HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has offered a
Dubai-based firm lucrative mining concessions in return for a US$100 million
loan facility to import desperately needed fuel and food, sources disclosed
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono,
tasked by President Robert Mugabe to raise hard cash for fuel imports was
leading the negotiations with the Arab financier, Al Shams Building Trading
Materials LLC, according to the sources.
Energy Minister Mike
Nyambuya was also heavily involved in negotiating the fuel financing deal
which the sources said was "now almost concluded."
The money Harare is seeking from the Dubai firm will however not be enough
to end Zimbabwe's fuel or food crisis. The country on average requires about
US$40 million worth of fuel per month, while at least US$200 million is
needed to import about 1.2 million tonnes of food to avert
An RBZ official, who spoke anonymously, said: "The
arrangement is for Al Shams to provide the money which will go towards
paying for fuel and food imports. In return, the Arab company will be
offered a variety of investment opportunities but mostly concessions in the
vast coal fields in Matabeleland North."
Gono could not be
reached for comment on the matter yesterday while Nyambuya refused to
discuss the matter saying there were no new developments in the financing of
fuel imports since the RBZ released US$18.5 million to the state's NOCZIM
oil importing company last week.
"Gono has made a statement
(announcing the release of the US$18.5 million) and nothing has changed,
there is nothing new," Nyambuya said before switching off his mobile
The fuel situation has remained critical even after the
central bank provided the US$18.5 million, which is enough to keep Zimbabwe
supplied with petrol and diesel for about two weeks only.
Workers in Harare and other cities are walking for as much 20km to work
because public transport is not running because there is no fuel.
Zimbabwe, battling foreign currency shortages since the International
Monetary Fund withdrew balance-of-payments support six years ago, is in the
grip of an acute fuel crisis because there is no hard cash to pay for oil
Zimbabwe has in the last four years entered into oil
supply deals with firms from Libya and Kuwait. The deals collapsed after
Harare failed to pay.
As the fuel crisis persists with no immediate
end in sight, today's talks between President Robert Mugabe and World Food
Programme director James Morris have given hope that a solution to severe
food shortages could be on the horizon. - ZimOnline
Catholic commission condemns evictions Wed 1 June 2005
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace yesterday
accused the government of taking Zimbabweans for granted and of using
excessive force against informal traders and homeless people it is evicting
from cities and towns.
The commission called on the authorities
to call off the ongoing but highly unpopular campaign until alternative
space was found for homeless people to stay and informal traders to carry on
A statement issued by the commission yesterday read
in part: "The Commission is strongly in favour of the idea of fighting crime
in the country but we are concerned about the manner in which the whole
exercise is being conducted.
"The behavior of members of the
police force who are taking part in this operation is excessively violent
and lacks the respect of the human being. We suggest this operation, which
has spread to other centres throughout the country, be stopped while the
concerned Councils find other areas to place them.
innocent and defenceless people who are earning a living using honest means
is taking people for granted."
Several human rights groups, the
opposition and residents have condemned the government exercise which has
seen more than 18 000 people arrested in less than two weeks and goods worth
hundreds of millions of dollars belonging to informal traders
The government says the operation is meant to clean up
cities and towns of crime and filth. But the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party which is calling on Zimbabweans to mobilise against
the operation says it is meant to punish urban residents for rejecting
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party in last March's
The opposition party has also accused Mugabe
of wanting to provoke a spontaneous and violent reaction by residents so he
could declare a State of Emergency and rule by decree.
Meanwhile, the police yesterday pressed on with the clean-up campaign in
Harare's oldest and most populous suburb of Mbare pulling down dwelling
shacks, flea market stalls and other informal businesses that had survived a
police blitz on Monday. - ZimOnline
UN envoy wants Mugabe to lift price controls Wed 1 June
2005 HARARE - United Nations envoy for humanitarian needs James Tim Morris
will today ask President Robert Mugabe to scrap food price controls and to
end the state-owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB)'s stifling monopoly on grain
trade, sources told ZimOnline.
Morris, visiting southern Africa
to assess hunger in the region, meets Mugabe in Harare this morning. The UN
envoy, who is also director of the World Food Programme (WFP), will also
meet Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and other government
leaders involved in efforts to avert starvation in the country.
