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Zimbabwe cbank expected to devalue currency


(adds analyst's comments)

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, April 25 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's central bank governor is expected to
devalue the country's currency when he makes an interim policy statement on
Thursday, a measure analysts say is needed to save many exporters from

State media reported on Wednesday that Gideon Gono would make his policy
statement two months ahead of schedule in an attempt to deal with a
worsening economic crisis.

The central bank, which has failed to stem soaring inflation in the
economically devastated southern African nation, traditionally makes policy
statements in January and July.

"He needs to make significant adjustments to the exchange rate, or exporters
are going to continue losing money," said economic commentator John
Robertson. "Exporters are being bankrupted by this exchange rate."

The Zimbabwe dollar has been pegged at 250 to the U.S dollar since August
last year but trades at more than 100 times that on the black market.

Zimbabwe's mining industry, which is the country's largest employer after
the collapse of commercial agriculture and now generates half of all export
revenue has been hard hit by the skewed exchange rate.

The mining chamber recently said the static exchange rate had driven the
sector to the brink of collapse. Mining output declined by 14.4 percent in
2006, according to official data.

President Robert Mugabe's government on Tuesday ended a stand-off with
farmers who had delayed the start of the tobacco selling season after they
had complain that the pegged exchange rate made it unprofitable to grow the

The nation's economic crisis, widely blamed on Mugabe's policies, has
prompted a series of strikes and political protests since the beginning of
the year.

The government has responded with a violent crackdown on political

Zimbabwe's government statistics agency earlier this month postponed
indefinitely the release of inflation figures for March. Analysts expected
the data to show inflation rising to above 2,000 percent from 1,729.9
percent in February.

In January, Gono deferred major monetary policy decisions despite
expectations of a shift on the exchange rate. He proposed instead a wage and
price freeze as well as the removal of government subsidies as a way of
tackling rampant inflation.

Zimbabwe, once the prosperous breadbasket of southern Africa, now faces
rising poverty, unemployment of about 80 percent and chronic shortages of
fuel, food and foreign exchange. ((Editing by Ron Askew; Harare newsroom
+263 4 799112))

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Police beat us, say Zimbabwe activists

Mail and Guardian

Harare, Zimbabwe

25 April 2007 02:18

Fifty-six Zimbabwean activists arrested this week for staging a
peaceful demonstration against power cuts have been released, but most were
beaten in police custody, the rights group they support said Wednesday.

"All of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) supporters and 10
babies carried by some of the women when they were arrested on Monday were
eventually released late on Tuesday after paying small fines," Woza said.

During their detention the 56 were made to lie on the floor in
the law and order department of Harare Central Police Station and were
beaten by 12 officers, according to the group.

One woman had a baby on her back during the beating in which the
baby was struck and sustained a swollen leg, the group said.

The injured activists, including 20 men, were receiving medical
treatment on Wednesday morning, Woza said.

The demonstration that led to their arrest on Monday was part of
a series of "Power to the People" protests organised by Woza to lobby
against worsening power shortages in Zimbabwe.

Suburbs in towns and cities throughout the country go without
electricity for hours, sometimes days at a time.

The alleged police assault on the activists is seen as part of
an ongoing crackdown by President Robert Mugabe's government against
critics, which has gathered pace as economic hardships worsen.

The government has banned rallies and demonstrations in Harare,
and Mugabe has given police the right to use force against opponents
engaging in street protests.

Dozens of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
activists, including its leader Morgan Tsvangirai, have been arrested and
assaulted by police in recent weeks.

The 83-year-old leader congratulated police for curbing the
criminal tendencies of the opposition party at Independence Day celebrations
last week.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has said it
is concerned at the growing number of activists being treated for injuries
inflicted at the hands of the police.

During the recent Independence Day celebrations, Mugabe accused
the opposition of trying to foment anarchy.

In a keynote speech at a packed football stadium in Harare,
Mugabe fired a fresh broadside at his foreign critics, including former
colonial power Britain, and accused Tsvangirai of being a puppet of the

The celebrations were overshadowed by an economic meltdown and
mounting political violence but 83-year-old Mugabe said he would deal with
"conspirators" trying to end his 27-year rule with the full force of the

"We have observed how of late this conspiracy has attempted to
transform into a militant, criminal strain, characterised by the puerile
attempts of misguided opposition elements to create a state of anarchy,"
Mugabe said.

"As the government, our message remains clear: that we will
never hesitate to deal firmly with those elements who are bent on fomenting
anarchy and criminal activities," added Mugabe, who has been in power since
the former Rhodesia gained independence on April 18 1980.

Mugabe, already subject to Western sanctions over allegations he
rigged his re-election in 2002, has come in for withering criticism from the
United States and the European Union over the recent arrest and assault on
senior members of the MDC.
-- Sapa-dpa, AFP

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Chikafu case highlights intimidation of the judiciary

By Lance Guma
25 April 2007

A Mutare court on Tuesday ordered the release of former state prosecutor
Levison Chikafu from police custody on Z$500 000 bail. Chikafu hit the
headlines last year after pursuing two cabinet ministers in a case involving
political violence. On Thursday last week the tables were turned on him by
the vindictive Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa who allegedly engineered a
set of corruption charges that led to his arrest. Chikafu spent 5 days in
police cells with the state taking its time to bring him to court. On Monday
authorities said he could not be brought to court because the investigating
officer in the matter had gone to Harare with the paper work.

He finally made an appearance in court on Tuesday, during a late night
hearing, which led to his release. The court ordered him to report to CID
Law and Order once a week every Friday and that he should not visit the
magistrates courts or interfere with state witnesses.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a programmes manager with the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, told Newsreel the case highlights just how the Zanu PF regime is
dealing with members of the judiciary. The same methods were employed
against former Judges Justice Fergus Blackie, Benjamin Paradza and Michael
Majuru, formerly President of the Administrative Court. Justice Blackie and
Paradza were considered pro-opposition by the government. Justice Blackie
for example was sent to prison for sentencing Chinamasa to a prison term for
contempt of court. Majuru's crime was to give a favourable decision to the
banned Daily News newspaper in their application for a licence. All three
judges were forced off the bench after criminal charges were cooked up
against them.

Ruhanya says Chinamasa has the backing of the senior Zanu PF hierarchy who
have urged him to crack the whip on members of the judiciary. He says other
members of the judiciary will obviously look at Chikafu's case and realise
the risks they face in not towing the line. He added it was clear the
victimisation of Chikafu had the backing of Home Affairs Minister Kembo
Mohadi and State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa who benefited from
Chinamasa's interference during a trial in which he was implicated of
directing violence against his opponents.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Robert Mugabe, man or monster?

Apr 25th 2007

Our online news editor goes looking for trouble

HOW should an illicit foreign reporter spend his time in Zimbabwe? Sniffing
around the townships that surround Harare, the home of protests against the
government, is tempting and a bit risky. But this morning, behind the wheel
of my tiny hire car, and without really meaning to, I'm trundling down a
strangely quiet road towards Chitungwiza, the biggest township of them all.

It is a long road. When colonists built Harare-originally Salisbury, after
the British prime minister of the day-they created a distant shanty town
where they could banish their black labourers. I have time to count spindly
eucalyptus trees and patches of maize and wonder if it is wise to come out
here. I pass a police checkpoint. At the edge of the township (a purple
hoarding bids me welcome) I feel even more doubtful. There is nobody about.
The sandy streets are eerily quiet. I know the police have banned gatherings
of more than three people. Only where a bus unloads passengers is there a
knot of residents. After a furtive swoop between some tin and brick houses,
I'm back on the road to Harare.

The drive seemed foolish. It might seem a little careless, too, to seek out
leaders of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, or other allies of Mr Mugabe. But over
the years it has been possible to drop in on a member of the politburo here,
a former finance minister there, for a quiet chat about politics without
risking arrest or expulsion.

On this trip I nibble biscuits in the home of a former information minister,
Jonathan Moyo, a man who years ago called me a spy in the state paper. For a
long time he was Mr Mugabe's closest strategist. They fell out a couple of
years ago. Now Mr Moyo, an independent MP and a shrewd analyst of Zimbabwean
politics, is ready to talk.

He tells me that Mr Mugabe's days are numbered, as the ruling party will
split. The president is growing senile and will be gone within a year. He is
pretty convincing, at least until I remember how such predictions fall more
freely in Harare than the summer rains. Later that day I meet an economist
and an opposition leader for coffee in a trendy café. I catch myself
thinking, entirely unfairly, that the opposition leader should not be
sipping cappuccinos while there is a despot to unseat.

Other possible sources are frustratingly shy, perhaps because tension is
high. Or perhaps the phones are being bugged more efficiently than usual.
With an author friend, I repeatedly call Solomon Mujuru-said to be Mr Mugabe's
strongest rival and a likely successor-but he tells us, almost hourly, to
call back later. A regular contact from the ruling party, and another name
touted for years as a possible successor to the president, has grown equally
coy. He makes and breaks dates for a chat, eventually offering a feeble
excuse and hanging up. Perhaps he doesn't want to be caught talking to the
imperialist press.

A couple of interviews with Catholic priests, one of whom is close to Mr
Mugabe, are more revealing. I realise belatedly that the president has been
a regular churchgoer, then wonder what it would take for that institution to
turn on him and tell him to go. One priest laments the misrule, but
complains that Zimbabweans lack the fire in the belly to unseat their
unpopular leader. "People are fully occupied staying alive", he says with a

Some of the most useful interviews are the easiest: people in the street,
roadside vendors, gardeners and security guards, women running shops,
residents from townships who have walked two hours to the centre of town,
youths who scrape a living by selling avocados and mangoes on the streets.
Even a walk in the park produces a useful dash of colour, as I see a group
of police-with shotguns, truncheons and riot gear at the ready-lolling in
the afternoon sun.

But the single most helpful conversation is over dinner with a friend, Heidi
Holland, who is writing a biography of Mr Mugabe. Her book, "Dinner with
Mugabe", refers back to an encounter she had with him while he was on the
run in the 1970s, and draws on years of original research and interviews
with his close relatives and friends since then. She describes it as taking
a look at the "man, not the monster". I'm biased, of course, but when it
comes out next year, it is likely to be the sharpest portrait published of
this iconic but dreadful African leader.

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Zimbabwe could scuttle regional power project

Zim Online

Thursday 26 April 2007

By Tsungai Murandu

HARARE - Crisis-torn Zimbabwe is set to be the stumbling block as southern
Africa embarks on an ambitious project to ease power shortages that have
gripped the region since last year.

Energy ministers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who
met in Harare yesterday endorsed a regional plan to avert an impending
blackout in the region.

The plan envisages the implementation of several short and long-term power
generation projects expected to contribute close to 40 000 megawatts of
electricity to a region fast running out of excess capacity.

The projects, to be implemented between now and 2030, would require capital
outlay of about US$40 billion to be raised from contributions by the
region's national power utilities and through investments by international

The more immediate short-term projects would cost the region around US$7.9

"The SAPP members shall undertake long-term generation projects, which shall
add 32 000 MW to the SAPP network at a cost of US$32 billion," said the
ministers in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting.

Energy industry experts were, however, yesterday cautious about Zimbabwe's
ability to meet its obligations, given its weak financial position.

"Obviously there will be questions about where the country will get the
funds required as its contribution to this regional project," a senior
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) official told ZimOnline.

This comes amid reports ZESA is broke and cannot meet its operational costs.

