ZIMBABWE: Concern over recurring fuel shortages
JOHANNESBURG, 17 December
(IRIN) - Zimbabweans were becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of
the country's recurring fuel shortages on their daily lives.
mediums of transport have been grounded and very few passenger services are
operating. Workers in industrial areas are walking to work and have to leave
home at 4am to arrive at work on time," President of the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions, Lovemore Matombo, told IRIN.
"It will affect workers'
productivity because they will be very tired. Considering their low income, some
people don't even have anything to eat, so the fuel crisis will create
unprecedented levels of mental and physical strain," he added.
said fares for the few modes of public transport operating had increased due to
demand. Workers with money were paying for the journey into work, then walking
home for two to three hours.
However, essential services like ambulances
and fire engines in the capital, Harare, still had supplies, according to the
council's public relations officer Cuthbert Rwazemba.
Farmers Union (CFU) said many farmers had bulk fuel storage facilities and could
survive short-term shortages.
"We'll survive in the short term, but in a
couple of weeks, the fuel shortages will create major shortages on farms," CFU
president Colin Cloete said.
Farmers were currently in their crop growth
period and so required less fuel but farmers who needed to reap would not be
able to get fuel for their operations.
Harare-based bus company Kukura
Kurerwa said it only had two days of diesel supplies left.
"We still have
some diesel available but we foresee a worse situation over the next few days.
However, we have been promised a delivery," General Manager Batsirai Nyakuvambwa
Country director for the NGO Care International, Phil
Christensen, said: "Obviously it is difficult for some transportation but we are
managing to cope. NGOs and embassies are able to import their own fuel. We are
accustomed to purchasing fuel like everyone else but we use these supplies
[imported fuel] when there is a shortage."
Christensen added that because
of the shortages, Care had to curtail some of its activities as workers in the
field were battling to source petrol for their motorcycles.
Herald newspaper on Tuesday reported that, "No fresh supplies were purchased by
the sole oil procurer resulting in the fuel situation remaining
It said the US $16 million given to the parastatal National
Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) by the government had instead been used to pay
debtors who refused to send further supplies until arrears were
There was also uncertainty over whether a supply deal with Libya's
Tamoil would continue.
Scarce foreign currency supplies has also made
fuel procurement more difficult.
At the ruling party's conference over
the weekend President Robert Mugabe suggested the possibility of nationalising
the facilities of the five multinational oil companies operating in Zimbabwe and
allowing only the state to distribute fuel.
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE LEGAL COMMUNIQUE - December 17,
communiqué contains a question-and-answer explanation of the process
JAG loss claim document (the original document for those hoping to
compensation). It is vital that all farmers, whether on or off their
complete a loss claim document as soon as possible, in order to
themselves from loss in a legal manner.
Q1. When was the JAG loss claim
document put together?
A1. With the threat of mass evictions and
imprisonments, as a result of
the new Section 8 legislation maturing on the
8th August 2002, JAG put
together the loss claim document in July 2002.
Advice of a London QC,
Richard Benson, was to document.
Q2. How did
the loss claim document assist when the August Section 8
A2. Where farmers followed JAG's advice and got their
nullified, but police still came to arrest them, loss documents
were completed, were presented to the police and those policemen
that they would be held personally responsible for unlawfully
particular farmer. The full loss document, in many cases,
proved to be a
deterrent and allowed those farmers to remain on their
Q3. What is the main role of the loss claim document?
The loss document is essential for future restitution and
claims. The majority of farmers have now had to leave their
unless a properly documented database is put together, it
will be extremely
difficult to claim restitution and compensation in the
How does the JAG loss document fit in with the valuation consortium?
There is a great deal of confusion amongst farmers regarding this.
brokered and initiated the "valuation consortium" with leading members
valuation community in July 2002. The consortium is there to put
authenticated value on your land and fixed improvements. The value of
farm (land and fixed improvements) however is only a proportion of the
loss claim when we talk about compensation and restitution. The
aspects that we have included are;
a) All your moveable assets, many
of which you will have had to sell at
discount prices to be able to continue
to survive with no other income.
