Africa's plight is not as bad as the world thought, it is worse.
More than 30 million people on the continent could be facing famine within
months. Cameras will, no doubt, bear witness to this terror, filling screens
with fly-specked sacks of bones, skin and bulging eyes. Most will be dead by
the time the pictures arrive in the west's living rooms. There are a
depressing variety of ways that Africa's masses have become wretched and
weak. In Ethiopia, the lengthening of dry spells and the shortening of rainy
seasons have cast a long shadow of hunger. In southern Africa food shortages
are compounded by pandemic levels of Aids. In Zimbabwe, Robert
Mugabe's misguided policies were designed to kill off the opposition, but
have ended up starving a region. Meanwhile Congo, Angola, Sudan and the Ivory
Coast are all caught between war and peace. At the moment, Africa's future
engenders little hope and much despair. The UN's Food and Agriculture
Organisation reckons half of sub-Saharan Africa goes hungry and, in
nutritional terms, its countries are worse off now than 30 years ago. In the
1990s, Africa's lost decade, aid to the region dropped by a third. More than
300 million people live in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Unplugged
from the global economy, the second largest continent's share of exports is
about half of Belgium's.
To stop the slide into poverty and anarchy an
ambitious deal was struck between rich nations and poor ones in Africa. The
wealthy world would back economic and political reforms on the continent with
cash. The New Partnership for Africa's Development, or Nepad, hoped to end
wars, encourage better governments and facilitate a surge of foreign and
local investment. More aid was promised, as was money to write off the debts
of Africa's poorest nations - allowing governments to spend taxes on
hospitals and schools, instead of repaying foreign creditors. International
institutions set up a global fund to slow, and ultimately reverse, the spread
of the continent's biggest killers: Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Perhaps
most important, the aim was to reduce iniquities in the world's trading
system that strangled growth in Africa. The plan was to move the landmass
from the periphery of international debate to the centre.
Africa the clocks are going backwards. Despite the fine promises, efforts to
raise literacy and improve people's lives are faltering. Only five of
sub-Saharan Africa's 47 countries are expected to meet the global goal of
halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015. The reason is that
the west's money and resolve to open markets to African goods have not
materialised. No change means no chance for African nations to grow, which
means no cash for social development. Africa's poor, those who survive on a
dollar a day, are predominately found in rural areas. The economies
of America and European remain fortresses - built on the foundations
of $1bn-a-day subsidies to farmers, a tiny proportion of their workforce
- designed to keep out agricultural goods. The cash fed to farmers in the
west leads to an overproduction of goods - Europe offers sweeteners for sugar
and the US cultivates cotton growers. This in turn helps to depress prices
on the world's markets.
Not only can poor countries not export into
rich nations, but the income they gain from selling goods has dropped
precipitously. So world cotton prices - which support the livelihoods of 10
million people in central and west Africa - are lower than at any time since
the depression of the 1930s. Africa's cotton belt, Oxfam estimates, lost
$301m last year, about a quarter of what it receives in US aid. Although
world trade talks in Doha last year ended with an agreement to end
agricultural subsidies, both the US and the EU, via CAP, are upping welfare
payments to farmers. While the load is lightened for agribusiness in the
west, the burden on Africans' back gets bigger. African nations owe about
$300bn in external debt. Almost half of this is owed by the 34 African states
eligible for debt relief. And even one of the most successful African
reformers - Uganda - is finding sustaining its debt almost impossible because
of the dramatic drop in coffee prices.
African health spending, at $13 a
person a year, will remain the lowest in the world unless economies grow.
Without healthy populations there is no point in generating jobs. In
countries ravaged by Aids, like Botswana and Malawi, most people do not live
to see their 41st birthday. Yet only 10% of the annual global health research
budget, worth $70bn, goes to tackle diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis
and HIV-Aids that constitute 90% of the world's health problems. It is a
little bewildering that a deal, although close, has not been signed to supply
cheap treatments to Africa.
Many donors, especially the US, justify
inaction by saying that poverty is best alleviated by a combination of
democracy and market liberalisation. Democracy is not a precondition of
development. The rise of China, whose economic success has lifted hundreds of
millions out of misery, was accomplished under one-party rule. The answer of
how rich countries became rich might be found in our own history. Britain's
industrial revolution was forged in a land where governments were elected by
elites and corruption and patronage was rife. Protectionism fuelled Britain's
economic growth. Similar circumstances occurred in Germany and the United
States. Africa is different. It has a history of oppression, poor education
and often malign government. Africa may not achieve in decades what took
centuries in Europe.
There are good reasons to be cautious as one
country's solution is another's problem. What worked in east Asia may not
have the same effect in Africa. But in the world post-September 11, there has
been an overall acceptance that we have to be tough on terrorism and tough on
the causes of terrorism, of which penury and subsequent disillusionment and
disenfranchisement are undoubtedly part. It is in the interest of rich
countries that they be patient and make sacrifices to ensure fairer trade,
more aid and more generous debt relief. The west might have to wait and watch
African nations struggle to adopt better, more open governance and let
democracies grow at a slower, more organic pace.
The problem can be
localised in one continent, but the solution has to come from the developed
world. Given $200bn to spend, what is a better option: a Marshall plan for
Africa or a martial plan for Iraq? The answer is that the only just war to
launch is the fight against poverty.
WHILE the rest of Zimbabwe is facing a serious shortage
of maize-meal, a number of shops in the Insiza constituency in Matabeleland
South have it in abundance, thanks to last month's by-election won by Zanu
Hundreds of tonnes of maize were sent to Insiza in the run-up
to the by-election, reportedly as Zanu PF's major vote-buying
The Zanu PF candidate, Andrew Langa, beat the MDC's Siyabonga
Malandu Ncube by 6 000 votes.
Although the stacks of maize bags
seen before the election have been depleted, small millers, most of them
known to be Zanu PF functionaries, still have large stocks to grind for
The Filabusi Grain Marketing Board depot, which had received
constant maize supplies in the run-up to the by-election, was last week
empty. The millers supply selected shops in the constituency with
"The only thing that we don't have is relish for the
isitshwala (sadza)," said a woman identifying herself only as MaMoyo.
"Otherwise we are still okay."
When this reporter tried to buy a
bag of maize-meal at one shop, he was told the person who "vets" customers
was not available. This was in spite of the availability of dozens of 10kg
packets of maize-meal in the shop. Villagers said the "vetting" included the
production of the Zanu PF party membership card.
said maize was available in large quantities for at least a month before the
by-election, held to fill the seat left vacant after the death of the MDC's
George Joe Ndlovu.
