BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
HARD-UP civil servants last week spurned a government salary hike
offer of 200%, describing it as peanuts.
They threatened to stage another crippling strike, The Standard was
told last week.
The teachers, who form a large segment of the civil service, said if
government failed to review their salaries to their satisfaction, they would
from next month teach for 10 days in a month.
Sources said government representatives and Civil Service Staff
Association Apex Council - which represents the 180 000 civil servants - met
last week but reached a deadlock, with the council demanding $2,6 million a
month for the lowest paid civil servant.
The government had proposed a $200 000 housing allowance. They said
the transport allowance would not be reviewed, as civil servants could use
Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) buses to and from work.
"We categorically rejected that (offer) and told them (government)
civil servants were prepared to go on strike again because they have been
reduced to paupers," said a source who attended the meeting. "The government
said it would come back to us within a week or so, with refined proposals."
Had the Apex council agreed to the 200% increment, the lowest paid
civil servant would have ended up earning $241 000 a month.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe has estimated that an average family
of five now needs about Z$1.7 million to survive in just one month.
Most workers now earn about $350 000 on average.
Chairperson of the Apex Council, Tendai Chikowore, yesterday confirmed
meeting government representatives but denied a deadlock.
"We are still negotiating," she said. "It would not be honest on my
part to say that we reached a deadlock because we are still talking."
Chikowore, the president of the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association
(Zimta), declined to say how much the civil servants were asking for, saying
it was "strictly confidential".
But Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general,
Raymond Majongwe, said his members would not accept anything below $4.2
million a month. Teachers are also demanding monthly transport and housing
allowances of $420 000 and $540 000 respectively.
"Teachers are not going to subsidize the government any more. If our
demands are not met, teachers will come to work for only ten days a month,"
He said their salaries had been eroded by inflation, which currently
stands at 3 713.9%, the highest in the world.
Over 4 500 teachers have left the profession since the beginning of
this year due to poor pay and working conditions. Some are now employed as
housemaids, gardeners and herdsmen in Botswana and South Africa.
Majongwe dismissed the government's failure to review transport
allowances, saying most teachers do not use CMED buses since they only ferry
workers from government departments to their homes. But most teachers
commuting between suburbs would not benefit.
Moreover, they said, the majority are in rural areas. The CMED buses
cost $1 500 a trip but are not always on the road due to mechanical faults.
The chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Mariyawanda Nzuwah
could not be reached for comment.
In February, civil servants were granted a 300% salary increment after
they went on a "go-slow", for better pay. Three months down the line, the
workers say hyperinflation, has wiped out their pay rise.
If the demands by teachers and civil servants are not met, they will
join doctors and nurses, who are already on strike over better pay and
A junior doctor earns about $600 000 a month but takes home about $1.1
million with allowances. Senior nurses, like schoolteachers, earn $500 000 a
OTTAWA - The Canadian Senate last week voted to cut diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe in protest at
human rights excesses by President Robert Mugabe's security forces as
Australia began measures to identify and deport family members of Zimbabwe's
The largely ceremonial but influential Canadian Senate last week
unanimously passed a motion by Conservative Senator, Hugh Segal - signalling
growing consensus of displeasure among Canada's politicians at the political
situation in Zimbabwe.
In Australia, authorities said they were investigating whether family
members of the ruling regime are living in Australia, as the Australian
government said it could employ "smart sanctions" and kick out relatives of
those running Zimbabwe in order to pile further pressure on Mugabe's regime.
Canada's foreign policy newsweekly, Embassy, said the motion by the
senators will now move on to the House of Commons, where Segal said he had
already garnered the support of MPs.
"It will send a signal to the people of Zimbabwe that Canada is very
concerned with the lack of democracy," Segal told Embassy. "The best way to
stand up for the people of Zimbabwe is to withdraw our diplomatic mission to
make it clear that it is not business as usual, that we view this as a
The Senate vote follows concerted efforts by Liberal MP, Keith Martin,
who, for more than two years now, has been demanding that Mugabe be indicted
under Canada's crimes against humanity laws.
Three weeks ago Martin lobbied the Chinese parliamentary foreign and
defence committee to use China's close relationship with Zimbabwe to
persuade Mugabe to leave power. He admitted that the Chinese snubbed him
arguing that they did not intervene in other countries' affairs.
Martin has also demanded that Zimbabwe's Ambassador there, Florence
Chi-deya, be expelled for working for a "brutal regime."
The Senate action also comes after the local branch of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) marched on the Zimbabwean and South African
diplomatic missions in Ottawa with the support of Amnesty International and
Two weeks ago MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara met Canadian Foreign
Affairs Minister, Peter MacKay, who promised moral support.
But the government has been under pressure to go beyond the "we
condemn" and act to punish the Zimbabwe regime for physically attacking
lawyers, journalists, opposition and civic leaders as well as ordinary
Zimbabweans suffering under an oppressive political system and an
Meanwhile, the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said
Canberra was looking at blocking relatives of Zimbabwe's ruling elite from
being educated in Australia. - MAP Feature service.
By Nqobani Ndlovu
BULAWAYO - A Bulawayo High Court judge has ordered the police to evict
a mining company that illegally took over a Masvingo gold mine with the
assistance of the late deputy minister, Tinos Rusere, and government
officials in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.
The government was in February charged with contempt of court after
ministry officials, including the late Rusere, assisted Fred Moyo of Larmona
Enterprises to illegally take over Lennox Mine from Knobthorn Mining
Although the minister, Amos Midzi was cited as a respondent in the
case in his official capacity, affidavits lodged with the High Court
indicated it was Rusere who last year helped Moyo to evict Knobthorn in
violation of a court order.
Despite several High Court orders instructing Larmona Enterprises to
vacate the mine, Moyo with the backing of government officials refused to
On Wednesday, Justice Maphios Cheda ordered Mashava police and "all
other members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police" to forcibly evict the company
from the property.
"It is ordered that the Officer in Charge, Mashava Police Station and
all other members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police there stationed be and are
hereby directed to give all the necessary assistance that the Deputy Sheriff
may require in carrying out the eviction in terms of the Order of this Court
in Case No HC 2905/06," Cheda said.
Knobthorn Mining contested their eviction last year from Lennox Mine
by Moyo's Larmona Enterprises with the help of Rusere, a Mr Wekwete who is
the provincial mining commissioner, and Mr F Furusa, the regional mining
engineer, through lawyer Josephat Tshuma of Webb, Low & Barry.
The eviction was carried out despite a relief order by High Court
Judge Francis Bere on 20 July last year "ordering the respondents not to
evict the applicant from Lennox Mine save by reason of an order by a court".
In the court application, Moyo, a company director, Wekwete, Furusa,
the Officer in Charge of Mashava police station and Midzi - in his official
capacity -are cited as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth
Documents at hand say Nathaniel Siwela, the managing director of
Knobthorn Mining Company which owns Lennox Mine, received eviction threats
in April after Moyo wrote to him and the Mining Commissioner expressing an
interest in the mine.
On 21 April 2006 through a P Shumba, the mining commissioner, Rusere
ordered Knobthorn to vacate Lennox Mine after he was approached by Moyo.
Siwela made an urgent chamber application, case number. HC 933/06,
seeking an interdict barring his eviction from Lennox Mine.
But Moyo on 10 May also issued summons at the High Court in Harare,
case number, HC 2601/06 seeking the eviction of Knobthorn and payment of
holding over damages to the sum of $400 million a month calculated to the
date of vacation.
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
SCORES of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists
have gone into hiding over the past few months as political repression by
State security agents mounts ahead of next year's elections, The Standard
has been told.
Others have fled the country to seek political asylum abroad fearing
for their lives as the Zanu PF regime intensifies the political heat.
Since March this year, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO),
soldiers and police have abducted, tortured and murdered opposition
supporters in a terror campaign apparently designed to frighten them as the
elections draw near.
The MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, confirmed the opposition
leadership and supporters were under siege.
