Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK -BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_790000/790840.stm
Winnie visits Zimbabwe's farms
Winnie and Hunzvi
(is the cellphone a permanent implant? -Pen)
Former South African President Nelson Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has visited two farms occupied by squatters near the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
The head of the African National Congress' Women's League was accompanied by Chenjerai Hunzvi, the leader of the illegal invasions of more than 1,000 white-owned farms in recent months.
The illegal occupation of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe has led to a violent atmosphere in the run-up to elections on 24-25 June.
We are the last people to point the finger at anyone who is trying to resolve their land issue

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Mrs Mandela is reported to have expressed shock at the sight of hundreds of black families squatting at Hofmoor farm, east of the capital, but has made little comment about Zimbabwe's political crisis.
"What is gratifying is that in fact some of the farmers are co-operating with people ... and are providing services for the people who are occupying the farms," she said.
Winnie is visiting Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zimbabwe Football Association and has also met the South African election observer team.
Monitoring
Election monitors from Commonwealth and European countries have started deploying across the country.
The 44 strong team of Commonwealth monitors say they will travel extensively to inspect preparations for the poll and consult the political parties before overseeing the voting itself.
European Union monitors who've had operational difficulties with the Zimbabwean government said they had so far been well recieved by all sides.
Commonwealth observers: Will go to the farms
Last week, the United Nations withdrew from its role as co-ordinator for the various observer teams after accusing the Zimbabwean Government of putting too many restrictions in its way.
The leader of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, said on Wednesday that some 3,000 ruling party supporters prevented him from holding a rally in the town of Mutoko, north-east of the capital.
On Tuesday, a similar number of ruling party supporters besieged an opposition party rally in the nearby town of Murehwa and police had had to intervene.
Farm visits
On Tuesday, President Robert Mugabe promised Commonwealth observers that they would be allowed to visit occupied white-owned farms.
If you [observers] speak to the workers, that is politics - that is interfering and we cannot accept that

Chenjerai Hunzvi, War Veterans' leader
Mr Mugabe made the pledge during a meeting with former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar, who is chairman of Commonwealth Observer Group.
The leader of the self-styled war veterans, Chenjerai Hunzvi, welcomed the decision, but warned the observers not to make contact with farmworkers.
"If you want to visit you are welcome, but just don't speak to the workers, because you will speak about land and that is a separate issue. It has nothing to do with this election," he said.



Back to the Top
Back to Index

AFP

Mugabe feels sorry for Hansie Cronje

EMSIE FERREIRA, Johannesburg | Wednesday 2.00pm.
FORMER South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has won the sympathy
of someone catching as much flak as he is - Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe.

The Star newspaper on Wednesday quoted Mugabe as saying: "Im
heartbroken by what the chap is going through. I never thought he would
be lost to cricket so early in his career. "He used to be very good but,
as he said, Satan got the better of him." Mugabe was referring to a
much-ridiculed confession by Cronje in which he said the devil made him
take money from a bookmaker. Cronje was fired in April after he
admitted that he had accepted 10 000 to 15 000 dollars for providing
information and forecasts on matches during a triangular series with
England and Zimbabwe.

The King Commission of inquiry into corruption in South African cricket
has in the past week heard that Cronje on several occasions also offered
team mates money to under-perform.

Mugabe said he was an avid cricket fan and was following the work of the
Commission closely. "Even here at home I follow cricket very closely. Im
actually a patron of the local team. See, Im not anti-white," he told
The Star. "I had great, great respect for that young man. What a
marvellous captain he was. What is even more sad is that it wasnt even
much money. Its a pity, a real pity," Mugabe said.

Mugabe is facing the worst moment of his 20-year rule. Zimbabwe is in
economic crisis, political violence is rife in the run-up to elections
and he has been slated for plans to seize white-owned farms. ?



Back to the Top
Back to Index

Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_790000/790930.stm
'Conflict gem' trade targeted



Illicit gem trade has fuelled civil wars across Africa

Government officials and diamond dealers from around the world are meeting
in the Angolan capital, Luanda, to discuss the illicit trade in diamonds by
rebel groups.
The talks come as mining giant De Beers calls for a co-ordinated
international response to stop the trade in so-called "conflict diamonds".

