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Zimbabwe's Company Grab Law Here To Stay - Mugabe

14/04/2010 18:12:00

Harare, April 14, 2010 - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday
rejected claims by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office that the
government had reversed a law forcing foreign firms to cede a majority stake
to locals.

Mugabe said that the remarks that the indigenisation and empowerment
regulations had been scrapped were not true but cabinet was working on
improving the rules.

"They (the remarks) are completely false," Mugabe told reporters after
touring tobacco auction floors.

"There is no nullification of the indigenisation and economic empowerment
law, no nullification of the regulations which have been made," he said.

"What there is is that the regulations are being studied by a committee of
cabinet just to improve them."

The law, which came into force on March 1, would have affected foreign-owned
firms valued at 500 000 dollars (369,000 euros) or more.

They had been given 45 days to report their efforts at complying.

Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office said on Tuesday the government had
declared the indigenisation law "null and void".

The biggest targets included local subsidiaries of British banks Barclays
and Standard Chartered, as well as mining companies such as Impala Platinum,
Anglo Platinum and Rio Tinto.

Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed that the law would not
be scraped.

"We are still going ahead with the law," he told AFP.

"Yes, cabinet said we still need to give business more time, but we are
going ahead with the law," said Kasukuwere.

Mugabe had defended the regulations as a measure to correct the economic
imbalances created by Zimbabwe's colonial past. AFP

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Confusion over ‘suspension’ of indigenisation regulations

By Violet Gonda
14 April 2010

Confusion surrounds the status of the ‘indigenisation’ law as a result of
conflicting statements issued by the political parties in government.

The Prime Minister’s Office has said the implementation of the controversial
law has been suspended and that cabinet agreed on Tuesday that this policy
was ‘null and void,’ pending a review of the process and further

However the man in charge of the regulations, Indigenisation Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the policy was

He is also quoted on the New Zimbabwe website denying the ‘suspension’
plans. “How do you do that (reverse the regulations)?” he asked. “It sounds
like gossip, more than anything.”

The Minister was also quoted by the Zimbabwe Guardian saying; “The law is
still in force and companies have to comply in line with the regulations
issued. The first deadline is set for Thursday this week (tomorrow) and is
still in force.” He then added, “Nothing of that sort happened in
yesterday's Cabinet seating. The law is still operational, valid and in
effect. There was no such discussion in Cabinet.”
But the same Minister is quoted by the news agency Associated Press saying
the law has been delayed for discussions with business leaders: “There are
consultations which must be made with various sectors and this is why the
Act has been set aside.”
When asked about these conflicting statements Kasukuwere told SW Radio
Africa: “Oh well, you have to look at the people you are giving interviews
to and you tell them what they want to hear. But this is an irreversible
The Minister said he would not comment any further after that.

A source in the Prime Minister’s office maintains that ZANU PF tried to
force the regulations through during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, which
was attended by the President and the Prime Minister, but in the end it was
declared ‘null and void.’ The source also said indigenisation will go ahead,
but that there is going to be an ‘amended policy which will be similar to
South Africa’s policy of black economic empowerment.’

Economist Tony Hawkins said the conflicting statements expose a deeply
divided government: “This illustrates very vividly the problems that the
coalition government is having. It typifies the problem and demonstrates to
all and sundry that Zimbabwe is in this kind of situation and that no one
seems to be in control.”

“Of course it’s the economy, the business community and the 80 percent
unemployed living in poverty etc who are the victims of this unsatisfactory
situation,” Hawkins said.

The Indigenisation and Empowerment Regulations law which came into force on
March 1st require companies to hand over at least 51 per cent ownership to
‘indigenous’ Zimbabweans over the next five years, and the deadline for
businesses to submit handover proposals was set for April 15th.

The government has yet to issue an official statement about the status of
this law.

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Zanu PF begins to militarise rural constituencies

By Lance Guma
14 April 2010

The chances of a free and fair election to break the political deadlock in
Zimbabwe looked even more remote following reports that ZANU PF has stepped
up youth militia deployment in most rural areas. The news comes hot on the
heels of other reports suggesting traditional chiefs have been given a 100
percent salary increase despite government recently rejecting demands from
civil servants for improved wages. Chiefs have always been used by ZANU PF
to whip villagers into voting for Mugabe's party.

The Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe (IDEZ) says it will hold a
press conference in Harare on Thursday to highlight some of these worrying
developments. Facilitator Sidney Chisi told Newsreel although they were not
opposed to national youth service training as a principle, they rejected the
partisan manner it has been conducted by ZANU PF for political and often
violent ends. He told us that an Inter-Ministerial Committee had been set up
to oversee the 'official' resumption of the training.

Since January this year several bases countrywide have been re-opened in
various provinces including Manicaland and Masvingo. Defence Minister
Emerson Mnangagwa was accused of setting up bases in the Masvingo Central
areas of Barahanga and Chikarudzo, which were later burnt down by angry MDC
supporters in the middle of the night. ZANU PF militia in the area vowed to
retaliate. In Nyanga North and Makoni other bases have also been opened
which are manned by a combination of youth militia and soldiers with the
intention of intimidating villagers.

While the youth militia bases are a constant source of worry it's the
proliferation of new guns and ammunition that serves to underline ZANU PF's
long term strategy. With accusations that the diamond wealth from Marange is
helping the regime buy arms of war from China and other rogue states it's
hard not to make the connection. For example villagers in Mutoko report
seeing soldiers and war veterans brandishing brand new AK47 and FN assault
rifles including Uzi sub-machine guns. By all accounts ZANU PF has no
intention of losing the next election.


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Ministers accused of stealing Mugabe’s gifts

April 14, 2010

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO – Zanu-PF has launched an internal investigation into allegations
that party officials, including two cabinet ministers here, converted gifts
and funds meant for President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash held in Bulawayo
in February to personal use.

At the centre of the shameful allegations are Tourism and Hospitality
Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan
Mudenge and Masvingo provincial governor Titus Maluleke.

The three are accused of misappropriating the money and gifts donated to
Mugabe by party followers in Masvingo.

Mudenge, Mzembi and Maluleke allegedly received gifts and money from party
members in Masvingo and converted both gifts and cash to personal use.

The three were part of a fundraising team that had been established to
canvas for funds and gifts, among other things, to be donated to the Zanu-PF
leader on his birthday.

Mugabe’s birthday has over the years been celebrated by Zanu-PF as a
national event annually.

Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke on Wednesday said the
party would leave no stone unturned in its efforts to ensure the missing
gifts and funds were recovered.

“We have launched investigations into the allegations that some of our party
members abused the funds and gifts meant for the president,” said Matuke.

“We are not going to spare anyone from the probe, and once investigations
are complete we will hand over the culprits to the police for possible

It emerged Wednesday that Zanu-PF supporters here have now refused to donate
anything towards the hosting of Independence celebrations here for fear of
having their donations misappropriated.

Independence celebrations are held on 18 April every year.

According to sources in the party, Mugabe’s missing gifts included chickens,
goats, sheep and an undisclosed amount of money.

“We are no longer going to donate anything to the party because the bigwigs
are taking advantage of their posts to abuse our money,” said a party
supporter who refused to be named.

On Wednesday, Mudenge refused to comment on the issue while Mzembi said that
the allegations were coming from his enemies in the party.

“These are just the works of my enemies within the party,” said Mzembi. “I
did not abuse anything meant for the President.

“Let them investigate and I know I will emerge clean.”

The Masvingo governor also denied the allegations.

“I never handled anything regarding the President’s birthday,” was all
Maluleke said.

Mugabe held a party in Bulawayo in February to mark his 86th birthday.
Zanu-PF supporters from different parts of the country showered Mugabe with

However, it now emerged that some of the gifts and cash donated to him in
Masvingo never reached him.

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Zimbabwe Police Investigating Land Grab Scandal

14/04/2010 13:40:00

Harare, April 14, 2010 - Zimbabwe police have started investigations into
the alleged land scandal involving Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo
and business tycoon Philip Chiyangwa, a senior police spokesperson has said.

Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said although no
arrests have been made so far, investigations into the
case have started.

"Yes, we have a report that was made by one Charity Bango where they are
alleging fraud in which two Harare City employees Cosmas
Zvikaramba and Psychology Chiwanga connived to sell Odar Farm to Philip
Chiyangwa on September 2, 2009. So we are carrying out
investigations into the matter," said Bvudzijena adding that no arrests have
been made so far.

Zvikaramba is the finance director while Chiwanga is the director of urban
planning in the Harare City Council.

Acting mayor Bango on Monday made the police report IR number 040725/10 over
the alleged land scandal and handed over a special
investigations report that was tabled before the council 2 weeks ago.

