International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 28, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: Long-suffering Zimbabweans faced chaos in shops and
businesses Thursday as the government vowed to enforce drastic price cuts of
around 50 percent.
Managers addressed chaotic lines of shoppers at check out counters who were
demanding clarification on prices.
Most goods, including bread, meat and milk were not reduced. In one store,
the same brand of local beer was marked at two different prices on separate
The cheaper beer was delivered earlier in the day, after the partly
government-owned National Breweries announced a 50 percent drop in their
charges, store workers said.
State radio said late Thursday the independent National Bakers Association
also agreed to cut the price of bread by half as long as millers reduced the
cost of flour, enabling bakers to stay in business.
Chain store executives were huddled in management meetings and held talks
with government officials through the day.
"In a nutshell, we are being told to sell a product for less than we paid
for it. It means we won't be able to replace it when existing stocks have
gone. It makes no sense, ask any school arithmetic class," said one
He asked not to be identified in case of being accused of defying the state
and facing arrest.
The government has warned business and shops a crack unit of security
personnel - seen to include secret police agents - has begun monitoring
prices and will have powers to enforce price cuts that include powers of
Uniformed police armed with automatic rifles and a machine gun were seen
questioning one harassed store manager in northern Harare on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the government ordered sweeping reductions on a range of goods.
Gas stations were told to slash the price of scarce gasoline by up to 70
percent. Except for a handful of gas stations licensed to sell petrol to
holders of hard currency coupons, most regular gas stations were closed
Industry Minister Obert Mpofu said in an announcement Thursday the
government extended price controls to all goods and services in addition to
those of basic commodities listed Tuesday.
He did not specify new reductions on particular goods but said the mandate
of a prices monitoring task force was extended across the board to guard
against profiteering and overcharging.
Official inflation is given at 4,500 percent, the highest in the world.
Private financial institutions estimate real inflation to be 9,000 percent.
New official inflation calculations are expected to include reduced prices
even if they are not fully enforced or if quoted goods disappear from the
President Robert Mugabe, addressing a state funeral on Wednesday, accused
businesses of profiteering and raising prices to foment civil unrest in
support of a Western-backed campaign to oust him through "regime change."
He repeated threats the government would seize businesses and mines he said
were in "the dirty game" of regime change and broke exchange control laws by
withholding hard currency earnings from state coffers.
The nation's worst economic crisis began after the often-violent seizures of
thousands of white-owned commercial farms disrupted the agriculture-based
economy in 2000 in the former regional breadbasket.
The meltdown led to acute shortages of food, hard currency, gasoline,
medicines and most basic goods. Up to four million Zimbabweans, one fourth
of the population, are expected to need food handouts before the middle of
next year, U.N. officials estimate.
Thu Jun 28, 7:30 AM ET
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe ordered a blanket freeze Thursday on the prices of
all goods and services, urging members of the public to blow the whistle on
retailers who ignore the latest edict.
Industry Minister Obert Mpofu was quoted by state media as saying that price
controls -- previously limited to essential goods -- would be extended
across the board, and that prices could only be raised with government
"The (government's price-monitoring) task force further directs that all
other goods and services that were previously neither controlled nor
monitored shall with immediate effect be monitored," Mpofu was quoted as
saying by state-controlled radio.
In a statement read out on the radio, Mpofu called on shoppers to contact
police if any retailer was suspected of either overcharging or stashing
"All members of the public, with information on issues involving violations
and hoarding, should urgently report such information to the nearest police
station," said the statement.
The latest directive followed a warning this week from President Robert
Mugabe that his government would seize and nationalise businesses caught
charging exorbitant prices.
Retailers and manufacturers have been jacking up prices, sometimes more than
once a day, as they grapple with the impact of the world's highest inflation
rate, which economists believe has surpassed 5,000 percent.
Since the introduction of price controls on selected goods five years ago,
the government has occasionally published the legal price for controlled
goods in its official gazette.
Retailers often complain, however, that by the time the new prices are set
and announced, they have been overtaken by inflation.
Mpofu announced Monday that retailers could only charge the gazetted price
for goods such as bread or oil as published on June 19, but the order was
Three months after the extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and
Government of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which took place
on 29 March 2007 in Dar es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania, over one
hundred international human rights and civil society organisations have come
together to call on SADC leaders to urge the government of Zimbabwe to end human
rights violations in Zimbabwe. In particular, we call on President Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa, in his capacity as the SADC-appointed mediator, to ensure that
human rights issues are prioritised in any settlement to be agreed by the
government of Zimbabwe and the political opposition party, the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Attacks on members of the political opposition and civil society
organisations are taking place in the context of a severely declining economy as
well as an increasingly repressive environment in Zimbabwe, in which the rights
to freedom of expression, association and assembly are regularly suppressed by
the government and incidents of state-sponsored organised violence and torture
are increasing. President Mbeki was mandated to facilitate a dialogue between the government
of Zimbabwe and the MDC, following the torture and ill-treatment of a number of
leaders and members of the MDC and other civil society organisations by the
Zimbabwe Republic Police on 11 March 2007. The MDC and human rights activists
were arrested for attempting to attend a prayer meeting organised to protest a
three month ban of rallies and demonstrations imposed by police in parts of
Harare under section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act. We are concerned that since the SADC meeting, arbitrary arrest and detention,
torture and organised violence have been on the increase in Zimbabwe. At least 30 political detainees arrested on 28 March 2007, including MDC
Member of Parliament Paul Madzore and MDC Director of Elections Dennis Murira,
spent over two months in custody awaiting trial, and 18 have since had the
charges dropped. The detainees’ lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni, were also
arrested outside the High Court on 4 May 2007 after submitting court papers on
behalf of Amos Musekiwa, one of the political detainees. The lawyers were only
released on bail on 7 May. On 8 May police in Harare beat lawyers who had gathered outside the High
Court to protest the unlawful arrest of Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni.
Police forced some of the lawyers including Beatrice Mtetwa, President of the
Zimbabwe Law Society, into a police truck before driving to a secluded area and
reportedly beating them. They were then released. The Zimbabwean government has justified arbitrary arrest, detention, torture
and ill-treatment as a response to attacks on police by alleged opposition
supporters. As with all alleged criminal acts, we urge the government of
Zimbabwe to immediately and impartially investigate these attacks, respecting
the rights of the suspected perpetrators, including the right to a fair trial.
However, incidents of violence by protestors by no means justify excessive use
of force, torture or ill-treatment by the police. We are also concerned that two years after an estimated 700,000 people lost
their home or livelihood or both when the government embarked on a programme of
mass forced evictions codenamed Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order), the
government has failed to provide an effective remedy to the victims. Most of the
victims are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The SADC initiative
should not forget these victims of human rights violations. These human rights concerns have been well documented, including in the
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ report of its 2002 fact-finding
mission to Zimbabwe. However, the government of Zimbabwe has failed to implement
key recommendations contained in the African Commission’s report and its
resolution adopted at the 38th Ordinary Session in November 2005.
The human rights situation in Zimbabwe requires immediate action by SADC
leaders. President Mbeki and other leaders of SADC should send a clear and
unequivocal signal to the government of Zimbabwe that they will not remain
silent about the violations of human rights perpetrated in Zimbabwe and should
ensure that the government of Zimbabwe takes immediate steps to respect and
protect human rights of all people in Zimbabwe, including ending the use of
excessive force, torture and ill-treatment. Central to resolving the crisis in
Zimbabwe is the need to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations are
held accountable and that the victims have access to justice. Any attempt to
circumvent the needs of victims will not bring a lasting solution. In their mediation efforts, President Mbeki and the other member states of
SADC should not be limited to finding a short-term political solution between
the government of Zimbabwe and the MDC, but should aim to find a long-term
solution to the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe. This can be achieved by
consulting widely among civil society organisations in Zimbabwe and ensuring
that all stakeholders are able to contribute to the process. Through their mediation efforts, we urge President Mbeki and the other member
states of SADC to ensure the following:
AI Index: AFR 46/021/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 123
28 June 2007
Human rights issues must be at the centre of any dialogue between the government of Zimbabwe and the Movement for Democratic Change
A joint statement from Amnesty International, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
The Southern Africa Documentation and Co-operation
Austria DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human
Botswana The Botswana Council of Churches (BCC)
Botswana The Botswana Council of Non-Governmental
Botswana The Botswana Secondary Teachers Union (BOSETU)
Botswana DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
Botswana The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Botswana The Botswana Congress Party (BCP)
Botswana The Botswana Community Based Organisations
Botswana Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and
Botswana The Botswana Unified Local Government Service
Botswana Cooperation for Research, Development and Education
Botswana Kagisano Society Women's Shelter
Botswana Kgolagano Theological College
Botswana Transparency International Botswana
Botswana Mouvement Ivoirien des Droits Humains
Côte-d'Ivoire Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Egypt Collectif des Associations Contre l’Impunité au Togo
France Kunst für Menschenrechte (Art for Human Rights)
Germany The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
India CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen
International Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW-K)
Kenya Kenya Land Alliance
Kenya Citizens for Constitutional Change-4Cs
Kenya Fida Kenya
Kenya Chemichemi ya Ukweli
Kenya Independent Medical Legal Unit-UMLU
Kenya Habiba International Women and Youth affairs.
