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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Spectator

Mugabe takes the cake
Jen Redshaw on the economy of Zimbabwe, which combines Estée Lauder and mass
starvation  Harare

Strolling through Sam Levy's shopping village in Harare, you'd never believe
that Zimbabwe is tottering under its worst economic crisis ever. There are
couples cellphone-shopping and schoolchildren doing gymnastic displays; in
the furniture shops, there's a choice of tallboys. You can buy Estée Lauder
here, for goodness' sake.

Half of Zimbabwe's population are supposed to be starving, thanks to drought
and President Robert Mugabe's repressive policy on land. That must surely be
in a country far removed from the chocolate-cake haven of Mimi's brasserie.
Here, immaculately highlighted and braided women, black and white, toy with
their cloppy gold sandals over iced coffee. Eavesdropping, you might catch
the odd snippet about water shortages affecting the city's plush northern
suburbs - the main indication that things are not quite right in this
country - but that's as much as you'll pick up. Most of these women have got
private boreholes anyway, so they're hardly going to have to store buckets
in the bath.

Zimbabwe today is split right down the middle. There's the divide everyone
knows about, between Mr Mugabe's land-grabbing patriots and the quieter
followers of opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. But there's another gap,
too. It's between the haves and the have-nots, and it's getting wider by the
day. How is it, a female columnist for the official Herald newspaper
pondered recently, that so many people here 'can afford to ride in flashy
cars [and] live in luxurious houses, yet Zimbabwe is supposedly
poverty-stricken?' How do these people always manage to wear the latest
imported fashions and 'drink and eat to their heart's content', when
everyone else queues for bread and dreads starvation, she wondered.

It's forex, my dear, forex. Your Mr Mugabe's skewed economic policies have
nurtured a ballooning parallel market in foreign currency - and everyone
wants it. You might get it perfectly legally, like me, with the notes my
worried mother stashes between the packets of dried soya mince and Ovaltine
sachets in her fortnightly parcels. You might get it by some other means,
say by plundering resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or by
striking a little deal with Mr Mugabe's henchmen so that you can carry on
farming. You take those nice bills to one of those dark bureaux de change
off Harare's central First Street. A teller will show you the day's parallel
market rate on her calculator screen, scared of speaking out loud. A few
wordless minutes later, you're rolling in cash. Suddenly Zimbabwe is very,
very cheap.

My mother's £10 note at the moment gets me $12,000. That's twice a domestic
worker's salary. It'll buy me 100 loaves of bread - made from cake flour, of
course. There's a wheat shortage. Things aren't quite right in Zimbabwe,

Ugly old fears are resurfacing, the sort that show that racial integration
didn't really run that deep. Mr Mugabe is milking this for all it is worth.
One of the propaganda songs that's played nearly every 15 minutes on state
radio tells listeners to beware of whites 'with their barbed-wire tails'. It
's sung in Shona, so most whites can't understand, but they can feel the
hostility. And they've got their own to contend with.

Back in one of the tallboy shops, a middle-aged white woman is scared. She
won't count her cash in front of the black store assistant. And, she
whispers, her husband locks 14 doors each night before they go to bed. 'We'
ve got one dog in the passageway and one in the entrance. And we've got a
gun,' she confides.

White fears are running high here after the last killing, just a couple of
weeks ago. An elderly white brother and sister were surprised in their
Harare home, tied to their chairs and strangled with shoelaces. The
intruders were looking for cash, the Herald said. They broke all the
Phelpses' flower etchings.

As poverty rises, so does crime. Violent house burglaries and car-jackings
are on the up. So is anti-white feeling. After all, these people are just
'greedy whites', according to Mr Mugabe. That, at least, is what my in-laws
are being told. They're homeless now. They only had one farm, bought in the
mid-1980s. No one, except the Mugabe regime and its highly original
definitions of legality, could accuse them of stealing land from anybody.
But last year war veterans and squatters rampaged through the farmhouse,
taking what they could and wrecking what they couldn't. My in-laws fled to a
nearby town, where a friend lent them a house rent-free. My mother-in-law
started rebuilding her wardrobe with visits to the fleamarket.

They've had no money from the government to compensate them for the loss of
their farm. They have no income. But suddenly their farmworkers - even the
once friendly ones - have started clamouring for retrenchment packages
running into millions of dollars. That's thousands of pounds, even at the
black-market rate. Where are my in-laws supposed to get that from?

Mr Mugabe doesn't care. In fact, he's probably quite glad. Farmworkers used
to be ardent supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), which, according to the government, is white-led and
British-sponsored. (It's not.) The more people Mr Mugabe can get to turn
against the whites, the more voters our aging leader thinks he's got.

Mr Mugabe would like us all to believe that things are just perfect in
Zimbabwe. Say any different and it's into prison with you. At least 12
journalists from the private and foreign press have been arrested here in
the last five months. Several nights a week we have as our top news-story on
state ZBC - or Dead BC, as it's not so fondly known as here - the fact that
another delegation of African-Americans has come to Zimbabwe to find out the
'true story'. Invariably, we are shown pictures of Mr Mugabe embracing the
visitors, who say they've seen nothing at all amiss in this beautiful

What ZBC oddly omits to tell us is that taxpayers are paying for these
visits. It's a cool $11 million per delegation, if you please: the visitors,
it seems, have a police escort and, of course, they get to stay in the
Sheraton. The government may not have enough money to feed its starving
millions, but it will roll out the red carpet for you if you'll profess your
undying support for Mr Mugabe on prime-time TV. Even a Briton has joined in
the praise chorus, apparently. A Mr David Jones was last month presented
with the Tourist of the Decade award by the beaming minister of tourism,
Francis Nhema. Mr Jones is reported to have made frequent trips to Zimbabwe
since 1996 and has promised to 'undertake to correct the negative publicity
Zimbabwe is receiving in the West, saying the country is paradise'.

Well, Harare looks just fine from air-conditioned hotels or the hallowed
arcades of Sam Levy's village, though I am not sure if there are potholes in
paradise. And if you're changing your pounds in one of those dark little
bureaux, Mr Jones, then, yes, your holiday is unbelievably cheap. But things
are not right in Zimbabwe. And the more people who say that they are, the
longer this madness will last.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Eclipse of starvation and corruption
As international and national eclipse watchers relax and enjoy the natural spectacle in the southern part of the country there is hunger in the land, especially in the people involved in commercial agriculture. Many families are just no longer able to work as the policies of a despotic regime slowly throttle their food supplies and the economy. The "settlers" move too and from the farms and their rural homes cashing in on donor free food handouts in both areas, whilst all forms of food are being denied to the workers who are being ordered to "get from their employers" - who are also being prevented from buying any in sufficient quantity.
Added to this are the genuine fears of the people over their superstitions of the eclipse. The local Venda view it as an evil occurrence which could spell the death of a great leader or famine. The famine is already here and is only going to get worse, especially for those involved in commercial agricultural industry which itself is already on its knees. The commercial beef herd has been brought to a point of collapse by the so-called "fast-track" political policies, and the remaining livestock is in terrible condition. Cattle belonging both to the legitimate farm owners and the "settlers" have already started to die from poverty.
So far this season there has been no significant rainfall, and the predictions of an El Nino induced drought similar to 1982 and 1993 appears to be coming true. Yet DDF tractors have recently arrived in the area to plough up some of the remaining grazing areas in the vain hope that the "settlers" will be able to grow fantastic maize crops under such unfavourable conditions, in a district where the chances of even a very low yielding crop under dryland conditions, in normal years are about 1 year in 6.
It seems workers on farms are going to be subjected to the same fate as the farmers' depleted wildlife and cattle herds, which have been driven to death from the evil political policies. Recently a large agricultural company in the province departed with $300,000 to a Party official,in a desperate attempt to supply much needed rollermeal for their starving staff. CID got wind of this and the whole consignment, which was meant to feed several hundred workers was confiscated, and has disappeared without trace, or compensation!
In another incident workers clubbed together to send a vehicle to acquire a 10kg bag of rollermeal each from another Party source. The price was $850 per bag where the "control" price should be about $240 per 10kg. Authorities are constantly turning a blind eye to Party faithful, who are becoming incredibly rich (with untaxed wealth) whilst most are doomed to a life of poverty. An attempt to obtain a letter from the ZRP at Rutenga to cover the desperately needed food in transit to the farm, was blatantly refused. This was even in the presence of a member of the local "Food Distribution Task Force", who could not assist. Inside information from this "task force" says that whenever application for food for farm workers is discussed tempers rise and the matter is therefore dropped.
Desperate farmers have sought intervention from both their local District Administrator and recently imposed councillor who have suggested the farmers submit a list of employees to them. Despite this having been done no resolution has been found as the whole subject has become controversial and political.
The fate of the cattle industry has also been discussed at these levels. The only solution found, due to the uncontrolled movement of "settlers'" livestock in the face of a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, would be the establishment of a quarantine feedlot which has been sited on a commercial farm. This would provide the only outlet for otherwise thin unsaleable cattle belonging to all parties that are destined to die, and therefore be a total loss of a national asset and valuable food for a starving nation. However local politics has once again reared its cruel head as the local District Administrator has put his foot in and halted the construction of this vitally necessary development in the district, on the advice of his local political masters. Therefore both the community and the nation are again being ruined by political decisions. 
Such is the plight in Zimbabwe, with even government ministers being reported to have condoned and encouraged the deaths of 6 million people who were perceived as having voted for the opposition. When will the people of Zimbabwe wake up and stand up for their rights? Why do they just cower like poor beaten animals and accept the debilitating policies if a despotic and cruel regime?
When will the President of South Africa realise that by supporting such a regime his dreams of a successful African Union and NEPAD will never be able to come true? All he needs to do is to admit the truth of what his Election Observers reported to him, and that Zimbabwe is being run by an illegal government, and then the rest of the SADC countries would follow, and hopefully enforce a regime change without military intervention.   
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Mugabe's ruining of Zimbabwe's public enterprises

