International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 4, 2007
LONDON: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is close to being considered as a
dictator guilty of committing crimes against humanity on a scale that may
one day see him tried and sent to prison, a British foreign office minister
Lord Triesman, responsible for African affairs , said Mugabe's actions in
causing the political and economic collapse of his country could see him
fall into the same category as former Liberian President Charles Taylor,
whose international war crimes trial started at the Hague, Netherlands,
"I think Robert Mugabe is probably at one of those points where dictators
have to consider whether if they press on they don't fall into the category
of committing crimes against humanity on the scale that the law prescribes,"
Triesman told reporters during a briefing focussed on the twin crises of
Zimbabwe and Sudan.
Though Britain has been very vocal in its public criticism of Mugabe for
some time, Triesman's comments signal a step up in the rhetoric. An official
at the Zimbabwean Embassy in London said he would not comment on Triesman's
During a tour of Africa last week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair
surprised many by voicing support for South African President Thabo Mbeki's
efforts to mediate a solution to Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis
through "quiet diplomacy". Many had expected Blair to use the platform to
issue a customary strong worded rebuke to the Mugabe regime.
Mbeki was appointed in March by the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) to mediate on Zimbabwe, and Triesman said Britain would continue to
back him until August when he unveils proposals on narrowing the wide
differences between Mugabe's ruling party and the opposition Movement for
"It's imperative that the SADC/Mbeki mission succeed and I have no doubt
that Tony Blair will have said that he hopes that's the case," Triesman
Britain has been frustrated by the inertia of Zimbabwe's neighbors, as the
country has slid into a six-year political, civil and economic crisis, but
has not wanted to take a lead in tackling the problems, saying it wanted to
avoid being seen as the "old colonial master".
On Friday, Mugabe accused Britain of backing what he called a terror
campaign by his opponents, saying security officials were on high alert
following the "shameless arm twisting tactics" by Britain and political
opponents to oust him.
Meanwhile, Triesman launched a scathing attack on the United Nations and the
African Union over the delay in formulating a joint proposal to Sudan's
The U.N. was forced to backtrack on a May 24 announcement that it had agreed
with the A.U. on a hybrid, 23,000-member force to bolster the beleaguered
7,000-member A.U. force currently in the region after the African Union
objected to U.N. officials being in command
"The length of time it has taken ... is really, really disappointing," he
said. "Even in the middle of last week they were still negotiating."
He was, however, optimistic that a revised proposal would be released in the
"next few days," and that Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir must
react quickly or a face another U.N. resolution.
"My trigger point is when he gets the A.U./U.N. document with the detail,
he's got to agree to and do it. That's the critical thing."
In November, Bashir agreed to the three-stage package to strengthen the A.U.
force. Bashir has since backtracked on accepting U.N. troops, and approval
of the hybrid force remains a question mark.
Mon 4 Jun 2007, 15:15 GMT
HARARE, June 4 (Reuters) - A Zimbabwe court on Monday ordered police to
launch a fresh investigation into charges that 30 opposition members were
beaten in custody after an initial probe suggested they were not assaulted,
a lawyer said.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists were arrested
in March on links to petrol bomb attacks against police, government and
ruling party targets. They have been in custody since then.
Alec Muchadehama, a lawyer for the MDC, said Harare magistrate Gloria
Takundwa had made the order after police said an initial investigation
showed no one was assaulted.
"The order was made because the police did not comply with the initial order
to investigate the assaults, they just glossed over the issue," Muchadehama
Muchadehama said defence attorneys were now bogged down in court making bail
applications and trying to force the state to set a trial date for the
A High Court judge last month ruled that defence lawyers could make an
application to have the 30 released if the state had not set a trial date by
Monday. Muchadehama said that has still not happened.
President Robert Mugabe's government has accused the MDC of launching a
"terror" campaign with the help of funding from his Western foes. The MDC
denies the charges and says authorities have intensified a crackdown on its
members ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls next year.
Mail and Guardian
04 June 2007 11:36
Disruption of coal supplies to the main power generating station
in Zimbabwe has caused power failures across the country, reports said on
The breakdown at Hwange Power Station has robbed the country of
500MW of power, nearly one-third of its needs, state radio and newspapers
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) was currently
generating 500MW from four of the six generators at the station before they
were forced to shut them down when coal supplies ceased, said the official
The disruption of coal supplies to the power station from the
nearby Hwange Colliery Company occurred after the conveyor belt used to
transport the coal broke down, it added.
As a result of the disruption, most parts of the country went
without power on Sunday.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing erratic power due to diminished
imports from regional suppliers, as well as foreign currency shortages
needed to import spares for broken-down power stations.
The country needs at least 1 820MW of power a day, but it is now
only generating 730MW at the Kariba hydro-power station in northern
Imports of power from neighbouring countries only total 200MW,
leaving a shortfall of 890MW.
Rain in the capital over the weekend also caused numerous
faults, the power company said in a statement.
Zesa engineers are working to restore supplies and expect to
restore power to affected customers as soon as possible, it said. - Sapa-DPA
Tuesday 05 June 2007
By Nqobizitha Khumalo
BULAWAYO -- Zimbabwe's cash-strapped government says it turned down a US$200
million loan offer from a Germany company that wanted to mine diamonds at
its Marange diamond field, adding it would never allow foreign firms to mine
Information Minister and chief government spokesman Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who
was speaking in the second largest city of Bulawayo at the weekend, said
Harare was making over US$400 000 a month from the sale of diamonds mined
from Marange by the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
"The government turned down a US$200 million loan from a German company that
was interested in mining in Marange," said Ndlovu. "We are going it alone as
a country and we are happy with the job that ZMDC is doing in the area."
Ndlovu spoke as a World Diamond Council (WDC) team met with government
officials and other key players in Harare as part of investigations into
allegations Zimbabwe was in breach of council rules by allowing the
smuggling of diamonds mined from Marange and other places in the country to
South Africa for sale to illegal dealers.
Zimbabwe and Venezuela are accused by the WDC of not adhering to the
standards of the Kimberley Process, a diamond certification process used by
international buyers to ascertain the legitimate source of diamonds and
clear them for trade
The mining of diamonds at Marange has been haphazard with the government and
the ZMDC accused of failing to secure the diamond fields from illegal miners
Diamond industry experts say Zimbabwe could have lost nearly US$300 million
worth of the precious stones after villagers, illegal panners, dealers and
smugglers invaded the Marange fields last year before the army was moved in
to restore order.
However, there have been reports that the soldiers send to guard the diamond
fields were making a fortune, illicitly mining the precious stones by night
for sale on a thriving black market for minerals.
And Ndlovu's optimism about the ZMDC's capacity to exploit the Marange
diamond deposits is in stark contradiction to calls by Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono who has publicly called for a foreign partner
to be brought in saying the state firm did not have adequate technical
capacity and financial resources to mine diamonds.
Gono has also called for the reclassification of diamonds as a national
reserve asset, as is the case with gold, and for transparency in the mining
of diamonds at Marange, in a thinly veiled criticism of the failure by the
ZMDC to secure the diamond field from illegal dealers and miners. ZimOnline.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
ELECTRICITY tariffs went up by more than 50 percent yesterday as
Harare residents brace for shock increases in rates, rentals, refuse
collection, health and burial costs next month.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company announced a 50,2 percent
increase in electricity tariffs for both domestic and industrial consumers.
In a statement, ZEDC said the increase reflects a similar rise on the
month-on-month inflation for April that rose to 100,2 percent.
The power utility added that electricity tariffs would be reviewed
monthly in line with inflation trends.
The power tariff increases, which will see the fixed monthly charge
for domestic users rising to $48 400, coincided with the adoption of a
supplementary budget by the commission running the affairs of the City of
Harare to increase rates and other charges with effect from July 1.
The budget proposals were adopted at a full commission meeting without
debate and were signed by Harare commission chairperson Ms Sekesayi
Lodgers are obviously going to bear the brunt of the new charges as
homeowners will increase their rentals to cope with the steep council
According to the proposed budget statement presented to council by
finance committee chairman Mr Alfred Tome, the cost of carrying refuse from
a high-density household per month will be $140 000 with effect from July 1,
up from $3 063.
The cost will be reviewed to $175 000 in October and $210 000 in
January next year.
Low-density residents will pay $150 000 for refuse removal in July,
$190 000 in October and $240 000 in January next year, while commercial
enterprises will pay $195 000 from July, $292 000 in October and $585 000 by
Present costs are $3 675 and $7 350 for low-density and commercial
Council has neither been collecting refuse from all residential areas
nor providing bins.
The cost of falling sick will go up tremendously. Hiring an ambulance
will cost $400 000 from July 1 and goes up to $700 00 in January.
The cost is currently $300 000.
Maternity fees go up to $320 000 in October from the present $63 300.
