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We can't pretend that we can do without the world

12/10/2002 8:56:30 AM (GMT +2)

By Tawanda waMagaisa

ONE of my favourite economists, Paul Krugman, has written about the
"confidence game" and I will shamelessly borrow his language to illustrate a
few points about our situation.

The bottom line is that to be competitive in the battle for investment
and attracting trade, a country must play the confidence game well. In
simple terms, a country must ensure that those that it wishes to attract
have adequate confidence in its capacity to sustain their commitments.

There is no doubt that in this respect Zimbabwe has in the past five
years fared very badly and the repercussions of this poor standard will live
long to affect future generations.

The southern African community, by failing to rein in the excesses of
the regime, is also implicated and has become tainted by the same dirty
brush that has eroded confidence in Zimbabwe. That is why they too have a
major responsibility to ensure that things should not be as they are.

The people we wish to attract, be they direct investors or tourists,
can only do so when there is social and economic stability and a
prerequisite is political sanity. You cannot expect an investor to pour
money into an economy that is in tatters and which every day we are doing
something to undermine. The idea that property rights are not respected is
fatal to any pleas for investment. The right to property is crucial because
it gives security to investors.

Now when there is always a looming threat that the state can ignore
the existence of property rights or that it can wake up and close certain
industries, there can be no expectation of any prudent investor coming into
the country.

Others might say well, the investors could keep their money. But that
in part is precisely why we are having foreign currency shortages - there is
not enough money coming into the economy. Prudent governors the world over
recognise the significance of investment. It is folly to pretend that we can
move on without it.

In any event, domestic savings are crucial, but who would save in an
economy where the currency is losing value by the second? At this rate, it
will not be long before we see men and women pushing wheelbarrows or
carrying sacks full of cash to go and buy bread and the morning newspaper!

There is need to respect the rule of law and to free the market in
order to give certainty to the system and some measure of autonomy to
investors. I do not for a moment say that the State should not regulate the
activities of business. But while there is need for regulation, it must not
be unreasonable. Price controls are just a temporary reprieve - they will
not bring commodities back on the shelves. If anything, they can lead to
unprofitability and when that happens no prudent businessperson can continue

We lose the commodity, people lose employment and the repercussions go
further. It is folly if people can be bought by price controls because that
alone does not solve the fundamental problems that have caused the price
rises in the first place. The price increases are just a reflection of
reality and price controls only allow us to live a borrowed life. When the
rule of law is respected and upheld, investors are assured that in the event
of disputes, the resolution is not impeded by the whims of those in power.
They will be assured that they can rely on the law and institutions that are
impartial and fearless.

Yet as many have shown before, the rule of law has been buried under
the rubble of political expediency. To many around the world to invest in or
visit Zimbabwe, it is one of those lawless, failed states that cannot be
trusted. It will take a long time to recover the respect and confidence.

Then we have the important structures in the domestic financial
architecture. These include the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank and
the financial institutions. The more prudent Dr Simba Makoni, who tried to
instil economic discipline and to play by the market rules and not succumb
to gung-ho economics, was pushed out as Finance Minister a few months back.
It is reported that the governor of the Reserve Bank has not had an easy
ride so far.

The independence of the central bank, as with the Judiciary, is
crucial in the confidence game. For example, the bank and not the
politicians must control monetary policy and have autonomy to deal with
exchange rates. The bureaux de change have been closed apparently because
they were fuelling the black market. Yet, as correctly observed by
economists, these bureaux are mere agents in the market. They are playing a
role that any one can play with or without their existence.

Closing them does not increase the inflow of foreign currency nor does
it stop the black market. What is needed is to increase the inflow of
foreign currency and then perhaps the unreal profits that many, even the
politicians, have been reaping will be reduced or extinguished. But to
increase that inflow, we need to address the fundamentals some of which I
have outlined in this paper. Above all, we need to play and win the
confidence game.

Our neighbours will know the impact of the fall of Zimbabwe.
Economists refer to it as contagion - the risk that the difficulties
experienced in one country will spread to others, thereby crippling the
whole region. Also known as systemic risk, there is no doubt that there has
been an impact on the neighbouring nations what with the economic and
political refugees and, therefore, imposing further strain on their
resources. Indeed, some of their own people might begin to think that the
suspension of market discipline and the rule of law are the only way to
solve matters. The South African rand has already suffered knocks arising in
part from the troubles in Zimbabwe. Investors will be less reluctant to put
their money into southern African countries when by condoning what is taking
place in Zimbabwe they are indirectly participating in its downfall. In
other words, the confidence that the outside world might otherwise have had
in us is gone.

We cannot expect to move on and recapture our lost glory on the basis
of archaic economic principles.

In the new globalised world, image is everything. You must not only be
good, but be seen to be looking good. At present, as one of the rogue
nations we cannot expect to get out of this quagmire any time soon.

There is so much wealth in this country and so much that the world
desires, but we will remain on the periphery, unless we change our ways and
look good again. We cannot pretend that we will do without the world. The
world can go on without us, but we cannot afford to retreat further into

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Daily News

Leader Page

Sacrificing lives to score political points

12/10/2002 8:51:49 AM (GMT +2)

MELES Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has his own political
problems, as President Mugabe has. In addition, like Mugabe, Zenawi has a
potentially catastrophic humanitarian crisis brought on by the drought in
his vast country.

What an Ethiopian was recently reported to have said in the village in
Gawane could have been said by a Zimbabwean villager in Binga:
"We have no food. Unless God helps us, we are destined to die."

Mugabe has made the public assurance that the government would not let
any of its citizens die of starvation. Considering the many accounts of
people surviving on wild fruit and the roots of trees they would ordinarily
consider too poisonous for human consumption, it is only a matter of time
before the government acknowledges the hollowness of that pledge.

It will have to acknowledge that its negligence has exacted a
frightening toll in human life.

Zenawi was in the United States last week, where he obtained an
assurance from the World Bank (WB) that if international donors did not come
to the aid of his starving people, the bank itself would step in.

Mugabe would be barred from entering the US for the same purpose - for
talks with President George W Bush. Even if it was for a United Nations
conference, the US would now probably try its hardest to stop him from
entering its borders.

Ethiopia has had a multi-party political system since 1996, a few
years after the ouster of Mugabe's friend, the ruthless dictator, Mengistu
Haile Mariam, who has been given political asylum by Mugabe for years.

Ethiopia has its political problems, but none of them relates to the
denial of freedom of association, assembly or expression or the alleged
theft of a presidential election.

Certainly, there are none of the stultifying restrictions today that
the dictator Mengistu routinely imposed on the people.

Ethiopia has a far better chance of receiving international aid than
Zimbabwe, whose political performance since 2000 has resulted in sanctions
being imposed on its leadership. Its estrangement from both the
International Monetary Fund and the WB has virtually sealed off donor
funding from other aid agencies and from other nations.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is still helping to feed thousands, but
it too must be aware that the government would rather have all the food
donated delivered only to Zanu PF supporters.

