THE committee tasked to investigate a
swathe of ZANU PF companies has predictably stirred up discord within the
various camps in the faction-riddled party, which threatens to blow up former
alliances and blocs.
Impeccable inside sources yesterday said
what started off as a noble fight against deep-seated graft has taken an ugly
turn that might split the ruling party right through the middle.
According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the twisty
investigations have touched off a drama of political gamesmanship, intrigue,
hate, deception and possible blackmail. Fears of the probe-induced fissures
have been more than a whispered "concern" in the ruling ZANU PF's corridors
While the high-powered probe team painted a
rosier-than-real picture of the reception of its findings by the ZANU PF
supreme decision-making Politburo, which were expected to be discussed on
Wednesday last week, all was not well, they said.
They said the
five-member committee's findings suffered a serious crisis of confidence
after former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who is seen as a possible
successor to President Robert Mugabe, reportedly clashed with the other
members over the presentation of the final report. The unassuming Makoni was
also "not happy" with an unspecified part of the findings which he felt was
The unpredictable politician, who became one of
Zimbabwe's youngest ministers in 1981 when he landed the top post at the then
Ministry of Industry and Energy Development, not only protested against the
actions of his colleagues, the sources said, but went further and produced
his own report.
They said Makoni, known to speak his mind
regardless of the popular view, produced his own report that seemed to
contradict certain aspects captured in the main report. This added a new
twist to the rocky investigations.
Makoni's stance seemed to
give credence to earlier sentiments by retired army general and ZANU PF
kingmaker, Solomon Mujuru, who is also part of the committee.
Mujuru, widely seen as the conscience of ZANU PF politics, is understood to
have raised suspicion that the former finance chief, who offered to resign
from President Mugabe's Cabinet in August 2002 following differences between
him and other Cabinet members over economic reforms, had sided with senior
ruling party officials implicated in allegations of corruption. The
investigations were over four months.
The split in opinions adds a
fresh dimension to the succession struggle within ZANU PF where the
investigations were seen as an extension of the war of attrition against
President Mugabe's possible successors.
Sources said, as predicted,
the main report implicated the Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
immediate past finance chief for the party, in 31 cases. The nature of the
cases against Mnangagwa, seen as the quiet man of ZANU PF politics, could
not, however, immediately be ascertained. Mnangagwa twice appeared before the
committee to explain his role in ZANU PF's octopus like
Mnangagwa, the current ZANU PF secretary for
administration was, up until his political fortunes started to falter for as
yet unexplained reasons, considered as President Mugabe's heir apparent
although he has denied any interest in the high-pressure job at State
While the report on the investigations was presented before
the Politburo on Wednesday last week, it could not be tackled as the
Politburo discussion is understood to have centred on the behaviour of
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. The minister is accused of attacking
senior party members in the public media.
Contacted this week
for comment, Makoni referred all inquiries to David Karimanzira, the chairman
of the investigating committee who doubles up as the ZANU PF secretary for
finance. The Mashonaland East Provincial Governor professed ignorance on the
Makoni issue, but confirmed that the findings were handed over to the
Politburo. He also declined to shed light on the contents of the
"I cannot comment on the report now because it is now in
the hands of the Politburo. It is now up to the Politburo to disclose our
findings," said Karimanzira.
In March this year, the Politburo
took the decision to investigate the goings on in ZANU PF companies, namely M
& S Syndicate, Zidco Holdings, Treger Holdings, Catercraft, Ottawa,
Zidlee Enterprises, First Banking Corporation and Southern Africa
A committee comprising Karimanzira, Mujuru, Obert
Mpofu (Matabeleland North Governor) and Thoko Mathuthu (ZANU PF deputy
secretary for transport and welfare) was set up to investigate the
As the probe gained momentum, three directors of ZANU PF
companies - Jayant Joshi, his brother Manharlal and Dipak Pandya - fled the
country and sought refuge in the United Kingdom. Attempts to extradite the
directors have hit a brick wall.
THE decline in the rate of inflation has
continued, with the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) being recorded at
362.9 percent in July, down a further 31.7 percentage points from the June
rate of 394.6 percent.
Figures released by the Central Statistical
Office (CSO) show that increases in food prices accounted for 142.8
percentage points, while non-food items weighed in with 220.1 percentage
The month-on-month inflation rate, which has been ticking
up since April virtually stagnated and, at 9.5 percent, was a marginal 0.3
percentage points higher than the June rate.
rose by 3.2 percentage points between May and June.
increase has been attributed to increases in the prices of beverages,
cereals, and meat as well as communication tariffs.
inflation stood at 17 percent in July 2003 and has almost halved this year, a
situation reflected in the annualised inflation rate. - Staff
ZANU PF, which is four seats shy of the two-thirds majority needed to effect
constitutional reforms, is considering plans to split Parliament into two
legislative chambers and increase the number of elected legislators to
Highly places sources told The Financial Gazette this week
that ZANU PF stalwarts executing the task were confident of capitalising on
the well of disenchantment within the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to secure endorsements from at least four opposition party
They said the ruling party, under whose stewardship
the once-robust economy has collapsed into a recessionary heap, is tinkering
with a proposal to introduce a bicameral parliament that would have 150
elected legislators, up from the current 120, and 60 members of the
A bicameral parliamentary system provides for two
parliamentary chambers. Although it prevents the enactment of ill-considered
laws by providing checks and balances, critics argue that it makes political
reforms more difficult to achieve and increases the risk of deadlock,
particularly in cases where both chambers have similar powers.
Fifty seats would be reserved for women to be brought to parliament through
proportional representation from all the country's 10
Of the proposed 60 senators, 40 would also
be brought to the House through proportional representation per province.
President Robert Mugabe would have the prerogative to appoint 10 governors
and 10 traditional chiefs for the senate, bringing the total number of
senators to 60.
The same sources said a draft of the proposals had
been passed to the executive for perusal and would, in the next two weeks, be
presented to Parliament.
"There are only two people with the
draft, but the ruling ZANU PF party will need the support of the MDC in
parliament to effect the constitutional changes," said a source privy to the
The ruling party needs a two-thirds majority in
parliament to further alter the constitution, a practice the ruling party
used to carry out without any difficulty before 2000, when the MDC almost
stole victory in the parliamentary polls.
leader of the House and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
was not available for comment.
However, MDC officials and some
parliamentarians who spoke to this newspaper this week said they were aware
of the proposed overhaul of parliament, but said nothing official had been
communicated to the main opposition.
David Coltart, the MDC's
secretary for legal affairs, said his party had heard of the proposed Bill
through unofficial sources. Coltart said the party welcomed the empowerment
of women through the proposed 50 special seats but was not impressed by
attempts at piecemeal constitutional reform by the ruling party.
"We have heard of the proposals but our position is that they are
not acceptable as they are piecemeal," said Coltart. "Our position
remains unchanged as we believe the country needs a comprehensive
constitutional reform, which must be done in conjunction with all
stakeholders, including the civic society. If we (parliamentarians) are to
overhaul parliament without amending the constitution and consulting all the
stakeholders, the constitutional amendments will not enjoy the support of the
people," said Coltart, who is the MDC legislator for Bulawayo
The sources said the proposed introduction of a bicameral
parliament in Zimbabwe tallied with the findings of both the
government-appointed Constitutional Commission headed by Godfrey Chidyausiku
and the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) led by University of Zimbabwe
constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku.
The drafts produced by
both bodies advocated for the establishment of a bicameral parliament but
differed on the election process of members.
Coltart added: "As the
MDC, we want and we are for constitutional reform but this process has to be
an all-embracing affair. The issues of the Presidency, the devolution of
power to the provinces and other issues that we have mentioned before need to
be tackled as well if we are to entertain any ideas of constitutional reform.
I repeat, the proposals being suggested are not acceptable and cannot enjoy
the support of the MDC in parliament."
Madhuku, whose NCA has, for
the past four years, been lobbying for constitutional reform, said the
proposals were worthless as long as they were not people-driven.
"The proposed constitutional reforms have no value as long as they come from
ZANU PF alone. The proposals should come from the hearts of the people of
Zimbabwe and not one party. It is the process of bringing
them (constitutional changes) about that matters. We, as Zimbabweans, want a
real and comprehensive constitutional reform. This is unacceptable,"
Madhuku added that he doubted the MDC MPs would
rally behind their ZANU PF colleagues when the proposed Bill is brought
ONLY 15 out of the
226 chiefs in Zimbabwe have taken delivery of the vehicles offered by the
government in May this year, The Financial Gazette can reveal.
Most of the chiefs are still to access the controversial car loan scheme,
seen as a ZANU PF campaign tool because the allowances they receive from the
government are too low to meet the expected monthly repayments.
