Mugabe land grab takes last British estate
By Peta Thornycroft in
The last British-owned estate in Zimbabwe has
fallen victim to President
Robert Mugabe's land grab and will close at the
end of this month after 50
Lady Salina Graham, the only family
member of one of the owners still living
in Zimbabwe, was evicted from her
farm by a brigadier in the Zimbabwean
army. She left Raffingora, 60 miles
north of Harare, on Friday.
She returns to Britain with a heavy heart
this week. "I am sad," she said.
"The school we were building is going to be
opened at the end of the month
and I will miss that."
former managers of Sipolilo Estates, the only returns on their
for the four British owners were annual air tickets to Zimbabwe
and a two
month holiday during the British winter.
The remaining tractors are now
being sold or removed for storage in Harare.
Ploughs, planters and tools are
being stacked into old tobacco barns.
"We made a big mistake," said Smart
Mwale, 48, who has worked on the farm
for many years with his nine children
and two wives.
The mistake is the "package" which thousands of retrenched
demanded from their former employers.
Mr Mugabe forgot
about the 1.2 million blacks living on white-owned farms
when he launched his
land grab. They are losing their jobs and homes. In
panic, the regime passed
a law this year compelling dispossessed farmers to
pay terminal benefits to
In a country where unemployment exceeds 60 per cent, the
labourers know that they will never work again. They threatened
employers with violence, destroyed property and seized farm
force them to pay. All of them did so.
Estates, workers who once enjoyed free housing, schools, food
care were paid the equivalent of £67,000, divided between 500
workers on a
sliding scale. It amounts to serious money by Zimbabwean
bought three cows with my package. But now we have no food," said Mr
Aggressive supporters of Mr Mugabe have occupied large areas of the
dictating who can do what and where.
The Grain Marketing Board, the only
legal grain trader, has raided Sipolilo
and every other maize farm and
"The settlers will not let us plant maize. They say
this is their farm. We
have no money left for food," said Musaida Mtetwa, 45,
a trained health
worker on Sipolilo. If my husband loses his job next door we
will go home to
Chipinge [250 miles south east]. Everything is broken. We
made a mistake
with packages, but we were confused."
Mr Mugabe claims
that drought put 6.7 million people, more than half the
population, at risk
of starvation. Yet rains were normal in Mashonaland
West, Zimbabwe's most
fertile province, which has fed the nation for 60
from Raffingora lies the heartland of grain production. But in
Umboe, Mhangura and Doma, mile after mile of empty land
horizon to horizon. There are abandoned farmyards every few
miles along the
dusty Umboe Valley road.
The maize planting season ends this week.
Instead of a green landscape of
young maize there is nothing but bare earth
or dry stalks from past seasons.
Instead of the rhythmic pounding of
tractors, Zimbabwe's food for next year
is planted seed by seed in small
The "new farmers" settling on formerly white-owned land will
in growing enough for their families. There will be nothing
left over to
feed the nation.
"This land reform is catastrophic," said
a farmer in Doma. "The time for
planting maize ended this week." He once grew
enough maize to feed 4,000
people, but has now been compelled to
After years of vilification from Mr Mugabe, the British Government
helping to pick up the pieces. British donations are feeding 1.2
children. © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
US govt protests attack of officials in Zimbabwe Harare
The US government officially protested on Monday after one
of its employees
on an aid mission was beaten and robbed of official and
personal items by
ruling party militants, the US embassy said, calling it
further proof of
lawlessness in the southern African country.
employee, a Zimbabwean citizen, and another Zimbabwean travelling with
were beaten and suffered serious injuries, the embassy said in
The two had been travelling with another US embassy
employee who is an
American citizen, and a UN officer from
The group of four were held and subjected to what the US embassy
"hostile interrogation" in the Melfort district, 40 kilometres east
Harare on Friday by a group of ruling party militants and then the
Zimbabweans were beaten.
"The injuries were serious but not life
threatening," the embassy statement
The four had been conducting
a survey near the village of Melfort to assess
needs for humanitarian food
assistance for workers who had worked on
white-owned commercial farms before
they were seized by the government
recently as part of controversial land
"The assault took place at a site where former commercial
farm workers are
subsisting on a diet of berries and termites," the embassy
"The US government is deeply concerned by this incident. It is
of the lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe for the last
years. It is the same sort of intimidation and violence
thousands of Zimbabweans since the rule of law was effectively
the statement said.
The US government protested the
incident and called for swift action to
identify and arrest the perpetrators.
"We call once again on the government
of Zimbabwe to restore the rule of law
and respect for human rights," the
No comment was
immediately available from Zimbabwe police. Last week, the US
"unclear" circumstances in the shooting to death of a US citizen at
roadblock in eastern Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe police and the state
media said Richard Gilman (58) a computer
consultant and former Torrington,
Connecticut teacher became uncooperative
and drove off at high speed to flee
the roadblock when he was shot.
His family has questioned that account,
saying Gilman had returned to his
brother's home in the eastern city of
Mutare to collect his passport and
drove back to the roadblock to show it to
police after they complained the
papers of his rental car
Gilman, a regular visitor to Zimbabwe, was funding a
feeding program for 840
needy children in the impoverished mountain district
near the border with
Zimbabwe has been wracked
by violence and economic turmoil for the last
two-and-a-half years. About 200
people have died in political violence,
mostly blamed on ruling party
At least half the country's 12,5-million people face hunger in
because of a sharp drop in agricultural production blamed on a
the seizure of thousands of white-owned commercial
Hundreds of the farms were violently seized by ruling party
despite government promises to redistribute the properties to
blacks, many prime farms have gone to President Robert
confidantes. - Sapa-AP All material copyright
US embassy staff assaulted
AM (GMT +2)
By Luke Tamborinyoka Political Editor
BARELY a week after the Zimbabwean police shot dead an American
Mutare, the United States embassy in Harare yesterday revealed
war veterans had beaten up their staff in Melfort going about
The US government immediately expressed concern
over the incident and
urged the authorities in Harare to identify and arrest
The US embassy said, in a statement on Friday,
that two of its
employees, accompanied by a United Nations officer and a
were detained and subjected to hostile interrogation by a
group of men who
identified themselves as war veterans.
embassy said in its statement that one of their employees, a
citizen, and another Zimbabwean were beaten up and some personal
items were stolen in the attack.
"The assault took place near
Melfort as the embassy employees were
conducting a survey of displaced farm
workers in order to assess the needs
for humanitarian food assistance in
Zimbabwe," the embassy said.
Visits by staff are part of the normal
work of embassy personnel in
fulfilment of their diplomatic and humanitarian
mission. The assault
allegedly took place at a site where former commercial
farm workers were
subsisting on a diet of berries and termites.
"The United States government is deeply concerned by this incident. It
symptomatic of the lawlessness that has affected Zimbabwe for the past
years. It is the same sort of intimidation and violence suffered by
of Zimbabweans since the rule of law was effectively suspended,"
"The US government has protested the incident to the
Zimbabwe and called for swift action to identify and arrest
perpetrators. We call once again on the government of Zimbabwe to
the rule of law and respect for human rights."
visiting American citizen, Richard Gilman, was shot dead by the
Mutare last week on Monday. They alleged he was trying to flee in
from a roadblock.
His brother, Howard, a resident of Zimbabwe,
denied the allegation,
saying Richard could not have attempted to flee from
the police when he had
in fact returned to the roadblock after collecting
from his brother's home
some documents he had been asked to produce at the
Richard was involved in charity work in Manicaland. The
has since called for a full investigation into his death.
Zimbabweans beat US embassy employee
AFP - The US government has
protested at the beating of an embassy employee
by suspected war veterans in
Zimbabwe, the embassy said in a statement.
The employee, a Zimbabwean
citizen, and three others accompanying him, were
on a field trip last week to
the farming district of Melfort, just north of
Harare, when the incident took
War veterans took the four hostage and "subjected (them) to a
interrogation" and beat two of them, the statement said. It said the
were assessing the plight of displaced farm workers.
said the assault "is symptomatic of the lawlessness that has
Zimbabwe for the last 2-1/2 years."
Veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war
against white minority rule are
staunch supporters of President Robert
Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
The country has been in the grip of political tension since early
war veterans began invading white-owned farms in the run-up to
elections. Tens of thousands of farm workers are said to have been
Zimbabwe Denies U.S. Charges
Zimbabwe Information Minister
Denies U.S. Charges That Embassy Employee Was
Beaten and Robbed
"There are no displaced farm workers in Zimbabwe and the embassy knows that. As to claims that there is lawlessness, purely on the basis of this incident, that is over the top and quite preposterous."
HARARE, Zimbabwe Nov. 19 - Zimbabwe's
information minister denied
American charges that an embassy employee was
beaten and robbed by
government militants, saying Tuesday the worker had
trespassed and was
baiting people with food.
The U.S. government
lodged its official protest Monday, saying the
employee was on an aid mission
when attacked and that the violence was a
further sign of lawlessness in the
southern African country.
It called for the arrest of those
"We are still waiting for a response from the
government of Zimbabwe,"
the U.S. Embassy said in a statement
The employee, a Zimbabwean citizen, and another Zimbabwean
with him, suffered serious injuries, the embassy said. The two had
traveling with another embassy employee who is an American citizen and
U.N. officer from Britain.
The embassy claimed the two
Zimbabweans were beaten after the
government militants subjected the group to
a "hostile interrogation" Friday
in the Melfort district, 25 miles east of
The state-owned Herald newspaper said Tuesday the group
trespassing on a farm occupied by supporters of President Robert Mugabe
allegedly threw food from a moving vehicle and filmed farm workers
Jonathan Moyo, the information minister,
accused the four of baiting
people with food to create chaos, the Herald
The militants confiscated a camera and two computer discs
group, the paper reported.
The embassy said the four
had been conducting a survey of food needs
of laborers who had worked on
white-owned commercial farms before they were
seized by the government as
part of a controversial land redistribution
rights groups and family support networks say up to 1.5 million
and their relatives have lost their livelihoods under the
workers were given parcels of land on the seized farms, but
many were evicted
and set up shanty camps in the bush.
The embassy said that many of
the former farm laborers seen last week
were "subsisting on a diet of berries
Moyo said the incident was "rooted in intrusive and
behavior by some U.S. Embassy personnel who have been
trespassing onto some
farms under the guise of looking for alleged displaced
farm workers," the
"There are no displaced
farm workers in Zimbabwe and the embassy knows
that. As to claims that there
is lawlessness purely on the basis of this
incident, that is over the top and
quite preposterous," Moyo said.
Last week, the U.S. Embassy also
protested "unclear" circumstances in
the shooting death of an American
citizen at a police roadblock in eastern
police and the state media said Richard Gilman, 58, a
computer consultant and
former Torrington, Conn., teacher, became
uncooperative and drove off at high
speed to flee the roadblock when he was
questioned the account, saying Gilman had returned to his
brother's home in
the eastern city of Mutare to get his passport and drove
back to the
roadblock to show it to police after they complained his rental
Zimbabwe has been wracked by turmoil for the last
2 1/2 years. About
200 people have died in political violence, mostly blamed
on ruling party
More than half the country's 12.5
million people face hunger because
of a sharp drop in agricultural production
blamed on a drought and the farm
promises to give the seized land to poor blacks,
many prime farms have gone
to Mugabe's confidantes.
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.
All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.
Daily News - Feature
The tragedy of power politics in
11/19/02 9:02:43 AM (GMT +2)
IN Zimbabwe we have now reached a point where it is
imperative for us
to return to the basics. It is necessary for us to think
not so much about
what we have done, but what we have not done. For what we
have done is there
for all to see - the decline into the abyss is evident
But for all the haggling and politicking, there is much
to be done, a lot that we could have done but for the
to power struggles. We have concentrated so much on
either winning or
retaining power, to the detriment of the very basic
foundations that hold
our society together.
We seem to have
thrown into the dustbin all the fundamentals of astute
provision of essential services, and even made food a
potent political tool
over the fundamental respect for human life.
Images of skeletal
Ethiopians in 1984 rush back into and play havoc
with my senses. What seemed
an impossibility then, is now a very real
probability in Zimbabwe. Yes, there
has been drought but we must be fair
with Nature, for famines are not just a
creation of our Mother but are
brought about by man's machinations. That is
why why when I insist on
returning to basics, I refer to the ethics that
define us as humans
co-existing in a society.
Yet, of course,
when power is at the centre of everything, it is the
other aspects of life,
perhaps more important, that suffer. So in order to
exercise, gain or
solidify power, we refuse to give food to our neighbour
because he is on the
other side of the political divide. We authorise
looting and unlawful force
against those who hold different opinions. We
refuse to accept that we can
differ but still pursue a common goal.
As we engage in the power
game, elections have taken centre-stage.
Employed correctly elections are
important for purposes of cultivating and
sustaining a culture of democracy
and tolerance. Yet when abused, they can
negate the very goals that they seek
to achieve. It seems to me that instead
of building up a mature democracy and
allowing elections to be an exercise
of free will, they have become infamous
for sporadic episodes of terror and
upheaval. It is because we are fighting
elections not to build a democracy,
but more to demonstrate and exercise
It seems to me that on either side of the divide, we are
energies and meagre financial resources on something that is
exacerbating our precarious situation. There seems to be no end to
power game. Each year we will have vacancies that require elections, and
each occasion the poor folk, mere fodder for those who seek political
are forced to participate in a game in which they have very
influence, if any.
They queue on empty stomachs,
barefoot, cold and terrorised. Their
children do not go to school and even if
they do, their teachers are not
motivated, for want of adequate remuneration
for their labour.
There are no materials for education. Yes, the
remain standing - we call them "hospitals" only because we
to do so, yet in reality they have become chambers where
the sick merely go
to meet their demise, for want of better
The roads on which we travel are potholed, traffic
lights a memory of
a bygone era and as for the collection of refuse, only the
elders can remind
us of what it used to be like.
It appears to
me that we have become too obsessed with power. The
pursuit of power for the
sake of it should not be the guiding principle for
our conduct of national
affairs. We must focus on the wider picture and
avoid being persuaded by
power. We need to resuscitate the economy.
These things do not
require constant bickering and more blood-letting.
They require sober minds
and generous hearts that have compassion for the
economy where everything, from foreign currency to bread, is
the parallel market, away from the formal terrain, is
unsustainable in the
long run. The result of all this is institutional
may not be discernible by the naked eye, but it erodes the
which societal structures rest. Even when we wake up from
slumber, rebuilding these structures will take time. But first,
I hope we can
I have no doubt that there are many external forces that
Zimbabwe negatively. I have travelled and experienced the world enough
know that there are many forces that play a role in each of our countries.
understand too that in Africa, perhaps colonial powers did not do enough
take responsibility for some of the problems born of
However imperative it is to sort out these issues, I
that such efforts do not require the destruction of the pillars
the country is founded.
In South Africa, a country
with similar problems, their constitution
clearly spells out that the state
must ensure that socio-economic rights are
accorded to everyone. But it goes
further, accepting the reality that these
rights cannot be available to
everyone immediately, and that they are to be
accorded on a "progressive"
basis. Whatever the changes we make to our
systems, they ought not to cause
massive social upheaval that undermines the
very basis upon which we survive
as an economy.
In my law school, there is a telling work of art
hanging on one of the
corridor walls. Many times I walk in the corridor I
cannot help but pause to
analyse it. It depicts a cow standing between two
men. One is pulling it by
the horns and the other is pulling it by the tail.
On one side there is a
big man who is standing, watching the event with faint
on the other side is a corpulent man. With a bucket under
the cow he is
working actively on the udder, milking the cow. So there you
have it - some
are pulling it by the horns, others by the tail and still
others milking it
dry. And yet still others are just observing, without much
among my learned brethren in the legal fraternity are familiar
picture. But I also wish to bring it closer to home.
Zimbabwe is that cow, the rulers pulling by the tail and those on the
side pulling by the horns. And there is that class - those many
internal and external, that continue to milk Zimbabwe dry.
international community, of course, is the dispassionate observer.
