The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Harare Police Round Up Street Vendors in Replay of 2005 Sweeps


By Irwin Chifera
      14 April 2006

Police in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare rounded up scores of street
vendors Friday in several of the densely populated suburbs ringing the city,
seizing goods and severely beating a number of the informal business people,
witnesses said.

Vendors told correspondent Irwin Chifera of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
police arrested numerous vendors despite their presentation of valid
business licences.

The raids reminded many vendors and capital residents of the May 2005
crackdown on street vendors which ushered in the slum clearance drive which
the government called Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out Rubbish). The
demolition of homes and businesses left at least 700,000 without shelter or
livelihood or both, according to a report commissioned by United Nations
Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

A (week-long) trip to the shops

Mail and Guardian

      Riekje Pelgrim

      14 April 2006 11:59

            Caroline* from Harare comes to Jo'burg twice a month to shop.
She does not like the place, but needs to come here to support her family.
"I buy things here, so I can sell them in Zimbabwe," says Caroline, who buys
mostly industrial goods, such as rubber, for making couches. Her reasons for
coming to Johannesburg are a wider variety and lower prices.

            There are thousands of so-called cross-border shoppers like
Caroline who come to Jo'burg every year. They buy fridges, televisions,
computers, clothes, food, household goods and personal care products.
According to ComMark Trust, which is dedicated to reducing poverty in
Southern Africa, cross-border shoppers spend an average of R9billion

            But there are many problems cross-border shoppers face in South
Africa's commercial capital. "I don't feel safe here," says Caroline. As a
result, she stays in Jo'burg for as short a time as possible. "I do not
travel on the minibus taxis. I think they are dangerous," she says. Instead,
she has struck up a deal with the driver of a meter taxi. "When I arrive in
Johannesburg, the taxi driver picks me up. He drives me to all the places I
need to go to buy my things. This takes the whole day." By the time Caroline
has finished her round of the city, the total cost for transport is R600.

            Cross-border shoppers also battle to find accommodation that is
suitable and affordable. According to ComMark Trust's recent report, Jo'burg
lacks the type of accommodation suited to these shoppers.There are a number
of dormitory-style hostels, such as Braamie's Lodge in Braamfontein, but
these are few and far between, and hotels like the Formula Inn are
unaffordable for most. What is needed to facilitate the large number of
shoppers is cheap, basic accommodation with sufficient storage space.

            "I share a two-bedroom flat with 40 people," says Betty from
Zimbabwe, pulling up her nose. She pays R80 for a mattress on the floor in
the Park Station area. "The place is unhygienic. It is a health hazard.
People actually get sick from just staying there." But Betty, who has been
coming to shop in Jo'burg for four years on a regular basis, has no
alternative. "I would like to stay in a nice clean place with maybe one or
two other people, but I cannot afford it."

            Those who do not have contacts or the funds to rent a flat
choose to camp out. According to a security guard at Park Station, as many
as 500 people spend the night there. They are not permitted to sleep at the
station, so people sit with their goods, pretending to be waiting for the
bus. The ComMark Trust report says some people live like this for up to a

            Cross-border shoppers also indicate that there is a general fear
of personal security in the city. Not knowing their way around, travelling
on taxis, hearing stories about violent crime and an abundance of guns all
add to a feeling of insecurity. Particularly stressful for shoppers is the
fact that many travel with large amounts of money. As foreigners, they are
not allowed to open bank accounts in South Africa, and travelling with cash
makes them vulnerable to theft.

            "If I could just open an account here, I would feel better,"
says Horace from Blantyre, Malawi, who comes to Jo'burg on a monthly basis.
Horace and his friend Rafick are taking home 15 satellite dishes they bought
for R800 each and can sell for about R1 400. Add money needed for
accommodation, food and transport and the two have walked around Jo'burg
with a minimum of R15 000 in cash. "A bank account here would really make a
difference," says Horace. "Then I would just transfer the money from Malawi
and I would not have to walk around with it."

            The City of Johannesburg is concerned about the difficulties
that cross-border shoppers face. "We have been looking into cross-border
shopping for about three years now," says Hapiloe Sello, marketing manager
of the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC). The labours of JTC's lengthy
investigation will be revealed at the end of May, with the opening of the
cross-border shopping information centre at Park Station.

            "We are in the process of recruiting people to staff the
information centre," says Sello. "We want people to be able to provide
information in the languages that the cross-border shoppers speak, for
instance, Shona, Ndebele and, ideally, even Portuguese." The information
centre - with opening hours from 6am to 10pm - will be easily accessible and
provide information about accommodation, safety, retail centres and

            Part of the information centre will be a cross-border shopping
map, highlighting the "beaten track", as Sello puts it. "We want people to
see where they can do their shopping."

