Great Zimbabwe now just a pile of stones
By Walter Marwizi
MASVINGO-With a heavy heart, Jerina trudged along
the small path that
snaked its way past a famed hill before it took her to a
tucked in a forest close to the Great Zimbabwe
That evening a week ago, the 34- year-old widow did not have
for her hungry children who had waited patiently for a change in
family fortunes for over 13 months.
"Great Zimbabwe is
now just a heap of stones with no benefit for us,"
cursed the empty handed
Jerina, as she arrived at home, her arms folded
behind her back.
A few kilometres away from her hunger stricken homestead, a
fisherman folded his nets earlier than he used to. When things
this was the time for him to cast his nets at the shores of
Lake Mutirikwe in
anticipation of a major catch that would meet an ever
increasing demand for
"Will Great Zimbabwe ever rise and be great for us?"
muttered to himself as took a path that led him
It was not only Jerina and the fisherman who went back home
handed, with nothing for their families that day-nor was it the only
they were so disappointed.
In fact it is now the order of
the day for drought wracked villagers
in Chief Mugabe's area in Masvingo who
were earning a living through selling
their various wares to tourists who
thronged the Great Zimbabwe monuments on
a daily basis to explore the
mysteries buried at the world acclaimed
villagers who are based at Great Zimbabwe turn off, along the
road, now sing the blues as the monuments have lost
Hardly two years after the Zanu PF government
into white owned farms, GZ, as it is affectionately
called in Masvingo, is
no longer a friendly marketplace for
International visitors who used to frequent the most
monuments in southern Africa, snapping up their products, have
coming to Zimbabwe, scared off by the violence that characterised
invasions that pitted the ruling Zanu PF against the opposition
These visitors, who had "spending power", used to buy items
enterprising villagers who smiled all the way to the
Among the items that were in demand were dyed clothing, stone
carvings and African medicines such as vhuka vhuka, an
"Honestly we now just sit here the whole day doing
nothing. Our wares
are just gathering dust. There are no buyers anymore,"
Makwarimba, who has been selling her doilies for over five years
at the GZ
Tawanda Magara, a stone carver, said GZ now
had a different meaning
altogether to him.
"In the past when we
saw the GZ monuments, we realised that we would
always make money since
visitors would always come to see discover the
mystique associated with them.
Now we see them just as any other heap of
stones. They don't make any
difference to our lives," he said.
An official with the Department
of Museums and National Monuments who
preferred not to be named said the
Great Zimbabwe ruins had witnessed a
dramatic decline in the number of
visitors in the past two years.
"I can confirm that tourist
arrivals are insignificant. It would be a
waste of time for anyone to sit and
try to compile the statistics of foreign
visitors you have requested. They
are simply not coming here," he said.
While in the past foreign
tourists were the main visitors to the GZ,
locals were now heading the list,
"We are now seeing domestic tourists, mainly youths from
bring their girlfriends over the weekend to have a nice time at
Regionally, South Africans still show some interest in the
and there, but it's nothing to write home about," he
English tourists used to be main visitors when relations
Zimbabwe and Britain were cordial, but they have since stopped
Land-grab deprives 250 000 pupils of
By Itai Dzamara
MORE than 500 schools in
formerly white owned farms have been shut
down, throwing the future of over
250 000 children of farm workers into
jeopardy, The Standard has
As government continues to implement its chaotic land
exercise, more and more schools which were run by white commercial
are being closed as marauding Zanu PF supporters and war veterans
According to a spokesperson of the
Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) ,
the future of the children who were getting
education at the farm schools is
gloomy as it is clear that neither the new
owners nor the government has the
capability and capacity to run the
Already, the embattled Mugabe regime is grappling with a
among a host of economic and social woes, leaving the government
money to support the schools.
Government schools have
not been spared either, as they reel under
lack of textbooks, teaching staff
and other problems.
"More than 500 schools were closed abruptly as
invaders besieged farms
across the country. Thousands of children who
attended farm schools have
nowhere to go," said the
The situation is made even worse by the fact that
virtually all the
farm workers' families will have no means of livelihood
following the loss
of their employers.
About 200 000 of the
deprived children are still at primary school
level, which most commercial
Many of the farm workers were immigrants from
Sadc countries such as
Malawi and Mozambique, who left their countries
decades ago in search of
Efforts to get comment from the
ministry of education failed because
officials at the head office repeatedly
said that the minister was busy. The
permanent secretary, Thompson Tsodzo,
was said to be on leave.
The Worst Humanitarian Crisis on Earth: Or is it a form of Genocide?
No, I am not referring to the killing of thousands of Ndebele in the 80’s
as Mugabe strove to force them into submission to Zanu PF dominance, nor am I
referring to the famine conditions now spreading across Zimbabwe. No, I am
referring to the HIV/Aids epidemic that has the country in its grip at present.
I know we are all fed up with the subject, Barcelona and all that, but I thought
it was time to set out just what is involved in this crisis and the impact that
the policies of Zanu PF are having on the progress of the epidemic in our
What triggered this for me was a report that Dave Coltart brought back from
his recent trip to the USA. Not long, about 16 pages, but it contained an
account of just what HIV/Aids means to a country like ours. We are one of the
HIAC countries – a "heavily infected Aids country". This means that we are one
of an exclusive club of countries who have more than 20 per cent of their total
population infected with HIV all of whom will ultimately die of Aids.
To try and get a handle on the situation we took what the experts say about
the epidemic in African countries – it was first identified in 1984, we assumed
infection rates at that time were between 1 and 2 per cent of the population. As
it takes up to 15 years for the infection to take the form of full blown Aids
and for people to die, deaths at that stage were only about 11 000 a year. Since
then 1,1 million Zimbabweans have died from Aids and Aids related diseases. The
latter are mainly TB, some forms of Sarcoma, Malaria and Chest infections. Today
in a normal year 160 000 Zimbabweans of all ages will die of the disease –
including 37 000 children under 5, infected by their mothers at birth or through
In fact, this year Aids related deaths for the first time will exceed
"normal deaths". Total deaths from all causes in 2002 would be about 321 000.
With normal births standing today at about 450 000 a year, this means that our
population is barely growing. In fact, if we factor in emigration, our
population must be declining quite sharply. We know for example that there are
over 2 million Zimbabweans in South Africa, 400 000 in the UK and about the same
number in North America. This must mean that our total population is now
hovering about the 10 million mark. In the year 2000 it was generally thought we
had a population of 12 million, growing at about 1,8 per cent per annum.
Weekly deaths are now running at 3 000 – 5000 a day, just from Aids. We
have nearly 200 000 children under 5 infected by their mothers, 750 000 orphans
– nearly 15 per cent of the total population under 18 years of age. We have a
total HIV infected population today of 2,4 million. The epidemic will peak about
2010 at national infection rates of about 25 per cent – 3,6 million people with
annual Aids related deaths of about 186 000 people a year. Experience elsewhere
shows that it should peak at this point and, if we put appropriate policies in
place, decline thereafter. Even if this happens, millions more are going to die
from this disease.
Why are we so susceptible as a nation – why is Africa the Aids continent on
top of all our other ills? This is the question I want to try and answer and to
say that to stop this epidemic, we need to do much more that just harass the
pharmaceutical industry for cheap drugs. Drugs will help people already
infected, but are largely palliatives when it comes to really dealing with the
problem. We must prevent infection and tackle the disease at its socio economic
What are the roots of the Aids epidemic? They are lifestyles, attitude to
sex outside of marriage, homelessness, migratory labour, poverty, the status of
women, education (especially of the girl child), education and information about
the disease, malnutrition. What amplifies the impact of the Aids epidemic in a
given society are the ability to educate and provide condoms, the ability to
treat other diseases that will use the HIV and Aids infection to gain a hold in
a population. The quality and availability of good medical services and
affordable drugs is also critical – both in prevention and providing for a
better quality of life for those with the disease.
How do we as a country rate ourselves against these factors – how does the
Zanu PF government, which has been in power for 22 years, rate against these
factors. The evidence demonstrates that they have been an unmitigated disaster
for Zimbabwe and its people. Their activities in the past three years in
particular, in the context of Zimbabwe as a HIAC state, have been nothing short
of a form of national genocide. If 1 million Zimbabweans have died since the
infection started, one million more will die in the next 12 months – three
quarters of these additional deaths would have been prevented if we had had a
better government following appropriate and sensible policies.
