caused the famine if the
man-made tragedy is to be avoided in future.

Left to its own devices and with the foreign food aid coming in, the
government is predictably behaving as if it is business as usual and is even
refusing to acknowledge its role in the country's worst humanitarian
disaster.

For Zimbabweans, the food aid gives them false comfort that all is
well, shielding them from the harsh reality that they must take their
destiny into their hands in the face of an administration that seems
determined to do everything and anything that can make their lives as
unbearable as is possible.

Some commentators are rightly arguing that, unfortunate as this might
be, a cessation of foreign food aid would not only allow Zimbabweans to
appreciate their deep-seated suffering but also ensure that the government
takes responsibility for its actions.

In other words, the government must sort out its mess without any
foreign food aid and Zimbabweans must hold the administration fully
accountable for their misery.

But the issue of food aid, aside from promoting an unsustainable
culture of dependency, goes far deeper than this in crisis-weary Zimbabwe.

Plausible media reports continue to filter out from the countryside
that some elements of the ruling ZANU PF party, on top of disrupting farming
in many parts of Zimbabwe and causing the current hunger, are now using food
aid as a political weapon.

These elements are denying food aid to those they suspect to be
opposition members, clearly one of the worst human rights abuses and a
serious challenge to the conscience of those foreign governments whose
taxpayers' money has been used to buy the food.

Although the government denies using food aid as a political tool, one
ZANU PF official was quoted in the media two weeks ago as telling villagers
in Matabeleland that those who continued to vote for the opposition should
not run to the government in search of food relief because they were
supporting the country's enemies.

Surely the government, however much it may hate the fact that the MDC
is a reality, must take care of the interests of all Zimbabweans and not
just those of its supporters.

The food aid - this includes that bought by the government using
hard-earned taxpayers' funds - must be given to all who need it without any
discrimination whatsoever.

Otherwise Zimbabweans will feel justified in refusing to pay taxes
from which the food aid money is siphoned if the food is only meant for ZANU
PF members. There can be no two ways about this.
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FinGaz

Govt makes U-turn on GMO food aid

Staff Reporter
8/1/02 9:16:21 AM (GMT +2)

THE government this week backtracked on its decision to reject
genetically modified organism (GMO) food in the face of mass hunger,
agreeing to take in 20 000 tonnes of maize donated by the US after being
told the food would be diverted elsewhere, aid agency sources said.

The sources said the government had initially wanted the 18 000 tonnes
of maize and 2 000 tonnes of other nutritious foods certified GMO-free but
Washington had rejected the request and said the food would be shipped to
other countries willing to accept it.

Michael Foster, the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) programme officer in Harare, yesterday said Social Welfare Minister
July Moyo had this week undertook in writing to accept the food without any
certification that it was free of GMO.

"We had a meeting on Tuesday with officials from the Labour and Social
Welfare Ministry and we got a letter from the permanent secretary of that
ministry signed by Moyo saying the government will take the food," Foster
told the Financial Gazette.

He would not confirm whether Harare had accepted the food at the last
minute and only after US threats that the food would be given to other
countries.

But he pointed out: "It is clear that any food that the Zimbabwe
government does not take will be given to others needing it."

Foster said it was still unclear whether Harare's acceptance of the
USAID food donations signalled a permanent shift of policy on GMO foods.

Moyo could not be reached for comment.

The government this week also appeared to be shifting on yet another
earlier decision on food by allowing selected private companies to trade in
maize.

The official Herald newspaper yesterday reported that the Agriculture
Ministry had relaxed the monopoly of the state-owned Grain Marketing Board
and allowed selected private companies to buy maize and wheat directly from
farmers.

Previously only the GMB was permitted to buy or sell the two
commodities.

Harare has on numerous occasions in the past said it will not accept
food aid if it is GMO-produced, saying this could in future hamper the
production of natural crops.

The US, one of the world's biggest producers of grains, does not
differentiate between GMO and non-GMO grain and the 20 000 tonnes of food
given to Zimbabwe almost certainly includes GMO grain as well.

Zimbabwe earlier this year rejected 10 000 of USAID maize because it
had not been certified GMO-free.

Once the bread basket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe is the epicentre of
a worsening food crisis affecting much of the region and requires more than
500 000 tonnes of food aid to feed half of its 12 million people this year.

The government blames the poor rains for the food shortages but food
experts say the government's chaotic and often violent land reforms are
largely to blame for the 60 percent drop in food production this year.

USAID's assistant administrator in Washington Roger Winter last week
warned that Zimbabwe, also battling its worst economic crisis, could have a
famine on its hands by next month if it continues to dither on whether to
accept GMO food.
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FinGaz

Shock passport fee hike planned

Staff Reporter
8/1/02 9:19:21 AM (GMT +2)

THE Registrar-General's Office plans to increase passport fees from
$600 to $5 000 starting this month because of what officials say are soaring
production costs.

The officials said this week passports were heavily subsidised by the
state and the passport office wanted applicants to meet the full costs of
producing them.

"The fees for a single passport will definitely go up any time this
month to $5 000 from the current $600 fee," one official told the Financial
Gazette.

"We want to recover the full cost of producing a passport from the
applicant, as is being done by other countries. You can subsidise birth
certificates and identity cards but travelling is voluntary and so it should
follow that applicants should meet the full cost," the official said.

The officials defended the planned increase in the cost of passports,
saying the cost of stationery for producing the travel documents had risen
sharply and, at any rate, the passports were valid for 10 years.

The Registrar-General's Office last November suspended the issuing of
emergency passports because of what it said was a dramatic increase in the
number of applicants.

The planned hike in the fees comes amid persistent reports of a scam
allegedly involving passport officers who process travel documents for
desperate individuals intending to travel abroad on emergency medical,
educational and business trips.

Sources charge that desperate individuals fork out as much as $40 000
for a passport to be processed within two days.

Although details were still sketchy this week, there were allegations
that hundreds of individuals could have parted with large amounts of money
in order to be quickly issued with a passport, which normally takes six
months to be processed.

A senior official at the Registrar-General's Office said: "There have
been such reports and we are closely monitoring the situation. But it will
not be easy to identify such activities if members of the public are willing
participants.

"In such situations, you always get desperate applicants and there are
some people willing to provide a service at a higher cost, illegally as it
might be, although we do not encourage it."

Before last year's suspension of the issuing of emergency passports,
the passport office was inundated by applications from scores of Zimbabweans
who were fleeing political violence while others were leaving in search of
better working conditions.

When the Financial Gazette visited the passport offices in Harare this
week, there was uncertainty on the planned fee hike, with some officials
saying they were still to be informed of it.

Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede could not be reached for comment.
Officials said he was recuperating from a bout of flu at home.

The Times


August 02, 2002

Mugabe threatens to seize passports of opponents
From Jan Raath in Harare



PRESIDENT MUGABE is threatening to withdraw the passports of
Zimbabwe's political opposition leaders and introduce visa restrictions in
retaliation for economic and travel sanctions imposed on his regime by the
West.
In an interview with the independent Financial Gazette, John
Nkomo, the Home Affairs Minister, said that "people within Zimbabwe who have
campaigned for sanctions" could lose their passports, while foreigners would
be subjected to visa restrictions. Passports were "a privilege which could
be taken away at any time".

The Government needed first to "deal with internal saboteurs"
before considering action against Western governments which imposed
sanctions, the minister said. The restrictions on the movements of Mr Mugabe
's opponents were among "a range of measures" being considered.

The Government has already adopted citizenship laws enabling it
to deny Zimbabwean passports to anyone suspected of having a potential claim
to another nationality. Aimed at disenfranchising 40,000 white people of
British descent, the measures may also affect more than a million black
people with links to other African nations. The laws have been successfully
challenged in the High Court, but the Government plans to appeal in the
Supreme Court.

Mr Nkomo named only the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
but observers said that the country's large and vociferous pro-democracy
movement of trade union, church and civil rights organisations were
vulnerable.

