The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
1 December 2001 - Page 3
  1. Page ONE of today's updates
  2. Page TWO of today's updates
  3. Page THREE of today's updates

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From a supporter in Canada :
"A member of Parliament, Dr. Keith Martin, has introduced a motion for sanctions against Zimbabwe. I have written to my MP and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to support this bill. Let's hope it is successful."

Dr. Keith Martin, M.D., M.P.

Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca

(613) 996-2625

(250) 474-6505


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        01 December 2001

MP Martin Introduces Motion to Impose Sanctions on Zimbabwe

Ottawa: Dr. Keith Martin, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca and Official Opposition Critic for Africa will introduce a Motion in the House of Commons today, November 28, 2001, at 3:00pm EST calling for sanctions against the brutal regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Motion M-429 calls upon the Canadian government “in cooperation with other like-minded nations” to:

a)     Freeze the personal assets of President Mugabe;

b)     Ban all international travel by Mr. Mugabe and his Ministers;

c)     Suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth;

d)     Impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.


Dr. Martin, who recently returned from Zimbabwe, said, “The crisis in Zimbabwe deepens every day. As the world’s attention is on Afghanistan, President Mugabe and his band of thugs are terrorizing the Zimbabwean population. They are beating, raping, and murdering opposition members and the rural black population. It is time the international community acted and impose these sanctions. The only message Mr. Mugabe may understand is a firm unequivocal response from the international community that effects him personally.”


For further information, call:

Steven Barrett at 613-996-2625

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US Department of State

28 November 2001

 Cong. Royce Speaks in Favor of Zimbabwe Democracy Act

(Addresses House Subcommittee on Africa) (1070)

The chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. House of
Representatives November 28 spoke in favor of "The Zimbabwe Democracy
and Economic Recovery Act of 2001," saying it provides "reasonable
guidelines for U.S. engagement with Zimbabwe."

In remarks to the subcommittee, Chairman Ed Royce (Republican of
California) said the legislation "expresses the United States'
interest in assisting the Zimbabwean people with economic development,
and it provides funding for such efforts, but only when the climate is
right; that is, when the rule of law has been established and when
free and fair elections are possible."

He called on his fellow lawmakers to be "realistic," however. "The
prospects are increasingly remote that the presidential elections
which must be held by March will be 'free and fair,'" he said.

Following is the text of Royce's statement, as prepared for delivery:

(begin text)

U.S. House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Africa
255 Ford House Office Building, Washington, D.C.  20515

For Immediate Release

Statement of Chairman Ed Royce
"The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001"

I'd like to thank the Chairman for taking up this legislation. With
elections approaching, and the conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe
rapidly deteriorating, it's important that we pass this Zimbabwe
legislation before adjourning. The State Department has indicated that
this legislation, as passed unanimously by the Senate, would be quite
helpful to its diplomatic efforts.

In Zimbabwe, we're sadly seeing a power-crazed, aged dictator
literally burning his country down. Desperate to keep his perks, and
avoid accountability for his crimes, President Robert Mugabe has
sanctioned utter anarchy in his homeland in an attempt to win an
election he has been pressured by Zimbabweans into holding. If he had
his way, Mugabe would undoubtedly run Zimbabwe as the one-party state
he ran through the 1980s.

Mugabe has spared no means in his attempt to suppress democratic
expression. His ZANU-PF party thugs have employed murder, mass
beatings, systematic torture, gang rape, house burning, death threats
and every type of police brutality. And while Zimbabwe police are
quick to crack down on peaceful political protest, violent ZANU-PF
thugs are rarely brought to justice. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights group has observed that it is, "outraged by the continued
brutality, lack of respect for fundamental human rights and political
partisanship of the Zimbabwe Republic Police." Dozens of political
opponents have been murdered in state-sanctioned violence. Yet Mugabe
doesn't speak out against those doing the violence. He instead calls
the peaceful political opposition 'terrorists,' and vows to crush
them. Having led a congressional delegation to Zimbabwe several years'
back, I saw then the climate of fear the Zimbabwe government long ago

This legislation provides reasonable guidelines for U.S. engagement
with Zimbabwe. It expresses the United States' interest in assisting
the Zimbabwean people with economic development, and it provides
funding for such efforts, but only when the climate is right; that is,
when the rule of law has been established and when free and fair
elections are possible.

We must be realistic though. The prospects are increasingly remote
that the presidential elections which must be held by March will be
"free and fair." The U.S.-based International Foundation for Electoral
Systems has been chased from the country. The government rejected a
call by the European Union to allow for election monitors. And while
it recently relented on this decision, it's likely to reverse course.

I was scheduled to lead an election observation team for the 2000
parliamentary elections, but the Zimbabwean government pulled the
visas at the last minute. A U.S. District Court Judge in New York
recently ruled that Zimbabwe's governing political party, ZANU-PF, was
liable for murdering and torturing its political opponents in the
run-up to those elections. The Court found that ZANU-PF, in its
organized violence and methodical terror, worked in tandem with
Zimbabwe government officials. The Mugabe government never closed this
play book.

Mugabe is doing all he can to see that the world isn't watching him.
Washington Post and New York Times reporters have been denied visas to
cover his chaos. Foreign journalists are routinely harassed and
intimidated. It is Zimbabwean journalists, though; who have borne the
brunt of it. Newspaper offices have been bombed.

The Zimbabwe economy is in ruins. With farmland under government
siege, half a million Zimbabweans face starvation. The current
government is oblivious to this suffering. ZANU-PF leadership isn't
hurting though. The UN recently reported how Zimbabwean troops are
clear cutting forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Proceeds
from this environmental crime assuredly are going to supporting the
affluent lifestyle being led by Zimbabwe's ruling elite. This
legislation importantly asks the Administration to begin a process of
identifying the assets of this clique to impose personal economic
sanctions against them for breaking down the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

This legislation provides aid for lawful and transparent land
resettlement. I believe that this will have to come after there is a
new government. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Mugabe has
sanctioned the violent land invasions and the murder of Zimbabweans,
black and white, precisely because it serves his political interests.
That is why many attempts by the international community to aid a
lawful land reform program have gone for naught. Mugabe's land reform
program has been to take land and give it to his cronies. Recent
reports have him now giving land to Libyan business partners.

What a depressing contrast between Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and South
Africa's Nelson Mandela. Mandela prized democracy and the rule of law.
He stepped down from power when people were telling him he was a king.
He brought races together. Mugabe threatens his political opponents
with death. What we have in Zimbabwe is a man who sends his thugs to
terrorize teachers working for a better future. A recent Zimbabwe
Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Letter noted, 'Violence,
intimidation, and threats are the tools of failed politicians.'

Zimbabwe looks like another failed African state in the making. But I
have great confidence in the brave Zimbabweans who are struggling
against tyranny so that their country can begin to reach its
potential. The legislation we're considering today lays a foundation
for the U.S. to contribute to that future. I ask that my colleagues
support S. 494 as passed by the Senate.
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Daily News

NCA to step up pressure for new constitution

11/29/01 9:55:56 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Mutare

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) will mount an aggressive drive,
including mass stayaways and street protests, to force the government to
adopt a new constitution before next year's Presidential election. "We will
try mass action in the form of stayaways and street protests," Dr Lovemore
Madhuku, the NCA chairman, said on Sunday.

"If we had our way, we would want to have a new constitution before the
Madhuku told 42 journalists from Manicaland, Masvingo and the Midlands
provinces, attending a two-day workshop on political reporting in Nyanga,
that a new national constitution was vital for a free and fair election.

The NCA will host a national conference in Harare at the weekend to discuss
its working draft constitution and to chart the way forward.
Up to 2 000 delegates from across the country, including trade unionists,
clerics, human rights activists, civic leaders and journalists, are expected
to attend the event.
The government proposes to amend the Electoral Act, setting new requirements
for prospective voters.

These threaten to further disenfranchise millions of voters ahead of the
crucial Presidential election.
Madhuku said the NCA is ready for a showdown with the government over the
proposed changes to the Electoral Act and had devised strategies to fend off
any efforts to silence it.
"It is clear that any mass action will be crushed, but Zimbabweans must not
just sit back," he said. "Otherwise, it will be difficult to accept the
result of the election under the current electoral framework."

