April 3, 2006
By From Reuters
Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had dismissed an uproar over a
draft law that could result in the state taking control of foreign-owned
mines, saying the proposal was still being debated, state media reported at
Last month the department of mines said the cabinet had approved amendments
to the mining law "to indigenise 51 percent in some instances of all
foreign-owned companies", stoking fears that Zimbabwe could become even less
attractive to foreign investors.
Zimbabwe is battling a six-year recession. Mining has emerged as the top
foreign currency earner after the collapse of the agriculture sector.
Mugabe, in his first public comments on the issue, told a meeting of his
ruling Zanu-PF party's central committee on Friday that the government had
yet to set a policy because discussions on the mining laws were still at an
"There is no policy in place just yet and the present furore is needless,"
Mugabe was quoted as saying.
"This is a paper that is at a very early stage of discussion in government."
The mines ministry in a statement to the Chamber of Mines said that the
amended law would give the government 51 percent in "energy minerals mining
companies", including 25 percent on a "non-contributory basis", on
Industry officials say that "non-contributory basis" means the government
would acquire shares without paying for them.
The proposals have rattled an industry hit hard by erratic electricity cuts
and mine closures in the last five years as operating costs have spiralled.
Last month a senior official from the world's second-largest platinum
producer, Impala Platinum (Implats), met Mugabe to discuss the proposals.
Zimbabwe, with the largest platinum deposits after South Africa, is the main
area for Implats's future growth.
Mugabe said the country's resources belonged to locals who had the sole
right to determine the level of foreign investment.
"There must be recognition that our minerals are a depleting and
non-renewable resource, which we have allowed in the past to be wholly owned
and exploited by foreign-owned companies for well over a century," Mugabe
"This will not be allowed in future."
Implats has interests in Zimbabwe, along with the world's biggest platinum
producer, Anglo Platinum, and mining giant Rio Tinto.
April 03 2006 at 01:46AM
Harare - More than a dozen journalists from China and Indonesia
arrived in Harare on Sunday for a tour of some of Zimbabwe's key resorts, as
part of a government bid to spruce up the country's image abroad, state
Zimbabwe, which has seen tourist arrivals plummet during the past six
years, has embarked on an "image-building perception management programme",
the report said.
The radio said nine journalists from China and seven from Indonesia
had arrived in the country for a week-long tour of the country's premier
tourist resorts, including the renowned Victoria Falls.
Last week, a seven-member team of Malaysian journalists arrived for a
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says earnings from tourism
dropped by 49 percent in 2005, to $98-million from $198-million in 2004.
The tourism body blames the trend on economic problems such as triple
digit inflation, chronic fuel shortages and the "bad publicity" Zimbabwe
receives from Western media.
Zimbabwe used to be a popular destination for backpackers as well as
high-paying tourists who stayed in luxury hotels.
Critics say President Robert Mugabe's programme of white-land seizures
has scared away many would-be visitors. Political tensions and shortages of
essentials like fuel may also have deterred others. - Sapa-dpa
April 3, 2006
London - The extent of the wildlife slaughter that has made millions
for the family of Chelsy Davy, girlfriend of Britain's Prince Harry, has
been exposed by The Mail on Sunday.
The probe laid bare claims of racism and bribery at the heart of
Charles Davy's business empire.
With his daughter being spoken of as a potential royal bride,
multi-millionaire Davy has tried to distance himself from the brutal safaris
in Zimbabwe where big game are routinely killed for pleasure.
Undercover investigator Caroline Graham joined a safari run by the
firm that Davy built up.
She found hunters were charged less than £400 (R4 400) to shoot
animals and were even given the option to try to kill them with a bow and
arrow, causing a slow, agonising death.
Black workers were referred to as *****rs, "disgusting" and "HIV
positive", and were forced to drink dirty river water.
There was also staff gossip about Chelsy smoking dagga and being a
"problem child" who ran with a "wild crowd".
Graham found that huge profits made by the company were mostly
channelled to the US and only a fraction ever entered Zimbabwe.
