Scramble for pipeline properties
LUPANE - Like many rural growth points in
the remote and tragically underdeveloped province of Matabeleland North,
Dongamuzi in Lupane is a lousy place to spend the day, coming alive when the one
and only noisy bus that plies the route passes by.
The nearby huts are designed and decorated in the
true Zulu traditional way.
But here live a depressed, hungry and angry
people who have known nothing better than persecution since Robert Mugabe took
power in Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980.
It is not the general oppression
that concerns Jahelihle Ncube (not his real name), the proud sibling of a
gallant fighter who guarded Lobengula in his last flight towards the Zambezi,
lost to the Maxim guns of the invaders and decided to settle in the deep
forests, far away from the menacing conquerors.
For Ncube, a former
PF-ZAPU legal affairs member, the whole issue of political freedom and
prosperity for the region hinges around one thing - the completion of the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), which he calls "the long-awaited
pipe-dream." He has no doubt that the project could save the province from
perennial water shortages and the attendant humanitarian crisis.
problem with this pipeline is that past and serving Zanu (PF) politicians,
soldiers and intelligence chiefs have already shared out all the possible
benefits which could have gone to the communities.
"There is so little
remaining now, and they have to fight for it. Some of the underhand wars we have
seen inside the ruling party over the past four years have been for control of
the MZWT water, whenever it comes," said Ncube.
A map of the proposed
pipeline shows that from a point near the Deka River mouth on the Zambezi, it
will cross the northern mountain range that follows the Zambezi and head for the
confluence of the Gwayi and Shangani rivers where the long-touted Gwayi-Shangani
Dam, supposed to have been completed three years ago, is yet to take shape. From
there it runs almost straight to Jotsholo, through Lupane and Nyamandlovu and on
to Bulawayo, keeping to the western side of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls
According to Ncube, Zanu (PF) politicians used the land reform
exercise to take all the farms that lie on either side of the pipeline. All the
possible and existing large scale ventures like irrigation schemes, timber
logging and safari business ventures on either side of the proposed pipeline
will either be located in private property or depend on water supplies from
booster stations inside privately owned properties.
"In the Insuza-Umguza
area, industry and international trade minister Obert Mpofu, Vice-Presidents
Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru, national chairman John Nkomo and Ibbo Mandaza
have virtually shared out all the areas. So much that they are now fighting
openly as you saw in the war between Ibbo Mandaza and Obert Mpofu over one farm
“The reason was that the farm either lies right where there
should be a MZWT feeder station or strategically located downstream of it.
Everyone wants to control the flow and access to it by the communities," said
He also alleged that the timber milling businesses at St. Lukes in
Lupane and Jotsholo further north would also enjoy easy and controlling access
to the water if it ever flows.
"It is common knowledge that MZWT chairman and
former minister Dumiso Dabengwa has a controlling stake in those
"The same is happening in the safari areas in the Hwange,
Binga, Kamativi and Dete areas where senior Zanu (PF) ministers like Francis
Nhema, former provincial chairman Jacob Mudenda and a number of former army and
intelligence chiefs have divided the spoils and settled in for a long wait for
the water. If it comes, they win.If it doesn't they don't lose too
The pipeline project was inherited from the colonial government in
1980. It was envisaged as a long-term drought relief strategy for the
perennially dry provinces of Matabeleland North and South.
Dabengwa has been at the helm of the MZWT, a public trust formed in the early
90s to guide the implementation of activities. Under Dabengwa's leadership, the
public profile of the company faded quickly and turned into a one-man show, with
the ruling party displacing the public as controlling shareholder.
of the officials was available for comment except Obert Mpofu, whose secretary
said the minister “does not talk to The Zimbabwean”.
In 2003, Arnold
Payne, a leading campaigner for the realization of the MZWT pipedream dragged
Dabengwa to court and won an order compelling the former minister to present
MZWT accounts for scrutiny.
Up to now the minister has failed to do so
and observers believe it could because he fears the damaging nature of the
evidence that could come out of the audit. Dabengwa fired a number of MZWT staff
in 2003 when they leaked documents allegedly revealing that, as minister, he had
used MZWT funds to fly himself and a woman friend to secret honeymoons in
Germany and Canada.
