The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Zimbabwe, Long Destitute, Teeters Toward Ruin
Michael Wines | Bulawayo, Zimbabwe | May 21

NYT - Zimbabwe's Potemkin prosperity has evaporated since the elections, replaced by penury and mounting signs of economic collapse.

Here in the second largest city, lines of cars stretch a quarter mile and more at fuel-parched service stations, and drivers spend the night in their cars' back seats lest they lose their place in line. Milk, cooking oil and, most of all, corn, the national staple, are a distant memory at most stores. At one downtown grocery, tubes of much-prized American toothpaste are kept in a locked case.

Zimbabwe's currency, which traded on the black market at 120 to the dollar in April 2002, went for 6,200 to the dollar last December, 12,000 on April 1, and 17,000 in early May. By mid-May a single American dollar brought as much as 25,000 Zimbabwean dollars, though the rate has since steadied at about 20,000

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The Guardian
As country heads for disaster, Zimbabwe calls for return of white farmers

Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria
Saturday May 21, 2005
The Guardian

White farmers may be allowed back on their land in Zimbabwe as part of a plan by the government of Robert Mugabe to solve the country's deepening economic crisis.

The president's key finance aide has called for some of the farmers whose properties were confiscated in a land seizure programme to be allowed to resume growing crops to boost the country's flagging agricultural output.

Gideon Gono, governor of the central bank and Mr Mugabe's main policy maker, made the proposal as he announced a 31% devaluation of the Zimbabwe currency.

"In order to ensure maximum productivity levels, there is great scope in the country promoting and supporting joint ventures between the new farmers with progressive-minded former operators," said Mr Gono in a state radio and television broadcast that lasted nearly three hours.

He added that the skilled whites and other new investors would be given special guarantees of uninterrupted tenure of five to 10 years, backed by government force to prevent any disruptions on the farms.

Mr Gono was careful to say that it would not reverse Mr Mugabe's redistribution of white-owned land to blacks.

However, observers say his plan would be an implicit admission that the land seizure policy has failed.

A Zimbabwean economist, John Robertson, said: "This shows the desperation of the government to improve the economy. They say it is not a reversal of their land seizures, but it is. It won't get very far.

"I don't think many farmers will take up the offer because they would have to give up their title deeds and lease their land back.

"The range of measures proposed by Gono and the government show that the economic situation is dire. But they are avoiding the fundamental changes needed because those would be opposed by Mugabe. These measures don't add up. The economy will continue to be a disaster area."

At the start of the land seizure policy in 2000, Zimbabwe had 4,500 white farmers, now about 400 remain on portions of their farms. Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria have welcomed some of the skilled white farmers.

The economy has also shrunk by more than 40% in five years.

Yesterday Mr Mugabe did not comment on Mr Gono's proposal.

During the election campaign in March, the president said he was disappointed that only 44% of the land seized from whites was being cultivated and that the remainder was lying fallow.

He has also had to admit that Zimbabwe, once called "the breadbasket of Africa", needs to import food to feed its population. For months he had boasted that the country had a bumper harvest and would "choke" if it was forced to take international food aid.

But Mr Mugabe said this week that his government would welcome food from the UN, as long as it came without any political conditions.

The government announced yesterday that it was busy redrawing its 2005 budget to fund food imports.

Drastic cuts to other parts of the budget will be needed to raise the money to import food, the acting finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said, according to Reuters.

On Thursday the government devalued its currency and banned imports of luxury goods to try to reduce the economic freefall. But the devaluation falls far short of the Z$25,000 that one US dollar (55p) fetches on Zimbabwe's thriving black market.

Mr Gono reduced by half his forecasts of the country's economic growth, to 2.5%. That figure is viewed as unrealistic by economists, who point out the five consecutive years of economic decline.

John Worsley-Worswick of Justice for Agriculture said: "This is a puppet show and it's not going to solve things. Gono is a master of spin and he is saying that he can fix things. But the reality is that the few farmers who have managed to stay on their land are being hammered by the military.

"This suggestion that white farmers could come back is an admission of their failure, but I don't know anyone who would take them up on their offer. The government's agriculture policy has failed abysmally. There is no maize, there is no wheat, people are hungry. It's a debacle."