What the party did in Insiza during the by-election in October -
stealing WFP food to give it to its supporters - must stand as an ugly
symbol of the party's utter cynicism in its attitude towards the use of food
as a political weapon.

The political delinquency for which Mugabe and his government are
being punished shows no signs of ending as the government seems determined
that even if its people starve to death, it will not give in to demands for
good governance.

The political survival of Zanu PF has become such a focus of
concentration for the government that many lives are likely to be sacrificed
on this altar of political expediency. In spite of public assurances, the
government has continued to use food as a political tool. The Zanu PF
membership card has been turned into a precious possession for those who
want to avoid death from starvation.

Yet Mugabe, apparently pleading for understanding from the
Netherlands, told the new Dutch ambassador last week he saw no reason why
the Netherlands would involve itself in what Mugabe prefers to view as a
bilateral quarrel between his government and the British government.

This is such a simplistic argument it is surprising Mugabe even hoped
the Dutch ambassador would waste time studying it. The crisis has grown way
beyond a tiff over land between the two governments.

It is now a matter of the life and death of the people of Zimbabwe.
It is time the world and the people of Zimbabwe themselves took this
same view: their lives are being sacrificed for the sake of Zanu PF's
political survival.
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JAG SITREP 10th December 2002

The GMB 'Task Force' has over the course of the last week visited at least
six farms in order to remove maize grown on the farms. This task force
typically consists of a number of GMB officials in a 7 tonne truck, often
accompanied by an army truck with a number of soldiers. They operate in an
exceedingly unpleasant manner, threatening workers and demanding the keys
for barns and warehouses. On Grenora Farm they forced the workers to lie on
the ground and threatened to run them over unless they yielded the keys for
the barn. The task force took 21of 31 tonnes from Jambo Farm, 5 of 15t from
Elephant's Rest Farm and a further 10tonnes from Kemasimbi farm. Obviously
this leaves most of these farms understocked for the next year. The task
force has promised to return to the area this week, after the expiry of the
GMB "grace period" for delivery of wheat to its depots.

Lilie Farm, belonging to Scott von Memerty, was invaded on Friday by seven
armed and uniformed Air Force personnel who informed him that they were
taking the farm on behalf of Wing Commander Musiyaziriwo, and that he was
to vacate the property. He showed them his High Court ruling overturning
the section 8 on his property, but they refused to acknowledge that it had
any jurisdiction over them. He then called the police and the DA, who both
informed him that he was within his rights to remain on the farm, and the
police promised to react if necessary. The AFZ officer in charge threatened
to shoot the police if they attempted to arrest him or take a statement,
and after two days Mr von Memerty returned to Harare from the farm, leaving
the seven AFZ officers inside the security fence. No resolution has yet
been achieved, since the AFZ personnel refuse to move from the property,
and are still demanding that Mr von Memerty vacate the property.

Thandanani Farm, owned by John and Margaret Sankey, is one of the largest
vegetable growing farms for the bulawayo market, sending in some 16 tonnes
of sweet potatoes per day in season, in addition to other vegetables. The
farm used to consist of four 100ha farms, but three have been taken already
been taken. The fourth has now been claimed by a CIO official, Andreson
Chibaya. Chibaya has forced the couple off the farm, threatening them at
gunpoint, and evicting them on Tuesday last week. Police refused to
respond, instead giving the couple a lecture about "getting on with the
nieghbours"! Since then Chibaya has been harvesting their crop and selling
it in town, as well as stealing four million dollars worth of fertilizer
and irrigation equipment. The Sankeys have had to abandon some 500 million
dollars worth of farm machinery and their home on the farm.

Apologies for the break in sitreps - the focus within JAG HQ has been
mostly on the subcommittees and coordinating the organization to run
smoothly and efficiently in the future. We have not stopped listening,
however, and are determined to ensure that the plight of farmers and farm
labour in Zimbabwe reaches the ears of the international community with
renewed vigour. Thankyou to our regional contacts for continuing to feed us
information - if anyone else has reports of human rights abuses,
evictions, intimidation and the like within the farming community (on or
off the farms) please send it in as soon as you can. We are maintaining a
database of perpetrators, and plan to ensure they are held accountable, so
we need as much information regarding such people as you can provide us.



(091) 317 264 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 863 354 we're here to help

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Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 13:08 GMT
Zimbabwe strike flops
A grandmother feeds donated bread to her family in Zimbabwe
The country's economy is in tatters
Banks, shops and industries are all open as usual in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, despite the call for a national strike in protest at the economic crisis.

The BBC's reporter Lewis Machipisa said the strike looks like it is a major flop.

Traffic is heavy and it looks like any other normal working day, he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

This festive season will be bleak

Alex Tamba

The strike was called by a coalition of civic groups in Zimbabwe, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

The police accused the organisers of seeking to cause unrest and declared the action illegal.

They arrested Wellington Chibebe, secretary general of the 200,000 strong Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which has backed the strike, along with other unionists.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) also supported the stayaway. No marches were planned for fear of sparking a police clamp-down.


Some workers said the stayaway had not been well organised, while others said they feared losing their jobs in the run-up to Christmas.

"I am only trying to feed my family. It's harder and harder and this festive season will be bleak," said Alex Tamba, a father of four.

Riot police truck
The police have wide powers to stop demonstrations

"I didn't know there was going to be a strike. I only heard this morning on radio something about an illegal strike," said George Matambo, a central Harare shop worker.

But NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said he was not disappointed and would call another stayaway on Friday.

"We are actually happy that some people took heed of our call, given the political culture of intimidation in this country," he said.

Tough new security laws which outlaw public gatherings and impose long prison terms have made it difficult to organise strikes, say union leaders.

Foreign currency

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said that 13 people had been arrested for stoning buses, putting up barricades and organising the strike.

He said the MDC had paid people in foreign currency to set up barricades.

Riot police truck
The police have wide powers to stop demonstrations

Zimbabwe is suffering its worst economic crisis in two decades with record high unemployment, inflation and crippling fuel and food shortages.

President Robert Mugabe is blamed by many for creating the crisis through his controversial land redistribution programme and poor economic policies.

He blames an international plot, organised by Britain, to bring down his government.

The NCA is a coalition of student and church groups, political parties and rights groups and has led several previous protests in the past two years against President Mugabe's policies.

Its strike calls have never met with a massive public response.

But in 2000, the NCA spearheaded the campaign which defeated Mr Mugabe's proposals for a new constitution.

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ZIMBABWE: National strike action goes unheeded

JOHANNESBURG, 10 December (IRIN) - A call for mass action to protest food and fuel shortages in Zimbabwe went largely unheeded on Tuesday as most employees arrived at work.

But organisers of the stayaway dismissed reports suggesting that the strike was a "flop".

"About 30 percent of workers stayed at home across the country. Those who have called the strike a failure do not understand what Zimbabweans are up against," Chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku told IRIN.

"Most people were too afraid to protest. There is widespread fear among people that if they embark on any kind of protest they will be accused of toppling [President Robert] Mugabe," he said.