      Reginald T Gola
      12/5/2002 1:22:50 AM (GMT +2)

      IT was unbelievable to listen to the leader of ZANU PF, the largely
believed to be illegitimately ruling Zimbabwe, challenge the business
community and openly highlight that some parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe
and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) were once profitable

      The nation listened attentively to this proposed re-strategy triggered
by the Mugabe regime's admission of gross incompetence in the management of
the economy. The nation listened as he got closer to rationality. But the
question remains on whether he is seeing it today as a newly elected
President from the street.

      The tyrant is giving the impression that there has been no government
in Zimbabwe over the past 22 years and it is only now that he is putting
together some form of order after a disastrous colonial rule. The regime's
self-inflicted stomach and head aches.

      On Friday November 8, "Moyo at 8" news hour, every Zimbabwean was
waiting to hear the tyrant suffix his presentation on the failure of
parastatals as follows: .they were very profitable business entities before
I ruined them. Before I started recycling mukwasha Sydney Gata ZESA.
Mukwasha anokosha varume (Guys a brother-in-law is a very important person).

      Air Zimbabwe was a profitable business entity before it embraced ZANU
PF, my party's social services function, the culture of sheltering other
party cadres to make a living which saw it, for many years, running with two
general managers.

      One general manager in the office and the other one just at home with
all perks (including company house and cars).

      The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was a profitable business
entity before I forced the then general manager, John Avery, into retirement
to make way for a party cadre and loyalist, Farai Masango.

      The fortunes of the NRZ went away with John Avery. Ever since, the
parastatal has continuously nose-dived. I appointed Masango despite the fact
that his highest qualification was a Junior Certificate and a railways
Engine Driver's Certificate. Masango was a very loyal party cadre but
akandinyadzisa (he embarrassed me).

      The Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) was a profitable entity
until the day that I pushed the then chief executive, Kurt Kuhn, into forced
termination of contract. I did it despite the fact that workers at ZISCO
protested against this move as they had felt that the German expatriate was
an effective manager and he still was keen on guiding the fortunes of the
parastatal for another term.

      Ndakamudzinga murungu uya, akayenda, sezvirikuita varimi vechichena (I
fired that white man. He went the same way as the white farmers) to make way
for my own boy and party cadre, Mopondera, and ZISCO has never stopped
nose-diving since then.

      I did the same with the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) Eddie Cross we
MDC uyu, taka muterminator (we terminated his service) to make way for our
own party militant Constantine Mutiwanyuka.

      This move triggered a protest exodus at the CSC as long serving
skilled manpower who had been sure that they were close to the prestigious
position's hopes were instantly dwindled. Mutiwanyuka did not perform well.

      Paita scandals dzenyama paya (there were meat scandals), Mutiwanyuka
tore apart all that Cross had assembled over the years. I don't even know
what happened to that fellow afterwards.

      Zve Grain Marketing Board (GMB)hazvitaurwe. (I am ashamed to talk
about the GMB). Our boys have been continuous let-downs. I have tried to
look after these boys ndichivapa mabasa kuti vawanewo chekurarama nacho ( I
have given them jobs so that they could earn a living) Pane nyaya huru
yechibage chakabiwa nembava dzedu mu ZANU PF paya. ( There is the big issue
of stolen grain by our ZANU PF looters).

      Another circus has arisen at the Zimbabwe United Omnibus Company
(ZUPCO). Ndaifunga kuti mfana wedu muBritish uyu Matonga akachangamuka.
Shuwa mumanagement yanhasi kuchine munhu anongomanager semhuka yemusango? (I
thought that our British educated cadre, Matonga was a modern manager).

      I suffered another severe stomach and head ache when he publicly,
without shame, announced that at the ever suffering organisation, since the
death of Peter Bryce and replacement by Chiwara, it is company policy that
the employees are part of the workshop tools. They should not be consulted.
Executives unilaterally make decisions and jealously protect that unholy and
uncomfortable domain.

      It was a harrowing experience to get yet another severe display of
naivety from ZUPCO's custodian, the chairperson of the board, the
vice-chancellor of Chinhoyi University, Charles Nherera, a heavily
stereo-typed public servant, guessing, pointing fingers and attempting to
address critical ZUPCO issues in the press as a priority before seeking to
familiarise himself with the events on the ground.

      In as much as the business community knows exactly how the tyrant
destroyed the economy, not a single one of them raised a finger to indicate
this self-infliction of stomach and headaches at State House. But just
listen to how opinionated they are when they walk out of the meeting.

      When partisan managers take over positions of influence the economy
gets sacrificed. The workers equally get sacrificed as the axe starts with

      Incompetent managers have reduced the once profitable business
entities to social clubs. When they eventually become unsustainable, they
are quickly given a golden hand-shake in the form a multi-million dollar
package there-by further crippling the organization.

      Mugabe has failed to transform his earlier legitimate and later
largely believed to be illegitimate ZANU PF government into a conventional
government. He has continued to operate as if he was still in the trenches
of the bush war. There is no way that any serious government could
successfully shape the economy with partisan management where the
determinant factor in securing a job is party loyalty as against
professional competence and commercial wisdom.

      Mugabe's regime has destroyed public enterprises by both appointing
partisan executives backed by partisan boards of directors. The caliber of
some of Mugabe's board members tends to be mediocrity bound. Most of them do
not have the capacity to run a tuck shop, not to talk of a bottle store. It
is again, another social welfare function to afford them access to sitting
allowances rather than organisational growth.

      Commercial idiots of the worst order, hand-picked from the civil
service and party headquarters, have been part of the great liabilities in
Mugabe's parastatals including 'Libya's' National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(NOCZIM) which was abandoned by Enos Chikowore in the midst of official

      Mugabe's parastatals need warm-bloodied animals, top-fliers,
commercial go-getters, change drivers, team-builders capable of planting
their hearts in the organization both at board and executive levels as well
as the generality of employees just as the private sector does, not this
current junk. You get the same junk either sitting in, or chairing various
such boards for a life-time, there by confirming the permanence of
organisational stunted growth due to the levels of commercial idiocy from

      Professors of music, drama, history, English, mathematics, education
and agriculture among others, have been hand-picked for senior managerial
positions in parastatals, membership and chairship of very important boards
in Mugabe's Zimbabwe with all their ignorance.

      Organisations are not schools and universities. These people's most
appropriate place is organizations such as the Adult Literacy Organisation
of Zimbabwe, the National Archives and the School Development Committees.

