International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: November 6, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe's highest court ruled the government can seize
tractors and equipment white farmers put into storage when they were thrown
off their land.
In the ruling made Monday and made available by court officials Tuesday,
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku cited supplementary land reform laws
passed by the ruling-party dominated Parliament in 2002 that permitted
equipment seizures "for the benefit of the public and for the purposes of
furthering the land reform program."
The ruling was on an appeal by a group of former farmers contesting seizures
of equipment they took away during often violent farm seizures since 2000.
They will now forfeit a range of farm machinery kept in warehouses and
storage lots for up to five years, the Justice for Agriculture group said.
"This is another way of looting what little ex-farmers have got left. Most
of it is up for sale anyway. It's nothing less than daylight robbery," said
John Worsely-Worswick, head of the group.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday there were no grounds for the owners to
retain their equipment on constitutional grounds of rights of ownership.
In their appeal, farmers also demanded immediate compensation for forfeited
equipment at the current market value. Chidyausiku ruled the land laws
allowed for compensation to be paid in a "reasonable time" based on the
facts of each case.
Worsely-Worswick said no appropriate compensation was paid for land or
equipment commandeered already in takeovers of some 5,000 white-owned
commercial farms Mugabe ordered in 2000.
Much of the equipment was now unusable because of vandalism, breakdowns,
poor maintenance and chronic shortages of gasoline, he said.
President Robert Mugabe said the land seizures were to correct colonial era
ownership imbalances and to return farms to landless Zimbabweans.
White farmers would not be compensated for the land but Mugabe promised they
would receive fair payouts for buildings, irrigation and other farming
But "it just hasn't happened," said Worsely-Worswick.
The land seizures threw the agriculture-based economy in the former regional
breadbasket into disarray. The disruptions led to acute shortages of food
and hard currency for imports of gasoline and other essential goods.
The government maintains its land seizures program was completed more than a
year ago but some 300 white farmers still on their land have reported a wave
of new intimidation and seizures ahead of national presidential and
Parliamentary elections scheduled in March.
Nine white farmers from the Chegutu district, 110 kilometers southwest of
Harare, are scheduled to reappear in court later this month on charges they
ignored eviction orders and refused to leave their properties by Sept. 30.
They face up to two years in jail.
by Chenai Maramba Wednesday 07 November 2007
CHINHOYI - Ruling ZANU PF party leaders in Mashonaland West province have
asked the government to halt fresh farm seizures, saying the few white
farmers still in the province must be allowed to "remain and continue
In a sign of widening division among senior leaders in both ZANU PF and the
government over the fate of white farmers, the party's provincial executive
asked the government to evict top army and state officials from white farms
they occupied in recent months.
Zimbabwe has over the past seven years expelled most of its 4 000 white
farmers. However, some government officials have since the beginning of the
year called for eviction of white farmers to stop but others have called for
more land to be taken from whites.
''Mashonaland West political and traditional leadership has resolved that
white commercial farmers must remain and continue farming," the party's
executive agreed at a meeting held on Monday in the provincial capital,
"Removal of Zimbabwe National Army, police and senior government officials
from (farms in) Hurungwe must be done now," said the provincial leaders, who
tasked ZANU PF national chairman Nathan Shamuyarira to forward the
recommendations to party and state Vice-President Joseph Msika.
Shamuyarira does not sit on the provincial executive but was asked to help
take the committee's resolutions to Msika because he is the most senior
leader of the party from Mashonaland West province, which is also the home
province of party and state President Robert Mugabe.
It was not possible to get immediate comment on the matter from both Msika
Scores of senior army officers and government officials have since September
invaded farms in Hurungwe and Makonde farming districts. Many of the new
farm invaders carried official letters from Land Reform Minister Didymus
Mutasa allowing them to take over the farms.
Mutasa leads a group of hawkish ZANU PF government and military officials
who believe land reform is incomplete until all farmland is in black hands.
Mutasa said despite what ZANU PF leaders from Mashonaland West had
recommended, "government policy on land reform has not changed," in what
appeared a thinly veiled warning he would continue sanctioning more land
Zimbabwe has largely survived on food handouts from international relief
agencies since land reforms began seven years ago after black villagers
resettled on former white farms failed to maintain production.
Poor performance in the mainstay agricultural sector has also had far
reaching consequences as hundreds of thousands have lost jobs while the
manufacturing sector, starved of inputs from the sector, is operating below
30 percent of capacity. - ZimOnline
Wednesday 07 November 2007
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's beleaguered economy is seen recoiling by a further
six percent in 2007 amid expectations it will continue to be the
trouble-child for high-flying Africa, according to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF).
Sub-Saharan Africa is enjoying the best patch in economic performance, with
overall growth in the region projected to rise from 5.7 percent in 2006 to
6.1 percent in 2007 and further to 6.8 percent in 2008.
But Zimbabwe, in the eighth year of an economic crisis blamed on
mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe's government, is not invited to the
party, with its economy forecast to shrink by 6.2 percent this year.
This will be one of the largest slumps recorded by what was once one of
Africa's model economies. The economy shrunk by 4.8 percent last year, a
slight improvement from the 5.3 percent decline recorded in 2005.
According to Sean Nolan, a senior IMF representative in Africa, Zimbabwe's
poor performance was blighting the robust expansion by the rest of the
"Recent economic performance shows that sub-Sahara Africa is experiencing
its strongest growth and lowest inflation in over 30 years," Nolan said in
Inflation is expected to average 7.5 percent this year on the continent and
fall by about a percentage point in 2008.
Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political crisis and economic decline since
1999 following the birth of a stronger opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party to challenge the rule of Mugabe.
The crisis has worsened over the past eight years amid allegations of gross
human rights abuses and deteriorating economic performance, with the country's
inflation being the highest in the world at nearly 8 000 percent.
Skyrocketing unemployment, shortages of foreign currency, food, electricity
and increasing poverty levels are some of the highlights of Zimbabwe's
The World Bank says Zimbabwe's economic crisis is the worst in the world
outside a war zone.
The MDC and major Western governments blame the crisis on mismanagement and
repression by Mugabe, in power since the country's independence from Britain
26 years ago.
But Mugabe denies the charge blaming the crisis on Western sanctions and
erratic rains. - ZimOnline
by Hendricks Chizhanje Wednesday 07 November 2007
HARARE - Zimbabwean police on Tuesday arrested dozens of civic society
activists for demonstrating against what the protesters described as
escalating state sponsored violence against opponents and other dissenting
Human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama confirmed that as many as 98
people were picked up by the police during the lunchtime protests in the
Muchadehama said: "Ninety-eight people are in police custody and the
police are still arresting more people. They have not advised us of the
charges they are preferring on the activists."
The arrested activists belong to the Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was not immediately available for
comment on the matter.