The NCA, a coalition of student and church groups, political parties and rights groups, has led a number of protests in the past two years against a constitution that critics say Mugabe has manipulated to bolster his power.

On the eve of the protest, the head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Wellington Chibebe, and 11 of his officials were arrested for organising the strike.

Madhuku said 25 people were arrested on Tuesday for participating in the strike.

Observers said the strike failed to take off due to poor organisation and workers' fear of losing their jobs.

"This strike was part of a broader message to the government that the people of Zimbabwe will not watch the economy be ruined. This is part of the mobilisation process to get people politically aware. We will continue to hold these stayaways until the government is forced to make changes," Madhuku said.

Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment, inflation and crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis in two decades.

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Dear Fellow Zimbabweans,

The funeral of Margaret Sankey will be held tomorrow, Friday 2:30pm at St
Johns Cathedral in Bulawayo. Please attend to offer your condolences to here
husband and children.

See photo - For how long must we suffer in silence whilst the 'politically
incorrect' are assaulted with impunity. The sun will set on the reign of
terror and the day of reckoning will dawn.

Jenni Williams

Client information - For privileged use by the addressee only.
Contact Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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Land reform claims another life

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I write about the passing away of Margaret
Sankey who died yesterday of malaria complications. Margaret was unwell when
'invader' Anderson Chibaya, a Matabeleland presidents office official
evicted the Sankey's off their farm and out of their home. Last week the
Daily News ran the story of their eviction and pictured a dejected Margaret
with her household goods outside her farmhouse.

I first met the Sankey's in April when their staff were attacked by members
of the youth brigade. The workers had not taken the attack lying down and
had tried to defend themselves. They had apprehended a perpetrator
Silinganiso Moyo (25) a National Service member based at Maraposa Camp in
Nyamandlovu and asked me to interview her. Witnesses had seen Moyo setting
alight some of the 16 houses torched in the village that day. I was
impressed with the spirit of cooperation between the Sankey's and their

I ask that women in large numbers attend the funeral in support of the
suffering of the women of agriculture who without complaint absorb the pain
and suffering of their men, both black and white.

Rest peacefully Margaret, knowing that the day of reckoning will come!

Jenni Williams

Herewith an article we had prepared for filing before we heard the sad news.
It serves here as background info

Bulawayo' s local vegetable market could see a steep hike in prices as a
severe shortage is expected following reports that fresh farm produce from
one of the largest suppliers to Bulawayo markets is being sold privately to
Botswana markets/residents, at the expense of the traditional markets.

According to witnesses on Nyamandlovu-based Thandanani Farm, several
vehicles with Botswana number plates have been on the farm to buy large
quantities of vegetables, thereby compromising the availability at the
City's main markets from where the majority of residence buy their

On Thursday last week, five vehicles were spotted on the property being
loaded with vegetables.

It is suspected that a top ranking official in the Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Anderson Chibaya, who recently took
over another of the Sankey's farms, is the person answerable to this
irresponsible sale of vegetables.

The Sankey's are the largest growers of sweet potatoes and garlic in the
area, and during the sweet potato season, sixteen tons of the vegetable are
transported to Bulawayo per day, along with other vegetables.

Thandanani Farm comprised of four farms, each of them being 100 ha. Two
farms were taken over by government to grow food, while the other was taken
by Chibaya who has since evicted the Sankey's off their farm. Chibaya is
intending to turn the main house into a safari operation, hence the thriving
vegetable concern will be made redundant.

The crops which the Sankey's had planted, after being assured by a Mrs. Mafa
of the Lands Committee that they would not loose their allocated plot, are
now being reaped and sold by Chibaya, however no watering or tendering is in
progress as all the workers were also evicted.

Upon eviction, the Sankey's were forced to leave behind over zd$500 million
worth of farm machinery, fertiliser, crops in the ground and crops stored.
The workers were told by Chibaya to take an eight ton farm lorry and sell it
to get 'retrenchment'. The workers however demanded compensation from
Chibaya himself, accusing him of having chased Sankey away.

Chibaya is alleged to have helped himself to over zd$4,5 million worth of
irrigation equipment and fertiliser, twenty tons of onions, which he has
since sold for over zd$1 million. In one instance, Sankey confronted Chibaya
over the theft of onions and Chibaya responded by pointing a gun to his
(Sankey's) face, before replacing the weapon back in his car.

This incident was reported to the police, however they refused to write a
report and instead lectured the Sankey's on how they should learn to live
with their neighbours.

Like many commercial farmers, the Sankey's have not been spared of numerous
episodes of theft, harassment, intimidation, and attacks on farm workers.
Earlier this year, about 100 people, comprising of starving settlers and
unemployed farm workers descended on the farm and pilfered thousands of
dollars worth of maize, onions and sweet potatoes. In addition, the farm was
affected by work stoppages, which were the result of threats from war

10 December 2002
For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile +263 91 300 456 or +263 11 213 885
Email or
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 11:32 GMT
Zimbabwe debate hots up

The debate about Zimbabwe's suitability as a Cricket World Cup venue has
intensified following calls for a boycott by teams scheduled to play there.
The International Cricket Council is still considering whether to confirm
the six matches scheduled for Harare and Bulawayo following a recent
inspection tour by a 10-man delegation.

But Welshman Ncube, a senior member of the opposition party Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), has urged teams to stay away even if the ICC gives
Zimbabwe the go-ahead.

"A boycott of World Cup matches would send a clear message that the
international community will not tolerate Mr Mugabe's illegitimate regime
and would serve to further isolate him," Ncube told the Guardian newspaper.

"Given that seven million people - half of the population - are on the verge
of starvation it is inappropriate that a major international sporting event
should be held in this country," he added.

Michael Ancram, a senior member of the UK Conservative party, is also
opposed to Zimbabwe hosting matches.

The ICC decision is expected in the next week, but their report will deal
only with safety issues.

And UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn has backed their position of having
the final say on the matter.

"If all the conditions are right as far as the ICC is concerned, then that's
the governing body, they make the decisions, not politicians," he told BBC
Radio 4.

Caborn backs ICC
However, junior Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane, whilst ruling out a
ban on the England side going to Zimbabwe, appeared to take a slightly
different line on the matter.

"I hope that the England cricket team take cognisance of the fact that if
they go to Zimbabwe they will go in very odd circumstances that may not
reflect to their credit," he told the foreign affairs committee.

Australia, India, Pakistan, Namibia and the Netherlands are all due to play
in Zimbabwe, as well as England.

The Australian Cricket Board pulled their team out of a tour to Zimbabwe
earlier this year because of security concerns, but a recent series against
Pakistan passed off without incident.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is awaiting the ICC's report but they
are unlikely to bow to any political pressure short of an outright ban on
England playing in Zimbabwe.
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Mayors call for protest in black

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Thursday December 12, 2002
The Guardian

Cricketers playing in next year's World Cup matches in Zimbabwe should wear
black armbands or make donations to help victims of political violence to

their opposition to President Robert Mugabe's government, say the mayors of
Harare and Bulawayo.
"Our city council has done all the preparations to successfully stage the
matches here," said the Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri. "Cricketers must decide
for themselves whether to play here. But they must know that there is no
rule of law, widespread hunger and gross human rights abuses.