The documents also revealed that, contrary to
government announcements that the project would take off soon, it was far from
coming because the Malaysian and Chinese businessmen who had promised to fund it
had failed to secure partners for the build-operate-and transfer project. The
financiers allegedly did not have their own money, and were turned down by some
Western funders whom they approached for loan support.
reportedly argued that Zimbabwe was a high-risk investment destination and
referred to the land reform exercise as proof that property and businesses could
be seized by government with neither notice nor compensation.
From The Daily Mirror, 19
Crippling street petrol
Black market petrol prices have skyrocketed to a whooping $40
000 a litre at some spots in Harare in the past few days as unscrupulous fuel
dealers make a killing from the acute shortage of the vital commodity. A visit
to one such spot – a taxi rank near the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe
(Noczim) headquarters in Harare – The Daily Mirror last night witnessed black
market fuel traders selling five litres at $200 000. The official pump price of
petrol is $3 600 a litre. Last month, the price of petrol on the black market
shot up to $18 000 per litre in Harare and Bulawayo when the shortage of the
precious liquid took root. When The Daily Mirror visited a spot along Leopold
Takawira Street, outlawed emergency taxi operators plying the City-Avondale
route had abandoned ferrying commuters and were draining petrol to resell on the
lucrative parallel market. When this reporter posed as a prospective buyer, a
tout said he was willing to budge and sell a litre of petrol to him for $17 000
only if a he bought in "bulk," but insisted that the going price was $40 000.
"Ndokupayi five litres ne $200 000 here blaz? (Do you want five litres for $200
000, my brother?)," he asked. He added that they were mostly dealing in petrol
since it sold faster than diesel. Other touts stationed about 100 metres away
from the scene of the black market could be seen making gestures to motorists in
a bid to lure them. The fuel shortages have persisted despite assurances by
central bank boss Gideon Gono early this month that they would end "soon." The
governor attributed the shortages to lack of resources which, he said, he had
been "overstretched" during the March 31 general elections. Meanwhile, commuters
were stranded last night as the transport blues intensified in the city due to
fuel shortages. Some operators capitalised on the situation by hiking charges
well above the gazetted fares. Commuters travelling from Harare to Norton are
being forced to pay $10 000 – up from $6 000 – while those going to Warren Park
were paying $3 000 – up from $2 000. Glen View commuters now pay $3 000, while
the Tafara route costs $7 000 – up from $2 000.
From Zim Online (SA), 19
Harare runs dry as fuel crisis
reaches unprecedented levels
Harare - Harare was virtually dry of fuel yesterday as
importers refrained from placing new orders with suppliers until Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, announces his monetary policy review statement
today. Fuel industry sources said importers are hoping that Gono will devalue
the local dollar to attract more hard cash into the official market which they
could tap to pay foreign suppliers. A devaluation, coupled with a hiking of the
pump price by the government, would ensure profitability for fuel importers.
Alternatively, oil firms want Gono to revive a foreign currency support facility
for fuel importers that was abandoned last year amid allegations of gross abuse
of the facility. "It is difficult for private players to bring in fuel at the
moment. We will be forced to sell at a loss because of the exchange rates," said
a senior executive with one Harare-based fuel firm, who did not want to be
named. He added: "For example, let’s say one imports petrol from South Africa
where the pump price is about five rand or more, which multiplies to about Z$5
000 at the official exchange rate, they will have to sell the petrol here at not
more than $4 000, which is a huge loss." An official of local garage chain,
Exor, said the firm’s garages had last received petrol supplies a week ago. "All
our garages have no petrol and there are no indications that the situation will
improve immediately," he said.
In a survey of garages in and near Harare central business
district, Zim Online could find no petrol at nearly every filing station while
only a handful of garages in the city’s outer suburbs were selling diesel
yesterday. Most of the illegal fuel black-market traders, who usually provide a
lifeline for stranded motorists, also did not have petrol. The few illegal fuel
traders who had the commodity were charging 10 times more than the official pump
price, as Zimbabwe’s five-year fuel crisis reached unprecedented levels. One of
the fuel black-marketers operating along Leopold Takawira street in central
Harare offered to sell a five-litre gallon of petrol to our news crew at $150
000, which translates to $30 000 a litre. The official pump price for a litre of
petrol is between $3 400 and $3 700. Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya refused to
disclose measures his department was taking to ensure fuel supplies to the
country. yambuya, a former soldier, would only say: "The government is working
out solutions to the fuel problem and it will be resolved soon." Zimbabwe has
grappled severe fuel shortages for the last five years because the country has
no hard cash to pay suppliers. Essential medical drugs, electricity, food and
chemicals to treat drinking water for city dwellers are among the vital
commodities in critical short supply in the country because of the lack of hard
cash to pay for imports.