But he said the NCA would fully support any Presidential candidate who
pledged at least to change the Constitution within a year of taking office,
should the poll be conducted under the present constitution.
At the same workshop, Dr Reginald Matchaba-Hove, the chairman of the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), ruled out an MDC victory in the
Presidential poll were the Electoral Act to be amended.

"It will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for the MDC to win the
election under such conditions," he said.
The ZESN is a non-partisan grouping of 38 non-governmental agencies
concerned with voter education and violence monitoring. Matchaba-Hove said
his organisation would pursue a "diplomatic path" to register the concerns
of the people and the implications of the proposed electoral amendments.
Citing Nigeria and Lesotho, he warned that flawed electoral processes were a
recipe for conflict.

He voiced fears of post-election violence regardless of who emerged the
But he emphasised that a government of national unity would help to "cool
down tempers" and ensure foreign aid.
Matchaba-Hove criticised reporters for inciting what he termed passions,
violence and hatred through irresponsible journalism.
He urged journalists to carry out their work professionally and to guard
against being used by politicians and intelligence services

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Daily News - Leader Page

What more can they do to stifle free Press?

11/29/01 8:57:45 AM (GMT +2)

By M Ngwenya

I HAVE become so disenchanted with the local news broadcasts that I seldom
tune in to listen to what they are saying.

So, it came as a bit of a shock to listen the other day to a full newscast
from what was then ZBC Radio 1.

There was a 10-minute "news" broadcast that consisted of about 15 items -
one foreign where they carefully restated the Taliban position that they
shot down a helicopter and killed 40-50 Americans. No mention of the United
States' version of events.

But it was mostly the local news that caught my attention. This consisted of
a steady stream of blatant propaganda on any subject you want to name.

This included news that the MDC was foreign funded, South Africa supported
the sovereignty of Zimbabwe and that the European Union was the tool of the

Zanu PF was doing this and doing that to uplift the poor in Zimbabwe.

The land resettlement programme was going well. White farmers were
"resisting" the forced occupation of their farms.

Not only was the propaganda crude, it was downright dishonest and in some
cases not even accurate.

Some of the items broadcast were from some time ago - the list of heinous
crimes committed by white farmers against "settlers" for example, included
one from about six months ago which has subsequently been shown to be

An anthrax outbreak in the Gokwe area was put down to "biological warfare
carried out by the Rhodesians which killed thousands of Zimbabweans" and
then was "the work of white commercial farmers who did not agree with the
land reform programme".

The "news" on Radio 2 - in the indigenous languages was even more vitriolic
and one-sided.

What do you have to do to get otherwise intelligent and well- trained people
to turn out this garbage? What are they going to do if and when Zanu PF is
swept from power?

Have they no idea of how to collect and present real news? What has Zanu PF
done to these people to get them to behave in this way? But more seriously,
this propaganda war has far-reaching implications for the country.

It reveals how shallow the belief in any sort of democracy or human rights
is in this government, even after 21 years of independence and power.

History tells us of regimes that told their people lies on this scale – and
got away with it for a while.

But they were eventually disbelieved and then were so discredited that they
could not persuade the people to believe them, even when they told the
truth. The attacks on The Daily News are another indication of the extent to
which this regime is paranoid about controlling the media.

In the beginning, they did everything they could to stop the initial funding
of an independent daily.

It's a big job to put out a paper every day and it takes lots of money,
equipment and staff.

The government-controlled dailies had it all - a good distribution system, a
monopoly over advertising and a huge classifieds section that carried the
overheads. They had modern printing presses and access to State funding.

When allowed to do their job, they often did a good job. Even today - if the
controls were lifted, these newspapers could quickly regain the ground they
have lost in the past two years.

Then "they" blew up the printing presses of The Daily News, denied them
alternative printing resources available as spare capacity in a State-owned
printing house that initially stepped in to print the paper.

This was followed by an attempted assassination against the paper's
Editor-in-Chief, Geoffrey Nyarota which was so clumsy as to be laughable to
those of us who were not the target.

Daily News editors and staff were arrested on the flimsiest of excuses.

This persecution included the legal challenges and the attempt by Mutumwa
Mawere to take The Daily News to court over one of his companies on behalf
of Zanu PF.

What more can they do to stop the free Press in this country?

But it's the control and abuse of the airwaves that is the most insidious
and evil element in this campaign.

The only source of news and commentary on national issues is radio for 70
percent of our people.

Knowledge of English is still a hindrance in the dissemination of national
news especially in the rural areas.

Ian Smith, many years ago, made it difficult to buy a short wave radio set
in this country. Mugabe has continued the practice.

It is no accident that you can often hear the BBC being broadcast 12 hours a
day in rural stores and this has become an important source of hard news and
intelligent comment.

But the influence of propaganda is pernicious - even today you can often
hear elderly people, or people who are less informed than others accepting
the stories put out by those masters of deceit at Pockets Hill.

Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity
is the latest in a long series of media masters who have served their
sponsors in an effort to mislead and deceive the voters of this country.

Let's hope he is the last.
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Wherever one looks, ZANU PF isn’t working

11/29/01 4:06:15 AM (GMT +2)

IN often dramatic fashion, political fortunes have been built and lost on
the economy.

The moment Ronald Reagan captured the White House from Jimmy Carter was
perhaps immortalised in one sentence, when during the Presidential debate,
he faced the cameras and asked Americans rhetorically: "Are you better off
now than you were four years ago?"

Only a few months earlier, Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives had swept
to power in Britain by running a campaign poster dramatising the long queues
then endemic at unemployment offices, with the bold caption "Labour Isn’t
Working". And more than a decade later, Bill Clinton’s "It’s the economy,
stupid" slogan resonated in a recession-strung America, paving the way to an
upset victory over incumbent George Herbert Bush.

This "primacy of the stomach" phenomenon is true in countries rich and
poor — indeed, to our North, Kenneth Kaunda was voted out of office by
Zambians exas-perated by the severe economic decline under his rule, while
totalitarians such as Kamuzu Banda, Mobutu Sese Seko and General Suharto
were similarly ousted on the heels of collapsed economies. The reason for
the primacy of the economy is not hard to find: quality of life hinges on a
people’s material condition, and "bread and butter" are the most fundamental
human necessities.

Economic recklessness

If history is any indication, then numbered are the days of the Mugabe
government which has presided over a dramatic economic decay and an
escalation of poverty. Indeed, in the realm of economic policy, it has been
an unmitigated failure.

The 2002 budget epito-mises the government’s economic recklessness. By the
government’s own admission, perennial budget deficits are at the root of the
country’s economic crisis.

But rather than use the 2002 budget as an opportunity to introduce measures
necessary to stabilise the economy and restore confi-dence, what the
government unveiled instead was a blueprint for amplified macro-economic

Alarmingly, the budget deficit for fiscal year 2002 is likely to exceed the
2000 deficit, which topped a start-ling 23 percent of gross dome-stic
product (GDP).

Excessive deficits "crowd out" private sector invest-ment, fuel inflation
and increase government debt and the attendant debt service burden. The
result is an unstable macro-economic environment that hinders economic
activity, and inevitably, a debt trap that compromises the government’s
ability to deploy adequate public investment in its areas of primary
responsibility — the socially and economically critical sectors of health,
education, public infrastru-cture and public security.

Vanishing options

That persistent budget deficits are harmful should be intuitive. Common
sense tells us that just as every family has a budget constraint, so too do

All budget deficits are financed through the follow-ing sources: (i) taxes,
(ii) state investments (iii) bilateral/multilateral grants and (iv)
inflationary finance (borrowing and/or seignorage).

The political implications of raising taxes in a country where the tax
burden is already high, and where the "inflation tax" continues to erode
disposable incomes precludes that option.

The state investment portfolio of loss-making parastatals has only
exacerbated the deficit and debt problems and is a liability to taxpayers
and the economy as whole.

Privatising them is the only conceivable means to extract value from these
"tax revenue guzzlers".

Bilateral and multilateral foreign aid inflows have been foreclosed by the
ZANU PF government’s bellicose conduct of foreign affairs, and this
situation is unlikely to normalise under the current regime.

Salvation through inflation

Evidently, the government has exhausted all viable instruments to finance
its outsized deficits but for inflationary finance. However, since the
crushing debt has sharply curtailed the govern-ment’s ability to borrow,
seignorage is the only viable option. Seignorage is the real revenue a
government obtains by creating liquidity (money) to spend on goods and

In centuries past, autho-rities achieved seignorage by reducing the precious
metal content of coins (thereby creating extra coins for its own use). Today
’s monetary systems make seignorage far easier to achieve; seignorage can be
induced by depressing interest rates to artificially low levels, while
allowing inflation to rise and remain high.

