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Harare steps up plans to pay off white farmers

Zim Online

Tuesday 14 November 2006

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's government has stepped up efforts
to compensate white farmers, flighting adverts in state newspapers for the
dispossessed farmers to come forward to collect payment for buildings, dams
and other infrastructure on their seized farms.

The Harare administration adamantly refuses to pay for land saying
whites stole it from blacks in the first place, while farmers say the money
they are receiving for developments on farms still falls far short of the
market value of the infrastructure and farming equipment.

In an urgent notice in the government-owned Sunday Mail newspaper, the
Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement called on more than 800
former white farmers or their representatives to visit its offices "as a
matter of urgency in connection with their compensation."

The offer of compensation to more white farmers came barely 48 hours
after the government last Friday began issuing 99-year leases to blacks
allocated former white-owned land, in a move analysts said was meant to
solidify the chaotic and often violent land redistribution programme.

Mugabe also revealed during the ceremony to hand over leases to mainly
supporters of his ruling ZANU PF party and about half a dozen whites
sympathetic to his government that Harare had compensated 200 whites since
it began seizing farms six years ago.

There were about 4 500 white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe who were
the bedrock of the country's mainstay agricultural sector, accounting for
production of most major cash crops for export.

Commercial agriculture, once Zimbabwe's top foreign currency earner,
has plunged by 60 percent since 2001, which critics blame on the often
chaotic reforms that many also say have caused food shortages.

Poor performance in the agriculture sector has hamstrung the country's
anti-inflation drive as prices of basic food commodities continue to shoot
through the roof. Zimbabwe has the world's highest rate of inflation at 1
070.2 percent.

Agriculture contributes 18.5 percent of Zimbabwe's gross domestic
product while 60 percent of raw materials required in the manufacturing
sector come from agriculture.

The disturbances in the agriculture sector have had far reaching
consequences as hundreds of thousands have lost jobs while the manufacturing
sector, starved of inputs from the sector, is operating below 30 percent
capacity. - ZimOnline


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Business wants Harare to cut foreign missions

Zim Online

Tuesday 14 November 2006

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe business leaders have urged President Robert
Mugabe's government to cut the number of foreign missions abroad as they are
a drain on the national fiscus.

The sentiments were echoed during a two-day 2007 pre-budget seminar
organised by the Ministry of Finance which ended in Bulawayo at the weekend.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) vice-president Obert
Sibanda, said Zimbabwe's embassies abroad were eating away the little
foreign currency the country was generating.

"What the government should do to save foreign currency is to reduce
the number of diplomats and embassies we have around the world as they are
taking away all the foreign currency we are generating," said Sibanda.

Zimbabwe, in its seventh straight year of recession, has 40 diplomatic
missions in 38 countries around the world.

Economists and political analysts have in the past urged the Harare
authorities to cut the number of foreign missions around the world saying
they were a drain on the country's little foreign currency.

The business leaders also took a swipe at the government over the
flooding of the market with cheap Chinese products.

But Deputy Finance Minister David Chapfika defended the government
insisting the regulation of the quality of goods entering the country solely
rested with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) which he accused of
failing to do its job.

"People should not continue blaming the government on cheap Chinese
goods flooding the country because it is the duty of the Standards
Association of Zimbabwe to look at the quality of goods being imported into
the country.

"These (SAZ) are the guys who are failing to do their job so people
should not blame the government for that," Chapfika said.

Zimbabwe business leaders have often accused China of dumping cheap
quality products on the local market.

Harare has increasingly looked towards China and other Asian countries
for support after the West imposed sanctions on Mugabe's government over
human rights abuses and failure to uphold democracy. - ZimOnline


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Top anti-sexual abuse cop caught with pants down

Zim Online

Tuesday 14 November 2006

BULAWAYO - The deputy co-ordinator of Zimbabwe police's
Victim Friendly department that assists victims of sexual abuse was
last week demoted after he was caught sexually abusing one of his juniors,
sources told ZimOnline.

Stephen Jusa was stripped of his rank of superintendent and reduced to
an inspector after he was caught being intimate with a female recruit at the
police headquarters in Harare. It was not immediately clear whether the
recruit had consented to having sex with Jusa.

According to our sources, Jusa was also removed from the Victim
Friendly department and transferred to the commissioner's pool, an internal
section where erring senior officers are placed and made to perform
humiliating and menial jobs as a way to frustrate them into resigning from
the force.

The sources, who did not want to be named because they did not have
permission from their superiors to disclose the embarrassing incident to the
Press, said Jusa was among a group of 35 senior police officers who were
being investigated for abusing female officers and police recruits.

Several female police had complained to Police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri last May that they were being forced to have sex with senior
officers.

"Chihuri is on a war-path these days and more heads are bound to roll
within the next few days as other senior officers are also being
investigated for sexually abusing junior female members.

"Several female recruits have continued to make reports of sexual
abuse against the bosses, whom they accuse of victimising them if they turn
them down," said one of the sources.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena would neither confirm nor deny
reports of Jusa's demotion and reports of sexual abuse by senior police
officers.

"There are reports of sexual harassment here and there, yes, but I
cannot name those that have been accused because that is an internal matter.

"We will deal with such matters within our confines and policies,"
said Bvudzijena. - ZimOnline


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Despite Reunification Talk, Zimbabwe Opposition Factions Remain Wary

VOA

By Blessing Zulu
Washington
13 November 2006

Founding president Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change has called on all opposition parties, including a rival
MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara, to unite behind a single presidential
candidate in 2008.

Tsvangirai confirmed that his faction has set up a committee to engage the
other MDC faction on reunification - the MDC fractured late last year over
whether or not to field candidates in the November 2005 senate elections,
Tsvangirai favoring a boycott.

So-called pro-senate faction leader Mutambara declined to comment on the
issue of reunification, saying such a discussion was premature.

But Tsvangirai's call for unity talks has drawn a mixed response from the
Mutambara faction. In a policy paper circulated late last week, spokesman
Gabriel Chaibva said the Mutambara faction was "not opposed to any talks
aimed at bringing about the reunification of all democratic forces." But he
said contacts between the two factions so far had only been made to
"establish mutual respect and recognition."

Chaibva set conditions for reunification including the acceptance of
responsibility for the breakup by the Tsvangirai faction, which does not
seem likely to comply. His press statement then turned to vilification of
the rival opposition grouping.

"We have known for some time as most Zimbabweans now do, that the Tsvangirai
grouping is insincere, and downright dishonest," Chaibva wrote, accusing the
other faction "negotiating through the press" and breaking off preliminary
discussions.

"Our view is that the statements and pronouncements about reunification are
no more than a public relations exercise designed to hoodwink the nation
into believing that they are genuinely interested in reunification when
their conduct towards other democratic forces suggests arrogance and
disdain," Chaibva stated.

Tsvangirai told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a
divided opposition stands no chance against the ruling ZANU-PF party in
2008.

But Chaibva expanded on why the grouping is demanding the Tsvangirai faction
take blame for the split and pledge to respect the constitution of the
divided party.


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Harare orders media school to enrol ZANU PF zealots

Zim Online

Monday 13 November 2006

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has directed the country's largest
journalism training school to accept only students who have completed a
controversial national youth service training programme, critics blame for
brainwashing youths into zealots of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF
party.

Churches and human rights groups say graduates of the youth training
programme that is run by former and serving military officers routinely hunt
down supporters of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party beating, torturing and sometimes murdering them.

