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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Reuters

Zimbabwe to ask S.Africa for $1 bln loan - paper
Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:55 PM GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Crisis-struck Zimbabwe will on Monday ask South
Africa for a $1 billion loan to buy fuel and food and stave off expulsion
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a South African newspaper said
on Sunday.

The City Press paper, citing government sources, said Zimbabwe's foreign
minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi would meet top South African ministers,
including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, and Reserve Bank Governor Tito
Mboweni, on Monday to discuss the possible loan.

South African government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe said he was not aware
of such a meeting, while Zimbabwean officials were not immediately available
to comment.

The paper said South Africa's Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who
visited Harare on Tuesday, had refused to bail out Zimbabwe unless President
Robert Mugabe stopped his demolition of shanty towns, which aid workers say
has left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Zimbabwe has temporarily stopped ripping down illegal structures, the
official Herald newspaper said on Saturday. City Press said that had paved
the way for talks with South Africa on the loan.

The money would also help Zimbabwe, which is battling its worst economic
crisis since independence in 1980, pay back loans due to the IMF and avoid
expulsion from its ranks.

As of late June Zimbabwe was $306 million in arrears to the IMF, which has
halted lending and on February 16 deferred a decision on expelling the
African state for six months.

The IMF said last month it expects the economic output of Zimbabwe to fall
sharply this year and its budget deficit to widen as food shortages grip the
country.

Donors and investors have largely abandoned Zimbabwe due to Mugabe's
controversial land reform policy and concerns about human rights abuses and
a lack of rule of law.

South Africa has been criticised at home and abroad for its softly-softly
approach to Zimbabwe. But some local media say the government has
intensified pressure on Mugabe in recent weeks to halt the demolitions,
which the government says is aimed at flushing out crime and illegal trading
in foreign currency.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Australian

Mbeki's dangerous liaison with Mugabe
Gavin du Venage, Cape Town
July 18, 2005
FEARFUL of alienating African leaders already wary of South Africa's growing
dominance on the continent, President Thabo Mbeki will ignore calls from
world leaders such as US President George W.Bush to end "quiet diplomacy"
and come down hard on Zimbabwe.

But in trying to sell his policy of quiet diplomacy to the world, Mr Mbeki
has found few are listening, least of all his tyrannical neighbour Robert
Mugabe.

Frustrating as this is to Mr Mbeki, who has claimed leadership of the
African renaissance, the risks of standing up to Zimbabwe's Mr Mugabe are
grave.

So high are the stakes that Mr Mbeki would rather put up with the endless
criticism from international leaders, and even his own countrymen, rather
than be branded the George Bush of Africa, and thus alienate South Africa
from a continent already wary of the southern neighbour.

"The stakes for South Africa are very high - it is easy enough to make
suggestions when you are sitting an ocean away from events, but Zimbabwe is
right across the border here," says former US diplomat and now head of the
international relations department at the University of the Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg, John Stremlau.

Mr Mugabe may be isolated from past allies such as Britain, the US and
Australia, but he still enjoys a loyal following throughout Africa.

He sent troops to fight on the side of the Congolese Government in the
country's bloody civil war, for which he is remembered fondly in Kinshasa.

Angola, Africa's emerging oil giant, joined Mr Mugabe in the five-year-long
campaign and the two countries enjoy close ties as a result.

Many still see him as a hero for standing up first to white Rhodesia and now
to former colonial master Britain.

For South Africa to abandon its quiet diplomacy, however ineffective it may
appear, would alarm other African states, few of whom do not routinely flout
human rights values to some degree.

If this were to happen, countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Angola and Ivory Coast would wonder if they were next in line for censure.

Consequently, such countries could freeze out South Africa diplomatically
and politically, ending Mr Mbeki's growing influence on the continent.

Peacemaking efforts in the Great Lakes region or West Africa, where South
Africa maintains an army of diplomats charged with getting people to talk
rather than shoot each other, would be jeopardised.

"All of us are justly proud of the role our country has played and is
playing, which has contributed to Burundi's advance to peace and democracy,"
Mr Mbeki said this weekend in his regular online newsletter.

References to peacemaking efforts are a common theme of his speeches, even
as they gloss over his glaring failure in Zimbabwe. Peace and stability may
still be on the horizon for much of Africa but such efforts have already
borne fruit for South African companies, who now regularly do business the
length and breadth of the continent.

To continue to compete against the army of non-African construction
companies, mining houses and even retailers pitching for business as the oil
boom takes hold, they need a diplomatic climate that favours their presence.

Lately there appears to have been some wavering in his adherence to quiet
diplomacy. Some hoped that the latest outrage in Zimbabwe, the mass
demolition of shelters that housed up to 300,000 urban poor, driving them
out into the chilly African winter, would force Mr Mbeki to act.

Even Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for
Democratic Change sensed a change in attitude.

"What he (Mbeki) can do, and what he assured me he is going to do, is change
strategy about how to influence the course of events in Zimbabwe," Mr
Tsvangirai told reporters in Harare soon after the two met in South Africa
earlier this month.

At the recent G8 summit, Mr Mbeki's silence on the evictions rang out
starkly in contrast to world condemnation.

Countries including Australia, Britain, the US, Russia, some African
countries such as Botswana and even the UN's Secretary-General Kofi Annan
spoke out loudly against Mr Mugabe.

If any had hopes that the deafening chorus of world opinion on the matter
would sway Mr Mbeki, however, they will be disappointed.

Mr Mbeki's personal dismay at events in Zimbabwe is unlikely to steer him
from his course.

The tone was defiant at a news briefing held in London after the G8. "Loud
diplomacy hasn't worked either," South Africa's pugnacious Foreign Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, told reporters who challenged her that quiet
diplomacy was dead.

Publicly Mr Mbeki has said nothing to indicate he is about to change his
position.

If he does, Mr Tsvangirai is unlikely to be in the know; Mr Mbeki does not
appear to regard him with much respect, viewing his management of the
opposition as incompetent.

The capture of a South African spy some months ago who had tried to recruit
senior members of Mr Mugabe's ruling ZanuPF suggests Mr Mbeki is becoming
desperate and that attempts are being made to influence events from behind
the scenes, without putting the wind up other African leaders.

"The big picture often missed by others, but not Mbeki, is that South
Africa's fortunes are tied to Africa itself," says Professor Stremlau.

If Mbeki hopes to secure South Africa's leadership on the continent, his
best course may be to stick with quiet diplomacy.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Independent, SA

      We may yet suffer for our silence on Zimbabwe
            July 17, 2005

            I refer to the report in The Sunday Independent (July 3), "Top
SA church leaders head for Zimbabwe in wake of demolitions", by Caroline
Hooper-Box.

            In the article it is reported that a high-powered delegation
will leave for Zimbabwe to consult the various role players on the
humanitarian crisis that is occurring there.

            Meanwhile the brutal conduct of the Zimbabwean police will
continue unabated.

            What is taking place must be of profound moral and political
concern for us in South Africa and our body politic. The issue cannot be
ignored - the media have been filled with the pitiful images of women and
children whose homes and livelihood have been destroyed by the ferocious
conduct of President Robert Mugabe's police.

            What is required is immediate condemnation and sanctions rather
than a prolonged period of negotiations, during which Mugabe is once again
let off the hook and the people of Zimbabwe are subject to unspeakable
suffering.