This causes the value of government debt, its liabilities and its cost of
borrowing to fall — the net result of which is an increase in the
govern-ment’s real revenue.

The government’s current policy of keeping interest rates at artificially
low levels of around 20 percent per annum, even as inflation approaches 100
percent, is evidence that it is in fact resorting to seignorage. (The recent
price controls are mere "crocodile tears" meant as political cover.)

However, this implicit "inflation tax" that is for the government "manna
from heaven" is for workers, farmers and retirees an endless erosion of
disposable incomes and, consequently, a progressive encroachment of poverty.

For the supply-side, hyper-inflation distorts relative prices and the
resource allocation function of the market, makes long term investment
planning exceedingly difficult, and diverts resources from the real economy
into unproductive speculative investments.

A losing strategy

So painful is the experience of unbridled hyperinflation that for those
countries that have endured it, low and stable inflation is the primary
objective of monetary and fiscal policy. Not least because the efficacy of
seignorage to the exchequer’s financial position is tenuous. Since the
revenue effect of seignorage follows a trajectory of diminishing returns,
the real increase in revenue that accrues to the state reverses course at
high levels of inflation and money supply. Little wonder, then, that it is
an option only for the most desperate regimes.

Years of recklessly indif-ferent government policies and actions have led to
severe macroeconomic instability, debilitating public debt, relentless
flight of capital, ongoing loss of skilled man-power, the collapse of
investor and consumer confidence, an extensive disruption of agriculture and
the deepening economic and political isolation of Zimbabwe.

But distressing as these trends may be, even more disconcerting is the fact
that the ZANU PF government has neither the proclivity, wherewithal nor
credibility to implement the policy measures necessary to resuscitate,
stabilise and grow the economy. Demonstrably, it is a government
incompatible with economic development, which is the only route to
alleviation of poverty. Zimbabwe now needs a new political leadership that
is attuned to development and to better economic policies,

A fresh dispensation is a necessary condition, for wherever one looks, this
much is clear: ZANU-PF isn’t working.

Francis Mukurazita is an economist and capital markets analyst.

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Another ‘gukurahundi’ would be fatal

Professor Masipula Sithole
11/29/01 4:04:44 AM (GMT +2)

I HAVE been avoiding this article and theme for quite sometime now but I
have decided it would be irresponsible on my part not to say what I see
hoping it will somehow go away.

A journalist phoned and asked for my comments on what he had heard; that
there were troops or solders being deployed in parts of Matabeleland North
province somewhere around Nkai district; that these manoeuvres have
intensified since the abduction and cruel murder of the mild-mannered former
ZIPRA war veteran Cain Nkala.

(Cain, rest in peace while we are on the verge of another avoidable

"Prof, are we seeing the start of another ‘gukura-hundi’?" he asked, adding:
"And in Nkayi for that matter!"

"Gukurahundi at this time would be a fatal mistake," I impulsively answered.

I subsequently phoned another friend in Bulawayo to check on the goings-on
in and around emaphandleni, kumaruwa, the countryside.

"Unjani umumo koNthuthuziyathunqa (the factory city) lemaphandleni?" (What
is the situation in Bulawayo and the countryside)? I asked.

"Calm," he lied, but quickly asked:

"What have you heard?"

I asked him whether the story I had heard about troop movements was true.
Then he relaxed and said: "Ah, utsho khonokho. It’s no longer news. The
sight of solders has become normal here in Matabeleland," he said,
"normalising the abnormal," to use Jonathan’s apt "concept".

"They better be building bridges and dams over there, like Dumiso’s
Matabeleland water project, otherwise any mischief would be fatal," I
repeated, fearing for the worst.

I give the following advice because I don’t wish the worst to happen. Often,
those inside don’t see the fire until it is too late.

I have read and re-read the report on the atrocities of the 1980s in
Matabeleland and the Midlands. Each time I have read it I have come up with
one indictment of us: "It must not happen again."

I say this knowing the possibility that it could happen. For the capacity in
man to do harm to his fellow men is ever present and can reccur.

Those who would decide on another "gukurahundi" will work on the assumption
that it worked before, so it ought to work now. In other words, violence
worked in dissenting Matabeleland before, so it ought to work now.
(Dissenting to PF ZAPU then and to the Movement for Democratic Change now).

But let’s look at the political chemistry then and now before we rush into
things, foolish things for that matter.

Then (in the 1980s, that is) coming from a popular war of liberation, ZANU
PF and its leader, Robert Mugabe, were very popular, particularly among
Shona-speaking people in both Mashonaland and Bulawayo.

The ZANU PF regime then had popular legitimacy. I am not a "born free". I
could see, experience and explain events then.

Opposition, particularly by PF ZAPU (predominantly Ndebele), was seen by
ZANU PF supporters (predominantly Shona) with what Alfred Stepan called a
"siege mentality" as they celebrated the Fifth Brigade’s excesses in
Matabeleland and the Midlands.

The name "Mugabe" then was pronounced with admiration, if not reverence, in
the whole of Africa, particularly in southern Africa for his militant stand
against apartheid South Africa.

"Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe dominated the politics of the region. It was
he who inspired the formation of SADC when it was SADCC (the coordination
committee) then. He was the chief coordinator.

Internationally, Mugabe then was a "enlightened Marxist" espousing a policy
of reconciliation with white settlers who were not exactly socialist

In all, Mugabe and his regime were popular with the Zimbabwe people, in the
Southern Africa Development Community and internationally. They could do
anything and get away with it as they did with the atrocities in

At that time there was domestic, regional and international tolerance if not
goodwill for the maiden regime, which appeared to be doing things right, at
least some of them.

But now the political chemistry has drastically changed. At home Mugabe’s
popularity is at its lowest ebb, and he knows it; regionally he is source of
concealed embarrassment and instability, and he probably knows it too;
internationally he is a source of irritation and pain in the "flesh", and my
guess is he knows it too.

But does he care? I thought he did but I am beginning to have my doubts.

But if he is contemplating another "gukurahundi", he has to balance the
above equation, plus more.

The actor to consider seriously if another "Fifth Brigade" solution is being
contemplated for Matabeleland is the possible reaction of South Africa.

The only reason South African blacks did not pressure the apartheid
government to intervene during "gukurahundi" in the 1980s was precisely
because it was an apartheid government. Otherwise to think that South
African blacks would sit and watch their "kith and kin" in Matabeleland
being massacred in the name of respect of a neighbour’s "national
sovereignty" is not to think at all. Factor the South African defence forces
in the "second gukurahundi".

The second critical factor to consider would be our own defence forces.
There will probably be mutinies in army barracks right across the country,
stretching, more critically, to our forces in the Democratic Republic of the

As if these two factors were not fatal enough . . .

(To be continued)

Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion

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GMB fails to pay wheat farmers

Staff Reporter
11/29/01 3:30:27 AM (GMT +2)

THE state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which needs $7 billion to buy
wheat from local growers this year, has failed to pay for half of the crop
delivered to the granary in the last two months, it was learnt this week.

Wheat farmers said as of last week, about 270 000 tonnes of wheat had been
delivered to GMB depots countrywide since the middle of September, but the
GMB had only paid for half of the crop.

They said the GMB, which is saddled with a $10 billion debt, did not have
the money to pay for the remainder, which would affect growers who wanted to
raise finance for the summer crop and hinder loan repayments to banks.

"The GMB is behind in payments and they have paid me for only half of the
crop delivered," one farmer told the Financial Gazette.

"The GMB has assured farmers that it will pay them for the wheat deliveries,
but this is not happening," added the farmer.

GMB chairman Enock Kamushinda failed to respond to questions sent to him
last week on Monday, while the Zimbabwe Cereal Producers’ Association —
which represents large-scale wheat producers — declined to comment and
referred all questions to Kamushinda.

However, it is understood that the GMB, the sole trader in maize and wheat
in Zimbabwe, is trying to raise the money by issuing grain bills.

Last week, the parastatal issued grain bills worth $250 million which
industry officials said could only have been for the purchase of wheat and
maize or for operational costs.

Meanwhile, wheat producers this week said delayed payment for their crop
would compound problems already being caused by the ruling ZANU PF party’s
supporters who began invading commercial properties in February last year.

