We can and will survive Mugabe
DESPITE our steep downward slide under the superintendency
President Mugabe and his ruling clique, there is no doubt that Zimbabwe
A tired, disgusted populace, together with
Mother Nature and Father
Time will eventually work together to ensure that
those who rule us
haughtily and incompetently today, will not be able to do
As hard as it may be to imagine today, there will again
come a time
when we will be able to walk into any store and simply pick from
shelves, as many loaves of bread as we can afford, when it will not take
heroic effort to get a tankful of fuel and when there are more
being formed than are shutting down.
decrepit political establishment, we have shown in the
last few years of
accelerated decline that we are an amazingly resilient
people, so we will
definitely survive Mugabe, and Zimbabwe will, once again,
begin to work
towards fulfilling its great potential.
While we will recover from
the material deprivations that have
currently become the norm, something that
will not be so easy to do will be
to restore the 'soul' of Zimbabwe; the
ethos of basic trust and confidence
in our institutions; the sense that our
leaders may be as fallible as the
rest of us and are basically motivated by
regard for the greater good of the
country, rather than by greed and self
All these and many other core national values have been
the last years by the actions of a marauding government at war
with its own
people, and this will be much harder to reverse than economic
Political differences are normal and healthy, and in a
environment it should be possible to passionately disagree with
president, but still respect his office and person and even defend
against attack by outsiders since he is a national symbol above and
But how do you respect a president who is
guilty of the vilest hate
speech against his fellow citizens, inciting and
condoning untold suffering
in the process-turning mere political opponents
into enemies, with the
shameful, dire consequences we have witnessed over the
last several years of
When a president
is generally belligerent and issues threats virtually
every time he opens his
mouth, he sets a negative, violent tone for the
whole society. That is how at
some hard to define point, a 'government'
becomes a 'regime'-a reflection of
how a ruling dispensation has become
wayward and notorious and is doing more
harm than good to the people it is
supposed to serve.
also how people increasingly flippantly call you by your name,
respectfully as President So and So, or Minister X, Y or Z. "But
against African culture to show such disrespect for the chief," some
say, but when you have closed all doors to genuine free expression,
main authority emanates from your hold over the instruments of
will find other ways of showing their disrespect of you. You
may be able to
force them to say or do something, and you can certainly
control them by
frightening them out of their wits, but one thing you cannot
do is force them
to respect you.
I feel cheated by not being in a position to say:
"I disagree with my
leader on a lot of issues, but I respect him." It is a
far more serious
infringement of African culture for a chief to be a source
of division, hate
and impoverishment, than for his suffering subjects to find
ways to show him
how unhappy they are with his incompetence and refusal to
heed their pleas
for relief from their suffering.
reject the crap that African culture requires me to
countenance or respect
the kind of failed chieftainship that prevails in
Zimbabwe. There is no
clause in African culture that requires me to respect
official violence and
Without putting them on a pedestal, one would expect
bestowed with the power and privilege of influencing the lives of
of people, to be of a certain high moral standard and reasonably
reconcile their words and their actions. How do you respect a
establishment that identifies bureaus de changes as a leading cause
devaluation of the currency, when many of the most prominent players
sector are provincial governors and cabinet ministers able to cheaply
foreign currency by virtue of their positions and then sell it to the
of us at many times over what they got it for?
How on earth
am I supposed to pretend to respect people who see no
need to afford people
even a basic consistency? So many people have been
hurt for their politics
that there seems little doubt that some of them will
want to settle scores
when change comes, even if second policy of
reconciliation is enunciated.
Even if our economic fortunes are reversed,
the bitterness in us will
possibly last for a long time.
With the kind of inflation we have,
it does not make sense to hang on
to money. A whole generation of young
people are growing up in an
environment in which they cannot learn the value
of saving up for something,
or of persevering at something. They learn that
the people who thrive most
are not necessarily those who are engaged in
productive pursuits, but
dealers, speculators, the well-connected, and other
Surely, many youths who see the distortions in
our society must be
very leery of the usefulness of slogging away at school,
and then working
themselves up in a profession when they see how little
material reward it
seems to hold?
Along with material
deprivation, a perhaps more unfortunate legacy the
present leadership is
leaving us with is the loss of many fundamental values
which will take a long
time to recoup.
Zanu PF's paranoia against whites explained
americannotes By Ken Mufuka
I KNOW Aeneas Chigwedere is not the
most popular man in Zimbabwe today
because the brother is
I would have liked the cup of reviewing his book to have
someone else, but I gave my word that I would review the book. It
entitled: British Betrayal of the Africans and was self-published in
(51 pages). There is no fixed price.
Chigwedere's work is
steeped in politics and he uses research to
support his politics. He
introduces the reader to his thesis using Ricardo's
statement that "mankind
is divided into wolves and sheep". Wolves can only
survive if they allow
sheep to propagate so that they can assure themselves
of a good meal
The author asserts that this was Cecil Rhodes's policy
with regard to
Zimbabwe. The role to be played by Africans is obvious in this
According to the author, the history of Zimbabwe, from
Concession in October 1888 to the present, was a catalogue of
and treachery on the part of the Europeans. What is interesting
is the role
played by missionaries-the Reverend CD Helms and the Reverend
Moffat-father and son.
Even the illiterate King Lobengula,
when he caught wind of the
Concession and the extent to which it arrogated
powers to the future British
South Africa Company, was alarmed by that role.
We now know that Reverend CD
Helms was on the payroll of both the church and
Lobengula even wrote to Lord Knutsford, the
colonial secretary, but it
seems that his lordship was also in cahoots with
Cecil Rhodes. As the story
develops, it is amazing just how almost everyone
involved in the story, is
in cahoots with the devil.
John Moffat, later prime minister wrote in 1930 that "the
solution to our
labour problem (is) getting the native himself, his wife and
his family, to
live on the farm as permanently as servants of the (white)
farmer." So this
was to be the black man's fate in his own country.
The author shows
evidence that the so-called Mugandani affair at Ft
precipitated the first Matebele war in 1893 was concocted.
ostensibly wanted to protect the Karanga from a Matabele impi
enslaved them. However, the reviewer came across evidence in Rhodes
at Oxford to the effect that Administrator Jameson told Rhodes that
with the Matebele world boost the price of shares in the BSA
A vigilante militia of white looters was set up
with the promise that
if they seized all the cattle from the Matabele as well
as the Karanga, it
would become "war booty" which they could share among
addition, each of Rhodes' cronies was to receive 2 000 acres
and 20 gold
The war in 1896 came about as news spread
among the Shona and Ndebele
that the white man was about to occupy all their
land and enslave them. The
number of cattle already seized by Rhodes' cronies
by 1896 exceeded 200 000
(page 33). This loot was so huge that areas were set
aside to accommodate
it, the precursor of the Cold Storage
It is amazing that the number of Rhodes' cronies was
less than 200.
The problem in 1930, as Moffat pointed out, was that with so
much land and
cattle, they ran out of labour. But this was obvious even in
The method of labour recruitment
was simple. Nesbitt sent a message to
chief Amanda to send his men to work
for him for a wage and duration that he
would decide. The chief refused. This
was the outcome of that communication.
Amanda was brought for questioning.
"For on three previous occasions, on
sending messengers to him to send some
of his boys to work, he replied that
his men were not going to work for white
men and that if police came, they
would fire on them."
then became tough with Chief Amanda. "I gave the above headman
fined him six goats, three head of cattle and confiscated his
lashes were administered in the presence of a good number of his
people belonging to other kraals" in order to achieve maximum
A new solution to the labour problem was the hut tax. The
should remember that these events were taking place even before the
government was established between 1890 and 1896-that implies that
a preconceived plan, already hatched from South Africa as to how to
Chigwedere can be criticised on several points
but I will limit myself
to a few. The book is political. He has two themes in
this book-to show how
the relationships between blacks and whites was
treacherous from the very
start-all the white characters in the book are
painted with the treachery
brush. The events constitute a conspiracy of
purpose-to do evil to black
Chigwedere is not concerned
with showing impartiality. There were
missionaries like Father Shirley Cripps
in 1930's who objected to these
policies. Cripps wrote a book entitled:
Africa for the Africans. Far from
making the book weak, a fair approach would
have strengthened it somewhat
and made it more academic.