Human rights groups accuse President Robert Mugabe of stepping up
repression to keep public discontent in check in the face of an economic
crisis that has seen Zimbabwe with the world's highest inflation of nearly 8
000 percent, amid severe shortages of food and other basic commodities. -
by Hendricks Chizhanje Wednesday 07 November 2007
HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest mobile phone operator has blamed frequent power
outages for causing disruptions to mobile phone services.
Econet Wireless blamed rolling power blackouts affecting the country for
interrupting mobile phone communications and making it difficult to make or
Zimbabwe is grappling rolling power blackouts blamed on the inability of the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to meet domestic demand and a
critical shortage of foreign currency to import electricity from
"We are aware that customers are experiencing constrained network service in
certain areas. This is largely as a result of ZESA power load shedding,
which is affecting the quality of the radio network (our network of base
stations) nationwide," Econet said in a statement to ZimOnline.
Because of electricity outages, the largest Zimbabwean mobile phone operator
by subscriber numbers announced that its base stations would be without
electricity during the periods of load shedding, resulting in congestion or
loss of coverage.
"The only mitigation for this problem is to install more generators or
additional power back-up systems at key base stations (high capacity
sites)," the mobile phone operator said.
Econet, however, warned that the generators were unlikely to offer a
long-term solution to the problem as long as the country continued to
experience power and fuel shortages.
Manicaland province was hardest hit by the power cuts, followed by Midlands,
Matabeleland and Mashonaland East.
Last month the country's sole fixed telephone company warned of a further
deterioration of communication services, also citing ongoing power cuts and
shortages of fuel.
The state-run TelOne said the shortages had been so disruptive that the
parastatal had regularly been forced to temporarily close some of its
Domestic power generation by ZESA has been affected by lack of spares and
foreign currency to repair ageing equipment at the country's power stations
and inadequate coal supplies.
The country imports about 35 percent of its power needs from the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.
ZESA has since last May widened its load-shedding programme after regional
power utilities reduced exports to Zimbabwe citing unpaid debts.
Mozambique's Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa recently cut supplies to the
country from 300 megawatts (MW) to 195 MW over a staggering debt of over
SNEL of the DRC also cut electricity to Zimbabwe in June over non-payment of
a US$5 million debt. - ZimOnline
by Simplisio Chirinda Wednesday 07 November 2007
HARARE - A Zimbabwe opposition supporter who was shot and critically wounded
in the Midlands town of Kwekwe last week has been transferred to the Avenues
Clinic in Harare after his condition deteriorated.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for Kwekwe central, Blessing
Chebundo, told ZimOnline that Taurai Chigede had been transferred to the
Avenues Clinic intensive care unit.
Chigede was seriously wounded after he was shot at close range by retired
army brigadier Benjamin Mabenge.
Another MDC activist, Clement Takaendesa was not so lucky after he died as a
result of the shooting at the retired brigadier's farm in Kwekwe. Mabenge
was arrested last week over the fatal shooting.
"Chigede was admitted into what is called the higher intensive care unit
which usually admits people in very serious condition. We are still waiting
for a comprehensive report from the doctors," said Chebundo.
"His condition is said to have worsened after he was forced marched together
with several others whom he had be fishing with to Mabenge's house," said
Chebundo who added that Chigede had sustained injuries in his abdomen and
It was still not clear yesterday if Mabenge was still in police custody
after the expiry of the mandatory 48 hours that suspects could be kept in
custody before they are taken to court.
The police failed to take the former brigadier to court last week because of
the ongoing strike by magistrates and prosecutors who are demanding salary
increases and better working conditions.
Contacted for comment on the matter yesterday, police spokesperson
Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said: "I am not sure if he was taken to
court but certainly he can't still be in police custody because the
stipulated time that we can keep him has lapsed." - ZimOnline
by Lizwe Sebatha Wednesday 07 November 2007
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwean playwright Cont Mhlanga has applied to the High Court
seeking the court to bar the government and the police from interfering with
or banning his productions.
The police last month cancelled the premiere of Mhlanga's provocative
political satire titled Overthrown, saying that it targeted President Robert
Mugabe personally and was meant to embarrass the veteran Zimbabwean leader.
The application, which is in the name of Mhlanga's Amakhosi Production Trust
and Bulawayo Arts Forum, a grouping of local theatre artists, was filed on
October 31 and is yet to be set down for hearing.
Mhlanga and the Forum want the court to specifically bar the police from
demanding play scripts or editing such scripts. The police should also be
banned from stopping theatre productions on grounds that they (police) were
not given prior notice of such productions.
"The respondents also have no right therefore to stop plays, demand scripts
and to edit them. The police demanded the script and stated that we had not
notified them in terms of section 24 of the Public Order and Security Act
(POSA)," the application reads in part.
Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri
and three Bulawayo-based senior police officers are cited as respondents in
An increasingly paranoid Zimbabwean government, that has banned four
independent newspapers including the country's biggest daily, the Daily
News, has over the past four years, also banned plays and music deemed
critical of the Harare authorities. - ZimOnline
SW Radio Africa (London)
6 November 2007
Posted to the web 6 November 2007
The government has threatened to sack all striking magistrates if they
continue to defy orders for them to return to work.
David Mangota, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, on Friday
ordered protesting magistrates and prosecutors to return to work and get
their grievances addressed while they are on the job. Mangota's threats have
however been ignored and the job action continues. The effects of the strike
have exerted pressure on the prison system as the amount of criminal
suspects in custody continues to balloon, without trials.
Observers say the magistrates' pay is paltry and compromises their delivery
of duty as they have become prone to corrupt tendencies. It is understood
that most magistrates earn a basic salary of Z$16 million, a figure that is
far below the poverty datum line, which is pegged at Z$28 million.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa reports that Mangota met representatives of
the striking legal practitioners in Harare and gave them little room for
compromise. Most magistrates and prosecutors are said to have left the
meeting fuming at the arrogance Mangota demonstrated towards them.
Mangota's threats have been questioned because the judicial service is
reeling under the effects of a mass exodus of senior members of staff who
are leaving the country for greener pastures.
Muchemwa reports: "The strike is a week old now and its effects are severe.
Before the job action began, the judiciary services had a backlog of over
350 000 cases to deal with.
"The effects will be felt most by criminal suspects and prisoners behind
bars who are waiting for their cases to be heard. But the magistrates'
demands have to be considered as well. They are pressing the government to
review their salaries upwards by almost 900 percent as well as to improve
their general working conditions."
On Tuesday, Harare and Chitungwiza courts were operating on reduced capacity
while elsewhere around the country all courts doors are still shut.
By Patience Rusere
06 November 2007
Zimbabwe Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, in comments published
Tuesday in a state-controlled newspaper, said the government will be
vigilant against civic groups that act as "political destabilizers,"
singling out the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella for some 300 civic groups,
released a statement saying it was "perturbed by the uninformed allegations"
leveled by Ndlovu. The group said it would continue its work until Harare
repeals "obnoxious" laws.
