Daily News - leader page
Journalists must not be ensnared into
11/6/02 8:33:55 AM (GMT +2)
free flow of ideas, free association and, perhaps even most
freedom of the Press rank among the most important tenets
In the past two years, or since the coming onto the
political scene of
the MDC, freedom of the Press has been on the public and
with the systematic clampdown on the private Press by the
reaching alarming levels.
From deportations of
foreign correspondents to the throwing into cells
and brutal beating-up of
local journalists, which led to the resignation of
a young photojournalist,
the ruling Zanu PF party has made the suppression
of the private Press its
Not only that. Civil liberties have been curtailed - all
in efforts to
supposedly stifle free thought and control minds, as if that
But then, these have been the main themes in public
discussions be they
formal as convened by academics, or informal as citizens
chat in commuter
omnibuses or pubs for so long a time the mind has been
burdened with these
Amid such challenges not only
for the media practitioners but also
importantly for news consumers,
solutions toward the reversal of the
oppressive policies have to be sought
such that the citizens become equal to
the task as set before them by the
Could then the decision by the journalists from the
private media to
register themselves as required by the government under some
law be setting themselves up for worse things to come? Could we
reading a headline that reads something like Hoisted by their own
First, it could be argued that putting their names on the
as set out by the government could mean unwittingly placing
the spell of the government which, of course, does as it
deems fit anyway.
It would then refer anybody objecting to its police state
behaviour to these
laws enacted by Parliament, therefore, representative of
the interests of
the people of Zimbabwe. See, the journalists
And not only that, but also the very fact that the
signed up would be playing into the hands of Zanu PF as it
would pass for
the endorsement of the Access to Information and Protection of
never mind it has been roundly condemned by all fair-thinking
But then one would like to believe that the decision to register
was entered into with the full realisation of these
This would then mean contingency plans have already
been set up in
preparation for the duel to the death. And this, as has been
seen with the
journalist grouping of practitioners from the private Press,
would come in
the form of taking the government to court, and, among other
challenging the law's constitutionality. Yet this could bring to
complacency in the manner which this fight is being
When has the ruling party ever shown regard and respect
for the law of
the land, what with complaints that Zimbabwe is now a rogue
state that has
politicised the whole Bench? What chances do journalists have
in court? And
because many more Zimbabweans have lost faith in seeking
the courts, especially in cases where Zanu PF is mentioned
in the court
papers, what would make the journalists fight triumphant when
their case is
heard in this wretched country?
What makes their
task even more herculean is the very fact that
journalists from the private
papers have been labelled agents who have been
enlisted by external forces
with a mission to topple the government, never
mind that this is some
far-fetched fancy plot borrowed from some Cold War
It is unfortunate that this decision to register and
themselves as required by the new law was taken amid calls by some
the media but equally concerned citizens to ignore such a
Could then this have been done just to make it known
that it is the
journalists themselves who will to decide their own fate, not
bearing some grudge with the ruling party? Was it a case of
somebody else with the journalists effectively saying: "No, we
are not going
to fight your fight"?
But then the truth is that
this is not one particular profession's
fight, but that of every concerned
citizen. Thus it has been said that what
has made many struggles against the
ruling party here fail is because the
ordinary citizen has been left out in
This is essentially a fight of the government against the
this country. It is in the public interest that news is gathered in
first place. Therefore, any assault on the freedoms of the journalists is
assault on all citizens of the State with an interest in the free flow
While counsel has been given to the opposition
MDC about how it has
failed in its attempts to win elections through the
courts such that it has
to seek more effective strategies for change, could
not the Press unions
here have learnt from the same, seeing that the
opposition has waited ages
as their court challenges for the flawed 2000
parliamentary election are
still to be resolved by the courts? Could the
journalists have ignored all
this as far as trusting the courts to rule in
their favour is concerned?
Surely Zimbabweans have to exhibit
traits that dispel any notion that
they are a naive bunch.
what options are there for the journalists amid such challenges?
only sensible thing would be to ignore such pseudo-legal edicts as
including the journalists themselves, have advised the MDC. After all,
are not very many differences in their struggle. In the final
must be realised that the ruling party will not incarcerate all
from the private Press for operating without due licensing or
They could call their bluff. But then it is possible that the
that with the ruling party there is no time for bluffs and
The party always keeps its word. That is how feared the
ruling party has
become, even by journalists!
In any political struggle, being
thrown into filthy cells for a number
of days and released is one of the
strategies ruling parties employ to break
the spirit of activists. And
because a good number of scribes have had many
blind dates with hardened
criminals, it perhaps reminded them that they were
not ready yet to make more
calls to those filthy cells. But that is victory
for the ruling party. We
wait eagerly to see how this fight will go, but
then no bookmaker would be
hard pressed to predict it. The outcome seems too
Government delists dairy farms
8:29:33 AM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming
THE government has allegedly delisted a number of dairy
initially earmarked for compulsory acquisition, apparently in order
reduce the nationwide milk shortage.
The country is facing
milk shortages because some farmers have stopped
producing due to
uncertainties and disturbances caused by the land reform
others have quit because of a viability crisis crippling
Most retail outlets have for the past few weeks
supplies of fresh milk.
sterilised and powdered milk have also become common.
A Mazowe dairy
farmer who declined to be named said: "My farm was
listed last year but this
year removed off the list after orders from
President Mugabe who said dairy
farms should not be acquired."
Contacted for details, National
Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF)
chairman Stoff Hawgood said: "I am
unaware of some dairy farms being
delisted. If their farms were delisted,
then that is positive news."
There is, however a suggestion from
the farming sector that some of
the farmers paid the government and Zanu PF
officials managing the land
affairs in their districts in order to have their
Hawgood said the NADF was engaged in discussions
officials to have dairy farms delisted to avoid severe milk
shortages in the
He said: "We understand that there is
a position by the government of
not wanting to affect milk production. With
this farming season approaching,
we hope we are going to be given the green
light to produce milk without
About 90 percent of
milk in the country is produced by large-scale
commercial farmers, most of
whom have been issued with eviction notices.
