Cattle and game ranching proposed for non-arable land
BULAWAYO, 12 April
(IRIN) - Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) plans to intensify
livestock and game ranching programmes in Matabeleland South and North to
promote agricultural production on land unsuited to crop farming.
president Davison Mugabe told journalists in Bulawayo that the union had
tasked its regional offices in Matabeleland to consult local farmers
in designing proposals for both game and cattle ranching
"Matabeleland is rich in wildlife and cattle ranching. It has
the potential to contribute to the national economy if these are exploited to
commercial levels of production. We are aware that some farmers want to
venture into these projects, but cannot do so because of lack of capital,"
The ZCFU was discussing the incorporation of both livestock
and wildlife farmers into the fund allocated for the livestock rebuilding
programme with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
"With the money
that has been availed by the RBZ and the Land Bank (formerly Agri-bank) we
are going to make sure we complement this with adequate support extension
services and advice," Mugabe said.
The ZCFU livestock resuscitation plans
come at time when the national cattle herd has been depleted by three years
of consecutive drought.
Cattle breeders across Zimbabwe were forced to
sell or abandon thousands of animals following the invasion of farms in
February 2000 by war veterans.
The wildlife population has also been
depleted by the resettled people, who began poaching indiscriminately soon
after settling in areas where game was plentiful.
former chief livestock and land use planner for the state-run Agriculture
Rural Development Authority (ARDA) in Matabeleland South, said the ZCFU's
plans for both livestock and wildlife farming were likely to be upset by
regular outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
affects livestock and wildlife alike, is still a major threat in the region.
The theft and deliberate cutting of boundary fences around game sanctuaries
has led to free movement of buffaloes, which are known to spread the disease.
The government has failed to control FMD, and one wonders how the ZCFU
intends to control it. Success is possible, but the ZCFU needs to tell
government to come up with an intensive disease-control programme," said
Foot-and-mouth has been rampaging through Zimbabwe since it was
detected at a farm outside Bulawayo in August 2001. Government efforts to
control it have been severely hampered by a shortage of foreign currency to
import the necessary vaccines from neighbouring South Africa and
Zimbabwe's national cattle herd has dropped alarmingly from an
estimated one million early last year to slightly over 300,000 this
Over 200,000 cattle are reported to have died due to the drought,
while an estimated 15,000 have succumbed to a combination of tick- and
waterborne diseases as a result of inconsistent dipping services.
shortage of chemicals has meant that cattle in Zimbabwe have gone more than
eight months without their usual fortnightly
Pressure is growing on the ICC to
save Zimbabwe cricket from the crippling impact of interference by the Mugabe
government after the thin cloak of independence was finally whipped away over
the weekend. Heath Streak, removed as captain last week, has appealed to the
governing body to "come and investigate the grave situation at all levels of
the game". With ten contracted white players sacked by Ozias Bvute, the man
charged with enforcing a quota system, the sport is in crisis just eight days
before Zimbabwe are due to entertain Sri Lanka in a one-day international
at Bulawayo. At present, it looks as though they might field a virtual
second XI of non-white players. An argument that began when Streak sought
changes to ensure that all of the selection panel have experience of
first-class cricket has escalated to an extent that ought to alarm the ICC.
Forthcoming Test series pitting a politically-correct Zimbabwe team against
Sri Lanka and Australia would make a mockery of the game. Talks between
players and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) are scheduled for tomorrow and
Wednesday but Vince Hogg, the chief executive, has already been outflanked by
Bvute, a supporter of the Zanu PF party who is known to be close to Jonathan
Moyo, the interior minister. Mugabe himself was re-elected as patron of the
ZCU last year.
Bvute acted unilaterally when the players, who are
backing Streak, missed domestic commitments at the weekend. They had been
given permission to opt out by Hogg as attempts continued to broker a
settlement. Streak has said that he will withdraw his threat to retire, but
that is understood to be on the basis that his wishes over selection are
approved. There seems little prospect of an about-turn. As captain, Streak
was subjected to heavy criticism among those who saw him as a naive stooge of
Mugabe rule. The family farm was among those reclaimed as part of the land
nationalisation policy that has contributed towards economic collapse. Now he
finds himself a pariah, described as "racist" by the state-run Herald
newspaper. Streak has finally concluded that those within the ZCU who are
motivated by cricket rather than politics need urgent help. "These issues
keep coming to the surface and we need to deal with them once and for all,"
he said. "It is something the ZCU has brought upon itself. I am not desirous
of bringing collapse and I hope that is not the case."
however, does not seem prepared to intervene. A spokesman said last night:
"There is no doubt that in some countries the political system is responsible
for some team selections. I am not saying that is the case in Zimbabwe, but
in Sri Lanka for example. We are not in the business of interfering there.
These are generally internal issues and they need to be resolved within the
legal framework of the country involved. We have had people in Kenya ask us
to get involved there as well, and it is not something that we do. It would
be unprecedented for the ICC to be involved any further." So, there is no
prospect of sanctions or even condemnation of Zimbabwe for such blatant
manipulation of the sport; only the growing threat of suspension and a fine
of at least £1.1 million for the ECB should England refuse to tour next
winter. Suddenly the argument espoused by Hogg, that withdrawal would leave
the ZCU in serious financial trouble, becomes less persuasive. The
organisation no longer requires outside help to bring itself to ruin and
discussions a week tomorrow between the ECB and a ZCU delegation, including
Bvute, might now become wider-ranging.
