Chipinge farmer attacked
Phil Mennie in the Avenues Clinic,
Harare, after his attack
CHIPINGE - At 1100 hrs on Sunday, Phillip
Mennie, 50, was dragged from his vehicle at his farm gate in Middle Sabi
(Chipangayi), Chipinge district, by six men. The leader of the gang was
self-styled war vet Nyahunwe, who head-butted Mennie. Members of the group then
kicked, punched and beat him with sticks. Mennie, who has glaucoma of both eyes,
was unable to see after a blow to the back of the head was unable to see.
Two other farmers came to assist and both were
severely head-butted and beaten off with sticks. Mennie was taken to Chipinge
Hospital and the superficial wounds attended to. But, due his head injuries, the
resident doctor ordered him to be flown by MARS to the Avenues Clinic in Harare.
He was admitted at 8pm Sunday night having had x-rays and CT scans. He was
conscious and his condition was stable.
The Mennies obtained a High Court
order against Nyahunwe on May 23, ordering him off their farm. He defied this
order and began to plant crops. On June 9 a new High Court order was obtained by
Mennie and served on Nyahunwe by the Police – whom he told to go to hell.
Eventually after further harassment the Police Support Unit were brought in and
Nyahunwe, was detained in Chipinge cells for three days. He was released last
Tuesday, and allegedly carried out this attack five days later.
not be established at the time of going to press whether anyone had been
arrested for Mennie’s assault but it is understood charges of attempted murder
are being laid against Nyahunwe.
UN News Centre
Zimbabwe: UN envoy on evictions says freedom of movement
7 July 2005 - The United Nations Special
Envoy examining the humanitarian
aspects of the evictions of thousands of
poor people from housing and
businesses during Zimbabwe's winter today
visited a demolition site on her
way to Victoria Falls, the United Nations
spokesman said today.
This morning, the Executive Director of the UN
Human Settlements Programme
(UN-HABITAT), Anna Tibaijuka, "stopped in the
town of Hwange and inspected
recent demolitions of homes. Later, she was
shown sites the Government has
set aside for new housing," Stéphane Dujarric
said at the daily briefing.
"She will also travel to Victoria Falls for
He quoted her as having said yesterday, "In a
democracy people cannot be
forced to stay away from a city, nor can they be
forced out of a city. The
freedom of movement is a fundamental right. People
come to the cities for
economic opportunity. If you try to ship them away it
doesn't work. They
will come back, anyway."
Ms. Tibaijuka, who
extended her stay in Zimbabwe by nearly another week,
will be in the capital
of the Southern African country, Harare, for a final
round of meetings
tomorrow and is hoping to fly to the Kenyan capital,
UN-HABITAT is headquartered, on Saturday.
She was to report to UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan on her findings.
(Restore Order) began four weeks ago in what the
Government called an effort
to clean up cities and fight the black market
across Zimbabwe. As a result,
tens of thousands of homes and market stalls
have been destroyed.
United Nations special rapporteurs on human freedoms and rights issued a
statement late last month expressing concern about the "recent mass forced
evictions in Zimbabwe and related human rights violations" and raising
questions about the negative effects on supplies of water and food,
education and health care, including HIV/AIDS treatment.
Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it has been working with Government
and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to distribute
water, sanitation equipment, health care supplies, blankets and
sheeting to affected children and women.
UN Chief's Comments Hearten Zimbabwe Opposition
Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan moved the Zimbabwe debate up a
comments published Thursday on the front page of the Financial
the African political leadership must break its collective
Harare's program of home demolitions if it wants to be credible
in the eyes
of the world.
Former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark noted, however, in
with the Voice of America, that Mr. Annan's were in response to
from the FT reporter, as opposed to being a deliberate statement
Nigerian President Olushegun Obasanjo, currently
chairman of the African
Union, told reporters in London meanwhile that he
will not publicly condemn
Many international and local
political observers believe the solution to the
Zimbabwe crisis lies in
intervention by other African leaders, verbal or
Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe sought insight on
significance of the secretary general's statement from Marion Tupy,
assistant director of the Project on Global Economic Liberty at the Cato
Institute in Washington.
The secretary general's comments were hailed
by Zimbabwe human rights
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
activist Otto Saki tells Studio Seven
reporter Patience Rusere that Mr.
Annan's comments are a step in the right
UN Envoy Tibaijuka Finds Demolition Aftermath "Depressing"
07 July 2005
United Nations special
envoy Anna Tibaijuka concluded her fact-finding in
Bulawayo on Thursday and
headed for Victoria Falls, a tourist town in the
far west of Zimbabwe that
has also been hit hard by the Harare government's
During her tour of flattened suburbs around Zimbabwe's
Mrs. Tibaijuka described as "depressing" the pattern of
destruction left in
the wake of the state-directed program of home
demolitions and informal
Mlilo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe filed a report on
investigations in and around the city of Bulawayo.
In the course of her
meetings in Bulawayo, Mrs. Tibaijuka had frank omments
for the governor of
Bulawayo province about the state's forced resettlement
AU envoy packs bags in frustration
Fri 8 July
HARARE - An African Union (AU) envoy sent to probe Zimbabwe's
controversial clean-up campaign yesterday packed his bags and flew out of
Harare empty-handed after President Robert Mugabe's government barred him
from carrying out his mission, it was learnt last night.
frustrated Bahare Tom Nyanduga, rapporteur for refugees on the AU
for Human and People's Rights, checked out of his Ambassador
central Harare yesterday morning, exactly a week after arriving in
country with high hopes of carrying out his mission. He left via South
Africa for the union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
AU spokesman Desmond Orjiako, confirmed Nyanduga's departure to
telephone from Addis Ababa. "Yes he (Nyanduga) left Harare this
Addis Ababa but I will find out more tomorrow, then I will be
able to tell
you more," said Orjiako.
The AU spokesman would not say whether
another mission to Harare was
being planned but sources yesterday said the
union had confirmed it would
send another envoy.
mission failed to take off the ground after the Zimbabwean
objected to his mission saying it was in breach of protocol
because the AU
had only advised Harare of its emissary's mission when he was
airborne to the southern African nation.
Harare told the union to
recall Nyanduga and to follow proper
procedures when appointing a new
The AU man had earlier this week extended his stay in
that the Zimbabwean government would change its position and
allow him to
undertake his mission.
Yesterday, Nyanduga would
not comment on his aborted mission but said
the AU would issue a statement
after he had briefed AU Commission chairman,
Alpha Konare, who sent him to
Zimbabwe in a major policy U-turn after the
African body had initially said
it would not interfere with Mugabe's
clean-up drive because it was an
As Nyanduga gave up his Zimbabwe mission,
residents in Epworth, a
sprawling settlement on Harare's south-eastern
boundary were yesterday
demolishing their homes after the police ordered
them to do so.
Close to a million people have been left homeless
after the police and
soldiers used fire and bulldozers to raze down backyard
cottages in cities
and to demolish shanty towns in a campaign roundly
condemned by the United
Nations, United States, European Union, Zimbabwean
and international human
rights groups as a gross violation of poor people's
Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
enjoys more support in cities, has also castigated the campaign
as a ploy to
punish urban residents for rejecting Mugabe and his ruling ZANU
PF party in
last March's disputed poll.
