Institute for War & Peace Reporting (London)
January 20, 2006
Posted to the web January 20, 2006
Is the groundwork being laid to bring Zimbabwe's president to The Hague?
Zimbabwe's beleaguered non-governmental organisations and charities have
appealed to the International Criminal Court, ICC, to prosecute President
Robert Mugabe and government officials who they say have been responsible
for widespread crimes against humanity over the past six years.
The plea by the National Association of Non-Government Organisations, NANGO,
coincides with a call by the London-based International Bar Association for
the United Nations Security Council to authorise an ICC investigation into
Mugabe's alleged crimes.
But calls for the prosecution of Mugabe, widely seen as the supreme
architect of Zimbabweans' unprecedented suffering, have done little to
provide hope to the country's impoverished and embittered populace.
"I don't believe anyone can do anything to Mugabe, so talk of him being
arrested [for human rights abuses] might just be a waste of time," said
Sifundiswa Ndlovu, an unemployed man whose five-room home in a Harare
working class suburb was destroyed last year in Mugabe's notorious Operation
Murambatsvina [Operation Drive Out the Rubbish]. "That man is arrogant, and
I think the international community fears him as well."
Ndlovu, 57, has suffered several times over. First, he survived Mugabe's
Operation Gukarahundi, in which more than 25,000 civilians were killed in
Matabeleland and buried in mass graves by Mugabe's special army unit, the
5th Brigade. The latter was trained by North Korea following an agreement
between Mugabe and the late North Korean dictator Kim Il-Sung. Gukarahundi
is a traditional term in the Shona language, which translates as, "The early
rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rains."
Ndlovu, who belongs to Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele ethnic group, then moved
to Harare in 1989 for greater safety and for a job as a foreman with a
construction company. He became unemployed when the construction company
folded and he eked out a meagre living selling second-hand goods at a flea
market. Then the home he shared with his wife and four children was
destroyed in Operation Murambatsvina.
Similar ordeals experienced by millions of Zimbabweans led to the appeals
from Zimbabwe's civil society and the International Bar Association for the
ICC to open a criminal investigation against Mugabe alongside those it has
already begun in northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's
Ituri province and Sudan's Darfur region.
Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association, the
global organisation for law workers, said in a recent article for the
Paris-based International Herald Tribune, "Mugabe's state machine is simply
too powerful and corrupt to be defeated by weakened and demoralised
citizens. The escalating humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe requires an
immediate and forceful international response.
"Mugabe must be held accountable for the crimes he has committed. A UN
Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court - similar to
the [Security Council] referral over the Darfur situation - is the most
appropriate and effective response."
NANGO, calling for Mugabe's prosecution in The Hague, pointed out that UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan had sent a special envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, to
Zimbabwe to investigate the human costs of Operation Murambatsvina. In her
100-page report, Tibaijuka told Annan that although Mugabe claimed that the
operation was designed to target illegal dwellings, "it was carried out in
an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with indifference to human
Tibaijuka estimated that more than three million people had been directly
affected by the mass destruction of the homes of Zimbabwe's poor.
"Immediate measures need to be taken to bring those responsible to account,"
she advised Annan. "The government of Zimbabwe clearly caused large sections
of its population serious suffering that must now be redressed with the
assistance of the United Nations and the broader international community."
Zimbabwe's outspoken Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube and South Africa's
Cardinal Wilfred Napier have both branded the Mugabe administration guilty
of crimes against humanity, particularly by withholding food aid from large
sections of the population, and urged the Security Council to take
responsibility for the situation and take action.
George Charamba, Mugabe's press secretary, poured scorn on the calls for ICC
action against the Zimbabwean president. Since Zimbabwe was not a signatory
to the Rome statute, it was not therefore legally bound by its dictates,
said Charamba. He dismissed the International Bar Association as just one of
a raft of bodies around the world that are trying to put pressure on
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party in the hope of reviving the troubled
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
However, Charamba was making a common error about the powers of the
fledgling ICC, which is a creation of the UN.
Although it is true that Zimbabwe, like the United States, has not signed
the Rome statute, it is a fact that the Security Council has the power to
indict Mugabe and order his arrest the moment he sets foot in any country
which has signed the treaty. "Exercising its wide discretionary powers, the
Security Council could specifically name Mugabe as an ongoing threat to the
peace of the [southern African] region and authorise an ICC investigation,
even though Zimbabwe has refused to accept the court's jurisdiction," said
The groundwork for a possible indictment of Mugabe at The Hague is perhaps
at last being laid following a scathing report by a commission of the
African Union, grouping all Africa's states except Morocco, which strongly
condemns Zimbabwe's president for abusing his people's human rights "with
The African Commission for Human and People's Rights, ACHPR, at its latest
meeting in the Gambia, said the AU is not doing enough to force Mugabe to
address "a very desperate situation in Zimbabwe". The commission, whose
chairman is former Mali President Alpha Oumar Konare, will present its
report at the AU summit in Khartoum on January 23 and 24.