From David Morgan, the ECB
chairman, through the staff at Lord's down to the players, there is no relish
for the tour. Yet, unlike those urging an immediate boycott, they are
compelled to weigh any moral gesture alongside the cost of isolation from the
world game, estimated as high as £50 million. It sits clamped between a rock
and a hard place. If only the Government would issue the clear instruction to
pull out, which the Board craves to avoid penalties. With the link between
Mugabe's despotic regime and Zimbabwe cricket now transparent, Tony Blair can
both take the moral high ground and give English cricket the help that it
desperately needs. That is too much to hope from the ICC.
Mon April 12, 2004 11:48 PM By Telford
Vice DURBAN (Reuters) - Up to 11 Zimbabwe players will boycott a
training session in Harare on Tuesday in support of former captain Heath
Streak, a senior player told Reuters on Monday.
The boycott will
be the latest development in a saga that began at the start of the month when
Streak's tenure as captain ended at a Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) board
The ZCU said Streak had resigned and quit all cricket
after his demands concerning the composition of the national selection
committee had been dismissed.
The pace bowler's father, Denis
Streak, has denied his son resigned.
"We were due to practice at
0900 (0700 GMT) but everyone has agreed that we won't turn up," a senior
player said from Harare.
Eleven contracted players have threatened
to resign if Streak is not reinstated. They are due to resume negotiations
with the ZCU on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe play Sri Lanka in the first of
five one-dayer in Harare on April 20.
Taibu, 20, named as Streak's successor, will become the youngest test captain
when he leads Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka in the first test in Harare on May
Streak told Reuters on Monday he would refuse to play for the
ZCU until they addressed his concerns over selection but added: "I've spoken
to Tatenda this weekend, and he's aware of some of my
"He has my full support, I have no grudges or issues
with him. I cannot work for the ZCU, but if and when those issues are
resolved I'm quite happy to play for Zimbabwe under Tatenda's
"In the interim I'm willing to give as much help and
advice as he or the team may require."
struggling to compete at test and one-day level, lost two leading players --
batsman/wicketkeeper Andy Flower and bowler Henry Olonga -- after the World
Cup last year.
The pair wore black armbands to "mourn the death of
democracy" in Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe's
The sport in Zimbabwe has traditionally been
dominated by white players but the ZCU is keen to see black players breaking
through at the top level.
HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) --
Zimbabwean Minister of AgricultureJoseph Made said here Monday that farm
equipment being acquired from former commercial farmers should be bought by
the state and placed under management of an efficient institution so that
anyonewho needs it can have access to it.
He was commenting
on recent revelations that some top civil servants and politicians were
abusing the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Acquisition of Farm
Equipment or Material Regulations to acquire tractors and implements from
former commercial farmers for themselves.
Local newspaper the
Sunday Mail reported that equipment that included tractors and combine
harvesters had been moved from Chegutu district between Thursday and Friday
The report said the equipment was being sold on
behalf of former commercial farmers at Dodhill warehouse in
"Let the state buy the equipment so that it can be put
at the disposal of everyone who wants to use," said Made.
said it is wrong for a person to invest in capital equipmentbefore they
reached the capacity to use it, as they would let it lie idle while others
were in need of it.
He said should the state want to dispose of
the equipment at a later stage, the process should be conducted in a
transparent manner that did not favor a few individuals.
Made said there was need to increase production and productivity to make up
for time lost when the country experienceddroughts during the past three
HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A new pressure
group seeking legislation and promotion of economic empowerment of black
people in Zimbabwe has been established, an official with the group announced
here on Monday.
National Empowerment Group spokesman Lloyd
Mushore said the group was aimed at ensuring the majority of Zimbabweans a
prominent share in the wealth of the country.
He said the
past imbalances of wealth among Zimbabweans should be reviewed with everyone
in mind regardless of status.
He said the group would press for
the crafting of legislation covering the economic empowerment of black
people. "There is need for legislation on indigenization and black
empowerment to providea just framework."
He said the
pressure group would work with stakeholders in the private and public sectors
of the black business community with the same vision.
Chihota, a secretariat member, said "the National Empowerment Group would
foster, encourage, stimulate and promote debate on the fair and equitable
distribution of wealth among Zimbabweans."
The huge gap between
rich and the poor in Zimbabwe is slowly catching up with that of Brazil.
"This gap is an urgent problem for our country," said Chihota.
Manufacturing firms in the
Midlands are threatened with closure if the massive hike in electricity
tariffs by Zesa is not urgently reviewed. This emerged during an industrial
tour of Gweru companies last week by Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of
Industry and International Trade.
Two giant companies in the city - glass
and shoe manufacturing, Zimglass and Bata Shoe Company - raised concern over
the high tariffs that they said affected the smooth operation of their
companies as well as those of other smaller manufacturers in the
They said the impact and effect of this massive tariff hike
would result in employee lay-offs or the total collapse of the manufacturing
sector in the province.
Jacob Dube, Zimglass managing director, said
his company paid $6 million in electricity bills in February alone and was
shocked to receive another $26 million bill for March.
from Bata told the minister that the shoe maker might be forced to close its
Kwekwe plant and transfer critical staff to the main plant in Gweru should
the electricity hikes keep going up.
In response, Mumbengegwi promised to
take up the matter to higher authorities.
Zimbabwe's poor economic
environment has made the country unable to generate enough power and now it
relies heavily on electricity imports at much higher costs.
managed Wankie Colliery is also not operating at full capacity thereby
failing to produce adequate coal to feed the three thermal stations in
Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo.
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has
also compounded the problems through its failure to repair more than 100
wagons and locomotives to help transport, at cheaper cost, the little
available coal to the thermal stations.
Urban commuter operators here last week hiked commuter
fares by 50 percent raising the ire of the already over-burdened
Fares from city to Dangamvura, which is about 12km from the
city centre - were raised from $1 000 for a single trip to $1
Residents of Saku-bva and Chikanga suburbs, both which are less than
5 kms from the city centre, will now have to fork out $1 200 for a journey
that used to cost only $800.
