By Fiona Forde in Johannesburg
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Robert Mugabe is set to receive a blanket amnesty and a post as ceremonial
head of state followed by a life term as "founding president" on his
retirement, under the terms of a draft deal to set up a transitional
government in Zimbabwe.
According to the proposed settlement, obtained by The Independent, Morgan
Tsvangirai will take over the running of the country as the new executive
Prime Minister in an interim administration that will pave the way for fresh
elections at a date to be determined in the future.
The detailed draft of more than 50 pages has already been circulated between
the two rivals when they bypassed talks in South Africa two weeks ago,
preferring to liaise indirectly with one another in Harare via
The draft agreement, as yet unnamed, will also provide the basis of the
face-to-face meeting between the two men in the Zimbabwean capital tomorrow,
an encounter that will be facilitated by the South African President, Thabo
Although there is still no final deal on the table, sources close to both
sides of the talks say their respective parties are receptive to the draft.
According to the document, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change,
will head the country through a period of transition, the duration of which
is still to be negotiated. While the MDC is pushing for a term of 24 or 30
months, Zanu-PF is negotiating for five years. A compromise has still to be
The outcome of negotiations remains uncertain and the draft could still be
Should the document become the basis for an agreement, Mr Tsvangirai would
appoint two deputy prime ministers to his office, one from the ranks of
Zanu-PF and one from his own party. Both deputies will also preside over the
strategic ministries of defence and home affairs. It is widely anticipated
that Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party will continue to control the Ministry of
Defence, while the MDC will assume the control of home affairs, with
responsibility or administering the police force and the prison services.
It also foresees the immediate dissolution of the notorious Joint Operations
Command - the military chiefs and Mugabe loyalists who have overseen the
campaign of violence unleashed since the first round of voting in March. In
its place would be a National Security Council, overseen by the prime
minister, his two deputies and a cabinet minister.
Some of the country's most politically tarnished authorities including the
Central Intelligence Organisation, the head of the defence forces and the
commissioner general of the police would all report to the NSC.
The security council would be designed to ensure that neither of the two
parties could monopolise the future general election which would be called
at the end of the transitional government and immediately after the existing
constitution has been reformed or overhauled.
With Zanu-PF stripped of its control of the police, Zimbabweans could
anticipate a smooth election free from the intimidation, fear and rigging
that marred the recent polls.
The remaining ministries would be divided equally between the two parties,
with one allocated to Arthur Mutambara's splinter MDC faction.
In a move to appease the potential donors who needed to finance a massive
rescue package for the economically crippled country a number of key
ministries would be handed over to "independents" - skilled individuals
outside of party structures but approved by the cabinet.
It is anticipated that the Ministry of Finance and Investment would be one
such portfolio that would reside independently of either party chief so as
not to deter the expected and needed flow of money into the country during
the transition, which will last for something in the region of two years.
The ministries of Justice, Land Resettlement Implementation, Agriculture and
State Enterprises are also tipped to fall under independent jurisdiction
during the transition period.
As the incumbent head of Zanu-PF, "Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe should
inaugurate the coalition government" by "formally summoning parliament," by
"formally removing from office all those persons who immediately before the
agreement date were vice-presidents, ministers and deputy ministers" and
appoint "Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to be a senator", the document says.
Under the draft agreement, the "functions and powers" of 84-year-old
incumbent "will be regulated and limited by transitional constitution". Upon
his retirement he will be recognised as the founding president, but will
undertake not to "seek to influence day-to-day governmental decisions, nor
will he publicly criticise, expressly or by implication, decisions made by
The most controversial aspect of the draft agreement is likely to be a
blanket amnesty for each and every Zimbabwean "who in the course of
upholding or opposing the aims and policies of the government of Zimbabwe,
Zanu-PF or either formation of the MDC, may have committed crimes within
This would rescue Mr Mugabe and many of his senior aides from prosecution
for gross human rights abuses and possible war crimes including the
Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s and the recent political terror campaign
which has killed some 120 opposition supporters.
The amnesty is expected to be a tough sell for Mr Tsvangirai who would face
accusations from his supporters and human rights groups within the country
that he has sold out to his political rival.
by Cuthbert Nzou Wednesday 06 August 2008
HARARE - South African President Thabo Mbeki is expected to travel to
Zimbabwe in the next few days to finalise a power-sharing deal between
President Robert Mugabe and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, diplomatic sources said.
They said Mbeki could arrive in Harare as early as Thursday to facilitate a
meeting between Mugabe and Tsvangirai to conclude a deal reached by ruling
ZANU PF party and MDC negotiators currently in Pretoria, South Africa.
The sources, who spoke on condition they were not named, said negotiators
have come up with two power-sharing proposals that will be put before Mugabe
Mbeki was in Zimbabwe last week where he reportedly told Mugabe not to
insist on remaining an executive president if a pact was to be reached with
both formations of the MDC.
"The two proposals outline how ZANU PF and MDC should share power," one of
the diplomats told ZimOnline. "It would be up to Mugabe and Tsvangirai to
decide which of the two proposals they prefer."
ZANU PF and MDC officials resumed talks last Sunday that had been called off
a week ago apparently after hitting deadlock over what posts Mugabe and
Tsvangirai would take in the government of national unity.
But Mbeki denied talks had hit deadlock and instead said the dialogue was
still firmly on track and negotiators had only returned to Zimbabwe to
consult their principals on the ground covered so far.
"The talks have reached a level where the principals have to meet face to
face and decide the course to take," the diplomat said. "Once they reach a
deal, the agreement would be forwarded to legal experts to come up with
legal niceties of the pact."
Talks had been initially scheduled to end on August 4 but the deadline was
moved following last week's break.
According to the sources one of the power-sharing proposals was that
Tsvangirai becomes executive prime minister, while Mugabe remains president.
There would be at least two or three vice-presidents and two deputy prime
ministers drawn from the three negotiating parties.
The sources said this structure was designed to accommodate Mugabe's present
vice-presidents Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru in addition to other top
officials of the negotiating parties such as MDC second-in-command Thokozani
Khupe and Emmerson Mnangagwa, a hawkish Mugabe's loyalist, who would become
deputy prime ministers.
The other alternative, the sources said, proposes Mugabe staying at the top
with Msika, Mujuru and Khupe as vice-presidents.
