Thursday 19 July 2007
By Sebastian Nyamhangambiri
BERLIN - President Robert Mugabe remains invited to the forthcoming
Africa/European Union (EU) summit despite calls by Britain and other EU
members to bar the controversial Zimbabwean leader from the meeting, a top
official said from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Portugal is current holder of the rotating EU presidency and spokeswoman
Clara Borja told ZimOnline on Wednesday that Lisbon would not discriminate
on invitations to the key summit, adding having Zimbabwe on the table could
be an opportunity to resolve the crisis in the southern African country
"Portugal, in its capacity as the EU president, has indicated that the
invitations which will be sent out for the EU-Africa summit next December
will not discriminate any African country," Borja said in a telephone
interview with a ZimOnline correspondent based in the Germany capital,
She added: "The Council's common position towards Zimbabwe allows for
exceptions to the visa ban in the case of meetings conducive to a political
dialogue which will help to foster democracy, human rights and good
governance in Zimbabwe."
The EU-Africa summit has been postponed several times in the past after some
European leaders objected to the attendance of Mugabe who they accuse of
tyranny and gross human rights violations.
The United Kingdom has led opposition to Mugabe's presence at the summit
scheduled for December with some unconfirmed reports suggesting Prime
Minister Gordon Brown may boycott the meeting if the Zimbabwe President is
An African Union summit earlier this month however said Mugabe should attend
insisting Europe had no right to handpick Africa's delegation to the summit
that will discuss relations and cooperation between the world's poorest
continent and its richest.
Other European leaders such as immediate past EU president and German
chancellor Angela Merkel are understood to support Mugabe's invitation,
arguing that strained relations between Brussels and Harare should not
affect the bigger and more important ties between Europe and Africa.
The EU and the United States five years ago imposed visa and financial
sanctions against Mugabe and his top officials who they accuse of ruining
Zimbabwe through misrule and of stealing elections, failure to uphold the
rule of law, violating human and property rights.
The western governments have cut direct aid to the Harare administration but
still give humanitarian aid and HIV/AIDS support mostly through
Borja said the EU was worried by the rapidly deteriorating situation in
Zimbabwe and crackdown by Mugabe against the opposition, adding the bloc
supported efforts by the regional Southern African Development Community
(SADC) to mediate a solution to the crisis.
The SADC last March appointed South African President Thabo Mbeki to lead
efforts to resolve Zimbabwe's eight-year political and economic crisis by
facilitating dialogue between Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
"The EU has strongly condemned the use of violence and repression against
members of the opposition, and has welcomed the mandate given by SADC to
President Mbeki aimed at facilitating a much-needed dialogue between the
government of Zimbabwe and the opposition," said Borja.
Zimbabwe is suffering a debilitating economic crisis that is highlighted by
the world's highest inflation rate of nearly 5 000 percent, a rapidly
contracting GDP, the fastest for a country not at war according to the World
Bank and shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel.
Mugabe has during the past three weeks ordered prices to be rolled back to
mid-June levels in a desperate bid to control inflation but one that
economic experts have said will certainly backfire as more companies
collapse because they are being forced to sell goods at a loss.
Mugabe - now 83 and seeking another five year term in 2008, which will take
his reign in the southern African country to more than three decades -
denies ruining the country and instead claims Zimbabwe's troubles are
because of sabotage by western nations determined to punish his government
for seizing white-owned farms to give to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
Thursday 19 July 2007
By Wayne Mafaro
HARARE - University of Zimbabwe (UZ) authorities have not allowed
students into campus residence in blatant contempt of a High Court order
issued six days ago to take back the expelled students, the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a statement on Wednesday.
High Court Judge Ben Hlathswayo last week directed the UZ to readmit
students it unlawfully evicted from halls of residence following
disturbances at the country's oldest and largest university.
The order was granted after an urgent application by the ZLHR on
behalf of the students many of who were forced to sleep in the streets after
being forcibly thrown out of university residency.
