As 2009 draws to a close, we can
all be proud of what we have achieved during the past year and excited by
the future that lies ahead of us.
As a nation, we still have a long road
to travel before you, the people, have access to the jobs, healthcare,
education and security that you deserve.
With the formation of the
transitional Government we have taken a form this Government was not an easy
one, but in retrospect, it was and hospitals working again and rescue our
nation from certain economic disaster.
Through the formulation and
implementation of the Short Term Emergency Programme, the 100 Day plan and
now the Government Work Programme, we have laid the foundation for
stabilisation and growth as well as instilling a new culture of transparency
and accountability within Government.
My Fellow Zimbabweans, I know
that you expect a lot more from your Government in the coming year and I
hereby pledge that we will not take your support for granted, but will
continue to strive to build a nation that we can all be proud of.
2010, Government will shift its focus from stabilisation to consolidation,
despite the fact that this administration has within its ranks individuals
determined to frustrate the progress to which we are committed.
efforts to undermine our ability to deliver to the people has prevented the
full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which in turn
prevents this Government from
However, thanks to the work of the
negotiators and the South on the path that will see the consummation of the
GPA and an increase in the pace of reforms. I am proud that despite the
growing pains inherent in forming this new Government, we have remained
committed to our goal of delivering Dignity, Security, Democracy and
Freedom, Prosperity and Hope to every Zimbabwean.
This is reflected in
the five priorities of this government, namely to: Promote Economic Growth
and Ensure Food Security; Guarantee Basic Services and Infrastructural
Development; Strengthen and Ensure the Rule of Law and Respect for Property
Rights; Advance and Safeguard Basic Freedoms; and Re-establish
Central to our commitment to delivery in 2010,
is the formulation of a truly people-driven constitution and I urge all of
you to be actively involved in this process to ensure that your voice is
My fellow Zimbabweans, I salute your courage, commitment to peace,
and patriotism and pledge that this Government will continue to put your
welfare above all other considerations.
I would like to pay special
tribute to the thousands of civil servants that have shown professionalism
and dedication to the new administration despite the challenging environment
they have been forced to endure.
Improving their conditions of service
will be a key focus of Government's activities next year. I also acknowledge
the work of Civil Society, the Churches and Trade Unions as we strive
together to deliver real change to the people of this great
As Zimbabweans, each one of us has a role to play in building
this future by abiding by the rule of law, shunning corruption and embracing
the concept of peaceful transition within the framework laid out in the
By working together we will set an example for the region and the
world that will illustrate what can be achieved by a people united by their
belief that democracy will deliver development and that peace will bring
I thank you for your support in 2009 and look forward to
working with you in 2010 to build the Zimbabwe that we all demand and
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Loud
music and feasting characterised the festivities on Friday as the Christmas
cheer returned to Zimbabwe for the first time in several years - one of the
off-shoots of the new political dispensation since the formation of a
power-sharing government 10 months ago.
For a long time since the
country's political crisis began in 2000, the festive season has passed
Long-suffering Zimbabweans have until this year found
nothing to celebrate about amid a plethora of problems highlighted by acute
shortages of basic commodities and fuel, unprecedented unemployment and
A refreshing new sense of optimism is in the air
"We are toasting to the new hope that has been brought about
by the formation of the inclusive government. This year's Christmas is
different because, for a change, we didn't have to travel to South Africa or
Botswana to buy groceries since everything we wanted was here," said Harare
resident Tatenda Mawisire.
Zimbabwean shops are teeming with local
and imported products, thanks to an economic stabilisation programme
introduced by a power-sharing government formed in February by President
Robert Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai.
off-shoot of the new political dispensation is the stabilisation of prices
since the launch of a multiple currency system at the beginning of the
Unlike in the past when prices changed hourly, the cost of basic
commodities was more predictable this year - adding to the Christmas
Nestle not compelled to buy milk from Mugabe farm
HARARE, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government has asked food
giant Nestle (NESN.VX) to resume operations in the country, saying it
guaranteed the operations of the firm and its staff from interference, state
media reported on Friday.
Nestle this week temporarily shut down its
factory, citing harrassment by the authorities.
The firm said it had
received an unannounced visit from government officials and police on Dec.
19 and was forced to accept a milk delivery from non-contracted suppliers.
Two of its managers were questioned by police and released without charge
the same day. [ID:nLDE5BM087] On Friday the Herald newspaper quoted Industry
and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube -- tasked by President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene in the matter -- as saying
a deal had been reached allowing Nestle to continue operating.
parties have collectively reached an understanding to work together in
ensuring that milk produced at Gushungo Dairies is absorbed by the local
dairy processors," Ncube told the paper.
"For its part, government
has given its assurance on the safety of staff and management at both Nestle
Zimbabwe and Gushungo Dairies."
Nestle officials were not immediately
available to comment.
Business bodies Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Mines
welcomed the news of a resolution to the row, which Tsvangirai said on
Wednesday undermined efforts to rebuild investor confidence.
relieved that due process is now under way... We wish to highlight our
concern that the fragile economic recovery under way should not be adversely
affected by perceptions of inappropriate actions to deal with simple
commercial issues," they said in a joint statement.
"It is our sincere
hope that Nestle will open very soon."
In October, Nestle bowed to
international pressure and stopped buying milk from Gushungo Dairy Estates,
a farm taken over by Mugabe's family under his contrversial land reforms.
At the time, Nestle said the farm accounted for 10-15
percent of its local milk supply.
Nestle's decision to close shop
marks a setback for the unity government formed by Mugabe and his old rival
Tsvangirai, which has actively courted foreign investors to return and help
rebuild a state ruined by a decade of economic decline. (Editing by Mike
(Zimbabwe) The Swiss-based food giant Nestle has agreed to reopen its
Zimbabwean operations after hammering a deal with the government under which
the Harare regime assured the company of the safety of its local staff in
the wake of threats by President Robert Mugabe's supporters.
