The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

MDC Warns Embassies, Enraged By Zanu (PF) Vote Buying

06/01/2011 15:08:00

Harare, January 06, 2011 – The mainstream Movement for Democratic Change on
Thursday warned foreign embassies in Zimbabwe against continued funding of
Zanu (PF) and said it was also incensed that the party had embarked on a
massive vote buying campaign using food handouts and farming inputs.

The Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC said in statements it had been dismayed to
learn that the Lybian embassy had donated nine tractors and other farming
implements at a function in Chegutu on Wednesday and that Zanu (PF)
politicians were using food, acquired by the Inclusive government, to
campaign for their party.

Mugabe himself has been distributing millions worth of agricultural inputs
in a move described by critics as a desperate attempt to win voters who
deserted him in 2008 in favour of Tsvangirai and the MDC. Zanu (PF)
ministers have been doing the same distributing goodies, agricultural
equipment and food to starving villagers in the rural areas.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections later this year after the completion
of the constitutional process which has been marred by violence and
intimidation by Zanu (PF) supporters. There are fears that Zanu (PF) is
planning a war like campaign to retain to power and are said to be prepared
to use violence reminiscent of the 2008 post March elections to force people
to vote for them.

The MDC on Wednesday castigated Zanu (PF)’s tactic of vote buying saying
they were going against the dictates of the Global Political Agreement

“The MDC is dismayed by countrywide reports of partisan distribution of
agriculture inputs by Zanu (PF) politicians and Cabinet ministers, which
represent a sad and stark reminder of a culture of patronage and use of food
and poverty as instrument of control and a political weapon.

“Using such base tools for political purposes is against the letter and
spirit of the Global Political Agreement, much as it is a form of violence
against the majority who are on record as having been impoverished by Zanu
(PF)’s history of tyranny and dictatorship.

“What makes this practice disconcerting is that the food, seed and input
packs were either sourced by the Inclusive Government or procured with
resources from the national budget to which all Zimbabweans contribute
through their taxes. The MDC calls on Zanu (PF) to stop this criminal abuse
of critical national supplies and make allowances for an open distribution
of essentials  to all those interested in farming for the restoration of our
food reserves and food security,” said the MDC in a statement.

“What is clear is that Zimbabweans can never allow themselves to be dragged
to the pre-2008 era. Their collective wisdom, experience and their new life
they are enjoying today, thanks to the MDC, have left an indelible mark in
their political behaviour.

“The people, coming out of two indisputably, memorable Christmas and New
Year breaks made possible by the MDC’s entry into government in February
2009 -- know that the past was hell on earth, marked by an energy sapping
war imposed by Zanu (PF); they know of the hunger and disease they endured;
and they have not forgotten the story of a total collapse of their existence
caused by Zanu (PF) greed, avarice and corruption,” added the statement.

"It cries foul when other parties merely receive unsolicited endorsement and
solidarity messages from foreigners and numerous universal human rights

MDC said in its statement that while the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation, brazenly announced that the donation was purely
for Zanu (PF), the state press tried to down-play the partisan nature of the
gifts despite the appearance of Webster Shamu, a Cabinet minister, donning a
shirt labelled Zanu (PF).

Zimbabwe’s strict laws forbid external funding for political parties.

The MDC has been accused several times of being a recipient of Western
support. The party said there was abundant evidence showing that the MDC T
was wholly indigenous.

“We were further dismayed by the involvement of Munyaradzi Kajese, a civil
servant and Zimbabwe’s chief of protocol, in the sourcing of the Chegutu
tractors on behalf of Zanu (PF). Kajese’s contract with government binds him
to serve all Zimbabweans in their diversity. Once again, we urge the people
of Zimbabwe to rise to the moment and demand access to any foreign donations
given to the nation in their name and use them for collective good,” it

Meanwhile Zanu (PF) is claiming it is broke and is surviving on bank
overdrafts which, as of December 2010, attracted interests and other bank
charges of nearly US$1 million.