"The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) expresses its grave
concern at the blatant disregard and contempt of a court order by the
University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor, Professor Levy Nyagura," the ZLHR
statement read in part.
"On 13 July 2007, the High Court granted an order directing that the
University of Zimbabwe must, starting on 16 July 2007, admit the students it
had wrongfully and unlawfully evicted back into halls of residence," the
ZHLR said, adding students were as of late yesterday still being barred from
returning to campus.
Nyagura was not immediately available for comment.
Zimbabwe's once proud public education sector is in a state of near
total collapse due to years of under-funding and mismanagement. Protests
have become routine at the UZ and other state universities as both students
and lecturers press for better facilities, stipends and salaries. -
Thursday 19 July 2007
By Regerai Marwezu
MASVINGO - Masvingo provincial governor Willard Chiwewe on Wednesday said he
will go ahead with plans to resettle hundreds of villagers in Nuanetsi ranch
despite strong objections from Vice-President Joseph Msika.
Nuanetsi ranch is owned by the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ), a
company formed in the early 1980s by late former PF ZAPU leader and veteran
nationalist Joshua Nkomo to spearhead development projects in Zimbabwe.
Msika, who was a high-ranking PF ZAPU official before the opposition party
merged with the ruling ZANU PF party under a unity accord signed in 1987,
has over the years led spirited efforts to stop the resettlement of landless
villagers on the property.
Speaking to ZimOnline yesterday, Chiwewe said he will go ahead with plans to
resettle villagers on Nuanetsi.
"We are going to allocate people land there because people cannot just watch
such vast tracts of land being under-utilised.
"We have run short of land in Masvingo and the only way to solve this
problem is by resettling people in Nuanetsi. People are more important than
individuals even if that individual is a member of the presidium," said
Chiwewe, in remarks seen as a direct attack on Msika.
Msika could not be reached for comment on the governor's latest move. But
last month, he vowed to resist plans by Chiwewe to take over Nuanetsi saying
it would not make sense to designate the property as it was black-owned.
"We cannot take land from a black man and give it to another black man,"
said Msika then.
Nuanetsi ranch is among the biggest properties in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's land reform programme has been dogged by problems and
controversies since it began some seven years ago.
The southern African country has battled severe food shortages over the past
seven years because the new black farmers allocated land have failed to
maintain production on the former white farms.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has accused
Mugabe of parceling out land to his cronies in government and the military
at the expense of landless villagers. Mugabe denies the charge. - ZimOnline
SW Radio Africa (London)
18 July 2007
Posted to the web 18 July 2007
Seventeen MDC activists have now been locked up in remand prison for 114
days (4 months), while over 4 weeks have passed with the High Court failing
to make a ruling on a bail application put forward by their lawyers. Alec
Muchadehama expressed his frustration Wednesday saying the state was clearly
determined to ensure his clients remain in custody. Up until now no trial
date has been set with the MDC activists being remanded in custody to 13
High Court Judge Lawrence Kamocha is the man currently sitting on the
matter. Despite some of the detainees like Morgan Komichi needing urgent
medical attention, every week the defence is told to expect a ruling the
following week. Komichi failed to attend the last remand hearing because of
ill health and Muchadehama says there has been no major improvement so far.
Glen View Member of Parliament Paul Madzore is also among those in custody.
In March this year 32 opposition activists were arrested on charges of
allegedly petrol bombing government targets with half that number facing
separate charges of terrorist activity. After 60 days in detention the
courts ordered the release of 14 activists due to lack of evidence. This
left 18 in custody to face charges that they were involved in banditry
training in South Africa. Two weeks ago George Chindare was released by the
magistrate's court in Harare after his charges were reduced from 'supplying
weapons' to theft. He was granted Z$20 million bail.
