Daily News online edition
Gono devalues Zimdollar
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor
has devalued the Zimbabwe
dollar from the obtaining Z$5 600/US$1 to Z$6 200
to the greenback, with
plans afoot to further fall the currency in the New
Year, if called for.
Presenting his monetary policy for the
third quarter of the year, RBZ
governor Gideon Gono said the initiative had
been undertaken to further
promote foreign currency remittances under the
"The diaspora floor price of foreign exchange
will be managed between
the current auction rate of Z$5 600/US$1 and Z$6 200
per US dollar, to 31
January, 2005," Gono said.
January, 2005, it is expected that the country's foreign
will have further improved significantly in response to
export support being
implemented since December 2003. This, coupled with the
deceleration of inflation, is expected to arrest further pressures
foreign exchange market," he said.
The shortage of foreign
currency in the country has seen the emergence
of a thriving parallel
market, where the greenback is trading at Z$7 900.
the central bank, in consultation with government, was
consulting to "ensure
that regulatory provisions around parallel market
dealing are tightened
He fired broadsides at individuals and corporates
whom he accused of
fueling the parallel foreign currency market in a bid to
gains for no productivity by dealing in fake US
"Areas where this practice has been tangibly uncovered
Victoria Falls, Kariba, Masvingo, Bulawayo and Road Port in Harare,
Beitbridge, Plumtree Border Post and Mutare," he said.
said the first nine months of the year had seen foreign exchange
into the official market amounting to US$1.249 billion, compared to
of only US$250.1 million for the same period in 2003.
growth in foreign exchange inflows has been enhanced by
deliveries, which saw cumulative gold sales reaching
US$210.7 million by the
end of September 2004, compared to US$117.7 million
for the same period in
The central bank governor said developments in the
over the past 10 months had left some market players
likening them to an
"earthquake" in the industry, following the introduction
supervision and surveillance standards.
measures, which have seen six institutions being placed under
are being implemented with the core objective of creating a
and development-oriented financial system that is run along
eh virtues of
transparency, prudence, accountability and international best
He said with effect from January 2005, the RBZ would
comprehensive Troubled Bank Resolution (TBR) POlicy, to
decisively deal with
the troubled banks who would have failed to tread out
of their difficulties.
Among the new measures would include the
conversion of monies owed the
RBZ into equity; the creation of a special
Purpose Vehicle to hold the
equity in the troubled banking institutions; and
the amalgamation of the
troubled banking institutions into one entity under
the name Zimbabwe Allied
Gono said the
monetary authorities were "deeply encouraged" that
considerable progress was
being made on the fight against inflation, which
he called the country's
declared enemy number one.
The marked slowdown in monthly
inflation had seen annual inflation
sharply decline, from a peak of 622.8
percent in January 2004, to 314.4
percent in August 2004 and further down to
251.5 percent in September 2004.
"It is imperative that labour
markets, manufacturers, retailers and
service providers break away from
static and backward looking pricing
frameworks and benchmark viability
strategies on future rather that
historical inflation trends," he
On mining, the governor said he will abolish offshore
platinum producers operating in the country.
"Platinum producers will be required to open special local FCA's
Currency Accounts) in which all proceeds will be deposited under a
that will ensure a smooth transition from the prevailing all
accounts arrangements," Gono said.
"All offshore accounts for
Zimbabwe-based platinum will cease to
operate and all previous exchange
control dispensations or government
approvals allowing for the creation and
holding of these accounts outside
Zimbabwe are hereby rescinded," he
City Council Cuts Water Supply to Harare Central Hospital,
The Herald (Harare)
October 28, 2004
the web October 28, 2004
HARARE City Council yesterday
disconnected water supplies at Harare Central
Hospital and Harare Central
Prison over unpaid water bills.
Harare Hospital, a major referral
hospital in the country, had been battling
to pay its bills in the past few
months as it had run out of funds.
Council workers disconnected water
supplies to the entire hospital despite
appeals by senior hospital officials
that such a move would virtually
disrupt operations at the
The hospital*s medical superintendent, Mr Chris Tapfumaneyi
hospital was owing council $800 million, but had paid $600 million
Monday, leaving a balance of $200 million.
"We had assured them
that they will have the rest of the money on Monday
since we have received
another $4 billion to pay our bills from the
Government, but I guess they
disregarded our plight," Mr Tapfumaneyi said.
Mr Tapfumaneyi said the
hospital could not operate without water.
He said he was convinced there
was someone within council who was up to
"This is pure sabotage of a Government institution, whoever gave
disconnect water has a hidden agenda."
disconnected water supplies to Harare Central Prison complex,
comprises remand prison and prison for convicted inmates in a move,
likely to pose a serious health hazard to inmates and residents at
Council disconnected the water supplies over an undisclosed
amount it is
owed in unpaid water bills.
But prison officials said
they made an undertaking to pay the outstanding
amount in full today , which
was ignored by the local authority.
Deputy public relations officer,
Principal Prison Officer Simbarashe
Mudzviti said the decision by council to
disconnect water to the complex was
likely to cause a major disease outbreak
among inmates and residents.
"Water is a necessity and the implications
of the water cuts are too ghastly
to contemplate as tomorrow (today) our
prison inmates would want to bath
before they go to the courts and they
would also need to eat.
"How are we going to prepare their food under
such circumstances," said PPO
Mudzviti. He appealed to the local authority
to reconnect water supplies
while the issue of payment was being sorted
Harare public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi said council was
intensifying revenue collection and would stop at nothing in recovering what
was due to council.
Mr Gwindi brushed off allegations that some
council officials had hidden
"I don*t respond to allegations
that some people within council harboured
hidden agendas, but the issue here
is whether they owe us or not. If they
owe us then they have to pay. It*s as
simple as that.
"Council has to collect what it is owed if service
delivery is to improve.
How are going to bring water to the people if we
cannot get revenue," he
Zim Govt Disbands ZESA
The Post (Lusaka)
Posted to the web October 28, 2004
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has
been disbanded and the
government has appointed a holding company to assume
the company's debts,
including the US $3.5 million owed to Zesco
The Zimbabwean government has also appointed a regulatory
Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (ZERC) to
electricity industry in that country.
general Charity Machimbidzofa said in an interview that
the holding company,
ZESA Holdings, would assume all ZESA debts and credits.
