May 25, 2007
Jan Raath in Harare, and Sam Coates, Political Correspondent
The Army and the state youth militia, organisations crucial to President
Mugabe's continued grasp on power in Zimbabwe, are demoralised and fast
running out of money.
The Defence Ministry has already exhausted its budget of Zim$32 billion for
rations this year, Trust Maphosa, the Secretary for Defence, told a
parliamentary committee this week. The sum was worth £10 million when it was
allocated at the beginning of the year but its value has been shrunk by
hyperinflation and the collapse of the currency to about £400,000.
A private's monthly pay in February mounted to Zim$300,000, he said, worth
nearly £50. The figure was the result of a sharp increase in army salaries
after alarming reports of officers resigning and troops going absent without
leave. The 35,000-strong Army is now in a significantly worse position. A
private's pay is equal to about £4.
Mr Maphosa said that training would have to be suspended. The defence forces
were suffering from a severe shortage of spare parts for vehicles and
machinery and water supplies to several military installations had been cut
off because of nonpayment of bills.
The revelations came as Conservatives at Westminster called on Margaret
Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, to beef up "woefully inadequate" EU
sanctions on Zimbabawe.
The Army and the youth militia have been widely used in the past three
months of violent repression as President Mugabe reacted to a new surge of
Claudius Makova, the ruling party MP who chairs the parliamentary portfolio
committee on defence, said that the financial situation had severe
implications for national security.
Economists have repeatedly said that inflation, now running at 3,700 per
cent, is President Mugabe's worst enemy. "The time between each big pay
increase is getting shorter and shorter," a Western diplomat said. "The day
is coming, like it did in any number of South American dictatorships, when
the new pay rise will be worthless as soon as it is awarded."
Another report this week by a second parliamentary committee revealed the
abysmal conditions at camps for the youth militia, whom President Mugabe in
March described as the "big, hard-knuckled fist" of Zanu (PF).
It described the dormitories as uninhabitable. The buildings were crowded
and filthy, and many had no doors or windows, and recruits had been fed on
an almost nutritionless diet of boiled cabbage and stiff maizemeal porridge
since January. There were reports of violence and abuse, and women recruits
were constantly in fear of being raped.
At one camp, youths had risen against soldiers in charge of them over the
state of food. As a result, "one student had his arms broken" the report
East African Standard
He presides over the world's fastest crumbling economy and he cheers when
police bludgeon his opponents into silence.He shuts down the Press to cover
up the atrocities of his kleptocratic rule and chooses the august forum -
Comesa - to vent off his anger about the ills of the West on Africa.
But what is worrying is that no African Head of State has faced up to that
fact and told President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to straighten up and save
The irony is that Mugabe's tirade in Nairobi came just two days before the
African Union Day, the occasion when the AU's predecessor, the Organisation
of African Unity (OAU), was founded 44 years ago. The day is being marked
Though the organisation changed name a few years ago in an attempt to
redefine itself little has changed. The OAU's defining plank was
non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.
As a result, African leaders slaughtered their people, but no nation in the
continent would raise a finger. And the leaders would still be welcome at
the annual Heads of State summit.
That has not changed. As the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated in the
past seven years, Africa has been silent. Zimbabwe's neighbour, South
Africa, has opted for diplomacy and has had nothing but kind words for
This has encouraged Mugabe to do what he did in Nairobi on Wednesday. And
those present did not disappoint. The reception was enthusiastic from an
audience comprising mainly Africans.
No doubt, Mugabe is an albatross around the continent's neck and he must be
told as much. He does not tolerate opposition and treats its members in the
same way he does Britain and the United States.
Yet Mugabe knows how to say the right things. When he rebukes the West for
exploiting Africa, we want to believe him. He awakens the passion and
fervour in those who feel the continent has been short-changed.
He speaks for many who suffer from the unbalanced trade. And Africa cheers
him on for it. But the ghosts of his ruinous rule won't just go away.
But Africa must be at the forefront in telling Mugabe: Thank you very much
for all the good words on how to end dependency on the West. But then what
you are is so jarring to the ear that Africa cannot hear what you say. There
is no better day to do this than today: African Union Day.
East African Standard
By Peter Thatia
Today, as Africa observes African Union Day, the omnipresent sense of hope
and possibility ushered into the continent at the turn of the millennium
continues to throb on. Most of the dictators of yesteryear are long gone and
the overall economic growth hit a record last year with an average of over 6
per cent. These achievements will be put to the fore today across the
The greatest threat to the African dream today remains Zimbabwe, a country
where deprivation is being measured in extremes. Indeed, statistics in
Africa are being churned out in a pair, i.e. Africa scores this and that,
and this and that without Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has become a blotch in the conscience of Africa, its performance
playing havoc with every statistical figure about Africa. And while Africa
will be turning over a milestone, her failure to intervene in Zimbabwe will
certainly be given a blackout.
Flashback to the gloriously sunny Salisbury afternoon of April 18, 1980,
when a surging crowd of unprecedented proportions on the continent of Africa
roared in unison as the Union Jack and the flag of Rhodesia came down for
the last time. Robert Gabriel Mugabe had finally arrived.
If you asked any resident of Harare how it was during that time, he would
probably smile, close his eyes and blow a kiss. If he has been there since,
he would recount a tale that is a creation by sheer lack of forethought,
misfortune, stupidity, and tragedy. In a world dominated by warped
geopolitics where self-interest was the only moral, few saw it coming.
In his personal website, launched in 2002 and recording over 300,000 hits so
far, President Robert Mugabe makes an interesting statement about himself:
"I know you love your leader as much as you love your country. I know you
deserve to see what kind of a man I am. To those of you that already know
me, this will simply be a joyous refresher of your cherished memories of me.
To those with still unfulfilled desire to know me better, I welcome you into
an intimate glimpse of Mugabe The Man."
But just how much does Zimbabweans, and indeed the world, know about Mugabe?
Just how much are they willing to know about the boy who was abandoned by
his father, a man who went to make a life with another woman elsewhere, when
the boy was only ten years old?
Do they care about the genius who created the best education system in
Africa (by 2000 Zimbabwe had the highest literacy rate in Africa at 85 per
cent), or the devious schemer who went ahead to have two children with a
lover 41 years his junior (whom he later married) while his wife Sally was
dying with cancer?
A proud man
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is an extremely proud man. He doesn't suffer
opposition gladly - whatever kind of opposition. He'd go to any lengths to
wring competition at the neck - whatever the consequences. When Zimdaily.com
recently ran a scoop on how he ordered the death of his younger brother
Albert Mugabe in the mid-1980s because he had reportedly slept with his wife
Sally and impregnated her, the most some Zimbabweans could do was just to
yawn. Yet, indisputably, Robert Mugabe had a good dream for Zimbabwe, and
for more than a decade he delivered.
But the ruthlessness with which he destroyed the careers, lives and the
families of the very men who introduced and helped him into the big league
tells a profound story on where his own destruction started. The question of
political legitimacy, though having won to become the prime minister in
1980, was always going to be a big shadow obscuring his own star. The
liberation of Zimbabwe had been multi-pronged and too complicated an
exercise for one man to claim captainship. To do this would have been like
committing a unilateral and covert act of war.
The mega-crisis in Zimbabwe did not happen in a day. The elements had been
taking place for decades in readiness for an explosion bound to wreak
devastating consequences. In four and a half decades of blatant betrayal and
cold-blooded scheming, it is only now that casual eyes are glaring up to the
truth that that the rudimental scaffolding had the character and the person
of Robert Gabriel Mugabe as its overbearing totem.
The cunning tribalist
The struggle of the liberation of the then Southern Rhodesia has the
inerasable image of five courageous men: Joshua Nkomo, Ndabaningi Sithole,
Herbert Chitepo, Robert Mugabe and Canaan Banana, and in that order. Unlike
the case in other African countries, it was the unlikely candidate and a
late entrant, Robert Mugabe, who would receive the salute on the day of
independence, culminating in two decades of successful power-wrestling
mischief from the pioneers of the struggle
The political stakes in the first all-race general elections in Zimbabwe
were sky-high. Africa was failing big and the world awaited a new
regeneration in Zimbabwe. Whoever was going to win would automatically be
catapulted to the top of a brand new African agenda, a beacon of glitter
The grandeur of the symbolic prestige was tantalising. The world awaited the
man who would cut the last tentacle still linking the British Empire beyond
the white cliffs of Dover.
