HARARE (AFP) - Thousands of students were Monday evicted from Zimbabwe's
main university campus after they protested at the weekend against a
decision to deny them food for not paying their fees.
An AFP correspondent witnessed students carrying suitcases and bags trekking
out of the University of Zimbabwe campus following an ultimatum to "pack up
and leave in 20 minutes" while riot police watched.
"We were all taken by surprise this afternoon when we saw notices this
afternoon ordering us to leave the halls of residence within 20 minutes or
risk being beaten up by the police," said Chadwick Rugube, a second-year
The university authorities ordered the students out of their dormitories
after skirmishes on Sunday between university security and students who were
protesting over a decision to deny them food for three days after they
failed to top-up their school fees.
"The authorities decided to extend the semester after we lost time during a
strike by lecturers and said we should pay an extra one million dollars
(4,000 US dollars or nine US dollars on the black market)," said Rugube.
"It's not our fault that the lecturers went on strike and we were saying why
should we be made to pay. That's why we had demonstrations on Sunday
The Zimbabwe National Students' Union spokesman Benjamin Nyandoro said at
least 4,000 students were thrown out of their hostels.
He said the union had filed an interdict at the high court and was urging
students to resist the evictions.
Authorities at the institution could not be reached for comment.
Scores of students were stranded beside their luggage by roadsides.
"The majority of those who stay on campus have no homes, friends or
relatives in Harare so they are going to sleep in the open," Nyandoro said.
"It just shows how heartless the authorities are. Some of us are starting
examinations next week and this is going to affect us psychologically."
July 09, 2007, 17:00
Reports of a plan to rescue Zimbabwe's freefalling economy by pegging its
dollar to the South African rand are unfounded, according to government
Sources said today they had no knowledge of any such plans. If anything was
being planned to help Zimbabwe survive its economic meltdown, official
statements would have been forthcoming, they said.
The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) was putting together a plan to peg the rand to
the Zimbabwe dollar. According to the paper, the multilateral monetary area
(MMA) of South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland would be extended to
Value of Zimbabwean dollar really low
The Zimbabwe dollar is reportedly being traded on the black market for up to
250 000 for one US dollar.
In a statement today, Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, said
while there was no question that it was in South Africa and the region's
mutual best interest to stop the Zimbabwean economy's freefall into chaos,
it was equally important that any proposed rescue plan was linked to
specific and measurable political reforms. "All too often, [Zimbabwe
president] Robert Mugabe went back on his word and proved time and time
again that he cannot be trusted," she said.
This made it essential before South Africa or any of the other SADC states
gave financial assistance of any sort to the Zimbabwean government, that
there was first demonstrable evidence that political reforms had taken
place. These would include a complete halt to the systematic oppression of
the opposition, lifting restrictions imposed on the media, and a commitment
to hold fresh elections that were monitored by regional and international
The DA was also critical that South Africa did not shoulder the burden alone
for any financial commitment. "If at any stage the government does decide to
provide financial assistance, it must bring the people of South Africa into
its confidence as they have every right to know how their money is being
used," Zille said. - Sapa
Mon 9 Jul 2007, 14:45 GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwe court on Monday fined dozens of business
executives for defying a price cut ordered by President Robert Mugabe's
government in an effort to gain control over the world's highest inflation
The southern African country is in the grip of a severe economic crisis that
has sent official inflation figures spiralling above 4,500 percent and
private economists estimate the real rate may be far higher.
More than 1,300 shop owners, managers and company executives have been
arrested for failing to cut prices since the freeze was announced on June
25, but most have only been fined.
On Monday, 33 business executives, some of whom spent the weekend in police
custody, appeared in court for offences ranging from defying the price
freeze to failing to display prices for basic goods.
Most of them pleaded guilty to violating price control regulations and were
ordered to pay 3 million Zimbabwe dollar fines, and were then set free.
But at least two had their cases postponed to allow further investigations
and were sent back into custody.
A crack team of police, military and intelligence operatives is enforcing
the price freeze, which has been welcomed by ordinary Zimbabweans used to
frequent increases in public transport fares, rentals and hospital services
and fuel prices.
But some warn the relief may be temporary. Basic goods like cooking oil,
maize meal and sugar have already disappeared from shop shelves after prices
were slashed, with economic analysts predicting that these would resurface
on the thriving black market at even higher prices.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka told the official Herald newspaper on
Monday many business people had paid fines as high as Z$100 million.
Mandipaka warned of a wider crackdown on business people and black market
vendors who are enjoying roaring trade as goods become scarce in formal
shops. The government has already banned bulk buying to ease shortages.
Mugabe, facing growing pressure at home from the deep economic crisis that
has left four in five adult Zimbabweans jobless and caused shortages of
foreign currency, food and fuel, accuses firms of raising prices as part of
a plot to unseat him.
Mugabe -- whose government ordered a in slash prices after some basic goods
had risen by up to 300 percent in one week -- said there was no coincidence
in the price hikes.
The 83-year-old leader -- in power since independence from Britain in 1980
and seeking another five-year term in 2008 -- has threatened to seize and
nationalise foreign companies he says are sabotaging the economy.
The defiant Mugabe says Britain has led a Western campaign, that includes
the imposition of sanctions on Harare, to punish his government for handing
over hundreds of fertile white-owned commercial farms to landless blacks.
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: July 9, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe's economy veered closer to the brink Monday with
no end in sight to chronic shortages of staple foods and gasoline, and
predictions of a standstill in routine business within days.
Police and government inspectors continued cracking down on shopkeepers and
sales managers accused of defying orders to slash prices by half in a
desperate attempt to halt rampant inflation.
Shelves were bare of cornmeal, bread, meat and other staples, and witnesses
said many shops and suppliers were cleaned out by convoys of ruling party
supporters coming in after police and inspectors began enforcing the price
cuts on June 26.
"The crunch can't be far off," said economist John Robertson.
Factories, stores and gas stations have been unable to replace goods sold at
below the original cost. The sudden drop in prices has sparked panic buying,
stampedes and near-riots by impoverished Zimbabweans.
Fuel stock have run out, putting an end to the long lines of cars at gas
stations. On Monday, the government ordered private commuter buses to cut
fares by three-fourths, promising bus owners they would be able to buy
subsidized fuel from the state oil procurement agency.
But many ignored the directive and simply abandoned their routes. Businesses
reported higher absenteeism, with workers failing to arrive at their jobs.
"We are incurring huge losses. We can't go on like this for much longer,"
said one industrialist. "We won't be able to pay our VAT (value added tax),
which runs into the billions each month.
"We'll have to lay off quite a number of our people very soon," he said.
"We've shot ourselves in the foot this time."
He asked not to be identified. President Robert Mugabe warned Friday that
the government would target uncooperative managers and seize factories that
scaled down their operations.
More than 1,300 businesses have been charged and fined over the past two
weeks for defying orders to slash prices in half or hoarding goods, police
Several of 33 top company executives arrested in recent days were fined up
to 100 million Zimbabwean dollars (US$6,600; ?4,850), court officials said
Robertson, the economist, predicted that shortages would worsen dramatically
across the board.
"Retailers who can't recover the money they spent on their goods are not
going to carry them anymore, and manufacturers who are not allowed to charge
more than their production costs are going to stop making them," he said.
By the end of next week, "we won't have much mobility anywhere and we will
have run out of options" as gasoline tanks run dry and gas stations and
stores go out of business, he said.
Last week, the government announced it was reviving the long-defunct State
Trading Corp. to run businesses that had collapsed or were commandeered. The
corporation itself collapsed in the 1980s through mismanagement.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said the crackdown was "not a gimmick and
will be sustained at all costs to stop consumers being ripped off," state
Mandipaka appealed to rural villagers and farmers "to compliment government
efforts by reducing prices of cattle so butcheries can operate viably,"
Beef, a traditional favorite in the diet of Zimbabweans, disappeared from
shops more than a week ago.
Cattle herds already have shrunk drastically since the seizures of thousands
of white-owned farms disrupted Zimbabwe's agriculture-based economy in 2000.
Cattle are a status symbol in rural communities and often are used as a
dowry. It was unlikely villagers who have resettled on former white-owned
land would heed Mandipaka's appeal.
Live goats were being sold in Harare but goat meat has not appeared in
butcheries and supermarkets. Women snapped up cabbages at one open air
"It's something to put on the table anyway," said one woman who only gave
her name as Olivia. She said two large cabbages could be made to last about
Official inflation is running at 4,500 percent - the highest in the world -
though independent financial institutions estimate real inflation is closer
to 9,000 percent.
The government accuses business leaders of being part of a political and
economic campaign of "regime change" to bring down Mugabe.
It has admitted to printing extra money to pay its way - seen as a main
cause of inflation and an obstacle to reports that South Africa could shore
up Zimbabwe's collapsing dollar by pegging it to the South African currency.
Regional proposals to admit Zimbabwe to the southern African Common Monetary
Area of South Africa's neighbors would entail fundamental market-linked
economic reforms that Mugabe emphatically has rejected in the past.
Robertson said the nation faces the prospect of looting.
"I think the government will finally unleash the impatience and the anger of
our normally agreeable and passive population," he said.
Mail and Guardian
Mail & Guardian reporter
08 July 2007 11:59
Even amid Zimbabwe's increasing instability, life in suburban
Harare has remained more or less predictable.
Which is why Sunday morning shoppers at a suburban shopping
mall, popular with young professionals and the well-heeled, stood stunned as
they watched the store manager of a branch of one of the country's largest
retail chains being dragged out of his store by the back of his collar,
pinned to the tarmac, whipped and finally thrown into the back of a truck by
Minutes later hoards of bargain hunters descended on the store,
scooping up goods at reduced government-imposed prices, as a unit of what
has come to be known as "the inflation police" kept an eye on the unfolding
Days earlier, President Robert Mugabe had threatened the seizure
of businesses he said were sabotaging his government, warning them to be
ready for a "rough game".
