Mugabe 'to blame for region's woes'
Nicol Degli Innocenti in Johannesburg
Published: December 2 2002 4:00 |
Last Updated: December 2 2002 4:00
The crisis in Zimbabwe is
hurting the economies of the region,
damaging trade relations and undermining
efforts to reach closer
integration, Pascal Lamy, the European Union trade
commissioner, said at the
countries are paying a high price," Mr Lamy said at
the end of a trip to
southern Africa. "They know Zimbabwe is a mess, an
absolute shambles. Their
solidarity has cost them very dear. They have lost
a lot of
Mr Lamy met ministers in all the Southern African
Community countries, including the representative from Harare, to
policy, boost trade co-operation talks and explain the benefits of
Last week a meeting between the EU and
African, Caribbean and Pacific
countries had to be cancelled when the ACP
representatives objected to the
EU's exclusion of two Zimbabwean officials.
The SADC has also criticised EU
sanctions against Zimbabwe.
despite shows of unity, SADC is deeply divided over Zimbabwe.
Mozambique have been critical of President Robert Mugabe's
they believe are undermining efforts at promoting good
their economies and attracting investment.
South Africa has focused
on engaging with Mr Mugabe and keeping the
channels of communication open.
Yet South Africa's exports to Zimbabwe have
dwindled and Mozambique has
replaced it as its biggest African trading
pressure is the only way to address the crisis in Zimbabwe," Mr
"SADC is the right forum to deal with the Zimbabwe problem.
main focus of my trip has been the encouragement and promotion of
integration," Mr Lamy said. "It is the only way southern African
can hope to compete with the strong economies of the
Mr Lamy's trip is part of a renewed effort by
the EU to improve
relations with African countries. The lingering resentment
towards the EU
was partly due to a communications problem, Mr Lamy said, and
history: "The EU is seen as the former colonial power and the US is
boils down to a psychological thing. But in general, there is no
are much more open than the US to South African imports."
Olusola Warns of Imminent Land Dispute in South Africa
December 1, 2002
Posted to the web December 2,
Following the Federal Government's
revelation last week to establish the
complicity of the British Press and
some South African businessmen in the
aborted Miss World Beauty Pageant,
because of Nigeria's perceived role in
the Zimbabwe land issue, Ambassador
Segun Olusola has warned of a similar
recurrence in South Africa if urgent
and adequate measures were not put in
Speaking as a guest at
the 5th anniversary celebration of the Centre for
Development,(CDD), in Lagos Friday, Olusola, who was Nigeria's
ambassador to Ethiopia, explained that " I was in Pretoria last week,
what I saw, if urgent steps are not taken, a similar situation that
in Zimbabwe may not be far away".
He pointed out that the reaction from
the West towards not only President
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, but also those
who support his land reforms,
which pitched the black farmers against the
white land owners in that
country, showed a poor appreciation of the fact of
He urged the British and the United States of America
governments to have a
change of attitude especially as it concerns the Kenya
land matter, and take
a more critical appreciation of the fundamental
situation, the antecedent in
regard to its effects on the black population,
beyond the villification of
Mugabe and those African governments backing
Olusola's comment coincided with last week's declaration by the
Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, who linked the cancellation of
Miss world Beauty Pageant to a gang up between the British Press
South African businessmen whose economic interests were hurt in the
seizure initiated by President Mugabe with Nigeria's
Another guest speaker, who doubles as a member of both the
Senegalese Parliament, Dr Abdoulaye Bathily noted that corruption
limited to Africa alone but also in Europe, stating that while in
money siphoned by African leaders ends up developing the West at the
He pointed out that while corruption created
national co - operation in the
far east through joint ventures, where such
monies are used internally to
develop those countries, the reverse is the
case in Africa where capital
flight is the order of the day.
traced the root of the corruption problem to the historical
especially in the West during the Cold War era, noting that the
communism led to the development of western economies in the
same vein as in
Asia, where there was an inevitable need to invest heavily
to ensure that capitalism as a model was entrenched in
He blamed the lack of development in Africa on not only the
inability of the
respective countries to put in place a conducive environment
African stranded abroad to return home and contribute their
quota to nation
building, adding that what obtains is brain
Bathily maintained that for African to come out of its present
situation, there must be a change to the prevalent cutural attitude
development where every body waits on government for development,
assertiveness and a stop to the the prevalent beggarly culture of
to the west for grants and aids.
In a lecture entitled
"State, Governance and Insecurity in Africa",
delivered by Prof Richard
Joseph, Director, Program for African Studies,
Northwestern University in the
USA, insecurity in African was identified as
the bane of undedeveloment in
According to Joseph, the spate of insecurity in the continent
every segment of the society cutting across ethnic, religiuos,
political boundaries, adding that " it is also driving Africans
increasing numbers pout of Africa".
He explained the commitment of
the President George Bush's administration
towards the enlargement of the
African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA)
initiated by the past President Bill
Clinton, by establishment of the
Millenium Challenge Account(MCA), adding
that with $5b increase over the
current Overseas Development Assistance, new
resources are to be made
available to Africa.
He however stressed that
for African countries to benefit from MCA, they
must show show genuine
commitment to uphold the rule of law and reducing
corruption in governance,
invest in their citizenry through expenditure on
education health and potable
water and pursue sound macro economic policies.
Joseph said that with the
escalation of hostilities in the Middle East,
economic attention in oil is
gradually being shifted to Africa, adding that
" we strongly advocate
democracy, human rights, rule of law and transparent
and honest economic
performance; we need your oil, your bases, overflight
facilities, and your
active facilitation of our security operations".
He lamented that over
the years, catastrophic governance has been mainly
responsible for Africa's
failure to realise its immense development
potential, pointing out that
"Africa's most crippling deficiency is not te
absence of adequate resources
but failure to generate the necessary
institutional capacity in both public
and private sectors to make effective
use of available resources".
warned that " unless the chains of catastrophic governance are
Africa's productivity will slip further behind that of the rest of
world. It will take a concerted effort among many actors and
in Africa and internationally, to effect a lasting formation
Economic nightmare of great proportions
November 29, 2002
Posted to the web December 1,
SOME time ago I reported in this column of a
dream I had had. Now I must
sadly report a nightmare of gargantuan
proportions. Inexplicably, I had
acquired invisibility, and even more, I was
ensconced in a chair of the
cabinet room of the Zimbabwean cabinet. The
vastness of the cabinet is such
that it was a very tight squeeze for all to
be seated, for a president, two
vice-presidents and 21 ministers constitute a
cabinet of 24, which exceeds
that of the US notwithstanding that Zimbabwe's
population is minuscule in
size as compared to that of the US.
addition, of course, the cabinet was aided by a bevy of secretaries. As
principal item of the agenda was consideration of the proposed 2003
every minister was present.