      The set-up is not very different from General Idi Amin Dada whose
senior managers and cabinet ministers ranged from anything from a taxi
driver to a soldier, militia and loyal criminals.

      The Masters of Business Administration Syndrome (MBAS), has also
played its part in destroying Mugabe's parastatals. The generality of
Zimbabwe industry seems not to know that it is not this paper qualification
that runs and propels the organization to profitable levels, but industrial
and commercial seasoning.

      Commercially innocent and industrially naïve MBA graduates get thrown
into the dip end on the basis of a class-room paper qualification. People of
no visible industrial track record or with clumsy track records have been
allowed to sail through on the basis of unfortified MBAs.

      Organisations have paid a high price for this miscalculation and in
some cases, the damage could be beyond repair. This is exactly what has got
the tyrant screaming from his former comfort zone.

      Reginald T Gola is a organisation development consultant, legislative
consultant and a political commentator.He can be reached on e-mail address
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zim's children in the diaspora (Part 2)

      Masipula Sithole
      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      THIS is a continuation of last week's contribution.

      Many left, particularly from Matabeleland during the gukurahundi
period of the 1980s. This confirmed the worst fears of those who were more
cautious during the independence rush of the "exiles" and remained put until
the 1987 Unity Accord between ZANU PF and PF ZAPU. Still many stayed put in
the diaspora after this unity, suspecting their leaders to have either sold
out or have been coerced into it.

      The PF ZAPU element that stayed put in the diaspora at independence is
relatively old and wealthy; they have probably taken citizenship of their
respective host countries - South Africa, Britain and the United States
being top hosts.

      To these must be added residuals from Abel Muzorewa's UANC and
followers of the late Ndabaningi Sithole's ZANU Ndonga. Their demeanour has
turned out to be: "We told you so. Mugabe haaite. UMugabe kenzi vele. Mugabe
is bad news."

      By far, the new arrivals to the diaspora have occurred during the past
three years, years of Jonathan's "Third Chimurenga" during which the "land
was taken from white farmers and returned to its rightful owners" who
qualified for it under the A or B scheme.

      One wonders which land ownership scheme was en vogue when the whites
stole it from us. Did we use the A or B ownership scheme, I wonder?

      What irony though that most of Zimbabwe's children who are joining the
diaspora today are doing so when the land is being returned to them. What
irony, indeed. It is as if the fight was not about land but the "good life"
which those who leave are in search of.

      While most of Zimbabwe's unskilled labourers find themselves swelling
refugee camps in neighbouring countries, the "best and the brightest" go
overseas to America, the United Kingdom and Europe and so on.

      Unlike the exiles of the 1960s and 1970s, many among them may not be
in a hurry to come back. Many are so disgusted with what we have done with
independence that they are looking for an alternative home in the diaspora.
They are in the diaspora with one-way tickets; those with round trip-tickets
conveniently lose them.

      Some don't believe change at home is possible or, should it occur, it
would just be temporary. They cite developments in Zambia and Malawi to make
their point.

      "Africa is cursed," many have concluded.

      "But the minister of information and publicity says come back home and
work the land that is finally yours instead of demeaning yourselves cleaning
toilets in the UK and the United States," I put it to Simba, one of Zimbabwe
's "best and brightest" in the American diaspora.

      After laughing his lungs out, he had this to say: "Ndezvake Jonathan.
I am not a farmer. I even wonder if Jonathan is. No, I rather the life of
the city than that of a farmer.

      "And those who have opted to do demeaning jobs in the UK and here in
the US have calculated that they could have enough savings in a year to buy
a home anywhere in the Harare suburbs. They can't even dream of buying a
home in Chitungwiza with lifetime savings given their starting point on a
farm had they stayed home."

      He added: "It's not easy to leave your home country, you know. People
have done a cost-benefit analysis of their life chances and opted to leave.
Jonathan simply has to accept that, in the fields, he is not offering

      I asked Simba how many of his close friends are in the diaspora and
those who have remained home. He stopped and did a count.

      "Two-thirds are in the diaspora in England and here in the US. For the
other third that is still at home, most of them lack the means otherwise
they would leave. However, pane imwe 'hardcore' that would not leave, come
rain or sunshine, but it is a tiny minority," observed Simba, who went on to
say his friends would share roughly the same sentiment.

      Another young chap (29 years) working in Florida says 10 of his former
school mates are in England; six in the United States; he doesn't remember
those who stayed behind.

      In the past I quoted somebody claiming that the State of Texas has
nearly 2 000 Zimbabweans. Another "Texan-Zimbabwean" wrote to say: "To the
contrary, there are over 4 000 Zimbabweans living in Texas."

      There are 50 states in the United States. Even if each had 100
Zimbabweans, it's 80 too many, considering that among them 10 percent are
Zimbabwe's "best and brightest."

      I asked my younger son, Masipula Jr, (perhaps for the ninth time!)
what his plans were after graduate school in the United States.

      He responded: "I will return to Zimbabwe sooner than later after
acquiring the requisite resources and skills to make a positive contribution
at home. I have no doubt positive change is going to come sooner than

      Chakatodza baba, I mean babamukuru, I thought to myself.

      "Are you coming back home?" I asked Simba.

      "Not while the conditions remain as they are," he said, adding rather
succinctly: "And every time you think things can't get anymore worse than
they are, they get worse."

      "Who do you give the responsibility to change things?" I asked.

      An uneasy silence creeps in almost invariably, then: "I have a young
family." Navasina! (Even those who don't have!).

      My niece Jania in California admits where others seem dodgy that she
and her husband are presently involved in personal pursuits, "leaving
politics to politicians".

      There is this lady who wrote from London saying she voted in the
February 2000 referendum, June 2000 parliamentary elections and in the March
2002 presidential election zvikaramba who asked: "What more am I expected to
do? I left Zimbabwe. I only have one life to live," she said.

      And this doctor in up-state New York who had arrived about a year ago
after giving the country 21 years of service had this story to tell:

      "I was looking at my ID one day at Nandos. It said I was born in 1942.
I made a quick calculation. 'My God, I am 59. In another five years I should
be retiring.' I went straight to my bank to check on my savings. I panicked.

      "That evening I made a call to a friend I left here some 20 years ago.
He said: 'There is a job, as a matter of fact. When can you come?' I said:

      "So I returned here after 20 years of patriotic service in which I had
nothing for my retirement. I am returning home in five years," said the
retiring doctor.

      Unless cruelty and "brain drain" is part of our social policy as a
nation, what we are doing is totally unacceptable.

      By the way, a former student of mine phoned from England saying he was
writing a book titled "How Jonathan Underdeveloped Zimbabwe". I didn't take
him seriously, but it would make interesting reading. I assured him though
that if he could prove to us that it is, indeed, Jonathan and not ZANU PF,
he deserves a doctorate from any university in the world.

      (In Part 3 next week, we discuss the disturbing phenomena of those in
the cross-border diaspora).

      lProfessor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at the
University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion
Institute. While he is currently on sabbatical leave in the United States of
America, Sithole can be contacted at e-mail address and
telephone number (202) 429 3819.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Forex black market continues to thrive

      From Njabulo Ncube Bulawayo Bureau Chief
      12/5/2002 (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Her attire might have changed but it is business as usual
for Loveness Machirori, a member of the Vapostori religious sect, a major
player in Bulawayo's foreign currency black market.

      The 35-year-old Machirori has abandoned the all-white garb associated
with her church for trendy clothes that allow her to blend in with the crowd
in downtown Bulawayo.

      Clad in imported, tight-fitting black jeans, designer tackies, a
baseball cap and clutching an expensive black leather bag, she confides that
she has been forced to swap her religious clothes in an attempt to elude
plainclothes policemen.

      The cops are on the lookout for illegal foreign currency traders who
operate in Fort Street, known as Bulawayo's World Bank because of the
millions of dollars worth of hard cash transactions that take place here.

      "This is a survival tactic," says a jittery Machirori, referring to
her new look.

      Keeping an eagle eye on a police vehicle cruising up the street, she
told the Financial Gazette: "We need to put food on the table, hence the
risks we are taking. If they (government) think this trade will end
overnight with the closure of bureaux de change, they have another thing

      She waves down a red Madza 323 hatchback with South African
registration plates, which is indicating its intention to stop in front of
the Financial Gazette offices, located along Fort Street.

