The ZIMBABWE Situation
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'Mugabe downfall within six months'

Zim Standard


BULAWAYO - The outgoing United States ambassador to Zimbabwe has
predicted the fall of President Robert Mugabe before the end of the year
unless he makes "a dramatic policy shift" that addresses the current
unprecedented economic meltdown.

In an interview with The Standard in Bulawayo last week, the US
ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, said Mugabe's government, which
has been ruling for the past 27 years, would collapse within the next six

Dell said Mugabe's government was effecting regime change on itself as
eight successive years of economic recession had left four out of every five
Zimbabweans out of work and many of them struggling to feed their families.

Workers who still hung onto their jobs were devising ways of surviving
such as walking to work because they could not afford transport. They were
returning home at weekends.

He said Zimbabweans had lost faith in the currency, which meant they
no longer had confidence in the government responsible for issuing the
currency. Things, he said, had reached a critical point.

The American diplomat based his prediction of Mugabe's downfall on the
collapsing economy, which has seen inflation topping 4 500%, the highest in
the world.

Dell, however, said independent inflation figures indicate that the
country's inflation rate was at 3 000% in February and 6 000% in March
before doubling in April.

In May, inflation rate reached the 20 000% mark, said Dell, quoting
independent economic analysts.

"Historically, no government in the world has survived a five or a
six-digit inflation. Zimbabwe is already enjoying that figure," Dell said.

By the end of this year, Dell said, inflation would reach 1.5 million
percent forcing the 83-year-old ruler to voluntarily throw in the towel or
wait to be swept away in a revolt by hungry peasants and under-paid workers.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has on several
occasions conceded that inflation was the government's enemy number one.

Dell, who leaves for Kabul after three years as US envoy, said he was
not sure whether Mugabe would be "pushed out" or "resign" after realising
that he cannot cope with the situation.

If Mugabe hoped to survive the current tide, Dell said, he has to make
an urgent "policy shift" and invite back the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and World Bank so that they can inject money into the ailing economy.

Apart from that, he added, the RBZ should stop printing more money, a
move he said was fuelling inflation.

The country has been hit by shortages of water, electricity, fuel,
basic food commodities, and foreign currency as well as a skewed exchange
rate and government price controls.

Dell's remarks about worsening economic fortunes for Zimbabwe were
also reflected in a recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)
survey, which showed that only 5% of the country's industries were
optimistic of an economic recovery.

According to the survey, the manufacturing sector, once hailed as one
of the most vibrant and diversified in southern Africa outside South Africa,
contributes 15.5% to the country's gross domestic product (GDP), compared
with 24% a decade ago.

Dell said the collapse of the economy would work against the ruling
Zanu PF party if there were free and fair elections in the country. The
American diplomat, who distanced his country from allegations of fomenting
regime change in Zimbabwe, was confident that the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) would win next year's polls if there is a level
playing field.

"I believe if (South African President Thabo) Mbeki is serious with
free and fair elections the MDC will win, which is why Zanu PF wants to make
sure they are not free and fair," Dell said.

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Zanu PF abusing Umdala's name,says son

Zim Standard

  By Nqobani Ndlovu/Pindai Dube

BULAWAYO - The late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo's son, Sibangilizwe,
says the state-sponsored annual musical galas commemorating the life of his
father are a waste of national resources and an abuse of the nationalist's

In the past few years, government has organised annual musical
festivals coinciding with the anniversary of the death of Nkomo, and another
Vice-President Simon Muzenda as well as national holidays such as
Independence Day, Heroes' Day and Unity Day.

But the commemorations have always been viewed as Zanu PF projects
aimed at winning the support of Zimbabweans in urban areas where it has
suffered defeats during elections since 2000.

This year's Umdala Wethu Gala - marking Nkomo's death on 1 July 1999 -
will be held on Friday in Marondera.

In an exclusive interview with The Standard, an emotional Sibangilizwe
last Thursday revealed that he has never attended the annual galas since
they were launched by former Information and Publicity minister, Professor
Jonathan Moyo.

He said he strongly believed the government was not interested in
celebrating his father's life as the ruling Zanu PF had never shown Father
Zimbabwe - as Nkomo was affectionately known - "any respect" while he was
still alive.

"My father was for nation building and nowhere in his book (the
autobiography, The Story of My Life) does he mention that he wants to be
honoured through galas, which are nothing but a waste of resources,"
Sibangilizwe said.

"I have never attended the galas and I will not attend any of them in
future as I do not support them."

He encouraged Zimbabweans to read The Story of My Life where Nkomo
wrote about his ill-treatment by the government in the 1980s and his
disappointment over the new government's refusal to scrap oppressive
colonial laws.

Sibangilizwe's comments came hard on the heels of a hard-hitting
message commemorating the death of the veteran nationalist published in a
weekly newspaper by Nkomo's children where they mourned the death of their

They said Nkomo's wife, Johanna "MaFuyana" who was always roped into
the musical galas suffered a "cruel and callous death".

MaFuyana died in June 2003 and her eldest daughter, Thandiwe demanded
an inquest into her death saying she suspected foul play.

Meanwhile, a former Zimbabwe People's Revolution Army (Zipra)
commander, Ackim Ndlovu has also condemned the galas saying they trivialise
Nkomo's legacy.

"What Zanu PF is doing is really bad and unfair. How can you
commemorate the life of someone you wanted to kill? It's diabolic," said
Ndlovu, who was himself forced into exile while still serving as a PF Zapu
MP during the 1980s.

Agrippa Madlela, a former Zapu and Zipra logistics officer said: "Zanu
PF will not pull the wool over our eyes through the Nkomo galas that attempt
to reconcile its dirty past with the future through the back door."

Asked to comment, Information and Publicity Minister, Sikhanyiso
Ndlovu, said: "What's wrong with you people? You want to separate the
government and the family over these galas?" He then terminated the call.

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Tsvangirai's faction to contest 2008 polls

Zim Standard


MASVINGO - A top Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) official last
week announced the Morgan Tsvangirai led faction will participate in next
year's synchronized polls.

Addressing more than 20 000 people at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo, MDC
vice-president, Thokozani Khupe said party supporters should go in their
thousands to register so that they could vote in next year's crucial polls.

Tsvangirai's faction had earlier this year announced that it would
boycott next year's polls unless a new people-driven constitution levelling
the electoral playing field is in place. But President Robert Mugabe has
ruled out a new constitution.

Khupe said participating in the elections was the only democratic way
of removing Zanu PF from power. As she spoke there was wild cheering from
the thousands who packed Mucheke Stadium.

Supporters had told The Standard that they came to the rally in order
to convince the party leadership to take part in the elections.

"We will not go to war with Zanu PF," Khupe said to cheers from the
party's supporters. "The time for war is over because everyone participated
in the liberation struggle and fought the common enemy. Now it's a brother
to brother issue that can only be resolved through the ballot box and this
time around we will show the old man (President Robert Mugabe) the exit door
by going to the polls.''

