From BBC News, 10
Eyewitness: Zimbabwe in
By Fergal Keane
We travelled into Zimbabwe posing as tourists. It isn't how the
BBC would wish to operate but the restrictions imposed by the government make
normal journalistic operations impossible. The BBC team travelled for hundreds
of miles inside the country and we found evidence of the terror and repression
imposed by the ruling party and its supporters. Since the presidential election,
Zimbabwe has dropped far down the world agenda, overtaken by events in the
Middle East and financial scandals in the United States. But the situation in
the southern African nation has deteriorated steadily since Mr Mugabe's disputed
victory. Human rights workers we met in Harare described escalating oppression
and a situation where the rule of law is disappearing. At a safe location in the
city we met three recent victims of torture: two were student activists and the
other a farm labourer. The labourer had been asleep at home some weeks ago when
youth militia from the governing Zanu PF party knocked on the door. He was told
to get dressed and attend a night rally in support of the ruling party. "When I
failed to come quickly enough they began to beat me," he said. "They smashed my
teeth and then they dragged me outside. I was beaten on the ground and I thought
my life was ending." The man suffered serious stomach and facial injuries. The
gang leader also attempted to rape his wife. All of this happened in front of
the couple's young children.
It is a story being repeated across the country. At a camp for
displaced persons in the bush we met survivors of a militia attack in which
hundreds of Zanu PF supporters had arrived on a farm and driven the workers out.
With nowhere to go, they are now depending on the handouts of local aid
agencies. One young mother told me that during the attack she had become
separated from her husband and child. She was seized by the gang and was
repeatedly raped by seven militia members. "I fainted and when I woke up I
didn't know where my child was," she said. Driving across the country, we found
fields in which crops withered or which lay untilled because of Mr Mugabe's
onslaught against white farms. Farmers are selling off their herds of cattle
believing that they risk losing them to Mr Mugabe's supporters. All of this in a
country where 6 million people are facing the threat of starvation. The white
farming community has been given one month to get off the land and as we drove,
we became familiar with the sight of removal vans moving along the roads to
South Africa. Near the town of Karoi we met farmer Chris Shepard who is
resisting attempts to drive him off the land. Mr Shepard is a fourth generation
Zimbabwean who is married with four young children. "I have nowhere else to go,"
he said. "I worked hard for everything I have and now somebody is going to take
it away from me for no good reason."
The man many Zimbabweans look to for leadership in this crisis
is Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change. However there is a growing sense among many activists that
the MDC has failed to rally effectively after the party's defeat in the disputed
presidential elections last March. We met Mr Tsvangirai at his heavily guarded
Harare home, evading the security police who maintain round-the-clock
surveillance. The opposition leader seemed hesitant about leading mass protests
and said he worried that public anger would erupt spontaneously. "Some of us are
now being regarded as conservative for urging restraint," he said. Mr Tsvangirai
added that he believed real freedom would come to Zimbabwe but he did not say
when. For those suffering hunger and terror, it cannot come soon enough.
Comment from ZWNEWS, 11
The parrot cry
Robert Mugabe’s regime and the state-run media keep parroting a
new, favourite phrase: ``lawfully elected government’’ – as if hearing it often
enough will make voters accept the legitimacy of the March 9-11 presidential
elections and the June 2000 parliamentary polls. Everything bad that happens now
– and almost everything is bad – is called an attempt to overthrow or to
undermine this "lawfully elected government." Thus the state-owned Herald,
acting at the behest of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, recently sought to
identify and pillory those who met Tony Leon, leader of South Africa’s
Democratic Alliance party and an outspoken critic of Mugabe’s regime. The Herald
- clearly fed with information from the secret police - listed (incorrectly)
those who attended a private dinner with Leon during his two-day visit. (The one
redeeming feature of the police state Zimbabweans live under is its sheer
technical incompetence). Heads of diplomatic missions, including the German and
US ambassadors, and the British High Commissioner, were outraged to receive
calls from the Herald demanding confirmation they were among the 16 at the
dinner, supposedly plotting some dire mischief against Mugabe's "lawfully
All of us striving to keep civil society functioning, each in
our different way, are too well aware the authorities would like to keep us
under constant, malevolent surveillance - our phone calls tapped, our e-mails
and faxes intercepted. Reminding us of that was a calculated act of
intimidation. The link between Moyo's propaganda apparatus and the security
establishment was further underlined when the police issued a statement bearing
hallmarks of Moyo authorship. It claimed that shortages of maize meal, sugar and
cooking oil "began to worsen after the presidential election." "It is believed
the underlying cause is economic sabotage maliciously intended to discredit the
lawfully elected government of Zimbabwe," it added. "The artificial shortages in
the minds of the detractors would ferment (sic) or agitate the masses to engage
in looting and defiance of law. The unimaginable dream theory would lead to an
ungovernable state or anarchy, which would lead to the overthrow of the
Dropping all pretence of police being outside party politics,
the statement claimed Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change had
"orchestrated artificial shortages,’’ and urged Mugabe to embark on a wholesale
programme of nationalisation. "Police recommended that the government make
concerted efforts on total control of the production and distribution systems of
all basic commodities … (they) urged the government to ensure key positions in
parastatals and board membership were offered to patriotic Zimbabweans who have
the nation at heart." This came from a force whose commissioner, Augustine
Chihuri, declared he would not recognise a victory by Tsvangirai in the
presidential elections. In the past two years, police have repeatedly been shown
to be in collusion with perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses.