            The unfolding humanitarian crisis demands an urgent and
sustained response.

            Observers estimate that more than 300 000 families have been
affected and that 22 000 informal traders have been arrested for operating
without licences by the government-sanctioned operations, Operation Restore
Order and Operation Murambatsvina ("Drive out the rubbish").

            The callousness of the brutal conduct of the Zimbabwean police
in dealing with innocent and defenceless people trying desperately to eke
out an existence is epitomised by the statement of the police commissioner,
Augustine Chihuri, who attempted to justify the inhumane and cruel actions
of the authorities by stating: "We must clean the country of this crawling
mass of maggots."

            The people worst affected by this barbarous conduct are those
who are the most vulnerable in society - the women, children, elderly and
Aids patients - who have had to brave the bitterly cold winter weather to
keep vigil over their meagre belongings, which were salvaged from the
onslaught waged by the police and their agents.

            The South African government has remained silent, thereby giving
expression to its controversial policy of quiet diplomacy, while a
humanitarian disaster of inordinate magnitude is taking place immediately
beyond our northern border.

            In many respects the tragedy is not unlike the notorious forced
removals that occurred under apartheid.

            For South Africans committed to the philosophy of human rights,
this is a profound moral issue, over which we dare not remain silent. Our
silence will be interpreted as consent and support for the brutal and
fascist conduct of a dictatorial regime.

            Furthermore, Rob Amato points out in column, "Hands-off policy
nurtures fascism", also in The Sunday Independent of July 3, that Richard
Goldstone, the retired constitutional court judge and one of South Africa's
most eminent international lawyers, who has great knowledge and experience
of genocide trials, said that it was for South Africa's own sake that
President Thabo Mbeki should be speaking out unequivocally on the Zimbabwean
situation.

            In the absence of this, what is required is a chorus of
criticism from the organs of civil society in South Africa.

            Unfortunately, this does not appear to be occurring. We remain
silent at our own peril.

            Dr GE Devenish
            Durban

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Tribune, SA

      Mugabe's law of destruction
            July 17, 2005

            By Wilf Mbanga

            Recent developments in Zimbabwe, where an estimated one million
people have been terrorised in the name of the law, highlight the nation's
insane relationship with the basic tenets of law and order.

            Nowhere else in Africa is this relationship quite so convoluted,
eccentric or destructive.

            Perhaps a key to this remarkable and - for its victims -
appalling development lies in the fact that President Robert Mugabe, who has
ruled since independence from the British in 1980, spent 14 years in jail
studying law, among other things.

            The Mugabe government - which has broken its own constitution,
disregarded numerous Supreme and High Court orders and emasculated its
judiciary - has suddenly reinvented itself as the champion of municipal
by-laws.

            With crusading zeal, in defence of these by-laws, the full
weight of the armed forces has, over the past few weeks, been brought to
bear on some 300 000 hapless urban families, who have spent their quarter
century of independence battling to scavenge a living under deteriorating
social and economic conditions.

            Mugabe has made no bones about how much he hates his former
colonial masters. His successful hijacking of anti-colonial rhetoric is the
reason he is still revered in much of Africa. In reality, he is a disgrace
to Africa. And yet, inexplicably he clings to all the trappings of
quintessential British pomp and ceremony.

            The opening of parliament last month provides a perfect
illustration. He arrived, dressed in his trademark Saville Row suit, in a
stately Rolls-Royce, escorted by white-gloved, mounted policemen, wearing
David-Livingston-I-presume topees.

            Elsewhere in Africa, any pretence about a separation of powers
has long been abandoned. In Zimbabwe, the executive, judiciary and
administration are, de facto, all controlled from Mugabe's office via
Zanu-PF headquarters through a complex system of nepotism, fear and
patronage. And yet the pretence goes on.

            Law and order collapsed a long time ago - yet the courts
continue to sit. Judges, most of them Zanu-PF stalwarts, many the new owners
of commercial farms, continue to pontificate. Yet backlogs are so long the
process of justice has been utterly subverted.

            Just a few months ago Mugabe personally ordered the Commissioner
of Police - a self-proclaimed party stalwart - not to pursue investigations
into the theft of billions of Zim dollars worth of farm equipment allegedly
stolen by none other than Didymus Mutasa, the minister in charge of stamping
out corruption who has just been re-shuffled to the spy agency.

            Another remarkable instance of judicial impotence is the recent
case involving Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede. The High Court ordered him
to hand over ballot boxes from the disputed 2002 presidential elections.

            He ignored the order seven times. Eventually the court fined him
Z$5 million. The boxes were released - but some from Rushinga constituency,
where government figures revealed that 120% of the voters turned out to
re-elect Mugabe, were missing.

            Then the High Court was burgled. The boxes were broken open,
ballots mixed up and some torn.

            The true insanity of the situation is demonstrated by this sort
of total disregard for the law on one hand, and the obsessive attention to
legal niceties on the other.

            Zimbabwe's constitution has been amended countless times and a
plethora of complex new legislation introduced to legalise a wide range of
human rights abuses - from land invasion and muzzling of the press to two
years' jail for anyone insulting the person of the president.

            Mugabe's obsession with the law reached a new extreme, however,
with Operation Murambatsvina.

            The pursuit of such trivia as whether a toilet or kitchen had
been properly authorised before being added to a minuscule core house is
bizarre when set against the epic struggle of a nation battling a
            peak of 600% inflation, 80% unemployment, 25% HIV infection and
50% desperate for food aid.

            .. Mbanga edits The Zimbabwean - a weekly newspaper published
simultaneously in Zimbabwe, London and Johannesburg

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

      Mugabe in bid to overhaul Zim constitution

      Harare

      17 July 2005 08:38

            The Zimbabwe government has published a draft bill to overhaul
the country's constitution and provide for the re-introduction of a
two-chamber parliament, the state-run Ziana news agency said on Saturday.

            The news agency cited an extraordinary government gazette
published on Friday saying the proposed changes sought to confirm the
country's controversial land reform that started in 2000 and have been
blamed by critics for driving the once bread basket of the region into an
importer of food.

            President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party got a two-thirds
majority, which it had bayed for during the last parliamentary elections to
enable it to make constitutional amendments to the southern African
country's supreme law drafted in 1979 in Britain.

            The constitution has so far been amended at least 16 times.

            A government-sponsored draft constitution was rejected in a
referendum in 2000, sparking the mass invasion of white-owned farms by
pro-government supporters.

            A pro-democracy grouping, the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) has been fighting for a homegrown constitution for several years now,
but has been dismissed by government.

            Mugabe said in the run-up to elections that he wanted a
two-thirds majority in parliament to enable him to change the constitution.

            Over the last five years, the Zimbabwe African National Union
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) has not been able to change the constitution
because it lacked a two-thirds majority after the opposition MDC won nearly
half of the 120-constested seats in the previous elections.

            But in the last polls, the MDC won only 41 of the 120 seats.
Mugabe has powers to appoint another 30 members to parliament under the
current laws.

            Under the proposed amendments, 65 more members will be appointed
to parliament as the senate.

            The looming return of a bicameral parliament, consisting of a
senate and lower house has been met with mixed feelings.

