members of the smaller faction of the MDC led by Professor Arthur Mutambara
including deputy secretary of information Renson Gasela, died in a car
In a statement MDC spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa, said the
accident occurred about 25km outside Zvishavane along the Zvishavane-Gweru
road when the officials vehicle plunged into a stationary front-loader. He
said the MDC officials were coming from a party meeting in Zvishavane on
their way to Shurugwi to attend another party meeting. Mushoriwa said the
party’s National chairperson for the Disciplinary Committee and Midlands
South Provincial Chairperson, Lyson Mlambo and the Women Assembly Provincial
Chairperson for Midlands South, Ntombizodwa Gumbo also died in the accident.
Senior Party official, Miriam Mushayi also confirmed the accident stating
that the details are still trickling in.
“Six other party members who
included the Provincial Organising Secretary, Benias Chikweya, the Deputy
Provincial Organising Secretary, Felix Pireyi, Provincial Youth Assembly
Secretary, George Mukaro, and Mkoba District Executive Member, Ms Mhishi and
the Driver, Lavender Mugavhu who were travelling in the same vehicle were
injured and were ferried to United Bulawayo Hospital where they remain
admitted,” said MDC.
The Provincial Security Officer, Antonia Sibanda who
was admitted at a hospital in Zvishavane has since been treated and
discharged. “MDC wishes to convey its heartfelt condolences to the Gasela,
Mlambo and Gumbo families over this tragic loss. The party has indeed lost
dear friends and compatriots whose contribution and dedication to the fight
for democracy has been beyond measure. We take solace in that the LORD has
made his decision. We shall always cherish the times that we have shared
with our departed compatriots though the void created by their untimely
deaths will be difficult to fill,” said MDC.
“MDC also extends its
heartfelt sympathies to the families of those injured in the same accident
who are recovering at United Bulawayo Hospital. The party wishes them a
Meanwhile, Anti-corruption commissioner and Zanu-PF
central Committee member Alice Nkomo died in a car accident Saturday night
along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road.
She died at around 11pm together
with three others she was traveling with.
Iran has struck a secret deal with Zimbabwe to mine its untapped uranium
reserves in a move to secure raw material for its steadily expanding nuclear
By Itai Mushekwe and Harriet Alexander Published: 10:00PM BST 24 Apr 2010
President Robert Mugabe (R) stands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at
a parade in BulawayoPhoto: AFP
The agreement was sealed last month during a visit to Tehran by a close aide
to Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president who last weekend celebrated 30 years
in power, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
In return for supplying oil, which Zimbabwe desperately needs to keep its
faltering economy moving, Iran has been promised access to potentially huge
deposits of uranium ore - which can be converted into the basic fuel for nuclear
power or enriched to make a nuclear bomb.
"Iran secured the exclusive uranium rights last month when minister of state
for Presidential affairs, Didymus Mutasa visited Tehran," said a Zimbabwean
government source. "That is when the formal signing of the deal was made, away
from the glare of the media."
Mr Mutasa is the former lands minister in the Zanu-PF administration and one
of Mr Mugabe's most senior aides.
The revelation came after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, visited
Zimbabwe last week to show his support for Mr Mugabe. At a lavish official
dinner in his honour on Thursday evening, Mr Ahmadinejad blasted what he termed
"expansionist countries" for exerting "satanic pressures on the people of
Zimbabwe", adding: "We believe victory is ours, and humiliation and defeat is
for our enemies."
Mr Mugabe said both Zimbabwe and Iran were targeted by the West because they
wanted to manage their own natural resources.
"We remain resolute in defending Zimbabwe's right to exercise it sovereignty
over its natural resources. We have equally supported Iran's right to peaceful
use of nuclear energy as enshrined in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty," he
The uranium deal will heighten fears in the West that Iran is stepping up its
nuclear programme, which intelligence agencies believe is intended to lead to
the development of nuclear weapons in the near future.
Iran maintains that its efforts are aimed solely at providing energy but the
United Nations Security Council is considering imposing harsher sanctions
against it because of its refusal to allow proper monitoring of its nuclear
sites. Mr Ahmadinejad has boasted of his country's plans to step up construction
and use of the special centrifuges needed to enrich uranium to ever higher
levels - putting a nuclear weapon within reach.
Most of Iran's uranium came from South Africa during the 1970s, but its
stockpiles are running low, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt, so its
access to Zimbabwe's reserves has been granted at a crucial moment.