Lets look at the record – 40 per cent of the urban population is homeless –
they must lodge with others in overcrowded accommodation, several people to one
room with little privacy and no dignity to speak of. Nearly 3 million live
outside the country – three quarters of this migrant community are illegal
immigrants – driven out of Zimbabwe by an economy that is collapsing. The
massive decline in employment opportunities (20 per cent of the total population
was in paid employment in 1980, now the figure is 9 per cent and falling). Those
who do have jobs in the cities earn so little that they cannot maintain their
families and are forced to send wives and children to live in rural villages
while they remain as single workers in the cities.
Half the children of school going age are not in school – nearly two thirds
of girls of school going age are not in school. We are only employing 62 per
cent of the teachers we should be employing to give those children who are in
school a decent education. Teachers and Head Teachers are poorly paid and
motivational levels difficult to maintain. In many rural schools teachers are
forced to live with three families to a house designed for one because of the
shortage of accommodation. There are few books and the majority of school pupils
come to school on empty stomachs. Educational standards are going downhill fast
under these conditions, illiteracy is rising and the numbers of children
entering the economy with a totally inadequate education, let alone job skills,
is rising rapidly.
Incomes are down dramatically as wages stagnate and prices rise, absolute
poverty now grips more than 75 per cent of the total population. A combination
of poor educational opportunities and extreme poverty is driving many young
people into prostitution and crime. Couple this to forced migration and
homelessness in the urban areas and you have a vicious cocktail of social
conditions that form the perfect platform for HIV/Aids.
Couple this to the complete collapse of the state medical system –
hospitals without food and drugs, no gloves for personnel, a 50 per cent loss of
hospital staff in the past 18 months to emigration. The complete collapse of the
clinic system as central government fails to meet its obligations to local
authorities with the responsibility. Clinics without even basic drugs – let
alone the drugs required for the treatment of Malaria, Cholera and Tuberculosis.
In an environment where half the total number of pregnant women at clinics are
testing positive for HIV there are no drugs to halt transmission.
Now we have a serious shortage of food. Something I learned from the US
study was that Aids victims need 50 per cent more protein in their diets. They
also require a better quality of diet and if they suffer from any sort of
disruption in their diet, they face the prospect of an early death. If a
population of HIV/Aids sufferers experience a sudden down turn in the quantity
and quality of food they get, the results can be catastrophic. We are in this
position and if the US study is correct, up to 20 per cent of all currently
infected people in Zimbabwe will be in this position this year. My computer
model indicated to me that as many as 480 000 people could die in this way in
the next 12 months, in addition to the other deaths expected under "normal
circumstances" of 321 000. The food people forecast that deaths from hunger will
run to many thousands, as it is now almost too late to get enough food here to
feed the population.
Was this a situation beyond our control? Was this the effect of "structural
adjustment" forced on us by global institutions? The answer is clearly no,
whilst we are not responsible for the epidemic – the Zanu PF government is
solely responsible for the terrible conditions that have created such fertile
conditions for this disease of the poor and dispossessed. For me, this is
clearly a form of genocide, as sure as if they had pulled the trigger.
Bulawayo, 14th July 2002
How to Control the HIV/Aids Epidemic.
In my last weekly note I described the massive impact that Aids is having in
Zimbabwe and what impact present government policies are having on the progress
of the epidemic. I feel we have an obligation as members of the MDC to take the
debate one step further and to clearly spell out just what we would do that
would be so different and which would help halt our slide into disaster in this
I was disappointed by the Barcelona conference on Aids, which seemed to be
dominated by debate on possible cures and treatment and cost thereof. Once the
disease is present, there is no cure – all we can do at great expense, is to
prolong life and improve what quality of life an infected person can have while
waiting for the inevitable. It seems to me that the debate needs to be extended
to cover the broader issues, which will deny the disease the fertile ground in
which it thrives. Someone wrote to me and described present HIV/Aids programs as
"throwing tennis balls at an avalanche" and I must say I had to agree with that
The key to an effective war on HIV/Aids would seem to me to lie in the
following programmes – many of which seem to have no connection but taken
together will undermine the social and economic conditions which have made
Africa the Aids continent.
We should start with education – we must target the girl child in our
educational programmes while at the same time extending the period during which
children in poor countries are able to go to school and the quality of education
they receive whilst at school. We need global consensus on the standard of
education we are going to give every child on earth as a basic human right. Poor
countries should be required to pay what they can afford towards such programs
and the rest of the cost – whatever that might be, should be met by the global
community. There should be no debate about this – just about the modalities.
Who, what where? Teachers across the globe should be considered elite, as they
were a century ago, because they, as much as parents, are role models and
mentors for the next generation.
Then we must ensure that our educational systems teach not just the three R’s
but give our children knowledge and skills that will prepare the next generation
for life in a competitive and complex world. Good education is not just about
reading and writing, its about right and wrong, moral absolutes and justice in
society. It’s about philosophy and social mores as well as interpersonal
relations and health and hygiene. Its about religion and faith and about being
in control of your own life and being responsible for the lives of others.
Poorly paid, uneducated and unmotivated teachers cannot maintain such a system.
Educators need to be remunerated well, decently housed and able to command
respect from their community.
Secondly, we must mount a real effort to ensure that no child exits our
school system ignorant of their sexuality and the threat of HIV/Aids. They must
not be permitted to think that there is anything called "safe sex" outside of a
monogamous relationship within marriage. They must understand that even
"protected sex" is a form of Russian roulette. Family planning education must be
stepped up and incorporated into all forms of community health and education
services. All national leaders should be obliged to be become involved in the
fight for public understanding and the media must be fully engaged in the
Our strategies for the urban areas must be fully integrated to pursue a
strategy of "whole family" settlement and support. Housing programs should have
as a clear objective a home for every family – irrespective of their economic or
social standing. This means we must take a long hard look at urban housing. Mass
transit systems must accommodate workers and others daily commuting needs.
Affordable strategies for transport must be a high priority. Minimum wage
regulations must be aligned to the poverty datum line for different industries –
the policy of fostering employment on the basis of sub economic wages should be
completely abandoned with the support of both Unions and Employers.
Both basic health and education services in urban and rural areas should be
virtually free. The present situation where such services are more expensive in
urban areas should be corrected to permit families to raise their children where
their parents live on a "whole family" basis. All forms of migratory labour
should be abandoned and every effort made to stop the flow of illegal emigrants
to other countries by encouraging them to stay at home and enabling them to find
gainful employment or other forms of support for them and their families.
In the health services field, every Zimbabwean should have access, within
walking distance, of a primary health care clinic which is able to provide a
full range of basic health care services at no cost. These clinics should be
community owned and managed but financed by Central Government. They should have
a full range of drugs to treat common ailments and should be able to provide a
complete range of anti and post natal services to women. The clinics should be
able to provide HIV/Aids screening using provincial laboratory services and
infected mothers should be given appropriate medication to inhibit mother to
child transmission. Public health services should be provided as an outreach
programme by all primary health care clinics.
All primary health care centres should be used as referral centres with
regard to district and provincial hospitals, which would only deal with cases
that could not be dealt with, by the primary health care centres. All
Zimbabweans in both the urban and rural areas should have access to some form of
medical aid – at the lower income levels to be subsidised by the state but
self-financing above certain income levels. These schemes would all be privately
managed and owned by the membership of the societies themselves. Hospital
services would be paid for by these medical aid schemes – all of which would be
In the rural areas, people are totally poverty stricken. Our rural population
is amongst the poorest in the world, people generally living well below the
threshold of US$1 per day. Unless we tackle this problem we will never be able
to solve the ancillary problems that are created be these conditions of poverty
in rural areas.
At the root of rural poverty is the issue of security over resources. Our
rural population has land – much of it potentially productive, but without
security over this asset, these resources will never yield its potential.
