Sat 19 August 2006
HARARE - Fuel firms responded to the government's unilateral slashing
of petrol and diesel prices by turning off the pumps, resulting in long and
winding queues yesterday re-emerging at the few garages that were selling
fuel in Harare and surrounding towns.
Zimbabwe has grappled fuel shortages since 1999 because of an acute
shortage of hard cash to pay foreign suppliers. Fuel had however remained
generally available since the end of last year as the government appeared to
have liberated the fuel market allowing private companies with foreign
currency to import the commodity and sell at viable prices.
But Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya on Thursday re-imposed controls on
fuel prices declaring that with immediate effect, no garage was permitted to
sell petrol and diesel at more than Z$380 and $320 per litre respectively.
Garages had been charging between $600 and $800 for a litre of diesel or
petrol before Nyambuya's announcement.
Several attendants at some garages visited by ZimOnline reporters in
Harare and its satellite towns of Chitungwiza and Norton said they were not
selling fuel because their employers had told them to "hold on to allow more
time to read the market situation".
Oil industry officials accused the government of acting without
consulting fuel firms and warned that the country could revert to the 2003
situation when motorists would spend months without diesel or petrol.
"If we had our input, we would not have obviously agreed to sell our
products at a loss. We have been importing on our own and now we are being
asked to give it away," said a senior executive with a Harare oil firm, who
requested not to be named.
"If the situation is not rectified, the country is getting back to the
days when it was virtually dry because of unrealistic fuel prices being
imposed by the government," the oil executive said.
Harare-based consultant economist John Robertson concurred, accusing
the government of backtracking on what was a progressive step to allow
market forces to determine the price of fuel.
He said: "We had applauded the government for allowing free market
forces to determine the price of fuel, hence there was some reasonable
quantities of fuel, now we are going back to the era of fuel shortages
unless the situation is addressed quickly .. no one would want to import
fuel at more than $600 a litre and sell at less than $400 a litre."
But Nyambuya insisted the government would not go back on the new
prices of fuel and remained adamant that the country would not run out of
the key commodity because the government and its cash-strapped National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) had made ample arrangements to import fuel.
Nyambuya said: "The government can now import fuel which it will be
selling at the prices I announced. Anyone who is interested in selling fuel
will have to stick to those prices or move out of business. We have planned
with NOCZIM to have foreign currency for fuel imports."
The fuel crisis is one of a litany of troubles afflicting Zimbabwe in
its sixth year of economic recession. The country which has the world's
highest inflation at 993.6 percent is also facing shortages of electricity,
food, essential medicines, hard cash and just about every basic survival
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and Western
governments blame the crisis on repression and economic mismanagement by
President Robert Mugabe, in power since the country's independence from
Britain in 1980.
Mugabe denies ruining Zimbabwe and says its problems are because of
economic sabotage by Western nations opposed to his government. - ZimOnline
Sat 19 August 2006
HARARE - Civic groups in southern Africa have attacked regional
leaders over their failure to push for a resolution of the six-year old
political crisis in Zimbabwe saying their "business as usual" approach was
harming the region.
The civic groups expressed concern after Southern African Development
Community (SADC) leaders failed to put Zimbabwe on the agenda for the Maseru
Mugabe was yesterday expected to brief the SADC leaders on the
measures his government was implementing to halt the crisis in his country.
The SADC summit comes amid a burgeoning crisis in Zimbabwe that had
seen the country battle the world's highest inflation of 993.6 percent and
severe food shortages.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and
major Western governments blame Mugabe for ruining the country particularly
after he seized white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks six
But Mugabe, in power since the country's independence from Britain 26
years ago, denies the charge blaming the crisis on sabotage by Britain and
her allies as punishment for his land reforms. - ZimOnline
Sat 19 August 2006
BULAWAYO - A junior Zimbabwean soldier has threatened to shoot a
Bulawayo-based police assistant commissioner accusing the senior police
officer of having an extra-marital affair with his estranged wife.
The soldier, who is based at Imbizo Barracks in Bulawayo, is said to
have delivered a strongly worded letter to the police commander in the city
warning of "dire consequences" if Assistant Commissioner Mpumelelo Sunduza
did not stop the "affair" with his wife.
In a letter, a copy of which was seen by ZimOnline, the soldier asked
Senior Assistant Commissioner Lee Muchemwa, in charge of police in Bulawayo,
to help stop the affair or have Sunduza transferred to another police
station outside the city.
"I therefore, ask you Sir, to intervene and stop this affair
immediately to avoid the dire consequences which might follow if it
continues. Please do not ignore this letter because at this stage . . . a
tragedy cannot be ruled out.
"I suggest that you have him (Sunduza) transferred to another province
to stop (the affair) and avoid loss of lives which is inevitable under the
present circumstances. The only option left for me might be to shoot the two
and then turn the gun on myself," read part of the letter.
The soldier, who did not reveal his name, said it had become almost
impossible for him to reconcile with his wife after the senior police
officer arranged new accommodation for his wife at Nkulumane police camp
after the woman left their matrimonial home in the same suburb.
He also complained that Sunduza had barred him from visiting his wife
at the camp instructing officers manning the gates to block him from seeing
Our sources said all was not well at the police station following the
delivery of the letter last Friday.
"The letter sent shock waves among the senior officers. We could tell
from their facial expressions that they were not at ease. Everyone in this
city and others outside it know about the affair, which started about two
years ago," said one of the sources yesterday.
Muchemwa refused to comment on the matter last night while Sunduza
angrily rejected requests to field questions from ZimOnline.
"I do not have anything to say to you, just leave me alone," he said
before switching off his mobile phone.
Police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, expressed ignorance over the
"I have not yet heard anything about that, but we do not expect such
things from our officers, especially seniors who should act as father
figures to the juniors.
"However, at times we do not usually intervene in people's private
affairs, and cannot act on this until someone, especially the aggrieved
party, reports that," he said. - ZimOnline
August 18, 2006, 18:45
Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, has criticised certain countries
for what he calls double standards. Mugabe was speaking on the final day of
the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and
Government Summit in Lesotho.
Addresing the closure of the summit, Pakalitha Mofisili, the new chairperson
of Sadc and the prime minister of Lesotho, said in a gobalised world, Sadc
has underscored the importance of negotiations as one people with their
development partners on matters that affect member states econmies and
socioal well being.
Acknowledging Sadc efforts to bring peace, Mugabe lashed out at the great
states that abuse their power. He says those in the front line also regard
themselves as great sources of civilisation that has become sources of
abuse. they talk peace and on the other hand they are causing mayhem. Acute
food shortages and the inability to produce is a major challenge facing
A situation - even the once self supportive Zimbabwe now finds itself in and
the blame pointed at Mugabe. He says something is wrong -"Is it over
dependency donor funding or something else that disturbs us?." As the heads
of states and government leave this tiny kingdom of Lesotho, expectations
are that they will implement decisions they have taken and not become a talk
A number of protocols were signed, these included the finance, investment
and trade area protocols. With the current situation in terms of food
shortages and the fight against Hiv and Aids to name but a few, Sadc will
need to move decisively and rapidly as possible to implement programmes that
will address these matters. The next annual Sadc meeting will be held in
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 18 Aug 2006 (IRIN) - Long queues formed at post offices, known as
the 'poor man's bank', as people desperately tried to exchange old
Zimbabwean dollars for new denominations before the Monday deadline.
Commercial banks in the capital, Harare, were relatively quiet, despite
conflicting statements by Zimbabwe's central bank and the high street banks
about business hours. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said banks "will be open
on Saturday for the purpose of accepting deposits of old bearer cheques, and
exchanging old bearer cheques for new bearer cheques only". No other
transactions would take place.
However, many commercial banks and building societies said on Friday that
they would be closed on Saturday to update computer systems ahead of the
change to the new currency. "If at all there were people waiting for
Saturday [to change money], then that is tough luck for them, because they
are bound to lose out," said a bank manager, who declined to be named.
Zimbabweans were caught off-guard earlier this month when Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono introduced monetary reforms designed to rein in
hyperinflation, which is hovering at about 1,000 percent. He set a
three-week deadline for about Z$40 trillion (US$160 million) in old currency
to be exchanged for a new denomination, and introduced a new official
exchange rate of Z$250 to US$1, from the old official rate of Z$250,000 to
the US dollar.
Individuals are only permitted to exchange Z$100 million (US$ 1,000 at the
old official rate) daily, and companies were limited to Z$5 billion
A branch manager at a commercial bank, who declined to be identified, said
ahead of the August 21 deadline "we had actually made arrangements to have
at least four tellers dealing with deposits of cash in the old notes only
because we anticipated depositors to form long queues." He said the expected
last minute rush at the branch had not occurred.
Innocent Makwiramiti, an economist and former chief executive officer of the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), speculated that people might
have decided against surrendering high volumes of cash for fear of arrest.
Roadblocks were set up soon after Gono announced his currency reforms,
leading to the arrest of thousands of people and the confiscation of Z$10
trillion (US$40 million). Individuals carrying more than Z$100 million
(US$1,000) were deemed to have accrued it illegally, unless they had
receipts to prove otherwise.
