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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Once-loyal workers turn on departing white farmers
August 3 2002

Harare: The final obstacle to Robert Mugabe's campaign to be rid of white
farmers is crumbling as thousands of farm workers turn against their
employers.

Under the President's radical land-reform program, next Thursday has been
set as the deadline for most of Zimbabwe's remaining 3000 white commercial
farmers to leave their homes or face up to two years in jail.

Tony Tanner, 42, a tobacco farmer 25 kilometres south of Harare, was one of
the few untouched by the past 29 months of state-sponsored invasions of
white-owned land. Now he has been locked in his homestead for three days by
once-loyal workers.

Farmers and workers are in dispute over the level of severance pay as
employers depart.

"We have paid millions in legal terminal benefits," Mr Tanner's wife,
Debbie-Lyn, said. "But they want more because they say they know the
Government will not help them after we leave. They have heard of workers on
other farms who have been paid more.


"We can't leave the farm and the police laughed at us and told us to pay the
workers. I've got two sick kids and need to get them to the doctor. There is
no-one we can turn to for help."

The Tanners are under extreme pressure to pay more in order to complete the
grading of the tobacco crop on their 1400-hectare farm for sale at auction,
Mrs Tanner said.

At least six of their neighbours in the Bromley farming district have also
been prevented from leaving their homes.

Before the disputed presidential election in March, Mr Mugabe's ruling
ZANU-PF party established a rogue union that has led workers' uprisings on
farms.

An official from the original union, the General and Agricultural and
Plantation Workers' Union, said: "Many farmers don't want to sack workers,
but they are forced to.

"They have to pay terminal benefits, determined by the Government, and some
have not grown crops for two years and have no money. We try to mediate.
Workers know they'll have no jobs next week, and they want as much as they
can get now. It's extortion."

The Telegraph, London
Back to the Top
Back to Index

JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE - JAG Zimbabwe
Please visit the Justice for Agriculture Website -
http://jagzim.netfirms.com
Purpose and principles:

JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE (JAG) is a group of concerned Zimbabweans with a
mission to secure justice, peace and freedom for the agricultural sector.
Its contribution to the Zimbabwean economy is presently under attack which
has led to the displacement of expertise, causing poverty and starvation.

JAG incorporates the interests of commercial farm owners, farm workers, as
well as the agricultural ancillary industries and their employees. Its
mission is to safeguard and support people directly affected, in whatever
way possible, and to document and expose the injustices and human rights
abuses being perpetrated against them. These rights are enshrined within the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by Zimbabwe, a member of
the United Nations.

Made up of committed Zimbabweans, JAG remains determined to find a lasting
and just solution to the crisis currently facing the agricultural sector, in
accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people. We therefore call
on all affected Zimbabweans in a bid to represent as wide a spectrum of
interests as possible.

The next few weeks will be a crucial time for Zimbabwean farming families.
Until that time JAG has resolved to explore every legal avenue to expose the
iniquities of the accelerated "fast track" programme. If the arms of
government are allowed to go ahead with evicting one and half million people
resident on farms after 8th August, it will be abundantly clear to every
hungry Zimbabwean exactly whose interests are being served.

Justice for Agriculture overview:

* JAG believes in justice for agriculture in Zimbabwe and the
unbiased application of just and constitutional laws that have received
international approval.
* JAG will expose and make accountable all persons actively
destroying commercial agricultural under the guise of land reform. To
achieve this, JAG will encourage the taking up of legal proceedings that
argue against violations of the Zimbabwean constitution.
* JAG believes that a rational, orderly and legal process of
agrarian reform is needed for food sufficiency and long-term prosperity, not
only in Zimbabwe but also in Africa as a whole.
* JAG will work to keep agricultural skills on the land and in
the country, and to find innovative ways to increase production whilst
working towards recovery of the sector.
* JAG believes it is essential that good farming practice be
widely taught and that successful farmers share their knowledge and
expertise with others who wish to become productive farmers.
* JAG believes land is a precious and finite national resource
and that it is essential that it be used productively.
* The Zimbabwean constitution expressly forbids discrimination
on grounds of race, religious affiliation or gender. JAG believes the laws
and decrees that are discriminatory are unconstitutional and should be
challenged.
* JAG supports a duly elected and democratic government whilst
refuses to be transformed into political apologists.
* JAG recognises the resolutions of the International Donors'
conference on Land Reform and Resettlement held in Harare on 9th September
1998 and also the Abuja Accord signed on 6th September 2001.

Excerpts from the Abuja Accord:

1. Such a programme of land reform must be implemented in a
fair, just and sustainable manner, in the interest of all the people of
Zimbabwe, within the law and constitution of Zimbabwe.
2. The crisis in Zimbabwe also has political and rule of law
implications, which must be addressed holistically and concurrently. The
situation In Zimbabwe poses a threat to the socio-economic stability of the
entire sub-region and the continent at large.
3. The orderly implementation of land reform can only be
meaningful and sustainable if carried out with due regard to human rights,
rule of law, transparency and democratic principles. The commitment of the
Government of Zimbabwe is, therefore, crucial to this process.

The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) has played its part in finding solutions
to agrarian reform; it submitted a proposal in 1991 under the leadership of
Alan Burl. An excerpt from the CFU report:

1. Prior to and since Zimbabwe's Independence, the Commercial
Farmers' Union has held consistent and fundamental views on land reform.
2. It understands and accepts the need for land reform.
3. Such reform should, however, be implemented in a manner that
ensures land is used on a sustainably productive basis, particularly as
agricultural land in production plays a key role in Zimbabwe's economy.
4. There is much that can be achieved in improving facilities
and services resulting in increased productivity in communal areas and also
by the acquisition of derelict and under-utilised land before considering
the acquisition of productive land for resettlement.
5. It is concerned that, while resettlement may seemingly ease
the problem of overcrowding in the communal areas, it creates another in the
loss of employment, homes and associated facilities for the resultant
displaced farm workers and their families.

An extract from the a speech delivered by President Mugabe at the opening of
the International Donors' conference on Land Reform and Resettlement in
Harare on 9th September 1998:

"However Government is committed to orderly resettlement and will not allow
this situation to prevail as it will lead to lawlessness and destruction of
the environment. ... Under the second phase of the programme, government
will acquire 5 million hectares from the large-scale commercial farming
sector over a period of five years on which to resettle 150 000
households... There is ample evidence based on various studies on land
utilisation in large-scale commercial areas to the effect that 5 million
hectares can be transferred from that sector without compromising national
agricultural production."

Extracts from Mr Mugabe's address to open the 3rd Session of the Fifth
Parliament - 23rd July:

"This Third Session of the Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe is opening during a
period our country is facing considerable challenges arising from a
combination of continued British machinations and the consequences of the
drought which has affected not only our country but almost the entire
Southern African region. The World Food Program estimates that about 12,8
million people in our region face serious food shortage, with Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique and Lesotho passing for the hardest
hit countries. In our case, virtually all provinces except for isolated
pockets in Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Manicaland suffered a complete
crop write-off, creating quite some hardships for an estimated 6,1 million
people, the majority of them in the rural areas. No effort will be spared in
ensuring that enough food is secured, for Government is no stranger to
mechanisms and strategies for containing the effects of droughts. No one can
fairly blame us for the situation of want, naturally caused, that affects
not only Zimbabwe but most countries of our sub-region."

Q&A:

Who is JAG?
JAG is a crisis management group, set up by concerned Zimbabweans focused on
seeking a clear way forward on the land issue through the judiciary, whilst
exposing the corruption, callousness and recklessness of the Zimbabwean
government's current land reform programme.

In order to achieve this JAG offers to represent all stakeholders in the
agricultural sector. This includes representation of potential new farmers
who genuinely want to legitimise their position through the formation of
coalitions with representative organisations.

JAG is made up of Zimbabweans who intend to stay in Zimbabwe. It resents
the injustices being perpetrated against the agricultural sector and would
like to participate in a true and lasting Zimbabwe of tomorrow. JAG objects
to the sacrifice of individual rights and the productive agricultural sector
for the sake of political expediency.

Zimbabwe faces a man-made famine. This is a country which accepted
responsibility for the SADC food security, with a highly developed
agricultural sector, and adequate water resources. It is unfortunate to note
that the Government of Zimbabwe only draws on 25% of stored water. The
President said when addressing Parliament on 23rd July 2002: "It is a
crushing indictment on us that a country with as many dams as ours continues
to suffer ravages of recurring droughts." Zimbabwe entered a 'wet drought'
in 2002 following a record six seasons, which were generally ideal for
farming. However, after the voting public rejected the President's
constitutional proposals in February 2000, war veterans and 'settlers', with
prior clearance from authorities, stopped farmers from doing what they do
best: feeding the nation at affordable prices.

What are JAG's objectives?
* To keep farmers, their workforces and families on the land
and in their homes.
* To keep in place Zimbabwean agricultural skills and
expertise for a better tomorrow.
* To work towards a transparent and equitable land reform
programme with due regard to economic imperatives.

How is JAG going to achieve its objectives when others have failed?
* By remaining focused on the long-term future for all. By
saying 'NO' to short-term benefits that only serve the agenda of a few and
locks others into feeding corruption and dependency. JAG intends to identify
those affected and provide, wherever possible, genuine advice and assistance
to alleviate some of the burden.
* By instilling in the agricultural sector a renewed sense of
purpose, hope and morality and communicating this hope to other sectors of
the Zimbabwean economy. Regardless of the outcome, JAG is committed to
recording all illegalities. Those who are responsible for, or connive in,
any harm that results - whether to those directly involved or to the
general population for the avoidable deaths from starvation or malnutrition
in an AIDS-rampant environment - will ultimately be held accountable.

Who can be beneficiaries of JAG programmes?
All those with a genuine desire to overcome the present injustices; who
believe in a true and lasting Zimbabwe for tomorrow.

In what way can JAG help those already affected by chaotic land reform?
By encouraging them to stand up for their rights through the courts and to
understand that they no longer remain isolated; that they too can now be
part of those who are determined to see this impasse through.

What does JAG advocate?
Foremost, and wherever possible, that farmers remain in their homes and on
the land, amongst their own people who are now so much more dependant on
them during this time of crisis. To re-instill hope that there will be a
tomorrow for Zimbabwe's commercial agriculture and an equal opportunity for
any and all Zimbabweans who want to farm in Zimbabwe.

What are JAG achievements to date?
Many people have described the formation of JAG as 'a breath of fresh air'
within a suffocating silence and cloak of fear. JAG has offered an
alternative to those who were desperate for leadership based on principle
and integrity. In just a fortnight JAG has become the opinion-forming
platform for agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Has JAG not been formed too late in the day to 'make a difference'?
No. It is never too late to make a principled stand. However, it is
accepted that the founding members of JAG are faced with a risky and
daunting task by being a dissenting voice at a very dangerous time.

What support can JAG offer as it forms itself into a formal association?
Amongst other things, JAG is in the process of bringing into being a support
structure for farmers and their workforce. This committee has begun lobbying
for funding to keep farming families on their land and to achieve this they
must provide: food, school fees, and temporary re-location if need be, but
encourages farmers and their staff to remain on farms and will if necessary
provide seed packs and fertilizer for the growing of crops for their own
consumption.

What does JAG need from Zimbabwe and any other concerned persons?
JAG requires urgent and massive funding for the following:
1. Running costs.
2. A revolving fund for test cases and to assist farmers and
farm workers arrested in August.
3. To support our sector JAG estimates it will need funding for
a minimum of 45 000 worker families and 500 farm owner families. We intend
to utilise the skills and assets of our sector currently lying idle to
provide technical support and advice. Farmers also possess resources in
terms of transportation and distribution of welfare and feeding programmes.
Finances are required to cushion the agricultural sector against the massive
draining of skills across the racial divide by supporting farmers, their
workers and families and associated industries. Programmes are in place to
feed workers and provide inputs for those who can still grow their own food;
to source opportunities for farmers direct involvement in famine relief
activities, be it transporting food, or providing technical advice to their
staff on the farms. Alternative accommodation for those being illegally
evicted out of their own homes is being arranged.

Legalities:

What is JAG's position regarding the removal of commercial farmers by the
8th August under Section 8 Orders?

Legislation banning farming:
Despite government promises to retain an undisturbed economic core of 6
million hectares during its current 10-year plan, 95,2% of land held by
highly productive farmers in February 2000 has now been, or is being,
illegally acquired for hasty redistribution by interested and, we believe,
illegal self-serving groups.

It is believed that the entire commercial farming sector (black and white)
consists of 11,02 million hectares, of this 10,501 million is being
acquired. The bottom line, therefore, is that approximately 2 900 farmers
and 232 000 farm employees, already under a ban on farming, face arrest and
forcible eviction on the 8th August due to Section 8 compulsory acquisition
orders.

This is as a result of amendments fast-tracked through a special summary
session of Parliament in May (after the minister's initial attempt in
January to amend the law failed to get enough support from MPs and was
rejected, resulting in an illegal revote). This session promulgated
amendments to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) (Act 6 of 2002). The Orders,
including all those served before 10th May, transfer ownership of the land
to the State immediately, constituted a notice to stop farming after 45
days, and to vacate the homestead within 90 days. To exceed either of these
time limits was made a criminal offence. Sixteen farmers have already been
arrested for farming illegally.

