"Our Common Humanity Transcends The Oceans And All National
Boundaries. Let It Never Be Asked Of Any Of Us - What We Did When We Knew Another
Was Oppressed?" - Nelson Mandela
Zim inflation spirals to 228%
15/04/2003 21:31 -
Harare - The average annual inflation rate in Zimbabwe continued
dizzying upward trend, hitting 228% in March, the government's
office said Tuesday.
The March figure marked a 7.1
percentage point gain from February, which was
attributed to hikes in the
prices of fruits, vegetables, meat, clothing and
public transport, according
the Central Statistical Office (CSO).
"This means that prices as measured
by all the items (in the) consumer price
index increased by an average 228%
between March 2002 and March 2003," the
CSO said in its latest prices
bulletin issued on Tuesday.
It said food inflation was highest, at
Famine, price controls and a chaotic government land reform
scheme have been
blamed for critical food shortages which have led to
skyrocketting prices in
the southern African country, once a regional
Economists say the official inflation figure is an
understatement because it
is measured according to state-controlled prices
while food is sold on the
parallel market at several times the official
"I think the real inflation figure should be about 260%," said
Eric Bloch, who forecast that it will probably reach the 300% mark
Zimbabwe's average annual inflation was 22.6% in
The Times of India
Zimbabweans ponder images of the fall of
AP[ TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2003 10:05:39 PM ]
HARARE: Kenny Kwaramba sells mobile phone accessories at a flea market
Zimbabwe, but Iraq - and the ouster of its dictator Saddam Hussein- is on
"When is Bush coming to save us?" he asks, echoing
the sentiment of
many others during a brutal crackdown here by the government
Robert Mugabe on dissent and the
Kwaramba, 28, catches glimpses of US President
George W. Bush on the
satellite television in a nearby electronics store.
Coverage of the war in
Iraq on the state media here mainly vilifies the
coalition, speaking of
invaders with imperialist
The state media have also called for the body of
one black Zimbabwean
serving in the British army who was killed in Basra, not
to be allowed home
for burial. He has been denounced as a traitor working for
But Kwaramba says the images
of jubilation among Iraqis at the fall of
Saddam's regime have not been lost
on his impoverished, hungry and
demoralized friends and neighbors in this
troubled southern African country.
There are no palaces or
statues of Mugabe to wreck, his face is not on
the money. His ubiquitous
portrait, though, must be displayed in banks, main
offices and public
Those would go first, says Kwaramba, and then
there would probably be
looting, too, of shops and businesses and the luxury
cars and mansions of
people are poor. People are impatient. It is coming,"
Analysts say most Zimbabweans don't think US
would ever happen here, but rather see the US-led
coalition action as a
powerful symbol of new world distaste for
"Dictators can no longer hide behind the
smoke screen of sovereignty
to commit all kinds of atrocities," said Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro, a political
scientist at Zimbabwe University in
Mugabe, who led the nation to independence from
Britain in 1980,
narrowly won another six-year term in presidential elections
last year that
independent observers said were swayed by political violence,
and vote rigging.
Zimbabwe has been wracked
by a deepening political and economic crisis
since Mugabe ordered the often
violent confiscation of thousands of
white-owned farms three years
Independent human rights groups say at least 200
people have been
killed since then and thousands of others, mostly opposition
have been arrested, tortured and hounded from their
Most recently, police arrested more than 500
opposition officials and
activists after last month's massive anti-government
Independent human rights monitors said at least 250
treated for injuries from assaults and beatings in the days
strike. The crackdown was strongly condemned by the US State
what it called unprecedented violence sponsored by the
against domestic opponents.
Zanu-PF Skewing Food Aid, Clergy Say
Cape Argus (Cape
April 15, 2003
Posted to the web April 15, 2003
The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference has hit out at the
of food aid, saying that starving villagers are being forced
Zanu-PF cards before being given food.
About seven million
Zimbabweans, over half the 11.6 million population, are
The ZCBC said the "skewed" food distribution was immoral and
alleged that a
Zanu-PF membership card was now often needed to get access to
cooking oil and other basic commodities in Zimbabwe.
demand for citizens to produce a party card before receiving food
stopped forthwith. The government is not only for the ruling
party, but must
protect all its citizens, their rights and their welfare,"
said the ZCBC in a
pastoral letter signed by several Roman Catholic bishops.
Reports of food
aid being denied to non-Zanu-PF members have surfaced
since the crisis began.
