In 1932, who believed Germans would systematically slaughter
German Jews by the millions? In spring of 1994, how many of us in an
allegedly savvier, Internet-informed world were ready to believe Rwandan
Hutus intended to hack to death 800,000 Tutsis in an orgy of macabre
machete violence? Pay attention to Zimbabwe, a nation brutalized by
the rapidly decaying regime of dictator Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe may well be
the next genocidal killing field, with the Matebele tribe the target of Mr.
Mugabe's Shona. In February, this column described Mr. Mugabe as the
Slobodan Milosevic of Africa. Both the Shona and the Serb are thieves,
"former Marxists" and ethnic cleansers who provoke ethnic strife, incite
economic envy, murder opponents and do so under the propaganda cover of
righting long-term historical wrongs. For beasts like Mr. Mugabe and Mr.
Milosevic, "righting historical wrongs" means killing your ethnic
enemies. I recently returned from three weeks in East Africa,
examining micro-development projects run by Africans for Africans. What a
good news story. But bad news is like bad money - it drives out the good.
Across the continent, I encountered Zimbabweans who recounted the last four
years' terrible spiral of events, as Mr. Mugabe's corrupt government
turned Zimbabwe from a food exporter to a land stalked by famine. The past
30 months have been dreadful. The gross domestic product has shrunk 25
percent, with inflation up 135 percent. Mr. Mugabe's taste for tribal
brutality isn't new. In 1980, with the aid of North Korean military advisers,
Mr. Mugabe's Shona tribe savaged the Matabele tribe. From 7,000 to 10,000
Matabele were killed. The world ignored the attacks. At the time, Mr. Mugabe
was a hero to "global progressives," having toppled the white racist regime
of Ian Smith in the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia. Now
comes a report from the London Times that indicates Mr. Mugabe intends to
pull a Milosevic-style Kosovo on the Matabele, with an even larger body
count. The document opens with this breathless passage: For the eyes of the
Shona elite only. Please pass to most trusted person. Progress review on the
1979 grand plan." The document was obtained by Matthew Parris. Mr.
Parris once served in the Rhodesian government, so he'll be dismissed by
"progressives." Given Mr. Mugabe's track record and the bitter fact of
Rwanda, that would be a terrible mistake. According to Shona tribal
history, in the 19th century, the Matabele entered Shona country (after
fleeing Zulus) and took Shona land. Mr. Parris describes it as a narrative
that fits the Shona's "tribal nationalism," just like Mr. Milosevic's "Kosovo
recovery" fit into a Serbian litany of historical wrong. The Shona
now live in central and northern Zimbabwe and make up 70 percent of
Zimbabwe's 13 million people. The Matabele are at about 15 percent.
The "grand plan" outlines a political, cultural and genocidal campaign for
pushing the Matabele back into South Africa. Mr. Mugabe has
systematically kicked Zimbabwe's white farmers out of the country and given
those farms to his henchmen. Famine is the result. Now, Mr. Mugabe must
distract the hungry, and an anti-Matabele campaign serves his immediate
political needs. Mr. Parris is even more blunt: "A fight with the
Matabele would enhance Mugabe's troubled position among his own
people." Here's a key line in the "grand plan": "For many years both
the Ndebeles [Matabele] and Europeans were living under a shameful illusion
that the crimes of their forefathers had been forgiven. This was not to be,
as [Mugabe] the illustrious son of the Shona people ensured that the two
groups pay dearly for the evil deeds of the ancestors." These deeds
included rape and looting. So what's the "grand plan" means of rectification?
The rape and looting of the Matabele. Could the "grand plan" be a
forgery instead of a "Mein Kampf"? Sure. Mr. Mugabe, however, has been
stoking these ethnic hatreds. The Shona, however, are no monolith. Many
Shona oppose Mugabe. The Matabele are also capable of resisting. But
what happens if ethnic savagery begins? Send British paratroopers? That's a
thought, though Mr. Mugabe would portray that as the return of the white
colonialists. The real regional peacekeeper is South Africa. Though the South
African government has shied away from involving itself with Zimbabwe's
internal troubles, it cannot ignore a genocide on its
I am reissuing this
communiqué I issued on 18 October 2002 to Farmers. This represents my only
comment as regards recent developments regarding the resignation of CFU
President Colin Cloete and Director David Hasluck.
Communiqué by Jenni
Williams re: Farmers do not give in to this madness
represents my professional and personal opinion.
Over the last 18 months,
I have represented the agricultural sector as they faced the ZANU PF war of
attrition, called the Third Chimurenga. I communicated the plight of the four
thousand farmers, 300 000 employees and their families - one and a half
million people who reside on commercial farms. Many farmers are no longer
able to farm and thousands of their employees are unemployed, homeless and
destitute and over six million Zimbabweans face starvation.
neither a farmer nor a politician. I am a concerned Zimbabwean communicating
about the crisis facing Zimbabweans and I put principle above politics and
My representation began with two briefs: 1. Assist in
strengthening the negotiating platform, which was the Zimbabwe Joint
Resettlement Initiative known as ZJRI, a joint team of farmers and Government
representatives finding common ground for a partnership on land reform. One
million hectares of land was on offer without legal contestation.
My company, PR Newsmakers managed the news of the farmers' plight on
the farms and use that as a barometer of change. If the stories we reported
were used we believed that the battle would have been won and that
international pressure would ensure that sanity prevailed. I eventually
stepped forward into media management and became a spokesperson. This was due
to the fact that most Zimbabweans were not prepared to say publicly what I
believed had to be said.
Unfortunately the 6th Sept 2001 Abuja deal
was broken 24 hours later and that betrayal remains the biggest confidence
trick of all time. The enormity of which we have only just seen as President
Mugabe refused to attend the Abuja review recently, terming the meeting 'a
waste of time'. The negotiating platform, along with the rule of law was
totally compromised. The ZJRI deal then appeared to die a slow and protracted
death only resurfacing when needed as a political card.
I helped to
dialogue and lobby, from the townships to the White House, and participated
in Government and President's Office meetings, speaking to any Minister who
could intervene. Lip service was the order of the day and the invasions and
human rights abuses continued unabated.
I have worked among you and know
that most farmers are committed to a depoliticised agrarian reform programme
based on sound economic principles and where commercial production is not
compromised. Many who have left would not need more than one invitation to
return to rebuild an integrated farming sector.
I make the following
appeal to Farmers: 1. It is not time to give in to this madness, retreat to
the urban centres if you are under threat but keep your Title Deed intact for
the day of reckoning. 2. Farmers must resist being divided. Added to the
'degrees in violence' are 'degrees in creating division'. If farmers and the
Union are to change their dialogue strategy, they must democratically enact a
change by allowing a special Farmers referendum and then abide by the result
and formulate a new strategy forward. 3. Meanwhile, they must commit
themselves to focusing their energy on the core issues enshrined in the
Zimbabwean Constitution. The constitutional issues and human rights are a
solid basis to envelope the agricultural plight and communicate through the
quagmire. If we are to resolve this impasse, which plays itself out under the
guise of land or agrarian reforms, we must couch our message in pressing for
a return to a democratic Zimbabwe with all its characteristics: good
governance, the rule of law, the respect for human and property rights
allowing dignity, and where the freedom of expression is canonised. 4. We
must also add to our arsenal of sane arguments the teachings of our African
Ubuntu, which encompasses group solidarity for collective good. If this
spirit can once again take root, moral and ethical levels can
be boosted. 5. They should take stock of their position and fully
recognise and draw unlimited strength from the fact that it is their
God-given and democratic right to own property and earn a living and their
right to call themselves Zimbabweans or investors to Zimbabwe that has been
eroded. To do this effectively they must take their place amongst civic
society and with other Zimbabweans to defend their human rights. It is not a
crime to demand justice, peace and freedom. 6. Dialogue has been
exhaustively conducted by many. It is however, not being carried out on a
fair and democratic negotiating platform so it will not yield the desired
results. No amount of dealing or signing of sub-division forms will provide
honour where there is none, and just serves to feed the appeasement
crocodile. We can only resolve the conflict if we have a fair and equal
negotiating platform and equally important and communicated views. 7.
