Secretary-General appoints special envoy to review Zimbabwe's
housing evictions 20 June 2005 - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan has appointed the chief of the UN programme on sustainable housing,
Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, to represent him in reviewing the humanitarian
aspects of the Zimbabwean Government's eviction of illegal dwellers and
informal traders, Mr. Annan's spokesman said today.
Mugabe of Zimbabwe has agreed that the Special Envoy of the
Secretary-General should visit the country as soon as possible to study the
scope of the recent eviction of illegal dwellers, informal traders and
squatters, and the humanitarian impact it has had on the affected
population," Stephane Dujarric told journalists at the UN Headquarters'
The Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements
Programme (UN-HABITAT), Mrs. Tibaijuka, will visit Zimbabwe shortly and will
report on the situation, he said.
Earlier this month, Miloon Kothari,
who is the Commission on Human Rights' Special Rapporteur on the right to
adequate housing, reminded the Zimbabwean authorities of their obligations
under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights,
which the country ratified in 1991 and which bars such evictions unless
strict conditions are met.
One of the conditions is that "evictions
should never result in rendering individuals homeless or vulnerable to the
violations of other human rights. Governments must therefore ensure that
adequate alternative housing or resettlement is available for all those
affected before executing an eviction order," he said, asking the Zimbabwean
Government for an urgent reply to his appeal.
Monday, June 20,
2005; Posted: 10:31 a.m. EDT (14:31 GMT)
(Reuters) -- Thousands of Zimbabweans were stranded on Monday in the
country's worst transportation crisis in years after fuel shortages halted
cars, buses and trucks and police impounded unroadworthy vehicles. "We
are now spending more time in transport queues than at work or with our
families. This is not much of a life," said a Harare resident, who
identified himself only as Solomon, as he waited for transport to the
outskirts of the capital.
The southern African country has suffered
erratic fuel supplies for five years, but transportation woes worsened after
police removed hundreds of buses last week in a clampdown on vehicles deemed
Commuters in Harare milled around transport terminals on Monday,
fighting for places on the few buses still running.
Some people have
already resorted to walking to and from work, up to a 15 km (9 miles)
roundtrip, to save on transportation costs which have more than doubled over
the past month alone and now eat up a third of the average industrial
On Monday the official Herald newspaper said a survey
showed most garages had run out of petrol and diesel at the weekend, with
some having last received supplies over a week ago.
Reports say the
situation is equally bad in other major cities including Bulawayo and Gweru,
where most commuters are walking or cycling to work.
industry officials were not immediately reachable for
Zimbabweans also face acute shortages of food, unemployment
of over 70 percent and one of the world's highest rates of inflation amid a
crisis that critics blame on economic mismanagement and political repression
by Mugabe's government.
The government accuses local and foreign
opponents of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy to punish it for seizing
white-owned commercial farms for landless blacks.
The government has
repeatedly said it is working to address the fuel crunch, but has not spelt
out exactly how.
Government officials blame the current squeeze partly on
hoarding by some industry players who re-sell at exorbitant prices on the
With both petrol and diesel selling at a retail price of
about Z$3,600 ($0.36) a liter, far below levels in neighboring countries,
authorities say some dealers are illegally exporting fuel for resale at
higher prices outside Zimbabwe.
Last week Energy and Power
Development Minister Michael Nyambuya told state media the government would
introduce a draft bill in parliament to regulate the oil
The crackdown on unsafe vehicles is part of a police blitz
which has seen thousands of illegal business and residential structures
Transport operators also say foreign currency shortages have
hampered their ability to import vehicle parts for repairs, taking even more
cars off the roads.
Mugabe eyeing posh suburbs in blitz - reports June 20
2005 at 09:46AM
Harare - Police in Zimbabwe say they are taking
their controversial clean-up campaign to the prosperous suburbs of the
capital, where they will target "illegal property developments" and houses
that have been turned into offices, the state-run Herald newspaper said on
Police spokesperson Whisper Bondayi said: "We can not stand
aside while people run out of accommodation when houses are being turned
He confirmed that Operation Restore Order, which
has made tens of thousands of people homeless in Harare's poorest suburbs,
will now move to the better-off northern suburbs of the
President Robert Mugabe's government says the operation,
which has seen the demolition of shacks and market stalls, is an attempt to
restore "order" to
President Tsvangirai's message to the people of Zimbabwe on
hardships arising from a deepening fuel crisis.
For the past year the
country has suffered from continuous shortages of liquid fuels. This
situation is now completely out of control and threatens to paralyze the
whole country. Workers are unable to get to and from work; transporters are
unable to move goods inside the country or exporters to transport their
exports to customers in the region.
Despite assurances from the Reserve
Bank and the Minister responsible for Energy, no relief is in sight and no
solutions are apparently available to the State. It is now quite clear those
recent purchases of arms and aircraft from various foreign suppliers has in
fact drained the coffers of the Reserve Bank so that no foreign exchange is
available to essential supplies such as fuel. It is also clear that over
optimistic forecasts of likely foreign exchange inflows in 2005 have
exacerbated the situation.
Five years ago Zimbabwe was using five million
litres of liquid fuels a day - 70 percent of it diesel. Even if we assume
that present consumption has declined to three million litres a day, at
present fuel prices in global markets the cost at source will be close to
US$1 million a day. The landed cost of such fuel would be of the order of
Z$13 000 per litre before distribution costs.
Together with the
likely cost of food imports this year - now expected to exceed US$800
million, this puts Zimbabwe's total import requirements for food and fuel at
well over US$1,1 billion. This is what we are expected to earn in the whole
of 2005 from ordinary exports, leaving nothing for all other essential
It is clear that even if the additional sources from food aid
and remittances from abroad are included in the estimate of foreign exchange
resources that Zimbabwe has now reached the point where it can no longer
provide adequate resources for all essential imports - a position made very
much worse by the importation of over US$600 million in arms and
The only way out of this situation is political. The Zanu PF
led regime must acknowledge its failure and start the process that will
allow Zimbabwe to eventually take its place in the community of nations and
put the economy on the road to recovery.