Chigwedere has brought in new evidence, especially on the Cold
Commission and on the looting of cattle by Cecil Rhodes. However, his
references is weak. Again better references to sources would
strengthened the book.
In addition, as a self-published
book, it could have been improved by
a professional layout. All of us need a
third opinion before rushing to
press. But the important point is that
reading this book will help the
reader understand the resentment towards
whites now prevalent in Zanu PF.
Any African who is 50 years old will
remember forced labour, and many forced
evictions from the tribal
My own people, the Mhofu clan of Chiweshe, were moved three
my short life, in order to make way for white farmers. The greatest
was that my grandfather was a World War II veteran. For his pension,
allowed to keep his Enfield rifle and a trench coat. His land was
I tried to get a copy of this book from
the Zimbabwe embassy in
Washington but nobody knew anything about the book.
The book expresses Zanu
PF's land policy and one would expect to find it in
all embassies. Thus I
have given the devil his due.
Thirsty Christmas in store this year
ZIMBABWEANS are set to experience one of their
worst ever festive
seasons following revelations of a soft drinks
The Standard understands that United Bottlers, the
responsible for the bottling of carbonated soft drinks lacks
supplies needed to manufacture large quantities of drinks required
Soft drinks are traditionally in great
demand during holiday periods
such as Christmas and New Year when most
families get together to make
Peter Karimatenga, the
general manager in charge of the manufacture of
soft drinks at United
Bottlers, confirmed in an interview with The Standard
that they had indeed
been receiving insufficient deliveries of sugar and
that the problem had been
exacerbated by the collapse of the Zimglass
furnace in Gweru which normally
supplied his company with glass containers.
Said Karimatenga: "It
is a combination of two factors. Firstly, we
have been experiencing problems
in getting sufficient sugar because the ZSR
has been having difficulties
getting coal for their blast furnaces in
Harare. The other thing is that
Zimglass has not been able to supply us with
said they had made proposals to the ministry of industry and
trade for the importation of sugar but no response had as yet
from that quarter.
A visit to retail outlets in Harare and
Chitungwiza last week showed
that most outlets had not received their usual
supplies of soft drinks for
nearly a month. Many of their soft drink
refrigerators were empty.
Reports from other parts of the country
indicate that the shortage is
Jongwe's SA post mortem results out 12/14/02
By our own Staff
THE long-awaited results of an autopsy carried out
on the late
Learnmore Jongwe by a South African pathologist have finally been
However, the results have merely confirmed what had
established by government pathologist: That the young MDC MP
excessive chloriquine poisoning.
Releasing the autopsy
results to The Standard yesterday, a Jongwe
family spokesman said the family
was demanding a full inquiry into how the
excessive amounts of chloroquine
got into the former MDC spokesman's body.
The family hired a South
African pathologist to carry out an
independent autopsy into the death of
"The Jongwe family has since received results of the
on the body of Learnmore Jongwe by a South African
pathologist. The results
are essentially similar to the findings by the
in that they state Jongwe died from chloroquine
The family and all the people of Zimbabwe want to know
regime the circumstances that led to the introduction of excessive
of chloroquine into the body of Learnmore Jongwe," said the
Jongwe mysteriously died in his prison cell in
October while awaiting
trial for the alleged murder of his wife, Rutendo. The
death sparked an uproar as his family and MDC supporters
of being responsible for the death.
Government however, insisted that Jongwe could have killed himself
produced footnotes to prove its case.
"It is on record that
Jongwe was denied bail three times on the
grounds that the government wanted
to ensure he was stopped from harming on
himself. It is also public knowledge
that Jongwe was in the custody of the
state, and there are clear regulations
on who has access to him and how he
could have access to medication. We
therefore hold the government of
Zimbabwe responsible for the death of
Jongwe," said the spokesman.
No vuka vuka for single men 12/14/02
IN a bid to reduce the alarming spread of the
HIV/Aids pandemic, the
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association
(Zinatha) has decided to
stop issuing sexually enhancing herbs to young
Peter Sibanda, the association's secretary-general
association's new policy at a recent media workshop on HIV/Aids
He expressed deep shock at the high rate of
young people visiting
traditional leaders in search of performance enhancing
herbs despite the
high incidence of the pandemic.
He said the
association had resolved to issue the herbs out only to
married men and its
members had been advised to investigate their patients'
marital status and
age first before attending to their sexual concerns.
say about 2,2 million people in Zimbabwe are infected
with the HIV/Aids
Chinhoyi feasts as country suffers 12/14/02
By Chengetai Zvauya
CHINHOYI-The Mashonaland West capital,
Chinhoyi, was an oasis of
plenty amidst countrywide shortages and poverty
last week, as bemused
residents and visitors alike found the town awash with
including fuel, courtesy of the Zanu PF Annual National
Eager to distract delegates
from the sad reality of the crippling
shortages of the most basic of
commodities, the Zanu PF machinery made
certain that at least for the week of
the conference, it was a rare pomp and
conference, which ended yesterday, was held in Chinhoyi
The Standard witnessed a situation unlike of
today's Zimbabwe, as
people did not have to scrounge around for basics such
as bread, milk,
sugar, mealie-meal and cooking oil. As a further convenience
and residents, fuel tankers were commandeered to Chinhoyi, at
the expense of
the rest of the country where thousands of motorists had to
hours in long winding queues waiting for petrol.
Residents who spoke to The Standard could not hide their surprise and
the conference could be held in their town every week.
Kadiwa of Chikonohono township: "We were facing food
shortages but the Zanu
PF Conference was a blessing in disguise for us, as
from last week the
government ensured that we were well supplied with
basics. We are happy that
at least we are going to feed ourselves for a week
or so into the new
Richard Dongo, another resident of Chinhoyi, said the wise
advantage of the sudden supply of basics to cater for the time when
returned back to "normal".
"It is a relief that food and
fuel has arrived in the town after we
had suffered for a long time.
Throughout the year we have been facing
starvation," he said.
Chinhoyi mayor, Dr Peter Matarise, was equally appreciative of the
"We welcome the food which has come to the town. Our wish
is for other
organisations and individuals to come and assist us in the
crisis which is
affecting everyone in the country," he said.
However the glut of supplies did not come without a price.
prelude and duration of the conference was characterised by Zanu
reign of terror as the party's militia descended on residents.
tense atmosphere gripped the town as Zanu PF youths patrolled the
night, forcing many of the residents to stay indoors.
were part of the Zanu PF 3 000-strong delegation from
various provinces that
was attending the party's conference.
Wearing their infamous green
uniforms, a symbol of great fear for
many, they patrolled the town at night,
dispensing 'justice' like law
enforcement agents. People were asked to
produce identify cards and if they
were visitors, were interrogated about
their presence in town.
A visit to Chikonohono township, the
biggest high density suburb in
Chinhoyi, by The Standard on Thursday night
revealed many of the residents
had confined themselves to their homes for
fear of falling prey to the
marauding youths who had barricaded the
Only those with accreditation cards for the conference
were at liberty
to move as they wished. As a result, night life was confined
to Zanu PF
delegates as they patronised the town's night clubs.
