in this newspaper we have published a disturbing picture. It shows how
desperate Zimbabweans have invaded that country's Gonarezhou National Park
and erected dwellings.
Wildlife in the park has been slaughtered on a
vast scale in the search for food.
The park invasion represents a
First and foremost it is evidence of the extent of the
humanitarian disaster that is visiting Zimbabwe as a consequence of Robert
Mugabe's failed state.
Poverty, homelessness and starvation are
afflicting the people of Zimbabwe to the extent that they are now seeking
refuge in the last remaining survivable land in the park.
tragedy is ecological. Just three years ago, South Africa, Zimbabwe and
Mozambique agreed to establish a vast transfrontier park encompassing
Gonarezhou, Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and our own Kruger National
Such a facility could have become the world's premier wildlife
spectacle, generating massive tourist income and the jobs, housing and
security that come along with it.
That dream now stands in ruins
thanks to the iron-fisted mismanagement of Robert Mugabe.
tourism cannot compete with the quest for survival.
Just outside South Africa's borders, a humanitarian
crisis is brewing. Despite a news blackout imposed by Zimbabwe's President
Robert Mugabe, conditions in a large camp housing those displaced by
Mugabe's Operation Murambatsvina are drawing sharp criticism from countries
around the world.
Since May this year, thousands of
people have been forced to desert their homes and have been dumped at the
makeshift Caledonia camp, about 30km outside Harare.
week, the clean-up operation was extended to wealthier suburbs in
In the past two weeks, there has been a stream of
foreign visitors to Zimbabwe seeking more information about the
First, United Nations Secretary
General Kofi Annan sent Sharad Shankardass, the executive director of UN
Habitat, to Zimbabwe for two weeks to learn more about the campaign. The
envoy's report is expected to be completed within a week.
Then it was the turn of the African Union, whose representative Zimbabwe
turned away because the government said it was too busy to see him and that
he had not given the government enough advance notice of his
Among the few foreigners to visit the camp was a group
of clerics from the South African Council of Churches (SACC). They returned
to South Africa with tales of horror, calling the situation a humanitarian
disaster waiting to happen.
It seems the whole world is
baying for Mugabe's blood, with United States President George Bush and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair calling for strong action by
This puts the South African president in a tricky
position. He seems to be working behind the scenes to soothe tempers while
publicly saying that Zimbabwe's people must engineer their own
Nomfanelo Kota, the director of public diplomacy in
South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs, told the Mail & Guardian
Online: "South Africa respects the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe and
will continue to encourage dialogue among all the political and other role
players in Zimbabwe in an effort to create an environment conducive to
reconciliation and the reconstruction and development of
Mbeki sent his new deputy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
darting into Zimbabwe last week for talks with Mugabe and her counterpart,
Joyce Mujuru. It emerged over the weekend that Mugabe asked Mlambo-Ngcuka
for a loan of hundreds of millions of rands to buy fuel, food, seeds and
Kota says: "South Africa is also engaging with
Zimbabwe on a bilateral level and the latest visit by the deputy president
... is part of those ongoing efforts to help Zimbabwe to solve its
Mbeki's spokesperson Bheki Khumalo told the
M&G Online: "Zimbabwe must come up with their own, homegrown solutions
[to the country's problems].
Mbeki has been criticised
for his policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe, which Khumalo says is a
term that doesn't exist in any political class, adding that the president is
sticking with this approach and it's not going to change.
However, Kota says: "South Africa will continue to work through collective
international efforts to assist the people of Zimbabwe to find lasting
solutions to their problems.
"As part of his latest efforts,
President Mbeki has consulted with the Secretary General of the United
Nations, Kofi Annan, with regards to the work of the special envoy, the
executive director of UN Habitat, who visited Zimbabwe a few weeks ago, to
understand the situation of the latest operation better.
"Further engagement is also taking place within the Southern African
Development Community [SADC] and the AU in terms of how African multilateral
organisations can assist in the reconstruction of Zimbabwe's
SA should take 'more active
role' Pastor Ray McCauley, president of the International
Fellowship of Christian Churches and a member of the SACC delegation that
visited Zimbabwe, told the M&G Online that the Zimbabwean problem is not
only internal and that South Africa should take a more active
"What would [have] happened to South Africa [during
apartheid] if the international world didn't take interest?" he asks, adding
that the people in the camp are "looking to Mbeki" to do something
"Particularly in the role of Nepad [the New
Partnership for Africa's Development], they see him as a leader. We just
really want to see African leaders taking an active strong role to stop
Mugabe and bring sanity to the situation."
living in the Caledonia transit camp "are traumatised, bruised and battered
into deep trauma", says Methodist bishop Ivan Abrahams, who was also part of
the SACC group.
"It could have been a camp of displaced
people in [the Democratic Republic of] Congo, [but] the whole tragedy is
that we not talking about people in Congo."
same kind of thing you see in Bosnia," he told the M&G Online. "A lot of
their shelter and livelihood had been destroyed. [They are] feeling very
disillusioned, and the vulnerable among them are the women and the
Abrahams said the camp has no infrastructure in
place and the only amenity available is a clinic, housed in a
"This is the worst tragedy that the people there have
ever witnessed. There are many, many babies that are still [being]
"We were told that a doctor comes [once a day to
the clinic]," says Abrahams -- but he only saw community workers handing out
"There were a lot of younger people. They
were just loitering. Besides one loud radio, other folk were just around.
They were not productive. There was a sense of helplessness," he
Most people are using plastic sheets as
"Judging from the most elementary and rudimentary
shelters, it's plastic bags supported by a few poles. I could not see
everybody [in one family] huddling in these rudimentary
On Wednesday last week, the ruling Zanu-PF used its
two-thirds majority in Parliament to reject a motion by the MDC condemning
the clean-up operation.
Reuters reported that state radio
on Wednesday said: "After scrutinising the ongoing clean-up exercise for
over two weeks, members of the sixth Parliament of Zimbabwe have rejected a
motion by the MDC ... to condemn the exercise."
Conditions in Zimbabwe have not always been this way. During the late 1970s,
Mugabe was lauded by his people. He was credited with ending colonial rule
in Zimbabwe -- then formally known as Rhodesia. He also supported sanctions
against South Africa before the lifting of apartheid.
he came into power in 1980, many people viewed Mugabe as a war hero fighting
the racist white majority for the freedom of his people. Zimbabwe's economy
was booming back then, but soon living standards started to drop.
Unemployment and inflation increased, and the admiration for the man who
redeemed Zimbabwe was tainted.
Abrahams describes the transit
camp as having only the "bare necessities".
"I think a
lot of these people are traumatised. There's a sense of numbness [in the
camp]. They just seemed to be beaten into submission.
one sees is the result of trauma ... I think these people couldn't believe
what was happening to them.
"It seems as if the government
war on the poor is a kind of scorched-earth policy to drive people into
submission [politically]," he says.
On arrival at Mbare
township, close to Harare, where most of the houses were demolished,
Abrahams says he was shocked by what he saw. He compared it to a town that
had just been hit by air raids.
"I just looked at the places
from where the people were moved and it looked as if there had just been an
air raid, with so much litter ... [I felt] outrage, absolute outrage and
immense anger," he says.
He says the SACC delegates were wary
of taking photographs, fearing they would be blamed for "inciting [the]
"I think some of the haunting images that will be
etched in one's memory for life is looking in the eyes of women [and seeing]
no hope. There's almost a plea of 'get me out of this situation' or 'what
can I do'. One feels hopeless."