Kenya Constitutional Reform Education Consortium
Kenya Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE)
Liberia Institute for Policy Interaction
Malawi Associação Moçambicana para o Desenvolvimento e
Mozambique The Rainbow Project
Namibia The Legal Assistance Centre
Namibia Namibia Development Trust
Namibia Namibia NGO Forum
Namibia Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia
Namibia !Nara Training Centre
Namibia Zimbabwe Watch
Netherlands National Forum for Human Rights
Sierra Leone National Advocacy Coalition on Extractives
Sierra Leone Defence for Children International
Sierra Leone Action for Community Task
Sierra Leone Movement of Concerned Kono Youths
Sierra Leone Affected Mining Landowners Association - Kono
Sierra Leone Community Advocacy and Development Movement
Sierra Leone Rural Development and Productive Workers Union
Sierra Leone Mining and Allied Union
Sierra Leone Peace and Conflict Society FBC
Sierra Leone Centre for Human Rights - Tongolici
Sierra Leone Black Hall Road Youth Organisation
Sierra Leone Network Movement for Youth and Children
Sierra Leone Network for Community Development and Human
Sierra Leone Society for Democratic Initiatives - Sierra
Sierra Leone Civil Society Alternative Process of Sierra
Sierra Leone Treatment Action Campaign
South Africa Southern Africa Litigation Centre(SALC)
South Africa Lawyers for Human Rights- South Africa
South Africa Media Institute of Southern Africa - South
South Africa Solidarity Peace Trust
South Africa Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
South Africa South African NGO Coalition (SANGOCO)
Land Access Movement of South Africa
Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT)
Sudan African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
The Gambia West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (Togo)
Togo La Commission Episcopale Nationale JUSTICE ET
Togo Association togolaise pour la défense et la
promotion des droits de l'homme (ATDPDH)
Togo Fahamu - Networks for Social Justice.
UK Review of African Political Economy
UK International Bar Association’s Human Rights
UK Human Rights Watch
United States Legal Resources Foundation-Zambia
Zambia Southern Africa Legal Assistance Network-SALAN
Zambia Media Institute of Southern Africa - Zambia
Zambia Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and
Zambia Civil Sodiety MDG Campaign Zambia
Zambia Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human
Zimbabwe Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG)
Zimbabwe Justice for Agriculture Membership Association
Zimbabwe Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Transparency International Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bulawayo Agenda
Zimbabwe Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
Zimbabwe Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Zimbabwe Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Legal Resources Foundation
Zimbabwe Media Institute of Southern Africa
Zimbabwe National Association of Non-Governmental
Zimbabwe National Constitutional Assembly
Zimbabwe Non-violent Action and Strategies for Social Change
Zimbabwe Radio Dialogue
Zimbabwe Southern Africa Human Rights Trust
Zimbabwe Transparency International (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and the
Rehabilitation of the Offender
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Peace Project
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
Zimbabwe Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
Zimbabwe Nonviolent Action and Strategies for Social Change
Three months after the extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which took place on 29 March 2007 in Dar es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania, over one hundred international human rights and civil society organisations have come together to call on SADC leaders to urge the government of Zimbabwe to end human rights violations in Zimbabwe. In particular, we call on President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, in his capacity as the SADC-appointed mediator, to ensure that human rights issues are prioritised in any settlement to be agreed by the government of Zimbabwe and the political opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Attacks on members of the political opposition and civil society organisations are taking place in the context of a severely declining economy as well as an increasingly repressive environment in Zimbabwe, in which the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are regularly suppressed by the government and incidents of state-sponsored organised violence and torture are increasing.
President Mbeki was mandated to facilitate a dialogue between the government of Zimbabwe and the MDC, following the torture and ill-treatment of a number of leaders and members of the MDC and other civil society organisations by the Zimbabwe Republic Police on 11 March 2007. The MDC and human rights activists were arrested for attempting to attend a prayer meeting organised to protest a three month ban of rallies and demonstrations imposed by police in parts of Harare under section 27 of the Public Order and Security Act.
We are concerned that since the SADC meeting, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and organised violence have been on the increase in Zimbabwe.
At least 30 political detainees arrested on 28 March 2007, including MDC Member of Parliament Paul Madzore and MDC Director of Elections Dennis Murira, spent over two months in custody awaiting trial, and 18 have since had the charges dropped.
The detainees’ lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni, were also arrested outside the High Court on 4 May 2007 after submitting court papers on behalf of Amos Musekiwa, one of the political detainees. The lawyers were only released on bail on 7 May.
On 8 May police in Harare beat lawyers who had gathered outside the High Court to protest the unlawful arrest of Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni. Police forced some of the lawyers including Beatrice Mtetwa, President of the Zimbabwe Law Society, into a police truck before driving to a secluded area and reportedly beating them. They were then released.
The Zimbabwean government has justified arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment as a response to attacks on police by alleged opposition supporters. As with all alleged criminal acts, we urge the government of Zimbabwe to immediately and impartially investigate these attacks, respecting the rights of the suspected perpetrators, including the right to a fair trial. However, incidents of violence by protestors by no means justify excessive use of force, torture or ill-treatment by the police.
We are also concerned that two years after an estimated 700,000 people lost their home or livelihood or both when the government embarked on a programme of mass forced evictions codenamed Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order), the government has failed to provide an effective remedy to the victims. Most of the victims are still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The SADC initiative should not forget these victims of human rights violations.
These human rights concerns have been well documented, including in the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ report of its 2002 fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe. However, the government of Zimbabwe has failed to implement key recommendations contained in the African Commission’s report and its resolution adopted at the 38th Ordinary Session in November 2005.
The human rights situation in Zimbabwe requires immediate action by SADC leaders. President Mbeki and other leaders of SADC should send a clear and unequivocal signal to the government of Zimbabwe that they will not remain silent about the violations of human rights perpetrated in Zimbabwe and should ensure that the government of Zimbabwe takes immediate steps to respect and protect human rights of all people in Zimbabwe, including ending the use of excessive force, torture and ill-treatment. Central to resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe is the need to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations are held accountable and that the victims have access to justice. Any attempt to circumvent the needs of victims will not bring a lasting solution.
In their mediation efforts, President Mbeki and the other member states of SADC should not be limited to finding a short-term political solution between the government of Zimbabwe and the MDC, but should aim to find a long-term solution to the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe. This can be achieved by consulting widely among civil society organisations in Zimbabwe and ensuring that all stakeholders are able to contribute to the process.
Through their mediation efforts, we urge President Mbeki and the other member states of SADC to ensure the following:
Friday 29 June 2007
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition on Thursday said a planned empowerment
law that will compel foreign-owned firms to cede shares to blacks was a
"mere avenue" for President Robert Mugabe and his followers to loot the
remaining viable sectors of the economy, especially mining.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party secretary general Tendai Biti
said after plundering white farms and plunging the country into food
shortages - all in the name of redistributing land to landless blacks -
Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party were now "seeking to destroy the
remaining pockets of the economy."
"It (empowerment law) will allow ZANU PF and its acolytes access into the
remaining sectors of the economy, in particular mining, which, because of
high initial investment capital, it has hitherto been unable to access,"
Biti said in a statement.
"Indeed, empowerment will take place but of the very same looters that have
brought the country's economy to its knees," added Biti, who belongs to the
main wing of the divided MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Both ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira and government spokesman
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu were not immediately available to respond to Biti's
The government gazetted the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill
last week and says it will soon be tabled for debate in the ZANU
PF-dominated Parliament and should be ready for implementation before
The government says the proposed law seeks to ensure that indigenous black
Zimbabweans are in control of the economy by forcing all foreign-owned
business in the country to cede at least 51 percent shareholding to blacks.
But analysts have been pessimistic about the empowerment law saying as
happened with land redistribution it is the politically powerful and
well-connected - not ordinary blacks - who will end up holding controlling
stake in most of the major businesses in the country.
ZANU PF politicians, military officers and top government officials ended up
with most of the lucrative farms seized from whites, with some having as
many as six farms each.
Biti, who is a trained lawyer, said forcing existing businesses sell 51
percent of their stake to blacks as envisaged under the empowerment law
would be a violation of property rights guaranteed in Zimbabwe's
Constitution and would also be a breach of Article 17 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
Economic analysts have however warned that the empowerment law would scare
away investors and would, in the same way farm seizures decimated commercial
agriculture, derail the industrial sector as control of large and
sophisticated businesses is surrendered to blacks most of who do not have
funds or skills to run them.
Critics blame severe food shortages in Zimbabwe since 2000 on the government's
chaotic and often violent land redistribution exercise that displaced
established white commercial farmers and replaced them with either
incompetent or inadequately funded black farmers.