Professor Tony Hawkins of the University of Zimbabwe said the
threat to seize enterprises should be taken seriously. "It is unthinkable, but
what is happening in agriculture is also unthinkable," he said. "The threat to
seize companies is pregnant with disaster, in that whatever the government has
taken over has never worked again." National Foods, 34 percent owned by Anglo
Zimbabwe (a subsidiary of Anglo American) has scorned Mugabe's claim the company
is manipulating shortages at the behest of Anglo chief Nicky Oppenheimer. Far
from hoarding or hiding salt, National Foods imported fresh supplies and
notified the authorities while trying to negotiate a realistic price, to cover
the "parallel" rate (US1 = Z$300), naturally demanded by the Botswana suppliers.
Before the salt could be put on the market, ruling Zanu PF party bully boys
turned up and claimed to have "discovered" the consignment. Obviously, no more
salt will now be imported and shortages will worsen.
Zimbabwe Arrests US Tourist for Mugabe Home Photos
— HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe arrested and charged a
U.S. citizen for taking photographs of President Robert Mugabe's official
residence in Harare, police said on Thursday.
Carol Dean Howard and a Zimbabwean woman tourist were picked up outside
State House on Sunday and detained overnight on charges of contravening security
laws on the protection of specified state properties, they said.
"The two were released on Monday after being formally charged," police
spokesman Inspector Andrew Phiri said.
"State House is not a tourist facility and it is not even near any tourist
facility, and under our laws, it is an offence to go out there to take
pictures," he said.
Inspector Phiri said police were continuing to investigate the charges, a
conviction for which is punishable by a fine or a two-year jail sentence.
U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment. Howard
and her Zimbabwean colleague's whereabouts were not clear on Thursday.
Govt fails to pay diplomats abroad
Masamvu Political Editor
7/11/02 9:23:44 AM (GMT +2)
government, hit hard by a foreign currency crisis, has failed to
pay most of
its diplomats abroad in the past three months and is downsizing
Official sources this week said the government had been
paying the salaries of the diplomats in the past three months
because it was
using the little foreign currency it had to import fuel and
Some diplomats are now said to be finding it extremely
meet personal expenses and their spouses have had to engage in
work, violating diplomatic protocols.
diplomats are not allowed to work because their upkeep is
covered by a
monthly stipend provided by the state.
Willard Chiwewe, the
permanent secretary in the foreign ministry,
acknowledged yesterday that
severe difficulties were being experienced in
paying Zimbabwean diplomats
because of the foreign currency squeeze.
"We pay them as and when
the funds are available," he told the
however admire their ability to cope in instances where their
are delayed," he said.
The failure to pay the diplomats on time is
only the latest sign of
the widening havoc being written by the foreign
currency woes, which began
in 1999 because of poor exports and the drying up
of foreign sources of
balance of payments aid.
The government is
also unable to service its burgeoning foreign debt
as it grapples with the
worst economic crisis, which has been highlighted by
record high inflation,
unemployment, poverty and a tumbling local dollar.
has 37 missions abroad, needs US$200 million a month
to meet commitments such
as energy and power imports and payments of foreign
According to central bank figures, Zimbabwe's hard cash earnings
averaged less than US$30 million a month since the start of the year,
translates to less than a week's cover of imports.
Official sources say that in the face of the deepening crisis, the
is giving priority to the payment of electricity and fuel bills
importation of food to feed half the population threatened
It is also recalling some officers from missions
abroad whom it
redeploys on various desks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The recalled officers do not have specific duties
assigned to them,
the sources said, noting that some of these officers had
opted to retire.
New foreign postings have been frozen while staff
missions are being re-deployed to missions deemed of high
The need to review the operations and staffing levels of
missions has apparently been triggered by a travel ban slapped on
Robert Mugabe and members of his Cabinet by the West earlier this
The sources said Zimbabwe's ambassadors in European missions
become increasingly isolated as result of the ban by the European Union
the United States, which do not recognise Mugabe's controversial
Tsvangirai's petiton surety set at $2m
7/11/02 9:27:18 AM (GMT +2)
THE High Court
yesterday increased to $2 million the surety to be paid
by opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai in his election petition challenging
Mugabe's victory in the disputed March presidential
Justice Anne-Mary Gowora ruled that the $500 000 surety Tsvangirai
offered was insufficient and therefore should be raised to $2
She said Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic
should deposit a deed of surety with the Registrar of the High Court
10 days from yesterday after which his petition could be
The Electoral Act, under which Tsvangirai is petitioning the
Court to overturn the result of the March election, requires the
to provide upfront surety to cover the legal costs of the
respondents in the
event that they lose the case.
ruling followed an application to increase the surety
filed by Mugabe, who
argued through his lawyer Terrence Hussein that the
amount tendered as
security by Tsvangirai was not enough to cover the legal
costs of the
Tsvangirai's petition cites Mugabe as the first
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede as the second, Justice Minister
Chinamasa as the third and the Electoral Supervisory Commission as
Four people-Welshman Ncube, Paul Themba Nyathi,
Simbarashe Muzenda and
Murisi Zwizwani-signed as surety in Tsvangirai's
petition filed in April
The High Court rejected
Mugabe's request that the $2 million surety be
deposited with the court,
saying it was sufficient for Tsvangirai to deposit
a deed of surety with the
Registrar of the High Court.
