The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Daily News

      'Jambanja' may be officially over but the violence remains

      12/5/2002 8:29:06 AM (GMT +2)

      By Michael Hartnack

      Orders went out quietly from Robert Mugabe's Cabinet late November:
"Jambanja (smash-and-grab) is over. It is time for return to the rule of
law. We wanted something. Now we have got it so jambanja is finished."

      This seems in harmony with noises coming from the South African
government that "even if mistakes were made" in the seizure of 5 000
white-owned farms and violent suppression of the opposition, Mugabe deserves
a fresh start.

      Squatters building houses on unzoned land were ordered to move off;
district administrators were told that although all whites served with
seizure and eviction notices would have to quit, no more indiscriminate
seizures of farms would be permitted. Harare sources say the inspiration
behind this is Leonard Tsumba, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe,
who, with undoubted South African backing, is urging reconciliation with the
World Bank and International Monetary Fund to regain access to budgetary
support, end the foreign currency crisis, and curb 142 percent inflation
which the IMF believes will soar to 522 percent next year.

      But "Jambanja is over" is easier to say than to accomplish, even with
the good offices of the South African government. In reality, relations with
Western nations, and thus the international monetary institutions, go from
bad to worse; the economy is crashing; ordinary people are desperate; United
Nations bodies warn of mass deaths from starvation within months; and the
political manipulation of food aid is increasingly blatant.

      Last Saturday, at the National Sports Stadium, Mugabe himself spelled
out how he views the "end of jambanja" when he reviewed the armed forces
following their withdrawal from the DRC. At the height of four-year
involvement, 14 000 Zimbabwean troops were deployed there. With attack
helicopters and armoured personnel carriers on display for the first time,
Mugabe made clear the menacing weaponry was intended for counter-insurgency
duties at home.

      "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." He still refused to reveal the
cost either in cash or casualties, made the usual cracks about British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, and told returning troops they would receive
white-owned farms seized in their absence - "So you needn't worry, there is
still a lot of land to parcel out."

      The World Food Programme (WFP) warned last Thursday 6,7 million people
are at risk of dying before the next harvests. The WFP had aimed to feed
three million people during November but failed. "We will all have to work
non-stop over the coming months if we are to prevent millions from
 starving," said Kevin Farrell, the WFP chief representative.

      Families were surviving on wild fruits and semi-poisonous tubers.
      WFP field monitors say many schoolchildren arrive at classes without
having eaten, and commonly faint. Some children have dropped out altogether
because of hunger, and many older pupils have quit school to seek work as
casual labourers. Even those in formal employment were suffering due to
omnipresent shortages of maize-meal, bread, milk and sugar.

      Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo says that 160 have
already starved to death in Matabeleland. And the next few months may be
only the start. Even if good rains fall -and brilliant blue skies make this
look increasingly unlikely - a maize crop cut to 800 000 tonnes by political
disruption will not meet the 1,8 million tonne 2003-4 demand. No one now
mentions the protestations of Agriculture Minister Joseph Made well into
2002 that the country had adequate food stocks and might not need to import
any if grain "hoarded by whites" was seized. With Made-style disregard for
the truth, the regime this week claimed it had succeeded in forcing down
black currency market rates from Z$1 700 to Z$600 to one US dollar.

      All that happened was that Zimbabweans trying to sell foreign currency
were offered Z$600-US$1, to compensate for the greater risk faced by traders
if found out, while those wanting to buy were asked upwards of Z$2 200-US$1.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange crashed as officials tried to enforce
impracticable price controls and exporters were ordered to surrender
earnings to the authorities at the official rate of Z$55-US$1, while having
to buy imported inputs at Z$2 200.

      There are new reports of political interference in the distribution of
food: children of suspected opposition supporters are barred from
supplementary feeding schemes in schools, food sales in which only those
with ruling party cards dated before the disputed presidential election in
March are allowed to take part.

      In Buhera, rural home of Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition
MDC, Chief Makumbe told workers for Christian Care who were about to
distribute relief: "I don't want any food from the people who are sponsoring
Tsvangirai to oust our legitimate leader, Mugabe. Go to other areas."
American Embassy staff assessing the food crisis among homeless and starving
former farm workers near Harare were set upon by Mugabe's militants. The
regime ignored US protests and responded by saying the personnel were
"trespassing," and that displaced farm workers do not exist. Finally, in a
detailed report last week, Danish Physicians for Human Rights said the
situation in Zimbabwe might be summoned up in a four-word slogan: "Vote Zanu
PF or Starve!"

      "Starvation and death will occur on party political lines," warned the
Danes. Among all the official truth-twisting statements, one smacks of the
truth: the chilling announcement earlier this year by former Parliamentary
Speaker Didymus Mutasa, now Zanu PF secretary for administration, that the
party would rather see the population halved to six million - if they are
all loyal supporters. - ZWNews
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Daily News  - Feature

      Zimbabwe needs genuine patriots, not genuine partisans

      12/5/2002 8:47:30 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE needs a patriotic not partisan government.

      The cry on most people's lips in Zimbabwe is about the sky-rocketing
cost of living, a development that seems to defy government measures such as
price controls.

      Prices of basic consumer commodities and services have risen so much
in the past three months that for most Zimbabweans, the cost of living has
become unaffordable.

      What with bread being sold for $170 a loaf, not at black market
outlets in Bulawayo's Makokoba or Matshobana high-density suburb, but in the
black-owned supermarkets in Bulawayo's central business district?

      In 2000, a loaf of white bread cost $15, up from 14 cents in 1980, and
brown bread cost $14, 60 in 2000, up from 12 cents in 1980.

      A box of matches now sells for $20, up from one cent in 1980. A toilet
roll today costs anything between $125 and $210, up from five to six cents
in 1980.

      The government has introduced price control measures, and created a
team to monitor their effective implementation. That has been very happily
received by most consumers, many of whom strongly feel that frequent price
increases are caused by sheer avarice and that retailers are mostly to
blame, with wholesalers coming next in the list of culpable players.

      While there is some truth in that sentiment, it is important to note
that the sale of goods or services by a retailer marks the end of a long
process that starts with the owner of the means of production such as a
farm, a dam, a timber plantation, or a mine, a hotel, lodge, block of flats,
aircraft, train, bus, school or hospital.

      The price at which the farm was bought is bound to have a very
significant bearing on that of its products inasmuch as the farm owner will
try to recoup what they would have invested in the property.

      What they will charge as rent or for its products will be affected by
the type of finance used to acquire the property; in many cases, that
finance is in the form of a loan on which some interest is charged.

      The next stage in the process involves expenses in the actual
production of commodities such as potatoes or tomatoes, meat or fruit, or in
the provision of services, as is the case in the travel and tourism

      Overhead expenses are also incurred by these primary producers of
goods and services.

      Having produced these goods, expenses are incurred through their
storage and distribution.

      Wholesalers play a major part in the distribution stage of goods and
services. It is from the wholesalers that the vast majority of retailers buy
their stock.

      The retailers' mark-up is reflected in the prices paid by consumers,
and that is why they (retailers) are always confronted by consumers about
rising prices of goods and services.

      A price is scientifically defined as an accumulation of sacrifices a
customer or client makes in order to experience the benefits of a product or

      Attempts to control or monitor prices must start from the very
beginning of the process and follow it up to the stage when the good or
service is purchased by the consumer - production, storage, distribution and
so on.

      Price-controlling mechanisms must fully understand this process, and
know how much it costs on average to produce a given unit of weight or
volume of goods or services. Failure to do so by the government would
completely destroy the country's industry and commerce.

      Why? Because price controls at the end of the distribution (retailing)
chain that do not consider the initial production expenses would be resisted
or would cause official retail outlets to close down, resulting in the
mushrooming of illegal selling outlets of goods and

      Some people have pointed to the former Soviet Union as an example of
where price controls allegedly failed to work.

      That view is erroneous. In fact, they were effectively implemented
because the means of production and distribution were owned and controlled
by the state - from hotels and aircraft, schools, and hospitals in the case
of services, to farms, timber forests, mines and fishing grounds in the case
of products.

      It was thus easy for that socialist state to monitor the whole pricing
process because the state totally owned and controlled the means of
production and distribution.