Diaspora forum needed
BY JAY JAY SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG - There is no end in sight to
the crisis in Zimbabwe, but this does not mean that we have to suffer forever
waiting for the arrival of democracy. We need to survive and we have to save our
families from permanent poverty. We in the diaspora also need to reorganise
ourselves to be a meaningful force against the system in our country. The rescue
of Zimbabwe lies in our hands.
The hands of those in the country are tied and
only we are still able to speak out without being arrested. Therefore, let us
revamp our structures and map the ways forward. We need a central national body
where every organisation is fairly represented no matter how small.
core problem of Zimbabwe is a failed economy coupled with government
overspending. Government deprives citizens of development, forcing citizens to
be weak, hungry and easy to manipulate. An international Diaspora Development
Forum is necessary to liberate citizens economically to enable them to make free
The nucleus of the Forum would be derived from the current CSO
formation coordination on the following pattern:
Aims: The main one is to
engage in economic activities; to provide funds for Zimbabwean projects in the
Diaspora and in Zimbabwe; to source funds, assess and plan development projects;
to show Zimbabwe what development should be; to assist Zimbabweans to claim
assets they lose in Zimbabwe; to assist Zimbabweans to float companies on the
stock exchanges for projects in energy, mining, housing, tourism and
manufacturing generally; to raise facilities and bonds for export credit, Letter
of Credit and general trade guarantees for members.
Formation Process: A
meeting of CSO should be held to amend approve this concept and set up a working
committee to organise all aspects of committee formation. The committees then
select delegates to the South African Diaspora Development Forum. Also, set up a
secretariat for National Diaspora Development Forum and International body;
-Organize representatives from Professional bodies such as Chartered
Accountants, Chartered Secretaries, real estate, churches, business chambers;
create a database of Zimbabweans and member-based organisational practice; call
a national development convention to ratify.
Projected Activities in
Zimbabwe: recruit Zimbabweans to membership and operations; sourcing and
distributing seed and fertilizer into Zimbabwe; setting up TV and independent
radio station in Zimbabwe operating in Vic Falls; floating companies to import
and distribute fuels; floating companies for empowerment deals in mining,
tourism, agriculture etc; helping rural committee members to organise projects
for development and financing them on business principles; social projects in
rural and urban areas; floating companies to negotiate concessions in toll
roads, rail rehabilitation and electricity generation and conservancies;
representing Zimbabweans at SADC, NEPAD etc, especially regarding the Diaspora
Women Call for Law On HIV Status
May 19, 2005
Posted to the web May 19, 2005
have urged the Government to come up with legislation that compels spouses to
reveal their HIV status to each other.
The Sexual Offences Act does not
provide for the revealing of one's status to his/her partner.
at a meeting on gender violence and human rights in Harare this week, several
women said it was dangerous that a married person's HIV status be considered
private and confidential.
"When a man is treated for a sexually transmitted
disease, health workers are is quick to inform him to bring his wife along to be
"The same should be done in the case of HIV. We have many men who
are HIV positive and as women we are sitting ducks for whatever they want to
bring into the home," said one woman.
Another woman who identified herself as
Mrs Mandaza said a woman should know her partner's status so that she could make
wise decisions for the future.
"You can then find out your own status and
practice safe sex to ensure that you do not get infected if you are negative and
re-infected if you are positive," one female journalist said.
Some women, who
live in the rural areas while their husbands are away at work in the urban
areas, continue to have unprotected sex with their HIV positive spouses out of
ignorance. Even if they are suspicious of the behaviour of their husbands,
society does not permit them to deny them their conjugal rights and they are not
even empowered enough to advocate for the use of condoms.
the meeting said most of these women only find out that their husbands were
infected when they fall sick before going to the rural areas to be
Among those who attended the meeting was the Deputy Minister of
Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Cde Abigail Damasane.
ADSL (Broadband internet service) available in HARARE ....... go to website : http://www.yoafrica.com/
Academics to ponder Zim’s future
BY RANKA PRIMORAC
OXFORD - The 2005 Britain Zimbabwe Society
Research Day is to be held on June 11 at St Antony’s College, Oxford, under the
title ‘Zimbabwe, Africa and the World’. The annual BZS Research Days aim to
facilitate dialogue among a range of academics, professionals and Zimbabwe
watchers about the nation’s past, present and future.
