Rangarirai Mberi News Editor
SENEGALESE President Abdoulaye Wade is on a collision course with South
Africa's Thabo Mbeki after he proposed to lead a committee of five African
leaders to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis and end the country's row with
Wade has proposed that a group of African leaders mediate between Zimbabwe
and Britain, and also between President Robert Mugabe and his internal
Although Wade said Mbeki would be part of this group, it is clear the South
African leader would view such an arrangement as an attempt to diminish his
influence in Zimbabwe.
"We should, at the level of heads of state, together with brother Mbeki,
undertake mediation. I think that Zimbabwe should be treated as an African
problem, to be solved by all African leaders," Wade told reporters yesterday
after meeting President Mugabe.
Asked whether his proposal does not usurp the Mbeki process, Wade retorted:
"Thabo Mbeki does not have the sole right to meet with (President) Mugabe.
“Mbeki has done a lot, but the problem has not been solved", he said.
Late yesterday, Wade met leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) at his hotel, and this could further escalate his old rivalry
with Mbeki. There was no immediate comment from the MDC on the discussions
it held with the Senegalese president.
Wade's bid to broaden mediation efforts in Zimbabwe beyond the ongoing Mbeki
process is unlikely to be supported by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), which has mandated the South African head of state to end
the political impasse in Harare.
President Mugabe himself seemed lukewarm towards Wade's proposal, not
backing it outright, and only saying he remained open to engaging in
dialogue with Britain as suggested by his Senegalese counterpart.
"We have never said 'no' to speaking with them (Britain). It's the other
side that's the problem. We do not know how they expect to solve matters
when they refuse to speak with us," President Mugabe said.
He said he had given Wade “more than he perhaps expected, the history of our
dispute with Britain, all the agreements they have broken, especially on
Two previous planned trips to Zimbabwe by Wade were cancelled with no
official explanation being given.
Both leaders stuck to mandatory diplomatic decorum yesterday, masking deep
suspicion of Wade’s motives within government.
After his visit was aborted, Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru, who is said
to be privy to the thinking within ZANU PF and the government, said Wade was
the "dutiful" African leader who "thinks he can do better than Mbeki in
bringing about a resolution of an impasse, which has already been unlocked."
Government is opposed to a broadening of the mediation to include the rest
of Africa, as this would suggest the country was in "total crisis", one
senior government official told The Financial Gazette yesterday.
Zimbabwean government officials also tried to make much of Wade's disclosure
he would contact British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to brief him on his
talks with President Mugabe.
Brown has said he will not attend next month's EU-AU summit in Lisbon after
Portugal said it would invite President Mugabe.
The quarrel has threatened the entire summit, which other governments on
both sides are anxious to hold.
President Mugabe has strongly resisted all previous attempts to bring the
Zimbabwean crisis to a broader international forum. He has relied on Mbeki
to use South Africa's seat on the United Nations Security Council to keep
Zimbabwe off the UN agenda.
On the sidelines of the last UN general assembly in September, President
Mugabe angrily rejected a proposal by secretary general Ban Ki-moon to send
a UN envoy to Zimbabwe to assess the humanitarian and rights situation in
The meeting was held just days after ZANU PF and the MDC had agreed on
Constitutional Amendment 18, and President Mugabe told Ban this was evidence
the SADC mediation was enough and no international intervention was
President Mugabe would hardly have been pleased last month when Wade called
him "a bad lawyer with a good cause", suggesting he had used the wrong
methods when trying to correct historical wrongs. But President Mugabe said
yesterday Wade was "family".
His involvement in Zimbabwe will however exacerbate his rivalry with Mbeki,
which was evident in the West African's responses to questions from
Wade is a critic of Mbeki's leadership on the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development, and has always tried to dilute Mbeki's influence on the
Last week, Mbeki cancelled a visit to Dakar, citing a clash with the
Commonwealth summit in Uganda.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
A SENIOR military officer and his wife have become victims of an
increasingly bitter turf war between Vice President Joseph Msika and State
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Brigadier Justin Itai Mujaji,
while his wife Pauline has been jailed for two weeks, after they resisted a
court order and a directive by Msika to vacate Karori Farm in Headlands.
The couple seized the land from Charles Lock early this year, triggering a
court battle in which the High Court ruled in favour of the white farmer.
Mujaji and his wife had stayed put on the farm despite the ruling and in
defiance of a directive by Msika for them to leave, saying they had an offer
letter issued by Mutasa, who is in charge of resettlement.
The couple's case escalates a feud between Msika and Mutasa over land
Msika has led a group of senior officials calling for a more orderly
approach to the land reform programme, and has ordered Mutasa to stop any
new land allocations.
At the last ZANU PF politburo meeting, the Vice President dismissed Mutasa's
glowing reports on the state of land reform, and has declared at a workshop
that the exercise was chaotic.
However, an unrepentant Mutasa hit back at his critics two weeks ago,
lashing out at unnamed ZANU PF politicians he accused of campaigning to keep
white farmers on the land.
Lock's eviction is one of many cases at the centre of the row. After Mujaji
invaded his farm, Lock approached Mutasa, who told him to raise the issue
with Manicaland Provincial Governor, Tinaye Chigudu.
Chigudu, in turn, informed Lock he would consult Msika. After meeting Msika,
Chigudu wrote a letter to Lock, part of which said: "As you may recall, the
Acting President Msika asked me, as the Governor of Manicaland, why we had
taken your Karori farm, to which I responded in the negative.
"He, however, proceeded to direct that we should not take Karori farm from
you considering that your other farm had been taken away from you."
Court papers show that following her arrest, Pauline Mujaji served 12 days
Pauline was given a 15-day jail sentence, but served only 12 after filing an
emergency motion saying she had vacated the farm and would not occupy it
An urgent chamber application filed by Brigadier Mujaji to have his
one-month sentence for the same offence quashed was dismissed.
FINANCE Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi's 2008 national budget statement today
will be a key test of government's capacity to deliver a credible election
in the face of a deepening economic crisis.
Talks are underway between ZANU PF and the opposition for a political
environment that allows the successful holding of elections, but the
economic crisis represents a serious threat to the polls, to be held next
The elections will be for President, the House of Assembly, Senate, and
local government, and should be held in one day.
Given a variety of other competing interests, Mumbengegwi will find it a
tall order to adequately fund three distressed bodies that are key to the
successful holding of the elections namely the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC), the Registrar General's (R-G's) Office and the Zimbabwe Republic
ZEC, which is tasked with the overall responsibility of running the
elections, faces such a critical staff shortage that as of October, it had
140 workers out of the 823 required to operate efficiently. ZEC is also
short of vehicles.
When ZEC officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee recently,
they said they had submitted their budget to Treasury in May, and that they
had presented a further budget following the passage of new electoral laws
transferring the delimitation of constituencies from a separate commission.
Estimates submitted were not definite, ZEC said, as it kept updating its
expenditure in line with soaring inflation.