"If they want to play here, fine. But it would be appropriate for them to
show a clear sign of protest against the Mugabe regime, such as wearing a
black armband or making donations to help the victims of political violence.
There are many ways to show protest."

Mudzuri said that any visitor to the country would see shortages of food,
fuel and other signs of the rapidly deteriorating economy. "The Mugabe
government should not be allowed to use the cricket as propaganda to suggest
that everything is fine in Zimbabwe," he added. "Things are not OK and this
is not a legitimate government and Mugabe is not a legitimate president."

Mudzuri said cricketers and visitors to the World Cup matches should be
allowed to move freely around Zimbabwe to see the situation. His suggestion
of visible protests against the Mugabe government is similar to an email
campaign calling on spectators to wear black in protest at the political
violence that has seen hundreds killed and tortured by Mugabe's supporters.

Bulawayo's mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube echoed his views. "As a sporting event
per se it is right to hold it in Zimbabwe as in any other country of the
world," he said "As for the political dimension, well, that puts it in a
different category. We do not want sportsmen or spectators to come here as
ostriches and put their heads into the sand.

"We do not want the cricket matches to be used to justify the political
situation here. That would be wrong. The World Cup matches must be used to
highlight the political realities here: that people are suffering from
misgovernance. People must know the truth about what is going on here."

The country's political and financial uncertainty claimed its first sporting
victim when the Zimbabwe Open, which was due to tee off at Royal Harare Golf
Club today, was called off after a dispute over the payment of prize money.

Louis Martin, the Sunshine Tour's chief executive, has withdrawn official
sanctioning from the tournament, scheduled as the fourth event on the
southern African tour's summer leg, as local organisers have failed to meet
a deadline by depositing the 75,000 prize fund with his organisation. "It
was a sad day for golf in southern Africa," Martin said yesterday.

The tour had demanded the money be produced in advance because of a
six-month delay in paying winners the previous year. The delay was blamed on
Zimbabwe's foreign exchange laws, though the hand of the Mugabe government
was certainly involved.

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Govt urged to rectify human rights abuses

Staff Reporter
12/12/02 11:13:50 AM (GMT +2)

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) has urged the government to
acknowledge the erosion of the basic freedoms of citizens and civil society
in the country and to curb continued political violence that has claimed
more than 80 lives in the past two years.

In the summary of a survey of political violence in Zimbabwe between
June 2001 and June this year, the organisation, a coalition of
non-governmental organisations working in the field of human rights, said
the government should recognise the human rights crisis and take steps to
remedy the situation

"We hereby exhort the government to ensure a swift and determined
return to the rule of law and an end to the political violence," the forum
said in the survey report, entitled "Are they accountable?: Examining
alleged violators and their violations, pre and post the presidential
election March 2002" .

"The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum calls on African governments to
recognise the crisis in Zimbabwe as a crisis affecting ordinary Zimbabweans
and acknowledge that it is not a white on black war over land
redistribution. The problem has long extended far beyond that and needs to
be addressed urgently on a national scale to find a long-term and peaceful

The ZHRF interviewed 900 victims of political violence for its survey
and found that only ruling ZANU PF and opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) supporters claimed to have been affected by political violence.

Of the 900 people interviewed, only 1.4 percent said they were
affiliated to ZANU PF, while 51 percent were MDC supporters and the
remaining 47.7 percent were not affiliated to any political party.

Cases reported involved murder, assault, rape, torture, intimidated
and the destruction of property.

An overwhelming majority of the victims, 79 percent, were male.
However, the ZHRF said a number of cases involving female victims might not
have been reported because of the nature of the crimes involved, which were
primarily rape and sexual assault.

The organisation said female victims in the rural areas might also
have been hampered by lack of transport to police stations and to the
offices of human rights groups.

The ZHRF survey also found that the highest cases of violence were
reported in Manicaland province, which accounted for 23 percent of the
victims interviewed, followed by Mashonaland East, Harare and Mashonaland
Central, which had 188; 160 and 156 victims respectively.

"The problem of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe is not a
black on white war based on the redistribution of land and its ownership,"
the forum said. "The problem, rather, is intolerance of and lack of respect
for political pluralism.

"While there is violence on commercial farms affecting both commercial
farmers and farm workers, the majority of violence is taking place in
communal areas and high density urban areas."

The organisation said it had received 19 reports of politically
motivated murder, but according to some statistics, at least 80 people have
died in the past two years in political violence.
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Zim's children in the diaspora (Part 3)

Masipula Sithole
12/12/02 11:47:16 AM (GMT +2)

IN Part One (see Fingaz, November 28 2002), we dealt with the diaspora
at a conceptual level and the dynamics of those who had left Zimbabwe during
and as a result of the inhospitable conditions of white-settler rule. Most
of these returned during the euphoria of independence in 1980 hoping to get
the "good life" back home.

In Part Two last week, we dealt with those who have since left and are
leaving the country again; they are again going overseas in search of the
"good life" which they find elusive back home, albeit, under a black

This week we focus on the disturbing phenomena of Zimbabwe's children
in the diaspora nearby, across our borders. These worry me most because they
are so nearby and capable of exploding. Yet our leaders are busy, very busy
swelling them.

Most of those who left Matabeleland during the gukurahundi are
relatively young and in South Africa and Botswana. Their number is not
small. Some put it at over a million-and-a-half, but whatever it is, it is
enough for a more discerning leadership to be worried about in the sense
that they are just across the border and unhappy that we have disturbed
their otherwise stable lives.

Under sufficient political, economic and socio-psychological
pressures, they could easily be the Bwanyamulenge of southern Africa. Yet
our leadership is busy, very busy doing and thinking trivia.

Political and economic refugees of your nationals across borders, even
of "friendly" neighbours, are themselves, by definition, unhappy and

Yet, like fools that we are, we are busy, very busy creating and
augmenting this potential Bwanyamulenge by the day. We add pain to injury
when we deny food relief to those who will join them. That is hardly
intelligent. In fact, it's downright foolish, if you ask me.

Equally worrisome is the border with Mozambique. One hears of a
swelling Zimbabwe refugee situation there particularly of the locally
displaced during the famous "land reforms" and feuds between the various
political factions. Some may genuinely be following their former employers
who are being offered alternative farms by our "friendly" eastern neighbour,
while we are being militant and foolish.

Assume the political, economic and socio-psychological pressures
become unbearable for these Zimbabwean refugees. What are they likely to do?

Assume there is a Renamo government in Maputo. What are the likely

Do our leaders think of these prospects or kungoita nje,
yikuphongwenza nje; it's just doing things mindlessly?