The Movement for Democratic
Change stands ready to help in such an initiative. We believe we have the
key to a lasting solution through principled engagement that focuses on our
national interest. We can work together on a range of options to enable
Zimbabweans to have a new beginning that assures the nation of adequate
food, jobs and prosperity.
The so-called clean up campaign is a
diversionary ruse to steer the people's attention away from the grim reality
on the ground. The country is now on its knees and cannot withstand any
We are on record for counselling against the continued
perpetuation of the Zimbabwe crisis through flawed electoral processes and
self-deceit. The crisis requires sensitive political management, a patriotic
analysis and insightful leadership beyond political parties and
We have been thrust into a mess that requires all
stakeholders in this country to tackle, without bias, vengeance and
political emotions. We must think deeper at the implications of our actions.
I still maintain the same old message: I am still holding out that olive
An opportunity for a rapid turnaround of our fortunes is still
possible. Zimbabwe requires a soft landing. May I call, once again, for a
search for a political solution before it is too late? There is no other way
out of the crisis.
The harsh reality around us can never disappear
unless we all put our heads together. Thousands have been displaced
internally and are without food and support. Nearly everybody, except the
ruling elite, is exposed to fuel and power shortages and is being forced to
live with hungry children and food shortages, a runaway HIV/Aids pandemic,
collapsing infrastructure, unmanageable unemployment and a dying
To the people of Zimbabwe, I am aware of what you have had to
endure to reach this stage. I recognize the significant strides you are
making every day, in spite of the personal challenges you deal with. Let us
continue to organize, debate the future and resist the tyranny. We are
putting final touches to a programme that seeks to end this clutter once and
for all. I shall be with you all the way.
A new beginning, a new
Zimbabwe is the only possible source of comfort, food and
Zimbabwe dry, fuel expected in two weeks Tue 21 June
HARARE - Virtually every garage in Harare was by end of day
yesterday without fuel or selling its last stocks of diesel or petrol as an
acute fuel crisis gripping Zimbabwe for the last five years reached
Even filling stations owned by the state's Central
Mechanical Department (CMED) that supply Cabinet ministers and government
departments with fuel were without the commodity yesterday.
senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official, who cannot be named, told
ZimOnline yesterday that the crisis-sapped nation will get bulk supplies of
fuel only after two weeks because of "foreign currency
"Because of foreign currency shortages facing the
country, we are expecting to receive bulk fuel at the earliest in about two
weeks time," said the RBZ official.
The central bank is tasked
with raising scarce hard cash to pay foreign suppliers of fuel, food,
electricity and other basic survival commodities in critical short supply
since a foreign currency crisis that began when the International Monetary
Fund withdrew assistance to President Robert Mugabe and his government six
Both the chairman of the Petroleum
Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, Gordon Musariri, and Ministry of Energy
permanent secretary Justin Mupamhanga refused to comment on the fuel crisis
or to say when the next supplies were expected in the country.
"I am not in a position to comment on the availability of fuel in the
country. I do not want to say anything about that talk (issue)," said
Musariri, whose association brings together private oil importing
Mupamhanga said: "I cannot say anything on that (fuel
shortage or availability), we made an announcement on Friday, and so I will
not say anything further than that."
He was referring to last
week's announcement by Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya that the government
would soon introduce new legislation to regulate the petroleum industry. The
statement did not say what the government was doing to end the worsening
The government often blames private oil companies of
worsening the fuel crisis by offloading fuel onto the black market. The
companies deny the charges.
In a snap survey in the capital,
ZimOnline reporters saw thousands of commuters stranded at transport
terminals as an ongoing police campaign to seize all unroadworthy vehicles
worsened the transport situation in the country. By 6 pm, some workers,
hopeless about ever getting transport, had begun trekking back to the
low-income suburbs in the west of the capital and to the dormitory town of
Chitungwiza about 23 km south-east of Harare.
The situation was
worse in Bulawayo and smaller cities such as Gweru, Kwekwe, Mutare and
Chinhoyi where workers and school children started walking to work or school
since last Monday.
"I will get home at around 11 pm," a grim-faced
Joseph Maromo said, as he exited Harare city centre along Julius Nyerere Way
that leads into the highway to Chitungwiza.
He added: "I will
immediately retire to bed after supper and hopefully I can get up to three
or four hours of rest before waking up to start the walk back to work -
unless if something changes tonight and there is fuel by tomorrow
As Maromo and other commuters, who use the public
transport system, began the long walk home some, motorists in Harare
prepared to spend the night in the queue waiting for fuel at the few garages
where deliveries were expected.
At Royal Fuel in Letombo Park
suburb in the east of the capital, the queue was by 8 in the evening, about
six kilometers long. And more desperate drivers were still coming to join up
An accountant with a supermarket chain in the capital,
Robson Gararimo, said he had asked his manager to excuse him if does not
report to work on time or never at all tomorrow because he was going to
sleep in the queue and remain there until he gets the precious
"There is no choice," Gararimo said, adding, "my tank is
empty, the little fuel I have is enough to move only to the fuel pumps - not
to hop around from garage to garage or to drive back to work or
At the CMED garage along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, just across
Mugabe's offices, there was a long winding queue late last night of
government vehicles waiting to fill up.
The fuel crisis vividly
illustrates Zimbabwe's severe economic and political crisis analysts blame
on Mugabe's mismanagement of what was once one of Africa's most vibrant
economies and the ageing President's repressive policies that have estranged
Harare from the international community.
Inflation, which hit a
record 622.8 percent in January 2004, is now pegged at 144.4 percent and
remains one of the highest such rates in the world. An estimated four
million Zimbabweans face starvation this year unless international donors
chip in with food aid.
