Mugabe takes the cake
Jen Redshaw on the economy of
Zimbabwe, which combines Estée Lauder and mass
Strolling through Sam Levy's shopping village in Harare, you'd
that Zimbabwe is tottering under its worst economic crisis
ever. There are
couples cellphone-shopping and schoolchildren doing gymnastic
the furniture shops, there's a choice of tallboys. You can buy
here, for goodness' sake.
Half of Zimbabwe's population
are supposed to be starving, thanks to drought
and President Robert Mugabe's
repressive policy on land. That must surely be
in a country far removed from
the chocolate-cake haven of Mimi's brasserie.
Here, immaculately highlighted
and braided women, black and white, toy with
their cloppy gold sandals over
iced coffee. Eavesdropping, you might catch
the odd snippet about water
shortages affecting the city's plush northern
suburbs - the main indication
that things are not quite right in this
country - but that's as much as
you'll pick up. Most of these women have got
private boreholes anyway, so
they're hardly going to have to store buckets
in the bath.
today is split right down the middle. There's the divide everyone
about, between Mr Mugabe's land-grabbing patriots and the quieter
of opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. But there's another gap,
between the haves and the have-nots, and it's getting wider by the
is it, a female columnist for the official Herald newspaper
recently, that so many people here 'can afford to ride in flashy
live in luxurious houses, yet Zimbabwe is supposedly
do these people always manage to wear the latest
imported fashions and 'drink
and eat to their heart's content', when
everyone else queues for bread and
dreads starvation, she wondered.
It's forex, my dear, forex. Your Mr
Mugabe's skewed economic policies have
nurtured a ballooning parallel market
in foreign currency - and everyone
wants it. You might get it perfectly
legally, like me, with the notes my
worried mother stashes between the
packets of dried soya mince and Ovaltine
sachets in her fortnightly parcels.
You might get it by some other means,
say by plundering resources in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, or by
striking a little deal with Mr Mugabe's
henchmen so that you can carry on
farming. You take those nice bills to one
of those dark bureaux de change
off Harare's central First Street. A teller
will show you the day's parallel
market rate on her calculator screen, scared
of speaking out loud. A few
wordless minutes later, you're rolling in cash.
Suddenly Zimbabwe is very,
My mother's £10 note at the
moment gets me $12,000. That's twice a domestic
worker's salary. It'll buy me
100 loaves of bread - made from cake flour, of
course. There's a wheat
shortage. Things aren't quite right in Zimbabwe,
fears are resurfacing, the sort that show that racial integration
really run that deep. Mr Mugabe is milking this for all it is worth.
the propaganda songs that's played nearly every 15 minutes on state
tells listeners to beware of whites 'with their barbed-wire tails'. It
sung in Shona, so most whites can't understand, but they can feel
hostility. And they've got their own to contend with.
Back in one
of the tallboy shops, a middle-aged white woman is scared. She
her cash in front of the black store assistant. And, she
husband locks 14 doors each night before they go to bed. 'We'
ve got one dog
in the passageway and one in the entrance. And we've got a
White fears are running high here after the last killing, just
a couple of
weeks ago. An elderly white brother and sister were surprised in
Harare home, tied to their chairs and strangled with shoelaces.
intruders were looking for cash, the Herald said. They broke all
Phelpses' flower etchings.
As poverty rises, so does crime.
Violent house burglaries and car-jackings
are on the up. So is anti-white
feeling. After all, these people are just
'greedy whites', according to Mr
Mugabe. That, at least, is what my in-laws
are being told. They're homeless
now. They only had one farm, bought in the
mid-1980s. No one, except the
Mugabe regime and its highly original
definitions of legality, could accuse
them of stealing land from anybody.
But last year war veterans and squatters
rampaged through the farmhouse,
taking what they could and wrecking what they
couldn't. My in-laws fled to a
nearby town, where a friend lent them a house
rent-free. My mother-in-law
started rebuilding her wardrobe with visits to
They've had no money from the government to compensate
them for the loss of
their farm. They have no income. But suddenly their
farmworkers - even the
once friendly ones - have started clamouring for
running into millions of dollars. That's thousands of
pounds, even at the
black-market rate. Where are my in-laws supposed to get
Mr Mugabe doesn't care. In fact, he's probably quite glad.
to be ardent supporters of the opposition Movement for
(MDC), which, according to the government, is white-led
British-sponsored. (It's not.) The more people Mr Mugabe can get to
against the whites, the more voters our aging leader thinks he's
Mr Mugabe would like us all to believe that things are just perfect
Zimbabwe. Say any different and it's into prison with you. At least
journalists from the private and foreign press have been arrested here
the last five months. Several nights a week we have as our top news-story
state ZBC - or Dead BC, as it's not so fondly known as here - the fact
another delegation of African-Americans has come to Zimbabwe to find out
'true story'. Invariably, we are shown pictures of Mr Mugabe embracing
visitors, who say they've seen nothing at all amiss in this
What ZBC oddly omits to tell us is that taxpayers
are paying for these
visits. It's a cool $11 million per delegation, if you
please: the visitors,
it seems, have a police escort and, of course, they get
to stay in the
Sheraton. The government may not have enough money to feed its
millions, but it will roll out the red carpet for you if you'll
undying support for Mr Mugabe on prime-time TV. Even a Briton
has joined in
the praise chorus, apparently. A Mr David Jones was last month
with the Tourist of the Decade award by the beaming minister of
Francis Nhema. Mr Jones is reported to have made frequent trips to
since 1996 and has promised to 'undertake to correct the negative
Zimbabwe is receiving in the West, saying the country is
Well, Harare looks just fine from air-conditioned hotels or
arcades of Sam Levy's village, though I am not sure if there are
paradise. And if you're changing your pounds in one of those dark
bureaux, Mr Jones, then, yes, your holiday is unbelievably cheap. But
are not right in Zimbabwe. And the more people who say that they are,
longer this madness will last.
Eclipse of starvation and corruption
As international and national eclipse
watchers relax and enjoy the natural spectacle in the southern part of the
country there is hunger in the land, especially in the people involved in
commercial agriculture. Many families are just no longer able to work as the
policies of a despotic regime slowly throttle their food supplies and the
economy. The "settlers" move too and from the farms and their rural homes
cashing in on donor free food handouts in both areas, whilst all forms of food
are being denied to the workers who are being ordered to "get from their
employers" - who are also being prevented from buying any in sufficient
Added to this are the genuine fears
of the people over their superstitions of the eclipse. The local Venda view it
as an evil occurrence which could spell the death of a great leader or famine.
The famine is already here and is only going to get worse, especially for those
involved in commercial agricultural industry which itself is already on its
knees. The commercial beef herd has been brought to a point of collapse by the
so-called "fast-track" political policies, and the remaining livestock is in
terrible condition. Cattle belonging both to the legitimate farm owners and the
"settlers" have already started to die from poverty.
So far this season there has been
no significant rainfall, and the predictions of an El Nino induced drought
similar to 1982 and 1993 appears to be coming true. Yet DDF tractors have
recently arrived in the area to plough up some of the remaining grazing areas in
the vain hope that the "settlers" will be able to grow fantastic maize crops
under such unfavourable conditions, in a district where the chances of even a
very low yielding crop under dryland conditions, in normal years are about 1
year in 6.
It seems workers on farms are going
to be subjected to the same fate as the farmers' depleted wildlife and cattle
herds, which have been driven to death from the evil political policies.
Recently a large agricultural company in the province departed with $300,000 to
a Party official,in a desperate attempt to supply much needed rollermeal for
their starving staff. CID got wind of this and the whole consignment, which was
meant to feed several hundred workers was confiscated, and has disappeared
without trace, or compensation!