Abrahams hopes Mbeki will
revise his stance of quiet diplomacy.
"It's just not working.
This visit just reaffirmed that. To remain silent any longer would be
scandalous to us. The credibility of all African leadership is at stake
around what is happening in Zimbabwe.
"I think it's somewhat
scandalous that we have the AU meeting in Libya and [the African leaders
remaining] adequately silent [about Zimbabwe]."
foreign media have been expelled from the country and the country's
journalists live in fear of their lives.
a lawyer for the Public Interest Litigation Project in Zimbabwe, told the
M&G Online that he went to the camp to represent a woman who was
arrested for taking pictures while she was compiling a document for
ActionAid, a British-based developmental charity group.
Her camera was confiscated and the police are still investigating the case,
but she has not been charged with anything yet, he says.
About the camp itself, Nyamurundira says: "I think it was a sad sight. It's
quite cold as well. It's one of the coldest winters I've experienced in
"I think it's unfortunate that no alternative housing
was provided for the people before their homes were
Action groups such as the "Women's Action Group,
ActionAid and Unicef [the United Nations Children's Fund]" are providing the
people in the camp with blankets and water, he says.
'Worse than animals' McCauley told the M&G Online that people
in the camp are "living worse than animals".
spoke to says they were living for many years in a brick home and were given
permission from [the city] council [to do so]," he says.
Many of the people at the camp "began to weep and cry" when he was speaking
to them, he adds. One child, a "most beautiful big-eyed boy", touched the
"He had one shoe on and the other was broken.
[His] shorts were sopping wet [probably from wetting himself], his nose was
running and his hair had lice in it," says McCauley.
McCauley sees no "purpose other than madness" for the forced removals in
Through the churches in Zimbabwe, he says, there is
some infrastructure in the camp. People were told that they would be given
water, but they have to provide their own tubs to bathe
"Everything they owned has been bashed
To put up the tents made from plastic and wooden
poles, "some of the wood has been broken from their own furniture", he
"[People] were absolutely dazed at what they were going
through. Some of them had cuts and holes in their skin.
"There was singing [from some kids, while] others were just sitting
"We're going to do a national and an international
drive to raise money [for the people in Zimbabwe]. We have the
infrastructure through the churches," says McCauley. "We need to stop this
deadlock from happening."
'They were just dumped
there' Reverend Ron Steele, McCauley's spokesperson at Rhema and
another SACC delegation member, told the M&G Online that Rwanda's
refugee camps, which he visited in 1994, "would be a five-star place
compared to what we saw".
"You just see groups of people
around a fire.
"These people have just been dumped there.
There's no running water ... it's dusty, dry, windy and cold. [The camp] is
a piece of land with sand, some trees and rocks.
quite a long way out of Harare ... about 30km [away from] where these people
"It makes it almost impossible for people to get
into town and get jobs. There is a fuel shortage in Zimbabwe which is
absolutely appalling. The transport system is just not working because the
fuel supply is so short," says Steele.
He adds that
approximately 25% of Zimbabweans are HIV-positive. Though the number of them
in the camp is unknown, he is concerned about how they will receive
anti-retroviral treatments now that they are so far away from Harare and
"They're not getting any medical treatment.
They don't have that access any more."
Steele, the only thing the Zimbabwean government provides is portable
toilets. There is pressure on the camp's amenities because of the large
number of people living in the camp.
People spend "half their
day" walking to water tanks and back again, and there is no electricity, "so
they were cutting down trees to make a fire".
a little tent this child had made. It was tiny and he could just squeeze in
and it would cover him," says Steele.
'I don't have a future
any more' He met a woman whom he describes as "articulate and
very angry". She used to have a stall in the flea market, and had her
electric strove and fridge with her.
"She's sitting in
the middle of the bush ... it's so ridiculous," says
Another 20-year-old woman claimed she had no parents
and was looking after her three siblings.
was in a pathetic state and you could see lice in their hair. [She told me]
'I don't know what I can do. I don't have a rural area to go to. I don't
know what I can do. I have no village.'"
Yet another victim
of the removals worked as a security guard before he was moved to the camp.
He told Steele: "I haven't got a future. Nobody knows me [in the rural
area]. I'm 25 years old. I grew up in the city. I was trying to plan for my
future. Now I don't have one any more."
Steele says, was "just stand after stand and it was just rubble. It was
pathetic. The flea market was deserted."
Steele feels there
are solutions to the crisis in Zimbabwe, but that Mugabe doesn't want to
"There has been no planning [in
Zimbabwe]. Everything has been done ad hoc. They can't solve their problems
themselves ... I would put money on it," he says.
never saw a happy person [in the camp]. I thought people in the camps would
mob us and say, 'Tell Mugabe this and tell him that' ... It didn't happen.
There's a sort of numbness in that place ... they don't know how to react.
They feel helpless.
"It's terrible that the government can
treat people like this. There's no care and no compassion [for its
"It's an appalling situation that people are being
treated as objects," similar to the apartheid era in South Africa when the
blacks were treated as objects, says Steele.
South Africa is doing what it can for Zimbabwe, but thinks people there are
"running out of time".
"The situation is getting desperate.
There's a new urgency to get something concrete [to
"The country is slowly
Anger and confusion Paul
Nantulya, from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa,
told the M&G Online: "One did not expect to find camps such as you'd
find in Burundi. [The camp] resembles a refugee-type
"There was a sense of anger and confusion [around
the camp]. Crucial facilities are non-existent in some places and if they
are, they are overtaxed."
Nantulya says many people in
the camp are confused and still have their property title deeds and trading
He feels South Africa "needs to take a stronger
stance with the people" of Zimbabwe because any sort of uprising there would
reflect badly on Southern Africa.
"I never thought I'd
see something [like this] just a few kilometres from our border," says
"It's a very demoralising experience, to live in a
camp like that [in Zimbabwe]. I'm very worried it's going to be
Managers in Zimbabwe have been
forced to throw away their management textbooks
The crisis in
Zimbabwe has prompted company managers to develop unique capabilities in a
time of profound economic decline. Short-termism and crisis management are
the order of the day and managers say long-term business planning is
impossible. Managing by the textbook in such an economy is irrational, they
say. The manager of a food chain says he has a planning cycle of "all of 24
hours". He says most of the crucial decisions he has made over the past
three months have been about the value of money in a country with a dual
interest rate. Key features of the Zimbabwean economic meltdown are dual
interest rates, a critical shortage of hard currency with which to buy
manufacturing and industrial supplies, and nonexistent agricultural output.
Commercial agriculture, once the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy, is
dead, and the manufacturing sector is running on average at 30% capacity.
Prices of basic commodities fluctuate wildly and hyper-inflation is rampant.
Productivity is low, labour is expensive and rent-seeking behaviour -
arranging special favours - is rampant.