These would then constitute consequential
b) Your relocation costs as a result of having had to move and
alternative accommodation etc.
c) Your loss of profit as a result of
not having been able to grow crops
and continue other operations on your
d) Your consequential losses comprising legal fees, medical expenses,
of assets at discounted prices.
e) The losses of your workers income
as a result of your workers having had
to be laid off.
f) The amounts that
you have had to pay out for S.I.6 etc. as a result of
having been closed down
need to be documented.
g) The trauma factor that has resulted from the
intimidation and physical
and mental abuse related to your illegal eviction
and that of your workers.
The valuation consortium is therefore very
important, but is only part of
the process in completing the full loss claim
document. It is important
that you do not do a "half job" and put in a "half
claim". All losses need
to be verified and proven (mitigated) with a full
diary of events and
documents which show how you have protected yourself
within the law. There
is every indication that compensation and or
restitution will be by
negotiation rather than litigation and for this reason
a very comprehensive
documentation of losses is essential.
Q5. Why is
it important in third world Zimbabwe to look at a first
A5. When the
restitution/compensation comes it will come through the
agencies. They cannot, in the international global context,
have one system
for the first world and a different system for the third
world. If we do not
do the work to ensure a comprehensive loss claim
document we will not stand a
chance of getting anywhere near a full claim
payout. If we only do half the
work our chances for restitution/
compensation will be halved. We believe in
doing the very best
job in order to secure the very best future for you, your
Q6. What precedents are there for
A6. When Idi Amin gave all the Asians 90 days
to leave Uganda in August
1972, the Asians organised themselves and did what
they could to secure
their title deeds and whatever property they were able
to secure. When the
international community finally came in to assist an
Uganda, the first financial tranches put forward had
to go towards
restitution/compensation. In Mozambique today, those people
that hung on
to their title deeds are able to claim their land back now. In
Europe exactly the same thing is happening. Where individuals
Governments have amassed huge wealth in an illegal manner, these
have been successfully attached and re-distributed to the countries
people from which and whom they have been taken. This was particularly
after the Second World War. Do not compromise your title by signing any
it away, or making any deals because your claims in the future will be
lot more difficult to put together and succeed on.
Q7. What is the
time period that JAG is looking at for
We cannot sit down at the negotiating table until we have a critical
loss documents on the database. Every farmer needs to get his loss
document compiled as soon as possible. Even if you are one of the
still be farming you must complete your loss claim document as soon
possible because you do not know how long you will continue farming.
other critical factor relating to the time period in
compensation/restitution will be forthcoming revolves around the
political situation within Zimbabwe.
Q8. What do I have to
pay to submit the loss claim document in?
A8. JAG has a membership fee
of $25 000.00. It will then cost a further
$10 000.00 to do the inputting of
your loss claim document onto the
database (some loss documents that have
come out are over 100 pages long).
If you are finding it difficult to pay
these amounts, other farmers who are
able to pay these amounts have put
sponsorship money forward. It is
through no fault of your own that you are
in the position that you are in.
JAG work is being done on a voluntary basis
with a cost recovery for
expenses. JAG is a non-profit organisation and is
run by farmers for
farmers and their workers in order to secure justice and a
future for all.
Where professional help is needed we use it, bringing in the
best lawyers and advocates, Q.C.'s and others to ensure that
we achieve the
very best for you.
Q9. What about farmers who have
already left the country?
A9. We are starting to get our first loss
claim documents in from
Australia. We would encourage anyone who has contact
Zimbabweans outside the country to send this on, and get them to
what they can. It is important that they also get onto the JAG
list so that they can be kept informed and updated on developments as
for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
JAG Sitrep December 17,
Roy Michael Durham, the JAG representative in the Middle Save area,
being unfairly forced to leave the country by immigration officials.