In another incident workers clubbed
together to send a vehicle to acquire a 10kg bag of rollermeal each from another
Party source. The price was $850 per bag where the "control" price should be
about $240 per 10kg. Authorities are constantly turning a blind eye to Party
faithful, who are becoming incredibly rich (with untaxed wealth) whilst most are
doomed to a life of poverty. An attempt to obtain a letter from the ZRP at
Rutenga to cover the desperately needed food in transit to the farm, was
blatantly refused. This was even in the presence of a member of the local "Food
Distribution Task Force", who could not assist. Inside information from this
"task force" says that whenever application for food for farm workers is
discussed tempers rise and the matter is therefore dropped.
Desperate farmers have sought
intervention from both their local District Administrator and recently imposed
councillor who have suggested the farmers submit a list of employees to them.
Despite this having been done no resolution has been found as the whole subject
has become controversial and political.
The fate of the cattle industry has
also been discussed at these levels. The only solution found, due to the
uncontrolled movement of "settlers'" livestock in the face of a Foot and Mouth
Disease outbreak, would be the establishment of a quarantine feedlot which has
been sited on a commercial farm. This would provide the only outlet for
otherwise thin unsaleable cattle belonging to all parties that are destined to
die, and therefore be a total loss of a national asset and valuable food for a
starving nation. However local politics has once again reared its cruel head as
the local District Administrator has put his foot in and halted the construction
of this vitally necessary development in the district, on the advice of his
local political masters. Therefore both the community and the nation are again
being ruined by political decisions.
Such is the plight in Zimbabwe, with
even government ministers being reported to have condoned and encouraged the
deaths of 6 million people who were perceived as having voted for the
opposition. When will the people of Zimbabwe wake up and stand up for their
rights? Why do they just cower like poor beaten animals and accept the
debilitating policies if a despotic and cruel regime?
When will the President of South
Africa realise that by supporting such a regime his dreams of a successful
African Union and NEPAD will never be able to come true? All he needs to do is
to admit the truth of what his Election Observers reported to him, and that
Zimbabwe is being run by an illegal government, and then the rest of the SADC
countries would follow, and hopefully enforce a regime change without military
Mugabe's ruining of Zimbabwe's public
Reginald T Gola
12/5/2002 1:22:50 AM (GMT
IT was unbelievable to listen to the leader of ZANU PF, the
believed to be illegitimately ruling Zimbabwe, challenge the
community and openly highlight that some parastatals such as Air
and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) were once
The nation listened attentively to this
proposed re-strategy triggered
by the Mugabe regime's admission of gross
incompetence in the management of
the economy. The nation listened as he got
closer to rationality. But the
question remains on whether he is seeing it
today as a newly elected
President from the street.
is giving the impression that there has been no government
in Zimbabwe over
the past 22 years and it is only now that he is putting
together some form of
order after a disastrous colonial rule. The regime's
and head aches.
On Friday November 8, "Moyo at 8" news hour, every
waiting to hear the tyrant suffix his presentation on the
parastatals as follows: .they were very profitable business
I ruined them. Before I started recycling mukwasha Sydney
Mukwasha anokosha varume (Guys a brother-in-law is a very
Air Zimbabwe was a profitable business entity
before it embraced ZANU
PF, my party's social services function, the culture
of sheltering other
party cadres to make a living which saw it, for many
years, running with two
One general manager in
the office and the other one just at home with
all perks (including company
house and cars).
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was a
entity before I forced the then general manager, John
Avery, into retirement
to make way for a party cadre and loyalist, Farai
The fortunes of the NRZ went away with John Avery.
Ever since, the
parastatal has continuously nose-dived. I appointed Masango
despite the fact
that his highest qualification was a Junior Certificate and
Engine Driver's Certificate. Masango was a very loyal party cadre
akandinyadzisa (he embarrassed me).
The Zimbabwe Iron and
Steel Company (ZISCO) was a profitable entity
until the day that I pushed the
then chief executive, Kurt Kuhn, into forced
termination of contract. I did
it despite the fact that workers at ZISCO
protested against this move as they
had felt that the German expatriate was
an effective manager and he still was
keen on guiding the fortunes of the
parastatal for another term.
Ndakamudzinga murungu uya, akayenda, sezvirikuita varimi vechichena (I
that white man. He went the same way as the white farmers) to make way
own boy and party cadre, Mopondera, and ZISCO has never stopped
I did the same with the Cold Storage Commission (CSC)
Eddie Cross we
MDC uyu, taka muterminator (we terminated his service) to make
way for our
own party militant Constantine Mutiwanyuka.
move triggered a protest exodus at the CSC as long serving
who had been sure that they were close to the prestigious
were instantly dwindled. Mutiwanyuka did not perform well.
scandals dzenyama paya (there were meat scandals), Mutiwanyuka
tore apart all
that Cross had assembled over the years. I don't even know
what happened to
that fellow afterwards.
Zve Grain Marketing Board (GMB)hazvitaurwe.
(I am ashamed to talk
about the GMB). Our boys have been continuous
let-downs. I have tried to
look after these boys ndichivapa mabasa kuti
vawanewo chekurarama nacho ( I
have given them jobs so that they could earn a
living) Pane nyaya huru
yechibage chakabiwa nembava dzedu mu ZANU PF paya. (
There is the big issue
of stolen grain by our ZANU PF looters).
Another circus has arisen at the Zimbabwe United Omnibus Company
Ndaifunga kuti mfana wedu muBritish uyu Matonga akachangamuka.
mumanagement yanhasi kuchine munhu anongomanager semhuka yemusango?
thought that our British educated cadre, Matonga was a modern
I suffered another severe stomach and head ache when he
without shame, announced that at the ever suffering organisation,
death of Peter Bryce and replacement by Chiwara, it is company
the employees are part of the workshop tools. They should not be
Executives unilaterally make decisions and jealously protect that
It was a harrowing experience
to get yet another severe display of
naivety from ZUPCO's custodian, the
chairperson of the board, the
vice-chancellor of Chinhoyi University, Charles
Nherera, a heavily
stereo-typed public servant, guessing, pointing fingers
and attempting to
address critical ZUPCO issues in the press as a priority
before seeking to
familiarise himself with the events on the
In as much as the business community knows exactly how the
destroyed the economy, not a single one of them raised a finger to
this self-infliction of stomach and headaches at State House. But
listen to how opinionated they are when they walk out of the
When partisan managers take over positions of influence
gets sacrificed. The workers equally get sacrificed as the axe
Incompetent managers have reduced the once
entities to social clubs. When they eventually become
are quickly given a golden hand-shake in the form a
package there-by further crippling the
Mugabe has failed to transform his earlier legitimate
largely believed to be illegitimate ZANU PF government into a
government. He has continued to operate as if he was still in
of the bush war. There is no way that any serious government
successfully shape the economy with partisan management where
determinant factor in securing a job is party loyalty as
professional competence and commercial wisdom.
regime has destroyed public enterprises by both appointing
executives backed by partisan boards of directors. The caliber of
Mugabe's board members tends to be mediocrity bound. Most of them do
the capacity to run a tuck shop, not to talk of a bottle store. It
another social welfare function to afford them access to sitting
rather than organisational growth.
Commercial idiots of the
worst order, hand-picked from the civil
service and party headquarters, have
been part of the great liabilities in
Mugabe's parastatals including
'Libya's' National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(NOCZIM) which was abandoned by
Enos Chikowore in the midst of official
parastatals need warm-bloodied animals, top-fliers,
change drivers, team-builders capable of planting
their hearts in the
organization both at board and executive levels as well
as the generality of
employees just as the private sector does, not this
current junk. You get the
same junk either sitting in, or chairing various
such boards for a life-time,
there by confirming the permanence of
organisational stunted growth due to
the levels of commercial idiocy from
music, drama, history, English, mathematics, education
and agriculture among
others, have been hand-picked for senior managerial
positions in parastatals,
membership and chairship of very important boards
in Mugabe's Zimbabwe with
all their ignorance.
Organisations are not schools and
universities. These people's most
appropriate place is organizations such as
the Adult Literacy Organisation
of Zimbabwe, the National Archives and the
School Development Committees.