The government, which strongly denies that graduates of the youth
programme victimise opposition supporters, had said in the past that state
tertiary colleges should enroll only students holding national service
certificates. The government had however not insisted on the state-owned
Harare Polytechnic's Division of Mass Communication to abide by this
requirement.

But the government's Media and Information Commission (MIC) on Monday
last week issued a written directive, a copy of which was shown to
ZimOnline, that the journalism school should ensure all new students had
"passed through (national youth service) training centres, have undertaken
community work, and possess 5 Ordinary levels passes and 2 passes at
Advanced level."

The MIC - accused of forcibly closing down newspapers critical of
Mugabe's government and ordering the arrest of scores of independent
journalists - also directed that a committee of selectors be set up to vet
and approve applicants to the school of journalism.

The state media watchdog nominated Harare Polytechnic vice-principal
Runyararo Magadzire to head the selectors panel which it said would also
include two external members from local media houses nominated by itself.

A senior official from the department of National and Strategic
Studies will also be appointed on the panel, according to the MIC.

The department of National and Strategic Studies runs political
education courses at government tertiary institutions which are compulsory
for all students and which mainly focus on the history of Zimbabwe's
struggle for independence from colonial rule and the roles played by Mugabe
and ZANU PF in that struggle.

Harare Polytechnic Principal, Stephen Raza, was not immediately
available for comment on the new recruitment criteria for students that
observers say is an open attempt by Mugabe's government to ensure the
college that trains the bulk of journalists in the country produces pliable
and uncritical journalists.

Sources at the college however said Raza and his administration had
written to MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso questioning the new student
enrolment requirements.

Mahoso - found by the Supreme Court to have shown bias against the
banned Daily News newspaper when he rejected an application by the paper for
a licence to resume publishing - was not reachable for comment on the
matter.

Under the government's tough Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, Mahoso's MIC is tasked to facilitate the training of
journalists. But the controversial law does not stipulate that the
commission should lay enrolment rules for prospective journalism students.

Apart from the Harare Polytechnic's Division of Mass Communication
there are about three other smaller and privately-owned journalism training
schools in Zimbabwe.

The attempt by the MIC to control student enrolment at the largest
school of journalism comes as the government is also in the process of
enacting legislation to allow state agents to intercept internet and cell
phone communications between private individuals and organisations in the
country.

The Interception of Communications Bill proposes to also empower state
agents to open private mail sent by ordinary post as well as through
licensed courier service providers.

Zimbabwe already has a raft of harsh laws that hinder the free flow of
information while imposing severe restrictions on journalists and newspapers
in the country.

For example, journalists in the crisis-hit southern African country
are liable to imprisonment for up to two years if caught practising without
a licence from the MIC.

Newspapers are also required to register with the MIC with those
failing to do so facing closure and seizure of their equipment by the
police.

Zimbabwe, described by the World Association of Newspapers as one of
the worst places for journalists in the world, has in the past three years
shut down at least four independent newspapers including the Daily News,
which at its closure in 2003 was the largest circulating daily paper in the
country. - ZimOnline


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MDC candidate ordered off irrigation plot

Zim Online

Monday 13 November 2006

BEITBRIDGE - An opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
candidate in local government elections held two weeks ago says she has been
ordered to vacate a plot at an irrigation scheme as punishment for having
dared challenge the ruling ZANU PF party in the election.

Josephine Mkwananzi who stood for the MDC in ward six in Beitbridge
constituency but lost to ZANU PF's Itani Joseph Muleya said she and her two
election agents were ordered by Senator for the area, Tambudzani Mohadi, to
vacate their plots at River Ranch irrigation scheme.

"I will only leave at gun point because I cannot allow myself to be
intimidated for my political affiliation," Mkwananzi told ZimOnline.

Mohadi, who is also the wife of Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi,
was not available for comment on the matter last night.

But the alleged threat for eviction against MDC candidates in the
local government elections follows a similar pattern of recriminations in
the rest of the country where opposition candidates are being summoned by
pro-ZANU PF traditional chiefs and fined for supporting the MDC.

There have also been widespread reports of MDC candidates and
supporters being denied government supplied agricultural inputs as
punishment for backing the opposition party - charges strongly denied by
ZANU PF and the government. - ZimOnline


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Army kicks out illegal diamond miners

Zim Online

Monday 13 November 2006

MARANGE - Zimbabwe security forces have forcibly evicted thousands of
illegal diamond miners and cordoned off diamond fields in Marange about 100
kilometres south-west of the eastern city of Mutare.

The armed soldiers besieged the area last Tuesday and ordered the
thousands of diamond miners off the area in Chiadzwa communal lands in
Marange.

At least 7 000 people were camped at Chiadzwa with half of them
illegally mining and trading in diamonds while the rest were engaged in
selling food and drinks to the illegal miners.

The mineral was discovered in the area about two months ago triggering
a 'diamond rush' in the impoverished area.

Sources within the police said the soldiers were asked to evict the
miners after one illegal miner was axed to death following a dispute over a
mining claim.

There were also widespread fears that the miners were causing harm to
the environment because of the methods they were employing in their
operations.

A senior government official who visited the site at the weekend said
the illegal operation in Marange could have seen the government lose
millions of dollars in foreign currency earnings.

The illegal miners are suspected to have channeled most of the
diamonds to illegal markets in places such as South Africa were they have a
ready market.

Under Zimbabwe's mining laws, minerals such as diamonds are supposed
to be sold solely to the state-run Minerals Marketing Corporation of
Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline


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Harare's application for AIDS funds turned down

Zim Online

Monday 13 November 2006

HARARE - The Global Fund to fight malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and
AIDS has turned down Zimbabwe's application for funding, a development
health experts say could cripple the southern African country's fight
against Aids.

Harare, without foreign currency to import basic medicines and
Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs, had hoped to use cash from the Fund to expand
its small ARV distribution programme by at least 80 percent, according to
senior officials at the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

Only 40 000 people are accessing ARVs from the state and from private
sources compared to more than 600 000 in urgent need of the life-prolonging
drugs.

"State-run ARV programmes are already facing viability problems with
some patients being forced to miss some doses because there are no drugs,"
said one official, who did not want to be named because he did not have
permission to disclose such information to the Press.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa was not immediately available for
comment on the matter while officials at the Global Fund's offices in Harare
said the reasons for the Fund's rejection of Zimbabwe's application would
only be made known at a later date.

But our sources said the Fund had also told Harare it could not appeal
against the withholding of funding and that it could only reapply next year.

Although Zimbabwe is only one of two sub-Saharan countries - the other
one is Uganda - to be able to reverse HIV infections amongst its population,
the country is still among the worst hit by the disease which kills at least
3 000 Zimbabweans ever week.

Severe food shortages and a seven-year economic recession, critics
blame on mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe's government have helped
compound the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country.

Established in 2002, the Global Fund is one of the biggest
organisations in the world that provides funding to poor countries to fight
malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS - responsible for most deaths in Asia and Africa. -
ZimOnline


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Zimbabwe food crisis worsening through donor fatigue, says U.N. food agency

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: November 13, 2006

HARARE, Zimbabwe: The United Nations food agency said Monday it has scaled
down food distribution in Zimbabwe, where more than 1 million people are in
critical need, because of a shortage of donor funds. It said further
reductions might be necessary across southern Africa.

