|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Mbeki's policy on Zim is a 'dangerous
March 01 2004 at 01:26PM
Thabo Mbeki's persistent policy of "quiet diplomacy" towards
Zimbabwe is a dangerous game that could ultimately claim his dream of an
African renaissance, analysts have warned.
South Africa lobbied fiercely for its northern neighbour's return to
the Commonwealth but failed dismally, with the 54-nation body announcing
that Zimbabwe's suspension would be maintained indefinitely.
Mbeki's policy "is a very dangerous game", political analyst Hussein
Solomon of the University of Pretoria said on Sunday.
"I don't think it is in our national interest that President Mbeki has
no credibility as a leader because he is not prepared to stand by the
principles he is espousing in terms of Nepad and a vision of an African
'At some point, the Zimbabwe economy is going to implode'
Mbeki is one of the architects of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad), a social and economic rescue plan that promises good
governance in return for more economic aid.
"The danger is that the United Kingdom, among other countries, and
Canada which has been trumpeting Nepad in terms of G8 (industrialised
nations) and other forums, could very well withdraw that support."
Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, director of studies at the Johannesburg-based
South African Institute of International Affairs, said it was time for a
different strategy towards Zimbabwe.
"At some point, the Zimbabwe economy is going to implode, and it's not
good for the SADC; it's not good for what we are trying to achieve in terms
"What South Africa will have to realise is, something has to change.
They have to send clear signals to Mugabe, and it does not have to be
The South African foreign ministry has so far remained silent on the
decision to maintain Zimbabwe's suspension, but the Democratic Alliance said
Mbeki "again embarrassed South Africa" at the Commonwealth meeting. -
Asylum seekers face life on Leeds streets
By Paul Willis
SCORES of asylum seekers face destitution on the streets of Leeds after
Government laws have left them in a legal limbo.
seekers from Zimbabwe, Iraq and other countries whose claims have
been refused by the Home Office cannot be sent back because their homelands
are considered too dangerous.
But without entitlement to benefits and with no legal right to work, they
are left homeless and poverty-stricken.
In Leeds, the problem has led to asylum seekers being forced to sleep rough.
The worst affected are Zimbabwean nationals who have lost their claims.
While people of other nationalities, like Iraqis, are entitled to some
financial support, those who have fled the regime of Robert Mugabe receive
nothing - even though the UK Government admits it is unsafe for them to
return to Zimbabwe.
To help tackle the problem, kind-hearted volunteers in Leeds are putting up
destitute asylum seekers in their homes.
But asylum groups here admit those they are managing to help could be only
the tip of the iceberg.
John McClaughlin is the co-ordinator for Short Stop, a project aimed at
finding temporary accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers.
He said: "The people we help would otherwise be on the street. But we can
only speak for those who use our service. We don't know how many more are
destitute and are either sleeping on friends' floors or living rough."
There are around 1,800 asylum seekers in Leeds awaiting decisions but there
are no figures for those who have lost their claims. Short Stop helps around
three a week into temporary homes.
Prince George is a 17-year-old Liberian who fled his country in the
aftermath of the bloody civil war there. Prince lost both his parents when
soldiers attacked their village.
He said: "I came here totally alone and didn't know anyone. After a few days
in London, I was sent to Leeds. It has been very hard for me but I have had
some good help from people here."
One person he met was Short Stop volunteer Simon Webster.
The 37-year-old teacher has hosted dozens of nationalities including Iraqis,
Afghanis and Africans since he joined the scheme a year ago.
Simon, from Armley, said: "I was so disgusted by the negative stereotypes in
the media. So when I heard about asylum seekers having to sleep on park
benches, I decided to help out.
"I put people up for a couple of days at a time and it allows them a small
sanctuary where they can rest and relax. It's very good to meet the
individuals and hear their stories - it puts all this hysteria about asylum
into a proper context."
Aussie trio check Zimbabwe
An Australian cricket delegation has left for Zimbabwe to investigate
security for their tour in May.
Cricket Australia general manager Michael Brown and team manager Steve
Bernard have traveled to Harare with players union chief executive Tim May.
CA says the tour could only be called off over security and moral
arguments will play no part in the decision.
England's October tour to Zimbabwe could be postponed because of
objections to President Robert Mugabe.
England's fears will be discussed at a meeting of the International
Cricket Council's executive board next week.
Under ICC rules, every member nation must tour every other country at
least once every five years.
The Australian trio will spend the next two days in Zimbabwe, where
Ricky Ponting's men are set to play a two-Test series and three one-day
They will then fly to Sri Lanka to discuss their findings with the
Australian team, with a decision on whether the tour goes ahead expected in
about two weeks.
The Australian government is opposed to the tour on moral grounds,
fearing the Mugabe regime, which has been accused of human rights abuses,
will use the visit for political gain.
Australia cancelled a tour of Zimbabwe in 2002 for security reasons
played in Bulawayo during the 2003 World Cup.
Zim Focus Now On Food Security
New Era (Windhoek)
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
WITH the fast-track land acquisition and resettlement programme over,
Zimbabwe is now concentrating on the country's food security, through
focused production. In the process, a few challenges have to be addressed,
says Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and
The land reform programme itself, the process that was started in Zimbabwe
three years ago, has not yet ended, he said, adding that it would not end
for a long time, considering that it is a problem that has been in existence
for "a century or so".
Of immediate importance and attention, says Moyo, is the new challenge of
"now empowering the new farmers to make sure that they utilise the land that
they have been given to the maximum". According to him, this involves giving
them "all kinds of agricultural input support".
Since agriculture is the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy, it is important
that the majority of the population participates, hence the resettlement
programme that saw some close to 25 000 commercial farmers in place.
Referring to the old situation where only 4 500 commercial white farmers
dominated the commercial sector, and the present where the government had
targeted 30 000 black commercial farmers but has managed to resettle 25 000,
Moyo said this was "a major, major achievement by any standards". However,
he was also keen to add that this exercise must now translate into actual
contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product.
Apart from the commercial farmers, says Moyo, the government has also
empowered the peasant farmer, "who was already doing well under very
difficult conditions utilising derelict land, but now has access to land".
The peasant farmer has always met the country's major grain requirements,
Now this peasant farmer is getting involved in wheat, tobacco, horticulture,
livestock and even wildlife. All these are key export areas, says Moyo,
adding that this gives security to the country. He cited as an example of
this security the fact that the peasant farmer will not likely externalise
foreign currency gained from his/her production, as the white farmers used
Apart from the obvious challenges that were presented by the fast-track land
reform programme, that the government is still addressing, the country had
to contend with a drought that lasted the three years.
"When we were going through the land reform programme over the last three
years, unfortunately they were also years of successive drought and this
brought a lot of pressure on us because people must continue to live."
Moyo added that the country was then faced with a huge import bill for maize
and wheat. This was also not made easier by the dwindling inflows of foreign
Factors such as externalisation of foreign currency, "all forms of economic
sabotage within the financial sector, corruption as people started to take
advantage to create all kinds of get-rich-quick schemes that were illegal
and smuggling of goods, basic goods including the smuggling of maize itself,
which was in short supply in Zimbabwe", all contributed to the challenges of
the past few years.
The country also saw the emergence of a thriving informal market, which
touched on the currency, and it (the currency) became in short supply, said
All is not lost, however, as the government has put in place measures to
address the difficult challenges, particularly the new monetary policy as
well as the restructuring of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. That, combined
with the fast-track land programme, is bound to bring changes "of a
fundamental nature", says Moyo.