She added that Zimbabwe's problems would worsen if Zanu PF's rule was
not stopped.

"Youths should desist from visiting drinking places during elections
where they will be drinking beer," she said. "They must go and vote if we
are to remove the evil regime from power. Our people have suffered and this
time we want to say enough is enough!"

Khupe said if the SADC principles governing the conduct of elections
were followed, nothing would stop MDC from ruling the country.

"Our colleagues are out of the country now where they are attending
the SADC negotiations. And our position still stands: we are demanding a
people-driven constitution for a level playing field in the election. We are
also demanding that international observers should be allowed for the
elections to be free and fair," she said.

The opposition party challenged the government to allow free coverage
from the public media and allow the opening of an independent daily paper
before the elections saying the public media was being abused by the ruling

"Zanu PF is afraid of the opposition, that is why it doesn't allow us
space in the public media especially on the electronic media. What we want
for next year is equal coverage be it in the newspapers or on TV. They must
call our president Tsvangirai and Mugabe and tell the nation on TV what
their parties can offer the country,'' she said.

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More money for war vets

Zim Standard


IN a move that could be seen as Zanu PF's ploy to secure war veterans'
loyalty ahead of next year's elections, the government has increased their
monthly pensions to $3 600 000.

The war veterans now join the civil servants who were last week given
allowances ranging from $2 million to $4 million. Previously war veterans
were getting $250 000.

The secretary for Security and Defence in the Movement for democratic
Change (MDC) Giles Mutsekwa said the move was one of Zanu PF's tricks to win
the support of the war veterans ahead of the 2008 elections.

"The question is," he said, "for how long can the government sustain
that programme securing people's loyalty by pumping money into their
pockets? Our economy cannot sustain that as printing more money fuels

However, the vice-chairperson of the war veterans' board, Dumiso
Dabengwa, defended the move saying the amount was "nothing" compared to the
minimum wages.

"These are pensions allowances not salaries and they are far below the
poverty datum line," Dabengwa said. According to the Consumer Council of
Zimbabwe a family of five requires $5.5 million a month to meet basic

Economists and critics have constantly questioned the idea of
pampering the war veterans when the country's economy is tumbling with an
inflation of over 4 500%.

The war veterans have been Mugabe's key allies and many of them
benefited from the land reform in 2000.

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Government begs NGOs for cash

Zim Standard


THE government, more than ever before, wants help from
non-governmental organisations and the international community, a senior
government official has said.

In remarks directed at the Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Roxanne
Dubé, in Nyamapanda on Thursday, Mashonaland East Governor, Ray Kaukonde
begged for "more money" from NGOs and the international community for the
country to undergo development under the prevailing crisis.

"Let me say to you ambassador," Kaukonde said, "that we as government
want to work with NGOs and embassies as this benefits our ordinary people.
God has chosen us as leaders to lead this nation so we don't have to be

"As government, our hands are stretched towards the international
community - we need more funds - this is the reason why I had to attend this
event although I was not feeling very well. It is to our advantage that our
electorate benefits."

He lamented the rate at which the Zimbabwean dollar was sliding on the
parallel market.

"The situation is so serious. Tell me where we are going if our
currency is trading at a rate of Z$300: US$1. It is so shocking! We need
more help," he said. "Don't worry about the media - those boys always write
what they want, otherwise government wants more funds."

Kaukonde, however, said donors willing to work in Zimbabwe had to
follow set conditions.

"We are willing to engage donors," he said, "as long as they are
cleared. Our president has always said that they (the donors) should
concentrate on that area and leave the political field to the animals of
that political field."

The Canadian Ambassador was in Nyamapanda to evaluate a CDN$98 000
Jatropha income-generating project launched by the embassy last year with
the aim of empowering women in the area.

The embassy made a further US$23 000 donation for the second phase of
the project aimed at benefiting about 800 families.

Fifteen women benefited from the first phase and Thursday's event saw
them receiving certificates to mark their graduation into experienced
Jatropha products makers.

While the initial phase focused on soap making, oil pressing and
cassava growing and processing, the second phase will centre on commercial
production and training in business skills.

Ambassador Dubé said it was important to economically empower women as
they were the real bread winners in many families.

"Women constitute the pillar for the sustenance of rural households,"
she said. "They play a pivotal role in ensuring nutrition security and they
know how to stretch family income for the benefit of all."

The Jatropha Curcas Products Women's Economic Empowerment Project is
aimed at building women's capacity to participate in the commercial
production and marketing of Jatropha Curcas oil, soap and other products.

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Soldiers spy on Hwange operations

Zim Standard

  By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - THE government recently deployed soldiers to monitor
operations at the troubled Hwange Colliery Company (HCCL) following
accusations that the colliery was deliberately undersupplying thermal power
stations with coal.

The country has been hit by a massive power deficit that has forced
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) to introduce a crippling
load- shedding schedule.

The shortages have been partly blamed on the reduced power generation
capacity at the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)'s Hwange thermal station.

Authoritative sources told The Standard that soldiers from 1.2
Battalion in Hwange, Matabeleland North, spent a week at the colliery
recently and on 13 June senior police officers were also dispatched on a
similar mission.

"There were claims that the mine was not supplying adequate coal to
Hwange Power Station for electricity generation and the soldiers were
deployed to ascertain whether this was not being done deliberately," said a
source. "Senior police officers also held various meetings with top
management over the issue."

But HCCL blamed reduced coal deliveries to the power station on a
damaged conveyor belt.

ZPC said it was generating 500 megawatts of electricity from four of
the station's six generators before it shut them down when coal supplies ran

Burzil Dube, the HCCL public relations officer, refused to comment on
the matter.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Amos Midzi, could not
confirm the involvement of soldiers at the colliery saying "the board and
management are still in charge".

The power shortages have also been blamed on reduced imports from
regional suppliers, as well as declining generation capacity from Zesa's
thermal stations due to breakdowns and inadequate coal supplies.

The country needs at least 1 820 megawatts of power a day, but can
only generate 730 megawatts at the Kariba Hydro-Power Station. The country
only imports 200 megawatts of electricity, leaving a shortfall of 890

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ZBH suspends ZUJ top official

Zim Standard


MANAGEMENT at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) have suspended
producer Jacob Phiri without benefits on allegations that he went on leave
without applying for permission, The Standard has learnt.

Workers at the national broadcaster, however, are convinced that
Phiri, who will appear before a disciplinary hearing this week, is being
victimised for championing the rights of journalists.

Phiri is the vice-president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalist (ZUJ)
and chairman of the ZBH Workers' Committee.

According to a letter signed by ZBH head of human resources, Benania
Shumba, Phiri is restricted from visiting the company premises and has been
ordered to surrender all ZBH property, including identity cards which enable
him to gain access to the company premises.