            Critics described it as a way to accommodate Mugabe's loyals who
failed to make it through the ballot box during the disputed March 31 polls.

            "Zimbabweans do not need a senate that will serve as a graveyard
for dumping Zanu-PF election losers," ousted former information minister
Jonathan Moyo had said in his manifesto in the run-up to the March
parliamentary elections.

            Pro-democracy grouping NCA has also dismissed piecemeal attempts
at changing the country's highest laws.

            "What Zimbabwe needs is a whole new constitution and not this
tinkering with choice bits, especially where other areas are in urgent need
of reform such as the trimming down of executive powers and broadening human
rights to democratic levels," said NCA spokesperson Jessie Majome.

            But a columnist in the state-run Herald newspaper Donald
Charumbira supported the senate saying it was "a safeguard against
hastily-authored legislation that may not be in the national interest."

            The proposed bill also seeks to confirm the establishment of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the group that ran the March 2005 legislative
polls.

            The bill is expected to be submitted to parliament within 30
days. - Sapa-AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Independent SA

      Mbeki acts on Zimbabwe crisis

      President backs SACC emergency aid plan as he awaits UN report
            July 17, 2005

            By Basildon Peta and Christelle Terreblanche

            President Thabo Mbeki appears to have decided that he can no
longer sit back and watch Zimbabwe destroy itself. This week he sent his
deputy with a strong message to President Robert Mugabe to stop persecuting
his people and to start talking to his political opponents, sources in both
countries say.

            Supporting church plans for a massive rescue and aid package for
those displaced by Mugabe's huge crackdown on informal homes and businesses,
Mbeki is also believed to have made one more attempt behind the scenes to
rein in his neighbour.

            He sent Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to see Mugabe
and urge an about-turn in the policies that are plunging Zimbabwe ever
deeper into crisis.

            After years of "silent diplomacy" that has failed to hold Mugabe
to account, Mbeki has been under mounting pressure either to speak out
publicly against him or give him an ultimatum.

            The breaking point has been Mugabe's Operation Murambatsvina
("Drive out trash"), a clean-up of the informal economy that has left
thousands homeless and destitute.

            This in turn led to a mission to Zimbabwe by Anna Kajumulo
Tibaijuka, the special envoy of Kofi Annan, the United Nations
secretary-general. She left there a week ago promising to report on her
findings within a fortnight.

            It is expected that her report will be highly critical of
Mugabe's government. Some analysts believe Mbeki's intervention is designed
to pre-empt condemnation from Tibaijuka and likely action by the security
council.

            The South African Council of Churches (SACC), which went on a
fact-finding visit to Zimbabwe this week, also called on Mbeki to try to
stop Mugabe while the churches assemble "a massive arsenal of relief" for
displaced Zimbabweans.

            Mbeki met the church leaders on Friday and promised support for
the relief effort and further talks after the release of the special UN
report.

            Zimbabwean sources close to last week's discussions between
Mlambo-Ngcuka and Mugabe said Mbeki was of the view that the solution to
Zimbabwe's problems lay with some sort of co-governance pact between the
ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and
he wanted dialogue to resume now.

            They said Mlambo-Ngcuka also carried a message from Mbeki
advising the Zimbabwe leader to discontinue his Operation Murambatsvina and
instead concentrate on highlighting a comprehensive reconstruction
programme.

            Yesterday Sapa-AFP reported that the Zimbabwean government had
temporarily stopped its campaign to demolish shacks and other illegal
buildings. It is giving landlords 10 days starting on Monday "to regularise"
the structures with municipalities.

            The South African government has made no comment on the message
carried by Mlambo-Ngcuka.

            On Friday, Mugabe dismissed suggestions that Mbeki was putting
pressure on him. He told reporters after a Zanu-PF rally: "South Africa is
part of us and we share ideas with President Thabo Mbeki almost on a weekly
basis."

            Speaking to The Sunday Independent yesterday, Anglican
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said the SACC would make another attempt to
meet Mugabe after the release of the report and further discussion with
Mbeki. He added, however, that massive aid was urgent.

            "We would like to see a comprehensive plan in terms of support
from the UN. The fact that the president invited us to engage with him shows
his commitment in terms of resolving the conflict."

            Bheki Khumalo, Mbeki's spokesperson, hinted that Mbeki may have
been a driving force behind the UN special envoy's visit to Zimbabwe. "The
president called the UN secretary-general before he sent the envoy. He
endorsed the decision to send an envoy." But, Khumalo said, it would be
incorrect to conclude that the visit happened solely because of the request.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Independent SA

      Zim's agony calls for new plan
            July 17, 2005

              By Rob Amato

            'As members of the ANC and as South Africans, we must draw great
inspiration from the fact that we were not passive observers but active
participants in the historic events - the parliamentary elections in
Burundi, the inauguration of a new government of Sudan, and the adoption of
the Gleneagles Africa programme of action."

            Thus wrote President Thabo Mbeki in his online letter to the
nation this week. He is careful to credit former deputy-president Jacob Zuma
among those who worked towards the Burundi and Sudanese advances. He also
credits Tony Blair for the Group of Eight nations' achievements.

            For the president, the present time is "a highly favourable
period for the further advance of the national democratic revolution and the
African renaissance".

            Yes, but for most of us this has been a most depressing month.
The London attacks signify how few people are needed to traumatise the
citizenry of cities. At the same time, the forced evacuation of thousands of
the poorest Zimbabweans from urban areas have illustrated how mad
governments near the end of their rule can become. Humanity's vulnerability
to both individual and institutional madnesses has been writ large.

            Even as South Africa is forming a new trade union for street
vendors, Zimbabwean micro business is being wiped out. We have been
discussing, to very little effect, whether Mugabe is a little or a large
Hitler, but no mention of Zimbabwe occurs in the president's letter.

            And yet, we may ask, whether the great inspiration the president
presently feels will lead, quite suddenly, to a completely new approach by
him to Zimbabwe; and whether the patronage iceberg that is Zanu-PF is not
now, for the first time, showing cracks.

            The critical historical moment for a new Zimbabwean dispensation
might be coming surprisingly fast. Black opinion in South Africa is surely
solidifying around the need to intervene.

            My guess (perhaps it's merely a hope) is that the South African
president is indeed, as Morgan Tshvangirai has been saying, presently
cooking up a whole new method of dealing with Zimbabwe's seemingly
interminable agony.

            The tone of the engagement would be "quiet", as it always is
with Mbeki, in the sense of being formal, diplomatic and unjudgmental, but
the content might shift.

            The dramatis personae of South Africa-Zimbabwe relations is now
set to change. This is indeed a time of opportunity, as much as it is a time
of horror and sadness. With Zuma now out of the loop on foreign affairs, the
president should make a fresh selection of leadership.

            Our new Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka visited Mugabe
in Harare at the height of the outrage being expressed by the church and
press at the forced evacuations.

            What did she feel about that?

            She could, if she fulfills her promise as a careful negotiator
and subtle thinker, head up a completely fresh team to help negotiate a new
path towards a government of national unity in Zimbabwe, in which, in order
to get President Robert Mugabe's consent, could let him retain sufficient
dignity.