The set-up is not very different
from General Idi Amin Dada whose
senior managers and cabinet ministers ranged
from anything from a taxi
driver to a soldier, militia and loyal
The Masters of Business Administration Syndrome
(MBAS), has also
played its part in destroying Mugabe's parastatals. The
Zimbabwe industry seems not to know that it is not this paper
that runs and propels the organization to profitable levels,
and commercial seasoning.
innocent and industrially naïve MBA graduates get thrown
into the dip end on
the basis of a class-room paper qualification. People of
industrial track record or with clumsy track records have been
sail through on the basis of unfortified MBAs.
have paid a high price for this miscalculation and in
some cases, the damage
could be beyond repair. This is exactly what has got
the tyrant screaming
from his former comfort zone.
Reginald T Gola is a organisation
development consultant, legislative
consultant and a political commentator.He
can be reached on e-mail address
Zim's children in the diaspora (Part 2)
12/5/2002 (GMT +2)
THIS is a continuation
of last week's contribution.
Many left, particularly from
Matabeleland during the gukurahundi
period of the 1980s. This confirmed the
worst fears of those who were more
cautious during the independence rush of
the "exiles" and remained put until
the 1987 Unity Accord between ZANU PF and
PF ZAPU. Still many stayed put in
the diaspora after this unity, suspecting
their leaders to have either sold
out or have been coerced into
The PF ZAPU element that stayed put in the diaspora at
relatively old and wealthy; they have probably taken
citizenship of their
respective host countries - South Africa, Britain and
the United States
being top hosts.
To these must be added
residuals from Abel Muzorewa's UANC and
followers of the late Ndabaningi
Sithole's ZANU Ndonga. Their demeanour has
turned out to be: "We told you so.
Mugabe haaite. UMugabe kenzi vele. Mugabe
is bad news."
far, the new arrivals to the diaspora have occurred during the past
years, years of Jonathan's "Third Chimurenga" during which the "land
taken from white farmers and returned to its rightful owners" who
for it under the A or B scheme.
One wonders which land
ownership scheme was en vogue when the whites
stole it from us. Did we use
the A or B ownership scheme, I wonder?
What irony though that
most of Zimbabwe's children who are joining the
diaspora today are doing so
when the land is being returned to them. What
irony, indeed. It is as if the
fight was not about land but the "good life"
which those who leave are in
While most of Zimbabwe's unskilled labourers find
refugee camps in neighbouring countries, the "best and
the brightest" go
overseas to America, the United Kingdom and Europe and so
Unlike the exiles of the 1960s and 1970s, many among them
may not be
in a hurry to come back. Many are so disgusted with what we have
independence that they are looking for an alternative home in the
They are in the diaspora with one-way tickets; those with round
conveniently lose them.
Some don't believe
change at home is possible or, should it occur, it
would just be temporary.
They cite developments in Zambia and Malawi to make
"Africa is cursed," many have
"But the minister of information and publicity says
come back home and
work the land that is finally yours instead of demeaning
toilets in the UK and the United States," I put it to
Simba, one of Zimbabwe
's "best and brightest" in the American
After laughing his lungs out, he had this to say:
I am not a farmer. I even wonder if Jonathan is. No, I
rather the life of
the city than that of a farmer.
those who have opted to do demeaning jobs in the UK and here in
the US have
calculated that they could have enough savings in a year to buy
anywhere in the Harare suburbs. They can't even dream of buying a
Chitungwiza with lifetime savings given their starting point on a
they stayed home."
He added: "It's not easy to leave your home
country, you know. People
have done a cost-benefit analysis of their life
chances and opted to leave.
Jonathan simply has to accept that, in the
fields, he is not offering
I asked Simba how many
of his close friends are in the diaspora and
those who have remained home. He
stopped and did a count.
"Two-thirds are in the diaspora in
England and here in the US. For the
other third that is still at home, most
of them lack the means otherwise
they would leave. However, pane imwe
'hardcore' that would not leave, come
rain or sunshine, but it is a tiny
minority," observed Simba, who went on to
say his friends would share roughly
the same sentiment.
Another young chap (29 years) working in
Florida says 10 of his former
school mates are in England; six in the United
States; he doesn't remember
those who stayed behind.
past I quoted somebody claiming that the State of Texas has
nearly 2 000
Zimbabweans. Another "Texan-Zimbabwean" wrote to say: "To the
are over 4 000 Zimbabweans living in Texas."
There are 50
states in the United States. Even if each had 100
Zimbabweans, it's 80 too
many, considering that among them 10 percent are
Zimbabwe's "best and
I asked my younger son, Masipula Jr, (perhaps for
the ninth time!)
what his plans were after graduate school in the United
He responded: "I will return to Zimbabwe sooner than
acquiring the requisite resources and skills to make a positive
at home. I have no doubt positive change is going to come sooner
Chakatodza baba, I mean babamukuru, I thought
"Are you coming back home?" I asked
"Not while the conditions remain as they are," he said,
succinctly: "And every time you think things can't get anymore
they are, they get worse."
"Who do you give the
responsibility to change things?" I asked.
An uneasy silence
creeps in almost invariably, then: "I have a young
family." Navasina! (Even
those who don't have!).
My niece Jania in California admits
where others seem dodgy that she
and her husband are presently involved in
personal pursuits, "leaving
politics to politicians".
is this lady who wrote from London saying she voted in the
referendum, June 2000 parliamentary elections and in the March
presidential election zvikaramba who asked: "What more am I expected to
left Zimbabwe. I only have one life to live," she said.
this doctor in up-state New York who had arrived about a year ago
giving the country 21 years of service had this story to tell:
"I was looking at my ID one day at Nandos. It said I was born in 1942.
a quick calculation. 'My God, I am 59. In another five years I should
retiring.' I went straight to my bank to check on my savings. I
"That evening I made a call to a friend I left here
some 20 years ago.
He said: 'There is a job, as a matter of fact. When can
you come?' I said:
"So I returned here after 20
years of patriotic service in which I had
nothing for my retirement. I am
returning home in five years," said the
Unless cruelty and "brain drain" is part of our social policy as a
what we are doing is totally unacceptable.
By the way, a former
student of mine phoned from England saying he was
writing a book titled "How
Jonathan Underdeveloped Zimbabwe". I didn't take
him seriously, but it would
make interesting reading. I assured him though
that if he could prove to us
that it is, indeed, Jonathan and not ZANU PF,
he deserves a doctorate from
any university in the world.
(In Part 3 next week, we discuss
the disturbing phenomena of those in
lProfessor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of
political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the
Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
Institute. While he is currently on
sabbatical leave in the United States of
America, Sithole can be contacted at
e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
telephone number (202) 429 3819.
Forex black market continues to thrive
Njabulo Ncube Bulawayo Bureau Chief
12/5/2002 (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO - Her attire might have changed but it is business as usual
Loveness Machirori, a member of the Vapostori religious sect, a major
in Bulawayo's foreign currency black market.
Machirori has abandoned the all-white garb associated
with her church for
trendy clothes that allow her to blend in with the crowd
Clad in imported, tight-fitting black jeans,
designer tackies, a
baseball cap and clutching an expensive black leather
bag, she confides that
she has been forced to swap her religious clothes in
an attempt to elude
The cops are on
the lookout for illegal foreign currency traders who
operate in Fort Street,
known as Bulawayo's World Bank because of the
millions of dollars worth of
hard cash transactions that take place here.
"This is a
survival tactic," says a jittery Machirori, referring to
Keeping an eagle eye on a police vehicle cruising up the
told the Financial Gazette: "We need to put food on the table,
risks we are taking. If they (government) think this trade will
overnight with the closure of bureaux de change, they have another
She waves down a red Madza 323 hatchback with
registration plates, which is indicating its intention to stop
in front of
the Financial Gazette offices, located along Fort
The street is swarming with plainclothes policemen and
ruling ZANU PF
militia, but the South African and Botswana cars circling the
area are bait
enough for Machirori and her colleagues who brave the hot sun
and ply their
trade before the very gaze of the law.
a risky business, the illegal trade in foreign currency has
dicey since Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced
tough new measures
last month to curb Zimbabwe's forex black market.
presentation of the 2003 national budget on November 14,
Parliament that the country's foreign exchange bureaux would be
shut down at
the end of November to stem hard cash leakages.