"Let everybody who is in business take note. This is now going
to be a rough game. We own the resources. We are the owners of this economy.
We will seize those companies, we will nationalise them. We will no longer
stand for their dirty tricks."
Many were initially inclined to interpret Mugabe's comments as a
continuation of his trademark fiery rhetoric. But by Wednesday this week, a
police spokesperson said more than 200 business people had been arrested
since the imposition last week of a directive from Mugabe's government that
supermarkets slash by half the prices of all basic commodities.
Supermarkets reacted immediately to the order by removing basic
goods from the shelves. But now they have to contend with the "price
monitors", an aggressive, mob-like mix of police and Zanu-PF militia
deployed to supermarkets, warehouses and even the homes of industrialists to
force them to sell all their goods at half price.
Until now, the victims of state-sponsored violence have usually
been the poor. So when wealthy supermarket owners faced direct threats
against their security, their meek resistance was easily broken.
At OK supermarkets, the country's largest supermarket chain,
executives said a computer program updated prices at midnight, using the
latest cost of new inventory arriving from suppliers. This meant every store
manager's first chore, before opening every morning, was to replace the
previous day's price tags with new ones showing higher prices.
But this week, under the scrutiny of government officials, store
workers went about putting up new price tags showing lowered prices, an
unheard of task in a country where prices are known to double in a day.
This new direction in Zimbabwe's struggling economy is
accompanied by an aggressive state media campaign to portray business as the
driver of the country's world record inflation, an attempt to deflect all
blame from Mugabe's administration.
Critics speculate that Mugabe could be acting with an eye on
next year's election. Although his party is expected to win, he is desperate
to gain the vote of the urban poor, from which the opposition draws much of
Mugabe is keen, say critics, to show that he remains in control
of the inflation-ravaged economy. A further sign that his government is
angling towards an all-out command of the economy came last week with the
publication of a Bill it says is meant to increase local ownership of the
"I suppose the logic behind this thinking is that because, in
2000, the land invasions won them an election, company seizures could do the
same in 2008," says Tony Hawkins, a business professor at the University of
The most bizarre result of the price cuts has been swarms of
shoppers stocking up on anything they can find on shop shelves, even items
that have not really been marked down. Because stores have stopped buying
new supplies, the next stop for the inflation police has been the suppliers,
who are now being accused of withholding products from retailers.
On Tuesday, police raided Irvines Chickens, the country's main
supplier of poultry products, roughed up staff and demanded that the company
sell whatever stocks it had left.
But attacking suppliers could be politically tricky and
backfire, as it will mean attacking senior Zanu-PF officials, many of whom
own large estates and industries. A Zanu-PF senator has already been
detained briefly over the price war, while a Chinese company with reported
links to the ruling party has admitted to hoarding basic goods.
By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 2:52am BST 09/07/2007
In Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe terror is so endemic that not even the
daughter of a former prime minister known as a supporter of black rights is
immune from rape.
Judith Todd's father Sir Garfield Todd was Rhodesia's last liberal
leader and she was imprisoned, force-fed and exiled under Ian Smith's rule
for her efforts to promote black majority rule.
After independence she returned to head a development agency working
particularly with the war veterans who had fought for Zimbabwe. But when she
criticised Mr Mugabe's regime she was detained and raped by a senior army
officer, she revealed yesterday. It was, she said - both for her and her
attacker - an example of the culture of fear used to preserve Mr Mugabe's
The assault came a day after she told the then army commander and
another senior officer that the North Korean-trained 5 Brigade was
massacring civilians in a campaign of atrocities in Matabeleland.
The next morning another senior officer picked her up in a car and
drove to a house she believed was in the Chikurubi prison complex.
"A servant let us in, not looking at us," she wrote in a
newly-published memoir, Through the Darkness: A life in Zimbabwe, in which
she names the man.
"The [senior officer] led me into a bedroom, opened a bottle of beer
for each of us, unstrapped his firearm in its holster, laid it on the
bedside table next to my head and proceeded. I did not resist."
In her first interview on the subject, she told The Daily Telegraph:
"It was rape. I was in a state of complete terror.
"Now and again you have to face destiny. I had just been reading these
documents which were full of rape, terror, mass murder.
"I knew something was going to happen when that car came. What
happened was actually a relief because I thought I was going to be killed.
At least I was alive."
A quietly spoken woman now in her sixties and living in Cape Town, she
bears no animosity towards her attacker, no desire for vengeance.
Instead, having stayed in Zimbabwe for many years afterwards, even
after being stripped of her citizenship in 2003, she sees him as a victim in
the same way she was.
"I have no reason to believe he wanted to do what he did, quite the
"It's so complex because he was obviously so troubled and so unhappy.
I just regard him as a fellow victim . maybe someone was watching him.
"That's what has happened to so many people in Zimbabwe."
Mr Mugabe, who was once a teacher in the Dadaya network of rural
schools set up by her parents, has entrenched himself in power through both
money and fear, she said.
Although 24 years ago, the rape was typical, she added, citing an
incident earlier this year when police beat up lawyers who were protesting
outside the high court in Harare. The officers had been ordered to assault
the group, she was told.
"They knew there were people watching them and that if they didn't
beat them properly they themselves would be beaten," she said.
"That's Zimbabwe now. Zanu-PF is the instrument of evil in Zimbabwe.
For the future wellbeing of Zimbabwe Zanu-PF must be eliminated. We need to
Ms Todd's alleged attacker went on to have a distinguished diplomatic
career. He could not be reached for comment yesterday, and calls to Zimbabwe
government spokesmen went unanswered.
. Judith Todd has signed a declaration waiving her right to anonymity
as a rape victim for this interview. Through the Darkness: A life in
Zimbabwe is available on www.amazon.co.uk
09 July 2007
THE political rift between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his
principal pointsman on the economy, central bank governor Gideon Gono,
widened at the weekend after the ruling Zanu (PF) resolved to "intensify and
broaden" its price reduction blitz.
Zanu (PF)'s central committee on Friday passed a Mugabe-sponsored resolution
backing the government's fierce crackdown on prices. But in his first act of
open defiance since his appointment more than four years ago, Gono opposed
the campaign which has resulted in empty shop shelves across the country.
Gono is a fierce Mugabe loyalist and the president's personal banker. Up
until the past week's rift, which has left the ageing Mugabe increasingly
isolated, Gono was one of a few people in the country who still had direct
access to the president and was touted by some as Mugabe's choice as heir
Gono last week warned Mugabe that the price war, which is politically
motivated and aimed at wooing voters in next year's critical elections, will
drive the final nail in the coffin of Zimbabwe's already crumbling economy.
Mugabe said on Saturday he knew that the private sector was trying to use
economic pressure to ensure his defeat at the polls.
He has said that business is dramatically increasing prices as elections
draw near as part of an "illegal regime-change agenda".
On Saturday, the party's highest organ, the politburo, and the national
consultative assembly came out in support of the crackdown.
Official inflation is now 4500%, although analysts say it is double that
The row over the price blitz has exposed cracks within the government over
the campaign - executed unlawfully until the government rushed to legalise
it on Friday, following reports of its illegality.
It also threatened Mugabe's already shaky grip on power, political analysts
Mugabe has publicly admitted that Gono has kept his beleaguered government
going in difficult circumstances.
Since Gono's appointment in 2004, he has gained significant political clout
and was instrumental in the dismissal of former finance minister Herbert
Murerwa. He is in charge of the treasury, and runs almost all the key
Through the central bank , Gono has been printing money on a massive scale
to fund essential state operations, the army, police and intelligence, and
to procure food, fuel, production equipment , drugs and chemicals.
Gono has also baled out vital parastatals, which are all technically
insolvent. He has been sent on numerous errands to China, Russia, South
Korea and SA, among other countries, in search of economic rescue packages.
Last Tuesday, Gono wrote to Elliot Manyika, acting chairman of the cabinet
task force on price monitoring and stabilisation, condemning the crackdown.
Gono told Manyika that the clampdown was futile because it would not reduce
inflation. He said a "holistic package of measures that would uplift the
general supply of goods and services in the economy" was needed.
"I write to make recommendations on the ongoing efforts meant to stabilise
prices in the economy," Gono said. "It is our strongest conviction that only
through a holistic framework can we stabilise prices, without inducing
shortages in the market."
Gono has also written to State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who chairs
the joint operations command behind the blitz, saying he opposed the
This is said to have angered Mugabe, and left him considering firing his
previously loyal right-hand man, a move that could spell more trouble for
his embattled regime.
Residents surrounded by flowing sewerage while ZINWA keeps its silence
09 July 2007
Alert- KUWADZANA residents have lived with flowing raw sewerage on their
streets and in their homes for the past month weeks but ZINWA and City of
Harare have done nothing, claiming that the underground sewer pipes had
completely broken down and need replacement. This means these people have to
endure more days with sewerage around them.
The situation is worsened by the power outages that have constantly hit the
suburbs. Most residents are finding it difficult or even prepare their food
in their yards. Most rely on firewood to make food.
It is now feared that these people might actually contract the deadly
cholera, dysentery and skin diseases if this situation is not addressed as a
matter of urgency. Other affected areas include Highfield, Glen View, Glen
Norah, Budiriro, Mufakose, Dzivarasekwa and Tafara-Mabvuku.
Drainages along the main road to Gazaland Shopping Centre in Highfield,
sewerage is flowing without restraint and also at the entrance of Rusvingo
Primary School. Children are at risk as they attend school.
Tsitsi Kugara (0912 638 887), the Ward 25 Coordinator told CHRA that
residents are set to meet tomorrow (Tuesday 10 July 2007) to discuss way
forward over the health crisis.