The government source added: "The uranium deal is the culmination of a lot of
work dating back to 2007, when Mr Mugabe visited Tehran in search of fuel. Now
Iran is beginning to reap the benefits.
"Iranian geologists have being conducting feasibility studies of the mineral
for over a year now and we expect them to go ahead with mining once they are
A senior official at the Iranian embassy in Harare confirmed Tehran had been
offered the uranium rights, after negotiations over many years. "After a lot of
diplomatic work and understanding, we have received reports of a deal having
been made for Iran to mine not only uranium but also other metals," he said.
The pact seems certain to place Iran under even greater scrutiny by the
United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"If Zimbabwe and Iran were to announce a deal, then I am sure it is something
the IAEA would be very interested in," said an IAEA source.
Any deal to supply Iran is likely to put Zimbabwe in breach of current UN
sanctions on Iran. Under Security Council Resolution 1737, passed in December
2006, all countries are ordered to "prevent the supply, sale or transfer ... of
all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to
Iran's enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities."
The UN Sanctions Committee which deals with Resolution 1737 said that if the
issue of uranium mining in Zimbabwe was raised, it would investigate.
Mr Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba insisted that mining rights had not yet
been finalised, but he defended Iran's right to apply for them.
"The Iranians have a peaceful nuclear program. This cannot be said about the
Americans who mined uranium in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and went on to
produce a nuclear bomb used to attack Japan," he said. "We have our uranium and
no one is mining it, until we decide otherwise," he said.
Uranium was first discovered in the Kanyemba district, about 150 miles north
of the capital Harare by German prospectors in the 1980s but were not exploited
due to low world prices.
Russia, Australia, South Africa and Namibia are among nations that have also
expressed a desire to tap into the mineral wealth.
The extent of Zimbabwe's uranium reserves is uncertain, although some
metallurgists believe that they may be very large. Initial exploration has
indicated that there are an estimated 450,000 tonnes of uranium ore with some
20,000 tonnes of extractable uranium.
David Albright, founder of the Washington-based think tank Institute for
Science and International Security, said that Iran was certainly looking for
ways to access uranium but they risked serious consequences if they sought to
import the materials.
"It would definitely anger Russia and China, as the more they are seen to be
evading sanctions, the worse it is for Iran," he said.
"There is a great deal of nervousness about Iran's secrecy, and if they are
secretly seeking uranium, is this to run a parallel nuclear programme to its
declared one? Iran's underhand dealings helps line up support for stronger
MUTARE - A soldier has appeared in court charged with
murder after he allegedly shot and killed an illegal diamond miner who had
sneaked into the Chiadza diamond fields.
Shepherd Maride, 24, a
private in the army, based at 4.2 Infantry Battalion, is also facing another
charge of attempted murder after he allegedly shot and injured a policeman
who tried to disarm him.
The police officer, only named as Constable
Beserk, is said to be battling for his life in hospital.
heard that Maride met three illegal miners at Muchena Business Centre in
Maride then allegedly shot one of them, Herbert Gwiriri, in the
chest. Gwiriri died on the spot.
Constable Beserk, who was in the
company of three workmates, attempted to disarm Maride but the soldier fired
at him as well.
The police officer was seriously injured. He is at
Mutambara Mission Hospital where he is said to be in a critical
Maride was later arrested. He appeared before Mutare
magistrate, Annia Ndiraya last week facing charges of murder and attempted
He was remanded in custody to May 3 and was told to apply for
bail at the High Court.
Outlining the charges, Christine Mwenga for
the state, said on April 12, Maride met three illegal diamond panners at
Muchena Business Centre in Chiadzwa.
"He accused them of illegally
panning diamonds and ordered them to sit down. While the panners were
seated, Maride corked his AK 47 service rifle and pointed it to Herbert
Gwiriri whom he shot in the chest," said Mwenga.
On the second count of
attempted murder, the state prosecutor told the court that after Maride shot
Gwiriri, Maride went on to shoot Beserk who had tried to disarm him.
Humanitarian organization Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is scheduled to formally
announce a US$ 1.5 million funding to help returned migrant Zimbabweans to
resettle. This was confirmed by the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) office in Zimbabwe, through whom the funding will be
The funds will meet the needs of mobile and vulnerable
populations (MVPs) and returned migrants in Zimbabwe.
funding was provided as a response to the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP)
for 2010. It will contribute to IOM's two key areas of intervention,
comprehensive approach to humanitarian emergency assistance and early
recovery and livelihoods for mobile and other vulnerable populations
affected by displacement causes," said IOM Zimbabwe's Chief of Mission
Marcelo Pisani. With their expanded resources, the IOM will be able to
disseminate information to returned migrants and mobile populations through
appropriate and feasible means.