"The purpose is
to ensure that everything that has been disrupted due to the
ZESA runs smoothly," she said.
Before being disbanded, ZESA owed Zesco
US$3.5 million, Mozambique's Cabora
Bassa Hydro US$ 31.5 million, Eskom of
South Africa US $16 million, Snel of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo US
Machimbidzofa said the Zimbabwean government decided to
which had perpetuated an electricity monopoly.
said the restructuring would increase private sector participation and
increase competition in the electricity sector with a view to having a wider
She said ZESA had been unbundled into various
companies which include the
Zimbabwe Power Company (generation), Zimbabwe
Company (transmission), Zimbabwe Electricity
She said a caretaker commission
made up of individuals from various
disciplines is currently running ZERC,
which will be largely independent.
Machimbidzofa said so far, new
consumer codes and a tariff pricing study had
been done as at August 1,
She said the pricing study was currently under cabinet
that once considered, it would be important in setting up
framework for electricity pricing.
all power generation in that country would have to go
through a single buyer
(ZPC) to ensure that the buyer controls all imports
Machimbidzofa appealed for assistance in form of capacity
countries in the region.
One more bank shut down
Thur 28 October 2004
HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last night shut down Time
bringing to five the number of banks that have gone under as
rocks Zimbabwe's fragile financial sector.
In a statement the
central bank said the locally-owned Time Bank was
no longer financially
sound and was facing collapse because of poor
corporate governance, poor
risk management and imprudent banking practices.
Time Bank will
remain closed for six months. An RBZ-appointed curator
regulator will take charge of the affairs of the bank for the
The curator will ensure depositors' funds and the bank's
protected and is tasked to work out a plan to save the
total collapse, the statement said.
were also investigating the alleged abuse of depositors' funds
by four of
Time Bank's directors. In September, the central bank put another
bank, Trust Bank, under the curatorship of an independent accounting
and said its assets were being frozen for six months.
The RBZ has
also forced three other locally-owned banks to shut down
while its curators
work out recovery plans to save the banks from collapse.
suspended banks are among a dozen local banks licensed to
black owners after
the government said it wanted to break a banking monopoly
by the main international banks.
All in all, seven financial
institutions are now under the supervision
of RBZ curators while two more
are being wound up by liquidators.
Zimbabwe is grappling with an
acute economic crisis that has
manifested itself in shortages of everything
from essential medical drugs,
fuel, electricity, food and hard cash. -
Exiled Zimbabweans Criticize Mugabe Expulsion Of COSATU Delegates By
The government of zimbabwe this week expelled a visiting
south africa's cosatu trade union.
The group from the
congress of south african trade unions had gone to harare
mission to assess political, labor and human rights issues.
It had decided
make the trip despite warnings by the government of Zimbabwe
13-member delegation was neither "welcome nor acceptable."
cabinet ordered the group's deportation after it refused to
would not meet with certain civic groups critical of the
President Robert Mugabe.
The African branch of the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions,
which represents over 15 million members
in 45 African countries, criticized
the expulsion. In a letter to
president mugabe, it called the action a
"barbaric and undemocratic act."
The South African Communist Party said it
was outraged and
English to Africa reporter William Eagle spoke with Daniel
Molokela of the
Peace and Democracy Project in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He said the
incident adds credence to his group's claim that quiet diplomacy
on the part
of the South African government is not working - and that the
southern Africa need to take a tougher stand against
Deportation Clear Indicator of State of Affairs in Zimbabwe
Daily News (Harare)
October 28, 2004
Posted to the web
October 28, 2004
THE detention and subsequent deportation of the
COSATU delegation by the
Zimbabwe authorities should be an eye-opener to our
southern neighbour and
President Thabo Mbeki in particular, on the state of
affairs north of the
Zimbabwe's dictatorial tendencies, long
assumed to be part of the
"demonisation of the country" by the independent
media, has been unleashed
first hand on one long seen as a brother in
That this should happen to a key ally of the ruling ANC party is so
better for it puts into perspective what we have said all along -
Harare does not deserve to be treated with kid gloves. That Harare does
respect any law but unto itself. That there is no freedom of association
the country, and the respect of human rights is but a dream.
countries welcome fact-finding missions, particularly from countries
are favourably disposed to them. Zimbabwe has chosen to show its
and underline its ignorance pertaining to matters of state.
act of a regime that has a questionable human rights record is
directed at COSATU but is an act of hostility towards the entire
The government accused the COSATU delegation of purporting to be
representing labour issues but where in Zimbabwe to further the interests of
the United Kingdom and the United States.
Zimbabwe believes the UK
and the USA sent the COSATU delegation to lay the
ground for "regime
change". The fact that it took a Cabinet decision to
force the 14-member
delegation out of the country speaks volumes of the
level of tolerance the
regime has; not only for its citizens but for anybody
deemed to be an enemy
of the state and a friend of the British.
And all the arms of the state -
the army, police and intelligence
services -were roped in to ensure the
Cabinet decision against an unarmed,
peaceful and lawful delegation was
By fighting with COSATU, Harare is by extension also fighting
ANC. Cosatu, the SA Communist Party and ANC are members of South
The deportation was unwise, untimely
and not necessary. The idea is to
engage and not to disengage as what has
happened now. But who is prepared to
COSATU is a major player
in South Africa's politics and it is the last thing
one should tamper with.
The incident showed that President Robert Mugabe is
The incident emphasises the Mugabe regime's long-standing
preference for the
use of strong arm tactics to crush any possible threat -
real or imagined -
to its rule.
The COSATU delegation jetted into the
country on Monday for meetings with
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
Crisis Coalition, National
Constitutional Assembly, Zimbabwe Election
Support Network, Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Council of
Churches as well as political
The propaganda being peddled
by Information minister Jonathan Moyo that
Cosatu is working with "Tony
Blair's and well known anti-Zimbabwe,
pro-western interests" merely
highlights the fact that similar charges
leveled against the MDC are vile
propaganda by Zanu PF against legitimate
it had taken appropriate action to remove the "intrusive
purporting to represent Cosatu.