The funding situation is grave at the Home Affairs Ministry, under which the
RG's Office and the ZRP, both important in the election, fall.
Last week, deputy Home Affairs Minister Obert Matshalaga told Parliament
that the RG's Office, which runs the voters' roll and handles identity and
citizenship documents, needs US$6 million immediately for the preparation
for elections and management of its computerised systems.
He said government had decentralised the office's operations by opening over
300 sub-offices countrywide, but that there was inadequate funds for it to
fulfil its mandate.
"As a result, the department opened over 300 sub-offices countrywide in
order to provide these services. Regrettably, it has been a struggle to man
them due to financial constrains," Matshalaga said.
"This decentralisation has taken longer than expected due to limited
funding … we hope to find the resources available in order to complete the
exercise. We need funding for the Registrar General’s Office to do the
The parlous state of government finances is most reflected at the ZRP.
So dire is the situation that deputy police commissioner Levy Sibanda has
revealed that the force is struggling to meet basic obligations such as
uniforms for its recruits.
With only $85 billion left in its coffers in October, the ZRP is unable to
recruit for the election.
The police have only 2 000 vehicles out of a required 15 000, and its
communication network is also in a shambles.
Weeks before the November 2005 Senatorial polls, Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri complained that government placed too much pressure on the
ZRP by expecting it to run elections with money allocated in the annual
budget, without providing a special budget for the polls.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs has also
heard testimony from the RG’s Office's chief accountant, Edwell Mutemaringa,
that the department required $3.5 trillion to print the voters' roll and $8
billion to settle bills before year-end.
However, at present, the RG's Office cannot even meet a tenth of these
Zimbabwe Elections Support Network director Rindai Chipfunde said electoral
bodies faced serious financial difficulties and it remained to be seen
whether they would be adequately catered for in the new budget.
"I think the ZEC needs to have their own consolidated fund, instead of
falling under the Ministry of Justice. This would also help them to be
independent," she added.
Mumbengegwi allocated only $735 billion for the preparations for the
elections in September's supplementary budget for 2007.
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
MORGAN Tsvangirai has been conferring with a group of his top advisers in
South Africa, on the possibility of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
faction’s withdrawal from the Thabo Mbeki mediated talks and a boycott of
elections next year.
Sources said the purpose of the discussions was “to chart the way forward
for the party in the event President Mbeki’s mediation talks do not produce
a full-package” that guarantees that elections to be held in March next year
are free and fair. Sources told The Financial Gazette this week that the MDC
leader, who is fighting to quell discord within his party, was under
pressure from his foreign backers to scuttle Mbeki’s mediation effort seen
leading into a government of national unit.
They said should the talks succeed, President Robert Mugabe would have
scored a major diplomatic victory against his critics who have been working
tirelessly to force him to relinquish power.
Insiders in the Tsvangirai camp said the former trade unionist, who flew to
Johannesburg on Monday, was to hold discussions with his “trusted
lieutenants”, including members of the so-called “Kitchen Cabinet”, some of
whom traveled to South Africa on Tuesday afternoon.
The sources suggested that a boycott of the elections would be high on the
agenda during the deliberations. But for the boycott to have effect, both
factions of the MDC would need to adopt the same position. This is however,
“The South Africa meeting is basically to formulate the way forward, but
there is a hint about boycotting the polls altogether if it is felt the
opposition is not deriving any meaningful concessions from ZANU PF,” said a
There is disgruntlement within the Tsvangirai camp that President Mugabe,
who met President Mbeki to review progress in the talks last Thursday, has
not acceded to some of the demands of the opposition.
The MDC argues it supported the 18th amendment to the Constitution in
exchange for concessions by the ruling party guaranteeing a free and fair
The 18th amendment harmonises the staging of presidential, parliamentary and
local government polls in one day and expands the size of parliament, among
Although new electoral laws gazetted last week, which bar the army and the
police from involvement in the running of elections and requires the public
media to be accessible to the opposition, have been seen as an improvement,
Tsvangirai’s faction is adamant the changes are not enough.
The party, insiders said, would announce its boycott of the polls if
security and media laws were not repealed. The issue of the repeal or
amendment of the Public Order and Security Act, the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act and the Broadcasting Services Act are on the
agenda of the mediated talks, but it is understood some fundamental
differences exist between the negotiating teams.
ZANU PF wants the MDC to call on the West to lift targeted sanctions on
President Mugabe and other members of the ruling elite. It also expects the
MDC to publicly endorse its policy on land reform by declaring it would not
support a reversal of the ruling party’s approach.
Nelson Chamisa, the spokesman for the Tsvangirai camp, was not immediately
available for comment on these developments as he was said to be in South
But Roy Bennett, the camp’s exiled treasurer, confirmed that the Tsvangirai
camp was meeting to discuss strategy.
“We have to convince the people of Zimbabwe that there is merit for them to
participate (in the 2008 elections,” said Bennett.
“Because of a lack of a level playing field and continued violence on the
ground, in the current climate it will be difficult to convince them to
vote, and that their vote will count.”
Tendai Biti, the secretary general of the Tsvangirai camp, who is one of the
two opposition negotiators, has been in South Africa since the weekend.
President Mbeki said last week that he was “very confident” the process
would produce the desired result.
But some reports suggest President Mugabe was annoyed when Mbeki raised the
opposition’s concerns about violence against its supporters.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
THE acrimony between Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Sobusa
Gula-Ndebele has taken a new twist after the Attorney General (A-G)
reinstated a top law officer despite a disciplinary process that had been
instituted by the parent ministry.
Gula-Ndebele, whose future as Attorney General is hanging by the thread,
lifted Lavison Chikafu’s suspension last week despite the fact that the
Justice Ministry was still to reach a determination on bribery allegations
levelled against the Manicaland area prosecutor.
Chikafu was acquitted of receiving bribes by a Harare magistrate two months
His reinstatement flies in the face of a disciplinary hearing convened last
week to look into the same charges. The hearing took place last Thursday and
Friday but the proceedings were adjourned indefinitely after the lapse of
the two days that had been allocated for the case.
Chikafu confirmed the latest development yesterday. He said: “I am back at
work. I started yesterday but the Justice Ministry is pursuing the same
criminal charges even though the courts cleared me. I do not think that is
Sources said the latest turn of events is yet another sign of internecine
conflict between the A–G and his immediate boss.
Chinamasa and Gula-Ndebele have repeatedly clashed over policy and
administrative issues. The Justice Minister has also rejected a proposed law
tabled in parliament to give the A-G’s Office autonomy from the parent
Last year Gula-Ndebele authorised the prosecution of Chinamasa on
obstruction of justice charges but he was acquitted.
The A-G is being investigated for allegedly assuring prominent banker James
Mushore, who had fled to the United Kingdom, that he had no case to answer
despite being on the police’s wanted list.
Mushore was arrested during one of his visits to Zimbabwe and is currently
out on bail facing charges of contravening exchange control regulations and
the Immigration Act.