"Mugabe and Morris' meeting is likely to be tense particularly because the
UN official will touch on the controversial issue of price controls and the
GMB's continued monopoly," Western diplomats in Harare said.
Mugabe's office and UN diplomats in Harare were mum yesterday on today's
talks between the Zimbabwean leader and Morris.
In his last visit
to Zimbabwe in September 2003, when close to half the southern African
nation's population faced starvation, Morris again asked Mugabe to lift
price controls and to open up grain trade to private players in order to
The corruption-riddled GMB remains Zimbabwe's
sole grain trader, while the government continues to fix prices of all basic
food commodities. Food industry experts say price controls and the GMB
monopoly inhibits growth in the industry in addition to preventing the entry
of new resource rich investors.
About four million Zimbabweans
or a quarter of the country's 12 million people face starvation unless the
WFP and other donors provide about 1.2 million tonnes of food aid. This,
after Mugabe only six months ago told international food groups to take
their help elsewhere because Zimbabwe had enough food to feed
Once a net food exporter Zimbabwe has for the last four
years survived on food handouts because Mugabe's chaotic and often violent
land reforms destabilised the key agricultural sector causing farm
production to fall by about 60 percent. - ZimOnline
Harare plunged into darkness Wed 1 June 2005 HARARE -
Most parts of Harare were on Monday evening plunged into darkness with power
only returning at midday yesterday as a plethora of economic and political
problems continues suffocating Zimbabwe.
Business came to a halt in
the capital's central business district from 6pm on Monday until noon
yesterday. Chaos reigned on the roads with severe traffic jams because
traffic lights were not functioning after the power loss.
businesses with generators managed to open for business as usual while those
without had to wait until midday to open their doors to the
The state-run Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(ZESA) told crisis weary Zimbabweans in a statement yesterday the blackout
was because of a shortage of spares required for repairs on two of its
generators at the giant Hwange thermal power station near the country's
border with Zambia.
"This (temporary power shortfall) is because we
lost two generators at Hwange power station due to the critical shortage of
spares for maintenance and overhauls," ZESA said.
company, which also blamed rising demand because of low winter temperatures,
said that Zimbabwe will continue to experience power interruptions until its
engineers are able to bring back the situation to normal. It did not say
when that will be.
ZESA also imports additional power from South
Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo all of which are
having their winter and unable to increase supplies to Harare.
An acute foreign currency shortages gripping Zimbabwe since the
International Monetary Fund withdrew financial support six years ago has
crippled operations across the country's industrial sector with firms unable
to import raw materials, spares, or new equipment because there is no hard
cash to pay suppliers.
Water supply in Harare remains
precarious because water pumps continuously break down due to a shortage of
spares. Fuel, food, essential medical drugs and other basic survival
commodities are also in critical short supply because there is no hard cash
to pay foreign suppliers. - ZimOnline
Man cited in business deal died 25 years ago, court
told Wed 1 June 2005 HARARE - The trial of former finance minister Chris
Kuruneri yesterday took another twist after the state submitted documents
suggesting the man cited by the former minister as the one he dealt with in
his business dealings last year died more than 25 years ago.
The documents from the Spanish government which were submitted to the court
yesterday indicated that Jose Solano Fernadez, cited by Kuruneri as one of
the people who gave him foreign currency to buy properties abroad, died even
before Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
Kuruneri's lawyer Jonathan
Samkange opposed the submission of the documents arguing they did not have
"a seal or signature from the Courts in Spain." But High Court Judge Susan
Mavangira rejected Samkange's submission saying the documents could be used
The trial opened to the public yesterday after the
previous day's proceedings were held in camera to protect what the State
said was "sensitive" information.
"Jose Solano Fernadez is an
uncle to the one making the declaration, who was a shareholder of the
company some years back and died more than 25 years ago," the documents
Kuruneri was arrested in April last year on charges of
externalising huge quantities of foreign currency in breach of the country's
tight foreign currency regulations. He denies the charge insisting the money
he used to buy properties outside the country was sourced from his
consultancy work done outside the country.
