International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 13, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: If the worst happens, private consultants in Zimbabwe say,
aid groups should brace for shops and businesses to close and for Zimbabwe
to declare a state of emergency.
Households were already stockpiling durable foods in anticipation of
worsening shortages of most basic goods, said a report compiled for the
heads of charities and aid organizations. Aid agency officials said the
report was compiled to raise awareness among international organizations,
donors and their staffers in Zimbabwe of growing concern among economic
commentators and in diplomatic circles.
The report, scheduled for circulation Wednesday by the Heads of Agencies
Contact Group to about 40 foreign aid groups and nongovernment
organizations, said questions remained over the role of police and the
military in its doomsday forecast. But it said a collapse could lead to a
sweeping state of emergency.
An ordinary police officer routinely earned less than aid workers paid their
housekeepers and domestic staff, it said.
"The military are not much better off .... What are the likely scenarios for
the uniformed forces?" the report asked.
Police, troops and their families have not been spared the impact of record
official inflation of 3,714 percent, the highest in the world. Last year,
soldiers were sent home from their barracks as the army ran out of food and
supplies and police have recently reported cases of absenteeism in their
The report said in May alone prices doubled across the board, with the
month's official inflation rising to just over 100 percent in four weeks.
"Salaries and money in the bank at the end of the month were worth less than
half what they were at the beginning," it said.
Shops were now doubling the price of goods they bought a month ago and
doubling them again to allow them to buy replacement goods in a month's
If that trend continued, "doubling the current inflation for each of the
seven remaining months of 2007 gives 512,000 percent, thus the economic
collapse is expected before the end of 2007," the consultants' report said.
The report reminded foreigners that price quotations for work ordered from
local businesses until recently were valid for between seven and 14 days.
Prices were now being quoted as valid for one day or even one hour.
It said shops and businesses were closing at a faster rate than in past
months and many firms paid their staff weekly or every two weeks instead of
monthly and possibly would move daily.
Some employers also have reportedly reverted to paying workers part of their
income in food and other items so as to bear the brunt of inflation
themselves and avoid increasing wages in cash.
The consultants said in the event of six-figure inflation, the local
currency would become unusable, being replaced by barter and illicit trading
only in hard currencies.
"Shops and services substantially cease to function" leading to increased
unemployment, already running at 80 percent outside subsistence activities,
and "concomitantly increased crime and possible civil disturbances."
The report said power and water utilities were already near collapse, with
long daily outages being experienced across the country.
Since disruptions to the agriculture-based economy began in 2000 with the
often violent seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms the
economy as a whole contracted by about 30 percent, it said.
"This compares with a contraction of 5 percent for the great American
depression," the consultants said.
By Tichaona Sibanda
13 June 2007
The cost of living in the country has shot up by over 65 percent with an
average family of six now needing Z$5,5 million a month to pay for basic
goods and services, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.
The CCZ said two months ago an average family needed Z$3,3 million for its
basic needs. However the majority of workers in the country earn an average
of Z$500 000 a month. Teachers, who were reportedly granted another pay rise
giving them around Z$4 million a month, will still find themselves below the
The inflation rate is continuing its upward trend, and is expected to reach
4,500 percent by the end of this week, up from the current 3,700 percent.
This puts an ever-greater strain on the country's struggling economy. Things
are also set to get worse for the majority of consumers who are experiencing
price increases on a daily basis. Economic analysts are predicting that the
country's inflation is actually hovering just above 8,000 percent, the
highest in the world.
Two weeks ago water and electricity charges rose by 251 percent, clothing by
241 percent and transport costs by 150 percent. The average monthly wages
are not keeping up with these paercentages. It means goods cost about 18
times what they did a year ago, compounding the hardship many Zimbabweans
For untold numbers of Zimbabweans, onions, bread, margarine and meat have
become unimaginable luxuries. Taurai Chamboko, who returned to the UK from a
three week break in Zimbabwe said he was shocked to buy four onions for Z$50
'When I left Zimbabwe six years ago we used to buy a sack of onions for Z$2
but that money can't buy you a sweet today. When I arrived home three weeks
ago a litre of petrol was Z$30 000 but when I left on Sunday it had risen to
Z$70 000. It's true prices are going up everyday,' Chamboko said.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Wed Jun 13, 11:22 AM ET
HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday
rejected plans to enlarge the parliament, saying constitutional reforms were
inappropriate while the country is facing economic meltdown.
"Constitutional amendment number 18 regrettably is not about food, jobs or
drugs," the Movement for Democratic (MDC) leader told a news conference.
"The bill is being gazetted in the background of an unprecedented economic
meltdown that has seen nominal inflation rise to 4,530 percent in the month
of April with month-on-month inflation far exceeding 1,000 percent."
Zimbabwe's annual inflation stood at 3,714 percent according to the
government's Central Statistical Office (CSO) although financial analysts
say it is higher than the official figures.
"As far as we are concerned, Zimbabwe needs a new constitution that is
people-driven and people owned. Without it, there will be no solution to the
burning national question of the day. We thus reject this bill," he said.
The Zimbabwe government last week published a bill that seeks, among other
things, to shorten the presidential term to five years in a move which would
see parliamentary and presidential elections take place concurrently next
The bill will also provide for the increase in the number of MPs from 150 to
210. It is widely expected to be nodded through parliament given the ruling
ZANU-PF's large majority.