"The reason for your suspension is that you proceeded on unauthorised
vacation leave from 14 May to 22 June. We wrote to you seeking an
explanation but you insisted that you were granted leave by your supervisor,
Mr Ndoma, who has since denied granting you such leave whether verbally or
in writing."

Phiri's lawyers, Sinyoro and Partners said Phiri attended the hearing
and is due to report for work tomorrow. "Our client feels that indeed this
is simply a matter of victimisation as a vice- president of ZUJ and
chairperson of the workers' committee at ZBH."

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Farm labour virtual slavery,says report

Zim Standard

  HARARE -- Slave wages and the
deaths of about 10 000 Zimbabwean farm workers as a consequence of the
government's land-redistribution policy are some of the issues highlighted
by rights groups in a recent report published on the plight of the country's
one million farm workers.

The change from predominantly white farm owners to mainly black
farmers brought about by the President Robert Mugabe's fast-track land
reform programme, launched in 2000, had not improved the lot of farmworkers
and was condemned by human rights lawyers in a recent statement,"The
legitimisation of contemporary forms of slavery: The case of farm workers in

"Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) joins like-minded
Zimbabweans in condemning, in the strongest of terms, the treatment and
conditions which Zimbabwean farm workers have had to, and continue to,
endure," the ZLHR said.

It called on the government and farmers to "be cognisant of the harsh
and ever-deteriorating economic environment present, and the need for the
workers to survive," a sentiment echoed by the General Agriculture and
Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ).

"The main problem is that farmworkers have, for a long time, been
treated with contempt by their employers. They are viewed as belonging to
rural areas whose people do not need much money to subsist, but the bottom
line is that they are workers just like those working in offices, and
deserve the respect due to employees," GAPWUZ deputy secretary-general Gift
Muti said.

Although GAPWUZ secured a wage hike in May this year, most farm owners
kept paying their employees the old salaries. Under the new wage structures,
the highest paid farm workers, timber plantation workers, should be paid a
monthly wage of Z$300 000, (US$3.65 at the parallel market exchange rate of
Z$82 000 to US$1), those in horticulture should be getting Z$200 000
(US$2.43), while general labourers involved in the production of maize and
wheat should earn Z$96 000 (US$1.17) a month.

In terms of the old salary structure, which is still being adhered to,
a general farm worker earned Z$30 000 a month - enough to buy two loaves of
bread at current prices - and far below the country's poverty datum line,
estimated at Z$3.5 million (US$43).
Zimbabwe's seven-year recession has created an unemployment rate of
80%, and an annual inflation rate of more than 3 700% - the highest in the

Earlier this year farm workers and a joint parliamentary committee on
agriculture and labour blamed the poor wages on the failure of GAPWUZ to
sufficiently represent their interests.

Mulandu Bauleni (44), who works on a maize and wheat farm in
Mashonaland Central Province, said: "In the last three years, we have not
been visited by any representatives of the unions and our views are never
sought when negotiations are being carried out. I fail to understand how
they can succeed in ensuring good wages for us when they don't understand
the plight we have."

Bauleni said his two children were supposed to be in grade two and
four respectively, but were no longer in school because he could not afford
to buy their uniforms or pay the fees of Z$25 000 (US$0.30) per term.

"Sometimes I think God has condemned us to a life of poverty. My
parents were virtual slaves on white men's farms before the blacks took
over. Now it seems worse for me, and I don't have any hope for my children
or their own offspring getting out of the trap," said Bauleni, who was
wearing tattered overalls, his only clothes.

The farm Bauleni works on was taken over by a senior government
official of the ruling Zanu PF party in 2001. He is still living in a shack
and the family survives on two meals of maize meal porridge a day, sometimes
supplemented by fish caught in the farm's dams or streams by his children.

Bauleni said his employer had told them he would not adopt the May
wage increases because of the drought. "But that is a lie. His crops are
irrigated and the dam is half full, despite the poor rains. Besides, we have
helped him get high maize and wheat yields, and there is evidence that he is
getting lots of money from our sweat, since he has bought a new car and two

On a nearby farm, Joyce Muzondo (30) and a single mother, said they
worked long hours but were not paid overtime and sometimes went for months
without receiving any wages.

The workers got no sick or maternity leave and many were leaving farms
in search of better paying activities, such as illegal gold panning, beer
brewing and prostitution.

Samuel Rundori, a tobacco and maize farmer in Mashonaland Central
Province, who was given 160 hectares by the government in 2003, admitted
that some new farmers were treating their workers like captives, but
defended the low wages he was giving his employees.

"It should be realised that, as new farmers, we are operating under
difficult conditions. Whereas the former commercial farmers had large pieces
of land, our plots are smaller and we don't have adequate infrastructure for
money-spinning farming," Rundori argued.

"Besides, we are finding it difficult to access loans from banks that
require us to produce collateral security, which we currently don't have,
while at the same time we have to repay the government for the inputs it has
been giving us."

The government began issuing 99-year leases in 2006 and said farmers
would be able to use them as collateral, but most banks are rejecting them,
arguing that the leases don't guarantee repayment in the event of default
because the land remains state property. - IRIN.

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Teachers' union slams govt, Aids body

Zim Standard

  By Bertha Shoko

THE Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) says it is
concerned by failure of both the government and the National Aids Council to
show up at the official launch of a teachers' HIV and Aids Fund on Thursday.

A large number of teachers and other stakeholders gathered at the PTUZ
offices in Milton Park, Harare, for the launch of the fund that is meant to
benefit hundreds of teachers living with HIV and Aids.

The teachers say they have failed to benefit from government-run

More than 600 000 people are in need of ARVs compared to about 60 000
who are currently accessing them.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, PTUZ secretary-general Raymond
Majongwe said he was dismayed that the Minister of Education, Sport and
Culture, Aeneas Chigwedere, and the Minister of Health and Child Welfare,
David Parirenyatwa, did not attend the function or send representatives to
the launch.

Officials from the National Aids Council (NAC) and the Zimbabwe
Network of People Living with HIV and Aids (ZNNP+) also did not attend.

Majongwe said he believed the snub by the government ministries and
organisations that are central to the HIV and Aids fight showed their lack
of commitment to help the "real poor people" affected and infected by the

He said teachers were among the working class that contributes 3% of
their "meagre earnings" monthly to towards the National Aids Trust Fund
(also commonly known as the Aids Levy).

"This is a real tragedy. The people who are supposed to be here are
not here at all. We have been seriously let down. These people are not
concerned at all. They are concerned about getting our taxes and
misusing them," Majongwe said.

"We know that government is getting funds from the Global Fund to give
drugs to their sick politicians at the expense of the real people who
deserve them and we will not sit on our laurels and let this madness

More than 60 HIV positive teachers have so far benefited since the
PTUZ set up the HIV and Aids Fund.