Most bureaux de
change closed their doors last Friday, while the
police have kept a watchful
eye on black market traders who operate from
Bulawayo's streets, many of who
are said to work for the owners of foreign
Several of the dealers were attacked last Saturday by youths trained
Zimbabwe's national service programme, who allegedly seized about $1
dollars worth of foreign currency.
Although not well-versed in
economics, Bulawayo's black market forex
traders, many of who only have
primary education, this week predicted that
their illegal business would
continue to flourish despite the government
said individuals and companies continued to seek South African
pula, British pounds and United States dollars from the
streets of Bulawayo
to buy spare parts and for travel allowances.
"This is the
busiest month in the trade. Injiva are in town," said
Machirori, referring to
Zimbabweans working in South Africa who have
returned home for the Christmas
"We are still buying and selling foreign currency. We
will keep it at
home. We can't trade at the official rate when there is such
a high demand
for foreign currency. The banks are dry so we are a reliable
supplier of the
She says deals are still
being transacted inside vehicles but with
more caution to avoid the
"It's safer if the vehicle's windows are tinted, making
for the police," she said. "But there have been incidents of
arrested doing business in the safety of cars."
Black market traders said despite the ban on bureaux de change,
currency was still being moved into Zimbabwe from overseas via
South Africa and being sold on the street.
"We have accounts in
Francistown for instance," Sithabile Nkomo, a
black market forex dealer, told
the Financial Gazette.
"People in the UK (United Kingdom) use
them to send the foreign
currency and we drive there and bring the money back
and then sell it on the
streets. It's business as usual."
Chipo Chuma, another dealer operating on Fort Street who said she had
in South Africa and Botswana, added: "If it gets very hot, I will move
foreign currency that I have to Botswana. But I don't think it's
yet because there is still demand locally."
Chuma admitted that
most forex traders on the streets had links to
Asian businessmen in the city
although she declined to name them.
The businessmen are alleged
to have connections to ruling party
politicians with access to foreign
She said: "Although the ban and presence of police
have cleared the
streets, we are still there in the background. Clients,
executives, phone us for business. We deliver (the forex)
to their offices.
So you see, the trade is still there".
Bulawayo-based analyst Eric Bloch echoed the black market
sentiments, saying the government's new measures would not encourage
currency inflows or stave off the collapse of the
He pointed out that the closure of bureaux de change
force the illegal trade in forex underground, making it
Bloch said: "The closure means more
activity on the black market,
although the players won't be easily visible as
was the case in the past
"It is clear that this
latest measure to close bureaux de change is a
shift from an organised black
market to a disorganised one."
He forecast that at least half
of Zimbabwe's companies could collapse
next year if the government continued
to deal with the symptoms and not the
real causes of the country's economic
"There is no other way to kill an economy than the
being implemented by the government," Bloch
"Those women on the streets will remain a permanent
sometime because the only reliable source of forex is the
streets, not the
Analysts said another consequence
of the closure of the bureaux de
change was the loss of an estimated 2 500
Officials at bureaux de change in Bulawayo said they were
retrenchment packages for their staff.
nothing we can do," an official who declined to be named
told the Financial
"We are preparing to go, but this ill-advised closure
people of employment."
Tour operators fail to cash in on eclipse
12/5/2002 9:17:53 PM (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO - Tour operators at
Zimbabwe's prime tourist resort town of
Victoria Falls failed to cash in on
yesterday's solar eclipse because of a
crippling fuel crisis that prevented
them from ferrying clients to view the
much publicised natural phenomenon,
according to tourism industry
The executives told
the Financial Gazette that petrol and diesel
supplies had run out in the town
about three days ago, adversely affecting
most businesses in the
They said long queues had yesterday formed outside Victoria
filling stations, which were expecting deliveries of 6 000 litres
Tour operators, who were anticipating a surge in
business because of
the solar eclipse, said the fuel crisis had been
disastrous for tourism
firms, which have already been hard hit by a decline
in tourist arrivals in
the past two years.
arrivals have fallen by at least 50 percent in the
last two years partly
because of political violence and the invasion of
white-owned farms by ruling
ZANU PF supporters.
The solar eclipse was expected to attract a
large number of
international visitors to Zimbabwe and operators were
planning to ferry
those visiting Victoria Falls, which was not in the path of
eclipse, to Botswana and areas of Zimbabwe that experienced a total
"We have not had fuel for the past three or so days," said
Falls Publicity Association manager Marian Pollard. "This is a
us as thousands of tourists fly into Victoria
"Buses are not running frequently between the town and
Bulawayo due to
the fuel crisis. We also do not have a lot of locals driving
into the town.
We are supposed to be hosting tourists who are in the country
for the solar
Pollard said fuel shortages had also
affected the companies that hire
out cars and boats to tour
Phathisani Nkomo, chairman of the Victoria Falls
and an executive with a major tour company, said tour
operators had hoped to
cash in on what he described as the "post solar
eclipse period", during
which tourists were expected to flock to the
"But there is no fuel, it is very sad," he told the Financial
over the phone. "As I am speaking now, there is a queue stretching
three kilometres at one garage. These cars belong to tour operators
should be out there picking up tourists from wherever they were viewing
Some tour operators are reported to have
cancelled drives to areas in
Matabeleland South such as Maphisa and
Beitbridge where there was a 100
who flew to the resort town are said to have also
preferred to view the
natural phenomenon from a site in Botswana, about 170
Pandamatenga border post in Victoria Falls.
Others took connecting
flights to Messina in South Africa to view the
solar eclipse at
Nkomo said: "We want to take advantage of the
period by receiving those tourists that went to other
parts of the country
or to Botswana and South Africa. We hope the fuel
situation will improve and
they take advantage of their visit to southern
Africa to also view the
Meanwhile, the border town of
Beitbridge, which had also anticipated a
tourism boom because of the solar
eclipse, was this week battling water
shortages caused by burst pipes blamed
on dilapidated infrastructure.
Tour operators at the South African
border town of Messina are
reported to have taken advantage of the water
crisis, some of them allegedly
posting a billboard inscribed "No Water in
Beitbridge" on the South African
side of the border, to discourage tourists
from crossing into Zimbabwe.
"A large contingent of foreign
tourists checked out of hotels here on
Tuesday. Some claimed they had not
bathed for two days," Silver Maphosa, a
Bulawayo resident who was in
Beitbridge yesterday on business, told the
Financial Gazette over his mobile
"Most of them are in Messina. It was embarrassing."
Hungry workers beg Tsvangirai to save them from
12/5/2002 9:17:18 PM (GMT +2)
of workers yesterday converged on the Harare offices of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to petition MDC leader
to address the plight of Zimbabweans hard hit by the
country's worst economic
crisis in 22 years.
About 100 workers gathered outside the MDC
headquarters at Harvest
House, saying they were looking to Tsvangirai to
assist in resolving the
crisis because the ruling ZANU PF had failed to help
"The country is in a serious crisis, there is no food, no
no basic commodities and no serious leadership," a spokesman for
told Tsvangirai. "Our salaries have been eroded by inflation and
there is no
transport to take us to and from home.
appealing to you, Mr president, to save us from hunger. The
time to act is
The MDC leader told the crowd that his party would not
restive workers who embarked on mass action to press for a
Zimbabwe's economic crisis.
He said the MDC
remained supportive of all initiatives Zimbabwe's
workers undertook to save
themselves from the deteriorating economic
people's party, we will remain supportive of all initiatives
made by the
people of Zimbabwe to improve their plight," he told
"We encourage all suffering Zimbabweans to organise
Poor rains raise concern in region over next
12/5/2002 9:16:05 PM (GMT +2)
- Farmers and food security specialists in southern
Africa are increasingly
concerned that the lack of rain during the current
planting season could mean
another bad harvest for the region next year.
