Zimbabwe to ask S.Africa for $1 bln loan - paper Sun Jul 17,
2005 2:55 PM GMT JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Crisis-struck Zimbabwe will on
Monday ask South Africa for a $1 billion loan to buy fuel and food and stave
off expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a South African
newspaper said on Sunday.
The City Press paper, citing government
sources, said Zimbabwe's foreign minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi would meet
top South African ministers, including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, and
Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni, on Monday to discuss the possible
South African government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe said he was
not aware of such a meeting, while Zimbabwean officials were not immediately
available to comment.
The paper said South Africa's Deputy President
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who visited Harare on Tuesday, had refused to bail
out Zimbabwe unless President Robert Mugabe stopped his demolition of shanty
towns, which aid workers say has left hundreds of thousands
Zimbabwe has temporarily stopped ripping down illegal
structures, the official Herald newspaper said on Saturday. City Press said
that had paved the way for talks with South Africa on the loan.
money would also help Zimbabwe, which is battling its worst economic crisis
since independence in 1980, pay back loans due to the IMF and avoid
expulsion from its ranks.
As of late June Zimbabwe was $306 million
in arrears to the IMF, which has halted lending and on February 16 deferred
a decision on expelling the African state for six months.
said last month it expects the economic output of Zimbabwe to fall sharply
this year and its budget deficit to widen as food shortages grip the
Donors and investors have largely abandoned Zimbabwe due to
Mugabe's controversial land reform policy and concerns about human rights
abuses and a lack of rule of law.
South Africa has been criticised at
home and abroad for its softly-softly approach to Zimbabwe. But some local
media say the government has intensified pressure on Mugabe in recent weeks
to halt the demolitions, which the government says is aimed at flushing out
crime and illegal trading in foreign currency.
Mbeki's dangerous liaison with Mugabe Gavin du Venage,
Cape Town July 18, 2005 FEARFUL of alienating African leaders already wary
of South Africa's growing dominance on the continent, President Thabo Mbeki
will ignore calls from world leaders such as US President George W.Bush to
end "quiet diplomacy" and come down hard on Zimbabwe.
But in trying
to sell his policy of quiet diplomacy to the world, Mr Mbeki has found few
are listening, least of all his tyrannical neighbour Robert
Frustrating as this is to Mr Mbeki, who has claimed
leadership of the African renaissance, the risks of standing up to
Zimbabwe's Mr Mugabe are grave.
So high are the stakes that Mr Mbeki
would rather put up with the endless criticism from international leaders,
and even his own countrymen, rather than be branded the George Bush of
Africa, and thus alienate South Africa from a continent already wary of the
"The stakes for South Africa are very high - it is
easy enough to make suggestions when you are sitting an ocean away from
events, but Zimbabwe is right across the border here," says former US
diplomat and now head of the international relations department at the
University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, John Stremlau.
Mugabe may be isolated from past allies such as Britain, the US and
Australia, but he still enjoys a loyal following throughout
He sent troops to fight on the side of the Congolese Government
in the country's bloody civil war, for which he is remembered fondly in
Angola, Africa's emerging oil giant, joined Mr Mugabe in the
five-year-long campaign and the two countries enjoy close ties as a
Many still see him as a hero for standing up first to white
Rhodesia and now to former colonial master Britain.
For South Africa
to abandon its quiet diplomacy, however ineffective it may appear, would
alarm other African states, few of whom do not routinely flout human rights
values to some degree.
If this were to happen, countries such as the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Ivory Coast would wonder if they
were next in line for censure.
Consequently, such countries could freeze
out South Africa diplomatically and politically, ending Mr Mbeki's growing
influence on the continent.
Peacemaking efforts in the Great Lakes region
or West Africa, where South Africa maintains an army of diplomats charged
with getting people to talk rather than shoot each other, would be
"All of us are justly proud of the role our country has
played and is playing, which has contributed to Burundi's advance to peace
and democracy," Mr Mbeki said this weekend in his regular online
References to peacemaking efforts are a common theme of his
speeches, even as they gloss over his glaring failure in Zimbabwe. Peace and
stability may still be on the horizon for much of Africa but such efforts
have already borne fruit for South African companies, who now regularly do
business the length and breadth of the continent.
To continue to
compete against the army of non-African construction companies, mining
houses and even retailers pitching for business as the oil boom takes hold,
they need a diplomatic climate that favours their presence.
appears to have been some wavering in his adherence to quiet diplomacy. Some
hoped that the latest outrage in Zimbabwe, the mass demolition of shelters
that housed up to 300,000 urban poor, driving them out into the chilly
African winter, would force Mr Mbeki to act.
Even Zimbabwe opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change sensed a
change in attitude.
"What he (Mbeki) can do, and what he assured me he is
going to do, is change strategy about how to influence the course of events
in Zimbabwe," Mr Tsvangirai told reporters in Harare soon after the two met
in South Africa earlier this month.
At the recent G8 summit, Mr
Mbeki's silence on the evictions rang out starkly in contrast to world
Countries including Australia, Britain, the US, Russia,
some African countries such as Botswana and even the UN's Secretary-General
Kofi Annan spoke out loudly against Mr Mugabe.
If any had hopes that
the deafening chorus of world opinion on the matter would sway Mr Mbeki,
however, they will be disappointed.
Mr Mbeki's personal dismay at events
in Zimbabwe is unlikely to steer him from his course.
The tone was
defiant at a news briefing held in London after the G8. "Loud diplomacy
hasn't worked either," South Africa's pugnacious Foreign Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, told reporters who challenged her that quiet diplomacy was
Publicly Mr Mbeki has said nothing to indicate he is about to
change his position.
If he does, Mr Tsvangirai is unlikely to be in
the know; Mr Mbeki does not appear to regard him with much respect, viewing
his management of the opposition as incompetent.
The capture of a
South African spy some months ago who had tried to recruit senior members of
Mr Mugabe's ruling ZanuPF suggests Mr Mbeki is becoming desperate and that
attempts are being made to influence events from behind the scenes, without
putting the wind up other African leaders.
"The big picture often missed
by others, but not Mbeki, is that South Africa's fortunes are tied to Africa
itself," says Professor Stremlau.
If Mbeki hopes to secure South Africa's
leadership on the continent, his best course may be to stick with quiet
We may yet suffer for our silence on
Zimbabwe July 17, 2005
I refer to the report
in The Sunday Independent (July 3), "Top SA church leaders head for Zimbabwe
in wake of demolitions", by Caroline Hooper-Box.
article it is reported that a high-powered delegation will leave for
Zimbabwe to consult the various role players on the humanitarian crisis that
is occurring there.
Meanwhile the brutal conduct of the
Zimbabwean police will continue unabated.