The settlers have disrupted farming and wheat farmers are uncertain if they
will be able to plant the summer crop because of the disturbances.

Failure to plant the summer crop could have a catastrophic impact on
Zimbabwe’s wheat supply and bread production, analysts say.

Smallholder farmers, most of whom are black, grow only three percent of the
crop produced in Zimbabwe with the bulk coming from commercial farms.

Zimbabwe needs 400 000 tonnes of wheat for domestic consumption and is
already forecasting a harvest of only 300 000 tonnes this year.

The analysts warned that serious wheat shortages were looming that would
result in the escalation of bread prices.

Last month, the Ministry of Agriculture admitted that Zimbabwe needed to
import 144 000 tonnes of wheat before the end of the year to avert
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GMB to sue govt over $2b debt?

Staff Reporter
11/29/01 4:38:04 AM (GMT +2)

THE state-run Grain Marketing Board (GMB) might take the government to court
over an accumulating interest bill from outstanding debts involving grain
loaned to the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare, a
parliamentary backbencher said this week.

Chegutu Member of Parliament Webster Shamu said successive budgets for the
social welfare ministry had neglected the government’s debt to the GMB,
which is understood to have risen to more than $2 billion and is
accumulating interest.

The government’s debt to the GMB comprises, among other elements, more than
$1.3 billion owed under the grain loan scheme, which assists peasants during
bad harvests, and $500 million for the Zambian Food Reserve Agency, which
provided Zimbabwe with maize two years ago.

The debt is also made up of $1.1 billion for the strategic grain reserve
(SGR). The GMB imports and stores maize on behalf of the state in the SGR,
which currently holds less than 250 000 tonnes of grain instead of the
required 500 000 tonnes.

The Ministry of Social Welfare was allocated a total of $8.1 billion for the
current financial and fiscal year, including a supplementary budget of $2.6
billion approved by Parliament in September.

Shamu told Parliament this week that $2 billion out of the additional funds
requested by the ministry went towards drought relief while another 568
million was used to pay off the GMB’s principal debt.

"However, although the allocation paid off the GMB debt, it did not address
the issue of interest, which is running to several billions of dollars,"
said Shamu, who chairs the parliamentary portfolio committee on public
service, labour and social welfare.

"As we deliberate, the GMB is contemplating taking the ministry to court,"
he added.

He said the ministry had made a bid for $1.3 billion in order to make a part
payment of the debt but was allocated nothing towards the interest bill in
the 2002 national budget presented this month by Finance Minister Simba

"Your committee calls upon the Ministry of Finance to allocate some funds
towards this GMB interest dilemma since the parastatal is a major
stakeholder in the drought relief programmes in this country," Shamu said.

There was no comment from the GMB on the issue this week.

However, the government’s bad payment record has contributed to the problems
currently faced by the parastatal, which has been forced to borrow on the
money market to maintain its operations.

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Govt gets dirty in bid to disenfranchise ‘enemies’

By Grace Mutandwa Arts Editor
11/29/01 4:31:45 AM (GMT +2)

HAVING explored every minute avenue to disenfranchise its own citizens, the
Zimba-bwean government has now resorted to every dirty trick in the book to
ensure that very few people among its perceived "enemies" get to vote in the
crucial presidential election next year.

If the Zimbabwe Citizenship Amendment Act 2001 is fully implemented, more
than 150 000 farm workers and thousands others in the civil service and in
other jobs stand to lose voting rights and even the right to live in this

President Robert Mugabe’s administration, which has been on a crusade
against minority groupings whom it accuses of ganging up against it, in July
promulgated the draconian new laws that outlaw dual citizenship.

The Zimbabwe Citizenship Amendment Act gives dual citizens up to January 6
next year to renounce their foreign citizenships or any claim they might
have to a foreign citizenship through either parentage or naturalisation.

In October, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede in an advertisement reminded
what he termed "citizens of other countries" in Zimbabwe to renounce their
foreign citizenship.

He also called on people who might have renounced foreign citizenship before
to once again renounce their entitlement or claim to foreign citizenship in
terms of the new laws before January 6.

Various civic organisations under the umbrella of the Civic Alliance for
Social and Economic Progress are now in a flurry of activity trying to
ensure that the targeted Zimbabweans do not lose their citizenship early
next year.

If the Harare authorities follow the requirements of the Act to the letter,
more than 50 percent of the more than 350 000 farm workers, thousands of
civil servants and other professionals, workers and those that have just
become adults will lose their voting rights and even their right to live in

With this threat hanging over its membership, the embattled General
Agricul-tural and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) has had to
run workshops and awareness campaigns for its members.

"But even when we run all these campaigns what do we do with those members
who were either born here or outside but have never been able to get
identity cards, which is really a major step in seeking citizenship?" asked
GAPWUZ’s Gift Muti.

Muti said they had tried to engage the government over the past few years to
try and help their members get identity cards.

"We even got mobile registration underway at some point but very few people
managed to get registered because of the registrar-general’s requirements.
You have to bring a witness who can vouch for your birthplace, which in most
cases is almost impossible," he said.

"This is a whole chain because the children of these workers are also
affected. Most farm children are delivered at home so they don’t have
hospital documents to help them get registered. The parents should have
witnesses or the farmer should bear witness to the fact that the children
were delivered at the farm," Muti told the Financial Gazette.

In September, following the increasing problems faced by farm workers,
GAPWUZ and similar bodies from the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) conve-ned a meeting that among other things discussed the right of
farm workers to citizenship.

Delegates at that meeting noted that the majority of farm workers in the
region were third or fourth generation migrants from neighbouring countries
and that they had contributed immensely to the economies of their host
countries but were still considered foreigners.

They noted that it was vital that SADC member states extended citizenship
rights to affected farm workers.

Rhoda Friar, a spokes-person for the Combined Harare Residents’ Association,
described the new law as mere posturing by the government intended to instil
fear and despondency in possible voters in the forthcoming presidential

According to Section 9 of the Act, a citizen of Zimbabwe "who at the date of
commencement of the Act is also a citizen of a foreign country or at any
time before that date had renounced or purported to renounce his citizenship
of that country shall cease to be a citizen of Zimbabwe six months after
that date" unless he or she has effectively renounced their foreign
citizenship and made a declaration confirming the renunciation.

Said Friar: "We have people who have lived in Zimbabwe for 20 or more years
and most of the people who will be affected were born here. What the
government wants to do is illegal. How can it expect people to sign away
their birthright?

"If you were born in a country you have a right to citizenship of that
country. Anyone who has lived for more than five years in Zimbabwe and has
taken an oath of allegiance becomes a citizen."

Friar added: "Any naturalised citizen has the right to vote, which is why
the government wants now to ensure that it disenfranchises anyone who might
have a claim to any other citizenship."

But the sections that deal with renunciation deal with renunciation of
foreign citizenship and not just claim or entitlement to foreign
citizenship, which raises the concern that the Registrar-General’s office
might have gone out of its way to misinterpret sections of the Act.

Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said while the law was clear on the
need to renounce foreign citizenship, the registrar-general’s interpretation
was not totally correct.

Madhuku, who is also chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), said the law did not talk of entitlement or any other right but
instead said if one did not renounce their foreign citizenship, he or she
loses the Zimbabwean citizenship but becomes a permanent resident.

Madhuku also pointed out that given the huge numbers of people affected, it
would be difficult for the government to come up with the manpower to
enforce the requirements of the Act.

"This means the law will just be applied selectively. The government will
probably target particular people like judges, politicians or other
professionals that they might want to get rid of. Everything that the
government is trying to do under this law infringes on the rights of
citizens," said Madhuku.

While noting that affected people could still have recourse through the
courts of law, it was also highly likely that some of the people might be
bundled out of the country within 48 hours, he said.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the NCA and other civic
organisations have set in motion a strategy to ensure that before January 6
the government will have reversed its decision.

"It’s unfortunate and disappointing that the government, which once
commanded great respect, is now trampling on all human rights and working
hard to disenfranchise its own people," said ZCTU secretary-general William

While the Registrar-General’s office is gearing itself for pouncing on
anyone it might feel does not deserve Zimbabwean citizenship, the civic
society has its work cut out as it fights to tackle the citizenship issue as
well as run a well-oiled voter education campaign.

This might prove an uphill struggle as the civic community has itself been
declared an enemy of the state.

