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No Date Or Venue Yet For Southern African Summit On Zimbabwe

By Ntungamili Nkomo
03 November 2008

A senior official of the Southern African Development Community said Monday
that the regional organization has not yet set a date for a summit that will
attempt to resolve the differences between Zimbabwe's reluctant
power-sharing partners allowing the formation of a national unity government
capable of tackling multiple crises.

But SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao said the organization has
narrowed the venue down to South Africa, which currently holds the SADC
chair, or Swaziland, which is chairing SADC's troika or committee on
politics, defense and security - the SADC body which failed last week to
bring about a compromise agreement in Harare.

The Movement for Democratic Change party founded by prime minister-designate
Morgan Tsvangirai has said SADC should lose no time holding the summit, but
Salomao told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
scheduling a summit is a complicated matter involving the schedules of 15
heads of state.

Chief power-sharing negotiator Welshman Ncube of the MDC formation led by
Arthur Mutambara said concerned parties should not wait for SADC to come to
Zimbabwe's rescue but should move ahead and take action on their own.

National Executive member Sam Sipepa Nkomo of the Tsvangirai MDC formation
said SADC's delay convening the summit is exacerbating the humanitarian

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Zimbabwe Civic Group Calls For Transitional Government To Tackle Crisis

By Patience Rusere
03 November 2008

With power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe deadlocked and unlikely to be restarted
soon with a regional summit on the matter not even scheduled, the National
Constitutional Assembly is urging the formation of a transitional government
to address the humanitarian crisis.

The group announced in a news conference Monday that it is launching a
series of protests that will begin next Tuesday in larger cities to pressure
politicians for action.

NCA National Director Earnest Mudzengi told reporter Patience Rusere of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his group's three-point plan includes the
transitional government, a new constitution, and free and fair elections to
be internationally monitored.

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Ncube confirms document was doctored

November 3, 2008

By our Correspondent

HARARE - Welshman Ncube, the secretary general of an MDC faction, has
confirmed that the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15  was,
indeed, doctored.

He denies, however that he was in any way involved. Instead so he told
reporter Violet Gonda of SWRadio Africa yesterday, it was Patrick Chinamasa
the former Minister of Justice and Zanu-PF's chief delegate at the long
drawn-out negotiations, who was behind the subterfuge.

He described as "malicious agenda and a creation of fiction" reports
alleging he was involved in the doctoring of the controversial power-sharing

A news report by another SWRadio Africa reporter Lance Guma last Friday made
the allegation that Ncube, Chinamasa, as well as Thabo Mbeki's own
representative, Mujanku Gumbi, had conspired to doctor the document, which
was signed by President Robert Mugabe, mainstream MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and the leader of Ncube's breakaway faction, Arthur Mutambara.

In an interview with Gonda Monday Ncube said: "It can only be the product of
people who are extremely malicious, who have no journalistic ethics who run
with a stupid false story without even the decency of talking to the people
who are accused of the fraudulent alteration of the document."

Ncube added: "I did not take part or participate in any alteration of any
agreement at all."

Friday's report on SWRadio Africa which attributed the revelation to Tomaz
Salomao was published on the Zimbabwe Times website on Monday. Yesterday
Guma told the Zimbabwe Times that the report had initially appeared in
Business Day, the highly respected Johannesburg business newspaper.

Meanwhile Ncube told Gonda yesterday that there were alterations to the
document and that two paragraphs were missing from the final agreement
signed by the principals on September 15. Ncube said Chinamasa had admitted
to altering one of the paragraphs and to "accidentally" deleting two of the
other clauses.

There is no record that Ncube, the chief negotiator of the Mutambara
faction, or his party had taken any appropriate action when he became privy
to what amounts to fraudulent activity by the Zanu-PF main negotiator.
Questions sent to Ncube yesterday to ask what action he had taken upon
coming across this information were not responded to by late Monday night.

Ncube disclosed to Gonda that there were, in fact, three sets of documents
in existence.

The first set of documents represented the agenda items discussed and agreed
upon by the six negotiators, representing Zanu-PF and the two MDC
formations. Ncube said all six negotiators had initialled the agenda items
and each representative had a copy.

"It is not possible for anyone to tamper with this document because we
signed every agenda item and we can verify each clause," he pointed out.

The second set of documents was the Global Political Agreement signed by the
principals on Thursday, September 11, when they finally reached an
agreement. This was then followed by the third document that was signed at
the formal ceremony on September 15.

Ncube said the differences which exist were in the document that was finally
signed by the principals on September 11. He said after they had signed the
hard copy, the document was put on a computer disc and given to Zanu-PF's
chief representative, Chinamasa, by the South Africa officials, to prepare a
legal document.

The first clause that was altered by Chinamasa was on the issue of senate
seats. Ncube said Zanu-PF already had five non-constituency seats. So it had
been agreed that an additional six senators would be appointed. Out of the
six, four would be from the mainstream MDC of Tsvangirai while two would
come from the Mutambara faction. However that paragraph had been completely
changed and Chinamasa had inserted a clause saying there would be nine new
senate seats, to be shared equally between the three contesting parties.

Ncube said Chinamasa had admitted that he was the one who had inserted that
particular clause, claiming he had been told by his principal, Mugabe, that
all three leaders had agreed to this. But Ncube said his own principal,
Mutambara, had denied ever agreeing to increasing the senate seats to nine.
It is not clear what action, if any, Mutambara and Ncube took to counter
this development

The second alteration was a paragraph that was completely missing from the
final document. The missing paragraph says anyone appointed to the position
of Deputy Prime Minister and Vice President would automatically be a Member
of Parliament. If that person was already an MP his/her party will appoint a
non-constituency MP.