· Eighty percent of black South Africans who responded to a survey believe Mr Mugabe is ruling badly.

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Zimbabwe farmer hint wins support
White farmer in Zimbabwe
Since 2000, 75% of white farmers have lost their property
White farmers still in Zimbabwe have welcomed a suggestion by the central bank chief that some white farmers who have left should be allowed back.

Bank governor Gideon Gono suggested farmers forced off their land in controversial reforms could come back to boost flagging agriculture.

The white farmer-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union said Mr Gono's plan would need to be backed by government.

Since 2000 more than 75% of white farmers have lost their property.

A spokesman for the United Nations World Food Programme said Zimbabwe's food crisis could not wholly be attributed to the departure of white farmers.

"You have to remember that Zimbabwe was on an economic downturn for several years, and the drought then impacted on that, and you cannot forget the impact HIV-Aids is having on the population there as well," said Mike Huggins.

"There already is a weakened population, there is not enough adequate health care throughout the country to really deal with the pandemic, and that is also have a major affect on agricultural production," Mr Huggins told the BBC.

Tenure pledge

Gideon Gono, the main policy adviser of President Robert Mugabe, made his suggestion on Thursday as he delivered a raft of measures that included a 31% devaluation of the Zimbabwean currency.

Mr Gono was careful to stress that the suggestion did not represent a reversal of the land reform policy under which farms were forcibly redistributed from white farmers to blacks.

This suggestion that white farmers could come back is an admission of [the government's] failure
John Worsley-Worswick,
Justice for Agriculture

However, Mr Mugabe himself said in March he was disappointed that only 44% of the land seized from whites was actually in cultivation and warned that the remainder would have to be cultivated.

Mr Gono said: "In order to ensure maximum productivity levels, there is great scope in the country promoting and supporting joint ventures between the new farmers with progressive-minded former operators."

He said the whites would be given guarantees of uninterrupted tenure, backed by government security forces.

The government has not responded directly on the issue.

The deputy chairman of the Commercial Farmers' Union said he hoped white farmers would be able to participate in the agricultural recovery of Zimbabwe.

Stof Horgood told the BBC he found Mr Gono's message "encouraging" as it would mean "a security of tenure on the ground".

Political situation

Justice for Agriculture, whose stated aims are to secure justice and peace for the agricultural sector, dismissed Mr Gono's suggestion as a "puppet show".

Its spokesman, John Worsley-Worswick, told Britain's Guardian newspaper: "This suggestion that white farmers could come back is an admission of [the government's] failure, but I don't know anyone who would take them up on their offer."

President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe has expressed disappointment over land cultivation

In addition to the devaluation, Mr Gono banned the imports of luxury goods, reduced interest rates for exporters and cut in half his forecast of the country's economic growth to 2.5%.

Some analysts say Mr Gono's measures may fall foul of the political situation.

Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of political lobby group, the National Constitutional Assembly, told Reuters: "Mugabe has staked his public pride on some of the policies that Gono says need to be revisited... and if there are any reviews Mugabe will want those to be done slowly."

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The Telegraph

White farmers reject Mugabe plea to return
By Toby Harnden , Chief Foreign Correspondent
(Filed: 22/05/2005)

White farmers evicted by Robert Mugabe's government have reacted with contempt to an offer that they should return to Zimbabwe to take part in "joint ventures" with those who brutalised them and stole their land.

Gideon Gono, the governor of the country's central bank, suggested the idea last Thursday as a possible solution to Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

A Zimbabwean woman surveys her devastated maize crop

Greg McMurray, a tobacco farmer who fled Zimbabwe in 2001 and is now a grinder at a factory in Wiltshire, said: "These are empty promises. We have had all the assurances before and then they just turn around and change their minds.

"I had them coming into my garden and threatening my fiancée. Men with a bit of beer in their bellies told me, 'We'll come and burn you and your wife and your house'.

"I would love to go back but the economy's in ruins. The place is a shambles. So many professional people have left. It would need a new regime before most of us would think seriously about going back."

The prospect of a return for white farmers was dangled by Mr Gono, Mr Mugabe's leading economic policy maker, in a rambling three-hour statement in which he also announced a 31 per cent devaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar.