Chiefs are paid non-taxable monthly allowances of $1 million each, which can
hardly cover the repayments.
A brand new Mazda B2500 long wheel
base currently costs about $92 million, while a Mazda double-cab is going for
as much as $164 million.
"To date, 15 Mazda vehicles have been made
available to the chiefs," said Fortune Charumbira, the secretary-general of
the Council of Chiefs.
President Robert Mugabe, whose ruling ZANU
PF has kept a strong grip on rural areas, promised to give the traditional
leaders Mazda B1800 trucks in May this year. President Mugabe, 80, has
described chiefs as paragons of virtue.
The offer caused
disgruntlement within the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which alleged vote-buying ahead of next year's parliamentary
The MDC warned traditional leaders that they risked
alienating themselves from the people if they aligned themselves with
Nations (UN) secretary general, Kofi Annan is expected in Harare before the
end of the year to gauge the political temperature amid revelations the world
policing body is on the verge of toughening its stance against Harare, which
stands accused of gross human rights abuses.
sources said September had been pencilled as the tentative month for Annan's
visit but the actual details hinged on a fresh report on the country's
political climate being prepared at the UN headquarters.
sources said the UN, whose powerful members, notably the United States and
Britain are itching to severely punish Harare for alleged human rights
abuses, wanted to "hear it from the horse's mouth (the
The UN has twice stifled attempts by
London and Washington to have severe sanctions imposed on
"His (Annan) next visit to Southern Africa is to
"His top envoy has been there, so everything will then
follow," said a diplomatic source yesterday, adding that the UN chief would
meet all major stakeholders, among them President Robert Mugabe, the
opposition and even the displaced white commercial farmers.
scheduled visit by the UN secretary general comes on the back of a secret
sojourn a week ago by one of his top special envoys who quietly jetted into
the country on what diplomatic sources said was a "spying" mission on
They said Tuliameni Kalomoh, the UN assistant
secretary-general (political affairs), who left Harare last Saturday after a
six-day secret mission, had come into the country to assess the country's
volatile political climate on behalf of his boss. Diplomatic sources said
this week the visit by Annan was a result of the findings of his special
envoy Kalomoh, who came into the country as a guest of the Centre for
Peace Initiatives in Africa.
Both the UN and Zimbabwe's Foreign
Affairs Ministry were tight-lipped on Annan's diplomatic mission to
Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs spokesperson said the government
had not received a request from any of the UN agencies in the
But the diplomatic sources were adamant Annan would visit
the country, which has emerged as southern Africa's problem child for nearly
five years now.
Manyika files papers to defend Zengeza murder
8/13/2004 7:18:25 AM (GMT +2)
Manyika, the former Youth Development Minister, has filed an appearance to
defend himself in the High Court against allegations that he shot dead a
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist and injured another during the
Zengeza by-election held in March this year.
Through his lawyers MV
Chizodza-Chineunye, Manyika, now a Minister Without Portfolio in the
President's Office, responded to the claims amounting to $135 million in
connection with the death of 22-year-old Francis Chinozvina and severe
injuries to Arthur Gunzvezve, both MDC supporters.
hereby enters an appearance to defend this action. The defendant's address
for service is c/o the legal practitioners of record."
Manyika's representatives had not furnished the plaintiffs' lawyers
Magwaliba, Matutu and Kwirira Legal Practitioners with details of their
client's plea, the latter replied: "We acknowledge receiving your notice of
appearance to defend on July 30 2004.
"We kindly request that you
provide us with the details of your client 's plea or answer to the
plaintiff's claim within the period specified in the rules, failing which we
may be constrained to file and serve a notice of intention to bar."
NEWS that platinum
minerals developer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) is undaunted by the empowerment
rhetoric emanating from the corridors of power illustrates a commonly held
but scarcely voiced assurance that the government rarely goes beyond
A policy draft indicating the government's plans to compel
mining companies to localise their majority shareholding, which was leaked
and circulated to mining barons earlier this year barely caused any ripples
in the sector.
Industry players and market watchers alike had
seen the government failing to place a 15 percent empowerment stake in the
Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited
When the government finally did announce the candidate
for the long stalled placement, the action was nowhere near
In typical fashion, the government once again flip
flopped on the issue, blessing the unheralded Nkululeko Rusununguko Mining
Company's (NRMC) bid ahead of the Needgate Consortium which, apparently was
awaiting "regulatory approvals" having been designated as the preferred
investor in the lucrative white metal company.
Indeed, as far
back as September 2003, Zimplats had announced that it had finally found an
empowerment partner in Needgate.
Controversy has replaced months of
uncertainty, amid allegations of back stabbing, flagrant disregard of
confidentiality and non-circumvention agreements signed between some of the
The development has also made a mockery of the intricate
funding structure that had been put in place by Absa Corporate and Merchant
Bank of South Africa.
The funding structure, which would see the
South African bank injecting US$31 million into the project, would also
entail the registration of a special purpose vehicle in the Isle of Man to
warehouse the 15 percent Zimplats stake.
Needgate and its
Grassroots partners would take up 90 percent of the IsleCo, with Absa taking
up 10 percent.
Government sources said exchange control approval
for the deal was guaranteed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and government
officials who met Zimplats, Absa and Grassroots officials late last year at a
In addition, Absa would hold a put option on the
Zimplats shares acquired by the consortium, which would give the bank the
right, but no obligation, to put the shares to Impala Holdings Limited,
ultimate shareholder in Zimplats, for any outstanding funds owed to
As the controversy surrounding how NMRC pulled the rug from
under Needgate continues to unfold, the government's ability to superintend
the transfer of significant interests in the mining industry from
foreign, multinational investors to local empowerment consortia has been put
However, NMRC has reported progress as it moves
towards taking its position among Zimplats investors, since the government's
announcement late last month.
Priscilla Mupfumira, who chairs
the NMRC board, revealed this week that her consortium finally met with
Zimplats officials, led by chief executive officer Mike Houston and further
meetings have been scheduled.
Mupfumira also indicated that NMRC's
legal and financial advisors were working frantically to sew up a financial
The consortium is reported to be courting another South
African bank, Stanbic, in its capital-raising project.
taken no less than four years to find Zimplats' empowerment partner, during
which time the government's preferred investor, the state-run National
Investment Trust (NIT), failed to raise the requisite funds to take up the
Angloplats has set aside a 20 percent shareholding in
the multi-billion-dollar Unki project for local participation, with 15
percent going to as yet unidentified investors and five percent being
earmarked for management, but the Zimplats experience does not inspire
confidence that the matter will be dealt with efficiently.
government signed a framework agreement with Zimplats in December 2000 as the
two parties hammered out a fiscal regime prior to the opening up of the
Ngezi/ Selous Metallurgical Complex project.
While Section 5.2 of
the agreement provides for the setting aside of 15 percent of Zimplats'
issued share capital for local participation, it also states that the
selected investors must be acceptable to Zimplats shareholders.
The company has insisted that: "The transaction should be transparent and
sustainable. We need to review and be satisfied with the terms and conditions
of any financing packages offered to the Zimbabwe consortium in our absolute
It does remain to be seen, however, if the latest
placement meets these basic requirements, particularly in the likely event
that the spurned suitors take up the cudgels to fight for what they, until
very recently, thought was theirs.
Mugabe and other defiant regional leaders who may fail to institute sweeping
electoral reforms could be hauled before a tribunal to whip them in line to
conform with regional electoral norms and standards.
key ally of Zimbabwe, made the surprise call for the establishment of the
tribunal to punish errant member states at a two-day Southern African
Development Community (SADC) conference on electoral reforms held in the
resort town of Victoria Falls a fortnight ago.
leader, who has ruled the country since independence in 1980, is under
pressure to level the electoral playing field, which favours his ruling ZANU
PF, before crucial parliamentary elections, slated for March next
Faced with a chorus of disapproval against the current
electoral laws, Zimbabwe has proposed a number of amendments that seem to
have done very little to appease SADC parliamentarians, opposition political
parties and civic groupings.
Some of the proposed changes
include the setting up of an independent electoral commission, whose key
members are appointed by President Mugabe.
"Let me be controversial
here. There must be an enforcement mechanism to make sure that member states
adhere to SADC norms and standards," said Namibia's Electoral Commissioner,
Shafimana Uietele. "SADC has to adopt a tribunal that will look into any
given member of SADC that would have flouted the norms and standards and
bring it to book. The call for adherence to the SADC norms and standards
should no longer be just lip service, but translated into
The latest development comes in the wake of a damning
report on the Zimbabwe government's human rights abuses by the African
Union's Commission on Human and People's Rights circulated in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, as well as a chorus of bitter voices from opposition political
parties and civic groups over the country's flawed electoral laws. It also
comes ahead of the SADC summit, which kicked off in Mauritius on
Critics argued at the meeting that as long as there was
widespread and systematic bullying, intimidation, violence and torture to
suppress democratic activities, free and fair elections would be impossible
SADC parliamentarians also heard that the
government had promulgated repressive laws such as the draconian Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA) to stifle dissenting voices and deny people their
constitutional right to freedom of expression and association.
