|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
A report in the state-run Bulawayo Chronicle newspaper said those arrested had been protesting over what they said was the unfair distribution of food.
We have had enough of this - we are starving while some people have plenty of maize
Correspondents say that millions of people in Zimbabwe are threatened by famine as the result of the continuing drought and the disruption caused by government's seizure of white-owned farms.
Maize meal, the national staple food, is supposed to be sold at controlled prices, but there have been reports that some millers are trying to evade the price controls.
Police fired tear-gas at the crowds and charged them with batons to try to quell the violence, witnesses said.
The privately-run Daily News said that about 4,000 people had been queuing at the depot on Friday when the fighting began.
The violence was said to be the most severe since food shortages began but no injuries were reported.
Some witnesses said the rioting had started because supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party were getting preferential treatment at the grain distribution centres.
"We have had enough of this. We are starving while some people have plenty of maize," the Daily News quoted one demonstrator as saying.
Full blown crisis
Correspondents have reported seeing state grain depots only selling maize to people holding party membership cards.
They say Mr Mugabe is using food a weapon to ensure that he remains in power.
Zimbabwe is in the grips of a massive economic crisis and about eight million people are thought be under threat of famine, with the problems not just restricted to rural areas.
Opposition parties point the finger of blame at Mr Mugabe and his government, but for his part the president says the cause of the crisis is a combination of a drought and a Western imperialistic plot aimed at keeping power in the hands of Zimbabwe's whites.
Zimbabwe Report of IDI Safety and Security Delegation
At its meeting of 1 October 2002, the IDI Board determined that it would send a Safety and Security Delegation to Zimbabwe to inspect arrangements for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003.
The purpose of the Delegation was to inspect the situation in Zimbabwe in order to determine if it was safe for the six games to be played in the country during the tournament.
All members confirmed that the only issue in relation to Zimbabwe was safety and security and that political considerations should not be a factor in the ICC’s decision making process.
The Delegation comprised the following representatives from the ICC and its members:
• Mr Malcolm Speed Managing Director, ICC Development (International) Ltd;
• Mr James Sutherland Chief Executive, Australian Cricket Board (ACB);
• Mr SK Nair Honorary Secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI);
• Mr Tim Lamb Chief Executive, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB);
• Mr Hans Mulder Team Manager, Koninklijke Nederlanse (Holland) Cricket Board (KNCB);
• Mr Laurie Pieters President of the Namibian Cricket Board (NCB);
• Mr Chishty Mujahid Director of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB);
• Mr Vince Hogg Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).
In addition, the Delegation had a number of advisors. These were:
• Mr Ian Frykberg Director of ICC's commercial partner, Global Cricket Corporation (GCC);
• Mr Tim May Joint Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA);
• Mr Jeff Rees Senior Investigator from the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit;
• Mr Ben van Deventer Member of the ICC CWC 2003 Security Directorate and a senior South African policeman;
• Mr Jonathan Ticehurst ICC Insurance advisor, from Windsor Insurance
• Mr Brendan McClements ICC General Manager, Corporate Affairs.
The inspection itinerary was as follows.
Wednesday 27th November
7.30am Internal Breakfast Briefing Session – Function Room, Meikles Hotel.
8.30am Australian High Commission – 29 Mazowe St, Harare
Mr Trevor Wills - Acting High Commissioner
9.30am Zimbabwe Republic Police Headquarters – representatives of Police, Army, Air Force
10.30am Meeting with Ministry of Education, Sport & Culture, The Honourable Mr E Chigwedere.
12.00pm Lunch at Harare Sports Club during the ODI vs Pakistan.
to 2.30pm Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Harare and Acting Town Clerk
Thursday 28th November
7.30am Delegates collected from the Hotel for transport to Charles Prince airport.
8.00am Flight to Bulawayo
9.20am Arrival in Bulawayo – collection at the airport by ZCU Personnel.
10.00am Executive Mayor of Bulawayo, His Worship Mr J Ndabeni-Ncube.
11.00am Zimbabwe Republic Police, Matabeleland Province – representatives of Police and Army.
12.00pm Visit to Queens Sports Club – inspection of facilities.
2.30pm Flight to Harare
Friday 29th November
8.30am British High Commission
Mr B Donnelly – High Commissioner
10.00am Indian High Commission
Mr A K Basu – High Commissioner
11.30am Namibian High Commission
Mr E Haipinge – Acting High Commissioner
12.30pm Royal Netherlands Embassy
Councillor Mr P van der Linde
2.30pm Pakistan High Commission
Mr K A Babar – High Commissioner
3.30pm Security briefing from Zimbabwe World Cup Security Directorate, Mr Paul Friendship, in the ZCU Boardroom.
4.30pm Closing discussion session chaired by Malcolm Speed in the ZCU Boardroom.
Unfortunately the scheduled appointment with the Namibian High Commissioner was cancelled during the visit.
3. Zimbabwe – Safety Environment
The Delegation was able to obtain a clear picture of the safety and security environment within Zimbabwe through its discussions with a broad cross section of Government, security and diplomatic contacts.
The issue was addressed directly by the Delegation in each of its meetings.
Internal Safety Environment
Universally, it was recognized that there has been considerable improvement recently in the safety environment in Zimbabwe since the decision by the Australian Cricket Board to postpone its tour to the country earlier this year. The Pakistan Team has just completed a three week tour and had not encountered any problems.
The Australian High Commission highlighted that this change was reflected in its travel advice to its citizens which had been downgraded from advising against all non-essential travel, to recommending that visitors to the country exercise due caution in their travel arrangements.
The British High Commission and the Dutch Embassy travel advice is similar.
Pakistan and India regard Zimbabwe as safe and have not seen fit to issue a travel advisory for the country.
All diplomats commented that Harare and Bulawayo experienced the street crime associated with most cities but that they would expect it to be safe and secure for the players and officials, provided that due vigilance and caution was exercised, particularly after dark.
It should be noted that no foreign tourist has been killed or injured in Zimbabwe for political motives.