While there are claims that some
farms were being delisted, some large-scale
milk producers issued with
eviction notices have stopped producing milk.
About 169 farmers,
out of a total of 310 large-scale commercial dairy
producers have been issued
with eviction notices. Others, facing operational
problems because of
shortages of stockfeed, have been destocking or stopped
Paul Goodwin and Willie Robinson, both dairy farmers in
are now living in town after they were evicted from their
Another farmer, David Robinson, was also evicted from his Norton
Hawgood said: "It is true that there are problems in
the dairy sector,
but no farmer was evicted recently. The few farmers who
have stopped farming
were evicted in March 2002 soon after the 9-11 March
under different circumstances."
Zimbabwe Limited said last month that about five commercial
producers of milk
had stopped farming between January and September this
Hawgood said some farmers were however failing to graze their animals
pastures had been occupied by settlers.
Production is negatively
affected when a cow does not have enough
grazing. Milk production has been
affected by the land reform programme. In
1992-1994 period, the country
produced 240 million litres of milk. Two years
ago production was 180 million
litres, while last year farmers produced 168
This year, production is expected to go down to 140 million litres.
demand is estimated at 13 million litres a day against a supply of 10
Daily News - letter
MDC needs bold leaders to save it from
11/6/02 8:15:59 AM (GMT +2)
parliamentary election in 2000, it is hard to believe that
we are still at
the same stage, if not worse off. A lot has been said about
the way forward
and Morgan Tsvangirai has said several times that the MDC
has a master plan
to counter the continuing violation of human rights by the
Deadlines were at one point put in place and it is now time
party to inform the people of its achievements since the election. It
view that while the situation remains as it is, more people will
be killed without any protest and more elections will be rigged
only reaction being court challenges and a natural death for the
The liberation struggle in the 1970s succeeded because of
replacement of ineffective leadership. For the progress of the MDC,
current leadership must take responsibility for failing to organise
effective challenge to Zanu PF and resign so they can seek a new
How can one preach peace when there is no peace?
Tsvangirai and the entire leadership have fallen into Mugabe's trap.
time there is a rumour of a protest qualified information is sent to
by the "informers" in government about how Mugabe will react
state of emergency and arresting people.
What the MDC leadership is
failing to understand is that we are
already in a state of emergency because
there is imprisonment without trial
People should start
to think about people to take control of the MDC
The independent Press must begin to scrutinise the MDC
this is the only way we can achieve results.
Fast-track land programme way off target
11/6/02 8:18:08 AM (GMT +2)
beneficiaries have complained that some
government officials ask for bribes
and other favours in return for a
recommendation of their
Among the initial goals of the land reform programme
in Zimbabwe was
the resettlement of people from densely populated communal
rural areas to
newly acquired farmland.
However, in the rush to
implement the government's fast-track land
reform programme, this has not
happened, say analysts and the would-be
beneficiaries of land reform. They
also point to signs that cronyism has
John Chirova, 55, seems a bitter man. Chirova comes
District in the sprawling Mashonaland Province, a region
renowned for its
But instead of busying himself with the
acquisition of agricultural
inputs during the pre-planting season, Chirova
spends most of his time at
Nzvimbo Growth Point in Chiweshe, on the lookout
for anyone who can buy him
the opaque beer popularly known as
"For the past two years, we have been battling to get plots
with no success. Here in Chiweshe we are still packed like
Nothing has changed whatsoever," Chirova said.
recounted how he was forced to give part of his already tiny plot
to both his
married and unemployed sons.
For Chirova and thousands like him,
the fast-track land reform
programme represents shattered hope.
Analysts say there exists ample evidence to prove that the broad
President Mugabe's government to "achieve optimal utilisation
of land and
natural resources and to promote equitable access to land to all
was far from being achieved.
Despite Mugabe's statement last July
that decongestion of communal
areas had been achieved through the land
redistribution programme, analysts
and the intended beneficiaries of the
exercise say rural areas are still
considerable lack of decongestion in some areas," said
Professor Sam Moyo, a
Moyo believes the resettlement of people in rural
areas - where the
majority of Zimbabweans live - was being frustrated by the
manner in which
land was currently being redistributed.
farmers under the commercial farming A2 model have excessive
pieces of land,
with some of them owning two to three farms each. This
obviously tends to
limit decongestion," Moyo said.
A Cabinet minister who recently
visited Mashonaland Central's Mount
Darwin District also voiced her concern
about the lack of resettlement in
"There was chaotic
allocation of land in the district with the council
waiting list not being
followed," Olivia Muchena, the Minister of State for
Science and Technology
Development, was quoted as saying in a local daily
Mashonaland Central, also blessed with fertile soils, is home to more
million people. However, Elliot Manyika, the governor of the province
Minister of Gender, Youth and Employment Creation, admitted that only
15 000 people from the province have been resettled.
the deadline for the processing of the applications of
people wishing to be
resettled having passed two months ago.
In Chiweshe most homesteads
resemble tiny villages. Generations of
families share the plots of their
parents and grandparents. There are more
mouths to feed from the already low
yields from farm plots.
In areas like Padare, Kanyemba, Gweshe,
Howard, Mutsarara and
Panzvimbo, residential space is fast running out. As a
result, it is
becoming a familiar sight for homes to be sited on hills in the
Despite the Chiweshe people, who number more than
100 000, having
registered for resettlement, less than 1 000 have been
"I am sure the governor and the provincial land committee
something against the people of Chiweshe," Chirova mused.
Manyika acknowledged that no resettlement occurred in Chiweshe from
1980s when the government began land redistribution.
The area was
also overlooked during the second resettlement phase in
the 1990s. A similar
scenario to Chiweshe can be found in the other
Masvingo and the Midlands. The lack of a transparent
redistribution programme has been blamed on corruption.
member of the war veterans' association, Mike Moyo, said his
would carry out a land audit because of the numerous complaints
"We are extremely disturbed by the reports we are
decided to carry out an audit of how land is being distributed
people approached us, saying there are so many corrupt practices
allocation of land," Moyo said.