SIDA was also hailed for its
consistent support to IOM Zimbabwe. Since the year 2000, Zimbabwe has
consistently experienced increasing levels of internal and external
migration due to its socio-economic situation.
This situation has
negatively affected the Zimbabwean population, through lack of access to
basic services and trauma. Consequently, the numbers of MVPs has swollen
greatly. There has also been a massive exodus of Zimbabwean professionals to
countries in the region and abroad.
SIDA's funding comes at a
critical time for the IOM as it will allow them to provide comprehensive
emergency assistance on protection, basic health services, HIV and AIDS and
sexual and gender based violence.
Early recovery and livelihood
activities will assist the integration of MVPs into mainstream
The latest report of the United Nations Development Programme
has urged countries to review their migrant policies so as to cater for
evolutionary changes and ultimately ensure that migration benefits both
destination countries and countries of origin.
Written by Sports Reporter Friday, 23 April 2010
JOHANNESBURG - An International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation
will visit Zimbabwe in June to assess progress made by Harare cricket
authorities in implementing recommendations by the world cricket governing
body meant to help improve the local game. (Pictured: Zimbabwe Cricket boss
Paul Chingoka) ICC president David Morgan will lead the delegation that
will also include the organisation's chief executive Haroon Lorgat. "The
delegation will receive further updates on the implementation of the 35
recommendations of the ICC Zimbabwe Task Team which was chaired by Dr Julian
Hunte (West Indies)," said the ICC in a statement released last week. "It
will also discuss with Zimbabwe Cricket the progress made in the
reconstruction of domestic cricket and the prospects for Zimbabwe's return
to Test match cricket, from which they voluntarily withdrew in 2006, within
the next two years." Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket in January 2006
after being left depleted following confrontations between senior players
and the administration.
From a special correspondent 25 April
2010 Issue: 0052
Zimbabwe has sworn in its first human rights
commission, led by and comprised mainly of academics - at a time when
academic freedoms are being violated and students have protested against a
visit to the country by hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud
President Robert Mugabe swore in the Dean of law at the
University of Zimbabwe, internationally respected election administrator
Professor Reginald Austin, as head of a new human rights commission that is
dominated by lecturers.
Austin has served as chief electoral officer
of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, as director of the electoral
component of the UN Observer Mission in South Africa, and as chief electoral
adviser for Afghanistan's 2004 presidential election, among other
Other academics on the human rights body are: Ellen Sithole (47),
a law lecturer and advocate of women's rights; Carol Themba Khombe, a
professor in the National University of Science and Technology's department
of animal science; and Joseph Kurebwa (44), a University of Zimbabwe
political science lecturer. Other members are lawyers Jacob Mudenda and
Elasto Mugwadi, and a former mayor Japhet Ncube.
The commission has
been charged with improving the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.
Systematic violations of rights saw Mugabe, the country's ruler since
independence in 1980, and his inner circle being slapped with targeted
sanctions by the United States, Australia and the European Union.
Zimbabwe celebrated its 30th anniversary of independence from Britain last
week - and 86-year-old Mugabe his 30th year in power - the Zimbabwe National
students Union (Zinasu) said Mugabe's violations of academic freedoms had
been worse than those of the colonialists.
dictatorship tendencies, promotion of anarchy and disrespect of the rule of
law turned Zimbabwe into a sorrowful state," Zinasu said in a
Education had become inaccessible to the majority of students,
with 2009 reporting the highest drop-out rate since independence, of 31%.
Tuition fees in state institutions ranged from US$200 to $800 but civil
service personnel earned a paltry $150 a month, Zinasu
"Independence was supposed to create conditions conducive for
independent and critical intellectual growth at institutions of higher
learning, which in turn would lead to developments in research and critical
human resources," the statement said.
"Today institutions of learning
have been turned into torture chambers. Since 2000 more than 400 students
have been issued with indefinite suspensions and 50 with life expulsions for
demonstrating against the unaffordability of education in
These figures were "astonishingly larger" than the numbers of
students suspended or expelled during the colonial era, Zinasu continued.