The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Ndlovu as accusing the crisis
coalition and other nongovernmental organizations of "deviating from their
core business to become political destabilizers" and "splinters" of the
The minister cited what he described as "reports of corruption and
deception" from the Coalition's Johannesburg office. The Crisis Coalition
statement called his allegations "unfounded and malicious, aimed at soiling
the name of the organization and discrediting the organization."
VOA could not reach Crisis Coalition Coordinator Jacob Mafume, who was
singled out by Ndlovu in the interview. Mafume's staff said he was in the
The statement said the accounts of the Crisis Coalition's Johannesburg
office had been audited and the results indicated its funding and
expenditures were "in line with international standards of accounting." It
called Ndlovu's attack a "calculated move" by Harare to pressure dissenting
voices ahead of elections due next year.
Spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental
organizations told Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
Ndlovu's comments come as harassment and intimidation of NGOs are on the
By Jonga Kandemiiri
06 November 2007
Reflecting strained relations between Zimbabwe's National Constitutional
Assembly, a prominent civil society group, and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, an NCA official said the chairman of its own advocacy
committee, Felix Mafa, was removed as a conflict was perceived with a
similar MDC post he holds.
Mafa serves as spokesman for the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai in
Bulawayo, the country's second largest city.
NCA officials including the group's chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, have been
critical of both factions of the MDC for voting with the ruling ZANU-PF
party in September to pass a constitutional amendment changing the electoral
framework in major ways.
NCA officials and members have accused the MDC of sacrificing democratic
principles to expediency in reaching compromises with the ruling party in
the interest of moving toward a true two-party political system and
obtaining free and fair elections.
Madhuku said recently that the NCA would have to reconsider whether it was
possible for individuals to reconcile allegiance simultaneously to the NCA
and to the MCA. But it was unclear with the Mafa case signaled a clear shift
on this question, as Mafa's role as a spokesman on both sides of the issue
raised the risk conflicts could arise.
Mafa asserted in an interview that he still holds the chairmanship of the
NCA advocacy committee as NCA officials have not yet officially informed him
of the decision. He said he appreciates the NCA's position in the matter but
would not step down saying that the fundamental issue of conflicts can only
be resolved by a full NCA congress.
NCA spokesman Maddock Chivasa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio
7 for Zimbabwe that by removing Mafa from the advocacy committee
chairmanship, the organization was simply trying to help him to fulfill his
By Blessing Zulu
06 November 2007
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono is printing trillions of local
dollars and pumping them into the country's profoundly troubled
manufacturing sector in an effort to revive the supply side of the economy,
business sources said.
Gono has said he intends to reverse the damage done by the government since
June when it imposed deep price cuts across every economic sector, resulting
in cleared-off store shelves, severe shortages of essential goods, and many
Defending his latest economic initiative, Gono told the state-controlled
Sunday Mail newspaper that for Zimbabweans, "the current battle is ensuring
survival through the ability to get basic goods and services at affordable
and yet viable prices."
But economists and business leaders said Gono's so-called Basic Commodity
Supply Intervention Facility will mainly bring additional fuel to
The RBZ is providing low-interest funding to companies in targeted sectors
in hopes of stimulating the production of essential goods. Gono hopes that
once manufacturers resume production, the increased availability of goods
will bring down inflation.
Consumers have yet to see benefits from the scheme. Millers are demanding a
177% increase in the price of maize meal, a national staple, while transport
operators in the capital and other major cities boosted their fares by 50%
President Marah Hativagone of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce told
reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that some of her
organization's members have benefited from the RBZ's distribution of
By Tichaona Sibanda
6 November 2007
The opposition has said that a new electoral commission is required as
agreed in mediation talks between Zanu PF and the MDC. But there are
indications that Zanu PF is determined to sanitize the current Zimbabwe
The MDC wants a new body to register voters, demarcate constituencies and
oversee preparations for next year's elections, as agreed to by all parties
under Constitutional Amendment 18. Zanu PF however seems reluctant to do
this as many of Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's top aides since the early
1980's have just been appointed to the current ZEC.
The appointments have irked the opposition MDC who accuse the government of
disregarding the all party agreement which paved the way for political
parties represented in Parliament to nominate members to the electoral body.
The MDC's director of elections, Ian Makone, told us government should
urgently gazette the new Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, which will
effectively transfer the operations of the electoral commission to
Madock Chivasa, the National Constitutional Assembly Spokesman, said the
recent senior appointments to the ZEC were a clear indication of the kind of
election that people will witness next year.
'The appointments reflect that most of the people in the ZEC have a
background of serving in government in different capacities at district and
provincial levels. These appointments are a clear testimony of Zanu-PF's
intention to run a controversial election next year. It also shows the lack
of seriousness on part of the government to guarantee a free and fair
election in this country,' Chivasa said in a statement.
Glen Mupani, a political analyst said a truly independent electoral body
would boost confidence and credibility of the commission in the eyes of the
'This is the right time for the opposition to reflect and take note if
Zanu-PF is serious about sticking to its concessions agreed to at the
mediation talks. If not, they still have time to pull out, to force the
regime to comply,' Mupani said.
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Tue 6 Nov 2007, 13:06 GMT
By Nelson Banya
HARARE (Reuters) - Soaring world metal prices have failed to shield
Zimbabwe's mining sector from a severe economic crisis, while plans by
President Robert Mugabe to nationalise foreign-owned firms may harm the
sector further, analysts said.
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.
Zimbabwe expects gold output this year to be below eight tonnes, which would
be the nation's lowest level in decades. Production was 11 tonnes in 2006
and a long way off the record 29 tonnes produced in 1999.
Overall mining output plunged 14 percent in 2006 and the trend is expected
"Most companies have scaled down production and (are) operating at half
their potential," John Robertson an independent economist told Reuters.
"Mineral exports generated $600 million (during the first eight months of
2007) but this could well have been over $1 billion if mines were operating
at maximum capacity given the prevailing high metal prices," said Robertson.
The Chamber of Mines says average mineral output was lower this year with
platinum production down more than a half to 200.21 kg in September from
464.67 kg at the start of the year.
The country has missed out on the metal price boom due to bad policies that
have suffocated existing mines and discouraged fresh investment, the Chamber
of Mines says.
Zimbabwe has passed a bill that gives blacks majority ownership in
foreign-owned firms, including mines, further rattling a sector that is now
the largest foreign currency earner. The bill has yet to be signed into law.
"PUT HOUSE IN ORDER"
"We have to put our house in order to benefit from the mineral price boom,
which some expect to be with us for the next 5 to 10 years," David Matyanga,
chief economist at the mining chamber said in a report.
"But investors cannot continue to wait...they take their investment
elsewhere. One cannot plan long-term because there is vacillation of
policy... you need a stable macroeconomic and strong regulatory environment
to do that."
The world's top two platinum producers, Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum
(Implats) and global miner Rio Tinto , which mines diamonds in central
Zimbabwe, are some of the top foreign firms in the country.