Tsvangirai would become prime minister with the other leader of the MDC
faction Arthur Mutambara and ZANU PF chairman John Nkomo as deputy prime
Apart from that the parties, the sources said, had also reached agreement on
how to share 20 cabinet positions.
"The negotiators at the talks are now deliberating on the outstanding issues
of their agenda, among them, how to deal with perpetrators of political
violence and the land question," another diplomat said. "The talks are
likely to end successfully by this weekend."
Yesterday, the MDC acting spokesperson Tapiwa Mashakada declined to comment
on the latest developments, but insisted the talks were progressing well.
"The talks are on going and indications are that they are smooth," Mashakada
said. "We cannot give details on what has been achieved or not achieved."
Government deputy information minister Bright Matonga also refused to
comment on the talks or confirm whether or not Mbeki would jet into Zimbabwe
on Thursday. "I am not at liberty to speak on those issues," he said.
The two power-sharing proposals, the sources said, were hammered out after
the three parties expanded their negotiators.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa and
Public Service Minister Nicholas Goche represent ZANU PF at the talks.
The pair has since been joined by ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo,
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Higher Education Minister Stan
Mudenge. All are members of the ruling party's inner politburo cabinet.
Secretary-general Tendai Biti and deputy national treasurer Elton Mangoma
are representing the Tsvangirai-led MDC. The additional members are the
party's national chairman Lovemore Moyo and women's assembly chairperson
Secretary general Welshman Ncube and his deputy Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga represent the Mutambara-led MDC. Two other senior
party officials Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Miriam Mushayi are the back-up
team. - ZimOnline.
By Blessing Zulu
05 August 2008
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and founding president Morgan Tsvangirai of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change will open face-to-face
negotiations Thursday in what could be the closing phase of power-sharing
talks, political sources said Tuesday.
Sources in Harare and Pretoria said South African President Thabo Mbeki will
fly to Harare to facilitate the dialogue between the two in his capacity as
Zimbabwe crisis mediator on behalf of the Southern African Development
Community since June 2007.
Sources privy to the negotiations still under way in Pretoria said the two
leaders must settle two key issues. The first is whether President Mugabe or
Tsvangirai as prime minister is to hold executive powers in the proposed
government of national unity.
Also on the table is the question as to who will appoint the governors of
the country's 10 provinces, which include metropolitan Harare and Bulawayo.
The two MDC formations want their members to be named governors in
Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and metropolitan Bulawayo, by virtue
of their political dominance in the region.
But ZANU-PF negotiators have objected that this would fracture the ruling
party given that officials drawn from the independence-era ZAPU party of
Joshua Nkomo would thereby lose the gubernatorial positions allocated to
them in a 1987 unity accord.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that both sides are
expanding their negotiating teams after extending the talks beyond a nominal
Monday deadline. ZANU-PF has sent party chairman John Nkomo, Higher
Education Minister Stan Mudenge and Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramai - all
three members of the ZANU-PF politiburo.
The MDC formation of Morgan Tsvangirai dispatched Harare lawyers Innocent
Chagonda and Jameson Timba along with International Affairs Secretary
The other MDC faction, headed by Arthur Mutambara, has bolstered its team by
adding national executive members Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Miriam Mushayi.
Political analyst and human rights lawyer Brian Kagoro told reporter
Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a power sharing deal is
possible but will take compromise.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES Aug 06 2008 07:05
United Nations troubleshooter Haile Menkerios flew back to South Africa on
Tuesday to monitor the South African-mediated talks on resolving Zimbabwe's
political crisis, UN spokesperson Michele Montas said.
She told a press briefing that Menkerios, a UN assistant secretary general
for political affairs, was first heading to Pretoria for consultations on
the mediation process but also planned to visit Zimbabwe before returning to
New York this weekend.
Power-sharing talks between representatives of Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and of his opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai resumed in a secret
location in South Africa on Sunday after a nearly week-long pause to allow
negotiators to return home and consult with their leaders.
The talks had broken up last Tuesday amid suggestions from Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that the two sides were deadlocked in
their bid to resolve the crisis spawned by Mugabe's disputed one-man
re-election win in June.
Menkerios is serving as the UN high-level representative on a so-called
"reference group" -- which also includes the African Union and a security
panel of the Southern African Development Community -- set up to assist the
South African mediators and provide regular progress updates.
The MDC had insisted on widening the South African mediation to other
representatives after accusing Mbeki of being biased towards Mugabe.
On Monday, a South African official said bargaining between Zimbabwe's rival
parties was likely to stretch several days beyond the two-week deadline,
which expired on Monday.
Deal 'not far off'
Meanwhile, the Star reported on Monday that the two sides were close to a
power-sharing deal that would turn Mugabe into a ceremonial president.
The report cited unnamed sources close to the negotiations as saying the
agreement would make MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai executive prime minister.
Zimbabwean government and MDC officials were not immediately available for
"They are down to detail now," the newspaper quoted one source as saying.
"Although how long that will take is still unclear. But a deal is not far
off. Not at all."
Mugabe won a one-man presidential run-off last month, widely denounced as a
sham after Tsvangirai pulled out of the race due to a wave of deadly attacks
on his supporters.
The 84-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since
independence in 1980, has for his part insisted that the MDC has to
acknowledge his victory in the run-off if there is to be any kind of
power-sharing deal. - Reuters
August 6, 2008
TWO events have left me even more convinced that little is going to change
in Zimbabwe in the near future.
The first is the buying of lavish cars and goods for judges by the Zanu-PF
government through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. To me this is plain buying
of loyalty. It is no different from when a chief married off his daughter to
the greatest warrior living in his kingdom. Or when various European
monarchies such as the English and the French married off daughters to each
other to try and buy allegiances and build alliances in medieval times.
The MDC has been basing their position on judgements passed in the arena of
international media and opinion. They have been arguing that Tsvangirai
should be the leader of any transitional arrangement based on the results of
the March 29 election. On the other hand Zanu-PF is adamant that the result
of the June 27 run-off election is valid, as Tsvangirai discouraged his
supporters from voting voluntarily.
If the sides fail to agree, then the only legal route available would be to
challenge the June 27 run-off in a Zimbabwean court. Obviously it wouldn't
hurt Zanu-PF's cause too badly if the judges hearing the case were driving
from their homes every-morning in Mercs provided by Zanu-PF, watching DSTV
every evening on plasma TVs provided by Zanu-PF, driving to their farms
every weekend in four-by-fours provided by Zanu-PF, that is not to forget
that the farms were allocated to them by the benevolent Zanu-PF.