The former minister
has already been convicted of the lesser charge of breaching the Citizenship
Act after he was found in possession of a Canadian passport in violation of
the country's citizenship laws which bar dual citizenship. -
IN a move aimed
at safeguarding the rights of uprooted people in the wake of the ongoing
government crackdown on illegal structures and crime, 54 residents whose
homes were demolished in Hatcliffe extension, Harare, have filed an urgent
High Court application to stop the operation. Currently, they are putting up
on roadsides along the Harare - Domboshawa road after their homes - which
the government said were illegally erected - were last Friday razed in a
joint police and Harare City Council operations dubbed Murambatsvina and
Restore Order. In their application, the residents allege that some
government officials had hoodwinked them into believing that their
settlement was legal by officiating at a "formal hand over" ceremony of
housing co-operative project. The residents, who are members of Dare
Remusha Co-operative, contend in High Court case number 2467/05 that they
were given offer letters for stands in the area by the Local Government
Ministry and that the responsible Minister Ignatius Chombo officiated at the
hand over ceremony of the properties-hence legitimising its
existence. Part of the final order they are seeking reads: "Operation
Murambatsvina be and is hereby declared unlawful and is hereby ordered to
cease with immediate effect." In the event that the government opposes
the application, the residents are asking the court to grant them an order
to return to Hatcliffe Extension until the matter has been concluded by the
High Court. The residents cited Chombo, Harare City Council Commission
chairperson Sekesai Makwavarara, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and the City of Harare as
respondents. Dare Remusha Co-operative chairperson, Devious Muvimbi, said in
an affidavit: "We were advised in 2002 at the handing-over ceremony by
first respondent (Chombo) to start building our houses on these stands in
Hatcliffe after obtaining approval from the City of Harare, which at the
time was being run by a commission. Our occupation of the stands and
subsequent building of the houses on the same stands was with the consent
and authority of the first and second respondents (Makwavarara)." He
added that the lease agreements given were effective September 1 2003 and
stipulated that they should erect buildings within six years. Muvimbi
said in terms of the Administrative Justice Act, authorities are required to
give reasonable notice if someone is to vacate, which, in this case, the
police and the Harare Municipality did not do. "The conduct of the
respondents was arbitrary in that it was a blanket approach in simply razing
down all households without taking into account the differing circumstances
of each individual at the farm," added Muvimbi. Although the High Court is
expected to hear the application today, by late yesterday, the respondents
had not filed their opposing papers. The police and Harare City Council
embarked on the clean-up exercise - which President Robert Mugabe has since
supported - to rid the capital of illegal structures and criminal activities
a week ago following what sources said was a Cabinet decision in efforts to
bring back the Sunshine City status and sanity in other cities. Shacks
in the high-density suburbs, unlicenced flea markets and illegal vending
stalls in the capital have since been demolished forcing people to abandon
city life and track back to their rural homes. The clean-up operation has
since spread to other urban areas with police vowing to end
lawlessness. Meanwhile, Harare Metropolitan Governor David Karimanzira has
since reiterated that the clean-up was irreversible while city spokesperson
Leslie Gwindi sang from the song sheet.