AIPPA and POSA, the delegates were told, were being enforced selectively,
making it difficult if not impossible for opposition political parties to
interact with their supporters, while the ruling ZANU PF could hold rallies
Legislators from the country's main opposition
party - the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - said the proposed
appointment by the President of members of the electoral body and the
reluctance by the government to amend offensive provisions of AIPPA and POSA
made the electoral reforms a futile exercise.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the MDC legislator for Glen Norah, said: "The
electoral body has to be totally independent. It must be done through public
invitation for nominations. The names should then be submitted to parliament
for scrutiny and then approved by the President. No one in public office or a
political animal should be allowed to sit in that body."
sentiments were shared by South African Judge Johann Kriegler, a former
justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and ex-chairperson of the
Independent Electoral Commission of that country.
"Electoral reform is not a matter of changing laws, but a change in attitude.
Without a change of heart, reforms will remain meaningless. A change of the
laws without a change of the mind is deception. Elections are about
credibility, truth, integrity and transparency."
also noted that the levels of tolerance of contesting views were still low in
the region as well as the empowerment of women to participate in
decision-making processes in government.
recommendations adopted by the SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly on
March 25 2001 in Windhoek, Namibia, a lot still remains to be done to improve
the political environment under which elections are conducted and ensure that
the existing legal and institutional frameworks work independently and
"There is still need to address issues relating to
levelling the playing field for all players contesting elections, inequality
in the funding of political parties, inadequate access to state-owned media
and election related violence," the report said.
VICTORIA FALLS -
Controvesial and clownish Minister of Industry and International Trade,
Samuel Mumbengegwi, last week clashed with industry leaders over Zimbabwe's
increased isolation from the international community.
by business leaders' belief that no country is an island and their call for
relations with the international community to be restored at all costs,
Mumbengegwi scornfully accused industry chiefs of having an "obscure notion
of what consist of the international community".
The captains of
industry who attended the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries congress said
they were taken aback by Mumbengegwi's tragi-comic posturing at a time when
the economy continues to lurch from one crisis to another. They said that it
was "unfortunate" that such utterances could come from someone who should, as
the head of the all-important Ministry of Industry and International Trade,
be the symbol of Zimbabwean economic pre-eminence.
who maintained that he had evaded European sanctions to travel to Brussels
and Geneva "at will" argued that Zimbabwe was still part of the international
community despite drying up of foreign direct investment into Zimbabwe (FDI)
and poor credit ratings.
Statistics indicate that FDI has declined
by 95 percent from US$98 million in 1995 to US$4.5 million in 2003. Portfolio
investment has also shrunk by 83 percent from US$64 million in 1995 to
US$10.8 million in 2003. Grants have also shrivelled by 78 percent from
US$167 million in 1995 to only US$36.1 million last year.
Matters came to a head when Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) chief
executive Mike Ndudzo said that Zimbabwe needed to restore its credibility in
the eyes of international financiers to meet its growth targets.
"Inflation target will have to be met by a very huge supply side response
from the productive sector. The target also requires a shift from speculative
economy, balance of payments (BOP) support, which is stable. We also need to
re-engage the international community," Ndudzo said.
"Where we owe
people money, let us not default. Let us re-engage and re-negotiate payment
agreements where we have debts to avoid credit ratings," Ndudzo
Mumbengegwi, who found himself at varying terms with business
leaders almost every time, took to the floor to rant and rave on how many
times he has travelled to Brussels and Geneva despite Zimbabwe's continued
"You refer to European Union (EU) and United States as
the international community. I am always in Brussels discussing trade
with Europeans," Mumbengegwi fumed.
He argued that the
Zimbabwean economy, despite the high inflation, biting foreign currency
shortages, over 70 percent unemployment rate, was doing well.
"Maybe what you are saying is 'let us go back to the conditionalities of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank', no, we are doing well
without those conditionalities. We are no longer subject to
adverse conditionalities," Mumbengegwi maintained.
exports have continued to decline and lag behind imports since 2001, when
Zimbabwe's isolation from the international community started.
Exports declined by 38.6 percent from US$2.2 billion in 2000 to
US$1.4 billion in 2003.
Notwithstanding this, Zimbabwe's import
bill has increased by 10 percent from US$1.9 billion in 2000 to US$2.1
billion in 2003.
Zimbabwe's trade deficit has shot up by 72 percent
from a negative US$218 million in 2001 to a negative US$768 million last
"They would first tie your eyes, gag your mouth, throw you
into a corner and run your economy. To that we say no. We are going to get
friendly finance from our new Asian friends," Mumbengegwi said. The look-east
policy has however not brought much for the country.
maintained that Zimbabwe was still a member of the IMF, whose team paid
Zimbabwe a normal assessment progress.
"Last year our President was
there together with Bush and Blair. We are a member of World Trade
Organisation (WTO). We were there in Cancun. If we disagreed with the EU, we
disagreed as equals," Mumbengegwi said.
Unmoved by the minister's
tirade, industry leaders maintained that Zimbabwe needs to re-engage its old
markets and correct the perception surrounding its situation.
"This was a matter of perceptions, now people know the truth. Let us go back
to our old partners. We must start serious negotiations for re-engagement,"
said one business leader.
"There is no economy without the support
of the international community. Zimbabwe is not an island. Let's re-engage
our friends, clearly engage them and spell out our economic strategy. It is
important to engage all our international partners, even the traditional
ones," said Shingi Munyeza, chief executive of Zimbabwe Sun
"Zimbabwe's main sources of foreign currency have been
exports, FDI, balance of payments support from international finance
institutions such as IMF and World Bank," said Christian Katsande, permanent
secretary in the Ministry of Industry and International Trade.
"In view of the siege under which the economy is, Zimbabwe has not been able
to tap into some of these sources, we have not, in the past few years,
received any meaningful FDI and BOP support that Zimbabwe used to receive,"
BULAWAYO - Botswana
was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it attained independence in
1966. Its per capita income was about P60 (US$80 at the time). Its gross
domestic product, or total output, was only P36.9 million.
Today, the country is one of the richest in the world, thanks to
the discovery of diamonds, which now account for 90 percent of its exports,
as well, of course, as sound economic management.
domestic product was estimated at US$13.9 billion last year with per capita
income at US$8 800, a staggering Z$49.3 million at the diaspora
The country can literally shut down everything and survive
for two years. Its foreign currency reserves stood at US$5.3 billion at the
end of December with import cover at 26 months.
Development Foundation (MDF), a non-government organisation established in
1988 shortly after the unity accord that brought together the ruling ZANU PF
and the then opposition PF-ZAPU, plans to have a similar transformation for
the dry, arid region of Matabeleland, which borders Botswana, and comprises
Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South.
organisation, which aims to be the engine driver for growth in the region,
intends to turn Matabeleland into "the most developed region in Zimbabwe as
measured by the standard of living, industrialisation and infrastructural
development by the year 2008".
It plans to attract investment of
not less than six large companies every year and to reduce unemployment in
the region by 50 percent every year.
This looks like an
impossible task for an organisation which has nothing to show for the 16
years it has been in existence. But Phineas Makhurane, former vice-chancellor
of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), who comes from
Gwanda in Matabelelend South, said while the region might not be able to
attain the goal of becoming the most developed region in the country by 2008,
what was important was that the people of the region had the heart to come up
with that goal.
"Life is a continuous story of shattered dreams,"
he told members of the MDF, who had come to Bulawayo from as far as Binga and
Beitbridge to attend the organisation's first annual general meeting in four
"What matters is that we must have dreams. We must have
hearts in which to put the dreams. And we must try never to say the dreams
cannot be achieved. We must have the passion, the conviction and the sense of
wanting to do something important and to make a difference."
Though the situation on the ground appeared hopeless for the region, the
spirit of self-reliance, hope and a re-awakening was evident throughout the
day-long meeting, with speaker after speaker echoing the
organisation's stated goal of self-reliance which is displayed on all the
organisation's documents in six local languages: Zenzele (Ndebele) Zushingile
(Tonga), Libelekele (Nambya), Zwitile (Kalanga), Dzietele (Venda), Diyele
A closer look at the region shows that though it falls
mainly in natural regions four and five, which experience frequent droughts,
it has vast natural resources which if fully exploited can catapult it to the
John Nkomo, one of the most senior government ministers from
the region, said the region was one of the richest in the country because it
had the largest game sanctuary in the country, Hwange National
It had the foremost tourist attraction not only in the
country but in the world, the Victoria Falls. It also had Matopos and Khami
Ruins. It had the largest coal mine in the country at Hwange as well as the
largest internal power generation plant, also at Hwange.
vast methane gas reserves, plenty of gold and timber, and could soon be
turned into a greenbelt with the commissioning of the Matabeleland Zambezi
Water Project (MZWP).