New Era caught up with Professor Moyo during his just-ended visit, and had a
brief but wide-ranging interview with him, which will be published in our
Ann Arbor News
Amid grimness of AIDS, poverty, family memoir lifts spirits
Monday, March 1, 2004
is an amazing new book that not only enlightens us about poverty and
AIDS in Africa, it also touches our hearts and lifts our spirits: "Love in
the Driest Season: A Family Memoir," by Neely Tucker (Crown, 242 pages,
Tucker blends hard facts and death rates - one in
four people aged 19-44 in
Zimbabwe are HIV positive, for example - with the softer realities of the
heart. What emerges is his testament that even amidst death, disease, and
political chaos, love flourishes.
Neely, formerly a foreign correspondent in Africa for The Washington Post,
will talk about his book at 8 p.m. Friday at Shaman Drum.
Raised in rural Mississippi, the author pursued a journalism career that
took him to Detroit. While living in Greektown in a loft over a pizza
restaurant, Tucker fell in love with his neighbor, Vita, an African-American
paralegal worker and librarian who had grown up in Alabama. They married and
moved from Tucker's four-year reporting assignment in Eastern Europe to
Zimbabwe in 1997.
They had thoughts about adoption and in Zimbabwe volunteered at orphanages
and donated supplies. On the day they met the baby they would name Chipo,
their lives changed forever: "There are moments in life, no more than two or
three, when everything changes and you find yourself swept along in a series
of events that are beyond your measure," he wrote in the book. "And so it
was that I picked up the girl-child one day in an orphanage at the epicenter
of the world's AIDS crisis, in a country where foreign journalists,
including myself, would shortly be declared to be enemies of the state. She
regarded me with worried eyes and a whimper, and then she closed her left
hand around my little finger."
Neely and Vita decided Chipo would be their child for as long as she lived.
Keeping her alive, feeding her and eventually adopting her in a country that
is strongly opposed to international adoption consumed them for a highly
stressful 18 months.
Looking back, Tucker recalled more about the first time he saw Chipo. "If we
had shown up 72 hours later, she would not have been there," he told me in a
telephone interview from his office at The Washington Post. Without their
intervention, Chipo would have died, Neely explained.
As a newborn, Chipo had been abandoned about a mile from the nearest
village, but passersby discovered her tiny body in time to save her life.
She was taken to an orphanage in Harare, the capital, where Vita and Neely
When Chipo's life was in jeopardy, Vita rushed her to the best hospital. But
at three months, Chipo's weight had fallen to just over four pounds. She
couldn't keep down food, had suffered three bouts with pneumonia and was
nonresponsive. Neely and Vita cared for her until she was healthy, only to
meet strong bureaucratic opposition when they tried to adopt her. They
persevered using Neely's skills with the bureaucracy and Vita's warm
As they struggled uphill to adopt, Zimbabwe was falling apart politically,
"The country continues to be in some kind of political and economic
free-fall," he said. "There are huge problems with food, poverty, farming
and AIDS. (Prime minister) Robert Mugabe didn't win the election, but he
said he did. ... All foreign correspondents were expelled."
Zimbabwe opposes international adoption, unlike some other African
countries, including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kenya, and maybe South Africa,
Tucker said. "I wish that Africa was more on the tour of international
adoptions," he said. "I don't think it's for lack of effort by agencies.
There's the overlay of the slave trade. ... I wish there was easier access."
Since returning to this country, Vita Tucker, 51, has taken a job in East
African development. Neely Tucker, 40, still works for The Post, but does
not travel abroad. In the four years the family has been back, Tucker has
rarely spent more than 48 hours away from 5-year-old Chipo. "I just really
don't like being away from her," he said.
In Zimbabwe, the couple had another baby in their home, but he died. The
resulting pain put a temporary end to their desire to adopt. But early this
year, they came close to adopting a child from Sierra Leone. It didn't work
out, and now Tucker thinks there probably will be no more children.
"Just doing the math ... I don't know whether she can be a soccer mom when
she's 65," he said.
Tucker wrote his book in "three months flat" at his parents' farm in
Mississippi. His family and Vita's family play roles in the book, helping
bring out themes of race. He dedicated the book "For Chipo - who lived," and
to a heartbreakingly long list of 23 other children "who did not."
Tucker is a talented writer who tells a highly readable story. He has more
than enough knowledge of Zimbabwe and Africa to keep his family memoir from
being too sweet.
And these days, when he puts Chipo to bed, he sometimes notices that the
only framed item in her bedroom is a map of Zimbabwe.
Registration begins today for April Cover to Cover book discussions
offered by the Ann Arbor District Library. The first book slated for
discussion is "The Lady and the Unicorn," by Tracy Chevalier 7-8 p.m. April
1 at Nicola's Books, which is co-sponsoring the discussion. The second book
is "An Amateur Marriage," by Anne Tyler 10-11:30 a.m. April 14 at the
downtown library. The first 15 library card-holders who register for these
discussions may check out a copy of the title to be discussed. Those who
register later must bring their own copy of the book to the discussion. To
register, call the downtown library fiction and media desk, (734) 327-4560,
or any library branch by dialing (734) 327-4200.
a.. Yasmeen Hanoosh
reads from her translation of "Scattered Crumbs," a book
by Muhsin al-Ramli, at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Shaman Drum. The book, set in an
Iraqi village during the Iran-Iraq war, is a criticism of a totalitarian
regime as told through stories of a peasant family.
a.. Quan Barry reads from her poetry at
5 p.m. Thursday in the University of
Michigan's D1276 Davidson Hall. Born in Saigon and raised in Boston, she
received her master's degree from U-M and was a Wallace Stegner fellow at
Stanford University as well as the Diane Middlebrook poetry fellow at the
University of Wisconsin's Institute for Creative Writing. Her work has
appeared in The Kenyon Review and The New Yorker, among other publications.
Currently, she is an assistant professor of English at the University of
Send letters to Anne Martino, The Ann Arbor News, 340 E. Huron St., Ann
Arbor, MI, 48104. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Sunday Mirror, 29 February
Land war rages
The land dispute pitting a Zanu PF official Kenneth
Karidza, Lands, Land
Reform and Resettlement minister John Nkomo and safari operator, Mervyn
Senior took a new twist last week with Nkomo claiming that Karidza's
eviction from his farm two weeks ago was an implementation of the Utete land
commission's recommendations. At the vortex of the land dispute is the 394
hectare Rocky Arlington farm, which also incorporates Mbizi game park, where
the minister is alleged to have instructed police to order Karidza off the
A2 farm he was allocated under the agrarian reform in 2002. When The Daily
Mirror ran the story early last week, Nkomo refused to provide details
although he acknowledged the dispute, only to phone the next day saying the
story was anomalous. "I can confirm that I am aware of the matter but I will
not confirm any further," the minister when contacted last week, referring
all questions to Karidza. About 30 demonstrators sympathetic to Karidza
staged a peaceful demonstration last week in protest of the return of Senior
to the property, arguing that the new farmer was offering better packages to
workers than him.
A professional hunter at the lodge
produced a payslip that indicated that
until last year, he was earning $50 000 per month, an amount several
gardeners in the capital are surpassing. He said since Karidza's arrival at
the controversial property last year, their salaries was significantly hiked
and a funeral assistance package was put in place to help them. Karidza told
The Sunday Mirror that Nkomo was using the Utete report as a scapegoat as
the eviction order had been plotted since 2002, but was constantly shot down
by Agriculture minister, Joseph Made, who felt Karidza had properly acquired
the farm. "The issue of evicting me has been on the agenda for the past two
years, but I was saved by minister Made who said it was unprocedural to
evict me. "Did the Utete reform give them the go ahead to evict people even
without informing them? I have invested $250 million on the farm and all my
crops have no one looking after them. I held a meeting with Nkomo last year
on the issue and he said he was awaiting the Mashonaland East land audit
report but he never came back to me," Karidza said.
