By Tony Hawkins in Harare
Published: July 23 2007 01:23 | Last updated: July 23 2007 01:23
Zimbabwe is to revive two dormant state companies to spearhead its recently
announced policy of taking 51 per cent of the shares of privately owned
Obert Mpofu, the trade and industry minister, said the defunct State Trading
Corporation and the Zimbabwe Development Corporation would be revived to
acquire commercial and manufacturing companies.
Mr Mpofu, who chairs the government's price control task force, said his
ministry had been allocated "enough funds to ensure that industry does not
In the clearest statement to date of the government's long-term economic
policy towards private enterprise, Mr Mpofu told businessmen: "We do not
want to kill you but to make your business viable. Once you are in business
and happy, you will also leave us to run the country.
"We want to build some kind of an orderly business environment. I will hate
to reach a stage where I will be forced to take over the companies from you,
but if you do not co-operate that is what is going to happen and this is the
position of the government.''
More clarification is expected on Tuesday when President Robert Mugabe opens
a new session of parliament, during which the takeover plans will be
The government's indigenisation and economic empowerment bill, which is
expected to become law by September, requires designated businesses to sell
up to 51 per cent of their shares to disadvantaged black Zimbabweans.
The business community has already been left shell-shocked by the government's
introduction of enforced consumer price cuts - in some cases by as much as
50 per cent.
But Mr Mpofu's warnings and threats reflect disarray within the government.
There has been widespread criticism of the price policy and the government's
ban of petrol coupons bought with foreign currency. This was attacked last
week by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono.
He urged the government to rethink its policy on fuel coupons and, at the
weekend, Mr Mpofu hinted at some relaxation of this ban.
Another announcement at the weekend - that the government has approved
substantial price increases for cooking oil - is seen as the first break in
the blanket price freeze. Further such relaxations are expected, especially
for meat, bread and other basic necessities, fuel and transport fares.
Pressure on the government is building, with a number of manufacturers
saying that unless their selling prices are reviewed soon, they will be
unable to continue operations.
Bankers say Mr Mpofu's promise to provide funding to keep industries afloat
is worthless because the main problem is not the availability of local
currency but of foreign exchange.
One banker said: "Virtually no manufacturer in this country can operate
without foreign currency. Unless the government finds the forex - and all
the evidence is that it does not have enough for essentials like food,
electricity and fuel - industry will soon grind to a halt."
Vice President Age: 84 (a year older than the ageing Mugabe) Tribe: Shona, but raised in Matabeleland so considers himself a Ndebele History: Not originally a Zanu PF man. Instead, a prominent member of PF Zapu under Joshua Nkomo. PF Zapu was forced into unity with Zanu PF in 1987, with Msika succeeding Nkomo on his death.
Today Msika remains a deep disappointment to many people of Zimbabwe - especially those in the south. Given his position he was expected to represent the values and interests of the old PF Zapu. Once or twice he voiced feeble protests and criticisms. But otherwise he is just another Mugabe puppet. Future: Retirement, not before time.†
Governor, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Age: 48
Family: Wife Helen, four children including twin daughters, all four currently studying in Australia. History: Banker by profession, but formerly Mugabe's chief executive officer and personal banker (he has a correspondence course degree in economics). Fond of family holidays in the USA.
Today Gono is Zimbabwe's money man. He sources foreign exchange to keep Mrs Grace Mugabe happy - and to launch any new government crack-downs. If there is no cash in the Reserve Bank for other projects he prints some more. Hence the current Zimbabwean inflation rate - so gross the government won't reveal it. Future: Financial and moral bankruptcy.†
Commander, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Age: 50s Rank: Lieutenant General
Birthplace: Chiweshe. Family: Wife Jocelyn, several children. History: Joined Mugabe in Mozambique for the independence struggle, then in 1980 joined the Army, and rose swiftly through the ranks, thanks to ruthless ambition.
Chiwenga was one of the first to raise his hand when Mugabe asked "Who wants a white farm?," repaying his boss by declaring before the 2002 Presidential election that his forces would accept no outcome other than a Mugabe victory.