The Government blames its opponents at home for sanctions
imposed after international observers said that elections returning Mr
Mugabe to power had been rigged.

The United States and the European Union banned senior Zimbabwe
officials from visiting their countries and made their assets liable to
confiscation. Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland followed suit.

However, the regime appears to have been most stung by the EU's
addition last month of 52 names, including Mr Mugabe's wife, Grace, 38, to
its original list of 20.

Since then, a wheelchair-bound junior Zanu (PF) party member has
been sent home after he arrived at Gatwick airport en route to a conference
for the disabled in New York, and this week Sweden said it had refused visas
for four senior women Zanu (PF) MPs.

Mr Mugabe's penchant for international travel has been seriously
cramped and his wife's shopping trips strictly curtailed, but this week he
flew to Malaysia, where he was welcomed by Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime
Minister, only six days after returning from a trip to Cuba.

Welshman Ncube, the MDC's secretary-general, said that the
Government's planned restrictions were "illegal and unconstitutional".

"Every Zimbabwean has a constitutional right to freedom of
movement, which means freedom to enter and exit Zimbabwe. The courts have
repeatedly held a passport to be a right and not a privilege."

Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional
Association, which is campaigning for a new democratic constitution, said
that the Government could carry out its restrictions on people's movements
only if it defied the constitution. The MDC's 56 MPs in the 120-seat
Parliament constituted a blocking vote to the two-thirds majority needed to
amend the constitution. Last week Mr Mugabe said that the Government would
obey court rulings only if the Government considered them "objective".

In December last year one of Mr Mugabe's brothers-in-law, who is
the head of the state-owned power utility, sent technicians to cut off the
domestic power supply to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, after he had
urged South Africa to stop supplying power to Zimbabwe.
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FinGaz

Bread shortage hits Mat


8/1/02 9:36:54 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - Several bakeries and retailers across Matabeleland were
without bread yesterday and most of them blamed the shortages of the staple
on what they said were erratic supplies of flour by millers.

At several bread outlets in Bulawayo visited by the Financial Gazette,
long queues of people waiting for bread could be seen.

In Bulawayo's Pumula high-density suburb, some residents told this
newspaper bread had been in short supply for the past week. War veterans in
the suburb had by yesterday taken over the control of people queuing for
bread.

"Last week we managed to get some bread from our local baker but today
he told us that he has no flour so we have to do without bread," said Julia
Ngozo at Pumula Old shopping centre.

In Victoria Falls, Lupane, Gwanda and Beitbridge, several retailers
contacted by phone said they had little or no stocks of bread.

National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe chairman Armitage Chikwavira
professed ignorance on the bread shortage in the country's southern region,
saying he needed to investigate before making comments on the matter.

An official at a leading bakery, Bakers Inn, who spoke on condition he
was not named, said: "There are erratic supplies of flour countrywide.
Consumers are also now substituting meal-mealie with bread, hence this
shortage. Demand for bread is far outstripping supply." - Staff Reporter
FinGaz

Millers seek 25% flour price hike

Staff Reporter
8/1/02 9:16:54 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S millers have applied to the government to be allowed to
increase the price of flour by up to 25 percent to restore viability because
of rising production costs and the negative effects of price controls to the
industry, it was learnt this week.

If the government agrees to the demand, the increase will also put
pressure on bakers to increase the price of bread, one of the staple foods
which together with mealie-meal is increasingly in short supply.

Officials in the milling industry said millers, who now receive 6 000
tonnes of wheat a week from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) instead of the
previous allocation of 7 800 tonnes, were importing gristling wheat using
the more expensive parallel market foreign exchange rates while output costs
had also soared.

Gristling wheat is blended with local wheat to give a higher protein
content.

The request by millers follows a similar demand by bakers last month
to have the government increase the price of bread by up to 30 percent but
the government is yet to consider that application.

Industry and International Trade Ministry's permanent secretary Stuart
Comberbach yesterday confirmed that the millers had applied to his ministry
seeking an increase in the price of flour but could not give any details.

He also said the application by bakers was still being considered.

"Yes, we have the application from the millers that the price of flour
should be increased," Comberbach told the Financial Gazette. "There is also
an application that the price of bread should be increased.

"What I can say is that the applications are being processed in the
normal way."

Comberbach however said if there was to be any upward review of the
price of flour, the millers would have to considerate that although the
government had increased the producer price of wheat, this was only for the
crop that will be harvested this year.

The government last week increased the producer price of wheat from
$25 000 to $40 000 a tonne but is selling wheat at the old price.

"One has to look at the increases in the context that there is no
increase in the price of wheat which the GMB is selling to millers now,"
Comberbach said.

Bulawayo baker Eddie Cross said the government should act on the
application by the bakeries because the prices of fats, oils, sugar, yeast -
all used in producing bread - had gone up, including distribution costs as
well.

If the bakers' request is granted, it will raise the price of a
standard loaf of bread to about $78 from the present $60, which has been in
effect since April.

"The producer price is below the cost of production and an application
has been made to Trade Minister Hebert Murerwa who is supposed to take it to
Cabinet," Cross said.

Bakers last month met Comberbach and his agriculture counterpart Ngoni
Masoka over their pleas to have an additional 50 000 tonnes of wheat
imported urgently to avert serious bread shortages.

The state-run GMB is rationing wheat amid fears that Zimbabwe could
run out of the product by next month because supplies are dwindling fast.

Zimbabwe consumes 400 000 tonnes of wheat annually. Only about 150 000
tonnes of the commodity are expected to be produced this winter season, down
from about 360 000 tonnes in 2001.

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Reuters

01 Aug 2002
Zimbabwe's food crisis: what went wrong
By Mercedes Sayagues
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Zimbabwean children on their way home from school collect maize that
has fallen from trucks.
Photo by HOWARD BURDITT
PRETORIA (AlertNet) - On average, large-scale drought hits southern Africa
once a decade. In 1992, the worst drought in living memory as it was called,
parched the land from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

The region had to import 5.9 million tons of food to feed between 18 and 20
million people in 11 countries.

After a 75 percent crop loss, Zimbabwe, usually a grain exporter, had to
import 2.5 tonnes of maize. It coped. The government reacted early. It had
surplus maize from previous years, foreign exchange to import food, an
efficient relief program in place and goodwill from donors. A well-planned
relief operation averted a famine.

This year, after unseasonally heavy rain, a long dry spell again shrivelled
the maize crop in Zimbabwe. Half of the population of 13 million needs food
aid. Cereal import requirements are 1.8 million tonnes.

Food supply and food access are worse now than in 1992, according to a
report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Yet, unlike 1992, reservoirs are full of water and there is plenty of
grazing for cattle. Why are things worse? Ten years ago, a drought induced
by the El Nino weather phenomenon caused the crisis.

"It was strictly a natural disaster," says Judith Lewis, regional director
for the World Food Programme (WFP).

Today, a combination of bad governance, economic crisis, widespread poverty
and the spread of HIV/AIDS add man-made elements to a natural disaster.

Early warning leading to action can stop a shortage from turning into a
famine. In spite of many forecasts of looming crisis, Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made denied it until the presidential elections were over in March.

"This food shortage is the accumulation of three years of economic
mismanagement," Zimbabwean economist John Robertson told AlertNet by
telephone from Harare.

FASTEST SHRINKING ECONOMY

According to the Work Bank and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP),
Zimbabwe is the world's fastest shrinking economy, declining at a rate of
minus 10 percent last year.

Poverty rates have doubled since 1992. By the UNDP yardstick, seven out of
10 Zimbabweans are defined as poor -- i.e. earning one dollar per day -- and
four of these live in abject poverty, earning less than a dollar per day.

One-third of jobs have been lost since 2000, says Finance Minister Simba
Makoni. People's coping mechanisms are stretched to the limit. These include
going to live with relatives, taking children out of school and sending them
to work -- for example panning for gold or begging -- eating one meal a day
instead of two, having more than one job, looking for food in the bush
because you there is none to buy.