Erratic rains contributed to poor harvests
but agriculture experts say Mugabe's chaotic and violent seizure of
productive white farms and parcelling them out to landless blacks is largely
to blame for the about 60 percent drop in food output.
denies mismanaging Zimbabwe's economy and blames the economic crisis on
sabotage by Western governments opposed to his land reforms. He insists his
government shall go it alone and revive the economy without outside help.
But he does not say exactly how he will achieve this. - ZimOnline
Zimbabwe turns against farm settlers Tue 21 June 2005
HARARE - Zimbabwe intelligence minister Didymus Mutasa last night told
ZimOnline the government was compiling lists of former white farms from
where "illegal settlers" will be evicted as the government widens its
controversial clean-up campaign beyond urban areas. Mutasa, who is
in charge of land reform, said the police had already evicted 50 families
from Lowdale farm in Mazowe district adding that more black families
regardless of political affiliation will be thrown out of farms in the
coming days if they did not have documentation to prove they were settled
there by the government.
"Yes, farms are our next target.
Responsible government departments are drawing up lists of people to be
removed and the farms that we will target. We are not looking at party
affiliation. Even if they voted for ZANU PF (ruling party), they will still
be removed if they don't have the necessary documentation supporting their
stay," Mutasa said.
All the black families on former white farms
were either settled there or openly encouraged by the government to occupy
the farms. They will no doubt see the planned removals as the ultimate
betrayal by the government that even provided them with free transport to
white farms at the height of land seizures five years ago.
Mutasa spoke, armed police pressed on with the clean-up campaign condemned
by the United Nations, United States, European Union, Zimbabwean church and
human rights groups as a gross violation of poor people's rights.
In Harare, Mutare and Gweru cities, armed police raided business offices
quizzing occupants about the nature of their operations and whether they
were licensed to operate from the various premises.
small businesses in Harare's posh northern suburbs were ordered to shut down
because they were operating in residential areas and police spokesman
Whisper Bondayi told the Press that more such businesses would be forcibly
closed down in the week.
"We cannot stand aside and look while
people run out of accommodation when houses are being turned into offices,"
In Zimbabwe's third most populous city of
Chitungwiza, residents watched in horror as police used bulldozers to pull
down toilets built outside houses because they believed they were illegal
They only stopped after city council officials informed
them that toilets at houses in some sections of the sprawling city were
built as detachments outside the houses.
But for many
residents, the police realised their mistake too late as raw sewage from
pipes burst by bulldozers flowed into houses posing a serious health hazard
for the families.
There were also unconfirmed reports in
Chitungwiza last night that a child left by its mother sleeping in one of
the illegal makeshift homes in Chitungwiza's St Mary's suburb was crushed to
death when a bulldozer pulled down the shack.
At the weekend,
police also extended the highly unpopular clean-up campaign to rural areas
demolishing "illegal structures" at rural business centres in Headlands, 135
km east of Harare and Chivhu, 100 km south of the capital.
than 22 000 people have been arrested mostly for selling goods without
licence while close to a million people have been left homeless in a
campaign the government says is meant to restore law and order to restore
the beauty of cities and towns. - ZimOnline
Former minister's trial chews Z$100.8 million Tue 21 June
2005 HARARE - The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government has so far blown about
Z$100.8 million in foreign currency during the trial of former finance
minister Chris Kuruneri who is facing charges of externalising huge amounts
of foreign currency outside the country. The government blew a
whopping R19 800 (about Z$27 057 049) after it paid R1 800 to each of the 11
witnesses who testified against the former minister.
the R1 800 paid as a flat rate for loss of income to each of the 11 when
they were in Harare, the state also footed the costs of flying the witnesses
from South Africa to Zimbabwe and paid for their hotel bills while in the
In Harare, the witnesses were accommodated at the
five-star Holiday Inn hotel at a cost of R642 per night. All in all, the
government used about R73 836 (about Z$100 898 195) to cater for the
Zimbabwe is going through a severe five-year economic
crisis blamed on President Robert Mugabe's policies which has seen the
country fail to import essentials such as electricity, fuel, medical drugs
and food-stuffs due to lack of foreign currency.
government was pumping in critical foreign currency to prop up the trial,
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono all but exonerated Kuruneri when he told
the court that the former finance minister had helped avert a "crisis which
could have plunged the country into chaos".
Kuruneri was arrested
last year in April on allegations of siphoning huge amounts of foreign
currency outside the country where he allegedly bought luxury properties. He
is denying the charge.
The former minister has already been
convicted on a lesser charge of violating Zimbabwe's citizenship law after
he was found in possession of a Canadian passport in contravention of the
country's laws which outlaw dual citizenship. - ZimOnline
MDC calls on New Zealand to boycott cricket tour Tue 21
June 2005 HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party has urged New Zealand's cricket team to boycott a tour of
Zimbabwe scheduled for August on moral grounds. MDC
secretary-general Welshman Ncube at the weekend urged the Black Caps to stay
away from Zimbabwe to protest President Robert Mugabe's "clean-up" crackdown
that has left over a million people in urban areas homeless.
New Zealand are scheduled to play two Tests before getting involved in a
triangular one-day international series, also involving India, when they
visit Zimbabwe in August.
Ncube, who described the clean-up
campaign as a catastrophe, said sportsmen should not simply ignore what was
happening in the country.
"The only way to show that they (New
Zealand) do not support the chaos and the wickedness that is going on in
Zimbabwe is for them to stay away," Ncube said.
secretary general hopes a snub of the tour by New Zealand might put pressure
on Mugabe, whose blotted human rights record has reduced Zimbabwe into a
"It is a moral choice. The grave suffering is
managed by a group of individuals who are running a criminal state to enrich
themselves and to continue to oppress others," he said.
should make that moral choice that they will not do anything which might be
remotely conceived as supporting the regime."
Mugabe is the patron
of Zimbabwe Cricket and his State House is a stone's throw away from the
country's main cricket venue, the Harare Sports Club.
Ncube said the MDC will not specifically lobby New Zealand because it
believes the cricketers can easily find out just how harsh Zimbabwe's regime
is. "Everything they need to know is on television," he said.