Clinic fees have also been reviewed upwards. Adults who have been
paying $4 200 will now fork out $20 000 with effect from July 1 and $40 000
in October. Children will pay half the adult fees.
Seeking treatment at council hospitals will require $95 000 per visit
for adults with effect from July 1 and $190 000 by October.
Children will pay slightly above half the adult fees.
Council-rented residential properties, long viewed as the most
affordable in the city, will attract rentals that the majority of council
workers will not be able to pay.
A person occupying a council house in Glen Norah will from July pay
$360 000, up from $10 074. The amount goes up to $540 000 in October.
The rentals in Dzivaresekwa council houses will be $240 000 in July
and $360 000 in October.
A council house in Kuwadzana, which presently costs $28 600, will rise
to $1 032 000 from July 1 and $1 548 000 in October while council's
Belvedere flats which are being rented for $62 300, will jump to $2 992 000
in July and $4 488 000 in October.
The cost of burials in Harare will also go up. With effect from July 1
it will cost $400 000 to cremate an adult and $800 000 in October while the
cost of burial space would be $100 000 from July and $200 000 from October
up from the present $30 000.
Burials in area "A" will be $400 000 from July and $800 000 from
October while area "A+" will cost $2 million from July and $4 million from
October up from $300 000.
The city has often justified its supplementary budgets on the grounds
that the revised rates would help improve service delivery but this has been
easier said than done.
The council charges do not include water, electricity or transport.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority is also lobbying the Government
for an upward tariff review.
Explaining the power tariff increases, the head of the ZEDC technical
unit, Commissioner Gloria Magombo, said:
"The costs of producing electricity are going up every month and yet
tariffs have not gone through the stage that is cost reflective.
"Tariffs are, therefore, expected to rise in line with the costs of
production and monthly inflation."
The fixed monthly charge for domestic users would be pegged at $48 400
while those in the same category using conventional meters would now pay a
maximum $345 for supplies that are over 500 kilowatt-hours.
For the first 50kWh and below consumers would pay $19 and $254 for
500kWh and below but not less than 50kWh.
Domestic consumers on the prepayment meter will pay a minimum $19 per
kilowatt-hour and a maximum $290 for over 500kWh.
For public lighting, the fixed monthly charge is now $116 000 while
the energy charge per kWh now stands at $327.
Light industries demanding low voltage supply will pay $141 000 for
the fixed monthly tariff while heavy industries requiring maximum demand
between (11 kilovolts and above) will have to part with a maximum $422 000
per month in fixed charges.
On and off peak energy charges for heavy industries have been set at
$327 per kWh across the board, meaning industries that require supplies of
power 33 kilovolts and below.
Agricultural consumers and the Government will pay a $204 165 fixed
monthly charge and a maximum $96 per kWh and $172 per kWh respectively.
The rates were, however, exclusive of the 5 percent capital
development levy, 6 percent rural electrification levy and 15 percent VAT.
It costs $90 for the power firm to produce one-kilowatt hour and
around US two cents a kilowatt-hour in imports.
In recent years, uneconomic pricing and lack of sufficient working
capital to meet rising power demand have seen Zesa Holdings operating in the
Tuesday 05 June 2007
By Justin Muponda
HARARE - Talks between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) are likely to fail as factions in the ruling
ZANU-PF party fight for supremacy and also because of the elderly Zimbabwe
leader's desire to hang onto power, analysts said.
South African President Thabo Mbeki was appointed by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to broker dialogue between ZANU-PF and the MDC
and has recently appeared optimistic, even promising a breakthrough by the
time SADC leaders meet for an annual meeting at the end of this month.
But political analysts yesterday said factions within ZANU-PF were too
consumed with the succession issue to an extent that it would be difficult
to have an agreement with an external entity such as the MDC, which Mugabe
frequently labels a puppet party being funded by Western opponents to
overthrow his government.
The ruling party is sharply divided between those who back Mugabe to stay
on, those who support retired defence forces kingpin Solomon Mujuru, who is
pushing his wife Joyce Mujuru to succeed Mugabe and another faction that
backs political heavyweight and Rural and Social Amenities Minister Emmerson
"The conflicts and internal fighting are likely to poison the possibility of
a successful negotiation process," leading political commentator Eldred
Masunungure said. "The intra-party conflict, whether its over succession or
policy, will contaminate the whole process," he added.
"What will happen is that because ZANU-PF is divided along many fault lines,
it will fail to present a unified position on the talks," Masunungure told
Mugabe, who assumed power at independence in 1980, this year caused further
tensions in the ruling party when he announced his intension to run in next
year's elections at a time the other two factions were positioning their
preferred candidates to succeed him.
The move by Mugabe came after party heavyweights had foiled an attempt to
extent his rule by two more years without going to the ballot. But his
backers, led by ZANU-PF national commissar Elliot Manyika, secretary for
administration and Security Minister Didymus Mutasa and his predecessor
Nicholas Goche, maneuvered for Mugabe to win the party's candidature for the
presidential election next year.
That process again, which some party officials say was not transparent, has
widened the rift within the party and Mugabe himself in March accused some
of his ZANU-PF colleagues of receiving money from whites in a bid to push
Nevertheless, Mbeki, who has previously failed in a past attempt to broker a
solution on the Zimbabwean crisis, remains optimistic.
The South African leader hopes a solution will end Zimbabwe's worst economic
crisis that has seen inflation sail past 3,700 percent, unemployment hit 80
percent and sparked shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel as the
economy continues to shrink faster than any other country not at war.
"Unless Mbeki pulls some magic wand he is up a steep slope and the chances
of success are range from slim to nil," John Makumbe, a University of
Zimbabwe political science lecturer said.
Makumbe said the conditions set by Mugabe and the MDC would see the talks
Mugabe wants the MDC to recognize him as the country's legitimate leader,
while the opposition says the veteran leader should stop a crackdown on
political opponents and release its supporters who are in custody over
charges of petrol bombings.
But political analysts said Mugabe's push for an outcome that entrenches his
power was likely to derail the talks adding that only a compromise would
lead to a resolution acceptable to all parties.
The analysts said to show that Mugabe was not taking seriously the talks,
his government was ready to introduce an amendment to the Constitution and
had already started to campaign for next year's elections. The MDC says the
outcome in past elections is at the centre of Zimbabwe's crisis.
"The President is not going to accept any outcome that makes his regime
insecure. He wants to entrench his hold on power and this will run counter
to the MDC and the mediator President Mbeki," said Masunungure.
"That will surely throw spanners in the works and you know he (Mugabe) can
be quite obstinate on issues that he considers of principle," Masunungure
Makumbe added: "All negotiations will come to naught because Mugabe will not
accept anything that will lead to his departure but this is the crux of the
Mugabe has vowed that the MDC will never assume power as long as he lives
and says the opposition party, which nearly defeated ZANU-PF in
parliamentary elections in 2000, is a puppet of Western governments who
oppose his land reforms that displaced white commercial farmers to make way
for blacks. -- ZimOnline.
Tuesday 05 June 2007
By Patricia Mpofu
HARARE - Zimbabwe police have banned the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party from holding rallies in the rural Zaka East
constituency to explain to supporters why it is boycotting a by-election in
the constituency set for next weekend.
Both factions of the splintered MDC have refused to contest the by-election
to replace former Member of Parliament for the area, Tinos Rusere, who died
last March saying the poll is a waste of resources given the country would
soon be voting new legislators early net year.
Rusere, who was also deputy minister of mines, belonged to President Robert
Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party.
"I regret to advise that your application (to hold rallies) has been revoked
and cancelled due to a lot of commitment we are currently facing," a chief
superintended L. Mutupura wrote to the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC last
The police, who are fiercely loyal to Mugabe's government, have in recent
months maintained tight control on political activity in the country and
last May extended a ban on political rallies and protests in Harare, a
bastion of opposition support.
The police first banned political rallies and public demonstrations in
Harare in February over fears of an opposition uprising in the face of a
deepening economic crisis.
The MDC, which has likened the ban to a state of emergency, has appealed to
the High Court to have the ban lifted. The matter is still to be heard.
Political tensions remain dangerously high in Zimbabwe fuelled by an
economic crisis blamed on state mismanagement and which has seen inflation
shooting beyond 3 700 percent amid shortages of food, fuel, electricity and
nearly every basic survival commodity
Mugabe's government, which denies mismanaging Zimbabwe's once brilliant
economy, has routinely used riot police squads to crush anti-government
rallies, most recently on May 8 when they used rubber batons to disperse a
march by human rights lawyers protesting against the arrest of two
The Zaka East by-election will not alter the balance of power in Parliament
where the government enjoys absolute majority. - ZimOnline.
