Harare presses on with demolitions
Tue 19 July
HARARE - Zimbabwe police yesterday destroyed an industrial and
block in Harare's red-light Kopje district barely three days after
government announced it was temporarily halting its controversial urban
The office complex at the corner of Speke
Avenue and Luck Street in
Kopje, housed general dealers in spare parts,
coffins and wooden furniture.
Harare announced last Friday that it
was stopping its controversial
urban clean-up drive under which it has
demolished houses, informal trading
stalls and offices, casting close to a
million people onto the streets
without shelter, food or a means of
According to weekend media reports, President Robert
Mugabe and his
government had called off the clean-up drive to fulfill
conditions set by
South Africa before it could loan Zimbabwe about US$1
billion to buy
urgently needed food and fuel.
Pretoria is said
to have told Mugabe and his government they would
have to call off the
clean-up drive that has drawn harsh criticism from
Western governments and
international human rights groups before the money
could be made
Police spokesman Wayne Bjudzijena could not be reached
whether the law enforcement agency was under fresh orders to
demolitions of houses and office buildings deemed
Police details interviewed by ZimOnline at the Kopje
said they were "under strict instructions" to demolish the
that they did not take orders from newspapers, in apparent
reports carried by the official Herald newspaper last Friday
government had temporarily halted the clean-up
"We don't take our orders from newspapers. We are under
instructions to destroy this place. It is full of foreigners that are
involved in shoddy deals," said one police officer.
most of them believed to be Nigerian businessmen who have
Zimbabwe since the country's economic crisis began to worsen five
watched in shock and horror as armed police and bulldozers razed
property to the ground yesterday morning.
A few lucky ones were
able to grab one or two pieces of furniture or
some stationery before the
rest went down with the building into one huge
heap of rubble.
The demolition of the Harare building happened as a South African
Churches (SACC) delegation arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday on a
mission to work out how the SACC could mobilise international
people displaced by the clean-up exercise.
The SACC visited Harare
last week and issued a damning report
condemning Mugabe and his government
for inflicting untold misery and
suffering on poor urban families through
their home demolition programme.
South African President Thabo
Mbeki has promised to back the SACC's
attempts to raise relief for the
evicted Zimbabwean families. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe, SA bank governors discuss rescue package
18 July 2005
HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono
last Friday met
his South African Reserve Bank counterpart, Tito Mboweni, in
hammer out details of a possible US$1 billion rescue package for
The visit by Gono was a follow-up to talks between South
Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and President Robert Mugabe
Harare last week.
Mlambo-Ngcuka, who was accompanied by her
country's deputy finance
minister Jabulani Moleketi, is said to have told
Mugabe to halt his
controversial urban clean-up drive before funds could be
Both Gono and Mboweni could not be reached for
comment on the matter
last night. But Pretoria's communications chief, Joel
yesterday would not confirm or deny during an interview with
SAfm radio whether there had been meetings to discuss a
billion loan to Harare.
Zimbabwe foreign minister
expected in Pretoria in bid to avert
Mugabe and his
government urgently need hard cash to import food, fuel
and electricity and
avert a total collapse of Zimbabwe that has in the past
miraculously survived crisis after crisis.
meeting between South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana
her Zimbabwean counterpart, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, that
had been scheduled
for yesterday as a follow up on Gono and Mboweni's talks
because Dlamini-Zuma is away.
According to sources, Gono assured
Mboweni that Harare would among
other things reconsider its clean-up
exercise as well as repressive media
laws, all issues that have drawn
criticism from major Western governments
and rights groups.
"The Zimbabwean delegation sought to assure their South African
that Harare was willing to reconsider its crackdown on
shantytowns as well
as its repressive media legislation, to smoothen the way
for financial help
from Pretoria," said a source privy to the discussions
between Gono and
The meeting between South Africa and Zimbabwe central bank
followed by an announcement by Harare later on Friday that it was
temporarily halting its clean-up exercise.
It could not be
immediately ascertained whether South Africa will give
Zimbabwe the US$1
billion it has asked for or it will only provide part of
Zimbabwe, grappling a severe hard cash crisis since the
Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended balance-of-payments support six
requires at least US$250 million to import 1.2 million tonnes of
food or a
quarter of its 12 million people could starve.
southern African nation also requires at least US$40 million a
import fuel, currently in critical short supply in the country.