As debate commenced, it focused upon the
prevailing state of the economy.
After many had bewailed Zimbabwe's
pronounced inflation, its immense lack of
foreign exchange and consequential
massive shortages of many essential
imported goods, the ever increasing
levels of national debt, and even
greater extent of unemployment, the almost
total destruction of the
agricultural sector and resultant lack of food, the
near complete absence of
investment, meeting progressed.
waged fast and furious, until one of those present (his voice
much with concern that I could not identify him) suddenly said:
is time that we stopped patting ourselves on the back. Yes, it
is true that
our great skills have been such that we have been able to
traumas upon an economy which, from 1994 to 1997, was
steadily growing and
becoming virile and vibrant. Yes, we have frequently
castigated ourselves for
having allowed such a considerable transformation
to occur, from an economy
in intense distress to one which was beginning to
show signs of spectacular
growth. In those few years we blindly allowed
industry to expand, servicing
both the improving economy and the demands of
diverse export markets.
Agriculture was yielding all-time record earnings,
the mining industry was
rapidly growing and tourism was developing
exponentially. The financial and
service sectors were performing better than
said, was totally at variance with our wishes and objectives. "We
believed that we would entrench our power and authority only if
create and maintain a society in crisis, so detracted by the
other ills befalling it as would divert attention from
whatsoever we may do,
and as would render all so gullible as to believe
whatever we would say,
including our blaming the economic disasters created
by us upon whichever
victims we would see fit to blame".
He then said: "When in mid-1997 we
recognised that economic development was
occurring diametrically opposite to
all we intended, we devised a series of
strategies to reverse that
development and to bring the economy rapidly to
complete ruination. We were
agreed that our primary target should be
agriculture as it constituted the
foundations upon which the economy was
built. We determined that we should,
with utmost confrontation and
aggression, expropriate almost all of
Zimbabwe's farms with contemptuous
disregard for property rights and
international laws and norms. We would
falsely justify our doing so with
unfounded allegations that the land had
previously been stolen from us. In
doing so, not only would we destroy
agriculture and, therefore, the mainstay
of the economy but also we would
cause much disruption in those other
economic sectors as interact with
agriculture and we would alienate the
But, he added: "We did not
rely upon that strategy alone. We made payments
of great largesse which we
could not afford to war veterans, thereby adding
further distress to a very
derelict exchequer. We turned a blind eye to the
economic erosion of
corruption. We rescinded policies of deregulation and
liberalisation of the
economy. Instead, we imposed draconian, impractical,
counter-productive regulations, all designed to destroy the
we pretended otherwise. Most of all, as we progressively
economic gains and fuelled inflation, we steadfastly refused to
currency, thereby removing all price competitiveness from our
bringing them increasingly to their knees."
And then I heard the unknown
minister continue, saying: "But, my comrades,
we greatly underestimated the
Zimbabwean economic infrastructure. We grossly
misjudged our economy. We were
oblivious to its very considerable
resilience. Despite all that we have done
to the economy over the last five
years, it still survives. Yes, it is
weakened, it is frail, it is
struggling, but it is not dead. Comrades, we
A deafening silence descended upon the cabinet room. As all
upon the dismal picture of failure so eloquently described
by their fellow
comrade, they became more and more depressed, for such
failure was too
horrifying to contemplate. And then, suddenly, another voice
saying: "All is not lost. We should not be discomfited by the fact
have not yet wholly destroyed the economy. In fact, we should derive
satisfaction by recognising the magnitude of the economic chaos that we
wrought. And yet more we can be heartened by recognition that
opportunities to bring about economic Armageddon lie right ahead. I
my comrades, to the forthcoming 2003 budget. We can readily convert
budget into a weapon of ruination."
All stared at him in
wide-eyed astonishment. How could a budget possibly
achieve that which five
years of destructive machinations could not? Almost
in unison they demanded
that he explain how they could use the budget to
achieve their long-wished
for economic collapse to levels beyond recovery.
And explain to them he
"First," he said, "we must recognise that Zimbabwe is a very
import-reliant country and that one cannot import without foreign
So, let us ensure that there be no foreign exchange. Destroy the
market and the bureaux de change so that none can export profitably
that importers who do not export be so deprived of access to
exchange that their imports will be minimal and, therefore, their
will fail. The collapse of export operations and of
enterprises will cause unemployment for tens of thousands.
The inadequacy of
foreign exchange earnings will severely reduce availability
of energy and
fuel, bringing the economy to a halt.
"At this same
time, we must ignore the inefficacy of previous price
controls. We must
impose a total price freeze. Of course, it will apply to
the private sector
businesses only. Parastatals will continue to raise their
charges and most
wage-earners will receive inflation-adjusted, increased
wages from January.
The price controls will force many businesses into
liquidation, although they
will fuel an even more successful black market
, for the
black market thrives when shortages exist. That will cause further
in inflation, destroying the last vestiges of viability of any
that still exist.
"To ensure that this succeeds, we must increase
wheresoever we can, thereby causing mammoth fiscal
deficits to be funded by
borrowings founded upon the Reserve Bank endlessly
printing money, there
being no others as will lend to us. That will cause
inflation to rise even
further. There are wide open opportunities for us to
spend more. Let us
allege that with the exit of our magnificent forces from
the DRC, they must
be re-equipped. That will enable us to vote more to
Defence than to any
"Let us also ensure our
profligate spending by including within the
President and Cabinet Vote
half-a-billion dollars for 'special services'
much of which shall not be
subject to audit. Let us spend astronomic amounts
upon international travel,
and upon our vast plethora of State Residences.
And let us demoralise the
private sector further. We can readily do so by
token adjustment of tax
thresholds while concurrently responding to
inflation with massive increases
in the values of taxable benefits.