The world expected Joshua Nkomo to win the all-race general elections of
February 1980. What they had failed to account for was Mugabe's own skills
in flinging mud and pulling the strings over all eyes, something that the
gentleman Nkomo was alien to. Indeed, Mugabe made it the main tool in his
election machine to remind all Zimbabweans that Nkomo was actually a Ndebele
and that Sithole had teamed up with Ian Smith during the last days of the
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). As for Canaan Banana, he was
the son of a Ndebele mother and a Malawian father anyway.
The tribal stakes thus set by the Mugabe election machine, Mugabe won a
landslide victory against the combined forces of Nkomo, Sithole and Ian
Smith. He would teach them a lesson, setting the stage for the undulating
tremors that are gathering as the chicken troop back home to roost.
Today, Zimbabwe is the only place in the world where luxury flats are
occupied by squatters, closed stores are boarded up and rats scurry through
abandoned restaurants. Life expectancy has plummeted to the world's lowest,
34 years for women (69 years at independence) and 37 for men.
Catholic archbishop for Bulawayo, the courageous Pius Ncube, says even the
inflation rate, which the Central Bank governor Gideon Gono puts at 3000 per
cent (the world's highest), is propped up by lies. He puts the figure at
over 4000 per cent. Nurses no longer go to work because a trip to work would
wipe out your earnings. The national health fabric has literally collapsed.
Instructively, the Zimbabwean dollar was worth more that its American
counterpart at independence. Today, the official cost of a loaf of bread is
$Z875 but in reality it sells at $Z6000. In a speech delivered in Australia
last month, Archbishop Ncube said that school fees in Bulawayo were
$Z500,000 for the first term this year but when the students reported back
for the second term the fees had doubled.
Despite being ringed by two of Africa's greatest rivers, Limpopo and
Zambezi, a biting water shortage has led to the use of water hosepipes being
banned in the capital. Watering backyard gardens is an illegal offence that
is punishable by a jail term.
Zimbabweans are escaping from their homeland in droves. According to UN
reports, 109,532 Zimbabweans were deported from South Africa last year
alone. Botswana deported 32,264. Soldiers sent by the government to check
the tide at River Limpopo are themselves peeling off their uniforms and
abandoning their weapons at the banks of the crocodile-infested river and
swimming across to a better life as casual farm labourers in South Africa.
Not even in Somalia, a nation that holds the rare distinction as the only
country in the world to have endured more than one and a half decades
without a government, did the society collapse. Without a respite on the
escalating political, social and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the country is
rapidly teetering past the point of no return. That there is no war in
Zimbabwe is a fact that mars poignantly intrinsic paradoxes in the whole
Mugabe made sure that every liberation struggle leader died an ignoble
Those who filled the ideological vacuum these great men left behind were
bound to ignite Zimbabwe in a way Mugabe was not going to countenance, and
now it was complicated because the twin evils of colonialism and capitalism,
against which Mugabe anchored his perceived morals, no longer rung any bell
in the younger Zimbabwean populace.
His latest bid to lock this generation out was his recent declaration that
as a proof of residence on the day of voting you need to produce utility
bills, something that the majority young population of Zimbabwe can't
produce because they are jobless.
Mugabe had suffered one of his biggest blows in 1997 when the new British
government of Tony Blair unilaterally decided to stop funding his land
reform programme on the basis that the initial £44m allocated by the
Thatcher administration was used to purchase land for members of the ruling
elite from Mugabe's own Zezeru clan. For this, Mugabe still refers to Blair
as a "gay supremacist" on national TV.
It is a paradox that even when Mugabe was murdering over 20,000 Ndebele
people in the 1980s with the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade the world still
referred to him as a statesman.
It was easy for the world not to recognise the build-up, whose savagery
exploded in 2000 after he lost the referendum, because the larger African
spectrum was even worse. Before Mandela came into the scene, Mugabe was
largely viewed as the last African hope and to a large extent acted the
part. No one would have compared him to the reactionary sergeants, colonels
and bandits who were running most of Africa in 1980.
Writing on the wall
The desperate manoeuvre to extend his tenure beyond the set 2008 to 2010 so
as to coincide with the parliamentary elections has dealt Mugabe another
blow. Recently Mbeki called him and put it to him that he was not going to
agree to potentially nasty presidential general elections in neighbouring
Zimbabwe in the year that he will be staging the World Cup in South Africa.
Being the only people who care about him nowadays, Mugabe obliged. To the
horror of the rest of the world, his old ANC friends still continue to
support him in South Africa.
Indeed, after South Africa stage-managed a press conference in Harare
following the 2002 poll and declared the elections fair, all the local and
international journalists who were present burst out laughing. Right now the
MDC is laughing at Mbeki's quiet diplomacy. Just who will have the last
laugh in next year's presidential poll remains to be seen but the writing is
slowly emerging on the wall.
Mail and Guardian
24 May 2007 11:59
Zimbabwe's government is adding more bricks to the wall it has
built between itself and the rest of the world. Starting next month,
university students who have received government assistance -- which is most
of them -- will no longer be able to leave the country legally to seek
employment elsewhere. Instead, they will be forced into a civil-service
programme that will prohibit them from emigrating for several years,
Washington Mbizvo, the permanent secretary of the Zimbabwean department of
home affairs, announced last week.
This reality is grossly at odds with what most Zimbabweans want.
A study by the Southern African Migration Project (Samp) of university
students in three of the country's biggest cities, Harare, Bulawayo and
Gweru, shows that only 6% of the respondents have never considered leaving
the country, with more than 50% saying they will emigrate within six months
A study by the state-sponsored Scientific and Industrial
Research Centre (SIRDC), which came out in September 2005, showed that about
half a million Zimbabweans, mainly professionals in the health and education
sector, had already emigrated.
While Zimbabwe is erecting walls around its borders, South
Africa may be considering adopting a more a laissez faire attitude towards
immigration from its northern neighbour. In Parliament last week, President
Thabo Mbeki said that South Africa cannot build a "great wall" between the
two borders and that South Africans have to learn to live with Zimbabweans.
Experts the Mail & Guardian spoke to said Mbeki's statement does
not necessarily signal a change in policy on illegal immigration. It is just
a "recognition of the reality," said Sally Peberdy, a project manager at
Samp. "He was just being realistic, it's not possible to keep people out if
they really want to come," she said.
Daniel Molokele, a human rights lawyer, pointed out that last
week the department of home affairs deported 1 800 illegal Zimbabwean
immigrants and a further 3 000 are currently being held at Lindela where
they await deportation. More continue to be arrested, he said.
Jacob van Garderen of Lawyers for Human Rights said: "It is not
enough to say we have to live with it. We have to make it legally possible
for them to come and live here." He pointed out that the Immigration Act
provides limited scope and opportunities to migrate legally and urged the
government to create mechanisms such as waiving visa requirements for
Zimbabweans, as it has for citizens of Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland,
Botswana and a number of other Southern African countries.
For a Zimbabwean to get a South African visitor's visa he or she
has to have R2 000 in travellers' cheques, a letter of invitation, and
copies of the identification documents of the persons they are visiting.
Minister of Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was in Zimbabwe
last week to meet her counterpart, Kembo Mohadi. The Herald, a state-owned
daily, claimed that South Africa had agreed, in principle, to relax
stringent visa requirements.
Responding to the M&G's questions on this matter, Cleo Mosana,
of the department of home affairs, said this week: "We will be working
towards reciprocal visa waiver regimes with all SADC countries, as and when
Mosana added: "If a Zimbabwean citizen is illegally in South
Africa, he will be deported, unless he applies for asylum. When he applies
for asylum he must show that he was forced to flee Zimbabwe for the reasons
set out in the Refugees Act -- basically he must show political persecution,
as the country is not involved in a civil war."
In 2006 the government took decisions on 1 981 applications for
refugee status. "Of this number only 103 applications for refugee status
were approved. In other words, only 5% of applications were successful," Van
Meanwhile, professionals, such as lawyers, face problems of
admission and accreditation by the Law Society. Although the Attorneys' Act
allows certain exemptions, normally a foreigner has to possess a South
African law degree or a degree certified by a South African University, and
be either a South African citizen or a permanent resident in order to be
admitted in terms of the Attorney's Act.
To qualify for permanent residence in terms of the Immigration
Act, a foreign national must be able to show the department of home affairs
that he or she has an offer of employment from an employer. In practice,
however, such offers of employment are only made to a person who has already
been admitted as an attorney in South Africa. This creates a "catch-22
situation", said a Zimbabwean lawyer.
Nyaradzo Muzah-Chiwa, a Zimbabean lawyer, living in South
Africa, but not working as a lawyer, said that Zimbabwean legal
professionals have engaged the Law Society and "have raised these
difficulties with them".