Calls to acceptance of foreign compensation under these conditions will be
selling out Zimbabweans right to a Democratic win-win solution.
I call on
farmers and their staff to support the organisations that give their issues
voice, such as CFU and other farmers unions, GAPWUZ and other such workers
unions. Pay your levies to keep your vote in place and your voice
I also call on the business community to empower the groups
manning the frontline; these are Justice For Agriculture (JAG) and
other Non-Governmental Organisations and the Crisis in Zimbabwe
I close on the old adage - United We Stand, Divided We
18th October 2002
Contact Jenni Williams on
Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax (+2639) 63978
or (+2634) 703829 Office email email@example.com A member of the
International Association of Business Communicators. Visit the IABC website
CAPE TOWN --
Despite immense pressure by Britain and the European Union, among others,
there is little evidence the Zimbabwe government intends changing course,
British Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon said yesterday.
Cape Town Press Club, Hoon said Zimbabwe's economy was now the
"fastest-contracting" in the world.
Without a change of policy, the
continuing downward spiral was causing suffering on a huge scale. Seven
million people face famine.
"Let me make it quite clear that the British
government does not want this to happen ... indeed, our policy on Zimbabwe is
straightforward: we want a stable, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe," Hoon
Britain would support Zimbabwe's people and their democratic
aspirations, and assist with humanitarian and food support.
already contributed £32-million (R512m) this year."
President Robert Mugabe and his government continued on its disastrous path,
and simply blamed Britain and Prime Minister Tony Blair at every available
Britain believed the only solution for Zimbabwe was for the
Zanu-PF government to resume the inter-party dialogue brokered by South
Africa and Nigeria.
It also had to demonstrate a readiness to work for
genuine reconciliation; to stop violence and intimidation; and to co-operate
fully with the United Nations on humanitarian relief aid. "Tragically there
is little evidence that the regime intends to change
Commenting on other conflicts on the continent, Hoon commended
President Thabo Mbeki and Deputy President Jacob Zuma for their "tireless
efforts" to achieve resolution and inclusive peace in the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Burundi.
Britain stood ready to support South Africa's
efforts to promote peaceful outcomes in both the DRC and Burundi, he said. --
and economic instability are frightening potential visitors away
in Zimbabwe, once as predictable as the highs and lows of its premier
attraction the Victoria Falls, is in a trough.
Tourist revenue has
dropped sharply since 2000 although the falls is guaranteed steady traffic.
Political and economic instability overshadow the country's assets, operators
in the tourist capital of Victoria Falls say.
While some lodges in
Livingstone , Zambia, gained from Zimbabwe's slide, others say they have
local problems with rising fees and dwindling domestic numbers eroding
Malawi has also been hit by declining visitors, complain lodge
managers and operators at Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi.
Tourism in the
14 states of the Southern African Development Community fell last year after
growth in the 1990s, according to an African Peace Through Tourism conference
in May with a few exceptions like SA.
SA Tourism (Satour) reported
impressive growth in the industry in October and SA is the primary
destination for 90% of visitors to the region said its chief operating
officer, Moeketsi Mosala.
From 1998 to 2001 the number of tourists
crossing into SA increased from Botswana (490000 to 641000) and Mozambique
(341000 to 457000), but dropped from Zimbabwe (524000 to 499000), Satour
Garth Pritchard, head of overland specialists World
Adventure Travel at Victoria Falls, says: "The market has shrunk. Everyone
here says tourism last year was better than this year."
Ilala Lodge has since 2000 seen a "60% drop in business", mostly from
American and British clients, says restaurant manager,
Three years ago backpackers' favourite, Shoestring
Lodge, was full every day and could afford to turn away overland trucks, but
now organised groups account for 90% of their business.
last June launched Zimbabwe's high season between June and October on a
bright note. But the September 11 terror attacks in the US had a negative
impact on travel and a traditional October dip did not recover.
to reach the head of Zimbabwe's tourist office in Harare,
Givemore Chindzidzi, for comment were unsuccessful.
It is clear,
however, that tourism was battered by a warning against travel at the time of
the elections, posted by the UK and other
Shoestring manager Tony Hove says by April their
occupancy was right down and added the "independent trade almost
The disappearance of the selfdrive market from SA into Zimbabwe
despite the exceptional value of the rand on the black market is one example
"We experienced a 90% drop in business. Zimbabwe had a major
knock, affecting the region," said Amor Kenny, owner of Cape Town-based
Booking agents say many lodges and travel companies
have closed at Victoria Falls in recent years. Increased competition from
"Zambia capitalised on Zimbabwe's problems and
picked up some market share," says Bruce Warr, manager of Raft Xtreme. The
company runs white water trips down the Zambezi River and has grown 60% in
the last year.
The demand for rafting has sunk to about a third of its
peak five years ago, when there were about 60000 clients a year. "Now there
are more activities seeking the same market," Pritchard
Livingstone is being marketed as the "adventure capital of the
world" since extreme sports never lack customers and options like bungi
jumping and microlighting over the falls are on offer.
pay a high price for adrenaline activities anywhere, but not for
accommodation," said Paul Myburgh, owner of Livingstone's Nyala
"The introduction of direct flights to Livingstone (from
Johannesburg and Lusaka) made a difference," he says, pointing out
Livingstone's facilities improved substantially in the last six
His lodge gets regular drive-in traffic and had about 60%
occupancy in September. The main backpackers' accommodation, Fawlty Towers,
was running at about 55%, compared with its usual 85%, said its
One problem is rising fees and licence costs in Zambia, tour
operators say the fee to view the falls jumped this year from $3 to 10 (20 in
For tourists, however, the town is still "an island sheltered
from the storms". "The fly-in option to Vic Falls is doing fine but tourists
are visiting only Vic Falls. Try spotting one at Kariba," says Zimbabwe
Southern Suns marketing manager Darren Beatson.
struggles, SA and Botswana surge ahead with Tanzania and Mauritius as
destinations of choice in the past year says Sandy Vicente, head of Cape
Town's Wilderness Extravaganza.
This suggests although from abroad Africa
is seen as a country rather than a continent travellers do make the
"I think is Africa picking up," Warr predicts. "The Middle
East and Asia are not and the next cheapest destination is Africa." Oct 31
2002 12:00:00:000AM Claire Keeton Business Day 1st Edition
THE evil that men do lives after them. So it is written
in Julius Caesar. Today, I intend to focus on the tragedy that lies beyond
our time. It is a tragedy that we are creating each day. I write so that we
might change our ways and in order that tomorrow can be a better day for
our children. The current crisis has implications that go beyond the
social, political and economic suffering that engulfs us
Sadly, it seems that many among us are participating
in sowing the seed of evil. That seed might not grow enough to affect some of
us today, but it will certainly live long enough to poison those that will
come after us. For there is a Zimbabwe after us, much as there was one before
us. We extol the virtues of our brave predecessors that fought for our
freedom - but will our children find anything worth praising in us? As the
tragedy unfolds each day, I never cease to wonder.