Fundamental to this task therefore is to provide all farmers with secure,
negotiable, forms of tenure. Zanu PF has abrogated international agreements and
our own constitution in its drive to dispossess white farmers and in so doing
has completely destroyed the security of tenure that commercial farmers used to
have over their land. This security was the foundation on which a highly
productive system of commercial agriculture was built over the past 100
No matter what Zanu PF says today, this is untenable and a new government,
respecting the rule of law and the constitutional rights of its citizens must
restore tenure rights to owners who wish to continue farming. There is no debate
about that in responsible circles. Any other perspective is simply untenable and
there is no point in believing otherwise. What also has to happen is that these
same rights have to be extended in some form to all farmers holding land rights
in rural areas – resettled farmers, farmers in the communal areas and farmers in
the commercial farming districts.
Once this is achieved, these new farmers must be given the kind of operating
environment that will enable them to exploit their resources productively and to
their own benefit. The potential is huge. We have a million hectares of
potential irrigated land, if this was settled in small holder fashion, centered
on development nodes, with packing sheds, cotton gins and sugar factories, we
could have up to 100 000 farmers – all earning in excess of Z$1 million per
annum. We could grow 500 000 tonnes of cotton a year, 250 000 tonnes of tobacco,
100 000 tonnes of coffee and a similar quantity of tea. We could put 250 000
hectares under small scale forestry and supply forest products to the world on a
sustainable basis. Feeding ourselves is not difficult – Zimbabwean farmers have
held the world record for maize production several times. In fact our main
problem under these circumstances would be markets in a global system dominated
by subsidised food from Europe and the USA.
All of this would be self sustaining and viable. It would create prosperity
in rural areas and with the rural population receiving the good quality social
services outlined above; their quality of life would improve out of all
recognition. The need to move to a shantytown in South Africa and make a living
by crime and other means would be eliminated. We would then have the reverse
problem – of people coming into Zimbabwe, because conditions here are so much
A pipe dream? Not at all. We have been working with teams of specialists in
all these areas for two years and the MDC has detailed and credible policies in
all these areas. What we lack as a country is leaders of vision and the
opportunity to turn the disastrous policies of Zanu PF on their head so that the
people of this country can be liberated to exhibit their potential. Everything I
have outlined above is achievable in a relatively short time, if we have the
vision, the opportunity and the will to do it. Nepad may be a vehicle for
drawing in the resources that will be required, but the main effort is ours –
foreigners, no matter how well motivated cannot do for us what we are not
prepared to do for ourselves.
We can beat the HIV/Aids epidemic – Uganda and Senegal have shown the way.
But we cannot while we have a government that is hell bent on impoverishing and
destroying any sense of security of its people. We need new leaders, new
policies – we need CHANGE.
20th July 2002
Dear Family and Friends,
In less than 3 weeks time 3000 commercial farmers
will be forced to leave their properties on the orders of the Zimbabwe
government. 3000 men and women who are still willing and able to grow food for
the nation will no longer be able to do so. In a desperate attempt to prevent
this disaster, the leaders of the Commercial Farmers Union held a Press Briefing
a few days ago. Farming President Colin Cloete said: "We appeal to our State
President for an audience." This urgent plea for dialogue where Cloete hoped to
beg the government to allow farmers to continue growing food was categorically
turned down. The Minister of Agriculture said that he was not prepared to talk
to the farmers and that he would not go back on the programme of mass farm
seizures. A couple of days later, speaking from Cuba, President Mugabe also
refused to speak to our farmers saying they should talk to the Vice President
instead. Clearly both the President and Agriculture Minister do not take
seriously the cold and ugly reality that 6 million Zimbabweans are starving. It
would seem they would rather accept handouts from the west than allow our own
farmers to grow food and help get us out of this disastrous situation.
Management, governance and advance planning in Zimbabwe today appears to be
completely non existent. When all these farmers and their workers are thrown off
their land, the ripple effects to the whole country are going to be enormous.
The first and obvious effect will be the immediate loss of daily, perishable
produce - eggs, milk, cheese and vegetables. Within a month there will be huge
losses to the economy in the form of income tax, drought levy's and Aids levies.
Farmers are huge users of electricity - to run water pumps, cool fresh produce
and use irrigation equipment - the loss of revenue to the electricity authority
will be enormous. All farmers pay rates to the country's rural councils - rates
which build clinics and dams, maintain roads and sink boreholes. The loss of
revenue to all of Zimbabwe's rural councils will bring these authorities to an
immediate and grinding halt. The human price of Zimbabwe's land reform programme
is almost too staggering to comprehend, not only for the farmers and their
workers but also for 13 million Zimbabweans.
These are desperate days in Zimbabwe and looking
out for each other is the only way to survive. I have an 84 year old man living
two doors away from me and he stood at my gate again this week. He calls me his
Guardian Angel and begged that I give him $60 for a loaf of bread. He is white
and his need is as great as the 14 year old black boy who runs alongside my car
when I turn in at the supermarket. He too begs for money to buy a loaf of bread.
If only the men and women in our government would stop their motorcades, get out
of their chauffeur driven limousines and see this immense tragedy, see the huge
suffering of all black, white and brown Zimbabweans. If only. Until next week,
with love, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com
Zimbabwe opposition figure sought after
HARARE, July 20 - Zimbabwe police said on Saturday they
were looking for a
senior opposition official after the stabbing at his house
of a woman
believed to be his wife, reported to be in critical
Police chief spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said
Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) information secretary and legislator
disappeared from his Harare home following the Friday
Jongwe is the MDC's leading public voice.
''The position is that a woman called Rutendo Muusha, whom we
Jongwe's wife, was stabbed last night and the latest
information we have is
that she is in a critical condition,'' Bvudzijena
''We are still looking for Jongwe to interview him in connection with
stabbing,'' he added.
There was no reply from Jongwe's mobile phone
and MDC officials were
not immediately available to comment.
MDC, formed in 1999, emerged as the strongest opposition to
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party in 2000 general elections
when it won nearly
half of the contested parliamentary seats despite a
violent campaign largely
blamed on ruling party supporters.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who
is legally challenging Mugabe's
victory at presidential elections held in
March, faces charges of plotting
to kill the president last year.
20 July 2002
MDC grieves with Muusha and Jongwe families.
has learnt with deep sadness of the death of MDC MP and
Learnmore Jongwe's wife Rutendo Jongwe (nee Muusha) at the
early this morning. We grieve with the two families.
The MDC sympathises
with the Jongwe family for the tragic circumstances
under which they find
Contrary to widespread reports and fears that Learnmore
Jongwe may have
committed suicide, it has been established that he is alive
and well. He is
currently consulting with his lawyers who shall issue a full
his behalf in due course.
May the families know that all
Zimbabweans are grieving with them and share
the sadness and sorrow that they
In these difficult circumstances we call upon the Almighty to give
guidance and heal the pain that we all feel. We also pray for
and unity of purpose.
'Jongwe caught wife with friend'
AS the story over the alleged stabbing of Rutendo
Jongwe, by her
husband and MDC spokesman Learnmore, unfolded yesterday, The
informed that the dispute leading to the tragic incident occurred
young MP had allegedly caught his wife in bed with his friend and
Jongwe's lawyer, Jonathan Samkange of Byron
& Venturas and Partners
told The Standard yesterday that the incident so
infuriated the MP that he
immediately attacked his wife.
Rutendo died of stab wounds to the chest and face at the Avenues
"Learnmore caught his wife in bed with another
man, a friend and
colleague from a Harare law firm. He was so provoked that
began assaulting the wife which resulted in the eventual death
of the wife.
He did not attack the man, who quickly disappeared from the
"We are in the process of talks with the police for the
Jongwe. I am in the process of handing him over to Chief
Musemwa of CID homicide so they can record a warned and
from him," said Samkange.
The colleague who
is alleged to have been caught with Rutendo is a
practising lawyer with
Muskwe and Associates law firm.
At the time of going to press,
Jongwe was still not in police custody.
However Rutendo's family
has dismissed the version of Jongwe's lawyer
as pure fabrication meant to
build up his defence.
Nyarai Levita, a maid who was in the house
when the incident occurred
told The Standard that there was no boyfriend in
the house as was being
"I went to take a bath and I
left Rutendo playing with the baby.