            A particular issue ComMark Trust and the City of Johannesburg
are looking into is that of VAT return. Surprisingly, most cross-border
travellers do not claim VAT for the items they have bought in Jo'burg. Many
are unaware that they have the right to claim back the 14% VAT paid on all
new items for which they can show receipts. "This is the first time I have
ever heard about it," says Chanetse from Zimbabwe, who comes to Jo'burg
every three months. ComMark Trust says the ignorance surrounding VAT refunds
is widespread.

            Most cross-borders shoppers, however, are prevented from
claiming VAT by practical circumstances. "My bus will leave at around five o'clock
in the afternoon. By the time we get to the border with Zimbabwe, the VAT
office will be closed," says Betty. Others indicate that the queues are
simply too long.

            In addition, buses and trains have a schedule to keep to.

            ComMark Trust says an estimated R215million in VAT is left
unclaimed on a yearly basis. Neil Fraser, partner in Urban Inc, an urban
consultancy aimed at the revitalisation and regeneration of the inner city
of Jo'burg, says the city is losing out. "If people claimed their VAT and
got money back, they could spend this money again."

            JTC is looking into the possibility of setting up a VAT return
office in Jo'burg. "We are talking to revenue to explore the options," says

            A relatively simple solution would be to set up a VAT refund
office at Park Station, similar to the one that exists in Sandton City.
Cross-border shoppers would thus be able to have some of the paperwork that
is involved in VAT return claims pre-processed on location, making the
procedure at the various border posts quicker and more straightforward.

            * Only first names have been used as people asked that their
full names not be disclosed

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Foreign currency shortage and hyper-inflation threaten Zimbabwe's economy

Euro News

Zimbabwe is sliding closer to financial meltdown as hyper-inflation means
the government cannot afford to bring foreign currency into the country.

That shortage is making life impossible for Zimbabwe's exporters. They are
having to use the black market to buy foreign currency to pay for key
imports of materials.

The illegal money changers of what is also called the 'parallel market' ply
their trade openly on the streets of the capital Harare.

Economic analyst Farayi Dyirakumunda said everyone is doing it: "We actually
have a wide array of people trading on the parallel market, obviously it's
an illegal market, which is not permitted by law, but you have a situation
where the bulk of users of foreign currency have to find an alternative
means to raise that currency."

Even the government is believed to have used the illegal market to raise the
foreign currency needed to pay off some debt to the International Monetary

The central bank's governor has admitted that it paid for the foreign
currency by printing 175 million euros worth of Zimbabwe dollars.

That has fueled further inflation. Zimbabwe now has the highest inflation
rate in the world; at least 960% annually,which means many people cannot
afford to buy essentials like food.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim govt to take back 221 plots of farmland


          April 14 2006 at 01:16PM

      Harare - The authorities in Zimbabwe plan to repossess more than 200
plots of land that were allocated to new black farmers in the east of the
country under the controversial land reform programme, reports said on

      Up to 221 plots in Manicaland province are to be repossessed because
those who had been allocated them have failed to move onto the land, said
the Manica Post newspaper.

      "All the vacant land will be repossessed by the government and
allocated to farmers who are capable of utilising it," National Security
Minister Didymus Mutasa said.

      "After giving land, we discovered that some people lied about their
capabilities to fund their farming activities and they are now failing to
fully utilise the land," he added.


      President Robert Mugabe launched his land reform programme in 2000,
and more than 4 000 farms previously owned by whites are now in the hands of
new black farmers.

      But the programme has been mired in controversy, with allegations that
powerful figures had seized the best farms.

      Mutasa said leaders should not be "greedy."

      "Many people in this country want land and we cannot afford to be
greedy. Corruption is emanating from a culture of greediness," he was quoted
as saying.

      "Corrupt people are not the old men and women in the rural areas, but
the well-positioned leaders," he added.

      The authorities are becoming increasingly exasperated with the drop in
agricultural production suffered during the last five years. Earlier this
month, Vice President Joyce Mujuru said farmers had to work harder to
produce wheat as there was no more foreign currency to import food. -

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Asset Stripping Underway At Town House - CHRA

Zim Daily

            Friday, April 14 2006 @ 12:03 AM BST
            Contributed by: correspondent
             By Precious Shumba

            THE unrepentant attitude of those occupying Town House has left
residents convinced that Sekesai Makwavarara and her fellow puppets are
stripping the assets of the City of Harare, yet service delivery is at its

            This conclusion comes in the backdrop of insensitive and
overzealous actions by Makwavarara in her determination to accumulate as
much wealth as is possible within a short period. The Herald (12/4/06)
exposed Makwavarara as a greedy woman after she muscled out Ms Ottilia
Dangwa (now acting Chamber Secretary) in what is reminiscent of the farm
invasions of yesteryears. To acquire a municipal house at $780 million in
Highlands where most properties go for over $8 billion is a clear testimony
of abuse of power and privilege.