Isau Mupfumi, President of the Zimbabwe
Stage Carriage Association, (ZSCA) Manicaland region, last week defended the
fare increases saying the cost of running their business was under threat if
they did not hike fares. ZSCA is an association of public transport
"Long distance bus operators have increased their fares and we
had no choice but to follow suit as we are in the same industry," said
But commuters last week lashed out at the operators accusing
them of robbing them of their hard-earned money.
"These new fares were
never officially announced before being effected. It is my belief that these
fares were never gazetted by the government as is the usual practice, hence
they are illegal," fumed Emily Munyoro of Sakubva in Mutare.
said the operators should have at least informed the commuters in advance of
the impending increment.
Another Mutare resident, Ronald Muuya said the
fare increment would lead to many residents resorting to walking to and from
town to cut down on transport costs.
"Most of us can no longer cope
with the cost of living in the city. We will have to walk some of the days if
our salaries are to last the whole month," Muuya said.
He said he was
also contemplating buying a second hand bicycle to use for travelling to and
Mupfumi - who operates probably the largest fleet of commuter
buses in Manicaland - said spares for buses were too expensive. He told The
Standard for the public transport sector to remain viable increments had to
be effected when necessary.
?HARARE, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwe Tourism
Authority (ZTA) said here on Monday that it plans to increase its marketing
activities in the Asian region to underpin the growth.
Chief Executive Tichaona Jokonya said Asia was a huge untamed tourist market
for Zimbabwe, and the organization was pursuing a number of initiatives to
Last year, Asia was the biggest growth market for
tourists for Zimbabwe at an increase of 40 percent over the previous year,
withJapan, India and China accounting for much of it.
numbers, a total of 40,791 Asian tourists visited Zimbabwe last year, up from
29,075 in the previous year.
"All the East Asian markets are
growing. We have China which isnow a giant in every respect, coming on
board," said Jokonya.
"We are planning to develop this market,
which in time can be the largest market for tourists for Zimbabwe, and other
countries in the region," he said.
In pursuit of the goal,
the ZTA has organized promotional tripslater this year to a number of Asian
countries and regions, including China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, jointly with
other players in the local tourism industry.
tourism attaches had also been appointed to Zimbabwe's embassies in China and
Malaysia, and plans were afoot for others to be deployed at the country's
missions in India, Japan, Thailand and Mauritius.
and China recently signed a tourism agreement, which Jokonya forecast would
translate into increased inflows of Chinesetourists to
Among projects being considered under the agreement
was the national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, flying to China.
Jokonya said Asia, where the economies of the countries in the region enjoy
the fastest growing rates in the world, had the potential to surpass Europe
as Zimbabwe's biggest tourism market.
The European tourism
market for the country has slumped in recent years, after Britain led a media
onslaught against its former colony in the last four years, in a vain attempt
to thwart the government's land reforms.
diversifying Zimbabwe's tourism source markets wascrucial for the long-term
survival and growth of the industry, which got 44.1 million US dollars in
foreign currency earnings last year.
Zimbabwe tour could be farce: FlowerAlex Brown
Sydney April 13, 2004
Zimbabwe's most capped
cricketer has warned Australia to prepare for a "farcical" tour of the
African nation next month following the sacking of 12 senior white players
over the weekend and threats of further walkouts.
According to Grant
Flower, the Zimbabwean Cricket Union's decision to axe the likes of Stuart
Carlisle, Craig Wishart and Ray Price, supposedly for not playing in a recent
round of domestic matches, has threatened the legitimacy of Australia's tour
and Zimbabwe's status as a Test-playing nation.
officials pledged to monitor Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe this month, but
remained committed to Australia's visit provided players' safety was not
Flower believed the series could inflict irreparable damage
on Zimbabwe's already dented reputation as a cricketing force.
ZCU) think that cricket will carry on regardless and they may as well have 11
black players on the field," said Flower, a 67-Test veteran. "I think the
Australian tour could prove farcical. There's a very good possibility that we
could lose Test and one-day status, but our board thinks otherwise. They
think we'll lose these games anyway, regardless of who plays.
know at this stage is that Heath Streak has definitely been fired from the
captaincy, but is allowed to keep going as a player. Now we're hearing that
some guys who were supposed to play for Mashonaland have been sacked, but
haven't been phoned by the board. Under the current conditions, all our guys
have had enough."
Streak was sacked from the national captaincy after
presenting a list of player demands to ZCU officials.
team could be further eroded after Ozias Bvute, the ZCU board member charged
with enforcing Zimbabwe's racial quota system, announced the sacking of 12
white players over the weekend, heightening the likelihood of further
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young confirmed
that the volatile political climate in Zimbabwe would be monitored
"Our position is to complete the tour so long as player safety
isn't an issue," he said.
Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe will begin on a
contentious note, with the ICC set to release its findings on Muttiah
Muralitharan's doosra later today. "If the report finds something, all he has
to do is not bowl the doosra," said Sri Lanka coach John Dyson. "I've told
him before, I think he bowls it too much."
Zimbabwe leaves Mbeki on the defensive in South African
JOHANNESBURG : President Thabo Mbeki is on the defensive over
his failure to persuade President Robert Mugabe to change his hardline
policies, with opposition parties calling on South Africa to speak out
against the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe.
Just after taking over
from Nelson Mandela, Mbeki was confronted with a major foreign policy
challenge in 2000 when South Africa's most important neighbor forged ahead
with a land reform program under which white commercial farms were seized and
given to blacks.