He accused top government officials, including Environment and
minister Francis Nhema, and close associates of Senior opposed to his
allocation of the farm of masterminding the eviction bid. Documents in
possession of the Sunday Mirror however indicate that the war veteran, who
produced copies of his offer letter signed by Made won the case at the High
Court last year making him the legal owner of the farm. Made could not be
reached for comment yesterday as his mobile phone remained unanswered.
Senior has declared that he will not speak to this paper, which could not
establish his relationship with Nhema who he is alleged to have once treated
to a holiday in the United States last year. The dispute at the farm is the
latest in a series of other post-land reform wars that have erupted,
implicating the top brass, most of who stand accused of using their
political clout to evade properly laid down procedures for selfish gains.
From The Sunday Telegraph (UK), 29 February
'Rape is OK. It helps us to train people'
Hilary Andersson, of the BBC's Panorama programme,
reveals how thousands of
youths are being taught to rape, maim, torture and kill in Zimbabwe's terror
training camps - and now Robert Mugabe intends to make the camps compulsory
for all the country's young men and women
It should have been just another shopping trip for Debbie. She
needed a few
vegetables, so headed off into one of Bulawayo's markets. On that November
morning back in 2001, she had no premonition that her life was about to be
wrecked. In the market was a large gang of Mugabe's youth militia chanting
Zanu PF slogans. They quickly spotted the tall 20-year-old and demanded that
she come and join them. Debbie, terrified, turned and ran for home, but the
gang chased after her through the streets. She thought she had made it to
safety, but she had been seen entering her house. If she didn't come out,
the gang members shouted, they would burn it down. Debbie surrendered. She
was allowed to take just one possession with her: a blanket. Debbie was
taken to one of the so-called training camps for Robert Mugabe's Green
Bombers youth brigades. That night the camp boys came into her dormitory.
They locked the doors, then took it in turns to rape her. "The boys turned
the lights off at 10 o'clock," she said. "They told me: 'If you cry, if you
make a noise, we'll beat you'."
The ordeal didn't
finish there. She says she was raped again - and again,
every night for the next six months. Debbie shared her blanket with an
11-year old girl called Sitembile. The little girl would scream night after
night as she was raped, too. The morning after being gang raped for the
first time Debbie asked the camp commander for medical help. He told her not
to complain and sent her on a 20-kilometre run. Like many of the youths she
was often deprived of food for days at a time, and frequently beaten. One
day she was caught trying to escape, and was sadistically punished. She was
buried to her neck in the ground. When she was dug out hours later she was
made to roll in raw sewage. "The water, it was dirty," she said, "my head
was rolling inside." The commanders then forced Debbie to eat her meal with
the other inmates without being allowed to wash. "The commanders, they
laughed," she said. Debbie, now 22, is understandably a deeply traumatised
young woman. She fled to South Africa after speaking publicly about her
experiences in Zimbabwe. As a consequence, she now lives isolated and in
hiding, in fear of Mugabe's secret police. At least two Zimbabweans have
been tortured, one to death, for telling the truth about the camps.
There are at least six large camps
in Zimbabwe, trapping thousands of
children and youths inside. The youngest are aged just 11; the oldest 30.
Once inside, many of the recruits are put through a horrific training
programme which, over a period of three to six months, can turn ordinary
youngsters into thugs with a capacity for extreme violence. The people of
Zimbabwe are told that the camps are job training centres, where youths
learn such skills as carpentry and sewing. Many youngsters believe this
propaganda and actually volunteer for the camps. Panorama spent weeks with
Debbie, slowly eliciting the full horror of her ordeal. She was far from
alone in her brutal treatment. In interviews conducted by Panorama and human
rights groups with almost 100 former camp youths, around 50 per cent of the
girls said that they were regularly raped in the camps. Rape on such a scale
helps break down the youth in the camps emotionally, which enables the camp
commanders to gain physical and psychological control of their young
inmates. The boys in the camps are often encouraged to rape by the
commanders, who ply them with alcohol and drugs.
"Daniel", who was in a camp about 100 miles from Bulawayo and
is also now in
South Africa, sports a tight woollen hat, and lounges on his chair when he
speaks. He smiles when he talks about raping. "I was enjoying it," he
admits, "because I was only choosing the nice girls." Daniel, who was a
young leader in the camp, treated the girls as his slaves, ordering them to
wash his clothes, and bring him food and drink as he pleased. A former
official with the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation that
oversees the camps, explained the government's thinking. "You are moulding
somebody to listen to you, so if it means rapes have to take place in order
for that person to take instructions from you, then it's OK," he said. He
was so horrified that he left his job with the ministry in disgust. Rape is
just one of the ways camp commanders are able to turn their charges into
unquestioning automata. The training methods vary from camp to camp, but the
pattern is consistent. Every day the inmates are woken at 3 or 4am and
forced into a regime of tough exercise. Those who can't keep up are beaten
with rubber whips. For two or three hours a day they are also taught the
history of Zimbabwe. One of the training manuals that is used in the classes
is a collection of Robert Mugabe's speeches. The children say that they are
afraid to question the teachings. "They have to take out the stuff which you
have in your mind and then put in new stuff," said one man who had been
through the camps. The youths are taught that opponents of Mugabe's Zanu PF
party must be dealt with harshly.
The brutality in the camps
prepares the youths for the more advanced lessons
in how to torture and kill government opponents. Most of the youths Panorama
interviewed said that they were taught how to kill. Debbie was given lessons
in using shoe laces for strangling, and stabbing people in the head with a
knife. The "star pupils" are selected for training in the techniques of
torture. Youths testified to being taught how to torture with electricity,
or by hanging victims upside down and lowering their heads into buckets of
water below until they nearly drown. Even while they are still "in training"
many youths are sent out on missions to beat up opponents of Mugabe's
government. Some, Debbie was one, are also sent out to kidnap fresh recruits
into the camp. A few are forced to attack and maim members of their own
families if their relatives are suspected of being opposed to Mugabe. One
24-year-old woman, "Promise", said that she was forced to beat her own
uncle. During the attack his back was broken and he is now crippled. "Now
sometime I have nightmares about it and I end up screaming," said Promise.
The camps are situated in remote
areas and there is little chance for
escape. Any disobedience or breaking of the rules means instant punishment.
The camp commanders themselves are former soldiers and war veterans. It took
months of discussions to persuade one of them to speak to Panorama
anonymously. He admitted that youths in his camp had been sent to kill two
opponents of the government two years ago. "My superiors instructed me that
the people must be eliminated," he said matter-of-factly. A youth ministry
official who has now fled to South Africa said that he attended meetings at
the Ministry of Youth at which killings and hit lists were openly discussed.
"Somebody would just say: 'We went on Saturday to this other area, and we
beat up people. Ah, by the way, one of the guys died," he said. "It was like
describing the result of a match between Manchester United and Arsenal." As
a means of keeping Mugabe in power and of subduing the opposition, the youth
militias have been highly successful over the past three years. They were
used to beat and intimidate thousands of supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change during the elections of 2002. Since then, they have been
used to "police" food queues, making sure that government supporters get
first access to the desperately needed maize.
An estimated 50,000 youths have already passed through
the camps, but Mugabe
wants more. His next goal is to win the parliamentary elections in 2005, so
is in the process of making it compulsory for every Zimbabwean youth to
undergo training. "These guys are going to be used by the ruling party,"
said the one camp commander who would speak to us. "Our main concern is that
we keep this opposition party out of power." If Mugabe has his way, an
entire generation of young people will be forcibly brutalised and corrupted.
Most of those who have fled his camps are deeply traumatised by their
experiences. They feel tainted for having maimed, tortured and killed. It is
a burden they find almost impossible to shake off. Debbie is HIV positive as
a result of her rape. She also became pregnant and now has a one-year-old
daughter, Nunus. She knows that she is likely to die from Aids long before
Nunus is fully grown - it is a sadness that so overwhelms her that she has
tried to kill herself.