How this edict is to be administered in practice is not known, and the
implementation may vary from region to region. Government has made little
effort to pay even those farmers who have conceded their farms, and many
farmers have nowhere else to go. In spite of the 8th August deadline, many
settlers are already visiting farms and making overtures in the hopes of
taking over the homesteads and fully developed farms. JAG is taking these
warnings very seriously.

Many farmers who had not received Orders before 10th May have since received
them. 1024 of those facing eviction now are single-owner farmers. Others,
for one reason or another (often necessity, as the previous government also
created some sub-economic land units for racial reasons), are based on more
than one title deed, but have found the local land committee choosing their
most productive core land with its housing and infrastructure for seizure.
All their objections or offers of other land are still pending before the
land courts, which must be satisfied that it is reasonably necessary to
acquire the land and that it will be suitable for the purpose intended. It
has been accepted that many pieces of land have been wrongly listed - but
almost nothing has been de-listed - and most court cases set down to date
have been withdrawn because the Ministry of Agriculture has not notified all
interested parties.

Eviction without conviction:
Many farmers will be evicted by force, without an opportunity to argue their
case in court: a clear violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and a
violation of their human rights and the government's own programme promises.
The prescribed penalty for STAYING IN THEIR HOMES will be arrest and
detention without warrant, a fine of Z$ 20 000 or a two-year imprisonment,
or both, and then obligatory eviction, not because government has shown
their land is reasonably required for resettlement, but because they ignored
an arbitrary order to stop farming and leave their homes. Unfortunately
standing crops and livestock are not respecters of Section 8 orders and the
practical considerations of this have not been taken into account.

JAG has already submitted a test case before the courts arguing on eviction
for farmer George Quinnell on constitutional grounds. In a period of six
weeks, (from March 2002 to end of April 2002) 653 owner/manager families and
at least 15 154 farm worker families have been evicted from their homes and
have been unable to return. This translates to 76 000 persons displaced.

Actions farmers are required to take:
1. Firstly, JAG encourages farmers to visit their lawyers and
to check the legality of their section 8 notices. Several cases have already
been won and Sections 8 notices cancelled for non-conformation to the
compulsory acquisition law. It is impossible in this statement to detail the
extent of the unreasonableness and injustices involved. There are test cases
before the courts, which might provide direction on this front. One of these
was filed on the basis that the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act were
unconstitutional and that standing parliamentary orders were disobeyed. In
this case the farmer has been granted interim relief and the full case is
due to be heard in September/October 2002.
2. Legal options to deal with the situation properly are being
explored.
3. JAG is in the process of completing inventories of losses
incurred by all farming families for both farm owners and farm employees.
Once completed, it will look at a representative action. This could be one
of the biggest loss suits in Zimbabwe or externally under applicable laws.
We expect the respondents in this case to be those settlers who are ZANU PF
loyalists who are grabbing land, war veterans, businessmen, or people whose
names just appear on a list of successful applicants for land. Government
ministers, MPs and any other individuals who have ignored the human rights
of farming families will be noted and targeted for legal action.
4. It must be understood that farmers who do not take legal
action will lose their farms by default and may have acquiesced to the
injustices perpetrated against them. JAG urges farmers to sit down and
communicate with their staff and inform them that they too are targeted and
that JAG will take up their cases.

History of the agricultural crisis in Zimbabwe since February 2000:

Lawlessness and murder
Over a dozen farmers have been ruthlessly murdered since the invasions began
after the referendum in 2000. Scores of loyal farm workers have also lost
their lives, their only sin being that they supported their employers, or in
some cases, bravely tried to protect them. Known killers have not been
arrested, while innocent people have been persecuted without cause. Many
people have been intimidated, threatened, beaten, assaulted, abducted, or
become displaced and this continues unabated on a daily basis.

Legalized theft of assets
Because of the lawlessness, and because settlers were not expecting state
support on newly allocated land, it was inevitable that looting of movable
assets would occur. It is unfortunate that moveable assets, valued at Z$ 7.9
billion, have already been seized, impounded or looted from 632 farms,
preventing farming enterprises from securing recompense in this regard.

Hopes for further compensation have almost entirely been abandoned,
especially now that the Zimbabwean government is bankrupt and inflation is
running at 120 per cent. Economists estimate $14.5 billion worth of moveable
assets have been illegally impounded or looted since February 2000. The
Ministry of Lands and Agriculture has no funds to pay for equipment or the
right to compulsorily acquire it from farmers.

Billions of dollars in extortion under the guise of retrenchment
In the last month, over 75 farmers have been barricaded in their homes or
barns under pressure to pay staff retrenchment packages, which run into an
average of over Z$ 30 million per farm. An unregistered union, calling
itself the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), has taken it upon
itself to incite and intimidate traumatized agricultural labour forces into
breaking their contracts of employment. Notorious self-styled war veteran,
Joseph Chinotimba, formed this union.

Example: The ZFTU President, Alfred Makwarimba, confirmed to the Zimbabwe
Independent newspaper that the union was visiting farms in Mashonaland
Central, East and West. Undisputed reports confirmed that on Leopardsvlei
farm, new settler Reward Marufu (brother of Grace Mugabe) on Tuesday, 23rd
July burnt houses belonging to the farm workers, rendering 700 people
destitute. Marufu invaded the farm, which was not under compulsory
acquisition, and plundered assets, as well as stole a soya bean crop. He
refused the owner entry to the farm to finalise farming operations.

When the farmer was originally thrown off the land, the 200-odd labour force
were paid retrenchment packages and left on the farm to be employed by
Marufu. According to a labour union official (declined to be publicly named
for fear of reprisal), the staff that was re-employed by Marufu became
disillusioned, as they were not being paid correctly or on time. After
allegedly threatening action, Marufu forced them off the farm by burning
down their homes. The abandoned workers remained in the open for two days
before Marufu consented to provide transport to relocate them to a
neighbouring village.

Violation of government policy and constant shifting of goal posts
In a clear violation of "one-farmer, one-farm", official government policy
on land reform and the Abuja Accord, 1024 single-owned farms have been
compulsorily acquired by service of Section 8 Orders.

Legislation impact on wildlife, livestock and the environment
For the last two years many settlers and some unemployed farm workers have
resorted to poaching and wholesale tree cutting to survive - or get rich. As
at 30th April 2002, livestock and wildlife operators in the large-scale
sector reported 387 237 head of cattle have been forcibly de-stocked, while
wildlife/tourism direct losses run to over Z$ 6.3 billion. It is believed
that these figures are conservative and total losses could be much higher.

Farming versus starvation
Whilst this ban on planting, producing and marketing of food occurs, Mr
Mugabe, his cabinet ministers and aid organizations are lobbying the
international community for food aid to feed over six million Zimbabweans
who are already starving.

2002 commercial crop planting projections were:
Wheat:
24 692 hectares are already in the ground and will be harvested Sept/Oct.
Its value in terms of dollars and cents is Z$6 billion. But its value as a
scarce food commodity is priceless in the current stock out position. Cereal
production at 670,000 tonnes has dropped 57 per cent compared to last year
and 67 per cent compared to 1999-2000. Cereal import needs, including
maize, is up to 1.8 billion tonnes.

Tobacco:
Over 170 million kgs of tobacco is produced and awaiting grading on the
farms. US$35,5 million worth of tobacco has already been sold and the
Section 8 Orders have cast doubt over the fate of the US$330 million crop
still in grading sheds on the farms.

Maize (2002/2003):
41 067 hectares will translate to 226 000 tonnes: three months supply for
the staple diet of Zimbabwe. The value of the crop is Z$9,4 billion. Last
season 50% of the maize crop was stolen with no police action taken against
the perpetrators. This severely eroded confidence for the commercial sector
and compromised viability. Maize production at 480,000 tonnes is estimated
to be 67 per cent less than last year and 77 per cent less than 1999-2000.

It is impossible at this time to confirm how these estimates will translate
into yields as some of the farmers who expressed intentions may yet come
under Section 8 notification and will have to leave before the
planting/harvesting. All listed farms can be acquired without a hearing and
the crop seized after only 45 days. The few farms which have not been listed
have only 75 days protection ensuring that the current legal framework is
inimical to any land preparations or crop planting. It is difficult for any
farmer to plan ahead until the past promises to de-list farms are honoured
and it is clear that allocations have been administered fairly.

Interesting financial statistics:

TOTAL ZIMBABWE GDP = $ 488 billion
Total value of commercial farm production = $ 69 billion (18% GDP)
If 90% of farmers stop farming: LOSS = $ 62 billion (12.70% GDP)

TOTAL EXPORTS (2001) estimate = US $ 2 billion
Commercial Agric. contribution to exports = US$765 million (38% of total)
If 90% of farmers stop farming: LOSS = US$689 million (34% of total)

Ends
2nd August 2002

For more information contact Jenni Williams
Justice For Agriculture Publicity Team
Mobile (263) 91 300 456 0r 00 213 885
Email us at jennipr@mweb.co.zw <mailto:jennipr@mweb.co.zw> or
justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw

Back to the Top
Back to Index

News release: 1st August 2002
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)

THE BUTCHER, THE BANKER AND THE RESETTLEMENT FAKER.

Evidence suggests that the notorious Commander Air Force and for commander
fifth brigade Perence Shire has laid claim to Eirene farm in Ruzawi, south
of Marondera, Mashonaland East. The farm's owner, Hamish Charters was
forcibly evicted by an individual known as Daniel Matenga, an army officer,
and others, in April this year.

The farm owner's son was escorted off Eirene Farm by 4 youths on Tuesday
morning, 2 of whom were armed with AK47's. The youths told him not to return
to the farm, and that the equipment still on the property could not be
removed without the prior permission of the new owner, whom they named as
Perence Shiri.

In a subsequent phone conversation with the farm owner, Shire denied having
intentions of seizing the farm, but then stated that the owner's cattle had
to be removed, as his own animals were being brought onto the farm. This
farm has been heavily occupied by A1 settlers since April 2000, a violent
group led by a man named BheBhe Musimbe, who have carried out marauding
attacks on surrounding farms in the area.

A torture camp was established on the farm at the time of the Presidential
elections. The farm's owner sustained a fractured skull and a fairly severe
beating at the hands of these "settlers" in October 2001, when he attempted
to work the farm after obtaining a High Court Order allowing him to do so.
This Order is unenforced to the present day. The Farm is under notice of
acquisition that is believed to be null and void, as no notice to appear in
court has been received in the required 30-day window period.
Ends


COMMERCIAL Farmer, Adrian Wilkinson (50) has been evicted from his farm to
make way for Metropolitan Bank MD, Enock Kamushinda, Tutor in Human
Resources Dept University of Zimbabwe, Robert Chimedza, and Zimbabwe's
Ambassador to the United States, Simbi Veke Mubako. The men are to share
1200 ha spread known as Remainder of Between Rivers farm. The farm has
previously grown Seed Maize and Tobacco, Soya Beans and Wheat and employs
140 men and women, is under a Section 8, which has expired due to the
non-issuance of a Section 7 notice within a 30-day period.

Kamushinda arrived on the farm on Good Friday in April and asked Wilkinson
'Do you know me?' Wilkinson replied negatively. Kamushinda then made a
contradictory statement saying, "You are the owner of this land. I am the
one going to be leasing it from Government."

It is believed that Ambassador Mubako has since sent his brother to announce
his presence on the farm and his brother and a cousin Matthew also visited
the farm this weekend. Chimedza has already established a presence on the
farm and has planted a wheat crop.

Another settler, Frank Garikayi (Chairman of Zvimba Rural District Council)
died recently and President Robert Mugabe recently attended his funeral on
one part of the farm. It was on this day that the President passed through
Clydesdale Farm and stopped to tour the farm with the McKenzie family. The
Garikayi family are still keen to take up this portion of the farm, which is
of traditional and spiritual importance to the community.

The eviction of Wilkinson began after members of the Zimbabwe Federation of
Trade Unions (ZFTU) stopped Wilkinson from removing over 5 500 pockets of
Seed Maize and
88 000 kgs of Tobacco which was graded and ready to be delivered to the
floors. The crops, valued at over Z$ 50 million were held back to put
pressure on Wilkinson to pay retrenchment packages to staff.

According to reports from staff on 30 June, Minister of Local Government and
Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo had called staff to a meeting to introduce Enock
Kamushinda to the farm staff and to inform them that they were to stop the
owner removing his produce and equipment and that they were to demand
retrenchment. They would all be re-employed by Kamushinda once the owner
had left. A witness at the meeting said that at the close of the meeting
Minister Chombo handed out $ 2000 to the men and women present and
Kamushinda also gave them $ 3000 each. This was said to be beer money.