As much as Z$35 trillion (US$140 million) was estimated to have been
circulating outside of the banking system - in the last ten days or so the
central bank has stopped issuing statements on how much money it has seized
"It should be remembered that a lot of people who held large amounts of cash
did so illegally, and they are afraid of exposing themselves to the law
enforcement agents," Makwiramiti said. "As a result, we might see notes
flying in the streets following the expiry of the deadline," or otherwise
people were "opting to blow it on beer, women and household commodities".
Many cash hoarders were from the ruling elite and were changing money
outside of normal banking hours through influential connections with the
banking sector, Makwiramiti said. "Most of the cash hoarders are the big
fish who, because of their power, managed to smuggle trillions of the
dollars to neighbouring countries, and they know just how to get it back. As
a result, you would not see much activity in the banking halls, which are
for the small-timers."
Foreign currency dealers operate in neighbouring states, exchanging money
with cross-border traders coming from Zimbabwe.
Isaac Kwesu, economics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe Graduate
School of Management, said the central bank might be lacking data on how
much money it had in circulation, which might be the reason for the slow
business at the commercial banks.
"This could just signal how down and low business is - that money is not
circulating as much as it should because industry and commerce are cramped.
For people in formal employment, there is hardly anything to surrender
because their salaries are too low, and whatever they get is quickly spent
in the shops," Kwesu said.
Businesses have already started refusing the old currency as legal tender,
contravening the central bank's instruction that it remained valid up until
the August 21 deadline. Samson Phiri, financial director of a leading
wholesale chain in Harare, said they have stopped accepting the old
denominations because it was inconveniencing business.
"Just like the banks, we need to be compliant with the new system that deals
with the new notes, but the main reason for stopping dealing in the old
currency is that the process of surrendering them to the banks is
cumbersome. We are made to produce each and every invoice, and are asked too
many questions, not to mention that the process takes too long and claims
too much of our business time," he said.
Sara Mujaji, a customer at the store, said she was being treated unfairly,
as "the banks are not issuing us with enough new notes for us to make the
purchases that we want".
By Peta Thornycroft
18 August 2006
The trial of Zimbabwe's minister of justice, accused of trying to bribe a
witness in a political violence case, is winding down in his hometown of
Rusape, in eastern Zimbabwe.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa is accused of offering a bribe to get a
district official to withdraw accusations that supporters of Security
Minister Didymus Mutasa engaged in public violence before the 2005 election.
His accuser, James Kauyne, is fellow official in the ruling Zanu-PF party
who wanted to be a candidate in the election, but lost to Mutasa in the
On Thursday, Chinamasa told a packed courtroom in his hometown Rusape, about
150 kilometers southeast of Harare, that he was the victim of a political
plot. He said his accuser was one of 32 witnesses in the case, and he would
be stupid to try bribing only one of them not to testify. He denied offering
Kauyne a farm and help with getting a pending charge of attempted murder
Chinamasa told the court he only went to see his accuser to try to restore
peace in the Rusape district, for the sake of unity within Zanu-PF ahead of
The state and defense wrapped up their cases Thursday. However, prosecutor
Levison Chikafu refused to present a final argument. Chikafu says he is
being intimidated by the government with threats of lawsuits.
A verdict in the Chinamasa case will be handed down on September 4.
August 18 2006 at 11:33AM
Resettled Zimbabwean farmers are to be compelled to produce crops such
as grain on a portion of their land, Harare's Herald newspaper reported on
Its website reported that this would happen in terms of yet to be
finalised amendments to 99-year lease agreements for resettled farmers.
Minister of State for National Security, Land Reform and Resettlement
Didymus Mutasa said the amendments were aimed at boosting agricultural
He said a section of the agreement stipulated that new farmers set
aside a certain percentage of their land for the production of "strategic
crops", such as grain.
"This is important because it guarantees food security so that we do
not suffer the hunger that we sometimes suffer from."
Another section dealt with livestock production, requiring farmers to
sell a certain number of their herd to the government every year.
This was meant to boost Zimbabwe's beef exports to the European Union
and other regional blocks.
The Herald reported that resettled farmers countrywide were awaiting
the conclusion of the lease agreements, as these would provide security of
The farmers had complained that lack of security of tenure had
adversely affected production, as their occupation of the properties
Financial institutions were reluctant to advance loans to the farmers
because of lack of collateral. - Sapa
By Tichaona Sibanda
18 August 2006
An 'SOS' for humanitarian assistance worth US$250 million to 'save
lives' in the country has been made by NGO's. Severe shortages of fuel and
grain are plunging the country into a desperate situation. The appeal to
donors comes as maize stocks have run out in the country, while the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe's deadline for the currency changeover is creating turmoil
on the market amid fears that many institutions will not meet it. But that's
Filling stations hiked the price of fuel by 1300 percent selling at
Z$600 to Z$800 a litre. The government responded by imposing a price
reduction to Z$320 per litre for diesel while petrol was set at Z$335 a
litre for all users in the country. Our correspondent in Bulawayo Themba
Nkosi said the crises has got to a stage were 'a spark' can wreak havoc in
the country. 'People have gone for days without the staple food. There is no
fuel right now in the country and worse still if you were to find both in
store there is no cash as the country as already run out of the new
currency,' Nkosi said.
There are also shortages of wheat following grim projections that the
current output could only meet half the country's requirements. In its July
food security report the Famine Early Warning Systems Network reported that
though wheat production is forecast to be higher than last year's crop it
will still fall short of national consumption requirements.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported Friday that the central bank was
under immense pressure to extend an arbitrary August 21 deadline for banks
and shops to get rid of all old bearer cheques. The central bank is in a mad
rush to mop up the old bearer cheques amid revelations that there are still
many people, especially in the remote parts of the country, holding on to
large sums of old money.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 August 2006
Last month The Sunday News reported that the national airline Air
Zimbabwe was in dire straits and facing threats from international
creditors. Mordecai Magaisa, an official representing the airline, told the
National Economic Development Priority Programme taskforce on Tourism that
Air Zimbabwe requires US$44 million for its long-term recapitalisation
programme. He said millions were also needed to meet the airline's immediate
needs and to settle foreign debts. Magaisa disclosed that the situation is
so critical that foreign creditors are threatening to attach the national
It was revealed that Air Zimbabwe has already been barred from landing
in Algeria and in another West African country that was not named because
each country is owed US$4 million. According to the Sunday News Magaisa
said: "One of the countries is already seeking a second judgment on the debt
and this is a major threat to our airline. It would not be surprising if
they are to even attach our planes over the debt."
Magaisa disclosed more details which point to poor decision making by
Air Zim officials. One of the worst decisions involved a deal made with
China. He said the airline needed immediate funding for the purchase of
spare parts for three Modern Ark 60 (MA60) planes recently acquired from
China without any spare parts. The tourism taskforce chairman George
Charamba is reported to have said: "On the issue of spare parts, you were
offered a free plane and you knew quite well that you had a problem of spare
parts. Why did you not opt for the spare parts instead of the plane? This is
my first time to hear about this issue."
Air Zim also needs at least US$500 000 to buy electronic ticketing
equipment which all airlines are required to have installed by the beginning
of March 2007. The equipment is a new paperless technology system now
standard in the industry. The task force also questioned Magaisa about the
abuse of the free-travel facility. Many staff members and former airline
officials are said to be flying for free. The taskforce also enquired why a
regional manager was based outside the country earning a salary in foreign
currency when the job could be done locally.
Several Air Zim flights have experienced technical problems en route
and there have been consistent flight delays and cancellations due to the
fuel and spare parts problems.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 August 2006
People storing water in buckets and other unsafe containers are
creating an environment for water borne diseases in Chinhoyi and other parts
of Mashonaland West Province. From Chinhoyi our correspondent Mike Mutasa
reports that there are daily power cuts that cause the water to be shut off
as well. He said people have resorted to keeping emergency water supplies in
containers that are not refrigerated so the water often becomes stagnant.
The power cuts have also led to an increase in robberies at night.
Mutasa told us the power cuts have been really bad this whole year so
far. He said there is no power from the morning till about noon then it
comes on for a couple of hours in the afternoon. There is no exact schedule
so it is difficult to plan when to shower or to do laundry or to cook.
Mutasa said thieves are taking advantage of the darkness and are
breaking into shops and private homes. With the economic climate as it is
desperate people are looking for anything they can steal and sell. Mutasa
added that the Chinhoyi council needs to take more action to protect
As we reported on several occasions many household items that use
electricity can be damaged when power is restored if they are not turned off
during the power cuts. Mutasa said this has also been a serious problem in
Chinhoyi. He said many people have complained to council officials but they
blame the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and say they are not
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 August 2006
Zimbabweans trying to access their money Thursday discovered that all
automated teller machines were offline and debit cards had been suspended.