What is taking
place must be of profound moral and political concern for us in South Africa
and our body politic. The issue cannot be ignored - the media have been
filled with the pitiful images of women and children whose homes and
livelihood have been destroyed by the ferocious conduct of President Robert
What is required is immediate condemnation
and sanctions rather than a prolonged period of negotiations, during which
Mugabe is once again let off the hook and the people of Zimbabwe are subject
to unspeakable suffering.
The unfolding humanitarian
crisis demands an urgent and sustained response.
Observers estimate that more than 300 000 families have been affected and
that 22 000 informal traders have been arrested for operating without
licences by the government-sanctioned operations, Operation Restore Order
and Operation Murambatsvina ("Drive out the rubbish").
callousness of the brutal conduct of the Zimbabwean police in dealing with
innocent and defenceless people trying desperately to eke out an existence
is epitomised by the statement of the police commissioner, Augustine
Chihuri, who attempted to justify the inhumane and cruel actions of the
authorities by stating: "We must clean the country of this crawling mass of
The people worst affected by this barbarous
conduct are those who are the most vulnerable in society - the women,
children, elderly and Aids patients - who have had to brave the bitterly
cold winter weather to keep vigil over their meagre belongings, which were
salvaged from the onslaught waged by the police and their
The South African government has remained silent,
thereby giving expression to its controversial policy of quiet diplomacy,
while a humanitarian disaster of inordinate magnitude is taking place
immediately beyond our northern border.
In many respects
the tragedy is not unlike the notorious forced removals that occurred under
For South Africans committed to the philosophy of
human rights, this is a profound moral issue, over which we dare not remain
silent. Our silence will be interpreted as consent and support for the
brutal and fascist conduct of a dictatorial regime.
Furthermore, Rob Amato points out in column, "Hands-off policy nurtures
fascism", also in The Sunday Independent of July 3, that Richard Goldstone,
the retired constitutional court judge and one of South Africa's most
eminent international lawyers, who has great knowledge and experience of
genocide trials, said that it was for South Africa's own sake that President
Thabo Mbeki should be speaking out unequivocally on the Zimbabwean
In the absence of this, what is required is a
chorus of criticism from the organs of civil society in South
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be occurring.
We remain silent at our own peril.
developments in Zimbabwe, where an estimated one million people have been
terrorised in the name of the law, highlight the nation's insane
relationship with the basic tenets of law and order.
else in Africa is this relationship quite so convoluted, eccentric or
Perhaps a key to this remarkable and - for its
victims - appalling development lies in the fact that President Robert
Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from the British in 1980, spent 14
years in jail studying law, among other things.
Mugabe government - which has broken its own constitution, disregarded
numerous Supreme and High Court orders and emasculated its judiciary - has
suddenly reinvented itself as the champion of municipal
With crusading zeal, in defence of these
by-laws, the full weight of the armed forces has, over the past few weeks,
been brought to bear on some 300 000 hapless urban families, who have spent
their quarter century of independence battling to scavenge a living under
deteriorating social and economic conditions.
made no bones about how much he hates his former colonial masters. His
successful hijacking of anti-colonial rhetoric is the reason he is still
revered in much of Africa. In reality, he is a disgrace to Africa. And yet,
inexplicably he clings to all the trappings of quintessential British pomp
The opening of parliament last month provides a
perfect illustration. He arrived, dressed in his trademark Saville Row suit,
in a stately Rolls-Royce, escorted by white-gloved, mounted policemen,
wearing David-Livingston-I-presume topees.
Africa, any pretence about a separation of powers has long been abandoned.
In Zimbabwe, the executive, judiciary and administration are, de facto, all
controlled from Mugabe's office via Zanu-PF headquarters through a complex
system of nepotism, fear and patronage. And yet the pretence goes
Law and order collapsed a long time ago - yet the courts
continue to sit. Judges, most of them Zanu-PF stalwarts, many the new owners
of commercial farms, continue to pontificate. Yet backlogs are so long the
process of justice has been utterly subverted.
few months ago Mugabe personally ordered the Commissioner of Police - a
self-proclaimed party stalwart - not to pursue investigations into the theft
of billions of Zim dollars worth of farm equipment allegedly stolen by none
other than Didymus Mutasa, the minister in charge of stamping out corruption
who has just been re-shuffled to the spy agency.
remarkable instance of judicial impotence is the recent case involving
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede. The High Court ordered him to hand over
ballot boxes from the disputed 2002 presidential elections.
He ignored the order seven times. Eventually the court fined him Z$5
million. The boxes were released - but some from Rushinga constituency,
where government figures revealed that 120% of the voters turned out to
re-elect Mugabe, were missing.
Then the High Court was
burgled. The boxes were broken open, ballots mixed up and some
The true insanity of the situation is demonstrated by
this sort of total disregard for the law on one hand, and the obsessive
attention to legal niceties on the other.
constitution has been amended countless times and a plethora of complex new
legislation introduced to legalise a wide range of human rights abuses -
from land invasion and muzzling of the press to two years' jail for anyone
insulting the person of the president.
with the law reached a new extreme, however, with Operation
The pursuit of such trivia as whether a toilet
or kitchen had been properly authorised before being added to a minuscule
core house is bizarre when set against the epic struggle of a nation
battling a peak of 600% inflation, 80% unemployment, 25% HIV
infection and 50% desperate for food aid.
Mbanga edits The Zimbabwean - a weekly newspaper published simultaneously in
Zimbabwe, London and Johannesburg
The Zimbabwe government has published a draft bill to
overhaul the country's constitution and provide for the re-introduction of a
two-chamber parliament, the state-run Ziana news agency said on
The news agency cited an extraordinary government
gazette published on Friday saying the proposed changes sought to confirm
the country's controversial land reform that started in 2000 and have been
blamed by critics for driving the once bread basket of the region into an
importer of food.
President Robert Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF party got a two-thirds majority, which it had bayed for during the
last parliamentary elections to enable it to make constitutional amendments
to the southern African country's supreme law drafted in 1979 in
The constitution has so far been amended at least 16
A government-sponsored draft constitution was rejected
in a referendum in 2000, sparking the mass invasion of white-owned farms by
A pro-democracy grouping, the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has been fighting for a homegrown
constitution for several years now, but has been dismissed by
Mugabe said in the run-up to elections that he
wanted a two-thirds majority in parliament to enable him to change the
Over the last five years, the Zimbabwe African
National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) has not been able to change the
constitution because it lacked a two-thirds majority after the opposition
MDC won nearly half of the 120-constested seats in the previous
But in the last polls, the MDC won only 41 of the
120 seats. Mugabe has powers to appoint another 30 members to parliament
under the current laws.
Under the proposed amendments, 65
more members will be appointed to parliament as the
The looming return of a bicameral parliament,
consisting of a senate and lower house has been met with mixed
Critics described it as a way to accommodate
Mugabe's loyals who failed to make it through the ballot box during the
disputed March 31 polls.