The committee has recommended that Chiyangwa and Chombo must be arrested for
irregularly acquiring land in the capital. In its 54 page report entitled
'special investigations committees report on city of Harare's land sales,
leases and exchanges from the period October 2004 to December 2009' the
committee observed that there was no council approval for all land acquired
by Chiyangwa. The committee also discovered that all land associated with
him was acquired fraudulently and council procedures were not followed.

Chiyangwa's Kilima Investments allegedly entered into land swap deals with
the council in December 2007.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has also stamped his authority and recently
summoned the co-ministers of Home Affairs, Giles Mutsekwa of MDC and Kembo
Mohadi of Zanu (PF) to explain why councilors who  carried out the land
audit were arrested instead of the people accused of illegally grabbing

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Church sect rebuffs CIO recruitment bid

April 13, 2010

By Ray Matikinye

MASVINGO - CIO operatives last week failed in their attempt to recruit
members of the VaPositori religious sect to join President Robert Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party when they tried to sell party cards to thousands of
worshippers gathered for their just ended annual Easter retreat held just
outside Masvingo.

Sources among the sect members told The Daily News that dozens of CIO
operatives clad in the sect's trademark flowing white robes and carrying
their long staffs mingled with genuine worshippers during the week-long
event. They tried to persuade the members to buy Zanu-PF membership cards
while promising them that President Mugabe would finance projects of their

Members of the VaPositori Sect, conspicuous by the white robes worn by both
men and women, have for some years now aligned themselves with the then
ruling Zanu-PF party, thronging Zanu-PF rallies and the Harare International
Airport, either to bid farewell or to welcome President Mugabe back from
foreign trips.

It was never clear whether they were card-carrying members of his party.

"We were taken by surprise, when a group of men started political
discussions urging our members to join Zanu-PF in order to benefit from what
they said was a large amount of money that President Mugabe was ready to
disburse if we bought party cards," one of the sources said.

President Mugabe has told his supporters that they should prepare for
general elections next year although it is doubtful whether this could be
feasible before a new constitution is adopted.

The constitution making process is mired in controversy over whether to use
the Kariba Draft as a basis for a new constitution and is facing serious
financial constraints after donors demanded that government find the
remaining US$7 million required.

The Swedish government recently provided $21 million through the United
Nations Development Programme on condition that the money would not be used
to pay allowances to outreach teams expected to spearhead the process.

"It was unusual to hear people talking to us about politics during the event
that we have all along dedicated to worship and prayer. We were surprised
too that none of our genuine members could identify with these strange
people. They could not identify which groups they attend regular services
with," another source said.

The CIO has gained infamy for infiltrating church and other civic
organization on behalf of Zanu-PF.

Last December thousands of women at a national convention of the Reformed
Church of Zimbabwe rebuffed Zanu-PF district and provincial executives
accompanied by CIO operatives who sought to address them at Chivi Secondary

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Donors Say Zimbabwe A Bottomless Pit

14/04/2010 18:50:00

Harare, April 14, 2010 - The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture,
David Coltart, says donors have told him that they will not support the
payment of teacher salaries because Zimbabwe is a bottomless pit.

Coltart said : "Donors have told me that this country is a bottomless pit
and they will not support anything until the GPA is fully implemented.

"They will not give us a cent even for teachers salaries. They have however
said they are willing to give us 13 million text books for primary school
children next year. We will only get money to pay teachers in the 2011
National budget."

Coltart was responding to enquiries from members of the Zimbabwe Teachers
Association (ZIMTA) who are meeting in Harare until Friday this week.

About 300 ZIMTA members are in Harare from all over Zimbabwe.

Raymond Majongwe from the aggressive Progressive Teachers Alliance of
Zimbabwe (PTAZ) paid a surprise visit to the packed conference held in

ZIMTA President Tendai Chikowore told Coltart that teachers were very
unhappy and he was lying to them about salaries.

She said money was disappearing from Chiadzwa and yet it could be used to
pay cash strapped teachers countrywide.

"I will look into the matter,"  a shocked Coltart said in reply. "I know you
guys are very unhappy but there is no money in Zimbabwe right now full

Zimbabwean teachers are earning about USD 150 a month, which the government
calls an allowance. The government says it will only ba ble to pay a decent
salary to civil servants once its coffers have improved. Most western
countries have denied assisting Zimbabwe financially, demanding the full
implementation of the GPA and a stop to human rights abuses.

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, recently admitted that Zimbabwe was on its
own as no-one was interested in lending it money. The International
financier, International Monetary Fund, said it will resume lending Zimbabwe
money once it clears all its debts.

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ZESA defends astronomical electricity bills

April 14, 2010

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO - A top Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) official sent
shock waves through Bulawayo residents attending a meeting on Tuesday when
he said they should stop complaining over the high electricity bills they
are currently receiving.

He said ZESA tariffs were the cheapest in the SADC region.

Many households, especially in Bulawayo and Harare, are currently receiving
ZESA monthly bills of up to $2 000.

Addressing a public meeting organized by the Competition Tariff Commission
(CTC) at the Large City Hall, Ernest Machiya, managing director of the
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), a
subsidiary of ZESA, said the authority's tariffs were justified as they were
the lowest in the SADC region.

"We have the cheapest electricity rates in the region at 7, 50 US cents per
unit. compared to Mozambique's Electricidade de Mozambique and South Africa's
Eskom who charge 24 US cents and 12 US cents per unit respectively," said

Asked by a Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) representative
to explain why then Zimbabweans were receiving such exorbitant bills,
Machiya said the problem might be that the electricity meters installed on
most houses were old and out dated.

"What people should understand is that most of our meter readings are very
old and sometimes give us wrong figures, as time goes on we will phase them
out but at the moment we have no money to do that," he said

Machiya also said that ZESA would continue to export electricity power to
Namibia as the authority needs the money to service power stations
especially Hwange Power Station which has old equipment.

"Some people have criticized us for selling electricity  to Namibia at a
time when we have shortages in the country  but the main reason we are doing
this is we  need money  to  refurbish  our  power stations which have  old
equipment especially  at Hwange."

The ZESA boss accused electricity consumers in Bulawayo and Harare of not
settling bills on time, saying a total of 102 000 had not paid even a cent
since February 2009. They owed the power utility a total of $347 million, he

Speaking at the same meeting Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leader Magodonga
Mahlangu accused ZESA of making consumers pay full amounts on their
electricity when they spent several days of the month without electricity.

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Mugabe blamed for Ex-Zanu PF hatchet man’s death

  Wednesday 14 April 2010 / by Alice Chimora

A member of the dreaded Central Investigative Organization (CIO) who dared
to publicly criticize President Mugabe was found dead in Zimbabwe on Monday.

Innocent Makamure’s corpse was found floating in river in his rural area, in
Manicaland situated in the eastern part of the country.

Makamure went missing two weeks ago after apologizing to fellow villagers
for his instrumental role in the torture and killing of innocent Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai party supporters.

Manicaland Police spokesperson inspector Philip Makomeke could not confirm
or deny that the dead body found was that of Makamure. “All we have is that
Makamure is on our missing persons’ list. I am yet to check whether he is
the one who was found dead on Monday,” said Makomeke.

He said there were high chances that out of frustration or mental
disturbances, Makamure could have committed suicide. “If someone is highly
frustrated or mentally disturbed, there are chances that such a person can
commit suicide,” said Makomeke.

However, family members say he was murdered for publicly criticizing Mugabe.
During his meetings with villagers, Makamure would say he felt used by
Mugabe to torture people.

Family members who pleaded for anonymity, due to fear of further
victimization, said they highly suspected foul play. “It is unfortunate that
these people do not reform. They have killed an innocent person because he
had chosen to tell the truth. He had repented and he wanted to live a free
life but they took him and murdered him,” said a family member.

“We are all shocked because of his death but after missing him for more than
a week, we suspected something terrible had happened. He is gone and we now
pray for our safety,” said the family member.

Meanwhile, the news filtered through when MDC further listed three more Zanu
(PF) legislators as suspects behind the violence in which some 253 people
were killed and around 200,000 displaced following disputes over the March
29, 2008 presidential vote.

Ministers and MPs from Zanu (PF), security officers as well as police
officers have so far been named in the so-called ’Name and Shame’ campaign
initiated by the MDC three weeks ago.

Mudzi West MP Acquiline Katsande, and Guruve South MP Edward
Chindori-Chininga and Chivi Central MP Paul Mangwana are the latest Zanu PF
legislators to be named.