The program was widely seen as a political ploy by
Mugabe to cling to power in the face of the growing popularity of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which rejects Mugabe's victory in
the 2002 presidential election.
Led by veterans of Zimbabwe's war for
independence, the campaign saw white ownership of productive land reduced
from 30 percent to three percent.
At least 12 white farmers were killed
and tens of thousands of their black farm workers were driven off the farms,
some of them brutally beaten.
Many farm workers were beaten or had their
homes burnt down and today around two million workers and their dependents
have been evicted from the farms without benefiting from the land reform
The expropriations were followed by a series of droughts,
leaving Zimbabwe, once southern Africa's bread basket, dependent on
international aid with the latest estimates showing that 5.5 million
Zimbabweans will need food aid this year.
The humanitarian crisis has
been compounded by a Mugabe-led crackdown on dissent that has targeted
political opponents, human rights activists, journalists and trade union
Three million refugees have fled Zimbabwe, most of them to
South Africa, which is growing more anxious about the prospects of its
northern neighbour descending into all-out chaos.
governing African National Congress, Africa's oldest liberation movement,
feels a loyalty to Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF), which also led the struggle against colonialism and
Despite his repressive policies, Mugabe remains to many in Africa
a freedom hero.
Mbeki has been pressing Mugabe to open up to talks
with the opposition to end the crisis in Zimbabwe, which has come under
sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
entreaties appear to have fallen on deaf ears with Mugabe bluntly stating
that he was not ready to sit down for talks with the "enemy."
Mugabe does not take instructions from me", Mbeki said last month during a
campaign swing through KwaZulu-Natal province.
South Africa's opposition
has fiercely criticised Mbeki's stance on Zimbabwe in campaigns ahead of
general elections Wednesday, arguing that his failure to publicly condemn was
in fact emboldening Mugabe.
"President Thabo Mbeki's government's
credibility as a consistent supporter of human rights and democracy is
withering in the face of the outlaw regime of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF," says
Graham McIntosh, spokesman for the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition
Former Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu has publicly attacked
Mbeki's stance on Zimbabwe.
"What has been reported as happening in
Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable and reprehensible and we ought to say so,"
"The credibility of our democracy demands this. If we are
seemingly indifferent to human rights violations happening in a neighbouring
country, what is to stop us one day being indifferent to that in our
But others say Mbeki is treading a fine line and that his so-called
quiet diplomacy may yet yield results.
"To shout at Mugabe, publicly
reprimanding him on account of his violations of human rights and his
government's misconduct will not persuade him to change his ways," wrote
former foreign minister Pik Botha of the last apartheid-era government in an
editorial published in Johannesburg's This Day newspaper last week.
Black dairy farmers opt for crop production HARARE, 12 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - Milk
production in Zimbabwe faces a new challenge as inexperienced black dairy
farmers abandon the industry and opt for crop production.
farmers were given dairy farms to rear cows and produce milk during the
fast-track land redistribution exercise.
Silas Chirume, 45, whose farm is
situated in the Beatrice area, about 80 kilometres to the southwest of Harare
in Mashonaland East province, is one of scores of farmers who are abandoning
Chirume told IRIN he had acquired his farm in 2002, but
was finding it increasingly difficult to continue with milk production
because the number of cows had dropped from 80 to 25.
He obtained a
loan from the government to buy the dairy herd from the white owner of the
farm, who had since relocated to New Zealand.
"I started off with 80
cows, but I was forced to slay 40 of them and sell the meat in order to be
able to repay the loan that I acquired from the government. The other 15 were
either stolen or died due to natural causes," said a distraught
"The major obstacle in [the dairy] industry is of the scarcity
of inputs. When I took up dairy farming I thought it was an easy business,
but hardly had I started, did I realise that there was much more to it than
leading cows into a milking pen," he said.
"I have had a difficult
time trying to acquire stock-feeds, which are generally in short supply in
the country. I am failing to access enough financial support from the banks,
some of which say my business has become too risky," Chirume
Stock-feeds are highly priced because they are in short
supply after two successive droughts and reduced production caused by the
removal of white farmers, who produced the bulk of the cereal crops required
in manufacturing the feed.
More than half the costs in diary farming
are incurred by stock-feeds, according to a presidential land review report
produced in August last year.
"Stock-feed products have now become very
expensive for farmers, and production viability, in the face of controlled
producer prices in all livestock sectors, has been severely affected," the
Chirume said he was also unable to provide adequate
veterinary services for his cattle, because he did not have the financial
resources. The situation was aggravated by the fact that drugs and dosing
chemicals were also in short supply.
"It was painful to watch as some
of my cows succumbed to diseases such as foot-and-mouth because I could not
afford to buy the vaccines, which, anyway, could hardly be found," he
Chirume, without the approval of the government, was now
experimenting with paprika and soya beans. Even though he was not sure
whether the soil on his plot was suitable for these two cash crops, he was
hoping to earn more money this year from them than he did from dairy
A recent survey by the National Association of Dairy Farmers
(NADF), which has 318 members, showed that the number of dairy farmers was
still declining, with 120 farmers, mostly black, having given up since 2000.
The NADF expressed concern that the country would end up as a net importer
of milk if the situation continued.
NADF spokesperson Hilary Blair
told IRIN that the prohibitive costs involved in dairy farming were a major
contributing factor in the declining number of farmers, as were ongoing
insufficient feed supplies, caused by farmers being prohibited from growing
cereal crops for silage.