      To maintain business viability of its enterprises, the state
subsidised most of the industries. Whether or not Zimbabwe, with its
tottering economy, can successfully do that is a matter of mere academic
interest because if the State cannot keep most of its parastatals alive, how
can it implement a socialist mode of production and distribution?

      What then? The country desperately requires an administration with a
pragmatic socio-economic development programme based on a policy that
accepts, first and foremost, that the world has become a global village.

      Such an administration can be formed only by a political party that
puts national (as opposed to its own partisan interests) first; a party that
believes the nation's future is more important than the past; a party that
deeply cherishes criticism, and invites a cross-fertilisation of ideas
through public debate on all issues of national interest and value.

      This means, in short, an administration of genuine patriots as opposed
to genuine partisans, it being understood and accepted that patriotism and
partisanship are not necessarily always synonymous.

      Partisans are bound to defend their party's interests, right or wrong,
whereas patriots defend those of the nation, such as the rule of law,
irrespective of their ethnic, religious, regional, racial or partisan

      Partisans are bound to be self-serving and individualistic, as opposed
to patriots who give priority consideration to the free aspirations of the
public. Patriots talk about the nation; but partisans talk about the party.

      With such a patriotic administration in office, international and
national confidence in Zimbabwe could be restored, and both local and
foreign investors could pour into the country and produce more goods and
services. With higher industrial production, resulting in more exports than
imports, the country's cost of living could be lowered.
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Daily News

      Equities market continues to slide

      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

      SINCE the Budget announcement by Finance and Economic Development
Minister Herbert Murerwa last month, the equities market continues to slide
despite low interest rates on the money market.

      When the market closed last week, the key industrial index was 6,71
percent down from last week to close the week at 93 231,87 points, while the
mining index slumped 2,29 percent to close the week at 7 389,27.

      The biggest mover of the week was Barclays, which rose by 39 percent
to end the week at 2 500 cents, followed by Colcom, which gained 35 percent
to close at 3 500 cents.Twenty-two counters gained during the week while 41
counters recorded losses. Fourteen counters remained unchanged.

      Analysts this week said the equity market had gone down due to the
failure by the market to understand the government's policy on interest
rates and foreign currency remittances. They said this was not entirely
surprising given that it was doubtful the policy-makers understand the

      There are no fundamentals backing the fact that the government is
likely to increase interest rates given its expansionary policy that favours
low interest rates. Therefore, the fall in the equities market may be great
opportunity to buy into quality counters.

      Interest rates have remained subdued despite the introduction of a
dual monetary policy by the government last month.

      Economic analysts said investors have stuck to the stock and property
markets despite high expectations within government circles that focus would
shift to the money market.

      Bankers have remained silent on the issue with the Bankers'
Association of Zimbabwe insisting that it was up to individual banks to
raise interest rates.

      In his presentation of the 2003 National Budget, Murerwa, introduced
the dual monetary policy with the express aim of making capital for
productive and export sectors cheaper, while hiking interest rates for
consumption borrowing.

      Even though the stock market has been on a downward trend for the past
two weeks, the money market has remained quiet with little
activity.Following eight consecutive days of losses, the industrial index
bucked this trend on Wednesday to increase by some 700 points.

      As the low interest rate regime persists, there are indicators that
investors would move back to the equity market.

      CFI Holdings Limited performed very well during the financial year
despite the harsh operating conditions that the country is currently facing.

      Turnover was up 150 percent, well above the average inflation rate, to
$26 155,8 million over the corresponding period last year. Operating profit
rose by 350 percent to $4 325,5 million, while pre-tax profit went up 325
percent to $4 140,4 million and attributable profits grew by 33 percent to
$2 938,3 million over the same period last year. There was a net interest
payment of $185,1 million due to financing of strategic purchases of stock
and raw materials through utilisation of short-term borrowings.

      Earnings per share went up 152 percent from 258 cents last year to 649
cents and a dividend of 150 cents was declared compared to 35 cents the
previous year.Kingdom shareholders approved all resolutions put before the
extraordinary general meeting and the rights offer opened on Monday.
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Daily News - Leader Page

       moral challenge for the police force

      12/5/2002 8:39:58 AM (GMT +2)

      It was easy to laugh off President Mugabe's "my Zimbabwe" remark
uttered when he was in South Africa for the Earth Summit as just one of his
now numerous, though unfortunate, but largely harmless gaffes.

      That is so because everybody knows Mugabe doesn't and will never own
Zimbabwe. But the violent actions of Zanu PF supporters, which seem to
suggest that the party thinks it actually owns Zimbabwe, is cause for great

      Each time the party's supporters have been allowed to go unpunished
after perpetrating violence against fellow citizens who happen not to
support the ruling party, the erroneous perception has been reinforced that
Zimbabwe belongs to Zanu PF and anyone who doesn't belong to that party has
no place in Zimbabwe. And that perception is manifesting itself with
increasing regularity in Harare's high-density suburb of Mbare.

      Shortly after the council elections which saw the MDC taking control
of the capital city, several of the newly elected councillors went on a tour
of the suburb with the sole intention of seeing for themselves the
over-crowdedness and deplorably poor conditions the residents of that suburb
live in. It was obviously with a view to assess the situation as the first
step towards alleviating the residents' plight. As such, they deserved
nothing less than a rousing welcome.

      However, instead of showing gratitude to the new councillors for
showing interest in their welfare so soon after taking office, the party's
local leaders organised youths to attack the entourage's bus, wounding some
of the councillors in the process. As far as the party's supporters were
concerned, MDC councillors had no right to be in that area. Needless to say,
it was strange logic considering that the residents there had overwhelmingly
voted into office the MDC's candidate, clearly showing that the majority of
the people there are MDC supporters.

      Last month, the party's youths were on the warpath again, violently
evicting - in the dead of night - tenants legally residing in Block 12 of
Matapi flats on no other grounds than that one wayward woman had pointed
them out as supporting the MDC.

      Quite apart from the fact that the marauding youths had absolutely no
right to act in the manner they did as Zanu PF does not in any way own that
block of flats, it is quite possible that none of the victims were
supporters of the MDC.

      Last Saturday the party's youths, most probably emboldened by the fact
that no action was ever taken against them following their previous criminal
acts, descended on and beat up people peacefully going about their normal
business in the suburb's Joburg Lines section in an attempt to force them to
board buses commandeered to carry people to attend the military parade at
the National Sports Stadium.

      Such is the impunity with which the young party thugs operate that
their victims interviewed by this newspaper would not allow our photographer
to take pictures of them for fear of follow-up beatings even though they had
all the evidence of their ordeal, such as swollen faces and sjambok weals on
their backs. That is how terrifying the ruling party's youths have become.

      The question must be asked: Why do the police not act against these
youths as a way of of disabusing them of the mistaken notion that Zanu PF
does not own Zimbabwe?

      Surely it is the duty of the police to protect law-abiding citizens
from harassment and assault at the hands of these lawless youths instead of
expending their energy on beating up peaceful demonstrators and journalists.

      Some might say, because their Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, who has
publicly sworn his unwavering support for Zanu PF, has indicated that the
police's hands are tied when it comes to dealing with politically motivated
violence perpetrated by supporters of Zanu PF, it stands to reason the
police have been rendered powerless in that regard.

      That should not be so. Instead, that should be seen as a moral
challenge for all of them. Let them act with the courage of their conviction
as custodians of the law, arresting perpetrators of violence regardless of
their party affiliation and see what, if anything, happens to them.
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Daily News

      Dollar devalued through multiple exchange rate

      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      GOVERNMENT has continued playing double standards, preaching one thing
and practising the exact oppositeLast week Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development, insisted that the Zimbabwe dollar would
not be devalued.

      Murerwa said: "We will use this selective approach (that is, the
multiple exchange rate system) where appropriate in order to promote

      But by introducing the multiple exchange rate system, the government
does not seem to be practising what it is preaching.

      In General Notice 610 C of 2002, released this week Murerwa said the
new rate applicable to the importation of an array of goods such as cars
would be Z$500 to US$1.

      This translates to a devaluation of the local currency in respect of
importation of the specified goods by 66,7 percentage points, from the US$1
to Z$300,the rate that was operational since July this year. The old rate
was imposed via the 2002 supplementary budget when the rate for luxury goods
imports was raised by 445 percent, from US$1 to Z$55.