            Nothing more can illustrate her greediness than her occupation
of the mayoral mansion when she is not the mayor of Harare. In February, she
wanted to furnish it with curtains and furniture worth $35 billion. Now she
has installed a DStv at the mayoral mansion (Standard and Sunday Mail 9
April 2006). The whole commission now wants the municipality to give them
industrial, commercial and residential stands to lubricate their capitalist
tendencies when the Operation they sanctioned last year has left the SMEs
with no stands on which to operate.

            CHRA calls on the government to immediately remove the
commission running the City of Harare and allow the residents of Harare to
vote for a council accountable to them.

            The silence by the Minister of Local Government, National
Housing and Urban Development, Ignatius Chombo on the goings on at Town
House baffles our minds. Is this a case of "Hear No Evil, See No Evil" or
one of "birds of feather flocking together?" Why is the Makwavarara
Commission being treated with kids' gloves when legitimately elected mayors
have been fired for unsubstantiated reasons? He has remained silent when it
is apparent that service delivery has plummeted to unacceptable levels
primarily due misplaced priorities, lack of planning and inept leadership.

            The greed at Town House must end now and the Town Clerk and
other municipal workers must stop being angry of behalf of the
Commissioners. Harare belongs to residents and they are claiming it back
through en elected council of their choice. It is not about firing
Makwavarara and replacing her with yet another commissioner but it is about
a wholesome change to the City through the ballot and not the bullet.

            Asset stripping must end now and proper reconstruction of the
city must take shape. Harare for municipal elections!

            *Precious Shumba is CHRA spokesperson

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Children's Homes Face Mounting Problems

The Herald (Harare)

April 14, 2006
Posted to the web April 14, 2006

Fortious Nhambura

CHILDREN'S homes, just like other institutions of the disadvantaged in the
country, are facing mounting problems that have seen them failing to
properly carry out their operations.

These problems range from inadequate funding, influx of homeless children
owing to the effects of the HIV and Aids pandemic. A recent survey revealed
that children's homes were encountering the same problems that were
threatening their survival outside the institutions in the country.

SOS Children's Village, one of Zimbabwe's leading orphanages, said the
country's spiralling inflation was weighing heavily on its operations,
resulting in the institution failing to fully provide for children in their
homes. SOS spokesperson and fund-raising manager Ms Carol Smith said in the
past her organisation could get enough donations, both from within and
outside the country. She said the domestic base had dwindled as most of
their benefactors were struggling to keep afloat.

"Our problem has been dwindling donor support probably due to the country's
worsening economic climate. "Although the institution is grateful for the
support that we have been getting from local companies, the amount of
support has significantly gone down," she said. She said the cost of
foodstuffs such as maize meal, sugar and soap has become a budgeting
nightmare for the homes. "These days you can never budget for two months
because by the time you go to buy these commodities they would have gone up
by three to four times," she said.

Apart from the cost of feeding the children, children's homes have had to
contend with the increasing numbers of children seeking shelter. With the
number of people succumbing to the HIV and Aids pandemic increasing, the
number of children requiring help from social welfare organisations has gone
up, exerting additional pressure on family social safety nets.

Because members of the extended family cannot take care of these children,
children's homes are being forced to take them, further straining their
operational budgets. According to the National Aids Council, an estimated
1,4 million children below the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to
Aids and the trend is likely to rise. Currently, Zimbabwe only has six
registered children's homes that can hold up to 4 000 children.

A 2005 base survey by the Child Protection Society (CPS) revealed a major
challenge facing orphanages was sourcing of medication as some of their
children were HIV positive. Another area of difficulty was the provision of
education. Most children's homes say the are battling to put the children
through to tertiary education to prepare them for life after leaving the
homes. Though the Government and the National Aids Council are helping
orphaned children with stationery, school uniforms and their general upkeep,
the funds have been overwhelmed by demand and the soaring cost of living.

Children's homes used to rely on support from Government but they say the
money was inadequate or it was failing to pay the grants in time, a
situation that was compounding their plight. "The area of education has been
affected by the late disbursements of some Governmen t grants", said an
official of one the children's homes. Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare Permanent Secretary Mr Lancaster Museka, however, dismissed these
allegations, saying his ministry was honouring the grants and those who do
not receive would not have made a claim.