Wheresoever it is beneficial to the
taxpayer, we must adjust marginally for
inflation. Wheresoever it is
beneficial to the fiscus, we must adjust
massively for inflation, as for
example, the value of employee usage of
At that stage, all present in the cabinet room burst into
applause, the volume of which awakened me from that
nightmare, only to realise that it was a reality!
'Boycotts should be the province of governments'
David Hopps on cricket's
hapless mission to ensure World Cup 'safety' in
Monday December 2, 2002
The last time
anyone checked, an old election poster, bearing the clenched
fist of Robert
Mugabe, was still pasted to the walls of the Harare Sports
presidential residence lies a six-hit away, so nobody was about to
down. The graffiti on the cricket club walls, a few yards away,
cause Mugabe amusement as he is driven past in his motorcade.
whites," it states. "We want our land back."
It will be interesting to
discover whether anyone dared to scrub out the
graffiti in time for the
International Cricket Council delegation's
three-day jaunt in Zimbabwe last
week to check security arrangements for
next year's World Cup.
they did will have no consequence. Zimbabwe's right to co-host the
will be confirmed by the ICC later this month because, as long as
Bulawayo can maintain a fake veneer of normality, the cricket
no cause to do the politicians' business. But the only
interests the politicians is the United Nations
investigative team trailing
around Iraq in search of weapons of mass
tries to stay out of politics, it can cut a ridiculous sight.
security checks in Zimbabwe were not concerned with the murders
in Mugabe's name, or with a worsening famine in which the
food has been blatantly used as a political weapon. And, in
all common sense,
if world political opinion has not been effectively
marshalled against the
endemic corruption, how could the ICC have done?
No, the ICC concerned
itself with other "safety" matters. There were the
stock demands for players
and officials to be protected by security
officers, police outriders and
closed-circuit TV. Then they moved on to more
momentous safety instructions,
such as the banning at all World Cup venues
of cool boxes, drums, trumpets,
cans and banners bigger than 1m x 1.5m.
Finally, there will even have
been the little reminder - and this is how
stupid the world has become - that
no spectator at the World Cup will be
allowed to wear clothing bearing logos
in direct competition to official
sponsors. Zimbabwean police might have
failed to investigate innumerable
murders, beatings and lootings, but woe
betide you if you wear the wrong
Malcolm Speed, the
ICC's chief executive, and a former Melbourne lawyer, is
a man of
considerable intellect. His justification of cricket's stance did
clarity. "It's not our function to evaluate the political regime of
country," he said. "There have been sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by
governments, but there have not been any sporting sanctions. It's not
function to perform the role of politicians."
In that, Speed is correct.
Boycotts, should any boycott be deemed just, are
the province of national
governments. And, so far, England, Australia and
the Netherlands have not
been instructed to withdraw, and the rest do not
seem to care. As Tony Blair
regards cricket as about as important as a WI
whist drive - and its delegates
as far less fearsome - any such gestures
before England's opening group match
against Zimbabwe in Harare on February
13 are unlikely to be driven by
Nor will they be driven by Richard Caborn. Last week's
intervention by the
sports minister was a mealy-mouthed masterpiece. On the
grounds that two
English journalists were refused visas to join the ICC
stated that, if this was how Zimbabwe behaved, then the
ICC should consider
whether it was a fit and proper place to hold cricket
matches. This was a
nonsense on two counts: in Zimbabwe's litany of
knocking a couple of cricket writers' visas on the head
hardly seems top of
the list. And, when it comes to considering what is "fit
and proper", it is
high time that Caborn abandoned expediency and accepted
conclusions should be down to him.
The crucial problem with
making a political stand and boycotting World Cup
matches in Zimbabwe on
grounds of conscience is this: the only people that
it would punish would be
Mugabe might well be patron of the Zimbabwe Cricket
Board, he might well
have suggested soon after coming to power that he wanted
Zimbabweans to play
cricket and grow up to be a nation of gentlemen, he might
well even have
announced the result of the 1990 election at Harare Sports
Club, to a
bewildered England A captain Mark Nicholas, before the votes had
counted. But boycott the World Cup and not one Zanu PF activist
an eye. Instead you would remove a source of comfort and
many of those he has targeted. It would be gesture politics,
and it would be
That is the crucial reason why the situation
in Zimbabwe cannot be compared
to the cricket boycotts against South Africa a
generation ago. The banishing
of South African cricket in the apartheid era
was an opportunity to hit
where it hurt. South Africa's shameful racist
regime drew enormous pride
from its success in sports run on racist lines. To
shun South African sport
was not just a moral imperative, it was an effective
force for change.
English cricket, however much its South Africa apologists
squealed, had to play its part.
persistently exists in a political vacuum, in the
general belief that playing
games between nations is good. For all that, it
is hard to state that the
World Cup should proceed as planned in Zimbabwe
Anti-Mugabe activists are rightly infuriated by the assurances
month by Zimbabwe's captain, Heath Streak, when he said: "There
problems in Zimbabwe at the moment. Security is fine. Our government
ministry of sport have pledged their support."
His comments have
been cast as puerile, but fearful would be closer to the
mark, because he has
not been immune from the political upheaval. Streak's
family farms in
Matabeleland and, only a few days earlier, his father Denis
had been briefly
arrested for failing to vacate his farm.
The World Cup will take place a
year after Zimbabwean elections condemned by
the British foreign minister,
Jack Straw, as "a systematic campaign of
violence designed to achieve one
outcome: power at all costs". The European
Union protested with limited
sanctions, but the Commonwealth summit, forever
trapped in the old black vs
white colonial arguments, flunked it. Zimbabwean
sportsmen and women still
perform around the world; there is no reason why
Zimbabwean cricketers should
anticipate any different.
Unless the British government changes tack, the
World Cup will go ahead in
Zimbabwe, and England will reluctantly fulfil a
fixture in Bulawayo.
Tourists will be virtually absent and journalists will
only be admitted if
they sign a declaration that they will write only about
the cricket. Nothing
is about to suggest that Zimbabwe is existing in a state
Zim troops 'ready to tackle state enemies'
-- Zimbabwean troops, who recently returned home after four years at
Congo, were now ready to use their combat experience against the
enemies, President Robert Mugabe said at the weekend.
celebrations to mark the final withdrawal from Congo of a
contingent that numbered 14000 at its peak, Mugabe promised
owned by whites to the war's veterans.