The event is also a conscious attempt to see
Zimbabwe in terms of broader trends and developments within Africa and the
It is becoming increasingly clear that Zimbabwe has
entered a second transition – the seed-bed of a new phase in its history and
culture. This makes an examination of Zimbabwe’s connectedness with the rest of
the world all the more important.
How are events within Zimbabwe
influenced by those in the region and the rest of Africa? What role has South
Africa played in bringing them about? How can Zimbabwean culture be positioned
with relation to other ‘postcolonial’ cultures?
How do Zimbabweans in
the diaspora view their home country and the world? These are some of the
questions that the 2005 Research Day will debate.
Among the participants
of the 2005 event are: Hasu Patel, a professor at University of Zimbabwe’s
Department of Political and Administrative Studies and formerly Zimbabwe’s High
Commissioner to Australia; Stephen Chan, Dean of Law and Professor at the School
of Oriental and African Studies in London; Jack Spence, former Deputy Director
of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and Reg Austin, formerly Dean
of Law at the University of Zimbabwe and a senior UN electoral official.
Key presentations will be given by Gugulethu Moyo of the International
Bar Association and Beacon Mbiba of the Commission for Africa. Maurice Vambe and
Drew Shaw will discuss Zimbabwean literature and culture. Sunanda Ray of the
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights will address the urgent topic
of the AIDS pandemic and the Zimbabwean diaspora in the UK.
who is also the organiser of the event, holds degrees from the universities of
Zagreb, Harare and Nottingham Trent, and now teaches Africana Studies at NYU in
To register: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Propaganda show rocks Joburg
BY ARTS CORRESPONDENT
Battle for Zimbabwe
JOHANNESBURG – If 24-year-old Kudzanai
Chiurai were a hip-hop artist, his music would be an inspiration amongst his
followers. His music would have addressed issues such as xenophobia, African
culture and failed leadership.
No doubt, if the music were to be available in
Zimbabwe it would not be played on local radio. Chiurai is an artist and his
current exhibition, dubbed “Y Propaganda”, opened at Obert Contemporary in
Melrose Arch last week.
The award-winning artist’s exhibition - a
collection of mixed media works - heralds a new dawn in African art and has
received acclaim in the South African media.
The exhibition consists of
11 mixed media works - described by critics as ‘extremely bold’ - depicting
Robert Mugabe as a sell-out to his people.
The artist says his work is a
protest that the ideals and ambitions of the Zimbabwean liberation movement have
been betrayed. As a representative of the generation born after Zimbabwe’s
independence, he sees no cause to celebrate.
"My generation has grown up
into a society where there are no jobs; our education opportunities are fast
disappearing and we cannot get proper health care facilities. Many of those who
led the Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle have stolen the country’s wealth and
destroyed our birthright," he said.
Chiurai’s first solo exhibition “The
Revolution will be televised” was held in London last year.
One of his
new pieces, entitled "press freedom (detail)" is about the banned media in
Zimbabwe. The piece contains extracts from newspapers and contains a cartoon of
a leader inscribed: “I am a man of integrity because every body says
One of his earlier pieces, Y Propaganda, shows an unidentified black
male figure in boxing shorts and gloves. At the top of the piece is the logo of
YFM - a youth radio station in Joburg which projects an impression of black
youth who are inspired by American hip-hop culture instead of being proud of
their own African culture.
Chiurai has done well for himself in South
Africa. His first exhibition was sold out on the opening night. He was the first
black student to study fine art at the esteemed University of Pretoria. To date
some of the awards he has won include most promising art student, University of
Pretoria, South Africa in 2003 and merit award, the National Art Gallery,
Zimbabwe in 2000.