A search warrant has since been issued against Gula-Ndebele.
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
SOME will come aboard trains, others on buses, and still more perhaps on
some of the scotch-carts the government has been handing out, flooding into
the capital this morning for ZANU PF’s long-awaited “Million Man-Woman
But just a few questions: How do the organisers feed a million people, give
each one a bed and above all, how on earth do they find enough ablution
facilities for Harare to absorb such a sudden surge in its population?
According to Elliot Manyika, the ZANU PF national political commissar, all
logistics pertaining to the march have been sorted out and it is all systems
This suggests that all those participating in the procession should not lose
any sleep over where they will eat or retire for the night after the march,
for they will all be looked after.
The comrades will be wined and dined courtesy of the ruling party as they go
into the final lap to show unbridled support for President Robert Mugabe.
Good sleep and a lot of food will be required, because this will be no
stroll in the park, but a long slog from the ZANU PF headquarters to
Highfield and back.
“Everything is now in place for the march and we have liaied with provincial
chairpersons to ensure that they mobilise people for the major event,” said
But what does the march mean for both the marchers and ordinary Harare
Harare is expected to come to a standstill when the comrades begin their
long walk from the ZANU PF headquarters along the aptly named Rotten Row,
through the central business district, down Willowvale Road to Highfield’s
Zimbabwe Grounds, before retracing their steps into the city centre.
Bringing the marchers to Harare has not been a problem. All normal train
schedules were suspended this week as ZANU PF commandeered all coaches.
But after the mission is completed, how will the comrades be fed? Where do a
million people sleep?
Organisers would not say what the budget for the march is but the comrades
were raring to go, said war veterans information secretary James Kaunye.
Besides, each province has come up with its own budget for the march, and
much of the funding had come from generous donors.
The event is the local comrades’ version of the historic October 16, 1995
Million Man March organised by Louis Farrakhan, the black American leader of
the Nation of Islam.
On that day, Washington DC came to a complete stand still as Farrakhan
mobilised blacks – men only – to stage a massive protest against racism.
The marchers called for “unity, atonement and brotherhood”.
In the wake of one of the largest gatherings ever seen on Washington’s
National Mall, then United States President Bill Clinton was obliged to
issue proclamations against racism.
President Mugabe must be hoping the turnout for tomorrow’s march will
surpass tenfold, the 100 000-strong crowd that welcomed him at Zimbabwe
Grounds on his return from Mozambique.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
THE Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Obert Matshalaga, has told Parliament
that many police stations have been on the verge of closing as the force has
reeled under serious lack of funding.
“It is important for this august House to note that the ZRP (the Zimbabwe
Republic Police) has been under-funded for years resulting in the
deterioration of infrastructure and quality of service. In 2006 ZRP ran out
of operational funds. The minister had to approach Cabinet for additional
funds,” he said.
“The ministry, through ZRP, maintains law and order, and to do that they
need resources. The department has on many occasions gone to Treasury when
police stations were about to close as the department would have run out of
funds to pay for electricity, water bills and other supplementary charges.
The maintenance of peace is not cheap.”
Matshalaga, who is ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Zvishavane, was
responding to a report by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
that had questioned why the Ministry of Home Affairs exceeded its budgetary
Matshalaga defended the over-expenditure, saying in the face of lack of
adequate funding, “sometimes it is better to save life and bear the censure
He added that another department under his ministry, the Registrar General’s
office, which has a backlog of 300 000 passport applications, faces similar
“Every member of this august House has witnessed the meandering queues at
the passport office and at the Registrar General’s offices, the major reason
being the lack of funding needed for consumables … we have had to bear the
brunt. Complaints have at times turned into insults, and threatened
violence. I loathe having to use the police to quell a disturbance within a
sister department like the Registrar General.”
He said the Public Financial Management System that Treasury introduced was
not user-friendly and the ministry’s submissions to Treasury on the problem
had fallen on deaf ears.
Unlike other ministers that have criticised reports by parliamentary
committees, the deputy minister thanked members of the PAC for highlighting
weaknesses within the Ministry of Home Affairs, saying some of the
recommendations in the report would be taken on board.
Clemence Manyukwe Staff Reporter
THE ZANU PF politburo has censured the national youth executive, chaired by
Absolom Sikhosana, and rescinded the wing’s “unprocedural” suspension of the
ruling party’s Manicaland youth executive, a move seen by insiders as part
of wider conflict within the party.
The politburo made the decision at its last meeting early this month
following representations by members of the Manicaland Provincial
Coordinating Committee (PCC), chaired by provincial Governor Tinaye Chigudu,
which is opposed to the move.
Members of the Manicaland PCC include National Security Minister and ZANU PF’s
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, Women’s League boss Oppah
Muchinguri and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association
secretary for information and publicity, James Kaunye.
Sikhosana spearheaded the suspension of the Manicaland youth executive, led
by ZANU PF Chipinge legislator Enock Porusingazi, in a move party officials
have linked to the party’s continuing factional fighting.
In an interview on Tuesday, ZANU PF Manicaland provincial spokesperson
Kenneth Saruchera said Porusingazi’s executive was the “legitimate one.”
“The position is that the PCC, when it sat, said the youth committee should
remain in place. The PCC is the supreme court of the province,” he said.
Sources said the Manicaland PCC was disgruntled that the suspension had been
effected with neither its knowledge nor the consent of national political
commissar Elliot Manyika.
Sources said the politburo endorsed the provincial committee’s decision and
censured the youth executive, but Saruchera could not comment on this latest
development, referring questions to secretary for information Nathan
Shamuyarira, who was unreachable.
ZANU PF plans to bar members who are over 30 years of age from serving in
the youth executive, a move that should see Sikhosana and Saviour Kasukuwere
losing their posts, and also relinquishing their positions in both the
central committee and the politburo, which they hold as representatives of
I will speak to Zimbabwe's political opposition . . . I too was an
opposition leader for 27 years
SENEGALESE President Abdoulaye Wade was in Zimbabwe yesterday, meeting
President Robert Mugabe and suggesting a wider role for Africa in ending the
impasse between Zimbabwe and Britain. Here, he writes exclusively for The
Financial Gazette on his efforts.
AS an African I am at home in Zimbabwe.
It is important that I reiterate that I have not been mandated in anyway or
by anyone to come to Zimbabwe.
I have no agenda other than my own. I came from Senegal at my own
initiative, much in the same way as I have visited a dozen African countries
at times of conflict and tension.
Why? Because I am committed to helping our continent solve its own problems
and advance in its most difficult challenges. That's why, as the friction
heats up in Europe, I have come this distance to see President Mugabe.
In over 10 years, we have seen little progress in resolving the struggle
that Zimbabwe has had with Europe, especially the United Kingdom, despite
the earnest and noble efforts of President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who
has continued to work diligently.
But the reality is that no one country alone can resolve international
We must understand that no single nation can help Zimbabwe. Africa has not
done enough to come to the assistance of this nation. I come to Harare as an
individual leader, but with a larger sense of African responsibility.
