Jan. 13, 2006 - Jocelyn Chiwenga is not a woman to be taken lightly. The wife of Gen. Constantine Chiwenga, commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe’s army, Mrs. Chiwenga has earned a reputation in her own right as a vicious enforcer for President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front (ZANU-PF). In April 2002 she reportedly showed up at a farm outside Harare, the capital, with an armed gang and ordered the farm’s white owner to turn over his property to her or be killed, according to documents filed in a Zimbabwean court. One year later, Chiwenga accosted Gugulethu Moyo, an attorney for a pro-opposition newspaper, and beat her so severely that she had to seek medical attention. “Your paper wants to encourage anarchy in this country,” Chiwenga reportedly shouted as she punched and slapped the 28-year-old lawyer on a Harare street. “Chiwenga is as close to the center of power as you get,” says David Coltart, a parliamentarian and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, the country’s main opposition party.
Now, Chiwenga’s business ambitions—as well as her political clout—have brought her to the attention of the U.S. government. Last November, the Treasury Department added Chiwenga, 50, to a list of 128 Mugabe relatives and cronies who are “undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.” The Treasury Department has blocked the assets of those on the list and established penalties of up to $250,000 and 10 years’ imprisonment for anyone who does business with them. And that executive order has put dozens, if not hundreds, of Americans who hunt on her land in legal jeopardy.
Chiwenga’s sanctioning by the U.S. government has drawn new attention to the unsavory, and usually hidden, links between American sportsmen and the Mugabe dictatorship. During the past six years, Zimbabwe’s economy has been in free fall, with the country’s gross domestic product dropping by half and agricultural production sinking by more than 80 percent. But hunting has remained one of the country’s few thriving industries, bringing in as much as $30 million annually, according to conservationists and professional hunters in Zimbabwe. Much of that cash has gone into the coffers of ZANU-PF insiders, who have gained control of government-owned safari land at below market prices, reportedly through rigged auctions in many cases. One of Chiwenga’s neighbors in the Victoria Falls area is Webster Shamu, Mugabe’s Minister of Policy Implementation, and a key architect of Operation Murambatsvina—“Clean out the Rubbish”—the brutal slum clearance program that has left some 700,000 poor black Zimbabweans homeless. (Shamu is among the original 77 insiders who had their assets frozen and were barred from entering the United States by the Treasury Department in 2003). Another big player is Jacob Mudenda, the former governor of Matabeleland North. All of them do a brisk business catering to professional American hunters, who make up about half of the clientele, according to industry insiders.
The Mugabe cronies-turned-safari operators are usually careful to conceal their direct involvement in the hunting business. Joyce Chiwenga, for example, seems to work through a network of agents that markets safaris heavily in the United States but never reveal the name of the property’s primary lease holder. Among them: Rob and Barry Style, owners of Buffalo Range Safaris, based in Harare. The Style brothers are regular participants at the Annual Hunters’ Convention scheduled for next week in Reno, Nevada,—a three-day marketing extravaganza sponsored by Safari Club International, America’s largest hunting club—and at other venues where American hunters congregate. Although Rob Style denied in an e-mail to NEWSWEEK that he had a business relationship with Chiwenga, several professional hunters in Zimbabwe insist that the brothers have frequently taken clients to shoot animals on her property. The Hunting Guide, an industry newsletter published in the United States, also names Buffalo Range Safaris as a hunting-safari operator on Chiwenga-owned land. Asked whether Safari Club International was concerned about the prospect of facilitating commercial links between American hunters and a sanctioned Zimbabwean figure, David Nagore, an SCI spokesman, says “On the advice of counsel, SCI has no comment on the matter.”
American hunters are also flocking to private-game reserves that were seized without compensation, and sometimes with violence, from white farmers and ranchers as part of Mugbe’s radical land-reform program, which reached a peak in 2002. That property is now mostly in the hands of ZANU-PF activists and Zimbabwe independence war veterans—considered to be among Mugabe’s most diehard supporters. While hunting on these properties doesn't violate U.S. sanctions, human-rights activists and political opposition figures in Zimbabwe say that it is morally objectionable and helps to give legitimacy to a repressive regime. In addition, it is on these ranches, Zimbabwe conservationists charge, that some of the worst abuses of the country’s environment are taking place—abuses that could threaten the survival of Zimbabwe’s rich wildlife, especially the endangered black rhino. Many of the land owners who took this property by force have no experience in wildlife conservation: they reportedly ignore strict hunting quotas established by the Wildlife Authority on prized species such as lion and leopard. They also allegedly kill animals, including rhino, inside protected wildlife areas such as Hwange National Park, one of southern Africa’s most renowned game reserves. “Poaching is rife,” says Johnny Rodrigues, the head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, a private activist group. “There’s no law and order here.”
An American on a 2005 Buffalo Range Safari in Zimbabwe
Steve Williams, the founder of Inyathi and now a marketing consultant for the company, says that he and his partners had no qualms about buying rights to hunt on land that Cummings says was stolen from him. “If your government goes with it [as a policy], then you have to go with it,” he says. Williams claims that Cumming is spreading untrue reports because he is embittered about losing the property. “I can’t condemn the man for being emotional about something that’s been his for years, but we were never a part of that,” he says. He argues that much of the hunting revenue benefits poor black Zimbabweans who wouldn’t have shared the wealth during the days of white ownership. “The 89 black families who have taken over Woodland Estate now have safe drinking water, a better standard of living, an income. We’ve taken the blows, the allegations, the ridicule of people like Cumming. But we’re operating the property in a manner that we are proud of,” Williams says.