The Zimbabwean power utility has been unable to procure crucial equipment to
connect new residential areas, a development that has forced it to ask
customers to purchase their own overhead cables.

The central position of Zimbabwe could pose challenges to the programme to
boost regional energy security.

The regional Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) last December said
transmission congestion on Zimbabwe's ageing power grid was hampering
regional trade in electricity.

The SAPP comprises countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa,
Botswana, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Zimbabwe is tucked right at the centre of the power pool.

Like most major national infrastructure in Zimbabwe, ZESA's power stations
and transmission grid is crumbling due to under-funding and downright
neglect as the country grapples a severe economic meltdown described by the
World Bank as the worst in the world outside a war zone.

Zimbabwean cities have to sometimes go for several days without electricity
because of breakdowns at ZESA's archaic power stations or on the
transmission network, while failure by the state energy utility to pay for
coal has seen some of its thermal power stations having to operate below
capacity at times. - ZimOnline

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Bail hearing for MDC officials postponed

Zim Online

Thursday 26 April 2007

      By Sebastian Nyamhangambiri

      HARARE - The High Court on Wednesday postponed indefinitely the
hearing into an application for bail for 13 members of the opposition who
are accused of masterminding the petrol bombing of state institutions last

      Alec Muchadehama, who is representing the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party officials, told ZimOnline on Wednesday that the state had
indicated that it was not yet ready for the bail application.

      "All was set for the hearing until the state indicated at the last
minute - this morning - that it wanted the case further deferred.

      "We are not yet sure when the case will come back to court - but I am
hopeful that it will be tomorrow (Thursday) or before the end of the week,"
said Muchadehama.

      Among those detained are former First Mutual Life Assurance boss, Ian
Makone, a special adviser to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, journalist Luke
Tamborinyoka, who now works for the MDC as well as Glen View legislator Paul

      Attorney-General Sobuza Gula-Ndebele confirmed that the case had been

      "I do not think it is fair to make a meal out of the matter. It is
some logistical issues that we want straightened out first and we will
inform the defence team (MDC lawyers) when we are ready to go to court,"
said Gula-Ndebele.

      The MDC officials have been languishing in remand prison for close to
two months.

      Several attempts to secure bail for the MDC officials have hit the
brick wall with state prosecutors arguing that the opposition officials
should not be granted bail because they were facing serious charges.

      The state says the MDC officials were behind the spate of bombings at
police stations and other state institutions in retaliation for the brutal
torture of Tsvangirai and several other opposition officials earlier last

      The MDC denies the charge arguing that President Robert Mugabe's
government is using the petrol bomb attacks as a ruse to crack down on the
resurgent party that has presented the biggest challenge to Mugabe's hold on
power. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Opposition Seeks Support at U.N.

IPS news

Mithre J. Sandrasagra

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 25 (IPS) - A group of Zimbabwean citizens -- among them
activists, lawyers, journalists and leaders of the democratic opposition -- 
were at the U.N. Wednesday to shine an international light on the brutal
government crackdown they have suffered.

They provided a first-hand account of torture and arbitrary detention of
activists and innocent bystanders perpetrated by the police with the backing
of President Robert Mugabe.

"Riot police officers told us to put our phones on the ground and then they
started to beat us," said Grace Kwinjeh, speaking at a press briefing about
events that occurred during a prayer meeting organised on Mar. 11 by
Christian Alliance, a coalition of churches in Zimbabwe.

"They had people whom they had specifically targeted," said Kwinjeh, who
serves as deputy secretary for international relations of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), the Zimbabwean opposition party led by Morgan

"They called people by name," Kwinjeh said. "Morgan Tsvangirai, what do you
do?" they asked before beating him.

Seventy-two hours later, following High Court orders to either release the
activists or charge them, Kwinjeh and others were released, but not before
one of their number was shot and killed.

Kwinjeh was one of only two activists given permission to leave the country
to seek medical treatment. She was allowed to leave for six weeks, but was
arrested again at the airport the next time she tried to travel.

The police assault on the activists is part of the ongoing crackdown by
Mugabe's government against critics, which has gathered pace as economic
hardships worsen.

The government has banned rallies and demonstrations in Harare, and Mugabe
has given police the right to use force against opponents engaging in

The 83-year-old leader, who has held power since 1980, congratulated police
for curbing the "criminal tendencies" of the opposition party at
Independence Day celebrations last week.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has expressed its
concern at the growing number of activists being treated for injuries
inflicted at the hands of the police.

Last week the regime expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) from the country and is imposing restrictions on all remaining
Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations, choking off humanitarian aid to
the beleaguered population.

Zimbabweans are struggling to survive in a country where the inflation rate
has exceeded 2,000 percent, there is widespread unemployment and shortages
of food and other basic goods -- evidence of economic decline ascribed to
government mismanagement.

According to the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa's latest economic
report on the continent, only one country -- Zimbabwe -- recorded a negative
growth rate in 2006.

"We are trying to meet with as many delegations as possible while in New
York to build support," said Kwinjeh's lawyer, Otto Saki, acting director of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

So far, they have arranged meetings with the delegations of Senegal and

Asked whether the group would try to meet with the representatives from
China and South Africa, who have previously supported Mugabe at the U.N.,
Saki told IPS: "They have not been forthcoming."

The European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002, and the
United State in 2003, in response to human rights violations and allegations
of rigged parliamentary and presidential elections in 2000 and 2002.

Saki said that he and Kwinjeh were especially seeking support from African
delegations because the sanctions by the United States and EU had resulted
in weakened support from within the region.

A special summit of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC) at the end of March reaffirmed their solidarity with Mugabe as the
bloc appealed for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted.

Mugabe blames Zimbabwe's economic woes on Western nations, who he accuses of
undermining the Southern African country in response to a controversial farm
redistribution programme, ostensibly aimed at giving property to landless,
black Zimbabweans.

"The greatest threat to the existence of human beings and human rights
defenders has become the institutions that we have," Saki said. "It has
become the police, it has become the law enforcement agencies, it has become
our central intelligence organs, who have gone out of their way to beat up,
maim, kill, torture and carry out abductions."

"Court orders are torn up right in front of you," Saki said.

"The torture continues beyond the events of the 11th of March," stressed
Tawanda Mutasah, executive director of the Open Society Initiative for
Southern Africa, emphasising the need for international action.

The initiative is under the auspices of the Open Society Institute, a
U.S.-based NGO that champions democracy and human rights globally.

Mutasah applauded the African leaders who have attempted to address the
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. Specifically, he pointed out that
Ghana's President John Agyekum Kufuor has said that he is embarrassed by the
human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, Zimbabwe's neighbour, has likened
Zimbabwe to a sinking Titanic, Mutasah said, and President Festus Mogae of
Botswana has also indicated his concern about human rights abuses in

SADC has appointed South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate in the
political crisis in Zimbabwe. The South African leader has only a year in
which to help prepare the ground for free and fair presidential and
parliamentary elections in 2008, which Mugabe has said he will contest.

Following the arrests and assault on senior members of the MDC, British UN
Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry asked for the briefing of the Security Council.

Since the Mar. 11 incidents, 600 more activists have been abducted,
according to Kwinjeh and Saki.

Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's U.N. Ambassador, speaking as President of
the Security Council, initially said he would not permit the briefing on the
grounds that the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe "is not a matter
threatening international peace and security" -- the council's mandate.

Finally, in late March, South Africa reluctantly agreed to convene the
briefing on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.

Kumalo stressed to reporters that the problem in Zimbabwe is a regional one,
and as such Zimbabwe's neighbours are doing all they can to address the

"The Southern African efforts on Zimbabwe must not shut out international
concern and responsibility," Mutasah said Wednesday.

Over the past seven years since the crisis broke out in February 2000, there
have been numerous efforts that SADC has engaged in related to Zimbabwe that
have "not borne success," he stressed, "The U.N. has a responsibility to
protect citizens who are suffering state terror in Zimbabwe and that
responsibility should not be ousted by the efforts that SADC is involved
with, they should be complementary efforts."

We are concerned that what has been happening in Pretoria is "not only quiet
diplomacy," but also "active solidarity" with Mugabe's regime. "South Africa
has actually helped embolden and prop up the regime in Harare," Mutasah

Among opposition groups in Zimbabwe there is broad support for the new U.N.
Human Rights Council and the Security Council to play a role, according to
Mutasah, and for the international community to encourage South Africa to
play a greater role.

"Zimbabwe should not be blocked out of the international agenda," Mutasah

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After Mugabe: applying post-conflict recovery lessons to Zimbabwe

Africa Policy Journal
John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Spring 2006, Volume 1
Todd Moss and Stewart Patrick*

Zimbabwe is a country in deep economic and political crisis, but also one whose situation could change quickly. Waiting until the day after the fall of Robert Mugabe could be too late, so the international community should start preliminary planning now for responses to a transition in Zimbabwe. Given the war-like trauma experienced by the country and acute conditions today, any donor strategy cannot be limited to traditional development practice but must be informed by recent post-conflict experiences. This paper lays out a framework for an international effort and identifies priority actions to support a political transition and economic recovery. It also suggests some immediate steps that the US and other donors can take, including the formation of a Commission for Assistance to a Free Zimbabwe. Beginning the planning process now is not only prudent, but such a public effort could also be catalytic: letting the Zimbabwean people know they have not been forgotten and that the world stands ready to help once Robert Mugabe is gone could perhaps help to bring about that day a little sooner.

1. Introduction

It is not too early to start planning for a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe. The southern African country is in a perilous state of decline and could face a major transition at any time. The government, led since independence in 1980 by President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), appears impervious to international pressure to reform or even moderate political repression and disastrous economic policies. Zimbabwe is now an international pariah, having quit the Commonwealth, nearly been expelled from the International Monetary Fund, and listed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as an ‘outpost of tyranny’ alongside the likes of Burma and North Korea. It is also clear that the situation inside the country is both extremely fragile and ultimately unsustainable: tensions are high, there are serious divisions within the ruling party and the military, and the economy is dangerously close to outright collapse. Importantly, this precarious state of affairs is being held together mainly by Mugabe himself. Although resilient and politically cunning, he is nonetheless 82 years old.

Once Mugabe is gone, the reality of his misrule will be immediately faced by a new government. Several post-Mugabe scenarios are possible, including a transition to a handpicked successor, the rise of a reformist faction within ZANU-PF, a broad government of national unity, a military coup, or even a descent into chaos. It is of course impossible to predict the outcome. What is likely is that the change will come without much warning and that a speedy and substantial international response will be necessary. Without presuming any particular configuration, this paper assumes that the next government is reform-minded enough that it seeks a genuine normalization of external relations and that the new leadership is sufficiently distanced from Mugabe and his cronies that the international community is willing to respond in kind.

However the transition unfolds, the United States and the international community should avoid getting caught flat-footed. As in post-conflict situations, Mugabe’s departure will create a brief “golden hour,” a fluid situation in which expectations are high and multiple possibilities quickly emerge. The international community can exploit this window of opportunity through targeted interventions to help set Zimbabwe on the right path to sustainable peace and recovery. Once this window closes, the odds of making a difference will become much longer.