The MDC accuses Mugabe of unleashing the crackdown in urban areas to punish
its supporters for rejecting the ruling ZANU PF party in last March's
parliamentary election. Mugabe denies the charge and insists the "clean-up"
is necessary to restore the beauty and cleanliness of cities and
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and other politicians
have urged the country's cricketers to snub the Zimbabwe tour over Mugabe's
human rights record.
New Zealand however risk heavy punishment
from the International Cricket Council if they boycott the tour. -
Crackdown women protesters granted bail Tue 21 June
2005 BULAWAYO - Thirty members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
protest group who were arrested at the weekend for protesting against the
crackdown against shack dwellers and informal traders were released on bail
yesterday. A member of the group told magistrate Kholwani Mangena that
she was tortured by the police after she refused to divulge the source of
the organisation's funding. The court promised to probe the
The women were arrested last Saturday for demonstrating
against a government crackdown in urban areas which has seen over 22 000
arrested and a million left homeless after their illegal shacks were razed
to the ground in a campaign the government says is necessary to restore the
beauty of towns and cities.
But Zimbabwe's main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party insists that the government is carrying
out the clean up campaign to punish its supporters in urban areas for
rejecting the ruling ZANU PF party in last March's election.
Under the government's harsh Public Order and Security Act (POSA), it is an
offence to demonstrate without first seeking clearance from the police. -
crisis resulting from fuel shortages, worsened in Harare over the weekend
with some residents resorting to walking long distances to and from
Surveys conducted by The Herald yesterday showed that most filling
stations did not have supplies of both petrol and diesel with some filling
station owners saying they last received supplies at the beginning of last
Long winding queues could be seen at several filling stations even
though there were no supplies.
The Ministry of Energy and Power
Development said last week it had come up with short and long-term measures
aimed at ensuring adequate supply of fuel and electricity in the
Energy and Power Development Minister Retired Lieutenant-General
Michael Nyambuya told journalists last Friday that in the short term the
ministry would present to Parliament the Petroleum Bill, which sought to
regulate the activities of the oil industry.
In addition, he said
stringent measures would be enforced on companies involved with the oil
"This will entail companies being required to pay for annual
renewal licences, which renewals will be largely dependent on performance,
which will incorporate non-corrupt practices.
"Law enforcement agents
have also been asked to redouble their efforts to stop those purchasing fuel
in this country for re-sale in neighbouring countries," said Rtd Lt-Gen
Commuter omnibus operators withdrew from their routes at the
weekend as they joined queues at the few service stations that had the
"We have gone for almost two weeks without fuel and the
situation is just bad at the moment.
"We are wondering how the
children would go to school this coming week," said a Harare motorist, Ms
On routes like City-Chitungwiza pick-up trucks had
become one of the most consistent mode of transport for desperate
Taking advantage of the fuel crisis the few commuter omnibus
operators with fuel plying routes like City-Budiriro, City-Epworth and
City-Glen Norah were splitting the routes.
To get to Budiriro, a
commuter had to fork out at least $20 000, $5 000 from town to Rothmans,
another $5 000 from Rothmans to Machipisa and then another $5 000 from there
Ms Zvidzai Muzivi, who spoke to The Herald, expressed
disappointment at the behaviour of commuter omnibus operators who were
dividing a single trip into three and neglecting their original
"It is better for the Government to withdraw these operators'
permits as they are not serving their purpose. Where are they getting the
fuel for this pick and drop jumble? They are criminals," she said.
A CONSORTIUM of
Chinese businesspeople is set to construct a multi-billion-dollar
high-carbon ferrochrome smelting plant in Selous, about 80km west of
The project, which has already received the blessings of the
Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), is expected to be complete by
2008, according to sources.
The smelter will be opened in phases and
is expected to create more that 500 jobs while generating the much-needed
EPZA chief executive Mr Walter Chidakwa confirmed the
project, but declined to give details citing confidentiality.
it was outside his power to disclose the company's operational plans saying
he would only comment when given permission to do so.
"We can only give
figures to the Press on the number of projects which we would have approved
but it is outside our jurisdiction to disclose information on the profiles
of companies," said Mr Chidakwa in an interview with Herald Business last
However, sources confirmed the company had already been granted a
licence and was registered with the Registrar of Companies.
important of all, the company had secured substantial chrome ore reserves in
Mutorashanga and Shurugwi.
"Construction of basic infrastructure such as
electricity and road networks are already underway and the company is likely
to become one of the biggest ferrochrome processors in the country," said Mr
"It is expected to create more than 500 jobs for the people of
Chegutu, Selous and Norton," he said.
As an incentive, the company
would be granted a five-year tax holiday. It would also be allowed to bring
in outside technical expertise for the construction of the
The company is expected to enjoy the fruits of a resurgent
growth in the world stainless steel sector, which is expected to create a
ferrochrome supply imbalance.
In 2003, the industry registered a 10
percent growth, thanks mainly to the strong recovery in the global
ferrochrome prices from the slump of the 1990s, and the surge is likely to
be sustained for the next four years.
Charge chrome, the most popular
grade, was fetching between US$0,68 and US$0,69 a pound on European markets
and between US$0,72 and US$0,73 a pound in the United
Zimbabwe's mining sector has remained lucrative, acting as a
magnet for multinational mining conglomerates into an industry were vast
resources of platinum and diamond have been discovered.
the largest undeveloped near surface platinum reserves in the world of
around 165 million ounces along the Great Dyke region-while Murowa Diamond
in the Midlands has a 14,5 million carat reserve which is equal to South
Africa's annual production.
No wonder foreign mining firms are falling
over each other to invest in Zimbabwe's mining industry, which has huge
potential for growth and capacity to generate billions in foreign
Mining experts have also classified Zimbabwe among the top six
African countries where mining investments are considered safe and
MDC plans resistance against govt's clean-up drive
Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) says they are planning to resist government's "Operation Restore
Order". The country's authorities have launched a fresh clean-up campaign
aimed at restoring order in Harare.