"Many producers also do not have access to
sufficient arable land and natural veld; many producers have been prevented
from growing maize and sorghum for silage, and utilising natural veld," Blair
"There are many examples where milk production on a farm has
dropped by 25 percent to 45 percent because of insufficient feed, as a result
of the farmer not being able to carry on with normal cropping programmes,"
Blair said prohibiting the planting of cereal crops for
fodder affected mainly the remaining white farmers who had been spared the
compulsory acquisition of their farms.
She acknowledged that the
national dairy herd had been affected by thefts, with new settlers mostly
being suspected of cattle rustling and slaughter.
"There are many
reported cases of theft, slaughter and maiming of dairy cattle," she said,
adding that milk production was currently 60 percent of what it had been
before the land reform programme began.
The country needs over 13 million
litres of milk every month, but production is now less than 9 million
Another new dairy farmer, Tamuka Zimuto, 51, in the Goromonzi
area, some 35 kilometres to the east of Harare in Mashonaland East, said he
was also turning to crops because milk production was "too demanding". Maize
farming was easier for him because he grew up in a rural community where it
He also bemoaned the fact that when he got onto his plot,
some of the infrastructure had been vandalised or stolen.
farming was mostly the preserve of white farmers, and blacks were minimally
involved in it before the land reform programme. As a result, most of us who
went into dairy lacked the required expertise and it will need a strong
policy initiative on the part of government and farmers' unions to train
dairy farmers," said Zimuto.
He admitted that he only visited the farm on
weekends, as he was a full-time employee with a freight company in
Blair attributed the disillusionment new dairy farmers were
experiencing to this part-time and "half-hearted" approach. She also said new
farmers lacked the expertise required for successful dairy
"Dairy farming demands a farmer with years of experience and
training. He must be a farmer, a veterinary doctor, a nutritionist and he
must be on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These facts may help explain
why new and inexperienced dairy farmers may be abandoning their new-found
trade," she said.
The presidential land review report recommended that
20,000 heifers be imported "to boost the national herd", and "concrete plans
by [the government] should be made to increase the number of new indigenous
farmers in milk production through various support programmes," to
resuscitate the dairy industry.
A SHARP scream drew the attention of
commuters growing restless after queuing for hours waiting for transport to
Kuwadzana Extension in Harare after the day's work.
At around 7:30 PM,
on a Wednesday evening, none of the commuters could have been prepared for
what took place right under their noses.
A young boy in his teens was
writhing in agony with a broken collarbone and blood oozing from the back of
Five young men, seemingly drunk and shouting obscenities,
leisurely walked away from the scene at the corner of Nelson Mandela and
Mbuya Nehanda roads apparently unworried by the presence of curious
They had robbed the young man of a cellphone and $100 000 from
his wallet before throwing the wallet back to him.
"They have killed
me S they have killed me," wailed the boy in Shona to a handful of
sympathisers who had gathered around him.
But most of the commuters kept
a safe distance from the bleeding teenager. They were more concerned about
finding transport to their own homes than assisting the injured boy and
possibly suffer the inconvenience of a police interrogation.
emerged that the teenage boy had been followed by the five men after he
withdrew some money at an automated teller machine (ATM) at a bank. Realising
that the boy was about to reach where he would board an omnibus home, the
"He was hit by one of the robbers with a blunt metal
object which was hidden underneath a dust coat. When he fell to the ground
the other robbers emptied his pockets," said one eyewitness.
robbery and muggings in Harare's inner city have drastically increased in the
past few years.
While other crimes of robbery, muggings, theft and car
jackings are committed under the cover of darkness, most of the street
muggings now take place in broad daylight, as the robbers become more
"It is dangerous. I see people being attacked everyday, but I
cannot assist because they will kill me instead," said Thomas Matibenga, a
vendor who sells cigarettes at the entrance of a noisy nightclub.
February, a 14 year-old street kid was raped while sleeping in a
sanitary lane between Angwa and First Street in central Harare. The shocking
incident took place hardly three weeks after a 38-year-old woman was raped by
a gang of street people in the CBD on her way home from
Hararians blame street kids and the police for the rising incidents
of criminal activity in the city centre. "It's not only the street kids.
Hard core criminals are roaming the streets of Harare. Even mahwindi (touts)
are working in cahoots with these criminals but if you report them to the
police you see them free the following day," fumed Marian Taruvinga of
Taruvinga said the police's response to crime reports was
disappointing. She said that in most cases the police were reactive in their
approach rather than being pro-active or preventative.
spokesperson Inspector Andrew Phiri said the police have intensified efforts
to reduce crime in the city centre. He said since reports of rape cases in
Harare early this year, the police had intensified foot, bicycle and vehicle
patrols in the CBD.
"Presently we have "Operation Rarama" targeting
traffic offenders and "Operation Clean-Up" which started in Mbare but nets
all criminals including touts found terrorising commuters," said
An irate Gerald Chimanga, however, was not impressed Phiri's
"You only see police at robots and intersections when
President Mugabe is driving from the airport or coming from his home area,"
Sociologist Gordon Chavunduka attributed the rise in crime
in the city centre to the general economic meltdown and breakdown of the rule
He said because of poverty and the breakdown of the rule of law,
many people were no longer afraid to take risks such as committing
"They know there are chances that they will go scot-free. Because
of that they are more than willing to take chances," said Chavunduka.
South, which was last year declared a state of disaster, has come out of the
drought with communal farmers in most parts of the province expected to get
above-average maize and sorghum harvests.
The province, like most parts
of the country, received above normal rainfall this season, although at the
start of the wet season it looked as though it was heading for yet another
Chief Agricultural Research and Extension Officer for
Matabeleland South Mr Bernard Mneri Sibanda said the department's crop
assessment showed that a sizeable number of farmers would get better yields
this year compared to the past few years.