      The street is swarming with plainclothes policemen and ruling ZANU PF
militia, but the South African and Botswana cars circling the area are bait
enough for Machirori and her colleagues who brave the hot sun and ply their
trade before the very gaze of the law.

      Always a risky business, the illegal trade in foreign currency has
become especially dicey since Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced
tough new measures last month to curb Zimbabwe's forex black market.

      During his presentation of the 2003 national budget on November 14,
Murerwa told Parliament that the country's foreign exchange bureaux would be
shut down at the end of November to stem hard cash leakages.

      Most bureaux de change closed their doors last Friday, while the
police have kept a watchful eye on black market traders who operate from
Bulawayo's streets, many of who are said to work for the owners of foreign
exchange bureaux.

      Several of the dealers were attacked last Saturday by youths trained
under Zimbabwe's national service programme, who allegedly seized about $1
million dollars worth of foreign currency.

      Although not well-versed in economics, Bulawayo's black market forex
traders, many of who only have primary education, this week predicted that
their illegal business would continue to flourish despite the government

      They said individuals and companies continued to seek South African
rand, Botswana pula, British pounds and United States dollars from the
streets of Bulawayo to buy spare parts and for travel allowances.

      "This is the busiest month in the trade. Injiva are in town," said
Machirori, referring to Zimbabweans working in South Africa who have
returned home for the Christmas holidays.

      "We are still buying and selling foreign currency. We will keep it at
home. We can't trade at the official rate when there is such a high demand
for foreign currency. The banks are dry so we are a reliable supplier of the
scarce commodity."

      She says deals are still being transacted inside vehicles but with
more caution to avoid the police.

      "It's safer if the vehicle's windows are tinted, making it difficult
for the police," she said. "But there have been incidents of people being
arrested doing business in the safety of cars."

      Black market traders said despite the ban on bureaux de change,
foreign currency was still being moved into Zimbabwe from overseas via
Botswana and South Africa and being sold on the street.

      "We have accounts in Francistown for instance," Sithabile Nkomo, a
black market forex dealer, told the Financial Gazette.

      "People in the UK (United Kingdom) use them to send the foreign
currency and we drive there and bring the money back and then sell it on the
streets. It's business as usual."

      Chipo Chuma, another dealer operating on Fort Street who said she had
links in South Africa and Botswana, added: "If it gets very hot, I will move
the foreign currency that I have to Botswana. But I don't think it's
necessary yet because there is still demand locally."

      Chuma admitted that most forex traders on the streets had links to
Asian businessmen in the city although she declined to name them.

      The businessmen are alleged to have connections to ruling party
politicians with access to foreign currency.

      She said: "Although the ban and presence of police have cleared the
streets, we are still there in the background. Clients, especially business
executives, phone us for business. We deliver (the forex) to their offices.
So you see, the trade is still there".

      Bulawayo-based analyst Eric Bloch echoed the black market traders'
sentiments, saying the government's new measures would not encourage foreign
currency inflows or stave off the collapse of the economy.

      He pointed out that the closure of bureaux de change would merely
force the illegal trade in forex underground, making it impossible to

      Bloch said: "The closure means more activity on the black market,
although the players won't be easily visible as was the case in the past

      "It is clear that this latest measure to close bureaux de change is a
shift from an organised black market to a disorganised one."

      He forecast that at least half of Zimbabwe's companies could collapse
next year if the government continued to deal with the symptoms and not the
real causes of the country's economic crisis.

      "There is no other way to kill an economy than the present policies
being implemented by the government," Bloch said.

      "Those women on the streets will remain a permanent feature for
sometime because the only reliable source of forex is the streets, not the

      Analysts said another consequence of the closure of the bureaux de
change was the loss of an estimated 2 500 jobs.

      Officials at bureaux de change in Bulawayo said they were preparing
retrenchment packages for their staff.

      "There is nothing we can do," an official who declined to be named
told the Financial Gazette.

      "We are preparing to go, but this ill-advised closure has deprived
people of employment."
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Tour operators fail to cash in on eclipse

      12/5/2002 9:17:53 PM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - Tour operators at Zimbabwe's prime tourist resort town of
Victoria Falls failed to cash in on yesterday's solar eclipse because of a
crippling fuel crisis that prevented them from ferrying clients to view the
much publicised natural phenomenon, according to tourism industry

      The executives told the Financial Gazette that petrol and diesel
supplies had run out in the town about three days ago, adversely affecting
most businesses in the area.

      They said long queues had yesterday formed outside Victoria Falls' two
filling stations, which were expecting deliveries of 6 000 litres of fuel

      Tour operators, who were anticipating a surge in business because of
the solar eclipse, said the fuel crisis had been disastrous for tourism
firms, which have already been hard hit by a decline in tourist arrivals in
the past two years.

      Foreign tourist arrivals have fallen by at least 50 percent in the
last two years partly because of political violence and the invasion of
white-owned farms by ruling ZANU PF supporters.

      The solar eclipse was expected to attract a large number of
international visitors to Zimbabwe and operators were planning to ferry
those visiting Victoria Falls, which was not in the path of the solar
eclipse, to Botswana and areas of Zimbabwe that experienced a total eclipse.

      "We have not had fuel for the past three or so days," said Victoria
Falls Publicity Association manager Marian Pollard. "This is a disaster for
us as thousands of tourists fly into Victoria Falls.

      "Buses are not running frequently between the town and Bulawayo due to
the fuel crisis. We also do not have a lot of locals driving into the town.
We are supposed to be hosting tourists who are in the country for the solar
eclipse. "

      Pollard said fuel shortages had also affected the companies that hire
out cars and boats to tour operators.

      Phathisani Nkomo, chairman of the Victoria Falls Publicity Association
and an executive with a major tour company, said tour operators had hoped to
cash in on what he described as the "post solar eclipse period", during
which tourists were expected to flock to the town.

      "But there is no fuel, it is very sad," he told the Financial Gazette
over the phone. "As I am speaking now, there is a queue stretching for about
three kilometres at one garage. These cars belong to tour operators who
should be out there picking up tourists from wherever they were viewing the
solar eclipse."

      Some tour operators are reported to have cancelled drives to areas in
Matabeleland South such as Maphisa and Beitbridge where there was a 100
percent eclipse.

      Most tourists who flew to the resort town are said to have also
preferred to view the natural phenomenon from a site in Botswana, about 170
kilometres from Pandamatenga border post in Victoria Falls.

      Others took connecting flights to Messina in South Africa to view the
solar eclipse at Beitbridge.

      Nkomo said: "We want to take advantage of the post-solar eclipse
period by receiving those tourists that went to other parts of the country
or to Botswana and South Africa. We hope the fuel situation will improve and
they take advantage of their visit to southern Africa to also view the

      Meanwhile, the border town of Beitbridge, which had also anticipated a
tourism boom because of the solar eclipse, was this week battling water
shortages caused by burst pipes blamed on dilapidated infrastructure.

      Tour operators at the South African border town of Messina are
reported to have taken advantage of the water crisis, some of them allegedly
posting a billboard inscribed "No Water in Beitbridge" on the South African
side of the border, to discourage tourists from crossing into Zimbabwe.

      "A large contingent of foreign tourists checked out of hotels here on
Tuesday. Some claimed they had not bathed for two days," Silver Maphosa, a
Bulawayo resident who was in Beitbridge yesterday on business, told the
Financial Gazette over his mobile phone

      "Most of them are in Messina. It was embarrassing."
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Hungry workers beg Tsvangirai to save them from starvation

      12/5/2002 9:17:18 PM (GMT +2)

      A GROUP of workers yesterday converged on the Harare offices of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to petition MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai to address the plight of Zimbabweans hard hit by the
country's worst economic crisis in 22 years.

      About 100 workers gathered outside the MDC headquarters at Harvest
House, saying they were looking to Tsvangirai to assist in resolving the
crisis because the ruling ZANU PF had failed to help them.