"Zimbabweans do not need a senate
that will serve as a graveyard for dumping Zanu-PF election losers," ousted
former information minister Jonathan Moyo had said in his manifesto in the
run-up to the March parliamentary elections.
Pro-democracy grouping NCA has also dismissed piecemeal attempts at changing
the country's highest laws.
"What Zimbabwe needs is a whole
new constitution and not this tinkering with choice bits, especially where
other areas are in urgent need of reform such as the trimming down of
executive powers and broadening human rights to democratic levels," said NCA
spokesperson Jessie Majome.
But a columnist in the state-run
Herald newspaper Donald Charumbira supported the senate saying it was "a
safeguard against hastily-authored legislation that may not be in the
The proposed bill also seeks to confirm
the establishment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the group that ran
the March 2005 legislative polls.
The bill is expected to
be submitted to parliament within 30 days. - Sapa-AFP
President backs SACC emergency aid plan as he awaits UN report
July 17, 2005
By Basildon Peta and Christelle
President Thabo Mbeki appears to have decided
that he can no longer sit back and watch Zimbabwe destroy itself. This week
he sent his deputy with a strong message to President Robert Mugabe to stop
persecuting his people and to start talking to his political opponents,
sources in both countries say.
Supporting church plans
for a massive rescue and aid package for those displaced by Mugabe's huge
crackdown on informal homes and businesses, Mbeki is also believed to have
made one more attempt behind the scenes to rein in his
He sent Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to
see Mugabe and urge an about-turn in the policies that are plunging Zimbabwe
ever deeper into crisis.
After years of "silent
diplomacy" that has failed to hold Mugabe to account, Mbeki has been under
mounting pressure either to speak out publicly against him or give him an
The breaking point has been Mugabe's Operation
Murambatsvina ("Drive out trash"), a clean-up of the informal economy that
has left thousands homeless and destitute.
This in turn
led to a mission to Zimbabwe by Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the special envoy
of Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary-general. She left there a week
ago promising to report on her findings within a
It is expected that her report will be highly
critical of Mugabe's government. Some analysts believe Mbeki's intervention
is designed to pre-empt condemnation from Tibaijuka and likely action by the
The South African Council of Churches
(SACC), which went on a fact-finding visit to Zimbabwe this week, also
called on Mbeki to try to stop Mugabe while the churches assemble "a massive
arsenal of relief" for displaced Zimbabweans.
the church leaders on Friday and promised support for the relief effort and
further talks after the release of the special UN report.
Zimbabwean sources close to last week's discussions between Mlambo-Ngcuka
and Mugabe said Mbeki was of the view that the solution to Zimbabwe's
problems lay with some sort of co-governance pact between the ruling Zanu-PF
and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and he wanted
dialogue to resume now.
They said Mlambo-Ngcuka also
carried a message from Mbeki advising the Zimbabwe leader to discontinue his
Operation Murambatsvina and instead concentrate on highlighting a
comprehensive reconstruction programme.
Sapa-AFP reported that the Zimbabwean government had temporarily stopped its
campaign to demolish shacks and other illegal buildings. It is giving
landlords 10 days starting on Monday "to regularise" the structures with
The South African government has made no
comment on the message carried by Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Friday, Mugabe dismissed suggestions that Mbeki was putting pressure on him.
He told reporters after a Zanu-PF rally: "South Africa is part of us and we
share ideas with President Thabo Mbeki almost on a weekly
Speaking to The Sunday Independent yesterday,
Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane said the SACC would make another
attempt to meet Mugabe after the release of the report and further
discussion with Mbeki. He added, however, that massive aid was
"We would like to see a comprehensive plan in terms
of support from the UN. The fact that the president invited us to engage
with him shows his commitment in terms of resolving the
Bheki Khumalo, Mbeki's spokesperson, hinted that
Mbeki may have been a driving force behind the UN special envoy's visit to
Zimbabwe. "The president called the UN secretary-general before he sent the
envoy. He endorsed the decision to send an envoy." But, Khumalo said, it
would be incorrect to conclude that the visit happened solely because of the
of the ANC and as South Africans, we must draw great inspiration from the
fact that we were not passive observers but active participants in the
historic events - the parliamentary elections in Burundi, the inauguration
of a new government of Sudan, and the adoption of the Gleneagles Africa
programme of action."
Thus wrote President Thabo Mbeki in his
online letter to the nation this week. He is careful to credit former
deputy-president Jacob Zuma among those who worked towards the Burundi and
Sudanese advances. He also credits Tony Blair for the Group of Eight
For the president, the present time is
"a highly favourable period for the further advance of the national
democratic revolution and the African renaissance".
but for most of us this has been a most depressing month. The London attacks
signify how few people are needed to traumatise the citizenry of cities. At
the same time, the forced evacuation of thousands of the poorest Zimbabweans
from urban areas have illustrated how mad governments near the end of their
rule can become. Humanity's vulnerability to both individual and
institutional madnesses has been writ large.
Even as South
Africa is forming a new trade union for street vendors, Zimbabwean micro
business is being wiped out. We have been discussing, to very little effect,
whether Mugabe is a little or a large Hitler, but no mention of Zimbabwe
occurs in the president's letter.
And yet, we may ask,
whether the great inspiration the president presently feels will lead, quite
suddenly, to a completely new approach by him to Zimbabwe; and whether the
patronage iceberg that is Zanu-PF is not now, for the first time, showing
The critical historical moment for a new Zimbabwean
dispensation might be coming surprisingly fast. Black opinion in South
Africa is surely solidifying around the need to
My guess (perhaps it's merely a hope) is that the
South African president is indeed, as Morgan Tshvangirai has been saying,
presently cooking up a whole new method of dealing with Zimbabwe's seemingly
The tone of the engagement would be
"quiet", as it always is with Mbeki, in the sense of being formal,
diplomatic and unjudgmental, but the content might shift.
The dramatis personae of South Africa-Zimbabwe relations is now set to
change. This is indeed a time of opportunity, as much as it is a time of
horror and sadness. With Zuma now out of the loop on foreign affairs, the
president should make a fresh selection of
Our new Deputy President Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka visited Mugabe in Harare at the height of the outrage being
expressed by the church and press at the forced
What did she feel about that?
She could, if she fulfills her promise as a careful negotiator and subtle
thinker, head up a completely fresh team to help negotiate a new path
towards a government of national unity in Zimbabwe, in which, in order to
get President Robert Mugabe's consent, could let him retain sufficient
South Africa should have a sort of Marshall Plan
for Zimbabwe, declared by our president, a plan involving direct and
properly managed aid to that country rather than sanctions or punitive
action, both of which would be useless and harmful.
aid package should be massive and include the funding of a new,
all-inclusive national convention within Zimbabwe to establish the
principles upon which a new constitution should be drafted, as well as to
entrench detailed rules for general elections.
assembly should write a constitution in terms of principles agreed on at the
All parties, including the Zanu-PF
establishment, should be welcomed with minimum judgment.
