Zimbabwe's Impending Elections - What Other Countries
Can Do, and Why by Roger Bate
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
pressure from outside nations, upcoming elections in Zimbabwe are almost
certain to hasten the country's slide into dictatorship under longtime
leader Robert Mugabe. Pressure must be brought to bear on Zimbabwe 's
Southern African neighbors to enforce the agreed election protocols or they,
and not just Zimbabwe, should face the withdrawal of aid, trade deals, and
other U.S. largesse.
His Excellency Comrade Robert Mugabe remains
president of Zimbabwe because he is a tyrant who stole two elections. The
international community is absolutely convinced of this, but South Africa
and most of Zimbabwe's neighbors have refused to condemn him. Instead, the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) is trying to cajole Mugabe
into acting decently. It is failing miserably.
Two years ago, South
Africa's president, Thabo Mkebi, gave President Bush the assurance that his
"quiet diplomacy" would resolve the impending problem of a complete lack of
democratic process in Zimbabwe. Now that thedate of presidential and
parliamentary elections has been announced asMarch 31, the problem has
become urgent. All signs indicate that Comrade Robert intends to cheat and
brawl his way to another "victory."
In August 2004, the leaders of SADC,
an alliance of fifteen southernAfrican countries, agreed to adopt electoral
guidelines intended to ensure free and fair elections throughout the region.
Part of the deal was that a SADC team would be invited to visit each country
prior to elections and assess whether the guidelines were being implemented.
When it came to Zimbabwe, South Africa was confident that these arrangements
would satisfycritics who had accused SADC leaders of allowing Mugabe to
rampage overcivil freedoms. But South Africa's foreign minister, Nkosozana
Dlamini-Zuma, was obliged to admit to a parliamentary media briefing that
the SADC team would be welcome only as part of a pan-African (AfricanUnion)
poll observer team, and not significantly in advance of
Mugabe well understands that limited election monitoring is
the absolute minimum requirement that allows his regime to be
internationally recognized. By allowing the SADC a brief, sanitized glimpse
at the election process, Mugabe is shrewdly trying to use the organization
as apatsy for his legitimacy. It has worked well enough before, since SADC
ignored numerous reports of violence and ballot-rigging and laughably
declared the last two elections "largely free and fair." But will SADC yet
again play into Mugabe's hands and allow for this most recent snub to go
unpunished? If it does, then the SADC, and not just Zimbabwe, is not serious
about democratic reform.
Recent signs of tension between South Africa
and Zimbabwe indicate that at least SADC's most powerful member is growing
nervous over the potential damage to its reputation brought on by dawdling
over another sham election. Within the last month, a Zimbabwe court
convicted three people of selling state secrets to South Africa. Most
recently, a pre-election fact-finding delegation from South Africa's
official parliamentary opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, was
expelled on arrival at Harare International Airport. Zimbabwe has also twice
barred the powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), allied
to Mbeki's African National Congress party, from sending fact-finding
missions to the country ahead of the vote.
Mugabe's views on his own
country's trade union organization are made plain on the website of the
party he leads, Zanu PF:
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has
been exposed for what itis, a front for employers and the opposition MDC.
The ZCTU, which is bankrolled by employers, the MDC and imperialist
countries such as Britain and the USA has for the past five years ignored
the plight of workers and concentrated on pursuing the agenda of the
opposition party of trying to topple the ZANU PF government.
last October COSATU representatives visited Zimbabwe at the invitation of
the ZCTU, they were thrown out after spending only a few hours in the
country, since Zimbabwean officials described their visit as "inappropriate
and offensive." Undeterred, the general secretary of COSATU, Zwelinzima
Vavi, planned another trip, which was also blocked. COSATU announced a
protest blockade of the border crossings.
Dissent The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is Zimbabwe's only
opposition party, and the decision for the MDC to take part in the election
was takenonly on Friday, February 12. After the announcement, Mugabe's
government wasted no time marginalizing MDC's participation. By the
following Tuesday, February 15, the Zimbabwean attorney general, Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele, ordered prosecutors around the country to revive chargesa
gainst MDC activists that long ago were dropped because of lack of evidence.
Unsurprisingly, the MDC sees this as a clear bid to hamstring its election
campaign. Legal challenges to the last elections have yet to be heard. And
though MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was recently acquitted of treason,
another trial for treason is pending.
The stakes in these elections
are high. The MDC is planning to put up 120 candidates, although several
candidates did not succeed in registering at nomination courts by the
deadline of February 18. (The matter is still pending as we go to press.)
They currently have 57 seats in parliament and must retain at least 50 to
veto constitutional amendments. Should Zanu PF muster a constitutional
majority, the limited checks on Mugabe's power would all but disappear.
Unsurprisingly, the current regime is doing all it can to ensure such an
outcome. Speaking on February 17, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said
that so far many candidates had been unable to find an official in place to
process their applications, without which, of course, they cannot register.
He adds, "We have written to the Zimbabwe Election Commission repeatedly,
but they ignore us."
On February 16 the MDC started making preparations
for the election by holding a candidate training workshop at a hotel in the
capital, Harare. But the MDC is still under intense surveillance, and police
soon arrived to declare the workshop illegal and to demand that the
candidates disperse. The MDC election manager, Ian Makone, was arrested and
Arrests of officials and candidates have been a daily
occurrence since Mugabe was shaken by the success of the MDC in the 2000
general election.He has successfully strained to make the lives of party
officials uncomfortable. A survey taken a year ago among MDC members of
parliament (MPs) found that 42 percent claimed to have been assaulted in the
previous four years, most commonly by the police, while 24 percent said they
had survived assassination attempts. Three MPs had died following assaults.
Most MPs had been arrested. Only one had been convicted: Job Sikhala was
eventually fined $5 for assaulting a police officer, after having been
arrested 17 times, stripped, bound, blindfolded, subjected toelectric shocks
to his teeth and testicles, and urinated on by apoliceman.
Bennett is contesting his seat despite being in prison and serving a
ten-month sentence on a chain gang. Bennett's offense was to push Patrick
Chinamasa, the justice minister, during a heated debate in which the
minister branded Bennett's family "murderers and thieves." Bennett was
unconstitutionally sentenced by a parliamentary committee, but this means
that he is not a convicted prisoner and can stand for reelection.
Despitebeing white, he speaks the local language, Shona, fluently, is well
liked, and is certain to win.
In Mugabe's own tribal (Shona)
heartland, Mashonaland, he expects unquestioning support, rather than
grudging acceptance. But unease is growing as food supplies become
dangerously low. And while in a recent survey most agreed that life was
getting harder and that the government was to blame, most still said they
would vote for the ruling Zanu PF "because we fear that if we turn against
the government, we will be victimized," said one.
When addressing his
people, Mugabe routinely portrays the MDC as foreign-sponsored militants
seeking to undermine the country's prosperity and security, and against
which he is bravely fighting: "The MDC is now a timid and much frightened
creature as it tries to create all sorts of excuses to escape certain
electoral defeat. . . . Let them be warned, however, that we shall brook no
violence or any act that may seek to tarnish the country's image. Let them
also be warned that our security organs will show no mercy towards any
aberration that detracts from our peace, stability and tranquility. The
situation of law and order must be maintained," he exclaimed
Repeals Required So far Mugabe has shown no intention of
complying with SADC protocols, but if he was pressured to comply, he should
start by repealing these damaging laws: Public Order and Security Act (POSA)
No. 1 of 2002; Access toInformation and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
No. 5 of 2002; Non-Governmental Organizations Bill (NGO), still to be signed
into law and gazetted; and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act (ZEC), No. 22
There are five key sections of POSA that must be repealed
immediately for there to be the least chance of a free and fair election in
Sections 15 and 16 provide that imprisonment can result
from publishing anything prejudicial to the state and abusive of the
president. Remarkable even by Zimbabwe's despotic standards, this act was
passed into law despite being contrary to Section 20 of Zimbabwe's
constitution, which protects freedom of speech.
Sections 24, 25, and
26 also pack a punch. These establish that agreement by the police and four
days' notice are required before a political rally and other meetings can
occur. These sections effectively ban opposition meetings. This is in direct
contravention of Section 21 of the constitution.
Two sections of the NGO
should be removed before it is enacted. Preferably the bill should be
completely abandoned and the perfectly serviceable Private Voluntary Act
Section 9 duplicates Sections 24-26 of POSA and imposes the
same restrictions on national and international bodies.
makes it illegal to accept foreign funding for NGOs, including from
Zimbabweans living abroad. This notably restricts work on human-rights
protection, voter education, and monitoring voter fraud.
purpose of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act seems to
be to restrict freedom of the press. The entire Act should be repealed since
it has no redeeming qualities. Press freedoms in Zimbabweare virtually
nonexistent; since the last independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, was
bombed out of its offices in 2003, the electronic media are all controlled
by Mugabe, and nearly all foreign journalists have been expelled.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act is the most blatantly pernicious specimen
of this sorry collection of legislation. Five sections, particularly, should
be repealed. Sections 17, 51, and 83 respectively allow the military to
"supervise" elections, to decide the number and location of polling
stations, and to exclude MDC observers from polling stations.
allows the voters' roll to be in paper rather than electronic form. Before
this was enacted last year, the registrar-general could have provided an
electronic copy to all legitimate requesters--not that he everdid, since
Mugabe demanded limited access. Paper rolls can be stolen, and when they
have been one realizes why Mugabe limits access. Perhaps 400,000 deceased
people are on the old roll--and the dead do not vote for the opposition. The
roll should be given electronically to the opposition to help identify
Section 71 restricts postal ballots, effectively
disenfranchising all Zimbabweans (probably over 4 million of a current
electorate of approximately 11 million) living abroad, many of them as
This last item is being legally challenged by a group
of exiles living in Britain, the Diaspora Vote Action Group. This is a group
of six people, but they represent perhaps close to 90 percent of the
Zimbabweans living outside the country. The group has pointed out that
Section 71 is contrary to the constitution and that both Botswana and
Mozambique included overseas residents in recent elections. These arguments
are unlikely tocut any ice with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. But they
may be useful to convince SADC leaders that Zimbabwe is an undemocratic
pariah that will harm the organization's reputation.
Indicators and the Zimbabwean Diaspora The Zimbabwean economy has halved in
value in the past five years; money is printed on one side only and is
largely worthless since inflation is rampant, unemployment is over 80
percent, and most people have given up trying to find a job. Not
surprisingly public services have collapsed.
The state education and
health systems, the proudest achievements of Mugabe 's early years in
office, are imploding. In 2000, primary school enrolment was 95 percent for
boys and 90 percent for girls. Four years later it was 67 percent for boys
and 63 percent for girls. Ordinary Zimbabweans are so broke that they cannot
afford state school fees of $4 a term. The middle classes still had the
luxury of sending their children to private school of very high
quality--until the police brought notices round to the schools commanding
them to reduce their fees to nominal rates that are too low to cover costs.