      "The country is in a serious crisis, there is no food, no transport,
no basic commodities and no serious leadership," a spokesman for the workers
told Tsvangirai. "Our salaries have been eroded by inflation and there is no
transport to take us to and from home.

      "We are appealing to you, Mr president, to save us from hunger. The
time to act is now."

      The MDC leader told the crowd that his party would not restrain
restive workers who embarked on mass action to press for a resolution of
Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

      He said the MDC remained supportive of all initiatives Zimbabwe's
workers undertook to save themselves from the deteriorating economic

      "As a people's party, we will remain supportive of all initiatives
made by the people of Zimbabwe to improve their plight," he told the

      "We encourage all suffering Zimbabweans to organise themselves against
this tyranny.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Poor rains raise concern in region over next harvest

      12/5/2002 9:16:05 PM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG - Farmers and food security specialists in southern
Africa are increasingly concerned that the lack of rain during the current
planting season could mean another bad harvest for the region next year.

      Malawi, Moza-mbique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland already
have more than 14 million people in need of food aid after poor harvests at
the beginning of this year.

      Desperate farmers, many of whom will use donated seed and fertiliser,
are pinning their hopes of recovery on next year's crop, but so far rainfall
figures have been worryingly low.

      According to the latest Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS
NET) drought and flood hazards assessment, most of the region has only
recorded between one and 10 mm of rain with "substantially inhibited"
rainfall over portions of South Africa, Zimbabwe and central to southern

      This includes South Africa's maize triangle, which usually supplies
surrounding countries and contributes to relief agencies' stocks. But so far
there had not been enough rain to plant the important crops of maize, wheat,
sunflower, sorghum and soya in South Africa.

      "There has been no planting in the western Transvaal region and
planting in the east was weakened by poor rains," Fanie Brink, deputy
general manager of Grain SA said this week. "We are worried about the
situation, although there is still time in December to plant," he said.

      While northern Mozambique had received rain and made preparations
ahead of its flood season, rainfall in northern Sofala and southern Zambezia
in central Mozambique had been low throughout November and agricultural
concerns loomed, the report said.

      "It's not good for next year, it could be potentially very bad," said
Owen Calvert, World Food Programme (WFP) vulnerability analysis and mapping
consultant in Mozambique.

      "The areas hit are in the southern and central maize production areas.
Farmers sometimes try to replant their crops if they fail, but then they
have to hope that the season is long enough for the crops to reach full
maturity," he said.

      "We've been monitoring the rains for the last two to three weeks and
we're concerned that these areas are showing up on satellite images as areas
which are not going to get much in the next 10 days."

      In Malawi, where President Bakili Muluzi declared a disaster earlier
this year, there were similar concerns, with farmers only receiving rain
during the last week of November.

      "We still have the first half of December to plant and after that it
will be too late," said WFP spokesman in Malawi, Abdelgadi Musallam.

      Predictions from the South African Weather Service were equally grim.
"Rainfall is definitely going to be below normal so the prospects for this
season are not good," Shaumani Mugeri, a meteorologist at the weather
service said.

      "What aggravates the matter is we do have an El Nino in the region
even though it is moderate, and it is going to have an impact on us," Mugeri
said, adding that worried farmers were calling in daily hoping for better
news but predictions were that the poor conditions would last until March,
right through the crucial growing period.

      Richard Lee, WFP regional spokesman said: "We are concerned about this
rainy season and are hoping the rains will be good because we clearly need
as good a harvest as possible to get southern Africa through this crisis."

      - IRIN

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

A case of come to Zimbabwe and be Eclipsed?


TOURISTS, come and experience a totally "eclipsed Zimbabwe" but do take note
of the following drawbacks:

Severe food and fuel shortages and an outbreak of the dreaded foot-and-mouth
disease in cattle.

Crime is rife and police do not react immediately as they must wait for
"orders from the top" and the case could be classified as "political", or
they do not have transport.

No cameras as you could be accused of being a foreign journalist.

Taking photos of so-called "war-vets", "settlers" or "squatters" is
forbidden as these axe-wielding people might attack you.

Racial and ethnic hatred is rife. You could be accused of being a
"colonialist", "imperialist", or "Blair puppet".

A severe shortage of foreign currency.

Bring a map or GPS *global positioning system) as most town and river signs
have been vandalised. Game has been decimated by poachers. However, numerous
tame cattle, donkeys, goats, dogs and chickens can be viewed as you travel
along the main roads.

Eclipsed Veteran, Mwenezi, To the Zimbabwe Independent

I AM puzzled.

If the government is restricting the sale of the available relief food only
to people carrying ZANU PF party cards, why do the opposition MDC not
instruct its supporters to buy the ruling party cards so that they can have
access to whatever food is around?

Surely, the MDC doesn't want its own supporters to die of hunger? If 50% of
Zimbabweans are going to starve in the near future, why should they all be
MDC supporters?

The bottom line in my suggestion, of course, is that when some of the ZANU
PF supporters start to feel the pinch of hunger because the limited supplies
of maize are being more widely distributed, they may well feel less prone to
support the present government. And when the povo revolt, they will be there
revolting with them.

Another puzzlement: just because they have a ZANU PF card doesn't mean they
have to vote for ZANU PF.

This might in fact help breed a false sense of security in the ZANU PF

PNR, Harare, To The Financial Gazette

LIKE Prof Jonathan Moyo, I too do not understand why so many Zimbabweans
waste their time doing menial jobs in the United Kingdom and other developed

Why do people who come from a country full of milk and honey choose to go
and work as virtual slaves in these developed countries?

I find it really very difficult to justify this extraordinary tendency.

Zimbabwe has all the luxuries that anyone could want. There is plenty food
for everyone, fuel and basic commodities are very cheap.

M Ndlovu, Bulawayo, To the Daily Nation
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Times

            December 05, 2002

            Zimbabwe in crisis as Aids kills 300 a day
            From Michael Hartnack in Harare

            THE population of Zimbabwe has gone into sharp decline as a
result of Aids-related deaths and the mass migration of people fleeing the
country's economic devastation and acute shortage of food.
            Preliminary returns from a census conducted in August suggest
that 11.6 million people live in the country, compared with previous
government estimates of 14.5 million.

            The findings have raised fears that an acute shortage of labour
will severely constrain the country's ability to revive the agricultural
sector, which collapsed after the seizure of most white commercial farms by
the Government of President Mugabe. The devastation in farming has been made
worse by a severe drought. Less than half of the 20 million acres of
agricultural land commandeered from whites since February 2000 is being
tilled by black settlers, despite government pledges of subsidies.

            Dr John Makumbe, of the department of public administration at
the University of Zimbabwe, said that the census returns were frightful, and
added: "It essentially means the economy cannot support the 11.6 million
people who are still in the country, especially after the devastation of the
agricultural sector."

            South Africa says that two million Zimbabweans have migrated
illegally south of the Limpopo River border. The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) estimates that 600,000 Zimbabweans have fled to
Britain, which imposed strict visa requirements last month to check the
influx of refugees.

            John Robertson, an economist, said that emigration and deaths
from Aids-related diseases were destroying the most economically valuable
section of the population. United Nations health experts said the famine
that threatens 6.7 million Zimbabweans will accelerate the number of
Aids-related deaths. In a speech to mark World Aids Day on Saturday, Mr
Mugabe said that 2.2 million Zimbabweans were living with the disease and
there were 700,000 Aids orphans. Cemeteries are running out of space to bury
an estimated 300 victims each day.

            Mr Robertson said that the census called into question the
official results of presidential elections held in March, in which Mr Mugabe
claimed victory. He said that the census figures constituted "irrefutable
proof of fraud".

            He said that to achieve a turnout of 5.2 million voters, as
claimed by the ruling Zanu (PF) party, the country would need a population
of 17 million. Postal ballots were banned and strict proof of residence was
required. More than half Zimbabwe's population is under 18, the minimum
voting age. Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC's presidential candidate, remains
barred from inspecting constituency rolls.

            The country experienced significant population growth, from
seven million at the time of independence in 1980 to 10.4 million at the
1992 census. Had the same rate been maintained, the population would have
risen above 15 million. The economy has collapsed and there is no prospect
of recovery. The International Monetary Fund predicts inflation at 522 per
cent next year.

