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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Chegutu offers $1,2m mansion to mayor for $150 000
Daily News: 7/10/01 8:56:20 AM (GMT
Council has recommended that its executive mayor, Willie Muringani, have the
council house he now occupies for as little as $150 000.
Council bought the house for $1,2 million in 1999.
According to minutes of
Chegutu's executive council meeting on 29 May, Phineas Mariyapera, Muringani's
deputy, recommended that the mayor be offered the official residence at
5 Henry Hartley Road, at the book value as an
appreciation for his service to the town council.
Mariyapera said Muringani's terminal benefits when he leaves office should be the same as those offered by Redcliff Municipality, a town of Chegutu's size.
His recommendation was seconded by Mubaiwa Chikhaze, a councillor who contested Muringani's tenure.
Newly-appointed councillors, all of Zanu PF, in September 1999 refused to work with Muringani, also of Zanu PF, alleging his term of office had expired. Muringani then argued he was still mayor since the appointment of Stanley Majiri, also of Zanu PF, by the nomination court on grounds that the voters' roll used by the Registrar-General was faulty and inaccurate, was nullified by the High Court in August that year.
“The full council passed the resolution and now it's up to me to decide whether or not I want to take up the house. There are a number of sticky issues,” said Muringani yesterday, without elaborating.
Council sources said the recommendation was an attempt to make sure Muringani benefits from his term of office as he was unlikely to be nominated again by Zanu PF when the mayoral elections are held.
The High Court in April ordered the Registrar-General to stop the election following an MDC petition imploring the court to suspend the vote, arguing that under the published notice, they were not eligible to contest the polls.
Zanu PF's Mashonaland West province leadership chose Majiri as its candidate in that election. Muringani then blamed Zanu PF for meddling in the affairs of the town and vowed to contest Majiri.
Yesterday, Muringani said the councillors were thanking him for his seven years' service as they had done to Bizerck Mapuranga and Richard Aisam, the former mayor and town clerk, respectively.
The two and other former long-serving council officials bought their houses at nominal prices.
Mariyapera wanted the house sold to Muringani for only $150 000, while other councillors put its book value at $300 000.
MDC MP run off the road
A car driven by Matabeleland MP Paul Themba Nyathi, who is also the MDC Elections Director, has been run off the road by an unidentified vehicle. The car is a write-off, and Nyathi sustained injuries to his head and knee. There is no indication as to the motive for the attack – it may have been an attempted car-jacking, and part of the general lawlessness that has become endemic over the last eighteen months – but coming as it has in the midst of a sharp increase in acts of political violence in recent days, it is being treated by MDC officials as an assassination attempt.
The MDC offices in Harare were raided last Thursday by riot police "looking for hostages". On Friday the MDC Treasurer, Fletcher Dhulini Ncube, was arrested at the party’s Bulawayo offices, but was later released uncharged. In the early hours of Saturday morning, police raided the home of Harare MP Tapiwa Mashakada, and, on Saturday, plainclothes policemen were prevented from trying to enter a memorial service for Patrick Nabanyama, an MDC election agent who was abducted last June and has not been seen since. On Sunday, the MDC provincial youth chairman in Matabeleland was assaulted and has been forced into hiding.
In other recent developments, the government has listed almost every commercial farm in the country for confiscation without compensation, and there has been a marked increase in violence against farmers and their employees. In a particularly violent incident over the weekend, Zanu PF thugs held Iain Kay and three other farmers hostage on Chipesa farm for three days, beating up his staff in front of him and trying to provoke a violent response from those barricaded inside the farmstead. This incident almost descended into an armed conflict between farmers and war veterans before a belated intervention by government officials, who forced Kay to undergo a kangaroo court presided over by a CIO officer. There were reports that the local army base had been placed on alert to deal with any reaction from local farmers to what has been described as a "stage-managed" siege, with the mob being directed in their actions against the farmers by government security officials in the crowd.