      Murerwa said: "The Minister of Finance and Economic Development has,
with effect from 1st December 2002, designated the rate of 500 Zimbabwe
dollars to one United States dollar as the selling rate . . . in respect of
the imported goods specified in General Notice 359 A of 2002.

      The Notice fulfils Murerwa's announcement made in the 2003 budget when
he said: "I propose to increase the customs rate on luxury products."

      The special exchange rate of US$1 to Z$500 will apply for customs duty
purposes on about 1 000 items considered by government to fall in the luxury
category. The targeted commodities include a range of motor vehicles.

      Some of the affected vehicles include double or twin cab vehicles,
"public type vehicles", motor vehicles for racing (driver only and diesel
engine, motor vehicles for the transport of goods of a pay load less than
one tonne), vehicles with spark-ignition whose engine capacity is more than
1 000cc or less than 1 500cc.

      A wide range of other motor vehicles and sizes are also listed.

      Satellite decoder, video monitors, radios, tape recorders, electric
hairdressing apparatus, washing machines, clothes, shawls, cigarettes,
various meat types and numerous food additives are all on the list of
"luxury" goods.

      Government has remained adamant that it would not devalue the currency
across the board as recommended by stakeholders, and by former finance
minister, Simba Makoni. In July this year, President Robert Mugabe said
"devaluation is dead." Economists contacted yesterday said the government
stipulation was tantamount to devaluation of the local currency, therefore
contrasting sharply with government official position that it would not
devalue the domestic currency in the foreseeable future.

      Dr Phineas Kadenge, an economist, yesterday said the latest move by
the Finance Ministry only confirmed the insolence of the government in the
face of macro-economic instability.

      He said reference to the 66,7 increase as 'indirect devaluation'
amounted to an understatement. "It is in fact devaluation, only in respect
of luxury goods," he said.

      Kadenge said: "The increase is an open admission that the Zimbabwe
dollar is over-valued. It shows at the same time, government's reluctance to
do what it knows should be done, that is extending devaluation to every
other sector of the economy."

      Dr Eric Bloch echoed Kadenge's position when he said: "This
(devaluation) move is a clear admission that the local currency should be

      Bloch said the existence of a plethora of exchange rates, and the
entrenchment of the system this week illustrated the awkwardness of Zimbabwe
's economic policies and systems.

      He said: "The latest depreciation shows that the official rate is
nonsense. The situation should be corrected so that the operations of
manufacturers, exporters and other players are not jeopardised. The
government should come up with realistic rates."

      Even after women pressure groups and individuals articulated in
detail, the plight of females as regards the pricing of sanitary products,
the Minister proceeded to include sanitary towels and tampons on the list of
luxury goods, whose importation costs would be exorbitant.

      Certain goods, considered by virtually all families to be basic, or
whose prices were controlled, were also curiously included in the lengthy

      Chicken, fish, vegetables, cooking oil and edible spreads form the
list of "luxury goods".

      Zimbabwe's foreign exchange system operates on multiple bases. The
official bank rate is US$1 to Z$55. The tobacco industry enjoys a US$1 to
Z$158,50 rate.

      The gold trade industry, textile exports to the United States of
America, Air Zimbabwe ticketing system, British High Commission Visa
department and the Civil Aviation's departure taxes section, all apply
exchange rates that are higher than the official rate, to varying degrees.

      The rate on the parallel market is currently pegged at about US$1 to
Z$1 500.

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Daily News - Leader Page

      Civil society needs to build a social movement

      12/5/2002 8:43:06 AM (GMT +2)

      BUILDING a strong pro-democracy social movement is always the task of
civil society when operating under an oppressive political environment.

      It is now more than just a given that the situation pertaining in
Zimbabwe qualifies to be defined as an oppressive political environment and
that civic-based organisations have been and still are trying to build an
all-embracing social movement.

      With this in mind, questions about civic society and the role of the
alliance of civic organisations in the last twelve months needs review.

      And this also needs to be done within the context of how civic
organisations are competing amongst themselves for the shrinking political
space in an attempt to remain relevant to the Zimbabwean people and the
democratisation processes.

      A starting point would be to be able to define a social movement. As
the name suggests, social movements are inclusive organisations comprised of
various interest groups. Social movements will contain the
      significant strata of society such as workers, women's groups,
students, youth and the intellectual component.

      These various interest sectors of society will be bound together by
one common grievance which in most cases will be the commonly perceived lack
of democracy in a specific political setting.

      This has been particularly the case within the last two decades of the
South African anti-apartheid struggle and more relevantly, in the last fours
years in Zimbabwe.

      The only significant difference between the Zimbabwean situation and
the anti-apartheid social movement in South Africa is that the former tends
to be less defined and less focused. In fact, in Zimbabwe people can
sometimes be forgiven for thinking that the social movement has been split.

      The best manifestation of the social movement in Zimbabwean civil
society has been the formation of strategic alliances. The most significant
social movement alliance was the National Constitutional
      Assembly (NCA) alliance that was formed, as its name suggests, to
drive for democratic constitutional reform in an increasingly oppressive
State environment.

      This social movement was then overrun by the shift toward a desire for
a less idealistic but pragmatic social movement that began as the National
Working People's Convention (NWPC) that sought the formation of a
mass-based, non-violent opposition political party to challenge the ruling
Zanu PF.

      Naturally a lot of civil society leaders left the NCA to become
potential Members of Parliament, especially after the February 2000
constitutional referendum. But the NCA did not fall flat on its face because
of this; it retained a fair number of civic society organisations that
sought to re-engage Zimbabwean civic space with the constitutional agenda.

      Simultaneously however, other alliances of non-governmental
organisations began to play a greater role and therefore undermine the
social movement status that the NCA and the NWPC had acquired.

      Alliances such as the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Civic
Alliance for Social and Economic Progress and the Crises in Zimbabwe
Coalition emerged to deal with multiple themes and issues that, whilst not
undermining the democratisation agenda for civil society, seriously
compromised the social movement ethos that had begun to take root.

      The idea of alliances between various civic organisations became a
prevalent feature of the civic society landscape. And in most of the
alliances which emerged, the central factor became that of leaders of
various organisations and not members of these organisations.

      Ultimately there was a cyclical nature to alliances in which one would
sometimes find the same leaders floating in and out of various alliances,
thus compromising the formation of a vibrant social movement.

      And in the past year the trend has not shifted significantly. But the
new characteristic of inter-alliance competition for recognition has become
more prevalent. And in all this the pattern of whether social movement can
still be constructed in Zimbabwe is dependent upon changing or keeping
alliance systems as part of the emphasis toward democratisation by civic

      It is our respectful view that the alliance system within Zimbabwean
civic society is now a fairly impractical option. This is because the period
between 1998 and end of 2001 was characterised by an alliance system between
various civic organisations that commanded not only public attention but
also public support and participation.

      After the presidential election there was a shift from public
participation to public observation of civic society activities. This
attitude from the public is what has resulted in civic society leaders
waiting for the economy to collapse and for the ruling party to dig its own
grave. This is a disempowering perception of the way forward for a civic
society that is in urgent need of a social movement. Moreover, it also
disempowers the very people it is meant to serve.

      It places no faith in the ability of people to organise themselves and
challenge that which they perceive to be wrong.

      The way forward in order for there to be a construction of an
ostensible social movement that will attempt to bring democracy to citizens'
lives and food on their tables, has to be the ability of the various civic
society organisations to agree to disagree. There is obvious need for those
non-governmental organisations that do not believe in fighting for democracy
and enjoy the fine line of engaging the current government to retain their
right to do so.

      But there should be a distinction between these types of
      organisations and those that come out clearly as being in search of a
clear democratisation process, that will regularly clash with the government

      The second compelling objective is for various alliances to
concentrate on individual membership as opposed to institutional membership.

      No civic alliance worth its salt in the last year can safely claim to
have long-term prospects of survival in Zimbabwe without organisational
restructuring that takes into cognisance the role that can be played by an
individual member, as opposed to an institutional member.

      A semblance of balance between both must be struck so that there is a
direct link of the alliance with an ordinary citizen. This will help boost
public participation in the organisation, thus contributing gradually to the
focus on establishing a social movement.
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Daily News

      Police take Barwe for indications at crime scene

      12/5/2002 8:15:12 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      POLICEMEN from Chinhoyi and Norton police stations yesterday went for
indications with Reuben Barwe, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's chief
correspondent, who faces charges of attempted murder.