The government has
defended the clean-up exercise as necessary to
smash crime and restore the
beauty of Zimbabwe's cities.
A UN envoy Anna Tibaijuka, sent to
Zimbabwe two weeks ago to probe the
mass evictions was yesterday winding up
her tour of the country with a visit
to the resort town of Victoria Falls
where thousands of families have also
been cast onto the streets by the
She is expected to leave Zimbabwe today and to submit a
report on her
findings to UN boss, Koffi Annan, in two weeks
Meanwhile, police authorities in Harare have confirmed that
five people died in the clean-up operation but they denied any
responsibility. - ZimOnline
Harare runs out of bread
Fri 8 July 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe's capital Harare has run out of bread and the
Bakers Association (NBA) yesterday blamed the shortage on the
running fuel crisis that has worsened in recent weeks.
could be seen yesterday at the few shops in Harare that
were selling bread
and ZimOnline reporters from the second largest city of
Bulawayo and other
parts of the country reported that the bread shortage was
many shops there without the vital commodity.
NBA executive member
David Govere said the non-availability of bread
was because the government's
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) was
unable to supply bakers with
enough paraffin and diesel they use to heat
"If a baker
needs 100 000 litres of diesel, paraffin or petrol, NOCZIM
is only able to
supply at least 10-15 000 litres to every baker," Govere
"As long as there is not enough petrol, paraffin, and diesel there
shortages of bread. Our ovens need paraffin or diesel for heating
We will flood the country with bread once the heating commodities
there," the NBA boss added, dispelling speculation that the shortage
have been because there is no flour, itself in short supply after poor
harvests last season.
Govere said millers were supplying members of
his association with
enough flour although there was always need for
The shortage of bread is only one in an ever growing list of
commodities ranging from essential medical drugs to electricity to
that are in short supply in Zimbabwe as the country grapples a
economic recession now in its sixth year.
In some cases,
commodities are not found in shops not because they not
available in the
country but simply because there is no packaging material
or fuel to
transport them to shops.
Three weeks ago, beer was in short supply
because the manufacturer
could not source enough caps for beer bottles,
while sugar was in short
supply because there were no polyurethane bags to
pack it in for the market
and all this because there was no hard cash to pay
foreign suppliers of the
at 144.4 percent, joblessness at 80 percent while an
estimated four million
Zimbabweans or a quarter of the country's total
population face starvation
unless donors chip in with 1.2 million tonnes of
Critics blame Zimbabwe's economic meltdown on mismanagement by
Robert Mugabe and the frequent food shortages on his chaotic and
programme to seize farms from whites.
The Zimbabwean leader denies
mismanaging Zimbabwe and instead blames
Western governments opposed to his
farm seizure programme of sabotaging his
country's economy in bid to incite
revolt against his rule. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe wants people to go rural
Fri 8 July
PRETORIA - A senior Zimbabwe government official was at pains
defend the clean up exercise saying thousands of families evicted in the
clean up exercise must move to the rural areas.
the Minister Counsellor at the Zimbabwean embassy in
Pretoria, told a
seminar on the demolitions organised by South Africa's
Institute of Security
Studies (ISS) that 130 000 families had been displaced
in the demolition
He said he could nevertheless not quantify the numbers of
involved because sizes of families differed.
United Nations and the Movement for Democratic Change estimate
300 000 and 1.5 million people have been made homeless in the
Zhou's statement sharply differed with President
Mugabe's claim in
Libya earlier this week that no one had been rendered
homeless as a result
of the ruthless campaign which has been condemned by
"Where are they? We don't know
about those. It's just nonsense,"
Mugabe said in response to questions from
journalists on the hundreds of
thousands made homeless.
did not answer a question seeking clarification on the
his figures and the President's claims. Zhou said at
least 5 000 two
bedroomed core-houses would be built as part of an effort to
accommodation to those displaced.
Land would also be made available
to local authorities to provide
stands to those who can build their own
But he emphasised that not everyone would be catered for
government expected people to move into the rural areas, especially
who could neither afford the two bedroomed houses nor to build on
"Although I understand that it has been a
very unpopular suggestion
that people should go to the rural areas, clearly
in our situation which is
perhaps different from here in South Africa . . .
almost everybody has got a
rural home (to go to)," he said, without
addressing the plight of hundreds
of thousands of migrant labourers from
Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique who
don't have any rural homes.
He said in the rural areas, people could engage in farming for
Allegations that the urban population was being
targeted to destroy
the MDC support base were therefore false, said
"If the aim was to destroy MDC support in the cities, clearly
demolition campaign) would backfire," he said.
remove MDC people from the urban areas and send them to the
rural areas, you
are simply creating problems for yourself in (those) rural
they will influence people in the rural areas to be MDC. So
its not logical
for that to be presented as an argument," said Zhou.
He added: "You
would rather keep them (MDC supporters) in town and
make sure that your area
Although the government would spend Z$3 trillion in
houses and residential stands under "Operation Garikai", Zhou
said he did
not know where the money would be drawn from.
response to a question on the source of the money since no
been made for it in the current year's budget, Zhou said: "All
I know is
money comes from government. That's all."
Mr Zhou went to great
lengths to justify "Operation Murambatsvina"
saying it was not a new
phenomenon. Similar demolitions of shacks happened
regularly in South
"We cannot have Africa as a land of shacks.....Our
encourage people to have proper accommodation," he said. He
ultimate objective was that "our places should look like Europe or
"Africa should not be a shackland," he said.
It was pointed out to him that no one would want to live in a shack
most people had no other alternative as they were impoverished
mainly as a
result of his government's poor economic policies, but Zhou
The operation had become inevitable as illegal businesses
damaging the economy and shantytowns had become a haven for criminals,
Informal settlements had also exerted a severe strain
on services and
sewerage systems meant to service smaller populations where
Zhou also confirmed that thousands
of people were arrested, saying
this formed part of the operation's aim to
"flush out criminals".
Zhou said illegal traders would be relocated
to new sites. A total of
1 192 flea market stalls in Harare were ready for
occupation, he said.
Defence attache at the Zimbabwean embassy
Colonel Richmond Ncube
explained the involvement of the military in the
campaign. He said the army
was only involved in "Operation Garikai" and was
helping in the re-building
exercise to provide alternative housing and
The army was not involved in "Operation
Murambatsvina", he said. -
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Lawyers worry about delay
The Daily Mirror
issue date :2005-Jul-08
LAWYERS representing the Combined
Harare Residents Association (CHRA) are
concerned over alleged delays by the
High Court in hearing their application
against the Harare commission's
extension of tenure.
CHRA is suing Judge George Chiweshe in his capacity as
the head of Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Harare Commission
following the extension
of tenure for the commission by another six
The commission's tenure had expired on June 9 this year, but was
the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
In an urgent letter to Judge President
Paddington Garwe dated July 1 2005, a
copy of which is in possession of this
newspaper, Rangu Nyamurundira from
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
representing CHRA, said despite
the initial certificate of urgency and
further enquiries, the matter was yet
to be heard.