The recent events are being seen as evidence of increasing desperation by President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and government. Obert Mpofu, Zanu PF Governor for Matabeleland North was reported in the state-owned Sunday News and Chronicle newspapers on Sunday and Monday as saying that the MDC was setting itself up as a "parallel government" in Matabeleland, and that their behaviour would lead to "division and conflict" in the Matabeleland provinces – words which are being taken seriously as a clear indication of renewed widespread violence by the ruling party in the western and southern provinces where Zanu PF support has dwindled.
In another indication of the growing paranoia pervading the government, it was reported by Monday’s Daily News that the President has banned the free flight of light aircraft over Harare, in apparent fear of an attack from the air on his official and private residences in the capital. This latest edict had the farcical result last week that a hot air balloon promoting British Airways had to be tethered to three vehicles on the ground in order not to pose a threat to the President’s safety.
From The Independent (UK), 10 July
Divided by war, but Africa's big men put on a show of unity
Democrats and despots gather in attempt to end bloodshed and agree brighter future for their continent modelled on Europe
Lusaka - Africa's big men like their comforts, no matter where they are. Two days ago the skies above Lusaka were thick with circling presidential jets, waiting for permission to land. Yesterday a long line of shining black Mercedes – all specially imported from Europe for the event - pulled up outside the national conference hall and disgorged the continent's leaders, an ageing collection of venal geriatrics, inspiring democrats and notorious autocrats. The big men, their wives and their retinues of heavily armed guards (each delegation restricted to six pistols) are in Lusaka for the annual summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Africa's answer to the United Nations. The leaders' club is supposedly the mark of unity among the African brotherhood, yet in its 38 years of existence the continent has been characterised by division and bloodshed. But this year the OAU's wrinkled leaders say they are going to change all that and move Africa into a modern era of peace and development. Led by the mercurial Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, African leaders have fashioned the African Union - a giant, continent-wide bloc modelled on the European Union. Like the EU, the AU would have its own parliament, executive and transnational laws. It would bring closer economic ties and political stability to the benighted corners of Africa, or so goes the theory.
But few have given the ambitious project - which is officially launched tomorrow - even a 50:50 chance of becoming a reality. Analysts are doubtful that many of Africa's leaders have either the political will or financial muscle to forge concrete international ties when so many have failed to bring peace to their own countries. Sceptics predict that in a continent ravaged by war and disease, the new body will be at best another pompous talking shop and at worst an opportunity to squander even more money on luxury hotels and limousines.
Kofi Annan, one of Africa's proudest sons, addressed the summit yesterday and warned the collected leaders of the difficulties of the enterprise. Urging African countries to rebuild as Europe did after the two world wars, he said: "Africa must reject the ways of the past and commit itself to building a future of democratic governance subject to the rule of law." Democracy, however, is only a theoretical notion in many of the nations whose leaders sat in an arc of canary-yellow chairs here yesterday. War is a more common denominator. On one side of the hall Joseph Kabila, the 29-year-old president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, looked calm and assured. His nemesis, the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, sat on the other side of the floor, looking spartan and self-controlled as ever.
The alphabetical seating order did not suit everyone. The premiers of Ethiopia and Eritrea - at war until last June, now bound by a shaky peace deal - were discreetly placed at opposite ends of the hall. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who finds himself increasingly isolated in the West, was visibly revelling in the solidarity of his colleagues. He held hands with President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia as the two men cracked a joke like schoolboys. President Chiluba has come under fire at home for spending millions of dollars on hosting the summit - the road to the airport has been hastily improved, fleets of limousines were specially imported to ferry delegates to and from the three- day conference, even mobile phones were provided for delegates. His country is one of the poorest in the world. Behind the scenes, Mr Mugabe is seeking to make political gains from the summit and shore up his increasingly desperate position at home. A leaked resolution on the land crisis, drafted on Sunday and expected to be adopted tomorrow, noted with concern "British moves to mobilise European and North American countries to isolate and vilify Zimbabwe". The move is seen as an attempt to fend off any sanctions.