      Barwe allegedly fired three gun shots at Isaac Chidhakwa, a war
veteran resettled at Sunnyside Extension Farm near Norton, about 50km from

      The shooting incident took place last Tuesday evening.
      About five policemen went to the scene, and recorded a statement
yesterday afternoon from 49-year-old Barwe.

      It was not immediately clear yesterday what the outcome of the
indications were and when the matter would be referred to the courts.

      Last Thursday the police recorded a statement from Barwe and charged
him with attempted murder. The Crime Register Number is 329/11/02.

      His fingerprints were taken by Detective Constable Shonhiwa, while the
gun allegedly used to fire at Chidhakwa was confiscated by the police as an
exhibit, to be produced in court.

      The matter has been handed over to Chinhoyi Criminal Investigation
Department, which is liaising with police officers from Norton.

      War veterans settled at Sunnyside Farm have previously attempted to
evict Barwe from the farm. But he has denied they want him evicted.

      According to an offer letter to Barwe dated 22 August 2002, from Dr
Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
reference number L183, Barwe was allocated about 243 hectares of Sunnyside
Extension in Chegutu of Mashonaland West Province.

      Paragraph 3 of the offer letter reads: "The offer is made in terms of
the Agricultural Land Settlement Act (Chapter 20:01) whose provisions you
are advised to acquaint yourself with. Conditions that go with the offer are

      The letter states that a lease agreement will only be entered into
once Made was satisfied that all conditions had been met.

      But war veterans who are settled at Sunnyside have dismissed Barwe's
letter, saying Barwe was encroaching upon their plots, using an outdated

      The copy of the map, produced by the District Development Fund
Resettlement planning in November 2001, which this paper is in possession
of, shows that Sunnyside Extension was subdivided into 12 plots, averaging
20 hectares each.

      However, early this year, the plots were reduced to seven plots, one
of which Chidhakwa occupies although he has not been issued with an offer
letter from the Provincial Lands Committee in Chinhoyi.

      Only two of the seven plot holders at the disputed farm were issued
with their offer letters. These include John Davies, who occupies plot
Number 7 and another one who has a plot that includes the farm house.

      Meanwhile, on Sunday 1 December, nearly 30 war veterans led by Aeneas
Mangeya, the provincial war veterans chairman in Mashonaland West Province,
met and resolved to protect the war veterans settled there.

      They reportedly ordered Barwe's workers to stop working on the other
side of the farm.
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Private Bag X 122,
Centurion 0046,
South Africa
Tel: + 27 12 664 0704
Fax: + 27 12 347 5377 + 27 12 664 2436
We have received a good deal of documentation on what is happening and has happened in Zimbabwe and we have now focused our efforts to firstly alert as many people overseas as possible to the disaster in Zimbabwe and secondly to take practical steps to indict the Zimbabwean president within the international arena.

On advice from our consultant within the United Nations, we have approached Amnesty International for hard advice regarding our plan to request the United Nations to set up a tribunal to hear and take judgment upon the crimes of Robert Mugabe.

The International Criminal Court whom we first approached has been most helpful in assisting us with this move.  A draft relationship agreement between the ICC and the United Nations has been tabled at the UN, and the establishment of the ICC was included in the provisional agenda of the fifty-seventh session of the UN General Assembly pursuant to Assembly Resolution 56/85 of 12 December 2001.  At the 19th plenary session, on September 20, 2002, the UN General Assembly discussed the ICC and both parties decided to advise and cooperate with each other.  The UN is calling on all states which have not adopted the Rome Statute of the ICC to consider ratifying it or acceding to it without delay.

Thus a connection between the ICC and the UN has been established, and to fortify this, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mr.  Sergio Vieira de Mello declared on 7 November 2002 that the ICC must be given its fair chance to reach its potential to counter impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Having said that, we wish to advise that we presented both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch organizations with letters in London this month, requesting their assistance in preparing our dossiers regarding our requests to the UN regarding Mugabe.  We have spoken to Mr.  Andrew Anderson, Amnesty International's Program Director for Africa (based in London) who has now received our official request for assistance in this regard.  We are awaiting instructions from this quarter.  Amnesty International has itself collected a large volume of evidence on the crimes in Zimbabwe and this is contained in their report dated June 2002.  It is believed they will be issuing a further report soon.

In their June 2002 report, AI requests the Zimbabwean government to conduct certain investigations and to allow the UN Special Rapporteur to have access to lawyers and judges in Zimbabwe.  AI declares that abuses documented by AI and other international organizations "may amount to crimes against humanity, as defined by the Statute of the International Criminal Court".  Thus the case against Mugabe is building, and not on an ad hoc basis.  It has been well documented by organizations much bigger and more influential than ourselves BRITISH MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT One of our members has been in personal touch with two British Members of Parliament concerning the Zimbabwe debacle and both these people are well ahead with their lobbying in Britain and the United States.
It seems the noose is definitely tightening.

NAMIBIA Recently Namibian president Sam Nujoma declared that farms owned by "foreigners" in Namibia would be expropriated.  ZVC wrote directly to the Namibian president reminding him that his country had ratified the ICC Statute and that the arbitrary expropriation of property was an indictable crime under the ICC's Statute.  We have heard nothing from Mr.  Nujoma since then, either publicly or in response to our letter.

WILD LIFE DECIMATION IN ZIMBABWE ZVC compiled large dossiers with the invaluable assistance of Johnny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.  In London this month, these dossiers, plus CD's and videos, were handed to the Prince of Wales Trust and to Zac Goldsmith, son of the late Sir James Goldsmith and editor of the international magazine Ecologist, which is read in 150 countries and is the world's longest-running environmental magazine.
ZVC has proposed a possible magazine story on Zimbabwe's wild life wipeout to this magazine.  The publication actively seeks articles of this type.
We will report on our negotiations with Amnesty International and the UN in the new year.  While South Africa has ratified the ICC Statute, attempts by both ourselves and the South African Democratic Alliance party to charge Mugabe whilst he was last in South Africa came to naught as the South African government refused to act against the Zimbabwean premier.  Thus, although Mugabe could be indicted if he moved to a country which had ratified the ICC Statute, and which was suffering from the effects of Mugabe's policies (such as a flood of refugees, for example), if that country refuses to act, then the ICC's influence is diluted.
We wish our supporters and those who have suffered under the Zimbabwean tyrant the best Christmas you are able to have under the circumstances.  We promise to do our very best to bring the Zimbabwean president to book, whichever way we can.
Dr.  Philip du Toit Chairman
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Daily News

      War vets force teachers to pay for Zanu PF conference

      12/5/2002 8:00:11 AM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Gutu

      TEACHERS in Gutu district are being forced by suspected war veterans
to contribute money towards the Zanu PF annual conference to be held in
Chinhoyi this month.

      The teachers have been given until tomorrow to pay the "conference

      Headmasters throughout the district were yesterday in a last-minute
rush to collect the money from teachers after they were threatened by
so-called war veterans with dismissal from the civil service if they did not

      According to the minutes of a meeting held by headmasters at the Great
Hall at Mpandawana growth point on Saturday, all schools heads were ordered
to make sure every teacher paid the money.

      Teachers have been ordered to pay a minimum of $300 each. Although
some teachers have vowed to defy the order, others said they would solely
pay the money as a protection fee against victimisation.

      A number of headmasters who refused to be named said yesterday they
were concerned over what they said was "a clear case of extortion".
      A headmaster, who requested anonymity, said: "Let Zanu PF supporters
raise their own money. It is not automatic that if you are a civil servant
you belong to the ruling party.

      "We have ordered the teachers to pay the money just to protect
themselves from harassment. It is daylight robbery and a clear case of

      At Mpandawana growth point, some headmasters were seen with huge sums
of money which they wanted to give to Zebron Masunda and one L Matuke, both
Zanu PF officials.

      Matuke could not be reached for comment yesterday.

      Letters of demand allegedly written by Matuke were distributed to
several schools in the district, for teachers to pay the money or risk being

      Part of the letter written to headmasters reads: "Please ensure that
all teachers pay a minimum of $300 each to be used at the conference.
      "Write the teacher's name and his employment number so that we know
those who would have refused."

      The Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta), has said it is concerned
over the issue and urged teachers not to pay the money.

      Cornelius Chigome, a Zimta official in Masvingo, said yesterday his
organisation received reports of the "conference fee".