Monday, April 03 2006 @ 12:06 AM BST
Contributed by: correspondent
The ruling Zanu PF is budgeting a massive $200 billion to
celebrate it's 43th anniversary which have been scheduled by the youth wing
and war veterans for August in Harare amid reports ex-Zapu members are
vehemently opposed to the idea, Zimdaily heard yesterday. The planned
extravagant bash is set to be thrown amid acute shortages of basic food
stuffs and grinding poverty across the country.
Zanu PF was formed at former Defence minister Enos Nkala's house
in Highfield in August 1963. Zimdaily heard that the celebrations this year
were meant to coincide with the Heroes Day commemorations.
It is however understood the plan has stirred controversy and
divisions in the party between the old Zanu PF and ex-PF Zapu members.
Zimdaily was told that ex-Zapu members, in the party's central committee
feel that the anniversary celebrations would render redundant the 1987 Unity
Accord which brought the two parties together.
Other senior members who were against the idea included
vice-president Joseph Msika, ex-Home Affairs minister, Dumiso Dabengwa,
deputy national commissar, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Thenjiwe Lesabe. Zimdaily
heard that the ex-Zapu members have slammed the proposal saying the
celebrations would isolate them as they didn't share " the 1963 outlook", a
reference to the schism that took place that year when a group led by
Ndabaningi Sithole, Herbert Chitepo, Enos Nkala and Mugabe broke away from
"It is just a dangerous and crazy idea and we feel it doesn't
work," said a senior politburo member. "We are opposing this celebration,
coming as it does amid grinding poverty." Zanu PF Secretary for Information
and Publicity Nathan Shamuyarira told Zimdaily "The December conference will
obviously take place but I don't know about these celebrations which you are
talking about." Sources said the idea of celebrations was mooted in Mutare
after the 21st February Movement celebrations, during which the party
invited regional youths to celebrate Mugabe's birthday.
War veteran Joseph Chinotimba, deputy secretary for youth
affairs, Saviour Kaukuwere and national political commissar Eliot Manyika,
were among the proponents of the idea. Reached for comment Chinotimba
confirmed that he was behind the idea and scoffed at its detractors. He said
there was nothing wrong because PF Zapu was no longer there.
Monday, April 03 2006 @ 12:06 AM BST
Contributed by: correspondent
THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) will soon present a new
inflation model to the government, amid fears that the model used by the
Central Statistical Office (CSO) is underestimating the country's
year-on-year rate of inflation, expected to peak 1 000 percent before mid
year. The UZ model, which is being developed by the university's statistical
department, is expected to be released this moth and then presented to the
government for consideration.
A UZ statistics lecturer, who declined to be named for
professional reasons told Zimdaily: "We are currently working on a new
inflation model which is going to help in coming up with the most accurate
measure of inflation in country." The CSO's model gives less weight to food
items, which analysts however say are now making up the bulk of consumer
purchases. Weights reflect the allocation of income on expenditure by
different economic consumers in the country. The CSO assumes Zimbabweans
spend 33.6 percent of their income on food and the remaining 66.4 percent on
non-food items. These include recreation, entertainment, fuel and footwear,
among other commodities.
But the lecturer said most local consumers were now spending up
to 90 percent of their income on food. Food prices have soared in the past
year because of shortages resulting from a decline in agricultural and
manufacturing output as well as government-imposed price controls.
The shortages have spawned a thriving black market where prices
are out of the reach of most low-income earners. The UZ statistics lecturer
said if the weights on Zimbabwe's inflation model were rearranged to reflect
the higher percentage of income spent on food, year-on-year inflation could
shoot up to 1 800 percent. Annualised inflation rose to 782 percent in
February. Economists say Zimbabwe's high inflation rate is largely driven by
changes in the prices of food items rather than furniture prices and other
But they said the real climb in annualised inflation was not
being reflected by an inflation model that was designed years before
thecountry's economy sank into recession. "Inflation measures the general
increase in the price level and the weights are very crucial in coming up
with the level of inflation appropriate to a particular economy," said Brian
Muchemwa, an economist at the UZ. The lecturer added: "The inflation model
used by CSO is misleading the public; there is need to rework the weights
used in calculating year-on-year inflation to come up with the actual
He said the CSO's inflation model was appropriate for a
developed country where most of the public's income was used for
recreational expenditure rather than food. But the economic crisis in
Zimbabwe has forced some people to use up to 100 percent of their income on
basic foodstuffs, whose prices are eroding their purchasing power.