With 3 days left to change their old money to the new currency introduced by
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe this month, many people found they have no
access to any money unless they make it into their home branch. Shops and
hotels are also not able to accept payment by debit cards because the system
In Harare Simon Muchemwa spoke to a bank manager who said they had
been given a grace period from the 17th to the 21st to adopt their systems
to handle the new currency. But the RBZ governor Gideon Gono did not make
this clear to people when he announced the new monetary policy that dropped
3 zeros from the currency 3 weeks ago. Salaries for many Zimbabweans were
processed this week and Muchemwa said very few people will have access to
their money until after August 21st. Travellers who are nowhere near their
home branch will also be stranded as they cannot access any money from the
Muchemwa has reported all along that there is much confusion regarding
the switch to the new system. But the situation has worsened as the deadline
approaches with major supermarkets refusing to accept old currency ahead of
the stipulated deadline. Many banks also ran out of new notes this week.
Muchmemwa said there is much despondency and anger as people try to
find ways to deal with ever changing situations and challenges from day to
day. Gono said the conversion to new currency, which was dubbed Operation
Sunrise, was meant to make life easier for Zimbabweans. So far it appears
everything he has done was designed to do the opposite.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
MASERU, Aug 17 (IPS) - As the annual summit of the Southern African
Development Community got underway Thursday, Zimbabwean activist Bishop
Shumba was on hand in Lesotho's capital -- Maseru -- to remind regional
leaders about the political and economic difficulties in his country.
"We want to show the world that all is not well in Zimbabwe, and that
(President Robert) Mugabe is not wanted in Zimbabwe," he said, a huge banner
in hand that read 'Advocating Good Governance in Zimbabwe'.
Shumba, a member of the Johannesburg-based Zimbabwe Exile Forum, a pressure
group, joined 24 other exiles traveling to Maseru to highlight conditions in
South Africa's northern neighbour.
Since 2000, the economic situation in Zimbabwe has worsened dramatically,
something attributed in part to controversial farm seizures and a costly
involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) civil war.
Foreign currency is in short supply and fuel scarcer still, while inflation
has soared to over 1,000 percent. About a million of the country's 11.7
million citizens are receiving assistance from the United Nations World Food
Programme. Along with drought and AIDS, the farm occupations have dealt a
serious blow to agriculture -- and Zimbabwe's ability to feed itself.
Various elections held since 2000 have also been marred by irregularities
and human rights abuse. Like Tapera and Shumba, millions of Zimbabweans have
left their country to make a living elsewhere, or to escape political
persecution -- many for surrounding nations, and the United Kingdom.
"The situation in Zimbabwe is bad. Mugabe is imposing himself on the people
of Zimbabwe by rigging elections in order to cling to power," Shumba noted,
as the Zimbabwean exiles and other activists shouted slogans in front of the
complex where the summit is being held. They were prevented from entering
the conference centre by police.
Zimbabwe is one of the 14 member countries of SADC.
Timothy Thahane, Lesotho's finance minister and the chairman of SADC's
Council of Ministers, refused to be drawn Wednesday on whether Zimbabwe's
problems would come up for discussion during the two-day summit of heads of
state and government.
"I can tell you that the heads of states will be frank to each other during
their closed sessions," he said to journalists during a media briefing --
although later reports indicated that the situation in Zimbabwe was amongst
the issues to be dealt with during a summit session on Friday.
Noted another Zimbabwean demonstrator, Sam Tapera, "We knew that Mugabe
would be protected by his colleagues. This is why we have come here to
highlight the crises in Zimbabwe."
"People in Zimbabwe don't have voice. They are not allowed to organise
demonstrations like were doing here. They live under dictatorship," he told
Zimbabwe did not feature in talks at a three-day parallel conference
organised by civil society groups.
"It was not on our agenda. We believe there are internal processes of
dialogue going on in Zimbabwe," said Ted Nandolo, chairman of the Malawi
Non-Governmental Organisation Council.
"We see no reason to demonise Zimbabwe," he told IPS.
To restore stability to the country, South African President Thabo Mbeki has
engaged in quiet diplomacy towards Harare, a policy that has been widely
Mugabe frequently blames Zimbabwe's problems on former colonial power
Britain, accused of undermining Zimbabwe in response to the occupations of
white-owned farms that got underway in 2000.
But, says Shumba, "Mugabe is just using (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair
as a scapegoat. It's Mugabe who is the problem, not Blair."
While Zimbabwe's government initially described the farm seizures as a
spontaneous bid by veterans of the 1970s independence war to correct racial
imbalances in land ownership that date back to the colonial era, the
occupations were viewed by others as a ploy to win parliamentary elections
held in 2000.
Mugabe, in office since independence from Britain in 1980, arrived in
The only SADC leaders not in attendance at the Maseru summit are Angolan
President José Eduardo dos Santos; Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who is
waiting for the results of landmark elections held last month in his
country; and Swazi King Mswati the Third. They are being represented by
senior government officials.
Swaziland will reportedly also receive attention during the Friday summit
session during which Zimbabwe is to be tackled.
Political parties are banned in Swaziland, Africa's last absolute monarchy.
Mswati has further roused the ire of rights campaigners by living
extravagantly at a time when about two thirds of his citizens exist on less
than a dollar a day -- and while the country is wracked by AIDS (Swaziland
currently has the world's highest HIV prevalence, on average 33.4 percent).
Other issues under discussion at the summit include economic integration of
SADC states, food security, and infrastructure development.
The community is made up of Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania,
Zambia and Zimbabwe.
August 18 2006 at 01:39AM
Harare - A Zimbabwean magistrate will next month decide on the guilt
or innocence of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who is facing charges of
attempting to bribe a witness, his lawyer said on Thursday.
Chinamasa allegedly tried to bribe a complainant in a criminal case
into withdrawing charges and evidence against National Security Minister
Didymus Mutasa, who faces charges of inciting public violence and a group of
Mutasa supporters who face assault charges in a related case.
"We are now waiting for the judgment on September 4," Chinamasa's
lawyer James Mutizwa told AFP.
"Both the prosecution and the defence have just finished giving their
Chinamasa pleaded not guilty when he appeared in a magistrate's court
in Rusape, 150km east of the capital Harare, last week Tuesday, dismissing
the charges against him as "baseless, false and malicious".
Testifying at the start of the trial, prosecution witness and
complainant James Kaunye said Chinamasa offered him incentives including a
farm if he withdrew the charges and recanted his evidence in both cases.
Mutasa is accused of inciting 24 of his supporters to assault Kaunye
two years ago ahead of primary elections to choose the ruling party
candidate for the March parliamentary polls.
Kaunye unsuccessfully ran against Mutasa in the primary election.
The 24 Mutasa supporters are also on trial for the assault.
Chinamasa denied attempting to persuade Kaunye to withdraw the
charges, saying he went to visit the victim to try to bring peace to the
district after in-fighting between ruling party factions. - Sapa-AFP
This is a debate paper presented by Maggie Makanza to the Zimbabwe Social
Forum and Institute for Justice and Peace at the T H Barry Hall in Cape Town
on August 10.
By Maggie Makanza
Last updated: 08/18/2006 08:48:05
IT IS indeed an honour for me to be standing here tonight addressing this
fine audience who I know care deeply about the events happening in Zimbabwe.
I however, do not have any kind words for you tonight.
I know most analysis of the Zimbabwean situation centres on the regime and
its leadership and what they are doing or should do. My presentation is
targeted at the ordinary Zimbabwean citizen who I sincerely believe is the
only person that really matters in this crisis. As they say sometimes you
have to be unkind to be kind and the truth, while painful, shall set us
free. I am here to say the truth as I see it. I have deliberately chosen to
say the unsaid; that which goes unreported and has been largely ignored in
the public discourse.
Although I am here as a member of the Zimbabwe Social Forum
(Pachedu/Sozonke) the views presented in this paper are not necessarily the
views of the forum. The Forum, which started sometime this year, has members
from all political persuasions and subscribes to the value of divergent
views and tolerate diversity. One writer said that perceptions are like
windows; the more we open the more we can see of the world. 'If you could
look through my window and I could look though your window then we would
both see what neither of us could have seen alone.'
This presentation is my attempt to share what I see from my looking glasses
as the key to Zimbabwe's problems. I must mention that I am a Psychologist
by training and that tends to influence my thought processes and the issues
that I am raising. I am also leaving a lot of questions unanswered to
The Death of Outrage
Why has the pro-democracy movements not been able to capitalise on the so
many reported failures by the Zanu PF government. Operation Murambatsvina,
failed Land Reform Programme, the economy characterized by high inflation,
high prices of basic food and commodities, unemployment, the list is
endless. Some people say all the necessary conditions needed for a
combustion to happen exist in Zimbabwe. All that is needed is a spark. Why
then has there been no spark despite numerous opportunities that if
presented elsewhere in the world would have brought about a change of the
ruling government. Why has there been no eruption in Zimbabwe?
William J Bennett described it in one of his books as "the death of outrage".
Why has there been no outrage in Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans on the current
crisis? Most pressure for reform appears to be coming from external forces
rather than internally. There have been calls for the international
community to intervene and for President Thabo Mbeki to 'do something' on
the Zimbabwean crisis. Such efforts as we know have not yielded any results.
If anything positions have hardened and the situation continues to
deteriorate at an alarming rate. But seriously, why have the people of
Zimbabwe not revolted against the Mugabe regime?