Mr Durham is the Vice-Chairman of Middle Sabi Farmers Association and
been active in keeping farmers on the land. He has been farming in
country since September 1991, and had his application for permanent
approved in January this year. However, the Chief Immigration
Mutare, Mr Shamido has refused to issue the permit on a
number of occasions,
instead opting to give him an extension on his work
permit. Mr Durham was
recently given seven days to leave the country,
despite the success of his
application for residency. He has challenged
this on the grounds that it is
insufficient time in which to wrap up
operations (he is expecting to harvest
$60 million worth of mangoes, and
has invested a considerable amount in the
improvement of farm 35 in
Middle Sabi, which he has been leasing).
Shamido is one of the government officials who are beneficiaries of
redistribution" in the Middle Sabi area, and it seems likely
that Mr Durham
is been targeted because he has been an active figure in
Bauhinia farm (see Press release 9th
Despite the fact that it is now two weeks since Vice President
to Minister Made and DA Manyika, no task force has been sent to
farm to evict the invaders. Since no watering of the roses has been
by the settlers, they are now dead (a $400 million crop).
invaders have stated that they do not care about the court
to them instructing them to vacate the farm. The workers have
that they will receive $3000 per month from the main settler,
and that if they do not like it, they should leave. This
decrease in salary by a third, at a time when inflation is
soaring! So far
no serious action has been taken to evict the
NB: CALL FOR
JAG is mobilizing our accountability project, and we have set
to collate information on human rights abuses and farm
send us any details you can provide regarding VIP settlers
on farms, so
that we can complete this comprehensive database of the
distribution of the
resettled land. This includes both those people who have
evicted and those with current section 8 orders
would appreciate confirmed reports of all A2 settlers, along with as
detail as possible:
Name of settler:
Any other details: (human rights abuses, events on
farm, police response,
contact details for settler/farmer, etc)
HELP IN THIS IS ESSENTIAL - WE MUST HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR
You can either reply directly to this email
or post us the details to:
Justice for Agriculture
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to
contact us -
(091) 317 264
(011) 207 860 we're here to
for Agriculture mailing list
To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to email@example.com
Comment from ZWNEWS, 17
"I don’t understand why there are fuel problems in the
country," Mugabe said when closing his party conference in Chinhoyi. "Why offend
the Libyans by buying fuel from other suppliers?," he added, blaming his own
fuel procurement agency, and finishing with a threat to nationalise the
country’s filling stations. How is it that he doesn’t know why, when the whole
world – including everyone in Zimbabwe – knows why?
The reason why there is no fuel is that fuel costs hard
currency - and Zimbabwe isn’t earning any. The Libyans may have originally
agreed to accept local currency, and expropriated farms and businesses, in
payment, but that was when the Z$ and the farms and companies were
worth multiples of what they are worth now, and many more multiples of what they
will be worth next year. The reason why fuel was sought from other suppliers is
also very simple. You run up an account with the Libyans of more than US$360
million, and they stop supplying. You then scratch together a bit of hard
currency, and you have two choices – give it to the Libyans, who will then
expunge a bit of that outstanding debt, or use it to buy a little fuel – cash on
the nail – from someone else. Less debt, or petrol. The choice is, as they say,
The whole world knows that the Libyans have strategic interests
elsewhere in the world. It is no secret that the EU has been using these
interests to put pressure on Libya to stop propping up Zanu PF. It is also no
secret that Libya (or anyone else) does not like to be made a fool of. And that
is just what has happened. Libya, and its state oil company Tamoil, have come to
realise that they have joined the long list of countries and companies that have
fallen for a well-practised Zanu PF sales-pitch. Eskom, Sasol, the Port of
Beira, the government of Botswana, the lessors of Air Zimbabwe’s aircraft, the
entire populations of Zimbabwe and the DRC; the list goes on. All have ended up
with Zanu PF on their bad debtors' list. Why offend the Libyans? They were
already offended. Why threaten the nation’s filling stations? A last offer to
the recently-departed Libyan delegation to persuade them to part with a few more
barrels, perhaps? Why blame NOCZIM and the banks? The whole world knows that
NOCZIM and the Zanu PF banks are corrupt and inept, and have been for years.