In the past decade, HIV/AIDS rates have soared to nearly 34 percent, or one
in three adults, according to the Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

As productive adults fall ill and die, orphan- and grandmother-headed
households multiply. The U.N. Children's Fund UNICEF estimates that one
million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Oxfam says local health services are almost collapsing.

The second casualty is commercial agriculture. Since President Robert Mugabe
began a controversial and violent land redistribution programme two years
ago, the amount of land planted and crops harvested by commercial farmers
has decreased every year.

According to a WFP food supply assessment mission in May, cereal production
has fallen by two-thirds since 1999.

U.N. agencies and Oxfam say production of crops that earn foreign exchange,
such as soybeans, cotton and tobacco, also declined.

This year's wheat crop is threatened by the eviction of the bulk of white
commercial farmers under Mugabe's land redistribution programme, who must
leave by 10 August to make way for landless blacks, before the harvest. One
million farm workers and their families have lost their jobs and homes.

NO CARRYOVER STOCKS

The collapse of agriculture means that, unlike 10 years ago, the country has
no carryover maize stocks to cushion the drought's impact. The government's
ability to import food is extremely low. FAO estimates foreign exchange
reserves to be just U.S.$65 million, enough to cover only half a month's
imports.

A three-year-long foreign exchange crisis has been made worse by an
overvalued currency and a drain of U.S.$1 million a day to pay for
Zimbabwe's military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where
thousands of its troops are supporting the government of President Joseph
Kabila against rebels backed by Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The main foreign exchange earners -- tourism, agricultural and gold
exports -- are severely crippled.

What little foreign exchange is earned must pay for fuel and electricity
imports, foreign debt servicing, and now maize.

Because of its low foreign exchange reserves, the government is unable to
import all that is needed.

The shortfall must be met, says the FAO, by a combination of food aid and
commercial sector imports -- up to one-third by the latter.

The government will not lift the monopoly of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
on cereal imports and movements. Nor will it lift price controls so that
imported maize can be sold at realistic prices.

Donors and NGOs have pleaded for private commercial imports. These were key
in the relief effort 10 years ago. In three meetings with Mugabe in Durban
in July, James Morris, executive director of the WFP, failed to persuade
him.

The private sector remains blocked, although two foreign NGOs were to import
small quantities in July for free distribution.

People can obtain maize in three ways. Two of these -- food-for-work schemes
and buying at low prices from GMB depots -- are run by the ruling party and
open to abuse. "One can clearly see in government's food distribution an
unfair, unlawful, systematic process of punishing people and regions, like
Matabeleland, for supporting the opposition," says lawyer Tawanda Hondora,
who chairs the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

In a report, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a U.S.-based human rights
watchdog, refers to "the political manipulation of hunger in some areas to
exclude those labelled as supporters" of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Some children were denied free school meals because
their parents supported the MDC.

The third way to obtain food is donor-led feeding schemes and food
distribution. This is where, according to PHR, donors can make a difference
through a firm policy of "food for everybody or food for nobody."

In late March and again in May, donors solved several cases where needy
people were denied food because of their political affiliation.

As the WFP prepares for massive food distribution, Morris conveyed to Mugabe
that the agency would not tolerate political interference and Mugabe gave
him his word that food aid would not be politicised.

The potential for abuse lies in registration. War veterans, youth militia,
councillors, headmasters, businessmen and chiefs can manipulate lists to
benefit supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party and exclude others.

The only good news is that the transport and storage network can cope.
Trucks are old and turnaround slow, but they work. There has been
maintenance, although no investment in expanding the road and rail networks.

Thanks to a deal with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, critical fuel shortages
of the past two years have ended.

Harare Firm Clinches Angola Poultry Deal



Financial Gazette (Harare)

August 1, 2002
Posted to the web August 1, 2002

Staff Reporter


A ZIMBABWEAN company has clinched a deal to export poultry products to
Angola worth US$100 million a year which officials say could open doors for
other Zimbabwean firms to penetrate Angola's vast market.

A spokesman for Hummingbird Enterprises said the Harare-based firm last week
signed a contract with a group of Angolan businesses to export frozen
chicken, eggs and poultry feeds to Angola.

Hummingbird marketing executive Jeremiah Jenami said the deal would see the
Zimbabwean firm exporting more than 22 tonnes of poultry a week and earning
the country up to US$100 million a year.

"Our strategy is to set up a plant in Angola within the next three months
from which we will be able to supply that market and beyond," Jenami said
this week.

Angola is still smarting from more than 25 years of civil strife which
destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and manufacturing base.

"The Angolans buy more than 90 percent of their food requirements and it is
our plan to explore the many opportunities offered by that market," Jenani
told the Financial Gazette.

Hummingbird is a Zimbabwean-based international firm which exports poultry
products to Africa on behalf of Irvine's Day Old Chicks Zimbabwe and
National Chicks of South Africa.

Jenami however bemoaned the absence of adequate and reliable transport
facilities between Zimbabwe and Angola.

He said the firm would stop exporting eggs and poultry products once the
proposed factory is opened in Angola. Hummingbird would however continue to
supply animal feeds from Zimbabwe.

Trade between Zimbabwe and Angola has been low over the years, with exports
from Harare declining from US$3.4 million in 2000 to US$500 000 last year.
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FinGaz

New ZIANA project in tatters


8/1/02 9:18:32 AM (GMT +2)

INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo's dream of creating an
all-conquering propaganda machine for the governing ZANU PF party from the
ashes of the government's news agency this week lay in tatters after he
failed to secure about $1 billion needed to finance the so-called New ZIANA.

Sources said Moyo had hoped the government would release the $1
billion from the $52 billion in extra expenditure sought by Finance Minister
Simba Makoni last week when he presented his supplementary Budget proposals
to Parliament.

In his speech, Makoni never mentioned the need to inject capital into
Moyo's pet project which involves the launch of a new television station, a
24-hour radio station, eight provincial weeklies and a new agricultural
newspaper to be called The New Farmer.

Instead Makoni, who secured the $52 billion which he said would partly
be funded from reserves out of this year's Budget, allocated money to his
own ministry, newly resettled farmers, the drought relief scheme and to
tobacco growers.

Financial problems have dogged Moyo's New ZIANA which he launched last
year and is meant to be constructed from the ashes of the old Zimbabwe
Inter-Africa News Agency (ZIANA), a moribund government news agency that was
crippled by bad management and lack of resources.

Vimbai Chivaura, a ZANU PF academic appointed to head the New ZIANA in
June, this week left the organisation in a huff after clashing with the
board over his remuneration.

He was the second senior official of the company to resign within
weeks of being appointed after its first head of the publishing unit, Bright
Matonga, left to join the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company, the
government-owned bus company.

"Chivaura was generally disillusioned by the way the board was
handling a lot of issues," a senior member of the organisation told the
Financial Gazette.

Besides the salary wrangle, the official said, Chivaura was annoyed
that the board was taking too long to address issues, including the low
morale at ZIANA and at The Times, the group's flagship weekly based in the
Midlands, because of poor salaries.

Workers at the Gweru-based Times are on strike over salary demands
while those at ZIANA claim that they have not received the 55 percent salary
increment promised by the board in January.

CIMAS, one of Zimbabwe's largest medical aid societies, has also
struck off the news agency's workers from its register because management
has failed to remit their contributions to the society despite deducting the
money every month.

The sources said Chivaura's new executive, meant to breathe life into
the new firm which has on board former broadcasters Shepherd Mutamba and
Happisson Muchechetere, has not been paid any salaries but a salary advance
since joining the company in June.

Contacted for comment, New ZIANA board chairman Munacho Mutezo
yesterday said: "I don't know . . . there is so much going on in the Press."

He however admitted that his board was still trying to find money to
award workers at the news agency the 55 percent salary increment promised in
January.

