Joseph Made should resign in shame
WE publish in our lead story today, proof of how Joseph Made, the minister
of lands and agriculture, finally admits to a parliamentary portfolio committee
on agriculture what many warned would happen: Hunger and starvation in the
country as a result of the government's chaotic land reform programme.
This is a man who had stated at the outset of the fast track resettlement
programme that it would be done in such a way that the nation's food production
would not be affected. This is the man who had blamed everything, including the
depletion of the national herd, on the droughts and floods. Now the chickens
have come home to roost.
Hunger and starvation are taking their terrible toll. Zimbabwean
agriculture has become a shadow of its former self and will never recover.
Made must view the situation with a sense of utter shame. How he sleeps at
night, only God knows. The minister's long overdue admission has brought the
shock of shame rather than the shock of surprise. It was only Made who seemed
unaware of what was happening, living in a world of fantasy and fiction as he
does. The majority of Zimbabweans already knew the true situation because they
have for long been living and breathing the impact of shortages of various
kinds: Maize meal, wheat, beef and dairy products.
The way Joseph Made fumbled for answers to questions from the parliamentary
portfolio committee are an indictment of the judgement of those who appointed
him in the first place. He staggered around like a man who suddenly realises
that he has lost his script and is really reading some old sides from Kings of
Kings-as if he had rehearsed too much. Clearly, the minister is an embarrassment
and a disgrace to agriculture in Zimbabwe and the region as a whole.
Given what is happening on the food and fuel fronts, President Mugabe and
the nation have passed the tragic point of no return. Nobody appears to be in
the driving seat at the moment. How much practice does it take to plan a human
sacrifice of your own people?
Any sane person in the position of the president and the minister of
agriculture would have resigned long ago. When the fundamentals of life are
either in limited supply or non-existent-food, fuel, money-what stops people
from saying: "Out with the president and in with whoever can give us hope and
life again." When you have lost the confidence of most of the country and with
it, your ability to govern effectively, what makes you want to go on?
There was a time before and after independence when President Mugabe was
viewed as 'good old Bob'-an icon, an admired and respected public figure. In
many fora, where the President spun some of his finest oratory, food and drink
went unsold because his listeners would refuse to leave their seats for fear of
missing a spectacular Mugabe turn of phrase which they could tell their children
and grandchildren about. Now, there is neither the food nor the drink-either
they are not available or they are beyond the reach of many.
Even more bizarre is the recent law which forbids you to hail to the chief,
to Bob and the Wailers, evoking that hot icon of reggae music Bob Marley.
Amazing how things change!
The appalling tragedy that has now consumed Zimbabwe has changed all that.
More than six million Zimbabweans are facing starvation. All the agricultural
commodities are way down their 1999/2000 levels, costing the country billions of
The national breeding herd is below 50% of the level when Joseph Made
assumed ministerial control over agriculture. The same applies to the maize
crop, wheat and tobacco crops. What a pitiful return on the chaos that has been
reigning for the past two and a half years!
Those who have mismanaged this process and issued false production
predictions and poisonous ideas have clearly failed this country. And the
situation must not stop at them merely eating their words. Not only will Made
suffer the contempt of the members of the parliamentary portfolio committee on
agriculture but will forever suffer the contempt of those who truly love
The government must be told in no uncertain terms that it is simply not
true that "the land is the economy", but rather that it is the effective use of
the land that is the economy. Anyone driving around Zimbabwe will bear witness
to the fact that nothing is really happening on the former commercial farms.
If anything, the destruction and the desolation stares you in the face. To
make matters worse, less than 50% of the so-called new farmers have taken up the
pieces of land allocated to them.
This is Joseph Made's legacy: One gigantic mess. He must not, together with
his colleagues and bosses, be allowed to get away with one of the greatest
blunders in history: Sacrificing the people of Zimbabwe at the alter of power
At the beginning of the year, Made looked as if he had just flown in from
the planet of the creeps with his incredibly stupid statement that there would
be enough food in Zimbabwe. Now he is telling the parliamentary committee that
he cannot make any predictions on the production levels of the so called new
Such a purveyor of evil has no business being at the helm of the ministry
of agriculture. Do the honourable thing Joseph Made: RESIGN.
Barbours not quite what it was
eatingout with Dusty
THERE's a sad dearth of restaurants in downtown Ha-ha-ha-rare (fun
capital of Central Africa). Probably due to a sad dearth of people who can
afford to eat out in the CBD, or anywhere else.
Barbour's was always
reasonably good, with prices slightly top heavy, but at one stage I had morning
coffee and/or afternoon tea there almost daily, with the odd breakfast, brunch
or lunch as appetite, time of day and bank balance dictated.
was Christmas when sundry refreshments for family home from overseas cost about
$2 500 for five. Certainly much dearer than a previous meal when a good pal from
The South-China Morning Post, Hong Kong said the only things to change at
Barbour's tea-rooms in 30 years were prices and waiters no longer wearing
fezzes. There are now a few more changes in the once almost Edwardian 'silver
service' dining room.
Leather-bound menus have gone. They are now
computer-printed 'landscape' on bond with daily 'specials' slips clumsily
paper-clipped to it, the whole folded none too neatly. Mine lay coffee-stained
and semi-crumpled on a table cloth which had seen better days. Menu states:
Minimum charge between 12 - 2pm: $1 850. A fact blatantly ignored by staff and
Appetisers included grapefruit cocktail or iced melon/paw
paw in season: $220 each; egg mayonnaise salad $350; egg stuffed with fish and
salad $380. Soup (cream of chicken) was very good: steaming hot, a full bowl,
smooth, rich, herby, creamy, loads of huku. It came with an oddly coloured,
over-yeasty roll in which too much baking powder was used and a minuscule pat of
Soup ($400) was ordered "to be going on with". I'm not sure the
first waiter understood the concept; a second cottoned-on, bringing the dish 10
minutes later. It's a long time since crisply starched well-laundered napkins
graced Barbour's tables. They were replaced by flimsy tissues as standard, but
now you must ask for them to be doled out as if waiters were parting with deeds
to a farm: reluctantly.
A badly tuned TV played on the stage decorated to
resemble a domestic scene. Assuming Alice Chavunduka's complexion doesn't
periodically change from cerise to vermilion then turn an occasional puce,
there's something definitely wrong with the 29" Philips set (available on the
2nd Floor at " a mere" quarter-of-a-million dollars.) When Paul McCartney's
still boyish good looks flickered and his skin resembled that of a Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtle, I decided to keep the $249 999, 99 in my pocket. Might need
it for a bacon sandwich after Christmas.
Salads: with quiche Lorraine,
pizza, cold meats, chicken and ham or pickled fish were around $1 300, as was
cheese lunch special. Grills and entrees all looked good, especially T-bone or
grilled rump "with fried potatoes" (chips) at $1 900: same price as pork spare
rib/BBQ sauce, beef Stroganoff or leg of pork with apple sauce (daily special).
I raised eyebrows at "grilled pork sausage with creamed potatoes" (bangers and
mash) $1 300; the one I saw served boasted one medium-sized link.
all day is possibly the best value. Bacon, sausage, two eggs, mushrooms, tomato,
toast and marmalade is $1 050. Also look out on Saturdays when they often have
wonderfully cooked tender liver. Other breakfast/brunch specials range from $250
(poached/scambled eggs on toast) to $950 for what have always been good rich
creamy omelettes and chips (mushroom version usually A1). Burgers are around
$800, separate chips $480! (One medium-sized spud?).
A daily special, hake
and chips, was faultlessly cooked, but I thought $2 100 steep for one fairly
small fillet in batter. Not at all well filleted, it was full of tiny bones.
Fish and chips great but: oval plate stone-cold, tartare sauce bland to the
point of tastelessness, sliced courgettes not quite raw, tepid, watery:
flat-cold in seconds. I've moaned here maningi times: good cooks don't serve hot
food on cold plates nor vice-versa!
Puddings range from $210 for plain
ice-cream to $850 (knickerbocker glory or fruit salad and ice-cream);
strawberries and cream, $420; waffle with cream or ice-cream $370. Daily special
was a slightly over-sugared apple crumble and cream ($480).
licensed, so a bitterly cold article of a mildly intoxicating nature was out of
the question. One (or even a brace!) would have been welcome on a day too hot to
lunch alfresco but comfortable under the restaurant's plentiful ceiling fans.
Soup, fish, pudding, tea cost a fairly hefty $3 100. The place was about 50%
full, but not everyone ate a 'proper' lunch. Many didn't spend the so-called
One-and-a-half stars November 2002.
Barbour's, open shopping hours Monday to Friday and Saturday AM.
MDC must come clean
sundayopinion By Thandi Chiweshe
THE Movement for Democratic Change is a loose coalition of diverse civil
society and interest groups within Zimbabwe.
It groups together: farmers, farm workers, industrialists, workers/trade
unionists, students, intellectuals, the unemployed, women, rural and urban
people. This unlikely mix of people has nevertheless arisen to become one of the
strongest political forces in the country since independence.