That is nothing new.
Mugabe knows perfectly well why there is no fuel. The whole
world knows why there is no fuel. He knows the whole world knows. The whole
world knows he knows. But there is one big reason (apart from the Libyans) to
feign innocence. You can bet the presidential petrol tank that yesterday in Cape
Town Mugabe was trying to persuade President Mbeki to give him credit for fuel.
One more prospective punter - one more prospective confidence trick.
Zimbabwean inflation rate may hit
HARARE The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that
inflation could reach 522,2% next year, according to its World
Outlook. Inflation is now running at just more than 144%.
is also expected to shrink 10,6% this year and by 2,8%
next year following
declines of 5,1% in 2000 and 8,5% last year.
The figures contrast
sharply with those of many of Zimbabwe's
neighbours. Zambian gross domestic
product is expected to rise 3,7% this
year and 4% next year, while inflation
could drop to 9,8% from this year's
Mozambique should reach
growth of 9% this year and 5,6% next year, the
forecast says. Inflation is
expected to fall to 6,8% from 16,7%.
The economy of diamondrich,
tourist magnet Botswana should grow 3,7%
next year after growing 2,6% this
year, while inflation may drop to 4,7%
from 5,5% in the current
According to the IMF report, SA's economy will expand 3% next
after growing 2,5% this year.
Further north, inflation in
Malawi is forecast to drop to 5% next year
from 9,4% this year, and growth is
expected to rise to 4,5% next year from
1,8% this year.
should see its economy expand 6% from 5,8% this year.
Inflation is likely to
ease to 3,9% from 4,4%.
The economy of Namibia which has been
echoing Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's land-reform calls should grow
3,8% next year, and inflation
should ease slightly to 7% from 10,2% in the
current year. Business Day
Dec 17 2002
07:42:44:000AM Business Day 1st Edition
Zim: Benefits outweigh concerns
Stellenbosch - The
long-term benefits of Zimbabwe's land reform programme
exceeded any other
concerns by far, that country's speaker of parliament,
said in Stellenbosch on Tuesday.
"...It is a programme of agrarian
revolution whose long-term benefits far
outweigh any other considerations,"
he told the African National Congress'
is also administrative secretary of the ruling Zimbabwe
Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), is leading that party's
delegation to the
He said his party and its leader, President Robert Mugabe,
criticised for "the crime...to reclaim and reposess our
heritage, land and
resources, and to unflinchingly uphold our
"The white imperalistic press and those allied to it take
to demonise Zanu-PF and President Mugabe." The party's
policy was not to
drive away white commercial farmers, but to empower people
and to share
valuable land equittably," Mnangagwa said.
correct the historic wrong...and return the land to its rightful
"Those whites who want to farm in Zimbabwe and who identify
Zimbabwe in word and in deed have secured their places in
About half the ANC delegates gave Mngwagwa a standing
'Zimbabwe land reform will yield benefits'
The long-term benefits of
Zimbabwe's land reform programme
exceeded any other concerns by far, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe's speaker
of parliament, said in Stellenbosch
"The programme is an agrarian revolution whose
benefits far outweigh any other considerations," he told the ANC's
conference. "The programme has been undertaken successfully and within
laws of Zimbabwe."
Mnangagwa, who is also
administrative secretary of the
ruling Zanu-PF, is leading that party's
delegation to the conference. "The
crime committed by comrade Mugabe and
Zanu-PF is to reclaim and repossess
our heritage, land and resources, and to
unflinchingly uphold our
sovereignty," he said in a message of support to the
"As a result of the land reform programme
that we have
undertaken and accomplished, the Western imperialist press and
to it have taken every opportunity to demonise President Mugabe
leadership of Zanu-PF."
He described this as
an attempt to undermine Zimbabwe's
struggle to assert its sovereignty and
empower its people. "We wish to
reaffirm our belief in the economic and
political empowerment of our
who want to farm and identify themselves
with Zimbabwe, in word and deed,
have a secure place in Zimbabwe. But we
cannot allow colour to be the basis
for privilege and wealth."
Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF
valued and appreciated the
principled support it had received from the ANC at
including the South African Parliament. - Sapa
ANC is Ready to Engage All Parties On Zimbabwe
December 17, 2002
Posted to the web December 17,
Pule Molebeledi, Political
Controversial issues afflicting Zimbabwe needed to
be brought to an end,
President Thabo Mbeki said yesterday.
convinced that it is necessary to bring to a close the controversial
relating to our important neighbour, Zimbabwe," Mbeki said.
National Congress (ANC) was ready to engage both its ally and
liberation movement, President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF), and
others" to help resolve the various issues in a constructive manner.
comments were seen as a signal that the ANC would move to secure
resumption of collapsed negotiations between Zanu (PF) and Zimbabwe's
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
between the parties disintegrated in May after Mugabe's party withdrew
the negotiations because of the MDC's decision to press ahead with a
challenge to the legality of the outcome of presidential elections,
were condemned internationally after Mugabe won by a narrow margin.
MDC has said it would return to the talks only if a fresh election were
in Zimbabwe. The ANC has been advocating a government of national unity
Zimbabwe. The country has since been faced with major economic
a result of Mugabe's land redistribution programme.
Education of Zimbabwe's Youth Hampered by High Fees, AIDS
17 Dec 2002, 15:12 UTC
Zimbabwe's education system
was once considered among the best in Africa.
But according to a report that
will soon be released by UNICEF, the U.N.
children's agency, fewer children
are able to enroll in school and many of
those who do enroll are forced to
The UNICEF report is going to be released early next year.
According to a
draft of the study, almost 40 percent of children of primary
school age who
dropped out of school reported rising fees as the main reason
Zimbabwe introduced state school fees in the early 1990s, but
as the economy
has declined in recent years, schools have had to raise their
parents have been unable to keep up with rising costs.
draft report also states that many children, especially girls, are
out of school to care for parents afflicted by HIV or to look after
siblings when their parents die. The report says poverty and HIV/AIDS
completion rates in primary education to fall to 70 per cent in
Another reason for the decline in school attendance is Zimbabwe's
reform program, under which more than 320,000 of Zimbabwe's
commercial farm workers have lost their jobs. As a result, these
workers cannot afford to send their children to school. UNICEF
means more than 120,000 children in primary and secondary school no
have access to education.
What makes Zimbabwe's educational
decline so alarming is that the country's
education system was once a source
of great pride. The Zimbabwean government
engaged in a massive
school-building exercise after independence in 1980.
This resulted in the
attainment of gender parity and universal literacy for
the population under
25, an achievement which ensured that Zimbabweans
enjoyed a literacy rate of
nearly 90 percent, the highest in Africa.
But educational experts warn
that these achievements are now under severe
threat, even though the
government still ranks education highly and
apportions education the largest
slice in the national budget.
A substantial amount of the budget
allocation goes toward payment of fees
for those who cannot afford to do so.
But because so many students need
assistance the government cannot afford to
pay fees for most of those in
From 10 Downing Street.
Tuesday 17 December afternoon government press
Asked why Mike O'Brien had
refused to 'issue orders' to the International
Cricket Council (ICC) and the
England and Wales Cricket Board this morning
concerning plans to travel to
Zimbabwe to participate in the World Cup next
year, the PMOS said that it was
up to the ICC to decide. That said, we had
pointed the relevant bodies to the
travel advice we had put out on Zimbabwe
which warned tourists and visitors
of the political difficulties that
existed there. We were not making people's
minds up for them, but they
should be aware of the travel guidance. Put to
him that the 1980 Olympic
Games acted as a precedent for a boycott, the PMOS
said that people acted
according to circumstances at the time. We were
pointing the cricketing
authorities towards our travel advice on
Zimbabwe on sticky Cup
December 17 2002 at 05:40AM
Political opposition to England's participation in World Cup
in Zimbabwe is hardening, according to a survey reported by
the BBC here on
It polled 100 MPs from Britain's governing Labour party and found
percent of those surveyed said England should refuse to play in
which is co-hosting February's tournament with South Africa and
Only 18 MPs said England should go ahead with its matches in
Last week, Britain's foreign office
expressed its concern about what it said
was the growing humanitarian crisis
in Zimbabwe caused by the policies of
president Robert Mugabe.