PTUZ president Takavafira Zhou said many teachers needed ARVs but were
failing to access them. Zhou said in the absence of official statistics, the
PTUZ has used "cluster based informants" to show the vulnerability and
impact of HIV and Aids on teachers.

These statistics show that at least 72% of married teachers in rural
areas do not stay with their spouses, a leading cause of the high infection
rates in the sector.

He said that statistics also show that every school has lost at least
three teachers to Aids-related deaths over the past years and that at least
one or two teachers are on sick leave every term as result of HIV-related

"We decided to do something ourselves for our members because of the
high mortality rates that are Aids-related in our sector."

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Mayor accuses govt of not being serious over water crisis

Zim Standard

  By Leslie Nunu

BULAWAYO - Japhet Ndabeni Ncube, the executive mayor for Bulawayo,
says government is not taking the impending water crisis seriously despite
indications that the city might run out of the resource before the start of
the rainy season.

Ndabeni-Ncube told councillors last week during a tour to assess the
impact of the water shortages in the high-density suburbs that government
had ignored several correspondences highlighting the deteriorating

The connection of the idle Mtshabezi Dam to the dry Umzingwane Dam has
been identified as the short-term solution to the crisis but the
under-resourced Zimbabwe National Water (ZINWA) is yet to start the
construction of the 33-kilometre pipeline.

"I have written to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and
Urban Development, Ignatious Chombo," Ndabeni-Ncube said, "to apprise him of
the situation and the sooner they connect the water link, the better."

"It is only 33km from Mtshabezi to Umzingwane and I do not see why it
should take so long."

He said despite the government's failure to respond, he would soon
invite Water Resources and Infrastructural Development minister, Munacho
Mutezo, and Chombo so they could see the situation on the ground for

"It is my hope that when they come here," he said, "they will
understand our problems and maybe they will chip in and assist in the
connection of the two dams."

Two weeks ago Bulawayo introduced eight-hour daily water cuts after
Umzingwane Dam ran dry. Two more dams, Upper Ncema and Inyankuni are
expected to dry up between next month and August leaving the city with only
one supply dam, Insiza.

Peter Sibanda, the city's director of engineering services, said
council has so far installed four elevated water tanks at its offices in the
high-density suburbs to mitigate the crisis.

He said council wanted to have a water tank in every suburb by October
when the pumping capacity from its reservoirs would be drastically reduced.

Bulawayo Resident minister, Cain Mathema refused to comment on
Ndabeni-Ncube's statement while Chombo's phone went unanswered.

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Adopt free market economy, urges CZI

Zim Standard


IRKED by industry calls for the government to ease off on its
obsession with controlling virtually everything, a government minister last
week walked out of meeting at which the results of a survey on the impact of
government policies on the manufacturing sector were released.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) President Callisto Jokonya
last week told the gathering of captains of industries, which was also
attended by six government ministers that a market without government
controls, is an efficient way for people to have their needs met at the
lowest cost.

In his remarks at the launch of the CZI Manufacturing Survey 2006,
Jokonya said the authorities should adopt free market economy without delay.

"The free market economy is the most efficient way for millions of
people to have their needs met at the lowest possible cost," Jokonya said.
"The freer the market, the more vibrant the economy and the greater the
quantity of wealth and opportunity that is created for more people."

Jokonya said Hong Kong, a former British colony with approximately
five million, had thrived as there are no regulations apart from traffic and
police protection.

"Nevertheless in the absence of government interferences it enjoys one
of the most buoyant economies in the world," Jokonya said adding that the
peninsula "is so prosperous that it regularly suffers from labour

Jokonya's sentiments come in the wake of government moves to control
the prices of goods and commodities under the Incomes and Pricing Act. The
Act has set up the National Incomes and Pricing Committee to deal with
speculative pricing in what business leaders see as an attempt by government
to control the prices of goods. Government, through the central bank
controls the exchange rate while business leaders maintain that the market
has to determine the exchange rate. Business leaders maintain that controls
have led to the decline in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing sector has been declining over the years attributed
to an unfavourable environment where foreign currency constraints reign
supreme. In its report for 2006, CZI estimated the manufacturing to have
declined by 7% compared to 3.2% in the previous year. CZI said that capacity
utilisation has also declined in the period under review to 33.8% compared
to 35.8% in the previous year.

One of the partners in the CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey, Kenias
Mafukidze, of KM Financial Solutions questioned whether government ministers
who sit in Cabinet think of the future of their children when they make
decisions that affect the lives of Zimbabweans and performance of the

"If our private and singular actions are counter-progressive," he
said, "if our interests are short-term and individualistic and if our
individual actions do not support the collective good, then we shall prolong
our stay in this economic ditch.

"Sadly, we will also run the risk and related embarrassment, as a
generation, of leaving our children a heritage worse than the one we
inherited. Thankfully we believe it is not too late.

"We remain positive that as a country we have it in us to turn our
fortunes around and leave our grandchildren the promise of a bright future.
We owe it to posterity."

Mafukidze broke down during his presentation. When he collected
himself, he explained his son had been admitted at the Avenues Clinic. While
he prayed and hoped that his son would be well, he said there were other
children he had seen and was troubled because their parents were unable to
get medication for them locally. He cited this as an example of how the
government had presided over the collapse of the economy.

But the Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Finance, whether by
coincidence or not decided he was better off somewhere.

One of the industry captains, speaking after Mumbengegwi had left,
said it was just as well he walked out. He did not believe the minister had
anything constructive to contribute. Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Industry
and International Trade seemed to confirm this view when it was his turn to
respond to the findings of the survey.

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Follow-through economic policies, government urged

Zim Standard


GOVERNMENT should start implementing the various economic policies it
crafts for a meaningful economic turnaround to be possible, economists
suggested last week.

During separate interviews last week, economists said implementing the
various policies remained government's major weakness despite the ability to
craft them.

"Focus should now be on the actual implementation of these policies,"
said Farai Dyirakumunda of Interfin. "Implementation has always been the
major challenge."

The call came amid reports that government is working on a new
economic plan to be unveiled before the end of the year. And a government
minister appeared to lend credence to this view when last week he talked of
steps being taken to fine tune the National Economic Development Priority

According to state media reports, the "new comprehensive five-year
economic programme" will complement the National Economic Development
Priority Programme in resolving the challenges facing the country.

Widely criticised as barren, the NEDPP was introduced in April last
year and was expected to run for nine months to December.

On unveiling the plan last year, government sensationally described it
as "an action-oriented and results-based economic programme designed to
stabilise the economy within nine months".

Among other deliverables, it was hoped the strategy would tame the
scourge of inflation, mobilise foreign currency, and improve agricultural
productivity and food security through the timely disbursement of inputs.