Wilkinson said, "On Sunday 7th July 2002, at approximately 10:30 am, an
entourage arrived in a white Land Cruiser 785 714 H. The vehicle was driven
by someone who identified himself as Peter, who said he was Kamushinda
driver. He was accompanied by Ronald Chakadenga and John Phiri (Chombo's
employees) and Mrs Chimedza. A notorious local war veteran, Kangachepi
accompanied them. They immediately asked me why I had not left on the 25th
June to which I replied that I had until the 8th August according Minister
Made's amendment to the Land Acquisition Act. They denied any knowledge of
the Act or the significance of this date and refused to discuss it, saying
it was nonsense and that I was to pack immediately and leave or there would
be trouble. I declined, saying that I would not leave until my crops had
been sent to market.

A guard was left behind "to ensure I did not take anything off the farm."
The group, made up of Chakadenga, (representing Dr Chombo) with
representatives from Kamushinda and Chimedza returned on Monday at 5 pm and
informed Wilkinson that they would pay for everything, crops and implements
if he left immediately. The group is said to have shouted a barrage of
threats to press Wilkinson to leave. He declined and made a made a report to
the Police.

Wilkinson was barricaded in his home for four days of intimidation with
political singing and dancing outside his front and back doors. "Late
Wednesday a Colonel Mataruka (Grey Scouts contingent) called and said that
if I cooperate with a ministry official, Mrs Gift Chikeza who wanted to
prepare an inventory, the youth would be moved off." Said Wilkinson.

Chikeza completed the evaluation with the youth in tow and then pressured
Wilkinson to sign off the inventory if he did not she threatened to tell the
youth to invade his house. Wilkinson has since found out that Chikeza's
sister Muphumira, who is involved with Victoria Milling, has also been
allocated a plot on the farm and wants the house section.

Wilkinson traveled to Harare to discuss the removal of Seed Maize with Seed
Co representatives and upon his return to the farm, the manager informed him
that Dr Chombo and Col Mataruka had arrived and reconfirmed that nothing was
to leave the farm and that Wilkinson was to 'Farm from Harare'.

After much negotiation back and forth between the workers committee and the
owner, staff have accepted that retrenchment can only be paid once all the
farming activities are completed. Wilkinson plans to transport his produce
off the farm this week.

Over the last week Dr Chombo either in person or through Chakadenga, Phiri
or Kangachepi have visited 8 farms in Mashonaland West, harassing them with
a view to evicting them. Kangachepi is at present illegally resident on
Erewhon farm owned by Jean Simon. Simon has a court order declaring her
Section 8 order null and void.
Ends

A senior official in the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture has illegally
taken over a Chinhoyi based farm, despite the fact that the High Court
declared legal notices served on the farmer, Anthony White, null and void.

The Official, who is said to be the Director of Resettlement in the
Ministry, a Mr
Zishiri is reported to have already placed his cattle on the farm, and has
grown a maize crop, against the owner's will.

Zishiri first showed interest in Long Valley Farm on 6th March 2002, a week
after the Presidential elections, when he visited the property and demanded
to see the owner. Zishiri proceeded to enquire from White exactly when he
was planning to leave the farm.

White explained that he would not be vacating his farm as his Section 8 was
due to expire the following day, in the absence of a Section 7 application
having been made. Section 7 papers were delivered to him later that same
day, by another vehicle from the Ministry.

A month later, Zishiri returned to Long Valley and ordered White's guard to
share the guardhouse with a Gody Zishiri, presumably a relative. The guard
was also ordered to open the guardroom so that Gody Zishiri could store
maize. Attempts to get the police to intervene in the situation, which was
an infringement of the guard's rights, were fruitless. The police merely
instructed them to co-exist peacefully in the same accommodation.

On the 15th June 2002 Zishiri again returned to the farm and instructed the
guard to order White to open up the farm sheds for his use. He later ordered
Gody Zishiri in the presence of witnesses, to break into the sheds, break
locks and break down walls if necessary. This destruction was carried out by
Gody Zishiri six days later in full view of White's staff.

Police refused to respond despite White's Section 7/8 having been declared
null and void by the High Court on the 19th June. Zishiri is said to have
commented that he was the owner of the shed.

On his next visit on 7th July 2002, an Agritex official accompanied Zishiri.
The pair arrived at about 11:50am and demanded that White pump water for the
settlers and fill the dip. He also accused White of not co-operating with
the settlers and refusing to co-exist peacefully. He threatened that he
(White) would be the first person to be jailed for refusing to co-exist or
to leave.

When White informed him that the compulsory notice (Section 8) had been
declared null & void by the High Court, Zishiri stated that the law was of
no consequence and that he himself was the law. He proceeded to inform White
that the farm now belonged to him and threatened to have White evicted and a
caretaker installed in his house.

Zishiri reportedly promised to make White's life unpleasant if he refused to
co-operate. He insisted that White pump water for the settlers, and dip
their cattle, which he had already been doing for some time. When White
pointed out that this was expensive and no one would pay him for doing this,
the Agritex official indicated that Government would pay the bill. White has
attempted to obtain payment but has been unsuccessful.

Ends
1st August 2002
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Editor

I write in response to the beating of ZANU PF Youths
by soldiers in Mutare last Tuesday. When the
opposition party supporters were being beaten, the ZRP
refused to take heed about this.

I personally saw the MDC MP for Kuwadzana (HARARE),
Edwin Mushoriwa, being beaten by soldiers in his own
constituency, Dzivaresekwa near the Islamic Church.
The police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena and the army
refused that there was nothing like that going on in
the country. The army and the 'Black Boots', were
unleashed in high density surburbs to beat anyone
heavily.

Now, its your turn. The Youths should get the taste of
their own medicine. Why did they join that party which
does not even care about its own citizens. This
country has gone to tail-less dogs. There are some
instances which are not even reported. I work within
the parameters of state house and I know what is
happening but one day wherever Kabila and the former
Romanian leader are, they will have a companion.

Girls are being used as sex slaves in the name of
national youth service. How many Ministers, ZANU PF
MPs, Governors do we have, but do they have even a
single child as a 'Green Bomber'. God help us.

The Ministers' children are busy studying in EU
countries and the USA. The current Zimbabwean
leadership are shouting at the hand that is feeding
their children. The schools to which they attend were
built and equipped using tax-payer funds from their
own citizens. They should have the right to say no, go
back to Zimbabwe and attend to Robert Mugabe's Kutama
and Murenga Schools. We have plenty of Chenjerai
Hunzvis, Nyagumbos many ZANU PF politicians who were
named after them but never did anything for these
schools. Let their children come and get education at
these institutions.


Mugabe has destroyed this once beautiful country with
his controversial policies. Everyone wants land reform
to progress. White commercial farmers, Thomas Mapfumo,
Oliver Mtukudzi, Chioniso Maraire and others but the
way you intend to implement this, is WRONG. He should
also fire people like Jonathan 'MaMoyo' Moyo, Joseph
'Mad Man' Made and Chinamasa. These guys were not
elected and their speeches should be controlled and
censored because they are taking us back to stone-age.

Can you imagine irrigating with the 'shaduff'. Many a
farmer had installed expensive drip irrigation systems
on farms. Some are computerised. They were going to
feed this nation, their country. Think again Made.

'Charlie ' (Name and address withheld)

Back to the Top
Back to Index

"SAVE ZIMBABWE" CAMPAIGN WELCOMES BRITISH PARLIAMENT REPORT, CALLS FOR
INCREASED FOCUS ON FARM WORKERS

www.savezimbabwe.com

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign has warmly welcomed the Report on Zimbabwe
published this week by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

"The Committee's strong and clear condemnation of the cruel damage inflicted
on the people of Zimbabwe is an eloquent indictment of this illegitimate
regime", the Campaign said.

The Campaign also welcomed the Report's repeated emphasis that the crisis in
Zimbabwe is a national tragedy involving the nation as a whole, rather than
any individual group or special interest.

However, "Save Zimbabwe" said they would have welcomed even more emphasis on
the suffering and loss within the community of black farm workers caused by
the regime's destructive and corrupt land reform programme. "When 'war
veterans' loot and destroy a productive farm, it is not merely the farm
owner who suffers; it is the entire community who have depended on that farm
for their livings", a "Save Zimbabwe" spokesman said.

Present reports already indicate some 800,000 workers have now lost their
livelihoods, and thus their ability to feed their families. But the
situation is expected to become horrendously worse, with many more farms
scheduled for seizure within days, and the regime openly denying food aid to
Opposition supporters.

"Save Zimbabwe" said : "Robert Mugabe has made a friend of famine, using it
to punish his enemies, hoarding the maize to reward his friends. Look into
the actions of this regime, and you are looking into the heart of evil"

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative,
with broadbased support drawn from both political parties and community
groups. It was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban
and is designed to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government
to Zimbabwe. The holding of early, free and fair elections, under full and
proper international supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.

ENDS

Issued by Chelgate Limited: www.chelgate.com
On behalf of the ""Save Zimbabwe" campaign.

For further information, please contact Terence Fane-Saunders on:
44 (0) 207 939 7939 or
44 (0) 7768 283 144
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Editor's Memo

Mocking the law

OF all the public comments by Zanu PF leaders over recent years that have
damaged international confidence in Zimbabwe, few could have been more
calculated to harm this country's standing than President Mugabe's
declaration last Thursday that government will defy court judgements it does
not like.

Speaking at a reception for MPs to mark the opening of the new session of
parliament, Mugabe said government would not obey judgements it regarded as
"subjective".


"We will respect judges where the judgements are true judgements," he said.


He was referring of course to the case where Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa has been convicted of contempt of court by Justice Fergus Blackie.


A judge who "sits alone in his house and says 'this one is guilty of
contempt', that judgement should never be obeyed," Mugabe declared to the
assembled guests.

With this statement the president has effectively declared Zimbabwe a
country where the rule of law will not be respected by its rulers - unless
it suits them.


Most of us know this to be the case already. Zimbabwe has been moving
steadily towards this state of affairs over the past two years. Most notably
judges have been forced out of office by threats from ministers and war
veterans to be replaced by individuals touted as supportive of the
government's political agenda. Members of the ruling party have committed
murder and other crimes with impunity. And few would now regard the courts
as reliable guarantors of their rights.


But the one thing the South Africans achieved in their quiet diplomacy since
April 2000 was to impress upon this regime the negative effect of hearing
its leaders repudiate their own laws on land acquisition. The upshot was a
series of laws that enabled the government to do very much as it pleased.
But thus armed, Mugabe was dissuaded from making any more of the remarks he
made in 1993 saying essentially he didn't give a damn what the law said, he
would take the land anyway.


Now he has returned to his old form. He will only respect "true" judgements.
Clearly it will be left to him to determine which judgements he regards as
"true".


This of course makes a mockery of the law. The essence of a separation of
powers and constitutional governance is that the courts determine where the
executive has abridged laid-down rights. The president and his ministers are
not disinterested parties. They cannot therefore pick and choose which
judgements they will accept. Judgements are binding upon all if justice is
to prevail. Otherwise the powerful in the land can do what they like.


A Form IV pupil could master this logic. But not apparently Mugabe and his
delinquent followers, several of whom claim to be lawyers. Their
self-interested reasoning flies in the face of all international standards
of governance. And then they wonder why they have been ostracised by the
international community.


This latest move will simply strengthen the hand of those countries urging
further sanctions against Zimbabwe's leadership. We saw last week how deputy
Foreign Affairs minister Abedinico Ncube's reported remarks advertising Zanu
PF's food-aid manipulation were seized upon by Jack Straw. Mugabe's shocking
comments are likely to elicit an even firmer response. Here is a leader who
publicly declares his contempt for the rule of law either because it is
inconvenient to the state's agenda or because a powerful minister is
affected.


Jonathan Moyo has criticised Blackie for holding "night courts", suggesting
there was something irregular about rulings given after close of business.
As the Law Society pointed out at the time, there is nothing irregular about
court orders being made outside normal working hours. An urgent application
should be submitted to a judge immediately if applicants are to avoid being
prejudiced. An application made to prevent a search warrant, for instance,
obviously cannot wait until the next day. Judges sitting to hear such
applications are acting in the best interests of justice and a duty judge
roster ensures a judge is always available to hear such applications at any
hour.


A current criticism of the judiciary is that magistrates and judges in some
cases prejudice applicants by indulging police claims that are patently
inadequate in terms of evidence or politically motivated. Individuals have
been detained on the flimsiest charges that subsequently proved
insupportable in court - or indeed have been dropped before plea. In some
cases magistrates or judges have leant over backwards to entertain police
charges or have given the Attorney-General's office extra time to
substantiate the charges - often in vain.


The independence of the judiciary has already been compromised by
accommodations of this sort where the rights of citizens to their liberty
have not been respected. Mugabe's remarks to MPs - providing legislators
with a poor example of leadership - will feed a damaging perception that
where judges do their duty in upholding the rights of individuals or holding
the over-mighty to account they are likely to be ignored. It will also deter
judicial activism that is sorely lacking in today's repressive national
climate.

When the consequences of Mugabe's irresponsible remarks make themselves felt
over the next few days and weeks, please don't let's hear any bleatings from
ministers and their media that Zimbabwe is getting an unfair hearing abroad
or that the president is being "demonised".


In his Independence Day speech in April 1980 Mugabe said: "Only a government
that submits itself to the rule of law has any moral right to demand of its
citizens obedience to the rule of law."