When CHRA visited Kuwadzana on Saturday and Sunday, raw sewerage flowed with
abandon along 55th, Street. This street stretches from Kuwadzana 4 Shopping
Centre up to Seventh Day Adventist. Sewerage also flowed along in 62nd
street, from the Kuwadzana Clinic. In Kuwadzana 5, sewerage flowed along
main streets from almost every household, making the whole suburb stink.
In separate interviews, residents accused both ZINWA and the City of Harare
of neglect by their failure to immediately resolve the burst sewerage pipes
that threatens the lives of over 300 000 in Kuwadzana.
Patience Hosoro, CHRA's Ward 37 Chairperson said in her ward, the burst
sewerage crisis affected mostly Kuwadzana 3 where almost all households
except for a few have it flowing in their yards.
"We went to the City of Harare to report this matter after children at
Kuwadzana 4 Primary School were turned away due to water shortages and burst
sewer pipes, causing the whole school yard impassable," Ms Hosoro said.
"They told us that the underground sewerage pipes had completely broken down
and could not be repaired. They needed new ones to replace the old broken
Another resident, Mrs Grace Kawaza, the Chairperson for Ward 38 in Kuwadzana
said worms were now coming out of the decomposing raw sewerage and this was
now presenting a serious threat to residents, particularly children who play
on the streets.
She said: "School children at Kuwadzana Number 2 Primary were send back home
after the headmaster found the situation no longer unbearable, coupled with
the water shortages that affected us last week, children were each asked to
bring a 2-litre bottle of water to school. In our households residents are
witnessing raw sewerage coming out from their toilets into their kitchens
and around their yards."
Parents with school children in the Zero grades have been most affected as
their infant children have occasionally fallen into the flowing sewerage,
making them more vulnerable to cholera and dysentery outbreaks.
At one of the households where orphaned children attend pre-school, the
owner Mrs Mapara was forced to temporarily close down the creche. This has
happened for over four weeks. Residents of Budiriro 4 in house numbers 7592
(Mudiwa), 7595 (Chitongo), 7596 (Gurupira) and surrounding closes have been
unable to freely move around their yards due to flowing sewerage that has
remained unattended for over a month now.
In Glen Norah B' residents residing at 6219, 6220 near Kudakwashe Primary
School raw sewerage flows through a drainage that passes through the school
to Glen Norah C' to Mukuvisi River. In Glen Norah B' at 6035, Mrs Gladys
Gonyora's house has sewerage flowing all over the place.
ZINWA has dismally failed to repair burst sewer pipes that have been
reported to them by the residents of Harare. In similar contempt of the
ratepayers, the City of Harare has been demanding that residents must pull
resources to purchase fuel, provide vehicles and money for the municipal
officials to repair the burst sewerage pipes.
CHRA urges residents to take up lawsuits against the City of Harare, ZINWA
and the Ministry of health and child Welfare for their failure to abide by
the Public Health Act under Section 14 which provides that local authorities
should "take all precautions for the prevention or dealing with the outbreak
of diseases. Those interested in taking up legal challenges on their health
situation should approach CHRA for guidance or their lawyers.
At international level, the State, under Article 11 of the International
Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, states that State
parties must recognise the right of everyone to an adequate standard of
living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothes, housing
and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.
Health as a human right is imputed in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights under Article 25 and under Article 16 of the African Charter.
If anyone wants to talk to CHRA representatives they should call Mrs Kawaza
on 210323 or visit her at 2674 or visit House Number 380, Kuwadzana 1 or
call her on 210176.
For details and comments please contact us on email@example.com or call us on
mobile numbers 011 862 012, 0912 924 151, 011 612 860, and 04-705114. You
can also visit our website on www.chra.co.zw
Combined Harare Residents' Association
Mobile: 011 612 860 or 0912 869 294
"Stand Firm. Be of Good Courage"
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
9 July 2007
Posted to the web 9 July 2007
A WHITE commercial farmer in Chinhoyi recently ploughed under 30 hectares of
30 centimetre-high wheat soon after the Mashonaland West land committee
listed his farm for resettlement.
Doug Taylor-Freeme of R/E Romsey Farm near Chinhoyi ploughed under the wheat
after he was officially told that his farm had been listed for the purposes
of resettling Chief Nemakonde.
On June 29 Taylor-Freeme instructed his tractor driver to plough under the
wheat as "revenge to the land committee that had acquired his farm".
Acting chief lands officer for Mashonaland West, Mr Farukai Chikomba, said
his committee had listed Taylor-Freeme's farm to resettle Chief Nemakonde
and that the committee had given the farmer a grace period to wind up his
"Taylor-Freeme was angered that the farm was being acquired to resettle
Chief Nemakonde and ended up ploughing under the wheat that he had planted
in early May.
"All is now set and Chief Nemakonde is only waiting for his offer letter.
Our technical land team went to assess production at the farm and come up
with a cut-off date.
"The cut-off date is the last date by which a farmer must vacate the
premises and our technical team wanted to give him time until he harvested
"This did not go down well with him and we were only told by whistle blowers
that Taylor-Freeme was ploughing down the wheat he had planted in May," Mr
Had the land technical team not moved swiftly, said Mr Chikomba, the farmer
would have ploughed down the entire crop.
"He only stopped when our team and the police rushed to the farm claiming he
could not water the whole of his wheat fields because of continuous power
cuts. By that time he had already destroyed 30 hectares.
"He said it made economic sense for him to plough down some of the wheat as
that would leave him with a small manageable field," Mr Chikomba added.
Mr Chikomba said he had already submitted a report to the RBZ describing
what happened, since the farmer had received funding from the central bank.
"It is up to the RBZ to take the issue from there or not because they are
the ones who funded him and we also understand that he also benefited from
the RBZ tractors scheme," Mr Chikomba said.
Zimbabwe has been embroiled in a diplomatic row with the United Kingdom for
taking land from former white commercial farmers and giving it to the black
At least 4 000 whites occupied about 70 percent of Zimbabwe's arable land
before the land reform programme, while the majority occupied the remainder,
which was hilly or sandy and unfit for human settlement.
The Government managed to resettle some 72 000 families from farms acquired
under the "willing buyer-willing seller" basis much earlier.
The "willing buyer-willing seller" scheme was problematic in that very few
farmers were willing to sell part of their land holdings and in the few
cases when they obliged, they charged exorbitant prices.
In 2001, the Government amended the Land Acquisition Act to allow land
allocation without giving owners the right to contest seizures.
Britain has since internationalised its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe over
land and many countries, among them the United States of America and members
of the European Union by imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe.
By Tony Hawkins in Harare
Published: July 9 2007 02:16 | Last updated: July 9 2007 02:16
Zimbabwe has stepped up its campaign to arrest traders and businesspeople
accused of ignoring government demands to cut consumer prices.
At least 17 people including the top executives of two large stock
exchange-listed food manufacturers and distributors, Innscor and Colcom,
have been detained. The weekend arrests follow last Friday's publication of
a law making it obligatory for firms to halve their prices.
Until last weekend the authorities had used intimidation to get their way.
Last weekend's arrests underline the government's determination to cut
prices, regardless of the cost to the economy.
State media reported on Sunday that police had instructed filling stations
to cut petrol prices by two-thirds, while the industry minister, Obert
Mpofu, has ordered bus owners to cut fares by 80 per cent because of the
reduction in petrol prices. The government-owned Sunday Mail newspaper said
police will this week "close in on the barons controlling the illegal
One government economist claimed that the price policy was working, citing
the strengthening of the Zimbabwe dollar in the parallel market from
Z$380,000 against the British pound two weeks ago, to Z$200,000 on Sunday.
But bankers say the Zimbabwe dollar has strengthened because demand for
foreign currency has dried up.
"No one wants to bring in fuel or any kind of imports and sell them at a
loss," said one banker.
After rising 90-fold in the first half of 2007, share prices on the Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange peaked last Tuesday before falling by a third in the second
half of last week. Dealers attributed the market collapse to the combination
of fears that listed companies will be forced to trade at a loss or risk
being taken over by the state as threatened repeatedly by government
ministers, including President Robert Mugabe.
Supermarket shelves are emptying fast and basics - bread, milk, sugar,
cooking oil and meat - are very scarce. A manager at the Spar retail group
said the company's main Harare warehouse is virtually empty. "We have had to
send staff home because there is nothing for them to do," he added.
Publicly ministers say they believe the price rollback programme will work
and businesses will comply.
"Businesses are not at risk," said a government official. "It is just their
margins that have been much too high that will suffer."
But privately officials and ministers are said to be alarmed at recent
developments and have warned colleagues in government that price controls
"With rational people in control, one would expect the government to blink
first," said a businessman, "but now that the inmates have taken over the
asylum, I'm not taking any bets."
Retail personnel arrested for not cutting prices by half. Edgars, Spar give
Moneyweb the inside story.
Chris Buchanan and Geoff Candy
09 July 2007
Edgars in Zimbabwe, of which Edcon is a shareholder, suffered the strong arm
of the Zimbabwean security forces and several of its staff were arrested for
cutting prices by 25% and not the enforced 50%. A senior staff member at
director level was subsequently arrested when he arrived to bail out the
staff members. All were released over the weekend.
Head of investor relations at Edcon, Tessa Christelis, told Moneyweb that it
has been mayhem in the stores and that there is not much stock left.
"Customers have been restricted to one item per person and doors will soon
have to be closed."
She says new stock will be a lot more expensive when it gets to the shelves
but added that, while things are very difficult at the moment, Edgars in
Zimbabwe was planning to continue as a going concern. She emphasised that
staff and personnel in Zimbabwe are terrified.
Christelis says the Zimbabwean government intends to adopt price controls of
cost plus 25% across the board.