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People Must Make Village Trust Their Own

Business Day (Johannesburg)

November 29, 2001
Posted to the web November 29, 2001

Norman Reynolds

RESEARCHERS have asked rural residents if they want communal or private
tenure. This "either/or" method is unfair. Neither option is easy to realise
and needs to be qualified.

For example, after three years of rural dialogue in the 55 district councils
in Zimbabwe and over a year in Lubisi in the Transkei, rural people worked
their way through to a dynamic solution. They chose to modernise tradition
in keeping with the constitution. They would, in modern terms, convert a
rather meaningless right of access to a free good land into a democratic
property company by giving each other equal ownership rights over communal
property and then negotiate a long lease from the state.

Land, once without a price when there was no land shortage, is now to be
treated as a limited asset. A village trust company designed to be a
husbandry, management and investment body holds the land.

There has been a price for locally led reform towards self-reliance.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe turned down the rural structural
adjustment programme of all the district councils, declaring in 1991 that,
however brilliant and needed, if organised in economic and financially
competent trust companies, rural people would not need to vote for the

But how does the village trust company work?

Every year the members agree on the management measures for each resource.
They then allocate equal use rights to each member. These rights are bought
and sold among members or, sometimes, to outsiders, for the next year or
season. Members optimise their own positions and achieve ruling prices over
resources. This guides them in terms of resource management, investment, and
farm business decisions.

The labour a farmer hires will now also be a fellow owner. Members will
support ways to improve production. They will share responsibility for
ensuring success, aim to raise rent values as the owner returns, and police
land use to protect the common assets. Cohesion, joint commitment,
investment and group security underlie individual success.

Through the exchange of user rights and with prices, members learn what
their membership is worth. They retain a part of that dividend for
investment, as any good company does. To that retained cash for investment
they add their surplus off-season labour. This they do because they now have
an investment/dividend system in place.

Armed with a cash flow and dividends, the trust company can work with banks.
Individual farmers can do the same, as the bank will look at their crop or
project viability and also come to appreciate the supporting environment an
improving village land, infrastructure and member base.

Business can enter into joint ventures or even invest in village trust
companies, not by buying shares (that would undermine the tradition of
ownership by all generations), but in exchange for a share of use rights for
a period and net cash income as its return. SA business should make the
village trust company a special project of its own, working together with
NGOs and the state.

Within a few years reform villages will be buying out commercial farms to
meet their members agricultural ambitions. The option for members to move to
some private ownership of operations, mainly off-farm like grinding or to
long-lease arrangements, is possible. As members of culturally based
investment houses, rural folk can build property, run businesses, invest and
operate anywhere township, city, even abroad.

The village trust company is one of the few real examples of the African
Renaissance let us make it our own.

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Flaws in Democracy

Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

November 16, 2001
Posted to the web November 29, 2001

Henning Melber

Southern African states show a blatant lack of democratic awareness, Henning
Melber argues

With the gaining of political power by liberation movements in Zimbabwe in
1980 and Namibia in 1990, the final decolonisation of the African continent
took its course. In 1994 a democratic political system under a lawfully
elected African National Congress government was established in South

During this process, however, the main goal was to obtain the right to
self-determination, while the democratic reform of the countries' societies
was not given the same priority.

Governments were formed by the anti-colonial liberation movements, which had
been far from non-violent. They took over control of the state machinery and
reorganised themselves as political parties. They claimed their legitimacy
to rule stemmed from their emergence from the decolonisation process as
democratically elected representatives of the majority of the people.

Since then, with varying results (and sometimes accepting the use of further
physical violence), they have been able to strengthen their political
dominance and maintain control over the state. This is true even if in
Zimbabwe at present it can be seen that these governments will not last

It appears that the new political rulers in Southern Africa have not
benefited from the learning processes that states further north went

The social transformation in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa can at best
be characterised as a transition from controlled change to changed control.
The result is a kind of rule on a narrow societal base, which is becoming
ever more similar to those of other African countries.

The post-colonial perception of politics within the ruling parties, and
among sections of their grass-roots supporters, often shows a blatant lack
of democratic awareness and forms of neo-patrimonial systems. Tendencies to
autocratic rule and politically motivated social and material favours or
disadvantages are obvious. The political rulers' penchant for
self-enrichment with the help of a rent- or sinecure-capitalism goes with
the exercise of comprehensive controls to secure the continuance of their

Accordingly, the term "national interest" means solely what they say it
means. Based on the rulers' (self-) perception, individuals and groups are
allowed to participate in, or are excluded from, nation-building. Such
selective mechanisms of the exercise and retention of power have little or
nothing to do with democratic principles.

In the meantime, in view of the sobering experiences that followed the
initial euphoria over attaining sovereignty under international law,
critical voices are mounting, including those who followed and supported the
liberation struggles.

There is a growing tendency to critically analyse the processes in which
victims in the role of liberation fighters became perpetrators. Breaking the
taboos in this regard is necessary in a debate, which deals increasingly
with the content of liberation and reflects (if not questions) the concept
of solidarity over the past years.

The much-celebrated attainment of formal independence is no longer being
equated with liberation, and certainly not with the creation of lasting
democracy. Instead, there are increasing attempts to investigate the
structural legacies, which in most cases set far too narrow limits for
realising societal alternatives in the post-colonial countries.

The realisation is growing that the armed liberation struggles were in no
way a suitable breeding ground for establishing democratic systems of
government after gaining independence. The forms of resistance against
totalitarian regimes were themselves organised on strictly hierarchical and
authoritarian lines, otherwise they could hardly have had any prospect of

In this sense, the new societies carried within them essential elements of
the old system they had fought. Thus, aspects of the colonial system
reproduced themselves in the struggle for its abolition and subsequently in
the concepts of governance applied in post-colonial conditions.

The result of such general conditions is that the new system has little
transparency. Those in power are at best prepared to be accountable only to
themselves. Nonconformist thinking is interpreted as disloyalty, if not
equated with treason.

But the marginalisation or elimination of dissent limits drastically the new
system's capability for reform and innovation. A culture of fear,
intimidation and keeping silent reduces the possibilities of durable renewal
at the cost of the public weal. In the long term this means the rulers are
themselves undermining their credibility and legitimacy.

The former liberation fighters also have an expiry date (at least
biologically). That applies not only to the groups themselves but also to
their potential clientele among the people, as Zimbabwe shows. So
cultivating the myth of the liberators is not enough for orderly conduct of
government business. Thus the rulers' restriction of their coteries to their
own groups of functionaries from the days of the liberation struggles, as
still can be seen today, is counterproductive.

As a criterion for classification this has less to do with the concrete
political-ideological persuasion of the party-liners than with their similar
perception of politics, which is based on common personality structures and
features of an authoritarian character.

Similar mechanisms can be seen in many societies around the world that are
regarded as democratic states. That power corrupts is by no means a solely
African truism. Nor that giving up power is difficult for many once they
have had a taste of it. Nonetheless, it might be more than a coincidence
that it was in Southern Africa that the "Third Term Movement" founded by
Namibia's President Sam Nujoma arose.

The argument used to support extending the mandate of heads of state armed
with sweeping executive powers - that only an incumbent can maintain the
continuity of reasonably stable political conditions - unintentionally
signals a lack of democracy.

A sustainable democracy calls for the consolidation of socially
institutionalised and legal framework conditions, which enable the process
of open political communication regardless of the persons in power. The
challenge lies exactly there: the real test of a democracy is how peacefully
and constitutionally a country carries out a change in its political

More than 40 years ago Frantz Fanon described presciently in The Wretched of
the Earth the internal contradictions and limits to emancipation in
anti-colonial resistance and organised liberation movements.

The growing blending of party, government and state among the "liberation
movements in power" indicates a very similar development in the
post-apartheid era.

The use of force to gain liberation from undemocratic and repressive
conditions like those that prevailed in the colonial societies of Southern
Africa was hardly favourable for the durable strengthening of humanitarian
values and norms.

As part of abolishing anachronistic, degrading systems of rule it created
new challenges on the difficult path to establishing sound and robust
egalitarian structures and institutions, and in particular to promoting
democratically minded people. But independence without democracy is still
far from being liberation.