The opposition argues that all the charges were trumped up to justify a
brutal crackdown on its supporters. Hospital sources estimate 600 opposition
activists were hospitalised during a countrywide crackdown by the security
forces. Mounting evidence in the last 4 months suggests members of Mugabe's
elite presidential guard have been behind the majority of abductions and
torture of activists.
By Haru Mutasa, in Johannesburg, South Africa
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2007
16:41 MECCA TIME, 13:41 GMT
An increasing number of Zimbabweans are leaving home in search
of work and refuge, with many heading to Johannesburg, also known as the
City of Gold.
But, as Haru Mutasa, Al Jazeera's Africa correspondent, reports,
despite being Africa's largest economy, South Africa offers no guarantees of
a better life.
With their economy in free fall, many Zimbabweans have fled to
South Africa, where concern is growing over the number of immigrants.
Al Jazeera met two young men who claim to have belonged to the
infamous Green Bombers, a group of fighters that falls under the wing of
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party, hired to spy for the government.
They say they had to join the group in order to get a special
certificate, without which the government would have made sure they could
not get work.
As part of the Green Bombers, they were sent to military-style
training camps where they were drilled about Zimbabwe's history and politics
and promised jobs after six months of their "political work" was done.
They say they were taught how to identify people who were
supporting the opposition.
One of the men, who did not want to be named, said: "We were
identifying opposition members, strong members of the MDC. Those we were
suspecting of causing trouble."
He said they passed these names on to army and central
The men say they never physically hurt opposition members, but
they know of those who did.
One said he thought some of the opposition members they named
might have been "murdered ... and maybe thrown somewhere".
The government promised them jobs in exchange for the
information, but the jobs never materialised.
So they came to South Africa.
Making ends meet
Many Zimbabweans chose to go to South Africa, rather than Zambia
or Botswana which also border Zimbabwe, because they say it is easier to get
Some employers are only looking for cheap labour and are not too
worried whether someone has the correct paperwork or not.
One woman, who also wants to remain anonymous, said she had been
working in a supermarket in Harare, but it was impossible for her to make
ends meet. She came to Johannesburg to look for a better job.
"Things in Zimbabwe are bad," she said. "Totally bad. You can't
find any food in the supermarkets so we are suffering."
But even if she does find a job in Johannesburg, there is no
guarantee her life will be any easier.
Sox Chokowhero, an exiled Zimbabwean activist, said: "People are
forced into careers they have never trained in."
He said some turned to crime and many of the women became
prostitutes. "It's not of their choice, we don't blame them for being
This week in Zimbabwe, there were fuel shortages and food was
hard to find as manufacturers refused to deliver their products to the
The ongoing political and economic crisis does not seem to be
improving, and many of those who have fled say there is nothing for them to
go back to.
In South Africa, at least, the refugees can get certain basic
commodities, even if the price is that they may never see their families
[Opinion] Strange economic decisions deepen crisis and increase
Njei Moses Timah
Published 2007-07-19 05:43 (KST)
Robert Mugabe, Africa's darling revolutionary and nationalist of the
1970s seems to have fallen in love with committing grave economic and
political errors. He has not allowed the politico-economic wounds caused by
a poorly managed land reform to heal before again plunging his country and
regime into another suicidal imbroglio.
Faced with runaway inflation of 5,000 percent, shortages of
commodities, high unemployment and a hungry and restive population, Mugabe
on June 26 ordered all retailers and service providers to cut prices by 50
This type of order was normally going to be resisted because it meant
that many businesses were going to sell commodities below their cost prices
and face bankruptcy. Either Mugabe did not know or he did not care. In less
than three weeks, Mugabe's agents arrested about 3,000 retailers and
business executives that defied the order. Hundreds of commercial vehicles
were impounded for charging high fares.
It has emerged that Zimbabwe's head of the Central Bank warned the
government against taking such a strange decision. Gideon Gono was quoted as
saying that the government should "avoid the trap of temporary victory and
instant gratification that backfires with consuming return-fire from both
business and consumers alike."