There is something special about one who has the ability to laugh at one's
situation in spite of its gravity. That person has transcended the
boundaries of what others call normal and refuses provocation. Remaining
calm in the face of provocation takes a lot of character. Zimbabweans have
that 'collective character' that the world has termed the 'great Zimbabwean
mystery'. Zimbabweans use one word to describe the current situation without
further expounding on it. Should you ask them, how are things in Zimbabwe,
the response without fail is "Zvakaoma". Meaning, it is 'tough'. It is an
abnormal response for one not to be outraged in the face of extreme
provocation. Lets explore why?
1. The Change Equation
All the necessary ingredients for combustion to happen exist in Zimbabwe.
Wrong. The change equation tells us that change equals the degree of
dissatisfaction with one's current situation plus a compelling and
attractive vision for the future. The assumption has been that if we
increase the level of discomfort and suffering of the Zimbabwean people,
change will inevitably come. It has not despite the fact that Zimbabweans
were rated as the unhappiest lot in the world (survey in June, 2006). South
Africa was rated as the fourth in the world in terms of people who are happy
and proud of their nationality.
While we as a nation are clearly dissatisfied with our current reality,
specifically the economic situation, the forces for democratic change have
failed to provide Zimbabweans with a compelling and attractive vision of the
future. While people agree on the need for change, they are unsure of where
the MDC is taking them. I want change yes, but change into what. In other
words, there is a lack of an ideology that underpins the call for change.
Such an ideology would give birth to a compelling and attractive vision of
the future like we had during the war of Liberation. The end state is not
clear. Is it simply about a change of government or more so, a change of
rulers. I hear of a new Zimbabwe but my questions on a number of issues
remain unanswered. For example, there has been a lack of clarity on the
political position of the pro-democracy forces on key and emotive issues
like the land reform programme. Discontent alone is not sufficient as a
rallying point for change. While as an ordinary Zimbabwean, am dissatisfied
with my current reality, I am not convinced with the viability of the
alternative options presented to me.
On the other hand, the ruling party Zanu PF had a potentially compelling and
attractive vision of the future given our liberation history and the primary
reason why we fought a war(s). Notice that I use the word potential, because
it has not been realised. If you have a vision, and people buy into that
vision, you do not have to beat them into subscribing to that vision. Zanu
PF didn't have to do that. They failed to package their vision of
transforming Zimbabwe and did not sufficiently share it with the masses. The
people of Zimbabwe have therefore questioned their motives for propelling
the land question at this point in time. The poor and chaotic implementation
of the Land Reform programme shrouded in corruption and greed by officers in
high offices has made it difficult for people to buy into the Zanu PF vision
of the future. Land reform is now simply perceived as a personal enrichment
programme, rather than an economic and social transformation intervention.
So Zimbabweans are caught between a rock and a hard place. A ruling
government that is brutal and is not delivering, and an opposition that has
not made itself clear on many fronts.
Participation in politics
Participation is one of the key elements of a true democracy. While it is an
acknowledged fact that those of us in the diaspora have been disenfranchised
by the Mugabe regime, there is a general disengagement by Zimbabweans from
actively participating in politics. We are usually resigned to being
armchair critics. This disengagement is evidenced in the ways people express
themselves in reference to the MDC and Zanu PF in the external. You hear
people saying 'what the MDC should do is'...or 'Zanu PF should do A, B and C
to get the economy back on track'. These statements are telling. They show a
clear distancing of oneself from these two major political parties. In such
cases I have always asked, so who is the MDC or who is Zanu PF. Are these
just empty political vehicles travelling to nowhere and not carrying the
hopes and aspirations of Zimbabweans? Or is this merely reflecting a divided
society. Why have we become commentators and spectators of our own
situation? Some of the reasons underlying our failure to participate include
the following among others;
1. Unconscious conspiracy (Inside the mind of a Zimbabwean)
The lack of energy and inertia to fight the regime could partly be explained
by what I will term, a latent support for the Zanu PF programmes and
policies specifically with regards to the Land reform program and Mugabe's
position on imperialism and neo-colonialism. The opposition has worked on
the false assumption that no one supports Zanu PF and has largely informed
the politics of protest by the MDC and other opposition forces. This
assumption is both naïve for a group fighting for democracy.
There is consensus in Zimbabwe on the need for Land reform as a way of
redressing the imbalances created by an unjust colonial system. The
differences we have are in the strategy and approach to implementing Land
Reform. This has largely made it difficult for Zimbabweans to fight against
something that one cognitively agrees with but differs on the how to
implement it. It is easier to fight against something that you do not agree
with. Our disagreement is not on the 'what' but the 'how'.
Given that there are many possible ways of skinning a cat, we may not
necessary fight over it, but talk about it. Which is what Zimbabweans are
doing. They talk. Remember in Zimbabwean terms, talking about a problem is
in some way solving it. Many Zimbabweans therefore suffer from internal
self-conflict with regards to the Land issue rendering them
sterile/inactive/dormant in politics. They will think twice before
responding to a call for mass protest.
2. Conscious conspiracy
According to change experts, if you convince the 'haves' the 'have-nots'
will follow. Change means loss of resources, shift in power, loss of status
and benefits. According to Michievelli in his book' The Prince' When you
introduce a new order of things, you face resistance from those that stand
to loose from the status quo and you must know that you have only a few luke
warm supporter of change who might benefit from the new order. There are a
lot of people currently benefiting from the status quo. Many have become
billionaires and leave in opulence amid poverty in Zimbabwe. So why change
something that you are benefiting from. They are working tirelessly and
conspiring with the regime to make change impossible. They want the status
quo to remain. That includes people in the diaspora who are billionaires
(that is until Dr. Gono decided to drop some of the zeros) and can afford to
buy groceries for their parents on the Internet and change money on the
3. Democracy and governance amid poverty
The rural constituency has largely been misunderstood and underestimated.
Through the arrogance of the political elite, they have often been used
during elections and abandoned. They have clearly expressed their
displeasure at the failed promises by the current regime to deliver on many
fronts. An attempt to show this displeasure was expressed in the many
parliamentary and Presidential elections since independence. But they
learned quickly. They now perceive politicians as an interruption to their
serene and daily living. Describe them as those who come from Harare (towns)
once every five years asking for their votes, cause a lot of violence and
disharmony in the village and disappear in their 4X4 vehicles never to be
seen for another five years.
So, through a series of elections they have learned that this process is not
beneficial to them in anyway as it does not change their lives. Not a single
bit. They are poor when the politicians arrive and they remain poor when the
politicians leave for another five years. The rural electorate have
therefore decided to play game. 'Give the urbanites there votes and let them
go back to Harare with minimal fuss. We will not see them for another five
years' why give meaning to a process that does not give meaning to your
life. They have therefore opted to vote for peace.
History has shown that there is no relationship between tyranny and the vote
for or against tyranny. It is an assumption proved wrong in the Zimbabwean
elections. The fact that individuals can be intimidated into voting somebody
or a party they do not want is in itself a problem. Democracy does not
therefore thrive in an environment of ignorance and poverty. This has been a
strategy that has been successfully utilised by the ruling party. Voting is
the power to decide. The act of giving somebody the power to decide their
future assumes that one indeed has power within their hands to make their
own decision. This assumption is a complete fallacy. That the one getting
the power in their hands to determine his/her own future indeed has their
own future in their hands.
In a situation where poverty is rife and ignorance is abound, elections
simply become a process whereby those who hold the power to resources abuse
those who do not for their own benefit. The comments that I solicited from
people on the ground including a MDC candidate who lost in the elections
confirm that people did indeed go into the ballot box and voted for Zanu PF.
Now if this is the case, then that is democracy in its true definition- that
the majority are right even if they are idiots. Perhaps as the saying goes,
people get the leadership that they deserve?
4. Rethinking the Instruments of Democracy
What is needed is the radical change to the instruments for operationalising
democracy in developing economies. For the continued use of the ballot box
under the present circumstances can only be described as sheer madness. Why
continue to do the same thing when you know that that getting a so-called
partial Electoral Commission to preside over the process is impossible. When
the nature of humans is that of self-preservation and protection. Why should
the ruling party level the playing field?
Communism failed not because it was a bad idea but it lacked a means of
operationalising itself. I think the East tried it with disastrous economic
consequences. While communism a noble idea, lacked the means of
operationalising itself, capitalism a not so noble idea (essentially a
selfish idea) found ways and means of operationalizing the concept. The
framework for democracy as currently conceptualised has become the source of
much pain and suffering for the people of Zimbabwe. The last elections in
Zimbabwe are a clear case in point. As one writer put it in his book 'it was
a predictable surprise".
While Mao Tsu cautioned 'you cannot fall into the same river twice',
Zimbabwe has fallen into the same river several times. The results of the
last elections in Zimbabwe make a complete mockery of the people of
Zimbabwe, but illustrate how as a developing country we have been fooled.