Moyo said the main
culprits were apparently provincial governors,
provincial administrators and
district administrators as well as the land
committees tasked with the
processing of applications and the allocation of
that most of the reports were received from people in
Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces.
would-be beneficiaries have complained that the government
officials ask for
bribes and other favours in return for a recommendation of
applications. In other cases, it was alleged that they favoured
relatives or supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party.
West's Banket area, concerns have been raised that Zanu
PF loyalists are
using their political influence to obtain farming plots for
some of whom are still going to school, under the communal
or A1 resettlement
John Mautsa, the director of the Indigenous Commercial
said: "We are aware of families being involved in the
scandal. However, the problem is difficult to stem because
some of the
culprits use different names."
Official figures put
the number of beneficiaries under the A1 model at
330 000, while 54 000 have
been approved under the A2 model.
When the fast-track programme
started, the government said it intended
to resettle more than a million
people over a three-year period.
The Minister of State for the Land
Reform Programme, Flora Buka,
played down allegations of corruption in the
land redistribution exercise.
"Concerning allegations of corruption in the
provincial land committees, I
do not have
evidence. I can't act on
the basis of speculation," said Buka.
However, she said her
ministry was doing an audit in the provinces and
investigations could follow.
Zimbabwe's élite cash in while economy crashes
Fields in HARARE
ON A Saturday stroll through Sam Levy's Shopping
Village in Harare, you'd
never believe that Zimbabwe was tottering under its
worst economic crisis
Couples sip iced coffee while
schoolchildren perform in an outdoor
gymnastics display. You can buy Estée
Lauder products in the pharmacy.
About 6.7 million Zimbabweans are
supposed to be starving, thanks to drought
and President Robert Mugabe's
repressive take on land, but that's got to be
in a country far removed from
the ciabatta haven of Mimi's café. Here, a
snack baguette or side salad costs
nearly 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars (about £13
at official exchange rates and a
quarter of the minimum monthly wage).
Customers - black and white - are
queuing for tables.
Four fashionably dressed young professionals chat
over the jazz music. "We'
re halloweening tonight," one man jokes. "Off to
the bank now -
There's talk about the just-ended water
polo season, but no mention of food
shortages or rising commuter bus fares,
problems that are plaguing most of
Zimbabwe's urban dwellers.
scene reflects a growing split in society, not between Mr
land-hungry faithful and the supporters of the opposition leader,
Tsvangirai, but between the rich and the poor.
At least 29
people have died so far of malnutrition in famine-hit Binga, in
Zimbabwe. In some rural areas, hungry villagers are reported to be
soil, but here in northern Harare, there's a consumer boom.
being built at a rate faster than anyone can remember. The
newspaper recently ran a feature on ruling party MP Phillip
18-bedroom home, complete with 15 garages.
Sam Levy's Shopping Village
has, since it was built in the early 1990s, been
an enclave for the monied
from Harare's plush northern suburbs.
The western-style stores here are a
far cry from the makeshift "tuckshops"
of the city's poor, high-density
suburbs. And of late, business has never
been so good, an assistant in one
home interiors shop confides. Furniture
here costs hundreds of thousands of
Zimbabwe dollars - and the suppliers can
't keep up with
"People are getting desperate," she says. "The economy could
crash in a
month. You have to buy while you can."
But there's more to
it than that. As anyone in Harare will tell you, foreign
exchange is the key
to the new wealth. There is a crippling scarcity of
pounds and US dollars on
the official market, but illegal foreign currency
is being traded at higher
and higher rates.
Growing numbers of people in urban areas are able to
get foreign currency,
thanks ironically to Mr Mugabe's economic stranglehold
on the country. At
least two million Zimbabweans have fled abroad to seek
mostly in South Africa and Britain. Zimbabweans in Britain
alone are sending
back £15 million a month, which is quickly exchanged on the
Last week, £10 fetched you at least Z$16,000 at the
unofficial rate. At the
official bank rate, you'd get just
Foreign currency is keeping many urban families going in food and
commodities. For those in the northern suburbs who can command
amounts - diplomats, exporter-businessmen, some white farmers - it
cost of living unbelievably cheap.
People "are living like
kings," Eddie Cross, economic adviser to the
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) told The Scotsman yesterday.
And while parallel-market foreign
currency trading was, he said,
contributing to the "strange things happening
in Zimbabwe's economy," he
also suggested that government-fuelled corruption
was playing a large part.
"The economic policies of the government are
being manipulated on a
patronage system," he said. "Thousands of people are
feeding off the gravy
Back in the furniture shop, an assistant
muses on the spending boom. "I
mean, it's criminal. People are buying like
that and some people are thin,
thin like this," she says, holding up her
Aids deepens in Zimbabwe
Published: November 6 2002 4:00 | Last Updated: November 6 2002
Aids is reducing Zimbabwe's agricultural labour force by about
cent a year, the United Nations estimated yesterday. It forecasts that
disease will shrink the Zimbabwean agricultural workforce by 22.7 per
in 2020. In neighbouring Namibia the effects will be worse. By 2020
disease is expected to cut the country's agricultural labour force by 26
James Lamont, Johannesburg
Daily News - letter
Even Gaddafi doesn't believe Mugabe's
11/6/02 8:19:42 AM (GMT +2)
the other day made me feel sad and depressed.
The news from home
was dismal. The country that I had always believed
could lead Africa, if not
the world, is in a free fall.
The exchange rate is ridiculous,
starvation stalks the land and
brutality is everywhere. Truly, a nation gone
The cynics say, "That's Africa", but I can't be a cynic. I
many good people at home. The same madness overwhelmed Yugoslavia
as well as many, many other nations in the last 100
I read today that there are 2,5 million of us in exile, for
or another. As a proportion of the population, is that some sort
One friend who had his own business is
installing electricity meters,
two truly lovely and very competent ladies are
selling their bodies for a
living, and others are surviving on charity, on
handouts from friends or
How many are in the United
Kingdom? I don't know, as many come as
visitors and then disappear. Saddening
too are stories I hear of Zimbabweans
selling out their countrymen to the
Chibhoyi, as Bill Saidi would say.