Today he remains at the head of the much-politicised Army, and both he and his wife are amongst those barred from travelling to Europe and the US. Future: Will put up a fight.†
Registrar General Age: 64 Tribe: Shona
Birthplace: Svimba District, Robert Mugabe's rural home. Family: Wife Sarah, several children, all studying abroad. History: Unlike most of Mugabe's men, Mudede never fought. Instead he became a civil servant - a grossly incompetent one according to even his friends.
A fierce Mugabe loyalist, his speciality is fixing elections. Said to falsify voting records at will, and to have millions of 'ghosts' on the electoral role, all of whom vote the straight Zanu PF ticket.
Recently tried to confiscate the passports of those brave souls who still run independent publications in Zimbabwe, but was foiled by court action. Future: A survivor, no matter how dim.†
Minister of State Security, Lands and Land Reform Age: 72 Tribe: Manyika
Birthplace: Rusape District Home: Luxury villa in Harare; two formerly white-owned farms. Family: Wife, Chipo, Army Medical Director; three children. History: Raised a Christian, Mutasa worked on a multi-racial farm, where he learned as much about liberation as agriculture.
Subsequently he studied at Birmingham University on a British Council scholarship, later joining Mugabe in Mozambique.
At independence in 1980 he became Speaker in Zimbabwe's first Parliament, and is today one of the few men still loyal to Mugabe. He'd love to take over from his boss - but others have different ideas. Future: Retirement would be the wisest course.†
Director General, Central Intelligence Organisation Age: 47
Birthplace: Chikomba District
History: Zania commander during War of Independence. Rose to the dizzy heights of Brigadier General in the Zimbabwean National Army before retiring to take on the CIO job. Under him, the CIO, an organisation inherited from Ian Smith's government, developed into Mugabe's strongest right arm, specialising in terror, kidnap, torture and death.
Today Bonyongwe, when not enjoying life on one of his (at least) two previously white-owned farms, remains close to Mugabe, reporting directly to him and by-passing Minister for State Security Didymus Mutasa. Future: In the balance. He knows where the bodies are buried. So he should - he buried many of them.
Monday 23 July 2007
JOHANNESBURG - South African media on Sunday said late former president P W
Botha stopped an operation to assassinate Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe
The assassination was to be carried out by former apartheid spy and double
agent Kevin Woods.
The media said South Africa's military intelligence had approved the hit
that was to be carried out during an international trade fair in Bulawayo in
But when the plan was submitted to Botha for final approval, the former
apartheid strongman rejected it. No reasons were cited for the rejection.
The South African government recruited Woods, an agent of the Zimbabwean
government's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), to spy on African
National Congress (ANC) cadres in Harare.
Woods was arrested in 1988 after South African state agents bombed an ANC
house killing a Zimbabwean taxi driver. He together with two others were
slapped with death sentences which were later commuted to life sentences.
They were however released last year after spending 19 years in jail.
The apartheid government had a stormy relationship with Mugabe with Pretoria
often launching daring attacks in neighbouring countries including Zimbabwe
in its fight against South African liberation movements.
Botha, nicknamed the Great Crocodile for his hard-line stance and feared
temper, died last year at the age of 90. - ZimOnline
Monday 23 July 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Industry Minister Obert Mpofu at the weekend told ZimOnline that
the government was worried by worsening shortages of basic goods, the first
time the Harare administration has acknowledged the disastrous consequences
of a controversial ban on price increases.
Mpofu, who heads a special government taskforce on price monitoring and
stabalisation, has led a ruthless crackdown on businesses defying a
government decree four weeks ago to halve prices of all commodities.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka told ZimOnline more than 4 000 business
owners and executives have been arrested to date, in a crackdown president
Robert Mugabe says is necessary to stop businesses from unjustifiably hiking
prices to aid western attempts to sabotage the economy and bring down his
In apparent confirmation of predictions by economic experts including by
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono that the price freeze would
lead to shortages, Mpofu said the government was concerned by the
disappearance of commodities in most supermarkets and retail shops.
"We are worried by the shortages," Mpofu said, adding the cash-strapped
government was now working on addressing the "supply side with a view to
ensure that the situation is corrected."
Business leaders, who deny hiking prices to incite Zimbabweans to rise
against Mugabe's government, had warned they would not be able to restock
after being forced by squads of soldiers and police to sell existing stock
at a loss.