He needs reminding of that.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Branding serene Victoria Falls - another country
Sandawana
TO the international jet-set, there can be few more pleasureable experiences
in the world than enjoying High Tea in the wake of a 4pm thunderstorm on the
verandah of the Victoria Falls Hotel. Rich Americans clamour for this kind
of stuff - all terribly British and colonial - and, apparently, don't
complain if their bill comes to more than $300 000 a day.

The view of the Falls from the verandah across the rolling lawn down to the
Bridge, as well as all the other hotels in the Zimsun group, would cost a
mere US$50 million at its current market capitalisation, small change to any
American highroller. Set that against what Sun International spent on
building Royal Livingstone and the Zambezi Sun - US$65 million - with
nothing of the view, and it is quite clear Zimsun's share price is massively
undervalued. At replacement cost alone, Zimsun should be valued at $60 a
share. But while Zimsun's downside is limited and there are clear blue skies
on the upside, it could all end in tears pretty quickly if social unrest
were to take place sooner than it appears, or if there were to be mass
starvation - as all figures and aid agencies point towards.


One thing rich people don't like to see is poor people starving. They tend
to choke on the proverbial cucumber sandwich, which they could be enjoying
in a variety of other lovely locations around the globe. However things turn
out for us in our beautiful country, it is clear that there is an impending
divorce between Zimbabwe as a destination and Victoria Falls.

Government's own projections show that arrivals at Victoria Falls Airport
will eclipse Harare International by 2007 and "branding Victoria Falls" is
becoming a more talked about concept, given that the political impasse is
set to continue in this country for years to come.


The Zimsun AGM turned out to be a good-natured affair, with shareholders
happy to know that management lost a few nights sleep when Zimsun's share
price fell to around $2 shortly after they bought SAB's stake at $3,19 a
share. In fact, shareholders were more concerned about the inability of the
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority - considered to be a political animal - to
effectively promote the country and called on management to take matters
into its own hands in the same way Meikles Africa has done by hiring
Millennium PR. Promoting destinations through "branding" is becoming
increasingly popular.


While the AGM was taking place last Friday, Venice mayor Paolo Costa
launched an international tender for communication and design firms to
submit a logo, and a marketing and communication plan, to sell the city that
calls itself the "Queen of the Adriatic". Costa wants Venice to have a
trademark logo to rival New York's instantly recognisable "I Love NY", which
he expects could earn the city millions to save its sinking heritage.
"Branding Victoria Falls" and tying in Hwange National Park looks to be the
way forward.


As for Zimsun, it's going to be an interesting story to watch. Unbundling
remains the buzzword in the market - former parent Delta has been a
spectacular success, so has TZI, and THZ looks to be going the same way come
the end of September. There is no doubt there is huge value that could be
unlocked by putting the Zimsun's Vic Falls assets into one group and
throwing - at least what is perceived to be - the bedraggled rest to the
political tradewinds.


Earnings season kicks off

Interfresh was first off the blocks in the current earnings season, keen to
show the market just how well it has done in the past six months. The group
reported a 567% increase in EPS and debt finally appears to be convincingly
under control. CEO Evan Christophides was coy about the results for the full
year, saying he expected a 50:50 split and simply annualised earnings at
just below $2 a share. But the chances are that Interfresh will beat even
the current top EPS forecast of $2,68 a share if higher forex rates and
inflation are factored in. At its annualised EPS of $2, Interfresh is on a
forward P/E of around 7, way lower than peer Ariston, which is in the high
teens.


But if Interfresh has done well with around 40% of its turnover in exports,
Ariston, with nearly 90% of its goods going abroad, is going to do even
better. Plus Ariston will have the benefit, in the second half ending
September, of a higher blended parallel rate. Analysts are already banding
around very large figures. Regardless of Ariston's results, Interfresh has
had a good run over the past three months and results such as these are
likely to place the stock on an even firmer footing.

Where to now?


The stock market continues to put in a solid performance, boosted in part by
the collapse in the money market three-month rates now as low as 22%. Some
stocks are putting in astronomical performances - Afdis, Delta, Art, Hippo,
Meikles, and PG being among them. Century pipped back up on $2,65 on
Wednesday on volume of 3,6 million. But some in the market are asking
whether it is overvalued at the moment? Versus its international peers, it's
actually not. The Dow, at 8 000, had an average P/E of 35, not dissimilar to
ours, which is distorted by so many other factors, inflation being one of
them.


And the Dow is in the grip of a bear hug at the moment. Taking future P/E
ratios, we could probably halve that figure and would be trading on about
20. Anyway, inflation at its current rate implies, as Sandawana has noted
before, that the market should rise by at least 10% a month. Those perceived
to be casualties of the declining economic base won't make the cut, but its
onwards and upwards for those market favourites that are perceived to thrive
in this climate. The ZSE is likely to soon pass 100 000 and it looks like
its going to keep going, because one thing is for sure, you know you're
going to be a lot poorer if you leave your money in the bank.

Politician's performance


An unlikely shareholder at Zimpapers AGM was Daily News editor Geoff
Nyarota, keen to harass chairman Enock Kamushinda, who put up a politician's
performance when it came to dodging questions. Tired of pesky shareholders
asking questions, Kamushinda tried to close the one-and-a-quarter hour
meeting without answering questions pending from the floor. Few answers were
given: Zimpapers apparently wants to concentrate on more profitable printing
as opposed to the loss-making newspaper division and also increase exports
of its rags overseas. No answers were forthcoming about its massive debt or
what will be done about it.


One reason, perhaps, for the virulent attacks Zimpapers' titles have been
conducting against Leonard Tsumba is because it has no undertaking that the
RBZ will give Zimpapers money at the official rate to pay off its 557 000
debt. Also, no reason was given for the departure of Bramwell Kamudyariwa,
who has been replaced by the GMB's Justin Mutasa. Sandawana wonders how long
he will last, given the constant turnover of management.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Elephant Hills rebuild due for completion in early 2003
Own Correspondent
ZIMBABWE Sun will complete the rebuilding of the Elephant Hills by February
2003 at a cost of $1,3 billion, which will put the hotel group back into
debt to the tune of $700 million, CEO John Smith told the group's AGM.

The new Elephant Hills will be built with improvements to "correct the
operational mistakes" when the hotel was constructed in 1990, he said. It
will also have a new conference room and business centre as well as an
outdoor shopping centre. The public areas will also be "brighter and
fresher". Smith said the rebuild would be done in a way that would allow for
additional improvements as the occupancies recovered to pre-2000 levels.

All remaining insurance proceeds from the fire at Elephant Hills had been
received - $197 million was outstanding at the end of the March financial
year - and results for the six months to September would include an unusual
gain of $1 billion. Some of these proceeds had been kept offshore - with
Reserve Bank approval - to finance the import of certain materials required
for the rebuild. Management was unsure of how the new 500% tax on luxury
goods would affect the rebuild costs.


Phase 1 of the Archipelago Sun time share resort near Vilanculos, which
comprised 18 three-bedroom units, would be completed by April next year.
Smith said capex of US$1 million had been totally funded off balance sheet,
with some US$600 000 of units having been sold so far.


In the year to March, the company managed to contain cost increases to 66%
and Smith said the need remained in the current year, with "rampant"
increases in prices throughout the country. Insurance costs for the group,
he noted, had risen fivefold to $150 million. Shareholders voted for a 65%
increase in directors' fees, which management pointed out was lower than the
average for listed companies.


Old Mutual is now the biggest shareholder in the group with a 37,1% stake,
while Zimsun employees and management had bought SAB's 18,5% stake for $3,19
a share.


Looking ahead, chairman Eben Makonese said the period July through to
November "looks promising and could well exceed expectations".

However, tourist arrivals would depend on the situation in the country and
the prevailing exchange rate.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Muckraker

What lessons will Mugabe learn from Langkawi?

WITH President Mugabe attending the Langkawi International Dialogue meeting
in Malaysia this week, it may be instructive for readers to learn of the
views of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on African countries.

He said the dialogue faced waning interest because businessmen felt that
after seven years of such meetings, no progress was made, especially by
African countries which did not seem able to implement the ideas raised
during sessions.

Mahathir called on Malaysian businessmen to adopt a friendly attitude
towards their hosts when travelling abroad. But he evidently felt
hospitality should not be taken too far.

He cited an incident where an African businessman during a visit to another
developing country had thrown US dollar bills on the floor causing the
reception ceremony to be disrupted as guests scrambled for the money.

He warned Malaysian businessmen against doing such things as it was "very
crude".

Mugabe is one of those who have consistently attended the Langkawi Dialogue
over the seven-year period that it has been running. What projects have been
implemented as a result? Can we have a statement from the President's Office
when he gets back? We would hate to think he is wasting public funds by
attending these meetings without actually learning anything!

Muckraker was interested to see Pius Wakatama's comments in his Daily News
column last week on full-time Herald letter-writer WT Kanyongo's attempts to
link the MDC to violence following the Jongwe case.

We have commented before on this US-based correspondent whose contributions
invariably reflect the views of officials in the Department of Information
and are couched in the same vitriolic terms. We asked why, given the rabid
patriotism he advertises, he continues to live and work abroad? But Kanyongo
declined to respond. Whatever post he occupies clearly affords him plenty of
time for writing his anti-MDC missives.

The linkage between certain Herald letter-writers who use language similar
to Information minister Jonathan Moyo was evident recently in a letter
titled "Deport Meldrum immediately" from somebody calling themselves "This
land is mine" (July 24).

The letter bore an uncanny resemblance to a report on Page 4 of the same
newspaper in which Moyo attacked the Guardian correspondent for "using the
gallery of the international media to ridicule Zimbabwe's laws, constitution
and institutions". Meldrum was abusing the judicial system by jumping from
court to court, Moyo complained, and pretending he had the same rights as a
Zimbabwe citizen.

This all stemmed from an invitation CNN had issued to Moyo to appear on the
same discussion programme as Meldrum.

"We are in a Zimbabwean court of law with Meldrum and we will not move from
there to CNN. The matter is subjudice," Moyo haughtily replied in a rare
demonstration of legal scruples. Any attempt by CNN to suggest he had
refused to talk to them would result in CNN being given the BBC treatment,
Moyo warned.

"This land is mine" said Meldrum should be made to fight his legal case from
outside the country. Foreign correspondents were filing reports that there
was a breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe, the writer complained. When a
deportation order is issued against an individual in the US, the person is
sent home immediately. Zimbabweans were being deported every day from the
UK, the writer claimed.

None of this is true of course. It is not an "abuse" to exercise your right
to appeal to the courts for relief from arbitrary state orders that deprive
you of your laid-down rights. It is not Meldrum claiming that permanent
residents have the same rights as citizens but the constitution. The High
Court appeared to agree. It is the state in this case that is abusing its
powers.

The comparison with Britain and the US is fatuous. The US would not deport
permanent residents and certainly not for writing something the government
took exception to as Kanyongo's case shows. Britain is not deporting
permanent residents. It is refusing leave to land to non-residents seeking
to enter the country - just as the Zimbabwean authorities do. And how can
Moyo criticise CNN for seeking his point of view? What would he say if they
hadn't?

On July 17 the Herald ran an editorial attacking the CFU for requesting
direct talks with the president over the land issue.

"The decisions made by the (Agriculture) ministry over land had the
blessings of the president and to call for direct talks with him is to
demean his office and we find this unpalatable," the Herald Comment
pompously said.

Talks would be a waste of time, it said. "This was just a way to hoodwink
the government into thinking the farmers were sincere."

In a letter on the same page titled "CFU's wish to meet the president
baffling", a regular writer called "Patriot" asked: "How many times have the
farmers hoodwinked us Zimbabweans?"

The farmers were just ordinary citizens and it was "impertinent" of them to
want to talk directly to the president.

"We voted the president into power and he is only there as a custodian of
the electorate," we were told. He had "other important issues to attend to",
"Patriot" claimed without elaborating.

The Herald editorial said nobody - including international donors - could
stop the government from taking land. Echoing this sentiment, "Patriot"
said: "We have come this far without so-called international donors and are
succeeding so we don't need them."

Are these similarities in both content and usage entirely coincidental? What
do you think?

We extend our sympathy to Tafataona Mahoso who was the victim of a violent
mugging last week. He was walking into town from a State House reception for
MPs on Thursday night when he was assaulted by three men who tried to
strangle him, he said from his hospital bed. His left leg was broken in the
attack which saw the thieves make off with his shoes, watch and spectacles
as well as cash.

The Herald showed him lying in his hospital bed with what looked
suspiciously like a copy of the Daily News next to him.

Public sympathy may have waned somewhat when Jonathan Moyo attempted to
hijack the episode to claim there was "more to the attack than meets the
eye". Robbery was merely a ploy to "commit the ultimate crime", he darkly
suggested, claiming Mahoso was the victim of "barbaric violence perpetrated
by the usual political cowards".

"Are these barbaric acts of public and domestic violence the beginning of
the much-talked-about mass action?"

Is there any crime he won't exploit for political capital? Are muggings and
violent robberies so unusual in the capital? Is domestic violence unknown in
ministerial circles?