            Surveys show that family sizes are shrinking, with greater use
of contraception and resistance by women to polygamous relationships because
of the Aids risk. On Tuesday, urban housewives protested outside shops to
show their anger at the lack of bread, maize meal, cooking oil, salt and
other staples. "They cannot feed their families," Trudy Stevenson, an MDC
MP, said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


ABC Plan

Despite the many acronyms that have been heard for the CFU ABC plan, some printable some not so printable I hope in the following article to give you the members slightly more insight into the ABC plan and correct the ABC acronym.

A= Agriculture

B= Building

C = Create conducive climate to farm.

The CFU recognized that within its membership there are various different categories of farmers all needing very different services. The plan is intended to serve the current membership in the situation imposed on them, and any other farmers who may wish to have access to these professional services.

Five categories of membership were identified

  1. Members who have conceded land to the State for resettlement, and who do not wish to contest resettlement.
  2. Members who have been evicted but have not conceded and await compensation.
  3. Members who have been evicted, who are not conceding and wish to get back into farming.
  4. Members who are still partially farming but are under threat from "Sections"
  5. Members who are still farming, (unfortunately the category with a minority)

Once the various categories of membership were identified the Union then embarked on an "action plan" to cater for the members needs. CFU Councillor's were identified to serve on various sub-committees to address these needs with a full compliment of staff to back them up.


    Elected members Alan Stockil, Dirk Odeendal, Neville Brown

    To look after categories 1 & 2 and reporting to the CFU President.


    Elected members Nigel Juul, Mac Crawford, Alan Jack

    To look after categories 2 & 4 reporting to CFU president


    Elected members Ian Barrett, Joe Whaley, Cedric Wilde

    To look after categories 3,4 &5 and new members reporting to Vice President


    Elected members Stoff Hawgood, JJ Odendaal, Dirk Odendaal, Joggs Craig, Trevor Gifford.

    For categories 4, 5 and new members reporting to Vice President.

    Recognizing our various weakness in the past.!!


    Elected members Trevor Gifford, Stoff Hawgood, Kevin Lamprecht

    For all categories reporting to CFU President


Elected members all regional chairman.

For all categories and new members reporting to Vice President.

The above ABC plan must be recognized as being a flexible "living plan" that will change with our members situations as they arise – I hope not hourly. It is not cast in stone and there maybe categories of farmers/ members that do not fit in to the above categories, but as the subcommittees meet I am sure these members will be recognized and incorporated. I believe it will utilize the councillor expertise more efficiently and allow for better communication between the Union and it members.

The first two sub committees will met on Monday through to Wednesday and I will supply more information when they have identified their objectives, targets and time frame in which these must be achieved.


If you require any further information on any of the above issues please contact CFU Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e–mail and we will endeavour to supply prompt answers.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily News

      Women protest against abuse in Zanu PF camps

      12/5/2002 8:32:59 AM (GMT +2)

      From Ntungamili Nkomo and Nomvula Matatu in Bulawayo

      HUNDREDS of disgruntled women rights activists yesterday took to the
streets of Bulawayo to protest against violations of children's and women's

      Nomusa Ncube, the chairperson of a Bulawayo-based women's umbrella
organisation called the Bulawayo Women's Groups, said the women were fed up
with reports of women being raped with impunity.

      She said they were extremely concerned about the immoral activities in
Zanu PF camps and about domestic violence.

      The protest, which featured about 200 placard-waving women chanting
anti-women abuse slogans, started at the High Court at noon.
      Some of the placards read "Sex for food: We say no."

      The women carried pots and wore black clothes.
      They marched to the Mhlahlandhlela government complex, where they
tried to voice their grievances to the Matabeleland North Governor, Obert
Mpofu, but were denied entry by security personnel manning the gate.
      Asked for his comment on the demonstration, Mpofu said he was in
Parliament and could not say anything.

      Ncube said the women were concerned with reports of rape cases which
she said were rampant in the Zanu PF youth brigade camps.

      She said many girls recruited for the so-called national service had
reported cases of rape to a number of women's groups.

      "What I can safely say is that women are very angry and frustrated
with what is going on.

      "Many girls from the Zanu PF camps have come to us complaining that
they were raped, but that the perpetrators got away with it," Ncube said.

      She urged the government to stop what she called the "madness" going
on in the camps if they had any conscience at all and compassion for the

      She cited the HIV/Aids pandemic as a serious threat to the youths
exploited by the government in the name of patriotism.

      Ncube said her office had received reports of women being forced to
have sex with men who took advantage of the shortage of basic commodities
and gave their victims maize-meal as payment for sex.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Star sheds light on African 'Stonehenge'

By Richard Stenger
Thursday, December 5, 2002 Posted: 10:19 AM EST (1519 GMT)

Great Zimbabwe ruins were part of a sub-Saharan African capital

(CNN) -- Mysterious ruins in Zimbabwe, nearly brushed this week by the shadow of a total solar eclipse, once served as an astronomical observatory to track eclipses, solstices and an elusive exploding star, a South African scientist said.

Great Zimbabwe, a crumbling ring of stone walls and platforms about 240 meters in length, was thought to have been a palace complex for regional rulers some 800 years ago.

But Richard Wade of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory thinks that the enclosure was used in a similar capacity as the much older Stonehenge in Great Britain.

The arrangement of the walls, the complicated symbols on stone monoliths and the position of a tall tower suggest that medieval Zimbabweans used the complex to track the moon, sun, planets and stars for centuries.

"The importance of Great Zimbabwe is that it was the capital of the only known sub-Saharan African Empire that lasted almost 1,000 years. Everyone in southern Africa somehow relates to this nucleus cultural complex," Wade said.

Several of the stone monoliths, for example, line up with certain bright stars in the constellation Orion as they rise on the morning of the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.

Another contains markings that coincide with orbital patterns of Earth and Venus, which could be used to forecast eclipses, Wade said.

In his most controversial position, Wade suggests that a tower at the complex, whose purpose has baffled historians, was probably built to observe an exploding star in roughly 1300 AD.

"This large conical tower in the great enclosure stands directly in line with the rising supernova remnant when seen from the observation platform and court area of the time," Wade wrote in a paper to be submitted to the journals Science and Scientific American.

"They requested that I send the work on completion," he said. "I have been peer reviewed now for almost four years and only recently have I received a nod from the South African science community."

Modern telescope observations indicate that a supernova lit up the sky at approximately the same time. Historic records make no mention of it, an omission that does not surprise Wade since the dying star appeared over the Southern Hemisphere, which at the time had virtually no literate cultures.

But oral legends in the region lend credence to the supernova idea, Wade said. The Sena people of Zimbabwe hold that their ancestors migrated from the north by following an unusually bright star in the southern skies.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 15:34 GMT
Zimbabwe currency support drive 'fails'
Zimbabweans queuing for fuel
Zimbabweans have been facing fuel shortages since 1999
A Zimbabwean drive to support its currency by cracking down on black market trade is failing, a report has said.

The administration of President Robert Mugabe has closed down bureaux de change, and ordered exporters to exchange half of their foreign cash reserves into Zimbabwe dollars, in an effort to boost the ailing currency.

But while the Zimbabwe dollar rallied last week to an informal rate of 700 to US$1, from as low as Zim$1,600 to US$1, most of the gains have since been lost, Reuters news agency said.

One US dollar currently buys about Zim$1,200, Reuters said.

"What we saw last week was that momentary panic, but there is now another resurgence of the US dollar," a trader told the agency.

Worsening crisis

Zimbabwe has for three years suffered a shortage of foreign currency, hindering efforts to import food and fuel in the face of a worsening economic crisis.

According to the Financial Gazette newspaper, economic conditions have worsened such that half of Zimbabwe's industry could shut down for the first three months of next year to mull over survival strategies.

The government has set an official exchange rate of Zim$55 to US$1.

But with unofficial traders buying US dollars for 20 times the official rate, foreign currency has flowed onto the black market.

The government's latest curbs were introduced in an effort to seize control of foreign currency trading.

But economist Witness Chinyama told Reuters: "The problem is that the current government policies are not geared to improve the flow of foreign currency into the country.

"The parallel market will continue to thrive because that is where manufacturers are forced to source money for key imports."