The World Food Program said in a statement the poor donor response followed
repeated assurances by the government that the nation would be able to feed
itself ahead of the next harvests in March. The agency estimated 1.4 million
Zimbabweans are in critical need of food aid now and predicts the number
will rise to nearly 2 million in coming weeks because of soaring inflation
and shortages of food on the local market.

"WFP has had to resort to cutting back its urban feeding and school feeding
programs, and a suspension of mobile feeding in rural areas," the agency
said.

About 65,000 tons of emergency food was budgeted for at a cost of US$35
million (?27.5 million) for the "lean" period, when last year's harvest is
running low and before the new harvest is in, from October to March. The
agency only received pledges for 39,000 tons expected in Harare via South
Africa, leaving a deficit of US$17 million (?13.3 million) needed to import
more food.

The worst current food shortages were being reported in arid areas of
western, southern and far northern Zimbabwe.
In its operations across southern Africa, the agency said it faced a US$60
million (?47 million) funding shortfall and aid cutbacks were affecting 4.3
million chronically vulnerable people, some 35 percent of them in Zimbabwe.

"Further feeding operations may be cut back across the region if resources
do not improve," said the WFP.

In the longer term, there were concerns over a general decline in
agricultural productivity in southern Africa linked to shortages of capital
for fertilizer and other inputs, soil erosion, overgrazing, deforestation
and global warming that reduced yields.

These conditions forced an increasing number of people to become dependent
on small holder and subsistence farming to survive.

Zimbabwe needs about 1.8 million tons of corn, the staple food, a year but
in the last harvest produced less half that amount, according to independent
surveys.

The country is suffering its worst economic crisis since independence in
1980, with more than 1,000 percent inflation, the highest in the world, and
acute shortages of hard currency and gasoline. The crisis has been largely
blamed on the chaotic and often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned
commercial farms since 2000 in Zimbabwe, a former regional breadbasket.


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Rights activists allege crackdown on free speech



[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

HARARE, 13 Nov 2006 (IRIN) - Human rights activists have accused the
Zimbabwean government of a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices after two
senior opposition members were recently charged with treason.

Paul Themba Nyathi and Sithatshisiwe Sibanda, both members of a Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) faction, were last week accused of distributing a
pamphlet inciting security forces to rebel.

The pamphlet, allegedly circulated last month in the southern town of
Gwanda, an MDC stronghold, was entitled 'A message to our armed forces' and
read in part: "Everybody knows somebody who is in the police force or army.
Our police force and armed forces are also suffering as a result of the
economic collapse.

"They are struggling to pay for food, health and education because they are
poorly paid. Help those people to help themselves. Help them to do the right
thing. Help them to have courage to say enough is enough. Take this message
to them."

Causing despondency among the security forces is a criminal offence. Nyathi
has appeared before a magistrate's court and the case was remanded to 22
November, while Sibanda is yet to make a court appearance. If convicted, the
opposition officials risk a 20 year prison sentence.

Aleck Muchadehama, a leading rights lawyer, described the arrests as an
attack on democracy. He said it was not a criminal offence to highlight the
economic plight of soldiers and police officers, adding that to urge the
uniformed forces to say "enough is enough" was not the same as inciting them
to demonstrate or mutiny.

The salaries of public servants lag way below the minimum living wage in a
country where inflation in hovering around 1,000 percent. According to the
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the cost of living for a family of six for the
month of October surged to about $565, five-times the average monthly salary
of about $150.

Human rights lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe also said the contents of the pamphlet
constituted "fair comment". "As Zimbabweans, what the arrests effectively
mean is that we cannot discuss things that affect us on a daily basis. It is
a known fact that the civil service, to which soldiers and the police
belong, are paid poor salaries," he explained.

The independent Zimbabwean weekly newspaper, The Standard, reported that
according to the state, "the document was meant to encourage the police and
army to join the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union [ZCTU] demonstrations
against rising poverty".

The labour movement's protest held in September against poor salaries, high
taxation and a slow rollout of anti-AIDS drugs was stumped by the security
forces, with a dozen ZCTU members allegedly assaulted and tortured.
President Robert Mugabe defended the police action.

Since Zimbabwe's fast-track land reforms launched in 2000, the country's
economy has gone into freefall. Unemployment levels have risen above 70
percent, with chronic shortages of foreign currency. The government blames
sanctions imposed by the west for its economic problems.


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Air Zim Settles Debt, to Resume London Flights



The Herald (Harare)

November 13, 2006
Posted to the web November 13, 2006

Harare

AIR Zimbabwe will resume its London flights on Wednesday after settling its
debt with a regional navigation agency.

The airline had cancelled flights to London, its major cash cow, as a
security measure for fear that its planes could be seized to recover money
it owed the Agency for the Safety of Aerial Navigation in Africa and
Madagascar (ASECNA).

ASECNA is the regional establishment responsible for providing air
navigation services in 17 African member countries and Madagascar.

It uses satellite support for communication systems to enable air navigation
control, provide technical and traffic information, weather-forecasting and
guidance to airlines and airplanes in member countries within its civil
aviation network and interconnects with other air navigation agencies in
Africa and beyond.

Air Zimbabwe spokesman Mr David Mwenga confirmed the latest development,
saying those travellers with urgent business to do in London or those
intending to catch connecting flights were transferred to other airlines.

"We have paid the money we owed. This means the money should start
reflecting in our creditor's bank accounts by Tuesday, so flights will
resume on Wednesday evening," he said.

He said affected passengers had been transferred to British Airways and
South African Airways while others had stated that they would wait until
Wednesday.

"We have transferred some of our passengers to British Airways today and
others will travel with Air Zimbabwe to South Africa where they will connect
to London with South African Airways," he said.

"Quite a number have indicated that they will wait until Wednesday, so no
passenger has been inconvenienced really."

ASECNA obtained a court order to attach any property of Air Zimbabwe to
recover money owed to it by the national airline, dating back to more than
four years.

The arrears arise from services provided by ASECNA to Air Zimbabwe planes
flying in airspace within the agency's civil aviation network.

Air Zimbabwe is one of several parastatals that are no longer receiving
funding from the Reserve Bank following a decision by the central bank in
July that such entities had to be run on business lines and generate their
own revenue.


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Church document not what I signed up to says Pius Ncube


By Violet Gonda
13 November 2006

Bulawayo Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube has described the much talked
about church discussion document as "soft as decaffeinated tea". The cleric
alleges that some areas were altered while several pages were removed from
the document that was originally signed by the clergy in Zimbabwe.

"You see I think someone leaked - among the three bodies from the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference - somebody leaked it to the government
and the government was demanding that before it's published certain pages
should be removed and I see its really toned down. It's not the original
document that we agreed upon as churches."

The outspoken cleric was speaking during an exclusive interview on SW
Radio Africa's Hot Seat programme on the ongoing National Vision document
launched recently by the three main church groups in Zimbabwe.

The Archbishop said although the document is very soft it may still be
usable but he castigated the meddling by the state. He said; "But I don't
like the bullying of the government. This government has done enough harm,
enough bullying. They are causing suffering on people and now they must come
over and bully us the churches. That was supposed to be our document. Not
their document. I am pretty angry about this."

Although he said he hadn't finished comparing the launched document
with the original the Bishop believes the critical areas were toned down.
For example there was a whole paragraph on the media illustrating how there
is no free media, but the cleric claimed the government cut the whole
paragraph and just added one sentence that says the media is polarised and
not working for national unity.