"This defiant visit, facilitated by the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
itself an affiliate of the
Western-sponsored opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, constitutes a
direct and most frontal challenge to the
sovereignty of the Republic of
Zimbabwe by individuals purporting to be
African and trade unionists on 'a
fact-finding mission' when, in reality,
they are an integral part of
Britain's disguised maneuvers to meddle in the
politics and internal affairs
of Zimbabwe in order to reverse her hard-won
independence and gains of the
land reform programme through so-called regime
change," Moyo said.
couldn't agree more with COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven when he said in
response to Moyo's statement: "This is utterly ludicrous. We reject this
And even the existence of a High Court order that the
COSATU delegation be
allowed to spend an extra day in the country was
ignored. Nobody was willing
to be served with the order. And in the meantime
government was busy driving
the delegation in the middle of the night to
Beitbridge, there to be dumped
by the border post.
rightfully declared that the action taken was particularly
in any normal democracy a government would not react in such
and heavy-handed manner to a visit from a legitimate
organisation from a key
The incident further illustrates how dim the
prospects are of next year's
parliamentary elections being free and
If the Mugabe regime is prepared to run the risk of antagonising
powerful neighbour by meting out ill-treatment of this nature to
COSATU, then there can be little doubt that it will not hesitate
to act in
such a repressive manner when dealing with the MDC.
THE HON. ROY BENNETT MP CHIMANIMANI
The following is a very brief synopsis of crimes committed
sponsored agents against the Hon. Roy Bennett, his family, his
their families, and their livestock and the theft of his crops
since 10th May, 2000 to August, 2004.
In the majority of
the cases, the perpetrators are known and yet, as of this
date, no arrests
have been made and no body has been brought to the Courts
89 illegal farm invasions
2 illegal arrests and 3 assaults on
the Hon. R. Bennett MP
3 rapes on young farm women employees
(by the ZNA) of 24 year old Shemmy Chimbarara - shot in the head
wounded - John Kayitano - farm employee
arson - Manager Amos Makaza's house
burnt to the ground by land invaders and
dispossession of over 800 men, women and children from
Charleswood Estate on
a number of occasions
cattle - 1 Bull axed/died, 36 cows/calves axed or
speared, Security manager's
dog beaten (broken leg) and cat burned alive;
numerous cattle were
hamstrung, axed or snared and over 700 head
150 tons of coffee stolen and sold by ARDA
Hon. R. Bennett's home
looted and trashed.
appointed ZANU PF Governor for Manicaland Maj. Gen. Mike Nyambuya
publicly stated that he is taking BENNETT's farm.
NYAMBUYA has appointed
Major MOSEBEYA as "his farm manager" and he is
currently illegally occupying
Mr. and Mrs.Bennett's homestead.
NYAMBUYA has fired 6 of Bennett's
POLICE SGT. NASHO, Chamunorwa, Mvusha, Karenyi and Mabumba were
in the Assaults and Rapes of two young women on
CLAYTON MUUSHA, GEORGE ANASAU (ZNA), and Chief Inspector
MAKWANDA (ZRP) and
SGT. NASHO (ZRP) all involve in Assaulting
employees of Charleswood.
DISRUPTIONS AND THEFTS -
(ZNA), Insp. CHOKOGUDZA, Ass. Insp. MAFURIRANWA (ZRP),
Assistant DA Mr.
CHINGUNO, Insp. CHAVANDIKA (ZRP), Mr. CHIGONO (DA's
office), Captain HANI
(ZNA), Mr. CHIKUKUWA and CIO operatives JOSEPH MWALE,
MPOFU, SHINGI, and ZRP
Sgt's HOVE, NASHO and ZULU.
NONE OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED INDIVIDUALS
HAS BEEN BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURTS
FOR THESE CRIMES.
be reiterated that the facts alluded to above are only a tip of the
- BENNETT and his entire FARM work force have been under siege,
harassed, assaulted, arrested, detained, displaced and
dispossessed etc. for
over four years, with absolutely no recourse to the
WHERE IS THE JUSTICE
STATEMENT BY MDC PRESIDENT MORGAN TSVANGIRAI – PARK HYATT HOTEL, JOHANNESBURG, 28 OCTOBER
The continued deterioration of Zimbabwe’s
socio-economic and political environment is well documented. People have been stripped of their hard earned basic freedoms
and forced to live in an environment characterized by poverty, hunger, fear,
oppression and an absence of the rule of law.
Our economy is in a mess: unemployment is
approaching 80%, inflation is at 280%, we have experienced negative GDP growth
for the past 6 years, there is a chronic shortage of foreign exchange and the
fiscal deficit continues to grow at a dangerous rate. Our public services have
all but collapsed and we are faced with the very real prospect of famine in
certain parts of the country in the first half of next year.
Zimbabwe’s political context is one of police
brutality, political violence and a virtual erosion of the democratic space. The
culture of impunity that exists for those guilty of perpetrating gross human
rights abuses will leave a permanent scar on our political landscape. Repressive
legislation has placed severe curbs on citizens basic democratic right to
assemble freely and receive and impart information of their choice.
The orchestrated system of repression, that
now characterizes Zimbabwe, resulted in the shameless deportation on Wednesday
of this week of the COSATU delegation, which had arrived in Zimbabwe on a
fact-finding mission. We condemn this treatment of COSATU officials in the
strongest terms. The deportation of this delegation underlines just how far
Zimbabwe has sunk in relation to respecting peoples’ basic rights and freedoms.
It is important to point out however, that
what the COSATU delegation encountered is what thousands of Zimbabweans have
been experiencing on a daily basis for the past five years.
I have spent the past week (accompanied by
the MDC Secretary General and MDC Deputy Secretary General) engaging political
leaders and key players within civic society in the SADC, up-dating them on the
current situation in Zimbabwe.
On Monday we met with President Thabo Mbeki.
On Wednesday we met Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger who is the current
chair of SADC.