As to be expected, the few Zimbabweans that had cash on them invaded
those supermarkets that were forced to slash prices so as to avail
themselves of the discounted commodities while they lasted. As a
consequence, many shop shelves are empty and the goods that were bought at
give away prices are reportedly appearing on the black market with even
higher price tags. Fewer vehicles are in circulation as many are trapped in
long lines that snake endlessly from the few subsidized fuel stations. Some
businesses are winding up and throwing more Zimbabweans into an already
overflowing pool of the unemployed.
Many observers think that by this action, Mugabe seems to be shooting
himself in the foot and further exacerbating his country's economic woes.
Mugabe, it seems, has run out of ideas as to how he can run his country. He
seems to concentrate his efforts at trying to placate "'indigenous
Zimbabweans" with weird economic policies that can buy him some more staying
time at the helm of the nation. It does not really matter if the decisions
will impact long-term dislocation on the economy of Zimbabwe.
Writing in the Zimbabwe Independent, Tabani Moyo (a human rights
activist) said of Mugabe's latest moves and its implication: "These churlish
maneuvers by the ruling ZANU-PF Party are an indication that the Mugabe
regime has failed to run the country through conventional monetary and
fiscal methodologies as a way of salvaging the comatose economy. Pundits
will also posit that the country has passed that stage when the economic
toolbox can be applied to clean up the mess."
Mugabe is obsessed with the notion that "imperialists" are responsible
for all of Zimbabwe's woes. If that is the case, I think he should accept
(considering the dire situation of his people) that he has lost the battle
with the "imperialists" and at least cede the mantle of his party to another
comrade. Mugabe may not easily recognize that he has lost the battle
because, unlike most of his compatriots, his living standards have not
changed. Mugabe's continued stay in power is discrediting African
revolutionaries and nationalists. The suffering of Zimbabweans is becoming
an embarrassment to the continent.
We recognize the fact that comrade Mugabe spent 10 years in jail
because he was fighting for the freedom of his people. Mandela spent 27
years in prison for similar reasons. Mugabe became leader of his country 14
years before Mandela became the president of South Africa. Let Mugabe look
at Mandela and South Africa today and ask himself, what is wrong with Mugabe
and Zimbabwe? Zimbabweans do not need to live in misery for 20 years for
Mugabe's sake just because Mugabe spent 10 years in jail on their behalf. I
certainly think that is not what Mugabe expects history to say of him.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU)'s Secretary General Wellington
Chibhebhe has called for strong intervention from both South Africa and SADC
as the Mugabe regime had left the general citizens a laughing stock in the
"If you see nine ministers seating over a table to discuss on the prices of
commuter omnibus and prices of biscuits and sweets you can really tell that
the country is facing an impending collapse as the function of ministers are
to formulate national policies," said Chibhebhe.
The ZCTU's president Lucia Matibenga also supported sentiments echoed by
Chibhebhe when she added that Zimbabweans were going through tough times as
they had not also did not benefit from the price slash,
"Most of those who benefited are government ministers and other top
politicians as no general Zimbabwean citizens could afford buying huge
quantities of goods which we saw being purchased from the shops," said
BY TRUST MATSILELE
More than 40,000 war veterans (over a third of the force) are said to have
died within a few years of receiving their Z$50 000 payouts (US$10 000 at
the time) made under duress when President Robert Mugabe was cornered by
Chenjerai Hunzvi and his ragtag rabble in the late 90s.
A secret research document, leaked to The Zimbabwean from the ruling party's
Defence and Security deparment, has revealed that the ex-combatants died
"poor management, over expenditure, stress and depression".
The report, entitled "The Plight of Ex Combatants in Zimbabwe 1997-2007",
was commissioned to determine the extent to which the war vets had benefited
from the exercise. But the negative findings resulted in the research being
swept under the carpet.
The 1996/97 payout of reparations to many destitute ex-combatants was marred
by wholesale corruption and led to the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar.