Food production plunged by about 60 percent as a result while chaos in the
agriculture sector because of the farm seizures also hit hard Zimbabwe's
once impressive manufacturing sector that had depended on a robust farming
sector for orders and inputs.
Several firms have shut down since 2000 while many still in business are
operating at about 30 percent of capacity, in a country where unemployment
is more than 80 percent. - ZimOnline
Friday 29 June 2007
JOHANNESBURG - Prominent academic Ibbo Mandaza says President Robert Mugabe
must quit power by September to save Zimbabwe from further economic ruin.
Mandaza, who is believed to be a close member of the Solomon Mujuru faction
in the ruling ZANU PF party said economic recovery would not start in
Zimbabwe as long as Mugabe remained in power.
Mandaza was the main speaker at a seminar entitled: Zimbabwe at the
Crossroads which was held at the South African Institute of International
Affairs at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg late on Wednesday.
Describing Mugabe as the biggest stumbling block to economic recovery in
Zimbabwe, Mandaza said he in fact believed that Mugabe would no longer be in
power by September because quitting "is the only reasonable thing for him
(Mugabe) to do.
In an unusually sharp criticism of Mugabe, Mandaza said Mugabe's future
security against any possible prosecution for human rights abuses will be
better if he resigned now.
"Mugabe should do the obvious and go by September. It's my expectation as a
participant in the Zimbabwean political discourse that he will in fact go by
December," said Mandaza, who seems to have attracted Mugabe's ire by
publishing Edgar Tekere's controversial autobiography, A Lifetime of
"Nothing of an economic recovery will start as long as he (Mugabe) remains,"
Mandaza said he also did not think that the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party was a puppet of the British as regularly
claimed by Mugabe.
Though it had its own problems and was hampered by lack of a clear vision
and policies to rescue Zimbabwe from its present economic situation, Mandaza
said he still regarded the MDC as a legitimate opposition with a substantial
presence in parliament.
He also did not have much faith in the current South African brokered
dialogue between the MDC and ZANU PF. He said the dialogue should have been
taking place in Zimbabwe.
South Africa had also lost the plot by bringing the two parties to the
negotiating table only. Zimbabwe's problems were not about ZANU PF and the
Mandaza also said that mostly the elite had benefited from Zimbabwe's land
reforms. These he said included cabinet ministers, their deputies, judges,
senior civil servants and others.
He said he was not himself a beneficiary though some media reports have
previously claimed that he was allocated several conservancies in southern
Mandaza said at the core of the Zimbabwean crisis was a "defensive state"
which had become autocratic and no longer respected the rule of law.
He had been challenged on what he believed was the main cause of the
Zimbabwe crisis and whether he shared the view that the land issue was the
main problem as regularly claimed by Mugabe.
Mandaza said the issue of the ZANU PF party's presidential candidate for
next year was far from settled.
"There has been no debate at all about who the ruling party's candidate
would be contrary to what the media is saying," said Mandaza, who apart from
his close links to the Mujuru faction, served as one of Mugabe's top civil
servants after independence in 1980 before quitting to pursue academia.
Mandaza said the special congress called by ZANU PF and expected later this
year would debate and decide on who stands for the party in next year's
He did not believe Mugabe would be the candidate as he faced enormous
pressure to quit.
Mandaza claimed that 99 percent of all people in ZANU PF did not like what
was happening in Zimbabwe and were probably fed up with Mugabe.
However, he was angrily challenged on this claim by prominent South African
lawyer, George Bizos, who also addressed the gathering alongside the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)'s Tapera Kapuya.
Bizos quizzed Mandaza on why all these people were not challenging Mugabe
why he destroyed Zimbabwe if ever they existed.
Bizos, who represented Nelson Mandela at his treason trial in the 1960s, and
also rescued Morgan Tvangirai from a treason charge, said he did not think
people in ZANU PF were disenchanted by Mugabe as they would surely have done
something to challenge him.
Mandaza insisted that Mugabe was facing serious internal resistance.
Bizos urged Zimbabweans from all political persuasions to convene and
consider granting Mugabe a comprehensive amnesty to pave way for his
departure from power and at least ensure a beginning of the resolution of
the Zimbabwe crisis.
"There ought to come a stage when all Zimbabweans (of differing political
persuasions) say let bygones be bygones . . . let us look into the future
and not the past," said Bizos. "It worked for us in South Africa. It can
work for Zimbabwe," added Bizos, in reference to indemnifying Mugabe for
atrocities committed while in office just like the ANC did with most former
Bizos slammed constitutional amendments gazetted by the Zimbabwe government
two weeks ago which are seen giving the ruling party an easy victory in next
The constitutional amendments significantly expand the size of parliament,
among other things, empowering Mugabe to create more constituencies in his
rural strongholds to maintain his large majority in Parliament.
Bizos said in a nutshell, the constitutional amendments were aimed at
perpetuating Mugabe and ZANU PF's authoritarian rule for the entire life of
their existence. - ZimOnline
Friday 29 June 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje and Thabani Mlilo
HARARE - Zimbabwean businesses on Thursday slashed prices by 50
percent a day after the government sent in soldiers in urban areas to
enforce a government order issued on Monday to reduce prices.
A survey by ZimOnline on Thursday showed that most shops in the city
centre and working class suburbs had complied with the order although there
were rumblings of discontent among businessmen.
In a letter to retailers yesterday, Zimbabwe's biggest beverage
manufacturer, Delta Corporation, said it had with immediate effect slashed
prices of all of its beverages in line with the government order.
A 2 litre pack of opaque beer commonly known as "Scud" which was
selling for Z$80 000 has now been reduced to $40 000 while a bottle of soft
drinks which was going for Z$50 000 has now been reduced to $25 000 a
"In compliance with the directive from the Minister of Industry and
International Trade (Obert Mpofu), we have reverted to the price schedules
as at 18 June 2007," read part of a letter.
On Wednesday, Mpofu extended the order to reduce prices to all
commodities saying the price freeze was meant to cushion consumers who are
bearing the brunt of Zimbabwe's eight-year old economic recession.
In the eastern city of Mutare, residents said some retailers appeared
to be resisting the government order to reduce prices with some of them
returning some goods to wholesalers.
"Some retailers appear to be returning some goods to suppliers or are
holding them in their warehouses," said Austen Mbaka, a resident of Sakubva
suburb in the city.
President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday threatened to seize businesses he
accused of working with his western enemies to foment rebellion against his
government by hiking prices of essential commodities.
Mugabe said his government will "play it rough" with businesses that
failed to heed the government order to reduce prices.
The embattled Zimbabwean government on Monday ordered a price freeze
and a return to prices as of 18 June 2007 following a massive price hike of
500 percent over the past few weeks.
Harare has since drafted in soldiers and the police to enforce the
price freeze that economists say will have devastating effects on
business. - ZimOnline
Friday 29 June 2007
By Nqobizitha Khumalo
BULAWAYO - State security agents at Zimbabwe's Bulawayo International
airport on Tuesday briefly detained six South African church pastors, only
allowing them to depart after interrogating them for about an hour.
The South Africans were returning home after visiting Zimbabwe to
participate in a church ceremony to commemorate the UN International Day in
Support of Victims of Torture.
Bulawayo Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube said: "The church leaders were
harassed at the airport. The CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) agents
took away their passports and detained them in a room.
"They interrogated the church leaders on the purpose of their visit to
Zimbabwe but all this is a sign of desperation on the part of the
The South Africans were in Zimbabwe at the invitation of the
Solidarity Peace Trust, which campaigns for a resolution of Zimbabwe's
crisis and is co-led by Ncube.
President Robert Mugabe's government has in recent years barred
several foreign civic and church leaders it perceives as critical of its
rule from visiting Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Bishop Kevin Dowling, who led the South African pastors,
accused Mugabe of serious human rights violations and said his rule was
about to end in a Tuesday address to people gathered to commemorate the UN
Torture Day at Bulawayo's St Mary's church.
The Bishop said: "Why would a government torture its own people, why
would a so called government inflict injuries on its own citizens, the
Zimbabwe government is creating fear to make people afraid to do anything.
"God was not with the apartheid regime and God is not with this regime
in Zimbabwe, it will fail."
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was not immediately available to
respond to charges that the government uses torture against citizens.
However, Harare has in the past rejected similar criticism by the
church and human rights organisations that it accuses of seeking to use
false claims of human rights abuses and torture by state agents to tarnish
and vilify Mugabe's government. - ZimOnline
Thu 28 Jun 2007, 11:08 GMT
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE, June 28 (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe's new push to get tough
on the economy may bring short-term political benefits but is likely to
leave Zimbabwe in even worse straits as its economic infrastructure
Mugabe -- facing the highest inflation rate in the world and simmering
political troubles -- this week warned that he was ready to nationalise
firms accused of "dirty tricks" against his rule, sending fresh jitters
through the country's beleaguered business community.
Any move to follow through on the threat could push out Zimbabwe's few
remaining foreign investors, deepening its pariah status, and could see more
Zimbabwean products shut out of international markets as buyers look for
suppliers unhampered by political problems, analysts say.