A similar point was also made by the security forces that will be responsible for the teams in these cities.
The sense of the advice is summed up in the following comment made to the delegation by a consular official.
“Sensible tourism is perfectly possible”
All diplomats regarded the high profile of the players and the security surrounding the teams and officials as factors that would reduce the security risk.
Of particular note were the comments of the Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk of Harare and the Mayor of Bulawayo.
While both cities are politically controlled by the opposition party (the MDC), both local governments emphasised that the games are in the national interest and highlighted the economic boost that staging the matches will provide to their cities.
In particular, the Deputy Mayor of Harare identified the critical shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe and the benefits that will come to his constituency from staging the matches.
It was also identified that while the political situation in Zimbabwe is difficult, the risk of orchestrated violence from within the country that could place the players and officials at risk is minimal.
Diplomatic sources confirm that the MDC is committed to finding a political solution through non-violent means and is unlikely to attempt to orchestrate any violence against the government or use the World Cup matches as a political platform to promote their cause.
The local government officials confirmed the support of their cities for the matches, that their party supports the participation of Zimbabwe in international sport, that these games are regarded as being in the national interest and that their party does not support violence.
“When it comes to national issues that reflect the national identity, the MDC will not engage in any political points scoring”
Senior city official
“Everyone is supportive of the World Cup and the MDC is the same. The World Cup is fundamentally a good thing and we’re not going to call it a bad thing and go against public opinion”
Senior city official
One major area of concern identified during the inspection was in relation to food shortages.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing significant food shortages, particularly in the rural areas, and this situation is likely to get worse ahead of the ICC CWC 2003 with the next harvest not due until April. Zimbabwe has previously experienced food riots in Harare (1997) and this cannot be ruled out again.
However, it is apparent that should this occur it will not be an organized program by the MDC. Any action is likely to be as a result of localized disaffection spilling over into violence.
“A hungry stomach can make a man angry.”
Senior city official
Equally, it is likely that any violence, should it occur, would be well away from the players and officials. This type of outbreak is likely to occur in the suburbs of Harare and Bulawayo while the teams and officials will be located in the centre of the city.
It was also highlighted to the Delegation that in the event of any violence of this type, the internal security forces were very well equipped to quickly isolate, contain and address the problem.
“If food riots occur, it is highly likely that the police and military would be able to contain them as the layout of the city of Harare makes this easy to achieve. The city has been planned this way”
External Safety Environment
A number of sources highlighted to the ICC that the main security threat in Zimbabwe would not come from within the country but is posed by the risk of an outside terrorist organisation targeting the ICC CWC 2003.
It should be noted that in making these comments, the sources also highlighted that Zimbabwe posed no greater or lesser risk than any other country hosting the tournament and that this was simply a comment on the situation in the world today.
It was also highlighted that there was no history of external terrorist attacks or extremism in the country.
In light of this information, the Delegation sought information on the capacity and capability of the Zimbabwean intelligence and security forces to deal with this type of threat.
Not surprisingly, the security forces themselves believed that they were entirely capable of dealing with this issue.
More importantly, a number of other independent sources also supported this view.
“The Zimbabwe security forces are well staffed and well organized”
Senior Consular official
“Zimbabwe has the expertise, infrastructure and capability to deliver a safe and secure event”
Senior Consular official
“I know that the US has been working closely with the Zimbabwe intelligence community and that they are pleased with the co-operation. There is no sense that Zimbabwe is sympathetic with or helping terrorists.”
Senior Consular official
4. Zimbabwe – Player and Officials Security
The accountability and responsibility for the safety and security of players and officials in Zimbabwe rests with the United Cricket Board of South Africa through its Cricket World Cup Organising Committee and the Safety Directorate of that Committee.
The Delegation was accompanied by Director Mr Ben van Deventer, a member of the Security Directorate and a very senior serving policeman in the South African Police Force with specific skills in the area of safety and security for major international events.
Mr van Deventer confirmed that security of the players and officials in Zimbabwe was subject to the detailed Security Plan developed for the event.
This plan has previously been approved by the Government of South Africa and is a comprehensive and detailed guide to the necessary levels of security at the World Cup. It covers all aspects of security including airport arrivals and departures, transfers, accommodation and at-match arrangements.
The focus of the Delegation was on the extent to which this security plan was understood by the relevant security personnel in Zimbabwe and to what degree it is being implemented.
Meetings with the police and security forces identified that the management structures had been put in place with the necessary security committees established in both Harare and Bulawayo. These committees bring together the relevant stakeholders responsible for overseeing and implementing the security plan.
The Delegation’s visit also coincided with the trial, at the 3rd ODI between Zimbabwe and Pakistan, of the match day security arrangements for traffic free zones, vehicle checks, spectator searches (including magnotometer scans) and zoned accreditation areas within grounds.
These trials worked successfully with the plans proceeding smoothly. Weaknesses that were identified are now being addressed as the final plans are developed.
In meeting with the various security and coordinating groups involved in the provision of this security, it was apparent to the Delegation that this issue must remain a priority in the lead-up to the tournament.
The Delegation received undertakings from all parties that this commitment is in place and the Delegation is of the view that the ZCU and the CWC Security Directorate must work more closely together to ensure that the Security Plan is well understood by all organisations responsible for its delivery.
The Delegation was satisfied with the commitments from both the ZCU and the Security Directorate.
It noted that the ZCU would be submitting a full report on the implementation of its Security Plan to the Security Directorate for final sign-off in early January 2003 and recommends that the approved plan should be provided to all Boards whose teams are playing in Zimbabwe as a matter of course.
The Delegation also sought assurances on the security arrangements that would be in place to deal with the possibility of terrorist attack.
The Directorate advised that increased security would be implemented including:
• The creation of a secure perimeter of some 200 meters around the hotel protected by strong roadblocks such as concrete barriers;
• Vehicle access to the area permitted only through an accreditation system; and
• Inspections of every vehicle entering the area.
The Delegation regards these steps as mandatory.