Fooled to believe that democracy comes through an election process, that
democracy comes through a box-transparent or not. Perhaps we have been
fooled. If you have a system that produces a 100% failure rate, you have to
begin to ask yourself whether the problem is inherently in the student or
Democracy as currently operationalised has indeed produced perhaps a 99%
failure rate in Africa. So is it Africa or is it the system? Perhaps there
are ways of operationalising this democracy as conceptualised while allowing
our people to grow and mature with it. Perhaps there are alternative ways of
operationalising democracy in Africa. We must acknowledge that democracy is
a concept that has evolved over centuries. Developed countries have
experimented with different forms of democracy and their people have
internalised and matured with it. The illusion that democracy arrives with
independence and can be juxtaposed on a people and function is a big
fallacy. The current framework for democracy given the poverty and ignorance
in Africa need serious rethinking. We need time and space to grow and nature
thriving democracy beyond elections. Perhaps this is the subject of another
5. Humour and Cynicism - A Survival Strategy for Zimbabweans
The Internet and the streets of Harare, Bulawayo Gweru, Mutare and the
diaspora are abound with jokes and humour lines on the political scenario in
Zimbabwe. Where the scenario has become the object of observation, the seen
the seer and where the suffering take scone at their plight with pride of
how well they have defeated hunger, or how they have conquered hunger and
disease. It takes a different mindset, of defeating your enemy without
fighting, hunger without starving, and diseases without allowing it to kill
you. The ordinary people in Zimbabwe are challenging the premise that you
have to fight hunger with food, violence with violence. There is
hope -zvichapera-it will end. This too shall come to pass. There is a Shona
saying "hapana chisingaperi". Everything comes to an end. And indeed,
instead of fighting the regime, risking leg and limp, fighting that which
will in time come to pass, is by many seen as an exercise in futility.
Many have resolved to wait and watch for the end of the regimes' time. 'It
will come' you will hear them say. They label those that prevail over this
insanity as lacking in wisdom and general intelligence. And for good
measure, should you respond with violence people will not notice the
difference between the sane and the insane. In Shona we say, 'ane benzi
ndeanerake, rikaimba unodzana'...meaning, that should your own relative go
mad, if he/she sings, you have to dance. I guess Zimbabweans are simply
dancing in acknowledgement that one of their own has gone mad singing. And
culturally, you are obligated to look after him and dance should he sing. To
this the world has scorned at the Zimbabweans inability to rise against a
In the face of such provocations as the destruction of property (houses and
businesses), they did not revolt. Yes, they did not. Some even demolished
their own homes to salvage whatever they can. Can you believe it? If this
had happened in South Africa or anywhere else in the world, the response
would have been different. Not in Zimbabwe. Instead Zimbabwe was abound of
homour and stories of 'how one tried to salvage marijuana instead of
property when his shack was being demolished, how some of the evicted people
cannot go back to their rural homes since they had fled the village
following accusing their mothers-in-law of witchcraft.' One of the
newspapers aptly summed it up in one sentence 'police have laid waste to
their homes and families have spent four nights out on the street, but yet
here they are, joking and laughing amid the destruction'.
The question remains as to why the Zimbabweans are responding in the way
they are to the Mugabe regime. Could this be some kind of revolution that
Zimbabweans are verging against the regime? Perhaps the Zimbabweans have
weighed their options and are indeed responding in the best way possible.
Defeating violence with peace, hence dealing with conflict in their own
ways. The Shona people were the first to capitulate to white rule in the
1890's having realised that they will in all earnest not win the war. They
surrendered only to rise up decades later when they felt that they were much
stronger. It is actually a recommended war strategy, to retreat in the face
of a strong opposition. In the face of a strong enemy, you do not commit
suicide, but retreat to regroup when the time is right.
Language plays a major role in the way people think. Our thought processes
in turn influence the way we approach problems and find solutions to
problems and subsequently the way we behave. The humor used by most
Zimbabwean is a way of playing with words, language to interpret the current
events. As one writer put it "even the most serious of events have rendered
themselves to some of the most spectacular jokes that I have heard or read".
Some of the jokes will leave you in stitches but you have to be a Zimbabwean
to understand them. They are so specific to the Zimbabwean context such that
a foreigner would see no humour in it. It is developing to a level were it
has become the way of communicating the unsaid of the current crisis.
In a way the humour has developed into a second language for Zimbabweans,
allowing them to talk about the painful situation without actually talking
about it. Everywhere I have been, the discussions with friends and family,
whether facial, telephonic, or on the internet without fail, ends up with a
humorous story line or joke and you part or meet on that note. Maybe we are
Use of humour and cynicism is therefore one of the survival strategy being
used by Zimbabwean both at home and in the Diaspora to cope with the current
situation in Zimbabwe. Often, the humor trivialises the issue and distances
it from the person. In most cases, the humor is intellectual, creatively
playing with words and abstracts from the current reality. Trivialised,
reality therefore loses its power to demoralise and dehumanise its victim.
The laughter that comes with the jokes generates tears of laughter instead
of tears of sorrow. With the tears of laughter comes an inner peace that
begins a process of healing. This cycle repeats itself with each tragedy
that unfolds. This has been the hallmark of Zimbabwean's ability to restart
and recover from disaster with spectacular results.
As such Zimbabwean are often accused of having a short memory as they are
seen as eager to forgive and move on. Maybe they do not forget. But the
energy level to deal with the system is rather used in reconstructing one's
life among the ruins. Some relative that we visited two weeks after the
demolitions had already cleared the rubble and cleaned out their yard with
little visible signs of destruction. This Zimbabwean mystery of non-violent
culture, unparalleled anywhere in the world is the cornerstone upon which
any meaningful democracy can be built in Zimbabwe.
What then are the prospects for democratic change in Zimbabwe? Is there a
comprehensive programme or plan to respond to the current crisis in
I must say from the outset that I salute those that are trying to do
something on the Zimbabwean issues; those that have put themselves forward
in search of a lasting solution to our problems. Zimbabweans are quick to
criticise without offering solutions. It is ok for you to say that what I am
doing will not work, but it is more useful for you to offer a suggestion of
the way forward. As Theodore Roosevelt said "the credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and
blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who
knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a
worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high
achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring
Towards collective responsibility and the building of a culture of tolerance
and valuing diversity
I have often asked this question and risked losing leg and limb. I know I am
trading on a hornet's nest and risk all the assault. But I will pose the
question anyway. Is Mugabe the real problem or more palliative, the only
problem in Zimbabwe? If Mugabe goes, will that solve our real problem? In
response to Gono's move to slash three zeros from the currency, the finance
spokesman of the larger faction of the MDC, Tapiwa Mashakada, said the only
one "big zero" that Zimbabwe needed to get rid of to put things right was
none other than President Robert Mugabe himself.
"It is not the zeroes that are at the core of the Zimbabwean crisis. The MDC
believes it is not simply the zeros that must go. Mugabe is the big zero and
he must go," said Mashakada in a statement to the press.
I think Dzikamai Mavhaire was the first to make the 'Mugabe must go' call.
If Mugabe goes, it will certainly solve the immediate economic isolation and
bring back the IMF and World Bank, facilitate economic recovery and improved
international relations. It will not however solve our fundamental problems
as a people of Zimbabwe. There is a culture of lack of tolerance for
divergent views at all levels of society. I know of family disputes that
have gone on for generations because they could not agree on certain issues
or 'vakapumhana uroyi'. I know of churches that have split because the
leadership did not agree on certain areas of conflict. Political parties
have split because they could not tolerant different views or agree on
strategy of the way forward. In private sector, you hear very similar
stories of 'camps' in the organisation. Perhaps it is the way we deal with
conflict as a people. The big zero that needs to go in Zimbabwe is therefore
the culture of intolerance and the lack of unity of purpose in each and
every one of us. Selfishness and individualism has ruined us aground. As
long as I am in my little corner making a living I do not care and have no
compassion for others who are suffering. Zvangu zviri kundifambira.
There is need for to us to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit that
Mugabe is not the only problem in Zimbabwe. That in our own ways we have
individually and collectively contributed to the situation that we find
ourselves in. Blaming it all on Mugabe just makes us feel better, but will
not bring about a lasting solution to our real problem. Mugabe simply
personifies and amplifies who we are as Zimbabweans -- egotistic, selfish
individuals driven by self-interests and greed. We are therefore our own
worst enemy perishing in our greed- Hezvoka. You reap what you sow the bible
What roles can the Zimbabweans in the Diaspora play?
So, do Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have a role to play or can we play a
role? Frankly I do not think we can play any significant role in the
politics in Zimbabwe in the comforts of our adopted countries and on the
cyberspace. The change will not happen because we are writing articles and
chatting about the Zimbabwean situation on the Internet. Yes, we can
continue to play the role of breadwinners providing for those relatives of
ours that remain in Zimbabwe. There is no way that people can survive on the
salaries that they are taking home in Zimbabwe.
So how are Zimbabweans coping with the prices of goods and services, which
are in no way linked to the paychecks that people take home? The diaspora
has been sustaining and fuelling these price hikes. The diaspora has
significantly contributed to price and income distortions in Zimbabwe. You
can only afford to buy a house if you are in the Diaspora or a dealer in
Zimbabwe. The breadwinner role of the people in the Diaspora, has only
served to delay the process of change as it ameliorates and smoothers the
suffering and give a false impression that local people are coping. That
unfortunately is the law of unintended consequences.