THERE is need for a
multi-sectoral approach to solve problems affecting Harare that have
resulted in a joint operation between city fathers and the police to rid the
city of illegal vending and unsanctioned structures, police spokesperson
Wayne Bvudzijena said yesterday. The clean-up operations dubbed "Restore
Order" and "Murambatsvina" were launched last week and have seen a number of
flea markets and other informal trading centres being closed in the capital,
while outbuildings in most of the high density suburb
demolished. Bvudzijena said it was imperative for other sectors to join in
the fight against illegalities and also in the up keep of people who have
been displaced in the clean up exercise. He said: "What we want is to
deal permanently with problems affecting Harare and we will continue with
the programme until our objectives have been achieved. We will keep on
monitoring the situation. What is however, needed is a multi-sectoral
approach to this issue. "Municipalities, local government and
non-governmental organisations should do their part in helping these
people," he said. Bvudzijena added that while some of the affected people
were temporarily accommodated at Caledonia Farm, stakeholders must come up
with a permanent solution. "People are being accommodated and screened at
Caledonia Farm. However, this is not a permanent place and we are holding
them for a maximum of three days. It's just a transit camp before they are
routed to appropriate places. That is where other stakeholders should come
in," Bvudzijena said. He said the police would arrest anyone who returns to
the places that have been destroyed as they seek to maintain the city's
cleanliness. The clean-up operation has led to the destruction of some
prominent settlements like Hatcliffe Extension, Tongogara Park at White
Cliff Farm and several others that were set up at the height of farm
occupations in 2000. While some have relocated to their former places of
origins and others sought refugee with relatives, some have been sleeping in
the open and roadsides in the past few days. Meanwhile, over 600 people
have been arrested in Mashonaland East in the on going clean-up
exercise. Provincial police spokesperson, Darlington Mathuthu said 270 people
had been arrested for hoarding basic commodities, 381 for various traffic
offences, 16 for illegally dealing in gold and 15 for border jumping, while
two tonnes of sugar were discovered at Mutoko Centre.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) vice chairman Douglas Mwonzora
yesterday won a $52 million lawsuit in the Masvingo Magistrates court
against a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation, David Nyika, as
compensation for his damaged vehicle in a car accident in January. In a
default judgment by the court, Nyika was found at fault of wrongly,
negligently and unlawfully driving a vehicle that later hit Mwonzora's Mazda
B1600 along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road. As a result of the accident,
Mwonzora's vehicle suffered $25 million in damages that Nyika promised to
pay at the time, but never did. This forced Mwonzora to seek recourse with
the courts seeking $50 million in damages from Nyika with interest and costs
of the suit. Read the Mwonzora's request for default judgment: "The defendant
having been duly served with summons, the time for appearance by the
defendant has expired, the defendant not having entered an appearance to
defend, but having failed to plead within the prescribed time. judgment may
be entered against the defendant, as claimed in the summons." A warrant
of execution against Nyika issued by the court authorised Mwonzora to attach
property from the CIO member amounting to $52 129 600. "This is therefore to
authorise and require you to attach and remove property of the said David
Nyika," read part of the warrant of execution.
FEARS of beer completely
running out persisted stubbornly across the nation throughout the weekend as
major beverage producers were struggling to secure various inputs necessary
in the production process. Sources close to companies such as Delta
Beverages and United Bottlers, both major subsidiaries of listed Delta
Corporation, said the two were failing to secure inputs because of the
current foreign currency shortages. Delta weaned off all of its non-beverage
subsidiaries such as hotel group Zimsun, supermarket chain OK Zimbabwe, and
furniture retail store Pelhams, a few years back to concentrate on the core
business of beverage manufacturing. But the re-emerging spate of economic
problems that have been afflicting the country of late have strained the
production capacities of most companies since they rely heavily on the
availability of foreign currency. Sources said the two beverages companies
were struggling to secure some key production inputs such as bottle tops,
malt and barley. "There is a shortage of malt and barley at Delta Beverages
and this is extending to the total output of beer produced. They have told
us that they do not have the inputs and they have told some of their workers
to go home," one source said yesterday. Last month, a well placed
source revealed that due to the lack of foreign currency on the auctions,
United Bottlers faced closure unless it received forex urgently. The
bottling company was said to be failing to import its concentrate and the
lack of a competitive price was rendering operations unviable. In April,
government ordered all companies that had increased prices on their products
to revert to the old prices that were prevalent before the general
elections. United Bottlers was importing concentrate from US-based Coca-Cola
Company on credit, but the latter had since run out of patience over delays
in payment. Some shops in the city centre did not have lagers in supply while
others were selling quarts and canned beer. Other retail outlets in the
suburbs have since adjusted the prices of lagers by between $15 000 and $20
000 arguing that they had sourced the products from fellow retailers and
not at wholesale price, hence the upward adjustment. "We have been told
that our suppliers have stopped producing because there is no beer. After
these quarts run out there will be no more beer until they tell us
otherwise," a beverage merchandiser in a leading supermarket in the
city said. These shortages were prevalent at most beerhalls and shops
over the weekend as the country continued its fight against economic
decline. The beer shortages follow hard on the heels of sharp shortages of
basic commodities such as maize meal, sugar and milk that have not been on
the shelves in many retail outlets for months now. The shortages also
come on the back of acute and puzzling fuel shortages that government has
been promising to end for nearly a month. The central bank has since declared
that it has released up to US$18,5 million to national fuel procurer Noczim,
for the provision of fuel.