A Chinhoyi family which refused to be named for fear of victimisation
The Standard the violence brought by the militia was unusual of
"Chikonohono is very peaceful, but we are now
afraid of these youths
who are roaming our neighbourhood. We cannot send our
children to shops in
the evenings because they might be beaten by the youths
who are patrolling
In a snap survey by The Standard,
residents said apart from the food
and fuel it had brought to town, the Zanu
PF Conference was of no relevance
"It's only the
delegates who are interested in this talk shop,
otherwise for the rest of us
life goes on. No sane person would expect
anything spectacular to come out of
this event, especially since it is for
Zanu PF, a party that has destroyed
our country," said a resident who
refused to be identified.
the President Mugabe's key note address, Nicholas Kamusiwo of White
said it was the usual drivel expected of the 79-year-old man who has
Zimbabwe with an iron grip since independence in 1980.
he waste our time talking about Britain and Australia? Is
that what is going
to bring food on the tables of Zimbabweans? Surely it was
insulting to all
Zimbabweans that their president did not even bother to
mention the crippling
fuel crisis at this event," Kamusiwo said.
Poor teacher turnout at national service
MASVINGO-Over 80 teachers and headmasters on Tuesday
embarked on a
crash national service training programme at Mushagashe
some 30 km out of Masvingo town, The Standard has
The pilot project, initiated by the Zimbabwe Teachers
affiliate of the Joseph Chinotimba led Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
(ZFTU), is set to be spread across the country in a few months if
A drive to the Mushagashe Training Centre by The
Standard on Wednesday
revealed that only 89 out of a possible 200 teachers
and headmasters had
turned up for the training and were sporting the dreaded
Zanu PF militia
"Initially, we intended to start with
200 teachers and headmasters but
things did not go as planned. Masvingo
province provided the bulk of the
teachers numbering 87, while Harare
province managed only two and that's far
below our expectations," said a Zanu
PF official who requested anonymity.
He added: "We hope to have
received some more teachers and headmasters
by the end of the month for this
special national service training."
Youths risk thinking like Mugabe, Tekere
By Itai Dzamara
VETERAN nationalist and former
secretary-general of the ruling Zanu PF
party, Edgar Tekere, says parents
should not permit their children to
undergo the discredited national youth
service because they may end up
thinking like President Mugabe.
Tekere, the pioneer of opposition politics after independence,
unequivocal in expressing his disgust over the national youth
programme which is being run under the ministry of youth, gender
employment creation .
"Although it is an accepted idea
internationally, in our case one
Border Gezi (the late minister for gender
and employment creation) thought
of seizing the opportunity to brainwash
youths into blindly adoring and
praising Zanu PF and Mugabe. It is all meant
to Mugabelise all the youths,"
said Tekere in an interview with The
The veteran nationalist, who resides in the eastern
border town of
Mutare, said the whole nation had to fearlessly reject the
service, with parents taking the lead by denying their
to go for the six-month training.
Tekere: "The talk of youths being trained to be patriotic is
What patriotism is there when the militia are going around
old people in the villages. I will never allow my child to
be part of that
obnoxious plan. I urge all parents to defy and denounce this
The national youth service was made compulsory by
government after the
setting up of the first Border Gezi National Youth
Service Training centre
in Mount Darwin. More training centres have since
been established in all
provinces, which are churning out products wrecking
havoc in society.
Clad in green camouflage uniform which has earned
them the tag, 'the
Green Bombers', the Zanu PF youths are being used by the
ruling party in its
terror campaigns against opposition supporters, as well
as other voices of d
The idea of the compulsory youth
service has not go down well with the
majority of Zimbabweans, but the
stubborn Mugabe regime has gone ahead with
it, wasting taxpayers' money on
nefarious training activities at a time when
over six million people are
threatened with starvation.
Tekere, who helped Mugabe cross the
Mozambican border to wage a bitter
struggle against the settler regime of Ian
Smith, and formed the Zimbabwe
Unity Movement which fiercely opposed Mugabe's
attempts to impose a one
party state, does not hide his disappointment at the
way the president has
destroyed the once promising nation.
the rains will not fall as long as Mugabe is in charge of this
said. "He is directionless and has brought numerous curses on
Even nature wouldn't be pleased by this madness. We are going
down like a
whirlwind and it will continue until we reach the bottom. There
is no end in
sight unless we get rid of this wayward Mugabe regime."
hardships facing the country, Mugabe believes that he has
to hold on to the
country so that "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again".
He also believes
Zimbabwe's economy starts and ends with the land which has
been seized from
productive white Zimbabwean commercial farmers, and given
to mostly chefs,
war veterans and Zanu PF officials and supporters.
Mugabe promises to address crisis
December 15, 2002,
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's President, admitted
yesterday that his
country had problems and pledged to address calls by his
party to end an
economic crisis that has left half the population facing
But in an address to close an annual conference
of his ruling
ZANU-PF party, Mugabe once again accused the country's white
working with the former colonial power Britain to topple his
the issue of his seizure of their farms for landless
Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment,
and crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis
decades, a debacle which Mugabe has blamed on his domestic and
opponents. Nearly half of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, once
bread basket, now face severe food shortages caused by drought and
controversial land reform policies.
economic crisis - the worst since independence in
1980 - was at centre stage
during the two-day annual conference as party
members took the government to
task. Some delegates called for more
equitable distribution of food, saying
the process had been hijacked by
civil servants. Others called on the
government to tighten price controls.
Mugabe urged his
supporters to be vigilant against what he said
were whites still harking back
to the past, when the former Rhodesia was a
white-ruled British colony.
Behind closed doors, Zimbabwe's controversial
land reform programme dominated
talk as some delegates accused senior party
members of grabbing farms. -
Zimbabwe in grip of new hunger crisis
Inflation spirals as land seizures
cut food supplies
Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Sunday December 15,
Zimbabwe's economy has declined precipitously in
recent weeks, bringing
severe shortages of food and fuel and dramatically
desperation of the already beleaguered
Kilometre-long queues of cars, buses and trucks snake through
Bulawayo and other cities, often forcing traffic to a halt. Thousands
for maize meal, the country's staple food, and other basic items such
bread, rice, cooking oil, sugar, beef, chicken and salt. The grim faces
those in the queues show people who are hungry and worried about how to
The famine affecting more than half of Zimbabwe's
13 million people has now
spread to the cities. Nearly one million urban
Zimbabweans are at risk of
starvation, according to international aid
organisations. The extreme hunger
is largely a result of President Robert
Mugabe's land seizures, which have
dismantled the commercial agriculture
sector without replacing it with
equally productive farming.
and fuel shortages are harbingers of increased suffering and
decline, according to a report to be released tomorrow by the
Economist Intelligence Unit. 'We expect Zimbabwe's economy to
contracting during the next two years, resulting in increased
the population at large, industry and other productive
sectors,' states the
unit. It says that since 1999 GDP has fallen 25 per
are already struggling with annual inflation of 144 per cent but
forecasts inflation of 400-500 per cent is possible in 2003.
in neighbouring African countries are about 5 per cent.
government is taking 'a calculated gamble' that the economic
decline will not
provoke a violent rebellion, says the report. 'There is a
possibility that an
enraged population, particularly in the cities, will
revolt. Worsening food
and fuel shortages, triple-digit inflation and rising
unemployment could all
provide the spark leading to mass protests against
the government in
However, Mugabe is expected to use the army, police, war veterans
party's vigilante youth militia to put down any uprising.'
report says the government's economic policies are 'ultimately
but they can probably be continued for several years bringing
'In addition, it is increasingly likely that even if
reforms were to be introduced,the country's commercial
farming, mining and
manufacturing sectors have now been irreparably damaged.
This will hamper
future economic recovery and undermine the country's
The pressures of this scenario can be
felt throughout Harare where every
shop and marketplace is clogged with
people trying to find food at
affordable prices. Last month, two children
were crushed to death when a
queue for 'mealie meal' became a
'How many households can afford the traditional
luncheon when a chicken costs a quarter of the
monthly salary of the
majority of the workforce?' asks commentator Pius
Wakatama. 'Maybe such
meals will be enjoyed in the homes of the politically
definitely not in the majority of homes in the sprawling
Mugabe avoided specific reference to the country's battered
economy and fuel
shortage when he opened the annual congress of his ruling
National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) on Friday. Instead,
scapegoats of the British Government and Zimbabwe's dwindling
minority, estimated at about 50,000. He warned of retaliation against
if the Blair Government and the European Union continued their
sanctions against his regime.