Lets Go Back Home
The Zimbabwean crisis is like a big party were the invited guests come to
the table and the hosts are nowhere to be seen. My call to all Zimbabweans
both at home and in the Diaspora, is to come to the 'party'. Please show up.
Stand up and be counted. Whether you are an MDC or Zanu PF or whatever
political persuasion, please show up otherwise this democracy game will
remain a concept. I would like to specifically address the youth. You are
the future and therefore have every right to demand that those entrusted
with your future be good stewards. I know hopes and aspirations for some
generations have been lost or are already dead and buried. We have become
the subject of scorn and humiliation among nations. But the power to change
is in our hands. Only we can liberate ourself from ourselves. Be the change
that you want to see. It will not happen without your participation.
Statistics report figures of up to 4million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
That is a quarter of Zimbabwe's population of 12million. These 4million are
also largely the middle working class Zimbabweans driven abroad by the
current economic situation. Those that remain home are either rich (business
people/dealers) or poor. There is no middle class in Zimbabwe anymore. You
either have money or you don't. The world over, most change have been driven
by the middle working class population. With unemployment levels of 70%, it
is unlikely that any call for mass stay away will be heeded. In reality 70%
of the nation is already 'staying away' so why call for a stay away.
To be honest the regime does not want the people in the Disapora to come
back home. It is not in their interest. But in essence that is what we
should do. Lets all go back home and make the change that we want to see. It
will not happen on its own. The world is full of examples of people who went
in the Diaspora hoping to come back when things change for the better but
never did. "Ko anozvichinja wacho ndiyani kana iwe ukasazviita? Who will
make the change if you do not do it? The Cubans have been waiting for over
40 years to go back home. You cannot expect somebody else to build your won
house. Lets all go back home and use our experiences and exposure abroad for
the national good before it is too late.
I sincerely hope that what I have shared will widen your perceptions of the
crisis in Zimbabwe and will help shape your ideas on the way forward.
Perhaps this experience that we are going through, as a nation is exactly
what we need. I take it as a learning process and a strong foundation upon
which democracy can be built.
I thank you,
Maggie Makanza writes from Cape Town, South Africa. She can be contacted at
By a Correspondent
HARARE - Zimbabwe's state grain utility has not delivered imported
maize to millers in southern parts of the country because suppliers would
not release the commodity over contract problems, state media reported on
Bulawayo and surrounding areas have run out of the staple maize-meal,
in what state media initially said could be a result of millers holding on
to maize to press for a price increase.
But on Thursday Grain Marketing Board (GMB) acting chief executive
Samuel Muvuti said maize imported from South Africa could not be moved from
the Beitbridge border post because of disagreements with suppliers.
Maize is a controlled commodity in Zimbabwe and is sold only to the
GMB. It distributes it for milling to private firms.
"Maize is in Beitbridge because of an anomaly in the contracts that we
had with our suppliers and we are trying to correct that," Muvuti told the
President Robert Mugabe's government has forecast a 1.8 million tonne
maize harvestthis year, which is expected to meet the country's food needs
for the first time since 2001. Other forecasts see a much smaller crop.
The government would continue to import maize, mainly from South
Africa, to build up its strategic grain reserves while the GMB says farmers
would this year deliver 900,000 tonnes to it.
Millers said the GMB wanted some firms to collect the maize from
Beitbridge, but this was unsustainable and would push the price of
maize-meal beyond the reach of many people.
The GMB purchases grain from farmers at 31 million Zimbabwe dollars a
tonne and sells it to millers at a 10th of the price but has barred some
millers for reselling the commodity back to the GMB through third parties.
"For the past two weeks we have not been allocated maize by the GMB
and as a result have not been able to produce maize-meal ... the truth of
the matter is that there is no maize," said Thembinkosi Ndlovu, head of the
grain millers in Bulawayo.
GMB officials were not available for comment on Thursday.
In Harare most shops had stocks of maize meal, with some saying
deliveries were expected to resume this week after a two-day holiday.
Aid agencies have warned of another food deficit in the country this
year, saying a lack of inputs such as seed and fertiliser has undermined
production in the recently ended summer cropping season.
Zimbabwe has suffered food shortages since 2001 after being hit by
drought and disruptions to agriculture blamed partly on the controversial
seizure of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to landless
$1=250,000 Zimbabwe dollars
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 6:19 PM
Subject: David Coltart re SW Radio excerpt - Unity
I don't know whether you have been following the recent discussion on SW
Radio Africa involving Tendai and Welshman. The last transcript has just
been published and this excerpt is important:
"Violet: And, finally, you know, some have asked why the visionaries and
luminaries in the MDC are wasting time and breath and fulfilling Mugabe's
agenda by fighting each other. Now, does the old saying 'there's strength in
unity' still resonate with the MDC intelligentsia and pro-democracy
movements in Zimbabwe Professor Ncube?
Professor Ncube: Of course it does, and there's absolutely no doubt that a
single MDC united will have a much better chance, a stronger chance of
actually dislodging the regime than a divided MDC. As we said at the
beginning, the only person who is laughing all the way to the bank in
respect of all the things which are happening on the ground to us as the
opposition movement, as the democratic movement in Zimbabwe, is Robert
Mugabe and Zanu PF. So we are very, very alive to that.
Violet: Tendai Biti?
Tendai Biti: Well, I think as long as the vision remains alive and as long
as all of us have hard looks to ourselves and in ourselves, I think time
might heal us and I think that we should keep the flame alive. You know, I
studied history; history is very funny; so many things have happened in
history, so no one should write the democratic movement off. Far from it."
Welshman has been so heavily vilified in the last year - he has been accused
of being in league with Mbeki and Zanu PF. I have listened very carefully
and studied all these allegations for a year and I have to say that I have
not seen a shred of reliable evidence yet. On the contrary despite the
errors of judgment on some issues that Welshman has made (as all of us have
from time to time) I do not see someone who has been happy about the
divisions in the opposition, or someone who engineered them as alleged. On
the contrary I have personally witnessed someone who has been deeply
distressed by what has happened and who desires unity - as evidenced by this
excerpt. If I am wrong in this I am obviously a very poor judge of character
and fact; and Welshman should be awarded an Oscar!
I think the time has come for us to reconsider who has actually been
responsible for the divisions in the opposition. This time we must consider
hard evidence and not mere unsubstantiated allegations. And if anyone has
hard evidence of these allegations against Welshman could it please be
produced so that we can assess it. If there is in fact no such evidence then
we would all benefit from recognising who is in fact still committed to the
vision of a new democratic non violent Zimbabwe and start working with them.
Congratulations to both Tendai and Welshman for their positive comments.
Congratulations as well to Violet Gonda for this superb series. In my book
all are patriots worthy of our praise and support.
STOCKS may be the most exciting investment option now, but the more cautious
financial analysts have advised on a downscale of portfolios - for fear of
an imminent bubble burst on the rioting Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
"While there are no significant impediments to the market's positive
progress on the horizon, we recommend investors trim their equity holdings
in cognisance of a potentially volatile environment," noted one analyst with
a Harare asset management firm.
"Investors are faced with the spectre of an already fairly valued market,
which will in effect make further exposure to equities a tricky decision.
'With the market having run hard in the past week, profit-taking may see
opportunities present itself."
Analysts say the anticipated volatility may be a consistent feature on the
market for the remainder of this year, particularly given inconsistency in
Share prices shot through the roof in the last fortnight after the Reserve
Bank slashed accommodation rates to about 300 percent from nearly 900
percent. In a single week, the mainstream industrial index gained 60 percent
breaching the 100 000 point mark to over 165 000 points before reaching new
record levels last week.
Although stocks have rallied undeterred since the last monetary policy
review statement two weeks ago, the key industrial index growth has,
however, fundamentally under-performed CPI inflation.
By Friday last week, the index had shown a year-to-date growth of 900
percent to just under 188 000 points relative to annual inflation that
pitched to over 1 100 percent at the end of June, and 994 percent last
Other analysts say this may ring additional appetite for equities, as
interest rates are likely to remain subdued.
The Herald (Harare)
August 18, 2006
Posted to the web August 18, 2006
INCREASED carnage on Zimbabwe's roads is no doubt a reflection of
deteriorating driving standards punctuated by criminals issuing out fake
driver's licences to desperate clients who are prepared to pay anything to
get the document.
Getting a driver's licence has become so difficult in big cities like Harare
and Bulawayo that most aspiring drivers are having to sit for the
examinations in smaller towns where their chances of qualifying are
The case we published in our Monday issue about an examiner who issued a
desperate "client" with a forged certificate of competency for a fee of $2
million is just a tip of the iceberg.
The persistent allegations of bribery have tainted the Vehicle Inspection
Department's (VID) image to a point where many have lost confidence in it.
This has resulted in some unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of this
chaos to make fake licences.
The circulation of fake licences is frightening.
The desperation for licences seems to have created a ready market which
syndicates are tapping into.
