|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Mudede has appealed against the judgement delaying the
transfer of the
materials to the capital. Civic groups believe the RG's refusal to move the
materials leaves them liable to interference.
Mudede's attempt to destroy the election materials last
September on the
pretext that he needed the ballot boxes for local government elections was
blocked by the High Court after opposition from the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC). The MDC argued that destruction of the papers would be
prejudicial to their petition challenging the result of the March 2002
presidential poll. Justice Anele Matika ruled that Mudede could use the
boxes but said he should not destroy the papers.
is scheduled to be heard next month but MDC lawyers would like
the election materials brought to the capital prior to the hearing.
Section 78 of the Electoral Act constituency registrars should
enclose in separate sealed packets counted and rejected ballot papers as
soon as possible after polling. The materials should then be transmitted to
This has not happened and the materials have remained
in the provinces, most
of which are in ballot boxes stored at schools and at rural district offices
which sometimes double up as Zanu PF offices.
Observers this week said there was a high likelihood that
might fall into the hands of the militia.
November Mudede filed an application in the High Court saying his
office did not have the resources to move the materials. Justice Anne Marie
Gowora dismissed the application saying the transfer of the materials was a
general function of the RG's office and should be carried out.
The German parliament yesterday stepped up censure
of events in Zimbabwe
during debate on an all-party motion tabled in the lower house earlier this
In their strongest remarks yet,
German MPs said government must halt its
clampdown on democratic opposition and stop human rights abuses and misrule.
The legislators said
Zimbabwe should cease its campaign to "brutally combat
the opposition and criticism with the support of security and military
German MPs urged the federal government to use
its position in the United
Nations Security Council "to have the Zimbabwe crisis put onto the agenda to
rein-in the conflict in the region and to bring it closer to a solution".
The United States this week warned Harare
against state-sponsored violence
in the country.
spokesman Richard Boucher accused President Robert Mugabe
of fanning the "upsurge in unprecedented official violence".
"The US demands that
the Zimbabwe government immediately cease its campaign
of violent repression," he said. "The Zimbabwe government must also act to
identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of these serious and
widespread human rights abuses."
Australian Foreign minister Alexander Downer on
Wednesday also condemned the
is appalled at the unprovoked, violent repression and
intimidation that is taking place in Zimbabwe," he said.
Downer said Australian diplomats
in Zimbabwe had "witnessed first-hand the
result of several vicious beatings by army personnel, including beatings
with sticks wrapped in barbed wire".
"In addition to an escalation in violent repression, the
regime continues to
encourage systematic harassment of the opposition, electoral malpractice and
corrupt legal processes," Downer said.
"The government demands that the Mugabe regime ceases this
repression and bring to justice those people who are responsible for it."
South African President Thabo Mbeki told parliament in Cape Town on
Wednesday that Pretoria was opposed to Harare's repressive agenda.
"We are dealing with that question with the Zimbabwean
government," he said.
"Indeed, we have said to the Zimbabwean government that we would not agree
with actions that deny the right of Zimbabweans to protest peacefully,
democratically and so on."
A ruling African National
Congress MP, Pallo Jordan, said it was a "scandal"
that Zanu PF was now undermining democracy when it apparently fought for it.
He said the
ANC had warned Zimbabwean parties against "subversion of the
rule of law" and "the temptations of recklessness that could easily
precipitate armed conflict".
The report singled out Chinhoyi MP and Zanu PF Mashonaland West
Philip Chiyangwa, Mashonaland West governor Peter Chanetsa and Local
Government minister Ignatius Chombo as being at the centre of the wrangle.
The report said the squabbles are retarding development. In
the Nyabira area
of Mashonaland West almost 90 farms have remained unallocated for two years.
Investigations by the Independent reveal
that the dispute has drawn in
Minister of Youth Development and Mashonaland West governor, Elliot Manyika,
and leaders of the war veterans, Endy Mhlanga, Patrick Nyaruwata and Mike
Nyaruwata, the war veterans
national chairman, confirmed there were problems
in the area.
"There are problems that are still being experienced in that
area," he said.
Nyaruwata blamed the squabbles on politicians in Mashonaland West province.