Zim renegotiates Libyan fuel deal
7/11/02 9:25:39 AM (GMT +2)
renegotiating a US$360 million Libyan fuel deal which
expires at the end of
this month, it was learnt this week, as reports
emerged that the North
Africans have intensified their claim on key
Oil industry sources said Mines and Energy Minister
Chindori-Chininga was in Libya two weeks ago to renegotiate the fuel
brokered last year by President Robert Mugabe and Libyan leader
No comment was available from Chindori-Chininga
this week but the
sources said the Libyans were keen on extending the
facility but wanted
greater participation in the key oil and tourism
"We have approached the Libyans on the possibility of
deal and what now remains is agreement on the terms and
conditions of the
renewal," a senior oil industry official said.
The Zimbabwean delegation also included Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe
managing director Gideon Gono and senior National Oil Company of
CBZ spokesman Sunsleey Chamunorwa confirmed
that Gono was part of the
delegation which went to Libya a fortnight ago but
could not shed any light
on the outcome of the negotiations.
CBZ is the financial adviser to NOCZIM which it has helped in the
years to raise funds to import fuel.
Under the deal, Libya provided
fuel to Zimbabwe in exchange for local
products and shareholding in state-run
The US$360 million was released in quarterly tranches of
and Harare agreed to finance the fuel purchases through exports
to Libya of
Zimbabwe requires about US$40
million a month to import fuel.
The sources said at least three
separate delegations of Libyan
businesspeople had visited Zimbabwe in the
past month to explore business
"One group is
expected in the country this week to assess investment
opportunities in the
oil industry while another one was here about three
weeks ago on a mission to
actualise a beef deal between the two countries,"
Zimbabwe is expected to export 12 000 tonnes of beef to Libya
agreement reached last year but is still to be implemented due to
Parallel market a necessary evil: IMF
7/11/02 9:25:03 AM (GMT +2)
Monetary Fund (IMF) says Zimbabwe's thriving
parallel currency market must be
tolerated in the absence of concrete
government measures to stabilise the
The IMF's stance became known as it emerged this week
that at least 80
percent of Zimbabwe's hard cash trade is transacted in the
The Fund, which has severed ties with the
government over its poor
economic policies, has told the Harare authorities
that the three-year-old
parallel market is unavoidable as long as the
Zimbabwe dollar remains
"The parallel market should be
tolerated in the absence of devaluation
because it facilitates trade and
other foreign currency transactions,"
according to a country report on
Zimbabwe released by the Bretton Woods
institution last week.
Zimbabwe, in the midst of its worst economic crisis since independence
Britain in 1980, has seen supplies of foreign currency dry up since the
of 1999 on the back of strained relations between Harare and the
A thriving parallel market has developed since then, starving
official market of hard cash required to import food, power and energy
well as essential raw materials.
The US greenback is trading
at around 600 Zimbabwe dollars on the
parallel market compared to the
official exchange rate of 55 Zimbabwe
dollars to one US dollar.
Analysts this week said the parallel market now handled more than 80
of the country's hard cash earnings, with the remainder going
"A sizeable chunk of the trade on the parallel
market is conducted
through bureaux de change and commercial banks while the
transactions among individuals without facilitation by banks and
change," a currency trader said.
No comment was
available from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe or the
Zimbabwe Association of
Bureaux de Change.
Economist Witness Chinyama said the parallel
market, which is
threatening to cut short Finance Minister Simba Makoni stint
as head of
Zimbabwe's Treasury, was being driven by skewed expectations about
of the local currency that had resulted in a shift towards
The bulk of the hard cash was in private hands and
firms were only waiting for the introduction of a realistic
"The thriving parallel market does not
mean that Zimbabwe has no forex
but is an indication that the Reserve Bank is
not paying the right price to
entice those with the money to sell through the
official channels," Chinyama
Questions have been raised
over the influx of flashy imported vehicles
and the construction of upmarket
properties at a time Zimbabwe is facing the
hard cash crisis.
Zimbabwe has one of the largest fleet of imported cars in Africa, with
vehicle models hitting the streets of Harare within days of their
Japan or Europe.
"This is all a sign that the country has turned
into a consumption
economy and is also an indication of asset price inflation
where people are
trying to hedge against the instability of the Zimbabwe
dollar by buying
certain assets which they either keep or sell at a profit,"
Nyasha Chasakara, an analyst with First Mutual Asset
added: "The official exchange rate has benefited individuals and
companies with access to foreign currency who have been importing
vehicles and other assets."
RBZ widens forex probe
7/11/02 9:23:02 AM (GMT +2)
ZIMBABWE'S central bank has widened its
probe into illegal foreign
currency deals in the financial sector by
targeting Bard Stockbrokers over
what it suspects to be shady transactions
involving the externalisation of
proceeds from the transfer of Old Mutual
shares, it has been learnt.
Banking industry sources this week said
officials from the RBZ last
Thursday visited Bard offices in Harare as the
probe into the alleged
externalization of hard cash earned through the sale
of two million Old
Mutual shares widened.
They said the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange (ZSE) also wrote to the
stockbroking firm last week requesting
information on the transactions.
Another stockbroking firm,
Continental Securities, is also being
investigated for similar
Bard is the stockbroking arm of the African Banking
Holdings while Continental Securities is owned by NMB
The allegations against Bard are that they have transferred
shares from the ZSE register to Johannesburg but the proceeds were
elsewhere, therefore prejudicing the country of much-needed hard
It is understood the central bank probe wants to establish
were the holders of the shares being investigated and whether the
banking group had facilitated the transactions.
However Bard managing director Michael van Flake yesterday denied that
RBZ had written to his group, although he admitted that the ZSE had
Bard to furnish it with details of the transactions.
some communication at the end of last week from the ZSE
but it is a normal
procedure," van Blake told the Financial Gazette.