A skewed exchange rate, where the Zimbabwean dollar officially trades at
30,000 to the U.S. unit but 30 times weaker on a thriving parallel market,
was also hurting mining firms.
Zimbabwean inflation -- the world's highest at more than 7,900 percent --
has driven workers abroad.
Gold producers face even bigger woes than other miners because the commodity
has to be sold to a central bank subsidiary where the producers are paid 65
percent in foreign currency and the rest in local currency. Payment is often
"Delayed payments to gold producers also affect operations, some have not
been paid since March," Matyanga said.
Intermittent power cuts, another sign of Zimbabwe's dire economic crisis,
has meant production is often interrupted.
Implats has resorted to funding a power sub-station, while some miners have
signed a deal to pay in foreign currency for power sourced from neighbouring
"The arrangement... will benefit miners with dedicated power lines to their
mines, but the majority of gold producers do not have dedicated lines so
they will not benefit from this scheme," Matyanga said.
Rampant smuggling has also dented the sector, and the central bank says more
than $50 million worth of minerals was illegally siphoned outside Zimbabwe
"There is a huge amount of gold being smuggled out of the country," Titus
Nyatsanga, a senior mines ministry official told a recent mining industry
Bulawayo, 5th November 2007
If you live in Zimbabwe and only have access to the local media or even if
you live abroad or in South Africa, I would expect that you are very
confused about the MDC and the state of play in the country at large! About
the only thing that is straight forward is the fact that we are in a total
mess and the economy is in meltdown.
The reason for the confusion is quite clear - we (the MDC) are being
subjected to a total onslaught in the media driven by a variety of political
interests who are all committed to ensuring that the MDC does not win the
next election. It's a long and convoluted story but I will try to summarise
and map out the essential elements to try and help you understand what is
going on and why.
The domestic agenda is the most easily understood. When Zanu PF accepted
that they faced an election in March 2008 and that this could not be
postponed as they had wanted to 2010 and on top of that they would be
required by regional leaders to put on a show for the world community that
they were able to organise a "free and fair" election, they went into high
As with most major developments in Zimbabwe, the planning and the final
decisions were taken by the Joint Operations Command (the JOC) and selected
senior Zanu PF functionaries. The strategy was quite simple - smash what was
left of the MDC and support minority elements in the opposition and
intensify Zanu PF/JOC political control of the rest of the country. This
involved tightening their grip on the rural areas and reducing the
population of the urban centers.
Since then we have seen a wholesale physical attack on the MDC leadership at
all levels, the systematic dismantling of MDC structures especially in the
rural areas and an intensified media blitz. This past week the MDC has been
headlines every day - all negative stories designed to show that the MDC is
divided, its leadership weak and indecisive and that we are incapable of
really effecting change.
While this has been going on, we have seen the renewed offensive on the
commercial farming industry and a new, dramatic and comprehensive assault on
the private sector in all other sectors of the economy. Through price
control and "indigenisation" initiatives what remains of the private sector
and the economy is being brought under Zanu control or liquidated. This is
being supported by the deliberate sabotage of urban essential services -
especially water. As a result they have started a tidal wave of migrants
into neighboring countries - especially South Africa and this is reducing
the urban population.
In this struggle inflation is accepted as one of the tools they have
available to them and they are determinedly driving the rate of inflation to
new record highs - it is a real possibility now that we will see rates as
high as those predicted by the IMF some months ago of 100 000 percent by
Christmas. To demonstrate that, the Reserve Bank is understood to be buying
foreign exchange on the parallel market and selling it to Zanu PF and State
linked individuals and companies at the official price.
We have not been able to buy seed maize for resale at all this winter. I now
understand that Zanu PF is distributing 5 kg packs in the rural areas - and
demanding that recipients hold Zanu PF cards. Maize meal is being
distributed in the same way - I heard on Friday of a Zanu PF office in
Borrowdale distributing maize meal to local people - I assume on the same
When it comes to the media and the State funded campaign against the MDC,
you have got to understand that this is directed only at the organisation to
which I belong and is led by Morgan Tsvangirai. As far as the media and the
CIO are concerned this is the enemy - there is no other. And they are right.
The latest polls indicate that there is only one real opposition grouping
capable of taking on Zanu PF and winning and only one individual who could
defeat Robert Mugabe and that is the MDC led by Tsvangirai. They know that
and have been working on that assumption since March.
So when we have an internal problem - such as the collapse of confidence in
the leadership of the Women's Assembly of the MDC and the need to elect new
leadership, you can expect that we would be subjected to an intensified
campaign. We duly dissolved the Women's Assembly leadership and held a
special Congress to elect new leadership. The Congress was eventually held -
after two last minute changes in venue following intelligence that the
meeting was to be disrupted and the delegates (from all Districts and
Provincial Leaderships) duly elected new leadership - pretty much
Under normal democratic conditions this would have gone by without much
controversy - but not in Zimbabwe. The headlines bellowed "Split Looms in
the MDC" and worse. We of course get no media time in Zimbabwe. The
newspapers are all to a lesser or greater extent hostile to us and the State
controlled media are just a propaganda arm of the State and Zanu PF. Who
hired busses to carry women and young people from all over the country to
try and gatecrash the Congress?
It is clear that the South African leadership have been hostile to the MDC
from day one. The reasons were the perceived threat that we posed
vicariously to the ANC alliance through Cosatu. Now that that falsehood has
been laid to rest, we are still viewed with some hostility in South Africa
and I have no doubt that some elements there would like to see a "reformed
Zanu PF" solution.
At the same time we have our domestic detractors who argue that the MDC does
not have the capacity to govern or that Morgan Tsvangirai does not have the
education or the characteristics required for national leadership. You all
know that I think this is twaddle and that Morgan has a sound track record
of achievement and management at national level. That aside - he is the
person in whom the Nation as a whole has invested its trust and he is the
only individual who can defeat Mugabe in an election today.
So we struggle on - preparing for an election campaign, continuing with the
negotiations for free and fair conditions - and believe me when I say that
the negotiations are often one against the rest, trying to contain the
effects of the Zanu PF and media campaign against us, coping with limited
resources as domestic business is terrified of being associated with us in
any way and major political donors who are committed to the democratic
struggle prevaricate. Trying to keep our people spirits up and believing
that the end is now in sight. Trying the force regional power brokers to act
when Zanu PF flagrantly violates the principles being negotiated and agreed
at the South African talks.
The talks in South Africa are almost concluded - 5 months later than
originally intended, the date for the elections is yet to be decided (there
is a lot of disinformation about the talks in local and international press)
and then we get into the issue of the transition and the management of the
election itself. Believe me, this is going to be a fight to the finish and
the outcome will depend on you and me.
New Vision (Kampala)
5 November 2007
Posted to the web 6 November 2007
LONDON-based Zimbabweans have written a petition to the forthcoming Kampala
Commonwealth meeting asking the bloc to intervene in the human rights
violations in their country.