It hosted the country's busiest border towns:
Beitbridge, Plumtree and Victoria Falls. And it had vast human resources
waiting to be exploited.
Bulawayo, the country's second largest
city, was the hub of Zimbabwe's industry though it had slumped over the
years. No one knows the level of de-industrialisation but the central bank
has commissioned a study to look into this.
The same applies to
unemployment. Though the MDF intends to reduce unemployment by 50 percent a
year, no one knows the number of unemployed in the region. It is, however,
estimated that up to 80 percent of the employable population is without
On the way forward, Nkomo said: "The only problem holding us
back is that we have kept aloof. We still want to do things as
He said people in the region were not taking
advantage of key officials in the government who came from the
These included Nkomo himself, who was responsible for land
and could therefore chip in if people formed consortiums to go into
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi could grant them
licences if they wanted to organise casinos to raise funds.
could also use people like Nicholas Ncube who is at the central bank and is
in charge of development, Sam Malaba who is at Agribank which gives loans for
agricultural purposes, and, though he does not come from the region,
Environment and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema, the region's son-in-law, to
get licences to operate safaris and tourism related projects.
Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku blamed the slow growth
in Matabeleland to lack of motivation and the will to improve the
"Before you blame anybody for lack of development, ask
yourself what you have done for the region," she said. "Development means
developing yourself and improving your standard of living, not being propped
up by someone else."
Mohadi, who comes from Beitbridge was more
forthright. "He who does not work, shall not eat," he said, quoting from the
The people of Matabeleland had to realise, therefore, that
no one was going to bail them out. They had to strengthen district
associations that formed the MDF, identify the priorities of the people and
come up with projects that could be implemented in the region.
He said the MDF, with the help of the district associations, had to ensure
that companies and institutions that were doing business in the region
ploughed something back into the community.
He queried why, for
example, the region did not have ready access to foreign currency when most
of the currency was coming through Beitbridge, Plumtree and Victoria Falls.
Why was it not possible for the region to get a small percentage of all the
foreign currency that went through these border posts?
story in the Herald in which the Mhondoro Development Association had raised
millions of dollars using company executives and government employees from
the district, MDF chairman Tshinga Dube, said if a district could organise
something that big, how about a region which comprised three
Dube, who has been instrumental in resuscitating the MDF
and was asked to steer the organisation until the end of the year to enable
district structures to be properly organised, said all that was required was
unity of purpose.
MDF patron Dumiso Dabengwa, who is the
chairman of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, said the region was
losing out because of lack of commitment from the people. He said the MWZP
had secured a $25 billion loan from the central bank for the project and
construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam had already started.
Dabengwa said he had been shocked when Water Resources Minister Joyce Mujuru
asked him whether they had already sold out businesses along the shorelines
of the proposed dam.
He urged delegates to take up this challenge
because businesses along the shorelines such as fishing camps, chalets and
boating facilities could be grabbed by people from outside the region if the
people of the region did not move fast enough.
gave the keynote address, said there were three fundamental dimensions of
development: individual development, technological development and
"The first dimension is the development
and transformation that occurs in individuals when they improve their
knowledge, their skills and their attitudes and begin to take pride in their
work, in their relationships, in their environment, in their appearances and
in themselves," Makhurane said.
He said individual development led
to higher productivity, greater responsibility and resourcefulness. It also
made one aware of the difference between dependence, independence and
"The dependency syndrome would tend to make the
people of Matabeleland blame other people or their environment for all their
miseries. Independence would make them take the responsibility for their
situation. The highest level of maturity, interdependence, would make us
realise that in life we need our own efforts and the cooperation of others in
order to get what we want- including development in our region," he
Makhurane said technological development was necessary for
greater productivity while organisational development led to both
higher productivity and democratic governance.
Though it seems
to have an insurmountable task ahead of it, the MDF already seems to have
broken ground. While it had been limping along with deficits up to last year,
it had a surplus of $6.3 million in the first half of this year. It raised
the money on its own.
And while a lot of work has still to be done
to realise its goals, all the region needs is commitment. After all, it has
more resources than Botswana. It even has the diamonds, that catapulted
Botswana to prosperity, at River Ranch in Beitbridge.
ZIMBABWE'S education system has been the envy
of many a country across continents. Standards however plummeted over the
years and it was rapidly losing its creme de la creme status, but Education
Minister Aeneas Chigwedere, whose actions even this country's best brains
have failed to understand, now threatens to destroy what was left of it with
a single swing of a political blade!
Indeed, thanks to the
Minister's arrogance and conceit, the country's education system has been
plunged into an unprecedented crisis which could see it terrifyingly
deteriorate into a disastrous condition as did the health delivery system
before it. Notwithstanding that the ruins must not obstruct the prospects, it
goes without saying that in the short term, Zimbabwe will find it difficult
to restore integrity and credibility in the education system to return it to
its pre-crisis levels.
First, it was the bungling in the country's
discredited public examination system administered by the much-maligned
Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC). Who would forget that
embarrassing debacle where pupils reportedly studied wrong set books or
syllabi and received results for subjects they did not sit for? Then came the
scapegoating Ministry's specious and spurious but self-evidently absurd and
ludicrous claims that they delayed registering candidates for this year's "O"
and "A" level examinations because of the drought of all things!
Unbelievable? Well this was how it was matter-of-factly "explained" to
Parliament by one Isaiah Mushayamwando Shumba, Chigwedere's deputy, without
any tinge of irony!
As if that was not enough, Chigwedere, who many
had been hoping against hope to return the education system back onto the
rails and peace back to our souls, sought to destroy private schools, the odd
shaft of light amidst the ruins of what was once a quality system of
education. Admittedly, expensive does not mean discerning but these schools
had a critical stabilising influence in the troubled education sector given
that there are no functional libraries, laboratories, recreational facilities
and not to mention the debilitating acute shortage of teachers at most of the
public schools. Of course, this obvious fact was conveniently lost on
Chigwedere who, in his ruinous "wisdom", believes that the schools are a
bastion of capitalistic privilege and racial discrimination. Nothing could,
however, be further from the truth because the majority of pupils at the
schools are black. And the evidence is there for all to see.
Chigwedere started off by instilling the fear of God in private school heads
who had been targets of much unjustified rhetoric after they refused to yield
to the Minister's arm-twisting tactics to reduce fees to ostensibly cushion
hard-pressed parents against exorbitant fees. Unfortunately, there is no
obvious merit in the altruistic-sounding Minister's destructive actions which
do not create even a remote semblance of a false impression of novelty.
"Reducing fees to cushion the parents", who have the passion to sacrifice for
their children's life-time meal-ticket, is a big lie. It is an old, worn-out,
threadbare platitudinous cliche, which dovetails with populist policies of a
government for whom there is a credibility gap between election pledges and
policies implemented but is now desperate to appease a sceptical and
What seems lost on Chigwedere, who cuts the
image of a control freak, and those of his ilk is that while the magic
influence of populist phraseology - the opium of Zimbabwean politicians - can
be strong and irresistible, the voice of reason and influence of realities
should not be ignored except when making politically expedient
But typical of some of Zimbabwe's misguided ruling
clique who think that they monopolise patriotism, common sense, reason and
objectivity, he ignored this and the fate of private schools is hanging by a
thread. These schools are haemorrhaging and they face the spectre of
bankruptcy proceedings as creditors could soon be scrambling for their
assets. And if they do not get a stay of execution, which is very likely,
this could have far-reaching consequences for scores of pupils on whose
scholastic development, the salvation of this great nation is
Chigwedere's frontal attack on private schools has left
many with purely psychological questions. Does Chigwedere who has the knack
for turning everything he touches into dust (Remember how President Mugabe
had to order him to back off matters football?) - understand the scale
of catastrophe that could befall the education system? Does he have a
strategy as regards the future of these schools? Highly unlikely! Forget
about his constant hollow assurances that government would take over the
schools. This cannot mislead even the common ruck of folk who previously
would swallow hook, line and sinker, government's empty
The capacity just isn't there. In any case, the
cash-strapped government has since scaled down on its services to the public
as can be exemplified by the appalling state of affairs at institutions such
as Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Harare Hospital, Mpilo Hospital,
the University of Zimbabwe, Harare Polytechnic and scores of government
schools dotted around the country - the list is endless. How then can
Chigwedere pretend that government has the financial wherewithal to take-over
the troubled schools? Please! Or if government has the financial resources
as Chigwedere would like us to believe, why can't it channel those
resources towards propping up collapsing government schools throughout the
country? Why was the situation allowed to deteriorate to those desperate
levels? Is Chigwedere implying that it was just a question of upside-down
priorities? The mind boggles! We wonder what the fractious and irascible
all-knowing individuals whose duty it is to defend the government will have
to say about the state of complete disorder and confusion wrought on
education by Chigwedere!