"There is no
investigation by the RBZ and we have not received any
communication or a
visit in this regard from the RBZ. There is no
contravention of any
regulations pertaining to the transactions," he said.
head of banking Francis Dzanya said the RBZ had not
written to them nor
"I have not received any correspondence from the RBZ
but if it was so
it would be a normal routine that they do from time to
The probe follows the central bank's request last week to
privately-run NMB Bank Limited furnish it with details of
involving another two million Old Mutual shares amid allegations
could have been illegal foreign currency dealings in the
The sources said the two million shares brokered by
Bard had been
transferred since the beginning of the year to Johannesburg.
The RBZ alleges
that it could have lost 40 percent of the proceeds it was
entitled to get in
The central bank is
entitled to 40 percent of all foreign currency
transactions, which the
country desperately needs to finance fuel and
electricity and food
Stockbrokers yesterday said the ZSE had written to Bard
last week and
were in the process of gathering information on the
transactions. In fact,
it was after the ZSE had noted some alleged
irregularities that they alerted
the RBZ, the sources said.
ZSE has written to them (Bard) but I believe they are still
information," one source said.
If the allegations of impropriety
are found to be true, Continental
Securities and Bard Stockbrokers could be
suspended or deregistered from the
local bourse while the punishment for the
two banks could be harsher.
Ignatius Mabasa, the RBZ spokesman,
this week said the central bank
only commented on general policy and not on
issues pertaining to specific
Shortage in Africa May Kill 300,000
Wed Jul 10, 1:42 PM ET
By ALEXANDER G.
HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer
GENEVA (AP) - The United Nations said
severe food shortages brought on by
two years of drought could kill as many
as 300,000 people in Southern Africa
in the next half year.
now a severe humanitarian crisis," said Dr. David Nabarro, a
of the World Health Organization.
Earlier this month the United Nations
asked for $507 million to buy food for
people in the hardest-hit region,
which includes Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho,
Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mozambique
and is home to 60 million people. Of
those people, about 12 million will
suffer food shortages in the coming
But food supplies are only
part of the problem.
"We have to also address the urgent health-care
needs of the population," he
said. Drinking water, medicine and vaccines are
also needed, and WHO
officials expect soon to ask for $19 million to improve
health care in the
"Our calculations suggest that the
crisis in this region could result in up
to 300,000 'excess deaths' during
the next six months," he said. "This is a
increased death toll would likely result mainly from diseases that
people whose resistance drops because they are malnourished, he
"We're seeing a continuing rise in tuberculosis and acute chest
Health workers have found increased
mortality rates in all population
groups, he said. Women have begun showing
an increased risk of dying as a
result of problems during
Nils Kastberg of UNICEF said many of those at risk are
children under the
age of 5.
Aids 'could turn states into criminal havens'
By Isambard Wilkinson
The relentless rate of HIV infection
is in danger of reducing the countries
worst afflicted by Aids to war-torn
havens for terrorists and criminals, the
International Aids Conference in
Barcelona was told.
American and United Nations officials said the
disease's progress was
threatening the existence of nation states in parts of
Tommy Thompson, the US health secretary, said America
had earmarked more
than $16 billion (£10 billion) a year to fight
He added: "We also realise fully that unless we do something, there
countries that are going to be very unstable in the future because of
decimation this terrible disease is going to raise.
terrorists will go wherever they can in order to flourish
their hatred and
their convictions and assaults on humanity."
An estimated 20 million
people have died of Aids.
Mzee in China for treatment
By Sydney Masamvu
7/11/02 9:20:53 AM (GMT +2)
President Simon Muzenda, unwell for months, has flown to China to
specialist medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment, it was
Official sources told the Financial Gazette that Muzenda,
longest-serving deputy to President Robert Mugabe, had slipped out
country for China two weeks ago to seek medical
The government is on record as saying Muzenda is not
having any health
An official at Muzenda's office
confirmed this week that he was out of
Zimbabwe but could neither disclose
his destination nor the nature and
purpose of his trip.
official said Muzenda, 80 in October this year and unwell in the
months, was expected back in Harare next week.
Ruling ZANU PF party
insiders said Mugabe, in a bid to consolidate his
stranglehold on power, had
shot down a request by his ailing deputy to
retire from active
They said Muzenda, citing ill health, had informed Mugabe
intention to retire before the March presidential election but was
to go during what Mugabe then described as a critical phase of his
Sources close to Muzenda said the vice president
had raised the issue
again with Mugabe after the presidential vote, but that
this had largely
"It is an open secret within the
party leadership that Vice President
Muzenda, because of health problems, has
expressed his intention to retire
but this has been turned down by President
Mugabe," a member of ZANU PF's
supreme Politburo with close ties to Muzenda
said this week.
The sources said Muzenda wanted to retire on
medical grounds and did
not want to be included in a Cabinet line-up which
had been expected to be
formed after Mugabe won the disputed presidential
In the past four months, the vice president has been
spending most of
his time convalescing at his rural home area of Zvavahera in
Gutu and only
attending Cabinet's weekly meetings held on
Muzenda is the Member of Parliament for Gutu North
During the presidential election, he kept a low
profile because of ill
health and scaled down his public engagements even in
Insiders say Mugabe wanted Muzenda to
remain active to fend off
pressure from within and outside ZANU PF for the
President to also retire.