"Our structures are under siege countrywide," he said. "Our supporters
are being subjected to terror and psychological persecution by this rogue
government and as a result a lot of them have gone into hiding or have left
Chamisa could not supply figures, but in its latest report the
Zimbabwe NGO Human Rights Forum supports the opposition's general claims of
It says politically-motivated abductions, torture, murder and violence
by State security agents against opposition members and human rights
defenders have reached alarming levels as the country gears for next year's
"Zimbabwe again witnessed despicable levels of politically motivated
violence perpetrated by state agents, including the ZRP, CIO, alleged Zanu
PF supporters and in some instances, suspected MDC supporters," says the
In March alone, there were 128 cases of assault, eight of abductions,
168 of torture while one person was murdered, says the report.
More than 200 people, mostly MDC supporters, were arrested unlawfully.
According to the report there were 254 cases of torture, 356 of
assault, 1 444 violations on the rights to freedom of association, assembly
and movement between January and March.
The human rights forum says following the disruption of the Save
Zimbabwe Campaign prayer meeting by the police on 11 March in Harare, an
orgy of violence and resurgence in abductions ensued.
On that day, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) activist Gift
Tandare was shot dead by the police. MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai,
Chamisa, Grace Kwinjeh, Sekai Holland and Lovemore Madhuku of the National
Constitutional Assembly were among those brutally assaulted.
A few days later, journalist Edward Chikomba was murdered by suspected
State security agents for allegedly supplying footage of a battered
Tsvangirai to the international media.
Chamisa said of the three million Zimbabweans in South Africa, about
75% were MDC supporters fleeing economic impoverishment and political
Asked if the exodus was not a form of political cowardice, Chamisa,
who himself survived a brutal attack by suspected State security agents in
March said: "A temporary avoidance of calamity is not surrender. It's no use
to have a dead hero. It would not add value to the struggle if all our
supporters were going to be corpses and graves."
Chamisa said the MDC leadership would continue to provide political
guidance to its members abroad.
"The war is being waged from all fronts," he said.
MDC legislator for Chitungwiza and the party's shadow minister of
education, sport and culture, Fidelis Mhashu, went into hiding after police
accused him of having helped his assistant, Shame Wakatama, to evade police
investigations into his involvement in terror activities.
Former MDC legislator for Chimanimani Roy Bennett, skipped the country
last year, but has now been granted political asylum in South Africa. He had
been implicated in an alleged plot to kill Mugabe after a cache of arms was
found in Mutare.
MDC pro-Senate spokesperson Gabriel Chaibva indicated that no members
of his faction were in hiding or had fled the country.
"All our members are active on the ground. No one is in hiding or has
skipped the country," Chaibva said.
The human rights forum has urged Mugabe to desist from using "hate
speeches and statements" that fuel political divisions.
But the 83-year-old leader, who has ruled the country for the past 27
years, is determined to cling to power at any cost, as he is standing again
for election as president next year, his 28th year in power.
By Foster Dongozi
WHILE driving into Harare from Bulawayo recently, a colleague not too
well-acquainted with different crops wondered loudly what the lush green
produce growing just outside Norton was called.
Another member of the travelling party, sounding bored, muttered
sarcastically: "It's sora beans. The new farmer was hoping to grow soya
beans but ended up growing wild grass."
Sora is grass in Shona.
As we cast our minds to the state of agriculture a few years ago, I
reminded my colleagues of a statement made by a government minister, Webster
Shamu, at a field day for Delta chief executive, Mutizwa last year.
Shamu had, in the presence of senior Zanu PF and government
stalwarts - among them junior minister, Patrick Zhuwawo and RBZ governor,
Gideon Gono - bemoaned the collapse of agriculture.
Mutizwa's rose farm is just outside Norton and Shamu spoke
passionately about how, in the past, driving into Harare was always a joy as
one would always be met by lush crops as they neared the capital.
The hills on the right as you approached Harare were emblazoned with
the words Kintyre Estates.
Shamu recounted how the foothills were populated by hundreds of dairy
cows which produced much milk for the country.
The collapse of agricultural production is not confined to Kintyre
Estates but has been replicated around the country as bewildered and
clueless new commercial farmers ponder where and how to access finance and
A drive along Chinhoyi road in the prime farming province of
Mashonaland West will reveal that not much agriculture is taking place.
The only viable project being run by most of the new farmers is the
sale of firewood, now popular as many urban households go for days without
Game meat is another "viable" product being "produced" by the new
When the government embarked on the chaotic land reform exercise to
buy votes ahead of the 2000 elections, it resulted in the destruction of
what had become one of the most sophisticated agro-based economies in the
Critics of land reform say, instead of unskilled, senior government,
Zanu PF and military officers taking up prime land, black graduates from
agricultural colleges should have been allocated the land and given
With senior government officials and senior military officers now
occupying the best land, production has dropped spectacularly, with Zimbabwe
reduced to importing maize from Malawi and Zambia.
Some farmers who lost their land fled to Zambia and Malawi; for the
first time in years, the two countries have surplus maize to export to their
The vandalism of farm equipment by farm invaders and the mass
slaughter of animals have pushed back Zimbabwean agriculture by decades.
It is this which forced President Robert Mugabe to create the
Agricultural Mechanisation ministry, which basically means its core business
will be importing tractors, combine harvesters and planters from China.
Yet despite the well-documented failure by the new farmers, the
government is going ahead with its latest "final solution" - to banish the
few remaining white commercial farmers.
Emily Crookes, the spokesperson for the Commercial Farmers' Union of
"It is correct to say that there has been an increase of late in the
incidence on productive farms, with new beneficiaries, some in possession of
offer letters, threatening farmers with immediate eviction and seizure of
"These attempts to move farmers off productive farms and to seize
equipment are not in accordance with the law. It is a matter of considerable
concern that productive farmers are being targeted when so much arable land
lies idle throughout the country."
John Worsley-Worswick, the chief executive of Justice for Agriculture
which fights for the farmers' human rights, said since the land invasions,
agriculture had been dealt a body blow.
"Take tobacco for example: commercial farmers produced 240 million kg
in 2000 compared with 54 million in 2006 by the new farmers. A projection
that this year the new farmers will produce 80 million kg is propaganda. A
reasonable projection would be between 40 and 45 million kg."
The commercial beef herd stood at 400 000 in 2000; in 2006, it was
down to 100 000.
Worsley-Worswick said according to statistics, in 2000, commercial
farmers produced 810 000 tonnes of maize; the new farmers produced 225 000
tonnes in 2006.
There have generally been dismal agricultural performances on the
large estates to which Zanu PF heavyweights helped themselves.
Most have presided over the collapse of the farms, resulting in food
deficits, officially blamed on sanctions and drought.
The drought appears not to affect other countries in the region.
Zambia and Malawi, for instance, have enough to export to Zimbabwe. And
irrigation systems ensured production.
By Bertha Shoko
THE National Aids Council said last week its Expanded Support
Programme is expected to put at least 20 000 more people on Antiretroviral
Drugs (ARVs) after donations of more than US$3 million.
The NAC has in the past been accused of mismanaging taxpayers' money
compulsorily collected through the National Aids Trust Funds (NATF), better
known as the Aids Levy.
Last week, the NAC received the huge donation from Irish Aid and the
Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). These two donors have each
pledged their support for the next three years. The assistance will be used
to scale up HIV and Aids interventions in 12 districts in the country.
The total Swedish support for the three-year period is 45 million
Swedish kroner (US$6.5million).
The ESP is a joint NAC and United Nations bilateral effort aimed at
rapidly expanding HIV and Aids services in Zimbabwe and the key areas of
intervention will be care, prevention and treatment.
The ESP was initiated in November 2006 in order to facilitate a
significant increase in the funding to complement existing financial
resources towards the attainment of goals of the recently launched Zimbabwe
National HIV and Aids Strategic Plan (ZNASP).
The ZNASP goals include to prevent new HIV infections, to improve the
quality of life of those infected and affected by HIV and Aids and
strengthen coordination of the HIV and Aids response at all levels.