Ncube says Chinamasa claims the missing paragraph was "deleted by accident".

The third alteration was in the form of another missing paragraph in the
final document. It was stated in the missing paragraph that the Prime
Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as well as the President and his Vice
Presidents would sit together to make appointments of senior government
employees like Ambassadors and Permanent Secretaries.

Ncube says the former Justice Minister had claimed the paragraph had been
accidentally deleted. Again the Mutambara camp had apparently decided to let
sleeping dogs lie - that was until yesterday when Ncube was linked to the
fraud by The Zimbabwe Times.

It appears Ncube did not respond when the story initially appeared on the
SWRadio Africa website last week and in Business Day before that.

Ncube said; "It is pure nonsense for anyone to suggest that I would have
participated in the alteration of a document in a manner which prejudices my
party. You need to be a fool to actually believe such nonsense."

Ncube also exonerated the South Africans, saying they were not involved in
the alteration of the document.

The Tsvangirai MDC initially raised concerns in early October, complaining
that the agreement had been altered.

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RBZ introduces three higher denominations

November 3, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced new $1 million, $500
000 and $100 000 banknotes in a desperate bid to ease the recurrent cash
shortages plaguing the inflation-ravaged economy.

The bills will officially come into circulation on Friday, although they
were already on the foreign currency dealers market today.

As high as they are, though, the highest bill can only buy eight loaves of
bread. The highest new note is equal to just US$6.

The new notes with be the 22nd, 23rd and 24th notes introduced by the
Reserve Bank this year alone. The central bank also said it will review cash
withdrawal limits to compensate for ever-accelerating inflation.

The withdrawal limit for individuals is still $50 000 a day while that for
companies is $10 000.

In a statement last night, the central bank said: "In a market that has
become predominantly speculative, most providers of goods and services are
demanding cash as the only acceptable means of payment, penalising those
that could otherwise be willing and able to use cheques for transaction

"In the measures underway, the Reserve Bank plans to introduce a number of
new, higher denominations, review the cash withdrawal limits as well as
commence aggressive campaigns for increased usage of other alternative means
of payment."

"The RBZ is fighting a losing battle," economist John Robertson said in

"As long as the inflation remains high, cash shortages will persist. There
is need to address the inflation by increasing production so that too goods
do not (cost) a lot of money."

Signs of a severe cash shortage are showing across the country as citizens
are currently struggling to access cash from their various bank and
financial institutions' accounts.

A serious cash shortage has persisted since October 2007.  The latest
negative developments follow the move by German firm, Giesecke and Devrient,
to half money paper supplies to Zimbabwe.

Long bank queues are once again part of everyday life in which the maximum
withdrawal limit, which people say is too little, forces them to come back
to the bank virtually daily. Bank sources hint the cash situation is poised
to deteriorate further in the coming weeks.

"Right now, we have a situation whereby the country has no paper coming in,
so the money that is currently circulating was printed some time back."

"Due to the hyper-inflationary environment, there is an urgent need for more
new notes, and this is the problem faced by the RBZ," said an economist with
a local bank.

The Munich-based firm, which supplied the RBZ with paper for bearer cheques,
was asked by the German government to halt business with Zimbabwe because of
concerns it was helping prop up Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

In the capital city of Harare, long queues are a daily feature at every
bank, but the longest queues can be seen at CABS, Beverley and the POSB.

People wake up to join queues as early as 5am, as long queues can be seen by

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Hunger claims eight lives in Gutu District, Masvingo

Monday, 03 November 2008 21:53

Eight people - among them a three year-old girl - succumbed to
hunger-related diseases and passed away in the past two months, Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party legislator for Gutu North constituency, Edmore
Hamandishe, revealed.

Although he could not release the names of the deceased due to what he said
were ethical considerations, Hamandishe said he had attended the funeral
wakes of all the victims, with the lattest one being the death of a 50-year
old man from Makumbe village under Chief Gadzingo last Thursday.

"I have attended the funeral wakes of all these people as the MP for that
area, and I can testify that even in the courts. I cannot however release
the names of the deceased, but I can assure you that it was a serious food
deficit that led them to succumb to malnutrition and kwashiokar," said

Masvingo Province is a drought prone even during years of bumper harvests,
villagers to fill bushels to last them through the dry season.

The MDC Member of Parliament (MP), who trounced ZANU PF''s  Frank  Machinya,
said the girl- who was an orphan under the care of her ageing grandmother,
died of kwashiokar last month.

"I felt so bad when I learnt of the death of the three year old, who was
under the custodisnship of her grandmother, who is also a potential
candidate for food aid. If only I knew of her predicament, I could have
helped with food for the orphan," Hamandishe said.

While government officials admitted that the food situation in the rurals
areas is so dire, they however denied that some people had either succumbed
to hunger related disease, or starved to death.

"It is true that there is a food deficit in the district, but to say that
the hunger has caused some deaths would be an overstatement. I am yet to
learn of such deaths," said Gutu District Administrator, Evyline Muzenda.

More than two million people in the province are seriously in need of food
aid following six consecutive years of food shortages owing to bad
agricultural policies, poor rains and lack of farming inputs.

The Red Cross, another humanitarian organisation, is currently giving food
handouts to 1 400 HIV positive people under its Home-Based Care (HBC), amid
reports that some HIV negative urbanites are faking to be HIV positive in
order to be eligible for the program.

Zimbabweans eat twenty times less than they need following acute food
shortages that have ravaged most parts of the country, leaving many in the
rural areas who are on the brink  of starvation scrounging for wild fruits
at night in a bid to wad off competition from wild animals.

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Miners say RBZ bringing sector to its knees

by Own Correspondent Tuesday 04 November 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwean gold miners on Monday accused the country's central bank
of "bringing the sector down to its knees" by refusing to pay mining firms
more than US$30 million for gold delivered.