From BBC News, 29 February
Zimbabwe camp commander speaks
A commander at one of Zimbabwe's notorious youth training
camps has spoken
to the media for the first time. The "Youth Services Instructor" spoke
freely about life in the camps to a team from the BBC Panorama programme on
condition of anonymity. He revealed that his camp some as young as 15 are
taught to use weapons like guns. "We train them how to use weapons, although
we don't concentrate as soldiers but there is a period when we train them
how to use those guns," he said. The unnamed commander also told the
programme that the young men and women who attend youth camps in Zimbabwe
were being trained to be "useful to the ruling party during the time of
need." He also revealed that recruits are given daily lessons in things like
sovereignty, politics and history. He added that those who run the camps try
to guide the youngsters on what information to get as they can become
"misguided" by a lot of the independent information available. The commander
claimed that recruits to the camps were often used to disrupt the activities
of opposition parties in the run up to elections in Zimbabwe. He said: "Next
year is an election time in this country so these guys are going to be used
by the ruling party. Although it's a government institution the party
benefits from these guys because they sometimes use them to deal with some
situations involving politics. We want to make sure that we don't want the
opposition party to set foot in the rural areas, that is our main priority.
In fact they will never set foot there during this coming election."
The camp commander conceded that stories of rapes being
carried out in the
camps were true, saying "it happens here and there", but claimed that the
problem is not as bad as it used to be. He also added that such matters were
dealt with within the camps, sometimes with the use of "some corporal
punishments". Senior staff in the camp took this course of action because it
"cannot seen to be exposing it (the ruling Zanu PF party) negatively so it
may be like you are washing dirty linen in public so these are things which
we deal with inside." The commander, who had grave reservations about taking
part in the interview because he thought it may be a trap set by Zimbabwe's
intelligence services, also revealed he was hoping to get a promotion. He
defended his role in the camps by saying: "To me its part of my duties you
see, it's part of my duties so I will be executing my duties. It's not on
the right or wrong basis but you see our main concern is that we keep this
opposition party out of power."
Envoy Clarifies Sweden's Stance Over Zimbabwe
The Times of Zambia
February 28, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
VISITING Swedish ambassador for dialogue in Africa, Sten
clarified Press reports attributed to him this week that his country did not
support targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Rylander said in a statement yesterday that in fact Sweden
strongly defended the targeted European Union (EU) sanctions and the
necessity and right of the international community to react against the
ongoing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
He said in an interview he gave to journalists, he clearly stated that
position, "unfortunately, I was misquoted in some parts."
"What I did point out was that punitive sanctions by themselves cannot solve
the root problem.
The key to a national lasting solution in Zimbabwe lies in intensified
dialogue among the Zimbabwean parties concerned, as well as in the region,"
The envoy underlined the belief that SADC and its member-states, including
Zambia, could play a helpful role in promoting such dialogue efforts.
Mr Rylander said in discussing the Zimbabwean situation, he dismissed the
common assertions that EU and its member-states have been against land
reforms in general.
"Our concern have always been related to the way in which land reforms have
been carried out," he said.
With regard to the debt issue and the role of the international financial
institutions, Mr Rylander said Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) should
be seen as a big step forward and urged Zambia to muddle through to reach
the completion point as soon as possible.
"I underlined the obvious fact that HIPC cannot be seen as the only solution
to the debt problem in African countries. This problem will remain even in a
post-HIPC perspective and ought to be discussed in the frame work of
continued international negotiations," Mr Rylander said.
Aspiring Astronaut Named Rhodes Scholar
Shazrene S. Mohamed '04 is seventh Harvard student to receive honor this
By ELISE M. STEFANIK
Shazrene S. Mohamed '04, an astrophysics concentrator from Kirkland House,
has been named a 2004 Rhodes Scholar.
One of seven Harvard students to receive the prestigious scholarship this
year, Mohamed will study at Oxford University to earn her Ph.D. in
Four of her American classmates were awarded the scholarship in November,
making Harvard the leader in the number of scholarships for the third
Two more Harvard students from Kenya were notified of their acceptance in
A native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Mohamed was interviewed in Harare, Zimbabwe
on Dec. 5, 2003 and notified that day of her scholarship.
Last year, Mohamed was the 2003 recipient of the Leo Goldberg prize for the
best astrophysics junior thesis.
She is also active in a variety of extracurriculars at Harvard, as an
officer of STAHR-a student run astronomy club which organizes classes at the
Loomis Michael Observatory at the Science Center-a dorm crew captain and a
coxswain for IM crew. Mohamed said she also enjoys Tae Kwon Do.
The Rhodes Scholarships are endowed through the will of Cecil Rhodes, a
British philanthropist, who founded the honor in 1902.
Applicants are selected on the basis of several criteria-high academic
achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for
others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.
According to the Rhodes Trust, these qualifications are directed at
fulfilling Cecil Rhodes' hope that Rhodes Scholars should "esteem the
performance of public duties as their highest aim."
Mohamed said that during her final interview she was asked several
science-related questions-ranging from general topics to "the particulars of
Other questions addressed her view on life in Zimbabwe.
Mohamed said she responded to questions about how she would act in a
position of power in Zimbabwe. She said that she would address the current
political and economic situation optimistically.
"Zimbabwe is a country full of great, strong, talented people," she said. "I
know that we will overcome this suffering and realize our full potential."
She felt that what set her apart from the other applicants was her unique
field of study and her dream to become an astronaut, she said.
Approximately 95 Scholars are selected worldwide each year, 32 of whom are
chosen from the United States.
The Rhodes Trust awards each Scholar full funding to attend Oxford
University, a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in
Oxford and transportation to and from England.
Daily Times, Nigeria
African leaders sign common security plan
African leaders signed a sweeping defence and security agreement at the
weekend that allows the African Union (AU) to send forces to intervene in
civil wars, international conflicts and coup attempts across the continent.
Also, Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi, said his country decided to dismantle
its atomic programme to avoid the dangers it might bring.
"The nuclear arms race is a crazy and destructive policy for economy and
life," Gaddafi said at the closing session of the African Union summit.
"Any nation state that will adopt these policies cannot protect herself, on
the contrary, it would expose itself to danger."
It was the first time Gaddafi publicly addressed Libya's nuclear programme
since agreeing to eliminate its facilities in December.
The defense and security agreement aims to prevent tragedies like the 1994
Rwandan genocide, in which more than 500,000 people were massacred while the
African Union's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), did
nothing. The 39-year-old OAU was disbanded in 2002 because it was so
But with funding shortage and the African Union already in $40 million debt,
the joint force is not likely to be formed soon, delegates said. A Zimbabwe
official said it would not be ready before 2010.
"The framework we have just signed includes the necessity to find collective
answers to threats, whether internal or external," Mozambique President
Joaquim Chissano said.
"But our efforts are not over. ... We have to show a real commitment to the
implementation of our decisions."
Chissano told Associated Press the union would establish a "standby force"
of African troops for deployment to conflict zones on short notice.
He declined to elaborate, but draft copies of the agreement called for
creating five regional brigades to be deployed by two bodies modelled on the
The first is the African Assembly, or parliament. The second is the Peace
and Security Council, Africa's version of the U.N. Security Council. They
will be created in a few months.
Libya proposed creating a single African army, but many countries viewed
that idea as unrealistic.
However, Ould Salek, a foreign minister for Western Sahara - a territory in
southern Morocco, recognised by the African Union - said the concept would
be discussed at the next summit in July.
"There is a great need for African troops to intervene in cases of
necessity. We must take on fully our duty to stop war in Africa," he said.