Mugabe, controversially re-elected in a
vote rejected as flawed by the
international community, says he has not
decided on when to quit because a
successor to take over has not yet been
identified and groomed.
He also says he wants to retire only after
completing his agrarian
reforms, set to officially to end next
Mugabe has always been reluctant to discuss the succession
also refused to allow Joshua Nkomo, the late vice president, to
Nkomo had expressed his wish to do so.
on the job in July 1999 after battling with prostate cancer
for more than a
Zimbabwe's two vice presidents - the other is Joseph Msika -
record as saying they will retire at the same time with Mugabe when
have completed the land reforms under which the government is
white-owned farms to resettle blacks.
The sources said
Muzenda had preferred to go to China, and not Europe
or North America,
because of the travel ban imposed earlier this year by the
Union, the United States and Canada on Zimbabwe's
leaders, who are accused of
promoting lawlessness. They deny the charge.
Makoni Misses Budget Targets
July 11, 2002
Posted to the web July 11, 2002
FINANCE Minister Simba Makoni has failed to deliver his 2002
promises to revive Zimbabwe's ailing economy and analysts warn that he is
unlikely to do so in the five months now remaining before the end of the fiscal
year ending in December.
Makoni, brought into the Cabinet after Zimbabwe's 2000
parliamentary elections, has missed several of the targets he set for 2002 as
President Robert Mugabe maintains a tight grip on the country's financial
The missed targets include pledges to accelerate the
privatisation of state firms, to deliver effective and non-destructive land
reforms, to stimulate the recovery of productive and export sectors as well as a
promise to instill fiscal discipline within the administration.
Makoni had budgeted to raise more than $40 billion this year
from the sale of about 17 public enterprises, but so far none of the targeted
parastatals has been disposed of, with more than half the year gone.
The only progress made so far has been the short-listing of
potential investors for TelOne, the unbundled telecommunications arm of the
former Posts and Telecommunications Corporation.
Economic analysts this week warned that procrastination in
the sell-off of state assets would worsen the government's cashflow crisis and
feed into the bloated budget deficit problem, officially estimated at 14.9
percent of annual gross domestic product this year.
An analyst with Sagit Stockbrokers said the anticipated
lower privatisation proceeds would create a huge void in the government's
finances just when the tax base has shrunk and Zimbabwe needs cash to import
food and meet its ballooning foreign debt arrears.
"The budget deficit is therefore likely to balloon because,
although the privatisation proceeds were budgeted for, the government won't have
enough money to pay for its requirements, especially the demand for food," the
Sagit analyst said.
Zimbabwe is grappling with severe food shortages caused by
drought and disruptions to farming by the ruling ZANU PF supporters.
The cash-strapped Harare authorities need to raise more than
$44 billion this year to import grain.
Makoni budgeted to collect $251.9 billion revenue during the
current fiscal and calendar year against anticipated expenditure of more than
Figures from the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) show
that the Treasury collected $55.9 billion in the first three months of 2002,
about $7 billion less than the quarterly average revenue for this year.
Makoni has come under fire in the past few weeks from some
of his ZANU PF colleagues for failing to decisively act on a thriving parallel
foreign exchange market and to restore confidence in the economy.
The politicians accuse him and RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba
of fuelling speculation in the economy through ineffective policies they have
pursued in the past two years.
But the analysts said Zimbabwe's unstable political
environment and Mugabe himself were partly to blame for Makoni's failure to
rescue the economy from collapse.
They said the continued silence by Mugabe on a new Cabinet
and other policy inconsistencies since the 78-year-old leader was re-elected to
a second term in March had worsened the uncertainties in the economy.
Mugabe began his second term on March 17 2002 and clocked
his first 100 days in office at the end of last month.
"Implementation of all economic policies is dependent on
political stability and one would have thought that after winning the election,
they would have started implementing the policies they had put on hold,"
economist Witness Chinyama said.
Some of the policies expected to be affected by the hostile
political climate include the proposal by Makoni to solicit private sector
assistance in building infrastructure and the stimulation of the tourism sector
through the introduction of tourism development zones.
Theft, prostitution seen as famine grips
Theft, prostitution and child labour are
some of the means hunger-stricken communities in Zimbabwe are using to cope with
the effects of drought and food shortages, according to a recent United Nations
|11 July 2002 12:45
A humanitarian situation report published this week by the UN
relief and recovery unit in Harare and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network
(Fewsnet) cited a UN report which identified several 'coping mechanisms' that
people are resorting to, to ensure personal survival.
"Stealing is one of
the coping strategies by people in both rural and urban areas," said the report,
adding that the thieves' main targets are grain and stock.
also forced villagers to poach wild animals, particularly in newly resettled
farms, while others take to prostitution.
"Prostitution has generally
increased in urban areas and growth points (rural service centres)," said the
A drought, the worst in a decade in southern Africa, coupled with
two years of controversial government-led land reforms have plunged Zimbabwe
into an increasingly dire humanitarian situation, experts say.
children who should be going to school are forced to work either as traders or
in illegal gold-panning activities in rivers to try to make ends meet for their
"Young children in both rural and urban areas are being used as
part of the survival system. They are sent selling a variety of goods," said the
The report said some Zimbabweans have been "seeking relief from
food insecurity and economic stress beyond their borders", with many leaving the
country to do menial jobs in neighbouring countries or further afield.
"Remittances from relatives working outside the country form an
important aspect of the survival strategies," it said.