That may be so. But in September 2005, Mudenda, along with three other top officials of ZANU-PF, were accused by a conservation group in Zimbabwe of using fake hunting permits and poaching wildlife in the Intensive Conservation Areas in Matabeleland, established by the government in 1991 to protect rhino, elephant, lion and other prized species. All have denied the charges.
Debate also swirls around what many industry sources call the most controversial operator in Zimbabwe: Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris. Founded by four former South African policemen and based in both South Africa and Overland Park, Kan., the company has done a brisk business taking a heavily American clientele to hunt on several ranches that, according to industry watchdogs in Zimbabwe, were seized by ZANU-PF activists and independence war veterans. Critics, including the Zimbabwean Association of Tourism and Safari Operators, say that the group uses poorly trained hunting guides who, among other violations, sometimes endanger the lives of their clients and overhunt species in violation of the Zimbabwean government's hunting rules.
Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Authority banned Out of Africa last year from operating in the country. “This is an unscrupulous organization that doesn’t respect the environment and pursues unsustainable quotas,” says David Coltart, the opposition leader. Conservationist Johnny Rodrigues calls the company the most “flagrant violator” of hunting regulations in Zimbabwe. Dawie Groenewald, one of the founding partners of Out of Africa, denies that his company has done anything ethically wrong and says that he has been slandered by white Zimbabwean hunters. “The white Zimbabweans hunting in Zim don't want anyone else coming in there to hunt—they hate South Africans coming to hunt in their kingdom," he told NEWSWEEK. Out of Africa's attorney, Kevin Anderson, says that “these allegations about poaching and other illegal activities have been floating around for several years and they've never been substantiated.” Anderson also says that Out of Africa recently decided to stop organizing hunts in Zimbabwe because “it's just become too difficult.”
Whatever the case, next week in Reno, Out of Africa will set up its usual booth at the SCI convention—just down the hall from Buffalo Range Safaris, according to the SCI Web site. But for the hundreds of American sportsmen browsing for an African safari next week, finding out the full story of those two companies’ activities in Zimbabwe will require a real hunting expedition.
From ZWNEWS, 14 January
As many as 800 000 people were psychologically traumatised by Operation
Murambatsvina last year, according to a survey conducted in Zimbabwe's urban
areas. This psychological damage is in addition to the severe negative
health effects felt by those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The survey results
also contradict government claims that those whose shelter was demolished
were criminal elements or illegal dwellers. In many cases they were paying
rates to local authorities, had other official permission to live where they
were, and their financial losses were substantial, the survey reveals. Of
those surveyed, the responses of some 69% were sufficient to indicate an
exceptionally high prevalence of psychological disorder. Such disorders are
of the severity which would ordinarily require the attention of mental
health professionals and are unlikely to heal without such attention.
"Combined with the effects of the destruction of their homes and their
livelihoods, it is even more improbable that these people will heal
unaided," the survey concludes. The scale of the problem as indicated by the
survey, is broadly in line with that suggested by the UN-Habitat
investigation into Operation Murambatsvian conducted last year. The survey,
entitled "Making Life Unbearable" was conducted by ActionAid International,
working with the Counselling Services Unit, the Combined Harare Residents
Association, and the Zimbabwe Peace Project.
Saturday 14th January 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabwe has begun harvesting the results of six years of mismanagement. We are continuing to have a bountiful rainy season and every day the heavens open and wash our troubled land. Streams and rivers are flowing, dams are filling, the vegetation is flourishing but all this water is causing crumbling, decrepit and un-maintained systems to come dangerously close to falling apart.
This week the reports of diarrhoea and cholera have continued and we have seen the most appalling television coverage of foul and filthy piles of sodden and decaying garbage in and around the capital city. We have seen pictures of raw sewage bubbling up out of broken, blocked pipes and have heard reports of tap water with unacceptably high levels of blue green algae. The excuses from the authorities are the same as always - there is no fuel - to collect garbage, transport workers or carry spare parts; and there is no money - to buy fuel on the black market, to buy chemicals for the water or to purchase equipment needed to effect repairs.
Every day in my part of the country this week the electricity has gone off: at first it was two hours, then three, five, six and on Friday for seven hours. A telephone call to ZESA - the electricity supply company- is virtually pointless as all they can tell you is that the power cut is the result of load shedding. They say they don't know how long the power will be off for and say that it is out of their control.
Also this week there have been growing reports of army worm gobbling up the few crops that are in the ground on Zimbabwe's farms. Apparently the worm is now in all but one of Zimbabwe's provinces and is going largely unchecked for the same reason as everything else - no fuel to get to the affected crops and no money to buy the chemicals to spray the worms.