The AU and its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, have long
been accused of ring-fencing Mugabe from domestic and international
Following the breaking of silence by an important commission of the AU,
Zimbabwean analysts and human rights activists see a glimmer of hope that
concrete international action might be taken against Mugabe.
"This will place a lot of pressure on Zimbabwe," said Arnold Tsunga,
director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. "This is the first time such
a significant body, so close to African heads of state, observes and
condemns such defiance of human rights compliance. It gives the African
Union heads of state an opportunity to show they have the ability, and are
committed to deal with, such issues."
"For the first time, we might now be seeing the ICC finally moving on
Mugabe," a University of Zimbabwe political scientist told IWPR. "It's
crucial that Africa has spoken out against what's going on in Zimbabwe."
But Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly,
Zimbabwe's largest civic group, said it was useless to expect that the
resolution would spur AU leaders into changing their docile approach to
"As has happened in the past, the latest ACHPR report might not even get a
mention at the AU summit," said Madhuku. "It is futile to expect anything
serious from these African leaders." He said they would be eager to avoid
offending Mugabe and would probably play down the commission report as the
work of technical people, which does not reflect the AU's political
"How can you expect a club of leaders, which include the likes of Omar Bongo
and Yoweri Museveni [the long-serving presidents of Gabon and Uganda, both
accused of human rights abuses], to censure Mugabe when they are changing
their constitutions to do exactly what Mugabe is doing, if not worse?" asked
Mugabe's human rights record has been under the international spotlight
since 2000 when he began seizing white-owned commercial farms in a violent
exercise that left dozens of people dead. He also unleashed violence on
opposition groups by government-trained youth militias and liberation war
veterans in the prelude to 2000 parliamentary and 2002 presidential
elections, widely condemned as having been heavily rigged. Mugabe's
government has banned four newspapers since 2003, including the Daily News,
the country's only independent daily.
Western governments have been outspoken against Mugabe's excesses, but until
the ACHPR spoke out against Mugabe African states had maintained silence out
of a sense of "brotherhood" with Zimbabwe's leader.
In a possible omen of things to come for Zimbabwe, the ACHPR expressed
solidarity with the ICC on its investigations in northern Uganda, Darfur and
Of course, no one knows if an ICC investigation for crimes against humanity
would bring an end to Mugabe\u2019s regime. But Ellis said, \u201cWe have to
try, because the Zimbabwean government's systematic human rights abuses have
reached staggering proportions.
"A referral to the ICC would also send an unmistakable message to the
beleaguered citizens of Zimbabwe that Mugabe will ultimately be held
accountable for his crimes. There is no statute of limitations for those,
like Mugabe, who commit atrocities against their own citizens. It is time to
bring him to justice."
Mail and Guardian
20 January 2006 10:58
Zimbabwe's 10 provinces are being asked to raise one billion
Zimbabwean dollars ($11 000) each to celebrate President Robert Mugabe's
82nd birthday next month, a state-controlled newspaper reported on Friday.
The longtime Zimbabwean leader's official birthday celebrations
are to be held in the eastern Manicaland province, the Manica Post reported.
"Our president is a source of inspiration to all the country's
youths and we need to ensure that this year's celebrations are a resounding
success," said Enock Porusingazi, the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union -- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party youth chairperson for Manicaland.
"Each province is expected to raise one billion dollars and a
number of activities have already been lined up to ensure that the
10-billion dollar target is met or surpassed," he added. The massive
fund-raising drive comes as most Zimbabweans battle to survive amid soaring
inflation rates of 586%.
Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924 at Kutama Mission in
Porusingazi told the Manica Post, which is published in the
border city of Mutare, that Zimbabwe was "blessed" to have a leader "of the
calibre of President Mugabe".
Mugabe has been in power since independence from Britain in
1980. He remains popular among rural Zimbabweans, and his party has just
swept council elections in the town of Chitungwiza which so far was a
stronghold of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). -
Sat 21 January 2006
BULAWAYO - An international organisation that monitors food supply
trends across the world has warned that Zimbabwe's food security situation
will deteriorate further this year despite the good rains received so far
due to a severe shortage of fuel and inputs in the country.