Government-backed militants began
seizing white-owned land in February 2000,
plunging the country into economic
"You needn't worry, there is still a lot of land to parcel out
(and) we will
parcel it out to our people, those committed because they have
roots in our
country," Mugabe told a parade at the Chinese-built National
Zimbabwe backed Congo President Joseph Kabila's
government in a war against
Ugandan and Rwandan-backed rebels. A ceasefire
was brokered earlier this
Mugabe reiterated claims that the
British government was behind mounting
opposition to his 22-year rule,
because it sympathised with white
"We cannot have little
England, little Europe in either Zimbabwe or Africa,"
is our land and it shall remain our land."
Aid agencies say 6,7 millions
Zimbabweans risk starvation before the next
harvests in March. The food
shortages have been blamed on the farm seizures
warned western governments against intervening in his country.
participation in this (Congo) operation strengthened our combat
"Our forces have gone that extra mile in terms of combat
readiness and would
be more than prepared to use their experience and skill
in dealing with
aggression either at home or elsewhere if duty should
Mugabe declined to say how much Zimbabwe's intervention in Congo
cost or how
many soldiers died, saying only that losses were
Meanwhile slogans calling for a "holy war" against Zimbabwe's
were daubed on the walls of Harare's main cricket ground, ahead
of a visit
by International Cricket Council officials.
Zimbabwe is due
to host six games during the Cricket World Cup in February,
and the ICC visit
was aimed at establishing whether the country was safe.
"Jihad (holy war)
against Whites" and "We shall have our land back" were
sprayed in red paint
on the club's walls, within sight of the armed guards
heavily fortified official residence.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena
said police were investigating the
incident. -- Sapa-AP
Forex dealers attacked in
- Youths in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, have attacked a group of illegal
currency dealers ahead of a government ban on exchange offices.
attacked the women, street traders and members of a church
sect on Friday one
day ahead of the government's deadline for people to stop
trading money on
the black market.
They made off with foreign currency worth more than
It said the youths were "angered over the continued
destruction of the
economy by illegal forex dealers".
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced that currency exchange
would be abolished from the end of November.
The government blames the
exchange offices for the crippling lack of foreign
currency on the official
It is not yet clear how closely the ban will be
Comment from The Zimbabwe Standard,
Get on yer bike
Over the top by Brian Latham
It has been announced that the fuel crisis gripping a troubled
central African country is about to become a fuel catastrophe. Just a few weeks
ago, the most equal of all comrades announced petrol woes would end because oil
companies would import their own fuel. Though most troubled motorists thought
this would mean a sharp rise in the cost of petrol, they viewed the prospect as
better than having no fuel at all. Still, this week the most equal of all
comrades had his decree quashed by the troubled central African nation's
minister for fuel queues. The minister said a new company would be formed to
procure fuel for the troubled central African country. The new company will be a
joint venture between the company that failed to supply the troubled central
African nation's fuel for the last two years and another company that refuses to
supply fuel on the unreasonable grounds that it would rather like to be paid.
Petroleum industry analysts pointed out that while the joint venture was a
courageous new initiative, it was hardly encouraging news for motorists or
consumers. "If the state-owned No Oil Company hasn't been able to pay its debts
and this other company from up north won't sell, we have to predict the
likelihood of success is more than a little remote," said one analyst who added
that the whole business was rather gloomy and depressing.
Not to be discouraged, the minister for fuel queues said he was
confident the new plan would work. He said it would encourage competition in a
marketplace so regulated by government that retailers can buy from only one
supplier and sell only at a price set by the state. Moreover, he said (because
ministers like the word), there would now be serious competition among the
imperialist capitalist oil magnates because the state supplier would supply only
to its own filling stations. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the More Diesel Coming
Party (you'll be lucky) said the plan was madness but he looked forward to the
day when the masses rose and set fire to the state-owned fuel stations. "Not
that it'll be that spectacular," he said, "there won't be any explosions or
anything like that because we can confidently say that all of them will be
Still, while it's bad news for motorists, it's good news for
bicycle merchants. Retailers around the troubled central African nation were
reported to be doing a brisk trade in bicycles as troubled citizens prepared to
make themselves look ludicrous on the two wheeled contraptions. Even in remote
areas of the troubled central African country elderly bicycle mechanics are
reported to be coming out of retirement to repair and rebuild the foolish
looking machines in an effort to keep the people mobile. It has even been
suggested that the cavalcade of the most equal of all comrades will in future be
a multi-million dollar German limousine pulled by several dozen oxen confiscated
from an colonialist farmer. "Under those circumstances a siren will probably be
unnecessary," said a police spokesman. The rumour of a prototype Mercedes Scotch
Cart has been scotched by both the heirs to the Nazi car manufacturer and the
troubled central African nation's spin doctors. "There's no point in making a
bullet proof limousine if you can shoot the cattle and render it immobile," said
a pragmatic German - while a spin doctor for the most equal of all comrades
dismissed the claim as undignified. "Next you'll be suggesting he queues for
petrol like the rest of you ungrateful peasants," he said.
We have failed, says Made 12/2/02
Story by By Chengetai
LANDS and agriculture minister, Joseph Made, finally admitted last
week that government has failed to ensure food security for the famine-stricken
nation, more than a year after repeatedly dismissing warnings of a serious grain
Made stunned members of the lands, agriculture and rural
development committee on Monday, by painting a grim picture of the food
situation in Zimbabwe.
The Standard was the only newspaper to attend the
committee meeting, a situation which troubled Made enough for him to say: "Mr
Chairman, I would have preferred a balanced mix of reporters."
said apart from accumulating a serious maize deficit each week, government had
not the slightest clue of the amount of grain farmers resettled under the
controversial and chaotic land reform exercise would produce this current
Said Made: "The country needs 35 000 tonnes of maize, but it is only
able to import 22 000 tonnes, leaving a deficit of 13 000 tonnes every week. At
one time, we ordered 400 000 tonnes, but only got 118 000 delivered. This is a
big challenge for us as we will continue to need the stocks to feed the
population. We don't know when we will be able to get these remaining stocks,
but we are trying to make sure that they are in the country so we can distribute
Asked by Renson Gasela-the former Grain Marketing Board (GMB) head who
is also the MDC shadow minister for lands and agriculture-why it was that
government was failing to fulfil the simple task of buying grain in bulk, Made
said: "I don't have the purse to buy the adequate maize supplies. Remember, it
is allocated to us, so please bear with me."