He said although his ministry was aware of the magnitude of problems
bedevilling children's homes, it could only assist them in accordance with
its budgetary limits. "Children's homes are entitled to committal grants,
school fees and uniforms from the department. This is in addition to
administrative grants to assist with administrative overheads. "Committal
and administrative grants to children's homes are reviewed annually subject
to budgetary allocations availed by the Finance Ministry," he said.

He said in order to cushion the homes, the Government had come up with
various programmes to assist them through this tough period. "The recently
launched National Plan for Orphans and Other Vulnerable C hildren seeks to
reach out to all orphans and other vulnerable children with basic services
such as access to food, education, birth registration and health care," he

The HIV and Aids pandemic has also brought with it another challenge of
access to medication for children living with HIV or who have full blown
Aids. Ms Smith said they were receiving an increasing number of children
requiring anti-retrovirals. She said: "The greatest challenge at present is
the provision of anti-retroviral drugs for children that would have been
certified as requiring them as the drugs are expensive."

A report by the CPS also concurred with Ms Smith, saying an increasing
number of children finding their way to children's homes are HIV positive
and the homes could not afford the drugs and in some cases lacked the
expertise to administer them even when they can access them. It said
provision of medication also required some counselling and psychological
support for abused and affected chi ldren, services which requires money.
Given the myriad of problems affecting children's homes in the country,
there is need to promote and strengthen family and community base care to
prevent the institutionalisation of vulnerable children.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

'Mugabe supports Iran's nuclear programme'


          April 14 2006 at 03:36PM

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe expressed his support of
Iran's controversial programme of uranium enrichment, state radio reported
on Friday.

      Speaking after a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr
Mottaki in Harare, Mugabe said his government would look at ways of
strengthening ties with Iran.

      "President Robert Mugabe has thrown his weight behind Iran in the
current dispute where the US and her allies are opposing Iran's nuclear
enrichment programme," the radio said.

      "President Mugabe said like Iran, Zimbabwe lives in a free world where
all nations are equal, as stated by the UN Charter," it added.

      Mugabe's government and Iran "will continue to relate together in
meaningful ways and seek ways to strengthen the existing ties," the radio

      Iran was recently involved in upgrading equipment at Zimbabwe's
national broadcaster. - Sapa-dpa

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

With China Calling, Is It Time to Say Goodbye to US And Europe?

TMCnet, China

      April 13, 2006]

( English Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Nairobi, Apr 14, 2006
(The Nation/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) --By the turn of the
century, China had transformed its foreign relations from one hinged on
ideology to one governed by the pursuit of economic self-interest, and
Africa has not been left out. Mark Sorbara explores Africa's place in
China's new world

What do the US, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya have in common? Not
much really. But from next week they will share a common 'bond' as part of
the itinerary of a high-powered Chinese delegation led by none other than
Chinese President Hu Jintao, from April 18 to 29. What's the big deal about
that, one may ask. Well, its simply because China is the place where big
deals - of the mind-boggling type - are made these days.

And there is quite some excitement about Hu's visit, at least in Washington,
where he is expected to tour Microsoft and Boeing Co. before heading to the
White House on April 20. Forget Washington's complaints over human rights
violations, piracy, the value of China's currency and unfair trade
practices, the importance of China as a trade partner to the United States
is crystal clear.

Figure this: "A multi-billion deal for Boeing aircraft has already been
signed and Hu's first official trip to the United States as president has
also brought into focus a groundbreaking bid by a Citigroup-led consortium
to buy an 85 per cent stake in China's Guangdong Development Bank," Reuters
reported this week.

"Hu's trip and a trade delegation this month led by Chinese Vice Premier Wu
Yi are yielding deals on everything from software to soybeans worth an
expected total of about $16 billion." The report quoted Chinese aviation
officials as saying that the Boeing deal signed on Tuesday involved the
purchase of 80 Boeing 737 planes that have a list value of $4.6 billion.

That's all very well for the US, and we can pretty well guess what the
Saudi's will be buying and selling when they host Hu and his delegation.
What about Africa? What's in it for the continent?

The man who holds the answer is Li Zhaoxing, China's foreign minister. Li
Zhaoxing is no stranger to Africa. From 1970 to 1977 Li served as an attache
in the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, from 1983 to 1985 he was first secretary in
Maseru, Lesotho.

From January 11 to 19 Li visited Cape Verde, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria
and Libya. China's increased role throughout Africa has demonstrated that
Beijing's Africa policy will be an important aspect of its rapid economic
growth. Hence, on January 12, Li officially unveiled an Africa Policy Paper
which outlined the future relationship between Africa and China.