The villagers said they feared that if the
by-election "campaign maize" ran out, they would be back to "square
Insiza, an area severely affected by the drought, was
receiving food relief from the World Food Programme (WFP) until the
The United Nations food relief agency stopped
distribution after Zanu PF supporters forcibly seized tonnes of maize-meal
from WFP employees, and allegedly distributed it to Zanu PF
A number of enterprising Bulawayo residents have
motored to Insiza to buy maize-meal for resale in the city where supplies
have been scarce for months.
This reporter visited Insiza last
Wednesday and came across a woman who had bought several bags of maize-meal
for resale in Bulawayo.
"I bought 10kg bags for $650 each, and I am
going to sell them in Bulawayo for $900," she said.
acute shortage of maize-meal in the city, her expectations of a huge profit
margin seemed to be justified.
Beneficiaries of our folly can't be trusted to
11/18/02 8:10:54 AM (GMT +2)
I TOOK a
ride to a neighbouring country. The first thing that I felt like doing freely
was to compare what I saw with what dear home offers.
on myself the duty of making a comparison in all those aspects that are
comparable. My interests are mainly centred on economic development, social
endeavours and notable political strides.
As all countries in the
sub-region are still smarting from colonialism, the thrust is on unbundling
those colonial injustices.
In this neighbouring country, I saw that
the political landscape is a bit different from ours. They have a similar
land problem like ours, yet they believe that the law is more sacrosanct than
political survival of an individual. They have overcrowded urban homes for
the majority blacks, yet they still would not want to break the law to solve
their overcrowding. They are solving their problems using their laws to the
Many people have argued that this country's black
population is mostly urbanised. They have made it appear as if the black
communities have nothing to do with farming. Somehow, the black people in
South Africa would want to farm or settle in areas where their forefathers
were unjustly removed. They have a plausible claim to the land. The
government has to solve this problem.
Some South African
communities have taken a cue from our own situation. They have invaded
white-owned farms. While the land could have been illegally taken away from
the concerned communities, the rules of engagement demand that repossession
should be done in a legal and orderly manner. The government has leaned
towards its laws and exercised its legal powers to persuade the invaders off
the invaded land. Each invasion has been met with an equal eviction which has
been guided by the rule of law.
In that country, as expected, there
are some radicals who think that the law is not only an ass, but also
tailored to favour the whites.
Those radicals are a minority, of
course. The minority who belong to a minority party are bent on causing
noise. They want the government of that country to "do a Zimbabwe". Doing a
Zimbabwe is having the government and its ardent supporters grabbing all the
land from the whites and, in the process, rendering the agricultural sector
stagnant for a while.
The government of that law-abiding country
remains resolute in adhering to the rule of law. The laws of the land are
respected in the strictest of all manners. No one is above the law - not even
the president of the ruling party. The arms of government do respect the law.
As the rule of law takes its course, the people can only be encouraged to be
Breaking the law can only be considered in one light - it
is a crime to break the law!
It is only in minor situations
where a minority of radical members of the small opposition Pan-Africanist
Congress have vowed to break the law in solidarity with Zimbabwean land
invasions. South Africa is lucky that those who instigate the breaking of the
law come from a minority party. If it were the larger parties that were
instigating the unlawful seizures of land, then another Zimbabwe would be in
the making in South Africa. South Africans should be grateful that, for the
time being, the ruling party remains committed to the rule of
Zimbabwe would not have faced similar problems if the land
seizures had been instigated by say Zanu Ndonga, a minority party whose
support base is concentrated in the district of Chipinge. The law would have
descended on the invaders in its totality. There would have been human rights
activists crying foul on the high-handedness of the government in evicting
the invaders. The logistics for the evictions would have been hastily
put together. The swiftness of the operation would have been the envy of
The South African government has embarked on finding an
amicable solution to its land problem. Communities who feel they were
disadvantaged by the indiscriminate take-over of their land by the settlers
are given a fair chance to launch their claims. The courts take their time,
but there is a semblance of proper conduct.
government claims that it has a land problem that is similar to that of
Zimbabwe and South Africa. They are willing to solve their land problems
within the legal context, too. They have praised Zimbabwe for grabbing the
land from the white farmers, yet they say they have laws that govern the
redistribution of land in their country.
The Namibian stance is a
double standard where, on one hand, they praise Zimbabwe for doing things
illegally, while, on the other hand, they would not want to do a
The manner our neighbours would want to solve their
land problems makes Zimbabwe the odd member out. The region agrees that there
are problems of land equity, yet none of the countries agrees on the route
taken by Zimbabwe. Due to our neighbours' unwillingness to endorse the manner
we have adopted in solving the land issue, one can only conclude that we do
not have good friends. If our friends were what they claim to be, they would
openly advise us as we stray.
As I crossed a large street in
Johannesburg, I could smell the absence of genuine solidarity within the
Southern African Development Community leadership. I saw one Theron, a
commercial farmer whose farm had been taken over by the "land-hungry" masses
in Zimbabwe. He was preparing to settle in the fertile Mozambican province of
Tete. He praised the Mozambican government for answering his prayer for free
land. He could not hide his gratitude that there were some governments as
diverse as the Central African Republic government who were willing to take
Theron was upbeat about the new developments.
He was happy that overall, Africa had not experienced a complete loss of
professional farmers. He only bemoaned Zimbabwe for losing its creme de la
creme to neighbouring countries.
I tried to be patriotic in my
arguments with him. I told him that in the process of land reform, Zimbabwe
had increased its number of farmers several fold. He only laughed and asked
if it was medically prudent to fire all the medical doctors and employ first
aiders and traditional doctors in their place!
It took me some
few seconds to realise what Theron meant. Probably it would take our own
over-educated Cabinet a decade to realise what Theron meant. So, Zimbabwe is
not only losing its doctors and nurses to neighbouring countries, but also
This is economic melt-down. There is no other term for
this! Some professionals are just fired and others just get disgusted by our
government 's way of thinking.
What is the solution to our
Can we trust our neighbours to be part of the solution
seeing that they benefit from our strife?