"There are some politicians in Mashonaland
West province who wanted to use
their political muscle to bar other people from acquiring land in the
Hunyani and Gwebi area.
that priority should be given to people from that province only
and we told them that the land was for all Zimbabweans."
that failure to solve the crisis was detrimental to
A commercial farmer in the area said the equipment on the
"The few of us who are still on the
farms have been confined to our houses,"
said the farmer.
area at the moment is almost sealed off as these factions have guards w
ho do not allow people to visit the area.
"Nyabira used to be a very
intensive farming area where crops such as wheat,
maize and soyabeans were grown on a rotational basis," he said.
"But the new settlers seized all the farming implements."
A source in the Ministry of Agriculture said
production in the farming area
has almost come to a halt as a result of the stalemate.
"The area in question lies between Mashonaland West and
and this explains why there is all this confusion," the source said.
"The Ministry of Agriculture is settling A2 farmers and
the two governors
are coming in with their A1 farmers. War veterans have also come into the
picture claiming that they have jurisdiction over all areas within 30 km of
Harare," the source said.
Independent has heard that some members of the ZCBC argued that
confronting President Mugabe could cause trouble and possible retribution.
source has confided to the Independent that a small informal meeting
February 7 discussed the regional bishops' statement and was worried that it
could cause problems for them.
But ZCBC secretary-general
Godwin Nyatsanza said he was not aware of any
complaints to the SACBC.
He said: "What I know is that they made their statement after
and faxed it to us but anything more than that I don't know."
Head of the SACBC justice and peace department, Fr Gabriel
week said no agreement was breached because the statement only commented on
the Zimbabwean situation in relation to the South African government.
He said: "Normally, no bishops' conference would comment
on the situation in
the territory of another bishops' conference without being asked to do so by
that conference or following the lead of the bishops' conference in that
"However, the situation in Zimbabwe is
a very big issue in South Africa and
we as the SACBC had to comment on it in relation to our own government. "In
addition, we have been receiving many requests for solidarity from groups
and individuals in Zimbabwe."
Asked if they had received a com-plaint from Zimbabwe he
said: "I am sorry I
have no mandate to say more than I have said."
Issued at the end of the plenary meeting in Pretoria on
February 6, the
statement called on the South African government to intervene in Zimbabwe to
combat possible civil unrest and stall state terror.
It said: "The Zimbabwean crisis requires urgent and direct
the South African government, in the same way that the government has played
a leading role in the resolution of other political conflicts on the African
"However, the South African
government has consistently snubbed calls for it
to play a more active role in exposing the abuses that now characterise
Zimbabwe's political life and to take action to avert a further catastrophe
in our neighbouring country."
motion, tabled on February 13, referred to the current political and
economic crisis in Zimbabwe and spoke of the need to prevent terror,
genocide and starvation. It condemned political repression and economic
vandalism in the country.
Other parties subsequently introduced similar motions. As
result, a unified
motion by five parties - the CDU/CSU, the ruling Social Democratic Party
(SPD) and its junior partner, the Green Party, and the opposition Free
Democrats - was agreed on March 12. It was debated in the Bundestag
This has fuelled the low-intensity diplomatic
conflict between the two
countries. The situation deteriorated dramatically after Zimbabwe reacted
indignantly to the initial motion.
ambassador, thought to be acting on instructions from Harare, dispatched
a vitriolic letter on February 14 accusing the CDU of "colonial nostalgia"
and "ganging up" with British MPs.
It said the embassy was "filled with
utmost disgust and horror at the
display of the imperialist and colonial mentality among the top ranks of
Germany's political establishment".
The outburst is understood to have led to German
president Johannes Rau
postponing the presentation of Muvingi's credentials which had been due to
take place on March 12.
It is understood
Rau's office informed Muvingi after the letter that she
would be accredited at a later date, a move seen as a rebuke.
But a source yesterday said she would now be received today.
Muvingi has been waiting for an
appointment since she arrived in Germany in
ambassador to Zimbabwe Peter Schmidt confirmed the parliamentary
motions and Harare's backlash.
Before she went to Berlin, there was drama at a
dinner party on December 12
hosted at Schmidt's Chisipite home for Muvingi attended by a visiting
official from Berlin.