When you dig
the ground and place a seed in the soil, after a while it will germinate.
After germination, the seedling grows into a plant. Well-fed, the plant
flourishes and flowers. It will produce more of its kind. This is the effect
of what we are doing today in Zimbabwe. Evil bears evil. The seed of evil
that we are actively sowing among us will not just die like
Every day we see people fighting. Some are hacked to death
and others incarcerated. We might walk the streets in silence, but it is not
innocent silence. It is a silence induced by fear. We harbour ill-feelings
and hatred against those that oppress us and deny us our freedoms in the name
of sovereignty. However, the seed that is buried in your heart will in
future see the light of day - through yourself or through your children,
friends and relatives that have seen the evil that has been done to you.
Those that wield power might believe that it all ends when they see the end
of time. They forget that they have families, relatives and friends who might
some day face the wrath of those that they suppress today. So those in a
position to disempower others today, must never forget that tomorrow it could
But if they had been good to all, it is the
goodness that is returned to them. But we forget. We have seen the child
soldiers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the so-called kidogos (child soldiers) in
Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We must realise that they were
not born overnight. These are people who have been born into a culture of
violence; they have lived through violence and have no choice, but to
participate in the violence that to them has become a way of life. We
sympathise with them because they are children of violence, creations of wars
that they never started. Do we seriously want to plant the same seed of
hatred, violence and war in our midst? I should think not. We forget that the
child that sees its mother and father being hacked to death never forgets. We
forget, too, that the child in its mother's womb feels and hears the pain
that is inflicted upon its mother. That violence grows in it. The child is
born with scars of violence and some day, he will seek revenge. And when that
happens, it is because we have sown the seed of evil in its
When we militarise the youths and show them that power is
acquired and maintained by forceful means, we should not regret when they
turn against us some day. The same injuries that we train them to inflict on
others can in turn be inflicted upon us. And those that they injure can
retaliate, today or some day in future. Maybe the present crop of our leaders
is also a product of the violence of colonialism. They saw their parents
being treated like juveniles, they experienced the terror of colonial power
and they became hardened and have found it hard to shake off the inclination
towards the use of force, plus physical and mental violence. Our own
children, who are witnessing the atrocities that lie before us, will surely
live to apply the same tactics against those that oppose their views in
future. Yet there is another way - tolerance is a virtue. Genocides are not
announced on national radio. We normally wait after the event to describe
them as such. Genocides are also not created overnight. A genocide is a
physical manifestation of fermenting problems - seeds of evil that can lie in
the ground for a long time and suddenly explode into life at any time.
When people were massacred in Rwanda, we waited till the end to call it
The current mayhem in Zimbabwe may not be on the
same scale yet, but it could yet produce gross consequences. We may be sowing
the evil seed in our people and some day that seed will germinate. And when
it does, it could rise like an inferno that will engulf us all and those that
will arrive beyond our time. We have witnessed how, in a very short space of
time, our nation has been reduced to a collection of beggars and defenders of
wrongful behaviour. And now Zimbabwe is experiencing what I call the "Kettle
Effect". When you place a kettle on fire, after a while the water will boil.
It starts to escape as steam and if you do not remove the lid, bubbles
will begin to escape too. You can hear the rumble of the confined,
boiling water - Zimbabwe is that kettle. It's on fire. The steam and the
bubbles coming out are the many Zimbabweans desperately escaping the poverty
and terror at home.
Remember how beautiful Zimbabwe was and how
everything appeared to be wonderful so much that we looked at the demise of
Zambia, Mozambique and many other countries in Africa and laughed. We called
Harare the Sunshine City. We laughed on being told that they sell meat in the
streets in Lusaka, Dar-es-Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi. We laughed too when we
were told that some of these cities had no traffic lights or well-surfaced
roads. We could not believe it when thousands were massacred in Rwanda. We
laughed at the crash of the kwacha, the shilling and other African
currencies. We also poured scorn on Zambians, Mozambicans, Malawians and
others when they crossed the borders to come and buy and beg for food because
of shortages in their countries. We probably thought we were a different
breed. And yet most of these sad things are in our midst today. So now that
we are sowing the seed of evil, we must not be shocked when it grows to
engulf us all. But our children deserve better. As my hero, writer Paulo
Coehlo, would say, we must strive to make today a better day because when we
do that, tomorrow becomes better too.
Mourners at a recent funeral at Harare's Warren Hills
cemetery were startled by the arrival of a high-speed funeral cortege of
about 100 Mercedes, BMWs and 4x4 behemoths in the latest livery, many of
them displaying large flower-bedecked photographs of the man they were
As the white rococo coffin sank into the grave,
three dudes in sharp suits and wrap-around shades pulled guns from their
pockets and fired a salute to the 32-year-old tycoon who had died in a car
accident. There were mutterings among people in the crowd about £20 000
(Z$1,8 million) in local and hard currency notes that vanished from the boot
of the dead man's car at the time of the accident. The week's other egregious
exhibition of wealth among Zimbabwe's Kompressor class (after the favoured
model of Mercedes) came from Phillip Chiyangwa, tycoon MP, member of
President Mugabe's inner circle and former colonial police
The lifestyle section of the State-controlled Herald
reported a tour of Chiyangwa's new mansion in Harare: 18 bedrooms, 18
lounges, two saunas, whirlpool, steam and spa baths, 15 garages and three
Back in his communal village 80 kilometres west
of Harare in Zvimba, Chiyangwa has built another home, the newspaper said.
This one has 51 bedrooms. Never has the country seen such affluence,
nor the famine and poverty that simultaneously afflict Zimbabwe's 13 million
people who live outside this tiny ostentatious class. The combination of
these contradictions is a classic consequence of an economy in total collapse
and hyper-inflation. President Mugabe has engineered probably the fastest
decline of any comparably robust, diverse economy in modern history, without
war or natural calamity. In less than three years he has inflicted a
spoliation that other African countries took 20 years to do after their
independence. In February 2000 the loss of a referendum on constitutional
change presaged defeat for his Zanu PF in parliamentary elections due in four
months. To avert it, Mugabe went to war against the nation. He propelled the
bloody and lawless campaigns of invasions of white land and elimination of
In the 32 months since then, gross domestic product (GDP)
has fallen 24 percent, official inflation has gone up to 135 percent, the
value of the currency has dropped 96 percent, and arrears on foreign debt of
US$3,4 billion (Z$190,4 billion) have risen from 2 percent of GDP to 30
percent. Agriculture, the engine of the economy, has been throttled by
Mugabe's land grab, tourism earnings have fallen 80 percent, annual gold
production has been halved to 14 tonnes and more than 300 000 of a formal
workforce of 1,3 million have lost their jobs. Half the people are living in
famine and 35 percent of all adults are afflicted by Aids. The hard currency
black market has become the country's biggest growth industry. This month it
has been paying Z$1 100 to $1, against the official rate, pegged in July
2001, of Z$55 to $1.