The High Court has
since acknowledged receiving the letter the day it was
June we lodged an urgent chamber application on behalf of CHRA
violations of the electoral laws and Urban Councils Act asking
honourable court to urgently rectify the situation. It was served on
parties the same day and was allocated to the Honourable Mrs Justice
"Despite the initial certificate of urgency and a
number of enquiries, no
action has been taken and nothing has been heard
from the Judge,"
The lawyer also said they had written
another letter to Makoni on June 16
asking for guidance on how to deal with
the matter, but to date no response
had been received.
He claimed that
the judge had heard other matters that were filed long after
"We are advised that part of this time she has been away, but we
been told of other applications filed after this case which have
with by the judge," Nyamurundira submitted.
He also said the
Harare Commission had continued to administer Harare in
relevant statutory provisions.
Nyamurundira also bemoaned the denial of
CHRA's urgent application hearing
or reasons why it could not be
"The statute has not been changed since 2001/2002 when our courts
government's similar contempt for its laws on an urgent basis,"
In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled against the extension of the Elijah
Chanakira-led commission's term of office.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Black market fuel hits $100 000 a litre
Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jul-08
DRIVERS in Harare are
stranded, as black market petrol prices have
skyrocketed from $70 000 to
$100 000 a litre as fuel shortages persist.
Black market petrol traders have
since increased their prices, placing the
cost of a drum of petrol at
$20million, up from $14million last week.
These sudden increases have since
forced commuter operators, the main
customers in the black market, to
increase their commuter fares from $5 000
to $7 000 within a
"There's nothing we can do about it because we only get fuel on the
market. Since they have increased their prices we also have to
fares in order to remain on the road," said commuter omnibus
Press Statement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
ON TRIAL MONDAY 11 JULY 2005
TWENTY NINE members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA), a civic movement for women to speak out on burning issues go to trial on
11 July 2005 in the Bulawayo Provincial Magistrates Court 4. Most of the women
are victims of Operation Murambatsvina, having lost goods as vendors and their
homes in the demolitions. The women conducted a peaceful protest on 18 June 2005
calling for a halt to the Operation.
WOZA have been on a fundraising campaign to secure
funding for legal representation and wish to advise that legal counsel has been
secured although with only a few days to go. Advocate Perpetua Dube has been
retained to represent the women who are charged with contravening the
Miscellaneous Offences Action Section 3 (2) (g) Chapter 9:15, "Encumbers or
obstructs the free passage along any street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk or
pavement." They could face a fine and or 3 month imprisonment.
The women gathered in Bulawayo today and reaffirmed
their commitment to civil disobedience and peaceful activism. They recognised
that observing their God given right to speak out and assemble cannot be
criminalised. As they attend court on Monday, it will not be they on trial but
Operation Murambatsvina that will be brought under inspection. WOZA therefore
call upon Zimbabweans to attend the court in solidarity and witness 'Operation
Murambatsvina' being accorded the right to defend itself.
WOZA attended the meeting with the United Nations
Special Envoy in Bulawayo today. A report will be submitted to the delegation.
In the appeal for assistance the report highlights that Zimbabweans are not
expendable and that the time has come for accountability for the political
leadership. Mugabe has been operating with such impunity, and he expects
voluntary organizations and the international community to clean up after him.
Why did the Government not consult and put in place disaster management
structures before launching the operation? If they continue to implement the
'clean up' in this way it points to retribution rather than restore order.
8th July 2005
For more information, please contact
Jenni Williams +263 91 300 456,
Magodonga Mahlangu +263 91 362 668
Comments from the State outline: The State versus
Jennifer Louise Williams and 28 others.
Jennifer Louise Williams (43) Siphiwe Maseko (34)
Magodonga Mahlangu (32) Shingirai Mupani (65) Milia Moyo (71) Thandile Sesedza
(44) Beauty Gwetshwayo (62) Khetiwe Ncube (42) Rudo Mtethwa (42) Saziwe Zitha
(37) Karen Mugomo (21) Esther Ngulube (68) Siphethangani Ndlovu (31) Sennie
Dube (60) Rejoice Chauke (35) Donanary Tembo (35) Thalitha Tendesa (64) Edna
Ncube (60) Varaidzo Mawire (30) Sinini Mhlanga (34) Zuzile Ngwenya (35)
Duduzile Moyo (36) Zanele Sibanda (21) Perpetua Dube (38) Maria Moyo (45) Ivy
Ngwenya (42) Thoko Dube (33) Fagress Sibanda (40)
The women were carrying placards which had the
following inscriptions on them:
The liberation guns have been turned against us.
Are we the trash? We are refuges in our own motherland. We are refugees in the
country of our great grandmothers. A bird is better - it at least has a nest.
Makokoba our pride is gone. Our Ancestors are turning in graves. Phansi lo
Murambatsvina. 'Our orphans are dying of cold'. Wena Sithembiso (Hey You
Sithembiso) - what are you now saying about our projects.
The women also had some cloth banners inscribed
WOZA Defending Women's Rights Sokwanele, enough is enough,
Zim protesters at Hyde Park
LONDON - A group
of Zimbabweans joined the 200,000 people who thronged to
Hyde Park last
weekend for Live 8. The marchers attracted a fair amount of
the public and the media along their route from Zimbabwe
House in Charing
Cross to Hyde Park Corner.
They carried a large banner with the legend:
"Mugabe's Police destroyed our
orphanage. Don't just stand by and watch",
picturing children from Tariro
Preschool Orphanage in Hatcliffe Extension,
which was destroyed in Operation
Murambatsvina between May 26 and June
The Dominican Sisters Convent had sponsored the development of
Extension by raising money through Project Luminescence since
people were placed there by the government - in a temporary
For the past 10 years they have helped develop the community
eight boreholes and getting many suffering from HIV onto
programs. Their work was all but destroyed on the night of
May 26 when about
3000 policemen arrived and ordered the destruction of the
homes of more than
10,000 people. The sisters found them the next morning
sitting next to the
remains of their houses - the children were terrified,
many were weeping and
some people were missing.
photographer Johnny has been involved in raising funds for the
project. He said he had been devastated when he heard the news
orphanage had been destroyed. "There is no way to justify or
We are at Hyde Park today to raise awareness about this
people who are being persecuted are very poor, they have no
power and no
voice, specifically the orphans at Hatcliffe. We are here to
leaders to go beyond old friendships and alliances and have the
call their peers on their brutality," he said.
The demonstrators were
hoping that as people passed them to enter the
concert they would be forced
to think about what was happening in Zimbabwe
at the moment. They also
called on the UN to sidestep courtesy and diplomacy
with Mugabe and address
the atrocities that are occurring.
A spokeswoman for Project Luminescence
expressed her concern and disbelief
at what the government had done "We are
saddened beyond words that this
atrocity has happened to them."
Aid is the problem,
not the solution
protesters outside the Live8 concert in Hyde Park on Saturday with their orphan
History. What a beautiful idea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our tax money went
to this great cause and we managed to create enough employment in Africa to help
every family feed, clothe, house and educate themselves, generating more and
Unfortunately Sir Bob
Geldof, with all due respect, is horribly misguided.