Learnmore was also in the house. I had to
rush out of bathroom after hearing
screams from the dinning room. I saw
Rutendo close to the gate when she
collapsed. Learnmore had just driven off
at high speed. I then screamed for
help to alert neighbours," she
Rutendo's father Chino Muusha said: "Why did he choose to lie
that? It's hard to believe how a man can cook up such a story to cover
his murderous acts," said the emotional father.
story first broke on Friday night, there were fears that
Jongwe, who fled
from his Belvedere home after the incident, had committed
this was dispelled yesterday morning by MDC
Ncube, through a statement to the press.
"Contrary to widespread
reports and fears that Learnmore Jongwe may
have committed suicide, it has
been established that he is alive and well.
He is currently consulting with
his lawyers who shall issue a full statement
on his behalf in due course,"
The party however lamented the death of Jongwe's wife.
"The MDC has
learnt with deep sadness of the death of MDC MP and spokesman
Jongwe's wife, Rutendo Jongwe (nee Muusha) at the Avenue Clinic
yesterday morning. We grieve with the two families," said
Relatives of Rutendo who spoke to the press over the issue
couple had always had stormy relationship.
always some arguments in the family over Learnmore's
Rutendo filed for divorce and threatened to expose his
activities to the
press," said a relative
By the time of going to the press, the
families had not met. The
Rutendo family were mourning their daughter in
Cranborne while the Jongwes
were gathered at the latter's Belvedere
Rutendo, a lawyer, first met Jongwe in 1998 at the University
Zimbabwe and their relationship culminated in their wedding last year.
gave birth to a son, Tawananyasha, in January.
Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Zimbabwe MP charged over
Police in Zimbabwe have charged a senior official of the
party with murdering his wife.
A police spokesman said
Learnmore Jongwe - a member of parliament and main
spokesman for the Movement
for Democratic Change - was being held in custody
and was due to appear in
court on Monday.
Reports say Mr Jongwe's lawyer Jonathan Samkange did not
deny that his
client had stabbed his wife, but said he had not intended to
Mr Jongwe was arrested on Sunday following a police
His wife, Rutendo Muusha, died from stab wounds on
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Kufuor's Opportunity in Harare
July 22, 2002
Posted to the web July 21,
When I left Ghana almost one year ago,
after spending a year in the country
and closely observing the December 2000
elections, I was convinced that it
had emerged as one of the democratic
leaders in Africa. Furthermore, I
anticipated Ghana playing an increasingly
important role in defending and
promoting democracy across the
To some extent Ghana has lived up to this expectation. But
there is one
notable case in which Ghana, and almost all of her African
been painfully silent: Zimbabwe, where President Robert
Mugabe rigged the
March elections, torture and political assassinations are
occurrences and government policy has induced a severe food
It is not only what has occurred inside Zimbabwe in the past
which can largely be chalked up to the whims of an aging autocrat
retaining power at any cost, that is so tragic. The most distressing
disappointing aspect of the entire episode is what has occurred
Zimbabwe - the response, or lack thereof, from the rest of Africa.
across the board, African leaders have either condoned Mugabe's
done so in a de facto manner through their silence and acceptance
election results. They did virtually nothing to influence the
flawed election process. Some of the reactions to the election
almost comical; Kenya's President Moi told Mugabe it was "testimony
confidence and high esteem the people of Zimbabwe hold in you" and
Namibian observer delegation inexplicably declared the polling "water
without room for rigging".
In Ghana's defence, there has been
some criticism of Mugabe by Foreign
Minister Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, and the
government deployed three election
observers and supported the Commonwealth's
decision to suspend Zimbabwe. But
President Kufuor has remained notably
silent on the issue. In fact there is
only one African leader who has been
outspoken in his disdain for Mugabe,
Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, who
declared "Mr. Mugabe did not respect
the rules "We can't call that an
election" (in response, Zimbabwean Foreign
Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge
accused Wade of conspiring with the West to
Both Wade and Kufuor came to power through impressive,
that saw the entrenched party replaced by the
opposition in a peaceful and
mature manner. These elections, in conjunction
with Mali's recent elections,
represent an important step in the
consolidation of democracy in West
But for these pioneering
states being democratic domestically is no longer
enough. They have a
responsibility to use their achievements as a
stepping-stone for promoting
democracy across the continent, and in the
Zimbabwean case Ghana has failed
to do so. These newly elected leaders have
a responsibility to endeavour to
ensure that opposition candidates, as they
were not long ago, are afforded
the same opportunity they enjoyed.
It is not too late to take action.
Zimbabwe has faded from the headlines in
recent weeks, a victim of the
international community's chronically short
attention span, but the situation
has only deteriorated further. A recent
Amnesty International report on
impunity in Zimbabwe includes evidence of
political killings, torture and
rape after polls closed on March 15.
Clearly, Mugabe is not finished
terrorizing the people of Zimbabwe.
While he does, Presidents Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa and Olesegun Obasanjo
of Nigeria have been traveling the
world promoting the New Partnership for
African Development (NEPAD), an
admirable attempt to spur growth in Africa
that includes an important peer
review component calling upon African states
to police each other's
behaviour. As the situation in Zimbabwe attests this
has yet to occur and as
long as the status quo persists there is regrettably
little reason to believe
that it will.
President Kufuor has an opportunity to take the lead in
in the status quo. He can break away from the club of
Mugabe defenders and
join Wade in condemning Mugabe and his destructive
his government can seriously consider severing
diplomatic ties with
Zimbabwe, a measure that would add substance to the
critique. Not only will
such action further isolate Mugabe, it will also lend
credibility to NEPAD,
serving as evidence that African leaders can criticize
one another when
appropriate. Most important, it will clearly identify Ghana
as a democracy
that will not tolerate anti-democratic behaviour in Africa.
geopolitical perspective Kufuor is in an ideal position to speak out
Mugabe. There has been sustained pressure on President Mbeki to do
there are strong ties, particularly of the economic variety, between
Africa and Zimbabwe, and the effects on South Africa of Mbeki meddling
Zimbabwean affairs could be substantial, including significant refugee
into the country. President Kufuor faces no such dilemma, as
between Ghana and Zimbabwe are distant to begin with and there are
significant economic relations between the two.
In his rebuke of
Mugabe President Wade said "I refuse to belong to this
trade union of
[African] presidents." There is no doubt that such a union
exists, and by
remaining silent on Mugabe's actions President Kufuor has
done nothing to
distance himself from it. There is also no doubt that unity
leaders is critical to the continent's prospects, but leaders
must be careful
in choosing their bedfellows. More important than unity is
repudiation of violations of basic human rights, including
the right to vote
for one's leaders. By speaking out against Mugabe
President Kufuor can join a
much more respectable union: that of African
leaders who refuse to tolerate
such inexcusable behaviour.
Jonathan Temin is a graduate student at The
Johns Hopkins University School
of Advanced International Studies in
Washington, D.C. He was a 2000-2001
Fulbright Fellow in Ghana.
Zimbabwe to try second journalist under media
HARARE, July 21 - A reporter with Zimbabwe's sole privately
newspaper goes to trial on Monday, becoming the second journalist
charges of publishing a false story under the country's tough new
''I spoke to my lawyer Lawrence Chibwe this weekend and
he says we
will be going to court on Monday for trial,'' Daily News reporter
Mudiwa told Reuters on Sunday.
A Harare magistrate acquitted
the American correspondent of a British
newspaper of similar charges last
week, and the country's High Court
suspended a government deportation order
issued against him immediately
after the judgement.
further comment and could not confirm whether his
editor Geoff Nyarota, who
faces the same charges, would also go on trial.
Nyarota and Chibwe were not
reachable for comment.
Mudiwa's charges stem from a story the Daily
News published on April
23, alleging President Robert Mugabe's supporters
beheaded a woman in a
rural district last year. The paper has since said the
beheading story was
false and apologised to Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
Last week a magistrate found Andrew Meldrum, the
correspondent for Britain's Guardian newspaper, not guilty after his
carried the beheading story, saying he had not originated the story and
tried to verify it.
Meldrum, a 50-year-old from Ohio who has
lived in Zimbabwe for 22
years, was the first journalist to go on trial under
the media law.