Economists said salary and wage increases were also contributing to the
sharp increase in prices through demand-push factors. The government has
indicated that it wants to cut inflation to two digit figures by the end of
the year, a target that analysts say is unrealistic.
Monday, April 03 2006 @ 12:05 AM BST
Contributed by: correspondent
A Zimbabwe human rights group said on Friday there has been a
sharp increase in rights violations over the the past two months, recording
statements from a massive 1 070 victims. The group said most of the
violations took place during protests by students and civic groups during
the first two months of the year.
A police spokesman dismissed the report as a "lie", saying
political violence had been on a sharp decline since the March legislative
poll. "It is with regret that the Forum notes that in all these
demonstrations, the police assaulted some of the demonstrations. "The forum
also highlights the case of a member of the public who was severely
assaulted by members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) for allegedly
stealing from a firm belonging to the wife of an army General.
"The forum deplores such abuse of power as a means of settling
personal vendettas by people who appear to consider themselves above the
law," the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said in its latest report. The
forum said the violoations so far this year had surpassed the number of
violations last year. "There is need for a concerted effort by the
government and the police to put an end to it. More so for as long as state
agents are perpetrators themselves," the association of 17 local human
rights groups added.
It cited among its sources, reports from individual member
organisations, newspaper stories and statements from the mainly-white
Commercial Farmers Union whose members' farms Mugabe has been forcibly
acquiring. Four people have been killed in the persavise violence that has
characterised the country. The report says there were 39 cases of assault,
417 cases of violation of freedom of expression and association, 15 cases of
political discrimination or victimization and 320 cases of unlawful arrest
The Forum said more than 5 000 human rights violations including
four murders were recorded last year. Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said
the number of deaths given in the rights groups report was false. "They are
lying. They are including in that figure people killed in non-political
violence. The number of politically related deaths has gone down a lot since
the elections," Bvudzijena told Zimdaily, without giving figures. The US
government last month said it was concerned about what it called continuing
political violence and human rights abuses against opposition supporters.
The US followed by the EU slapped sanctions on Mugabe and his
close associates and, along with Zimbabwe's opposition, the Commonwealth and
the United States, denounced the veteran African leader's claim of victory
as fraudulent. Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party insists the March parliamentary
election was free and fair. But opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has filed a petition challenging the
Zanu PF victory, saying there was "shocking evidence" of electoral fraud.
The MDC says more than 120 of its supporters have been killed in
state-sponsored unrest in the last five years. Government is in the process
of setting up its own Human Rights Commission, in a way a tacit admission of
the culture of human rights violations in the country
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
issue date :2006-Apr-03
THE anti-senate camp in Harare yesterday vowed it would never allow Arthur
Mutambara's faction to hold rallies in the capital using the opposition
Addressing a rally in Mufakose, the camp's Harare provincial chairperson
Morgan Femai declared that the "rebels" had automatically expelled
themselves from the party by going against MDC resolutions, and urged his
party supporters not to entertain their rivals anywhere in the capital.
He also said their faction would never seek recourse in the courts to retain
sole use of the party name come what may.
"When the MDC was formed in 1999, its mandate was to remove Zanu PF from
power, but we now have other people who claim to be MDC. We first have to
deal with such people before we tackle Zanu PF.
"You should not allow them to put posters in Harare using the MDC name. Our
dispute with them will not end until they stop using our name," said Femai.
He added: "We will never go to court over the issue of the party's name.