Tsvangirai said the reforms were meant to strengthen the ruling party's
stranglehold on power while the inflation-ravaged economy continues on a
"It is about power, it's maintenance, reproduction and reconsolidation by
the Zimbabwe African National Union -- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). The
national project of ZANU-PF is the power equation.
"It is not about the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans at home and
abroad," said the opposition leader.
The MDC has previously threatened to boycott next year's elections, when
veteran President Robert Mugabe is hoping to secure a seventh term, unless a
new constitution is drawn up.
Tsvangirai called for a wholesale revamp of the constitution to be carried
out in consultation with the electorate as a whole.
"You can not rearrange the deck of a sinking Titanic," he said.
The suffering of Zimbabweans has no precedent, he said.
"Besides, this country is tired of unilateral piecemeal constitutional
amendments," he said.
Zimbabwe's constitution has been amended 17 times since 1980 when it gained
independence from Britain.
Mugabe's party has endorsed him as its candidate for presidency in next
By Peta Thornycroft
13 June 2007
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is expected to sit down for talks
with Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, in
South Africa on Saturday. Peta Thornycroft reports for VOA that the talks
organized by South African president Thabo Mbeki are the first serious
dialogue between the two parties.
Although the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and the ruling
ZANU-PF met briefly for talks in 2003, the talks fell apart.
This past March, the Southern African Development Community, or SADC,
appointed President Mbeki to mediate dialogue between the two sides.
The MDC has sent Mr. Mbeki its roadmap for a better Zimbabwe in early April
calling for substantial legislative reforms and a new constitution.
ZANU-PF postponed the talks two weeks ago, reportedly because it had not
finished crafting its proposal for President Mbeki.
ZAMU-PF's negotiators are justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and former
security minister Nicholas Goche. Both men are seen by political analysts in
Zimbabwe as very loyal to President Robert Mugabe.
The MDC, which has two wings, will be represented by the secretary generals
from both factions, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube.
President Mbeki is due to report on the meetings to SADC by the end of the
month. He has said on two occasions now, that progress so far was
The MDC, which nearly defeated ZAMU-PF in 2000 when the party was only nine
months old, has lost much of that early promise.
The party says it has been persecuted since shortly after its launch, and
about 400 of its officials and members have been killed in political
Since March, hundreds of officials mostly from urban branches around the
party's Harare stronghold, have been arrested, beaten or forced from their
homes at night.
Morgan Tsvangirai, founding president of the MDC and several of his senior
colleagues were beaten when they were arrested on March 11.
Most political meetings called by the opposition have been banned by Mr.
Mugabe. He is seeking endorsement from ZANU-PF to again be the party's
presidential candidate when national elections are held next March.
Zimbabwe's economy is failing with hyper inflation growing more than 50
percent per month. The overall inflation rate is believed to be more than
By Ndimyake Mwakalyelye
13 June 2007
Contrary to reports that Harare's critics among Western nations have adopted
a softer stance on allowing President Robert Mugabe to attend a
European-African summit in December - this based on recent comments from
British and German officials - diplomatic and analytical sources say the
only change is one of tactics.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the end of last week's Group of
Eight Summit that the E.U.-Africa summit coming up later this year should
not be derailed if President Robert Mugabe forces the issue and decides to
The previous week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in South Africa,
expressed his support for President Thabo Mbeki's efforts to mediate a
solution in Zimbabwe with the ruling ZANU-PF party, and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change.
Some took such comments as reflecting concern the Europe -Africa Summit
might fall victim to discord over Mr. Mugabe's participation, as did a 2003
summit.. African countries boycotted the summit when European excluded Mr.
However, a British Foreign Office source cautioned against interpreting the
outgoing prime minister's comments as indicating any softening of the U.K.
position, saying Mr. Blair simply wanted to give Mr. Mbeki's mediation a
Britain will gauge progress in those talks when leaders of the Southern
African Development Community meet in August.
Director Chris Lanceberg of the Center for Policy Studies in Johannesburg
told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the
modified Western strategy on Zimbabwe makes sense
By Blessing Zulu
13 June 2007
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which called a general strike in
April, has threatened more protests following word from the Consumer Council
of Zimbabwe that monthly living costs for a family of six soared in May to
Z$5.5 million (US$65).
That represented a 66% rise over April's monthly cost of living of Z$3.3
The council reported big jumps in prices for water and electricity, which
surged by a combined 251%, as well as in apparel and transport.
The ZCTU said most Zimbabwean workers earn less than Z$300,000 (US$3.50) for
a month's work. The country's largest labor body said it intends to launch
new protests to force the government and employers to give workers realistic
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo told
reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the majority of
workers are struggling just to make ends meet.
Elsewhere, a report issued by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and
African Development Bank ranks Zimbabwe one of the world's least competitive
The report cited deficiencies in economic rights including a lack of
even-handedness by government and the erosion of property rights. The
report's release coincided with the start of the World Economic Forum on
Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
The document scored the Harare government of President Robert Mugabe for
alleged corruption, deficit spending and mismanagement of public finances
and monetary policy, which sent Zimbabwe to the bottom of macroeconomic
"It is clear that for Zimbabwe to get back on track, improved governance
affecting all levels of the economy will be necessary to restore confidence
in the economy and to rebuild what was once one of Africa's stars," the
Political analyst Glen Mpani, a student of Democracy and Governance at Cape
Town University, said the report reinforces previous calls for major policy
Wednesday 13 June 2007
By Farisai Gonye
HARARE - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday said his
party would wait for the outcome of President Thabo Mbeki-led talks before
deciding whether to contest next year's presidential and parliamentary
Tsvangirai, who heads the larger faction of the splintered Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party, said this during a press conference at the
party's headquarters in Harare.