'The more they work against
us, the more they express their hostility
against us, the more negative we
shall become to their kith and kin.'
Little heed was taken of Mugabe's
speech in the food queues. 'What does
Mugabe know of our daily struggle for
survival?,' said a shopper who did not
want to give her name for fear of
retribution. 'He wants us to think our
sufferings are because of the whites.
But we know he and his cronies are
getting rich and we are the ones
Zimbabwe's biggest export floods SA
December 14 2002 at
By Hans Pienaar
An increase in the
flow of refugees from Zimbabwe is having a destabilising
effect on Limpopo
province: policing services are under such pressure that
farmers are starting
to train their own security guards.
Violent types of crime are on the
rise in towns that had never experienced
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that increasing
both legal and illegal Zimbabweans were entering South Africa.
drivers in Musina and shopkeepers in Thohoyandou agreed, but the
sources were loath to blame increasing crime figures on Zimbabwean
Ronel Otto, the police spokesperson, said there were no real
available to suggest Zimbabweans were responsible for crimes. She
was actually on the decline in Limpopo, but was unable to
In Louis Trichardt, the first large town on the
road from Zimbabwe, sources
said hijackings occurred this year for the first
time: seven in the past
three months. In the past month 21 vehicles had been
The sources said the increasing refugee flows were sapping police
to such an extent that South African crime syndicates had greater
of movement" in Limpopo towns. Whereas theft was limited in the past
many items as an individual could carry away on foot, the new trend was
houses to be "cleaned out" by syndicates.
While the sources said
they had no evidence local syndicates were employing
Zimbabweans to do the
dirty work, shopkeepers in Thohoyandou claimed they
were being used in this
way because they could not easily be traced in the
said 84 percent of people caught without legal documents at
November were Zimbabweans. In one week up to 1 000 illegal
aliens could be
caught at such roadblocks in Limpopo.
When asked what percentage of
Zimbabweans in South Africa were illegal, Otto
said she could not
The Zimbabweans use connections with local clansmen and the
travelled back-roads of the Venda region to find their way to
the cities of
the Witwatersrand. Near the larger towns such as Polokwane they
bushes from 10pm to 4am, or hide on unoccupied farms.
sources said the trend was for increasing numbers of Zimbabwean youths,
children, to enter South Africa illegally. Most were "born frees",
birthdates from after independence in 1980. They had little respect
authority because of misrule in their home country, and were "just the
generation" for crime.
Whereas in the past farmers could cope
with the odd theft of products from
fields and barns, the volume has got out
of hand in the past year. A new,
severely damaging trend is to steal any
aluminium equipment - including
expensive irrigation pipes and wheels - to
sell to smelters where they are
turned into pots and kitchen
In the villages around Thohoyandou the traditional cast-iron
pot has been replaced by a shiny, lightweight aluminium version.
kitchenware is found everywhere.
So threatened do farmers
feel that agricultural associations have begun
their own programmes to train
security guards. The programmes have a "home
and hearth" focus because
patrols covering fields as well would be too
expensive. The farmers, say the
sources, have given up on the idea of
minimising theft of produce in order to
protect their profit margins, and
are now concerned mainly with personal
Asked about the use of the army, the sources said the commando
which local volunteers of all races and sexes are used, was the
against a total collapse of policing services. But new
individual members to legal action had severely
curtailed the system's
effectiveness, and defence force budgets for "regional
Otto said the defence force "does
not really have the manpower anymore to
assist the police". But the air force
was still being used in police
The sources said farmers
were confused over the government's stand on
Zimbabwe, and saw it as
supporting the violent transfer of land to black
context they were not willing to stay on as farm managers for new
owners acquiring their land in accordance with the land
The refugee flows are also affecting the game
industry. Because so many farm
animals are smuggled in from Zimbabwe,
certificates for infectious diseases
are required before game farmers are
allowed to sell animals. Because of
this, conservation experts say, animals
are dying of thirst and hunger
because they are not being bought by buyers,
who go elsewhere where there is
less red tape. - Independent Foreign
Zimbabwe today: story of an African alarm
2002 at 07:51PM
By Charlene Smith
The earth begins
bleeding over Limpopo. Viewed from an aircraft it is red,
raw, sunburnt. As
the plane proceeds over Zimbabwe blackened shrubs cluster,
large tracts of
earth carry the greyness of death, parts are as bleached as
bone, depleted by
the sun, overgrazing and poor agricultural policies.
On a Harare street
outside a fancy shopping centre a man steps forward and
whispers, "You want
maize, sugar, flour?"
'How can the South
African government keep telling us things are good'
Driving through the lush
Bvumba mountains, a Zimbabwean passenger sees a
pedestrian walking with a
maize bag on her head.
The passenger shouts for the car to stop. She
interrogates the woman: "Is
that maize meal?"
"Where did you get it?"
"From a local farm."
'This business is impossible now'
It was Z$2 000, around
R20 at parallel market rates, but also a fifth of an
average monthly salary
and Z$800 cheaper than store rates - on the rare
occasions that maize or
maize meal finds its way to shop shelves.
The passenger is on a mission
for food - a little later she stops a woman
outside a country
"Is there bread?"
There is. She emerges triumphantly, after
a little haggling, with four
In the same area close to the
Mozambique border, late afternoon is marked by
endless rows of people
walking. Petrol shortages are biting deep and
increased police and army
patrols, trying to prevent Mozambicans coming to
Zimbabwe to buy cheap food
and petrol, harass taxi owners.
Few taxi operators are willing to work in
the area. This is a mixed blessing
because unaffordable car repair rates -
Z$60 000 for a lubrication service
is six months' salary for a teacher or
three months' salary for the average
worker, which means that many cars are
One taxi operator who could not afford repair costs would
drive in reverse
down winding Bvumba roads because his brakes had failed. His
went off a cliff.
Food and petrol prices are kept
artificially low by government price
controls, which in part have led to food
shortages because it has become
more expensive to produce food than the
returns manufacturers get. Land
invasions have seen the beef herd cut by 60
percent, leading to meat
shortages. Shrunken dairy herds see Zimbabwe
producing only a third of its
milk requirements. Manufacturers and stores are
increasingly ignoring price
controls and food prices have soared 100 percent
in the past month.
A branch of South Africa's Spar in Harare looks
well-stocked - until one
notes that goods are pushed to the front of shelves
and spread thinly. There
are just four litres of milk - a shopper looks
around, then crams all four
into his trolley. There is baking powder but no
flour, tea but no sugar.
At OK Bazaars in another town, 250g of South
African butter costs R28 at
parallel market rates of Z$100 to the rand - the
official rate is Z$6 to the
rand. The same amount of butter costs R7 in South
Hiring a car is a nightmare. At the first company, Rocksands, a
in Harare, the consultant asks for an R80 000 deposit for an aged
the cheapest car available. At Europcar in downtown Harare, an
Imperial car hire, a US$1 500 deposit is requested. Too tired to
someone produces a credit card that can provide that sort of deposit
At 7 one evening, a Mutare petrol store owner watches
a petrol queue quickly
assemble as word spreads that a tanker is filling some
of his fuel tanks.