From Business Day (SA), 4 June
Harare - Zimbabwe's government says it has started compensating former white
farm owners for land seized by President Robert Mugabe's government,
according to a public notice issued yesterday. The government has already
allocated Z$10bn for the purpose. This is nominally worth $40m on the
official market, but fetches only about $182 000 on the black market. Mugabe's
government says it will pay only for improvements made on farms, not for the
land. It says this was stolen during the colonial era, which left more than
70% of the most fertile land in the hands of a few white farmers. It has
also said that Britain had reneged on an agreement to pay for the farms and
that London should fully compensate the white farmers. The Commercial
Farmers Union, which now represents about 400 white farmers, has said
properties were being undervalued. The state determined the amount it would
Veterans of the 1970s war of liberation invaded white-owned commercial farms
in 2000 with the backing of the government, which appropriated the land. The
resulting disruption to farming has been widely blamed for Zimbabwe's food
shortages. The lands, land reform and resettlement ministry notice said a
compensation committee had fixed the compensation for all "acquired" farms.
"The former owners or representatives should contact the ministry as a
matter of urgency in connection with their compensation," the public notice
read. More than 4000 white farmers have lost property under the reforms.
Last year a constitutional amendment barred former owners from challenging
the seizures in court. Although Mugabe has officially declared the land grab
over, National Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who is in charge of the
lands, land reform and resettlement ministry , said last week that some
white farmers were refusing to leave farms acquired by the government. He
said they had until October to make way for blacks.
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 4, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe's health service is no longer in danger of
collapse, but has collapsed, a doctors' group said Monday.
"It's chaotic. Don't get sick right now," said one Zimbabwean doctor who
asked not to be identified as strike action left sick and infirm patients at
a main government hospital Monday uncertain they would get attention, even
for minor ailments.
Some drifted away from the outpatients' lobby at Parirenyatwa hospital in
Harare as work stoppages by junior doctors, nurses and hospital staff over
pay and deteriorating working conditions continued and were spreading.
Doctors and staff who showed up for duty were overwhelmed and could not
bridge the gap left by striking colleagues, hospital officials said.
A doctors' group said Monday the government had failed to "address the
prevailing emergency in the public health sector."
The Zimbabwean Association of Doctors for Human Rights said the crisis left
all the nation's major referral hospitals unable to function.
"It can no longer be said the health service is near collapse. The emptying
of central and other hospitals of staff, and therefore patients, means the
health service has collapsed," the group said in a statement.
It said even if staff were not on strike, most could not afford transport
fares to reach their posts that now exceeded monthly incomes.
Several other clinics and public health facilities were also affected by
strike action that has been sporadic for the past month. Zimbabwe is also
facing acute shortages of drugs and basic medical equipment.
The gasoline price rose last week and commuter bus fares generally doubled.
From Monday, a hospital cleaner earning the equivalent of about US$25 (?18)
a month, less than one dollar a day, expected to pay up to US$3 (?2.30) a
day on transport to and from work.
Business executives also reported growing absenteeism.
The doctors' group said absenteeism by doctors and health staff in the same
predicament across the country was causing loss of life. No details of
increased deaths were immediately available.
Hospital officials, however, confirmed details of the reported case of a
50-year-old woman who was admitted to one state health facility on Wednesday
after falling and dislocating her hip.
She was discharged Friday without being examined by a doctor and told go to
a functioning private medical practice - and there were other cases like it,
said officials not permitted to speak without authority of their superiors
or be identified.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, after whose father the main Harare
hospital was named, acknowledged Monday the government health service was
broke and appealed to businesses and corporate interests to "rescue" it, the
official Herald newspaper reported Monday.
"It is a question of social responsibility," he told the newspaper, a
He said many key Zimbabwean medical professionals found jobs outside the
country after suffering "burn out" caused by watching helplessly as patients
suffered or died through the lack of staff, medicines and equipment.
Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980,
with record inflation of 3,714 percent, the highest in the world, and severe
shortages of food, hard currency and gasoline.
The brain drain of experienced medical staff "seriously compromised" the
health service which itself lacked enough working ambulances and other
transportation for the sick, Parirenyatwa said.
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 4, 2007
CAPE TOWN, South Africa: President Thabo Mbeki stressed the importance of a
free and vibrant press Monday and voiced unease about imprisonment and abuse
of journalists in Africa, but sidestepped an appeal to use his clout to end
violations in Zimbabwe.
"The problem of media freedom around the continent is an important one as
the media's role in informing and thereby empowering the people of Africa
cannot be disputed," Mbeki said in an opening address to the annual World
"Our continent has not escaped the effects of the tussle between media
freedom and governance. There are some countries on our continent where
journalists are in prison and this is worrying for all of us," said Mbeki
told 1,600 editors and executives from around the world.
He said a vigorous press - such as the one that has sprung up in South
Africa since the end of apartheid-ear restrictions - was played a pivotal
role in development and voiced sympathy for the anger felt against
governments who act with impunity against journalists.
But he remained silent to a plea by Gavin O'Reilly, president of the World
Association of Newspapers, to use his influence on Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe to end the gag on the press.
Southern African nations recently named Mbeki to mediate in Zimbabwe
following the arrest and brutal assault of opposition leaders in March.
Several journalists were also beaten.
Scores of journalists have been arrested, threatened and assaulted since
sweeping media curbs were enforced in Zimbabwe in 2003. Four independent
newspapers, including the only independent daily, have been shut down under
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
"We readily recognize that the Mugabe regime sees fit to discount any
legitimate commentary from the international community, but we hope that a
fellow African nation like South Africa can actively encourage real progress
and bring normalcy and true liberty to that country," O'Reilly said.
He said that freedom of the press was violated on a daily basis in "dozens
of African nations." One of the main problems was the implementation of
'insult laws' which outlaw criticism of politicians and those in authority,
and criminal defamation legislation.
Southern African publisher Trevor Ncube said that while editors in the west
fretted about economic and technological challenges, newspapers in many
developing countries faced "sheer political survival issues."
Ncube is a Zimbabwean who publishes one of South Africa's leading weeklies
and who has endured numerous threats and attempts to strip him of his
citizenship by Zimbabwe's government.
Worldwide, 110 journalists were killed in 2006, and 58 so far in 2007. He
said more than 130 journalists were currently in jail, including 32 in
China, O'Reilly said.
The newspaper association awarded its annual Golden Pen of Freedom prize to
a Chinese journalist serving a 10-year prison sentence for revealing his
government's orders to newspapers to censor their reporting of the Tiananmen
Square massacre anniversary.
Shi Tao was convicted of "leaking state secrets" for writing an e-mail about
media restrictions in the run-up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen
Square massacre in 2004. The e-mail was picked up by several overseas
internet portals - and by Chinese authorities - and he was arrested.
The award was accepted by the mother of the jailed journalist, Gao Qinsheng,
who said her son was "a direct victim of the shackles of press freedom."
"Even today, most Chinese know nothing about what happened that day. The
Communist regime continues to prevent the Chinese media from talking and
writing about it openly and honestly and will go to great lengths to silence
any such revelations and to severely punish those who make them," said
George Brock, President of the World Editors Forum.
By Violet Gonda
4 June 2007
The Mbeki-led initiative hit a snag this past weekend after a meeting
between Zimbabwe's political parties failed to take off. Some sources within
the opposition movement confirmed that ZANU PF requested a postponement but
declined to comment further. MDC Secretary Generals Professor Welshman Ncube
and Tendai Biti had been expected to sit at the negotiating table in South
Africa with ZANU PF Ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche.
South Africa based political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said not much is
getting out about the nature of the talks and it has been unclear as to why
the meeting was postponed. There has been a strict media blackout and the
political parties are keeping a tight lid on the discussions. This has led
civic groups to insist on their inclusion in the talks.
This has resulted in MDC and civic officials meeting in Pretoria this past
week to discuss how they can inform each other about the talks and how the
civic society can make an input.
Meanwhile the MDC, which was severely weakened by a split in October 2005,
has been holding discussions on the issue of unity and election conditions.
Sources said that last week the MDC held a roundtable meeting in South
Africa, but that also hit a snag on the matter of formalizing the issue of
Raftopoulos said the opposition is going to face many challenges ahead and
there are going to be issues that civic groups and opposition may disagree
on. "There are huge problems ahead. I think Mugabe feels that he is going
into these negotiations to appease his SADC colleagues but clearly it's
going to be very difficult to proceed along the issue of talks. I think at
the moment the problem is alternatives to these talks are not clear. It's
not clear what either the opposition or the civics would do apart from the
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tichaona Sibanda
4 June 2007
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is believed to have held a crisis
meeting in Harare on Monday to review the reliability of an ageing
electricity transmission system.Most areas of the country were left without
power over the weekend after a breakdown of equipment at Hwange power
Earlier this year the general-secretary of the Zesa Technical Employees
Association, Thomas Masvingwe, warned that power outages in Harare and the
rest of the country underscore what energy experts have been warning about
for years, that the system is heading for imminent collapse.
Joel Gabhuza, the MDC secretary for Mines and Energy, said years of
neglected investment in the vast and antiquated network that moves
electricity around the country, combined with steadily growing power needs,
have left the nation's electricity grid vulnerable. 'Government has known
for the past ten years that Hwange power station needed to be refurbished.