Mudiwa faces a fine of up to 100,000 Zimbabwe dollars
($1,818) or a
maximum two years in jail if convicted.
the new media laws passed by Mugabe's government this
year severely curtail
press freedom but the government says they aimed to
behaviour'' in the media.
Under the law, police have arrested 12
journalists for alleged
''abuse of journalistic privilege.''
Zimbabwe's private media has extensively reported a political and
crisis that has left the southern African country increasingly
Mugabe's controversial re-election in March.
The opposition and
Western powers accuse Mugabe of cheating and using
violence to win the poll,
which the government denies.
Zimbabwe's crisis has been compounded by
a severe food shortage
blamed on drought and the invasion of white-owned
farms since February 2000
by militants loyal to Mugabe.
Zanu PF chefs in $40m scam
THE ruling Zanu PF party has unearthed a serious financial
involving the sacked Amos Midzi led Harare provincial executive,
Standard has established.
Information obtained by The
Standard last week showed that Midzi's
executive had been dismissed for
allegedly failing to account for $40
million given to the province by the
party ahead of the March presidential
team commissioned by the party to investigate the province's
the election unearthed serious irregularities in the manner
in which the
funds were handled, leading to the dismissal of the entire
executive last month.
Party secretary for information and
publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira,
confirmed to The Standard last week that the
party had unearthed financial
irregularities in the manner the campaign funds
"There is an audit team that has been going around the
checking books. We gave money to the provinces before the election
want to know whether the money has been put to the right use. The team
already been to Manicaland, Mashonaland East and in Harare where it
some irregularities. It is normal business practice in any organisation
carry out audits," said Shamuyarira.
Other members of the
executive were notorious war veterans leader,
Joseph Chinotimba, businessman
Chris Pasipamire, Mike Moyo, Omega Hungwe,
Douglas Mahiya and Stalin Mau
The Standard could not get a comment from Midzi who was said
to be out
However, other members of the fired executive
were last week pointing
fingers at each other as they refused to take
In an interview with The Standard, Pasimire, who was the
vice-chiarman, distanced himself from the scam saying Midzi,
Hungwe were the ones responsible for handling the
"To tell you the truth, we were never made aware of any
to our executive. Financial matters were never discussed with
us. The people
who should be answerable are Midzi, Hungwe and Chinotimba.
They are ones who
knew what was happening," said Pasimire.
who was responsible for security in the executive, said he could
linked to the scandal as his deprtment only received $160 000.
accused Shamuyarira of using the financial irregulaties to
members of the old executive and prop up his allies.
received $160 000 to pay for services and to pay about 20
guys who were
brought in from the President's Office. They should ask the
youth wing if any
money is missing because they are the ones who received
$38 million for
training programmes. Every province was supposed to train 38
000 youths for
the election campaign and this is where the money went
"As far as I see it, this is a clear case of victimisation. They just
plant their own people into the executive," said Moyo.
Chinotimba said he was not involved in the scandal: "I
don't know anything
about that. I was not handling finances. I was secretary
commissariat. My job was to go to the people and plan on how to
MDC. So even now I am working on that. Zvemari kwete,
The same allegations were recently levelled
against the ruling party's
Bulawayo provincial executive who are accused of
having embezzled $35
MDC to boycott Mugabe
THE MDC has resolved not to attend the official opening of
on Tuesday, to be presided over by President Mugabe, but is yet to
decision on whether to boycott parliamentary sessions.
The Standard established last week that the party's legislators were
over the issue.
The MDC is disputing the government's
legitimacy and accuse the
78-year-old Mugabe of rigging the March
presidential poll in his favour.
Party sources who talked to The
Standard last week said the majority
of the MPs wanted to confine the boycott
to Mugabe's official opening.
The MPs are due to meet with party
president, Morgan Tsvangirai,
tomorrow and come up with a common position on
"The position I know of as of now is that Mugabe is
going to be
boycotted. But we are also meeting on Monday to see whether it is
necessary to sit in Parliament at all. There are those who believe
Parliament is an essential component of government so by supporting it
are indirectly supporting the government. But we are going to look at
scenarios and see the best way forward," said one MP.
Other MDC officials remained tight lipped on the issue.
Parliamentary chief whip, Innocent Gonese, refused to shed light on
matter."I am sorry I can't comment on that meeting," he said.
of the party's MPs stirred a honest's nest recently when they
intentions to boycott Parliamentary sessions.
The MPs cited the
continuous passing of repressive legislation by
Mugabe's regime as their
reason for boycotting the legislature.
Since the legislative polls
in 2000, the ruling party has been able to
pass a string of repressive laws
with impunity due to its majority in the
irate party supporters lambasted the party saying
boycotting the sessions was
tantamount to betraying the cause of the people
who voted them into
Said a party official: "Some of us were actually
surprised by that
kind of response. People should not be worried about the
position we are
taking. We are very clear on our position and there is no
seriousness in it. It will actually be a lack of seriousness on our
we were to attend Mugabe's opening."
youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa, said his constituency
was against the idea of
MPs attending Mugabe's opening ceremony.
Chamisa said the party's
youth wing, which was at the forefront of the
party's presidential campaign,
was advocating for a total boycott of
functions officiated by
"Mugabe has not democratically renewed his mandate. He is
illegitimate president and that is why we cannot be seen to be gracing
blessing his theft of an election. It will be a betrayal of the struggle
went through before March. Youths were instrumental in electing MPs
Parliament and as a movement will feel let down to see our MPs wining
dining with Mugabe. We also worked hard during the presidential campaign.
have to make a statement that stealing is not profitable. Mugabe should
boycotted wherever he is. We cannot treat as a guest someone who
through the window," said Chamisa.
Zanu PF willing to let Ndebeles
By Grey Moyo
BULAWAYO-A senior government
official has warned Matabeleland
residents that Zanu PF is willing to let
thousands of people in that region
starve, unless they stop supporting the
This stark warning was delivered by deputy foreign
Abednico Ncube, when he addressed villagers last Saturday
at Nkashe growth
point in the arid Gwanda North district.
The villagers had thronged to the growth point to buy maize from the
Marketing Board (GMB). Zimbabwe is currently facing an acute shortage
maize, the country's staple diet, following government-inspired
to commercial farming since February 2000. As a result, hundreds
of impoverished villagers are now relying on food handouts from
community which are being channelled through government sources
the MP for Gwanda South, warned them that government was
considering a freeze
on food aid to people opposed to Zanu PF.
"As long as you value the
government of the day you will not starve,
but we do not want people who vote
for colonialists and then come to us when
they want food. You cannot vote for
the MDC and expect Zanu PF to help you,"
Ncube told a hungry
He added: "Maize is in abundance but very soon it will be
only to those who dump the opposition and work with Zanu PF. The
start feeding its children before turning to those of
Launching a blistering attack on Gwanda North MP, Paul Themba
Ncube said the MDC legislator had nothing to offer his
"What has he done for you since you voted for him?
How can you say you
have an MP who stays in Harare? I am the MP for Gwanda
South but I realised
that you people are desperate for help. That is why I
came here with these
trucks to feed you. This shows I still forgive you
despite your persistent
support for the MDC," said Ncube.
Turning to council elections scheduled for September, the deputy
stressed: "You have to vote for Zanu PF candidates in the next
elections before government starts rethinking your entitlement to
aid. One can only get help from where he or she deserves to get
Shortly after his address, Ncube went into a fit of rage when
realised that The Standard was part of the crowd he was
"What are you doing here? I don't talk to the
independent press. If
you write anything negative about this address I will
deal with you
personally," he said.
However, villagers who
talked to The Standard expressed disapproval of
"He is a fool. He cannot remember that we saw more than
for supporting Zapu in the early 80s. Our political loyalty is
and if he thinks he is more menacing than the Fifth Brigade he
will have to
reread the history of this place. He should try to consult Enos
Mark Dube if he is to learn what kind of suffering we went
through," said an
Nkala, the Gukurahundi era
defence minister, roamed the villages
threatening people who opposed Zanu PF
and ordering a few live public
demonstrations of what the ruling party did to
Dube, the former provincial governor Matabeleland
South, made similar
rounds and would order the beating and arrest of anyone
who did not appear
to be singing the Zanu PF one party song which almost
became the anthem
during that time.