On the eve of the highly-important EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon next month, it
is essential that African leaders engage in dialogue with European leaders;
our economic and political welfare is not served if key players do not
It would be unfortunate if the United Kingdom were to choose to be isolated
by this quagmire. I plan to speak directly to Prime Minister Gordon Brown
following my conversations here with President Mugabe.
It is as a pan-Africanist and above all a man of goodwill that I wish to sit
down with my African brother. I may fail to bring about anything positive,
but at least I will have tried.
I also will speak to Zimbabwe's political opposition. Knowing more is
essential. As readers know, I too had been an opposition leader for 27 years
so I can fairly say that I know something about this subject.
I have clearly stated to the international press on numerous occasions that
the internal affairs of a sovereign nation should not be meddled with by
another head of state, and thus whether I agree or not with President
Mugabe's domestic politics is not relevant to my presence in Zimbabwe or to
More concretely, I believe that Africa must enlarge its mechanisms for
inter-African dialogue, and thus I have recommended to President Mugabe that
a committee of five African Heads of State — which may of course include
President Mbeki — be constituted to assist in the normalisation of relations
between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. I am here as a facilitator to this
One must remember that the problems at the heart of Zimbabwe's diplomatic
impasse go far beyond Zimbabwe itself. And thus Africa must show much
greater solidarity in treating historical injustices.
None of us had chosen to be colonised. African leaders left President Mugabe
alone to resolve the imbalance of land ownership, and we should have been
collectively more involved.
Fundamentally, President Mugabe, it must be said, has a justified cause, an
African cause. No one wanted to assume the responsibility for compensating
white land owners. Perhaps the EU now will have to own this task?
There are also sanctions against this country, and Africa has done little to
have these removed. That too, I am in Zimbabwe to address.
My entourage and I travelled a long way yesterday — an eight hour flight
from Dakar — at my own country's expense, with a firm belief that no
problem, not even those that are big, old, and complicated, are too daunting
to be solved. And, when it concerns the collective reputation of the African
continent and its dynamic march toward a new era of economic and political
emergence, I want the people of Zimbabwe to know that their great-uncle in
Senegal is not far away.
Abdoulaye Wade is the President of Senegal and one of Africa's most senior
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
“Sharp, sharp.” This was the response of war veterans’ leader Jabulani
Sibanda when asked about preparations for tomorrow’s “million man and woman
march”, in support of President Robert Mugabe as the ruling ZANU PF
presidential candidate for 2008 presidential polls.
A number of marches have already been held to turn up the heat on President
Mugabe’s rivals within the ruling party and to show his critics the veteran
politician still has the people’s backing, but tomorrow, war veterans and
other ruling party supporters take the battle to the opposition by marching
through the Movement for Democratic Change strongholds such as Highfield.
However, for many, tomorrow’s march marks the first of many steps to be
taken by President Mugabe to have his party declare him, officially,
“President for life”.
Sibanda, whose leadership of war veterans in the marches has sparked bitter
disagreement between the President and his most senior officials, said “a
million” supporters would march in procession from ZANU PF headquarters to
Zimbabwe Grounds in the volatile high-density suburb of Highfield.
The irony here is obviously not lost on President Mugabe.
Zimbabwe Grounds was the scene of clashes between opposition activists and
police in March that led to the arrest of opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and more than 50 of his allies. They ended up in hospital nursing
serious injuries from beatings they suffered while in police custody.
Shortly afterwards, amid an international and domestic outcry over the
battering of the opposition and civic leaders, President Mugabe cited the
controversy to convince a meeting of the ZANU PF central committee that the
country was under siege, and only he could defend it.
Since then, he has maintained the momentum, making sure all probable
opponents fall into line, and he now probably feels the timing is right to
come out in the open with his ambition to have himself declared life
Highfield, one of the oldest townships in the country and Zimbabwe Grounds,
remain the launch pads for democratic change in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe
held his star rally for the first democratic elections in Rhodesia at the
Zimbabwe Grounds. This is where he predicted his majority victory in the
elections that followed.
Tomorrow, his supporters will invoke memories of the struggle with
processions past the old homes of President Mugabe and the late Vice
President Joshua Nkomo in Highfield.
Their route will include a march past Mushandirapamwe Hotel, where
nationalists used to meet to plot resistance to white settler rule.
The procession caps a series of marches across the country for President
Mugabe, whose supporters regard him as the only person fit to rule Zimbabwe,
despite a worsening economic crisis.
Eldred Masunu-ngure, a political analyst who teachers political science at
the University of Zimbabwe, said it was puzzling why the war veterans were
still undertaking the marches when pretenders to President Mugabe’s throne
had thrown in the towel.
“Initially it was understandable given the lack of consensus around the
issue of a single candidate for the 2008 presidential election,” said
Masunu-ngure. “But now it is a puzzle, which the media needs to unravel.
This last minute show of force is now overkill.”
Masunungure said there could possibly be some remaining pockets of
resistance, and therefore President Mugabe intended to demonstrate his
muscle on the eve of the ZANU PF congress.
“I suspect there may be some rumblings of discontent or disgruntlement and
he wants to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt through a massive
demonstration,” he said.
Almost all of the ZANU PF political provinces and the women’s and youth
wings, have held marches to back President Mugabe’s candidacy for next year’s
elections, as the central committee has done.
At the weekend, Mashonaland Central, led by Vice President Joice Mujuru,
declared its support for President Mugabe.
So, could there be a more sinister reason for the continuing marches?
Analysts see the processions as a strategy by the President to ensure he
secures an official declaration by his party as life president.
“It is the last lap to show everyone who cares to notice that President
Mugabe is on his way to becoming life president of ZANU PF, and possibly the
country,” said political analyst Takura Zhangazha.
Just as he used war veterans to bully his rivals into submission, there
could be a possibility that a similar strategy could be employed, this time
for President Mugabe to push the rest of the party into extending his rule
Would doing so however, not compromise ZANU PF’s reputation for projecting
itself as a democratic institution?
Analysts cite President Mugabe’s frequent use of war veterans who were at
the vanguard of farm occupations at the inception of the controversial land
reform programme about seven years ago, to intimidate opponents.
The former freedom fighters effectively silenced any presidential hopefuls
within the ruling party by declaring the veteran nationalist as ZANU PF’s
candidate for next year’s presidential elections.
The ruling party’s extraordinary congress will be held on December 11-15 at
the Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium. The main agenda is to endorse
President Mugabe as ZANU PF’s candidate for next year’s presidential
Political analysts say the message conveyed by the solidarity marches is of
growing opposition to President Mugabe’s leadership within the ruling party,
hence the incorporation of war veterans to silence dissenting lieutenants.
Njabulo Ncube Political Editor
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has asked the new United States ambassador to
Zimbabwe, James McGee, to work towards facilitating the improvement of
relations between the two countries, which have been strained for years
because of serious political differences.
But the US envoy insists the ball is in Harare’s court.