The major (if not the single), uniting factor amongst the various groups
that make up the party, is their commitment to ensuring a change of government.
But is this an end in itself? Is this enough grounds on which to build a real
'Movement for Change'? Is a simple change of government enough of a vision
around which to unite and mobilise people? In the last two years, the MDC has
gained political space, particularly in urban local government arenas. Bulawayo,
Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Masvingo, and Harare, are now led by MDC mayors. People
are beginning to ask what this new leadership represents.
Zimbabwe is in a huge political and economic mess. Anyone who comes to
power after the current regime needs to have clarity of vision as to how he/she
will change the situation. What exactly is this change that the citizens of
Zimbabwe and the world at large will see when the MDC comes to power?
The change required in Zimbabwe goes beyond the retarring of roads and
provision of food for the people. There have to be fundamental changes in power
relations across the board; between the rich and poor, those with property and
those without any, women and men, black and white and so on.
The skewed allocation of power and resources based on race, class and sex
is one of the key issues at the heart of our national crisis. The change people
want therefore goes beyond merely tinkering with the status quo and replacing
one elite group of mostly black males, with another.
If the MDC is to become the champion and harbinger of change, it needs to
have a new and clearly defined vision, based on a positive value system,
principles, and a participatory and people empowering political culture.
The MDC is made up of extremely divergent groups, both practically and
ideologically. What is the ideological basis for 'coalescing?' Some of us on the
sidelines can clearly see that the cracks are beginning to show in the
The recent expulsion of Munyaradzi Gwisai is an indicator of the cracks.
Gwisai, for all his problems and inadequacies, has made his ideological position
on many key issues very clear. Coming as he does from a socialist-leftist school
of thought, Gwisai has stood firmly for the rights of workers, property
ownership issues, and the land question. At the other extreme are the Eddie
Crosses and the white industrialist/capitalists and their black colleagues.
Needless to say, the gap between where Eddie Cross stands and where Gwisai
stands is just too yawning. Without glorifying the man, Gwisai at least has some
very clear principles and some vision of where he wants the poor and
marginalised people of this country to go. The same cannot be said of many
within the MDC leadership.
The fact that many of them come from a trade unionist background does not
mean they have carried the same ideological bent they had when they formed the
party. The MDC's economic policy and fumbling on issues of race are indicators
of that fact. The Gwisai issue shows the lack of a uniting ideological framework
around which the MDC is built. It points to the need for the MDC to define its
ideology both internally and externally.
What does the MDC stand for as opposed to against? What is it that will
continue to hold the MDC together the day after Mugabe is dead or out of power?
So far, the tensions between the various forces making up the party have been
managed because the common enemy is yet to be defeated.
But what is it that will make a farm worker speak the same language as the
farm owner? Whose interests does the party hold dearer, that of the
industrialist or the simple shop floor worker? What is the MDC's position on the
rights of women?
To date, the party has shied away from ideological questions because they
are potentially divisive. The need to present a united front against Zanu PF has
been the overriding concern.
However, it is now time for such debates to take place. To postpone them is
to postpone the inevitable. Postponing has also allowed the power elites within
the party to dictate party positions and entrench their hold. This is true of
those who currently have financial, property, racial and patriarchal power.
If the MDC is not to suffer the same fate as the MMD in Zambia, it has to
define who and what it stands for sooner rather than later.
Defining a set of values allows the MDC to discriminate on whom it admits
within its ranks. Again, an example is in order: Towards some of the last few
elections we have seen several former Zanu PF people striving to join the MDC.
Some have, in fact, been admitted. Yes, many of us have held Zanu PF cards at
some point in our lives, but what is it about the MDC that makes it not simply a
different version of Zanu PF?
To protect itself, the MDC needs to have a set of criteria for membership.
It should, for example, not allow those with known records on genocide and
corruption, to hold leadership positions. In this way the party will not be
accused of detesting a particular individual just for the sake of it but will be
recognising as having something they hold dear as a party..
Recent events in Kenya are illustrative of the kinds of problems that the
MDC is facing. Several high ranking members of Moi's Kanu have defected to the
so called opposition. Should this be a cause for celebration or alarm? Should
Kenyans simply be happy that George Saitoti and Mwai Kibaki are now clothed in
opposition garb? I think not. The only reason these men deserted Kanu was
because their presidential ambitions were thwarted. It is not that they have any
ideological or principled differences with Moi. All these men want is to be in
power. They are not interested in bringing about real 'change' in ordinary
What is it that a George Saitoti brings to the opposition? What did he fail
to do during the many years that he was vice president that he is now going to
do for the people of Kenya, now that he is leader of the opposition? He will not
be prosecuting those who violated human rights that's for sure! This, for me,
illustrates the kind of dangers the MDC faces. There will not be a shortage of
Saitotis and other opportunists in Zimbabwe.
The MDC must protect itself from them. In the short term it may gain many
new members, but in the long term, it will lose its credibility and the capacity
to stop the culture of impunity, corruption and human rights violations that
pervades our nation.
Talking about cha-nge is easy, living it is a huge task. We have already
seen how true this is in the Mudzuri saga. In brief, Mayor Mudzuri of the City
of Harare defied orders from the top echelons of the party not to occupy any
part of the Mayoral Mansion, built by the former spendthrift Zanu PF mayor. The
way this issue played itself out at the Council level is perhaps something that
will never be documented.
Mudzuri could not understand why some objected so passionately to his
moving into the house. I remember having a very heated discussion with one of
his supporters who pleaded: "But he is the Mayor for heaven's sake! He should
live in a house that befits his status! What is wrong with him driving a Merc?
You want him to drive a Mazda 626?" I tried to argue that the MDC needs to
create a new political culture. This would involve changing the way people see
all politicians, (as self interested corrupt individuals), and build a new
confidence that there will be some change.
I tried to show how this could be done through simple things such as; the
kinds of cars that the party leadership will drive, the way the leadership
relates to people, flying economy class, and staying in modest hotels.
Needless to say, the person was totally scandalised by my suggestions. When
all was said and done, the MDC had nothing against which to hold Mudzuri
accountable. There was no party policy, values or principles, which the man
could have been said to have breached. The whole sorry saga was reduced to
personal attacks, with some arguing that some within the MDC were jealous of
what the man had achieved. When there are no principles, we resort to the
When there is no commonly shared value system, we each resort to what we
think is best, and if anyone challenges us, we simply say they don't like who we
Zimbabwe is in need not just of a new government, but a new (political),
culture. Many of the little things many of us do, show just how much we have
imbibed Zanu PF culture without question or hesitation. For the moment, what
many citizens want are probably different faces in State House. But that is only
in the short term. In the long term, people will want to see real practical
Another challenge the MDC would face would be how to deal with the global
forces that surround it and Zimbabwe. It is a fact that within the African
region, the MDC is trailing behind Zanu PF in the ideology and values stakes.
Mugabe speaks to values that the old nationalists understand. When he puts
himself up as the champion of the poor and the landless he is applauded by the
poor, and the landless the world over. To whom does the MDC speak? The party has
to work hard to gain the kind of foothold that ZANU PF has built over the years
in the country and outside. Even with all its mammoth failures and problematic
history of misrule, it is a fact that ZANU PF knows how to speak for itself. It
doesn't matter that they are telling lies.
Internationally, the MDC faces the challenge of dealing with the Northern,
(former colonial, neo-colonial, self interested, capitalist), interests which
have supported its fight against Zanu PF. How it reconciles domestic
expectations with regional and international forces will be the major test of
the MDC's ideological strength. When the party eventually does come to power, it
will have to side with either the capitalist North and its privileged cousins in
the South, or with the poor and marginalised. What for example is the MDC's
position on privatisation of services in the urban areas? On what conditions
will the party accept a new Structural Adjustment programme?
All of these questions demand firmer ideological positioning. There is no
half way position. The questions demand a more comprehensive discussion and
clarification beyond a party manifesto. A manifesto is only a grand spelling of
the (largely external) things that you will do.
Values and principles are about what is inside of us, what we really think
and hold dear is what is important. It is not about what we do "for those people
out there". Rather it is about who, we are and how we want to relate to those
people out there, whoever they may be. It is our way of seeing and interpreting
the world and what we want to do with that world and its peoples. It is on a set
of core values and principles that the MDC can craft consistent policy
alternatives and positions both nationally and globally. That way, its
leadership and members can be held accountable for their actions at every level.
Ideology is the glue that will hold the MDC together. Without it, the party is a
loose grouping of self-interested individuals wanting to access power. Values
and principles will signify the extent of transformation that the party is
prepared to bring about. The Zimbabwean crisis demands a transformative vision.
The "come yee all who have problems with Zanu PF" approach to building a party
is no longer good enough. Our problems with Zanu PF are different depending on
our race, class, sex and other factors. Therefore, the solutions we seek are
quite different too. The 'together as one' image that the party wants to present
is patently false. The ideological and other divides in our society are too deep
to be smothered over by a slogan. It is time to spell out the Change.
