New Vision, Uganda
Friday, 20th July, 2007
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has unleashed thousands of policemen on the business
community to enforce price controls. Desperate to contain rising inflation,
the highest in the world at 4,500%, Mugabe ordered a freeze on prices of
bread, milk, cooking oil and other consumer items.
This is ridiculous because every nation has gone for market-economy, and
Mugabe is unable to provide incentives to producers and businesses.
Already shops and food stores are empty and there is no ray of hope for
Zimbabwe has more problems. There is no respect for human rights and freedom
of expression. Newspapers critical of the government, such as The Daily
News, were forced to close in violent circumstances.
The BBC and CNN have also been banned from filming or reporting from
Zimbabwe. And the public broadcaster (ZBC) is used as a state propaganda
The problems started with Zimbabwe's involvement in the DRC war
(1998-2002)which drained the treasury. Mugabe had no justifiable cause to
intervene given that Zimbabwe does not share a border with the DRC.
And land reform is not a problem per se, but Mugabe's wish to cling to
power. Otherwise why has South Africa, with similar land problems, not
Unlike South Africa, Mugabe rushed land reforms because he had no other way
to win elections, having lost popularity tremendously. Still, elections have
become a joke, and the latest one in 2002 was characterised by vote-rigging,
intimidation and fraud.
Yet Mugabe is currently trying to amend the constitution in an attempt to
bypass the 2008 scheduled elections and stay in power until 2010.
Zimbabweans are angry, hungry and in desperate need of help. May the African
brothers and sisters help.
Saturday July 21, 2007
It was presented as medicine, but the shock therapy being applied to
Zimbabwe is poison. Three weeks ago President Robert Mugabe ordered that
prices be cut by at least half. It was a panic response to galloping
inflation, which had reached the point where the price of some goods was
rising threefold each week. But Mugabe's decree is crucifying retailers -
filling stations are being forced to sell petrol for less than half what
they have to pay for it. In the ensuing summer sale, widescreen TVs,
clothes, coffee, meat - almost everything except staple foodstuffs - have
disappeared from the shelves.
While some Zanu-PF loyalists made a killing, thousands of shopkeepers were
arrested for profiteering. Restocking has become near-impossible. Oil, soap
and salt have run out in rural areas. On Thursday buying petrol with foreign
currency coupons was barred, removing one of the last ways of filling up the
tank. With arbitrary prices already set for basics from milk to cement
(anything from 20% to 50% of the cost of production), the next step,
according to the opposition MP David Coltart, is to militarise the economy.
Zanu-PF are doing to businesses what they did to the white farms, and the
effect will be just as grim. The price cuts were ordered by a committee of
army, intelligence and police officers chaired by Mr Mugabe and gangs of
thugs are implementing them by force.
None of this makes sense for those members of Zanu-PF with any stake in the
future. The rationale behind the South African-sponsored talks with members
of the opposition was that Zanu-PF stalwarts had more to lose from a
collapse of the existing order than did those outside the party. Better to
talk now and manage transition than lose all, the optimists argued. Since
then the talks in Pretoria have gone nowhere, and last week one side failed
to turn up. The whole operation appears to have been a delaying tactic, with
South Africa's Thabo Mbeki outfoxed by Mr Mugabe. What then is the party's
grand strategy? Zanu-PF bosses own many businesses that are losing billions
of Zimbabwean dollars in the chaos, so why did they allow fellow party
members to drive what was left of the country's economy off a cliff?