"We want to contest the elections. But the outcome of the SADC (Southern
African Development Community) initiative is key to the decision on either
to participate or not," said Tsvangirai.
South Africa's President Mbeki was last March appointed by SADC to head
efforts to seek a solution to Zimbabwe's eight-year old political impasse
between President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and the MDC.
Both factions of the MDC have in the past said they would only contest next
year's elections under a new constitution and a level playing field.
Tsvangirai on Wednesday repeated his party's position saying his party would
only take part in the elections if it was satisfied that its key demands for
free and fair elections were met.
The opposition leader hinted that his party would welcome a delay to the
elections that are due next March to ensure that minimum conditions for the
holding of free and fair elections were in place.
"There is probably just nine months before March. But we have always said
March is not cast in stone. What is important is to have uncontestable
conditions for a free and fair election," he said.
Tsvangirai said formal talks between the MDC and ZANU PF were still to begin
as there were still a number of "differences" between the two parties.
"The negotiations have not yet started. What is at stake now are the
preconditions, the talks about talks. We hope the negotiating teams going
down there (to South Africa) will be able to iron out these differences so
that the talks can start," said Tsvangirai.
Earlier this week, Mbeki told South African parliamentarians that he was
happy with the "positive attitude" shown by both the MDC and ZANU PF towards
his mediation effort.
Tsvangirai accused ZANU PF of seeking to throw spanners into the Mbeki-led
talks following the ruling party's plans to proceed with piece-meal changes
to Zimbabwe's constitution, particularly Constitutional Amendment Bill No
"Given that the issue of a new constitution and its contents are some of the
things that will clearly be covered in the SADC negotiations, Constitutional
amendment number 18 becomes both preemptive and contemptuous of dialogue.
"ZANU PF is oblivious and blind to the SADC negotiations. It is simply not
ready for genuine dialogue. In this regard, their preparations for the 2008
elections are on auto cruise despite and in spite of the SADC dialogue,"
The constitutional amendment seeks to harmonise elections for president and
parliament in what the government says is a plan to save on administrative
costs but which critics say is a ploy by Mugabe to cling to power.
Under the proposed law, Parliament will be empowered to elect the president
in the event that the incumbent dies in office or is incapacitated.
Political analysts say Mugabe wants to use the new law to appoint a
successor and deal with the divisive issue of his own succession within his
own party. - ZimOnline
Wednesday 13 June 2007
By Chenai Maramba
KAROI - Police in Mashonaland West province have barred the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party from holding a rally in the
farming town of Karoi, saying the proposed venue for the meeting did not
Under the government's tough Public Order and Security Act (POSA),
Zimbabweans must first notify the police before holding public political
meetings or demonstrations. However, the law does not permit the police to
disallow meetings for hygienic reasons.
In a letter to the smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara, the
police said they could not allow the party to meet its supporters at a rugby
field in Karoi because there were no toilets.
"The venue you have applied to hold the rally has no toilets and this will
cause a health hazard," read the letter dated June 4, 2007 and a copy of
which was shown to ZimOnline.
The police also cancelled another rally planned by the Mutambara-led MDC at
Chinhoyi soccer stadium saying the stadium was under renovation and
unsuitable to host a large public gathering.
MDC spokesman Gabriel Chaibva, who said his party would try to look for
alternative venues for the rallies that are penciled in for next weekend,
accused the police of having become an extension of the ruling (ZANU PF)
Chaibva said: "The police have given us spurious reasons to deny us the
chance to hold rallies. Police are now an extension of the ruling party (and
are) being used to deny us of our democratic right of assembly."
The police, accused by churches and human rights groups of abusing MDC
supporters and people perceived as opponents of the government, have
regularly used the POSA to ban opposition rallies. - ZimOnline
Sokwanele Article : 13 June 2007
JUNE 16 is the date that commemorates the day when students in Soweto
marched against the apartheid machinery in protest against the forced
learning of Afrikaans for all people in South Africa. This weekend, the
youth of this country have a reason to march against an illegal regime that
is denying them a secure future and forcing them in to exile. This regime is
on record as having declared that they can do with only 6 million people out
of a population of 12 million. So in addition to playing God, they have
declared their total and utter contempt for you so that you are condemned to
a life of endless toiling in foreign lands far away from your families.
What are your options?
You could cross the Limpopo and brave the crocodiles, and then trek to
Johannesburg, land of elusive milk and honey. There, you could face low
wages, constant harrasment, bribery and frequent deportations back home.
You could go to England, America or Australia and discover that "the grass
is greener on other side till you get there and see for yourself" as Lucky
Dube would say. It is tough out there: young people and your older brothers
and sisters are working two jobs each up to 20 hours day, 365 days a year
and still only manage to pay the rent, buy some food and send a penny back
home. It is not a life.
Remember that among you are others who have been taken advantage of by the
Using the poverty that they have created, the regime has fed some of you in
so-called 'national service camps'. They have fed you on a diet of lies,
unprotected sex, rape, murder, assault and indoctrination on patriotism.