Also, students were being forced to apply for a "restrictive cadetship
programme which contains clauses that are tantamount to slavery".
students also protested against the Iranian President opening the Zimbabwe
International Trade Fair, held in Bulawayo from 19-24 April. Zinasu called
on progressive students to shun the fair, to show their disgust at the
invitation to "one of the world's famous human rights violators" who they
said had inspired violence and rigged elections in his favour.
described Ahmadinejad as notorious and his invitation to open the trade fair
as a celebration of tyranny and an insult to peace-loving people and
Zimbabwean president is now one of the country's biggest
landowners Apr 25, 2010 12:00 AM | By Own correspondent
Robert Mugabe is one of the biggest landowners in Zimbabwe. A Sunday Times
investigation has found that he and his family own at least 10 farms through
Gushungo Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.
Gushungo is Mugabe's clan name.
company owns 10601ha of fertile land in the country's northern
The Commercial Farmers' Union says that of the original 4500
large-scale white commercial farms, only 300 remain.
Mugabe and his
family acquired a significant chunk of that farmland.
In 2008 - eight
years after the land reform programme started - Mugabe's wife, Grace,
grabbed Gwina Farm in Banket from high court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo.
tried to fight her in the courts, but withdrew under intense political
pressure - not before he had exposed Mugabe and his family as multiple farm-
owners, in violation of government policy.
He revealed that the
family, through Gushungo Holdings, owned Mazowe, Sigaro, Leverdale and
He eventually lost Gwina Farm to Grace Mugabe in
dramatic fashion. He was forced out and promised another farm in an estate
owned by the state-run Agricultural and Rural Development Authority,
Transau, in Mutare.
When that failed to materialise, he moved into Kent
Estate, in Norton, on land owned by Ariston Holdings.
thrown out by Grace, he filed a high court application suing Gushungo
Holdings - which Grace used for the takeover - and former state security
minister Didymus Mutasa, who was then also minister of lands. Mutasa is now
presidential affairs minister in the president's office.
In his court
application, signed on November 6 2008, Judge Hlatshwayo, a Harvard
University-trained lawyer and former lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe,
said Grace's actions were illegal and the court should stop her.
been in quiet, undisturbed, peaceful possession, occupation and production
at Gwina Farm from December 2002 until October 19 2008," he said.
Grace's farm managers arrived without warning on Sunday October 19 at 7am,
and told him to cease farming and move out.
Before leaving, they said he
would get further details from Mutasa or senior ministry
He immediately contacted his superiors, Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku and justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who said he should find
out more because it could have been the "work of conmen".
When he got
in touch with Mutasa, his worst fears were confirmed: Grace Mugabe wanted
Grace began to put more pressure on him, sending her
farmworkers to measure and peg his land.
In the end, he was forced to
withdraw his court application, and Grace got her way, adding one more
property to Gushungo Holdings' growing list of farms.
Farmers' Union officials say Mugabe's family owns even more farms. These
include the 1000ha Foyle Farm, grabbed from Ian Webster.
It was renamed
Gushungo Dairy and was recently involved in a dispute with Swiss company
Nestlé over a milk deal.
The family also owns the 1046ha Iron Mask Farm,
taken from John Matthews by Grace under the pretext of establishing an
Judge Hlatshwayo is not the only black farmer who has lost out
to the Mugabes.
Standard Bank CEO Washington Matsaire lost his 1200ha
Gwebi Wood Farm to them.
The Mugabes also grabbed 1488ha Leverdale
Farm from Piers Nicolle.
Mugabe's personal farm, Highfield, in Norton, is
Farmers in the area say all nearby farms were taken to create a
''security buffer zone" for the president, leaving him effectively
On a warm Spring day many friends
from the past came and joined us. So many marriages and relationships have been
formed through the Vigil.The children
with us today were a testimony to this. Thanks to Francesca Toft for
entertaining them (and stopping them wandering into the road . . .)
We are always amazed by the efforts
some people make to get to us. Netty Marozva caught an overnight coach from
Glasgow and was there to help us set up the
Vigil. She went home on another overnight coach. Susan Chechita from
Liverpool once again boarded a coach at 6.30
in the morning to be with us. It was also good to welcome Caroline Witts from
Devon despite her anxious swotting for
her GCSE Spanish exam.