As stated in its forward, the Policy Paper was created " with the view of
promoting the steady growth of China-Africa relations in the long term and
bringing the mutually beneficial co-operation to a new stage." It states,
"the one China principle is the political foundation for the establishment
and development of China's relations with African countries and regional
organisations." If African countries choose to accept this prerequisite,
China will "co-ordinate positions on major international and regional issues
and stand for mutual support on major issues concerning state sovereignty,
territorial integrity, national dignity and human rights."

The focal point of China-Africa relations is resource based, as the policy
states, "the Chinese government will adopt more effective measures to
facilitate African commodities access to the Chinese market." Investing in
African extractive industries is a risky business, but China is desperately
in need of raw materials to feed its booming economy, hence the government
is willing to shoulder most of the risk for Chinese companies looking to
invest in Africa. Therefore, "the Chinese government encourages and supports
Chinese enterprises' investment and business in Africa, and will continue to
provide preferential loans and buyer credits to this end."

Moreover, the policy states, "China will do its best to provide and
gradually increase assistance to African countries with no political strings
attached." On peace and security, "China will promote high-level military
exchanges between the two states and actively carry out military related
technological exchanges and co-operation. It will continue to help train
African military personnel and support defence and army building of African
countries for their own security."

For not recognising Taiwan, African countries can get government-supported
foreign direct investment, aid and military assistance "with no political
strings attached." Goodbye US and Europe; Hello China!

In the end, though, China's Africa policy today is largely driven by
self-interest, mainly access to resources, therefore it has to work with
African countries to make sure the resources increasingly flow towards
Beijing and not Paris, London or Washington. But it will not get the
resources without some competition.

For example, the influential US-based Council on Foreign Relations published
a report in December 2005 entitled More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic US
Approach Towards Africa and has opened the debate on changing the US-Africa
relations. The year 2005 supposedly was the "year of Africa", but as the
Foreign Relations report stated, "the point was missing - amid the music,
communiques, and the commitments -- that Africa is becoming steadily more
central to the United States and the rest of the world in ways which
transcend humanitarian interests."

Notably, fifteen pages of the US Foreign Relations report are spent
assessing the impact of China's increasing role in Africa and bluntly
illustrate many of the issues which China's Africa Policy Paper dealt with.
For example, the report states, "All across Africa today, China is acquiring
control of natural resource assets, out-bidding Western contractors on major
infrastructure projects, and providing soft loans and other incentives to
bolster is competitive advantage."

It continues, "Perhaps most disturbing to US political objectives is China's
willingness to use its seat on the UN Security Council to protect some of
Africa's most egregious regimes from international sanction China offers an
alternative source of support, even to some of the United States' closest
allies, when they chafe under Western pressure for economic or political

On the subject of investment and aid the Foreign Relations report states
that "China is also investing and providing assistance in areas that Western
aid agencies and private investors have long neglected: physical
infrastructure, industry and agriculture." And " Chinese business practices,
which serve state interests as much as a profit motive, create unfair
competition to US firms bidding for contracts." The Chinese government and
businesses see opportunity in Africa, where Westerners see poverty and
despair, and they are actively working together to see that the
opportunities are transformed into successful ventures.

In 1960s to 1970s, when ideology was the main factor influencing China's
foreign relations, almost 25,000 Chinese doctors and agricultural engineers
were stationed all over the 'Third World'. By the turn of the century, China
had transformed its foreign relations to one governed by the pursuit of
economic self-interest. From the first meeting of the China-Africa
Co-operation Forum held in Beijing in 2000 to its second meeting held in
Addis Ababa in 2003, a lot has changed. Between 2002 and 2003 China-Africa
trade jumped 50 per cent to $18.5 billion, and by the end of 2004, over 715
Chinese-funded companies were operating in Africa.

On January 6, 2006, the BBC reported that Chinese trade with Africa jumped
39 per cent to $32.17 billion in 2005 and "in the first 10 months of 2005
alone, Chinese companies invested a total of $175 million in African
countries." Moreover, in the next five years, China-Africa trade is expected
to surpass $100 billion.

China's thirst for raw materials has dramatically transformed its relations
with many African countries. Take Nigeria; the trade between the two
countries stood at $384 million in 1998, by 2001 it was $1 billion, by 2004
it was $2 billion and by the end of 2005 trade between Nigeria and China
reached approximately $3 billion. In January 2006, the China National
Offshore Oil Corporation paid $2.3 billion for a 45 per cent stake in the
Akpo oil field, its largest overseas acquisition, which has a reserve of 600
million barrels and potential for an extra 500 million.

