Mugabe in self destruct mode
GOVERNMENT has prepared itself a time bomb following
it is to force school leavers and tertiary graduates to
enrol for compulsory
national service, commentators say.
slide down the greasy pole of political oblivion, President
Mugabe has since
the 2000 parliamentary election sought to militarise
virtually all facets of
The latest victims of Mugabe's obsession with power
are the country's
youths who will from next year have to undergo compulsory
to instil in them "a sense of patriotism".
service will be a prerequisite for graduation from high school or
Facing a rising tide of anger from the country's
restless youth who
have not been taken in by his nationalist rhetoric, Mugabe
is seeking to
reign them in through mandatory national service.
Initially a voluntary exercise when introduced late last year, the
now compulsory for all school leavers, as well as those
Apart from being imbuing the youths with
Zanu PF propaganda the
national service will seek to give them the basics in
military training and
this aspect of it, warn analysts could produce problems
for Mugabe. They say
the very idea of compulsory youth service is the refuge
of a crumbling
Says Charlton Hwende, the secretary
for International affairs for the
International Union of Students: "The
concept of national service is easily
associated with the likes of Kamuzu
Banda and Adolf Hitler, whose youth
movements killed many just to maintain
them in power. The idea is to turn
them against proponents of democracy. The
national service is usually
favoured by regimes teetering on the brink of
Mugabe is facing the biggest threat to his 22-year grip
on power from
the two-and-a-half-year MDC party, which already has 56 of the
seats in parliament-a feat never before achieved by any
opposition party in
The party also narrowly lost the
March presidential election which was
marred by intimidation, violence and a
host of irregularities.
The MDC is, however, challenging the
outcome in court and has also
warned of possible mass action to force Mugabe
into conducting a rerun of
the poll which has been dismissed by the
international community, including
observers from the continent.
Analysts say Mugabe, alarmed by the mass action threat, has decided
introduce compulsory national service to forestall the very people who
expected to spearhead the drive.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC
national youth chairman, says by decreeing
compulsory national service,
Mugabe was preparing himself for a violent
feeling is that Mugabe is trying to militarise society. It is
clear that Zanu
PF does not have its own youth so it is trying to create a
for the future. But Mugabe is going to be training people
who will overthrow
him. The youths will be equipped to deal with a dictator.
Not all the youths
from that service will be able to get employment and
those left out will be
ripe for terrorist activity."
"This exercise exhibits a bankruptcy
of ideas in government in terms
of policy mix and prescription. Once those
youths find out that they have
been cheated, they will explode. Mugabe is
sitting on a volcano ready to
erupt," says Chamisa.
that most of the country's youth are against the idea of
service makes it even more dangerous for Mugabe to
embark on the programme,
commentators say. Added to Mugabe's problems is the
fact that the country's
civic movement and the opposition have their
powerbase among the
Innocent Mupara, a student leader expelled from the
Zimbabwe, echoes Chamisa's sentiments.
using the wrong idea. If he wanted to create a docile
generation he should
have started with kindergarten kids who would then grow
up thinking he is a
demigod. That's what the Talibans do. Trying to make a
start singing praises about a man he has been
criticising for the past 10
years is like teaching an old dog new tricks.
Mugabe is simply digging his
own grave.The kind of training they will get
will make them more efficient
thereby facilitating Mugabe's exit much
earlier than anticipated,"says
Takura Zhangazha, an advocacy officer with the Media
Southern Africa, however, believes it is possible for Mugabe to
"We are going to have a
generation that will not be able to stand up
for democracy because of heavy
indoctrination. They are not going to
explode. There will be no such thing as
a revolution. The exercise cannot be
a starting point for mass action. The
regime has mastered the art of
repression. If the youths are going to
explode, they will have to be so now
rather than after the national service.
They will have to mobilise and fight
for policy change now," he says
Tsvangirai rallies banned
MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been barred from
his party for the forthcoming local government elections, The
In a twist of events seen as a ploy to
enhance the ruling party's
chances of winning the impending local government
elections, police have
barred Tsvangirai from holding over 20 scheduled
rallies to drum up support
for his party's candidates.
denying Tsvangirai permission to hold the rallies, the police
accused the MDC
leader of advocating violence and mass stayaways, saying
they could not
guarantee his safety.
But MDC officials contend that the police are
being used by the ruling
party to thwart the party's campaign and ensure a
Zanu PF victory.
Government has announced its intention to hold
elections countrywide in September.
the ruling party won in most rural constituencies during the
parliamentary polls and March's presidential election, the current
starvation being experienced in rural areas and a reluctance by war
to campaign for Zanu PF is likely to tilt the vote in MDC's
Tsvangirai confirmed to The Standard yesterday that the
barred him from campaigning for his candidates.
can confirm that a number of rallies I was supposed to address were
at the last minute. What is happening is almost a pattern to
Posa (the Public Order and Security Act) against us. Zanu
PF does not need to
apply to hold meetings. So many meetings are taking
place in the rural areas
and they are not applying for permission. If we
hold any meetings we are
brutalised, so literally no meeting of any
substance by the MDC will be
allowed to take place. It is a deliberate move
to choke off the MDC from
''The police have become partisan and this is because
of war veterans
who have been promoted and are manning most of the sensitive
areas. It just
shows you we can't have a fair election in this country. You
whose outcome are predetermined. Apart from us being banned
campaigning, we have witnessed the discriminatory distribution of food
general violence against the people. Surprisingly, the people
steadfast in their desire for change," said Tsvangirai.
Apart from the ban, the police has been accused of sponsoring terror
MDC supporters in rural areas.
Last week, the MDC chairman for
Buhera district, Justin Mugashu, and
four other officials were seriously
brutalised by police details, said
While the police
has barred the MDC from campaigning for the
elections, ruling party MPs and
officials have been enticing voters by
dishing out maize handouts to
impoverished rural families.
MDC shadow minister for agriculture,
Renson Gasela, and shadow
minister for local government, Paul Themba Nyathi,
accused the ruling party
of using food aid to buy votes.
September this year, there will be local government elections
country. Their (Zanu PF) only campaign tool is food. This is
violation of the human rights of a starving population. Numerous
depriving people of food because they belong to the MDC have been
Zanu PF has a history in this area as it will be remembered that
Gukurahundi, there was a total food blackout in Matabeleland South
months. This regime is motivated by its unlimited craving for
said in a joint statement.
MDC MPs and officials on the forefront
of the campaign are now up in
arms with the police and are now threatening to
take legal action
MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman, Pishai
Tsvangirai was supposed to address five rallies in the
province but was
stopped by the police.
"Tsvangirai was supposed
to address rallies in Mutasa, Chipinge,
Nyanga and two in Chimanimani, but we
were stopped by the police. We also
had meetings lined up in five venues in
Chipinge North and South for every
Saturday and Sunday up to September 30 in
preparation for the rural council
elections, but we have since been told
these have been banned. We are now
not sure how we are supposed to
The forgotten people of Epworth,
By Itai Dzamara
RESIDENTS at squatter camps
in Epworth and Hatcliffe Extension
situated just outside Harare, are waiting
for government to fulfil its
promise to end their accommodation woes, seven
years after the pledge was
During his presidential
campaign in 1995, Mugabe promised that
squatters evicted from the Porta and
Churu farms, then owned by the late
opposition Zanu Ndonga leader Rev
Ndabaningi Sithole, would be assisted by
During this year's presidential campaign, Mugabe revisited the area
a similar pledge but this time few people took the beleaguered
Chisoni Magaya, 60, a resident of Hatcliffe Extension
since 1994 said
he had lost all hope of an end to their predicament, because
of the apparent
hypocrisy of Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF
Said Magaya: "I no longer believe that our situation may be
1995, Mugabe came to us and promised that government would
address our plight by building houses for us and making available
basic services. But, he forgot about us when he won the
Magaya lives in a two-roomed wood cabin with his wife
daughters. They have to walk about one kilometre to obtain water.
they use as a toilet is covered by tall grass.
the 2000 parliamentary election, the Zanu PF chairman, John
Nkomo, who was
then minister of local government, visited the area and
squatters that they were not to worry as government had decided
permanently allocate them stands.