It is also important to note that the Security Plan includes a significant component dedicated to the provision of suitable medical facilities at and close to both venues.
The on-site facilities to include:
1. One doctor;
2. Two ambulances, both with two crew members and equipped to Intermediate Life Support levels.
3. One trauma nurse
4. One paramedic.
The medical staff to be provided with the full range of equipment specified in the Security Plan.
Both locations have primary and secondary designated hospitals and suitable medical facilities. In Harare these are within a 3 km radius of the venue and at Bulawayo they are within an 8 km radius of the venue. Families of players who are travelling to Zimbabwe should also be provided with an understanding of the security measures in place for the games to ensure that they are able to take the necessary steps to minimise any security risk.
5. Zimbabwe – Media and Spectator Safety Issues
The ICC recognizes that there are likely to be many media personnel and spectators who are also looking to travel to Zimbabwe for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003. The delegation also sought an understanding of security issues from this perspective.
In looking at this issue it should be noted that the decision of whether or not to travel to Zimbabwe can only be made by these individuals and organizations and ICC plays no part in that decision.
The views of the diplomats were of particular interest regarding the safety assessments for their own nationals.
Even the most cautious advice was that Zimbabwe was a safe and secure country for tourists, provided they were sensible in their travel arrangements.
Sensible precautions include:
• ensuring that travel arrangements are made with a reputable travel company;
• not traveling to rural areas;
• keeping a low political profile and avoiding crowds;
• being aware of the sensitivities in Zimbabwe such as no photography of state buildings.
The British High Commission was very keen to ensure that its citizens travelling to Zimbabwe made sure that they were aware of these issues while the Australian High Commission stressed the need for people to seek out and follow the travel advisories issued by its staff.
“Visitors to Zimbabwe should make sure that they travel with experienced tour operators to well known destinations. The issues for tourists are no different to any other country.”
It is anticipated that the largest contingent of overseas spectators will come from England with the “Barmy Army” likely to be well represented.
The British High Commission is particularly keen to establish contact with its supporters.
Given the existing informal relationship between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Barmy Army, ECB CEO, Mr Tim Lamb, agreed to facilitate this discussion to allow the British High Commission to provide the Barmy Army with information and advice specific to British citizens visiting Zimbabwe for the World Cup.
The inspection highlighted the need for all visitors to Zimbabwe to make sure that they are fully informed about the situation within the country when coming to their own decisions about travelling to the World Cup.
Based on the information provided by diplomatic staff, the Delegation is satisfied that Zimbabwe is safe for spectators and media travelling to the tournament on the basis that any person travelling to Zimbabwe obtains and follows the travel advice issued by their own diplomatic mission.
The Delegation strongly urges all spectators and media considering travelling to these matches to consult with their own High Commissions/Embassies to get the most up to date information available in order to make a fully informed and considered decision on this issue.
6. Insurance Issues
Following our meetings and discussions the insurance assessment identified that that any violent attack on the tournament is likely to be from outside Zimbabwe rather than from within. That is an attack directed against the Tournament, to create international publicity, by extremists based outside Zimbabwe.
Attacks on soft targets by determined extremists are very difficult to foresee and they are occurring with increasing frequency and severity in different parts of the world. However, as the situation stands at the moment there is confidence that insurance is available for the Players and Officials for death, disablement and medical expenses associated therewith, arising out of terrorist attacks within Zimbabwe.
This is at a level of benefit that it is believed will be regarded by ICC, the National Cricket Associations/Board, and the Players as adequate and reasonable.
Such a policy would automatically extend to include death, disablement and medical expenses caused by riots and civil commotion, as well as the risk of everyday accident such as motor crash, personal assault, injury in the hotel etc.
The attack on 28 November 2002 in Mombasa, Kenya, is regarded by Insurers as yet another tragic episode in the ongoing conflict between two known adversaries. It does not prejudice the insurances available to ICC but it does demonstrate the unpredictability of the location of these events.
However, in giving an indication of terms, Insurers may wish to reserve the right to cancel the policy if the political climate deteriorates, with the feared consequences of rioting and deaths, or if there are incidences of terrorist attack in Zimbabwe between now and February 2003.
1. The Delegation is satisfied that it met with a sufficient number of people in a diversity of positions in Zimbabwe to provide adequate sources of information to reach the conclusions that are detailed hereunder.
2. It is satisfied that there is widespread support within Zimbabwe for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 matches to take place. ZCU is a Full Member of ICC and has earned the right to host these Cricket World Cup matches.
3. In the course of its meetings, the Delegation was unable to identify any group that would benefit significantly from the relocation of the matches. On the other hand, there are significant benefits that will flow from playing the matches in Zimbabwe.
4. It is clear that levels of safety and security have improved since earlier in 2002 when the tour by the Australian Cricket Team to Zimbabwe was cancelled.
5. It is also clear that there are serious political and economic issues that have arisen in Zimbabwe and it is apparent that the situation will most likely deteriorate between now and the time when the Cricket World Cup matches are to be played. It is evident that increased anxiety in relation to political and economic affairs and, in particular, food shortages that will be exacerbated in the coming months, will create a risk of increased violence in the community.
6. However, the Delegation is satisfied that the processes that have been put in place by the relevant officials in Zimbabwe are more than adequate to deal with any such threat of increased violence and that it will not pose a safety and security risk for players and officials.
7. The Delegation received a comprehensive presentation of those aspects of the Cricket World Cup Security Plan that impact on matches in Zimbabwe. This Security Plan has been approved by the Government of the Republic of South Africa. The ICC CWC Security Directorate has undertaken to continue to monitor the implementation of those aspects of the Security Plan that relate to the matches in Zimbabwe to ensure that all of the planned activities take place.
8. Spectators and media intending to travel to Zimbabwe are strongly urged to contact their respective diplomatic officials and to get a thorough understanding of the current situation in Zimbabwe to ensure that they are able to make a fully informed decision about travelling to the country.
9. There is an appropriate level of insurance cover at an acceptable cost available to all of the teams scheduled to play in Zimbabwe, should they wish to take advantage of that insurance.