It is when people are most despairing that national conventions are likely
to be more successful.
Just as it takes very few passionate
people to disrupt a peaceful society, it sometimes takes a few brilliant
proceduralists to make peace emerge from chaos.
South Africans should be in a team to help administer a new deal for
My first thought is of those who are experts in
legal foundations, the constitutional desiderata, of countries that are in
process of emerging from economic disaster and arbitrary rule and striving
towards corruption-free development and the rule of law.
Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired our 1995/6 constitutional assembly, may be too
distant from government to be named or unwilling to serve on the team. But
he's the one who could do most.
Arthur Chaskalson, the former
chief justice, may already be bored in retirement. Van Zyl Slabbert knows a
thing or two about negotiations. Elinor Sisulu would be an imaginative
Who would you name?
Assume, as we
really should, that a new chapter must open soon so that Zimbabweans can get
back to what they are really good at - ordinary economic activities under
the rule of law and under a constitution that upholds human rights and a
clear and fair electoral dispensation.
Whites fear exclusion in new S. Africa Worries rise
about tilt toward racial politics
By Laurie Goering Tribune foreign
correspondent Published July 17, 2005
JOHANNESBURG -- Worried
about surging violent crime and the future of his two young daughters, Steve
Wimberley six years ago quit his veterinary practice in South Africa, flew
to England and soon tracked down a new job in Portsmouth.
"It was a
very nice job, in a very nice place," he recalled.
But when he flew home
to pack for the move, "I never could settle with it. I was so uneasy. The
decision kept me up," he said.
Finally, after a week of sleepless nights,
staring out into what he called "the beautiful African night," the
fourth-generation South African abandoned his plans to emigrate.
decided my heart was here," the 42-year-old recalled. "I've never regretted
that decision for a minute."
More than a decade after the end of
apartheid, white South Africans still are weighing their future in a society
where creating economic clout for the country's long-repressed black
majority has become the top national priority.
affirmative action programs, blacks are favored for the civil service jobs
whites used to take for granted. White business people are obliged to hire
black subcontractors, train black employees and sell shares of their
companies to black co-owners or face losing government contracts.
country's black leaders are pushing for what a ruling African National
Congress briefing paper calls a "critical mass of common culture and
cultural practices." Whites who fail to back the ANC's transformation
efforts and adapt to the country's changing culture, leaders suggest, may
ultimately no longer be considered South Africans.
For South Africa's
4 million whites--many from centuries-old South African families or white
communities that fled unwelcoming African countries such as Zimbabwe--the
prospect of becoming unwelcome in the last white stronghold in Africa is
"There can be no more fundamental threat to a community's sense
of security than to declare them, even in a roundabout way, unwanted aliens
in their own country," Max du Preez, a white columnist for Johannesburg's
Star newspaper, wrote recently.
When President Robert Mugabe of
neighboring Zimbabwe declares that his nation "is for black people, not
white people," and South Africa's leaders fail to rebuke him, "this drives a
red-hot poker through the hearts of white South Africans, especially those
with no cultural, emotional or family links with any country outside
Africa," du Preez said.
Deeply rooted traditions
Africa, at the
start of a new century, is struggling to find ways to make itself a success.
Its leaders, eager to ease the continent's persistent poverty, promote peace
and development and prove that black leaders can solve Africa's problems,
are sorting through deeply rooted cultural traditions, colonial-era legacies
and the demands of a newly globalized world, searching for African answers
to the continent's woes.
Where Africa's dwindling number of whites fits
into the continent's future remains in question. For 50 years, the famed
Freedom Charter of South Africa's multiracial African National Congress has
insisted that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white."
Most South Africans, black and white, believe that, and believe that a
non-racist, if not exactly non-racial, future is possible.
whites are nervous. South African President Thabo Mbeki has been quick to
dismiss criticism of his government, particularly by white opposition
figures, as racist. His failure to denounce economic misrule and
human-rights violations in Zimbabwe, his suggestions that the country's
judiciary needs to be less independent and more in tune with the ANC's
programs, and his hints that English-speaking white South Africans may not
be as genuinely African as their Afrikaner counterparts have all raised
fears about the future of whites and non-racial democracy in South
"It's undermined confidence," said Helen Suzman, a white liberal
icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, and now a critic of the ANC government.
During more than four decades of apartheid, a steady flow of whites left
South Africa "because they didn't like the system," she said. "Now a lot are
leaving because they don't like their prospects."
Fifty years after
white colonial rule in Africa began to collapse, relatively few whites
remain in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, a former white stronghold,
Europeans, Asians and Arabs combined now make up less than 1 percent of the
population. Zimbabwe has lost nearly three-quarters of a million whites in
recent years; today just 35,000 remain.
In places such as Ivory Coast,
Nigeria and Zambia, whites are so few that census takers no longer bother
counting them as a separate racial category. In total, sub-Saharan Africa
has less than 5 million whites, out of a total population of more than 600
Many whites have left as colonial-era jobs and privileges
disappeared. Some have fled wars, crime, declining living standards or
collapsing economies. Others have become political targets, particularly in
places such as Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, at least a
quarter-million whites have emigrated since the end of apartheid a decade
ago. But the country remains home to 80 percent of the continent's white
community, and after a decade of relative peace and prosperity, most of
those who remain say they hope they are here to stay.
in much of the rest of Africa, most have nowhere else to go. In particular,
the country's millions of Afrikaners--descendants of primarily Dutch and
French immigrants who began arriving 400 years ago--speak a language used
nowhere else in the world and have no family ties anywhere
While some English-speaking whites--like Wimberley, who almost
emigrated--have the right to British or other passports through ancestral
ties, "there's no other place for us," says Frederick van Zyl Slabbert, an
Afrikaner political analyst. "I wouldn't know where to start
Because of their long history in the country, whites in South
Africa--unlike in most African countries--rarely are seen as outsiders. The
ruling ANC was formed nearly a century ago as a multiracial organization,
and whites numbered among the country's most prominent anti-apartheid
Commitment to a multiracial society also is long-standing and
considered a "high moral principle" within the ANC. At the Rivonia trial,
where he was sentenced to life in prison in the 1960s, Nelson Mandela
insisted he was opposed to white domination and to black domination.
Mandela, the former president, said then that he was prepared to die to
achieve his cherished ideal "of a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity."