Mahoso is known for eschewing the trappings of wealth and comfort. So he
never drives but takes communter transport. This is of course commendable.
But the head of the Mass Media department at the local Polytech should have
some grasp of the seriousness of the crime situation spawned in part by the
economic policies of the regime he supports. It was not so much principled
as foolhardy to walk back from State House to the city centre late at
night - as most people living in the real world might have told him.

Whatever the case, we wish him a speedy recovery. And next time he is
photographed we expect to see him reading a copy of the Sunday Mail with
some enthusiasm - however much effort that may require.

There have been a few pot shots recently directed at the Independent by the
Sunday Mirror and the Tribune. The Sunday Mirror's "Behind the Words"
columnist claimed Trevor Ncube's purchase of the Mail & Guardian showed the
Guardian's owners did not want the paper to fall into the hands of
indigenous South African owners but preferred an acceptable black face
behind which the white liberal "crusade" in the region could continue.

This is the sort of redundant Zanu PF junk one should expect from the Sunday
Mirror which increasingly resembles the Sunday Mail with which it shares
stories demonising the Attorney-General when he shows signs of acting
impartially against wayward ministers.

In fact the owners of the Guardian sold the M&G to the bidder who could
demonstrate an ability to run a profitable newspaper and respect its
editorial independence - something the Sunday Mirror understandably has
difficulty grasping.

Any newspaper which wishes the government "well" in its bid to purge the
judiciary is clearly yet another apologist for the ruling party. But
managing to get the word "comprador" into a heading suggests a level of
ideological sclerosis that even the Sunday Mail would resist.

The Business Tribune has also been quick to take aim at Ncube's acquisition.
Their story noted that African Banking Corporation, "which is being probed
by the Reserve Bank for allegedly siphoning millions of dollars out of the
country" through the transfer of Old Mutual shares, bankrolled the M&G deal.

Then the paper slipped in a line which it obviously hoped would establish
guilt-by-association: "It was not immediately clear by last night (July 17)
whether RBZ investigations would cover this latest deal."

Perhaps papers that are not sure of their facts should avoid speculation
based on proprietorial sour grapes.

Has the Sunday Mail's political editor Munyaradzi Huni discovered who the MP
for Nkayi (the MDC's Abedinico Bhebhe) is yet? Last weekend Huni was
inadvertently (we hope) accusing the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs
(Abedinico Ncube, Gwanda South) of all sorts of things. Can we expect a
retraction?

The Sunday Mail found a couple of "analysts" at UZ last Sunday to attack the
Independent and others for allegedly trying to muzzle the public in their
responses to the Jongwe affair.

"The fact is the public now believes," one "analyst" said, "that violence is
at the core of the MDC and that is why its spokesperson claims to have
brutally stabbed his wife eight times because of the so-called accumulative
provocation."

Another "UZ lecturer" in political studies was quoted as saying any
political leader who violates the right to life deserves full public
scrutiny.

They were replying to criticism that Jongwe was being subjected to trial by
media. An MP was recruited to say that Zanu PF's critics had been compiling
lists of dead people - "real or imaginary" - claiming that they had been
killed by Zanu PF.

"The MDC had even shown its disregard for Zimbabwe's sovereignty by going to
the US with conclusions that Zanu PF murdered its supporters," the MP said.

Actually, the conclusion that Zanu PF had murdered MDC supporters was the
court's. And the applicants went to the US because they could not obtain
justice at home - a shocking indictment of what the regime has done to the
judiciary.

But what we can't understand is why these brave Zanu PF "analysts" in the
politics department at UZ and the garrulous MP were unable to provide their
names. Do they not stand by what they say? What could they be afraid of?
Surely not a little old list?

ZBC's Newshour reporter on Monday evening claimed losing MDC candidate in
the Kadoma mayoral election, Edita Matamisa, had refused to be interviewed.
The clip we saw in fact showed the reporter poking Matamisa in the face,
ears and head with a microphone while she ducked around to avoid the
importunity. The reporter's behaviour was disgusting to say the least. The
intention probably was to provoke a scene to justify Zanu PF politicians'
claims that the MDC is a violent party. Luckily it was a decent woman who
was being harassed and she successfully shamed the ZBC hooligan by
restraining herself. But the reporter clearly deserved what Reuben Barwe got
at the airport last year.

Finally, how about this for delusional journalism from the Sunday Mail:
"President Mugabe's address to parliament outlined the way forward and was
pregnant with optimism that sooner or later Zimbabwe will be out of the
woods."

This raises a couple of questions: Who got the address pregnant? And can't
the woods be better policed?
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Eric Bloch column

The gap between Mugabe's speech and reality
THE most notable feature of President Mugabe's speech on the occasion of the
opening of the third session of the Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe on July 23
was the extent that his sycophants must have misled him as to the situation
"on the ground" in Zimbabwe.

For more than two decades Zimbabweans recognised the president as a man of
significant intellect who had excelled in academia, accumulating a most
impressive array of university degrees. It is therefore inconceivable that
he could have said so much which does not accord with the economic
realities, unless he had been grossly misinformed by those surrounding him
and in whom he has placed his trust.

He commenced his speech by saying that "our country is facing considerable
challenges arising from a combination of continued British machinations and
the consequences of the drought..." It cannot be denied that Zimbabwe is
confronted with immense challenges. Nor can it be denied that drought has
been a significant contributor to those challenges. However, one must ponder
the likelihood that the other contributor is "British machinations".

There is no proven evidence thereof, and no credible motivation therefore.
Moreover, to a far greater extent this country's challenges have been the
direct consequence of its own actions. That Zimbabwe needed a land reform
programme is undoubted, and it had to be one that would successfully empower
a significant portion of the population, agriculturally and economically.
But it did not, and does not, need one that destroys the very foundations of
the economy, and one that is the principal cause of pronounced food
shortages, in contradistinction to the extent that drought is alleged to be
that cause. It did not, and does not, need one that is unjust, inhuman,
racially divisive, and encompasses excessive enrichment of the politically
favoured.

Pursuing the issue of Zimbabwe's desperate need for food, Mugabe suggested
that some donors "seek to take advantage of our hour of need to attenuate
our sovereignty", and that they have "sinister interests which seek
surreptitiously to advance themselves". How malevolent must be those that
have advised President Mugabe that such motives exist when there is clear
evidence that it is humanitarian concern for the distressed circumstances of
millions that is foremost in the donors' minds?

But Mugabe went further, alleging that "there are some quarters that have
sought to tarnish our image for political reasons by falsely claiming that
government is using food as a political weapon by allegedly distributing it
only to supporters of the ruling party". From that statement one must
inevitably assume that those around him shielded him from widely published
reports alleging that Abednico Ncube, a Zanu PF member of parliament, told a
rally in Gwanda that only supporters of Zanu PF would be recipients of food
aid. Certainly, there have been no prominently published disclaimers, which
prompts one to surmise that there may, perhaps, be an element of substance
in the allegations.

Mugabe told Parliament that "gove-rnment remains committed toachieving
sustainable economic growth and the accelerated development and
industrialisation of Zimbabwe". That he is so committed is undoubted, and
that too must be so of many, if not most, of his government. However, that
commitment has no prospect of realisation if, first of all, before striving
for that growth, the economic decline is not halted. To do so requires
recognition of the realities which have caused the decline, and which
continue to fuel that decline.

Those realities include a marked absence of law and order, the deci-mation
of agriculture, the rendering of most exports uncompetitive in international
markets, the alienation of the international community, the pronounced and
counter-productive regulation of the economy, extensive corruption, and
irresponsibly excessive, spendthrift state expenditure far beyond the nation
's means.

And President Mugabe further suggested that the commitment to achieving
sustainable economic growth is attainable by using the land reform and
resettlement exercise which would, he said, provide "the platform on which
to pursue" that objective. Certainly, as agriculture has always been the
economy's foundation, and had vast potentials for further positive
development, land reform and resettlement could well have been, and still
could be, the platform for future economic growth, but only if it is pursued
constructively and markedly differently than heretofore.

At another point of his speech, Mugabe stated that "our banking institutions
have to be shaken into realising the harm they are doing to the economy
through rampant indiscipline" and that "the parallel market must be
controlled", and that "everyone, including the productive sector, is
convinced that a run-away exchange rate cannot be the way to the recovery of
our economy". Very clearly his trusted advisors have either not given him
the real facts, or have distorted them. No one has suggested "a run-away
exchange rate", but the productive sector knows that realistic devaluation
is one of the prerequisites of survival.

Many have suggested that the exchange rates should fairly and realistically
reflect the real value of Zimbabwe's currency. That that currency's value
has sharply declined is incontrovertible, bearing in mind Zimbabwe's rampant
inflation since the currency's value was last adjusted in August 2000, and
having regard to Zimbabwe's very negative balance of payments.

It is also very evident that Mugabe has not been told that the most active
purchasers within the parallel market are believed to be government and its
parastatals, or that many of the sellers in the market are believed by many
to be amongst some of the hierarchy of Zanu PF.

However, Mugabe was wholly correct when he said, in relation to exchange
rates, that "the crux of the matter is that foreign exchange is in short
supply". But he was certainly misinformed that the causes of that short
supply are "price slumps on the international market and the contraction,
through closures and other restraints, affecting enterprises in our
export-oriented sectors". Zimbabwe's foreign exchange shortages commenced
very long before any international price slumps and, in any event, the
extent of such slumps has not been of a major nature.

The real causes of the foreignexchange shortages are sharply diminished
export performance attributable to lack of price competitiveness due to
considerably increased operating costs, almost total absence of foreign
direct investment (FDI), and a significant decrease in loan and donor
funding from international monetary institutions and donor states.

Very correctly, the president said that there was a need "to cause greater
production of exportables ... through various export-promotion schemes,
including incentives", but most regrettably, he then contended that
"devaluation is sinister and can only be advocated by our saboteurs and
enemies of this government ... Devaluation is thus dead!" There is no
purpose in, or benefit from, increase in the production of exportables
unless there is a viable market to which to export them, and unless that
market is desirous of them.

There are many markets that want Zimbabwean goods, but only at the right
price, being not more than would have to be paid for like goods from
suppliers in other countries. So, in the absence of devaluation to
compensate for the inflation-occasioned increases in production costs,
incentives would have to be sufficiently great as to substitute for the
absence of devaluation. Such incentives cannot be funded by the state in its
most distressed, impecunious fiscal circumstance and, in any event, such
incentives would conflict with Gatt.

Moreover, most - if not all - who recommend devaluation do so in recognition
of the

realities and of economic fundamentals, and not for any untoward motive.
Zimbabwe is supposedly a democracy and one of the principal precepts of
democracy is freedom of speech. The voicing of an opinion at variance with
that of the president, of his advisors who clearly mislead and deceive him,
and of many in his government, is nothing other than the exercise of a
democratic right, driven out of concern for the country and an anxiety to
have it achieve economic recovery.

To dub a senior minister, a leading player in the monetary system, various
economists, numerous exporters, bankers and others "saboteurs and enemies"
because of their expressions of opinion is yet another example of a campaign
intentionally to misinform the president.



Foreign exchange markets in turmoil

ZIMBABWE'S foreign exchange markets are in turmoil. The official market,
being that conducted (at exchange rates prescribed by the Reserve Bank) by
the banks is almost non-existent. The only inflows into the official market
are the 40% of export proceeds of the private sector as are sold by
exporters upon their receipt of payment from their customers beyond
Zimbabwe's borders.

Those inflows are directed almost exclusively towards servicing the foreign
currency needs of government and its parastatals, being for the payment of
fuel and energy imports, some limited servicing of foreign debt, funding of
the ongoing military involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
and other government needs.

The amount of foreign exchange flowing into the official market is steadily
declining as Zimbabwe suffers a continuing shrinkage in exports. To a very
major extent that decline is a direct consequence of the inflation
prevailing in Zimbabwe.

Inflation impacts massively upon production costs of almost all exports, and
the producers are increasingly unable to recover the rising production
costs, for their export markets will not accept any substantive escalation
in prices, and the rigidity of the official exchange rates precludes the
exporters achieving any increase in export proceeds.

Those rates have remained almost unchanged since August 2000 in which period
aggregate inflation has exceeded 210%. Effectively, production costs have
virtually doubled, whilst the sales proceeds have to the extent that they
were realised through the official market, remained constant.

To some extent exporters were able to compensate for the adverse impact of
the official rate by disposing of the residual 60% of export proceeds
through what has become known as the parallel market, being sale of their
foreign exchange to those requiring such foreign exchange for payment for
imports and of other commitments as are legitimately payable in terms of
prevailing exchange control regulations, the purchasers being unable to
source their requirements within the official market as the hunger of
government and its parastatals for hard currencies is so voracious that
there is hardly any available to others. However, many exporters cannot
dispose of the export revenues remaining in their hands, for they require
them to effect payment for the import content of their production.

The result has been that if they continued to export, they inevitably
sustained losses, for the costs of production exceed their earnings. This
has been particularly so for many of Zimbabwe's mines, forcing cessation of
operations, and for numerous of the previously very viable horticultural
operations which have similarly been forced into discontinuance of exports
or, at best, continuance of export operations to a lesser extent only
sufficient to provide them with their foreign exchange requirements for
imports.