Zimbabwe shut down its Harare factory on Monday following weeks of pressure
from pro-Mugabe militias and empowerment groups to resume purchases of milk
from a dairy farm owned by Mugabe's wife.
The state media reported here
Friday that Industry and Trade Minister Welshman Ncube had met with
officials from Nestle Zimbabwe and the dairy industry who agreed that milk
from Gushungo Dairy Estate would now be absorbed by local processors and not
the Swiss-based firm.
"As a result of those consultations, the parties
have collectively reached an understanding to work together in ensuring that
milk produced at Gushungo Dairies is absorbed by the local dairy
processors," Ncube said.
Nestle stopped buying from the dairy farm in
October but not before an international protest by human rights groups which
triggered calls for a worldwide boycott of its products.
Zimbabwean First Lady reportedly gained control of the dairy farm as a
beneficiary of her husband's controversial and internationally criticised
The decision to stop milk purchases from
Mugabe's Gushungo Dairy Estate did not go down well with local indigenous
pressure groups led by the pro-Mugabe Affirmative Action Group (AAG) which
said the move was tantamount to the company imposing sanctions on the
Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and
the AAG last week led a group of protesters that allegedly threatened Nestle
with closure unless it resumed milk
At Rainbow's End farm, no pot of gold as Zimbabwe's farm
mayhem spreads and food crisis looms
By Angus Shaw (CP) - 2 hours
CHEGUTU, Zimbabwe - Rainbow's End got its name from its bumper crops
of grain, fruit and vegetables. But now the pot of gold is empty. Most of
the land is derelict and cut off by a collapsed bridge.
Once one of
the most productive farms in this troubled southern African nation,
Rainbow's End will have very little to harvest next season, even as farmers'
organizations forecast huge crop shortfalls and the U.N. says 2 million
Zimbabweans - nearly one-fourth of the population - will need food aid in
President Robert Mugabe's campaign to run Zimbabwe's whites off
their farms and redistribute them to the black majority continues despite
the expectation that being forced into a coalition government with the
opposition would at least partially restrain him, restore agriculture and
protect human rights.
Since the coalition was formed in February, at
least 100 more white farmers have been driven off their land. Of about 300
still farming, more than half have been served official eviction notices.
Since August, Thomas Beattie, who farmed near Rainbow's End, has been under
siege by militants and men he calls hired thugs, and was forced to leave his
home in November at the height of the planting season.
on the ground is still that white farmers need to go. That is the reality,"
said Deon Theron, head of the Commercial Farmers' Union, most of whose
members are white. He said those in Mugabe's long-ruling ZANU-PF party who
want change "are powerless against the old guard who want to maintain what
they have been doing."
Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe won independence
from Britain in 1980, argues that the land was plundered by the country's
European colonizers and needs to be redistributed. At his lavish 85th
birthday party in February, Mugabe declared that the "few remaining white
farmers should quickly vacate their farms as they have no place
Under the land seizure program he launched in 2000, more than 11
million hectares (25 million acres) of commercial farmland have been seized
from thousands of whites. But their new occupants often are chosen not for
their farming skills but for being party loyalists, and they have failed to
replicate the highly efficient, mechanized farming system that made Zimbabwe
a breadbasket for Southern Africa.
According to satellite surveys, as
much as 80 per cent of former prime land lies uncultivated.
already includes much of Beattie's original farm, 100 kilometres (60 miles)
southwest of Harare, the capital. Unpruned tree roots are breaking up the 16
kilometre (10 mile) irrigation canal he built. A packing shed for citrus
exports has been looted and Bright Matonga, a former minister in Mugabe's
party, uses it as a cowshed.
Power outages are frequent, and trees and
brushes have been denuded for firewood. Glum and menacing occupiers
barricade the farm gate but let in Beattie's wife, Sue, to feed the
"It's so sad. Sometimes the dogs don't seem to recognize us
anymore," she said.
This district has seen some of the worst farm
attacks this year, with assaults on farmers and a homestead burned
Sue Beattie describes the tactics assailants used to force them
out: They burned tires on the porch and hurled blazing wood at the windows;
she was assaulted and threatened with an iron wrench, though neither she nor
her husband suffered serious injury; trucks surrounded the front garden and
loud reggae music was blasted at the house at night.
had a court order to stop their eviction, police repeatedly ignored calls
for help, she said.
Thomas Beattie, 67, says he developed his farm on
virgin land during nearly 50 years to produce livestock, grain, citrus, milk
"It was a 24/7 job. Now we've got zero," he said.
1,400 workers, most of them black, about 150 are left to look after a few
pigs and 500 cattle grazing on the lush wet-season fields, down from the
original herd of 3,000.
Had he been able to plant wheat this year,
his record of past yields indicates he likely would have grown 5,000 tons,
in a country dependent on imported wheat.
The farmers' union
estimates the nation will reap 500,000 tons of corn next year against annual
consumption of 1.8 million tons.
Outside Chegutu, the town nearest to
Rainbow's End, Jacob Desa trades a bag of peanuts for soap at a store. He
has a small plot and no money for seed or fertilizer this
Mugabe's party is distributing subsidized fertilizer, but Desa
doesn't qualify because he doesn't have a ZANU-PF membership card and is
therefore presumed to be in sympathy with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
party in the coalition. Tsvangirai's party controls the Finance Ministry,
which blocked ruinous farming subsidies doled out in the past to Mugabe
This year, farms, ranches and privately owned nature reserves
have been targeted for seizure in the south, west and east. The Agricultural
and Plantation Workers Union says up to 60,000 of them have been displaced
along with their families.
Justice for Agriculture, a farmers'
support group, says many are migrant workers from neighbouring countries who
now roam the bush without money or documents to get them home.
plantation workers' union runs a program to help farmhands, many of whom
were assaulted and tortured by militants who took over their workplaces. The
farmers' group offers trauma counselling to former landowners who lost all
their property in arrests and violent assaults. One reported being beaten,
tied up and urinated on by a police commander.