Geldof would have us
believe that if we gave more money to Africa, it would be used to build
much-needed hospitals, schools, dams and housing, and infrastructure that would
improve business, creating a self-sustaining and prosperous
Certainly, money is required for all these things. Geldof has
suggested that we should not be put off by Africa’s corrupt history, that there
is now a ‘governing body’ called the OAU, where African leaders are held
accountable by their peers.
The OAU, Geldof would have us believe, would
step in and chastise a member leader. I ask you, with genuine tears in my eyes,
what has the OAU ever done?
I am an ex-Zimbabwean, with family still in
Zimbabwe, and I would like to ask what the OAU did when Mugabe ordered farmers
and farm workers to be beaten, raped and murdered and thrown off their land?
What did the OAU do when Mugabe turned a country - its main exports
being farm produce, and with a surplus that earned it the name ‘the bread basket
of Africa’ - into one where the majority of the population are reliant on food
What did the OAU do when Mugabe stole election after election, and
relied on torture, intimidation, massacres and vote-rigging to stay in power?
They stood by, even offering him their support as a hero in Africa, and
watched Mugabe use food as a weapon by denying food aid to opposition
That was aid provided by the West, and which Geldof would
have us double, used directly against the poor in Africa.
What is the
OAU doing now that Mugabe has ordered the poor in the cities to destroy their
own houses? What is the OAU doing to make sure that these thousands are going to
be resettled and re-housed?
What is the OAU doing now that Mugabe has
slowly but surely taken from his people, almost every human right we all take
for granted, including freedom of expression, freedom of public gatherings, even
the right to live in their own homes?
I have not seen widespread
condemnation of these actions by the OAU, or world leaders. The OAU is outspoken
in its support for these crimes.
What have the OAU ever done to keep this
leader in check? This body, Geldof would have us believe, should now be trusted
with double the aid money, as this would miraculously end all corruption and
make Africa free.
Money handouts are not the answer to Africa’s problems.
Almost every country in Africa would be self-sufficient and her population would
not be hungry if it were not for heinous mismanagement.
Zimbabwe has the
second-largest platinum deposits in the world. It has gold. It used to be the
world’s second-largest producer of the finest-grade tobacco, and it used to
export food to the EU and the rest of Africa.
Zimbabwe had a thriving
economy, with manufacturing, an extensive retail sector (both formal and
informal) and well-established services industries. Tourists used to flock to
this great land that boasted some of the best wildlife in the world, and boasts
one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls.
Mugabe has systematically stripped each and every sector, and each and
every Zimbabwean except the ruling elite. This elite awarded themselves, and
left idle, once-productive farms they had stolen - and built themselves
mansions, importing all the fittings and furnishings with scarce foreign
currency that should be spent on fuel and essential imports.
not alone here. Most African countries have the resources to be wealthy. African
leaders are among the world’s wealthiest people, some from having pillaged
resources while leaving their people hungry, and others from embezzling foreign
aid… which Geldof would have us double.
What we have done by
consistently sending aid is to create wealthy leaders, not improve the lives of
If a nation is very poor, we give more aid. If we
can’t see that aid changing the lives of the poor, we send even more.
Governments in Africa know that if their populations are near starving, more
money will come in. The more poverty they can create, the more money we give
If a country were ever to break out of poverty, we would stop
giving away free money. Geldof would have us fuel the greed and corruption in
Africa by doubling the aid to Africa.
Africa doesn’t need money. Africa
needs proper management. All aid to members of the OAU should be frozen until
the OAU starts doing what they are supposed to be doing. When they put pressure
on rebel leaders, when they sort out their own problems and govern Africa, aid
should be granted.
However, aid should never be given to any government
bodies in Africa. Aid should be privately spent on the essential infrastructure
so badly needed on that continent, but should never be offered to any OAU member
as long as there are human-rights issues in any member country.
Sanctions should be imposed on every OAU member’s leaders until the
problems of Africa’s leaders are history. Let us extend these sanctions to all
dependants of these leaders – they should all be thrown out of the EU, the US,
and other places where they work and study so that they know we mean to make
Pressure should be put on the OAU and on these evil
leaders to make corruption history, make intimidation history and make
human-rights abuses history. That is the way to end poverty.
I put it to
the G8 to do something wonderful, we have an opportunity here. Let’s make
poverty history rather than throw our good money after bad.
Bennett pledges to
with his daughter on his release from prison last week
LONDON - The man
they affectionately call “Pachedu” has finally been released from Prison. Former
MDC Member of Parliament for Chimanimani Roy Bennett, who was imprisoned last
year on October 28, was released on June 28, four months early on good
Speaking to SW Radio
Africa shortly after his release, the outspoken activist said he was happy to be
reunited with his family and friends but was sad to leave people behind in the
prisons under the conditions that they have to contend with.
said he was transferred to rural Mutoko prison from Harare after the authorities
found out he was secretly helping inmates source money for their bail and to pay
fines in order to get out of prison.
Asked about how he coped, Roy
Bennett said faith in God made him pull through. He admitted feeling lonely and
crying as he felt at times that he had been forgotten. But he got strength by
reading the bible.
Asked if he felt his party stood by him, Bennett said
he felt abandoned at one stage by the MDC as he had heard nothing from them. But
he went on to say it wasn’t their fault because the whole situation was
prohibitive and it was difficult for them to visit.
On whether he
harbours any resentment or bad feelings towards the people that put him in
prison he said, “I actually feel sorry for them. I pray that they find time to
get on their knees and ask for forgiveness for the atrocities and the hardships
that they have caused the people of Zimbabwe. I feel nothing but sorry for them.
You cannot through hate and vengeance reduce people to nothing by destroying
their homes. When I see Patrick Chinamasa (justice minister) and see the hate in
his eyes, I feel very sorry for him.”
When asked what he is going to do
next especially as he has lost time in jail, lost his seat in parliament and
lost his commercial farm, Roy Bennett said he will never stop fighting for human
rights, righteousness and justice. He said he never lost the Chimanimani seat as
the whole rural election in Zimbabwe was rigged.
He said he made a pact
with the people of Chimanimani that he would stand by them if they stood by him.
“It is so humbling how these people have stood so strong despite the abuses and
the rapes. I have great admiration and love for them and will continue to fight
for their rights and a better life for them as long as I have breath left in me
and as long as they want me to do it.”
“I am not worried about death and
those people matter more to me than anything and all they need is a chance at a
Will Mugabe pull out of the UN too?
HARARE - For many years now, some of us have been telling the people
Zimbabwe, the Southern African region and the world at large that the
regime is an evil dictatorship whose sole purpose is to inflict pain
suffering on innocent people. For just as long, we have largely been
ignored, if not despised as armchair analysts that are over-dosed with
infantile radicalism. The recent attack on the poorest of the poor people by
the evil regime has, however, finally convinced everyone that the Mugabe
regime's primary objective is to destroy everything good in Zimbabwe,
including its people.