"Everyone knows ZIANA was in financial problems, we are looking at
solutions," he said.

An industry source said the New ZIANA board had also failed to secure
private funds from Zimbabwean banks because most financial institutions
considered the venture a high-risk investment.

"There is no bank that would invest in propaganda because propaganda
has no returns in terms of profit," one source said.

Mutezo said the New ZIANA board was engaged in a restructuring
exercise and that the sourcing of funds was one of its pursuits.

"We are looking at several options to fund our operations as part of
restructuring. That exercise is not complete," he said.

- Staff Reporter
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FinGaz

NRZ invites war vets for probe


8/1/02 9:38:11 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - The state-run National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is mired
in controversy here after inviting war veterans to participate in an
internal investigation on the alleged rampant theft of relief maize from its
wagons, it was learnt this week.

Documents in our possession show that three war veterans are now part
of an internal NRZ team that includes David Sithole, its chief internal
auditor, tasked with investigating the rail wagon thefts alleged to have
prejudiced the railway line by about $15 million.

NRZ sources say some of their fellow workers have fiercely resisted
the inclusion of the pro-ZANU PF militants in the internal investigating
team.

"There is a general feeling here that the war veterans want everyone
at the railways to belong to ZANU PF," a disgruntled worker said.

NRZ chairman Chivarange Chimombe this week confirmed that the railway
company had invited war veterans to join its investigating team probing the
disappearance of relief wheat, maize and other grains from the wagons.

"Under normal circumstances, enquiries of this nature are in-house,"
Chimombe said in a statement.

"However because of the sensitivity of the matter and the need to
ensure transparency, the board decided to include representatives of war
veterans," he added.

Workers however allege that the three-man war veteran team had also
extended its brief on its own and begun to poke into issues such as the
alleged discrimination against former freedom fighters on securing top jobs
within the rail company.

There have been reports that war veterans in the probe team
deliberately antagonised some staff by accusing them of working in cahoots
with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to create food shortages
in the country by stealing relief food on transit.

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FinGaz

ZANU PF in fresh onslaught against opponents

By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
8/1/02 9:27:38 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his government have responded to
tightening international pressure with a fresh onslaught against political
opponents, pressing new treason charges against opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and banning meetings of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

But analysts say attempts by the government to try to defy the
international community are foolhardy for an administration that is
dependent on foreign food handouts to avert the country's worst famine
largely blamed on its own policies.

"It is being very shortsighted for the government to think that it can
defy the world and get away with it," former University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
political science professor Solomon Nkiwane told the Financial Gazette.

"Zimbabwe's economy is just too dependent on the regional and
international economies," he noted.

Masipula Sithole, another UZ political scientist, said the government'
s strategy was meant to give an impression that travel and financial
sanctions imposed on its members by the European Union (EU), Canada, New
Zealand and the US would not have any meaningful effect on the ruling ZANU
PF party and its top officials.

But Sithole said "this get-tough-with-the-world approach is ill
advised".

Harare, he said, would eventually succumb to international pressure
and uphold the rule of law, human rights and democracy as demanded by the
international community.

"Anyone who cannot see that eventually happening needs his head
examined," the respected Sithole said.

A week after the EU added 52 more names to the list of 20 of Mugabe's
top lieutenants who are under the visa and asset ban, the British government
followed through by deporting to Harare ZANU PF official Joshua Malinga.

Malinga, deputy head for the disabled and disadvantaged in the ruling
party's supreme politburo, had hoped to fly through London on his way to New
York for a conference.

This week four top officials of ZANU PF, including Deputy
Parliamentary Speaker Edna Madzongwe, were denied entry visas into Sweden
because they are on the EU's list of banned Zimbabwean officials.

Three weeks ago reports carried by the British Press claimed
undisclosed assets worth 76 000 pounds belonging to some ZANU PF officials
had been seized by London.

But Harare has not taken the tightening sanctions lying down. Last
week it dragged its main opponent Tsvangirai before the courts to arraign
him on fresh charges of plotting to overthrow of Mugabe.

Tsvangirai denies the charge as false and baseless.

The travel and asset ban was imposed on Mugabe and his officials over
allegations that they encourage violence and lawlessness against political
opponents, charges they deny.

The sanctions have been tightened in the aftermath of Mugabe's
disputed victory over Tsvangirai in a violence-marred presidential election
last March.

Tsvangirai, the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary
Forum, the EU, the US, the Commonwealth and most countries rejected the
ballot as fraudulent.

Tsvangirai, whose MDC party has emerged as the strongest challenge to
Mugabe and ZANU PF's 22-year hold on power, already has another outstanding
charge of treason.

He is accused of plotting with a Canadian firm operated by former
Israeli spy Ari Ben Menashe to kill Mugabe.

Stepping pressure on the opposition party, police last week cancelled
about 20 rallies Tsvangirai had scheduled across the country to drum up
support for his party's candidates ahead of local government elections due
in September.

The police argued that Tsvangirai would use the rallies to advocate
violence and mass action against the government. The MDC chief has denied
this.

And in an about turn, Vice President Joseph Msika said the government
would no longer stop seizing white-owned commercial farms by the end of this
month, as had been announced earlier by Mugabe, under the government's
controversial land reform programme.

Msika said more land would be acquired to resettle Zimbabweans who he
said might have been left out of Harare's current reforms under which the
government has refused to pay compensation for the land but improvements
made on it.Nkiwane said the apparent bravado against the international
community shown by Mugabe and his administration was not sustainable.

"This defiance cannot be sustained," he said.

"In fact, the pain from the sanctions and all the measures to isolate
Zimbabwe are still to be felt fully."
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FinGaz

Zim to target critics in sanctions response


8/1/02 9:17:28 AM (GMT +2)

Pro-democracy activists are likely to be targeted in Zimbabwe's
response to European Union sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his
governing elite, analysts warned yesterday.

Masipula Sithole, professor of political science at the University of
Zimbabwe, told Reuters the international community should expect Mugabe to
respond harshly, after the EU extended sanctions, including a travel ban and
asset freeze.

"I think he is likely to target those within his reach first, and his
response could badly affect civic society and the opposition if the
international community does not hold him to account," he said, adding
travel restrictions on opposition activists were one possible response.

The EU, along with the United States, imposed sanctions after Mugabe
was re-elected in March in polls considered not free and fair, and over the
seizure of white-owned commercial farmland for redistribution to landless
blacks.

The EU sanctions initially targeted 20 leaders from Mugabe's ruling
ZANU-PF Party, but were extended to 52 others a week ago.

For the moment, ZANU-PF had to live with the fact that its leaders,
who have names that open doors at home, have doors slammed in their faces in
the European Union, Sithole said.

Mugabe has been forced to decline UN invitations to fly to Europe and
the United States for conferences and Sweden said on Monday it had denied
visas to three female ZANU-PF legislators.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo hinted at retaliation
when London airport officials last weekend prevented Joshua Malinga - the
wheelchair-bound Deputy-Secretary for the Disabled in ZANU-PF - from
entering the country.

Moyo said perhaps the time had come for Harare to compile its own list
of Britons who were not welcome in Zimbabwe.

What Moyo did not mention was that a "counter-sanctions list" has been
quietly and informally debated in official circles since March, sources
said.

"The issue of some kind of retaliation has been exercising the minds
of quite a number of people in the government, because in international
relations there is always the question of reciprocity," one source told
Reuters.

"We are the victims of racism and racist politics and we have no wish
to turn our cheeks for a beating. I think it's only fair that we hit back,
but in our case, the response must necessarily encompass some of those
Zimbabweans who are supporting the EU, US or any other sanctions."

The government could seize passports of those championing sanctions
against ZANU-PF members or make it an offence, punishable by imprisonment,
to support external sanctions against fellow citizens, the official added.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general
Welshman Ncube said while "counter-sanctions" against government critics
were possible, they would be illegal.