But even when I look closely, it is not milk that is flowing out of
anymore - I see traces of red matter. We are no longer milking
Zimbabwe, if I
may take the liberty to anoint a new adjective, we are
"blooding" it. For it
is the liquid of life that we are now drawing from
that cow. And without it,
Let us return to the basics, to respecting the cow and
that we are all equal, that we can share the milk that comes out
cow. What we need is to stop this power game, to return to our senses
ensure that this cow can feed again and bring forth more milk for all
There is still hope yet. There is another way - and some day I shall
my views on this - the Other Way.
Daily News - Leader Page
This kind of hypocrisy is
11/19/02 8:16:04 AM (GMT +2)
WONDER just where it is that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma stays when
I think it must be in one of those plush diplomatic
houses or one of
the capital's luxurious five-star hotels. South Africa's
told reporters in Pretoria last week that she had recently
been to Zimbabwe
to see for herself just exactly what is going on
I can't think what Dlamini-Zuma might have been shown while
here, but I'm absolutely convinced she must have been wearing very
At a joint Press conference held from a diplomatic
guest cottage in
Pretoria, Dlamini-Zuma sat next to Zimbabwe's Foreign
Minister, Dr Stan
Mudenge, and between them they tried to persuade Britain to
farmers who have had their land seized from them in
Dlamini-Zuma insisted that human rights and democracy
not enter into the conversation at all and should not be mixed
up with the
need for Britain and other international donors to fork out
What shocking words from the
Foreign Minister of newly democratic
South Africa, whose constitution is
acknowledged to be one of the most
liberal and enlightened in the world. And
Dlamini-Zuma says human rights
should not be mixed up with the land issue! Is
this what human rights mean
in Africa, for Dlamini-Zuma? We won't talk about
your human rights if you
don't talk about ours?
I am a white
farmer in Zimbabwe and had my land seized and my home
grabbed by strange men
and frankly I could not and would not accept any
money from anyone while
there is no law and order in the country and while
the last 600 commercial
farmers bravely struggle on with threats of eviction
and worse hanging over
their heads every single day.
To take the money would be like
accepting a bribe and forgetting the
horrific suffering of everyone else. If
I accepted British compensation
money now I would never again be able to say
that I am proud to be a
Zimbabwean. How could I accept what can only be
described as blood money
when more than six-and-a-half million Zimbabweans
are starving and hundreds
of thousands of others are homeless and deprived of
even the most basic of
human rights in the country.
Dlamini-Zuma thinks that human rights only apply to
I would go further and say that what
Dlamini-Zuma is suggesting is
blackmail: give the whites their money and then
they will stop telling the
world what is really going on in Zimbabwe. And for
the critics who will
scream - as they have done before - at my words and say
that I must be one
of those multi-million-dollar farmers, I would like them
to know that I am
not. I do not live in a mansion in Harare; I cannot afford
employee; I have only one car and my son does not go to an
Dlamini-Zuma said there were three
challenges facing Zimbabwe as far
as the land reform programme is concerned.
She said the British needed to
compensate the white farmers, someone needed
to take care of the hundreds of
thousands of destitute farm workers, and
someone else needed to give money
and infrastructural support to the "new
farmers". What about law and order?
Why doesn't that come into
For 34 months, commercial farmers who were, even in their
a minute fraction of the population, have been told by police
begged for help that nothing could be done because "it is
Yet suddenly Dlamini-Zuma and indeed Zimbabwe's own
are shedding great fat crocodile tears for "the trauma
are going through", to quote Mudenge.
hypocrisy on all sides is utterly breath-taking. Suddenly,
into these so-called peaceful demonstrations, a
government minister is
talking about the trauma of the white farmers. What
unbelievable naivety, or
was that just an example of "quiet diplomacy" at
Dlamini-Zuma announced she had been advised by Mudenge that farm
who were mostly of foreign origin he said - were going to be
Zimbabwean citizenship. The staff of SW Radio Africa might have
say about the advantages of Zimbabwean citizenship!
Made's contribution to this so-called Press conference was
to inform the
assembled journalists that the war veterans had, of course,
been given twenty
percent of the designated land or, he added later, a
quarter of the farms.
Obviously Dr Made's maths is as suspect as his
This extraordinary Press conference was carried live on SABC. I can
speak for myself but my own reaction was one of absolute disgust at
hypocrisy and downright untruths being told on all sides. "Let's take
route of reason" pleaded Mudenge. Ah, but if we had taken the route
reason, Mudenge, we would not be in the appalling mess that we are in
Daily News - Leader Page
Only unpopular leaders fear the people
11/19/02 8:12:04 AM (GMT +2)
law-abiding citizens will have read the story of Statutory
Instrument No 299
of 2002 in this paper yesterday, with either howls of
derisive laughter, or
the chill of terror running down their spines.
This law was
probably not brought before Parliament because of its
implications: it will make it a crime for people to utter
words or make a
gesture that might be "construed to be offensive to the
President or any
member of his escort, when the presidential motorcade
Many will be forgiven for ascribing its authorship to sick,
That adults, well-educated and endowed with
average intelligence, sat
down to draft this absurd law must make many wonder
what kind of people are
running this country today.
Dr Herbert Murerwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, in his
Budget speech last week, ended with an extraordinary
quotation from the Bible
- referring to the prophet Jeremiah - in a plea to
God to help this country
emerge from its self-inflicted economic morass.
"Who is running the
country?" seems a perfectly legitimate question,
in view of these recent
That the government is running scared seems
self-evident. It has now
accepted, it would seem, that it is deeply unpopular
with the people.
If the President is frightened that a citizen fed
up with the
destruction of the economy and the soaring cost of living - or
cold-blooded murder of their relative by the "Green Bombers" - might
him a dirty name or make an obscene gesture as his motorcade passes,
is time for the government to ask itself: have we lost legitimacy to
It is only leaders who know the majority dislike them
are frightened of the people they ostensibly govern. They are
disliked - or
even hated, in extreme cases - not because of any personality
because of how blithely they have ignored the people's
concentrating instead on their own political survival and
The remedy is simple enough: give the people what they
Zimbabwe's case, this entails a decisive return to the days of
economic abundance in the early years of independence, when
proud to live in a newly-independent country which respected
rights and gave them the opportunity to prosper, if they had the
ability to do so - not the "correct" political
This was a land, if not flowing with milk and honey,
bursting with the joy at being able to feed itself and have
export to other countries.
Zimbabwe was the land of
so much promise, until one dark night in 2000
when it was decided that the
people should not say NO to anything their
government proposed that they
Zanu PF, which has ruled this country since 1980, is
digging a big
hole for itself with its unimaginative political and economic
Soon, the party may not be able to climb out of that crevice, once
fallen in, which it is bound to do.
Clearly, a change in
leadership could improve the party's chances of
surviving an MDC electoral
onslaught. No amount of rigging may be enough to
halt the opposition
juggernaut this time around.
Zanu PF's political mentor, the
Chinese Communist Party, last week
underwent a significant changing of the
guard, with the leader, Jiang Zemin,
75, stepping down and giving way to
59-year-old Hu Jintao. Zemin had been at
the helm only since 1997 - not
Zanu PF's annual conference takes place next
Unless the party wants to condemn this country to another
geriatric mismanagement, it must replace its top leadership. Right
party survives in power only through violence, because the old men
helm have run out of ideas to manage the country, let alone their own
To kill a few more people just to gain popularity is not a
formula for clinging to power.
For the sake of the
country's survival, the old men must go.
State silent on stalemate with striking health
11/19/02 8:38:14 AM (GMT +2)
THE strike by the Health Professionals' Association (HPA),
its third week, with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
tight-lipped over their plight, much to the detriment of the
Trust Chivasa, the HPA spokesperson,
yesterday accused the ministry of
ignoring them. Chivasa said his association
approached the ministry last
week to resume dialogue on their demands. They
were referred to the Public
Service Commission, which, in its turn, referred
them back to the
ministry, he said.