Mugabe made his comments the day after his government tabled a bill which
seeks to hand majority holding of all businesses -- including banks and
mines -- to local Zimbabweans, and ordered a price freeze in an effort to
fight inflation, now nearing 4,000 percent.
Political analysts said Mugabe's moves appeared aimed at mollifying an
increasingly restive population, but warned that his actions could have
Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler since independence in 1980 who is seeking
re-election in 2008, could also use the planned empowerment law to enrich
supporters and consolidate ranks before next year's general elections,
Leading political commentator Eldred Masunungure said the announcements were
designed to assure voters that Mugabe's government was in full control of
the economy and had their interests at heart.
"The government has exhausted all other alternatives (to manage the economy)
and all this is an expression of failure and inability to control or
manipulate the economy," he said.
"But they cannot just remain aloof. They have to be seen to be doing
something, even though it is not addressing the fundamental problems
afflicting the economy," Masunungure said.
Some economists say the threats should be taken seriously, noting that
Mugabe has done this before. They point to his pre-election seizure of
white-owned farms in 2000 that critics say has worsened the economic crisis
and food shortages.
While Mugabe won the 2000 election, the country he rules is in far worse
shape than before.
EMPTY BREAD BASKET
Once the bread basket of the region, Zimbabwe has endured a punishing
recession that has squeezed consumers with skyrocketing inflation, left four
out of five people without jobs and resulted in shortages of foreign
currency, food and fuel. Mugabe says the economy has been sabotaged by his
Western foes and branded company executives "serpents" drafted by former
colonial power Britain to help topple him by raising prices, cutting
production and stashing foreign earnings abroad.
In the past week alone, prices have gone up threefold, further squeezing
consumers, especially urban workers who have to live with severe water and
power cuts, burst sewer pipes and a suffocating political environment.
Authorities have set up a police crack unit to arrest business people who
defy an order to roll back all prices to June 18 levels. Some goods have
already disappeared from shops after the directive.
Analysts said price controls would drive the economy even further
underground -- making it all but impossible for the authorities to regain
control despite Mugabe's vows that both his government and the economy will
ride out the storm, thanks to widespread popular support.
"Things will get a great deal worse," said Anthony Hawkins, professor of
business studies at the University of Zimbabwe. "It's a sign of desperation,
casting around for extreme solutions."
Masunungure agreed, saying Mugabe's proposals were likely to hasten the
"This is a symbolic reaction to something beyond government's control but
more importantly, it is a boost to the black market and we will see even
more vicious price increases."
By Naomi Schwarz
28 June 2007
African heads of state are arriving in Ghana's capital, Accra, to prepare
for an African Union Summit that officially opens Sunday, July 1. The
meeting aims to address a Libyan proposal to create a continent-wide
government. But African human rights activists say there are many more
pressing issues, such as the conflict in Darfur, that should be addressed
first. Naomi Schwarz has more from VOA's regional bureau in Dakar.
A proposal by Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi for the African Union to be
replaced by a United States of Africa is at the top of the agenda for the AU
Summit set to begin in Ghana on Sunday. Preparatory sessions are already
underway, and Mr. Gaddafi has been touring African countries to drum up
support for his proposition.
In Ivory Coast's capital, Abidjan, on Wednesday, Mr. Gaddafi told a cheering
crowd of thousands, that, "We should construct a single, powerful African
government, one army with two million soldiers, one currency, one African
identity, one passport."
But Saidou Arji, a human rights activist based in Ghana, says he thinks
African heads of state have more important issues to focus on.
"You have everyday hundreds or thousands of young people who go into the sea
and have strived to go to the western countries, in order to have better
lives," he said. "I think that is the priority for our leaders, not to talk
about some continental government and others. We must resolve these issues
He says civil society organizations in Ghana have planned many activities
around the summit to raise awareness of this issue and others, including the
conflict in Darfur and the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. Thursday will be
a day of solidarity with Zimbabwe, where the population is suffering from
inflation at around 4,000 percent, as well as crippling poverty,
unemployment, and food and fuel shortages.
The idea of a single African state was first proposed in the early 1960s, as
African countries gained independence from colonial powers. Africa analyst
Richard Reeve, with the British-based think tank Chatham House, says the
concept has always been a populist one, but he does not think it is likely
to be realized any time soon.
"The African Union as it stands is dependent on aid for its functioning -
and it has very limited functioning - from Europe and major donor states,"
Reeve says donor states think it is too early for a united African state,
and they doubt that a single body could govern across such a large and still
"In general, donor states are in favor of greater African integration, but
integration on a functional basis," he said. "The way that the African Union
is constructed gives voice to that, but in effect does not have the capacity
to integrate effectively. It devolves policy to various regional economic
and political communities."
Human Rights activist Arji says Africa should assess the effectiveness of
these regional bodies, like the Economic Community of West African States in
West Africa, before aiming at continent wide integration.
Development and cooperation - 28-06-2007 - 15:52
Zimbabwe, a country suffering from serious famine and huge violations of
human rights, was the subject of lively debates at the 13th session of the
ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which completed its work in Wiesbaden
on Thursday. Among other events, the Assembly adopted a resolution calling
for the deployment of an international force in Darfur.
In the absence of a delegation from Zimbabwe, it was decided in advance that
there would not be a vote on a resolution on the situation in that country
during this meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA). Clear
positions on the regime of Robert Mugabe were nevertheless expressed during
Certain ACP delegations criticised the holding of a debate in Wiesbaden
given the absence of Zimbabwean delegation. JPA Co-President Glenys Kinnock
(PES, UK) said she did not understand the reluctance to discuss the issue of
Zimbabwe: "People are suffering in the country." She pointed out that Nelson
Chamisa, an MP from the opposition and spokesperson for the Movement of
Democratic Change was attacked and suffered a head injury at Harare airport
on his way to a meeting of JPA in Brussels in March. "Our Assembly has the
responsibility to address this issue because Zimbabwe has signed the Cotonou
Agreement", she concluded.
Peya Mushelenga (Namibia) expressed his disagreement with "all those who
took sides on the issue of Zimbabwe" and said that other topics should be
addressed like the situation in Palestine, the blockade on Cuba and Iraq.
Send an international force to Darfur
In a resolution adopted on developments in Darfur, the parliamentarians
consider that the deployment of a hybrid UN/African Union force "must take
place as soon as possible". They call on the Sudanese government to "disarm
all the rebels including the janjaweed, and to end the bombing of the Darfur
"We must avoid what happened in ex-Yugoslavia, where we were late taking
action and late in intervening and we all know the consequences that
followed," said Josep Borell (PES, ES) Chair of the European Parliament
Mr Borrell will lead a delegation of five MEPs to Darfur from 30 June to 6
The Assembly also adopted reports on:
a.. Good governance, transparency and accountability in relation with the
exploitation of natural resources in ACP countries - co-rapporteurs: Michael
Gahler (EPP-ED, DE) and Evelyne B. Cheron ( Haiti)
b.. Migration of Skilled Workers and its Effect on National Development -
co-rapporteurs: Sharon Hay Webster ( Jamaica) and Luisa Morgantini (GUE/NGL,
c.. Poverty reduction for small farmers in ACP countries - in particular
in the fruit, vegetable and flowers sectors - co-rapporteurs: Kilontsi
Mporogomyi ( Tanzania) and Carl Schlyter (Greens/EFA, SE)
The JPA brings together Members of the European Parliament and MPs from the
African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states which have signed the Cotonou
Agreement that governs EU relations with the ACP for a 20-year period.
The next meeting of the JPA will take place in Kigali (Rwanda) from 17 to 23
Co-President : Glenys Kinnock (PES, UK)
Co-President : René Radembino-Coniquet (Gabon)
13th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
Posted on: 28-Jun-2007
While Ghana prepares to host 52 Heads of State of Africa from
July 1-3, 2007 for the Ninth Ordinary Summit of the African Union, a number
of pressure groups and individuals are also preparing to organize massive
demonstrations that could possibly mar an otherwise grand and historic event
in the life of the continent.
The Independent says the planned demonstrations will be
organised over three main issues; the Darfur crises, the political turmoil
and economic crisis in Zimbabwe and the killing of some 44 Ghanaians in the
A number of human rights activists and non-governmental
organizations are going to lead the demonstrators, who have started
converging in Accra from different parts of Africa.
The Independent says its sources close to the organisers of the
mass demonstrations say they are awaiting more numbers and they are going to
beat the streets till the AU Summit hears what they have to say.
They said they would go to the farthest ends to bring the human
rights violation across the continent to the leaders who will be here.
The sources said, the situation in the Darfur is appalling and
the intransigence of Khartoum is worsening it. The least said about
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe the better, the paper quotes one source,
and added that President Mugabe has turned himself into a block that is not
doing anything to relieve the people of their plight.
Turning the radars on Gambia another source pointed out that
there must put the killing of some 50 Ghanaians in the Gambia on the table
for the African leaders to look at.
The paper said, having picked up those signals, the security
agencies in the country are on high alert to avert possible disruption to
the African Union (AU) Summit.