The pain and suffering that has been inflicted on
everyone, including unborn
children is not different from Herod's futile
attempts to murder the infant
Jesus by targeting all children two years and
under in and around Bethlehem
more than two thousand years ago. We all know
that Herod failed in his
scheme; and so will Mugabe.
The fact that
Kofi Annan has despatched his envoy, Madame Tibaijuka, on a
mission raises the Zimbabwe crisis to a higher level that may
result in the
involvement of the UN Security Council. The implications for
attendance of UN summits are grave indeed. In fact he may be forced to
Zimbabwe out of the UN organisation just as he did with the
Sadly, such an eventuality will still not necessarily
result in the
resolution of the current crisis in Zimbabwe. The demonic
dictator and his
"wives" masquerading as government ministers will probably
suffering of the people further. These are the hoodlums that
tripping each other to wine and dine Madame Tibaijuka in a futile
influence her report. They have also been lining up fictitious
schemes in order to hoodwink the good lady that the predator state
actively engaged in devising ways to provide the poor evicted people
alternative accommodation and means of earning a livelihood. It is very
unlikely that the UN envoy will fall for such cheap gimmicks.
tsunami that was unleashed on the poor people by the evil Mugabe regime
not go unpunished. Mugabe and his henchmen may be proud of their
and capacity to inflict pain and suffering with their unfettered
state power and the apparatus of coercion. But a day is coming
will have to run for their lives.
Does Tabaijuka dare to criticise?
Anna Tabaijuka has a
tough task ahead of her. She has seen first-hand the
horrors of Operation
Murambatsvina. The victims have cried out to her for
help. Numerous groups
have petitioned her and plied her with documents,
photographs and evidence.
Mugabe's officials have wined and dined her,
played on her sensitivities as
a fellow-African and filled her ears with a
convoluted wish list of
unrealistic and unachievable schemes.
They are now promising to build 1.2
million new homes by 2008 - three years
from now - when in the past 25 years
they have only been able to build 10
We sincerely hope that, as
an economist, she will see through these
fabrications and that, as a woman,
she will be moved to compassion by the
evidence of homeless mothers and
their starving, freezing children.
She undoubtedly has the ear of Kofi
Annan - or he would not have sent her in
the first place. Her statements on
arriving in Zimbabwe were uninformed and
naïve - we trust her experiences of
the past week have given her the wisdom
and courage to do the right thing
and report back without fear, favour or
misplaced zeal for African
However, even if she manages to overcome the many obstacles
in her path,
what could a damning report of her findings lead to at the UN?
nations have made it clear that they will continue to shield
Mugabe from all
criticism. Our only hope is that the ratcheting up of
condemnation, coupled with Thabo Mbeki's purported change of
open a new chapter.
Mbeki’s U-turn – just
a G8 ploy?
activists trash South AFrican fruit and wine in a desperate attempt to draw
attention to South Africa's failure to condemn Mugabe's Operation
Credit: Jill Mott
LONDON – As signs
emerged this week of African leaders seeking to distance themselves from Robert
Mugabe’s latest excesses, Zimbabwean demonstrators trashed South African fruit
and wine outside London’s Guildhall to protest President Thabo Mbeki’s continued
propping up of the Zimbabwe regime.
Delegates attending a
meeting to promote Mbeki’s favourite project, NEPAD (New Partnership for
Africa’s Development), were confronted by a noisy group of about 40 Zimbabweans
calling for a boycott of South African goods. “We are not anti-South African,
simply determined to make our point that President Mbeki can make all the
difference if he recognises publicly what is going on next door,” said the
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Coalition expressed fears that the
protest would alienate South African trade unions, which have shown solid
support for the opposition MDC and criticised Mbeki’s lack of action.
“It is controversial, especially after the Live 8 concert calling for
aid to feed the hungry in Africa, and here we are trampling food into the
pavement,” said protestor Sean Robinson. “But we are desperate, and we demand an
answer to the question: Does Mbeki condone what Mugabe is doing? If he does, and
this certainly seems to be the case, then perhaps we are doing our friends in
South Africa a favour - maybe Mbeki is thinking along the same lines as
But signs of hope appeared on the horizon as MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai met Mbeki in Pretoria at the weekend and said he was satisfied that
the SA premier now saw the need for urgent action on the Zimbabwe issue.
However, it remains to be seen whether this will translate into positive action.
Some political observers believe this is merely a plot on Mbeki’s part to smooth
his passage at the G8 meeting this week.
Mbeki himself had not commented
at the time of going to press but his spokesman switched from expressing
irritation with Western demands for Mugabe’s neighbours to act, to saying that
Mbeki had spoken out. “He went to Zimbabwe twice and in the presence of
President Mugabe expressed his displeasure about things,” said Bheki Khumalo.
Other encouraging signs include the dispatch by the African Union of an
envoy to Zimbabwe, after saying the six-week-long demolition of thousands of
homes in urban areas under Mugabe’s Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out Filth)
was an internal matter.
And UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka, a
Tanzanian, extended her visit, seeing at first hand the devastation of
neighbourhoods and the thousands of people herded into makeshift camps in
hellish conditions, without shelter or hygiene.
An international chorus
of voices has been raised in the past week: US President George Bush joined in
pointing a finger at Mbeki, saying South Africa had to stand up to Mugabe over
the demolitions and forced evictions which, the MDC estimates, have made more
than one million people refugees in their own country.
Secretary Jack Straw said African leaders’ reluctance to speak out about
Mugabe’s “outrages” was bad for Zimbabweans and “bad for the reputation of
South African Methodist bishops, in a scathing statement, called
on Mbeki to do more to help refugees from Zimbabwe and criticised his so-called
quiet diplomacy toward Mugabe. “We have on our hands a complete recipe for
genocide,” said the bishops.
In similar vein, Zimbabwean human rights
activist Judith Todd, exiled by Ian Smith’s white-minority regime and now
stripped of citizenship by Mugabe, said the regime was “genocidal”, now intent
on killing the last opponents.
“If, in bitter winter, you deprive people
and their children of shelter and thus also their food and clothing and warmth -
if you deprive them of their tools of trade and their means of survival, you do
this for one reason only: you intend them to die,” Todd told the Cape Town Press
Urging international action, Todd said there should be no more
solidarity with Zanu PF and no more political cover. The meetings of the G8, AU
and UN should be used to launch “very serious action ... against the genocidal
Rage, not rock is what Africa needs
LONDON - Africa is run by "A ruling class of greedy men,
sheltered by a
popular culture of gawping passivity in the face of political
suffocating the people of Africa and neither tears nor money nor
should be our first response. Rage, not rock, is called
Matthew Parris, journalist, former Tory MP, and an ex-Zimbabwean, urges
leaders of the G8 to become "pitiless in their resolve to make pariahs
black Africa's cruel and rotten governments."
Writing in the
Times, Parris says he despairs of the "pity" displayed by the
liberal establishment: "God spare Africa from mercy. God deliver
The Guardian. God protect Africa from the Synod of the Church of
Pity, says Parris, "poisons the continent." Africa's
intolerable and unacceptable but there are people "making a go
So why are Africa's leaders, and Western pop stars not
getting mad at
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for displacing almost a
in just a few weeks?