Others lost all their
pension benefits in Zimbabwe's world-record inflation of last year and the
economic meltdown. One works as a caretaker of school sports fields, another
grows chilies in his daughter's garden and sells them to Asian spice shops,
and a third has appeared in court more than 80 times to defend rights to
land occupied by his family for three generations.
"We are prevented from
doing what we know best, producing food," said John Worsley-Worswick, head
of the support group.
In its heyday, Rainbow's End produced about eight
tons of corn per hectare (more than three tons per acre); next harvest they
are expected to yield less than an eighth of that volume to the few women
and children hoeing isolated patches of land.
Harare, December 25, 2009 - A senior
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official on Thursday invaded a farm belonging
to a Rusape based white commercial farmer saying she wants to enjoy
Christmas at the property.
The President of the Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU), Deon Theron, told Radio VOP that the RBZ Head of
Finance Winnkie Mushipe gave Raymond Finaughty three hours to pack his
things and leave his farm.
Mushipe heads the RBZ Bank financing arm.
Before that she headed FISCORP Private Limited which was in charge of its
"He called me this morning and told me that his
life is in danger and is packing his things to leave his farm. He said there
are people who were camped at the farm and told him to leave to make way for
Dhliwayo who should be at the farm by tomorrow," said Theron.
said Finaughty who owns Mhanda farm in Rusape is a tobacco and chicken
farmer and is a South African farmer whose farm is part of the Bilateral
Protection of Investment Agreement (BIPPA).
"He has 40 hectares under
tobacco and 11 chickens which he has not been able to look after over the
last three days because of the threats that he has been receiving," said
This latest invasion marks the return of a new wave of farm
invasions just a day after President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and his Deputy Arthur Mutambara expressed satisfaction with the
political climate prevailing in the country at the moment.
September another Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Edward Mashiringwani
attempted to take over Friedall farm owned by Louis Fick.
the Tsvangirai MDC formation have responded by threatening to scrap an
indemnification clause shielding RBZ Governor Gideon Gono and senior central
bank officers from prosecution for actions taken in good faith
Dube | Washington 24 December 2009
Senators of Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party have proposed 11 amendments to pending
legislation to reform the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, drawing fire from the
Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, which introduced the bill.
Lawmakers of the Tsvangirai MDC
formation have responded by threatening to scrap an immunity clause intended
to shield incumbent RBZ Governor Gideon Gono and senior central bank staff
from the legal consequences of various actions they took on behalf of the
former Mugabe government.
Gono has acknowledged diverting monies of the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2008 to fund
government activities, and accounts of many non-governmental organizations
similarly tapped without permission.
The indemnification clause drafted
by ZANU-PF House legislators before the bill's passage in the lower chamber,
gave partial immunity to Gono and other RBZ employees "for anything done in
good faith and without negligence."
Senator Obert Gutu, chief whip of the
Tsvangirai MDC formation, said the new amendments introduced by Senator
Monica Mutsvangwa, chief whip for ZANU-PF in the upper chamber, have thrown
the bill into disarray.
Gutu said the amendments proposed by ZANU-PF were
aimed at restricting Finance Minister Tendai Biti's role in overseeing the
central bank and to ensure the retention of three deputy governors at the
central bank. The legislation as drafted would have left just one deputy
governor in place.
Gutu said that if the amendments were approved by the
ZANU-PF-dominated Senate, "the proposals will completely neutralize the main
thrust of the bill to an extent that it will become a useless piece of paper
which does not address the main concerns" of Finance Minister Tendai
The Tsvangirai MDC has long demanded that RBZ Governor Gono be
replaced but President Mugabe, who reappointed him in late 2008 without
consulting his future partners in the unity government, has adamantly
Gutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the proposals
amendments have angered both formations of the MDC, charging that the
demonstrate bad faith on the part of ZANU-PF with respect to central bank
Monica Mutsvangwa, wife of Chris Mutsvangwa, a member of the
ZANU-PF information committee who was named this week to the new Zimbabwe
Media Commission, declined to comment on the proposed amendments.
holds the Senate seat for Chimanimani, Manicaland province.
. Photograph by Sarah McGowan, for The WIP®
Internet News Service. .
I was called a prostitute, I
was called a thief.I was called all sorts of names, but none of the newspapers
came to call me defender of children's rights. Very ironic in a country when 10
girls are being raped per day. - Betty Makoni
For this final post of 2009, The WIP editors would like to share a podcast
from our December 3rd event, co-hosted with Amnesty International's Ginetta
Sagan Fund. This very special screening of the powerful new film Tapestries
of Hope was followed by a conversation with Zimbabwean human rights
activist Betty Makoni and Tapestries filmmaker Michealene Cristini Risley.
The WIP has published a number of articles on sexual violence against women and girls throughout the world
and this event provided the unique opportunity to connect our readers with this
critical issue in person. We invite you to listen to our podcast of this
powerful conversation between one of Zimbabwe's preeminent child and women's
rights activists and the filmmaker who documented her remarkable story by
clicking the play button below. Please also visit the Tapestries of
Hope website to find out where you can see the film and to make a
donation to Betty Makoni's Girl Child Network.
A flurry of negative publicity against our own president Robert
Mugabe has been the order of the day for the most part of the past decade.
Local independent and foreign media as well as pressure groups previously
deprived of activity have suddenly found something, a lot to do in this.
Western countries have even gone as far as collectively declaring him a
political leper. Collectively he is accused of ruling reining and ruining the
country for a complete generation.
But is this by any means fair? What
has this man done to deserve this relentless bashing?