They have given you the power to wear a t-shirt and have people be scared of
you. Instead, many of you will find that this is nothing but an indigestion
of nightmares for the rest of your lives.
Just like the five brigade who were used to subdue whole provinces in the
eighties, they have turned some of you into the very personification of evil
until evil itself has come to collect its dues by haunting your every
thought and your sleep with unspeakable memories.
Is this an option you want?
Years ago, the youth in SOWETO decided that theirs was not a life either and
so they took on the regime - not with violence but with a peaceful march.
And that day shook the earth under the feet of the mighty apartheid regime,
and change was put on the agenda. Years ago, the world was not watching so
In this modern day of the internet, phone and digital cameras, the regime
knows the world is watching. That is why they are spending thousands of
pounds of your parents' tax money to try and present a clean image to the
world. They could just as easily do that by using that same money to create
jobs for you, a decent education and fighting AIDS. The fat cats are instead
milking it, while you sit in frustration wondering about your bleak future.
Well, sit no more in frustration! Youth of this country arise and march to
protest your destroyed heritage.
March and demand that the people who have destroyed this country be held
accountable so that new leaders can come in and create jobs for you. March
and demand that you choose to stay with your families or choose to go
overseas by YOUR choice, and not because you are forced to go by a group of
a hundred irresponsible crooks masquerading as adult leaders.
March and ask for change as the youth of South Africa did so many years ago,
as the youth of Ukraine, Zaire, Zambia, Serbia have done recently.
It is time to run, no more.
March and demand a normal youth and normal future for you and your children.
The world is watching. He is finished and he knows it! Bob must go.
Some economic experts stick out their necks.
13 June 2007
As Zimbabwe screeches towards economic melt-down, experts at the World
Economic Forum on Africa 2007 have said that the country's plight is not
With urgent steps that will prove to be unpopular with voters, civil
servants and those who are currently benefiting financially from the status
quo, the situation can be reversed.
Without "brave" decisions, however, the country's economy will collapse with
tragic consequences for its people, is the prediction.
Zimbabwe is a blight on Africa's general economic landscape, with plummeting
growth rates and hyperinflation of more than 4 000% - and climbing.
The continent, meanwhile, is averaging growth of about 5,5% and the
collective target has now shifted upwards to an annual rate of 7%.
More than half of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have inflation rates of
less than 10%, said Robert J Corker, senior adviser (African department ) to
the International Monetary Fund at the World Economic Forum on Africa, which
is being held in Cape Town this week.
Corker told Moneyweb that if "things continue without fundamental change",
the economy could be expected to contract by at least another 6%.
Zimbabwe will "either collapse in hyperinflation" or there will be a change
With brave, but probably unpopular changes, the economy could start
"flattening out" after a year or so. "Inflation could come down rapidly," he
It "can be done", said Corker of an economic reversal of fortune for
Zimbabwe. But, would involve measures that would take "a bit of political
courage", he said.
Civil servants' wage bills would need to be slashed, for example.
Corker said growth rates for more than 30 countries with inflation of 1
000%-plus have turned around after a year or so, though obviously after
He said inflation has come down in sub-Saharan Africa thanks largely to
macro-economic policy in the various countries.
"Inflation doesn't give you growth, but high inflation stops growth and
hurts the poor," he noted.
Also prepared to discuss the thorny Zimbabwe issue was Temitope W Oshikoya
of the African Development Bank and African Development Fund.
Oshikoya said the Zimbabwe situation "is not hopeless". Other African
countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are examples of
how a dire situation can change.
The African Development Bank "stands ready to help Zimbabwe", he said.
Acknowledging Africa's success in reversing what was looking like a dismal
economic story, the World Economic Forum on Africa's theme is "Raising the
Haiko Alfeld, director and head of Africa at the World Economic Forum, said
in Cape Town - where more than 800 delegates and 300 journalists have
gathered for the annual event - that there "really is a sense now that we
are moving into a new phase of Africa's development".
Alfeld said while "problems remain" in Africa, "they are increasingly
crowded out by the hundreds of success stories from across the continent
which have permanently shifted the debate on Africa from one of dependence
to one of independence and business success".
John Page, chief economist, Africa, and a director of the poverty reduction
group for the World Bank, in Washington DC, said that Africa has changed
substantially in recent years.
However, "growth in one decade doesn't predict growth in the next very well",
In addition, performance across the continent has become more varied, with
many social benefits for its people being implemented, though it is not yet
clear whether this can be sustained.
Finding ways to keep fuelling this growth and bringing the continent's
finances more in line with the developed world and emerging economies
elsewhere will be a major focus of discussions at the World Economic Forum
Asked whether the World Economic Forum on Africa is anything more than a
talk shop, Malvinder M Singh, CEO and MD of Ranbaxy Laboratories in India
and co-chair of the World Economic Forum on Africa answered in the
He noted that corporate and governmental focus on climate change and energy
was a direct result of talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, while
improvements in assistance to those with HIV/Aids followed similar World
Economic Forum discussions.
Tokyo Sexwale, Executive Chairman of Mvelaphanda Holdings, South Africa,
lent support to Singh. He said that if this platform "wasn't that important,
people wouldn't be here.certainly I wouldn't be here".
New Zimbabwe (London)
13 June 2007
Posted to the web 13 June 2007
ZIMBABWE'S main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
sensationally claimed that government officials knocked on their doors to
offer them imported tractors sourced by the country's central bank.