"We lost control over the Zimbabwe business years ago and although we
provide support," says Christelis, "it's a passive business on our accounts
and we have no involvement in the day-to-day running of the operation."
Spar (JSE:SPP) CEO Wayne Hook says the same of the relationship with its
Zimbabwean interests. "First up we have a small interest in the business so
we don't manage it. They are struggling, they have had retailers arrested
and it is a dreadful situation, so that is a major problem," he told
Hook says Spar stores are all adhering to the latest requirements and the
pricing that Spar has adopted is as stipulated on June 18 which is roughly
50% of last week's prices.
He says they are trying to trade but it is very difficult as some of the
major suppliers are in hiding. "It is not a satisfactory situation and
stocks are running low", Hook added.
He says they are not 100% up to date on what's happening on the ground and
that the situation is getting worse by the day, with people running into the
stores and taking what they can.
"It is only a matter of time, they can't pay for the stock and the retailers
are putting pressure on suppliers to lower their prices". He says it would
appear that it is a situation that cannot continue and that something has
got to blow.
Meanwhile, Old Mutual, whose listed price has recently been used as a proxy
for the real exchange rate in Zimbabwe, and has about 1,5m policy holders in
the country, is watching the situation extremely closely.
A spokesperson for the group told Moneyweb last night, "we have been in
Zimbabwe since the late 19th century and we take our responsibility
extremely seriously. In respect of that, we will continue to invest in the
Zimbabwean economy on an assessed basis".
Officials and ministers are said to be alarmed by these happenings, says the
FT.com, and have warned colleagues in government that price controls will
09 July 2007
Zimbabwe is in mayhem. It has stepped up its campaign to arrest traders and
business people who fail to cut prices.
At least 17 people have been arrested indicating government's determination
to cut prices, regardless of the cost to the economy, says the FT.com.
The arrests follow Friday's publication of a law making it compulsory for
firms to halve their prices.
Filling stations have been instructed to cut petrol prices by two-thirds,
while bus owners have been ordered to cut fares by 80% because of the
reduction in petrol prices, says the online website.
The impact on the economy is mixed depending on who you speak to.
One government economist argued that the price policy was working, "citing
the strengthening of the Zimbabwe dollar in the parallel market from Z$380
000 against the British pound two weeks ago, to Z$200 000 on Sunday", said
the FT.com. But bankers say the Zim dollar strengthened because demand for
foreign currency dried up.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has responded negatively, after rising 90-fold
in the first half of 2007 it fell a third in the second half of last week.
The fall was attributed to fears that listed companies will be forced to
trade at a loss or that they would be taken over by the state, reports the
Supermarket shelves are almost empty and basics like bread, milk, sugar,
cooking oil and meat are scarce.
Officials and ministers are said to be alarmed by these happenings, says the
FT.com, and have warned colleagues in government that price controls will
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
Date: 09 Jul 2007
HARARE, 9 July 2007 (IRIN) - A diarrhoea outbreak has claimed the lives of
29 children and five adults in the last two weeks in Zimbabwe, which has
been experiencing water shortages as a result of frequent disruptions of
supplies, according to a UN official.
"The problem [diarrhoea outbreak] is related to the water pumping capacity
in the affected areas, and we are aware that it is something that can happen
again and again," said James Elder, spokesman for the United Nations
Children's Agency (UNICEF) in Zimbabwe. Most of the deaths have occurred in
Kadoma, a mining town in Mashonaland West Province in the north.
"We are taking the situation seriously and we are on the ground, together
with WHO [World Health Organisation] and the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare. We have managed to contain the outbreak, but we will continue
monitoring the situation so that lives are not lost again," he added.
Water and power cuts are frequent in Zimbabwe, which is grappling with an
economy hit by an annual inflation rate of around 4,000 percent, shortages
of foreign currency and a steep increase in the cost of essential services
such as health, water and electricity.
A severe shortage of foreign currency means service providers cannot
maintain or replace ageing water purification and distribution equipment, or
import power from neighbouring countries to keep waterworks functioning.
Urban residents are being forced to use water from streams into which raw
sewage and industrial effluent are being discharged. A lack of potable water
is among the root causes of the outbreak.
According to the WHO, cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by
ingesting food or water contaminated with the vibrio cholerae bacterium. It
has a short incubation period, from less than a day to five days, and causes
a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe
dehydration and death without prompt treatment.
Last week the official daily newspaper, The Herald, quoted Wenselaus
Nyamayaro, a provincial medical director, as saying that 20 people had died
in the mining town of Kadoma, which has a population of about 80,000 people.
"The town has been hit by an outbreak of diarrhoea over the past two weeks,
but we worked hard to isolate ... [the bacteria] and we can now safely say
the situation is under control," he said.
Richard Mbaleni, who lives in the populous, poor suburb of Rimuka in Kadoma,
said deaths resulting from suspected diarrhoea and cholera were "something
we live with every week".
"For years, we have seen many people die because of the unhygienic
conditions under which we live. There are several sections of the suburb
that have gone without water for more than eight months, and residents are
forced to use the bucket system when relieving themselves, thereby getting
exposed to communicable diseases," he said.
"To make matters worse, the sewer system is always breaking down and
children often come into contact with flowing waste. It therefore comes as
no surprise to have so many deaths."
UNICEF is installing water tanks in Kadoma's high-density suburbs and
providing disinfectants in its fight to suppress further outbreaks.
Following reports of the deaths, residents elsewhere fear that they could
also face an outbreak.
"These deaths should send a clear warning to the government and other
stakeholders, because the conditions that have led to the diarrhoea
outbreaks in those areas are also present in our own communities," said
Cecilia Mauto of Waterfalls, a residential area southwest of the capital,
Harare, which often goes without water for long periods.
"There is need to make sure that water supplies improve, even if it means
having to dispatch water bowsers to areas that suffer ... water shortages,"
she added. "Public toilets are pathetic, as they usually are overflowing and
there is no running water ... if this is not attended to we are bound for a
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or
By Violet Gonda
9 July 2007
There are reports that the Mbeki mediated talks between ZANU PF and MDC did
not take place this weekend after the ruling party delegation failed to turn
up for the planned meeting in Pretoria. Sources say the MDC delegation of
Tendai Biti and Professor Welshman Ncube, ended up returning to Zimbabwe on
Monday after waiting around for two days. It is not clear why the ZANU PF
Ministers - Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche - failed to show up as a
tight lid is still being kept on the progress of the talks, but observers
say there is no political will on the part of ZANU PF.
Eddie Cross, an official from the Tsvangirai MDC, confirmed to us that the
meeting didn't take place: He said: "The MDC team has returned to Zimbabwe
and no discussion took place in South. The ZANU PF team didn't arrive, so
this creates a very difficult situation for Thabo Mbeki because South Africa
is sponsoring these talks."
There are no details as to why the ruling party didn't not show up but it is
believed that ZANU PF would use the total economic chaos in Zimbabwe as an
In March SADC leaders mandated South African President Thabo Mbeki to bring
the political parties to the negotiating table to establish conditions for
free and fair elections for next year. But some analysts say the "no-show"
by ZANU PF proves the regime is playing games and lacks the incentive to
enter negotiations. At the same time the government is preparing for
elections using the same tactics as in previous years where widespread
rigging and intimidation was reported. Evidentially ZANU PF does not see
anything to be gained by talks, neither are they too concerned about
snubbing President Mbeki.
Although both sides finally agreed on an agenda for the talks last month,
time is running out, as the parties have yet to start the actual talks. The
demands of the opposition are well publicised but the latest utterances by
Robert Mugabe this past weekend, demonstrate the lack of seriousness the
regime is taking in the process. One of the demands of the opposition is for
a new constitution to pave the way for a free and fair election but Mugabe
said this weekend that there was absolutely no need for a new one.
The state broadcaster said: "President Robert Mugabe says the current
constitution serves the nation well and there is no reason to change it."
In a related issue, regional leaders are believed to be working on a
financial rescue package to bail out the bankrupt regime.
The Cape Times newspaper quoted SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao, who
has been mandated to find an economic solution to the Zimbabwe crisis. He is
reportedly considering including Zimbabwe in the Common Monetary Area (CMA).
This is a solution where the Zimbabwean currency can be pegged to the
stronger Rand. This is believed to be the "sweetener or incentive" being
used to try to bring Mugabe to the talks as the "proposal would apparently
be conditional on Mugabe accepting the sort of fundamental political reforms
which are to be negotiated in the ZANU PF and MDC dialogue in Pretoria."
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Mugabe's government is making the same mistakes that have been made by
governments since 200 BCE, and ignoring solutions that are just as old.
09 July 2007
In Proverbs 26: 11 King Solomon makes the timeless observation that "Like a
dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly." He might
have said that a fool who repeats the folly of others is like a dog
returning to another dog's vomit. This seems to be what is happening in
Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe's administration.
The Zimbabwean economy is currently experiencing hyperinflation.
Hyperinflation is not a modern invention. The Roman Empire was plagued by it
in 200 BCE; the French battled it after the Revolution in the 1790s. It
bedeviled the Confederate states during the American Civil War in the 1860s
and 70s, almost destroyed Germany in the 1920s, and spread like a virus in
Latin America infecting Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and Peru during
the 1980s and 90s.
Essentially, hyperinflation is rapid, out-of-control inflation at
double-digit rates per month and more. Savings effectively disappear as they
devalue overnight. People transport currency in suitcases to buy bread. It's
hard to imagine life under hyperinflation. A Brazilian acquaintance told of
shop assistants roller-skating up and down the aisles of the supermarket
changing prices hourly. A former Yugoslavian told of spending his entire
salary within minutes of receiving it in an attempt to capture some value
during the early 1990s when Yugoslavia battled hyperinflation. In recent
years, Zimbabweans have been struggling with similar conditions. Zimbabwe's
inflation rate is officially running at 5 000%, which would be bad enough,
but private estimates put the rate at 10 000%.