The recent humanitarian
crisis in which more than 135 000 families have been made homeless has
disrupted the workforce. Some factories are production lines during the day
and dormitories at night. "My factory has become a makeshift home for the
newly displaced and I as a manager have turned into a dispenser of soft
loans to my employees and a social worker and counsellor all in one," says
one businessman. The MD of a packaging company says government policy has
turned most business people into criminals. He says government has created
many rules and structures that are not conducive to business activity. He
gives the example of the foreign exchange auction market set up by the
central bank. Through the market, government presides over who is to get an
allocation of scarce foreign currency. Yet the chances of a business getting
foreign exchange are small. So companies split their bids, using third-party
agents to bid for forex. Since their chances of getting forex are about 2%,
managers feel they are engaged in a lottery rather than a rational money
market. Unable to raise money officially to meet their obligations to
suppliers, businesses turn to the parallel market for forex, or have to shut
Few businesses have not received "little visits" from the
economic crime unit in President Robert Mugabe's office. Often the visits
are prompted by a special allocation. Managers often petition the Reserve
Bank for extra allocations of forex and argue that without these they will
have to close down. Those that are able to convince the bank receive a stack
of foreign currency and then a "little visit" to ensure that the money
allocated at a special rate is being used for the purposes intended. A
hotelier says managers have become good at reading the nuances of economic
and political policy and adapting accordingly. He says resilience is fast
becoming one of the defining characteristics of those businesses that remain
open. Many manufacturers are highly indebted to suppliers of raw materials
in SA and most have run out of credit. A bank manager says strategic
planning is difficult because all economic interventions - even small ones -
need political support. He asks: "How do you give a loan to a white farmer
who has good credit and a solid balance sheet , when there is no guarantee
of the security of his tenure on the land or his property rights? Our
managers are having to design politically inoffensive stakeholder-based
plans . This is making the managers very strategically astute."
SA church delegation back in Zimbabwe Tue 19 July
HARARE - A South African church delegation arrived in Zimbabwe
yesterday, the second such group in less than a week, to discuss aid for
thousands of families left homeless by President Robert Mugabe's
controversial urban clean-up campaign.
Last week another team
from the South African Council of Churches (SACC) joined Western governments
and aid groups in condemning Harare's clean-up exercise saying it had left
victims including thousands of children scrambling for shelter, deep in the
southern hemisphere's winter season.
The leader of the SACC team,
Ivan Abrahams, said his mission had the blessings of South Africa's
President Thabo Mbeki.
"We are coming to assess and discuss with
the Zimbabwe Council of Churches the aid or humanitarian package that the
South African Council of Churches together with the South African government
is putting together," Abrahams told reporters on his arrival at Harare
"It is related to the demolitions. Also
there is concern because of the United Nations Development Programme report
that five million Zimbabweans will be at risk in terms of food security,"
The team that visited Zimbabwe last week has since
met Mbeki and Abrahams said his mission had been promised that their report
would also be considered by the South African government when and if it
decides to take action over Mugabe's home demolition programme.
Mbeki is expected to decide on a course of action when the UN publishes a
report by special envoy Anna Tibaijuka who was in the country on a two-week
visit to assess the government's much criticised demolitions of shantytowns
and city backyard cottages.
Well-placed sources said Mbeki's
deputy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, last week urged Mugabe, during talks in
Harare, to end the demolitions that have claimed the lives of at least five
people, according to police figures.
Zimbabwe state media has
sought to discredit the earlier SACC delegation that was led by South
African Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, suggesting its visit was
bankrolled by British intelligence to smear Mugabe's government. Britain
denies the charges.
"I don't know where that comes from. All the
clergy that came . . . their tickets were not even bought by the SACC, every
denomination paid their own way," said Abrahams.
defiant in the face of mounting condemnation, has defended the demolitions
as necessary to clean up Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal
trading in foreign currency and food commodities in short supply after
drought slashed farm output. - ZimOnline
IN TOUCH WITH CHURCH AND FAITH, NUMBER 46 14 JULY 2005
WE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT TRUTH
JESUITS AND THE PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL
SETTLERS ON MANRESA FARM
SA CHURCH DELEGATION VISITS MBARE
TO SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES on Pastoral Visit to Zimbabwe
-NATIONAL INTEREST- OF ZIMBABWE
Mbare Report No 15, 13
WE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT
I could not get into my own premises, such a
throng of people jostling each other were in front of the gate. People are
hungry and desperate. Were is the next meal coming from? The sick, the
handicapped, the elderly may get elbowed out of the way; the bedridden may be
left out altogether. Mbare has an unusually large elderly population. Leaders
of our parish neighbourhood groups come with lists of people we have not been
able to assist yet and tell harrowing stories of biting hunger. How do we
reach them all? A few vendors are timidly emerging again on
the streets with just a few vegetables and fruits for sale, not more than
they can grab and run with if the police come round the corner. You get
arrested if caught vending. Most people who were
self-employed or depended on income from renting out rooms are ruined. They
have no chance ever to follow their trade again unless they are party
supporters and are given stands at the new sites controlled by the party.
People not supporting the party no longer have a right to
life. Not all who escaped the chaos in Mbare to the rural
areas have been lucky. A woman who has a history of being harassed as a
opposition party supporter, who had her house burnt and was beaten up, came
back from a remote area to look for food: there is nothing where she went;
she has been feeding her family on vegetables only.
There is no cleaning-up. There is only destruction and heaps of rubble lining
certain streets and filling up empty spaces where people have dumped the
debris left after -tsunami-. Mbare was never so ugly. That
is the depressing thing: the enormous lies that are being told day in, day
out. The -country is being cleaned up, order is restored; you are freed from
crime and corruption; new houses are being built-. Truth is constantly being
twisted and distorted. Which touches our very humanity. We cannot live
without truth. It is part of the air we breathe. You choke on this diet of
lies, you vomit when constantly fed such poison.
boys of Hartmann House loaded our car with blankets they had brought from
home for the displaced people. The students of St George-s | reputed to be
interested only in cricket or rugby, far from the social reality of the
country | raised $ 20 million with which we bought three bales of blankets,
60 blankets each. It is very encouraging to experience the solidarity of
fellow Christians. On Monday afternoon, while watching the
crowds lining up for food distribution, amidst the hustle and bustle of
people shouting and arguing, crying and pleading, suddenly Cardinal Napier,
archbishop of Durban, SA, appeared. I could not believe my eyes: what is he
doing here? Then more clergy emerged from a mini-bus: the delegation of the
SA Council of Churches was visiting Mbare. +Tell your president|.,-our aid
workers told the visitors. Our president never received them. It was good to
experience the concern of our neighbours from down
south. Oskar Wermter SJ
JESUITS AND THE PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL SETTLERS ON
Manresa Farm (Chishawasha, on the Arcturus
Road) is meant to become a residential township. A contractor has been
working there for some years laying out the roads, putting down sewage pipes
and installing the water supply. All the stands are sold, and the owners wait
for the time that they can start building their houses. There are stands for
schools, shops and churches. What is holding up the
development is the presence of settlers who claim this as their land. Some
were given permission by Silveira House to settle there for a time, or their
presence was at least tolerated. Others seem to be there because their
parents or grandparents were working on the farm under the last commercial
farmer who rented the land up to the sixties. The law
courts decided that these settlers had no right to stay there and should
move. The Jesuits could have asked the forces of law and order a long time
ago to evict them. They did not do so, but tried to come to an amicable
agreement with them. There is in fact land available where they
can settle. It is not true, as stated in the press, that
the Jesuits want the police to demolish their houses and evict them
+Murambatsvina-- style. Other than in the +Operation Clean-up-, the people
have known for a long time that their position is illegal and were given time
to move elsewhere. The Jesuits are in a difficult position:
they do not wish to cause the settlers unnecessary hardship in settling
elsewhere, but they also have an obligation to the people who have acquired
stands in the new township and are eager to get on with building their
houses. Some settlers have been encouraged by certain
local politicians to stay put. This has not helped. In recent days
representatives of the illegal settlers and of the Jesuits met again, and it
is hoped that a settlement of the longstanding dispute can be reached. |
SA CHURCH DELEGATION VISITS
MBARE Cardinal Wilfred Napier, Catholic Archbishop of
Durban, and the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane were
part of the delegation of the South African Council of Churches who paid a
pastoral visit to Zimbabwe to see for themselves the destruction caused by
+Murambatsvina- and speak to the people affected by it.