The tractors were imported under a new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) scheme
called the Agricultural Mechanisation Support Program to assist new farmers
as part of the government's condemned land reform programme.
Leading opposition officials reacted with shock on Tuesday when state media
published their names as beneficiaries of a consignment of imported tractors
and combine harvesters.
Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a faction of the divided described the
publication of MDC officials' names as "unimaginative attempts to discredit
and divide the opposition."
Mutambara said: "I don't own a farm, and I am not carrying out any farming
activities in Zimbabwe. I never applied for land or agricultural equipment
from Robert Mugabe, Gideon Gono or anyone in this criminal and illegitimate
Tendai Biti, the secretary general of a rival faction of the MDC led by
Morgan Tsvangirai claimed that officials from the ruling Zanu PF party
visited Tsvangirai's rural home in Buhera, where they "tempted" him with a
tractor last Saturday.
Biti said: "The whole thing of giving tractors to our members was
stage-managed. In fact, I received a call from Zanu PF officials at the
weekend where they offered me a tractor and I jokingly told them I needed a
"They even offered the lawn mower. When I realised these guys were serious,
I switched off my mobile phone. On the same day, they went to Buhera and
failed in their mission to tempt Tsvangirai with an offer of a tractor."
He said the MDC was "not naive to be used as accomplices to asset stripping
perpetrated by Zanu PF", a reference to the property destruction and looting
that accompanied government-sanctioned takeovers of commercial farms from
white farmers since 2000.
Biti added: "The MDC has no-one who benefited from the land reform
programme. We have nothing to do with a very partisan land reform programme.
Our grassroots know that we are honest and have maintained moral high ground
On June 11, the government unveiled a US$25 million Agricultural
Mechanisation programme sponsored and funded by the RBZ under its FISCORPP
The government handed over tractors and some farming equipment to MDC
officials who included Tsvangirai deputy, Thokozani Khupe, the faction's
chairman Lovemore Moyo, Tapiwa Makashada, Innocent Gonese, Tongai Mathuthu,
Joel Gabuza, Editor Matamisa and Giles Mutsekwa.
But Biti charged that the government used an unidentifiable criteria where
it stage-managed the event to push its "desperate and diabolical attempt to
smear the goodwill and reputations" of the MDC members.
"The announcement of the benefit came as a huge surprise to the MDC leaders
who do not own land, are not farmers and had at first instance never applied
for benefits. We are fully aware and cognizant that Zimbabwe is a
neo-patrimonial state where corruption and systematic clientalism is the
order of the day," Biti railed.
"President Mugabe has presided over a neo-patrimonial state where asset
raiding and stripping, on rent-seeking activities are the norm. This is a
process of clientalism in return for material rewards mobilised for
political support and personal handouts are given.
"We saw this with President Houphouet-Boingny of the Ivory Coast who
regularly pocked a tenth of his country's cocoa exports. We also saw this
with President Mobutu whose huge personal fortune was equal to the former
Zaire 's national debt."
Zimbabwe's gold output, which fell to a record eight metric tonnes for the
twelve months ended March 2007, might sink further if miners working in the
country continue to face operational constraints while those closed are not
allowed to re-open, the country's independent Chamber of Mines has warned.
Author: Tawanda Karombo
Posted: Wednesday , 13 Jun 2007
Speaking to Mineweb, Jack Murehwa, president of the Zimbabwe Chamber of
Mines (ZCM) has said that Zimbabwe's gold miners, who are owed in "excess of
USD20 million, some of them since November last year" might register another
slump in gold production.
Murehwa said miners in Zimbabwe are increasingly failing to secure inputs
for the processing of gold ore.
"The reason being that as mines continue to fail to secure inputs required
in the processing of gold ore, mainly cyanide, they may be forced to close
their processing plans and therefore fail to produce any gold for sale."
He highlighted that gold output for the current quarter will be affected by
such issues: "In simple terms, gold output in the immediate short term may
fall because of curtailed production due to lack of inputs without the
requisite revenue," he said.
He also bemoaned the closure of some gold miners during the Zimbabwe
government's controversial blitz on what it termed "illegal mining
operation". He however said that the prospects of such miners resuming
operations remained positive.
"The chances of getting legal operations back into operation remain good.
The closure of these legal operations obviously contributed to the reduced
deliveries of gold to Fidelity Printers."
The Chamber of Mines, Murehwa said, had for some time been awaiting and
urging for the finalisation of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill,
which is currently before the country's parliament. The legislation seeks to
empower government to grab a 51 percent shareholding of all mining firms
operational in Zimbabwe and give it to "black indigenous Zimbabweans".
The delay in finalizing the legislation, which is expected to come into
effect by the end of this year, "has meant that investors already in the
country remain apprehensive about how the whole process will pan out" and
Murehwa added that several "new investors (would) rather wait for the end of
the process before committing their funds" to Zimbabwe's mining sector.
Zimbabwe remains the only country yet to gain on high global mineral prices.
"Our industry continues to experience declines in volumes despite the very
buoyant mineral prices which prevailed for the past 18 months," Murehwa said
in a recent interview.
Power outages and an exodus of most of the country's skilled mining
personnel for greener pastures in other countries are the other reasons
cited for the unprecedented tumble in gold production. He said despite the
high world prices, investors in mining stayed away from Zimbabwe.
The country's largest gold producer Metallon Gold Zimbabwe is understood to
be currently operating way below capacity owing to cyanide unavailability.