Most goods no longer available from shops are now found on the uncontrolled
and thriving black market where they often cost more than triple the
Striking a conciliatory tone, Mpofu called on businesses that were facing
difficulties as a result of the price clampdown to approach the government
"We are appealing to those facing challenges to come to us so that we can
help address the problem," said Mpofu, who also announced at the weekend
that the government had set aside Z$30 billion to help firms in distress
after the price slashes.
Meanwhile, Confederation of Zimbabwe (CZI) president Calisto Jokonya told
the media that business leaders had written to Mugabe requesting to meet him
over the price crackdown.
"We have written to the president so that we can convince him to stop the
price controls. We as industry have submitted working papers on the
turnaround of the economy which, if followed, can revive the economy,"
Jokonya was quoted as having said.
Zimbabwe is suffering a debilitating economic crisis that is highlighted by
the world's highest inflation rate, a rapidly contracting GDP, the fastest
for a country not at war according to the World Bank and shortages of
foreign currency and fuel.
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 that his policies are responsible for the economic meltdown and
instead says he is being sabotaged by the west to punish him for seizing
white-owned farms to give to landless blacks. - ZimOnline
Monday 23 July 2007
By Farisai Gonye
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) has rejected calls by South Africa's
main opposition party to set up refugee camps for thousands of Zimbabweans
fleeing economic and political turmoil at home.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) last week urged President Thabo Mbeki's
government to set up the refugee camps along the border with Zimbabwe
following reports of a huge influx of Zimbabweans trekking into the country.
In a statement released at the weekend, ZEF executive director Gabriel
Shumba said South Africa should not round up Zimbabweans and keep them in
camps but should instead help them integrate into society.
"ZEF maintains that the establishment of refugee camps would restrict
Zimbabwean refugees' freedom of movement, while increasing the risk of
stigmatisation through segregation.
"Furthermore, ZEF fears that the refugee camps could turn into glorified
detention centres, which would violate Zimbabwean refugees' human rights and
pose many risks, such as the outbreak of epidemics," said Shumba.
The DA call came amid a deteriorating eight-year economic meltdown in
Zimbabwe that has seen huge numbers of people fleeing the country into South
The South African government has over the past few weeks admitted that there
had been a surge in Zimbabwean refugees trooping into the country putting a
huge strain on the country's social services.
Pretoria last week shot down the DA call saying the move would violate the
country's laws regarding the handling of refugees.
ZEF, which has in the past urged Mbeki "act fast" and step up efforts to
resolve the Zimbabwean crisis, said the move to detain Zimbabweans in
refugee camps could create more humanitarian problems.
"But action does not mean rounding up those running away from possible death
and detaining them under inhumane conditions," said Shumba.
Shumba, a human rights lawyer, fled Zimbabwe in 2003 after he was brutally
tortured by government state security agents. He has been living in exile in
Pretoria, South Africa, over the past four years. - ZimOnline
A wet Vigil. As you may know there have been storms all over the UK with
torrential downpours causing widespread flooding. We outside the Zimbabwe
Embassy were fortunately spared the worst of it but one deluge drenched the
lens of our digital camera so the quality of the pictures this week is not
as good as normal and not all the photos we took came out.† Despite the
weather there was another very good turnout including many "first timers"
joining us under our tarpaulin. Everyone got soaked once or twice but the
warm sunshine dried us out.† It was heartening the number of bus drivers who
hooted in support of us as we struggled with our tarpaulin.
Unfortunately the bad weather prevented us handing out letters for signature
written by the Zimbabwe Forum asking Mbeki to ensure that Zimbabweans in the
diaspora have the right to vote in next March's elections. They will be
handed out next week.† In the meantime Julius Mutyambizi-Dewa, Secretary of
the MDC UK, told us the MDC were making strong representations on this
We have also agreed to collect signatures for a petition "Strangers into
Citizens" campaigning to allow immigrants without papers to work in the UK.
For most of the afternoon we were filmed by an Iranian-based television
company PressTV.† They interviewed many of us as background material for a
programme 'The Agenda' discussing Mugabe and Zimbabwe.† Partlicipants will
include Julius and Wilf Mbanga of the Zimbabwean.† It's good to know that
the Iranians are taking a serious interest in Zimbabwe.† The programme will
be broadcast within the next week - check: www.presstv.com.