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland already
have more than 14 million
people in need of food aid after poor harvests at
the beginning of this
Desperate farmers, many of whom will use donated seed and
are pinning their hopes of recovery on next year's crop, but so
figures have been worryingly low.
According to the
latest Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS
NET) drought and flood
hazards assessment, most of the region has only
recorded between one and 10
mm of rain with "substantially inhibited"
rainfall over portions of South
Africa, Zimbabwe and central to southern
includes South Africa's maize triangle, which usually supplies
countries and contributes to relief agencies' stocks. But so far
not been enough rain to plant the important crops of maize, wheat,
sorghum and soya in South Africa.
"There has been no planting in
the western Transvaal region and
planting in the east was weakened by poor
rains," Fanie Brink, deputy
general manager of Grain SA said this week. "We
are worried about the
situation, although there is still time in December to
plant," he said.
While northern Mozambique had received rain and
ahead of its flood season, rainfall in northern Sofala and
in central Mozambique had been low throughout November and
concerns loomed, the report said.
"It's not good
for next year, it could be potentially very bad," said
Owen Calvert, World
Food Programme (WFP) vulnerability analysis and mapping
"The areas hit are in the southern and central maize
Farmers sometimes try to replant their crops if they fail,
but then they
have to hope that the season is long enough for the crops to
maturity," he said.
"We've been monitoring the rains
for the last two to three weeks and
we're concerned that these areas are
showing up on satellite images as areas
which are not going to get much in
the next 10 days."
In Malawi, where President Bakili Muluzi
declared a disaster earlier
this year, there were similar concerns, with
farmers only receiving rain
during the last week of November.
"We still have the first half of December to plant and after that it
too late," said WFP spokesman in Malawi, Abdelgadi Musallam.
Predictions from the South African Weather Service were equally
"Rainfall is definitely going to be below normal so the prospects for
season are not good," Shaumani Mugeri, a meteorologist at the
"What aggravates the matter is we do have
an El Nino in the region
even though it is moderate, and it is going to have
an impact on us," Mugeri
said, adding that worried farmers were calling in
daily hoping for better
news but predictions were that the poor conditions
would last until March,
right through the crucial growing
Richard Lee, WFP regional spokesman said: "We are concerned
rainy season and are hoping the rains will be good because we
as good a harvest as possible to get southern Africa through
A case of come to Zimbabwe and be
come and experience a totally "eclipsed Zimbabwe" but do take note
Severe food and fuel shortages and an outbreak of
the dreaded foot-and-mouth
disease in cattle.
Crime is rife and police
do not react immediately as they must wait for
"orders from the top" and the
case could be classified as "political", or
they do not have
No cameras as you could be accused of being a foreign
Taking photos of so-called "war-vets", "settlers" or
forbidden as these axe-wielding people might attack
Racial and ethnic hatred is rife. You could be accused of being
"colonialist", "imperialist", or "Blair puppet".
A severe shortage
of foreign currency.
Bring a map or GPS *global positioning system) as
most town and river signs
have been vandalised. Game has been decimated by
poachers. However, numerous
tame cattle, donkeys, goats, dogs and chickens
can be viewed as you travel
along the main roads.
Mwenezi, To the Zimbabwe Independent
I AM puzzled.
government is restricting the sale of the available relief food only
people carrying ZANU PF party cards, why do the opposition MDC not
its supporters to buy the ruling party cards so that they can have
whatever food is around?
Surely, the MDC doesn't want its own supporters
to die of hunger? If 50% of
Zimbabweans are going to starve in the near
future, why should they all be
The bottom line in my
suggestion, of course, is that when some of the ZANU
PF supporters start to
feel the pinch of hunger because the limited supplies
of maize are being more
widely distributed, they may well feel less prone to
support the present
government. And when the povo revolt, they will be there
Another puzzlement: just because they have a ZANU PF card doesn't
have to vote for ZANU PF.
This might in fact help breed a
false sense of security in the ZANU PF
PNR, Harare, To The
LIKE Prof Jonathan Moyo, I too do not understand why so
waste their time doing menial jobs in the United Kingdom and
Why do people who come from a country full
of milk and honey choose to go
and work as virtual slaves in these developed
I find it really very difficult to justify this extraordinary
Zimbabwe has all the luxuries that anyone could want. There is
for everyone, fuel and basic commodities are very cheap.
Ndlovu, Bulawayo, To the Daily Nation
December 05, 2002
crisis as Aids kills 300 a day
From Michael Hartnack in
THE population of Zimbabwe has gone into sharp
decline as a
result of Aids-related deaths and the mass migration of people
country's economic devastation and acute shortage of
Preliminary returns from a census conducted in August
that 11.6 million people live in the country, compared with
government estimates of 14.5 million.
findings have raised fears that an acute shortage of labour
constrain the country's ability to revive the agricultural
collapsed after the seizure of most white commercial farms by
of President Mugabe. The devastation in farming has been made
worse by a
severe drought. Less than half of the 20 million acres of
commandeered from whites since February 2000 is being
tilled by black
settlers, despite government pledges of subsidies.
Makumbe, of the department of public administration at
the University of
Zimbabwe, said that the census returns were frightful, and
essentially means the economy cannot support the 11.6 million
people who are
still in the country, especially after the devastation of the
South Africa says that two million Zimbabweans have
illegally south of the Limpopo River border. The opposition Movement
Democratic Change (MDC) estimates that 600,000 Zimbabweans have fled
Britain, which imposed strict visa requirements last month to check
influx of refugees.
John Robertson, an economist, said
that emigration and deaths
from Aids-related diseases were destroying the
most economically valuable
section of the population. United Nations health
experts said the famine
that threatens 6.7 million Zimbabweans will
accelerate the number of
Aids-related deaths. In a speech to mark World Aids
Day on Saturday, Mr
Mugabe said that 2.2 million Zimbabweans were living with
the disease and
there were 700,000 Aids orphans. Cemeteries are running out
of space to bury
an estimated 300 victims each day.
Robertson said that the census called into question the
official results of
presidential elections held in March, in which Mr Mugabe
claimed victory. He
said that the census figures constituted "irrefutable
He said that to achieve a turnout of 5.2 million
claimed by the ruling Zanu (PF) party, the country would need a
of 17 million. Postal ballots were banned and strict proof of
required. More than half Zimbabwe's population is under 18, the
voting age. Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC's presidential candidate,
barred from inspecting constituency rolls.
country experienced significant population growth, from
seven million at the
time of independence in 1980 to 10.4 million at the
1992 census. Had the same
rate been maintained, the population would have
risen above 15 million. The
economy has collapsed and there is no prospect
of recovery. The International
Monetary Fund predicts inflation at 522 per
Surveys show that family sizes are shrinking, with
of contraception and resistance by women to polygamous
of the Aids risk. On Tuesday, urban housewives
protested outside shops to
show their anger at the lack of bread, maize meal,
cooking oil, salt and
other staples. "They cannot feed their families," Trudy
Stevenson, an MDC
CFU REPORT 30 NOVEMBER 2002
Despite the many acronyms that have been heard for the CFU ABC plan, some
printable some not so printable I hope in the following article to give you the
members slightly more insight into the ABC plan and correct the ABC acronym.
C = Create conducive climate to farm.
The CFU recognized that within its membership there are various different
categories of farmers all needing very different services. The plan is intended
to serve the current membership in the situation imposed on them, and any other
farmers who may wish to have access to these professional services.
Five categories of membership were identified
- Members who have conceded land to the State for resettlement, and who do not
wish to contest resettlement.
- Members who have been evicted but have not conceded and await compensation.