However, the plan had to be extended with a further 12 months after
failing to bear fruit and six months after the extension, the nation still
awaits results.

The country's inflation remains the highest in the world while the
foreign currency crunch continues to worsen and thousands of people are
living in abject poverty due to the poor performance of the agricultural
sector-now largely run by inexperienced beneficiaries of government's 2000
chaotic land reform programme.

Economists said a new economic policy was long-overdue given the fact
that existing policies were failing to yield results. They said it had
become necessary for government to "try and re-engineer" existing policies.

They said there was need for policies that would try and stimulate the
productive sector and embrace initiatives to attract both internal and
external investment.

"We want policies that would address issues affecting security of
tenure of farmers, tax thresholds and a new multiplier figure for the
exchange rate to help exporters stay in business. The multiplier figure
should move in line with the parallel market rate", said John Robertson, an
independent economic consultant.

They also called for policies that would encourage meaningful external

Dyirakumunda said: "Such things as balance of payment support,
external lines of credit and foreign direct investment need to be looked

"It is very important to have those in place to complement internal

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Bubye cries foul over diamond probe team

Zim Standard


BUBYE Minerals (Private) Limited alleges that the European Commission
review team that came to investigate diamond smuggling allegations failed in
its mandate because it had not accorded them a hearing.

Bubye and River Ranch are tussling for the Special Grant 1278 that
gives the right to mine diamonds and the matter is before the courts.

A five-member team of experts from the Kimberly Process Certification
Scheme was in the country in May to investigate diamond smuggling
allegations after complaints by Bubye to the World Diamond Council (WDC) in
December that Zimbabwe's diamonds might have been traded illicitly, flouting
international rules guiding the world trade in diamonds.

In a letter to the Karel Kovanda, who chairs the Kimberley Process,
Bubye alleged that it had tried to meet the review team but with no success
as the team said it had a " very tight brief, in that it was mandated only
to review any evidence that Zimbabwe is a trade centre for conflict

"Other team members we spoke to also were evasive and disinterested.
This extremely narrow interpretation of the Kimberley Process provisions and
scope defies the actual working principle as set in the Charter document,"
Bubye said.

It said that the Certification Scheme relies upon an unbroken chain of
handling from original producer through the sale agent to the end user. It
said that only the country representative can issue the actual certificate,
"which guarantees provenance to the buyer, to the original user".

But In their response to questions from Standardbusiness last week the
Kimberley Process secretariat said: "It is customary for the Kimberley
Process to put a summary of Review Visit reports on the Kimberley Process
website however this will take time".

Bubye alleges that "the illegally constituted board of directors T/A
as River Ranch Limited acquired possession of the mine by means of armed
invasion, and not by court sanctioned acquisition.

"These directors are mining and extracting diamonds without clear
title, in contravention of the Mines and Minerals Act of Zimbabwe and
therefore those diamonds are an illegal stockpile in unauthorised hands,"
Bubye said.

"The team has carried out its inspection in the company of and hosted
by those very persons who stole our mine."

River Ranch legal consultant Retired Justice George Smith dismissed
Bubye's allegations as "untrue and unfounded".

"The Minister of Mines issued the Special Grant to River Ranch," Smith
said, "and as far as our law is concerned River Ranch is the holder of the
special grant therefore entitled to carry out mining operations."

He said there was nothing amiss in River Ranch accompanying the review
team to the mine insisting that the review team had gone to Murowa the other
diamond mine with the assistance of the people in charge of the mine.

Bubye owners are Michael and Adele Farquhar (70%); 10%Sibonokuhle
Moyo, wife of Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo; and
four other investors who each have 5% apiece. River Ranch is owned Saudi
billionaire Adel Aujan, retired army general Solomon Mujuru (10%) and former
Harare East MP Tirivanhu Mudariki (10%).

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Industry's worst moments become living hell for workers

Zim Standard


THE unemployment rate must be edging closer to the 100% mark as
increasingly more people are leaving work not because they no longer want to
work, but because they can't afford to go to work. This should be a source
of considerable worry for any government under normal circumstances.

Over the past two months workers throughout Zimbabwe have had to face
the realities of the hardships the country is going through. Industries
across the country are reporting rising numbers of their workers who are not
reporting for work because their wages cannot cover their transport
requirements. They are giving up with little or no prospects of providing
adequately for their families.

When more people are out of employment than are in employment it is
time for drastic measures because a hungry being is an angry man. Zimbabwe
does not have to be in the position it finds itself in. There are numerous
windows of opportunities waiting for this country.

A huge number of teachers unable to afford transport to work have
opted to cross Zimbabwe's borders to escape from an escalation of hardships
while other professionals have done so in search of better opportunities.
Zimbabwe has become one of the countries contributing the greatest numbers
of refugees in Africa even thought it is not a war zone.

The crisis this country is facing has resulted in more school children
within and outside the country being withdrawn from educational
institutions, while health facilities are witnessing a decrease in the
number of people visiting them. People can no longer afford the cost of
consultations and treatment. Government's policies have condemned them to go
and die at home.

When a greater percentage of industry is dependent on the parallel
market and a significant proportion of its capacity is idle, it means even
the viability of those that continue to operate at heavily reduced levels of
production is threatened. And the stability of the nation is vulnerable.
Zimbabwe is a time bomb awaiting the slightest mistake to ignite.

Government revenue from industry and tax from workers continues to
shrink and the ability of government to undertake any effective programmes
is seriously constrained.

Industry continues to underperform and last year the economy recorded
its eighth consecutive year of shrinkage. This year will be its ninth, but
there are profound consequences for industry's capacity to produce exports
not just for the country's needs but necessary for increased foreign
exchange earnings for modernisation and importation of raw materials.

Results of a survey of the manufacturing sector undertaken during the
first quarter of this year and released last week show that "pessimists have
risen from 54% percent in 2005 to 77% of the respondents. Compared to 9% in
2005, the optimists have dwindled to slightly below 5%."

"In the period under review, 68% of the respondents do not anticipate
an economic recovery in the foreseeable future. This number has risen from
48% in the previous survey. The sum total of the above factors has resulted
in a further slump in business confidence in 2006 compared to 2005," says
the survey.

The survey results represent the view of organised industry in this
country and give a lie to the government's suggestions that it listens to
industrialists. Clearly there is a huge disconnect - a vote of no confidence
in the way the government has gone about running the country since the late

The issue for the government is whether it still has the capacity to
reinvent itself, remain relevant and change the disastrous course it has set
the country on, or change will overtake it.

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When the skeletons march from the closet

Zim Standard

  sundayopinion by Bill Saidi

WE'VE just finished a conference here in Tripoli on a subject
entitled, to cut a long story short, a federal government for Africa.

It's the kind of subject one African leader would typically come up
with, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

He has been described as a man ahead of his time, a visionary.