There are no clear answers. Even if Zanu-PF becomes a military regime, it
will not be able to feed the people. Thousands of Zimbabweans are fleeing to
South Africa, and there will be more as basic foods run out. The last thing
South Africa needs is millions of starving refugees, and yet that prospect
is still not concentrating minds in Pretoria. The US ambassador to Harare
may be right when he claims that Zanu-PF is committing regime change on
itself. But Zimbabwe may have further to fall before it finally slams into
Saturday 21 July 2007
By Ntando Ncube
PRETORIA - The British High Commission in Pretoria on Friday warned
President Robert Mugabe that he could not use a South African-led initiative
to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis as a "smokescreen" to buy time for his
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) last March tasked
South Africa's 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 talks that have been postponed in the past after ZANU PF failed to
turn up for scheduled meetings hit a fresh snag this week, with reports that
Mugabe's party had refused to discuss constitutional reforms with the
High Commission media and public affairs officer Apsara McNaught
described ZANU PF's attitude towards talks as discouraging, adding that
Mugabe should not see talks as an opportunity to ease pressure on his
government while planning to rig next year's joint parliamentary and
She said: "The fact that ZANU PF representatives have repeatedly
failed to turn up for talks is not encouraging. Mugabe must not think that
the SADC initiative can be used as a smokescreen to distract the opposition
and his neighbours while he prepares the ground in Zimbabwe for another set
of crooked elections."
McNaught called on regional governments to step in and assist Mbeki's
mediation effort that, according to political analysts, could become an
irrelevant sideshow if the issue of a new constitution that could guarantee
free and fair polls next was removed from the agenda.
The British diplomat said a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis was in the
interests of that country and the entire region, which was suffering
contagion effects from the unprecedented meltdown of what was once its
second biggest economy.
"Zimbabwe 's neighbours are already feeling the negative economic and
social consequences of the exodus of Zimbabweans which is putting added
strain on their social and welfare structures," said McNaught.
Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial master, has led international
criticism against Mugabe's controversial rule, mobilising its Western allies
to impose targeted sanctions on the Zimbabwean leader and his top officials
to punish them for failing to uphold human rights, the rule of law and for
The Zimbabwean leader denies violating human rights or stealing
elections and accuses Britain of plotting to bring down his government and
replace it with the MDC he claims is a puppet of London.
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.
Critics blame the crisis on repression and wrong policies by Mugabe,
in power since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from Britain. He denies the
charge. - ZimOnline
Saturday 21 July 2007
By Nqobizitha Khumalo
BULAWAYO - A Zimbabwe government minister on Friday accused the British and
former United States (US) ambassadors of inciting the business sector to
hike prices in a bid to foment rebellion against the Harare authorities.
Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu made the startling
claims when he addressed business leaders in the second city of Bulawayo
yesterday over the government's ongoing crackdown on price increases.
Mpofu said government had gathered "evidence" showing that Andrew Pocock and
his US counterpart, Christopher Dell, were trying to use the business sector
as a conduit for regime change.
"Dell and Pocock were always in Bulawayo and the reason they were always
here was to effect a regime change through inciting people and they were
working with local business people. We know all that and we have the
"Our detractors have been making visits to Bulawayo to influence the regime
change agenda. But it will fail. Zimbabwe will not collapse and we will win
against the detractors," Mpofu told stunned business delegates.
No comment on the matter was immediately available from the British and the
US embassies in Harare.
The Zimbabwean government last month froze prices of all commodities
following a spate of price increases that had seen prices of basic goods
rising by more than 500 percent in a spate of three weeks.
President Robert Mugabe's government accused the business sector of working
with his western enemies to hike prices so as to foment rebellion against
the government, a charge business has denied.
The Harare authorities also ordered companies to roll back prices to
mid-June levels with at least 2 000 company executives and managers having
been arrested so far for defying the government directive.
Mpofu yesterday repeated government threats to take over companies that
resist the directive to slash prices adding that the government is
re-equipping the defunct state company, the Zimbabwe Development Corporation
(ZDC) to take over firms that defy the order.
"We will take over the companies. The government has given my ministry money
to help take over companies that stop production and we will do just that,"
Dell, who left Zimbabwe about a fortnight ago after finishing his tour of
duty, was a fierce critic of Mugabe.