Mugabe's government has reacted to the sapping effects of hyperinflation in
the same way that many others have reacted: it has sought to implement price
controls, fixing the prices of goods at so-called reasonable levels. This
seems to make sense. Prices are rising very fast, so decreeing that they
stop should solve the problem. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way.
Prices, in a market economy, reflect the value that people assign to a good.
Consider the oil market. When demand for a limited supply of oil rises, the
price rises. This encourages oil companies to invest more to produce more
oil. It enables more expensive oil resources, like Canada's tar sands, to be
By fixing the price of goods, the Mugabe's government will effectively short
out this relationship between supply and demand. The effects of this are
depressingly familiar. Shops rapidly sell out of goods, and have no
incentive to restock. People who produce goods no longer have any incentive
to continue producing. Massive shortages result. This has happened again and
again. In Zimbabwe, shops are emptying rapidly, and will not be easily
restocked as long as price controls remain in place.
Price controls have been tried many times, and have always failed. Consider
the Roman emperor Diocletian. When he ascended to the throne in around 200
BCE, the empire was a mess. Civil war, politically motivated land
confiscation and looting had sapped the economy. Inflation was rampant.
Virtually all the tax money collected went straight to the army, leaving
nothing for government to spend on other projects. The government reacted by
"printing money", which pushed inflation ever higher. Diocletian tried to
solve the problems by fixing prices, issuing the "Maximum Price Edict" which
was supposed to end inflation. Instead, goods were driven to the black
market, and large parts of the Roman empire reverted to a barter economy.
No period of hyperinflation has ever been ended by price controls.
Monetary economists prescribe one solution to hyperinflation: stop printing
money, and link your currency to hard assets. In Bolivia, for example,
hyperinflation was ended when the government raised the price of petrol,
which it had been selling at a loss to quiet popular discontent. The
hyperinflation ended very quickly as Bolivia started bringing in foreign
currency by selling its oil abroad. Under Diocletian, hyperinflation ended
when the emperor abandoned price controls, restructured the tax system and
implemented reforms aimed at stabilising the Roman economy. The only
solution to hyperinflation appears to be stable government, a predictable
legal structure, a credible central bank, a sensible money supply policy and
a set of functional markets. Until these appear in Zimbabwe, price controls
will only serve to worsen shortages.
By Peter Clottey
08 July 2007
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says there is no need for a new
constitution ahead of next year's presidential election. This follows
demands by opposition parties for a new constitution. They contend that the
existing constitution has been manipulated by Mugabe's government to win
previous elections. Opposition parties say government's refusal to change
the constitution will permit the ruling ZANU-PF party to perpetuate its
numerical strength in parliament as well as allow President Mugabe to choose
a successor. The opposition says this would derail the SADC (Southern
African Development Community) organized peace talks, which seek to ease
political tensions in the country.
In Harare, spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party tells VOA English to Africa reporter Peter
Clottey that partisans across the political divide are endorsing the demand
for a new constitution.
"The country needs a new constitution, in fact there is a national chorus
and national demand for a new constitution. People are for a new
constitution including those in the ZANU-PF. But Mugabe understandably,
would not want a new constitution because the current constitution serves
his purpose, that is, to perpetuate dictatorship, and to perpetuate
tyranny," he said.
Chamisa says as long as the government fails to give the people a new
constitution, the problems the country is facing will not be resolved.
"We are not going to realize the resolution of the crisis until we have a
new constitution because the new constitution is basically is going to be
the covenant between the governing people and the governed people. As far as
we are concerned, we have a feeling that to the extent that we don't have a
new constitution in place, we will continue the breakdown of the rule of
law, impunity which is being catalyzed and fertilized by the regime itself,"
Chamisa pointed out.
He said the existing constitution is not representative of the aspirations
of the people.
"The current constitution does not make it possible for the will of the
people to prevail. It doesn't make it possible for the legitimate concerns
and voices of Zimbabweans to be heard and to be articulated. And for that
reason, we are then going to have a predetermined outcome from this kind of
constitutional dispensation," he said.
Chamisa said the people want a constitution that would give them hope.
"What Zimbabweans want is a law for themselves, by themselves and written to
make sure that we face our hopes and aspirations. The current constitution
does not in anyway speak to the values that Zimbabweans have. It does not in
anyway articulate the kinds of vision Zimbabweans would want to realize and
that is quite tragic," he noted.
The MDC spokesman says the people called for a referendum for the purpose of
having a new constitution, which Chamisa contends the government has so far
failed to give to the people.
"This is why there was a referendum in 2000. The referendum was
particularly, after the pressure has been given on the government and on
this regime to make sure that we put in place our own indigenous
constitution as Zimbabweans, so that we would have our own legitimate and
sovereign document. We don't have that at the moment," he said.
Chamisa said he is baffled that President Mugabe is not listening to the
demands of the people.
"It's shocking to hear Robert Mugabe saying that there is no need for a new
constitution. But clearly, we understand that what Mugabe would want is a
constitution which allows him to continue to abuse power and authority, and
this is why we have this crisis in this country. The crisis in this country
is a crisis of governance, is a crisis of the law of the land which is not
born out of the peoples struggle," Chamisa said.
He called the existing constitution a temporary document.
"In fact what we just had in 1980 was a power transfer document, which was a
temporary document, which did not speak to the values, the tenets
Zimbabweans would want to see. and that is what we are fighting for in the
MDC," he said.
Monsters and Critics
Jul 9, 2007, 13:23 GMT
Johannesburg/Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Monday predicted chaos as a result of the government's clampdown on the
business community, which has seen the prices of many goods more than halved
and over 1,300 business people arrested.
Tsvaingirai, whose party is engaged in secret talks in South Africa with
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party to end the economic and political
crisis at home, said the blitz on shops and businesses was an election
gimmick that would cause serious problems for ordinary Zimbabweans.
'We are now approaching another election and Mugabe is on us again,'
Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader said in reference to presidential
and parliamentary elections due next March.
'Mugabe and ZANU-PF have gone full scale for the business community,
pursuing a populist policy against the national interest,' the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader said in a statement, adding, 'Mugabe and
ZANU-PF must never be allowed to get away with his dangerous experiments
that impoverish us further.'
The opposition leader's comments came as police announced Monday that 1,328
shop owners and business executives had been arrested countrywide since the
launch of Operation Reduce Prices last week.
The clampdown, which has Mugabe's blessing, has seen teams of police and
state-appointed price inspectors raiding shops and ordering them to slash
prices to those quoted on or before June 18.
Police have ordered shop owners to sell goods at half price in many cases,
leaving them with huge losses and unable to replace their stock. Goods like
bread, cement and fuel have now all but disappeared from the formal market
and reappeared on the black market.
Tsvangirai warned Monday that the low prices would be a 'short honeymoon'
causing greater hardship in the long-run.
Already supermarket shelves throughout the country are fast emptying of
basics. Economists predict it will be difficult for urban dwellers to find
food and fuel by mid week.
'The poor cannot afford the goods sold on the black market,' Tsvangirai
He urged Zimbabweans to unite and oppose Mugabe's government.
'We must mobilize ourselves and defend our businesses, our property and our
rights,' said Tsvangirai.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst economic crisis ever, with inflation
officially pegged at more than 4,500 per cent but believed to be much
The Zimbabwean dollar is fast becoming worthless. Unconfirmed reports at the
weekend suggest there are plans by regional economic bloc SADC to
incorporate Zimbabwe into a common monetary group including South Africa,
Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, all trading with the South African rand.
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
By: Staff writer
Johannesburg - While it is in South Africa's best interest to stop the
Zimbabwean economy's freefall into chaos, it is equally important that any
proposed rescue plan is linked to political reforms in the country, the
Democratic Alliance says.
"All too often, Robert Mugabe went back on his word and proved time and time
again that he cannot be trusted," the official opposition party charged.
Before SA or any other SADC countries financially assists Zimbabwe, they
must prove that political reforms have taken place.
"These would include a complete halt to the systematic oppression of the
opposition, the lifting of restrictions imposed on the media, and a
commitment to hold fresh elections that are monitored by regional and
The party also said that the SADC and the broader international community
help to shoulder the burden of any financial commitment made to Zimbabwe.
"Ultimately, any financial assistance package as well as plans to extend the
rand monetary area into Zimbabwe must not be used to prop up the
increasingly tyrannical rule of Robert Mugabe. It can and should only be
used to restore democracy and the rule of law in our northern neighbour,"
the DA said.
If the government does decide to provide financial assistance, it must bring
South Africans into its confidence as they have every right to know how
their money is being used.
Monday, 9 July 2007, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
There has been a wave of panic buying in many shops in Zimbabwe as the
government enforces radical price cutting measures to try to tackle the
world's highest rate of inflation - more than 3,700%.
One resident of Harare describes how the inflation is making life
difficult for everyone, even those who are relatively well off.
"At the pharmacy, I wait again in the gloom to have a repeat
It is for Phenobarbital tablets for my partner's mentally handicapped
son, who suffers from epilepsy.
The tablets have gone up by 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($0.93 at the
official exchange rate; $0.10 at the dominant black market rate) in a single
Hundreds of people are clamouring around the supermarkets, so I assume
there has been one of the rare deliveries of basics like sugar or salt.
There is nothing I can afford.
A single banana costs 15 times more than I paid for my four-bedroom
house seven years ago.
One candle now sells at 120,000 Zimbabwe dollars (US $3.70; $0.42).
That is twice as much as the government's stipulated farm worker's
"This isn't living, it's barely surviving," I tell myself, but I know
that so many Zimbabweans are not even surviving.
They are dying of hunger, malnutrition or preventable diseases. "
July 09, 2007, 16:45
Media reports say four South African owned businesses have been charged for
defying the Zimbabwean government's order to slash their prices in half.