Of course, it also doesn't help the MDC's cause, in a Zimbabwean court, that
Tsvangirai is on public record as saying he was withdrawing from the run-off
and encouraging his supporters either not to vote or to spoil their papers.
In my view the withdrawal is the greatest legal impediment to any challenge
Tsvangirai may try to raise in the Zimbabwe legal system.
This leaves international diplomatic pressure as the only tool the MDC have
in their fight to have power transferred to themselves. Apart from getting a
few governments to refuse to recognise Mugabe's authority, I don't see that
route achieving the actual transfer of power in Zimbabwe in the near future.
All I see coming is just another lengthy period of accusations, counter
accusations, grandstanding and throwing of insults at each other.
There are rumours swirling around, claiming that Mbeki has delivered all
kinds of ultimatums to Mugabe. Besides the fact that these are
unsubstantiated rumours, we should all be sufficiently informed at this
stage to realise that what Mugabe personally accepts may not be accepted by
the Zanu-PF establishment. The ongoing negotiations are not just about
Mugabe's fate but about the fate of Zanu-PF stalwarts as well, some of whom
are clearly harbouring ambitions of stepping into Mugabe's shoes. To them
limiting the ultimate power of the MDC actually improves their own chances
of overpowering that party in future.
Despite what their critics would like to believe about their legitimacy or
even Mugabe's legitimacy, these people still firmly have the reigns of power
in their hands. An example of how they are using or abusing that power is
the lavishing of goods on judges, obviously to curry favour.
The second event is the lopping off of 10 zeros from the Zimbabwe dollar,
without any accompanying economic policy shift to acknowledge that the
direction in which government has been going all along has been wrong. I did
notice that, combined with the original lopping off of three zeros, this
leaves us just one zero short of a number often associated with dumbness in
If anybody had any doubt that the bad old ways of economic mismanagement are
still around then Mugabe's threats to industry, to declare a state of
emergency, should have brought them to their senses. Zanu-PF is not going to
change their economic thinking, if we can call it that, in the near future.
In short, political settlement between the main antagonists is still
distant. Even if it happens there is no firm guarantee that the critical
issue of economic mismanagement can be sufficiently addressed to ease the
suffering of ordinary Zimbabwean people.
Also, judging from campaign promises made in the run-up to March 29, both
the MDC and Zanu-PF seem to share the belief that a government can always
pull money out of thin air to lavish on people and buy their loyalty.
Tsvangirai promised the people of Matebeleland that they would not pay taxes
for five years, while Mugabe promised all villagers free scotch-carts and
ox-drawn ploughs, as well as ridiculously cheap transport.
This is an indication that both leaders either totally lack understanding of
how economies work, or are so contemptuous of the intelligence of the
electorate that they believe they can always sell them a dud. Neither
prognosis is healthy either for democracy or for economic prudence in
Without recognition of the fundamental deficiencies in the way the economy
has been run, it is very unlikely that issues fundamental to the recovery of
the economy such as minimal government expenditure through a lean cabinet
and a lean civil service will be pursued with the political vigour necessary
to ensure a successful economic turn around.
In fact it looks like Zanu-PF is pursuing the loyalty-buying tactic with the
MDC by offering them cabinet posts and a vice presidency without making much
of an effort to change the fundamental structural economic problems, that
have been the fertiliser spurring the MDC's growth.
Without fundamental changes to economic behaviour of government, it is very
unlikely the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans will be eased to any significant
measure. Without the easing of the economic plight of ordinary citizens,
Zimbabwe will continue to be a potentially destabilising factor in the
In short, until the way Zimbabwe is being economically managed is addressed,
the problem of Zimbabweans flocking to other countries will remain. Current
efforts to resolve the Zimbabwe issue by President Mbeki seem to consider a
mere political accommodation between the MDC and Zanu-PF as the solution to
Zimbabwe's problems. The real solution lies in addressing the economic
management issue. Not only do economic measures have to be in the best
interests of the ordinary people, but they have to be practical and viable
in the long term.
It should not be assumed that political agreement by the leadership of MDC
and Zanu-PF means that they are going to automatically agree on economic
management. Most likely those in Zanu-PF will want to maintain and protect
their looting capabilities.
August 6, 2008
By Our Correspondent
RUSAPE - Militant Zanu-PF supporters have besieged a farm house here,
trapping a white commercial farmer and his son inside for four days up to
While neighbours have attempted to persuade the squatters to withdraw the
police have not intervened. The siege was laid on the farm amid an
escalation in farm invasions especially in Manicaland by self-styled war
veterans and senior government officials.
"It's a tense and worrying situation," said a district Commercial Farmers'
Union (CFU) official of the standoff on Tuesday.
About 40 Zanu-PF supporters armed with an assortment of weapons, including
knives and clubs surrounded the home of farmer Gavin Woest in the Rusape
farming area on Tuesday. They have laid siege on the farm since Friday last
week, The Zimbabwe Times was told.
Contact with the Woests has been lost, the union said, after telephone
cables on the farm were vandalised. The area is out of reach of mobile
The squatters - led by men claiming to be veterans of Zimbabwe's war of
liberation - repelled a Zimbabwe Times news crew who approached the farm
Tuesday, attacking their vehicle with sticks. No one was injured in the
The CFU official said some members of the gang were believed to have stolen
firearms from a detachment of six police officers whom they surrounded and
Woest is holed up in the house with his son Kirk, The Zimbabwe Times has
President Robert Mugabe has described the illegal occupation of the 280
remaining white-owned farms as a justifiable protest against the ownership
of prime land by the descendants of British settlers.
The police have refused to evict the invaders, despite worsening attacks on
the few remaining white farmers and their workers.
In Burma Valley, south-east of Mutare, deputy minister of Transport and
Communications, Hubert Nyanhongo continued to lay siege on Gwindingwi Farm
after kicking out white farmer Johan Vorster.
He has defied two High Court orders instructing him to leave the property,
where he has harvested 100 tonnes of bananas, after seizing six tractors, a
Mazda pick up truck, a seven-tonne Nissan CK 10 lorry and 45 tons of
Farmers accuse Mugabe of allowing squatters to remain on white farms as a
political ploy to shore up his defeated party's waning support.
Mugabe is driving a populist programme in the rural areas, including the
distribution of food hampers to desperate villagers, who rejected his
continued rule in the March 29 poll.