In its latest report for December which was released earlier this
month, the United States-based Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet)
says at least a million require emergency food aid from donors between now
"Reports from Zimbabwe indicate increasing levels of food insecurity
across the country as the country grapples to cover one of the largest
cereal gaps (1.2 million metric tonnes of maize alone) as a result of a poor
growing season last year that was exacerbated by widespread shortages of
"Household food access remains a serious concern with large numbers of
the most vulnerable unable to meet minimum food requirements," the report
The report says the staple maize-meal is already in critical supply in
"In more severe cases as in some parts of Zimbabwe supplies of staple
cereals are increasingly unavailable, causing retail food prices to rise
steeply and exacerbating food access problems for the most vulnerable
households," reads the report.
Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a bitter economic recession marked by
severe shortages of food, fuel and other basic commodities. Critics blame
President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks six years for triggering economic collapse.
Mugabe's often violent farm seizures slashed food production by 60
percent resulting in most Zimbabweans depending on food aid from
international donors for survival.
But Mugabe denies charges of ruining the country's economy insisting
the country's problems are a result of sabotage by Britain and its Western
allies whom he says were unhappy over his land policies.
Prospects for an economic revival appeared to have received a major
boost after the country received good rains. The rains were expected to kick
start the country's agriculture based economy. But Fewsnet said shortages of
farm inputs and fuel are likely to see the country's food crisis continue
into the next season.
Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) also said about
12 million people in Zimbabwe and Malawi are in desperate need of food aid.
In a report issued this month, FAO said: "Food insecurity is worsening
during this lean period and nearly 12 million people, mainly in Zimbabwe and
Malawi, are in need of emergency food assistance.
"Shortages of key farm inputs such as seed, fertiliser and draft power
are reported in Zimbabwe. High inflation coupled with fuel and transport
problems are exacerbating food insecurity," the FAO report says. - ZimOnline
Sat 21 January 2006
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government on Friday rejected new anti-AIDS
policy proposals by an association of traditional healers saying the
proposals, which include compulsory virginity tests, violated the rights of
Deputy Minister of Health, Edwin Muguti, stunned delegates invited to
the official launch ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Harare when he
rejected off-hand the proposals.
Muguti said the proposals by the Zimbabwe Traditional Healers
Association (ZINATHA), were in direct conflict with the vision of the
In the policy document, ZINATHA was proposing to institute compulsory
virginity tests for girls and ban the use of condoms for adolescents saying
condoms promote promiscuity.
"I am not going to launch this policy because of two main issues. The
first is that you discourage the use of condoms and secondly your clamour
for virginity tests violate children's rights.
"Apart from that, the tests are in contravention of a number of
conventions Zimbabwe is party to," said Muguti, much to the embarrassment of
ZINATHA leaders and invited guests.
Zimbabwe, in its sixth year of a bitter economic recession blamed on
President Robert Mugabe's policies, is also battling to contain an AIDS
crisis that is mowing down at least 2 000 Zimbabweans every week.
The country's collapsing public health delivery system has also failed
to cope with the AIDS crisis because of a lack of life-prolonging
anti-retroviral drugs. At least one in every four Zimbabweans is infected
with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The ZINATHA AIDS policy documents reads in part: "Both boys and girls
should not be allowed to use condoms, we encourage them to abstain from sex
and maintain high morals until marriage.
"We must revive our customs, which protect good moral behaviour and
also prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS such as virginity tests conducted on
girls by paternal aunts at a river."
ZINATHA is an association of traditional healers that is led by former
University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor and sociology professor, Gordon
Chavhunduka. Zimbabwe was among the first African countries in the early 80s
to legally recognise traditional healers.
Yesterday, a stunned Chavhunduka said his association, which has been
involved in AIDS research since the late 1990s, would go back to the drawing
"We have been operating without our own clear policy with respect to
HIV and AIDS. We will engage the government after sitting as ZINATHA to
chart the way forward," he said. - ZimOnline
Sat 21 January 2006
MASVINGO - A senior Zimbabwe government minister, Stan Mudenge, is
embroiled in a bitter wrangle with war veterans over control of a former
white-owned farm near the southern Masvingo city.
The war veterans took over the horticulture-producing Chikore farm
from Peter Buchan during a new wave of farm invasions encouraged by
President Robert Mugabe's government that swept Masvingo province in 2004.
Mudenge, who was said to have encouraged the war veterans to drive out
the former owner from the farm two years ago, insists that he now owns the
farm after it was allocated to him under the government's controversial farm
"That offer letter from the Ministry of Lands speaks for itself. I am
the owner of that farm. The war veterans should quickly move out so that I
can start business on that farm," said Mudenge.