Following the comments about the
failure of the inclusive government by Lovemore Matombo of the ZCTU at our
meeting last week, Vigil supporters discussed their anxieties about the state of
the MDC leadership. There was surprise at the reported comments by the Deputy
Prime Minister, Thokozani Khupe of the MDC, that everything was wonderful in the
diamond fields of Marange. She went there with Vice President John Nkomo
although the Parliamentary Committee looking into the enterprise had been
refused access. Finance Minster Tendai Biti says the Treasury has seen no
benefit from the diamonds but Mrs Khupe was apparently full of praise for Mines
Minister, Osbert Mpofu. She was quoted as saying "There was a lot of speculation
in Cabinet about what was happening at Chiadzwa and Cde Mpofu was the lonely
voice concerning mining activities here. We are very grateful for what we saw
and we will be good ambassadors from now onwards." See
about ambassadors we were sickened by a fawning missive from Trudy Stephenson of
the MDC who is now Ambassador to Senegal.
Writing about a visit there by President Mugabe she says: “It was a great honour
to host him at the Residence”. We realise that she has to be polite to our
illegitimate head of state but her schoolgirl gushing suggested she has quite
forgotten the nature of this monster and the appalling waste of money for our
bankrupt country of his visit to Senegal
and indeed the existence of her Embassy anyway.
were equally bemused by Graca Machel’s comment that the
should shut up about Zimbabwe.
We have been outside the Embassy every Saturday for nearly eight years come rain
or shine and won’t be told to shut up by someone who was refused permission to
visit Zimbabwe by Mugabe when the so-called ‘Elders’ including former US
President Jimmy Carter wanted to look at the situation there. We suggest she
shuts up. Check: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/zimvoice230410.htm
– Zim Voice of Democracy: ‘A big thank you to
we say is that we are very worried about the MDC in
being absorbed by ZanuPF and want an end to this coalition government and free
elections as soon as possible. See: http://www.swradioafrica.com/ pages/heart220410.htm.
Heart of the Matter, by Tanonoka Joseph Whande: ‘The
MDC must start afresh now without Mugabe and ZANU-PF’.
to Vigil stalwarts Gladys Mapanda, Josephine Zhuga and Godfrey Madzunga for
manning both tables, helping to set up and pack up and making sure the Vigil ran
smoothly through the afternoon.
Glasgow relaunch meeting. Saturday 1st May from
1.30 – 5.30. Venue: Woodside Hall, 36 Glendarg
7QE. ROHR Executive present to talk
about the current issues in Zimbabwe and the
UK.Contact Kuda Mupunga 07940254328, Gugu Ncube 07534574763, Rugare Chifungo
(Northern Coordinator) 07795070609, P Mapfumo
·London Citizens and CITIZENS
assembly with David
Cameron, Nick Clegg and hopefully Gordon Brown. Monday 3rd May from
Doors open – to be
seated by 2.45 pm. Venue: Methodist Central Hall,
Westminster, Storey’s Gate,
London SW1H 9NH. On the agenda is the Sanctuary Pledge (calling
for an end to child detention and more support for people seeking sanctuary),
Strangers into Citizens and the Living Wage. For tickets contact Eunita Masolo,
phone: 07949 736 222. The organizers would like a big turn-out of
Woking Branch 1st Anniversary
8th May from 3 – 10 pm. Venue: St Pauls Church Hall,
Road, Woking GU22 7BD. Raffle for two
hampers to be won. Tickets £6 adults £3.00 kids which includes entry and meal.
Contact: Mr Mudzamiri 07774044873, Jermaine 07908522992, Sithokozile
07886203113 or P Mapfumo 07915326323/07932216070.
8th May from 2 – 5 pm. Venue: Church Street (Outside Primark)
Centre. For details please contact: Desire Chimuka
Anywhere Mungoyo 07939913688,
Trywell Migeri 07956083758.
demonstration on Saturday 22nd May. Same venue and time.
Cambridge fundraising event. Saturday 22nd May from
4 – 10 pm. Venue: Arbury Community Centre, Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2LD.
African music, food and drinks hobho. Entrance fee £10 including food. Contact:
Jospheth Hapazari 07782398725, Locadia Mugari 07501304116, Sibusisiwe Bafana
07765268622, Percy Marimba 07894670271 or P Mapfumo
Bromwich Branch fundraising event. Saturday 29th May from 1 – 11pm.
Venue: St Peters Church Hall, Whitehall Rd, West Bromwich B70 0HF.