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Our apologies for the lack of reports from 2nd to 4th December. This was due to the staff that compile the report attending the ABC planning and implementation process. Our apologies also that you were notified after the event, (aha I hear you say a breakdown in communications) this was due to some dreadful old sending us a virus.!!
Jules Lang  
The NADF Dairy Forum on Forages was held at four venues last week, with Rudi Kuschke from Advanta Seeds in South Africa as the guest speaker. The topic was alternative crops for silage, and Rudi was enthusiastic about the use of Sugargraze, a sweet sorghum hybrid, as a useful silage crop. Sugargraze has a high sugar content, so requires no additives to ensile, and recovers well from periods of drought. It is also versatile in that it can be grazed, used as a green chop, ensiled or used as standing hay. It does not make good hay, as the high sugar content causes it to retain moisture. The NADF are coordinating the orders for seed placed by dairy farmers.
Sally Rowe
World cotton production is estimated at 19.3 million tons in 2002/03, about 2.2 million tons, or 10%, lower than last season's record. Declines are expected in 14 out of the 15 largest producing countries, Brazil being the only exception. World consumption is projected to rise by some 400,000 tons to 20.5 million tons in 2002/03, the highest ever. World ending stocks are projected to shrink by 1.3 million tons to 9.1 million tons this season. After collapsing from 66 cents per pound in December 2000 to a 19-year low of 35 cents per pound in October 2001, the Cotlook A Index rebounded to 53.5 cents per pound in November 2002, up 53% and the highest since March 2001. Nevertheless, prices remain below the long-term average of 71 cents per pound since 1973/74. Supply and demand estimates suggest that the season-average Cotlook A Index will be 52 cents per pound this season and 54 cents next season.
As of mid-November, 2002, U.S. export commitments were nearly half a million tons less than at the same time in 2001/02. Yet, export commitments to China (Mainland) exceeded 100,000 tons, five times more than in mid-November 2001. Rains have seriously affected the quality of the U.S. crop. Paradoxically, through the U.S. price mechanism, the scarcity of higher quality U.S. cotton will help move the abundant supply of lower quality cotton. Given the drop in Australian production and the anticipated delays in shipments from the CFA zone, a very tight supply situation in the high medium category, suitable for combed ring spun yarn, is on the horizon for the middle of
After a brief rebound, U.S. domestic mill consumption resumed its decline in August 2002. The textile industry in China (Mainland) continues to grow rapidly. The U.S. dollar weakened between February and November 2002, after
rising by about 40% from its 1995 lows against most major currencies. However, the value of the U.S. dollar did not decrease as much against the currencies of major sources of textile imports to the U.S.  imports of textile and apparel from January to September 2002 were 15% higher than during the first nine months of 2001. The rise in cotton prices is eroding the profitability of the spinning industry. A sustained price rally will largely depend on whether economic growth improves in the developed countries.
Michele Bragge


Despite several requests we have still not been advised when GMB will be paying the "agterskot" on wheat delivered. We will keep trying.

For those who have claimed on the wheat / barley Insurance Scheme, meet with your assessor and sign an Agreement of Loss form. This has to be done before any payment is made.

We still have not sorted out payment for Quelea Control but will keep trying.

A slight hitch with the Olivine soyabeans. Germination results should be available on Friday 6th December 2002.

Research - All the maize trials have been planted but soyabean trials are still to be planted.
George Hutchinson
Weekly Summary
Generally fine and dry conditions prevailed during the past week.
Weather Systems
The system responsible for the dry weather the country experienced in the past few weeks is showing signs of weakening such that it could be replaced by wet conditions from early as 6 December.

All Areas
Continuing hot and dry until the 6th. Thereafter, it should become moist over the country. Therefore, it should be rainy over Zimbabwe from around the 7th. An appropriate warning/advisory regarding the intensity of the wet spell will be issued during the daily forecasts issued on radio and television.

This forecast is subject to modification if the weather systems suddenly change. Otherwise, another update will be issued on the 11th of December.

If you require any further information on any of the above issues please contact CFU Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or e–mail and we will endeavour to supply prompt answers.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

ZIMBABWE: Economic problems exacerbate violence against women

JOHANNESBURG, 5 December (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's economic problems are exacerbating violence against women and their sexual exploitation, women's groups say.

"With all the economic problems, violence has taken a new twist," matrimonial lawyer Nomsa Ncube told IRIN on Thursday. Ncube was one of the organisers of a march on government offices in Zimbababwe's second city Bulawayo this week, to protest violence against women.

Over the last few years Zimbabwe has suffered serious economic problems. Salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation which hit 144 percent in October, and unemployment has risen. The land reform programme has also seen farms change hands with thousands of farmers and farmworkers facing an uncertain future.

The government has tried to intervene through price controls on basic commodities, and by fixing the foreign exchange rate. But this has spawned a lucrative market for hoarders and speculators who have taken advantage of shortages.

"Our main concern at the moment is that women are being forced to have sex with hoarders [of commodities]," Ncube said.

"The woman goes to the corner house where things are being sold and she is served by a man usually between 19 and 25. She is charged a very high price for maize and says she doesn't have enough money, and her kids haven't eaten. He looks her over and says she has something else to pay with and tells her to come back in the evening.

"I find that so cruel. A lot of women related the same experience," Ncube said. "We feel so frustrated. That's why we went and banged our pots on the march."

Violence against women can also have a direct political dimension.

A researcher for an organisation that studies organised violence said there were many cases of politically active women who supported the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March presidential election who were targeted for assaults, and sometimes rape.

"There are still some new cases of assault and death threats, usually because the women support the MDC," the researcher said.

Sheila Mahere, director of the Musasa Project, an organisation that provides shelter for victims of domestic violence said: "We feel domestic violence is on the increase and reporting on it is on the increase, which is a good thing because it is not hidden."

But, she added, some women have been too frightened to lay charges of assault, or because the perpetrator could be a bread winner.

"We have seen an increase in relation to the economic environment in Zimbabwe. When you have shrinking resources in the home, this can exacerbate a situation between spouses, it causes frustration and unleashes violence. We don't want poverty to be an excuse for violence, but it does exacerbate the situation," Mahere said.

The Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) have taken another approach, and are currently calculating the losses domestic violence causes the economy.

A similar American study found that companies reported they lost anything between US $3-5 billion a year in profit from women and men who missed work because of gender-based violence. 

ZWRCN would calculate the cost to the economy of one or both spouses dying, the cost to the government of sending an ambulance to help a women who had been beaten, the cost of the investigating officer's time and resources, and the cost to the courts and prisons as the case was followed through, ZWRCN director Isabella Matambanadzo said.

"We want to know what price we are paying for violence against women," Matambanadzo said.

For many women, new hope would come when the Domestic Violence Act, drafted by the Musasa Project, in consultation with other organisations, was finally passed.

Mahere said they were lobbying parliament and women's groups to make sure the draft goes through unchanged and becomes law.

However, Zimbabwean women still needed support institutions like a gender commission to ensure proper implementation of anti-violence laws, she said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

MALAWI-ZAMBIA-ZIMBABWE: USAID pledges US $100 million for most vulnerable

JOHANNESBURG, 5 December (IRIN) - Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia, the three countries hardest hit by a region-wide food crisis, are set to benefit from a US $100 million grant to assist in funding emergency and supplementary food distribution.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) pledge to World Vision, CARE and Catholic Relief Services will be used to develop long-term programmes to strengthen the coping mechanisms among people in vulnerable communities to future food shortages.

The grant - a combination of food and financial aid - is being awarded a week after the United Nations and the World Health Organisation released a report citing HIV/AIDS as a key factor in the region's food crisis.

World Vision said in a statement that the food could be used as a focal point for mobilising people and communities towards increased HIV/AIDS awareness.

"The funds will address those gaps that the governments and the World Food Programme cannot get to because of the lack of resources. It will focus on special food distributions and supplementary feeding programmes. Children and female-headed households will be prioritised. Also, improved access to health services and water is of utmost importance," CARE's Regional Director for Southern and West Africa Chris Conrad told IRIN.

Under the USAID-funded programme, two million people in the three countries would be assisted every week, Conrad added.

Close to 15 million people across Southern Africa are affected by the severe food shortages, mainly due to consecutive bad harvests.