      He also said teachers were being forced to denounce Zimta and join the
Zimbabwe Teachers' Union, an affiliate of the pro-Zanu PF Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions, whose vice-president is war veteran Joseph
Chinotimba, the self-styled commander of farm invasions which began in 2000.

      Chigome said: "We urge teachers to remain loyal to Zimta. It is
illegal to force one to contribute money and renounce one's membership to a
union of one's choice."

      Officials of the radical Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe were
not immediately available to comment on the demands being made on teachers
in the district.

      Zanu PF said it had raised about $80 million nationally for its annual
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Daily News

      Clean water runs out

      12/5/2002 7:52:51 AM (GMT +2)

      By Lloyd Mudiwa Municipal Reporter

      THE Greater Harare area has only about three days' supply of purified
water, posing a serious health threat to the more than four million
residents of the capital.

      The operations of several businesses, particularly in the food
industry, are the most immediately at risk as they rely heavily on purified

      The crisis follows the city council's failure to acquire two chemicals
necessary in the purification process, despite determined efforts.

      According to a source in the council's department of works, the
chemicals are lime and ecol 2 000, which is imported.

      The source said there was suspicion that the council's efforts to
obtain the chemicals were being deliberately thwarted to sabotage the
MDC-dominated council's reputation with the residents in the five urban
centres of Harare, Chitungwiza, Epworth, Norton and Ruwa. The opposition
party has in the past claimed there have been clear attempts by Dr Ignatius
Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
to meddle in the affairs of municipalities with MDC mayors.

      Harare supplies water to Chitungwiza, Epworth, Norton and Ruwa.
      "We are almost in a crisis situation," said another council employee,
who requested anonymity. "If urgent measures are not taken to ensure that
these chemicals are available immediately, there will be no water."

      Cuthbert Rwazemba, the Harare City Council spokesperson, said the
situation was "under control", but refused to comment specifically on the

      The Daily News has established that the city paid a local lime
supplier US$140 000 (Z$7,7 million at the official exchange rate) in
September for 1 000 tonnes of the chemical.

      But by yesterday the company had allegedly supplied less than half the
amount paid for.

      The sources claimed the supply of lime had been very erratic and only
a small part of the consignment had been received.

      "It could be maybe two or three days before the lime runs out. If this
company does not supply us with it in the next two or three days, we shudder
to think what will happen," they said. "We don't know what it could mean for
the city."

      But the company's managing director, MacDonald Chapfika, exonerated
his firm.

      "They are not telling you the truth," he said. "Someone is lying so it
can be said we are failing to supply the city. Come on Friday and I can show
you the site for the lime. The city is receiving the lime on time every

      While he said his company provided two truckloads of lime a week, he
conceded that this was not enough.

      But this was because the city lacked sufficient storage facilities, he
said. Instead, he blamed the water supply problem on the city's piping

      The Harare City Council, the workers said, submitted an application to
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the equivalent of $64 million in US dollars
to import 160 tonnes of ecol 2 000, but nothing has materialised yet. Stocks
of the chemical have run out.

      It could not be established yesterday when the application was made
and why it had not yet been processed.

      Efforts to get a comment from the central bank yesterday were

      In October, an increase in consumption, vandalism of water valves and
power failure at Warren Pump Station resulted in the introduction of
restrictions in a bid to save water.
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      Last term for army chiefs?

      12/5/2002 9:14:02 PM (GMT +2)

      PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe might not be renewing the contracts of
Zimbabwe's three top defence chiefs when they expire next year, sources
within the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) said this week.

      The three service chiefs, Vitalis Zvina-vashe, Constantine Chiwenga
and Perence Shiri, last week had their contracts extended by Mugabe for 12

      But the sources said at the expiry of the 12 months, the President
would appoint a new commander for the ZDF to replace Zvinavashe, who is
overall commander of Zimbabwe's army and air force and whose contract was
extended for one year effective from the first of July 2002.

      They said Mugabe, who is Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF, would also
appoint a new commander to take over from Chiwenga at the army and a new air
marshal to replace Shiri.

      Shiri was reappointed commander of the air force for another 12
months, effective from the first of September this year, while Chiwenga's
reappointment at the army is effective from the first of July 2002.

      No comment on the matter was available yesterday from the ZDF's Harare

      But a source privy to the appointments told the Financial Gazette:
"This is the last time their terms will be renewed."

      According to the sources, Shiri might be appointed to take over as the
ZDF's top commander from Zvinavashe while either Edzayi Chimonyo or Amoth
Chingombe, both major generals in the army, were tipped to replace Chiwenga.

      Air vice marshals Abu Basutu and Henry Muchena are expected to compete
for Shiri's job at the air force.

      The sources said Zvinavashe was expected to take up an active role in
national politics, with some linking the veteran liberation war fighter with
efforts to promote Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa's alleged
ambition to succeed Mugabe as Zimbabwe's president.

      The sources claimed Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe were close political
allies within ZANU PF structures.

      Mnangagwa has however repeatedly denied allegations that he wants to
succeed his mentor, Mugabe.

      Zvinavashe was appointed the first commander of the ZDF in July 1994
when the defence force was restructured by splitting it into two wings, the
army and air force, which fall under one command structure.

      Under the structure, Chiwenga and Shiri report to Zvinavashe.

      Shiri and Chiwenga took over command at the air force and army
respectively in 1992. Shiri has assumed new duties recently on top of his
job at the army, overseeing the distribution of food to feed starving
Zimbabweans countrywide.

      In December 1998, Mugabe extended Zvinavashe's term by one year and
that of Chiwenga and Shiri by four years. The three commanders were again
reappointed to their jobs in December 2001.

      Mugabe normally appoints the ZDF's top commanders for a period of four
years, after which he may or may not renew their tenure of office.

      - Staff Reporter
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      Industry to shut down till March

      By Sydney Masamvu Assistant Editor
      12/5/2002 9:13:16 PM (GMT +2)

      AT least half of Zimbabwe's manufacturing, agro-industrial and mining
companies plan to shut down for the first quarter of 2003 to mull survival
strategies in an increasingly hostile operating environment, risking at
least 370 000 jobs, the Financial Gazette has established.

      Most of Zimbabwe's firms will shut down in the next few weeks for the
Christmas holidays and would normally have re-opened in January next year.

      But industrialists this week said at least half of the country's
companies were planning to remain closed until the end of March, or until
there was some resolution of Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

      They said representatives of the country's key economic sectors had
already held consultations and decided to remain closed for the first
quarter of next year while they decided how to proceed.

      Companies are expected to advise workers of the lengthy shutdown in a
week, unless developments convince them to adopt a different strategy. The
firms are said to be already working on retrenchment proposals for staff.

      "We are busy discussing with the authorities right now so that we can
come up with rational solutions to the economic problems that have affected
the operations of industry," Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president
Anthony Mandiwanza told the Financial Gazette.

      Mandiwanza, whose organisation represents most of the country's
industries, added:

      "That solution has to be found before the end of the year as most
companies are in the process of reviewing their operations in the new year
because of viability problems.

      "If companies opt for an extended closing period as they assess how to
survive, it will be a disaster. What will we do with labour? We just have to
find the solution now."

      Statistics obtained from industrialists this week show that Zimbabwe's
manufacturing industry employs about 180 000 workers, mining at least 40 000
and agro-industry an estimated 350 000.

      The industrialists said in the manufacturing sector, about 100 000
jobs could be affected by the prolonged closure of companies while 20 000
and 250 000 workers could be affected in mining and agro-industry

      "If the situation remains as it is, we are closing shop for the first
quarter and downsizing operations if we are to resume," one industrialist
told the Financial Gazette.

      Zimbabwe's service industries, which employ millions of people, could
also be adversely affected by the proposed closures, further straining an
already battered economy.

      The country's economy is expected to shrink by seven percent next year
compared to11 percent in 2002 and companies have been hard hit by soaring
inflation of 144.2 percent and worsening fuel and foreign currency

      A blanket freeze on prices and tough new exchange control measures
introduced by the government last month are also expected to worsen the

      Exporters are now required to remit 50 percent of their earnings to
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, with the remainder also being lodged with the
central bank for use within 60 days.

      The government has also banned foreign exchange bureaus, accusing them
of operating a parallel market for hard currency.