Last month, Dell said a debilitating economic crisis that had seen inflation
zooming past 4 500 percent would push Mugabe out of power over the next six
The US ambassador said historically, no government has survived an economic
crisis of Zimbabwe's magnitude.
Meanwhile, the government on Friday rescinded a ban on the importation of
foodstuffs into the country as well as the use of fuel coupons around the
country in a clear sign of confusion gripping the government.
Mpofu said the government had recalled Statutory Instrument 137 and 138 of
2007 that would have seen people banned from importing foodstuffs into the
"Government has recalled the statutory instrument that would have seen
people not being allowed to bring foodstuffs into the country . . . after
receiving inputs from members of the public we have decided to review the
statute because it has caused a lot of stress in the country," said Mpofu.
On the fuel coupon issue, Mpofu said the government had been misquoted
adding that oil companies using the fuel coupon system will be expected to
buy their supplies from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline
Saturday 21 July 2007
By Tsungai Murandu
HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono will not be
welcome in the United Kingdom following his role in President Robert Mugabe's
failed economic policies that have wrecked the lives of millions of
Zimbabweans, the British government said on Thursday.
Contributing to debate on Zimbabwe in the UK's House of Commons, the country's
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Meg Munn said
although Gono is not on the official European Union (EU) travel ban imposed
on Mugabe and his henchmen, the central bank governor would not be allowed
to set foot in the UK.
"Gideon Gono is not welcome in the UK. He does not intend to travel here,
and we do not intend to let him come," Munn told the UK House of Commons
during debate on Zimbabwe.
The RBZ chief has so far been the only senior member of the Mugabe
administration to escape the EU's targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe's top
Munn disclosed that there is resistance from other EU countries on the
inclusion of Gono, the chief architect of some of the country's disastrous
economic policies. One of Mugabe's close allies, Gono controls Zimbabwe's
economic levers, with oversight over key economic ministries.
He has been accused of fueling the country's inflation rate - now estimated
to be approaching 10 000 percent - through his unbudgeted and budget
Gono has openly admitted to printing money since coming into office in
December 2003 to finance government handouts to farmers resettled on land
seized from whites.
The governor is already among the 130 senior ZANU PF and Zimbabwe government
officials on the travel ban lists for Australia, New Zealand and the United
Describing the RBZ chief as a "craven lickspittle of Mugabe", UK legislators
had questioned why Gono remained outside the EU travel bank list given his
role in the ongoing economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.
Munn disclosed that the UK would push for his name to be added on the EU
list. "We are working, through the EU, on a common position and making our
views clear," she said.
Conservative Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
Keith Simpson urged the British government to widen the travel ban and asset
freeze imposed on Zimbabwe's ruling elite to include families of Zimbabwean
government and ruling party officials resident in the EU.
Proposed measures included the revoking of EU residence permits of family
and relatives of Zimbabwean officials.
"It is well known that many family members of Zimbabwean Government
officials on the EU travel ban list reside in EU countries. It would
significantly strengthen the EU common position if we revoked those rights
of residence," said Simpson.
The British legislators also want the travel ban and asset freeze extended
to heads of Zimbabwean institutions considered instrumental to the continued
existence of the Mugabe regime.
On Mugabe's participation at the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit in Portugal,
Munn said the UK's position remained the Zimbabwe must not be invited.
She noted that Mugabe's presence would overshadow real issues of mutual
benefit to both Europe and Africa that the summit is supposed to
By Violet Gonda
20 July 2007
All systems in Zimbabwe are collapsing. It's becoming increasingly difficult
to get through on the phone, there are extensive electricity and water cuts,
supermarkets are empty of basic commodities, long queues for fuel have
resurfaced and businesses are near collapse. The economic meltdown has
resulted in thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing the country daily.
Outspoken political analyst Dr John Makumbe said this is how Robert Mugabe
has fast-tracked his own demise but he expressed disappointment in the
pro-democracy movement in Zimbabwe for failing to capitalize on the crisis.