Yes the man
rightful warrants more than just ridiculing and being banned from western
countries. In fact he and his cabal at least are worth of being driven from
the seat of power like revelers after a Bacchanalian orgy. At most they need
to be sent to the gallows for their sins. On the service delivery front,
Mugabe has behaved at least like a pendulum, work done at the end of the day
equals zero. At most, he has been at the ring-leader of a relentless looting
gang, shedding blood of innocent skeptics in the process.
vacuous praise singers like the late Tony Gara who once equated him to Jesus,
Emerson Mnangagwa who calls him supreme leader and a couple others assert
that their great leader merit praise and sitting tight on the throne of
power. Oppah Muchinguri has even welcomed the likes of Mnangagwa’s praises
with calls to retain Bob till his karmic recall. Why not when the other chefs
died on the throne of power- Nkomo, Mzenda, and Msika? Amongst his
achievements, they chronicle his selfless effort in bringing independence,
peace, development and reconciliation, his ruthless dealing with
The future is an orphan, so goes the saying. It is not the
same as the past. We were there as well to experience their president’s
achievements. We had different experiences of the same play-act probably
because we were not sitting in the same row with them as the drama was
unfolding. I particularly saw the man creating enemies left, right and centre
since he took to the reins of power. By the time ceasefire was declared, he
had two skeletons in the cupboard already. Two leading lights in his party
Herbert Chitepo and Josiah Tongogara had both died mysterious deaths. No one
has actually accused Bob of masterminding their killing but questions still
linger as to why he did not at least launch an enquiry into their deaths. To
cap it, he picked a semi-literate carpenter who had been making furniture in
the Midlands as his vice, in the process alienating the likes of
Tekere, Kadungure, and Mutasa.
Come the Lancaster House talks, he
conspired with Maggie Thatcher to let the minority whites keep the land the
very subject of the fighting. The equation was not so intricate. Mugabe would
spare the white farmers of possible eviction from the land and in return,
Britain would partake in the country’s development. The beginning point was
assisting Bob win the pending election against Muzorewa and Nkomo. Yes Maggie
had to protect the interests of her own kith. Why not protect a little
dictator in the process? France was doing the same to Gnassingbe Eyadema
against the Olympios in Togo, the same to Omar Bongo against Pierre
Mbamboundou in Gabon, and the Belgium to Joseph Mobutu against Etienne
Tshishekedi in Zaire.
Maggie lived to her promise and come 1980, Bob got
an unassailable majority in the election with Nkomo and Muzorewa left to lick
their wounds. This despite the fact that those close to the poll doubted the
results straight away. Zanu had been trounced in Matabeleland, Midlands,
Masvingo and Manicaland so how could he end up winning? At that time the both
the British and Zanu refuted the rigging allegations. Now that things have
fallen apart between the two, the latter have let the cat out of the bag. Yet
it is quite easy to visualize why Zanu lost the poll. The deaths of Chitepo
and Tongogara had not yet been forgotten. The peoples of Manicaland
and Masvingo/Midlands respectively were aggrieved, they could, therefore,
easily exact their vengeance at the booth. Zapu was a broad based party
with membership nationwide. Though Mugabe wanted to discredit it as an
Ndebele only party, it boasted the likes of Joseph Msika, Josiah Chinamano,
Ambrose Mutinhiri, and Cornwell Nziramasanga to name but a few Shonas who
had willingly joined the movement. He only had Enos Nkala from the other side
of the tribal divide.
Come post-election settlement, Nkomo and company
were accommodated as a junior partner in a marriage that did not last long.
In the promised Canaan, the majority found themselves alienated.
Ex-combatants found themselves faced with a bleak future. Demobilization
payouts had to trickle from above with the majority of the grassroots often
ignored in the process. The land for which some had fought for over a decade
was not coming either. A deal had been struck at the helm to preserve the
status quo as a gesture of reconciliation. To add insult to injury, those
that had dropped out of school to join the struggle were required furnish
employers with O Levels certificates otherwise there was no deal. Yes they
were foolish enough to fight without studying concurrently. Their leader did
it and emerged from the bush with two extra degrees. Man!
of convenience with Nkomo soon became sour. The latter was accused of
propping up dissidents who wanted to destabilize the country. Nkomo
immediately left the country for Botswana for sanctuary. The bloodletting
that followed his departure is only paralleled by the subsequent
Rwanda/Burundi genocide. There is ample historical evidence to suggest the
massacre was pre-planned as early as 1978. However, since our history is
written by none other than Chigwedere some of these leads may be lost
forever. To quell the merciless slaughter of his tribesmen, Nkomo
again agreed to be swallowed by Zanu for the sake of peace. To show that
their support for Mugabe was genuine, Thatcher and company knighted him
during the height of the Matabeleland massacre, even conferring several
degrees upon him in appreciation of his leadership.
Meanwhile the army
of opposition to Mugabe had been growing by the day. The Ndebele, Karangas,
Manicas, ex-combatants. All were only waiting for their field day. The
Manicas had theirs sooner. One of their own decided that corruption in Zanu
had reached unbearable proportions. Of the zebra totem, Tekere decided he
could not have his stripes disfigured. He responded by forming Zum which was
to participate in the 1990 poll. Blood was shed in the process. Notable was
the permanent maiming of Patrick Kombayi, a disaffected erstwhile sponsor of
the armed struggle who had dared join hands with Tekere.
say that during all this unworthy drama of deceit and dissimulation,
infrastructural development had taken a back seat. Priority was ensuring that
the army is well equipped to fight subsequent enemies regardless of their
location. Not to say that the country was devoid of funds, no. The white
framers that had been spared of eviction were producing world class tobacco
pumping in crispy US$s. The industry was left intact by Smith paying handsome
taxes second only to Israel in the whole world. Donations were flowing in day
in out, some of them not even reaching their intended destination. Paradza
Mandebvu diverted all the money meant to develop a tourist whilst being an MP
for Chivi. Kuruneri did the same with cement meant to construct a dam in his
Mazowe constituency. They all got away with it. The latter even kicked
upstairs to head the critical ministry of finance. Development has never been
on Zanu’s agenda.