The same constraints have sharply diminished the exports of the textile,
clothing, furniture and many other industries.

Inflows have also been very severely reduced by the extensive cutback of
international aid to Zimbabwe. The country's confrontation with the
international community, characterised by endless abuse by Zimbabwe of those
that have long been its principal supporters and the source of considerable
developmental and humanitarian aid, and by Zimbabwe's pursuit of policies in
conflict with the fundamentals of human rights, democracy and law and order
have forced termination of many aid programmes and, therefore, a sharp
reduction in foreign currency inflows.

As a result, there has not only been a lessening of foreign currency within
the official market, but also in the parallel market. Concurrently with the
decreased availability within the markets, there has been a marked increase
in demand, primarily as the state has desperately had to source as much
foreign exchange as possible to pay for the massive food imports rendered
necessary by the abysmal levels of maize, wheat and other crop yields as
consequence of a combination of the devastating drought suffered by Zimbabwe
and the considerable reduction in agricultural production as a direct result
of government's mismanagement of the agricultural sector.

To all intents and purposes, currencies are commodities as much as are any
other items of merchandise, their values being driven by the extent of
balance between supply and demand. The greater the availability of a
currency and the lesser the demand for that currency, the lower is its
value, and the greater the demand and lesser the supply, the higher the
value that attaches to it.

In recent weeks there has been a very marked increase in demand, whilst the
contraction in exports, the virtual non-existence of foreign direct
investment, and the loss of much international aid have significantly
lowered supply. As a result, foreign exchange rates on the parallel market
have soared to almost unbelievable heights. Prior to the March 2002
presidential election the parallel market rate of the US dollar was
approximately $310, whereas it now exceeds $600. In a matter of only 12
weeks, the value of foreign currencies has approximately doubled, the
upsurge being not only for US dollars but also other currencies.

The rise in demand has been occasioned not only by government's need to fund
food imports, but also by other factors. During the run-up to the
presidential election, exchange rates fell by more than 25% and some in the
private sector with foreign currency commitments, foreshadowed that the rate
would continue to fall. Therefore, they delayed purchasing their currency
needs.

Others believed that following the commencement of the tobacco sales on May
14 there would be substantially greater availability of currency and,
therefore, a fall in exchange rates. However, that did not occur, for a
change in exchange control policies resulted in tobacco generated foreign
currencies flowing directly to the Reserve Bank and, in any event, the
tobacco sales proceeds were considerably less than anticipated.

The decrease in sales revenues below expectations was partially due to a
much reduced production, thanks to the extensive destruction of the tobacco
industry by government's ill-conceived land acquisition, redistribution and
resettlement programme.

But the decrease in tobacco earnings was also to a very great extent due to
government's determined continuance of a totally unrealistic exchange rate
which could only yield sales proceeds equal to a fraction of production
costs. Within a week of the commencement of the tobacco sales, government
reluctantly recognised the reality that tobacco producers could not afford
to sell if they were paid at the prevailing, artificially maintained rate of
US$1: $55 and introduced an 80% support price enhancement, giving producers
an effective $99 for each US dollar.

But that still does not suffice, for growers need at least $160 to the US
dollar if they are to recover their costs of production and be able to fund
next season's crop. Many have therefore been understandably reluctant to
consign their tobacco to the sales floors, but are holding their crop in a
hope of price improvement. Others have been forcibly prevented by those who
have settled on their farms from sending their tobacco to the floors for
sale.

When it was realised that, contrary to some expectations, the exchange rates
were not going to fall, those who had delayed sourcing their requirements of
foreign exchange rushed into the market, and that further increase in demand
contributed even more to the upsurge in the rates.

Soon an upward spiral was in motion, for as the rates rose higher and
higher, near panic set in for many who, fearing yet further rate increases,
rushed into the depleted market to buy currencies ahead of those increases,
and that additional demand in excess of supply stimulated still further rate
increases.

The result is that some speculate that rates will rise to $800: US$1 before
the end of June, and at least $1 000: US$1 by year-end. Should this be so,
the impact upon inflation will be cataclysmic, and the already severely
distressed economy will be sent to never-before experienced depths of
recession, with innumerable businesses unable to survive, and the existing
widespread poverty becoming even more intense.

However, the turmoil and bedlam that is the parallel market of today is not
likely to continue, and there is every likelihood that the pessimistic
forecasts of future exchange rates will not materialise. What is likely to
occur is that the market rates will soon reach resistance levels as occurred
in September 2000, whereat many will withdraw from purchasing in the market,
knowing that at such rates they will be unable to recover the costs from
their customers. This will particularly be so of importers of luxury goods
such as television sets, perfumery and the like, for the consumer market
will cease buying such goods when prices are prohibitively high.

When that occurs, rates will stabilise and may well reduce, although not to
the previously pertaining levels.

But the bedlam and turmoil will only end temporarily unless government,
finally and belatedly, does that which is necessary to restore economic
wellbeing, including a realistic devaluation of the Zimbabwe currency,
positive export incentivisation, deregulation and so forth.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Comment

Govt turns 'sanctions rage' on citizens
THE government's threat this week to take action against its domestic
critics by restricting their movements will compound the impression of a
rogue regime punishing its opponents.

Home Affairs minister John Nkomo said government was considering "a range of
measures which will include the withdrawal of passports and the introduction
of exit and entry visas against our opponents in the country who have
campaigned for sanctions".

At first glance this may seem a justified tit for tat. Except of course the
sanctions in question are being imposed by foreign governments, not
Zimbabweans, and are directed against those in this government who have
advocated or supported political violence, coercion and shown contempt for
the rule of law. In cases where Zimbabweans may have supported such
sanctions - and Nkomo offered no evidence of this - they have broken no law.

It has been a fundamental part of government propaganda to portray the
opposition as directly involved in drawing up the United States' Zimbabwe
Economic Recovery and Democracy Act and European Union measures against the
Harare authorities. But anybody familiar with the passage of the US
legislation through Congress last year will know the measure was very much
the product of deliberations between American Congressional leaders
themselves. The decision by certain African American Congressmen to throw
their weight behind the Bill was the deciding factor in its successful
passage, not MDC lobbying.

Similarly, the EU measures came only after intense pressure from members of
the European parliament. It does not require any effort by the MDC for the
true nature of Zanu PF's damaging misrule to be known abroad. The
appointment of army and intelligence officers to run the March poll, the
last-minute manipulation of electoral rules, the addition of 400 000 people
to the voters' roll after it had been legally closed, the partisan role of
the police and the arrest of poll monitors were all given extensive coverage
in the international media despite clumsy attempts by the Department of
Information to prevent such news getting out.

So was the failure of the police and attorney-general's office to prosecute
those state agents identified in court as responsible for the murder of
political opponents. In his court papers opposing Morgan Tsvangirai's
petition to have the March poll results overturned, President Mugabe claimed
that the MDC lost because it did not campaign sufficiently energetically. He
didn't mention the roadblocks mounted by his supporters, the no-go areas, or
the role of the police in refusing permission for opposition rallies.

But people overseas know how the political playing field was tilted in his
favour. More than anything else they know about the political violence
directed against MDC candidates, election agents, and ordinary supporters.
They know about the militias based on farms, about polling stations located
near them, and the denial of the right to vote to tens of thousands of
people in Harare.

They also know that since the election political retribution has caused
internal displacement of thousands of rural folk. That the prohibition of
farming - directed solely by a racist and partisan agenda - has led to food
shortages and starvation.

The whole world is now aware of the government's role in Zimbabwe's man-made
crisis. The government media fatuously claimed at the opening of parliament
last week that "the EU has accused the government of being responsible for
the drought". In fact everybody has accused the government of being
responsible for the famine that now stalks the land. Drought has only
compounded the crisis.

If land reform had been sensibly conducted, agricultural resources wisely
harnessed and less downright stupid ministers placed in charge of land
acquisition the country would have survived on its own resources. Instead
the government has been obliged to depend upon the charity of governments it
routinely abuses as part of its self-defeating propaganda offensive.

Yes, the whole of southern Africa is experiencing a drought. But Zimbabwe,
for 22 years self-sufficient in food production, is experiencing
unprecedented shortages. A country that destroys the means of its survival
will understandably be regarded with little respect on the world stage where
its leaders once strutted with such confidence. The sanctions now being
adopted are an understandable response to a leadership which, surrounded by
the wreckage of its policies,
still refuses to adopt measures that could save its people from disease,
destitution and death.

Penalties against its opponents will not spare Zanu PF and its allies the
consequences of their misrule. Instead they will simply add to the
tightening of the net which, despite assurances to the contrary, seems to be
discomfiting those members of the regime who thought they could behave as
they liked and then continue to be received with open arms in countries they
publicly scorn.

Real debate on Nepad yet to begin

NEPAD is flavour of the month. For much of this coming week, when G8 leaders
gather in Kananaskis, Alberta, to discuss the recovery plan's merits with a
group of African presidents, and in the weeks following, we can expect to
hear of little else. It will also be at the top of the African Union's
agenda when it meets in Durban next month.

Presidents Mbeki, Obasanjo and Wade are the leading advocates of the plan
the New Partnership for Africa's Development but because they crafted it
with a minimum of consultation with their own civil societies it is meeting
considerable flak.

That's because it appears to fit too comfortably with current Western
demands for good governance and the economic imperatives of globalisation.
It is also too "top-down" in terms of policy-making, critics say.

In Zimbabwe, Crisis in Zimbabwe, an NGO umbrella group, has provided a forum
for debate on the issues arising. The South African NGOs, mostly aligned to
Cosatu and the South African Council of Churches, are debating their own
response.

Nepad advocates in Canada this week are therefore likely to face criticism
from two very different quarters: Critics of Thabo Mbeki will say he and his
African partners have not done enough to resolve problems in their own
backyard the flawed Zambian and Zimbabwean elections and civil strife in
Madagascar come to mind while civic groups linked to the
anti-globalisation movement will argue that they have been left out of the
loop.

The G8 have agreed among themselves to give the "three wise men" a chance to
prove their resolve. Mbeki, Obasanjo and Wade will not be given all the
US$64 billion on offer. It will be handed out piecemeal, thus engaging them
in a process rather than an event.

That is the reason Canada gives, for instance, for not bothering too much
about Mbeki's manifest failure to rein-in Harare's rogue regime. They will
get around to that, G8 leaders have convinced themselves.

On Wednesday Mbeki told parliament in Cape Town, following the funeral of
ANC activist Peter Mokaba where the crowd chanted Mokaba's revolutionary
slogan "Kill the farmer, kill the Boer", that nobody had the right to
threaten the lives of others. His remarks came against a background of farm
slayings in South Africa.

"White, Boer, farmers are as much African as I am," Mbeki stated.

His remarks will resonate across the Limpopo where lawlessness and killings
on farms have been used as a strategy to demoralise and evict farmers with
an attendant food crisis.

It is that food crisis that is now concentrating minds in Canada and
wherever else governments are being asked to relieve mass starvation.
Traditional donors are already leading relief efforts. But the political
post-mortem will focus on why agriculturally productive states were able to
sabotage the means of their own survival. Zimbabwe stands out as a case of
egregious criminal folly in this regard.

Nepad faces another danger. If the African Union or Libya are allowed to
hijack it from its present custodians it will be the end of the scheme.
Remarks by OAU secretary-general Salim Ahmed Salim suggest there will be an
attempt to redefine it in African terms. The terms will be those of despotic
governments with a record of abuse, not civil societies whose views are
crucial to its success.

We are seeing a familiar pattern here. At the World Economic Forum meeting
in Durban recently Simba Makoni committed Zimbabwe to the Nepad process. But
there are already signs of hostility from those in President Mugabe's inner
circle. Like other policies the Finance minister has attempted to implement,
Nepad in Zimbabwe is likely to fall victim to ideological absolutists and
thus isolate the country further.

Those who see next week's meeting in Canada as Nepad's big hurdle should
look again. Kananaskis will be a breeze compared to the challenges it has
yet to face.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Moyo's AIPPA faces stern test of legitimacy

Dumisani Muleya

THE Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) faces a
stern constitutional test following the reference of the Daily News
journalists' case to the Supreme Court by a Harare magistrate and another
challenge by the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (IJAZ).

Magistrate Sandra Nhau last week referred Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota
and reporter Lloyd Mudiwa's case to the highest court of appeal after their
attorney raised serious constitutional questions over the Act. This week
IJAZ filed papers with the Supreme Court to challenge the repressive media
law. Foreign correspondents have also challenged the Act.

Nyarota and Mudiwa are facing charges of "publishing falsehoods" and
"abusing journalistic privilege" stemming from a story in which their paper
wrongly claimed suspected Zanu PF militants had beheaded an opposition
Movement for Democratic Change supporter.

Although the paper admitted the error and published a retraction as well as
an apology, police proceed-
ed to arrest and charge the journalists leading to the currently frozen
trial.

Media analysts said government's behaviour of late proved that journalism in
Zimbabwe has been officially criminalised and rendered perilous to its
practitioners.