Admission £8.00 including food and drink. Contact: Pamela Dunduru 07958386718,
Diana Mtendereki 07768682961, Peter Nkomo 07817096594, Godwin
Kativu 07576994816 or P Chibanguza 07908406069
·ROHR Northampton General
5th June at 2 pm. Venue: CareyMemorialBaptistChurch,
King Street, Kettering, Northants, NN16
8QL. ROHR executive members present
and guest speakers. Contact: Marshall Rusike 07833787775,Wadzanayi
Mpandawana 07717795574, Gladys Milanzi 07846 448 711, Norian Chindowa 07954379426, Sherry Ngaseke 07869295544 Or P Mapfumo 07915 926 323 / 07932 216 070.
·Swaziland Vigil. Saturdays from – 1 pm.
Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate,
London SW1E 6LB.Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest
stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. For more information check: www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.
·Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s
Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue:
The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre,84 Mayton
London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest
underground: FinsburyPark. For more information contact the
Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355 (open Tuesdays and
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from
14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in
Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October
2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are
held in Zimbabwe: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.
Saying goodbye to an old
man this week was really sad. Joe is one of the forgotten generation, one of
hundreds of thousands quietly slipping away in front of our eyes. Not cared
for by Mr Mugabe's government and ignored by Mr Tsvangirai's party, Joe is 4
years older than our country's President but there is no dignity in his old
age. There is no free or subsidized medical care for Joe, no
rent assistance or food stamps, not even a bus pass for the elderly men
and women who have made it through Zimbabwe's collapse.
For the last
seven or eight years everything in Joe's life had become a struggle for
survival. He lost his pension, investments, savings and
policies as inflation reeled into hundreds, thousands and millions of
percent. When he couldn't afford, and then couldn't find food to buy, he dug
up his small back garden and planted maize, beans, pumpkins and sweet
When Joe's wife passed away he couldn't afford to erect a
headstone on her grave. This, he said with tears in his eyes, has been
the hardest thing to bear in the last decade.
When I went to say
goodbye to Joe and have one last cup of tea with him, we talked as we often
did about growing fruit trees and about mulch and compost. Joe has got green
fingers, greener than anyone I've ever known. Delaying the final farewell,
Joe told me about fruit bats that spend their days in the funnels of banana
leaves and then the talked turned to the new arrival in my garden. A Spotted
Eagle Owl has moved in and seems to have taken up residence in a big old
Msasa tree. Every morning he is there, sitting completely still in almost
exactly the same place on the branch as the day before. His droppings are
the only thing that give him away: filled with fur and fluff, brown
beetle bodies and a mass of rats bones which litter the ground under
the Msasa tree. Whenever I pass by this huge bird called Zizi in Shona,
is watching me from behind big yellow eyes, following my every move.
With his ear tufts standing high, Zizi presents an imposing figure,
mobbed and scolded by little birds, feared and stoned by most people
around here who say he is linked to witchcraft.
When I must say
goodbye to Joe I know how much I'll miss him and our talks about bananas and
figs, birds and trees and about the nightmare of everyday life in Zimbabwe.
But much more than that, I'll miss our talks about his lifetime spent living,
and loving, Africa.
Until next time, spare a thought for Zimbabwe's older
generation who can't afford to live, or die in the land of their birth.
Thanks for reading, love Cathy � Copyright cathy buckle 24 April 2010. www.cathybuckle.com
Indigenisation and empowerment : which way Zimbabwe ?
It is pointless to be politically independent but economically poor and
downtrodden.It is also pointless to be in power but without real power ;
both politically and economically.A people who do not own and control their
natural resources and thus; control their means of production is an
oppressed people.Equally important is the adage that people should not get
into politics to get rich but rather ; they should get rich in order to get
The concept of the broad based empowerment of
previously and historically disadvantaged people can only be opposed by
people who harbour the notion that economic power and thus political
influence; should be a preserve of a priviliged class consisting of only a
few people.Thirty years after independence, the average Zimbabwean is still
classified as poor judging by world standards.Recent statistics sadly
confirmed the fact that at least 70% of Zimbabweans live on less than US$2
a day ; thus they are classified as living in abject poverty.This is a very
sad indictment on the founding mothers and fathers of this otherwise great
nation.If I may ask this pertinent question : why are we poor in the land
of plenty? Are we poor because the white man continues to exploit our
resources? Are we poor because the so-called imperialists and colonialists
have imposed so-called '' illegal sanctions'' against Zimabwe? The main
thrust of this opinion piece is to interrogate the concept of broad based
black economic empowerment vis- a- vis the furore being caused by the
recently promulgated indigenisation and empowerment regulations.