The government has
gazetted new prices of basic commodities. In a notice in the government
gazette last Friday, the Minister of Industry and Trade Obert Mpofu said
the setting of the prices was done in accordance with Section 5 of the
Control of goods (Price Control) Regulations of 2001. The producer price for
a loaf of bread has been set at $4 200, while the retail price is at $4
500. The retail price of a 10kg packet of roller meal is now $17 300 and the
retail is $19 000. The producer and retail prices for a 50kg roller meal are
now pegged at $79 600 and $ 88 000 respectively. $5 430 is the new
producer price of a kg of self raising flour, while the wholesale and retail
price of the same quantity is now $5 700 and $6 300 respectively. The
producer, wholesale and retail prices for a 10kg are now $51 680, 54 300 and
$59 700. - Mirror Reporter
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
BULAWAYO, 31 May 2005 (IRIN)
- Zimbabwe's Tourism industry, once the country's second largest foreign
currency earner, has declined sharply in the past few years as a result of
the ongoing economic and political crises.
In 2003 the tourism sector
shrank 13 percent, and a further 4 percent in 2004. In a bid to combat
negative perceptions about the country and encourage visitors to return,
tourism officials and the government have roped in an unlikely ally - taxi
The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ), a coalition of
hotel and safari operators, is encouraging taxi drivers operating at
airports and resorts to give tourists a positive impression of Zimbabwe,
because they are often the first people tourists meet when arriving by
HAZ president Francis Ngwenya told IRIN that the programme, which
started last month, would run for a year.
"Visitors rely on them
[taxi drivers] for the goings-on in the country - hence our engagement. We
want to make sure tourism regains its place as a major contributor to the
gross domestic product (GDP), creates employment and improves foreign
currency inflows," Ngwenya told IRIN.
"The number of tourist arrivals has
dwindled in the past, mainly because of the negative publicity the country
has received from the international press. Our desire is to counter such
negativity and promote the industry in the best way we can. We believe taxi
[drivers] are important partners in this struggle, and can really make a
difference," he added.
Zimbabwe boasts some highly rated attractions,
such as the Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba and the Great Zimbabwe ruins, but
since the fast-track land reform programme in 2000, after which Zimbabwe's
economic and political crisis began deepening, tourists have shied
While HAZ is confident that the 'taxi driver' strategy will work,
some tourism marketers and economists are a little sceptical: most say the
crisis bedevilling the country is too glaring to ignore, although they have
pledged their commitment and are willing to play a part in sprucing up the
country's battered image.
Taxi driver Jonathan Mafuka, who operates
from the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo airport in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo,
said visitors were generally inquisitive about the current state of affairs
in the country and were always concerned about their
"Generally tourists are very curious and the first thing they
want to know is: how safe it is to be in Zimbabwe?" Mafuka commented. "These
days they also tend to ask if there are any prospects of street protests,
food riots, how wildlife is coping in view of land reforms, etc. So, really,
it takes an effort for one to cheat them into thinking that all is
He said he knew about the HAZ programme, but "it's like we are
being turned into propagandists, and we have to be paid for
HAZ said there were no immediate plans to pay taxi drivers for
promoting tourism, although it was an issue that would be discussed
Zimbabwe used to record some of the highest numbers of foreign
visitors in Southern Africa, mostly from Europe, who spent millions in
foreign currency. But the situation has changed drastically in recent
Now the few tourists who visit Zimbabwe are mainly from the East -
China, Korea and Malaysia, according to government records - a reflection of
the government's 'Look East' policy, adopted in response to sanctions by
Visitor arrivals from China increased from 4,960 in
2003 to 24,437 in 2004, while the number from Malaysia rose from 1,030 to
3,369 during the same period.
However, HAZ noted that if Zimbabwe
were going to boost its declining foreign currency reserves, it would have
to increase tourism promotion in European countries.