But the war veterans have vowed to remain on the property arguing it
does not make sense to have one individual benefit from the farm at the
expense of scores of former fighters.
The chairman of the former freedom fighters in Masvingo province,
Isaiah Muzenda, who is also occupying the property, said: "We invaded this
farm because we wanted land.
"We have since sealed a deal with the former owner that he trains us
to produce horticultural products and in return we also allow him to
continue business on a small piece of land on the farm," said Muzenda.
There have been numerous clashes in the past after Mugabe's ministers
tried to kick out war veterans from farms formerly owned by white farmers.
Zimbabwe is in its sixth year of a bitter economic recession. Critics
blame repression and wrong policies by Mugabe especially his violent seizure
of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks six years ago.
The farm seizures destabilised the mainstay agricultural sector knocking
down food production by about 60 percent.
Mugabe however denies his land redistribution programme is to blame
saying that Zimbabwe's economic problems are because of sabotage by Western
governments opposed to Harare. - ZimOnline
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 20 Jan 2006 (IRIN) - Despite a stinging report by the African
Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), an African Union body,
criticising Zimbabwe for suppressing freedom of expression, a string of
official threats have targeted the independent media.
The arrest of freelance journalist Sidney Saize on charges of practicing
journalism without a licence and "writing false stories" was the most recent
case, Rashweat Mukundu, Director of the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), told IRIN.
"Saize will only appear in court on Monday because the senior officer in
charge has 'conveniently' gone to a funeral. Until then he will have to
remain in custody, because they [officials] want to punish him," Mukundu
He said it was unclear what the offending article was about, but speculated
that the story might have been critical of officials in Mutare, the region
in which Saize was based.
The weekly Financial Gazette (FinGaz), one of Zimbabwe's few remaining
privately owned newspapers, printed a retraction of an article critical of
the government-appointed Media and Information Commission (MIC), which
issues licenses to journalists and the media, without which they cannot
"The article questioned the MIC's independence, suggesting it was under the
influence of the country's Central Intelligence Organisation," Mukundu said.
"The MIC threatened FinGaz with withdrawal of its license, a fine, or both
if it did not print a retraction and an apology."
In a recent statement Reporters Without Borders noted that "the MIC has
closed down four newspapers in three years and clearly takes its orders from
the most senior members of the government. Reduced to functioning as a
branch of the police, the MIC continues to impose the law of silence,
especially when a newspaper dares to criticise it".
The continued harassment of the Voice of the People (VOP), an independent
Zimbabwean news production company, has also raised concern among media
VOP has been unable to resume operations since police confiscated its
equipment and files, and arrested director John Masuku in a December 2005
raid. "When they initially descended on the offices they took everything -
the place is literally empty," Masuku's lawyer, Tafadzwa Mugabe, told IRIN.
According to Mugabe, Masuku has been accused of violating the Broadcasting
Services Act, which prohibits the possession or use of radio transmission
equipment without a licence. "He was arrested under the assumption that VOP
was broadcasting from Zimbabwe, and that the station was not permitted to
broadcast without a licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe."
"But VOP had no broadcasting equipment," Mugabe remarked. The station
gathers local news, which it feeds to Radio Netherlands for broadcast back
to Zimbabwe. "VOP have applied for a licence, but the application was turned
down on a small technicality - this [obtaining a licence] will now be very
difficult with a criminal charge."
Masuku was released on bail after being held for three days in December 2005
and appeared in court on 6 January. "His next court appearance is 30 March
but no trial date has been set yet," Mugabe said. Masuku could face up to
two years in prison if found guilty.
The arrests followed a report by the ACHPR, which expressed concern over the
"continuing violations and the deterioration of the human rights situation
in Zimbabwe, the lack of respect for the rule of law and the growing culture
In response to those findings the government was reportedly considering a
review of its media legislation.
According to Mukundu, "there is confusion about the system itself. Some
officials believe that laws need to be changed - even deputy Information
Minister Bright Matonga has acknowledged that the broadcasting laws are
restrictive, but has done nothing about it".
Mukundu concluded that "changes to the media laws are a matter of political
will - all we can do is be ready when broader political change comes to
Zimbabwe. In the meantime, it is likely that we will see more pressure on
the media, with more threats to journalists in the time to come."
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 20 Jan 2006 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's Tripartite Negotiating Forum
(TNF), comprising representatives of government, labour and business, may be
close to signing a deal on price and wages control to curb runaway inflation
and rejuvenate the country's ailing economy.