Recently, two people were arrested in Bulawayo for issuing out fake licences
to two people who then got jobs as commuter omnibus drivers in the city.
The consequences of these actions are too ghastly to contemplate because
such drivers put the lives of many people at risk and these have to be dealt
While the police are doing a sterling job in busting these syndicates, the
courts should play their part by passing deterrent sentences.
Policing is also poor because some policemen accept bribes from these
Driving schools are known to work in cahoots with VID officials to issue
licences to incompetent drivers who have money to pay and there is need to
monitor their operations.
These schools are also offering a shoddy service.
Fuel costs have affected their operations resulting in substandard lessons,
which have sometimes surprised competent VID officials.
The prevailing economic challenges are making it difficult for driving
schools to service their vehicles, resulting in them exposing learner
drivers to defective vehicles.
This is a frustrating process and results in more and more bribes being
taken as clients desperately want to obtain this document at all costs to
enable them get company cars or secure jobs as drivers. The courts should
pass stiffer sentences against both the supplier and procurer.
Bribery is corruption of the highest order and the Government should step in
and descend on all offenders.
We also urge all people involved in the road and motor industry to
strategise and come up with a solution to this problem, and to particularly
upgrade driving standards.
Scores of people have died owing to negligent and reckless driving.
The VID has done well to try and uproot corruption by transferring officers
around the country and this needs to be complemented by a process that makes
it easy for people to get their licences as opposed to making sure that more
people fail the road test.
The Times August 18, 2006
October 1945 - August 2, 2006
Philosopher and scholar of Wittgenstein who argued
for the disunion of philosophy and theology
MICHAEL HARTNACK, veteran freelance journalist for
The Times and several other newspapers, was a whimsical survivor in one of
the world's longest-running crises, the country that was Rhodesia and is now
Danger stalked him even before he was born, in
Mongu, in the British protectorate of Barotseland (now part of Zambia). His
mother walked alone ten miles through the bush at night with hyenas baying
behind her, to deliver him the next day at the nearest district commissioner's
camp. As an infant, she kept him in an old- fashioned meat safe as a playpen
to protect him from predators.
As a junior reporter from the Cambridge Evening News
arriving in Rhodesia in 1966, a few months after the Prime Minister Ian
Smith had defied Britain and illegally declared unilateral independence,
Hartnack was plunged into reporting for the Rhodesia Herald under fierce
censorship, and constantly had stories blacked out by state censors.
When the guerrilla war for black majority rule broke
out, Hartnack was conscripted into the Rhodesian Air Force. As a prank,
officers tricked him into pushing a Dakota aircraft down the runway, telling
him they needed to be push-started. Later, he had to drive aircraft fuel
trucks on remote dirt roads to airfields in the warzones but managed never
to detonate a landmine or come under ambush.
In 1976 he became chairman of the Rhodesian Guild of
Journalists and constantly fought with the Rhodesian authorities over
censorship. In 1979 he had a shouting match with Lord Soames, the British
Governor, immediately before independence, over his failure to set an
example of openness by rescinding Rhodesian censorship regulations. He
called Sir Nicholas Fenn, the governor's chief aide, "a rampaging gauleiter".
As President Mugabe's regime fell deeper into
controversy, Hartnack was regularly vilified for his coverage of corruption
and repression. In the constant street violence and harassment of latter-day
Zimbabwe, Hartnack became an expert at evading police, war veterans,
militiamen and soldiers who constantly targeted journalists. The only time
he was arrested was by police in 1986 who rescued him from a mêlée of drunk
student rioters and then charged him with attending an illegal meeting.
Among those he wrote for were The Times, the
Associated Press, The Daily Express, the South African Rand Daily Mail and
the Zululand Observer. In 2003 he was made an honorary doctor of literature
by Rhodes University in South Africa, with a citation that read: "The
qualities which place him in a special class are those which he has
displayed under the fire reserved by repressive regimes of every political
hue for those who seek to challenge or expose the official version of
He was a workaholic, aided by the perfect Pitman
shorthand he learnt while on the Cambridge Evening News at night classes in
London, where he blushed throughout because he was the only male in the
He was able to reduce the grimmest of circumstances
to foolishness with an unceasing flow of self-made limericks and ditties,
such as: "Old Mugabe had a farm, C-I, C-I-O", from the initials of Mr Mugabe's
notorious Central Intelligence Organisation, the secret police.
He did not attend university but was an autodidact
with an astonishing grasp of world history and literature. He read
voraciously and had a prodigious memory that produced quotations from Keats,
Noël Coward or Mugabe's speeches with equal ease. Few knew of the many
friends, black and white, he took under his wing.
He suffered a fatal stroke while with friends at a
garden party in Harare. He is survived by his wife, Anne, and three
Michael Hartnack, freelance journalist, was born in
October 1945. He died on August 2, 2006, aged 60.
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
August 18, 2006
Posted to the web August 18, 2006
VARIOUS artists last weekend lambasted government's ill-conceived Operation
Murambatsvina through music, poetry, dance and drama at The Peace Festival
The festival kicked off three weeks ago at Oliver Mtukudzi's Pakare Paye
Arts Centre in Norton, moved to Kuwadzana the following week and last
Saturday was in Highfield where various groups performed at the Zimbabwe
Lifati Harimedi, director of The Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, which organised
the festival said: "The aim of the festival was to bring some of the
country's biggest artists to grass root level, enabling the society to mix
and mingle with artists at their doorsteps."
Poetry and musical outfit, The Police State, recited a poem entitled
Zimbabwean Life -- Realistic.
"This beauty is under threat. I passed a marketplace somewhere in this
ghetto.Vendors were selling their merchandise on the streets. Then suddenly
there was great panic. Children, men and women running to save their dear
goods from the police. It is the clean-up taking its toll" part of the
"You should see how suddenly people pick up their metal trays, how fast they
run carrying their goods.
It is really dangerous to be in the streets that are being 'cleaned-up' but
we have to continue existing in the streets for that is where we get our
bread and butter."
The group portrayed the situation in Zimbabwe and how it has become normal
for the masses to play hide and seek with the police because they have no
other option for earning a living.
After every stanza there was a musical interlude of the song Ndopatigere
Pano (This is where we live). The song, by the late Jordan Chataika, brings
out the plight of people who are living in destitution in their motherland.
Songbird Chiwoniso Maraire performed three songs, the most popular being
Ivainesu Mwari Baba (God be with us). Other Artists included Sam Mtukudzi,
Amavhitikazi dance group and Chirikure Chirikure of the Detembira fame who
recited his poem Destruction of the Soul.
The festival ends next week at Stodart Netball Complex in Mbare.
Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
Job Opportunities; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Ad inserted 20 July 2006
A permanent position is offered as a live in Nurse/Carer to take care of an
Alzheimer's patient as well as a Stroke patient. Nurse Aids will be
available to help with night duties.
This position needs to be filled very urgently. Salary will be discussed
personally with applicants.
Applicant must be willing to live on a farm in the Beitbridge district, and
have a valid passport.
Please phone: Patty on 086-22332/22391 during work hours or 086-22465 at
home or email Patty on
Ad inserted 27 July 2006-07-27
FARM MANAGER REQUIRED
A farm manager is wanted for a large commercial tobacco estate, Karoi north
area. The position requires the management of 80 ha's irrigated & 80 ha's
dry land tobacco,250 ha's of commercial maize,10 - 30 ha's seed maize and 40
ha's winter crops.
The successful candidate needs to have previous experience in tobacco and
maize production. Farming diploma as well as mechanical and /or electrical
knowledge would be an added advantage.
The successful candidate is also expected to have strong HR skills to manage
a large work force of at least 300 workers.
The farm Manager will report to the General Manager of the Estate.
A competitive package with a generous performance driven bonus is on offer.
Minimum contract period shall be 2 years but standard offer will be for 3
years. Good accommodation and other related perks are also on offer.
Please send C.V. and references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ad inserted 27 July 2006
TOBACCO MANAGER REQUIRED URGENTLY
We urgently require a highly motivated and capable Tobacco Manager to run a
commercial unit near Harare. The successful applicant will be an honest,
hard working person who is prepared to put everything into the project to
Please contact Joe Pistorius on email: email@example.com or phone 091 251408
Ad inserted 27 July 2006
WANTED Regional Sales Manager
We are looking for a person in their 30's to aggressively sell Inverters for
our client. The right candidate must have the following qualities:
* Hard core sales
* Someone who is used to a "small office" set-up
* Ability to manage a team of sales representatives at a later stage
* CV must show a strong sales experience with a preference to 3 years at a
* Ideal candidates would have a background in
electrics/solar/electronics/FMGG/power (battery)/IT sector
* The candidate should be aggressive, focused and result oriented who can
build the market independently
* Main challenges are to identify the right partners as distributors/dealers
* The role will involve lots of travelling in Zimbabwe and Regionally. There
will be a lot of international exposure.