Let's agree to differ
By Chido Makunike
Pauline Henson's article
'Shocked by Makunike's hurtful analysis' (The Standard, 17 November 2002) wasn't
too impressed by my thoughts on Learnmore Jongwe, which is alright.
point of sharing ideas is not just to reflect each other's ways of thinking, but
to broaden our perspectives and look at issues from fresh angles that might not
immediately present themselves to us.
At the beginning, she congratulates me
for being "often challenging and thought provoking, helping people to think for
themselves ...in Zimbabwe where we are force fed through the state media...with
Pauline Henson then takes me to task for
emphasising a different aspect of the Jongwe story than she would have done, and
of holding an opinion on it that did not quite coincide with hers she feels I
should have been more understanding and forgiving about the fact that Jongwe
stabbed his wife in the face repeatedly. After all, the law itself makes
allowances for a crime of passion, she points out.
As I said at the
beginning of my Jongwe article, I have been quite surprised by the number of
people who have been willing to downplay the magnitude of Rutendo's murder by
Learnmore for various reasons, whether to do with traditional gender roles,
politics, or because "we are all fallible and subject to irrational behaviour
under the influence of strong emotion", as Henson puts it.
Well yes, but
most people have enough self control to avoid getting so irrational and
emotional that they will kill someone, particularly their spouse.
Jongwe's political brilliance, for which I gave him credit, after murdering his
wife in a fit of rage, he could no longer fit my understanding of the concept of
If that "aligns me with the ruling party and its cheap
sensationalising of issues they believe will bring shame on the opposition",
then that is an unfortunate misreading of all that I have stood for and written
about over the years. A calm rereading of my 3 November 2002 column will not
show any "condemnation" of Jongwe.
Sure, I did speculate on what the killing
and his subsequent behaviour said about his strength of character. I consider
that to be fair political comment. This is, after all a man who seemed sure to
occupy high political office in Zimbabwe. I am interested in trying to really
understand him, the way we should have really tried to understand Robert Mugabe
when a lot of us blindly adored him in the early days.
I do this to Zanu PF
and government officials all the time, and although I have been insulted,
snubbed and given dirty looks for it, my "right" to do it has never been
In the wake of the widespread disgust and despair at the levels
to which Mugabe and Zanu PF have brought Zimbabwe, are we naively starry-eyed in
the way we look at opposition politicians, what I call the 'messiah complex,' in
which we regard them as infallible angels who any day now, will strike their
magic wands and lead us into the promised land? This attitude has a lot to do
with how we got stuck with a deeply unpopular clique of rulers we can't seem to
get rid of.
Instead of respecting them while watching them like hawks,
constantly keeping them on their toes in all their words and actions like is
done for the rest of us, we lionised them, letting them live according to a
different, less exacting standard because they were the 'liberators' and we were
in awe of them. One of the underlying themes of my writings has been how
dangerous this is, and how we need to adjust our attitudes away from this mind
Zanu PF is violent, incompetent, corrupt and entrenched not because its
politicians are intrinsically different from those of the MDC,or from you and I,
but because we allowed conditions to develop in which they saw they could get
away with it. Now that we have belatedly seen the light, it is not so easy to
kick them out of office.
Looking at all politicians-whether in the ruling
party or in the opposition-with a sharply critical eye is part of any man's
contribution to helping change things, even at the risk of raising the ire of
I am deeply political, but non-partisan, and I certainly have
no desire to be blind in support of anything or anyone.
Review of 2003 budget Part 1
By Rongai Chizema Intermarket Research
THE minister of finance and economic development, Dr Herbert Murerwa,
presented the 2003 National Budget on 14 November, exactly five years since the
Zimbabwe dollar tumbled against trading partners' currencies.
On that fateful day (14 November 1997), the local unit lost glamour and
succumbed to market sentiment, losing 75% of its strength against the US$ to
trade at 1US$:Z$45. To date the US$ remains fixed at Z$55, and on the parallel
market it has depreciated to Z$1 800. Signs of abatement remain slim especially
given a strained supply situation.
The economy has been deteriorating since 1997, at the same time becoming
increasingly isolated as confirmed by the absence of the IMF and other
multilateral and bilateral donors in our development equation. The country's
recession has become more pronounced, with national output estimated to have
declined by 19.3% over the last three years, all of which have recorded negative
real growth rates.
The budget was therefore cast against a steep fall in GDP (11.9%), waning
business confidence, weak export capacity (that has implied foreign currency
bottlenecks), falling savings and investment capacity (estimated at less than
9.2% of GDP), hyperinflationary environment and mounting poverty (75% of
populace live in abject poverty).
Given the foregoing, the minister's task was to come up with measures to
turnaround the economy and at least put it back on a recovery mode. The
following are some of the measures introduced by the minister to redress these
2003 Budget Highlights
* Dual interest rate policy to assist productive sectors and penalise
consumptive borrowing. Meant to contain money supply hence combat inflation that
hit 144.2% in October.
* Broadening the scope of price controls to keep inflation at bay.
* Closure of Bureau de Changes and raising the foreign currency surrender
system from 40% to 50%. The balance (50%) to be surrendered to the RBZ for
* Tax relief for monthly incomes of $15000 or less.
* $31.9 billion to wrap up Agrarian Reform.
* $1billion for distressed companies and $1.5 billion for small businesses.
* Duty relief for buses, spare parts, and sales tax relief for passenger
* Increase in the tradable duty free certificate levels from 5% of FOB
value of exports to 10%.
The above measures are aimed at redressing the prevailing economic
imbalances and hence revive the economy. The minister openly acknowledged that
our economic situation is way off the African mark. At a time when most
economies are expanding, ours has been consistently declining since the year
During the year 2001 the average growth rate for the continent was 4.3%,
with only 16 countries recording GDP growth rates of less than 3%, down from 27
in the year 2000. African economies also recorded declining budget deficits and
money supply growth rates, with average outcomes of 2.6 % and 12.3%
respectively. At the same time the number of countries with growth rates
exceeding 3% increased from 26 in 2000 to 37 in 2001.
It is quite apparent that over the last few years, African economies have
increasingly become more stable, and economic management has been aimed at
sustained growth. The Zimbabwean scenario is therefore way off the continental
trajectory. It is quite clear that the economy has a challenging period ahead to
at least replicate the African scenario. Even taking a regional view, the table
on inflation figures confirms how far off we are from the regional standard as
regards price stability.
We therefore attempt to evaluate the budget on the basis of a few
deliverables, that is, restoring domestic and internal business confidence,
slowing down economic decline and restoring incomes. Without necessarily
following the aforementioned logic we will trace the bottom-line as putting the
economy back on a recovery mode.
Domestic business confidence has tumbled over the years owing to
deteriorating economic fundamentals and negative perceptions surrounding the
land reform program embarked on by government since the year 2000. Business
confidence had already started declining as early as 1997, when it became
apparent that the domestic fundamentals had become lopsided, and the local unit
crashed against trading partner currencies.
Overseas development assistance (ODA) has dried since then, with the IMF
virtually taking a wait and see stance. It is against this background that the
minister acknowledges in the 2003 budget that foreign capital inflows have
fallen from US$502 million in 1995 to net outflows of US$347 million in 2002. At
the same time, external arrears have accumulated to a total of US$1.3 billion
this year, owing to our incapacity to generate sufficient foreign currency.
Restoration of business confidence in this respect therefore warrants
landscaping the factors that compounded its decline. Government embarked on the
Economic Structural Adjustment Program during the period 1991-1995, which
ushered in a liberalised business operating regime. The major challenge during
the period was the issue of huge fiscal deficits that averaged 10% of GDP.
Though inflation was an issue, it was still within manageable levels.
Beyond this phase the Zimbabwe Program for Social and Economic
Transformation was implemented from 1996-2000, with focus on consolidating the
gains of economic liberalisation. The only constraint ZIMPREST encountered was
the fact that donors did not provide any funding. In 2000 the Millennium
Economic Recovery Program was launched. This program never took off, due to a
lack of coherence on whether the economy should continue on liberalism or
perhaps pursue a compromise which places less emphasis on markets. The failure
to implement the MERP program marks the turning point of steeper falls in
business confidence. Since then economic events have not helped either to build
or sustain business confidence.
After Iraq, Saudis may be next
americannotes By Ken Mufuka
THE Saudis are the largest producers of oil, and as such, they have fuelled
US and Western industrial machines for the last 50 years.
Officially, and this has been confirmed by the US State Department, they
consider themselves "US partners." The trouble is, as they should have known
from an Arab idiom, 'If one shares his bed with a camel, what happens when the
camel turns at night?'
It is my suggestion that the US is now reviewing that partnership.
The two straws that broke the camel's back are these: Of the 19 hijackers,
15 were Saudi nationals. This suggests that Saudi Arabia is a fertile breeding
ground for anti-American religious extremism, called Islamism. This has been
traced to the Wahabi sect of Islam, which considers itself the keeper of the
sacred shrines of Saudi Arabia.