I was happy to read that Iden Wetherell got a prize in New York. I
hat off to the free Press at home, because they are holding the line
they can and exposing the unspeakable evils of the killer party.
of the future of The Financial Gazette now that Elias Rusike has
sold it? I
only hope that the rumours that Gideon Gono and Zanu PF are
behind it are
untrue; otherwise we lose another voice for freedom. Only time
will tell, but
we'll all be watching closely. Zanu PF are so crass that it
impossible to hide their involvement, if they are involved.
rainy season is upon us and what's happening in agriculture?
Nothing that I
know of. The invaders haven't invaded properly - 80 percent
of the invaded
land is lying fallow under weeds and I very much doubt the
other 20 percent
will produce anything if what I saw last year is anything
If I were a commercial farmer still on a farm I'd certainly not
anything myself - what's the point?
Seems even Colonel
Muammar Gaddafi wants to get paid and doesn't
believe President Mugabe's
Who the hell does?
Hopefully, someone in their
embassy reads my article saying that the
future government of Zimbabwe should
feel itself under no obligation to meet
commitments made by the gangsters. I
also read that
Zanu PF stole US$18 million (Z$990 million) worth of
Independent Petroleum Group of Kuwait. What a lot of crooks - as if
Meanwhile, Christmas draws closer - undoubtedly
the bleakest Christmas
ever in the history of the nation. Fireworks outside
yesterday, Guy Fawkes
Night on Tuesday. Too much to hope for similar at home
Regional MPs demand Mugabe's resignation
11/6/02 8:33:47 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
Members of Parliament from Europe, the southern African
civic organisations on Saturday passed a resolution calling on
Mugabe to step down and hold fresh elections under
The resolution was passed in Cape
Town, South Africa, at a meeting
convened to assess the effects of the
current crisis on the people of
Zimbabwe, civil society and the economy, and
its negative impact on the
entire southern African region.
communique, the delegates called for an immediate return to the
rule of law
in Zimbabwe, and an end to politically-motivated violence and
distribution of emergency food supplies.
"We call on Southern
Africa Development Community to live up to its
own written principles,
commitments and minimum standards regarding
democracy, the rule of law and
the conduct of free and fair elections," said
a statement released
Moses Mzila Ndlovu, the MDC shadow Minister of Foreign
represented Zimbabwean parliamentarians, said notable figures at
included Boy Geldenhuys, the parliamentary leader of the New
of South Africa, Tim Hughes of the South African Institute for
Affairs, Afonso Dhlakama, president of Renamo in Mozambique and
Sekhonyana, the deputy leader of Lesotho's Basotho National
The southern African governments have not successfully used
influence to convince Mugabe to reinstate democracy and the rule of law
Zimbabwe. But they have instead exercised quiet diplomacy which has
even though the Zimbabwe crisis adversely affects the region as a
instance, "the flow of some two million refugees from Zimbabwe
Africa", said the statement.
The resolution demanded
the revocation of all legislation enacted to
"paralyse" the democratic
institutions and the basic freedoms of
individuals, media and civil society
and associations in Zimbabwe.
The meeting also resolved to
institute a sustainable "legal and
constructive" agrarian reform that
benefits those who need land most, while
maintaining the economic basis of
successful land use in Zimbabwe.
"We also deplore the expediency of
the European Union (EU) and its
Sadc partners in relocating the EU-Sadc
Foreign Ministers' Meeting from
Copenhagen to Maputo in order to avoid
confrontation over the principle of
expect the EU to adhere to its own decisions concerning targeted
for future meetings, and in particular the forthcoming EU-Africa
Lisbon in April 2003," read the statement.
The meeting noted that
the current Zimbabwean political crisis started
with the rejection of a Zanu
PF-sponsored constitutional proposal in 2000
that indicated a growing
discontent by the people of Zimbabwe about Mugabe's
rule. The meeting called
on the people of southern Africa to show solidarity
with the people of
Zimbabwe by strengthening their ties with civil society.
Angry MDC youths attack, disarm police.
11/6/02 8:25:38 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in
EXASPERATED by continuous police harassment of MDC members,
opposition's youths at Muzerengwa village in Buhera South reportedly beat
five policemen and disarmed one of them.
The incident could
not be confirmed by the police, but an MDC
spokesman in Manicaland insisted
it happened last Saturday.
The retaliation by MDC youths comes
barely a week after a member of
the Central Intelligence Organisation was
roughed up after being accused of
spying at the funeral of Learnmore Jongwe,
the MP for Kuwadzana, who died in
remand prison in Harare last
The officers allegedly descended on the village in search of
Muzerengwa, the MDC's district chairman.
Muchauraya, the MDC's provincial spokesman, said the incident
took place on
28 October in a village in Chief Nyashanu's area.
arrived at Muzerengwa's homestead and found four of
his 15 wives there,"
"They tried to force them to give details of their
whereabouts, but they refused. This infuriated the police and they
beating up the women.
"Their action angered MDC youths in
that village who pounced on them.
The police were overpowered and Constable
Joshua was disarmed, his hat and
handcuffs taken away from him, but only
after he had fired four shots into
the air. He was asked to leave the
Edmund Maingire, the provincial police spokesman, said he
of the incident, but was eager to find out the names of the MDC
that justice could be pursued.
Muchauraya said later
the riot police were deployed in the village.
"They arrested Muzerengwa's
four wives and they are still in police custody
at Muzokomba police
He identified them as Elizabeth Jakaza, Rebecca Gandi,
Chanhuhwa and Ester Arnold.
He said the MDC has hired a
lawyer to secure their release.
"Those women did not do anything
wrong," Muchauraya said. "The police
are using them as bait to lure
Muzerengwa to their station for unknown
Mugabe's pay hike is an act of provocation
11/6/02 8:38:35 AM (GMT +2)
THE government's decision to
increase the salaries of the President,
his deputies and government ministers
is a clear act of provocation.
More than 600 teachers have been
suspended from work for taking
industrial action from 8 October over demands
for salary increases. The
government insisted they would have to wait until
next year because it did
not have the money.