She said a number of lawyers fled Zimbabwe after being targeted
for representing commercial farmers; she estimated that up to 400 trained
Zimbabwean lawyers living in South Africa are currently idle.
Friday 25 May 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Zimbabwe's labour movement on Thursday said it had begun
preparations for fresh protests by workers, saying the government and
employers had ignored calls to link wages and salaries to the country's
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the largest representative
body for workers in the country, wants wages and salaries linked to
inflation, which at more than 3 700 percent is the highest in the world.
The union also wants President Robert Mugabe's government to urgently act to
end Zimbabwe's severe economic crisis and on May Day said it would call
nationwide protests if its demands were not met.
ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo told ZimOnline the union was mobilising for
two-day protests in July that would be repeated after three months until the
government and employers acceded to workers' demands.
Matombo said: "We are still maintaining that workers need to be paid poverty
datum line (breadline) linked wages indexed to inflation, failure of which
we have no choice but to carry out the mandate which we were given by the
workers. July is fast coming (the deadline for worker protests)."
The poverty line is estimated at above Z$1.7 million, way above the average
monthly salary for most Zimbabwean workers which ranges between $300 000 to
Labour Minister Nicholas Goche and police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena were
not immediately available for comment on the latest threat by the ZCTU to
call protests by workers.
But the government has in the past deployed armed police and soldiers to
crush protests by the union which it accuses together with the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party of being puppets of the West
and of manipulating genuine worker grievances in order to incite hatred
against Mugabe and instigate popular revolt.
Police last September brutally assaulted Matombo and scores of other ZCTU
leaders for attempting to organise workers in Harare and a two-day
nationwide work boycott called by the ZCTU flopped last April as workers
turned up for work and business opened fearing a government backlash.
But an unprecedented economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, shortages of
medicines, fuel, electricity, hard cash and just about every basic survival
commodity continues to stoke public anger especially in urban areas that
have become hotbeds of opposition to Mugabe's rule. - ZimOnline
Friday 25 May 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - Crisis-weary Zimbabweans could soon run out of bread amid reports
the government's Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is out of wheat and unable to
pay for new supplies held at South African ports.
Senior managers at the GMB, who spoke on condition they were not named, said
the grain utility - the only one permitted to import wheat into the
country - was unable to pay for wheat stuck in South Africa because the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had not given it foreign currency to do so.
"The problem is that no foreign currency has been provided by the RBZ. So
unless the RBZ provides forex then we will be stuck with the wheat
shortages," said a GMB manager.
RBZ governor Gideon Gono and GMB chief executive officer Samuel Muvuti could
not be reached for comment on the matter.
But millers confirmed they were operating below capacity because of reduced
wheat supplies from the GMB while bakers said they were running out of floor
and Zimbabwe could soon run out of bread, one of the troubled country's
major staple foods.
"There has been a significant reduction of wheat allocations. Wheat supply
is now tight and millers are operating at below capacity because of the
reduced supplies," said Mike Manga, the chairman of the Millers Association
National Bakers Association chairman Vincent Mangoma said: "Millers have
told us that they have had their wheat allocations reduced. So there could
be bread shortages anytime from now."
Zimbabwe, which was once a regional breadbasket, has battled acute food
shortages since seven years ago when President Robert Mugabe began seizing
commercial farms from whites to give to blacks, crippling the mainstay
International donors have supplied Zimbabwe with maize, its chief staple,
while GMB has since late last year imported wheat from Argentina and South
Africa to ensure bread on shop shelves.
An acute shortage of foreign currency is however hampering the state grain
utility's ability to import enough wheat to feed a country grappling with an
economic recession highlighted by the world's highest inflation of more than
3 700 percent, unemployment of above 80 percent and rising poverty. -
Friday 25 May 2007
JOHANNESBURG - Namibia's national power company, NamPower, says it is
holding US$40 million that was loaned to Zimbabwe for the refurbishment of
Hwange power station in an off-shore account in Botswana.
NamPower boss, Paulinas Shilamba said the cash will not be handed over to
the Zimbabwean government but will be used to pay directly suppliers and all
those involved in the rehabilitation of Hwange power station.
Under the terms of the agreement signed with the state-owned Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), the Namibians will fund the
refurbishment of Hwange with Harare agreeing to supply 150 MW of electricity
There were concerns however that Zimbabwe, which this month began 20-hour
power cuts as a means of minimizing the little electricity available, would
fail to provide power to Namibia as required under the agreement.
But Shilamba said Zimbabwe would give first preference to Namibia before
seeking to satisfy its domestic needs.
"We gave them the US$40 million in foreign (currency). They cannot pay that
back in US-dollars so in exchange they agreed to give us power at a cheaper
"They just have to do that even it means they have to experience power
shortage in their domestic market," said Shilamba.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a severe seven-year economic crisis that has
manifested itself in the world's highest inflation rate of over 3 700
percent, rampant poverty and unemployment.
The economic crisis has also shown itself in massive power shortages that
have seen Zimbabweans go without electricity supplies for days on end.
The country's two biggest power stations at Hwange and Kariba have over the
past few years failed to generate enough electricity because of ageing
equipment and frequent breakdowns there. - ZimOnline
24th May 2007 22:14 GMT
By a Correspondent
THE Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Chinamasa
was grilled over Zimbabwe's human rights situation after Zimbabwe presented
its long overdue report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples'
Rights (ACHPR) during its 41st Ordinary Session in Accra, Ghana.
Minister Chinamasa had a torrid time defending the deteriorating human
rights situation when the ACHPR Commissioners fired more than 100 questions
at the Zimbabwean official on the steps Harare was taking to open the
democratic space and secure an environment conducive to freedom of
expression and media freedom and other universally guaranteed rights and
The Commissioners quizzed Minister Chinamasa over the repeal or amendment of
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).
The torrent of questions rained in after the Minister had presented Zimbabwe
's State Party Report to the ACHPR on 20 May 2007.
The report, which was eight years overdue, was submitted pursuant to Article
62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which states: "Each
State Party shall undertake to submit every two years, from the date the
present Charter comes into force, a report on the legislative or other
measures taken with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms
recognized and guaranteed by the present Charter."
On POSA, the Minister told the Commission that certain sections of POSA had
been challenged and some nullified by the Supreme Court. This, he said, had
resulted in the amendment of the law. Zimbabwean lawyers in attendance at
the Commission disputed this saying POSA has never been amended since 2002
when it was promulgated.
Chinamasa denied that the opposition was being denied permission to hold
their meetings and rallies under POSA. He stated that the opposition
political parties have been holding their meetings countrywide and
government would provide a schedule of meetings held by the opposition. He
also omitted to advise the Commission about the banning orders in force in
He dithered on the police brutality which led to the brutal assault of MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, opposition leaders and parliamentarians and other
human rights defenders including photojournalist Tsvangirai Mukwazhi when
police cordoned off Zimbabwe Grounds on 11 March 2007 ahead of a planned
Save Zimbabwe Campaign national prayer day and measures being taken to
arrest perpetrators of the torture.
He said the Commission Chairperson Salamata Sawadogo and Special Rapporteur
on Freedom of Expression Pansy Tlakula had since written President Robert
Mugabe on the issue of the violations and that Zimbabwe would respond in
writing in due course.
The Commission was further advised that the government was consulting with
the Civic Society Organisations on the establishment of a national human
Chinamasa however claimed that the process had been derailed after United
States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell allegedly threatened
representatives of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Election
Support Network, Crisis in Zimbabwe , and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
and the National Constitutional Assembly with withdrawal of funding if they
participated in the process.
Representatives of NGOs attending the Session said no such meeting with
Ambassador Dell ever took place and dismissed this as cheap politicking by
Asked about steps being taken to arrest those who bombed The Daily News
Printing Press, the Minister responded: "The bombing of The Daily News
printing press was an unfortunate incident indeed. We have asked for leads
which can assist us arrest the perpetrators. So far no one has provided us
Chinamasa was also taken to task over his statement in 2001 when he said
Judges should be politically correct. He blatantly refused that he had
uttered these words.
He was asked on the circumstances leading to the arrest of Retired High
Court judge Justice Fergus Blackie as well as the removal of former Chief
Justice Anthony Gubbay from the Supreme Court. On Blackie, Chinamasa was at
pains to explain that Blackie had heard an appeal case with Justice Rita
Makarau, now Judge President but allegedly proceeded to deliver a judgment
in that case behind Justice Makarau's back. Chinamasa however, omitted to
advise the Commission that Blackie was later acquitted of the charges.
On Gubbay's resignation, Chinamasa explained that Gubbay felt that he wanted
to take an early retirement but that later after being persuaded by the Law
Society to rescind his resignation, he then launched a comeback bid which
was refused. According to participants at the Session, Gubbay was actually
visited by Chinamasa who directed him to resign.