Sustainable Development International
|Companies need to assess the financial
impact of HIV/AIDS beyond Africa,” warns new report
|Friday, 20 May 2005 |
Source: Business & Human Rights
published today has highlighted the financial risks to companies operating in
fast-growth emerging economies from the spread of HIV/AIDS. The 83-page report,
HIV/AIDS Beyond Africa: Managing the Financial Impacts, is the result of a
unique collaboration between F&C Asset Management, a leading socially
responsible fund manager, and the Equity Research department of UBS Investment
Bank, one of the world's leading investment banking and securities
The report notes that in 2004 estimates indicated that between 36
and 44 million people worldwide were living with HIV of which 65% were living in
Sub-Saharan Africa. With infection rates as a percentage of the population
hitting 39% in Swaziland, 37% in Botswana, 26% in Zimbabwe and 22% in South
Africa, the report states that HIV/AIDS is still widely perceived to be an
"From a humanitarian perspective it is understandable
that Africa, rightly, remains the focus of world attention when it comes to the
HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Kirsty Jenkinson, Senior Analyst at F&C, "but the
financial impact of the disease has the potential to be more acute in other
developing, and commercially important, regions. Whilst Sub-Saharan Africa
accounts for 11% of the world's population it represents just 1% of global
The report raises concern about the impact of rising HIV/AIDS
infection rates in four of the fastest-growing emerging economies: Brazil,
Russia, India and China (the "BRIC" group). These countries cumulatively account
for 42% of the global population and 8% of global GDP according to the World
"Furthermore," added Julie Hudson, Managing Director, Head of Socially
Responsible Investment Equity Research, UBS, "these countries are key market
places for manufacturing and outsourcing and have become strategically important
for many western multi-nationals. They are expected to be significant
contributors to future global growth."
The report states that whilst
national HIV/AIDS prevalence rates appear low in countries such as China and
India (0.2% in China and 0.4-1.3% in India), their huge populations mean that
even small percentage increases represent significant numbers of infected
people. Critically, seemingly low national prevalence levels mask the rising
risks of severe epidemics in regional "hot spots". The report cites the examples
of then Henan, Anhui and Sandong provinces of China where HIV was already
spreading a decade ago among rural people who sold blood plasma in unsanitary
conditions. In India the state of Tamil Nadu has HIV prevalence of 50% amongst
prostitutes, while in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Nagaland, HIV
prevalence has crossed the 1% mark among pregnant women.
"Two key factors
set HIV/AIDS apart from other diseases in terms of its implications for the
financial community," explained Hudson. "Firstly, it primarily strikes working
age members of society at the peak of their economic productivity and secondly,
there is a long time lag between infection and illness which means the disease
can remain unidentified but contagious for many years. This latter problem is
exacerbated by the secrecy and social stigma surrounding the disease in many
parts of the world."
The report highlights lessons learned from the South
African experience as the basis of outlining actions which companies operating
in other rapidly developing countries should take. It notes that HIV/AIDS
adversely affects company profit margins (particularly in industries where wages
are a significant portion of a company's overall cost structure). A further
finding is that HIV/AIDS causes a decrease in overall per capita expenditure but
does not behave like a normal demand shock (spending on staple goods tends to be
hit harder than discretionary spending) which puts certain sectors at greater
risk. The report also notes that South African firms appear to trade more
cheaply than their developed and emerging market peers, indicating some degree
of South African risk premium in valuations which may factor in life
The report concludes that as the disease spreads, the
economics of prevention and treatment, as exemplified in South Africa,
increasingly argue in favour of business self-help over reliance on public
health authorities. In particular, the authors of the report make the following
recommendations to companies operating in rapidly industrialising countries such
as Brazil, Russia, India and China:
• Assess HIV/AIDS prevalence and the
host government's response to the disease in country risk assessments for new
and existing investments.
• Determine actual and potential staff exposure
through situation analysis, prevalence surveys and voluntary counselling and
• Evaluate the costs and benefits associated with intervention
programmes. The authors believe that traditional accounting frameworks fail to
capture the positive effect of successful intervention and instead propose a net
present value (NPV) approach to valuing the impact of HIV/AIDS.
where relevant, prevention, education, awareness, wellness and treatment
• Publish company-wide non-discriminatory policies relating to
employees' HIV status and ensure senior management are accountable for such
policies to reduce secrecy and social stigma surrounding the disease.
Report publicly to shareholders and stakeholders how HIV/AIDS is being
• Press host governments, international donors, multilateral
organisations and NGOs to implement education, prevention and treatment
policies, so as to boost the effectiveness of corporate efforts.
"Both investors and companies have long been aware that investing in
these rapidly developing markets carries higher levels of risk. This report
suggests that assessing the potential financial impact of HIV/AIDS should form
part of the wider risk assessment and management process," concluded Jenkinson.