As teaching standards fell, the pupils were taken away, not just from
school, but from the country.
AIDS and other infectious and opportunistic
diseases are running riot in Zimbabwe, helped along by malnutrition. Apart
from lack of rains two years ago, which caused Mugabe to request
international famine relief, his policy of reclaiming farmland "stolen by
imperialists" has slashed food production. While actual production figures
are kept secret, the U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning Systems network
recently reported that about half the population--5.8 million people--would
need emergency food aid before the next harvests in April. While MDC
persistently claims that its own supporters are denied government food
handouts, the government reacted angrily to the claims of shortage.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made described the report as part of Western
plans to destabilize Zimbabweahead of the elections. The author witnessed
food roadblocks preventing maize from being transported into opposition
areas in November.
The combined effect of food shortage and disease has
been disastrous. In 1992, life expectancy in Zimbabwe was 60; in 2002 it was
33 and dropping. Infant mortality has doubled in a decade. The official
HIV/AIDS rate in 2002 was about 27 percent (the third highest in the world),
but the real rate is probably much higher, since sexual behavior, both
forced (notably in Mugabe's youth camps) and consensual, is likely tospread
AIDS patients have no drugs and no future. Many are too sick
to travel and seek treatment abroad, but younger Zimbabweans, who are
overtly healthy though malnourished, leave if they possibly can. This is
exactly the age group that carries the highest HIV burden, and they take the
virus withthem wherever they go--many of the women into
The only good news is that the diaspora of Zimbabweans into
neighboring states may further encourage SADC leaders to act. In the short
run Southern Africa benefited from the influx of single, educated
Zimbabweans, but as the exodus continues those leaving have an undesirable
profile--lesser educated and probably carrying a higher burden of disease.
Neighboring African leaders will soon have to choose between strong action
against Mugabe or destabilizing health and economic situations in their own
countries. Acting now would demonstrate foresight and
Western Policy The MDC has entered the upcoming election
"without prejudice" and so reserves the right not to comply with the
outcome. If it sees evidence ofrigging when the vote occurs, and presuming
it has some successful candidates, the MDC could refuse to take up seats in
parliament, and so invalidate the result. After that, the best hope is that
its neighbors will finally refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the
despotic regimethat is dragging them all down with it. But what can the West
So far policy has revolved around smart sanctions against the 71
highest ranking Zimbabwean officials, from Mugabe to odious generals
likeVitalis Zsvinavasche, who has hundreds of deaths on his hands. These
sanctions, which prevent travel to the United States and to EU
countries,have apparently upset the hierarchy but have had little impact on
policy changes. No doubt diplomatic channels are open and must remain so,
but so far, inaction has been the order of the day. Quiet diplomacy--the
"talk,talk, and more talk" of South African president Thabo Mbeki--is
changing nothing in Zimbabwe, and the West's support of this strategy has
done no good.
Unlike in the Darfur region of the Sudan or the regions
ravaged by the tsunami last December, the bodies are not piling up in
Zimbabwe under the scrutiny of a video-hungry media. Instead, apart from a
steady but relatively small number of victims of political murder, black
Zimbabweans are dying out of sight, in rural communities, of starvation and
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to be commended for
addressing Zimbabwe. But the rhetorical battle has only just begun. She must
convince SADC leaders that U.S. aid, military support, and other diplomatic
favorssuch as trade deals hinge on their solving the problem on their
doorstep.They must believe that unless they enforce the election protocols
agreed to by Mugabe, the United States will withdraw support for the
The big question is whether Mbeki will finally stand up to the
man who supported him during the apartheid years by allowing ANC bases in
Zimbabwe. America can--and it should--make it too uncomfortable for Mbeki
not to. Business as usual should not be an option for this outpost of
The more things change,
the more they stay the same. Nowhere is this more true than with Zimbabwe's
parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 31. With just under a month to
go, it seems the ruling Zanu PF has snookered the region again, with the
electoral landscape looking worse than in 2000 and certainly not conducive
to a free and fair election. This is clear to everyone except, it seems,
regional leaders, who are doing their best to convince themselves and
everyone else that President Robert Mugabe is acting in good faith. Over the
years, no one has come to expect much from the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) - but its protocol, Principles and Guidelines Governing
Democratic Elections, was impressive. Region watchers believed that it might
be a new start, particularly with Mauritius, a no-nonsense country, in
charge. But alas, this has not proved to be the case. Zimbabwe has already
violated a wide range of provisions in the protocol and nothing has been
Mugabe's few gestures towards electoral reform, made to avoid
censure at the Mauritius summit where the protocol was signed, seem to have
been offered up to obscure what would happen next - further skewing of the
electoral process in favour of the government and a greater clampdown on
freedoms. A "new" electoral commission has been established, but it is
chaired by a pro-government judge appointed by Mugabe. For the first time,
soldiers and policemen will act as election officials. Election observers
must be accredited by a committee dominated by nominees of cabinet ministers
and the president, and only people invited by a minister or the Electoral
Supervisory Commission - dominated by government appointees - will be
eligible for accreditation. The opposition has to apply for permission to
hold campaign meetings in order not to fall foul of the Public Order and
Security Act, one of the country's most repressive pieces of legislation.
Opposition parties are forbidden to have foreign funding and are not deemed
eligible for government funding. Only government-licensed journalists and
publications may report events. Nearly 2-million "ghost" voters have been
found on the voters' roll and the military has been involved in the
demarcation of electoral areas, which has seen the elimination of three
opposition seats and three new ones created in Zanu PF
Less than a month before the poll, Harare has not issued
invitations to election observers. The SADC protocol requires invitations to
be made 90 days before the poll to allow for adequate preparation of a
regional team. The much applauded protocol, in its first real test, has been
violated. Regional leaders have been disempowered by their own protocol
which, like the African peer review mechanism, relies on the integrity of
government signatories to abide by it and contains no punitive or
enforcement measures. The short-term future of Zimbabwe depends on whether
the March 31 poll is declared free and fair - not necessarily by the
international community, which does not seem to have the power to change
events in Zimbabwe much, but by African countries, many of which have
provided a bulwark against change there. No matter what the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and international teams might think,
the African "green light" is crucial in providing Mugabe and Zanu PF with
the legitimacy they crave to perpetuate their rule by whatever means
necessary. As with the presidential election three years ago, it is
difficult to envisage a circumstance in which the African teams will not
close ranks around the ruling party. South African Foreign Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in the face of well-published evidence to the
contrary, has already intimated that conditions look acceptable for
elections to occur.
This assessment ignores the overall worsening of
the political and economic environment inside Zimbabwe. Any concessions
Mugabe has made have been overshadowed by the tightening of laws governing
elections, the role of civil society and the media. Some economic recovery
may be possible under the "close ranks" election scenario, but it will in
the main be dislocated from non-African assistance, except for burgeoning
Chinese economic interests. But this outcome will depend, too, on what
response the MDC adopts. Zimbabwe's opposition faced a dilemma: if they had
chosen not to participate in the elections, they would have been labelled
spoilers and lost relevance; if they did, they risked legitimising an
apparently inevitably fraudulent process. But this is not a zero-sum game.
Now it has confirmed its participation, the ball is firmly in the court of
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his colleagues. heir key asset and
political leverage is the legitimacy that they will accord to the process or
not. This, in turn, depends on how the party handles itself and its campaign
in the weeks before, and especially following, the election.
MDC has to learn to play to its strengths and highlight the comparative
weaknesses of Zanu PF. These strengths include sound, youthful and pragmatic
leadership; a culture of nonviolence; broad-based support; and sensible
policies. The MDC has to offer a reasonable alternative to the internecine,
eccentric, egocentric and increasingly costly behaviour of the ruling party.
This demands a clear and continuous articulation of its core principles of
inclusiveness, not elitism; economic recovery, not continued collapse; and
popular support, not party centrism. Presuming the election follows the
predictable path of a hollow Zanu PF victory, most interesting is the MDC's
role afterwards. It has a number of possible strategies. First, the
"obstructionist parliamentarian" model, fighting for its cause from inside
parliament. Even though this may find favour with MDC members concerned
about their livelihood in the parliamentary gravy train, this role is likely
to serve simply to grant a stamp of approval to Mugabe, the election process
and Zanu PF misrule. A second option is not to enter parliament and publicly
contest the election result, using party structures and its union base to
mobilise mass protests - the "Ukrainian option". But the MDC has hitherto
shown little capacity or stomach for this type of action, and it is
uncertain whether Tsvangirai can make the leap to mass insurrection. Of
course, the Zimbabwean people have the power of change in their hands. But
there is also a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of SADC countries to
show proper commitment to their own principles of African democracy in order
not to render them valueless.
Games is director of Africa@Work; Dr Mills is the national director of
the South African Institute of International Affairs
Mbeki: Zimbabwe elections will be fair Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Posted: 12:15 PM EST (1715 GMT)
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South
African President Thabo Mbeki said Wednesday he does not believe anything
will happen in Zimbabwe to prevent free and fair elections on March
"I have no reason to think that anybody in Zimbabwe will act in a way
that will militate against elections being free and fair," Mbeki told
reporters after meeting with outgoing Namibian President Sam
Mbeki's comments came just two days after the U.S. State
Department, in its annual human rights report, accused the government of
President Robert Mugabe of serious human rights abuses and of skewing the
parliamentary election in favor of the ruling party.
policy of "quiet diplomacy" with Zimbabwe has drawn harsh criticism both at
home and in Zimbabwe, said the Mugabe government was observing regional
election protocols established by the Southern African Development
However, he made the comments before a SADC observer mission
has been accredited to cover the election in Zimbabwe.
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party in Zimbabwe has complained
this month that its candidates and supporters have been attacked, that state
media still refuses to give it fair access and that both the election laws
and election bodies have been stacked in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF
Mbeki contended in his comments that Zimbabwe's government had
created an independent electoral commission and had given the opposition
access to state-run media, the only daily journalism left inside
But critics contend that the election commission is not
impartial. They note that it is headed by a former army colonel with close
ties to the ruling party and that the Mugabe never consulted with anyone
outside his own party before making the appointment.
The MDC notes
that when the ruling party launched its campaign, it got four hours of
coverage on state media and it was the main story on state media for two
days. When the opposition launched its campaign, it got 1 minute and 25
seconds of coverage on state media.
The State Department, in its report,
said Mugabe and his ruling party have "used intimidation and violence to
maintain political power. A systematic, government-sanctioned campaign of
violence targeting supporters and perceived supporters of the opposition
continued during the year."
Tony Leon, the Democratic Alliance leader, says this month's
parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe have already been rigged. He was
addressing the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Belgian
capital, Brussels today.