There is so much interference in the running of ZESA that political problems
are now creating an economic crisis,' Gabhuza said.
The President of the Zimbabwe Electricity and Energy Workers Union Angeline
Chitambo told Newsreel her union was meeting with management to discuss the
deepening crisis. 'We had no electricity on Saturday and Sunday and this
goes to show our concerns over the issue. We will be meeting with management
(Monday) to raise our concerns and to see if anything urgent can be done to
resolve the power failures,' Chitambo said.
The Herald reported that the country needs at least 1820MW of power a day,
but it is now only generating 730MW at the Kariba hydropower station.
Imports of power from neighbouring countries only total 200MW, leaving a
shortfall of 890MW.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Summary & Comment: In this question and answer session with New Africa
Magazine Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, says dialogue and not
confrontation is the answer to the Zimbabwe crisis.
Baffour: You have been to Europe twice in recent months. Did Zimbabwe come
up in your discussions with European leaders?
President Kikwete: Oh yes, everywhere, everywhere! Zimbabwe is a big story
of huge interest everywhere. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in Europe and
beyond of what is going on in Zimbabwe, and they see President Mugabe as
some kind of devil, somebody who shouldn't have been there, and they think
that we in Africa should have done something to have him removed. Even
yesterday, I was talking to one European journalist after the summit who
said to me: "But Mugabe is still there!" I said, "Yes, but the SADC meeting
was not about removing Mugabe. [Laughs]." There is a lot of this all the
time. I have been to the US, I have been to Britain, I have been to the
Nordic countries, everywhere you go, Mugabe and Zimbabwe become a major
issue of discussion.
Baffour: Do they ever talk about their own economic sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe which are making the economy implode and the country go down?
Kikwete: Of course they say they have not imposed economic sanctions; they
say "targeted sanctions", targeting the leadership.
Baffour: But you know that is not true. You know the economic sanctions
prevent Zimbabwe from borrowing on the international market, and Zimbabwe
can't get debt cancellation, aid, budgetary support or credits like
Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.
Kikwete [cuts in]: I know, I know, I know. We have always had differences
with the international community. They want us to join in the chorus of open
condemnation of Zimbabwe. But we have been saying: "Fine, you can condemn
when something is not going right, but our approach has been 'let's talk
about the issues'." We have always been trying to engage with President
Mugabe and yesterday's summit was the culmination of the whole process,
where we seriously discussed the issues involved. The discussions inside the
closed sessions were very frank on the things that we think the Zimbabwean
government is not doing right, and our view on what could be done right; and
also on the things that we think the opposition is not doing right and what
could be done right.
But at the end of it all, our conclusion has been accusation and
counter-accusation, confrontation and counter-confrontation is not the
answer. Because if confrontation is the answer, what you must simply do is
to arm the opposition so that they will be able to better confront the
government. The government, on the other hand, will also continue to arm
itself so that it can better confront the opposition. But that is not the
answer. The answer is dialogue. The government and the opposition have
differences, and these differences are not such that they cannot be sorted
out at the roundtable. So this is the position that the SADC took and we
agreed that President Thabo Mbeki will take the initiative.
Okay, we know that the opposition and the West have been saying that
President Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy has failed, it is a policy for doing
nothing". Well, we beg to differ, because in mediation the first thing is
"do the parties have confidence in the mediator?" It appears in the
Zimbabwean setting that both sides have confidence in President Mbeki, and
this is the good thing about it all. We think President Mbeki will be able
So what are they going to discuss? They will discuss their differences, but
also how to get to a situation in Zimbabwe where democratic dispensations
function, how to get to free and fair elections - elections are due next
year, it is only 12 months from now, so they have to seriously talk about
it, and other issues?
Both the government and the opposition are going to present their views, and
both will react to the opposing views.
At the end of the day, we will come up with an arrangement acceptable to
both sides. President Mbeki is going to be the point man for this, but SADC
is the owner of this process and it has entrusted a troika for which I am
the chair to work with President Mbeki who will be reporting to us about the
progress of the dialogue, and from time to time we will also be visiting
Zimbabwe to see for ourselves what is going on there. So I am confident. Of
course, there are those who thought the summit should have discussed the
removal of President Mugabe. Well, I told one of them, removing Mugabe was
not on the agenda. The objective has always been how do we help Zimbabwe?
Legally Mugabe is the president until the next elections.
The issue is that there are political, diplomatic and economic difficulties
in Zimbabwe. The economic problems are very acute, I don't know any country
on the continent that has gone through serious economic difficulties as
Zimbabwe has. We had our share of economic difficulties in Tanzania but
never has inflation reached 1,750%. The highest inflation we had here was
about 35%, which was too high for us. But at 1,750%, it means you have to
have a sack of money to buy an egg in a supermarket. It is that bad. So, we
will try to assist the Zimbabwe process, and if we get the cooperation of
the opposition to work with President Mbeki, I am sure we will be able to
help our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe to overcome their present
Baffour: When you went to Zimbabwe recently, it was interpreted in the
British media that you had gone to Harare to read President Mugabe the riot
act. Is that what happened?
Kikwete: No, no! Again it is the perception. But what is it that you want to
see happen in Zimbabwe? We, as SADC, want to see a peaceful Zimbabwe, a
stable Zimbabwe. We want a functioning democracy in Zimbabwe. There are
problems now. Can these problems be sorted out by me going to see President
Mugabe and reading him the riot act?
Baffour: That is how the British media interprets it.
Kikwete: But what happens thereafter? If it is a matter of riot acts, the
more powerful nations have read riot acts to Zimbabwe many times and the
situation has not changed. So, our approach is different, our approach is to
get involved with the parties, bring them together, sit down with them, and
let them talk about their problems. We will be there to help them, we will
be there to facilitate, so that at the end of the day they will agree that
"these are our problems and this is the way out". After they have agreed on
the parameters, they will then go back to their country and try to implement
what they have agreed. We will be there to help if we are needed. If they
are capable of doing it themselves, well and good, they will simply do it.
We think this is the best approach.
So I went to Zimbabwe to get a briefing of what was happening. I duly got
the briefing, and we agreed on a set of measures to do, and yesterday's
summit was the culmination of that process which I started. At the end of
the day, you need the larger SADC, you want everybody to get involved, so
that there will be many hands trying to help the process in Zimbabwe. And
that was the summit we had yesterday. What is important now is for us to
follow up, which is what President Mbeki is going to do.
We have also given ourselves a number of assignments: the SADC executive
secretary is going to look at the economic situation in Zimbabwe and come up
with proposals on what needs to be done. Of course, there are things we can
do within the region to help Zimbabwe, and there are things that we will
depend on the international community, international financial institutions,
and the other developing nations to help.
Baffour: How are you going to convince the international community to lift
the sanctions against Zimbabwe, because in your communiqué you mentioned
"all forms of sanctions". With the punitive Zimbabwe Democracy Act imposed
by the Americans still in place, how are you going to get the international
financial institutions to give Zimbabwe the same treatment as they give to
the other countries?
Kikwete: We know it will take time. But we need to send that message across.
Isolation, which is the strategy that has been adopted by the Western
countries and their allies, will work only, in fact its effectiveness
depends on submission. You isolate countries to force them to submit. This
is the idea. But how long will it take for Zimbabwe to submit?
Baffour: Perhaps they think that if the economy can be tweaked in such a way
that inflation goes up to 3,000 or 5,000%, the people will come into the
streets and demand that President Mugabe must go. It is the same template
they have used everywhere they want regime change.
Kikwete: Of course this is the assumption, but it is not a one-plus-one
equals two. Our societies are different. Subsistence peasants have very
little interaction with the world outside their farms or homesteads. It is
only when they go to hospital, and people don't fall sick everyday, that
they may have something to do with government institutions. My aunt (the
younger sister of my late father who is now 91), she has never been to any
hospital. I fall sick, but she doesn't. Barring accidents, I have never
bothered to take her to any hospital because she doesn't fall sick. Of
course, you may say this is a rare case.
But that is the situation we have in Africa. Under normal circumstances, to
think that this Masai roaming the plains with his cattle is going to go into
the streets because you have isolated the government of Tanzania, he doesn't
give a damn! All he needs from the government is to allow him to take his
cattle to the market. He finds beauty in having a large herd of cattle; he
doesn't want to have anything with street protests.
Baffour: But they are always looking to get the urban population to go into
Kikwete: Yes, isolation may work in urban areas, but the rural population
anywhere in Africa far outnumbers the urban population. Isolation may work
in urban areas but will never work in rural areas. And this is precisely
what happens - you go to elections tomorrow, the government loses in urban
areas but the rural areas continue to vote for it, and the government
remains in power. So I think the best way is to look at the issues, bring
them to the negotiating table, and not wait until the government submits to
isolation. It may take many years, and during these many years, so many
people would have suffered.