Thabani Ndlovu died about eight months after he received his payout. "He
never returned home from the day he was paid. We waited patiently for him.
Initially we thought he had been murdered. After eight months we saw him
with blisters all over the body and some close family friends confirmed he
was changing women every single week. He only returned after the entire
payment had been exhausted," confirmed Esnath Mlilo, a close relative
Thabani's wife Joyce.
Innocent Makore from Mash East suffered a gruesome death after allegedly
being poisoned by his wife who wanted his estate. Edison Moyo from
Mberengwa also confirmed that his brother Godfrey was murdered three days
after being paid.
Nomsa Shumba, Thoko Mhlanga and Gilbert Chadeuka are named in the document
as having died of stress-related problems after they went haywire and used
their money recklessly. One bought cabbages for pigs in Chirumhanzi, while
another spent all his money on beer and hiring buses for his private
BY CHIEF REPORTER
President Robert Mugabe has over the past 27-years diverted plum political
jobs and State-funded contracts not only to his favourite nephews and
nieces, but also to a network of extended families belonging to his Gushungo
Among a list of Mugabe's clansmen are hugely wealthy businessmen, a former
head of the state-run radio and TV, government ministers, the former boss of
the national football association, top civil servants, and members of
The best-known beneficiaries are his favourite sister, Sabina Mugabe, and
her children. Since independence in 1980, Sabina Mugabe has been the MP for
the Mugabe family's home area Zvimba, about 80 kilometres northwest of
Harare. She also holds a senior position in the ruling Zanu (PF) party's
influential Women's League. All of Sabina's children, except one, Patrick
Zhuwawo, use her maiden surname. Mugabe recently appointed Zhuwao into his
cabinet as deputy minister of youth.
Sabina's eldest son, Innocent Mugabe, was director of the Central
Intelligence Organisation until his death in June 2000 after unspecified
surgery. Her second son, Leo Mugabe, is probably the most prominent Mugabe
relative to amass huge wealth since independence. Leo is Makonde MP. He is
also owner and chief executive of Integrated Engineering Group, a
construction and telecommunications consortium. IEG has been awarded
contracts running into billions of dollars to construct public buildings and
facilities, often ahead of more experienced construction companies. His
biggest coup came in 1996 when, in association with the Cyprus-based Air
Harbour Technologies, IEG won the contract to build the Harare International
Airport terminal. The company's tender was fourth behind bids from
established international airport building companies. Leo has allegedly
been involved in a number of shady deals and was recently let off the hook
after being arrested on charges of externalizing flour to Zambia. He was
released on Mugabe's orders. Until a vote of no confidence in him three
years ago, Leo was chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).
Critics in the soccer fraternity say he was inept and blame him squarely for
the decline of the national team.
Up until the time he was appointed deputy minister by Mugabe, Zhuwawo ran
his brother Leo's IEG businesses. He is also a former member of the CIO.
Other families who have benefited from the Mugabe tie include the
Ushewokunze family. This family is related to Mugabe through his mother,
Bona, who was a strong influence on him. Mugabe appointed two Ushewokunze
uncles, now both dead, as ministers in his Zanu (PF) government.
Herbert Ushewokunze held various cabinet posts and was also political
commissar, a vital job in Zanu (PF)'s communist-style Politburo. However,
Herbert, a medical doctor, was one of the few Mugabe relatives who could
claim to have risen through merit. A veteran nationalist, he was in exile in
Mozambique during the 1970s war which ended white-minority rule. Unlike
other relatives, he clashed with Mugabe in government. But although he was
demoted several times, he was never really dropped. At the time of his death
in 1995, he was the chairman of the influential Harare Zanu (PF) provincial
executive committee. - To be continued next week.