What a diabolical mess we are now in. It is not surprising that over 50 000 Zimbabweans were deported from South Africa in the month over Christmas for being illegal immigrants or that each and every day another 400 jump the border into South Africa. I do not know what the figures are for border jumpers into Mocambique, Zambia and Botswana but I know that Zimbabweans are now just desperate to get away from the hunger, disease and dirt - not to mention inflation of 585%. At the very least our neighbours could say something but still they stay quiet; what shame upon them that they cannot, even now, speak out.
Until next week, thanks for reading,
Saturday 7th January 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
Hello and Happy New Year! There is good news and bad news from Zimbabwe. The good news is that we are having the most wonderful rainy season. It was a wet Christmas and a wet New Year and in Marondera we have now had over 18 inches of rain. The bad news is that there is very little food in the ground being watered by these abundant rains and by all accounts Zimbabwe is heading for exceptionally hard times this year.
Wishing people a Happy New Year has seemed a particularly inappropriate and hollow sentiment in Zimbabwe at the beginning of 2006. There are no signs of growth or prosperity on our horizon. For most people there is little to be happy about and nothing but hardship to look forward to as the country hurtles backwards in time at a terrifying pace. I think the best way to describe this reversal in growth would be to give you a taste of life in Marondera in January 2006 - it's not very pleasant.
After 18 inches of rain in 8 weeks we have had no road repairs or maintenance in my suburb of Marondera. The potholes are big, filled with muddy water and unavoidable. Vegetation growing on suburban road sides has not been cut at all for the past two months, weeds and grass are creeping unchecked into and under the tar. Storm drains, contours and road culverts have not been cleared and sand and silt run off our roads and lie in thick carpets at the bottom of slopes and on road sides. At all hours big rusty trucks without number plates come and harvest this sand to sell to the building industry. Some suburban roads have now deteriorated to such an extent as to require 4 wheel drive vehicles. We have not had any garbage collection in suburban Marondera for 5 weeks. Desperate residents have taken to dumping household trash on roadsides, under trees and anywhere away from their own homes. Around urban cemeteries, in delicate wetlands and on immediate stream and river banks people are destroying every last shred of the environment as they cut trees and dig up the bush to plant little squares of food. These are just some of the horrors that are there for all to see. What lies behind closed doors and locked gates is far worse as people desperately struggle to cope with the economic nightmare of life in Zimbabwe.
As we have stumbled into 2006 we have been hit with astronomical increases in school fees. Last January a small rural government school in Marondera charged a hundred a fifty thousand dollars a term. This January the same school wants 1.2 million dollars per child. This is one of the cheaper prices and just the beginning as the child must also come dressed in a full uniform with school shoes and provide all his own writing books. Undoubtedly many thousands of children will not be going back to school this new year. It is hard to believe that this is the same country, being ruled by the same man who twenty five years ago promised: "Education for All by 2000."
Even more frightening than crumbling roads, uncollected trash and unaffordable schools is the crisis in our health systems. In the first week of 2006 it was announced that doctors consultation fees have increased by 100 %. It will now costs 2.9 mill to see a doctor and for people, like teachers, who earn less than 5 million dollars a month, this is as good as a death sentence. Fourteen people died of cholera in Zimbabwe over Christmas. To stem the spread of cholera the state media are urging people not to travel (as if we had fuel - oh please!) and advising people to boil drinking water and use disinfectants. It's an easy statement to make but when the smallest possible bottle of disinfectant costs the same as five loaves of bread, I know what most people will be forced to choose. It is impossible to believe that this is the same country, being ruled by the same man who twenty five years ago promised: "Health for all by the year 2000."
Things are not looking good in Zimbabwe this January 2006. Those of us who can are helping the man, woman or child next to us in whatever way we can. It is not much but is the best New Years Resolution I can think of for our desperate country in these dreadful times.
Until next week, thanks for reading,
By Dr Alex T. Magaisa
Last updated: 01/14/2006 23:32:22
TITLES of artistic expressions often form the starting point of ideas and
articles that I write. A song, a book, poem and as readers may have noticed,
even the idea embedded in a folk tale or every day phenomenon, such the
story of the arrogant boy who would always take away his football at the
slightest hint of irritation usually form the basis of my thoughts.
A couple of years back I was inspired to write a story by the title of Maya
Angelou's beautiful book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. The title seemed
apt to describe the experience of the Zimbabwean, whom to me is akin to a
caged bird, but sings nonetheless. A decade ago, when I was in law school I
read a book entitled, Zimbabwe: A revolution that lost its way? by Andre
Astrow. It is an historical polemic of how the new leadership in Zimbabwe
had betrayed the people after independence. And today I borrow that title,
for the theme of this article, and question whether the opposition movement
that promised so much has also lost its way. Is history, in some way,
I have previously argued that the two factions in the MDC ought to consider
the bigger picture, in the hope that such a perspective would enable them to
find common ground despite the differences that have emerged recently.
Sadly, events in the past few weeks seem to suggest further polarisation
fuelled in part by the partisan media coverage, which as usual seems to
revel in scandal and bad news rather than providing a platform for
Some national newspapers seem to have created an "MDC Watch" column with
nothing good to say. Not that there is any, but its just that in times gone
by they never found so much space for that opposition party. Rather than
fight through the media where there is no face-to-face meeting perhaps they
should be mature enough to sit together and debate their problems. Then at
least, we will have no excuses of having been misquoted. As it is, dialogue
through the medium of journalists does not help in conflict resolution.