Leon told delegates the elections will be
neither free, fair, nor legitimate. He says he can state this ahead of the
election because the behaviour of the Zimbabwean government in recent times
has left little room for doubt. Leon also says the Zimbabwean government has
violated all of the most basic conditions for elections it agreed to at the
meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Mauritius in
August last year.
Jacob Zuma, the South African deputy president, has
meanwhile cautioned against pre-empting the coming elections in Zimbabwe as
being not free and fair. Responding to questions in Parliament today, Zuma
said the South African government is not in the business of condemning other
countries, but would rather assist where in can. He says the South African
government has been invited to observe the Zimbabwean elections in its
capacity as a SADC member and as a neighbouring country, while the ANC has
also been invited.
Elections are set to be held in Zimbabwe on March
Mugabe launches bid to re-take capital from
Wed March 2, 2005 5:13 PM GMT+02:00 By Stella
HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe launched an
opening shot in his bid to re-take Zimbabwe's capital from the opposition on
Wednesday, telling supporters there was no room for "puppets" in Harare's
halls of power.
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF hopes the March 31
parliamentary polls will see it win ground from the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in major urban areas, where voters have turned
against the ruling party amid a serious economic crisis.
has been a particular irritant for Mugabe since the capital's voters
returned MDC candidates to all of its parliamentary seats in the last
elections in 2000 -- a direct challenge to the elderly ruler who led
Zimbabwe to independence in 1980.
"You are Zimbabweans and
nationals. You are Zimbabweans and sons of revolutionaries. How can we have
puppets in Harare? Harare must change," Mugabe told supporters at the state
burial of a senior official from his ruling ZANU-PF party.
Mugabe routinely dismisses the MDC as a puppet of former colonial ruler
Britain, with whom he has clashed mainly over his controversial seizure of
white-owned farms for blacks.
The MDC narrowly lost the 2000 vote
and says it would have won both that poll and a presidential election two
years later, were it not for massive rigging by the ruling party. ZANU-PF
insists it won fairly both times.
Some rivals have dismissed
the coming poll as a farce because of electoral rules which they say are
tilted in favour of the ruling party -- but both sides are already
campaigning hard with urban areas a key battleground.
Zimbabwe's economic crisis has hit urban residents particularly hard with
high inflation rising transport costs and declining municipal
Harare residents were warned on Wednesday to brace for
water supply interruptions as municipal administrators run out of foreign
currency to pay for imported water treatment chemicals.
MDC, which has historically drawn support from urban labour unions, has been
strong in Harare and it effectively controlled the city council before
Mugabe's government ousted the party's officials over allegations of
Political analysts say while ZANU-PF, which enjoys
majority support in rural areas, is likely to retain power in this year's
vote, Mugabe faces a credibility problem over the election and will have a
tough time winning over residents of Harare as they struggle with economic
"Although ZANU-PF is on this drive (to win back
Harare), the practical problems here is going to make it very difficult,"
said political analyst Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei.
HARARE, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's
accreditation of election observers for the March 31 parliamentary poll got
off to a slow start on Wednesday. Only about 11 diplomats from five
countries have registered at the close of business, an official
Accreditation Committee spokesperson, Chrispen Mavodza of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the process got off to a slow start,
as it could not start in the morning as planned.
not start at 08:00 hours as had been advertised sincewe had not yet set up
our equipment," he said, adding the exercisestarted at 1400 hours and 11
diplomats had been accredited.
None of the registered local
observers turned up for accreditation, he said. None of the diplomats from
African countries were registered.
At least 10 people per
embassy would be accredited to observe the elections, said
Zimbabwe has invited local and foreign observers to
observe theelections scheduled for the end of this month.
It has, however, barred Britain, the United States and the European Union
from observing the poll, accusing them of having pre-conceived opinions
about the elections. But their diplomats working inside the country would be
allowed to observe the election. Enditem
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Mar 2005 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government may soon de-register at least 30
NGOs for failing to provide details of donor funds channelled into the
country through them last year, a senior offical told IRIN.
minister of public service, labour and social welfare, Paul Mangwana, said
the state had reasonable grounds to believe that the funds, meant for rural
sanitation and infrastructure development programmes, had been redirected
into supporting "anti-government activities".
Mangwana told IRIN that
according to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act, NGOs were
required to submit periodic reports of any donor funding received as part of
aid appeals made by the government, but the NGOs concerned had failed to
submit audited statements of their accounts to his ministry, despite several
written requests between October and December 2004.
appealed and got more than US $210 million [in humanitarian assistance], but
the donors chose to channel the funding directly to the NGOs. As the
responsible ministry, we are empowered by law to demand statements of
accounts from the organisations, and to check their books to see how they
spent any money sent to them for programmes under the government appeal. Of
the 35 we dealt with in this issue, only five submitted the necessary
statements," the minister explained.
"However, we have written several
notices to the concerned organisations to demand their books, without
success. We are now in the process of drafting final letters of demand
before we take action." He said the most likely penalty would be suspension
from operating or de-registration.
Although he declined to name the
organisations facing government sanctions, Mangwana said they had been
involved in rural sanitation and infrastructure revival programmes across
Jonah Mudehwe, the spokesman for the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), said there had been no communication
between the ministry and the association on the possible de-registration of
its members, but confirmed having received complaints from some NGOs about
the government's demand to audit their accounts.
"NANGO has not been
notified of possible action against its members. We have only received
complaints from individual organisations worried about demands from the
state. We are surprised by this development, because it appears the state
has given itself the duty to audit accounts - something which we believe
should be done by the donors."
He noted that some member organisations
feared the government was using provisions in the new NGO Bill, which was
still awaiting President Robert Mugabe's signature for enactment, and
pointed out that the existing Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act had
no provision for state supervision of NGO accounts.
"The PVO Act
provides only for the appointment of a senior civil officer in the ministry
of public service to probe accounts or general management, where there is
reasonable cause to believe accountability is at risk," the NANGO spokesman
The NGOs could only account for the use of funds to specific
donors, while their responsibility to government was to give regular updates
of their activities. Allegations that the funds could have been misdirected
to fund "anti-government activities" were "disturbing, but expected, as
elections draw closer", Mudehwe commented.
Mangwana insisted that
some NGOs had funded the opposition and "anti-government activities, in the
name of democratisation", adding that many were still actively working to
undermine the ruling party, and there was a need to monitor their activities
and protect the citizens.
Over 300 local and 30 international NGOs were
operating in Zimbabwe at the end of last year. However, the new NGO Bill has
paralysed the activities of those involved in human rights and civic voter
The NGO bill bans foreign NGOs concerned principally with
"issues of governance", and denies registration to NGOs receiving foreign
funding for "promotion and protection of human rights and political
The warning to NGOs, which have helped the
humanitarian community feed millions of drought-affected Zimbabweans for
three consecutive years, come as some aid agencies have raised the alarm
over further food insecurity across the country.
New Study Links Zimbabwean Exiles to Development By William
Eagle Washington,DC 02 March 2005
A new report
says Zimbabweans living outside the country make a substantial contribution
to the well being of their families back home. It also shows that many
skilled exiles would be willing to return home to help develop their country
if conditions allowed. The study, entitled "The Development Potential of
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora," was released by the International Organization
for Migration. It was written by Alice Bloch, a lecturer at City University
Ms. Bloch told English to Africa reporter William Eagle there
are thought to be tens of thousands of Zimbabwean exiles in Britain, and
hundreds of thousands in South Africa. She says substantial number of those
- especially in the Britain - are skilled professionals. They, as well as
unskilled migrants from Zimbabwe, provide an important source of financial
support for their families back home. In South Africa, Ms. Bloch says
Zimbabwean women are increasingly joining men as cross-border traders in
search of work.
The survey showed that about a quarter of those in the
Zimbabwean Diaspora left because of political repression, while others were
seeking better economic opportunities. Ms. Bloch says the study also had
significant findings for government development agencies and community
activists: she said the participants suggested that it would be easier to
find work if they enjoyed dual citizenship. Also, she says it would be
helpful if the British government would allow asylum seekers to work while
their applications are pending.
Today, it is illegal for asylum
seekers to work in Britain, although Ms. Bloch notes that some Zimbabwean
professionals could be used to fill shortages in some professions in the
Britain, such as teaching. She says by working, asylum seekers could also
maintain or improve their skills so they will be up to date if they decide
to return to Zimbabwe.
Mercenaries' jail terms slashed From
correspondents in Harare, Zimbabwe 03mar05 THE Zimbabwe High Court today
reduced by four months the sentences of a group of suspected mercenaries
jailed over an alleged coup plot in the oil-rich state of Equatorial
"I can confirm that the sentences of the suspected mercenaries
and the two pilots have been reduced by four months," a court source
Judge Yunus Omerjee gave no reasons when he handed down his ruling
in an application made by the suspected mercenaries' lawyers late last
"If my calculations are right, the men should be released
immediately," their South African-based lawyer Alwyn Griebenow
Last year, a lower court jailed the group of men, including former
British soldier Simon Mann, on various convictions for breaching Zimbabwe's
aviation, immigration, firearms and security laws.
Mann was slapped
with a seven year jail term later reduced to four years, while two pilots
who flew a plane into Harare to collect arms got 16 months and the rest were
jailed for 12 months.
Mr Griebenow said the men serving the one year term
now only had to serve eight months, which ends on May 10.
But the men
also qualify for a one-third remission of sentence provided for well-behaved
prisoners under Zimbabwean laws. Coupled with this reduction, all the men -
except the two pilots who received longer jail terms - should be released
The court official said the men would be freed into the
custody of Zimbabwe's immigration department for deportation to South Africa
since they had been declared illegal immigrants.
Mann, a former
member of Britain's crack Special Air Service (SAS) force, along with 69
others were arrested on March 7 last year at Harare international airport en
route to Equatorial Guinea.
They were accused of being on their way to
join an advance party in the west African state of Equatorial Guinea in a
plot to overthrow longtime leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
denied the charges, claiming they were on their way to the Democratic
Republic of Congo to guard mines.
British businessman Mark Thatcher who
was accused of partly financing the alleged plot, was recently fined by a
South African court for violating its anti-mercenary laws and paid a hefty
three million rand ($642,000) fine.
DOCUMENT March 1, 2005 Posted to the web March 2,
Abubakar Bukola Saraki Lagos
Dr. Saraki, Kwara State
governor, presented this address recently at the Harvard Business School in
the United States of America. To be continued.
What we did was to
strictly monitor the delivery of the fertilizers as they arrived and took
records of what was kept in each warehouse.
Instead of distributing the
supplies to each council areas and districts, we centralised the
distribution and requested the extension officers in each area to collect
verifiable list of actual farmers who needed fertilizers. He then collected
their payments and forwarded same to a central office at the State Ministry
of Agriculture where each bag of fertilizer had been branded. To our utter
surprise, few weeks to the end of farming season, the warehouses were still
full of fertilizers despite repeated announcements on the state radio that
we had fertilizers in our stores.