* Very attractive salary and benefits on offer
If you feel you have all the above experience and qualities, please contact
Sarah to secure a place in the short listing. Sarah Vale Oxford IT
CFU Agricultural House, Corner Adylinn Road and Marlborough Drive,
Tel: 309855 - 60 (ext 23), Direct: 309274, Fax: 309351
Ad inserted 27 July 2006
Vacancy Offered - General Manager
Our company is looking for someone to fill the vacancy below:
Company: Associated Meat Packers, Harare
Industry: Beef Retail and Wholesale
Position: General Manager.
MAIN PURPOSE OF THE JOB: The position is required by the senior executive to
manage, plan and organize the daily operations and activities of Associated
Meat Packers, Harare. The objective of the General Manager is to be a direct
representative capable of making sound business decisions on behalf of the
Managing Director whilst operating AMP Harare as an individual strategic
business unit at a profit and growing.
EXPERIENCE: The incumbent should have at least 5 years experience in the
beef industry or related market(s) and have held a position of
responsibility for a minimum of 3 years. Knowledge in export markets is an
CONTACT: L. JONES on 04 797868 (Work) or 091 408 881 (Mobile) for
more information and to arrange an interview. Please deliver CV in a sealed
envelope to Associated Meat Packers, 1 Coventry Rd, Workington, Harare -
Attention: Mr. L Jones.
Ad inserted 3 August 2006
We recruit qualified candidates and conduct training including interviews
before relocating selected employees to their specified job location. Our
Human-Resources Team is continually looking for friendly, hardworking,
dependable, crew for our cruise ships. They co-ordinates employment
opportunities, for all position on board our cruise lines. The benefits of
working on cruise ships lure people of all ages. Our dedicated team will
assist you in applying for one of the most desired job positions ever.
Food & Beverage Manager
Assistant Housekeeping Managers
Customer Service Rep.t
APPLICANT IS ADVISED TO APPLY FOR A JOB WITH HIS / HER C.V,
AN APPLICATION LETTER AND ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS (CERTIFICATES).
Ad inserted 3 August 2006
To assist manager in small company - Graniteside.
- maintain spread sheet, cash books, etc., on computer
- pay PAYE, NSSA, VAT, etc.
- pay creditors
- general office duties.
Please telephone - 011 202 352 or evenings 884153
Ad inserted 3 August 2006
Applicants are invited to submit applications for the following vacancies at
a Gweru based Safari Lodge:-
1) Assistant Camp Manager - preference will be given to a couple.
2) Assistant Reservationist
3) Assistant Photographer
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Ad inserted 3 August 2006
Our family-owned crèche and nursery school is looking for a mature lady to
work in the office. She would need to have office experience, (bookkeeping
knowledge would be a bonus). The job would probably be five mornings a week
and two afternoons. She would need to be energetic, enthusiastic, enjoy
children and be confident enough to manage our staff and maintain standards.
Good interpersonal skills a must. This job would involve very little
supervision, so initiative is also a must. We are based in Avondale.
Applicants must have their own vehicles. This is not a stressful or taxing
position; it is mainly a supervisory presence.
Any enquiries should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Salary will be
discussed with applicants personally
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
ADMINISTRATION MANAGER: FARMING OPERATION.
Farm is located 28kms from Harare in the Mount Hampden area. Farming
- Poultry Project with initial capacity for 45000 broilers/layers. Plans
underway to increase capacity to 75000 by June 2007.
- Horticulture - passion fruit 6 hectares to expand to 12 hectares over the
next nine months.
- Summer cropping - +/- 200 hectares under maize and soya largely for
livestock i.e. chickens.
- Cattle - 250 head of breeding animals mixed.
POSITION ON OFFER
- Administration Manager
(a) Stock Controls (Inputs etc)
- Record Keeping
- Monitoring generally
- Control of all vehicles
- Service and proper use of all plant and equipment
(c) Produce Control
- Accounting for all farm produce and ensuring proper
(d) Payment of staff wages
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE - LADY OR GENTLEMAN (equal opportunity)
- Self motivated with an eye for detail
- Some computer literacy - e.g. Pastel
- Mature person with ability to work with people
- Flexible and prepared to look after the farm assets as if they were
Negotiable remuneration depending on experience.
Preferably on farm but other options can be looked at in view of proximity
of farm to the city.
(Please note this farm was purchased from a farmer who has since emigrated.)
CONTACT: Washington Matsaira - 252289 or 091233564
Teresa Cox - 252289 or 091249084
Jenny Coetzee - 744565 or 091314845
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
OXFORD IT is looking for System Engineers for a company in Botswana. The
successful candidates need experience in security, identity management,
network administration, printing, scanning, back-ups, databases, routers,
switches, modems, WAN, vSAT, DRP, and DM2, windows, linux, email and proxy
If you are interested and feel you have the relevant experience to match
this position, please email your cv to email@example.com or call 309274
/ 309855-60 and speak to Sarah.
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
Aussie migrant is looking for people to fill jobs in demand in Australia.
Our Recruitment organisation, Recruit global, provides a job search
Aussie migrant handles the rest of the visa requirements, relocations etc.
Jobs in demand are in the skilled areas, qualified, mechanics, fitter and
turner, boilermakers, drillers and riggers.
We are also finding shortages here in the professional
areas, accountants, surveyors, draftsmen, etc
Please contact us and send us your c.v for an initial free assessment.
39 Skinner St
tel +61 07 3226 4888
fax +61 07 3844 7022
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
Tired of Living in Harare with powercuts and water shortages?
Missing the farm, the bush and your friends? Want to live the outdoors life
Yearning to belong to a community and have common interests again?
Loosing value on your salary every day?
WE HAVE THE SOLUTION TO YOUR DILEMA!!
A new, and rapidly expanding company in Kariba run by ex farmers' is looking
for a young couple to manage a multi faceted business, starting immediately.
Applicants must be proficient in MS word, Excel and E-mail, as well as be
able to handle public and pressure situations.
Salary and bonuses linked to USD.
Initially work enough for a single applicant but will rapidly require a
second person once phase 2 of the expansion programme is completed in
Applications should reply with a brief CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ad inserted 17 August 2006
Qualified miller required to run new maize mill. Large capacity in Chimoio,
Mozambique. Expatriate conditions apply.
Please Phone Euan - 00 258 820697840
Email - email@example.com
Ad inserted 20 July 2006
Commercial agricultural representative
I am a former commercial agricultural representative with farming experience
in Zimbabwe and Mozambique (Virginia tobacco, burley tobacco,
commercial/seed-maize, wheat, Soya beans, cotton, citrus and pigs); I have
extensive knowledge on the subjects of agronomy, crop chemicals and
veterinary products. Is there anybody out there with something for me?
Contact Stu Taylor on 0204 -2288 or 091-650997.
Ad inserted 20 July 2006
48-year-old farmer with 23 years diverse farming experience, 23 years
tobacco, maize, beef, sheep, and 10 years floriculture. No dependents. Phone
091233165 / 04499817. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ad inserted 27 July 2006
Single male with vast experience in the Hospitality Industry seeks
position.5 years experience in Lodge/camp administration /management .Please
contact William on 091 774 523 or 091 398 730 ,working hours 09-60727 or
0838 261 or E-mail at email@example.com
Ad inserted 3 August 2006
Vacancy Wanted A.S.A.P
Information and Technology Technology
Experienced (4yrs) Network and Software support Engineer
Microsoft windows 2003 server, Exchange server, Linux
Contact Carl @ firstname.lastname@example.org
+283 91 984 888
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
Just sold my private business /catering/ in Harare. I am 50-year-old man in
perfect health. I have MSc in Engineering Geology from Imperial College
and was working as senior geologist and manager of Construction Company for
20 years all over the world. Fluent in English and French, ZW permanent
Looking for the manager position in various fields.
882384; 091 775544
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
Recently retired manager with extensive experience in workshop management
and transport tracking and control. Looking for part time, five mornings or
four days a week, employment. Computer literate and has own transport.
Contact 302702 or 091-609078.
Ad inserted 10 August 2006
Ex Farmer/Consultant and Agronomist for Alliance One Tobacco aged 50 years
living in Zimbabwe with 23 years experience in growing tobacco, maize, seed
maize, horticulture, beef cattle, pigs, chickens.
Excellent management, administration and communication skills, computer
literate, full clean
drivers licence. Was runner up' Tobacco Grower of the Year' in 1985. Spent
last 2 years consulting for Imperial Tobacco Group in Madagascar on the
production of flue-cured tobacco.
AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY. CONTACT Jack Readings: 011 600 636; 011 602 538 or
04 701170/3 or email: email@example.com
Can send CV if necessary.
Ad inserted 17 August 2006
Maid looking for job, employer's contract expiring shortly. Experienced in
looking after children. Cleans, washes, irons, prepares vegetables. Willing
to learn to cook.
Available immediately. Contact Ruth at 8 Garden Lane, Avondale Call
employer, Mr. Filipovic on 091 278 897
Ad inserted 17 August 2006
Workshop, Parts Manager, Age 49, Qualified Motor Mechanic, Knowledge of
Panel Beating& Spray Painting Computer Literate, Avail 1/9/2006 Contact Don
on 091 772473 or 011732084 (evenings please)
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org (updated 17 August 2006)