Some commentators are less
optimistic about tackling Africa's ills. Moeletsi
Mbeki, brother of South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, argues that
"strengthening the state has led
to more oppression, less accountability and
greater underdevelopment. Since
independence, political elites have
suppressed or prevented the development
of the civic institutions that
strengthen society and provide a balance to
the power of the rulers." The
way the development of the state has unfolded
in Africa is seen by some
commentators as testimony to the 'hopelessness' of
the continent's leaders.
Mr Mbeki, writing in the Mail on Sunday said
"The truth of Western aid is
that for every pound, dollar and euro that
finds it way to the needy,
another is propping up corrupt governments such
Prime Minister Tony Blair too, has faced his own critics
back home on his
Africa agenda. Michael Buerk in the Daily Mail wrote:
"Gordon Brown talks
airily of a new Marshall Plan that would do for Africa
what America did for
Europe after the war. But Africa has already had more
than 10 times as much
aid as Europe needed to get back on its feet and it is
still on its knees."
Most of the more experienced Africa watchers, black
and white, admit now
that governance in Africa is the critical area in need
of reform - Africa's
biggest single problem. Africa's rulers, says Parris,
"are the laughing
stock of the world, and ordinary Africans should know it.
Where is the
satire, where the anger, where the mockery and derision, that
boobies deserve?.Only Alan Coren of this newspaper (The Times)
ever dared to
subject an African leader, Idi Amin, to sustained ridicule;
progressive-minded readers in Britain didn't approve."
there has been condemnation from Western leaders of Mugabe's recent
destruction, not a single African leader has raised his voice in
Even the 53-member Africa Union has stubbornly refused to condemn
atrocities of the Zimbabwe regime, or even mildly criticise them.
when Kate Hoey, a Labour MP, returned from a secret visit to Zimbabwe
film showing the extent of the demolitions of homes there, the
the British government was muted. Hoey called on Prime
Minister Tony Blair
to put pressure on President Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa, and there were
further calls from peers in the House of Lords, from
Michael Howard, leader
of the Conservative Party, and from various human
rights organisations for
the Blair government to criticise Africa's failure
However, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said, "It's very
in the face of very clear evidence, they (African
leaders) have been
unwilling to speak out against these outrages. That's bad
for the people
directly affected in Zimbabwe. It's also bad for the
reputation of Africa."
When asked, however, if the British government would
call Mbeki to task over
his overt support for Mugabe, Straw replied: "I
don't think name-calling
necessarily advances what one is trying to
Earlier, Britain's High Commissioner in Pretoria, Paul Boateng, in
outspoken statement, had warned of the issues at stake in Africa. It
to draw a response.
Fearing that his Africa Commission was about
to be consigned to the dustbins
of history, it is reported that Britain
called on the United States to issue
Mbeki with an ultimatum: if you want
aid and debt relief, start putting your
house in order. President Bush
issued that ultimatum - in a lengthy
interview with the Times.
effectively acted as spokesman for the G8 when he delivered that strong
message to Africa's leaders and to Mbeki in particular. Bush said South
Africa was a great democracy and a strong nation in Africa and it had to
stand up to the Mugabe regime over its demolition campaign, driving urban
poor into famine-hit rural areas.
"Next door to you is a person that
is destroying a country because of bad
policy, and It's not right. And the
nations in the neighbourhood must be
strong," said Bush.
followed those made by the AU's principal spokesman, Desmond
the organisation did not interfere in the internal affairs of
its 53 member
countries. To satisfy the G8, the AU is now under pressure to
peer review mechanism - which on paper endows the organisation
right to intervene in the affairs of other African states that fail
practice good governance.
Fuel prices worsen worker's plight
HARARE - The government has urged businesses not to increase prices of
and services by more than 10%; a stipulation that, if previous years
anything to go by, will fall on deaf ears. The state is set to gazette
prices for basic commodities but analysts feel this move will only see
essential goods disappearing from supermarket shelves and reappearing on the
'It never rains but it pours'- a tired cliché but
nonetheless a fitting
summation of the plight of workers in the lower income
bracket in Zimbabwe
at the moment.
Already reeling from: the high
rate of inflation; a severe housing crisis
wrought by the municipal 'clean
up' campaigns and an acute shortage of
public transport, the not-so-
privileged will now have to bear the brunt of
an increase in the pump price
of fuel. The cost of petrol and diesel rose by
nearly 300 percent last
Though they do not necessarily need to purchase fuel, as they do
their own motor vehicles, there is a great deal of anxiety among
over the ripple effect the increases of this commodity will have
day- to-day lives.
Transport operators, never ones to miss a
chance to profiteer - even at the
expense of their less fortunate
countrymen, have already started charging
new fares for their respective
routes. Traveling to distant suburbs such as
Mabvuku and Ruwa now costs Z$10
000 per person, with trips to Greendale,
Msasa, Belvedere and other suburbs
nearer to town pegged at Z$5 000.
David, a construction worker residing
in Zengeza but working in Mandara
complains, "I will now have to spend about
Z$150 000 dollars every week to
get to work."
His transport budget
alone now requires an average of Z$600 000 each month,
a princely sum
considering that he earns less than Z$900 000 a month.
David admits that
boarding ZUPCO (Zimbabwe United Passenger Company) buses
is a much cheaper
option as their fares to the different suburbs range
between Z$1-2 000 a
trip. The throngs of desperate commuters seen waiting at
terminuses allotted to the state-subsidized company every peak
"It is cheap so it becomes really crowded. Once I stood in a
queue for more
than four hours." David recalls. Clearly the current fleet is
big enough to meet demand. However last Friday, a day after the
threatened to clamp down on businesses that imposed price
increases of more
than 10% for the provision of goods and services, ZUPCO
bus fares soared by
Rentals have also shot up alarmingly.
Unscrupulous landlords, more than
eager to make a quick buck, are
capitalising on the prevailing situation.
There has been a marked rise in
complaints by tenants living in or seeking
accommodation within convenient
walking distances from their work places.
Property owners have been accused
of setting exorbitant rates and hiking
them at will. This pattern is
especially prevalent in the city center and it's
environs, such as
Food costs are also expected to escalate as manufacturers
try to recoup
profits eroded by delivery expenses - more bad news since most
particularly those whose breadwinners have blue-collar jobs, are
to afford the one basic meal a day as it is.
At present a
10kg bag of mealie meal ranges between Z$30-40 000 with the
price of a 750ml
bottle of cooking oil at about Z$25 000. Bread has become a
luxury for many
as bakeries and retailers sell a plain loaf at anything
between Z$5 - 10
David is of the opinion that until they derive meaningful financial
for their toil, low earners will always be the worst affected by
inflation and subsequent price increases. It seems, as times get
rich get richer and the poorer get poor; for the workers of
Zimbabwe this is
more than just another cliché.