This conference, of intellectuals, politicians, legislators, political
hangers-on and journalists was intended to endorse Gaddafi's proposals to
the African Union summit in Accra, Ghana, next month. His proposal to set up
a federal government for Africa is anchored in Kwame Nkrumah's original plan
for a United States of Africa.

Many Africans are fascinated by Gaddafi. Admittedly, he has an
eccentric streak which some find rather endearing, a roguish, almost boyish
enthusiasm for his quite often extraordinary ideas.

He has made enemies and I have always wondered if some of them do not
wish he could trip himself up on these ideas and tie himself into all kinds
of knots.

There must be others who pray that he will turn out to have all kinds
of skeletons in his closet, the kind that, if they marched out of the closet
one day, would put paid to his career, as such skeletons did to Kurt
Waldheim when he was the president of Austria. I was thinking of Waldheim
throughout the conference here.

Correction: and also of Peter Charinga, an old friend who died in the
1980s. In the late 1950s we stayed in Mufakose, shortly after it had opened
as the newest African township in Salisbury. Peter had played drums for a
group called The Modern Stars. He fancied himself as Gene Krupa or Joe
Putrill of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

But like me, he too had retired from music, to concentrate on such
mundane life pursuits as marriage, work, raising children and more work. I
did everything else except the marriage thing. I worked for newspapers and
he seemed to think this entitled me to know almost everything going on in
the world. Which is why he asked me what Senor or Signor Carpio was up to in
Southwest Africa. I told him what I knew: the man had been assigned by the
United Nations to sort out the mess in that UN-mandated territory, then
ruled by South Africa, with its apartheid regime.

Charinga was grateful and I was impressed by how much of the outside
world I knew by virtue of being in newspapers. Still in that business of
newspapers, I met Waldheim, in Lusaka, where he had stopped over from a
visit to Southwest Africa. He said he had met the white rulers there and
they had frightened him with their stubbornness: they would not give up the
territory, he said. They were prepared to die, he said. I was impressed by
his sincerity and what I thought was his passion for the freedom of the
people of the territory, which would, in 1990 emerge as the independent
republic of Namibia, with Sam Nujoma as president.

Meanwhile, Waldheim, as president of Austria, had been unmasked as a
former Nazi officer. That shook me no end.

Imagine this: even as he spoke to me passionately about the whites
hating the blacks in that territory he was concealing his great Nazi racist
secret, the big skeletons in his closet.

I was reminded that you can't hide much of your wrongdoing from the
world, not forever. It's better to come clean right from the start. By the
time he died, Waldheim must have suffered an enormous sense of guilt.

It's hard to say how Gaddafi will end up. He is young and runs, almost
single-handedly, a country so rich in oil there is no real unemployment
here. What scares many people is that Libya is too quiet not to have
something brewing underground.

On the way here, we stopped off in Cairo and I was reminded of Anwar
Sadat, assassinated only three years after I had met him with other African
editors in Cairo in 1978.

Sadat didn't have a closetful of skeletons. They killed him for other
reasons. He was seeking peace with Israel. Gaddafi is seeking unity in
Africa. Surely, for that noble cause, they can hardly hate him to the extent
of . . .?

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Rehabilitation of ex-fighters:The Zimbabwe Project story

Zim Standard

  sundayview by
Judith Todd

THE Zimbabwe Project opened a second office on 1 February 1982. About
3 000 people had been demobilised in Bulawayo during January and we were
pressured by ex-combatants to establish ourselves in the city. Our doors
opened exactly eight months after we had formally started work in Harare.

Although we were moving swiftly, it had taken time to establish the
office in Mimosa House, so I was surprised on the night of 31 January to
receive a frantic telephone call from our administrator John Conradie,
imploring me not to go ahead with opening an office in Bulawayo.

I was upset and perplexed but tried to be gentle, knowing his painful
antipathy to Joshua Nkomo in particular and thus to Zapu, and thinking that
he must have had a sudden rush of revulsion at the thought of us moving into
what he might consider Nkomo territory.

John's aversion had been acquired or reinforced during his long years
of imprisonment in the company of Zanu's Maurice Nyagumbo, who had become a
close friend and whose book, With the People, he had edited.

Nyagumbo was now Minister of Mines. I said only that we were too far
advanced to consider pulling back. We had, for example, already hired Albert
Ngwenya to run the office. How could we pull the rug from under his feet
just a few hours before he was meant to start his first proper job in ages?

I wondered later if someone had informed John that the sky was about
to fall in.

Albert had entered our lives through Lido. While developments were
going apace at Vukuzenzele, where dormitories and ablution blocks were being
erected under the guidance of Gijima Mpofu and my father, it would still
take time for the bulk of the men to move from Lido to their new home. I had
sought help from the CSSD regarding food, payment of water bills and general

Father Thomas Peeters, head of CSSD in Bulawayo, was heavily involved
in caring for returned refugees, such as the hundreds of children who had
been under the care of Zapu in Zambia and had since been handed over to the
good offices of the Catholic Church in Matabeleland. He was harassed but
very positive, and he introduced me to Albert.

Albert was tall, thin and, just like his totem ngwenya, the crocodile,
perpetually grinning. I explained that the Zimbabwe Project needed help with
Lido. On the day we met, I took him to Lido to introduce him to the men. To
our astonishment, his arrival was met with loud acclamation. Many of the
disabled had recognised him as a fellow survivor of the massacre of 351
inmates at Zapu's Freedom Camp, north of Lusaka, which had been bombed by
the Rhodesians during the war . . .

He had been an ordained priest working in a remote rural area until
forced to flee to Botswana during the war. He underwent military training
and became a political commissar for Zipra. After the ceasefire he came back
and went to an assembly point.

As soon as he could, he returned to Bulawayo and, together with two
friends, went to the Catholic cathedral to say he was ready to resume his
duties. The three men were wearing the only clothing they had, camouflage
uniform. Albert said the nuns and others who came out of the diocesan
offices started shaking, some of them imploring the men not to take revenge
on them. He was stunned, and repeated that he had returned to resume his
duties and had no revenge to take.

At that point, Bulawayo's Bishop Karlen intervened, coming to greet
them and inviting them to tea. There were big, wide cups, but the nun who
was serving tea was shaking so badly that she couldn't pour the liquid into
the cups, so they were invited to do so themselves. Then Albert's two
friends left and he spoke to the bishop alone . . .

Albert told me about the bombing of Freedom Camp. He said most of the
people there were young refugees, but there was a hospital for soldiers and
also some other military types like him around. A lot of the victims had
been electrocuted. A major power line running across the camp was hit and
fell on people, "and afterwards", said Albert, "there they were, lying dead
and looking perfect."