- Members who have been evicted, who are not conceding and wish to get back
- Members who are still partially farming but are under threat from "Sections"
- Members who are still farming, (unfortunately the category with a
Once the various categories of membership were identified the Union then
embarked on an "action plan" to cater for the members needs. CFU Councillor's
were identified to serve on various sub-committees to address these needs with a
full compliment of staff to back them up.
- COMPENSATION AND RELOCATION COMMITTEE
Elected members Alan Stockil, Dirk Odeendal, Neville Brown
To look after categories 1 & 2 and reporting to the CFU President.
- LEGAL SERVICES
Elected members Nigel Juul, Mac Crawford, Alan Jack
To look after categories 2 & 4 reporting to CFU president
- FARMING ENVIRONMENT
Elected members Ian Barrett, Joe Whaley, Cedric Wilde
To look after categories 3,4 &5 and new members reporting to Vice
Elected members Stoff Hawgood, JJ Odendaal, Dirk Odendaal, Joggs Craig,
For categories 4, 5 and new members reporting to Vice President.
Recognizing our various weakness in the past.!!
Elected members Trevor Gifford, Stoff Hawgood, Kevin Lamprecht
For all categories reporting to CFU President
Elected members all regional chairman.
For all categories and new members reporting to Vice President.
The above ABC plan must be recognized as being a flexible "living plan" that
will change with our members situations as they arise – I hope not hourly. It is
not cast in stone and there maybe categories of farmers/ members that do not fit
in to the above categories, but as the subcommittees meet I am sure these
members will be recognized and incorporated. I believe it will utilize the
councillor expertise more efficiently and allow for better communication between
the Union and it members.
The first two sub committees will met on Monday through to Wednesday and I
will supply more information when they have identified their objectives, targets
and time frame in which these must be achieved.
If you require any further information on any of the above
issues please contact CFU Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e–mail email@example.com and
we will endeavour to supply prompt answers.
Women protest against abuse in Zanu PF
12/5/2002 8:32:59 AM (GMT +2)
Ntungamili Nkomo and Nomvula Matatu in Bulawayo
disgruntled women rights activists yesterday took to the
streets of Bulawayo
to protest against violations of children's and women's
Nomusa Ncube, the chairperson of a Bulawayo-based women's
organisation called the Bulawayo Women's Groups, said the women were
with reports of women being raped with impunity.
they were extremely concerned about the immoral activities in
Zanu PF camps
and about domestic violence.
The protest, which featured about 200
placard-waving women chanting
anti-women abuse slogans, started at the High
Court at noon.
Some of the placards read "Sex for food: We say
The women carried pots and wore black clothes.
marched to the Mhlahlandhlela government complex, where they
tried to voice
their grievances to the Matabeleland North Governor, Obert
Mpofu, but were
denied entry by security personnel manning the gate.
Asked for his
comment on the demonstration, Mpofu said he was in
Parliament and could not
Ncube said the women were concerned with reports of
rape cases which
she said were rampant in the Zanu PF youth brigade
She said many girls recruited for the so-called national
reported cases of rape to a number of women's
"What I can safely say is that women are very angry and
with what is going on.
"Many girls from the Zanu PF
camps have come to us complaining that
they were raped, but that the
perpetrators got away with it," Ncube said.
She urged the
government to stop what she called the "madness" going
on in the camps if
they had any conscience at all and compassion for the
She cited the HIV/Aids pandemic as a serious threat to the
exploited by the government in the name of patriotism.
Ncube said her office had received reports of women being forced to
with men who took advantage of the shortage of basic commodities
their victims maize-meal as payment for sex.
Star sheds light on African 'Stonehenge'
By Richard Stenger
Thursday, December 5, 2002 Posted: 10:19 AM EST (1519
(CNN) -- Mysterious
ruins in Zimbabwe, nearly brushed this week by the shadow of a total solar
eclipse, once served as an astronomical observatory to track eclipses, solstices
and an elusive exploding star, a South African scientist said.
Great Zimbabwe, a crumbling ring of stone walls and platforms about 240
meters in length, was thought to have been a palace complex for regional rulers
some 800 years ago.
But Richard Wade of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory thinks that the enclosure was
used in a similar capacity as the much older Stonehenge in Great Britain.
The arrangement of the walls, the complicated symbols on stone monoliths and
the position of a tall tower suggest that medieval Zimbabweans used the complex
to track the moon, sun, planets and stars for centuries.
"The importance of Great Zimbabwe is that it was the capital of the only
known sub-Saharan African Empire that lasted almost 1,000 years. Everyone in
southern Africa somehow relates to this nucleus cultural complex," Wade said.
Several of the stone monoliths, for example, line up with certain bright
stars in the constellation Orion as they rise on the morning of the shortest day
of the year, the winter solstice.
Another contains markings that coincide with orbital patterns of Earth and
Venus, which could be used to forecast eclipses, Wade said.
In his most controversial position, Wade suggests that a tower at the
complex, whose purpose has baffled historians, was probably built to observe an
exploding star in roughly 1300 AD.
"This large conical tower in the great enclosure stands directly in line with
the rising supernova remnant when seen from the observation platform and court
area of the time," Wade wrote in a paper to be submitted to the journals Science
and Scientific American.
"They requested that I send the work on completion," he said. "I have been
peer reviewed now for almost four years and only recently have I received a nod
from the South African science community."
Modern telescope observations indicate that a supernova lit up the sky at
approximately the same time. Historic records make no mention of it, an omission
that does not surprise Wade since the dying star appeared over the Southern
Hemisphere, which at the time had virtually no literate cultures.
But oral legends in the region lend credence to the supernova idea, Wade
said. The Sena people of Zimbabwe hold that their ancestors migrated from the
north by following an unusually bright star in the southern skies.
December, 2002, 15:34 GMT
Zimbabwe currency support drive
Zimbabweans have been facing fuel shortages
A Zimbabwean drive to support its currency by cracking down
on black market trade is failing, a report has said.
The administration of President Robert Mugabe has closed down bureaux de
change, and ordered exporters to exchange half of their foreign cash reserves
into Zimbabwe dollars, in an effort to boost the ailing currency.
But while the Zimbabwe dollar rallied last week to an informal rate of 700 to
US$1, from as low as Zim$1,600 to US$1, most of the gains have since been lost,
Reuters news agency said.
One US dollar currently buys about Zim$1,200, Reuters said.
"What we saw last week was that momentary panic, but there is now another
resurgence of the US dollar," a trader told the agency.
Zimbabwe has for three years suffered a shortage of foreign currency,
hindering efforts to import food and fuel in the face of a worsening economic
According to the Financial Gazette newspaper, economic conditions have
worsened such that half of Zimbabwe's industry could shut down for the first
three months of next year to mull over survival strategies.
The government has set an official exchange rate of Zim$55 to US$1.
But with unofficial traders buying US dollars for 20 times the official rate,
foreign currency has flowed onto the black market.
The government's latest curbs were introduced in an effort to seize control
of foreign currency trading.
But economist Witness Chinyama told Reuters: "The problem is that the current
government policies are not geared to improve the flow of foreign currency into
"The parallel market will continue to thrive because that is where
manufacturers are forced to source money for key imports."
CFU REPORT 5 DECEMBER 2002
Our apologies for the lack of reports from 2nd to 4th December. This was
due to the staff that compile the report attending the ABC planning and
implementation process. Our apologies also that you were notified after the
event, (aha I hear you say a breakdown in communications) this was due to some
dreadful old hack..er sending us a virus.!!
The NADF Dairy Forum on Forages was held at four venues last week, with
Rudi Kuschke from Advanta Seeds in South Africa as the guest speaker. The topic
was alternative crops for silage, and Rudi was enthusiastic about the use of
Sugargraze, a sweet sorghum hybrid, as a useful silage crop. Sugargraze has a
high sugar content, so requires no additives to ensile, and recovers well from
periods of drought. It is also versatile in that it can be grazed, used as a
green chop, ensiled or used as standing hay. It does not make good hay, as the
high sugar content causes it to retain moisture. The NADF are coordinating the
orders for seed placed by dairy farmers.