Based on these assumptions, this paper argues that (1) the international community should start preliminary planning now for possible responses to a transition in Zimbabwe because (as with Cuba) waiting until the day after the fall of the dictator could be too late, and (2) given the acute conditions in Zimbabwe today, this response cannot be limited to traditional development practice but must be informed by recent post-conflict experiences. While Zimbabwe presents unique challenges of its own, the lessons learned from war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Bosnia, East Timor, El Salvador, Liberia, and Mozambique can be instructive in thinking about how to respond to a post-Mugabe era.


2. Why Treat Zimbabwe as a Post-Conflict Situation?

Zimbabwe has not been at war since 1979, so it may seem strange to treat its upcoming transition as a post-conflict one. Even the recent upsurge of political violence since 2000 has been fairly low-level and never approached a full blown civil war. But the country nonetheless exhibits many extreme characteristics of a society in violent conflict.

The scale of economic collapse. Zimbabwe’s economy has shrunk by a third since 1999, a far worse decline than was seen during full-scale civil wars in other African countries (Figure 1). This compares to an average GDP decline in civil wars of “only” 15%.1 Indeed, the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean has fallen so far in the past seven years that it has returned to 1953 levels2 (Figure 2). About 35% of the population lived below the poverty line in 1996, but this share grew to an estimated 80% by 2003.3 Inflation, which is under control in nearly every African country (the regional average is in the single digits), reached 782% in Zimbabwe in February 2006.4

Political violence and social trauma. Zimbabwean society has undergone intense stress stemming from organized violence and intimidation by the state. The security forces, intelligence services, and an array of government-backed militias have terrorized civilians, committed gross human rights violations, and been deployed to infiltrate and disrupt the opposition.5 In some cases, tactics from the guerilla war—including re-education camps, propaganda bombardment, and all-night pungwes—have been revived.6 Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been forcibly relocated. These conditions have produced high levels of suspicion, low levels of trust, and a steep deterioration of social capital.

Figure 1: The Economic Impact of War

Sources: World Bank, IMF

Figure 2: Zimbabwean income, 1950-2005

Source: Clemens and Moss (2005) 7

Breakdown of basic services. Although the party structure of ZANU-PF remains intact, state social services—which had once been among the best in Africa—no longer effectively function. This erosion of state services has contributed to a deterioration in already low human development indicators, dropping Zimbabwe in the UN rankings from the 64th percentile in 1990 to the 82nd percentile by 2003.8 The number of health professionals fleeing the country has escalated while resources for the health sector have collapsed.9

Erosion of economic foundations. Agriculture, the mainstay of the pre-crisis economy, is a shell of its former self. Commercial production of maize, the national staple, has dropped 86% between 2000 and 2005.10 The volume of tobacco exports, once the country’s leading foreign exchange earner, is down by more than 60% since 2000.11 Industry, and to a lesser degree mining, have also suffered tremendously. Indicative of the scale and tragedy of the decline, Zimbabwe had once been a food exporter, but it is now food insecure with more than one-third the population reliant on imported food aid.12 This is mostly the result of chaotic land seizures and the departure of at least 80% of the country’s commercial farmers (not drought or donor withdrawal, as the government claims).13 Violence on the farms has also led to widespread destruction of infrastructure. Just a few years ago Zimbabwe had Africa’s most extensive system of dams and irrigation; today that is nearly all gone.

De-formalization of the economy. As in war situations, most people in Zimbabwe now operate in the informal sector. The decimation of a once-considerable middle class has forced even more people to turn to the black market to survive. As in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the industries that have endured best are mostly enclave projects like platinum mining that are physically isolated from the wider economy. Much of the remaining formal economy has been effectively captured by Mugabe’s cronies, ZANU-PF leaders, and the military elite.

Mass flight of people and capital. Officially, there were 3.4 million Zimbabweans, or nearly 30% of the population, living outside the country in 2002.14 The true number today is surely higher, with more people leaving every day. In addition, there are hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, the result of the dislocation of some 800,000 farm workers and their families since 2000 and of the May-June 2005 Operation Murambatsvina, which forced another 700,000 people from their homes.15 No precise figures on capital flight are available, but the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar—losing 99.94% of its value against the US dollar in the past five years16 — reflects the extent of the financial bleeding.

There are of course differences between other countries’ wars and Zimbabwe’s collapse. No large scale demobilization is required, for instance. But there will be an urgent need for reintegration of thousands of youths indoctrinated into the ‘green bombers’ and other government-sponsored militias implicated in intimidation and human rights violations against civilians. Perhaps most importantly, unlike many other African post-conflict situations, Zimbabwe does have recent experience with mostly functional and capable government (and arguably democracy). It also has an ample stock of highly capable people, even if most are now abroad. Thus the foundations for rapid institutional recovery are available, a much easier prospect than trying to build from scratch, as was the case in Cambodia or Mozambique, for example.


3. Framework for International Support of Zimbabwe’s Recovery

The extreme conditions nevertheless suggest that the revitalization of Zimbabwe’s society and economy will require many elements typically associated with a strategy for post-conflict reconstruction. The main impetus for recovery will of course have to come from within Zimbabwe itself. Any revival will depend on domestic groups willing to reconcile and organize to rebuild and, fortuitously, the country has a wealth of capable people (many of which are abroad) who can contribute to a rebound.

Zimbabwe is also fortunate to have South Africa, a large and relatively wealthy neighbor with a strong interest in fostering a rebound. South Africa and other regional players such as the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and Nigeria should, however, be urged by the international community to more vigorously pursue diplomatic engagement. Just as importantly, the major international donors—the World Bank, the IMF, UN agencies, the British and American governments, and other key players—will need to play an active role in shepherding and supporting the locally-owned recovery strategy.

Recent post-conflict experiences in poor countries provide important lessons about the priority tasks for promoting peace, stability and economic reconstruction in failed states, and about the principles that should guide donor engagement in those countries.17 The broad priority tasks especially relevant for Zimbabwe are:

  • Establishing security and the rule of law;
  • Fostering political reconciliation and legitimate institutions of government;
  • Rebuilding the institutional capacities of the state;18
  • Encouraging a comprehensive and inclusive economic recovery, including
    timely normalization of relations with the international community and rapid
    support comprised of aid, debt relief, and private finance.19

3.1 Crucial Political Support
Since Zimbabwe’s troubles are at root political, getting the politics right is a necessary precondition for recovery. The key interventions where the international community can support Zimbabwean efforts to improve governance include:

1. Be ready to provide assistance to smooth the political transition. The post-Mugabe political configuration is impossible to predict, but there is a reasonable chance that some kind of transitional or caretaker government may become desirable. The international community must be prepared to help provide the political neutrality required for such an arrangement, including the facilitation of either a government of national unity or temporary third-party management (perhaps headed by a non-partisan Zimbabwean). Over the past decade and a half, the international community has frequently created ad hoc arrangements to support countries emerging from conflict or crisis, with a select group of countries serving in effect as shepherds of the political transition. After Mugabe departs the scene, the leading international donors might need to create a “Contact Group,” as was successfully employed in Bosnia, or a regional framework similar to the “6 plus 2” formula for Afghanistan, to help nurture the internal political process and focus international attention. This arrangement would be tasked to normalize relations with the international community, manage the inflow of assistance, and lay the groundwork for credible elections and possibly a new constitution-writing effort. If security deteriorates, there might also be scope for an international observer-mission, perhaps led by South Africa but under the auspices of SADC or the African Union (AU) and backed by the major powers

2. Help to reform the security sector. Politicization and corruption of the police, military, intelligence services, and judiciary have undermined what were once professional and highly regarded institutions. International donors must be prepared to move quickly to persuade and assist the successor government in moving from a culture of violence and impunity to one of the rule of law. They should support a thorough reform of the security sector, including restructuring the “power” institutions (especially the Zimbabwe National Army, the Central Intelligence Organization, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police), vetting officials for past abuses, training officials in civilian policing and criminal justice, mainstreaming human rights, and disbanding paramilitaries.20 In the immediate term, the abrupt demise of the Mugabe regime could paradoxically increase human insecurity by removing an unpalatable but effective system of repression. This possibility means that the international community, probably led by South Africa, should make contingency plans for temporary military intervention to ensure physical safety and public order if necessary.

3. Promote justice and reconciliation. A critical dimension in recovering from crisis is coming to terms with the past and seeking accountability for past crimes and abuses. Presumably, any such effort would not only cover recent violence, but also the gukurahundi killings of some 20,000 people in Matabeleland in the early 1980s21 and perhaps atrocities committed by both sides during the liberation war. The people of Zimbabwe will need to decide for themselves between pursuing a truth and reconciliation commission, as has been adopted in countries from El Salvador to South Africa, or a more punitive approach like a war crimes tribunal.22 Whichever option they choose, the donor community should provide legal and technical assistance.

3.2 Necessary economic support
Parallel with political reform steps will be necessary to revive the economy. To promote economic recovery, the international community should focus on the following areas, derived from lessons learned in other ‘post-conflict’ situations:

1. Meet essential humanitarian needs. With a large share of Zimbabwe’s population currently relying on emergency assistance, many people will continue to depend on relief during the political transition. The focus of humanitarian action must be on ensuring protection, food and shelter for internally displaces people, while seeking durable solutions that provide livelihoods and permit their orderly return and reintegration into communities. Although donors once spoke of a linear “relief to development continuum,” they have discovered that in practice relief, reconstruction and development proceed simultaneously in different parts of a post-crisis country.23 One challenge for international donors will be to continue meeting immediate food requirements without undercutting the revival of local agricultural markets.24 Donors must also continue to support efforts to address the HIV/AIDS crisis, which is slowly showing improvements through declining infection rates.25

2. Facilitate an orderly return of migrants from the diaspora. Perhaps a third of Zimbabweans currently live abroad. If post-conflict situations like Afghanistan are any guide, regime change in Zimbabwe may lead many of those living in neighboring countries to vote with their feet and return in large numbers, overwhelming any rudimentary public services that remain. Donors, especially the UN refugee agency UNHCR, USAID, and the South African government, can start thinking ahead for plans to help smoothly reintegrate exiles and refugees in the region. Although many of those abroad will have means to manage their own return, particular attention should be paid to the poorest unskilled workers who may be prematurely and haphazardly forced back by neighboring authorities without the means to resettle and rebuild. At the same time, many of the high-skill Zimbabweans are now in Europe, North America, and South Africa and may want to contribute to a recovery by either returning or investing. The donor community should ensure that its own immigration and asylum laws are not creating barriers or disincentives to potential returnees or Diaspora investors.26

3. Help formulate and implement a multidimensional economic recovery strategy. Although a number of external donors maintain “watching briefs” to permit modest engagement with Zimbabwe, baseline data on socioeconomic conditions in the country are rudimentary. Prior to developing a comprehensive response plan, the transitional authorities and representatives of the World Bank, the IMF, UN agencies, and select bilateral donors should undertake a joint assessment of Zimbabwe’s priority needs, including evaluations of the infrastructure deficit and other areas that might be privately financed. On the basis of this assessment, international donors ? probably under the auspices of the World Bank ? should assist the Zimbabwean transitional authorities in developing a comprehensive National Reconstruction and Development Framework, setting out the priorities and sequence for the first five years. Any economic strategy for recovery will need to stabilize the macro-economy, try to restore basic public services, and generate jobs. Reviving the agricultural sector (see below) and the country’s HIV/AIDS control program will also be priority areas. Private investment in banking, mining, industry, and telecommunications is likely to return on its own once the business environment can be improved (especially if private property rights are restored and foreign exchange constraints are lifted), but public-private cooperation could catalyze much-needed infrastructure investment.