But two weeks ago
the government decided to increase pensions for war
veterans, and, as if that
was not enough, this week it decided this country'
s political leadership
deserved a second salary increase, notwithstanding
the worsening economic
crisis, growing unemployment, the need to be seen to
suffer with the masses,
and the country's inability to shoulder such a
It is the
worst display of insensitivity. It destroys the basis of any
denying the striking teachers their demands. If anything, the
salaries to the government ministers will only strengthen the
resolve of the
teachers to get what they believe is their worth.
government wants to demonstrate its stubbornness, it should
proceed to accept
the teachers' case. Failure to do so would demonstrate
vindictiveness on the part of the government and an uncaring
the plight of the schoolchildren, whose classes have been
disrupted as a
result of the teachers' strike.
To fail to meet the demands of the
striking teachers would be an act
of deliberate provocation. The government
would be daring them to do
whatever they want because it simply will not
grant them any increases.
But the fact that the government could
increase the salaries of the
President, his deputies, ministers and Members
of Parliament suggests that
where there is a will there is a way, and that
the government has the
Now it cannot only have the
will and resources where this involves
those of its own. The move, however,
makes nonsense of fiscal discipline. If
the increases were effective from the
next financial year, there could be a
case. But to effect the increases now
and to backdate them to July when the
Budget presentation is next week only
confirms President Mugabe's famous
remarks that a country cannot become
The award to war veterans is obviously based on their being
government's staunch allies during the past 32 months of mayhem that
rocked this once prosperous nation. It is a kind of tragic patronage,
continues to bleed the Treasury.
The government has
increased the monthly pensions of all war veterans
by 20 percent with effect
from the beginning of this month.War veterans have
each been receiving a
monthly pensions of about $8 000 and the increase
means they will now get
about $9 500. The 20 percent increase, like that of
the President, his
deputies, government ministers and MPs, will be backdated
There is also an undertaking to review the war veterans' pensions in
budget to a monthly payment of more than $20 000 and funeral
benefits to be
increased from $5 000 to at least $20 000.
But it is not only the
war veterans who are suffering and are unable
to afford basic foodstuffs
owing to the rising inflation rate. The teachers'
cause has been neglected
for a long time. Clearly, they are being penalised
for their perceived
support for the opposition.
Teachers play a crucial role in the
development of the country's human
resources. To deny them an increase and
then further block them from
travelling abroad to take up teaching posts is
to imprison them in one open
prison system called Zimbabwe.
Perhaps there is a conspiracy by the government to cause a mass exodus
teachers so that their place in the classroom can be taken over by
of the National Youth Service, who can be relied to lecture pupils
students on the reality according to Zanu PF.
This is a descent
Private media journalists vow to fight Information and
11/6/02 8:21:08 AM (GMT +2)
From Godfrey Mutimba in Masvingo
Journalists in Masvingo have vowed
to challenge the Access to
Information and Protection to Privacy Act (AIPPA)
and the Broadcasting
Services Act (BSA), saying both are designed to thwart
Speaking at a workshop organised by
the Media Institute of Southern
Africa last Saturday, Energy Bara, the
chairman for Masvingo Chapter, said
the Acts were intended to emasculate
journalists in the private media.
"We are totally against these
repressive Acts which we know to be
aimed at preventing independent
journalists from practising their profession
and we urge all journalists to
wage a war against these draconian Acts
before it is too late," he
Bara said that even journalists from the public media should
the Acts because one day they too could be victims of the
Bara cited the lack of consultation in the passage of the laws
journalists' views were not solicited when the Bills were
Bara said: "In a democratic country, before a Bill is
stakeholders must be consulted and in the case of AIPPA and BSA
are the stakeholders and were supposed to be consulted so they as
given the chance to object to clauses they felt could adversely affect
He attacked the government-appointed Media
and Information Commission
for charging high registration fees as a ploy to
close down some private
media houses as some may fail to raise the required
The commission is demanding that media organisations pay
application fee of $20 000 and a registration fee of $500
Journalists have to pay a $6 000 registration fee to practise
profession. With only 17 days left before the deadline, journalists
their employers have both resolved to register under protest.
06 November 2002 12:02
War on Title Ownership
Note to Members of
I attended the CFU presentation of the new ABC plan last night
in sending out their statement as had my lap top handy and there
problems. There were no journalist present there and knew you were
to get your story albeit late.
Herewith interesting comment
made by John Robertson in his vote of thanks.
Pls send any queries
regarding the CFU statement to email@example.com as is
the statement as I do not represent the CFU.
I remain as
VOTE OF THANKS - CFU
PRESENTATION EVENT ABC PLAN
When this country was colonised just over 100
years ago, the indigenous
population was estimated at about 500 000 people.
suggest it was seldom higher than that in the past
1000 years. And in the
Great Zimbabwe phase some 500 years ago, an ecological
disaster appears to
have overtaken the more than usually concentrated
gatherings of people.
I believe that today's resettlement farmers are on
a very rapid learning
curve. On it they will learn, not how to make a success
of small scale
farming, but how it is that small scale farming was never able
to sustain a
population bigger than in today's Chitungwiza.
colonisers came to this country, they brought with them many ideas
eagerly adopted by the indigenous population. Today there is no
discarding telephones, road-building techniques, anti-malaria
distilleries. And nobody wants to turn back to having no schools
hospitals, no newspapers or postal services, no motor cars and no
salesmen. Today's politicians might claim to resent colonialism,
have no intention of giving up the innovations that came with
Except for one. Very curiously, the one colonial import they are
is the one that has had a more profound effect on the
abilities of colonised countries than any other. I'm not
talking about the
steam engine, or dynamite, or penicillin, and I am not
talking about power
stations or railway systems. I am talking about
individual title to land.
The piece of paper that ties a certain
individual to a certain piece of land
is the bridge between the land and the
banking system. It is also the bridge
between the present and the future, and
it is the bridge between the farmer
and the best farming ideas the world's
research scientists can generate.