In South Africa, "it's taken for granted that both white and
black people live here and always will," said Xolela Mangcu, executive
director of the social cohesion and identity unit of the Human Sciences
Research Council of South Africa. Even after the ugly apartheid years, white
fears of being forced out are unfounded, he insisted.
question is how comfortably whites may continue to fit into a country run by
a ruling party bent on uniting all South Africans behind its policies and
ensuring that the country's long-disenfranchised black majority gets
The ANC last month held a national party meeting on what it calls
"the national question," or how to unite South Africans behind a common
Leaders of the ANC, which already enjoys the backing of about 70
percent of South Africans, say bringing the rest of the country on board is
crucial to achieving party aims and uplifting the country's black majority,
still suffering from high poverty and unemployment rates.
must intensify the mobilization of the whole of South African society behind
a program of fundamental change," Mbeki insisted at the meeting's
Critics, however, warn that the dominant ANC's growing demand
for consensus and impatience with dissent could result in those who refuse
to sign onto the party's aims being dismissed as less-than-genuine South
Mbeki has said he believes Afrikaners and black Africans can
work together because "they share common African roots and are tied to our
country by an emotional bond." That remarkable discovery of common ground
with the ethnic group that spawned apartheid comes on the heels of a
decision by the New National Party--the modern progeny of the hated
apartheid National Party--to disband and fold itself into the
But while Afrikaners "are embracing the new South Africa and
Africanism," according to the ANC, English-speaking whites--including many
active in the liberation struggle and now vocal in their criticism of the
government--have been increasingly dismissed as racists, and as perhaps
"Mbeki is so delighted to have swallowed up the NNP
that he's embraced [Afrikaners] while the people who fought against
apartheid are brushed aside with contempt," Suzman said.
many whites is that if the ANC's undisputed power is genuinely threatened,
the party could follow Mugabe's lead and blame whites for the country's
failures in an effort to divert attention from anti-government
"We could quickly see the ANC resort to the old African
style of eliminating the opposition. I think that's a fairly realistic
possibility down the line," Wimberley acknowledged. "I'm pretty optimistic
about this country, but you never know. Things could turn at any
Most South African political analysts, however, say they believe
such a scenario is very unlikely. South Africa, a much larger and more
economically powerful nation than Zimbabwe, has a vibrant civil society, a
strong independent news media and entrenched governmental institutions that
so far serve as an effective check on the ANC administration.
important, "everyone here can see what's happening in Zimbabwe doesn't solve
a thing," said van Zyl Slabbert, the Afrikaner political analyst. By
attacking whites and other political opponents in an effort to cling to
power, an increasingly unpopular Mugabe has instead driven his
once-prosperous country to the brink of economic collapse.
One change seen as encouraging for whites in South Africa is
that class is fast catching up with race as the country's major dividing
line. Economic affirmative action policies--known as black economic
empowerment--have created a new class of wealthy black business magnates,
and a growing South African economy has slowly allowed an increasing number
blacks to join the middle class.
Congestion on Johannesburg's
roads is growing as more black South Africans buy cars. Middle-class blacks
are moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods, buying homes with swimming
pools, hiring maids and putting their children in private schools, just like
their white neighbors.
At the same time, poorly educated whites--once
first in line for government jobs under apartheid--are joining the lines of
black beggars at traffic lights and moving into black townships such as
Soweto, which are more affordable.
Challenge to create jobs
South Africa, "race is increasingly not the issue," van Zyl Slabbert said.
Instead, the challenge is to create enough economic growth and new jobs to
lift the country's still struggling majority rather than just a fortunate
How well South Africa succeeds in that effort will
largely determine what the future looks like for white--as well as
black--South Africans. If the country's immense poverty and joblessness are
left unchecked, whites and their new middle-class black neighbors may move
in ever-greater numbers into the posh walled neighborhoods springing up at
Johannesburg's fringes, hoping guards and electric wire can keep the
desperate poor away.
Failure to improve life for South Africa's
impoverished majority could lead to a populist backlash that would reverse
the country's commitment to free markets and leave everyone poorer,
economists warn. Similarly, affirmative action programs, if kept up too
long, could eventually drive whites--and investment--away.
likely is that race will be less of an issue for South Africa's children
than for its older generations raised under apartheid. Wimberley's daughters
study with black and white classmates and have neighbors and friends of
"It will take years for the hang-ups of race to leave this
country," Wimberley warned. "But I know my children have far less hang-ups
than we ever had. That's a positive."
EDITORIAL July 16, 2005 Posted to the web July 17,
THE economically crippling fuel shortage, which has
been caused by the lack of foreign currency, may soon be a thing of the past
after Government agreed to allow individuals and private companies to import
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Retired
Lieutenant-General Mike Nyambuya, on Thursday said individuals with free
funds outside the country or foreign currency accounts are free to import
their own fuel.
"We have always encouraged this. In fact, it will help
augment the supplies that are being put on to the market for the general
This is, indeed, most welcome news to those Zimbabweans who can
access foreign currency. What the nation wants is for commerce and industry
to be back on track.
Productivity at various workplaces is being
severely affected by the many hours workers and executives spend queuing for
If they do not join the queues, then they will have no fuel to take
the children to school, go to work, carry out those tasks that require the
usage of fuel (such as deliveries), and get back home.
now leave cars overnight in queues (in some cases for days), unattended,
probably because there is no fuel to drive the vehicles back to the company
premises or home.
Sometimes motorists get impatient, lose their tempers
and fights ensue. But violence in queues has been isolated. On the whole,
people have been very patient and responsible.
This does not,
however, mean they do not mind sitting in queues for days on end. They want
fuel to be available at all service stations without having to waste
valuable hours in queues.
A black market flourishes whenever there is a
shortage of a commodity. Shortages cause immense suffering for the majority
of people, but they provide opportunities for a few cut-throat
A good number of today's thriving black businesspersons
made their millions during the shortages of the 1980s.
access to free funds must come to the aid of the nation and the pricing
structure should be attractive enough to encourage more private fuel
Our fuel problems can be overcome if a transparent and
acceptable formula by all those with foreign currency accounts is
The move by the Government will be good in the short term as it
will spread the responsibility of procuring fuel to many entities while a
permanent solution can only come from developing our own cheaper fuel or the
generation of more foreign currency.
The other aspect is that there
will be some competition from individual importers, which will promote
efficiency in the procurement and distribution of fuel, thereby eliminating
any likelihood of shortages.
We have reported in the past that the crisis
that has befallen Zimbabwe has pointed to a weakness in the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) structure.
In as much as it is important
to focus on such needs as regional food security, it is imperative that the
energy requirements of Sadc be also addressed from a regional
In the meantime, we hope Zimbabweans who have endured the
difficulties will remain focused and committed to getting out of the
situation as the Government is doing its best to keep commerce and industry
on its wheels.
Mugabe 'trapping the poor' 17/07/2005 21:16 -
Harare - Two months after Zimbabwe's government launched a drive
to demolish backyard shacks and other illegal structures, rights groups in
the embattled southern African country said the campaign has brought nothing
The two-pronged Operation Murambatsvina ("drive out filth")
and Operation Restore Order was launched on May 19 in an exercise President
Robert Mugabe said aimed at driving out crime and grime, but which has left
hundreds of thousands homeless.