Journalists love good quotes and a nasty statement provides good copy. The
nasty they are the better. They are in the business of selling news and they
always pick the parts they consider marketable, sometimes ignoring the main
substance of one's message. All is lost in the delivery. Yet the politicians
are happy to tag along and fight their wars through the media.
The appeal for a stronger MDC is not necessarily based on the fact that it
is the best political party there is on the Zimbabwean political landscape.
Rather it is because in any country, it is necessary to have a strong
opposition party that keeps the ruling party in check. In the UK today some
people are happy to see a regenerating Conservative Party - not because they
really like it but because they know that a strong opposition is good for
ensuring that the Labour government is kept in check and performs better to
ward off the new challenge. Likewise the Liberal Democrats are renewing
leadership in response to the changing political environment. The MDC may
never become the government in the immediate future but its presence as a
viable alternative is good enough to provide choice to the people and to
keep the government on its toes. The demise of the MDC is sweet news to all
those who have always wanted to maintain a single-party system and avoid any
challenge to political hegemony. It is quite possible that the two factions
will go on to form their own parties, whatever names they choose to use. But
it is unlikely that they will have the same potent force that the MDC of old
The country's economy is at its weakest point as is the morale of the
general public. Yet paradoxically, the party that has presided over this
demise and should be more vulnerable, appears to be actually maintaining its
political grip. Therein lies the greatest failure of the MDC and its
inability to exploit the advantages, which if it were a viable alternative,
would have exploited. The one possibility that is available, if ZANU PF is
prepared to modernise, is to present a new package because the present one
is past its sell-by date and they know it. At MDC's weakest point, one would
expect the ruling party to reinvent itself and present itself as a reformed
organisation ready to take on the current challenges. Against common
judgement, there is no reason to believe that this is impossible. Yet
because of perennial delusions of grandeur and believing one's own lies, it
is unlikely that the ruling party has the will to reform. ZANU PF must be
true to itself and admit that it is power not because it has done well or
that in its current state it offers any better prospects. There is the
tactics that it has used which have been questioned both locally and
internationally and now there is the weak opposition that is driving itself
into the ground. Zimbabweans need a government that will deliver them from
the current mess. All they want is a chance to relive life under the
sunshine and I am not sure that they care who does it. Yet a perusal of the
landscape at present shows no party with the potential and will to do that.
And that is where the tragedy of Zimbabwe lies.
Many people thought in 1999 that the MDC would usher a new era in which the
principles of democracy would be established and developed. It represented
hope and an alternative. But recent events would have knocked their
confidence in politics. It is believed in some quarters that the low voter
turnout was a positive response to one of the MDC factions' call for a
boycott. A few others, including myself hold the view that it is not that
easy and such a simplistic view cannot properly explain the behaviour of
Zimbabweans and their attitude towards elections at present. In my view,
people are simply withdrawing from politics in the same way that they did
prior to 1999, when ZANU PF virtually had a walk-over in the 1995 elections
because people had withdrawn into their shells, there being no viable
alternative. In other words, there is a danger that the hope that had
carried the people back into politics and buoyed the MDC in 1999, is slowly
but surely dissipating.
The leadership of the MDC must assess their background and their
performance. They did not convince people to join the MDC when it was
formed. They did not have to because people were ready for an alternative.
Bar a few they had not done anything to demonstrate the leadership
credentials. After six years, people are entitled to judge their performance
and they are obliged to account to the people whose support they received
over the years. Unfortunately, all they ever do is try to defend their
positional superiority on the basis that they are founder members of the
Now, this founder-member syndrome is a very dangerous phenomenon especially
in the context of our national politics. It is used primarily to pursue
politics of exclusion. Often the new are referred to disparagingly as
Mafikizolo. The old ones' claim is based on nothing else but the fact that
they were there when the party was founded. But being a founder member does
not entitle one to close space to others nor does it mean that what he or
she says is right all of the time. The danger with the founder-member
syndrome is that it excludes new blood and new ideas that would regenerate
any political movement. The irony in fact, is that the MDC members, who use
the founder-member argument to exclude and claim position, have also been
victims of the same idea when pursued by fighters of the liberation struggle
who claim eternal power and perpetual legitimacy on the ground that they are
founding fathers of the country. In this regard, the MDC leaders have
learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Unless we get over this retrogressive
idea of claim space on the basis of being a founder member, we will
stagnate. What is required is an opening of spaces for regeneration of the
political movement, be it the MDC or ZANU PF. Whoever is in power, the
country is best served by the presence of a viable alternative.
Finally, the opposition must learn that those that live in glasshouses must
not throw stones. If they choose to fight for democracy, then they must
practice democracy internally. They cannot take shortcuts. As they say, they
can't have their cake and eat it at the same time. If they have lapses in
their pursuit of democratic structures they will be found out and when that
happens it is hard to recover. The biggest challenge of either faction in
the MDC leadership is not who will emerge bigger than the other after the
parallel congresses in February - rather, it is whether they can regenerate
the hope that existed in the last six years and consequently, whether they
can convince the people to return to politics because I fear, if indeed the
movement has lost its way, many people have simply retreated to the margins
and see very little hope in politics. And more will follow. In short, people
have lost trust in politics and politicians. For the MDC factions and ZANU
PF, that is one of the greatest challenges in 2006 - to restore people's
trust in politicians and bring them back to participate in politics.