The Chamber of Mines said the sector, which was one of the biggest gold
producers in Africa less than 10 years ago, was on the brink of collapse
with several mines unable to sustain operations, pay wages and salaries due
to lack of cash because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had not paid

Under Zimbabwean law, all gold producers are required to sell ore to the
central bank.

"It is not understandable that at a time when the country requires as much
foreign currency as possible, the gold sector, which can generate foreign
currency, has deliberately been brought to its knees," said the Chamber in
tough-worded statement.

The Chamber, which labelled the RBZ's non-payment for gold a "travesty of
justice", said exploration work had completely ceased while most underground
mines had flooded, because they cannot pump out water seeping from shafts.

"This has been happening because the RBZ has failed for pay for gold
delivered, resulting in all the mines being unable to sustain production,"
said the Chamber that is regarded the voice of the mining industry in the

Some gold firms had not been paid a single cent for deliveries for a whole
year, according to the mines body.

There was no immediate reaction from RBZ governor Gideon Gono on the charges
by the Chamber.

The RBZ pays for 75 percent of total value of gold delivered in United
States dollars directly to the producers' foreign currency account with the
balance of 25 percent being paid in local currency as determined by the
central bank.

But the for the past two years the RBZ has been falling behind on payments
to gold miners as it struggles for hard cash to import food and other basic
commodities in short supply in the country.

As the gold sector was starved of cash, production has plummeted to record
lows with a paltry three tonnes expected to be produced this year down from
30 tonnes that Zimbabwe produced in 1999.

Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum reserves in the world after South
Africa and large gold, nickel and coal deposits but mines have found it
difficult to expand in the face of a worsening economic crisis. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Church Leaders Prepare National Healing Process

By Jonga Kandemiiri
03 November 2008

While Zimbabwe's political opposition is demanding accountability for the
perpetrators of political violence in months past, church leaders are
working with non-governmental groups in an effort to heal divisions and
wounds from the traumatic post-election period.

The Christian Alliance said a foundation is required for transitional
justice to take place if and when the proposed national unity government is

Christian Alliance National Coordinator Useni Sibanda told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the effort will focus not
only on counseling victims but on reaching out to those accused of
committing political violence.

Amnesty International has estimated that some 180 people died in the wave of
political violence that swept the country following March elections.

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The end of the line for Gono?

3rd Nov 2008 19:40 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

GIDEON GONO has a fantastic talent.

He can simplify complex monetary matters into language instantly understood
by market vendors of modest education at Mbare musika.

He parlayed this talent in his early days as governor of the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe to great effect.

He is also something of a showman, disguising himself as a foreign currency
dealer to gain first-hand information on the racket.

Then, it all seemed to desert him, to evaporate like dew in the morning sun.
Instead, he seemed to develop another talent: for bungling.

Over the years, his earlier reputation has been dragged through the mud at
the vast marketplace.

Few of the vendors at the biggest bus terminal and vegetable marketplace
complex in the country have had complimentary comments to make on his
performance, for a very long while.

The primary cause of this decline can be traced back to the disastrous
effects of his policies on the livelihood of ordinary people, which declined
in almost the same measure as his reputation...

Today, the more sophisticated among his critics describe him as being "too
clever by half". This may not be fair.

He is a man of some intelligence, not as considerable as Albert Einstein's
or Pythagoras'.

But the Z$64 trillion question to be asked must be whether he is man of good
character where money is concerned.

A central bank governor who can justify the reckless

 printing of money, unsupported by solid hard currency reserves, may be
accused of playing with fire - or toying with ordinary people's emotions, or
even their lives...

Gono has been the highest profile central bank governor in Zimbabwe since
Kombo Moyana and Leonard Tsumba. His record has been tarnished to the extent
some in the opposition are calling for either of these men to replace him.

There was always the suspicion they fell out with the politicians because
they refused to play political footsie with monetary policy.

As they stuck to the tried and tested formula of separating politics from
the guardianship of the country's purse strings, they incurred the wrath of
the politicians.

In his defence, Gono could speak of his desire to infuse a political
rationale into the monetary policies. But he could not justify this, for
instance, with strategies which raised our inflation rate to the highest in
the world: a trillion percent..

As with most sectors crucial to the political survival of Robert Mugabe as
president, the RBZ, under Gono, was tailored to prolong Zanu PF's grip on

Gono has spoken famously of his humble beginnings into the world of high
finance - from a "teaboy" in a bank to the chief executive of a bank.

In colonial parlance, the teaboy made tea for the bosses.

Presumably, by reading voluminously on finance and banking - by candlelight,
in his dingy, humble, one-room, lodgings in Mbare, Highfield, Mufakose or
|Mabvuku or Epworth - he managed to excite enough interest to seek a formal
introduction into that fascinating world.

Last week, The Herald announced he would be stepping down after the end of
his tenure as governor. There was no categorical statement detailing the
exact date of his departure. Gono is not above introducing melodrama into
his job. He seems to love to build up the tension, before going for the

As the guardian of the tattered monetary policies of the government, he
bears much responsibility for the parlous state of the economy. Critics have
attacked him severely for politicising the post. He has denied the

He was always close to Mugabe, even as chief executive officer of the partly
government- owned Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ).

It was inevitable that questions would be raised about his independence from
the president when he became RBZ governor. How far would he obey his master's
voice without question?

There was suspicion among cabinet ministers that he could be classified as a
"senior cabinet minister". His responsibilities, they alleged, seemed to
include the supervision of all ministries.

Some hoped fervently he would slip on a huge banana skin, the way another
young, ambitious politician did a few years earlier.

