Food Gap Not Closing Fast Enough
UN Integrated Regional
July 8, 2002
Posted to the web July 8,
Progress has been slow in closing the food gap in Southern
especially in Zimbabwe the worst affected country in the
In its latest food security update the Famine Early Warning
(FEWS NET), warned that the gap in maize availability in
at 1.4 million mt last month for 2002/03 consumption, has
been "very slow"
"As of 19 June, only nine percent of the
maize deficit at the beginning of
the current consumption year had been
imported," the agency said in its
report released on Sunday.
of nearly 5.6 million people are considered food insecure during
consumption year (April 2002-March 2003). Of these, almost 3.7
are in the communal sector, another 489,000 are commercial
farm workers, and
850,000 people are in urban areas.
"The food insecure population will
require about 849,000 mt of food aid
maize and 815,000 mt needs to be
provided on the market for those with the
purchasing power to buy," FEWS NET
If households had no recourse to subsidised maize and had to pay
full-value import price of about Zim $76 per kg, "household income
would be further stretched, increasing food aid requirements from
to 910,000 mt and the number of people requiring food aid from 5.5
to 5.8 million".
Wheat stocks were estimated to have dropped
to 85,000 mt as of mid-June and
were projected to be depleted by the end of
August, more than a wmonth
before the October harvest.
was expected to inject about 8,400 mt to 9,500 mt of grain onto
the market in
August and September. Wheat yields are expected to result in
about 200,000 mt to 230,000 mt in October.
"Persistent shortages of basic
foodstuffs, such as maize meal and maize
grain, sugar, milk, and cooking oil,
have continued to fuel parallel market
prices of these commodities well above
the controlled price," FEWS NET said.
While crops have suffered, the
condition of grazing livestock continued to
be good throughout the country.
The FEWS NET report said livestock in
drought-affected areas, such as parts
of Buhera and Beitbridge districts,
were being moved to nearby areas with
adequate grazing and that water for
livestock was generally
Tobacco marketing was in full swing, by 17 June sales of a
type had earned the country about US $2.75 million of
Income from the 200,000 mt cotton
harvest would contribute significantly
toward food purchases in the rural
areas, the agency said.
In Malawi, planting of winter crops was going on
in areas with residual
moisture or irrigation facilities.
of Agriculture and Irrigation released its final crop
for the 2001/02 production year (October-September) on
20 June. Maize
production dropped slightly (one percent) from the second
round estimate and
six percent from last year to 1.6 million mt.
"The drop in maize
production from the level last year, a below-average
year, means that the
food security problems this season will be worse if
appropriate actions are
not taken ... Many households overstretched their
coping mechanisms last
year, reducing their resilience and increasing their
vulnerability in the
face of continued food shortages," the agency said.
Food Reserve Agency only received 136,000 mt of the
150,000 mt of maize
ordered from South Africa. The difference was "due to
rising maize prices
after the contract was signed".
Local market maize prices continued to
drop between April and May due to
improved household supplies as a result of
the current harvest. More than
three million need food aid in
While in Mozambique nearly half a million people in 43 districts
aid, "mainly as a result of the cyclical natural disasters
floods, and drought)". Maize production was up five percent in
"A multi-disciplinary Vulnerability Assessment Group
(composed of government
agencies, the Food and Agricultural Organisation
(FAO), WFP, FEWS NET, and
NGOs) will carry out food security assessments in
districts characterised by
moderate to high food vulnerability to determine
the severity and
implications of current food shortages at the household
level. The further
assessments will identify and recommend appropriate
targeting and monitoring
mechanisms to ensure that food aid gets to those who
require it the most,"
FEWS NET said.
Zambia's situation was very
different to that of Mozambique, maize
production dropped by 24 percent from
the previous season.