            South Africa should have a sort of Marshall Plan for Zimbabwe,
declared by our president, a plan involving direct and properly managed aid
to that country rather than sanctions or punitive action, both of which
would be useless and harmful.

            The aid package should be massive and include the funding of a
new, all-inclusive national convention within Zimbabwe to establish the
principles upon which a new constitution should be drafted, as well as to
entrench detailed rules for general elections.

            An elected assembly should write a constitution in terms of
principles agreed on at the national convention.

            All parties, including the Zanu-PF establishment, should be
welcomed with minimum judgment.

            It is when people are most despairing that national conventions
are likely to be more successful.

            Just as it takes very few passionate people to disrupt a
peaceful society, it sometimes takes a few brilliant proceduralists to make
peace emerge from chaos.

            Which South Africans should be in a team to help administer a
new deal for Zimbabwe?

            My first thought is of those who are experts in legal
foundations, the constitutional desiderata, of countries that are in process
of emerging from economic disaster and arbitrary rule and striving towards
corruption-free development and the rule of law.

            Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired our 1995/6 constitutional assembly,
may be too distant from government to be named or unwilling to serve on the
team. But he's the one who could do most.

            Arthur Chaskalson, the former chief justice, may already be
bored in retirement. Van Zyl Slabbert knows a thing or two about
negotiations. Elinor Sisulu would be an imaginative choice.

            Who would you name?

            Assume, as we really should, that a new chapter must open soon
so that Zimbabweans can get back to what they are really good at - ordinary
economic activities under the rule of law and under a constitution that
upholds human rights and a clear and fair electoral dispensation.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Chicago Tribune

Whites fear exclusion in new S. Africa
Worries rise about tilt toward racial politics

By Laurie Goering
Tribune foreign correspondent
Published July 17, 2005

JOHANNESBURG -- Worried about surging violent crime and the future of his
two young daughters, Steve Wimberley six years ago quit his veterinary
practice in South Africa, flew to England and soon tracked down a new job in
Portsmouth.

"It was a very nice job, in a very nice place," he recalled.

But when he flew home to pack for the move, "I never could settle with it. I
was so uneasy. The decision kept me up," he said.

Finally, after a week of sleepless nights, staring out into what he called
"the beautiful African night," the fourth-generation South African abandoned
his plans to emigrate.

"I decided my heart was here," the 42-year-old recalled. "I've never
regretted that decision for a minute."

More than a decade after the end of apartheid, white South Africans still
are weighing their future in a society where creating economic clout for the
country's long-repressed black majority has become the top national
priority.

Under broad affirmative action programs, blacks are favored for the civil
service jobs whites used to take for granted. White business people are
obliged to hire black subcontractors, train black employees and sell shares
of their companies to black co-owners or face losing government contracts.

The country's black leaders are pushing for what a ruling African National
Congress briefing paper calls a "critical mass of common culture and
cultural practices." Whites who fail to back the ANC's transformation
efforts and adapt to the country's changing culture, leaders suggest, may
ultimately no longer be considered South Africans.

For South Africa's 4 million whites--many from centuries-old South African
families or white communities that fled unwelcoming African countries such
as Zimbabwe--the prospect of becoming unwelcome in the last white stronghold
in Africa is chilling.

"There can be no more fundamental threat to a community's sense of security
than to declare them, even in a roundabout way, unwanted aliens in their own
country," Max du Preez, a white columnist for Johannesburg's Star newspaper,
wrote recently.

When President Robert Mugabe of neighboring Zimbabwe declares that his
nation "is for black people, not white people," and South Africa's leaders
fail to rebuke him, "this drives a red-hot poker through the hearts of white
South Africans, especially those with no cultural, emotional or family links
with any country outside Africa," du Preez said.

Deeply rooted traditions

Africa, at the start of a new century, is struggling to find ways to make
itself a success. Its leaders, eager to ease the continent's persistent
poverty, promote peace and development and prove that black leaders can
solve Africa's problems, are sorting through deeply rooted cultural
traditions, colonial-era legacies and the demands of a newly globalized
world, searching for African answers to the continent's woes.

Where Africa's dwindling number of whites fits into the continent's future
remains in question. For 50 years, the famed Freedom Charter of South
Africa's multiracial African National Congress has insisted that "South
Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white." Most South Africans,
black and white, believe that, and believe that a non-racist, if not exactly
non-racial, future is possible.

But some whites are nervous. South African President Thabo Mbeki has been
quick to dismiss criticism of his government, particularly by white
opposition figures, as racist. His failure to denounce economic misrule and
human-rights violations in Zimbabwe, his suggestions that the country's
judiciary needs to be less independent and more in tune with the ANC's
programs, and his hints that English-speaking white South Africans may not
be as genuinely African as their Afrikaner counterparts have all raised
fears about the future of whites and non-racial democracy in South Africa.

"It's undermined confidence," said Helen Suzman, a white liberal icon of the
anti-apartheid struggle, and now a critic of the ANC government. During more
than four decades of apartheid, a steady flow of whites left South Africa
"because they didn't like the system," she said. "Now a lot are leaving
because they don't like their prospects."

Fifty years after white colonial rule in Africa began to collapse,
relatively few whites remain in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, a former white
stronghold, Europeans, Asians and Arabs combined now make up less than 1
percent of the population. Zimbabwe has lost nearly three-quarters of a
million whites in recent years; today just 35,000 remain.

In places such as Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Zambia, whites are so few that
census takers no longer bother counting them as a separate racial category.
In total, sub-Saharan Africa has less than 5 million whites, out of a total
population of more than 600 million people.

Many whites have left as colonial-era jobs and privileges disappeared. Some
have fled wars, crime, declining living standards or collapsing economies.
Others have become political targets, particularly in places such as Ivory
Coast and Zimbabwe.

In South Africa, at least a quarter-million whites have emigrated since the
end of apartheid a decade ago. But the country remains home to 80 percent of
the continent's white community, and after a decade of relative peace and
prosperity, most of those who remain say they hope they are here to stay.

Unlike whites in much of the rest of Africa, most have nowhere else to go.
In particular, the country's millions of Afrikaners--descendants of
primarily Dutch and French immigrants who began arriving 400 years
ago--speak a language used nowhere else in the world and have no family ties
anywhere else.

While some English-speaking whites--like Wimberley, who almost
emigrated--have the right to British or other passports through ancestral
ties, "there's no other place for us," says Frederick van Zyl Slabbert, an
Afrikaner political analyst. "I wouldn't know where to start looking."

Because of their long history in the country, whites in South Africa--unlike
in most African countries--rarely are seen as outsiders. The ruling ANC was
formed nearly a century ago as a multiracial organization, and whites
numbered among the country's most prominent anti-apartheid fighters.

Commitment to a multiracial society also is long-standing and considered a
"high moral principle" within the ANC. At the Rivonia trial, where he was
sentenced to life in prison in the 1960s, Nelson Mandela insisted he was
opposed to white domination and to black domination. Mandela, the former
president, said then that he was prepared to die to achieve his cherished
ideal "of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together
in harmony and with equal opportunity."

Fears of exclusion

In South Africa, "it's taken for granted that both white and black people
live here and always will," said Xolela Mangcu, executive director of the
social cohesion and identity unit of the Human Sciences Research Council of
South Africa. Even after the ugly apartheid years, white fears of being
forced out are unfounded, he insisted.