That is why I said to one journalist yesterday after the summit: "Let's see
what comes out of this process", and he said: "Oh, you are again adopting a
wait-and-see policy". I said: "It's not wait and see, we've already started
the process and you need to give it time." Of course it is guided optimism,
but I am sure that some good will come out of this initiative.
Baffour: I looked at your communiqué yesterday and something curious caught
my attention. You "recalled that [a] free, fair and democratic presidential
election [was] held in 2002 in Zimbabwe". But the opposition MDC, Britain,
America and their allies all say the election was rigged. So who is telling
the truth: the SADC or the MDC and its Western allies?
Kikwete: Well, the SADC sent its team to Zimbabwe to observe and monitor the
election. And their conclusion was: "It was free, fair and democratic." This
is the basis, but that is beside the point. The issue now is we, the SADC,
are trying to move from here to the next stage, and I am confident that we
will get there.
The important thing has been to have frank discussions with President
Mugabe, which we've been able to do this time, and get into a kind of
understanding, because the situation in Zimbabwe has been a landmark. So
that's where my appeal has always been: Let's all work together to help the
emerging process until it succeeds.
Baffour: I would like to refer you to a very important section of your
maiden speech in parliament on 30 December 2005, nine days after your
inauguration as president, which is quite pertinent to the Zimbabwean
situation. You promised that your government would do all it could to
improve inter-party dialogue and cooperation. You guaranteed each party the
right to develop and propagate its policies, but you added a very important
proviso: "I do not expect any party to have policies that are harmful to
national unity and concord."
Though your government would respect and protect civil and political rights
and freedom, you said this would only be to the extent that political rights
and freedom did not undermine national peace, security, unity and concord.
"True freedom is not without limits," you added. "Limitless freedom is
anarchy. That will not be allowed during my watch."
But this is exactly what is happening in Zimbabwe or what some people would
want to see happen there! In any nation under siege by foreign powers, the
opposition helps the government to break the siege. In Zimbabwe it is the
other way round. Is this why the SADC "reaffirmed its solidarity with the
government and people of Zimbabwe", and did not condemn the recent beating
of opposition leaders by the Zimbabwean police?
Kikwete: No, no, no. It shouldn't be interpreted that way. What we simply
said is this: "SADC cannot abandon Zimbabwe. We cannot abandon the people of
Zimbabwe." There are others who want to isolate Zimbabwe. That is tantamount
to abandoning Zimbabwe. But we say we cannot abandon the people of Zimbabwe.
We have solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. We work together with the
people of Zimbabwe. We will try to help them to sort out their problems.
That is the loaded meaning of that phrase.
Baffour: But in your maiden speech, you talked about "limitless freedom" and
"anarchy" and you said that would not be allowed under your watch. And
"limitless freedom" and "anarchy" appears to be what some people want in
Zimbabwe. If elections are being held next year, why can't the opposition
wait and if they are elected, they come into government? Why do they want to
take power now via some backdoor coup and street protests? Why can't they
wait till the elections, and if this man they so revile, who they claim has
run the economy and country down, have his day with the electors? If he is
as bad as they say, the electorate will throw him out and put the opposition
in. Why do they want street protests now?
Kikwete: Of course I cannot pretend to be an expert on Zimbabwe and the
opposition. I don't know, I don't really know. But the point you are making
here is that there is freedom, but it should not be seen as the freedom to
do anything and everything even if these things are harmful. We are putting
across the same message, that we have freedom but we cannot give anybody the
freedom to demolish the country and say it is my freedom to do so.
The other day I was very cross. There was an advert on Tanzanian TV and
somebody was hiding under the guise of the right to freedom of speech to say
that for him, he enjoys sex best without a condom. So I took him and the TV
station on, and said: "Look, this is wrong; we are fighting against HIV/Aids
which is a national killer. Of course we respect individual freedoms but
this cannot be an advert on TV. It sends out the wrong signals. Please get
it off air." And they removed it.
But somebody would accuse me of infringing individual freedoms.
Well, this advert was not in the national interest! The HIV infection rate
is high in this country - 7%, and we are fighting to bring it down. We are
saying "abstain, be faithful, use condoms". The last thing I would expect to
see on TV is somebody advocating "don't use condoms". I said "this thing is
not acceptable, it is going to kill people". So freedom cannot be limitless.
There must be certain limits. There are some things we should be able to say
it is your freedom, but please we've had enough.
Baffour: In the SADC communiqué, you "appealed to Britain to honour its
compensation obligations with regard to land reform made at Lancaster House"
28 years ago. But President Mugabe's government has already taken the land
and redistributed it. So why should Britain pay any more compensation, and
for which land?
Kikwete: Have they taken all the land? I am not sure.
Baffour: As we speak, the white farmers who didn't want to share their land
and stay are gone, those who wanted to stay have stayed, and their land has
been redistributed. So which land should Britain pay for again?
Kikwete: Well, we think there is still that obligation. On one of my recent
trips to Europe, I had discussions about it in Britain, and they gave me the
impression that Britain has to honour its compensation obligations.
Baffour: Are they not saying the land has already been taken from their
people, and thus there is nothing more to pay for?
Kikwete: That is not the perception I discerned from the British government.
Baffour: Let me take you to DRCongo, because yesterday you also talked about
Congo, and there is something there which is common to what is happening in
Zimbabwe. You said yesterday that 100 people had been killed and 200 injured
in three days of fighting in DRCongo. And yet, we don't see the
international community and their media jump mad about Congo as they do, or
are doing, about Zimbabwe. Do you and your SADC colleagues find it shocking
that 100 people can die in Congo and it doesn't register on the moral
compass of the West and yet they jump mad about Zimbabwe?
Kikwete: Of course, it is something interesting, something really
interesting. But maybe there isn't much interest in Congo as it is in
Zimbabwe. That surprises me too.
Baffour: Imagine 100 people being killed in Zimbabwe in a matter of three
days! The whole world will stop, wouldn't it?
Kikwete: Two million people died in Congo!
Baffour: And it did not register on the world's moral compass!
Kikwete: Two million people have died in Congo (1996-2005) during the wars
of recent years.
Baffour: Do you, as our leaders, when you do meet these people who claim to
love us so much, do you ask them: "Why do you focus on one African country
where say 10 people have died, but don't feel the same passion about Congo
where two million people have died? And we are the same Africans, same
Kikwete: Well, you know, these are some of those puzzles. But that is the
reality on the ground.
AfricaFiles :: Website: www.africafiles.org :: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A network of volunteers relaying African perspectives and alternative
analyses to promote justice and human rights.
AFRICA INFOSERV Information and analytical articles from alternative sources
AT ISSUE EZINE: Current hot topics, post your comments
ACTION FOCUS; urgent actions.
Africafiles, Rm 21, 300 Bloor St W. Toronto, M5S 1W3 Canada.
|Monday, 4 June 2007, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Eugenia is ethnically Ndebele and her husband is Shona. They first met at school. After they married, they settled in Eugenia's home.
Their marriage is not unusual. Zimbabwe has a long tradition of inter-marriage between ethnic groups.
The trouble began after the end of the war against white Rhodesia, when newly independent Zimbabwe staged its first elections in 1980.
The couple shared a good-natured political rivalry. Like many Ndebele, Eugenia voted for Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU while her husband supported Robert Mugabe's ZANU.
But after ZANU won the election, the rivalry between the two political groups spilled into violence, and some ZAPU fighters went back to the bush.
Mr Mugabe was determined to deal with these so-called dissidents, and for much of the 1980s, politically-inspired violence swept Matabeleland and the Midlands.
Most of the thousands killed were Ndebele-speakers. Their attackers were mostly Shona-speaking soldiers - the notorious Fifth Brigade.
Mr Mugabe had engaged the North Koreans to train this new military outfit. He gave them the name "Gukurahundi" - a Shona word meaning "the rain that blows away the chaff before the spring rains".
"My husband was asked to strip off together with me and the other Shonas.
"We were beaten up. Then they tried to make us have sex. The soldiers told my husband - you came to live in this area for sex, so you do it now. The people were told to sing for that. We couldn't do it, so we were beaten again."
According to Eugenia, one man was killed that night and her husband never fully recovered.
The most comprehensive overview of the violence was compiled 10 years ago. The Catholic Commission's report has been republished in a book called Gukurahundi. It is an endless catalogue of detention, humiliation, mass beatings, rape and killing.
Although most of those affected by the repression were Ndebele-speakers, Eugenia's Shona husband was targeted because he was married to her.
"The soldiers didn't trust him. They tried to make him say he would leave me and get married to a Shona woman.
"Once he was taken for three weeks. He told me about the torture and killings he saw. Some bodies weren't even buried."
The prevailing political atmosphere and the activities of the Fifth Brigade soured relationships.