4. Provide coordinated assistance. The international community must help the transitional government to establish a strong national coordinating body to manage inflows and projects from multiple sources. The donors should then:

Pledge early. A World Bank-chaired consultative group meeting could quickly mobilize official financial pledges with multi-year commitments. Particularly during the first years of the post-Mugabe era, international donors will need to provide a large proportion of the funds to meet Zimbabwe’s reconstruction needs. Whereas traditional donor practice for most developing countries is to set levels of support based on performance, post-conflict countries are exceptional cases that merit “early and sustained engagement” upfront to encourage a recovering country down the right path.27 This logic also applies in the case of Zimbabwe, where the British, American, and South African governments will be strongly disposed to provide resources after Mugabe is gone.

Create a Trust Fund. While Zimbabwe’s upfront financing needs will be considerable, its immediate absorptive capacity will be fairly modest. Recent findings from the post-conflict literature suggests that external assistance following crisis should taper in gradually, peaking about four years after the beginning of the transition, when in fact the reverse is the more general donor pattern (due to incentives in donor capitals).28 In order to facilitate aid coordination, to ensure that recovery is driven by host rather than donor priorities, and that absorption constraints are mitigated, the international community should work with the transitional government to create a Zimbabwe Reconstruction Trust Fund (ZRTF). Two precedents for this are the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund and the Holst Fund for the Palestinian Territories in the 1990s.29

Quickly normalize Bretton Woods relations. Any successor government will immediately find a number of obstacles in the way of rejoining the international financial community, so steps will have to be taken to facilitate their re-entry. The IMF will have to re-open its office in Harare and prepare for an interim stand-by arrangement. The World Bank may need to reclassify Zimbabwe as ‘IDA only’ to qualify the country for greater assistance, grants, and possible debt relief. The government will also have to deal with an inherited external debt of some $5 billion. Clearing arrears will be the first step, but the arrears accrued within the past few years account for nearly half the current debt stock, suggesting that some special dispensation may need to be found with the multilateral institutions and the Paris Club of creditors. The US and EU may need to review their sanctions legislation to ensure that it does not create a legal problem or disincentive for re-engagement or private investment.30 Zimbabwe should also be considered for preferential trade access, such as the African Growth of Opportunity Act (AGOA) in the US or the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative for the EU.

Convene an investment conference. The donors can play a facilitator role in marshalling both public and private investment in infrastructure and raising awareness among potential investors. There are numerous investors, particularly in South Africa, awaiting a turnaround in Zimbabwe, and the donor community can spur inflows by helping to identify projects, assisting the national authorities in making policies that will encourage private investment, and, in some cases, using public funds or guarantees to catalyze certain kinds of investments.

5. Promote a new approach to land use. Land has been a central political and economic issue for Zimbabwe for several generations. However haphazard and destructive the manner in which it unfolded, land redistribution in Zimbabwe has occurred. The goal for any transitional government will now be to find a way forward to improve land use by reinvigorating the agricultural sector in a manner that provides increased employment and productivity. Priority needs will likely include a comprehensive system of land titling and the rebuilding of the farm extension and credit system. The donor community can play an important role in assisting with the stock-taking of land use and ownership, formulation of a new agricultural strategy, and consideration (and financing) of options for further distribution. External agencies can also provide independent oversight to some kind of transparent arbitration process that is almost certainly going to be necessary as disputes over land ownership and compensation arise.

4. Steps for the United States: A Commission for Assistance to a Free Zimbabwe?

There has been growing donor interest in ways to better engage “fragile” or weak states.31 At the same time, the international community is still struggling with how to engage with “difficult” performers, which lack the will and/or capacity to deliver effective governance.32 Zimbabwe has been one of the hardest such cases, with many of the major players deferring to South Africa. In addition, all too often the US and the international community have been reactive rather than proactive toward countries emerging from conflict or transition from political crisis. Given the possibility of a quick change in Harare and the substantial agenda outlined above, planning for an international response to Zimbabwe should begin now.
The challenge for US policy is to arrive at a comprehensive but flexible strategy that can integrate all relevant agencies and instruments of influence to support a peaceful transition from authoritarian rule and sustainable reconstruction. Within the United States government, the locus of contingency planning for a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe could be the newly established Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) within the State Department, which was created in August 2004 with the explicit mandate to plan and assist the recovery of failed states and countries emerging from civil strife. S/CRS has already taken the lead in planning for a response to Sudan and has held roundtables on Haiti, Nepal, Cuba, and the Great Lakes region of central Africa. There might also be bipartisan congressional interest in creating a Zimbabwe version of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which provided both a planning and a propaganda function.33
Liaising with other partners can also start now. The UK government has a similar post-conflict reconstruction unit that can play a parallel role to S/CRS. Great Britain, as the former colonial power, has a strong historical interest in helping the country turn around and can play an important role. The World Bank, while unable to participate in actual contingency planning for diplomatic reasons, should continue to maintain its analytical and low-income country under stress (LICUS) work on the country. This will be critical to enable the Bank and other donors to spring into action once the transition occurs. Nevertheless, information sharing and beginning the multilateral discussions and contingency planning now can help to ensure a more nimble and effective international response to support a post-Mugabe transition in Zimbabwe.


5. Conclusion

Zimbabwe is a country on the edge. It may technically be at peace, but it is suffering war-like trauma to its polity and economy. In the not-distant future, the international community will likely confront the challenge of assisting the country’s difficult transition from a bleak period of economic collapse and authoritarian rule. Fortunately, the world has learned lessons from post-conflict interventions in other countries, many of which it can apply to Zimbabwe ? once a new leadership is in place. No donor should provide assistance to the government at the present time since a recovery is impossible with the current leadership. But there is no time to waste in developing a multilateral framework to respond to the transition that is unavoidably coming to Harare.
There is also no reason to keep this contingency planning effort secret. Diplomatic etiquette notwithstanding, there would be considerable benefit to making this an open and consultative exercise. Letting Zimbabwe’s people know that they have not been forgotten and that the world stands ready to help once Robert Mugabe is gone could even help to bring about that day a little sooner.



Ball, Nicole. “Reforming Security Sector Governance”, Conflict, Security & Development, Vol. 4, No. 3, December 2004.

Barrett, Christopher and Daniel Maxwell. Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role. London: Routledge, 2005.

Brynen, Rex. A Very Political Economy: Peacebuilding and Foreign Aid in Palestine. New York: US Institute of Peace, 2000.

Brynen, Rex. “The Palestinian Territories.” In Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Postconflict Recovery. Edited by Shepard Forman and Stewart Patrick. New York: Center on International Cooperation, 2000.

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation. Breaking the Silence. Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands, 1980 to 1988. Harare, 1997.

Center for Strategic and International Studies and Association of the US Army. Play to Win: The Commission on Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Washington DC: CSIS, January 2003.

Chesterman, Simon, Michael Ignatieff, and Ramesh Thakur. Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2005.

Clemens, Michael. Do No Harm: Is the Emigration of Health Professionals Bad for Africa? Washington DC: Center for Global Development, 2006 forthcoming.

Clemens, Michael and Todd Moss. Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis. CGD Note. Washington DC: Center for Global Development, July 2005.

Clément, Jean. Postconflict Economics In Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Washington DC: IMF, 2005.

Collier, Paul et al. Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. Washington DC: World Bank, 2003.
Commission on Weak States and National Security. On the Brink: Weak States and National Security. Washington DC: Center for Global Development, 2004.

Department for International Development. Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States. January. London: DFID, 2005.
Forman, Shepard and Stewart Patrick. Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Postconflict Recovery. New York: Center on International Cooperation, 2000.

Fukuyama, Francis. State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Ghani, Ashraf, Clare Lockhart and Michael Carnahan. Closing the Sovereignty Gap: An Approach to State-Building. Working Paper 253, September. London: Overseas Development Institute, 2005.

Gregson, Simon et al. HIV Decline Associated with Behavior Change in Eastern Zimbabwe. Science 311: 5761, February 2006.

Harmer, Adele and Joanna Macrae. Beyond the Continuum: The Changing Role of Aid Policies in Protracted Crises. HPG Research Report. London: Overseas Development Institute, 18. July 2004.

IMF. Zimbabwe: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix. Washington DC, October 2005.

Kriger, Norma. Zimbabwe’s Guerilla War: Peasant Voices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Kriger, Norma. “ZANU(PF) strategies in general elections, 1980–2000: Discourse and coercion.” African Affairs 1 (2005) 04: 414.

Michailof, Serge, Markus Kostner, and Xavier Devictor. Post-Conflict Recovery in Africa: An Agenda for the Africa Region. Africa Region Working Paper Series No. 30. Washington DC: World Bank, 2002.

Ottaway, Marina. “Rebuilding State Institutions in Collapsed States” In State Failure and Reconstruction. Edited by Jennifer Milliken. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2003.

Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Investing in Prevention: An International Strategy to Manage Risks of Instability and Improve Crisis Response. London: PMSU, February 2005.

Richardson, Craig. “The Loss of Property Rights and the Collapse in Zimbabwe”, Cato Journal, Fall 2005, 25: 3.

Rotberg, Robert. When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Rubin, Barnett. “Peace-building as State-Building,” Survival Winter 2005, 47: 4.

Snyder, Jack and Leslie Vinjamuri. “Trials and Errors: Principle and Pragmatism in Strategies of International Justice”. International Security, Winter 2003 28: 3.

Tibaijuka, Anna Kajumulo. Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe to assess the Scope and Impact of Operation Murambatsvina by the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlements Issues in Zimbabwe. July. United Nations, 2005.

UNDP. Human Development Report 2005. Geneva: United Nations, 2005.

US Agency for International Development. Fragile States Strategy. Washington DC, February 2005.

US Department of State. Report to the President: Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. Washington DC, May 6 2004.

World Bank. World Bank Group Work in Low-Income Countries under Stress: A Task Force Report. Washington DC, September 2002.

World Bank. World Development Indicators 2005. Washington DC, 2005.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe 2000-2001. Harare, August 2001.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. Torture By State Agents In Zimbabwe: January 2001 to August 2002. Harare, March 2003.



* Todd Moss ( and Stewart Patrick ( are Research Fellows at the Center for Global Development, an independent research institute in Washington DC. The authors thank Robert Rotberg, Milan Vaishnav, Greg Michaelidis, and Kaysie Brown for comments on an earlier draft. The views expressed and any errors are strictly those of the authors.

1 Paul Collier et al., Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy (Washington DC: World Bank, 2003)

2 Michael Clemens and Todd Moss, “Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis,” (Center for Global Development, July 2005)

3 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2005 and IMF, “Zimbabwe: Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix,” (Harare, October 2005)

4 “Zim leads the world in inflation stakes,” Financial Gazette, (Harare, March 22, 2006)

5 See multiple reports by the Amani Trust and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, including “Politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe 2000-2001,” (August 2001) and “Torture By State Agents In Zimbabwe: January 2001 to August 2002,” (March 2003)

6 Norma Kriger, “ZANU(PF) strategies in general elections, 1980–2000: Discourse and coercion,” African Affairs, Vol. 104, No. 414 (2005) and Kriger’s Zimbabwe’s Guerilla War: Peasant Voices (Cambridge University Press, 1992). A ‘pungwe’ is a Shona word for an all-night meeting of songs and political education (and sometimes intimidation), used by guerillas during the liberation war to build support among the local population for ZANU.