This initiative has the support of several bilateral donors together
with six United Nations agencies in Zimbabwe under the leadership of the
NAC, in an effort to complement other resources available for HIV and Aids
in Zimbabwe through the government.
These include the Aids levy, the Global Fund (Round One) and from
other donors such as the United States and the European
The ESP has disbursed US$14 million so far and expects to disburse a
further amount later in 2007.
The UN agencies to provide technical support for implementation of the
ESP include the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids, United
Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Population Fund, World Health
Organisation and the United Nations Development Fund.
The International Organisation of Migration is also part of this
In an interview with Standardhealth on Thursday NAC executive director
Dr Tapuwa Magure said a huge chunk of the money donated under the ESP would
be used to procure ARVs and ensure that more people access the
Magure said: "The ESP will strengthen an integrated HIV and Aids
response in up to 16 districts during the first year of implementation. This
new support would contribute significantly to the goal of providing
universal access to prevention services and antiretroviral therapy.
"With support from the ESP, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
will be able to provide life-saving antiretroviral drugs to an additional 20
000 people living with HIV. The majority of these will be in rural areas."
Magure said the other money would be channelled towards prevention
efforts. Of the more than 1.8 million living with HIV and Aids in the
country, only 40 000 are accessing ARVs compared with the 600 000-plus in
urgent need of the drugs.
By Foster Dongozi
SOUTH African higher education students say they intend to mount
pressure on their government to ensure Zimbabwe stops attacks on
journalists, students, the opposition and civic society before talks with
the opposition begin.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has been assigned by the Southern
African Development Community (Sadc) to initiate dialogue between President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF and the two factions of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
The students were part of a six-member delegation which sneaked into
the country last week - for fear of being deported by an increasingly
nervous and violent government - to conduct secret talks with opposition
They represent 700 000 students in South Africa.
One of the delegates, Daluxolo Jacobs, is the secretary for
international affairs in the South African Students Congress, an affiliate
of the ruling African National Congress.
Before leaving Zimbabwe, he said as part of their efforts to highlight
human rights violations in Zimbabwe, they would join other students under
the SAUS to demonstrate in their country against escalating violence against
civilians in Zimbabwe.
"The demonstrations against the poor human rights situation in
Zimbabwe will be held on 25 May, Africa Day, throughout South Africa," said
He said they were in the country at the invitation of the Zimbabwe
National Students' Union (Zinasu).
Jacobs said during their stay in Zimbabwe, they witnessed for
themselves the levels of human rights violations on the newly-resettled
He said they had also seen the spectacular collapse of the educational
"There should be a serious change as far as the situation of human
rights is concerned in Zimbabwe."
Jacobs said their delegation was appalled at the dilapidation of the
institutions of higher learning.
"The University of Zimbabwe is a health hazard and should be closed.
What we saw was horrible; toilets have not been functioning for a long time,
to the extent that students have to relieve themselves in the university
Their visits had revealed that out of 30 faculties at the University
of Zimbabwe, only four were partly operational, as others had no lecturers.
The SA students were in the country following the arrests and
detention of scores of tertiary students who complained about poor college
payouts and the poor educational delivery system.
Some of the students are still in police custody.
A representative from the South African Students' Union said: "Our
support for our comrades in Zimbabwe has moved from being oral to physical.
We do not support the MDC or Zanu PF, but we support the people of Zimbabwe.
From what we have observed, the crisis in Zimbabwe is not because of land
redistribution or the threats to your sovereignty; it is a governance
The South African delegation is the latest to come on a fact-finding
mission after the Sadc Lawyers' Association came into the country last week
on a similar mission.
The African Union's Pan African Parliament has voted to send a similar
fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe.
Joram Gumbo, a senior Zanu PF official has hinted the African
legislators could be barred from entering Zimbabwe.
Mugabe withdrew Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003 after the
multiracial group, meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, refused to lift its suspension
of Zimbabwe for human rights violations.
BY OUR STAFF
IF Alexeos Maziyikana from The Standard's marketing staff had first
thought the ideas whirling in his head, he would have shouted "Pamberi
nebasa". But he was pre-occupied just trying to cope with the innumerable
hardships that litter the Zimbabwean landscape.
He thought he was exercising his right to free expression when he
asked - no one in particular - why of a poor vendor struggling to fend for
his family, should be handcuffed after municipal police arrested him along
Harare's Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
But these days there are so many government spies lurking in our
midst. One of these heard Maziyikana exercise his freedom of speech on
Thursday. Maziyikana was immediately accused of being a "street lawyer" and
arrested. He was later released.
In a day full of drama, an Inspector Chinembiri from Harare Central
Police Station called The Standard photographer, Boldwill Hungwe, and
advised him to report to Harare Central.
His crime, it appears, was the front page photograph published in last
Sunday's issue of The Standard. The photograph showed the results of the
savage beatings of human rights lawyer and president of the Law Society of
Zimbabwe, Beatrice Mtetwa.
Davison Maruziva, the Editor of The Standard, described the incidents
as "pure harassment designed to send shivers down the spines of independent
"The intention is to scare us away from covering their acts of naked
brutality," Maruziva said: "For anyone to suggest otherwise is to add insult
to injury of those caught up in the State's terror crusade.
"First, it was the leaders of the opposition and civic society; then
their supporters; and the lawyers who defended them. Now they are coming for
the messengers who carry images of their excesses to the wider domestic and
"They would be happy to continue with their savagery away from the
glare of the media."
This is not the first time the paper has received veiled intimidation.
Recently, Bill Saidi, the deputy Editor of The Standard, received a bullet
in the mail after publishing a cartoon showing baboons poking fun at an army
officer's pay- slip.
But the world is watching and this week it passed a verdict on the
gallant efforts of The Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent: The board of
the International Publishers' Association (IPA) awarded Trevor Ncube, the
publisher of the two newspapers the 2007 IPA Freedom Prize in recognition of
his role in promoting freedom of expression.
"Trevor Ncube's work as a publisher and his wholehearted support of
freedom of expression," said IPA president Ana Maria Cabanellas, "have often
brought him into conflict with Zimbabwean authorities and endangered his
"Despite repeated threats of violence and attempts to strip him of his
Zimbabwean citizenship, Ncube's newspapers have continued to expose
corruption and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, thus encouraging healthy
dissent and criticism both in public and private sectors."
BY WALTER MARWIZI
SQUABBLING over Zvobgo Holdings (Pvt) Ltd continues amid allegations
the executor of the estate failed for almost three years to get audited
financial statements for the companies.
Eddison Mudadirwa Zvobgo, a lawyer and Zanu PF's legal guru, died on
22 August 2004 and was declared a national hero.
His death sparked a bitter dispute over his estate between his three
children with his late wife Julia - Kerina, Edison Jnr and Tsungi - and
those born out of wedlock.
The case spilled into the courts, with the High Court ruling that the
four children born out of wedlock - Jonas, Esther, Tendayi and Farayi - were
entitled to a fair share of their father's estate.
Sources familiar with the case told The Standard yesterday the four
had already benefited from the first distribution of the estate held by
Zvobgo in his individual capacity, but were yet to benefit from the vast
business empire he left behind.
The late founder member of Zanu PF held significant shareholding in
three hotels: Protea Flamboyant, Chevron (both in Masvingo) and Fairmile
Motel in Gweru.
Zvobgo also had shareholdings in Les Diz Properties, Nyuni Farm,
Sunrise Holdings (1990), Zvobgo Investments and in Nuvuzeze Property and
Investments, trading as Ritz Night Club, a popular night spot in Masvingo.
The Standard was told the business empire, estimated to be worth
billions of dollars, was being run by Eddison Jnr, a Zanu PF Masvingo
Cecil Madondo, appointed executor of the Estate on 20 October 2005,
accuses Zvobgo Jnr of abusing estate property and failing to co-operate with
the distribution of the estate.
A few days ago, Madondo lodged a High Court application seeking an
order to compel Zvobgo Jnr to produce audited financial statements covering
a three-year period.