President Mugabe made his overtures last Thursday when the US envoy
presented his credentials at State House, McGee said last Friday.
The ambassador said he would send the appropriate signals to Washington if
President Mugabe and his government demonstrated they were serious about
“We talked about the history of Zimbabwe. He chooses his words very
carefully, as a bright, learned person. He asked me to work with him to
improve relations between our two countries,” said McGee. “I am not a
psychologist, but if President Mugabe shows that he genuinely wants to
improve relations, as it is my job here as the US ambassador, I will then
send the signal to Washington.”
“I will report the facts to my government. If the US government sees it fit
to change its policy on Zimbabwe, I have no doubt they will do that.”
McGee said it was vital that Harare and Washington moved towards restoring
“But firstly, the government here should ensure that there are free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe next year. This, I think, should be the first
US-Zimbabwe relations became frosty over the controversial land reform
programme and disputed parliamentary elections in 2000.
In 2003, the US backed sanctions imposed a year earlier by the European
Union on President Mugabe and his senior officials by enacting a law banning
US economic interests from Zimbabwe and barring top government and ZANU PF
figures from travelling to the US.
McGee, however, refuted charges that the sanctions have crippled Zimbabwe’s
economy, insisting the restrictions only affected the ruling elite and not
“What we have here are targeted sanctions. So every time you write about the
targeted sanctions put the word ‘targeted’ before the word ‘sanctions’. If
we had general sanctions, we would not be having a visa section here or
talking to some of you here. We are aware the targeted sanctions are working
because some people in government are complaining they are not able to visit
Ordinary people could not be suffering on the grounds that the political
leaders were unable to travel to the US, he stressed.
“If there is one thing that the US will not do, it is to allow the ordinary
people of Zimbabwe to starve. That is why we are giving more than US$200
million in assistance.”
The US was open to discussions with Harare on the targeted sanctions, he
“If the government wants to discuss the targeted sanctions they can start
here at the embassy.”
Asked whether he would adopt a different approach from the robust style of
his predecessor Christopher Dell, McGee said: “The US policy regarding
Zimbabwe has not changed. I will speak about facts. It is a fact that the US
will want to see some changes in Zimbabwean government policies. I am not
here to stick my fingers in the eye of the Zimbabwean government, but if
there are human rights abuses, I will say so by speaking out.”
He said the US remained committed to seeing free and fair elections next
year through which the people of Zimbabwe can express their will.
Shame Makoshori Staff Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has begun deploying its officials across
the country to spearhead the proposed change of the country’s currency under
the second phase of Operation Sunrise.
Surging inflation has forced the central bank to change and re-base the
currency for the second time in 15 months.
Sources close to the currency programme said senior RBZ officials held
meetings on Tuesday to finalise the deployment of staff into provinces.
They said indications were that the new currency could be introduced during
the first or second week of December, as hinted by a central bank order for
depositors to bring in extra cash by Saturday.
But it was not clear if the new notes would be used concurrently with the
existing bearer cheques during the changeover. The bearer cheques currently
in issue were only introduced in August last year under Phase 1 of the
“Members of the advance teams will be deployed to the provinces where they
come from,” a source close to the developments said.
“Staff would be paid $1.5 billion for the operation. Officers could start
moving to the provinces today (yesterday).”
“The new currency could come into circulation during the first or second
December. But no dates have been given.”
RBZ governor Gideon Gono said the bank had already secured approval from
government legalising the currency switch.
An RBZ official said: “When we were re-basing the currency last year, we
also had such a legal instrument. The instrument will be used to identify
the name of the currency, the denomination range, when it will expire, or
whether the RBZ will be allowed to co-use the old and the new currencies.”
Gono said last week he would launch the new currency as part of measures to
deal with the parallel market activities he blamed for the current cash
THE ongoing job action by some magistrates, being the first of its kind
since independence, has brought about unimaginable chaos in the lower
What is shocking is not only the extent of violation of people’s rights as a
result of this crisis, but the apathy that has been shown by the responsible
Such a serious lack of interest in addressing the economic and social
demands of these important court officials confirm the simple truth that
those in government see magistrates as less relevant in their larger scheme
Contrast the present impasse with what transpired early in the year when
judges raised the alarm about their appalling working conditions. In a
matter of days, a panicky and embarrassed government ran around and secured
vehicles, computers and other benefits for judges. However, it is now over a
month since the industrial action by magistrates began but reports confirm
that government has little or no interest at all in immediately meeting the
demands of these court officials.
For just this one month, which to those in the legal fraternity and some
justice seeking members of the public appears to be an eternity, the wheels
of justice have almost ground to a halt. If no drastic remedial action is
taken, then it is more than likely that the same wheels of justice might
come off to the total embarrassment of many including those expected to be
at the forefront of solving this problem.
I have said it before and I will say it now that no country, let alone a
community can function normally without a sound system of justice. The
soundness of such a system entails that it be well funded, be absolutely
free of corruption, political manipulation and other vices.
With the developments that are currently unfolding, one is left in no doubt
that our entire legal system is being exposed to disrepute and rebuke with
each day that passes without government addressing the legitimate grievances
of magistrates and other court officials who have joined the job action in
sympathy with their colleagues.
The major victims of government’s lack of action are neither the ruling
party politicians nor senior government functionaries, but the common man
and business organisations relying on the lower courts for justice. The
sheer extent of violation of people’s rights resulting from this hardly
publicised job action is heart-rending.
Prisoners awaiting trial, whose freedom is daily being undermined because
magistrates are unavailable to try them, are the other victims. Not many of
these suspects can have their bail applications and trials attended to on
time or at all. To some of these individuals, who are only suspects and
therefore in the eyes of the law presumed innocent, every minute spent in
prison is a gross violation of their right to freedom, and to a trial within
a reasonable time.
Even complainants expecting justice in the criminal courts are also being
let down. The same story goes for litigants who have filed matters in the
civil courts in search of remedies. Maintenance applications, custody
applications, evictions and many other disputes of a civil nature are not
being heard, in the process further worsening the already precarious case
It still boggles the mind as to why if judges’ grievances could be addressed
in so short a time, and traditional leaders could receive unsolicited
bountiful benevolence from government, why are magistrates not accorded
their deserved respect.
As I stated earlier, in government’s larger scheme of things, their
political interests are better served through pampering traditional leaders
than taking care of the pressing needs of our esteemed judicial officers. I
will bet my last dollar and swear that had the present industrial action
involved traditional leaders, government would have long intervened with
more than expected largesse to silence these officials.
It is high time that magistrates and all important court officials like
prosecutors got better treatment from government, not only because of the
nature of their work, but also because of the high respect accorded to these
officials by the community at large.
For a long time government has hoodwinked these officials, promising them
better remuneration and benefits and all these promises turning out to be
pie in the sky. For a along time, magistrates and prosecutors have endured
embarrassment, dehumanisation and the degrading experience of being scoffed
at and looked down upon by criminals and litigants who appear before them.