The party, which unconfirmed reports say its politicians are raking in
millions of US dollars through mining diamonds in Marange and other deals,
is sitting on a US$3,5 million debt, according to a financial report
released at its December conference in Mutare.

The report said the party had failed in 2010 to generate reasonable revenue
from the sale of membership cards and subscriptions.

A paltry US$166 000 was received from the sale of membership cards and
subscriptions last year

The report prepared by the party’s Finance department headed by David
Karimanzira show that US$1 171 200 was used last year to pay the about 180
employees and the amount represented a 102 percent increase from 2009.The
party last year froze recruiting about 142 employees to fill vacant posts
because it could not afford to pay the workers.

The document also showed that the party used about US$500 000 in hosting
high level meetings of organs such as the politburo, central committee and
national consultative assembly.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim Minister Orders Zanu (PF) Youth To Invade Sugar Farms

06/01/2011 12:50:00

Masvingo, January 06, 2011- Zimbabwe's Youth Indigenisation and Empowerment
Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on Wednesday ordered boisterous Zanu (PF) youths
to invade sugar conglomerates Triangle and Hippo Valley over a land dispute.

"These companies think we are still in Rhodesia. They think we owe them
something. We spared them fearing sugar shortages and hoping they will
reform, but we here they are denying the youths farming land," Kasukuwere
told a meeting of indigenisation stakeholders and Zanu (PF) youths held at
the Masvingo Polytechnic College here.

"This time, they are no sacred cows, if they again deny you access to the
lucrative sugar industry, go and invade them, invade their plots and
offices. We should have taken more sugar production land in 2000.

"The journey has begun, and there is no turning back. Our resources make
sense if they are in our hands. We cannot be strangers at our own wedding.
Kick them out. It is better for one black person, his wife and relatives to
benefit, not one white individual," Kasukuwere said, much to the applause of
the youths, most of who were bussed from rural areas."

He added; "Triangle and Hippo Valley's arrogance is a cause of concern. We
had to write to them after they ignored our indigenisation requests. We are
going to deal with them this time around."

But Triangle Limited chief executive officer Loyd Mutsambiwa, when called
for a comment, refuted allegations that they are denying local access to
farming land.

Mutsambiwa refused to comment further, citing politics in the issue.

The order by Kasukuwere comes barely a month after President Robert Mugabe
threatened the conglomerates over the same dispute. He had warned the
conglomerates he would send Rural Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa and
Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke to deal with them if the land dispute was
not resolved. Mugabe has also warned to take over foreign-owned firms if
sanctions against Zimbabwe remained in place.

Meanwhile in Karoi Zanu (PF) youths blocked and hijacked a funeral for a
party member on Wednesday causing commotion in this farming town.

The funeral procession of Aaron Tsongora lasted three hours when drunk
youths carried the deceased body from the home in Chikangwe suburb where
mourners were gathered to the beer hall where he was struck with a brick on
Christmas eve. The youths who were wearing party regalia carried the coffin,
toyi-toying bringing business to a halt before taking it to the cemetery.

"The party youth hijacked this funeral because as a family we are against
politicisation of death," said a family member.

Tsongora, aged 31 was part of a 'terror gang' here involved in looting and
violence. Last December he was among five youths in Karoi accused of selling
party cards at an inflated price of US$13 instead of just a dollar. The case
was never reported to police.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Political activist assaulted and left for dead by state agents in attempted abduction