The various meetings that took place provided
an opportunity to explain the situation in Zimbabwe. We explained how the
dynamics that currently exist on the ground, vis-à-vis the political
environment, are woefully inconsistent with the standards expected under the
SADC Protocol on Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
We explained how Zimbabwe’s democratic
deficit continues to widen at an alarming rate, making a free and fair election
impossible under the current circumstances.
Since the SADC Protocol was signed by
all member states on 17 August there has been no serious attempt by the Zimbabwe
Government to implement measures which will ensure full compliance with the new
SADC electoral standards.
In order to provide a degree of clarity with
regards to the extent of non-compliance the MDC publishes a scorecard (called
SADC Protocol Watch) on the 17th day of each month which assesses the
levels of compliance. The scorecards make depressing reading. They underline how
the situation in Zimbabwe has actually deteriorated since Mugabe gave his
undertakings in Mauritius.
In our meetings therefore, with SADC leaders,
we engaged in discussions on how the SADC leadership could assist the process of
encouraging the government to comply with the SADC protocol.
We also briefed SADC leaders on the context
of the unanimous decision taken by the MDC National Executive on 25 August to
suspend participation in all elections pending the government’s full compliance
with the SADC elections’ charter.
We explained how the timing of our decision
was deliberately aimed at giving the government sufficient time to address the
severe deficits that exist with regards to complying with the SADC standards.
Prominent deficits such as the absence of the rule of law, political violence,
repressive legislation that curtails basic civil and political liberties and an
inaccurate voters’ roll cannot be addressed immediately prior to polling day.
They need to be tackled at least six months,
or more, prior to an election if public confidence and legitimacy are to be
harnessed to the entire electoral process.
In all the meetings that took place with both
SADC leaders as well as civic society organizations, we appealed for solidarity
with the suffering people of Zimbabwe. Our people are hungry, they have no jobs.
They desire a new beginning, a new Zimbabwe, whereby they can re-build their
shattered lives and look forward to a future of opportunity and prosperity.
The critical issue in Zimbabwe is to build a
national consensus on the way forward so that we can usher in the new beginning
desired by the people. This national consensus can only come about through a
process of meaningful dialogue, premised on clear objectives.
As MDC we acknowledge Mugabe’s initial
commitment to allowing a process of inter-party dialogue, albeit informal, to
take place. It is deeply regretful that Zanu PF has now chosen to disengage from
We urge SADC leaders to engage Mugabe and
encourage him to honour the undertakings that he has given them in the past
vis-à-vis his commitment to dialogue.
In the absence of a process of
principled and meaningful dialogue we will fail to achieve the crucial consensus
that is necessary to tackle the crisis in Zimbabwe. In the absence of this
consensus the Zimbabwe crisis risks deteriorating to a level that poses a severe
threat to the regions’ development goals as well as its overall stability.
I want to see a Zimbabwe that is equipped to
play a proactive role in helping the SADC region and the wider African continent
tackle the twin evils of poverty and inequality that continue to blight the
lives of millions of Africans.
I want a see a Zimbabwe that plays a
meaningful role in meeting the goals of the African renaissance.
In the first decade after independence,
Zimbabwe, through the policies pursued by Mugabe, was making good progress
towards tackling the poverty and inequality that we inherited from the colonial
As MDC we acknowledge Mugabe’s contribution
to the liberation of Zimbabwe and his transformation efforts in the immediate
post independence period. Mugabe now however is tarnishing his legacy and
eroding his transformation achievements by pursuing a violent, coercive and
expedient political agenda that is driving Zimbabwe into poverty and causing
unprecedented suffering amongst the people.
I would like to finish by stating that the
MDC remains hopeful that the government can be persuaded to implement the
political and electoral reforms that will enable the MDC to participate in next
year’s parliamentary elections. That is why we are continuing to prepare for the
We look forward to fighting in a free and
fair election on the issues of the day – food and jobs. These are the issues that really matter to
Through our economic recovery plan,
RESTART (Reconstruction, Stabilisation, Recovery and Transformation), we possess
a comprehensive set of policies that will enable us to stimulate the economic
recovery that Zimbabwe so desperately needs to kick start a new beginn ing.SPAN
We are confident that our detailed policy
programmes contained in RESTART will ensure that the MDC is able to create jobs
and ensure food security for all.
We have the policies to shape the new
beginning in Zimbabwe and build a new, inclusive, Zimbabwe, in which no-one is
The new Zimbabwe we envisage will be premised
on democracy and the rule of law and anchored on a people driven constitution
that enshrines and protect peoples’ fundamental human rights.
I thank you.
Dallas Demo continues
continues Dallas Demo
continues Dallas Demo continues Dallas Demo Continues
COSATU is on our
side. Lets Persist until there are free and fair elections In Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe
must conform to the SADC Protocol on a free and fair electoral
Lets demand for the right to vote from
NO Homelink Without VoteLink. No To POSA. NO To AIPPA. No To Muzzling
of The Press. NO To Torture. No To Corruption. No To Cosmetic Electoral Reforms.
No To The NGO Bill. No to the youth Militia. No to Human Rights Violations. No
To Politivcally Motivated Arrests.
Yes to Freedom of Association. Yes to Freedom of the
Press. Yes to an Independent Electoral commission. Yes to Freedom of Expression.
Yes to Dignity
VENUE : Downtown Dallas at FERRIS PLAZA, 400 S
Houston Street DATE:October 30, 2004 TIME : 12-6pm
COMMITTEE, DALLAS BRANCH information and Publicity
Daily News online edition
Tsvangirai urges SADC to tighten screws
JOHANNESBURG - Morgan
Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), says he met with SADC leaders to
implore them to resolve the crisis
in Zimbabwe and ensure that President
Robert Mugabe's government creates
conditions for free and fair elections
Tsvangirai who met with South African President, Thabo Mbeki and
Prime Minister Paul Berenger this week told hordes of journalists
he engaged the two leaders to explore ways through which SADC
resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe and pave way for free and fair
He said talks with the two leaders centred on
how the main political
parties in the country could continue with dialogue
and resolve the crisis
and create an environment for free and fair elections
in line with the SADC
principles and guidelines on
"In all the meetings that took place with both SADC
leaders as well as
civic society organizations, we appealed for solidarity
with the suffering
people of Zimbabwe. Our people are hungry, they have no
jobs. They desire a
new Zimbabwe whereby they can re-build their shattered
lives and look
forward to a future of opportunity and prosperity,"
Tsvangirai said he believes the MDC had a
historic opportunity to free
Zimbabwe through next year's
"When the crisis is resolved, the MDC will form the
and start all over again," he said.