We have said this before and we will
say it again. With Ministers like Chigwedere, who do not seem to know that
government has pledged that education is at the centre of its social
development agenda, what government needs saboteurs? True we have had this
strange policy called collective responsibility in government which tends to
mask the gross incompetence and ineptitude of a number of government
officials. But this one should be blamed squarely on the shoulders of the
bungling Ministry of Education. And heads must roll starting with Chigwedere
- who remains in Cabinet simply because government does not have quality
control. That is why we said in our editorial of November 21 2003 that
Chigwedere must go: As has been said before, a fish rots from the head! He
will not be missed. It will be good riddance.
So for the whole long week, the ZANU PF
politburo could not make any decision on the hero status of the late former
Matabeleland South governor Mark Dube, simply because one person, the Great
Uncle, was on a trip to the Far East?
Because he was away, no
decision could be made.
But surprisingly, when he arrived to
announce the decision that Dube be accorded national hero status, we started
hearing how unanimous the party had been in reaching the decision. So if only
one man was away, why did the party not go ahead and confer the former ZANLA
instructor national hero status? It was not going to change anything at all
if the party is half as democratic as we are made to believe.
All this goes to show that this country's life revolves around just one man -
the Great Uncle!
Suppose he had arrived from Malaysia to bellow a
big NO as he did on Ndabaningi Sithole, what were these full-blown adults
going to say they had been waiting for the whole week?
is that all those men who make up what is called "the politburo" are there to
merely rubber-stamp what the Great Uncle single-handedly decides. There is no
unanimity at all in the decision-making process; maybe only in
rubber-stamping his decisions.
It is even curious that the
decisions are made at a political party level, not government. So when ZANU
finally ceases to exist, who will assume the duty of dishing out this coveted
So if the courts are not convinced that it is the
"violent" MDC that murdered national hero Cde Cain Nkala, who then are the
culprits? Surely Nkala did not murder himself, just as his own ZANU PF will
aver that it knows nothing about his death.
For nearly three
years, we held our breath anticipating the court to unriddle the mystery
surrounding the war veterans leader's death, but last week's ruling by High
Court judge Justice Sandra Mungwira acquitting MDC MP for Lobengula-Magwegwe
Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and five others has made the conundrum even more
Our leaders and the official media had almost convinced
us that the MDC was a murderous party and that Nkala's death was a result of
no one else but the opposition. But the courts have refused to buy this
hare-and-baboon story. So where is the real story?
"inside job" theory lead us somewhere? CZ wonders.
Maybe the court
misdirected itself in not inviting Cde Reuben Barwe to testify. From the way
he covered the case "live", it looked like he was a rich mine of invaluable
information. Hopefully, when the state appeals against the ruling, it will
cite Cde Barwe's absence as the point whence the learned judge
And the judge should be advised to start looking around the
region for another job because with these types of judgments, we don't see
her lasting another summer on that indigenised bench! It is not the done
thing to hand down judgments that offend the owners of the
After reading this week's invective Sunday Mail column, a
colleague sent CZ a short message: "Huni Dzatsva." And this message did not
make any sense until CZ himself got hold of the country's "most widely
CZ could not believe it. Lowani Ndlovu, aka
Prof, aka SaNtuthuko, was at Cde Munyaradzi Huni's throat . . . yes, Huni's
of all the throats in this long and wide world!
His sin? That
partisan column Constituency Watch in which he brazenly campaigns for some
ZANU PF MPs while decampaigning opposition MPs and some hapless ruling party
MPs who are deemed to be less politically correct.
Lowani, who has
attacked several senior ZANU PF officials including its chairman John Nkomo,
Joseph Msika, and Nathan Shamuyarira, this week thought Huni, one of the most
hard-working party cadres, was going too far, so he had to check him in his
And throughout the whole column, he was taking
the "disk editor" to the cleaners. The language used in the column was just
unbelievable . . . a tourist in a hotel room in Victoria Falls would swear
that the following morning, the paper in question would have joined The Daily
News and The Tribune!
At least it is an inside job. Had it been
said by CZ or other "sellouts", they would have been lent an
Fears are rife in the media fraternity that maybe it is
time Cde Huni - who is credited for taking "disk journalism" to dizzy heights
- moved back into the newsroom, otherwise a fall from the sixth floor could
be a bit nasty!
After a lot of noise about the "Heroesplush"
at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera, someone has to carry out some investigations
on these two things:
lWho was behind the pesky power-cuts that
nearly threw the whole "national" event into sex orgy?
the people who are benefiting most from these now regular musical galas by
awarding themselves tenders to supply this and or that? Beer, food . .
VICTORIA FALLS -
International power sector investors casting a keen eye on Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)'s two power plants, Hwange and Kariba
South Power stations are demanding coal concessions in return for US$600
million capital outlay.
Sydney Gata, ZESA executive chairman, cast
a pall of doubt on Zimbabwe 's power supply situation when he blamed
government for dithering on the awarding of coal concessions to international
firms, which have shown strong inclinations towards investing in
ZESA has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
with China 's National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC),
which gives it rights over Zimbabwe's prime power generation
The Chinese firm last year undertook to provide a US$70
million loan for coal mining, rehabilitation and expansion works at Wankie
Colliery Company (WCC) to boost coal supplies to Hwange Power Station
Once the coal supply situation improves, another agreement
was also in the offing for the Chinese firm to supply equipment and machinery
valued at US$400 million for the expansion of HPS.
CATIC, it was
then envisaged, would provide a detailed analysis and feasibility study on
the expansion of HPS by additional units of 350 MW each under a
build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) arrangement.
ZESA has also signed
MOUs with Iran and India power investors.
Gata said the deals have
come unstuck. He told a business gathering in Victoria Falls last week that
the investors, whom he refused to name but said were from China, Iran and
India were demanding coal concessions. "We are sitting on a US$600 million
investment because of lack of action on the part of policy makers," Gata
To Gata and management, government is seemingly not worried
about the impending power supply gap arising from upgrading of plants by some
of Zimbabwe's regional suppliers in the next two years.
Government's little interest in the deals brokered by Gata was likely to
scupper any meaningful investment in the debt- ridden and poorly performing
power utility. "HPS has not been able to operate at full capacity for two
"The equipment is now obsolete. No investor will come in
under HPS's current state," Gata said.
"Those interested, and we
have signed MOUs to that effect, want to invest in a mining operation in
return for fresh capital injection," Gata said.
He said it was
"embarrassing that government was dithering on awarding the investors just a
simple mining concession".
"It is very embarrassing how policy
makers' delays sometimes impact on operations of some firms.
have met some of these investors, sealed deals in under two hours on three
occasions but nothing has come out. Government is sitting on the agreements,"
"Giving a coal concession to an investor who is
willing to build a power station for the country is government's problem but
I am told there are nine coal deposits scattered around the country," Gata
Business leaders have also wondered to what extent government
fully appreciates power supply problems in the country and operational
constraints at ZESA.
Gata's near hysteria comes from threats of
a power supply gap likely to face the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) in 2007.
He said regional suppliers, Eskom of South Africa,
HCB of Mozambique and Snel of the DRC might fail to have surplus power to
export by 2007.
So far, Gata said, the power utility had only
managed to secure one firm contract with Snel of DRC for 150 MW.
"There is a looming supply threat. None of the regional suppliers will be
able to meet Zimbabwe's power needs."
Local power generation meets
about 35 percent of local demand, with the balance being met from
PROSPECTS of a good
cropping season next year appear imperilled due to the failure by major seed
companies to timeously access cheap funding under the productive sector
Leading seed production firm SeedCo, which produces
the bulk of the country's seed last week revealed that it was failing to
access the cheap funds, a situation which, if not addressed, would lead to a
steep rise in prices as the high cost of production would be passed on to
farmers. The firm's management indicated last week that it could not rule out
the anticipated seed hikes if it failed to access the $105 billion applied
for from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to purchase 28 000 tonnes of seed
for resale. Industry sources, however, said although the producer needed to
be cushioned against high production costs, the full effects of the
threat would impact negatively on the country's 2005-grain
Both Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Douglas
Taylor-Freeme and Davidson Mugabe, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial
Farmers Union (ZCFU) reckoned that although SeedCo had delivered the intended
blow to an already ailing food basket country, government's timely
intervention was necessary.
Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of
Africa producing more than two million tonnes has become a basket case due to
perennial droughts, shortage of foreign currency to buy seeds and the
unavailability of seeds.
The country requires at least 300 000
tonnes of seed to produce 2.1 million tonnes of maize grain required
annually, of which 1.8 million tonnes is meant for consumption and livestock
and the remainder for strategic reserves. The USAID Famine Early Warning
Systems Network (FEWSNET) has warned that the country produced only 900 000
metric tonnes of grain, leaving a shortfall of at least half the country's
"Agriculture is currently under big pressure. Seed
producers undergo an intensive process to produce seeds and at the same time
they have to sell at low prices. On the other hand, a bank does not want to
release cheap funds to them and if they hike prices to meet production costs,
the farmer will not be able to produce," remarked Taylor-Freeme.
Mugabe also added: "The chain has to work from the producer of the seed,
supplier to the farmer to make farming viable. The government should cushion
producers by providing cheap funds and this will not have a negative impact
on the farmers."
The government has frozen seed houses prices under
statutory Instrument 125 of 2003 from the six-fold increment of up to $130
000 for a 10 kg bag to last year's price of $21 000.
have said the government intends to bail out SeedCo and increase seed
availability as an electioneering tool ahead of the 2005 polls.
Firms importing nitrogen to ease fertiliser
Thomas Madondoro 8/13/2004 7:48:37 AM (GMT
THE Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company (ZFC) and other industry
players are importing various forms of nitrogen to ease fertiliser shortage
and if this comes in on time, the negative impact on winter wheat is likely
to be minimal.
Responding to questions raised by this paper, ZFC
managing director, Richard Dafana said if wheat was not top dressed, there
would be yield losses.
"Our immediate plans are to operate at
full capacity and to bring in additional fertilisers as imports to make up
for any shortfalls.
"In the medium to long term we are looking at
expanding our manufacturing capacities," he said.
prices have been relatively stable this year and ZFC reduced prices in the
first quarter of the year. Dafana said future prices would be determined by
raw material input costs. A 50kg bag of compound D now costs $74 000 while
that of ammonium nitrate costs $45 830.
Fertilisers have been in
short supply particularly the two years before the last season due to foreign
He said it was important to note that not all
fertilisers have been in short supply.
Compound fertilisers such
as D have always been available.
Dafana said what has been in short
supply is ammonium nitrate as Sable Chemicals was operating at 67 percent
capacity because of the shortage of foreign currency. The firm has to import
ammonia, a raw material in the manufacture of ammonium nitrate.
Sable Chemicals produces only two thirds of its ammonia requirements. The
remaining third has to be imported.
ZFC is currently operating at
full capacity and forecasts to produce about 200 000 tonnes of fertiliser
Adlai Stevenson, who was the American
Democratic party's candidate for the presidency in 1952 and 1956, once
vividly described the exhaustion and exhilaration of campaigning to win the
people's confidence and votes.
He described an average day on the
campaign trail as follows:
"You must emerge, bright and bubbling
with wisdom and well being, every morning at 8 o' clock, just in time for a
charming and a profound breakfast talk - shake hands with hundreds, often
literally thousands of people, make several inspiring, newsworthy speeches
during the day, confer with political leaders along the way and with your
staff . . . Write at every chance, think if possible, read mail and
newspapers, talk on the telephone, talk to everybody, ride through city after
city, smiling until your mouth is dehydrated by the wind, waving until the
blood runs out of your arm and then bounce gaily, confidently and masterfully
into great howling halls . . . "
Stevenson, who made these
observations about 50 years ago, said what kept him motivated during this
hard slog on the campaign trail was the knowledge that "somehow the people
sustain you, the people and a constant, sobering reminder that you are asking
them to entrust to you the most awesome responsibility on
The ongoing campaign for the American presidential election
to be held in November shows that Stevenson's remarks still apply
Anyone seeking elective office in the United States, whether
it be at state or national level, cannot afford the luxury of taking the
electorate for granted. Candidates hoping to be elected to the positions of
governor, congressman or senator have to sweat it out to convince the people
they have something to offer and are worthy to receive their
It has been gripping to follow the current US presidential
campaign and to watch the incumbent, George W Bush, and his challenger, John
Kerry, do their utmost best to convince the nation that they have what it
takes to lead the world's richest country and only superpower.
have to say how much I envy American voters. They live in a country where it
is accepted, as one author has put it, "that the crucial mechanism in all
genuinely popular governments is a system of free, fair and
And free and fair elections can only be
possible in an atmosphere where voters have access to the facts, competing
ideas and views of all candidates.
In addition, citizens must
have equal voting power and must be free to organise for political
It is no wonder that where these conducive conditions
exist, candidates cannot afford to be arrogant and ride roughshod over the
very people whose votes they are vying for. Aspirants to elective office have
to humble themselves and submit to microscopic scrutiny of themselves and
their ideas. They know that voters can embrace or reject them without fear of
In turn, voters know that they have the power to
influence the outcome of an election and that way control their own destiny.
That is the whole purpose of elections.
But as the momentum
builds towards our own parliamentary elections next year, I have found it
depressing to ponder the consequences. Based on the violent and heavily
skewed nature of past elections, the thought of next year's polls fills me
For a start, I know that unlike their American
counterparts, Zimbabwean voters will not have any candidates wooing them.
They will not have a significant choice at the polls because they will not
have been exposed to the ideas of various political parties competing equally
The only "campaigning" they are likely to be
exposed to will consist of hate-filled propaganda or harangues from
candidates of one party - the ruling party. Only the ruling party can
organise campaign rallies freely and only it has access to the public
electronic and print media.
Under such flawed electoral conditions,
it is obvious that the voter is treated with contempt. It is the voter who
has to do the sweating to survive the ordeal of an election.
Whereas a vast country like the United States, which has a population of
almost 300 million people, can conduct a national plebiscite
without recording a single election-related death, the loss of lives is
inevitable and even embraced as part of the participatory process in our
Instead of being the most sought after and courted group,
Zimbabwean voters are usually the most endangered species in the run-up to
and during elections. Politicians have turned the tables on us. They now
behave as though it is the electorate that seeks approval to be governed
rather than that they must earn our support and endorsement to take care of
our welfare and interests.
The question to ask is whether it is
worthwhile to hold elections at all when the electoral field is a terrain of
terror and possible death for the voter and a trap for certain defeat for all
but the ruling party.
What purpose do next year's parliamentary
elections serve when the questions plaguing my mind do not relate to the
issues and ideas the candidates will present but to the scale of violence
likely to be experienced and the death toll certain to be
Who will die? Will it be me, my relative, friend,
neighbour or a fellow Zimbabwean? These questions show how we have all become
prisoners of our flawed electoral process. None of us is free if even one
Zimbabwean in any part of the country loses his life or is terrorised or
tortured and denied his God-given right to choose who should govern him, and
I concur with Aristotle who argued that although an expert
cook knows better than the amateur how to bake a cake, the person who eats
the cake is the better judge of whether it tastes good.
Zimbabwe today, we urgently need politicians who care to find out what the
electorate thinks. We have no use for those who seek to impose their will and
themselves on us by decree and brute force.
engine requires oil to run smoothly, a modern state needs an efficient,
properly funded and managed legal system because such a legal system is the
lubricant that ensures freedom, development and a smooth operation of the
The system must be based on sound principles of democracy
or constitutionalism, which concepts have universally applicable
standards, such that there is no democracy for "Africans" as distinguished
from Europeans and other races.
The sterile and backward
argument propagated by certain local political analysts that Africans need
their own home brewed democracy is misleading, mischievous and
Democracy and constitutionalism are concepts that have
evolved over time, manifesting themselves in the various revolutions in
Europe, further afield as well as in Africa's own struggle to obliterate
It must be noted that the idea of having a
constitution, alone is not the answer to democracy or
A constitution that is not supported by an
honest commitment to basic principles of constitutionalism is a purposeless
Only those states that have developed political maturity
and acknowledged the sanctity of the rule of law have religiously adhered
to provisions of their constitutions.
On the contrary,
politically immature individuals among most developing states, including our
own have abused their constitutions and the broader legal process in a quest
to consolidate their wilting political careers.
Driven by a
desire to cling to power for as long as possible even in circumstances of
outrageous incompetence and corruption, such individuals have in the name of
the constitution practiced atrocious brutalities and unbridled looting and
To avert criticism they assume ultra defensive radicalism
and justify their malpractices in the name of "sovereignty", "state security"
and misguided anti-imperialist rhetoric.