Written by ROHR Zimbabwe Information Department
Thursday, 06 January 2011 10:35

ROHR Zimbabwe has received a shocking report of an act of political violence
from an MDC political activist who was brutally assaulted by state security
agents in a failed abduction plot.
Julius Mutavira Gono (43)   of ward 10, Chiredzi South constituency was
heavily beaten in broad day light, left battling for his life while his
family and neighbors watched helplessly, a day before Christmas day. He was
assaulted by three armed state security agents who drove at his house in
Madzimure village, with a Nissan twin cab with unmarked plates. The incident
is now in the hands of Chikombedzi police peace section case reference
number 30/01/11 and the notorious CIO agents have been identified as
Matambanadzo, Tinago and Magara all from Chikombedzi police station Chiredzi
South constituency.
A medical report carried out confirms that Mutavira sustained internal back
and leg injuries, a swollen red eye and he is still in need of further
medical attention. Mutavira told ROHR Zimbabwe that he was being targeted
because of his political involvement with the MDC party. Matambanadzo told
Mutavira that he was punishing him for the complaints he is receiving
against Mutavira’s involvement in MDC affairs. Julius said he now fears for
his life after Matambanadzo further threatened him that he will not live to
see the next election.
The incident took place took weeks after the visit of war veteran Jabulani
Sibanda to Chiredzi South, who is alleged to be on a country wide campaign
to fan criminal activities of political violence against members of the MDC
party. Despite the fact that the case has been reported to the police,
nothing has been done to see that justice takes its course on the
perpetrators who are still roaming free.
ROHR Zimbabwe is raising serious concerns to the coalition government on the
issue of prioritization of the security of ordinary people ahead of the
envisaged elections at the backdrop of organized criminal activities
committed with impunity during the orgy of violence in 2008 election
violence. As human rights defenders we are grossly disappointed by the
brutal conduct, unprofessionalism, lack of independence of the security
agents and uniformed forces who are supposed to be the custodians of the
enforcement of the rule of law and guardians of all citizens regardless of
political affiliation.
Politicization of security forces remains a major threat to the existence of
peace in the rural communities. Cognizant of the fact that security agents
played a pivotal role in the wide spread state sponsored gross violation of
human rights in the 2008 harmonized elections, ROHR Zimbabwe challenges the
coalition government to carry out reforms to ensure the independence of
security forces as agreed under article XIII of the Global political
Agreement signed by the three principals.
We hold that if elections are held under the presently constituted law
enforcement structures widely accused of being partisan, there is a danger
of a precedence of March – June 2008 political violence.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gbagbo seeks counsel from Zim

By Barnabas Thondhlana, Associate Editor
Thursday, 06 January 2011 17:36

HARARE - Embattled Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has dispatched an envoy
to seek the counsel of President Robert Mugabe, as his political life hangs
by a thread.

The special envoy, Zoge Abie, Thursday met acting President John Nkomo in
Harare. The meeting was also attended by acting Foreign Affairs minister
Herbert Murerwa.

Abie, who is Ivory Coast’s Ambassador to South Africa, did not meet the
press as he was reported to have left the country for an undisclosed
destination immediately after the meeting. The meeting was closed to
independent media journalists.

His visit comes after Gbabgo had said nearly a fortnight ago that he
understood how the likes of Mugabe felt at the prospect of losing power and,
therefore, instituted measures to protect themselves.

"When you go through what I've been through, you tell yourself: 'Perhaps
Mugabe wasn't completely wrong after all'," the Ivorian president said in
reference to how Mugabe clung to power after the 2008 harmonised elections.

However, according to Information Secretary George Charamba, the envoy had
“come to brief the Acting President on the situation in his country”.

Political commentators questioned why Gbagbo would find it necessary to
brief Nkomo on the situation in his country, considering how divorced
Zimbabwe is from Ivory Coast.

Said one commentator who requested anonymity: “Unless Mugabe has some
special interest in the affairs of Ivory Coast, I do not see how and why
there could be reason for this visit.”

University of Zimbabwe lecturer, John Makumbe said it was clear Gbagbo was
seeking lessons on how to steal a political victory from the jaws of defeat.

“He is hoping to learn from Mugabe on what to do next,” Makumbe said. “He is
seeking support from a fellow dictator on how to resist democracy after
losing election.”

Gbago is under pressure to relinquish power from the world super powers and
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which said he must hand
over power to Allasane Quttara who they recognise as the legitimate winner.

Gbago’s latest move is seen as a way of exerting his own diplomatic pressure
in a bid to end the raging political crisis.

Just before Christmas he sent another envoy to Cameroon to seek support
ahead of an African Union summit to discuss the matter. He has in recent
days sung from the same hymn book with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
saying foreign powers were interfering in Ivorian internal affairs.