Madondo wants Zvobgo Jnr to furnish him "with all details regarding
the shareholding structure in each company or subsidiary, particularly in
relation to shareholding interest of the deceased".
He wants current values of all assets belonging to Zvobgo Holdings and
He is suing Zvobgo Jnr for the use of luxury vehicles without his
In the summons issued to Zvobgo Jnr, Madondo says: "During the period
extending from August 2004 to January 2007, the Defendant wrongfully and
unlawfully used two motor vehicles, namely a Mercedes Benz ML500 belonging
to the Estate without the consent of the Executor, thus prejudicing the
Estate and other beneficiaries."
As a result, Madondo is "praying for judgement in the sum of $35 512
813.90 together with interest thereon at the prescribed rate of interest
currently at 30% per annum from 12 February, being date of demand to date of
payment in full".
He wants Zvobgo Jnr to bear the cost of the suit.
Zvobgo Jnr told The Standard yesterday from Zaka East where Zanu PF
was launching an election campaign for the constituency that the case had
been resolved amicably.
"My understanding is that the executor has withdrawn his application
from the courts," he said. "We have sat down and discussed the issue. The
application was premature and has been withdrawn. If it hasn't been
withdrawn, then I am sure it will be on Monday."
He blamed his failure to respond in time to issues raised by the
executor on bureaucracy.
"Zvobgo Holdings is a large organisation - these things happen."
By Pindai Dube/Nqobani Ndlovu
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's frail dollar plumbed fresh depths to hit $38 000
to the greenback on the thriving parallel market, reinforcing gloomy
forecasts of an unprecedented acceleration in the rate of inflation.
The dollar which opened the year trading above $2 900 to the United
States dollar was trading above $30 000 the previous Friday and last week
was fetching above $38 000 to the greenback.
Other major currencies, mainly the British pound, the South African
rand and Botswana pula, were moving around the benchmark US dollar rate.
The local unit was trading above $64 000, $5 400 and $4 500 to the
British pound, the Botswana pula and the South African rand respectively.
The previous week the dollar was trading at $60 000, $4 500 and $3 900
to the pound, pula and rand respectively. The three currencies had opened
the year trading above $5 100, $400 and $380 to the pound, pula and rand.
Foreign currency dealers in Bulawayo said the fall of the country's
dollar was fuelled by a increase of fuel during the weekend.
Fuel stations in Bulawayo have upped pump prices to between $35 000
and $40 000 a litre from between $22 000 and $26 000. The increase in fuel
prices has sparked a wave of increase in transport and basic commodities.
The local unit has remained fixed at $250 to the greenback on the
inter-bank rate since July 31 last year.
Bank economists said the Zimbabwe dollar was still battling to find a
bottom on the parallel market due to escalating demand from both
institutional buyers and individuals trying to escape inflation-induced
losses on local currency holdings.
Parallel market dealers said the currency had been moving daily during
the week in line with mounting demand. Economic consultant John Robertson
said parallel market rates would continue to rise until foreign currency
inflows improved and major sectors of the economy start performing.
"The hyperinflationary environment had made it unattractive to hold
the local currency when costs for goods and services go up almost every
day," Robertson said.
He said the market was expecting Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono to
adjust the exchange rate significantly. Economic research and consultancy
firm, Techfin Research has forecast Zimbabwe's embattled domestic currencys
to have a fair value rate of $16 588,73 to the US dollar.
The projections support gloomy forecasts made by the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) suggesting Zimbabwe's economic crisis was likely to
accelerate at an unprecedented rate this year.
The IMF expects inflation to average 6 470% by December next year.
Zimbabwe's vulnerable currency atypically firmed against major
currencies once this year during the first week on April.
It was the first time that the US dollar had taken a step back on the
parallel market since November last year.
David Mupamhadzi, Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) group economist
said the firming of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel market against most
major currencies showed that the market was a reflection of demand and
"It was a clear testimony of the forces of demand and supply at work.
The movement of the rate was due to increased demand from the big buyers in
the market," Mupamhadzi said.
Genesis Bank economist, Brains Muchemwa said it will be difficult to
protect the value of the dollar because of high broad money supply growth,
struggling exporters and insignificant overseas assistance and waning
foreign direct investment.
"As long as inflation remains as high as it is now even the basic
approach of using the purchasing power parity to forecast exchange rate will
tell you that the exchange rate will continue depreciating." Muchemwa said.
Muchemwa said the rate of depreciation will depend on the excess of
domestic broad money growth net of foreign currency inflows.
"The current rate is definitely linked to supply and demand, but
because of uncertainty and varying contingent risks facing the big consumers
of foreign currency we cannot rule out pronounced volatility of the exchange
rate," said Muchemwa.
By Pindai Dube
THE Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) has lost a
significant market share for local minerals in the lucrative European Union
(EU) due to Zimbabwe's worsening relations with the trading bloc,
Standardbusiness learnt last week.
The corporation, the sole buyer and seller of minerals, except gold
and platinum, has in the past four months tried in vain to negotiate mineral
deals with buyers in the EU.
But it is now reported the efforts have not yielded any tangible
results so far, due to the strained relations between Zimbabwe and most
The EU and the United States have since 2002 maintained targeted
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe, his cabinet colleagues and most
senior members of his Zanu PF ruling party.
The sanctions were instituted as punishment for the government's human
rights violations, particularly the violence against opposition elements.
MMCZ public relations manager Pretty Murwisi confirmed last week the
corporation was now pursuing new markets in Asia after the bid to regain its
market share in the EU hit a snag.
"It is true that we are pursuing new markets in the Middle East and
China," Murwisi said.
"I can actually say we are looking for new markets in all parts of the
"As for the EU, I can't say we have dropped business deals there, but
we are still dealing with a few European countries, such as France and
The MMCZ is among parastatals reeling under financial problems
worsened by the seven-year economic crisis triggered by the land reform
Mineral experts have bemoaned the corporation's failure to lobby for
the lifting of the ban on Zimbabwean asbestos to South Africa, another blow
to the mining industry's contribution to exports.
A joint venture marketing deal between the MMCZ and JNMC Limited, a
Chinese marketing firm, that targeted new markets in the Far East collapsed
early this year under unclear circumstances.
By Pindai Dube
UNITED Refineries Limited (URL) has struck a deal with a group of
Zimbabwean businesspeople based in South Africa which will see the
struggling company venturing into salt exploitation in the Bulilima district
of Matabeleland South.
Sources told Standardbusiness last week the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange-listed company had merged with the injiva to start exploiting the
salt deposits discovered in Bambadzi area of Bulilima in 2001.
Injiva, whose origins remain somewhat obscure, is Ndebele for
Zimbabweans operating businesses in South Africa.
It has been reported that the scarcity of salt on the local market,
coupled with the high cost of importing it from Botswana, had prompted URL
management to enter into the deal with the injiva.
URL managing director, Busisa Moyo, said the company and its partners'
consortium was currently working on plans to start exploiting the salt
The company is the second largest cooking oil and soap manufacturer in
"Salt is one of the major raw materials we use especially in soap
making. All along, we have been importing salt at a high price from
Botswana, but with this new project we hope to cut costs," said Moyo.
He would not name the South Africa-based partners but sources familiar
with both parties cited Micah Ndlovu, owner of Micah Security Alarms in
South Africa, and a Charles Moyo.
The Bulilima salt deposits stretch for about 20km along Maitengwe
River, before proceeding to Botswana, now one of Sadc's biggest salt
If successful, the project on the Zimbabwean side would be a boost to
the struggling Bulawayo company.
There are reports URL has considered an approach to the government in
the hope of accommodation under the Distressed Companies Fund, used to bail
out private companies in trouble.
One of URL's majority shareholders, TA Holdings Limited, has
threatened to dispose of its 20% shareholding, citing poor performance,
blamed on management inefficiency.
The company's turnover for the year ended December 2006 plunged 51%
from $11.3 billion in the prior year to $5.5 billion. The company was
reportedly operating at below 20% capacity.
from $8, 9 billion to 3, 9 billion and profit after tax stood at 1, 6
billion from 2, 9 billion in 2005.