Hoodwink attempt hits a snag
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government's move to hoodwink the world
morality of operation remove trash by building sample houses at
farm has hit a snag. Eddies Pfugari Properties, the original
been granted a provisional order by the High Court giving the
government 10 days notice to stop its "illegal" activities on the
"Our client was naturally surprised and disappointed by the
action, since it had not consulted them about the proposed
said George Gapu of Scanlen and Holderness, the law firm
He emphasised that the farm
was still private propety owned by Pfugari and
the government had no right
to take the property under any law in the
country. The minister of national
housing and local authorities Ignatius
Chombo remained adamant and said that
the order had no effect whatsoever and
government would continue to build as
"Actually we are allowed to acquire peri-urban land for
expansion and the
farm was gazetted way back," he said, adding that Eddies
was aggrieved it
should seek recourse through the land committee not the
courts. "My ministry
is only a beneficiary on this issue."
to be seen whether the government complies with the court order
Justice Anne Gorowa.
Tapiwa loses all -
home, hope, trust
as a house is demolished in the on-going clampdown by the Zimbabwean government
on what it terms illegal structures. Many of the resulting homeless families,
like Tapiwa's, have been moved to a holding camp on Calendonia Farm. Their
future is bleak.
Hatcliffe, where he paid for a government lease five years ago, dumped with his
family without shelter at Caledonia Farm, facing destitution in a
drought-stricken rural area, Tapiwa has lost everything: his possessions, his
hopes, and also his trust in a regime he despises and which he believes despises
him. This is his story as told to SW Radio Africa. To protect Tapiwa from even
more official brutality, his name has been changed.
Tapiwa had been in
Hatcliffe Holding Camp since 1993, and like hundreds of other residents, had
good reason to believe this, even his humble log cabin, was home. Not only did
he pay, first, for temporary shelter and later in 2000 for a government lease,
but official high-ups came visiting, bringing promises of serviced stands and
Tapiwa recalled that Robert Mugabe himself came in
1994, addressed a rally at the Hatcliffe One Primary School, and told everyone
they would be given accommodation soon. And it wasn’t all just talk. By 2000, 3
000 stands had been serviced, Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo showed up, and
stands were allocated both to Hatcliffe residents and to people from
Dzivarasekwa camp, established in 1991 when Queen Elizabeth II visited Zimbabwe.
Official approval didn’t end there. In 2000 Mugabe came again and Chombo, before
the assembled crowd, announced a $10 million grant for a school. It was duly
When the police, the militia and the bulldozers swooped as
Operation Murambatsvina got underway, not even the school was spared. “Yes, the
school was destroyed, itself,” Tapiwa told SW Radio Africa. “… This is called
Operation Restore Order. But as we see it … it’s Operation Restore Disorder, or
Operation Murambavarombo (Drive Out The Poor), because the poorer people, they
are the ones denied their rights.”
Now Mugabe and his officials could tell
Tapiwa anything, and he would not believe it. He called Chombo a liar, one of
many in an administration which is “always lying to the people or to the nation
or to the whole international community, that the government is trying to solve
this issue of accommodation. But the truth is that the government doesn’t have
“… The government is not caring because most of the Ministers
are enjoying themselves. They are driving Mercedes Benz, they are staying in
Glen Lorne, they have got more than two farms … they don’t care about the poor
people.” Any new houses, he said, would go to the likes of police spokesman
Wayne Bvudzijena, and other Mugabe cronies or their friends and relatives.
Caledonia Farm, Tapiwa experienced first-hand the hollowness of the official
propaganda. There he found 10 tents, which he said were contributed by Christian
Care, and sufficient to accommodate just 100 of the some 2 000 families dumped
with the Tapiwa family. They live in the open air. There is scant sanitation,
insufficient food and running water, and the ever-present threat of
Tapiwa is headed to Mabvuku where a friend with a three-roomed
house has offered him and the family temporary accommodation in one room. He
thinks, however, he will have to take them all to his drought-stricken rural
area. It will be a struggle, but the alternative seems even worse: rising crime,
more homelessness and hopelessness. “Criminal activity is increasing each and
every day now, because those people who were in the informal sector, some of
them have turned to criminal activities. It is dangerous to walk alone
especially after 6 pm, it is dangerous to wash your clothes and put them on the
wire while you are not around.”
On the run - from our own govt
BY LITANY BIRD
Family and Friends,
Three afternoons in a row this week I could hear what
I thought was a kitten
crying and stopped what I was doing to concentrate on
listening to work out
where the sound was coming from. On the fourth day,
the mewling was loud and
persistent and as the sun sunk into the horizon my
son and I went out onto
the road to see if we could find the kitten.
looked in the long, dry grass for movement, in the sand for footprints
up in the trees in case the kitten was stranded. We called and listened,
checked the drain under the road and culverts near gates - but the plaintive
crying had stopped and we could find nothing. It was almost completely dark
when we got home and I stood looking out in the direction the noise had come
The temperature was dropping dramatically, the first stars were
and then suddenly I saw people emerging from the bush. A woman in
background and then three young children whose clothes were very
They were collecting something on the ground, in the dust where I
been. I couldn't see what it was but when I moved they saw me and
disappearing back into the bush.
The next afternoon I did
not hear the kitten crying and have not heard it
again since . The woman and
three children have disappeared too and I am
haunted by the sound wondering
if it was in fact a baby crying and not a
you go, the only topic of conversation is the ongoing demolition
housing and we all wonder where these hundreds of thousands of
have been made homeless are going to go.
This week thousands more were
made homeless when houses on Porta Farm were
demolished and four people died
in that process. There are only questions
and no answers. How are these
multitudes of people going to survive this
winter, what are they going to
eat and what hope is there of any of the
children going to school?
I sit here on a very cold winter morning in Zimbabwe writing this letter
first Live 8 music concerts are underway. I do not have any hope
that even one dollar of the money raised there will go to a woman
children who are living under a bush in a freezing Zimbabwe
This woman and her babies are on the run from their own
government. Who will
give this woman her Live 8 dollar? Which corrupt
official? Until next week,
ndini shamwari yenyu.
World Bank land report flawed
The World Bank appears to have made a concerted attempt to
Zimbabwe Government's decision to force the closure of
successful businesses and to empower political agitators to
physical assets and personal property of a racial minority in
its Report No.
While the report is highly critical of the results achieved so far
beneficiaries of the state-sponsored looting of the country's
economic sector, it makes no mention of the massive injustices
commercial farmers and their families or on the farmers'
employees and their
families. Where mentioned, the damage done to the
economy is treated as
merely incidental to a greater, praiseworthy wealth
At no point in the report do its authors
recognise that the considerable
technical and financial skills of the
commercial farmers, acquired over many
years, accounted for their success.