Jonathan Moyo was the minister of state for information when the government
introduced the heinously anti-democratic Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

He left the government in a thick cloud of acrimony after allegations
surfaced he had tried to plot a "smart" coup against Mugabe.

Yet in his early days as RBZ governor, Gono seemed ready to chart a path
towards conventional monetary policies. He was not as unilaterally opposed
to devaluation as he later turned out to be.

Initially, he seemed ready to continue where his predecessor, Tsumba, had
left off.

Later, he embraced Mugabe's acceptance of quackish, unorthodox policies,
including the random printing of currency and the amazing addition of zeros,
seemingly at the drop of the slightest hint of a "problem" from Mugabe.

It is by no means certain that the economic crisis which has terrorized the
country since 2000 was not triggered by the virtual halt of agricultural
production, but by Gono's love-hate relationship with the zeros.

There were always rumours of Gono preparing for a political sunny day for
himself. These included more luxury houses and cars than he apparently could
afford on his salary, even as high as it was said to be.

No, it turned out, he didn't own a Mercedes Benz Brabus monster, one of the
most powerful and expensive cars in the world.

Yes, he did own a V12  engine vehicle from the same German stable.. It was
one of only three or four in Zimbabwe . It was a luxury car, but not a

Gono made many enemies, a few of them driven by envy and jealousy. Many
others doubted that he was capable, mentally, of tackling the country's
monetary crisis, apart from stop-gap measures and an open pandering to the
political whims of Zanu PF.

Most experts who rate hero status after people depart from their jobs praise
them for leaving the place "better than they found it".

Few will be persuaded to pay Gono that glowing tribute after he has
departed, whenever that may be.

Among African central bank governors, only South Africa 's Tito Mboweni can
equal Gono in familiarity among ordinary African newspaper readers, radio
listeners and TV viewers.

Nigerians probably know more about Gono than they do about their own federal
central bank chief.

Some of his most implacable critics allege Gono set out to achieve maximum
publicity for the sole purpose of advancing his political career. To those
claiming to know his personality inside-out, this is a weird theory.

He may, occasionally, display all the signs of craving .a Hollywood film
star image, but there is said to be a deep-seated shyness in him, probably
buried deep in his childhood.

But does a bashful person find the possession of a V12 engine vehicle
consistent with his pint-size ego?

Gono has always seemed to find some of the causes for his unpopularity
unjustified. For instance, he has said his wealth is not something that
people should be amazed at. He was paid handsomely as head of CBZ. Then,
there were the perks, which included a luxury car of his own choice.

Similarly, his CEO houses could not have been your garden-variety
three-bedroom dormitories. His qualifications and experience will always
call for a high salary undreamed of perks.

Unfortunately for him, he was sucked into a system, created by Zanu PF,
which decrees that the achievement of power must be rewarded lavishly. The
reward does not necessarily have to match the

performance. Zanu PF scoffs at the entire concept of performance-related
rewards, although one cabinet minister spoke of this as a glowing example to
be emulated by all.

In the March elections, which both Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF lost
resoundingly, it was the performance of the contestants which determined the

People, long fed falsehoods by the state media, woke up to the reality of
their miserable status as victims of one of the most wicked confidence
tricks in the world.

A government, a party and the whole paraphernalia of the state, including
the state economic sector, had for years underperformed, giving the people
only half-baked products for their hard-earned taxpayers' cash.

At the election, the people rejected the whole mess, but were paid back in
death and threats of destruction. But the change must be made, regardless of
all this.

Those underperformers must know that this time around they will not get away
with anything they didn't work hard for.

Gono must know it is time to leave and let someone with somewhat modest
tastes try their luck.

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Zimbabwe Economic recovery and Ministry of home affairs

Monday, 03 November 2008 21:02 Gilbert Muponda

There is a causal link between Zimbabwe's economic melt-down and the
breakdown of the rule of law .The Ministry of Home Affairs has to be under
untainted hands if the economy is to attract investors and increase
production. ZANU-PF maintains that the real cause of the economic meltdown
is the sanctions regime under which the country has been left with no choice
but to resort to unorthodox economic and political methods.
It is my contention that a link clearly exist between economic performance
and the respect of the rule of law. The imposition of the will of the former
ruling party on the country has taken many forms including the passage of
laws that promote and entrench partisanship and the use of state power to
interfere with the bill of rights enshrined in the constitution of the
country. This has resulted in widespread violation of private property
rights which is the cornerstone of any market based economy. Through-out
human history there has never been a lawless society that has economically
succeeded. Its unlikely Zimbabwe will be the first one to succeed in an
environment characterized by property and human rights being non-existent
.Lawlessness breeds poverty and unstable economic environment.

The separation of powers doctrine, a fundamental requirement in any
constitutional democracy, is no longer applied in contemporary Zimbabwe. The
selective use of the law to punish and reward targeted persons undermines
the rule of law, which reduces investment in the economy. The shocking
breakdown of the rule of law has had its own adverse effects on economic

The break down of the rule of law was particularly apparent in the
destruction of the Agricultural sector which led to Wide spread disruptions
on Agricultural production. Whilst land reform was absolutely necessary its
implementation accompanied by law breaking and court orders being ignored
and the Ministry of Home affairs mostly doing nothing exacerbated the
economic decline. Confidence building critical to attract investment and
restore Economic growth .There is need for new investment to increase
production and tame Zimbabwe's record setting hyper-inflation.

Law and order is a basic requirement of any functioning modern society.
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Home affairs which has the responsibility of
maintaining law and order has done such a bad job that the former ruling
party cannot and should not be entrusted with this critical ministry if
Zimbabwe is going to re-join the international community and regain lost
glory due to the reputation acquired by due to the failure of this ministry
to uphold the law.