After the parliamentary election
which saw Zanu PF record a narrow
victory over the opposition MDC, the
residents found themselves again
forgotten until when yet another 'good
Samaritan' in the form of Joseph
Chinotimba came their way.
"This year, before the March presidential elections, Chinotimba came
us that he was going to use his influence to make sure that our
addressed by government and that was that," said a resident of
As the problem of the squatter camps, situated a stone's
the city's affluent low density suburbs of Borrowdale and Park
continue unabated, a serious health hazard is threatening the
lives of the
thousands of residents who are languishing in abject poverty,
water, electricity or proper sanitary facilities. Their plight
the callous neglect of these areas by the Mugabe
Epworth, 15 km northeast of Harare, has been in
existence since the
early 80s, when mostly immigrants from neighbouring
countries such as Malawi
and Mozambique, settled there. They were gradually
joined by Zimbabweans
migrating from their rural homes in search of work in
Tapera Mutemaringa, who resides with her wife and five
sons and three daughters in a two roomed wood cabin, says he is
that no-one seems keen to address their problems.
Like the Magayas, the Mutemaringas travel about a kilometre in search
water, do not have electricity and use a makeshift pit latrine.
Mutemaringa was removed from Porta farm by government in 1995 and
Hatcliffe Extension about 17 km southeast of Harare.
"We are paying
a monthly rent of $500 but, we do not benefit in any
way. We have no water or
electricity and no access to communication services
such as a post office,"
says Golden Muuya, 35.
Gift Dende, who stays in Epworth's Overspill
government, the local board and Hatfield MP, Tapiwa Mashakada
opposition MDC. Said Dende: "Government officials only come here
campaign periods to deceive us with a lot of promises, whilst their
at the board continue to abuse funds. Even Mashakada seems to
indifferent. He came during the campaigns and we voted for him, then he
back only to thank us for the victory and has not implemented any of
Dear Family and Friends,
This morning I got an email from farmers recently
evicted from their home detailing their ordeal and all the horrors they have
been through at the hands of men who call themselves war veterans and government
supporters. Their letter ended with these words: "In the meantime, like many
others in Zimbabwe, the workers and their families, my wife and I are all
unemployed and have no fixed abode." There are now hundreds of people in exactly
this situation in Zimbabwe and unless there is a miracle within the next
fortnight, this number will become hundreds of thousands as the government
closes down 3000 commercial farms around the country. There are more and more
cases now where farm workers, desperate to secure as much money as they can for
the bleak months that inevitably lie ahead, have begun barricading their
employers into their houses. Farm workers, often with the assistance of
government supporters, threaten violence and refuse to let the farmers and their
families out until they are paid enormous sums of retrenchment
money. You can hardly blame them either and have
to understand the reality of a country in economic collapse. One man earning one
small salary has to support far more than just his wife and children. There is
almost always a huge extended family consisting of unemployed brothers and
uncles, orphaned children whose parents have died of Aids and friends who have
lost their jobs and belongings in the political turmoil of twenty nine months.
This tragic situation is being ignored by our government and is not confined
only to farmers and their workers. Everyone is climbing onto the bandwagon. Many
house owners now demand rent in US dollars, property and car prices have soared
into multi millions and basics like food, clothes and education have become
unaffordable for most.
A few days ago, speaking on BBC Radio 4, Bob Geldof
said that people were "bored stupid" of seeing images of starving people in
Africa. This may be so but I think for me one of the most important lessons I
have learned, thanks to war veterans and politicians, is the incredible goodness
and kindness of ordinary people. Last week I wrote about my destitute 84 year
old neighbour begging for a loaf of bread. I had him round for tea yesterday and
his eyes filled with tears and his hands shook around the first cup of tea with
milk and sugar that he'd had for two days. He has not shaved for over a week
because he cannot afford shaving cream, soap or even razor blades anymore. When
he left I hugged him and could feel his ribs and the fragility of hunger. Many,
many people are going to die of hunger in Zimbabwe in the months ahead. It is
not our fault that we have been unable to stop an incredibly powerful government
from dragging us into this hell. Many people have been speaking out to try and
effect change for 29 months and perhaps now, as things reach rock bottom, many
more will begin to put aside their fear and speak out too. Dozens of people have
asked me how they can help Zimbabwe in cash and kind and I hope by next week to
have a number of reputable organisations to suggest. Until next week, with love,
Seized Mugabe minister protests over treatment Jul 27
A Zimbabwean government minister, due to
be deported from the UK, claims his
treatment by the British Government was
Joshua Malinga, the ruling Zanu PF Party's deputy secretary for
was seized at Gatwick Airport last night while trying to board a
New York where he was due to attend a disability
Wheelchair-bound Mr Malinga, who is travelling with his
disabled wife, is
one of 52 people subject to a European Union travel ban
which was only
passed on July 23.
Speaking from the Arora
International Hotel in Crawley, Mr Malinga says he
is due to board an Air
Zimbabwe flight back to Harare from Gatwick.
He said: "I feel strongly
that this is unfair and unjust.
"I was in transit to New York because I
am president of an international
human rights group, Disabled Peoples
International, and I was travelling in
"I was also
going to a United Nations conference on disabled people."
He claims he
has been detained for up to nine hours by officials at the
being given full details of his fate.
"I am very angry that they (the
British Government) should have told me at
8pm when I arrived, but they kept
me until 5am at Gatwick without telling me
what they had decided," he
"I think the decision should have been made earlier. They had me on
list, why delay me?
"That is a violation of my human rights as a
disabled person. I was sitting
in a wheelchair the whole day, without proper
treatment. They did not
attempt to understand my situation."
Zimbabwe threatens to ban some British officials Jul 27
The Zimbabwean government is threatening
to compile a list of British
citizens barred from entry into the country in
retaliation for the
deportation of a senior ruling party official from
British officials said Joshua Malinga, a politburo member and
secretary for disability in President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF
was violating European Union sanctions which banned top Zimbabwean
from travel abroad.
Malinga and his wife were detained and
ordered deported after they tried to
board a flight to New York at Gatwick
Airport near London.
When truth is disreputable
THE disinformation minister in a troubled central
African country has
threatened a US-based news broadcaster, accusing it of
tactics,' Over The Top has learnt.
understood that the American news organisation was left somewhat
after it was explained that requesting an interview was a
"This comes as news to us," said a
spokesman for the TV broadcaster,
"No one has ever told us what 'colonial
tactics' are before," he said adding
that if asking for an interview was
considered an underhand colonial tactic,
the whole future of disseminating
news would be brought into question. "It
will be very difficult to produce
balanced news if we're not allowed to
interview anyone," he pointed
Still, sources within the troubled central African
disinformation department shrugged off the American broadcaster's
"It's a simple matter," said a clearly deranged spokesman
department, "you just make the news up like we do in our own
The disinformation spokesman
explained that he used the same principle
when writing presidential speeches.