For most of the magistrates, public transport used by the same criminals
they pass adverse judgments against is their only means of getting home. The
story does not end there, a good number of these officials are lodgers
residing in unpleasant premises unbefitting their status as judicial
officers. All these negative factors pose a great hazard to their lives and
those of their families bur no one in officialdom appears to care.
Faced with such hostile working conditions, the possibility of some of them
succumbing to bribery and patronage of accused persons and some litigants
becomes obvious. It is totally unacceptable that the majority, if not all
magistrates are pedestrians when criminals appearing before them drive the
To the list of victims of this industrial action, I also need to add legal
practitioners in private practice. If there is no business being conducted
in the lower courts, it means lawyers already faced with huge operational
costs as a result of the negative economic factors can not earn enough fees.
Unfortunately, and to the advantage of the striking court officials,
government has not taken its usual confrontational stance and threatened to
dismiss them en masse because their expertise is not readily available. Had
they been school teachers whose shoes can easily be filled in by recruits
from the youth training institutes, I am almost certain that they would have
been fired a along time ago.
Africa File with Mavis Makuni
THE Africa File instalment in the November 15-21 issue of The Financial
Gazette elicited a response from Herald columnist, Godwills Masimirembwa,
who seemed to have missed the point I was making when I said British prime
minister Gordon Brown could be vindicated if Zimbabwe carried out its threat
to cause a "showdown" when the European Union-Africa Summit is held in
Lisbon in just over a week's time.
This, however, did not surprise me as the columnist's penchant for
classifying ideas into pre-determined categories extended even to my person.
In his lengthy article, he referred to me no less than three times as "my
sister, Mavis" or "Mavis, my sister." He, however made sure to cite himself
as "this writer" and his Herald colleague simply as Caesar Zvayi, without
resorting to any indulgent terms to imply a superior-subordinate situation.
In a patriarchal society with a political culture of intolerance for
divergent views, such condescending references are repugnant and are a
barrier to objective communication and debate. I therefore, hereby give
notice to Masimirembwa that I express views in my columns as your equal, as
a Zimbabwean with as much right as yourself to comment on events in my
country. In doing so, I do not defer to you on the basis of gender or any
other reason and you should not patronise me as your "sister" to be preached
to or talked down to. With that clearing of the air out of the way, let me
now return to the main issue.
The diplomatic row over whether or not Zimbabwe should be invited to the
summit in Portugal erupted after Brown had threatened to boycott the event
because he believed the presence of Zimbabwe's head of state, President
Robert Mugabe, would turn the meeting into a media circus. My observation
that this could indeed happen was made after a story had been published in
the official press quoting government officials threatening that there would
be a repeat of the public display witnessed at the Earth Summit in South
Africa in 2002 when the Zimbabwean head of state blasted Tony Blair in
particular and the West in general for meddling in the affairs of African
Masimirembwa took this observation to mean that I had advocated that
Zimbabwe should be "put on trial", which I deny categorically.
Yes, I argued, and still argue that if Zimbabwe has nothing to hide, there
should be no trepidation about explaining its position convincingly without
any grandstanding, with respect to the accusations of repressive governance
and human rights abuses consistently levelled against it. It is a deliberate
misinterpretation, in my opinion, to say that any country about which issues
are raised at international gatherings at which it is an equal partner is on
Masimirembwa says: "Who will ask questions about Zimbabwe's human rights
record, about governance issues in Zimbabwe" in the same breath as he rails
against the "illegal sanctions" imposed on the country's leadership by the
selfsame EU. Does he want readers to believe he has forgotten the reasons
the EU and the United States have advanced for resorting to the travel bans
and other restrictions imposed on those on the targeted sanctions list?
My argument is that it does not make sense to make all the noise that has
been made about regime change and illegal sanctions at home and then recoil
at the prospect of presenting the crafters and imposers of these measures
with convincing facts to show why they are wrong in maintaining and renewing
The Herald columnist knows as everyone does that the ruling party has made
the lifting of sanctions one of the conditions for its participation in the
talks between it and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which are
being mediated by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki. ZANU PF has insisted
that the MDC should call for the lifting of sanctions although the
opposition is not the government of the day. It, however, would presumably
have to appeal to the very same EU that is hosting the Lisbon summit.
The apparent unwillingness of the government to fight its own battles when
the need or opportunity arises, gives the unfortunate impression that it
would prefer to use the MDC as a "shield" instead. If the government is
sincere in claiming that it wants sanctions lifted because they are hurting
the ordinary person, it should be prepared to prove once and for all that it
is falsely being accused of the abuses the EU and its allies have cited for
imposing the bans. These blocs have spelt out the improvements they want to
see before lifting the targeted sanctions. These improvements will not
benefit the EU and its allies but the people of Zimbabwe.
It has to be said that when you declare a war as Zimbabwe says it has done
against the West, it is unrealistic to insist that you will fight it on your
own terms because you are bound to encounter all types of terrain. Those you
are supposed to be fighting will respond, justifiably or not, as they deem
fit. It is therefore important to know when to hold fire, retreat or
advance. Unless a war is waged purely for its own sake, without regard to
national interests, I submit it is neither astute nor practical to have one
stock answer such as sovereignty, to fit all eventualities. Solutions to
problems should be designed to fit specific situations.
Masimirembwa paid tribute to President Mugabe for articulating African
causes on the international arena. He will agree that doing this entails
questioning and denouncing the policies and actions of other countries and
their leaders. The President would not be able to make speeches such as the
one at the Earth Summit and those he delivers at the United Nations if
regular targets of his attacks like United States President George Bush and
Tony Blair's successor Gordon Brown complained that such scrutiny meant
their countries were being put on trial.
Zhean Gwaze Staff Reporter
THIRTY-FOUR year old Nqobani is usually optimistic and upbeat. But the
worsening economic woes in Zimbabwe are making the burden unbearable for the
HIV-positive father of three.
“I always thought that I would continue living a normal life, but the
situation is perpetually changing, especially the cost of medication. It
baffles me to hear that the theme for this year’s commemorations (for World
Aids Day) is ‘leadership’. I wonder whether there is any hope for people
like me,” Nqobani says.
“Leadership; Keep the promise. Stop Aids” is the universal theme for the
2007 World Aids Day commemorations on December 1.
Zimbabwe has adopted a sub theme: “Leadership; lets all take the lead in
HIV/Aids prevention and care”.
Lindiwe Chaza-Jangira, director of Zimbabwe Aids Network, a coalition of
organisations working on HIV and Aids in the country, says the theme must be
demonstrated at every level to get ahead of the disease.
The commemorations cap a year in which Zimbabwe announced a decline in HIV
incidence rates to 15.6 percent for adults between the ages of 15-49 years
in 2007, down from 18 percent last year.
In a statement applauding this rare achievement, the United Nations
Development Programme country office said overall HIV prevalence among
antenatal clinic attendees (pregnant women) decreased from 25.7 percent in
2002 to 21.3 percent (2004) and to 17.7 percent in 2006.