From around year 2000, Economic slide was accompanied by the break down of
the rule of law starting with invading productive farms most of which had
not even been gazzetted .And during that period Company invasions increased.
During that period Company invasions increased this led to the resignation
of the then Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Nkosana Moyo It was clear
then that without rule of law there won't be any economic prosperity and
it's clear now that the Ministry needs fresh ideas and focus and direction
and it has to be made aware of the critical role it will play in Zimbabwe's
Economic recovery by creating conducive business environment by fair
application of the rule of law.

Foreign Direct investment will not increase if there is no rule of
law.Foreign aid which has been critical in various sectors is unlikely to
come if there is no culture reform and a serious attempt to rebuild
confidence in the law enforcement agencies which are part of the Ministry of
Home Affairs.

Brain drain has resulted in massive loss of skill and experience .Its
unlikely this will be reversed if the conditions that have been allowed to
make Zimbabwe very hostile to skilled and experienced employees are not

Capital flight will continue as long as there is perception of lawlessness
and selective application of the law. This means the Ministry of home
affairs needs a culture change and has to be under a different party to
manage that change and improve perception that the law will be applied

During the stage managed anti-graft campaign of 2003-4, the Ministry of Home
affairs through the Zimbabwe Republic Police (an institution whose
credibility is in tatters) facilitated and enabled a massive wealth transfer
with several business people either arrested, threatened with arrest or
haunted out of the country .Whilst this was hailed at the time it had a
negative impact on the Economy, investor confidence and caused brain drain
and partially reversed economic gains.

The ministry of Home affairs through ZRP instead of investigating first,
they proceeded to arrest so as to investigate .Whilst these arrests were
going on a record number of businesses changed hands under controversial
circumstances .Such events affect investor sentiment and confidence .Below
is the partial list of the Businesses that changed hands courtesy of the
Ministry of Home affairs.

1- Royal BANK from J.Muzwimbi to Government of Zimbabwe
2 - Barbican Bank Dr M.Ncube to Government of Zimbabwe
3 - Trust Bank
4 - Shabanie Mashaba Mines from ARL to Government of Zimbabwe
5 -Kondozi Farm
6- Century Bank Holdings from ENG Capital to RBZ Governor, Dr Gono
and Mr. Sean Maloney
7 -First Mutual Life
8 - CFI Holdings
9 - Intermarket Holdings from Transnational Holdings to Government
owned ZB Holdings
10 - Zimre Holdings

This made global news headlines, whilst it seemed normal, it wasn't in that
it highlighted the lack of uniformity in application of the law.This
generally fed into the perception that it's risky to invest in Zimbabwe
because there is no rule of law. And to change this perception it's
imperative that the law enforcement function be reformed and be under an
untainted custodian.

++Gilbert Muponda is a Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur. This article appears
courtesy of GMRI Capital. He can be contacted at gilbert@gmricapital.comThis
e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled
to view it . More articles at

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Bridging the gap between land ownership and economic progress

By Mutumwa D. Mawere
Posted to the web: 04/11/2008 01:47:22
AS WE search for the causes of Africa's present condition, we have to accept
that the complex interplay between ideology, populist and antagonistic
politics, bad economics, corruption; knowledge, capital and execution gaps
have all contributed to place the continent at the bottom of the human
development ladder.

Land ownership is an issue of burning concern to many Africans. The issue is
not only emotional but has been opportunistically used by politicians to
cling to power. The colonial experience has regrettably shaped and largely
distorted issues related to land ownership to the extent that post-colonial
Africa is incapable of looking forward and investing in a land tenure system
that can facilitate production efficiency and effectiveness.

Who does the land in Africa belong to? How should the land be owned? What
rights to land should be conferred on the holder? Should land be treated
like other assets in terms of negotiability and transferability?

There are many people irrespective of their station in life or education who
subscribe to the proposition that land in Africa should be reserved to black
people notwithstanding the implications on land value in a market that is
structured on racial and not economic grounds.

To the extent that the colonial state appropriated land on racial grounds,
it has not been possible in post-colonial Africa to escape from dealing with
land reform outside the prism of race. The argument used during the colonial
era, which has been inherited with minor variations, is that blacks by
nature and practice are subsistence farmers and, therefore, could not have
been prejudiced by the transfer of land to settlers who were predominantly
commercial farmers.

After all, it is then asserted that the land so appropriated was not being
used for economic purposes. Accordingly, using this line of thinking it
could not argued rationally that the emergence of white commercial farming
impacted negatively on black farm output.

Generally a commercial farmer has a different relationship to land than a
subsistence farmer. In approaching the politically-charged issue of land
reform, the majority of African elites that took over control of the
post-colonial state have taken a view that the nationalisation of land and
its subsequent transfer to landless peasants will in and out of itself lead
to economic progress.

The colonial state was framed as a capitalist business model under which
race became the first qualification for full market participation. With
capitalism in retreat following the global financial crisis and socialism
having been discredited as an ideology that can advance human progress, we
should all be searching for a new kind of ideology that can help address
African issues.

Against a backdrop of global system in turmoil, it would be convenient for
African leaders to ignore the communiqué entitled: "Decision on Major Issues
Concerning the Advancement of Rural Reform and Development" released by the
Central Committee of China's ruling Communist party on October 19, 2008.

This landmark decision comes 30 years after the launch of economic reforms
that have dramatically changed the condition of China. In December 1978,
under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese people invested in change
and accepted that socialism had failed to deliver on the promise.

China experimented with communism and the results were not encouraging. For
many Africans, the Chinese case study is more relevant, least because it has
been traditional for African leaders in post-colonial Africa to flirt with
socialism, in the search of a viable and appropriate economic model.