"This business is impossible now," he says.
make Z$4,70 a litre on fuel - 4,7 cents - we can't make more because of
A formerly wealthy Zimbabwean businessman - many people
are now "formerly
wealthy" - takes out a bag of crushed wheat that he gives
to his workers,
when it is available, as a substitute for maize.
roadsides people sell tiny, dark-brown potatoes, which are replacing
wherever sufficient water can be accessed to irrigate them.
been no rain since October and even then it has been a mere
day dawns with the sort of deep turquoise skies beloved by
tourists - not
that there are many in Zimbabwe - and regarded with
A seamstress explains how villagers in an area close to the
separate Zimbabwe and Mozambique brewed beer and took it up a
as an offering to the mountain gods to plead for rain. The
gods on this
mountain are believed to be powerful. A white farmer who went up
mountain with a gun got lost for hours and almost died - the gods don't
guns. No one takes dogs up with them because dogs disappear or are
the monkeys that are the lookouts for the gods.
kilometres from where an American visitor was shot dead at a
month ago, three policemen in blue threadbare uniforms step
across a small
country road and flag down our vehicle. One has an automatic
rifle. A young
officer with a smiling face greets us, courteously answers a
waves us on. Later that afternoon when we pass again they are
a fire. They wave cheerfully and shout hello.
Sometimes fear in Zimbabwe
is more a feeling in your heart than a daily
reality. Black and white
Zimbabweans report increased racism, whites are
sometimes insulted by
passers-by on the streets.
What is greater than fear, however, is
economic deprivation - 80 percent
unemployment and 145 percent inflation that
the World Bank predicts will
reach 550 percent next year. It shows in
people's dusty skin because soap is
hard to come by and expensive. Poverty is
seen in broken shoes and torn,
dirty clothes. Hardship shows in
And yet there are areas where grandeur gives a glimpse of
Zimbabwe. The old and stately Leopard Rock hotel looks out onto
one of the
finest golf courses in Africa. Leather armchairs sit empty in a
There are two cars in the parking lot. No one in the casino.
Staff stand and
Beautiful huge, black wattle baskets and
intricately embroidered tablecloths
flank the roadside to Tony's, the best
cake shop in Africa, a Hansel and
Gretel house which owner Tony Robinson
refers to as his villa.
Down a path flanked by huge King proteas and
tumbling masses of pink roses
is a small restaurant where tea is served in
eggshell china and silver
teapots. The cakes are unbelievable, a voluptuous
orange and carrot cake
slathered in cream; tiny meringues; a flourless
decorated with lavender, nasturtiums and chocolate
Robinson's blue eyes glow with happiness: "I love this place. I
Cape Town before, but I had a dream I needed to follow and I found
nowhere in the world is better."
A few kilometres away at the
Vumba club - a favourite of Doris Lessing and a
short drive from Ardroy, the
farm she abandoned to pursue her writing career
in London - no one has
arrived for Sunday lunch. A so-called Thai curry of
mince and packaged Indian
curry sauce is reheated. There is a corner in
memory of Lessing's son, Peter
Wisdom, who hated his mother. A huge old
billiard table sits under
A woman with a homemade bamboo fishing rod stands at a lake below
club with ragged children at her feet. There are no fish, she
because the weather is cold. Everywhere there are signs of hunger
economy rapidly sliding into ruin despite the best efforts of the
Robinsons of Zimbabwe.
The new budget, announced last month, will
also destroy the export market,
businessmen believe, with provisions that
insist exports have to be paid at
the unrealistic government-set currency
rate and not the market-related
The owner of a large
company that has relied on exports has a face etched
"I'm liquidating everything. New labour provisions say I have to
two months' wages for every year of employment.
budget provisions will ruin us. I have to lay off workers. We have
working for us for 30 years - I'll have to sell everything I own
to pay them.
With luck someone will buy the business, otherwise we'll have
to close the
company my father began more than 50 years ago."
In Harare three young
men, Tonderai Ndira, 26, Reuben Tichareva, 25, and
Barnabas Ndira, 22, sit on
a porch chewing matchsticks. Among them, the
three Movement for Democratic
Change youth leaders have been charged 25
times in the past two years. They
have yet to be convicted of any crime.
Charges range from public violence
under the wide provisions of the Public
Order and Safety Act to inciting
Tonderai, the son of a Shona chief, says he has been on the run
since 16 war
veterans came to his home a year ago. "They were armed with AKs
handcuffs, claimed they were police and had come to arrest me. They were
in uniform. I asked for IDs, but they had none. They fired two shots and
ran - I haven't stopped running."
He smiles and rubs a scar on his
arm, a memento of a police beating.
He saw starvation across the country.
"I was in Mrewa (about 90km northeast
of Harare) and people eating wild
fruits called mazhanje and the root of a
flower called elephant. Zanu-PF said
they would give the people food, but
they are selling it at Z$500 for a 20kg
bucket. No one has money."
Mavuku is a township that has grown rapidly
over the past two years as
farmworkers from farms that have been taken over
have had to move to this
No one appears to have
employment, few houses have electricity or water
because of unpaid bills and
Everyone is hungry.
The last time Tonderai worked was in
1998. Reuben lost his job in 1997 when
the company he worked for closed down.
Barnabas has not found work since he
completed school four years
They operate an informal food distribution scheme in Mavuku with
from wellwishers in Harare. They conduct township cleanups to try
"encourage a sense of dignity among people", Reuben says. "People
depressed when they have no work."
They say HIV-positive people
are succumbing to Aids quickly as inadequate
food sees immune systems
collapse faster and opportunistic infections take
hold. Across Zimbabwe those
who work with HIV/Aids report that clinics have
no medications, "not even
Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce generic medications
for HIV, given free
by Thailand which helped it set up production lines.
Production was to have
begun in February. Nothing has happened.
don't understand how the South African government can keep telling us
are good in Zimbabwe," Barnabas says.
"Where do they go when they come
here? Whom do they speak to? South Africans
must see people are tumbling into
SA because the situation in Zimbabwe is
Barnabas adjusts his
"The person who says he doesn't need the British, that he doesn't
whites, he has everything. He can say, 'We don't need them', and go
hotel afterwards. We go to the bush and dig for roots."
a.. This article was originally published in The Cape Times on 09
Middle class hunter-gatherers
A NEW class of hunter-gatherers has been discovered in
central African nation, eminent anthropologists have announced.
The new age
hunter-gatherers come mainly from the middle classes, a
thought possible outside certain troubled Balkan and eastern
In the past, 21st century hunter-gatherers were
thought to be limited
largely to the deepest regions of various South
American and Central African
Still, the new-age
troubled central African country's hunter-gatherers
are, almost uniquely,
urban dwellers with large motor cars and dwindling
bank balances. But while
their rural hunting and gathering counterparts in
the rain forest hunt for
bush meat and gather fruit, the urban sub-species
has a much wider list of
necessities to gather and hunt for.
Top of the list is petrol, now
a sought-after luxury prized more
highly than beluga caviar or Havana cigars.
Without petrol, say the troubled
hunter-gatherers, no other hunting or
gathering can take place.
Once found, any price will be paid for
the luxury commodity, thus
allowing the troubled central African nation's
hunter-gatherers to hunt for
other desirable luxuries like maize meal, bread
One of the troubled central African country's two
mysteriously became one of 20 000 in the state-controlled
said it was indeed a curious situation for milk to be
considered a luxury,
let alone bread and sugar. He said it had been several
hundred years since
these items were considered luxuries in the imperialist
west, but there was
no accounting for politics or taste.
Meanwhile, the most equal of all comrades said it was quite obvious
commodity shortages were the work of avaricious businessmen,
colonialist-inspired rumours that the economy had somehow been
his government. Just as it was untrue to say that the shortage
of food was
due to the fact that all the farmers had been chased away with
prejudice, it was untrue to say that the lack of bread in the shops
anything to do with forcing bakers to sell their bread at a
"These are rumours spread by the running dogs of imperialism
enemies of the state," said a government spin-doctor who then asked
Top for a loaf of bread, saying he hadn't eaten in a week. When OTT
that he himself had no bread (or sugar, cooking oil, mealie meal,
beef, milk or petrol) the government spokesman looked troubled and
he had heard such items were available to economic saboteurs and
elite. He then added, hastily, that economic saboteurs and the
were two separate entities and should not be confused, which OTT
arguably the biggest lie he had uttered all day.