The tougher question is how comfortably whites may continue to fit into a
country run by a ruling party bent on uniting all South Africans behind its
policies and ensuring that the country's long-disenfranchised black majority
gets ahead.

The ANC last month held a national party meeting on what it calls "the
national question," or how to unite South Africans behind a common culture.

Leaders of the ANC, which already enjoys the backing of about 70 percent of
South Africans, say bringing the rest of the country on board is crucial to
achieving party aims and uplifting the country's black majority, still
suffering from high poverty and unemployment rates.

"The ANC must intensify the mobilization of the whole of South African
society behind a program of fundamental change," Mbeki insisted at the
meeting's opening.

Critics, however, warn that the dominant ANC's growing demand for consensus
and impatience with dissent could result in those who refuse to sign onto
the party's aims being dismissed as less-than-genuine South Africans.

Mbeki has said he believes Afrikaners and black Africans can work together
because "they share common African roots and are tied to our country by an
emotional bond." That remarkable discovery of common ground with the ethnic
group that spawned apartheid comes on the heels of a decision by the New
National Party--the modern progeny of the hated apartheid National Party--to
disband and fold itself into the ANC.

But while Afrikaners "are embracing the new South Africa and Africanism,"
according to the ANC, English-speaking whites--including many active in the
liberation struggle and now vocal in their criticism of the government--have
been increasingly dismissed as racists, and as perhaps less-than-African.

"Mbeki is so delighted to have swallowed up the NNP that he's embraced
[Afrikaners] while the people who fought against apartheid are brushed aside
with contempt," Suzman said.

What worries many whites is that if the ANC's undisputed power is genuinely
threatened, the party could follow Mugabe's lead and blame whites for the
country's failures in an effort to divert attention from anti-government
discontent.

"We could quickly see the ANC resort to the old African style of eliminating
the opposition. I think that's a fairly realistic possibility down the
line," Wimberley acknowledged. "I'm pretty optimistic about this country,
but you never know. Things could turn at any time."

Most South African political analysts, however, say they believe such a
scenario is very unlikely. South Africa, a much larger and more economically
powerful nation than Zimbabwe, has a vibrant civil society, a strong
independent news media and entrenched governmental institutions that so far
serve as an effective check on the ANC administration.

Just as important, "everyone here can see what's happening in Zimbabwe
doesn't solve a thing," said van Zyl Slabbert, the Afrikaner political
analyst. By attacking whites and other political opponents in an effort to
cling to power, an increasingly unpopular Mugabe has instead driven his
once-prosperous country to the brink of economic collapse.

New class of blacks

One change seen as encouraging for whites in South Africa is that class is
fast catching up with race as the country's major dividing line. Economic
affirmative action policies--known as black economic empowerment--have
created a new class of wealthy black business magnates, and a growing South
African economy has slowly allowed an increasing number blacks to join the
middle class.

Congestion on Johannesburg's roads is growing as more black South Africans
buy cars. Middle-class blacks are moving into formerly all-white
neighborhoods, buying homes with swimming pools, hiring maids and putting
their children in private schools, just like their white neighbors.

At the same time, poorly educated whites--once first in line for government
jobs under apartheid--are joining the lines of black beggars at traffic
lights and moving into black townships such as Soweto, which are more
affordable.

Challenge to create jobs

In South Africa, "race is increasingly not the issue," van Zyl Slabbert
said. Instead, the challenge is to create enough economic growth and new
jobs to lift the country's still struggling majority rather than just a
fortunate black minority.

How well South Africa succeeds in that effort will largely determine what
the future looks like for white--as well as black--South Africans. If the
country's immense poverty and joblessness are left unchecked, whites and
their new middle-class black neighbors may move in ever-greater numbers into
the posh walled neighborhoods springing up at Johannesburg's fringes, hoping
guards and electric wire can keep the desperate poor away.

Failure to improve life for South Africa's impoverished majority could lead
to a populist backlash that would reverse the country's commitment to free
markets and leave everyone poorer, economists warn. Similarly, affirmative
action programs, if kept up too long, could eventually drive whites--and
investment--away.

What is likely is that race will be less of an issue for South Africa's
children than for its older generations raised under apartheid. Wimberley's
daughters study with black and white classmates and have neighbors and
friends of various races.

"It will take years for the hang-ups of race to leave this country,"
Wimberley warned. "But I know my children have far less hang-ups than we
ever had. That's a positive."

----------

lgoering@tribune.com

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Latest Move On Import of Fuel Welcome

The Herald (Harare)

EDITORIAL
July 16, 2005
Posted to the web July 17, 2005

Harare

THE economically crippling fuel shortage, which has been caused by the lack
of foreign currency, may soon be a thing of the past after Government agreed
to allow individuals and private companies to import the commodity.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired Lieutenant-General
Mike Nyambuya, on Thursday said individuals with free funds outside the
country or foreign currency accounts are free to import their own fuel.

"We have always encouraged this. In fact, it will help augment the supplies
that are being put on to the market for the general public."

This is, indeed, most welcome news to those Zimbabweans who can access
foreign currency. What the nation wants is for commerce and industry to be
back on track.

Productivity at various workplaces is being severely affected by the many
hours workers and executives spend queuing for fuel.

If they do not join the queues, then they will have no fuel to take the
children to school, go to work, carry out those tasks that require the usage
of fuel (such as deliveries), and get back home.

Many people now leave cars overnight in queues (in some cases for days),
unattended, probably because there is no fuel to drive the vehicles back to
the company premises or home.

Sometimes motorists get impatient, lose their tempers and fights ensue. But
violence in queues has been isolated. On the whole, people have been very
patient and responsible.

This does not, however, mean they do not mind sitting in queues for days on
end. They want fuel to be available at all service stations without having
to waste valuable hours in queues.

A black market flourishes whenever there is a shortage of a commodity.
Shortages cause immense suffering for the majority of people, but they
provide opportunities for a few cut-throat entrepreneurs.

A good number of today's thriving black businesspersons made their millions
during the shortages of the 1980s.

Those with access to free funds must come to the aid of the nation and the
pricing structure should be attractive enough to encourage more private fuel
imports.

Our fuel problems can be overcome if a transparent and acceptable formula by
all those with foreign currency accounts is adopted.

The move by the Government will be good in the short term as it will spread
the responsibility of procuring fuel to many entities while a permanent
solution can only come from developing our own cheaper fuel or the
generation of more foreign currency.

The other aspect is that there will be some competition from individual
importers, which will promote efficiency in the procurement and distribution
of fuel, thereby eliminating any likelihood of shortages.

We have reported in the past that the crisis that has befallen Zimbabwe has
pointed to a weakness in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
structure.

In as much as it is important to focus on such needs as regional food
security, it is imperative that the energy requirements of Sadc be also
addressed from a regional perspective.

In the meantime, we hope Zimbabweans who have endured the difficulties will
remain focused and committed to getting out of the situation as the
Government is doing its best to keep commerce and industry on its wheels.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

News24

Mugabe 'trapping the poor'
17/07/2005 21:16  - (SA)

Harare - Two months after Zimbabwe's government launched a drive to demolish
backyard shacks and other illegal structures, rights groups in the embattled
southern African country said the campaign has brought nothing but misery.