The pledge is one of the largest emergency aid grants to help address the crisis.


Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472
Back to the Top
Back to Index

In the Shadow of the Moon
Yesterday we went out to witness the total eclipse of the sun.  It was awesome!  Thousands of Zimbabweans took time off to travel out into the path of the eclipse and we went to Plumtree for the event.  We set out our breakfast things and were suddenly aware that the sun had started to change, we took out our glasses and looked into the sun and saw the moon start its move to cover the sun.
It was a superb African sunrise, the air was clear and crisp, there were no clouds and the dry veld stretched to the horizon.  Gradually the atmosphere changed, the temperature dropped and the clear early morning light faded.
The birds were uneasy and then quiet, our shadows changed.  Watching through our special glasses we saw the sun gradually slip under the moon until that moment when the sun disappeared altogether.  We took off our glasses and there was the sun and the moon, locked into a deadly embrace, with the suns light completely surrounding the moon as a spectacular halo.
I glanced around and we were surrounded by sunrise on all sides.  It was dark and the stars were out again, but it was like the darkness just before sunrise, cold, and a sharp wind blowing, but full of promise.  We were all bathed in an almost mystical light - we could see quite clearly but the light was unlike anything we had seen before.  Just as fast, the sun broke free of the moon and as soon as it shone over the lip of the moons shadow, the new dawn broke over the veld, in minutes we were back to normal.  The sun slowly returned and the early morning chill was dispersed by the heat of the day.  We packed up and went back to work.
I have a feeling - nothing more, that the situation in Zimbabwe is much like the eclipse of the sun that we have just witnessed.  Two years ago the moon of Zanu PF started to eclipse the sun of Zimbabwe.  This is a very special country.  Everyone who was born here is crazy about the place; people who visit find the land and its people very special.  I do not know what it is but Zimbabwe shines like a sun over Africa for those of us who know and love her.
Zanu PF, by contrast is a cold dark moon, lifeless but there and making its way across the sky of history because of what it once was.  Unable to create anything, it draws what light it has from the sun that is Zimbabwe.  It has no light of its own.
Two years ago in a desperate attempt to steal the light, the Zanu moon started to try and put out the light of the sun, the violence, the killings, the abuse of our rights and the subversion of our democracy.  Slowly and inexorably the Zanu moon has tried to swallow the sun.  Today, with the recent measures adopted by the Zanu PF regime, it seems to us who live here as if suddenly the eclipse is total, its dark and cold and a sharp wind blows.  The birdsong dies.
But if we look up, we see the sun with a dark cold centre, but that halo of light; did you ever see such a beautiful sight?  I look around me and I see wonderful people - caring for each other, supporting each other in a famine.
I see a mother with six of her own children and 14 others whom she is supporting with the help of the older children.  We enjoyed a presentation of the Messiah on Sunday night in the Cathedral - a full philharmonic orchestra with two choirs, it was magnificent and the Cathedral was so crowded, people were sitting on the floor.
I hear of a farmer's wife who cleaned the house she had lived in all her life, in preparation for the arrival of the "new Zanu PF owners" who were taking this home and a lifetime of hard work away from the rightful owners under the guise of "land reform".  For two years thousands of white farmers have suffered abuse and violence and yet there has been hardly one act of retribution.  We are not talking about people who are afraid - these are real men amongst men, proud, independent and as tough as they come.  All armed and many with military training.  It must stand as one of the most remarkable acts of collective courage and restraint in history.
An elderly woman standing on the side of the road as Mugabe drives past in his motorcade - 30 odd vehicles bristling with weapons.  She stands up and shows a small red card as her demonstration that she thinks Mugabe must leave the field of play.  Now Mugabe has "banned" such displays of opposition.  The street kids in Harare blowing small red plastic whistles when Mugabe tried to maintain his dignity as he opened Parliament and inspected a guard of honour.
No matter what Zanu does, the spirit of Zimbabwe shines through.  Right now things are about as bleak as they can get but the light refuses to die.
All around us are signs that there is a new dawning in the world in which we live - Zanu is learning that they are alone in a hostile world that will not accept their errant behaviour.
I have a feeling that very shortly the sun that powers the real Zimbabwe will emerge from behind the shadow of Zanu PF and we will discover that ancient truth that has been tested down through the centuries of history, that light always overcomes darkness.  Then the birds will sing again in Zimbabwe.
Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 5th December 2002.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe Postpones Us$844 Million Imports

Financial Gazette (Harare)

December 5, 2002
Posted to the web December 5, 2002

Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE has failed to raise US$844 million to finance critical imports this year, which analysts this week said would swell the country's 2003 import bill and worsen the commodity shortages already affecting companies and consumers.

According to figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the country failed to raise US$844 million because of a critical foreign currency crisis, forcing the government and businesses to shelve crucial imports this year.

The foreign currency would have been used to import food, fuel, essential drugs, spare parts and raw materials needed by manufacturers.

Zimbabwe is expected to spend US$1.7 billion on imports next year, down from US$$1.8 billion, but analysts said the country would still need to raise the US$844 million it had failed to come up with this year because the imports shelved in 2002 were still necessary.

Zimbabwe needs US$202 million for imports every month, but barely has enough import cover for two weeks at any particular time.

In addition to normal import requirements, the country also has to purchase grain to feed close to seven million Zimbabweans in need of emergency food aid because of drought and a controversial government land reform programme.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has budgeted $12.5 billion for food imports until the next harvest in March, but humanitarian agencies say Zimbabwe will have to import grain even after the harvest because agricultural output is expected to decline by at least 50 percent in the 2003 farming season.

Falling production in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, as well as a depressed tourism sector mean Zimbabwe will be unable to raise enough foreign currency to meet these import requirements next year, analysts said.

"This scenario shows that our capacity to generate foreign currency is being eroded and this is where the International Monetary Fund and other donor institutions are very important," an economist with Intermarket Financial Holdings said.

"That gap should be closed by accessing foreign currency from these institutions but this is not happening at a time our exports are down. That the gap has grown this much shows how crucial we need aid, but at least the central bank is being realistic. I don't know whether the Treasury feels the same."

Zimbabwe has had no balance of payments support from the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral organisations since 2000, which has worsened the country's hard currency shortages.

President Robert Mugabe has told international backers of Harare's economic reforms that Zimbabwe can go it alone, but analyst this week said unless the country mended fences with the international community, several products could disappear from shop shelves next year.

Many locally produced products need imported raw materials while declining output in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors mean Zimbabwe will have to import even goods that would otherwise have been manufactured locally in order to meet consumer demand.

"It will be really extremely difficult to fund these imports especially with a gap of that much," said Harare industrialist Danny Meyer said.

"The nation should brace for more shortages, unless of course the government can have a financing agreement with the Bretton Woods institutions."

According to the central bank, Zimbabwe's capital account, which reflects hard cash in the form of foreign direct investment, grants and aid, will receive US$119 million next year.

Economist Witness Chinyama however said this was unlikely because Murerwa had not made provisions for international aid grants in the 2003 national budget.

"I think that figure is a bit over optimistic because we will not have aid grants next year as shown in the budget," said Chinyama.

Zimbabwe's capital inflows have fallen from US$502 million in 1995 to a net outflow of US$347 million this year.

Zimbabwe's arrears to foreign lenders amounted to US$1.319 billion as of November 15, which analysts say will further hamper the country's chances of attracting balance of payments support.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

U.S. encouraged but wary on Zimbabwe press charges

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 — The United States said on Thursday it was encouraged, with reservations, that a Zimbabwe court has dropped charges against three journalists.
The privately owned weekly newspaper the Standard said on Wednesday the court had dropped charges of ''abuse of journalistic privileges by publishing falsehoods'' against Bornwell Chakaodza, Farai Mutsaka and Fungayi Kanyuchi.

State Department spokeswoman Jo-Anne Prokopowicz said: ''While we are encouraged by this action we continue to condemn the Mugabe regime's ongoing attempts to stifle the free press as part of its brutal campaign to ensure its continued rule.''

The United States says it does not recognize President Robert Mugabe as legitimate leader of Zimbabwe because it believes that presidential elections in March were flawed.
Back to the Top
Back to Index