Let me warn members of the pro-Senate camp again that we will never go to
court. Among us, we know the real MDC - the one led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
"They (pro-Senate camp) are there to disturb us, but before we remove Zanu
PF tinotanga tavagobora. (we will stamp them out)."
Femai alleged the pro-Senate camp "hired" Mutambara from South Africa to
cause commotion within the opposition.
Kambuzuma legislator Willas Madzimure also took a swipe at the Mutambara
"They claim that Tsvangirai has failed, but they hired their leader from
South Africa, a man who does not even know the cost of a loaf of bread. They
hired him as if he is a football coach," Madzimure said.
Mufakose legislator Paurina Mpariwa echoed similar sentiments, pouring
vitriol on the pro-Senate camp.
Slogans denoucing the pro-Senate camp leadership comprising Welshman Ncube,
Gift Chimanikire, Priscilla Misihairabwi- Mushonga and Job Sikhala,
dominated the rally attended by party supporters from Glen View, Budiriro,
Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Kambuzuma, among other Harare consitutencies.
Apart from the party name issue, the rival factions are also fighting for
control of MDC properties.
Last week a group of 10 people suspected to be from the Tsvangirai faction
pounced on an official from the other camp and hijacked a party vehicle. The
matter was reported to the police, but so far, nobody has been arrested.
Ncube, the pro-Senate secretary-general, deplored violence after the
hijacking incident saying that was the very reason his camp was now divorced
He said the former trade unionist had a propensity to resort to violence to
resolve disputes, a ploy that contradicted democratic principles.
Ncube said the dispute between the two camps should be resolved through
peaceful negotiations or in the courts.
Meanwhile, the anti-Senate faction said yesterday's rally in Mufakose was a
follow-up to resolutions made at its congress last month; chiefly democratic
The camp agitated for "democratic resistance" against the government with
Madzimure noting the electoral route had failed to bring desired results
claiming the process was flawed.
"One of the resolutions passed at our congress was that of democratic
resistance," he said.
"For the past years we have been participating in elections, but there were
all rigged. Democratic resistance must start with boycotting paying rates
for garbage collection as the municipality is not collecting garbage yet
they (the commission running Harare) continue to charge us garbage
On President Robert Mugabe's warning to Tsvangirai's call for mass protests
to topple the Zanu PF government, Madzimure said the Head of State's
statement was a threat meant to scare genuine MDC members.
Paul Madzore, the legislator for Glen View, and Femai openly declared their
support for Tsvangirai's call for "democratic resistance".
"I will be right behind Tsvangirai (during the demonstrations)," Femai said.
Addressing mourners at the burial of his former body guard, Senior Assistant
Commissioner Winston Changara at the National Heroes Acre on Friday,
President Mugabe said Tsvaingirai's calls were tantamount to digging his own
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Apr-03
THE Harare City Council has hiked maternity fees at its clinics by more than
100 percent, in apparent defiance of a government order temporarily barring
private doctors, clinics and hospitals from effecting fee increases in the
The increase, effective this month, is the third since November last year.
In a survey conducted by The Daily Mirror, most clinics in the high-density
suburbs were charging between $5 million to $7 million in booked maternity
fees up from $3 million in January this year.
Expectant mothers who would not have paid booking fees in advance would be
expected to pay $7 million in addition to a fine.
Reached for comment yesterday, City of Harare spokesperson Madenyika
Magwenjere, said he wanted written questions first before he could respond.
But he explained that Harare was the only local authority in the country
offering affordable antenatal treatment at its clinics.
"You have to fax your questions to me or bring them in person here (Town
House) so that I can check whether the fees have been hiked, but the City
Council is the only authority whose clinics are cheaper and affordable than
other authorities," Magwenjere said.
Late last year, the city's finance and development committee recommended
that maternity fees be increased to match those charged by other local
The council's finance committee attributed the increase to various factors,
but mainly to inflation, which was then pegged at 375 percent.
"Various factors inclusive of the devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar since
January last year, low interest rates and foreign currency shortages have
contributed to the decline in service delivery," the fiscal committee said.