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Tsvangirai too busy to travel to Europe: MDC

by Ndodana Sixholo Wednesday 14 April 2010

HARARE - Zimbabwe's MDC party on Tuesday said its leader and the country's
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not planning to travel to Europe next
week to call for lifting of sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and
his inner circle.

Several Press reports over the past week have suggested that Tsvangirai will
lead a government delegation expected to leave Harare on April 21 for
Brussels on a mission to push the European Union (EU) to lift visa and
financial bans imposed on Mugabe and his top allies eight years ago.

Mugabe says sanctions were imposed at the instigation of the MDC and insists
that Tsvangirai calls for their removal. The President and his ZANU PF party
insist that until sanctions are scrapped they will not fully implement a
global political agreement (GPA) with the MDC that led to the former foes
forming a power-sharing government last year.

But MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told ZimOnline that Tsvangirai will not
travel to Europe because he was too pre-occupied with "issues of governance,
the rule of law and issues of the implementation of the GPA".

Chamisa repeated the MDC's position that that the burden to persuade Western
countries to lift the punitive measures was not for the party or Tsvangirai
alone but that of the coalition government, adding that full implementation
of the GPA would see the EU and the United States that has also imposed
sanctions scrap the measures.

He said: "It's a collective responsibility in the transitional government to
seek ways of re-engaging with the international community through the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Even the GPA appropriates responsibility on all
the political parties and not the MDC.

"Once we implement the GPA we believe that all the other things will fall
into place. So, it's not a question of us shouting about the removal of
restrictive measures. That will not help at all."

Mugabe has successfully used the sanctions wrangle to delay implementation
of key democratic reforms that could weaken his hold power and see his party
defeated at the next elections that should be held under a new constitution.

Southern Development Community (SADC) mediator in Zimbabwe, South African
President Jacob Zuma, has unsuccessfully called on the US and EU to lift
sanctions to help Zimbabwe's troubled political transition process to move

Zuma is soon expected to hand a report to the SADC's special organ on
politics defence and security on the Zimbabwean political stalemate. -

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Mugabe’s deputy tours diamond field

by Own Correspondent Wednesday 14 April 2010

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Vice-President John Nkomo today visits the controversial
Chiadzwa diamond field to assess operations by two mining firms – Mbada
Investments and Canadile Miners – two weeks after police barred
parliamentarians from touring the area.

Mbada and Canadile are two joint venture firms formed by state-owned
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and some South African
investors to exploit the Chiadzwa deposits, also known as Marange.

Nkomo who in December took over the post left by the late Vice-President
Joseph Msika – who died last August after a long illness – will also during
the visit meet with the local villagers of Chiadzwa and other government
officials, his office said yesterday.

Parliament’s mines and energy committee, chaired by ZANU PF legislator
Chindori Chininga, was denied access to the area to acquaint itself with
operations of the two firms exploiting the resource and to convene a public
hearing with the locals.

The parliamentary committee is probing among other things how and why Mbada
and Canadile were licenced to exploit the Chiadzwa deposits without
following proper procedures.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has admitted that his department did not follow
proper procedure when it allowed the two firms to work the Chiadzwa claims
but said it was because the government was in urgent need of cash from the

The committee earlier this week urged the authorities to allow the
parliamentarians to visit Chiadzwa, in a statement that also called on the
Executive to uphold the principle of separation of powers.

“It is the committee’s stand that the relevant authorities should uphold the
principle of separation of powers and cooperate with Parliament in
facilitating the granting of the clearance and allow the committee to
exercise its oversight responsibilities so that it can compile and table its
findings in Parliament without further delay for the interest of the
 nation,” said the statement.

“The committee has taken note, with concern the challenges and unsuccessful
efforts by the Acting Clerk of Parliament to secure approval of the Ministry
of Mines and Mining Development to authorise police to grant the clearance
for the to visit the restricted and reserved Chiadzwa diamonds fields.”

The statement said in upholding the principle of the separation of powers
among the arms of state, the committee will not probe the issue before the
courts relating to claims or special grants ownership dispute between ZMDC
and London-based African Consolidated Resources (ACR) who hold legal claim
to the deposits.

Mbada and Canadile were brought to Chiadzwa in a bid to bring operations at
the notorious field in line with standards stipulated by world diamond
industry watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP).

However, the two companies’ operations in the field are shrouded in
controversy, amid revelations that some members of the boards of the two
firms were once illegal drug and diamond dealers in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

Some of the directors of the two firms are also known to have close ties
with Zimbabwe’s military establishment that is accused of stealing millions
of dollars worth of diamonds from Chiadzwa and offloading them onto the
foreign black market for precious stones.

Chiadzwa is one of the world’s most controversial diamond fields with
reports that soldiers sent to guard the claims after the government took
over the field in October 2006 from ACR that owned the deposits committed
gross human rights abuses against illegal miners who had descended on the
Human rights groups have been pushing for a ban on Zimbabwean diamonds but
last November, the country escaped a KP ban with the global body giving
Harare a June 2010 deadline to make reforms to comply with its
egulations.  – ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe's new farmers defend their gains
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 23:59 UK

Unemployed farm workers in Zimbabwe

Under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, some 4,000 white farmers have been driven away and their land given to black farmers. The BBC's Dan Isaacs talks to Zimbabwe's new farming class.

Endy Mhlanga, a war veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence, sits with me in the garage of his recently acquired farmhouse.

A pot of maize meal bubbles on an open fire beside us.

It is getting dark, but there is no electricity. Power cuts - often lasting days - are a regular feature of life here. And the mosquitoes are descending.

"As war veterans we are satisfied that the programme of land reform has succeeded," Mr Mhlanga tells me.

"It might not be 100%, but now the land is with the people of Zimbabwe."

Endy Mhlanga, supporter of Zimbabwe's liberation war
Had they agreed to share nicely, none of these troubles would have happened
Endy Mhalanga

Mr Mhlanga's farm is on prime agricultural land, but now most of it is lying fallow.

What was once a large commercial farm now produces nothing for export, and where once there were intensively irrigated fields of wheat and tobacco, rough grassland now stretches into the distance.

One small field of maize is growing near the farmhouse, a few turkeys cluck their way around an old tennis court, and a dozen or so cattle graze at the bottom of the garden.

"We have the ability to work on the land," explains Mr Mhlanga, "but we're prevented from doing so because of a lack of funding.

"Investors aren't forthcoming, so we aren't able to do much with the land. For us, this is really a silent war."

A decade ago, there were more than 4,000 white-owned farms in Zimbabwe.

But years of President Mugabe's land reform programmes have forced these farmers out, markedly changing the Zimbabwean farming scene and jarring the agriculture-based economy.

Today, there are just a few dozen left, and many of those have now been served with eviction orders.

As a former secretary-general of the country's pro-Mugabe war veterans association, Mr Mhlanga was actively involved in those evictions, and now recalls the violent tactics used to force the white farmers to leave.

"I don't have any regrets," he tells me. "Had they agreed to share nicely, none of these troubles would have happened."

The collapse in agricultural output across the country has had catastrophic consequences for Zimbabwe's economy.

Some four million people have fled the country over the past decade, and although economic conditions have improved recently, the overwhelming majority of those who stayed no longer have formal employment.

Rose garden

Johannes Vengesai lost his job when the farm he was working on was occupied by the "war veterans".

He was thrown out of his home as well, and he now lives with his family in a disused tobacco silo.

Dan Isaacs
Stan and Jane Kasakwere say their new land is a birthright

It is a squatters' life - he has been threatened with eviction from here too but says he has got nowhere else to go.

"What bleeds my heart," says Joseph, a farmer who was evicted from an adjacent citrus farm, "is that if we leave the land lying idle like this, we're not growing any future for ourselves."

As we look out over thousands of untended citrus trees he explains that all they produce now are shrivelled, bitter lemons.

"As a country we are losing millions of dollars, and as ordinary Zimbabweans we can no longer afford to send our children to school."

But it is a very different country for those who have directly benefited from the land reform.

At the farmhouse now owned by Stan and Jane Kasakwere, lunch has been set out in the garden under a spreading jacaranda tree. 

The well-tended lawn sweeps down to a rose garden and swimming pool. Beyond the fence, their land stretches as far as the eye can see.

If we leave the land lying idle like this, we're not growing any future for ourselves
Evicted famer

Mr and Mrs Kasakwere are supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, and they have been allocated this previously white-owned farm on rich agricultural land.

It is not long before the lunch talk turns to politics.

"This is my country, the land is my birthright," Mrs Kasakwere tells me.

"I feel sorry for the previous white owners of this farm, but I don't feel guilty. It's a tough world."

"What Mugabe has done is break the ice," says Mr Kasakwere.