China's trade and investment relationship with Nigeria is expanding rapidly
outside the oil sector as well. In 2005, Nigeria earned over $500 million
from non-oil product exports to China and in 2006 the Nigerian government
signed a memorandum of understanding with Guangdong Xinguang International
Group, a Chinese government-owned company, to enhance Nigeria's rail
network. The $2 billion dollar MOU includes a fast rail system between Lagos
and Abuja, a light rail system from Murtala Mohammed International Airport
to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Lagos and Abuja city centre as

China and Nigeria have also discussed the possibilities of further Chinese
investments in power stations, low cost housing projects, cassava
plantations, an agro-research centre, an Aids medicine factory and a medical
equipment factory.

Angola, Sub-Saharan Africa's second largest oil producer, is another
important element in Beijing's Africa policy. According to state controlled
Angola Press, "in 2005, bilateral trade between the two countries reached
$6.95 billion, an increase of 41.6 per cent from the previous year." Most of
the increase has been due to crude purchases by the China Petroleum and
Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) as part of a 2004 agreement which saw the
Chinese Eximbank approve a $2 billion (1.5 per cent over 17 years)
infrastructure loan to the Angolan government.

In March, CNN reported that " a new consortium jointly controlled by the
Angolan government-run Sonangol oil company and Sinopec has been awarded a
contract to build a 240,000 barrel per day refinery in Lobito." Angola now
accounts for 13 per cent of China's crude oil imports and China's is the
second largest consumer of Angolan crude oil after the United States. Hence,
20 leading Chinese firms operating in Angola, such as Sinosteel, China
National Overseas Engineering Corporation and Sinopec have recently created
a Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Luanda to enhance relations with Angola.

When discussing Chinese resource extraction in Africa, Sudan is increasingly
emerging as an important player. The China National Petroleum Corporation
(CNPC) is the largest investor in the Sudanese oil industry. The decision of
the US government to cut ties with Sudan in the mid-1990s pressured Western
oil companies to withdraw and opened new opportunities for Chinese

CNPC, in a joint venture with the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company,
of which CNPC has a 40 per cent stake, have been exploiting Sudanese oil
deposits in the Muglad Basin. Together, the CNPC and the Greater Nile
company have invested over $8 billion in Sudan, including the 1,500 km
pipeline to transport oil to the Marsa al-Bashair harbour terminal near the
Port of Sudan on the Red Sea. By 2005, China was purchasing between 50 and
60 per cent of Sudan crude production and Sudan alone accounts for 7 to 9
per cent of Chinese oil imports.

China is also active in Africa's smaller oil exporting countries as well. In
2003, China imported one million tons of crude oil from Congo-Brazzaville,
accounting for 1.5 per cent of Chinese oil imports. China is the third
largest importer of oil from Equatorial Guinea after the US and Spain.
Total-Gabon and Sinopec signed an agreement in 2004 to supply China with one
million tons of crude oil a year, making China the third largest consumer of
Gabonese crude after the US and France. The Chinese petroleum company
Zhongyuan Exploration Bureau is even drilling on behalf of Petronas, the
Malaysian state-owned oil company, in the Gambella Basin in Western

Non-oil resource extraction is also attracting Chinese investment in Africa
as well. Over 60 per cent of Gabon's, and a large part of Equatorial
Guinea's, timber production is purchased by China. China is the world's
largest consumer of copper and has invested $170 million in the Zambian
copper mining sector. The Chambezi copper mine, which was purchased in 1999,
is now its largest Chinese mining operation in Africa. Moreover, China is
increasingly involved the Democratic Republic of Congo, investing in cobalt
and copper mines as well.

Although resource extraction is the center-piece of China's new Africa push,
non-resource based investments have not been ignored. In Ghana, Sino Hydro
signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ghanaian Government to
construct the Bui Dam. The $500 million project is expected to augment
Ghanaian power supply from the Akosombo Dam and the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

In Zimbabwe, a number of farms seized from white farmers by the government
have been leased to the China State Farms and Agribusiness Corporation,
which will revive and enhance production on the Fenemere and Dalkeith farms
near the Mazvikadai Dam and the Clydedale and Liverdale farms near the Biri
Dam. Chinese companies have also leased agricultural land in Zambia and

Even in post-war Sierra Leone, Chinese investors see possibilities. Henon
Guoji, a Chinese company, is starting construction of the $200 million
Lumley Beach Hotel, which will include a conference centre, a sports
facility, casino and night club. The Chinese state-owned company, Beijing
Urban Construction Group, has purchased and restored The Bintumani, Sierra
Leone's largest hotel, at a cost of $10 million and it is already up and
running. Chinese companies in Sierra Leone have also invested in a sugar
plant and a tractor factory, and the Chinese government has built a new
office block, parliament buildings and a new military headquarters for the
government of Sierra Leone.