Although the chemical is available on the market a tonne costs over Zim$110
million while its relatively cheaper in US dollar terms at US$2,000 per
TOP South African envoys in Harare yesterday held a meeting with local civil
society leaders to discuss how to broaden President Thabo Mbeki's mediation
in the Zimbabwe crisis.
SA's ambassador Mlungisi Makhalima and senior staff at the embassy met
leaders of pressure groups focusing on the political and economic crisis,
constitutional reform, as well as labour and humanitarian issues.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), now divided into
two factions, has submitted to Mbeki a joint report on preliminary issues
that need to be tabled for discussion.
Sources said the MDC negotiating team of Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti had
submitted its position paper to Mbeki's team in April.
The Zanu (PF) delegation, which includes Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
and Labour Minister Nicholas Goche, delivered their response to the MDC
submissions to Mbeki's team last Monday.
The two failed twice in the past two weeks to travel to SA for talks with
the MDC, stalling the start of direct talks.
President Robert Mugabe's government last week gazetted a constitutional
amendment bill to entrench his power, throwing new hurdles in Mbeki's
SA's Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad expressed concern last week about
"the lack of urgency from Zimbabweans to advance the facilitation process".
The MDC paper includes demands for an end to political violence and
intimidation to create favourable conditions for negotiations and elections;
a new constitution before next year's elections; the need for all citizens
above 18 to vote; an impartial and transparent electoral process; speedy and
impartial resolution of electoral disputes; freedom for parties to campaign;
and access to the public media.
However, repression is continuing unabated.
Lawyer Alex Muchadehama yesterday applied for a trial date for a group of
MDC activists, which includes Glen View MP Paul Madzore, who are facing a
series of charges.
These charges include allegations of receiving terrorism training in SA.
The Namibian (Windhoek)
13 June 2007
Posted to the web 13 June 2007
A regional parliamentary body which held a bi-annual conference in Windhoek
until Friday refrained from commenting on the dire political and economic
situation on Zimbabwe.
In a communique issued yesterday the SADC Parliamentary Forum merely
endorsed the appointment of the South African President Thabo Mbeki by the
SADC summit in March to mediate between the Harare Government and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), saying Mbeki should be
afforded the opportunity to fulfil his mandate.
"The SADC-PF, therefore, awaits the outcome of this initiative," was all the
regional body had to say.
MDC members and its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, were brutally beaten and
injured by law enforcement agencies in Zimbabwe earlier this year when
attempting to hold a peaceful prayer day and a demonstration.
The meeting of the SADC-PF also resolved that the importance of separation
of powers between the three arms of government was one of the key ways of
ensuring parliamentary democracy, enhancing the independence of the
judiciary and Parliament's oversight on the executive, i.e. Cabinet.
In order for parliamentary democracy to thrive in southern Africa, the
independence and capacity of parliaments to hold the Executive to account
should be enhanced and protected.
The Forum further observed that the existing arrangements in most SADC
member states, where members of the Executive are also Members of
Parliament, "calls for innovative and proactive mechanisms of ensuring that
the role of the Legislature is not severely mitigated by the strong presence
and dominant role of the Executive in Parliament."
"Noting the slow pace in the ratification of the NEPAD Protocol on Policy
and Regulatory Framework for Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Broadband for Eastern and Southern Africa, the SADC-PF called for the speedy
ratification of the Protocol as one of the vehicles for enhancing
continental economic and political integration through ICT."
The forum also adopted a Regional ICT Strategy to guide the effective
utilisation of ICTs in national parliaments of SADC member states.
The SADC-PF, which has its secretariat in Windhoek, is chaired by the
Speaker of the Botswana Parliament and Nora Schimming-Chase of Namibia's
main opposition party, Congress of Democrats, is the vice chairperson.
Institute for War & Peace Reporting
Harare leader wants economic lifeboat not political mediation from SADC.
By Meshack Ndodana in Harare (AR No. 116, 13-June-07)
The air is beginning to clear on the Southern African Development Community's
economic turnaround strategy for Zimbabwe.
The initiative is spearheaded by the regional grouping's executive
secretary, Tomaz Augusto Salamao, who was in Zimbabwe recently on his second
visit since the emergency meeting held in Dar es Salaam in March.
The SADC Extraordinary Summit followed the brutal beating up in police
custody of Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
dozens other political activists on March 11 as they were on their way to
attend a prayer meeting in the restive poor neighbourhood of Highfield.
The images of the brutal beatings flashed on television sets across the
globe sent shock waves around the region and prompted the SADC, which had
hitherto stood by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, to act.
The SADC meeting tasked Salamao with studying the economic situation and
proposing measures on how the regional bloc could help the country's
South African president Thabo Mbeki was tasked with leading a parallel
process of political mediation which would bring the warring parties to the
negotiating table and set the ball rolling for free and fair elections to be
held early next year.
But now it is becoming increasingly clear that Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF
are not interested in the Mbeki-led initiative, preferring the Salamao one
because it involves a financial rescue package.
A diplomatic source said this week that the SADC had or was in the process
of mobilising a three billion US dollar rescue package for Zimbabwe and
Salamao was setting up a secretariat to administer the fund.
"After his first visit to Zimbabwe in April Dr Salamao came up with the
figure of three billion dollars as balance of payments support for Zimbabwe
which SADC wishes to see stabilise the economy," said the source, who is
close to the SADC initiative.