The bishops went on to slate state-sponsored
political violence and
"frightening levels of corruption" among Zanu-PF
leaders and ordinary
"From the standpoint of moral
concern, we call upon the government,
especially the individuals who
represent the government at ground level, to
deal urgently with those
elements in our society who have placed themselves
above the law and are
constantly harassing other citizens," said the
bishops' statement comes in the wake of an MDC newspaper advertisement
month publishing the names of alleged torturers in the police and
notorious Central Intelligence Organisation.
In Sunday's state-controlled
Sunday Mail, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
hit out at papers carrying
the advertisement, saying it was "highly illegal"
and that the papers should
The ZCBC criticised senior government officials for getting
sucked into "the
maze of corruption" spreading through the economically
"Current shortages of basic commodities have provided
an opportunity for
corruption by people in strategic positions, including
and other top government officials," the bishops
The allegations coincide with a statement from World Vision
claiming that the country's food crisis is set to continue into
"Prospects for the upcoming agricultural season are very
situation is further complicated by the rapid economic
prevalence of HIV/Aids, political instability and issues of
says World Vision's March report.
While Zimbabwe suffered
a mid-season drought in 2002/03, critics point out
that settlers placed on
farms seized from whites were provided with no
inputs by the Mugabe
"Given the existing and residual strain on coping capacities from
current crisis, anticipated further economic and agricultural decline,
government and humanitarian aid agencies were advised to prepare
widespread food insecurity for the 2003/04 period," said a World
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe government is optimistically
predicting a maize
harvest of about 1.2 million tons, almost enough to meet
Last year Zimbabwe's Agriculture Minister Joseph Made
Zimbabwe and foreign donors that food aid would not be
needed as the country
had sufficient stores of maize, the staple diet of most
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and I do not
know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only
a beckoning star to follow.
pitch your tent with
so that I may not become deterred
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Show me the movement I must take
toward a wealth not dependent on
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ZIMBABWE: Mugabe leaves door open for
JOHANNESBURG, 15 Apr 2003 (IRIN) - Recent comments by
Mugabe had opened the door for the church to constructively
government on democracy and governance issues, the general-secretary
Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) told IRIN.
Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that Mugabe had urged the
clergy to seek
dialogue with the government if they had any grievances they
felt needed to
"Let's continue working together, the state and the church.
If there are any
problems, come forward and we [can] discuss them," Mugabe
was quoted as
saying at the memorial service for the late Archbishop Patrick
Mugabe also said some sections of the clergy were campaigning
ZCC general-secretary Densen
Mafinyani told IRIN on Tuesday that Mugabe's
statement should be viewed as an
opening for churches in Zimbabwe. "If we
can help good governance to be
there, that can be a positive contribution,"
said churches have moral authority and we invite you to come
sit with us and
highlight and identify where we are making mistakes and
alternatives of how we can do it differently. The churches are
saying that if
that is the case, if the doors are opening like that then
surely the onus is
on us to say, 'your excellence, we need to discuss with
you x,y, and z ...' I
think on that basis we need to seize the opportunity,
because he [Mugabe] has
opened the door," Mafinyani added.
The ZCC has in the past said "it has a
duty to speak out against oppression
and injustice" and in 2001 issued a
statement urging "the president to put
an end to the recent violence" as
political tensions increased.
Dialogue was critical to finding a solution
to the current political
intolerance in Zimbabwe, Mafinyani said.
Sunday Times (SA)
'It's time to change Zimbabwe
It was imperative to continue to seek
alternative, constructive ways of
resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe, the
national chairman of the South African
Institute of International Affairs,
Fred Phaswana, said at the institute's
annual national council meeting on
He said existing policy had clearly not brought about a change
or halted the
accelerating downward political and economic spiral in
Said Phaswana: "One of the greatest factors of Africa's current
lies in too little effective and constructive criticism of its
Phaswana said that a positive development in a
world that had changed since
911 was that the "dual imperatives of security
and development have been
broadly recognised as immutably linked."
New Partnership for Africa's Development "offers not only a vision but
path to African development.
"The need for African societies to foster
good governance regimes, greater
accountability of the leaders to the
governed, and more effective
socio-economic development for all citizens --
goals of both the AU and
Nepad -- can only be achieved by a more vibrant
debate across the continent
by all elements of the
black on 18 April
We are a few Zimbabweans who are deeply saddened and
angered by what has happened, and is still happening to our beloved country
We are campaigning for people to show their disapproval
of what is happening.
We are asking all Zimbabweans at home and abroad to wear
black on 18 April as a sign of mourning for the death of democracy in
Zimbabwe. We are asking everyone who reads this letter to spread
Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean Patriots in the UK (and all over the world)
(Let’s all do this to
make it work—diarise the date and WEAR BLACK)
Letters to ZimGateway :
Mugabe must be given 48 hours or less to leave office
This letter is
a special tribute to B & B (George W Bush and Tony Blair), the two bravest
leaders in the world.