Similarly, price controls on basic
commodities have emptied supermarkets of all controlled goods. Bread,
maize-meal, sugar and oil can be had in township lean-to stalls at triple the
controlled price, or they reappear in supermarkets in slightly altered form -
sesame seeds sprinkled on a loaf of bread - at prices hugely increased, but
at least allowing the manufacturer a profit. In 2001 the government reversed
its International Monetary Fund-prescribed policy of positive interest rates
and pegged them at 35 percent. The excuse was that the black affirmative
action Kompressor business class was being oppressed. In reality, it allowed
the government to double its borrowings and simultaneously halve its interest
bill. It also introduced hyper-inflation and real negative interest rates now
of minus 110 percent, flattening the country's savings.
policies are doubly ruinous when they work in tandem. The State-owned fuel
monopoly pays for fuel imports with hard currency for just under US$1 a
litre. Price controls allow motorists to buy it for the equivalent of
eight US cents. Conventional business practice is turned on its head. "Rule
number one is you convert all your cash into hard currency and remit
it abroad on a weekly basis," the chief executive of a middle-sized trading
company says. "Deal in cash and don't keep your money in financial
institutions. Borrow as much as you can locally (at 35 percent), buy stock
for cash, keep selling as hard as you can, and re-price at least weekly." For
local investment, he buys air tickets in local currency from the State-owned
airline for destinations abroad, and imported luxury cars - made cheap by a
customs import duty rate charged against the official exchange
Keep out of property, he says: "I have a property portfolio
and it's a noose around my neck. There's always the threat of confiscation."
Planning has become almost impossible. "For my business, short-term means a
day, a week is medium-term and a month is long-term. It is a command economy
in chaos and it is full of opportunity." As the Kompressor class has
discovered, the key to the new wealth is the gulf between the official and
black market exchange rates. You can't get hard currency at the bank, unless
you have a ruling party connection. It will secure you a directive from the
central bank to commercial banks to issue you with forex.
buy it at Z$55 to the US dollar, and sell it at Z$1 100 to the dollar.
Another source is the Zimbabwean diaspora, an estimated two million people.
My neighbour runs a small hairdressing salon, but this month she put a
100-metre brick wall around her property and embarked on
substantial renovations to her house.
It was financed by black
market deals on cash sent to her by her son and daughter in Britain. For tens
of thousands, a relative working abroad is the only way to escape starvation.
Support for people back home also comes by e-commerce. Via www.sadza.com, a Zimbabwean in Luton can order
and pay for his relatives' groceries in Bulawayo. Economists estimate that up
to £20 million a week in hard currency goes home this way, and that it is now
by far the biggest source of foreign exchange. Nearly all of it goes
straight out again. Even Mugabe's central bank gave warning this month that
the bubbles created by the distortions in the economy are
Inflation of 1 000 percent, a halving of GDP and a
Malthusian die-off of thousands of people through starvation and Aids within
the next two years are probabilities. "The government has precious few
options left," Tony Hawkins, a Zimbabwean economist, says. "You get the sense
that we are approaching some sort of crunch. It's around the corner, but the
corner is taking a long time to come." The "crunch" theory, that society will
implode or explode and remove Mugabe, is in doubt.
years of defiance of the laws of economics, the loathing of most Zimbabweans
and the opprobrium of the rest of the world, Mugabe remains in power,
stronger and apparently healthier than ever. As Chenjerai Hove, the
Zimbabwean novelist, puts it: "African governments are never bankrupt until
the pantry in the State House is empty."
time in the political development of Zimbabwe, Zanu PF may feel the only way
it can ensure an election victory is to instill the fear of God into the
The party which played a key role in the
liberation of the country seems unable to countenance the possibility that
the same people, for which it sacrificed so much, can choose another party to
rule them. Through its violent election campaign - as we saw again in the
Insiza by-election - Zanu PF wants the voters to know they have no choice,
but to vote for its candidate. To drive the point home in Insiza, the party
unleashed such a reign of terror the opposition candidate was banned from
campaigning in the constituency. It was the police who advised him they would
not guarantee his security if he showed himself among the voters. They could
have done this out of a genuine concern for his life - or they could have
played politics. The Commissioner of Police, Augustine Chihuri, has stated
categorically that, if he is not a dyed-in-the-wool Zanu PF zealot, then he
certainly owes his allegiance to that party.
The voters did not
and perhaps could not even question this clearly illegal act of intimidation.
Not even the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), that toothless, gutless
appendage of a highly flawed electoral system, could raise a whimper of
protest. So, the MDC candidate, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube, was an absentee
candidate in his own election. His visibility among the voters, at least
towards the last days of the campaign, was zero. The eventual winner, Zanu
PF's Andrew Langa, was reportedly involved in a shooting incident fairly
early in the campaign. It was fortunate for Darlington Kadengu, an MDC
activist, that Langa was either a lousy marksman or did not intend to do him
any more harm than to wound him - perhaps as a warning to other like-minded
opposition activists. So far there has been no official word on what action
the police, the ESC or even his own party intend to take over the shooting
incident. For all practical purposes, Langa will be sworn in as the new MP
for Insiza while the questions about the incident remain unanswered. This
makes such a mockery of the justice system that when critics talk of the
absence of the rule of law, they are, in many respects, being generous. What
we have is no law for Zanu PF and a whole host of anti-democratic laws for
the rest of the population. Zanu PF has decided, since 2000, that any
election in Zimbabwe is now a matter of life or death. Any candidate standing
against the ruling party must know what they are letting themselves
Voters campaigning for the opposition candidate must be aware
of this as well. Recently, critics of the MDC have said the party has no
proper appreciation of what an electoral challenge to Zanu PF can entail. If
you can't beat them through fair play, then join them in an election
campaign where everything - including murder - is permissible. This is the
advice some people have offered to the MDC. It is probable the party has
ventilated this problem thoroughly and has come to its own conclusions. What
people concerned with the future of democracy in Zimbabwe - as we all ought
to be - would love to see is an acceptance by all parties that no election is
worth dying for, that an election does not have to be a matter of life or
death. The apathy that has characterised elections over the years was spawned
by the violence in which one party has engaged during the campaign.
People believing that the violence waged against colonialism and racism
cannot be justified today, 22 years after independence, have stayed away from
the polls in their thousands. They refuse to risk their lives today as if
the freedom of the country was still the major issue. Or is
much-talked about Masvingo food initiative has only produced 7 500 tonnes of
maize - enough to feed the nation for just one day - out of the expected 18
000 tonnes of irrigated winter maize.
The initiative was the
brainchild of the provincial governor, Josaya Hungwe, who got the blessing of
Vice-President Simon Muzenda, as the government resorted to desperate
measures after failing to secure enough food reserves for the
Harvesting of the winter maize crop on 1 800 irrigated
hectares in Chiredzi has already been completed and only 7 500 tonnes were
Experts, including government specialists and the
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), were critical of the project from the start,
saying it would be costly and that weather conditions were not favourable for
Under normal circumstances, a hectare of maize should
produce six to 10 tonnes, but the Chiredzi experiment produced just three
tonnes per hectare.
A government expert, who refused to be
named, said yesterday the initiative was projected to produce 18 000 tonnes
of maize but not even half of the figure was harvested.He said: "We had
warned the government over the project, but you know politics. The project
was very costly and up to now no one knows how much money was used for the
The chairman of the technical committee of the food
initiative, Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Industry and International
Trade, admitted the project was not budgeted for.
said: "We did not budget for this. We only ordered the ministries to use
their votes and the costs would be calculated later."
the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) regional spokesman, said commercial
farmers in Chiredzi had tried to grow maize in winter but realised the crop
"We are talking of high irrigation costs. We had tried
to do a similar project but to no avail. Inputs would actually outweigh the
output and no farmer in his right frame of mind would embark on a similar
Hungwe yesterday could not be reached for comment. Two
months ago President Mugabe visited the project and admitted the government
was gambling since it did not know whether the project would be
Regional leaders, including Zambia's President Levy
Mwanawasa, and diplomats from several countries, toured the project to find
out if they could learn anything about growing maize through irrigation in
newly-formed mine workers' trade union, working together with Zanu PF and the
Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), has vowed to destroy the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) by March next year.