It seems that American contact with the Saudis, their military bases there
and their overwhelming cultural influence in the Middle East, their influence on
Arab women feminists and the aggressive nature of the Americans is considered
unsettling by most Islamists.
The suggestion here is that the Saudi government should clamp down on
Islamists - some kind of censorship. It is interesting that the Americans are
suggesting measures that are unthinkable in the US itself.
Last Tuesday, evidence surfaced that Princess Haifa al Faisal, wife of the
Saudi ambassador to the US was supporting, through her charity, two students who
were sympathetic or close to two hijackers in California. This method of
argument, in Saudi Arabia, is described as trying to feed two camels with one
straw. It is far-fetched.
Naturally, Arab students are likely to know each other and in any event,
nobody in his wildest imagination could have imagined the September 11 hijacking
of a plane and its crashing into a building. Nevertheless, the Saudis are being
demonised. Demonisation of a nation or its leader, as we now know, is a prelude
to regime change.
American religious leaders have joined in the fray. The Reverend Billy
Graham, (the son) has been quoted as saying that Islam is an evil religion.
Reverend Jerry Falwell, an extremist evangelist, said that Islam is trying to
take over the world. He also suggested that the prophet Muhammad was not above
child marriages (called paedophilia here-a dirty word).
The juicy part in all this is the cultural bias of these famous Americans.
The Christian religion has for the last two thousand years been trying to take
over the world. That is, in the crusades, the Spanish conquistadors slaughtered
millions of American Indians in the name of Christ and the great missionaries
wanted Africa for Christ.
Intellectuals are baffled by Islam and have resorted to calling it
anti-modernist, which is a taboo word here where innovation and progress are
worshipped. Islamism does ask the question which these sinners refuse to
address: What does it profit a man if he gains all the material world and loses
One great intellectual, Franics Fukiyama has asked: "Can any good come out
of radical Islam?" The great debate is centred on Islam's alleged "intolerance,
undemocratic tendencies and totalitarianism."
Stanley Kurtz, a Hoover Institute think-tank fellow finds Islam's "ethos of
self sacrifice cultivated in complex networks of kinship honour", most
disturbing. It is this self-sacrifice ethos that has been the bedrock of Muslim
What all these intellectuals fail to see, which I can see very clearly as
an African and an outsider, is the unsatisfactory nature of urban western
After all my material accomplishments in the last 30 years, I am faced by
the constant provocation of having to substantiate my identity on a daily basis,
even my humanity. Without my friends Fabian Mabaya, James Nemerai in Masvingo
and my nieces Mrs Minah Mandaba, I feel but a reed whistling in the creek. I
feel as if I have no soul.
These sinners here are completely unable to understand what the Islamists
are talking about because their very modernism has removed religious symbols
from their language. Now you will say: "Ken you are going too far. What about
the reverend Jerry Falwell? Surely he understands religious symbols?" My answer
is this. He understands the inner soul only to an extent.
American religion has adopted secular and business symbols, charitable
deeds are explained as an investment in earthly happiness-the very idea that
Martin Luther tried to eradicate from the Roman church.
Mr Falwell is as much a millionaire businessman as he is a Christian in
The Woes of a Worker in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 2,
Reginald T Gola
For a long time workers have been a
source of both urban and village
civilisation and an inspiration for the
youth, students and children.
Every worker enjoyed some celebrity status
in the family and the community.
The worker posed a challenge to the
unemployed and fired them up with the
desire to get a job.
have been role models in the neighbourhood and beyond. They have
fashion-guides and property owners. They, in the past, played a very
role. But gone are the days.
The family and community heroes have died a
painful death. Gone are the days
of meaningful working life in terms of
rewards. Gone are the days of heavy
shopping for the immediate family and for
the extended. Going to the village
was no big deal and it was celebrated at
all times as those goodies from
town marked a favourable change of
The illegitimate ZANU PF regime has destroyed our true Zimbabwean
of caring. It has wrecked our culture
Zimbabweans have learnt to curse visitors and the extended
family due to the
erratic food supplies and the money that no longer buys
much beyond a box of
It has planted hatred between parents
and children. There is no more loving
and cuddling. The rural folks are
cursing the dried up wells of goodies from
town. They do not expect the well
of goodies to dry-up when their children
still go to work.
children are now scared of the country bus terminus, the way to the
home. Going to the rural home is about going to deliver either
agricultural implements or food for the rural parents but now that
does not buy any more goodies, going to the rural home has become
Inevitably, hatred arises and the friendly
spirits rise in favour of the
grieving, hungry and angry parents in the rural
Working in Zimbabwe has become the most unprofitable exercise.
have assumed a new identity. Misery, thinness, anger and hunger
The lucky ones who could afford the restrictive
air fares have escaped this
misery to Tony Blair's England. Zimbabwean
workers are no different from
slaves as their earnings can only buy a little
better than a box of matches
as of now.
But, surprisingly, they have
remained quiet. Yes, Mugabe's tools of
oppression and repression may be fully
lubricated, but a point of life or
death has emerged.
They are caught
between a rock and hard surface in the scorching sun. But
thugs are still walking around masquerading as democrats,
looting more and
rigging elections as evidenced in Insiza recently.
Health centres have
become holocausts. Workers are dying in their numbers
Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance Movement" has ruined hospitals and
workers have been exposed to abject poverty. Medical attention
has, of late,
escalated by 700 percent despite the fact that the hospitals
bedding only, just as lodges do, as dispensaries have remained
The Zimbabwean "Lord's Resistance Movement" had shamelessly
siphon the equivalent of United States one million dollars
monthly over a
period of three years, as part of Mugabe and his cronies
investment in the Congo war of fortune in support of an
at the expense of the citizenry till a few weeks
Several thousand United States dollars are currently being invested
hire of the Black American Wailers Crusade (BAWC) as part of the
"Lord's Resistance Movement" public relations international
Transport costs have become prohibitive
such that the rural areas excursions
with food supplies have inevitably
The Public Service Medical Aid Society has cried foul.
It has expressed
concern to the "Lord's Resistance Movement" that its
constituents would not
be able to cope with the ever increasing subscriptions
and suggested that
the government introduces price controls on
This is a role that, under normal circumstances, the trade
should be articulating.
Mugabe's Lord's Resistance
Movement" chief of propaganda, Jonathan Moyo has
shamelessly lied that the
high exodus of Zimbabwean economic refugees was
plotted by the British and
the Movement for Democratic Change.
This is a blatant lie as supporters
of Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance Movement"
have always been in the stampede.
Hence the existence of the various dubious
societies which are part of the
regime's atrocities cover-up international
The Zimbabwean situation has gone too desperate that the
Movement" can no longer afford the cost of continuously
bribing its own
people as is custom.
Hunger, slavery, poverty, disease
and misery have no boundaries. Zimbabwean
workers of all persuasions have
abandoned what used to be top profile and
well paying jobs to join the
economic survival stampede which is said to be
bringing the "Lord's
Resistence Movement" an estimated 15 million pounds per
month from Tony
In this way they have managed to keep families alive in
Mugabe's Zimbabwe as
well as supplying the now almost official black market
which is heavily patronised by Mugabe's "Lord's Resistance
Movement" for the
Libyan SADC and Eastern bloc honey-moon trips since the
inception of the
Western travel ban.
Jonathan Moyo is a shameless ZANU
PF apologist committed to undue
"West-bashing" to give Mugabe some borrowed
comfort and time.
He has claimed that Zimbabweans are subjected to
slavery conditions in the
West yet the quality of life in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
is currently second to
none, in terms of deplorability.
support Moyo, I should call it "Zimbabweans in voluntary slavery".
a voluntary and most profitable slavery as compared to risking being
to death through hunger, poverty, bad governance, torture, forced
high disregard for human rights.
The worst slaves are the slaves at home,
here in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who do
not have the ruling "Lord's Resistance
Movement" membership cards.
The worst news that these innocent workers
and victims of bad governance
would want to hear is "return to Zimbabwe" for
as long as the Zimbabwe
"Lord's Resistance Movement" continues to rig the
elections in favour of the
age-scorched Robert Mugabe.
If Tony Blair's
England, "Jonathan Moyo's Australian "Kangaroos", Canada and
Africa had not involuntarily provided alternatives for
the Mugabe regime would have, by now, experienced
genuine stomach and head
It is Mugabe's cheap pride that makes him fail to applaud his
Blair and others. It is the West's advocacy for good
governance that has
caused this rift.
Reginald T Gola is an
Organisation Development Consultant, Legislative
Consultant and Political
Commentator. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Aid Deal Collapses
November 28, 2002
Posted to the web December 2,
Abel Mutsakani Deputy Editor-in-Chief
A deal for the
government to swap organic maize for genetically modified
(GM) grain to feed
close to seven million Zimbabweans facing starvation has
because Harare has insufficient maize stocks,
jeopardising future food aid,
the Financial Gazette established this week.
The agreement, signed two
months ago between the government and the United
States of America, was
supposed to result in Zimbabwe swapping naturally
grown maize for genetically
altered grain from the United States.