The premier of tiny Guineau-Bissau cut a striking figure, wearing a bright red wool cap with a floppy bob, while Uganda's Yoweri Museveni appeared to have fallen asleep during one speech. He was seated beside the drawn-looking Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who later addressed the summit. But most attention was focused on Colonel Gaddafi. The colourful Libyan leader was accompanied to the conference by an entourage of several hundred officials and was said to be staying in a Bedouin tent pitched on private ground. And his personal bodyguard - a large woman wearing combat fatigues, bright lipstick and a huge diamond ring - cut an incongruous sight. The main driving force behind the African Union, he has reportedly helped to foot the $20m bill for this year's summit using revenues from his oil-rich country. But the project backers have first had to overcome the suspicions of several key countries, mostly notably Nigeria and South Africa, who have doubted Colonel Gaddafi's intentions. The African Union should be a "turning point for our continent and our people", said the outgoing OAU secretary general, Salim Salim, yesterday. He warned, though, that the project could turn out to be so many hollow words. "Is it merely the OAU under a different name?" he asked.
The pride of hosting Africa's most prestigious conference has been spoilt for President Chiluba of Zambia by the cloud of scandal. As the speeches were starting a funeral service was beginning for Paul Tembo, a former Chiluba confidant who was brutally murdered last week in mysterious circumstances. Mr Tembo, an opposition politician, was due to give evidence to a corruption tribunal that could have blackened President Chiluba's already-tarnished reputation. Some angry mourners tried to block officials from reaching the conference. "We are so incensed," said Father Joe Komakom, a Catholic priest. President Chiluba told the 40 heads of state inside the meeting: "The African skies remain overcast by a dark cloud of violent conflicts, and ethnic, religious and other unresolved tensions, as well as the spectre of unconstitutional usurpation of political power that looms menacingly around us. It is almost as if our continent has been condemned to a permanent state of self annihilation."
From Business Day (SA), 10 July
Zimbabwe's crises blamed on Britain
Lusaka - African foreign ministers have attacked Britain, blaming its refusal to support Zimbabwe's land reform efforts for the instability, conflict and economic despair that has plagued the country in recent years. In a draft resolution obtained by AP, the foreign ministers praised President Robert Mugabe's efforts to seize white farms without compensation and they noted with concern "British moves to mobilise European and North American countries to isolate and vilify Zimbabwe". The foreign ministers drafted the resolution at an Organisation of African Unity summit in Lusaka. It was expected to be formally adopted by the heads of state at the end of the summit tomorrow.
The resolution also condemned Britain for refusing to honour commitments to help fund land reform it had made during negotiations preceding Zimbabwe's 1980 independence. Britain, which pledged nearly 55m for land reform in 1980, delivered nearly 90% of that money before freezing the fund in 1990. It said Zimbabwe violated the agreement by forcing unwilling farmers to sell their land to the state. Ruling party militants and squatters began occupying white-owned farms in Zimbabwe a year-and-a-half ago, demanding they be nationalised and turned over to landless blacks. The government has since earmarked about 4500 of 5000 white-owned farms for seizure. The foreign ministers said that the unequal distribution of land, where a handful of white farmers own a disproportionate amount of the best farmland, was at the heart of the "political, economic and social struggle in Zimbabwe."
From The Daily News, 9 July
War vets, Zanu PF supporters unleash terror as Bindura campaign hots up
Zanu PF youths operating from seven bases in the Bindura constituency are allegedly raping young girls and women, while assaulting suspected supporters of the MDC as the campaign for the parliamentary by-election hots up. Zanu PF’s Elliot Manyika is pitted against MDC’s Elliot Pfebve. The seat fell vacant following the death of Border Gezi in a car accident in April. The by-election is set for 28 and 29 July. The MDC spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe said yesterday Zanu PF had set up bases at Chiveso Primary School, Mupandira Business Centre, Murembe, SOS Maizeland in Bindura, Foothill Farm, Daw Mill Farm and Kitsiyatota opposite Ashanti Mine. He said: "The bases are manned by war veterans and Zanu PF youths from Guruve, Shamva, Mt Darwin, Bindura and other centres within Mashonaland Central province. We have received reports of harassment and rape in Musana communal area."