At the ministry,
Chivasa said the aide to the Permanent Secretary,
Elizabeth Xaba, told them
her boss was away and would call them when she
Bright Mpofu, the ministry spokesperson said his ministry had met
representatives of HPA some time in October.
Mpofu said: "We have
held meetings with them and reached an agreement
on the grades and
allowances. The ministry and the Public Service Commission
engaged in dialogue over the proposals."
Mpofu said there was need
to create an enabling and sustainable
environment to enhance the health
delivery system. He said the parties were
still to agree on how the agreement
reached would be implemented. The health
professionals are demanding that
their pay be raised by the same scale used
in awarding doctors their pay
rises earlier this year. Chivasa said the
strike was causing a major strain
on cash-strapped hospitals. He said the
hospitals were now sending tests to
private laboratories, which cost more
money, wasted time and was a danger to
the welfare of patients requiring
Maize-meal only sold to Zanu PF card
11/19/02 8:27:42 AM (GMT +2)
Only people with Zanu PF cards were allowed to buy maize
meal at the
Sunningdale community centre in Harare yesterday.
This was despite government denials that food is being distributed or
Baton- and whip-wielding police officers and "Green
the gates at the centre where hundreds of people crowded
Many of the people went away
Some who wanted to go to the clinic in the same
grounds as the
community centre, were not allowed in unless they had clinic
cards or looked
This reporter was denied entry into
the grounds of the community
centre. One of the "Green Bombers" said: "Kuti
utenge hupfu wotoona kuti
wakabata chikwambo cheZanu PF," he said, meaning
that anyone without a Zanu
PF card could not buy maize-meal.
number of women who said they were Zanu PF officials at the local
branch level complained bitterly that they were being sidelined
when it came
to buying the maize-meal, yet they were in the lead when it
campaigning for their party.
One said: "When it comes to
campaigning those party officials in there
use us but when there is
maize-meal they ignore us."
Last Thursday, Kofi Annan, the United
warned the Zimbabwean government against
politicising food aid distribution.
Annan said famine relief had to be
distributed according to need and
not political affiliation.
Saturday last week, Elias Mudzuri, the executive mayor of Harare,
entry into the Harare city council's Hatfield hall where Zanu PF
were selling maize-meal from the Murehwa Milling Company.
the case in Sunningdale yesterday, those without Zanu PF cards
empty-handed.The sales of maize meal at council halls and
are being conducted without the approval of the
The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe
complained yesterday about the
"lawlessness" of the southern African nation
after an embassy employee was
assaulted by men calling themselves "war
veterans," the same description
government-sanctioned thugs have used in
their two-year campaign to force
white farmers off their land.
embassy employee, who is a Zimbabwean citizen, was among a group
survey among the displaced farmers to assess their
That employee, an official of the United Nations
and another Zimbabwean
citizen, whose position was not identified, were held
and subjected to a
"hostile interrogation," the embassy said in a statement,
adding that the
embassy employee was later beaten.
The assault "is
symptomatic of the lawlessness that has affected
Zimbabwe" since President
Robert Mugabe began encouraging militants to seize
the land of white farmers,
the embassy said. "We call once again on the
government of Zimbabwe to
restore the rule of law and respect for human
Zimbabwean manufacturers and retailers face
November 19 2002 at 08:46AM
Harare - Zimbabwean
retailers and manufacturers are facing bankruptcy after
extended price controls last week on goods ranging from
diapers to steel to
slow record inflation.
The controls, which will last for six months from
November 15, cover fuels,
foodstuffs, cosmetics, building materials, motor
vehicle parts, seeds,
school fees and uniforms, medicines, domestic
appliances, newspapers and
Previously, only the price of
essential foodstuffs was controlled.
Zimbabwean companies are struggling
to cope with inflation that has
accelerated to 140 percent a year, and the
collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar
that lost more than half its value on the
black market in the past month.
The price controls will mean companies' sales
prices will not be able to
keep up with costs.
"It's unworkable," said
Gus McTiernan, the managing
director of computer sales and repair company RD
Computers. "There is simply
no way I can sell a computer for the same price
in six months time. I can't
even sell it for the same price next
Computer part costs have doubled in the past month, McTiernan
because of the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar, which trades for
as much as
Z$1 800 for $1 compared with its official rate of Z$55, and rising
Zimbabwe's economy, once the second-wealthiest in
southern Africa after
South Africa, was expected to shrink by 12 percent this
minister Herbert Murerwa told parliament in his annual budget
More than a half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people face famine
regional drought and the state-sponsored seizure of white-owned
farms slashed agricultural production.
Many factories might
not open after the Christmas recess, which runs from
mid-January, said John Robertson, the managing director of
Economics in Harare.
"It's a nightmare," said Janet Hogan, the general
manager of the Zimbabwe
Independent and the Standard newspapers. "We are
running out of plans to
cope with the economic crisis".
The cost of
newsprint was going up by 10 percent a week. Hogan said: "So
even if we can
work with the price controls, we probably won't be able to
The government announcement came one week after Murerwa said
had failed to slow inflation and had damaged many
"Price controls resulted in shortages of many goods and we
need to focus on
increased viability of production," Murerwa
"The private sector needs to return to its role as the engine that
the economy," he said. - Bloomberg
Avoiding obvious (or real) targets, Zimbabwe shoots itself
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has learned not to disagree with
In last week's 2003 national budget, the issue of devaluing the
currency, which lost his predecessor Simba Makoni his job, did not
Instead, Murerwa sought short-term measures to tackle the
parallel foreign exchange rate, currently at about Z2000 to US1 as
to the officially pegged Z55. However, perversely, he also
measures likely to cripple already hard-hit exporters, thereby
reducing the availability of foreign exchange.
The budget has
underlined the reluctance of President Robert Mugabe's
undertake anything more than crisis management to address
mounting problems. Unfortunately, the whole exercise will
In the face of Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis
to date, Murerwa has taken
steps likely to result in reduced exports, more
company closures and so
greater unemployment, higher inflation, further
currency decline and more
Expectations that he
would rise to the occasion were low because what is
really needed is out of
The solutions lie with Mugabe, his police force, his
militias, his newly installed judiciary and all the other
collectively, have helped to bring Zimbabwe to its
Significantly, Murerwa did do something the government has tried
thus far to
avoid admit the magnitude of the economic crisis, the failure of
controls (which didn't stop him slapping price freezes onto a wide
goods the following day), the negative effect of land reform on
production, and the damage done to pension funds and other
institutions by government's interference in macroeconomic
However, it remains clear the government does not have the
stomach or the
will to deal with its problems.
Despite the withdrawal
of troops from the Congo, defence has been given the
ministerial allocation (after education). Land, agriculture
resettlement the cornerstone of Mugabe's much-heralded agrarian
only in fifth place, with allocated revenues of Z40,5bn,
Z76,4bn for defence.
The president and cabinet comprising a handful of
people in a total
population of more than 12,5-million are to get more than
five times the sum
allocated to tourism and the environment despite
identified tourism as a key hard currency
Those who applauded Mugabe at the World Summit on Sustainable
might also reflect on this.
Although some relief was
ostensibly offered to ordinary Zimbabweans, the
short-sightedness of the
steps means, in the long run, their plight will
New tax concessions raising most thresholds by 100%. However,
already 144% and likely to be 200% by the year-end which means,
terms, more onerous taxes;
A 40% increase in import duties,
followed immediately by price freezes. This
is likely to create further
Exporters being required to pay 50% of their earnings to the
from 40%) at the official exchange rate. The government will
whether exporters should be allowed to spend the other 50%
the purpose they intend to use it for does not match some
Bank requirement, it seems these profits might be offered to
who does. This at a time when forex shortages mean encouragement
The forced closure of all bureaux de change
by end-November in an attempt to
curb the spiralling parallel forex market.
This will push forex dealing
ironically a mainstay of the distorted economy
underground and may hasten
the demise of the nation's currency;
attempt to control remittances sent home by Zimbabweans abroad by setting
a fund to channel the money. Mistrust of the government by both senders
recipients renders this unworkable, if not laughable.
The government as
usual is blaming everyone but itself for its problems.