Zanu PF-driven land redistribution will not
11/18/02 8:20:57 AM (GMT
I am one person who needs land and I understand why the
programme of redistributing wealth equitably is important. However, I am
totally opposed to the Zanu PF-orchestrated process of giving land to a few
landless blacks, most of them well-connected and already affluent Zanu PF
In my judgment land reform is yet to start. The ruling
party is yet to see what a waste of time it was to allocate land to its
cronies under the guise of national land redistribution.
saying that as far as most Zimbabweans are concerned, it is folly to assume
that there ever was a land issue in the country.
A proper land
redistribution plan must include all people as beneficiaries, regardless of
their esteemed political persuasions. A legitimate land reform programme must
apportion land which is adequate for commercial agriculture.
am aware that there were disparities in land ownership but
those discrepancies will still be evident after the current fiasco is over
and the dust has settled. I don't see where people who have been settled
will proceed from there, after this purely symbolic activity taking place
since 1999. Both the MDC and Zanu PF have not been able to articulate
their independent, reasoned positions on the issue.
MDC could not have spelt out a clear position since it is not the government,
it is, however, an opposition party with a reasonable representation in
Parliament. Zanu PF, as the government in power, has not implemented a sound
resettlement programme. As always, Zanu PF failed to achieve the aspirations
of the majority of the people.
As usual, Zanu PF allocated farms to
its cronies and the masses have been left with the crumbs. As with previous
scandals, Zanu PF showed it does not have the people's interests at
I just want to say that Zanu PF will soon be
All the people who have been refused permission to travel out
of the country because of the scrapping of emergency passports, plus all
the landless, all the hungry, and all the jobless, will rise up and throw
out President Mugabe's regime.
THE real problem facing the
public transport sector is the unavailability of foreign currency in the
country. The increases in commuter bus fares announced by the government on
Friday, may give the operators more money than they previously had, but it
does not make the spare parts the operators so desperately require more
The issue that the government must now seek to
address more earnestly is that of how Zimbabwe will be able to generate the
foreign currency with which to pay for its other pressing obligations such as
fuel, food, energy and industrial raw material imports.
commuter bus operators will be able to raise the Zimbabwean equivalent of the
foreign exchange required for the spares, but still the country will have an
acute shortage of foreign currency.
The government is very loath to
admit the point, but the effects of the havoc it allowed to be played out on
the farms during the past 34 months and the closure of foreign
currency-generating operations, are beginning to take their toll on the
And the tragedy of it all is that no one in the government
seems to have the slightest clue as to how to move this country forward.
Very opportunistic but tired and obsolete solutions are proposed instead.
The country staggers from one crisis to another.
commuter bus fare increases now require those living further away from the
city centre to fork out $130 to $180 daily on transport alone. Workers can be
expected to start making demands on their companies to alleviate their
plight, even though right now is not the appropriate time to do so. Otherwise
workers will have just enough to bring them to work. Many will simply not be
able to make ends meet.
If a worker has to factor in a meal every
day while at work, the average monthly expenses on transport and something to
eat will be at least $7 000.
The irony of the announcement on
commuter fares is that it was made in the same breath that declared an
extension to price controls to cover a wider range of goods. The same
argument for extending the price freeze on goods could have been extended to
the commuter fares.
But this is all political. The government used
the issue of commuter fares as part of its campaign during the recent rural
district council elections. Now that it successfully hoodwinked the voters
into supporting the ruling party, it increases the commuter
There is a very cynical observation to be drawn from
Friday's announcements. After the rural district council elections and Insiza
and the results of its food-for-votes campaign, the government may be
preparing to announce a rerun of the 9-11 March disputed presidential poll as
demanded by the international community.
The extension of price
controls will only increase the scarcity of more goods.
government does not seem to learn. The initial price controls on bread,
sugar, milk and others goods showed that commodities become scarce with the
application of price controls. What they have effectively done is to increase
the list of goods that will become more scarce.
But since the
political heavyweights have been the beneficiaries from any scarcities, they
must have figured out an easier way of making more money by extending the
range of goods to be brought under price controls. Alternatively, the
government and the ruling party want to coerce everyone into buying Zanu PF
membership cards, since this has been the requirement for members of the
public to buy such basic commodities as maize-meal.
But it is also
true that the government realises that widening the range of goods whose
prices are controlled will mean more hardships and the masses will be goaded
into taking to the streets.
In this case, the rationale behind the
commuter fare increases would be a government conspiracy which seeks to keep
people caged in their communities and ensure they cannot come out into the
city centre to protest against the ensuing shortages.
the motive, the commuter fare increases, on the one hand, and the extended
price controls, on the other, were not inspired by a genuine desire to
address the real problems confronting the people of this country.
Streak's portrayal of events in Zimbabwe
11/18/02 8:27:10 AM (GMT +2)
"COWARDICE asks, is it safe? Expediency asks, is it politic? Vanity asks, is
it popular? But conscience asks, is it right? There comes a time when one
must take the position that it is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular . .
. but one must do it because conscience says it is right!" - Dr Martin Luther
VERY noble of you to rush to Heath Streak's defence, Rick
Kriel! Unfortunately, you apparently missed the whole point of
Zimactivism's article and my accompanying comment. Please read it again -
calmly - and perhaps you'll understand it better the second time
Streak was not being urged to "make the supreme sacrifice",
nor was he expected to stand up and slate President Mugabe or Zanu PF, etc.
What was unacceptable was that he did stand up and opened his mouth to
encourage international cricket teams to play in Zimbabwe during the World
Cup, by telling a pack of untruths to give credibility and respectability to
this murderous rogue government!
"There are no problems in
Zimbabwe at the moment," he claimed. Well, excuse me! That has to be the
understatement of the century! The scale of the horror that is perpetrated on
the defenceless citizens of this country on a daily basis is
The gall of such a statement is such that it's
difficult to even give dignity to that puerile bit of crap by arguing the
point that "Security is fine . . ." One has to wonder if a public poll was
taken how many (few?) would vote in agreement?
Streak said: "Our
government and Ministry of Sport have pledged their support . . ." Well, of
course, they have. They obviously have to lend substance to the charade that
Zimbabwe is a paradise and democracy is flourishing.
teams be encouraged to come to this pariah state? The world put South Africa
out in the cold during the apartheid years, they did the same to Rhodesia
during Unilateral Declaration of Independence.
Sport is important
to people, so when they are deprived it bites - it is an important tool for
exerting political pressure. Unfortunately, sport and politics do mix - it is
sad but true!