"It's not something you can rule out here...but we would challenge
that for interfering with freedom of expression and freedom of association,"
he said.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler since independence from Britain in 1980, says
he won the March 9-11 election fairly and accuses the West of trying to
impose MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as leader of the southern African state.

Mugabe, a 78-year-old former guerrilla leader, has vowed to defend his
government against Western "bullies" and says economic recovery hinges on
his controversial land reforms.

Zimbabwe's economy is in its fourth year of recession and the country
is suffering severe food shortages. Aid agencies say six million
Zimbabweans, about half the population, need food aid because of drought and
the disruption to farming caused by Mugabe's land seizures. -Reuter

IOL

'Mugabe may target opposition activists'

July 31 2002 at 07:19PM



Harare - Pro-democracy activists are likely to be targeted in Zimbabwe's
response to Europetan Union sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and
his governing elite, analysts warned.

Masipula Sithole, professor of political science at the University of
Zimbabwe, said the international community should expect Mugabe to respond
harshly, after the EU extended sanctions which include a travel ban and
asset freeze.

"He is likely to target those within his reach first, and his response could
badly affect civil society and the opposition if the international community
does not hold him to account," he said, adding travel restrictions on
opposition activists were one possible response.

The EU, along with the US, imposed sanctions after Mugabe was re-elected in
March in polls considered not free and fair, and over the seizure of
white-owned commercial farmland for redistribution to landless blacks.

'We are the victims of racism and racist politics'
The EU sanctions initially targeted 20 leaders from Mugabe's ruling party
Zanu-PF, but were extended to 52 others a week ago.

Mugabe has had to invoke invitations from the UN to get permission to fly to
Europe and the US for conferences.

Sweden said this week it had denied visas to three female Zanu-PF
legislators.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo hinted at retaliation when
London airport officials last weekend prevented Joshua Malinga - the
wheelchair-bound Deputy-Secretary for the Disabled in Zanu-PF - from passing
through the airport in transit to the US.

Moyo said perhaps the time had come for Harare to compile its own list of
Britons who were not welcome in Zimbabwe.

What Moyo did not mention was that a "counter-sanctions list" has been
quietly and informally debated in official circles since March, said
sources.

"We are the victims of racism and racist politics. It's only fair that we
hit back, but in our case, the response must necessarily encompass some of
those Zimbabweans who are supporting the EU, US or any other sanctions,"
said an official.

The government could seize passports of those championing sanctions against
Zanu-PF members or make it an offence to support sanctions against fellow
citizens, the official added.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Welshman Ncube
said while "counter-sanctions" against government critics were possible,
they would be illegal.

"It's not something you can rule out here - but we would challenge that for
interfering with freedom of expression and freedom of association," he
said. - Reuters
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FinGaz

Zim's economy heads for crash landing

By Professor Anthony Hawkins
8/1/02 9:35:28 AM (GMT +2)

TWO days after devaluation was pronounced "dead" by President Robert
Mugabe, his finance minister devalued the official exchange rate for customs
purposes by some 81 percent and the previously-devalued tobacco rate by a
further 38 percent.

The cumulative tobacco rate devaluation this year is now almost 65
percent.

Given the increasingly complex system of multiple exchange rates, with
at least six different rates, calculating an effective rate is virtually
impossible - more so since the precise numbers needed are not available.

But using estimated trade flows based on 2001 statistics, the "blend"
rate works out at around Z$320 to one US dollar.

In other words, the Z$55 official exchange rate is no more than a fig
leaf, used by ZANU PF purists to insist that there has been no devaluation.

If devaluation were indeed "dead", so also would be what remains of
the export sector, and along with it, Finance Minister Simba Makoni's
forecast of an unchanged budget deficit for 2002.

What is certainly dead is any shred of credibility in the government's
economic policy.

Policy incoherence has never been greater. Indeed, since the chief
architect of this economic incoherence, the "internationally respected"
Makoni embraced his easy money policy in January 2001, the pace of economic
decline has accelerated alarmingly.



a.. Real GDP (gross domestic product) will fall 11 percent this
year;


b.. Millions of people are hungry and face starvation unless rescued
by Western donors;


c.. Inflation doubled from 58 percent in the first half of 2001 to
116 percent in the comparable period this year;


d.. The parallel market exchange rate collapsed from around Z$75 to
the US dollar to Z$675 some 18 months later;


e.. By April 2002, money supply was growing at an annualised rate of
114 percent;


f.. Real savings with financial institutions have fallen 44 percent
in the last four years and 15 percent in the 15 months to March 2002;


g.. Net investment is negative - in other words, the country's
capital stock, and thereby its productive capacity, is declining;


h.. So too is the stock of human capital, partly due to emigration,
but also because Zimbabwe has the world's second highest rate of adult
HIV-AIDS infection;


i.. Industrial share prices on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange have
risen 400 percent in the last 18 months, doubling since mid-April though in
real terms they are little changed from their levels of six years ago; and


j.. Property prices have doubled if not trebled, with even greater
increases in some cases.


Just how this catalogue of economic disaster merits "international
respect" is beyond comprehension, especially since it is obvious that Makoni
's ill-conceived flirtation with voodoo economics can only end in tears.

One graph tells more than a thousand words. It shows that, on official
projections, GDP will have fallen 23 percent between 1998 and the end of
2002.

Over the same period, prices will have risen twelve-fold.

It shows too that in 2002, output will be no higher than in 1990,
during which time the population will have increased by more than a third
and prices almost thirty-fold.

This dismal combination of collapsing supply and escalating prices
will not be resolved by quack remedies of interest rate cuts, pegged
exchange rates and "agrarian reform".

The outlook for the rest of 2002 is one of accelerating decline,
sharper inflation, a severe food crisis and a weakening external payments
situation leading to more exchange rate depreciation.

Indeed, all the pieces of a classic financial crisis are in place:


a.. Rampant, escalating inflation;


b.. Plunging real output;


c.. An asset price bubble - in real estate, in the equity market, in
the goods market (especially top-of-the-range vehicles);


d.. An overvalued currency - in the official market; and


e.. A creaking banking system where one bank loan in four is
classified as doubtful or bad.


The divergence between events in the real economy, where output is now
falling at historically record rates, and the money economy can only mean a
financial crunch at some future point.

The elastic linking the "two economies" is being stretched to breaking
point. Once it snaps, as it must, and the asset price bubble - the stock
market, real estate, vehicle prices - bursts, the economy will "reprice".

When this happened in the United Kingdom at the end of the 1980s, it
took five years for the economy to recover.

In Japan's case, it has taken more than a decade to recover from the
asset price bubble of the 1980s, while stock markets across the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are currently repricing in
the wake of the artificial new economy stock market boom of the late 1990s.

Just why Zimbabwean investors - or more accurately speculators -
should expect to escape this market logic is puzzling.

Invariably, if not inevitably, inflationary or speculative excesses
are followed by a hard landing. In Zimbabwe's case, it will be a crash
landing.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict what will precipitate
the crisis - with the list of potential "triggers" including the food
crisis, pressure from Pretoria, or the Makoni-Tsumba self-inflicted credit
crunch in the financial sector.

Food and politics have been much debated elsewhere, but remarkably
little attention is paid to the perilous state of the financial sector and
its divergence from the real economy.

One intriguing feature of the worsening crisis has been the changing
nature of monetary expansion. The graph shows that it was public sector
borrowing that drove monetary expansion during 2001, but since September
last year, the growth rate of private sector borrowing has nearly trebled
from 44 percent to 127 percent.

There would seem to be a host of explanations for this, ranging from
bank financing of rampant speculation in property, equities, forex and
vehicles to inventory accumulation, capital flight, the need to increase
working capital in line with escalating prices, some financing of output
expansion and some distress borrowing.

As a result of this credit explosion, bank reserves (actual and
excess) have collapsed from almost $37 billion in mid-February to just over
$8 billion at the end of May.