The list continues: the China Road and Bridge Corporation built the
Tambach-Kabarnet road in Western Kenya and refurbished part of the
Nairobi-Mombasa road. The Bata-Mongono road in Gabon was built with
financial and technical assistance from China, while the Zhengxing Telecom
is refurbishing Djibouti's telecom network.

China is constructing one of Africa's largest dams in Ethiopia and is
assisting in the construction and launch of a Nigerian communications
satellite in 2007. Chinese firms have also entered into fish processing
joint ventures in Gabon and Namibia and the Qingdao Municipal Government has
invested in a textile factory in the new Mulungashi Industrial Estates near
Kabwe in Zambia. China has also constructed a new Foreign Affairs Ministry
building in Uganda and Djibouti and built a new stadium in Mali.

Although France, the UK and the US still account for 70 per cent of Foreign
Direct Investment inflows to Africa, all that will change with the emergence
of China's Africa focus. So maybe Westerners should start to be more honest
with themselves and Africans and stop all this useless armchair pitying.

Mark J. Sorbara is a freelance writer and researcher on African issues.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

JAG Job Opportunities dated 13 April 2006

Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to: JAG Job Opportunities; or



Ad inserted 16 March 2006









Ad inserted 23 March 2006


Positions Vacant

Maintenance Manager wanted for busy dairy & cropping farm 30kms outside Harare.  Position includes maintenance of tractors, boreholes etc, running
of workshop and buying of spares.  Office work available for spouse.  Small house available on farm with other company perks.  Suitable applicants
please phone 091 202692 or email





Ad inserted 23 March 2006


Farm Manager


Farm located 12km from Gweru city centre. We are looking for a horticultural manager with experience in flowers mainly roses. Will also be required to assist in
potatoes, tomatoes, cabbages and paprika. Good accommodation is provided on the farm, also good perks for the right candidate.

Interested qualified persons should contact Evans/Bongi +263 9 889420 fax
+263 9 889421,




Ad inserted 23 March 2006




Looking for a maid/cook to work in the Ballantyne Park area.  Must be able to read and write and have some cooking experience.  Duties also, include general housework and childminding.  Accommodation is offered and would suit someone without any dependants.


Please contact on or 494404 or 091 248460.




Ad inserted 30 March 2006


Tobacco Manager


If you were a successful former Tobacco grower now sitting in town but wanting to get back into Tobacco, please make comms and write to:    




Ad inserted 30 March 2006




Preferably a single woman who can speak English well and who can assist with the cooking and undertake general housework, i.e. ironing, cleaning, etc.

The person must have contactable references.

Single quarters will be provided on site with very good conditions.

Contact 884270




Ad inserted 30 March 2006


Vacancy – Citrus Farm


We have a vacancy for a managerial couple on a well-established citrus farm, good package for the right couple with usual farm perks.  Please send C.V to




Ad inserted 5 April 2006




Assistant farm manager wanted for farming set up in Mozambique 60km from Mutare border, growing 60ha tobacco and 15ha paprika.  Position would suit a school leaver with farming background or Blackfordby leaver.  US$ package, medical aid, vehicle and usual farm perks.


PHONE LISA- 011 420805




Ad inserted 5 April 2006




We are looking for the impossible.... someone to fulfil a job that can be hectic, boring, frustrating, inspiring, and humorous, depressing, challenging, tiring, easy and impossible. We have a small camp and bar in Kariba.


The applicant will be coordinating 6 staff. Sometimes they are outstanding; sometimes they are comatose. Sometimes we can get stock; sometimes we can't.
Sometimes we can afford repairs; sometimes we can't. Sometimes we're busy; sometimes we're not. We always have fun. Ideally the applicant will be
single and (semi-) retired and wanting to keep him/herself busy. A handy man would be fantastic and the ability to socialize with all and sundry is imperative. Salary will be commission based, according to sales/profit. We provide food and very basic accommodation, beautiful surroundings,
elephants, zebras and hippos.





Ad inserted 5 April 2006


Job opportunity

I am looking for a retired farmer to help oversee my small dairy and do odd jobs whilst I am away for two months at a time.  Accommodation available, in a
lovely setting. 


Replies to email: or telephone for an
appointment on 073 2737 or 011 607 275.