Sithole Makenga, the president of the unregistered National Mines, Quarry,
Iron and Steel Workers' Union, said on Tuesday his organisation was
affiliated to the Zanu PF-backed ZFTU. He vowed the union would go all out to
fight the ZCTU and its affiliates and accused them of being appendages of the
Makenga, a former organising secretary of the
ZCTU-affiliated Associated Mineworkers of Zimbabwe (AMWZ), said: "I am a Zanu
PF member and we are working hand-in-hand with the party and the ZFTU to
destroy the MDC." The ZFTU is led by Alfred Makwarimba and his deputy is
Joseph Chinotimba, the self-styled commander of farm invasions.
Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general, said on Tuesday the ZCTU
was not unduly worried about the threat. He said: "Without external help from
Zanu PF or the government, they cannot dislodge the ZCTU. We are not against
competition, but there must be fair competition. "The workers are very much
aware of the situation and they will continue to travel with the ZCTU."
Chibhebhe said the ZCTU was more concerned with issues that affected workers,
such as the Harmonised Labour Bill, contract workers, taxation and the high
cost of living. According to the minutes of a meeting held at the ZFTU's
Harare Street offices on 2 October, Makenga repeated a pledge he made at a
first meeting in Kuwadzana on 22 September. He said: "I need only six months
to destroy these organisations and if I get maximum support from the ruling
party, I will not hesitate to sue all these opposition party labour
Makenga, who claimed his organisation had about 13
000 members nationwide, said he resigned from the AMWZ because of the ZCTU's
alleged links with the MDC. But Tinago Edmund Ruzive, the president of the
AMWZ, said they had forced him out because of "the unprocedural way" in which
he conducted the union's business. Ruzive said Makenga negotiated
with employers without the knowledge of the AMWZ or the workers and
sometimes told them their grievances were irrelevant. Ruzive said: "We put
pressure on him, resulting in his resignation in August." He said the AMWZ
would stay in the ZCTU. "We will remain apolitical, but we will not shy away
from labour issues," Ruzive said. He said: "We had warned the government over
the project, but you know politics. The project was very costly and up to now
no one knows how much money was used for the project." The chairman of
the technical committee of the food initiative, Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi,
the Minister of Industry and International Trade, admitted the project was
not budgeted for.
Mumbengegwi said: "We did not budget for this.
We only ordered the ministries to use their votes and the costs would be
calculated later." Mike Clark, the CFU regional spokesman, said commercial
farmers in Chiredzi had tried before to grow maize in winter but realised the
crop would fail. "We are talking of high irrigation costs. We had tried to do
a similar project, but to no avail. Inputs would actually outweigh the output
and no farmer in his right frame of mind would embark on a similar project."
Hungwe yesterday could not be reached for comment. Two months ago President
Mugabe visited the project and admitted the government was gambling since it
did not know whether it would be successful or not. Regional leaders,
including Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa, and several diplomats were taken
on a tour of the project by the government which was prematurely showing it
off as an innovative way to increase crop yield in the face of the prevailing
THE High Court yesterday
granted $50 000 bail to Mbare East MP Tichaona Jefter Munyanyi, who is facing
a charge of murdering Zanu PF activist Ali Khan Manjengwa.
Justice George Smith ordered the MP to remain at his Glen View 3 home and
report every Monday and Friday to the CID law and order section.
Another judge, Justice Anele Matika threw out Munyanyi's initial application
for bail on 10 October, saying the State's submission that the police needed
two weeks to complete investigations was valid. Munyanyi's lawyer, Advocate
Charles Selemani, instructed by Ralph Maganga, submitted at the initial bail
hearing that Munyanyi was a family man with two wives and nine children to
look after and the suggestion by prosecutor Stephen Musona that he would
abscond if granted bail was "wishful thinking" on the part of the police
since he had so much at stake he would not contemplate
Selemani said Munyanyi was arrested on trumped-up
charges during "an arresting spree" by the police who arrested three other
MDC members in connection with the alleged murder.
Fear and apprehension gripped Gwanda North constituency at
the weekend as heavily armed police officers manning roadblocks on all roads
leading in the direction of the neighbouring Insiza, subjected commuters to
thorough searches of their bodies and personal belongings.
police said they were looking for weapons which could be taken into Insiza to
cause trouble during the weekend parliamentary by-election. At Stanmore
business centre, about 34km north of Gwanda, this reporter witnessed
passengers who were travelling by bus being subjected to
Passengers were ordered to get off the bus
and queue for a search which took more than 30 minutes. One police officer
said they were under orders to search for weapons on all vehicles and people
travelling to Insiza.
Travellers complained about the searches
and said this hindered their freedom of movement because the roadblocks were
in force for 24 hours.
"We cannot move freely because of the
roadblocks and the Zanu PF vehicles which are patrolling the area," said one
traveller, who did not want to be identified.
also mounted at Glass Block Siding, Matshetsheni and all busy roads leading
into Insiza from Gwanda North.
However, Zanu PF vehicles were not
stopped and subjected to the same searches. Zanu PF's Andrew Langa won the
parliamentary by-election after polling 12 115 votes against the MDC's
Siyabonga Malandu Ncube's 5 102.
Ncube said because of intimidation
and violence by Zanu PF youths, he could not travel to the constituency. The
Insiza seat fell vacant after the death of George Ndlovu of the MDC on 11
Ill-treatment of prisoners rife, says released
10/31/02 11:29:53 AM (GMT +2)
EMIL Margaritis, 50, yesterday said prison guards at the
Harare Remand Prison behave like demi-gods and ill-treat prisoners by
exposing them to torture by security agents.
spent three months at the remand prison before his charges were dropped early
in January, said prisoners were forced to address the prison guards as
But a prison official denied the
"During my three-month stay in prison, I witnessed
brutal use of force by the guards," he said. "The prison guards have what is
called 'blanket treatment' of prisoners where some unidentified security men,
aided by the guards, cover selected prisoners during the night with blankets
and subject them to torture." Margaritis said due to the torture and
inhumane treatment he was subjected to during his detention, he now suffered
from thrombosis, a condition of blood clotting in the veins.
said there was no guaranteed security in Zimbabwe for anyone suing the
"There is no justice in the country," he said. "If I sue
them, I can be ordered to leave the country and that will not help me at
"They will obviously find something to nail on me because I am
a white man. It is very dangerous to be white in this country at the
Margaritis said injured or ill prisoners received no
treatment at the remand prison hospital because of a shortage of
Even if prisoners were seriously ill and bed-ridden, he
said, they were still subjected to inhumane treatment on their hospital
Margaritis claimed several prisoners eventually died due
to ill-treatment as well as shortage of food and drugs.
every Sunday, the prison guards held a roll call during which prisoners were
ordered to strip naked and dance in the open.
"At times they
ordered us to roll on the floor while naked and to sing obscene songs," he
said. "The treatment there is degrading and embarrassing. The older guards
are a responsible lot and respect prisoners, but the majority, who are young,
are cruel and brutal."