When asked if he thought the church was trying to confront wrong
without offending the Mugabe regime, he responded by saying; "As a church we
are too soft in such a way I wonder if we are going to make any headway."

He also agreed with sentiments that outspoken critics like himself may
have been used to legitimise what some have described as a Mugabe sponsored
initiative. He said he truly hoped it was their (church's) initiative but
was not aware that the government would pull out certain pages from the
discussion document. "I am extremely disenchanted having seen how they have
done a lot of damage to our original document."

The full interview with Archbishop Pius Ncube will be broadcast on the
programme Hot Seat on Tuesday.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Chinese firms abusing workers with impunity


By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 November 2006

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has revealed that Chinese
companies in Zimbabwe appear to have protection from the government
regarding their treatment of workers and their environmental standards. It
is no secret that the Mugabe regime's "look-east" policy hinges mainly on
its relationship with China and that many projects in the country have been
contracted to Chinese firms. The ZCTU acting secretary-general Japhet Moyo
said the Chinese do not follow the Labour Act, which spells out the
relationships between employee and employer. What they have found is that
Chinese firms do not follow what the law says in terms of safety clothing
and conditions of employment.

Moyo gave the example of one Chinese company in the metal sector where
the owner speaks to buyers about the materials they need in English. But
whenever they identify themselves as trade union representatives the same
Chinese individual says he does not understand and his interpreter is away
in China. Moyo said: "They always tell you they agreed with government but
did they agree to suppress workers? It is not clear what these agreements
were."

Moyo said ministry officials seem to be protecting Chinese companies.
He spoke of a general reluctance by the labour ministry to be hard on the
Chinese. The ZCTU is not given access to the final reports produced by
labour officials whenever complaints are submitted against Chinese firms.
Moyo told us the officials always say "We are working on it."

As for environmental violations, Moyo pointed to a Chinese steel
company in Willowvale that has a furnace which is polluting the area beyond
accepted standards. The managers told ZCTU officials the inspectors allow
them to operate it at night only so they do not to bother other companies in
the area. Moyo said whether it is night or day pollution is pollution and
the furnace should be shut down.

For many years now the Chinese have been criticized for running
so-called "sweat shops" where the workers put in long hours under appalling
conditions for less than minimum pay. The same conditions are known to exist
in China as well. This is how Chinese firms keep the price of their products
cheap to compete on the world market.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Rainwater harvesting could end much of Africa's water shortage, UN reports

UN News Centre

13 November 2006 - African countries suffering or facing water shortages as
a result of climate change have a massive potential in rainwater harvesting,
with nations like Ethiopia and Kenya capable of meeting the needs of six to
seven times their current populations, according to a United Nations report
released today.

"The figures are astonishing and will surprise many," UN Environment
Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said of the study,
compiled by his agency and the World Agroforestry Centre, which urges
governments and donors to invest more widely in a technology that is low
cost, simple to deploy and maintain, and able to transform the lives of
households, communities and countries Africa-wide.

Overall the quantity of rain falling across the continent is equivalent to
the needs of 9 billion people, one and half times the current global
population. About a third of Africa is deemed suitable for rainwater
harvesting if a threshold of 200 millimetres of arrival rainfall, considered
to be at the lower end of the scale, is used.

Although not all rainfall can or should be harvested for drinking and
agricultural uses, with over a third needed to sustain the wider environment
including forests, grasslands and healthy river flows, the harvesting
potential is still much more than adequate to meet a significant slice of
human needs, the report notes.

"Africa is not water scarce," it concludes. "The rainfall contribution is
more than adequate to meet the needs of the current population several times
over. For example Kenya would not be categorized as a 'water stressed
country' if rainwater harvesting is considered. The water crisis in Africa
is more of an economic problem from lack of investment, and not a matter of
physical scarcity."

Until recently the importance of such harvesting as a buffer against
climate-linked extreme weather has been almost invisible in water planning
with countries relying almost exclusively on rivers and underground
supplies, the report notes.

Unlike big dams, which collect and store water over large areas, small-scale
rainwater harvesting projects lose less water to evaporation because the
rain or run-off is collected locally and can be stored in a variety of ways.

"Over the coming years we are going to need a range of measures and
technologies to capture water and bolster supplies," Mr. Steiner said.
"Conserving and rehabilitating lakes, wetlands and other freshwater
ecosystems will be vital and big dams, if sensibly and sustainably designed
and constructed, may be part of the equation too.

"However, large-scale infrastructure can often by-pass the needs of poor and
dispersed populations. Widely deployed, rainwater harvesting can act as a
buffer against drought events for these people while also significantly
supplementing supplies in cities and areas connected to the water grid," he
added.

The report mapped the rainwater harvesting potential of nine countries in
Africa -Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania,
Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Kenya, with a population of somewhere under 40 million people, has enough
rainfall to supply the needs of six to seven times its current population,
according to the study. Ethiopia, where just over a fifth of the population
is covered by domestic water supply and an estimated 46 per cent of the
population suffer hunger, has a potential rainwater harvest equivalent to
the needs of over 520 million people.


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Mujuru camp falls prey to Zisco

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 11 November

Godwin Gandu

A clerk stormed into the September hearing of the industry and international
trade portfolio committee, which was gathering evidence about corruption at
the state-run Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco). Obert Mpofu, the
Minister of Industry and International Trade, was testifying. He had just
declared that there was a "shocking . thick file" implicating people in high
places. The clerk's message: acting president Joice Mujuru wanted to have an
"urgent" meeting with Mpofu and his team. The hearing was halted. Three
weeks later it emerged that Mujuru "may have had key information" about the
scandal the committee was probing. A report into alleged corruption at Zisco
involving senior politicians has already pointed the finger at many of
Mujuru's close allies. One of the country's worst corruption scandals, which
is being referred to as Ziscogate, is shaking President Robert Mugabe's
26-year-old government. Its tremors are being felt far and wide, and Mugabe
is under increasing pressure from certain members of his Cabinet to take
action against Cabinet members and ruling Zanu PF party officials who are
implicated. In a three-hour presentation, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
advised Mugabe during a Cabinet meeting this week that there was "prima
facie evidence of perjury against Mpofu", that "Cabinet members were
involved [in the Zisco scandal]", and that Parliamentary Speaker John Nkomo
should be given a chance to appoint the parliamentary privileges and
immunity committee to get to the bottom of Ziscogate. Chinamasa was
reportedly emphatic: "Nothing should be swept under the carpet," sources
privy to Cabinet deliberations told the Mail & Guardian this week.

Intelligence officials advised Mugabe last month that releasing the report
would damage his government and create a "confidence crisis". The new
intriguing twist to the saga is how the politics of succession within the
ruling Zanu PF party - which pits Vice-President Mujuru and Rural Housing
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa against one another - is affecting whether or
not the truth about what happened at Zisco will come out. It emerged this
week that a confidential and controversial National Economic Conduct
Inspectorate (Neci) report into corruption at Zisco implicates members of a
faction aligned to retired General Solomon Mujuru, the kingmaker within the
ruling party, and his wife, Mujuru, in the Zisco scandal, saying they are
"in it to the neck". Neci is a probe team within the ministry of finance.
According to a parliamentarian and member of the international trade and
industry committee, a lot of high-ranking government officials in Mujuru's
camp "will go to jail if God and the law choose to be fair". The committee
also believes that the Mujurus; Tirivanhu Mudariki, a business associate and
relative of the Mujurus and former Zanu PF MP; and Leo Mugabe, Mugabe's
nephew and Zanu PF MP, are among high-ranking figures who should "cooperate
with information" surrounding Ziscogate.