On Saturday, the Zanu PF youths based at Chiveso invaded Felix Kunaka Shangwa’s home and looted his property. He is an MDC official in Bindura. They allegedly slaughtered one of his cattle and stole the meat. A 50-year-old man from Nyava in Musana confirmed the reign of terror to The Daily News at the weekend. He said: "The situation is out of hand. The Zanu PF youths are behaving in a similar fashion to Ziso reVanhu, the auxiliary forces created by Bishop Abel Muzorewa during the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesian era. They stop and search all vehicles entering the area, demanding people’s national identity cards. Some of them have ordered young girls into their base where we suspect they are abusing them. They are operating from a house that was once occupied by an Agritex officer in Chiveso. Everyone here is too scared to move around."
The youths are harassing people in villages around Manhenga, Chiveso, Mupandira and Shangwa. Three weeks ago, an MDC supporter, Makundwei Motsi Muzavazi of Imbwanhema village in Mupandira was admitted to a hospital in Harare with serious injuries to the head and arms after being assaulted by suspected Zanu PF supporters. Last Thursday, Smail Matola, the MDC chairman for Batanai ward in Bindura, was kidnapped and assaulted by Zanu PF supporters. He was released about six hours later. Matola was bundled into a government vehicle and driven-off. Zanu PF supporters caught up with him while he was putting up MDC posters in the town. A police officer at Bindura police station confirmed that a report had been made on the kidnapping but he refused to comment further saying Matola was a politician.
From African Eye (SA), 9 July
Safari Hunt Abandoned After War Vets Invade Farm
Bulawayo - A group of tourists abandoned a Z$2,5 million safari hunt in Zimbabwe last week after almost 100 war veterans invaded the farm where the hunt was to take place. The owner of the farm in Matabeleland North's Inyathi district, Cedric Wilde, complained to a local farmers union that the war veterans had smashed three locks on the gates, driven across the farm and verbally abused workers before pegging land. Chairman of the Matabeleland branch of the Commercial Farmers Union, Peter Goosen, said on Monday that Wilde wrote to Minister of Environment and Tourism Francis Nhema who referred the issue to Matabeleland North Governor, Obert Mpofu.
He said that although Inyathi police arrested three occupiers in May in connection with poaching on the farm, theft and the setting of wire snares has continued unabated on the property. Several farmers in the Nyamandlovu and Inyathi areas have lost beasts and wildlife worth millions of dollars during the past month. Wildlife tour operators in the area, a popular international safari destination, have also lost millions of Zimbabwean dollars in cancelled tours because of disturbances caused by the farm invaders. Goosen raised questions about the diligence of law enforcement agents in curbing crime in the area. Some farmers have accused police officials of assisting in the spread of poaching by failing to investigate and arrest offenders. Meanwhile an Indonesian investor who invested about US$11m in the ostrich industry in Matabeleland has threatened to pull out due to the disruptions to operations caused by the war veterans. The ostrich farm, Mimosa Park Estate was delisted from the stock exchange earlier this year and senior government officials have made several calls for occupiers to vacate the farm.
From The Daily News, 9 July
Mwenezi farmers arm themselves
Masvingo - Farmers in the Mwenezi district of Masvingo are now moving around armed because of threats and attacks from war veterans. Last week, hordes of war veterans and Zanu PF supporters occupying farms in the district went on a rampage beating up farm workers whom they accused of supporting the opposition MDC. The former freedom fighters, armed with spears, axes and assegais, ambushed farm workers at Quaggapen B ranch and beat them up before threatening to set the farmhouse on fire. The injured farm employees were admitted to Neshuro clinic where they were treated and discharged.