On his ministry's projected
figures for the coming season, the minister said no such estimates were
"At the moment, we don't have the projected figures of what we
have planted this season and this is a big problem for us as government. We only
hope that the new farmers will be able to produce enough grain to feed the
country,'' said Made.
Agricultural production was last season severely
hampered by a combination of crippling drought and government-induced
disturbances on commercial farms.
The government went on to grab farms from
about 3 000 commercial farmers, leaving the highly specialised sector with an
estimated 1 000 farmers.
Speaking after the meeting, also attended by Zanu
PF MPs Kumbirai Kangai and Paul Mazikana, Gasela who was ordered by committee
chairman Daniel Mackenzie Ncube not to ask too many questions, expressed disgust
at the way government had up to this time failed to tell the nation the truth.
"The nation will obviously be shocked by the minister's admission that the
problem is far from over and that they are not even sure of what will come out
of their much touted land reform exercise. We are in the middle of the rainy
season, and Made chooses this time to expose his inability to plan. Surely this
is a testimony of how the Mugabe regime is determined to drag our nation into
further economic abyss,'' Gasela told The Standard.
Made, one of the
ministers handpicked by Mugabe after the June 2000 parliamentary election, has
in the past misled the nation about the food situation.
Last year, he
dismissed early warning signs of a serious maize deficit, saying according to
the knowledge he had gained from aerial flights across the country, Zimbabwe
would have adequate grain supplies.
However, several months later, Zimbabwe
is facing a food crisis and over six million people are in need of food aid.
Agricultural-based commodities such as bread, cooking oil and sugar are also in
Long queues of people seeking bread and mealie meal have
become the order of the day at shops throughout the country.
affected areas are the rural constituencies where the majority of the population
are not gainfully employed.
The Standard understands that the government is
importing food from America, Argentina and Europe.
Two years ago, government
embarked on a land resettlement programme which saw white commercial farmers
being displaced by indigenous farmers.
The majority of these new farmers
have not bothered to take up their pieces of land.
Sengu dismissed over bonuses 12/2/02
Story by By
ZIMBABWE Under 20 captain, David Sengu, was sent packing from South Africa
where the team is participating in the Vodacom Cosafa Youth tournament, as
discontenment over promised but unpaid bonuses mounts.
The Under 20 side is mainly composed of players who also turn for the
national Under 23 side which booted out Mozambique in an All Africa Games
The players had been promised $50 000 each for progressing to the next
stage, a feat which they accomplished. The promised bonuses were, however, not
paid by the national fooootball association, Zifa.
According to information at hand, the players threatened to boycott the
Vodacom tournament while on their way to South Africa from Mozambique if they
were not paid their bonuses. Sengu, along with Nyasha Chazika and Tapuwa Kapini,
were pinpointed as the most vocal resulting in Sengu being sent home.
Sources say the three were threatened with expulsion. Chazika, and Kapini
were, however, spared as there were no replacements for them since some of the
players who were part of the Mozambique excursion where over 20 years.
"Kapini, Chazika and Sengu were threatened with expulsion from the
tournament after they led complaints over the non-payment of winning bonuses
after the Mozambique tie. However, Sengu was sent back home on allegations of
indiscipline. It appears Kapini and Chazika were spared the axe because there
were no replacements for them since quite a number of players who played in
Mozambique were not eligible to play for the Under-20 team," said the source.
Sengu confirmed that he returned home together with about eight other
He, however, was not eager to discuss the clash over non-payments of
bonuses. "I was sent home on allegations of indiscipline by the coaching
department. They have been accusing me of indiscipline for quite some time. I am
not at liberty to discuss the issue of bonuses," he said.
Edgar Rodgers, ZIFA chief executive officer, was not available for comment.
The under-23 team overcame Mozambique in the All Africa Games qualifier 2-1
on aggregate, and will be meeting Zambia for the final qualifier. The Young
Warriors had been promised $25 000 each winning bonuses after the first leg they
won 1-0 in Harare last month.
The issue had featured prominently as the players demanded that they be
paid before leaving for Mozambique. They eventually agreed to leave after a
promise was made that they would be paid upon return.
Mawere blasts govt 12/2/02
Story by By Farai Mutsaka
BUSINESSMAN Mutumwa Mawere, who appears on the United States sanctions list
as a crony of the Mugabe regime, has accused government of double standards and
of trying to intimidate him out of a court case against the government.
Mawere, through his Ukubambana-Kubatana Investment (UKI), successfully
challenged the Privatisation Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) to release results of
the tender for the government-controlled Astra Holdings' unbundling.
However, government is appealing against the High Court judgment in the
According to initial results, UKI had emerged as the leading bidder for two
of the three demerged entities, Astra Limited and Tractive Power.
Speaking to The Standard over the UKI-PAZ case, Mawere said: "In the appeal
they have included the President as an additional appellant and that is
tantamount to intimidation. How can you drag in the President who was not party
to the High Court case? It is a sign a of desperation.
"Clearly some people in government don't want UKI. They now want to turn
what was actually purely a legal battle into a political theatric in which the
merits of the case are lost in innuendoes, name calling and character
assassination. UKI is being blocked because it has no favoured person on board.
"What is all this talk of indeginisation when UKI is deemed to be unworthy
of being eligible to get the offered assets on terms and conditions that were
set by no other than the state?" fumed Mawere.
MDC to name Kuwadzana candidate 12/2/02
Story by By Michael
THE Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) is today expected to select its
candidate for the Kuwadzana parliamentary seat left vacant following the
mysterious death of one of its members, Learnmore Jongwe in remand prison.
MDC information officer, Nkanyiso Maqeda, confirmed that primary elections
would be held in the constituency today but referred The Standard to the party's
election directorate for further details.