He said: "In order to ensure maximum productivity levels, there is great scope in the country promoting and supporting joint ventures between the new farmers with progressive-minded former operators as well as other new investors, so as to hasten the skills transfer cycle."

During the evictions, some white farmers were murdered and many others were beaten and their families abused. The evictions prompted the collapse of the agriculture sector, the traditional engine of the economy.

Those who took over the farms had no specialist knowledge - and most farmland now lies uncultivated. The machinery has been stolen, buildings have been plundered and the former workers are starving.

Eddie Cross, the economics spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change - which was heavily defeated by the ruling Zanu-PF party in recent parliamentary elections that were widely condemned as being rigged - said that Mr Gono was desperate.

Mr Cross said: "He's got no power and he can't deliver. The reality is a thousand miles away from everything he says. He wants to regain some credibility with multilateral institutions. He has meetings with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank next month. This is about having something to say to those guys. The only salvation will be a change of government and a return to the rule of law.

"Until then, no one's going to invest here or come back. Who on earth is going to do anything in agriculture when there is such dispute over land ownership? They'd be mad."

While Mr Gono's words could be interpreted as an admission that the land seizure policy pursued by Mr Mugabe - which led to him becoming an international pariah - had failed, they offered little comfort to the dispossessed.

One tobacco and cattle farmer, who was forced off his property by armed squatters in 2000, said: "He can't be serious. My house has been burnt down, my fields destroyed and he wants to invite me back?

"There has to be a proper return to respect for property rights. We need facts, not words and a legal framework. No one's going to go back on the basis of this."

The man, who asked to remain anonymous, is among 1,600 evicted landowners who have stayed in Zimbabwe and are attempting to get compensation.

In 2000, there were 4,500 white farmers. Now only 400 remain on parts of their farms, many having made deals with Mugabe's regime. Thousands of others lost everything and have had to seek help to set themselves up in ventures outside Zimbabwe.

Colin Ransome, of the Zimbabwe Farmers Trust Fund, a Scottish-registered charity, said: "A lot of those who settled in Britain have young families and new jobs. Everyone is very wary. Iron-clad assurances would be needed."

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The Scotsman
Failed Zimbabwean asylum-seekers face death, Blair warned


ARCHBISHOP Pius Ncube, the winner of the 2005 Burns Humanitarian Award, has called on Tony Blair to stop the repatriation of failed Zimbabwean asylum-seekers, saying they would face "certain death" if they returned to their country.

The longstanding critic of Robert Mugabe won Scotland's fledgling equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of his struggle against the Zimbabwean regime.

In an exclusive interview with Scotland on Sunday, he warned of widespread starvation in his country and urged the world community to continue opposing the dictator.

The archbishop of Bulawayo urged Britain to reverse its policy, introduced last year, of returning Zimbabweans who have failed in their efforts to be granted asylum. Britain refuses sanctuary to refugees unless they can convince authorities they will face persecution in their own countries.

There are an estimated 1,800 Zimbabweans in the UK who have failed in their attempts to win asylum.

Ncube said: "I urge Britain to suspend all action against Zimbabwean asylum-seekers who face certain death if they are returned to the country."

Ominously, the Zimbabwean government has warned they will regard nationals repatriated from the UK as potential "undercover mercenaries".


warned of widespread starvation in Zimbabwe because of crop failure and the mismanagement of its once-rich farmland, laying blame at the feet of the

so-called "freedom fighters", who have taken over land from which white farmers have been ousted and allowed farms to deteriorate to the point where harvests have been barely a quarter of what had been expected.

"They have no idea how to farm," he said. "I call them 'cell-phone farmers' because that is how they keep in touch with what is going on. They are away during the week and only come down to visit their land on a Friday. You can't run a farm that way."

He said that since the recent elections, which Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party are widely suspected of rigging, conditions in rural areas have deteriorated sharply. The rainy seasons have been disastrous, to the point where there are serious shortages of drinking water. Emergency supplies of grain are being withheld from those who voted against Mugabe.

The Archbishop, present as part of the annual Burns Festival, said there was widespread evidence that the election results, which brought in yet another Mugabe victory, had been rigged, with ballot boxes stuffed with pro-Zanu votes, and opponents of Mugabe facing threats and intimidation.