Dr Magaisa is a lawyer specialising in Economic and Financial Services Law.
He is also a columnist for the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper. He can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, January 14 2006 @ 12:45 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
Government has announced plans to take over the assets of all
businessmen who fled the country at the height of the banking sector
crackdown in 2004. Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa announced the
specification of former Trust Holdings entrepreneurial executives- William
Nyemba, Christopher Goromonzi, Nyevero Hlupo- and non-executive director
Josphat Sachikonye in the latest government gazette, in a surprise move
after a lull in a crackdown on banking sector malfeasance.
Firms linked to the four businessmen were also specified and
placed under investigation. Also specified, according to the extraordinary
government gazette, are Barbican Bank founder Mthuli Ncube and former
Century Bank executives- Garainesu Shoko,Chamu Matsika, Calvin Mtombeni and
These businessmen join a long list of prominent executives who
have been specified since the government embarked on an anti-corruption
crusade led by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and whose prime targets were
mostly in the financial sector. Government has been accused of abusing its
powers by specifying businessmen who would have fallen afoul with the ruling
Eyebrows have been raised over the timing of the latest round of
The specification of former Trust CEO Nyemba, Goromonzi and
Hlupo, comes almost two years since they were ejected from the bank in
exchange for a rescue package advanced by the central bank to arrest a
savage liquidity crunch that hit Trust in November 2003.Sachikonye, on the
other hand, remained on the restructured board of the retail banking
flagship as chairman and led futile efforts to draw the bank out of the
quagmire, as the holding company negotiated with Nedbank of South Africa for
possible capital injection.
The bank, however, failed to entice the coveted white knight and
was roped into the central bank's troubled bank resolution strategy, which
has taken the form of the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), which also
includes Barbican and the similarly afflicted Royal Bank. Sachikonye, who is
also the managing director at restructured resource firm Rio Zimbabwe,
revealed that the case was being taken to the courts. "I am aware of that
(specification), but I cannot say much because the case is now before the
courts," Sachikonye, whose position at RioZim could be jeopardized by his
Although efforts to contact Nyemba, Goromonzi and Hlupo, who are
now based in South Africa, were unsuccessful, indications are that the trio
would take similar action. The move to specify the former Trust directors
triggered speculation of a political motive to counteract initiatives,
reportedly put in motion by the three, to revive the holding company, whose
commercial bank had grown phenomenally to become Zimbabwe's largest bank by
assets in 2004.
Trust Holdings, whose notable assets included a 15 percent
shareholding in strategic partner First Mutual Limited (FML), a finance
house, discount house, stockbroking firm and a short-term insurer, has been
suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
January 14, 2006, 18:15
The Zimbabwean government has earmarked US$110 000 to fight a cholera
outbreak which has claimed 14 lives so far, three of them in the capital,
Harare. The ministry of health is closing some markets in an attempt to stem
Uncollected refuse covers the streets and sewage flows on the roads
unchecked. Residents say things have been like this for about a year.
Children have been reportedly playing in raw sewage and there have been
several cases of diarrhoea. Residents feel bitter that they pay rates, and
yet they see no improvement.
Ignatius Chombo, the local government minister, told the nation that local
governments across the country had not had enough money to buy or repair
refuse removal trucks. The US$110 000 set aside is to be spent on fuel for
refuse trucks, building sanitary facilities at local markets and to monitor
All this comes too late for the Mambondiyani family, in Harare's Glen View 8
Township, which is still battling to come to grips with the death of three
family members last week. They died of cholera after buying fish at a Harare
police station. The fish was earlier seized from illegal vendors around the
city. "I am not settled. I don't know what to do or who to blame," said
Elifas Mambondiyani, the head of family.
Doctors, who did not want to be named, say the outbreak, which occurred in
three areas so far in the country, could be contained. But shortages of
staff at most hospitals, especially those in rural areas, could compound the
problem. The government meanwhile has urged extra caution, even though it
says that the situation is under control.
Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)
January 13, 2006
Posted to the web January 13, 2006
As soon as the current rains have eased in southern Mozambique, the rail and
port company, CFM, will undertake emergency repairs on the Limpopo line that
links the port of Maputo to Zimbabwe, according to Domingos Bainha,
executive director of CFM's southern region, cited by Mozambique Television
Mudslides have damaged the line in five places in Gaza province, in some
burying it under mud, while in others embankments and ballast have been
swept away, leaving the tracks dangling in mid-air.
The cost of cancelling trains on the Limpopo Line is heavy.
As of Thursday, it amounted to over 350,000 dollars.
Bainha said that, once repairs begin, it will take five or six days to make
the track useable. However, definitive repairs will only be made in late
March, at the end of the rainy season.
In central Mozambique, the Shire river, the main tributary of the Zambezi,
has continued its gradual rise. It was measured at 7.13 metres at Megaza
last Saturday, but reached 7.3 metres on Thursday morning, according to the
National Water Board (DNA). The Shire has burst its banks and flooded parts
of Megaza and Pinda localities in Zambezia province. No loss of life has
been reported from these areas.