The Standard understands that five names appear on the provisional list
including that of MDC national youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa and Kuwadzana
resident, Derrick Madhavani, who served as Jongwe's campaign manager in the 2000
Also on the list is Mathias Kufandirimbwa and outspoken indigenous
businessman, Paddington Japa Japa.
Japa Japa contested as an independent candidate for the Dzivaresekwa
constituency in the 2000 parliamentary elections after leaving Zanu PF.
Alfred Mukundi Nyahunzvi, a lawyer by profession, who had earlier forwarded
his name withdrew it on Friday in support of Chamisa's candidature.
"I can confirm that we now have four candidates for the seat as Nyaunzvi
has withdrawn to pave way for Chamisa," said Donald Chirunga.
Following the death of Jongwe, the Kuwadzana seat has threatened to cause
divisions in the party. At one time, MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, was
accused of trying to impose on the area, one Murisi Zwizwai, who is based in
Masvingo. Tsvangirai has, however, denied the accusations.
Despite the problems, MDC insiders say the seat is in the safe hands of the
opposition party which has routed Zanu PF in many urban centres.
Zanu PF's secretary for publicity Nathan Shamuyarira, said Zanu PF would
come up with a candidate once the dates of the election had been set.
Kamushinda in retrenchment dispute 12/2/02
Story by By
PROMINENT businessman and banker, Enock Kamushinda, is embroiled in a legal
dispute with his former workers who claim he forced them to accept paltry
retrenchment packages with an armed person in attendance, The Standard can
The matter which is set to be heard in the High Court, pits Kamushinda, who
owns Signal Engineering, and 31 retrenched workers who are being represented by
Hillary Gunje of Chinyoka and Gunje legal practitioners.
The workers want the court to declare their retrenchments null and void on
the basis that they were made under duress.
According to the affidavits of the workers who are seeking reinstatement,
Kamushinda ordered security guards to close the company without the knowledge of
the workers who were staying at the premises.
They claim the banker brought bodyguards to the company a few days later
and asked the affected workers to claim their retrenchment packages at his
office. The workers were then made to enter his office individually and were
forced to sign retrenchment forms by Kamushinda who threatened to set his guards
on them if they refused.
In their founding affidavits, the workers narrate how they were made to
sign the retrenchment package under duress and they implored the court to
invalidate the exercise.
They say apart from the intimidation, the packages were determined by
Kamushinda himself without the input of the workers. The affidavits though does
not state how much was received by the workers, some of whom had worked for the
company for between two to 11 years.
One worker, Anthony Sanyangura, said he was forced to sign a retrenchment
form, without reading its contents, under the watchful eyes of Kamushinda's
security guards identified as Mupaikwa, Chamwaura and another who was identified
only as "his soldier".
Another worker, Mutsetse Mabika, describes how he was forcibly removed from
the company's premises by Kamushinda around 2300 hours on 14 July 2002. He
further states that he signed the retrenchment form out of fear as there was an
armed person around.
Clifford Ticharwa Matanhire said he had signed the form for fear of the gun
and of losing the little money Kamushinda had offered.
The workers are determined to be reinstated to their old positions without
loss of benefit.
When contacted for comment, Kamushinda asked The Standard to put its
questions in writing. Later, his legal adviser got in touch with this paper to
dismiss the allegations.
"The instructions I have are that the allegations are not true. What is on
record is that employees entered into an agreement with the company for the
termination of their employment. They received their packages in cash.
"When large amounts of money are being carried you need a security company
which may be armed, and this is what happened. I have no doubt that the courts
will dismiss their application."
Kamushinda, an indigenous businessman, owns several companies. amongst them
Metropolitan Bank. He is also the chairman of Zimpapers and the Grain Marketing
Students drop courses as forex shortage bites
By Eupha Mahenga
THE dire economic conditions which have led to the severe shortage of
foreign currency in the banks and its influx on the parallel market has ravaged
the business sector without sparing students at private colleges, it has
emerged. Students attending courses paid for in foreign currency are finding it
difficult to cope as they cannot afford to register for their exams in foreign
The business studies head of department at Christian College of Southern
Africa, Brighton Shereni, confirmed that the scarcity and strength of the pound
had led to more cases of students dropping out of courses.
"The actual number of students who have dropped out of their courses is not
readily available. However in my department, I have about 30 diploma students
doing management studies who have failed to get the money for their studies,"
The cash-strapped students are being forced to change from their initial
courses to those paid in local currency. Among the courses being paid for in
foreign currency is the diploma in marketing which costs £18 pounds per subject
(about $27 000 at the parallel market rate) and also hotel and catering
management which costs about £25 (Z$37 000) per subject.
It is not CCOSA students alone who are affected as most of the students at
private colleges like Speciss and Zdeco have felt the pinch.
Some of the students at Speciss colleges told The Standard how they failed
to sit for the exams after failure to pay the registration and exam fees.
"I was at Speciss college doing travel and tourism until recently when I
failed to sit for my exams. The course comprises of five subjects, with each
costing £35 (Z$52 500) pounds. I failed to get the money and now I have to find
another course which is paid for in local currency. I wasted my time for
nothing," said the student who refused to be named.
In October when students were supposed to pay their fees, the pound was
trading at Z$2 500 and a travel and tourism student at Speciss college doing
five subjects at £35 each was required to raise about $437 500 in local
When The Standard asked about the total number of affected students, the
officials at Speciss college said the college did not deal with fee payment and
could therefore not disclose the number of affected students.
"We don't facilitate the payment of fees .The students deal with the ICM
board of examinations on their own and because of that, we are not in a position
to know the number of affected students," she said.
However, sources said CCOSA college is currently negotiating with the
British High Commission to obtain assistance for the affected students.
Chinos' raid forces Bakers Inn to close
By our own
BAKERS Inn, one of the country's biggest bread makers, has shut
down one plant in Harare and a production line at another following a directive
from war vets leader, Joseph Chinotimba, that they may not produce high quality
bread not subject to price controls, it has emerged.
The affected plant
is at Simon Mazorodze while the production line is in Lytton Road.
Standard understands that last month Chinotimba led a group of war veterans
which raided the plants and ordered Bakers Inn to take premium bread to Glen
Norah and Glen View where it was sold at the gazetted $60 price. Bakers Inn's
retail price for high quality bread was $130.