One week after we opened our Bulawayo office, Prime Minister Mugabe
announced that arms caches had been found on Zapu properties, most notably
Ascot farm and Hampton Ranch near Gweru. Within a fortnight a declaration
was published in the Government Gazette banning Nitram under the Unlawful
Organisations Act. All its assets and subsidiaries, such as Woody Glen and
Nest Egg, were seized.

Troops were moved onto all properties associated with Zapu, including
the Lido Hotel. Great play was made in the press of the "discovery" of
military vehicles at Nest Egg and medical supplies at Woody Glen, the
inference being that these were important components in a plot to overthrow
the government. The Zipra archives were seized from Nest Egg and never

Mugabe said of Nkomo: "The only way to deal with a snake is to strike
and destroy its head," and on 17 February he sacked Nkomo and most other
Zapu members from his Cabinet. On 11 March, Dumiso Dabengwa, Lieutenant
General Lookout Masuku, Isaac Nyathi and others were arrested, and like
Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube and others many years later, eventually
charged with treason. Zakheleni Masuku was less than three months old and
would never have the chance to know his father.

When Nitram was banned, its offices next door to ours were taken over
by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and we swiftly got out of
their way and moved to Southampton House . . .

Around this time I received a visit from a couple new to Zimbabwe,
Paul Stall and Helene Gans, representing the Dutch agency Novib. They wanted
to learn about the Zimbabwe Project's work, and I showed them a report
containing a reference to Simukai that I had compiled for donors before the
army invasion.

"It is difficult for me to try and explain to you the tremendous joy
we feel so often in our work. But let me try, through the words of someone
else. There is a little co-operative at present consisting of about 80 young
people, three quarters of them women, trying to buy 3 000 acres of land near
Salisbury from their demobilisation allowances.

"In the meanwhile they have rented a long-abandoned farm and half of
them have moved into derelict buildings full of rats and bees. They have
inherited the deserted labour force of about 100 men, women and children.
While they don't have the money even to buy an aspirin for their headaches
they have established a school - with no equipment except the knowledge they
themselves can pass on - for the children. We help where we can and they
wrote a letter to us last week, which ended: Please keep your hand with us.
Long live Z-P!

Paul and Helene said this was just the kind of group they would like
to meet, and I offered to take them to Simukai then and there. When we drove
to the farm, they were appalled by the roadblocks and the rough demeanour of
the hostile and suspicious soldiers.

* Excerpt from Judith Todd's latest book, Through the Darkness: A life
in Zimbabwe, available from

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Let's all brace for tough times as regime nears end

Zim Standard

  sundayview by Trudy

I wrote in March that the regime has cracked and that the transition
to a free and prosperous Zimbabwe is clearly visible on the horizon,
although it may be some time before we can regain control of our lives
through a new, democratically elected government.

Recent events, although both disturbing and frustrating, have
confirmed this prediction. Zanu PF is fighting among itself - the "coup
plot" is just the tip of the iceberg - but more importantly it is busy doing
all its usual nonsense while the country is falling headlong into serious
economic chaos. It has no solution whatsoever to this economic crisis.

Indeed, when I asked the Acting Leader of the House of Assembly
(Emmerson Mnangagwa!) a couple of weeks ago what new policy measures the
government was putting in place to deal with inflation, he stated quite
unapologetically that they had no new policy measures, but would let us know
when they did! You will also recall my suggestion that you link up with
friends and neighbours as we face what lies ahead, because we need to stand
together and help each other.

This reaching out and mutual support appears to me even more important
today, as we enter a period of serious difficulty for most of us. We simply
can no longer cope with these prices - yesterday we faced a bus fare of $40
000 to get into town ($80 000 to go from one side of Harare to another, $160
000 return), $120 000 for one litre of petrol, $25 000 for a loaf of bread,
$200 000 for a replacement key, $180 000 for a watch battery - and don't
forget that those thousands were millions this time last year!

What will it cost to get a plumber or an electrician or to get a car
repaired? What if we fall sick, or have an accident? Can we pay the bills?
And who will make sure we are helped in hospital? Will there be any doctor
on duty? Will they have the necessary medicines? Even if we can afford the
school fees, will our children and grandchildren actually be taught anything
worthwhile at school?

This is the situation today, but what will it be in a month's time, or
by the end of the year? Serious economists have suggested our inflation will
reach 1 000 000% by November - and the American ambassador suggested
yesterday it would be 1 500 000% by December!

Clearly the country will no longer function in such a situation -
indeed already it is not functioning properly in many spheres, as we know.
Therefore we have to help each other and make contingency plans, to be as
prepared as we can be for any emergency or unrest. We are not a country at
war, but we are in the kind of situation prevailing in a country at war, and
we need to realise this and plan accordingly.

At home, make sure you always have some water stored, some candles and
matches, some emergency rations, etc. At neighbourhood level, see how you
can help or get help with water, power, transport, emergency response - e.g.
one person with a vehicle could offer transport if another could provide
some fuel and another repair the vehicle, etc.

If you can help the elderly, the sick, the vulnerable in your
neighbourhood, so much the better! Families with members outside the country
should alert those members that they may need assistance, and indicate what
that assistance might be.
Do not leave your plans to the last minute hoping that maybe it won't
be necessary. It probably will be necessary to react to various emergencies
in the next few months, so be prepared! Remember that those who are prepared
are always in the lead.

The good thing about our situation is that we know that it is all part
of the process of change. Don't forget that you can play your part in
bringing about the positive change we all yearn for, both by being prepared
to cope with emergencies and also by actively speeding that change along.

How? One of the most effective ways is always to hit where it hurts -
the pocket. Don't buy from them, withdraw your business and take it
elsewhere. That alone would make a huge difference. Don't believe that
business is not political - in this country, everything is political!

Meanwhile also be prepared to vote, even if it means using the current
discredited system - so check that your name is on the voters' roll, if you
are entitled to vote. If you have changed your name or address, register
those changes on the voters' roll. Make sure your children and those of your
friends, workmates and neighbours register as soon as they turn 18.

We can be sure that change is definitely on the way. There is no
government in the history of the world which has ever survived inflation of
the magnitude forecast this year in Zimbabwe. So let us keep this in mind as
we prepare ourselves and our families for the months that lie ahead - change
is on the way!

Trudy Stevenson is MP for Harare North Constituency

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Zim Standard Letters

Zesa misled public on power supply to wheat farmers

SOME time early last month, as farmers were busy trying to plant
wheat, a statement was issued by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(Zesa) that farmers were guaranteed power supply between 9PM and 5PM the
following day.

Effectively what this meant was that there would be enough power to
irrigate wheat throughout the day. I visited my local Zesa offices and I was
told that as much as possible I would get power except for maybe four hours
a day.

I need to mention that every point needs a minimum of five hours
irrigation, which will give approximately 20mm of water. It is only after
such five hours that one changes sprinklers.