That piece of paper turned the piece of
land it represented into a capital
asset that could become a device for
capital accumulation. And it turned
good farmers into successful business
leaders and massive contributors to
The shallowness of
official thinking on farm land today is shown by the fact
that, instead of
trying to understand this vitally important concept and
ensuring that it is
copied by everyone else, they have chosen instead to
destroy it. You could
fill libraries with the accounts of land reforms that
took away individual
ownership and ended in failure.
From collective farming in the USSR and
China to Ujamaa in Tanzania and to
Pol Pot's Cambodia, we can trace the great
pedigree of this thinking. But it
dates back further than that, in fact back
to feudalism under the likes of
Richard III and Peter the
Without any doubt, the programme will fail. But among the many
that the whole process has caused has been the destruction of
relationships between members of the commercial farming
Without doubt, we will have to rebuild these systems and
without doubt we
will enjoy more success if we focus our attentions today on
problems. I would like to call for a vote of thanks for the
this new initiative because they have helped us to identify the
problems, the threats of mass starvation and
Millions of Zimbabweans at home and abroad, and indeed the
whole world now
needs you to turn your energies from infighting to working
together for the
good of all citizens of Zimbabwe.
On behalf of you
all, may I express our thanks to the CFU for organising
this event, for their
imagination and for their determination to be here to
help put things right
when this nightmare comes to an end -- as it
Robertson Economic Information Services
46 Palmer Road, Milton
Park, Harare, Zimbabwe
PO Box CY 832, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
778111 740205, Fax: 778112
Cell : 091 224
Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978
or (+2634) 703829
Office email firstname.lastname@example.org
A member of the
International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
BBC plans asylum seekers drama
November 6, 2002
The man behind The Project, this weekend's
controversial drama about New
Labour, and a BBC drama based on the Daily Mail
is developing a programme on
the emotive subject of asylum seekers.
show will focus on a couple from Zimbabwe who arrive in the UK and apply
Award-winning director Peter Kosminsky has been lined
up to shoot the asylum
seeker drama, which is in the early stages of
Writer Zmita Bhide has just begun work on the
Mr Kosminsky has a reputation for hard-hitting docudramas such as
Project and Warriors, which focused on British army peacekeepers in
He traditionally operates by conducting extensive research into a
including in-depth interviews with people involved, before using
information as the basis for a script.
However, a BBC spokesman
said the asylum seeker project would not be as
factually based as his
previous drama so would not follow this development
Kosminsky is also developing a docudrama about young reporters working
Researchers have approached a number of former Daily
Mail journalists while
researching the project.
06 Nov 2002 13:17
Zimbabwe says U.S. using
food to interfere
By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's defence
chief has accused the
United States of using widespread food shortages as a
pretext to interfere
in its domestic affairs, the official Herald newspaper
"We are not answerable to the U.S.. They
are using food as a ploy to
directly control NGOs (non-governmental
organisations) distributing food and
disregard the laws of Zimbabwe," army
chief General Vitalis Zvinavashe said.
On Monday the United States
charged that officials in President Robert
Mugabe's government were
politicising famine relief and said it was looking
at ways to ensure food
reached those who needed it, regardless of
At the weekend the Washington Times
quoted Mark Bellamy, a deputy
assistant secretary of state for African
affairs, as saying the United
States was considering interventionist measures
that could challenge
"The United States
is planning to invade Zimbabwe within the next six
months on the pretext of
bringing relief food aid to people who were
allegedly being denied food on
political grounds," the Herald said in a
front page story on
The U.S. State Department has said food distribution
under review since Zimbabwean authorities seized grain last
month which the
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was distributing,
and gave it to
supporters of Mugabe's governing ZANU-PF party.
Once the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe needs food aid
because of a
sharp drop in maize output, which aid agencies blame partly on
government's seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to
The estimated 4.5 million Zimbabweans needing
food aid now will rise
to 6.7 million by March. They are among 14.4 million
people believed to be
facing severe food shortages across southern
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
reforms will correct the imbalances of colonialism.
The government says the current food shortage is due solely to a
has hit small-scale black farmers, who account for 70 percent
annual maize output.
Zimbabwe points a finger at US 'warmongering'
06 2002 at 02:58PM
Harare - Zimbabwe accused the United States on
Wednesday of threatening to
forcibly intervene in emergency food
distributions, warmongering and
favouring the country's opposition.
government spokesperson called reports that a US official said America
be forced to take "intrusive" measures to alleviate Zimbabwe's hunger
"This little fellow was either blank, mad or both, and if he
for his government the same will apply to it," the unidentified
was quoted as telling the state-owned Herald newspaper in a
"US plans to invade Harare".
He said other African
nations should take heed of "the mad talk of intrusive
challenges to Zimbabwe's sovereignty."
"Today it is about Zimbabwe.
Heaven knows who is next," he said.
American embassy officials declined
In an interview published on Saturday in the Washington Times
Mark Bellamy, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for
affairs, was quoted as saying the United States "may have to be
take some very intrusive measures to ensure aid delivery to
"The dilemmas in the next six months may bring us face to face
Zimbabwe's sovereignty," he said.
Opposition and human rights
officials have accused Zimbabwe's government of
holding back food aid from
opposition strongholds. At one food store in
Harare, bags of corn meal are
allegedly being sold only to people showing
ruling party membership
The World Food Program indefinitely suspended hunger relief
efforts in one
district in October ahead of a parliament by-election after
activists threatened aid workers and seized donated
President Robert Mugabe "was holding his people hostage the way
President Saddam Hussein is holding his people hostage," Bellamy was
At least 6,7-million Zimbabweans - more than half
the population - face
hunger in the coming months because of a sharp drop in
production blamed on a drought and the government's seizure of
white-owned commercial farms.
Zimbabwe Defence Force
chief, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, said the United
States wanted to give
control of food aid to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change to give
it a popularity boost, the Herald reported.
"They want to influence the
people of Zimbabwe. We are not answerable to the
United States. They are
using food as a ploy," Vitalis said.