7 EIU is the Economist Intelligence Unit, PPP stands for purchasing power parity, which is an exchange rate that adjusts for the cost of local goods.

8 UN, Human Development Report 2005. Zimbabwe’s index score on the UN’s Human Development Index fell from 0.637 to 0.505 in 2003, dropping them from 87th out of 136 countries in 1990 to 145th out of 177 in 2003.

9 Michael Clemens, “Do No Harm: Is the Emigration of Health Professionals Bad for Africa?” (Center for Global Development, Forthcoming 2006)

10 Based on estimates from Robertson Economic Information Services, Harare.

11 IMF, p. 103 (Washington DC, 1995)

12 UN World Food Program projects 4.4 million people will need food assistance; see “Projected 2006 Needs”, WFP.

13 Clemens and Moss, 2005; Craig Richardson, “The Loss of Property Rights and the Collapse in Zimbabwe,” Cato Journal, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Fall 2005).

14 IMF, p. 7 (Washington DC, 1995)

15 Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, “Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe to assess the Scope and Impact of Operation Murambatsvina by the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlements Issues in Zimbabwe,” (United Nations, July 2005)

16 The rate has dropped from Z$55:US$1 in 2000 to over Z$160,000 on the parallel market by early March 2006.

17 Among a large literature, see Robert I. Rotberg (ed.), When States Fail: Causes and Consequences, (Princeton University Press, 2003); Shepard Forman and Stewart Patrick (eds.), Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Postconflict Recovery, Center on International Cooperation (2000); and “Play to Win: The Commission on Post-Conflict Reconstruction” (CSIS and Association of the US Army, January 2003)

18 Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart and Michael Carnahan, “Closing the Sovereignty Gap: An Approach to State-Building,” Working Paper 253 (Overseas Development Institute, September 2005). Simon Chesterman, Michael Ignatieff, and Ramesh Thakur, Making States Work: State Failure and the Crisis of Governance (United Nations University Press, 2005); Francis Fukuyama, State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century (Cornell University Press, 2004); Marina Ottaway, “Rebuilding State Institutions in Collapsed States,” in Jennifer Milliken (ed.), State Failure and Reconstruction (Blackwell Publishers, 2003); Barnett Rubin, “Peace-building as State-Building,” Survival Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter 2005-2006).

19 See, for example, Jean Clément (ed.), Postconflict Economics In Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (IMF, 2005); Serge Michailof, Markus Kostner, and Xavier Devictor, “Post-Conflict Recovery in Africa: An Agenda for the Africa Region,” Africa Region Working Paper Series No. 30 (World Bank, 2002).

20 Nicole Ball, “Reforming Security Sector Governance,” Conflict, Security & Development, Vol. 4, No. 3 (December 2004)

21 Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation, “Breaking the Silence. Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands, 1980 to 1988,”(1997)

22 Jack Snyder and Leslie Vinjamuri, “Trials and Errors: Principle and Pragmatism in Strategies of International Justice, International Security, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Winter 2003)

23 Adele Harmer and Joanna Macrae (eds.), “Beyond the Continuum: The Changing Role of Aid Policies in Protracted Crises,” HPG Research Report 18 (Overseas Development Institute, July 2004)

24 Christopher Barrett and Daniel Maxwell, Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role, Routledge, 2005.

25 Simon Gregson et al. “HIV Decline Associated with Behavior Change in Eastern Zimbabwe,” Science, Vol. 311, No. 5761 (February 2006)

26 Zimbabweans living abroad may risk losing their residency or asylum status by returning. In the United States, for instance, Senator Joseph Biden has proposed a “return of talent” program to provide visa waivers for diaspora populations who wish to return for brief periods to lend their skills to assist political and economic transitions.

27 Michailof et al. (2002)

28 Collier (2003). Unlike most post-conflict countries, there is unlikely to be a need for interim donor support of recurrent expenditure, since revenue generation rates are fairly high; total revenue was some 34% of GDP in 2004. Zimbabwe’s fiscal problem is primarily on the expenditure side.

29 On the Holst Fund, see Rex Brynen, “The Palestinian Territories,” in Good Intentions, pp. 237-8. More generally, see Rex Brynen, A Very Political Economy: Peacebuilding and Foreign Aid in Palestine (US Institute of Peace, 2000)

30 Travel and financial sanctions by the EU and US should not pose an immediate problem, since they are only targeted at individuals, but they may need to be revisited and the lists altered if they present a barrier.

31 Commission on Weak States and National Security, On the Brink: Weak States and National Security (Center for Global Development, 2004); United States Agency for International Development, Fragile States Strategy (USAID, February 2005); United Kingdom Department for International Development, Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States (DFID, January 2005); United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Investing in Prevention: An International Strategy to Manage Risks of Instability and Improve Crisis Response (PMSU, February 2005)

32 The World Bank’s Low Income Countries under Stress (LICUS) unit, for example, tries to find limited engagement points in countries where normal Bank operations are deemed impossible. See World Bank, World Bank Group Work in Low-Income Countries under Stress: A Task Force Report (September 2002); See also the OECD/DAC’s Working Group on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States.

33 US Department of State, Report to the President: Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (Washington DC, May 6, 2004)


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Grim Harare Hospital Highlights Healthcare Crisis

Institute for War and Peace Reporting

The hospital reception is a theatre of agony: adults weep, the injured groan
and women who have just lost loved ones wail.

By Norman Chitapi in Harare (AR No. 110, 25-Apr-07)

Parirenyatwa Hospital in Zimbabwe's capital Harare is the biggest referral
hospital in the country. It looks majestic from the outside. Inside, its
grand wooden staircases run alongside elevators that have long ceased to
function. One could safely drive a bus through its wide French doors and
vast, spotlessly clean corridors.

But there is a sinister aspect to the cleanliness. Like the health system in
the country generally, this great hospital is dying. There are no qualified
and experienced doctors, nurses, technicians or drugs here. Parirenyatwa
Hospital is a fitting monument to the country's relentless economic decline
over the past eight years.

The western entrance to the hospital, called the Casualty Department, is
symbolic of the collapse of this once proud institution, formerly named
Andrew Fleming Hospital when it was built to serve the white Rhodesian
community under Ian Smith's regime. (In 1965 Smith, the white minority
leader of then Rhodesia, declared unilateral independence from Britain.

The hospital reception is a theatre of agony: adults weep, the injured groan
and women who have just lost loved ones wail as new arrivals line up to be
served by a group of listless nurses. Along the corridors, the nurses and
their assistants babble about their personal affairs, seemingly oblivious to
the patients they took an oath to serve.

Above the benches where the patients wait, computer-generated cards, with
the message "Get well soon", are stuck on the wall. There is a macabre irony
to the message. There is hardly a doctor at Parirenyatwa to attend to
patients. The auxiliary nurses and student doctors manage the best they can.
But much of the time they stand around in the corridors unable to treat
patients who require urgent specialist attention. "You get well soon or you
die" is the real meaning of the card's message.

Betty Choto recently went to Parirenyatwa Hospital with a kidney ailment.
For two days, she writhed on a bed without treatment. On the third day, she
was told by a nurse that she needed to be put onto an intravenous drip
before she could be operated on. Treatment was on a cash upfront basis. Each
sachet of the precious liquid cost 180,000 Zimbabwe dollars (about nine US
dollars on the black market), out of reach of many in a country where 80 per
cent of the adult population is unemployed and more live on less than one US
dollar a day.

Relatives who visited that evening found Choto in agony. Fortunately, she
was able to narrate her story and as soon as the money was paid a junior
doctor wheeled up a trolley to administer the drip. She underwent an
operation the following day and was quickly discharged to recover at her
home in the poor township of Kuwadzana, 15 kilometres west of Parirenyatwa.

But her problems were not over. The following day she was driven to
Kuwadzana council clinic to have the wound dressed. After waiting in the
queue for two hours, she was told the clinic didn't have drugs to clean the
wound. "You bring your own drugs and we dress you," she was told. They used
an over-the-counter medication trading as Betadine to clean up and bandage
the wound before she left in search of the necessary drug for the following
day. Even the nurses did not have it on the black market!

The practice of health personnel sourcing essential drugs from neighbouring
countries and selling them at exorbitant prices to desperate patients is on
the increase.

Another resident of Kuwadzana, Netsai Juru, was taken to Kuwadzana clinic
when she thought she was in labour. The nurse on duty briefly examined her,
pronounced the foetus dead and called a council ambulance to take her to
Harare Hospital, the main referral centre for the capital's poor.

On the way to Harare Hospital, two other patients were picked up. She was
kept for a day in the ante-natal wing of the hospital and although no baby
arrived yet, there was no talk of a dead foetus.

On the second day, Juru was told the baby was getting tired and she needed
to be induced to speed up the delivery or a Caesarean would have to be
performed. She was told the pill to induce delivery would cost 150,000
Zimbabwe dollars and only one nurse had it. After paying two-thirds of the
cost, she was given a portion of the pill. It didn't do the trick and on the
third day of worsening agony she went in for a Caesarean, which produced a
baby boy. The total bill was one million Zimbabwe dollars. Her salary as a
civil servant is close to 400,000 Zimbabwe dollars a month. She paid a third
of the bill and was released with a reminder to pay off her debt.

Things were not always this bad. In the early 1980s, government introduced a
policy, which promised "health for all" by the year 2000. But as spending on
social services such as health and education began to outstrip revenue
generation, the country was forced to turn to the International Monetary
Fund in 1991, which called for an economic structural adjustment programme
that demanded a reduction in spending on social services.

The austerity measures adopted by the government forced it to recoup its
costs. The result was a huge reduction in government grants to hospitals and
council clinics, leading to a shortage of drugs and equipment.

As the economic situation deteriorated, qualified doctors, nurses and other
support staff deserted the health sector in droves for the United Kingdom,
South Africa and Botswana. The few remaining doctors and nurses have been on
strike for better pay and working conditions since December last year.

Although the strike ended last month, health professionals are on a go-slow,
meaning they are not offering a full service and are opting to work at their
surgeries or do locums elsewhere.

Meanwhile, HIV and other treatable diseases like malaria are also proving
fatal in the absence of basic drugs and a committed and trained workforce.

The promise and euphoria after independence has faded into a long and
debilitating wait for many. The government's announcement last week that it
wanted to take over council clinics "to improve service delivery" was met
with universal cynicism. "Why are they unable to improve service at their
own hospitals first before spreading the few resources they have?" people
are asking.

Norman Chitapi is the pseudonym of an IWPR contributor in Zimbabwe.

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‘They warned me I would be dead by next March’

The First Post

Lovemore Machengedzera is an opposition MDC activist. That's his real name. Unusually for this column I can give it, because, as MDC youth treasurer, he is a seasoned target for Mugabe's hit men. Twice before he suffered at their hands. The third time came last month. Here is a literally blow-by-blow account of how it feels to be picked up by a Zimbabwe government goon squad. Lovemore tells his story exclusively to The First Post:

"I was leaving my home on March 31, around midday. It was a Friday. As I was getting into my car a white Nissan Sunny passed by, and I vaguely recognised it as a car I had seen following me earlier in the day.

"As I began to drive off, a Mitsubishi double-cab pulled in front of me, blocking my way. Then the Sunny pulled up behind me. I was blocked in.