Josiah Magama Tongogara rose from Zimbabwe's children in the
cross-border diaspora in nearby Zambia. So did Emmerson Mnangagwa and many

Do the Johnie-come-latelies and the rest of our very busy leaders know
this? Even Emmerson, of all people?

Let us disabuse ourselves of the lie that it will never happen in
Mozambique that Frelimo can lose power to Renamo. Despite our brilliant
victory in destroying the Renamo base at Gorongoza in 1985, Renamo today
controls (through elections) several provincial and local government
structures in central and northern Mozambique where most of our current
refugees flock. Is a Bwanyamulenge from the east a possibility?

During the trial of the late ZANU Ndonga leader Ndabaningi Sithole in
1996/97, the government alleged that the nationalist was organising an
operation called "Chimwenje". Whatever happened to this "Chimwenje" to the
extent it really existed as the authorities claimed?

Did the idea die with Sithole, to the extent it was not malicious
fiction by the government? Even if it never existed, are we not creating
political, economic and socio-psychological conditions for it?

We were beginning to hear similar accusations being levelled at Edgar
Tekere and his Zimbabwe Unity Movement party. Did the idea "zoom into doom",
as President Robert Mugabe once said would happen to ZUM in one of his
poetic moods?

Now we hear allegations that we are busy, very busy denying the Tonga
people of Binga food relief for voting for the opposition. They too could
run away into southern Zambia where the Tonga are in the majority and start
a Bwanyamulenge of their own while we think of them as too underdeveloped to
conceive of such a strategy.

What I am saying is that our republic is busy, very busy surrounding
itself with potentially "unfriendly" borders and expects no consequences
from these unfriendly borders. Yet the Central Intelligence Orga-nisation is
busy, very busy following Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube up and down
the road.

"It will never happen here."

Such mentality is grossly mistaken, for it happened in the past when
Ian Smith kept a watchful eye on the Tsvangirais of his time while Tongogara
who literally lived on Smith's farm in Shurugwi left for Zambia to be part
of the refugee community from which he was recruited by the ZANLA - the
Bwanyamulenge which he finally led Smith and Peter Walls vakachema.

As a social scientist, I am trained to recognise that similar social
phenomena produce similar social results regardless of who the social actors
are. Whether by white Smiths or black Smiths, oppression and unfairness are
perceived the same.

This is why tyrants and dictators who replaced colonialism all over
the African continent have been on the run and some of them slain. There is
nothing they are doing wrong except thinking that they can get away with it
because they are black Smiths.

In Part Four next week, we discuss the "tiny hard core" that has made
a deliberate decision to remain home, in the late Maurice Nyagumbo's
formulation, "with the people" and its linkage with those in the diaspora
(both near and far) who themselves remain intractably connected "to the
people" as happened in the past.

Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
Institute. While he is currently on sabbatical leave in the United States of
America, Sithole can be contacted at e-mail address and
telephone number (202) 429 3819.
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And now to the Notebook . . . Hasn't anyone cursed Bob yet?

12/12/02 11:46:04 AM (GMT +2)

If Mukanya's counting is correct, it's nearly three weeks since the
government gazetted Statutory Instrument 299 of 2002 prohibiting motorists
from making offensive or insulting gestures, movements or statements within
the hearing or view of President Robert Mugabe's motorcade.

Now the question is: why hasn't anyone been arrested yet for breaching
the above regulations?

For the police and Central Intelligence Organisation guys' benefit,
just in case they didn't know, more than half of the people on Harare's
streets curse and swear each time the Old Man zooms past in his latest
German-manufactured acquisition, and surely several hundreds of them should
have been arrested by now.

Mukanya must admit he doesn't know what to make of the fact that no
one has been arrested so far. Could it be that the security guys themselves
might actually be in agreement with some of the nasty comments these
"culprits" make about our first citizen?

Zim's new border police

The pro-ZANU PF
national youth service brigades are reportedly conducting body
searches on people entering the country, especially through the Plumtree
border post, and seizing whatever forex the travellers may be carrying.

With this kind of treatment of returning citizens and foreign
visitors, who needs the British media to tell them Zimbabwe is very close to
what Cambodia was under Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge killers?

Digging up
the dead

Mukanya hears the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), which has been deafeningly silent about
its human loses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has begun
exhuming the bodies of soldiers killed during the four-year war.

Those in the know say unlike the Mozambican campaign, where ZDF
casualties were minimal, several hundred soldiers were killed in the Congo,
forcing the army to bury some of its fallen members there.

Mukanya hopes and prays that if the army has indeed begun digging up
its comrades, it will at least postpone sending the bodybags home until
after the festive season. Otherwise, what a sordid Christmas or New Year's
gift that would be for parents, spouses, relatives or friends of the
deceased soldiers!

Zimbabwe's downfall in DRC

Still on the DRC, the
headline "Zimbabwe delegation in DRC" greeted Herald readers early
this week. We are told in the story that the delegation, which included ZDF
commander Vitalis Zvinavashe and no less than three government ministers,
was going to review progress made in the implementation of agreements under
the DRC/Zimbabwe joint commission.

Yet this is exactly the kind of approach, which according to those in
the know, has been Zimba-bwe's downfall in that chaotic country as far as
making money is concerned.

Army insiders say apart from the rewards reaped by a few controversial
Zimbabwean businessmen, some ruling ZANU PF politicians and top army
generals who managed to steal a bag or two of diamonds, the most Zimbabwe
can claim to have achieved in the DRC is that once again its soldiers fought
hard in yet another African war.

Only for South Africans to come and reap the economic windfall.

"We do the donkey work. We are like earth-moving machines clearing the
way for South Africans to come and make the money," one visibly disappointed
senior ZDF member told Mukanya.

According to the ZDF commander, all Zimbabwe did in the Congo was to
set up joint commissions and sign joint-declarations of cooperation with DRC
officials but on the ground, it didn't do anything to ensure it got a return
for all it had put in.

Mukanya's impeccable sources say the nearest the government ever got
to doing something to ensure Zimbabwe benefited from the DRC was when it
sent a semi-literate former ZDF officer, who could barely tell the
difference between polished glass and diamond, to run one of the diamond
mines Zimbabwe had been given by Kinshasa.
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Last pay hike for civil servants

By Sydney Masamvu Assistant Editor
12/12/02 11:09:00 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWEAN civil servants' 80 percent salary increases in January
could be their last for 18 months while their annual bonus could for the
first time be replaced by a performance-related 13th cheque, if Cabinet
approves a wage freeze proposed by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour
and Social Welfare.

Sources in the ministry said although Cabinet had yet to approve the
proposal, the government had already taken a position on the wage freeze,
which would complement a blanket freeze on prices introduced last month.

They said once negotiations with labour and employers were concluded,
a statutory instrument would be gazetted and the salary freeze, which would
also apply to the private sector, would be effective from January 2003.

"After the increases in January, we are looking at a period of between
18 to 24 months of salary freeze," a government official told the Financial
Gazette. "That is at least up to July 2004 to achieve the desired results of
combating the inflationary high cost of living from our side."