"That's why we describe mass starvation
and emergency food aid for six
million people as an unqualified success in
the field of agrarian reform," he
Still, the point needed explaining just a day before
citizens of the
troubled central African nation were left scratching their
muttering obscenities under their breath when they heard the most
all comrades blame food shortages on a group of bewildered grey
inhabiting a small patch of mud between the coasts of Ireland and
The most equal of all comrades had also promised an end to
due to the unqualified success of shutting down the farms in the
central African country.
"That should solve the
problem," said a man who'd been queuing for
three days in the hope of getting
whatever it was he was queuing for. He
told OTT that he had no idea what was
at the other end of the queue,
explaining that the queue was so long he
expected it to take at least
another day for word to filter back with news of
the commodity at the other
end. "Still," he said, "In a way, the most equal
of all comrades is right.
If half of us die of starvation, there should be
enough food left for the
Meanwhile, both the most
equal of all comrades and the department of
disinformation intensified their
efforts to persuade the world that food
shortages were another 'colonial
tactic' designed to steal the souls of the
troubled central African nation's
sovereignty. Not that the claim held much
sway in food queues around the
country. "They can have the soul of our
sovereignty, whatever that is," said
one miserable woman, "I'll willingly
settle for a plate of hot
Still, the most equal of all comrades' comment about the
soul of the
troubled central African country's sovereignty had millions of
citizens perplexed. Many wanted to know what sovereignty was, what it
worth and how it could have a soul? "It sounds like a lot of nonsense
me," said a man 300 metres from the front of a queue, "it sounds to me
he's been smoking something. Did you know that cigarettes are also in
At this point a wildly gesticulating man in the
queue turned around
and pointed out that the only commodity not in short
supply in the troubled
central African nation was comrades. "We have lots of
screamed. "If we could export comrades we'd be the wealthiest
Africa, but the problem is, no one wants comrades because
Pull back from the brink, Mr President
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has again disappointed
the country. Opening
parliament last week, he made a speech high on vitriol
and low on solutions
to the Zimbabwe crisis. Not once did he acknowledge the
role of the
government's disastrous policies in the nation's descent into
starvation and poverty.
Instead, he blamed Zimbabwe's
embarrassing decline on British
machinations and neo-colonialism (whatever
that means)-and described the
cause of mass hunger, the violent invasion of
Zimbabwe's farms, as an
unqualified success. The speech was depressing for
its failure to identify
the real issues at stake in our present situation.
The same old medicine-no
new approach was offered.
more threatening was Mugabe's rigid dismissal of any
Zimbabwe's embattled dollar. Anyone who suggests devaluation
is a good thing,
implied Mugabe, is either Zimbabwe's enemy or a saboteur of
That obviously puts both finance minister Simba Makoni and
Bank governor Leonard Tsumba in an awkward and extremely untenable
Both men have been advocating devaluation for months. If they don't
now, after being so rudely insulted, then they must live with the
ridicule that will surely follow. But we think they probably won't
Like good and obedient little cadres of this discredited government,
pretend they're braving it out for the good of the
They'll imply that they're making courageous little forays
scenes to assure business that they're doing what they can to
water down the
idiotic rhetoric that emanates from elsewhere in cabinet. But
Zimbabwean will buy that nonsense.
Besides, just what
economy was the president talking about? It has
shrunk so far and so fast
under his tutelage that it is all but
unrecognisable. Keeping the country
afloat-just-is a beleaguered export
sector that will follow agriculture into
the abyss if devaluation does not
The alarming trend
of company closures in the manufacturing, tourism
and non-financial sectors
of the economy resulting in the loss of thousands
upon thousands of jobs must
give any Zanu PF politician pause for serious
thought. It does not take an
economist, neither does one have to be a rocket
scientist to know that this
avoidable decline is happening at a time when
there is record inflation and
when the country is facing a crippling foreign
Zimbabweans are thus rapidly coming to the conclusion that the ruling
grasp on basic economics is no more advanced than a five year
Either that, or an awful lot of chefs are making an awful
lot of money
out of playing the black market. That means they have a vested
the continuation of this economic chaos to the detriment of the
rest of us
The government needs to be told in no
uncertain terms that this is a
world that is not only round but also wired
and networked and there is no
way we can isolate ourselves. It is important
to point out to President
Mugabe that this world has entered the millennium
stage in which common
sense plays a much greater role than knee-jerk
It is now boys' work to be obsessed with
ideology. Government must
deal with the circumstances of the day just as
emergency hospital wards have
to deal with accidents. It is a life of a
thousand compromises, regardless
of how unpleasant they might be to one
President Robert Mugabe. After all,
Zimbabwe is much bigger than you Mr
President and will always be there when
you have yourself bowed to the
passage of time.
Just this week, stories reached Harare of starving
and eating dung scavenged from the bush around Victoria
Falls. It's similar
story around the country. This is Zanu PF's shameful
legacy to the people.
How they choose to live with their legacy is up to
them, but Zanu PF will
never be taken seriously again and will forever suffer
the contempt of those
who truly love this land.
In the midst of
the country's worst ever humanitarian disaster,
President Mugabe manages to
find scapegoats in far away lands-and vows to
turn away food offered on
conditions that might offend his concept of
sovereignty. What sovereignty Mr
president are you talking about when people
are starving? The point must be
made that the world does not owe Zimbabwe a
President and Zanu PF are bent on worsening a situation that
hoped (and perhaps even believed) couldn't get any worse.
the engine that produces food locally, the President is now
engine that is, or was, capable of importing food. If Zanu PF
can use spurious legislation to force importers to buy food at
Z$700 to the
US dollar and sell it Z$55 to the dollar, then they are clearly
deluded, but clearly insane.
Much that has happened in Zimbabwe
over the last 28 months is so
irrational that more and more people are
questioning whether the country's
impoverishment isn't happening by design.
And while the chefs are sitting
comfortably in their northern suburbs
mansions, or being driven around in
air-conditioned luxury, the rest of the
nation grows poorer-not by the
month, nor even by the week, but by the
For this reason alone, it's worth condemning President
on devaluation. With the economy disappearing, about the only
hope of even
moderately easing the plight of the man in the street are urgent
put the economy back on its feet.
All the vague
allusions to new fiscal regimes for mining, incentives
for exporters and
inputs for agriculture, will come to nothing unless
reflects its true worth and we get our house in order.
plead with you Mr President: Please pull back from the
My house has become a railway station!
americannotes by Ken Mufuka
WHEN we were growing up, I remember
that Thomas Zawaira's house in
Masvingo was nicknamed "KuRailway Station."
There were always a visitors
there, complete with "katundu" luggage as if
they were refugees.
Now my house is like a railway station- in the
last year alone, I have
entertained twenty refugees from Zimbabwe. Names have
been slightly changed
to protect the innocent.
Mr And Mrs
Dziva were smallholder farmers from one of the purchase
areas in Zimbabwe.
They were visiting us in January, right in the middle of
what should have
been their busiest farming period. They were not in a hurry
to return to
their chores. "Things have been spoiled for us," they said.