If Streak went as far as making a political statement
- because that is what it was - he should either have said "no comment" when
quizzed by the journalists, and it would have spoken volumes; or he should
have had the guts to tell the truth or said something to the effect that
"Things are not good in Zimbabwe at the moment, but cricketing bodies from
the countries concerned must make their own decisions as to whether they can
risk their teams in a country whose human rights record is cause for
That would have been good, inspiring and admirable. It
would have won a lot more respect from people across the board, fans and just
general public. But all this is giving a lot more significance to Streak than
he deserves. He got criticised because he is a public figure, and, as such,
he must think about what he says. Pure and simple.
But in the
scheme of things, the harsh reality is that Streak and the cricket team are
really not of great relevance in the bigger picture of what is going down in
Zimbabwe today. So sorry to burst your bubble on this issue, there are much
more important issues at stake.
If the cricket team all disappeared
in a puff of smoke tomorrow, it would be a non-event. In fact, after the way
they've played in the last few seasons, many would probably heave a huge sigh
of relief, with one or two exceptions, of course, not including
Having spoken to a large cross-section of cricket fans
about Streak's statements, including some fanatical housewives, I'm sorry to
report not one was sympathetic!
When Streak walked out on the
team not too long ago, I doubt if he gave a damn about his adoring schoolboy
fans and their enthusiastic mums.
But then I don't recall anyone
getting suicidal about it either and when he was suddenly back on the scene
it certainly wasn't a cause for national celebration.
of years ago, Mark McNulty took advantage of the golfing awards ceremony to
make a strong statement against the land invasions, which had just
He won a great deal of admiration. He doesn't live in
Zimbabwe anymore, but his entire family are farmers here. We do need people
The more public personalities speak out, the more
impact it has out there.
Or must we play right into this
repressive government's hands and pretend all is well and not tell the
Unfortunately, with the heinous legislation passed by the
government, anonymity is often a necessity. Many of those working constantly
against the forces of evil are "anonymous", because they are just that -
ordinary men and women who do give a damn and are prepared to do something,
but don't have the advantage of a high profile but wish they
Unlike Streak, there are people in our beleaguered society who
are well known, but don't shrink from speaking out and they do so
repeatedly, refusing to be terrorised by the thugs in control.
Appeasement is like the Jews negotiating with the Nazis on how much to turn
down the gas.
1) Arbitrary evictions of Commercial Farmers (even from an
E.P.Z.) have continued in the region. Instigators of these have been the "war
collaborators, mujibas association" and the youth brigade "green bombers".
2. Reports have been received from the high-density areas of Bindura
urban (Chipadze and Chiuaridza) to the effect that ZANU PF Shona members are
threatening and assaulting people of other tribal groups. In particular the
Matabele are being accused of being MDC supporters and ordered to leave the area
which is a ZANU PF Stronghold. This is a form of ethnic cleansing.
Mashonaland Central Regional Executive has urged steps to be taken to merge the
CFU with ZTA into a single body for their mutual benefit and survival.
COPA, ZCPA & ZGPA
Soyabean seed is in
short supply and original orders are being cut by 50%. However we do not
believe 45 000 hectares of soyas will be planted (this is the area that could be
planted with existing seed stocks), so there must be duplications in seed
orders. We are working with seed houses in an effort to sort this
Maize seed sales are at record levels and the minister has
stated that further stocks will be imported. We don't see evidence of all this
maize being planted.
Unfortunately still no news on a wheat
MANAGER - COPA, ZCPA &
CFU - ABC PLAN
The ABC plan was officially
launched at a function at ART farm on Tuesday 5 November 2002. We are now
working on setting up small sub-committees to work on services members have
identified as priorities. The sub committee will be tasked with reporting on
compensation, legal, negotiation, production, communication and membership. One
of the sub-committees on compensation is already operating and is comprised of
Alan Stockil, Gerry Davison and Kuda Ndoro. Please contact them if you have any
ideas. The other sub-committees will hopefully be finalised before council on
the 26 November 2002.
Update on Inputs
record inflation level, 144.2% for October 2002, which will be about as quickly
broken as the last one. Prices rose by 11,2% in the month. Annualising the
average for the last three months gives us 164%, but despite a price freeze
being imposed, inflation will certainly rise further as the parallel market rate
also breaks new records. We're now close to Z$2000 to one US dollar, but
government still insists that the official exchange rate -- still Z$55 to one --
is valid and usable. If you import some useful finished product, you will be
charged duty on the basis of a Z$500 to one exchange rate.
if you export anything, government now requires half of your foreign proceeds at
Z$55 to one and captures the rest as well, but you can get that back if you can
persuade some gentleman/ women from the Reserve Bank that you will do something
that he/she thinks is really useful. Otherwise they will choose some other
beneficiary. No details of how much you get and how much they pay has yet been
For those still farming fertiliser, seed
(maize and soyas), chemicals are very scarce, to secure them you have to phone
around. In most cases especially for seed and fertiliser, there is very little
coming through the normal distribution channels. As for prices, any input with a
foreign currency component is increasing in price by the week. As foreign
currency become scarce, increases by the day, whilst some predict by the hour is
no longer an impossibility.
If you require any further
information on any of the above issues please contact 309800 ext. 279 or e-mail
email@example.com and we will endeavor to
supply prompt answers
November 18, 2002 Posted to the web November 18,
The Zimbabwe government's decision to impose a
new set of price freezes would create shortages and an increase in smuggling,
an economist told IRIN on Monday.
The state-controlled Herald
newspaper reported the government-gazetted six-month price freeze on a long
list of products to cushion consumers against rising prices and an inflation
rate that hit 144 percent in October.
The list includes fuel, all meat
products, dressed chickens, salt, vegetable oils, fats and sugar. It also
covers alcoholic beverages and household items like soap, candles and toilet
paper. The price of building materials and blasting explosives and
accessories for the mining industry as well as vehicles and their accessories
would be controlled.
There was also a freeze on the price of all
agricultural tractors and implements as well as chemicals, veterinary
products and maize, barley, soya-bean, sorghum, wheat, groundnut and
But while people questioned in a subsequent snap survey
by the newspaper lauded the move, economist Tony Hawkins said the
government's price controls introduced in October 2001, when inflation was at
70 percent, had had no effect.
"It did nothing except create
shortages. Price controls meant that goods were either not being produced
[because manufacturers were not recouping costs], goods were sold on the
black market at higher prices, or they were being smuggled over the border,"
he said. "Deliveries of sugar to Mutare doubled but there was no sugar for
sale in the town - it was being sold across the Mozambique border at higher
prices," he added.