On Wednesday, machine gun-wielding policemen could be seen on
the streets within two mile radius of the Accra International Conference
Centre (AICC) where the summit is expected to take place.
The armed security personnel subject people entering the
conference centre to thorough search and interrogations. A number of plain
clothes security personnel have also been deplored at the conference centre
and areas close to the AICC.
Areas besieged by the security personnel include Osu, Ridge, and
the Ring Road Central.
The paper said a number of organisations planning to organise
the demonstrations have received funding from Europe and the United States
of America. Others have also received funding from opposition parties in
some African countries.
A leading Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Commonwealth
Human Rights Initiative has indicated its readiness to protest against
Gambia President Yahaya Jammeh's attending of the Summit for the killing of
44 Ghanaian immigrants by Gambian security forces.
Source: The Independent
Africa News, Netherlands
28 June 2007 - The Zimbabwe Crisis Platform. In all the confusion over what
is at issue in the current Zimbabwe crisis, a few points seem to have been
missed entirely. They seem to have been wholly missed by the SADC Presidents
in Dar-es Salaam recently when they unwisely endorsed Zanu(PF)'s "land
Firstly, a number of public opinion surveys in the past 7 years have shown
that land is not a concern for the ordinary Zimbabwean. In the two surveys
conducted by the Afrobarometer, in 1999 and 2004, less than 1% in 1999 and
only 4% in 2004 said it was an issue of importance. Clearly land is not the
issue for ordinary Zimbabweans that Zanu(PF) claims it is.
Liberation struggle not about land
Secondly, whilst land was an issue during the liberation struggles, it was
not the only issue. Actually, the major issue was enfranchisement, for it
was by denying the majority of Zimbabweans the vote that the various white
governments maintained their control of political power. The calls for
majority rule and one man, one vote were at the core of the struggles
between black and white through the sixties and seventies.
If the SADC Presidents were even-handed about land, they would support the
need for land reform but disagree with the manner of land reform. They could
do this without losing face, and earn the respect of the Zimbabwean people.
After all the facts on Zimbabwean land reform are very clear to all, and
supported by empirical evidence.
Firstly, whilst the land reform process was not the only factor in the
demise of the Zimbabwe economy - the decline had begun at least 5 years
before 2000 - it has been the single most important factor since 2000.
Furthermore, Economist Craig Richardson has demonstrated that the decline
since 2000 cannot be explained by drought, as is frequently argued by the
Zimbabwe government. The 'drought' of 2000/01 was only about 22% below
average rainfall, and less severe than at least twelve other recent low
rainfall periods. Furthermore, the previous relationship between GDP growth
and rainfall that had held for two decades no longer applied after 1999.
Drought not the reason
The comparison between Zimbabwe and its regional neighbours further
strengthens this point. As a report for the Centre for Global Development
demonstrated, there has never been a two-year period in which a drought in
Zimbabwe's maize-producing regions was not seen also in Zambia and Malawi.
Despite this pattern, the drop in Zimbabwe's maize production has exceeded
its neighbours over the past 5 years. Zimbabwean maize production fell 74%
from 1999 to 2004, while in Malawi it fell just 31% and in Zambia it
actually increased. Therefore, it is clear that drought does not explain the
catastrophic decline in the Zimbabwe economy
Secondly, the other explanation for Zimbabwe's economic decline endlessly
repeated by the Zimbabwe government, the application of economic sanctions,
also does not hold water. This Zanu-PF point of view was also supported by
the SADC Presidents at Dar-es-Salaam. The only official sanctions applied to
Zimbabwe are those specifically targeted at individuals by both the EU and
the US, and these involve travel bans and the freezing of external assets
for the listed persons. It is true that there has been a withdrawal of many
aspects of development assistance, but not humanitarian assistance. The
Bretton Woods institutions have also withdrawn support to Zimbabwe, but not
for reasons of politics, rather these are related to the failure to pay its
debts and its extremely poor fiscal and monetary policies.
No land redistribution but violent displacement
Thirdly, as a new report from the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
demonstrates, the process of land "acquisition" resembled a violent
displacement rather than any semblance of legal acquisition of land. The
report states this baldly: "This report finds that the gross human rights
violations, and the violations of rights generally, were much greater than
had been previously assumed. It is also evident that the patterns of
violations and those involved in the perpetration of these violations are
not commensurate with conflicts over land between land owners and landless
people. Instead the data from the survey suggests organised appropriation
by an elite, as has been widely claimed."
Fourthly, the losses incurred by commercial farmers and farm workers were
not trivial. According to the Human Rights Forum report, the total financial
losses incurred by white farmers responding to the survey, according to
their own estimates, are US$368 million. If the survey's figures are
extrapolated to the entire commercial farming sector the figure is an
astronomical US$8.4 billion. This has nothing to do with the value of the
land or improvements, but with damages incurred as a consequence of the
government's failure to protect farmers and undertake an orderly process of
land reform. These are losses for which civil damages should be able to be
The First Post
It's a daily struggle trying to survive in
a society where money is worthless
I popped out for a Z$25,000 loaf of bread last Friday. It had gone up to
Z$30,000 dollars. I ran home for the extra, ran back to the shop - and the
price of my loaf had risen to Z$44,000.
That's life in Zimbabwe today - or at least it was, until this week when our
government took bold and decisive action to reduce the inflatory spiral, and
predictably everything got even worse straight away.
Perhaps alarmed by the forecasts of doom issuing from the lips of American
ambassadors and others, the government decided that the simplest way to cut
prices was to... well, cut prices.
An order went out to all manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to slash
their prices by half. Any who showed the slightest reluctance to do so were
visited by the Green Bombers - young graduates from the Zanu-PF terror camps
whose economic arguments are enforced with a smack on the head with a stout
Those shops that obeyed the edict and reduced their prices were invaded by
fervent shoppers, and the result was chaos, with many businesses threatening
to close their doors for the rest of the week at least, if not for good.
And the end result? Where it worked best, where prices were cut by a genuine
50 per cent, the government succeeded in reducing the cost of living to
almost exactly what it was 10 days ago.
The government has some other exciting wheezes on the go. Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono is issuing a new set of bearer cheques,
replacing those introduced last August, and intended to be used instead of
dollars. Bearer cheques, of course, are soon subject to the same
inflationary whirlwind as real money.
So where are we today? Back in the same old chaos, is the answer. Zimbabwe
is becoming a non-currency society. No one banks money any more. We only go
to our banks to cash our salary cheques as soon as they are paid in. Then we
run - and I do mean run - to the nearest store to buy something.
Anything. After all, a kilo of sugar is as sweet next week as it is today,
and the money spent to buy it will be little more than worthless tomorrow.
You might like to know how much things cost on an everyday basis, and I can
give you some prices. A shirt is Z$15m. Shoes, Z$20m. A beer - Z$75,000.
Mind you, that's at the time of writing. No doubt by the time of reading
those prices will seem fatuously low.
So how do we manage? The answer is, by the historic medium of barter.
Housewives barter what they have in their kitchen cupboard. A few beans for
a litre of oil, perhaps. They take their example from our government, which
now hands over what sugar we still produce to Malawi in exchange for maize
So whose fault is all this? Who's to blame? The government has no doubt.
It's you - the nations of the west. You are deliberately strangling us;
deliberately inflating our currency; deliberately bringing economic chaos
down on our heads, in order to get rid of Mugabe and co.
If that is so, can you please hurry it up?
FIRST POSTED JUNE 28, 2007
Monsters and Critics
Jun 28, 2007, 8:35 GMT
Harare/Johannesburg - Two reporters from Zimbabwe's state- controlled Herald
daily have appeared in court on extortion charges, the newspaper reported on
The two, both in their 20s, are charged with soliciting and receiving a 4
million Zimbabwe dollar bribe (4,000 US dollars) from the director of the
Institute of Administration and Commerce last week.
The allegation is that one of the reporters phoned the director and said he
was working on a story on rumoured corrupt activities at the institute,
which is based in the capital Harare.
The director, Gordon Mombeshora, is claiming that the pair agreed with him
to stop publishing the story in return for the money, which is way above a
state journalist's salary.
Detectives picked up the pair as soon as they were given the money, the
The allegations will be another slap in the face for Zimbabwe's state media,
which is closely controlled by President Robert Mugabe's government.
The private press in Zimbabwe has been hard hit by a raft of press laws that
have seen dozens of private reporters arrested, mostly for working without
licences or publishing stories highly critical of the authorities and the
State reporters have been largely spared the ravages of the press laws, but
they have got into a few messes of their own making.
A reporter in the eastern border city of Mutare was recently implicated in
an extortion case, while another journalist in the central city of Masvingo
has been accused of raping a teenager.
The two Herald reporters have been released on bail of 200,000 Zimbabwe
dollars each. Their trial has been set for August 21.
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Many prices rocketed this week:
[404.9% over 4 weeks]
[Z$160,000.00 on street only]
[Z$325,000.00 on street only]
[276.5% over 4 weeks]
[ 124.6% over 4 weeks]
The Z$ is dropping so fast on the parallel market it is difficult to give a rate.