Robert Mugabe's government last week ordered business owners to reduce their
prices to levels used on June 18, or face arrest. A special police unit,
accompanied by government officials, has launched a blitz on businesses to
The companies have been named as Innscor Africa Ltd, which owns Nando's,
Chicken Licken, Spar, Edgars and Colcom. State radio reports that 33 top
company executives have been arrested since Friday. They are expected to
appear in court on charges of violating government's order to cut prices and
hoard goods. Police say 1 328 businesses charged with failing to heed
government orders have already been fined more than R40 000 each.
According to weekend reports, the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) is putting together a plan to rescue Zimbabwe's economy by pegging
the Zimbabwean dollar to the South African rand. The reports also say South
African-mediated talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF and the opposition
MDC will be held at a secret venue in Pretoria this week. Chris Maroleng, an
Institute of Security Studies analyst, says the two parties would have to
agree on significant reforms for Zimbabwe.
Impala Platinum will import basic foodstuffs into Zimbabwe to ensure the
continuation of its operation there.
09 July 2007
Impala Platinum will look to import basic foodstuffs into Zimbabwe to ensure
the continuation of its operation there.
Speaking to the Moneyweb Power Hour today CEO David Brown said the group
has, until now been able to operate almost completely within the US dollar
economy that exists within the country, but as the situation worsens, the
interface with the local economy becomes more marked.
"One of the issues that is beginning to rear its head in terms of the
interface with the local economy is around electricity supply, what is
happening now will begin to have a marked impact on the security of supply."
Brown adds that the group has been taking the necessity of direct
importation of foodstuffs and other household basics for its employees into
account in its scenario planning models.
Asked how Implats has managed to remain so unaffected by the economic
meltdown that continues to worsen, Brown told Moneyweb, that the group laid
down strict requirements in terms of the security of its investment climate,
before it reinvested in 2001.
"We have the ability to import food stuffs and fuel directly, which means we
are less affected than others," he says.
Asked if he is concerned that the mining contract will be rescinded on a
whim, Brown says, "The mining agreement is still in place, but there will be
greater pressure as the country does unfortunately slip down the road to
Adding, "We will continue to ensure that we are in a position to take
appropriate action to safe guard our employees "
By Mutumwa D. Mawere
Last updated: 07/09/2007 08:49:07
THE events of last week in Zimbabwe expose how notions of the rule of law,
of a Constitutional government, of a free press, and of a development state
that are all elements which are valued and cherished by all progressive
Africans can be rendered irrelevant in the pursuit and sustenance of
absolute political power.
Zimbabwe's judiciary, legal system, bureaucracy and police are all great
institutions derived from the colonial state that should have been of
service to Zimbabwe but unfortunately they now seem to be privatised and
After 27 years of independence, one would have expected that the idea of
Zimbabwe as enshrined in the Constitution, with its emphasis on the
principles of democracy, the rule of law, above all, the equality of all
citizens irrespective of social standing, ethnicity and race would by now
have had deep roots in the nation's culture and contemporary civilisation.
It appears that the ideas associated with the age of enlightenment that has
visited many former colonial countries (newly industrialised countries) have
failed to influence Zimbabwe's political establishment to see the futility
of pursuing misguided policies and programs.
The Zimbabwean constitution should have remained a testimony to the enduring
interplay between what is essentially Zimbabwean but is very British in its
intellectual heritage. The realisation of Zimbabwe (by no other leader than
Mugabe) as an inclusive and plural society at independence should have drawn
from the best of both traditions.
It is evident starting from the Matabeleland massacres, the Willowgate
scandal, the Executive Presidency, agriculture, and now mining and industry
that the experiment of building a democracy within the framework of a mixed
economy, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-party society has failed in
Zimbabwe. Instead of encouraging Zimbabweans to walk the path of democracy
and move to a new dispensation free of poverty, ignorance, intolerance,
disease and the threat of state tyranny, Zimbabwe's founding fathers seem
determined to undermine the interests that inform any progressive nation.
The journey that Zimbabwe was supposed to travel under the stewardship of
its founding fathers was expected to be an exciting journey full of
challenges and opportunities. The restoration of sovereignty to the people
of Zimbabwe at independence was surely meant to ensure that citizens would
never again be victims of their own creation i.e. the post colonial
I am sure that many Zimbabweans had no contemplation that exercising their
democratic choices would be classified as treasonable acts and anyone
advocating regime change would be viewed as less patriotic than incumbents.
At a time when Zimbabwe was expected to teach the world about the new
African civilisation based on tolerance, the country has now become an
example of how countries should not be governed. In fact, Zimbabwe and the
UK were expected to learn from each other and teach the world how former
adversaries can mutually cooperate in an increasingly inter-dependent and
globalised world that we live in. However, the big picture that is emerging
in Zimbabwe is extremely negative and corrosive.
The business climate is negative. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and
other events of the late 1980s and early 1990s may have proved to countries
like India and Vietnam once and for all that capitalism was a better system
than socialism/communism, but it appears that these events did nothing to
settle the debate about which model is best suited to Zimbabwe.
At the time of India's independence, the UK government was socialist and
there was widespread belief like in Zimbabwe that the state could bring
greater prosperity to the working people and the wider population if it
controlled the means of production. We now know that after many attempts
around the globe, that governments are not actually good at running anything
or protecting the interests of the vulnerable and poor. In the UK, it took
about 30 years (or 3 years less than Mugabe's rule) before the winter of
discontent and a realisation that there was a better way of running a
In the case of India, the economy only started to grow positively in the
early 1990s as it became evident that the communist experiment was a
It seems that the government of Zimbabwe is determined to arrest the
entrepreneurial spirit of Zimbabweans and throw the country into darkness by
uprooting the remaining diminishing points of light.
Instead of supporting the private sector, the government of Zimbabwe has now
targeted this sector for political expediency and ensuring that the results
of the 2008 elections are predetermined. Although the government is busy
trying to convince itself that the enemy is from without, it is clear that
the current economic meltdown is largely self created.
Bad policies can never be expected to produce positive outcomes. It is easy
to blame Blair and Bush but the experience in India and China has shown that
progressive nations can leverage their social strengths into economic gains
and the dream of a better life for our grandchildren and children can be
realised within a lifetime.
Having been the first business victim of the misguided policies of
nationalisation based on trumped up allegations of externalisation, I often
wondered whether the Zimbabwean business sector was smart enough to know
that the day of reckoning was around the corner. It is clear that the
government needs someone to blame and any point of light (performing assets)
is naturally a target.
While the land reform was justified on the basis of sovereignty and righting
a colonial wrong, the nationalisation of economic assets is being justified
on the presumed regime change conspiracy. What is being argued by the
government of Zimbabwe is that anyone who increases prices is aiding and
abetting the imperialist inspired regime change agenda. Based on this logic,
it is clear that if Zimbabweans voted for another party in 2008, it is
unlikely that Zanu PF will consider that to be their genuine expression.
Zimbabwe needs its government activities at all levels to become known for
efficiency, integrity, meritocracy and transparency. This requires new and
strong leadership to achieve. For the past 27 years, Zimbabwe has failed to
produce such leadership and the scale of the challenge is such that no one
in Zanu PF is up to the task. It is now apparent that even Gideon Gono is
now running scared and disowning the misguided policies and programs
(remember Project Sunrise and the Zero Sum Game).
It is clear that Zanu PF will not accept that at the core of the Zimbabwean
problem is policy bankruptcy and lack of leadership. However, from a
national perspective it is important that Zimbabweans bite the bullet and
have the courage to say: "enough is enough".
Even if the so-called sanctions were to be lifted, command policies have
been discredited and any interventionist strategy is unlikely to deliver the
change that Zimbabwe urgently needs.
President Mugabe has the full backing of his party to do the wrong things
confirming the deep seated nature of the crisis and injury. Zanu PF believes
that the bureaucrats and securocrats are the best custodians of sovereignty
without any empirical evidence that such is the case.
To use an old economic example: although there may be a superficial benefit
in using one team of bureaucrats to harass businesspeople, it is clearly
better if the money being paid to such "policemen" is used to pay people who
can make a greater contribution to development.
If the government keeps too many people on its payroll (price inspectors
with the active support of war veterans), then the taxes it has to raise to
pay them will not be available to the already overstretched consumers and
companies to use on their own more productive purchases.
The Zimbabwean economy, like a deck of cards, is crumbling fast and yet the
cause of the problem appears to be a contested issue requiring a critical
analysis of the record of the post-independence in a holistic manner.
Conspiracy theories are normally good raw materials for failed states and
can conveniently give life support to terminally sick patients.
Mutumwa Mawere's weekly column appears on New Zimbabwe.com every Monday. You
can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 8th July 2007
'Only Connect' said EM Forster the writer. He was talking about
relationships and the need to reach out and make connections with different
people, different races and cultures. By extension, I take that to encompass
events in different countries and continents; it's all about making
connections. Mugabe's regime would rather we didn't make those connections;
he keeps the journalists out so that the world will not hear what's
happening inside Zimbabwe but in these days of instant communications he
cannot silence the flow of information. And once people know what's going
on, they begin to compare and they make connections.
On July 4th, American Independence Day, Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist
was released from his 16 weeks of captivity in Gaza. Johnston had chosen to
live and work in one of the most dangerous places in the world, Gaza City.
He had been held in solitary confinement by a group calling itself the Army
of Islam. No one quite knew why he had been taken or whether he would come
out alive but after 16 long weeks he was released. There had been
demonstrations all over the world calling for his freedom, not least by the
people of Gaza itself where Johnston was held in high esteem.
The absolute dignity and compassion of Alan Johnston's first words struck a
very particular chord for people all over the world who are held in
captivity for unnamed crimes, victims of power-hungry dictators and unjust
systems of government.