"We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of
trial. We urge the Commonwealth and the European Union (EU) to suspend
government aid to all 14 SADC countries until they abide by their joint
commitment to uphold human rights in the region," they wrote.
The Zimbabweans, who held a prayer vigil in London, presented a similar
petition to the European Union. The petition signed by more than 5,000
people, was recently received in London by MP Kate Hoey, who passed it on to
Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown will be sending copies to all EU and SADC
"To mark our fifth anniversary, we are submitting this petition to all EU
and Sadc governments. We want to make it clear that we are not asking for a
halt to humanitarian aid, but we would like to see government-to-government
assistance to Sadc countries halted until they honour their human rights
obligations to Zimbabwe. We suggest that the aid for those countries should
go instead to the suffering people of Zimbabwe," they added.
The petition comes shortly after the British parliament recently deliberated
using CHOGM to find solutions to the woes of Zimbabwe. The House of Lords
and the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) are making presentations to the
Commonwealth Secretariat and affiliate organisations to disregard Zimbabwe
as a member of the grouping of former British colonies and get involved in
efforts to help Zimbabweans.
The two organs of the British government have raised the argument that
Zimbabweans did not pull out of the Commonwealth. They argue that it is
President Mugabe who pulled out. Zimbabweans asked the commonwealth to
increase its support for positive political engagement and change in
Zimbabwe, to facilitate and co-coordinate policy development, consultation
and planning across the sectors in preparation for change
In that debate, not less than six lords and baronesses stood up to demand
that the Commonwealth do something. They wanted, particularly, that the
Zimbabwe crisis be on the agenda of CHOGM slated for this month.
"The Commonwealth Foundation is a very good organisation for taking the lead
We need to work with moderate nations in Africa, such as South Africa,
Botswana, Ghana and Tanzania, to help the people ofZimbabwe to move towards
a better solution," said Lord Luce.
"The Commonwealth heads of government need to stand ready with plans to
rehabilitate Zimbabwe. There are many other ways in which democracy is
supported in the Commonwealth, not least through the admirable work of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association."
RCS also said plans were already to assemble and deliver a people's
Commonwealth programme for Zimbabwe, bringing together Commonwealth civil
societies and non-governmental organisations.
"This could focus on meeting pressing humanitarian needs and will, in
particular, send a message that the Commonwealth remains engaged," RCS said.
This comes at a time when the world seems to be turning away from the
Zimbabwe crisis amid failures by the UN and the G8 to force their hand on
the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe.
Tuesday, 06 November 2007 17:01
Board meeting hears of serious charges being investigated
'Accounts have been deliberately falsified to mask various illegal
BY CAJ NEWS
HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), rocked by allegations of financial
irregularities, have not be absolved of wrong doing after the International
Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting in Dubai heard that the forensic audit
by KMPG of South Africa is not yet complete.
The ICC Board met in Dubai on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
Sami-ul-Hasan., the ICC communications officer, said at the end of the
meeting last Wednesday: "The Board received an update concerning the
forensic audit of Zimbabwe Cricket, being carried out by accountancy firm
KPMG of South Africa".
"The report is still being finalized and the Board was told an
undertaking had been received for it to be completed as soon as possible,"
Samil-ul Hasan said.
ZC president Peter Chingoka attended the two-day board meeting.
The ICC recommended an audit be carried at the troubled ZC after
allegations of financial misappropriation were levelled against ZC at the
ICC annual general
meeting held in London in June.
The forensic audit, co-signed by Malcolm Speed (ICC chief executive
officer) and Faisal Hasnain, the ICC's chief financial officer, summarised
the concerns of the ICC board, felt since late 2005, about the "governance
and financial accountability of Zimbabwe Cricket."
The report was presented at the ICC annual general meeting in June.
The first issue relates to "a shortfall between funds that were agreed
to be paid and the ultimate amount that was paid to ZC".
This matter is being investigated and Zimbabwean cricket is trying to
locate individuals who have since left the board.
The second issue, the report said, raises "greater concerns" about
payments amounting to U$640,350 to "three unknown companies" and is critical
of Zimbabwe Cricket for failing to inform its auditors about this matter.
Another issue concerns deals with a car company (Croco Motors), worth
It appears Zimbabwe cricket imported 60 cars that were then sold to
the company in order to obtain extra local currency.
The report says it is "impossible to establish" full details of the
transactions, although "profits of some 239% were realised".
They also report that "very surprisingly", after extensive
correspondence, ZC advised its own auditors, Ruzengwe and Co, that they had
not imported any cars or sold them.
"This is a complete about-turn by ZC and there is uncertainty here
regarding these pseudo agreements as referred to by ZC. The auditors,
Ruzengwe and Co, and ICC have been misled about these transactions."
Speed and Haisain conclude: "It is clear that the accounts of ZC have
been deliberately falsified to mask various illegal transactions from the
auditors and the government of Zimbabwe.
"The accounts were incorrect and at no stage did ZC draw the attention
of the users of these accounts to the unusual transactions."
So serious is the situation that, say Speed and Hasnain, "it may not
be possible to rely on the authenticity of its balance sheet."
Lovemore Banda, ZC's communication manager, said the Speed and Hasnain
report was not 'a fact'.
Meanwhile, the ICC also released the groupings for the World Twenty20
Given that not enough matches have been played in this format to allow
viable official rankings to be established, the Board agreed the groups for
the 2009 event would be based on the finishing positions in the 2007
tournament held in South Africa.
As such, the groups will be (with finishing positions in brackets):
Group A: India (1), Bangladesh (8), Zimbabwe (9). Group B: Pakistan
(2), England (7), Associate 1 (10). Group C: Australia (3), Sri Lanka (6),
West Indies (11). Group D: New Zealand (4), South Africa (5), Associate 2
6th Nov 2007 18:21 GMT
By a Correspondent
LONDON - Sparks are flying again in the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change in the United Kingdom as the deposed executive led by former trade
unionist Ephraim Tapa prepares to hold its assembly on Saturday.
On the other hand the coordinating committee, put in place by the party's
national chairman Lovemore Moyo, which is led by John Nyamande, has started
its own offensive, trying to stop MDC members from attending the Tapa
assembly to be held on the 10th of November.
Kester Mtambanengwe,who deals with information and publicity in the
coordinating committee today said the official position of the MDC has not
The MDC-UK executive was dissolved on mid-October in Northampton by Moyo
following a tug of war between two warring factions in the MDC-UK. The Tapa
executive claim things were not done above board and that the party's
constitution was infringed on.
Tapa said after massive consultations with those at the grassroots level, it
had been agreed that they continue with their work as the MDC-UK and Ireland
executive, disregarding Moyo and those who worked for the executive to be
Massive differences between Tapa's executive and leader Morgan Tsvangirai's
appointed representative, Hebson Makuvise on the way the party is run and
who talks with the British authorities and related issues resulted in the
elected and unelected representative failing to work together.