Officials in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
said the government had invited other members of the Tripartite Negotiating
Forum to a meeting next Monday to work out the implementation of the wage

The forum comprises the government, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU) and the Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).

The secretary-general of the ZCTU, the permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare and the director of EMCOZ will
meet today to work out the agenda of next week's discussions.

Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo told the Financial
Gazette yesterday that he could not provide details of the proposed wage
freeze because key stakeholders were still being consulted.

But sources said in preparation for the January 1 implementation of
the freeze, the government had directed all National Employment Councils
(NECs) to conclude and submit their collective bargaining results by
December 31.

Most NECs have already concluded their negotiations but are still
awaiting Cabinet approval for the agreements reached.

The sources said the government was banking on employers supporting
its proposal because they had been hard hit by escalating production costs,
including inflationary increases in wages.

However, ZTCU president Lovemore Matombo said his organisation would
not support the salary freeze, saying it was a futile exercise that had not
worked anywhere in the world.

"We don't support that move of a salary freeze, it's nonsensical. Our
mandate is not to negotiate for people's poverty," he told the Financial

"Government should deal with stabilising the economy, the issue of
good governance and implementing sound policies. Those are the problems the
country is facing. It's not about salary freezes," he added.

Analysts said a freeze on wages at a time workers were battling the
soaring cost of living as well as serious shortages of basic foodstuffs
would trigger social unrest and further destabilise Zimbabwe's economy.

The country is facing unemployment of over 70 percent while at least
eight million Zimbabweans need emergency food aid, which the analysts said
were already recipes for massive social unrest.
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Bickering hampers naming of Mash Central governor

Staff Reporter
12/12/02 11:11:02 AM (GMT +2)

RULING ZANU PF officials this week said bickering by two rival party
factions had hampered the appointment by President Robert Mugabe of a
substantive governor for Mashonaland Central province.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the two
factions were each backed by Mugabe's two deputies, and could not agree on
who to recommend for the top post in the province, a ZANU PF stronghold.

They said a faction allegedly led by State Security Minister Nicholas
Goche and enjoying the support of Vice President Simon Muzenda was rooting
for Higher Education Ministry permanent secretary Washington Mbizvo, to take
over the governorship of a province widely seen as the strongest reservoir
of ZANU PF support.

Another faction allegedly backed by Vice President Joseph Msika is
campaigning for current ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland Central Chen
Chimutengwende to be appointed as governor of the province.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has in the past also been linked
to the vacant post of governor for Mashonaland Central province, but sources
said the top cop, a self-proclaimed ZANU PF adherent, appeared to be now out
of the running.

The provincial governorship is a state post and Mugabe appoints all
the governors of Zimbabwe's eight provinces.

The governors, all of them staunch Mugabe loyalists, are also
non-constituency members of parliament and are also referred to as resident
ministers of their respective provinces.

Mashonaland Central has been without a governor for two years since
Elliot Manyika was promoted to the post of Minister of Youth, Gender and
Employment Creation.

Mugabe renewed the terms of all the other seven provincial governors
three weeks ago, but surprisingly did not appoint a substantive governor for
Mashonaland Central.

Manyika, the political commissar for ZANU PF, acts as governor for the

There was no immediate comment from the ruling party, most of whose
officials had yesterday travelled to Chinhoyi for ZANU PF's annual
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Harare water woes to persist for next four years

12/12/02 11:37:20 AM (GMT +2)


A WAR of words has erupted between central government and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change-led Harare City Council over a
serious shortage of clean water in the capital city.

While the two sides continue to point fingers and shift blame, the
health of 4.5 million Harare residents is at risk, with reports that recent
outbreaks of dysentery might be the result of unclean water.

Financial Gazette Assistant Editor SYDNEY MASAMVU this week spoke to
Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri to find out the real causes of the
water crisis and how the municipality plans to resolve it. Excerpts:

QUESTION: Debate on the capital city's water crisis has focused on the
Harare City Council's failure to acquire lime and ecol 2000, the chemicals
needed for water purification. Can you explain, in specific terms, what you
view as the primary cause of the problem?

ANSWER: We have projections that were done as early as 1998 showing
that water demand in the city would eventually outstrip supply. That's why
there were projects like the construction of the Kunzvi Dam that were
mooted, to augment the capacity of Lake Chivero.

As early as 1998, when I was an employee of council, there were
pipeline designs that were prepared for the new water source. Since then,
everything has been shelved.

First and foremost, demand has outstripped supply. This is really a
fault of our predecessors because they should have had a new water source.

We need to treat 640 megalitres per day, but this is even below the
demand in the city, according to projections. The present demand is around
750 megalitres per day. We have already a deficit even though we treat at
maximum capacity. We are only capable of giving people just enough water.

Q: Why has the city council shelved the construction of Kunzvi dam if
it is so crucial to Harare's water security and what measures have been put
in place in the meantime to ensure that residents' needs are met?

A: As you know, all projects are done through an on-lending agreement
through government. The question that should be dealt with is what has the
government done to allow council to borrow to implement capital expansion

I don't know what the government has done. For the past three years,
there has not been a single capital project implemented by the Chanakira
Commission. When my council came in, we brought up all these expansion
projects, saying let them be done.

We start with Kunzvi, but it will only materialise after three to four
years. For the next four years, these water shortages will not stop unless
there is a new source.

In the meantime, we said let's clean the water and put the present
treatment plants to their best treatment capacity.

Q: But why, if the city council has made a concerted effort to improve
treatment capacity, has the quality of water deteriorated?

A: The deterioration of water in our lakes has been caused by several
factors, but it's mainly due to the fact that when I came into office, as I
said during the presentation of the budget, there was a lot of pollution in
the lake (Chivero).

There had been no maintenance of the treatment plants. One of the
plants had failed and has not been operating since as early as 1995, 1996,
that is unit three. There was no handover and takeover from the Commission
and honestly, I don't know what they did.

But what I have been told by council officials is that there was no
effort to improve the sewage treatment plant. So, although we have reached
the capacity of water we can treat in the lakes, the deterioration of Lake
Chivero has gone beyond repair. This is what really made the Commission
itself agree to use ecol 2 000 on an experimental basis, to reduce algae in
the water. When my council came into office, we found an order (for ecol
2000) of 320 tonnes.

We have written several letters to the authorities saying we need
foreign currency to buy the spares to repair the plants. The spares for the
different plants cannot be bought without the required foreign currency,
that's it.

Q: How has the government responded to your requests?

A: I have written letters since September without any response, until
only last week when I received a response from Secretary to Cabinet Charles

The Reserve Bank has never replied to me directly, they have just paid
some of the money when necessary but they have not paid all of it. It was
only Utete who phoned me and assured me that he would do something because
the situation could not be allowed to deteriorate.

The rest have never come back to me. I remember talking to the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing at a
meeting, telling him we have no chemicals. But he is still making it a
political issue.

The real point I want to make is individuals should not play with
people's lives. This is a life and death situation and the government should
work with us to find out how best we can deliver water to residents of
Harare. But instead, they are choosing to play politics.