"When the rains came in
October, cattle were weak as the grazing was not adequate, so the communal
farmers had a problem of draught power. Nevertheless, those with donkeys and
tractors managed to plant under those circumstances," said Mr
He said farmers in Gwanda, Beitbridge, Plumtree, Insiza and
Matobo districts had planted maize on 45 600 hectares of land.
for Umzingwane District were not available.
"However, there was a long
mid-season dry spell which resulted in the early-planted maize crop being a
write-off. Some farmers re-planted and others heeded our advice to stagger
"The late-planted crop is in a good condition as a
result," he said.
Some farmers planted as late as last month and with the
amount of moisture in the soils, they were likely to "get something",
especially if their areas were not "frost-sensitive".
temperatures will be low so we do not expect a lot of evaporation,"
Mr Sibanda said some areas in the province where there were
sandy soils might have been affected by leaching, as most farmers did not
have fertiliser to arrest the problem.
Leaching was pronounced in the
Stanmore, Matshetshe and Dwala areas in Gwanda North.
said, projections were that a total of 23 290 tonnes of maize were likely to
be harvested in Insiza, Plumtree, Beitbridge, Matobo, and Gwanda.
Sibanda said good harvests of sorghum and peal millet were expected in most
parts of the province, although the crop yields would be reduced owing to
damage by birds.
In Insiza, where 19 300 hectares were put under maize,
15 400 tonnes of the crop were expected to be harvested.
"Most of the
maize crop in Filabusi was affected by the mid-season drought. However, the
late-planted crop is at knee height to grain filling stage," Mr Sibanda
In Matobo, where the farmers planted maize on 17 000 hectares of
land, a combined harvest of 3 400 tonnes of maize was expected, while in
Plumtree, where the late-planted crop is at knee height, about 2 100 tonnes
of maize is expected from 7 000 hectares.
"As for Beitbridge, the
early-planted crop was a write-off like in most parts of the province, but
the late-planted crop is in good condition and at varying stages from
emergence to the tasselling stage," he said.
Mr Sibanda said only 800
hectares were put under maize in Beitbridge and this was expected to yield 1
600 tonnes as the farmers were expecting an average yield of two tonnes per
"Beitbridge, however, has a good sorghum crop which has matured
and the farmers are expecting an average of two tonnes per hectare from 70
000 hectares of sorghum," he said.
Gwanda has the lowest projected
maize yields as only 750 tonnes of maize are expected from 1 500 hectares on
which the crop was planted.
Mr Sibanda urged farmers to start planting
such winter crops as wheat, saying they should take advantage of the moisture
in the soil.
"Immediately after harvesting, they should start ploughing
in preparation for the next season," he said.
The Government has
announced that it will divert funds set aside for drought relief programmes
to other humanitarian assistance schemes if an assessment being carried out
reveals that every farmer in the country has harvested enough
The Government allocated $48 billion for drought relief programmes
Koosaletse told the Congress that the BDP
continues to flout laws and democratic principles with
He recalled that in 2000, the BCP
complained to the Ombudsman with regard to public officers accompanying Vice
President Ian Khama on political party activities and that he was also
piloting Botswana Defence Force (BDF) aircrafts. He said the Ombudsman ruled
against the intransigent Vice President but in vain. "The recalcitrant Vice
President chose to ignore this ruling and we were left dumbfounded to learn
that the President has now sanctioned the VP's illegal flying of the army
aircrafts. Let me hasten to congratulate the Ombudsman for his unparalleled
independence. He did not only corroborate our principled position, but also
lamented ineptness of the Office of the Presidency which ignored his advice,"
He added that failure to act on the Ombudsman's
ruling is tantamount to suspension of the rule of law. "Our next move is to
take the matter to the Speaker of the National Assembly and ask parliament to
take action," he declared.
The BCP leader commended the Namibian
president Sam Nujoma for not seeking a fourth term. He expressed hope that
other SADC leaders will encourage such a move. He expressed concern about the
economic and political situation in Zimbabwe, which continues to
"This is a source for concern. African leaders appear
silent and indifferent to the plight of fellow Africans, particularly when
their colleagues transgress the rights of ordinary citizens. We call upon
SADC and the African Union to act on Zimbabwe without delay. We also call
upon all forces of democracy around the world to put pressure on President
Robert Mugabe to respect the rule of law and conform to democratic norms
and standards. Mugabe's failure to conform should attract serious sanctions,"
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana's ailing cattle industry could be in
danger again as rustlers from neighbouring Zimbabwe continue to launch
The latest reports from the villages in
the North-East District, along the border, indicate that rustlers from
Zimbabwe have been having a field day on cattle grazing in the border
villages of Maitengwe and others. This follows an incident in which the
cordon fence along the Maitengwe village was cut to enable free and illegal
movement of cattle in and out of the country. "Botswana police and their
Zimbabwean counterparts joint operation recently recovered about 12 cattle in
the Zimbabwean border village of Cholocho and the cattle are currently being
held at Madlambuzi police station in Zimbabwe," explained Francistown police
district officer commanding, Senior Superintendent, Boikhutso
The police strongly believe that the cattle were stolen
from Maitengwe village. "The two-day joint police operation followed the
cattle track until they landed at a kraal in Cholocho where they found the
animals still kraaled. The cattle belong to a number of farmers and we used
the brands to positively identify the cattle," said Dintwa. The cattle are
going to be produced as exhibits in cases of stock theft that were reported
in Zimbabwe. "These animals can be sold in a public auction in Zimbabwe or
can be destroyed outside the Botswana border as they cannot enter back
into Botswana as there is a reported long standing outbreak of the
contagious Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Zimbabwe. Cattle owners will be
accordingly compensated once animals have been killed," he said. Dintwa said
the police are working hand in hand with the veterinary officials to tackle
the problem. Botswana police recently reported that a number of cattle
from Botswana were killed and burnt after they crossed the border to avoid
the risk of FMD. Superintendent Hendrick Mmipi of Masunga police confirmed
to Mmegi recently that a fence was cut to enable the illegal movement of
cattle out of the country. "I don't completely discount a possibility that
some cattle from Zimbabwe could be finding their way into the country," he
said. A number of Zimbabweans and Batswana were previously arrested for
illegally importing goats into the country. They were reportedly bartering
goats for bags of mealie-meal claiming to be ravaged by hunger in
The Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) suffered greatly in
2002 following the outbreak of FMD in the North-East village of Matsiloje
resulting in a net loss of about P28.3 million. As a result of the FMD
outbreak, the two BMC abattoirs of Lobatse and Francistown had to close
temporarily for some time.