But Frank Meki, the public relations manager
for the Zimbabwe Prison Services, said prisoners made some unfounded
He said: "Prisoners are still eating white sadza and
having relish prepared with cooking oil. I visited the remand prison
personally in connection with the Learnmore Jongwe case. There is enough
food. "Our prison hospitals operate in the same framework as government
Jongwe, the MP for Kuwadzana, died in remand prison
last week under suspicious circumstances. Meki said they obtained their drugs
from Government Central Stores. "You cannot expect to find drugs in prison
when they are scarce in government hospitals," he said.
health delivery system in prisons is better than in most countries. Prisoners
infected with venereal diseases are treated for free. We operate within the
Commenting on the claims of stripping prisoners
and inhuman treatment, Meki said the practice was accepted internationally as
it gave the prison guards the opportunity to search prisoners.
"There is high trafficking in contraband in remand prison. Contraband is
anything that is not supplied by the Prison Services to prisoners.
"We do what we call strip search, to check that nothing prohibited is brought
inside the prisons."
ABOUT 100 Zimbabweans on Tuesday held a demonstration on
William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg calling for President Mugabe to step down
over allegations of food shortages and human rights abuses.
According to News24, a media organisation in South Africa, the placard-waving
demonstrators were calling on South Africans on their way to work to show
their support for efforts to bring about the downfall of Mugabe.
Large banners written "Hoot if you want Mugabe to go" were strung on either
side of the road and several drivers showed their support as they drove
past. The demonstrators held South African and Zimbabwean flags and
placards reading "No food in Zim", "Mbeki must act", "Mugabe must go" and
"Our pot is empty".
News24 reported that one protester said the
group was made up of jobless Zimbabweans hit by famine and others whose lives
were in danger because they were MDC supporters.
suffering in Zimbabwe . . . people are dying from lack of food and others are
dying because of Mugabe," the man was quoted as saying.
with two small children said she could not afford to buy food in Zimbabwe and
was in South Africa temporarily to hawk goods for food to support her
children and relatives back home. A number of the protesters were from
Matabeleland, where they said government had withheld food aid since the vast
majority of voters backed the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai in the March 2002
presidential election, controversially won by Mugabe.
month, the World Food Programme pulled out of Insiza constituency after rowdy
Zanu PF supporters confiscated three metric tonnes of maize and distributed
the food among their supporters.
They used the food to influence
the outcome of the by-election which Zanu PF's Andrew Langa eventually won on
Two leaders of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents
the country's white farmers, stood down as divisions deepen within the union,
it said yesterday.
In separate statements issued by the union yesterday,
president Colin Cloete and director David Hasluck are said to have resigned,
but internal bickering about how to respond to government's seizure of white
farms has fuelled speculation the two were forced to leave.
not been well within the ranks of the once powerful 4500member union since
the land reform exercise got underway, soon after voters rejected
a government-backed draft constitution in early 2000.
constitution contained a clause that allowed the government of President
Robert Mugabe to seize white-owned farms without compensating
Until then, the farmers enjoyed a good relationship with
Mugabe on numerous occasions assured farmers their
interests would be looked after but all that changed after the rejection of
the draft constitution, when veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war
spearheaded often violent invasions of white commercial farms.
the beginning of the crisis, the union has vacillated between dialogue with
the government and confrontation in the courts as the best means to resolve
the land seizure issue.
Cloete and Hasluck were seen as advocating
dialogue while some union members preferred the government to
In August, a group of farmers, disillusioned with the union's
conciliatory stance, broke away to form Justice for Agriculture (JAG) that is
fighting eviction orders issued to 95% of the white commercial
Hasluck raised eyebrows recently when he attacked former
colonial power Britain for ignoring the historical background to Zimbabwe's
land reform programme, and said Britain should help to pay compensation to
white farmers who have been forced off their land.
Mugabe took the
bait and called on white farmers to join the government in its "fight against
Britain" over land reform.
Mugabe has accused Britain of reneging on a
promise it made to fund land reform in the country. Britain rejects the
accusation, saying it will only support land reform that is fair and
transparent and reduces poverty.
So far 9154 whiteowned farms covering
17,4-million hectares have been forcibly acquired by the government. The
government says it has resettled 300000 landless blacks on the
While some farmers have complied with the eviction orders, the
future of those who have chosen to fight is in the balance as the government
plugs the legal holes whenever a farmer wins in court.
Tsvangirai's views steeped in Marxist doctrine By
Steven Tennett ONE may have hoped that Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC stood
for a more liberal and fair-minded society than the one currently promoted
and engineered by the authoritarian dictators in government. Today, however,
any such hope would have been ignominiously shattered by Tsvangirai's
recent article in the Daily News "MDC on Monday", in which he addressed the
"Dear people of Zimbabwe".
In his dialogue he demonstrated the same
traits practised by the current government.
"The MDC understands
the national and people's rights that were fought for in the liberation
struggle better than any." (This arrogant statement is unsupported by any
logical argument based on political principle - hanging only on supposition
and the power of force.)
But here is the frightening bit: "MDC
members fought inside the liberation movement for the rights to the
redistribution of power and economic wealth." (According to Tsvangirai and
colleagues, rights originate, not by virtue of the nature of a human being
and of reality, but as a group privilege won through battle. And these
"rights" are not concerned with an individual's freedom of action in a social
context, but only with the redistribution of his wealth to those perceived as
needing it. It is left as an open question as to what would happen to
dissenters who didn't want to part with their wealth!)
members participated in building a state that could service
Did they? History shows that the
current state came about largely as a result of the efforts of the hated
"colonialists" who brought western civilisation to Zimbabwe through a
creative process of building and development, and subsequently abandoned it
to the followers of a Marxist ideology. And what redistribution goals is
Tsvangirai referring to? How does he intend to accomplish this purpose? There
is only one way it can be accomplished when dealing with someone who is not a
philanthropist, who is not bent on giving away his profits - and that is
through the barrel of the gun, replete with its use of force and
As a closing argument Tsvangirai states: "The MDC stands for
the basic rights of the people to gain control of national economic
resources. This demands a redistribution of wealth that is transparent and
people-driven. This demands a state and government that is accountable to the
people, creating conditions for opportunities for productive contribution to
the national cake."
What "basic right" does anyone have to gain
control of national economic resources, unless it is by the power of the
producer in his conquest - not of men - but of nature? There is no "right" to
redistribute other people's wealth, no matter whose interest that
redistribution allegedly serves. There is only the right of free trade -
which means the right of each man as an individual, and each group of men as
individuals, to engage in the activity of creating and selling their own
produce at an agreed market price to those who are willing to buy
This may involve the conversion of natural resources into
something useful and marketable, but only if one has the initiative, if one
has the drive, if one has the knowledge and if one has the capital to buy
and/or develop resources into useful products. There exists no so-called
"economic right" to seize the products of others, for any reason at
It is interesting to note that Tsvangirai regards the national
product as a "cake" - a mere spoil to be divided amongst the many needy by
the power mongers in control, in the same way that any African chieftain from
the past may have exerted his authority over the indigenous people under his
control. This shows that Tsvangirai and the MDC have not moved beyond the
disastrous Marxist doctrine that underlies many African governments, and has
already been responsible for the ruination of Zimbabwe.