On Monday, 11 July, they visited Mbare and arrived in time at St Peter Claver
Church, Madzima Road, to see the crowds queuing for food rations, donated by
the Catholic Relief Services and distributed by parish staff and Justice
& Peace activists.
REPORT TO SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL
OF CHURCHES CENTRAL COMMITTEE | MEETING 12 & 13 July
2005 Pastoral Visit to Zimbabwe on 10-11
July 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. PASTORAL
MISSION A delegation of South African Church Leaders
accompanied by a representative of the All Africa Conference of Churches paid
a pastoral visit to Zimbabwe on 10-11 July 2005. Archbishop Ndungane,
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Professor Russel Botman President of the
SACC led the SACC delegation. The pastoral visit was facilitated and hosted
by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC). The purpose
of the visit was to provide pastoral solidarity to the communities affected
by the recent "Operation Murambatsvina", described by the Zimbabwe government
as "Operation restore order" and the churches ministering to them. The
delegation visited the Caledonia 'Transit' Camp, where displaced people have
been relocated to, and visited the Mbare Township from where some of the
displaced people originate. The delegation met with the
Zimbabwean Church leadership, (representing the Zimbabwe Council of Churches,
the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Catholic Church). They were
also briefed by Zimbabwe civil society organisations, including the Zimbabwe
Confederation of Trade Unions. 1.2 OBSERVATIONS AT
CALEDONIA TRANSIT CAMP The camp is located approximately 30
kilometres to the South East of Harare in the Ruwa area. The place of
relocation previously served as a farm. There are no facilities' on or
adjacent to the camp, other then an old farm house. The displaced people
informed the delegation that they were given 30 minutes to pack their
possessions after which they were loaded on trucks and dumped in the
Caledonia Transit camp. The only existing shelters are
plastic sheets supported by pieces of wood. The displaced persons themselves
erected these inhabitable shelters. Government made little effort to provide
any services other than the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who are
managing the camp. Churches and particularly Christian Care (the service arm
of ZCC) provides blankets, a few tents and food to the 4890 displaced
persons. UNICEF provides water. Those displaced to
Caledonia camp were told that they would be there only for five days. By the
time the delegation visited the camp they had been there for a month, and
were unsure of when they would move to an improved situation. The displaced
are living under inhuman conditions. Scores of children, young people and
unemployed parents and grandparents have to eek out a measly existence on
rations supplied by foreign and local NGOs and Churches. 260 children are
registered at a crèche set up in the camp. On the day that the delegation
visited only 30 children turned up and because it was cloudy and cold they
played inside of a building that had no room windows or a
door. Street people and informal vendors are the main
victims of the Operation. A considerable number are born in Zimbabwe with
parents from neighbouring countries. Displaced people are, on the whole,
income earners who had been supporting their families and sending their
children to school. Taking away their economic productivity and reducing them
to living on relief supplies has stifled their creativity. A large number of
teenage mothers were seen in the camp nursing their
1.3 OBSERVATIONS AT MBARE
TOWNSHIP A shocking site greeted the delegation on entering
Mbare Township. Almost every yard was filled with rubble from the demolition
of structures. A considerable number of people who have been living in Mbare
for many decades had their homes and informal business structures destroyed
as part of "Operation Clean-up". Extensions were made to houses to support
the extended family and in some instances to supplement old age pensions.
These extensions were broken down. The affected people sought shelter with
families and friends or ended up in the transit camps.
The delegation witnessed the desperate poverty of the people in Mbare
Township. On visiting a Catholic Church in the township the delegation was
greeted by long queues of people waiting to collect their monthly
food rations. This is illustrating a looming hunger crisis in
Harare. 2. STATEMENT OF THE DELEGATION
There comes a time when human suffering is indescribable. What we have seen
is a small portion of the human suffering playing itself out in the townships
of Harare. At such times the Christian Church and community is challenged to
speak the truth in an uncompromising manner. Such times demand unity of
purpose amongst churches. The cries of the affected people must be heard and
seen, and the credibility of the Gospel cannot be compromised. The dignity of
people who are created in the image of God must be
affirmed. In this instance the affected people are the
already vulnerable: self-employed, under- employed and unemployed, taking
care of dependant minor children, youth and grandparents. Within no time
these people have become victims of a political and economic system. Their
humanity has been denied and their remaining dignity trampled upon. Their
efforts to survive through informal trading have been criminalized. Many of
the informal vendors were laid off from employment in the formal sector and
started income generation projects. We salute the
churches in Zimbabwe for the commendable interventions they continue to make.
While we continue to uphold them in prayers, we recognise that they need our
practical support in resolving the causes of the
The church cannot sit by idly when leaders
treat their people worse than animals. The situation is worsened when efforts
at service delivery are restricted by political objectives. The Church of
Christ cannot afford to be a silent observer when poverty and homelessness is
meticulously implemented. There are sinister motives informing government
action where the broad populaces are affected in townships and cities and
growth points. The pain and hurt is visible in the eyes of
children and the despair of parents fuel their loss of dignity. Such
observations are dominant in the camps where the relocated have been dumped.
The limited chances to sustain a livelihood have been taken away from the
relocated families. "Operation Restore Order" fuels serious shortages of
food, and a humanitarian crisis last seen in Zimbabwe during the liberation
struggle. Young people who could be agents of change may
become catalyst for conflict as they are exposed to the hopelessness of their
parents. Because of the stress, trauma and lack of proper nutrition, mothers
are unable to breast-feed their babies. Fathers who are denied the
opportunity to support their families are loitering in transit camps,
consumed by boredom and despair. The deplorable health conditions have also
compromised the battle against HIV and Aids and other infectious
diseases. All of this happens due to a lack of economic
planning by the government. If there is any planning it is poor and
inconsiderate of the people that government is meant to serve and take care
of. The affected people should have been provided with alternatives that are
sustainable and humane. Instead informal business people are sacrificed for
the formal economy. These people are removed from opportunities to earn a
living and driven to the periphery of society. This deliberate destruction of
the informal economy, which is meant to cater for economically vulnerable
groups, is unparalleled in modern day Africa. The displaced
are told that they must return to their rural homes. Most of these people
moved to the main centres of business driven by poverty and a need to earn a
living. Forcing them to return to rural areas where there are water
shortages, high levels of unemployment and skills shortages is no solution.
Such action is inconsiderate of its consequences and the affected people. The
next harvest will only happen in eight months. Making
victims of the poor and criminalizing their efforts for survival will not
resolve the political and economic problems of Zimbabwe. The timing of the
operation is when the Zimbabwean economy is at its worst and in the heart of
It is good for 'Law & Order' to be
maintained, but like the Zimbabwean Church leaders, we have a problem with
the manner and methods that are inhuman. Local government and authorities are
not involved in the provision of services to the relocated people. The Zim $
3 trillion that government offers will only be able to build 3,000 (three
thousand) houses. Zimbabwean churches and other service
providers are placed in an invidious position. Through their humanitarian
assistance they could be considered to be complicit in the suffering of the
affected communities. While churches do not condone the actions of government
they are obliged to provide support to the displaced people. Consistent
efforts to meet with government failed to yield any
results. Churches are concerned that such transit
arrangements tend to become permanent. . There is no
rationale for Zimbabweans to be internally displaced, except for the fact
that people are economically driven. The delegation encourages leaders in
Southern Africa to consider the threat of economic displacement in the
economic models they pursue. What was\experienced by the
delegation was a situation seen in Somalia. In the case of Somalia the
reasons for the devastation of the livelihood of the poor was due to natural
causes. However in the case of Zimbabwe the sad situation of the destruction
of livelihood and family life is due to the orchestration of a government
which cannot recognise that it has dumped its people into another crisis from
which they will have difficulty returning. THE WAY
FORWARD The delegation having had the experience of seeing
the devastating poverty and turmoil in the lives of those cruelly and
inhumanly displaced by the Zimbabwean government are convinced that tangible
and sustainable efforts need to be put in place to save Zimbabwe's poor
from complete destruction. We hereby offer the following proposals for
consideration by the SACC Central Committee. 1. For the
SACC to plan and execute a National Campaign of Relief.