An initial shipment of more than 17
000 tonnes of genetically modified maize
donated by the US, enough to feed
about 1.6 million hungry people for a
month, was supposed to be exchanged for
a similar quantity of organic maize.
But the maize remains stockpiled at
warehouses in neighbouring South
Africa's port city of Durban, two months
after the government agreed it
should be brought into the country.
spokesman for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Harare, Luis
confirmed that the maize, initially provided under the auspices of
Agency for International Development (USAID) but later handed over
was still outside Zimbabwe.
"An agreement was signed for 17
500 tonnes of USA-donated maize, which was
to be swapped for non-GM maize but
that has not taken place yet," Clemens
There was no
comment from Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Minister
who is in charge of food relief in Zimbabwe.
But under the swap deal
sealed in September, the WFP agreed to hand over the
USA-donated maize to the
government, which would mill it and distribute it
to the public as
Harare would, in exchange, give the WFP 17 500 tonnes of
maize which the international food agency could distribute
under its food
The deal, which sources in the donor
community say was intended to be a
model for future food imports, was a
compromise solution after Harare had
objected to GM maize being brought into
Harare, like other southern African governments facing hunger,
says it does
not want GM maize to be distributed in Zimbabwe. It fears
plant it and endanger future agricultural exports, especially
European Union, which has strict laws against the import of GM
The sources said the compromise deal was as good as dead
government did not have the non-GM maize to exchange with
Drought and a controversial government programme to take over
commercial farms has slashed maize production by at least 60
percent in the
past year, making it difficult for the state to procure
Zimbabwe also has no maize reserves stored for
emergency situations such as
the one it is facing.
Sources said the
government's lack of maize stocks could derail future food
especially since the USA is the largest single food donor.
contributes about half of all international emergency food aid
but refuses to separate GM and non-GM food arguing it is
Americans eat it.
The USA announced this week that it had set aside
US$104 million for food
purchase for Zimbabwe but did not indicate whether
the food would be bought
from American producers or not.
will not work anymore, not because the government does not want
it to work,
but because it does not have enough non-GMO maize to exchange
and it is
important to note that that also puts a big question on what will
future donations if they are GMO," a senior official with an
aid organisation said.
Clemens however declined to comment on future GM
But aid agency officials say the collapse of the swap
deal could hamper
efforts to feed about 6.7 million Zimbabweans in need of
emergency food aid,
whose numbers could swell next year if the El Nino
weather phenomenon hits
The El Nino is associated
with droughts in the region.
"Past data had shown that this (El Nino
conditions) could be accompanied by
a drop in rainfall in the south of the
country and a reduction in crop
yields by between 20 to 40 percent," USAID's
Famine Early Warning Systems
Network said in its latest report on
The organisation has called on the government and aid agencies
to step up
efforts to avert starvation as Zimbabwe's food security situation
Bank loses millions in forex scam
By Pedzisai Ruhanya
IN what could be one
of the biggest financial frauds in Zimbabwe, a
Harare man has been charged
and granted $800 000 bail by the Harare
Magistrates' Court for allegedly
defrauding a bank in a foreign currency
scam involving nearly $400
Craig Fadzai Manzinde, 39, of Sunningdale suburb, was also
surrender his passport, report twice a day to the Criminal
Department and was forbidden from travelling 40 kilometres
He appeared before the court last Friday.
Manzinde, who is
self-employed and sells cars on commission, was represented
Chivhinge. The court remanded him to 19 December. According to the
the crime occurred between 15 and 31 October 2002. It is alleged
Manzinde went to the National Merchant Bank (NMB)'s Unity Court Branch
Kwame Nkrumah Avenue while in possession of a cheque of US$250 000,
was made payable to the bank by American Express Bank in the United
According to the State, he withdrew a
total of $362 500 million. The
cheque was later discovered to have been
altered by Manzinde from US$533,92
to read US$250 000. As a result, the State
alleged that he defrauded the
bank of $362 500 million. The State told the
court it had so far recovered
$49 855 261,49. This also means that Manzinde
changed his foreign currency
with the bank using the parallel market rate of
US$1: Z$1 450, instead of
the official rate of US$1: Z$55. If Manzinde had
used the official rate he
could have been given $13 750 000 by the
The State said that after 13 days, Manzinde asked the
Bank to disburse
the money in the form of four bank cheques in the amounts of
$263 750 000,
$61 250 000, $20 000 000 and $10 000 000. It is alleged that
the NMB sent
the cheque to the US for clearance and on 14 November 2002 the
confirmation from the American Express Bank that the cheque had
altered. The matter was reported to the police on 20 November 2002,
to the arrest of Manzinde on 23 November 2002.
Belgian Credit Agency Issues Default Notice Against
Financial Gazette (Harare)
Posted to the web December 2, 2002
Macdonald Dzirutwe Business
A Belgian export credit agency, Office National du
Ducroire (OND), has
issued a default notice against Zimbabwe to international
institutions and credit agencies after the government failed to pay
than US$376 million owed to the organisation, it was learnt this
OND, which issued the alert last Friday, is an autonomous agency
that has a
financial guarantee from the Belgian government. It provided
credit to Zimbabwe two years ago.
Nigeria Competition Bill
The organisation is part of the Berne Union, which
represents 51 members
worldwide and whose purpose is to provide credit and
insurance cover against
non-payment of international trade
Sources told the Financial Gazette that the OND notice had also
to all Berne Union members, which include Zimbabwe's
They said the Zimbabwean government had secured funds from OND
on behalf of
a parastatal which wanted to procure equipment from a Belgian
Although the sources said the parastatal was
likely to be the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority, the Financial Gazette
had not been able to
confirm this by Tuesday.
The default notice, seen
by this newspaper early this week, however shows
that the Zimbabwean
government, through the Ministry of Finance, issued a
guarantee to OND that
the amount of US$376 881.41 million provided to the
parastatal would be
"The parastatal procured equipment from a Belgian supplier and
procurement by borrowing from OND, the Belgian export credit
source close to the matter said.
"OND had required some
security (from the parastatal) and so the Zimbabwe
government provided the
guarantee to OND."
Sources said OND's default notice would worsen
credit worthiness, already tarnished by the
country's failure to meet its
foreign obligations because of severe hard
Information obtained this week from OND, which has
suspended credit and
insurance cover to Zimbabwe, shows that the agency has
given the country the
worst credit rating that it can award to a
Zimbabwe is rated seven, which indicates that the country is
be "very high risk".
"Cover (insurance and credit) is,
in particular, suspended on Burundi, Cape
Verde, Nicaragua, Zambia and
Zimbabwe," OND said in a statement.
The agency has however awarded
Zimbabwe's nearest neighbours, Botswana and
South Africa, ratings showing
they are considered "relatively low risk" and
Local economic commentators said the Zimbabwean government had
set a bad
precedence that would make it impossible for the country's private
and parastatals to secure credit from Berne Union members, which
Export-Import Bank of the United States.
destroying the creditworthiness that we have built since 1980 and it
take many more years to re-establish that even if the present
today," consultant economist John Robertson said.
Zimbabwe's inability to
meet its foreign obligations and its reputation as a
bad credit risk has
contributed to the suspension of balance-of-payments
international institutions, worsening serious hard
Zimbabwe's arrears on foreign debt now stand at
US$1.3 billion, and until
cleared will make it difficult for the country to
secure further foreign
assistance at a time it is desperate for foreign
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Leonard Tsumba last week said
hard cash crisis was so severe that the country had less than two
"We can cover up to two weeks of imports but
ideally, we have to cover three
months. We need at least US$202 million a
month as an economy in the
developing world," Tsumba said when he announced
new monetary policy
measures last Wednesday.
Analysts said Zimbabwe
had to mend fences with international institutions
such as the Berne Union,
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
by restoring confidence in
the country's economy.
This would enable the country to attract foreign
support, easing the forex
An economist with Intermarket
Holdings said: "Everything seems to be going
down and we cannot continue with
this go-it-alone attitude and continue to
default because the time will come
when we will be called to account for
everything we owe.
will not want to see us sink beyond where we are and so we have
mending fences with the rest of the world. We have very
Potential for Conflict Over Land
UN Integrated Regional
December 2, 2002
Posted to the web December 2,
This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United
The pending settlement of a land dispute case in northern
(KZN) could become an example for the rest of South Africa,
which, like its
neighbour Zimbabwe, is faced with a need to conduct land
Unlike its northern neighbour, South Africa's land reform
programme has not
been marked by violence and disrespect for the rule of law.
number of land invasions have occurred over the past few years
the government's programme.
In the tiny rural area of
Nonoti, about 100-km north of the coastal city of
Durban, a land dispute case
is being finalised that could have implications
for land reform in South
In the late 1980's Nonoti consisted mainly of a number of
sugarcane farmers, many of whose families had been living on and
their land since the 19th century.
However, since 1989 many of
them have fled their homes and abandoned their
farm land due to land
invasions. But the seemingly intractable dispute over
land rights may yet be
solved through negotiations between land owners,
illegal occupiers and the
With KZN being a former hotbed of political violence - mostly
and the years immediately after South Africa's first
democratic election in
1994 - the potential for further violence over land
was worrying, said Mary
de Haas of the Natal Violence Monitor.