A WFP/FAO assessment in Zambia earlier this year
established that 1.7
million mt of relief food would be required to assist a
population of 2.3
million in need of emergency food.
government having sufficient information to base maize
import plans on,
decisions on modalities for maize imports are not being
made fast enough to
avoid a repeat of last season's critical maize meal
and maize meal prices have generally been falling since March in
districts of the country as is expected at this time of the year.
some rural districts particularly in Southern Province, few parts
Central, Western and Eastern Provinces reported increased maize prices
May," FEWS NET said.
Inflation, which increased to 20.9 percent
from 17.8 percent in April, would
put further pressure on household buying
power. "This was largely attributed
to price increases of major foods other
than maize and maize meal. The
[Zambian] kwacha has significantly depreciated
against the United States
dollar in the last two months. Between mid-May and
June alone, there was a
five percent depreciation.
"With the impending
maize imports there will be increased pressure on
foreign exchange which
could depreciate the local currency further," the
Africa buries OAU
Durban - African leaders gave a state
funeral to their Organisation of
African Unity (OAU) on Monday but were
quickly warned against complacency by
United Nations chief Kofi
At least 34 presidents and monarchs were at the opening of a
On Tuesday they attend the birth of a new African Union (AU)
is to combat poverty, conflict and corruption.
secretary-general, born in the West African state of Ghana, told
Africa's vast size, economic under-development, debt and legacy
of war meant
it would be much tougher to build the AU than it was to build
"To build a successful union in such conditions will require great
and iron political will," Annan said in his summit speech in
He said he sensed a new respect for Africa among Western
that warring had to stop before foreign investment would flow
"They will respect us even more when they see us actually resolve
conflicts that disfigure our continent. And I do mean, resolve
Managing them is not enough," he said.
'Few will give up power
Scepticism abounds, even among delegates in Durban, about
the chances of the
AU turning Africa into a haven of peace and clean
"Few if any of these men will give up power voluntarily," one
a Horn of Africa country said.
"It's all about power and
greed. How on earth do they think they're going to
Despite progress in ending long-running wars in Sierra Leone and
belligerents from Liberia to Sudan, passing through both Congos and
Great Lakes region, are still playing havoc.
Speakers in Durban
pledged to strengthen democracy but the political and
economic crisis in
Zimbabwe was not on the agenda.
President Robert Mugabe was in the
audience. An ex-guerrilla in office since
1980, after defeating white
minority rule, he was declared winner of violent
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the summit host and one of
leaders who had Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth after the
made no mention of Zimbabwe when he referred to successful recent
"These successes demonstrate that those who
characterise ours as a hopeless
continent are wrong," Mbeki
53-nation membership unchanged
"As with many other things
African, from the very beginnings of its life the
OAU was dismissed by our
detractors as an organisation that was destined to
fail," he said, calling
the change from OAU to AU an evolution, not a death.
Durban police, on
top alert, said they blew up a suspicious parcel early on
Monday, about 500
metres from the venue.
"It was found that there was nothing in it...it
looked like a bag," police
spokesperson Vish Naidoo said.
towering statesman, Nelson Mandela (84), walked stiffly into the
centre, aided by a cane and by his wife Graca.
When the OAU was born in
1963, Mandela was starting 27 years in prisons.
After the long struggle
against white rule, Mandela was the country's first
president until 1999. Now he spends most of his time
mediating in African and
His successor, Mbeki, will be formally elected the
last chairperson of the
OAU and then elected the first chairperson of the AU.
membership is unchanged.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
claims parentage of the AU idea to strengthen
African economic integration
and the quality of its political governance.
'We have regained our
African name and culture'
"Africa has regained its self-esteem. They made
us slaves, they called us
inferior but we have regained our African name and
purple-robed Gaddafi told the summit.