Meanwhile, a faction aligned to Mujuru advised Mugabe two weeks ago in a
Cabinet meeting that opposition Movement for Democratic Change
parliamentarians within Enoch Porusingazi's industry and international trade
committee are behind attempts to nail party politicians. Then, in a heated
Cabinet meeting this week, members who support Mnangagwa emphasised that
"nothing should be swept under the carpet" and that as "politicians they
should lead by example". "We said down with corruption, so we should walk
the talk," the source privy to the Cabinet deliberations said. Mujuru is
considered to be the heir apparent, but the political terrain is fast
changing as allegations of corruption in her political camp emerge. Mujuru
is believed to have already rubbed up potential allies in the party the
wrong way. Among them are senior politicians who backed her against
Mnangagwa in 2004 in the three Matabeleland provinces. "She has since lost
their trust and confidence after sending signals that she would back Mpofu
for the vice-presidency when she gets into office," Zanu PF insiders said.
Matabeleland kingpins within Zanu PF, Vice-President Joseph Mica and Nkomo
were upset by this. Nkomo did not come to Mpofu's defence when the
parliamentary committee recommended last week that Parliament charge Mpofu
with perjury over his testimony on the Zisco affair. "[Mujuru] cannot count
on the support of Msika and Nkomo in Matabeleland any more," said the
source.


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Zim minister denies bribe as graft case opens

IOL

November 13 2006 at 03:42PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's junior information minister on Monday pleaded not
guilty to seeking a bribe as a Harare court started hearing a sensational
graft case which has claimed the scalp of a senior official.

Bright Matonga denied conniving with former Zimbabwe United Passenger
Company (ZUPCO) chairman Charles Nherera, who is now behind bars, to solicit
a $20 000 (about R145 000) "gift of consideration" from Harare businessman
Jayesh Shah.

The state prosecutor Fortune Chimbaru said some time in 2003 Matonga,
who was then chief executive officer of the transport firm, and Nherera had
asked Shah for a kickback to extend a lease agreement for a property rented
out to him by ZUPCO.

The state prosecutor said the pair also asked Shah to pay them $2 000
for each of 75 minibuses ZUPCO was buying from Shah's company, Gift
Investments.

Matonga's lawyer Wilson Manase dismissed the charges as "pure
fabrication."

"The accused (Matonga) denies the charges in their entirety and will
say the frustration met by Shah in trying to sell buses to ZUPCO without
going to tender made him hate Matonga and Nherera with passion," Manase
said.

"The buses were already in ZUPCO colours when they were
surreptitiously imported into the country. The prosecution is urged to probe
how the buses were imported and whether the state was not prejudiced by Shah
as as far as customs duty was concerned."

Nherera is serving a two-year jail term for soliciting for an $85 000
bribe from Shah to give him a contract to supply the public transporter with
75 buses.

Nherera's lawyer Joseph Mandizha said the trial was a repeat of an
earlier one which led to his client's conviction in August this year.

"The apparent ploy by the state to prosecute him piecemeal and in
instalments, which seems to give the attorney-general sadistic pleasure, is
unfortunate," Mandizha told magistrate Sandra Nhau.

"It is also a violation of the declaration of fundamental rights
enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe."

The trial resumes on Tuesday when Nhau is expected to hear Mandizha's
application to have his client's case referred to the the supreme court. -
Sapa-AFP


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Arrested students released in Harare and Masvingo


By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 November 2006

The students who were arrested last Wednesday after demonstrations in
Harare and Masvingo were all released on Friday. The two detained in Harare
were released without charge and the Masvingo group of students were
released on bail.

Washington Katema, coordinator for the Zimbabwe National Students
Union (ZINASU), said the number of students arrested in Masvingo had gone up
to 24 from the originally suspected 18. He also revealed that the ZINASU
vice president Gideon Chipanga had been brutally assaulted by police while
in custody. They brought him to a doctor who released him the same day. The
24 are due in court November 20th in Masvingo.

Katema said the Masvingo demonstrators are being charged under the
Public Order and security Act for failing to get permission first from
police before the march. But POSA does not require permission from police.
It simply states that police are to be notified.

Students from all colleges in Masvingo took to the streets of the city
centre last Wednesday peacefully protesting against unaffordable tuition and
bungled exams.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news


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Will China Be a Port of Call for Dictators?



The East African Standard (Nairobi)

OPINION
November 12, 2006
Posted to the web November 13, 2006

Noelina Nabwire
Nairobi

That China's trade in Africa has risen sharply from $10 billion in 2003 to a
projected $50 billion this year is laudable.

Besides, the Asian giant is now a key investor not only in natural resources
in Africa, but also a provider of technical expertise and funding with less
stringent conditions compared to the Bretton Wood institutions. It also has
influence in organisations such as the UN Security Council and the African
Development Bank.

The Chinese interest in Africa cuts across many sectors - infrastructure,
health, communications, industry, and agriculture, including market access,
areas Western agencies have ignored.

But even with all this, there is need for caution: As rosy as the picture
looks with regard to Sino-African relations and the mutual cooperation and
benefits, human rights and good governance issues should not be overlooked.

For instance, China invested $150 million (Sh10.8 billion) in Sudan in 2004,
three times as much as in any other country, as the Darfur genocide
continued unabated. Further, it is no secret that the Sudan government can
count on China's support in resisting UN military intervention in Darfur.

The Economist cites how, shunned by the West, and with his economy in a
shambles, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe turned to China for political and
economic support - and got it.

After he launched Operation Murambatsvina last year, in which the homes and
businesses of 700,000 people were destroyed, China neutered all attempts at
discussion, leave alone condemnation, at the United Nations Security
Council.

It is worth noting that China ranks second last in the 2006 Transparency
International Bribe Payers Index (BPI). This means that among the 11,000
business respondents in 125 countries polled in the World Economic Forum's
Executive Survey, China is corrupt and doing only better than India, yet it
is the world's fourth largest exporter.

The BPI looks at the propensity of companies from 30 leading exporting
countries to bribe abroad. China ranked 29 out of 30. Further, China has not
ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention that criminalises overseas
bribery.

This year's Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)
reinforces the link between poverty and corruption. It draws on expert
opinion surveys, that show poll perceptions of public sector corruption in
163 countries.

It ranks countries on a scale of zero to 10, with the former indicating high
level of perceived corruption and the latter low level. As we celebrate the
China-Africa marriage of investments, the CPI discloses that most countries
in the continent score poorly in the index.

Another concern about the cooperation is the dependency syndrome. Many
Chinese companies carry their own employees to work for contracts they win
abroad. This denies local people employment opportunities, which the
cooperation should encourage.

This is best exemplified by the experience of the 1970s when China brought
thousands of workers to construct the 1,860 km Tazara railway line between
Lusaka and Dar es Salaam. Thirty years later, Zambia and Tanzania still rely
on Chinese technical expertise and assistance.

Let us hope that Chinese expansion will not re-enact capitalism that allowed
states to penetrate and establish contacts with developing nations,
resulting in slavery and colonialism. It is these that have made developing
countries prone to the whims of the industrialised world.