Radical - a Shona man - began to go out with an Ndebele woman in spite of opposition from his clan. But on his only visit to her house he was attacked and tied up by her family.
They sent a messenger to the so-called dissidents to come and get Radical.
"My girlfriend's family accused me of spying for the military," he said. "They said I wanted to have them killed.
"They had already lost a lot of family members to the Fifth Brigade, and they said that if I was killed, it would amount to only a tiny percentage of Shona people who had died compared to the thousands of Ndebele who were killed by the soldiers."
Radical escaped before the dissidents arrived. He stopped seeing his girlfriend. But after several months he met another Ndebele woman who would become his wife.
They faced entrenched opposition from both their families. Radical was undeterred.
He says: "I told myself I didn't want to be affected by this Shona-Ndebele rift - we're all Zimbabweans.
"And I could see other families had inter-married before Gukurahundi. So I chose to defy them because I wanted to make a difference and show people there's nothing wrong with inter-marriage."
In 1987, the political conflict ended with a Unity Accord between Mr Mugabe and Mr Nkomo. But the Gukurahundi years remain an indelible stain on Zimbabwe's post-independence history.
Eugenia is still married. So is Radical. But a different era of political repression has separated them from their partners.
Neither of them currently feels able to live in Zimbabwe.
3rd Jun 2007 23:57 GMT
By Dennis Rekayi
MUTARE - For Peter Michael Hitschmann, it seems it never rains but pours.
Hitschmann, who is facing charges of possessing arms of war and attempting
to assassinate President Robert Mugabe and some Zanu PF officials, has once
again been dragged to court, this time facing charges of illegally
He appeared at the Mutare Magistrates Court two weeks ago under a shroud of
Magistrate Fabian Feshete, who is presiding over the case, postponed the
trial to Monday to enable key witnesses to be called.
It is alleged that police found elephant tusks at his house in Tiger Kloof
during a raid to search for arms of war.
The State is alleging that Hitschmann failed to produce a Certificate of
Ownership from the Parks and Wildlife Authority.
But Hitschimann's lawyer Trust Maanda is denying the former police
constabulary contravened the law arguing he was being harassed.
"They want to bring every conceivable allegation at him at the same time
when he is facing charges of possession of weapons of war so as to confuse
him in his defence," Maanda told zimbabwejournalists.com.
He questioned why Hitschmann was being taken to court for possessing ivory
which was known by the relevant authorities since 2003.
Maanda said Hitschmann was keeping the tusks on behalf of the Wildlife
Society in Manicaland.
Hitschmann is the member in charge of Wildlife Society in Manicaland. In his
defence outline Maanda said Wildlife Society Manicaland, which leases Cecil
Kopje Nature Reserves from the City of Mutare, culled a troublesome elephant
on 27 October 2003. The elephant was in lawful captivity, said Maanda.
He told the court that after the elephant as culled the provincial warden of
the Department of National Parks was informed and that the Wildlife Society
of Zimbabwe (Manicaland) was in possession of two tusks.
Maanda said the provincial warden advised the Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe
to possess the unregistered ivory pending regularization of papers regarding
ivory that the Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe had earlier handed over to the
"The accused as an officer and acting on behalf of the Wildlife Society of
Zimbabwe had authority to possess the unregistered ivory aforesaid in terms
of S82 (1) (b) of the Parks and Wildlife (General) Regulations 1990 ("the
Regulations") in that the ivory was lawfully taken from an animal that died
on the land for which Wildlife Society of Zimbabwe is the appropriate
authority," said Maanda.
4th Jun 2007 00:08 GMT
By Nothando Motsipe
HARARE - Zimbabwe will face a prolonged sugar shortage following the
reduction in estimated production levels this year due to effects of the
often violent land reform programme which saw experienced sugar producers
being removed from farms.
The government has also not approved a price rise application by the
Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA). This has promoted the black market, where
sugar fetches more than four times the official price, to flourish.
The official price for a 2kg packet of sugar is $12 000 while the same
packet is costing as much as $40 000 on the black market.
Sugar is one of the products whose price is controlled by the government.
Sugar, which is in a critical short supply on the formal market but readily
available on the black market, is one of the agricultural commodities whose
production has been affected by the land seizures which saw about 4 000
white commercial farms losing their farms to landless blacks.
Speaking before a Parliamentary committee on Foreign Affairs, Industry and
International Trade, members of the Zimbabwe Sugar Association (ZSA) said
yield per hectare this year will decline from 120 tonnes per hectare
obtained before the land seizures to only 37 tonnes per hectare.
This will result in a decline of total production from about 585 000 tonnes
per year during the pick of sugar production to about 442 000 tonnes.
The delegation cited the land reform, uncertainty as farmers both old and
new are yet to receive leases for the farms, electricity power outages, lack
of foreign currency to imports machine spare parts among many other reasons
for the decline in production levels.
"Yield per hectare will decline to about 37 tonnes per hectare this year
because of various reasons chief among them the land reform programme," the
sugar producers said.
"The land issue has still not been solved and this will affect production.
The delay by government to issue leases to farmers has caused uncertainty
and given that farmers must make investment for long periods, no one is
willing to take the risk because of the uncertainty. You cannot expect a man
to pump his lifetime savings into the crop when he is not sure if he is
going to be on that farm for six months."
The association said while it was struggling to meet local demand for sugar,
it had regional and international quotas to fulfil.
Zimbabwe supplies about 1500 tonnes to the European Union which quota the
ZSA said was lucrative and should not be sacrificed. The association also
has to supply Namibia and Botswana under the SADC Sugar Protocol.
Zimbabwe sugar has found its way into the lucrative Mozambican and Zambian
markets where it is being exported illegally allegedly by top government
ministers and officials.
Local Government and National Housing Minister, Ignatius Chombo, is one of
those alleged to have been involved in the illegal sugar trade but nothing
has been done to stop the worsening rot in the government.
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
4 June 2007
Posted to the web 4 June 2007
MOST parts of the country went without electricity for the better part of
yesterday after Hwange Thermal Power Station ceased operations following a
technical hitch which disrupted coal supplies to its furnaces.
The problem was aggravated in Harare by faults caused by unexpected heavy
winter rains that fell on Saturday.
The power station -- which is being renovated in a joint venture between
Zesa Holdings and NamPower of Namibia -- relies on coal from the adjacent
Hwange Colliery Company, which is delivered by a conveyor belt direct from
Although the Zesa statement was silent on why it was not getting coal as
usual, sources at Hwange Thermal Power Station said one of the coal crushers
had tripped and the conveyor belt linking the mine and the power station had
developed a fault.
The power utility and the colliery were, however, working "flat out" to
restore coal supplies, the statement said, without giving a timeframe for
the resumption of coal or power supplies.
Zesa was currently generating 500MW from four of the six generators at the
station before they were forced to shut them down when coal supplies ceased.
With these generators down, Zesa must rely on the 730MW it generates at
Kariba hydropower station and the 200MW in reduced imports.
Hwange is capable of generating 920MW, when operating at full capacity,
bringing total output to 1 650MW from Zesa's two main stations.
Bringing back the three small thermal stations at Harare, Bulawayo and
Munyati into operation to supplement the two giants should, with modest
imports, allow Zesa to cope with demand.
Zimbabwe consumes 1 820MW of electricity, meaning that Zesa, with just
Kariba and modest imports, can supply little more than half the demand,
hence the massive load-shedding to cope with the 890MW shortfall.
Demand throughout the region has reached an all-time high and each cold
spell, such as the one affecting the region at present, tends to break
Meanwhile, work is underway to isolate and repair faults attributed to the
weekend rainfall in Harare.
"Zesa engineers are working flat out to restore supplies and expect to
restore power to affected customers as soon as possible," said the power
utility in the statement.
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 9:34 PM
Subject: No Power!
Sorry, folks, it looks like we will have very severe power cuts for the
forseeable future, eg yesterday off 8.30 am to 7.45 pm and only back about 3
hours, then off from before midnight last night to 1pm this afternoon, not
sure how long it will be on now - so warning that I may not be able to
either receive or send e-mails quickly.
Please bear with me - and with the rest of us Zimbabweans in this situation!
I do not have a generator, unlike both my neighbours whose generators roar
away (literally, unfortunately) day and night....
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
4 June 2007
Posted to the web 4 June 2007
A CONSORTIUM of Chinese investors has put in a bid to upgrade the Zimbabwean
side of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, the Minister of Environment
and Tourism, Mr Francis Nhema, said last week.
Talks on the proposed deal are scheduled to start next month.
"There are some Chinese investors who intend to assist us in the development
of the park in line with the renovation strategy of the Great Limpopo
Transfrontier Park. Talks are expected to begin sometime in June," said Mr
Zimbabwe has been on a drive to lure foreign investors to assist in the
development of Gonarezhou National Park, which forms Zimbabwe's side of the
GLTP, along with Kruger National Park of South Africa and Limpopo of
Mozambique ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
"Consultations involving all the stakeholders are in progress so that
Zimbabwe does not lag behind in terms of facilitating a smooth refurbishment
process of Gonarezhou," said Mr Nhema.