The Vigil has been asked to help with a world-wide event in support of
democracy and media freedom in Zimbabwe organised by† a German organisation.
It will involve appropriate readings, including poems by Chenjerai Hove and
others ,on 9th September.† More on this later.
We were happy to be joined at the close by a Mexican sympathiser who brought
his own drum.† When he left he gave us an interesting metal resonator to fix
to one of our drums.
For this week's Vigil pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
If you have better pictures email them to email@example.com and we
will add them on. (Fortunately the camera has dried out and will be ok for
FOR THE RECORD: 104 signed the register.
-†††††††† FOR YOUR DIARY:† Monday, 23rd July 2007, 7.30 pm. Central London
Zimbabwe Forum will discuss action in support of students and youth in
Zimbabwe.† Upstairs at the Theodore Bullfrog pub, 28 John Adam Street,
London WC2 (cross the Strand from the Zimbabwe Embassy, go down a passageway
to John Adam Street, turn right and you will see the pub).
-†††††††† Saturday, 28th July, 2 - 10 pm.††† Fourth World Music presents
"GET UP STAND UP". Venue: Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, London N1 2XD.
Benefit festival to help raise funds for charities working with women and
children in Zimbabwe affected by the economic crisis. Performers: Coco
Mbassi, Celloman, Thabani, Anna Mudeka, Claudia Massera, London City Groove,
Dudu Saar, Begotten Sun, DKR, The Wells, Tha Tha Ensemble, DJ Dece, Boogie
Brothers. Tickets: £10.00 from Ticketweb (Tel: 08700 600 100 or book online
at www.ticketweb.co.uk ). Nearest station: Highbury and Islington. Bus
routes: 4, 19, 30, 43, 271, 277and 279. For more information, contact: 07914
697 694 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
23rd Jul 2007 02:08 GMT
By Chenjerai Chitsaru
TODAY, as on every other day since the price blitz started, I walked through
the two half-empty supermarkets in my hunger-stricken suburb.
There was still no chicken or beef. I was half-convinced that I ought to put
a rather revolutionary suggestion to the managers.
The logical solution was to go to the farms and buy live chickens and cattle
for slaughter, either at Cold Storage Company abattoirs, or right outside
That radical gesture might persuade the government to abandon its wild
solution to a problem anchored on the incredibly asinine handling of the
economy by a government so impressed with its own haywire ideas on what to
do about hyperinflation, they could not see the solution staring them in the
All the deep freezers were empty of any meat - some with a few ice cream
tubs, or one or two miserable-looking packets of expensive frozen fish.
For some bizarre reason, my mind was not preoccupied with where the next
meal would come from, but with how far† Robert Mugabe's Boswell, Nathan
Shamuyarira, had reached with his much-talked-about biography of his Samuel
Had he come to the memorable press conference in Harare where Mugabe was
asked about his affair with Grace Marufu?
Far from denying his intimacy with this former secretary, Mugabe responded
with a tirade against the questioner, asking him if anyone had ever
harangued him publicly about his latest girlfriend.
In short, it was none of his business who the president of the republic of
Zimbabwe slept with, even while his wife lay dying in a room almost next
door to that of their dalliance.
I realized, even as I cringed in fear at the price of a normal bottle of
baby oil I had picked up from a half-empty shelf, that I was no different
from other citizens disgusted with the coverage of what was said to be
Archbishop Pius Ncube's hanky-panky.
Incidentally, that bottle was now priced at half a million dollars, I had
never bought it for that amount before the price blitz. Clearly, something
had gone horribly wrong here.
In a land where everything has gone terribly wrong - from the plunge in life
expectancy to the plunge in the value of the Zimdollar - I was not too keen
to engage in any self-interrogation on that subject.
A number of people had apparently committed suicide around the country as
their intellectual capacity was not up to contending with their pathetic
plight. Like Judas Iscariot, they must have felt they had to "take care" of
the matter themselves.
The huge difference, of course, was that they had not betrayed anyone, but
were themselves the victims of betrayal.
Of course, it could be that they felt there was an element of self-betrayal
By not getting rid of Mugabe and his comrades during every election since
independence, they had conspired with him to perpetuate his reign.