Under the spotlight at the two-day conference are gems mined in Angola,
Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The delegates will discuss the possibilities for self-regulation and
legislation within diamond producing countries, and trading centres such as
Antwerp in Belgium, are being examined.

Participants at this week's diamond conference in Luanda are seeking to
formulate a series of proposals that could be considered by African leaders
during next month's OAU summit to be held in Togo.




De Beers Millennium diamond from the mines of Congo


But Angola has declared that it will not attend, because it says Togo has
links with the main Angol rebel group, Unita.

Angola is carrying out an intensive diplomatic campaign to encourage other
countries to join the boycott of the meeting.

The production of diamonds worldwide is put at more than 6bn dollars. It has
been estimated that 4% of these gems can be described as "conflict diamonds"
or diamonds that originate in rebel-held areas.

Calls for ban

In a letter to industry leaders ahead of next month's World Diamond Congress
in Antwerp, De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer and Managing Director Gary
Ralfe said the diamond industry should expel those people found trading in
conflict stones.

De Beers, which controls 60-70% of the world market in rough, or uncut,
diamonds, has since March guaranteed all stones sold through its
London-based Central Selling Organisation as being "conflict-free".

In the United Kingdom a government campaign to halt trade in "conflict
diamonds" has scuppered a planned floatation of the mining company Oryx,
because of its links with the governments of Zimbabwe and Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), which are fighting together in a bloody civil war
in the country.

Leone scheme 'working'

A government official in Sierra Leone says the country's new system of
certifying diamonds to stop smuggling is proving its worth, despite
widespread predictions that it would be unworkable.

The official, Ndola Myers, told Reuters news agency that exporters he had
never seen before were appearing at his office to pay tax on their diamonds,
and government income had jumped from almost nothing to up to $1m a month.

The diamonds are issued with a certificate of origin to identify them as
legal - the system is aimed at blocking gems mined by rebels of the
Revolutionary United Front - who hold the diamond-rich fields around Koidu
and Tongo.


Back to the Top
Back to Index

MAPUTO, June 14 (AFP) - Zimbabwe has run up a 35-million-dollar
(36.5-million-euro) debt to Mozambique-Portuguese owned
Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), a cabinet minister said
Wednesday.
Zimbabwe accumulated the debt over the last two years,
Mozambique's mineral resources and energy minister Castigo Langa
said.
Zimbabwe imports power from the hydroelectric Cahora Bassa dam,
as well as from South Africa.
"We are very concerned about the issue and hope that Zimbabwe
will find the solutions to settle its debt," Langa said, attributing
Zimbabwe's failure to honour its debt to the economic problems
besetting its neighbour.
The southern African country which is undergoing its worst
economic crisis since independence 20 years ago, risked power cuts
earlier this year when it failed to pay South Africa a
17-million-dollar bill because of an acute shortage of foreign
currency.
The country is also short of fuel because of debts stemming from
a severe shortage of foreign exchange and corruption in the state
oil procurement company, but President Robert Mugabe has of late
been accusing Britain of interferring with Zimbabwe's fuel
supplies.
Mozambique has a major hydro-electric potential of about 14,000
megawatts (MW). However, only about 2,000 MW are currently being
generated mainly for export to neighbouring countries, as it
consumes only 200MW.




Back to the Top
Back to Index

From the Joburg Star

Mines are next target on Mugabe's list

June 14 2000 at 11:07PM

By Abbey Makoe

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says his country's
mining industry will be targeted as soon as his government has
redistributed millions of hectares of white-owned land.

During an exclusive interview in Harare this week, Mugabe also
confirmed that Democratic Republic of Congo President Laurent
Kabila had offered Zimbabwe and Namibia a diamond mine each as
reward for their military help.

But Mugabe strongly denied speculation that he or Namibian
President Sam Nujoma stood to gain from the gift from Kabila. He
also dismissed reports that he was one of the richest people in the
world and had bought a castle in Scotland.

Mugabe further revealed that a number of leading High Court judges,
who are still British citizens, would be forced into early
retirement "but with full pension". Zimbabwe abolished dual
citizenship in 1985 .