      Before the new policies, companies had to submit 40 percent of their
proceeds to the Reserve Bank and could exchange the remaining 60 percent on
the parallel market for hard cash at rates more lucrative than those
prevailing on the official market.

      This enabled most firms to remain viable.

      The Dimensional Stone Producers' Association, which represents granite
mining companies in Mutoko, has advised the Chamber of Mines, the central
bank and the Ministry of Mines that the new measures will result in the
collapse of their industry.

      The granite miners employ more than 3 000 workers.

      "Based on this current situation, our entire industry will face
collapse within a period of two weeks should an immediate solution not be
found," the association said in a letter highlighting its concerns.

      The Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company has also informed the
Ministry of Mines, the Reserve Bank and the Chamber of Mines that because of
the new policy, it will no longer be able to borrow to survive.

      A meeting is expected next week between the central bank, the Ministry
of Finance and the mining industry to avert mine closures.

      Mandiwanza said the government had to review its exchange rate policy
as well as the price freeze, which he said were undermining the viability of
local companies.

      Economic consultant John Robertson echoed the CZI president's
sentiments, saying the government had to come up with new policies.

      He said: " What is needed is the lifting of price controls and new
policies to deal with the exchange rate. Unless those are addressed,
industry will close shop because it will not be viable for it to continue

      He said the prolonged closure of industry in the new year would
cripple the economy and result in the loss of billions of dollars.
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      Harvest of thorns: 'Chimurenga chenzara'

      Sydney Masamvu
      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      WITH or without the rains, Zimbabwe is facing a serious disaster; a
man-made famine that everyone should have seen coming. All the ingredients
were there from the beginning.

      Over the past year, the land issue took centre stage in the politics
of Zimbabwe. Ruling ZANU PF officials have been harping on about the success
of the land resettlement programme.

      That has been the story of Zimbabwe in 2002, even though the country
is broke and no one can explain the fuel shortages. It seems they have all
run out of lies.

      Some of us were questioning how the leadership could claim success in
the land reforms when land has been seized but is not being used
productively. The problem with the situation that we now find ourselves in
is that the leadership of this country believes its own propaganda.

      I totally agree with people who say government ministers abuse
President Robert Mugabe by telling him lies and what he wants to hear.
Docile Zimbabweans have also been bombarded with state media propaganda
about "the success story" of the resettled farmers.

      Only a few of us can see that those people paraded before us are
actually brandishing crops planted and abandoned by evicted white farmers.

      Personally, I support the land reform programme. It is a noble idea,
but it should be implemented in an orderly and systematic manner that
enhances production and should not be used as a gimmick for the ruling party
to cling to power.

      Prior to, during and after the March presidential election, the land
reform programme was ZANU PF's chorus. It seemed the party would eat, live
and dream land and one expected nothing but perfection in this product they
were selling to the electorate. But now the cracks are emerging and there is
chaos, chaos and more chaos. That's ZANU PF for you. The party seems to
thrive on chaos.

      The problem with Zimbabwe's land reform programme is that it was
implemented with the main pre-occupation being how ZANU PF could pull a fast
one to cling on to power. All other things had failed. Our land reform plan
was driven by emotion and not logic.

      That is the problem and the tragedy of Zimbabwe. We have a leadership
that is obsessed with power at the expense of the well being and welfare of
the people.

      That's the bottom line, and that's why Zimbabwe's resettlement
programme has been accompanied by chaos. It was not planned, it was driven
by the need for power and nothing else.

      But as will always happen in life, the chickens come home to roost, as
they are doing now.

      Even if the rains were pounding Zimbabwe every day, nothing would be
realised from the land because there are no people there to farm it.

      Even in the few places where people have been resettled, it would have
been foolhardy for anyone to expect the ill-fed Dhongeri and Charuweki to
pull a battered plough across 100 hectares.

      There is a world of difference between the agrarian theories of
revolution that Mugabe is being regaled with at closed Cabinet committees by
his bootlicking ministers and the reality on the ground in Nembudziya.

      Now that we have the land, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made has
changed his tune, he is blaming everything on lack of inputs.

      But we knew from day one that these critical components had to be
there for the agrarian reforms to be a success.

      I wonder if there is any form of planning that takes place in
government if we fail to have adequate seed let alone ensure resettled
people have taken up the land they are being offered.

      Provincial governors are telling us that there is a low uptake of land
by resettled farmers. In fact, they have resorted to issuing ultimatums to
persuade these people to take up plots.

      It was funny and revolutionary to them when white farmers were
scurrying for cover, but now that they have the land, they have no people to
till it.

      In any case, we were made to believe that once each one of us grabbed
a farm, Zimbabwe's problems would simply disappear in one fell swoop. It's
not about imaginary lists and hectares, it's about feeding the people,

      The government told us land is the economy and the economy is land.
Now that the land is deserted, what will happen to the economy and the
nation's food security is anyone's guess.

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      Fixed exchange rate policy unrealistic: judge

      Staff Reporter
      12/5/2002 9:15:26 PM (GMT +2)

      HIGH Court judge Justice George Smith yesterday slammed the government
's fixed exchange rate regime, saying it was out of touch with reality.

      Smith made the observation in his ruling in a dispute involving a
house in Harare's Chisipite suburb, purchased by Stuart Annandale from a
company called Material Finance (Private) Limited.

      Annandale sued Material Finance after the firm refused to transfer
ownership of the property to him, even though he had paid in full the United
States dollar denominated instalment remaining on the purchase price.

      "No reasonably sane person would have expected that the government
would insist on sticking to an official rate of exchange which is so out of
touch with reality and at the same time permit the parallel market for
foreign currencies to exist and flourish to the extent that it has over the
past two years," Smith said in his ruling, handed down yesterday.

      The government has fixed the local currency at $55 against the United
States greenback, but the Zimbabwe dollar is trading at over $1 000 on the
parallel market for foreign exchange.

      Annandale applied to the court seeking the transfer of a house at
number 2 Crinnis Road in Chisipite, which Material Finance was withholding
because the value of the property had appreciated significantly in the two
years Annandale was making payments on it.

      According to an agreement of sale entered into by the two parties in
October 1999, Annandale was supposed to pay $6 million for the property in
four instalments, with the first three payments being made in six weeks and
the remainder after two years.

      To protect Material Finance from any loss resulting from the
depreciation of the Zimbabwe dollar, the last instalment of about $2 million
was to be paid at the equivalence of US$50 000, plus interest and 10 percent
to cover losses caused by exchange rate fluctuations.

      Annandale however failed to pay the final instalment, which had grown
to US$53 750 when it fell due in May 2001. At the agreed exchange rate of
$56.90 to US$1, the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent of the amount outstanding was
$3.3 million.

      A new repayment arrangement was agreed upon by Annandale and Paul
Clinton, the principal representative of Material Finance, and the
outstanding amount was paid off in two months.

      However Clinton, who is now based in Cape Town, later indicated that
on the parallel market, the US dollar was worth more than the agreed
exchange rate and that he was owed more money. Annandale declined to pay,
resulting in Material Finance refusing to transfer the property to him.

      In his ruling, Smith said based on the evidence before him, the
Chisipite house had been fully paid for and therefore had to be transferred
to Annandale.

      The High Court ruled earlier this year that when a foreign currency
denominated debt was to be paid in local currency, only the official
exchange rate should apply.
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      CIO officers livid over appointment

      Staff Reporter
      12/5/2002 9:14:46 PM (GMT +2)

      SENIOR officers of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) are
seeking an audience with State Security Minister Nicholas Goche to protest
the imminent appointment of a director-general from outside Zimbabwe's top
spy agency, it was learnt this week.

      CIO sources said the officers wanted to impress on Goche that the
position of director- general had to be filled from within the agency to
curb divisions caused by tribalism and factionalism.

      The sources said the senior officers were opposed to the imminent
appointment to the powerful position of CIO director-general of Tichaona
Jokonya, Zimbabwe's former permanent representative to the United Nations.

      "There is already so much resistance within the organisation about the
prospects of Jokonya coming to head the organisation," a senior intelligence
officer told the Financial Gazette.

      "Some directors are actually seeking an audience with Minister Goche
to express their dissatisfaction with the appointment of the organisation's
director-general," said the officer, who spoke on condition he was not

      There was no comment from Goche, who was said to be out of the office
yesterday and was not reachable on his mobile phone.