This anecdote goes to show that some of
our problems can be easily solved if we are ready to pay attention to the
system and strengthen it.
That was a little digression, but the point is
that if we must practice agriculture at a scale that would match our goals,
it was necessary for us to rise above this subsistence level, and move into
large scale commercial farming while gradually integrating the small farm
holders into the core farming centres to deal with the poverty component of
our development strategy.
We had keenly followed events in Zimbabwe,
which we knew had a rich history of successful commercial agriculture. As it
became clear that the crises between the government and the white farmers
was not about to be settled, some of the farmers began to relocate. Some
went to Zambia, while some moved to Mozambique. In no time, we began to hear
news of how these small crops of farmers were beginning to turn around the
agricultural sector in those countries.
Naturally, it occurred to us,
why not Nigeria, why not Kwara State. These people have the kind of
expertise we require, so why don't we bring them in.
So, we reached out
and started talking to them.
Initially, they were reluctant. Even though
they have lived in Africa for many years, and many of them were even born in
Africa, they didn't have much information about Nigeria on which to base any
investment decision (And Kwara State, where was that?). Moreover, these were
people who had just lost their life investment to the political problem in
their country, to convince them to start all over again, in another African
country, was going to be difficult. It was therefore, clear that we had to
start by shoring up the confidence level. We started this by inviting them
to Nigeria and to Kwara State. On one of such visits, we conducted a tour of
the farmlands and afterwards took them to Abuja to meet with President
Obasanjo, who assured them that they are welcome in Nigeria because Nigeria
would like to keep in Africa what is good for Africa, and commercial farming
is good for Africa.
The second level was the issue of funding. Like I
said, most of these farmers had lost their investments in Zimbabwe, even if
they had any equity to bring on board, they were naturally reluctant. Again,
we began to talk to some banks and arranged a series of meetings between
them and the farmers. Over the years, financial institutions, especially the
banks, had complained of lack of "bankable" project in the agric
This project gave us opportunity to take them to task and we
challenged them that now here is a project that could be supported. In the
end, they were able to secure substantial commercial loans, which were
protected by government guarantee. The proposal as set out by the Zimbabwean
farmers' project indicates $7.5 million, which would go into providing road
networks around the farm sites, irrigation, water and power supply, and
health facilities; and another $10 million as working capital. These
represent the counterpart funding provided by government as loans. Farmers'
equity comes to $1.125 million representing the cost of farm lands and
payable over a 5-year period.
Today, as I speak to you, these farmers
are in Kwara State, working on a scheme will initially bring an additional
20,000 hectares under cultivation and will generate substantial marketable
surplus in food and cash crops that will encourage the development and
expansion of local agri-processing and agricultural exports. At the same
time the scheme would provide for farm extension activity designed to
transfer knowledge and techniques into the small scale subsistence farming
For example, we project that investment in dairy production will
yield up to 5 million litres of milk per annum (pa) and will take care of
domestic needs which is currently characterised by shortfalls, high
prevailing prices, and the importation of up to 98% of domestic consumption.
At present Nigeria, imports 48,000 metric tonnes of dry whole milk, 30,000
metric tonne of evaporated milk, and 16,000 metric tonne of dry skimmed milk
every year. It is also projected that production of broiler chickens would
yield 125,000 broiler hens, pa; dry land rice at 15,000 metric tonnes of, pa
and irrigated rice at 8,500 metric tonnes of, pa. With all these, projected
growth in dairy output in Kwara State alone, excluding growth in other
sectors (rice, maize and poultry) will generate a potential $21 million
saving in foreign exchange outflow (20 per cent of total whole milk imported
amount by Year Three), which will free up considerable potential development
Quite significantly, it is projected the Zimbabwean farmers would
be cash-positive in poultry and diary in the first three years, and in would
declare profit for mixed farming in the first four years. It is anticipated
that total agricultural output will increase substantially over a five year
period as production expands and the impact of improved farming methods and
techniques are disseminated to the smallholder population through a planned
agricultural extension programme.
In employment terms, it is
projected that direct employment per annum based on a target of 15,000 ha of
production would be 4,000 labour days in dairy (rising to 40,000), 1,560
labour days in poultry, 2,000 labour days in rice. While these estimates
reflect direct on-farm employment a substantially larger quantum of
employment will be generated in downstream activities (processing,
transport, wholesale and retail). The overall effect of the commercial
farming initiative could be huge.
The Challenge of Value
The overriding concern in all these is how to develop the
penetrative capacity of Africa's products in the larger economies of the
world. We cannot achieve this and the economic growth we envisage by merely
exporting raw materials. If we fail to add value, we would merely be
labouring in vain. Statistics from the International Coffee Organisation,
shows, for example, that for every dollar earned by the local coffee farmer,
traders and firms further up the value-adding chain received $13. Apart from
the enormous loss in income that comes with raw material export, there are
other advantages too.
It has been pointed out that exporting flower
from, say Zimbabwe, depends largely on economic conditions in Europe.
Moreover, when prices of raw materials increase, manufacturers in the West
naturally device a more efficient use of resources and ultimately substitute
these with synthetic material, as in the case with cotton. Also, increased
protection of agriculture in the West and slow down in population in, say
Germany, decrease dåemands for primary products.
In Kwara State, we
have large farms of fruits and vegetables, especially tomato. Almost all of
these are sold cheap to domestic consumers and are mostly wasted. Whereas
the market was flooded with all brands of imported canned and packaged fruit
juice and tomato purees. However, the enabling environment provided by
Federal Government policies has enabled us to tie our agricultural policies
to industrialisation, especially in the agro-allied sector.
to replicate the success recorded in Asia with the philosophy of "small is
beautiful," by establishing small production and processing units for
poultry, especially frozen chicken, diary products, fruits and tomatoes,
cassava, cashew and sugar cane.
With less than $8, 000 we could
establish sugar processing plant with 95 per cent local content and a
capacity to produce up to 90 tonnes per annum. Nigeria produces about
120,000 tons of cassava annually, out of which 5,000 tons have been billed
for export to China. The country hopes to realize 5 billion naira (about $38
million US dollars) from cassava export every year. To promote this scheme,
the Federal Government is providing $35 million dollars through the Nigerian
Export Import Bank to boost the production of cassava chips.
government would be hoping to take advantage of this by establishing cassava
chipping centres in various parts of our state to support local farmers,
especially women, to benefit from this initiative. We have already
established small processing units for tomatoes, again to be operated by
women, which we launched late last year. The case of cashew is even more
interesting. In the past, Indians would come to Nigeria and buy up the raw
cashew nuts and take it to India for processing, from where they export to
Atlanta. Our plan is to process our cashew nuts ourselves and export from
Ilorin to Atlanta. We envisage that all this initiative will in time
position our Kwara State as a leading producer of processed fruits and
tomatoes, as well as sugar, poultry and cashew, for the domestic markets,
while pitching us for exports on these products.
The point I seek to
make with the Kwara State efforts is that harnessing Africa's competitive
advantage in world trade will require us to add value to our raw materials
by investing in manufacturing, especially in the agro-allied industries, and
Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) sectors.
the industrial sector in Kwara is not large and not very developed due to a
combination of factors: relatively small size of the local market;
inadequate levels of critical infrastructure such as unstable power supply,
poor rural road connectivity, inadequate water supply; low availability of
affordable capital for potential entrepreneurs and inadequate linkage
between local research and technology institutions and local
There is a total of about 20 Small and Medium Enterprises
(SME's) operating in the State.
Three-quarters of these are privately
owned and are engaged in activities such as the production of soap and
detergent, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biscuit, tobacco, foam and beverage
brewing and bottling. There are five publicly-owned SMEs in the state in the
business of furniture-making, paper milling, textile manufacturing, sugar
production and rice milling. None of them is functioning at full capacity
and some of them are moribund.
In seeking to revive this sector, we are
embarking on an Independent Power Plant (IPP) project to improve power
supply and hence, reduce the cost of doing business in the State. We have
also focused on improving rural-urban road network to ease farmers'
difficulties in transporting produce to the urban centres. At policy level,
our step-change in agriculture has enabled us to focus on schemes that would
offer real and productive support to farmers by assisting them to strengthen
their associations and to organise themselves better to take full advantage
of the markets. Another policy action is in leveraging funding support for
small scale investors in financial institutions with loans targeted for the
development of small and medium scale enterprises in the
Generally, our experience has shown that in seeking to develop
the SME, regulation and partnership are key factors. While outright
privatisation seems to be easy way out for most of the moribund companies,
many private investors are usually very skeptical of their viability. One
way we have sought to shore up their confidence is through partnership. The
Kwara Furniture Manufacturing Company ltd. is our major success in this
respect. Even though the company had been moribund for years, we have
managed to revive it through private partnership and investment with a South
African company. Backed with appropriate export incentives, we envisage that
this company would soon be exporting to markets in Europe and the Middle
In developing all these export capacity, I must mention that our
international airport in Ilorin is envisaged to play a very crucial role.
Recently, we were able to get the Federal Government to designate the
airport as the country's main cargo hub to serve as alternative to Lagos,
which usually suffers from congestion. Apart from serving as a dry port,
exporting by air from Nigeria also gives enormous advantage, especially in
exporting agricultural produce because it is only 6 or 7 hours away from
major markets of Europe.
Bureaucracy is a major death of enterprise
in many African countries. Government that should exist to facilitate
business actually hinders business. So, the first stage is to
'debureaucratise.' Apart from willingness to partner with private investors,
all the bottlenecks associated with setting up business have to be removed.
In Kwara State, one of the most difficult aspects of setting up a business
in the past is getting legal title on land.
Therefore, many investors
who recognised the strategic advantage of our location as it relates to the
national markets could not come because it was near impossible to get land.
One of the first things we did was to review the regulations surrounding
land allocation in the State. Then we came up with a fast-track system that
guarantees money back on failure to deliver the Certificate of Occupancy to
an applicant within two weeks of concluding his application.
our experience has also shown that while partnership and regulation are
crucial to nurturing industrial growth, equally important is access to
market and of course, capital as well as a range of governance issues that
would inspire investor confidence. Government must demonstrate willingness
to strengthen and sanitise institutions of government and be more
transparent in the way it conducts business.
In our short period in
office, we have managed to institutionalise the due process as an
administrative culture. By establishing the Price Intelligence Unit (PIU)
that ensures that cost of projects are kept at the prevailing market rate;
and the Project Monitoring Unit that ensures effective completion of
projects, we have not only enhanced the efficiency of governance, but also
ensured transparency and accountability.