The two-pronged Operation Murambatsvina ("drive out filth") and Operation
Restore Order was launched on May 19 in an exercise President Robert Mugabe
said aimed at driving out crime and grime, but which has left hundreds of
thousands homeless.

Now, nearly two months later, and a week after government pledged a R1.8bn
rebuilding programme, thousands are staying in makeshift tents in transit
camps like Caledonia Farm, outside the capital.

"The question is, have people's lives changed for the better since the
clean-up started?" said Alouis Chaumba, whose rights organisation has been
feeding displaced families, in some cases providing tents and temporary
shelter.

"The answer is a loud 'No'," said Chaumba, director for the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP).

Honest living

"At Porta Farm (west of Harare) for example, close to 10 000 people are
still in the open and thousands of people who earned an honest living as
vendors have been left with no alternative means of livelihood," he said.

"What the government has done is to create a cycle of hardship in which the
poor will remain trapped for years to come."

The government's rebuilding exercise was "not likely to yield tangible
results any time soon, because the local authorities have no capacity to
undertake building projects of the magnitude required to cater for those
affected", Chaumba said.

"If anything, things have changed for the worst for the poor families,"
added Rangu Nyamurundira of Zimbabwe Laywers for Human Rights.

Denounced

The United Nations estimated some 200 000 people have been left without
homes. The opposition has denounced the blitz as a campaign of repression
and say up to 1.5 million Zimbabweans have been affected.

Despite police saying last month that the clean-up campaign was in its final
stages, it moved into the plush suburbs of Harare where the demolitions of
staff quarters, garages and other outbuildings built without approval were
ordered.

Government temporarily stopped the demolitions on Friday and gave residents
10 days to have their outbuildings approved by the city council.

The campaign has been criticised by the United States and Britain but the
African Union has refrained from commenting, with South Africa in particular
saying that it would await a report by UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka's
before deciding on what action to take.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Report

Rank opportunism is the business of doing business
July 17, 2005

By Na-iem Dollie

Power utility Eskom has been more than generous in its payment arrangements
with the Zimbabwean authorities, waiving due date after due date.

Electricity provision continues without a hint of the Johannesburg-based
parastatal cutting its supply. Harare's bill runs into tens of millions of
rands.

But what is good for Bob is not, it seems, good for Langa. Back home,
Eskom's actions have been utterly punitive. In the remote rural setting of
Muden, KwaZulu-Natal, Lembede primary school's electricity has been cut off
for the past year for non-payment.

Eskom bosses have issued a "policy" stipulating that a deposit of R2 000
plus arrear payments must be forthcoming before reconnection is authorised.
How many other schools in the country suffer the same brutal lashing: 100, 1
000, 10 000? Now do the sums and you can see where at least part of the
power company's revenue comes from. The real problem is that the children
suffer while dividends continue to be handed to the state.

And Bob gets off scot-free.

Sanlam, the former Afrikaner powerhouse created in 1918 as a repository of
white working class money to protect and build its economic muscle, is
really onbeskof in its cash-flush status.

The financial services company plans to buy back R4 billion of its own
shares following the shedding of most of its Absa stake to Barclays.

Its cash reserves now stand at a staggering R7 billion and its acquisitive
eye is roaming the "for sale" and "to buy" companies' market.

Remember LeisureNet? Well, the financial treadmill continues in reverse at
the former health and fitness company.

Liquidators Rob Walters and Richard Gainesford have issued a summons
demanding that the gym chain's former directors be held personally liable
for the firm's debt of R1.2 billion. When it was wound up, the Health &
Racquet Club operator had just R302 million in assets.

The fingered directors - a smidgen of the empowered and a large dose of the
less-empowered captains of industry - are opposing this.

One of these directors, Iqbal Surve, the chief executive of empowerment firm
Sekunjalo, must be cursing himself for thinking that a pull-in pull-out
strategy could rake in the millions.

My mother used to say that, no matter what, you always pay for your sins.

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi often seems to be caught somewhere between the
Scylla of union bashing and the Charybdis of benevolent state intervention
(for the latter, she might even be accused by free market fundamentalists of
being a communist).

The minister of public administration has let slip that market-driven
solutions such as privatisation and outsourcing to improve service delivery
have not lived up to expectations.

This illustrious SA Communist Party member has to juggle the trend in the
government towards a "professionalisation" of services with the stark
reality that the real people she made an oath to serve are increasingly not
the primary beneficiaries of the budget allocations that have been made.

At Sasol, new chief executive Pat Davies, who has very, very strongly
asserted his commitment to transformation, must be thinking the gods are
smiling on his company. Shares in the petrochemicals giant powered through
the R200 level to reach an all-time high of R206 on Wednesday.

Not only are earnings expected to rise for the year to June, but change is
in the air and more women and darkies are actually going to be appointed to
the company's lily white male boards.

Sasol benefits directly from rand-based commodity prices and apart from
needing to add some colour to its executive machine, the company, which was
kick-started by the National Party government in 1950 to produce oil from
coal, is a frontrunner in the race for the "change according to the
government of the day" title.

But then again, rank opportunism is the business of doing business,
especially when you have to outmanoeuvre your competitors, and there are
legions of companies that fit the bill.

Whatever you might think about Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, our minister of
health does come up with challenging positions. But maybe that's because her
deputy, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, is rooted in South African reality and is
a very good listener.

The minister has thrown down the gauntlet and proposed there should be 35
percent black equity in health firms by 2010 and 51 percent by 2014.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Bus, Train Fares Go Up

The Herald (Harare)

July 16, 2005
Posted to the web July 17, 2005

Harare

THE Government has approved fares for rural buses, urban commuter omnibuses
and trains but warned defiant omnibus operators risk prosecution and having
their licences withdrawn if they overcharge.

Urban bus fares now range from $6 000 to $11 000 depending on distance.

All omnibuses are now required to charge $6 000 for a distance of up to
10km, $8 000 for between 10,1km and 20km and $11 000 for between 20,1km and
30km.

Distances above 30km would be calculated at the rate of $500 per kilometre.

Urban trains now cost $6 000 a trip while inter-city trains charge between
$25 000 and $130 000.

Long distance bus operators will now charge $300 per kilometre, up from
$185. The operators had increased fares without consulting Government but
the State reversed the increases.

Fares for inter-city trains have also been increased. It now costs $40 000
to travel to Mutare from Harare in economy class, $50 000 in standard class
and $70 000 in a sleeper.

Travelling by train from Harare to Bulawayo now costs $70 000 in economy
class, $90 000 standard and $130 000 in sleeper.

Travellers going to Victoria Falls from Bulawayo will pay $70 000 in economy
class, $90 000 standard and $130 000 in sleeper. Fares for those going to
Chiredzi from Bulawayo are $56 000 economy, $70 000 standard and $110 000
sleeper.

It now costs $25 000 to travel to Masvingo from Gweru in economy class, $30
000 in standard and $50 000 in sleeper.

The new fares were announced yesterday by the Minister of Transport and
Communications Cde Christopher Mushowe.

Cde Mushowe said it is envisaged that these fare adjustments would go a long
way in increasing passenger transport capacity and to address the current
public transport supply related crisis.

He also said the Government had gazetted the new fares after meeting various
stakeholders.