Former Finance minister Simba Makoni is emerging as a hot party favourite to
replace President Mugabe. Makoni's increasing popularity has unnerved Zanu
(PF) heavies angling for power. This was clearly betrayed by Mugabe's
spokesman, George Charamba, in his acerbic weekly column in the official
Herald newspaper, The Other Side.
Though he is a long-time member of Zanu (PF), Makoni has never had a large
political profile in the party. But that may be changing. Reports suggest
that South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki favours Makoni taking over the
reins in a reformed Zanu (PF).
Charamba suggested in his column that by keeping silent on reports that he
was Britain and SA governments' hot favourite to take over from Mugabe,
Makoni was lending credence to the reports. Wrote Charamba under his
pseudonym, Nathaniel Manheru: "And how are we supposed to treat his (Makoni)
silence so far? Doctor (Makoni), a postulation which goes unchallenged
becomes fact. Surely you know the ramifications."
Earlier this month, Makoni gave an exclusive interview to The Zimbabwean, in
which he spelled out how he believed a national government should work.
He slammed the violent suppression of the democratic political opposition,
saying while the two sides might have different ideologies, they should
converge on matters of national interest. Political observers say that
Makoni's statement is significant because of its implicit criticism of the
way the Mugabe government operates now. The interview has also added to
speculation about looming political change in Zimbabwe.
A respected political commentator in Harare, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said this week about 90 percent of the leaders within Zanu (PF)
now believe an honourable exit had to be fashioned for Mugabe.
BY DI MITCHELL
It is early July, 2007. Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel, and Nicolas Sarkozy and
the lesser known Jose Luis Zapatero, (Spain) Giorgio Napolitano (Italy), Jan
Peter Balkenende (Netherlands) and Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium) are sitting
around a table debating ways of destroying Mugabe (Zimbabwe's adored leader)
by deliberately raising inflation in his country to hitherto unimaginable
ratesod and thus making food for ordinary Zimbabweans unaffordable.
Gordon: (Zimbabwe's former Colonial Oppressor): My friends, I must report
that Tony used to get all the blame for Mugabe's troubles and was only half
hearted about solving this most important of the world's current problems.
He should have known that Iraq was a mere pinprick. Money talks my friends.
My long experience talking money gives me the edge here and I have a brand
new idea: lets lean on our close acquaintances in the Zimbabwe supermarkets.
I don't know if a fellow called Sam Levy, who is big in supermarkets still
has any influence there, but somebody might persuade him to start a movement
doubling food prices every hour. That should get quick political results.
Angela: Great idea. It was very effective in our country at one time. I will
put this matter at the top of our agenda at the next meeting of our
Nicolas: We used to welcome his wife's shopping trips to Paris. She was an
important contributor to our economy, but I will not stand in your way this
time. I am new in the Presidential job but I want to remain among the
world's top leaders. My foreign policy regarding Mugabe's country will
Jose Luis: Very important to get this policy right. A pity we have to be so
tough because I have always been impressed with Mugabe allowing a building
in his capital to be named KARIGAMOMBE. I believe this means Kill the Bull?
Giogio: Don't forget that I will be making a great sacrifice in making an
enemy of Mugabe. Italian shoe imports are much prized amongst the wives of
his cronies and we cannot do without this huge contribution to our industry.
Jan Peter: The matter is of such high priority that we can lean on some
distant relatives in South Africa to co-operate. They won't mind losing
touch with cross border traders.
Guy: (interrupts) Since this issue is even more important than climate
change, shouldn't we ask Gordon to make it a priority concern at the
forthcoming EU/AU meeting?
Gordon: I'm not going. Can't sit at the same table with Mugabe.
Chorus: Oh No! (they all know that Mugabe is the most important man in the
world, especially Giorgio, recently elected to office and who insists on him
being referred to as 'Numero Uno')
JOHANNESBURG - South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni has said
Zimbabwe will not qualify to be part of the Rand Common Monetary Area (RCMA)
because of its current hyper-inflation and bad fiscal polices.