Meanwhile, it was reported that corpulent gentlemen from the ruling
Party met in a central stronghold to discuss the food crisis and ways
resolve the country's economic decline. It was resolved that the best way
resolve the troubled central African country's economic problems was to
white people, British people, the inherent weaknesses of capitalism,
Asian community, multinational companies, colonial history,
businesses with no connection to the Zany party and anyone else who
mind. Above all, it was decided blame should be spread wide
responsibility for the economic meltdown should not be laid at the feet
the Zany Party which was, as always, in full control
everything-especially the police who would deal harshly with anyone
suggested poor economic planning and corruption had anything to do with
fact that cigarettes are unavailable in a country that was just last
the world's second largest tobacco producer.
For how long can Mugabe continue defying
THE question that Zimbabweans are
perennially asking each other in
fuel, maize meal, bread and many other,
queues, is just how long this can
continue? For how long can such a
conglomeration of lies go on?
First, it was the work of
multinational companies and British
imperialists, then technical and
transport problems were being experienced
in the procurement of fuel, now the
finger is being pointed at the National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the
ministry of finance and economic
development. It goes on and on.
It must, however, be pointed out to
Zanu PF and the government that
sometimes silence is golden. The conscious
use of silence is, in many
respects, the most extreme form of ambiguity. It
can reflect, and be
perceived to reflect divided councils, indecision, the
ominous quiet before
the storm, and either opposition, indifference or
support. It minimises
commitments and maximises options. It even lends
credence to words when they
But Zanu PF's
propensity to foolishly rush in with explanations at
every turn has
transformed the party into a lying machine. Nobody believes
anything that is
uttered by the ruling party any more. Why they bother to
boggles the mind. No one trusts them anymore. Zanu PF has
been telling fibs
for so long that this has become second nature to it.
The fact that
the ruling party feels compelled to make instant public
utterances on just
about everything that bears no resemblance to reality on
the ground, reminds
us of well-known sayings: 'Empty vessels make the
loudest noise', 'Fools rush
in where Angels fear to tread'. The fuel and
food situations in the country
are cases in point. Our sincere advice to
Zanu PF is to continue their
looting in silence.
Looting and struggle for spoils-yes-that's what
Zanu PF has been doing
for the past two-and-a-half years. Despite the empty
rhetoric this weekend
from the National 'People's' Conference in Chinhoyi,
the truth of the matter
is that the so-called land redistribution exercise
has been little more than
a struggle for spoils. Let us not pretend
otherwise. The evidence on the
ground is there for all to see.
This reality makes Zanu PF's sixth annual National 'People's'
non-event. Nothing concrete or tangible will come out of that
will be more of the same-rhetoric about British imperialism,
Tony Blair etc,
whilst the country continues to be devastated by hunger,
exorbitant prices and acute shortages of fuel, food and other
Despite its centrality to the economy, no mention was
President Mugabe in his keynote address in Chinhoyi about fuel
have paralyzed the country in recent times. Can anybody
therefore be blamed
for thinking that the government is not serious about
economic problems facing Zimbabwe.
leaders who have caused the current crises are the same
leaders who are in
Chinhoyi. The 3 000 or so delegates from all the
provinces of the country are
there just to rubber stamp the threadbare
rhetoric of the leadership and to
sing and dance to Elliot Manyika's Nora.
Chefism and party bossism is rife in
Zanu PF and the delegates will bear the
degradation in silence.
The fact that these past two weeks have been very trying ones in terms
fuel and food shortages, is of no consequence to them. The tide of
that is running very high in the country about shortages and
prices will equally be of no consequence to them.
are managing their lives in these very difficult times
is indeed a mystery.
Life in this country has become impossible. We
genuinely ask: How are
ordinary people managing? With a monthly pension that
cannot even buy six
toilet rolls, how are retired senior Zimbabweans
expected to keep their heads
above water? With a monthly salary of rarely
more than 5 000 Zimkwachas, how
are maids and gardeners managing to make
No joy will
emanate from the Chinhoyi meeting. Chinhoyi or no
Chinhoyi, the economy will
continue its downward spiral. In fact, with no
end in sight for the fuel
blues, the economy is slowly but surely grinding
to a halt.
depression both in the economy and people will not lift until Zanu
peacefully booted out of power. We might seem brutal in our
if the truth be told, this is what has to be done. And we
are saying this not
for the hell of it but with honest intentions. We are
also saying it more in
sorrow than in anger. For it must not be forgotten
that this was once a
But now the beauty has gone. The country is
blazing. The circumstances
are cruel enough. Crueller still, is the absence
of any strategy on the part
of Zanu PF, to lift us out of this economic
There can no longer be any doubt that Zanu PF and
President Mugabe, in
particular, are Zimbabwe's albatross. The President is
oblivious to the
reality that his actions are wounding the nation and that
the victims of
Zanu PF's policies are ordinary Zimbabweans who are paying a
President Mugabe has become divorced from the
realities of the people
that he purports to represent.
Zimbabweans are a depressed lot. Because of their daily struggles,
become the order of the day. Companies are closing shop and for
limping on, there is very low morale as a result of government's
That so many companies are still operating and a
farmers are still putting in a crop this season, is testimony
commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and extreme resilience of
Had it been any other country, we have no doubt that both
companies and many
more farmers would have simply closed shop or relocated
Perhaps the extent of the present economic crisis is a
disguise. The country has passed the tragic point of no return.
There is a
feeling in the air that change must come!
have been a patient and docile lot. They have been bearing
and degradation in silence. It might not be that long before
they smash this
For how long can President Mugabe continue defying
Export companies hit by supply fears
ZIMBABWEAN companies are on the verge of losing
their export market
share because of customer concern over reliability of
supplies following the
imposition of a new government policy on foreign
Companies involved in the export business told
Standard Business that
some markets had already raised concern about
Zimbabwe's ability to continue
availing products and services to meet
In his budget statement, finance and economic development
Herbert Murerwa, increased the foreign currency component that
companies must remit to the central bank, to 50% from 40%, with
remaining 50% being also surrendered and held by the central bank to
order of the exporter.
Shane Moran, a commercial director
with Murray and Roberts Zimbabwe, a
company involved in the construction
industry, told Standard Business that
customers had begun questioning their
sustainability in light of the new
"We are equally
concerned about our market. Our customers consider
Zimbabwe an unsuitable
place to get products from. They don't know if we are
going to be in business
for very much longer," said Moran.
One exporter who requested
anonymity, said the processing of import
applications was very slow and that
his application for a US$800 facility to
purchase spare parts had been turned
Border Timbers Limited (BTL), another export-oriented concern
export markets are South Africa, United States of America, United
Germany and Japan amongst others, also risks losing its markets to
competitors from Chile and Brazil.
In one of its
trading updates, BTL, which recently lost millions of
dollars after its
timber plantations in Chimanimani were razed, allegedly by
war veterans, said
production and order levels were pathetic.
"The order position from
BTL's customers has been falling off
significantly following the mayhem on
our properties," said BTL.
Insiders say management's efforts to
reassure the customer base of
continuity of supplies had come to
Analysts say the 100% retention rate was a government ploy
to pay for
fuel imports and foreign commitments in the form of foreign debts
for embassy staff.
Danny Meyer, former president of
the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce and chief executive of Surgimed
Trading, rapped the new
requirements saying they had caused a lot of
uncertainty in the market.
"There is so much confusion around
because of the lack of clarity.