The United Nations warned on Monday
that chronic food shortages were
worsening in Zimbabwe and growing numbers of
infants were at risk of serious
The United Nations
Relief and Recovery Unit said increased food imports were
urgently needed and
called on the government to abolish its monopoly on
Acute hard currency shortages since 1999 have led to shortages of
imports, medicines and petrol and have pushed up the illegal black
exchange rate to more than 1 500 Zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar,
to the official exchange rate of 55-1.
Most petrol stations
were short of fuel on Wednesday, with long lines of
cars waiting for
deliveries. Food lines for corn meal, bread, sugar, cooking
oil and milk are
common outside food stores. - Sapa-AP
Ministers gather to discuss food crisis, Zimbabwe
European and southern African
ministers have arrived in
Mozambique for talks on a regional food crisis and
diplomats said. More than 14 million people face severe
food shortages in
southern Africa, according to the United
The meeting starting tomorrow was switched to
Denmark after the Danish government refused entry to
saying it would have violated EU travel sanctions on
key Zimbabwean leaders.
Diplomats said the EU would highlight the political
and economic crisis in
Zimbabwe, a sore spot that has raised tensions between
Europe and Africa in
The EU slapped
sanctions on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
government after a March
presidential election considered illegitimate by
some Western governments,
and over the seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless
blacks. The United States and Australia have
imposed separate sanctions,
while the Commonwealth of Britain and its former
colonies have suspended
Zimbabwe but imposed no sanctions.
The two-day meeting in
Mozambique's capital Maputo brings
together representatives from the
15-nation EU and the 14-nation Southern
African Development Community (SADC).
Denmark, which holds the EU
presidency, is sending a delegation headed by
Bertel Haarder, the European
Africa plays a prominent role in the development
policy of Denmark and the
EU. The meeting with the SADC countries offers a
good opportunity for
discussing both political and economic aspects of the
Southern Africa, including the food crisis in the region,"
Haarder said in a
The United Nations says 14,4 million people face
shortages in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and
Analysts blame management problems in some of the countries as
drought for the food debacle.
Human rights a
New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the EU-SADC
pay special attention to human rights violations and humanitarian
in southern Africa. The group said it was highlighting crises in
Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Angola and
"Safe guarding rights and responding robustly to
humanitarian disaster in southern Africa should top the agenda at
week's high-level ministerial meeting between members of the SADC and
EU," the rights group said in a statement.
battling a food deficit following a long civil war.
The end of the conflict
has allowed hundreds of thousands of people to
return to their homes and also
enabled relief workers to reach some
locations for the first
The Mozambique meeting is part of the so-called
dialogue, initiated in Berlin in 1994. Ministerial meetings between
groups are held every second year. SADC comprises Angola, Botswana,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi,
Namibia, the Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania,
Zimbabwe. - Reuters
From The Natal Mercury (SA), 6
US threatens action to end Zim food
By Brian Latham
Harare - The United States has threatened "very intrusive and
interventionist measures" to ensure food aid is delivered to all Zimbabweans as
the Zimbabwean government gives food only to card-carrying members of the ruling
party. Residents of Harare's poverty wracked townships are being denied food
unless they produce membership cards of the ruling Zanu PF. And Zanu PF
officials have been selling imported maize in townships. They have also been
using their control of food aid to indoctrinate Zimbabweans, including domestic
workers from Harare's wealthy northern suburbs. "My worker was told to report
for his food in the morning, but instead party officials made him and all the
other domestics toyi-toyi for hours while they delivered political lectures,"
said a northern suburbs resident. The workers were then told to provide their
names, addresses and the names of the people they worked for to Zanu PF, he
said. These are just the latest allegations that Zanu PF is channelling the food
aid provided by foreign countries to their own supporters. Fears that opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) areas will be starved into submission have
forced the US government to consider "interventionist and intrusive" action to
feed Zimbabwe's estimated seven million starving people. The US provides a large
part of the food aid which is distributed in Zimbabwe through the United Nations
World Food Programme.
"We may have to be prepared to take some very intrusive and
interventionist measures to ensure aid delivery to people in Zimbabwe," US
deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs Mark Bellamy said in an
interview with the Washington Times. He added that "the dilemmas in the next six
months may bring us face to face with Zimbabwe's sovereignty". Zimbabwe's
cities, suffering increasing hunger for the first time in the country's history,
are plagued by long queues for basic foodstuffs, especially maize meal. Still,
it is the party's blatant selling of food from its township offices that has
upset city residents. Harare, like most major towns and cities in Zimbabwe,
voted overwhelmingly for the opposition MDC in both parliamentary and
presidential elections. And while Zanu PF heavyweight and speaker of parliament
Emmerson Mnangwagwa has denied his party is selling maize, local residents say
it has happened in a number of townships around the capital. The issuing of food
along party lines has also angered non-government organisations who are feeding
starving villagers in worst hit areas. In October, the Zimbabwe government
suspended food aid programmes run by British charities, accusing the British of
supporting the MDC.
'France Will Continue to Invest in Zim'
November 6, 2002
Posted to the web November 6, 2002
Ruth Butaumocho in Victoria Falls
France will continue to invest in Zimbabwe as part of its
development assistance despite the harsh economic conditions, French ambassador
to Zimbabwe, Mr Didier Ferrand, said here on Monday.
He said France was optimistic that the assistance that it
had rendered to Zimbabwe, including its support to various environmental
projects on bio-diversity and the management of national parks, would contribute
to the recovery of the country's economy.
For a number of years, he said, France had identified
tourism as one of the areas of co-operation with Zimbabwe and as such would
continue to render assistance in the industry.
France had also assisted in the rehabilitation of Khami
Ruins, the training of chefs and hospitality staff in the Reunion, a French
overseas territory where the Renaissance Hotel College had established a
partnership with the School of Hospitality and Tourism at the Bulawayo
Mr Ferrand was speaking at a ceremony to rebrand Hotel
Mercure Rainbow in Victoria Falls.
This is in line with strategic partnership between RTG and
Accor Group of France which has a 35 percent equity in Rainbow.
The rebranding of the Hotel Mercure Rainbow is part of the
marketing strategy adopted by RTG towards the globalisation of its products.