He also said with the new fares omnibus operators would be able to realise
profits.

The Minister of Local Government Cde Ignatius Chombo warned omnibus
operators who were defying Government's directive and charging more than the
stipulated fares saying they faced prosecution and risked having their
licences withdrawn.

Cde Chombo said other operators were getting preferential treatment to
access fuel from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe but they were abusing
the facility and selling the fuel on the black market.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Grave diggers strike

Pamela Machiri
issue date :2005-Jul-18

.families forced to postpone burials

SCORES of bereaved families in Harare were last week forced to postpone
burials after Harare City Council grave diggers went on strike, demanding
immediate salary reviews and the purchase of protective clothing.
Impeccable council sources told The Daily Mirror yesterday that some
families last Friday threatened to dump corpses at Town House to press the
city fathers to resolve their grievances urgently, before resuming work.
Said the source: "Some residents on Friday stormed the council offices,
threatening to dump corpses at Town House. There were meetings after that,
but the grave diggers maintained their stance because they had not received
protective clothing. Things are up-side down here." Protective clothing is a
cardinal requirement, according to world occupational health and safety
standards.
Information reaching this newspaper indicated that the grave diggers went on
strike last Monday after the city council failed to respond to their
demands. Leslie Gwindi, the city council spokesperson, confirmed the job
action, but insisted that it was just "a two-day go-slow" that ended on
Saturday.
"It was just a go-slow, not a strike. The workers went on a go-slow on
Wednesday afternoon, demanding protective clothing. We met the grave diggers
on Saturday and addressed their problems. We are going to provide them with
the protective clothing. They have already returned to work and everything
is back to normal," Gwindi said.
Although Gwindi declined to entertain further questions on the industrial
action, highly placed sources said the delay in addressing the grievances
was caused by red tape.
However, a snap survey conducted by this newspaper yesterday showed that
bereaved families failed to bury their relatives last Saturday because
graves had not been dug.
Claims reaching this newspaper are that some burials had been postponed to
later dates and in a few cases, the bereaved families had to dig the graves
on their
 own. A member of stranded family yesterday said: "On Thursday we found the
graves not dug. We have had to postpone the burial until the situation
returns to normal. But that has created problems with preserving the
corpses."
A Msasa man who lost his wife told The Daily Mirror that he had to
reschedule the burial of his spouse at Mabvuku Cemetery as a result of the
strike.
"My wife was supposed to be buried on Saturday, but we had to postpone it to
today (Sunday) because of the strike.
"There was not even a single grave dug at Mabvuku Cemetery," he claimed. "I
threatened to dump my wife's body at the cemetery. The grave diggers were
back at work today (yesterday)."
Efforts to contact funeral companies for comments on returned corpses were
unsuccessful yesterday.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

'Individual fuel imports will feed black market'

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-18

THE government move to allow private individuals to import fuel has opened
floodgates for black market in respect of pricing of petroleum products and
procurement of foreign currency, says MDC spokesperson for transport and
communications in Parliament, Murisi Zwizwai.
Zwizwai, the legislator for Harare Central, said last week fuel procurement
liberalisation was silent on a number of modalities, among them how much
fuel will be sold for once imported and where it would be stored.
"The government had since admitted that fuel is currently being sold at a
loss in this country and the question is how much will fuel cost if imported
by individuals? It does not make business sense to import and sell a product
at a loss," Zwizwai said. "The black market is going to thrive as a result
of the liberalisation of fuel procurement.  This defeats Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono policies to reign in on the black market."
He added that the opening up of fuel procurement was a sign that government
had failed to solve the crisis.
"The opening up is a clear sign of capitulation on the part of the
government in its quest to solve the fuel problem.
"The naļve and basic argument that the nation is experiencing an
unprecedented economic meltdown because of sanctions deliberately ignores
the natural fact that even states that have placed sanctions against the
Zimbabwe government are importing fuel from the Middle East - which falls
under the realm of the Zimbabwe 'Look East' Policy. Britain is not a known
exporter of petroleum products, so is America and Canada."
He said Zimbabwe's problems did not need an economic solution, but a
political one.
Turning to the hiking of public transport fares by government last Friday,
Zwizwai said: "The most disturbing aspect is that the government has
abandoned its people at the greatest time of their need by deliberately
removing subsidies on public transport.
"By allowing Zupco to charge gazetted fares, the government has
automatically removed the transport subsidies and it raises the issue of
political retribution to the urbanites."
Zwizwai claimed that retribution was glaring during the on going Operation
Restore Order.
"The retribution aspect is very clear if you look at Operation Restore
Order. They (government and council) have punished the have-nots in the
high-density suburbs, but stopped the operation in the northern suburbs,
which ordinarily is the domain of Zanu PF big wigs, fat cats, army generals
and policy offers. Is this not hypocrisy," he questioned.
The government is on record saying that the operation is a noble idea and
will go a long way in combating crime.
Minister of Transport and Communications Christopher Mushowe told
journalists on Friday that the new fares would go a long way in increasing
passenger transport capacity and to address the current transport supply
related crisis.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Soldier's bid to stop probe into shooting incident fails

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-18

THE High Court has rejected an application by a Zimbabwe Defence Forces
(ZDF) soldier, Major Hudson Muchemwa, to stop proceedings into the shooting
incident which took place during the Marondera Agricultural Show last year.

Fourteen people were injured in the melee that left many dumbfounded.
Muchemwa of the 22-infantry battalion was in charge of the battle drill to
showcase the might of the forces.
He was later dragged before the court martial for allegedly failing to carry
out his duties properly in terms of the Defence Act.
He challenged his appearance before the army court in the High Court, but
Justice Charles Hungwe ruled against him.
Lieutenant Colonel George Chitsva, the head of the martial court and the
State were cited as respondents.
Representing the State, prosecutor Ernest Jena of the civil division in the
Attorney General's Office yesterday confirmed Muchemwa had lost his appeal
in the High Court case number 3180/05.
"It was heard in chambers last week by Justice Charles Hungwe. The judge
dismissed the application on the grounds that Muchemwa had not exhausted all
the internal remedies as provided in the Defence Act," said Jena.
The ZDF is arguing that Muchemwa failed to conduct his duties diligently. In
High Court papers, the army major had submitted that he wanted the
proceedings to be stopped until he was furnished with further particulars on
the matter arguing that the charges levelled against him were not properly
constituted.
The soldier also said the atmosphere under which the proceedings, which
kicked off on June 20 2005, was intimidatory and he feared the trial would
not be fair.
 "My fear is not only that of going through trial, which is legally void,
but also the pervasive atmosphere of an intimidating impatience which has
come to characterise the proceedings. I have an apprehension that even if
another court were to be constituted I am unlikely to have a fail trial,"
said Muchemwa.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Fresh doubts over inflation targets