And yet sovereignty is
a pre-Victorian concept that has since been abandoned in contemporary
international politics because states are amalgamating into political and
These political malcontents use the law when it
suits them, and disregards it when their interests are
They see the law as existing to promote and protect
them when they practice plutocracy, kleptocracy, and other extreme
In constitutional law circles this class of political
maniacs is said to practice "democratic dictatorship". This is because they
preach democracy by day while in the dark they indulge in horrible
The common denominator in authoritarian states is the
use of force, which force is supported by torrents of nauseating false
propaganda to make the nation docile and conformist.
ultimate result is the creation of an ultra-rich class of individuals, who
are corrupt to the core and give a demagoguery allegiance to the leadership
as a way of protecting themselves from scrutiny in view of their corrupt
At the height of the corruption, and ensuing
pandemonium which pandemonium is contagious, the suffering majority also
resorts to anarchy, and looting of whatever they can.
the poor become so drenched in destitution they vandalise whatever they can
including railway, postal and electrical infrastructure, as their own last
measure of corruption.
In the result, railway accidents become the
order of the day, random electrical blackouts become acceptable, and
telecommunication faults become the norm.
Again at the height of
the pandemonium, the deluded politicians, harangued by a plethora of problems
demanding attention forget about priorities.
Valuable revenue is
spent expanding and renovating youth training centres when the justice
ministries suffocate on their way to the intensive care unit.
Underpaid magistrates and prosecutors, fed up with political harassment,
overworked and exhausted resign en masse leaving few judicial officers to man
The clerks and other assistants follow suit leaving
most court buildings managed by often inexperienced and confused
In the process, the underpaid, overworked judicial staff
join the corruption bandwagon, and it becomes a free for all.
The case backlog for both civil and criminal matters in the Magistrates and
High Court balloons to the point of almost emasculating the already burdened
In the result, matters are postponed ad infinitum, until
suspects are freed, and litigants lose steam because their claims would have
lost value due to hyperinflation.
At the higher courts, judicial
officers spend valuable time dispensing "justice" and when they deliver their
judgments these are honoured selectively.
Only those judgments
deemed favourable to the politicians are rushed to be enforced, at times
leaving newspapers effectively banned, and their employees
On the contrary, judgements not favourable to the esteemed
political maniacs are scoffed at as irrelevant and of no force or effect in
the process rendering a fatal blow to the honour and integrity of the
Contemptuous acts and utterances that in normal democracies
would invite severe sanctions go unpunished.
Some of the
venomous slander and libel targeted at the judicial officers emanate from
public newspapers and broadcasters, evidencing that the class of contemptuous
politicians and their band of apologists are conveniently above the
In one typical case, a critical look at the dying Ministry of
Justice will reveal that most of the problems emanate from the absence of
The absentee spends most of his time in Parliament
presenting and debating patently unconstitutional and oppressive laws. A
model example of an authoritarian state will not be complete without the
common economic mismanagement that culminates in shortage of foreign
Due to the fact that chaos is allergic to legality, and
no progress can ensue under anarchy, the pace of development slackens to a
near halt and companies fold, some come under curatorship, unemployment
skyrockets, and the impoverished citizens take flight to the despised but
envied imperialist countries.
controversially so, the politicians do a Damascan U-turn and again outstretch
their palms begging for the currency of the hated and derided neo-colonial
and imperialist countries.
In the end, the only solution will be to
pray for a return to legality, accountability and transparency so that
progress can flourish for the betterment of the impoverished suffering
lVote Muza is a lawyer with Gutu and Chikowero Legal
JOHANNESBURG - Anglo Platinum (Angloplats) is unperturbed by
recent government threats to force mining companies to surrender 49 percent
of their equity to local black partners, and is going ahead with its
US$92 million Unki Platinum Project under terms already agreed with the
Zimbabwe government, a spokesman told The Financial Gazette.
Angloplats is to indigenise a 20 percent stake in Unki. While 15 percent is
expected to go to unidentified local black partners, five percent of the
stake could be snapped up by a management consortium. As a demonstration of
its commitment to the Zimbabwean project, which was launched in August 2003
after a lengthy period of hesitation over the country's fiscal regime,
Angloplats and its Zimbabwean partner, Anglo American Zimbabwe, expect to
have injected US$5 million into Unki Platinum by the end of this year, the
"Commitments made to the project to date total
US$10 million," the spokesman said, maintaining that the project was
progressing well and according to schedule. "Work on the Unki Platinum
Project in the Shurugwi area which was officially launched by the Anglo
American Group in August 2003, is progressing well. In particular, the
upgrading of an important road leading to the site of the proposed mine is
now 80 per cent complete. Construction of a high level bridge over the
Mtabekwana River was completed recently," the spokesman said.
dam which is to supply water to the mine that is also under construction.
Progress in the construction of both the road referred to above and the dam
was slowed down by the heavy rains in the area during
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority was
proceeding with installation of temporary power to the mine site, he said.
The design of the underground mining method to be used by the mine was
currently under review, while a concentrator was also being designed, with
civil engineering for related infrastructure also under review.
Unki will produce concentrate of about 58 000 ounces of refined platinum and
40 000 ounces of refined palladium per annum at full capacity, with first
production expected in 2007.
Zimbabwe's total platinum production
doubled to 140 000 ounces last year, making it the only buoyant economic sub
sector in the country. Zimplats, controlled by South Africa's Impala Platinum
Holdings, has experienced phenomenal production growth at its Ngezi Platinum
Mine, and has finalised a feasibility study of an expansion project
encompassing construction of an underground mine and a new
The Zimplats board has approved the expansion
programme which will now go to vote an a date still unannounced.
Mimosa Mine, another key Zimbabwean platinum producer jointly owned
by Implats and Aquarius, is currently undertaking a major expansion
project. Production last year increased three-fold compared with the 2002
Corporation (ABC), which recorded a net income of Botswana pula (BWP) 3.8
million in 2003, down from BWP53.3 million in 2002, has revealed that it
awarded massive loans amounting to BWP9 million to
In its 2003 annual report, ABC, a pan-African
banking concern, indicated that during the past year, when a number of local
banking institutions were undone by non-performing insider loans as interest
rates surged, the group had been exposed to the tune of BWP9.236 million to
its directors, or close to seven percent of shareholder funds, through
Group deputy chairman Oliver Chidawu and group
chief executive officer Douglas Munatsi, both major shareholders in ABC, got
the lion's share of the loans.
The duo's combined shareholding
of at least 18.9 percent in ABC, held through various vehicles, supersedes
that of Old Mutual Life (Zimbabwe), which holds 15.6 percent and occupies
pole position on the share register.
An unspecified loan amounting
to BWP 3.8 million was advanced to Chidawu, while housing and personal loans
to Munatsi amounting to BWP1.943 million were recorded.
combined loan to the chief executive and his deputy chairman and business
associate Chidawu to the tune of BWP117 000 was also recorded. Other such
loans were given to Modiri Mbaakanyi, who is listed among independent
directors, and an N Zhou (ABC Zimbabwe) and C Chileshe, who chairs ABC
The combined funds awarded to Mbaakanyi, Zhou and Chileshe
amount to BWP 2.3 million.
However, the banking group, which
made a provision for bad and doubtful debts of BWP15.7 million, down from the
previous year's BWP17.8 million, stressed that "all loans bear interest and
fee rates applicable to similar exposures of third parties and have
"The group assists officers and employees in
respect of housing, motor vehicles and personal loans at subsidised rates in
In its full year results to December 2003, ABC
registered a massive drop in attributable profit - from BWP 53.3 million to a
mere BWP 3.8 million - owing to non-recurrent items, which also saw headline
earnings coming down to BWP 21.9 million from BWP 70.3 million.
The Botswana-incorporated banking group has in place solid
corporate governance structures and its remuneration committee is chaired by
Rudolph Hug, the group's Swiss independent non-executive
It is this committee which fixes the remuneration
packages of individual directors within agreed terms of reference, in order
to avoid potential conflicts on interest, the group states in the annual
VICTORIA FALLS - Billions of dollars
are locked up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) because of
failure by companies in that country to pay for supplies from Zimbabwean
Business sources said the much-touted DRC foray had long
gone sour, with companies which undertook premature decisions to invest in
the central African country before a careful study of the investment climate
returning home empty-handed to face the wrath of shareholders.
Some companies are said to be aborting deals midstream and writing them off
as losses after having their fingers burnt in the vast war-torn country,
perceived to possess immeasurable wealth.
enterprises that include the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), the Cold
Storage Company (CSC), Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority of
Zimbabwe (CAAZ) dominate the list of firms with funds trapped in the
The private sector, which also moved in to take advantage of
the lull in civil conflict in the DRC some three years ago, is said to be
struggling to salvage some of its investments in the central African
Business leaders attending last week's Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries congress in Victoria Falls said Zimbabwean products were
being left to "rot" or were being sold at give-away prices, with some
DRC companies refusing to meet commitments or preferring to do business
with South Africa.
First Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe (FBC),
whose presence in the DRC is reported to be increasingly tenuous, brokered
some of the trade deals but is now allegedly unable to facilitate payments on
behalf of Zimbabwean investors and companies.
majority shareholders are ruling ZANU PF-related businessmen, stormed into
the vast DRC in 2000, facilitating trade between Zimbabwe and the rest of the
"Export proceeds are trapped in the DRC. We were exporting
goods and some of the deals were brokered by FBC but nothing has come out. We
cannot get our money and to start legal action is such a hassle," said a
"Why are colleague countries discriminating
against us? They are not paying up on goods manufactured in Zimbabwe," he
"There are no results in the DRC, Mozambique and Angola,
which we have assisted in a large measure in achieving stability," said
"Why are these countries not user-friendly
to Zimbabwe? Why are we failing to penetrate the DRC market?" queried Ruth
Labode, a local businesswoman.
Christian Katsande, permanent
secretary in the Ministry of Industry and International Trade, confirmed to
The Financial Gazette that many Zimbabwean companies were owed money by DRC
"The DRC market is challenging in terms of payments.
NRZ, Air Zimbabwe, CAAZ and CSC are owed money in the DRC for services
rendered," Katsande said.
Some of the parastatals were
understood to have signed contracts in the DRC for political reasons, sources
"The situation is worse for the private sector. We are
currently exploring ways in which government could assist some of the
companies to recover their investments and the export proceeds," Katsande
Industry and International Trade Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi
said Zimbabwe had not gone to the DRC in return for trade
Mumbengegwi accused the private sector of failing to
follow up on government initiatives in brokering trade in the
"We did not support the DRC in return for trade. It was to
protect our own interests. Trade requires you and them. You have not followed
links we have been establishing. We have had several agreements with the DRC
you have not followed," Mumbengegwi said.
Zimbabwe sent troops
to the DRC in 1998 to quell an insurgency by rebels sworn to topple the
government of then President Laurent Kabila.
After the cessation of
hostilities in 2002, the Zimbabwe government has been encouraging local firms
to take advantage of the relative stability in the mineral-rich
Please send any classified
adverts for publication in this newsletter to: JAG Job Opportunities firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advert Received 1st August 2004
GAIREZI RIVER COTTAGES
There are 2 x 4 bed self-catering cottages available
on the Gairezi River, 17 km from Troutbeck. Fantastic scenery, great trout
fishing, picnic sites, walks, swimming and tubing. Solar lighting and hot
water, gas and wood stoves and gas freezer. Fantastic value - currently
$75000/cottage/night , definitely worth a visit. For bookings and more
details contact Wendy Waddacor on email@example.com tel .0298 370 091 320
Received 3rd August 2004
Terrier Rescue is desperately seeking good homes
for 2 magnificent staffordshire bull terrier dogs. "Paddy" superb 3 yr red
staffy, owners left. Wonderful protector, saved owner's life on 2 occasions.
Excellent with children. Very well behaved and loyal. Has always been a very
much loved only pet. If you can give him a home you will never regret
it."Jocko" brindle/white staffy, about 5-6 years. Owner recently died. Lovely
nature, adores being loved, gets on with a bitch. Needs a kind, loving home
again. If you can help save these 2 very special dogs from being put to
sleep, phone me on 04 884294 or e-mail gandami @ m web. co. zw. Neither of
them to go as outside guard dogs, must be family pets. Michelle
Received 4th August 2004
1 stock saddle and 1 American Western saddle,
hardly used. Highest cash offers. Tel 884294 or 011 602 903 or 861825
week-days, Harare. ______________________________________________
Advert Received 4th August 2004
Urgently wanted is a second hand computer
that is priced resonable with a printer: ph
Received 4th August 2004
I would like to sell a Kholer 60kva generator
complete with changeover switch. Done 800 hours total since new. Asking
US$15,000. Regards, Alan Graham Ph 661558/9 Cell 091
400397 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ______________________________________________
Advert Received 30th July 2004 PASTEL MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS - Gold Dealer
Award Winner since 2003
Are you looking for Pastel Accounting Partner,
Xpress, Premier and Evolution support?
We at Pastel Management
Consultants are able to offer our clients the following services:- ·
Support (including telephonic support) in Pastel, from the small single home
user through to medium and large business concerns · Managerial advice in the
use of the Pastel range of software. · Customising/Creating Managerial
Reports. · Development (Originators of Pastel Farmer) of Reports for
Farmers, PasTrans and PasSchools. · Individualised and group Training in
Pastel and software applications. · Hardware servicing and networking. ·
Sales in new and the Upgrading of the Pastel Accounting Partner
WE ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING A PROMOTION UNTIL 31 AUGUST 2004 FOR
ALL CLIENTS WISHING TO UPGRADE THEIR CURRENT OLDER VERSIONS (V3, V4, V5 AND
V6) TO PASTEL ACCOUNTING PARTNER 2004 (VERSION 7).
information please contact us on the following:
1. Coal 2. Washed Peas
and Nuts 3. Diesel @ $2775 plus transport minimum order 5000
For more information contact Johan Smit at 091 322
8. Advert Received
9th August 2004
Some ladies in and around Harare North are getting
together in knitting and sewing circles. I am appealing on their behalf for
beautiful wool and knitting patterns, to create beautiful things and not just
run-of-the-mill. Also scraps of material (and backing material) that can be
used for quilting, rag-rugs etc. Obviously any knitting &
sewing/embroidery needles & cottons, silks etc. also
Please clean out your cupboard and drop any offerings off at my
office (Mt Pleasant Hall - side entrance), my home (4 Ashbrittle Crescent
(off The Chase, Emerald Hill (just past Saveways Supermarket/Foodcourt, etc)
or call Corrine Lapham on 885176 or 885013.
"What, !! You're Taking Stock! Summer, is here
and you're in Shock!! Shake!! Your body, its Party Time,! We'll put that
Sparkle! In your Eyes, a Smile! on your face, a Spring! in your Stride and a
Glow! from Within. We'll Tweak! those old Bones, on a feast! of Good
Health, Up Grade! Old Skin and Unveil! and New One. With Body Buffing! and
Pimples Gone,! what more! can we do, to please you today? Lets, fragrant!
the Air, with a Wiggle of Delight and Catch! those Glances! you, once
had. We'll Distance! free Radicals and Endorse! good Health! Let's Zap !!
the fat!! and Lessen the Bulge!! And Put!! thsat Cute Waist!! back where it
once was!! Pick up! the Phone! and give us a Call,! Invite us in,! We'll tell
you more!" Liz
for International and South African
Received 11th August 2004
Mature professional female from the UK requires
upmarket 2 bedroomed garden cottage/flat to rent. Must be furnished and
equipped to a high standard. Must also be light, airy and quiet with good
sized rooms. Location - upmarket suburbs of Harare. Good security essential.
Own telephone line also essential. Excellent references available on
If you you have a property you would like to let that suits
this description, please call:
1. Nissan CPB 12,8 tone
lorry, and 6 tone trailer with steel cattle sides, very
good condition Z$140,000,000/00 1. Massey Ferguson 240 S tractor
Z$25,000,000/00 1. Open Sabare boat with 200hp Yamaha
Z$17,500,000/00 1. Boat shed at NAUZ Charara Z$7,500,000/00 1. Two wheel
all steel farm trailer with sides Z$3,500,000/00 1. two wheel
trailer, low bed Z$1,600,000/00 Single and double flourescent
lights Single Z$150,000/00 Double
Z$250,000/00 1. Steel, disc cutter with 3hp, 3 phase motor
Z$3,000,00/00 1. Lazy man garage door Z$1,500,000/00 1. Wacker electric
M 3000 concrete vibrator complete with flexible shaft and
45mm probe Z$7,500,000/00 1. Cast iron sewerage man-hole cover
and frame Z$250,000/00 1. Craster swimming pool filter Z$1,500,000/00 1.
Craster swimming pool filter with pump Z$2,200,000/00 2 Motorola
multiple channel base sets with antenna's Z$2,500,000/00 1.
Motorola two channel base set with antenna Z$2,000,000/00 4.
Motorola GP 300 hand held multi-channel radio's
Interviews for short listed applicants may be arranged at nearest
points, i.e. Harare, Mutare or
Received 12th August 2004
A associate in Kenya is deperately looking for
a Rose Manager to assist him in running a 160 hectare farm in Naivasha. If
you are interested in further details please contact Mr Kevin Boekestein