That this should have been accompanied by a sharp fall in money market
interest rates illustrates just how far detached from reality the Zimbabwe
markets have become.

It gets worse. The authorities are keen to cut interest rates further.
In the world of voodo economics, even negative real interest rates of 80
percent and more are too much of a burden for the government to service its
rapidly escalating domestic debt or for ZANU PF banks, businessmen and
farmers to finance the forecast agrarian revolution.

All very well, but where will the money come from if the bank reserves
run out?

Clearly the authorities cannot - will not - allow a credit crunch. To
avert it, they will pump more cash into the system in the form of government
borrowing and spending, which in turn will fuel more monetary expansion,
more inflation, more pressure on the exchange rate and more misery for the
poor, the sick and the elderly.

Those driving equity prices up on the ZSE are clearly taking a punt on
a scenario of this kind, believing either that they are astute enough, or
will be quick enough to get out before the bubble bursts, or that Simba
Makoni and Leonard Tsumba are on the brink of becoming joint Nobel
prizewinners for economics.



a.. Anthony Hawkins is an economics and business studies professor
at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare.
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FinGaz

Govt fights back on sanctions

By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
8/1/02 9:15:06 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's government, stung by international sanctions
against its members, will take harsh retaliatory measures against the
pro-democracy nations and possibly withdraw passports of leaders of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a Cabinet minister said
yesterday.

Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo said the government is actively
working on a comprehensive response to sanctions which have been imposed by
the West on ruling ZANU PF officials for their alleged support for
lawlessness in the country.

"We are actively considering a range of measures to take, which will
include the withdrawal of passports and the introduction of exit and entry
visas against our political opponents in the country who have campaigned for
sanctions and we are practically working towards that end," he told the
Financial Gazette.

He said the passports of MDC leaders could be withdrawn, noting that a
passport was only a privilege which could be taken away at any time.

The United States, the 15-nation European Union (EU), Canada, New
Zealand and Switzerland have banned Mugabe and most of his top officials
from travelling to their territories and imposed a freeze on their overseas
assets.

The EU last week widened the sanctions by adding 52 more names to the
initial list of 20 banned Zimbabweans while Britain sent home ZANU PF's
deputy secretary for the disabled Joshua Malinga, who had tried to fly from
London to New York for a conference.

Sweden last week also banned four senior ZANU PF legislators,
including Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Edna Madzongwe, from travelling to
the European country for a legislative meeting.

Sweden told them that it was sending a clear message that "(ruling
party) politics currently prevailing in Zimbabwe is bad and that if you are
part of the politics you are set to be affected".

Nkomo said in an interview: "In implementing these measures, we will
take into cognisance the international law of reciprocity as well and we are
busy exercising our minds in this regard."

He said the planned measures will target people within Zimbabwe who
have campaigned for sanctions to be slapped on the country's political
leadership and said the specific measures to be taken will be announced
shortly.

The crackdown is likely to see critics of the government in the
country being denied the right to move freely outside Zimbabwe through the
seizure of their passports.

The government accuses the MDC of leading the crusade for the
imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe, shunned by the rest of the world
because of violence which marred the 2000 parliamentary elections and the
disputed 2002 presidential ballot.

Nkomo said it was crucial for the government to "deal with internal
saboteurs" before it could even start responding to measures against foreign
nations which are taking a tough line against Harare.

He branded the EU sanctions as ineffectual and a vindictive act driven
by racism to punish the government for its determination to seize
white-owned farms to resettle blacks, a charge the EU has long rejected as
baseless.

The sanctions on Zimbabwe's leadership have had a knock-on effect on
Zimbabwe's tottering economy because the country has been excluded from
virtually all initiatives of the international community meant to ameriolate
Africa's under-development.

The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and most Western
nations have also cut off all aid to Zimbabwe, accusing the besieged
government of flouting its own laws and waging terror against its MDC foes
and the independent media.

Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst hunger crisis, blamed on the
government's violent seizure of private commercial farms, and needs more
than 500 000 tonnes of imported food aid to feed more than six million
people - half its population.

Ironically, most of the food aid is being donated by the US and the
EU, which have refused to accept Mugabe's March 2002 re-election and want a
fresh ballot supervised by the international community.
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FinGaz

Chombo snubs Bulawayo ZANU PF councillors' request

Staff Reporter
8/1/02 9:25:01 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has snubbed a
request from ruling ZANU PF party councillors in Bulawayo to overturn the
appointment of Peter Sibanda as the city's chief engineer, it was
established yesterday.

Chombo, through the Local Government Board, approved Sibanda's
appointment last week despite strong petitions to him from the councillors
to turn down the appointment and instead re-appoint former engineer George
Mlilo.

Moffat Ndlovu, the Bulawayo town clerk, confirmed the appointment of
Sibanda as the new chief engineer in a statement issued to this newspaper
yesterday.

Ndlovu said the appointment was with effect from today.

Mike Parira-Mpofu, the ZANU PF councillor for Sizinda, has led a
vicious campaign against Sibanda's appointment, arguing that Mlilo should be
re-appointed to his old job.

Mlilo resigned from the post last year to contest the mayoral election
on a ZANU PF ticket but lost dismally to Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube of the
opposition MDC.

When the council advertised for the post of chief engineer, Mlilo
re-applied but was beaten together with two other hopefuls by Sibanda.

- Staff Reporter
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ABC Australia

Zimbabwe gold 'something to smile about'

Kirsty Coventry hopes the swimming gold medal she won for Zimbabwe at the
Commonwealth Games will lift people's spirits in a country becoming
increasingly engulfed in political and economic chaos.

Zimbabwe has had visa and assets sanctions imposed on it by the European
Union and was suspended from the Commonwealth group of 54 countries after
controversial elections last March, when president Mugabe was reinstated,
led to political unrest.

The situation follows two years of turmoil when self-styled war veterans
invaded white-owned farms to back government distribution of land to
landless blacks.

Coventry won Zimbabwe's first medal of the Manchester Games and a first-ever
gold in swimming for her country when she surprised everybody by beating
Australian Jennifer Reilly and Canadian Marianne Limpert into the silver and
bronze medal positions in the 200 metres individual medley on Tuesday.

She set a Games record with her time of two minutes 14.53 seconds and is
keen that her success should bring cheer to her compatriots at home.

"It's very important for the country," Coventry told reporters after winning
the gold medal.

"Hopefully it'll give everyone back home something to smile about and lift
everyone's spirits up, which is what is needed."

Coventry, 18, has spent the last year in Alabama in the United States,
preparing for the Games, which brings together 72 nations and territories
from mostly former British colonies.


Far away

Her parents, who own a small chemical company, and sister Lauren still live
in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare.

She added: "Everyone will be very pleased and happy, which is a positive
thing. Although I was far away I always had a close eye on what was going on
at home.

"I was watching what was going on. I wasn't there psychologically but I knew
what they were going through and it was a little bit hard.

"People are now trying to pull together at this difficult time, which is
good for Zimbabwe," she said.

Zimbabwe's participation in this year's Games, where it has 21 competitors,
has irked some lobby groups but organisers say the country's participation
should not be an issue.

Pakistan, also suspended from the Commonwealth body, has 55 participants in
Manchester.

British sports minister Richard Caborn said at the start of the event that
the ordinary people of Zimbabwe should not be made to suffer for political
issues and Canada's Paul De Villers said athletes should not be punished for
their government's actions.

Zimbabwe's chef de mission Antony Mandiwaza said the team's mission was to
participate in the Games and not to address political issues.

A spokesman for the team told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday: "For us
it is nice. To get a gold medal is a good thing and as a team we are happy
and also for the record that she got."

The southern African country, which has a population of 11.4 million, gained
independence from Britain in 1980, before which it was known as Southern
Rhodesia.