In power since a
1969 coup, Gaddafi is one of a diminishing number of
African leaders who came
to office unconstitutionally and who brook little
if any domestic
Diplomatic sources said Gaddafi had gained inclusion on Sunday
into a key
committee steering NEPAD, a detailed recovery manifesto which
dubbed the AU's "marketing arm".
membership was raised from 15 countries to 20, also recruiting
President Daniel arap Moi who has held power since 1978 and whose
is often pilloried by foreign donors as corrupt and undemocratic.
and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria are the powers driving the
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), to be endorsed by other
at the summit. It aims to deliver higher standards of economic and
governance in return for more foreign investment, aid and
Judge tells Zimbabwe to issue passport
Hartnack in Harare
09 July 2002
Zimbabwe's High Court ordered the
government yesterday to issue a passport
to a veteran human rights activist
in a ruling that could have implications
for millions of Zimbabweans of
The government plans to appeal against Judge Benjamin
Paradza's ruling that
a passport should be given to Judith Todd, 57, who was
stripped of her
Zimbabwean citizenship because she took no steps to renounce
claim to a New Zealand passport.
Ms Todd was born in
Zimbabwe, but her father, the former Rhodesian prime
minister Sir Garfield
Todd, 93, was born in New Zealand. He moved to
Rhodesia as a missionary 70
Judge Paradza granted the Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede,
appeal against his ruling in the Supreme Court, but said that
meantime Ms Todd should be given a passport within 14 days. Lawyers
Todd, a human rights worker and a pioneer of the nation's independent
expect the appeal to be heard in about three months.
President Robert Mugabe introduced tough citizenship laws intended
40,000 white Zimbabweans of British origin of the right to vote,
they had not properly renounced their claim to British citizenship.
law, which bans dual citizenship, will also affect more than 2
Zimbabweans with Malawian and Mozambican parentage.
has demanded that any Zimbabwean suspected of having a claim to a
citizenship must produce proof from the foreign country that he or
not secretly hold its passport.
Many embassies refuse to provide such
proof, saying they do not provide
consular services to non-citizens.
Devaluation row in Harare
July 09 2002 at 12:12AM
Harare - Zimbabwe's fixed exchange rate
was undermining the country's export
sector and was a major disincentive to
efforts to generate foreign currency
to improve its hard currency market,
finance minister Simba Makoni said
Makoni has been
privately urging his cabinet colleagues to accept the
devaluation of the
Zimbabwe dollar, but reports said his proposals had been
down by President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe fears that any move to devalue
the currency will further increase
food prices and create problems for his
One US dollar fetches Z$55 on the dry official
market, while it is bought
with Z$800 on the black market - where Zimbabweans
are going for their
foreign currency needs.
Makoni said the absence of
a rational, credible and predictable exchange
rate was undermining Zimbabwe's
government's fixed exchange rate had dismally
failed to stimulate the export
sector to generate much needed foreign
currency, he said.
"I agree that our fixed exchange rate is a major
disincentive to the
generation of foreign currency," Makoni
Zimbabwe's foreign exchange market has been fixed for 21 months
exporters are complaining that their businesses are no longer
Most companies buy foreign currency on the black market to meet
needs, but they have to sell commodities at
The discrepancy forced food manufacturer
National Foods to withhold large
quantities of salt from the market, arguing
that it would lose at least R6
million if it was sold at controlled
Mugabe immediately threatened to seize the firm, which is partly
Anglo American, forcing it to offload the salt on to the market at a
Makoni said: "There is a need for a rational, credible and
exchange rate. Our failure to do that has undermined the export
which generates foreign currency."
He would not be drawn into
disclosing the reasons why the government would
not devalue the currency to
help the export sector.
However, last week state media reports said a
cabinet committee chaired by
Mugabe had ruled out devaluation in the near
The reports said Makoni and Reserve Bank governor Leonard Tsumba
to persuade Mugabe about the need for currency
Makoni's latest remarks come in the wake of reports of a
plot to oust him
from Mugabe's cabinet because of his policy differences with
Makoni said he was not aware of the plot. "I only
read about it in the
press," he said.
"But maybe I will be the last
person to know."
* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of
8 July 2002 AFR 01/008/2002
Invitation to a Press Conference on the launch of a Report on
Amnesty International invites journalists to the
launch its report: Policing
to protect human rights: A survey of police
practices in the countries of
the Southern Africa Development Community, 1997
The report is being launched in connection with the start of a
involving Amnesty International members and other civil
organizations in member countries of the Southern African
Community (SADC), together with Amnesty International's
The report includes a survey of human rights and
policing in 12 of the
member states of SADC. It shows that human rights
violations by the police
continue to occur in the majority of SADC countries.
It also notes efforts
by individual countries to increase protection for
human rights, as well as
initiatives undertaken by the Southern African
Regional Police Chiefs'
Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO) to promote best
practice through training
programs and the development of a code of
It recommends specific actions that should be taken by
police authorities to ensure that police respect the rights
communities without distinction.
DATE: 9 July 2002
VENUE: Gaberone 2
Tel: 267 717 53268/ 267 351 111
Director of Dithswanelo - Botswana Centre for Human Rights
Chair Amnesty International Botswana
Norman Moleboge, Police Commissioner and
former SARPCCO Chairperson
Manuel de Araujo, Campaign Coordinator, SADC
Policing Project, International
Daniel Kwelagobe, Minister of Presidential Affairs and
Office of the President of Botswana
For further information, please
Press Officer A-I South Africa
Gaberone Sun Hotel
Tel: 267 718 77195/ 7175 3268 267 351
Tel: 44 20 7413 5564.
"The Realities of the Food Crisis"
The fundamentals of Mugabe's
behaviour and the causes of the present Food
Crisis and demise of Zimbabwe
are actually quite easy to understand. Mugabe
has always governed though
fear, favour and patronage.
In November 1997, Mugabe crossed the Rubicon when
he gave the ever-hungry
veterans a new pension that the nation could not
afford. At that time the
"vets" were getting tired of seeing only the chefs
enriching themselves -
they wanted a slice of the action too. A massive
collapse in the Zimbabwe
dollar followed. The exodus of investors took off.
The so-called veterans
have always been a liability to the country. Amazingly
there were 40,000 of
them in 1980, and now there are said to be more than
60,000. They have never
earned an honest living, and have a permanent
expectation that Mugabe will
forever satisfy their ever-growing
They have Mugabe in an awkward position, but he has converted
insatiable needs to his own purpose. Apart from being criminal thugs,
of them are illiterate or just plain stupid.
Mugabe got a big
surprise when his "new constitution" was rejected in
February 2000. He blamed
the whites for this setback alleging that they had
indoctrinated the farm
workers to vote against him. Consequently he
unleashed his louts to drive the
whites out at any cost, He has always both
envied and hated those of European
Further setbacks came to Mugabe in June 2000 Parliamentary
the March 2002 rigged Presidential election where he was again
his support base had been seriously eroded.
He had realised
throughout this period that his future was at stake. He had
to stay in power
at any cost. If he failed, he and his comrades would stand
to lose all their
loot and power. Most of all they would face local or
incarceration - possibly in the International Criminal Court,
or in a Rwanda
styled "Crimes against Humanity" tribunal.
His Master Plan, that is still
unfolding, thus came into place.
1. Stay in power at any
2. Placate, reward and enrich his patronized support base.
Eliminate his opponents, or those that can expose him.
Create "plausible" issues to divert attention from his greed, multiple
2. Invent fictitious adversaries.
3. Get rid of those
that he perceives to be his enemies, or threaten his
all state machinery with his supporters to facilitate the
realization of the
5. Terrorize the populace into submission. Suppress or drive out
thinking masses from society.
6. Engage any conceivable dirty tactic
in pursuit of the objectives.
7. Create new reward methodologies for his
patrons. Donor Aid had dried up,
and the country was broke. There were now no
more meaningful externally
sourced assets to loot. Therefore, the nation had
to be plundered to keep
his support base.