Michael Ancram, foreign affairs spokesperson for Britain's
Conservative party, urged world cricket's governing body, the
Cricket Council (ICC), to strip Zimbabwe of its host status.
Britain's sports minister, Richard Caborn, has always maintained
ICC, not politicians, should make the final decision on
The ICC sent a delegation to Zimbabwe in November to inspect
The delegation's report was circulated to the
ICC's 15-strong executive
board on Friday and its decision on Zimbabwe is
expected to be made public
later this week. - Sapa-AFP
This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on 17
Subject: Join the protest: stop world cup cricket in
The World Cup is nearly upon us. Matches are
scheduled for February. Please help us to have them moved to South Africa.
Sports and cultural boycotts help to apply pressure on unjust
It's not a game anymore.
Please forward this email to 5 friends in England.
Ask them to forward it to newspapers/magazines and television
Get involved if you want it solved!
- Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe is the
Patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
- there has been graffiti
scrawled on the walls of the proposed world cup venue where England is intending
to play in February that says: "jihad on whites, we want our land back"
presidential election posters of Mugabe with raised fist have adorned the walls
of the world cup venue in Harare (Harare Sports Club) for many months now - the
cricketing officials are too scared to remove them - why . . .
adjacent to the world cup venue is State House where Mugabe resides. Machine gun
toting army guards patrol this area 24 hours a day; they regularly intimidate
pedestrians and passers-by
- the road just near the world cup venue is closed
between 6pm and 6am everyday day because of Mugabe is fearful of being
- during the recent Pakistan/Zimbabwe cricket matches, spectators
who held up human rights banners were arrested, detained for several days and
tortured by the Police who are on Mugabe's payroll
- it is highly likely that
Mugabe, the man that has called Blair a "gay gangster" and who regularly trashes
the British Prime Minister will open the first cricket match that England plays
- imagine the England cricket
teams shaking hands with the man who has propelled a nation into violence and
- please read this recent news item at the bottom of this email
for further Blair bashing by Mugabe
We need your help in lobbying the British public to
put pressure on the England team not to come to Zimbabwe for the world
cup. English cricketers will not lose out. They will simply play in South
Help Us To Have Any World Cup Cricket Matches
Moved to South Africa.
** For your information, here are some basic facts
about Zimbabwe **
Population: 13 million
Number of people facing starvation: 6.7
Population living in poverty: 80%
149% (to become 522% by the end of 2003)
Displaced people through farm
Amount of "reclaimed" land actually being used:
Over 11 000 people have been tortured because of their political
affiliation - both in and out of Police custody - in the past 6 months
"We have degrees in violence."
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe and Patron of Zimbabwe Cricket, on his
party's campaign strategy
"We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who
support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra
people."- Didymus Mutasa, ZANU (PF)
Organising Secretary, August 2002, on the plight of starving Zimbabweans who
don't support the ruling party
Can there be more "economic freedom" at a time when part
of the world is at
war and the global economy is struggling? Yes, it is
happening, and that
obviously means good news for the United States and other
make it their business to export freedoms to the corners of
the world that
need it most.
For nine years the Heritage Foundation
and the Wall Street Journal have used
an index that measures 50 different
variables, grouped into 10 categories.
Countries are rated one to five -- one
being the best, five being the worst.
The ratings for 2003 underscore
what's happened in each of the previous
eight surveys: Economic freedom has
increased every year.
As the survey's editors note, the findings are
countries with the most economic freedom enjoy higher
rates of long-term
economic growth and prosper more than those with less
The United States tied for sixth overall; Hong Kong,
Luxembourg are the top three. The least free? No surprises
Korea, Cuba and Zimbabwe.