A seasoned veteran of beatings by Mugabe’s hitmen explains why he is prepared to die

"My passenger door was jerked open, and a man in dark shades climbed in. He pointed a handgun at me, then hit me in the face. Then he lowered his gun to nestle the barrel in my groin.

"'Switch off your phone. Close the windows. Follow the double-cab,' he ordered. I did as he said. We drove directly to Harare Central Police Station.

"I was not officially arrested. My belongings - my cellphone, passport, some money - were taken from me, but not recorded. I was thrown into a filthy cell. During this time whenever I protested I was beaten with batons and fists. They hit me all over, but their favourite targets were the soles of my feet, my buttocks and my groin. Twice I lost consciousness.

"I was then ignored until Monday, when I was accused of financing recent petrol bombings. I denied it,


and was beaten again. That night I was taken to two other police stations for further beatings - why I don't know, and by then I was past caring. I was given no food the entire time I was in custody.

"Back at Harare Central on Wednesday, I was suddenly told by officers I'd never seen before that I could go. But they warned me I was a marked man, that I would be dead by next March.

"Now, to protect my family and neighbours, I have left home and am living in hiding. But I will carry on my work for the MDC. I am prepared to take more beatings if I must. And if necessary I am prepared to die."


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God's railway running out of track

Business Day

 25 April 2007

John Batwell


ZIMBABWE's 2759km railway system has been considered one of colonial Africa's
best-run systems. It gained the unofficial title of God's Wonderful Railway
from Britain's Great Western Railway, which is not surprising considering
how British nationals fled the UK to Africa after the Second World War. I
remember more than 20 years ago lauding the National Railways of Zimbabwe
(NRZ) in the government press, commenting on its geographical and strategic
positioning as a vital, seamless transport route linking "big economic
brother SA" with the rest of southern and central Africa. The well-run
railway was crucial to the Southern African Development Community concept
then and, more recently, to President Thabo Mbeki's African renaissance

But a megalomaniac dictatorship has set Zimbabwe into a state of economic
free fall.

The country is falling apart. The state-controlled media does not say much,
but the few independent newspapers get the truth into print. In February,
the UK-based newspaper, The Zimbabwean, said it was in possession of
financial statements from the national railway operator revealing it was
carrying debt of more than Z$300bn.

The economic policies of President Robert Mugabe's administration have been
cited as the cause of the railway's problems.

Motive power and rolling stock are sitting idle; the signalling system has
collapsed; fatal accidents are far too prevalent; parts of the track route
are deteriorating. This was once a system that could help its neighbours
with their transport problems. The NRZ loaned diesel and steam locomotives
to neighbouring railways in times of need and foreign motive power would
arrive in Zimbabwe for maintenance work.

Now Mozambique and Botswana locomotives are deployed in cross-border
operations to move trains. Experts have left the country and the HIV/AIDS
pandemic is hitting the railway's workforce. Foreign investment and real
money are not the norm in a country on which the west has slammed the door.

Hu Jintao's China undertakes the flag-flying pomp and ceremony and talks of
stepping in where the west has pulled out, but Chinese "economic talk"
centred on state visits is often more prevalent than the nitty-gritty -
certainly in Zimbabwe's rail sector.

The NRZ's deal with China for new motive power, commuter train sets and
intercity passenger stock was looking vulnerable in November. Zimbabwean
government officials met late last year with representatives of the China
Northern Railways, which has been hesitant to honour an agreement it signed
to rehabilitate and increase the capacity of the crisis-torn NRZ. Under this
deal China had promised to supply 10 locomotives, 64 passenger coaches and
eight commuter trains, but nothing was forthcoming by late last year.

Diplomatic sources say the Chinese are now wary of bringing big investment
into Zimbabwe because of the government's flagrant abuse of property rights.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed in mid-February that the NRZ was battling to
raise a $10m deposit for the acquisition of the locomotives and passenger
stock from China. Transport and Communications Minister Christopher Mushohwe
said the NRZ had paid only $2,5m of the money. The railway's
recapitalisation was a major challenge as most equipment and infrastructure
were prohibitively expensive and required foreign currency, he said.

The NRZ's passenger trains are heaving with trade, as they are considerably
cheaper than road transport, which is perpetually a victim of fuel
shortages. But the trains are a service; they are not profitable.

The railway's financial woes have been also worsened by regular customers.
For example, Zisco Steel - which is reportedly on the brink of collapse - is
in serious arrears.

A World Bank report does not paint a rosy picture. The report, Zimbabwe
Infrastructure Assessment Note for Roads, Railways and Water Sectors, says
freight traffic has nose-dived to 4,9-million tons in 2004 from 14-million
tons in 1990, with the NRZ able to provide only 67% of the locomotive

The NRZ's youngest diesel locomotives are now 15 years old. A lack of spares
and loss of valuable manpower has affected the availability of electric
locomotives, too, for the 313km of electrified railway.

The World Bank study was conducted with the government and assesses the
status of key infrastructure, identifying critical areas in sector policies.

It doubts the NRZ management's ability to operate the company productively
in the face of bureaucratic rules and procedure.

"Private sector participation in the management and operation of the
railways remains as justified as before, in order for the railways to
realise its full potential," it says.

A "lack of knowledge" by soldiers and police officers manning the railway
system is also a major factor in operational problems, which have
contributed to some nasty collisions.

"The NRZ signals department and its training wing are also now laden with
former police and army officers, who are not fully conversant with the
system," says part of a report on a serious head-on smash in August which
the government and senior railways management have kept under wraps.

The accident-probe committee said NRZ GM Mike Karakadzai - a former Air
Force of Zimbabwe commodore - should re-hire civilian experts fired over the
past few years if trains were to once again become a reliable and safe means
of transport.

The ministry of transport and railway management have, however, attempted to
sweep the report under the carpet, considering it too sensitive because of
its criticism of former soldiers and police.

Late last year, the government indicated it would separate rail
infrastructure from the day-to-day running of the NRZ.

In so doing, it hoped to take some of the fiscal weight off the railway's
shoulders. However, this still is not the answer; governments tend to
concentrate more on "processes" than on making money. Private financing is
what the railway system needs now.

A cursory look at experience with vertical separation over the past decade
will show how difficult it can be to make complex structures work
successfully, even on mature and relatively efficient railway networks.

Some authors on privatisation have suggested that success has depended more
on regular investment in asset renewal and securing reliable traffic flows
than on the choice of management structure.

The NRZ would surely be better able to recover if treated as an integrated
business, with the injection of some experienced "can-do" managers provided
with enough funding for essential repairs and given the freedom to run the
railway without political interference.

But what is the chance of that - in the short term, anyway?

Batwell is a columnist for a variety of specialised railway publications and
the African correspondent for the French periodical, Le Rail.

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MDC says no negotiation-- no election

By Tichaona Sibanda
25 April 2007

Roy Bennett, the treasurer general of the MDC, said they would not be pushed
into participating in next year's elections, and a decision would only be
made at the conclusion of mediation talks between the MDC and Zanu (PF).

Bennett admitted the MDC was extremely worried at the slow pace of the
mediation efforts by President Thabo Mbeki, adding that despite the setback
they hope there is still a way forward.

'We've received numerous inquiries of people saying Mugabe will buy time by
refusing to negotiate until elections. For us it's simple, we will not go
for an election before negotiations. This is a Southern African Development
Community mandate and if Mugabe decides not to follow the rules, it's his
problem not ours,' Bennett said.

He added the longer the negotiation process takes, the further away the
elections are pushed, reiterating that in a successful negotiation process
everyone wins. The objective he said, should be agreement not victory for
either Zanu (PF) or MDC.

'But before negotiations start the SADC bloc must voice its concern about
the continuing violence and persecution of Zimbabweans by the government.
This is a worrying development because not a single SADC state has said
anything about the suppression,' he said.

The treasurer general said they've got to a stage where they are under no
illusions that elections in Zimbabwe, under current laws, will bring any

'We're in no hurry at all to rubber stamp the election process by taking
part. We've had elections stolen from us, we've seen SADC observers declare
the same elections free and fair so we don't want to make the same mistake
four times in a row,' Bennett said.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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MDC responds to Mbeki


25/04/2007 17:48  - (SA)

Pretoria - President Thabo Mbeki has received responses to letters he wrote
to Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change leaders, says deputy foreign
minister Aziz Pahad.

Briefing reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday, he said the letters from MDC
leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara were being studied.

"On the basis of that we will work out a plan of action."

Pahad did not elaborate on the contents of the responses received.

Mbeki was appointed by the Southern African Development Community to
facilitate trying to help resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

His first step was to write letters to the MDC leaders, asking how the party
saw the facilitation process unfold.

Mbeki earlier indicated he hoped his facilitation would smooth the way to
holding free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe
in 2008.

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Low exhibitor turn-out at ZITF

25th Apr 2007 12:06 GMT

By Ian Nhuka

BULAWAYO-The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) started here Monday
amid unprecedented secrecy over the total number of exhibitors who will
showcase their products and services at the five-day exposition.

For the first time in years, a Press conference at which ZITF company
officials traditionally name the guest of honour and give details on
the number and profile of participating companies, was postponed twice last

This triggered suspicion that the 48th edition of the ZITF had failed
to attract a guest of honour, usually a foreign head of state and
government. And when the Press conference was finally held on Monday, ZITF
company board chairman, Nhlanhla Masuku, surprised journalists who attended
the meeting by again refusing to disclose the number of participating

He promised to do so yesterday, but again failed to do so.
Instead, he preferred to dwell on his hope that the show "will be
bigger and better than previous years," claiming that the quality of
exhibits had improved on last year.

"I am happy to say that during our tour this morning, it was evident
that this year, we will have one of the best exhibitions in recent years. We
have seen new pavilions that have been put up, with coporate colours such as
CAIRNS, who have put up a very good pavilion. We have Ariston who have also
put up a very good pavilion," he said.

Indications are that the bulk of the exhibitors would be parastatals
and small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).  Banks and government
ministries and agencies are sponsoring most SMEs at the ZITF. ZimTrade, the
national export promotion agency is sponsoring 17, while the Zimbabwe Allied
Banking Group has brought 20 SMEs through the Ministry of Small and Medium
Enterprises Development.

A number of other banks are also sponsoring other SMEs, who are their
corporate clients. Masuku said A'Sambeni, a tourism segment of the ZITF had
attracted more participants this year, than 2006.

"This year A'Sambeni is being held in Hall 3.  It is a bigger  exhibition
hall for the travel and tourism sector. We have relaunched the exhibition
because it is very important considering the 2010 World Cup in South
 Africa," he said.

Initially, the media briefing was supposed to be held last Thursday,
but was moved to Friday. However, it was again moved to Monday.  No reasons
were given. Being held under the theme "Zimbabwe brands, Africa brands and
Global brands," the ZITF will run here from today to Saturday.

President Robert Mugabe will officially open the ZITF on Friday, after
African leaders apparently snubbed the fair. Traditionally, a high-profile
figure delivers the keynote address and presents prizes at the event,
usually on a Friday, a day before it ends.

Last year, Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete performed the functions. In
recent years, local and foreign companies have largely shunned the ZITF, the
largest trade showcase in the country, as the economic crisis worsens. Major
exhibitors from USA, Europe and South Africa, once regular participants at
the fair, have snubbed it again this year.
Even Botswana, is for the first time since independence not part of the
event this year.

Interviewed by telephone from Gaborone yesterday, Maxwell Mosinyi, an export
development officer at the Botswana Export Development and Investment
Authority said:

"We will not come over this time.  ZITF is not on the list of fairs
that we will attend this year."