The TNF met on Thursday to consider a proposed Price and Incomes
Stabilisation Protocol, which includes commitments by the government to
reduce inflation - currently running at nearly 600 percent - to 80 percent
by the end of 2006. The government also aimed to cut the budget deficit to
less than five percent of GDP, while business would agree to maintain prices
at a agreed-upon levels, and labour would agree to contain salary demands.
However, one key stumbling block remains - the proposed inclusion of a
poverty datum line (PDL) minimum wage of Zim $15 million (US $156).
According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe an average low-income
household needed Zim $17.6 million ($182) to meet basic monthly needs.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions spokesman Molamleli Sibanda commented: "I
would say there was agreement on almost the entire document but there were
disagreements in one area, where the employers were opposed to the issue of
the PDL - that it should not be included in the protocol ... but ZCTU and
the government disagree. The three parties agreed that the technical
committee should go back and clarify the issue and, hopefully, [when the TNF
reconvenes] on 3 February, the three parties can sign the protocol."
However, economist Dennis Nikisi said it would take more than just a Price
and Incomes Stabilisation Protocol to sort out Zimbabwe's spiralling
"Employers are saying the minimum wage is not going to be realistic - few
companies will be able to pay their employees [the minimum wage] without
raising the price of goods on the market. Also, most of the cost of
production is pushed by the rate of exchange: in the absence of a steady
supply of foreign currency, how are we going to ensure that input costs are
going to be controlled, so that industry can maintain prices?" he asked.
Shortages of foreign currency and fuel were factors businesses had no
"At the end of the day, it's about stabilising the forex market by ensuring
we've got a sustainable supply of that commodity, which to me is the be-all
and end-all of our economic woes. We can debate about this and that, but
these are external factors beyond the control of companies and individuals,"
He said Zimbabwe had to re-engage the international community in order to
win back International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank support. "We need
a kind of Marshall Plan - this current strategy of wanting to exist in
isolation, hoping that things will work out, is a pipe-dream."
January 20, 2006
Zimbabwe's players have described as "shocking" the decision by the
government-appointed Zimbabwe Cricket interim board to suspend itself from
Test cricket. The players said they were not informed about the decision
prior to being announced.
Blessing Mahwire, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Professional Cricketers
Association, said the pull-out was a major setback. "It's a huge
disappointment," he said. "I know that we don't have the numbers to play
Test cricket at the moment, but I don't think we are better off not playing
Douglas Hondo, one of the older players in a relatively young team, said he
felt sad, but added that he had made up his mind about his future in
Zimbabwe cricket. "I was shocked. I only head about it on the internet. Test
cricket is the highest level we can play, and right now guys are really
don't know what to do."
Meanwhile, the players were not in mood to talk about anything but their
money when they had a short meeting with their representative Clive Field
today. "Nothing else was discussed," Field said. "The position was that we
have to resolve the money issue first. The guys didn't was to talk about
anything else. The feeling is that nothing can proceed unless things are
resolved. That's what is critical at the moment."
20/01/2006 08:02 - (SA)
Harare - Controversial British property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten on
Thursday denied lending Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe $10m last year,
saying recent press reports to that effect were "a total fiction", state
Earlier this month, a reporter for The Sunday Times of London said van
Hoogstraten told her he lent Mugabe the money in November at a time when
Zimbabwe was facing a severe cash crunch.
The reporter said the tycoon showed her a memorandum for the loan, allegedly
made out through a company called Messina Investments which is owned by his
But speaking at a press conference in Harare, van Hoogstraten said the
report was "lies" and the work of "anti-Zimbabweans", the television
"I've specifically been singled out because I'm probably the sole supporter,
up in the UK, of this country and I think I'm the sole major investor in
this country," he said.
"The information which has been widely reported is a total fiction, and is
again typical of the sort of lies, rhetoric, and inaccurate statements that
are made consistently by the foreign press and by the so-called ...
independent press in this county. And it's a disgrace," he added.
The Zimbabwe government has already denied Mugabe got a loan from the
tycoon, who owns property in the southern African country and was recently
declared a murderer by Britain's civil courts following the killing of a
Van Hoogstraten told the press conference he supported the Zimbabwean
president's controversial land reform programme and had "voluntarily
surrendered" most of his landholdings in the Gutu, Mvuma and Esigodini
areas. - Sapa-dpa
The Herald (Harare)
January 20, 2006
Posted to the web January 20, 2006
ZIMBABWE is on high alert to deal with the plague of migratory locusts that
invaded Zambia's southern province of Namwala last week.