Fast forward to 1995 when one of his minders at the
State House, little Chindoti Mushohwe’s son Prince Tafirenyika dismally
failed A Level at the very same Kutama at Mugabe’s homestead. Mushohwe senior
came up with a plan to arm-twist the great leader to launch the Fort Hare
presidential scholarship (despite the fact that the money came from the
ministry of education). A bright idea indeed, after all, the leader himself
is an alumnus of the same institution. Sooner, Fort Hare was to welcome
a Munyaradzi of the Garas, also a Felix of the Charambas and some
Ndlovus there. There is nothing wrong about all this from a Zanu
perspective. Remember that this is all a bunch of rejects of the local
universities who are awarded for their failure by enrolling at a foreign
university at the expense of local education. They are not the only ones-
Bona Omo is studying with the Wus, Lis and Dengs in China; David Mumbengegwi
was in the US maybe at the Massachusetts. Meanwhile our own kids have to
contend with interruptions caused by incessant strikes at local universities.
Aren’t those pigs growing fat while lambs starve? The only University
which Mugabe strove to build is Nust. It however remains work-in-progress 20
years on. What is more intriguing is the fact that recently launched Lupane
State is renting at WIP Nust. Ooh!
Unforced blunders were to ensue in
the coming years. Without provocation, he had to intervene in the DRC
conflict in 1997. The unnecessary cost of intervention did not even bother
him. That’s when the dollar assumed an unrestrained free-fall. Later on, the
war vets of the liberation struggle had to demand their loot. Unbudgeted for,
it was squeezed out further on Zimbabwean dollar. The disbursement of
gratuities in itself was all but transparent. Some top chefs received 100%
disability gratuities yet their disabilities were neither latent nor patent.
Some like John Nkomo are still in government though we have not heard their
representing the disabled. Some genuine war vets were left out of the whole
process because their commanders had forgotten their noms de
In the face of stiff opposition from the MDC, he decided to
renege on his promise to keep whites on their framers. With the help of
grateful war vets, he made the greatest dispossession in recent history. He
just wanted to fix the farmers for supporting the MDC. Yet he did not mind
the downstream consequences- dropping production, a rise in unemployment in
the agriculture sector and downstream industries. This did not need a doctor
of economics to realize. Teenage boys who herd cattle in the rural areas know
that if water is dirtied the source, then the whole river is affected. How
then did a geriatric of his caliber with the help of multitudes of voluble
advisers miss out on this important concept? Land reform was not wrong at
all. It is the timing that is critical. People were no longer interested in
farming having survived through kujingirisa/ukulunguza over the past 20
years, who then would want to venture into dirty tobacco farming where only
one cheque comes annually? Needless to say that Chief Svosve and his people
who had dared occupy a white farm only in 1998 had been driven by police like
a bunch of rootless cultural bastards groping in darkness for lost
identity. What a volte face; quite expected of the political chameleon,
The crusades to win the 2000 and 2002 elections were the
dirtiest and most expensive. Apart from the war vets, there were green
bombers, intellectuals like Machos and Chivaura paid to campaign for Bob of
course with taxpayer’s money. Yes our money because does not own a factory.
He is a consumer not a producer. There were also musicians- Chimbetu,
Sibanda, Tambaoga of the Blair toilet fame, Brian Mteki and Cde Chinx. The
creator quickly recalled the former two before they could cause further
havoc. Tambaoga is now as poor as a church mouse deserted by Zanu and even
his spouse. Curses are like processions he did not know, they return to where
they came from. Now he is appealing for help from us to re-build a life that
he destroyed with the help of Zanu. Brian Mteki quickly repented but the
creator snatched away his lead vocalist Elliott Manyika anyway. As for Chinx
and his three wives, their moment of truth came with Murambatsvina. Their
bungalow in Unit D of Chitungwiza was razed to the ground.
supporters hail for the badly planned Chitungwiza. Let’s assume that it is
true, how about the Murambatsvina that was later to follow. Didn’t it let to
the destruction of more houses nationwide than those constructed
in Chitungwiza alone? It is a zero-sum game. At the end of the day work done
by Bob equals zero, he is pendulum period.
There are two contentious
issues that seek resolution that have been doing rounds in the court of
public opinion. This is of course the only court left whose independence and
integrity is not doubted. The first issue is whether or not Mugabe is
personally corrupt. Number two that he developed Mashonaland at the expense
of Matabeleland. This judicial officer has ample evidence to deliver judgment
on both cases without the necessity of further appeal. Mugabe is very
corrupt. It is in fact difficult to be a dictator without being concurrently
corrupt. The following graphically illustrate my point. He appointed the
following relatives to positions of influence:
* Patrick Joao-
nephew, minister * Sabina- sister, MP * Leo – nephew, CEO
Zifa * Sydney Gutter- brother- in- law , CEO Zesa * Saviour
Katsukuviri- nephew, minister * Michael Bimha- brother-in-law,
minister * Joey Bimha- brother-in-law, envoy * Tobaiwa Mudede-
cousin, registrar-general (the man in charge of the most shambolic voters
roll in the world) * Innocent Matibiri- cousin, police commissioner
(Chihuri too sick to work) * Reward Marufu- brother-in-law, new
farmer, deported envoy * Shupa Mandiwanzira- brother-in-law, broadcaster,
AAG president * Phil and Jimmy Chiyangwa- nephews, indigenes (the most
He owns multitudes of farms and he is
hanging on to power through unorthodox means. How then cannot he be
On the second issue, its only north south dichotomy he created
that cause our Ndebele counterparts to assume that Mashonaland was developed
at the expense of their own area. It is a myth anyway! What Mashonaland owes
Mugabe is the Reserve Bank building along Samora Machel Avenue and
the Chinese-constructed National Sports Stadium. In Bulawayo, there is
the Mhlahlandlela Building and Nust. Of the four, only Nust is of
public significance since it is the only place where everyone’s bright kid
can enroll. The reserve bank was built with Giddy Gono in mind. He has
since entered the Guinness book of records as the world’s greatest printer
to date. There was no lack of promises as well. We were promised
the Chitungwiza railway line. It died still birth. The same goes for
the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project. Oh I had forgotten the RG Mugabe
highway in Mashonaland and the Kutama clinic. But these are private property,
they are enjoyed by a handful privileged to stay close to the chosen one.