Tsvangirai said the MDC wanted SADC leaders to engage Mugabe to
him to honour the undertakings that he made when he signed the
He reiterated that the MDC would not take part in
the elections if
Mugabe did not comply with the SADC
On the proposed electoral changes by Mugabe,
Tsvangirai said the MDC
wanted SADC to verify whether the conditions in
Zimbabwe comply with the
regional body's protocol on free and fair elections
before they can
Tsvangirai said the
orchestrated system of repression that
characterised Zimbabwe was
demonstrated by the "shameless" deportation of
the COSATU fact-finding
mission by the Zimbabwe government.
"We condemn this treatment
of COSATU officials in the strongest terms.
The deportation underlines just
how far Zimbabwe has sunk in relation to
respecting people's basic rights
and freedoms," Tsvangirai said.
He said it was important to
point out that the COSATU delegation
encountered what thousands of
Zimbabweans have been experiencing daily for
the past five years.
Mail and Guardian
Tsvangirai revises his opinion of Mbeki
28 October 2004 09:08
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
Tsvangirai said on Thursday he
had revised his opinion of President Thabo
Mbeki's attitude to the crisis in
that country, calling their recent talks
has often been frustrated by Mbeki's policy of quiet diplomacy
political and economic problems in Zimbabwe.
"I found the engagement with
President Mbeki very productive and found his
attitude to be open,
concerned, and of course to be committed to finding a
Mbeki met Tsvangirai this week in his capacity as
chairperson of the
Southern African Development Community's (SADC) organ for
Tsvangirai has been touring the SADC
region ahead of elections in Zimbabwe
next march. On Thursday he returned
from a meeting in Mauritius with Paul
Berenger who is the current
chairperson of SADC, and held a short press
conference in Johannesburg
before his return to Zimbabwe where he was
recently acquitted of treason
"I have had to revise my view of my attitude towards Mbeki and I
to be more robust," Tsvangirai said.
He criticised the
Zimbabwe government's decision to deport a visiting
Congress of South
Arfrican Trade Unions delegation and not allow them to
meet the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions and civic organisations.
"Our view is that it is
abhorrent and not acceptable. It reflects the extent
to which the Zimbabwe
government has become paranoid," said Tsvangirai, a
former trade union
He said his party was not boycotting the March elections.
It had "suspended"
its participation until concerns about election
mechanisms were addressed.
This included a worry that an independent
electoral commission would not be
in place in time for the polls. - Sapa
Zim elections may have to be delayed - MDC
2004 at 07:55PM
By Andrew Quinn
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on
parliamentary polls scheduled for March may have to be delayed
if they are
to meet regional standards for freedom and fairness.
speaking in Johannesburg at the end of a tour of
Zimbabwe's southern African
neighbours, said it was unclear if President
Robert Mugabe's proposed
electoral reforms can be enacted in time to
guarantee a fair
"We are of course concerned that there might not be
between now and March," Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement
Change (MDC), told a news conference in
"The reality is there may be need to reconsider the
time frame for
elections because of the limitations on the institutions that
will run these
Tsvangirai, acquitted this month of
treason charges in connection with
an alleged plot on Mugabe's life, said
the MDC had made no final decision on
whether it would participate in the
The MDC is regarded by many political analysts as the
threat to Mugabe's rule since independence from Britain in 1980.
party announced in August it was suspending participation in
"real" reforms are implemented.
battling its worst political and economic crisis in
unemployment estimated at 70 percent, soaring inflation, and
acute fuel and
foreign exchange shortages.
Western countries and Tsvangirai blame
Mugabe for the crisis and
accuse him of rigging recent polls, including his
2002 re-election as
Mugabe in turn has accused
Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial power,
of undermining Zimbabwe as
retribution for his policy of seizing white-owned
farms to give to landless
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, under pressure from the
African Development Community (SADC) has proposed reforms such as
an electoral commission, increasing the number of polling
polling from two days to one day and using transparent
But implementation of the changes has been slow,
leading some regional
analysts to question whether the proposed March vote
can meet the SADC
The Harare government
demonstrated its continuing tough stance this
week when it deported a team
from South Africa's main Cosatu trade union - a
key ally of Mbeki's ruling
ANC, which was in Harare on a political
Tsvangirai began a four-day regional trip on Monday with a meeting
South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, whom he has criticised in the
failing to take a tough enough stance on Zimbabwe's crisis. He
travelled to Mauritius to meet Prime Minister Paul Berenger, the
head of SADC.
Tsvangirai said he sensed a "more robust" attitude
from Mbeki on the
Zimbabwe crisis, and that the SADC and particularly South
Africa would play
a crucial role in helping to guarantee the country's next
"If we miss this historical opportunity it means that we
will have to
wait until (the next scheduled polls in) 2008, by which time
will have fallen into a precipice," he said.
Zim Doesn't Need Population Control
October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28,
Donald T. Charumbira
RECENT indications of a
population decline in Zimbabwe have been hailed in
some quarters, but I beg
to differ with the opinion that a declining
population is a positive
Whilst it is true that a smaller population means lower
it does not necessarily amount to economic development
or an increase in per
capita income. Many of the world's poorest countries
have low populations
that illustrate this paradigm.
The myth of
smaller families is not consistent with our African values.
population control organisations tell us that we should have smaller
families so that we will be able to feed and educate all our
We are told that big families are unsustainable, and we should
not have more
than two or three children.
Nothing could be further
from the truth.
There are many parents with less than three children, yet
they are failing
to feed them properly.