As a captain of
industry in Harare pointed out: "The government asks us to
be sympathetic and
to remember it has to split scarce foreign exchange many
ways. However, it
ignores the fact that the problem is of its own making."
solutions are politically unpalatable for Zanu (PF). Good
governance, rule of
law, cutting expenditure and soliciting external
budgetary support are not on
the agenda. Why? Because none of this is
possible with Mugabe as
This puts Murerwa between a rock and a hard place. The only
choice he has is
to follow the government's chosen path plug a few fingers in
the dyke and
hope the wall doesn't break.
Games is Director of Africa
@ Work, a pan-African publishing and
Minister Herbert) Murerwa is between a rock and a hard place. His
is to follow the government's chosen path
Nov 19 2002 12:00:00:000AM
Business Day 1st Edition
19 Nov 2002
World Vision Zimbabwe distributes food
World Vision International
Regions: Africa, Zimbabwe
Vision Zimbabwe distributed food aid to 3348 beneficiaries at
north-eastern Zimbabwe, last week. Mr Phillip J Thomas, from
the US General
Accounting Office, and a World Food Programme (WFP) team were
also present to
witness the process.
"This is good to see. The people are so
organised," said Mr Thomas.
Mr Thomas, who also observed the
situation in Zambia, said although
the food situation in Zimbabwe was
healthier than what he had seen, there
still is an urgent need for food aid.
He spoke to members of the community
and met with Nyamakope school
School authorities told him that 30% of the 280 pupils
absent from school. 25 % of those that manage to attend
school are sometimes
too weak to continue the day and usually go home early
because of hunger.
They always complain of stomach pains and
A significant amount of funds and food for the relief
Zimbabwe comes from the American government through
When asked what message he would carry to his government, Mr
said: "A lot of food! Many people need food here; they are suffering.
is a need to mitigate the drought before starvation strikes. Many
have talked to say they have no input for the next agricultural
There is need for the food aid programme to be carried forward to
ZIMBABWE: Government, NGOs must step up efforts ahead of another poor
JOHANNESBURG, 19 November (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government and NGOs
need to step up efforts to provide food aid to about 6.7 million people whose
food security is under threat in the face of vastly reduced crop estimates for
next year, the Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) said on
While agriculture has formed the base of the Zimbabwean economy,
contributing 45 percent of export earnings and providing livelihoods to over 70
percent of the population, researchers found that farmers had only secured 20
percent of the estimated Zim $160 (US $2.9 billion) needed to finance
agricultural activities for the 2002 to 2003 production year.
planned Zim $60 billion (US $1.1 billion) Agribond issue raised enough capital,
the agricultural funding gap could be reduced to 42 percent, the report said.
However, response to the bonds was expected to be "lukewarm" and funding from
wary commercial banks was unlikely to close the deficit.
at 212,000 mt was the lowest since 1991 and only 62 percent of last year's
production. The poor yield would require imports to alleviate shortages from
April to the next harvest in October 2003, FEWS-NET said.
up to March 2003 would only provide 73 percent of the country's monthly maize
requirements, leaving a food gap of about 256,000 mt to meet the total 2002 to
2003 consumption requirement of 1.6 million mt. The report recommended that the
maize marketing system allow more private sector participation to increase
supplies and lower prices.
Adding to farmers' woes, the moderate El Nino
conditions were expected to expand to establish basin-wide mature El Nino
conditions between December and February. Past data had shown that this could be
accompanied by a drop in rainfall in the south of the country and a reduction in
crop yields by between 20 to 40 percent.
Although the country had enough
hybrid maize seed for a 14 percent increase in the hectares planted, last year's
bad crops and the controversial land reform programe - which saw thousands of
commercial farmers evicted - had left a shortage of seed for sorghum, millet,
pulses, beans and groundnuts, which were traditionally held over by
The price of groundnut and sunflower seeds rose by 150 percent,
sugar beans by 300 percent and soyabeans by 375 percent, making it more
difficult for farmers.
FEWS-NET also warned of an impending shortage of
Phosphate was scarce because rail transport was stretched by
food deliveries, forcing the use of more expensive road transport. Calcium and
supplementary ammonia supplies were imported, leaving companies at the mercy of
foreign currency shortages and fluctuating exchange rates. However, the
government had tried to alleviate the shortages by allocating foreign currency
to the fertiliser companies, the report said.
If these shortages were not
addressed by the provision of foreign currency by the government, it would
result in a further reduction of harvests in the 2002-2003
Significant drops were expected in the flue-cured tobacco harvest
for next year, which contributes about 29 percent of the country's total export
earnings as well as valuable foreign currency and 9 percent towards
While the country comes to grips with escalating food costs and
shortages, the National NGO Food Security Monitoring Network reported high
levels of population movement in search of work, land and food through the
districts of Matabeleland and Mashonaland central provinces in August and
September. There was also a prevalence of internally displaced people in
Matabeleland south and Mashonaland central.
World Food Programme
spokesman Luis Clemens told IRIN that in response to the countrywide food crisis
the organisation had distributed more than 20,000 mt of food aid to over two
million people in 20 districts.
"In November we hope to increase that to
more than 30 districts and reach three million people depending on the
availability of food," he said.
Africa's sincerity on Nepad in doubt DA
TOWN -- The Democratic Alliance yesterday charged that Africa's
regarding its sincerity in implementing the New Partnership for
Development (Nepad) was in the process of being destroyed.
The DA's chief
whip, Douglas Gibson, was commenting on media reports that
Mbeki had sent a letter to Group of Eight leaders to try to
concerns that the planned peer review mechanism, to ensure
governments were democratic and accountable, was being watered
Mbeki's letter said, in part, that "we stand by everything we have
regard to Nepad ... This includes the peer review
"Good governance on our continent, comprehensively understood,
fundamental interest to the peoples of Africa," Mbeki said.
Gibson claimed Mbeki's letter had created further confusion.
confusion is reinforced by South Africa's -- and the Southern
Development Community's -- continuing solidarity with the Zimbabwe
which was featured in yesterday's New York Times and is the kind of
that seriously undermines Africa's credibility on Nepad," he
Gibson said it was apparent that there was an analysis gap between
and Africa: each side had a significantly different understanding of
good governance entailed, how it should be measured, and what
should follow if African governments failed to comply with
"This is evidenced by the serious possibility that
dialogue between SADC and
the European Union might shortly come to an end
because the EU will not give
Zimbabwean officials visas for travel to Europe
while SADC refuses to attend
meetings without Zimbabwe.
the EU characterises the problem in Zimbabwe as a human rights
problem, while SADC insists on describing it as a colonial
legacy and land
"The analysis gap between the West and SADC is causing a
gap, and unless the credibility gap is closed very
quickly, Nepad is doomed
to fail," Gibson said.-- Sapa
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 9:56 AM
Subject: Mbeki trying to smooth
" I think that there is something afoot that we all need to be alerted
No question about it Mugabe is the clear and undisputed winner - he has
succeeded in removing all those farmers, the very people whom he believed to be
the backbone of the opposition and he has successfully managed to literally
pulverise all the rural population into submission to the extent that he would
now, unquestionably, win an election with or without the presence of
international observers - not because of any popular support that he may enjoy
but simply because the majority of blacks (& some whites)
of him - they believe him to be totally invincible.
Realising that Mugabe has now finally achieved all his objectives, the
South African Government is now urging the International Community to "move
forward" and render assistance to Zimbabwe otherwise millions of people will be
adversely affected. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Zuma, used the
terminology "we all acknowledge that he has made a few mistakes but we cannot
dwell on the past, we have to move forward in order to make progress otherwise
it will be catastrophic for Zimbabwe". In other words, Mugabe must be forgiven
and allowed to continue and the current state of affairs will be blamed on the
actions of the International community unless they "move forward" and render
It is times such as this that international leaders need to stand firm and
strongly condemn Mugabe and anyone that may attempt to bolster his image.
must attempt to dissuade the British Labour Government and other Commonwealth
leaders from obeying directives from the South African Government and other AU
members who are clearly supportive of Mugabe and his regime.