If contractors know that their
proceeds would not go back into bribing officials or doing "PR", they won't
be too keen in inflating contracts and they are likely execute projects
effectively. We are one of the very few States in Nigeria that have followed
the Federal Government in this governance reforms effort. In fact, we were
the first State to volunteer for the DFID governance benchmarking exercise,
which subjected our system to strict compliance tests on a number of
indicators on accountability and transparency.
By playing by the
rules of good governance, we seek to gain the confidence of everyone that
come into contact with our state. This way, we are not only seeking to
re-brand Kwara State, but also Nigeria. With this outsiders can take a
second look at us and by doing so, notice our market and resource potentials
and accept us as a viable enterprise.
Africa of the Future: What We Must
While I have touched on some of the reforms and support that are
required at the international level to enable African countries to fully
take advantage of their natural resources and compete effectively with the
rest of the world, I would like to focus presently on those things that we
must do for ourselves, especially if we must attract the necessary
investments to our continent in the areas that would enable us to fully
realise our competitive advantage.
i. Economic growth and investments
can only take place in an atmosphere of social stability. As the former U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell once said, "[c]apital is a coward. It flees
war. It flees disease. It won't go near corruption." African countries must
create the right social and political climate to attract capital. No one
would put their money where bombs and mortars are flying in the
Investment decisions rely heavily on predictability. For example,
political upheaval was said to have prevented Cote d'Ivoire from taking
advantage of a recent 15-year high in cocoa prices, and political strife is
fast ruining the economy of Zimbabwe, who for the first time in many years,
had to start importing food. Corruption is also a very important issue, and
perhaps, apart from war and disease, this has endured as another negative
face of Africa. However, I am glad to note that many African countries have
recorded significant progress in dealing with these
Regardless of what the Transparency International reports,
while we are still far from stamping our corruption from the continent (and
no other part of the world has succeeded in doing that) appreciable progress
has been made. If we recall that evidence of commitment to fighting
corruption is one of the key AGOA criteria, then something is going on in
Africa for 38 out of 48 countries to qualify for eligibility.
Another important thing we must focus on is branding and packaging. How come
that even for people who cannot tell where Africa is, the continent
instantly provokes images of conflict, disease, corruption and all such
things. The answer is simple.
We have left the story of Africa to be
told by other people. It is therefore important that we must learn to tell
our own story. We must celebrate our own achievements, no matter how modest.
Foreign investors have very little information about markets in Africa and
they tend to act together and respond to market sentiments rather than
macro-economic analysis. Therefore, we have to package market opportunities
in Africa and sell it to the world.
In 2002 when Nigeria deregulated the
telecommunication sector and put up licenses for sale for the operations of
GSM phones, many investors were very reluctant. Nigeria was just emerging
from 17 years of uninterrupted military rule. No one was certain if the new
democracy would survive. When the bid was advertised only three companies,
one Nigerian, one Zimbabwean and one South African dared to venture
MTN, a relatively small South African company was one of the two that
got the initial license after paying $280 million and thereafter invested
additional $500million loan in equipment and other expenditure. Less than
three years down the line, with about 2.5 million subscribers MTN's
investment today worth about $6 billion, with about $560 million in profit
level. This is in Nigeria where 70 per cent of the people are said to live
below the poverty level.
I am sure the big players in
telecommunication, MCL, AT & T, would not touch Nigeria with a long pole
in 2002 obviously because of the country suffered bad branding. Therefore,
like I said earlier, we must pay considerable attention to this issue of
branding. We must tell our own story; we must show that a new crop of young
leadership is growing on the continent that is prepared to play by the rule
of a new world. Once investors can focus less on country risk and begin to
look towards Africa as an investment destination, then it would be easier
for them to assess each project and opportunities on purely economic
iii. We must also invest in the development of necessary
infrastructure and institutions, such as irrigation, roads, electricity, and
research centres that would boost farmers' access to modern production
technologies, training in technical areas such as sustainable agriculture,
quality control and packaging Support for the development of local farm
organisations, especially for marketing and distributed on. All these
require huge investments. And like I said earlier, these are critical areas
that aid could be given to African countries already suffering from low
domestic savings, and crushing debt overhang.
iv. As I have tried to
demonstrate above, agriculture holds enormous potentials for Africa's
development if public policy makers in our countries are willing to do the
right thing. And like I said earlier, a new generation of leadership is
emerging on the continent of Africa that is genuinely committed to the task
of achieving development for Africa. However, beyond this will and zeal, so
much still depends on external forces, outside our
Agriculture represents different things for different parts
of the world and their governments. For the rich countries, agriculture is a
pre-occupation of a few interest groups. For the developing countries,
especially the poor countries of Africa, agriculture is tied to the very
livelihood of the majority of the people. For the rich countries, it is
about making profits; for the poor countries, it is about fighting poverty.
And for any public policy maker, poverty is a very serious
While agricultural development is tied to the key problem of
food security in Africa, it also represents Africa's best competitive
advantage and the long term concern of economic growth. No country can hope
to achieve growth if it does not export, but successful export depends so
much on equitable trading at the global level.
represents Africa's comparative advantage in global trade, the continent's
capacity to trade fairly with the rest of the world rests on the principles
and practices that govern global trading regimes. At the moment, the card is
hopelessly stacked against Africa and other developing countries of the
Since the conclusion of the Uruguay round of trade negations in
1995 and the adoption of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), African
countries had hoped for fairer deals than what they used to experience.
While the principles of the WTO as it relates to agricultural subsidies,
market access and tariff, seem to give significant considerations to the
concerns of the developing countries, not much has changed at the practical
level. While tropical agricultural products from Africa are still locked out
of the developed countries' markets, huge subsidies on agriculture in the
developed countries have sustained the flooding of African markets with
cheap food and other agricultural products. How for example, do we expect
the poor dairy farmer in Kwara State to survive when the market is flooded
with highly subsidised milk?
Therefore, the European Union's
agricultural policy and U.S. agricultural subsidies have grave implications
for the ability of African countries to raise exports by depressing our
potential to increase our incomes through trade. A recent World Bank report
stated that industrial countries spend more than $300 billion annually on
agricultural subsidies. It is estimated that this is six times the amount
they spend on foreign aid to developing countries. Conversely, it is
projected that gaining unrestricted access to industrial countries' markets
could boost developing countries' incomes by5 per cent, calculated relative
to the income forecast in 2015. For example, that if the developed countries
agree to withdraw subsidies from the cotton sector alone, this could lead in
the short term to 50 per cent rise in price, and would boost Africa's cotton
exporters' revenue by $500 million.
One of the hopes that African
countries took to Doha and later Cancun was that these sessions would, in
line with the 'Development Agenda' lead to measures that would promote fair
trade and reduce Africa's reliance on aid. Unfortunately, this has not
happened. Even all the renewed efforts to focus global attention on Africa's
poverty and the continent's capacity to achieve the MDGs, including the
recent World Economic Forum, still focus largely on aid. However, like I
said earlier, if Africa really needs any aid now, it is that aid which will
enhance Africa's capacity to trade with the rest of the world.
as President Benjamin Mkapa of the Republic of Tanzania recently said, let
the rich industrialised countries agree to a timetable for dismantling
agricultural subsidies and other trade barriers; then let them support
Africa to develop its institutional capacities, including capacities to
implement some of the agreements under the AoA. The agreement on Sanitary
and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) has presented great difficulty for African
Unfortunately, this has given legitimacy to some actions
of the Developed Countries in limiting access to agricultural products from
the developing world. A recent report shows that in 1998, European Community
regulation on SPS is estimated to have cost close to $700 million in lost
revenue to African exporters of groundnuts.
Therefore, aid should be
directed at assisting African countries to establish effective regulatory
standards, and food safety assurance bodies, while extending the transition
period for those measures to be applied to give enough time for countries to
build their institutions. This is the only way Africa can hope to compete
fairly with the rest of the world. I believe it is easier for a Developed
Country leader to explain to his people that subsidies are starving millions
of people in Africa than for an African leader to explain to his people why
they would have to keep working so hard and yet remain hopelessly poor. How
would he then be able to go back to them and ask for their votes which would
keep him in office to continue with all the wonderful reforms that the World
Bank and the IMF demand of African leaders? These are serious
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have tried in the last
half an hour or so to share my views with you on what Africa can do to raise
its competitive advantage in the world. I have also shared with you some of
my own experiences and approaches as Governor of Kwara State, Nigeria. If
there is one message I want us to take from here this is it: Africa must ask
of the world what is good for Africa; but more importantly, Africans must
have the courage to do what is right and necessary for Africa. We must dream
the African dreams, if we must be able to tell the African stories in a way
that would make other people want to come to us with respect and pride, and
not with pity and shame. We have wasted so many years and did many things
wrong. But we must not continue to dwell in the past and we must resolve to
do the right and march along with the rest of the world.
of my dream is that of a continent of the joyful young in one another's arm,
birds in the trees at their song, unmindful of the old and their sad past,
ready to march on and celebrate the future full of hopes and confidence in
the greatness of mother Africa.
THE ACTIONS OF THE POLICE UNDERMINE
THE LEGITIMACY OF THE ELECTION PROCESS
In recent articles carried by the
state controlled Herald newspaper, police chief spokesperson, Assistant
Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, accused the MDC of making false allegations
with regards to an attack by soldiers on three MDC candidates and of the
abduction of an MDC candidate by Zanu PF supporters in front of police
For the record, the MDC stands by both allegations and is
deeply disturbed by the refusal of the police to properly investigate the
incidents in question.
The comments attributed to Assistant
Commissioner Bvudzijena cast further doubt on the willingness of the police
to act in a professional and impartial manner.
The actions of the
police thus far in the election campaign have served to further erode public
confidence in the electoral process and further undermine its
Although there have been one or two incidents whereby
police officers have acted without bias and arrested Zanu PF supporters for
committing acts of violence, on the whole the police continue to behave in an
overtly partisan manner.
Most incidents of violence perpetrated
against MDC supporters go unpunished and the police continue to deliberately
misinterpret existing statutes to proscribe MDC campaign activities. To date
there is no record of Zanu PF activists being arrested for putting up posters
or of Zanu PF meetings been disrupted or banned from taking
MDC candidates and activists appear to be the target of
increasing police harassment as polling day approaches. This may be denied by
police chiefs through the medium of the state controlled press, however,
their denials appear somewhat spurious when compared to the facts on the
8 February: Members of the army brutally attacked 15 MDC
supporters as they departed a rally in Nyanga.