There are many large
families, with more than six children, yet all have
access to education and
This is so even in families with the same income
Necessity is the mother of all invention. Having more children
the necessity of making more money, is motivation enough to drive
to work harder to ensure that the children have their basic needs
the land reform programme as well as traditional communal land
structures, families are able to grow their own food
Before colonialism, it was more respectable to have a big
number of children
as they would also be able to assist with work on the
land when they came of
Family planning only came about as a
result of colonial policies aimed at
boosting the population ratio of the
There is no reason for us to continue to promote this policy,
guise of family planning, in an independent Zimbabwe.
is little interrelation between population and the level of
a country. Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country,
also has the
lowest level of unemployment on the continent.
Less than 3 percent of
Nigeria's 137 million people are unemployed - one of
the lowest unemployment
rates in the world.
Conversely, a small country like Lesotho, with a
population of 1,8 million,
has 45 percent unemployment
Botswana, with a population of 1,5 million, has more than 40
It is, therefore, incorrect to assume that a
bigger population equates to
In Zimbabwe, every
child is entitled to education, even those from families
I believe it is better to have more children and send them to an
Government or missionary school than to have less children and send
an expensive private school.
Whilst many parts of Africa are
speaking of family planning and promoting
smaller families, Europe is
calling for higher levels of fertility as a
counter to its ageing
Also in Asia, tiny Singapore, which is only 20 square
kilometres in area,
the government offers cash incentives for couples to
have more children
despite already having a population of four
Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad called for
fertility to increase the national population from the current 22
So why are we calling for family planning in
Africa? There is the
possibility of a wider international
First we are annihilated by HIV/Aids; now we are calling for
planning. Perhaps someone wants to see less Africans in this world?
we can never be absolutely certain, but we can be sure that smaller
are not what Zimbabwe needs.
We have such vast land area
that there is no way that we can fully realise
our economic potential with a
population of 12 million as is presently the
It is essential
for Zimbabwe to raise its fertility rate. There may be
difficulties resulting from a surge in population, but in the
will result in higher national productivity. Foreign investment
is also more
attracted to countries with higher populations as this makes
Boosting fertility may not make sense now, when we have
and declining domestic production, but when we are fully
shall our labour come from? Shall we go back to the
colonial era of
importing labour from Mozambique and Malawi? If we do not
long-term population growth now, it will come back to haunt us
in the coming
There is no limit to the population that
Zimbabwe can play host to.
The main imperative is proper planning in
local governments to cater for
megacities of the future.
critical to promote rural and urban developments which disperse
and jobs across the country to prevent concentrated population
It is safe to say that, given efficient local government
administration, Zimbabwe can host a population of over 100
If we want future generations of Zimbabweans to continue
to be a dominant
force in southern Africa and the world, we need to ensure
population continues to grow.
A more populous Zimbabwe could
very well be a more productive Zimbabwe!
Jesuits Turn On Mugabe Over Media Suppression
The Daily News
October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28,
THE Communications Committee of the Jesuits in Zimbabwe has
painted a grim
picture of the media and political environment in
In a presentation to Catholic journalists assembled for their
in Bangkok, Thailand, the Zimbabwe committee said media
operations in the
country had been severely curtailed by
government following the closure of independent
The committee, represented by Joyce Kazembe, chronicled the
environment, harassment and assaults of journalists, the
bombing of printing
presses of independent newspapers and the burning of
these papers by ruling
"A few independent weeklies still
exist, but they serve almost exclusively
urban professional people," the
"The urban working class and the rural majority have access
only to the
completely government-controlled broadcasting media which
and hourly government policy and deny people the chance to
Despite the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe
declaring the state broadcasting
station's monopoly unconstitutional, the
committee said in theory it was
possible for independent community
broadcasters and others to get a licence.
"But in practice no licence has
been given. The police immediately
suppressed the few attempts at
independent broadcasting," the report said.
The report said many
journalists had abandoned Zimbabwe to seek employment
others had ventured into public relations and other fields
to escape the
repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
"Telephones are regularly tapped and the regime is threatening
and control all e-mails. Religious programmes on the state
much reduced and dominated by religious
considered 'politically safe'," the committee's report said,
people's rights had been sacrificed to perpetuate the ruling
Food ditribution had now been politicised. "We fear
worse; the country is
suffering food shortages again this year, and the
ruling party insists on
controlling the distribution of what food there is
in order to manipulate
the elections due in March 2005," the committee
"Opposition politicians and their supporters suffer violence almost
In this situation, the people need a voice and they are being denied
said the committee.
President Robert Mugabe, whose government
has come under severe criticism
for denying citizens their fundamental
rights, is himself a Catholic.
Chigwedere And the National Dress
October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October 28,
If, as announced by the Education,
Sport and Culture Minister Aeneas
Chigwedere recently, Zimbabwe has a
national dress or costume by the end of
the year, the idea will have taken
more than 20 years to come to fruition.
Chigwedere said three weeks ago
that in response to "the cry by the nation"
for a national dress his
ministry was inviting individuals and organisations
to submit entries. More
than $100 million has been set aside in prize money
to encourage entrants to
come up with designs that "tend to unite" rather
The idea of a national dress was first mooted by Zimbabwe's
post-independence Education and Cul-ture Minister, Dzin-gai Mutumbuka
Calling for desi-gns with distinctive local features,
Mutu-mbuka was quoted
as saying: "Clothing is a basic necessity in any
society, it is the mirror
of the culture of the people".
It is not
clear whether the idea would have come to fruition much earlier if
had not left government following his implication in the
scandal in 1988.
A pertinent question to ask, however, is whether an idea
that has failed to
take off after 22 years of debate is a burning issue and
Some Zimba-bweans feel it is not a priority and
argue that instead of
spending millions of dollars on the project, such
funds should be
re-channeled towards addressing problems besetting the
One observer, a former school teacher, said Chig-wedere
should direct his
efforts towards addressing the chaotic situation within
He said Chigwe-dere's priorities were "upside
down" if he thought it was
more important to have a national dress when
pupils did not have textbooks
and dilapidated infrastructure at most schools
needed to be refurbished.