The climax of their feeling of utter despair and hopelessness was so deep
they felt justified to get rid of their problem by getting rid of their
lives. Some of them knew many psychiatrists and psychologists who had a
fancy name for their predicament.
For me, Mugabe's love life has become a strange matter of intense
conjecture. Would he be able to sing, like Nat King Cole in one of his most
famous ballads, "When I fall in love it will be forever"?
He did fall in love with Sally, the Ghanaian lass he married so
spectacularly in Salisbury upon his return from that country.
Was his heart then smitten by Abigail, the girl mentioned by Edgar Tekere in
his "tell-all" autobiography?
When we come to his affair with Grace Marufu, we are deep in adultery
waters. His response to the reporter's question was, in many ways, typical
of how Mugabe has always related to his role as the leader of this country,
or even as the leader of his party, Zanu PF.
People who try to cast aspersions on what he perceives as his moral
rectitude are either envious of his success and wish to bring him down, or
are just miffed that he has cornered the best of both worlds - politics and
For him, that is a remarkable feat, for a man once described by his close
relative, James Dambaza Chikerema, as a "loner", a man difficult to imagine
as being easily subdued emotionally by Cupid's arrow.
He might not have the equivalent of a heart of stone, but he has always been
characterized as a man to whom the tenderness resulting from the heart's
surrender to the wishes of another heart seemed unimaginable.
As a human being, Mugabe has displayed moments of tenderness, albeit
unwittingly. Yet it was always thought to be strange for him to insist on
speaking personally at every memorial of his late wife.
It always strikes many people as unusual, to say the least, that he would
not let someone else, someone close to the two of them, speak of their love
and their life together. He may speak with warmth himself, but there is
always the suspicion that his insistence stems from the suspicion that
someone else might highlight Sally's deep disappointment, in the end, with
As to a comparison of their two situations, with Archbishop Pius Ncube, the
huge question to be assessed is whether the one man's betrayal of his vows
was worse or less than the other's, if we allow, for the moment, the remote
possibility that the hatchet job on the prelate by Mugabe's scandal-mongers,
led by Reuben Barwe, may have been based on even a smidgen of truth.
For a start, the relish with which the Mugabe camp scandalized Ncube was
utterly disproportionate to what was perceived as the mortal sin he
committed. This is, first of all, a matter between his Maker, his Church,
his Conscience, his peers in a court of law.
What Mugabe is accused of doing, not just by a lonely priest who may have
succumbed to temptation, but by millions of his compatriots and other
Africans, is the alleged conspiracy of denying the people who had placed
their entire faith in him to lead them to a better world, after 1980, the
opportunity to enjoy the fruits of what he and his fellow leaders at the
head of the governAment had the moral obligation to achieve for them.
He has been held responsible for the needless deaths of innocent citizens
whose only crime was that they dared to believe they deserved to be free to
speak their minds in a country for which their relatives died in their
thousands to free from colonialism.
Today, as the actual livelihoods of many citizens are threatened by a
basically election-grabbing stunt by Zanu PF, many are of two minds: to pray
for the salvation of Mugabe's soul when he goes to meet his Maker - he is 83
years old and is fortunate to be alive at that age, when most of his
compatriots are due to died when they reach 34 years, mostly because his
government pursued policies which, directly or indirectly, reduced their
life expectancy to what it is today.
Others, like Pius Ncube, ask in their prayers for an explanation from the
Lord: is it His desire or design that this man, already burdened with the
Sins of allowing innocent people to be killed on his direct or indirect
orders, to continue in power when all the evidence demands that he be
relieved of the task, one way or the other?
At the height of the split in the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe over whether
or not Mugabe and Grace Marufu should be married into the church, there were
prayers for the church in Rome to deny them that privilege. But the odds
worked against them.
It may have been God's wish, but most of them are hoping that their prayers
this time around will result in the Lord granting them their wish - letting
Mugabe depart the scene, with his dignity intact or with enough dignity for
posterity not to identify him as The Chief Villain in the destruction of
Zimbabwe's road to ruin.
23rd Jul 2007 01:56 GMT
By Ntando Ncube
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 South African government expel children of senior Zanu PF
and government officials studying in the country.