COTTON INTERNATIONAL MARKET REPORT
COTTON PRICES RISING - ICAC PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 1, 2002
World cotton production is estimated at 19.3 million tons in 2002/03, about
2.2 million tons, or 10%, lower than last season's record. Declines are expected
in 14 out of the 15 largest producing countries, Brazil being the only
exception. World consumption is projected to rise by some 400,000 tons to 20.5
million tons in 2002/03, the highest ever. World ending stocks are projected to
shrink by 1.3 million tons to 9.1 million tons this season. After collapsing
from 66 cents per pound in December 2000 to a 19-year low of 35 cents per pound
in October 2001, the Cotlook A Index rebounded to 53.5 cents per pound in
November 2002, up 53% and the highest since March 2001. Nevertheless, prices
remain below the long-term average of 71 cents per pound since 1973/74. Supply
and demand estimates suggest that the season-average Cotlook A Index will be 52
cents per pound this season and 54 cents next season.
As of mid-November, 2002, U.S. export commitments were nearly half a
million tons less than at the same time in 2001/02. Yet, export commitments to
China (Mainland) exceeded 100,000 tons, five times more than in mid-November
2001. Rains have seriously affected the quality of the U.S. crop. Paradoxically,
through the U.S. price mechanism, the scarcity of higher quality U.S. cotton
will help move the abundant supply of lower quality cotton. Given the drop in
Australian production and the anticipated delays in shipments from the CFA zone,
a very tight supply situation in the high medium category, suitable for combed
ring spun yarn, is on the horizon for the middle of
After a brief rebound, U.S. domestic mill consumption resumed its decline
in August 2002. The textile industry in China (Mainland) continues to grow
rapidly. The U.S. dollar weakened between February and November 2002,
rising by about 40% from its 1995 lows against most major currencies.
However, the value of the U.S. dollar did not decrease as much against the
currencies of major sources of textile imports to the U.S. imports of textile
and apparel from January to September 2002 were 15% higher than during the first
nine months of 2001. The rise in cotton prices is eroding the profitability of
the spinning industry. A sustained price rally will largely depend on whether
economic growth improves in the developed countries.
COPA, ZCPA, ZGPA REPORT
Despite several requests we have still not been advised when GMB will
be paying the "agterskot" on wheat delivered. We will keep trying.
For those who have claimed on the wheat / barley Insurance Scheme, meet
with your assessor and sign an Agreement of Loss form. This has to be done
before any payment is made.
We still have not sorted out payment for Quelea Control but will keep
A slight hitch with the Olivine soyabeans. Germination results should
be available on Friday 6th December 2002.
Research - All the maize trials have been planted but soyabean trials
are still to be planted.
Generally fine and dry conditions prevailed during the past week.
The system responsible for the dry weather the country experienced in the
past few weeks is showing signs of weakening such that it could be replaced by
wet conditions from early as 6 December.
Continuing hot and dry until the 6th. Thereafter, it should become moist
over the country. Therefore, it should be rainy over Zimbabwe from around the
7th. An appropriate warning/advisory regarding the intensity of the wet spell
will be issued during the daily forecasts issued on radio and television.
This forecast is subject to modification if the weather systems suddenly
change. Otherwise, another update will be issued on the 11th of December.
If you require any further information on any of the above issues
please contact CFU Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will endeavour to
supply prompt answers.
ZIMBABWE: Economic problems exacerbate violence against
JOHANNESBURG, 5 December (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's economic problems are
exacerbating violence against women and their sexual exploitation, women's
"With all the economic problems, violence has taken a new
twist," matrimonial lawyer Nomsa Ncube told IRIN on Thursday. Ncube was one of
the organisers of a march on government offices in Zimbababwe's second city
Bulawayo this week, to protest violence against women.
Over the last few
years Zimbabwe has suffered serious economic problems. Salaries have failed to
keep pace with inflation which hit 144 percent in October, and unemployment has
risen. The land reform programme has also seen farms change hands with thousands
of farmers and farmworkers facing an uncertain future.
has tried to intervene through price controls on basic commodities, and by
fixing the foreign exchange rate. But this has spawned a lucrative market for
hoarders and speculators who have taken advantage of shortages.
concern at the moment is that women are being forced to have sex with hoarders
[of commodities]," Ncube said.
"The woman goes to the corner house where
things are being sold and she is served by a man usually between 19 and 25. She
is charged a very high price for maize and says she doesn't have enough money,
and her kids haven't eaten. He looks her over and says she has something else to
pay with and tells her to come back in the evening.
"I find that so
cruel. A lot of women related the same experience," Ncube said. "We feel so
frustrated. That's why we went and banged our pots on the
Violence against women can also have a direct political
A researcher for an organisation that studies organised
violence said there were many cases of politically active women who supported
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March presidential
election who were targeted for assaults, and sometimes rape.
still some new cases of assault and death threats, usually because the women
support the MDC," the researcher said.
Sheila Mahere, director of the
Musasa Project, an organisation that provides shelter for victims of domestic
violence said: "We feel domestic violence is on the increase and reporting on it
is on the increase, which is a good thing because it is not hidden."
she added, some women have been too frightened to lay charges of assault, or
because the perpetrator could be a bread winner.
"We have seen an
increase in relation to the economic environment in Zimbabwe. When you have
shrinking resources in the home, this can exacerbate a situation between
spouses, it causes frustration and unleashes violence. We don't want poverty to
be an excuse for violence, but it does exacerbate the situation," Mahere
The Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) have taken
another approach, and are currently calculating the losses domestic violence
causes the economy.
A similar American study found that companies
reported they lost anything between US $3-5 billion a year in profit from women
and men who missed work because of gender-based violence.
calculate the cost to the economy of one or both spouses dying, the cost to the
government of sending an ambulance to help a women who had been beaten, the cost
of the investigating officer's time and resources, and the cost to the courts
and prisons as the case was followed through, ZWRCN director Isabella
"We want to know what price we are paying for violence
against women," Matambanadzo said.
For many women, new hope would come
when the Domestic Violence Act, drafted by the Musasa Project, in consultation
with other organisations, was finally passed.
Mahere said they were
lobbying parliament and women's groups to make sure the draft goes through
unchanged and becomes law.
However, Zimbabwean women still needed support
institutions like a gender commission to ensure proper implementation of
anti-violence laws, she said.
MALAWI-ZAMBIA-ZIMBABWE: USAID pledges US $100 million for most
JOHANNESBURG, 5 December (IRIN) - Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia,
the three countries hardest hit by a region-wide food crisis, are set to benefit
from a US $100 million grant to assist in funding emergency and supplementary
The United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) pledge to World Vision, CARE and Catholic Relief Services will be used
to develop long-term programmes to strengthen the coping mechanisms among people
in vulnerable communities to future food shortages.
The grant - a
combination of food and financial aid - is being awarded a week after the United
Nations and the World Health Organisation released a report citing HIV/AIDS as a
key factor in the region's food crisis.
World Vision said in a statement
that the food could be used as a focal point for mobilising people and
communities towards increased HIV/AIDS awareness.
"The funds will address
those gaps that the governments and the World Food Programme cannot get to
because of the lack of resources. It will focus on special food distributions
and supplementary feeding programmes. Children and female-headed households will
be prioritised. Also, improved access to health services and water is of utmost
importance," CARE's Regional Director for Southern and West Africa Chris Conrad
Under the USAID-funded programme, two million people in the
three countries would be assisted every week, Conrad added.
Close to 15
million people across Southern Africa are affected by the severe food shortages,
mainly due to consecutive bad harvests.
The pledge is one of the largest
emergency aid grants to help address the
Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11
In the Shadow of the Moon
Yesterday we went out to witness the total eclipse
of the sun. It was awesome! Thousands of Zimbabweans took time off to travel
out into the path of the eclipse and we went to Plumtree for the event. We set
out our breakfast things and were suddenly aware that the sun had started to
change, we took out our glasses and looked into the sun and saw the moon start
its move to cover the sun.