8 February: 13 MDC
supporters in Gwanda were arrested and fined Z$25,000 each by police for
waving their open palms at Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Abednico
8 February: Godrich Chimbaira, the MDC candidate for Zengeza,
was arrested for holding a meeting at his house with members of the local
11 February: the MDC candidate for Hurungwe West, Godfrey
Gumbo, was abducted by a group of Zanu PF supporters and taken to their HQ in
Harare where he was severely assaulted. Mr Gumbo was abducted along with
Stanley Razaro(the District Chairperson for Hurungwe) and Masavhaya Dipuka
(the Organising Secretary). ALL THIS HAPPENED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
12 February: police arrested 40 women in Bulawayo following a
march organised by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) 'to spread the message of
15 February: 7 MDC supporters were arrested by police in
Bulawayo for distributing MDC campaign material. All campaign material was
16 February: Police in Harare raided a training session
of the MDC's 120 candidates. Police claimed the meeting was illegal under
POSA. Ian Makone, the MDC's Director of Elections, was
21 February: MDC activist Tendai Matsine and his wife were
severely beaten up by Zanu PF youth in Huruingwe East. They were attacked
after being caught putting up MDC posters. The incident was reported to the
police but police informed the MDC officials that they had been given
instructions by their superiors NOT TO ARREST Zanu PF activists engaged in
acts of violence.
22 February: MDC candidate for Shamva, Godfrey
Chimombe, was arrested along with five MDC activists while putting up
23 February: MDC candidate for Bindura, Joel Mugariri and
Mashonaland Central Provincial Chairperson, Tapera Macheka, were arrested by
police for putting up posters.
23 February: Hilda Mafudze, MDC
candidate for Manyame, reported that 11 MDC youths were assaulted by Zanu PF
supporters while distributing campaign literature. The incident was reported
to Norton police station but the police refused to arrest the Zanu PF
It is incumbent upon the new Electoral Commission to engage
the police and instruct them to act without fear or favour. A failure to take
tangible steps in this direction will raise further questions marks about
the 'independence' of the new Commission. It has a fundamental duty to
ensure that citizens are able to freely participate in the electoral
At present this basic democratic right, enshrined in the
SADC Protocol on elections, is being undermined by a police force seemingly
determined to frustrate the people's desire for a new beginning and a new
Zimbabwe by further distorting the electoral playing field to the political
advantage of the ruling party.
What the police must realise is
that their partisan actions are self-defeating. People want jobs and food
security and know that these basic aspirations will remain unobtainable as
long as the present status quo remains in place.
Nyathi MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity
High Court judge blocks Moyo's eviction Wed 2 March
2005 HARARE - A High Court judge today gave fallen former government
propaganda chief, Jonathan Moyo, a two-week reprieve to allow him to find
alternative accommodation to relocate his family from a state mansion he has
occupied for the last five years.
Moyo, dismissed by President
Robert Mugabe as information minister two weeks ago, had appealed to the
courts to protect him and restrain the government from forcibly evicting him
after he was given only 48 hours to voluntarily vacate the
He will now have to leave the state villa in Harare's rich
Gunhill suburb by March 14, Justice Tedias Karwi ruled in his chambers this
A court official who attended the proceedings in chambers
told ZimOnline that the state told Karwi that Moyo had refused to pay rent
during his five year stay at the mansion and that he had also refused to
sign a lease with the Ministry of Local Government and National Housing,
owners of the property.
The state also said
previous attempts to evict Moyo in September last year were stayed after
Moyo requested time to finish constructing a house at his Mazowe
Moyo could not be reached for comment on the matter. But the
former government official argued in papers filed at court that he was a
statutory tenant and could not be evicted without adequate
He also pleaded that he had nowhere to relocate his family
within the two-day notice the state had given him to vacate the
Moyo was fired from the government after choosing to stand
as an independent in this month's general election.
At one time
one of Mugabe's closest and most powerful confidantes, Moyo fell out with
the President after he attempted to block the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as
ZANU PF and state second vice-president. - ZimOnline
JOHANNESBURG - A
commander of a United Nations (UN) peace-keeping force during the 1994
genocide in Rwanda has warned there is urgent need for regional and
international intervention to prevent Zimbabwe's political crisis from
Lt-Gen Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian who
commanded the UN force during one of the worst genocides in human history,
said lack of regional and international action on Zimbabwe was a perfect
example of a lack of political will to prevent crises from
Lt -Gen Dallaire drew parallels between the strife
in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan, where there is international
inaction, and Zimbabwe which the SADC region and South Africa, in
particular, have largely remained silent on.
He issued the
warning during his address at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria
Lt-Gen Dallaire lectures widely around the world on
peacekeeping, providing an insight into his bitter experiences in Rwanda
where about one million Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed
between April and May 1994. He has also written a book on the genocide
entitled Shake Hands with the Devil.
"South Africa should
not feel held back by its apartheid past from playing a far greater
leadership role in the region," he said. "Lack of regional and international
action on Darfur and Zimbabwe are perfect examples of a lack of political
will to prevent crises developing."
During the build up to the
Rwandan genocide, Lt-Gen Dallaire repeatedly warned the UN Security Council
and the United States government that there was an urgent need to intervene
to help the tiny central African country from sliding into chaos. His fears
Instead, the UN Security Council and the United
States reduced the number of the UN peace keeping mission in Rwanda that
time preferring to boost its presence in Kosovo. This proved disastrous as
Lt-Gen Dallaire's peace keeping mission could not help but just watch as
Hutu extremists in Rwanda went on a killing spree of Tutsis and politically
Both the UN and the United States have publicly
apologised for failing to react to Lt-Gen Dallaire's repeated
Although the political situation in Zimbabwe could
not be as tense as it was in Rwanda during the build-up to the massacres,
observers fear the political situation could deteriorate if there is no
immediate regional or international intervention.
Mugabe's Zanu PF government is blamed for using violence and intimidation to
cow supporters of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic
Journalists from the independent media and
foreign correspondents have also been targeted by President Mugabe's
government in its quest to silence any form of criticism to its
maladministration and poor human rights record.
violence and intimidation targeted at supporters of the MDC and journalists
from the independent press and foreign correspondents are said to be on the
increase ahead of the crucial March 31 election.
warned of disastrous consequences if the elections are held in an
environment deemed to be heavily tilted in favour of the ruling
During his brief stay in South Africa, Lt-Gen
Dallaire met South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and senior defence force
MAPUTO - Mozambique's best
known writer, the novelist Mia Couto, has called for a radical change in the
country's policy towards Zimbabwe.
In his regular column in the
independent weekly "Savana", Couto noted that the philosophy of governance
espoused by the country's new president, Armando Guebuza, involves a break
with the spirit of "deixa-andar" - a Portuguese term that expresses
passivity and drift, just letting events pass.
drift is most evident in Mozambican foreign policy, Couto wrote, is in "the
continued inability to break with Robert Mugabe".
one could understand the historical ties, the responsibility of the state,
the need to prevent a wave of instability in the region", he said. "But now
the internal political situation in Zimbabwe is so clear that defending the
regime requires enormous blindness. Elections are approaching and all the
news indicates that an unacceptable swindle is being prepared against those
who defend democracy and freedom.
"What is at stake is the
prestige of our foreign policy and of our country. The prestige of our
country, and of SADC (Southern African Development Community), which Mugabe
is trying to use as his final shield", warned Couto.
not see how the country could claim to break with bad governance, while at
the same time defending the Zimbabwean regime.
Zimbabwe did not
only provide a shocking example of bad governance, but the country's ruinous
mismanagement "has destroyed one of the most flourishing economies on the
continent", Couto continued.
He noted how the head of the
Zimbabwean armed forces had once threatened not to allow the opposition to
With Mozambique's current stance, "we are
sanctioning this kind of abuse and assault against
"It is easy to write opinion articles and comment
on matters, sitting behind a computer", Couto admitted. "But one can always
hope that the new government might surprise us, and help us recover our
It was self-respect, Couto concluded, that at
certain moments demanded "a rupture, when it is a question of defending
principles, and consistency between words and deeds" - AIM
HARARE - President Robert
Mugabe today again attacked former Information and Publicity Minister
Jonathan Moyo for being too ambitious.
Speaking at the funeral
of the late Witness Mangwende at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, Mugabe
said the chiefs of Tsholotsho, where Moyo is standing as an independent
candidate after being barred from representing Zanu PF, told him (Mugabe)
that they did not know Moyo until he was imposed on them by the
Mugabe accused Moyo of being overzealous, saying he
only joined the ruling party very recently and that his contribution could
never be compared to the likes of the late Mangwende, whom he described as
an illustrious son of Zimbabwe.
"A gallant fighter and
exemplary student and revolutionary who will be missed by all those he
worked with during his political career," said Mugabe.
week, Mugabe attacked Moyo for refusing to step down and allow the Politburo
to have its way on the candidate for Tsholotsho constituency.
Addressing a rally in Masvingo, Mugabe said he and vice President Joyce
Mujuru had spent nearly one and half hours trying to convince the learned
professor but he had refused because " ane musoro wakaoma sedamba" (meaning
he has a very hard head like that of a wild fruit called Damba in
Mugabe was also reported to have told a recent
politburo meeting that Moyo must be stopped at all cost from winning as an
independent in Tsholotsho.
Moyo was dropped from his post
as minister after he decided to stand as an independent. He also
automatically lost his party membership as the ruling party's constitution
stipulates that if one decides to stand as an independent he will no longer
remain in the party.
Moyo is fighting to remain in a government
house in the posh suburb of Gunhill in Harare, after being ordered to vacate
it within 48 hours last Friday.
Justice Tedias Karwi of the
High Court today gave Moyo a 14-day reprieve from eviction, during which he
must find alternative accommodation.
Moyo says his family has
nowhere to go at such short notice, while the government argues that it does
not have to give Moyo three months' notice to vacate the premises. This is
because Moyo did not sign a lease agreement for the house and he was living
in it only because was a cabinet minister.
After losing his
ministerial position, Moyo has forfeited all his benefits and is no longer
entitled to live in that house, which he had called home for the past five
Zimbabweans go to the polls
at the end of March in what is widely seen as an unfair election, but even
when the ruling Zanu-PF hang onto power, President Robert Mugabe will have
to create a practically new cabinet.
Zimbabwe is counting down the days
to a Parliamentary election that will be as much a test of its commitment to
democracy as it will be for the Southern Africa Development Community's
(SADC) commitment to its own guidelines. After much debate, the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has elected to take part in the March
31 plebiscite, while maintaining its objections about an uneven playing
But when the dust finally settles after an expected victory for
the ruling Zanu-PF party, Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe will have to
fill half of his cabinet with newcomers.
A series of upsets in
Zanu-PF's primary elections to choose poll candidates, criminal cases and
political bickering have robbed Mugabe of at least a third of his current
cabinet. Others have simply lost favour due to non-performance.
the most damaging blow to the Zanu-PF has been the now infamous "Tsholotsho
Declaration", an alleged agreement by senior Zanu-PF members - including the
speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, Information minister Professor
Jonathan Moyo, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, July Moyo, several
provincial governors and senior party and government officials - to defy a
party directive to elect Rural Resources and Water Development minister
Joyce Mujuru as the party and government vice-president at Zanu-PF's
congress in December last year.