Hotel Mercure Rainbow becomes the second RTG hotel to be
rebranded following the rebranding of the Hotel Mercure A'Zambezi early last
"A few years ago, Accor decided to invest in Zimbabwe and
despite the present unfavourable conditions, has decided to remain a partner in
the Rainbow Tourism Group.
"I commend this decision which shows that French groups and
investors are reliable and foresighted," said Mr Ferrand.
The event was also attended by RTG chief executive Mr
Herbert Nkala, former Zimbabwe Council of Tourism president, Ms Pedia Moyo,
prominent bankers Dr Gideon Gono and Dr Mthuli Ncube, and senior officials from
Accor Group headquarters in France.
No Hopes of Retrieving Bodies of Illegal Miners -
November 6, 2002
Posted to the web November 6, 2002
Sifelani Tsiko in Kadoma
Mining experts yesterday said it is unlikely that the bodies
of illegal gold miners who were trapped when a disused gold mine near Kadoma
collapsed will be retrieved given the risks involved.
"The area is a bit difficult because of the massive rock
fall," said the acting regional mining engineer Tapera Taskwavaviri .
"We are most likely to seal the whole area. The rock-fall is
quite massive and the area is very unstable," he said.
A team of mining experts went to Kanyemba Mine about 170 km
south-west of Harare to assess the possibility of retrieving the bodies of the
illegal miners trapped in the disused mine on Sunday.
A report will be submitted about the mine to the Ministry of
Mines and Mining Development from which a decision will be made on whether to go
ahead and retrieve the bodies.
Although the exact number of people who are trapped is not
known the police believe 13 people could have been trapped.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector
Colleen Matore said relatives with missing people had come forward to give names
of some people who were trapped inside the mine.
Those identified as missing are: Micheal Murwira, Colleen
Murwira, Simba Chomukape, twins Themba and Jabulani Dube and two others whose
names were simply given as Aleck and Edmond.
"We are going to open missing persons files. People should
come forward so that they can be assisted to obtain death certificates," he
He said the shaft in which the gold miners were trapped was
very deep and chances were slim that the bodies could be excavated.
Harris Ziga, a witness said the mine collapsed because the
'makorokoza's' (name given to illegal gold miners) were hammering pillars, which
supported the roof of the shaft.
"I went inside on Monday with torchlight I saw three bodies
that were crushed by the pillars," he said.
"The rock pillars were quite big and they crushed up to 13
He said the collapse of the pillars had made the mine
"There is no hope that these bodies could be retrieved. It
is too dangerous and risky," he said.
He said 20 illegal gold diggers survived but fled the
scene," he said.
Deputy chief Government mining engineer said the illegal
miners went through a 20 metre vertical shaft and barrowed their way into
disused shaft, which were about 120 metres horizontally.
"We know what caused the collapse but we are not sure of the
number of diggers trapped inside," he said.
He said the lure of the gold money was driving many
unemployed people into this risky business.
"People are not employed. The money they get per gramme of
gold is driving them into these circumstances," he said.
"The people must put their heads together to try and come up
with less risky initiatives that will help save the lives of thousands of
illegal gold miners.
"This mine has been worked extensively that's why active
mining was stopped," he said.
Mr Reginald Rose the owner of the mine claim said illegal
miners were a big problem and efforts to stop them were fruitless despite police
He said he bought the mine from Lonhro about two years ago
and was using cynide treatment to extract the gold.
"We carry old dumps ore and we treat it with cynide through
tanks to get gold," he said.
It is a safer way of mining as this is done on the
Mr Rose said he had reported the problem of illegal gold
miners to the mining commissioner several times.
He said action was taken but to no avail.
"They kept coming back. I was powerless and could not stop
them," he said.
The mine was opened in 1885 and was one of the first mines
operated by the late business tycoon Tiny Rolland who had vast mining interest
in the country.
Reports abound that the illegal miners also used explosives
to destroy pillars that supported the roof of the mine.
The incident comes three months after five other illegal
gold miners were trapped in a disused shaft in Selous.
Speculation Fuels Surge in Forex Rates On Black
November 6, 2002
Posted to the web November 6, 2002
Parallel market rates which have surged over the past few
weeks, have continued to firm putting pressure on the local currency.
The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading around $1 800
against the US dollar compared to the $800 at the beginning of October.
It has also shed some value against the British pound and
the South African rand where it is trading around $2 200 and $100
The rates have been pushed up because of the short supply of
foreign currency following the closure of tobacco floors.
Economic commentators said the surge in rates on the
parallel market was mainly driven by speculation with no real fundamentals to
explain the current trends.
More companies are also in the market as they stock for the
"If you look at the pattern of the parallel market in the
past three weeks you can see that it is being driven by speculation and not any
"And this combined with the end of the tobacco selling
season companies with foreign currency commitment are all out stocking their
reserves anticipating a dry period," said an economist, Mr David Mupamhadzi.
He said the rates were unrealistic and it was now a question
of time before they stabilised, but was quick to dismiss a sharp drop in the
rates in the short or medium term.
The slide of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel market is
despite the threats by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to cancel licences for
commercial banks and bureaux de change involved in illegal foreign currency
The threats at one point resulted in the plunge on the
parallel market of the greenback against the local currency with dealers
offering less than $400 for 1US$.
Financial institutions including commercial banks and
bureaux de change have been accused of setting up thriving parallel market
syndicates and some bank's operations have come under the spotlight of the
central bank's investigations.
Economic consultant Dr Samuel Undenge said the plunge of the
local currency on the parallel market has put a lot of pressure on the inflation
This in turn has put a lot of pressure on some sections of
the economy like the property sector, which has seen a hike of properties by
more than 400 percent.
The RBZ has been working closely with the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development to put in place contingence measures to curb
the parallel market.
There has been growing speculation in the market that the
Zimbabwean dollar would be devalued soon after the budget.
However, the Government reiterated that it would not devalue
the dollar in the short to medium-term. The Government has maintained that
further devaluation of the local unit alone would not rescue the country from
the foreign currency crisis.