10. There are many serious issues that face the world at large in relation to safety and security and the sport of cricket is not immune from these issues.
However, as things stand at the moment, it is the view of the Delegation that there is no good reason in terms of the safety and security of players to relocate any of the six matches that are planned to be played in Zimbabwe in February and March and they should continue as scheduled. In the intervening weeks, IDI and ZCU will continue to monitor events in Zimbabwe very carefully. If there is any significant deterioration in the perceived levels of safety in Zimbabwe, this issue will be revisited immediately.
8. Recommendations to the IDI Board
1. That the IDI Board confirms that the six first round matches scheduled for Zimbabwe will take placed as planned.
2. That the ICC CWC Security Directorate ensures that the Security Plan is fully implemented in Zimbabwe by regularly monitoring the progress of this plan and providing the ICC with reports on a two weekly basis as to its implementation.
3. That the final Security Plan submitted by the ZCU and approved by the Security Directorate, including the additional security measures identified following the terrorist attack in Kenya, be provided to each country scheduled to play in Zimbabwe for their information.
Signed By The Members Of The Delegation
Malcolm Speed – IDI Managing Director
James Sutherland – ACB Chief Executive
SK Nair – BCCI Honorary Secretary
Tim Lamb – ECB Chief Executive
Hans Mulder – Holland Team Manager
Laurie Pieters – Namibia President
Chishty Mujahid – PCB Director
Vince Hogg – ZCU Chief Executive
Ian Frykberg – GCC Director
Tim May – Chief Executive FICA
Jeff Rees – ICC Anti Corruption Unit
Ben van Deventer – CWC Security Directorate
Jonathan Ticehurst – Windsor Insurance
Brendan McClements – ICC General Manager, Corporate Affairs
Women church leaders in Zimbabwe have declared war on abuse of women and children treated as sex workers.
The concerned groups said the practice was denigrating the status of women in society.
Most young women are lured into the old-age profession by lavish promises of fortune and glamour, which include better education opportunities and well-paying jobs.
Zimbabwean women church activists who recently attended a meeting in Malawi to consider ways of tackling the vice said delegates from various religious organisations denounced trafficking of women for sex work and all forms of discrimination against women and children.
According to reports presented at the meeting, many such women did not even know what awaited them in the new environment. They only anticipated a life full of fun and luxuries.
However, locally, the Government and interest groups have been promoting the empowerment of women and uplifting their social status.
This has forced legislators to enact a law banning the procurement and detention of persons for purposes of prostitution locally or outside the country.
The provisions are contained in the recently enacted Sexual Offences Act.
Among other things, the law suppresses brothels and prostitution and discourages the spread of HIV/Aids. It criminalises any person who either runs a brothel, lives on earnings of prostitution, solicits or engages in pimping.
Regional head of Interpol, Senior Assistant Commis-sioner Frank Msutu, said besides drug trafficking, the world police had extended its operations to cover human trafficking and child pornography.
He said the victims of trafficking were women and others who qualified for work outside the country where they ended up working under inhuman conditions.
Snr Asst Comm Msutu, who heads the Interpol bureau in Harare, said the region had also been invaded by child pornography on the internet.
Detectives around the world last year arrested more than 130 people in a crackdown on child pornography.
Officers from 20 countries took part in the operation code-named "Operation Landmark" after 10 months of investigations targeted at the internet.
Trafficking of women is posing a big threat to the future of the girl child in southern Africa.
Mozambique and Malawi are leading in the register of trafficked women, while Zimbabwe and South Africa recorded the highest number of brothels.
Poverty is being singled out as the main driving force, where orphaned young girls are forced into the sex trade to fend for themselves by the relatives of their deceased parents.
However, women activists are not sitting idle. They have developed a network of non-governmental organisations to lobby other groups in the Sadc that covers 14 countries to rescue the girl child.
They have undertaken to collaborate with the police and immigration authorities, tracing the syndicate and exchanging information on the ways to curb the trend. Already in Malawi, eight NGOs have been identified as members in the network.
The activists from East and Central Africa expressed their condemnation through the African Women in Development Network at their recent meeting in Malawi. They denounced the recruitment of women and children for sex work.
The 25 participants from member countries spoke strongly against the practice in their resolution, saying although syndicates involved in trafficking of humans were few, they had evidence that the practice was rampant in the region. The meeting heard that women and young girls were being trafficked to Europe and Arab countries.
The network noted that despite efforts to empower women in development, the majority across the globe had inadequate knowledge and skills for advancement in education, training, socio-economic standing, leadership and decision-making.
"Cases of smuggled women and girls are now rampant. This is a serious violation of women's rights, pushing them into the evil of prostitution. There is need to form local points around the region to rescue the girl child," the women said in one of their resolutions.
In Nigeria, up to 10 000 women are trafficked to Europe, especially Italy, every year.
Researchers have said poverty is the driving force behind the exodus of some women who had the blessings of their parents.
A Women Trafficking and Child Labour Education campaign has been launched to rehabilitate women traumatised in the trade and encouraging young girls to pursue education and learn income-generating skills.
Many corpses of women have been discovered after they had been killed or committed suicide because of frustrations, the NGOs claimed in their resolu- tions.
Churches and governments were urged to lead the campaign against HIV/Aids and its dangers to which the trafficked women were exposed as they engaged in unprotected sex that is said to earn them money.
The 15-member Economic Community of West African States has pledged to tighten laws on human trafficking.
The West African region has earned notoriety for rampant human trafficking, especially in children and women.
Nigerian President Oluse-gun Obasanjo described human trafficking as a new form of slave trade. He said the problem is a scourge similar to the slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries.
"The fight against it will take some form of doggedness as the fight against the slave trade," he told a recent meeting on human trafficking attended by 24 African countries, representatives of the United Nations agencies and the African Union.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is one of the main sources of human trafficking, with thousands of Nigerians, mainly women and children, sold abroad for prostitution, according to statistics.