The Minister justified Operation Murambatsvina and submitted that over four
thousand 4 000 complete houses and over three thousand (3 000) incomplete
houses have been handed over to beneficiaries under phase 1 of operation
The Commission will now discuss the Zimbabwe State Party Report in a private
session. They will come up with concluding observations which they will
forward to the African Union Heads of States Summit for adoption before
being forwarded to Zimbabwe as recommendations for implementation.
International Federation of Journalists (Brussels)
24 May 2007
Posted to the web 24 May 2007
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the
Zimbabwean government to end its attacks and harassment of journalists and
to stop police harassment of newspaper photographer Boldwill Hungwe.
"We are very upset by recent incidents that show a pattern of media
repression and we urge the government to put an end to it," said Gabriel
Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "Violent attacks on journalists
and other media workers are having a chilling effect in Zimbabwe and sending
a message that the government will use force to silence journalists that
publish news it wants to keep out of public view."
Hungwe is a photographer with The Standard newspaper. In its Sunday edition,
the paper published pictures of attorney Beatrice Mtetwa severely injured
after she was abducted and tortured by police. The security forces broke up
a gathering of lawyers in Harare the previous week. According to IFJ
sources, after the photo was published the police called Hungwe and told him
to turn himself in at the police station. The photographer has been in
hiding since then.
Violence against journalists has been increasing in Zimbabwe. The dead body
of cameraman Edward Chikombo was found in April, a few days after he was
abducted from his home by armed men. Chikombo was suspected of having leaked
the footage of the demonstrations and images of brutalised opposition
activists which flooded international media organisations like the BBC and
CNN. A few weeks before his death at least three other journalists were
arrested and badly beaten in custody.
The IFJ is also calling on authorities to release Luke Tamborinyoka, who has
been imprisoned for two months after a crackdown on the opposition.
Tamborinyoka, press officer of the opposition party Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), was arrested along with about 30 MDC members when police
raided the party's headquarters on March 28. He was reportedly badly beaten
and tortured while in custody and has been denied access to medical
treatment and legal representation since his arrest. Tamborinyoka was the
former news editor of newspaper The Daily News until it was banned in 2003
and he is a former Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries.
In Search of Regional and Continental
25th May 2007; Harare, Zimbabwe
The Background to Africa Day
Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the
Organization of African Unity (OAU). On this day we celebrate the great
occasion when 32 independent African countries came together to form this
continent-wide organization whose platform was the total liberation of
Africa. The objectives of the OAU included the following: promote the unity
and solidarity of African States; co-ordinate and intensify their
cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa;
defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; eradicate
all forms of colonialism from Africa; and promote international cooperation,
having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Hence, the mandate of the OAU was simple, but
momentous: to complete the liberation of the continent from colonial rule,
and to foster unity and solidarity among its newly independent members.
Consequently, the 25th of May is a day on which we observe the creation of
the OAU and pay tribute to the African revolutionaries, who through a common
vision of unity, decided to seek joint African solutions to the challenges
that confronted the continent. The spirit of that era is typified by the
disposition of one of the OAU founders, the African visionary, Dr. Kwame
Nkrumah: "The Independence of Ghana is meaningless without the total
Independence of Africa. We as Ghanaians are prepared to surrender our
national sovereignty in part or in total in pursuit of African unity". That
was then. How many African leaders can say this today?
In July 2002 the OAU was succeeded by the African Union (AU), while
amalgamating with the African Economic Community (AEC), but kept the date
and name of Africa Day. The historical foundation of the AU originated in
the Union of African States, an early confederation of African states, as
well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the OAU and the AEC
(formed in 1981). While acknowledging the end of settler colonialism, the
transformation into the AU entailed embracing a wider mandate that included
promoting democracy, human rights, and sustainable economic development.
There was a vision for a more unified entity, a legislative body, and other
institutions of common governance.
Whereas the central organizing principle of the OAU was political
independence for African states that of the AU centers on sustainable
economic independence from the West, rooted in regional integration,
beneficiation, fair trade, technology transfer and export based investment.
The demand for effective leadership has never been greater. The long-term
aims of the AU include a single currency, an integrated defense force and a
cabinet for the AU Head of State. With a membership of 53 states, the AU
seeks to help secure Africa's democracy, human rights and sustainable
economy by bringing an end to intra-African conflict and creating an
effective common market. The overall dream is to establish a peaceful,
democratic and prosperous continent.
Acknowledging the Achievements
Thus the significance of Africa Day continues beyond the life of the OAU
into the era of the AU. We must continue to celebrate the achievements and
dreams by Africans, while acknowledging our failures. The victories include;
the successful execution of national liberation struggles, post-colonial
efforts at state crafting, OAU/AEC evolvement into the AU, and the
establishment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to
address African challenges and ensure that the 21st Century truly becomes an
During its term of existence, the OAU had stellar performance in executing
its mandate of ridding the continent of colonialism. Many countries,
including our own, partly owe their liberation to the support rendered by
the OAU's Liberation Committee. When South Africa achieved democracy in
1994, effectively ending the last vestige of settler exploitation, the
African continent was finally able to stand up tall and proclaim "We are
free at last!" As we plough through 2007, most African countries have
overcome many obstacles and have begun building an Africa that belongs to
all Africans, through smart partnership between government, civil society
and business. In particular there is emphasis on leveraging women and the
youth in strengthening solidarity among Africans.
The African Union is taking root, with many of its institutions already
established. The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has been inaugurated as a
platform for the articulation of aspirations of the peoples of Africa. A
woman was elected as the Parliament's first Speaker. The convening of this
regular session of PAP confirms the determination of the peoples of Africa
to promote and achieve the unity of our continent. To realize these goals,
the PAP, made up of representatives elected by the African masses, will
discuss a number of important pan-African issues of the day, consistent with
its mandate to help determine the African agenda. As the PAP meets, its
agenda seeks to enhance their mandate to contribute to Africa's renaissance.
Throughout the continent, commendable progress has also been made in the
implementation of NEPAD, especially in the priority areas of agriculture,
infrastructure, environment and health; all key areas in reducing poverty,
promoting social stability and improving the quality of life. We have seen
the establishment of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), one of NEPAD's
most important and innovative features, with the aim of fostering the
adoption of policies and practices leading to political stability, economic
growth, accountability, good governance and democracy.
Taking Stock of the Deficit
Of course, much remains to be done. With political freedom came new
challenges for Africa. Leaders that brought liberation have become dictators
denying fellow Africans human rights and economic opportunities. Our
continent continues to be afflicted with hunger, disease, civil strife and
general economic underdevelopment. We are the only region of the world where
more than 50% of school-age-children do not have access to education. We are
also the only region of the world that has experienced negative net economic
growth in the last thirty years. As a continent, we still lack the capacity
to intervene and effectively deal with incidences of famine and civil
strife. Tragedies like Darfur and Zimbabwe stare us in the face, without
effective African resolution. We ought to do better!
Africans must keep striving to address both HIV/AIDS and the persistence of
violent conflict in various parts of Africa, which continue to hold back
development by destroying social and economic infrastructures, diverting
resources and tearing asunder the social and cultural fabric of affected
societies. The international community must continue to complement the
efforts made by Africans themselves, through fairer trade, greater aid and
significant debt relief. On this Africa Day, it is imperative for Africans
to rededicate themselves to that partnership and agenda.
Zimbabwe: Reflections on Africa Day
Currently Zimbabwe is completely out of step with the economic vision, value
system and frameworks that are being developed regionally and globally. The
strategic direction of the Zimbabwean state is at variance with objectives
of both the OAU and AU. Clearly the dysfunctional Zimbabwe economy cannot be
properly integrated into COMESA, SADC, and the AU. Regional inflation is
benchmarked at 20% while Zimbabwe is experiencing inflation levels
approaching 4000%. SADC as a grouping will continue to be affected and the
success of COMESA is put in jeopardy. The vision of a vibrant AU rooted in
the foundation of an integrated continental economy will be elusive with an
unresolved crisis in Zimbabwe. Equally significant and important to note is
that countries in the region are also experiencing major social effects from
mass migration from Zimbabwe into those countries.
Furthermore, the brutality, political repression and economic subjugation
currently taking place in Zimbabwe do not bode well for the ethos,
principles and values of the AU and the African Renaissance. In fact what is
happening in Zimbabwe is an outright negation of the African revolution
ignited in Ghana (1957) and whose construction was formalized on 25th May
1963 (Africa Day). The fight envisaged by Nkrumah and his contemporaries was
an all-inclusive, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist continental-wide
struggle, whose premise included democracy, freedom, liberty, equality,
universal suffrage, justice, equity, socio-economic justice, and prosperity.