Sources said Central
Intelligence Organisation officers tried to gatecrash
the party in a bid to flush out a visiting German humanitarian assistance
official from the Ministry of Development & Cooperation who they claimed was
"The officers arrived at the party and interrogated
drivers of the guests
about the occasion and asked who were attending," a source said. "But they
went away before the ambassador could talk to them."
UNDP representative Victor Angelo is understood to have
prevent an embarrassing incident.
episode, the German embassy protested at a bilateral and European
Union level about what it viewed as blatant breach of the Vienna Convention
which regulates diplomatic relations between countries.
Harare promised to investigate but no response has been given as yet.
German MPs said their unified parliamentary motion tabled on March 12 was
aimed at "maintaining pressure on Zimbabwe to avoid destabilisation of
The legislators have urged Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's
government to step
up pressure on Zimbabwe to change course. The draft Bundestag motion also
urges Berlin to work with Southern African Development Community countries,
especially South Africa, to "exert pressure on the government of Zimbabwe to
achieve a policy change in the direction of the rule of law, democracy and
rehabilitation of the agriculture infrastructure".
It says the rule of law in Zimbabwe has been
undermined by "massive
violations of human rights, corruption and clientelism which are fundamental
components of (President Robert) Mugabe's system."
"The regime brutally combats opposition and criticism with
the support of
security and military forces and youths who have been trained in military
camps," the motion says.
Muvingi accused the MPs of
"gross misrepresentations". But the Germans
insist Harare's repression is simply untenable.
"If government ignores the ultimatum it
would be declaring war against the
people," Nyathi said. "The consequences of such a move would be serious."
The MDC gave government a March 31
deadline to restore the rule of law, end
violence and human rights abuses, and release all those detained for
President Robert Mugabe scoffed at the MDC, saying his government
would not yield to demands of "students of the white man".
Jonathan Moyo bluntly described the ultimatum - and its
author - as "stupid".
But Nyathi warned Mugabe's refusal to stop ongoing
repression was a
provocation of an already restless population.
"By refusing to abandon repression in order to continue
his tyranny, it
means Mugabe is simply saying he wants to confront oppressed Zimbabweans,"
"Let him be warned that Zimbabweans have a
long history of resisting
dictatorship. They did so in the past and they will certainly do so now."
The MDC national executive met on Sunday to
review the stayaway and map a
way forward. It resolved to fight on despite intensifying state-instigated
retribution against its members after the industrial action.
Zanu PF's politburo on Wednesday resolved that
government should intensify
its crackdown against the MDC, claiming the opposition was causing violence.
This seemed inspired by Mugabe's vow
last Friday that his government would
crush the MDC.
weekend's by-elections in Harare, Nyathi said the MDC was poised to
retain the seats "to maintain our undisputed dominance in urban areas" and
in the process prevent further consolidation of the current dictatorship.
Zanu PF takes on the MDC in the key by-elections in Highfield and Kuwadzana.
The by-elections are the first urban
parliamentary polls since the 2000
Finance manager of the
housing co-operative, Richard Zacharia, said they did
not recognise the order because they were not occupying Echo Farm, but an
adjacent farm called Acorn.
"Those people want to tarnish our image by publishing
told the Zimbabwe Independent last week.
are aware that we are in a protracted struggle with enemies of the
reform and we can assure you that we will win," he said.
did not even bother to attend the court hearing because we are not at
all occupying that farm."
Andrew Logan of the law firm Wintertons,
representing the owners of the
property, Gilson Enterprise Pvt Ltd, said the settlers' occupation of the
private property was illegal.
persons who have purchased stands on the property known as the
remainder of Echo will be evicted in due course by the Deputy Sheriff in
terms of the order granted by the High Court," said Logan.
Zacharia said his
cooperative had a membership of 2 500 and they were still
taking in more people.
On February 5 this year, the High Court (case number
HC10345/02) granted an
order to Gilson Enterprises instructing the settlers to stop all
developments and vacate Echo Farm. In an advertisement in a local weekly
newspaper, Gilson's lawyers said: "Sally Mugabe Heights does not own
property and is not authorised to sell stands located on the property.
The public are warned that no purported purchases of stands on the property
will be recognised by the true owner of the property."