Last month the Zanu(PF)-led
government started demolishing shacks and informal market stalls in an
attempt to restore order in the capital.
The MDC believes the campaign is
aimed at purging Harare of poor people and trying to make them disappear.
Speaking in Johannesburg today, Paul Thembi Nyati, the MDC secretary of
information, said hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless as
a result of the campaign and the Southern African Developing Community
(SADC) and the continent can no longer pay lip service.
broader alliance Nyati says the party is in talks with a broader alliance to
resist what it calls a "tyranny." He says while they would appreciate any
form of assistance and mediation from the international community, the MDC
would not be interested in South Africa playing any kind of mediation role
since the country is biased towards the Zanu(PF) government.
Matambanadzo, a programme manager of the Open Society Initiative for
Southern Africa, meanwhile alleges that youth militias have been incoporated
in Zimbabwe's police to carry out what she calls "acts of brutality.
years after the struggle against white minority rule, Zimbabweans are
experiencing fresh trauma at the hands of the present government, said Paul
Nyathi, spokesperson for the country's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), on Monday.
Nyathi was addressing
a meeting of the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum in Johannesburg, organised by the
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
"Wherever we go, people ask what is wrong with the people of Zimbabwe? Why
do they take such tyranny? Why are they so docile?" said
"Then I have to go back to our history where
Zimbabwean people invested 100 years in the struggle. Twenty-five [years]
later, there's trauma in the minds of the people of Zimbabwe. They still
can't understand how a government they voted into power could behave in such
Nyathi was referring to the Zimbabwean
government's demolition of informal settlements.
"clean-up" operations were launched last month in both rural and urban
A 12-minute documentary shown at the meeting depicted
homes in Bulawayo, Hatcliff Extension and other settlements being demolished
and families being left to seek shelter under trees and in dense
"Initially police did destroy people's houses but now
they tell them to do it for themselves," said Bella Matambanadzo, a
Zimbabwean political activist.
She said the police, some
of them suspected to be youths from militia groups, had instilled so much
fear that residents often opted to destroy their homes
The video compiled by the Solidarity Peace Trust
also featured a young mother guarding her meagre belongings in the bushes
nursing her three-week old infant.
Small businesses such
as cellphone and tuck shops have been destroyed, depriving residents of
access to food and other services.
"It's bad. It [the
removals] has affected my mind, everything. I'm like a non-starter now,"
commented one man in the footage taken in Bulawayo.
estimated one-million people have been left homeless since the launch of the
clean-up operations, which include Operation Marumbatsivila which literally
means "to refuse the things that are dirty," Matambanadzo
She said women have born the brunt of the
The MDC was also heavily criticised by delegates
for their absence during confrontations between residents and the police,
and for their lack of a comprehensive strategy in dealing with the
Nyathi responded to the accusations --
saying the MDC was working with the broader opposition alliance. However,
going into details posed security risks.
He urged South
Africans to put pressure on their government to take a firmer stance on
Zimbabwe, saying it was the region's common humanity that was being
Zimbabwean police have told citizens living in informal
settlements to demolish their own homes, a conference in Johannesburg has
"Initially police did destroy people's houses but now they
tell them to do it for themselves. The fuel crisis in Zimbabwe is also
forcing people to carry furniture on their backs," said Bella Matambanadzo,
a Zimbabwean political activist.
She was speaking at a meeting of
Zimbabwean and South African political activists and academics arranged by
the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Braamfontein,
Johannesburg, to discuss the Zimbabwean crisis.
Matambanadzo said the
launch of the government-sponsored operations has exposed communities to a
new type of police force. "We suspect that the youth from former militia
groups have been absorbed into the police force and this is why they can do
what they do," she told delegates, referring to a 12-minute video shown
during the meeting.
It shows Zimbabweans destroying their houses and
saving what they can before fleeing into the bush for shelter. An estimated
one million Zimbabweans had been left homeless since the Zimbabwean
government launched its three operations, among them Operation
Marumbatsivila which literally means "to refuse the things that are dirty,"
Among those most affected have been women and children
who have been left with no shelter, no food or any source of
Zim to get tractors from Iran 20/06/2005 20:26 -
Harare - The Zimbabwe government is to start receiving 400
tractors a month from Iran following a deal signed between the two
countries, state radio reported on Monday.
The radio said the
tractors would be assembled in Harare in order to provide work for
"We are going to be having about 400 tractors-plus
(arriving) every month starting from September," the Ambassador to Iran,
Stephen Chiketa said.
He said the machines would be assembled at a
factory in Harare "to make sure we also give jobs to people at
Zimbabwe launched a controversial land reform programme five years
ago that has seen the forced takeover of thousands of the country's
white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to new black
The programme has been undermined by lack of capital and
equipment, including tractors.
Last month the Zimbabwe government,
shunned by many Western countries, announced it would soon receive hundreds
of tractors from Belarus.
A CATASTROPHE is unfolding in Zimbabwe. And a
single person is responsible for causing it: Zimbabwean President Robert
At one time, Mugabe was hailed as a hero who liberated his
country from white-minority rule. But he has turned into a vicious dictator
who is ruling by fear and manipulating his country's electoral system in
order to hold on to power.
In recent weeks, Mugabe has come up with
an insane plan to squash any opposition to his authoritarian rule. He's
launched Operation Murambatsvina --
which means Drive Out the Trash
-- to destroy homes and businesses of the country's urban poor. Officially,
Mugabe says he is simply trying to put an end to criminal enterprises and
trading in black-market currency in shack settlements. As of last week,
Zimbabwean police said they had razed 20,000 shacks and arrested 32,435
Those numbers drastically understate the extent of the tragedy.
Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights says up to a million people have been
displaced, many dumped in rural areas without shelter or food.
African President Thabo Mbeki shares some of the culpability for the
disaster in Zimbabwe, which is situated on South Africa's northern border.