Now, nearly two months later, and a
week after government pledged a R1.8bn rebuilding programme, thousands are
staying in makeshift tents in transit camps like Caledonia Farm, outside the
"The question is, have people's lives changed for the better
since the clean-up started?" said Alouis Chaumba, whose rights organisation
has been feeding displaced families, in some cases providing tents and
"The answer is a loud 'No'," said Chaumba,
director for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
"At Porta Farm (west of Harare) for example,
close to 10 000 people are still in the open and thousands of people who
earned an honest living as vendors have been left with no alternative means
of livelihood," he said.
"What the government has done is to create a
cycle of hardship in which the poor will remain trapped for years to
The government's rebuilding exercise was "not likely to yield
tangible results any time soon, because the local authorities have no
capacity to undertake building projects of the magnitude required to cater
for those affected", Chaumba said.
"If anything, things have changed
for the worst for the poor families," added Rangu Nyamurundira of Zimbabwe
Laywers for Human Rights.
The United Nations estimated
some 200 000 people have been left without homes. The opposition has
denounced the blitz as a campaign of repression and say up to 1.5 million
Zimbabweans have been affected.
Despite police saying last month that the
clean-up campaign was in its final stages, it moved into the plush suburbs
of Harare where the demolitions of staff quarters, garages and other
outbuildings built without approval were ordered.
temporarily stopped the demolitions on Friday and gave residents 10 days to
have their outbuildings approved by the city council.
The campaign has
been criticised by the United States and Britain but the African Union has
refrained from commenting, with South Africa in particular saying that it
would await a report by UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka's before deciding on
what action to take.
Rank opportunism is the business of doing
business July 17, 2005
By Na-iem Dollie
Power utility Eskom has
been more than generous in its payment arrangements with the Zimbabwean
authorities, waiving due date after due date.
continues without a hint of the Johannesburg-based parastatal cutting its
supply. Harare's bill runs into tens of millions of rands.
is good for Bob is not, it seems, good for Langa. Back home, Eskom's actions
have been utterly punitive. In the remote rural setting of Muden,
KwaZulu-Natal, Lembede primary school's electricity has been cut off for the
past year for non-payment.
Eskom bosses have issued a "policy"
stipulating that a deposit of R2 000 plus arrear payments must be
forthcoming before reconnection is authorised. How many other schools in the
country suffer the same brutal lashing: 100, 1 000, 10 000? Now do the sums
and you can see where at least part of the power company's revenue comes
from. The real problem is that the children suffer while dividends continue
to be handed to the state.
And Bob gets off scot-free.
former Afrikaner powerhouse created in 1918 as a repository of white working
class money to protect and build its economic muscle, is really onbeskof in
its cash-flush status.
The financial services company plans to buy back
R4 billion of its own shares following the shedding of most of its Absa
stake to Barclays.
Its cash reserves now stand at a staggering R7 billion
and its acquisitive eye is roaming the "for sale" and "to buy" companies'
Remember LeisureNet? Well, the financial treadmill continues in
reverse at the former health and fitness company.
Walters and Richard Gainesford have issued a summons demanding that the gym
chain's former directors be held personally liable for the firm's debt of
R1.2 billion. When it was wound up, the Health & Racquet Club operator
had just R302 million in assets.
The fingered directors - a smidgen of
the empowered and a large dose of the less-empowered captains of industry -
are opposing this.
One of these directors, Iqbal Surve, the chief
executive of empowerment firm Sekunjalo, must be cursing himself for
thinking that a pull-in pull-out strategy could rake in the
My mother used to say that, no matter what, you always pay for
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi often seems to be caught somewhere
between the Scylla of union bashing and the Charybdis of benevolent state
intervention (for the latter, she might even be accused by free market
fundamentalists of being a communist).
The minister of public
administration has let slip that market-driven solutions such as
privatisation and outsourcing to improve service delivery have not lived up
This illustrious SA Communist Party member has to juggle
the trend in the government towards a "professionalisation" of services with
the stark reality that the real people she made an oath to serve are
increasingly not the primary beneficiaries of the budget allocations that
have been made.
At Sasol, new chief executive Pat Davies, who has very,
very strongly asserted his commitment to transformation, must be thinking
the gods are smiling on his company. Shares in the petrochemicals giant
powered through the R200 level to reach an all-time high of R206 on
Not only are earnings expected to rise for the year to June,
but change is in the air and more women and darkies are actually going to be
appointed to the company's lily white male boards.
directly from rand-based commodity prices and apart from needing to add some
colour to its executive machine, the company, which was kick-started by the
National Party government in 1950 to produce oil from coal, is a frontrunner
in the race for the "change according to the government of the day"
But then again, rank opportunism is the business of doing
business, especially when you have to outmanoeuvre your competitors, and
there are legions of companies that fit the bill.
Whatever you might
think about Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, our minister of health does come up
with challenging positions. But maybe that's because her deputy, Nozizwe
Madlala-Routledge, is rooted in South African reality and is a very good
The minister has thrown down the gauntlet and proposed there
should be 35 percent black equity in health firms by 2010 and 51 percent by
THE Government has
approved fares for rural buses, urban commuter omnibuses and trains but
warned defiant omnibus operators risk prosecution and having their licences
withdrawn if they overcharge.
Urban bus fares now range from $6 000 to
$11 000 depending on distance.
All omnibuses are now required to charge
$6 000 for a distance of up to 10km, $8 000 for between 10,1km and 20km and
$11 000 for between 20,1km and 30km.
Distances above 30km would be
calculated at the rate of $500 per kilometre.
Urban trains now cost $6
000 a trip while inter-city trains charge between $25 000 and $130
Long distance bus operators will now charge $300 per kilometre, up
from $185. The operators had increased fares without consulting Government
but the State reversed the increases.
Fares for inter-city trains
have also been increased. It now costs $40 000 to travel to Mutare from
Harare in economy class, $50 000 in standard class and $70 000 in a
Travelling by train from Harare to Bulawayo now costs $70 000 in
economy class, $90 000 standard and $130 000 in sleeper.
going to Victoria Falls from Bulawayo will pay $70 000 in economy class, $90
000 standard and $130 000 in sleeper. Fares for those going to Chiredzi from
Bulawayo are $56 000 economy, $70 000 standard and $110 000
It now costs $25 000 to travel to Masvingo from Gweru in
economy class, $30 000 in standard and $50 000 in sleeper.
fares were announced yesterday by the Minister of Transport and
Communications Cde Christopher Mushowe.
Cde Mushowe said it is
envisaged that these fare adjustments would go a long way in increasing
passenger transport capacity and to address the current public transport
supply related crisis.
He also said the Government had gazetted the new
fares after meeting various stakeholders.
He also said with the new
fares omnibus operators would be able to realise profits.