He said that the only possibility of rescuing Zimbabwe from corruption and economic decline was a popular uprising within the country.

He said: "I have been asking the people of Zimbabwe, 'Why do you not get rid of the guy? Why allow this man to bully you?' I have called for a national uprising. But we lack a leader, someone to inspire people - a Mahatma Gandhi who would walk barefoot to lead the people. Unfortunately, we just don't have that person at the moment. Yes, there is a lot of fear in Zimbabwe, but you can overcome fear."

Archbishop Ncube himself has never lacked courage. He has faced a lifetime of intimidation, death threats and violence. His car is regularly followed, and his telephone tapped. But he says that he has never backed down, and that is his greatest strength. "Once you show you are afraid, they will hound you. But when you show you are not afraid, they feel disorientated. They know that what I am saying is the truth. I refuse to be intimidated."

Ncube said he was grateful for the award since it helped draw attention to the plight of those in Zimbabwe.

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Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 4:59 PM
Subject: Looting of the land

Dear Family and Friends,
This week the Reserve Bank Governor devalued our dollar by a paltry third
of its value, adjusted the projected inflation figures upwards and told us
just exactly how bad things have got in the country.  For two and half
hours the Reserve Bank governor's presentation was broadcast live on
national television. The following day a question and answer breakfast
meeting was also broadcast live on national television. Gideon Gono
described utter chaos while his audience of Ministers, bankers and
businessmen laughed in the right places, sipped at their fruit juice or
pure bottled water and feasted on a huge breakfast. The Governor spoke
about resettled farms where people who are supposed to be farmers are
cutting down productive orchards to sell the firewood, selling timber
plantations to foreigners for US dollars and chopping out mature coffee
plantations in order to plant a few maize pips. He spoke of farmers
stripping assets, destroying infrastructure and making immovable property
moveable in order to sell it. He said that farmers were selling anything
and everything that is left on the farms they were given. He spoke of
massive environmental degradation and a rape of the land so widespread
that there would soon be nothing left for Zimbabwean children to inherit.

Reserve Bank governor Gono talked about people leaving the country by air
with suitcases literally bulging with US dollars. He said others were
crossing the border by road with foreign currency stuffed in false fuel
tanks under their cars and of unauthorized private aircraft coming in to
collect smuggled gold.  Almost every sentence contained words like
corruption, indsicipline, hoarding and abuse. He spoke about greed that
knows no bounds but I fear his words and impassioned pleas to save the
environment and natural resources will again fall on deaf ears because
frankly no one gives a damn anymore.

Many of us have been crying out about environmental destruction for the
last five years but we have been silenced, called colonialists, racists,
imperialists and sell outs. The facts, however, are there for all to see -
Zimbabwe's natural resources are being looted and the environment is being
completely destroyed and the pace quickens with each and every day. The
people who have the power to stop it, the Ministers, politicians and
government officials continue to do absolutely nothing. They do nothing
about streambank cultivation, ploughing, planting and well digging on
delicate wetlands. They do nothing about fish netting, bird snaring and
animal hunting and poaching. They do nothing about widespread felling of
decades old indigenous trees. The rape of the environment has become so
widespread that it is now a huge treat to see anything whatsoever in our
world famous African bush - even a guinea fowl is a huge treat.  We can
only assume that the silence and inaction of our authorities means that
they do not want or expect their children to spend their lives in
Zimbabwe. If they did, surely, they would do something.

I close with the news that all my letters prior to 2005 have now been
removed from the African Tears website and the site has been spruced up .
As always I thank my webmaster for his time, support of my writing and
tireless dedication to the Zimbabwe that we all love so much. Until next
week, with love, cathy.
Copyright cathy buckle   21st May 2005.
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available from: ; ;  in Australia and New Zealand:
;  Africa:


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Hundreds stranded as transport crisis worsens

    May 21 2005 at 01:01PM

Harare - Thousands of Zimbabwean commuters were stranded in Harare on Saturday as fuel shortages worsened, state radio reported.

"Thousands of residents are being forced to walk for more than 10km to various destinations because of the critical shortage of public transport," the radio said.

Some city residents were getting up at 4am in order to get to their workplaces for 9am, the private Daily Mirror said.

Drivers of commuter buses - the most popular form of transport - were said to be spending long hours queueing for scarce fuel instead of ferrying passengers.