We have none of these in Zimbabwe. Our nation is going through an
unprecedented economic and political crisis authored by the autocratic and
illegitimate government of Robert Mugabe and ZANU(PF). There is increasing
repression while the economic crisis is deepening. The recent arrest and
brutal physical attacks on lawyers (including the President of the Law
Society) have demonstrated that this regime has lost any semblance of
It is imperative for SADC and the AU to realize that Zimbabwe's failure is
their demise too. They must understand that when Zimbabwe coughs, SADC
catches a cold, while the AU is rendered sickly. Under globalization there
is no country that can prosper and stay competitive without effective
regional integration. The global survival paradigm is regional economic
integration predicated upon regional and continental sovereignty that
supersedes national sovereignty. Any economic meltdown in one regional
member is catastrophic to the group's strategic, economic and political
The Zimbabwean crisis is an African crisis. It's a bloat on the continent's
record. Today on Africa Day we call upon the Africans to take a vested
interest approach to the Zimbabwean crisis. It is in this context that we
embrace and salute the mediation efforts by SADC through President Mbeki of
South Africa, the decision by the PAP to send a delegation to Zimbabwe, the
comments by President John Kufuor of Ghana and President Levi Mwanawasa of
Zambia. All these activities and overtures constitute a triumph of regional
sovereignty and Pan-Africanism over narrow, perverted and misconceived
notions of national sovereignty. However, these efforts are not enough. We
need to see more leadership on Zimbabwe from the AU, its institutions and
leaders. While the AU must overtly support the SADC initiative, they must
also institute their own mechanisms of intervention and solidarity. This
should be food for thought for African leaders as they prepare for the 9th
AU summit to be held in Accra, Ghana in July 2007. The demise of Zimbabwe
symbolizes the failure of African institutions and leadership.
All Africans must deploy a vested interest strategy on Zimbabwe. No African
nation should oppress and denigrate its citizens under the guise of
misplaced notions of national sovereignty. The OAU had a dubious distinction
of doing little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from
abuse by their own political leaders. Hence it was derided as the "Dictator's
Club". The AU has a unique opportunity to shed this image and de-link itself
from such a legacy. Africa's leaders should abide by a new creed, built on a
uniquely African foundation, which fosters the respect of citizen's rights
and commits each nation to the improvement of people's quality of life on a
sustained and sustainable basis. The AU should clearly condemn and confront
charlatans like Robert Mugabe, who are fond of grandstanding as
Pan-Africanists and anti-imperialists while they casually trample over the
human rights and economic opportunities of their own citizens. Africans must
seek to develop the principle of continental sovereignty that protects the
socio-political-economic rights of Africans everywhere. This is the only
way, we as Zimbabweans, can extract any meaning from celebrating Africa Day.
In conclusion, we congratulate the African continent on 44 years of striving
for African liberation, unity and prosperity. Much has been achieved, and
yet more work has to be done. We urge African leaders to take seriously
their new mandate of promoting democracy, human rights, good governance and
sustainable economic development. An injury and injustice to one African is
an assault to all Africans. Our posterity as Africans is defined by a common
Through African Unity, We Shall Overcome.
The Struggle Continues Unabated.
Arthur G.O. Mutambara
HARARE - Zimbabwe's influential Catholic bishops have hit back at criticism
by President Robert Mugabe that they had taken a dangerous route by
criticising government policies, saying they would not be cowed into silence
in an escalating wave of State-sponsored violence.
Mugabe issued a stark warning three weeks ago that the bishops would be
treated as opponents if they continued dabbling in politics.
The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a statement they were
gravely worried that the country's political environment had deteriorated in
the run-up to next year's poll, and noting that people were being attacked
over their right to free association and expression.
"Violence has already claimed more than three lives and injured many more.
Some people have fled their homes and are now living like refugees in their
own country," they said.
The violence - which many say is led by riot police loyal to Mugabe - has
severely disrupted school, hospital and farming operations across the
country and created widespread fear, they said.
"In this light, we condemn the pre-election violence and the killings that
have taken place in our country. Nobody should ever have to suffer reprisals
for honestly expressing and living up to their convictions, be they
intellectual, religious or political," they said.
"We therefore issue a plea to all political parties and their supporters to
desist from any form of violence. We call upon the government to ensure that
its organs like the police and the media revisit their national obligation
of service to the nation and all its citizens and not to be partisan," the
nine bishops said. - Own Correspondent
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
THE takeover of key government parastatals by former Zimbabwe National Army
personnel has done little - if anything - to improve the companies, as they
have continued to post unimpressive results each and every year.
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the
Zimbabwe Wildlife Authority are a few examples of parastatals that are
failing to meet expectations - with blame being put squarely on the former
ZNA personnel heading them.
Other government-owned bodies such as the Sports and Recreation Commission
(SRC) - headed by Retired Major General Gibson Mashingaidze - have now
become toothless. GMB, facing huge losses, plans to export 10,000 tonnes of
sugar from Hippo Valley in order raise foreign currency for grain imports -
a development that is set to trigger another acute shortage of sugar in the
And GMB acting chief executive officer - Retired Colonel Samuel Muvuti -
sees nothing wrong with such an ill-advised move.
"This is trade, like any other trade. Any country can export whatever it can
export," he was quoted as saying in a weekly newspaper.
NRZ general manager Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai told a Cabinet
sub-committee on inter-parastatal debts that the company has been in a
desperate state since 2005, the year that saw it managing to transport only
3,7 million tonnes of goods against a target of 12 million tonnes.
In 2006, NRZ improved to 5,4 million tonnes although the figure was once
again well below its projections.
NRZ board chairman Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba revealed to the Cabinet
sub-committee that the railways company currently has a shortage of 33
locomotives and 2,752 wagons to transport goods in and outside the country.
It was, indeed, magnanimous for Morgan Tsvangirai, President of the MDC, to
indicate that Robert Mugabe could be granted an amnesty for all the sins
that he has committed during his reign of terror in Zimbabwe. But that was
Tsvangirai's own opinion, and certainly not that of the majority of the
people of Zimbabwe. It may even have been the position of the MDC faction
led by Tsvangirai but it still is not the preferred position of the
suffering people of this country.
There are certainly a few good reasons why the blood-sucking dictator should
be granted immunity from prosecution. One good reason is that this will
encourage Bob to willingly retire from active politics and allow the nation
to inch its way back to democracy, peace and development.
Another good reason is that it is a little awkward to prosecute Mugabe for
crimes against humanity while Ian Smith, who committed more or less equally
atrocious crimes, is walking about a free man.
Perhaps a third good reason is that it is always logical to allow one man to
(sort of) get away with murder or some such evil in order to rescue millions
of innocent hostages that are under his captivity. The argument is that if
the evil Mugabe is not promised amnesty, he will continue his relentless
torture against the innocent people of Zimbabwe as a way of safeguarding
himself against prosecution and possible conviction in a court of law. He
will do his best to remain in office until his death.
But these three reasons, while seeming to be logical and reasonable, are
easily overwhelmed by the numerous reasons against granting Mugabe an
Robert Mugabe is not invincible; he can lose an election even if he
redoubles his rigging efforts. We are all aware that he lost the 2002
presidential election but held onto power like an octopus. At that time,
however, Mugabe was still generally accepted within the Zanu (PF) circles as
the only possible candidate against the hugely popular Morgan Tsvangirai.
This is no longer the case given the two other factions in Mugabe's rotting
party. The Mnangagwa and Mujuru factions are very unlikely to co-operate
with the Mugabe faction in shoring up support for the geriatric. There is
therefore no need to grant the dictator an amnesty in order to coax him out
With regard to Ian Smith's apparent freedom after committing all those
crimes against humanity, Zimbabweans can safely argue that Smith has long
since left the country and is now resident in South Africa. For all we know,
Smith may have been granted political asylum in our southern neighbouring
country, and there is little we can do to bring him back to Zimbabwe to face
charges of genocide. Indeed, Mugabe would do himself a favour if he followed
suit. Zimbabweans would not bother to pursue Mugabe into South Africa,
should he be granted political asylum there.
The argument that one evil ruler should be allowed to get away with crimes
against humanity does not hold water. As a nation, we are anxious to put to
an end this evil culture of impunity, reckless abuse of innocent people, and
bad governance. We will not be able to destroy this culture if we allow
Mugabe and his evildoers to escape justice. Indeed, we run the risk of
setting a dangerous precedent, which could be exploited by the next dictator
at State House.