Since Mbeki succeeded Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa six years
ago, Mbeki has refused to confront Mugabe directly and put pressure on
Zimbabwe to embrace a fully democratic course.
Mbeki will attend the
G8 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, next month. Others in attendance should
put aside political niceties and tell Mbeki without equivocation that he
needs to take much more direct action to help resolve this out-of-control
political and humanitarian crisis.
THE MDC has once again dragged
President Robert Mugabe to the High Court seeking an order to declare that
the March 31 2005 parliamentary elections failed to adhere to the Sadc
Principles and Guidelines governing democratic elections.
Zanu PF won
78 against the MDC's 41 seats, with one constituency being snatched by an
independent; the axed junior information minister Jonathan Moyo, who has
since launched vitriolic attacks on his former paymaster for reportedly
attempting to stand in his way to claim the Tsholotsho
constituency. President Mugabe is cited as the first respondent in High
Court case number HC 1291/05, while the others are the Delimitation
Commission, the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. The
party is also asking the court to find that provisions of the Public Order
and Security Act (Posa), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (Aippa) and the Broadcasting Services Act were in breach of the regional
election guidelines. Posa replaced the Law and Order Maintenance Act used
during the colonial era to suppress the black majority, while Aippa was
passed in 2002 to govern the operations of journalists in Zimbabwe at a time
the government perceived journalists as reporting
irresponsibly. Zimbabwe's main opposition political party further claims that
some provisions of the Electoral and the Zec Acts are in violation of Sadc
principles. It is also seeking an order from the High Court to reverse
boundaries drawn by the Delimitation Commission before the elections, which
saw among other constituencies, Mbare West and East, amalgamated. The MDC is
also seeking an order to declare that the elections body did not perform its
duties as prescribed by the Act governing it during the election
period. In his founding affidavit, MDC leader and former trade unionist
Morgan Tsvangirai, echoed earlier statements he made in 2000 and 2002 that
the electoral playing field tilted heavily in favour of the status
quo. Turn to Page 1
"I respectfully submit that the legislation which
has been passed by government and the violent manner in which the opposition
is treated by the security forces and Zanu PF means that the position in
Zimbabwe is a long way from adhering to the above principles," said
Tsvangirai. The MDC president said the 2005 Delimitation Commission led by
Justice George Chiweshe, now chairperson of ZEC, had no basis to set
constituency boundaries in the manner it did. The delimitation saw
Harare, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South provinces losing a constituency
each, while Mashonaland West andEast and Manicaland gained one
each. Tsvangirai said: "The Delimitation Commission has seen it fit to reduce
the number of seats in Harare. It had no proper reason to do that. I attach
a table from the national census conducted in August 2002. This shows that
Harare in particular has expanded by a population growth of more than three
times than of any other province. In the period 1992 to 2002, Harare's
population grew by some 424 670 compared to Manicaland's growth of just 29
213." On access to the State media, Tsvangirai said his party did not
have adequate access due to "high advertising costs". He argued in court
papers that Zanu PF had more access than his party because of its " massive
financial resources". However, in opposing papers, Chiweshe said ZEC should
not have been cited at all and that the application should be
dismissed. Chiweshe added that some of the things the MDC was questioning in
connection with the work of the elections body were not subject to the
direction or control of anyone, including the courts. The High Court
judge accused the MDC of making bald and unsubstantiated statements. He
added that some of the allegations raised illustrated the MDC's "folly". The
other respondents have not yet filed opposing papers, but Chinamasa is on
record saying the Sadc guidelines were not legally binding. In opposing
papers in a Supreme Court case in which Zimbabweans in the Diaspora were
seeking the highest court on the land to order the government to allow
postal voting, the justice minister said: "They are not a protocol. They
are not enforceable or amenable to enforcement. "The Sadc Guidelines and
Principles are a political document pegging out for the region, a roadmap
which we must all follow towards a perfect democratic future." Southern
African leaders, during a summit held in Mauritius in August last year,
adopted the Sadc guidelines. The guidelines are in line with the
organisation's treaty, which commits member states to "promote common
political values, systems and other shared values which are transmitted
through institutions which are democratic, legitimate and
effective". Some of the principles require impartiality of electoral
institutions, full participation of citizens in the political process,
political tolerance, freedom of association and equal opportunity for all
political parties to access the State media. MDC lawyer Bryant Elliot of
Coghlan, Welsh and Guest yesterday said a date was yet to be set for the
hearing. Asked why the matter was not taken to the Electoral Court, Elliot
replied that it only heard petitions and not the nature of the application
in question. Ends//
AS the country continues to suffer
from the effects of a critical fuel shortage, thousands of commuters were
yesterday stranded in the morning and evening, waiting for long hours for
transport to and from work. Commuters resorted to using lorries and private
cars for transportation, while omnibus drivers were forced to spend most of
their time in fuel queues. The transport blues resulted in steep rises in
fares, with commuters from Mabvuku and Ruwa paying $10 000 for a trip
instead of the gazetted $2 000. Commuters from Warren Park were paying $5 000
instead of $2 000. "We are paying fares of anything between $10 000 and $20
000 to travel from Mabvuku into the city centre and back again. On a day,
one now needs $40 000 to remain on the safe side," one commuter said. The
tight surveillance of the private commuter omnibuses by traffic police in
some areas of Harare yesterday also worsened the transport situation, amid
unconfirmed reports that the on-going clean-up would also phase out the
16-seater kombis. However, the omnibus drivers yesterday dismissed the
reports as mere speculation. "We have heard those reports but we do not
believe it is true because commuter omnibuses are still being registered by
the traffic authorities. "The route permit licences that are being registered
have a duration of six months which makes us sure that there is no phase
out," said a commuter driver. Another commuter omnibus driver at the
central bus terminus in Harare - one of the few terminuses where the
revitalised Zupco is yet to completely take over - said they had heard the
rumour but had not yet received any official communication from the relevant
authorities. Statistics provided by the central bank indicate that fuel
companies consume US$8 million weekly, which translates into nearly a third
of the US$22 million that is available for bidding on the auction floors
weekly. On a monthly basis, fuel companies require at least US$32 million to
import an estimated 70 million litres to meet Zimbabwe's fuel
requirements. In the first quarter of this year, the central bank disbursed a
total of US$111 million at an average of about US$28 million per month for
fuel procurement. The central bank said US$50.4 million or 45.3 percent
of the first quarter disbursement was allocated to private oil companies
through a special purpose vehicle charged with the responsibility of
importing fuel while Noczim was directly allocated US$55.1 million or 49.6
percent. The central bank, through the auction system, is responsible for
allocating foreign currency to fuel companies and government fuel procurer
that National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim). The country's continued
fuel shortages have had a negative impact on the transport situation in the
country, with the result that most commuter omnibus drivers have began
charging discretionary fares, with areas such as Budiriro and Mabvuku being
the hardest hit.