Q: Are you then saying the government is frustrating your efforts to
resolve Harare's water crisis, and what options do you have if central
government does not cooperate with you?

A: I cannot do anything. I cannot go and collect foreign currency and
I cannot repair the plants without foreign currency. I can only collect a
certain amount of money from ratepayers. Above all, we have not been given
borrowing powers for any project this year.

We were just told we could not get any borrowing powers. All the
capital projects that we needed to undertake are at a standstill. Government
is not allowing us to operate. We can only do so much.

Q: You have been accused of diverting funds allocated for water
treatment to road repairs in Harare. What is your comment?

A: This is distortion and outright lies. This money (for water
treatment) is paid to supplying companies by the Reserve Bank directly.

The Reserve Bank has not given that money to us and I don't know
whether these people are saying these companies are now sending the money
back to me to repair roads. What is being suggested is midsummer madness.

Q: The Reserve Bank last week released foreign currency for the
purchase of water treatment chemicals. Will this resolve the water crisis,
at least in the short-term?

A: What has happened is that we are in arrears in our payments for
ecol 2000. We have not paid fully and we have been owing substantial
amounts. The suppliers wrote to me and I sent the letter to Treasury. Even
now, the money which we are said to have been paid, the US$500 000 - which
is about $320 000 pounds - will also have to cover arrears.

It will offset arrears and buy part of the stock, but it will not be
sufficient. What should happen is that the Reserve Bank must have a planned
programme of payments up to next year. We have given them that schedule and
we hope they will make payments to that effect. If they fail to do that, the
same problems will persist.

Q: What plans does the city council have to deal with the water crisis
in the future?

A: I will form a commission of stakeholders, which will investigate
the whole crisis and we will act.

Some individuals have taken it as a political thing, but the
commission will investigate all payments made to suppliers of chemicals and
come up with the truth behind the water crisis. We don't want to cheat the
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Govt to spend $10.88 billion a month to clear interest bill

Staff Reporter
12/12/02 11:42:58 AM (GMT +2)

THE government has to spend $10.88 billion a month next year to clear
the $130.6 billion interest bill on its domestic debt and restore stability
to Zimbabwe's economy, analysts said this week.

Figures released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this week, show
that domestic debt rose to $333.8 billion in the middle of last month, from
$322.58 billion at the beginning of November.

The domestic debt now accounts for 33 percent of the country's gross
domestic product (GDP).

"Interest payments on average consume more than 58 percent of
government revenue," the RBZ said in its economic commentary.

"Debt distress is reflected by rising interest on debt, as a share of
total government expenditure, from 10 percent in 1991 to 31.7 percent in

According to central bank statistics, outstanding interest on the
government's domestic debt totaled $130.6 billion in the week ending on
November 8, enough to fund more than ten ministries in 2003.

Analysts said to meet these interest payments and curb surging
monetary growth and inflation, the government would have to spend $10.86
billion every month from January next year.

"The Finance Minister has talked about tackling inflation and high
monetary growth, part of the solution is to clear the huge interest bill in
the next year or so because they cannot go on borrowing," Anthony Hawkins, a
professor of business studies at the University of Zimbabwe told the
Financial Gazette.

The supply of money has risen from 113.6 percent in August to 124.3
percent in September, partly because of the loose monetary policy pursued by
the government since 2001 and which Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa is now
trying to tighten.

Money supply growth has fueled inflation, which reached a record high
of 144.2 percent in October and which is expected to continue rising in the
next few months because of escalating commodity prices.

The government has budgeted expenditure of $770.2 billion next year
against revenue of only $540 billion, resulting in a budget deficit of
$230.2 billion that will be financed from the domestic banking sector.

Economists said continued borrowing from local financial institutions
meant that the government would not be able to clear its present interest
bill and would in fact add to it in the next few months.

However, Treasury would be saved from huge interest payments by low
interest rates, which the government is keen to keep soft.

In the first six months of this year, the government saved $39 billion
in interest payments because of the low interest rates.

"They could go on borrowing. It is very deliberate, that is why
interest rates have gone down," Hawkins told the Financial Gazette.

"The interest could be more than double if the interest rates were
determined by the market.

"What is happening is that when the government repays the money after
some time, it would be of no value, so these figures are just inflated

Although the central bank has indicated that the impact of the
domestic debt on Zimbabwe's economy can be minimised by increasing the
proportion of domestic borrowings to non-monetary institutions like
insurance companies, pension funds and individuals, analysts this week said
this would ultimately be unsustainable.

They said sub-economic interest rates would discourage these
institutions from lending money to the government because the returns
accrued would be below inflation.

First Mutual Life fund manager Nyasha Chasakara said cash-rich pension
funds and insurance companies would prefer to invest in short-term
government instruments, unless they were directed to invest in long-term

"I think the pension funds and insurance companies will just meet the
45 percent investment in prescribed assets but this will be short term
investment unless there is a clear directive to invest in long term paper,"
he said.
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Going down memory lane in Highfields

Sydney Masamvu
12/12/02 11:42:19 AM (GMT +2)

Last weekend I took time to go back down memory lane, reflecting on
how good things were during the first few years of Zimbabwe's independence.

I remembered how my friends and I would kick around our home-made
football in the dusty streets of Highfields, all of us certain of one thing:
that when we got back home, there would be something to eat.

My mother would send me to buy mealie-meal at Machipisa shopping
centre and all I needed to do was to pay the shopkeeper and within 30
minutes, the shop's deliveryman would be knocking at our door with a
20-kilogramme bag of mealie-meal.

I did not need to have a ZANU PF membership card, as is the case these

Milk roundsmen would move from house-to-house delivering fresh milk
every morning, while Lobels Bakeries would also leave bread on our doorstep.

All I had to do as the youngest son in the family was to wake up every
morning and collect the food deliveries from the gate. I did not have to

At primary school, we would drink a pint of milk provided by the
school every day during the morning break.

The Harare United Omnibus Company, now known as the Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company, had a fleet of neat and well serviced buses which would
leave the nearby Utsanana bus terminus for Harare city centre or the main
terminus in Mbare at 30-minute intervals.

The departure intervals for buses would be shortened during peak

Things worked in those days. You could actually plan what time you
wanted to be in town and which bus to catch, because there was a timetable
that was strictly adhered to.

There were no commuter omnibus conductors to give you a hard time as
you made your way to work or back home after a hard day.

The streets were well lit and clean and the refuse collection system
was efficient. Satellite clinics were still operational with drugs readily

My father earned $108 a week and still managed to educate his five
children. In fact, he would tell us that he could continue to fund our
education until we decided we had had enough of school.

It's very painful to contrast the Highfields of then with the suburb
as it is now. The decay in the township is astonishing and mirrors the
decline of Zimbabwe as a whole.

Residents of Highfields now have to scavenge for nearly everything. It
's as much a struggle for them to buy bread as it is to board a commuter bus
to go to work every morning.

Social services have been left to crumble.