The populist posturing, fed by belligerent rhetoric by the veteran ruler,
has sparked the new round of farm invasions.
Caught in the middle are the nation's farm workers, who say they will lose
their income if the invaders force out the few remaining commercial farmers.
HARARE, August 6 2008 - Churches are now involved in feeding school
children at most boarding schools around the country as shortages of basic
Most boarding schools around the country were reportedly facing
closure at the beginning of the year because of basic commodities shortages.
"I think the government should assist institutions like schools,
hospitals and orphanages in the procurement of basic commodities especially
from suppliers such as the Grain Marketing Board," said one parent, Josphat
However, some churches have since the beginning of July, been
supplying these schools with basic commodities, which they source from
neighbouring countries. Most boarding schools in Zimbabwe are mission
schools, which are run by churches such as the Church of Christ, Lutheran
Church of Zimbabwe, Roman Catholic Church, Presbyterian among others.
Boarding schools, which are reportedly being bailed out by the
churches, include Dadaya High School in Zvishavane, Marist Brothers in Dete,
Chegato, Masase, Munene and Musume High schools in Mberengwa.
Schools are expected close this week but since the beginning of the
year, parents have been asked to pay top up fees every month as the fees
have been eroded by hyperinflation
Meanwhile Matopo boarding school in Matebeleland North has asked
students to bring their own groceries when schools open for the third term.
Parents who spoke to Radio VOP said they had been told by school
authorities to bring two packets of rice; two 750 ml bottles of cooking oil,
2kgs of sugar beans and 40 kgs of roller meal per student as part of
third-term school fees.
"The groceries are also part of the school fees because the school
authorities are saying they are failing to source adequate food for our
children from shops," said Talent Sinyoro, a parent at the school.
Although the arrangement is said to have been agreed by both parents
and school authorities at a recent school development committee meeting,
parents who spoke to Radio VOP said the arrangement was a heavy burden to
them as they are affected by the same scarcity of basic commodities in the
Another school, Inyathi Secondary in Matebeleland North, is also
reportedly asking boarders to bring their own sleeping beds as part of
school fees payment. Most boarding schools in the country are reeling under
severe food shortages and lack of money, which has affected the quality of
The food crisis has also hit colleges and universities where in some
instances female students have resorted to prostitution in order to survive.
Many schools in Zimbabwe have already closed before the official closing
day, which is Friday because of lack of food.
The government has however said secondary schools would benefit from
its basic commodities' supply intervention scheme, which is being
spearheaded by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
August 6, 2008
By Our Correspondent
BULAWAYO - About 3 000 Zanu-PF supporters, allocated plots illegally on a
council farm just before the June 27 presidential election by a Zanu-PF
official, now face eviction.
The desperate home seekers were allocated plots on Bellevue Farm, east of
Emganwini Suburb by a Zanu-PF Women's League official, only identified as
Kandemiri, apparently with the tacit approval of her superiors.
She parcelled out the so-called agro-residential plots, measuring about 1, 5
hectares to people who paid $500 million (now 5 cents after the revaluation
of the currency.) The settlers, mainly Zanu-PF supporters and civil
servants, named the settlement Emganwini East.
Soon after allocation, they started to clear their plots and to build huts.
But yesterday, Bulawayo Metropolitan Resident Minister, Cain Mathema said
his office did not recognise the land allocations.
He said Bellevue Farm was part of municipal land and the Bulawayo City
Council was the only lawful authority that could allocate residential stands
in the area.
"The government does not recognise the settlement you are referring to,"
"We know that there are people who are claiming to be allocating people land
in the name of Zanu-PF but what they are doing is illegal. There are normal
ways through which land is allocated. Action will be taken."
The government acquired Bellevue Farm from its previous owner, a commercial
farmer, in 2005 and allocated it to the Bulawayo City Council for its future
Sources say the farm was supposed to be used for organised peri-urban
farming. But before the local authority could move in to survey and
sub-divide the plots and allocate them, Zanu-PF grabbed it.
The farm lies some seven kilometres southwest of Bulawayo on the Plumtree
Road, opposite Emganwini high-density suburb.
But in a dramatic turn of events the ruling party provincial executive in
Bulawayo, sensing the direction in which the wind was now blowing, has now
effectively distanced itself from the goings-on on the farm.
Effort Nkomo, the provincial spokesman, was quoted in the media as saying
Zanu-PF was not involved in the distribution of land on the property. He
described Kandemiri and her colleagues, who were parcelling out the land, as
The allocation raised a storm, not only because it was illegal, but also for
its timing just ahead of the June 27 presidential election.
At the time, Zanu-PF was on the campaign trail in support of President
Robert Mugabe who faced Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai before the later withdrew citing violence.
Observers saw the hasty land allocations as a vote-buying ploy by Zanu -PF
in a bid to dilute the MDC's traditional stranglehold on Bulawayo.
Tsvangirai later withdrew from the run-off, leaving Mugabe to stand alone in
what was widely condemned as a sham poll.
By Carole Gombakomba
05 August 2008
The food security situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating rapidly, according
to the top disaster relief official for the U.S. Agency for International
Development, whose assessment based on a recent visit to the country
informed an appeal last week by USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore to the
Harare government to rescind its ban on food distribution by aid groups.
Fore also called for the Zimbabwean government to communicate to authorities
at all levels that the ban has been rescinded, and to guarantee the safety
of humanitarian workers.
Though the Zimbabwean government this week announced a partial lifting of
the ban imposed June 4 on food distribution by non-governmental
organizations to permit the resumption of feeding programs for HIV/AIDS
patients, the wider NGO distribution ban remains in effect and continues to
block the flow of food aid to an increasingly distressed population.
The U.S. government among others deplored the ban on aid distribution when
it was imposed and has been calling for it ban to be lifted. But the latest
appeal from Fore was informed by a direct assessment by Ky Luu, director of
USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Reached early this week on another assignment in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Luu told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that "the situation is extremely alarming and it is deteriorating by the
Luu reported "an atmosphere of desperation" as consumers struggle to feed
themselves and their families amidst hyperinflation that has driven the
price of a loaf of bread from 20 U.S. cents in May to US$1.70 recently, when
the average Zimbabwean makes $4 a month.
MUTARE, August 6 2008 - Mozambiquan police officers are reportedly
ill-treating Zimbabweans crossing into their country to shop for basic
commodities or conduct business.