Mugabe has in the past also maintained that problems that Zimbabwe is facing
were caused by former colonial power Britain together with its European and
American allies who continue to meddle in its affairs.

Gbago like Mugabe in 2008 is facing a legitimacy crisis. He has since been
slapped with sanctions by the European Union while he faces the possibility
of  military action if he continues with his resistance to vacate office.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe quadruples foreign media licensing fees

HARARE, ZIMBABWE Jan 06 2011 14:28

Zimbabwe has quadrupled fees for local journalists working for international
media organisations, new regulations published on Thursday reported.

Zimbabwean reporters working for foreign media will be required to pay a
$400 accreditation fee, up from $100, while their employers will pay $6 000
annually, more than double the current rate of $2 500 dollars.

The regulations for 2011 will also see journalists working for foreign media
pay an application fee of $100 -- up from $20 -- and southern African news
outfits paying annual fees of $2 000, up from $1 000.

The rising costs are at odds with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
suggestion last March that he would repeal and amend contentious media and
security legislation by the end of 2011.

According to the government plan drafted by Tsvangirai, the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act -- which bans foreign journalists
from working permanently in the country -- would be abolished.

Tsvangirai said the act would be replaced by a Freedom of Information Bill
that would allow journalists greater access to official information.

In 2002 President Robert Mugabe's government passed an act forcing media
organisations and journalists to register with a government-appointed body,
which was considered a form of censorship. Local newspapers were shut down.

The international media relies almost exclusively on local journalists to
provide coverage from Zimbabwe. Most foreign correspondents were thrown out
of the country in 2003 and banned from holding permanent bases there. -- 

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Welshman Ncube all set to become MDC-M President

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 January 2011

MDC-M Secretary General Welshman Ncube and his supporters are preparing to
celebrate an expected victory for leadership of the party, amid reports he
will stand unchallenged for the party presidency on Saturday.

As delegates begin arriving for the two day congress that starts in Harare
at the city sports centre, the Ncube camp has already lined up a number of
parties and ordered huge stocks of beer for planned victory celebrations.

MDC-M spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa said barring any last minute mishap, the
former University of Zimbabwe Law lecturer will be declared winner on
Saturday after garnering eleven nominations from twelve of their party

“Masvingo is the only province yet to send in their nominations but I’ve
been informed they will do so tomorrow (Friday). So far, there are no
challengers in this race to win the leadership of the party,” Mushoriwa

In the most significant political shake-up in the party since the split from
the mainstream MDC, Ncube has assembled a strong legion of supporters from
party structures opposed to Arthur Mutambara, the current president.

Analysts say Ncube will now become the frontrunner to take over as Deputy
Prime Minister in the coalition government, a post Mutambara is occupying
because of his position in the MDC-M.

Ncube and his supporters are also expected to win a clean sweep of four
other top positions in the party after his top lieutenants received
significant nominations to see them through their elections.

Ncube’s confidante and Deputy Secretary General Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushonga is set to take over his current position, after she
received 9 out of eleven nominations for the post. Goodwill Chimbaira is all
set to win the national chairmanship position after garnering 10
nominations, while party stalwart Paul Temba Nyathi has so far got eight
nominations for the post of Treasurer General.

Mutambara had fought hard to retain control of the MDC-M but support for him
has collapsed in recent months, as his controversial positions on siding
with Robert Mugabe on some issues in government have taken their toll. He
has only received one nomination in the race for MDC-M Secretary General.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chinamasa’s electoral law changes against SADC guidelines

By Tichaona Sibanda
6 January 2010

Proposed changes to the electoral laws in Zimbabwe go against Southern
African Development Community (SADC) guidelines on holding free and fair
elections, SW Radio Africa learnt on Thursday.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has proposed to ban civic participation
in voter education as well as punish those who announce election results
before they are announced by an election officer.

SADC mediator on Zimbabwe, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is
reportedly working on an election roadmap for Zimbabwe, which is modelled
along the lines of the regional bloc’s Mauritius principles and guidelines
governing elections.