Price freeze seen as move to boost
11/19/02 8:39:52 AM (GMT +2)
THE government has stepped up efforts to ensure the success
controversial fast-track land reform programme with the introduction
week of price freezes for a wide range of farming implements and
The price freeze, effective from last Friday,
will be operative for
the next six months.
Through an Government
Gazette Extraordinary published last week, the
government announced an
immediate price freeze for a wide range of goods,
products, under the Control of Goods (Price Freeze)
Order, 2002, otherwise
known as Statutory Instrument 302 of 2002.
Covered by the order in
the agricultural sector include inputs such as
maize, barley, soya-bean,
sorghum, wheat, groundnut and sunflower seed.
The prices for
agricultural chemicals, including veterinary products,
For both imported and local agricultural machinery and
government froze the prices of tractors (wheeled or tracked),
groundnut harvesters, ploughs (disc and mould board), harrows
disk harrows), rippers, trailers, sprayers (tractor-mounted,
bailers (round and square), mowers, hay teddlers, earth and
conditioners and fertiliser spreaders.
agricultural spares, the prize freeze extends to
bearings, belts, mower
blades and fingers, oil and air filters, shafts,
torsion bars, tyres, tubes,
seals, springs, bolts, and any other spares used
primarily for agricultural
machinery and implements.
Prices of local agricultural spares were
also frozen. These include
belts, oil filters, plough disks, lift arms,
reaper points, springs, tyres
and tubes, bolts, batteries and any other
spares used primarily for
agricultural machinery and implements.
The price freeze followed the announcement by Herbert Murerwa, the
of Finance and Economic Development, on Thursday last week in the
National Budget, that the government would next year invest large sums
money in agriculture-related infrastructural development.
Productivity on many farms has in the past two years slumped, and
government, through these latest measures of prices freezes and
seeks to change the situation for the better in the farming
Murerwa proposed the allocation of $4,1 billion for
development and $1 billion for mechanisation.
Further, the Ministry of Finance would disburse $10,3 billion for
construction, borehole drilling and other water supply activities that
be necessary for irrigation purposes and domestic use of
Murerwa said an additional $700 million had been set aside
credit facilities and $1,8 billion for agricultural research and
training facilities throughout the country.
billion was allocated towards field trials and training as
subsistence and transport.
Import duty regulations for agricultural
equipment would also be
relaxed, and incentives introduced for corporate
bodies and investors who
would support the land redistribution
Since 12 November, investors willing to put their money
Agribond have been exempted from withholding tax
The Agribond programme is an effort by government to
raise $60 billion
for newly resettled commercial farmers under its land
programme, through a
consortium of 18 commercial and merchant
The Zanu PF-driven fast track land redistribution programme
widely criticised by economists, politicians, academics and
citizens for its chaotic and violent nature, and for drastically
Critics of the programme have said
although the idea of redistributing
land is noble, the method adopted by the
government in doing so has impacted
negatively on the economy, already
battered by the withdrawal of
balance-of-payments support by international
financiers in 1999 over
macro-economic policy differences.
has resulted in an acute shortage of foreign currency whose
being felt by every economic sector.
Chinamasa dismisses UN report on looting in
11/19/02 8:21:55 AM (GMT +2)
Tamborinyoka Political Editor
THE government has dismissed as
"malicious rumours" allegations in a
United Nations report linking senior
government officials and the top
military brass to the plunder of diamonds
and other resources in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Affairs, last week dismissed the report, which names senior
officials among major players in the plunder of DRC resources
Last week, DRC President Joseph
Kabila suspended three key government
officials implicated in the alleged
Reports said Kabila was greatly disturbed by reports that
countries had looted his country's resources during the
Chinamasa alleged the UN report was compiled by the
government, but would not substantiate his allegation.
"The so-called UN report is a lot of rubbish and propaganda which is
against Zimbabwe for its involvement in the defence of the
sovereignty of the
DRC. We were never welcomed there because the very same
people who compiled
that report are the persons who want to plunder with
impunity the resources
of the DRC," he said.
He said the conduct of Zimbabwe in the DRC
was "above board".
Chinamasa was responding to a question by the
MDC shadow minister for
defence, Giles Mutsekwa (Mutare North), on the
government's attitude towards
the international report linking senior
Zimbabweans to the plunder of
resources in the DRC.
there was a chance that a commission would be established
to clear the names
of those implicated in the report, Chinamasa said: "We
have no time to waste
to clear malicious rumours targeted against our
people. In any case, these
reports are unfounded. The allegations are
unfounded and we know the source.
It is the British and American interests
who have been trying to drive us out
of there because they have been
plundering the resources of the DRC for
generations under the Mobutu
Zimbabwe is one of four
countries that sent troops to the DRC in
August 1998 to defend the
sovereignty of the government, it was announced at
Recent reports said the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi had received payments from one of the
players in the "blood diamonds" racket in the DRC, an Omani
The businessman and the Zimbabwean government are
joint owners of Oryx
Natural Resources involved in mining concessions in the
Japan stops funding new projects in
11/19/02 8:56:27 AM (GMT +2)
Pedzisai Ruhanya in Tokyo, Japan
THE Japanese International
Development Agency (Jica) says it has
stopped funding new government projects
in the country because of the
political crisis facing Zimbabwe following the
June 2000 parliamentary and
March 2002 presidential elections.
"We are reviewing our aid policy because of the current situation in
country." Miyagu Kensuke of Jica Africa division said during an
His organisation required transparency, good governance and
the countries that receive aid from it.
Kensuke said Jica would,
however, continue to give aid to Japanese
non-governmental organisations and
other multinational organisations such as
the World Food Programme to help
feed people during the current drought,
which is affecting more than 6,5
"We are very concerned about the political
conditions in your country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided in 2000
not to fund any new
projects until the political situation improves,
but those programmes
that were in progress will be completed," he
He said the current position was conveyed to President Mugabe
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Stan Mudenge.
April last year a serious row erupted between the Deputy Minister
and Economic Development, Dr Chris Kuruneri, and the Government
(GTB) after Kuruneri allegedly interfered with the board's
disqualify a Japanese company from a Posts and
Kuruneri had instructed the GTB to allow Itoshu to bid for
billion contract, in violation of tender regulations.
decision was subsequently challenged by Mitsubishi, another
also bidding for the same tender. However, tender
without trace following revelations of ministerial
interference by the Press.
Zimbabwe lost the $5 billion loan from the Japan
Bank of International
Co-operation after failing to meet the loan deadline
because of the furore
over the tender bid.
Kensuke said assistance to southern African
Zimbabwe, stood at US$12 million (Z$660 million) as of
August 2002. Zimbabwe
is facing international isolation after it failed to
parliamentary and presidential elections in June 2000 and
President Mugabe's victory has been
rejected by the main opposition
party, the MDC and condemned
The European Union and the United States have
slapped travel and
economic sanctions on Mugabe and his close allies for
human rights abuses,
and the murder of their perceived
Japan has been the mainstay of development projects such
roads and bridges and the rehabilitation of rural irrigation
the government has routinely touted as examples of Zanu
From News24 (SA), 18
Harare - A retired white Zimbabwe judge arrested two months ago
for allegedly mishandling a criminal case, was on Monday remanded to January 30
by a magistrate's court. The magistrate also ordered that former Justice Fergus
Blackie, who is out of custody, be given back his passport, and cancelled part
of his bail conditions that required Blackie to report to a police station once
a week. Blackie has been charged with obstructing the course of justice and
breaching the Prevention of Corruption Act over a case he handled shortly before
his retirement in July. He is alleged to have overturned a theft conviction in
an appeal case he heard without consulting a fellow judge who also heard the
case. Shortly before he retired, Blackie drew fierce criticism from the
government when he sentenced Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to three months
in jail for criticising the high court. The sentence was overturned, and the
government threatened to investigate Blackie for "gross abuse of judicial
office". On Monday the magistrate reprimanded the state for not producing a
report on complaints that Blackie was denied access to his lawyers, the use of a
telephone as well as medication for high blood pressure following his arrest.