The recent reforms are meant to usher China into the next stage of its
evolution into a fully functioning capitalist system. Thirty years ago, the
Communist party liberated peasant farmers from collectivised farming imposed
by Chairman Mao Zedong's administration by allowing them to farm their plots
for a profit.

However, the land remained under the ownership of the state with farmers
being entitled to 30-year renewable leases. Like many African leaders, the
Communist party under Chairman Mao was afraid of giving freehold title to
citizens and trusted the state as a custodian of land.

After 30 years of experimenting with Adam Smith's principles, the reforms
have produced largely urban-based millionaires while condemning the rural
folk to poverty. The obstacles preventing farmers from exchanging their land
and building through consolidation viable land units for enhanced production
have now been accepted as being responsible for suppressing productivity,
incomes, and social mobility in the rural areas.

Even the Chinese communist party has now accepted that removing the
obstacles would be a huge boost to the economy. At a time when the global
capitalist financial architecture is being attacked, the Chinese have no
intention of reversing the gains of economic reform and realise that
introducing a proper market in agricultural land would go a long way towards
reducing one of the remaining sources of social tensions and insecurity in
the country.

Any system that captures the human spirit is likely to succeed. In the urban
areas, the Chinese leaders understood that without conferring a bundle of
property rights in relation to housing to citizens, it was unlikely that
industrial development could have taken place. A decade ago, the housing
market was privatised notwithstanding the fact that ownership of urban land
is vested in the state. Citizens are permitted to trade on long leases.

The new Chinese plan will allow farmers to lease their contracted farmland
or transfer their land use rights. There is also discussion of increasing
the lease period beyond the current 30 years.

The discovery from experience by the Chinese leadership that there is a
direct link between land tenure system and farm efficiency and productivity
was inevitable but what is regrettable is that it has taken 30 years for it
to be implemented, albeit, on a limited basis as farmers are still not
allowed to mortgage their houses and land.

Will Africa learn from the Chinese experiences and avoid the costly mistakes
of experimenting with ideologies that fail to capture the human spirit?

Mutumwa Mawere's weekly column is published on New every
Monday. You can contact him at:

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We lack responsibility and accountability

November 3, 2008

I HAVE never believed the GNU accord could take our country from the
precipice, and it's even clear the pact precariously rests on political
quicksand. But even if the political hurdles we face today were to be
overcome, do we have the knack to bring life back to our depleted economy?

The concoction of reckless measures applied for years by the scavengers who
have stripped our nation of its economic flesh to the skeleton that it is
now, are just not a panacea. They only serve to worsen it further into a
quagmire. A financial system that is in a hyper-inflationary climate like
ours badly needs shock therapy. Where is free enterprise when business
owners are hunted down like snakes and arm-twisted to roll back prices to
previous levels and trade at a loss? Our finance ministers had constantly
rumbled about economic turnaround.

How do you achieve such a feat where even the supply side is hardly active?

If it were not for the ill-planned and disastrous agrarian reforms,
production on farms would have kept factories running and export earnings
would have provided the hard currency needed for massive inputs. There is
rare emphasis on economic stimulus packages and efforts to bolster economic
growth. It never ceases to amaze when bad policies are created to promote
black market arbitrage then all of a sudden the shortage of fuel, household
goods and other vital commodities is blamed on 'economic saboteurs'. It's
the usual half truths, nonsense!

I don't see any wisdom in fanning hatred for international donors and
investors, which rabid Zanu-PF pit bulls continue at their own careless
volition. Does anyone in Mugabe's camp understand that economics and
politics are not mutually exclusive? Zimbabwe frantically needs to be a
magnet for foreign financiers for it to recapture its former status of being
the bread basket of the region and stand proud on the world arena of
interconnected economies

Our monetary authority too strangely believes in playing poker with the
financial system. Gideon "Mickey Mouse" Gono would simply wave his magic
wand to mop up the ever swelling zero digits on our worthless money as a
tool to fight the world record inflation. My heavens! When there happens to
be cash shortages he would just point fingers at the cash barons and
disloyal business people who are externalizing hard cash.

But are these mysterious cash hoarders not his Zanu-PF associates? One would
not be wrong to think that Gono is actually the linchpin in this whole
circus about our paltry foreign reserves being unscrupulously carted away
and stashed to accumulate in Swiss banks.

So the record speaks for itself. Such an ostrich-type of approach to the
economy is complete buffoonery. Our country has ample potential to regain
life. We have enough resources. What we lack though is a responsible and
accountable administration, not shady unity political treaties. Unlike
Zanu-PF, a new regime ought to be realistic on policy; there is no magic
bullet, it's a no-brainer!

Justice Zhou,

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JAG open letter forum - No. 580 - Dated 3 November 2008


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1.  Cathy Buckle - Of sausage flies and absurdity, 1st November 2008

Dear JAG,

Watching the tragic events in the Congo over the last few days and seeing
diplomats flying in from all over the world to try and help, makes me feel
ashamed to be a Zimbabwean. When all of Africa's attention should be focused
on the DRC, here were are messing around in Zimbabwe still calling on SADC
to convene special meetings which may, or (more likely) may not, force the
winner of Zimbabwe's March elections to share power with the loser.

Another week has brought another stalemate for Zimbabwe - no relief for
ordinary people, no political progress, no change. The SADC Troika learnt,
and apparently admitted, that the power sharing agreement of September 15th
had been tampered with and was different from the one initially signed on
September 11. Why it's taken six weeks for this information to be exposed
and confirmed by SADC is a mystery but it does not bode well for Zimbabwe.
Then, instead of throwing out the whole process and demanding that the
people's voice of March 29th be respected, the SADC Troika told us that a
full SADC meeting is to be held to talk about what to do next. It's all
become so absurd that it's embarrassing to have to keep writing about it.