The critic said following Chigwe-dere's earlier
proposal of one universal
school uniform for the whole country which was
greeted with widespread
derision, it was difficult to take his latest
pronouncements on the national
A more important
question, however is, whether a national costume that comes
government decree can "catch on." In this regard, it is useful to
countries where this approach has been attempted to see how they
At the height of his power, President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire
Democratic Republic of Congo) embarked on a campaign to reduce Western
influence and create an authentic Zairean identity.
original first name was Joseph, ordered Zaireans to drop
Christian names and replace them with ethnic ones.
He introduced a form
of national dress and decreed that it should be worn in
place of suits and
other Western-style ensembles. At one stage women were
ordered not to wear
trousers, wigs and cosmetics as these were symbols of
But even long before Mobutu was deposed by Laurent Kabila in
had defied the government and reverted to Western-style
dress, forsaking the
traditional garb prescribed by Mobutu.
former dictators, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and Idi Amin of Uganda,
introduce national dresses for women were required. Amin decreed
should cover their knees or else they would be dealt with. This
in line with Amin's Islamic faith although he was president of a
predominantly Christian country.
Malawian women were required to
abandon western style dresses and wear
ankle-length wrap-arounds emblazoned
with pictures of the "Ngwazi"
Over in Tanzania, mini-skirts and make-up
were once banned and a national
dress was once adopted for
Ironically, this was in the form of the definitely western-style
suit, which was the country's then leader, Julius Nyerere's favourite
Interestingly, resistance to imposed cultural change has also
some African governments have tried to force certain ethnic
abandon their traditional lifestyles for a more modern Western way
The Kenyan government faced similar resistance when the nomadic
calls to abandon their traditional culture, including wearing
place of blanket wrappers, and adopt a Western
The campaign had to be abandoned. The push for a national
Chigwe-dere's Ministry definitely sends confusing signals in a
the country's politicians love Western-style designer suits
It is difficult to imagine any of our political leaders
Nigerian president Olusegen Obasanjo, who is never seen in
anything but the flowing and colourful robes that have become his
Arrested Zim opposition MP apologises
2004 at 06:19PM
Harare - A leading white Zimbabwean lawmaker on
Thursday apologised to
parliament for shoving a government minister during a
in May, as the house prepared to vote on whether or not
to impose a prison
sentence on him.
Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) lawmaker Roy Bennett, who was
arrested on Thursday morning as
he was preparing to leave the country, was
responding to a parliamentary
report a day earlier that recommended he be
sent to jail for at least 12
Bennett was brought to parliament from a Harare police
made a 35-minute speech.
He apologised to Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa, whom he had
pushed to the ground, and the
speaker of parliament.
"I'm extremely sorry for the disturbances
that I caused to this house.
I apologise to you Mr Speaker, I apologise to
Honourable Chinamasa," Bennett
In May Bennett, a
commercial farmer, lost his temper and pushed
Chinamasa to the floor after
the minister said his ancestors were "thieves".
Bennett was probed
for contempt of parliament and was due to be
sentenced later on
"I have nothing against this government," Bennett, who
claims he was
subjected to extreme provocation, told
"I want to assist this government. This political party
Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union -
didn't want me. They chased me away, so I went to a
political party where
there's no racial hatred.
"I don't know
what I've done. Why do you hate me so much?" Bennett
Earlier on Thursday Bennett was arrested at Harare International
he prepared to leave the country.
His lawyer in Harare denied he
was trying to skip Zimbabwe, arguing
that he wanted to seek legal counsel in
neighbouring South Africa.
Police have slapped him with a separate
charge of attempting to defeat
the course of justice.
challenged parliament, which is dominated by Zanu-PF
legislators, to impose
a custodial sentence.
"Mr Speaker I'm ready to go to jail for 12
months. Sentence me," he
In their report, the
parliamentary committee probing Bennett,
described his spat with the justice
minister, which made international news,
as "the worst attack on the
dignity" of the Zimbabwean parliament.
It rejected Bennett's plea
that he reacted to verbal abuse by
law, parliament has the authority to sit as a court
and impose penalties,
although legal experts say it may infringe on the
constitutional rights of
Zimbabweans to receive a fair trial.
Bennett read out a statement
before parliament from one of his lawyers
saying that his client was a first
offender and that "imprisonment for a
common assault is highly
Common assault would usually attract a small fine,
Zimbabwean law parliament is given rights to protect its dignity
as a court and imposing various penalties.
"Parliament seems to have been given powers that violate the
democracy," one of Bennett's lawyers, Arnold Tsunga told AFP.
committee that recommended a minimum one-year jail term for
comprised three ruling party and two opposition lawmakers.
is a lawmaker for the southeastern constituency of
Chimanimani, where he
also owned a coffee farm, which was occupied by ruling
party supporters who
have refused to vacate despite several court orders.
He told the
special parliamentary committee that he had "reacted to
Honourable Chinamasa and the years of harassment he had endured
in the hands
of the state."
But the head of the special committee, Paul
Bennett's argument that he had been
"The language used by Chinamasa was robust, but that is
parliamentary debates," he said. "The defense of provocation was
sustainable in this case." - Sapa-AFP
What We Black Women Ought to Tell This President
October 28, 2004
Posted to the web October
NOTHING gets President
Thabo Mbeki's knickers in a knot as much as
utterances he construes to be
racist. More frighteningly, he lashes out
histrionically at those he thinks
guilty of the sin.