The war veterans are selling half-acre stands in the prime
for a give-away price of $810 000 plus $1 000 per month levied as an
administration fee. Members of the co-operative will also pay a once-off
$107 000 for the construction of the main access road. Stands in the area
are valued at $20 million for half an acre.
last week visited the office of the sellers on the fourth
floor of Memorial Building in Samora Machel Avenue in central Harare and
found the office congested with people inquiring about the stands and others
is the architect of the contentious Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act under which over a dozen journalists from the
privately-owned media have been arrested and charged by the police. He is
also the brains behind the Broadcasting Services Act under which the ZBC is
the sole public broadcaster.
Meanwhile, Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, which
beams into 35 million
Arab homes, also received an award from Index on Censorship on Wednesday for
its resistance to censorship.
accolade was given for Al Jazeera's "apparent independence in a region
where much of the media is state-run". - Staff Writer/Reuter.
remarks forming part of his Supreme Court application filed
earlier this month and reported in the Zimbabwe Independent, Paradza
described the conduct of the two most senior members of the bench as
"I would have expected them to protect the integrity
of the bench by
insisting that there was no need for my arrest and being placed on remand
without the correct procedure being followed.
can only assume that they did not do so for fear that they would fall out
of favour with the executive," he said. "In so-acting they have indeed
compromised the independence of the judiciary."
experts this week said if Chief Justice Chidyausiku was to hear the
case with other judges of appeal he would have to make a ruling in a matter
in which he was an interested party.
Legal expert Lovemore Madhuku on Wednesday
Chidyausiku should not sit in the case.
Chief Justice can on his own accord recuse himself from the case and if
that does not happen, the applicant can make an application for recusal,"
He said in the event of Chidyausiku not recusing himself,
Paradza could make
an application to the Supreme Court on the day of the hearing and the case
would be put before the bench.
He said in the
event that Chidyausiku decided not to sit in the case,
President Mugabe would be required to appoint an acting Supreme Court judge
as a replacement. The full bench of the Supreme Court should hear all
"There is however no precedent. That has never happened in
Madhuku. Justice Paradza's lawyer Jonathan Samkange of Byron Venturas would
not comment on the case saying it was sub-judice.
"Huge amounts of money have started pouring into South Africa
for the development of infrastructure agreed when the trans-frontier park
agreement was signed," sources said.
transfrontier park is made up of Kruger National Park in South
Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe and Gaza in Mozambique. If completed the park will
occupy 3,6 million hectares.
Last September Germany donated
five million Euros to both South Africa and
Mozambique for infrastructure developments. Many other donors are reported
to have responded positively to the two countries but Zimbabwe has been left
Among the major
infrastructure developments needed, Zimbabwe had agreed to
construct a bridge across the Limpopo. It had also undertaken to refurbish
and build lodges and chalets at selected areas in Gonarezhou.
Zimbabwe fell out with the
donor community when war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters launched the often violent farm invasions in 2000.
The impasse worsened when the
invaders occupied national parks,
conservancies and Campfire projects with government endorsing the invasions.
In June last year the Independent
reported that government had resettled
about 750 families on 11 000 hectares inside Gonarezhou. People have also
invaded conservancies such as Save, Midlands, Malilangwe and Bubiana as well
Angelo said only when an agricultural
survey had been done would it be
necessary to hold an international land donors' conference.
"First things first. I trust that donors would be
very supportive of a
well-designed and properly implemented survey of the agricultural situation,
and before this has been achieved, we can't even talk about the next step,"
The survey would be aimed at
finding solutions to the problems faced by the
displaced farm workers and the resettled farmers who are threatened with
starvation and disease.
"The survey is an absolute necessity if we are to plan
future assistance. The survey will also be a test of our ability to access
these areas. If we do not reach the very persons who are in need of our
help, this creates a major impasse," said Angelo.
Angelo said there was need to assess the impact of changes in
over the past three years with a view to assisting the victims of the land
reform exercise. He said already there were indications that some of the
intended beneficiaries of reform were left out.
He said the
UNDP planned to kick-start its own survey "very, very soon" and
was inviting interested parties on board. The survey would help find
solutions to Zimbabwe's long-term needs.
He said the UNDP plans to initiate
projects which will assist the affected
families once the survey has been carried out.