Congratulations, Sirs, on your sweet success in Iraq.
Now the people of Iraq are finally going to experience true democracy and
It is my humblest pleasure to address this note to you.
like you to show the world that you are not in Iraq for their oil but to restore
good governance and democracy, by carrying out similar operations in Africa in
general and Zimbabwe in particular.
The people of Zimbabwe are in a similar,
if not worse situation, than the people of Iraq were before the fall of Saddam
People are being maimed, murdered, raped and tortured every day for
their political affiliations.
Every member of the opposition has officially
been labelled “an enemy of the State”.
People despise President Mugabe, not
the State. Mugabe can never be the State. Honourable Members of Parliament are
being arrested and beaten up for no reason.
Please, Sirs, show the world and
the United Nations that where democracy is at stake there can be no
Mugabe must be given 48 hours or less to leave
Kidman Maroto - South Africa
What are we going to
find in Bob and Grace's bedroom?
The TV coverage from Iraq streams in apparently on the assumption that
we want to know all about how the Iraqi dictator and his henchmen lived. Do we
care or is it that we would rather see what Grace has spent all that taxpayers
money on in Paris and other exotic shopping destinations?
One thing is for
sure that we are going to be appalled at the sheer waste of money and total lack
of regard for the current suffering of those on the receiving end of Bob's
failed policies not to mention that the source of the finance was corruption and
There is no foreigner who can come to liberate us
I call upon every
Zimbabwean to come together and heed the call by the MDC on the need to
intensify mass action across the country, in particular the “march to State
House” which is on the cards.
There is no foreigner who can come to liberate
us – South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun
Obasanjo are a concrete case study to support this.
There is, however, need
to educate those citizens in Gweru, and other towns who ignored the stayaway
call. These people might not know that it is their democratic right to express
their anger over the prevailing lawlessness and economic disaster being
spearheaded by the Zanu PF government which is in power by virtue of its vast
experience in electoral manipulation.
By ignoring the stayaway call, the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and some players in the banking sector in
Gweru should be left to wallow in their ignorance.
Funny enough, their
leaders in Harare “surprised and surpassed” all and sundry when they (together
with NAGG’s Shakespeare Maya) breathed fire and brimstone on television,
charging that the stayaway had killed business and affected their members’
These have benefited from the skewed economic policies of the
ruling regime, for example, the foreign currency exchange rate which has
resulted in massive “abnormal profits” from “nowhere” as the industrial base and
general incomes have been eroded by the regime’s induced inflation.
why these business leaders thronged State House to congratulate “President”
Mugabe just after the disputed poll last year.
With well-known disastrous
management styles of some of these “captains of industry”, especially those in
the banking sector, the departure of this disgraced regime will see an abrupt
collapse of their organisations and institutions since they will no longer be
patronage beneficiaries of treasury bonds and bills by this overspending
This regime will continue to limp from one bank to the other,
borrowing to raise funds for its survival as well as to purchase weapons of
coercion against its peace- loving citizens.
However, all those people who
support this regime will be exposed after the inevitable fall of this
Therefore, let’s rally behind Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC as
they are the only ones with the capacity and sincerity to take Zimbabwe where it
Victory is certain
Anderson A Mutongi - Shurugwi
Mugabe, get your war cabinet out of Harare
Wouldn’t it be appropriate for President Mugabe and his so-called war
cabinet to move to their strongholds of Mutawatawa and Uzumba- Maramba-Pfungwe
as they have no stake in Harare?
Well done, MDC, for retaining Highfield and
P G Banzai - UK
Iraq: focus on the lessons for Zimbabwe not on the merits of US
Zimbabweans have more life-threatening issues to waste valuable time on
Instead, we should have been drawing parallels between the Iraq
situation and ours.
It’s unfortunate we don’t have oil or a strategic
position to lure the superpowers to save our own desperate situation.
Zimbabweans should debate and act now. Look at Eddison Zvobgo, educated at
Harvard – he cannot even put up an academic/political challenge to the disgraced
We can’t have our intellectuals spending valuable time on
national TV debating the Iraq war. People are dying every day from hunger, Aids
and abuses. Adults are being massacred daily by Zanu PF thugs.
Zimbabwe is a
country full of lawyers, but its society is unaware of its constitutional
rights, and human rights are violated each and every minute.
Why are there no
demonstrations against these blatant violations?