"He's the first African leader to stand up publicly and criticise our former colonial masters. Mugabe is one hell of an African leader."


A minority of well-connected Zimbabweans have benefited from the reforms, but the overwhelming majority are far poorer than they were a decade ago.

And because of the violent and politicised way it has been carried out, support for President Mugabe has fallen sharply.

But to challenge the reform process is to be seen as both a colonial puppet and against black empowerment.

So, despite his lack of popularity, Mr Mugabe's political opponents have so far found it impossible to defeat him.

Unemployed farm workers in Zimbabwe
Many farm workers have been left unemployed as a result of the seizures

This is why for the time being - and after long and slow deliberation - they have entered into an alliance with Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

It is this unity government that has brought about a degree of economic stability, and a reduction in political violence.

But the farm invasions have continued to this day, and no political group within this fragile coalition has called for them to be stopped, let alone reversed.

Back in Harare, it was not hard to track down the owner of one of the abandoned citrus plantations I had visited.

"You've got to understand, that we've been through a revolution," explains Bright Matonga, a former government minister, and currently a Zanu-PF member of parliament.

"Things have calmed down now, and soon production will pick up."

When I asked him about his forlorn citrus tree plantations and the destitute workers living nearby, he blamed a lack of credit available from banks and the "sanctions" being imposed on Zimbabwe.

"I think, rather than to criticise the land reform process," he argued, "you have to understand that it had to take place and that it is now irreversible."

Gender Composition of Zimbabwean Rights Body Challenged As Unconstitutional

Legislative monitor Veritas said Section 100 R (3) of the Zimbabwean
Constitution specifies that at least four members of the commission should
be women, but only three were sworn in by President Robert Mugabe

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 13 April 2010

Zimbabwean non-governmental legislation monitoring organization Veritas and
legal experts have challenged  the composition of the new Human Rights
Commission saying it violates the constitution because the number of women
on the panel falls short of what is prescribed.

Veritas said Section 100 R (3) of the Zimbabwean Constitution specifies that
at least four members of the commission should be women, but only three were
sworn in by President Robert Mugabe last month following the commission's

Veritas said in a news release: "This defect will have to be put right as a
matter of urgency ... Presumably, one of the male members will have to
resign to allow for a fourth woman to be appointed."

House Speaker Lovemore Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that
the gender shortfall was due to an error on the part of Mr. Mugabe who
mistook the name of one of the men for that of a woman, saying the mistake
will be corrected.

"My understanding is that [Mr. Mugabe's] office is working on fixing it,"
Moyo said.

The female members of the newly-formed rights body are Ellen Sithole,
Nomathemba Neseni and Kwanele Jirira. Their male counterparts are Reg
Austin, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, Elasto Mugwadi, Jacob Mudenda, Joseph Kurebwa
and Carroll Khombe.

Because the Human Rights Commission is a first in Zimbabwe, Parliament has
yet to come up with an act governing its functioning. Rights activists have
hailed the body's introduction saying it will help prevent human rights
breaches by the government and particularly, state security apparatus.

Zuma drops Zim sanctions issue during US visit

By Alex Bell
14 April 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma has surprised his critics by not lobbying
for the removal of Zimbabwe's targeted sanctions while on a state visit to
the United States this week.

Zuma has been in the United States this week meeting with US President
Barack Obama on matters of diplomatic and trade relations. A similar visit
to the UK last month saw the South African leader take up ZANU PF's rallying
call for the targeted measures to be dropped. This pressure, which was
condemned by British rights groups, was resisted by British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown. Brown argued the measures would remain until there was more
progress by the unity government, echoing the European Union, which this
year extended their sanctions on the Mugabe regime by another year.

Zuma renewed this call while in Uganda recently and again in his own country's
parliament late last month. Zuma, as the regional mediator in Zimbabwe's
political crisis has been tasked with ending the deadlock reached by the
rival parties in the fragile coalition government. The parties have been
divided over outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA),
with ZANU PF stating it would not be making any concessions to the MDC
unless the international sanctions are removed. The MDC meanwhile, which
ZANU PF says is responsible for the sanctions being in place, has been
making all the concessions to try to force progress, but to no avail.

It was widely expected that Zuma would once again use a state visit to lobby
on Robert Mugabe's behalf, but he has reportedly steered clear of the topic
with President Obama. Observers have commented that this has been a
deliberate move by Zuma's office, in the aftermath of damaging comments by
ANC Youth league leader Julius Malema. Zuma was last week forced to publicly
announce his sincerity in mediating Zimbabwe's talks, after his protégé,
Malema, publicly denounced the MDC and aligned the ANC with ZANU PF. Zuma
quickly denied this, saying he was supportive of both parties in the unity

Political commentator Professor John Makumbe told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that Zuma is clearly trying to 'mend fences' after Malema
effectively 'outed' the ANC as supporting ZANU PF.

"Zuma is trying to emphatically state that he does not support one party
over another," Makumbe said. "Malema's comments have put him in a really
embarrassing and difficult position, especially so close to the World Cup."

EU and U.S. Exhibitors Stay Far Away from Trade Fair

By Ignatius Banda

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Apr 14 , 2010 (IPS) - Companies from the European Union
and the U.S. will not feature at this year's Zimbabwe International Trade
Fair despite the formation of a government of national unity last year.

The formation of the government of national unity in Feb 2009 between
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, long-time rival and current Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC and the Arthur Mutambara MDC faction was
seen as holding the opportunity of thawing the decade-old trade and
investment stand-off between Zimbabwe and its erstwhile major trading

But the EU and U.S. remain wary of the shaky coalition as Mugabe refuses to
make crucial concessions and implement sections of the so-called global
political agreement that led to the formation of the government.

Early this year, the EU extended sanctions against Mugabe that restrict him,
members of ZANU-PF and their companies from having dealings with the EU.

"In view of the situation in Zimbabwe, in particular the lack of progress in
the implementation of the global political agreement signed in September
2008, the restrictive measures ... should be extended for a further period
of 12 months," the EU said.

Established more than 60 years ago, the trade fair has historically been the
country's investment barometer. Last year the exhibition was on the verge of
cancellation after potential and traditional exhibitors showed little
enthusiasm to participate.

Companies from countries like Germany last featured at the trade fair in
2001 before relations between Zimbabwe and the West soured in the wake of
Mugabe's anti-democratic clampdown. Investors have fled Zimbabwe, citing
years of hostile economic policies under one of Africa's longest serving

While officials from the U.S. embassy in Harare told IPS they did not have
any information on the participation of U.S. companies at this year's fair,
there will be no U.S. companies exhibiting, according to March figures
released by the trade fair's general manager Daniel Chigaru.

By the end of March, about 95 percent exhibition space had been taken up,
Chigaru told local media. Chigaru said there was an increase in foreign
exhibitors this year, compared to last year. Among the 14 countries
represented at the fair, India, Iran and Indonesia had confirmed their

Timothy Gerhadson, the U.S. embassy's public affairs officer in Harare, told
IPS "there are no trade restrictions between the Zimbabwe and the U.S." and
noted that "bilateral trade has increased significantly in recent years". He
did not elaborate on the volume of trade.

"We expect more U.S. companies will consider Zimbabwe as a business
destination if the government succeeds in reducing risks that tend to impede
trade and investment," Gerhadson pointed out.

Analysts say the absence of exhibitors from the EU and the U.S. could mean
Zimbabwe has a long way to go toward attracting tangible investment if the
country is to regain its position as one of Africa's strongest economies.

ZANU-PF is pushing legislation that will nationalise foreign investments.
Economists warn that this is against the spirit of economic recovery
envisaged by the formation of the government of national unity and will only
serve to fuel investor flight.

The British based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has reported that these
nationalisation plans - which have been opposed by Tsvangirai - are
convincing foreign investors to stay away. The EIU is a research and
advisory firm that provides country, industry and management analysis.

The effect of these plans has been felt in the preparations for the trade
fair, believes Bulawayo-based economist Titus Njini.

As long as there is no consensus within the coalition government on the way
to return the economy to mid-1990s levels, the trade fair will just be one
of those shows held to save face, Njini told IPS.

"However, I believe the trade fair could still be relevant in the future for
investors to know whether they can put their money here," he added.

This year's trade fair, with the theme "Unlocking Our Investment Potential",
kicks off on Apr 20 and runs to Apr 24.

Zimbabwe Bus Crash Kills 25, Injures Dozens

14/04/2010 18:10:00

Harare, April 14, 2010 - At least 25 people were burnt to death and two
dozen others injured when a bus collided with a truck laden with fertilizer
on a highway in northwestern Zimbabwe, state radio reported on Wednesday.