The war veterans have declared the farms a no-go area and the property owners have been barred from moving around their land. A commercial farmer who refused to be named for fear of victimisation said that the former freedom fighters had declared war on the farm workers in the area and their employers. The farmer said: "The situation is terrible. We do not know where to go. My employees were assaulted and we have been barred from moving around the farm. It is very dangerous for us to move around the farm because the war veterans have become very hostile. The whole area has been turned into a battlefield. The war veterans are accusing our farm workers of supporting Morgan Tsvangirai". Farmers in the area have resolved to move around armed for self-defence. Police in Mwenezi have confirmed the incident.
09 July 2001
Double standards, mixed messages
DESPITE living with the world's fastest shrinking economy, Zimbabwe's middle classes have a lot going for them. It is a comfortable place to live, but perhaps that's part of the problem. And perhaps that's why there is so much talk and so little action.
Last week's stayaway was a case in point. For two years, the middle classes have been complaining about the lack of initiative and courage being shown by the so-called masses. Biting epithets have been bandied about since the Zimbabwean crisis began two years ago. The povo, said the middle classes, just don't have the backbone to stand up to tyranny. This acquiescent, mewling majority of Zimbabwe's would rather see the country crumble than actually get off its collective backside and fight back.
Well, last week's national stayaway, called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, proved just who has backbone and who doesn't. It was the workers, with the most to lose, who confronted Mr Mugabe's rogue regime - and it was the same middle classes, complaining so bitterly about the lack of action and progress who…
One would like to be able to say, "who stood up for what is right in a country where so much is wrong", but sadly that can't be said. In the main, the so-called captains of industry exhorted their workforces to come to work, while many threatened to dock their pay if the strike went ahead.
It takes immense courage to call a national strike. It also takes immense courage to heed the call to strike in a country where the state uses its forces with unhesitating brutality in the name, not of law and order, but of the ruling party.
So…business has again been naïve by putting profit before principle. Those workers who stayed away last week did so for good reason. And while the strike may have been called to officially protest the 70% hike in fuel prices, the reasons go much, much deeper than that. Zimbabwe is in a crisis, run by a government (of sorts) that has no interest in the welfare of its people, a government that has contempt for anything that stands in the way of the ruling elite's quest for eternal power.
If one thing unites Zimbabweans today, it is a desire for peace, law and order and economic stability. Sadly that unity is confined to talk. The middle classes, and particularly the white middle class, tend to attack the problems affecting Zimbabwe with about as much gumption and courage as a bored kitten.
That doesn't stop them accusing everyone else of cowardice, even in the face of overwhelming proof to the contrary. Most vociferous of all, not surprisingly, are the 'brave' souls who fled Zimbabwe on the risible pretext of being political refugees. Many of these ridiculous people spend their time spurring Zimbabweans on to greater and greater acts of courage in the face of oppression - from the safety of Britain or the Antipodes. Good luck to them, but they shouldn't be welcomed back.
It is time to end the double standards that have applied, not just since this crisis began, but throughout Zimbabwe's history. The majority of Zimbabweans are doing much to bring about sensible change to their country, and doing so with uncommon bravery. It is not enough to sit back and watch them do it for the benefit of everyone. Nor is it enough to agree that the odds are sometimes stacked against them. But worst of all, it is wrong for the privileged few to stand in their way - which is exactly what keeps happening.
On the same day that tens of thousands of workers took their courage in hand and stayed at home, their employers, who crave the very same changes, condemned them for confronting the government. If the workers are confused, that is hardly surprising. For the last two years they've heard their bosses pressing for principled action and the minute it's taken, the same bosses dock their pay for… taking action. All business is doing is saying, "Fight the system, but not at my expense." It's a strange philosophy, and one that borders on being corrupt. It is certainly immoral.
It's also shortsighted. Business cannot just be about today's profits. It must also take the long-term view and plan for its operations in decades to come. And even in the shorter term, business needs to understand, and accept, that the current system of government has run its course. It will not last, not just because Zimbabweans don't want it to last, but also because it is unacceptable in the eyes of the world. That means there is no need to be coyly acquiescent and humble, nor to be seen to be agreeing with the ruling party and its excesses. Tomorrow's customers won't like you if the word quisling attaches itself to your business.