If China is, therefore, hell-bent on exporting workers, the relationship
will be characterised by capital and technological transfer, and thus remain
parasitic, setting the stage for the integration of the less-developed
countries into the world capitalist system.

Let us not forget that dependency makes Africa turn to developed countries
to meet their needs. Capitalist states transfer technology, capital, foreign
aid and credit facilities. The practice has also generated a vicious cycle
of dependency. Several countries in Africa and Latin America have been
turned into one-crop cultures, usually a cash crop needed in industrialised
countries and into importers of food.

Africa is fuelling China's surging economic growth and this is why the
country has keen interest in the continent's farm produce, oil and minerals.

While China will probably rely on manufactured products, Africa will rely on
raw materials. Of great concern is China's tendency to determine the quality
of products and fix prices.

Then there is the fear that Africa may never benefit from re-investment of
surplus capital. Coupled with this is that export-oriented production in
developing countries is managed by an elite that shares a lifestyle and
tastes with capitalist states. How will this partnership benefit the poor?

It should never be forgotten that industrialised countries are what they are
because of what developing countries are. The people should be involved in
planning so that they do not just become mere observers in the partnership.

To what extent have African leaders been involved in the negotiations that
have led China to offer impressive investment packages? Or are they just
being dished out on a silver platter at summits as happened last week?

What therefore should be the engagement between China and Africa? Africa
needs development partners who advocate policies that promote human rights
and good governance. Further, they should denounce abusive leaders and
corrupt regimes.


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Christian Body Meets MDC Faction



The Herald (Harare)

November 11, 2006
Posted to the web November 12, 2006

Harare

MDC faction leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday met church leaders and
commended them on their efforts aimed at finding a lasting solution to the
country's challenges.

Mr Tsvangirai met the clergy led by chairman of the Heads of Christian
Denominations, Bishop Trevor Manhanga at Harvest House. At a joint Press
conference held after a two-hour meeting, Mr Tsvangirai said his faction's
national executive met last weekend to consider the church national vision
proposal document entitled "The Zimbabwe We Want".

"Today I met the bishops and shared with them our views on some of the
issues they raise in their document, 'The Zimbabwe We Want.' We commend the
bishops for their efforts," said Mr Tsvangirai.

"This was an engagement and not a negotiating forum, the church took us
through the document and we exchanged views and some of the views converge
with our roadmap."

The opposition leader said he had reservations on the provisions, which
apportion blame to all stakeholders for the challenges the country is
facing, saying, in his view, the blame lay with Government.

"The other issue is the election management system, which leaves a lot to be
desired but all that can be addressed with a new constitution," he said.
However, the MDC called on the European Union and the United States to
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, which have weighed down on the economy.

Asked if his faction was prepared to unite with the Arthur Mutambara led
camp, Mr Tsvangirai said his group is prepared to work with "every
democratic force in Zimbabwe."

"It is all part of a concerted effort and we have to do everything on our
part to bring all democratic forces in the country," he said. Speaking at
the same occasion, Bishop Manhanga said they had achieved what they intended
by engaging the MDC faction. "We have received the initial feedback from the
MDC and we have requested them to do it in writing. There is a lot of
misconception about the document and we wanted to explain the document," he
said.

Asked to comment on President Mugabe's view that there were some
non-negotiable issues like sovereignty and independence and his belief that
the present constitution was home-grown, Bishop Manhanga said the church was
determined to hear as much comments as possible from everyone.

"The President made his statement, he said Zanu-PF will sit down and examine
the document and what we are looking at is a written response," said Bishop
Manhanga.

"It is not a question of making a concession because as the church we are
not making an ultimatum, we are soliciting views and we hope they (Zanu-PF)
will produce a preliminary report by end of January." The church also met
the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations to discuss the
document and is expected to meet other political parties.

Zanu (Ndonga) has also added its voice in supporting the initiative by the
church. In an interview yesterday, the party spokesman Mr Reketayi Semwayo
said churches should continue with their work. "We support their initiatives
but they should realise that they are men of cloth and not politicians,"
said Mr Semwayo, a former personal aide to the late party leader Reverend
Ndabaningi Sithole.


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The Thick End of the Wedge

Business Day

Peter Bruce
13 November 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SO, who is first in line to apologise to Judge Hilary Squires? The ANC Youth
League? Zwelinzima Vavi? Jacob Zuma? As we now know, Judge Squires wrote to
complain to Business Day a while back that we kept on insisting in print
that he, in sentencing Schabir Shaik to jail for fraud and corruption, had
found that Shaik and Zuma had had a "generally corrupt relationship". The
judge had a simple point to make, which was that he never found any such
thing. We ran it as the lead story in The Weekender on Saturday and it has
caused quite a rumpus.

Understandably, perhaps. Based on the impression that he had used the
phrase, Vavi, the incoherent babies who run the ANC and communist party
youth leagues, and Zuma himself have spent the past year casting aspersions
on Squires and his judgment because he is (a) white and (b) formerly
Rhodesian.

Now that it is clear that he never found it, and that he judged the case on
the evidence before him and nothing else, will these people perhaps have the
courage or the strength of character to stand up and celebrate with us all
how important it was in modern-day South Africa that a citizen did his job
properly? It is an inspiring thing. ?

I WAS amused the other day to read that President Thabo Mbeki had declined
some or other appeal to investigate the links police chief Jackie Selebi is
said to have with organised crime because the government, apparently, doesn't
launch commissions of inquiry into rumours.

Really? What was the Hefer Commission, then, if not an official inquiry into
rumours that the chief prosecutor had been an apartheid spy?

I guess the difference is that Mbeki knew what the outcome of the Hefer
Commission would be but can't be quite as sure about probing Selebi. So he
chooses the soft option - to issue a cabinet declaration supporting Selebi
and the sterling job he is doing to keep the nation safe from harm.

Mbeki brings new dimensions to denial. There's AIDS (for which poor Dr
Beetroot has had now to take a fall), Zimbabwe (on which he has been
spectacularly defeated by Robert Mugabe), and now crime (it's just another
"challenge") and the police chief who I suspect he fears.

Selebi can't be touched because he could influence the outcome of the ANC
presidential succession if aroused. Even Manto has to be treated with kid
gloves. She knows too much. Her husband, Mendi, is the treasurer of the ANC
and knows where all the money comes from. Mbeki's battles are all inside his
party and they will absorb him until he leaves office in 2009. Looking for a
leader, mister and missus average citizen? Forget about it for a while and
take care of your own stuff.


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Africa's brand challenge

New Zimbabwe

By Mutumwa D. Mawere
Last updated: 11/14/2006 00:03:12
PERCEPTION is King; and in the case of Africa, there is so little global
knowledge about individual African countries to the extent that every
country ends up sharing the same reputation of civil strife, corruption and
poverty.

In as much as individual African countries and persons who share an African
heritage may try to distance themselves from the generally perception of
Africans, Africans cannot avoid being painted by the same brush.

As Africans continue to mourn about why they are perceived lowly in the
global development chain, it is important that we recognize that Africans
and its people wherever they may be have not invested in better
communicating who they are to the global audience. Although some Africans
have done exceptionally well as individuals, body corporates and nation
states, they cannot avoid being contaminated by the African image disease.