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
May 2005 (IRIN) - Aid agencies in Zimbabwe were gearing up on Tuesday to
assist the thousands of people leaving the capital as a result of the
government's crackdown on illegal dwellings and street vendors.
it is still not clear just how many families have sought shelter in rural
areas, an estimated 17,000 people have been arrested since the police blitz
that initially started as an attempt to rid Harare of illegal foreign
currency dealers and informal traders.
Since last week the campaign
has moved into working-class areas in urban centres, where illegal dwellings
were demolished, reportedly leaving thousands without shelter.
are closely monitoring the situation and are preparing to intervene - right
now, we are receiving reports form our provincial office, which will give us
a clearer idea of the needs," Zimbabwe Red Cross Society country director,
Emma Kundishora, told IRIN.
World Vision regional spokesman Robert Michel
said the aid group was "on standby".
"We have two warehouses in
Bulawayo [in the south of the country] with a few metric tonnes of maize and
cooking oil. We are preparing to assist those who need it, but we expect
that we are going to need a lot more, should we be required to step in," he
Michel warned that any further internal displacement was likely to
exacerbate the impact of current food shortages.
As many as 4.5
million Zimbabweans out of a population of 11.6 million have been estimated
as needing food aid this year.
"In the rural areas there are already food
concerns; with the additional families now fleeing there, aid agencies are
going to have their work cut out for them," Michel added.
'clean-up' campaign, which authorities say is aimed at curbing rising crime
and urban decay, has been roundly condemned by rights activists and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
POLICE in Harare
have impounded 493 defective vehicles and raised more than $1,7 billion in
revenue under "Operation Restore Order" which is aimed at ridding the city's
roads of unroadworthy vehicles.
Senior staff officer for national traffic
Assistant Commissioner Apollonia Munzverengwi yesterday said the impounded
vehicles included small cars, lorries and buses.
She said they have
raised $1 787 955 000 in revenue since the operation commenced on May
The vehicles, she said, were impounded for defects, having inadequate
paperwork such as insurance, carbon and licence disks and also for breaching
traffic rules such as stopping in dangerous areas.
Most of the
impounded vehicles were parked at the Police Support Unit Headquarters in
Chikurubi where officers from the Vehicle Inspection Department were
Officials from the Central Vehicle Registry were also
testing commuter omnibuses that had been issued with discontinuance notices.
Vehicles issued with discontinuance notices are not supposed to be back on
the roads until they are repaired.
When The Herald visited the
impounded lot, owners whose cars had been seized for minor defects were busy
paying fines and collecting their vehicles.
SEVERAL fuel stations in Harare took delivery of fuel
yesterday with anxious motorists being seen milling around the service
stations to buy the scarce commodity.
At some of the filling
stations, police had to be deployed to maintain order as commotion broke out
with the motorists trying to outdo each other to reach the
However, public transport remains in short supply. Desperate
commuters could be seen as early as 11am waiting for transport to take them
to destinations out of the city centre.
The country has been
experiencing fuel problems over the past weeks with unscrupulous dealers
hoarding the commodity for sale on the black market.
Because of high
demand for fuel, motorists were being forced to fork out as much as $50 000
for a litre of petrol instead of the gazetted price of $3 700.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Tuesday announced that it had released
US$18,5 million to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for the procurement
of fuel with the first tranche made available last Friday.
for Energy and Power Development Mr Justin Mupamhanga this week said he was
confident that the situation would improve.
"We are working hand in glove
with the RBZ. It's not just about the money, but also the logistics in the
supply chain. The process is a bit long but efforts are being made to plug
all the gaps," he said.
Carte blanche for land grabs 31/05/2005 21:34 -
Harare - Zimbabwe will amend its constitution to allow the state
to seize land and claim full ownership without having to deal with court
challenges, the lands minister said on Tuesday.
Didymus Mutasa told
AFP that the proposed amendment would allow the state to immediately become
the owner of farmland once a property had been "designated" for
"The problem with our land reform process currently is
that people can object to it and go to court, not that they want the land
back, but just to frustrate the programme," he told AFP in an
"Now we want to stop that frustration by simply saying once
any land has been designated, that land immediately reverts to ownership by
"Once that land belongs to the state, the state can do what
it wants with it, it can pass on that ownership to someone else, and in this
case that someone will be a new landowner ... on the basis of a lease we
hope will run for 99 years," Mutasa said.