In the new survey, 74 of the 156
countries graded became more economically
free and 49 became less free.
Still, most of the world's economies remain
relatively "unfree." The bulk of
the repressed economies are in Asia, while
North America and Europe are home
to the freest.
"Countries willing to unleash their economies invariably
standard of living," the editors note. Hard to argue, as the
itself economically from the Soviet era and in the early years
Diesel supplies dry up
has been readily available is now in short supply, deepening
the fuel crisis
that has gripped the country for the past two weeks.
A survey by The
Herald in Harare yesterday showed that most filling stations
did not have
both diesel and petrol.
Many vehicles were parked at service stations in
the city, which were not
selling any fuel.
Motorists in the queues
said they were hoping that deliveries would be made
to the service
The volume of traffic was low on the city's roads as some
their cars at home and have started using public transport
owing to the fuel
Petrol attendants at service stations said
they did not know when they they
would get their next deliveries.
are just coming to work to idle away and do not know when we will
next supplies of petrol and diesel," said one petrol attendant.
crisis has hit public transporters resulting in workers reporting late
Some of the worst affected include Mbare, Mufakose, Highfield,
Kambuzuma where a few vehicles are still on the road.
Ministry of Energy and Power Development maintained a blackout of what
going on while the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe managing
Engineer Webster Muriritirwa referred all questions to the
Many people are cancelling travel plans for
"After careful thinking I have realised that it would be much
better to stay
at home this holiday unless the situation improves," said Mr
of Glen Norah.
Paraffin is also now in short supply
and queues for the fuel have started to
Like petrol it is also
now being sold on the black market at $250 for a
country has been reeling from a serious fuel shortage for the past
From The Wall Street Journal, 16
US envoy denounces world leaders who
deny people food
Rome (AP)- World leaders who deny their people food should
stand trial, the U.S. envoy to U.N. food agencies said Monday, in a briefing on
looming famines in Africa. Ambassador Tony Hall, speaking after a trip to
southern Africa, didn't identify any government allegedly denying its people
food. He is the U.S. envoy to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization
and the World Food Program. He said two countries - Zimbabwe and Zambia - were
the "main problem" facing U.N. food relief efforts in southern Africa, where
millions could face famine. In Zimbabwe, aid agencies have partly blamed a
hunger crisis on the government's program to seize thousands of white-owned
farms for redistribution to black settlers. The country's opposition has accused
President Robert Mugabe of denying food to regions opposed to his government.
Zambia controversially rejected U.S. food donations because they may have been
"Anybody who uses food as a weapon or denies food to people who
then die of hunger should be tried," Hall said. Asked if he was referring to
Zimbabwe or Zambia, he said the remark was only a "general principle." Hall also
said the European Union - which has banned genetically modified crops for its
member nations, but has urged southern African states to accept them as aid -
should do more, given the gravity of the crisis. "It's now a moral problem not
an intellectual debate" about genetically modified food, Hall said. "If Europe
still has some doubts on genetically modified foods, then they shouldn't talk
about it but get their own food and money down there," he said. Hall, a former
Ohio congressman, travelled in October to southern Africa where droughts and
floods have left millions of people facing starvation.