Chinotimba also ordered the
bread maker to stop producing premium loaf in favour of the ordinary loaf which
falls under the price control list.
"Noting that Chinotimba's demand did not
make economic sense, Bakers Inn appealed to the government which also upheld the
war veteran's order. This left it with no choice but to shut down the plant and
production line. Now, a company, which used to produce 240 000 loaves a day,
makes only 60 000 loaves," said the source.
Contacted for comment,
Chinotimba denied ever visiting the plants.
"I have never been there. Pamwe
kuda wakaona chipoko changu. What I can only confirm is that in Glen Norah,
people are buying bread at $60 because we have put a stop to the practise of
defying government price controls of $60. What's wrong with that?" asked
However, a visit to Glen Norah yesterday morning revealed that
bread, which was scarce in the township, was being sold for as much as $180.
Burombo Mudumo, the managing director for Bakers Inn Zimbabwe, confirmed the
closures but attributed them to erratic flour supplies from the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB), which is the country's sole buyer and marketer of maize and wheat.
"The plants ceased baking bread in November and we are still negotiating for
price increases. If wheat allocation is increased to about 10 000 tonnes a week
from the current 7 000 tonnes, we will flood the market with bread," said
Despite rising production costs, government has remained adamant
that the price of bread remains pegged at $60. On the black market where it is
now readily found, the same product is going for between $150 and $280,
depending on its availability.
Thou shalt not swear at Bob
newsfocus By Walter
MANY born frees in Zimbabwe will easily recall how they were
forced to stand for hours away from their classrooms in the sweltering heat
waiting for President Mugabe's much-anticipated and awesome convoy of cars.
Their brief, together with members of the Zanu PF Women's League, was to
wave and cheer for a few seconds as the presidential motorcade-known as Bob and
the Wailing Wailers-passed through their town.
After performing this duty,
the pupils would immediately leave the streets and head back to their
classrooms, many of them clueless as to whom, apart from President Mugabe, was
inside the convoy.
They also did not understand the point of the whole
After all, they never got to know whether or not the occupants of
the convoy of saloons appreciated their efforts since their faces would be
hidden behind darkly tinted windows.
Such scenes were common in Zimbabwe
during the early 80s up to the mid 90s when government officials, keen to
impress Mugabe wherever he went, force-marched children out of their schools to
provide him with a rousing welcome.
In those days, Mugabe, who, together
with tens of thousands of other Zimbabweans, had waged a bitter struggle against
the colonial regime of Ian Smith, was still revered.
He was seen in the
mould of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Samora Machel and Nelson Mandela.
But as resentment towards Mugabe rises sharply against the backdrop of an
unprecedented economic crisis, analysts say that it is probably just as well
that children, especially those in urban areas, don't have to worry about waving
at the motorcade under duress..
The open hand, which is the symbol of the
opposition MDC party is no longer a welcome gesture for Mugabe who stands
accused of bringing economic ruin to Zimbabwe.
Analysts say Mugabe has had
enough of these offensive gestures, and is not prepared to take any more insults
from disenchanted Zimbabweans.
Only two weeks ago, the Zanu PF regime took a
bold step towards ensuring that their 78-year-old benefactor had peace of mind
outside of State House.
In yet another assault on the freedoms enshrined in
the Zimbabwean constitution, it announced the amendment to the Road Traffic
Regulations, drafted by the colonial regime, to ensure Mugabe would travel free
The new law makes it an offence to swear or gesture "within the
view or hearing of the state motorcade with the intention of insulting any
person travelling with an escort or any member of the escort."
This piece of
legislation, which does not define the gestures which could be construed as
offensive, means that people cannot make any sort of gesture in full view of the
motorcade, lest this be misconstrued as offensive to the occupants.
Coltart, the legal director for the MDC, said his party's supporters had been
arrested for chanting the party's slogan, Chinja/Guqula, (Change) and waving the
"If anything is an admission that your subjects dislike you, it's
this regulation," said Coltart in an interview with the South Africa's IOL.
Douglas Mwonzora, a lawyer who is also the spokesman of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), concurred: "They (amended Road Traffic
Regulations) are the result of a direct acknowledgement that Mugabe has lost his
popularity. You can easily tell that whoever cobbled them up was driven by a
strong desire to stop people from making statements at Mugabe. They are a first
class example of the suppression of the freedom of expression guaranteed in the
He added: "The bit about the gesture has not been fully
explained. It is so wide that it may cover even a mere grimace. If you nod your
head, who knows, you may even offend one or more of the occupants in the
motorcade. It is clearly meant for the urban dwellers who are mainly MDC
Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, said outlawing any form of
expression towards Mugabe was an admission by those who worked with the
President that he had become immensely unpopular among the people.
democracy, there are various ways of expressing support or displeasure towards
leaders and when you outlaw that, you are admitting that you are no longer
governing in the context of any semblance of democracy. It is hard to comprehend
why a President who claims to have been democratically elected would take
measures to protect himself from the same people who elected him.
come full circle-from spontaneous demonstrations in support of Mugabe to
spontaneous demonstrations of anger against Mugabe. Even ordinary people are now
expressing disgust at the way he has mismanaged the economy," said
Mugabe is now held in contempt by many people for standing by
while his supporters killed political rivals, mainly supporters of the MDC. His
chaotic land seizures exercise has also reduced his once promising state into a
basket case characterised by severe food shortages and acute inflation, now
officially estimated at 140% but unofficially much higher.
There is no
longer any need, analysts say, for Mugabe's lieutenants to try to show urban
dwellers who overwhelmingly rejected him in the election, that he is their
And, as paranoia spreads within the Zanu PF government, the major
preoccupation for them now is to ensure that Mugabe, who travels in a customised
bullet proof stretch Mercedes Benz limousine, is secure from both physical and
Early this year, government introduced the draconian Public
Order and Security Act (Posa) which makes "any abusive, indecent, obscene or
false statement" about the President, an offence which attracts a maximum one
year jail term.
Political commentators who spoke to The Standard said the
armoury of repressive legislation aimed at maintaining the dignity of the
President was an open admission that Mugabe had become very unpopular.