Minister of Local Government Cde Ignatius Chombo warned omnibus operators
who were defying Government's directive and charging more than the
stipulated fares saying they faced prosecution and risked having their
Cde Chombo said other operators were getting
preferential treatment to access fuel from the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe but they were abusing the facility and selling the fuel on the
SCORES of bereaved families in Harare were last week forced to
postpone burials after Harare City Council grave diggers went on strike,
demanding immediate salary reviews and the purchase of protective
clothing. Impeccable council sources told The Daily Mirror yesterday that
some families last Friday threatened to dump corpses at Town House to press
the city fathers to resolve their grievances urgently, before resuming
work. Said the source: "Some residents on Friday stormed the council offices,
threatening to dump corpses at Town House. There were meetings after that,
but the grave diggers maintained their stance because they had not received
protective clothing. Things are up-side down here." Protective clothing is a
cardinal requirement, according to world occupational health and safety
standards. Information reaching this newspaper indicated that the grave
diggers went on strike last Monday after the city council failed to respond
to their demands. Leslie Gwindi, the city council spokesperson, confirmed
the job action, but insisted that it was just "a two-day go-slow" that ended
on Saturday. "It was just a go-slow, not a strike. The workers went on a
go-slow on Wednesday afternoon, demanding protective clothing. We met the
grave diggers on Saturday and addressed their problems. We are going to
provide them with the protective clothing. They have already returned to
work and everything is back to normal," Gwindi said. Although Gwindi
declined to entertain further questions on the industrial action, highly
placed sources said the delay in addressing the grievances was caused by red
tape. However, a snap survey conducted by this newspaper yesterday showed
that bereaved families failed to bury their relatives last Saturday because
graves had not been dug. Claims reaching this newspaper are that some
burials had been postponed to later dates and in a few cases, the bereaved
families had to dig the graves on their own. A member of stranded family
yesterday said: "On Thursday we found the graves not dug. We have had to
postpone the burial until the situation returns to normal. But that has
created problems with preserving the corpses." A Msasa man who lost his
wife told The Daily Mirror that he had to reschedule the burial of his
spouse at Mabvuku Cemetery as a result of the strike. "My wife was
supposed to be buried on Saturday, but we had to postpone it to today
(Sunday) because of the strike. "There was not even a single grave dug at
Mabvuku Cemetery," he claimed. "I threatened to dump my wife's body at the
cemetery. The grave diggers were back at work today (yesterday)." Efforts
to contact funeral companies for comments on returned corpses were
government move to allow private individuals to import fuel has opened
floodgates for black market in respect of pricing of petroleum products and
procurement of foreign currency, says MDC spokesperson for transport and
communications in Parliament, Murisi Zwizwai. Zwizwai, the legislator for
Harare Central, said last week fuel procurement liberalisation was silent on
a number of modalities, among them how much fuel will be sold for once
imported and where it would be stored. "The government had since admitted
that fuel is currently being sold at a loss in this country and the question
is how much will fuel cost if imported by individuals? It does not make
business sense to import and sell a product at a loss," Zwizwai said. "The
black market is going to thrive as a result of the liberalisation of fuel
procurement. This defeats Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono
policies to reign in on the black market." He added that the opening up of
fuel procurement was a sign that government had failed to solve the
crisis. "The opening up is a clear sign of capitulation on the part of the
government in its quest to solve the fuel problem. "The naďve and basic
argument that the nation is experiencing an unprecedented economic meltdown
because of sanctions deliberately ignores the natural fact that even states
that have placed sanctions against the Zimbabwe government are importing
fuel from the Middle East - which falls under the realm of the Zimbabwe
'Look East' Policy. Britain is not a known exporter of petroleum products,
so is America and Canada." He said Zimbabwe's problems did not need an
economic solution, but a political one. Turning to the hiking of public
transport fares by government last Friday, Zwizwai said: "The most
disturbing aspect is that the government has abandoned its people at the
greatest time of their need by deliberately removing subsidies on public
transport. "By allowing Zupco to charge gazetted fares, the government has
automatically removed the transport subsidies and it raises the issue of
political retribution to the urbanites." Zwizwai claimed that retribution
was glaring during the on going Operation Restore Order. "The retribution
aspect is very clear if you look at Operation Restore Order. They
(government and council) have punished the have-nots in the high-density
suburbs, but stopped the operation in the northern suburbs, which ordinarily
is the domain of Zanu PF big wigs, fat cats, army generals and policy
offers. Is this not hypocrisy," he questioned. The government is on record
saying that the operation is a noble idea and will go a long way in
combating crime. Minister of Transport and Communications Christopher Mushowe
told journalists on Friday that the new fares would go a long way in
increasing passenger transport capacity and to address the current transport
supply related crisis.
Soldier's bid to stop probe into shooting incident
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date :2005-Jul-18
High Court has rejected an application by a Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)
soldier, Major Hudson Muchemwa, to stop proceedings into the shooting
incident which took place during the Marondera Agricultural Show last
Fourteen people were injured in the melee that left many
dumbfounded. Muchemwa of the 22-infantry battalion was in charge of the
battle drill to showcase the might of the forces. He was later dragged
before the court martial for allegedly failing to carry out his duties
properly in terms of the Defence Act. He challenged his appearance before the
army court in the High Court, but Justice Charles Hungwe ruled against
him. Lieutenant Colonel George Chitsva, the head of the martial court and the
State were cited as respondents. Representing the State, prosecutor
Ernest Jena of the civil division in the Attorney General's Office yesterday
confirmed Muchemwa had lost his appeal in the High Court case number
3180/05. "It was heard in chambers last week by Justice Charles Hungwe. The
judge dismissed the application on the grounds that Muchemwa had not
exhausted all the internal remedies as provided in the Defence Act," said
Jena. The ZDF is arguing that Muchemwa failed to conduct his duties
diligently. In High Court papers, the army major had submitted that he
wanted the proceedings to be stopped until he was furnished with further
particulars on the matter arguing that the charges levelled against him were
not properly constituted. The soldier also said the atmosphere under
which the proceedings, which kicked off on June 20 2005, was intimidatory
and he feared the trial would not be fair. "My fear is not only that of
going through trial, which is legally void, but also the pervasive
atmosphere of an intimidating impatience which has come to characterise the
proceedings. I have an apprehension that even if another court were to be
constituted I am unlikely to have a fail trial," said Muchemwa.