      However, CIO insiders said senior operatives wanted to prevent an
outsider filling the top post at the spy agency as happened in 1998 when
retired army brigadier general Elisha Muzonzini was recruited for the

      Muzonzini was this year removed from the CIO and posted to Kenya as
Zimbabwe's high commissioner there.

      Insiders say most intelligence officers prefer CIO deputy
director-general Happyton Bonyongwe or the organisation's internal director,
Menard Muzariri, to take charge at the CIO.

      President Robert Mugabe appoints the country's spy chief at the
recommendation of Goche but powerful ruling ZANU PF party politicians always
influence the process.

      The state security minister is said to favour Muzariri for the CIO's
top post but he must convince not only Mugabe but also Vice President Simon
Muzenda, who is said to have been instrumental in the appointment of past

      Sources say retired army general Solomon Mujuru, a kingmaker in the
ruling party, is also another influential voice in the selection of the CIO

      Besides the complicated political jockeying around the CIO's top job,
the CIO directors wishing to keep the director generalship inside the
organisation could be hampered by accusations that the intelligence agency
has failed to produce incisive and useful reports on the operations of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      The sources said this failure to effectively infiltrate the MDC had
heightened the search for a new director-general from outside the ranks of
the CIO.

      Insiders say Mugabe has been worried by the inconsistencies in some
intelligence reports issued by the spy agency, leading to suspicion that the
organisation could have been infiltrated by the opposition and foreign spy

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      Time to get real

      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      NOW that the government has finally admitted its shameful bungling of
Zimbabwe's food crisis, it's time for ZANU PF to put the interests of the
nation before political expediency.

      That is the only conclusion a government with the interests of its
people at heart can draw from Agriculture Minister Joseph Made's admission
last week that, despite its public posturing, the ruling party has failed to
ensure Zimbabwe's food security.

      Faced with a population threatened with famine, partly because of ZANU
PF's wilful blindness to the consequences of its actions, the government has
no idea how to proceed.

      Zimbabwe needs 35 000 tonnes of maize every week but is only able to
import 22 000, leaving it with a weekly deficit of 13 000 tonnes that the
government does not know how to deal with.

      As if that was not bad enough, the Agriculture Ministry has no clue,
weeks into the 2002/2003 rainy season, how much grain farmers resettled
under the government's ruinous land reform programme will produce next year.

      This effectively means Zimbabwe's food security crisis is far from
over and that the figure of 6.7 million people in need of emergency food aid
could shoot up next year, at a time the country's foreign currency shortages
are likely to worsen.

      But Made's confession must come as a shock to no one.

      That the ruling party has run out of ideas is apparent in the clearly
unsustainable fire fighting measures it has adopted to stave off the moment
of reckoning.

      But now that it has finally admitted its failure, the government is
left with no choice but to abandon its previous half-baked measures for a
programme that will save millions of people from almost certain starvation.

      Now more than ever, the government has to release its stranglehold on
grain imports and allow the private sector to play its part.

      The state-controlled Grain Marketing Board's monopoly on the buying
and selling of locally grown maize and wheat has also become a liability to
the nation.

      Farmers are reluctant to part with their crops because the prices the
parastatal is offering for grain are insufficient to cover their production
costs and threaten the viability of cereal producers.

      In addition, the government has to rethink the chaotic manner it has
conducted its land reform programme, which has contributed to the severe
food shortages Zimbabwe is now grappling with.

      While no Zimbabwean disputes the need for the redistribution of land,
the fact is that the country's agrarian reforms have had an adverse impact
on the economy because of lack of planning and transparency.

      Large tracts of commercial farmland are now unoccupied and most
resettled farmers have no inputs and no money to buy them, even though the
2003 agricultural season is underway and the ruling party is relying on them
to feed the nation next year.

      Finally, the government has no choice but to swallow its pride and
mend fences with the international community, to unlock the balance of
payments support and humanitarian aid that can only improve the lot of
ordinary Zimbabweans.

      But is ZANU PF, the so-called "people's party", ready to abandon its
own self-interest and do what is right for Zimbabwe? The answer is: probably

      However, with the country facing a future of no food, no crops and no
foreign currency, the government will rue its refusal to bite the bullet and
make painful decisions even at this late hour.

      It is in the government's own interests to get real now.
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      Zim fertiliser companies apply for export licences

      Staff Reporter
      12/5/2002 1:13:25 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWEAN fertiliser companies have applied to the government for
export licences in a bid to earn foreign currency and restore viability to
their industry, it was learnt this week.

      The fertiliser manufacturers are asking to be allowed to export their
products between January and April every year.

      "We have applied for licences from the government to export fertiliser
between January and April so that we benefit from the foreign currency
generated and also maintain the survival of our businesses," Misheck
Kachere, the general manager of fertiliser producer Zimbabwe Phosphate
Industries Limited (Zim Phos), told the Financial Gazette.

      He said the industry was seeking permission to export from January to
April because local demand was low during that period.

      He said if they were able to generate foreign currency, fertiliser
companies could more easily buy the imported raw materials needed to
manufacture the product.

      The major ingredient in the manufacture of fertiliser, potash, is
imported from the Middle East, Chile and Europe and usually arrives in
Zimbabwe two months after it is ordered.

      Kachere said securing export licences would ensure that fertiliser
companies had foreign currency available throughout the year so that they
could timeously order raw materials and produce enough to meet demand.

      Fertiliser firms are presently operating at below 75 percent of
capacity because of severe foreign currency shortages, government price
controls introduced last year and bottlenecks in the transportation of raw

      This year, two of Zimbabwe's three largest manufacturers were only
able to secure US$1 million each to procure inputs and industrial spare
parts throughout the year when each firm in the industry actually requires
about US$500 000 a month for these necessities.

      Kachere said Zim Phos, which normally produces 50 000 tonnes of
phosphate nutrients annually, would this year manufacture only 37 500 tonnes
because of these constraints.

      Agricultural experts estimate that demand for fertiliser has risen to
one million tonnes a year from 500 000 tonnes last year, but only about 420
000 tonnes of fertiliser will be produced in 2002.

      But Kachere said fertiliser firms had the capacity to export.

      "We are optimistic that we will be able to satisfy local and outside
market needs. The ministries responsible for our plight are nearly close to
accepting our offer," he said.

      Kachere said although price controls were a major setback for
fertiliser companies, if prices were reviewed frequently to take into
account rising production costs, manufacturers would be able to remain in

      "The government should constantly review the price controls in line
with escalating costs for fertiliser companies to remain viable," he said
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      Exporters to lobby for special exchange rate

      Staff Reporter
      12/5/2002 9:18:35 PM (GMT +2)

      EXPORTERS will lobby the government in the next few weeks to allow
them a favourable exchange rate for the 50 percent of foreign currency
earnings they are forced to surrender to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, in a
bid to avoid massive company closures next year, it was learnt this week.

      Industry executives told the Financial Gazette that the exporters had
unanimously agreed to determine an exchange rate that would enable them to
remain in business next year despite tough new exchange control measures
that could adversely affect them.

      The Reserve Bank now requires exporters to remit 50 percent of their
earnings and also surrender the remainder to be paid out to companies within
60 days.

      Exporters previously had to remit 40 percent of their proceeds and
could trade the remaining 60 percent on the parallel market for foreign
currency, enabling most of them to remain in business.

      Exporters said they wanted the central bank to pay the 50 percent of
their earnings it would hold on their behalf at a more lucrative exchange
rate than the fixed $55 to US$1 on the official market.

      The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, which represents most of the
country's manufacturers, this week declined to comment on the matter.

      However, exporters said before approaching the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development, they wanted to make sure that they had sufficient
technical data to back up their request for whatever exchange rate they
decided upon.

      "What we have said is that definitely the exchange rate of $55 does
not work, it has been eroded by inflation and so we have come together to
work on a sustainable exchange rate supported by adequate data," said an
industrialist who spoke on condition he was not named.

      "Only then can we approach the Ministry of Finance and give them a
figure and justify the exporters' breakdown costs. It would be a starting

      Exporters said they expected to approach the Ministry of Finance at
the beginning of 2003 when most companies that are already preparing for
their annual shutdowns return from the Christmas holiday.

      They argued that by using what they called a general equilibrium
model, exporters would require an exchange rate ranging from $550 to $650 to
the United States dollar to remain viable.