But the 2004 Grand Baie Guidelines, adopted in Mauritius, stipulate that
SADC members will uphold full participation of citizens in the political
process, as well as freedom of association, political tolerance, equal
access to state media for all political parties, equal opportunity to vote
and be voted for, and voter education.

President Zuma is also reportedly working on a document that will see
parties contesting the elections in Zimbabwe, which will lay the basis for
establishing impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national
electoral bodies staffed by qualified personnel.

Other proposals, as published on the NewsDay website on Wednesday include
the appointment of special police liaison officers and special investigation
committees in provincial centres, to handle cases of politically-motivated
violence or intimidation in each province.

The special liaison officers would be senior police officers, to be
appointed by Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, who would work closely
with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and a multi-party liaison
committee during the election period.

John Huruva, an MDC activist in London told SW Radio Africa that for Chihuri
to appoint liaison officers and investigating committees is tantamout to
ZANU PF appointing its own officers, since the Commissioner has it on record
that he does not and will not recognise any other leader but Robert Mugabe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF to set up base in UK

06/01/2011 00:00:00
    by Lebo Nkatazo

ZANU PF is establishing structures in the United Kingdom and South Africa,
bolstered by what it says is “greater interest” being shown in its
programmes by Zimbabwean exiles.

The party’s commissariat, headed by Information Minister Webster Shamu,
presented a report to the party’s December conference detailing the move.

“Greater interest in the party, its ideals and its empowerment programmes
has began to show within the Diaspora community, with growing membership
showing in countries such as South Africa,” the report said.

“In Britain, party structures are being formed through voluntary action. The
commissariat department made recommendations for the party to acknowledge
this positive effort in order to see how it can support membership building
in these countries in a more substantial way.”

The party maintained branches in the United Kingdom before independence in
1980 and in the boom years that followed, but its growing unpopularity
decimated the structures and the party line has been promoted by individual
loyalists on British TV.

With relations between the party's leadership and the UK government
remaining tense, Zanu PF branches being formed in the UK would raise more
than an eyebrow.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe to start issuing passports again

Eyewitness News | 2 Hours Ago

There may be a spark of hope for illegal Zimbabweans trying to get passports
to regularise their stay in South Africa.

Zimbabwe’s Registrar-General has announced the authorities will start
issuing passports on Monday after a fire stopped production.

Tobaiwa Mudede said Zimbabwe’s passport database was not damaged by the fire
on New Year’s Eve.

He said only electrical cables were burnt.

Mudede told state media that full production should resume on Monday.

There are apparently questions as to whether this fire began accidentally,
and investigations are underway.

But news that Zimbabwean passports will soon be issued, will be welcomed by
the thousands of illegal Zimbabweans in South Africa, whose continued stay
partly depends on them getting official papers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MPs warn Biti over Air Zimbabwe

06/01/2011 00:00:00
    by Lebo Nkatazo

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has been warned that he is imperilling the
future of Air Zimbabwe after cutting funding to the national airline.

A committee of MPs also warns that it is unsafe to land planes at the
Victoria Falls International Airport because of an antiquated instrument
landing system.

Biti halted funding to the loss-making airline in his budget last year,
stating at the time that Air Zimbabwe – one of 10 state-owned companies
targeted for privatisation -- had to find private partners for its

But a new report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport has
recommended that Biti restores funding to Air Zimbabwe until its
privatisation is complete.

The MPs said: “The committee was informed that there were no allocations
made to Air Zimbabwe Holdings since it is one of the ten parastatals
earmarked for restructuring though no partner has been identified. Air
Zimbabwe need to be assisted as a stop-gap measure, especially with regards
to welfare of workers.

“In the interim, the committee observed the need for government to assist
Air Zimbabwe Holdings as a stop-gap measure while awaiting proper plans to
restructure and to look for partnership.”

Last year, the government was bailing out the troubled airline to the tune
of US$3 million per month, with Biti announcing in his budget presentation
in December that Air Zimbabwe had made a loss of US$14 million in the first
six months of 2009.