As many as four million people are traded against their will each year to work in one or another form of servitude, according to the UN.
The US State Department estimates that some 50 000 women and children are brought to the United States to be forced into prostitution, bonded sweetshop labour and domestic servitude.
In Los Angeles alone, there are between 4 000 and 5 000 women from foreign countries engaged in prostitution, according to the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, a public advocacy group.
HARARE, Zimbabwe — In President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, a 7-ounce hunk of cheddar cheese costs more than 14 ounces of the same cheddar cheese. Motorists line up for hours outside gas stations with no gas. Bakers are required to sell regular bread for less than it costs to make it, so instead they sell raisin bread (with a few raisins) or poppy bread (with a few seeds) or twisted bread (with a few twists) at five times the set price.
"It's Alice slipping through the hole. We're living in Wonderland now," said Brian Raftopolous, the chairman of Zimbabwe in Crisis, a coalition of civic groups. "It would be funny if it wasn't so sad."
Mugabe's notoriety stems mostly from his decision to seize productive land from white farmers despite a looming famine. But land grabs are just part of the command-and-control economic regime the longtime president is trying to impose on Zimbabwe.
And bread isn't the only part of "Mugabenomics" that seems twisted. As the government issues an ever-expanding list of financial dictates — most notably price controls on everything from Palmolive soap to T-bone steaks, and currency controls fixing the official exchange rate at about 3 percent of the real exchange rate — Zimbabwe's once-vibrant economy is imploding.
Unemployment is near 70 percent. The stock market has crashed. Inflation is officially 144 percent/year but really much higher, while wages are relatively stagnant in a country where most people earn less than $1 a day. Zimbabwe's $500 bill — worth $9 U.S. at the official rate, or about 30 cents on the street — is known as the Ferrari, because it goes so fast.
The economy is shrinking 10 percent a year, even though the retail and housing sectors are booming; people with money are racing to spend it before it loses value.
The latest joke here is that Zimbabweans have the world's highest IQs: I queue for gas, I queue for bread, I queue for sugar.
High starvation risk
The food shortage facing Zimbabwe is no joke, however. The United Nations estimates 6.7 million of the country's 12 million people are at risk of starvation. The government has a monopoly on grain imports to Zimbabwe, but it is desperately short of foreign currency, so it is now drastically short of food.
Its land-redistribution scheme drove much of the agricultural expertise into exile and handed much of the fertile soil to Mugabe allies who have no farming experience or poor farmers who have no access to seeds or fertilizer.
"They went after the white people, but it's the black people who suffer," said farmhand Abraham Phili, who was evicted from a plantation that lies fallow. "How will I feed my children now?"
Mugabe, a rebel leader who has led the country since independence in 1980, tends to blame his country's current problems on drought, Western colonialism and capitalism, peppering speeches with attacks on greedy entrepreneurs, ruthless markets and the forces of globalization.
For too long, he says, rich nations have exploited poorer nations and dictated their economic policies.
While Mugabe studied Marxism at the University of London and is commonly referred to here as Comrade Mugabe, most economists say his policies are driven more by authoritarianism than communism. Since voters rejected Mugabe's bid to rewrite the constitution in 2000 — and especially after he retained power in a disputed election marred by violence this spring — Mugabe and his political party, ZANU-PF, have moved to consolidate their control.
That is the common element of all of Mugabe's economic policies.
Zimbabwe now requires its pension funds to deposit nearly half their reserves with the government at paltry interest rates, so inflation is draining away pensions. Banks must buy government debt on the cheap as well. And as of this month, manufacturers must trade in half their foreign currency to the government for Zimbabwean dollars — at the exorbitant official rate — and deposit the rest of the currency in government banks, to be withdrawn only with government permission. The nation's industrial-trade group says half its members might close their doors rather than comply.
"It's tough," said Callisto Jokonya, head of a refrigerator manufacturer. "What you learn about business in books is not practical in this environment. The politicians have their own agendas."
Meanwhile, Mugabe's government is spending half its revenue to pay interest on its debts. The more foreign currency it tries to squeeze out of exporters, the less incentive they have to export — or at least to report their exports to the government. A recent cartoon in a Harare paper portrayed the funeral business as "the only growing industry in Zimbabwe."
"Look, there's only so long you can defy the laws of supply and demand," said John Robertson, an economist in Harare. "It's like defying the laws of gravity. Pretty soon, you're going to come crashing down."
The deepest crisis is the fuel shortage. Zimbabwe had a contract to import Libyan oil, but it missed payments, and the flow has slowed to a trickle. There is hardly any gas in Harare, which has not stopped drivers from lining up at stations for hours upon hearing rumors of gas.
"All we do is look for petrol," said taxi driver Champion Mutari. "It's all anybody does around here."
Mugabe doesn't have that problem. He still rides in an armored Mercedes limousine with tinted windows, surrounded by two dozen motorcycles and sport-utility vehicles with their sirens blaring.
It is now a crime in Zimbabwe to make rude gestures or comments as the motorcade passes.
"It's all about total power," Robertson said. "The economy is just one more way to expand control."
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe appealed to the country's business community, which he has regularly accused of sabotaging government policies, to help ease crippling food shortages and an economic crisis. Nearly half the country's 14 million people are short of food. Mugabe blames drought but his critics say the real fault is with seizures of white-owned commercial farms in what used to be the regional breadbasket.
December 20, 2002
Posted to the web December 28, 2002
WE are grateful to President Mugabe for disclosing the real motive behind "land reform". Speaking to Zanu PF's so-called National People's Conference in Chinhoyi last Friday, he made it clear that far from being a noble campaign to bring social justice to millions of poor Zimbabweans, it was nothing more than an act of vengeance against commercial farmers. This contrasts with claims Emmerson Mnangagwa made in Stellenbosch this week.
According to a report carried in the Herald, Mugabe said the "British kith and kin among the commercial farmers had risen against the government" in a bid to thwart land reform.
"I want to say this is the most unforgivable sin they committed and we shall never forgive that," he was quoted as saying. "So we treat them as enemies of our party, our government and the people."