The accident occurred on Tuesday night, and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation said many of the casualties were believed to be Zambians
traveling to South Africa.

There were no further details on the accident, near Karoi, 300 km northwest
of Harare. Reuters

Compassionate few helping hundreds of Zims in SA

By Alex Bell
14 April 2010

As the crisis facing thousands of Zimbabwean refugees continues in South
Africa, the work of a small but compassionate aid group in Cape Town is
being praised.

The Adonis Musati Project (AMP) was named after a young Zimbabwean boy who
died of starvation on the streets of Cape Town in 2007, while awaiting his
asylum papers. He is just one of untold numbers of mainly Zimbabwean
refugees who have become the often forgotten victims of South Africa's
refugee plight, where thousands of people are left without food or shelter
while trying to gain legal asylum.

Distressed that such a tragedy could occur unnoticed in the middle of one of
the most vibrant and progressive cities in Africa, Gahlia Brogneri and Terry
Hodson founded the AMP to provide support and assistance to Zimbabwean
refugees seeking asylum. Over the past three years, the project has been
extended to include refugees of all nationalities and also to assist as many
South African homeless people in Cape Town as possible.

To date, the AMP, with a small voluntary managing team of ten people and 20
additional volunteers has assisted thousands of refugees with food,
clothing, training and accommodation. It has more than 300 refugees on its
'books,' who are being helped and guided towards independence. The group
last year also launched a youth shelter that helps put young, homeless
children back into education systems, giving them a chance to succeed as
adults. The children have mainly been young Zimbabwean refugees who fled
their country to escape violence and economic collapse.

"How we respond as a nation to the human suffering of the refugees entering
South Africa in search of help is often dependent upon our own situation,"
AMP founder Brogneri to SW Radio Africa on Wednesday.

Brogneri said how, in South Africa there is very little assistance given by
the government for refugees, explaining that the official response to the
plight of refugees is 'shocking.' She explained how refugees are often
rounded up and arrested by police officials as part of a suspected
unofficial government directive to remove the 'unsightly' numbers of
refugees living on the city's streets.

This same issue has been highlighted in a recent report on the state of the
Zimbabwean refugee plight, which detailed how this 'clean up' operation is
in full swing ahead of the football world cup. The report by the Solidarity
Peace Trust detailed how Zimbabweans continue to live in appalling
conditions, suffering ongoing xenophobic violence and facing arrests as
authorities try to move them out of sight during the tournament.

"These migrants, mostly undocumented, live on the edge of survival, often in
appalling circumstances," the organisation said.


Zimbabwe’s list of shame and Oskar Schindler’s list

  Wednesday 14 April 2010 / by Rejoice Ngwenya

"He who saves the life of one man, saves the world entire.", so says Ben
Kingsley acting as Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning 1993
epic film ‘Schindler’s List’. I had never seen this movie until recently,
although I had read a few things about it back then. Instinct tells me there
are people who are placed in this world for a specific purpose – and one
such man was Oskar Schindler.

It is impossible to appreciate the intensity of this film without drawing
parallels with modern-day genocide in Rwanda and Darfur. Moreover, had there
been such a man in Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, my very own Zimbabwe would have
been spared the horrors of Gukurahundi, the agony of Murambatsvina and
subsequent habitual electoral persecution of MDC activists.

Stories are recounted how ZANLA forces – the military wing of ZANU-PF –
indulged in gruesome Maoist-style murder of defenceless villagers who they
branded traitors. Barbaric rituals were conducted at Kangaroo-court
gatherings meant to whip villagers into collective liberation conformity.
The echoes of despair still ring loudly in the ears of our mothers – thanks
to the NAZI-style bloodthirsty strategy of The Hague-bound ZANU-PF killing

But watching Liam Neeson portray a response to life in the Nazi party and
its corruptive and destructive nature reminds one of how the resilience of
Zimbabweans can prevail over the ferocious vindictiveness of our very own
‘extermination force’ – ZANU-PF. The conflict of ideology between the Jewish
Council and the NAZI has uncanny congruency with ZANU-PF’s corrosive
self-centred dogma weighed against the defenceless innocence of the people
of Zimbabwe. The history of this political party is testimony to the
propensity and magnitude of mankind to inflict Babylonian-style misery upon
fellowman. This is a party that failed miserably to transform itself from a
liberation force of coercion to a people-centred governing entity.

Sensible people learn from history, while fools wait for history to teach
them a bitter lesson. Never mind the EU’s 200 member ‘list of shame’ that
isolates ZANU-PF big wigs on crime against humanity, just a quick scan will
give one an idea who has a case to answer. One-man presidential racer Robert
Mugabe, defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, air force commander Perence
Shiri, army general Constantine Chiwenga, state minister Didymus Mutasa,
police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri, national security minister
Sidney Sekeramayi, former home affairs clown prince Enos Nkala are some of
the names that must be on the roll call of post-liberation war
accountability. Retired general Solomon and vice president Joyce Mujuru,
women activist Opah Muchinguri and the eccentric former Zimbabwe Unity
Movement opposition leader Edgar Tekere have of late assumed an aura of
humanity, but may offer invaluable insights into the diabolical inner
workings of ZANU-PF’s repressive modus operandi.

Back to Schindler’s List, as the allied forces descend on Auschwitz to free
Jewish captives, somewhere in a Berlin bunker, Adolph Hitler takes his
worthless and crooked life. Object lesson two: ZANU-PF and its power-drunk
cronies must know that the end is always as inevitable as the beginning. In
2000, four million Zimbabweans voted overwhelmingly for Mugabe to redeem
himself by retiring gracefully, but he stubbornly remained glued to the
throne of disgrace. As late as 17 and 18 March 2010, Jacob Zuma of South
Africa brought a truckload of olive branches to shelter the ageing dictator
from further misery, but the man trades value-adding reason for perishable
impunity. My question remains: who among ZANU-PF men will stand out as the
voice of conscience before the proverbial doors of mercy close?

It is on record that Adolph Hitler’s killing machine accounted for not less
than three million innocent Jewish lives, yet within this pulverising
phenomenon, we get a Schindler who stands out as a sole pillar of sanity. It
is impossible to see how, out of thousands of Zimbabweans in ZANU-PF
structures, one cannot encounter a single soul with a morsel of humanity.
There are those like me who sincerely believe that fallen ZANU-PF
revolutionaries like Herbert Chitepo and Josiah Tongogara would have
borrowed a leaf from Oskar Schindler’s heroic life. Chitepo’s disputed
‘assassination’ in a car bomb in Lusaka and Tongogara’s infamous ‘car
accident in the injury time of Zimbabwe’s liberation game’ in Mozambique
have raised an intriguing array of permutations.

Chitepo was a powerful and sophisticated barrister whose political
leadership skills made Robert Mugabe look like a mere high school prefect.
He was of the ‘minority’ Manyika clan from Eastern Zimbabwe, a breeding
ground of political aristocrats like Ndabaningi Sithole, Simba Makoni and of
late, Morgan Tsvangirayi and Arthur Mutambara. Tongogara was seen as the
‘sensible figure’ of ZANU-PF’s military command, also of a ‘minority’
Karanga clan that produced constitutional expert Edison Zvobgo. All
arguments around ZAN-PF’s current factional friction point to that Mugabe’s
‘majority’ Zezuru clan has laboured to keep out Manyikas, Karangas and of
course, Joshua Nkomo’s Ndebeles from the circle of influence. This theory
ends with a sinister insinuation – ZANU-PF was and is willing to kill to
preserve Zezuru hegemonic hold on political power. Object lesson number
three: there are those in ZANU-PF who seem overwhelmed by the collective
force of destruction yet they can still peer through a crevice of hope that
early disclosure can be rewarded with mercy and forgiveness.

According to Mail & Guardian blogger William Saunderson-Meyer, Jacob Zuma
once warned, “When history eventually deals with the dictators, those who
stood by and watched the deterioration of nations should bear the
consequences.” While Oskar Schindler is now in the annals of world history,
modern technology has put his life at the disposal of Mugabe’s politburo and
central committee members, projected on the popular screen of enlightenment
that it is never too late repent. Just as it was in the days of King
Belshazzar of Babylon, the invisible hand of destiny writes that their days
are numbered. He or she that can read can miss the message only if they
choose to take the blind literary alley.

Mr. Ngwenya is president of Coalition for Liberal Market Reforms in Zimbabwe
and affiliate of African Liberty.