Reports said army buses had been drafted in to transport some commuters home.

Fuel shortages have worsened in the weeks following parliamentary elections at the end of March, which were won by President Robert Mugabe's party.

Petrol is officially sold at ZIM$3 600 per litre but on the black market it fetches up to ZIM$40 000 a litre, reports said.

In a bid to address the transport problems, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo said that extra "Freedom Trains" - a low-cost state-sponsored service - would be introduced on three city routes.

"We will review the situation with time. We want to ensure that all commuters are carried to work in time and are home in time," Chombo told the state-controlled Herald newspaper.

The state-run ZUPCO bus company was making frantic efforts to buy more buses to meet demand, the paper said. - Sapa-dpa

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 20 May
Mugabe’s crony invades land
Godwin Gandu
Harare - The newly appointed Deputy Information Minister in Zimbabwe, Bright Matongo, and a group of 15 war veterans have violated a court order and invaded farmland, the first such incident since the March parliamentary elections. Tom Beattie has had his possessions thrown out of his farmhouse and has been given an ultimatum to completely vacate the land by the weekend. The Mail & Guardian is in possession of a government notice dated August 31 2004 in which the Administrative Court of Zimbabwe issued a "notice of withdrawal" by the minister of lands, agriculture and rural resettlement to interests in "Tom Beattie family farms". Beattie claims he has already voluntarily allocated a "sizeable portion" of his land for resettlement purposes. "The new deputy information minister is causing all the trouble here," Beattie fumed. "They don’t have proper letters and I’m wondering why this is happening to me. Matonga doesn’t even belong to this district; he is not even an MP of this area. A lot of land is lying idle, nobody is doing anything on the farms, why can’t they go to the underutilised farms instead of disrupting farming operations here," he said.
He summoned the police, who temporarily restored order on the farm on Tuesday, but Matonga and the war vets returned the next day and forcibly removed workers from the workshop where they were processing and packaging produce. Beattie is seeking a high court order to stop the "illegal eviction" and to compel the police to remove the war veterans from his Chigwel farm in Chegutu in the prime commercial farmland in Mashonaland west, about 100km outside Harare. Chigwel estate employs 1 200 labourers and exports, among other things, oranges to the Middle East, Russia and Europe, raking more than $1-million a year. Beattie, who has been on the property since 1983, donates generously to community projects and has a framed letter from President Robert Mugabe prominently displayed in his office. "On behalf of my wife and family, and indeed my own behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you for a handsome gift of three beasts and two sheep given to us during our wedding ceremony. The gift would certainly constitute part of the founding herd of our family’s future livestock," the letter reads and is signed off as "Yours Sincerely RG Mugabe President of the Republic of Zimbabwe".
When the M&G visited the farm this week, several of the farm workers were wearing Zanu PF T-shirts. Senzeni Zuze (24) has lived and worked on the property for the past six years. "We are not opposed to the land reform programme but what is happening is unfair," she said. "There are a lot of farm around the area that the ministers could have, but we are wondering why they are focusing on this one. We are shocked the land reforms are still continuing, we are sick and tired of violence," she said. In September 2002, Matongo was allocated the 607ha Mpandaguta farm in Banket in the same province. The previous owners, Vincent and Monica Shultz had run a successful horticulture business. They exported flowers generating millions in foreign currency. "You go to Mpandaguta now, there is nothing on the ground. But he wants to come here and do the same," Beattie protested. "I will take this matter up with the provincial governor Nelson Samkange." Matonga could not be reached for comment.
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Financial Gazette, 20 May
'Buy Zimbabwe' campaign planned
Harare - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has proposed a major campaign to promote Zimbabwean products ahead of imported goods, in a bid to save scarce foreign currency and create jobs. The proposed "Buy Zimbabwe" campaign, RBZ governor Gideon Gono said yesterday, is designed to allow Zimbabwean brands to reclaim market share that has been lost to foreign products due to strong import demand in recent years. "An aggressive import substitution drive, spearheaded through aggressive marketing and promotion of local brands with significant local content in terms of manufacturing and packaging effort, would go a long way in positively restructuring the economy's consumption patterns," Gono said. Decreased output from local industry due to rising production costs has seen imported goods dominating shop shelves, but Gono said this development was weighing on Zimbabwe's foreign currency reserves and crowding out local brands. Import substitution, the replacement of imported goods with local product, would reverse that trend by encouraging "growth from within" as local businesses receive more contracts, creating more jobs and boosting incomes. The replacement of a dollar's worth of imports with local products, according to yesterday's report, is as effective in generating national economic growth and expansion as the creation of one dollar's worth of exports from the economy. "It cannot be over-emphasised that any policy that encourages consumption of locally produced commodities will increase industrial capacity utilisation significantly towards the targeted 100 percent mark," Gono said in a supplement to the main monetary policy statement he delivered yesterday.