IMF board is tomorrow expected to decide whether to expel Zimbabwe
failure to repay debt, in what analysts say would be the last signal to
other multilateral institutions, development agencies and donor groups to
cut whatever little aid and financial support still trickling to Harare. -
Two SA firms snatch Zimbabwe gold mine
Tue 19 July
HARARE - Two South African companies have joined forces to buy
Zimbabwe's Eureka gold mine for up to US$4.35 million at a time
international mining conglomerates are fleeing the crisis-torn southern
South Africa's black-owned Mmakau Mining Ltd
and its partner Shaft
Sinkers, said yesterday that the two companies had
bought Eureka from
Canada's Placer Dome, which joins many other
international mining firms that
have disinvested from Zimbabwe fearing the
country's economic crisis.
Placer sold the mine, which was closed
in 2000 due to poor economic
conditions, said the final price will depend on
whether it is successfully
revived. Placer acquired Eureka, located 150 km
north of Harare, when it
bought Australia's AurionGold in 2002 but now
regards it as a non-core
The mine was originally
expected to produce as much as 60 000 ounces
per year from open pit and heap
leach operations, but the new owners plan to
build an underground operation,
a statement said.
It did not say how much gold per year the mine
produced before it was
shut, but Mmakau and Shaft Sinkers expect to produce
at least 22 000 ounces
of gold per year within three years, a spokeswoman
for Mmakau said in a
She said if the new owners
manage to attain the minimum 22 000 ounces
of gold production, the purchase
price will be $4.35 million. But if that
target is not met, then only $1.65
will have to be paid to Placer Dome.
Placer joins other
international companies like Anglo American, Rio
Tinto, BHP Billiton,
AurionGold and several others who have in recent years
quit the country or
drastically downsized operations due to economic and
in the country.
But the new investors, who said they had nine years
operating in Zimbabwe, also plan to bring on board a
partner for Eureka although most locals have failed
to raise money to
acquire stakes in concerns such as platinum firm, Zimplats
South African Loan to Zimbabwe Raises Many Questions
Johannesburg & Washington
18 July 2005
that the South African government might lend Zimbabwe President
Mugabe's administration hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars quickly
prompted South Africa's leading opposition party to say it will demand
answers in parliament.
The Democratic Alliance said it will table a
motion in parliament to demand
details of the loan discussions from
President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet.
Correspondent Bernard Mandizvidza
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe filed this
report from Johannesburg about the
domestic political implications of the
Given South Africa's
uneven record of success in tempering the policies of
President Mugabe, the
prospect of such a massive loan to Harare raises many
Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asks
analyst Obri Mashiq of Johannesburg whether such a credit
facility once put
in place would be likely to give President Mbeki greater
leverage in dealing
with Mr. Mugabe.
Loan request gives SA leverage to press for change
[ This report does
not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 18 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Amid news reports that
seeking a massive loan from South Africa to offset chronic food
shortages, political analysts say it's an opportune time for
Mbeki to push for political dialogue in the troubled
Although South African treasury officials confirmed meeting with
Zimbabwean counterparts in Johannesburg on Friday, both parties were
tight-lipped about the possible loan.
Harare is reportedly requesting
around US $1 billion to buy electricity,
fuel and food, but banking experts
say the loan, if granted, is likely to
run into millions rather than
billions of rands.
Joel Netshitenzhe, the head of the Government
Communication and Information
Services on Monday said the principles and
considerations guiding the
possibility of a loan would be Zimbabwe's
"economic recovery" and "political
Mugabe's government again finds itself in a precarious
situation: up to four
million Zimbabweans need food aid and petrol shortages
are a perennial
problem. With most of its conventional international credit
lines cut, forex
has been in short supply. To make matters worse, Zimbabwe
expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A brief flirtation
with Libya as a possible source of fuel soured over terms
of repayment; more
recently Mugabe has turned to a number of Southeast Asian
countries in an
effort to secure hard currency.