Educated at one of the mission schools they
were articulate in their
explanations. In the previous year they had bought
$50 000 worth of
fertilisers and other inputs. For a similar output this
year, they needed
$200 000. "Nai VaMufuka, asi tavakupenga?" It seemed to me
that surely they
were "penga" if they had allowed inflation to run them out
of business in a
space of one year.
A white insurance broker I
had known in Masvingo also came by. He had
married an American wife and that
gave him a right to acquire a work permit
in the US. But his good fortune was
short lived. Insurance here is a cut-
throat business and he could not rise
to the aggressiveness required. His
marriage soured in no time at all and he
was separated from his wife. A very
decent chap he is - and I felt sorry for
Another white businessman, Mr Coghill, had been a headmaster
building contractor in Bulawayo. I almost cried when he regaled his
story. When the petrol shortage came, he laid off his 60 workers.
trouble is, there is no knowing when petrol stations will return to
So a businessman cannot really plan.
Then the cement
shortage came. "Ken, tell me, what can I bloody do
without cement?" I could
see that a builder without cement is like a
professor without books. It is a
bloody point he was making. He was now
working two jobs - he had secured a
school's contract as janitor and in the
evening he worked at a nursing home
for the elderly. This guy, now in his
fifties, had wonderful resilience. But
his story was a sad one. His pension
was bloody useless - $100 000 in Zim
dollars was worth a bloody U$1 000.
Then there was a sister
politician. She was not really a politician
but she was outspoken. "Things
began to happen to me, Mukoma Kenny. Do you
understand that?" To begin with,
they cut off her water. Then they cut off
her telephone line, and just for
the hell of it, she was presented with a
$1- million- dollar bill for the
But the most pathetic story is that of an honest to
goodness guy, who
wanted only to carry on his business, hurting no one. He
too had to flee the
country. This story reminded me of hero, Ben Mucheche's
Bus Lines which
recently went bust. This brother, a Mhofu, had a vegetable
and was doing well. The trouble was each trip he took to
Estates in his truck, the cost of inputs went up. His cabbages
went up in
prices even while he was waiting to sell them. If he bought a tyre
week, that tyre could possibly cost three times next week.
His truck insurance kept on going up until the insurance companies
insure his vehicles. A truck he had bought for $50 000 twenty
years ago was
insured at $1 000 then. If that truck was valued at $5 million
value, the insurance would be $100 000 if the policy is two
percent of value.
I can imagine that Mucheche, with his 77 fleet bus lines,
must have faced the
same problem. The insurance was just one problem. So
this Mhofu was heart
broken-and had fled the country.
I felt sorry for these people. I
can sympathise with them up to a
certain extent. I had a similar experience
in Jamaica thirty years ago.
While politicians like our Mukuru are making
brave speeches against wicked
capitalists, I saw myself losing my insurance
policy by inability to keep up
payments. I saw myself unable to send my
children to college - the money
wasn't there. There were little frustrations
everyday- one day there was no
matches. The next day there was no paraffin.
The third day, lights went out
while we were cooking - and the frustrations
continued day in and day out.
Then one sees Mercedes Benzes drive
by in convoy, Makonyora blow their
sirens giving warning to other users of
the road to keep out of the road or
get shot. Yes, Mhofu, Yes Mr Mugove, Yes
Murungu, I can understand what you
are going through. I too was there. I
shipped out in 1984 before things got
worse. I feel your pain.
Tourism and mining next
IT was interesting to listen to the president's
address to the third
session of the fifth parliament of
In that address, he reiterated government's determination
its agrarian reforms at all costs and emphasised that priority
placed on agriculture, mining and tourism.
for productive sectors especially in agriculture, mining and
with effective management and control of our financial
resources will be the
priority of my government. Devaluation is thus dead!"
would like to analyse developments in agriculture while comparing
the mining and tourism sectors. We all agree that the current
stages of the
agrarian reforms are irreversible. There's been widespread
criticism on how
it has been done but the fact of the matter is that it has
been done and is
Could government now be indicating its determination
to implement in
mining and tourism, the same kind of reforms it has done in
will try to draw parallels between agriculture and
In his speech to parliament, the president promised to
substantive review of the Mines and Minerals Act to ensure
regularity in the mining sector. He also promised to ensure
that the Mining
Industry loan fund was revamped to make it more responsive to
the needs of
Without speculating much on
what the actual reforms will be like, I
can see that the days when a few
multinational mining houses controlled the
mining sector, are numbered. The
government is determined to transfer the
control and management of the
country's resources to Zimbabweans,
particularly black Zimbabweans. This was
emphasised in the president's
What reforms does the
government intend to introduce into tourism? It
is a known fact that tourism
in Zimbabwe is heavily dependent on the west,
Britain in particular, but the
latter has been singled out by the Zimbabwean
government as the main enemy of
the state. Given this situation, every
effort will be made to ensure that
there will be no more dependence on
Britain as a partner or major source
market in tourism. The emphasis will be
on Far Eastern countries whose stance
on Zimbabwe has been more
accommodating. So let us brace ourselves for help
from the Vietnamese,
Nepalese, Chinese and any other 'ese' from the Far East.
Even if it means
that we will have to pay for these 'wise men' from the east
initially, the fact is government is deliberately shifting focus to
African, Asian and Far Eastern countries.
and exporters therefore need to reorient themselves
and redirect their
promotional efforts to those new markets where government
has now firmly
opened a trading door," said President Mugabe.
Although the primary
objective in tourism would be to address source
market marketing with a
specific emphasis on African, Asian and Far Eastern
countries, I foresee that
government reviewing the control and management of
tourism products and
investments. The objective would most likely be to
ensure that control and
management of these products lies in the hands of
the majority of
Zimbabweans. This would be consistent with the agrarian
Why has the president been speaking about the prioritisation of
mining and tourism in one breath? The three sectors are similar
require the same treatment in government's, "Lets get what
belongs to us,
dead or alive" strategy. The similarities are:
All three are major
earners of foreign currency.
Historically, they have been in the
control of the minority.
They have a direct link with former
colonial master, Britain.
Given these similarities, it seems that
government will apply in
mining and tourism, the same strategies and tactics
it has applied in its
agrarian reforms, in anticipation of resistance to its
Finally, what is interesting is that warning shots have
fired against the financial services sector.
this be the beginning of the fourth Chimurenga? Soon we will be
hondo yeminda and can concentrate on hondo yeforeign currency!
Shingi Munyeza is the group commercial director for Cresta
Cresta Hospitality manages 13 hotels in Southern Africa.
Mining, engineering hit by forex
MINING and engineering supplies companies are failing
to meet product
demand from their customers in the industry because of the
foreign currency in the country, a leading mining supplies company
A representative of Central African Mining Suppliers at
Mine Entra Exhibition at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair
Standard Business his company had an outstanding order for
$21,1 million from local customers.
the company, which is Harare based, would not be able to
fulfil the orders
because the shortage of foreign currency had limited their
ability to import
raw materials for making the industrial wheels which they
"The foreign currency situation is heavily affecting our
Although we still have a relatively high demand for our products
we can not
supply because there are no raw materials. We need to import
South Africa but we can't get the rands to do the transactions.
is very badly affected and the market remains unsatisfied," said
He added that banks are failing to help
importing companies source
foreign currency. "As of June this year we had an
outstanding application of
$11 million in foreign currency lodged with our
bank and that has still not
been processed. In a situation in which banks
fail to supply industry with
money orders for inputs, the casualty is the
supplying industry and its
customers," he said.