IN a bid to consolidate returns, high-flying
financial concern, Barclays Bank has adapted the Honey Branch concept to
service previously unbanked commercial areas.
In an interview, Barclays Communications and Community manager,
Sibongile Mapungwana said the bank expected to double its clientelle this
"We expect to establish nine Honey Branches across the country this
year and most will be in commercial areas where there are no commercial
"The project will complement our Easy Bank concept which was launched
in April to cater for low income-earners. We are determined to make banking
accessible to everyone in the country and we expect to have doubled our
clientelle before the end of the year," Mapungwana said.
WITH doubtful poll prospects next year, Zanu PF is intensifying preparations
of its weapons of terror.
Last week a government minister announced plans to restart recruitment of
Green Bombers, a programme which had been suspended due to inadequate
funding. The government also called for countrywide meetings of war
veterans. The first was in Harare yesterday.
War veterans and the Green Bombers have been the twin evils in Zanu PF's
election campaign strategy. They form part of the government's terror
crusade. The announcements are wrong signals if Zimbabwe hopes to benefit
from 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.
The statements confirm the panic within government and ruling party circles.
Since 2000, war veterans and Green Bombers have been instrumental in tipping
the electoral scales in favour of the ruling party. While they are hoping
for salvation in this strategy, their luck may have deserted them.
Parents no longer have an idea of what school fees are - thanks to the
government. Teachers are leaving the profession - thanks again to the
government's insensitivity. Doctors and nurses have downed tools as have
lecturers because of the pittance they earn while in contrast military
officers have all their hearts' desire, including the latest
state-of-the-art imported vehicles.
During the past fortnight power cuts during mornings, day time and evenings
are now more frequent. Water supplies have become so erratic that towns and
whole suburbs go for weeks without, contributing to a health time bomb.
The government was so concerned that last week it staged a report-back
meeting with the "public" in Harare, ostensibly to explain the water crisis
but in reality to forestall public protests at the rapidly deteriorating
collapse in service delivery in the capital.
In fact, the meeting only served to demonstrate government's arrogance and
utter contempt for the voice of the people. They were not prepared to accept
that Zinwa is a failed project, no matter how much spin the government will
put in an attempt to sell it.
The government's arrogance is legendary. The National Social Security
Authority serves only the interests of its staff and none of the
contributors to the scheme. Now not satisfied with ripping off the
hard-pressed workers, NSSA wants another gravy train project - the National
Health Insurance Scheme.
There is so much fire-fighting the government will need to do in order to
convince any ordinary Zimbabwean that they deserve their support and another
chance of leading this country.
Zimbabweans have almost come to accept that the country can never have
adequate and affordable fuel supplies for both industry and public transport
With the highest inflation and unemployment rates in the world as well as
food shortages, conditions for the majority of Zimbabweans continue to
degenerate. It is precisely for these reasons that the government will
increasingly resort to violence because given a free and fair contest it
will require more than a miracle for the ruling party to put up a
respectable showing during the polls.
The government and the ruling party's record of disappointment could provide
the opposition the best ammunition it has ever prayed for, going into
Never has a nation been buffeted by so many self-inflicted crises that it
has been transfixed and paralysed and can offer no positive response. But
does the opposition have the resourcefulness to respond to this opportunity?
sunday opinion By Bill Saidi
THERE is much evidence that it took the Europeans thousands of years
to forge what they and many non-Europeans now regard as a continent of
Enlightenment and, controversially, Civilisation.
I say "controversially" because there can only be a few Africans,
Asians, Australasians, Americans and even Europeans who could describe as
"civilised" the brutal occupation of other continents by the wanderlust of
these greedy, expansionist Europeans - if you include, as you must, Cecil
Europeans who have belatedly begged for forgiveness on behalf of their
ancestors, and Africans who have agitated belatedly for reparations for
slavery and colonialism, all acknowledge the uncivilised conduct of those
"knee-less" invaders, as they were so colourfully called by Shona prophets.
What is tragic is that some Africans, even those who claim to have
attained a certain level of enlightenment, have pleaded passionately for
African leaders to be allowed the same thousands of years to commit the same
bloody blunders as the Europeans before this continent can achieve this same
state of contentment.
Who can wait that long? Will there be any Africans left by then?
"We have thousands of years to cover before we can hold free and fair
elections," a number of African intellectuals have apologised for their
"We must be allowed thousands of years before we can embrace the
doctrine of 'more jaw, less war'," say African militarists, the closet
coup-makers. "For the moment, we must bash their (the civilians') heads
before we allow them to speak against us."
The Europeans saw much bloodshed before they formed all these
organisations which have forged this nervously united continent. There are
still trouble spots, as there are in Africa: Kosovo and Turkey are just two
The break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia spawned dictatorships
more savage than the ones in those old, openly totalitarian regimes.
New Hitlers, Stalins and Milosevics emerge every year.
I have heard it said, by Africans impatient for us to devote all our
energies to uplifting our standards of living and thinking, we should
fast-track our political and economic advancement.
We can only achieve this by a dedicated, disciplined commitment to our
mission. One condition insisted on: no armies.
It has been argued, in this debate, the use of "fast-track" could be a
Fast-track was used by the government and Zanu PF in the 2000 land
reform fiasco. Perhaps only the newly-born need to be reminded why that was
such an unmitigated disaster, in both human and material terms.
There has never been a satisfactory explanation for the speed with
which the programme had to be implemented. None of the true zealots can
justify the killings and the pillaging. There is still something hysterical
about the insistence that the programme is a roaring success.
Why there has been a serious food shortage since then has been
attributed to causes other than the cock-eyed, politically cross-eyed plan
to give land back to the landless.
Many of them really needed jobs in industries operating on their own,
unencumbered by the assurance of a bail-out from a government still obsessed
with Marxism-Leninism, when most experiments with the ideology had exposed
it for the hare-brained sham it really was.
In many instances, armed forces have been the bane of African
independence. Even in Zimbabwe, if it were not for the assurance of the
armed forces that they would come to their rescue - come what might - in the
event of a toe-to-toe encounter with the people, neither Zanu PF nor its
stepchild, the government, would be so cocky with this widespread "bashing"
Many African leaders would be politically emasculated if they didn't
have to rely on the defence forces to defend them, not against an external
enemy, but against their own people.
That is why most African countries have these huge armies, sustained
by huge budgets while their people are starved of food, jobs, water, power,
good roads, good schools, good clinics and good hospitals.
Above all, Africans can determine the pace of their fast-track to real
Enlightenment by ensuring they retain, absolutely and for all time, the
right to choose who should lead them.
Europe has more or less achieved this. It took maximum sacrifice. For
Africa, the sacrifice could be double, with the prize doubly sweet.
sunday opinion By Arthur Mutambara
THERE is increasing repression in our country while the economic
crisis is deepening. The recent arrest and brutal physical attacks on
lawyers have demonstrated that this regime has lost any semblance of
The continued detention of our political activists and leaders, their
torture in cells, the random abductions and killings of ordinary people have
marked the escalation of unprecedented brutality in our country.
At the same time the economy is going through an unmitigated free
fall, towards 4 000% inflation. Prices of basic commodities increase on a
daily basis, while joblessness and starvation are the order of the day.
School fees are not affordable, while the schools do not have enough books,
teachers or equipment. Hospitals are without sufficient medicines, nurses or
doctors. Zimbabwe is burning. We demand change. We do not want that change
tomorrow. Neither do we want it today. We demand it yesterday.
It is not enough for Zimbabweans to seek political change without
discussing the content of that revolution. We have seen meaningless
democratic change in Africa. In Zambia, Frederick Chiluba got into power and
he was worse than Kenneth Kaunda, while in Malawi Bakili Muluzi proved more
incompetent than Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Although both leaders (Chiluba and Muluzi) were products of democratic
change, they became dictators and wrecked their economies. To crown it all,
they ended up seeking third terms in office and were only stopped by their
people. This is a travesty of justice. It is not the kind of transformation
we seek in our country. Change must have both form and substance. We must
have a national economic vision and a corresponding strategy to achieve that
destination economy. We have a duty and obligation to construct both
technocratic solutions and capacity to address specific national challenges.