This follows the significant cutting down of the quantity of
foodstuffs that Zimbabweans can buy from the neighbouring country.
"I lost thousands of Mozambiquan Meticais and groceries to the police,
after being arrested on flimsy grounds and others, especially women, have
had to offer sexual favours to some male police officers to escape the ill
treatment," said a Zimbabwean who fell victim to Mozambiquan police.
Tawanda Madondo, a Harare resident, said the police are arresting
Zimbabweans on flimsy charges such as being falsely accused of being drunk,
even when they are not driving.
Tonderai Sithole, another Zimbabwean said he was suspected of being a
diamond dealer searching for buyers in Manica town and was searched.
He said when the police failed to find diamonds on him, they took away
thousands of Meticais he had on him.
Beer lovers have also fallen prey to the police who seemingly become
thirsty each time they see a Zimbabwean carrying a crate of beer.
Beer is in short supply in Zimbabwe and where it is available, prices
are far beyond the reach of many.
A beer now costs about US$10 in most hotels, which is enough to buy
two six packs in Mozambique.
Officials from the Mozambiquan consulate in Mutare refused to comment
saying they needed to investigate the claims first.
August 6, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Zimbabwe could continue to grapple with a severe grain shortage as
the government has only secured 60 percent of the seed maize requirements
for use in the next farming season.
Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo made the chilling revelations when he
addressed farmers at the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) annual congress in
With less than two months before the start of the 2008-09 growing season
which gets underway in October Gumbo disclosed that the government had
secured only 30 000 tonnes of maize seed out of a requirement of 50 000
Gumbo said the government had committed scarce foreign currency resources to
import the bulk of the 30 000 tonnes of maize seed. He said only 11 300
tonnes of maize seed was sourced from local seed houses while the balance of
18 700 tonnes was imported from neighbouring countries.
"We are intensifying our farming preparations and so far we have bought 30
000 tonnes of maize seed out of the 50 000 tonnes required to plant two
million hectares of maize," said Gumbo.
He said the government would move with haste to import the remaining 20 000
tonnes of maize seed before the start of the planting season. The season
could turn out to be another disaster if government's last minute initiative
is not successful.
Critics, among them the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation
(FAO), have blamed government's poor preparations in sourcing critical
inputs such as seeds and fertiliser before each farming season for the
current grain shortages.
Zimbabwe's seed houses, among them Seedco and Pioneer, have in recent years
failed to produce enough maize seed owing to reduced hectarage after most of
their seed-producing farms were seized by veterans of the liberation war and
supporters loyal to President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party under a government
backed land redistribution programme.
Since the widely condemned commercial farm invasions, which President Mugabe
defends as being aimed at correcting colonial land ownership imbalances,
which favoured white commercial farmers with the most fertile soils at the
expense of the black population, Zimbabwe has grappled with severe food
shortages. Zimbabwe, once a self-sufficient producer and exporter of food is
now forced to commit scarce foreign currency to the importation of maize and
seed-maize to close a growing food deficit in the country.
At the end of the 2007-08 farming season Zimbabwe harvested only 850 000
tonnes of maize against an annual domestic consumption of 2 million tonnes,
resulting in severe food shortages across the country.
Owing to the perennial food shortages western countries among them Britain
and the United States, which President Mugabe frequently lashes out at have
helped alleviate massive starvation through food handouts to the troubled
During the run-up to the March 29 elections government outlawed the
operations of foreign aid organisations on suspicion they were aiding and
abetting the election campaigns of the opposition.
HARARE, August 6 2008 - The Zimbabwe National Students' Union (ZINASU)
has petitioned the Botswana government to deport former Herald political
editor, Caesar Zvayi, who recently quit the State-controlled publication to
work as a lecturer at the University of Botswana.
Zvayi, a former geography teacher accused of promoting hate language
on behalf of the President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party, quit The Herald
last month. He was reported to have landed a job as a media lecturer at the
University of Botswana.
In a petition to Botswana President Ian Seretse Khama on Tuesday,
ZINASU called on the Botswana government to continue piling the pressure on
Zimbabwe, by standing against Mugabe and expelling his lieutenants such as
"Your Excellency, we salute and commend your efforts in not
recognizing and condemning the 27 June one-man election in Zimbabwe," reads
the petition to Khama.
In the petition, the students' union said Zvayi propagated hate among
Zimbabweans and should not be accommodated in Botswana.
"Your country is a good model of a democracy and good governance in
Africa and people like Zvayi should not be accommodated as they propagated
hate among Zimbabweans because of his vitriolic writings in the daily
newspaper," adds the statement.
Two weeks ago, Zvayi and his former colleague at the Sunday Mail,
Munyaradzi Huni, were included in a revised list of targeted sanctions by
the European Union and the United States government.
06 August 2008
As Zimbabwe's economic meltdown continues unabated since the past ten years,
protest music has become popular in the country as people are now speaking
against the status quo through music.
Protest music has been on the rise especially in the run up to Zimbabwe's
historic harmonized elections. The proliferation of protest music has become
a topical issue, considering that there are a number of suppressive laws
such as the Criminal Law(codification and Reform) Act, Access to Information
of Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) which protect the reputation of the person of the President.
Because of human rights violations, Zimbabwe remains an unsafe environment
for protest musicians who are perceived as enemies of the state. Quite a
number of these protest musicians have been subjected to assaults, death
threats, and being forced into hiding from the marauding Zanu PF thugs.
The duo of Dread Reckless and Sister Fearless, one of the best protest
musicians ever to emerge out of Zimbabwe after Cde Chinxs of the Maruza
fame, have had a brush with the repressive laws after their music was
perceived to be anti-Mugabe.
However, the two have said they sing protest music as they want to expose
the truth that, under the Mugabe regime, Zimbabweans have been reduced to
beggars and a poor lot."In our music, we will be trying to counter what the
Zanu PF leadership is always saying in the public broadcasting stations and
all the state papers. Zimbabweans today, just like during the days of Ian
Smith, are not allowed to voice their concerns, hence our venture into
protest music," said their manager.
Dread Reckless and Sister Fearless were arrested in February and have a
criminal case still pending in the courts, after the government said their
music had insulted Mugabe.
"The Zanu PF regime is aiming to destroy us because our music is pro-MDC. We
sing about the heroics of Morgan Tsvangirai and are part of his election
campaign strategy," said Reckless.