There are fears that the locusts may continue moving southwards.
Monitoring and controlling systems have already been put in place to deal
with the swarms that have caused extensive damage to crops and vegetation in
several countries they passed through.
Zimbabwe, which is enjoying good rains has fertile conditions for egg laying
and food that could sustain the larvae.
Agriculture Minister, Dr Joseph Made yesterday said teams were being
dispatched to monitor the situation and search for clues of locust invasion
throughout the country to ensure early detection.
Zimbabwe is still monitoring and spraying a few scattered cases of armyworm,
that invaded the country's farming areas two weeks ago raising concern over
the country's capacity to handle widespread pest invasion.
Locusts are not easy to control as they fly away at the earliest sign of
Dr Made said armyworm and locusts always preceded each other, which is why
his Ministry was on high alert.
"We are alert in terms of detecting them as early as possible and chemically
controlling them before they can damage our crops," Dr Made said.
Countries that are experiencing good rains in the southern African region
are now more susceptible to pest invasions as there is a drought in some
Eastern countries like Kenya and less rainfall in some parts of Tanzania.
"As the countries experiencing good rains flourish with crops in their
farming areas, pests such as locusts are attracted to those areas because of
the food that is available. This puts Zimbabwe and other neighbouring
countries with a good crop in danger," he added.
Dr Made said his Ministry realises the challenges that come with plenty of
rains and is prepared for an invasion.
"We are trying our best as you know you can control the invasions to an
extent that nature allows you to. For instance, after the war we have
declared on the armyworm, the rains were to our advantage but with the warm
climate now we are afraid of another outbreak in some parts of the country.
"We are urging farmers to continue scouting and to remain alert for another
possible wave of armyworm and also to report any suspicious cases of locust
invasion," Dr Made said.
Zimbabwe, like many African countries, lacks funds to adequately support
national control campaigns, aircraft, vehicles, sprayers, and monitoring and
technical capacity to minimise crop losses.
With the difficulties farmers faced in acquiring adequate resources that
included aircraft to spray quelea birds last winter, some farmers said they
fear for the worst if the locusts move to Zimbabwe.
Agricultural Research and Extension Services Director, Dr Shadreck Mlambo
said his office was waiting for a more detailed report from the
International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern
He said the report they received this week was a warning signal without much
detail on what is being done to control the locusts and the damage they have
"We have today (yesterday) deployed our officers in areas particularly those
we know are likely to be invaded first if there is an invasion while others
are now conducting awareness campaigns for people to watch out for the
locusts," Dr Mlambo said.
He revealed that Arex only has one chemical, Fenitrothion, to destroy the
Dr Mlambo called for joint operations with neighbouring countries to deal
with the scourge as was done in 1996 when the Air Force of Zimbabwe, the
International Locusts Control and other organisations from Southern Africa
embarked on a joint operation to spray locust-breeding areas in the Pungwe
Flats and Zambezi Delta in Mozambique.
To this end, Zimbabwe sent 5 000 litres of fenitrothion to Mozambique to
help the country stem locust-breeding so that the swarms do not spread to
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
issue date :2006-Jan-20
ABOUT 150 illegal butcheries and abattoirs have been closed countrywide as
police intensify efforts to curb the spread of various diseases including
cholera from un-inspected meat and cattle rustling.
National co-ordinator for the police Anti-Stock Theft Unit Assistant
Commissioner Bernard Dumbura told The Daily Mirror that the butcheries and
slaughterhouses were shut down under a sweeping anti-stock theft campaign
code-named 'Operation Eradicate Cattle Rustlers Market 1, 2 and 3.'
The operation was launched last year with the precise brief of fighting
rampant stock-theft ravaging the country.
Ass Comm. Dumbura said: "The unit has carried out five operations since its
establishment in 2004. Three of which were code-named 'Operation Eradicate
Cattle Rustlers Market 1, 2 and 3. The operations were targeted at
butcheries, abattoirs, chain stores and food outlets that provided a ready
market for cattle rustlers."
He went on: "Apart from providing a ready market for cattle rustlers, these
butcheries and abattoirs often sold un-inspected meat to unsuspecting
customers posing a health hazard to consumers."
He said the operation had borne dividends, netting a number of suspected
stock thieves in the process.
"There has been an increase in cases of stock theft leading to the
establishment of the anti-stock theft unit which embarked on a number of
operations as counter measures against the crime," said Dumbura. "A total of
827 suspects were arrested and appeared in court on stock theft charges last
To ensure that the menace was eradicated once and for all, the police also
launched two other operations that code-named 'Operation Kuchengetedza
Zvipfuyo (Livestock safekeeping) 1 and 2'.