A recent target, among others, is an "anonymous" white
woman, whom we all
know is Charlene Smith, a feminist African National
Congress (ANC) activist
whose loyalty to issues of justice has always
preceded that of loyalty to
She has the knack of sending
our president into an apoplectic rage over a
seemingly innocent statement
that still offends him after four years! It
reads: "Here (in Africa), (AIDS)
is spread primarily by heterosexual sex
spurred by men's attitudes towards
women. We won't end this epidemic until
we understand the role of tradition
and religion and of a culture in which
rape is endemic and has become a
prime means of transmitting disease, to
young women as well as
Whether Mbeki likes it or not, this view underpins the high
rates of sexual
and domestic violence, HIV infections, femicide and family
experienced by South African women on a daily basis. The scourge of
against women is not the prerogative of any ethnic group. In all
rely on patriarchal culture, religion and tradition to justify
women as chattels and second-class citizens. This attitude has come
Even the great philosophers of our time believed women
inferior, legally and politically incompetent. The radical
women had two functions in life: housewife and
So what Smith says is unmitigated fact. To accuse her of
traditions, indigenous religions and culture prescribe and
rape" and implying that "African men are inherently
potential rapists and
barbaric savages" when no such evidence exists is
Such far-fetched rubbish I have not
heard in a long time. Racist
interpretations of innocent statements such as
hers smack of obsession at
best and paranoia at worst. They resemble the
incantations of a rabid
African nationalist, not of someone described by the
media as an
Surely this kind of response is out of
kilter with the office of president
and enough to strike the fear of God
into the hearts of any ordinary
citizens who dare to voice their
If a puny little white activist is capable of sending the
continual fits of rage, what does this say of
Maybe the time has come to call a spade a shovel.
black women should start telling the president most black men treat
women badly, as borne out by the startling evidence of domestic
default on maintenance, sexual offences and the criminal courts of
Maybe we should tell the president sexual autonomy for women is a
do not accept "NO" for an answer, and many think women are their
Maybe we should tell the president the reason more young women
than men are
infected with the AIDS virus is because most men sleep around
with more than
one woman and refuse to use condoms.
Maybe we should
tell the president girl children on school benches are
sexually abused by
teachers when they should be learning, according to a
report of the
Yes, Mr President, most of these men are black they
violate not because they
are black but because the majority of men in this
country are black.
Mr President, I suggest you undergo some serious
antiracism training so that
you can identify the sin when you see it.
Lashing out at activists who dare
to call abuse by its regular name weakens
you and not them. Why are you
selectively vociferous about some matters and
not others? Why do you not
similarly trumpet the promotion of safe sex,
antiretroviral medicines and
sympathy for those infected with
Why do the HIV/AIDS pandemic and gross human rights violations in
not similarly move you? Why do you not condemn men for infecting
of women at the same time?
Your presidential letters are
obsessed with your own notions of race and
what it means to be African and
how others, mainly whites, misinterpret this
"sacrosanct idea" that only
you, Thabo Mbeki, understand. Even your
congratulatory letter to Wangari
Maathai is misdirected.
After reading it, all I can say to you is, Mr
President, is get a life!
Kadalie is a human rights activist based in
Mail and Guardian
'Things are not well in Zimbabwe'
Engelbrecht | Johannesburg, South Africa
28 October 2004
This week's short-lived fact-finding mission by the Congress of
African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to Zimbabwe proved things are not well
Zimbabwe, Cosatu deputy secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali said on
He told a press conference at Cosatu's Braamfontein offices
that the mission
was not there long enough and did not speak to enough
people to determine
whether free and fair elections are possible next
But he said that if held tomorrow, "it would be a very difficult
which to comment.
He and his colleagues said the Zimbabwean
government is not at present
respecting the rule of law, human rights or
The 13-member Cosatu mission
was deported from Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Said Ntshalintshali: "The police
invasion of the offices of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the
arrest of the Cosatu mission and their
ill treatment at the hands of the
police all proved beyond doubt that the
government had no respect for human
rights and the freedom of trade unions
to function freely within the
Earlier, Ntshalintshali had congratulated the 13-strong team for
"heroism and commitment".
"Their courage in the face of
harassment, threats and assault from the
Zimbabwe security forces was in the
finest traditions of the trade-union
"We thank them all for
their refusal to be intimidated and to stick to their
mission in the face of
Later in the briefing, Cosatu
national gender coordinator Nkemeleng Mzibomvu
gave meaning to the words by
explaining how police at the airport had
mistreated her and a
She was pulled by the hair and he was grabbed by the genitals
-- for no
Ntshalintshali said Cosatu condemns the
actions of the Zimbabwe government,
"which revealed its utter contempt not
only for the principles of respect
for human rights and civil liberties, but
for the rule of law, when it
brushed aside an order of the Harare High Court
interdicting them from
deporting the members of the Cosatu
Cosatu also criticised Department of Foreign Affairs
Mamoepa for saying "Zimbabwe is an independent,
sovereign state that has an
inalienable right to determine and to apply its
immigration legislation as
it may deem appropriate and in its own
Ntshalintshali pointed out that Zimbabwe is a signatory to
international conventions that guarantee basic human rights,
freedom of movement, assembly and speech.
conduct this week has attacked all these rights. No
has the right to deny entry and free movement to
visitors who, like the
Cosatu mission, do not contravene any immigration
laws and who obey the laws
of the land," he said.
Cosatu's mission was lawful, and as South Africans
they did not require
visas for Zimbabwe.
There were no grounds for
denying the delegation entry, and the delegation
was right to reject
conditions stipulating whom they could meet.
"We accept that the African
National Congress government shares with Cosatu
the common goal of restoring
democracy in Zimbabwe, but that it is pursuing
a different route from Cosatu
towards achieving this goal.
"Ronnie Mamoepa also said, on Radio 702,
that the solution to the problems
of Zimbabwe had to come about through
amicable discussion with the parties
involved -- precisely what the Cosatu
mission was trying to do."
Asked whether the mission was another triumph
for quiet diplomacy, mission
leader Violet Seboni, Cosatu's second deputy
president, said it is not for
the trade federation to pressure the
"We respect the government with regard to 'quiet diplomacy'.
Cosatu can tell
workers what to do, not government," she said.
to keep on campaigning
Ntshalintshali, meanwhile, recommitted Cosatu to
campaign publicly in
support of the ZCTU and the country's
"We will be ready, if called upon by the ZCTU, to take
solidarity action in
support of their struggle for the right to meet,
demonstrate and organise,
free of any interference from the state, in line
with the International
Labour Organisation and United Nations conventions.
And we shall also
campaign for the restoration of democracy and for free and
Isaac Ramputa of finance union Sasbo said Cosatu's
central committee will
next month decide on further action.
speculation on border blockades and other action against Zimbabwe by
is therefore premature.
ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chebebe, also
at the media conference,
said what he would like Cosatu to do is continue to
"unmask [the lies of]
the Zimbabwe government", as it has done through its
visit. -- Sapa