The company, he
said, had only received an order of $100 000 on the
first day of business
despite its initial projection to make at least $12
million worth of business
deals at this year's exhibition.
"We were not at Mine Entra Harare
last year but we hoped to make good
business out of this edition. So far
things have not worked to our
expectations. The first day gave us $100 000
worth of orders but today has
been unusually quiet. Out of our daily
projection of $3 million worth of
orders, we have only had enquiries worth
$400 000 but it is doubtful if that
will translate into real business," he
said at the end of the second day of
Banks heading for stormy waters
BANKING stocks are likely to keep drifting despite
an expected perk
from profit reports expected in the week, brokers said on
The broader equity market is likely to maintain its push
the market enters the financial reporting season, but brokers
financials will almost certainly publish positive profit
will remain generally cautious.
brokers spoke a day after President Mugabe issued the latest
threat to punish
banks over long-alleged impropriety in foreign
"Our banking institutions have to be shaken
into realising the harm
they are doing to the economy through rampant
indiscipline," Mugabe said in
his speech to open the new session of
parliament on Tuesday.
Mugabe's first intervention on the
contentious matter will pile
negative sentiment in the financial sector,
still struggling to find
positive ground after months of negative news, top
on the list being the
placing of young Genesis Investment Bank under
curatorship by the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe.
which battered sentiment last month and caught bankers
off guard, drove
banking shares into negative territories. Reserve Bank of
said they had moved on the bank after finding it
undercapitalised and in
breach of laws on trade in foreign exchange.
Despite the negative
feelings surrounding bank shares, they had
recently recovered to lead the
bull run that has seen the benchmark
industrial index breaking the 90 000
mark and heading for the psychological
100 000 barrier in recent
"What we will see in the next few weeks is the market being
the release of good corporate results, but even if the banks, as
do report good results the latest statement (by Mugabe) means a
confidence will face the banks and they might not follow the
upwards," one broker admitted.
During the week up to
Wednesday, key financial counters, CBZ, NMB and
The RBZ recently told the International Monetary Fund that it had
corrective orders on six local banks over their conduct and
levels of capitalisation, under its controversial Insolvency
Banks Policy, formulated in November last year.
Banks have managed
super profits, steaming ahead of the economy's
three digit inflation and even
attracting a 5% tax on profits. But experts
say results released this year in
fact betray early signs of stress, as
margins deteriorate with the state of
the wider economy.
"Banks are usually the last to go. But with the
the economy is imposing, we might soon find ourselves in
the red. This is a
real prospect that most of us are preparing for," a banker
said last week.
He predicted banks would speed up their regional
drive to cut exposure
to the Zimbabwe depression and spread their risk.
Kingdom recently concluded
acquisitions in Zambia and Malawi, while several
other banks, including CBZ
and Century, are joining the trek into the
Last week, banking giant ABC announced in a cautionary it
concluded a deal to acquire a regional financial concern. The bank,
assets of about US$300 million, has a primary listing on the Botswana
Exchange, and has led a trendy push into regional markets by
increasingly jittery but ever ambitious bankers.
Letter (several similar ones)
You are callous, cruel
JONATHAN Moyo needs to be educated on
what a "violent party" is or
does. He has unashamedly used the sad and
regrettable murder of Mrs Rutendo
Jongwe for political mileage. Only a
callous and cruel person would behave
in the way Moyo has.
Rutendo Jongwe was a victim of domestic violence. That violence was
of one individual and was in no way reflective of the party that
belongs to. Justice will take its course as the MDC president
For Moyo's benefit, a violent party is the one that
abduction and disappearance of people as in the cases of Rashiwe
Captain Nleya and Patrick Nabanyama. A violent party is one that sends
fully armed military unit to annihilate 20 000 innocent, unarmed
A violent party is one that kills its own cadres for political
violent party is one that kills, maims, tortures and rapes farmers,
workers, opposition supporters and other members of society simply
they do not support it. A violent party is one whose leader boasts
degrees in violence. A violent party is the one that Jonathan Moyo
Tjiliwa wa Lugondo
Violence mars Kadoma poll
VIOLENCE characterised the first day of polling in the
election as suspected members of the Zanu PF militia went
around the small
town beating up supporters of the opposition MDC, The
Standard has learnt.
Early yesterday morning, the MDC command
centre in Eastville came
under heavy attack from marauding Zanu PF youths who
beat up personnel in
charge of the party's affairs in the two-day
Gunshots were heard as the Zanu PF youths fought running
supporters of the opposition party.
A number of MDC
district officials were picked up by the police for
reasons that remained
unclear at the time of going to press.
Callisto Tsvangirai, the
youth provincial chairman for the Midlands
North province said the police had
arrested them after some stones had been
located near the command
"They (police) told us that the stones had been used in
Zanu PF supporters. Surprisingly, the police failed to arrest the
bombers who came here to beat us up," said Tsvangirai.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC national youth chairman, told The Standard
sensed a well-orchestrated campaign by the ruling party to stop
supporters from taking part in the election.
"The truth is
that Zanu PF now believe that the only way to win an
election is to beat
people up so that they cannot exercise their democratic
Kadoma acting mayor Phanuel Phiri is representing the
ruling Zanu PF
party while former school headmistress Edita Matamisa is the
The post fell vacant in February this
year, following the death of
Ernest Shamuyarira of Zanu PF.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have so far turned up for the election
residents say will see yet another crushing defeat for Zanu PF in an
election. A total of 38 000 people are registered as voters.
MDC have won all the recent mayoral elections held in the country.
Comment from ZWNEWS, 28
Nice guy. Shame on his
Joshua Malinga is, by all accounts, a nice guy. The Zanu PF
politburo member and party deputy-secretary for the disabled and disadvantaged –
himself disabled – is certainly no thug, unlike so many others in the party of
which he is a middle-ranking official. He and his wife – also disabled - were
stopped at London’s Gatwick airport as they tried to travel across the city to
make a connecting flight at Heathrow, and were returned to Zimbabwe on the first
available flight. Mr Malinga thus gained the dubious honour of becoming the
first Zimbabwean official on the expanded EU list of sanctioned persons to be
caught since the new, longer list was issued this week. The list covers a wide
range of individuals, from the criminal to the merely incompetent, from the bad
guys to the nice guys. Even president Mugabe has said so - indirectly. Mugabe
would certainly not include himself in the same category as his finance
minister, Simba Makoni, who he regards as little short of treasonous. Both
Mugabe and Makoni are on the list. And there are many, such as provincial
governor Peter Chanetsa – incomparable with Joshua Malinga - who are not covered
by the EU measures. Unfortunately, it seems that in this case, nice guys come
Jonathan Moyo was his predictable sanctimonious (and
inaccurate) self yesterday morning: "This is the clearest example that the Brits
have gone bananas and are harassing disabled people who should be assisted. To
detain someone you don’t want in your country, especially who is on a
wheelchair, when all you can do is deny them entry or facilitate their exit is
the height of madness." (Malinga and his wife were not detained, unless being
booked into an airport hotel pending their return flight qualifies
as detention.) As usual, Moyo’s outrage is a sham. Zanu PF is not noted for its
assistance of the disabled – if they happen not to be truly loyal to the party.
As a matter of unarguable fact, Zanu PF has swelled the ranks of the disabled
and disadvantaged over the last two-and-a-half years, as party thugs have run
amok across the country, beating and permanently maiming with impunity. It is a
little perplexing for Mr Malinga to say that he did not know he was on the EU’s
expanded list. The list has been widely publicised in Zimbabwe, and it is beyond
doubt that Zanu PF itself knew precisely who is and who is not on the list. It
is also a little puzzling for Mr Malinga to express surprise at the accusations
of violence levelled against his party.