Mboewni said Zimbabwe was a long way from being ready to join southern
Africa's rand monetary union.
""For any country to be a part of the CMA they must fulfil the strict
macro-economic convergence criteria. This includes their fiscal policy
stance and inflation in particular -- they must be in line," Mboweni said.
"A very high degree of macro-economic convergence is necessary."
The RCMA comprises South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. - Ntando
*No to Mbeki *Whites threatened
As a human tsunami of fleeing Zimbabweans hits his northern border,
President Thabo Mbeki's last-ditch attempt to break the political logjam
appears to be faltering. President Robert Mugabe has scuppered Mbeki's
efforts to save him yet again by refusing to accept the SADC package.
In the mistaken belief that Mugabe would be happy if power remained within
Zanu (PF), Mbeki has been pushing for a reformation of the ruling party that
would be acceptable to the opposition and the international community. After
Mugabe's graceful exit, duly protected from prosecution at The Hague, the
new Zanu (PF) was expected to undertake meaningful dialogue with the
opposition MDC leading to a government of national unity. The re-writing of
Zimbabwe's much-amended, undemocratic constitution was part and parcel of
But according to highly-placed sources Mugabe has told Mbeki that any deal
involving his political demise is unacceptable. The complex succession
battle raging within Zanu (PF) has forced him to fight a rear-guard action
with his own party as well as battling the opposition.
What Mugabe does not seem to realise is that, in his desperate clinging to
power, he has actually lost control of the country.
The insane economic measures implemented during the past few weeks, coupled
with long-term lunatic economic policies such as the artificial pegging of
the Zimdollar to hard currencies, has handed control to the black
The economy, and hence the country, is now firmly in the hands of those who
have managed to get hold of the goods and the forex that the entire populace
needs to survive. And those people are, by and large, the top guns in the
army and the police, cabinet minister and their mujibas in the youth
militia. They have looted everything. They know there is no tomorrow. And
they no longer need Mugabe.
Not only has Mugabe lost control, he no longer knows who his enemies are. At
the weekend he lashed out at the dwindling white community, threatening to
abandon his 1980 policy of reconciliation and drag them to Nuremburg-style
trials for genocide during the liberation struggle.
Mbeki continues to put a brave face on an impossible situation, despite
uproar within his own business community, whose extensive investments in
Zimbabwe are seriously threatened. The human tide flooding across the
Limpopo is causing enormous concern, with huge health and crime
Meanwhile, the state-controlled media continues to pretend that all is well,
reminiscent of Iraq's 'Comical Ali' who was still issuing upbeat statements
from his office in Baghdad when American tanks roared into town.
When the canned beans and candles run out, who will finally put an end to
ZIMBABWEAN students studying at various South African universities on
scholarships, including those President Mugabe enrolled at Fort Hare
University, are feeling the brunt of the ongoing economic crisis.
Students said they were struggling financially as their sponsors could not
provide foreign currency to help them pay fees or assist in their upkeep.
Many have been forced to resort to begging and prostitution to feed
Mugabe, who has been blamed as the architect of the country's socio-economic
woes, studied at Fort Hare from 1949 to 1951 and graduated with a Bachelor
of Arts degree. A scholarship fund was started in the mid 90s to cater for
bright children from poor rural homes, but there have been frequent
complaints that most of the scholarships go to the families of rich ruling
However, it appears the group is not the only batch to be on the receiving
end of the prevailing foreign currency shortage. Zimbabwean tertiary
institutions that sent their graduates on scholarships are failing to secure
foreign currency for them.
"I am lucky that fees were paid ago but that was just that. Our sponsors
have failed to access foreign currency, which basically affects our upkeep,"
complained a Zimbabwean student studying for a masters degree at Wits
University. - Mthulisi Sibanda
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) could fail to comply with the regional
deadline to computerise the equities market by December next year due to
chronic foreign currency shortages stock brokers said this week.