June 28 2007 at 09:20AM
South African advocate George Bizos has urged Zimbabweans from all
political persuasions to convene and consider granting President Robert
Mugabe a comprehensive amnesty to pave the way for his departure from power
and at least ensure a beginning to the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis.
"There ought to come a stage when all Zimbabweans (of differing
political persuasions) say: let bygones be bygones . let us look into the
future and not the past ." Bizos said at a seminar entitled "Zimbabwe at the
Crossroads" at the South African Institute of International Affairs in
Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
"It worked for us in South Africa; it can work for Zimbabwe ." added
Bizos, in reference to indemnifying Mugabe for atrocities committed while in
office, just like the ANC did with most former apartheid rulers.
Bizos went on to slam constitutional amendments gazetted by the
Zimbabwean government two weeks ago, which are seen as giving the ruling
Zanu-PF an easy victory in next year's elections.
The amendments significantly expand the size of parliament, among
other things, empowering Mugabe to create more constituencies in his rural
strongholds in an effort to maintain his large majority in parliament.
Bizos said that in a nutshell, the constitutional amendments were
aimed at perpetuating Mugabe and Zanu-PF's authoritarian rule.
Bizos added that he did not want to comment on whether the current
talks between the opposition and the ruling party mediated by President
Thabo Mbeki would succeed.
But what he was sure of was that next year's elections in Zimbabwe
would not be free and fair unless the current electoral framework was
This article was originally published on page 7 of The Star on June
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai will be
holding meetings with President John Kuffor of Ghana soon and CAJ News can
reveal that the chairman of the African Union has called the meeting after
growing concern over the tense political situation in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai is expected to ratchet pressure on Kuffor, who since taking over
the AU chair has shown clear disdain and disapproval of President Robert
Mugabe's human rights abuses and political repression.
Highly-placed sources within the main wing of the MDC led by Tsvangirai told
CAJ News in confidence that the former trade unionist would use the
opportunity to call for censure of Mugabe as well as expose the
ineffectiveness of the Mbeki dialogue initiative, which Zanu (PF) is using
to buy time and try to strike an unfair deal with the opposition.
"Tsvangirai is going to tell Kuffor that contrary to what Mugabe tries to
make the world believe, there is no improvement on the political situation
in Zimbabwe and that it now requires resolute action by the AU and the
African leaders," a senior MDC official said.
"Kuffor has also requested that Tsvangirai briefs him on the Mbeki dialogue
initiative and the president is going to call a spade a spade especially by
exposing the delaying tactics being used by Zanu (PF) as well as Mbeki's
bias in the mediation.
MDC secretary general, Tendai Biti confirmed the visit to Accra, Ghana by
Tsvangirai and his team but said details of the meeting could only be
revealed after the discussions.
Kuffor is believed to be planning a visit to Harare in the coming month to
assess the situation as well as hold discussions with Mugabe, who is
increasingly attracting the condemnation of his colleagues in Africa over
political repression and refusal to step down from power.
Tsvangirai and other Save Zimbabwe Coalition leaders were recently in the
United Kingdom where they held rallies and meetings as part of the
international outreach ahead of next year's elections- CAJ News.
BULAWAYO, 28 June 2007 (IRIN) - What people discard tells you something
about their level of wellbeing: for the garbage collectors who trawl through
the trash at the municipal dumpsite in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city,
things have never been so bad.
The roar of a refuse collection truck approaching the dumpsite on the
outskirts of the southern city triggers a newfound desperation among the
rubbish recyclers trying to make a living from other people's leftovers.
At the entrance gate two men have vaulted onto the top of the truck, while
another hangs precariously from its tailgate, their mouths stuffed with rags
to avoid the suffocating dust as best they can. Two others stand guard at
the gate to screen encroaching newcomers.
"We just don't allow anyone to come into our territory because there is much
less to go around for everyone," says one of the guards, scanning an
expectant group milling near the entrance.
Tenjiwe Sihlalo, 40, wades through the mashed garbage, trying to keep pace
with the slow-moving truck, ignoring the grit and dirt it has churned up.
"Good garbage is hard to come by these days, unlike in the past, when we
could get quality throwaways," she says.
As the truck tips out its load, the scavengers rush forward, waving away the
plumes of dust, trying to quickly identify anything of value for resale.
"You hardly find enough trash of reasonable quality," complains 52-year-old
The manufacturing firms that have survived Zimbabwe's seven-year recession
have been conserving packaging - bad news for the dumpsite entrepreneurs.
Economists estimate that most firms are operating at between 60 percent and
70 percent below capacity in a long-running foreign currency crisis that has
squeezed imports of raw materials and equipment spare parts. Just two out of
10 Zimbabweans have formal jobs, while inflation, currently around 4,000
percent, could hit over a million percent by the end of the year.
Hlongwane has been recycling garbage for the past five years, and says times
have never been this tough. "It appears manufacturers no longer discard
cartons and cardboard boxes that used to fetch us good money," he comments,
picking through scraps of cardboard.
"Either that or the workers at the factories first go through the material
that has to be thrown away for what they can retrieve for recycling before
dumping the worst for us."
The erratic collection of garbage by the city council from Bulawayo's
wealthier suburbs has not helped.
"We used to get second-hand clothes and shoes thrown away by the residents.
Now we rarely do," Sihlalo says, inching towards the base of the rubbish
dump to prize out what looks like a broken sandal before picking up her bag
and heading for an open space to sort out her day's finds.
The planned conservation area will straddle the borders of
Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is hoped the park will bring in tourists to such attractions
as the Victoria Falls, Okavango swamps, Chobe National Park and Caprivi Strip.
Officials believe it will also help regional tourism ahead of
the 2010 World Cup taking place in South Africa. The prosposed Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Park will cost an
estimated $100m to set up and is expected to contribute significantly to job
creation in the five countries. Africa's biggest game park at the moment is the
35,000-square-kilometre Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park on the borders of
Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. While the southern African region has big potential as a tourist
destination, those meeting in Botswana's capital, Gaborone, say much needs to be
done to attract tourists to the region. At Thursday's gathering tourism ministers and environmental
experts are hammering out a joint conservation policy. "The major issue is about sustainable tourism," Botswana's
Tourism Minister Kitso Mokaila told the BBC. "Tourism is a revenue generator and therefore if we can get the
conservation issue right then I think we can start talking more positively and
more confidently about sustainable tourism." Among the obstacles cited were the landmines scattered in the
Cuando Cubango region of Angola, where a 27-year civil war ended in 2002.
"What we want right now is to make sure that the funds that are
available for the de-mining to proceed as soon as possible," said Eduardoa
Chingunji, Angola's tourism minister. "But let's not forget that at times also the question of
landmines in Angola is overblown... there are specific areas where there were
battle lines for a long time - that's where you find the concentration.
"The priority right now is to de-mine a major part of the border
that is between the countries," he said. Another issue the ministers have been grappling with is the bad
image associated with Zimbabwe that could well tarnish their park project.
Tourists tend to shun Zimbabwe because of the political and
economic strife there. But Mr Mokaila said he did not see politics coming in the way of
business. "When I was in the Victoria Falls all I could see were tourists
all over the show. Obviously if the Zimbabwe situation were to change it would
also enhance what we're doing. "But I think that the very fact that we're also involved with
them in these negotiations also assists their issues." As well as finding a common position on issues of tourism and
the management of the wildlife, it is also hoped that the project will assist in
region's economic integration. Reuters http://www.charlierandall.org/ From The Cape Times (SA), 28 June Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
BBC Focus on Africa, Gaborone
Jazz legend raps Africa leaders for lack of action
Thu 28 Jun 2007, 17:35 GMT
By Orla Ryan
ACCRA, June 28 (Reuters Life!) - South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela
accused African leaders on Thursday of doing nothing to stop killing in
Darfur and injustice in Zimbabwe as they prepared to discuss plans for a
Trumpet player Masekela, who had also campaigned against apartheid in South
Africa, joined African civil society groups in calling for action on Darfur
and Zimbabwe days before the start of an African Union summit in Accra,
The main item on the summit agenda is a proposal to build a United States of
Africa and create an executive structure to govern it. Some African rights
activists say the meeting should be working instead to end conflicts and
abuses on the world's poorest continent.
Masekela was scathing about what he called the inability of African leaders
to tackle problems on their own doorstep, such as the crisis in Sudan's west
Darfur region, where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed in a
conflict between government-backed militias and rebels.
"The African Union is not going to do anything, these are people who sit to
dinner together, who drink wine together. I won't say they protect each
other but they are not going to do anything," Masekela told reporters.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an NGO event organised to highlight the
situation in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe is accused by critics
of repressing opponents and driving the country to the brink of economic
Advocates of creating a federal African government for the 53-nation AU say
it will have the strength and authority to prevent situations like Darfur
from occurring, or of intervening to stop them if necessary. Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi is proposing a continental army.