FRESH doubts have surfaced over whether or not Zimbabwe will
be able to meet its year-end inflation targets, following a resurgent rise
in the year-on-year and month-on-month rates of inflation for the month of
June. Analysts said there was a strong likelihood that the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe (RBZ) would fail to meet its recently adjusted double-digit
inflation target by the end of the year, adding further gloom to an economy
that has slowly slipped back into recession. The Central Statistical
Office (CSO) announced the latest inflation figures last week, revealing a
continuation in the persistent rise in the inflation rate from 144.4 percent
last month to 164.3 percent, while the month on month rate rose 5 percent
from 13.1 percent in May to 18.1 percent last month. According to the
CSO, an increase in postal services and primary and secondary education fees
were the major motivations behind the rise in inflation, which is expected
to rise further in July. However the latest rise has strengthened widespread
sentiment that the inflation rate will not fall to the desired 50-80 percent
by the end of the year, particularly as economic fundamentals have worsened
with only 5 months to go before the "deadline". Central bank boss Gideon
Gono adjusted his year-end inflation target for the second time in May, amid
stern challenge from the economic ill that has been declared the country's
"enemy number one". Initially, the RBZ had set a year-end annual inflation
target of between 20 and 35 percent, revised downwards from an initial
target of between 30 and 50 percent made in Gono's October 2004 monetary
policy statement. But while a tremendous decline in the inflation rate
throughout 2004, from a high of 622.8 percent in January to 132.7 percent in
December, had made the double-digit vision seem possible, the turnaround in
Zimbabwe's economic scenario over the past month has dramatically changed
things. The year began with a target inflation of 200 percent by the end of
the year, carried on the wave of positive economic developments in the 9
months from January to September 2004. However, the central bank has this
year struggled to maintain last year's constant decline in the annual
inflation rate, which has risen twice in February and April. In the wake
of the continued revision in the targeted inflation rates, pessimism over
the country's ability to achieve this target and the hope of single digit
inflation by the first half of 2006 still reigns supreme. "I do believe that
inflation is going to rise again (in 2005) and I see that attributable to a
number of key factors," a prominent economist said recently. The
"factors" include food shortages inspired by a nationwide drought, which are
expected to spur demand for agricultural products and a rise in commodity
prices; dogged foreign currency shortages and the stagnant exchange
rate. Following a visit to Zimbabwe early last month, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested that inflation was likely to continue to rise
throughout the year as a result of higher costs of food imports, interest
payments and higher pension costs. "Together with the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's (RBZ) substantial producer and credit subsidies, these deficits
will fuel a sharp increase in money supply, and hence inflation, by the end
of 2005," the Bretton Woods institution said. False agricultural output
predictions, which prophesied a "bumper harvest" for this year's season have
since fallen by the wayside, putting the country in the unenviable position
of having to import the majority of its food requirements. Government's
renewed over-expenditure drive is also expected to be a major inflation
driver, with observers arguing that it could herald worse fortunes for the
local economy. "I believe that we are going to see inflation rising by
year-end to somewhere between 170-200 percent annualised as against the
projections that the Reserve Bank had made. "While that figure is still
high it is still significantly less than a third of what it was at January
2004 so it's still positive and what we would then need to do is consolidate
that into what we believe will be a marked fall in inflation in 2006," said
Porta Farm residents' lawsuit against Chombo,
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date
THE High Court last week dismissed with costs a lawsuit by
Porta Farm residents against two Cabinet Ministers Ignatius Chombo, Kembo
Mohadi, and police commissioner Augustine Chihuri for allegedly defying an
earlier court order stopping their evictions. The residents dragged the
ministers and the number one police officer to court on contempt charges a
few days after their settlement on the outskirts of Harare was demolished
under operation Murambatsvina and Restore Order. In his ruling last week,
Judge Justice Karwi said: "Whereupon, after reading documents filed - it is
ordered that the application be and is hereby dismissed with
costs." Karwi gave no reasons in dismissing the urgent application filed by
Alec Muchadehama of Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners
representing the residents. Chombo, Mohadi and Chihuri were cited as
first, second and third respondents respectively. The High Court had in
1991 barred the eviction of Porta Farm residents until an alternative place
was found for them (case number HC3177/91). Judge Wilson Sandura had then
ruled: "The applicants are entitled to inhabit their dwellings until they
are relocated to suitable permanent homes. That the respondent is
interdicted from demolishing the applicants' dwellings or evicting
them." The Harare municipality was the respondent in that case. In their
urgent court application (that Karwi dismissed), the residents, through
their chairman Felistus Chinyuku said they had expected the respondents to
obey court orders and the matter was still pending in court when they were
forcibly evicted. They also argued no one had offered them alternative pieces
of land to occupy as Judge Sandura had ordered in his ruling staying their
eviction in 1991. "At about 11:30hrs on the 28 of June 2005, the persons
who had come drove bulldozers towards our dwellings. We confronted them with
annexures A, B and D (the court orders stopping the eviction). All of them
refused to accept the annexures. "They said they were illiterate, that
they were not in a classroom to be given papers to read and in any event
they were not going to obey any court orders as they were acting on orders
from above. I submit that the respondents and those that were acting through
them and on their behalf were clearly in contempt of court," Chinyuku said
in his founding affidavit. The residents had also implored the court to
impose a 30-day imprisonment on each respondent for contempt of court.
A MAGISTRATE court in
Goromonzi has issued a final order barring the police from demolishing
households belonging to two families in the on going clean-up
campaign. The final order follows a provisional one that was issued last
month when Goromonzi police and the area's rural district council threatened
to demolish structures belonging to Phillan Zamchiya and Langton
Masvosva. According to Rangu Nyamurundira, the lawyer representing Zamchiya
and Masvosva the final order was handed down last Wednesday and the police
have indicated that they would not appeal against the decision. The
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights financed the lawsuit. "The court granted us
the final order barring the police from demolishing the families houses and
they have indicated that they (police) will comply with the order,"
Nyamurundira from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said. A letter
from the attorney general's office, civil division reads: "Please take note
that the first and second respondents will not be filing any papers but will
abide by the court's decision." Officer-in-Charge, Goromonzi police and
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri were cited as the first and second
respondents respectively. In a statement on the ruling ZLHR said: "We applaud
the granting of the final order by the magistrates court protecting the
applicants from forced eviction by police. The order throws some judicial
weight to the need to protect the human rights of those affected by the
operation. ZLHR hopes that this will be the beginning of the judiciary
playing its role as the guardian and protector of human rights." The
human rights group also commended the police for abiding by the court's
decision. "It is encouraging that the police showed willingness to abide
by the court order following their disregard of other court orders like in
the Porta Farm case," added ZLHR.
OWNERS of unregistered boreholes in Harare's low-density
suburbs will now be required to regularise them with the city
council. Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi told this newspaper last week
that all boreholes must be registered with the municipality. Asked
whether this was a new requirement, Gwindi said: "Borehole registration has
been in effect since 1961 and what the City Council has done is only to
revoke it so as to restore order. Obviously there are now a few changes to
some of the clauses in that legislation but people must realise that the
need to register their boreholes has always been in existence and some
people have positively responded to that requirement." A Zimbabwe National
Water Authority (Zinwa) spokesperson said before registration, borehole
owners must draw up a plan showing the exact location of the borehole at the
property. The owners would be required to pay $800 000 for the borehole site
and a permit will be issued. Another $200 000 will be required for