Many people have expressed concern over the new maternity charges saying
they were prohibitive considering the high cost of living and
An Epworth woman said it would be difficult for many mothers-to-be to raise
the new fees since they equalled their salaries if not more.
"It will be difficult for some of us to pay the maternity fees. We have many
responsibilities yet the salary is little. We need to pay rent and school
fees, we also need to buy other basics like food and clothes," she lamented.
While another woman in the capital said the rise in maternity fees would
leave many expectant mothers with little option but force them to consult
local (traditional) midwives.
"It seems many expectant mothers will consult midwives for help rather than
going to clinics. The price of food, rent and other basics skyrocketing
daily," she said.
Maternity fees shot to $1,2 million up from $600 000 with effect from
November 1 last year before they were hiked to $3 million in January this
Clinic fees for adults and children have also risen with most health centres
charging between $400 000 and $500 000 for adults up from $50 000.
Between November last year and January this year, adult fees were pegged at
$200 000 while those for children have risen to between $150 000 and $200
000 up from $20 000 last year.
The council move comes against the backdrop of a State directive invoked
under the Medical Services Act of 1998 freezing all fee increases pending an
inquiry into the operations of private health practitioners, clinics and
The government made the decision widely expected to receive thumps up from
the generality of people following a meeting it held with representatives of
the Zimbabwe Medical Association (standing for doctors), Private Hospital
Association of Zimbabwe and the Association for Healthcare Funders (formerly
National Association of Medical Aids Societies - Namas).
Private health care provides had initially indicated their intention to
increase fees by 420 percent effective April 1 this year, but this
subsequently dropped to between 76 and 96 percent following talks with
medical aid societies.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
issue date :2006-Apr-03
FARMERS in Marondera district, Mashonaland East Province, owe Zesa Holdings
in excess of $15 billon in unpaid electricity bills accrued over the last
This came to light during an agriculture stakeholders, meeting held in
Marondera last week to chart the way forward with respect to this year's
winter wheat programme.
Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC) sales manager Marondera
District, Patrick Mashingaidze, made the revelation while addressing the
meeting held in Marondera last week.
He told The Business Mirror that ZEDC has since embarked on a drive to
recover money owed to the company pointing
out that in some instances they have resorted to disconnecting supplies to
compel farmers to pay.
"We will be following up on the farmers who are in arrears. We will also
disconnect supplies to farmers who have exceeded 60 days. In fact, in some
instances we have already started disconnecting power supplies," said
Farmers owe the power utility at total of $15 397 103 527 12 as of March
Of the debt, $3 billion is for the current month, $4 billion is for last
month, $2,9 billion for the last 2 months, $1,8 billion for three months
ago, while $2,7 billion has not been paid over the past four months.
Farmers in the area have not paid up despite the fact that they receive
loans from Agribank to cover such input costs as labour and power.
This also comes at a time the power utility is battling to mobilise
resources to raise its generating capacity as well as import some power from
neighbouring countries in the region.
Mashingaidze indicated that the country has a national power deficit of 40
percent of national requirements.
In light of that he warned that the power utility would resort to load
shedding during the winter period to avert possible national black outs.
"There is no way we (Zesa) can avoid that (load shedding) because of
shortage of power in the country.
"We have a 40 percent shortage to national power requirements and that
shortfall is difficult to fill up without establishment of more generating
"The revenue we get from selling electricity to local consumers is also not
enough for us to import the 40 percent shortfall," said Mashingaidze.
As such, he pointed out that farmers should make full use of power during
off peak periods during which there is high certainty there would not be any
planned power cuts.
During winter, he said, Zesa would cut supplies between 6 and 10 in the
morning and 6 to 10 in the evening.
Farmers use electricity to power electric motors to pump water from
reservoirs when irrigating their crops, particularly during the winter
It also emerged at the meeting that farmers could face unplanned power
supply interruptions because of vandalism on Zesa infrastructure.