Dr Henning Melber has been a member of Swapo since 1974. He is Research
Director of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden

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Flagship Kingdom Hotel Up for Sale After Disastrous Year

African Eye News Service (Nelspruit)

November 29, 2001
Posted to the web November 29, 2001

Alfonce Mbizwo

Zimbabwe's Delta Corporation, a subsidiary of Anglo American Corporation,
has put its flagship five-star Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls on the market
after its parent company recorded a R75,3 million loss on its half-year

Delta confirmed on Thursday that plans to sell the hotel's direct holding
company, Makasa Sun (Private Limited), were at an advanced stage.

Makasa Sun is currently part of Zimbabwe Sun Ltd, whose fortunes have
nose-dived with the collapse of Zimbabwe's tourism sector.

"Given the continuing poor image of Zimbabwe internationally, the impending
presidential elections, and the global disruption facing tourism, the
remainder of the financial year will probably continue to be depressed,"
said ZimSun's chairman Eben Makonese on Thursday.

Makonese also noted that the number of international tourists to Zimbabwe
declined by 12% in the first three months this year due to apparent
apprehension caused by violence leading to the 2002 presidential elections
and the effect of September 11 terror attacks in the United States.

Many hoteliers have, he said, already frozen all major expansion plans until
the country's economy stabilises, possibly after the elections.

Delta had therefore decided to sell off Makasa Sun as part of its wider
de-merging process from non beverage activities, which has already seen
retain chain OK Zimbabwe Limited, list as a separate entity on the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange.

Makonese said the company was also disposing of its furniture retail

"Plans are at an advanced stage regarding the demerger of the group's hotel
and retail interests. Negotiations are nearing completion for the sale of
Makasa Sun (Private) Limited, the company that owns The Kingdom at Victoria

"The hotel will be leased back to Zimbabwe Sun Limited (ZimSun) under a
long-term lease arrangement. Shareholders will be kept apprised of
developments in this regard, and will be required to give their approval in
a general meeting in advance of the finalisation of these transactions,"
said Makonese.

The group has also embarked on a linked restructuring exercise in a bid to
refocus the group's competencies on its core beverage operations. This is
will result in the disposal of operations that do not fit into the beverage
portfolio, namely ZimSun, OK Zimbabwe and Pelhams.

Delta was at one time the most capitalised blue chip company on ZSE.

Makonese said on Thursday the unbundling of non-core activities was viewed
as an effective means of highlighting the performance of the undervalued
core business and in the process unlocking value for shareholders.

Its beverage operations include National Breweries, United Bottlers, Chibuku
Breweries, Delta Distribution and Kwekwe Maltings. The company also owns
Megapak and holds 15% share in African Distillers Private (Limited).

ZimSun recorded an attributable loss of Zim$443 million (R75,3m), a
performance the company expects to continue in the remaining period. The
turnover for the period under review in historic terms increased by 70% to
Zim$993 million (R168,8m). Operating profit for the period was Zim$50
million (R8,5m) against a loss of Zim$80 million (R13,6m) in the prior
period. However, on an inflation-adjusted basis the company had a loss of
Zim$126,2 million (R21,4m).

Operating costs also grew by 42% to $943 million (R160,3m). The company said
the biggest adverse impact on its performance during the period under review
had been the financing costs from interest and massive exchange rate losses
incurred in expunging off-shore debt. - African Eye News Service
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Tehran Times

Economic Policies Contributed to Zimbabwe Crisis: Mbeki

JOHANNESBURG Wrong economic policies over the past two decades contributed
to the crisis currently taking place in Zimbabwe, South African President
Thabo Mbeki said.

"Part of the crisis in Zimbabwe today emanates from wrong economic policies
which have been sustained for two decades," Mbeki said Tuesday at the launch
of the Center for Education in Economics and Finance in Africa.

Mbeki said for two decades Zimbabwe had "very, very big" budget deficits to
finance "good things" such as education and schools, rural and human
resource development.

"Mugabe for all of these things borrowed money, borrowed inside Zimbabwe,
borrowed outside from the rest of the world. It couldn't be sustained."

The South African government, which follows a policy of strict fiscal
discipline, is under internal pressure to increase spending on areas like
education, health and policing, AFP reported.

Mbeki observed at the launch that rampant lawlessness in South Africa and
across Africa had much to do with historical economic imbalances.

"Whatever is taking place -- the disparities, sexism, horrible crimes --
these all emanate from historical economic imbalances," he said.

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Gulf Daily News - voice of Bahrain

Security boost for Mugabe offices


Workmen placed concrete posts around Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
downtown offices yesterday for increased security following the leader's
claims of threats against him.

The 77-year-old leader, who has been in power since independence in 1980,
has made repeated claims that he faces a 'terrorist threat' from local
opposition forces in British pay.

A spokesman for the president's office said last week that correspondents
for foreign media have assisted terrorists.

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and other government officials declined
comment yesterday in a report in the Zimbabwean Financial Gazette about
projects to build a bombproof underground shelter.

The newspaper said the government was preparing for any eventuality,
including 'civil war, should (Mugabe) lose next year's presidential

The Zimbabwe Standard earlier this month published details of official
tender documents for heavily armoured limousines for Mugabe costing $5
million (BD1.89m) , a huge expense for a country that needs to import one
million tonnes of food.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge told the state-owned Herald newspaper that he
was 'not aware' of British plans to convene a Commonwealth meeting in
December to discuss what British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called
'profound concerns' about the situation in Zimbabwe.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said yesterday that free elections could
not be expected in the current atmosphere of political violence and unrest
in Zimbabwe. Mbeki said regional countries and the Commonwealth should "act
urgently" to encourage free and fair elections in Zimbabwe next year.
Zimbabwe has refused an EU request to allow election observers during next
year's vote.
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US threat to impose sanctions on Mugabe

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 30/11/2001)

INTERNATIONAL financial and travel sanctions against President Mugabe and
senior officials of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party, along with their
families, came a step closer yesterday.

After black Congressmen dropped their opposition, the Zimbabwe Democracy and
Economic Recovery Act was passed unanimously by the House international
relations committee in Washington.

The measure, which passed the Senate in August and is now expected to be
passed by the full House next week, asks President Bush to consult other
countries, including European Union members, on ways to impose visa
restrictions and other sanctions against those responsible for the
continuing violence in Zimbabwe.

The legislation is consistent with EU proposals for similar "smart"
sanctions and echo the anger at Mr Mugabe's policies publicly voiced by
Colin Powell, the secretary of state. Many children of senior regime members
could be affected by the sanctions as they attend colleges and universities
in Britain and America.

A large amount in personal assets has been transferred to Europe. The vote
came shortly before workmen began placing concrete posts around Mr Mugabe's
offices in Harare to increase his security.

The 77-year-old leader, who has been in power since independence in 1980,
has made repeated claims that he faces a "terrorist threat" from opposition
forces supposedly in British pay.

Sydney Sekeramayi, the defence minister, and other government officials
declined to comment on a report in the independent Zimbabwean Financial
Gazette about projects to build a bombproof underground shelter.

It said the government was preparing for any eventuality, including "civil
war should Mugabe lose next year's presidential election". Pressure is
mounting against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change whose
president, Morgan Tsvangirai, will stand against Mr Mugabe.

In Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, Simon Spooner, 48, an MDC member who
has been in prison for 17 days, applied for bail this week. He is accused of
being part of a plot to murder Cain Nkala, a pro-government activist,
earlier this month.

Among the accusations levelled at him during his bail hearing were that he
is white, a self-confessed member of the MDC and received military training
during his youth in the 1960s in Australia.

A ruling has been held over until next week while two of his fellow accused
told the high court they were tortured into confessing that they helped to
kill Nkala. Yesterday, Gibson Sibanda, vice-president of the MDC, said:
"They are breaking our structures all over the country, particularly in
rural areas.

"Violence is going to increase to a frightening level." As Mr Mugabe's
seizure of white-owned land intensifies, the government has indicated that
it has failed to provide supplies and equipment for hundreds of thousands of
settlers and so-called war veterans illegally occupying recently productive

The government mouthpiece, The Herald newspaper, said white farmers should
make their tractors available to settlers as they no longer needed them.
Many commercial farmers have packed up such equipment and stored it.

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Zimbabwe Mirror

  Thursday 29 November, 2001
Business Mirror

Budget brings little cheer to Harare residents
farai Mugano

THE City of Harare this week announced a $22,9 billion budget for the year
2002 at a time when it is owed about $2 billion by residents and ratepayers.

Chief among the debtors is the government, with as much as $721 million in
unpaid charges and services rendered by the city council.

