|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
|25 December 2004 10:48|
London: Peter Mandelson held a private meeting with two businessmen accused of backing a bungled attempt to overthrow the leader of Equatorial Guinea. The three were seen together in a Lebanese restaurant near parliament just weeks after the coup collapsed in March.
The businessmen were at the time seeking help for Simon Mann, the alleged leader of the plot who is now in prison in Zimbabwe.
The revelation is likely to prompt increased efforts by police in South Africa to interview Mandelson, the European Union trade commissioner and former cabinet minister, to find out what he knew about those involved in the alleged attempt to seize power in the oil-rich west African state.
The investigation has become increasingly complex and has drawn in a growing number of high-profile figures and government agencies. Sir Mark Thatcher, arrested by Cape Town police, was accused of helping to bankroll the coup, which he denies. He is now on bail awaiting formal charges.
There is also growing evidence that Britain and America knew of the plot. Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, was last month forced to retract Foreign Office claims that the government had received no advance warning of a coup.
The two businessmen who met Mandelson were Ely Calil, a London-based Lebanese financier and oil trader who is alleged to have been one of the financial backers of the coup, and Greg Wales, a friend and business associate of Mann’s.
The meeting took place at Noura, a restaurant in Belgravia, central London, not long after Mann, an Eton-educated former SAS officer, was arrested in Zimbabwe for trying to buy weapons. Calil, 58, who has an estimated fortune of pounds 100m and a pounds 12m London mansion, is alleged to have been at the heart of the daring multi-million-pound plot. It would have deposed President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who himself seized power in a murderous coup.
Interest rates set to fall
12/24/2004 9:37:41 AM (GMT +2)
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this week reduced key overnight accommodation rates, sending the first signal that interest rates could start falling in line with declining inflation.
The move caught the market unawares
as expectations were that the Reserve Bank would only give a clear indication on
the direction of interest rates in the new year, guided by inflation figures for
Oldies tighten their grip on ZANU PF |
12/24/2004 9:39:08 AM (GMT +2)
THE Politburo line-up unveiled last Friday, a few weeks after the ZANU PF old guard reaffirmed its superiority once again at the recently held party congress, is a confirmation of the deep-seated disenchantment against the so-called Young Turks who had virtually usurped the party.
The sacking of fledgling ZANU PF’s
latter-day revolutionaries — chief of spin Jonathan Moyo and Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa — among others from the ruling party’s supreme decision-making
organ, was the culmination of the old guard’s impatience with the young
politicians who broke into the upper echelons of the party, as it faced its
stiffest challenge in 2000.
|Tobacco’s contribution to export earnings plunges |
12/24/2004 9:42:15 AM (GMT +2)
TOBACCO’S contribution to Zimbabwe’s export earnings has plunged by 57 percent since 2001 despite a sharp rise in the number of tobacco growers who entered the sector under the government’s controversial land reform.
Recent statistics from the Zimbabwe
Tobacco Association (ZTA) indicate that tobacco exports’ contribution to the
country’s total export basket plunged from 35 percent in 2001 to a mere 20
percent last season as the golden leaf continues to lose its lustre.
|2004: did Zimbabwe retreat from the brink? |
12/24/2004 9:39:45 AM (GMT +2)
ZIMBABWE’S crisis has often been characterised as an economic and political one, with no consensus as to which, among the two factors, predates the other.
There is consensus, however, that
2003 was a veritable annus horribilis.
quaking in their boots |
12/24/2004 9:38:10 AM (GMT +2)
Moyo's uncertain future sends jitters down spines of his protégés
PANIC has set into Zimbabwe
Newspapers (Zimpapers) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), as
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, who took the system of patronage to new
heights at the government-controlled media houses, faces an uncertain future in
|Residents spoil for fight with Chombo |
12/24/2004 9:38:36 AM (GMT +2)
THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is squaring up for an abrasive legal challenge against Local Government and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo over the imposition of an eight-member commission to run the affairs of the capital's city council.
CHRA advocacy and information
officer Jameson Gadzirai told The Financial Gazette the pressure group was
applying for an injunction against Chombo over the imposition of the ZANU
PF-aligned commission headed by political turncoat Sekesai Makwavarara.
|MDC keeps Zimbabweans guessing |
12/24/2004 9:40:15 AM (GMT +2)
AN atmosphere of suspense created by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC’s) decision to defer its position on whether or not it should take part in the 2005 parliamentary poll could turn out to be the proverbial case of shooting one’s self in the foot.
While the MDC might have succeeded
in exerting pressure on ZANU PF, which has been dithering on instituting
electoral reforms agreed by regional heads of state and government in Mauritius
this year, there is concern that the main opposition party has caused confusion
among its electorate that may cost the party dearly.
|Mugabe sets tone for peaceful polls |
12/24/2004 9:40:43 AM (GMT +2)
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, whose ruling ZANU PF is already sensing victory in next year’s parliamentary elections, has made a passionate plea for a violence-free poll, as his party seeks to legitimise its continued hold on power.
In his 17th state of the nation
address last week, the 80-year-old Zimbabwean leader, who consolidated his grip
on the party at the just ended ZANU PF People’s National Congress, decried
violence, which the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) allege
had been used to cow voters.