The illegal movement of cattle along
the border villages and the cutting of the cordon fence threatens the cattle
industry which was destined to recover from the FMD and the drought. The
police have appealed to villagers to report any suspicious cattle movement in
the area to avoid further spread of the FMD as that would be bad news cattle
farmers in the area.
HARARE, Apr 12 (IPS) - Rumbidzai Zulu,
a woman in her early twenties, stares at the freshly bandaged stump that used
to be her leg. A landmine blew off the limb while she was looking for
firewood in the bush - also claiming the life of her unborn child - and she
is struggling to come to grips with the trauma.
Hundreds of people
have been killed, maimed or injured by mines which were planted by government
troops and their opponents in the 1970s, during Zimbabwe's liberation
struggle. A toll has also been taken on domestic and wild animals.
is estimated that Zimbabwe is one of the most heavily-mined countries in the
world, its borders with Mozambique and Zambia being virtually impassable in
Anti-personnel mines used by authorities in what was
then Rhodesia included the R2m2, RAP Carrot, M972 and VS50 devices, which
were strategically planted to deter rebel fighters from crossing into the
country from surrounding states.
Twenty years later, the mines
continue to wage war against unwitting civilians.
de-mining analysts, over 500 million U.S. dollars are needed to conduct a
comprehensive clearance exercise along the borders. However, Zimbabwe's
cash-strapped government lacks the funds to provide even basic healthcare to
its citizens - and de-mining appears certain to remain on the back burner for
some time to come.
In addition, a new battle - the political war of words
between Zimbabwe and donor countries - has badly affected clearance
Relations between Harare and several developed countries have
been strained since the start of farm occupations in Zimbabwe in 2000.
Reports of ongoing human rights abuses at the hands of officials and
government-backed militias have deepened tensions, as have claims that
parliamentary and general elections were marred by violence and
The Director-General of Operations and Planning in the
Ministry of Defence, Trust Mugoba, says Washington has withdrawn funding for
de-mining projects in the northern areas around Victoria falls and
"Unfortunately, the military has not been spared by the politics
between Zimbabwe and the United States Government. The U.S. government
stopped funding (for the de-mining project) project in
According to Mugoba, the U.S. had contributed five million dollars
to the project since the 1990s, which resulted in several kilometres of land
being cleared of mines. It also trained 120 engineers from the Ministry of
Defence and provided funding for equipment and machinery used in the
de-mining process. The European Union has also withdrawn funds for mine
As a result of the danger posed by landmines, large tracts of
arable land remain largely uncultivated - a profound irony in a country so
marked by disputes around land ownership and availability.
farmer from the Dande Valley that lies along Zimbabwe's border with
Mozambique, Brain Mutsago, told IPS that people there lived in fear of the
anti-personnel mines. "It is a dangerous thing to try to cultivate in the
area, as one can be blown up in any time," he said.
Director of Operations for Mine-Tech - Zimbabwe's only private company
specializing in mine clearance - says the weapons also continue to pose a
danger to people who cross the country's borders illegally. Mine-tech's
expertise has been used in operations in neighbouring Mozambique - as well as
Angola, Kosovo and Sri Lanka.
The landmine problem was exacerbated two
years ago after rains induced by cyclone Eline caused many devices to be
The plight of mine victims in Zimbabwe may be highlighted at
the Nairobi Summit on a Mine Free World, which takes place at the end of
November and beginning of December this year.
This conference will
review the progress made in implementing the 1997 Convention on the
Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of
Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction - the so-called Mine Ban
Zimbabwe is a signatory to this agreement, which entered into
force in March 1999. The convention has set 2009 as the date by which
countries that had endorsed it in 1999 should have completed mine clearance.
Over 140 states have signed up to the Mine Ban Treaty - although the United
States, China and Russia have yet to come on board.
According to the
International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), a Washington-based group that
has played a leading role in pushing for mines to be outlawed, up to 20,000
mine-related casualties are reported every year - with most victims being
civilians (children account for 23 percent of the casualties). Many wait
years before being given the artificial limbs that will allow them to resume
a relatively normal life.
However, the ICBL also notes that that over 50
million stockpiled mines have destroyed in recent years. The group was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its efforts to combat the scourge
of landmines. (END/2004)
By Oswald Sibanda Sports
Editor 12/04/04 HEATH Streak, the man that the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
would like you all out there to believe is a racist monster bent on
preventing black players from playing cricket is nothing but a cricketing
genius who loves the people and his country.
The ZCU has told lies
repeatedly and sullied Heath Streak's reputation. You have been told that
Streak wrote a letter to the ZCU threatening to resign from 'all forms of
cricket' unless his 'demands' were met.