“I am quite positive, Madam Chair, that Government will meet its arrear
obligations in full early next year. In October 2001, $54 million for refuse
and sewerage charges was indeed received,” said the chairman of the finance
committee, Commissioner Chaitezvi Musoni when presenting the budget.

The session was chaired by one of Harare’s commissioners, Jocylene Chiwenga.

Commissioner Musoni said the City of Harare normally cleared its outstanding
obligations to Government and settled its loan commitments due to government
and other investors on due dates.

The 2002 municipal budget is a marked increase on last year’s, which stood
at $10,256 billion. This translates into a substantial increase in rates and
tariffs, some as high as 60%, to be borne by the residents of Harare.

This increase appears to contradict a directive by the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, Ignatious Chombo, for local
authorities not to effect increases above 10 percent. In any case, the
budget has to be approved by the minister before it can be implemented.

Wednesday’s budget proposals would see water charges raised from $9,70 to
$11,70 for every 13 cubic metres with effect from 1 February 2002, with the
rate projected to go up again to $14,00 in July. A rate of $54,90 and $64,90
will be paid in February and July respectively for domestic consump-tion
above 300 cubic metres, while industrial and commercial consumers will pay
$85,70 in February and $102,80 in July.

Tariffs for hotels and restaurants will now be pegged at $43,70 in February
and $52,40 in July for the first 300 cubic metres, up from $36,45.

The budget proposes to increase clinic fees by 60 percent and drugs will
sell at their cost price. Additional income of $59,5 million would accrue to
the city council in 2002 should these recommendations be adopted.

Ambulance fees go up from $400 to $560 per patient beginning February, and
also to increase by 60 percent are burial and cremation fees.

Housing rentals will be increased by 50 percent for both high-density areas
and houses and flats situated in the low-density areas.

Motorists using the Central Business District will pay parking fees of $25
for two hours as from February, and $35 for the same amount of time as from

Entry fees for buses using Mbare Msika go up from $180 to $320.

A total of $6,4 billion would be set aside for capital projects like water,
sewer, street lighting, road construction and repair work.

Commissioner Musoni noted that the budget was presented against a backdrop
of high inflation, soaring interest rates and foreign currency shortages.
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From The US House of Representatives, 28 November

Democracy Bill passes key House committee

Washington, DC - As the situation in Zimbabwe descends further into chaos, the House International Relations Committee passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 [S. 494] on Wednesday unanimously. The legislation has been passed by the Senate and is supported by the State Department. It should soon head to the House floor for final consideration. Africa Subcommittee Chairman Ed Royce praised the bill, saying it provides reasonable guidelines for US engagement with Zimbabwe, expresses the United States' interest in assisting the Zimbabwean people with economic development, and provides funding for such efforts when the rule of law has been established and when free and fair elections are possible.

Royce took the gloves off when describing Zimbabwe's ruler, who many have likened to a dictator. "In Zimbabwe, we're sadly seeing a power-crazed, aged-dictator literally burning his country down. Desperate to keep his perks, and avoid accountability for his crimes, President Robert Mugabe has sanctioned utter anarchy in his homeland in an attempt to win an election he has been pressured by Zimbabweans into holding. If he had his way, Mugabe would undoubtedly run Zimbabwe as the one-party state he ran through the 1980s," he said. But Royce wasn't finished. He continued, saying, "Mugabe has spared no means in his attempt to suppress democratic expression. His Zanu PF party thugs have employed murder, mass beatings, systematic torture, gang rape, house burning, death threats and every type of police brutality. And while Zimbabwe police are quick to crack down on peaceful political protest, violent Zanu PF operatives are rarely brought to justice. Dozens of political opponents have been murdered in state-sanctioned violence. Yet Mugabe doesn't speak out against those doing the violence. He instead calls the peaceful political opposition 'terrorists,' and vows to crush them. Having led a congressional delegation to Zimbabwe several years' back, I saw then the climate of fear the Zimbabwe government long ago created."

One of the "sticks" in the bill is the imposition of personal sanctions on Mugabe and his ruling elite. "This legislation importantly asks the administration to begin a process of identifying the assets of Zimbabwe's rulers to impose personal sanctions against them for breaking down the rule of law in Zimbabwe," Royce said. Royce also contrasted the irresponsible and violent rule of Mugabe to the democratic and peaceful governing by Nelson Mandela. "What a depressing contrast between Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and South Africa's Nelson Mandela. Mandela prized democracy and the rule of law. He stepped down from power when people were telling him he was a king. He brought races together. What we have in Zimbabwe is Mugabe threatening his political opponents with death and who sends his thugs to terrorize teachers working for a better future," Royce said.

From BBC News, 28 November

Zimbabwe police accused of torture

Bulawayo - Two opposition activists, held in connection with the murder of a leading war veteran in Zimbabwe, have said they were tortured into confessing by the police. Cain Nkala, a stalwart in the ruling Zanu PF party, was abducted from his home in the second city of Bulawayo earlier this month. His body was found a week later. The government accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of being behind the killing and 14 MDC suspects were detained, including an MP, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube. At Nkala's funeral, President Robert Mugabe, accused the MDC of being a "terrorist" organisation. The two suspects, Khentani Sibanda and Remember Moyo, made the disclosure during their bail application before Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Lawrence Kamocha. Mr Sibanda denied he was involved in Nkala's killing. He told the judge that the MDC leaders were also not involved in the abduction and murder of the Bulawayo war veterans leader. He said he made the confessions under torture after the police had threatened to kill his family. He told the judge: "My Lord, I have nothing to do with the murder. Even the MDC leaders were not involved. I was only forced to implicate them to save my life."

Mr Moyo described to the judge how the police in Mbembesi Camp tortured him and forced him to confess to the murder. He said his genitals were tortured by the police, who also told him to implicate the opposition party in the killing. Mr Moyo also denied receiving funds from the MDC Member of Parliament for Lobhengula constituency, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube to kill the war veterans leader. Mr Dulini is currently in police custody and was among six MDC leaders who were denied bail by the courts. Mr Moyo also denied before the court that he knew Simon Spooner, an advisor to the MDC Member of Parliament for Bulawayo North constituency, David Coltart. According to Mr Moyo, he only saw Mr Spooner at Khami Prison where they were both being held. He also denied that Mr Spooner, a former soldier who trained in Australia, was involved in Cain Nkala's murder. "All these people, my Lord, are innocent. I only implicated them because I was tortured by the police. Police officers kicked me all over the body. Two police officers held my legs apart while I was kicked in the groin until I lost consciousness," he said. Mr Moyo said when he regained consciousness he was in an empty cell. His clothes were removed and he was forced to sleep on the bare concrete floor for two days. He urinated blood because of the injuries to his groin, he told the court. The judge ordered the two suspects to be examined by a medical doctor. Among the people who packed the court were police, government agents, MDC supporters and journalists.

From The Financial Gazette, 29 November

Mugabe deploys troops in MDC base

President Robert Mugabe this week deployed troops in the opposition’s stronghold in northwestern Zimbabwe in a move analysts warned could hasten the total collapse of a nation that has in the last few years dramatically leapt from crisis to crisis. Analysts said Mugabe’s decision to send armed soldiers in the predominantly opposition supporting provinces of Matabeleland just when the international community is calling on him to uphold democracy and human rights could be the last straw to break the patience of both Zimbabweans and the international community. "Mugabe is living dangerously," said University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political science professor Masipula Sithole. Sithole was referring to Mugabe’s insistence that he will not heed the growing international calls for more democracy and his threats that if need be, the crisis-ridden southern African nation would go it alone without the rest of the world. Sithole said: "More powerful nations before have failed to get far along this go it alone path. How far can Zimbabwe go with an ailing economy and with the whole world united against it?"

Mugabe last week bluntly told off European Union (EU) council of ministers president Louis Michel, foreign policy chief Javier Solana and commissioner for external affairs Chris Patten that the EU had no business in Zimbabwean affairs. That was after the visiting trio had requested, during talks in Harare, guarantees that next year’s presidential election will be free and fair. Michel told the Press after meeting Mugabe that the EU would not recognise the outcome of the critical presidential poll unless Mugabe and his government allowed it to be organised by an independent electoral commission and unless it was held under the spotlight of the whole world. Analysts say Mugabe fears a free presidential ballot could easily be won by the popular opposition MDC party leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The MDC weathered political violence in which more than 32 people, most of them its supporters, died to almost defeat Mugabe’s ruling party by grabbing 57 seats against Zanu PF’s 62. Another smaller opposition party won the remaining seat. Similar threats by the US government not to recognise the presidential ballot unless it was truly democratic have also been laughed off by Mugabe even as Washington is currently preparing legislation to impose sanctions on him and his top lieutenants for failing to uphold democracy and human rights.