"There is nothing wrong with spreading the message. Let the people refuse to
accept the message if it is wrong but the people l sing for have really
accepted my music and they are playing it in their cars, homes and even
public places" he also said. The group released the hit Nhare Mbozha and
Tiriparwendo na Tsvangirai which have all sold more than 200 000 copies
each, a feat which even reputable Sungura musicians have failed to achieve.
The two albums would have definitely become Albums of the Year in a free and
fair environment. Both albums have songs that attack the status quo and call
for change and good governance in Zimbabwe. They also sing about people's
concerns over the manner in which the Mugabe regime has failed the nation.
Another protest musician, Viomak who has so far recorded three albums, said
protest music was functional in any society as it encouraged the masses to
speak against repressive governments such as the Mugabe regime. Viomak
however said although protest music had taken the nation by storm, musicians
remained unrecognized since the annual Zimbabwe Music Awards did not cater
"I am initiating a musical award programme called the Zimbabwe Protest Arts
Awards(ZIPPA) that will recognize protest artists for their work" she said
adding that protest musicians risked and sacrificed a lot to be the voice of
the voiceless in an environment infested with Zanu PF 'lions' bent to
destroy all those in search of justice and truth to prevail in the country.
Viomak's latest album Garai Makagadzirira reminds all those working hand and
glove with Mugabe to be prepared for his departure from State House. Another
protest musician, Raymond Majongwe who has made himself a household name in
Zimbabwe, also said protest music was a critical component of resistance to
any form of bad governance and oppression.
He said protest music will remain vibrant because it unearths the unseen
that may be swept under the carpet. Majongwe has released Dhiziri
KuChinhoyi, an album which invokes memories of the infamous incident in
which an unsophisticated Grade 3 drop out, Nomatter Mavhunga, duped the
whole cabinet of the Mugabe regime into believing that refined diesel was
oozing out of a rock on the outskirts of Chinhoyi town.
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
6 August 2008
Posted to the web 6 August 2008
GOVERNMENT has banned the importation of drugs and other medical supplies
through all border posts around the country except for two designated
points - Beitbridge and Plumtree.
The ban, effected on July 1 this year, is meant to curb the prevalence of
counterfeit drugs, which had flooded the market through various entry
Speaking during a tour of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe
laboratory by the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Edwin
Muguti, in Harare yesterday, the authority's director general, Mr Mafios
Dhauramanzi said a number of unlicensed indigenous suppliers were importing
counterfeit medicines mainly through northern border posts.
He said many medicines were coming in from Zambia and Nigeria through
Chirundu, Kazungula and Nyamapanda border posts yet Zimbabwe's main drug
suppliers are in South Africa.
"Many dealers are taking advantage of the shortage of medical supplies to
bring in counterfeit drugs into the country. We have since confiscated a
number of medicines that were already on the market but were not registered
by us. Most of the medicines are not in compliance with our standards," Mr
The authority is also closely monitoring pharmaceutical companies selling
unregistered or expired medicines purchased through these unlicensed
A number of pharmaceuticals have since been nabbed and MCAZ has confiscated
the unlicensed drugs while the involved pharmaceuticals had their licences
"We sought permission from the courts to destroy expired drugs we
confiscated from pharmacies and to stock our public institutions with drugs
confiscated from unlicensed dealers. The paper work is almost complete," Mr
MCAZ is currently in possession of a consignment of sodium chloride
(intravenous fluid) that was confiscated from an unlicensed dealer in
The fluid was however tested for effectiveness and was found below standard.
Despite the enormous task being done by the authority to protect consumers
from counterfeit drugs and ensure drug effectiveness, quality and safety, Mr
Dhauramanzi said the authority receive little financial support from
"As a quality control organ, we should also provide quality services to our
clients through well functioning equipment and motivated staff," he said.
He said currently, the institution is finding it difficult to cope with
increased pressure from clients mostly from the non-governmental
organisations versus obsolete equipment.
"Most of our equipment have never been replaced since the 1980s and they are
always down from time to time.
"The Ministry of Health seem to have forgotten that we exist because we have
been left out on a number of issues. We last received financial assistance
in 1997," Mr Dhauramanzi said.
MCAZ is involved in quality assurance of all medical supplies manufactured
both locally and outside the country.
Addressing officials from MCAZ during the tour, Dr Muguti assured the
institution that he will take their concerns and promised to return with a
He encouraged the institution to carry on with the tremendous work it was
doing saying controlling and monitoring selling of drugs would help many
people from buying counterfeit drugs.
"When doctors use these counterfeit drugs, they won't be effective and the
end result is a patient's death. The work you are doing is very important
and need to be complimented," Dr Muguti said.
5 August 2008
Former ZBC bureau chief granted longer remand
Mutare Provincial Magistrate Chipadze on 4 August 2008 refused to remove
former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) bureau chief for Manicaland
Andrew Neshamba from remand on charges of abuse of office as a public
officer but allowed for a longer remand period to January 2009.
The magistrate granted the lengthy deferrement of the matter following an
application by the defence to remove the accused person from remand pending
the finalisation of an appeal which is pending in the High Court. Chipadze
concurred with the prosecution on the grounds that the matter had not been
finalised to warrant removing Neshamba from remand.
Neshamba will therefore be back in court on 12 January 2009. Cris Ndlovu and
MISA-Zimbabwe Legal Officer Wilbert Mandinde appeared for Neshamba while
Nelson Makunyire appeared for the state.
On 2 June 2008 the defence made an application that Neshamba who faces
charges of abuse of duty as a public officer in contravention of Section 174
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act was not a public officer
as envisaged by the Act. The defence argued that under the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialisation) Act, Neshamba was working for a
company duly incorporated in terms of the Companies Act.
The application was dismissed on 5 June 2008 and the defence applied to stop
proceedings so that they could appeal to the High Court against the
magistrate's decision which they argued was a gross misdirection on the part
of the Magistrate Court.
Allegations against Neshamba are that on 4 February 2007 he and William
Gumbo facilitated the entry of Peter Moyo, an unaccredited South African
based journalist with E-TV into Chiadzwa diamond mining fields in
For any questions, queries or comments, please contact:
Research and Information Officer
by Own Correspondent Wednesday 06 August 2008
MEXICO CITY - Zimbabwe's caregivers form the backbone of the country's AIDS
care and support system and urgent steps are needed to recognise and support
the vital role they play, a report released on Wednesday at the
international AIDS Conference in Mexico City said.