Council elections for Gwanda
district are due in September and Zanu PF
which has been whitewashed by MDC
in Matabeleland elections is seeking a
change in political fortunes this time
Masvingo GMB offers jobs to terror
By Parker Graham
MASVINGO-Zanu PF is employing
its militia as casual workers at the
local Grain Marketing Board (GMB), in
order to pacify increasingly restless
graduates of the Border Gezi terror
Investigations by The Standard have revealed that youths who
training before the presidential election have failed to secure
employment and are now accusing Zanu PF officials of
Zanu PF's District Coordinating Committee chairman
Absolom Mudavanhu, confirmed to The Standard last week that
most of the
casual workers at the local GMB were graduates of the youth
"There is nothing sinister about Zanu PF selecting
casual workers for
GMB. We are doing it to speed up food aid distribution to
"It is happening everywhere-in the police and army.
Those who did not
go through national service will not get employment. Here
in Masvingo, we
choose casual workers from the ruling party on the basis that
we know their
background, and we don't like to employ workers who will give
headache," said Mudavanhu.
He said the casual workers could
be engaged for two to three week
periods to give others a
But MDC national executive member for Masvingo province,
Mudzumwe, said his party condemned the Zanu PF action of manipulating
recruitment policy at the GMB in order to sideline MDC supporters who
"Food aid should not be used as a weapon to attack
members of the
opposition. Food aid should be distributed equally without
being given to one's political affiliation, creed, colour or
He called on the international community
to stop distributing food aid
through the government saying it would be
"We received numerous reports that Zanu PF is starving
villagers in the countryside for voting for MDC during the
election. I wonder why the ruling party is using such dirty
tactics and yet
when it comes to tax, both Zanu PF and MDC supporters are
A visit to the GMB by this reporter
last week revealed that the
majority of the GMB casual workers were relatives
of top Zanu PF officials
and war veterans.
The workers were
packing maize into bags without following the
Hail to the chief
FARMERS in a troubled central African country were dismayed to learn
week that their leaders went on bended knees to congratulate the most
of all comrades on an electoral victory a few months ago.
now, the farming leaders had kept their congratulatory visit
Still, farmers who have endured years of terror
and tyranny at the
hands of the most equal of all comrades' deadly Talibob
Brigades said they
were shocked, horrified, appalled, disgusted, outraged and
sickened by the
move. (Thesauruses are much in use in the troubled central
African nation as
people run out of words to describe their government's
grotesque, sinister and cynical abuse of power.)
apoplectic farmer told Over The Top that farming leaders needed
read. How the hell can they have congratulated him? he fumed.
thanking him for destroying our businesses, murdering our fellow
making our workers homeless.
Meanwhile, a prominent farmer and
enthusiastic member of the More
Drink Coming party said that he had heard
that farmers in the troubled
central African state were soon to rename their
organisation the Confused
Farmers Union in recognition of the fact that they
seem not to have noticed
who has been killing their members, burning their
workers' houses down and
raping women on the farms.
or they are stoned, he said, in which case perhaps we
should call them the
Cannabis Farmers Union.
In a related development, a former
political leader from the days when
the troubled, central African country was
just as troubled but not quite as
broke, phoned and said that farming leaders
were running around like
headless chickens, indicating that perhaps their
organisation should be
called the Chicken Farmers Union.
another farmer, now working for the minimum wage as a petrol
in Perth, Australia, pointed out in a reverse charges call
that there was no
point in renaming the farmers' organisation when there
were no farmers
But farming leaders seemed surprised by the furore they had
admitting they had offered earnest congratulations to the most
equal of all
comrades. It seemed the right thing to do at the time, said one
After all, there was a chance it would have some indefinable
effect at some stage in the future.
The move has also
upset farmers' allies in untroubled European and
North American countries
where ministers have said farmers in the troubled
central African country are
on their own, blaming their inability to stand
up and fight for themselves
for the withdrawal of future support.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for
the troubled central African country's
opposition, which has fought a longer
and harder battle than the farmers'
organisation, said it was disgusted but
not surprised by the move.
In a state of confused surprise, farming
leaders asked what all the
fuss was about, saying that it was all a matter of
perspective and that they
were doing their best under difficult
They said it seemed wise to offer congratulations to
the most equal of
all comrades at a time when the rest of the world, and most
people in the
troubled central African country, were roundly condemning him
for staging a
violent and rigged election. They said that all the criticism
of the most
equal of all comrades must have left him feeling a bit lonely and
which was something they could empathise with given that so many of
members were feeling lonely and isolated in dole queues around the
Air Zim raises fares again
IN a shocking move, the financially crippled national
Zimbabwe, has once again increased its air fares to
destinations by more than 50 %.
This is the second
time in a month the airline has raised its fares.
Information made available
to The Standard reveals that the airline had
upped its air fares to
international destinations such as London, Mauritius,
Nairobi with effect from Friday.
A trip to London which last
month cost $234 852 has gone up to $391
420. A traveller to neighbouring
Johannesburg now has to fork out $167 423,
up from the previous $100
The airfare from Harare to Mauritius now cost $239 525, up
David Mwenga, the airline's spokesperson,
confirmed that the airline
had increased its return airfares as a result of
the enormous foreign
currency payments the airline has to make.
"Our fares went up by 40% because our costs, particularly the
currency component, is very high. Eighty percent of our operations
foreign currency. We have huge payments such as landing fees, fuel
insurance, which are required and paid in foreign currency," said
The country is currently entangled in a foreign currency
Air Zimbabwe has recently been accused of sourcing the hard
currency on the
vibrant black market, where the greenback is fetching as much
The fare increases come at a time when there is a drop
international tourist arrivals and a slump in tourism earnings.
Desperate times for tobacco
AS Zimbabweans stare helplessly at the demise of
activity, it emerged this week that the country will lose at
million kilograms of the golden leaf, its prime export crop, due to
reduced seed sales.
Seed sales figures for the irrigated
crop made available to Standard
Business show that in May only 45 kg of
flue-cured tobacco seed was sold
against 130 kg over the same period last
year. In June the sales picked to
70 kg but could not surpass the 95 kg sold
Duncan Millar, the newly elected president of the
Association, told Standard Business last week that going by
the seed sales
made so far the hectarage for the irrigated crop had declined
by 15 000
"Last year we had 25 000 hectares of
irrigated crop but this year we
are down to 10 000 hectares. So the 15 000
loss will result in the loss in
output of 45 million kg," Millar
The ZTA president ruled out any recovery from this initial
"That can't be caught up with. It is not recoverable. We
some of the lost ground but certainly not all of it. So we must
July-August seed sales so as to maximise the dry land crop. We
confidence to maximise the July plantings so we can limit the losses
the irrigated crop. There is a sense of urgency by all tobacco
associations and the tobacco industry council to try and maximise the
land preparations," said Millar.
However , he decried the
lack of clarity over the continued production
of the country's single largest
foreign currency earner. "There is no seed
pattern. We need to have clarity
about the August 10 deadline because time
is of essence. So the sooner we get
this clarity the better for us."
The ZTA president said as of 12
July the seed sales for the dry land
crop stood at a paltry 30 kg against 70
kg at the same time last year. He
attributed the depressed seed sales to the
section 8 notices compelling most
commercial farmers to vacate their
homesteads as the government "winds up"
its controversial land-grab
The ZTA president added that half of this year's tobacco
being graded on farms and said farmers will lose out if they were
from completing their activities.
"We need clarity
because farmers will have graded 50% only of their
tobacco by August. So by
10 August we would have sold 70 million kg and we
would be left with 100
million kg to grade and sell. It is vital to reassure
our markets that
tobacco is coming," said Millar.
News of Zimbabwe's projected loss
comes amid reports that Brazil's
forecast output for next season will soar to
600 million kg, leaving
Zimbabwe straggling as a minor player and toppling
from its prime position
in the world market.