We must build institutions and develop a value system that guarantee and
provide democratic checks and balances, while ensuring economic delivery.
There must be measurement, monitoring and feedback systems for all economic
As MDC our vision of Zimbabwe as the leading democracy in Africa
characterised by people-centred social development and economic growth. Our
GDP and per capita income should be in the top three in Africa. We want a
society where human rights, individual freedoms, property rights, women's
rights, workers' rights and economic rights are cherished and respected. We
want a nation of prosperity, economic opportunities, affordable high quality
public services, social justice, equity, and gender justice. We want a
country of business growth, productive commercial agriculture, innovative
entrepreneurship, creative managers, and productive workers whose working
conditions are decent. We seek a Zimbabwean economy that leverages science
and technology, while emphasizing manufacturing, export-based investment and
a thriving services industry.
This is the new mandate, an economic one that seeks to transform
Zimbabwe into a globally competitive and high performance economy. It is not
enough for Zimbabweans to aspire towards economic recovery, stabilisation
and survival. We must thrive to rise up, embark on economic transformation,
and grow into a global economic superstar: the Singapore of Africa! In 1957
the GDP of Singapore was the same as that of Ghana. Today the per capita
income of Singapore is greater than those of Germany, France and Britain.
This is in spite of the fact that Singapore is a city-state without much
land and natural resources. With our strength in natural resources, physical
infrastructure, and human capital surely we can do better. What is required
is innovative leadership and strategic thinking
Zimbabwe is at the crossroads where to advance forward requires nation
builders, visionaries, statesmen and stateswomen; those skilled in the art
of crafting states. Statecraft speaks to the expertise and wisdom in the
effective management of public affairs. We refer here to leaders in the
genre of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, Nelson
Mandela of South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of
Liberia, Indira Gandhi of India, Angela Merkel of Germany, Ernesto Che
Guevara in Cuba, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and
Franklin Roosevelt. These were (are) men and women of immense talent,
resolve, vision, and strategy. More importantly they were (are) masters of
the art of execution and implementation.
Nation builders are able to unite and mobilize people for a national
cause. They channel national energy and synergy towards the growth and
development of a country. Unfortunately, Robert Mugabe does not belong to
this group of nation builders. Great and significant leaders go beyond the
limited scope of Maslow's hierarchy of needs that ends with
self-actualisation. They thrive to self-transcend, go beyond self and leave
a legacy. Presumably, Mugabe's favourite political text is that classic by
Machiavelli, The Prince, where it is argued that the prince (leader) must
pursue, obtain, and maintain power at any cost.
However, Machiavelli also wrote a second book, The Discourses, where
it is explained that the prince (leader) must also care about his legacy and
judgment by history. This means the prince (leader) must be a state crafter.
I guess our learned President has not read this insightful text, or if he
did come across it, he never understood its import. What a shame.
Zimbabwe must become a globally competitive economy that rivals such
nations like Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. We need creative dreamers and
parallel thinkers who do not fear globalisation, but rather thrive on chaos
and uncertainty. Only freedom can allow our citizens to attain their full
potential and take our nation forward.
It is the duty and obligation of every Zimbabwean to free our country
from tyranny, and build a better society. The revolution will not deliver
itself. Every citizen has a role to play. We must all become players.
Zimbabwe's future will be determined by Zimbabweans. External players can
assist and facilitate, but the buck stops with us. We cannot outsource our
emancipation to foreigners. We shall be our own liberators through active
struggle on the ground in the country.
All the progressive and democratic forces in the country must close
ranks in pursuit of the collective national interest. Let us spurn Zanu PF's
divide and rule tactics. Let us fight together for conditions that will
allow for free and fair elections in our country: a new people driven
democratic constitution, electoral law reform, and the removal of repressive
legislation, such as AIPPA and POSA.
Let us ensure that every Zimbabwean has the right to vote, including
the Diaspora. Voter registration and voter education are essential for all
Zimbabweans. In this way when conditions for free and fair elections obtain
in our country we will be ready to deliver change.
In any such elections all opposition parties must close ranks in order
to concentrate on one enemy, Zanu PF. A united front inspired by a single
candidate principle is a categorical imperative in every poll (Presidential,
Parliament, Senate, Council). Every vote must count against Zanu PF.
While this framework will energize the generality of our people, it
will also have strategic national appeal to multitudes of progressive Zanu
PF members and supporters. There is absolutely no alternative to working
together. A peaceful, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe is only possible
through unity of purpose and action.
* Arthur G O Mutambara is
President of the pro-Senate MDC
sundayview by Nicholas Baines
ANY critical account of life in Zimbabwe is written off by the
government-sponsored media in Zimbabwe as "propaganda". "UK media lies",
aimed at securing re-colonisation, poison the minds of potential visitors
and investors, blinding them to the peaceful and harmonious reality of life
in a wonderful country. If it wasn't for Western countries such as Britain,
there wouldn't be any problems to speak of.
Well, I have just returned from a two-week visit to Zimbabwe with a
group of 20 people from my Episcopal Area. We began to plan the visit nearly
three years ago and became increasingly diffident about it as conditions
deteriorated there more recently.
Our fears were not based purely on British media coverage of Zimbabwe,
but also on reports we were getting from the country through contacts in the
churches at all levels. Our visit, then, afforded a unique opportunity to
see for ourselves what is going on there as well as develop our
long-standing link with the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe.
The situation looks like this:
* Inflation is well above 3 000% and rising, thus making any planning
impossible. The official exchange rate was 250 Zim dollars to 1 US dollar;
but the parallel rate (on which prices are based) was 16 000 Zim dollars to
1 US dollar. The black market rules.
* Nothing has been repaired for years and the country's infrastructure
is collapsing. Constant power cuts, sometimes lasting for days, are
interspersed with water shortages. In Gweru, the administrative centre of
the Midlands Province, we were without running water for our last five days;
in Kadoma, where I preached and presided on Sunday 22 April there has been
no running water for two months.
* We saw signs of malnutrition in children, and adults suffering from
hunger fatigue. Some of the people we stayed with are normally eating what
is called "zero one zero" -no breakfast, a basic lunch and nothing in the
evening. This year's drought has devastated the maize crop.
* Agricultural land, once so rich and well-farmed, is now largely
abandoned. The land-reform process has been catastrophic, not because it was
morally wrong in itself (the UK agreed to it), but because it was
ill-conceived, appallingly executed and has proved economically disastrous.
You don't need a GCSE in economics to know that it could never work.
* Many businesses and industries have closed down or are working at a
small percentage of their capability.
* HIV/Aids is wreaking devastation and life expectancy for a male is
now 34 years.
Our visit was designed to give us unique access to ordinary people.
Our hosts were generous and hospitable, wanting us to be comfortable and
looked after. However, nothing can hide the reality that lies behind this
warmth. People are going hungry and are beginning to feel hopeless. One
priest said to us: "You see us walking, but we are dead already." They are
fearful of the authorities and pessimistic about the possibility of next
year's elections bringing any change. They end many conversations with: "We
must pray that God's will may be done." And therein lies a problem.
One of the aspects of Zimbabwean life that is hard to comprehend is
the disjunction between "hope" and responsibility. Many of the people we met
hope that radical change will come and their lives improve. But when we said
that prayer must be accompanied by action, this was often dismissed. It is
clearly easy to be critical from a distance of these people's apparent
unwillingness to take responsibility for the changes that are needed (eg
voting against President Robert Mugabe in 2008), but nevertheless this is a
striking feature of many conversations.
Our group comprised eight clergy and 12 lay people of different ages
and backgrounds. We had educationalists, medics, a lawyer, IT specialists -
all of us falling in love with Zimbabwe and her people. We spent time
together as a group, but were then dispersed to different parts of the
Diocese of Central Zimbabwe. Therefore, the picture we built came not from
second-hand reports, but from personal experience. Water shortages and power
cuts were experienced by all. Hunger was identified by all. Fear of
intimidation was discerned by many.