THE Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (Zesn) has called for the decentralisation of accreditation of
election observers to provinces and subsequently constituencies to enable
observers to plan and prepare adequately. The call comes hot on the heels
of failure by the civic organisation to send 50 observers they had initially
planned to dispatch to observe a by-election in Mudzi East owing to a
belated invitation from the responsible authorities. Through a statement
describing as free and fair the just-ended Mudzi East by-election won by
Zanu PF's Christopher Musa against MDC's Bvunzayi Gozi, the civic grouping
said: "The Zesn deployed 11 observers to observe the election. Zesn had
submitted 50 names to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs. However, by the time the Minister sent his invitation it was no
longer possible to contact all the observers to come to Harare for
accreditation. As a result Zesn had three mobile teams that managed to cover
almost 70 percent of the polling stations," the statement read in
part. "Zesn proposes that the accreditation of observers be decentralised to
constituency or provincial levels. We further propose that the invitation to
observe elections be done on time to enable local observers to plan and
prepare adequately." Zesn also reiterated its call for one independent
electoral body that runs and manages elections unlike the current situation
where there are at least four bodies that deal with electoral
matters. These are the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC), Registrar General's Office and the
Delimitation Commission. On the Mudzi -by election, the coalition of
civic bodies said it was conducted in a peaceful environment. "Zesn
commends the peaceful and tranquil environment that prevailed during the
conduct of the by-election. Zesn did not witness incidents of violence or
overt intimidation on the polling day itself. Campaign posters of both
candidates were pasted next to each other throughout this vast rural
constituency." "The setting up of 90 polling stations which, included 56
tents by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) also helped to reduce
congestion at all polling stations. Zesn observed that voters did not have
to travel unusually long distances to exercise their right to vote," Zesn
added. The by-election was necessitated by the appointment of Ray Kaukonde to
the post of governor for Mashonaland East. Kaukonde, also the province's
chairperson, won the seat in the March 31 election. The appointment
automatically made him an MP and had to relinquish the Mudzi East seat and
pave way for a by-election. Zesn, a grouping of various Non-Governmental
Organisations (NGOs) that deals with election issues, promotion of democracy
and free and fair elections, also commend election officials who handled the
polls. Musa polled 15 811 votes while Gozi received 2 382. There were 450
hearing of the first MDC electoral petition in which Renson Gasela is
challenging the victory of Zanu PF's Gweru Rural legislator Josphat Madubeko
is expected to kick-off today at the Bulawayo Electoral Court Gasela's
lawyer, Nicholas Mathonsi said he had spoken to the opposition party about
the need to go ahead with the petition despite a pending constitutional
application in which the MDC is querying the manner in which Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku appointed the five Electoral Court judges. "I told David
Coltart that it was necessary to continue with this petition as the courts
have to hear the matters within six months. This was brought about by the
confusion surrounding the suspension of the petitions," said
Mathonsi. Coltart is the MDC's secretary for legal affairs. But whether
the petition will go ahead before the Supreme Court's decision on the MDC's
appeal remains to be seen. In the petition, Gasela said Madubeko was not
eligible to contest the March parliamentary elections, because as a headman
he was in violation of the country's laws, which do not permit traditional
leaders to contest in general elections while they are still in
office. Gasela, a former GMB general manager and the MDC's shadow minister
for agriculture, also said voting in the rural constituency was fraught with
irregularities and added that the general environment was not conducive
for a free and fair poll. However, in response to the allegations Madubeko
hit out at Gasela saying the former MP was desperate to go back into
Parliament as evidenced by another court case before the elections that
sought to bar him from contesting. The ruling party's legislator said it
was not true that when the nomination court sat he had not relinquished his
post as Headman Sadza. He said the poll was free and fair and attributed
Gasela's defeat to his alleged unpopularity with the electorate. Coltart
could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Seizure of ZCTU documents lawful: Attorney
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date
THE seizure of documents belonging to the Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Union (ZCTU) last month was lawful, the Attorney General's office
has said. Responding to ZCTU lawsuit in the High Court, the AG's office said
Section 49 of the Criminal and Procedures Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07)
empowered the police to conduct the search and the seizure of documents at
the labour body's offices. This surfaced after the ZCTU dragged to court
the Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, police commissioner Augustine
Chihuri and the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigations Department
(CID) (case number HC2401) seeking an order to declare the search warrant
used in the raid, null and void. "The origin of seizure warrants is
embedded in Section 49 of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act.whence
the State "may in accordance with this part seize any article-which is
concerned in or is on reasonable grounds believed to be concerned in, the
commission or suspected commission of an offence, whether within Zimbabwe or
elsewhere," law officer Gwatidzo said. He added the State may also seize any
article on reasonable grounds believed may afford evidence of the commission
of an offence or that is intended to be used or is on reasonable grounds
believed to be intended to be used in the commission of an
offence. Gwatidzo branded the application sought by the ZCTU as mischievous
and devoid of merit. "In short the application is mischievous and devoid
of merit if in challenging a warrant, it does not deal with the provisions
of Sections 49 and 50 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act
chapter 9:07," he said. This section deals with basis on which a warrant
can be issued "particularly from information on oath that there reasonable
grounds that there is in the applicant's custody articles fitting the
description in Section 49-that which on reasonable grounds are believed to
be concerned in the commission or suspected commission of an offence
anywhere." In his opposing affidavit Nyasha Sereki, an assistant police
inspector stationed at CID Serious Fraud Squad, concurred with Gwatidzo that
the search warrant was valid "as it clearly spells what we were supposed to
look for and seize." "Files and other documents, which were seized from
applicant's premises, will be returned after the analysis exercise underway
is complete. The Respondent (Police) has no intention whatsoever to hold on
to the files for an indefinite period," Sereki said. The police officer
dismissed allegations by the ZCTU that it was failing to conduct its
day-to-day business due to the absence of cheques that were seized by the
State as misleading because the cheques were returned to the
applicant. "If the applicant's lawyer had fears that information on
diskettes might be manipulated she should have availed herself to view them
on the day they were taken by the police. "Instead she refused and
indicated that she would approach the courts for recourse. Therefore her
worries that the information on the diskettes might be manipulated lacks
merit and should be dismissed," Sereki added. High Court Judge Chinembiri
Bhunu this week reserved his judgment on the matter.