' You have to have been a prisoner to know how good freedom is, he said.'
And later he remarked that it was ' as extraordinary a fourth of July as I
Far away in Zimbabwe, officials at the American Embassy were also
celebrating the Fourth of July. As is customary, members of the diplomatic
community gathered to celebrate America's National Day. This year though,
there was a difference; the host country Zimbabwe was not invited.
Ambassador Dell, you see, had dared to speak out very bluntly about the
causes for the economic crisis engulfing Zimbabwe and had even predicted
total economic collapse by the end of the year. As a consequence, President
Mugabe with his usual cheap, populist rhetoric had nicknamed the Ambassador,
'Go to hell Dell'. The Ambassador had become Public Enemy No.1 and to show
the regime's displeasure with him he had not been invited to Zimbabwe's
Independence Celebrations back in April.
Undeterred by the lack of an invitation to the American Embassy, an official
from Zimbabwe's Foreign Ministry gate-crashed the Fourth of July
celebrations saying that he simply wanted an opportunity to respond to
Dell's criticisms. The official commented 'It is always fair to have
balance.' Coming from a government that has banned every source of balanced
news reporting and comment in the country his comment must have raised some
wry smiles among the hundred or so guests. The official went on to argue
that if Dell was able to predict so specifically the time frame for
Zimbabwe's collapse, then ' this leaves the impression that the meltdown is
being engineered from outside Zimbabwe'. As I have said before, logic is not
Zanu PF's strong suit! But the Ambassador had the last word; explaining why
he let the Foreign Ministry official take the microphone at a US function in
US embassy grounds Dell said it was because democracies believed in the
historic adage, ' I may disagree with everything you say but I will defend
to the death your right to say it.'
Hardly an adage Mugabe would have much connection with!
It took the UK Financial Times to make a connection even further back in
history this week. The FT comments on economies around the world- those that
are doing well and those that are spectacularly failing. Describing the
absolute chaos that has engulfed the Zimbabwean economy this week following
the government's decision to order the prices of staple food items to be
halved in the shops, the FT takes us back to ancient Rome for the
The year is AD 301 and a certain Emperor Diocletian renowned, says the FT,
for his persecution of the Christan minority is in power. Rome is suffering
hyperinflation so the Emperor orders all prices to be slashed by half. He
sets minimum prices for all basic goods but in the meantime he keeps on
minting coins and the population is reduced to bartering and scavenging as
The connection with ancient Rome is so close that it's uncanny. Zimbabweans
will remember how Mugabe boasted that no one could have run the economy
better than he had. Even now he is not admitting that any of the economic
chaos is of his making. It's all being engineered by foreigners Mugabe
claims; the Brits, the Americans or anyone else who dares to tell him he's
making a terrible mess of things and his people are worse off than they've
ever been. Mugabe doesn't want to acknowledge cause and effect; he doesn't
want to see the connections.
It would be good to tell you that the Roman Emperor came to a nasty end
after all the suffering he inflicted on his people. Sad to say, the FT
reports that Diocletian survived the economic chaos he had created for
another twenty one years and retired in his old age to grow cabbages in some
distant outpost of the Roman Empire.
President Mugabe hasn't got an empire but he has his 'Look East' friends.
Maybe there's a connection with his ancient Roman exemplar after all.
Picture it, Mugabe in a toga, sweating and slaving over his makabichi on
some distant Malaysian or Chinese field while Amai Mugabe struggles to cook
sadza on a smoky fire for her 104 year old husband!
Punishment enough would you say?
Ndini shamwari yenyu. PH.
9th Jul 2007 16:22 GMT
By Chenjerai Chitsaru
IN THE West, most parliamentary democracies have two major political
parties: one representing the rich, or conservative sector, another
standing for the rights of the poor, underprivileged or people's rights or
the workers - or a variation of all three.
In the developing countries, including that part of Europe recently freed
from the communist jackboot, the parties may be anchored on ethnicity,
regional bias or even religion.
In Africa, particularly, there is no discernible domination of parties
standing for the rights of the underprivileged.
In both South Africa and Nigeria, arguably the largest democracies on the
continent, neither the ANC nor the party led by former president Olusegun
Obasanjo can lay claim to have as their preoccupation the interests of the
Neither can both claim to represent the interests of Big Business, although
they have both been accused by their critics of "sleeping with the enemy",
For the ANC, this must be a bitter pill to swallow. Backed during the
struggle by "the mother of all communist nations" the Soviet Union, their
fiercest critics now turn out to be their partners in government, the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Recently, that partnership was put to its severest test when Cosatu called
out public servants in a strike that threatened to cripple the public
Whatever the outcome of that confrontation, it did not, the end, disrupt an
economy that remains the strongest on the continent.
Newspaper reports of South Africa bailing out the tattered Zimbabwean
economy by allowing the orphaned Zimdollar to be adopted as a foster child
by the Rand are not to be sneezed at.
That act of benevolence would settle better with many people in Zimbabwe
than the present scenario of an economy propped up by the printing of more
useless money and a central bank whose governor is whistling in the wind
every time he gives the government his expert advice.
The imprisonment and persecution of leaders of Big Business is an element
which might, in the end, bring into existence an alliance involving the
ordinary people, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and Big
Business - an unholy alliance, some might say.
Yet a brief examination of the relationship between Zanu PF and all three
would suggest it is also inevitable. Zanu PF has promoted itself, since the
end of the struggle as the party for the people, the champion of the rights
of the poor, the underprivileged and the marginalized.
Right now, most analysts would say the party has reneged on that promise,
starting with the land reform programme and ending with the recent blitz on
With all these high-handed, ill-conceived and basically Stalinist measures
it has brought misery to ordinary people. They have suffered severe food
shortages and a steep rise in the prices of food when it is available.
A host of other crippling increases in the cost of everything - from school
fees to postage stamps - has multiplied their misery tenfold. A number of
them have responded, rather emotionally, by publicly heaping verbal abuse on
none other than the President Robert Mugabe himself.
No longer, it would seem, are they prepared to be used as canon fodder by
Zanu PF - which they have been for the last 27 years. Zanu PF has pretended
to be championing their cause for all this time.
Yet the stark reality is that their life expectancy has dropped to 34 years,
their lives have been blighted by avoidable diseases, caused by a lack of
such basic commodities as drugs, water and electricity.
The current campaign against captains of industry might spawn a strange
alliance: of Big Business, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and its major constituency, the poor, the workers and the
marginalized. Big Business has never had an identifiable representation in
The reason for this could be that they always felt Zanu PF took care of
their interests. Yet there has been much evidence that Zanu PF, from the
beginning, promoted a Marxist-Leninist economic dispensation, which
eminently excluded all traces if conventional capitalism.
They know now that the last people to qualify as their allies belong to Zanu
PF. Incidentally, this is exactly how the poor and the workers must feel
about the ruling party. Zanu PF has persecuted both of them, as they have
persecuted the opposition MDC.
Moreover, they have been painted with the same brush - that of allies of
the Western conspiracy of a regime change.
In addition, they all three been victims of the bashing ordered so publicly
What more could unite them than a similarity of enemies - Zanu PF - and a
similarity of persecution, the public bashing by the same Zanu PF?
The strongest incentive for all three to unite is the likelihood of
conspiring, unwittingly, with Zanu PF, in the destruction of a country
loaded with the potential of greatness.
The path to political and economic perdition has been charted by Zanu PF, in
its wild campaign to lure votes for the 2008 harmonised elections.
The party is throwing everything into this campaign, including the kitchen
sink - the economy. Some would call it "going for broke", which is richly
ironic, for a country virtually broke.
In recent weeks, Zanu PF watchers have discerned a distinct lack of
enthusiasm among listeners to Mugabe's customary vitriol against his
perceived enemies, foreign or domestic.
In fact, if the television footage of the audiences has been accurate, there
would appear to be a definite lack of animation to Mugabe's abuse of his
enemies. In one shot, we were shown fairly senior Zanu PF figures looking
decidedly cross with whatever Mugabe had said.
Normally, there would be footage of them applauding almost hysterically, at
every foul language he used against his foes.
It is highly likely that, perhaps at the highest level, the Zanu PF
hierarchy is beginning to realize the inevitable horror of what lies at the
end of their tendency to let Mugabe have his way.
In warning, at one meeting, that "we will let Mugabe do want he wants to do",
one senior leader seemed to be suggesting that they had the capacity to
alter Mugabe's direction, if they thought he was going too far.
It is possible that such leaders have carefully, patiently gauged the
reaction of ordinary members of the party and have concluded that the chips
are down, that the misery the party has visited upon every member has become
unpardonable, and that someone has to pull the rug from under Mugabe's feet,
if the party is to survive a mauling from the opposition, even divided as it
is, come 2008..
An alliance of Big Business and the MDC would seen to suggest chalk and
cheese. Yet, throughout the political history of the world, there have such
extraordinary unions, when the end-result seemed to justify such awkward
Zimbabwe is in a truly extraordinary political and economic quagmire: a
political party now so self-absorbed in survival it is prepared to kill its
own citizens, if this will advance its agenda, an economy requiring major
surgery - perhaps from outside its borders - to have even the remotest
chance of survival.
And, finally, a political leader so wrapped up in his own rhetoric of
invincibility he needs a big dose of reality to remind him he is mortal,
and definitely not invincible in a continent where some of the most arrogant
dictators were sent fleeing into exile, their thick, well-fed tails between
their equally fat legs.
Mail and Guardian
Mail & Guardian reporter
08 July 2007 11:59
In most supermarkets in the sprawling township of Zimbabwe's
capital, Harare, empty shelves and butcheries with no meat in the cold rooms
tell of a desperate reality.