Ad inserted 13 April 2006




Preferably an enthusiastic school leaver who has done a Pitmans course or Accounting to "O" level, willing to learn. We are a new, growing group who need staff to take up accounts clerk positions. Successful candidate could start immediately.


Contact Jean at 369800 or




Ad inserted 13 April 2006




To:  A Special Lady somewhere out there



Position exists for a Personal Assistant


If you are able to honestly answer YES to these questions, we ought to be talking...


Are you -

- Computer competent in MSWord, Email (MSOutlook),   MSExel, File management

- An exceptional office administrator

- Self-motivated, resourceful and able to work both independently and with others


Do you -

- Have a working knowledge of the Internet.

- Have a basic knowledge of accounts.

- Possess a compassion for the elderly in our country, and want to make a difference in their lives.


It goes without saying that you will answer YES as to being a special person with the attributes of confidentiality, integrity, a pleasant disposition and exceptional telephone manner.


We operate a small but growing office located in Alexandra Park whose activities comprise, in the main, varied Para-legal advisory services and charity programmes for the elderly.


This could be a full, or part day position - flexi - let's talk.



Thomas Vallance ACIArb

Commissioner of Oaths


Para-Legal Advisory Services

Trust Executives & Administrators

Tels: (B) 744 648  (M) 011 617 161






Employment Sought




Ad inserted 16 March 2006







I am a specialist in tractor service/repairs, with 32 years experience, having worked for several years in hands-on and management positions, for such companies as Bain New Holland and Duly's.  After leaving Duly's, I become self-employed (since 1990) with similar work.  Our work has consisted of repairs/service work carried out at our workshops in addition to field service work as and when required.  In addition to the above my business includes the sourcing of spares and organising outwork such as injector pumps, clutches, brakes and engine machine work being carried out by those companies offering the best service.  One department of our business specialises in the service/repair work of all tractor steering related components such as steering boxes, orbital valves, rams, hoses, etc.


I would like to stress that I wish to work on a contract basis, preferably for a farming syndicate or a large, well established farm set-up as I have been self employed for 16 years and have a commitment towards children who are being schooled locally.  I am seeking such work outside of Zimbabwe as we feel the economics of our country have made it impossible to continue a viable business.  My wife and I wish to keep our home as a base for the stability of our children.  We would like to travel back to Zimbabwe every 3 to 4 weeks to be with them.


We hope the above meets with the approval of those looking for a contractor for this type of work.


For further information contact Doug or Tracy Edwards - or 068-22463 / 011212454




Ad inserted 5 April 2006


Employment Sought


Tania (Aged 27). She has finished her IATA course & is waiting for the results. She has completed her schooling up to "O level standard, with Executive Secretarial Pitman’s Qualifications which include.... English for business communications, Level one and two Book-keeping & Accounts, and Typewriting. She has worked for several different companies in the past; her experience was as a personal assistant to various persons in different companies, secretarial and receptionist. Her most recent employment was as a Trainee Travel Consultant.


Daniel (Aged 22). He has completed his schooling up to 'O level standard, doing various studies. Previous employment experience includes, Supervisor, Trainee Manager, Control room operations, Vehicle Surveillance operator, Product manager and administrator. His current employment is as a part time Headwaiter until he finds full time employment. He is very arty and business minded. Social, motivated, hard worker and willing to learn.


Ron (Aged 19). he has completed his schooling up to 'O level standard, doing various studies. Previous employment experience includes, Trainee Computer/printer technician, Control room operator, Trainee motor mechanic, vehicle Surveillance operator, Floor manager/supervisor and administration. His current employment is as a vehicle Surveillance operator (After hours). He is hard working, willing to learn and social.


These three young people are looking for well paid jobs, and are willing to give it their all given the right employment opportunities that so fit their experience, or in companies that are willing to take them on and train them as to how it would best suit the companies needs. They are hard working, fast learning, and social, Independent and motivated. Please could you let everyone know as it is a necessity for them to find employment as soon as possible.


Please contact Miss Carmen VanWyk for further details or to view their cv's using the following details.

cell: 091 615 656 Tel: 575 431 - 3 E-mail:




Advert inserted 13 April 2006


Anyone seeking a Cook


I have an old cook who has been with me for 8 yrs; he is a family cook and can cook any thing from pie’s to pan cakes.


We have to leave, is there any one out there who would like to take him. He has done every think from house washing and ironing. we are sorry to let him go, but been born bred Zimbo's and with out a job we have to. May be there is somebody out there who is looking for an couple to manage their farm or lodge, have been in farming all our lives, well it was worth a try.


You can contact Tony at 091 404 449 




For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact (updated 13 April 2006)

Back to the Top
Back to Index