Planting dates are only a window of two weeks in May, beginning 1 May
to 15 May. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, for wheat to have
sufficient gluten and protein, it must be grown under certain cold
temperatures and secondly, we need to harvest our wheat before the onset of
summer rains. Maybe it does not matter any more now because the Grain
Marketing Board no longer grades wheat for payment purposes.

Many farmers failed to meet the deadline date because they could not
change their sprinklers before the ground had sufficient moisture. The
result was that you irrigated the same place for over three times before you
could move on. Naturally, the area planted was adversely affected. I cut my
area by half. I know many farmers who reduced their hectarage substantially.
It means that the area planted has been reduced to maybe a quarter of what
was planned for.

As if this is not enough, over the past two weeks, there has virtually
been no irrigation at all. In Gweru, between, Sunday and Wednesday, power
was available for only four hours. The wheat is so moisture stressed that it
will invariably be stunted resulting in reduced yields. Farmers will make
losses and the nation will have no bread.

I have sounded other farmers throughout the country and found the
situation to be the same: no electricity.

People in the urban areas were misled by Zesa that they shouldn't
worry; power is going to the farmers so consumers will in the end have
bread! It is not true. The only difference between those of us in the rural
areas and those in towns is that we have firewood so at least we are able to
warm our water and cook food.

On a more serious note, the wheels have now completely come off and
the ilizwe selihuduka ngesisu, nyika yava kugwesha nedumbu.

There is only one solution to all this: a new government. This sick
patient of ours who cannot turn herself needs a new team of medical people
who can turn her so that the bed sores can heal.

Only MDC will heal those bed sores.

Renson Gasela

MDC Secretary for Lands

 Clueless Zinwa must put its house in order

I believe Zinwa was in too much of a hurry to take over the running of
water and sewage services from urban and rural councils. Their public
relations are so poor that it is comical trying to advise them.

In May I visited the Masvingo head offices of Zinwa to pay my water
bill. After this I went into the area manager's office to discuss with him
the problems ratepayers were facing.

The secretary referred me to someone who had just walked in. I advised
the man to open an office at Nemanwa Growth Point and other centres so that
residents wishing to pay their bills would not have far to go to do so.
Nemanwa Growth Point is 35km from Masvingo City; add about 5km more from the
city to the industrial area north of Masvingo city centre where the Zinwa
offices are located. I paid $60 000 for the 80km trip to pay my bill.

What irked me most was the response from the man who was said to be
responsible for billing residents. His response that Nemanwa was near to his
offices compared to other centres was patronising to say the least.

The man was soon joined by the area manager, who had walked from his
office next to the secretary's. He, too, did not have a professional answer.
It seems the whole lot of the Zinwa officials had no ideas how to solve the
problem I had presented to them.

All they were interested in was money owed to them. The extra money
spent by ratepayers was not their problem.

Before Zinwa took over the water/sewage services they should have set
up offices in the residential areas where ratepayers live or at least set up
an office in the city centre in the manner Zesa has.

Zinwa officials who use official vehicles from home to their work
place do not feel the economic pinch felt by ordinary ratepayers who use
commuter transport to go and pay their water/sewage bills.

The current system of collecting payment does not work. A car visits
council offices once a month to allow ratepayers to pay their bills. The
officials with cars work from 8AM but are gone by 2PM. After this lightning
visit, ratepayers are compelled to travel all the way to Zinwa offices in
the industrial areas to make the payments. The saying that the customer is
king does not apply and is unknown to Zinwa officials.

The Zinwa area manager should have taken me seriously because I was
offering him possible solutions yet he went on protesting and showing no
interest whatsoever in what I had suggested. Instead of charging ratepayers
extra for late payment and threatening us with water cuts, Zinwa should have
permanent offices everywhere they are offering services so that ratepayers
do not have far to go in order to pay their bills.

Now I know why Bulawayo is dead against Zinwa taking over the
water/sewage services from the city council.

Zinwa is a problem


 Grooming younger players the way forward for Warriors

A lot has been said about the failure of national soccer coach,
Charles Mhlauri, to reach the finals of the African Cup of Nations.

I would like to suggest we look at few cases, that of Arsenal, AC
Milan and Manchester United. Arsenal has players whose average age is
between 19 and 21 years. AC Milan has players such as Paulo Maldini who is
38 years and a lot others in the 25 - 28 age group.

In the case of Manchester United, there is a mixture of older players
such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Edwin van der Sar, Rio
Ferdinand and John Arne Riise, who are in the 25 - 30 age group. Then you
have others like Wayne Rooney, who are all below the age of 22.

The point I am trying to drive home is that for a good coach, any
combination will do. All the three teams are very successful in both their
countries and in European cup competitions.

Arsenal are going for a very youthful team and are winning. They will
be in Europe next year. Equally, AC Milan are going for experience and they
are winning. Manchester United are combining experience with youth and they
are getting the results. They have just won the English League Championship.

So where does this leave us.The answer is straight forward: total
failure in every sense of the word. Any of his combinations that our
technical units have tried have failed. The way forward now is for us to get
a respectable national coach - one who is respected by fellow former

What is crucial is that we have 10 provinces and we can assign other
former and respectable players as part of the technical team to scout for
talent. The chosen former players would go and attend and then find the new
George Shaya, Majuta Mpofu, Posani Sibanda, Moses Moyo, Tendai Chieza and
William Sibanda, to mention but a few.

This would mean that the players' talent would be spotted at the age
of 14 - 18, the age that European teams could consider signing the players
up. Remember Pele was spotted in the streets of Brazil?

This approach would provide the answers that the nation has been
asking for.

B C Washaya

Mount Pleasant


 We know the culprit

NOW it is clearer more than ever that we voted for a party that does
not deliver results, promised or not. I can safely say, therefore, that we
now know that outgoing British Premier Tony Blair is not to blame for our
problems but rather it is someone at the helm who is doing nothing other
than using the taxpayers' money to travel around the world while the
proverbial Rome is burning.

I am not afraid to say to whoever that someone is, that we will meet
at the elections. We cannot take to the streets but the ballot box shall be
our guns and there we will declare war.

I can tell you that keep up the good work of doing nothing but we will
definitely meet in the battle zone of ballot boxes.

Angry Citizen



 Spread the development

ON every News Hour programme that I have watched,
Mashonaland East Governor Ray Kaukonde is always busy getting this and that
from non-governmental organisations or the government and giving to his

But there are other places like Hwange, Chikombedzi and Zaka, to
mention but a few where actually there are no roads, schools or clinics
although they generate a lot of money for the economy. Why are the other
governors not doing what Kaukonde is doing in order to develop their

The other provinces are equally important, for example the government
needs to complete the Matabeleland Zambezi water project, Lupane University,
Kezi- Bulawayo road, Bulawayo - Tsholotsho road and Bulawayo - Nkayi road
which remain death traps.

M Mageza


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