Concerns have been voiced abroad and at home over a perceived erosion of the
rule of law in Zimbabwe and reports that the southern African country's judges
are being intimidated.
Court relaxes Blackie's bail conditions
11/19/02 8:29:28 AM (GMT +2)
By Columbus Mavhunga Court
RETIRED High Court judge, Justice Fergus Blackie, who is
charges of attempting to defeat the course of justice, had his
conditions relaxed yesterday by a Harare magistrate after he applied to
allowed to travel to South Africa for a holiday.
accused of irregularly overturning a woman's conviction for
fraud last May,
was arrested in September.
Yesterday, he appeared before magistrate
Wilbert Mandinde and asked
for a variation of his bail
Prosecutor Chifarai Dube did not oppose the
application. Blackie was
given back his passport and exempted from reporting
to the police between 2
December and 12 January when he will be
Blackie's lawyer, Advocate Firoz Girach, gave notice of his
to apply to have his client removed from remand, if the State does
produce a report about his client's complaints regarding the manner in
he was handled by the police after
Girach was referring to Blackie's complaints that he was denied access
lawyer and to a medical doctor since he was a hypertension patient.
He also complained that he was made to sign the warned and
statement without consulting with his lawyer.
said if the report is not produced during Blackie's next remand
on 31 January
2003, he would ask the court to drop the charges against his
client. Dube did
not respond as the State was represented by a different
Musona of the Attorney-General's Office, when Blackie
Blackie is out of custody on $10 000 bail while Tara
White, the woman
he is alleged to have released irregularly, is on $5 000
OM closes 5 Zim branches
Harare - Life assurance firm Old
Mutual Zimbabwe said on Tuesday it is
closing down five branches as part of a
restructuring and cost-cutting
exercise made crucial by the country's
deepening economic crisis.
Old Mutual Zimbabwe Managing Director Luke
Ngwerume told a news conference
the group, a subsidiary of Old Mutual plc,
had decided to centralise its
operations in the southern African country's
four largest cities.
"We have to take tough decisions to stay afloat in
environment," he said. Zimbabwe is struggling with an acute
shortage, record inflation of 144%, rising poverty and food
affecting nearly half the country's 14 million
Ngwerume said while the company could have retrenched 300 of its
over 1 000
jobs as a result of a shutdown of the five offices at the end of
only 28 workers would lose their jobs.
"We will be
absorbing the rest into our consolidated operations but they
redeployed in a manner in which we realise maximum value and offer
possible services," he added.
Ngwerume denied speculation that the
shutdown of branches was the first step
towards closing Old Mutual's
operations in Zimbabwe, where a political and
economic crisis blamed on
President Robert Mugabe's government has forced
hundreds of companies out of
business in the last three years.
"We have been here for more than 100
years and we are not closing shop.
Things are obviously tough but we are
geared to survive and to grow and that
is why we are in this exercise," he
"This move is a consolidation of our operations, a restructuring
very necessary during these times when operational costs and revenue
be monitored very closely," he added.
Ngwerume said Old Mutual
Zimbabwe's profit contribution to the multinational
group's income had fallen
significantly from 13% "some years ago". But he
declined to say by how
On Tuesday, Old Mutual shares traded 50 Zimbabwe dollars lower at
Zimbabwe dollars a share on the Zimbabwe stock market.
worsening crisis is widely blamed on government mismanagement and
controversial seizure of white-owned farms for black resettlement.
government mainly blames a drought gripping the region.
CFU REPORT 19 NOVEMBER 2002
COPA, ZCPA & ZGPA
Would farmers who have received invoices from National Parks for Quelea control
please forward the invoices to ZCPA, Box WGT.390, Westgate.
Barley Insurance Claims: Insurance claims will only be met when farmers provide
evidence that insurance premiums have been or will be deducted from their crop
The NADF will be
holding a Dairy Forum on the use of Alternative Forages than Maize for grazing
and silage, over the week of the 25th to the 28th November. The guest speaker is
Rudi Kuschke from Advanta Seeds in South Africa, the company that supplies seed
for Sugargraze, and other forage sorghums. A farmer with experience in growing
forage sorghums will also be asked to describe the advantages, problems and
pitfalls of growing these crops in their area. The Forum will be held at 9:00 am
for 9:30 am at the following venues:
Monday 25th November:
Members' Pavilion, Trade Fair Grounds,
Tuesday 26th November: Midlands
CFU Office, Gweru Show
Wednesday 27th November: Manicaland
Thursday 28th November: Mashonaland
Harare South Country
The NADF are also in the process of negotiating with Advanta and
Seedco to import Sugargraze seed on order for our members. At this time the
Plant Protection Unit have given approval, and the paperwork for the import
license is at the Ministry of Agriculture. As soon as the license is issued, the
seed will be brought in to the country.
Ministry of Labour has not yet registered the wage agreement. Apparently they
feel that the amount agreed upon is too high for the A2 settlers to pay.
Regrettably the ministry has raised accusations of collusion between the ALB and
GAPWUZ and they have demanded sight off all 14 sets of minutes of the wage
negotiation meetings. Accusations concerning collusion could not be further from
the truth and it is hoped common sense will prevail and the agreement will be
registered shortly. GAPWUZ were disappointed with the end result but agreed
because the issue was heading towards arbitration, which would have been a
protracted and unpredictable process.
CPA has been notified by CSC that outstanding payments to producers who
slaughtered cattle at CSC since late March will be processed in the next few
days. Affected producers should contact their respective branch manager to
arrange collection and avoid "delays in the post". The CSC has given verbal
assurances to CPA that interest will be paid.
Meanwhile cattle prices at
Mount Hampden levelled following the gazetted price freeze on 15 November. The
18 November sale realised the following prices for 675 head:
$390 - 420 per kg
Commercial 350 - 380
Economy 300 -
Manufacturing 250 - 320
Although further clarification on the
details of the price freeze are awaited, the ramifications could be very serious
For sale 27x 20kg boxes Temik contact Debbie
cell 011 409 796. No longer required!!
If you require any further
information on any of the above issues please contact Tel 04 -309800 ext. 279 or
e-mail email@example.com and we will endeavor
to supply prompt answers.
From The Herald, 18
State to construct seven farm
Government will construct seven farm prisons to ease congestion
at the country's 40 prisons, a cabinet minister said on Friday. The Minister of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, said Government
was in the process of acquiring the farms. He said the 40 prisons had a capacity
of 16 000 prisoners but were holding more than 25 000 convicts. Speaking in an
interview at Ntabazinduna prison complex where he was attending the graduation
of more than 700 prison officers, Cde Chinamasa said Government had already
acquired a farm in Karoi and was in the process of identifying the remaining
farms. He said that once Government completed the exercise of acquiring farms,
the construction of the prisons would start. "Our prisons are overcrowded making
it difficult to maintain acceptable health standards. There is, therefore, a
need to increase the number of prisons, as it is the only way we can ease
congestion," he said.