Even though cordial relations with China,
Malaysia and India have yielded
some positive results, analysts point out
that regional engagement,
especially with South Africa, is key to economic
South Africa continues to face a barrage of criticism from
international critics, who argue that Mbeki's "quiet diplomacy"
failed. They point to deepening poverty, rapidly deteriorating
and a slew of human rights violations. South Africa's tacit
support of the
Harare government, they say, has only served to strengthen
not to engage the opposition and push ahead with policies
that critics argue
have worsened living conditions.
On the other
hand, Mbeki has long maintained that Zimbabwe is a sovereign
active interference in its domestic affairs would be misguided.
point out that the Zimbabwe loan request puts South Africa in the
to attach a number conditions to granting the funds.
"South Africa can
now make full use of the carrot-and-stick approach. If the
loan is granted,
it must be accompanied by a set of conditions, which
talks with the opposition MDC [Movement for Democratic
Change]. These talks
are essential, as they will set the stage for
constructive dialogue towards
economic recovery," a Harare-based economist,
Denis Nikisi, told
"It is ironic that even though South Africa has constantly
for Zimbabwe, the support has not improved the lives of
Zimbabweans," Nikisi commented.
Zimbabwe's economic crisis
deepened after 2000 as a result of the
government's violent and haphazard
land reform programme, and the drying up
of aid. Parliamentary and
presidential elections were condemned by many
international observers as
Some political pundits have argued that the lifeline from South
stave off food shortages, but was unlikely to remedy the
Albert Musarurwa, Chairperson of
the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum,
commented, "If South Africa does indeed
have the capacity to help Zimbabwe,
it will only be a short-term solution.
We, as civil society, would like to
be part of any agreement between the two
countries, in order to monitor just
how the money is spent." He cited
alleged rampant government corruption as
the main reason for
Musarurwa stressed that South Africa should turn up the pressure
government to end a controversial 'cleanup' campaign, that has
estimated 375,000 people.
It was reported that South
Africa's deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
who visited Harare, last
Tuesday, refused to bail out Zimbabwe unless Mugabe
stopped the demolition
of illegal settlements - home to the country's urban
Maroleng of the Pretoria-based Institute of Security Studies
importance of "strict benchmarks and exact timelines" in the
which he said should include easing up on the opposition, the
press and the
"If South Africa misses this opportunity we are unlikely
to see any concrete
changes until 2008 [when Zimbabwe's next presidential
poll is due]. Mbeki
can contribute to change, but his government has to be
Makumbe, a senior political science lecturer at the University
IRIN was unable to get comment from the
UN News Centre
Secretary-General expresses increasing concern about
housing demolitions in
18 July 2005 - United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced
increasing concern about the human
rights and humanitarian aspects of the
housing demolitions in
Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, UN Human Settlements Programme
Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, wound up her two-week
mission to Zimbabwe earlier this month.
Secretary-General is increasingly concerned by the human rights and
humanitarian impact of the recent demolitions of what the Government of
Zimbabwe has called illegal settlements," a UN spokeswoman, Marie Okabe,
said at the daily briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
Tibaijuka conducted an exhaustive examination, with the cooperation of
Government of Zimbabwe, Ms. Okabe said. The Secretary-General would
Ms. Tibaijuka's report in the coming days, would study it to
UN's next steps and would make it public after Zimbabwe's
received its copy, she said.
Photojournalist Arrested And Detained for More Than Four
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)
July 18, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005
On 8 July
2005, award-winning veteran photojournalist Fidelis Zvomuya was
police for more than four hours while covering the ongoing home
campaign dubbed Operation Restore Order.
Zvomuya was arrested at Travos
House, a building on Harare's Jason Moyo
Avenue, for taking photographs of a
man who had been tied to a staircase in
the building using his
The photojournalist, who freelances for the privately-owned
Standard", was handcuffed and detained in the building for more
hours before being taken to Harare Central Police Station. He was
released after paying a Z$250,000 (approx. US$24) "admission of guilt"
A former chief photographer with the
government-controlled national daily
"The Herald", Zvomuya said he paid the
fine in order to secure his freedom.