view has apparently not reached a sufficient state of maturity for him to
realise the necessity for a code of rational self-interest, a code of
individual rights protecting the free action of all people, in all countries
- providing only that those people do not destroy the rights
Tsvangirai has not yet discovered that wealth is not (as
President Robert Mugabe would have it) a static commodity to be passed
around. Wealth does not grow on trees. It is not a product of non-manmade
nature. It is men who create wealth, men commonly known as "entrepreneurs" in
our societies, people willing to risk their whole investment in an idea or a
productive process. Tsvangirai should divorce himself from the ideology
of "redistribution" held by the current government. Those in government
are champions of the emotive products of greed, envy, hatred and
They are not creators of wealth, and have no answers to
wealth-creation for our society (and neither should they have, for this is
not the job of government). Members of this government celebrate the one goal
of the envious and the spiteful - the destruction of their betters through
the employment of violence, looting and fraud; a destructive process aimed
at eliminating a society's intellectuals and most productive
The government's assertion that "equality of redistribution"
is a social panacea that yields "equity" and "social justice" is a fallacy
and a huge lie. This is the impossible Marxist illusion, one whose falsehood
is patently demonstrated by the repeated failures of Marxism wherever it
has been practised. Men are different! They are different in genetic
endowment, personality, environmental origin, fortune, temperament and
ability. But it is in his differences, and not in his sameness, that man
achieves greatness as a human being. It is in his differences, and not in his
sameness, that man achieves wealth - and by his efforts he indirectly lifts
the standard of living of all those around him. It is in his differences, and
not in his sameness, that man has something creative to offer his fellow man
through a free market of voluntary exchange, and in return he gains
something different that his fellow man can offer him.
So it is
through a man's individuality - his differences - that he creates health,
wealth and abundance, not only for himself but indirectly for others too. It
takes force to achieve our unnatural sameness. It takes force to manipulate
and kill the creative dream and the spirit of man. It takes force to reduce
humans to the state of "equality" revered through the words of the Marxist
creed: "From each according to his ability, to each according to
But this force does not create a wealth of differences.
In baseness it creates only an equality of universal poverty.
Stephen Tennett is a Harare-based freelance writer.
Shona administrators must prove they are capable By
Kudakwashe Marazanye I WAS moved by Zimbabwe Saints supporters who were
singing with nostalgia about their team's good old days, ".mutserendende,
mutserendende, mutserendende Dr Love Matavire. ndakambonetsa. kumira neni
aive makomborero mumvuri womuvonde."
Just like Matavire Chikwata
chakambonesta and their supporters once walked tall. I could not help
reminiscing over the good days at Saints.
Which Saints fan does not
have fond memories for the Super Saints of Ephraim Chawanda, Henry Mckop,
Joseph Machingura etc? I still remember how the Saints family was crestfallen
when we lost a final to a Shakeman Tauro-inspired Caps United in 1979. Aah!
Vakomana, choenda here Chikwata? With such a distinguished footballing
history, what has gone wrong at the once-famed Chikwata?
a discernable trend of Shona failure in this and many other cases of
administrative bungling in this country. Unfortunately this trend only serves
to reinforce long held stereotypes of Shona dishonesty and bad management.
Traditionally, whites have had contempt for the cowardly and ignoble Mashona
and grudging respect for the proud and brave Ndebele.
The Ndebele had and
still harbour contempt for the fickle amasvina. The Ndebele still have an
unkind refrain about the Shona - thathekile mota yamasvina. When in a
charitable mood, the Ndebele argue that the problem with the Shonas is that
they are full of I know, omaningindaba, vanamandihindini. So, traditionally,
the Shona have always been at the bottom of the ethnic pecking
That is why most whites would have preferred a Ndebele
government to a Shona one in 1980. In their view, Ndebele hands in government
were more responsible than Shona ones. After all they had wrested the country
from the Ndebele on their arrival. Even during the liberation war, it was
generally held that Zipra cadre were a more professional force than Zanla's
army of contemptible garden boys turned terrorists. Peter Godwin says as much
in his book Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa. With the current problems our
country is facing, blamed mainly on mismanagement, white liberals are quick
to distance themselves from President Robert Mugabe declaring that ". I was
an Inkomo man."
Against such a background, it is in the interest
of the Shona to prove history and their detractors wrong. But instead, the
Shona seem to be hell bent on confirming such prejudices about their ethnic
group. Dynamos and Saints are both Shona clubs and they are both in an
administrative mess. It is a scandalous shame that the Shona in Bulawayo now
have to turn to Highlanders for a soccer team to root for after the demise of
Saints. Even the Shona players in Bulawayo have to go to Highlanders to
launch a career in football when in the past they naturally went to
Generations of Ndebele and Shona youngsters in Bulawayo had a
healthy, non-antagonistic rivalry on the soccer pitch to establish which
group of youths was better. This good-natured rivalry extended to the members
of the two ethnic groups at work places and in the various drinking
The kind of friendly rivalry you see in Amakhosi's Foromani and
But with the demise of Saints, Shonas in Bulawayo now
shamelessly consider themselves as members of the Highlanders family, both as
players and supporters. This is despite the humiliating taunts they are
subjected to like "okungama buya-buya lokhu; .okungamasvina lokhu." as
correctly depicted by Amakhosi at the Highlanders Annual Prize Giving Day
last year. At national level, soccer administration is largely in the hands
of Shonas, with Leo Mugabe, a Shona at the helm. At this level the sport is
also generally in the doldrums due to administrative
Apparently Ndebele administrative superiority over the
Shonas is not confined to football. The city of Bulawayo is the country's
shining beacon in local government administrative excellence. Whilst
corruption and mismanagement have cost Harare (and some Shona cities too) its
glamour status, Bulawayo has been relatively well run. And Bulawayo, it must
be remembered, is the heart and soul of Matabeleland.
Ndebele businessmen are generally known for their financial prudence and
modesty. They are also known for their social responsibility to their Ndebele
community - even though the money might have been made in the much-loathed
Mashonaland. Over the years we have had Ndebele businessmen pouring money
into Highlanders for its Champions League campaign and to sustain their
foreign coach, Eddie May. We have had Delmar Lupepe coming up with his
Amazulu, Titus Ncube and Chemist Siziba amongst others,
sponsoring Highlanders. Of course the Bulawayo-based Ndebele businessmen
would do well to discard their Bantustan mentality where they want the
Bulawayo business arena to be rid of foreigners (read Shonas).
corollary to that warped thinking is that the Ndebele sons making money in
Harare and other areas outside Matabeleland should be chucked out of these
areas. So Delma Lupepe, Trevor Ncube, Tammy Msimanga and others who have
thriving businesses in Mashonaland would have to close shop. Ultra-Ndebele
nationalism may be good for Highlanders but it is certainly bad for ethnic
relations. In contrast to the financial discipline, social responsibility and
modesty displayed by Ndebele businessmen, Shona businessmen are given to
obscene ostentation. They parade their opulent villas and cars, firing guns
at funerals in the fashion of gangsters, which the less charitable say is
exactly what they are.
Parastatals headed by Ndebele boys also seem
to fare better compared to those run by their Shona
The Zimbabwe Investment Centre under Nicholas Ncube and
the then Cotton Marketing Board under Sylvester Nguni were some of the better
run quasi-government organisations.
From the foregoing, it is
clear that the Shona may well have earned a reputation as incompetent, out
and out crooks driven by the love for money, much like the Nigerians. This
does not do any good to their tribe's standing in society, and they should
work hard to correct such perceptions and stereotypes.
these negative stereotypes of Shonas, there has been muted talk in some
circles about whether things wouldn't have been better in Zimbabwe under the
late Joshua Nkomo and his PF-Zapu.
l Kudakwashe Marazanye is a
Harare-based freelance writer.
-- The "fast-track phase" of Zimbabwe's land reform was complete and Harare
was now focusing on agricultural recovery programmes, the country's Labour
Minister, July Moyo, said yesterday.