He said: "In the past the affected people used to be only sections of the
population, either the very poor or the students, the progressive forces,
the opposition parties, the media or the lawyers. This time it's everyone
including the rich themselves, including ZANU PF members, including the
army, including the police."
The analyst said the nation is on the verge of total collapse and people are
literally starving as they can't find food in the shops, but there is no
opposition to mobilize the masses.
Dr Makumbe said it's unfortunate that even Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono
is becoming more vocal than the pro-democracy movement. He urged the
opposition movement to focus and regroup, to find ways of fighting the
The opposition MDC split over differences in strategies in 2005 and have
been fighting each other ever since. Makumbe said: "I am disappointed in the
MDC particularly, but also in civil society. Nobody is really fighting
against this (repression). Nobody is even wanting to speak out against
He urged the groups to remain focused on the national crisis and refuse to
be distracted from the agenda at hand - and stop the infighting for the sake
Much hope is also being put on the SADC region to bring the political
parties in Zimbabwe to the negotiating table, but Robert Mugabe's
intransigence is said to be hampering the talks. Observers say it is
unacceptable that there is no information available on the actual progress
of the talks between the MDC and ZANU PF, despite the massive humanitarian
crisis unfolding in Zimbabwe.
But commentators like Dr Makumbe say the SADC led talks are merely a
sideshow and will not yield any results, because Mugabe is not really
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
SW Radio Africa (London)
20 July 2007
Posted to the web 20 July 2007
The crackdown against activists from the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA) continues. The group's acting Youth Chairperson for Manicaland, Manex
Mauya, was arrested together with two other activists on Friday. The group
said in a statement that no reasons had yet been given for the latest
This comes three days after the police arrested provincial chairperson
Elisha Makuyana, for allegedly insulting Robert Mugabe during a discussion
on the controversial price reductions. This was the third time that Makuyana
had been arrested in two weeks. He had previously been arrested for
possessing shortwave radios that were meant for distribution to rural areas.
The police later raided the NCA offices in Mutare and confiscated 21 radios.
Makuyana was finally released on Friday after spending three days in police
The NCA said in a statement: "Makuyana was given a tough time by the police
who accused him of undermining the office of the President. He was further
accused of being a white stooge being used by the NCA to further the
interests of colonial masters. He was told in no uncertain times that the
police (were) going to follow him up closely and that if he wants to live a
normal life he should desist from the NCA."
There is no one sector that has not been affected by bad government
policies. All critics from the opposition, students, labour, business and
health sector have been targeted by the regime.
By Patience Rusere
20 July 2007
The Canadian government has pledged $3.3 million in food aid to Zimbabwe,
which according to World Food Program Southern African regional spokesman
Richard Lee consists of 6,600 metric tonnes of maize that will start to flow
The Canadian donation came on the heels of a U.S. pledge of 47,400 metric
tonnes of grain that will feed an estimated 500,000 Zimbabweans for the next
Zimbabwe is facing serious food shortages: more than a third of its
population faces hunger between now and the next harvest beginning in March
Lee told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
although a lot more grain is needed, the Canadian pledge will help get the
aid pipeline flowing.
Mail and Guardian
Duncan Campbell and Mail & Guardian reporter
20 July 2007 11:59
Zimbabwe has been placed last for the second year running in a
league table ranking 178 countries by how happy and long-lived their
citizens are. But South Africa is not far ahead, at 156th.
The European Happy Planet Index used carbon efficiency, life
satisfaction and life expectancy to rate the countries.
Zimbabwe received a 16,4 HPI rating and South Africa 27,8,
compared with the 68,21 of the top-ranked nation, the Pacific island of
The survey, published by the New Economics Foundation and
Friends of the Earth, makes it clear that wealth does not necessarily make
The world's richest nation, the United States, is ranked 150th
and the United Kingdom 108th, while lowly Cuba is ranked sixth. Central
America does particularly well, with Costa Rica third, Panama fifth,
Honduras seventh and Guatemala eighth.