The contributions from the Shire and from other tributaries have swollen the
lower Zambezi. At Marromeu, the Zambezi was measured at 4.03 metres on
Thursday - which is well below the flood alert level of 4.75 metres.
The levels of the upper Zambezi have not changed much in the past few days,
but rains in the Zambezi basin have cut several important roads in Tete
province. For the past week it has been impossible to use the roads from
Tete city to the towns of Zumbo or Mutarara. To reach Zumbo, a long detour
through Zambia is required. As for Mutarara, although they can stay inside
Mozambique, vehicles must travel through Manica and Sofala provinces, and
cross the Zambezi by using the ferry at Caia. Despite heavy rains in late
December and early January, southern Mozambique has not yet recovered from
last year's drought, and the main dams in Maputo and Gaza provinces are far
Cited in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", Belarmino Chivambo,
head of the technical department of the southern regional water board
(ARA-Sul), said that the Massingir dam, in Gaza, currently contains 205.64
million cubic metres of water. Ideally it should contain 580 million cubic
Thus the dam is only 35 per cent full. But this is much better than the
situation in December, said Chivambo, when the dam was, to all intents and
purposes, "dead" - that is, it contained so little water that discharging
anything at all was not recommended. (This dam is located on the Elephants
River, the main tributary of the Limpopo, and is regarded as key for
controlling the flow of water for the irrigation schemes on the middle and
The Corumana and Pequenos Libombos dams, on the Sabie and Umbeluzi rivers in
Maputo province, are both 77 per cent full.
The Pequenos Libombos dam currently holds 224 million cubic metres, as
against the maximum of 292.37 million. Chivambo stressed, however, that this
relatively low level of the dam will not affect the supply of water to
Maputo, which depends on the flow of the Umbeluzi.
The Corumana dam holds 99.7 million cubic metres currently - which is enough
for local irrigation schemes, although the ideal would be for the dam lake
to hold 518 million cubic metres.
By Craig Timberg, Washington Post | January 14, 2006
JOHANNESBURG -- Two of Zimbabwe's most prominent opposition figures have
accused their longtime leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, of condoning violence,
undermining democracy, and adopting the authoritarian style of the man they
once hoped he would unseat, President Robert Mugabe.
The withering critique of Tsvangirai, president of Zimbabwe's Movement for
Democratic Change, came in an interview here Thursday with Welshman Ncube
and Gibson Sibanda, two leaders who clashed repeatedly with Tsvangirai last
year, splitting the once-potent opposition movement. The rift has made it
increasingly difficult to challenge Mugabe's 25-year grip on power.
The men charged that Tsvangirai's office coordinated violent attacks in May
on party staff members viewed as loyal to Ncube. In October, they said,
Tsvangirai violated the party's constitution when he ignored a vote by its
ruling council to participate in national senate elections, which he wanted
Ncube, who is secretary general of the party, said that after years of
opposing Mugabe, Tsvangirai began to ''admire the monster" and emulate his
Sibanda, who was Tsvangirai's vice president but is now acting president of
the faction that opposes him, said that if Tsvangirai were ever elected
president of Zimbabwe, he would become a ''serious" dictator.
''This is a clash of values," Ncube said. ''It is a direct clash over the
soul of the party."
The two leaders also said Tsvangirai's inner circle has been infiltrated by
at least one officer of Zimbabwe's feared Central Intelligence Organization,
which has fomented dissension within the party.
Tsvangirai, speaking from Zimbabwe's capital of Harare, declined to respond
to the allegations about his leadership style or his alleged role in attacks
on party staffers.
''My only answer is the people of Zimbabwe know who their leader is, and
they have full confidence in their leader," he said in a phone interview,
referring to himself.
The rise of the Movement for Democratic Change six years ago heralded the
arrival of vigorous two-party politics in Zimbabwe after years of
unchallenged autonomy for Mugabe, 81. Just a few months after forming, the
opposition successfully blocked constitutional changes favored by Mugabe.
The movement narrowly lost elections in 2000 and 2002 that were marred by
state-sponsored violence and judged by most outside observers to be rigged.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
African News Dimension
Saturday, 14 January 2006, 4 hours, 57 minutes and 43 seconds ago.
By Genius Chitiyo
Zimbabwe has moved hundreds of vegetable vendors to a sports stadium
to prevent the spread of cholera.
THE Zimbabwe government has moved hundreds of vegetable vendors from a
traditional market in a high-density area just outside Harare central
business district to a sports centre in an elite suburb in the capital.
The government cited cholera as the reason for the relocation of the
vendors from Mbare Musika in Mbare high-density area to the Harare City
Sports Centre in Belvedere low-density suburb.
Harare City Sports Centre has been used mainly as a venue for tennis
and has, among other stars, hosted Andre Agassi, a one-time world number
The government's decision has not gone down well with both the vendors
and the residents of the posh residential area.
"We have no toilets, the area is a hive of activity for thieves and
last night we did not sleep because we had to guard our wares against
robbers," a vendor, who said she was a farmer who normally sells her
vegetables at Mbare Musika, said on Friday.
A resident of Belvedere was equally unhappy with the government's
"They are bringing the cholera to our neighbourhood, and they are also
attracting thieves to this area," she complained.