The troubled airline was hit by strikes by pilots and cabin staff last year
amid revelations that it  is sitting on a US$64 million debt to its
international suppliers.

The airline recently requested US$500 million from the government to fund
the purchase of four new planes to compliment its ageing fleet.

Meanwhile, the MPs were also critical of Biti’s failure to allocate money
for the refurbishment of Victoria Falls Airport which the minister has also
left to private partnerships.

The MPs said: “The same applies to Victoria Falls International Airport work
programme that is reportedly waiting ‘takers’ for partnership. A stop-gap
measure is needed for this important international airport.”

The MPs’ report also carried a dire assessment of a second parastatal, the
National Railways of Zimbabwe, which it said needed urgent attention.

The NRZ’s capacity during peak periods a decade ago was to transport more
than 18 million metric tonnes of goods, but that is sharply down to the
current 4,000 tonnes.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim Actors Arrested By Police With Help Of Zanu (PF) Mob

06/01/2011 12:48:00

Chimanimani, January 06, 2011 - Actors Silvanos Mudzvova and Mandla Moyo
were arrested in Chimanimani during a performance of their political play,

A mob of about 30 Zanu (PF) youths helped 15 police officers to arrest the
actors at Nedziwa growth point near Mutambara mission accusing them of
“spreading imperialistic messages to the unpolluted population” of the
mountainous area in the province of Manicaland, eastern Zimbabwe.

Mudzvova told RadioVOP from the cells where they had been detained without
charge: “We were performing for about 200 people before a mob singing Zanu
(PF) revolutionary songs swooped on us and police had us in handcuffs before
we realised what was happening.

Moyo added: “This was despite the fact that we had clearance from the
Censorship Board.”

The play, which looks at the issue of violence in the community was written
by the acclaimed Stephen Chifunyise, directed and produced by Daves Guzha.

It is a musical and inspirational production that features a line-up of
award-winning actors who include Mandla Moyo, Zenzo Nyathi, Joyce Mpofu,
Chipo Bizure and Silvanos Mudzvova and Rutendo Chigudu.

Mudzvova said he suspected he would be detained before being “deported” from

He also suspected the reason for the harassment was a sign that Zanu (PF)
wanted to stifle voices deemed politically incorrect ahead of 2011

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Charles Davy threatens to sue Zimbabwean website

By Lance Guma
06 January 2011

Controversial commercial farmer Charles Davy has threatened to sue a
Zimbabwean website, for publishing a story accusing him of ‘aiding and
abetting’ the ZANU PF regime. Davy is father to Chelsy, the ex-girlfriend of
British Prince Harry.

The website in question,, published a story entitled ‘Name
and shame: Charles Davy ZANU-PF sponsor, partner, hunter’. The article said
“when most white landowners were scurrying for cover from marauding ZANU PF
youths, one Charles Davy was enjoying himself at Matetsi Wildlife
Enterprises. A hunter by day and a ZANU PF collaborator by night aptly
describes the man.”

A six month undercover investigation by a reporter for the website reveals
that Davy “has funded ZANU PF since 2002 and has partnered senior ZANU PF
officials in illicit rhino horn trade. The officials are Webster Shamu and
Emmerson Mnangagwa,” the report said. The story also accused Davy of funding
Mnangagwa and Shamu’s parliamentary election campaigns in 2005.
Davy has responded to the article saying this is “exactly why I do not give
interviews, they create stories and those stories fuel the fire of creating
more absolute rubbish stories.” He claimed “there are over 400 farmers in
Zimbabwe who have survived land invasions for various reasons, from
geographical position, attitude of local communities, protection from
bilateral investment certificates etc.”

Davy also claims that “prior to the land invasions in 2000 we had 25 white
farmers in our district, 24 are still on their farms because our local
district council/land committee decided that they were not going to disturb
commercial farming in the district. They kicked one off his farm because he
treated his labor and the local community badly.”