      Industrialists said the model would take into account the country's
foreign currency reserve levels, productivity growth, capital inflows and
external trade shocks to determine the real value of the Zimbabwe dollar.

      They noted that the Zimbabwe dollar was overvalued on the official
market but admitted that the parallel market rate for the dollar was

      The Zimbabwe dollar has in the last few months depreciated from around
$600 against the American greenback to $1 400 on the parallel market, but
remained fixed at $55 to US$1 on the official market.

      "Using the general equilibrium model, the Zimbabwe dollar's true value
is somewhere between $550 and $650 and is definitely not at the artificial
rates that we have seen on the parallel market," an exporter said.

      The government has indicated that it is not willing to devalue the
Zimbabwe dollar, saying doing so will fuel prices and inflation, pushing up
the cost of living for consumers.

      But the exporters this week argued that the government had
nevertheless set a precedent by allowing tobacco and gold producers special
exchange rates to cushion them from rising production costs.

      They said the same arrangement could be extended to more exporters.

      However, analysts this week pointed out that this could prove costly
for the government, which is already paying out billions of dollars to gold
and tobacco producers.

      Up to September, the government had paid $6.3 billion in subsidies to
the gold industry under the gold support price scheme, which allows bullion
producers a lower exchange rate.

      During the 2002 tobacco selling season, the government also introduced
a subsidy for growers equivalent to 188 percent of the auction floor price,
and had by the end of the season forked out $38.1 billion in subsidies to
tobacco growers.
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      Farmers want $70 000/tonne for maize

      Staff Reporter
      12/5/2002 1:09:27 AM (GMT +2)

      MAIZE producers are negotiating with the government to more than
double the producer price of the commodity to at least $70 000 a tonne next
year, to encourage farmers to sell the grain to the state-controlled Grain
Marketing Board (GMB), it was learnt this week.

      The GMB has set $28 000 per tonne as the producer price for next year'
s maize crop, but grain producers say this is insufficient to cover rising
input costs and could affect future output.

      "We are still in the process of meeting with the Ministry of
Agriculture so that they can review the maize producer price from the
current $28 000 per tonne," an official with a farmers' organisation told
the Financial Gazette.

      "We are saying if we can at least have $70 000 per tonne, then it can
go some way in recovering all our costs," he added.

      Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) director Sylvester Tsikisai said the GMB
had to review the maize producer price to keep pace with farmers' production
costs, which continue to rise despite a freeze on prices imposed by the
government last month.

      He said growers needed lucrative incentives from the government to
deliver their crop to the GMB, or they would be forced to trade it on the
illegal black market, which offered more viable returns.

      This year, farmers only delivered 38 000 tonnes of maize to the GMB
and retained the rest of the crop for consumption and stock feed production.
Others spurned the GMB's producer price of $8 000 a tonne, instead selling
their grain on the black market, where a tonne fetched more than double the
GMB price.

      This forced the GMB, Zimbabwe's sole trader in maize and wheat, to
raid farms and private silos for maize, accusing the owners of hoarding the
precious commodity.

      Tsikisai, members of whose organisation account for more than 70
percent of the country's maize output, said: "What farmers need is a good
incentive so that they can take their maize to the GMB or else they will be
forced to sell it somewhere else.

      "We are working on a model of how much a farmer would need for a tonne
of maize, but at the moment, it is difficult to come up with a definite
price because input costs are changing every week."

      Commercial Farmers' Union president Colin Cloete added: "Input prices
are going up more frequently and this is proving more and more difficult for
the farmers."

      But grain producers admitted this week that it would be difficult for
them to reach an agreement with the GMB on the maize producer price because
the government, which says it wants to cushion the public from the rising
cost of living, would be reluctant to allow a maize price hike.

      An increase in the producer price of maize would trigger a rise in the
cost of mealie meal, the staple food of most Zimbabweans, the majority of
who are already unable to afford basic foodstuffs.

      The country, which consumes about six thousand tonnes of maize every
month, faces a severe food crisis blamed on drought and the government's
chaotic land reform programme, which has almost decimated the country's key
agricultural sector.

      Close to seven million people need food handouts from the government
and international donor agencies to avert starvation.

      Analysts say the number of Zimbabweans needing emergency food aid
could rise if the country receives inadequate rain and if grain producers
are forced to reduce output because of escalating production costs.
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Nigerian Scam letters :


The scam starts with a bulk mailing or bulk faxing of a bunch of identical letters to businessmen, professionals, and other persons who tend to be of greater-than-average wealth. 'How's the weather in Harare?' Strange. I've been getting a lot of e-mails from Africa  Paula Brook The Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Spent all last week catching up on e-mail correspondence, which, inexplicably, has been particularly heavy from Africa.

Dear Mr. Obi,

May I call you Festus? I am sorry for the delay in responding to your e-mail of Nov. 7. As you can imagine, my husband and I have been in shock at the news that our long-lost uncle, Mattew Saltsberg, should have turned up (dead!) in Nigeria. We are so grateful for the time you and your law partners have spent finding us here in Vancouver. While it is not, strictly speaking, correct that we are Mattew's "only surviving next of kin," we are indebted to you for the opportunity to fly immediately to Amsterdam to collect his US$30-million estate, which you have so wisely deposited with a security company. Awaiting the "secret information" we will need to identify ourselves to your banker in Amsterdam.


P.S. Please note, my husband spells his last name with a z, but is open to a change.

Dear Captain Masheba,

Yes, I have indeed heard about President Mugabe's land reforms and the devastating effects on white farmers like you. At least you weren't in the African White Farmers Cooperation headquarters when those black rioters burst in and torched it. How clever you were to have anticipated trouble and moved the US$17.5-million in cash assets to a secret location! My question to you: Do any of the other white farmers in your organization know you have the money? If so, have they all agreed to let me keep 25% in return for investing the funds in Europe? Please reply by e-mail, as I share your suspicion that my phones are bugged by the Oppressive Government. How's the weather in Harare? Cool and sunny here.


Dear Mrs. Sese Seko,

People can be so mean! Of course I'd heard about the coup in Zaire, but I had no idea how nasty Laurent Kabila was to you and your late husband, President Mobutu. Lucky that you and the kids got out with his U.S. billions! Unlucky that your European chateaux are now being confiscated by Laurent's greedy son, Joseph! You are very wise to have "security-coded" the funds in the care of your lawyer in Amsterdam, Mr. Bello Malike, who sounds like a real mensch. Thank you for forwarding his phone number. Do let him know I'll be calling very soon to discuss "safe and non-speculative" ways of investing the money. Your late hubby would be so proud.


Dear Mrs. Kabila,

What a coincidence! Just yesterday I heard from Mariam Sese Seko -- have the two of you ever met? I just know you'd get along like a hut on fire. She, too, fled DRC with her kids. And she dumped her dough with a Dutchman, though it was a heck of a lot more than your hubby's funds -- no offence. In fact, if I weren't so busy hunting for good investment opportunities for her, I'd be happy to help you. There's only so much time in the day, and, like you, I'm busy trying to balance work and family. As the ancient Yoruban proverb goes, "Those who are carrying elephants home on their heads need not use their toes to dig up crickets on the way."


P.S. If you ever run into Mariam, say hi from me.

Dear Kaka Sese Seko,

This is really too much! I've just been corresponding with your sister-in-law, Mariam, who has already drawn my attention to what you call the "financial dispute" between the Mobutus and the Kabilas. Seems to me this is more than just financial. Don't you people talk? Are there no family therapists in Africa? My advice is to spend less time in Amsterdam and more at home. Hey, you're not the only one with issues. Deal with them and move on.


Fortune Mgomeni Grote

Executive Accountant

Department of Finance and Mineral Resources

Johannesburg, South Africa

(Strictly confidential and urgent)

Dear Mr. Grote,

Maybe next time.



Dear Ado Adamu,

I am so sorry to hear you lost your parents in that tragic car accident, but I am in no position to adopt a 17-year-old Nigerian girl. Hoping you will find another loving mentor to enable you to finish your studies in computer science at the Lagos City Technical College while resisting your evil aunt's attempts to sell you to a European prostitution ring. Your late parents were right: Stay at school and you "will become great!" Thanks for your kind words. You, too, are an angel!

Hugs and knishes,


Based on e-mails sent to Paula Brook last week.
© Copyright  2002 National Post
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