2. To organise a solidarity letter campaign. 3. To organise
a prayer campaign focusing on the plight of the Zimbabwean
people. 4. Organise a Civil disobedience
MEMBERS OF THE
DELEGATION Prof Russel Botman: President of the South African Council of
Churches Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane: Anglican Archbishop of Cape
Town Cardinal Wilfred Napier: Catholic Archbishop of Durban
and President of SA Catholic Bishop's Conference Pastor Ray McCauley:
President of International Fellowship of Christian Churches Archbishop
Njeru Wambugu: All Africa Conference of Churches. Bishop Ivan Abrahams:
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Southern Africa and Chair of
Church leaders Forum Dr. Coenie Burger: Moderator of the Dutch Reformed
Church and member of SACC NEC Father Matt Esau: Anglican
Church of Southern Africa Mr Eddie Makue: Deputy General
Secretary of the SACC Rev Ron Steele: Rhema
Church Mr Paul Graham: IDASA Mr. Paul
Nantulya: Institute for Justice and
THE -NATIONAL INTEREST- OF
THE -NATIONAL INTEREST- OF ZIMBABWE
The minister of information, trying to -clarify- the role of the media in
Zimbabwe, told journalists they should be -patriotic- and act -in
the national interest-. But what is -patriotic- at the present time? Telling
people that to destroy their homes is in their best interest?
As usual, government fails to tell the difference between the state (and its
constitution which is permanent) and the government / ruling party of the day
(changeable). This mental confusion does not -clarify- anything.
According to this view, the interest of the party in power equals the
+national interest-. Anyone not supporting the claim to absolute power of the
ruling party is not +patriotic-. What is excluded is the very
real possibility that it may be in the true +national interest- to remove the
party at present in power from government and elect someone
else. If you accept the +national interest- as your highest value
you may well justify extremely dangerous government action in the
international scene, e.g. military adventures for the self-enrichment of the
rulers. Rights of individual citizens can be disregarded in the
+national interest-. The life of the poor may be sacrificed in the +national
interest-, as happens at present in the +Murambatsvina- campaign (now called
+Murambavanhu- by many). Media ethics demands a key role for
the CONSCIENCE of the individual media worker. Significantly, conscience was
never mentioned by our top media controller. Journalists
without a conscience are mere propagandists who have sold their souls to the
powers that be, mercenaries who have hired themselves out to the highest
bidder. Such hirelings running our media is not in the +national
Evicted Bulawayo residents moved to holding camp Tue 19
BULAWAYO - More than 300 people, who were being sheltered
by churches in Bulawayo after their homes were demolished by the government,
have since last week been moved to a state holding camp at Helensvale farm,
20 km north-west of the city.
Church leaders, who had refused
to move the over 2 000 displaced people to the holding camp until basic
amenities such as tents, toilets and clean water were in place, yesterday
said they were "satisfied" with the facilities installed at the
The religious leaders, assisted by non-governmental
organisations (NGOs), continue to be responsible for the welfare of the
families at the green-tented transit camp.
More of the
displaced families still in church halls across Bulawayo will be vetted and
sent to Helensvale or to their original rural homes, according to Zimbabwe
National Pastors' Conference chairman, Raymond Motsi.
to play a very significant role in deciding who goes where and what happens
and the NGOs are very much behind us. The most important thing is that the
government has minimal input in terms of what's going on here and the church
is the bigger influence," Motsi said.
The families, part of close
to a million people displaced by the government's clean-up campaign
countrywide, are supposed to remain at Helensvale for up to three months
before they can find more permanent places to stay.
at another state holding camp, at Caledonia farm near Harare have been
condemned by local and international human rights groups. A South African
Council of Churches delegation that visited the overcrowded Caledonia last
week described the situation there as shameful and absolutely
More than 4 000 people are staying at Caledonia
without adequate clean water, food or toilets. Most of the people spend the
cold winter nights in the open because there are no enough
Bulawayo church leaders from various denominations fearing
that Helensvale could become another Caledonia, persuaded the government not
to relocate displaced people to the camp until conditions and facilities
there were in line with internationally accepted standards for internally
Helensvale is easy to spot along the highway
from Bulawayo to the fading tourist town of Victoria Falls with its rows of
neatly pitched green tents bearing the Red Cross and Red Crescent
One hundred tents have been pitched so far to accommodate the
66 families that have moved in since relocation began last Wednesday. A
family of five is allocated a tent while individuals, teenagers or single
parents share five to a tent. Trench toilets have also been dug and are
already in use.
The United Nations Children's Education Fund
(UNICEF) provided five water tanks with a capacity of 5 000 litres and also
has a bowser to replenish supplies as there is no running water on the
World Vision is providing food rations comprising
mealie-meal, cooking oil and dried beans. Churches provide sugar, salt,
fresh vegetables and other food items that World Vision does not supply.
Each family cooks its own meals at a communal open air kitchen.
A tent that serves as a clinic has been pitched where volunteer doctors who
visit the camp to attend to the sick operate from. Children are expected to
enrol at a primary school about two kilometres away on a neighbouring
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) Estate.
government however keeps a close watch on what goes on at the camp. Two
police officers in plain clothes are stationed at the entrance to the farm
round the clock to monitor who goes in and out of the camp. -
Doubts over Zim maize claims 18/07/2005 10:57 -
Johannesburg - Experts in Zimbabwe have cast serious doubts on
claims by the Zimbabwe government that it is able to secure 1.2 million tons
of maize to feed millions of food insecure households, the United Nations'
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) said on Monday.
authorities have been reluctant to launch an official appeal for
international aid to stave off widespread food shortages, saying the
government was capable of importing adequate stocks to address the
Relief agencies have estimated that up to 4.5 million
Zimbabweans would need food aid this year, but officials maintain that just
1.5 million people require food assistance, based on a government crop
assessment undertaken between December and January, IRIN said.
figures showed that drought conditions had reduced the maize harvest to
around 600 000 tons, against a national consumption requirement of 1.8
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) plans to import 600 000
tons to build its strategic reserves.
But a senior European Union
food security analyst in Harare expressed serious concerns, saying the
figures did not add up and the government, already strapped for hard
currency, was unlikely to follow through on its promises.
security programme coordinator Pierre-Luc Vanhaeverbeke said: "The
government says it has plans to procure maize for food use, but so far it
has not backed up where they would source the funds from to pay for these
"The 1.2 million tons will definitely be adequate to meet
the needs of the vulnerable, but so far there hasn't been any major import
of maize, and we are all wondering how true the information
Sources noted that just a fraction of the necessary maize - around
260 000 tons - had been delivered.