Although Masuku did not disclose the exhibitors for this year's fair,
it is believed that less than 400 may attend, down from about 650 last year.
Only 18 foreign companies, especially from India, China and Indonesia are
participating with none coming from the West.

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Government allows food donor organisations to review its food security

BULAWAYO , 25 April 2007 (IRIN) - Officials from the Food and Agricultural
Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), at the invitation of
Zimbabwean government, are scheduled to arrive in the country this week to
assess the food security situation.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF government has already warned that it will
not accept any food aid with "political strings attached", although a second
successive year of drought and major disruptions in the farming sector in
recent years have resulted in the country producing less than one-third of
its annual food requirements this year.

"Government will certainly sit down and decide which aid agencies or
organisations to allow assisting with food distribution. We realise that
there are organisations bent on using aid as a political tool to enhance the
interests of the [political] opposition, and we are not going to allow
that," agriculture minister Rugare Gumbo told IRIN.

"We are going through a severe drought and we realise the need to step up
food imports, but we first of all have to get an independent assessment of
the situation; that is why we have invited WFP and FAO," he said.

The FAO's Food Emergency Officer, Kisan Kunjal, told the media this week
that the food assessment visit would determine which parts of the country
required aid, and how much assistance was needed. A FAO-WFP joint food
assessment team was kicked out of the country in 2004 after the government
accused it of propagating false data about the country's food security.

Last month Gumbo told IRIN that although government had declared 2007 a
drought year, it was not going to accept any food aid, but would rely on
imports from neighbouring countries such as Malawi and South Africa to cover
the more than one million tonne maize shortfall.

However, Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, which has seen official inflation
rates of around 1,700 percent, and unofficial estimates of over 2,000
percent, has made foreign exchange a rarity.

The government's own food security assessment revealed that 563,000mt of
maize would be harvested this year, against the country's annual requirement
of about 1.8mt million of the staple food.

Gumbo said the government had already imported "a substantial amount" of
food from Malawi, and that further efforts were being made to secure imports
from other neighbouring countries.

Importing maize is set against a regional shortage of the staple food,
according to this month's ABSA Bank Economic Monitor. The bank's April
report said "maize production may be well below expectations ... Maize
prices in response to the lower rainfall have risen to over R2000/tonne
(US$285 per tonne) in early March, before easing to around R1,752 (US$249)
[per tonne] by April."

Renson Gasela, agricultural secretary for the opposition party, the Movement
for Democratic Change, welcomed the planned visit of the FAO-WFP delegation,
saying it would provide a clear picture of the extent of food shortages in
the country. "Government has already declared this year a year of drought,
and promised food imports, but it may turn out that the food needed is way
beyond its pocket, since there is no foreign currency in the country."

Zimbabwe has experienced seven years of severe food shortages, blamed on a
combination of the government's fast track-land reform policy, which saw
white commercial farmland redistributed to landless blacks, and drought.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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ZESA announces power deal with Russian firm

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 04/25/2007 09:07:40
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) Tuesday said it has entered
into an agreement with an undisclosed Russian company for the development of
small hydro plants, as a power crisis persists in the country.

The state-run power utility company is a response to a fall in power output
from the Hwange Power Station, the country's main power generator.

With a capacity of 920MW, Hwange is currently generating 320MW daily as a
result of crumbling equipment.

Zesa said Tuesday: "These (hydro power plants) will be located mainly in
remote areas not covered by the grid. They are expected to bring life to
these areas by way of poverty alleviation.

"Where the power plants are located in areas covered by the grid,
transmission loses will be reduced drastically. The construction of a 5MW
plant on Mutirikwi Dam to supply Masvingo town will cause a gain of 7MW on
the system."

To undertake the project, the power utility said it had accessed funding
an unnamed regional power firm.

Zesa said the overheads were in the form of a loan to be repaid through a
power purchase agreement, wherein the lender will get an uninterrupted 150MW
for five years.

Zimbabweans have been enduring frequent power cuts as authorities battle to
contain a natiownwide crisis blamed on foreign currency shortages. The
country needs foreign currency to import spare and carry out repairs at the
Hwange Thermal Power Station.

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Minister MacKay to Meet with Leader of Zimbabwean Opposition Party

Government of Canada

Press Release

April 25, 2007
No. A/26

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, will meet with Mr. Arthur Mutambara,
leader of one of the factions of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, Movement
for Democratic Change, in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 25, 2007.

Before the meeting there will be a photo opportunity and a question period.
Access will be restricted to journalists who have corporate identification
indicating media affiliation and one piece of photo identification.

     Photo opportunity and question period with Minister MacKay and Mr.
Mutambara, Zimbabwean opposition leader

     Wednesday, April 25, 2007

     4:15 p.m. EDT

     Minister's Office
      Room 509-S
      Centre Block, Parliament Hill
      Ottawa, Ontario

For more information, please contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

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Mugabe is using brutal means to keep himself in power

Stabroek News, Guyana

Wednesday, April 25th 2007
  Dear Editor,

      With regard to recent news and letter comments on Zimbabwe where the
dictator, Robert Mugabe, is brutalizing opponents, I just came back from
neighbouring South Africa where people are calling on President Thabo Mbeki
to apply pressure on Mugabe to step down and allow the return of democracy
to his homeland.

      Mugabe has led his country to economic collapse transforming it from
Africa's bread basket to a place of mass starvation rivaling Somalia.
Unemployment is 80% - the highest in Africa. He rigged one election after

      Mugabe's forces have rounded up dissidents and beaten them. And as
happened in Guyana during the dictatorship, Mugabe has clamped down on what
is left of the country's independent media, and he has moved against
political opponents, raining barbaric blows on them and sending them to the

      In South Africa, protests are held regularly against rights abuses in
Zimbabwe. While I was in Capetown, the political capital, I joined a march
and rally near the parliament and the White House (office and residence of
the President) to protest against abuse of women.

      At the Capetown rally, there were hundreds of women and their children
and dozens of males. The protesters were of diverse races - Whites, Indians,
Blacks. Many of the protesters were Zimbabwean immigrants. They described
the harsh rule of Mugabe and the difficulty of living in Zimbabwe. People
have had enough and have decided to stand up to Mugabe and his goons. His
anti-imperialist and anti-White rhetoric doesn't fool them any more. It is
not the imperialists and Whites who are oppressing them today.

      There is no doubt that if a free and fair election were to be held in
Zimbabwe, Mugabe would be humiliated. He is clinging on to power, literally
beating down opponents. In this era of world democracy, using repression to
hold on to power is not acceptable.

      Our government should join the rest of world in condemning Mugabe's
violence against political opponents. We should join the chorus of calls for
him to restore the country to democratic rule.

      Yours faithfully,

      Vishnu Bisram

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Two lecturers fired as Masvingo State University closed down

By Tererai Karimakwenda
25 April, 2007

The state controlled newspaper The Herald reported that 2 lecturers were
fired and 2 student leaders were dismissed at Masvingo State University on
Tuesday as the government shut down the institution indefinitely. The action
by the authorities followed a strike by lecturers demanding a 200 percent
hike on their salaries. Takavafira Zhou, president of the Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), was one of the lecturers that were fired.
He said the officials accused him of organising the strike action.

Lecturers currently earn about Z$1.3 million per month and are asking for an
increase to Z$3.7 million per month, which lecturers at the University of
Zimbabwe in Harare are making. The strike was initiated after negotiations
on Monday failed to yield any results. The issue for students is an attempt
by the university to increase boarding fees from Z$345 000 to Z$800 000 per
semester. The current fee is already unaffordable for most students. And any
increases would force even more to drop out of school.

Zhou and the PTUZ expressed shock that the Masvingo State Vice-Chancellor
Obert Maravanyika was given a posh Mercedes Benz while the university claims
it has no money. Lecturers say the strike will go on and the institution
will remain closed indefinitely until all issues are addressed.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Conservancies losing Rhino

The Zimbabwean

In the last two weeks two Rhino have been poached in the Save Conservancy
which is located in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe. This now brings the known
poached Rhino to 10 since 2000.

The Save Conservancy like all game areas have suffered incredible looses of
wildlife since the deterioration of Law and Order even though protection
units were increased at huge costs to the partners.

National parks have allowed some Zimbabwean Safari outfits who had no
scruples to hunt in the protected areas of the National Parks; these were
not isolated incidences as further reports have been coming in. There have
also been several reports of tourists hearing shots fired in the protected
areas and then just afterwards seeing parks vehicles with meat in them. One
report that I received was of the shooting of a large tusked elephant bull
near Chipinda Pools for a celebration party for the opening of a new road on
the North bank of the Lundi river.

Some experts have indicated that we have lost at least 75% of our wildlife
already with most damage being done on the ranches and farms that the owners
were forced off by the Zimbabwe Government driven land grab.

There is no doubt that Zimbabwe is in danger of loosing all its remaining
Rhino and risks serious damage to other species of wildlife unless there is
a democratic change soon and a new governing body is installed.

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No Independence Before Majority Rule

Mens News Daily

April 24, 2007 at 10:56 pm ·

Remember that? I certainly do because this was the policy position that
eventually brought about the end of the UDI experiment in Rhodesia - it led
to the transitional government of Abel Muzorewa and then Lancaster House and
finally the first (and perhaps the only) majority rule elections in the new
Zimbabwe in March 1980.

It looks pretty innocuous as a statement but it was not in those days. What
it said was quite clear, no lifting of sanctions, no peace, no economic
recovery, no future - without majority rule. For those of you who are in
Zanu PF I had better define the latter. How you define it is a mystery to
me, but in those days and perhaps in all sane countries, the definition is
quite simple - it means that every adult who is a citizen or a permanent
resident, has the right to vote.

For my community (the white Africans who had governed the country since
1896) it meant the end of our dominance in all spheres. For the majority
black community it meant opportunity and freedom. I can still remember
Ndabaningi Sithole saying to me in 1975, "there can be no real opportunities
and fundamental freedom until we have Independence" (majority rule).
Unfortunately I knew then as I do now that that was probably true.

What we need now is another similar statement of principle from the
international community. I suggest "no recognition without free and fair
elections". Again a rather innocuous statement - looks harmless enough on
the surface and people might wonder what all the fuss is about. Perhaps not
after watching the shambles in Nigeria!

But for the tyrants in our midst and for our detractors in the region and
abroad, the meaning is quite clear. It means no end in sight for the present
downwards economic spiral, no end to the flight of millions into other
countries, no end to the human misery and suffering, no international
recognition, no relaxation of international opprobrium and no political
recognition unless we hold a genuine free and fair elections in March 2008.

For those in the world who think that we do not know what is required or
that we are incapable of meeting such a condition, let me tell you that the
shambles we saw in Nigeria is carefully contrived and managed. We know how
to rig elections - we also know what is involved to make them free and fair.

If we can persuade the major democracies of the world - no point in talking
to the others, they do not believe in democracy anyway (they regard it as a
dangerous and futile exercise in political suicide for themselves), to adopt
such a simple principle then we have to go a bit further and define what it
means in practice.

The requirements can be divided into two periods - the run up to the
election itself (which is already under way here) and then the period
covering the actual voting and counting and then the reporting and adoption
of the outcome.