Said Tapa: "We are of the view that what happened on 13/10/2007, Northampton
grossly violated the MDC Constitution. We consider the MDC Constitution to
be a sacrosanct document, which should not be tampered with to satisfy
"It would be unfortunate if we, as an Executive allow such a flawed process
to go unchallenged and we also think that it is healthy for the party
leadership to be aware that their decisions will always be robustly examined
and that they must be prepared to give their following satisfactory answers.
It is our humble submission that any punishment meted out must be done
justly, fairly and transparently. Since all these basic tenets of a
democratic organisation were absent during the Northampton meeting we are
persuaded to disregard the proceedings, appeal against what was at best a
bad spectacle and continue with our work for the party that we love. Given
that human beings are selfish by nature, our brief as a party is to
safeguard and demand the upholding of the party Constitution in all respects
and promote accountability and equality of all before the law."
But Mtambanengwe said the decision to dissolve the executive still stood.
"The party here in the UK and back in Zimbabwe is very much aware of an
attempt by a few individuals from the same committee dissolved in
Northampton to misinform and mislead the public and our valued membership.
We are aware that to true proponents of a free Zimbabwe these are painful,
trying and disturbing times. We strongly urge our valued cadres to
resolutely maintain vigilance, strategic presence and continued resolve. It
is only then shall we as an organ of MDC Zimbabwe be able to carry the
struggle beyond the desperate insurgency and their playbook of chicanery of
hidden strategies," he said.
"We are aware that there is a vast amount of information and energy
attacking the very struggle that is meant to liberate us and our long
suffering fellow Zimbabweans, the very progress and the glimmer of hope
every Zimbabwean is setting their eyes upon. Is this not a betrayal of the
toiling and brutalised people of Zimbabwe."
He said MDC members should not be misled.
"To all our valued branches and general membership, the roadmap launched in
Northampton on the 13th of October 2007 is the way forward. Together we are
going forward. The march towards freedom and justice is irreversible," said
"Today in our province UK & Ireland there is no other leadership or
political grouping that MDC Zimbabwe recognizes except the co-ordinating
committee set up in Northampton. Do not be misled".
Nyamande, in his own statement, said MDC members should "ignore outrightly
the information that Tapa and his dissolved executive are disseminating to
"Tapa's executive was dissolved and is no longer recognised and functional.
The meeting called for on the 10th November, in Leicester by Tapa, Nyakudya
Mutyambizi or Nyoni, is not for the MDC UK & Ireland at all but for Tapas
new political masters".
He adds: "Tapa has been surrounded by our enemy operatives and are trying
hard to disturb our project."
His MDC committee, he said, would hold their own meeting in Walsall on the
6th Nov 2007 17:20 GMT
By Beloved Chiweshe
THE robbery and subsequent callous murder of Sydney Tapfumaneyi, a final
year Business Studies student at the University of Zimbabwe should be wholly
blamed on Levy Nyagura, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education and
the government for gross negligence, incompetence and disregard for human
Sydney becomes the second student to be murdered after the eviction of
students from the halls of residence at the University of Zimbabwe on the
9th of July 2007.
ln August this year, Tafirenyika Magwidi, a Humanities student was murdered
in the company of two unidentified men along Airport Road in Harare.
Tafirenyika's naked body was found between the Catholic University in
Hatfield and the One Commando army barracks. He had decided to walk home
after failing to secure transport. Over 4000 students were evicted from the
UZ campus halls.
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), has condemned the eviction of
students from the halls of residence at the University of Zimbabwe, arguing
that campus life forms an integral and vital cog of university and college
life. Campus life, apart from offering proximity to learning facilities,
plays an imperative role in providing students with positive peer pressure,
opportunities to learn from each others' experiences and mostly much needed
security from thieves, rapists and murderers.
Students on campus collectively present themselves with security by forming
a coercive group which has concern for the welfare of each other.
As if the loss of human resources through brain drain, as trained personnel
migrate to greener pastures is not enough, we are now seeing loss of lives
through bloody murders such as the one in which Sydney's life was lost.
Human life is sacred and ought to be given the respect it deserves. It was
clear that the move to evict students would have fatal casualties. Such
shortsightedness on the part of administrators should not be tolerated in
modern day society. For the administrators to claim that it had not been
forecast is hypocrisy at its worst.
Sydney was among the many students whose desire and passion for academic
excellence resulted in them sacrificing their lives. The unavailability of
accommodation, expensive or otherwise has not spared students, who solely
depend on their parents' paltry salaries for survival. It is very sad to
note how uncaring the people who are running public office can be.
Sydney had decided to officially seek refuge at the premises where he was
currently staying in Waterfalls. The majority of students are living as
vagrants, with friends or with distant relatives. Another group of students
is of no fixed abode who move from one night club to the other as dusk of
every given day approaches.
Desperate female students have been taken advantage of by financially
capacitated and morally deficient old males. Male students have not been
spared either by older women thereby putting at risk the intelligentsias of
this nation to the deadly HIV and AIDS pandemic.
The murder provides all like minded, progressive, and forward looking
parents with an opportunity to interrogate the eviction of students from a
moral and parental point of view. Learning that the decomposing body of one's
son was discovered after three days is emotional torture. Sydney's struggle
was symbolized by his death, may his soul rest in peace.
We will not confine ourselves to discussing Sydney's case in isolation but
will criticize, condemn and lambast the education delivery system in the
country in its broadest sense. The rot is evident at pre and primary schools
before we look at secondary, higher and tertiary education. Teachers have
become the laughing stock when it comes to salaries and are expected to find
motivation from some other quarters.
They are justifiably a demoralized and demotivated lot. Add to this, the
shortage of text books which are a vital component for any learning process,
surely the education sector needs an overhaul.
Human life should be dignified, I will not comment on the death of the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa's
son while studying in the United States of America.
While we don't celebrate the death, I wish to use the life and studies of
the Minister's son to illustrate the parallel education patterns emerging in
Zimbabwe, one for the elite which is well funded and is beyond the reach of
many and a second system running parallel which is underfunded and pretends
to have its doors open to everyone when actually it is not.
Despite Ministers like Chinamasa's preaching the evils of imperialism, they
still send their children to the same countries they claim to despise. The
small group of the ZANU PF elite is plundering the country's wealth and
spending fortunes on educating their children abroad, while convincing us
that we still have the best education delivery system.
It's not surprising, their parents were brought about by the same system,
were educated abroad and do not understand the needs of a grade seven pupil
The majority of the ministers educate their children outside Zimbabwe, often
at top universities in the US, Australia and the United Kingdom. Australia
has already deported eight students whose parents are senior members of
Mugabe's cabinet and there are calls for other countries to do the same as
the government's policies deny the majority basic education. Hartmann House,
St Georges, Prince Edward and St Johns are among the schools the Minister's
son attended before pursuing tertiary education in the United States of
Surely there is need for the imbalances to be addressed urgently before an
anti-apartheid like Soweto uprising. May the soul of the Minister's son rest
It is these disappointing and ugly events that characterize our learning
today that prompt the many demonstrations that students embark on, day in
day out, against a background of the escalating brutality of the regime and
its surrogate and partisan police.