Monitor report on patterns of violence in KZN, covering the period May
September 2002, noted that: "Orchestrated land invasions have been
in a number of areas of this province for several years. The threat
further invasions loomed large in Kranskop [a rural area of the
following the killing of an alleged poacher in August
"Following this incident, members of the amaNgcolosi Tribal
borders on commercial farming land and a conservancy area in
shooting occurred, alleged various abuses by farmers (including
confiscation of livestock), called for the removal of whites and
came with sugarcane' (an apparent allusion to Indian farmers in the
The report said other farmers targeted for attack during the
farmers of Indian heritage in the Verulam/Hazelmere area,
have reportedly increased dramatically this year ... a number
their farms in fear of their lives".
A representative of the small-scale farmers affected by land
Naren Harikrishna, vice chair of the Darnall Farmers Association,
the background to the dispute.
Although Harikrishna was not
affected by land invasions, his association
decided to assist the Nonoti
farmers when it became clear a solution needed
to be negotiated.
[land invasions] began in about 1989. There was a black [African]
living on their own property and one of them decided he was going to
plots to outsiders for a few Rands, that is how it started,"
As more and more people came to the area to settle,
there was greater demand
"Sugarcane is easily destroyed by
fire and they started burning the cane off
the land and started building
houses on farmers' land. It spread, from one
farm to the other. These were
poor, small farmers. Not guys who could afford
security and legal costs to
get squatters evicted. The affected farmers
eventually, in about 1990, got
together and formed a committee and they got
a court order to evict the
illegal occupants on their land.
"But the order was not carried out [by
authorities]. In one section the army
did evict illegal occupants but two
weeks later they [squatters] were back
and were setting up shacks again,"
There were at least two incidents in which farmers
homes were razed by
arsonists. Violence and threats forced many to flee and
give up their homes
and land. About 20 small-scale farmers were left with
De Haas said land invasions had "been going
on for over 10 years, they have
been targeting small-scale sugar farmers ...
hoping nobody would notice".
She said political violence was a major
factor driving invasions. "It's
linked to violence in other areas, [violence]
has forced people to flee,"
In Nonoti the displaced have
become the displacers.
Harikrishna told IRIN that many of the people who
had illegally occupied
farmers' land were themselves forced to flee their
"People have come from everywhere, from the Transkei,
Zululand, Durban, all
over the place. A lot of people were displaced because
of political violence
in KwaZulu-Natal. Violence in their home areas forced
them to move, they
were looking for a safe haven. Also, many have never owned
land in all their
lives, so they see there's an opportunity to own land and
they move in," he
Their occupation of land has in turn forced
others to flee.
"The affected farmers have moved into cities and into
other spheres of
industry as their land cannot sustain them any longer. Many
relatives and friends. They were small farmers, each had between 10
hectares of land. Homes have been burnt down, crops were destroyed
the illegal occupations. The farmers had to abandon their land,"
The people illegally occupying
farm land have virtually no facilities. But
the local municipality cannot
provide infrastructure services without the
permission of the land-owners,
which was not forthcoming. "The council can
only put in infrastructure with
the land-owners permission, but how can the
land-owners give consent for
illegal occupation of their land?" said
"The squatters on
the land have no infrastructure, no water provision, no
roads, no plumbing, no refuse removal - no facilities at
about 600 hectares of crop land has been occupied illegally and
about three treadle pumps to serve about 1,000 households
people per home, that's about 5,000 people. In the mornings
you see a long
line of people queuing for water," he added.
MOVING TOWARD A
About six months ago the affected farmers began negotiating
department of land affairs.
"We have now got to the point
where the affected farmers have decided to
sell the land to the department,
so they will get compensation, and the land
will be given to the municipality
so that they can go and put in
"All the necessary
documentation, title deeds etc., have been given to the
department of land
affairs. The department will appoint an evaluator to
value the properties and
we are hoping that by the end of March  this
whole [thing] will be
sorted out. Payments would be made and the land would
be given to the
municipality," Harikrishna said.
Khathe Nzimande, chief planner for the
regional programme in the provincial
department of land affairs, told IRIN
that it seemed a resolution was near.
"Previously we had a problem in
that owners did not want to sign agreements
and a lot of occupiers coming
onto the land. Up until the intervention of
the Darnall Farmers Association
that is, now there seems to be a resolution.
Most of the land owners have
submitted their land availability agreements
... evaluation money has been
approved and we'll be meeting with the
community [occupying the land] very
soon to discuss the transfer of the land
to the municipality," he
It appeared that there were reservations within the community
land over the transfer of the land to the municipality and not
"In most cases we only transfer land to the municipality once
municipality has indicated there will be housing development [on
property], but in this case they have not [indicated such]. But they
assured us that once there's a final settlement they will plan
development. At this meeting we will talk to the people [about
municipalities' plans]," Nzimande explained.
There has also been
an official land claim lodged, but the regional land
claims commission has
given the department the go-ahead to proceed with
Should the official land claim succeed, there may have
to be a
renegotiation, Nzimande said. Either way, the department hoped the
would be sorted out before the end of the financial year.
"We hope that this will be a success story, where the
problems are solved,
to a large extent, by the communities themselves. What
we did was we formed
two committees. A committee of affected landowners and a
committee headed by
a local councillor with representatives of the people
living on the land.
"We sat down and talked, and now there's a solution
in sight," said
What sort of farmers need to be urged to till the land?
Geared for Farming, President Tells Farmers
The Herald (govt paper)
November 29, 2002
Posted to the web December 2,
President Mugabe has urged newly-resettled farmers to
use their ploughs to
till the land in preparation for the coming agricultural
season, instead of
waiting for tractors from the Government.
it was imperative for people to be fully geared for the season since
"It is encouraging to note that in some areas, crops have
already started to
"There are some areas which have not been
ploughed, particularly in
"In the rural areas,
some have already started to plough. Do not wait for
tractors. Those with
cattle must start to plough maybe one or two hectares
in the areas, in which
they have been resettled."
The President said this when he officially
opened a science and
administration block at Chikaka Secondary School in
He urged those with tractors to assist those who were struggling
to till the
land owing to lack of equipment.
He said Zimbabweans
should remain united to overcome challenges facing the
us remain united in good or bad times. When we are going through hard
we should try to find solutions. This will enable us to develop as a
The President also urged pupils at the school to work hard and
Cde Mugabe said he was satisfied with the
development that had taken place
at Chikaka Secondary School where he
initially donated $1million for the
construction of the administration and
The Government would always support initiatives meant to
ensure that the
youths received quality education, he said.
It was for
that reason that when parents in Zvimba requested him to assist
construction of the administration and science blocks, he
Chikaka Secondary School is now being supplied with fresh water
nearby Nyamavanga Dam.
Yesterday, the President donated an
additional $5million to the school.
Prominent bankers Mr Enock Kamushinda
and Dr Gideon Gono and Zimbabwe
Football Association chairman Mr Leo Mugabe,
donated $500 000 each to the
President Mugabe said he would
also support a proposal by traditional
leaders to construct a new clinic in
The President was accompanied by the Minister of Local
Works and National Housing, Cde Ignatius Chombo, Zanu-PF
Information and Publicity, Cde Nathan Shamuyarira, Mashonaland
Provincial Governor Cde Peter Chanetsa and senior Government and
Daily News - Feature
Famine looms as commercial farms reduced to
12/2/2002 10:54:41 AM (GMT +2)
As Flight SA020 descended in preparation for
touchdown at Harare
International Airport last Monday the intercom crackled
into life overhead
and an authoritative voice made an unusual
"This is your captain speaking," the voice said.
a window seat on either side may wish to look below to
see how commercial
farming is fast disappearing from Zimbabwe."
Passengers, including those like me who were not occupying a window
responded and were reeled in shock.
Their aerial inspection of the
fast changing landscape below presented
them with a forlorn picture of what
the commercial farming sector has
degenerated to in the 34 months since the
first farm was invaded by a group
of war veterans in the Masvingo area to
signal the advent of government's
agrarian reform programme, an exercise
which has been marred by lawlessness
passengers on Flight SA020 saw along their flight path was a
scene of zero
farming activity on commercial farms in the Beatrice and
commercial farming area.
While listeners and viewers of radio and
television have been
bombarded with the outrageous propaganda spewed out day
and night by the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to extol the virtues of
new agrarian revolution spearheaded by the new farmers what
on this flight and, no doubt, passengers on other flights,
international see as they fly in and out of Harare is a totally
story. It is a story of desolation and total waste.
Quite evidently there is little farming activity, let alone an
revolution taking place on the commercial farms that once
to the status of bread basket of the region along with
The new farmers in the Beatrice and Harare South areas are
obviously not part of the new revolution that became the centrepiece of
optimistic propaganda that the draughts-men at the Ministry of
started to churn out before the first crop of the much
season had even taken root.
programme has been bedevilled by a serious shortage
of tractors, seed and
fertilisers. There is a serious shortage of fertiliser
in the country. A bank
official who spoke on condition he was not identified
said last week his
bank's agri-business department was processing and
approving, hundreds of
applications from new farmers for loans.