The spin-off with Matabeleland here is the frequent interruptions we endure
in Harare when the chameleon decides to go the airport or to his rural
home. Mind you this happens at least once weekly, just
Basically the four projects enumerated above are the only
deliverables that our dear leader managed for the whole three decades he has
been at the helm. He may still be around for longer as his just ended
congress endorsed yours sincerely to continue with the good work as usual.
May be there are some invisible projects that we are not aware of. May be
with Patrick at the technology ministry we are in the process of
manufacturing a rocket that may suffer disruptions with a change in
government. What Mugabe has been systematically good at is venting his wrath
on enemies; real and perceived. I do not why none of his English friends has
bothered telling him the wise saying ascribed to Queen Elizabeth I that anger
makes dull men witty, it keeps them poor. No the nation is very poor because
of his anger though he has stashed our cash with foreign banks.
ago he was seen grinning in Copenhagen with an entourage bigger than the
hosts themselves. As usual his presence was wholly unwelcome and the object
of the conference, climate change, contrary to the gist of his government.
How can a government whose urban dwellers have retreated to the traditional
use of firewood as a source of energy be welcome at a climate change summit?
He became a jester when asked why he was there despite the sanctions against
him to which he replied that he is part of mankind so why should he be
isolated. Part of mankind yes but by the look of his face; maybe a homo
erectus. Yes he confirms human evolution but does not fit into the modern
The more this genie remains at state house, the more enemies he
will create not development. On average, he will need seven and half years to
launch and complete the next developmental project. What a waste? This chap
and his crew owe us big time. Their balance sheet is in a mess. The only
solution available is liquidation, but even the liquidator risks losing on
fees as there are no assets both non-current and current to realize. It is
an albatross that Tsvangirai has volunteered to bear, a failed
state. Fortunately for countries unlike living organisms, there is life
* Last Updated: December 24. 2009 11:59PM UAE /
December 24. 2009 7:59PM GMT
HARARE // The cash-strapped
Zimbabwe government is failing to compensate white commercial farmers whose
land it took by force and redistributed to formerly landless blacks since
2000, say farmer advocacy groups.
Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a
support organisation for dispossessed farmers estimates that 250 still own
their properties, while over 4,250 were forcibly evicted over the past 10
Only 300 of the ejected farmers have been given compensation - and
even then, only a small fraction of what the land was worth, said John
Worsley-Worswick, JAG's spokesman, who lost his farm in Darwendale, north of
"Most of these [300 farmers] were desperate to the point
of destitution, so they accepted whatever little was offered," said Mr
"But the bulk, more than 4,000, who owned 7,000
properties, have not been paid."
The constitution of Zimbabwe and the
Land Acquisition Act require the government to compensate farmers for
improvements they made to their properties, but places the responsibility of
indemnifying them for the land itself on Britain, the former colonial
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, has said that during the 1979
talks, which paved the way for Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Britain
agreed to pay for the land.
However, London has said it would pay for
land only if the reform programme was more transparent than it is
The land seizure campaign disrupted farm production and sparked the
flight of international investors from the country, who feared for the
security of their own assets.
Inflation started rising then, until it
reached 230 million per cent in July 2008, according to official
The manufacturing sector, which drew 60 per cent of its raw
materials from agriculture, declined, resulting in widespread company
closures and an unemployment rate of more than 85 per cent, according to
Because of the economic crisis, from which the
country is only now emerging, the government does not have enough money to
compensate white farmers.
It is unclear how much in compensation the
government has to pay in total, but the Commercial Farmers' Union said
recently that 400 farmers need US$5 billion (Dh18.3bn).
Murerwa, the minister of lands and land reform, said that the government
knows its obligation to pay restitution for improvements on acquired land
but accused Britain of "going back on its colonial obligation, which they
agreed to at the Lancaster House talks [the 1979 independence talks held at
Lancaster House in London], to pay for land constitutionally acquired for
He said a lack of money has stalled payments to the white
farmers. "Land was never bought from us when the settlers invaded Zimbabwe
here in 1890," Mr Murerwa said. "It was taken from our forefathers by
"But, as a government, we have made some assessments
and determined what has to be paid to some farmers. Compensation is a high
priority for the government but we do not have resources. This is a matter
that the inclusive government is seized with."
Trevor Gifford, the
former president of the farmers' union, told the news website Zimonline that
by evicting farmers and failing to pay them, the government is in violation
of the constitution.
"The compensation is equal to the country's present
debt, about US$5 billion," Mr Gifford said. "We want it paid and paid now
according to the constitution. A large number of my constituency are saying
they no longer want to farm and want compensation," he added.
Worsley-Worswick said that according to his own assessment, he hopes to
receive US$5m as indemnity - $2m for improvements he made on the farm,
another $2m for loss of income in the eight years since his ejection and
$1million for relocation, legal and other costs.
"The government must
know that as time goes on before they compensate us, the amount of
compensation continues to increase exponentially because loss of income is
factored into any final claims," he said.
A report released this month by
the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Mancaster urged the
government to pay the dispossessed farmers soon and end the festering land
issue so the country can begin to focus on its many serious
"An important way to help that process [economic recovery] is
to compensate many of the farmers who lost their land," said the lead
researcher, Admos Chimhowu, a Zimbabwean.