But be that all as it may, there is another issue more
important than Mr Malinga’s interrupted travel plans. Mr Malinga – like all
other Zimbabweans, able or disabled, advantaged or disadvantaged - can choose.
He can choose whether to support Zanu PF or not, choose to lend credibility to
the current Zimbabwe regime through his patent personal decency - or not. Coming
from Matabeleland, and as a former mayor of Bulawayo, Mr Malinga is well aware
of what happened in the mid-1980s, and since February 2000, in his home
provinces – at the hands of Zanu PF. Joshua Malinga should know better. Many of
his compatriots, in more disadvantaged circumstances than he, have made the
choice. Take Mr Anderson Mupinda of Binga. 79 years old and blind, he has been
denied food aid by Joshua Malinga's party because the Binga district voted
overwhelmingly for the opposition in the presidential election. Mr Mapinda's
views on the government and the president have not changed, despite his having
to survive on leaves.
Nice guy, Joshua Malinga. Shame on his party.
From The Sunday Telegraph (UK), 28
Stricken by hunger among the lush
Shorter than the dead wheat all around her, 18-month-old Alice
sits in a field toying with the corpse of a tiny mouse. Tears spill silently
from her large eyes. For this is not a game. Alice is hungry and her mother
Brenda and aunt Winnie, who has an even younger baby strapped on her back, are
hunting field mice. Scrabbling in the red earth, they pull out the tiny
creatures which they will roast on a fire with salt, their only meal of the day.
There are similar scenes all over southern Africa, where the worst drought for a
decade has left millions facing starvation and prompted Britain's leading aid
agencies to launch an emergency appeal last week. Yet there is something not
quite right about this picture. For the field in Zimbabwe's Mazowe valley in
which the starving women and their babies are mouse-hunting overlooks Mwenje
dam, which is overflowing with water. There are two more small dams on the farm
itself. On the properties all around, extensive sprinkler systems are watering
lush green fields full of mangetout that will end up on the shelves of
Sainsbury's. There are plantations of roses, too, and acres of ripening
Of the 14 million people on the brink of starvation in southern
Africa, more than six million are in Zimbabwe, half the country's population.
Yet travelling thousands of miles across the country from Matabeleland in the
north and west to Mutare in the east, posing as tourists - the regime refuses to
allow in British journalists - The Telegraph found the vegetation green, dams
full and rivers flowing. There is no doubt, however, about the lack of food.
Villager after villager took me into huts in which there was absolutely nothing
left to eat and showed empty granaries. Four weeks without rain at the critical
germination phase has led to the failure of their small crops. There will be no
harvest again until next June. The inescapable truth of the famine in Zimbabwe
is that it is man-made: and the man who is making it is President Robert Mugabe.
The lush fields belong to those white farmers who are now cultivating their
crops illegally, and the stricken farms are those that have been handed over to
so-called war veterans or officials of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Already, the country has run out of maize, the staple food for
most of the population. According to a director of Lobels, the country's biggest
bakery, soon there will be no wheat left to produce the bread which people are
buying instead. Cooking oil is in such short supply that it now sells at Z$900
(£10) a litre, a quarter of the average monthly wage. In Bulawayo, I saw queues
for sugar, in which women with babies had waited from 4am until mid-afternoon in
the baking sun - only for a government official to come and take away the lot.
"Average rainfall for the last farming year was only down from 24in to 22in and
we only had four weeks without rain," said David Coltart, the legal affairs
spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.For Zimbabwe's
commercial farmers, who grow 90 per cent of the country's food, those four weeks
made no difference as there was plenty of earlier rainwater available for
Unfortunately for most of the farmers, Mr Mugabe has used his
mobs and laws to make it either impossible or illegal for them to work their
land. As a result the amount of staple maize under cultivation has been slashed.
This year's cereal harvest is estimated by the United Nations at 687,000 tonnes,
less than a third of the annual needs of 2.3-2.5 million tonnes. Two years ago,
output was 2.48 million tonnes - enough to feed the whole country and still have
enough left over to export to its neighbours. "This is Mugabe's famine," said
Marcus Hale, whose family farm used to produce more than one per cent of the
country's wheat needs, but who was forced to leave last month after two years of
violence, which culminated in the "war vets" digging a grave for him outside his
front door. "This year we would have produced 3,000 tonnes of wheat, but we
produced nothing because we weren't allowed to," he said. "It's total insanity
that one would close down the very producers of food at the same time as begging
for food aid," said Jenni Williams, from Justice for Agriculture, a breakaway
group of farmers who intend to contest the seizures of their farms in court.
Yet in his opening-of-parliament address last week, Mr Mugabe
said: "No one can fairly blame us for the situation of want, naturally caused."
He accused Britain of "using the drought to try to undermine the country's
sovereignty" and proclaimed the land-reform programme "an unparalleled success
story". With 90 per cent of arable land in the hands of 4,500 white farmers,
almost all agreed that land reform was necessary. But as the August 9 deadline
for farmers to abandon their land draws near, many of the war veterans who
occupied the farms are also being thrown off to make away for Mugabe supporters
and cronies. More than 110 government ministers, senior military officers and
their wives, mayors and police chiefs have now taken over farms. "This is not
land reform - it's theft," said Liz Coulson, whose tomato farm in Matabeleland
has been taken over by a police superintendent.
Among the many new farm owners around Harare is Mr Mugabe's
brother-in-law, Reward Marufu, who took over Leopardville Farm, and Jocelyn
Chiwenga, wife of the army chief, who seized Shepherd Hall Farm. When Hortico,
the local wholesale company, refused to export her roses, she seized that too,
although this has subsequently been returned. On most of the "liberated" farms,
previously planted crops have gone untended and no new ones put in. Some of the
occupiers have even asked the white owners to manage the farms for them for a
share of the harvest. At Glenwood, the farm on which Brenda and Winnie were
hunting mice, the owner had fled to Ireland. Field after field of paprika for
export is dying. The original war veterans who occupied the farm were recently
replaced by Elijah Gumbo, the owner of a dishwasher factory, and some police
officers. Mr Gumbo's brother Paul, who was manning the gate, admitted that they
had no idea how to run the farm. "This is not our environment," he said. "I used
to work on a white-owned rose farm and get a monthly salary and that was better.
Now I have no money." It is not only the farmers who are losing their homes. The
law requires all farmworkers to leave, too. More than 76,000 have lost their
homes and livelihoods since February and more than 500,000 will be homeless by
Zim safe for CWC - official
Harare - A top Zimbabwe cricket
official insisted on Saturday that the
country would be a safe venue for
matches in next year's World Cup.
Peter Chingoka, president of the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union, said after the
body's annual meeting there was no
reason for any of the six sides due to
play games here to fear for their
safety and security.
Among the countries due to send teams are England
and Australia, which have
been most critical of Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe's re-election in
the disputed March polls.
Australia pulled out
of a scheduled tour here in April citing fears of the
team's safety, costing
Zimbabwe some US$300 000 in revenue.