There is a silly mindset among southern African businesses that dictates that if workers want something, then it must be bad for the business. That rather presupposes that workers and management will be in eternal conflict. That's daft. There are always issues of consensus, even national consensus, where workers and employers have the same basic desires. The issues that caused the national strike were a matter of national consensus, they had nothing to do with the pettiness of shop floor politics, and business should have had the integrity - and backbone - to stand by the brave people who stayed away from work last week. Still, it's interesting to learn that conventional wisdom, yet again, had it completely wrong: it is not the broad masses in Zimbabwe who are putty in the hands of the government, it is the middle classes who lack the courage of their convictions.
Editor- The Farmer
blamed for maize shortage as
GMB is poised to get absolute monopoly
THE Zimbabwe government, after repeatedly denying that the country is facing crippling food shortages due to farming disruptions by so called war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters occupying farms, this week said it would declare maize a specified commodity, a move widely seen as an admission that there is likely to be a shortage to the staple food.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Joseph Made, who has previously denied that Zimbabwe will be forced to import maize, confirmed the measure saying it would be necessary to guarantee food security in the country. He accused commercial farmers of withholding maize saying they (farmers) wanted to create an artificial shortage hence the move by government to specify the commodity.
If declared a specified commodity, only the government owned GMB would be allowed to purchase any maize from all farmers, giving the financially troubled parastatal the absolute monopoly in the buying and selling of maize. The minister, in terms of the GMB Act, has the power to invoke such legislation for food security reasons and anyone flouting the regulations could have his or her grain confiscated by the state.
Dr Made said farmers will be required to provide information on how much grain they hold in their private silos on farms and that the regulations were consistent with the norm around the world. "It is not a war but simply that government has certain responsibilities," he said.
Asked whether this meant that Zimbabwe was to import maize, Dr Made said, "That has been subject of speculation by the media. I want to emphasise that we are still assessing to see what is ready for purchasing." There are people involved in creating an aspect of shortage and there are measures we are putting in place to make sure that maize becomes a specified commodity."
He said, however, there was nothing unusual if the country imported maize. "Zimbabwe imports maize from time to time as and when we determine the need to import. It is an option that is available to us to ensure that there is sufficient maize resources," said Dr Made.
According to statistics by the Crop Forecasting Committee Zimbabwe will need to import 654 570 tonnes. The maize was most likely to be imported from America, as South Africa does not have surplus grain to export his year.
The government has previously spurned warnings from experts that the country would face a food crisis if it did not rein in its "war veterans" and supporters who have, over the past 18 months disrupted farming activities, and instead, addressed the macro-economic environment, which rendered some commercial and communal farmers financially unable to produce maize. Information at hand indicates that commercial farmers alone were forced to cutback production by as much as 50% while communal farmers sunk deeper into financial problems following the failure by the cash-strapped Grain Marketing Board to pay them for maize delivered to it depots in good time last season.
At the beginning to the 2000/2001 season Dr Made insisted that the country was to produce 3 million tonnes of maize. This was despite indications of lower production levels as was being shown by decreased seed sales, unfavourable market conditions and the highly disruptive farm invasions by the government sponsored "war veterans". Zimbabwe was now expected to produce less than 2 million tonnes.
Towards harvesting last season, estimates from farmers, Central Statistics Office, Sadc Famine Early Warning System Network, Agritex which all fall under Dr Made and Scientific industrial Research Development Centre (SIRCD) said there was going to be shortage. But Dr Made dismissed these predictions and accused the institutions of providing inaccurate figures saying they did not take into consideration the newly resettled farmers.
Some within the agriculture industry believe government is trying to find an excuse to import maize by falsely accusing commercial farmers of creating artificial shortages.
Dr Made has directed GMB to stock 900 000 tonnes as a minimum requirement for the strategic Grain Reserve which normally holds 500 000 tonnes.