Zimbabwe GNU Watch - March 2010

[2010 April 14]

The Zimbabwe GNU Watch provides an overview, month by month, of political developments under the terms set out in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The sections profiled in monthly outputs may vary depending on events and issues raised in that particular report. Where possible, the relevant article as stipulated in the GPA has been provided. As this documentation began in April, there may at times be references to activities or events that took place in previous months.

Download the full document below.

Zimbabwe GNU Watch - March 2010
GNU Watch March 2010.pdf

Zimbabwe’s economic prospects for 2010

April 14, 2010
John Robertson

(A paper presented at the ‘Labour Relations Under Dollarisation’ Conference,
March 25, 2010)

WHEN Zimbabwe’s currency failed and the country’s authorities had to settle
for the best option available, the formal acceptance of the US dollars and
South African rands that had found their way into the hands of Zimbabwean
shoppers and traders, became that best option. Government had only to
legalise the use of these currencies to bring about important changes to the
lives of all Zimbabweans.

Most of us were greatly relieved to be able to work for and spend money that
did not lose value. Shopkeepers, who previously were supposed to apply to
the Reserve Bank for foreign exchange, could use the money they received
from customers to replace their stocks, as well as to meet their business
expenses, and shoppers who were earning or receiving funds in stable money
could now legally spend the cash. That allowed them to avoid all the
problems that went with having to find and carry around billions or
trillions in bricks of banknotes that nobody really wanted.

However, not everyone was happy. Large flows of money, which had been
keeping many people going while government could print lorry-loads of it,
simply disappeared, so the subsidies needed by resettlement farmers stopped
and the ability to buy US dollars with Zimbabwe dollars also stopped. This
was a serious problem for those who had easy access to vast quantities of
Zimbabwe dollars and the privilege of buying their US dollars at the
official exchange rate.

I suspect that few of us shed tears for the lost incomes of those who had
used their influence and privileges to capture scarce foreign exchange and
turn it into huge profits, but we were all affected by the very severe
shortage of foreign currency in the country. We often wondered how much was
in circulation, but in fact most of it was coming into the country in the
form of export earnings and remittances, but quickly leaving the country
again to pay for the supermarket items, fuel and industrial materials we had
to import.

Very little of it was left to accumulate within the country. Even when
earnings in US dollars were paid to us as we earned our keep in our
businesses, or worked for government, we would spend most of it in the shops
on imported items. The shopkeeper would then send most of it out of the
country to pay for replacement stocks.

Money put into the banks typically did not stay there long. Most individuals
and businesses needed their deposits to meet commitments within weeks or
even days of depositing it, so the banks could not easily meet demands for
loans when their deposit base was almost all about to be withdrawn.

Many companies with international connections were able to obtain some help
from parent companies abroad, or perhaps credit terms from suppliers, but
these proved hard to manage and difficult to repay when sales were sluggish
or local customers kept the businesses waiting for payments.

But for those trying to produce goods in Zimbabwe, in many cases the sales
were hard to make because goods of better quality and at lower prices were
readily available from South Africa.

Dollarisation affected importers and exporters in ways that should not have
surprised us, but often did. In the past, we had supported local suppliers
because we could pay them in Zimbabwe dollars and save our precious foreign
exchange. And if we could find export markets, we sent as much as possible
out of the country to earn more of that precious foreign exchange.

But after dollarisation we were paying foreign exchange to local as well as
foreign suppliers and we could earn foreign exchange by selling our goods to
customers here at home. That caused significant behavioural changes, but
also brought into sharper focus the quality, pricing and dependability
issues that can make, or break, any company that has to be competitive to

We are here today to talk about the way that dollarisation affected labour
issues, so now would be a good time to make the point that the people
affected most directly by dollarisation were mostly engaged in buying and
selling, not in making anything. I also have to make the point that large
numbers of these buyers and sellers were not employed by any formal,
registered enterprise, were not members of trades unions and were not
represented by workers’ committees.

We all know who they were. They were cross-border traders, fuel importers,
moneychangers and facilitators. And they were mostly very good at their
chosen field of endeavour because those who were not skilful operators soon
lost out to those who were. But when the country dollarised, very nearly all
of them lost out.

Most of the informal cross-border traders are no longer needed now that
wholesalers and retailers can order container-loads and get bulk discounts,
only the most efficient of the fuel importers have survived because no cheap
US dollars are available and moneychangers have been rendered redundant.

I make these points to bring the focus back onto the people who do formal
work for formal, registered companies and who make things, provide services
to others who make things, or offer the full marketing services needed to
sell the things that others have made. Of course, many formal jobs are not
easily classified in these terms because they are services that support
other services, but most of them would not be needed if somebody somewhere
was not producing and selling a tangible product.

So we need bankers, lawyers and accountants, and we also need transporters,
builders and sales-people. We can all think of many more to add to that
list, but would like to steer your thoughts to the range of things Zimbabwe
used to make, the range it is making now and the range it could be making if
we organised ourselves properly.

We don’t have to list them in detail, but I can tell you that the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries used to publish a book that listed six
thousand products from Zimbabwe’s factories. Everyone here is old enough to
remember when most goods in the shops were made in Zimbabwe. You will all be
aware that now very nearly all the goods come from somewhere else.

How are we going to get back to where we once were, and how are we going to
move from there to become what we can become – a country that would best be
compared to countries in Europe rather than poor developing countries?

The single-word answer to that question is INVESTMENT. We need it, but we
are not getting it. The answers to the questions of why Zimbabwe needs it,
what investors could achieve if they were encouraged to make their
investment commitments in Zimbabwe and how wealthy Zimbabwe might become if
nothing stood in the way of investors, are almost all economics answers.

But the answers to the questions about why not very many of the investors of
the past are still functioning, why not many are considering coming to
Zimbabwe – or coming back to Zimbabwe – and quite a few of those in Zimbabwe
now are thinking of leaving, are almost all political answers.

These answers, both economic and political, are seldom single-word answers,
but some of them are, and others are quite short. Confidence is one of them,
and the threat to property rights is another. Some are tied to the rule of
law, some to freedom of association and some to freedom of expression. In
other words they are tied to civil rights that are so normal and so often
taken for granted that they are seldom even mentioned in successful
democratic countries.

We need to do more than mention them ourselves because their presence or
absence determines whether investment will take place. And that is important
because whether investment happens will determine whether or not job
creation will happen.

However, this conference needs to be reminded that a third influence can
impact on how keen investors are to engage in job-creating investments. That
is the productivity of labour, and productivity is the measure of, or the
ratio between, the value of output and the costs of achieving that output.
Investors have to take this subject very seriously because events that
affect productivity can quickly destroy an investment.

A company that is made profitable by high labour productivity will be
engaged in creating wealth and the wages paid are labour’s share of that
wealth. If the profitability dies away because the costs of labour and other
inputs balance the price received for the finished goods, the investment
shows no return and the investor will be under pressure to fix things, give
up or move elsewhere.

When the costs become higher than the revenues, wealth is being destroyed.
If a remedy is not urgently found, the investor will soon be history, and so
will all the jobs.

If the problem is caused by foreign competition at higher quality or lower
prices, raw material supplies or costs, power cuts or transport problems,
the only variable under the company’s influence might be labour

In other words, in difficult times, the only way some employers can hope to
survive long enough to deal with the bigger problems of infrastructure and
changes in local or external markets is through the increased efficiency and
productivity of their employees. We are in difficult times.

But the problem has other dimensions. The degree to which people are needed
to carry out work has become more and more affected by the work that can be
done by machines.

In a great many ways, investors can make a choice between hand-made and
machine-made processes, and with computers and microchips, servo-motors and
sensors that can measure anything measurable, the number of ways of
automating and mechanising industrial processes is increasing all the time.

Many jobs are therefore disappearing, but many jobs that did not even exist
a short time ago are now the very best jobs to have. Somebody has to design
those machines, somebody has to assemble them and somebody has to maintain
them. And all of these people are far better paid that the people who used
to sew, or solder, or weld or screw things together on production lines.

Whatever job you are doing now, try to imagine how it might change.
Everywhere, people have to move with the times and they have to invest in
themselves by upgrading their skills. If they are lucky, their employers
will help, but they should not sit down and wait to become lucky. Real
empowerment is a process of self-empowerment. Very few people have been
lucky enough to be empowered by somebody else.

I mentioned other dimensions, and in Zimbabwe we are always confronted by
the political dimension.

Zimbabwe’s enlarged and revised development document, which we called STERP
II, the authorities’ second attempt at a Short Term Emergency Recovery
Programme, was said to show the way to economic recovery. I was disappointed
to find that it included no evidence at all that the recovery proposals
included efforts to repair the damage deliberately done to our economy or
our investment climate.