"But SADC has resolved that they cannot hand over that kind of money to the
Mugabe government and have to set up a secretariat to administer it."
Indeed, in an interview shortly after his arrival in Harare, Salamao said he
was leading a three-man advance team that he wished to introduce to
"We are here to continue what we have started already - that is doing our
assessment and research and coming up with a recommendation that we will
forward to the relevant authority," he told the daily government broadsheet,
The Herald. He said the report would be ready for the relevant authorities
by month end.
The diplomatic source said that considering the state of the Zimbabwean
economy and the amount of corruption that has permeated government
structures, it would be foolish of the regional grouping to entrust the
Zimbabwean government with running the fund.
Also, he said, Mugabe was facing a mortal battle in the combined
presidential and parliamentary elections to be held by March next year.
"Uppermost in Mugabe's mind is his own political survival. If given access
to that kind of money, he would divert it for his fight for survival. He
would use the money to bolster his Zanu-PF party's chances of survival next
year instead of injecting the money into the economy - hence the necessity
of the secretariat."
The Mbeki initiative seems to have suffered a stillbirth, however. Hawks in
Zanu-PF party do not see why political mediation is necessary because they
regard the MDC as now mortally wounded. They see their party as the only
important player on the political scene.
"After the brutal battering of opposition leaders on March 11 and subsequent
arrests and torture of other political activists, the MDC is no longer the
same," said the diplomatic source.
Indeed, Zanu-PF has now targeted structures of the MDC in order to destroy
the opposition party at grassroots level. In the past, police brutality
focused on the high echelons of the party but now the target is the small
An MDC insider said this week the party was now in the invidious position
where it no longer had grassroots structures, "Often we get calls from our
grassroots leaders and supporters saying they have skipped the border and
are now in a neighbouring country. The situation is worse than people
Zanu-PF strategy, the insider said, was to destroy the MDC structures by the
end of June. In this scenario, the Mbeki mediation becomes unimportant.
Instead, the ruling party is pinning its hope on the Salamao initiative and
the 18th amendment to the national constitution which it gazetted on June 8.
The proposed amendments include expanding the lower house of parliament from
150 to 210 members. The extra constituencies would be created in Mugabe's
strongholds, the rural areas where the majority of voters live.
According to the proposed amendment, the Delimitation Commission -
answerable to Mugabe - would delimit the new constituency boundaries. "It
would seem this would guarantee a Zanu-PF victory in the harmonised
presidential and parliamentary elections but the state of the economy still
has to be contended with," said the MDC insider.
According to the diplomatic source, this is where Salamao comes in. A huge
injection of money would see the economy improved somewhat by the time of
the elections in March next year. And to give the impression that Zanu-PF
will be pivotal to the turnaround of the economy, the ruling party has
arm-twisted business and labour into a pact called "the social contract"
through which it hopes to control the operations of the two other important
players in the economy.
"Mugabe is prepared to sup with Dr Salamao because he desperately needs a
rescue package," said the diplomatic source, adding that Salamao's
secretariat would act as a surrogate central bank to ensure the money is
used for the benefit of the economy and not for Mugabe's party.
Commentators say Zimbabwe has had a long history of financial assistance
from donors since independence in 1980 but funds donated have never been
properly accounted for.
In March 1981, for instance, at the Zimbabwe Conference for Reconstruction
and Development, ZIMCORD, more than 17 million British pounds were raised to
finance the reconstruction and development of the country after almost a
decade of war.
According to the British government, between 1980 and 1985 the United
Kingdom provided 47 million pounds for land reform: 20 million as a specific
land resettlement grant and 27 million in the form of budgetary support to
help meet the Zimbabwe government's own contribution to the programme. The
land resettlement grant was signed in 1981, and substantially spent by 1988.
There has never been a proper audit of how the money was spent although the
UK government acknowledges that real progress was made on some projects.
Since independence, Britain has provided more than 500 million pounds in
bilateral support for development in Zimbabwe. In total, the wider donor
community has provided over two billion dollars in assistance since 1980.
Meshack Ndodana is the pseudonym of an IWPR contributor in Zimbabwe
SW Radio Africa (London)
13 June 2007
Posted to the web 13 June 2007
Lawyers representing over 32 MDC activists kept in remand prison for over 2
months without trial have said they have already received instructions from
their clients to prepare lawsuits seeking damages from the state. Alec
Muchadehama told Newsreel on Tuesday that the MDC activists, some of whom
were tortured in custody, were going to seek compensation for their ordeal.
Although there is little chance of getting justice given the compromised
judicial system, the activists are keen to have their experiences put before
the courts and expose the regime's brutality. Notices outlining their
intention are now being dispatched to the police and Home Affairs
Meanwhile on Tuesday the defence team suffered more frustration in attempts
to get the state to set a trial date or have the case thrown out completely.
The application involving Glen View MP Paul Madzore, Philip Mabika and 11
others was adjourned by the magistrates court to Friday. Another group
including Morgan Komichi, Dennis Murira, Raymond Bake and Shame Wakatama
will have a similar application determined on Wednesday. Muchadehama said
the court ran out of time and this resulted in the adjournments. Adding to
the legal confusion will be a bail application at the High Court on
Wednesday seeking the release of the detainees.