Contradicting Davy’s defence however are secret documents in the possession
of, which expose how he “has not only funded terror to save
his wildlife business but he has treated his workers worse than animals.”
One of his former workers told the website that “at one time our pay was
less than US 15 cents per month and many of us slept on bare floors without
blankets. We couldn’t do anything, because he told us that President Mugabe
knew him. We just suffered.”

Davy claims there are white farmers who openly support the opposition who
are still on their farms “because of this decision by the local community
not to interfere with the commercial farmers.” He claims his conservancy
“just happens to be one of those farms in a district that is very arid,
unsuitable for agriculture and where commercial farming is undisturbed.” He
further claims to have lost 140,000 acres of prime agricultural land and
forced to sell 10,000 cattle onto a depressed market.

The story however alleges that in July 2009 Davy met Mugabe
in a meeting organised by Mnangagwa. Davy has also managed to meet President
Rupiah Banda of Zambia and DRC President Joseph Kabila in the course of his
business. The article says his company HHK Safaris ‘surprised many when they
solely landed all government owned concessions,’ covering areas in the
Midlands, Matetsi, Sabi, Kariba and some parts of Gonarezhou in the lowveld.

Davy is also implicated in the illegal smuggling of ivory to China and
Vietnam using his Chinese links in Asia. Several senior members of the army
based at the Defence House headquarters are said to be helping him.

“In the operation army helicopters disguised as army Red Cross ambulances or
test flights land in Hwange National Park to pick ivory belonging to Charles
Davy and partners,” the story claims.
The report also shows that commandos hired from 1 Commando Barracks stay at
his HKK Safaris when poaching in the Hwange National Park.

“In many other cases they are given accommodation at Matetsi or Bubye,” the
report says.
Davy has meanwhile already sent a letter to the website
saying: “I will be sending an objection to this article to the editor and
will take advice from my legal representative about taking the strongest
possible action against them. I am done with journalists making money by
writing rubbish about me.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Short-changed and angry
Photo: Edgar Mwakaba/IRIN
Choice of change
HARARE, 6 January 2011 (IRIN) - People in Zimbabwe are becoming angry about the lack of small denominations in circulation and tempers are fraying as a result: A policeman recently shot dead a taxi assistant for failing to give him the correct change.

After the formation of a coalition government in February 2008, the
hyperinflation-afflicted economy was dollarized - with the US dollar and South African rand most widely used, but the Botswana pula, the Zambian kwacha and the Mozambican metical also in common use.

To avoid disputes, taxis now give out travel vouchers when they run short of change - and the problem is not just in the transport sector.

Sipho Mpofu, a public sector employee, went grocery shopping last week and was given a brown voucher instead of change. "When I asked them what it was for, they told me that they could not provide me with change and the voucher worth five rand would allow me to use their toilets for free. I threw away the offending piece of paper because I knew I was being ripped off."

The lack of change angers many consumers, who are now trying to make purchases in round numbers. Shops use items such as tomatoes, matches, eggs, potatoes, candles, bananas, sweets, pens, pencils or vouchers in lieu of change.

Mpofu said the use of "unwanted" grocery items was a "huge inconvenience".

''The lack of change angers many consumers, who are now trying to make purchases in round numbers ''
"Right now I have a huge pile of matches, candles and sweets which I have no use for. In fact, they pose a threat should they be set alight accidentally.” He said he had to hide the sweets from his children.

Financial journalist Paul Nyakazeya said consumers were effectively being forced to buy items they did not want.

"At the end of the day, when calculations are made, it may be discovered that the goods consumers end up taking as change… make up a substantial percentage of their monthly groceries... The best way out of this quagmire for the consumers would be the widespread introduction of an electronic system to purchase commodities."

But, with frequent power cuts, especially in rural areas, Nyakazeya acknowledged it would be very difficult to make such a system work.

Economist David Mupamhadzi told IRIN the authorities urgently needed to introduce smaller currency denominations, especially for the South African rand: Many service providers round up the bill, making goods and services more expensive, eroding disposable incomes and boosting inflation, he said.


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

Back to the Top
Back to Index