After winning 57 seats (out of 120)
in the last election, the MDC should have been building on this strong
platform to mount an even better electoral challenge to Zanu-PF's 25-year
The MDC's better-than-expected performance in the 2000
elections presented Mugabe with a selection headache, as half Should the MDC
perform better than the 57 seats it garnered in 2000m then Mugabe would
mostly have to rely on nonconstituency technocrats to fill his cabinet
Two of those in the current cabinet, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick
Chinamasa, have spearheaded some of the most repressive legislation
reminiscent of apartheid South Africa that have largely kept MDC inactive.
Ironically, both have fallen by the wayside after their opposition to
But such is the chaos in the opposition that many analysts
believe that Zanu-PF, with all the state machinery at its disposal and
legislation meant to stifle any opposition, will win by a mile. Even a
former ally, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), whose founding
chairman was current MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, believes that Zanu-PF
will win the March 31 parliamentary elections because the opposition was no
longer a formidable party.
This prediction from the NCA's current
chairman, Dr Lovemore Madhuku, may stem from frustration that the MDC has so
far not made overtures to co-opt him to its ranks, but recent events reveal
a party striving to hold on to the centre. In a presentation titled
"Zimbabwe at a Crossroads" at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for
Scholars in Washington DC in January, Dr Madhuku said Zanu-PF would win the
poll with a wider margin than before because the MDC had ceased to be a
As a result, no one can begrudge President Mugabe
using his black pencil to mark potential ministers come April. He definitely
will be without jailed minister of finance, Dr Chris Kuruneri, who is being
held for "externalizing" foreign currency under the country's tough new
laws meant to curb the flight of hard currency to friendly
Information Minister Moyo, along with Justice Minister Chimanasa
and July Moyo, the minister of energy and power development and Zanu-PF
provincial chairman, were all barred from participating in the elections for
their part in the "Tsholotsho Declaration", ruling them out of the next
Other luminaries to lose out in the Zanu-PF primaries, and
who will consequently relinquish their posts at the end of the current
government's life span in March, include the Minister of industry and
international trade, Samuel Mumbengegwi; his deputy, Kenneth Manyonda, who
beat MDC leader Tsvangirai in the battle for Buhera North; and Labour
Minister Paul Mangwana.
The biggest surprise in the next cabinet
could be the appointment of Reserve Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono as finance
minister. In the absence of the jailed Chris Kuruneri, Gono has
single-handedly dragged the economy from a quagmire to a situation where it
is expected to record positive growth for the first time since
His authority apparently supercedes that of ministers and he has
spread his influence to local authorities, even wading into the contentious
issue of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which has been on the
drawing board for the last decade with no action.
His post could then
go to one of his deputies, Nicholas Ncube, the astute permanent secretary of
finance and a former head of Zimbabwe Investment Centre, a quasi-government
investment promotion body.
The current deputy minister of finance, David
Chapfika, a former banker, is seen as too weak and tainted to implement
radical measures needed to resuscitate the economy.
Zanu-PF MP Ray Kaukonde could be rewarded with a ministerial post, as could
Dr Samuel Undenge, an economist who won the Chimanimani primaries. Kaukonde
is chairman of SeedCo, an agricultural concern with operations all over the
SADC region, while Dr Undenge is a former trade attaché and a favourite
among the corridors of power.
Another surprise could be Sylvester Nguni,
a powerful businessman, and Saviour Kasukuwere, one of Zanu- PF's "Young
Turks" and one of the few successes of the government's black empowerment
Even if the MDC were still able to rock the boat, repressive
legislation has restricted its campaign. Any gathering of more than five
people would be in violation of Public Order and Security Act (POSA), a
political tool the Mugabe regime is maximising. The draconian law has made
life became so unbearable for the opposition as holding any meeting be it
church, funeral or political without the police permission would be a
But the opposition seems to have found a way to beat POSA. In
Matabeleland, MDC candidates have resorted to campaigning for the election
in vehicles to avoid falling foul of the act.
"Zanu-PF must be
reminded that goals can be scored without kicking the ball, but directing it
towards the goal employing other means. Let Zanu-PF hold on POSA and we will
continue to work effectively and efficiently," Njabuliso Mguni, an aspiring
MDC legislator for Lupane, told local journalists.
Makokoba Member of
Parliament Thokozani Khupe was twice last month arrested for holding an
unsanctioned meeting in Bulawayo.
"The political playing field in this
country is not level, hence the need to have POSA completely scrapped off
instead of making amendments. This piece of legislation was bulldozed
through parliament before being adopted into law by the majority Zanu-PF
MPs. The nation cried foul but the government did not pay any heed," said
While the MDC expects to retain most of its 2000 seats, it will be
a cold day in hell before Mugabe allows them to form a
With the international community excluded from any monitoring
role, SADC, particularly South Africa, must ensure its becomes a watchdog
for the world - and for Zimbabweans without a voice.
Stricken Zimbabwe capital faces water cuts -
Wed March 2, 2005 12:04 PM GMT+02:00 HARARE
(Reuters) - Zimbabwe's capital city Harare is to introduce water cuts
because mechanical and electrical faults at its main water treatment works
have reduced supplies, the official Herald newspaper reported on
The cash-strapped city has suffered erratic water
supplies over the past year due to lack of foreign currency for imported
treatment chemicals, while the ageing waterworks system has struggled to
cope with a rising population.
The Harare municipality
announced on that "residents of greater Harare and its satellite towns will
be experiencing water supply disruptions," the Herald said.
quoted the municipality's director of works, Psychology Chiwanga, as
attributing this to a reduced flow of water into the city's treated
reservoirs. Chiwanga could not immediately be reached for comment on
Services in Harare and other urban areas have
degenerated over the past few years, in some of the most visible indications
of an economic crisis widely blamed on government
Last September Harare authorities announced 18-hour
daily water cuts in most residential suburbs, blaming the cuts on a decrepit
main water pump station servicing the city. Regular water supplies resumed
after about a month, although they have remained unreliable.
Basic services in Harare have also suffered in the midst of political
wrangling between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, whose officials dominated the city council but have
since been fired by Mugabe's government on allegations of
The MDC in turn has accused the government of
interfering in the municipal operations not only of Harare but other cities
were the opposition enjoys control.
Mugabe denies misruling the
country since assuming power at independence from Britain in
He dismisses the MDC as a puppet of the former colonial
ruler, which he acccuses of spearheading a Western campaign to ruin
Zimbabwe's economy over his government's seizure of white-owned farms for
Africa is beset with problems is self-evident. In sub-Saharan Africa, the
number of people living in poverty is expected to rise from 315-million in
1999 to 404-million by 2015. Life expectancy has declined from 50 years to
46 years since 1990.
In 2003, 65% of west Africa's population lived in
countries severely affected by conflict. Over the past 15 years, nine of the
15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) have
experienced conflict, ranging from civil wars to election violence. The
region accounts for 70% of military coups in Africa.
These are some
of the realities that proponents of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad) would like to gloss over or bury. Despite the mutually
reinforcing initiatives of the millennium development goals of the United
Nations and those of the continental leadership, poverty is on the rise in
Africa. Local initiatives with millions of dollars of donor support have not
resulted in capacity-building and institutional support.
fundamentally problematic is the African state. Despite all the rhetoric
surrounding the good governance principles of Nepad, its architects should
realise that Group of Eight industrialised countries will not be taken in by
principles, but require action. Why is the African peer review mechanism
voluntary and why start with the least problematic countries such as Ghana,
and not Zimbabwe or Swaziland?
Regional organisations tend to embrace
unsavoury regimes on the basis of a misdirected pan-Africanism or, as in the
case of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), actively defend
undemocratic regimes from popular forces within as well as external
Nepad is premised on the idea that there is no need for
external sanctions or intervention given that Africans are taking care of
problems themselves. This is a fig leaf that is increasingly wearing thin
for Africa's long-suffering citizens as well as the international community,
where donor fatigue, especially in the absence of progress, is very
There is, however, a positive development. The tough stance adopted
by Ecowas in relation to the virtual coup recently in Togo needs to be
welcomed. The fact that the Togolese leadership has agreed to hold elections
within 60 days indicates that quiet diplomacy without teeth does not
A similar tough attitude needs to be adopted by the African Union
(AU). All African countries should not be entitled to membership of the AU.
Like the European Union, there should be strict political and economic
criteria on who gains membership.
The international community,
too, needs to support Africa's people by being quick to red-card those
African leaders who do not live up to considerations of human rights and
responsive governance. Moreover, the international community should support
civil society and community-based initiatives to widen the democratic space
and challenge the crony capitalism that prevails in many African
The perpetuation of the authoritarian state lies in the
fact that structures like the SADC are willing to countenance Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and Swaziland's King Mswati. It also lies in the
misplaced notions of African unity, solidarity, cohesion and
In reality, this is the unity, solidarity, cohesion and
co-operation of the African political elite, while their populations
languish in misery. To assuage popular anger, elites engage in playing the
blaming game. Slavery is the reason Africa is poor; colonialism is to blame
for the pot-holed road; western multinationals are responsible for the state
of municipal governance.
- Prof Solomon lectures in the
political sciences department at the University of Pretoria and is the
director of the Centre for International Political Studies.
staff at Chipangali are pleased to present our first Newsletter of 2005 .
There is so much to tell you although we hope we have kept you updated with
our Breaking News , Releases to the Wild and Our Other Family
Firstly, we all at Chipangali, family, staff and all the
animals in our care, have had close to our hearts , the human suffering of
the Asian Tsunami & for all those who lost family members, friends or
work colleagues, homes and life as they knew it, please Accept our Sincere
Subsequently, this Newsletter will also be FULL
of interesting stories , and slightly changed format as our Newsletters of
2004 . If you're short of time, why not scroll down, pick an item of
interest to read now, & read the rest at your leisure at a later date?
Or visit our website at www.chipangali.com
first & perhaps most important piece of news is that this year
is Chipangali's 32nd Birthday We remain strong, dedicated & fully
operational, despite the long term economic situation here in
Zimbabwe. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The
Staff Kevin and Nicky are still as busy as ever at the Orphanage; Cal is
being kept out of mischief, by being kept very very busy. Claire has
finally seen the fruits of her hard work in 2004, preparing the Volunteers
Programme & still having spare time to play surrogate Mum. Mduduzi has
joined us here at the Orphanage working in the Wild Dog and Cheetah Research
Centre. Talking of which, and a typing error on my behalf in our Newsletter
of October 2004, Mduduzi was not studying Viv's skats, but leopards and
other carnivores and relaying his findings to Viv. I on the other hand am a
busy as ever with the Adoption Scheme.