To cap a grand plot under which Mugabe has tightened election rules and other laws in his favour and clamped down on the media, the 77-year-old president earlier this week ordered heavily armed troops into some parts of Matabeleland. A government spokesman told state television the army was in Matabeleland to quell terrorism following the recent killings of two Zanu PF supporters in the region. The deployment of the soldiers has revived bitter memories of a bloody army crackdown in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s that left more than 20 000 civilian supporters of the late nationalist Joshua Nkomo dead. UZ Institute of Development Studies associate professor Brian Raftopoulos said the deployment of the army was a ploy to destabilise the MDC ahead of the presidential poll and to create conditions that made it impossible for the opposition party to campaign. Raftopoulos said Mugabe was going to continue defying international calls for a free and fair presidential poll and that he will go ahead and stage the ballot under conditions well below acceptable standards of democracy in the hope that other southern African leaders will back him anyhow. He added: "Mugabe knows that there are many among his southern African colleagues equally less committed to democracy and that they will simply endorse the election even if it was not free and fair." With the blessings of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Mugabe could try to re-engage the international community by offering some compromises even on the contentious land issue in order to get back international support, Raftopoulos said. "It is a gamble that might not pay. But it could also be a successful gamble given the fact that the international community itself can be very flexible at times," Raftopoulos noted.

But Sithole was adamant that even this strategy would not pay off for Mugabe because the international community was not going to relent on its demands that he upholds democracy and the rule of law. According to Sithole, even if SADC leaders were to endorse an undemocratic presidential election, such recognition would not be beyond SADC borders. "There is a higher price to pay for staging a kangaroo election and Mugabe and his government may not survive that price," Sithole observed. The international community, which until now has only threatened to impose targeted sanctions against Mugabe and top officials of his government, could react to any attempts to steal the ballot with more severe and comprehensive sanctions, Sithole said. UZ business studies professor Tony Hawkins said Zimbabwe’s tottering economy would not be able to withstand sanctions for long. But much more worrying, said Sithole, was that if Mugabe used the army to suppress growing but peaceful opposition to his rule, that could eventually lead to an underground and violent resistance by the people. "If you discourage democratic politics by denying the people a peaceful means to change the situation, what recourse have they but to turn violent?" he asked.

From The Independent (UK), 29 November

Zimbabwe's churches defy Mugabe by delivering food to starving people

Bulawayo/Harare - Faced with increasing reports of deaths from malnutrition in Zimbabwe, churches are openly defying an edict from President Robert Mugabe that only ruling-party officials may distribute food aid. The churches' defiance comes as an independent newspaper, the Financial Gazette, reveals today that the 77-year-old leader has ordered bomb-proof underground bunkers to be dug around his home and offices, as well as the delivery of 86 army trucks believed to come from Austria - although there is an EU embargo on defence equipment to Zimbabwe. The underground chambers, to be built of reinforced concrete, are being planned to allow Mr Mugabe to prepare for unrest or civil war, in the event of his losing next year's elections, according to the paper.

In Bulawayo and rural districts in the south of the country, Mr Mugabe's campaign to stay in power has already translated into hunger among thousands of people, according to the prominent Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube. He said: "The hunger is caused by the government's hypocrisy. It wants to distribute food assistance itself, so as to buy votes. It does not care how many people die as long as it can stay in power." The looming crisis comes after Mr Mugabe earlier this month banned hundreds of the country's commercial farmers from working their land and told their properties had, in effect, been nationalised. The regional World Food Programme director, Judith Lewis, said: "What we are seeing is a developing complex emergency."

In Masase, a village of some 2,000 people in the Midlands, it is the Lutherans who are defying the ruling Zanu PF), and covertly supplying food. It is to people like Reverend Anders Berglund, from the Swedish Church, that Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, refers when he claims foreigners "might try to smuggle election monitors into Zimbabwe using the guise of food aid". Rev Anders said: "Children are fainting in class and the school day has had to be shortened because kids do not have the energy to concentrate." Masase is a well-kept village which voted for Zanu PF in the parliamentary elections. Despite living in a "privileged" place, the women struggle to feed their families. Dozens of them congregate every day at the Vashandiri milling co-operative, set up by the church. Here, for a small fee, they mill maize corn and turn a profit from selling the flour, which is the staple food in these parts. But they are unable to grow their own maize due to poor weather conditions. For two years, the south and east of the country, which are drought and flood-prone, have been subject to devastating weather.

Michael Ncube, co-ordinator of the Catholic Development Commission in Bulawayo, said: "Matabeleland is mainly a cattle and ranching area. Crops do not do well here at the best of times. Two years of bad weather is too much for people to bear. Now their seeds are depleted. So as well as supplying food aid to children, breast-feeding mothers and the elderly, we are buying maize and sorghum seeds in town and transporting them to rural areas were we sell them for less than we paid." Food experts explain that Zimbabwe - usually a "food-surplus country" - is in normal circumstances capable of assisting its southern and eastern provinces when disaster strikes. But the political turmoil in fertile Mashonaland, in the north, was so intense ahead of last year's parliamentary elections that stocks were never built up.

To the archbishop, a long-time critic of Mr Mugabe, Matabeleland's crisis has a more sinister explanation. "We have always been neglected because we have a history of not supporting Zanu PF," he said. The Most Reverend Ncube, who received so many death threats ahead of last year's elections that the Vatican demanded that Mr Mugabe guarantee his safety, said 80 per cent of people in Matabeleland live below the poverty level. He said: "As far as I am concerned Mr Mugabe can take a flying jump into the Zambezi River. Last year, Matabeleland voted against the government. Now they are not distributing food here ... So we are having to circumvent rules to help people keep body and soul together. We did not tolerate racism when there was white rule here, and we will not tolerate this."

Lovemore Madhuku, the 34-year-old law professor who was arrested while trying to organise a demonstration on Tuesday in Harare, was set yesterday to spend a second night in police custody. Pro-democracy campaigners said he had still not been charged or allowed to see a lawyer.

From Business Day (SA), 29 November

Harare attacks ‘pack of lies’ on Congo looting

Harare - Zimbabwe's government has dismissed as false a damning United Nations report implicating it in the looting of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The state-run Herald reported Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge yesterday as saying the UN report was a "pack of lies" invented by the British. While UK citizens were among many dozens of government officials, businessmen, bankers, diplomats and representatives of nongovernmental organisations from many countries questioned by UN investigators, no British official sat on the UN panel. Mudenge said: "We know that the report has been created by the British government, who are keen to discredit Zimbabwe at all costs." The UN report was issued last week to complement a study on illegal exploitation of Congo's natural wealth and other resources that came out in April when the UN Security Council extended the mandate of UN investigators. The panel found that all sides in the conflict were plundering Congolese natural resources. The 38-page study was released by a team headed by Egyptian ambassador Mahmoud Kassem and including members from Pakistan, Senegal, Switzerland and the US. Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola deployed troops to the Congo in 1998 to back the Congolese government against a rebel insurgency launched with military support from Rwanda and Uganda.

All parties concerned whether invited or uninvited by the Congolese government are undertaking "commercial activities" there, but the report was particularly critical of the role played by Zimbabwe on the side of the allies, as well as some Ugandan and Rwandan army elements and their rebel associates among Kinshasa's foes. Harare has clinched a range of Congolese business deals, including mining concessions. The UN investigators highlighted the influential role of the Zimbabwean defence force in the mineral-rich Kasai and Katanga provinces, but said the military had begun reducing its "direct involvement" while "increasing the role of concerned ministries". "President Joseph Kabila's personal protection is partly ensured by Zimbabwean special forces," the report said. "The government of Zimbabwe views these exploitation activities (mineral, timber and other resources) as legitimate commercial ties with a neighbouring sovereign state, to whose aid it had come under the Southern African Development Community Treaty's collective security provision." Relations between Zimbabwe and former colonial master Britain are looking increasingly strained. Last week British Foreign Minister Jack Straw threatened diplomatic action over the Zimbabwe government's labelling of foreign correspondents here as "terrorists".

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