Funding will be a major obstacle for the force, and aid will be sought from
donor countries, including the United States, Japan and European Union, he
African nations have had no formal policy on how to react to conflicts on
Charles Muligande, who headed the Rwandan delegation, said nations could
have intervened to stop the 1994 genocide but chose not to.
"It isn't about legal frameworks," Muligande said. "It's about will. There
has to be will."
Saturday's agreement does not obligate African states to act but provides
standards for them to uphold, including protecting democratically elected
governments from coups. The standby force could be deployed to enforce
disarmament programs and provide humanitarian aid.
Shortly after its creation in 2002, the African Union deployed several
thousand peacekeepers from South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique to Burundi,
but that country remains mired in a civil war that has killed more than
African leaders also signed an agreement on a common policy to boost
agricultural production and manage water resources.
Monday, March 1, 2004
Namibian commercial farmers fear land grab
March 1, 2004
By Rosemary Nalisa
The Namibia Agricultural Union, says the announcement that farm
expropriations will take place in the country has sent shockwaves through
its agricultural community.
"It is shocking. It causes sorrow and disturbances in the farming
community," said the union's president, Jan de Wet.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab said on state television
that a number of white-owned farms would be expropriated to accelerate land
This was because the existing policy of "willing seller, willing
buyer" was not delivering results.
"The process has become too slow because of arbitrarily inflated land
prices and unavailability of productive land," observed Gurirab.
Like many other countries in the region, Namibia is saddled with
racial imbalances in land ownership that date back to the colonial era.
Fourteen years after independence, more than 240 000 people are still
in need of land. The Namibian parliament last year passed a land reform act
allowing the government to acquire properties in the public interest, with
the payment of just compensation.
Although the prime minister did not say which land would be
expropriated, it is believed that farms belonging to absentee landlords are
De Wet called on the government to make clear the criteria that would
be used to select properties, as the current situation was creating
uncertainty that could lead to unrest.
"The situation also affects the surety of the farms, because financial
institutions now regard them as risky investments, and farmers might in
future struggle to get loans. The question is: Are we going the Zimbabwe
At the start of 2000, Zimbabwe embarked on a violent land reform
programme that has seen about 4 000 white-owned farms confiscated. A number
of black peasant farmers have been resettled on the properties.
However, several choice farms are also reported to
have been taken
over by government officials.
Discontent over land ownership in Namibia has been stirred up in
recent months by the dismissal of some farmworkers who have stayed on the
properties for decades.
The layoffs have led to clashes between farm owners and unions, and
angered the government.
"Committed to seeing the 'willing buyer, willing seller' approach
work, the government has witnessed with dismay and outrage how farm workers
are left destitute and dumped with their families and belongings on the
roadsides by their employers," said Gurirab.
The secretary-general of the Namibia Farm Workers Union, Alfred
Angula, welcomed the government's announcement - and highlighted the need
for further reforms.
"Farmers need to realise that they do not pay pensions or any other
compensation to their workers, who sometimes work on such farms for decades,
and when they become old they want to evict them and make it the
government's problem," he said.
Late last year, Angula's union called for farm occupations in those
areas where the evictions were taking place.
Gurirab has cautioned both landowners and the landless to co-operate
with the government and refrain from engaging in unlawful action during the
implementation of the redistribution process. He said the "willing seller,
willing buyer" policy would continue alongside expropriations.
Various opposition parties have described Gurirab's announcement as a
ploy to gain favour for the government ahead of presidential elections
scheduled for December, when President Sam Nujoma is expected to step
down. - Sapa-IPS
Safari, Forestry Land to Be Redistributed
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
Government will repossess safari and forestry land allocated to farmers for
game ranching in Hwange district and redistribute it equitably, the Governor
for Matabeleland North, Cde Obert Mpofu, said yesterday.
Cde Mpofu was speaking at a meeting held at the Mhla-hlandlela Government
offices in Bulawayo with stakeholders to discuss concerns they raised
regarding the manner in which safari and forestry land in Hwange was
distributed under the resettlement programme.
allegations that some people were allocated small farms that are
unprofitable for safari operations, yet others got bigger farms.
"We have heard your concerns and we will start the process afresh. All land
will be re-taken and redistributed," said Cde Mpofu to a round of applause
from the gathering.
Participants at the meeting also expressed displeasure over the allocation
of quotas for this year's hunting season, which begins today.
As a result of the disparity in the land allocations, new farmers from the
province have been denied hunting quotas, while others have been given up to
He said another worrying thing was that safari operators in the district had
not managed to secure quotas to date.
"Some areas have already managed to secure quotas but our province is
lagging behind. Why? We will seriously look into this issue," he said.
Cde Mpofu also revealed at the meeting that there was 500 000 hectares of
land in Matabeleland North province available that safari operators and
newly resettled farmers should take up.
"This is your land. We want you to tell us how that land ought to be
distributed," he said.
Stakeholders at the meeting then came up with recommendations that would be
forwarded to the Minister of Special Affairs in the Office of the President
Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Cde John Nkomo, and the
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Cde Francis Nhema.
Some of the recommendations were that the maximum hectarage for hunting
purposes should be 5 000, up from 3 000. They recommended that the 500 000
hectares of land that is available should be equitably distributed among
those who need to utilise it productively.
The stakeholders also recommended that the issue of allocation of quotas had
to be dealt with as a matter of urgency as they were losing a lot of
business while awaiting them to be approved.
Another recommendation was that first preference has to be given to people
in Matabeleland North province, as they would have an interest in developing
Cde Mpofu said communities in areas such as Hwange were not benefiting from
"There are so many elephants in some areas but the local people there are
still poor, we need to empower them," he said.
President, Mubarak to Hold Talks
The Herald (Harare)
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
President Mugabe is now in Cairo on his way back home after attending the
12th G15 summit in Venezuela.
The President is expected to hold bilateral talks with his Egyptian
counterpart Mr Hosni Mubarak either today or tomorrow.
Egypt is also a member of the G15 and enjoys good relations with Zimbabwe.
Leaders of the G15 pledged to set up a co-operation fund, which would
promote the strengthening of the education, health, trade and investment
centres of the developing countries of the South.
Sources who attended a plenary session of the G15 summit here said the
leaders also adopted a proposal by India that each member state be assigned
a specific sector, which it would co-ordinate.
India opted for the health and pharmaceuticals sector. India also suggested
that a business summit be held alongside that of political leaders at the
next G15 summit.
The G15 leaders agreed to form a troika comprising Algeria, Venezuela and
Iran to co-ordinate the global systems of trade preferences and their
foreign ministers were expected to deliberate on this and report back after
President Mugabe made an intervention during the plenary session, saying the
G15 had always had the problem of transforming its ideas into action because
it did not have an executive arm to implement the ideas.
He said there was therefore need for the formation of an institution that
would serve the G15 and ensure that decisions were implemented.
President Mugabe said the IMF had not served the countries of the South
well. He undertook to contribute to the formation of the University of the
"I am an educationist myself and will be ready to contribute," President
Mugabe, who holds the highest number of academic degrees in human history
among heads of state, told the other G15 leaders.
Cde Mugabe addressed the summit on Friday last week.
He said the international situation had changed for the worse in political
and economic terms and Third World countries stood threatened by the
arrogant and bullying leaders of the North.
"We see unjust wars such as those of Iraq and Yugoslavia waged against
innocent societies made culpable through blatant lies and propaganda chanted
on the CNN, BBC and other media to sharpen the insatiable appetites of
greedy neo-imperialists for aggression and aggrandisement."
Now comprising 19 countries, the G15 was born out of a realisation of the
asymmetrical relations between the rich, powerful and dominant countries of
the North and impoverished, weak and marginalised countries of the South.