Independent journalists are walking through a minefield. Since March 13
numerous pressmen have been arrested as authorities step up their bid to
curtail press freedom and impose their political orthodoxy. At least 38
charges have been preferred against editors and reporters.

Government, which now lacks the moral and political authority
to rule with an aura of legitimacy,
is seen as battling to extinguish
media liberties and block the free flow of information to maintain its
position on politically shifting sands.

Although American journalist Andrew Meldrum, who writes for Britain's
Guardian newspaper, was acquitted two weeks ago, he was subsequently served
with deportation papers. His appeal on the expulsion is pending.

Although the court said it had jurisdiction over articles published
overseas, Meldrum was however acquitted on the grounds that he had tried to
verify the story and attributed it to the original source. He also had no
malicious intent when he wrote it.

Commentators said the Supreme Court hearing on Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo's legislation would provide a crucial test of its legitimacy.

Media lawyer Tawanda Hondora said the Daily News application was critical.

"It means for the first time the constitutionality of this law will be
brought under scrutiny in court," he said. "This will allow journalists to
determine once and for all whether or not they have to continue working
under harsh conditions."

Moyo's profoundly flawed law - described by the parliamentary legal
committee headed by veteran lawyer and politician Eddison Zvobgo as the
"most calculated and determined assault on our liberties guaranteed by the
constitution" - was found unconstitutional in a number of respects by
legislators.

Although changes were made in response to this criticism, some of the
provisions cited as ultra vires in parliament, such as the mandatory
registration of media houses, licensing of journalists and the enormous
powers granted to the state-controlled media and information commission to
supervise the media, have been retained in a rehashed version.

Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe director Andrew Moyse said the court
challenge was one of the most effective ways of dismantling the dictatorial
law.

"It is the most effective recourse given that the application is challenging
a section considered unconstitutional, harmful and damaging not only to
journalists but to society at large," Moyse said.

"I hope lawyers will cite the parliamentary legal committee report in the
Nyarota and Mudiwa case because the team comprised some of the most
distinguished legal minds in Zimbabwe."

The committee in January said Moyo's legislation, then in draft form, was
"obscure, vague, over-broad in scope, ill-conceived and dangerous" and gave
the minister
a blank cheque to punish journalists.

It also warned the law had serious implications for the separation of powers
between the arms of government as it gave one minister "frightening powers".
Analysts say although the legislation was eventually watered down the fear
was
real.

Moyo is now wilfully hounding journalists and attacking judges whose rulings
he objects to.

Analysts say there was a precedent to the Nyarota and Mudiwa case, albeit
under a different legal dispensation. The Supreme Court in May 2000 ruled as
unconstitutional a section of the now repealed Law and Order (Maintenance)
Act - the predecessor to the Public Order & Security Act - which dealt with
"publishing false information" likely to cause "alarm, fear and
despondency".

In his judgement over a case which involved former Standard journalists Mark
Chavunduka and Ray Choto, Justice Nicholas McNally said:

"This section is too intimidating. No one can be sure whether what he says
or writes will not attract prosecution and imprisonment."

Chavunduka and Choto had brought their case to the Supreme Court after they
were abducted and tortured by the army in January 1999 over an alleged
foiled military coup story and then charged under the colonial law.

The journalists, whose treatment was defended by President Robert Mugabe and
his officials citing military anger, in 2000 sued the police and the army
for wrongful arrest and detention, assault and torture. The court ordered
police to investigate the accusations but nothing has to date come of these
investigations.

It took government 22 years to let go of the Law and Order (Maintenance)
Act. Chavunduka and Choto's case was used by authorities in 1999 as a
pretext to refuse introduction of more enlightened public order and security
legislation. Former Home Affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa, himself a victim
of the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act, announced in January 1999 government
would cling onto the legislation for "security reasons" after Mugabe refused
to sign his Public Order & Security Bill - apparently because it did not
offer the means of punishing journalists.

"We have reverted to the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act to deal with this
matter (of journalists) and protect the security of the country," Dabengwa
said.

The catch-all legislation, introduced by the government of Sir Edgar
Whitehead in 1960 to suppress rising African nationalism, was condemned by
the then Chief Justice Sir Robert Tredgold as an outrage to almost every
basic human right. Tredgold described it as "savage, evil, mean and dirty",
and "an unwarranted invasion by the executive in the sphere of the courts".
He resigned in protest.

Media watchdogs have described Moyo's law in similar terms. Two months ago
Zimbabwe was listed by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists
as one of the world's 10 worst places for journalists to work.

It was grouped with such places as the West Bank, Colombia, Afghanistan,
Eritrea, Burma, Iran, Cuba and Kyrgyzstan.

Mugabe was last year named as one of the top 10 global press tyrants.

Zvobgo at a media workshop on January 22, 1993 said official eulogists whose
job is to cultivate a dear-leader mentality masquerading as journalists were
"charlatans and frauds".

"Propaganda is not worthy of a journalist," he said. "The shrill personality
cult syndrome is characterised by the incipient extolling by the journalists
concerned. Pravda (the official Soviet mouthpiece) won five 'Lenin Awards'
in this way. The great leader worship in North Korea is another example.
Cheer leaders and fawning propagandists are cancerous to an esteemed
profession such as journalism."

But Moyo - who ironi-
cally at the same workshop expressed alarm that the state media had not
criticised Mugabe "even once" since 1980 - is now coercing journalists to be
willing tools of state propaganda.

Zvobgo said critical journalists would always find themselves descri-bed as
"malcontents, renegades, revisionists, reactionaries or puppets". He was not
wrong!
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Farm evictions suspended pending talks
Augustine Mukaro/Blessing Zulu
GOVERNMENT will not proceed with evictions of farmers following the
resumption of dialogue between the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and the
Land Taskforce led by Vice-President Joseph Msika, the Zimbabwe Independent
was told this week.

At a meeting held between the CFU, Msika and Agriculture minister Joseph
Made last Thursday, it was resolved that government would wait for the
findings of the land audit committee before any more evictions took place.


While in Cuba last month, President Robert Mugabe said he would not accede
to farmers' request for a meeting with him saying they should deal with
Msika instead.


CFU vice-president (commodities) Doug Taylor-Freeme said last week's meeting
had broken the ice and given the two parties an opportunity to re-open
dialogue.


"Mass evictions will not be effected until results of the audit committee
have been tabled," Taylor-Freeme said.


"The report will give government the exact situation on the ground. The
whole agriculture sector is stagnant and will not move forward when there is
no clarity."


Taylor-Freeme said they expect the report to clear the confusion caused by
the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act leaving vast tracts of land lying
idle.


"The majority of the new farmers have not taken up their allocated pieces of
land because of lack of incentives," he said.


At least 2 500 farmers who were served with Section 8 orders as at May 10
were expected to vacate their properties next week with or without
compensation for developments on their farms.


Banks have rebuffed government's attempt to finance the new farmers to the
tune of $76 billion required this season because of lack of clarity and
security.


Two land audit committee teams led by Made and Local Government minister
Ignatius Chombo started tours to assess the progress of the land reform
programme at the beginning of July. The teams have so far visited seven prov
inces.


The teams are scheduled to meet in Harare today to compile a final report
that will be handed over to President Mugabe early next week. The audit
committee has so far realised that the majority of the people allocated land
under model A2 have not yet taken up their plots.


Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, leader of one of the audit committees, was
this week quoted as saying: "People who have been offered land under model
A2 are taking too long to take up their plots, which might force government
to re-possess the land."


Chombo was quoted yesterday in the Herald saying in Matabeleland North only
117 model A2 plots had been occupied out of a possible 2 259.


The government and commercial farmers are headed for yet another showdown,
this time over the compensation of farm labourers, the Independent has
established.


Government last week promulgated Statutory Instrument 6 of 2002, compelling
farmers whose properties have been compulsorily acquired to pay their
labourers steep retrenchment packages.


Commercial Farmers Union president Collin Cloete said farmers were not
consulted on the issue.


"Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare July Moyo did not
consult us on the issue of compensation," said Cloete.


He said farmers did not have the money required to pay the workers. "The
money to pay the retrenchment packages runs into millions of dollars. Our
understanding of the legal instrument is that the farmers have to pay the
money after being compensated by the government."


Cloete said farmers were, however, not being allowed to access their
compensation first.


"The Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions has been demanding money from our
members even before they get compensation. The police have not helped either
as they have refused to arrest those extorting money from farmers arguing
that it is a political issue," he said.


The ZFTU has so far allegedly extorted nearly $3 billion from commercial
farmers claiming to be negotiating farm labourers' severance packages.


The Statutory Instrument states that farmers must pay a severance package
equivalent to the full wages of the employee for a period of three months
prior to the date of termination of employment and the wages in lieu of
notice under the contract of employment or agricultural industry agreement.


The worker is entitled to an amount equivalent to twice the employee's
current monthly wage for each completed year of continuous service with the
employer and an amount of $5 000 in respect of the relocation of the
employee.


Farmers are also supposed to pay a gratuity and the cash equivalent of any
leave accumulated by the employee in the year in which the termination of
employment occurred.


Meanwhile, hundreds of white commercial farmers are said to be preparing to
relocate to Uganda. The Ugandan Agriculture minister Dr Kisamba Mugerwa this
week described the relocation of the Zimbabweans as a positive step in line
with his government's standing position of attracting investors.


"Uganda needs people like these who have access to the export market," said
Mugerwa in a newspaper report.


"They can establish the nucleus for smaller farmers to act as outgrowers. We
have land that was formerly farmed by the government that they can use. This
land will not be sold to them but leased for them to cultivate," said
Mugerwa.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Biri irrigation scheme collapses
Blessing Zulu
Biri irrigation scheme collapses

THE National Social Security Authority (NSSA) is facing exposure from the
collapse of the Biri Combined Irrigation Scheme in Mashonaland West
province, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.


NSSA provided a $450 million loan for the construction of Biri Dam, which
was expected to give birth to irrigated wheat and citrus projects. Farmers
were due to repay the loan using proceeds from the agricultural activities
around the dam.


The scheme is now facing closure following the chaotic land seizures and the
fast-track resettlement scheme. Managing director of the scheme, Fred Wallis
this week said they were closing shop.


"The Biri office is likely to be closed this month because of the continued
problems that we are encountering," said Wallis.


He said he was pessimistic about the future of the project.


"We secured a loan from NSSA and were hoping that 38% of the money would be
repaid through water sales. This has however not been the case as the
settlers on the farms are just using the water without paying," said Wallis.


The water should have been used for irrigation by 68 commercial farms around
Banket, Chinhoyi, Raffingora through to Mazvikadei. Small-scale farmers in
the Chitomborwizi area were also expected to take water from the project.


Wallis said under normal circumstances the dam would irrigate 23 000
hectares of land under wheat, producing an average six and a half tonnes per
hectare.


"This year because of the disturbances on the farms, we have only been able
to grow 6 000ha," he said.


Last year the area contributed half of the wheat grain currently in the
country's stocks which stands at 40 996 tonnes.


Of the 68 farmers that are shareholders in the Biri Dam construction scheme,
41 are listed for acquisition and others are receiving notification to
vacate their farms next week. Half of the farms have completely stopped
production while the other half are operating at below 20%.


Wallis said farmers will be unable to meet their financial commitments in
regards to loans and hire purchase agreements as a result of the disruptions
caused to farming activities.


NSSA's representative on the Biri board, Amod Takawira, said he was not
aware of the latest developments.


"NSSA is an interested party and we are not aware that many farmers in the
project have been issued with Section 8 orders," said Takawira.

"There was no board meeting to inform the shareholders in the project that
it was facing problems."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Zim's EU beef exports threatened
Loughty Dube
ZIMBABWE'S hopes of a quick resumption of beef exports to the lucrative
European Union (EU) market have been dealt a severe blow after the
Department of Veterinary Services reported it has run out of vaccines to
control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

The shortage of the vaccines will further hamper prospects for new markets
in Malaysia and Libya.


The EU suspended beef imports from Zimbabwe last August after a major
outbreak of the disease was reported at the Cold Storage Company (CSC)
feedlot in Willsgrove near Bulawayo.


The disease later spread to the outlying farming community of Nyamandlovu,
Lupane and Chiredzi in Masvingo province.


The director of Veterinary Services, Stuart Hargreaves, confirmed his
department was facing an acute shortage of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines.


"We are in a crisis but we have already made orders for the drugs from
neighbouring Botswana since the country makes vaccines for the type of virus
found in Zimbabwe," Hargreaves said.


The department has suspended the vaccination programme in the Midlands
province, whe-re an outbreak was reported last month in Zhombe and Gokwe
districts.


The two areas are currently under quarantine but Hargreaves said there was
extensive illegal movement of livestock in the districts without veterinary
controls.


"In such circumstances it is difficult to contain the disease in areas that
have not been vaccinated," he said.


Before the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease last year, the CSC had
clinched a multi-million dollar export order to supply the EU with an annual
quota of over 9 200 tonnes of quality beef.


"We have placed urgent orders for 250 000 doses of the vaccine worth over
US$300 000 with the Botswana Vaccine Institute to enable us to urgently
resume the vaccination programme to contain the spread of the disease,"
Hargreaves said.