We need to send a strong and powerful message to all potential governors of
this our land: that no one will be allowed to abuse power, trample roughshod
on the rights of the people and get away with it at the end of the day.
Robert Mugabe must pay for the numerous sins that he committed against the
people of this country. He must never be allowed to escape from justice.
Zimbabwean NGOs with observer status at the African Commission for Human and
Peoples' Rights' session, held in Accra, Ghana, have refused to address the
Commission on the human-rights situation in Zimbabwe, citing fears for their
This followed remarks made by the Minister of Justice Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa.
At least five NGOs from Zimbabwe, among them the Media Institute of Southern
Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe), Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa and the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, were expected to deliver their statements
on 19 May. Instead, the NGOs released a joint statement through the Civil
Liberties of Nigeria, in which they expressed concern over Chinamasa's
In a radio interview in Accra, Chinamasa had branded the NGOs as regime
change activists and singled out MISA-Zimbabwe's legal officer Wilbert
Mandinde as an activist working for a British and American-funded NGO.
"The remarks by the minister place accredited non-governmental organisations
from Zimbabwe in a position where they cannot publicly, and without fear of
retribution, address this Commission, as is their obligation in updating the
Commission on the current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe," reads the joint
"We request that the African Commission, through its Special Rapporteur on
Human Rights Defenders, should take all precautionary measures to ensure
that all those who enjoy Observer Status and have participated in this
Session will not be subjected to harassment, or attack on account of their
participation, whether here in Ghana, or upon their return to Zimbabwe."
Presenting a statement on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe during the
41st Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, Chinamasa said problems in Zimbabwe were
being caused by Western countries that had poured resources into political
malcontents and NGOs, for the purposes of destabilising the country. -
With Presidential and general elections less than 10 months away, the Mugabe
regime is already busy implementing a number of schemes to hijack the vote.
Their devious raft of measures includes nation-wide, state-sponsored
violence and intimidation calculated to terrify the populace into
Mugabe's tame Electoral Commission is busy re-drawing the constituency
boundaries to dilute the largely opposition urban vote. Millions of
Zimbabweans, mainly farm workers and those living outside the country (now a
quarter of the total population), have been disenfranchised through the
passing of convoluted legislation.
The SADC-appointed mediator, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, seems to
be dragging his feet. It is now two months since his appointment to sort out
the Zimbabwean crisis. To our knowledge, he still has not met either Mugabe
or the opposition MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai, and his officials keep insisting
that he will work behind the scenes and not in the glare of publicity.
The problem with this is that people everywhere have lost faith in Mbeki's
so-called quiet diplomacy. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to
be done. Mbeki should also know by now that Zimbabweans, by and large, do
not believe that he is an honest broker and it is therefore vitally
important that he demonstrates his impartiality by conducting the mediation
process above board.
Mugabe's minister of rural housing, Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced in
Parliament last week that Mbeki had set pre-conditions to any negotiations
between Zanu (PF) and the MDC. These stipulate that the opposition must
recognise Robert Mugabe as the legitimate President of Zimbabwe and cease
all acts of violence.
Both demands are unrealistic and patently unfair - countless MDC members are
victims of Zanu (PF)-sponsored violence and the MDC has won several court
cases proving widespread electoral fraud during both the 2000 and 2005
general elections. Several further court challenges of fraud during the 2002
presidential elections have been enmeshed in the partisan judicial system
for five years now.
Mbeki's continued silence would appear to confirm Mnangagwa's statement. His
lack of even-handedness is extremely worrisome. At the very least he should
require the same conditions of Zanu (PF). But ruling-party thugs in police
and army uniform continue to wreak havoc among opposition supporters,
arresting and beating hundreds with impunity, while Mugabe refuses point
blank to rein them in and continues to fabricate charges of violence against
By his silence and apparent lack of action, Mbeki appears to be playing
right into the hands of Zanu (PF), aiding and abetting its tactics of delay
to ensure yet another fraudulent election 'victory' in 2008.
HARARE - The main opposition this week welcomed Canadian and Australian
condemnation of President Robert Mugabe's handling of Zimbabwe's economic
and political crisis, and tightened sanctions targeting Zanu (PF) chiefs.
The Canadian Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week approved a motion
to suspend bilateral assistance to Zimbabwe until democracy and the rule of
law are restored. The bill, which must be approved by their House of
Commons, would direct Canadian officials at multilateral lending
institutions to oppose loans, credit lines or other benefits to Zimbabwe's
The Canadians were also mulling over moves to expel the Zimbabwean envoy to
Canada, Florence Chideya, for working for a 'brutal regime'.
"As a general principle, we are in favor of sanctions against Zimbabwe
because they hurt the ruling elite, although this so far has not necessarily
resulted in a change in government policy,'' said Eddie Cross, policy
advisor of the Movement for Democratic Change.
"We do welcome the very strong condemnation of the failure by President
Mugabe's government to adhere to fundamental principles as we go toward the
Officials in Mugabe's government were not immediately available to comment
on the Bill, moved by Conservative Senator Hugh Segal.
Said Segal: "It will send a signal to the people of Zimbabwe that Canada is
very concerned with the lack of democracy. The best way to stand up for the
people of Zimbabwe is to withdraw our diplomatic mission, to make it clear
that it is not business as usual, that we view this as a crisis."
At least three people have been killed, hundreds beaten and thousands forced
to flee violence linked to mounting anger against the Mugabe regime and
party rivalry ahead of joint presidential and parliamentary elections
planned for March next year.
Segal said Mugabe had become totalitarian and was backing State terror to
sidestep an economic crisis caused by his misrule. - Own Correspondent
Health disaster feared as infrastructure breaks down
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
MARONDERA - The Environmental Management Authority has established that more
than eight million cubic litres of raw sewage have been flowing into
Marondera's source of water - Rufaro Dam - for the past six weeks, following
the collapse of a reservoir holding the waste and the breakdown of a pump.
A health disaster is looming following allegations that the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority has resorted to 'blending' water from the infested
dam with supplies from the smaller Nyambuya dam.
Robson Mavondo - who is the EMA Mashonaland East provincial chief
environmental officer - made these startling revelations and pointed out
that ZINWA was breaching the law.
"The EMA Act states that when the effluent is discharged into the
environment, an appropriate plan has to be put in place, but this has not
been done," said Mavondo.
He revealed that EMA had also established that, about six weeks ago, the
pump station that pushes effluent from Rujeko, Dombotombo, Yellow City and
other eastern suburbs to Elmswood Treatment Works, broke down.
As a result, all the effluent had to be diverted into an emergency holding
sewage pond, which was already on the brink of overflowing. This resulted in
the collapse of the pond's walls - causing the filth to flow into Rufaro
Since then, according to EMA, more than 8000 cubic litres of raw sewage per
hour have been flowing into Rufaro Dam.
Bankrupt government accused of driving hyperinflation
BY CHIEF REPORTER
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's embattled regime has issued a directive
to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe-owned Fidelity Printers to mint a staggering
$200 billion to be injected into the market in a bid to have more money at
its disposal as the crunch joint legislative and presidential polls draws
near, The Zimbabwean heard this week.
Impeccable RBZ sources confirmed Fidelity Printers had received instructions
two weeks ago to step up its printing schedule, to avail desperately needed
cash for government to borrow ahead of the poll.
Zanu (PF) Finance chief David Karimanzira said last week the ruling party
would raise another $100 billion through raffles, dinner-dances and musical
galas. He said the cash was needed to purchase campaign materials, including
The broke Mugabe regime has developed a penchant for borrowing from the
domestic market to bankroll its operations.
Government's unfettered access to the fiscus was confirmed by RBZ governor
Gideon Gono last week, who scoffed at IMF criticism that the central bank
was fuelling Zimbabwe's hyperinflation - which raced to an unprecedented
3,713.9 percent last week - by printing money.
Gono told Parliamentarians last week that he offered "no remorse for our
intervention in all spheres of the economy", adding the central bank had
come under pressure to print money for cash-strapped government departments
which he said had been failed by the budgeting system.
RBZ sources said government's use of its overdraft facility with the central
bank has intensified with its latest borrowings accumulating to nearly $10
Economists say government borrowing through the overdraft facility
represents the creation of money since it would be borrowing against
This spurs money supply growth and creates aggregate demand in the economy
since there would be too much money chasing few goods, hence the galloping
hyperinflation - now the highest in the world, according to the IMF.
The Zimbabwean heard that Fidelity Printers staff have been working 24/7,
Monday to Friday, grappling to satisfy the burgeoning demand for cash.
Staff at the printers have been getting only weekend afternoon off .