There is generally low morale among companies
and chief executives as a
result of unclear policies. This doesn't augur well
for us when we start the
year in 2003," said Meyer.
industrialist said companies had to work eminently hard at
constant contacts with suppliers and customers who were very
"We have to do a lot of damage control. We also urge
reconsider the policies they are implementing and address
to restore stability in industry and commerce," added
What this story means: That so many Zimbabwean companies are
operating is testament to the commitment and entrepreneural capacity
Zimbabweans. Government has now resorted to stealing the rest of
export earnings and this places all exporting companies in a
position. Government has no respect for business and, had it been
other country, companies would have simply closed shop or
War vets beat up Zanu PF official
By our own
A SENIOR Zanu PF official, Agrippa Mdlalo Ndlukula, was
week by war veterans inside the chambers of the Insiza Rural
Council after he insisted that landless youths rather than a
minister, should take over a rich farm in Matabeleland
Ndlukula, who is the district treasurer for Filabusi, was
beaten up at
a meeting called to resolve a wrangle over a section of the
The farm, which stretches from the
Fort Rixon commercial farming area
down into the Filabusi communal area, is
suitable for cattle and animal
ranching. The part of the ranch which is up
for grabs was surrendered to the
government a few months ago by its owner
identified only as Goddard.
The Standard understands that this
section of the farm has caused
serious squabbles within the leadership
circles of the Zanu PF Matabeleland
branch because, on the one hand, a group
of landless youths occupying the
land, are insisting that they are the
rightful owners of the land while on
the other, Sithembiso Nyoni, the
minister of small and medium enterprises
development, has also laid claim to
The wrangle saw the Insiza District Coordinating
Committee calling a
meeting at the chambers of the Insiza Rural District
Council to decide on
the ownership of the farm.
Sources at the
meeting told The Standard that tempers flared when Zanu
PF district treasurer
for Filabusi, Ndlukula, insisted that the farm went to
"Ndlukula was steadfast in his insistence that the farm
should go to
the youths of the district. But the war veterans who supported
Nyoni handcuffed him and beat him thoroughly using fists and
Ndlukula suffered head injuries and was treated at Filabusi
hospital," said the source.
The war veterans are
reported to have resisted police attempts to
arrest them, charging that since
they were the patriotic liberators of this
country, the police were merely
their servants and had no powers of arrest
over them, said the
The Standard has established that the war veterans were
A nurse at Filabusi hospital, who
declined to be named, confirmed that
Ndlukula had been treated for head
injuries and back pains on Wednesday.
He said a scan had also been
recommended for Ndlukula after he had
complained of backache.
Police in Filabusi refused to confirm or deny that they had opened a
on the case or had arrested suspects in connection with the matter.
"The officer in charge is on leave and I cannot give you that
was all that the anonymous officer could say after a long wait
consulted with other officers in the background.
Health time bomb ticking on farms
A HEALTH time bomb is ticking on the former
commercial farms where
villagers have been dumped on virgin land without
adequate water and
sanitation facilities, The Standard has
The situation is reportedly so bad in remote areas
parliamentary portfolio committee on lands and agriculture is to
embark on a
national tour to assess the situation.
concerned with the situation on the farms and hope that after
of them, we will have a clear picture of what exactly is
happening,'' said MP
Daniel Mackenzie Ncube who is the chairman of the
a fast track resettlement exercise, government resettled over 300
families without first putting in place vital infrastructure such
hospitals, classrooms and toilets. Government was hoping to earn
mileage prior to a tough March presidential election which pitted
Robert Mugabe against opposition leader, Morgan
However, fears abound that some of the people who have
into the forests previously meant for wildlife habitation could
diseases such as cholera, malaria and dysentery this rainy season
personnel are not urgently deployed to these areas.
the absence of boreholes, desperate villagers are having to drink
sourced from rivers and dams and find themselves at the mercy of
and wild animals which infest their land.
The nearest clinics are
sometimes 40 kilometres away.
Two weeks ago, a cholera outbreak at
Angus Farm, Dewure Extension and
Village 26 in Bikita, resulted in the death
of seven people because of lack
of health care facilities.
situation is worse for the former farm workers who have been
forced off their
The departure of the white Zimbabwean farmers has also
meant the end
of service provision at most of the farms taken over by war
militant Zanu PF supporters. The farms no longer have fresh
water as most of
the pipes have been vandalised, forcing the occupants to
water from dams and rivers.
The bush toilet,
abandoned some years ago when donors provided
assistance to rural communities
to build Blair toilets, have made a strong
director of the Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, Godfrey
The Standard that his organisation was concerned at the
lack of sanitation on
"Generally, the situation on the farms is bad. People
surface water from dams and this water needs to be treated or
reduce the risk of infection. Since farm occupants are failing to
electricity bills they are not able to get the power needed to pump
"The situation differs from farm to farm and is
being made worse by
the fact that there are no Blair toilets on the new
Farm Community Trust assists
displaced farm workers.
Since the start of the farm invasions in
2000, over 3 000 white
Zimbabwean commercial farmers have been forced off
About 900 000 farm workers and their families
have been displaced over
the same period.
Investigations by The
Standard have also revealed that generally, all
the infrastructure left
behind by commercial farmers was under threat as the
new farmers lacked the
capacity and skills to maintain it.
For example, many of the
schools that used to operate on the farms
have now been closed due to lack of
money and other resources.
The Sierra Times
The United Nations: It's Time to End the Farce
Published 12. 14. 02 at 21:01 Sierra Time
The world is in
chaos and, quite frankly, it's the United Nations'
fault. It gives validity
to zealots and petty bigots. It helps to keep
tyrannical dictators in power.
It provides money and aid to international
terrorists. And it sets itself up
as the international economic and
environmental standard which all nations
are to mirror. The United Nations
is the root cause of international trouble,
not the answer.
Saddam Hussein is in power, able to threaten world
because the United States allowed the United Nations to dictate
for the finish to the Gulf War after an American-organized
coalition all but
annihilated Iraq as a war machine. In the intervening
decade, Iraq has time
and again broken the terms of that treaty. The UN's
response has been to
pass 17 toothless resolutions to demand that Iraq behave
Negotiate. Recommend. Study. Reconsider. Do nothing. This is
the game the UN
has played in nearly every international crisis.
It is the reason North Korea remains a threat and its violent
remains in power. It's the reason why Zimbabwe's murderous
Mugabe, is able to steal his election and then steal the
land of white
property owners and still have a voice at the UN's Sustainable
Conference. It's the reason why the Communist Chinese are able
to ignore any
UN rules not to their liking while growing as an international
economic threat. It's the reason why a terrorist nation like
Syria can be
given a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council. The United
States must share
some of the blame for this situation because we allow this
circus on the East
River to exist. The only credibility the UN possesses
comes from recognition
by the United States. The only financial security the
UN enjoys comes from
funds provided by U.S. taxpayers. The only military
punch the UN has comes
from American military power. The United Nations is a
house of cards, but
it's a very dangerous house of cards.
The UN is dangerous because
its most vocal membership stands in
opposition of the American values of
representative government, justice,
free enterprise, privacy of individuals
and private property rights. Most of
the UN's members are nations controlled
either by communist regimes,
kingdoms or mad dictators where American values
are either unknown or viewed
as a threat.
Those same UN members
are busy working to implement plans for UN
global governance. Already, the
UN's International Criminal Court is in
place. The UN has held an
international meeting to discuss the possibilities
and methods of
implementing global taxes. More plans are under consideration
to establish a
UN global army or police force.
Most member states participating in
these planning sessions are from
brutal dictatorships like China and Cuba and
brutal fundamental Islamic
states like Syria and Iran. Can any clear thinking
American honestly believe
that the ideas coming out of this group would have
a possibility of favoring
ideals readily accepted as rights in the United
States? Or expressed in the
Many Americans simply
do not believe that the United States would
voluntarily give up its
sovereignty to the United Nations. They say our
people would never stand for
it. It is happening incrementally with
innocent-sounding policies, treaties
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was
sold as simply a
way for American producers to broaden their markets to the
level. Instead, many have found that details of the treaty
dictate rules and
regulations, particularly of the environmental kind, that
tilt the playing
field to other nations. As a result, American markets are
foreign goods as American businesses and jobs head out of the
country. As a
result of NAFTA, the American sheep industry has all but
industries may soon follow as the United States continues
to cling to this
The European Union was
originally sold as another NAFTA through which
nations could join together to
compete with the United States in the
international market. Now, once-proud
nations have given up their national
sovereignty, ancient currencies like the
Italian Lira and the French Franc
have disappeared in place of the Euro.