According to the report compiled by the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS
Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS), Health & Development Networks
and Irish Aid, volunteer caregivers are at the fore front of home-based care
(HBC) services in Zimbabwe, especially in communities where anti-HIV drugs
are not available.
"Despite the burdens being faced by caregivers in Zimbabwe, HBC is still one
of the most cost-effective ways to deal with illness in the context of a
crumbling health system," states the report titled: Caring From Within.
Caregivers provide basic first aid and counselling to HIV/AIDS patients, as
well as training family members on how to provide that care. Often they
perform household chores such as fetching water, doing laundry or collecting
firewood, all aimed at lightening the burden of disease on the client.
The report called for more international donor support to reach community
level care workers so that they have access to basic resources such as
simple medications, soap or even gloves so that their role is not limited to
providing psychological support.
"HBC activities need to be adequately resourced so that timely and high
quality care is delivered to those in need," says David Parirenyatwa,
Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Child Welfare in the foreword to the
"That is why it is vitally important for the government, the private sector
and funding agencies to partner with civil society and to provide
significantly more funding to these projects."
The report added that programmes that integrate health, economic and social
services, including water and sanitation facilities, were required to
respond to the needs of infected and affected people.
Home-based caregivers - most of whom are volunteers who are themselves
living with or directly affected by HIV/AIDS - play a vital role in propping
up an overwhelmed Zimbabwean public health system that is failing to cope
with the demands of the epidemic.
However, much of their work remains unpaid, unaccounted for and undervalued
in economic terms despite its critical contribution to the overall economy
and society in general.
"The documentation of home based care work in Zimbabwe is a significant step
in sharpening our programming priorities in the country, and possibly
elsewhere," said Peter Power, Irish overseas development minister.
Irish Aid, Ireland's official programme of assistance to developing
countries, funded the project and has supported 15 HBC initiatives in
Zimbabwe since 2005.
"Reducing the impact of HIV and AIDS on communities in developing countries
is a priority for Irish Aid and documenting lessons learned is an essential
component to shaping effective responses," Power said.
The report urged international donors to acknowledge the success that has
been registered by HBC projects in Zimbabwe under very difficult conditions
and be prepared to channel much needed funds to community-level home-based
According to UNICEF, Zimbabwe has nearly 2 million orphaned children, mainly
due to AIDS. - ZimOnline
August 06 2008 at 07:01AM
By Alex Eliseev
Police are investigating how a controversial Zimbabwean politician -
hell-bent on stalling the power-sharing talks - has come into possession of
a R1,4-million armoured Mercedes-Benz allegedly registered with the South
African government's VIP protection unit.
The explanation lurks somewhere between Justine Chiota's claims that
the car legitimately belongs to him, the vehicle's two different number
plates linking it to the VIP fleet and the police's case of suspected stolen
One thing is certain: when complex maintenance man Craig Bezuidenhout
opened a garage for a new tenant at an upmarket complex in Sandton, he had
no idea he was unlocking a Pandora's box and letting loose an cross-border
On Saturday, Bezuidenhout was working at Balgowan Estates when he was
asked to help open a garage that had been left locked by an old tenant.
Homes in the estate sell for as much as R3-million, and Unit 10's new
tenant had obtained permission from the owner to use the garage. The lock
was cut and the black Mercedes-Benz S 600 was discovered.
Last night, Bezuidenhout said what struck him immediately was the
car's bullet-proof windows, blue sirens behind the front grill and an
internal camera by the rear-view mirror.
"The dust (covering the car) was thick," he said. "And the licence
disks expired last year."
Feeling that "something wasn't lekker" and suspecting the car was
government owned, he called the police and detectives arrived at the scene.
More phone calls and the owner was eventually traced - "His
excellency" (as his party's website states) Justine Chiota.
Chiota is a Zimbabwean politician and businessman.
He founded the Zimbabwe Peoples' Party (ZPP) and has two cases in
court to contest his exclusion from the March elections and to halt the
crisis talks taking place in South Africa.
The latter was filed at the Johannesburg High Court this week and
names Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Robert Mugabe and MDC leaders Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara as respondents.
When The Star asked Chiota about the car, his response was: "That's my
Speaking from SA on Tuesday night, he said he had left it at the
garage of his girlfriend's home for two months while he travelled to
Describing it, he said: "It's just a full bullet-proof vehicle".
He would not explain whether he had bought it in Zimbabwe or in SA or
whether it had been given to him.
The bullet-proof armour could boost the price of the vehicle to close
to R2-million and it is unclear at this stage whether the number plates and
registration are real.
Two independent sources ran checks on the customised number plate "GP
GP" - and the car's individual engine number - and confirmed it was
registered as a state-owned car belonging to the "VIP government protection
The car's windscreen also displayed a second number plate number on a
separate licence disk - and that, too, was registered to the government.
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Julia Claassen said that when
the number plates were tested, they checked it out with the VIP protection
This is not yet proof of the car's real ownership and a case of
suspected stolen property is under way.
"Currently the vehicle is in our SAP 13 store," Claassen said. "We're
Chiota, meanwhile, described the police arriving at the Sandton estate
as "stupid" because the car had not been reported stolen and he would have
come to pick it up.
"The only mistake I made was I could have parked it at the airport,"
he said confidently.
Chiota also claimed he was in a position to speak personally to Mbeki.
In news reports, he has been called a "high-flyer" who owns various
business interests, including some in SA.
Locally, he is registered as the owner of two businesses - in film
production and property - but his ID numbers in both cases are labelled
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August
Published Date: August 06, 2008
By Jabu Shoko
As the Movement for Democratic Change begins talks about a power-sharing
deal with the Zimbabwean government, analysts are cautioning the opposition
party not to allow itself to be co-opted and compromised. At an
unprecedented meeting in mid-July, President Robert Mugabe and his chief
opponents, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambare, representing various
factions of the MDC, agreed to conduct formal negotiations to create a
transitional administration to lead the country out of its current political
and economic crisis.
The agreement to conduct talks was a startling reversal of both side's
previous positions. Mugabe has insisted that he is the head of government.
He's hinted in the past, however, that he might appoint some opposition
politicians to government posts. Tsvangirai, on the other hand, has insisted
that he should be the head of state, resting his claim on the fact that he
received the most votes in the first round of presidential balloting held
earlier this year.