In Marondera district Zesa has lost a total of 288 transformers, while
others have had oil drained. The power utility's conductors in the area have
also not been spared the wrath of vandals.
Under such circumstances, Zesa said farmers should report vandals to
authorities as failure to do so would only be a major drawback on their
activities and business, as that infrastructure needs to be imported at a
time Zesa is having problems securing hard currency.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Apr-03
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is implementing a mechanism to review
the prohibitive prices charged by retail outlets in resort areas and by
vendors of artifacts.
This was revealed by ZTA chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke, at a debrief
meeting of members of the Malaysian media who had been on a tour of the
"Let us be realistic about our pricing system. Shopping at our airport is
more expensive than doing so in town. No country that is serious about
tourism can do that. It is an illusion that just because the Victoria Falls
is a world wonder, prices should be expensive," he said.
"We are working on the issue of pricing as part of our marketing plan. It
will be ready by the first half of the year."
His comment was in response to concerns raised by the visiting media over
exorbitant prices charged by those who sold artifacts in resort towns.
The head of the Malaysian media delegation, Ravin Ravichandran, said prices
of artifacts were prohibitive.
"When the team was in Victoria Falls, the pricing of stamps was not
reasonable. They were going for US$2 but in our country our stamps are only
20 US cents. A painting was going for US$20. This was shocking," he said
Ravichandran added that although these seemed like trivial issues, this is
what made the difference in attracting tourists to the country.
He, however, commended the ZTA for exposing them to the real situation in
Zimbabwe, which was in stark contrast to the negative perception created by
the international media.
" We read from the international media a lot of negative things about
Zimbabwe, about the country being on the brink of collapse. There is nothing
like that. These are negatives that deserve to be corrected," Ravichandran
He urged the ZTA to come up with aggressive strategies to fight this
negative portrayal with well-planned strategies, which include visits by ZTA
to Malaysia Tour Expos to market the country.
Zimbabwe has been suffering from negative reporting by the international
media since 2000, primarily because of the stance taken by the government to
redress the imbalance in land distribution perpetrated by the colonial
regime. ZTA will host another media delegation from China expected in the
We were pleased to have with us Adella Chiminya, whose husband, Tichaona,
was one of the first MDC victims of the Zanu-PF regime. He was Morgan
Tsvangirai's campaign manager and was burnt to death by Mugabe's people six
years ago while police stood by. His name features on the roll of honour
displayed at the front of the Vigil under the headline "Mugabe wanted for
murder". The people who have caused the devastation in Zimbabwe will not
escape justice. Adella was clearly cheered by the Vigil and has promised to
come again. Among newcomers to the Vigil was Jethro from Derby, who arrived
early in a rather depressed state and was elated by the time he left on his
long journey home.
The Vigil was enlivened by a group of exuberant supporters from Leicester
and the powerful singing and drumming drew in many passers- by. They
included two groups of young Londoners dressed in everything from ball gowns
to top hats. Shortly after they left the near perfect weather was suddenly
interrupted by a sharp downpour. Never has our tarpaulin been raised so
There was an under-delivery of the Zimbabwean this week and many were
disappointed not to be able to buy one. But everyone got a chance to look
at a copy. Talking of newspapers, the recent drought in stories about
Zimbabwe has been broken with a vengeance with a two- page spread in the
Sunday Times: "Desperate mothers throw away 20 babies a week as Zimbabwe
starves" - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2114280,00.html.
We doubt whether it will make much impact on the pointy-shoed Zimbabwean
ladies seen going in and out of the Embassy today with their expensive
FOR THE RECORD: 75 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY: Zimbabwe Forum, Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28
John Adam Street, London WC2 (cross the Strand from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go
down a passageway to John Adam Street, turn right and you will see the pub).
· Monday, 3rd April, 7.30 pm - Peter Tatchell will talk on how to
campaign effectively to put Zimbabwe on the UK agenda.
· Monday, 10th April, 7.30 pm - Action Planning - Discussion and
decisions on campaigns and demos.
The Vigil, 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 by the current regime 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