Surplus stocks from South Africa
are expected to be the main source of imports.
shortages also threaten to complicate food distribution.
needing foreign exchange to import food, the county has to find enough money
to bring in fuel, electricity, medical supplies and other
Zimbabwe public service, labour and social welfare
minister Nicholas Goche told IRIN: "All I can say is that we are importing
large quantities of grain, particularly from South Africa.
give you the exact budget for importing and distributing the grain around
the country, but the GMB already has a system which we shall make use
Zim varsity students next to face crackdown July 18
2005 at 01:55PM
Harare University students could be the next
victims of Zimbabwe's controversial clean-up campaign, the state-controlled
Sunday Mail newspaper has reported.
A shortage of accommodation
at the country's top higher education institution, the University of
Zimbabwe, has led many students to rent rooms and cottages in the nearby
suburb of Mount Pleasant.
But now police and officials have ordered
residents of high-income suburbs like Mount Pleasant to demolish all illegal
However, in a surprise move this weekend, the
government announced it was halting the operation for 10 days to allow
residents time to get copies of their house plans so they can prove they are
legally built. - Sapa-dpa
This article was originally
published on page 4 of Cape Argus on July 18, 2005
Bishop accuses SACC of colluding with Blair July 18
2005 at 03:58PM
Harare - A delegation of South African churchmen
arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday on a three-day follow-up visit to assess the
relief needs of churches in Zimbabwe following a controversial government
"clean-up" campaign, a member of the delegation said on Monday.
The visit comes a week after a tour led by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape
Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane. That delegation reported back to the central
committee of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) following their
visit, and the second delegation is said to be here to share information on
the outcome of that meeting.
Ivan Abraham, of the SACC said the
delegation arrived in Harare mid-day on Monday, added that the aim of the
visit was "to share with the Methodist church in Zimbabwe, and be envoys for
He said his delegation, which is here at the
invitation of Zimbabwe's Methodist church is expected to meet with their
counterparts in the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) on
Churches in Zimbabwe have been at the forefront of helping
people who have had their homes demolished in a controversial government
campaign called Operation Restore Order that has seen police destroy shacks,
backyard cottages and housing co-operatives said to have been built
Human rights groups say at least 300 000 people in towns
and cities throughout Zimbabwe have been made homeless by the exercise,
while many more have lost livelihoods following the demolition of flea
markets and home industry bases targeted by Operation Restore Order, now in
its second month.
Last week's visit by Ndungane was heavily
criticised by state-controlled media in Zimbabwe, with the official Herald
newspaper claiming that Ndungane's visit was masterminded by British
intelligence agents, a claim denied by the British embassy in
On Sunday the Anglican Bishop of Harare, Nobert Kunonga
repeated the accusation, telling a state-controlled weekly paper that the
visit was "part of the British attempts to destabilise the country by
painting a false picture of developments here for the international
President Robert Mugabe's government claims former colonial
power Britain and her allies are trying to find a pretext to implement
regime change in Zimbabwe. - Sapa-dpa
Besides re-commissioning the ethanol plant in the
Lowveld to extend petrol supplies, the Government is re-opening research
into using vegetable oils from a variety of sources as a diesel
Zimbabwe abandoned the production of ethanol in 1992 during
the great drought after blending it with petrol for more than a
At Zimbabwe's altitude, petrol can contain up to 20 percent
ethanol although the percentage used for much of the 1980s was 10 to 15
Vegetable oils, with modest extra processing, are already in use
in diesel engines in parts of Europe where they are popular with the Green
The only problems encountered are when temperatures drop below
minus 5 degrees celsius and they flow less easily, a problem that cannot be
seen in Zimbabwe.
There was some research into bio-diesel in Zimbabwe
in the 1970s and 1980s but this was wound down when it was found the country
would gain by exporting the vegetable oilseed and using the proceeds to
However, the huge rise in the prices of petroleum and its
products in recent months make bio-diesel economically competitive in many
In an interview, the Minister of Energy and Power Development,
Retired Lieutenant General Michael Nyambuya, said an implementation team was
in place and the results should start flowing soon.
"The ministry is
aiming at producing fossil fuel substitutes from ethanol blending, castor
and soya beans, livestock feeds, jatropha curcas seeds, rape and sunflower
seeds," he said.
With the cost of fossil fuels continuing to rise on the
international market, the Government is embarking on medium to long-term
plans for massive import substitution.
"It is well known that the
price of crude oil has risen from about US$27 in January to about US$60 per
The effect of the increases in oil prices means that where US$1
could buy 2 litres of fuel in January, that same amount can now only buy one
litre of the same product," he said.
The search for plant oils in
Zimbabwe started during the late 1970s when, due to sanctions, the country
experienced difficulties in obtaining fossil fuel.
The ethanol plant
in Triangle was started in the late 1970s but only commissioned after
independence. For just over a decade, it provided Zimbabwe's only bio-fuel,
an additive for petrol.
The use of bio-fuel was abandoned in 1992 when
the country was struck by to the extent that ethanol was not
During the post-drought period, the cost of ethanol went up
such that that it was more expensive to buy a litre of ethanol than that of
Cde Nyambuya's ministry is working closely with other government
departments like Noczim, Forestry Commission, SIRDC, and Arex among others,
to ensure the success of the bio-fuel project.
Research work is
currently underway and people will be encouraged to grow crops from which
bio-diesel is extracted.
Jatropha curcas, known as Ngondofa or Mujirimono
in the Shona vernacular, is one of the plants that the Ministry is
The plant seed contains up to 40 percent oil by seed weight
and 25 percent can be easily extracted.
Jatropha seed has immense
potential to produce fuel and its by-products are useful in the production
of medicines, pesticides, presscake for fertiliser, hulls for stockfeed and
Jatropha curcas has traditionally been limited to the
smallholder-farming sector in Zimbabwe in Murehwa, Mutoko, Mudzi and
It is believed to have originated from Peru and Mexico and was
spread by Portuguese and Arab traders.
The semi-naturalised plant has
established itself in Zimbabwe in extremely harsh environments, as it
requires very little management.
It has since been used for living fences
and is a drought resistant species, which is not browsed by
Cde Nyambuya said that the current fuel challenges are being
caused by a shortage in foreign currency, which the country is
He, however, said that his ministry is working tirelessly
to find lasting solutions to the fuel crisis.
Villagers Protest Against 6-Week Ban On Field Work
July 18, 2005 Posted to the web July 18, 2005
Villagers in Murinye communal lands, Masvingo, are
protesting against the imposition of a six-week ban from fieldwork
(Mahakurimwi) to commemorate the death of their chief last
Chief David Mudarikwa Murinye died last year at the age of 83 and
his son and successor Chief Matopos Murinye this month imposed a six-week
ban from field work for all villages under the chiefdom to commemorate his
The ban prohibits such activities as working in the
fields and gardens among other domestic duties that involve the use of hoes
Villagers were ordered to stop working for six weeks with
effect from July 1 this year, a practice known as "Mahakurimwi" in
conformity with a traditional way of honouring the death of a powerful
Any breach of the chief's declaration invited a punishment which
requires the payment of a live goat.
Historically, this was a common
phenomenon among Shona chiefdoms but the modern day subjects of Chief
Murinye, whose survival hinges on an array of agricultural plots around Lake
Mutirikwi, feel six weeks would affect their earnings.
"We were told
that with effect from 1 July we should refrain from doing work which
involves the use of hoes and axes, even digging in out gardens or ploughing
our fields until after six weeks to commemorate the death of Chief
"However, we feel badly let down by such a move because we
need to work to fend for our children and pay school fees.
practice (Mahakurimwi) should be lessened to two days so that people can
work for their families. Six weeks is just too long a time," said an irate
villager from Munamati in Murinye.