Thousands of white
Zimbabwean farmers who lost their land over the past five years have gone to
court to try and have their evictions overturned but without much
In January, the country's administrative court started going
through more than 5 000 land cases, which a representative of white farmers,
Mike Clarke, described as their bid against the "attempt to legitimise an
The legal process is likely to be overtaken by the
constitutional reforms which Mutasa said government wants tabled "as soon as
possible" when parliament reconvenes on June 9.
Mutasa said farmers
whose land was not earmarked for seizure would retain titles to their
Brighton Musonza Last updated: 06/01/2005 03:44:54 THE on-going operation
against flea market traders in Zimbabwe is just as dirty as its operatives,
and not some clean-up exercise we are being told it is!
Zanu PF has
come up with silly, extravagant political stunts over the years and nothing
has brought us any good.
Why should we accept better things from people
who have failed us 25 years. If only Sekai Makwavarara could learn from the
way Jonathan Moyo was used, then she should have salvaged herself from this
monster of a regime.
I am intrigued by the defeaning silence from the MDC
and its failure to take advantages of opportunities. It is not enough for
the MDC to tell its supporters that it is afraid of a "State of Emergency"
or being outlawed. No pain, no gain, the MDC leadership has got to be
jailed, whacked or face humiliation if they are to be taken serious. They
can't expect it nice and easy from the comfort of Harvest House. They have
got to come out and defend the people and not some internet press
This "clean up" is only ear marked to tame a time bomb ready
to explode in the wake of food and basic commodities shortages. In other
words, this is Zanu PF on a counter attack. Attacking its people, cooking and
roasting them into submission and leaving them weaker with the ultimate aim
to effect wicked constitutional reforms that furthers the personal egos of
the evil dictator at State Housee. This is the work of many retired soldiers
now masquerading as Cabinet Ministers treating people as "povo" in their
military conduct, using military methods to instil fear among the civilian
This is also being used by Zanu PF to have more people in
rural areas depend on them for food aid, since their livelihoods have been
destroyed. The regime will predictably call for foreign food aid and hand
out food to manipulate the hearts and minds of the innocent victims of its
crude, selfish project. Zanu PF is simply up to its game of cynicism and
Now as the poor folks are being victimised, the Zanu PF multiple
farm owners are being given 99 year leases on prime agricultural land with
Dydimus Mutasa presiding over this massive corruption. The regime failed to
clean-up multiple farm ownership wrangles but has the guts to go gung ho on
innocent poor folks in the slams, using armed forces commanded by nephews
and loyalists who have benefited from the corrupt State House
Black markets are not destroyed by torching the physical
market stalls, after all these are real markets and the regime's markets are
mere patriotic outlets, urging the seller to sell below cost. This regime
should learn that after the closure of the Exchange Bureaus over two years
ago, foreign exchange deals went underground and the foreign currency went
with them. Watch the markets hit back! Brighton Musonza is a student in
the United Kingdom and regular contributor on several online forums
monopoly of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings is set to come to an end in that
country as Munhumutape African Broadcasting Corporation (MABC) has emerged
as the only likely candidate to get a free-to-air commercial television
licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), writes Roadwin
Chirara in the Zimbabwe Independent.
The authority, which is
mandated by an act of parliament to license and regulate the broadcasting
sector, is set to award the company a licence. MABC's application to
BAZ was submitted for consideration after the broadcasting authority invited
prospective broadcasting companies to apply for licences in the categories
of free-to-air commercial radio licence and free-to-air television
MABC's fate is likely to be decided after a
public hearing which has been set for June 8, a position which BAZ acting
chairman, Pikirayi Deketeke, confirmed last week.
the public hearing was the final stage in awarding a licence according to
the Broadcast Services Act.
"We have set a date for the MABC
hearing and this is the final stage in the licensing process," said
Deketeke. "You have to realise the company has presented us with a solid and
detailed application as required by the Act."
He said the other
stations that had applied for radio licences had failed to meet the
requirements set by the authority.