The G15 was founded out of a realisation that interaction between countries
of the South as collective victims of a cruel history of imperial dominance
and exploitation, was quite insignificant as compared to rival interaction
between the countries of the South and their erstwhile colonisers of the
Vetting of Ex-Detainees, War Collaborators Set to Begin This Month
The Herald (Harare)
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
THE vetting of ex-detainees and war collaborators is set to begin this month
to determine those who will receive gratuities, a senior member of the
Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Association
(ZEPPDRA) said yesterday.
The association's Bulawayo provincial secretary, Cde Modercai Mlotshwa said
the vetting would be done by ZEPPDRA officials with the assistance of the
officers from the Department of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Defence and
the Prison Services among other arms of Government.
He said members would soon be invited to meetings where they would be
briefed on the modalities of the exercise."The vetting will start this month
and we are organising a meeting scheduled for 14 March this year, where
officials from different Government departments will explain the way the
gratuities will be disbursed," Cde Mlotshwa said.
"The meeting will also be a forum to
explain the likely beneficiaries and
the amount of money each recipient will receive." The issuing of gratuities
follows the amendment of the War Veterans Act to accord ex-detainees the
same status to fighters of the liberation struggle waged between the 1960s
In the past, the Government has insisted on providing ex-detainees with free
medical services and school fees assistance. Ex-detainees also benefited
from the recently implemented land redistribution programme. The 15 000
members of ZEPPRA previously demanded lump sums of $70 000 and a monthly
pension. In 2000, the organisation dropped its monetary demands saying it
wanted the Government to concentrate on the pressing land issue.
Kick Out Corrupt Leaders
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
"WE now must admit, we are reaping the bitter fruits of our unwholesome and
negative behaviour. Our image as leaders of the party and Government has
never been so badly tarnished.
"The public are crying for our blood, and they certainly are entitled to do
so after watching our actions and conduct . . . Do we surely deserve this
unfair treatment from those among us who through their serious
irregularities and violations of the law have marred our hitherto excellent
record of performance?"
The above is an excerpt from President Mugabe's speech
to the Central
Committee on March 23 1989 after high profile leaders were implicated by the
The commission had been set up to probe leaders who had abused the
parliamentary motor vehicle scheme, which allowed legislators to purchase
cars directly from Willowvale Motor Industries.
President Mugabe's anti-graft stance is, thus, not a new development but has
been a constant feature of his leadership.
The President has always called on the leadership to adhere to the
Leadership Code, a set of ethics which are aimed at fostering servant,
people-centred leadership as opposed to money worship.
Unfortunately, some of the people he entrusted with positions of
responsibility have continuously let him down as they have been implicated
in various scandals over the years.
Currently, President Mugabe has launched an anti-graft drive which has
netted in several big players in commerce and industry, and from the way
things are going it is going to be quite a catch!
The greatest shock is that some high profile politicians who hold key posts
in the ruling party and Government have been linked to corrupt practices.
Paradoxically, these people always froth at the mouth, sloganeering and
pledging undying patriotism whilst at the same time surreptitiously raping
the motherland they claim to love.
Of course, a man is innocent until proven guilty, but the mere fact that
such people have been probed is bad enough for their standing in the eyes of
the public who look up to them.
Indeed, as President Mugabe asked, if gold rusts what will iron do? The
electorate expects the leadership to be people of high decorum in all
aspects of life.
If these leaders have any modicum of respect for the people, they must step
aside and let real patriots steer the ship.
They must take a leaf from the likes of Enos Nkala, Dzingai Mutumbuka,
Fredrick Shava and the late Maurice Nyagumbo, who threw in the towel after
they were implicated by the Sandura Commission of fraudulent dealings at
The tragedy of our time is that quite a number of affluent people are buying
themselves into power at the expense of well- meaning cadres who lack the
financial resources to sway the gullible.
The fact that a "leader" chooses to entice people with money rather than
ideas is enough testimony that he has nothing to offer the people.
Such leaders are basically businessmen who regard political office as a form
of investment; the money they pour in will be expected to bring high
personal returns at the expense of the nation.
This kind of behaviour is corruption of the highest order, which must never
be tolerated if we are to defeat the machinations of our detractors, for, as
President Mugabe said, imperialism is becoming more financial than
Worshippers of money can be bought easily to undermine the country's
sovereignty and independence.
Speaking at the 7th Zanu-PF Annual People's Conference in Masvingo in
December last year, President Mugabe blasted the mercenaries when he said,
among other things, "Let those who want to use money to disrupt our party
and create in it a new ideology be ashamed. Let them repent, I say this
because I know what is happening. Fortune seekers are not nation builders."
The recently completed Zanu-PF restructuring exercise has seen mainly the
affluent ascend to positions of leadership. Either Zanu-PF is full of
affluent people or money was changing hands. The latter is probably the case
in light of President Mugabe's comments, and that is tragic.
President Mugabe once again slammed corrupt leaders in a speech read on his
behalf by Vice-President, Cde Joseph Msika, at the burial of national
heroine Cde Julia Zvobgo.
The President warned all corrupt leaders in both the public and private
sectors that, if they believe that there is a link between corruption and
wealth, they'll inevitably come to real grief.
"We have got to a stage where decisive action against corruption is called
for," the President said, "The waywardness which was beginning to threaten
the very fabric of this country just has to be stamped out ruthlessly."
This is necessary for if one bad apple is left to fester in a picnic basket,
the rest of the apples will inevitably be affected and thrown away. To this
end, the ruling party must kick out all those leaders in its structures and
Government who are implicated and convicted in the ongoing anti-corruption
drive, lest genuine cadres suffer from the folly of a few pretenders.
Such people must not be allowed to stand for election at the next congress
or legislative polls, as they might cost the party the people's support.
It is such double-faced people who, in the end, bring the name of the party
into disrepute as they eventually pursue personal wealth at the expense of
With detractors always peering at the door, ready to undo the purse strings
for Iscariots, mercenaries can be easily bought and used against the people
since their politics bear allegiance to the highest bidder.
As Mr Clement Georgias, the managing director of Trinity Engineering, said
in his congratulatory birthday message to the President, the country cannot
develop if the President has to constantly look over his shoulder to see who
in his party is rocking the boat, while at the same time wondering who in
the opposition is scheming against him.
Analysts say that the recent Cabinet reshuffle clearly shows that the
President does not have faith in the so-called young Turks as he chose to
stick to his tried and trusted steeds. The President subsequently said as
much in an interview he had with Newsnet on the eve of his 80th birthday
when he said he would rather stick to his old team-mates.
Let's throw the mercenaries overboard, we do not need them as they almost
sank the ship.
EU Charges Against Zim Baseless, Says Kangai
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
ZIMBABWE'S ambassador to Austria Cde Tirivafi Kangai has dismissed as
baseless charges by the European Union for imposing sanctions against
In a statement, Cde Kangai said the Government noted with disappointment
that the EU had persisted with its sterile policy of sanctions at the
dictates and instigation of Britain.
"It is regrettable that the United Kingdom continues to drag the EU into the
unresolved racist and colonial issue brought about by its reneging on the
Lancaster House Constitutional Agreement in 1979."
Cde Kangai said in reviewing sanctions, the EU had been seeking progress in
five key areas: an end to all so-called politically motivated violence,
commitment to free and fair elections, protection of the freedom of the
Press, independence of the judiciary and an end to illegal occupation of
He said the five key allegations have no legal basis but are just charges
thrown at an accused country that is not given the chance of defending
"The talk of politically motivated violence does not hold water anymore.