If some sign that we were prepared to learn from mistakes and to rectify
those that set us back, I think foreign assistance would have been offered.
But no such lines appear in the text, and nor were there any that addressed
the fact that the country’s problems are as serious as they are because
decisions were taken to close down Zimbabwe’s biggest business sector and
biggest employer, the commercial farms. These also constituted Zimbabwe’s
biggest exporters and biggest contributor to tax revenues.

The failures of most of our farming activities and their many, many
consequences can be directly linked to the eventual hyperinflation and then
the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar.

STERP II does make the statement that “The Framework strategies to transform
Zimbabwe’s agriculture will involve a greater reliance on efficient inputs
delivery and farm output marketing systems and a smooth integration of
agriculture with the domestic, regional and international markets.”

These phrases suggest that Zimbabwe has chosen to place its trust in
bureaucratic procedures, not people. It found no need to accept the thought
that the economy has any need of people who can call on experience, business
acumen and talent.

And in the belief that this approach would be found acceptable to the donor
community, the government started asking for assistance, not to put things
right by adopting more suitable policies, but to give us the money we can no
longer earn.

We certainly need plenty of it. We need it to meet import bills, to make up
for lost tax revenues and to meet our recovery expenses, all because we have
decided not to go back to policies that would have allowed investors to
rebuild the capacity to earn the money ourselves.

Our decision not to fix what we broke has impressed nobody. The donor
countries are happy to stay away.

The development agencies know full well that our problems are
self-inflicted. And the world keeps reminding us that we have failed to
settle our debts. Almost no money has come. The Minister of Finance accepted
in a statement two weeks ago that if we want it, we have to earn it. So we
must all wake up and get back to work.

Recovery prospects

A little over a year ago, when Zimbabweans were permitted to legally use
foreign currency, the use of the relatively stable currencies permitted the
immediate disappearance of inflation. This change made the early months of
2009 significantly different from the closing months of 2008, but progress
since then has been slow.

The plans I believe are needed to establish an actual workable economic
recovery appear to have been overlooked as, so far, they have not appeared
on the agenda at the meetings of the GNU. They should, first, concentrate on
the policy changes needed to place the Rule of Law onto a sound footing and
to repeal all laws and regulations that interfere with the acquisition,
ownership and marketability of property. And I am referring to all forms of
property, whether these be areas of land, mining claims, financial
instruments or company shares.

Secondly, a reasonable plan should identify the sequences of events needed
to restore Zimbabwe’s physical and social infrastructure to acceptable
levels of efficiency and dependability. Preliminary estimates could be made
of the scale of restoration work needed to bring existing roads, railways,
airways, power, telecommunications, municipal water supplies, hospitals,
schools and colleges back to acceptable operating standards.

If we had forward-looking policies that showed a commitment to restore an
attractive investment climate, we could invite experts to make estimates of
the time and funding that would be needed to restore each of our utilities
and services. Formal proposals could then be drafted to invite the
participation of local and international bodies.

If Zimbabwe were considered to be deserving of assistance by virtue of
extensive policy changes, its prospects of floating syndicated long-term
loan stock issues on international capital markets would improve, and would
quickly gather momentum once the first signs of success had become evident.

For some of the challenges, proposals for the privatisation of certain
parastatal organisations could be presented in correctly drafted
prospectuses. Others might require work to be put out to international
tender to meet the requirements of funding organisations or donor countries,
while for certain projects the main concern might be to simply attract back
to the country the skilled personnel we have lost.

A plan that covered this ground would no doubt leave further political
problems in need of attention, all of which will deserve careful thought and
special attention. But Zimbabwe should prevent these from derailing efforts
to achieve full recovery by ensuring that the selected solutions were
forward-looking, rather than based on claimed entitlements because of past

Undiluted attention has to be focused on actions that can deliver recovery
and growth. Achieving success and restoring dependable flows of income from
the efforts of people with proven technical and managerial skills would
leave Zimbabwe far better placed to deal with the challenges caused by past
errors of judgment.

Investors will need reasons to feel confident that political issues over
which they have no control will not derail them. They will want to feel that
the investment climate within the country and region concerned is acceptable
and will remain acceptable.

They will also want assurances that the conduct of other people who can
influence the investment climate will not be too unpredictable and that the
investment climate on offer will provide the needed protection.

People who can take the initiative to accomplish something usually show
energy, vision, enterprise and courage in initiating a process that is
intended to lead to something new. We have many people like that, but quite
a few of them are planning to leave. Somehow, we have to keep them here.
They are innovators or originators and therefore in a class of their own.

People with the capacity to seize the initiative usually see potential that
others missed and they create opportunities for themselves. They certainly
do not wait for others to empower them by passing legislation that allows
them to acquire shares in other people’s companies.

In our efforts to promote the adoption of good policies, we need to remind
ourselves that bad policies are equally discouraging to local investors as
they are to foreign investors. The fact that Zimbabwe’s administrators
permit conduct and behaviours that are resented by Zimbabweans needs to
become an accountability issue on every agenda.

We should have no illusions about the size of the problem. This graph shows
that for every hundred people in the country in 1991, Zimbabwe now has about
126, but for every hundred people who had a job in 1991, only about 67 had a
job at the end of 2009.

These alarming statistics clearly illustrate the increasingly hostile
investment climate, which has caused the shrinkage or closures of
businesses, but more to the point, it shows equally clearly the loss of
jobs, the disappearance of job prospects and the reason why so many have had
to leave the country to find employment.

If we study the performance and reputation of Zimbabwean workers in foreign
labour markets, we can very nearly always feel proud of their achievements
and of the fact that their work ethic, their expertise and their generous
natures have made them eagerly sought-after in many countries.

I find that very heartening because it proves to me that we as a people are
more than capable of contending with the rough and tumble of competitive
labour markets. Most of us trust the interplay between competition and
market forces to supply us with what we need, and we usually find that if we
do trust market forces, they will deliver the goods. The market also
delivers jobs and job opportunities and it seems we are as capable as any
when we are in competitive market.

Everyone who understands markets also knows very well that the market place
is demanding, exacting and unforgiving, and that while it can severely
penalise anyone who can’t deliver what the market wants, it can also
handsomely reward all those who get it right. But everything government has
done recently shows that they don’t want to have to pit their wits against
market forces and they also don’t want to suffer any of the penalties that
can arise if their efforts are found wanting.

Government’s approach seems to be that, as they have the authority to
rearrange the economic landscape to suit their needs, they should use this
authority to pass Acts of Parliament that formalise their rights to claim
ownership of any assets they want. They obviously feel that is much easier
than working for what they want, but more to the point they feel that they
are in power to exercise power, not to share power with markets.

By exercising these powers in the ways they have chosen, they appear to
believe they have built a detour right around the markets and have won the
right to disregard market forces. The Act of Parliament that declares their
right to acquire 51% of every operating company, whether it exists already
or has yet to be started, can be easily seen to be a means of completely
sidelining the market on which the same shares could be bought.

I feel that it is very important for all of us to realise the implications
this move will have on the economy. Losses of foreign earnings might seem
the obvious place to start, but less obvious effects will stem from the
resentment that will be felt by the current technical and financial
personnel who can so easily find work elsewhere.

A functioning, profitable company today that employs hundreds of experienced
technicians and earns millions of US dollars could become a useless
warehouse of rusting machinery or a valueless hole in the ground in a matter
of weeks if a few dozen people with specialised skills pack up and leave.

The damaged relationships with head offices and banks overseas could cause
the immediate cancellation of deliveries of spares, new machines and
external funding for development work. Contracts drawn up between local and
externally-based markets, are likely to be hard to renew when, after losing
reputable technical specialists and professional local managers, the new
boards of directors have to compete against new contenders.

As the loss of such contracts would impact directly on the number of people
who could hold onto their jobs, employment could become one of the major
casualties of government’s current proposals to acquire controlling
interests in all companies.

Zimbabwe’s formal employment levels have fallen considerably in recent
years, mainly as a result of the displacement of labour from commercial
farming since the acceleration of the land reform programme after 2002. Job
losses were immediately felt in manufacturing, tourism and the service
sector industries, and even mining was affected when government began to fix
the exchange rates and made mineral exports unviable.

Various estimates of the extent of unemployment have been made, most of them
placing the figure at between 65% and 70%, but the basis for the estimates
are subject to many interpretations of the numbers, particularly in respect
of definitions of under-employment and informal sector employment.