The need for Africa and its global family to communicate, differentiate and
symbolise itself to all the global audience of consumers and investors
cannot be overstated. It is very important to underline that the audience is
split into two major categories: African people and everyone else.

In the case of Africa, government leaders are more concerned about improving
the image of the continent to foreigners than invest in image building
targeted at citizens. Ultimately, the hope of Africa and its global family
lies in investing in a new identity of a functioning Africa than a selective
approach where islands of hope are created in the midst of an ocean of
hopelessness and misery.

Every African nation has its own brand in as much as each individual and
family has theirs. A nation's brand is defined by its people, by their
temper, education, look, by their endeavors. Africa with one geographical
mass and many tribes has its own identity and it is not easy to come up with
a one size fits all perspective on branding. It is very hard to change
African people's values and attitude to life. This requires an investment in
literacy, a change in the economic status of Africans, and a new way of
life. This takes generations to change but can be fast tracked by the few
Africans who realise that it is in their self interest to work towards the
collective transformation of Africa and its global family.

Africans need to write their own story in the own words. We need to ask why
it is the case that non-Africans have the last laugh in Africa and its own
natives have to bear the brunt of bad governance and policies. Africa and
its leaders are more than eager to export African jobs through policies that
reward imports and welcome foreign capital in preference to domestic capital
formation while maintaining an anti-imperialist hypocritical posture.

The improvement of the Africa brand lies not in the work of branding
agencies, not even of governments but instead in every person who shares
Africa's heritage and we need to invest in making Africa and its global
family's values being better known, minimise the effect of several accidents
caused by individuals that affect the brand. Africa has a fair share of bad
leaders who intentionally and unintentionally have made the African story
difficult to sell and as long as they cling to power for the wrong reasons
the job is cut out for all of us. Africa's development and the advancement
of its people will continue to be arrested by the few who have taken it upon
themselves to monopolize the political and economic space whose enlargement
is a prerequisite for the establishment of a new African identity.

Historically, nation branding and invention of tradition has always happened
by accident more than continuous economic planning. Singapore, Malaysia,
South Korea, China, India, Vietnam, Japan, New Zealand, Australia etc have
created and represented much more consistent brand leadership than exhibited
by most global companies. What is important is that some countries with the
same colonial baggage as Africa took ownership of their own destinies and
invested in new brand architectures that have resulted in the improvement of
standing of their citizens in the global family of nations.

The Japanese have changed the global language by producing products that
have now been accepted in the world as representing good quality and today
the world speaks the Japanese language through the consumption of products
produced in Japan. Equally countries like South Korea have demonstrated that
a determined people can in one generation be accommodated in the global
marketplace on its terms through the production of quality products and not
through speeches that have now been the defining characteristic of African
leaders at every opportunity they can get. To my knowledge South Korea still
hosts American troops and yet did not use this as an excuse to invest in a
uniquely Korean brand. If South Korea was an African country it is not
difficult to imagine what its citizens would be subjected to in terms of
propaganda.

Nation-branding as a discipline is the confluence of two seemingly disparate
fields: marketing and diplomacy. In the 1960s, marketers became interested
in what is called the ''country of origin'' effect. Why is it, they asked,
that simply sticking a ''Made in Japan'' label on a stereo boosts its value
by 30 percent? Clearly, they argued, there was something about Japan
itself-perhaps its reputation as a technically savvy society-that made
consumers value Japanese technology over similar products from, say, India.
What are the roots of these national stereotypes, and how can marketing take
advantage of them? And what if India wanted to develop its own high-tech
export industry? How could it change those stereotypes?

In a world increasingly connected by 24/7 media, there has to be a ''brand''
strategy for Africans-the message has to be coordinated and consistent, and
it has to respond to stereotypes already in circulation. Nation-branding,
then, is what you get when you take traditional public diplomacy strategies
and add marketing tools designed to change global perceptions.

True nation-branding is a complex and involved exercise that requires
strategies to "harmonise" the brand message across African governments and
communicating the message internally as well as externally. That means
surveying citizens on the values they think should go into the ''Africa
brand,'' as well as reiterating the importance of ''living'' that brand. The
idea of defining and changing Africa's ''brand'' has to start with its
citizens who stand to lose a lot if the message continues to be contaminated
by bad apples which Africa continues to produce and nurture in their
abundance. The way to address this issue is not through propaganda but
through actions.

For Africans in general, it's very difficult to step back and listen
particularly for the educated and affluent. I submit that this has to be the
starting point. The first stage is for Africa's people to first admit that
Africa has a fundamental image problem whether caused by slavery,
colonialism, imperialism, socialism, communism, etc that needs to be
addressed.

One of the fundamental tenets of branding is consistency. We have only a
certain number of chances to register in people's minds and unless each time
we register, it appears to be making the same point; we don't have much of a
chance. It's advice many African governments would do well to heed. After
all, anti-imperialism and look East agenda is as much about rhetoric and
symbols as it is about genuine development interest of Africa.

If Africans want to lead by example, then, Africa and its family has got to
make sure that its message and actions are consistent. We have seen many
authoritarians hijack the nation-building agendas of a number of African
countries because inherently there are authoritarian undertones in
nation-building strategies. Africa's problem is not just with its
brand-which could scarcely be stronger-but with its product. If you close
your eyes, and think of Africa as a place to do business, what images spring
to mind? Poor, corrupt and hopeless? Or a developing market with huge
untapped potential? Too often, it's the former, which is one reason why the
whole of Africa receives less than 3% of the world's total foreign direct
investment annually.

South Africa where I am now a citizen has blazed the trail in Africa. In
1998, government and business came together to create a "Proudly South
African" campaign. The logo can be licensed by companies for products whose
content is at least 50% local, and who commit themselves to responsible
labor and environmental practices. About 2,500 firms now use the logo, and
are starting to enjoy the benefits. It's all part of a greater focus on
Africa.

The continent's economy grew by about 5% last year, in large part thanks to
improving prices for natural resources, including oil. Foreign direct
investment in Africa, while still a trickle compared to the amounts flooding
into China, is on the rise too. South Africa is the youngest African country
with the biggest white population of a little more than 4 million. South
Africa through its corporate citizens has now become one of the few African
countries to join the global marketplace with products and services that
have originality and reputation.

As we look at Africa's 54 countries and try to locate companies that were
originated by blacks and are led by blacks whose products and services have
helped to reposition the African brand, we struggle to come up with any
meaningful names. Yes, South Africa's companies like Anglo American, South
African Breweries, Old Mutual, Standard Bank, Investec Bank, Dimension Data,
Bidvest, Sanlam, BAT, (the list is long), have now become not only
pan-African players but world class players who share Africa's heritage. But
at the same time, the companies are driven by individuals who would
ordinarily be classified as foreigners in Africa. In fact, many of Africa's
people and governments are cynical about the role of South African capital
in Africa's renaissance and yet they have done little to encourage domestic
capital formation.
.........................................................
I bumped into one Zimbabwean politician who had read my article entitled:
"Is Mugabe Corrupt?" and he expressed his views about Mugabe and felt that I
should not even have asked the question because in his mind there is no
doubt that Mugabe is guilty of corruption. He was adamant that Mugabe cannot
and should not be absolved of the decay in Zimbabwe and he should be
personally identified as culpable and liable for the mess.