It was a superb African sunrise, the air was clear
and crisp, there were no clouds and the dry veld stretched to the horizon.
Gradually the atmosphere changed, the temperature dropped and the clear early
morning light faded.
The birds were uneasy and then quiet, our shadows
changed. Watching through our special glasses we saw the sun gradually slip
under the moon until that moment when the sun disappeared altogether. We took
off our glasses and there was the sun and the moon, locked into a deadly
embrace, with the suns light completely surrounding the moon as a spectacular
I glanced around and we were surrounded by sunrise
on all sides. It was dark and the stars were out again, but it was like the
darkness just before sunrise, cold, and a sharp wind blowing, but full of
promise. We were all bathed in an almost mystical light - we could see quite
clearly but the light was unlike anything we had seen before. Just as fast, the
sun broke free of the moon and as soon as it shone over the lip of the moons
shadow, the new dawn broke over the veld, in minutes we were back to normal.
The sun slowly returned and the early morning chill was dispersed by the heat of
the day. We packed up and went back to work.
I have a feeling - nothing more, that the situation
in Zimbabwe is much like the eclipse of the sun that we have just witnessed.
Two years ago the moon of Zanu PF started to eclipse the sun of Zimbabwe. This
is a very special country. Everyone who was born here is crazy about the place;
people who visit find the land and its people very special. I do not know what
it is but Zimbabwe shines like a sun over Africa for those of us who know and
Zanu PF, by contrast is a cold dark moon, lifeless
but there and making its way across the sky of history because of what it once
was. Unable to create anything, it draws what light it has from the sun that is
Zimbabwe. It has no light of its own.
Two years ago in a desperate attempt to steal the
light, the Zanu moon started to try and put out the light of the sun, the
violence, the killings, the abuse of our rights and the subversion of our
democracy. Slowly and inexorably the Zanu moon has tried to swallow the sun.
Today, with the recent measures adopted by the Zanu PF regime, it seems to us
who live here as if suddenly the eclipse is total, its dark and cold and a sharp
wind blows. The birdsong dies.
But if we look up, we see the sun with a dark cold
centre, but that halo of light; did you ever see such a beautiful sight? I look
around me and I see wonderful people - caring for each other, supporting each
other in a famine.
I see a mother with six of her own children and 14 others
whom she is supporting with the help of the older children. We enjoyed a
presentation of the Messiah on Sunday night in the Cathedral - a full
philharmonic orchestra with two choirs, it was magnificent and the Cathedral was
so crowded, people were sitting on the floor.
I hear of a farmer's wife who cleaned the house she
had lived in all her life, in preparation for the arrival of the "new Zanu PF
owners" who were taking this home and a lifetime of hard work away from the
rightful owners under the guise of "land reform". For two years thousands of
white farmers have suffered abuse and violence and yet there has been hardly one
act of retribution. We are not talking about people who are afraid - these are
real men amongst men, proud, independent and as tough as they come. All armed
and many with military training. It must stand as one of the most remarkable
acts of collective courage and restraint in history.
An elderly woman standing on the side of the road
as Mugabe drives past in his motorcade - 30 odd vehicles bristling with
weapons. She stands up and shows a small red card as her demonstration that she
thinks Mugabe must leave the field of play. Now Mugabe has "banned" such
displays of opposition. The street kids in Harare blowing small red plastic
whistles when Mugabe tried to maintain his dignity as he opened Parliament and
inspected a guard of honour.
No matter what Zanu does, the spirit of Zimbabwe
shines through. Right now things are about as bleak as they can get but the
light refuses to die.
All around us are signs that there is a new dawning in
the world in which we live - Zanu is learning that they are alone in a hostile
world that will not accept their errant behaviour.
I have a feeling that very shortly the sun that
powers the real Zimbabwe will emerge from behind the shadow of Zanu PF and we
will discover that ancient truth that has been tested down through the centuries
of history, that light always overcomes darkness. Then the birds will sing
again in Zimbabwe.
Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 5th December
Zimbabwe Postpones Us$844 Million Imports
December 5, 2002
Posted to the web December 5, 2002
ZIMBABWE has failed to raise US$844 million to finance
critical imports this year, which analysts this week said would swell the
country's 2003 import bill and worsen the commodity shortages already affecting
companies and consumers.
According to figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the
country failed to raise US$844 million because of a critical foreign currency
crisis, forcing the government and businesses to shelve crucial imports this
The foreign currency would have been used to import food,
fuel, essential drugs, spare parts and raw materials needed by
Zimbabwe is expected to spend US$1.7 billion on imports next
year, down from US$$1.8 billion, but analysts said the country would still need
to raise the US$844 million it had failed to come up with this year because the
imports shelved in 2002 were still necessary.
Zimbabwe needs US$202 million for imports every month, but
barely has enough import cover for two weeks at any particular time.
In addition to normal import requirements, the country also
has to purchase grain to feed close to seven million Zimbabweans in need of
emergency food aid because of drought and a controversial government land reform
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has budgeted $12.5 billion
for food imports until the next harvest in March, but humanitarian agencies say
Zimbabwe will have to import grain even after the harvest because agricultural
output is expected to decline by at least 50 percent in the 2003 farming
Falling production in agriculture, mining and manufacturing,
as well as a depressed tourism sector mean Zimbabwe will be unable to raise
enough foreign currency to meet these import requirements next year, analysts
"This scenario shows that our capacity to generate foreign
currency is being eroded and this is where the International Monetary Fund and
other donor institutions are very important," an economist with Intermarket
Financial Holdings said.
"That gap should be closed by accessing foreign currency
from these institutions but this is not happening at a time our exports are
down. That the gap has grown this much shows how crucial we need aid, but at
least the central bank is being realistic. I don't know whether the Treasury
feels the same."
Zimbabwe has had no balance of payments support from the
International Monetary Fund and other multilateral organisations since 2000,
which has worsened the country's hard currency shortages.
President Robert Mugabe has told international backers of
Harare's economic reforms that Zimbabwe can go it alone, but analyst this week
said unless the country mended fences with the international community, several
products could disappear from shop shelves next year.
Many locally produced products need imported raw materials
while declining output in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors mean
Zimbabwe will have to import even goods that would otherwise have been
manufactured locally in order to meet consumer demand.
"It will be really extremely difficult to fund these imports
especially with a gap of that much," said Harare industrialist Danny Meyer
"The nation should brace for more shortages, unless of
course the government can have a financing agreement with the Bretton Woods
According to the central bank, Zimbabwe's capital account,
which reflects hard cash in the form of foreign direct investment, grants and
aid, will receive US$119 million next year.
Economist Witness Chinyama however said this was unlikely
because Murerwa had not made provisions for international aid grants in the 2003
"I think that figure is a bit over optimistic because we
will not have aid grants next year as shown in the budget," said Chinyama.
Zimbabwe's capital inflows have fallen from US$502 million
in 1995 to a net outflow of US$347 million this year.
Zimbabwe's arrears to foreign lenders amounted to US$1.319
billion as of November 15, which analysts say will further hamper the country's
chances of attracting balance of payments support.
U.S. encouraged but wary on Zimbabwe press charges
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 — The United States said on Thursday it was encouraged, with reservations, that a Zimbabwe court has dropped charges against three journalists.
The privately owned weekly newspaper the Standard said on Wednesday the court had dropped charges of ''abuse of journalistic privileges by publishing falsehoods'' against Bornwell Chakaodza, Farai Mutsaka and Fungayi Kanyuchi.
State Department spokeswoman Jo-Anne Prokopowicz said: ''While we are encouraged by this action we continue to condemn the Mugabe regime's ongoing attempts to stifle the free press as part of its brutal campaign to ensure its continued rule.''
The United States says it does not recognize President Robert Mugabe as legitimate leader of Zimbabwe because it believes that presidential elections in March were flawed.