There have not been any significant cases of political violence for the past
two years with the just-ended (by)election in Gutu North, Masvingo province,
being described by even the often negative Zimbabwe Election Support Network
as peaceful while the losing opposition MDC candidate said the poll was free
"We all know that the so-called commitment to free and fair elections can
only be shown by Zanu-PF losing elections. As long as the ruling party
continues to win, Zimbabwe's elections will never be free and fair in the
eyes of the EU, yet the African Union, Sadc, Non-Aligned Movement to name a
few declared the last presidential elections free and fair," Cde Kangai
He said the need to protect the freedom of the Press was another empty
He wondered how an entire bloc of some of the most powerful countries in the
world could assume that freedom of the Press in Zimbabwe was guaranteed by
one newspaper in a country that had more private newspapers than owned by
"This is clear insult to the plethora of private newspapers that are being
published in the country as it simply means they do not represent a free
Press. We take exception to this," Cde Kangai said.
He cited the independence of the judiciary as another trumped up charge that
sought to insult the present bench as Zanu-PF sympathisers in a bid to push
them against the State while portraying former white judges as the doyen of
Cde Kangai said the allegation should be dismissed with the contempt it
deserved as the Zanu-PF Government had lost a number of cases in the courts.
He noted that there were more cases of injustice in Europe, including
incarceration of people without trial for unprecedented long periods.
"The demand to end the so-called illegal occupation of properties is the
crux of the sanctions and the EU has allowed itself to be drawn into a
bilateral wrangle between Britain and Zimbabwe," Cde Kangai said.
He said Zimbabwe was singled out for regime change from 1998 even as worse
political crisis situations in Africa prompted a better understanding on the
part of the UK, the EU and US.
"The point is far from issues of democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe
that determined the call for regime change. It has been simply the anger at
a black nationalist leader (President Mugabe) who has also dare the long
accepted rules of colonial property ownership of the most fertile land by a
few descendants of mostly British origin at the expense of the indigenous
African majority," Cde Kangai said.
He said the EU should have shown more bravery and told Britain in no
uncertain terms to confront Zimbabwe over the issue, adding that the British
were afraid of engaging Zimbabwe on a one-to-one basis because they knew
Zimbabwe was right in reclaiming its land.
Cde Kangai said while the British government might be satisfied with itself
for having scored a major victory at the EU, that would not change the
situation in Zimbabwe but further strengthen Zimbabweans to look within
themselves for their own development, prosperity and total emancipation.
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
HARARE City Council's financial books have not been audited since 2001 and
the local authority is leaping in the dark, with no idea of its exact
financial position, it has emerged.
Councillors last week took the city treasurer Mr Cosmas Zvikaramba to task
over delays in preparing yearly accounting audits.
At a full council meeting last week, the councillors demanded to know why
the audits were taking long to prepare.
The city's books have not been audited since 2001.
Councillor Christopher Mushonga said it was not proper for council to
operate without knowing its financial position.
"You never know maybe we are in the red. We need to know the city's
financial position. It helps us to plan better," he said.
Mr Zvikaramba said a shortage of manpower was hampering their work.
Councillor Mushonga requested the treasurer to give the number of
accountants the department needs to update the accounts soon.
Mr Zvikaramba said the department needed six accountants.
"With those we expect to have the 2002 accounts ready by June," he said.
"The 2003 accounts should be up to date by November this year."
Councillors then asked why up to now the posts for accountants that were
advertised in the Press were still vacant.
Mr Zvikaramba said the department wanted to have college graduates who could
learn while on the job.
"It is better to have someone we can teach," he said. "Having a fully
qualified and practicing accountant will not help."
Council has over the years been losing experienced personnel to the private
sector, which offers better salaries.
The treasurer said public accounting and private accounting were different
and it would take longer for one coming from the private sector to be
Some councillors said experienced accountants should be hired.
Councillor Mushonga said council should not expect to be granted borrowing
powers without fully audited and up to date accounts.
"There is no way in hell we can expect to get borrowing powers without these
accounts," he said.
Harare recently applied to the Government to borrow $82,5 billion to fund
Councillor Elijah Manjeya said unaudited books provided corrupt officials an
opportunity to steal from council without trace.
"At this rate those with sticky fingers will steal and we will only get to
know about them in 2010," he said. "Our books should be at current levels."
Councillors demanded a report from the audit committee on the matter.
Health Professionals Launch Programme
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
A GROUP of health professionals have launched a programme aimed at providing
free treatment to patients failing to access specialist healthcare.
The programme known as the Community Medical Outreach Service Trust (CMOST)
began in June last year and was officially launched on Friday night in
It groups specialist doctors, nurses and paramedics.
The doctors offer specialist gynaecology, urology, paediatric care, ear,
throat and nasal infection treatment. The health professionals treat
patients at health centres in the country on a rotational basis and have so
far taken their services to Masvingo, Banket, Mutare, Harare Central
Hospital and Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.
CMOST founder member and president Dr Edwin Muguti said the outreach
programme was aimed at ensuring that every patient receives treatment.
"Our duty as doctors is to alleviate suffering of patients and we believe
medical professionals have the power to make things better," said.
The Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa who
officiated at the launch and is also patron of CMOST said there was need to
highlight the health sector's successes instead of concentrating on negative
He said CMOST was a noble programme that would help ensure the
less-privileged patients in the country would receive medical attention.
"I am proud that top surgeons are involved in this programme and this will
be chronicled in the successes of our country's health delivery system,"
said Dr Parirenyatwa. He said the three most important aspects in the
country's health delivery system were human resources, drugs and
"The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare appreciates the efforts by the
country's health professionals who are contributing towards assisting
"I hope CMOST will grow and inspire other health professionals to embark on
CMOST member Dr Gibson Mandishona said the outreach service was embarked on
by health professionals who have the patients at heart.
He said a disease map of the whole country would also be formulated to
assist health professionals in the programme.
"The CMOST philosophy is that Zimbabwe shall not face doom or gloom as long
as we have professionals and dedicated doctors to serve the people.
"Their dedication translates into upholding the Hippocratic Oath," he said.
Last month CMOST undertook 40 operations at Harare Central Hospital worth
$250 million in its efforts to treat the less privileged.
Dr Mandishona said CMOST was also working with medical students particularly
those in postgraduate courses for outreach programmes.
He appealed for assistance from the Government to boost its medical
equipment and mobile theatre.
ZRP Seeks $25 Million for Hospital
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police needs $25 million dollars to complete work on
the Bulawayo Camp Hospital.
In an interview the acting officer in charge of the camp, Inspector Keteas
Siziba said at least $25 million was needed for plumbing and electrification
for the hospital to be completed.
He said the hospital, which is expected to cater for more than 40 patients
at any given time, was expected to be complete in a few months' time and it
will start operating as soon as the ZRP acquire a few remaining essentials.
"We do not have adequate equipment for the hospital but we have a few beds
and we are yet to sit down and think of the way forward.
"Meanwhile, we are appealing to the corporate world to come and assist us as
they have done before," said Inspector Siziba.
Meanwhile, the acting Bulawayo police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector
Langa Ndlovu said the construction of the hospital was started in September
1998 under the then officer commanding Matabeleland North Senior Assistant
Commissioner Albert Mandizha. It is a joint effort of all officers within
the province and other individuals.
"It was built for police officers and their dependants but we can
accommodate certain cases if need arises. What motivated us into building
this hospital is that we have residents in the camp and we want them to have
a hospital nearby which offers good services."
Ass Insp Ndlovu said the hospital will be treating all kinds of ailments and
there would not be any need to refer patients to other hospitals like Mpilo
and United Bulawayo Hospitals.
"We want to provide bedding so that it becomes more of a hospital than a
clinic as we also have our own resident doctor," he said.
The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Cde Sithembiso
Nyoni who had come to check on the progress of the hospital said she was
impressed by the determination and unity that exists in police force.
"When the construction of this hospital was started I thought it was a small
clinic and did not think it would progress as it has done now. I am
impressed by the unity of spirit that these people have shown," said Cde
Zesa Loses Over $14m Every Month
The Herald (Harare)
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is losing more than $14
million every month due to illegal connections by some unscrupulous
consumers, a Zesa official has said.