Government was also encouraging courts to sentence people
convicted of minor offences to do community service as opposed to serving a
prison term as part of measures to ease congestion in prisons. Cde Chinamasa
said courts were also urged to grant bail to persons facing charges of
committing petty crimes to reduce the number of inmates remanded in custody
awaiting trial. The Zimbabwe Prisons Service, Cde Chinamasa said, had started
training officers who were going to man the new prisons. At least 2 000 prison
officers would be trained each year. "We want to start preparing for the new
prisons so that as soon as their construction is over, everything would be
ready," he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa
said the welfare and health of prison officers and their dependants was being
accorded top priority within the ZPS and in this regard staff hospitals were
under construction in the different regions. Speaking during the 136th pass-out
parade of recruit prison officers where 785 officers graduated, Cde Mnangagwa
said work was at an advanced stage in the construction of a staff hospital at
Khami Prison complex. He said this would be the second prison hospital after the
one at Chikurubi in Harare. "The ZPS is also experiencing housing problems for
its officers. To alleviate this problem, I am informed that single officers'
barracks are nearing completion at Wha-Wha prison near Gweru and Chikurubi," he
Cde Mnangagwa said the ZPS had also gone a step further by
moulding its own bricks to cut down on costs of constructing staff houses. "To
speed up the construction of houses, I am informed that ZPS has a construction
unit whose staff complement has recently been increased," he said. The Speaker
said conditions of service in the organisation continue to improve as the health
personnel in the ZPS were now entitled to on-call, call-out night duty and
standby allowances just like all other health practitioners in Government
hospitals. In another effort to improve the condition of service, ZPS has
established a fund known as the ZPS fund to assist officers with loans for
acquiring homes in towns or build better homes in rural areas, he said. The fund
could be used as capital to start business or for purchasing farming implements
and inputs. Since its establishment last year, the fund has disbursed $35
Comment from ZWNEWS, 19
By Michael Hartnack
If proof were needed that the Zimbabwe regime is pursuing
hopelessly contradictory aims, last week's budget had it all. For example,
Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced that price controls had failed to
protect the poor, but had enriched black marketeers. Just a day later, Trade
Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi promulgated a mass of new controls on everything
from computers and cellphones to lavatory paper and second hand tractors. These
will be policed by squads of the Green Bombers youth militia. With the realistic
parallel exchange rate crashing to US$1 = Z$1 700, Mumbengegwi made a ludicrous
attempt to freeze the prices of imported goods, while Murerwa wants to force
exporters to hand over their foreign currency earnings to the authorities at US1
= Z$55. The howls of derision from opposition MDC legislators that greeted the
budget scarcely did justice to this exercise in fantasy finance. A year ago, the
then Finance Minister Simba Makoni "balanced" the books by not settling foreign
debts and plundering pensions by ordering financial institutions to sink
ever-larger proportions of their assets in state funds bearing interest rates
vastly below the officially admitted 142 percent rate of inflation. Makoni's
targeted budget deficit of 14,9 percent of gross domestic product came out at
17,8 percent, although it is questionable how meaningful any figures can be with
inflation that the IMF fears will reach 522 percent in 2003. Murerwa's figures
also just didn't add up. He forecast next year's budget deficit will be 11,5
percent of GDP although the economy -output - will contract by a further 11,9
percent. He predicted a 20,8 percent drop in agriculture following last year's
11,9 percent fall. Receipts from mining, manufacturing and tourism are also way
down. Murerwa did nothing about Zimbabwe's unrealistic interest rates, nothing
about the fuel crisis, outlined no ways to boost state revenues except by some
marginal increase in the tax on wines, but he said he expects inflation to fall
to 96 percent in 2003 and below 10 percent in 2004.
One of the new forms of political patronage the regime has
invented is to give foreign currency to a favoured few at the official rate;
they then re-sell on the parallel market, thus making a prompt 2 000 - 3 000
percent profit. No wonder some of Zimbabwe's banks produce excellent dividend
results. For everyone else, everything turns on Murerwa's fantasies about a huge
surge in agricultural output - for the export as well as the local market -
following the supposed redistribution of 5 000 white-owned commercial farms to
350 000 black Zimbabwean leaseholders. The reality is huge tracts of countryside
lie fallow and even those peasant and small-scale commercial producers who want
to plant cannot obtain seed and fertiliser in time to make use of good early
rains. The latest UN Humanitarian Situation Report says even if good rains fall,
only 800 000 tonnes can be expected to meet 1,8 million tonne minimum national
maize needs. This is due, largely, to political turmoil. In the towns, the
reality is of obvious failure to provide even basic standards of governance. For
the first time, I arrived late at Parliament for the budget. First, I had to
queue in the sweltering pandemonium of the citizenship office to find out
whether the renewed passport, for which I applied in May, was ready. I was told
to come back in February. Not only are officials unable to cope with the level
of demand for travel documents by those seeking greener pastures but, at least
temporarily, they lack imported paper to print the passports. Then I queued for
bread. There were no lines for sugar, maize meal, cooking oil, salt, or for
petrol in my neighbourhood because there just wasn't any to queue for. "There is
no logic in it at all," economics professor Toy Hawkins said of the budget. "It
is full of wishful thinking on inflation, on repaying the foreign debt, about
agricultural production. Murerwa has done little to actually improve the reality
and may well have made things worse by inaction and illusion."
Murerwa announced a "wind down'' from the end of November of
bureaux de change trading in currency at the parallel rate. In practical terms,
a visitor who previously got Zimbabwe $1 700 for one American dollar, will not
be forced to accept Zimbabwe $55. He will find someone out on the street, but
face the extra risk of being mugged or blackmailed during and after the
transaction. The "wind down" talk suggested that bureaux in which prominent
members of Mugabe's Zanu PF party have interests will be left operating. Next,
Murerwa revealed vague plans for an Economic Recovery Trust which seemed to be
linked to the fantasy of fantasies - getting three million exiles to chip in
US$250 million a year at the official rate to return Zimbabwe to solvency.
Spending zoomed on defence, to keep the military sweet, as well as on the
Central Intelligence Organisation. And such is the regime's reputation, that
even Murerwa's announcement of plans to establish toll gates on major roads "in
partnership with the private sector" roused suspicion this will amount to
further political cronyism and sale of monopolies.
Aids terror of British tourist raped by gang By Tim Butcher in
A British tourist was blindfolded, threatened with a pistol and
raped during a 14-hour ordeal after being abducted on a mountain
The 29-year-old woman, from Gloucestershire, was in deep shock yesterday
unable to give a statement to police. Doctors were treating her with
cocktail of anti-Aids drugs.
South Africa has the world's highest level of HIV infection and the
told friends she is now "under a death sentence". The virus's
incubation period means it will be months before doctors can say if
woman has been infected.
The attack came less than a month after another British tourist was
dead and her husband wounded in the same province.
"You have to understand that it is just not safe to get out of your car
South Africa any more," said Piet Posthumus, a family friend of the
"Hijackings do not just take place in Soweto or Johannesburg but out
The woman, who arrived in South Africa two weeks ago for a
visit, was travelling with her 26-year-old South African
the picturesque mountains of Mpumalanga, the former Eastern
After driving along the winding Long Tom Pass between Lydenburg and
one of the country's principal tourism routes leading to the Kruger
Park, they stopped at a popular picnic spot and viewpoint.
"They got out of the vehicle and suddenly five guys came out of the
waving a pistol," Mr Posthumus said. "They bundled the two victims into
back of the vehicle, beat them and blindfolded them."
The car was then driven for hundreds of miles across Mpumalanga,
repeatedly at a number of shebeens - illegal drinking dens popular
black South Africans.
According to the couple, their attackers got steadily more drunk and
times invited other drinkers to come and have a look at their two
victims trussed up in the back of the car.
At some time during the night the woman was raped twice by the
attacker, according to preliminary evidence given by her boyfriend to
"All the time a pistol was being waved about and they were being
with their lives," Supt Danie Hall said. "The pistol was fired a
times as a warning and at least once it was fired through the floor
car where they were lying."
The ordeal began at 2pm on Saturday and ended at around 4am on Sunday
50 miles south of the abduction site near Barberton when the driver
control of the car, which careered off the road and overturned.
Two passing cars pulled up on the side of the road because the
believed they had just seen a routine road accident. One of the
opened fire with a pistol and one of the drivers who had stopped
Domingo Chanber, was hit in the head, dying instantly.
In the chaos the British woman and her boyfriend managed to run away
the darkness and some time later emerged on to a main road where they
able to flag down a car and call for help.
After the police picked them up they were driving back to the local
station when they saw two of their attackers walking along the
The men, one of whom is from Zimbabwe, were arrested and one was found to
carrying the mobile telephone and wallet of the woman's boyfriend. The
are expected to be charged today with rape, abduction and murder.
"This has been like a death threat for her," Mr Posthumus said. "She is
traumatised by the possibility that her life is under threat because of
has happened - it is the worst thing in the world.
"The men left them tied up on the floor of the vehicle while they went
shebeens to buy drink and boast to the people inside how they had
couple of whites. They got increasingly drunk and heavy handed and
punched and hit the two of them as they lay defenceless on the
The woman's boyfriend suffered a stab wound to his leg and lacerations
his back. Both were heavily bruised from being tied up and
Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.