Hawkins said that Zambia's former president Frederick
Chiluba complained that his country had lost almost one-third of their cement
market to smuggling or dumping from Zimbabwe.
In addition, he said the
announcement during Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa's budget speech last
week that all bureaux de change would be closed, would make it more difficult
for businesses to access the foreign currency they needed.
foreign currency shortage has seen businesses driven to the bureaux de change
"parallel market" in search of the hard cash to pay for imports or raw
materials. In the hopes of stopping a currency freefall, the Zimbabwe Reserve
Bank (ZRB) fixed the exchange rate at US $1 to Zim $55 in October 2000, but
shortages have seen the parallel rate fluctuate at over Zim $1,500 for US $1
over the last fortnight.
The government's move to close the bureaux would
force businesses to apply to the ZRB for currency and the bank would have to
decide whose application was approved, Hawkins said.
alongside the government forcing companies to surrender half their foreign
exchange earnings to the ZRB.
"Price controls and shutting the bureaux de
change will destroy businesses and it will drive the parallel market onto the
street corner," Hawkins said.
The Commercial Oil, Grain and Cereal
Producers Association said that while it welcomed the price fix on seed,
there needed to be a corresponding price fix on production inputs.
association's general manger of commodities, George Hutchison, said shortages
would still drive prices over the fixed rate and manufacturers would not sell
their goods at a loss.
"With agricultural chemicals, importers use
foreign exchange to bring them in and they won't sell their goods at a loss
and they either remove it from the market, or we have to pay the asking
price. If we had a real exchange rate we wouldn't have this problem," he told
"If you're desperate you have to pay the asking price. If the
government could control prices right through the [production] chain, it
might work, but not in a shortage situation. The only people who benefit are
the middle men," Hutchison said.
In their latest situation report, the
World Food Programme said farmers reported shortages of seeds, fertiliser and
fuel. It warned that if fuel shortages continued, it could pose difficulties
for the commuter transport system with implications for heightened food
insecurity in rural as well as urban areas.
Botswana has the freest economy in Africa and leads
10 other African countries as rated by the United States-based Heritage
Foundation, which released its annual Index of Economic Freedom last
week. According to a South African paper, The Sunday Times yesterday,
Botswana ranked 35th position < with a rating of 2.5 on a scale of one to
five < out of 156 countries around the world.
One on the rating
scale means "most free" while five means "repressed".
The other 10
African countries are Madagascar and South Africa, which both share position
44; Namibia 52; Uganda 62; Mali, Mauritius and Swaziland 72; and the Central
African Republic, Cote d' Ivoire and Senegal 80.
Out of the 156 rated
countries, Botswana shares the 35th position with Cambodia, the Czech
Republic, Japan and Uruguay.
According to The Sunday Times, the index
quoted The Economist as saying: "Political stability under continuous
civilian rule, sound economic policy and ample natural resources have
contributed to Botswana's status as the country with the fastest growth in
per capita income over the past 35 years."
Botswana's grading of 2.5
is a result of scoring different points on various categories: trade 2,
fiscal burden 3.5, government intervention 4, monetary policy 3, foreign
investment 2, banking/finance 2, wages/prices 2, property rights 2,
regulation 2 and black market 2.5.
However, the Heritage Foundation warns
that HIV/AIDS undermines productivity throughout Botswana's
Hong Kong is the freest economy in the world followed by
Luxembourg and New Zealand share position three and Ireland is
Denmark, Estonia and the United States share position six,
Australia and Britain are both at position nine while Germany is number 19.
Zimbabwe is number 153. BOPA
Information department has duty to fight distortions on
19 November 2002 The Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Professor Jonathan Moyo
said his department has a duty to fight the distortions about Zimbabwe being
peddled by detractors of the country's agrarian reform
Speaking to the Joint Command and Staff Course number 16 and
the junior staff course members number 40, Professor Moyo said the west is
trying to overthrow the Zimbabwean government because of is principled land
Profesor Moyo said the so called change being talked about in the
western media means a coup, which is an illegitimate way of changing a
Government and the way of life of a given people.
explained that his department is there to explain
"In 12 months time from now, transmedia will have
installed transmitters throughout the country for better radio and television
coverage," he said.
He added that a second television channel and another
radio station will be operational.
The said the Public Order and
Security Act brought some discipline in the country adding that the
Government was looking at ways of amending the Act to remove grey
The Minister also dismissed western calls for dialogue between the
ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition MDC saying there can never be unity
between puppets and nationalists.
He said the idea is an attempt by
the West to bring the MDC into power through the back door.
The 2003 budget and the
subsequent announcement by the Minister of Industry that the state was
imposing an immediate freeze in prices for a very wide range of products and
services have very far reaching implications. They are the acts of a
desperate administration that has run out of ideas and space. In my view they
could trigger the final economic collapse that is expected in many
The budget does nothing to alleviate the
economic problems of the country - it does not address any of the macro
economic weaknesses in past government budgets and will continue to foster
inflation and economic decline. In fact the Minister confirmed this in his
own words. It also fails to redress the imbalances in expenditure on various
state activities and will further exacerbate the problems in education and
health. The vast increases in military expenditures were expected but still
shock when viewed against the backdrop of the withdrawal of our troops from
the Congo and the absence of any real threats - internal or
In fact unless the political fundamentals are addressed, there
is little the Minister could do in the circumstances. What we had come to
expect from Simba Makoni was that he would try to limit the damage by various
subtle means - this was absent from this budget. There was no attempt to
protect the remnants of what we have left of a productive sector and this
must be the main cause for concern.