Observers say that if Tsvangirai needs a lesson in the dangers of
negotiating with Mugabe, he need only look at history. Back in 1980, Joshua
Nkomo emerged as a credible rival to Mugabe. In response, Mugabe and his
ZANU party launched a substantial military action to eliminate Nkomo's base
of support in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces. At least 10,000 are
thought to have been killed in what became known as Operation Gukurahundi.
With its supporters either killed or threatened by violence, Nkomo and his
PF party had little choice but to sign up with Mugabe's superior forces.
Nkomo was appointed vice president, a position he held until his death in
1999, but wielded little real power.
Eldred Masunungure, a politics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, says
the current situation and that of the 1980s are "very close." Currently,
"ZANU-PF has resorted to using the powers of the incumbent for leverage in
the intra-party talks," Masunungure said. "What's going on in terms of the
security situation is typical of what happened in Matabeleland and the
Midlands during the late 1980s." Tsvangirai and his MDC party say that over
100 supporters have been killed since the first round of voting i
Gorden Moyo, executive director of the Bulawayo Agenda group, agrees that
Mugabe's tactics are similar to those he unleashed in the 80s. But he
insists that Tsvangirai and his MDC faction are well aware of the pitfalls,
and will take care to avoid them.
Tsvangirai has tried to behave differently. The MDC is trying very hard not
to be ensnared by ZANU-PF, because ZANU-PF wants history to repeat itself,"
said Moyo. "ZANU-PF's strategy is, and has always been, to use 1/8its
experience with3/8 ZAPU as a model." For example, Moyo said, Tsvangirai has
said he will not sign anything until the violence against his supporters
stops and the mediation team is expanded to include an envoy from the
African Union. The MDC is "refusing to walk into the lions' den willi
ngly", said Moyo.
NOTE: Jabu Shoko is a reporter in Zimbabwe who writes for The Institute for
War & Peace Reporting, a nonprofit organization that trains journalists in
areas of conflict - MCT
In a replication of the failed policies of price controls, the
ZANU-PF govt., through the ZTA, is set to introduce price controls in the
tourism sector. Harare -- The ZANU-PF government,
seeming never to learn from its mistakes, indicated Monday that it will foist
price controls on the tourism sector through the Zimbabwe Toursims Authority
(ZTA). In introducing price controls in the
ailing tourism sector, where numbers remain
dull, the goverment seems not to remember that the economic crisis in
Zimbabwe, in part, was caused by its introduction of price controls which led to
the growth of the black market and the shortage of commodities. Now, almost
everybody buys their food from the black market, thanks to the government's
price controls instituted in the past. As was the norm back when price
controls were first introduced, hoteliers, restaurant and lodge operators will
be required to freeze price increases until they get approval from the pricing
commission through the ZTA. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive
Karikoga Kaseke said he met with leaders in the tourism industry together
with National Incomes and Pricing
Commission chairperson Goodwill Masimirembwa to "strategize" Masimirembwa said the decision to re-introduce
price controls was muted after realising that most hotels and restaurants were
charging prices based on the illegal RTGS rate. He said they had also introduced
a three-tier pricing model with a cheques, cash and RTGS rate. Tourism operators said the
introduction of price controls in the tourism industry will deal a sucker punch
to their preparations for the 2010 World Cup. ZANU-PF policies, like condoning
violence, failure to procure fuel, have seen tourism decline over the past
decade. In its heyday, the tourism sector was one of the highest foregn currency
earning sectors, behind mining and agriculture. -- Harare Tribune
"We want each operator to take responsibility of what they charge so we are going to force them to give us the names of their suppliers because most of them blame their suppliers for the increases. Business must complement government to bring stability to the economy because if their behaviour continues the new currency will soon lose value," Masimirembwa said.
In a replication of the failed policies of price controls, the ZANU-PF govt., through the ZTA, is set to introduce price controls in the tourism sector.
Harare -- The ZANU-PF government, seeming never to learn from its mistakes, indicated Monday that it will foist price controls on the tourism sector through the Zimbabwe Toursims Authority (ZTA).
In introducing price controls in the ailing tourism sector, where numbers remain dull, the goverment seems not to remember that the economic crisis in Zimbabwe, in part, was caused by its introduction of price controls which led to the growth of the black market and the shortage of commodities. Now, almost everybody buys their food from the black market, thanks to the government's price controls instituted in the past.
As was the norm back when price controls were first introduced, hoteliers, restaurant and lodge operators will be required to freeze price increases until they get approval from the pricing commission through the ZTA.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said he met with leaders in the tourism industry together with National Incomes and Pricing Commission chairperson Goodwill Masimirembwa to "strategize"
Masimirembwa said the decision to re-introduce
price controls was muted after realising that most hotels and restaurants were
charging prices based on the illegal RTGS rate. He said they had also introduced
a three-tier pricing model with a cheques, cash and RTGS rate.
Tourism operators said the introduction of price controls in the tourism industry will deal a sucker punch to their preparations for the 2010 World Cup.
ZANU-PF policies, like condoning violence, failure to procure fuel, have seen tourism decline over the past decade. In its heyday, the tourism sector was one of the highest foregn currency earning sectors, behind mining and agriculture. -- Harare Tribune News
August 6th, 2008
George Orwell, in his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, talks about `B
vocabulary', that is, language ``deliberately constructed for political
Robert Mugabe has been using B vocabulary of a sort for years now. In the
mid-1980s, he deployed the Fifth Brigade, euphemistically known as
Gukurahundi, meaning `the wind that sweeps away the chaff before the rain'.
The Fifth Brigade killed thousands of Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele speakers.
In Zimbabwe, the doublespeak continues. Following the election of Mugabe as
president for a sixth term, in June, a spokesperson for UN
secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had this to say: ``The secretary-general has
said repeatedly that conditions were not in place for a free and fair
election, and observers have confirmed this from the deeply flawed process.
The outcome did not reflect the genuine will of the Zimbabwean people or
produce a legitimate result.''
This was welcome but I think it warrants a more honest translation. What Ban
Ki-moon meant to say is: ``The secretary-general is sick and tired of saying
that Mugabe's thuggery has turned the elections into a sham. The election
process is damaged irreparably. The people want Mugabe out and the election
outcome is corrupt and criminal in the extreme.''
Need I say more?
Dr Brandon Hamber is research co-ordinator of INCORE, a UN Research Centre
for the Study of Conflict at Ulster University.