However, estimates of formal employment numbers suggest that the 2009 total
matched the figure from forty years ago. As Zimbabwe’s population has more
than doubled since 1970, this decline is twice as bad as it looks in the

Land reform and the loss of the major businesses built up by about 4 500
large-scale farmers caused not only the major loss of jobs, but the loss of
school places for many hundreds of thousands of children. Educational
standards have been among the many casualties of policies that did so much
damage, not only to production and employment, but also to government’s tax

Now, those with formal employment and responsibilities to their extended
families have to provide for many more young people than they can manage.
Almost all students are growing up with very poor schooling and very few
prospects of qualifying for formal employment. Hopes that they might
shoulder some of the dependency burden one day are therefore non-existent
under present conditions.

Family members working abroad do carry part of this load, but the extent and
dependability of this support is impossible to assess. Only by attracting
flows of investment capital can the needed local employment be increased,
but the discouragement to new investors that will be caused by the
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act will make an already very bad
employment growth situation considerably worse.

If the authorities show they have learned nothing from the economy’s
experiences from the damage done to agriculture, and they go ahead with
their plans for the take-over of 51% of all shares in the business sector,
the confidence of potential investors who might have been planning to
develop opportunities will be very severely damaged, if not destroyed. As
happened with the commercial farms, the workers will suffer badly from the
destruction of capacity that will follow and a hidden statistic will be the
unknown number of jobs that never come into existence.

Labour unions need to accept the fact that potential employees are being
automatically and steadily generated all the time, but there is nothing
automatic about the generation of employers. In Zimbabwe we seem to be
working hard to discourage them. We should be working hard to encourage
them, to entice them and to inspire them. It seems we need to repeatedly
explain to government that employers are investors, or investors are
employers. They are the basic pre-requisite for employment growth. The
investors we have are clearly endangered and should be protected just as we
would try to protect all endangered species, especially if we want them to

We all want more people to have a job. None of us here would have any
difficulty understanding that if we want more employees, we should generate
more employers. So we should promote conditions that secure the futures of
our existing employers and help promote the creation of yet more employers.
Government has not yet tumbled to this particular relationship, so we had
better start trying much harder to persuade them.

Bridging the knowledge gap: Shared African values

by Mutumwa Mawere Wednesday 14 April 2010

OPINION: April is special month for Southern Africans.

South Africa, Africa's economic powerhouse, achieved independence from
Britain on May 31 1910, informed by an idea that in Africa a little Europe
could be founded on the principle that Dutch and English settlers could
appropriate this part of Africa; a unique geology, topography, and
geography; to themselves as dominant drivers of the project to extend the
tentacles of their way of life and worldview to foreign states through

It took 84 years of relentless efforts, courage, sacrifices, pain, deaths,
forced migration and unequal development to make South Africa what it should
have been from the very beginning, a democratic and free country founded on
universally accepted values, beliefs and principles.

So, April 27 represents Freedom Day, being the official independence day of
the country and commemorates the first democratic, non-racial elections held
in 1994.

On April 18 1980, Zimbabwe also became an independence state.

Everyone thought that henceforth, Zimbabweans and South Africans were in it
together to build a new Africa challenged by a common future but not
intimidated by its past.

The existence of these two dates in the history of Zimbabwe and South Africa
like many of their sister African countries means that the project to create
a little America, Canada, Australia etc had failed in Africa.

Africa is now 54 years old and yet the ghost of the past continues to haunt

Unlike America where the natives were overpowered numerically and
ideologically, the African experience necessarily has to be informed by the
majority of the people who have no other home than Africa.

These people share the same skin pigmentation. The project to create a new
America in Africa failed precisely because its foundation was faulty and

Within the first 16 years of its existence as a truly sovereign state, South
Africa continues to be tested in a manner that suggests that we need to
pause and reflect on what it really means to be African.

There are many people who continue to believe that the African experience
cannot and should not be shared.

The architects of apartheid knew very well that their civilisation would be
threatened by democracy and the introduction of a new social contract
founded on generally and universally accepted values.

The death of Eugene Terre'Blanche (ET), born April 3 2010, 20 years after
the release of Mandela, and its perceived link to Julius Malema's utterances
on the complex issues of race, economic and political power in post-colonial
Africa has helped expose the challenges that confront not only South Africa
but the rest of Africa in creating a non-racial and progressive society.

Each year as one African state after another celebrates Freedom Day, the
first question to ask when anyone starts to think about how to tell one's
own African story is: "Does it have African values in it?" What do we define
as African values? How inclusive should the definition be when people who
subscribe to the views that were held by ET reject their inclusion in the
new Africa?

It would be naïve to deny that Africa has been influenced by European

Its institutions and the human capacity that underpins such institutions
have been and continue to be informed by the values, beliefs and principles
that were intended for a colonial state and yet the majority of Africans
remain outside the required social contract.

The African experience for it to have any meaning must not be exclusive but
must capture the entirety of the history, literature and culture of all its

It should connect all these values to show what they mean to Africans. It
would be wrong to assume that all that has happened in the past was
necessary including the commodification of African labour in a manner no
different to slavery.

The ownership question becomes pronounced in no different manner to the
American experience that created a black and Indian class alienated from the
resources that God gave to America.

The need for affirmative action in America was partly in recognition of the
fact that no market mechanism could undo what human beings with evil intent
had put in place.

Whether Malema's voice is silenced or not, it would be naïve to ignore the

Change must visit Africa and the people who have more to lose from unmanaged
transformation have to step in and explain why it is in their interest to
leave the status quo ante the way it is.

It is true that ideas like courage or hope are universally prized concepts.
However, what one African considers courageous may not constitute an act of
courage to another.

Equally, the hopes and dreams of the majority of Africans cannot be realised
without the intervention of non-market forces to reverse the crystallised
ownership patterns while accepting that there is no better mechanism to
deliver a secure future to all Africans than the invisible hand of Comrade

Even the settlers knew that the African promise had to be underpinned by
resources that God deposited in Africa.

The minerals that transformed the lives of the Randlords were not imported
or manufactured by human beings.

In the search for a shared African experience, one is compelled to go back
into history not because history will change the present but its lessons can
inform the choices that have to be made.

What then makes an African? What does an African look like? What values
should inform an African experience?

America, for example, more than most countries defines itself and the
members of its society by reference to a set of shared values while many
Africans define their members on the basis of birthplace and blood

Even when Malema is talking of nationalisation, it would not be wrong to
conclude that his definition of a South Africa is simply based on
birthplace, language, and blood relations.

So South Africa should, according to this logic, belong only to people that
are authentic so to say.

Should Africanness be based on a social contract involving an understanding
and acceptance of some sort of democratic values?

To be a Chinese, for instance, is a fact while to be an American is an
ideal. Should the African experience be informed by facts or ideas?

Should embracing the ideal like what President Robert Mugabe and Nelson
Mandela did on the birth of their nations, every person that believes in
Africa ought to be considered an equal citizen with the same access to
justice and equality that birth should confer to all Africans born in it.

All Africans irrespective of their place of birth must stake their claim on
the African promise without prejudice.

The African story is complicated by our ugly past that assisted the very
people who now are the champions for a just and equal Africa and yet they
benefited from the opposite dispensation.

There are many white Africans who believe that they remain European in
Africa and stand oblivious to the genius of the idea called America that
transformed immigrants into nationals committed to the promotion and
protection of the new social contract.

Africa cannot advance its interests without the inclusion of all the people
who have made it what it is.

We have no choice but to reaffirm our commitment to our shared values that
can be a powerful and potent weapon to promote inclusion of all the
individuals and communities that make up the African nation.

The land reform in Zimbabwe has already produced its own set of challenges
and opportunities but it must be agreed that there must be a better way to
address economic challenges.

It is often easy to blame state actors for any failure but it must be said
that those who value good life in Africa must show cause why the status quo
ante founded on injustice and inequity must prevail.

Those who have more to lose must be the drivers of change otherwise if
change is driven by the majority who have nothing to lose then only God can
help reverse the inevitable.

South Africa is pregnant with lessons for all. Let us learn from the
experience of the country so that we can anticipate the good and the bad
that can become reality if we choose to do something about our shared future
and the obligations underpinning our common African heritage.

Zimbabwe being the last country on the alphabet offers its own lessons on
the African story and there can be no wrong time to reflect on what Africa
needs to exploit for the benefit of the living its resources to the mutual
advantage of all that God intended when he rewarded black people with
resources and challenged them with limited access to the means to convert
such resources into liquid cash.
Even if all the white people of Africa were to leave, Africa's rich
resources will remain where God deposited them unless we invest in a new
business model and a shared experience based on mutual respect. - ZimOnline

Confidential Report by the special investigations Committee IMPLICATING CHOMBO and PHILIP CHIYANGWA (Urban Land Grabbing)