The tax proposals were very
nondescript - raising the tax threshold to Z$15 000 a month will get no one
excited - its still at least Z$10 000 a month below the poverty datum line
for urban workers. The attempt to raise additional income by various other
means will simply get the accountants busy and tax avoidance measures put in
place. The drop in selected items of import duty to alleviate the problems of
public transport will do little to overcome the basic problem, which is no
capacity to replace or even maintain existing equipment and
The state has a long history of failed
attempts to curb inflation by simply preventing the private sector from
raising its prices - thereby forcing the private sector to subsidize the
consumer and weakening the industrial and commercial sector. The Minister
himself said that the attempt initiated in October 2001 to hold down prices
by means of price control had not been successful. Despite this dismal track
record the new Minister of Industry has now determined that the way to go is
a near total price freeze in a inflationary environment and annual inflation
expected to rise to over 500 per cent per annum next year. Just to show how
little is understood of economic realities, the Minister of Finance stated
that "his Ministry would reduce inflation next year to 90 per cent per
annum". Not a single commentator has yet to lend any credence to this
If we start by examining the track record of the price
controls introduced in October 2001. Since that time the prices of those
products that were selected for attention and control have risen over 200 per
cent - without a single official price increase being awarded. Recently the
price of beef doubled in a week following the collapse of supplies of cattle
to markets - the Minister "ordered retailers to roll back their prices to
controlled levels" and the Police went from store to store imposing fines on
those who defied the order. Asking retailers who have paid Z$600 to Z$700 a
kilogram for beef in carcass form to sell it at the controlled price of about
Z$150 per kilogram is arrant nonsense. The retailers I spoke to said that
they had simply told the Police take the matter to court.
manufacturers had adopted a different ploy to get around the controls. The
Ministry thought they would be clever and actually list products by brand and
mass and price. Manufacturers simply withdrew products when they became
unprofitable and replaced them with new ones that were not listed. Others
simply changed the mass or the packaging - sugar was controlled in the
traditional 1, 2, 10 kilogram packs. Now you get sugar in 15 and 25 kg bags -
at double the price. The effect is to raise prices as rapidly as if there
were no price controls and this further erodes respect for the rule of law in
our society. When approached by industries that are trying not to breech the
law for a desperately needed price increase, the Minister simply demands that
they reduce their prices still further.
Now we have a "Price Freeze".
What will happen to this - I personally have no doubt it will go the same way
as the price controls of the past 12 months. They will be recognised in the
breech rather than in compliance. The Minister is like King Canute who sat on
the beach and ordered the tide to stay out - all he got for his trouble was a
For consumers the imposition will simply exacerbate their plight
- products driven off the supermarket shelves will find their way onto the
street at double the price or will disappear altogether. Just today my
daughter told me she had to go to five supermarkets to find what she needed
The Great Foreign Exchange Theft.
inflows have fallen from US$3,4 billion in 1997 to US$1,35 billion this year.
They are already expected to fall to less than a billion in 2003. In the past
few years the state has secured its requirements out of this flow of foreign
exchange by buying foreign currencies at controlled exchange rates. The
sources of state controlled foreign exchange has been - direct foreign
inflows to the State from aid and external borrowings, the total proceeds
from the sale of tobacco on the local auction floors and official sales of
gold through the Reserve Bank. Then finally the state took 40 per cent of all
foreign earnings by other exporters and service providers at official
exchange rates for its own use.
In the past five years the first sources
of foreign exchange listed above have dried up almost completely as aid has
been withdrawn and we have been denied any sort of external balance of
payments support. The second is now being wiped out by the steep decline in
tobacco production from 235 000 tonnes a year to 170 000 tonnes this year and
an expected 50 000 tonnes next year. The revenue flow from gold has shrunk as
gold sales have fallen from about 3 tonnes a month to just over 1 tonne a
month now and still further declines predicted for next year.
face of this decline in foreign exchange revenues to the state,
the government has done little or nothing to improve exports or production
for export - in fact it has been directly responsible for the declines in
export production across the board. Now, in the face of this decline in
hard currency earnings that accrue to the state, the government has increased
the forced sale of foreign exchange to the state to 50 per cent. However at
the same time they have abolished the Bureau du Change system and taken
full control of all corporate foreign exchange accounts (FCA's). Should
an industrialist wish to use his own foreign exchange earnings for his
own import requirements he has to now get exchange control approval - and
you know what that means in reality. If he does not use it in six weeks, it
is forfeit to the State at controlled exchange rates.
All of this
would not be so serious if official exchange rates were fixed at reasonable
levels but they have remained at the rate of 55 to 1 against the US dollar
for several years now. The real exchange rate based on
inflation differentials is now well over 300 to 1 and the parallel market
rate is hovering between 1800 and 2000 to 1.
When the previous system
applied, exporters could use their own foreign exchange pretty much as the
wanted - they used the parallel market as an indication of value and whether
they used or sold their foreign exchange at those rates, the blend of
proceeds gave them a reasonable return. Industrial exports were largely
sustained by this situation which has now been abolished by the Minister of
Finance and the Reserve Bank. This now puts then in the same, if not worse
situation as gold and tobacco producers have been for some time and a similar
precipitous decline in export activity can be expected.
companies with significant export earnings, this move will immediately plunge
them into losses operationally and they will have to take steps to stop the
hemorrhaging. It will also reduce the capacity of the private sector to
sustain itself through sales and purchases of foreign exchange in the
parallel market. These exchanges will now be driven underground with
additional undesirable effects. Any further reduction in the capacity of the
private sector to sustain itself will be felt in the form of further
shortages in essential products in the market. Prices will rise still further
due to shortages and attempts by manufacturers to make up for the lost
revenues from the sale of foreign exchange.
From the perspective of the
State the gains made by these measures will be very short lived if there are
to be any gains at all. However for the country these measures will further
exacerbate the conditions of decline and collapse that have prevailed in the
economy for the past three years. It means more desperation for the
unemployed and those who depend on the productive sector for their
livelihood. As the economic collapse intensifies, the forced migration of
people to neighboring countries, especially South Africa, can only
Thousands of women demonstrate against closure of
11/18/02 8:28:32 AM (GMT +2)
THOUSANDS of women desperate for maize-meal
demonstrated against the closure of a milling operation in Harare's Kuwadzana
4 suburb on Friday.
They marched to the council's Kuwadzana
Polyclinic and demanded the immediate re-opening of the grinding mill at the
Kuwadzana 5 home industry yard.
A council health official had
ordered the mill, owned by Tassa Private Limited, to cease operations, citing
breach of council licencing and health regulations. The demonstrators accused
the council health officials of wanting to starve them to death by denying
them access to the maize-meal sold by the company. Council staff denied any
knowledge of the order to close the company, which later resumed
In the afternoon, thousands of women stood or sat
patiently in queues controlled by Zanu PF youths awaiting their turn to buy
10kg bags, which were selling at $300 each, or a package that included two
loaves of bread and a cabbage for $600, which buyers regarded as a bargain in
these days of mealie-meal and bread shortages.
David Mutasa, the
owner of the company, said: "The elderly and the disabled get first
preference. If we don't do that, where will they get food?" He said
Fridays were reserved for women, while Saturdays were for men.
Mutasa denied allegations that Zanu PF supporters were getting maize-meal
ahead of non-party members.