Action is needed against
this cruel regime, not stupid debates on Iraq.
Innocent Suffering - Harare
Jocelyn Chiwenga soon to rue gloating about Gukurahundi
It is not only disheartening, but also soul-breaking and painful to
hear the wife of the commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Jocelyn Chiwenga,
openly straining the fragile fabric of the purported “national unity and
As a victim of Gukurahundi, I did not expect such insults and
mockery to epitomise the post-genocide era, especially from the wife of the army
One wonders why nothing is done to prevent this unbecoming
behaviour of the commander’s wife. Maybe it’s because she is not “an enemy of
the State” – they are of the same mind and idea with the State.
under the Public Order and Security Act are being made when Jocelyn violates
some sections of it. The hour shall come, Jocelyn.
In his book, Matigan,
Ngugi wa Thiongo said: “There is no night so long that will not end up with
dawn.” In Ndebele, sothi, ubukhisi ngamozolo, njalo zobohla manyosi.
not only chickens, dogs and donkeys’ blood that was spilt during those ugly days
which Jocelyn seems to be celebrating, but it was pure human blood.
sentiments per se speak volumes on the purpose, aims and goals that were
achieved during Gukurahundi. This is evidenced by the quiet stance that Zanu PF
has taken towards the strings of misbehaviour of the boastful commander’s wife.
Some people are languishing in cells and prisons for only holding meetings,
while ironically some people claim to be above the rule of law. What kind of
governance is this?
Anyway, it reminds me of what Joshua Nkomo once wrote,
when he was in exile (1983). In his letter to Robert Mugabe, he said: “. . .
this is not governance, but the abuse of governance in which the rule of law is
being turned into the law of rule” – as if the late Nyongolo was a prophet, that
one day in the same government there will be a certain lady who would boast that
there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe!
To Jocelyn, I say that the blood was
never spilt in vain, and at no time will it be a mere joke and a threatening
weapon to silence us.
God is for everyone and He is a God of justice and
peace. One day a leader will arise in Zimbabwe and ride above tribal and racial
politics, and unite the people of Zimbabwe.
There shall be no more Shona or
Ndebele divisions, but Zimbabweans – absolutely no more supremacists, but equal
The vision of the great sons of the soil like Josiah Tongogara
and Nkomo shall surely come to fruition.
The tribal and racial intonations
that seem to be inherent in Jocelyn’s threatening speeches will one day become a
thing of the past when power finally exchanges hands.
mthwakazi. Zvichapera. (The day of reckoning is fast approaching.)
Nduna Yamabutho - Harare
Zimbabwe hikes fuel prices amid shortages, crisis
Tuesday April 15,
4:18 PM EDT
HARARE, April 15 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is raising fuel prices
for the second time in as many months, more than trebling the price of some fuel
as the country grapples with chronic shortages, a government minister said on
In remarks broadcast on state television, Energy and Power
Development Minister Amos Midzi said the retail price of leaded petrol would go
up 209.9 percent to Z$450 ($0) a litre, while diesel would rise to Z$200 from
Z$119.43 per litre.
The increases would be effective from Tuesday midnight,
he said just hours after Zimbabwe's Central Statistics Office announced
inflation raced to another record high in March.
Consumer prices jumped by an
annual 228 percent, up from 220.9 percent in February, sparking speculation
among analysts that inflation could hit 350 percent before the end of the year
thanks to a thriving black market for basic foodstuffs.
suffering its worst economic crisis in more than 20 years, with record high
inflation and unemployment coupled with acute shortages of foreign currency and
In late February, President Robert Mugabe's government raised fuel
prices by almost 100 percent in a bid to lure private companies into importing
badly needed supplies, as the foreign currency squeeze hampered government
Long queues have become commonplace outside services stations, and
even after the latest increases, official fuel prices are still well below
prices on the black market.
Fuel supplies have been erratic since 1999, but
the crisis intensified late last year when Libya halted shipments because of a
failed barter arrangement.
Last year the government ordered foreign oil
companies with retail outlets in Zimbabwe to import their own products for
resale, effectively ending a monopoly held by the state National Oil Company of
The fuel crisis has led to daily fuel queues for
beleaguered Zimbabweans already grappling with shortages of many basic consumer
goods, including staples such as maize meal, bread, milk and sugar.
half of the country's 14 million people are threatened by severe food shortages,
which aid agencies blame partly on disruptions to agriculture linked to the
government's seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to
Mugabe, 79, accuses Western powers opposed to his land
distribution of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy.
($1 = 824 Zimbabwe dollars at
official rate, or 1,400 on the black market)
©2003 Reuters Limited.