Last season Brazil
produced 520 million kg against Zimbabwe's 170
million kg with early
forecasts pointing to a yield below the 150 million kg
threshold in the next
season. Tobacco farmers have previously said if output
drops below 150m kg,
the country could as well kiss good-bye the money
Beitbridge gears for eclipse
BEITBRIDGE-Tourism in the southern gateway town of Beitbridge
for a boom as players in the sector are busy working out packages
thousands of tourists expected to throng the border town on 4 December
witness the second solar eclipse to occur in Zimbabwe in less that
A survey by Standard Business revealed that business
local authorities were busy working out tourist packages in
the rare phenomenon.
Leading the way is the
Beitbridge Business Association (BBA) which
considers the eclipse as an
opportunity to market the tourism potential of
its 2001 annual report, the local authority noted that it had
conducted a research into the tourism and business potential of the
and had identified tourism sites in the commercial farms in
Beitbridge that could greatly benefit from the eclipse.
"A lot of potential was found in the commercial farms on the western
Beitbridge where sites rich in archaeology were identified. The
potential of the district has been documented and will be marketed
international community during the December 2002 eclipse," said
Some of the sites identified include Mapungubwe, a
site, and Maramani cultural village.
Nottingham and Sentinel Estates are also said to have a huge potential
game viewing and hunting.
The report also noted that BBA planned to
step up marketing of the
Trans-Limpopo Spatial Development Initiative, an
which is aimed at creating a development corridor
from the Limpopo Province
in South Africa to Victoria Falls in
One of the major TL-SDI projects which the BBA hopes to
open up to the
world during the eclipse period is the
park which cuts across Zimbabwe,
Mozambique and South Africa.
"The BBA intends to exchange views and
information about the
Trans-Limpopo initiative among all stakeholders in
South Africa and Zimbabwe
and market the SDI to the private sector and other
stakeholders in the
corridor," said the report.
In other parts
of Matabeleland which will lie in the path of the
eclipse, organisations and
institutions also intend to seize the opportunity
to offer a number of
services to viewers.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, a major player
in marketing the
eclipse, estimates that this year's net earnings from the
eclipse will go
beyond the $55 million generated by the same event last year
in the northern
parts of the country.
The location of the total
eclipse site in Beitbridge has led to stiff
competition between the
Zimbabwean side and South African tour operators who
are also reported to
have mounted a high profile marketing drive to lure
tourists to view the
eclipse from across the Limpopo.
From The Sunday Times (SA), 21
Donors' anger at Zimbabwe puts
starving people at risk
New York - Food aid for an estimated 12.8 million people in
Southern Africa facing starvation is in jeopardy after international donors,
angered by the political crisis in Zimbabwe, raised concerns about giving money
to countries seen as undemocratic. UN leaders this week called on international
donors to give $611-million (about R6.1-billion) to help aid agencies provide
food to people affected by chronic shortages in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho,
Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. Zimbabwe, with its rapidly declining economy,
will be at the centre of the crisis with more than six million people facing
starvation in the next 12 months. The UN said $285-million would be needed to
feed those in danger of starvation in Zimbabwe alone. UN under-secretary for
humanitarian affairs Kenzo Oshima said more than half the people facing
starvation were children. Last October, Zimbabwe asked donors for $83.6-million
in food aid, but received only $41.7-million.
"A number of donor representatives have raised concerns about
governance issues, including in Zimbabwe. I think a dialogue has started to
resolve those governance issues [in Zimbabwe]," Oshima said. Only four donor
countries - Sweden, Canada, Germany and the US - pledged to assist the effort on
Thursday, but did not disclose how much they would give. Richard Lee, a
spokesman for the World Food Programme who had been visiting the region, said
people were on the "very edge". He said some people had for months been eating
banana roots, wild fruits and maize husks, which had no nutritional value but
filled them up. In his report, Oshima lambasted Zimbabwe's land resettlement
programme, saying it was a leading cause of the economic chaos. In a speech at
the UN this week, however, July Moyo, Zimbabwe's Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare, lauded the programme and said it would continue.
Cornia Pretorius reports that the president of the South
African Democratic Teachers' Union has called on children, parents and teachers
to help the millions of people facing starvation. "We know what is happening in
Zimbabwe - that children can't go to school because they fear hunger," Sadtu
president Willy Madisha said. He said those who could afford it would be asked
to contribute food. "We will ask our 232 000 members to coordinate the effort at
school level and to encourage children, parents and the community to contribute
and let people [in the region] live."
From ZWNEWS, 20
Daily, contradictions mount between the statements and actions
of Robert Mugabe’s regime on every major issue, from salvaging the crumbling
economy, to food shortages and the seizure of white-owned farms. And the growing
political schizophrenia reaches into the ranks of Mugabe’s cabinet, politburo
and the central committee of his Zanu PF party. Commercial Farmers' Union
president Colin Cloete this week pleaded with Mugabe to end confusion,
particularly over public pledges – flagrantly disregarded in practice – that
each farmer would be left with at least one property to sustain production.
Meanwhile, Mugabe's self-styled "war veterans" threatened violence against
independent journalists who reported factionalism within their militant ranks –
and Zimbabwe’s contrastingly staid bankers despaired of making sense of policy
over exchange rates, interest rates, and state control of the economy. "It is
still not too late and we appeal to our state president for an audience," Cloete
said, as the United Nations warned of a potential catastrophe worse than the
Ethiopian famine in the 1980s. His public appeal was promptly scorned by
Mugabe’s propaganda machine and the agriculture ministry.
In one breath officials tell white farmers to grow all the
wheat they can, regardless of the looming August 9 eviction deadlines, in the
next to get off their 5 000 "former" properties immediately to make way for 354
000 black Zimbabweans. Finance Minister Simba Makoni talks of rebuilding
relationships with international financial institutions, while Mugabe and other
hardliners say the country has washed its hands of them forever. A year has
passed since Makoni's "technocrat" colleague, former banker Nkosana Moyo, quit
the Cabinet and fled with is family - prudently faxing his resignation from
outside the country. Mugabe on Sunday flew to Cuba, reportedly to plead for
financial assistance from President Fidel Castro, while the government
mouthpiece, the Herald, continued a spate of attacks on the policies of the
Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank.
To many commentators in Zimbabwe, all this reflects growing
conflict between the "hawks" who have Mugabe's ear and the pragmatists looking,
unblinkered, at the prospect of 7.8 million Zimbabweans (on their own figures)
starving to death. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Agriculture Minister
Joseph Made and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa are leaders of the "hawks"
while Makoni, known to have the sympathy of the South African government, is
seen as the principal pragmatist. Farmers report similar divergences in official
policy at a lower level, in the provinces, with wide differences between
application in areas such as Chinhoyi - where hard-line governor Peter Chanetsa
holds sway - and in Gweru - where the notably amenable Cephas Msipha has power -
for the moment - to ameliorate decrees. Diplomatic sources say President Thabo
Mbeki still hopes Makoni, one time executive secretary of the South African
Development Community, will succeed Mugabe, 78, and a build a "new Zanu" --
thereby proving African liberation movements have the capacity for internal
reform and a long- term career in power. Moyo, however, is using the
state-controlled media to build an image of himself as a likely new vice
president when, as expected, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika retire.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association,
funded and given impunity by Mugabe over the past two years to ensure his
victory in parliamentary and presidential elections, has furiously denied
reports it may found a new breakaway party. The militants are reportedly angry
over the prosecution of ex-guerrillas for corruption and the alleged failure of
Information Minister Moyo to give preferential treatment to a TV company in
which they have invested. Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
warned of the incipient menace to the nation from explosive factional violence
within ex-guerrilla ranks. The opposition party also cited the growing threat
from militia units raised under the aegis of Mugabe's "Youth National Service".
Unpaid and unfed, and open to exploitation by local war lords, the units could
became another dangerous force for national instability as economic conditions
deteriorate in coming months.
As late as February, Made's officials were claiming it would be
unnecessary to import food if "hoarded" stocks were seized from white commercial
farmers. But five months earlier had Makoni admitted the extent of the problem
when he appealed to international donors to fund relief. Current estimates say
1,5m tonnes of grain are needed - with little hope, now, of overcoming the
logistical problems of bringing it in time, even if finance is forthcoming. The
latitude Mugabe gives Moyo appals potential donors. This week the Information
Minister took it upon himself to pre-empt Makoni's functions and demand a ban on
all private dealing in foreign currency and an overhaul of Reserve Bank policy.