GMB board dismissed
THE Minister of Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, this week dismissed the entire board of directors of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) saying this was necessary to allow his ministry greater control in the operations of the parastatal
The board, led by Mr Canaan Dube was appointed in July last year and its term of office was due to expire in June 2003.
The dismissal of the board comes as the government tightens its grip on GMB and the maize market in the country. Dr Made said the expiry date of the board had been brought forward in order to allow his ministry to be more directly involved in the affairs of the parastatal especially the remaining aspects of the restructuring of the organisation and the need to speed up implementation of decisions.
He said, "Due to the strategic importance of the GMB in terms of food security for the nation, it is imperative that decisions regarding its operations are implemented expeditiously and effectively in the interests of the people of Zimbabwe."
Dr Made has set up a committee of four senior officials from his ministry to take over from the board. His ministry's permanent secretary, Mr Ngoni Masoka will chair the committee while other members are Mr Basilio Sandama, deputy secretary (agricultural economics and marketing), Mr Edwin Zvandasara, director of finance in the ministry and Mr Godfrey Sogobodhla, deputy secretary (human resources and administration).
War veterans dismiss Wedza farmers' land initiative
WEDZA commercial farmers this week presented a community land plan to the Wedza District Land Committee as part of the many attempts around the country to resolve the land crisis. But some members of the District Land Committee have already dismissed the initiative saying the farmers were not genuine in their offer.
Sources said the Wedza farmers' plan was presented by a farmers' committee which included Mr Harry Orphanides, Mr Mick Miler and Mr Bonny Fourie at the Wedza District Administrator's office. This was part of the community plan by farmers whose aims and objectives included the release of 23 000 hectares of uncontested land within Wedza for a sustainable resettlement programme, "to demonstrate the desire to solve the land issue in the area in a pragmatic and responsible manner and to promote harmony among all parties".
The conceding of 23 000 hectares was supposed to enable the selected resettled farmers to immediately start preparing their plots for the coming rainy season and to allow production on other farms to continue.
According to the plan, allowing production on other farms to continue would have many advantages such as financial benefit to Zimbabwe in terms of exportable crops like tobacco and fewer job losses would occur. The plan was also aimed at coordinating "a controlled assistance programme for as many new settlers as possible, under the banner of the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI)".
The ZJRI, which is a joint initiative by the private sector and farmers aimed at demonstrating good faith towards resolving the land issue, has been presented to government. Yet despite this latest initiative by the farmers, government has continued to list farms for compulsory acquisition and to date, at least 75 to 80 percent of farms belonging to members of the Commercial Farmers Union have been affected.
The District Land Committee that consists of war veterans, the district administrator (DA) and other government officials told the farmers' land committee that they would study the proposals before responding. However, sources said some war veterans who are the most influential in the District Land Committee expressed their dissatisfaction and threw out the farmers' initiative soon after the meeting. Sources said the war veterans said farmers were not genuine but wanted to use their plan as a ploy to delay the current land reform programme until after the presidential elections scheduled for early next year.
Some of the members of the District land committee who attended the meeting with the farmers were war veteran, Better Choto, Mashonaland East War Veterans Association vice chairman, Fanuel Chigwedere and a new arrival in the district, DA Gibson Munhuwei.
Meat fair attracts exhibitors
WITH an unprecedented 23 meat industry bodies endorsing the International Trade Fair for the Meat Industries of Africa to be held at Kyalami Exhibition and Conference Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg from 2 - 4 September, 2001, IFMA 2001 promises to eclipse even the highly successful inaugural IFMA expo held two years ago.
Organizers Exhibition Management Services (EMS) effectively replaced and extended the scope of the previous industry-run event, IMEX with IFMA in 1999. This attracted high quality attendees who either owned or directed the firms they represented, with a further high percentage of visitors with buying power. IFMA 2001 is therefore expected to be an even more lucrative business floor for exhibitors and visitors alike.
This year's event will be enhanced by the co-location of Africa's first baking industry exhibition, Inter: Bake Africa 2001, taking place alongside the IFMA show. These stand alone, but related food exhibitions are set to draw maximum audiences.