As an individual who has also been identified by the state appointed
administrator, Afaras Gwaradzimba, as culpable and liable for my own company's
affairs, I can now understand why my views in the article may have been a
source of misunderstanding. I had not thought through the implications of
Gwaradzimba's appointment by the government of Zimbabwe to steal my
companies under the guise of reconstruction. It was only after the
intervention of this politician who maintained that if I can be held
culpable and liable for the alleged financial state of affairs of my company
by the government, led by President Mugabe, then surely President Mugabe
should be held culpable and liable for impoverishing Zimbabwe.

He argued that it is imperative that Zimbabwe urgently finds an
administrator to take over the affairs of the country and investigate Mugabe
in as much as Gwaradzimba has been appointed to do. Incidentally, I was
shocked to learn that this politician had actually read the Reconstruction
of State-indebted Insolvent Companies Act 2004 that is now the law of the
land in Zimbabwe that allows the government to expropriate private assets
without following any due process of the law.

The law applies retroactively and what is significant is that the state does
not exist at law begging the question of how a person can be indebted to a
ghost. Under this law, any person identified by a partial administrator as
culpable and liable will have his assets forfeited to the state without any
compensation. I was encouraged that the intervention of the Friends of
Zimbabwe Coalition on the property rights question has helped to open the
eyes of many Zimbabweans including politicians who had a nave understanding
of the ramifications of this draconian piece of legislation.

This politician observed that if Mugabe's government can steal companies in
broad daylight how can I dare say that he is not corrupt? I responded saying
that all I wanted to do was to generate debate on Mugabe's legacy and have
come to accept that the expropriation of property rights of blacks will also
be part of the legacy. What was more fundamental in the observation of this
politician was that if the government of Zimbabwe can steal assets and
citizens' human rights, why should anyone trust such a government to hold an
election where it will lose?

I was encouraged to learn that many people are indeed reading my articles
and to the extent that they are helping expand the knowledge base, I am
satisfied that my intervention is directing Zimbabweans and Africans in
general to think hard about what kind of future they deserve and how they
should be governed.

In pursuit of this, there can be no justification of anyone prescribing what
is non-negotiable. For what is sovereignty worth when a government can
operate outside its own laws and how can the challenge of building a new
Africa be addressed when those in power are working constructively to
undermine it?

Without the rule of law and not rule by law, there can never be a new
Africa. Africa can rise to the challenge when its citizens get the respect
from those they have chosen or those that have chosen themselves to lead
Africa understand the true meaning of common citizenship and the need to
create and nurture a new African identity premised on the respect of human
and property rights.

In pursuit of the goal to help create a new Africa found on new values, I am
a member of the Africa Heritage Corporate Council (AHCC) and from now
onwards you can reach me on my new email address: mmawere@ahccouncil.com. I
realise that this mission can only be considered as work in progress
requiring the intellectual and physical resources of all persons concerned
and interested about Africa's destiny.

I know we can create our own identity through enterprise and as Africans we
can made the difference that we enhance our collective profile in a
competitive global environment. Let us invest in challenging the consensus
that Africa should be a conveyer belt for what God has endowed it with in
form of minerals and natural resources to feed the world without its
citizens taking ownership of their resources.

The governments of Africa have consistently underestimated the potential of
citizens in preference for the promise of investment that is solely aimed at
exploiting the resources of Africa. While we are being encouraged to look
East, let us begin to look at ourselves.

As I have said before, the only power people who have no power is the power
to organize. To this end, I welcome all those who are passionate about
Africa to join us in the AHCC family to hopefully invest in bridging the
knowledge, execution and capital gaps that confront us as a people. Our
website address is: www.ahccouncil.com.

Mutumwa Mawere's weekly column appears on New Zimbabwe.com every Monday. You
can contact him at: mmawere@global.co.za


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Zimbabwe Pensions Petitionn - Report

"We, the 1984 petitioners, earnestly and respectfully request that a payment of pension entitlements to ex-residents of Zimbabwe be made a condition of any future aid procedures, and paid at the historic rate of Z$2 to 1 pound Sterling".
Click here to read the report


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Southern African Religious Leaders Urge Zimbabwe Church Unity

VOA

By Patience Rusere
Washington
13 November 2006

Southern African church leaders have urged two Zimbabwe church organizations
to work together more cooperatively, tacitly chiding them for political
differences.

Christian Alliance spokesman Jonathan Gokovah and Churches in Zimbabwe
official Bishop Ambrose Moyo have pledged to press the issue with their
members.

Regional church groups including the Botswana Council of Churches, the
All-African Council of Churches, the South African Council of Churches, and
the South African Catholic Bishops Conference, among others, met in
Johannesburg on the weekend to discuss how churches can help to resolve the
Zimbabwean crisis.

Zimbabwean church groups have launched separate - and to some extent
politically contrary - initiatives aimed at speeding resolution of the
Zimbabwean crisis.

Churches In Zimbabwe, comprising more moderate clergy, seeks dialogue with
the government. Uniting the Zimbabwe Catholics Bishops Conference, the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, it
recently put forth a "national vision" paper titled "The Zimbabwe We Want,"
which it presented first to President Robert Mugabe and then to an overtly
skeptical opposition.

At odds with this conciliatory approach is the Christian Alliance, a church
group that came together in 2005 to provide humanitarian aid to those
displaced by Harare's forced eviction and demolition campaign known as
Operation Murambatsvina. The Christian Alliance, closely linked with
opposition political parties and civic groups, regards the government - and
Mr. Mugabe - as the heart of the problem.

The Christian Alliance has launched an initiative called the Save Zimbabwe
Campaign under which political parties, trade unionists and NGOs have
organized protests.

Reverend Nicholas Mukaronda, a coordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, told reporter Patience Rusere that churches must combine their
resources to help.


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JAG Open Letter Forum No.455

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
jag@mango.zw with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
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Letter 1 - Marion & Adrian Herud

Dear JAG

We will be unable to attend your AGM, being on the other side of the world,
but our appreciation goes to you all. Any chance of seeing the Minutes
afterwards? And maybe transcripts of the speaker's notes? Big ask, I know,
but we are
interested. All the best for the day.

Yours,
Marion Herud

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Letter 2 - B Norton

Dear JAG

My sincere good wishes for the forthcoming meeting. Could you please
publish the minutes of the said meeting.

Have been looking forward to seeing the list of recipients of 99-year lease
& how this will affect the titleholders.

Many thanks
Ben Norton

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Letter 3 - J Kockott

Dear JAG

Thank you for all the efforts you all put in, in trying to
assist us all. I apologise that I will not be able to make the meeting, but
you have my full support in all you do.

I would like to remain a member of your organization, and will visit your
offices whenever I am in Zim to make sure my subs are up to date.

Regards
Jeff Kockott

PS - Did some white farmers actually attend the handing out of 99-year lease
"ceremony". If some did do you think that their name could be made public.
I also sincerely hope CFU did not say anything positive about this either?
Anyone one who willingly assists the government in trying to put positive
spin on the land situation in Zim needs to be "ashamed" of themselves and be
held in the contempt they deserve.

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Letter 4 - Bill Moore

I regret I will be in South Africa when the meeting is on. My apologies.

Dr W Moore

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Letter 5 - G. Watson-Smith

Dear JAG

Your work is hugely appreciated and valued by all of us whether we are in
Zimbabwe currently or not.

I wish you a successful AGM, from France, and would be there if I could.

With thanks and good luck.

Kind regards,
Guy Watson-Smith.

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All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
Agriculture.

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