Muchena Zigomo
issue date :2005-Jul-18

. as it hits 164 percent

FRESH doubts have surfaced over whether or not Zimbabwe will be able to meet
its year-end inflation targets, following a resurgent rise in the
year-on-year and month-on-month rates of inflation for the month of June.
Analysts said there was a strong likelihood that the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) would fail to meet its recently adjusted double-digit
inflation target by the end of the year, adding further gloom to an economy
that has slowly slipped back into recession.
The Central Statistical Office (CSO) announced the latest inflation figures
last week, revealing a continuation in the persistent rise in the inflation
rate from 144.4 percent last month to 164.3 percent, while the month on
month rate rose 5 percent from 13.1 percent in May to 18.1 percent last
month.
According to the CSO, an increase in postal services and primary and
secondary education fees were the major motivations behind the rise in
inflation, which is expected to rise further in July.
However the latest rise has strengthened widespread sentiment that the
inflation rate will not fall to the desired 50-80 percent by the end of the
year, particularly as economic fundamentals have worsened with only 5 months
to go before the "deadline".
Central bank boss Gideon Gono adjusted his year-end inflation target for the
second time in May, amid stern challenge from the economic ill that has been
declared the country's "enemy number one".
Initially, the RBZ had set a year-end annual inflation target of between 20
and 35 percent, revised downwards from an initial target of between 30 and
50 percent made in Gono's October 2004 monetary policy statement.
But while a tremendous decline in the inflation rate throughout 2004, from a
high of 622.8 percent in January to 132.7 percent in December, had made the
double-digit vision seem possible, the turnaround in Zimbabwe's economic
scenario over the past month has dramatically changed things.
The year began with a target inflation of 200 percent by the end of the
year, carried on the wave of positive economic developments in the 9 months
from January to September 2004.
However, the central bank has this year struggled to maintain last year's
constant decline in the annual inflation rate, which has risen twice in
February and April.
In the wake of the continued revision in the targeted inflation rates,
pessimism over the country's ability to achieve this target and the hope of
single digit inflation by the first half of 2006 still reigns supreme.
"I do believe that inflation is going to rise again (in 2005) and I see that
attributable to a number of key factors," a prominent economist said
recently.
The "factors" include food shortages inspired by a nationwide drought, which
are expected to spur demand for agricultural products and a rise in
commodity prices; dogged foreign currency shortages and the stagnant
exchange rate.
Following a visit to Zimbabwe early last month, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) suggested that inflation was likely to continue to rise
throughout the year as a result of higher costs of food imports, interest
payments and higher pension costs.
"Together with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's (RBZ) substantial producer and
credit subsidies, these deficits will fuel a sharp increase in money supply,
and hence inflation, by the end of 2005," the Bretton Woods institution
said.
False agricultural output predictions, which prophesied a "bumper harvest"
for this year's season have since fallen by the wayside, putting the country
in the unenviable position of having to import the majority of its food
requirements.
Government's renewed over-expenditure drive is also expected to be a major
inflation driver, with observers arguing that it could herald worse fortunes
for the local economy.
 "I believe that we are going to see inflation rising by year-end to
somewhere between 170-200 percent annualised as against the projections that
the Reserve Bank had made.
"While that figure is still high it is still significantly less than a third
of what it was at January 2004 so it's still positive and what we would then
need to do is consolidate that into what we believe will be a marked fall in
inflation in 2006," said another economist.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Porta Farm residents' lawsuit against Chombo, Chihuri dismissed

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-18

THE High Court last week dismissed with costs a lawsuit by Porta Farm
residents against two Cabinet Ministers Ignatius Chombo, Kembo Mohadi, and
police commissioner Augustine Chihuri for allegedly defying an earlier court
order stopping their evictions.
The residents dragged the ministers and the number one police officer to
court on contempt charges a few days after their  settlement on the
outskirts of Harare was demolished under operation Murambatsvina and Restore
Order.
In his ruling last week, Judge Justice Karwi said: "Whereupon, after reading
documents filed - it is ordered that the application be and is hereby
dismissed with costs."
Karwi gave no reasons in dismissing the urgent application filed by Alec
Muchadehama of Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners
representing the residents.
Chombo, Mohadi and Chihuri were cited as first, second and third respondents
respectively.
The High Court had in 1991 barred the eviction of Porta Farm residents until
an alternative place was found for them (case number HC3177/91).
Judge Wilson Sandura had then ruled: "The applicants are entitled to inhabit
their dwellings until they are relocated to suitable permanent homes. That
the respondent is interdicted from demolishing the applicants' dwellings or
evicting them."
The Harare municipality was the respondent in that case.
In their urgent court application (that Karwi dismissed), the residents,
through their chairman Felistus Chinyuku said they had expected the
respondents to obey court orders and the matter was still pending in court
when they were forcibly evicted.
They also argued no one had offered them alternative pieces of land to
occupy as Judge Sandura had ordered in his ruling staying their eviction in
1991.
"At about 11:30hrs on the 28 of June 2005, the persons who had come drove
bulldozers towards our dwellings. We confronted them with annexures A, B and
D (the court orders stopping the eviction). All of them refused to accept
the annexures.
"They said they were illiterate, that they were not in a classroom to be
given papers to read and in any event they were not going to obey any court
orders as they were acting on orders from above. I submit that the
respondents and those that were acting through them and on their behalf were
clearly in contempt of court," Chinyuku said in his founding affidavit.
The residents had also implored the court to impose a 30-day imprisonment on
each respondent for contempt of court.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Court issues final order against police

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-18

A MAGISTRATE court in Goromonzi has issued a final order barring the police
from demolishing households belonging to two families in the on going
clean-up campaign.
The final order follows a provisional one that was issued last month when
Goromonzi police and the area's rural district council threatened to
demolish structures belonging to Phillan Zamchiya and Langton Masvosva.
According to Rangu Nyamurundira, the lawyer representing Zamchiya and
Masvosva the final order was handed down last Wednesday and the police have
indicated that they would not appeal against the decision.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights financed the lawsuit.
"The court granted us the final order barring the police from demolishing
the families houses and they have indicated that they (police) will comply
with the order," Nyamurundira from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
said.
A letter from the attorney general's office, civil division reads: "Please
take note that the first and second respondents will not be filing any
papers but will abide by the court's decision."
Officer-in-Charge, Goromonzi police and Commissioner Augustine Chihuri were
cited as the first and second respondents respectively.
In a statement on the ruling ZLHR said: "We applaud the granting of the
final order by the magistrates court protecting the applicants from forced
eviction by police. The order throws some judicial weight to the need to
protect the human rights of those affected by the operation.
ZLHR hopes that this will be the beginning of the judiciary playing its role
as the guardian and protector of human rights."
The human rights group also commended the police for abiding by the court's
decision.
"It is encouraging that the police showed willingness to abide by the court
order following their disregard of other court orders like in the Porta Farm
case," added ZLHR.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Residents ordered to regularise boreholes

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-18

OWNERS of unregistered boreholes in Harare's low-density suburbs will now be
required to regularise them with the city council.
Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi told this newspaper last week that all
boreholes must be registered with the municipality.
Asked whether this was a new requirement, Gwindi said: "Borehole
registration has been in effect since 1961 and what the City Council has
done is only to revoke it so as to restore order. Obviously there are now a
few changes to some of the clauses in that legislation but people must
realise that the need to register their boreholes has always been in
existence and some people have positively responded to that requirement."
A Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) spokesperson said before
registration, borehole owners must draw up a plan showing the exact location
of the borehole at the property.
The owners would be required to pay $800 000 for the borehole site and a
permit will be issued. Another $200 000 will be required for registration.
Back to the Top
Back to Index