Small and modestly well-off Iceland tops the European stakes at
an overall 58. The highest-placed African countries are Tunisia (21), Cape
Verde (46) and Ghana (68).
The survey also reveals that Europe is now worse at creating
wellbeing than it was 40 years ago.
"Countries like Iceland clearly show that happiness doesn't have
to cost the earth," said Nic Marks, founder of the foundation's Centre for
Wellbeing. "Its combination of strong social policies and extensive use of
renewable energy demonstrates that living within our environmental means
doesn't mean sacrificing human wellbeing."
The Scandinavian countries do best in Europe, with Sweden
second, Norway third and Denmark sixth. Immediately above Estonia, at the
bottom of the table, are Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Greece.
Andrew Simms, the foundation's head of climate change, said
countries with a strong market-led economic model fared least well. "What is
the point if we burn vast quantities of fossil fuels to make, buy and
consume ever more stuff, without noticeably benefiting our wellbeing?" he
Iceland has its own sustainable energy source, via the volcanic
geology, and its government commits more resources to health than any other
country in Europe.
Luxembourg is the worst country for its carbon footprint and the
United Kingdom comes fourth from the bottom on that rating. Europe as a
whole has almost three times its "fair" global share of carbon emissions.
BY TRUST MATSILELE
MUTARE - VETERAN liberation war hero and politician, Edgar Tekere says that
Simba Makoni should not be cowed downed by threats from senior ZANU PF
politicians that are threatening to throw him out of the party but should
instead be more vocal about the misrule of the country.
A group of senior ZANU PF members is planning the removal of Makoni, a
former finance minister after he addressed an international economic forum
in Cape Town where he predicted President Robert Mugabe's downfall.
Makoni is also seen as a potential presidential hopeful and if he is ousted
from the party, he would not be eligible to present himself as a
presidential candidate at the crucial ZANU PF congress in December.
"I applaud the stance that has been taken by Makoni. He should not let the
poor suffer just to please Mugabe and his cronies. People are suffering
because of ZANU PF's economic policies.
"The country is own its knees and you get some silly politicians threatening
to suspend Makoni for calling for economic reforms in Zimbabwe ," said
Tekere, a former secretary-general of ZANU PF was fired from ZANU PF this
year after he wrote a book that was critical of Mugabe and also queried his
liberation war credentials.
Politicians closely aligned to Mugabe such as State Security Minister and
the party's secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa; Labour Minister,
Nicholas Goche and the Minister of Gender and Employment Creation, Oppah
Muchinguri are said to be behind the scheme of removing Makoni from the
Other politicians involved in the plot are Elliot Manyika, a minister
without portfolio and Saviour Kasukuwere, a deputy youth minister.
Mugabe was also said to be very upset by Makoni's statements in Cape Town
and is determined to see that he is punished severely.
Tekere, who is an outspoken politician, said it was encouraging that there
were still some senior politicians like Makoni within ZANU PF who were able
to stand-up and fight the leadership in order to save the country from its
Repeated efforts to get comments from Manyika, Mutasa or Goche were
Makoni told delegates attending the World Economic Forum on Africa in June
that change was imminent within ZANU PF and the country as they was now a
consensus within the ruling party that a rebuilding process had to take
place in Zimbabwe.
This process would culminate in Mugabe (83) who has been in power for over
27 years stepping down.
Makoni is seen as one of the best candidates to take over from the aging but
MORE than 150 Zimbabweans on Friday demonstrated in Johannesburg before they
presented a petition to the Wits University Vice-Chancellor Loyiso Nongxa
demanding that the SA government expels children of senior Zanu-PF and
government official studying in the country.
The Zimbabwe Youth Movement in South Africa (ZYM), which organised the
demonstration, accused the Zimbabwean government officials of paralysing the
education system in Zimbabwe , while sending their children to South Africa
, Europe and the United States , where there is better education.