Scheme Presently, our Adoptions Sponsorship has stands at: 233, whilst this
is the case there are a number of Adoptions which have not been paid for,
although we have as promised sent on the Adoptions Certificate and in some
cases the Datasheets for the Animal Adopted. However, having said that we
can not thank the wonderful Adoption Sponsors for all their generosity &
continued support, and for those of you that are able ~ your Adoptive
animals, so love it when you visit.
I am still busy with the
Datasheets, and have managed to cover a number of the animals in our care,
for those of you that are yet to receive your Datasheet, please can we ask
that you be patient as this is an ever lengthy task, and we thank you in
advance for the same. Please also be advised that I will not be at work as
from the 14th February until March, all urgent matters will be attended by
Kevin Wilson on firstname.lastname@example.org.
are still a large number of the animals in our care, that have not been
sponsored and would just love to have a Mommy or Daddy. In particular,
still not takers for Crunch, our hyaena, or Snap a small crocodile. As
many of you have already adopted a wonderful character from us, can we ask
that you approach family members, colleagues to join hands and adopt the
little ones that are still looking for a surrogate Mum, Dad, brother or
sister, please contact me on: email@example.com.
again ~ for 2004, we at Chipangali were not able to produce our wonderful
calendars, after a study it was clear that postage for these far exceeded
the cost of producing them.. However, this does not mean that we will not
discontinue the production of these beautiful calendars, but are looking at
positive avenues to address, the production of these, postage of these
Education Do not forget our Kiddies Page (sent separately) and
we would like to congratulate "Tamrin Grigoratos for winning ~ Newsletter
(October) 2004, Kiddies Page and we look forward to a lot more entrants.
Remember that these can be passed onto your children, grandchildren or
friends children for them to complete and return to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chipangali has an Educational program that is aimed at bringing Wildlife
awareness to School children. The program in place right now involves
giving visiting Schools a briefing of the Orphanage, followed by a
guided tour around Chipangali.
This year the program needs to expand
and start targeting High School and Tertiary Educational Students.
Last year Mduduzi gave a talk and guided tour to Environmental Club
Students of Hillside Teachers College, of which we are determined to
follow through in 2005, involving ZINTECH in Gwanda, UCE in Bulawayo, NUST
& Bulawayo Polytech.
Our focus is to target teachers of tomorrow
who will eventually spread that awareness, then on their deployment,
hence boost the number of local Senior Schools visiting
Game Park We are proud of the 4 baby Zebra that took
us by surprise on the 01st of February. We still have a number of
impala, duikers & various numbers of jackals. Daily scant to check
for snares, are done with much vigor. In was on one of these we found
our Waterbuck dead
Orphan Deliveries Primates, primates and
more primates . . . Well, I am sure that you all remember OUZO, you would
never guess yes, now she has a playmate "Kane" who was rescued from being
pecked alive but crows, in the Matopos. On his arrival to the Orphanage he
was treated for all his external wounds, and as you can imagine a very
terrified little boy. Now, he is Ouzo's constant companion, and they
thorough enjoy playing with one another, keeping them both out of mischief
during light hours. Both Kane & Ouzo are starting the change colour,
where their body and facial hairs are getting lighter, & in little
Kane's case improving his looks.
In early November, a young lady from
Mutare phoned, stating that she had arranged for a young Samango monkey to
be brought to us, who had been found by a worker alongside the road;
half-dead, dehydrated and petrified On her arrival everyone fell in love with
this most adorable little monkey. Sammy slept in Claire's bed at night as
that is where she felt safe and sound , waking Claire up at
regular intervals when she was a little scared . This little darling has the
most wonderful nature, and until recently was playing surrogate sister to
Jack and Mr T.
What do you know, about two weeks later, the very same
lady emailed us, to let us know that a little vervet monkey was saved.
Apparently, a security guard heard this shouting, screaming and banging
of some sort, and went to investigate, on his arrival his witnessed two
unruly youths, beating young Jack's Mum with poles. He chased them off, and
on his return, Jack's Mom was having her last gasps of air, he tucked the
little mite, into his coat and took it to the Mutare SPCA. The SPCA
managed to find a family to look after him, until transport was organised
to send him onto us. On his arrival there was much excitement, as one of
the young ladies that had raised Sammy, came along, and decided to stay with
us for awhile. Anyway, poor Jack was not blessed with the best looks, &
on handling him, he hissed and squawked at us ~ but then we introduced him
to Sammy. He was elated and ran and clung to her, and since seeks her
Then came, Mr. T. ~ a scrawny, tiny little
mite, who held onto his foster human mother like no tomorrow . . .
there were tears, from his foster mother, peeks around the side to see
that he was coping . . . and surprisingly he has. Mr. T. was found in Gweru
and his foster parents, knew that they would be bringing him to us, so
tried (really tried, but from the goodbyes, I think he stole their
hearts) not to become attached. Now, there is a constant struggle by
Mr. T. and Jack to have ALL of Sammy's affection . . . and being of the
wonderful loving character, that she is, she makes sure that they are
given equal amounts of her time and affection. Yesterday it was decided
that we would move Mr. T and Jack to their own enclosure as to give Sammy
New Arrivals Samara, one of Murdock's harem, surprised us
on the 1st of February with a litter of 4 cubs, 2 males & 2 females.
Samara in the past has not been a good mother, however Samara is showing
signs of being a super-mom, on regular checks, she was found feeding
Overseas Volunteer Programme Chipangali were fortunate to play
it's part in "A Dream Come True", together with Anytime Magazine in
Africa. Geniene Birbeck had recently visited Chipangali, and
fell in love with us, being the Editor at the time of the Anytime
Magazine, she was approached by two animal loving gals, who believed
their dream to be working with Wild animals.
Lara and Natalie, mainly
worked with the Nursery animals, feeding, cleaning enclosures, monitoring
the animals then when all chores were done, they frolicked and played with
Sammy, Mr. T., Jack and many others. Lara fell head over heels in love with
Sammy, who you can read more about . . . .
Besides the work in the
Nursery, the girls helped with rhino browse, washing of the rhino's which
created much hilarity when the washing of the rhino's turned into water
fights. Both Lara and Natalie's were fortunate enough to be a part of
moving 3 sub-adult lions to another enclosure; which you can read more
on. It did not stop there, the girls walked with the cheetah, ran
with the Wild dog, who too were moved to a newly vamped enclosure with
a man-made lure. Played a part in dipping the Wild dog & de-worming
Lara and Natalie also got down and dirty, they along
with staff, cleaned out the pond in our large Aviary which houses, games
birds ~ at first seemed a breeze when emptying the water out, then came the
real work, scrubbing the walls of the pond, and mucking out the smelly mud ~
but they were never short of smiles or giggles whilst hard at
Any prospective volunteers Should you, yourself be interest or know
of anyone that would be interested in this programme please contact :~
Claire Lupton on email@example.com.
~ Chipangali's Pumba Pork was off to her regular swim with the volunteers in
the gamepark, dam . . . she definitely was in the mood to really explore.
On the volunteers return back to the Orphanage, Pork was nowhere to be seen,
so as you can imagine, hearts were heavy & praying that she make it.
Well about 2 hours later, the Rhino's had a visitor ~ none other than Porky,
who was crying and calling out for those she had lost. When she saw the
staff cleaning, and feeding the Rhino, she relaxed and the trotted up to her
enclosure ~ showing us all that she was not quite ready to make it in the
big wide & wild world on her own.
Research Our research team
continue to monitor the movement & home range of radio collared leopards
& cheetah in Hwange & Matopos National Parks. The Biodiversity
survey in Matopos continues in the Matopos with excellent results being
obtained from the survey. The Research Team recently, mid January 2005;
radio-collared another leopard in the Matopos bringing the number to 7. If
you wish to contact the Research Team, please email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website
is still the ever day, attention to all the animals in our care, to gashes,
scratches, de-worming etc. The excitement was when we were moving some of
the sub-adult lions to another enclosure. The sub-adults have very little
fear of human beings & are likely to attack at a moments notice.
were coaxed into the small lock up enclosure, of which all of the leopard
& lion enclosures have. Once in the small section, they were then
darted with anesthetic, when immobilised, removed, measurements of the
canines, front & hind limbs etc., monitoring respiration, inserting
transformers (chips) as part of an identification process, and monitoring
recover from anesthetic when placed in their new enclosure. all information
was recorded, and kept on file.
Then, our Town Office was brought a
sub-adult serval, who had been hit by a vehicle, after being checked over by
the vet she was brought here to the Orphanage. What a depressing sight when
she arrived here, barely lifting her little head, as well as scrawny &
under-nutritioned. Claire set to work right away, with glucose doses at
regular intervals, cleaning out her mucused eyes & reassuring her as she
whilst she was having fits; gradually over a couple of days, the little
treasure tried with all it's might to walk around the nursery. After a
couple of attempts, Claire noticed that she showed little or not fear of
human presence and that she kept walking along side the walls, and on
arrival to a corner ~ walked straight into the wall. We are not sure if her
sight will return, as it may be an temporary injury sustained when been hit
by the car or for what we see, in regards to the appalling condition we
received her in, that her blindness is sadly a permanent
The Orphanage Sad Moments Our graceful Black Swan, who
has been with us for many years, sadly passed away although a sad moment for
all here at chipangali and the many visitors that saw her ~ we are sure that
she had a long, wonderful life , keeping company with the many different
species of ducks, the guinea fowl (who are very cheeky at feeding time) and
Margo & Brenda the flamingos.
Then, on one of our regular Gamepark
checks, we found our Waterbuck, near the dam, dead. We suspect this was
from a snakebite, as on inspection, a wound was found & indicated so.
We believe that he is now in a place were there are many of his friends, and
he now has not a worry in the world.
Reinvasions to the Reptile Section ~
Snake Pit & the Den Chipangali has revamped the original open-aired snake
pit a few yards from the den; with lawn, man-made lures, shrubs, and small
trees. At the time of relocating these slimy, and in many cases deadly
creatures, Kevin handled these and did so with much ease and calm. In the
pit we currently have 5 puff-adders, one who has been adopted and
affectionately known as PUFFY, along with a couple of small Boomslangs. All
the snakes are pleased with the move, as are visitors.
The Den ~ In
the past we had asbestos heating panels which we used to heat our snake
cases during winter, keeping the snakes warm so that they in turn would keep
active and continue feeding during this time of year. We heard of another
method of internal heating by means of wire, in a zigzag form like a heated
pad, which we have chosen to adopt as it uses a lot less electricity that
that of the asbestos panels.
With this exercise, we have taken advantage
of the opportunity to thoroughly spring-clean the cases, putting in new
stones, cleaning logs and other implements, with were made and placed to
make the snake feel more at
home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank
you We are most grateful to everyone who has supported us both financially,
physically, and visited us throughout 2004. Thank you also to all of you
who brought us sick, injured or abandoned animals, and offered their
assistance worldwide to help spread our good name and worthy
you an enjoyable Summer from all the Staff & Animals at Chipangali