Speaking at a media briefing here,
Moyo -- who also manages his country's public service and social welfare
portfolios -- called for Britain to move on compensating white Zimbabwean
farmers so that "land reform can take place in an environment supported by
Zimbabwe's economic recovery was linked to land reform, Moyo said.
But he warned that as long as there were countries intent on imposing
sanctions against Zimbabwe, "our recovery will be slow".
Moyo is in
South Africa to attend a conference in Johannesburg, but flew to Cape Town
for bilateral discussions with his local counterpart,
Asked at the post-meeting briefing to comment on
the World Bank's description of Zimbabwe as having "the fastest-contracting
economy in the world", Moyo said it should be realised his country had been
under sanctions since 1997.
"Therefore the linkage between the
declining of the economy and the opposition to the land reform must be
However, the "fast-track phase" of land reform in Zimbabwe
was now at an end.
"It is irreversible," Moyo said.
are fighting for is to make sure that the farmers become protected.
economy is agriculture-based... and we have now got the commercial farming
community from 4500 to over 54000, and we have resettled, in
the 'fast-track', another 160000," he said.
"We think that the
economy's turnaround is linked to this land reform programme, and we have no
The biggest asset Zimbabwe could give to its poor people was
land, Moyo said.
"It is that asset, we believe, that has riled others
who don't want to share that asset.
"We are now engaged in programmes
that address the agricultural recovery, as well as in beneficiation of the
agricultural produce, which has been the bedrock of our manufacturing
"We have programmes that are reviving the mining industry,
especially the small-scale producers in this sector."
among issues he had discussed with Moyo was the use of migrant Zimbabwean
labour by South African farmers, particularly in Limpopo province. The
mistreatment of these workers was a problem, he said. -- Sapa
WFP won't resume food aid Louthy Dube THE World
Food Programme (WFP) says it will not resume delivery of food aid to Insiza
in Matabeleland South, suspended before last weekend's by-election because of
violence, until government addresses its concerns.
WFP suspended delivery
of food aid in Insiza after Zanu PF supporters and officials intimidated its
implementing partner - the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress
Zanu PF members looted a consignment of over three tonnes of
food aid and distributed it to their supporters as part of the
WFP spokesman in Zimbabwe, Luis Clemmens, said delivery of
monthly food rations to Insiza remained suspended.
"Food aid to
Insiza remains suspended until further notice," Clemmens said.
have been meetings between WFP and government officials but our concerns have
not been addressed and until that is done, the position remains the
Before suspension of the aid, the agency was doling out
monthly rations to over 6 000 people in two wards in
Clemmens said WFP reported the theft of the maize to the
police and the district administrator but nothing had been done to apprehend
Efforts to get a comment from police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena proved fruitless by the time of going to press.
government has reacted angrily to the suspension of the food aid and
has accused the WFP of being used by the West in a hate campaign
"The issue of politicisation of food aid is
unacceptable," said Clemmens.
"If the matter is not resolved we will
not go back to Insiza because we want to avoid the politicisation of
international food aid."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- Peer
review should include politics Parliamentary Editor
CAPE TOWN The
endorsement of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) by the
Group of Eight (G-8) countries could be put at risk by removing political and
democratic issues from the peer review mechanism, European parliamentarian
Michael Gahler said.
This follows President Thabo Mbeki's statement this
week that the peer review mechanism of Nepad was for economics matters only,
and political and human rights issues would be handled by other structures of
the African Union (AU).
Gahler, who is a member of the European
People's Party, speaking at a press conference after the meeting of the
Democrat Union of Africa (DUA), said the deal with the G-8 was clearly "more
development assistance in return for more democracy".
He said that he
was "negatively surprised" at the announcement that the peer review mechanism
was for economic matters only, and that Europeans and the donor community
would be watching developments closely.
The DUA conference with the
European People's Party adopted a resolution which "rejects all attempts to
reduce the Nepad peer review process to a mere economic
"You cannot expect us to pour in more money for development,
and at the same time ignore the fact that in parts of Africa democracy and
human rights are just irrelevant," Gahler said.
The leader of the
opposition Democratic Turnhalle Alliance in Namibia, Ratuutire Kaura, said it
was difficult to have any confidence in the peer review process because of
the blatant hypocrisy of many African leaders.
The specific object of the
conference was to discuss the future of Zimbabwe "a common concern for
African and European democrats".
The conference resolution called for an
immediate return to legitimacy in Zimbabwe through the establishment of a
transitional government, and the setting up of an independent electoral
commission leading to the holding of free and fair elections under
It further called for an immediate return to
the rule of law in Zimbabwe, an end to politically motivated violence and the
selective distribution of food supplies.
The conference deplored the
failure of the European Union (EU) to observe its own decisions which have
led to sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) by moving its
EU- Southern African Development Community (SADC) foreign ministers meeting
from Copenhagen to Maputo so as to avoid refusing entrance to Zimbabweans
covered by the sanctions.
It also called on the SADC to live up to its
own principles, commitments and minimum standards regarding democracy, the
rule of law and the holding of free and fair elections.
No money for new farmers Augustine Mukaro/Ndamu
Sandu PRIVATE sector companies and banks which pledged financial aid
to newly-resettled farmers have not remitted any while the District
Development Fund (DDF) has admitted it has no capacity to provide tillage to
all the new farmers, it has emerged.
This has exacerbated fears that
the country's agricultural production could fall dramatically next year amid
warnings of a "mild" El Nino-induced drought.
DDF director James
Jonga said his organisation did not have adequate resources to provide
tillage to all newly-resettled farmers.
"DDF's tillage capacity is
limited and is not intended to meet the needs of every farmer who requests
such services," said Jonga.
"In fact DDF's role is interventionist
rather than a total take-over of national tillage activities. Out of a
national annual demand to till three million hectares, DDF can only achieve
100 000 hectares with its current capacity," he said.
sector has pledged $35 billion to kick-start the chaotic land reform while
government has contributed only $8,5 billion for inputs. The government
estimates that $76 billion will be required to finance the 2002/03 crop
alone. Another $76 billion is needed to restock the depleting cattle herd and
provide infrastructural facilities to the
Delta Corporation and Time Bank each
pledged $10 billion, while Metropolitan Bank promised $7 billion. CFI
Holdings joined hands with FSI Agricom to pledge $5 billion, and Seed Co
another $25 billion to be remitted in tranches of $5 billion for the next
five years. The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the National
Social Security Authority pledged $500 million while the Agricultural
Development and Assistance Fund said it would give $76,9
All the money was intended to purchase inputs, particularly
for the fast-track resettled farmers.
FSI Agricom spokesperson
Regis Nyamakanga said the arrangement was still in its infancy and nothing
would be released for this season.
"We are in the process of
negotiating a government guarantee and identifying beneficiaries for the
project," Nyamakanga said.
Delta Corporation corporate affairs
executive George Mutendadzamera said they had released the funds to their
traditional growers contracted to the corporation and who could guarantee
repayment of the loans.
Delta supports barley, maize and sorghum
farmers who produce inputs for beer production by its subsidiaries Natbrew
and Chibuku Breweries.
A $10 billion Time Bank loan facility failed to
take-off last year after government delayed to provide a guarantee on behalf
of new farmers.
A CBZ official yesterday said money was available but
prospective beneficiaries had to apply and normal credit conditions would
Farmers associations said they hadn't benefited from any of
the pledges or loan facilities.
Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco
Growers president Julius Ngorima said of the 1 500 farmers affiliated to his
organization, none had secured full financial support for this season,
including established farmers.