Everything about life in Zimbabwe has been reduced to the most absurd
levels. Imagine having to queue for up to 5 hours to withdraw your own money
out of the bank. Imagine arriving at the bank queue, as in my home town this
week, to find that there are two queues, one for Police, Army and Youth
Militia, and one for everyone else. Imagine having to queue for two days to
draw out enough money to buy just one single loaf of bread. Imagine a young,
single mother being unable to get enough of her own money out of the bank to
buy milk and eggs for her sick baby who desperately needs high protein food.

Imagine people in rural villages being forced to eat beetles and leaves -
not by choice but to stay alive. Imagine having just days left in which to
get a life saving crop planted in the ground but still they talk and don't
act. These are all the tragic, absurd realities of everyday life in Zimbabwe
but there are a couple of beautiful ones too.

Imagine a 46 cm high Purple Crested Lourie with magnificent crimson wings
bathing in 5 cm of water in a hot Zimbabwe birdbath. Imagine an insect being
called a Sausage Fly! It's that time of year when these big headed, fat
bodied, shiny brown ants fly in clumsy, dizzying circles to the lights at
night. The story goes that when you see a Sausage Fly the rain is three days
away. It's not coming true this year as still the rain hasn't come and the
sun burns down upon us. One day this week it was 32 degrees Centigrade in
the house at midday and 56 in the sun outside - almost too absurd to be

One last absurd thought comes to mind this week. You have to wonder what
would happen if Barack Obama and John McCain were told they had to share
power? Until next week, thanks for reading and thanks to my webmaster for
taking over the burden of sending out of this letter.

With love, cathy.
2. Eddie Cross - Fiddling while Rome Burns

Dear JAG,

In the past two weeks the Zimbabwe economy has seen two really significant
developments. The first is the total collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar and the
second is the sharp deterioration in basic food supplies.

On Tuesday a local banker told me that the cost of money transactions in
Zimbabwe dollars now exceeded the value of their transactions. Simply put
that means if you are trading or shifting money in the form of the Zimbabwe
domestic currency, you will be losing money even if you are charging
interest and other charges related to the transactions that are involved.

So business here is now only possible if you work in a hard currency  the
Rand or the US Dollar. This creates two other problems  how to obtain the
hard currency in the first place and then, once you have the money, to use
it without breaking the law which still prohibits such transactions.

For a small fortune you can secure a license to operate in hard currency but
even then the operating conditions are nearly impossible. So the reality is
that most businesses have closed their doors or are now operating on a care
and maintenance basis until better days  whenever that will be.

In the rural areas the position is even worse and people are now operating a
barter economy or relying on the small remittances that come in from
relatives in the Diaspora. If you cannot use either system, you are facing

Humanitarian agencies have full warehouses but cannot get the food to the
people who need it. The reasons are that the agencies cannot access cash for
their operations  hard currency transactions are still illegal and the cash
withdrawal limits and other restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank are
making local payments impossible  they cannot pay for hotels or staff
salaries and cannot pay transporters to take the food to where it is needed.

But it goes beyond this, at the start of the year it was estimated that we
needed 1,8 million tonnes of maize. Of this total the humanitarian agencies
said they would try to supply 400 000 tonnes. The Zimbabwe government
estimated maize production at 600 000 tonnes and that left a shortfall of
800 000 tonnes for importation.

So far all we can find evidence of are contracts for a total of 175 000
tonnes and even this meagre import programme seems to have spluttered to a
halt. That leaves a total shortfall of 625 000 tonnes  possibly 800 000
tonnes because it is most unlikely that local production was 600 000 tonnes
most commentators say 425 000 tonnes.

This means that the shortfall is still probably 50 per cent of consumption
and we still have 5 months to go to the end of the forecast supply period
(April 2008 to March 2009). In October the donors fed 2 million people at
the level of 15 kilograms of cereals a month per capita. In November they
expect to go to 3,5 million people at a reduced rate of 10 kilos of cereals
per capita. They plan to go to 5,5 million in January 2009 but at present
they do not have the money or the supplies for that programme.

Remember that this is just the donor community completing what they
committed themselves to at the start of the year and does not in any way
alleviate the shortage in commercial supplies from the GMB. Therefore we can
deduct from this in the absence of any information from official sources
that food supplies are now down to critical levels.

If this is not addressed and soon, widespread starvation and deaths are now

Perhaps the worst aspect of this is that the State has not admitted there is
a problem and that they need help. No appeal has been made for help and no
response is forthcoming from the authorities who have been approached to
help rectify the problems with payments and the need to appeal for resources
to help meet the needs in early 2009.

But the crisis goes beyond these basic problems  there is growing evidence
that the Reserve Bank has used its power to loot the hard currency accounts
in the banking system for its own purposes. This includes the accounts of
the UN system and has led to a suspension of future transfers that will
affect the tens of thousands of people with HIV/Aids who are on UN funded

If that was not bad enough, the Junta is running a programme called
³Champion Farmers². These are all those individuals in Zanu PF who have
access to farming property, to draw on State funded inputs (fuel, seed,
fertilizer and chemicals as well as farm equipment) to grow crops this
summer. In a rush to take advantage of these offers (partially funded by a
grant of R300 million from the South African government) Zanu PF thugs are
harassing remaining commercial farmers and driving them off the land.

This whole programme is illegal and has been the subject of a lengthy appeal
to the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek. The Tribunal has already ruled in favour
of the farmers and is expected to knock the whole land reform exercise down
at the end of November. That does not make any impression on these thugs and

This exercise includes a deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank and the
Commissioner of Police. They are taking over farms where the commercial
farmers have prepared land and secured some inputs and the new occupiers are
then simply picking up where they left off and planting crops on land that
does not belong to them using equipment looted from their owners.