In the initial phase we need to get on top of the devils of violence and
intimidation in our society. The political parties that have traditionally
been contenders here ever since they were formed have used these as
political tools in their campaigns for power. As Mugabe said once "we have
degrees in violence". The campaign here has started and Zanu PF has
unleashed against the MDC (mainly against the formation led by Morgan
Tsvangirai) a campaign of violence that is designed to "downgrade" the
capacity of the MDC to compete in the March 2008 elections. They are
carefully targeting the structures and leadership of the MDC throughout the

Mbeki has made no move to stop this violence and by not doing so we must
assume that Zanu PF feels that it has his implicit approval for the
operation. It fits with the hypothesis that Mbeki is going along with the
call for a free and fair election but wants to give Mugabe the best possible
chance to actually win the contest by using these means.

In addition to the issue of violence we also have the use of POSA to
restrict our capacity to campaign anywhere in the country. We plan a series
of rallies this weekend and I will be speaking at one in Hwange stadium - if
we can get approval. There are other problems - we cannot get a printer to
print our materials. Any printer who does so immediately finds himself the
target of the CIO or worse.

In the case of the media - four radio stations, two television stations and
seven newspapers - all State owned and directed. Two others - the Mirror and
the Gazette that are CIO owned and managed. These all pour out, on a daily
basis, a flood of State directed propaganda against the MDC and its
leadership. Our people know this but it still sticks - I can tell when
someone is speaking to me and has only access to the local media - they have
a completely distorted understanding of things here. Both the local
independent weeklies are compromised at this point and of little use in a
campaign. That leaves us with the external radio stations and newspapers
published in South Africa. These radio stations are all jammed on a regular
basis by the regime in Harare.

Even if we were to imagine that such conditions could yield a "free and
fair" election we have the other twin evils - food rationing and the use of
traditional leaders to control the rural peasant population. In every
election since 2000 the regime here has used both with devastating effect..
Vote for us or starve is a pretty potent slogan in poverty stricken

In the actual election (and it is here that we expect to see Mbeki act) we
face a formidable machine - the boundaries of all MDC stronghold
constituencies will be gerrymandered, the number of rural constituencies
where the people are most vulnerable to pre election intimidation and
supervised forms of voting, will be increased and we would expect that they
will deny the millions of our people who live in other countries, the right
to vote.

The election system is currently managed from A to Z by the military with
some assistance from the Registrar General who has done a splendid job for
Mugabe since 2000. We can expect this manipulation team to work full time on
the election itself, massaging results, falsifying ballots, denying millions
of citizens, let alone permanent residents, the right to vote.

Free and fair? It's a joke, a sick joke at that. But what we need right now
is a clear definition from the major democracies of the world as to how they
will define the conduct and expression of an election in March 2008 that
they will then recognise this process as yielding a new, legitimate,
democratic government. If regional leaders and Mugabe fail to measure up, we
need a clear signal, as was the case in Ian Smith's days, that there will be
no recognition for a government elected under current conditions. That must
mean no assistance with our economic recovery, no easing of the targeted

This would at least give Mr. Mbeki a checklist against which he can measure
the changes that are required to the MDC some sort of a chance of winning in
March 2008. We are realistic about what can be gained in terms of essential
reforms - but if we cannot even get those, there is little point in getting
involved in another farcical exercise in so called "democracy" and get
beaten and jailed in the process.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 24th April 2007

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Dalling right on Zim

Cape Times


April 25, 2007 Edition 2

DAVE DALLING rightly notes that "South Africa could close down Zimbabwe in a
week if it had the political will" (April 24). Therein lies the conundrum.

President Thabo Mbeki is as complicit in Zimbabwe's tragedy as he is in
South Africa's HIV/Aids disaster. With the notable exception of the
courageous Archbishop Pius Ncube, Zimbabweans themselves have proved to be
either political cowards, or politically incompetent.

Is there no leadership among Zimbabwe's exile community in South Africa
(including white Zimbabweans) that might seize the initiative, instead of

As South Africa's own experience proved, it was civil society led by church
leaders - not politicians - that mobilised international pressure to
overcome apartheid.

Similarly, politicians are Zimbabwe's problem, rather than the source of a

Terry Crawford-Browne


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130 000 Zimbabweans deported from SA, says agency

Zim Online

Thursday 26 April 2007

By Thulani Munda

HARARE - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has received
more than 130 000 Zimbabweans deported from South Africa since the United
Nations agency opened offices at Beitbridge on the border between the two
countries 10 months ago.

"In the ten months since IOM's Reception Centre and Support Centre opened in
Beitbridge, over 130 000 returned migrants have been received by the
Zimbabwe immigration department and police, having been deported from South
Africa," Nicola Simmonds, information and communications officer said in a

Simmonds said the IOM, which promotes safe and orderly migration worldwide,
was targeting Zimbabwean youths in its Safe Journey campaign aimed at
educating youths and their communities on the dangers of illegal migration
and also educating them on HIV/AIDS prevention.

The multi-media information campaign uses a truck that converts into a stage
and giant movie screen, and will tour the south-east region of Zimbabwe,
Bulawayo and Plumtree, with an energetic crew of actors trained in the art
of interactive theatre.

An estimated two million Zimbabweans are living in South Africa the majority
of them illegally, after fleeing their home country because of hunger,
political violence and worsening economic hardships.

Simmonds said audiences will have the opportunity to participate and tell
their own stories, as well as be entertained by music, dance and film, win
T-shirts, posters and music cassettes - all while they learn the benefits of
safe migration and safe sex.

In the aim to reach as many potential and experienced border jumpers, the
south-east region of Zimbabwe is being targeted because of the high numbers
of border jumpers that originate from the region, she said.

"The most common sending areas are Chipinge, Chiredzi, Mwenenzi and
Bulawayo, comprising 70 percent of all returned migrants. These findings
helped IOM plan the route for the three-month travelling show," she said.

Around 50 percent of those returned from South Africa request IOM's
assistance from its Beitbridge offices. Apart from being fed, have medical
checks done on them and transported home for free, several more returnees
have been assisted by the IOM and taken to the police on both sides of the
border in cases of rape, sodomy and other abuse including murder committed
against them or their companions. - ZimOnline

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Legal Woes For Zimbabwe Opposition Faction At Home And Abroad


      By Jonga Kandemiiri and Patience Rusere
      25 April 2007

Seven members of the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan
Tsvangirai appeared in Harare courts on Wednesday, five asking the high
court to order their release on bail while two faced new charges in
magistrate's court.

Morgan Komichi and Dennis Murira were accused of paying for party members to
be trained in sabotage in South Africa, and were ordered held by police
until May 10.

The high court case failed to advance as the state prosecutor said he was
not ready - the hearing was put off until Thursday.

About 30 members of the faction have been held by authorities since a raid
on its Harare headquarters on March 28. Authorities said then that they were
investigating a series of firebombings of police posts and other targets,
accusing the opposition of mounting the attacks - which officials of both
MDC factions have denied.

Faction legal secretary Innocent Gonese, member of parliament for Mutare
Central, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
the judiciary has wronged its members by denying them bail and ignoring
reports of police torture.

The Tsvangirai MDC faction faced legal problems in South Africa too.

South African immigration authorities picked up six officials of the
Rustenberg branch of the faction who were unable to produce residency
documents. Those caught in a random street check while heading to a district
congress meeting included the chairman and secretary general of the local
Tsvangirai faction branch.

Hundreds of other Zimbabweans living illegally in South Africa were also
arrested in the immigration sweep in Rustenberg, a city in the wine country
of North West Province not far from Johannesburg.

MDC spokesman George Chibochiwa told reporter Patience Rusere that the
faction did not see any political motive behind the arrests.

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Safe water project eases the burden for children affected by AIDS in Zimbabwe


By Tsitsi Singizi

BULILIMA-MANGWE, Zimbabwe, 25 April 2007 - As a child, Nomagugu Ncube had a
dream. She wanted to be a dressmaker making people look cool and beautiful.
But since her sister died and her mother fell sick with HIV, she has had to
put her dream on hold.

For the last two years Nomagugu, now 19, has been caring for her sick mother
and taking on the role of parent to her four younger siblings and her three
orphaned cousins.

Imposed parenthood is a recurring burden on youngsters in Zimbabwe, a
country ravaged by HIV and AIDS. One in five adults here is HIV-positive,
and more than one in four children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.

Some changes for the better

Amid this crisis, Zimbabwe is reeling from political tension and an economy
that has contracted by 50 per cent in the past five years. Prices are rising
by more than 30 per cent each month, and the country has just officially
declared 2007 a 'drought year'.

Still, Nomagugu tends to focus on her good fortune and not hardships.

"I am very lucky," she says. "I used to walk for long hours just to fetch
water to bathe my ill mother and siblings. There was no toilet nearby for my
mother to use, and my siblings were dropping out of school because we had no
school fees. Things have changed. We have a well nearby, we have our own
family toilet and most importantly, my siblings are all back in school."

Clean water and sanitation

Nomagugu and her family are beneficiaries of a unique joint African,
Caribbean, Pacific and European Union water project, which aims to help
children and adults affected by AIDS. The project is run by UNICEF and seeks
to provide Zimbabwe's rural communities with safe water and sanitation

Late last year, the European Union donated 3.7 million Euros (approx $4.7
million) to UNICEF so that it could reach 500,000 Zimbabweans with improved

"The European Union is committed to assisting the work being done by
Zimbabwe's rural communities, as they grapple with water, sanitation and
hygienic challenges brought by the AIDS epidemic," said the European
Commission's Head of Delegation, Ambassador Xavier Marchal.

Today, households that are hardest-hit by HIV and have large number of
orphaned and vulnerable children are provided with pit latrines, support in
building wells, and education grants.

Struggle to provide for her family

"Our efforts are driven by a desire to support households and communities,
in particular orphans and other vulnerable children who have been most
affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic," said UNICEF' Representative in
Zimbabwe, Dr. Festo Kavishe. "The hygiene challenges brought about by HIV
and AIDS are immense. If we are to ensure that children and families stay
healthy, we have to protect them through such comprehensive programmes."

Of course, the water project doesn't solve all of Nomagugu's problems. She
still has to struggle to provide for her family, though she is the first to
admit that her burden has been lifted a little.

"The water and sanitation means that I can spend my time doing other things
for my family," she explains. "I used to spend six hours every day just
fetching water. Today my mother is ill but she is always clean. My siblings
are much healthier. And I have even started a small vegetable garden to
raise money."

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Economic Freedom Survey Puts Zimbabwe Last Among African Nations


      By Blessing Zulu
      25 April 2007

Zimbabwe has been ranked dead last among African countries and 154th out of
157 countries worldwide in terms of economic freedom in the latest survey by
the Heritage Foundation in Washington and the New York-based Wall Street

The two conservative institutions looked at tax rates, property rights and
labor freedom in concluding that the Zimbabwean economy is 35.8% free.
Zimbabwe was ranked last among 40 African countries covered by the survey.

The survey stated that Zimbabwe, once relatively prosperous, has
deteriorated into hungry and destitute authoritarianism. It said Harare has
stifled economic activity and that expropriation has become common under
what the report characterized as a "resource-redistribution-by-angry-mob"
economic policy.

Independent economist John Robertson told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that among other problems Harare is not doing enough
to lure foreign investors and that its economic policies have been

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labor and Economic Development
Research Institute of Zimbabwe, concurred with Robertson but said the study's
conclusion that the labor market is restrictive was not accurate.

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