Would the citizens of France, Italy
or Greece ever have agreed to such a move
had the whole plan been put on a
ballot? Now there is discussion of an
African Union, a South American Union
and a North American Union in which the
United States would meld its borders
with Canada and Mexico. The move will be
easy since NAFTA has already set
How long will it
be after the establishment of all of these
geographical unions before the
world moves towards one international union?
Imagine a world run by the
justice of China, with the economics of Cuba and
the military might of the
United States. Such is the world of the future
under the United Nations. The
United States holds all of the cards, but it
has only one vote in this
cesspool of Socialism.
The United States can end it all now if it
wishes. The carefully
calculated idea that the UN is a benevolent institution
must be changed.
President Bush has proven that we don't need the United
Nations to grant us
permission to protect our national interests. The United
States can and will
fight its own war on terrorism. It can and will organize
its own coalition
of allies, use its own money, its own weapons, and its own
troops to defeat
an enemy who threatens us. When the 108th Congress opens in
Congressman Ron Paul will once again introduce H.R. 1146, the
Sovereignty Restoration Act. His bill calls for the United States
withdraw from the United Nations. It also calls for the United Nations
remove its headquarters from our shores. H.R. 1146 would relieve the
States from participating in UNESCO and UN environmental policies
endanger our economy and property rights. It would end U.S.
UN peacekeeping missions, meaning we would no longer be
helping to prop up
criminal governments and enemies who seek our
As the UN's irrelevance becomes clearer to Americans; as it
feet, delays and passes yet anther meaningless resolution, the time
never been better to change the national mindset to say, "Get us out of
UN." That time is
Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and
the American Policy Center, a grassroots activist think tank
Mugabe threatens to nationalise oil
December 15 2002 at
Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe wound up his
governing party's annual conference on Saturday threatening to nationalise oil
distribution firms, many of them foreign, to end a crippling fuel shortage in
He said his government had been "foolish" for too long by
importing fuel and giving it to the distribution firms to sell and make profits
while the government gets nothing out of the exercise.
can acquire these (distribution) points and compensate them... and distribute
the fuel," he said.
"There has to be quick action to assure the holiday
spirit is not spoiled," he told the closing session of the two-day annual
conference of his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
"I am going into this matter in a more serious way," Mugabe
|'I am going into this matter in a more serious
Zimbabwe is facing an acute fuel shortage and pumps ran dry this
week amid allegations that officials at the corruption-ridden state
oil-procuring firm want to cancel a fuel supply deal made two years ago between
Mugabe and his Libyan ally Moamer Kadhafi.
Mugabe also used the speech to
attack the country's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
"MDC is now the chaff, they are the chaff, the chaff in our midst,
look at their actions," he said.
"They are on their way out, whatever
(British Prime Minister Tony) Blair says about it, or does about it, it's out
and out and out," Mugabe said, referring to the British government which he says
bankrolls the MDC.
"But don't forget that when there are dying horses
like that, they may just have a fatal kick, used to killing as they are. They
are planning killings and killings." - Sapa-AFP
Zimbabwe will not accept conditional aid: Mugabe
Chirundu, December 12
Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe, whose government faces a deepening economic crisis, said on Thursday he
would not accept foreign aid that comes "wrapped up in political strings".
Speaking at the opening of a $25 million Japanese-financed bridge between
Zimbabwe and Zambia, Mugabe said he would only accept foreign help expressly
aimed at improving Zimbabwe's economy.
"Japan has given us clean grant aid packages....not those wrapped up in
political strings," Mugabe said.
"Cooperating partners should learn from Japan that when aid is given
objectively, given with a purpose of improving economic capacity, that aid is
better appreciated," he added.
Mugabe said Japanese aid was usually appreciated as it was given to poor
countries without "political objectives".
"We wish to state that we will never accept aid with political objectives
even if it is given indirectly," he said.
Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment, inflation and
crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis in two decades,
a debacle which Mugabe has blamed on his domestic and foreign opponents.
Nearly half of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, once Africa's bread
basket, now face severe food shortages caused by drought and Mugabe's
controversial land reform policies.
Mugabe was speaking at Chirundu border post, 150 km south of the Zambian
capital Lusaka, where he joined Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa in opening the
new bridge over the Zambezi river.
Mugabe's plans seen worsening economic crisis
HARARE, Dec. 15 — A pledge by President Robert Mugabe to end
an economic crisis that has left Zimbabwe suffering severe food and fuel
shortages ran into withering criticism on Sunday.
Mugabe admitted on Saturday that his country had problems and promised to
address them, but critics said his strategy was based on increasing state
control of the economy and would only make matters worse.
address to the annual conference of his ruling ZANU-PF party in Chinhoyi,
northwest Zimbabwe, Mugabe again accused the minority white community of working
with former colonial power Britain to topple his government over his seizure of
their farms for landless blacks.
The 78-year-old Mugabe also accused
white-owned businesses of sabotaging the economy, and agreed with suggestions by
ZANU-PF delegates that the government must increase its role in economic
John Robertson, a leading private economic consultant,
commented: ''Chinhoyi is a disaster because Mugabe basically said he is going to
do more of the same.
''We are deep in this hole because of the very
policies that Mugabe is pledging his allegiance to, policies which pretend that
the government is a good manager and must occupy a central role in the
economy,'' he told Reuters.
''Mugabe's policies have not worked even
when the economy has been in a good shape, and I think they are going to make
the situation worse in the shape the economy now is,'' Robertson added.
Zimbabwe is struggling with record unemployment, inflation and
crippling fuel shortages in its worst economic crisis since independence in
Nearly half the 14 million people of a country that was once
Africa's bread basket now face severe food shortages caused by drought and
Mugabe's controversial land reform policies.
The private Sunday
Standard newspaper said the country was doomed to a worsening economic crisis
because Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party had not grasped the fact that change
required a change in policy.
''There can no longer be any doubt that
ZANU-PF and President Mugabe, in particular, are Zimbabwe's albatross.''
GOVERNMENT TAKEN TO TASK
The economic crisis dominated the
two-day annual conference as party members took the government to task.
Delegates quizzed ministers on food aid distribution troubles and
proposals for price and wage freezes to help bring down inflation, now at a
record 144 percent.
Mugabe said the government would tighten price
controls on basic consumer goods to protect consumers from profiteering
companies and could also consider getting involved in the retail sector of the
Mugabe accused foreign oil companies with retail
outlets of sitting on their own resources and of profiteering at the expense of
the state by not taking up the government's challenge to import their own fuel
''If this does not stop, the government can acquire, buy the
distribution points from these companies and distribute fuel on its own,'' he
Fuel has been in short supply since 1999 due to a foreign
currency squeeze that has also left the country short of other basic items such
as bread, cooking oil, sugar and salt.
Motorists have been battling
for scarce petrol supplies around the country as the fuel crisis brought the
country to a near halt.
Witnesses say many fuel stations have run dry
and riot police had been called in to those which still had petrol to stop
On Saturday, Mugabe said the fuel crisis was
particularly bothersome to him as he had worked out a special deal with Libyan
ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
He blamed the crisis on government officials
who he said had failed to take advantage of the arrangement with Libya where
Zimbabwe buys oil in local currency in exchange for joint ventures in tourism
and exports of beef and soya beans.
But Mugabe said nothing about how
he intended to tackle a foreign exchange policy partly blamed for Zimbabwe's
worsening economic crisis.
Zimbabwe has kept its local dollar pegged
at 55 to the U.S. dollar over the last two years despite a black market exchange
rate of some 1,700 to $1.
In general terms, however, Mugabe said he
would follow the instructions of the party conference, which praised almost all
his government's policies but called for tighter controls and the deployment of
trusted officials in key state sectors.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited
without the prior written consent of Reuters.