Muchadehama said the difference between the two sets of applications was
that they were asking the magistrates court to force a trial date or throw
out the case, while the bail applications dealt with the merits of the
clients being set free while the trial continued. If granted, both had the
same effect in as far as securing the release of the activists. Last week 7
opposition activists, including journalist Luke Tamborinyoka, were released
without charge while on Monday the courts freed another 6 political
detainees facing charges of petrol bomb attacks. They were released after
police dropped the charges.
The remaining activists including Glen View MP Madzore, are still in custody
on a second charge of receiving insurgency training in South Africa. Legal
experts say the charges are flimsy and explain the state's reluctance to set
a trial date. Muchadehama reiterated the same position saying if the state
had a solid case they should have set a trial date by now.
Wed 13 Jun 2007, 17:31 GMT
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
THE HAGUE, June 13 (Reuters) - African ministers struggled on Wednesday to
solve a dispute over elephant ivory between nations seeking to extend a 1989
export ban and others wanting limited trade.
"A number of issues have been resolved, a number of items agreed to, but we
still need time to come to a conclusive agreement," Zimbabwe's Environment
and Tourism Minister Francis Nhema told delegates at a 171-nation U.N.
The ministers would continue talks after coming close to a deal to sanction
new sales totalling 140 tonnes of ivory by four nations in southern Africa,
where elephant numbers are rising, and then none until 2016, delegates said.
Some ministers at the meeting of the U.N. Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species (CITES) argue more sales would spur illegal killings
that would further endanger elephants. Others say regulated trade can help
by ploughing cash into conservation and into building schools or hospitals.
Delegates said that one option was simply to put off the debate until the
next CITES meeting due in 2010, meaning an extension of the trade moratorium
for three years.
Kenya and Mali came to the June 3-15 CITES talks demanding a 20-year
extension of a ban on all African ivory exports, after an already agreed
one-off sale of 60 tonnes to Japan. They say poaching is rising and killing
19,000 elephants a year.
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa want to allow regular trade to
benefit remote communities where growing elephant numbers come into conflict
Southern African nations say they collect ivory from animals who die from
natural causes, from seizures from poachers and from licensed killings of
"problem elephants". Ivory is used mainly in carvings and jewellery.
"I hope they manage to come up with a common proposal," Dutch Agriculture
Minister Gerda Verburg told a news conference, "I don't think it's a good
thing to interfere."
French Environment Minister Alain Juppe said Paris wanted a 12-year
moratorium after the one-off exports to Japan. "It's a question of ensuring
over a long period that these sales do not lead to a rise in poaching," he
said in a statement.
Hit by decades of hunting and expanding human populations, African elephants
number about 470,000-685,000 against millions decades ago.
The rejected compromise would allow export permits for one-off sales of 70
tonnes from Botswana, 15 from Namibia, 40 from South Africa and 15 from
Please find below the statement of resolutions on ZINWA by residents
associations of Zimbabwe when they met in Masvingo a week ago. This
statement was today distributed to the Parliament of Zimbabwe, ZINWA
Chairperson, Secretary to Mugabe's Cabinet, Permanent Secretary in the
Ministry of Finance, Minister Ignatius Morgan Chiminya Chombo of Local
Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Munacho Mutezo, the Minister
of Water and Infrastructural Development, Parliamentary Portfolio Committees
on Local Government, Legal, Finance and water Resources.
CHRA is pushing the matter to be discussed at all government fora,
particularly for Parliament to note the continued flagrant disregard of the
rule of law and Parliamentary Recommendations by the Executive. Please visit
our website www.chra.co.zw for the latest on Harare.
STATEMENT OF RESOLUTIONS MADE BY THE RESIDENTS' NATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE
TAKEOVER OF SEWER AND WATER RETICULATION FROM THE URBAN LOCAL AUTHORITIES BY
ZINWA, MASVINGO, FLAMBOYANT HOTEL 30 MAY - 03 JUNE 2007
The National Residents Convention is a platform bringing together Residents
Associations from the Urban and Rural settings to deliberate and come-up
with common way forward on common issues of concern.
The National Residents Convention in Masvingo, Flamboyant Hotel, 30 May to
03 June 2007 brought together nineteen (19) Residents Associations mainly
from across the major towns and cities in Zimbabwe to deliberate and come up
with common way forward on the takeover of sewer and water reticulation
services from the Urban Local Authorities by the Zimbabwe National Water
The Convention drew presentations from interest groups and experts,
including Urban Councils' Association of Zimbabwe, Local Government,
Lawyers, and Social and Economic justice activists.
In view of the adverse policy, financial, economic and social implications
of the takeover of sewer and water reticulation by the Zimbabwe National
Water Authority from Urban Local Authorities on the residents.
Further due to the lack of technical capacity by ZINWA to takeover the
And further due to the illegality of the takeover. The Participants here
present resolve as follows;
1. That we reject the takeover of water and sewer reticulation takeover by
ZINWA from the Urban Local Authorities
2. Cabinet should reverse its decision in line with parliament (house of
assembly and senate) recommendations.
3. Failure to reverse this decision, residents will roll out a plan of
mobilising other residents through programmes and courses of action to
resist the takeover, including but not limited to the following;
· Legal suit
· Peaceful resistance
4. Participants to this convention elect a 13 member National Taskforce
Committee to spearhead the implementation of the convention resolutions.
We hereby append our signatures to this declaration,
Combined Harare Residents' Association
Mobile: 011 612 860 or 0912 869 294
"Stand Firm. Be of Good Courage"