At the government level, Zimbabwe has shown leadership commitment through
the establishment of the HIV/Aids and TB unit, headed by Owen Mugurungi,
under the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, and the Zimbabwe National
HIV and Aids Strategic Plan (2006-2010) administered by the National Aids
However, although these are signs of improved government commitment, the
number of people on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) remains low.
Mugurungi said recently that the government plans to increase the number of
people on ART from the current 90 000 to 180 000 by 2008,and aims to achieve
universal access by 2010.
He, however, pointed out that the universal target might not be achieved by
2010 because of funding challenges.
There are 1.6 million HIV positive Zimbabweans and 300 000 are in need of
Mugurungi said although the government had scored successes in advocacy for
the use of condoms, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and a marked
reduction in prevention of mother to child transmission, HIV and Aids was
still the biggest challenge the country faced.
At least 2 500 deaths are recorded per week from HIV/Aids related illness.
Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue to weaken an overburdened health delivery
system, with this month’s increases in doctors’ consultation fees moving
basic medical care even further beyond the reach of most.
An inflation rate of about 14,000 percent has seen the cost of medical
tests, such as CD4 count, important for monitoring the virus, rise to above
“It’s unaffordable, yet it is necessary for you to know how you are
responding to ART,” said Nqobani.
A parliamentary report has pointed out that the health sector continues to
decline, citing strikes by health personnel, the brain drain, ageing
equipment and infrastructure, incomplete projects, a lack of drugs and the
inaccessibility of health services, especially at primary level, and the
collapse of the referral system.
The private sector has in the past not shown much commitment vis-ą-vis the
pandemic, despite the existence of the Zimbabwe Business Council on Aids.
However, the Zimbabwe National Strategic Framework for the Private Sector
Response to HIV and AIDS, which aims to step up private sector participation
in the fight against AIDS, was to be launched.
But Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis is one of the biggest threats
to sustaining its successes.
Recently, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria once again
rejected a request from Zimbabwe for aid.
The Global Fund has turned down Zimbabwean proposals in five of seven
funding rounds to date, citing the “technical shortcomings” of the
Zimbabwe is also one of many African countries yet to meet the terms of the
Abuja Declaration, under which African leaders pledged to allocate 15
percent of their national budgets to health.
Only one-third of African countries are spending over 10 percent.
The Clinton Foundation and the Bill Gates Foundation are among organisations
that have shown commitment with regard to the scourge, and in Zimbabwe, the
Clinton Foundation has provided funding towards treatment for children.
However, Jangira stressed that the country should not rely solely on foreign
aid, but prioritise its own resources to fight the scourge.
Experts say Zimbabwe should help boost production at the only two producers
of ARVs, Varichem and CAPS.
THE situation is getting really desperate. The young and the old, men and
women, some with children strapped on their backs, stagger in the long and
exhausting bank queues, waiting to withdraw their hard-earned cash from
The pain is aggravated by the fact that this is their money; most have
worked hard to earn it, and it should, by right and not as a favour, be
available on demand when they want it.
Yet banks are saying they have no cash, turning away clients or forcing them
to wait long hours in the banking halls for the next teller to get cash from
a depositor so he or she can pay out the next client in the long queue. The
Automated Teller Machines are also empty, and where a few dollars have been
fed into the sealed units, the queues are equally too long and exhausting.
Whereas the maximum withdrawal limit for individuals is $20 million, banks
are restricting withdrawals to $5 million, only enough to buy a kilogramme
of chicken. Yet people still need to send their kids to school, eat, pay
their bills etc.
At a time when Zimbabweans should put their shoulders behind the wheel to
get the country's economy out of the woods, productive time is being spent
in bank queues.
The desperation written all over the faces in these depressing queues is
breeding corruption, which is already endemic in Zimbabwe.
In the final analysis, it has boiled down to a blame game. You ask the
bankers where the cash has gone, they tell you the central bank is not
giving them enough money from its vaults to meet daily cash requirements.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says bankers are stashing their resident
vaults with cash from depositors, and not passing on the money.
The financial institutions, RBZ says, have "become key grey market deal
facilitators", channelling huge cash amounts to the black market to buy
foreign currency, which they hedge against inflation or sell at a premium.
Indeed huge sums of money are circulating in the informal economy, and the
black market barons remain unaffected by the cash crisis. Threats by the
central bank of an impending Sunrise II could not move them either.
But ordinary folks are in pain, and it is sad that they cannot get what they
worked hard for during the week or month because the vaults are empty. The
situation is made even more agonizing by the fact that the electronic
payment systems are not functioning as efficiently as they should, creating
a further burden for people whose cash is in the banks.
There has been a surge in the use of plastic money as a result of the cash
crunch, but reports from the banking sector indicate that this has stretched
the system. Point of Sale (POS) terminals in most retail outlets, which were
inundated with increased demands from customers, were down in almost all
shops across the capital this week. They have been overwhelmed, and are
failing to cope.
But part of the POS disaster is the poor telecommunication system linking
these terminals with banking institutions, or power outages that cripple the
system. Throughout the week, there were power outages within the central
business district, and people could not buy from shops because they did not
have the cash and the POS terminals were down because of power cuts.
In several retail outlets where power had not been cut off, management
indicated telecommunication problems had hamstrung the operation of POS
Indeed, there is growing agitation among the people over the cash crisis. It
is sad if someone cannot pay for badly needed drugs from a pharmaceutical
shop because there is no cash and the POS machines are down from power
outages or telecommunication problems.
In fact, systems linking drug firms with medical aid societies for members'
drug purchases were reportedly down during the week, and desperate patients
failed to purchase drugs because all systems conspired against them.
It is disturbing when one comes across an employee, whose money is locked up
in the bank because they can't pay him or her the cash, walking 15 to 20
kilometres because he or she has no money for transport. One has the option
to use a debit or credit card for purchases if the system is functioning,
but getting back home on a commuter omnibus or train will require ready
money — the conductors do not have swipe machines to make one pay for one's
transport fare home or to work.
Besides, the fact about this economy is that it is now largely informal, and
so people need ready money to buy basics from the informal market because
they are not available on the formal market.
The current cash crisis requires urgent intervention, and cash barons
dealing on the streets had better send back that money to the banks so that
it benefits everyone in the economy.
The RBZ also needs to urgently put in place mechanisms to mop up that cash,
which has strayed outside the formal banking system, to inspire confidence
in the banking sector.
Otherwise everyone holding cash will see no reason for keeping their money
in the bank if they cannot withdraw it when needed.
Let’s not abandon the truth
EDITOR — Everyone worldwide, has criticised the land policy of President
Robert Mugabe, and without doubt, he has lost the plot, but, what the world
has failed to understand is that there are several fundamental issues to the
land appropriation commissioned by President Mugabe.
The first is that, by and large, and generally, the Rhodesian farmers
remained white racist colonials to the day of their eviction, neither
acceding to change, nor giving credence to the right for equality and the
restoration of the dignity of man.