7,8-million people, including 5,4-million children are faced with hunger in
Kenzo Oshima, UN under-secretary general for humanitarian
affairs, last month described Zimbabwe's food crisis as "very
In April Mugabe declared a state of emergency, opening the
doors for international aid to a country which has traditionally been a regional
Zimbabwe needs to import a total of 1,8-million tons of food to
survive until the next harvest in 2003.
Six other African nations --
Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia -- face serious hunger
problems because of combinations of bad weather, poor policy and
On July 1, the UN World Food Programme launched an appeal to
provide emergency food to the affected southern African countries. Zimbabwe's
needs comprise 45% of the total regional appeal. - AFP
Obasanjo upbeat after talks with Mugabe
10 2002 at 08:44PM
By Peter Fabricius and Basildon
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said he had been
encouraged by a
meeting he had with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to
faltering political reconciliation talks between the ruling
Zanu-PF and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
However, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai remains pessimistic about the
of persuading Mugabe to back down in his clamp-down on opponents
"We are making progress. Maybe not as much as we
would like," said
Obasanjo about his hour-long meeting with Mugabe which took
place on the
fringes of the summit of the new African Union launched on
The leaders had 'marginalised' Mugabe
Obasanjo said at a press briefing that the meeting had taken place in
better atmosphere than had existed since the Commonwealth troika met
London earlier this year to suspend Zimbabwe from the
Obasanjo, President Thabo Mbeki and Australian Prime
formed a troika to decide what to do with Zimbabwe after
observers determined that the March presidential elections were
not free and
Obasanjo said he had reported on the outcome
of his meeting to United
Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan who was as a
result eager to meet
Mugabe's spokesperson George
Charamba said later that Mugabe had been
unable to meet Annan who had already
left Durban for the Sudan but that the
two men would probably speak
Tsvangirai said he would wait to get the details of the
issues discussed between Obasanjo and Mugabe before making a firm
He said he was, however, pessimistic about the chances of
reforming into a reasonable leader.
The best option was
for African leaders to exert pressure on the
ageing Zimbabwe leader to re-run
the disputed March presidential election.
Although they did not
formally put Zimbabwe on the agenda of the
launch of the AU, Tsvangirai said
it was good that the leaders had
"marginalised" Mugabe by not giving him any
prominent role at the summit. -
Independent Foreign Service
MDC's Mugomba accuses Herald of lying
7/11/02 7:49:47 AM (GMT +2)
By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal
DANIEL Mugomba, who was previously announced as the MDC
the Kadoma mayoral election, dismissed as "blue lies",
yesterday's story in
the government mouthpiece, The Herald, alleging that he
had castigated his
Mugomba was speaking at the launch of
the MDC mayoral campaign in
The MDC is now
fielding former head teacher Edita Matamisa as its
candidate for the post,
which fell vacant after the death in February of the
previous mayor, Ernest
Matamisa's running for office was announced at the
last minute, at the
nomination court, in what the MDC said was a strategy to
save her from
victimisation by Zanu PF elements in the town.
Mugomba, who gave a vote of thanks when Matamisa was introduced for
time to the electorate yesterday, denied ever giving an interview
"I am part of the campaign for Mrs Matamisa and I have
spoken to The Herald," he said.
"It's all blue lies
and the MDC will certainly win this election
despite these malicious
allegations by The Herald."
Mugomba pledged his full support for
Matamisa, who was introduced to
about 100 people in the heart of Kadoma town
yesterday. He accused the State
media of trying to make mileage out of
"fictitious decisions" concerning the
purportedly quoted Mugomba as expressing bitterness "at
having been left in
the cold at the last minute".
The newspaper alleged that Mugomba
was disappointed that his party was
not doing anything to recover the goods
he lost when his house was
petrol-bombed by alleged political rivals a
fortnight ago. The paper claimed
that Mugomba's house was bombed by rivals
within the MDC.
But Mugomba yesterday said he had handed over a
list of destroyed
property to the MDC's Election Directorate in
"My party is working on the issue and I have faith that
will be sorted out, despite malicious allegations by
Meanwhile, the MP for
Kadoma Central, Austin Mupandawana, speaking at
the same launch, urged
residents to turn up in their thousands and vote for
He lashed out at the high rates, corrupt tender procedures, high water
nepotism and corruption as negative factors characterising the Zanu
Matamisa will contest the elections against
the acting mayor Fani
Phiri of Zanu PF. The elections are set for the weekend
of 27 and 28 of
The MDC will be holding rallies every day
until the day of the
election at the last minute".
alleged that Mugomba was disappointed that his party was
not doing anything
to recover the goods he lost when his house was
petrol-bombed by alleged
political rivals a fortnight ago. The paper claimed
that Mugomba's house was
bombed by rivals within the MDC.
But Mugomba yesterday said he had
handed over a list of the destroyed
property to the MDC's elections
directorate in Harare.
"My party is working on the issue and I have
faith that everything
will be sorted out, despite malicious allegations by
government-controlled mouthpiece." Meanwhile, the MP for Kadoma
Austin Mupandawana, has urged residents to turn up in their
vote for Matamisa.
Insurers meet to map out survival
7/11/02 7:49:02 AM (GMT +2)
THE 11 September 2001 bombing in the United States of
America in which
thousands died and millions of dollars worth of property was
forced insurance companies to come up with new strategies for
In that context, 80 delegates from the Organisation of
Southern Africa Insurers, (OESAI) will meet in Kariba between
under the theme Rethinking Insurance Strategies in
Christopher Gomwe, the secretary-general of the
members are from the Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa, (Comesa)
said on Tuesday the US bombings had affected the
industry "in a big way".