"People lie. We do not discriminate
because hunger does not discriminate. It affects everyone, regardless of
political affiliation. We just look at what people want and respond to
"In fact, there are more MDC supporters here than those of
any other party," he said
Inadequate grain harvest seen worsening
11/18/02 7:57:45 AM (GMT +2)
STARVATION is accelerating across Zimbabwe and local grain
production for next year's harvest is likely to meet only half of the demand,
the United Nations warned yesterday.
The latest Humanitarian
Situation Report on Zimbabwe by the world body said its field officers were
reporting "a worsening food security situation in many
Rural hospitals "have noted a marked increase" in the
number of cases of malnutrition and pellagra, a disease caused by starvation,
it said. Maize, Zimbabweans' staple diet, was selling on the parallel
market in urban areas at around four times the price fixed by the government.
"In most areas, it is not even available for purchase," the UN
Also in short supply were bread, milk and sugar. More
than six-and-half million people in Zimbabwe are facing famine. The World
Food Programme (WFP), the UN's famine relief agency, is planning to feed
three million people this month, while the number of beneficiaries is
expected to reach 5,9 million by January. Despite the famine's widening toll,
the government was still prohibiting private companies from importing
grain, according to the UN report.
Private food imports would
"produce a positive impact on commercial food supplies", it
Three months ago James Morris, a WFP director, said during a
visit to Zimbabwe that after a meeting with President Mugabe he had been
assured that private procurement of grain would be permitted.
The report said that there was enough seed available to grow between 600 000
tonnes and 800 000 tonnes of maize in the cropping season
"However, that is far below the national
requirement of about 1,8 million tonnes," said the UN.
report said that the government had bought 15 000 tonnes of seed for
distribution from private seed companies, while another 15 600 tonnes had
been sold directly to farmers.
Last week, Dr Joseph Made, the
Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, appealed to South
African during a joint ministerial meeting with South African Foreign
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for her country to supply a projected seed
Meanwhile, those farmers who were not affected by the land
seizures said to number about 600 were also "uncertain" whether they would
grow grain because of the belief that they could still be driven off their
farms, the UN said.
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has written to the Public
Service Commission (PSC), threatening strike action next month if
the government does not heed its demands for a salary increment.
This could disrupt classes and the writing of forthcoming
The union said they were mobilising all
teachers across the country to down tools to protest against alleged
discrimination in which they allege the government has awarded other sections
of the civil service higher salaries than teachers.
Majongwe, the PTUZ secretary-general, said yesterday they had written to the
PSC warning of their intention to go on strike.
"Teachers are not happy, neither are they impressed with the blatantly
discriminatory way in which the commission has awarded salary adjustments to
"They recently awarded salary increments of between
155 percent to 165 percent to doctors, nurses and defence force personnel,
while teachers got a meagre 55 percent increment."
advised its members to agitate for better working conditions and higher
In a circular sent to teachers entitled The Time Is
Now - Teachers Strike 2002, the PTUZ attacked a rival union, the Zimbabwe
Teachers' Association (Zimta), for allegedly betraying the teachers' cause by
engaging in "laborious and fruitless talks" with the PSC.
circular reads in part: "It is now clear that the government is not serious
in addressing the pertinent issues adversely affecting teachers, particularly
the issue of low remuneration.
"It is also clear that if we
continue hoping that yellow organisations such as Zimta will provide
leadership, then our suffering will continue."
Majongwe said the
PTUZ wants the PSC to implement a cost of living adjustment as well as a 100
percent salary increment to bring the teachers' salaries to the same level
with those of other civil servants.
yesterday denounced last Friday's fare increases, saying they demonstrated an
element of betrayal by the government, which campaigned on a platform of
combating price increases and shortages of basic consumer goods in the March
They said the government was no longer
showing concern for the plight of the common people, reeling from the
prevalent economic hardships.
On Friday, Dr Ignatius Chombo, the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, gazetted new
commuter fare increases, ranging from 35 percent for public transport in
On average, a commuter will now have to pay $160 a day
to travel to and from work.
Commuters from Mabvuku, Ruwa,
Tafara, Chitungwiza and Mufakose are now paying $70 a single trip to Harare's
central business district, up from $50, while those from Budiriro, Glen View,
Glen Norah and Highfield, who were paying $40, are now forking out $65 a
Under the new nationwide fares, a distance of up to six
kilometres attracts $40, while $50 is charged for between 6,1km and 10km,
with commuters travelling a distance of between 10,1km and 20km now paying
The fare for a distance between 20,1km and 35km is now $80 and
any other distance above that a rate of $3,12 a km will apply.
Commuters interviewed yesterday said the increases were not justified given
that there had been no recent rise in the price of fuel. Traditionally,
commuter fares are increased after the price of fuel goes up.
not blame the transport operators as it is not their problem, but the
government's," said Emmah Mutamba of Mbare. "The government has not been able
to control the prices of inputs that the operators need and that has led to
them asking for a fare increase. The situation is likely to worsen when
individual companies start to import fuel."
Cosmas Saruchera of
Budiriro said: "The timing of the increases is bad. Fuel prices have not gone
up, and this means that when that eventually happens we are going to have
another round of fare increases. The government should have waited until
February, after the January salary adjustments.
"I strongly feel
betrayed by the government, especially after it went into the March
presidential election talking about price controls."
of Zengeza agreed with Saruchera. He said: "I don't see anything which the
transport operators could have done given the economic hardships. But the
government must understand the plight of the people. Most commuters are now
going to be reduced to walking to and from work as they cannot afford these
Cleopas Kadzimu, from Chitungwiza, said: "The increase
is not justified. Operators are just taking advantage of the prevailing
shortages. Spare parts might be expensive, but what will they say when there
is a fuel price increase? Are we going to have yet another fare
Transport operators and drivers interviewed yesterday
said the increases were not enough to make their business viable as prices of
parts were skyrocketing.
"We have been struggling to remain
afloat because the government has not been willing to approve fare increases,
despite the fact that spare parts are now very expensive," said Charles
Kuwanyama, a driver.
"The new fares are welcome, but they will not
take us far. We will need another fare rise again, in the event of a fuel
A source in the Ministry of Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing yesterday said operators had applied for a
50 to 80 percent increase, but the government turned it down, saying that
would be justifiable only if there was a fuel price increase.
"It was going to be difficult to stop the operators from effecting another
increase in the event of a fuel price increase," said the source. "Hence, we
stuck to these figures. But that does not mean that when a fuel price
increase takes place there will be an automatic commuter fare increase."