And what exactly was the nature of this "rising" that the president considers so unforgivable? It was very simply to vote for the party of their choice and to exercise their legal right to challenge land acquisition notices. There was no "rising" as he disingenuously claimed. Just the democratic exercise by citizens of their rights including the right to vote for a party other than Zanu PF. In some cases, commercial farmers assisted the MDC with donations. For that, they were subjected to collective dispossession, threats and violence.
And, Mugabe promises, the white minority will continue to be the subject of discriminatory measures in retaliation for EU sanctions. In other words, Zimbabwean citizens who are of European descent will be punished for their ethnicity. They are "enemies of the state" in the debased Stalinist lexicon the president still clings to.
This is a shocking declaration of racism which predictably has been met with a deafening silence in the region.
Mnangagwa, speaking at the ANC conference in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, blamed the Western media for demonisng Mugabe.
He said those whites who want to farm in Zimbabwe and identify themselves with the country in word and deed, had a secure place here.
Gullible ANC delegates may have been deceived. Nobody else will be. Mugabe's remarks in Chinhoyi made it abundantly clear the white minority will be targeted for their ancestry. They will be held hostage as a deterrent to further EU sanctions.
In fact this vindictiveness has been part of official policy for some time. No commercial farmer as far we know has been left with one farm or allocated a new one despite repeated assurances by government that "one farmer, one farm" was the policy.
It has instead been a smokescreen behind which powerful individuals linked to Zanu PF have helped themselves to farms - even those not legally designated for acquisition.
Mugabe's declaration that state policy is motivated by revenge should surprise nobody. The attack on the commercial farming sector is at one with the attack on the judiciary, the press and civil society.
All are governed by the same impulse: that the nation showed unforgivable ingratitude by voting against the Zanu PF government in the 2000 referendum and subsequent elections and will be punished - especially the whites. Those who conform, as Mnangagwa suggests, will be tolerated. But that of course means eschewing their rights and freedoms as laid down in law.
The government has made no secret of its view that it regards appeals against land acquisition as intolerable, just as it regards the MDC's electoral petitions, the NCA's demands for a new constitution, and just about every other civic initiative as intolerable. In fact it regards any normal democratic activity as a gross intrusion on its enjoyment of power and responds accordingly with maximum force. We are for all intents and purposes living in a police state.
Mnangagwa shouldn't have wasted his breath in South Africa pretending Zanu PF presides over a fair and tolerant regime. Or that Mugabe is the victim of a hostile press. Mugabe made things crystal clear in Chinhoyi. Zimbabwe belongs to him. And he is bent on revenge.
Anybody who challenges his arthritic rule will be targeted for punishment. What sort of state do you call that other than a malevolent dictatorship? And it wasn't the Western or private media who wrote the president's spiteful speech. It was entirely his own work.
White martyr's sainthood bid shames Mugabe
Scotsman.com : 22 December 2002
HE TURNED his back on his privileged
background to care for lepers in Africa - only to die on a dusty roadside, cut
down in a hail of bullets by guerrillas wielding AK47 assault rifles.
Now, nearly a quarter of a century after his death, British-born John Bradburne, who eschewed his middle-class origins to become a Franciscan missionary in a leper colony, is being proposed as Zimbabwe’s first saint.
However, his path to canonisation is unlikely to be smooth because he was white and the guerrillas who murdered him in 1979 were supporters of the country’s president Robert Mugabe in his fight for black rule.
The attempt to elevate him to sainthood comes at a time when Mugabe has unleashed one of the most virulent anti-white campaigns ever seen in Africa. And, according to his critics, the last thing the Zimbabwean leader wants is approval by the Vatican for the canonisation of a man martyred by his own followers.
The campaign for Bradburne’s canonisation is being led by one of his former colleagues at the Mutemwa Leprosy Settlement, the 80-year-old Jesuit priest Father John Dove. He said: "John was a strange vagabond of God. The mere mention of his name lightens and brightens the faces of men and women at Mutemwa. There were once 1,000 people there. Today, only 63. John loved them and they loved him."
There are now far fewer people at the settlement than there were in Bradburne’s day because of the wider availability of treatments for the infectious disease.
Commenting on the attempt to elevate Bradburne to sainthood, Dove added: "The cause is under way and is presently on the desk of Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa [the Roman Catholic primate of Zimbabwe] in Harare. It will go forward. It will be considered by the Vatican. John could become Zimbabwe’s first saint."
An elderly man, who suffered from leprosy and was cured, added: "If I told you what John did here, I would burst into tears. He slept with the dying, reading them the New Testament. He gave us his own food. He dug our graves and wrapped our bodies in his only blanket."
But the Archbishop of Harare is a close friend of Mugabe’s and senior Church sources in Harare claim the beatification of Bradburne - the last step towards canonisation - has been vetoed until an African saint has been found for the new Zimbabwe.
A Christian churchgoer, who asked not to be named, said: "It seems there will be affirmative action in heaven as well."
Bradburne’s fellow workers and people who were cared for at the settlement, recall a mystical figure who helped overturn the widely held prejudices about leprosy and allow people to see those he lived with for what they were - fellow human beings with a curable disease.
Bradburne was born in Cumbria in 1921. A cousin of the playwright Terence Rattigan, he was also a distant relative of Britain’s last governor in Rhodesia. During the Second World War, Bradburne served with the 9th Gurkha Rifles. At the fall of Singapore, he escaped to Sumatra after a month living off the bush in the Malayan jungle. Later he went to Burma, where he first met Dove, then serving as a soldier. Bradburne ended the war invalided with recurrent malaria.
He spent the next 16 years wandering between England and Italy and the Middle East, his belongings held in a small Gladstone bag. Finally, Bradburne - who said he had a vision of Christ telling him to go to Africa and care for lepers - wrote to Dove, who was now a Jesuit priest in charge of the Mutemwa Settlement, asking: "Is there a cave in Africa where I can pray?" Bradburne arrived in Rhodesia in 1962, became a member of the Third Order of St Francis and was appointed warden at Mutemwa in 1969.