Gomwe said: "The reinsurance premium
increased because of the payments
made to both institutions and individuals
following the bombings. These
increases had an impact on the public because
some of the costs have been
passed on to them."
He said OESAI
members were keen to share ideas on how the industry had
been affected by the
"The coming theme brings an awareness to all members to
seriously and come up with new strategies in order to maintain the
of the industry in a changing environment," said Gomwe.
The objectives of OESAI, which has its headquarters in Harare are to
the exchange of insurance and reinsurance business among members,
the exchange of ideas and views among members with regard to the
underwriting practices in various markets.
It also aims to develop
regional insurance capacities in order to
reduce dependence on overseas
markets and to harmonise the insurance law to
encourage the exchange of
insurance business among member countries in the
reduce dependence on external markets, the organisation
established, a Fire
Pool in 1977. The Pool is open to all members of OESAI,
but only 27 members
belong to the Fire Pool which has now been broadened to
accept all non-life
business," Gomwe said.
OESAI was formed in 1973 following the
initiative of several insurance
companies in Comesa. It was mainly formed by
companies in Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania, Zambia and Mauritius.
Zimbabwe resumes test trial of American
HARARE, July 11 - In the first test of tough new media
laws, a Zimbabwean
court is due to rule on Friday on whether to dismissed
charges against an
American journalist charged with publishing
Andrew Meldrum, a correspondent for Britain's Guardian
the first journalist to go on trial on charges of publishing
falsehoods -- a
crime which carries a heavy fine or a two-year jail
The government has charged 12 journalists with publishing
since President Robert Mugabe passed new media laws after his
re-election in March, rejected by both the opposition and key
Meldrum and two other journalists are
charged in connection with
reproducing a story first published in the
privately-owned Daily News that
said Mugabe's supporters had beheaded a woman
in a rural area earlier this
The newspaper later said the
story was false and apologised to
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
''Naturally our hope is that the case should be dismissed, but if it
we are also ready to continue with the defence case and to argue
that the law
is unjust and is being unfairly applied,'' Meldrum's lawyer
said on Thursday.
The Harare regional magistrate court adjourned the
trial of Meldrum,
50, three weeks ago after state prosecutor Thabani Mpofu
wrapped up his
Mtetwa has asked the court to throw out the
charge, saying the state
had built its case on an unjust law and had dismally
failed to lay a solid
Continuing the trial amounted to
Zimbabwe imposing its laws on other
countries, as the story Meldrum is
alleged to have written was published in
Britain, she said.
ARGUES CASE FOR MELDRUM
Technically Meldrum -- who has pleaded not
guilty -- had not
published the beheading story in Zimbabwe and that by
picking stories off
the internet, Zimbabwe was extending its offending laws
She also points out that Meldrum had
correctly attributed that he had
picked up the story from a Zimbabwe
But the government says the tale was fabricated as part of
Western-backed propaganda campaign to damage Mugabe's image and to
the interests of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
Mpofu has said the state had ''more than a prima facie case''
Meldrum was guilty of reproducing a false story, and it did not matter
it was published or the circumstances.
Meldrum has lived and
worked in Zimbabwe for the last 21 years and he
now holds a permanent
U.S. accuses Zimbabwe of political use of food
WASHINGTON, July 11 - The United States on Thursday accused
authorities of withholding relief food from children in the
town of Binga for the past five weeks for political
''We call on the government of Zimbabwe to rectify this
Binga at once and to ensure that food distribution is carried
out on a
nonpartisan basis countrywide,'' said U.S. State Department
Self-described ''war veterans,'' or
vigilantes loyal to Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe, have prevented a
Catholic charity, the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace, from
distributing food in the Binga area,
commissioner, the senior local government official,
supported the war
veterans and the police had refused to intervene, she
result of this blockade, children have fainted from hunger
hours. Others have become too weak to attend classes,''
''The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace at one
point was even
blocked from providing food to 27 children hospitalized for
Zimbabwe is at the center of a devastating food
across southern Africa.
Cassel said the
government of Zimbabwe bore much of the
responsibility for the humanitarian
crisis but the United States would
continue to provide food
Mugabe has disrupted Zimbabwe's agricultural system by
white commercial farmers off their land before black small
farmers are ready
to take over their operations.
biggest food agency said on Thursday it had warned Mugabe
''politicize'' food distribution in Zimbabwe, where six million
James Morris, executive director of the U.N's World Food
said he had spoken several times with Mugabe and issued a stern
Top Zim Group Paints Gloomy Picture
July 11, 2002
Posted to the web July 11,
A LEADING Zimbabwean company
painted a gloomy picture yesterday of the
economic situation, warning that
"unless the political environment improves"
recovery would remain a
In its monthly economic bulletin, the Discount Company of
economic decline was accelerating at an alarming rate three
President Robert Mugabe stormed back into office amid charges of
"During the first 100 days of the president in office,
status quo continues although an announcement has been made
remains committed to the Millennium Economic Recovery
Programme ( with land
being the sector of emphasis," the company said. Mugabe
had ditched the
"The first three months in power are
crucial for any government because it
is the yardstick that is used to judge
whether it is effective or not."
Mugabe had so far failed to put in place
a new cabinet, viable economic
policy, stem hyperinflation, address foreign
exchange shortages, deal with
chronic basic commodities shortages and
stabilise the political environment.
University of Zimbabwe professor of
business studies Tony Hawkins said the
Zimbabwe economic crisis would worsen
because government had no tangible
"It is just a
policy of drift," said Hawkins. "There is no direction and no
sign of a
turnaround because the dramatic downturn is continuing across the
cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel."