THE MDC says its lawyers are still
studying last Thursday's Supreme Court judgment in which their demand for a
voters' roll on compact disc was dismissed.
"Our lawyers will
have to analyse the judgment before we can fully comment on it, but our
opponents, Zanu PF, had full access to the up-to-date voters' roll as at the
date of the presidential election," said the MDC spokesman, Paul Themba
Thursday's Supreme Court judgment threw out a petition by
MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai that the Registrar-General (RG), Tobaiwa
Mudede, should provide the national voters' roll on disc.
Nyathi said Mudede had in January 2002 provided them with the voters'
"The voters' roll which the Registrar-General's Office
voluntarily gave us in January 2002 was completely out of date by the time of
the presidential election in March 2002 in that the RG's Office had
added thousands of names to it."
He said it was only fair that
the RG's Office provides the voters' roll on compact disc so that it becomes
easy to analyse.
"Isn't it an inalienable right in a democratic
country, which we claim to be, that we be given a voters' roll which, after
all, is the core of the electoral process?"
The MDC is
challenging Mugabe's March victory in court.
On 24 December last
year, Tsvangirai lodged an application with the High Court, compelling Mudede
to furnish his party with an electronic copy of the common voters' roll for
all registered voters up to 2 January this year.
Makarau threw out the application, saying there was no legal basis for the
MDC to demand the roll. Tsvangirai then lodged an application with the
Supreme Court, arguing that Makarau had erred by failing to make a finding
that Mudede's refusal constituted an infringement of their right to the
protection of the law. In dismissing Tsvangirai's Supreme Court appeal on
Thursday, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza said section 18 of the Electoral Act
invoked by the MDC in their High Court application did not provide a basis
for the party's application.
She said to suggest that the refusal
by Mudede to provide the MDC with copies of the the voters' roll on compact
disc was a breach of subsection 20 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe was
"to clearly misinterpret and distort an otherwise clear meaning".
ONE MDC member
was shot and 15 others, including two senior officials in Rusape, were
allegedly abducted by Zanu PF youths after offices and houses belonging to
ruling party officials and war veterans were petrol-bombed last week on
Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson in Manicaland,
identified John Muringanise as the victim of the shooting.
said Muringanise was shot in the leg, but has since been discharged from
hospital and is recovering at home.
It could not be established
whether the shots were fired by war veterans or Zanu PF youths.
Property worth millions of dollars was destroyed in the attack on Zanu PF
offices at Muller Building, war veterans' offices in the town and two houses
belonging to war veterans. One of the houses belongs to James Kaunye, the war
veteran district chairman for Makoni. Didymus Mutasa, Zanu PF's secretary for
external affairs and MP for Makoni North, blamed MDC members for the
He said earlier they had threatened to descend on Makoni
district after "successfully causing disturbances in Buhera
"About three people threw petrol bombs at the offices
and later attacked two houses belonging to war veterans, including that of
Kaunye. I suspect MDC members because earlier they said they would attack
Makoni district after finishing off Buhera."
But Muchauraya said
it was an inside job after disagreements between Zanu PF officials and war
veterans over the unequal distribution of maize and land.
denied the MDC was responsible for the attacks.
Public faces arrest for talking or pointing at Mugabe's
11/18/02 8:37:40 AM (GMT +2)
GOVERNMENT has legislated that Zimbabweans will not be
allowed to utter any words, or make any movement or gesture that might be
construed to be offensive to President Mugabe or any member of his escort,
when the presidential motorcade passes.
The regulations are with
President Mugabe has acquired a state-of-the-art,
bullet-proof limousine at enormous cost to the taxpayer, despite the parlous
state of the economy.
Through the Road Traffic (Rules of the
Road) (Amendment) Regulations, 2002 (No 9), to be referred to in statute
books as SI 299 of 2002, government indicated on Friday that it would
intensify its repression of the people of Zimbabwe by further curtailing
their right to the freedom of expression, in terms of speech and conduct
towards President Mugabe, his deputies, or any other people who at any time
may be entitled to a police escort.
The Statutory Instrument
provides that: "It is hereby notified that the Minister of Transport and
Communications has made the regulation that . . . on the approach and during
the passing of a State motorcade a driver shall not make any gesture or
statement within the view or hearing of the State motorcade with the
intention of insulting any person travelling with an escort or any member of
A State motorcade is defined under the amended Road
Traffic Regulations to mean a procession of motor vehicles comprising a
vehicle in which the State President or Acting President travels in the
company of an escort. The Road Traffic (Rules of the Road) Regulations were
originally passed in Rhodesia in 1974 under the oppressive Ian Smith
The decree comes seven months after President Mugabe's
controversial victory in the March 2002 presidential election.
Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly,
and a constitutional law lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, yesterday
expressed shock at the passage of the Regulations on
He said the move was a sign of panic by an
unpopular government scared of the very people whose support it claims to
"They are trying to silence any form of protest against
Mugabe. But more dangerously, the regulation is unconstitutional and
undemocratic." Madhuku said the new law infringed on the
constitutionally enshrined right of freedom of expression as it sought to
stifle communication by citizens in either speech or gesture.
Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the protection of
freedom of expression. The section provides: "Except with his own consent or
by way of parental discipline, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment
of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions and to
receive and impart ideas and information without interference . . .
Madhuku said: "In a proper democratic society citizens should
be allowed to make statements, even in expression of anger. The essence
of freedom of expression is to allow people to vent their anger through
words and other forms of communication such as gestures."
said the freedom to express feelings in that way would discourage members of
society from taking the law into their own hands.
dissatisfaction are natural feelings. It is the person who fails to
acknowledge this fact of life who is dangerous, not the angry person," said
Under the new regulations every Zimbabwean driver will be
required to "halt his vehicle or remain stationary" as directed by police at
the passage of a State motorcade.
"The driver shall not follow
the State motorcade to within an interval of 50 metres between the front of
his vehicle and the rear of the last vehicle in the State
The regulations further provide that: "The driver shall
not overtake or attempt to overtake any vehicle in a State motorcade."The
amendments will also widen the definition of State motorcade to cover a
procession where a visiting foreign head of state, or any other person,
including a foreign dignitary other than a foreign head of state, whom or in
respect of whom the President or Acting President has directed should travel
with an escort.
During the late Malawian President Kamuzu Banda's
autocratic rule, women were expected to kneel by the roadside, while their
menfolk had to clap their hands when his motorcade passed.