But some countries, like South Africa and Uganda, want a more gradual
approach that moves towards greater continental integration through the
strengthening of regional economic communities that already exist. (Editing
by Pascal Fletcher; Dakar Newsroom; +221 864 5076)
West Indies board cancels A-team tour
June 28, 2007
A dismal day for Zimbabwe cricket was capped by confirmation from the West
Indies that the proposed A-team tour had been cancelled. The news comes
within hours of a damning ICC report into Zimbabwe cricket being leaked by
Although the West Indies Cricket Board told Cricinfo yesterday that no
decision had been made, it now emerges that Bruce Aanensen, the WICB chief
executive, had already written to the Zimbabwe board to notify them that the
tour was off.
"I regret to advise that in spite of our best efforts and your unstinting
support, we are now advised by the CARICOM Secretariat that after careful
consideration of a wide range of views they regretfully have to change their
position and advise the WICB that the tour should not take place," he said.
"You will appreciate that we have to be guided by the wishes of the heads of
government. Our apologies to Zimbabwe Cricket for any inconvenience caused
by this late decision."
Lovemore Banda, the ZC media manager, told The Herald that the decision was
"regrettable", adding that the "training squad will remain in camp as we
have a Zimbabwe A tour to South Africa at the end of July. We will also
continue talking to other boards about A tours as part of our on-going
programme to expose our young side to top-level three or four-day cricket."
Although the WICB statement indicated that CARICOM had changed its position,
Cricinfo revealed last week that a senior official said it had never given
the board the all clear.
Furthermore, the WICB had been unable to raise a side after WIPA, the
players' association, advised its members that there were serious security
issues surrounding the tour. The WICB had been trying to find players but
had been unable to do so, and it had even been unable to find anyone to
captain the team.
Despite repeated assurances that a squad was about to be named, with West
Indies set to land in Harare on July 1 and play the first four-day match on
July 4, it became increasingly obvious that the trip was doomed.
Until now, the only sides refusing to tour Zimbabwe on safety or moral
grounds have been white, and this has been seized on by the authorities as
evidence of what government sources have variously described as "racism" and
"colonialism". But that West Indies are now unwilling to tour raises serious
concerns about the future of the country as a destination for tours of any
Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo
Zimbabwe stand accused
THE international community is due to learn today that more than
£300,000 has gone missing from Zimbabwe Cricket funds, siphoned into three
unknown companies in transactions not disclosed to the auditors.
Discrepancies were revealed by a forensic check commissioned by the
International Cricket Council. In addition Zimbabwe Cricket officials were
suspected of being involved with motor vehicle importers and striking deals
in contravention of their government's foreign exchange regulations. That
business was believed to be worth about £500,000.
The ICC are meeting in London this week and, according to the BBC,
delegates have seen a damning report by Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief
executive. Serious doubts have been cast on the authenticity of the
Zimbabwean balance sheet. Funds due from the World Cup tournament have been
withheld since the first payment of more than £1 million.
There is evidence, cited in cricinfo, that the Zimbabwe Cricket
accounts have been suspect since at least 2004.
This week the West Indies A tour to Zimbabwe was cancelled for
"security reasons" apparently on the advice of the Caricom secretariat,
though it was reported that the Board were having difficulty raising a team
of enough players willing to go.
The Zimbabwe nation is experiencing an eighth successive year of
recession, shackled by near-worthless currency -- the Zimbabwe Dollar. They
have the world's highest inflation rate, which rose to 4,530 per cent in
May, leaving four in five people without jobs and communities facing
starvation. The business community has accepted that the economy is now on
the brink of collapse.
A report released last week by the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries confirmed that productivity had plummeted: "The manufacturing
sector now contributes 15.5 per cent to Zimbabwe's gross domestic product,
compared with 24 per cent a decade ago. The country has also been hit by
shortages of electricity and foreign currency as well a skewed exchange rate
and government price controls."
The Confederation president, Callisto Jokonya, commented: "We no
longer have an industry to talk about. We have de-industrialised ourselves."
The manufacturing sector, which used to be the strongest sub-Sahara outside
South Africa, contracted by seven per cent last year, and agriculture has
seen a catastrophic decline since the farm seizures.
President Robert Mugabe has accused Western countries of economic
Posted by Charlie Randall
No time to shop around as Zimbabwe
prices shoot up by the hour
Harare - Accountant Shawn Kureva was left cursing his decision to delay
buying cement at a Harare hardware store until he had compared prices
elsewhere in inflation-ravaged Zimbabwe. "The price for a bag of cement was
Z$300 000 and I had enough money for five but thought it was not a bad idea
to compare prices," he said of his shopping trip last Friday. "When I went
around other shops in the neighbourhood, I found cement was out of stock. By
the time I went back to the first shop in the afternoon the price had shot
up to Z$850 000 a bag so I bought two instead of five." It could have been
worse. If he had waited until after the weekend he would only have had
enough for one bag as the price had shot up again to Z$1.2 million dollars
by Monday. There are thousands of similar stories every day in Zimbabwe.
With the country's world-record inflation driving prices haywire there is a
new unwritten law for shoppers, buy now or pay double later. "The price
escalations are not sustainable," said Best Doroh, an analyst with the
financial group ZB Holdings. "Those who have a little excess cash are
converting it to more stable currencies."
The inflation rate was last announced surreptitiously in a newspaper report
at 3 714% in April and is now believed to be well beyond 4 500%. Outgoing US
ambassador to Harare Christopher Dell said inflation would end the year at
1.5 million percent and end up toppling President Robert Mugabe. Over the
past weeks, prices of some goods and services went up more than 300%. To
cushion workers, some companies are giving staff grocery hampers as part of
their pay. On Monday, the government ordered businesses to slash prices of
basic goods such as cooking oil, bread and fuel by half as part of a clutch
of measures to stall escalating prices. But economics professor Tony Hawkins
expressed doubt the new price freeze would arrest the inflation spiral.
"Logically, if controls are imposed arbitrarily without taking into
consideration the production costs, firms will say they can't produce.
Shortages will be the natural result and this will see the scarce
commodities appearing at much higher prices on the parallel market." The
goverment often blames the economic decline on targeted sanctions imposed by
the US and the European Union on Mugabe. Last week a state daily claimed to
have unearthed a grand plot, masterminded by the US and former colonial
master Britain, to destroy Zimbabwe's economy.
JAG Job Opportunities dated 28 June 2007
Job Opportunities; <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com or
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
Contracts in the DRC
Wanted: for six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers. One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production. Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a
Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
Furniture Factory Manager
Beira, Mozambique - based
A furniture factory making a range of hardwood furniture is looking for a
This person will be responsible for:
Management of the machine shop and assembly line of a hardwood furniture
Implementation of the process of continuous improvement within the factory.
Production scheduling of orders and management of all raw materials and
Operations and the maintenance of the equipment.
Quality management and control.
The candidate should have experience with working with large teams of semi
and unskilled workers. Be adaptable and creative, working in sometimes
difficult conditions without technical support. The ability to make critical
decisions, at times with little information, to anticipate problems and plan
for them. The flexibility to develop creative, practical and realistic
solutions in based on an understanding of the limitations of the local
Experience in production and manufacture in the timber industry preferred,
though relevant non-timber production experience in developing countries
also an advantage.
The candidate should be prepared to reside full time in Mozambique full
time. Fully legal residence and work permits will be provided.
Package in US$.
Portuguese not essential at the start but the successful candidate would
have to learn to communicate in the language.
Basic computer literacy an advantage.
CV's will be accepted until the end of June 2007, and the candidate will be
expected on I August 2007.
Included in your CV or on the covering letter please advise what package you
will be expecting.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax +258 23 30 21 61 for an application
For additional company information see www.dalmann.com
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
Preferably married but without children. Traceable references required.
Accommodation on site.
Contact G. Dartnall - 302702.
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
VACANCY - ESTATE MANAGER
Applications are invited for the position of Estate Manager at St George's
Applicants should have mechanical experience sufficient for the maintaining
of vehicles, borehole pumps, estate machinery and the general supervision of
the on-site workshop and stores department.
Other duties include the maintenance of school buildings and staff
residential accommodation, the care and development of grounds and gardens
as well as the correct utilization of the irrigation and water management
Applicants should have good man management skills; the ability to understand
and converse in both languages will be an advantage as would basic computer
A good salary is offered, commensurate with experience, as well as other
benefits including housing on campus.
Interested candidates should forward CV's and contactable references to the
Headmaster's Secretary on email@example.com or Fax CV's to Harare
Closing date for applications will be the 30th June and we regret that only
short-listed candidates will receive a response.
(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)
Must be young, innovative, and computer literate. Excel spreadsheets a must.
Good telephone manners needed. Msasa area.
e-mail cv's to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 486168
(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)
Nursery School Teacher
Fairly newly established nursery school in Chisipite looking for a qualified
nursery school teacher to teach pre-school year. Looking for somebody who
is not likely to be leaving country in near future and mature and
professional by nature. Attractive salary on offer and lovely environment
to work in.