The RBZ requested written questions but a top official denied Fidelity
Printers was working overdrive, saying like any enterprise additional hours
were there only on a "need basis." He denied there was a marked increase in
the need for cash.
"Cash withdrawals and deposits from our customers have been normal. However,
demand for cash is attributable to a number of factors, among them
inflation, that is, the generalised increase in the price of goods and
services," the RBZ official said. "Fidelity Printers does not mint money to
service government's overdraft. In terms of the Reserve Bank Act, we are the
sole issuers of notes and coin in Zimbabwe. For your information, government
overdraft is far less than the figure you suggest," he said.
BY CAJ NEWS AGENCY
MUTARE - Zanu (PF) youths from the national youth-training programme,
popularly known as Border Gezi youths, have unleashed a reign of terror on
illegal diamond miners in the Chiadzwa area.
Diamond miners who spoke to CAJ chronicled a saga of harassment at the hands
of the youths, who are clad in army uniforms and are masquerading as
soldiers at the behest of security officers.
A Zimbabwe National Army member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
those alleged to be harassing and beating illegal miners were not member of
"Those beating people in Marange are not soldiers as reported. They are
youths from the national youth-training centre. Soldiers are known to be
tired of being used in such activities. The government has now turned to
youths whom they can easily use and abuse at will," he revealed.
According to reports, at least 10 people, among them policemen, have been
killed in skirmishes between police, soldiers and illegal diamond miners
since the beginning of the year.
A driver with the government-run District Development Fund corroborated the
story. He said he twice ferried youths he knows to be from the national
youths programme, to Chiadzwa to beef up security in the diamond-rich area.
"I know most of the youths that are beating people in Chiadzwa not to be
soldiers," he said.
He said the youths were being used as part of a plan by the government to
ensure diamonds are not smuggled out by the poorly paid soldiers, who earn
as little as ZD300,000 a month.
Edward Marowa, a diamond miner, said the youths beat him up while he was
with his three colleagues after they had managed to extract diamonds.
"We were severely beaten and had to be treated for wounds and cuts as the
youths accused us of working against the government," Marowa said.
But Manicaland provincial police spokesperson inspector Brian Makomeke
denied the allegations. He would not elaborate, referring us to police
spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka in Harare.
Zanu (PF) youth chairperson for Manicaland, Enock Porusingazi, could not be
reached for comment.
This week on Be Our Guest, our Chief Reporter (CR) speaks to the national
director of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava,
about the 2008 municipal, Parliamentary, Senate and Presidential elections.
CR: Zimbabwe holds "harmonised elections" next year. What are the
challenges likely to arise from this process?
RCV: Firstly is the issue of the voters roll where there is no issuance of
IDs by the Registrar General on the basis that there are no financial
resources. Then there is the issue of time. Even if the Registrar General
was provided with resources, it's less than a year to clean the voters roll.
Coupled with economic hardships, we don't foresee a situation where people
from the rural areas are going to get bus fare to travel to the nearest
district to get IDs and also get registered on the voters roll, unless they
do mobile voter registration. And this should be done at least six months
before the election. Then there is the issue of the Citizenship Act, the one
that denied the fourth generation the right to vote. There have been
political pronouncements by Chombo that aliens would be allowed to vote. But
then there is need to amend the law accordingly. Then the next big problem
is the delimitation of constituencies especially the additional ones. They
should follow the universal principles. 1. Representatation. 2.Reprocity.
3.Equal voting strength to guard against gerrymandering and apportionment of
votes. Therefore the process should take into consideration the community of
interest, population size, existing administrative structures and ensure
that the delimitation process is done by a competent body agreed upon by all
stakeholders. And the process should consult widely among key stakeholders.
The electoral infrastructure needs to be put in place and information known
by all voters in time especially things like how to vote, the number of
ballot papers in different colours. For instance, how do you differentiate a
Presidential from a Parliamentary or Senate ballot paper? And lastly, the
issue of which polling station do you go to cast the vote for all three
CR: President Mugabe has said he is going to increase the number of MPs from
150 to 210 and Senators from 66 to 84. Won't this pose any problems?
RCV: The increase in the number of constituencies seems to be leading to a
situation where more constituencies will be created for rural areas,
traditionally the stronghold of the ruling party and reducing urban
constituencies, which are a stronghold of the opposition. There is also the
issue of the Senator and MP. There are different constituency boundaries.
This leads to operational problems in terms of accountability and
maintaining geographical links with the representatives. I am saying there
are two people, one says I am your MP, the other says I am your Senator. So
who is above the other? In an ailing economy it's an unnecessary cost
exercise. Selection of the Senate by proportional representation would
assist to reduce these operational challenges.
CR: What is the state of the voters roll right now?
RCV: The voters roll definitely needs to be reviewed.
CR: What is you view of the atmosphere in the run-up to these polls?
RCV: The atmosphere is very tense right now. In fact, the recent political
violence incident by the State against the opposition and human rights
activists is already affecting a conducive electoral environment. What is
needed is a conducive environment for free and fair elections where there is
no selective application of the law.
CR: The opposition alleges that traditional chiefs are doing the bidding for
Zanu (PF). Are there any merits to this allegation?
RCV: Considering it's a drought year, there is need to ensure there is no
manipulation of the voters by the politicians using food and farming
equipment. Sometimes they use fertilizer, seeds. The traditional chiefs
should be impartial not partisan.
CR: Is there enough time to capture these changes in time for the election?
RCV: There is need for an all embracing constitutional review and electoral
reforms based on wider consultation of all stakeholders. If there is genuine
political will for reforms, then the timing of the elections could be pushed
ahead to end of 2008 to allow time for some those reforms taking place.
CR: Do you think there is genuine political will?
RCV: I think there is genuine political will, in government and all the
CR: What about the issue of observation and monitoring of this election. Is
that adequately covered?
RCV: Observers, both regional and international, should be allowed access to
see all stages of the electoral process from pre-election, polling day and
post-election period. The process should be open to close scrutiny by
regional, international and local observers.
CR: Is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) ready to run the harmonised
RCV: ZEC must be capacitated and resourced, not relying on staff seconded
from other ministries. It should not report to the minister of Justice who
is also an interested player. They should report to Parliament and also have
their own consolidated fund to enhance their autonomy.
CR: Do you think there is democracy among Zimbabwe's political formations?
RCV: Intra-party democracy should start with them, especially during primary
CR: What about the issue of voter education. Do you think this is being
adequately catered for?
RCV: ZEC, complemented by NGOs should make sure the relevant information is
given to the voter on a continuous basis. But especially in view of the
harmonised elections there is need for vigorous and a comprehensive
education of the electorate to avoid these foreseen problems associated with
harmonisation of elections.
FROM THE ZIMBABWE VIGIL
Zimbabwe Rally for Democracy
A Rally for `Democracy in Zimbabwe' organised by Bristol Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), Bristol Zimbabwe Association and the Bristol Zimbabwe Vigil Group will take place on Saturday 26th May in Bristol City Centre at the top of Cascade Steps opposite the Hippodrome from 12.00 – 3.00 pm. The main speakers including Kate Hoey MP (Chair, Parliamentary All Party Group on Zimbabwe), Alois Phiri (Free Zim Youth), will speak between 1.00 and 2.00. There will also be music and performances from Zimbabwean artists, and Bristol Rednotes Socialist Choir.
The aim of the rally is to highlight the current crisis in Zimbabwe, show solidarity with Zimbabweans including those Zimbabweans living in and around Bristol, and to call for an end to the attacks on democracy and the need for free and fair elections.
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
Please send any job opportunities for publication in this newsletter to:
Job Opportunities; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
(Ad inserted 3 May 2007)
Contracts in the DRC
Wanted: for six month renewable contracts in the DRC, three Zimbabwean farm
managers. One with experience in orchard and plantation crops especially
citrus and bananas, the second with experience in row cropping: potatoes,
maize/soya, wheat and barley and the third with experience in dairy
production. Formal agricultural qualifications an advantage but not a
Fluency in Swahili preferable but not essential.
(Ad inserted 10 May 2007)
Vacancy for Farm Assistant
Samona (Z) Ltd.,
P.O. Box 630557
Tel: +260 3 225 018
Cell: +260 97 790 209
The above-mentioned company has a vacancy for a Farm Assistant to work
directly under the Managing Director, to help with the running of a large
tobacco enterprise situated in the Choma/Kalomo farming area in the Southern
Province of Zambia.
Internationally recognised Diploma/Degree in Agriculture
The farming programme for the 2007/2008 season is 120 Ha Tobacco (55
Irrigated and 65 Rainfed), 60 Ha Soyabeans (Supplementary Irrigation), 60 Ha
Winter Wheat. There is currently no livestock production.