From high-density townships to rural villages, the picture was
In the midst of all this the Anglican Church is struggling to keep
hope alive. The worship in the churches we visited was vibrant and
life-changing. The music was fantastic everywhere we went. People know how
to celebrate - but whilst celebrating their faith and their God, they are
not celebrating their circumstances. Priests and people are trying to enable
one another to remain faithful under pressure and to have the courage to do
what is necessary to bring about change. We met some very brave and good
However, the Anglican Church is also hindered in its witness. The
scandalous Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, dominates the church and makes
it impossible for the Church to speak with one voice. He is a Mugabe man and
is supported by Bernard Malango, Primate of the Province of Central Africa.
Archbishop Malango (who has announced his retirement from the end of 2007)
is a "conservative" Primate who sees sexuality as a moral issue, but appears
to see little problem with (presumably, non-moral) matters of financial
fraud, incitement to murder and corruption. Kunonga has his support.
Following a recent Provincial Episcopal Synod (April 12) the bishops
issued a statement that appeared weak in its demands, as this newspaper
reported last week. Yet it clearly called for change in Zimbabwe and, by
implication, change in governance and government. Those who have ears to
hear will discern in this an encouragement to bring about such change. Even
Kunonga signed a plea for change. The regime of Robert Mugabe will end - all
empires do - and many of those who have climbed on his back will go down
with him - including those who are prepared to let their people suffer in
the interests of their private power games.
Our visit has left us with much to reflect upon. The extraordinary
faith and spirituality of the people we met reaches out in costly praxis to
the hungry, the orphaned and widowed, the sick, the aged and the bereaved -
but how can they speak and act prophetically before people who cannot bear
criticism or challenge? How can we best support the ordinary people of
Zimbabwe through the networks we have in the churches there? How can we help
prepare for the rebuilding of this suffering country in a way that does not
patronise, but enables Zimbabwean Christians to re-shape their country and
church? How can we most usefully use our resources to support those who will
one day be able to offer good models of governance and the exercise of
power? How can we most effectively pray for our brothers and sisters in
Christ while they suffer in a land waiting for liberation?
And are these observations the result of naďve consumption of British
propaganda? No. We saw for ourselves.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines is Bishop of Croydon. This article was
originally published in the Religious Intelligence
Attack on Pastoral letter lacks merit
AFTER recent attacks on the Zimbabwe
Catholic Bishops' Conference in the state media for their prophetic and
revealing Pastoral letter, one is left wondering whether the propagandists
behind the stories are deluded or simply stubborn.
Most Zimbabweans who have read the Pastoral letter identify with it.
Catholic bishops throughout Africa gave their seal of approval to the
statement which they feel is thoroughly pastoral. The Pastoral letter is
purely an inspired theological interpretation of the Zimbabwe we live in and
nothing else. And because President Robert Mugabe and his spin doctors are
akin to theological interpretations, they fail to accept the simple truth
contained in this document. And to show that they are found wanting in their
challenge to the Pastoral letter, none of them really writes a critique of
the facts, save for merely seeing imperialists even where they are none.
The Pastoral letter, aptly titled 'God Hears the Cry of the Poor'
purely reflects on today's Zimbabwe from a pastoral viewpoint without adding
or subtracting anything. In giving a prognosis of our crisis, the bishops
state that we have a governance crisis and it baffles one's mind when
someone denies this open secret. Everything in this country, save for
inflation, abductions and corruption, has come to a standstill. This is what
the bishops mean and mentioning such an open truth is not taking a political
stance. They further point that health and education systems have collapsed
but Mugabe in his "warning" to them insists otherwise. " . . . we have
maintained a solid educational system, a solid health system . . ." he says.
Remember it is the Church and these very bishops who are running
schools and hospitals and so they are always in touch from both a pastoral
and social point of view. Thus when they lay bare what they daily witness,
in their flock and at their institutions, when they have to reason with a
lot of students who cannot afford fees, when daily patients die at their
institutions because of a paralyzed health delivery system, it may be folly
to "warn" them for "parroting political lies."
President Mugabe says the pastoral letter is "political nonsense"
because it doesn't spell why we are in this crisis. Maybe his eyes are
failing him. That is understandable with his age. The Pastoral letter
clearly says our crisis has its "roots deep in colonial society". It
unequivocally states that oppressive structures and legislation of
pre-independent Zimbabwe continue to haunt us. The bishops clearly singled
out legislation such as AIPPA and POSA which are mere perfections of
Rhodesia's draconian LOMA.
The bishops also say our misery today is because, whereas we were
advocating for a socialist society, "soon after independence the power and
wealth of the tiny white Rhodesian elite was appropriated by an equally
exclusive black elite . . ." hence a return to the old pre-independents
scenario in which the poor fought running battles with the rich, battles
between "those who are determined to maintain their privileges of power and
wealth at any cost, even at the cost of blood shed, and those who demand
their democratic rights and a share in the fruits of independence"
Whereas a common man in the streets may find the Pastoral letter
prophetic, one totally fails to understand responses to it by CIO agents
calling themselves special correspondents in The Herald. Their failure to
articulately defend their masters is understandable. They are not used to
such language. If it was the opposition and civic society, they would have
quickly understood. But now it is the prophets of God, defending the Lord's
As for Mugabe himself, his "warning" exposes him simply as a Sunday
Christian who has since stopped belonging to the Church. By not being at
Church on Holy Thursday (5 April 2005) when the Pastoral letter was read
out, he simply shows himself as an uncommitted Catholic for the Day is very
sacred to Catholics and they would rather sacrifice anything just to attend
Mass on this day.
In Mugabe's words, in the battle between Catholics and government, he
would rather belong to the political grouping and deal with the Church as
"politicians". Simplified, it means having the Church leaders arrested and
beaten on the head as happened to opposition leaders.
But no matter what Mugabe says, a fundamental truth every God fearing
creature must know is "oppression is sin and cannot be compromised with" and
that "God is always on the side of the oppressed." May someone out there
take note and repent whilst there is still time for we know God does not
reconcile his people with oppressors. No. Moses was not reconciled with
Pharaoh nor did God reconcile Hebrew slaves with their Egyptian oppressors.
National Movement of
CCJP dismayed by Mugabe threat
IT was with great sadness that we read of President Mugabe's
'threats' to our Bishop's as was reported in The Herald of 4 May 2007.
We, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in the
Archdiocese of Bulawayo, fully support the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops'
Conference and their Pastoral Letter 'God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed'.
It is a wonderful example of true Christian leadership and teaching.
In the Herald report the President states that the pastoral
letter was "not something spiritual, it is not religious". In point of fact,
the letter represents orthodox Catholic and Christian spirituality.
Throughout the Bible, God not only pleads, but demands, that his people
denounce evil: "Who rises up on my side against the wicked? Who stands firm
on my side against all evil-doers?' (Psalm 94:16) 'Shout for all you are
worth, do not hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people
proclaim their rebellious acts." (Isaiah 58:1).
As a Catholic, the President will also be aware that Cannon 747
of the Code of Cannon Law states: "To the Church belongs the right always
and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to
social order, and to make judgements on any human affairs to the extent that
they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the
salvation of souls."
We take great exception to the President's assertions that
Zimbabwe "has maintained a solid educational system, a solid health system".
Lower sixth pupils throughout the country wasted most of the first term of
this year waiting for ZIMSEC "O" level results. The infrastructure in
government-run educational institutions is collapsing through gross
Teachers and lecturers are underpaid and demoralised, and those
children who do manage to complete their education have scant chance of
finding employment within their homeland. It is totally disrespectful of the
suffering of the vast majority of Zimbabweans to state that they enjoy "a
solid health system'" when our women have the lowest life expectancy in the
world and our men the second lowest.