Zimbabwe does not plan to make any
representation to World Cup organisers
about security, saying officials would
wait until Pakistan's tour later this
"Pakistan have guaranteed
coming here in October to play two Test matches
and five one-day
internationals and what happens then will speak for
But if the matches are switched to neighbouring South Africa or
Kenya - and
provisional arrangements have been made for that ? it would cost
dearly in bad publicity and the ZCU will be set back
Zimbabwe cricket is due to make $7.9 million, wherever they
play as a
participating nation, but would lose $1.4 million in venue
Zimbabwe is scheduled to host another heavy Test and one-day
programme in 2004 when Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia and
England are all
scheduled to tour.
President Mugabe was re-elected as
patron of the ZCU without comment for a
seventh year running, at the meeting.
Moyo angers police chefs
DISCONTENT has crept into the ranks of the Zimbabwe
and the ministry of home affairs over what they describe as
the use by
junior information minister, Jonathan Moyo, of officers of the
and Order Section, to settle personal scores, The Standard has
Information reaching The Standard points to a growing
Moyo within the force's top hierarchy due to what they perceive
"privatisation" of some of the departments of the force by the
Highly placed police sources told The Standard last
week that they
were looking for ways to stop Moyo soiling the image of the
selecting officers to fight personal wars against his perceived
particularly those from the private press.
"It is an
issue that is worrying a number of people within the police.
The minister of
information is now behaving as if he is the one in charge of
us. Right now we
hear there are some policemen at the Law and Order Section
who are in direct
contact with him and that is not acceptable. We are not
enjoying the best of
credibility now, but we cannot allow someone to dent it
further by using the
force for his personal wars. It is something that we
are going to bring up
with the Commissioner and probably the minister of
home affairs. We are
confident this will be stopped," said a senior officer
In 2000 Moyo clashed with Deputy Commissioner Griffiths
Mpofu when the
police refused to raid Capitol Radio as he had ordered because
of a court
order barring them from doing so. An enraged Moyo threatened to
disciplinary action against the police chief.
however, dismissed Moyo's threats saying the minister had no
over police matters. Mpofu said since his track record in the
was unquestionable he would not dance to the whims of those
Before joining Zanu PF in 2000, Moyo was
reputed to be Zanu PF's most
who spoke to The Standard complained about Moyo's
crackdown on the private
media, which had seen police arrest 13 journalists
in the last two months.
The arrests have been carried out under the
discredited and inappropriately named Access to
Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Lawyers of the attorney-general's office are
also struggling to come
up with concrete charges against journalists arrested
Only recently, the magistrates court acquitted foreign
Andrew Meldrum who was being charged under AIPPA.
The continuous arrest of journalists on flimsy charges is also of
home affairs officials who believe that this kind of
dealing a deadly blow to the already tainted image of
"We don't necessarily agree with what you people write, but
same time we have to be seen to be doing things in a proper way.
example, if we are going to arrest journalists on a daily basis
because they have angered a certain minister, how is the public going
distinguish between a genuine arrest and one that is not?" said an
from the ministry.
"We are making heroes out of some
people by arresting them everyday
and yet we have more worthwhile arrests
which no one appreciates anymore.
People see every arrest made on a
journalist as politically motivated. We
have to rethink and resist some of
this interference," said another source.
The senior officers said
they had conveyed their complaints about Moyo
to Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri during informal discussions.
Responding to the
allegations from his colleagues, police spokesman,
Wayne Bvudzijena, said: "We have not received such
complaints. If, as you are
saying they were conveyed to the Commissioner in
an informal way then we
don't deal with such cases.
"Moyo has not been interfering
whatsoever in our operations."
Bvudzijena added that any arrests
made were at the discretion of the
police alone. "We decide that an article
is a falsehood deserving
investigation without consulting or waiting for a
directive from the
ministry. We have the intelligence to interpret the law on
our own," said
Although, home affairs secretary,
Tinaye Chigudu, could not be reached
for comment, he is on record as having
lamented the hijacking of the police
by people serving their personal
interests. Chigudu made this statement
during the live television programme,
Face the Nation, earlier this year.
Beer price up again
BEER drinkers will, for the second time in barely a month,
fork out a bit more for their favourite larger, following a 28%
the price of beer slapped on consumers by National Breweries, the
major producer of clear beer.
Sources at Natbrew told
The Standard on Friday that the 27,8% hike had
been necessitated by
escalating production costs which were now affecting
the brewery's viability.
Last month, Natbrew increased the retail price of
beer by about
The latest increase was effected on Friday and revellers
unawares found themselves having to dig deeper into their pockets for
A pint of Castle, Black Label and Pilsner now retails at
$115, up from
$90, while quality lager such as Zambezi, Bohlingers and
Zambezi Lite now
cost $130, from $100.
Perhaps even more
depressing for beer lovers is that the price of
quarts, which many had
resorted to because of their favourable cost, has
been raised by $45 to
In April, Natbrew increased the price of beer by 11%
increase in the price of maize, a key ingredient in the brewing
Only last week Chibuku breweries, Natbrew's sister company
Delta conglomerate, temporarily halted operations at its Willowvale
because of a shortage in maize.
US warns Zim on food aid
THE United States has said it will not deal with the Zanu
government in the provision of food aid to hundreds of thousands
famine-striken Zimbabweans, and has warned that it will withdraw
assistance altogether should the Mugabe regime meddle with aid from
The warning comes in the wake of increasing
reports that Mugabe's Zanu
PF party is using donor food aid to gain political
mileage and to settle
scores with supporters of the opposition
In a live dialogue programme which included journalists
Africa, Zambia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, Andrew Natsios, the
the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said
interference in the distribution of food aid had prompted his
deal solely with church organisations.
contingency measures were being undertaken to ensure that
the aid coming into
Zimbabwe reached all intended beneficiaries, not just
Questioned on whether it would be possible for NGOs and
to disburse the aid in rural areas, in view of government's
attempts to shut
them out of the exercise, Natsios admitted that they faced
"USAID has been disturbed by the recent media reports
government is starving the people of Matabeleland region, the
"We are in the process of negotiating
with the Zimbabwean government
to cease using the aid to lure votes from the
starving and vulnerable," he
Recently, government stopped
the Roman Catholic Church in Matabeleland
from distributing food aid to
starving villagers in the drought-striken
region, fearing that it would help
to spread MDC propaganda.
NGOs have also been barred from
distributing aid to the rural areas
because of ruling party fears that their
support base in the rural areas
might be eroded. Since independence in 1980,
Zanu PF has always used food
aid to gain support from rural
Natsios added that the current food shortages in Zimbabwe
been avoided if proper policies had been put in place by the
"The Zimbabwean government should have enacted policies
have shielded it from the effects of the 2001-2002 drought
season," he said,
adding that price controls and the highly suppressed
exchange rates were
some of the policies that must be done away with.
Last white family takes stand against farm grab
By Christina Lamb in
The morning rollcall over the radio of farmers in Marondera, started
than two years ago after the murder of the first white landowner,
got shorter and shorter. Last month it stopped altogether.
For Nigel and Clare Hough are now the only white farmers left in what
once the richest tobacco growing area in Zimbabwe. Their 23 neighbours
all left. Next month, the Houghs will be breaking the law if they remain
Amid the dancing shadows of an African winter afternoon it is at
understandable why the Hough family is staying. Their four children
between one and seven run round the swimming pool, playing with two
friends, while the couple watch from the terrace. The bougainvillea
flowering in a blaze of crimson and a deep red sun is setting over
The only sign of anything amiss is the absence of ostriches in a
proclaiming itself "Kendor Ostrich Station". Then the Houghs explain
the huts from which wood-smoke is rising less than 300 yards away are
workers' homes but those of so-called war veterans who have occupied
place since the government-sponsored land invasions began in February
A truck is taking away 10 of their 20 cows for slaughter. "People
stealing the cows, one every week now," explained Mr Hough. "We find
skeletons in the morning, all the meat pulled off. It's what happens
there is no rule of law."