Commission (paid in US Dollars) will be calculated as a percentage of farm
profit, details of which, together with other benefits, will be made
available to applicants considered for the position once all CV's have been
received and processed.
Applicants should apply to Samona Zambia Ltd using the above e-mail address
attaching their CV for consideration by the company.
(Ad inserted 10 May 2007)
Project Manager in Tanzania
we have a pretty large Eco-Tourism and residential Beach Plot scheme going
on for which we are looking for a Project Manager with overall
responsibility for the whole thing. A farmer background would be ideal.
Please advise whether there are still farmers willing and able to leave Zim
for a new horizon. If affirmative we would of course provide you with
Look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards - Georges C. Hess / Amboni Sisal Properties Ltd - Nairobi
(Ad inserted 10 May 2007)
Vehicle Sales Administrator :
This position is in the busy front office of our Vehicle Sales and would
suit a self-motivated, efficient and pro-active lady. The post combines all
aspects of Administration, client interaction and sales. Must be able to
work under pressure.
Building Foreman :
Must have hands-on-experience in all aspects of building including :
- Setting Out
- Foundation work
- Steel re-enforcing
- Concrete Work
- Brick laying / Plastering
- Carpentry / Roofing
- Plumbing / Electrics
- Material Ordering / Quantity Estimating
- Labour Procurement & Supervision
- Must be able to work on own initiative.
Forward CV or apply in person with contactable references to ABC Auctions,
Seke Road, Graniteside, Harare.
Glynis Wiley, 751343 or 751904 or cell 011 630164
Telephone 263 4 751904/751906/751343/751498
Fax 263 4 751904/751906/751343/751498
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 10 May 2007)
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
Based at: Asamankese, Ghana
Reports to: Direct reporting to Shareholders
Introduction: Pinora is the 3rd largest fruit processing plant in sub
Saharan Africa. Completed in 2006, the state of the art facility, and its
dedicated Pineapple orchard, occupies 610 acres, employs 250 staff and is
capable of processing 320,000mt of locally procured oranges and pineapples.
Job purpose summary:
Identify, develop and direct the implementation of business strategy leading
to growth and profitability
Plan and direct the organisation's activities to achieve stated and agreed
targets and standards for financial and trading performance, quality,
culture and legislative adherence
Evaluate existing staff, and thereafter where necessary, recruit, select and
develop executive team members
Direct functions and performance, where necessary, via the executive team
Maintain and develop organisational culture, values and reputation in its
markets and with all staff, suppliers, partners and regulatory and official
Evaluate existing procurement process and thereafter plan and implement
procurement strategy, including transportation of fruit to the plant.
Plan and implement supply(ier) retention, expansion and development.
Producing an operating budget and thereafter its monitoring, implementation
Maintain administration and relevant reporting and planning systems.
Evaluate existing and thereafter select and manage external agencies, such
as transportation companies, banks, insurance, quality management standard
bodies and inspection companies etc.
Identify and manage new business development and further potential
Plan, develop and implement strategy for organisational development
(Ad inserted 10 May 2007)
Maid needed for Avondale West area. We are looking for a maid to help with
housework, for a "growing" family. She needs to have her own accommodation.
Please call 091-2-300 059 or e-mail email@example.com
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Workshop Manager - To run a fleet of Freightliner/Internationals - Cross
Border. J.W. WILSON, INTERNATIONAL (PVT) LTD
Contact: Jim Wilson 620131-4
Contact: Rowena Bannister
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
ORIGNATOR/GRAPHIC DESIGNER WANTED
IDEAL PERSON NEEDS TO BE FULLY COMPUTER LITERATE (CORRELL DRAW EXPERIENCE
ESSENTIAL) METHODICAL, PATIENT AND TECHNICALLY MINDED. TO RUN A NEW DIGITAL
PLEASE RESPOND WITH CV AND REFERENCES TO:
firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 04 485695/6 attention Brigit."
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Gardener OR houseworker required. Someone who is clean, and hardworking.
Preferably employer recommended or contactable references. Please phone
011-614-233 or email : email@example.com
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Looking for Investors:
Looking for serious investors that want to get involved in the Floricultural
industry of Zimbabwe. Need secure land close to Harare and access to
finance. Technical expertise, markets and highly skilled human resources
ready available. For serious enquires please contact me on: 011 630 696,
0912 782 782, 480 160, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Looking for an experienced husband and wife team to cook and housekeep.
Excellent staff accommodation is available on the property. A very
competitive remuneration package, with benefits, proportionate with
experience and qualifications is offered by way of negotiation with
successful applicants. Traceable references are essential.
Apply on 091 2 238 204
(Ad inserted 24 May)
Doctor's secretary required, preferably coming from Mount Pleasant, Emerald
Hill, Avonlea, Avondale, Alexandria Park area. Mornings only 8:30 - 1 pm -
5 days per week.
Work load is not heavy. Nursing experience is not required. Any one
interested should be mature and able to handle files, correspondence and
simple book keeping.
References are essential.
Contact Clare Peech at email@example.com
(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)
OXFORD IT is looking for cvs. Please send your cv as soon as possible if
you wish to be considered for the positions.
MANUAL/HANDS ON POSITIONS
These positions will go very quickly so please do not delay in sending your
cv. The positions are offering very good benefits and locations.
Mechanics (Automotive and Mechanical/Industrial), Construction Workers,
Waste Disposal Workers etc
Mining Engineers, Drillers, Crane/Forklift Operators, Truck Drivers
Workshop Managers, Driver/Messengers, Dispatch Supervisors
Finance (especially Bookeepers)
IBM Service Consultants
Developers, Network Engineers, Technicians, ISP Engineers
Positions we have on our books at the moment are:
Manual/Hands On personnel
And various others....
Please email you cv to the below email address or contact the General
Manager for more information. If you have a cv which does not fit into the
above descriptions, please send it on. We deal with all types of
recruitment now, so delay in sending your cv might result in your missing
out on the right job.
Miss Sarah Vale
Oxford IT Recruitment
Agriculture House, c/o CFU Building, Cnr Adylinn Road/Marlborough Drive,
Tel: + 263 4 309274 (Direct)
Tel: + 263 4 309855-60 (Ext 23)
Cell: + 263 11 231 917 (Office Hours Only)
Fax: + 263 4 309351
(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)
Partner in Tanzania
Needed an Agricultural Partner to establish plantations in Tanzania to grow
the following crops; rise, maize,beans, vegetables, cotton, wheat and many
Tel. +255 754262486
(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)
Office co-ordinator required for mixed farming enterprise. Office situated
in Harare and mostly mornings only. Duties would entail general
administration, and procurement. Computer literacy a must. People skills
Interested persons to please email firstname.lastname@example.org and send a brief CV of
(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)
Looking for a cook
Cook wanted with a Zambian passport or can get a Zambian passport for Zim
couple living in Lusaka Zambia, must be able to cook every thing from
pancakes to pies breakfast, lunch and dinner, please phone Pam on this no
+0966291818 or email Tony at email@example.com
(Ad inserted 24 May 2007)
I am looking for an excellent cleaner who not only cleans my home but also
takes pride and can clean his own quarters regularly. A good salary is
offered to the right person. Please phone 100-614-233.
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
I am a mature Lady looking for Secretarial / Administration/ Reception with
20 years of experience. Computer literate , good communication skills with
all segmentas of Zimbabwe society.
I will consider full or part time engagement in any field
Please contact me on 331116 ( Home ) 011 732 497 Cell or e-mail me at :
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Seeking Challenging Management Position:
I am looking for a good management position where by I can grow with the
business, I have mainly been involved in Rose exports for the past 15 years
on large scale farms in Zimbabwe. Although this is my main line of
expertise, I interested in any other industry that is looking for strong
management, an energetic, ambitious, honest and strong willed person to join
their organization. Please contact me, Wayne Seiler on the following
details if you are interested and I will forward you my CV, 011 630 696,
0912 782 782, 480 160, firstname.lastname@example.org . Skype name : Wayne Seiler
(Ad inserted 17th May 2007)
Seeking Top Management Position:
I am looking for a good management position where by I can grow with the
business, I have mainly been involved in Rose exports for the past 15 years
on large scale farms in Zimbabwe. Although this is my main line of
expertise, I will consider any industry that is looking for an energetic,
ambitious, honest and strong willed person to join their organization.
Please contact me, Wayne Seiler on the following details if you are
interested and I will forward you my CV, 011 630 696, 0912 782 782, 480
160, email@example.com . Skype name : Wayne Seiler
For the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org (updated 24 May 2007)