ZYM demanded the South Africa government to immediately expel and deport
back to Zimbabwe the senior government officials' children who are attending
various universities in South Africa .
"Our petition is demanding that the South African government should with
immediate effect expel all ZANU (PF) and government beneficiaries, sons and
daughters and relatives studying at their institutions", ZYM spokesperson
Remember Moyo said.
"They should go back to Zimbabwe where their parents have destroyed the
country because of massive corruption, bad political and economic polices
administered by the Harare government.
"They should go and face it.our brothers and sisters are dying because of
abuses at universities and hunger in Zimbabwe ", he added.
According to a statement released by ZYM, the Zimbabwe government and
Zanu-PF officials have over 600 close relatives and children who are
studying at South African, US, UK, Australian or Canadian universities.
Their fees are allegedly funded by the suffering taxpayers' money in
Zimbabwe Political Victims Association (ZPOVA) secretary general Oliver
Kubikawa said: "We need these guys to go back to feel the pitch of situation
in Zimbabwe where their fathers are stealing states funds, destroying the
education system sending their children abroad. Let them go back and study
at the university of Zimbabwe and other universities in the country what do
they need here if their fathers are saying everything is good in Zimbabwe
",irate Kubikwa said.
Efforts to get a comment and a confirmation from the Chancellor's offices
were fruitless by the time of going to press.
Recently former US ambassador to Zimbabwe , Christopher Dell, said his
country had drafted a Bill to deport all relatives of senior government and
ZANU PF officials.
The proposed Bill would soon be signed by, George Bush, the US president.
The British government is also mulling plans to ban ZANU PF officials'
children from attending educational institutions in the UK .
According to ZYM's statement, President Robert Mugabe's nephew and MP for
Makonde, Leo Mugabe has a daughter in South Africa studying on a
presidential scholarship at Fort Hare .
Zanu-PF political commissar and Minister Without Portfolio Elliot Manyika's
daughter, Mediline Manyika is also in South Africa at Monash University one
of the most expense private universities in Johannesburg.
Zimbabwe National Army general, Major-general Phillip Sibanda's daughter
Laura Sibanda is at Kwazulu Natal University in Durban . Other students at
the same college are, Simbarashe Masoka, the son of agriculture permanent
secretary Ngoni Masoka, Jacqueline and Elinor Kundishora, the twin daughters
of Brigadier Kundishora. Another nephew of Robert Mugabe, Hillary Mugabe is
also at the university.
Former army commander Vitalis Zvinavashe's son, Richard is at Alcorn State
University in the US and his daughter Mundita is also in the same country.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono's twin daughters Pride and
Praise, are at Trobe University Melbourne, Australia doing tourism and
hospitality studies. Passion his son is in Sydney- Australia's capital
studying music production.
Sylvester Nguni, the Agriculture minister's daughter Tendai is in Austrilia
while his other daughter Natalie is in the UK at a university where she is
said to be doing fashion designing.
Amos Midzi, the Minister of Mines has a son Tendai at George Washington
University in the US . Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Aeneas
Chigwedere 's son Pride in the US at Harvard University . Rural Housing
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa's daughter Chido; is at Midlands College in
Texas , US.
Harare governor David Karimanzira's son Taona Karimanzira is in Brisbane
Australia . Senior Zanu-PF and Women's League official Thenjiwe Lesabe has
child in Massacheseuts , USA .
Defence minister, Sydeny Sekerayi's two kids are in Canada , one is a
medical practitioner who was deregistered following sexual harassment
charges. Olivia Muchen's son Kudzai Steven Muchena, moved from Malaysia to
Australia while police commissioner Augustine Chihuri's son Sylvester
Chihuri is at a university in Australia .
Sithembiso Nyoni the Minister of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises' last
son, Sibonginkosi Nyoni is in the USA at Falcon College .