Please contact Kerry-Ann on 0912 754226.
(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)
. . . to commence soonest . . .
UK based business needing a competent & efficient, self-motivated,
dedicated, responsible mature person of high integrity to manage their
office in Zimbabwe.
Required of you:-
A. Excellent Computer Skills in -
- MSOutlook emails
- File Management
B. Good in MSExcel
C. Company Registration procedures:
- working knowledge of
Knowledge of LINUX an added advantage
Located in Avondale.
Remuneration paid from UK
Assessments being conducted by
Thomas Vallance ACIArb
Trust Executives & Administrators
Para-Legal Advisory Services
POBox HG750, Highlands.
Tels: (B) 04-304 482
(M) 011-617 161
(Ad inserted 14 June 2007)
We are looking for a mature person or couple to run our small 12 bed safari
camp. This position would be ideal for a mature couple or man from a farming
Essential are staff management skills as well as able to speak shona.
Love of wildlife and wilderness areas.
Ideal candidates will have some animal husbandry skills in particular in
relation to horses.
The camp is situated 2 hours from Harare.
There is no zesa but then again there is none in Harare!
Good communication skills and like people also a requirement!
Some handy man skills an advantage.
Excellent package for right person/s.
Please contact 091 2256434 or email email@example.com delay in our
replying via email may be experienced due to dial up/phone problems.
RIDING SAFARIS - MAVURADONHA MOUNTAINS
PO BOX BW 1714 - BORROWDALE
HARARE - ZIMBABWE
PH/FAX: HARARE OFFICE (263) 4 861766
JANINE CELL: (263) 91 256 434
BASE CAMP CELL: (263) 91 252 163
WE OPERATE IN A MALARIA FREE AREA.
WE AIM TO REPLY TO ALL EMAIL MESSAGES WITHIN 24 HOURS - IF YOU HAVE NOT
HEARD FROM US AND ARE EXPECTING A REPLY PLEASE RESEND YOUR EMAIL
ZIMBABWE - POSITIVELY GOOD!
(Ad inserted 21 June)
FINANCIAL MANAGER (ACCOUNTANT OR SENIOR BOOKKEEPER)
* EXPERIENCE ESSENTIAL WITH SOUND KNOWLEDGE OF COMPUTERIZED ACCOUNTING
PRACTICES TO BALANCE SHEET.
* INCUMBENT TO HEAD A DEPARTMENT OF 3 SUBORDINATES IN A LONG
ESTABLISHED FAMILY BUSINESS IN GRANITESIDE HARARE
TELEPHONE - GLYNIS 751704/6 OR CELL 011 630164
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 28 June)
Can anyone recommend a reliable, experienced gardener? We would prefer a
mature person who can work without much supervision. In return a good salary
is offered along with excellent accommodation
Please phone 011 614 233
(Ad inserted 28 June)
Phone - 309855 - 60, 3099274
<mailto:email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
BOOKKEEPERS -M/Only and full day positions with very good remuneration.
PA's - M/Only or full day - always looking for experienced ladies.
Engineer - Experience on Intel / AMD based Servers and server equipment,
knowledge of Windows 2000/2003 Server and UNIX an advantage and 5 years
experience minimum. Urgent.
System Administrator - Installation linux and windows servers, Internet
onsite Linux, Windows support, windows VOIP servers and support, software
support, VPN, network support, computer hardware installation and support
maybe, ISP background added advantage. Attractive package
IBM Hardware - IBM i and or p series and x series midrange servers, at
least two years experience, BSc/HND in Electrical Engineering/Computer
Science or City & Guilds T4/T5 or equivalent
Senior Software Developer - SQL Server, Crystal Reports, VB6 & VB.Net for
financial applications. Need to be a team player with good communication
skills. This is a demanding position with appropriate rewards. Attractive
Web Hosting - At least three years experience working as a Web developer.
Graphic Designer - Flash, Adobe, Macromedia, HTML, Photoshop, Developing
graphics on the web
Group Finance Manager - Review of unit monthly accounts, annual audit,
consolidation and aggregation of Final Stats, Preferably qualified (CA, or
CIMA, or ACCA)
Branch Accountant - Preparation of monthly accounts, monthly
reconciliations, supervision of staff, reporting to Group Financial Manager.
Operations Manager: One of Zimbabwe's leading tourism organisations is
currently looking for a Zimbabwean-born operations manager to be based out
of Harare who will manage all logistics and operations for expeditions and
gap year programmes. Preferably with pro-guides licence, great people
skills, organisational skills, good computer literacy, single or able to
travel often for quite long periods of time and clean drivers license. To
start immediately. Competitive salary.
Project Manager: One of Zimbabwe's leading tourism organisations is
currently looking for a Zimbabwean-born operations manager to manage our
Hwange National Park conservation volunteer programme. Preferably with
pro-guides licence, great people skills, organisational skills, good
computer literacy, single/able to base in Hwange and clean drivers license.
To start immediately. Competitive salary
Phone - 309855 - 60, 3099274
<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 28 June)
Secretary/PA required (preferably a displaced farmer's wife)
An opportunity has arisen at the JAG Trust for a secretarial/personal
assistant to the CEO. The successful applicant must be punctual, reliable,
able to use initiative, meet deadlines, engage in a high degree of public
relation skills and able to work as part of a team and independently. JAG
is a small office but a fun and challenging environment to work in, although
can be stressful at times.
- Minute Taking
- Diary Management for CEO
- Knowledge of all Microsoft Office Programs
- Good PR skills
A competitive, inflation proofed remuneration package is offered plus a fuel
Interested applicants should contact the JAG Office on 04-799410 and furnish
a written application with cv via email (email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org) for the attention of the Trust's CEO.
(Ad inserted 28 June)
We urgently require the services of a Tobacco Manager who will be
responsible for the production of a 90 ha crop. The farm is situated in
The successful applicant will be:
* Hard working and in good health;
* Dependable; and
* Competent and experienced in tobacco production.
Please revert to: email@example.com with copies of current C.V and
references and await follow up from this end
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
Outsource your payrolls. For confidential payrolls produced on FDS system.
Accounting services offered to Final accounts
Contact : Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 011400754.
(Ad inserted 7 June 2007)
I am a mature man looking for Secretarial / Administration/ Reception with
10 years of experience.
Computer literate, good communication skills with
all segments of Zimbabwe and foreign societies. Hard working. I will
consider full or part time engagement in any field. Well travelled having
worked in almost every sector in the industries.
Please contact me on 492 590 (Work) 0912339 438 Cell or e-mail me at:
Tendai Karinda Mr.
(Ad inserted 21 June)
Returning to Harare in August looking for a part time job in a coffee shop,
restaurant, B & B in fact anything that's fun and can keep me busy for 3-4
days a week. Can do most things.
Please contact Merle Grant phone 00 267 7211296 or email email@example.com
(Ad inserted 28 June)
* Available ASAP
* Able to Work without supervision
* Can run an executive office
* Computer literate
* Phone 0912 425 468
* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
email@example.com (updated 28 June 2007)
The planned conservation area will straddle the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is hoped the park will bring in tourists to such attractions as the Victoria Falls, Okavango swamps, Chobe National Park and Caprivi Strip.
Officials believe it will also help regional tourism ahead of the 2010 World Cup taking place in South Africa.
The prosposed Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Park will cost an estimated $100m to set up and is expected to contribute significantly to job creation in the five countries.
Africa's biggest game park at the moment is the 35,000-square-kilometre Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park on the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
While the southern African region has big potential as a tourist destination, those meeting in Botswana's capital, Gaborone, say much needs to be done to attract tourists to the region.
At Thursday's gathering tourism ministers and environmental experts are hammering out a joint conservation policy.
"The major issue is about sustainable tourism," Botswana's Tourism Minister Kitso Mokaila told the BBC.
"Tourism is a revenue generator and therefore if we can get the conservation issue right then I think we can start talking more positively and more confidently about sustainable tourism."
Among the obstacles cited were the landmines scattered in the Cuando Cubango region of Angola, where a 27-year civil war ended in 2002.
"What we want right now is to make sure that the funds that are available for the de-mining to proceed as soon as possible," said Eduardoa Chingunji, Angola's tourism minister.
"But let's not forget that at times also the question of landmines in Angola is overblown... there are specific areas where there were battle lines for a long time - that's where you find the concentration.
"The priority right now is to de-mine a major part of the border that is between the countries," he said.
Another issue the ministers have been grappling with is the bad image associated with Zimbabwe that could well tarnish their park project.
Tourists tend to shun Zimbabwe because of the political and economic strife there.
But Mr Mokaila said he did not see politics coming in the way of business.
"When I was in the Victoria Falls all I could see were tourists all over the show. Obviously if the Zimbabwe situation were to change it would also enhance what we're doing.
"But I think that the very fact that we're also involved with them in these negotiations also assists their issues."
As well as finding a common position on issues of tourism and the management of the wildlife, it is also hoped that the project will assist in region's economic integration.
From The Cape Times (SA), 28 June
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