We would invite our President to read the words of one of his
own mentors, the late President of Tanzania, Julius K Nyerere, who said in
his book Man and Development: "Unless we participate actively in the
rebellion against those social structures and economic organisations which
condemn people to poverty, humiliation and degradation, the Church will
become irrelevant to people and the Christian religion will denigrate into a
set of superstitions accepted by the fearful. Unless the Church, its members
and its organisations, express God's love by involvement and leadership in
constructive protest against the present conditions of mankind, then it will
die, and humanly speaking, deserves to die."
To our own Archbishop Pius Ncube we say, thank you for your
courage and tireless pastoral care. In a country that is fast losing hope
you are an inspiration. We know that the very courage that has produced so
much spiteful slander from the State press also guarantees that when the
history books are written, your name will be alongside Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, Cardinal Jaime Sin and the Reverend Martin Luther King as true
warriors of God.
To our Bishops and all people of good will in Zimbabwe we share
our Lord's blessing, "Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute
you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how
they persecuted the prophets before you." (Matthew 5; 11, 12).
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
Archdiocese of Bulawayo
Chinos is no unionist
JOSEPH Chinotimba is not a trade unionist. He
is an employer just benefiting from the coverage given to the ruling party
In his interview on Workers' Day, Chinotimba seemed not to know
much about the idea behind the holiday as he was always talking about the
sanctions and the MDC.
Chinotimba did all he could to please his masters by making them
believe that it is the sanctions and the MDC that are making the workers
suffer. President Robert Mugabe must have smiled at Chinotimba's every word
but I bet no worker really took the man's waffle seriously.
I think Chinotimba needs some lectures for him to appreciate and
understand what Workers' Day is all about.
To make matters worse, when I visited the self-proclaimed trade
unionist's farm in Watakayi, Mazowe, the workers looked overworked and
As reported in your paper, the gazetted wages for farm workers
is now a paltry $96 000 a month. I think Chinotimba must stand up and
agitate for an upward review of the wages on behalf of his and other farm
Another term,more suffering
I am dismayed as well as excited that
President Robert Mugabe will be the Zanu PF presidential candidate during
next year's elections.
I am dismayed because it is a sad chapter for Zimbabweans. The
continued presence of Mugabe in active politics means more untold suffering
for the citizens of this cursed nation. We all know what happens when it
comes to elections. The outcome will be manipulated despite the presence of
local, regional and international observers.
On the other hand I am excited because Mugabe's participation in
the elections gives an advantage to the opposition. I foresee more of Mugabe's
current supporters deserting him for the opposition, which I foresee to be a
solidly united front by election time.
The majority of Zimbabweans are disillusioned and frustrated and
they know full well that their problems are a result of Mugabe's method of
governance. Mugabe is learned enough to realise that no one needs him any
The Zanu PF's Women's League supported Mugabe's bid for
re-election. The endorsement was made by the League's top leadership and not
by ordinary members who do not have a say in such weighty matters.
These top leaders know they have to protect their ill-gotten
fortunes only as long as Mugabe is still in power.
As we all know there is not a single shred of democracy in any
of Zanu PF's organs.
20 May 2007
By Fortune Tazvida
Death has once again robbed Zimbabwe of a renowned academic. Professor
Walter Kamba died on Friday at Parirenyatwa hospital after suffering
complications from diabetes. Sources say Kamba had lost the use of both his
legs as a result of the disease.
Professor Kamba was part of a group of intellectuals and clergy who drafted
the National Vision Document last year. He rose to fame as the first Vice
Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, a position he held for over 10
years. Unknown to many he was one of those who helped draft Zimbabwe's first
constitution and when government appointed a commission to draft a second
one, Kamba was the Vice Chairman to Justice Godfrey Chidyausiki and his team
He spent 13 years in exile, only coming back at independence with wife
Angeline, the first ever black Director of the National Archives in the
newly independent state of Zimbabwe. Professor Kamba leaves behind a wife
and two sons.
Brief History of Professor Walter Kamba (PhD Law)
Professor Kamba was the Herbert Chitepo UNESCO Professor of Human Rights,
Democracy, Peace and Governance at the University of Zimbabwe. After his
term as Vice-Chancellor of the University, he was appointed Founding Dean of
the Faculty of Law at the University of Namibia where he was also Professor
of Human Rights. He is also former: Dean of Law at the University of Dundee
(Scotland); R.G. and E.M. Knight Distinguished Professor of Law and
Education at the University of Manitoba, Canada; Chairperson of the Council
of the United Nations University; President of the International Association
of Universities. He was legal advisor in the drafting of the Zimbabwe
(Lancaster House) Constitution and Deputy Chair of the Zimbabwe
May 20, 2007
By Basildon Peta
Johannesburg - Mutumwa Mawere, a Zimbabwean-born businessman whose R1.8
billion conglomerate was nationalised by President Robert Mugabe's
government, has relodged an application in the Johannesburg high court suing
the South African government over its alleged failure to protect South
African investors in Zimbabwe.
Mawere's application follows a decision by the constitutional court barring
him from seeking direct access to the top court. He had sought a hearing by
the country's leading judges in a case in which he accused the government of
being complicit in illegal property seizures because it had allowed South
African institutions to enforce Zimbabwe's controversial nationalisation
In his suit Mawere cited 21 respondents, including President Thabo Mbeki,
foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, trade and industry minister
Mandisi Mpahlwa and the master of the high court in Johannesburg.
In a brief judgment, deputy chief justice Dikgang Mosoneke, with the
concurrence of five other judges, ruled that it would not be in the
interests of justice to allow Mawere direct access to the constitutional
court, forcing the firebrand South African businessman to resort to the high
Mawere relodged his suit as Mugabe's government announced that it had
completed drafting a bill that would require mining firms to cede 51 percent
equity to Zimbabweans.
After seizing his mining, telecommunications and banking empire in Zimbabwe,
Mawere claims, Mugabe's government filed suits liquidating his subsidiary
firms based in South Africa.
By allowing Mugabe's representatives to use South African courts and other
institutions to enforce draconian property seizure laws, the South African
government has given effect to "Mugabe's principles", which are "repugnant
to the values that inform the South African constitutional order", Mawere
argues in his application.
Mawere's conglomerate was wrested from him in September 2004 through a
legislative decree after he was accused of illegally externalising foreign
currency. Harare tried to get Mawere extradited to face trial but the
magistrate's court in Randburg dismissed the application, ruling that it had
failed to raise a case against the businessman.
He believes he was victimised by Mugabe's government after he refused a post
in the ruling party.
He had been elected to become Zanu-PF's provincial secretary for economic
affairs in Masvingo.
Another reason advanced by Mugabe's government for nationalising Mawere's
companies is that the companies were indebted to the government. However,
according to the papers lodged in South Africa, even the attorney-general of
Zimbabwe, Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, seems to have been at pains to establish on
what basis the government had come to the conclusion that Mawere's companies
were indebted to the state.
Mawere has also instituted court proceedings in Zimbabwe challenging the
nationalisation of his companies on the grounds that they were never
indebted to the state.
Mawere says some of his South Africa-based companies have been liquidated as
a result of Harare's actions, resulting in the loss of about 200 local jobs.
He also wants the court to determine "whether a company, whose parent has
been nationalised by the actions of a foreign state based on a penal revenue
and public law, can enforce its rights in South Africa against generally
acceptable international standards of law".
Mawere argues that the intended enforcement of rights to property situated
in South Africa would transfer South African property to the Zimbabwean
The "confiscatory actions" instituted by Harare place Zimbabwe in possession
of South African assets, thereby giving force and effect to those
expropriation laws in the jurisdiction of South Africa.
The action was confiscatory because his assets were taken without notice and
by force, Mawere says, and it was discriminatory because of the
unprecedented use of special laws aimed solely at him.
He contends that his former firms are now organs of the state of Zimbabwe
and are not acting freely but are directed and controlled by the Harare
regime. Therefore, any rights enforced in South Africa are to the benefit of
the Mugabe regime.
Mawere argues that all the actions brought before local courts enforce
Mugabe's prerogative, thereby giving an extra-territorial effect to his
commands and emasculating Pretoria's stance against confiscation of private
property. - Independent Foreign Service