But Local Government and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo
said the government was taking measures to ensure a clean environment for
the residents of Belvedere.
"There will be teams that will work 24 hours a day to rectify any
problems that affect residents," Chombo said.
Cholera has killed more than 10 people Zimbabwe in the last two weeks
and the government said the temporary removal of the vendors from Mbare
Musika --- a busy market that spins billions of dollars in trade daily ---
was necessary because the place had to be cleaned up to curb the spread of
Mountains of garbage have gathered in Mbare and other suburbs in the
past few years as refuse went uncollected for months.
Municipalities say, in addition to tight budgets, they have no
fuel - - - which is in short supply because of a crippling foreign
currency crisis - - - and therefore cannot collect the garbage.
But government critics charge that the deterioration of service
standards in Harare and other cities is a result of inefficiency created by
Chombo's interference in local authority affairs.
In the past two years, the local government minister has dismissed the
mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, and those of Mutare city and Harare's
satellite town of Chitungwiza for alleged maladministration.
The three were all members of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition political party which nearly defeated
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF in bloody parliamentary elections
in 2000 and in a 2002 presidential ballot.
Both elections were described by the international community as
neither free nor fair.
Harare is now being run by a government-appointed commission led by
Sekesai Makwavarara, a former MDC member who defected to ZANU PF while she
was deputy to sacked mayor Mudzuri in 2004.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2006-Jan-14
FARMERS at the temporary agricultural wholesale market at the City Sports
Centre in Harare have expressed concern that the unhygienic conditions that
were prevalent at Mbare Musika could re-appear if proper facilities are not
put in place.
The market opened yesterday after city authorities shut Mbare Musika
wholesale market due to unhealthy conditions characterised by heaps of
"We started selling our commodities today, but we had some problems with
thieves because there was inadequate security. However, the situation later
normalised when municipal police came in the morning," said Stephen Muzire,
a banana vendor from Msasa.
He, however, said that though the facility was temporary, there was need to
provide bins so that refuse does not accumulate.
"As you can see, there are no bins here and we have been urged to put the
rubbish on site so that council trucks will collect it. I, however, fear
that this might create the same problem as was the case in Mbare," he added.
Another vendor, Chipo Gano from Murewa said the incessant rains were also
making life difficult for them.
"The rains are still coming and we fear this might reduce the quality of our
vegetables since there is no shelter. We hope they do something about Mbare
as a matter of urgency. We have nowhere to purchase food and the sadza
vendors are likely to follow us soon. The authorities should also address
that," she added.
Yesterday, the wholesalers were using sanitary facilities at the City Sports
Centre complex since council is yet to erect temporary ablution facilities
Lucky Mhlanga, however, welcomed the decision to shut Mbare, but urged the
city fathers to quickly create facilities conducive for their business.
"The decision to close Mbare is welcomed, but they should now create an
enabling environment that would make it easier for our business to
flourish," he said.
"The decision to decentralise the market is welcome and we just hope it will
be implemented as a matter of urgency. I, however, urge council to ensure
that we won't stay here for long, otherwise they would have created another
Mbare," he said.
The permanent secretary for Environment and Tourism Margaret Sangarwe,
yesterday toured the temporary market together with the chairperson of the
Harare Commission, Sekesai Makwavarara and other council officials.
Sangarwe urged the council to involve the private sector in waste management
while the city of Harare was told to educate vendors on hygienic practices.
Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya said, council would ensure that vendors leave the
City Sports Centre in two weeks time, promising that appropriate facilities
would be put in place to ensure safe operations. "We are going to do
everything we can to make sure that they are relocated within a week or so.
We have already set aside resources to ensure that they operate in a clean
environment," he said.
On Thursday, the government set-up eight committees to take charge of
cleaning up the city around the clock, and $10 billion has been set aside
for that noble cause.
African News Dimension Network
Saturday, 14 January 2006, 3 hours, 35 minutes and 38 seconds ago.
By Mapitsi Phukubje
There is need to strengthen agricultural production to steer the
economy out of the doldrums, Zimbabwe's Ambassador to South Africa, Cde
Simon Khaya Moyo has said.
In an interview this week, Cde Moyo, who is also the country's envoy
to Lesotho and Mauritius, and is a member of the ruling party, Zanu (PF)'s
Politburo said the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe could be overcome.
He said as pointed out during the ruling party's Annual People's
Conference in Esigodini last month, increased agricultural production was
the cornerstone for the revival of the economy.
Over the past few years, the country's economy has been faced with
numerous challenges with inflation, dubbed the country's number one enemy,
now over the 500 percent mark.
"I am optimistic that if we implement the resolutions adopted at the
conference in Esigodini and take advantage of the rains to produce enough
food, we will be out of the woods,'' Cde Moyo said.
Most of the resolutions adopted at the conference had to do with
measures to increase productivity in the economy and an aggressive campaign
to correct the distortions in international circles about Zimbabwe which has
been wrongly portrayed as a "failed state'', as a precondition to wooing the
much needed investment into the country.
"We should seriously address the issue of agricultural inputs if we
are to have food security.
"We do not want to rely on food handouts,'' he said.
Cde Moyo said for the policies that the Government is implementing to
revive the economy to succeed there was need for all stakeholders to
redouble their efforts in their various endeavours.