Dove said: "In John’s life he wanted three things: to work with lepers, to die the death of a martyr and to be buried in a Franciscan habit."
The first wish came true at Mutemwa where Bradburne, who lived alone in a tin hunt on the edge of the mission settlement, nursed almost 80 blind and deformed people. But by the end of the 1970s, the war against white rule was reaching its peak and Bradburne came to the attention of the guerrillas of Mugabe’s liberation army (Zanla). On the night of September 2, 1979, he was abducted, accused of being a Rhodesian spy, put on ‘trial’ and shot. Villagers who discovered the body said when they approached it they heard singing.
And, at his Requiem Mass, another strange event took place, which ensured the fulfilment of his ‘third wish’.
A friend placed three white flowers on the coffin. At the end of the service, three drops of blood are said to have appeared on the floor underneath it.
When the coffin was re-opened, no traces of blood were found but it was noticed that Bradburne had been buried in a simple white shirt. It was removed and a Franciscan habit, instead, was wrapped around him. Since then, dozens of people claim they have had their prayers answered by invoking the name of John Bradburne.
One British man sent £1,000 for the erection of the cross that stands on the top of Mount Chigona, which Bradburne, dubbed the ‘Leper Man’ and used to climb every day to see the sun rise. He says his failing eyesight was restored after he prayed to God through the missionary.
Whether or not Bradburne’s journey to sainthood is ever completed, while he was alive he said his memorial was to be found in the faces of the lepers he loved and served so well.
From The Zimbabwe Independent, 3 January
Whitecliffe settlers to vote in Kuwadzana
In what analysts see as an attempt at electoral manipulation, the government will allow Whitecliffe settlers to vote in the forthcoming Kuwadzana by-election, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week. The Kuwadzana seat fell vacant following the death in custody of Learnmore Jongwe under controversial circumstances in October. Authoritative sources said the settlers - who were supposed to have been evicted from the farm - have inspected the voters' roll and their names appear on the list. Inspection of the voters' roll started on November 30 and ended on Tuesday. Voting dates are yet to be announced. "We have checked our names and they are on the voters' roll," said one settler who only identified himself as Wilson for fear of reprisal by war veterans. The settler, who has assumed an influential post on the farm, said that Zanu PF officials had assured them that they would vote in the by-election. "Top officials told us that we are eligible to vote and that no-one would evict us from the farm," he said. It emerged this week that the settlers would vote under the guise that they are lodgers residing in Kuwadzana Extension. Inspection of the voters' roll was carried out in the same township. This paper has it on good authority that Zanu PF chefs, notably Information and Publicity secretary in the politburo, Nathan Shamuyarira, has been to the farm and assured settlers that no one would evict them. The settlers are allegedly launching terror campaigns in Kuwadzana in a bid to silence the opposition. The Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) which supervises elections, this week disputed the allegations. "The settlers are not part of Kuwadzana and there is no way they are going to vote in the by-election," said the commission's spokesman Thomas Bvuma. He said that 42 391 and 45 862 voters were registered to vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections respectively in Kuwadzana. "Of the registered voters, 20 701 and 23 440 cast their votes in the parliamentary and presidential elections, respectively," Bvuma said.
Whitecliffe settlers, whose number has swelled to over 10 000, were given an ultimatum by government to vacate or face eviction in June. The settlers, the majority of them war veterans and Zanu PF supporters who played an integral part in the controversial re-election of President Robert Mugabe, have vowed to stay put. They said that they were allocated stands by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association under the Tongogara Park Housing Cooperative Scheme. Government argued that the occupation had prevented a property developer, Eddies Pfugari who had acquired the land, to service it. Settlers resisted eviction saying that the farm fell under Mashonaland West and not under the Harare municipality. Under pressure, government climbed down and allowed them to continue their stay on the farm. Recently the farm was in the news after settlers, who voted under Zvimba South in the presidential election, said that they now fall under the City of Harare. Efforts to get a comment from Shamuyarira were fruitless as he was said to be out of his office. An official at the party's headquarters could not be drawn into the issue. "Find out for yourself if this is true or false. Accusations like these will be there no matter there is fair play or not," said the official. MDC's information boss Paul Themba Nyathi was not available for comment. The MDC is fielding Nelson Chamisa as its candidate, while Kembton Chihuhute will represent the National Alliance for Good Governance. Zanu PF is yet to announce its candidate.
From The Daily News, 2 January
Amani Trust shuts down
Threats by the government to deregister non-governmental organisations (NGOs) thought to support the opposition MDC have forced Amani Trust to close its offices to the public. The closure has left victims of the ruling Zanu PF party's terror campaign stranded as they have nowhere else to go for help. Amani Trust unsettled the government after it started investigating cases of torture and beatings in the rural areas where Zanu PF youths and so-called war veterans had set up torture bases. "They (Amani Trust) have stopped operating," said Jonah Gokova, an NGO official. "I spoke to Sharri Appel of their Bulawayo office and she confirmed they had shut down. The nature of Amani Trust's activities, which involved counselling victims of political violence, brought the organisation under the spotlight." Security guards manning the building where their offices in Harare are located said Amani Trust closed when the government alleged in Parliament that the Trust was not legally registered. A notice at the entrance to the offices reads: "Please be advised that our offices will be closed until further notice."
Last September, July Moyo, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, alleged in Parliament the organisation was not properly registered under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act. The government has persecuted the Trust for helping victims of Zanu PF's terror campaign and of exposing human rights abuses in camps set up by so-called war veterans where women were allegedly gang-raped. The government has denied the allegations and alleged the Trust was a conduit for British funds channelled to the MDC. The police arrested Frances Lovemore, a director of the Trust, over a newspaper report quoting the organisation as saying the national youth service members had gang-raped young girls and women at a terror camp. Rudo Kwaramba, the chairperson of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, said her executive committee would not comment on the matter.
To focus on God’s kingdom vision and to work together with him and each other to build a kingdom community that promotes justice and peace and works for the total well-being of our people.