For those who had always been wondering, we cannot sit idle and bay watch
developments such as these. With no military and police at our disposal and
our only strength being our capacity to harness the power of the people, we
promise that his tragic death will not be taken lightly and as students we
will do all that is permissible in a democratic society through non violent
Only last week students stormed the streets of Harare protesting against the
closure of the campus halls and the deteriorating education delivery.
As concerned students, we are calling on government to urgently revisit the
evictions with a sober mind and an idea to avoid more deaths. There are a
number of individuals and organizations who, if approached, are more than
wiling to give a hand in the renovations of the halls of residence.
It is high time the administrators and those in the responsible Ministry and
government come up with a holistic, all inclusive and students centered
approach to the looming humanitarian crisis at the University of Zimbabwe.
We deserve to be treated with human dignity.
I extend my condolences to the Tapfumaneyi family. Sydney's loss is not only
a loss for the Tapfumaneyi family, but for all the students in Zimbabwe. We
solely blame the death on Robert Mugabe's brutal regime, and may Sydney's
soul rest in eternal peace.
Beloved Chiweshe is the Secretary General of ZINASU
6th Nov 2007 17:04 GMT
By Washington Katema
IT WILL be analytically complicated to divorce the myriad of problems
engulfing the education sector from the general decay of the
politico-economic infrastructure of Zimbabwe.
The unthinkable economic conditions and dark sky of full-blown dictatorship
prevailing in our country has immensely affected and heavily compromised the
education system in Zimbabwe. Annual Inflation rate is currently pegged at
over 7900% and is rising.
The overt democratic deficit in the country has greatly affected the
university governance systems and mechanisms. Tragically, most institutions
of higher learning are now more of party-state political indoctrination
chambers than epicentres of academic discourses. Furthermore, the funding of
the education sector has been unrealistic and scandalous.
Education is no longer an integral component of the overall national
development plan. Key policy analysis concepts and tools such as quality
assurance, research infrastructure, support of employability and
supranational policies have been deliberately and consistently ignored in
the education milieu of Zimbabwe.
The obtaining man- made politico-economic crisis has negatively affected the
Educational Infrastructure in Zimbabwe. Both Medical Schools at the
University of Zimbabwe and National University of Science and Technology
(NUST) are facing an unimaginable plethora of challenges.
The critical shortage of qualified lecturers, basic learning equipment, text
books and infrastructure has rendered many sleepless nights to college
authorities. As a result NUST is contemplating closing down its Medical
School. This will negatively affect the Health delivery system in Zimbabwe
as there is a symbiotic relation between the Medical Schools and the
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The shortage of lecturers, books and infrastructure is not only confined to
the medical schools but across the whole education sector in Zimbabwe. Harsh
economic conditions and a turbulent political climate have catalysed brain
drain in Zimbabwe. At least one third of Zimbabweans are now living outside
the country and most of them are professionals.
The final collapse of student support system on 10 February 2006 resulted in
exorbitant fee increment, a factor which forced 31.5% of students to drop
out of college. Student admission mechanism is now predicated on
affordability rather than on meritocracy. Again, the prioritisation of
state-sponsored Zanu PF-National Youth Service graduates as a selection
criterion has tainted the education system in Zimbabwe.
The exiguous budgetary allocations on education have made campus life, not
only unsustainable but apparently impossible, illegal and even immoral. We
have seen the reincarnation of these unfortunate occurrences in the lower
levels of our education system, exacerbated by the continued and uncontained
power and water cuts . UNESCO's stipulation that 26% of the national budget
must be allocated to education has been ignored. Perhaps, it is because most
children of senior ranking government officials do not study in Zimbabwe, in
but South Africa, Europe, Australia and in the United States.
There must be clear systems to ensure quality assurance in the education
packages. There is also need for consistent and systematic quality auditing.
The quality must be of the international standards. All Universities need to
set up Quality Circles to ensure maintance of standards. Students must be
represented in these vital committees. Further, they must adopt learning and
teaching methods that are relevant to the modern times, that will produce a
graduate, who has not only crammed volumes of literature from various
disciplines but one who is dynamic and agreeable to the changing times and
There is no concrete research quality framework on the panorama of the
education sector in Zimbabwe. Lack of sound research infrastructure and
funding have turned research institutes into white elephants. The Institute
of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe is in the intensive
care unit. There is no strategic innovativeness in many research-oriented
departments such as the agriculture department, engineering departments and
the school of medicine.
The student-computer ratio is among the highest in the region. Further,
almost two thirds of the colleges in Zimbabwe are operating without Internet
facilities. In this information age one would expect more from the Zimbabwe
education system. The government must come up with a systemic infrastructure
initiative to provide funding to upgrade the systemic infrastructure of
universities and colleges to meet the regional and international standards.
Funding must be provided for innovative approaches to expand access to
shared facilities such as libraries, information and communications
technologies, specialised equipment, technical and administrative
Intensified party-state interference in the day to day running of
universities and colleges in Zimbabwe has largely eroded their autonomy.
This resulted in the late Professor Walter Kamba resigning from being the
Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. The University Act
reconfigured the centres of power in the running of universities in
Zimbabwe. The university council which now runs the University is hand
picked by Mr. Robert Mugabe, the chancellor of all state universities in
Zimbabwe. High on their Key Performance Areas are student suspensions and
Corruption is rife and rampant in most colleges and Universities in
Zimbabwe. Last year, the Vice Chancellor of the state-owned Chinhoyi
University of Technology, Professor Charles Nherera was jailed for
corruption charges. The Student Union Presidents who are supposed to provide
the checks and balance in the University Council are suspended on the day
they get into office. Since 2004, most of University of Zimbabwe Student
Union Presidents have failed to complete their studies at the institution.
The list is a follows, Sendisa Ndlovu, Hentchel Winterhold Mavuma, Tineyi
Mukwewa and the current President Lovemore Chinoputsa and many others. There
are not sustainable and enduring internal governance systems and standard
internal management control mechanism in these institutions, the bedrock of
all vibrant Universities globally. The continued militarization of
institutions of higher learning must be condemned by all and sundry.
The systemic and systematic victimisation has reached unprecedented
proportions. Student suspensions, expulsions and arrests are now weekly
events. The recent, unfortunate arrest and illegal detention of Edison
Hlatswayo for almost a month was as shocking as it was total madness. The
follow up arrests of Brenda Mupfurutsa and five others showed the levels of
desperation in the minds of our rulers. These detentions and harassments
have been completely unnecessary and a smart government could have simply
allowed them to pass without any incidences.