The Chinese investors would assist the Government in the renovation of
lodges, de-mining, roads construction, electrification of some parts and
construction of a border post.
Funds are also needed for the construction of a bridge that would link
Gonarezhou and Kruger national parks, which is expected to allow tourists to
cross over from the South African side of the park. Mr Nhema said while the
Government has continued to provide funds towards the upgrading of
Gonarezhou, local tourism players should take some of the responsibility.
"Stakeholders in the tourism sector should also play a crucial role through
mobilising funds," he said.
Local and foreign investors have been invited to take up tenders but have
remained cautious, citing the perceived negative investor sentiment about
Apart from the Chinese investors, the Canadian International Development
Agency has shown interest in the development of the park.
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe is mobilising funds towards
the development of infrastructure in the GLTP. The bank has been in talks
with the Development Bank of South Africa and the Amalgamated Banks of South
Africa to co-finance projects whose cost is expected to run into millions of
June 04, 2007 06:03 AM
A grouping of more than 1 50 Zimbabweans on Monday protested at the
Zimbabwe consulate in Johannesburg presenting a petition to the High
commissioner demanding the commission to open vote registration to over four
million Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
Support Network (ZJSN) chairman Victor Kasaga who organized the
protest said it is constitutional right for every Zimbabwean across the
world to register as a vote for all elections and the state must ensure that
all persons exercise their right to vote.
Kasaga said given that more than a quarter of Zimbabwe's population is
living in South Africa progressive and pro-democracy forces in South Africa
should pressure the government to allow Zimbabweans in the country to vote
in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
"The embassy of Zimbabwe here is mandated to stand as registrar
general and we are worried if the Harare government is not taking into
consideration five million Zimbabweans in South Africa then who shall it
consider, then we should stand up and force it to recognize us. All what we
want is to exercise our right to vote from here and this government should
not deny us this right", Kasaga said adding "It is clearly stated in the
constitution that every citizen of Zimbabwe of eighteen years of age or
above of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered
as a voter for all election and referenda. The state must ensure that all
persons qualified to vote have an opportunity to exercise their right to
He also called upon Zimbabweans in other countries to take analogous
action, demonstrate at Zimbabwean government office demanding to be
registered for the next elections
A copy of the petition in position of ZimOnline reads:" In the next
nine months we are looking forward to free and fair elections and we are
worried that the government denying us our constitutional right to vote from
here. It is not at all serious in taking any action to put in place ways
that we exorcise our right to vote.
Today we present to you as its representative this petition demanding
that more than five million Zimbabweans here are registered to vote in the
2008 presidential elections. Our demand is therefore calling the embassy to
open doors for vote registration as a mater of urgency".
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) South Africa office coordinator
Tapera Kapuya held responsible the Zimbabwean government for denying its
citizens in other countries right to vote. He urged Zimbabweans and
international community to join human rights and pro democracy organizations
in demanding a new constitution in Zimbabwe before the next elections.
"This is a well known strategy used by Zanu-PF politics the electoral
process in Zimbabwe denying voting right to its citizens in diaspora so as
to legitimize its stay in office. By taking this system it is violating
people's rights to the extreme. This is high time that we Zimbabweans and
the international community blame these violations and prop up calling for a
new constitution as the only avenue to free and fair election in Zimbabwe",
Consol general Chris Mapaga contacted for comment on the issue said
"When did you last went to Zimbabwe, we have electoral laws that we follow.
Of-course there is nothing we can do here we are just massagers of the
government through our structures we just take all the petitions presented
to us to the government, then it the government that knows what action to
take from that point".
Los Angeles Times
Generations of Western reformers have tried, and failed, to solve Africa's
June 4, 2007
ANYONE WHO HAS seen the film "Amazing Grace" will appreciate the parallels
between the career of William Wilberforce, the politician who led the
campaign against the slave trade, and that of outgoing British Prime
Minister Tony Blair.
Like Blair, Wilberforce had his roots in the north of England. Like Blair,
his Oxbridge years were undistinguished. Like Blair, he lost no time in
entering politics, where his affability ensured rapid advancement. And, like
Blair, Wilberforce was strongly influenced by the evangelical movement.
The revelation of "the infinite love, that Christ should die to save such a
sinner," came to Wilberforce like a thunderbolt after he had entered
Parliament. But he was convinced by (among others) the repentant slave
trader John Newton - the man who composed "Amazing Grace" - that he could
"do both": politics and God's work.
The moral transformation of England achieved by the evangelical movement,
without which the 1807 law abolishing the slave trade would never have been
passed, has its echoes in our own time. Today, of course, most English
people are faintly embarrassed by religion and regard Americans as rather
absurd for reading the Bible. Nevertheless, the English retain an
authentically 19th century enthusiasm for moral crusades.
In our time, as in the 1800s, Africa has an especially strong appeal to the
evangelical sensibility. There is something irresistible about being able to
feel simultaneously guilty about the continent's problems ("I once was
blind . ") and capable of solving them (" . but now I see").
The problem is, of course, that generation after generation thinks it has
found the solution, and generation after generation is disappointed.
Wilberforce and his friends were convinced that abolishing the slave trade,
and then slavery itself, would do the trick. Yet the consequences were far
less impressive than the reformers had hoped. Most of Africa remained not
much better off in 1907 than it had been 1807. So, something else had to be
tried, and that something was state-led economic development. No joy.
So we tried again. This time the solution was political independence. Again,
disappointment. Economically, the majority of the countries in question did
even worse under self-government than they had under British rule.
We tried lending them money. That didn't work. Then we gave them aid. Many
well-meaning people - led by that most evangelical of economists, Jeffrey
Sachs - continue to have faith in aid as a policy, arguing that it simply
needs to be better targeted, for example on the provision of free malaria
nets. But economists who know Africa better than Sachs are skeptical.
Oxford University's Paul Collier, author of "The Bottom Billion,"
persuasively argues that Africa's biggest problems are political. Corrupt
tyrannies and endemic civil wars account for a huge proportion of Africa's
economic under-performance since the end of colonial rule.
Just take a look at the excellent new Global Peace Index published last
week, which ranks 121 nations according to a wide variety of indicators,
such as their levels of military expenditure and their human rights records.
Eight out of the bottom 20 countries - you guessed it - are in Africa.
Plainly, lavishing debt forgiveness and aid on rogue regimes such as
Zimbabwe's or Sudan's, or on failed states such as Ivory Coast, is as big a
waste of money as simply burning banknotes.
By contrast, on the sole occasion when the British intervened militarily to
end violence in one of their former colonies - Sierra Leone in 2000 - the
results were dramatic. Freetown in the late 1990s had witnessed scenes out
of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." But when I went there not long after
the British intervention, it was safe to walk the streets.
Credit where credit is due. It was Blair who sent the troops to Sierra Leone
and ended the anarchy there. So I don't begrudge him his visit to Freetown
last week. Moreover, Blair proceeded to give a speech about Africa that was
one of the best I have heard from a Western leader. "Africa," he declared,
"has been a prime example of a foreign policy that has been thoroughly
interventionist. I believe in the power of political action to make the
world better and the moral obligation to use it."
Great stuff. And pure Wilberforce.
Yet, he nearly spoiled it all by succumbing to the most widespread confusion
that currently exists in the minds of Western liberals: that we can
simultaneously eliminate global poverty and combat global climate change.
In a week when even President Bush seemed to concede the link between
greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, it would have been good if
Blair could have admitted the truth. As Asia is proving beyond a shadow of a
doubt, eliminating poverty means massively increasing carbon dioxide
Africa, by contrast, is making a major environmental contribution by
consistently failing to achieve sustainable growth. Just take a look at the
data on per capita CO2 emissions. Sure enough, this is another of the many
tables in which Africa shows up at the bottom. Of the lowest 20 polluters in
the world, no fewer than 15 are African. Go Africa! To save the planet, all
we need is 100 years of African-style stagnation in the rest of the world.
As the careers of Wilberforce and Blair illustrate, Africa has always been
good at generating hot air, particularly from the mouths of evangelically
inclined Englishmen. Happily, it is only the moral climate that such
emissions tend to change.
4th Jun 2007 18:54 GMT
By Trust Matsilele
PRETORIA - Thousands of Zimbabwean children who were born in South Africa
might be rendered stateless if Robert Mugabe remains as president for the
next six years.
The move follows recent warnings by Mugabe that Zimbabwean nationals who
will be out of the country for more than five continuous years would become
An estimated five million Zimbabweans are living in South Africa while
others are in Botswana, the United Kingdom, the USA and other European
Since the Gukurahundi atrocities, which left over 20 000 Zimbabweans dead,
many people from Matebeleland and Midlands moved into exile and more from
the whole country have since followed the same route after the launch of the
opposition MDC and the government crackdown that came hard on the heels of
the launch of the vibrant party.