The Zimbabwe Youth Movement in South Africa (ZYM), which organised the
demonstration, accused the Zimbabwean government of paralysing the education
system in the country while sending their children to South Africa, Europe
and the United States, where there is better education.
ZYM demanded the South Africa government immediately expelled and deport
back to Zimbabwe the senior government officials children who are attending
various universities here.
"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 pinch of the
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."
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 expensive private universities in Johannesburg.
Zimbabwe National Army general, Major-general Phillip Sibanda's daughter,
Laura, 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.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono's twin daughters Pride and
Praise are at Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, studying 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 Australia
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, is in the US at Harvard University. Rural Housing
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa's daughter Chido is at Midlands College in
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 Massachusetts, USA.
Defence minister, Sydney Sekerayi's two kids are in Canada, one is a medical
practitioner who was deregistered following sexual harassment charges.
Olivia Muchena's son Kudzai Steven Muchena, moved from Malaysia to Australia
while police commissioner Augustine Chihuri's son Sylvester 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.
July 23, 2007
By Tonny Mafu
Johannesburg - Spar Group's Musina outlet has increased its turnover by 75
percent, buoyed by shoppers from Zimbabwe.
The outlet, one of more than 150 Super Spar retailers serviced by the group,
is the largest retailer in Musina.
Pieter Koekemoer, the manager of the shop, said last week that it had made
renovations to take in more orders to meet the strong demand from Zimbabwean
The bulk shoppers - also referred to as runners - were making purchases of
up to R20 000 on each visit.
Zimbabweans were making a last-ditch effort to stock up groceries before a
proposed ban on bulk purchases comes into effect next month.
They will then be required to have licences to buy groceries in bulk for
resale back home.
Koekemoer said Musina Super Spar was now hosting about three runners a week.
There was an increase in the purchase of luxury groceries, mostly for hotels
and lodges in Zimbabwe. These entities were using runners to get items such
as olive oil, olives and tuna.
For the six months to March, Spar Group's operating profit rose 28.2 percent
from a year earlier to R397 million. The company said this was driven by
strong consumer spending, higher inflation and aggressive marketing. It also
achieved further market penetration.
According to the interim results, Spar has 158 Super Spar outlets, 484 Spar
shops and 165 Kwik Spar outlets. Under its store regeneration programme,
about 50 stores underwent major upgrades and 11 moved to a bigger format.
Total retail trading space increased by 3.6 percent to more than 753 000m≤.
Koekemoer said that despite rising demand for groceries, Musina Super Spar
had managed to get sufficient stock.
"We are running at maximum," he said. The outlet had hired 12 extra workers
in the wake of an increase in the number of shoppers. "We have increased the
number of our employees by 15 percent."
The outlet, which bakes its own bread, said the number of loaves bought a
day had doubled to 5 000. Zimbabweans were taking advantage of the
relatively cheap bread, which sold for as little as R3.30.
Jane Murimbi, a shopper from Masvingo, more than 200km north of Beitbridge,
said: "Spar sells cheaply and I resell the stuff at the townships in
Spar shares gained 1.87 percent to R54.20 on Friday. The food and drug
retailers sector rose 1.06 percent.
Punch on the web, Nigeria
By Our Reader
Published: Monday, 23 Jul 2007
Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980 and, like most African
countries, started out pretty well.
But over the years, things have degenerated so badly. There are no jobs, the
farmers who were contributing to the economy have been chased away, and
inflation is about 5,000 per cent, which is probably the highest for any
country in the world.
Also, sanctions have been placed on the Robert Mugabe regime.
It does not need a soothsayer to understand that Zimbabwe is heading for the
rocks and something urgent needs to be done to save it.
Just recently, the opposition leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, and some other
activists were brutally beaten up for staging a rally. The Mugabe regime has
zero tolerance for the opposition.
But my question to President Mugabe is this: What makes him think that he is
the only person fit to rule?
At 83 and after 28 years in power, and coming out with a score sheet like
his, he does not need to be told that his time is up.
He should step down and allow younger and more agile people to come in and
rescue the country.
The international community must do something about the situation in
Fresh elections need to hold in order for democracy to take root and thrive
in this once prosperous country.
Aliyu H. Mohammed,
Benin City GRA,