"It may be possible for the
inclusive government to consider a pool of funds, probably partly supported
by donors but mostly funded from local resources, to compensate the farmers
for the land."
IN AFRICAN culture, especially in Zimbabwe, it is common
practice that women kneel down before a respected person or someone in
authority. Such practice is common especially between a woman and her
Gender activists can tear me to pieces, or call me a male
chauvinistic pig, but they can rest assured that even the most vocal gender
among them have, at one time or another, knelt before someone like their
husband, father, grandfather, uncle and many others. This practice was
certainly never intended to denigrate our women.
However, it is
certainly taboo for any man to go down on his knees before another man, for
whatever reason. It is demeaning, humiliating and certainly an affront to
traditional customary practices and norms.
Margaret Dongo, the former
independent Member of Parliament for Sunningdale, Harare, courted the ire of
Retired General Solomon Mujuru and other Zanu-PF stalwarts during
parliamentary debate, when she referred to Zanu-PF legislators as "Mugabe's
Mujuru seethed with anger and itched to beat the daylights out of
Dongo, once she stepped outside the august House. That is how seriously
African men take offence if someone infers that they behave towards other
men as if they were women.
It seems Dongo's strong, if demeaning,
language in Parliament had, to some extent, a grain of truth if the recent
behaviour of certain Zanu-PF ministers is anything to go by.
Zimbabwe.com an online publication, reported last week that some Zanu-PF
Ministers had now taken to going down on their knees when greeting or
talking to President Robert Mugabe.
New Zimbabwe had this to say:
"Senior ministers including Patrick Chinamasa and John Nkomo regularly go
down on all two, at cabinet meetings, in what one MDC minister described as
an astonishing demonstration of Mugabe's power."
The article went
further to describe the dramatic and outward show of respect for Mugabe by
Zanu-PF ministers, which the MDC minister said he found to be a 'culture
During weekly cabinet meetings, usually held on Tuesdays, Zanu-PF
ministers stand up when Mugabe enters the room.
"They are pulling us
up," said the MDC Minister. "They want us to stand up with them, but we
don't stand up when (Morgan) Tsvangirai enters the room. It's something new
The MDC minister said he was shocked at the Rainbow Towers in
Harare recently, to see then National Healing Minister John Nkomo "crawling
in front of Mugabe".
Perhaps such crawling pays dividends; Nkomo soon
became the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. At the previous
cabinet meeting, Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, wanted to request
President Mugabe for a meeting to brief him on the ongoing inter-party
negotiations. Chinamasa went over and knelt down.
"You have to wonder
if their wives know that they kneel for another man. Mugabe has total power
over them," the MDC minister said.
From the foregoing, one does not know
whether to laugh or to cry. In this day and age, a whole Cabinet Minister
kneeling, as the members of the Zanu-PF used to do at the airport, as they
bade Mugabe farewell or welcomed him back on arrival from the latest of his
many trips abroad. That was before he was slapped with travel sanctions by
Western governments, much to his chagrin.
Many Zimbabwean men voiced
concern that their wives should treat the President as if he was their
husband. The most vocal was Chinamasa's predecessor as Minister of Justice,
Eddison Zvobgo, now late. Not given to lowering his voice, Zvobgo often
declared that his wife, now late and a politician in her own right would
never carry the head of another man on any part of her anatomy. This was
said in reference to the Zanu-PF Womens' League uniform whose most striking
feature is the face of President Mugabe in his younger days.
political career was not as straight-forward as Chinamasa's rising to the
top, as a result.
People used to think Munyaradzi Kajese, President
Mugabe's Chief of Protocol was timid and exaggerating his respect for
President Mugabe. Without fail he genuflects whenever he consults the
President, even in full glare of the cameras. Now it appears to be
increasingly becoming a norm for Zanu-PF members of the cabinet to d
I am reliably informed but have not been able to independently
confirm that at least two other ministers have taken to kneeling before
President Mugabe. It is alleged that Media, Information and Publicity
Minister, Webster Shamu and, rather astonishingly, Industry and Commerce
Minister, Prof Welshman Ncube, now also kneel before Mugabe.
reminded of a long-serving former Malawian Minister of Information Malawi,
Heatherwick Ntaba, who used to kneel without shame before the self-styled
Life President, the Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Both Ntaba and Banda
were swept away by the winds of revolutionary change in their country in May
Before people criticize President Mugabe on this one, perhaps it is
pertinent to ask the following questions:
* Has the President
ordered his ministers and senior government officials to kneel before him
when consulting him or is this done out of their own volition? * Does
the President have a hearing problem that requires the officials to be as
close as possible to his ear, forcing them to kneel down? * Does the
President not feel embarrassed when he sees grown up fellow men going down
on their knee before him? * If such high ranking members of government
are forced to go down on their knees, then surely poor Takarinda Gomo, an
absolute nonentity, is required to lie prostrate on the ground before
Mugabe? * Does Mugabe lack the courage to order the erring ministers to
rise to their feet out of a sense of self respect?
Or is there truth
once more in the old adage: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts
It is not unusual to see tyrants going about exercising raw
power as if they were immortal. But for all we know, there is nobody on
planet earth who has signed a contract with the Lord Almighty that he/she
will live for ever and ever.
The Holy Bible (St James Version 2000)
highlighted "Time for Every Season" in Ecclesiastes 3 (Vs 1 - 4): . To
everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the
heaven. . A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time
to pluck up that which is planted. . A time to kill and a time to
heal; a time to breakdown, and a time to build up; . A time to weep
and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.
ZANU PF has now entered a dangerous stage: the stage of belief
in invincibility. Many political parties, especially those involved in the
struggle for their country's independence, have succumbed to this
When, at last, the myth is broken, the parties tend to
disintegrate, perhaps never to rise again. One of the ingredients of this
faith, according to some pundits, is an utter faith in the myth of an
ever-lasting existence. After its fifth people's congress in Harare, Zanu PF
Some of the rhetoric at the congress was vintage Zanu
PF - no party can overtake it.