"Normally this process is
over by August," he said. "But we are still
processing hundreds of
applications from people who say they want to buy
tractors and other
implements and inputs for this season. It's chaotic, but
we are giving them
the money, sometimes without full assessment of viability
He said A2 Scheme farmers were receiving loans of up to
"Some government ministers are receiving up to $70
million. They say
they want to buy combine harvesters. Some have old loans
that they have not
repaid or been servicing."
In order to avoid
jumping to a negative conclusion over government's
much publicised agrarian
reform on the basis of observations made from the
air in only a part of the
country, The Daily News, last week chartered a
light aircraft to fly
extensively over other commercial farming areas.
This was to
establish whether the pattern was the same there and to
ascertain the extent
or lack thereof of farming activity by the new
settlers, many of them members
of the war veteran community but others who
are civilians resettled in
orderly fashion as part of the A2 Scheme on
productive land from which the
previous white owners were forcibly, and in
some cases, violently evicted
over the past 34 months, as part of government
's land resettlement
The chartered plane flew a Daily News photographer over
commercial farming area of Mazowe Valley to cover the Bindura and
areas, before veering off south east-wards to fly over the equally
Marondera and Hwedza areas.
A common observation in all
areas was the almost total absence of land
preparation for the new season in
the commercial farming areas. It was also
quite apparent that no winter crops
were harvested. It was also evident that
the occasional farming activity,
which the traveller sometimes observes in
the commercial farming districts is
limited to the roadside, the favourite
haunt of farm invaders.
The pictures published on this page are an example of what one sees
air as one flies from Harare to Bindura via Concession and
there is unequivocal evidence of almost zero farming
non-existent farming activity was observed in the
despite the abundance of water, including irrigation
The fact simply has to be accepted by the most ardent supporters of
current agrarian programme it has been the cause of the total or
collapse of serious commercial farming activity in those areas covered
The Daily News flight.
It becomes a logical assumption that
it could be this serious decline
in productive agriculture, rather than last
season's drought situation that
was the major cause of the current dire
shortage of food, with little
prospect that the haphazard planting of a few
resource-strapped new farmers
will make up for the national
Since the wave of government-sponsored farm invasions started
earnest in 2000 some 3 000 white commercial farmers have been evicted,
violently, from their farms. More than 10 members of the commercial
community lost their lives in the period. Only 600 farmers remain on
farms, being engaged in full-scale or limited farming activity. There
unofficial reports that government is currently encouraging selected
either to return to their farms or to increase
An estimated 900 000 farm workers have been displaced
over the same
period. The Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe, which is
farm workers, reports that more than 150 000 farm workers
and their families
were displaced in August alone, when their employers were
government's agrarian reform programme.
United Nations agencies estimate that 6,9 million
Zimbabweans currently face
starvation. The shortage of basic food stuffs has
become acute in both rural
and urban areas.
There may be a deluge of rain this season. In the
sector the rains will fall, in most cases, on untilled
land with little
prospect of contributing towards the alleviation of the
current spectre of
starvation on a massive scale.
Daily News - Letter
Census report due out in December
12/2/2002 (GMT +2)
In response to the
letter which was published in your issue of Friday
8 November 2002, the
Central Census Office (CCO) would like to inform the
public that a population
census exercise involves several processes that
ensure that figures that will
be finally published are accurate and give the
true demographic picture of
the nation. It, thus, takes a while before even
publishing the preliminary
The writer of the letter pointed out that the CCO might
the census results altogether, but CCO would like to inform the
this is not possible because conducting and publishing census
results is the
major business of this office. The CCO is working towards the
the 2002 population census results. Because of the complex
nature of the
census process as has been described above, the publication of
will be done in phases based on the detail to be
Preliminary results based on manual editing and
summing-up will be
published in December 2002. Electronic data processing
will begin in January
2003 and the first provincial profile will be published
in the second
quarter of 2003 and the national report in December
Daily News - Leader Page
Not disclosing losses in DRC smacks of
12/2/2002 (GMT +2)
Zimbabweans have been asking about the human, financial
and equipment cost of
the country's four-year adventure in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo
(DRC) remain unanswered.
In September, the Minister of Defence
promised that the casualties of
the campaign would be disclosed during the
DRC Withdrawal Grand Parade. That
was held on Saturday in Harare, but
Zimbabweans are none the wiser after the
event. Addressing 1 200 of the
estimated 11 000 soldiers who participated in
the DRC campaign, President
Mugabe, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the
Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said
contrary to the general belief that Zimbabwe
had suffered heavy human and
equipment losses, the country had suffered
minimal losses during the
He may have been correct. A hundred or
500 soldiers compared to 11 000
can be considered minimal. But for the
families of the dead soldiers, one
death is one loss too many. By not
disclosing the losses Zimbabwe suffered,
the matter is left to conjecture,
speculation, but not to those for whom the
losses meant a lot. The only
inference that can be drawn from the reluctance
to quantify statistically
Zimbabwe's losses in the DRC, is that they must be
so high they would shock
many into questioning the returns on such an
investment. It is possible that
in its attempt to underplay the casualty
rate, the government feared putting
a specific number because many of those
who were there know the truth and
would, therefore, dispute it, with proof.
Many at Manyame Air Base, who
witnessed the incoming flights carrying the
bodies of their fallen relatives,
colleagues and friends, know the extent of
the losses suffered by Zimbabwe in
the DRC. It will not be long, however,
before the truth is
But it is also possible that Zimbabwe really does not
know the full
extent of its losses, otherwise why should the toll remain
instead went on the offensive, criticising those who have
involvement of Zimbabwe in the DRC. While it is accepted that
into the DRC initially with the specific brief of supporting
administration against rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda, the
Nations report on the plunder of the DRC's natural resources shows
that somewhere along the way, the mission departed from being solely
defending the territorial integrity of the central African
Mugabe said that the government was clean and had not
been involved in
questionable activities in the DRC. That is probably true.
Those named in
the UN report did not carry out the activities they are
alleged to have
conducted on behalf of the government, even though they are
government officials. But while Zimbabwe has rushed to criticise
the UN report, President Joseph Kabila has used it as a basis for
action against his own officials named in the report. That there
something untoward is not in dispute. It is just that some people
that if the truth is denied and dismissed repeatedly, it will
It would be helpful if an
inter-parliamentary committee is established
to follow up on the UN report
and ascertain the veracity of the charges made
in that report. Only then, can
the government go ahead and dismiss the UN
report. To refuse to do so would
suggest the government knows something and
is trying to keep it from the rest
of the nation. The truth might be
suppressed for now, but it cannot be kept a
secret for ever. For example, a
change over in Kinshasa might see someone
determined to get to the bottom of
the extent of the plunder. That would
create problems for the government.
Stephen Romei: Add another name to the axis of evil:
December 03, 2002
WHEN it comes to being the world's most
despicable despot, Robert Mugabe is
giving Saddam Hussein a run for his
money. If the US-UK-Australia
anti-terrorism alliance is serious about its
work, Zimbabwe should join the
list of regimes in need of
Mugabe is practising systematic and widespread terrorism against
by withholding desperately needed food aid to regions that voted
opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the March
It is difficult to know the extent of the
problem due to the curbs on
foreign media enacted in the lead-up to the poll.
However, it seems the US
and Australia recognise that Mugabe has turned
charity into a political
weapon - potentially of mass destruction.
October, Mugabe accused Oxfam and Save the Children of backing the MDC
banned them from distributing aid. Hundreds of tonnes of food sit
on the South African border.
In a videotape smuggled out of Zimbabwe and
aired on the ABC last week,
locals - including a shopkeeper - said only
card-carrying members of
Mugabe's Zanu-Patriotic Front party were receiving
the maize meal shipped in
by foreign donors, including Australia.
party's senior bureaucrat Didymus Mutasa has reportedly said Zimbabwe
be better off if half its 12 million people starved to death. It's not
idle figure; it is the number who do face starvation, according to the
World Food Program.
"We would be better off with only 6 million,
with our own people who support
the liberation struggle," Mutasa reportedly
said. "We don't want all these
In that callous
calculus, Regina Mwindle, a 39-year-old mother of seven,
would be one of the
extra people. Like most in her township, she supported
the MDC in the polls.
As reported in The Australian last week, she and her
family, denied food aid,
survive on leaves, roots and seeds. It's a
desperation diet common in North
Korea, another nation that starves its
people and a deserving member of
George W. Bush's axis of evil.