"Unfortunately, we cannot fire those judges. They are there by
virtue of our appointment, and all I can say is that we should have
known better."

He gave a personal undertaking that parliamentary elections
scheduled for June 24-25 would be free and fair.

"I will also be ready and willing to accept the outcome, whichever
way it goes," Mugabe said.

On his plans to redistribute ownership of the mines, he said:
"After the land issue, we are going to now be forced to look at the
mining sector. Who's there? There must be Africans in there, as
owners.

"At the end of the day, black people must be able to say, 'ah, the
resources are ours'."

On the diamond mines from Kabila, Mugabe said: "What Kabila has
suggested to us, and we have worked on as payment for operations in
the DRC, is that there are these mines, some of the mines, which
the owners left some time ago.

"He has said 'let us be partners in regard to this mine and
partners with Namibia in regard to that mine'. So there are two
mines, but so far we haven't got a single diamond from them because
we are still working on the paperwork." - The Star Foreign Service
Back to the Top
Back to Index

And now this .......................

ZESA (ZIMBABWE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AUTHORITY)

Further to my email of 9th June I advise that CFU met with Zesa hierarchy on Monday 12th June.

Zesa informed us that it was concerned about the level and frequency of the load shedding currently taking effect. This was necessitated because supply was unable to meet peak demand due to low levels of plant availability and insufficient forex for extra imports of current.

Presently the following situation prevails:
Only 3 out of 6 generators at Hwange Power Station are functioning
5 out of 6 generators at Kariba are operational
The three small thermal power stations, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare are running at well below capacity because of a shortage of coal (washed peas grade)
Zimbabwe normally has to import about 45% of power requirement from neighbouring countries because domestic supply is unable to cope with domestic demand. The main external suppliers are HCB (hydro Cobora Bassa) 400 MW, Snel (DRC) 100MW and Eskom (RSA) 150MW. These imports have to be paid for with forex and the available forex is inadequate to pay for any increase, let alone service past debt. Zesa is now perceived as an unreliable debtor and is on interruptible supply, which means external suppliers can cut its supply at very short notice.

Zesa is fairly optimistic that there will be an improvement in the power supply situation in the near future as a result of the following repairs and arrangements it is carrying out i.e.

Hwange Power Station
The technical problems on Unit 6 should be resolved before the end of the month. All spares required for the repair are available.

The transformer on Unit 3 is being moved to Unit 4 which has been out of service for some time because of a faulty generator transformer.

Save for the unseen, Zesa is expecting that by the end of June 2000, Hwange will have five machines running.

The only unit that will be out is Unit 3, which will await the arrival of a generator transformer and repair to the generator itself. The generation situation should improve and lead to less severe load shedding except for unforeseen problems.

3 Small Thermal Power Stations
It is hoped that Whange Colliery will be able to mine and store the low grade surface coal thereby exposing the better grade washed peas whose availability will improve the generation output of the small thermal power stations resulting in firm supplies to customers.

Kariba Power Station
Two machines at Kariba have been upgraded and refurbished to increase the output from 111Mw to 125MW. One machine is under refurbishment and is expected to be complete by September 2000. Another machine which was due to be taken out of service for upgrading and refurbishment has been deferred pending the improvement in generation availability.

Imports of Power
There is not much room to maneuver on this issue as Zesa is not entitled to pay the parallel rate for forex and any chance of procuring US$ from the market at 38:1 is very limited.

Conclusion
In the light of our discussions with Zesa we believe it is likely that unscheduled load shedding will continue.

Hopefully the situation should improve towards the end of this month, by which time 5 of the 6 generators at both Hwange and Kariba should be operational.

However, we don't see any improvement in Zesa's ability to import power and existing supply is so tightly stretched that any small breakdown could result in further unscheduled outages.

We have a good relationship with Zesa who are worried about the effects of load shedding particularly regarding the winter wheat crop. They have promised to keep us informed of developments and we therefore believe farmers should approach he next few months with guarded optimism regarding Zesa's power supply.

John Dickens
COMMERCIAL EXECUTIVE
13 June 2000
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT
Visit the CFU Website:- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
Back to the Top
Back to Index