The cows are not all that is disappearing. The pumps have gone and last
the electrical cable was stolen, plunging the farm into darkness.
local police do nothing about such thefts, Mr Hough is expecting to
arrested within two weeks. Kendor is among 2,900 white-owned farms
under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act, which set a deadline of
for farming to stop and a further 45 days for the owners and their
For the Houghs, that means they have to leave by August 9. But, unlike
they are determined to stay. "We built this up from nothing and we
this is worth fighting for," explained Mrs Hough. "But we have no
that it will be easy."
The inclusion of the Hough farm is a vivid illustration of the lunacy
Robert Mugabe's land reform programme. "I did everything possible to be
model farmer," said Mr Hough. The couple bought the farm in 1996 with
made raising ostriches in China and Indonesia. Within months they had
half of it to a local black mechanic, a Mr Chirashi. He had repaired
tractor and had nowhere to keep his dairy cattle.
The Houghs brought in 1,500 ostriches and set up a factory producing
skin bags and shoes for export and another making safari clothes.
began training local people. With one in three of their workers
Aids, they decided to build an orphanage for the children of
labourers. Mr Hough became chairman of four employment creation
helping 3,000 students to start up projects such as small-scale
"I pass on all the government's criteria for what they say they want,"
says. "Ours is a small farm with only 30 hectares [74 acres] of arable
It's the only farm I own. We train people in skills and what we produce
for export. I've done all I could for the local community. On every
thing I pass except for one thing - I'm white."
Mr Hough, 39, was born in Marondera and comes from a farming background.
the 36 farming families he is related to, only three are staying.
has experienced some of the worst violence in the country. David
the first of 12 white farmers to be murdered, was shot in the head
2000 at his tobacco farm just down the road. At one point there was
incident every day.
It was only last month that the Houghs also began considering leaving.
Hough explained: "On the radio was yet more propaganda saying that
whites are trying to sabotage this country, and I just thought 'I can't
any more'." Within a day her husband was on a fact-finding mission
Although the family will remain on the farm after the deadline, Mr Hough
resigned himself to leaving, probably by the end of the year. "Even if I
to court and win the farm, we'll never be secure," he said. "The moment
big guy takes a fancy to the place we'll be thrown off." They are not
only ones worried.
Akre, their nanny, wonders what will happen to her and her two
'State to Defy Judgments Which Are Not Impartial', says President
Their tenant, Mrs Chirashi, said: "Nigel has treated us like a
charges us only Z$1 [about 1p] per beast per month for land and
we have no money. He arranged us a loan to buy a truck. Whoever
will evict us."
The Herald (Harare)- govt mopthpiece
July 27, 2002
Posted to the
web July 27, 2002
The Government will defy court judgments, which are
not objective and
impartial, President Mugabe said on Thursday
He said judges should be objective, impartial and shun personal
against any member of society, otherwise they risked having their
"We will respect judges where the judgments are true
"We do not expect that judges will use subjectivity in
interpreting the law.
"We expect the judges to be objective. We may not
understand them in some
cases but when a judge sits alone in his house or
with his wife and says
'this one is guilty of contempt' that judgement should
never be obeyed," Cde
The President was addressing guests
at the traditional reception he hosts
for Members of Parliament to mark the
opening of a new session of
Parliament, at State House.
"I am not
saying this because we would want to defy judges. In fact we
salaries recently. We want them to be happy.
"But if they are not
objective, don't blame us when we defy them," he said.
Cde Mugabe was
making reference to the contempt of court case involving the
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa.
a person being tried must be present, but if they willfully
proceedings, then they should be punished.
"Kwete kuti unocontinue naye.
Haiwa tinoti kwete (It must not be a case of
vendettas. That is
unacceptable). No vengefulness, no revenge. Hatizvide,"
Judges should desist from favouri-tism, racism or discrimination of
"Impartiality and objectivity are qualities that are
demanded of all
The President said judges were human beings
like everybody else and there
was nothing special about them.
is no law, which says the judge is superior to any individual. We are
same but there is a status we give to a person we call a judge, just
respect MPs and ministers, because he is in that crucial role to
"Of course, judges are human beings. They are not gods who have
some planet, Venus or Mars.
"They are ordinary people,
mortals with ordinary flesh who get drunk if they
drink at all. So we expect
them to be objective."
In a wide-ranging address on the role of MPs,
President Mugabe said
lawmakers should be committed to the people who voted
them into Parliament.
Legislators were expected to help their
constituencies particularly in areas
such as health and
They should also fulfill election promises or risk being voted
out at the
"Put the people first. Be true to your promises
and pledges. Don't think our
people are fools. We do not want our people to
be deceived. People do not
want you to do the impossible but to respond to
their needs," Cde Mugabe
He said legislators must defend the
country's constitution, sovereignty and
reiterated that the Government would not embark on another
Any amendments to the Constitution would have to be made
by Parliament since
people had rejected proposals in a draft constitution two
"Some people think a constitution is like a football which can
be kicked one
way today and another way tomorrow.
"Now they want the
very amendments they caused to be rejected and we say no,
Sorry to those who are cracking their heads
Parliament must not make laws that make unnatural
things like homosexuality
natural as some western countries had done, he
"I cannot appreciate that a whole Parliament can decide that Robert
and Joseph Msika can get married.
"I certainly appreciate that
which is natural. I don't think the mission of
human beings is to do
"When I said gays are worse than dogs and pigs, I
really meant it because
pigs don't do unnatural things. Let not our
Parliament ever entertain that
the unnatural must be made
Parliament had to make laws that enhanced people's
Cde Mugabe described as nonsensical certain tenets of governance
Parliament with strict separation of powers that some western
pushing Africa to adopt.
The idea required that Cabinet
ministers should not be MPs and the President
said the system was practised
in some countries like the United States and
But Africa should
not just accept such systems because it had its own ways
of governance, he
However, Cde Mugabe said MPs should scrutinise the work of
He urged lawmakers to be honourable and ensure the
legislature had dignity.
He lambasted MDC MPs for boycotting the opening
of the Third Session of the
Fifth Parliament of Zimbabwe on
"Honourable members must do honourable things. Honour must beget
He described the action of the MDC MPs as childish
and aimed at pleasing
their western masters.
"They gang together to
boycott because they also have an international
gangster leader somewhere
else and because if they are seen to be honouring
the President then there
will be little room for us to intervene and say the
President of Zimbabwe is
a dishonourable person.
"MPs must have that entity of independence to do
that which is right. Do our
MPs have it? Let them undertake an exercise of
introspection, I mean all
Cde Mugabe also deplored MPs who
commit such acts as murder and adultery.
"When an honourable member
commits a savage act like murder and the whole
world gets the news
tinonyarira kupi seZimbabwe. We are all disgraced.
"Some people say these
things happen. No, things like that do not happen.
Must we have MPs described
as murderers or assassins? No that is wrong,
repulsive and disgusting. We
have to condemn that all of us."
The President said people could be
angered but must restrain themselves.
He, however, commended MPs for the
work they have done in the past two years
despite the hiccups they faced.