The two operations were targeted at educating farmers about how best to
protect their livestock against rustlers through branding.
Said Dumbura: "We took it upon ourselves to sensitise farmers on how to
protect their cattle against rustlers. They should make sure that they
update their livestock cards and registers, pen and count their cattle daily
and report loss or theft of cattle without delay. Farmers should also form
anti-stock theft committees or join neighbourhood watch committees."
The police anti-stock commander said since the unit was set up, cattle
rustling cases in 2004 and 2005 had declined compared to 2003.
According to statistics, the police arrested 2 083 suspects in 2003 while
slightly reducing stocktheft cases to 4 368 from 4 521.
At least 18 241 cases were recorded last year compared to 22 011 reported
cases the previous year.
Beasts valued at more than $35 billion were stolen in 2004 and 2005, while
livestock worth over $2 billion were recovered during the same period.
Traditionally in Zimbabwe, cattle signify wealth and are used as collateral
security. In some instances, they are deemed as social security in the
provision of school fees.
On the other hand, processed beef has the potential to generate much needed
foreign currency through beef exports to the lucrative European Union (EU)
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
issue date :2006-Jan-20
AN armyworm outbreak has devastated five hectares of maize in Tynwald in
Harare, the Department of Agricultural Research and Extension (Arex) has
Staff from the department swiftly dealt with the outbreak that occurred on
Wednesday and has since put the situation under control.
Also on the same day, the pest devastated maize on a total of 12 hectares on
three other farms - Snake Park, Sunshine and Ranham in Mashonaland West
The pest destroyed four hectares of the crop on each farm.
There were no further reports of the outbreak in other provinces.
Arex director Shadereck Mlambo yesterday confirmed the pest outbreaks and
said the department had managed to put the situation under control.
"We have so far received four reports of armyworm outbreaks in different
areas in Harare and Mashonaland West this week," Mlambo said.
"The pest on the day devastated a maize crop on a total of 17 hectares.
"Arex has already assessed the extent of the maize destroyed at the Tynwald
"We in fact have provided the farmers with necessary chemicals for spraying
Mlambo said Arex staff had also dealt with the situation on the other farms
and everything was under control.
The last report on the armyworm outbreak was received from Buffalo Range in
Chiredzi district in Masvingo province on Saturday.
This was after almost two weeks
with no reports of the presence of the
Some senior Arex officials in that area said the pest mainly destroyed
Sporadic armyworm outbreaks started in December last year.
The outbreaks were reported in various districts in Mashonaland Central,
East, West, Masvingo, the Midlands and Manicaland provinces.
Since then, the pest has destroyed more than 1 200 hectares of various
crops that include maize, sorghum and millet in different provinces in the
Mlambo reiterated that the department was now in control of the situation
despite some reports being received from here and there.
"We are working closely with farmers who are reporting any outbreaks. We are
happy that our appeal to farmers has received a positive response," Mlambo
This newspaper also established that some large-scale commercial farmers
were prepared to deal with any outbreaks of the armyworm on their farms at
Some farmers in the Goromonzi area near Harare and other areas in other
provinces have employed some scouts to monitor the situation.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
From Pamenus Tuso in Bulawayo
issue date :2006-Jan-20
THE department of National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is
investigating a Bulawayo- based safari operator for illegally killing a lion
while hunting last year.
The incident reportedly took place in the prohibited Gwayi Conservancy in
Inyathi Safari operator jointly owned by former Zanu PF Matabeleland North
chairperson Jacob Mudenda last year allegedly defied the Parks directive not
to hunt for lions in the conservancy.
The beasts were excluded from the 2005 hunting quotas because of their poor
Parks sources in Bulawayo told The Daily Mirror this week that despite the
Parks directive and a "gentlemen's" agreement among all stakeholders in the
conservancy not to hunt down lions, the operator allegedly went ahead.
"Right now our investigation team is on the ground. If the allegations are
true, action will be taken against both the operator and the professional
hunter who conducted the hunting" said a source close to the investigations.
The lion was allegedly sold for US$20 000 with the operators and the hunter
sharing the proceeds.
National Parks' public relations manager Retired Major Edward Mbewe on
Wednesday said: "It's true that the Parks Authority is investigating the
operator and the professional hunter for alleged illegal hunting.
During the beginning of last year all stakeholders in the Gwayi Conservancy
agreed that there will be no hunting quotas for lions because of their poor
hunting trophy," said Mbewe
"As the custodian of all wildlife in the country, we are saying let's give
the lions another two to there years so that their trophy quality can
improve as well as their value."