Secondly, notwithstanding that most Zimbabwean farmers, had perhaps paid for
their land at the outset, it was that same land that was originally stolen
by white settlers from black Zimbabweans; theft is a continuing crime, an
illegitimate act is not legitimised by subsequent legal conduct, that is
trite law, internationally.
In keeping with colonial tradition, the blacks had been so marginalised and
exploited by the white colonials, that they had little or no hope of ever
re-acquiring land that they, in any event, had originally owned and were
unlawfully dispossessed of.
Thirdly, in the 25 years after liberation, the now Zimbabwean (but many
still called themselves Rhodesian) white farmers had done little or nothing
to support the current government, which had, by the grace of God, been
wholly responsible for keeping them on the land.
Instead they were arrogant, rapacious and greedy and shared little with
those whose toils spawned the riches and spoils the colonial farmers
Instead the white farmers, like gluttons, hoarded much and, believing they
were indispensable, taunted President Mugabe, with their "ownership" and the
"food security" they provided, at the expense of the "dignity of man."
Fourthly, their misguided support for Morgan Tsvangirai, David Coltart and
others, who I know well, and have personal experience with, was short
sighted and ill-conceived.
Seldom does a yapping hyena succeed in overthrowing a roaring lion.
Tsvangirai is by no means the answer to Zimbabwe, neither is Coltart.
The white farmers and the Movement for Democratic Change were and remain
cowards born of opportunists. The real opposition has not arisen yet.
Fifthly, within the Lancaster House agreement, it was agreed and full
consensus was reached, that Britain would shoulder the full responsibility
to compensate the white farmers whose land and accessories were
expropriated; not the fledgling Zimbabwe government.
It was Tony Blair who reneged on that agreement, turning his back on the
colonists his Queen had sent to colonise Africa.
No matter how irrational President Mugabe is deemed to be, it was still not
his government's responsibility to compensate the white farmers for the land
or machinery it expropriated.
It was the duty and the contractual obligation of Britain.
Yet, when it counted most, Britain repudiated the agreement and became the
Britain abandoned the colonists it had originally dispatched to steal the
land and exploit the indigenous people while sending the ensuing riches back
Then, when those colonialists requested residence back in their mother
country, Britain said: "No, you no longer have British passports."
Sixth, I have personally seen the endless atrocities committed by whites on
the hapless, ignorant, uneducated blacks. I was there. I was a farmer too,
remember, before I became a lawyer.
In those days I had fair-weather friends who abandoned me the minute I stood
for the truth.
I watched Ben Norton sjambok his boss-boy (sic) and I watched him kick a
retarded man off his farms who had nowhere else to go, and the helpless,
hopeless man died a pauper’s death.
They're liars who jumped on the pity wagon and the truth has never been
disclosed. You don't have to love President Mugabe to acknowledge the truth.
There are many fine Zimbabweans who oppose the anarchy President Mugabe
imposes; but in opposition, one does not have to abandon the truth that is
and will always be.
Seventh, you, the (white) world, who beat their chests and cry "foul", never
saw the endless tears that ran down the hearts of the gentle, hardworking,
free Africans the colonialists drove them into Tribal Trust Lands (barren
desolate tribal trust lands) and forced them into slavery and paid them
pittances, depriving them of the most fundamental rights and liberties.
As in South Africa, the blacks have a justifiable grievance against the
whites (here the apartheid Dutchman). The end result, which you have to
judge for yourself, is whether it was better for the African to live under
white colonial domination while they (the whites) provided food security
(they surely provided nothing else but misery because whatever they did, was
for the whites and which the blacks were deprived of); or is "the dignity of
I personally, would rather be free, than be a slave.
NIPC should let business breathe
EDITOR — An article in last Thursday’s issue of The Chronicle was about the
secondment of economists to the National Incomes and Pricing Commission
Economic principle will tell you that as long as prices are dictated there
will be supply constraints.
Instead of wasting time, those economists seconded to the NIPC should
explore how they can influence decision-makers to free up markets and allow
business to operate normally.
This will save the NIPC and the police wasting the little fuel they seldom
have going to check the price of a non-existent loaf of bread at an empty
Efficiency results when components of a society occupy the positions they
are qualified to occupy.
Business should be allowed to operate viably and continue to create
employment opportunities. Government should concentrate on governing and
retired army personnel should concentrate on retirement.
Africa deserves its basket-case label
EDITOR — Africa deserves to be identified as a continuously deluded
basket-case continent. This image has recently been augmented by the current
African Union commission chairman.
With regard to the forthcoming EU-AU Lisbon summit there is more evidence of
just how out of symmetry Africa is with the civilised world.
As a measure of typical AU buffoonery, just one statement by African Union
commission chairman Alpha Oumar Konare is enough to expose the intellectual
and capacity chasm between Africa and the relevant emerged world.
Konare recently said that the upcoming European Union/Africa summit would be
a measure of the bloc's willingness to enter an "equitable and equal"
partnership with the continent, regardless of Zimbabwean President Robert
One of the many shameless problems with the AU and their subordinate members
is that they are still willing to aid, abet, sustain, hero-worship,
apologise for and boot-lick President Mugabe.
Few, if any, African deluded (typically undemocratic) despots will ever
stand up and declare their commitment and application to international
charters, corruption elimination, democracy and human rights values. Since
Konare talks about "equality" (with the EU) one has to wonder what he really
means? Was he joking or hallucinating?
Common with many leading African incompetents, the abuse, misuse and
wrongful interpretation of the globally used English language is
Perhaps this apparently confused comrade should identify his or the real
meaning of "equal"?
Is it founded on moral principles, national wealth, skilled human capital,
applied democracy, global esteem, corruption, blame passing or
begging-basket skills, or any other values?
Do AU members usually apply proven civilised standards, real democracy and
commit themselves to eliminate embedded incompetence and corruption?
His contention of "equality" is certainly not based on properly applied
democracy, respect for human rights, and proper law and order implementation
In fact the still many retarded African leaders are apparently only expert
at incompetence, self-improvement, lying, blame passing, begging, looting
and grand corruption.
The reality is that Africa has little in common with the real emerged world
that actually has structures and values that usually work towards the
betterment of their citizens.
Tragically, many African leaders excuse or recuse themselves from their own
alleged primate cultures rather than trying to emerge.
The facts are that the African continent generally is a draining and
leaching scab that is hindering global improvement and growth on most
It's time Africa did something for itself for a change — donors are very
tired of propping up non-achieving corrupt regimes.
Regardless of who does or does not attend, this summit is of no real
The outcome is predictable — Africa will blame the West for its continuous
uselessness, and want to claim more "atoning" donor funds to thereafter loot
Certain woolly minded western geriatrics will still feel some ill-founded
guilt that Africa has again been exposed to be what it really is. During and
after this talk-shop some previously deluded or earlier confused EU members
might be reminded or informed to see the real Africa for what it has always