Zimbabwe's catalogue of
problems include: the food crisis, foreign currency
company closures, unemployment, poverty, and a sinking
economy which is now
said to be one of Africa's fastest-shrinking economies.
inflation rate of Weimarera severity now stood at 122,5% from
114% in April.
The company said: "The inflation outlook remains bleak due to
factors: excessive money supply growth, and the crash of the
on the parallel market."
Analysts say government has in the past two
years been relying on the
domestic funds for its operations due to a donor
funding freeze. Its
borrowings have mainly been through treasury bills and
the Reserve Bank
Borrowings through treasury bills
crowd out private, productive investment
through upward pressure on interest
rates, while the overdraft facility adds
money supply growth, which in turn
intensifies inflationary pressures.
The government's domestic debt is
Z302bn while external arrears are Z44bn.
Volatility in the foreign exchange
market has also worsened the country's
economic situation. The Zimbabwean
dollar's exchange rate against the dollar
has plunged on the parallel market
from about Z320, just before the
presidential election in March to
This represents a premium of 1355% on the official rate of Z55 to
greenback, a situation which fuels the parallel market activities as
are significant arbitrage opportunities.
AAG Finds $12 Million Hoarded Commodities
The Herald - govt paper
July 11, 2002
Posted to the web July 11, 2002
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has uncovered hoarded goods valued at
$12 million in month-long investigations.
AAG national spokesman, Mr
Keith Guzah said the group had stumbled on hoards
of sugar, flour, bread,
cooking oil in homes and warehouses.
These hunts have been conducted with
assistance from the police.
"When we started we thought this would help
to deter just a few individuals
and companies. But we have now realised this
is a big operation.
"Companies are involved in this exercise and we have
been inundated with
calls from various towns and sectors of the society. We
hoarding is cancerous and should be avoided," said Mr
"We work together with the police. We have set up task forces in
Mutare and Harare. This is going to be spread to other
"Hoarding is serious in this country and people bent on sabotaging
economy for their political and financial gains have been at
The AAG introduced a $20 000 reward for information leading to the
of hoarded goods. The hotlines on which members of the public can
information in the strictest of confidence are for people in Harare
188, 011 410 057, Mutare 011 204 405 and Bulawayo 011 400
The AAG has called for stringent controls on foreign currency and
penalties for people and companies that flout the exchange control
"We implore the Government to enact legislation which will
cripple the financial capabilities of the offenders. In the past
banks paying very small fines for dealing on black market.
fines must be so heavy that banks, companies and people will think
before they engage in parallel market deals and externalising funds,"
The police have managed to recover goods that run into several
Police spokesman, Inspector Andrew Phiri said:
"We have recovered several
goods in a nationwide clamp down on hoarding and
we are still recovering
more goods each passing day".
The police had
deployed several officers to deal with cases of hoarding that
come up in the
various parts of the country. Insp Phiri said the police was
members of the public who had joined hands with them in dealing
problem of hoarding.
"Most recoveries we have made in the past weeks were
from the information
that was supplied to us by the members of the public and
we appreciate their
contribution," he said.
The police spokesman,
however, warned people involved in hoarding that the
law would take its
"As the police we are not going to rest until all the culprits
Over the past few weeks there have been
unprecedented cases of hoarding from
people bent on causing artificial
shortages and sabotage the economy.
African famine is the 'worst global
July 11 2002 at 06:01PM
By Antoinette Keyser
The threatening famine in six southern African
countries which affects more than 12-million people is the worst humanitarian
disaster in the world at the moment, the United Nations World Food Programme
(WFP) said on Thursday.
The head of the WFP, James Morris, said at a
media briefing in Johannesburg that the situation was desperate and getting
worse by the day.
"Throughout the region people are walking a thin
tightrope between life and death," Morris said.
"The combination of widespread hunger, chronic poverty and the
HIV-Aids pandemic is devastating and may soon lead to a catastrophe.
|'People are walking a thin tightrope between life and
"Policy failures and mismanagement have only exacerbated an already
Long droughts and other adverse weather had also
played a role in ruining crops.
The six countries affected by famine are
Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.
the WFP needed to raise at least $507-million (R5-billion) to feed 10,2-million
of those worst affected by the lack of food. In Zimbabwe alone at least six
million people are faced with starvation.
He said in the last ten days the WFP had managed to raise
$135-million. The United States had donated $98-million, the United Kingdom
$28,4-million, while other European countries had also donated small amounts.
|'This can escalate into an unthinkable human
Morris said if the death of millions of people had to be staved off,
countries would have to maximise crops, the private sector in those countries
would have to get involved in supplying food and the world donor community would
have to respond.
"We are in a crisis and we cannot overemphasise the
seriousness of it."
He said most of the food would have to distributed
before the rainy season began in October.
Morris said the worst hit were
the children, women and the elderly.
"This can escalate into an
unthinkable human catastrophe."
Morris said he had held talks with
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe about food aid being used for political gain.
"I made it very clear to him that the WFP will not tolerate the
politicising of food distribution.
"We will have a zero tolerance
towards political interference."
He said if he thought the WFP was not
free to do its job, they would withdraw "in a second".
"But I would work
very hard to resolve the problems, if any should arise."
Morris said the
WFP had been calling the world's attention to the deteriorating situation in
Southern Africa for two to three years.
The WFP would do a continuous
assessment of the situation in the countries where food shortages occur. - Sapa