The aim of the "Buy Zimbabwe" crusade would be to build preference and shape aggregate consumption patterns in support of the country's balance of payments position, the governor said. Gono has also come out sharply in criticism of the flood of cheap, low quality imports. "Of late, it has been noted with concern that the recent influx of mainly clothes and consumer goods into Zimbabwe has brought with it a variety of substandard goods, thereby short-changing the unsuspecting local consumers who rushed for such products." The planned "Truly Zimbabwean" campaign would be modelled along the "Proudly South African" campaign in South Africa, a strategy that economists there say has contributed to economic growth and job creation. The US, in fact, has legislation that compels federal, state and local governments to buy certain goods from American industries. Selected products will qualify to trade under the "Truly Zimbabwean" logo. The products will be required to fulfil set standards of product quality and price competitiveness and have a local input content certified by either the RBZ of a specifically appointed body. According to the RBZ, the major drivers of import demand are luxury consumer items such as toiletries, soft drinks and foodstuffs. Other major contributors are luxury motor vehicles, foreign education and foreign construction materials.
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Zim Online (SA), 21 May
Mugabe sacrifices Zimbabwe traders to save the Chinese
Harare - President Robert Mugabe has ordered the demolition of thousands of flea market stalls in Harare to protect Chinese-owned clothing retail shops that have sprouted in the capital and across the country, Zim Online learnt yesterday. Sources said Mugabe decided to sacrifice the livelihoods of millions of Zimbabweans, who depend on selling mostly second-hand clothing at the stalls, following a plea by the Chinese shop owners that the flea markets were taking away a huge chunk of their business. The Chinese, who sell cheap quality clothing, footwear and electrical gadgets imported from their home country, approached Mugabe through second Vice President Joyce Mujuru who they met last month, according to sources. The Asian retailers, who have set up shop in Harare and other cities in larger numbers since the government began its look-East policy five years ago, are said to have told Mujuru that their businesses faced collapse because of an influx of flea markets selling cheaper goods mostly imported from neighbouring South Africa. "A delegation from the Chinese embassy asked for protection from Mujuru last month and it was only last week that we began to see action against flea market traders," a senior government official said. He insisted on not being named for fear of victimisation. The official added: "The President (Mugabe) himself pledged to protect the Chinese shop owners after Mujuru informed him of their problems and he approved the on-going operation to close down flea markets."
Industry and International Trade Minister Obert Mpofu refused to take questions on the matter when ZimOnline telephoned him yesterday. "I am not going to talk about that," was all Mpofu would say. But police in Harare yesterday stepped up the blitz against flea market traders, raiding several stalls and confiscating billions of dollars worth of goods. Charges by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, when he announced his monetary policy review statement for the first quarter on Thursday, that flea market traders were also helping fuel the illegal foreign currency black market have only helped worsen the situation for the traders, police sources said. According to the sources the anti-flea market operation code-named "Operation Restore Order" will now be extended in the coming weeks to other cities across the country. Mugabe is vigorously pursuing greater ties with China and Asia after falling out with the West over his failure to uphold democracy, the rule of law, human and property rights. Apart from heavily investing in the clothing retail sub-sector, the Chinese have also won major contracts in the construction industry and in the aviation sector where they have supplied fighter and passenger planes to the Air Force of Zimbabwe and the country’s passenger airline, Air Zimbabwe. Harare is also understood to be negotiating a deal with Beijing under which state-owned Chinese agro-firms will be offered former white-owned farms in exchange for heavy investment to revive Zimbabwe’s collapsed agricultural sector.
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