Another villager said such practices
like "Mahakurimwi" should be done away with because they disregarded the
economic realities of today.
"In the past, if a woman gave birth to
twins, people used to kill one of them because it was believed that it was a
bad omen but today that will be treated as murder. Some of these traditional
practices should be scrapped," said another villager from
Most other villagers said the order should be reversed to allow
farmers a chance to prepare for the rainy season.
The villagers were
reportedly warned that they risked losing a goat to the headman and a beast
to the chief if they defied the order.
Efforts to get a comment from
Chief Murinye were fruitless.
However, the president of the Zimbabwe
Council of Chiefs, Chief Fortune Charumbira, said it was wrong for villagers
in Murinye to rush to the media instead of discussing the matter with their
"There seems to be some ulterior motives behind the move to rush
to the media by the villagers in the area which might even be political. A
person who belongs to a community is expected to be part of the traditions
and customs of that community.
"They should not have gone to the
media to Villagers protest against 6-week ban on field work remedy a family
problem because in essence, I take that as a family problem. If they were
aggrieved they should have approached the chief through the chief's council
of elders who would talk to him," said Chief Charumbira.
whether the time of mahakurimwi was too long or shot was an immaterial issue
stressing that Chief Murinye was just implementing the tradition and customs
of the Murinye chiefdom.
The Murinye people, who are of the Duma clan,
preserve their cultural values and norms.
At the funeral of the late
chief Murinye in February this year, scores of people who thronged his
Boroma Hills residence for his funeral did not see even his grave or know
the time he was buried.
Mourners were only told about the burial of the
chief after he had long been buried.
However, investigations later
revealed that chief Murinye --- who ruled for 52 years --- had already been
buried long before the announcement of his death in line with the Duma
tradition of burying chiefs.
EU 'considering' Zimbabwe sanctions July 19,
2005 - 6:14AM
The European Union has strongly condemned Zimbabwe's
demolition of houses in poor townships and Sweden says the EU was mulling
sanctions against those responsible for making at least 300,000 people
homeless. In a strongly worded statement, EU foreign ministers called on
Zimbabwe urgently to provide shelter for people who had lost their homes and
businesses in the crackdown and said aid workers should be allowed to reach
those in need of help.
The EU imposed a visa ban in 2000 on senior
members of the government led by President Robert Mugabe after accusations
of vote rigging in parliamentary polls and Swedish Foreign Minister Laila
Freivalds said restrictions may be widened.
"We are looking at the
possibility of complementing the sanctions list ... with names of persons
who are directly responsible for the current (situation)," she told
Sanctions include a ban on the sale, supply or transfer of
arms to Zimbabwe. People suspected of human rights violations are barred
from entering the EU and assets they hold within the 25-nation bloc may be
Police have razed shacks, unregistered stalls and workshops in
poor urban townships in an operation aid agencies say has left people
homeless and without income. The two-month old crackdown has now moved into
more affluent areas. Mugabe's government has said the demolitions were
meant to clean up Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal trading
in foreign currency and other scarce commodities.
The government has
denied accusations that the campaign, called "Operation Restore Order", is
targeted at opposition supporters who mostly live in poor urban
But the Commonwealth, EU, Britain, the United States and rights
groups have condemned the exercise, in which at least five people have been
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country holds the EU
presidency until the end of the year, said EU ministers wanted the African
Union to press Mugabe on the matter.
"There was strong and widespread
condemnation of President Mugabe's policy of demolition and clearances," he
told a news conference. "We called on the African Union to use its influence
to bring an end to the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe."
A CRITICAL shortage of nurses has hit rural hospitals
and health centres with Zimbabwe needing urgently 3 337
Government investigations have shown that 40 percent of rural
health centres are being manned by untrained nurses while rural district
council clinics need 1 278 nurses, a situation that has posed serious
challenge to the health delivery system.
The Minister of Health and
Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said one of the major reasons why the
primary care nurse programme had been introduced and why the registered
general nurse training output had been increased was to ensure that trained
personnel would man all health centres.
He was speaking at the inaugural
graduation ceremony for 270 primary care nurses in Harare last
"It is envisaged that by January 2007 all our rural health centres
including clinics will be manned by one trained nurse and by two trained
nurses by July 2008," he said.
The 20 registered general nurses and
16 primary care nurses training schools throughout the country were expected
to graduate more than 6 000 nurses by the end of 2007.
Government and six mission schools are currently conducting the three-year
general nurse training programme while 16 centres are conducting the primary
care nurse (PCN) training programme.
At least 200 of the 270 inaugural
graduates of the PCN programme have already been posted to several rural
health centres, rural hospitals and mission hospitals where they are
expected to boost health delivery services.
"Our nursing vision is to
have a health care service delivery system which is responsive to the health
needs of the country and renders comprehensive high quality
"This can only be done by ensuring that all the available nursing
posts are filled," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
At the present rate of
training and attrition, Dr Parirenyatwa said, it was also envisaged that
mission and rural hospitals would have 66 percent of their posts filled by
Among the 16 schools training PCNs in the country are
Bonda, Murambinda, Mutambara, Mt Selinda, Howard, Nyadire, Silveira, Mnene,
Sanyati and Tshelanyemba mission hospitals.
Two more hospitals, St
Albert's Mission and Guruve District Hospital are set to join commence
training primary care nurses in January next year, which means more nurses
would be produced.
THE Forestry Company of Zimbabwe will export billions
of dollars worth of timber to Botswana where it is desperately needed by the
Secretary for Environment and Tourism Mrs
Margaret Sangarwe yesterday said her Ministry's senior officials and other
stakeholders from Zimbabwe were in Botswana last week to officially open the
Forestry Company of Zimbabwe's offices in Gaborone.
This is the first
investment outside Zimbabwe since the formation of the timber company, two
"We are in the process of identifying new markets in the
region and hope to expand to other regions where timber and some of our
resources that are not properly marketed are in demand," Mrs Sangarwe
Botswana is a major market for timber because the country is mostly
a desert yet a lot of construction requiring timber going on
"We produce one of the best timbers in the region and some
companies from Botswana have been buying from us making it imperative to
ensure consistent supply and easy access of the product," she
Mrs Sangarwe said the Government through the Forestry Company of
Zimbabwe expects to realise millions of dollars in foreign
"Business has already started and there are positive indicators
showing quite a substantial amount of foreign currency will have been
generated from this business venture by the end of the year."
Sangarwe said this development comes after her ministry had realised that
enough was not being done to tap from the country's natural resources that
are on demand as raw materials in many countries.
She said Zimbabwe
boasts of vast natural resources in the form of forestry, which include
natural herbarium, minerals, aquatic life and wildlife.
of these resources can make an immense difference to the country's economy,"
Mrs Sangarwe said
The Government will this month carry out an audit of
A2 farms in a move that will address the underuse of land and the issue of
multiple farm ownership, the Minister of State for Special Affairs
responsible for Land and Resettlement Programme, Cde Flora Bhuka has
Responding to concerns raised at the just-ended Association of
Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe fifth biennal congress in Victoria
Falls, Cde Bhuka said the audit would be carried out with the assistance of
the recently constituted National Land Board and the National Land
Delegates had expressed concern that lack of information
about beneficiaries of the land reform programme was hampering revenue
collection by rural district councils.