He said his arrest was an indication of
the repressive nature of Zimbabwe's
Maruziva, editor of "The Standard", described the arrest as the
overzealous policemen. "Zvomuya was taking pictures in a public
the police interpretation of the law is correct, it means all the
that the country is expecting to visit and spend their foreign
be at risk of arrest for merely taking pictures in public
places. I believe
that is an unfortunate signal to send to the outside
world. Unless the
police had something to hide, the arrest was both
unfortunate and totally
Zimbabwe gold goes down
By Jon Nones
18 Jul 2005 at 04:55 PM
Zimbabwe gold production had fallen in the first half of the year to 6,612 kilograms from 8,667 kilograms in the same period last year.
The Chamber of Mines cited viability problems, among the formal producers, as the main reason for the decline in output.
It said high inflation, currently standing at 164%, and shortages of fuel and foreign currency, were among the reasons that affected gold production in the period.
Gold is Zimbabwe`s second biggest export after tobacco, but output has been declining for years now.
Zimbabwe Rugby Union Bankrupt
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
July 17, 2005
Posted to the web July 18, 2005
THE CASH-STRAPPED Zimbabwe senior rugby
team, reeling from lack of player incentives, is battling to raise US$30 000 for
the team's travel for the decisive World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast on
Saturday. They failed to pay bonuses for the Senegal match last month.
bid to raise the scarce foreign currency, Titus Zvomuya, Zimbabwe Rugby Union
Chief Executive Officer, said they had been left with no choice but to send a
distress call to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Sports and Recreation
"If all goes well, we should be leaving the country on Wednesday.
We intend to travel with a squad of 20 players and six officials. We are going
to fly to Nairobi before connecting a flight to Abidjan," Zvomuya said.
Union has been battling to raise funds for the upkeep of the Sables and their
bonuses. The senior rugby team laboured to a 21-15 win over Senegal last month,
despite the lack of player incentives.
Zvomuya revealed the Union has not
paid the players "anything" for the hard-fought victory, due to a cash
"We are in a difficult position because we can not afford to pay the
players' incentives. Right now, we are running around to raise the funds to pay
the players for the Ivory Coast game, but we are not promising them anything,"
The ZRU is suffering from a dwindling financial base and
depends solely on grants from the International Rugby Union and waning
"We have a situation where players are just playing for the
passion of the game and their country," Zvomuya said.
The Union hopes to
start making money from television rights when they meet the Ivorians on 23
July. Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings screened the match against Senegal live on
television, but the ZRU got nothing for it.
"We are only going to get money
from television rights, from the next stage of the qualifiers against the Ivory
Coast," Zvomuya added.
Despite security fears, Zvomuya said the Ivory Coast
Rugby Board had assured Zimbabwe that their venue in Abidjan was safe.
have received communication from Ivory Coast that the team will be safe in
Abidjan," Zvomuya said.
According to reports, tension is still gripping Cote
d'Ivoire despite a peace deal signed in April this year between President
Laurent Gbagbo's government and the New Front rebel group, the two warring
parties that have been fighting a civil war since 2002.
No decision on Zimbabwe loan
18/07/2005 - 15:27:11
government today said no decision had been made on a possible loan to Zimbabwe
to help that country purchase electricity, food and fuel.
spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe declined to confirm reports that a delegation from
Zimbabwe met over the weekend with Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni and
finance minister Trevor Manuel to discuss a loan.
The spokesman would say
only that recent talks between the two governments “quite possibly” covered the
issuing of a loan, but that no decision had been made.
A spokeswoman for
the South African Reserve Bank said Mboweni met with the Zimbabwe delegation on
Friday, but declined to discuss the topic of the discussions.
said considerations guiding the possibility of a loan would be Zimbabwe’s
“economic recovery” and ”political normalisation”.
Any decision to make a
loan to Zimbabwe would have to go before the Cabinet and Parliament, he
The Zimbabwe government, which earlier claimed its economic
recovery was on track, announced that inflation last month jumped from 144.2% to
Zimbabwe housing minister Ignatius Chombo has also ordered a
temporary halt to mass demolitions and evictions in its controversial clean-up
campaign that has left hundreds of thousands, mostly urban poor, homeless.