8. If necessary trade or sell
off national assets to new non-western
9. Capitalize on
the zealous African mentality to get something for nothing,
and that the
world owes them a living forever.
10. Use food as a weapon.
advantage of the simplicity of the rural populace.
12. Actively gain and
promote the support of fellow international misfits
such as Libya, Cuba,
Mbeki and Obasanjo, SADC and the AU/OAU in his claimed
imperialism". Close rank with fellow despots in pursuit of
13. Saturate the media with propaganda and lies.
the fundamentals of law and order, and the respect for human
rights to enable
a free reign by his criminal veterans and militia.
15. Suppress adverse
16. Cash in on the widespread disinterest, fragilities,
hypocrisy, and dithering of the West, and on the many
liberals, "do-gooders" to be found in those
1. Land, mining, natural resources,
businesses, property, foreign currency
holdings, movable assets and
2. A compliant criminally disposed support base to implement the
This includes the Police, Military, gangs of carpet-bagger
prostitutes, opportunistic criminals, the "new judiciary" and
3. Predictable donor aid from woolly-minded
humanitarians would pour in when
the going got tough. This would in fact have
the benefit of gaining external
finance for his insane policies, and would
underpin his continued survival.
1. Anything necessary or
1. By focusing on land as the primary
diversionary issue, Mugabe has in
effect been successful so far in that he
has solved several of his
"problems" and objectives simultaneously.
conned Blair and Jack Straw at the Abuja Agreement that land was the
issue, and that his staying in power was not. Understandably, Mbeki
Obasanjo went along with Mugabe at Abuja. This they did in pursuit
African Solidarity rather choosing to address reality.
3. Mugabe is
driving his enemies and the whites out, which will further
reduce exposure of
his sponsored crimes and any remnant concerns that
certain western counties
may have for the country. Already not many seem to
care much about the
escalating horrors being perpetuated on a daily basis in
support base is secured for a while longer whilst they have free
loot the nation, and the assets of the people.
5. He is being stabilized by
the active support of other African Solidarity
6. The liberals
and "humanitarians" are effectively sustaining him in power
with their aid
7. The so-called "smart sanctions" against his inner circle are
effectively treated with due contempt by his regime.
8. No one has
yet suggested that the massive loot that Zanu PF chefs have
the last 22 years should now be brought back to sustain
If the West and the apologists for Nepad were true and
consistent to their
declared values, and they took the time to come to terms
with the real
Zimbabwe scenario, that country and its people could have some
1. Mugabe's mania will continue
unabated, and he will inevitably become more
desperate. The only person who
could really bring him down is Mbeki, but he
will not do it because he has
too much to lose. He does not want to put his
self-sought image as the
emerging Statesman of Africa up for sacrifice at
the cost of breaking up
African Solidarity, with the reward of him being
ostracized. He would rather
ignore the unfolding disaster that any capable
person knows will inevitably
happen. As with his disposition to the AIDS
crisis, he does not believe that
prevention is better than cure or death. In
many ways, the ANC is walking in
the same footprints as set out by Mugabe
for national destruction.
Zimbabwe is becoming a dependant satellite state of South Africa. Mbeki
be in for a surprise when his citizens realize how much of their money
being used to shore up Mugabe.
3. Zimbabwe remains on course for an
inevitable meltdown. Only the soft
brained do-gooders and the supporting
pariah states are prolonging the
agony. Somalia here we come.
matters get worse, when there is little left to loot, the Zanu PF
turn on each other.
5. The Nepad scam is doomed to fail. The architects of it
will remain in
denial of the fact that their repeatedly demonstrated
standards of so-called
African "good governance" are just not creditable in
the civilized world.
Food shortages in Zimbabwe are no more than a
natural consequence of Mugabe'
s master plan to survive. The alleged drought
and "floods" have little to do
Zanu PF cares nothing for the
general populace, but only about themselves.