Mwindle's youngest child is seven months
old. He will not benefit from the
sanctions Australia placed on Zimbabwe in
response to Mugabe's dispossession
of white farmers. Even Alexander Downer
admits the measures - restricting
Mugabe and his ministers from travelling to
Australia or operating in our
financial system - are largely
It may be time to get tougher, as Mark Bellamy, the US Deputy
Secretary of State for Africa, has suggested. Comparing Mugabe with
Bellamy said: "We may be prepared to take some very
interventionist measures to ensure aid delivery to
It will be interesting to see if that view wins support in the
administration and with allies such as Australia. The
alliance wants to neck Hussein because of the uncertain threat
he poses to
us, not his documented domestic terrorism. Mugabe does not
imperil us but
he's a terrorist all the same.
THE government's land
resettlement programme has been dealt a severe
blow by the severe shortage of
tillage units and a 100 percent rise in
result, thousands of newly resettled farmers, particularly in the
and Matabeleland provinces, have not yet prepared their land for
This comes at a time when there is generally low activity on most
farms occupied by the country's "new farmers", following the ejection
white commercial farmers under the government's fast-track
Most of the resettled farmers do
not have the farming implements,
maize seed and inputs, which are either in
short supply or are too expensive
to buy. On Thursday, President Mugabe urged
those with tractors to assist
those who were struggling to till their land
owing to lack of equipment. He
was speaking when he officially opened a
science and administration block at
Chikaka Secondary School in Zvimba, his
rural home. A senior official with
the government's Agricultural Research and
Extension Services (Arex) in
Gweru, said at the weekend the shortage of
government tillage units had
severely crippled the land redistribution
The problem has been compounded by a 100 percent rise
in tilling costs
and the continued shortage of maize-seed and drought
agricultural sector. The District Development Fund (DDF),
which falls under
the Ministry of Rural Resources and Water Development, on
the increase in tilling costs. A DDF official in Bulawayo,
who declined to
be named, said the the DDF now charges $9 950 to till a
hectare of land.
Previously they charged $5 000. The increase was effected to
cushion the DDF
from the current harsh economic conditions, he said. A number
tractors were also grounded because of a shortage of spare parts, the
official said. "The DDF is now inviting individuals and organisations
tillage equipment to assist in the provision of tillage services on
farms," he said.
"There is not much activity on the
farms at the moment because of the
shortage of draught power and the erratic
rains that we have received so
far," said DDF officials at the provincial
offices in Gweru. They declined
to give further details. A notice at the DDF
offices reads: "For those
willing to offer their services under this
programme to be accepted, their
tractors and ancillary equipment must first
be pronounced suitable by a
District Development Fund workshop nearest to
them. "Interested individuals
and organisations shall provide their own
tractors and operators,
implements, fuels, oils, repairs etc. Details on how
the scheme will operate
are available at all District Development Fund
district and provincial
A number of large-scale
commercial farmers, however, said they were
not willing to assist the
government as they might not get paid for the
service. Silas Hungwe, the
president of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU),
could not be reached to
comment on the new charges. Most farmers, especially
in Matabeleland, do not
have draught power as their cattle have succumbed to
the effects of the
prevailing drought. Meanwhile, the ZFU has said the
early-planted maize crop
in Zhombe and Silobela districts in the Midlands
could be a write-off if it
does not rain within the next two weeks. Drake
Tobaiwa, the acting ZFU
regional manager for Midlands, said most crops in
the area had wilted due to
moisture stress. "If we do not receive meaningful
rains within the next two
weeks the crops in those areas could be a
write-off," he said.
ZCTU denies political links
11:25:54 AM (GMT +2)
Matombo, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), on
Thursday said the labour body was not under any political
to accusations by its detractors.
He was speaking at the official
launch of the ZCTU's Labour and
Economic Development Research Institute of
Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) in Harare.
Matombo said: "There is no influence
from anywhere. We have the
capacity to think for ourselves, to organise and
do anything that any
organisation anywhere can do. We are just as good as any
The government and the Zanu PF-supported
Zimbabwe Federation of Trade
Unions regard the ZCTU as an extension of the
The LEDRIZ was first placed on the ZCTU's agenda seven years
Among its aims is to carry out policy research on national, regional
international developments that impact on labour and
Matombo said the establishment of the LEDRIZ had come from
realisation that developing countries were coming under a lot of pressure
the world economy integrated.
He said: "This pressure is
easily transmitted to the labour market
where jobs and incomes are
increasingly insecure. Because of the huge
influence developments elsewhere
are having on our economies, this
introduces new challenges to the workers
and the labour movement. Under such
conditions, foresight becomes a critical
"In this regard, we are establishing a research institute
the requisite foresight so that we are pro-active rather than
Government still mum on DRC casualties
12/2/2002 (GMT +2)
By Sam Munyavi
and Sydney Sekeramayi, the Minister of Defence, have
remained mum about the
casualties and financial costs of the war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC), despite Sekeramayi's promise in
September that the figures would be
revealed at Saturday's DRC withdrawal
military parade in Harare.
The parade was held at the National Sports Stadium to mark the
Zimbabwe's troops from the DRC, where the government committed
soldiers in August 1998 to prop up the late Laurent Kabila's
was under attack by rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda.
Addressing the parade
and a very low turn-out of members of the public,
Mugabe only said: "Contrary
to the general belief that we suffered heavy
human and equipment losses, I
would like to assure the nation that, where
losses occurred, they were very
"We would not be having all this equipment and
personnel on parade
today had we suffered heavy losses as claimed by the
prophets of doom."
Asked why the number of casualties and the costs to
Zimbabwe had not been
revealed as he had promised in Parliament in September,
"Nobody ever said that. I didn't say that." Sekeramayi
that the full cost of the government's military adventure
in the DRC would
be disclosed at the parade to mark the complete withdrawal
of the troops
from that country. He was responding to a question by Giles
MDC's shadow minister of defence.
said: "It is only at that parade where the human and
financial costs will be
made public. That information will only be given
after our total withdrawal.
We will not give the information in tranches."
Yesterday Mutsekwa said he
would raise the question again with Sekeramayi in
Parliament. He said: "There
has been a lot of speculation about the losses
in the DRC and Mugabe is
actually fuelling that speculation. If he was
scared to tell the nation, then
we must have lost a lot." Dr Lovemore
Madhuku, the chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly, said Mugabe's
failure to release the information
"must be condemned entirely".
He said: "It is not surprising.
They behave as if they will always be
the government of this country, an
autocracy of sorts. That shows they have
no respect for Zimbabweans. "There
is no accountability. Zimbabweans need to
know how many lives were lost in
that war, how much it cost, and what
benefits we got from it. The nation
needs this information for future
formulation of policy." On Saturday, Mugabe
denied assertions by the United
Nations and others that Zimbabwe was involved
in the plunder of the DRC's
resources. Mutsekwa said: "He was quick to say
the DRC campaign was very
clean despite the UN report. He did not
substantiate his statement. What it
means is that what happened in the DRC
had the blessing of the
commander-in-chief. That is setting a bad
Mutsekwa dismissed Saturday's parade as a Zanu PF
rally. "We do not
regard it as a grand military parade. It was actually a
Zanu PF campaign
rally." He said the display of military vehicles and
equipment was "clearly
to scare people. Mugabe knows there is a lot of unrest
now and there is
going to be an explosion in the near future".
Police still holding NCA employees without
12/2/2002 11:30:48 AM (GMT +2)
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) yesterday said
29 of its
members and workers who were arrested on Friday and Saturday were
Two are members of the NCA secretariat
who were among the six arrested
while at work at the NCA head office in
Harare on Friday. Four were released
without charge on Saturday
Douglas Mwonzora, the NCA spokesman, said: "They have not
charged. These arrests have no basis whatsoever and constitute a
abuse of State power. It is not a crime to be employed by the NCA and
against the Constitution to punish persons who participate in
The NCA staged demonstrations in 10 places
around the country in its
continuing fight for a new democratic
Mwonzora said the demonstrations would continue in
two weeks' time
with 22 communities participating.
"Thereafter, but before Christmas, major demonstrations will
be staged in
city centres to push for our demand for a new constitution."
described Saturday's demonstrations as "a huge success".
"These demonstrations were conducted under the new style in
marches take place in local communities rather than in
"The main justification for these community-based
demonstrations is to
build a gradual momentum for mass demonstrations
throughout the country for
a new home-grown constitution as an answer to the
Community-based demonstrations are also a form of public
He said the NCA hoped the demonstration would produce
"a core of brave
and seasoned activists ready to confront the Mugabe regime
over its refusal
to embrace an open democracy".
Saturday's demonstrations were scheduled to take place
in 14 urban-based
communities but succeeded in 10 places in Harare,
Mutare and Gweru after the police intimidated the
leadership in the other
Mwonzora said the NCA would not respect the
oppressive provisions of
the Public Order and Security Act.
said: "Only the government's readiness to engage in a genuine
reform process will lead to an end to these demonstrations."
Bulawayo, Felix Mafa, the NCA's vice-chairman, said the NCA
managed to circumvent the police by adopting a strategy
the police did not
He said: "Our strategies were far above the police
people took part and our demonstration started in the
suburbs, while the
police were patrolling in the city centre.
"That action was only the beginning. People are disgruntled and fed up
they are prepared to take up any action possible to challenge the