The Zimbabwean understands that the stock market is failing to raise about
US$2 million required for the complete computerisation of its systems.
Sadc stock markets resolved to computerise their systems by December next
year in order to harmonise trading.
Despite being having the best return rate in the world largely due to
hyperinflation, stock brokers said the rate at which foreign currency was
flowing in the country could make it impossible for stock market to meet the
Sources said ZSE was proposing an extension of the entire system so as to
link with all other stock exchanges regionally.
A Sadc stock exchange committee is expected to meet this month to consider
the proposed extension of the deadline.
The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum has called on the international community to
assist Zimbabwean refugees flooding into South Africa.
"Exiled Zimbabweans need the SADC states to recognise and act on the root
cause of the Zimbabwean crisis. SADC also needs to pressure the Zimbabwean
government to allow its exiled populace to regain their franchise, as well
as to make it possible for those outside Zimbabwe to exercise their right to
vote through Zimbabwean embassies. Once the majority of Zimbabweans have
chosen their own government, and if that government respects their rights as
citizens, the threat to regional peace and stability that is Zimbabwe today
will have been removed," said ZEF Executive Director and human rights
lawyer, Gabriel Shumba.
ZEF believes that there is no doubt that the situation in Zimbabwe now poses
a serious threat to regional peace and security. It obviously now warrants
intervention under SADC or the UN Security Council to alleviate the
suffering of the Zimbabwean people. Arguably, the UN Security Council's
Responsibility to Protect could be invoked to deal with the situation, just
as it should be used in Dafur. Otherwise, the legitimacy and efficacy of
regional and international conflict resolution mechanisms and the struggle
against impunity will remain undermined. - Staff reporter
Business Unity South Africa (Busa), a body representing businesses community
here has expressed concern on the arrest of business officials in Harare
and, is to send an urgent high-level delegation to Zimbabwe to try to
address the abating economic crisis in the country.
"It is with serious concern that Busa notes the arrests of business people
in Zimbabwe including that of South Africans. The situation is deplorable
and unacceptable. If something is not done urgently to reverse the situation
to normality the business environment which continues to deteriorate to
unacceptable standards will result in dire consequences to the lives of the
people of Zimbabwe which will take many years to rebuild," Busa said in a
Calling on the Zimbabwean government to restore order and engage in a
constructive dialogue with the business sector CEO Jerry Vilakazi said: "Our
experience in SA has taught us that constructive dialogue is key to
resolving political problems of this nature and to building an inclusive,
stable and peaceful society.
"The road to any form of recovery will be long and hard but at least once
the corner has been turned it will lift the moral of the people of Zimbabwe
including that of the business community." - Ntando Ncube
BY TRUST MATSILELE
As it braces itself for an all-out propaganda campaign ahead of the
watershed 2008 elections, the ruling Zanu (PF) is planning to block the
distribution of Zimbabwe's largest independent weekly, The Zimbabwean,
inside the country.
Well-placed sources in the Ministry of Information revealed that the
minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, recently met with the Media and Information
Commission's chairman Tafataona Mahoso at Bronte Hotel to discuss ways of
preventing the newspaper from entering the country.
Government has expressed concern over the criticism the country has been
facing in this newspaper and fears its election rigging process might soon
be exposed, said the sources.
In the meeting Mahoso and Ndlovu are said to have agreed on finding an
earliest way of blocking the paper which most Zimbabweans have now resorted
to following the closure of the Daily News and its sister paper Daily News
There is no legislation barring foreign-published papers from being sold in
Zimbabwe. Ndlovu is said to be keen to have a legislation drafted as
earliest possible so that Mugabe can sign it into law before the party
chooses its 2008 presidential candidate in December.
Contacted for comment, Ndlovu's demanded that the source who had revealed
the plot be revealed and threatened that if the name was not supplied the
journalist would meet the full wrath of the law.
When Mahoso was reached for comment he said the country was obliged to
implement anything deemed necessary in preserving to the best interest