Neither do they acknowledge that this
success was regularly achieved despite
highly uncertain weather conditions
and despite the many severe difficulties
imposed by constraints on the
These skills constitute the
real wealth of the farmers and this wealth could
not be made subject to the
Frequent references are made to drought and
various other weather-related
reasons for the inadequate performance and the
disappointing harvests since
the land reform programme was launched. In
fact, the weather patterns in
these years have been unexceptional. Most
commercial farmers would have
taken the temporary setbacks in their stride,
had they been left to continue
The World Bank appears to
feel justified in remaining silent on the social
dimensions of the
destruction of Zimbabwe's largest industrial sector,
largest export revenue earner largest source of
manufacturing inputs and
largest customer for industrial and commercial
the Zimbabwe government's disregard for these complex inter
sector of the economy has suffered a severe decline, gross
has fallen below one U.S. dollar per day, foreign
investment inflows have
stopped, domestic investments have almost been
arrested by the confiscation
of domestic savings by government and a high
proportion of the countries
skilled workers have had to leave the country to
report is void of any reference of the desirability of economies of
which were made possible by large scale operations that, in turn,
farming a profitable pursuit. Instead the World Bank refers to
grants, donor funding and other support mechanisms for sustaining
have to be hundreds of thousands of unprofitable small scale
farms. The fact
that Zimbabwe as a developing country, cannot afford to fund
grants and would be forced to remain perpetually dependant on
not to be considered a serious issue by the World Bank.
authors of the report have accepted without question the
government's claim that severe overcrowding in the communal areas
justified the dispossession of commercial farmers and the reallocation
their land to small scale and peasant farmers. The fact is that communal
areas were short of capital and management skills, not space.
population density of those areas was too high only because the farming
methods and the land tenure system were damaging to the soil fertility and
imposed limits on the range of options and the funding available to farmers.
It should not have been difficult for the World Bank to point out in the
report that a better option would have been to adopt the successful
commercial farming methods and land tenure systems in the communal areas
instead of inflicting the inefficient and consumptive communal areas systems
onto the commercial areas.
While the report does make frequent
references to land tenure issues, it
does not mention the immense advantages
of placing land onto the market, of
permitting land to have a market related
price, of permitting individuals to
have legally defendable ownership and
transferability rights and of thus
permitting the land to have collateral
Title deeds, where they exist in an open market, form a bridge
farming sector and the banking sector. Where they do not exist,
isolation from the banks makes them dependant on handouts and
also undermines their need to do well to remain in business.
institutionally-supported mediocrity should not be the World
prescription for Zimbabwe's future.
In other respects, the
World Bank report is a fund of valuable and very
detailed information and
the authors display a wide ranging appreciation of
the support mechanisms
needed to integrate the numerous facets of
state-controlled and directed
resources. Unfortunately, the sheer weight of
this material disguises the
absence of any justification for choosing or
supporting central planning
options instead of open market options.
The study recognises that so far
the newly imposed arrangements in the
farming sector have not worked and it
sets about showing how they might be
made to work better. It seems that, to
the World Bank, an acceptable target
is to achieve second-rate results for
people who have no right to higher
It should, instead,
have shown that the reforms were the wrong choices in
the first place and
that whatever means had been chosen to carry them out,
they could never have
delivered anything even approaching the true potential
of the country. And
it should have pointed out that criminal injustices were
inflicted on the
communities that were guilty of nothing other than
achieving genuine success
Easier to destroy
than to build
cries after witnessing the destruction of her house in Kambuzuma
BULAWAYO - The
Johannesburg Sunday Times estimated that some 300 000 homes have been destroyed
during the recent Murambatsvina campaign. Assuming five persons to a dwelling
this would represent 1,5 million people. In the decade prior to this, the
government of Robert Mugabe built less than 10 000 homes in the whole country.
It just goes to show that it easier to knock things down than to
In a transparent attempt
to cover its tracks, the Zimbabwe government is making a number of claims about
the measures it says it is putting in place to alleviate the fall out of the
Among others, it has in recent days claimed that
it is making available, with immediate effect, 250 000 new stands for housing.
It claims that it has put aside Z$3 trillion in new funds for housing and has
ordered the Army to take control of this operation. This is the equivalent of
US$300 million at current official exchange rates and about US$120 million at
unofficial rates of exchange.
Even if such funds were made available they
are sufficient for the construction of only 30 000 new high-density units and
these would individually cost over Z$100 million each. Such housing, even if it
were constructed in the next 12 months, would be completely out of the range of
almost all of those displaced in the “clean up” campaign in the past six
In fact Harare City Council alone has a housing backlog of over
800 000 units. Across the whole country the backlog is thought to much greater
and I estimate that up to 40 per cent of the urban population of 6,3 million
people is in fact “homeless” in the sense that they are either lodging or occupy
illegal structures – most of which have now been destroyed. That is a stunning
2,5 million people.
The magnitude of the human crisis created by the
campaign defies imagination – some 1 million small businesses with over 3
million dependents, have been destroyed whilst over 300 000 school going
children and some 200 000 infants, have been rendered completely homeless. In
some of the smaller centers as much as a third of the total population has been
physically displaced and is now homeless and destitute.
The further claim
that these people will be given temporary accommodation and shelter while
permanent arrangements are made for them is also a deliberate lie. Where people
have been carted by government vehicles to these so-called “camps” they have
been simply dumped on farms made derelict by the farm invasions and there,
without food, water or sanitation, they are huddled with their meager goods in
the open, without shelter. Their children have been taken out of school and
there is little likelihood of their return in the near future.
Zimbabwe government has justified this as being a campaign to destroy “illegal
structures” and to “clean up the urban areas”. They are also claiming that by
doing so they are attacking crime. In fact this is nothing but a war on the
Operation 'Murambabtsvina' (Drive out Trash) is Crime against
Please publish this letter to on behalf of the
voiceless and suffering of
the poor people of Zimbabwe. Operation
'Murambabtsvina is barbaric, savagery
and inhuman. Mugabe should be
condemned by the civilized and progressive
world. The International Court of
Justice should show that it has teeth.
Punish the perpetrators of human
crimes once and for all. That will teach
lessons to other dictators and
their misguided admirers.
Operation Murambatsvina is meant to punish
urban supporters of the
Opposition and armed police and no charity is meant.
(Chinese) fighter jets are roaring in the skies while
heavily armed solders
and riot police with Malawi imported teargas cans, the
Intelligence Organization (C.I.O.) spy organization patrol
the streets, no
charity is meant. When bulldozers smash homes without
warning, there is no
charity meant! Whose timetable was demolition squads
adhering to the extent
of destroying poor people's livelihood? The so called
sleep comfortably therapedic beds in their homes
soothing their bull necks,
triple chins and pot bellies after eating five
course meals but won't stand
poor people and their children having a roof
above their heads. This is
savagery act which can only be glorified as a
master plan of development by
It is not surprising that
dull, gullible and conscienceless leaders of
Africa glorify madness as
vision. Africa leaders who are paranoid of
Zimbabwean opposition admire
Z.A.N.U. (P.F.)'s chaos and mayhem in towns
opposition as punishment to the
Opposition. When Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania
denounces the Opposition in
Zimbabwe, is this still an internal issue. On
the other hand Botswana police
no doubt perfect the art of flogging on poor
souls fleeing persecution from
Zimbabwe ruins. Zimbabwe neither belongs to
any single individual nor a
political party not even to the monster Z.A.N.U.
(P.F.). The government
displaced 1,5 million people and made them refugees
in their own country,
is this an internal problem? If the country is
bankrupt during a drought and
HIV/AID is wrecking havoc, where will the
regime get the resources to build
standard houses for Operation Garikai
(Good living)? Action is needed now to
contain this madness before it gets