The crisis situation in which we find ourselves dictates a number of urgent priorities to which we commit ourselves by way of immediate and short-term objectives. These include the following:
· the funding, purchase and distribution of basic food requirements to as many as possible of those in this region who are facing starvation – the distribution to be strictly on the basis of human need and without regard to race, ethnic origin, political affiliation or other such criteria;
· stand united against the violence and lawlessness which are spiralling out of control in the post-election period and causing untold suffering to our people;
· an act of Christian solidarity as we offer succour to and stand alongside the many victims of violence and lawlessness in our society;
· a call for a rerun of the presidential election under international supervision and within the shortest time frame possible;
Furthermore, taking note that individual Christian leaders (including some of our own number) who have taken a stand for Kingdom values, have been subjected to various forms of harassment and intimidation, we commit ourselves to support one another, and others “persecuted for the sake of righteousness”, through a network of caring and solidarity.
05 January 2003
Peter Hain, the cabinet minister who rose to fame by campaigning against sporting links with South Africa, has urged international cricket authorities not to stage matches in Zimbabwe during this year's World Cup, in protest against the country's human rights record.
But Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, stung by criticism from London and Canberra, and convinced that Britain wants to kill him, had to be dissuaded by his ministers from retaliating by banning English and Australian teams from Zimbabwe, The Independent on Sunday has learnt.
This would probably have been greeted with relief by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a way out of the impasse.
Mr Mugabe's ministers allayed his fears that MI6 would infiltrate agents with the England team by promising a huge increase in security. At least three members of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation would be assigned to each player and official from England and Australia, with orders to report on their movements and their meetings with local people. Measures including bugging hotel rooms and searching baggage were also discussed.
But in an article for today's Independent on Sunday, Mr Hain argues that the ICC should move the six one-day matches to South Africa, one of the co-hosts of the tournament. If they go ahead in Zimbabwe, the England team should unilaterally refuse to play there, he says.
"If other governments will not back our own Government's stand, then it is still important for English cricket to show some moral backbone," Mr Hain writes. "What about Zimbabwean youngsters unable to play because they haven't been fed?"
Zimbabwe is likely to justify oppressive security measures by pointing to threats of demonstrations, an issue raised by Mr Hain, who asks: "What if ordinary Zimbabweans protest against the matches and are clubbed away mercilessly, maybe to death? If international cricket doesn't care about this, then what are its values?".
A meeting of the full Zifa council in Harare on Saturday ratified a decision made by the executive board last month to sack Mugabe, the nephew of President Robert Mugabe, for financial irregularities.
Zifa is now beginning the process of finding a new chairman.
Mugabe, who had been in charge since 1993, ran into trouble when he failed to provide evidence of how a Fifa grant of 61,575 US dollars had been spent.
The money was to have been used to build a football training camp.
Mugabe on Friday went to the courts to have his sacking overturned, arguing that the Zifa board's decision was "irregular".
Mugabe himself was not at December's meeting when the vote of no confidence was passed as he was with Zimbabwe's women's team at the African championship in Nigeria.
But High Court judge George Smith dismissed Mugabe's argument.
"In a dispute such as this, which relates to the internal procedures and workings of a private organisation, it is not for the courts to investigate and decide on the merits or demerits of the actions of one party as against those of the other," said the judge.
Zimbabwe chief's plea to England
Zimbabwe's cricket chief has urged England and Australia to honour their "obligation" to the International Cricket Council and end thoughts of a World Cup boycott.
England and Australia have both been asked to boycott scheduled World Cup matches in Zimbabwe in protest at the regime of president Robert Mugabe.
But Peter Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, insists his country deserves a return on the money it has spent preparing facilities - and warns a boycott will deprive thousands of much-needed income.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Over the last two years we have put in a lot of effort to make sure we can get our two venues up to standard.
"Altogether structural improvement and the setting up of an office has cost 400 million Zimbabwe dollars (£4.5million) and we believe we deserve a return on that investment.
"All the counties have an obligation to make sure that the International Cricket Council provides 54 matches at the World Cup."
Chingoka also insists Zimbabwe is a safe destination for England fans, although he does not expect tickets to be available for long.
He added: "We have got massive support and we are very confident that when we start selling the tickets next week we will sell the tickets very rapidly."
Chingoka claims African cricketers would be hard done by if their once-in-a-lifetime chance to play in a World Cup on home ground was jeopardise by politics.
"All cricketers - black and white - deserve an opportunity to play in this World Cup in Zimbabwe," he said.
Over $50b Needed to Compensate Farmers
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
January 3, 2003
Posted to the web January 3, 2003
GOVERNMENT should forkout over $50 billion to compe-nsate farmers for improvements on properties acquired under the land reform programme and for looted and vandalised equipment, it emerged this week.
Last month displaced commercial farmers formed a valuation consortium with assistance from estate agents to come up with a figure to present to government for compensation.
The consortium's preliminary findings made available to the Zimbabwe Independent show compensation for on-farm improvements and looted and vandalised equipment would not be less than $50 billion since the start of farm invasions in February 2000.
"Though we haven't consolidated the find-ings of the teams carrying out the valuations throughout the country, indications are that the figure may surpass $50 billion," one of the estate agents involved in the valuation exercise said.
"Mashonaland West under Governor Peter Chanetsa alone, which used to undertake highly-mechanised irrigation farming, has so far been valued at over $15 billion, while Mashonaland Central's valuation is getting to around $10 billion.
"Those figures alone are a clear testimony that $50 billion could be an underestimation of the damage caused by the land reform programme," the estate agent said.
Justice for Agriculture (Jag) chairman Dave Conolly said he could not give a definite figure that would be presented to government at the moment since the valuation findings were still being compiled.
As at August last year, Jag had estimated the value of vandalised equipment at $14,5 billion.
The figure however only covered movable assets that were illegally impounded or looted since the beginning of invasions. Jag had threatened to sue the ruling Zanu PF party and the government to recover the money.