Without disclosing the penalty impositions, the ZSE says it will now clamp
down on those firms not adhering to the international requirement.
All financial statements are supposed to conform to International Accounting
Standard (IAS29): "Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies".
Hyperinflation was formally
identified in Zimbabwe in November 1999 and the
bourse immediately decided to adopt the international reporting requirement.
Since 1999 Zimbabwe's
inflation has soared from about 20% to 220,9% at
present, making some of the billion-dollar figures earned by firms
"meaningless" when hyperinflation is taken into consideration.
Economists predict that inflation will
surpass the 450% figure by the end of
In an interview
this week ZSE consultant Anthony Barfoot said: "We will be
dealing with listed firms who are not using hyperinflation in their results.
We have told them before. It's just that the situation is a bit of a problem
because of the way inflation is continuously changing in Zimbabwe."
said about 20% of listed firms were still not using hyperinflation
in their reports.
Financial institutions such as NMB, Kingdom, Trust and First
Corporation have, however, adhered to the IAS29 regulations. Some industrial
firms such as Chemco and Clan on the other hand have not adhered to IAS29,
saying this would not result in a fair presentation of their financial
Clan said inflation-adjusted fina-ncial
statements would be presented with
their annual report, while Chemco in its results for the period ended
October 31 2002 said the exercise was "costly" and "not useful".
The excuse is that there is no diesel and refuse trucks need
other businesses are coping with fuel shortages - admittedly with
difficulty - and the trucks can be fixed. A more plausible explanation can
be found in the territorial disputes that have erupted since Mudzuri
extended the contracts for refuse collection to companies not associated
with Zanu PF.
This has led, I gather, to disputes over jurisdiction.
We carried details in this newspaper on March 14. The
new contractors have
been given 90 days to procure equipment and start collections. That takes us
through to the end of May. The established collectors - ie Zanu PF-related
companies - were supposed to continue collecting in their old jurisdictions
up until then. But they are sulking. They are unhappy about having their
turf - and therefore their incomes - reduced by a more equitable sharing of
the refuse cake.
appears paralysed by this stayaway. He should move swiftly to
penalise companies refusing to collect rubbish. One of the primary functions
of any city council is refuse collection. Public health is under threat from
uncollected rubbish. It is also unsightly. Instead of allowing the strike to
continue, Mudzuri should immediately suspend the contracts of those
companies refusing to accept the new order.
There are many
ways in which Zanu PF is resisting the democratic election of
a mayor who represents the majority of people in the capital. This is one of
them and it needs to be exposed. The mayor should name and shame those
companies refusing to do their job.
Meanwhile, it is evident that Zimbabwe is running
out of fuel. Allocations
to garages have been steadily reduced. As our front-page story revealed last
week, the Libyans and others are reluctant to agree to any deal that places
them at a disadvantage because of the unrealistic exchange rate. Also, they
want to be paid on time. As the Iranians we interviewed suggested, countries
that prove unreliable customers are unlikely to have contracts renewed.
Furthermore, Eskom and
Mozambique's power utility HCB want to be paid what
they are owed. Zesa simply doesn't have the forex. Government can't help and
attempts to charge customers exorbitant amounts in forex are likely to meet
a brick wall.
None of this is the product of an international conspiracy.
Very simply Zanu
PF policies have sabotaged the country's means of earning forex. Export
commodities have been the chief victims of chaotic land seizures.
Zimbabwe's once lush and fertile agricultural estates lie idle as we pay the
price of wanton vandalism by the country's political elite and their militia
henchmen. Then there are policies that prevent companies recovering the cost
of their operations.
Populism has its price
and we are all paying it in the form of fuel
shortages and very soon power cuts. It's no good blaming foreigners who are
understandably reluctant to throw good money after bad. The buck stops at
A worker removed the four bottles from my
trolley, took them away and
returned the wine with the price of $6 820 scratched out and $1 600 written
on the ticket.
He informed me
that an error had been made for which he apologised.
I discovered the next day that the price of bottles remaining on the shelf
had not been changed!
Is there an ulterior motive for local branch management of
TM Stores to
super-inflate prices of popular products or is it a company policy?
Whatever the reason, it stinks.