The exhibition is expected to attract a high level of participation from across the spectrum, with poultry, meat and fish industries supporting the show. IFMA 2001 is the showcase for the latest technologies within the industry and on the floor will be abattoir equipment, packaging machinery, refrigeration equipment, slaughtering devices, computer hardware and software, food ingredients, meat and poultry suppliers, weighing systems, cutting and boning equipment, processed meat suppliers, poultry and fish processing equipment, environmental services, spice and food additive suppliers.
Mr Nathan Scott, General Manager of Columbit (Pty) Ltd, suppliers of capital meat processing equipment said, "Due to the unqualified success that we experienced at IFMA in 1999, Columbit is back with the very latest in processing equipment for this show. IFMA is damn fine exposure for our industry."
Also at the fair will be international food journals, the Namibian Ministry of Trade and Industry along with the Meat Board of Namibia, showing its range meat industry companies like Just Lamb Trading and Farmers Meat Market, the South African National Halaal Authority as well as Crown National, BT Enterprises, Karan Beef and Ulma Packaging Systems, to name but a few.
The South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC), one of the show's endorsers, and the umbrella body for the red meat industry in South Africa, is looking forward to highlighting pertinent information at IFMA 2001.
Henriette Wagener, SAMIC's Liaison Manager manager, "The IFMA show provides the best forum for interaction within the meat industry, giving us the perfect opportunity to disseminate information to where it counts."
|Conviction won’t affect Tsvangirai’s bid for presidency|
7/10/01 8:57:25 AM (GMT +2)
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s constitutional appeal against two sections of the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act to be heard in the Supreme Court on 12 July may not end his presidential ambitions, as previously speculated.
If he loses the appeal, he
will be tried in the High Court.
A conviction could lead to life in jail. That would not, however, bar him from contesting the Presidential elections from prison.
The Constitution is silent on the conviction of presidential aspirants.
While the conviction will prevent Tsvangirai from voting as dictated by the Electoral Law which deprives prisoners of their right to vote, the Constitution does not bar him from being voted for as president.
The Constitution says: “A person shall be qualified for election as President if he is a citizen of Zimbabwe by birth or by descent and has attained the age of 40 years and he is ordinarily a resident of Zimbabwe.”
Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional law lecturer and chairman of the department of Public Law at the University of Zimbabwe, said:
“The legal position is that a criminal conviction is not a bar to election as president. The only effect is that if, at the time of the election, a person is serving a sentence of more than six months, that person is not entitled to vote. But one does not need to be a voter to be elected president.”
Madhuku said the law does not require a candidate to be present at the nomination court. “The candidate’s election agent can be present at the nomination court to file the nomination papers on behalf of the candidate” says Madhuku.
He said even a person serving a life sentence can contest the presidential election.
“The moment that person is declare president, even before taking the oath, that person simply walks out of prison. This is perhaps what was not intended by those who framed the Constitution but that is what the law says.
“The criminal proceedings against Tsvangirai are irrelevant to his presidential ambition. The government is proceeding on a mistaken reading of the Constitution. A person becomes president on being declared the winner.
Whether that person is on the moon, in heaven or in prison, is not an an issue. He becomes president.”
Says Sternford Moyo, a Harare lawyer: “Although there are practical and political difficulties associated with certain categories of convicts winning election to the presidency and assuming office as president, the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not appear to make a conviction a factor of disqualification.
“The Constitution was written against a background where several nationalists were prosecuted and convicted of serious offences committed as part of the prosecution of the struggle for independence.”
Moyo said the same situation obtained in South Africa. “Former President Nelson Mandela who was convicted of an offence of a political nature and served his sentence was able to seek election and assume office as President of the Republic of South Africa,” says Moyo.
“The political difficulty is that some categories of convicts may find it difficult to persuade a rational electorate to elect them into office.”
The state alleges that Tsvangirai threatened to use violence to remove President Mugabe from office if he did not retire peacefully.
It alleges that he made the remarks at a rally at Rufaro Stadium last year in an address to his supporters.