starting point; the government of Zimbabwe should be thoroughly ashamed of
the fact that three decades after independence; the country still has not
crafted a holistic, progressive and definative policy to empower previously
disadvantaged people the majority of whom happen to be blacks and other
non-Caucasian people such as Indians, Greeks and people of mixed blood.One
wonders what the government was doing all these years by failing to
formulate a policy that should have been amongst the top agenda items upon
achieving our independence in 1980.Thirty years down the line; the
government has suddenly woken up from its deep slumber and it is now;
belatedly but spiritedly; attempting to haphazardly craft an indigenisation
and empowerment policy.What a shame! Instead of using the concept of
indigenisation and empowerment as an electioneering gimmick; the government
should appreciate that this a very important and crucial exercise that will
determine the political and socio-economic trajectory of Zimbabwe for
several generations to come.Put alternatively; the broad based economic
empowerment of historically disadvantaged people ; if done properly and
holistically; will catapult Zimbabwe into the realms of the developed
world.This program; if properly crafted and implemented; will inevitably
eradicate mass poverty and launch the country on the path of
industrialisation.However, if we choose to adopt the '' jambanja'' approach
that was adopted in the so-called land reform program; the result will be
massive de-industrialisation and unprecedented dis-investment that will
ultimately lead to the collapse of the state and the emergence of
war-lordism , anarchy and our own Zimbabwean version of the Mafia.
cannot empower the poor by grabbing wealth from the rich and dishing it out
like confetti at a wedding; to the politically well-connected.You do not
empower the poor and marginalised by changing the colour of the new
bourgeois from white to black.What Zimbabwe needs, and needs urgently; is a
complete dismantling of this bourgeois mentality whereby people; across the
racial and political divide; want to accumulate wealth as an end in itself.
The unscrupulous pursuit of personal wealth, across the political divide,
has become the new Albatross around the nation's neck.This greedy and
rapacious inclination towards personal aggrandisement , if left unchecked;
will very quickly drive Zimbabwe to the realms of failed states.Once again I
ask : why are we poor in the land of plenty? Chiadzwa diamond fields, if
properly exploited, can easily rake in US$2 billion into the national fiscus
every month.Where is the wealth from the Chiadzwa diamonds going? We
shouldn't shout about indigenisation and empowerment when we cannot even
account for the God-given wealth at Chiadzwa.Civil servants earn a pittance
every month but the diamond fields of Chiadzwa are oozing with God-given
wealth.Can someone please tell me what exactly is going on in this great
country called Zimbabwe?
Lest readers miscontrue my point; I am not
by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that people should not aspire
to be wealthy.No.Not at all.As a small boy growing up at Mushayavanhu
Business Centre in Gutu; I always admired businesspeople whose shops and
businesses were thriving.I make no apology for stating that I would like to
be rich; yes; very rich but then I despise people who plunder and steal the
nation's resources.I hate looters and thieves with a passion.Similarly; I am
fascinated and extremely motivated by the stories of women and men who have
worked their socks off in order to be wealthy.If we adopt an indigenisation
and empowerment policy that merely seeks to grab wealth from the whites and
dish it out freely to blacks and other people of colour then we are heading
towards the end of days, a real Armageddon.We did the same with land and
what has become of our land '' revolution''? We have created a nation of
thousands of struggling peasant farmers who can hardly fend for
themselves.Instead of empowering our people by identifying those who had a
passion for farming and then adequately training and capacitating them; we
chose to adopt a one-size-fits -all approach.Every black Zimbabwean was
classified as a potential commercial farmer and the '' results'' are there
for everyone to see.From being a net exporter of food and Southern Africa's
breadbasket, in a very short ten years we degenerated to become a basket
case; a net importer of food and a country that survives on handouts from
donors.Some amongst us will argue that Zimbabwe is in this perilious state
because of '' sanctions'' imposed by Britain and her Western allies.What a
blue lie.Sanctions....what sanctions?
The time to re-focus and
re-design our indigenisation and empowerment trajectory is now.We have to
introspect and stop treating the empowerment issue as a simplistic
electioneering gimmick.This is a matter of life and death.We blundered big
time with the emotionally-charged, violent and chaotic so-called land reform
program.A repeat exercise is not an option.Once bitten twice