It made its Commonwealth debut as Zimbabwe in Brisbane in 1982 and has won
16 medals - four golds, five silvers and seven bronzes. At the last Games in
Kuala Lumpur, Zimbabwe won three gold medals, including their only other
aquatics title, when Evan Stewart won the one-metre springboard diving
event.
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Daily News

Chinese Embassy donates $1m goods for street kids

8/1/02 8:11:04 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

THE Chinese Embassy on Tuesday donated goods worth $1 million to Just
Children Foundation which caters for more than 50 vagrant children in
Harare.

The goods, including clothing, food and blankets, were presented to
Harare mayoress, Jabulelo Mudzuri, by Zheng Zhuqiang, the acting Chinese
Ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Zheng said his country felt compelled to assist Zimbabwe given the
country's current economic turmoil.

He said: "We understand the country is going through its worst
economic crisis ever which has been complicated by last year's drought.

"That is why we are compelled to assist whenever we can."

Moosa Kasimonje, the executive director and founder of Just Children
Foundation paid tribute to Mudzuri, who approached the Chinese Embassy for
assistance.

Kasimonje urged well-wishers and the corporate world to emulate the
Chinese initiative.

Kasimonje, a former businessman, founded the organisation in 1998
after the Harare City Council leased to him a property which used to be a
brothel in the city's "red light" Kopje area.

The centre runs a bridging school to prepare destitute children for
formal education.
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Daily News

International crime syndicates target Zimbabweans with e-mail
addresses

8/1/02 8:04:13 AM (GMT +2)


From our Correspondent in Bulawayo

Some Zimbabweans with e-mail addresses are being targeted by
international crime syndicates who send them messages claiming to have
billions of dollars which they want to deposit in the local accounts.

The objective, it would appear, is to obtain the account numbers of
those who take the bait, especially those with credit cards, and skim off
their accounts.

Several victims of the scam, the majority of them Yahoo subscribers,
have approached The Daily News over the past few weeks.

Some messages are from people claiming to be from Nigeria or the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This reporter received a message from someone claiming to be a
relative of Sani Abacha, the late Nigerian military dictator.

The man claimed to be Faruq, Abacha's son. He said they needed US$12
000 to "airlift" more than US$20 billion to Zimbabwe to the reporter.

Another e-mail user, who asked not to be named for professional
reasons, received an e-mail from someone claiming to be Captain Aliace Amadi
from the DRC. The message claimed that Amadi was the chief security officer
of the late Laurent Kabila. He said he was now resident in South Africa
where he was supposed to source arms for Kabila's elite corps.

Amadi claimed that he/she had over US$12 million siphoned from the
late Kabila's defence fund.

"My desire is to transfer and invest in your country. With this
development, I will be pleased to welcome you in South Africa to enable me
to open a non-resident account on your behalf for onward transfer to your
overseas account," reads the message.

The recipient of the message was promised 30 percent of the US$12
million.

Another e-mail user got a message from someone calling himself Danel
Kabila, a cousin of President Joseph Kabila.

The e-mail said: "President Laurent Kabila was using myself through
diplomatic means to send money out of the country with the fear that he may
be overthrown ... This we have done on two occasions, on the third I decided
to divert this delivery, which amounted to US$24,000,000."

"Kabila" claimed to have obtained the details and e-mail address of
the recipient from the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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Daily News

Storm brews over Malaika pageant

8/1/02 8:33:38 AM (GMT +2)


By Guthrie Munyuki in Harare and Chris Gande in Bulawayo

MOST Zimbabweans interviewed yesterday said they were appalled by the
government's decision to splash out $65 million on the Miss Malaika beauty
pageant when six million people are facing starvation because of a
nationwide food shortage.


Their reactions follow news of the government's failed bid to divert
$30 million from the National Aids Council (NAC) to the Miss Malaika beauty
pageant, whose finals will be held I spend $65 million on the Miss Malaika
contest when the nation is facing so many humanitarian crises, smacked of
arrogance and insensitivity.

Sydney Chishaka, 32, who works for a Harare cosmetic company said that
no benefits would accrue to Zimbabweans from such lavish spending on the
beauty extravaganza.

He said: "It is pointless to put that kind of money into a beauty
pageant when people are dying of hunger. There is starvation in this country
and that $65 million would have gone a long way in showing the government's
commitment to helping its people."

Chishaka said no tourists would attend the Miss Malaika contest when
people were starving. He said they would not want to be part of the
excessive expenditure in Victoria Falls.

Professor Welshman Ncube, the acting MDC spokesperson, said the
government's action showed the extent of its desperation.

Ncube said: "This is immoral, decadent and can only done by a regime
that has no sense of what is right or wrong. All it does is to feed on
corruption."

Charity Mlambo of Tynwald slammed the pageant. She said it would
consume funds that could be put to better use.

She said the government had far more pressing issues to attend to than
being involved in a glamour parade.

"The money should go to starving people or better still, towards the
purchase of drugs and books," Mlambo said. Bulawayo will host the national
finals of Miss Malaika on 25 August and three representatives will be
selected to represent Zimbabwe in the Victoria Falls international finals.

Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo, a cultural leader and a descendent of King
Lobengula, criticised the liberal funding of the show at a time when people
were going hungry.

He said the money being squandered on the beauty contest should
instead be channelled towards the acquisition of relief food.

Khumalo said: "We may value the beauty contest but at a time when
there is serious hunger, it is inappropriate. That money should be used to
buy food and then the show can perhaps be held later on."

He called for the postponement of the extravaganza until the economic
situation improved. Charles Mpofu, a Bulawayo City Councillor, said the Miss
Malaika pageant was only going to benefit a few people whereas the money
spent should have rather been used to profit a more people.

"The priorities of this government are definitely not right," he said.
"People are going for several days without food but here is a government
that, instead, spends millions of dollars on such a luxury."

Alice Ngwenya, who runs a boutique in the city, said the country's
image could not be enhanced by an event such as Miss Malaika.

She said: "If the objective of the show is to improve the image of the
country, then the colossal cost is not commensurate with the results."

Welshman Mabhena, the former Matabeleland North governor, said
allocating $65 million to a beauty show at a time when people were suffering
was unfortunate.
He said: "Honestly, it is hard to believe that such a thing is
happening in this country. All that money for a mere beauty show proves how
national priorities have gone wrong."

Charamba outlined the benefits of hosting the pageant as three-fold:
It would raise awareness of health issues across the country through the
reigning queen's involvement in the Aids awareness campaign and the upkeep
of Aids orphans

The live broadcast of the event would present a rare opportunity for
the ministry to send health messages to an estimated 400 million worldwide
viewership; and This is a very important Pan-African initiative whose aim is
to assert African values and principles by defining beauty from an African
perspective.

Zimbabwean Brita Masalethulini won the inaugural Miss Malaika contest
last year. She is yet to take delivery of her Mercedes Benz vehicle and
receive her cash prize

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The Times


August 01, 2002

Minister says Zimbabwe food aid must increase

From Michael Dynes in Johannesburg and Greg Hurst, Parliamentary
Correspondent



BRITAIN will have to increase its emergency food aid to Zimbabwe
to prevent widespread starvation, even at the risk of propping up the Mugabe
regime, the Government admitted yesterday.
Baroness Amos, the minister with responsibility for Africa, who
was in Pretoria, said that Britain had promised 30 million a year in food
and development aid, but that figure would have to rise significantly.

Six million people are facing famine in the former British
colony. The higher level of aid would be required for several years until
the damage caused by President Mugabe's seizure of about 3,000 white farms
could be repaired, she said.

Lady Amos sought to silence critics, who will accuse the
Government of propping up Zimbabwe's Government, saying: "We cannot allow
women and children to die." Britain had "a moral responsibility" to ensure
that the people of Zimbabwe did not starve, she said.

Nor could it refuse to increase assistance to Zimbabwe because
of the danger that the ruling Zanu (PF) party would seek to ensure that food
aid was distributed to government supporters, she said. Accepting that the
British Government would face some critical questioning of its policies, she
added: "It is essential that we work together to find a solution which puts
the needs of the people of Zimbabwe first."