"We need the unity of purpose displayed during the liberation struggle
and desist from negative practices like tribalism.
"If we all double our efforts in whatever development endeavour, the
situation in this country will improve,'' he said.
Cde Moyo said there was also need for "networking and cooperation''
among business players especially in Matabeleland as the region seeks to
reclaim Bulawayo's position as the industrial hub of the country.
"We need to cooperate in Matabeleland and rid ourselves of the
individualistic mentality that we have when conducting business.
"Our northern counterparts seem to understand the importance of
networking and cooperation in general.
"We need to do the same in this region,'' he said.
Cde Moyo said it was encouraging to note that Zimbabweans working in
the Diaspora were ploughing back some of their wealth into the country.
"However, when you look at those coming from South Africa in
particular, you realise that there are unnecessary hitches in the form of
roadblocks which now seem like toll gates, even when these people have been
cleared by customs officials at the border,'' he said.
The diplomat is based in South Africa and is in the country on
Source: Chronicle, Zimbabwe
Harold Doan and Associates
Jan. 13 2006
Press Release - World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Johannesburg, South Africa -(IUCN) - A new strategy to save the
King of Beasts, the African Lion in eastern and southern Africa, was agreed
at the conclusion of a workshop convened by the World Conservation Union
(IUCN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Stakeholders from range state governments, local community representatives,
lion biologists and safari hunters attended the meeting.
The meeting concluded that the reduction in the lion's wild prey
base, human-lion conflicts and habitat degradation are the major reasons for
declining lion populations and need to be addressed. Regulated trophy
hunting was not considered a threat, but rather viewed as a way to help
alleviate human-lion conflict and generate economic benefits for poor people
to build their support for lion conservation.
'Africans know how to live together with lions; they have been
doing so for a very long time,' said Dr. James Murombedzi, the Director of
the World Conservation Union's regional office based in Zimbabwe. The new
lion conservation strategy aims to strengthen the chances for future
peaceful co-existence between lions and people.
Over the past 20 years, lion numbers are suspected to have
dropped dramatically from an estimated 76,000 to a population estimated to
be between 23,000 and 39,000 today. Across Africa, the lion has disappeared
from over 80 percent of its former range.
"We don't want this century to be a repeat of the last," said
Kristin Nowell, a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Cat
Specialist Group, who helped organize the workshop.
The African lion is classified as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species due to a continuing decline in the species'
population. In west Africa, lions number fewer than 1,500 and meet the
criteria for "Regionally Endangered".
So what will Southern and Eastern Africa do to save the lion?
Governments, biologists, and other professionals agreed to focus on:
enabling policy, legal and institutional frameworks for wildlife-integrated
land use; reducing human-lion conflict; preventing illegal trade in lions
and lion products; improving scientifically sound management of the lion;
developing management capacity; and creating incentives to build stronger
community support for lion conservation.
Emerging from the workshop is a better understanding of the
current status and range of the African lion, including "Lion Conservation
Units," or areas identified as being of top importance for lion
conservation. In addition, there is increased consensus on and political
commitment to the management actions necessary to conserve lion populations
over the next 10 years.
The Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Mr. Julius Kipng'etich
concluded that the workshop had helped build consensus around the issues and
solutions. "It helped us to understand where other people are coming from -
different backgrounds, different philosophies. But at the end of the day, we
boiled it down to one main problem: unsustainable lion populations."
The Director concluded that the workshop provides a solid basis
for bringing Africa together to conserve the lion. "The result is that lion
management has a high chance of success in the future."
The workshop is linked to an earlier meeting on lions in west
and central Africa which took place in Douala, Cameroon in October last
year. Results from the west and central Africa workshop and this week's
southern and eastern Africa workshop will be combined into a continental
lion conservation strategy. This will help guide both national governments
and the international conservation community by ensuring that investment in
lion conservation is targeted most effectively.
The workshops were organized by the World Conservation Union
(IUCN) at the invitation of the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC). The initiative was generously sponsored by the UK government's
Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Safari
Club International Foundation, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Zimbabwean government has gazetted new application fees for
registration of mass media services and accreditation of journalists.
Application and registration fees for a mass media service and a news
agency are now 1, 250, 000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 14 US dollars). This is
made up of 1 million Zimbabwe dollars (about 11 US dollars) registration fee
and 250,000 Zimbabwean dollars (about 2.8 US dollars) application fee.
A Zimbabwean journalist working for a local media will pay 250, 000
Zimbabwean dollars in accreditation and application fees, while a local
freelance journalist will pay an application fee of 50, 000 Zimbabwean
dollars (about 0.56 US dollar) and an accreditation fee of 100, 000
Zimbabwean dollars (about 1.1 US dollars).
A local journalist working for foreign media will pay an application
fee of 50 US dollars and an accreditation fee of 1, 000 US dollars. A
foreign journalist who needs temporary accreditation would pay an
application fee of 100 US dollars and an accreditation fee of 500 US
Application for permission to operate a representative office for
foreign mass media service or news agency would attract a 2, 000 US dollars
fee and a 10, 000 US dollars fee for permission to operate.
The fees were gazetted under the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy (Registration, Accreditation and levy) ( Amendment) Regulations,
2006 (No.2) published in Friday's government gazette.