However, department sources said three million doses were required to
vaccinate at least 300 000 cattle in the quarantine and outlying areas.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Govt clips Gata's wings at Zesa
Barnabas Thondhlana
GOVERNMENT has moved to curtail the powers of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority chairman Sidney Gata whose tenure at the power authority has seen
an increasing debt burden - currently at $100 billion - by appointing a
nine-member board with collective responsibility for decisions.

The new board was appointed on July 1 to spearhead the privatisation of the
utility in a transparent manner. Giving the new board its operational terms
and references, Mines and Energy minister Edward Chindori-Chininga
challenged it to speedily conclude outstanding management issues, some of
which have been bedevilling the power authority for years.


Among those affected was former chief executive Simbarashe Magwengwende, who
was unceremoniously removed from his post when current executive chairman
Gata came on board two years ago.

Chindori-Chininga said the new board would oversee the unbundling of Zesa
into successor companies within a targeted time frame, and achieve
system-wide operational and organisational efficiencies which would keep the
country's electricity tariff levels at competitive levels using regional
tariffs as a benchmark.


"The new board must review the entire Zesa tender process so that it is in
line with government regulations, and submit the revised tendering
procedures to the minister," Chindori-Chininga said. He added there was need
for a policy framework on how indigenous companies could be accommodated in
the new tender process and gave the board one-and-a-half months to come up
with a framework.


Zesa's tender process has been a bone of contention over the years, with
management being accused of favouring certain companies despite their
failure to deliver to the expected standards. Lax monitoring of tenders had
also seen staff forming companies to tender for work within the utility.


"The board must come up with a policy document spelling out how Zesa will
engage banks for the raising of bonds and other financing for all projects,"
the minister said. "The role of international and indigenous banks should be
spelled out in the policy document. The board should also come up with a
policy document on the engagement of consultancy firms and the resultant
documents shall be submitted to the minister as soon as possible."

Chindori-Chininga called on the board to take their responsibilities
seriously in addressing the issues of national power security, development
of new generation plants and strengthening of both the transmission and
distribution infrastructure in both urban and rural areas.


The new board was tasked to unbundle Zesa into successor companies within a
targeted time frame and ensure the smooth transfer of staff, assets and
liabilities of Zesa to the successor companies and the Rural Electrification
Agency in line with the relevant Acts of parliament. The board will also
have to ensure security of supply of electricity until all successor
companies are fully operational.


Chindori-Chininga said the board had to work in a spirit of harmony and
unity and avoid unnecessary conflicts in their deliberations.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

NGOs blast govt over food imports
Augustine Mukaro
NON-governmental organisations (NGOs) licensed to import food have lashed
out at government's restrictive importing conditions which they say are
hampering full private-sector participation to stave off the worsening
crisis.

NGOs are requesting government to streamline the bureaucratic processes to
avoid delays in shipments. Government has set a ceiling above which NGOs
cannot import, a ruling being challenged by the donor organisations.


According to the latest UN report, Humanitarian Situation in Southern
Africa, food inflows into Zimbabwe have not improved because of the
conditions imposed by government, this despite the entry of private players
in the exercise.


"The current food crisis is exacerbated by the monopoly on cereal
importation, price and foreign exchange controls which has led to the
inability of the market to provide adequate food to those with the resources
to purchase their requirements," the report says.


"While government has now taken steps to open the import market to private
sector involvement, it is unclear if at this late stage there will be
adequate forex to import at a level to satisfy the increasing demand.
Moreover logistical constraints might considerably delay importation via
private channels," the report says.


Private players who obtained import permits said government was stipulating
tonnage permit ceilings for a month, a move which hindered NGOs' potential
to feed as many hunger-stricken people as they could.

Oxfam, for example, has been granted a permit to import a maximum of 10 000
tonnes of food per month.


USAid's assistant administrator Roger Winter, recently in the country to
assess the food situation, said the number of aid-dependent people was
projected to rise to about nine million by September.


"The food crisis in Zimbabwe falls in the same category with Angola and
Sudan," Winter said.


"Serious impact should start showing by September and the number of people
in need of humanitarian aid would be in excess of 500% of those on support
now."


Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent

Govt/banks deadlocked
Godfrey Marawanyika
GOVERNMENT and financial institutions have failed to agree on the funding of
land reform which needs a staggering $160 billion. Banks have already
incurred losses estimated at $11 billion as a result of the fast-track
resettlement exercise.

On Wednesday government convened a meeting with bank chief executives to
discuss the issue of funding government's land reform programme. Officials
from the ministries of Agriculture and Finance and the Reserve Bank attended
the meeting held at the Finance ministry offices.


Banking sources yesterday con-firmed being summoned to the Ministry of
Finance for the meeting.


"Government said it was looking for $160 billion to finance the 2002-2003
agricultural season for both A1 and A2 model schemes," said a banker. This
would cover input costs, land preparations and purchase of seeds and
machinery.


The $160 billion figure is an upward revision of the $76 billion which
government initially requested last week to finance this season's crop, to
be produced in the main by resettled farmers.


The amount is expected to fina-nce two million hectares of maize, 147 000ha
of soya beans, 295 000ha of cotton and 191 000ha of tobacco. About $500
million is required to rebuild the national herd.


The bankers argued that since the land reform programme was now a national
priority they should not have to finance the programme alone.


"The banking sector must be supported by other statutory bodies like pension
funds in financing the programme," said one banker.


"Government is failing to understand that bank lending has limitations
imposed by the Reserve Bank. For banks to finance such a huge programme
there has to be a revision in the regulations bearing in mind the attendant
risk."


Bankers expressed concern over security, arguing they were not social
lending institutions.


"Banks are owed about $11 billion by commercial farmers and for us to
finance this year's crop we need an undertaking from the government that all
loans will be repaid," said another banker.


Negotiations between the banks and the government have failed to progress
beyond the issue of loan repayment and ownership of debts as government is
unable to come up with an acceptable guarantee.


Banks are asking government to provide Treasury Bills or any commercial
paper that would be redeemable after five or 10 years. The government is
however not keen to offer long-term paper and is instead opting to draft a
document that states its intention to honour the debt.


It emerged at the meeting that despite the government having received 54 000
applications for the A2 resettlement model scheme, only 12 000 confirmation
letters have been sent out. Most of the land has not been taken up.

"Nothing was concluded at the meeting. We realised that government is
confused about the whole process and is failing to deliver where it is
supposed to be taking a lead role," said a banker.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Independent
Row looms over Zanu PF anniversary celebrations
A ROW is brewing in Zanu PF over a proposal by members to celebrate the
ruling party's 40th anniversary in August next year.

It emerged this week that members of the youth league and the war veterans
were planning to approach the politburo with the idea of celebrating the
party's 40th anniversary in conjunction with the Heroes Day next year, much
to the chagrin of former PF Zapu members.


Former PF Zapu members fear the idea could render redundant the Unity
Accord.


War veterans leader and former provincial political commissar, Joseph
Chinotimba threw his weight behind the idea and scoffed at its detractors.

"As war veterans we say there is nothing wrong with that," said Chinotimba.


"It can't disturb the Unity Accord because we are all Zanu PF. We agreed in
1987 to join hands so why do others have to start complaining?


"Zapu is not there anymore which means we are now Zanu PF," said Chinotimba.


Zanu PF national political commissar Elliot Manyika was unreachable but the
Secretary for Information and Publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira, would neither
confirm nor deny the plan.


"Why would you be interested in such things when you are not supporters of
the party?" said Shamuyarira.


"I would understand if you were from the (People's) Voice or government
papers because you misrepresent us every week."


Sources said other advocates of the idea of the celebrations were youth
director Lovejoy Kadungure, Manyika and deputy secretary for youth affairs,
Saviour Kasukuwere.


Contacted this week Kasukuwere said he could not comment.


"I can't comment because I am far away in the (United) States and I am in
bed right now," he said.


Former PF Zapu members slammed the proposal saying the celebrations would
isolate them as they didn't share "the 1963 outlook", a reference to the
schism that took place that year when a group led by Ndabaningi Sithole,
Herbert Chitepo, Enos Nkala and Robert Mugabe, among others, broke away from
Zapu. Former Bulawayo mayor and central committee member, Joshua Malinga
said the developments confirmed the fragility of the 1987 pact.


"I belong to the Zanu PF of 1987 and not the 1963 one and if they want to go
ahead then it's not surprising because they have never hidden their 1963
outlook," said Malinga.


"That is why I have always commented that the Unity Accord is a prophecy and
not an event. It is yet to happen."


Zanu PF was formed in August 1963 at former defence minister, Enos Nkala's
Highfield home.


Former Home Affairs minister and Zipra commander Dumiso Dabengwa said he was
ignorant of the issue but expressed his "shock". Others, who requested
anonymity, spoke strongly against the idea of celebrating the ruling party's
40th anniversary.


Sources this week said the idea of the celebrations was mooted early last
year after the Victoria Falls February 21st Movement celebrations, during
which the ruling party invited regional youths to celebrate Mugabe's
birthday. The promoters of the celebrations want to sell the ruling party's
current anti-imperialist stance to the region.


The envisaged commemoration is expected to feature regional and
international revolutionary parties.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Service Provision in Zim Has Become a Real Nightmare



Financial Gazette (Harare)

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

Grace Mutandwa


He had collected the ring, a lovely 18-carat gold ring set with a ruby, last
Friday morning, but unfortunately he had forgotten his glasses so did not
notice that the ruby had a flaw.

When I tried it on, that's when I saw the flaw. We took it back either to
exchange it or get our money back.

As we walked into the jeweller's shop, we expected a long drawn out argument
but the proprietor admitted with a smile that she knew that the ruby had a
flaw. Without even batting an eyelid, she offered us our money back.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to get honest service and this has
taken a lot of fun out of shopping. Even in some hardware shops, sales staff
try to sell faulty goods with the hope that you will not notice it.

I know the economy is in a mess but that is no excuse for trying to make
money in a shady way. Surely people in business must realise that it takes
just one bad word to kill a lucrative venture.

Word of mouth is still a major part of informal advertising. People do tend
to comment favourably or otherwise which in turn influences others to
patronise a place or give it a wide berth.

Last week I received a call from the Federation of African Media
Women-Zimbabwe (FAMWZ ) inviting me to attend a protest march against
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of Parliament Learnmore Jongwe,
who has been charged with the murder of his wife Rutendo. I was asked to
wear black.

I told the young woman who called me that while I sympathised with the
family of the deceased and strongly believed no one deserved to be killed, I
felt that FAMWZ which was organising the protest march through the women's
coalition was being hypocritical.

As an organisation representing media women, FAMWZ should be well versed
with journalistic ethics. They were calling on their members to participate
in a march that was tantamount to trying someone on the streets.

They were also in a way encouraging their members to take a stand when at
work the very same FAMWZ members are required to report on the court
proceedings in a balanced manner.

I also felt that FAMWZ and the women's coalition were being hypocritical
because in the same week that Rutendo Jongwe died, a young woman living in
Harare's Avenues was killed in her flat but not even a single mention of
this murder was made by the two organisations.

According to media reports, the face of the deceased young woman was so
battered that she could only be identified by a scar on her ear. And not in
the too distant past, a woman from Harare's high-density suburb of Warren
Park was axed by her husband.

We have also reported several cases of severe assaults of women throughout
the country, but because these were not high profile people the women's
coalition could not muster enough strength to raise Cain.

Women's groups must be more consistent. Every life is important. The same
organisations which claim to speak for the voiceless have failed dismally to
convince anyone that they are honourable.

Domestic violence perpetrated by both men and women must be condemned and
the culprits brought to book.

Rural and high-density women are important too. They deserve to be fought
for too. I know there is a lot of mileage in being aligned with a prominent
cause, but as long as the women's coalition purports to stand for the common
woman, it must prove that it does care for every woman's welfare and stops
being selective.

The march however never took place because, according to the FAMWZ
spokesperson, "we feared that it would clash with the National
Constitutional Assembly march and we would lose visibility".

So there you have it, it was all about visibility!

As for FAMWZ, I think its leaders should do a lot of soul searching. Eugenia
Mauluka, a former photographer on the Daily News, was beaten up by the
police and arrested and yet FAMWZ never raised a finger and, according to
their information officer, this was because they feared it would split their
members from the state and private media.

"Eugenia's issue was raised but there were fears that it would split our
members from the state and private media. Anyway we could not do anything
because most of our members are from the state media," the spokesperson
said.

But I know that the organisation's members from the state media have also
not enjoyed much moral support. Mirriam Madziwa was suspended from the
Sunday News and Edna Machirori was unceremoniously removed from the
editorship of the Chronicle but FAMWZ was deafeningly silent.

I suggest that because FAMWZ enjoys so much patronage from the state media,
it should give these women more moral support.

As for those FAMWZ members from the independent media, I think they should
re-think their membership to an organisation which clearly does not have
their interests at heart.

More love!

Grace Mutandwa can be contacted at mutandwa@fingaz.co.zw or
mudiwa2002@yahoo.com
Back to the Top
Back to Index