Britain has already donated 45 million to the United Nations
World Food Programme's international appeal for 338 million to avert famine
across southern Africa. Zimbabwe will receive 14 million in emergency food
relief, in addition to the 18 million donated in development aid.

The Commons Public Accounts Select Committee criticised Britain'
s spending on aid yesterday, saying that too little was reaching the poorest
nations. More aid should be sent to poor countries whose governments were
committed to reducing poverty rather than to middle-income states that could
do more to support their poor, it said.

In a report on the Department for International Development, the
committee states that 22 per cent of direct aid went to countries with
pockets of deprivation, but that were not poor. These included Russia,
Guatemala, Bolivia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Greater attention should
also be given to evidence of poor governance and its impact on aid, from
other aid projects, local press reports or court proceedings, the committee
said.

Agricultural production in Zimbabwe's commercial farming sector
is down 60 per cent from two years ago and even if Mr Mugabe's land seizures
were reversed it would take many years for food production to revert to
normal, Lady Amos said. Some 62 per cent of white commercial farms in
Zimbabwe have been served with so-called Section 8 Land Act notices, making
it a criminal offence for their owners to farm the land.

The World Food Programme estimates that 13 million people in
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland are threatened
by food shortages. The organisation fears that Western countries have been
procrastinating out of a conviction that the region's food crisis is
self-inflicted, Lady Amos said.

Lady Amos told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that she
continued to hope for an unexpected and critical development that would save
Zimbabwe, citing the example of Angola. In February the death of Jonas
Savimbi, the rebel leader, in effect ended 40 years of conflict.

She added: "As the months go on, if the situation does not
change, I think the neighbouring governments may well have to review their
strategy."
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Telegraph

Mugabe has lost moral right to rule, say MPs
By George Jones, Political Editor
(Filed: 01/08/2002)


President Robert Mugabe has lost the moral right to govern Zimbabwe and has
destroyed the nation, MPs say today.

The Commons foreign affairs select committee recommends tougher sanctions
against Zimbabwe and stricter restrictions on overseas travel by the
country's ruling elite.

It criticises Mr Mugabe for his land seizure programme and accuses him of
"rewarding his cronies with gifts of expropriated land". The MPs say the
president has "deliberately and systematically flouted the rule of law" and
abused the fundamental rights of his people.

In a report published today they say the Government was right successfully
to urge Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth and to refuse to accept
the result of elections there in March.

Britain had a "particular obligation" to help rebuild the nation, but as the
former colonial power its actions "are viewed with suspicion and mistrust".

The MPs urge Tony Blair to continue targeted sanctions against Harare's
ruling elite and to increase aid to the people, working through
international agencies and neighbouring countries. "Since 1980 Robert Mugabe
has deliberately and systematically flouted the rule of law in Zimbabwe,"
they say.

"He has lost the moral right to govern his people. By abusing their
fundamental rights and freedoms he has earned their contempt. One man can
exalt a nation as Nelson Mandela did South Africa; one man can destroy a
nation, as Mugabe has Zimbabwe."

On land reform, the MPs argue for a programme which favours genuine farmers,
internationally funded and monitored. "We condemn Robert Mugabe for his role
in the violent seizure of farms and for rewarding his cronies with gifts of
expropriated land," they say.

The report says it is "vitally important" that Britain "continues to provide
and increase aid to the people of Zimbabwe both bilaterally and through
reputable international agencies, though not through the government of
Zimbabwe".

Other recommendations include increasing support for the BBC World Service
in Zimbabwe and for other independent journalists and pressing for countries
outside the European Union to impose similar sanctions to those of Europe.

The report also calls on the Government to clarify how the EU travel ban
applies to those travelling to international meetings.
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The Times

August 01, 2002

Mugabe's militias lift bar to aid
From Jan Raath in Harare



MILITIAMEN controlled by President Mugabe have lifted a
two-month blockade on food earmarked for children in one of Zimbabwe's
poorest districts, but distribution has resumed on restricted terms.
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe was
forced to surrender control of its relief programme for 30,000 children in
Zimbabwe's remote Binga district to three local Catholic missions, Father
Tom McQuinnel, the head of the Binga parish, said.

The militia had accused the commission of supporting the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and demanded an overhaul of
its operations.

"In order to get food moving and help the children out, we had
to agree to these demands," Father McQuinnel said. Distribution was allowed
to resume last week.

On May 25, about 30 war veterans had sealed off the gates of a
warehouse in Binga where 115 tonnes of fortified maize porridge was stored.
Police refused to act.

The Batonka people of Binga are dependent on food aid. In the
2000 elections, they responded to two decades of neglect by Mr Mugabe's
party by voting for the MDC.
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African Union not act against Zimbabwe: S. African FM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Xinhuanet 2002-08-01 22:09:02


PRETORIA, Aug. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The newly-born African Union (AU)
would not act against Zimbabwe despite the fact that its presidential poll
was disputed, the South African foreign ministersaid here Thursday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that the
South African government held that the presidential election in Zimbabwe in
March was constitutional and was accepted by the people of that country.

"The election did take place in accordance with the Constitution
and the result was accepted by the people of Zimbabwe," said Zuma at a press
conference held in the headquarters building of the Government Communication
and Information System.

Dlamini-Zuma rejected suggestions that the newly-launched AU
should act against Zimbabwe because its presidential poll was disputed.

Major international bodies have also questioned the validity ofthe
election, labeling the process "deeply flawed".

However, Dlamini-Zuma argued, Zimbabweans in general had accepted
the election result. Challenging the outcome of an election in court was an
accepted procedure in any democracy.

The opposition party could go to the court if it challenged
theresult of the election, she added.

She noted that the stance taken by the South African governmentand
the African Union in regard with the membership of Zimbabwe and Madagascar
is not double-standard at all. That was a differentcase.

During the March election, Mugabe obtained about 54 percent of the
vote and defeated former labor leader Morgan Tswangirai, who presented the
first real electoral challenge to the president since he led Zimbabwe to
independence 22 years ago.

Speaking about the political dialogue, she said, food shortagesin
Zimbabwe are complicating efforts to get internal political dialogue off the
ground.

"Before we concentrate on the dialogue, we have to make sure that
the people who dialogue have some food," she said.

South Africa and Nigeria have been seeking to facilitate talks
between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) since that country's controversial presidential election in
March.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has challenged the outcome of the
poll in court, causing the ruling ZANU-PF to call off the dialoguein May.

As the political standoff continues, Zimbabwe is suffering
fromshortages of basic commodities including cooking oil, sugar, salt and
the country's staple maize meal.

An estimated 7.8-million Zimbabweans, including 5.4-million
children, are faced with hunger.

The foreign minister said the food crisis in Zimbabwe was now
apriority. She commended the United States and the United Kingdom for their
relief contributions.

"The Zimbabweans must learn to live together, whatever political
party they come from. It is the responsibility of all ofthem to make
Zimbabwe work," she urged at the press conference.

"The mere challenge (by the MDC) does not nullify the result,"
Dlamini-Zuma said.

The AU was, therefore, not applying double standards by
barringMadagascar from the body while Zimbabwe was left untouched.

The Organization of African Unity (OAU), predecessor of the
AU,last month announced that Madagascar was barred from taking up itsseat in
the AU that was launched on July 9.

It resolved that the Indian Ocean island state's election on
December 16 last year that pitted Marc Ravalomanana against incumbent leader
Didier Ratsiraka was not legally constituted.

Ravalomanana was later found to have won the poll in a recount
prompted by a court order.

Ratsiraka has since then fled the island. Germany, the United
States, and France, the island country's former colonial power, last week
began normalizing relations with Ravalomanana's government.

African leaders, nevertheless, resolved to stick to Madagascar's
exclusion. Enditem

--by Chen Ming
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