No such letter
Here is a young professional who has refused to bow down to a
cricket body that plays politics at the expense of national
If anything, Heath Streak is a national hero. Surely, if this
Heath Streak is the racist we are told to believe he is he wouldn't have
stood for, and passed the O' Level exam for the native Ndebele language with
a B grade.
Out of all sporting competitions, cricket is the only sport
that has internationalised Zimbabwe, but there has been a marked decline in
our national game.
It is not hard to find the reasons for this.
Several senior Test players like Murray Godwin, Henry Olonga, the Strang
brothers, Andy Flower and Grant Flower have all dumped the team.
man who wants you to believe Streak is a racist monster - Peter Chingoka - is
himself an obdurate racist devil whose actions are informed by the same
spirit that led Chenjerai Hunzvi to seize white owned farms.
presided over the shaming of Zimbabwean cricket, and is a leading advocate
for gate-crashing black players into the team, forget whether they are
talented or not.
New Zimbabwe.com holds no brief for racist fanatics, be
they black or white.
There is an obdurate, racist white minority that
still remains in our cricket. Similarly, there is a dangerous racist hooligan
by the name of Chingoka who presides over our national game.
nothing wrong with getting blacks to play cricket. But there is everything
wrong with getting young, inexperienced and sometimes untalented people to
play cricket - simply because they are black.
We would love to see an all
black Zimbabwean cricket team out there. For Gods' sake, 99 percent of
Zimbabweans are black.
Chingoka, the revisionist, racist historian is so
obsessed with correcting 'past imbalances' that he has lost focus and
Zimbabwe is a good team. We know we can play the game. But we
don't deserve Chingoka. He is pulling us down.
BULAWAYO City Council has resolved to cut
off water supplies to more than a thousand residents in a bid to recover
about $500 million the local authority is being owed, The Standard has
City Treasurer Middleton Nyoni told a full council meeting here
last week that there was need to beef up cash resources by intensifying
urgent water disconnections with a view to force the residents to comply with
"The disconnection plan of action had envisaged that
teams be placed in all suburbs at once so that the impact of the
disconnections would be felt throughout the city.
"The City Treasurer
therefore recommends that the cut off team be given top priority by all and
in the meantime, the disconnection exercise be continued," said
Last month the Bulawayo Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube
threatened to cut all water supplies to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)
barracks, Zimbabwe Republic Po-lice (ZRP) camps in Bulawayo and to many
government offices for an accrued debt hovering above $3
After Ndebeni-Ncube's statement, the ZNA, police and several
other government departments rushed to settle their debts to avoid water
To date, the residents owe the council a whopping $419 898 840,82
in water arrears.
IT was shortly after 8.00PM in the evening when Dumisani Moyo,
accompanied by his 10-year-old son George, manoeuvred his Mazda 323 in the
driveway outside the block of flats where he resides in Bulawayo.
seemed well and he was unaware that trouble was about to strike. As
he alighted from the car two men emerged from the shadows and before Moyo
knew what was happening, one of them - brandishing a pistol - ordered him
back into the car and told him to start the ignition.
"Drive or we
will shoot," said the menacing voice, before pushing Moyo back into the car.
He started driving while the two hoodlums sat in the back.
towards the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway and after about 10 kms he was
ordered to stop. He and his son were ordered to get out of
They were thoroughly searched for money and then ordered to
strip. The robbers took their clothes and drove off, leaving the two - father
and son - stark naked on the highway.
Moyo and son were lucky: a
passing motorist saw them and gave them a lift back into town where he
reported his ordeal to the police.
Moyo is just one of the latest victims
of carjackings which have wreaked havoc in Bulawayo of late.
only God to thank that we are still alive. I believe that these robbers have
for sometime been studying my movements before they decided to pounce. I just
hope my car is found because I paid a lot of money for it," Moyo told The
Cases of carjackings are on the increase in Bulawayo
and since last year many motorists have lost their cars to the violent
Motorists say they are finding it difficult to protect
themselves against the gun-totting robbers who have literally turned the once
beautiful "City of Kings" into a "City of Robbers and Muggers".
robbers normally target luxury vehicles such as Nissan Hardbodys, Pajeros,
Toyota Hilux models and Isuzu twin cabs, which have a ready market in and
Although police have arrested some of the carjackers,
the problem is far from over as the robbers constantly devise new ways of
"What is so frustrating is that there is no protection against
these robbers. Once someone brandishing a gun approaches you, you have
no alternative except to give up. Any brave act might result in your
death," said Samson Ndleya who recently lost a Nissan Sunny outside his home
in Hillside suburb.
Bulawayo motorists have attributed the rise in
carjackings to the increase in the number of Zimbabweans being deported from
South Africa. Some of those deported are said to be bringing various
dangerous weapons into the country which they sell to local
Others are Zimbabwean criminals who had immigrated to South
Africa but are back in business here at home.
Jeremiah Masuku, who
recently lost an Isuzu vehicle, said the robbers were now targetting the
latest luxury 4x4 vehicles.
"There is a ready market for these cars in
Zambia," said Masuku. "The stolen cars are taken to Zambia via Victoria Falls
where there are immediately sold for prices ranging from $70 million to $180
million. Some local car dealers are also involved in the carjacking
Police have previously warned motorists to be on the lookout for
cars following them suspiciously as they drive into their
Law enforcement agents say motorists should also be on the
lookout for cars parked outside their gates since robbers normally pounce as
victims open gates to their homes.
Many motorists said anti-carjacking
devises that are common in most cars do not work because the robbers have
found ways of disabling them.
"Some of us are now travelling with
knobkerries and axes to protect ourselves. In these times, it might also be a
good idea to hire a bodyguard to travel in the car with," said another
Bulawayo motorist John Banda.