All stocks of seed and fertilizer and all agricultural fuel is going to this
programme leaving small scale farmers and 700 000 peasant farmers without
these essential supplies. The result, tobacco plantings are down 50 per cent
and cereal production is likely to fall below the level achieved last year.

So the suffering of the majority continues  ordinary men and women, children
and the elderly without food and opportunity (95 per cent of teachers are
not at work) and more particularly, without hope. The region has not even
announced the date of the SADC/AU summit due in less than 10 days.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 1st November 2008
3. Mark Milbank

Dear JAG,

Many years ago in Kenya, my great uncle fell out with his farming partner.
They called in a mutual friend to decide how the farm, that they jointly
owned, should be split.

The friend decreed that one partner should draw a line on the map of the
farm dividing it roughly in two and the other partner would then have the
right to choose which half he wanted.  It worked.

Could not the current deadlock between ZANU [PF] and MDC be sorted out in a
similar fashion?  Mugabe could divide the ministries up as to what he thinks
would be a fair distribution and Tsvangarai chooses which division he
wants.  Or the other way round.   Perhaps you could suggest it to them!

Mark Milbank
4.  Stu Taylor

Dear JAG,

Without an effective government since around the year 2000 and having NO
government since March, I think the people of Zimbabwe are doing pretty well
at trying to sort themselves out on their own.

For those companies entitled to "dollarise" - I mean NOT Zimkwacha-dollars,
but the genuine Western green stuff - they've shown a certain amount of
innovativeness; some have done their homework, yet others, in a passion of
greed, have gone totally overboard with their pricing and will not stay
afloat for very long, as they seem to be out to just make a quick buck.

I priced a non-return valve in Harare, for instance, at 31 proper dollars -
in my rural village (it USED to be a town) the same thing was 13. Where do
these guys draw the line?

While we're on about it, the incoming minister of finance may be interested
to know that the people could show him/her a thing or two about the

The sooner Mugabe is out of the loop, the closer we will be to taking our
rightful place in the world - doesn't he KNOW that he lost an election, so
is not really entitled to call any shots?

Be good - Stu Taylor.
5. Ommoder

Dear JAG,

I read that about 3500 security forces especially junior officers have left
their jobs since August 08. If they all did that the woes in Zimbabwe would
be over within one week. Because the junta could not threaten, any longer,
people with taking over for good. I wonder what the still obeying
forces have to lose: Bad work conditions? Bad payment? Bad conscious? Bad
state of health?  Senior officers who live on their expenses?  Lust of doing
crimes? Neglecting their duties, for which they have engaged themselves
once? The shortest life experience in the world? They all are fathers,
brothers, sons and spouses of suffering Zimbabweans. How are they looking
into the eyes of their own people? How do they answer questions about what
they are doing? How do they sleep at night? What are they expecting from the
future? Are their children going to schools, when teachers are on strike for
their dear lives? Are their relatives finding food in the shops? Do they not
queue before the bank tellers? Do they feel good beating and abusing
innocent people? Where is their human dignity?

All change for the better could be in their hands, they just have to leave a
workplace which is not worthwhile. They could be the heroes of their people.
The ones who have left already will be the first to be hired again in
future, when the big change comes about, not the stubborn fulfillers to the
dire end.

6. Munyaradzi Chingosho

Dear JAG,

I have been following the Zim news with a heavy heart. Every day it seems we
are sinking lower and lower. In rural areas people are eating roots and
leaves to survive, people are going without a proper meal for days. In urban
areas people are being beaten up and arrested everyday.  People are
disappearing and being killed. People are earning salaries not enough to buy
a bottle of cooking oil. White people are being persecuted on their farms.
Whilst I believe the land imbalances need to be redressed, it's not right to
evict someone because of their skin colour. They are humans just like us.
There is enough land for everyone; after all we are all Zimbabweans. People
are dying everyday because there is no medicine in hospitals. The list is
endless. In simple words Zimbabweans are suffering!! When I really think
about it, it really hurts me to core when i recall how Zimbabwe was like
before 2000.

For how long should this madness continue? For how long is the ordinary man
going to suffer whilst ZANU refuses to let go of power? For how long is
Zimbabwe going to keep collapsing? Very soon we will be poor like Burkina
7. Andrew Quick

Dear JAG,

I read with interest the letters and article that appear on the Zimbabwe
News sites.  I follow the developments there daily, and am fascinated with
the rapidity of the decline of the Zim dollar.  I thought the following
calculation may add a touch of dark humour to things. Apologies in advance
for any miscalculations, and hope that there is space to add it to your

The web placed the current value of the Zim dollar at 5 billion to the US
(bank rate).  Considering that the currency has been revalued twice, you
have to add 13 zero's after this.  That is a staggering 50 to the power of
21, or 50 sextillion dollars to the US dollar, in "old" currency.  The
average thickness of a bank note is approximately 0.1 mm thick.  The
question is then, how high would the stack of notes be to buy one US dollar?
If you used 50 dollar notes (the most common of the larger denominations in
stable economies), then the stack would be 1 to the power of twenty mm high.
Convert that to kilometers, then the stack would be one to the power of 14
km high, or 100 trillion kilometers high!!  Considering that the sun is
approximately 153 million km from Earth, the stack of 50 dollar bills would
reach the sun and back 700 000 times!!  Eish!

Andrew Quick
New Zealand.
8. Eli Nleya

Dear JAG,

I total agree with The imp letter no.8 {28/10/2008]. As of today the R100
goes for 300billion !!!!!!!!!.

By now weighing less by 40kgs.

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of
the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for

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