She said her Ministry had
established a department to collate data from other stakeholders so that it
could be made available to the rural district councils.
said the audit would enable the Government to produce authentic lists of
beneficiaries of A2 farms.
"The Ministry, assisted by the National Land
Board and the National Land Inspectorate, will carry out an audit of all A2
farms beginning this month," she said.
"The audit will, among other
things, cover the following: collect accurate missing farm records, the
actual farm by farm take rates, the level of land utilisation on each farm
or subdivision, the existing farm infrastructure particularly shared
infrastructure and multi-farm ownership and multiple
The final list of beneficiaries and the corrected farm
sizes would be passed on to the rural district councils to enable them to
work out unit tax figures.
Cde Bhuka said her Ministry intended to
establish and update a centralised database for all land beneficiaries by
"Thereafter a title survey should be carried
"Presently, the Department of the Surveyor General is facing serious
incapacitation in both expert human and material resources, hence impacting
negatively on this daunting task," she said.
"The Ministry has worked
out a budget for the exercise and will soon be engaging the relevant
authorities for funding of the exercise."
Delegates had expressed concern
that the issuing of leases for A2 farmers had taken too long. Cde Bhuka said
the drafting of lease agreements for A2 farmers and permits for A1 farmers
She said all those with valid offer letters and were able
to meet stipulated conditions would enter into a 99-year lease agreement
with the State.
Farmers leasing conservancies would be issued with
25-year lease agreements, she said.
In January, the Government
appointed the National Land Board to facilitate the speedy issuance of offer
letters and lease agreements.
She said consultations on the composition
of the provincial and district committees of the National Land Board should
be complete by the end of this week.
"It is hoped that the relevant
institutions that will be part of the Provincial and District Land
Committees will genuinely assist in solving the land issues so that offer
letters and leases are produced speedily," she said.
She said since
the start of the Land Reform Programme, 6 796 farms measuring 12 499 133
hectares had been compulsorily acquired for resettlement purposes under A1
and A2 schemes.
Asylum seekers fear abduction by CIO agents in Botswana
Sibanda 18 July 2005
Five asylum seekers in Botswana are
accusing the police in that country for failing to provide them with
adequate security against suspected security agents from
Themba Nkosi our Bulawayo correspondent was in
Botswana on Saturday and was briefed of the security concerns of the five
Suspected Central Intelligence Organisation
agents have been threatening the group with death, since their escape to
Botswana at the height of the war veterans' violent campaign against white
farmers and their sympathisers.
Two of the asylum seekers
said they are living in constant fear of being abducted by CIO agents. There
is deep suspicion Harare unleashed a good number of agents into Botswana to
trace and monitor the activities of exiled MDC followers.
Themba Nkosi said a number of Zimbabweans have allegedly been abducted and
tortured inside Botswana. A few are still missing after being reported
The state-run Ziana news agency
said on Saturday that the government had published a draft bill to overhaul
the country's constitution and provide for the re-introduction of a
two-chamber parliament. But critics are suspicious of the government's
motivation. Mugabe has powers to appoint 30 members to parliament under the
current laws, and the proposed amendments would give him the power to
appoint 65 more members to parliament under the senate.
gained a two-thirds majority in the last elections which enable it to make
constitutional amendments to the supreme law. Critics view the new proposals
as a way to accommodate Mugabe's loyalists who did not succeed through the
ballot box during the disputed March 31 polls. It was the public rejection
of a government-sponsored draft constitution in 2000 that sparked the
invasion of white-owned farms.
The National Constitutional
Assembly, which has been insisting on a new constitution before any
elections can be held, criticised this move by the Mugabe regime saying
other areas are in urgent need of reform. Even the ousted former information
minister Jonathan Moyo questioned the need for such changes, in his
manifesto in the run-up to the March parliamentary elections.
NCA spokesperson Jessie Majome said she was appalled at the proposed
changes. She said constitutional changes require a democratic process and
should be inclusive of Zimbabweans from all sectors. Majome said all the
problems affecting us right now, from the failed economy and agriculture,
can be traced back to bad governance. The power to make serious changes she
said should not be a monopoly of one
Zimbabwe's Anglican Bishop
of Harare, Reverend Nobert Kunonga, has once again spoken in support of the
Mugabe regime and against efforts by other clergy to act on the
controversial operation Murambatsvina.
criticised South African clergymen who last week visited Zimbabwe to assess
the impact of Operation Murambatsvina, saying the group was serving British
interests under the guise of a humanitarian exercise. The South African team
was led by Archbishop Njongokulu Ndungane, also of the Anglican Church, who
Kunonga described as "a willing horse for the British
Kunonga's main argument was that the visiting
delegation had not consulted the church's Province of Central Africa under
which Zimbabwe falls. He said since Archbishop Ndungane belongs to the
Province of Southern Africa, he was therefore supposed to inform the Central
African chapter on his mission.
The Herald reported Sunday
that Kunonga's remarks came after revelations that the clergymen's two-day
visit could have been funded by British intelligence services. According to
The Herald, Kunonga said the clergymen had "disgraced" themselves by
becoming part of futile attempts to effect regime change in
Reverend Kunonga went further to attack some local
churches that he said have been working hand in glove with countries that
are seeking to destabilise the country. He said these churches had lost
direction and abandoned their real
Zimbabwe Mulls Alternatives as Fuel Shortage
Worsens By Tendai Maphosa Harare 18 July
Three weeks after increasing the price of petroleum products
by as much as 300 percent, the fuel situation in Zimbabwe has not improved.
The government is considering a variety of alternatives to ease the
Stuck in an unprecedented fuel shortage since earlier this
year, the Zimbabwean government has announced it is looking at alternatives
to fossil fuels, some old; some new.
At the top of the list is
reopening an ethanol plant set up during the colonial times after Ian Smith
declared independence and the world imposed sanctions on the country, which
was then called Rhodesia. Ethanol, which is produced from sugar cane in
Zimbabwe, can be blended with gasoline. The plant is in Zimbabwe's
sugar-cane growing Lowveld.
The state-controlled daily newspaper The
Herald quotes energy minister Michael Nyambuya as saying other alternatives
the government is considering are the extraction of oil from plants such as
castor, soya beans and sunflowers seeds.
Ethanol extraction was
abandoned in 1992 when Zimbabwe suffered one of its worst droughts. The
Herald says after the drought Zimbabwe did not resume ethanol extraction as
it became more expensive than gasoline.
The proposed ideas, some of which
are still at research level, will not immediately change anything for
Zimbabwean motorists and commuters. Some motorists have parked their cars
for weeks at gas stations lining up for fuel that has not come. Prices on
the black market have risen to as much as 10-dollars per liter at the
official rate. The official price is just more than one dollar.
remains of the public transport system and the minibus operators who augment
it have hiked fares as a result of the price increases. Some also say they
get their fuel on the black market.
The government has admitted it is
caught in a foreign currency crunch, but President Robert Mugabe and his
finance minister Hebert Murerwa say the government now has some money to
import fuel. Mr. Murerwa blamed the high price of crude oil for the crisis.
The country's erratic fuel supply started in 1999 before the current high
prices of crude.
University of Zimbabwe economist Tony Hawkins dismisses
the introduction of alternatives to fossil fuels as cheap talk and says even
if the ethanol plant was revived the country needs fuel to mix it with. He
said gasoline can be mixed with about 15 percent ethanol. He adds that sugar
production has gone down as a result of Mr. Mugabe's controversial land
reform and it is unlikely the people who used to run the plant can be
persuaded to invest in its resuscitation.