President Robert Mugabe bolstered this
lie with a postmortem of the defeat by the MDC in the 2008 elections that
Mugabe harped on factionalism as the cause of the
debacle. If there had been no factions in the party, it would not have lost
Harare and Bulawayo: in short, it would not have lost at
Fingering factionalism as the only cause of the disaster was
self-serving. It obviated the need for a full-scale analysis of why the
party's support has declined since 1999 - when the MDC was formed. It
eliminated the need for a thorough investigation of why a majority of the
people of Zimbabwe have lost faith in Zanu PF.
This loss of faith is
anchored in the party's performance as a governing party. Since perhaps as
early as the late 1980s, the party's performance in government had been
patchy. There was a slow but steady decline in all services and in the
economy, climaxing in the land reform programme.
By 2008, the people were
ready for a new party to take over the government. This has been disputed by
the Zanu PF praise-singers. But it is a fact of political life. It will be
confirmed in the next election. People in general believe Zanu PF has
nothing more to give them. It is running on empty and who wants to risk
hitching a ride on a bus that is going nowhere fast?
Only the naïve or
gullible will believe that the transformation of the economy - though by no
means spectacular - is the direct result of anything that any Zanu PF has
done. Almost everybody else recognises that nothing would have happened were
it not for the MDC.
The Zanu PF congress, at some point, seemed to enter
a world of make-belief, in which the MDC did not exist, in which 2008 had
never happened and a time in which, for the first time in his political
career, Mugabe had never been defeated in an election.
dangerous because it is a denial of reality. Zanu PF's fortunes are in
decline. People don't believe this Christmas, which may be the happiest they
have had for a long time is a result of anything Mugabe or Zanu PF have
done. It is mostly because of everything the MDC has been able to do, in
spite of the hurdles placed in its path by Zanu PF.
Some of the
credit must indeed go to that Zanu PF element that accepted that the unity
government would be crippled if Zanu PF did not cede some of its powers to
This element accepted the fact that real change had overtaken
To continue to behave as if the MDC was just a flash in the
pan would have tragic consequences, not only for the country, but even for
Zanu PF itself.
What many political analysts were amazed at was the
willingness of the delegates not to tamper with the leadership, particularly
the status of Mugabe. In giving him five more years at the helm, what kind
of signal were they sending to the young membership? Wasn't it that, unlike
the MDC, Zanu PF was determined not to change? It would remain mired in the
period after 1975, when Mugabe took over the leadership from Ndabaningi
There may be a tacit agreement that Mugabe should step down at a
crucial moment in the political developments in the country. For instance,
if Zanu PF loses the election - which is it is very likely to - why would
anyone wish for Mugabe to continue in leadership?
In any case, the
decision to retain him was based on fear. The fear is the disintegration of
the party without Mugabe's iron fist rule. Since 1975, he has led the party
an old-style Marxist-Leninist leader - Lenin, Mao and Kim II Sung, his
idols. At a distance, the party is a pathetic caricature of what a strong,
vibrant political party ought to look like.
It is not like the ANC of
South Africa. That party held an election and ousted its leader who was
subsequently removed as president of the republic. There was an election
which the ANC still won under Jacob Zuma's leadership. That country remains
as stable as it has ever been. Thabo Mbeki is not in exile in a neighboring
country, organising a countercoup or anything so blatantly
In Malawi, the new leader, Bingu waMutarika now calls himself
The Ngwazi, as Kamuzu Banda called himself. WaMtarika obviously doesn't
believe he couldend up the way Kamuzu did, a doddering old fool who couldn't
tell his right from his left hand. Mugabe may be cooking up a surprise for
us all. He could resign when we least expect him to.
But the man has
so attached his fate to that of his country this is quite
The only way he will be forced to capitulate is through an
election in which he is thoroughly trounced - as Kamuzu and Kenneth Kaunda
were. After the 2008 results, he really ought to he conceded defeat, but it
was so sudden he and Zanu PF didn't know what had hit them.
people wonder now is the extent of Mugabe's real love for his country. He
and Joshua Nkomo must have been motivated by more than just political
one-upmanship in signing the Unity Accord in 1987. There had been a lot of
bloodshed, most of it engineered by the 5 brigade, in retaliation,
apparently, to the so-called dissident menace.
Mugabe blamed it all
on Nkomo's attempt to replace him as leader of the new republic. Nkomo
always denied this. But there were dissident elements in Zapu who may have
wanted something, but were not organised enough, politically or militarily,
to stage a military coup.
It was incredible that one of those jailed as a
consequence of the "dissident menace" was Edward Ndlovu, a mild-mannered,
dedicated nationalist whose loyalty always transcended ethnic
When he described Gukurahundi as a "moment of madness" Mugabe
had probably accepted, at last, that he and his government had grossly
over-reacted to the so-called threat posed by the dissident to the peace and
stability of the country.
The characterisation of captured dissident
leaders as accomplished guerilla strategists was absolutely overblown.
Certainly, there were no Fidel Castros or Che Guevaras among them.
any case, Nkomo's decision to sign the unity accord was logical in the sense
that his party had, in the 1985 parliamentary election, retained its hold on
Matabeleland. It was as strong as ever in the region. Blaming it for the
massacre of 20 000 people in the Matabeleland and Midlands would not wash.
The people of Matabeleland did not blame Joshua Nkomo for what had happened.
They still don't.
But the celebration of Unity Day this year had such
political undertones it must have caused many people to recall that 20 000
people who died before the accord was signed. There was not much mention of
this in the speeches.
There ought to be an acknowledgement of this, a
reference to Mugabe's famous "moment of madness" speech - unless the idea is
to ignore it in the obsessive attempt to maintain Zanu PF's myth of