In Zambia, an estimated 2.9 million people - nearly 30% of the
population - are in danger of starvation. In October, the government rejected a
large U.S. corn donation. The World Food Program is in the process of replacing
it with corn that hasn't been genetically modified. The replacement could arrive
too late, Hall said. In Zimbabwe, tens of thousands of U.S. crop donations sit
undistributed in depots or have not been allowed into the country because of
government red tape, Hall said. Also Monday, the World Food Program officially
launched a previously announced aid campaign against famines in Africa, saying
38 million people are endangered there. The agency, which has relied mainly on
government donations, was appealing for the first time to non-government
From The Daily News, 16
Top Zanu PF officials in maize
From Energy Bara in Masvingo
A maize scam in which known top Zanu PF officials are allegedly
purchasing the scarce staple grain in large quantities for resale at exorbitant
prices on the black market has hit Gutu district. Three Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) officers at Gutu Mupandawana growth point who were allegedly acting in
concert with the politicians are under probe following the revelations that they
were part of the scam. Villagers have since called on the government to
institute thorough investigations into the matter as hunger continues to tighten
its grip on rural communities. Some Zanu PF heavyweights, including politburo
members, are allegedly taking advantage of the maize shortage to hoard large
stocks of the staple food from the GMB using their influence. They later resell
the grain at exorbitant prices to hungry villagers on the open market. An
official at the GMB depot at Gutu who refused to be named for fear of
victimisation yesterday said: "Currently three of our officers are under
investigation because of the maize scandal. The three employees were working
hand-in-hand with well-known politicians to deprive people of food. After having
used their influence to purchase maize at the depot, the politicians would
establish illegal selling points on the open market where a 50-kilogram pack of
maize would be sold for $6 500."
The GMB retail price of a 50kg pack is less than $1 000. The
police in Masvingo yesterday said they were investigating a number of cases in
which the distribution and purchase of maize from the GMB depot in the province
was not done properly. The Masvingo police spokesman, Learn Ncube, said: "Of
late the distribution of maize has been going on well, save for a few cases
where the exercise was not properly done. We will continue to investigate those
cases and we have so far arrested a Central Mechanical Equipment Department
driver and a GMB salesman who were found dealing in maize." Meanwhile, villagers
in Gutu district have called on President Mugabe to intervene and discipline
members of his party who are involved in the maize scandal. A spokesman for the
villagers, Norbert Manyango, said they were shocked to learn that senior members
of the party were using their influence to deprive people of food. Manyango
said: "We can name the people who are involved in the maize scandal. It’s
shocking that senior members of our party, Zanu PF, want hungry villagers to
starve to death. We are calling on Mugabe to intervene otherwise people will die
of hunger." Starvation has reached critical levels in Masvingo province where
the entire population is in desperate need of food aid.
From the Daily Telegraph (UK), 17
Mugabe's men drown cattle as
thousands go hungry
Harare - Zimbabwe's commercial farmers have fallen victim to a
renewed campaign of mindless violence with the killing of hundreds of cattle by
workers egged on by supporters of President Robert Mugabe. On one farm several
hundred head of cattle were recently driven into a dam to drown while others
were penned into paddocks, in searing heat, to starve to death. Cattle were sent
to their excruciating end by a group of about hysterical 20 farm workers,
encouraged by government supporters, at Forrester Estates, in the Mvurwi
district about 60 miles north-east of Harare. "It was terrible," said Fanie
Ferreira, 43, who recently quit as a sub-manager on the estate. "The noise they
made was…you can't describe it. It was frightening. It took about an hour for
the last one to die. Some just drowned, some slipped on the mud and then
couldn't get up. The next day we pulled the corpses out of the dam and burned
them." Days earlier cattle were locked into pens and the crazed gang refused to
allow management to feed or water the animals at a time of extreme heat in a dry
spell late last month.
Forrester Estates is owned by Heinrich von Pezold, a German,
and has had a measure of protection from a trade agreement between the Zimbabwe
and German governments following the seizure of more than 90 per cent of
white-owned farmland since early 2000. Despite court orders setting aside all
seizure notices, two sections of the 20,000-acre estate were closed down by
Mugabe supporters. Police were unable to say if anyone was arrested in
connection with the cattle deaths at a time when a beef shortage is imminent and
almost half the population is on the brink of starvation. A spokesman for the
Commercial Farmers' Union said farmers were still being prevented from growing
crops, or were being chased off their properties. Fewer than 600 commercial
farmers are either living on their farms, or trying to grow crops from about
4,500 before Mr Mugabe launched his violent seizures of white-owned farms. The
World Food Programme, which is now feeding more than two million Zimbabweans,
said last week the worst is still to come and that, in mid to late January,
Zimbabwe could be staring famine in the face for the first time in its history.
Drought last year caused some of the food deficit but the WFP largely blames the
disruption of commercial agriculture.