In a Press statement, Zesa senior public relations officer Mr Shepherd
Mandizvidza said the illegal connections do not only prejudice Zesa but also
endangers the lives of consumers who face the danger of being electrocuted.
"While some perpetrators of this illicit activity do so innocently to extend
electricity services to some backyard money-spinning projects to eke out a
living, some of them do so deliberately to avoid paying electricity bills,"
He said they had received many reports of many people being electrocuted and
some properties being burnt due to wrong connections.
"It is advisable for the consumers to enlist the technical expertise of the
power utility to repair electrical faults or should there be any need for
additional electricity services through the normal channels of service
application," said Mr Mandizvidza.
He said some of the illegal connections such as bypassing of meters to avoid
recording of readings, interference with Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs)
and illegal extensions of power are non-technical losses, which have
adversely affected the business of the power utility.
Mr Mandizvidza said Zesa had put in place mechanisms to detect such illegal
connections and most of them are noticed when electrical faults occur, which
can only be rectified by the power utility.
"The power utility's security is also making considerable inroads to tame
this unusual dimension of theft," he said.
He said punitive measures would be taken against those found committing such
offences. Mr Mandizvidza said they would pass on the costs of rectifying the
wrong connections and loss recovery to those making illegal connections.
Mail and Guardian
Zimbabwe wants to repay its debts
01 March 2004 17:51
Zimbabwe will repay its
long-standing debts to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) to avoid losing membership in the global lender, the state news
agency quoted Information Minister Jonathan Moyo as saying on Monday.
Ziana quoted Moyo as saying Zimbabwe would repay the money it owes to the
IMF in order to maintain membership in the lender, which he said "increases
our credit rating".
The statement came after an IMF board late last year said it was initiating
the compulsory withdrawal of the economically ravaged Southern African
country from the body due to lack of cooperation and unpaid debt.
It notably cited arrears of more than $270-million running back almost three
"What we need to do is to stop the process of withdrawal. If you've got a
debt, you must pay," Moyo said, according to Ziana.
However, he did not say when the government would start repaying the debt.
Zimbabwe owes foreign creditors more than $4-billion, according to official
The country is currently in the grip of its worst economic crisis, with
inflation at more than 622%, 70% unemployment and critical shortages of
fuel, medicine and food.
As part of a new monetary policy aimed at reviving the economy and
attracting investment, the government has said that it will
service its foreign debts.
Ziana reported Moyo as saying the IMF was impressed with Zimbabwean economic
reforms and that he was confident the country would not be forced to
withdraw. -- Sapa-AFP
Mail and Guardian
Church leaders form Zim task team
Johannesburg, South Africa
01 March 2004 16:45
African and Zimbabwean church leaders agreed at a meeting on Monday to
create a task team to promote talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The agreement, however, is in principle, said Russel Botman, the president
of the South African Council of Churches (SACC).
He said the team still has to receive a mandate on the matter from all
Zimbabwean faith-based organisations.
"We are not clear as what Zimbabwean clergymen want us to do and we do not
intend making any presumptions. They are still to present their agenda to us
so we can see if we can deliberate on that," said Botman, who will lead the
"We move from the premise that problems in Zimbabwe will not be solved
without a collective decision and input from those who are directly
Botman said other task team members are SACC secretary general Molefe Tsele,
South African Catholic Bishop's Conference secretary general Richard Manatsi
and Evangelical Alliance of South Africa representative Moss Ntla.
The clergymen also discussed at the meeting, which Botman described as the
first of its kind, the political and social instability in Zimbabwe.
Botman said Zimbabwean church leaders raised their concerns on various
issues affecting the political instability in their country, especially in
the run-up to the 2005 parliamentary elections.
"They have raised the issue of lack of independent media and the use of
state institutions like the police and the army by the ruling Zanu-PF to
intimidate and quash opposition parties."
Asked if the clergymen doubted the South African administration's political
will to solve the Zimbabwean crisis, Tsele said efforts by President Thabo
Mbeki to come up with a peace plan could not be underestimated.
"We need to stress that South Africa should not be seen as the only party
that can bring an end to this debacle. Regional and continental
organisations must be seen to be doing something," he said.
"The process of reaching a peaceful settlement in Zimbabwe is slow but the
delay can not be laid on our government or President Mbeki's door step but
on political players in that country."
Tsele said he hoped Zanu-PF and the MDC would reach a peace settlement
Moyo's Visit 'Just a Happy Coincidence'
March 1, 2004
Posted to the web March 1, 2004
GOVERNMENT'S announcement on Wednesday that it plans to expropriate
commercial farms and the arrival of the Zimbabwean Minister of State for
Information, Jonathan Moyo on the same day was purely coincidental, say
ministers of the two countries.
Moyo and Namibia's Minister of Information and Broadcasting Nangolo Mbumba
insisted on Friday that there was no connection between Moyo's visit and
Prime Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab announcement on national television that
Government would begin to expropriate white-owned farms.
were speaking at a press conference held at the Office of the
Moyo faced a range of questions including whether he was looking for
property in Namibia, anti-media laws in Zimbabwe and the vexing land issue.
Gurirab's announcement on expropriation came on the same day that Moyo
arrived in Windhoek for what has been described as a working visit.
Answering a question at the press conference, Moyo said he did not "see a
connection" with an earlier question that he might have been in Namibia to
buy property in case it became difficult for him to stay in Zimbabwe.
"It was pure, pure coincidence, but a happy one for me," said Moyo, adding
that Namibia and Zimbabwe "shared a common understanding of our societies".
Moyo said he was happy to hear Gurirab's statement personally rather than
having to rely on newspapers.
The Zimbabwean information minister, widely regarded as President Robert
Mugabe's propaganda chief, was in the country for five days, visiting mainly
Government-funded media such as Nampa, New Era and NBC.
He and Mbumba signed an agreement allowing for closer co-operation between
State media in the two countries.
Speaking about the agreement, Moyo said just as Africans were "our own
liberators, today we have to be our own story-tellers".
Moyo has advocated news exchanges between agencies in southern African
countries, arguing that foreign news organisations had been demonising
rather than aiding development in Africa.
Zimbabwe has consistently received bad publicity since Mugabe introduced
what was called a "fast-track" land reform.
However, the land reform policy has been seen as a political ploy to destroy
anti-government activists calling for constitutional change and a limit to
The land reform programme in Zimbabwe is said to have led to the collapse of
the economy with investors pulling out or staying away amid accusations that
it was mainly the ruling elite and Mugabe cronies who have benefited.
Asked whether he intended to buy property in Namibia, Moyo said:"I will be
on the look-out for property here any time. It is such a wonderful place,
but I wish that were true. You have a tradition of manufacturing stories and
your question is an example of that tradition. You even suggested that the
President [Mugabe] was on the look-out for property here, and I'm sure we
will be on the look-out for properties here until the end of time".
When Mbumba was asked whether Namibia intended to adopt anti-media laws as
had happened in Zimbabwe, he said the Cabinet would be guided by the
Namibian Constitution, depending on "challenges" they faced.
"If we have men abusing their wives, we will make laws to restrict them,"
Moyo said he was "surprised" that the reporter's question "characterised"
Zimbabwean law as anti-media.
According to Moyo, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
was modelled on similar laws in Sweden.
Media laws in Zimbabwe have been used to clamp down on news organisations
critical of the Mugabe regime.
Scores of journalists have been hauled before courts for publishing articles
that, for example, exposed the President's extravagance.
The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) denounced Moyo's visit to
The NSHR likened him to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propagandist, and
also accused him of being "responsible for the supervision of widespread
media rights and human rights abuses".