David Muneri of Nyazura: "I have never seen a government so preoccupied with
coming up with repressive laws. It just shows how desperate they are to hang on
Zanu PF heading for a fight in Mutare
By our own Staff
serious crisis is looming within the Zanu PF provincial leadership as the hunt
for a party candidate for the mayoral election, scheduled for next year,
The Mutare mayoral post falls vacant when Lawrence Mudewe's term
officially ends next August. Mudewe, who has already served two consecutive
terms, is no longer eligible to stand, according to the Urban Councils Act.
A source close to the party in Manicaland admitted that the selection of a
prospective candidate for the mayoral post was likely to split the party
leadership in Manicaland.
"Factionalism within the party in the past has
emanated from the mayoral election and I am certain the forthcoming one will be
no exception. Already, there are signs that Zanu PF will be further weakened,"
the source said.
To avert a potential crisis, the party leadership was
expected to convene a meeting last weekend to select a candidate, but the
meeting was deferred indefinitely for reasons which are still unclear.
being touted for the position include that of Kenneth Saruchera, a councillor
for Ward 11, who is also a former deputy mayor. Saruchera has, however, remained
mum over his intentions.
Former Zanu PF provincial chairman and Mutare
business tycoon, Shadreck Beta, has since declared his interest to run for the
top civic post. He made his intentions clear during a media tour of his
multi-million dollar housing projects in the city recently.
"I will accept
if nominated," said Beta, who claims he is the legitimate provincial leader for
Zanu PF. Esau Mupfumi who operates a transport business in Mutare is also linked
to the post but-he has, however, vehemently denied any interest in standing.
The mayoral elections in Mutare have in the past been the source of
squabbles within Zanu PF. Four years ago, deepening factionalism within the
party forced the current mayor, Mudewe, to run as an independent, beating the
party choice, Beta. Beta also lost a court case to have the results nullified.
The opposition MDC which poses a serious threat to Zanu PF has not yet come
up with a candidate, but business man Patrick Chita is tipped to stand for the
country's main opposition party.
Little known Zimbabwe Unity Movement
executive member, Jeremiah Chakaza, has also shown interest in occupying the
city's top job, though he said he was going to run on an independent card.
Matobo officials escape graft charges
By our own
BULAWAYO-A Commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption and
maladministration against three senior officials of the Matobo Rural District
Council has exonerated them and recommended that they be reinstated.
three officials are Ernest Ndlovu (chief executive officer), Tapson Ncube
(executive officer for projects) and G Gulu-Sibanda (executive officer
They had previously been fired by war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters on charges of maladministration-of deliberately stifling development
in the district, inflating travel and subsistence claims and stealing fences
from council stores. The commission of inquiry was set up by Matabeleland South
governor Stephen Nkomo after a visit to the district by local government
minister Ignatius Chombo, before the presidential elections.
the council said the commission's findings had been communicated to all council
heads of department through a fax message sent from the office of the provincial
administrator in mid-October.
Said the source: "The war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters failed to substantiate the allegations before the commission in the
initial hearing which took place at the council chambers just before the local
government elections. It was clear from the beginning that there was nothing to
incriminate the officers because the real issue behind their expulsion is that
Zanu PF believes they are supporters of the MDC."
In its report, the
commission indicated that there had been no proof that the three accused
officers had committed any of the crimes listed against them. It also
recommended that council reinstate the officers.
The source added that the
commission had also advised the people of Matobo to refrain from seeking
political solutions to civic problems.
The officers are, however, unlikely
to return to work as Zanu PF is reported to have indicated that it does not want
them to work within the Matobo district.
The commission was made up of Zanu
PF functionaries handpicked from the party's Matabeleland South headquarters.
They included Gwanda executive mayor Rido Mpofu, Lloyd Siyoka, the Zanu PF
provincial chairman, Orders Mlilo, a senior Zanu PF official who is also the
chairman of Gwanda Rural District council and minor party functionaries from
Nicholas Nkomo, the council chairman was said to be away on
business when this paper sought his comment on the date and conditions over
which the three would resume duty.
Zim Std - letters
Sick of blame game
LIKE all dictators, Mugabe seems to be a slow learner. The winds of change
are sweeping across his kingdom but the man keeps on turning a blind eye to
this. He keeps on revisiting ancient policies despite the damage they have
inflicted on Africa's once promising economy.
Today, half the population faces starvation mainly as a result of Mugabe's
Stalinist type collectivisation of farms. Industries and mines are either
scaling down operations or closing down, queues for basic commodities are
lengthening each day, fuel reserves have dried up, inflation has soared to three
digit levels, tourist arrivals have dried up while flights from Zimbabwe are
enjoying a rare boom in business.
All this is the result of Mugabe's fascist style of governance yet the old
man is quick to find scapegoats.
In his every speech, Mugabe paints Tony Blair black as if he was in power
during the time that the British were colonising Zimbabwe. Mr President, we are
sick of this blame game and mind you, it won't deliver our country from its
Let me also take this opportunity to remind Zanu PF that the MDC is a
legitimate opposition party. Remember it garnered more than one million votes
and each day that support base is growing.
Zim Std - letters
Pakistanis may have felt at home
that the area around the cricket ground in Harare was swarming with ZRP
As Pakistan was recently thrown out of the Commonwealth, and as
they live under a dictatorship of sorts as well, maybe this made them feel at
I hope the ICC team saw it though. Anyone speak to them? You cannot be
apolitical where dictatorships and genocide are concerned.
Hitler made a big
thing of the Olympic Games in Germany in 1936.
THE letter entitled, 'Mugabe's Dancing Monkey' (The Standard, 24 November
2002) is right on target when one considers what vice president Muzenda said
when campaigning for the last parliamentary election.
He said that if Zanu PF had a baboon as its candidate the electorate should
vote for that baboon.
Whether it be a baboon or a monkey, one knows what damage they can do to a
crop. This has been plain for the whole world to see. Total destruction
perpetrated by those appointed by Mugabe and his party to stand for the party...
some not even voted in but hand picked to become the wreckers of a once
wonderful land ...wreckers of all that the country stood for as the 'bread
basket' of Africa.
The plan as espoused by the vice president, to appoint baboons, though
probably meant metaphorically, has worked and is right on track with Mugabe's
The economy of Zimbabwe has been wrecked.