The people of Highfields, like other citizens of Zimbabweans, can
today only survive by knowing those who operate on the thriving parallel
market for basic commodities.

Looking at the state of Zimbabwe in 2002, one would be forgiven for
thinking that the country has just emerged from a war.

Twenty-two years of independence have yielded nothing but poverty.
There is no prosperity for the majority of Zimbabweans.

It is for this reason that I take great exception to ZANU PF
politicians who do want the whole story of post independent Zimbabwe to be

We do not eat patriotism or propaganda and the other nonsense that we
are force-fed by the government every day.

We should be governed properly so that we can prosper in our

When the history of President Robert Mugabe's government is told, its
leadership will be summed up as a group of people who found a "great
Zimbabwe" and left it as the "Zimbabwe ruins".

That is Bob's Legacy and nothing more.
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The Herald

Zim retains rights to host 2003 World Cup finals

From Robson Sharuko in BIRMINGHAM, England
ZIMBABWE has won the seal of approval of the International Cricket Council
to retain its rights to host its matches during the 2003 World Cup finals in
a major diplomatic victory for both the country and the thriving
multi-million dollar cricket industry.

The ICC will announce tomorrow that they are satisfied with Zimbabwe as a
safe venue for the world's best cricketers to stay and play their World Cup
matches next year.

The report, which has been leaked, will also declare that Zimbabwe is also a
safe destination for thousands of cricket fans who are likely to follow
their teams to the World Cup finals whose principal host is South Africa.

A British tabloid, The Daily Mail, revealed yesterday that the ICC
delegation, which visited Zimbabwe to assess the situation in the country,
had given it the green light to host its World Cup games.

The World Cup will be played in February and there has been undue pressure
that has been exerted on the ICC to strip Zimbabwe of its rights to host the
World Cup matches.

The ICC delegation, which included the organisation's chief Tim Lamb,
presented its findings to the ICC directors on Monday night.

The report, according to the Daily Mail, will note that the political
situation in Zimbabwe has improved since March when Australia decided to
cancel its tour to the country.

The Australians, who are the holders of the World Cup following their
victory over Pakistan in the last showcase here, will now be expected to
fulfil their match against Zimbabwe on February 24.

England will also have to travel to Zimbabwe to fulfil their World Cup
fixture against the hosts.

The report also noted that the Government will allow those journalists,
accredited by the ICC to cover the World Cup, to come into Zimbabwe and
cover the tournament.

The Daily Mail said that the two city councils of Harare and Bulawayo, the
hosts of the matches and their mayors had come in support of the hosting of
the World Cup ties by Zimbabwe.

The paper also quoted the British Sports Minister Richard Caborn as saying
that the final decision always lay with the ICC and his country would
respect it.

"I understand from Tim Lamb and others who have been there that there will
be arrangements for all the journalists to go in.

"Therefore, if all the conditions are right for that to take place as far as
the ICC is concerned then as the governing body they make the decisions, not
the politicians," said Caborn.

The decision for Zimbabwe to host its matches will bring a substantial
inflow of foreign currency into the country and will also boost the coffers
of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union.

The ZCU, who make their money largely from television rights for home tours,
have been reeling from the decision by the Aussies to cancel a
money-spinning tour earlier this year.

And the withdrawal of their rights to host the World Cup would have dealt a
severe knockout blow on the ZCU.

Former national cricket captain Heath Streak has been one of the major
forces who have been campaigning for Zimbabwe to retain its rights to host
the World Cup. Last week Streak again appeared on British television
channel, Channel Four, and spoke from the heart as he supported his country'
s cause to host the World Cup games.
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Zim's traffic cops get Mercs

Johannesburg - Amid widespread famine and a fuel crisis, the Zimbabwean
traffic authority has bought six luxury cars, worth at least R1.3m, for
their highway-patrol service.

DaimlerChrysler South Africa confirmed on Tuesday that Zimbabwe's traffic
authority had bought six Mercedes-Benz C-class cars from them.

The six cars - priced at R231 000 at the lowest end of the range - are on
their way to Harare.

In South Africa, standard fittings for the cars include leather upholstery,
electronic climate control, ABS brakes, air bags for the driver and front
passenger and power steering.

During the recent World Summit for Sustainable Development, held in
Johannesburg in September, heads of state from around the world were
transported to and from their hotels and the conference centre in Standton,
in Mercedes C 240 models.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was also at the conference.

DaimlerChrysler said on Tuesday it supported the European Union's list of 79
blacklisted people with whom they refuse to trade. Mugabe's name is on the

The car-maker pertinently said it would "not sell any goods to the
Zimbabwean government".

Earlier this year, through a go-between, Mugabe bought an armoured Mercedes
S600 as his official vehicle.
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Byo to press ahead with 145% rates hike

Staff Reporter
12/12/02 11:15:23 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo City Council has resolved to press ahead with
a 145 percent increase in rates and supplementary charges, despite being
petitioned by cash-strapped residents to slash the hike, it was learnt this

The chairman of the council's finance and economic development
committee, Charles Mpofu, said the municipality held an emergency meeting on
Tuesday and decided not to reverse the increase.

The rate hike was proposed when the municipality presented its $18.9
billion 2003 budget last month.

Mpofu said the municipality could not reverse the increase in rates
and supplementary charges because of its escalating operating costs, caused
by Zimbabwe's severe macroeconomic instability.

He said the council, which has suspended several capital projects due
to cash-flow problems, would implement the new rates from the first of
January next year.

"They won't be any change," Mpofu told the Financial Gazette.

"We can't pretend as council that everything is okay and reduce the
rates when spare parts, for instance, have gone up by 400 percent.

"Water purification chemicals have also gone up by 600 percent. The
interest rates and the rate of inflation are also not in our favour. There
is no normal councillor, be it MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) or ZANU
PF, who can vote for a reduction in the increases because things are not

"We had strong reasons when we arrived at the increases proposed in
the budget for 2003. We took into consideration the plight of the residents
but because of the prevailing economic situation, I am afraid we can't
reduce the rates."

According to municipal documents in the possession of this newspaper,
the city council received 98 petitions signed by residents opposing the
proposed increase in rents, rates as well as water and supplementary

Part of a petition from the Lobengula Residents' Association reads:
"The proposed budget is too high for us. We residents of Lobengula sat down
on 17 November 2002 and agreed to say NO."

But Mpofu said: "The problem is not with the council, it is with the
government, that is where all the mess is. We need a political solution to
all the problems facing our people, not only people from Bulawayo, but all
over the country."

He said some ZANU PF councillors in Bulawayo wanted to politicise the
issue of the rate increase because "council is run by an MDC executive

But Mike Parira-Mpofu, the ZANU PF chief whip in the Bulawayo City
Council, dismissed the charges.

He said: "What we are saying is that people feel the rates are high.
There is no politics."

The Bulawayo municipality is owed over $1.5 billion by residents,
industry, commerce and government, which has adversely affected its
operations and compromised the service provided to ratepayers.
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