As a result more and more children are finding themselves stateless as their
parents fail to access Zimbabwean documentation. In the United Kingdom for
example, children born to foreign nationals can no longer get British papers
by virtue of being born in the UK or to illegal immigrants.
The South Africa's department of Home Affairs has in the past gave a cold
shoulder to Zimbabwean nationals fleeing political persecution saying their
claims were manifestly unfounded peace prevailed in the country regardless
of the political and economic problems.
On the other hand the Zimbabwean consulate officials in Johannesburg are
accused of denying Zimbabweans and their children born in South Africa
national identity documents and birth certificates respectively.
Pregnant women who have crossed crocodile infested rivers to get to South
Africa have failed to get access to hospitals due to lack of documentation,
making innocent babies to be born without any identity.
The mothers say going back to Zimbabwe is not an option as they would put
their lives at risk.
The Department of Home Affairs has in the past accused Zimbabwean women of
giving birth in South Africa so they can benefit from the child support
grants. These accusations have made foreign nationals to be stigmatized to
an extent resulting in others giving birth in shacks which they rent. There
are no health experts in the shacks hence children have been exposed to
serious diseases such as the dreaded HIV/Aids virus.
Over 100 000 refugee children (those under the age of 18) are alleged to be
living in South Africa with a big margin failing to go to school as they can
acquire proper documentation demanded by these schools. In Johannesburg one
refugee school (Izenzo Kunge Mazwi) has tried to address this challenge but
of late the school has been facing financial quagmires threatening its
Mugabe's utterance only serves to increase the number of those already
suffering the identity crisis and this will see a large boom to millions of
people becoming even difficult to track in times of death and crimes.
Political rights activists Joshua Rusere and Oliver Kubikwa commented that
this was one of Mugabe's desperate attempts to keep poor Zimbabwe within the
country as the continued exodus was causing a loud condemnation of Harare in
the international limelight.
Since 2000, the Zimbabwe 's Registrar-general's office headed by Tobaiwa
Mudede, has refused documentation to thousands of people born in Zimbabwe
but with foreign parentage their citizenship alleging that they are aliens.
Most of the affected people are of Malawian and Mozambican descendent.
However, critics say the move to deny them citizenship is because they are
viewed as MDC sympathizers.
FRANCISTOWN: All police stations and the Immigration department caught and
deported more than 400 illegal Zimbabweans in a combined crackdown on
Monday. The illegal Zimbabweans are said to be responsible for most of the
crimes committed in the country, including prostitution. Assistant
Superintendent for Kutlwano Police station Masego Mahatma said they caught
196 illegal Zimbabwean immigrants. "We adopted the stop-and-search strategy
and raided homes of suspected illegal immigrants.
The areas covered by our station included Selepa, Somerset West and East
Extension and Newstance. We also received some tip-off from some of the
people who helped us identify these illegal immigrants," said Mathetha.
He stated that given the high number of those arrested, they had to deport
them the same day because "keeping them would have cost government a lot of
money as they have to be fed while awaiting deportation".
"Usually, these people are kept at the Centre for Illegal Immigrants (CII)
at Gerald Estates prison before being returned home. These Zimbabweans at
times can stand trial for entering the country through ungazzetted areas and
can face up to three months' imprisonment. The charge for overstaying per
day ranges from P10. But repatriating them is always a better option as it
helps reduce government spending," added Mathetha.
Most arrested Zimbabweans were 15 to 35 years old. Meanwhile, the Assistant
Superintendent for Central Police Station, Kelvin Mookodi, said they
arrested more than 146 illegal immigrants mostly from Monarch location and
the town centre.
"Our strategy was to demand identity cards and passports from these people.
We have come to realise that most illegal immigrants enter Botswana along
the Ramokgwebana border fence through Jakalasi No.2 village in the
North-East District. This clean-up exercise was a joint venture between the
police and Immigration department, which is responsible for transporting
them back home," said Mookodi.
Tatitown Police Station carried out a similar operation.
When contacted, regional immigration officer Mosikari Sechele declined to
comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, during the recent full meeting of the Francistown City Council,
councillor for Tatitown Stanley Masalila wanted to know what the Ministry of
Labour and Home Affairs was doing to stop Batswana from making identity
cards (omang) for foreigners.
In response, councillor for Kanana Ward, Ace Ntheetsang stated that most
Batswana were scared to move freely in their country, whilst Zimbabwean
thugs roamed the streets "freely day and night in Botswana".
On the issue of prostitution perpetrated by Zimbabweans, 66-year-old Moatswi
Keoagile, who lives near a large house allegedly rented by Zimbabwean
prostitutes in Blue Town, said:
"I have lived in this area all my life whilst these prostitutes have been
here since 1995. The house belongs to a woman who resides in Area W. There
are about 30 to 50 prostitutes living in that house which is partitioned
into 15 rooms. About five to six prostitutes share one room. It's terrible
staying next door to prostitutes because our children grow up knowing that
sex can be bought and sold. The police raided that house sometime last year,
even the council appealed to the owner of that house not to rent it to
prostitutes, but she always seems to get away with it," said Keoagile.
Keoagile also said that used condoms are thrown along the Tatitown river
bank where most Blue Town children like to play. "This really poses great
danger to our children," he said.
Keoagile also said everyday from 1700hrs, cars and trucks park in front of
the "prostitutes' mansion" as their "owners come to buy sex".
"The regular buyers of sex in this areas are smart people, well informed
about the law and you can see that some are married men with families. Upon
talking to those prostitutes, they tell us they came to Botswana to work for
themselves and that we should leave them alone. We are in trouble here",
By Patience Rusere and Benedict Nhlapo
04 June 2007
The faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change headed
by party founder Morgan Tsvangirai has shifted some support operations to
its South African branch aiming to mitigate and minimize the disruption
caused by government incursions such as a March 28 raid on the faction's
Tsvangirai himself addressed a congress of the faction's South African
branch on the weekend, urging it to assume greater responsibility in
supporting party operations in Zimbabwe. Police seized extensive party
records and computers in the March raid, removing processors from most
computers before returning them, sources said.
The MDC faction has been under pressure since then with abductions, beatings
and torture of its members by alleged state security agents, arbitrary
arrests by police, and the prolonged detention of some 30 party officials,
members and office staff.
Sources in the South African branch said Tsvangirai urged members to shun
tribalism, which threatened to disrupt the balloting in which Malcolm
Mutandiro was elected chairman. The South African branch of the MDC faction
has been plagued by rivalries and occasional violence between Shona and
Ndebele members of the party.
Members of the Tsvangirai faction branch also elected Amon Ndlovhu vice
chairman and Tichaona Munyavi, a former Mbare member of parliament, was made
organizing secretary. Walter Tom was elected information and publicity
Mr Mutandiro told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that his executive has been given responsibility to liaise with the Pretoria
government and also to take over party operations given the serious
disruption of operations in the faction's Harare headquarters by the March
28 police raid and its aftermath.
Tsvangirai faction National Chairman Lovemore Moyo, dispatched to South
Africa to set up permanent party support structures, told correspondent
Benedict Nhlapho that the faction will do all it can to make sure there is a
new constitution before the 2008 elections despite the apparent lack of
interest from the ruling party.
04 June 2007
By Never Kadungure
There is no hope in hell of upcoming parliamentary and presidential
elections in Zimbabwe being free and fair. That is the verdict of several
political commentators interviewed. Mediation talks being led by South
African president Thabo Mbeki have already been dismissed as a sham with
Mugabe maintaining a crackdown on the opposition and student movements in
the country. Over 32 activists are still locked up in remand prison for over
two months over spurious charges of engaging in terrorist activities in the
Analysts point to precedent as showing Mugabe has never been an honest
statesman when it comes to talks and the MDC is being led up the garden path
to legitimising another fraudulent election in 2008. The Tsvangirai MDC has
already been warned by advisors that overtures from the Mutambara camp about
backing Tsvangirai's single candidacy is part of a ploy to set him up for
the 'great fall' if he were to lose the election again. The majority of
Zimbabweans polled by this publication are convinced the MDC should withdraw
from the Mbeki led talks and demand evidence of changes on the ground
especially the release of 32 MDC officials from custody before any more
steps are taken towards dialogue.
Tsvangirai has already said it is important to give the Mbeki led initiative
a chance and not dismiss it completely. Mugabe however remains as stubborn
as ever and comments from his Justice Minister in Ghana recently have shown
that leopards never change their spots. Patrick Chinamasa threatened NGO's
at the Africa Commission summit and called on African countries to help in
the closure of radio stations like Studio 7, Voice of the People and SW
Radio Africa, which broadcast from outside the country. This analysts point
out is a clear sign Mugabe has no plans to step aside, come rain or
Nehanda Radio: Zimbabwe's first 24 hour internet radio news channel.