Corruption hampering efficient advancement of the
country : Final Part
The Daily Mirror Reporter issue date
Lack of proper corporate governance , misrepresentation of
co- existence and project funds, money laundering, abuse of foreign currency
guidelines and illegal repatriation of or externalisation of foreign
currency, abuse of religious office by church ministers, sexual harassment,
hoarding of basic commodities, abuse of borrowed funds, bribery, smuggling
of illegal items, use of company assets for private gain, poor service
delivery, embezzlement of funds and extortion are some of the things that
were cited as thwarting the government's and President Mugabe's efforts for
a "clean society" served by "clean institutions." Among some resolutions
agreed, the nation's law enforcement agents were held responsible and said
the non-selective application of the law on corruption offenders was not as
tight as it is assumed to be. Others say the police should deal
ruthlessly and impose stiffer penalties to those caught on the wrong side of
the law. But a visiting Nigerian pastor in Zimbabwe whom I had the
opportunity to interview on how best Africa can end the rapid spread of
corruption said prosecution of the offenders would not even reduce the
fraction of it. " People should be educated to live a guiltless life from
their grassroots levels. Of cause they may punish them, even skill
development for the law enforcement agents will work and last long. Instead
let us first strive to teach our African people to learn and follow the
Bible teachings on pure living and socialisation," he said. Professor
Mararike said accountability in leadership was required if we are to stop
corruption. "In this regard, every citizen is expected by society to account
for his or her actions in all situations and circumstances. For example,
leaders at all levels of society are expected to follow and adhere to the
laid down rules and procedures. They are also expected to uphold certain
personal principles which guide their actions," said Professor
Mararike. He further stated that corruption was rampant because people in
Zimbabwe don't have the sense of property ownership which, he said goes
together with accountability and responsibility. " In connection to the
Shona custom that governs property ownership, property or items usually
belonged to someone-an individual, a family, a clan, a tribe, a community,
ancestral spirits, or the gods. Every member in the home belonged to
someone. This sense of property ownership usually helps to enhance personal
accountability and responsibility." The indigenous African people didn't
consider the government property as their responsibility to care and look
after as much as they would care for their own property. Indeed, the failure
of both the Zimbabwean leadership and the average citizen to successfully
deal with the problems of human factor decay and underdevelopment will
continue to deny the country both the ability and the opportunity to develop
Zimbabwe and its people. Unfortunately, however if Zimbabwe continues to
fail to develop the human factor (that is the moulding of the real human
being with integrity and uprightness) then it will not make it in this tough
21st Century era. In the final analysis, the corrupt behaviour of both
leadership and citizens will lead to continuing social, economic and
political problems. It is now time for every Zimbabwean and African to learn
and practice both accountability and responsibility. By so doing, people
will learn to discharge their duties with significant honesty and
integrity. To illustrate the authentic picture of corruption that once
dominated the nation, let me refer to the statistics and the thorough
research that was done by Professor Mararike between 1988-1989. It was the
scandal of the 1988-1989 distribution of motor vehicles, which later
prompted President Mugabe to appoint the commission of inquiry on January 3,
1989. From 1980 through the early 1990's the production of motor vehicles in
Zimbabwe was low. It was estimated in 1989 that Zimbabwe needed between 20
000 and 25 000 new motor vehicles per annum. Because of a shortfall that had
grown since the late 1970's, the country had a backlog in the supply of new
motor vehicles estimated at 100 000 and the demand for new motor vehicles at
that time in Zimbabwe exceeded the supply. As a direct consequence of the
supply and demand imbalance, certain undesirable trading practices developed
within the motor vehicle distribution network on a wide scale. One such
practice was conditional selling which allowed car dealers to require
customers to trade -in their own cars at artificially low prices in order to
buy new motor vehicles from the dealers. Another corrupt trading practice
was selling of new motor vehicles by car dealers through second or third
parties at a price far in access of the controlled . A third undesirable
practice was the abandonment of waiting lists for new motor vehicles. This
was done to enable the car dealer to manipulate the selling of motor
vehicles to preferred customers ,usually at prices far in excess of the
controlled prices. Indeed these practices were forms of systematic corruption
.According to evidence submitted to the Sandura Commission a number of
Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament ,senior civil servants and
prominent businesspersons were involved in the undesirable motor vehicle
trading practices. During the investigations and thereafter, a number of
Cabinet Ministers and senior civil servants lost their jobs. One senior
Cabinet Minister was said to have committed suicide. He had been directly
implicated in the illegal procurement of vehicles. Talking of the current
situation, many prominent politicians and bankers were dragged before the
courts allegedly accused of externalisation of foreign
currency. Approximating what Professor Mararike emphasized at the workshop, "
Kuti unzi munhu unhu."