Even chickens are hard to come by. The government's crack price
monitoring teams will soon have no jobs, because "there will be nothing to
monitor as all commodities have disappeared from shelves", says Mercy Tiripo
(32) of Mabvuku township, about 20km east of Harare.
Tiripo believes the worst is still to come. "They targeted
houses because they feared the people will rise against the government after
the parliamentary elections in 2005; now they are targeting shops and there
will be no more shops by year end," she says.
"We will be left with nothing because shops are not restocking
any time soon," says Tiripo.
In the same township, Teresa Mtikani (not her real name) a
45-year-old shop owner, says she will have to lay off some of her employees.
"There is nothing to sell any more, why should I keep them in the shops,"
"Unemployment will rise to 110% and there won't be any shops. I
can't even resort to sewing - there isn't any electricity," Mtikani says.
"You can't plan anything anymore."
"Price controls were okay, but if they are now going to create
shortages, we are wondering if the government was right in the first place,"
says Absalom Phiri (35).
"If it's going to be the government creating shortages, we will
have serious problems with it, because they failed to manage this situation
properly," Phiri says.
"Many people are now walking to work. They can't walk on empty
stomachs, and they will obviously turn their anger against the government,"
Economists predict companies will be shut down within months,
with many employees being thrown onto the streets. "It's dangerous. If
producers are not supplying shops with products, who is going to be paying
the wages? Companies will be laying off workers and that builds up the
public anger," says Daniel Ndlela, an economist, says: "It's going to
Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe's former spin doctor, says developments in
Zimbabwe are not without precedent. "In eastern Europe, governments that
tried to nationalise, seizing companies, all these economies have one thing
in common: they are now history, and you can only find them in the dustbin
Moyo says "it's normally [the] behaviour of a government on its
way out, [one] that has no confidence in itself. It's trying to please
voters, it's nothing to do with consumers. They are trying to give the
impression they have nothing to do with the economic meltdown, [and the]
shortages of goods and services. It's been trying to blame the business
community for job losses."
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum this week in Harare released a report on
our participation at the 41st Session of the African Commission on Human and
Peoples' Rights, Accra Ghana 16-30 May 2007 including the 41st NGO Forum
Session held12-14 May. Please find attached.
Our member organisation, The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
released its Weekly Media Update 2007 - 25 attached here. The update points
to the scant attention given by the media in Zimbabwe to the on-going voter
Our member organisation, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) staged a peaceful
demonstration demanding electricity in the eastern city of Mutare this week.
Read more about their actions to demand 'power to the people' on their web
The Solidarity Peace Trust will be launching their latest report
"Destructive Engagement: Violence, Mediation and Politics in Zimbabwe" next
week. For those of you in South Africa, there will be a launch at The
Devonshire Hotel in Bramfontein, Johannesburg on Tuesday 10th July at 10.00
to mark the launch. Speakers will include Archbishop Pius Ncube, Bishop
Kevin Dowling and Professor Brian Raftopolous. Find enclosed the press
release on the launch. We will send out the report from here on Tuesday.
The Crisis Coalition has today 06.07.07 issued an alert on the manner in
which ZANU PF is 'celebrating victory' as queues mount in Harare following
the imposition of price controls. Please find their statement attached
9th Jul 2007 16:06 GMT
By Nyasha Nyakunu
HARARE - The right to freedomof expression has been criminalised in
Zimbabwe. This was said by National Chairman of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA), Dr Lovemore Madhuku on 5 July 2007.
Addressing journalists gathered at the Quill Club, which is the National
Press Club, on the Constitutional amendment 18 gazetted last month, Madhuku
said that the ruling regime was using the amendment to hold on to power,
regardless of the consequences for the country. He stated that the political
parties in the country agree on the elemental problems currently bedevilling
the country but have failed to agree on the solutions.
Madhuku said that the ruling party has resisted the realisation of free
expression as fundamental in the solution of the problems currently
bedevilling the country.
"If you want to express yourself, you are said to be working on the regime
At the same meeting, Madhuku pointed to the need for civic society's
inclusion in the mediation initiative currently underway. He said that the
political weight of the two groups had been considered instead of their
representation of the population of the country and ability to come up with
lasting solutions. In his view, the initiative is another way of buying time
and will not yield any lasting solutions for the country.
Madhuku reiterated the need for a new, people drive constitution to solve
the problems of Zimbabwe .
Zimbabwe's state run coal operation is producing way below capacity and is
failing to meet its supply commitments to some of the country's major
utilities and manufacturers.
Author: Tawanda Karombo
Posted: Monday , 09 Jul 2007
Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), Zimbabwe's state run coal mining concern has
hit hard times amidst revelations that the company can no-longer sustain its
market, which constitutes the country's manufacturing companies and the
state electricity monopoly, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
Despite Zimbabwe sitting on some of the biggest natural coal reserves in the
mineral rich Southern African region, local companies have been forced to
import coal from neighbouring country Botswana.
A Hwange Colliery Company distribution sector chart shows that the company
is only meeting 52 percent of demand leaving most companies to import coal.
Against a national demand for coal of around 380,000 tonnes per month,
Hwange is managing a meagre 197,300 tonnes which it is supplying to
Zimbabwean companies. This leaves a 182,700 tonnes shortfall every month.
According to the chart, Hwange is supplying the state's Zimbabwe Power
Company (ZPC) with 153,000 tonnes of coal against the company's monthly
needs of 180,000 tonnes.
Mineweb can also reveal that Hwange is currently supplying 9,000 tonnes of
coal to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCOSTEEL) against a monthly
demand of 15 000 tonnes.
"Hwange has failed to supply industry with coal and most companies have
since 2005 been importing their own fuel from Botswana," said Callisto
Jokonya, president of the Zimbabwe Confederation of Industries (CZI).
A company spokesperson for the Coal mining concern admitted that the company
was facing difficulties in meeting its targets but declined to discuss the
"The new machinery that government sourced is frequently breaking down and
most of the mining equipment was frozen underground and will need to be
"The situation is critical and we have since resorted to importing coal
from Botswana. But with the price controls issue, most companies will simply
stop doing so," said the official.
9 July 2007
The current siege on the struggling business community following a decision
by the Robert Mugabe dictatorship looks set to back fire and plunge the
country's economy into serious chaos. Already, our embattled nation has
begun to feel the pinch: shortages of fuel, basic commodities and a
systematic destruction of the formal sector.
Zimbabweans realize the dangers of the short honeymoon. The future, in the
short term, looks bleak. More businesses are going to close. More jobs lost.
Our shops and market shelves are already empty. Our families, our schools,
our hospitals, hotels and most public outlets are without basic foodstuffs
and essential commodities.
When Mugabe launched Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands
in the eighties, his actions were motivated by his desire to retain power by
neutralizing all potential opposition forces.
When Mugabe descended onto the commercial farming sector in 2000, it is now
clear to all, his actions were directed at liquidating a powerful voice of
the farm workers by dispersing and liquidating that constituency.
Zanu PF destroyed commercial agriculture, resulting in rampant food
shortages and a major economic meltdown. As if that was not enough, in 2005
Mugabe targeted the urban voters through operation Murambatsvina. Today, he
is at again.
Mugabe and Zanu PF have gone full scale for the business community, pursuing
a populist policy against the national interest. He is even talking of
wholesale nationalization, a concept that was tried and tested, but failed
dismally throughout Africa soon after the advent of decolonisation.
The regime runs 32 parastatal companies and none of them have a record of
success since independence. How he hopes to take over the entire country in
the face of glaring failures boggles the mind.
Like the state-sponsored farm invasions, the attack on the business
community is a poor election gimmick. Our experience shows once a key
economic sector is targeted by this regime, the poor and vulnerable often
bear the brunt of such recklessness.
Mugabe and Zanu PF enjoy the blame game. For nearly three decades, they have
targeted the opposition and people of Matabeleland and the Midlands to
defend his power-base. Mugabe has smashed the media; he has attacked white
Zimbabweans, white farmers and the West; he has gone for the church and
church leaders; now he turned his axe onto the business community.
The collapse of agriculture saw a dwindling supply side of our economy,
leading to incessant controls on our staple: grains and cereals. The result
was corruption and shortages, high prices and a thriving informal market.
An informal market ravages the poor in any society as speculators and
beneficiaries of a government patronage system thrive on the scarcity of
goods and services. The poor cannot afford the goods sold on the parallel
In 2005, Zanu PF clearly lost the parliamentary election and in a fit of
rage went out of way to declare war onto the people, through Operation
Murambatsvina. We are now approaching another election and Mugabe is on us
again. Mugabe failed to secure a postponement to 2010; he failed to
liquidate the MDC; he failed to arrest an economy on a free fall; and now
wants to finish-off the little that still remains.
In an era of globalisation and regional business linkages, the business
sector represents a sensitive community, with tentacles across the globe.
Investors at home and abroad customarily shun locations and destinations
managed outside universal norms, standards and known practices. It is folly
to try to force inflation down through policy flip-flops designed to satisfy
a political ego. The fundamentals must be put right.
My message to the people is that the time is now ripe for us to unite
against tyranny. There is no room for doubts on Mugabe's intentions. He has
failed all of us as a nation. We must mobilize ourselves and defend our
businesses, our property and our rights.
Let us prepare for a new Zimbabwe. Let us stand ready for a society awash
with food and jobs for our people. The temporary setbacks we are all facing
shall vanish as soon as we mobilise and claim our space.
Mugabe and Zanu PF must never be allowed to get away with his dangerous
experiments that impoverish us further. For 10 years after Independence, he
toyed around with socialism. For another 10 years, he embraced the Economic
Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP). When all these policies failed to
address the people's needs, he turned to violence. Let us save Zimbabwe from
the rapacious clique that has ruined our livelihood and tarnished our image
as a country within the family of nations.
We are near the end game. A new Zimbabwe shall soon be with us.