Not many have thought ahead to
next year, and the year after. The local food
issue will inevitably become
worse and worse.
Donor nations may actually owe some gratitude to Mugabe in
that he has
unwittingly forced the despots of Africa to re-expose what they
still) stand for. What they must see is that nothing has improved
last 40 years. This renewed revelation could well save the western
a lot of money - if their governments have any sense.
As a first
step Africa firstly needs a mental paradigm shift to move
forward. They still
do not seem able to understand this.
Tue 9 Jul 2002
All eyes on Mugabe in final African summit
Fred Bridgland In Durban
ZIMBABWE’S opposition movement, the MDC,
plans to initiate a high-profile "Save Zimbabwe" campaign tomorrow at the final
summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
The MDC (Movement for
Democratic Change) will kick off its campaign at a press conference as the
continent’s leaders are burying the OAU at Durban’s waterside International
Conference Centre. More than 50 heads of state will vote the OAU, established
four decades ago to fight colonialism and apartheid, out of existence and set up
what they claim will be a stronger and more effective new body, the African
Union, modelled on the European Union.
The MDC will argue that
Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, who has kept a low profile since arriving
in Durban, represents none of the ideals of the new AU, such as democracy,
economic transparency and respect for human rights. It will also contend that Mr
Mugabe contravenes one of the founding principles of the new club - that leaders
who maintain power by force be excluded.
Mr Mugabe’s presence and that
of the MDC demonstrators, who are banned from demonstrating on home soil,
illustrate the scale of the task the AU’s founders have set themselves.
The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, warned:
"Africa’s persistent image as a continent in crisis deters foreign and local
investors from taking advantage of the opportunities Africa offers."
Annan told the assembled leaders that the developed world would only respect
Africa when it resolved the wars and conflicts that disfigured the continent.
"And I do mean resolve them," he said. "Managing them is not enough."
Building a successful AU amid much chaos would require iron political
will and stamina, together with a willingness to accept a seemingly endless
series of negotiations and compromises lasting decades.
In an apparent
barb aimed at a stony-faced Mr Mugabe, the UN chief said that too often "in
recent times" democracy’s name had been misused to describe elections where
votes had been cast without free or fair debate beforehand, and where those who
won 51 per cent claimed the right "to ride roughshod over the other 49 per
The South African president, Thabo Mbeki, and Libya’s strongman,
Col Muammar al-Gaddafi were the other keynote speakers before the leaders went
into private session last night ahead of today’s historic events.
Mbeki and Col Gaddafi have been rivals to become first chairman of the AU and
provide the host city for the AU’s headquarters. Their ideas also differ
radically on what the AU should be about. Mr Mbeki wants a new, constructive
partnership with the rich West. Col Gaddafi wants unity against what he declares
a hostile West. The Libyan leader has built a luxury village in Tripoli for AU
staff and visiting heads of state and officials. However, the compromise choice
might be the former OAU base in Addis Ababa.
Mr Mbeki won the first
round in the contest yesterday when it was agreed he should become the AU’s
first chairman at its birth today.
Speaking after the entry of leaders
into the space-age arena, to traditional African dancing and massed choirs, Mr
Mbeki said: "We have to think and work in a new way. We have a duty to radically
change the structure and content of our political, economic and social relations
with the rest of the world. We have to work harder than in the past, not merely
passing resolutions but implementing them as well."
Col Gaddafi, in an
anti-western speech, warned that Africans were not pupils who needed a teacher.
"If you insult the beggar, he will drive you away," he said.
The AU will
over a period of time set up at least 17 institutions. The first to be
established, possibly today, will be the Brussels-style African Commission. The
next priority is the establishment of a peace and security council that will
oversee the progress of democracy in Africa and have the power to send
peacekeeping forces into countries beset by genocide or the overthrow of
democratically elected governments. This is in stark contrast to the OAU, which
placed heavy emphasis on non-interference in the affairs of other