He said the authority had also withheld lions quotas in the conservancy this
Mudenda could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered
for a long time.
Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:04 PM GMT
FAISALABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan is reluctant to host Zimbabwe for a one-day
series in October after the African nation pulled out of a two-test series,
a Pakistan Cricket Board official told Reuters on Friday.
"We are having a serious rethink about it. We might ask them to play the
one-dayers whenever they next come for the two tests as the tests and ODIs
are both part of a contractual package with them," he said on condition of
Zimbabwe had been scheduled to visit Pakistan from September 15 onwards to
play two tests and then go to India for the Champions Trophy before
returning after the tournament in late October for a one-day series in
Pakistan this year.
But Zimbabwe's cricket administrators on Wednesday announced they would not
be playing any tests until early 2007 to sort out their internal problems
including a complete boycott by leading players of the Zimbabwe cricket
Pakistan is also due to host West Indies from late October for three tests
and a one-day series and the PCB official said the idea was to now try to
increase the number of one-dayers against West Indies.
Zimbabwe's decision to not play tests has also put their tour of West Indies
in April in jeopardy.
The official said the manner in which Zimbabwe took its decision was not
good for international cricket.
"We knew they had problems but we also have contractual obligations to
fulfil and the split tour of Zimbabwe to Pakistan is part of the future
tours programme," he said.
"We had planned to have a one-day tri-series with Zimbabwe and West Indies
but that is now not an option for us."
Pakistan cricket officials said on Thursday they would discuss the
possibility of compensation with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
"I will be talking to ICC officials in Dubai on Saturday about this latest
development which affects us directly," Pakistan cricket board Director
Saleem Altaf told Reuters on Thursday.
On Friday PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said it was unlikely Pakistan would
host any matches of the tri-series planned by India against Pakistan and
Australia before the Champions Trophy.
"While the cancellation of the Zimbabwe tests leaves us free to take part in
the tri-series ... we will not be hosting any games because of the holy
month of fasting which will fall in September and October," he said.
20 January 2006
A Royal Free paediatric nurse is following in the footsteps of her
grandfather and helping transform the lives of Zimbabwe's poor.
Arthur Shearly Cripps spent 50 years fighting British attempts to steal land
from black Africans in the 1900s.
He shared his food and clothes with the poor and raised money to buy farms
for them. Even now, thousands celebrate his memory with a festival in
Now granddaughter Mazzy Shine, 60, is setting up an orphanage for Zimbabwean
youngsters whose families have been ravaged by Aids and starvation.
And tomorrow night she is staging a concert at Hampstead Town Hall,
Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, to raise money for the project.
Ms Shine, of Antrim Road, Belsize Park, has been given a house in the
mountains by Wilf Mbanga, editor of The Zimbabwean newpaper for the project.
"We are nearly ready to move the first 10 orphans in. Now we need to raise
the cash to pay for their food, school fees and uniforms.
"It's such a beautiful country and the people are wonderful but the crisis
it's in at the moment is just too catastrophic for words.
"When I went there in 1989 there were 48,000 orphans. In 1999 there were
more than 100,000. I hate to imagine how many there are now."
The concert will feature a foot- stomping South African choir, violinist
Clemmie Burton-Hall and Turkish belly-dancer Hulya.
But the star of the show is cellist and impressionist Rebecca Carrington,
whose instrumental comedy routine earned her rave reviews at Edinburgh
Ms Shine added: "The plan is to open more orphanages and hopefully even mud
huts which will house youngsters and be overseen by tribe chiefs so that the
children can be looked after in their own communities."
Phillip Chikwiramakomo, of the WeZimbabwe charity, which is supporting the
scheme, said: "Mazzy is an experienced nurse and we're hoping that once she
has set up her orphanage it will go on to become a resource centre for the
The show starts at 7.30pm at the Interchange Studio/Old Town hall. Tickets
cost £20 (£10 concessions) and can booked in advance on 020-7586 9278.
Arthur Shearly Cripps
o Born 1869 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent
o After reading criticism of the methods of Cecil Rhodes, he became a
missionary and went to work in Mashonland
o He fought with the British South Africa Company over land distribution,
taking the side of the African population
o He was given the Shona name Mpandi, or Man Who Walks Like Thunder
o In 1926 he returned to England after quarrelling with the British
administration, publishing his book Africa For Africans
o Four years later, aged 61, he returned to Rhodesia to spend the rest of
his life there.