Mugabe, aligned with the "hawks," appeared to have Makoni in mind when on July
25 last year he chided ministers: "If some of you are getting weak-kneed...if
you do not have a spine, please tell us and we will say goodbye in a friendly
way." That same day, Makoni told the BBC: "It would be foolish to deny what is
evident to everybody in broad daylight - our economy is in crisis." To many,
Makoni resembles a neglected son waiting by the deathbed of an irascible parent
in the desperate hope he will inherit sufficient of the family estate to salvage
it. Moyo, however, believes he is the legatee.
From ZWNEWS, 19 July
Gwanda food aid corruption
Evidence has surfaced of political interference in the delivery of food
aid in Matabeleland. Sources allege that a Zanu PF MP, Kembo Mohadi, bullied and
threatened NGOs who have been involved in the distribution of food aid in the
area. The meeting of the "Gwanda drought relief and food distribution committee"
took place on 12 July, and was attended by Mohadi, the local Zanu PF and war
veterans chairman, representatives from the GMB, the Gwanda Rural District
Council, the Gwanda Municipality, and World Vision and Organisation Help – two
NGOs. Gwanda is in the Gwanda North constituency, represented by MDC MP Paul
Themba Nyathi, but neither he or any other MDC representative were made aware of
the meeting. Mohadi is the MP for the neighbouring Beitbridge constituency. The
sources say that Mohadi told the NGOs that they were there "at the government’s
invitation" and that the government, and not them, was doing the feeding. They
were only there because of an agreement between the WFP and UNDP and the
"lawfully elected government", and would therefore have to follow government
directives. He warned them that they would have to provide a full list of
equipment they were using, as the government would be taking it over in due
course. He also said that he was a member of a cabinet committee on social
services action, and that similar meeting were taking place country-wide. The
sources provided a copy of the agenda of the meeting which supported their
From ZWNEWS, 19 July
Nkala charges dropped, blocked
Charges against one of those accused by the government of the murder of
Cain Nkala, a Matabeleland war veterans leader, have been dropped, and the High
Court has temporarily blocked the indictment of three others. The Attorney
General dropped charges against Simon Spooner on 16 July, and the High Court has
also handed down an interim relief order in favour of Sony Masera, Army Zulu,
and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube. All four were accused of the abduction and murder of
Nkala in November 2001, and were arrested at the time along with around a dozen
others. Spooner spent a month in detention, and Dulini-Ncube, an MDC MP, was
denied medical treatment for his diabetes while in custody. Dulini is currently
in hospital. The High Court granted the interim relief order in favour of
Masera, Zulu and Dulini-Ncube because the prosecution’s papers filed with the
Court did not in any way link the three with the murder. In murder cases,
preliminary prosecution papers would in normal practice lay out how the State
intends to prove its case, with outlines of the evidence to be produced and of
how prosecution witnesses will support that evidence. In the trial itself, this
evidence would then be tested by examination and cross-examination. However, the
papers presented to the Court in this case did not even try to lay out how the
prosecution intended to prove its case, and was accordingly rejected by the
The only evidence so far brought has been the testimony of Khatani Sibanda
and Sazani Mpofu, two co-accused, who are still in jail. The two were paraded on
state-owned TV when Nkala’s body was "discovered" and confessed they had had
played a part in his murder. Days later they retracted their confessions, saying
they had been forced to make them under police torture. There have been four
court orders for their release, the latest one from the Chief Justice, Godfrey
Chidyausiku, but all have been ignored. Joyce Mabida, in charge of prisons in
Matabeleland, and Michael Nyamukondiwa, the officer-in-charge at Khami Prison,
said in court recently that they would ignore court orders for the release of
the two until their superiors decided to release them. Nkala’s family, and other
Matabeleland war veterans, have also cast doubt on the government’s case. Nkala,
they say, was the victim of a power struggle within the war veterans’
organisation, and was killed by his opponents. There were also suggestions that
Nkala may have threatened to reveal the involvement of senior Zanu PF
functionaries in the abduction and murder of MDC activist Patrick Nabanyama days
before the June 2000 parliamentary elections.
Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Ancram warns of Zimbabwe famine
Mr Mugabe is visiting Cuban leader Fidel
The UK must push for tougher sanctions against Robert
Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, the Conservatives have urged.
Existing "targeted sanctions" are regarded as a
"mockery", shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram has claimed.
There is a real crisis impending and it's all politically
made by Mugabe
And unless more is done to loosen Mr Mugabe's "iron grip" on agriculture, the
country will slide into famine.
Mr Ancram, who has just returned from a covert visit to Zimbabwe, urged
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to push for tighter sanctions when he meets his EU
counterparts on Monday.
At the moment, Mr Mugabe and 19 government and military officials have had
their European assets frozen and are prevented from travelling to Europe.
But Mr Ancram said the measures were not working, and Mr
Mugabe was able to attend a world hunger summit in Rome earlier this year
because it was under the auspices of the United Nations.
Ancram: "World cannot turn its
The Zimbabwean leader is currently visiting Cuba.
Zimbabwe's opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), wants
sanctions to be extended to other individuals, including Mugabe's business
Mr Ancram, who during his visit last week met MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
said the food situation in Zimbabwe was at crisis point.
"I saw fields which
are not prepared to be sown, I saw wheat fields with no wheat in them, and on
the other side I saw all the early signs of famine," he told BBC One's Breakfast
with Frost programme.
We do see a case for extending the sanctions
Foreign Office spokesman
"I saw 100 of the 85,000 black farm workers who have been thrown off the
farms without food without possessions, without homes.
"There is a real crisis impending and it's all politically made by Mugabe.
"What is important is to try and ensure that the pressure is brought to bear
on Robert Mugabe and his henchmen.
"I hope that the European ministers meeting tomorrow (Monday) in Brussels
will look again at the targeted sanctions which have been imposed which are
simply not working and which are regarded as a sort of mockery in Zimbabwe to
tighten them up."
Mr Mugabe and his officials must be made to understand that "the
international community is not going to stand by and watch this horrific crisis
Mr Ancram added: "This famine is going to be made worse in South Africa, in
Botswana, in Malawi and other countries because of what Robert Mugabe's doing in
"This is a political crisis for all the black people in Zimbabwe and around
Zimbabwe as well. The world cannot turn its back on it."
A Foreign Office spokesman said Zimbabwe would be on the agenda at the
General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting in Brussels.
"We do see a case for extending the sanctions but such a step and its timing
will have to be discussed by all EU partners possibly at this GAC, possibly at a
future one," he added.
Straw 'must urge stronger eu sanctions on
The Foreign Secretary must argue the case for extending European
sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime, the
opposition are saying.
Michael Ancram, the shadow foreign
secretary, who has just returned from a
covert visit to the country, warned
of impending famine because of President
Mugabe's iron grip on
Jack Straw will discuss the possibility of extending targeted
imposed on President Mugabe and his closest henchmen in February,
European Union counterparts in Brussels.
At the moment Robert
Mugabe and 19 government and military officials have
had their European
assets frozen and are prevented from travelling to
Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change wants the sanctions
be extended to other individuals, including Robert Mugabe's
The Conservatives criticised the Europe travel ban
as a "mockery" when
President Mugabe was able to attend a world hunger summit
in Rome earlier
this year because it was under the auspices of the United
Mr Ancram, who during his visit last week met MDC leader Morgan
said the food situation in Zimbabwe was at crisis-point. He told
the BBC: "I
saw fields which are not prepared to be sown, I saw wheat fields
wheat in them, and on the other side I saw all the early signs of
"I saw 100 of the 85,000 black farm workers who have been thrown
farms without food without possessions, without homes. There is a
crisis impending and it's all politically made by Mugabe. What is
is to try and ensure that the pressure is brought to bear on Robert
and his henchmen."
Mr Ancram added: "This famine is going to be
made worse in South Africa, in
Botswana, in Malawi and other countries
because of what Robert Mugabe's
doing in Zimbabwe."
A Foreign Office
spokesman said Zimbabwe would be on the agenda at the
General Affairs Council
(GAC) meeting in Brussels.
Story filed: 11:49 Sunday 21st July