Student's harassment is on the spiral and perennial. National University of
Science and Technology (NUST) student's leaders are all just fresh from an
illegal detention. Student Leaders in Mutare, including Ms Brilliant Dube,
the SRC President at Mutare Polytechnic College were recently denied
accommodation on the basis that they are aligned to ZINASU. Mehluli Dube
(NUST), a mere student leader`s treason charges, perhaps more than all
exemplifies how much this once noble revolution has begun to consume its own
Lovemore Chinoputsa and Fortune Chamba, both from the University of Zimbabwe
(UZ) were recently brutally tortured for simply enquiring when students
would be returned to their halls of residence, from which they were abruptly
evicted early this year. Again no explanation was offered. Professor Levy
Nyagura, who will go down as the most cruel Vice Chancellor since the
inception of the university can still afford a descent sleep without knowing
where the children from the institution over which he presides lay their
heads in these cold and rainy nights, where crime is ever on the increase
because of the intensification of unmitigated hunger and poverty, arising
out of high unemployment and spiralling inflation.
On 9 July 2007, the University evicted all the resident students from campus
accommodation. Tragically, 3 students have been murdered because they are
now made to walk long distance from their new homes to the college. The
recent victim, who was reported in the state-owned Herald of 2 November
2007, is Sydney Tapfumaneyi, a final year at the University of Zimbabwe, who
was living in Waterfalls. Sydney was murdered in cold blood and his body was
only discovered after several days. Tafirenyika Magwidi was the first victim
in August 2007 when he was murdered along the Air-port road near One
The effects of removing students from their Halls of Residence have been
overstated since the eviction psychosis started; however, for the purposes
of emphatic repetition it is prudent to restate them. Campus life is an
essential part of University's ideology, the world over. Therefore,
universities oblige students to live on Campus during the course of their
studies. All students live on campus and form a community that is not
limited to the classroom. Campus life is an essential part of University's
Students come from varied backgrounds, and living together provides unique
opportunities for them to learn from each other's experiences. Through a
wide range of on-campus organizations, special interest committees and
contests, students are encouraged to actively participate in campus life
thereby developing them not only into academic experts but also into
individuals that can function and find themselves in a community of other
individuals and be able to stand on their two feet.
Not to mention the convenience of having to avoid transport blues and the
hustles of seeking descent accommodation and other numerous benefits that
have always been the foundation of campus life in universities the world
over. The government need to be reminded on The African Chapter on Human and
Peoples' Rights article 17 (1) which states that everyone has a right to
Washington Katema is the National Coordinator of Zimbabwe National Students'
Union. He can be contacted on zinasu@gmail. com and www.zinasu.org
From The Herald, 6 November
The prosecution yesterday appealed to the High Court against the bail
granted to former NMB Bank deputy managing director James Mushore on
allegations of flouting Exchange Control Regulations and breaching the
Immigration Act. Mushore remains in custody pending the hearing of the State's
appeal. Prosecutor Mr Obi Mabahwana indicated his intention to challenge the
bail ruling after Mushore's lawyers, Advocate Eric Matinenga and Mr Innocent
Chagonda, last Tuesday secured his release on $100 million bail. Mr
Mabahwana submitted that Mushore, who has been living in the United Kingdom
for the past three years, was likely to abscond. "The court erred by saying
the accused will not abscond since there is evidence that the accused
absconded when police were looking for him. He did not use a designated port
of exit nor his passport (when he left Zimbabwe in 2004). The accused person
is established in the United Kingdom where he has been staying since 2004
when he absconded from Zimbabwe. Therefore, the accused has connections in
the UK or abroad," said Mr Mabahwana. The State further submitted that since
one of Mushore's charges - exporting foreign currency - was very serious and
attracted imprisonment, he could be tempted to abscond.
"One of the charges the accused is facing involves illegal exportation of
substantial amounts of foreign currency and case law has it that upon
conviction on this charge, the accused can be imprisoned if he does not
repatriate the funds in question," he said. Mr Mabahwana also submitted that
Mushore was now formally charged and that this could induce him to flee.
Mushore, who was supposed to appear in court yesterday, was remanded in
custody in absentia to November 19 after the Zimbabwe Prison Services could
not bring him to court. He was arrested in Harare on October 24 soon after
returning from the UK. He is accused of instructing his subordinates to
export US$2 460 470, R3 million, 30 000 euros, Ł285 000 and 800 000 pula to
a London bank without the Reserve Bank's approval. The State further alleges
that Mushore illegally dealt in foreign currency amounting to $2 861 864,28
and US$216 524,20. Mushore is also being charged for breaching immigration
laws when he allegedly crossed into Zambia through an undesignated point in
Kariba. He boarded a plane to the UK in Zambia. It is alleged that he did
not use his passport and that his car was later recovered abandoned in the
From Moneyweb (SA), 5 November
At least 14 listed stocks could be seriously impacted by dubious
Kinshasa-related leaks; in Johannesburg, watch Metorex.
Johannesburg - Whether orchestrated or not, leaks directly and indirectly
from Kinshasa over draft recommendations on the Democratic Republic of the
Congo's mining review put a minor panic into potentially exposed stocks in
the latter trading days of the past week. Some DRC-related stocks fell by up
to 9% on Friday, with Africo, which owns the disputed Kalukundi deposit,
leading the losses. Following overwhelming evidence, most of it sad and
depressing, some 60 DRC mining concessions were put into a review in an
official list dated April 14 2007. While it is no secret that the mining
review is far from complete, rumours latterly fed into the market indicate
that none of the contracts are going to survive without re-negotiation. The
figures don't add up, but it's said that 37 contracts will have to be
re-negotiated, while 24 are set for termination.
Whether these clearly premature numbers have been spat out by the efforts of
various influences will be a major source of speculation for months to come.
It's no secret that certain DRC officials (and certain private sector
individuals) are keen to progress a promised $5bn investment from Chinese
sources, by settling certain DRC mining interests in return. On the other
hand, within the private sector, high level battles continue over titles to
the fabulously rich mineral resources found across the DRC, a country the
size of Western Europe. Over the past decade, the DRC has encountered
instability of such magnitude that millions, according to various NGOs, have
died from unnatural causes. For years the country has hosted MONUC, the UN's
most expensive single-country operation. Given this background, the vast
majority of mining deals currently found in the DRC can easily be
In a July 18 2006 report to the UN's Security Council, the Group of Experts
on the DRC raised serious questions over concession rights held by
individuals of unknown or questionable standing. Noting that the DRC's
Mining Cadastre listed 2144 mining and quarrying concessions, the Group of
Experts argued that "an undetermined number appear to be held by
concessionaires affiliated with investors whose personal and professional
integrity is doubtful". This lack of transparency, the Group of Experts
argued, provided "hiding places for sanctioned individuals, financiers of
embargo violators and for other individuals who simply do not meet the
standards of the Code Minier". As an example of a "due diligence failure",
the report referred to Camec, and noted that Conrad Muller "Billy"
Rautenbach, a major shareholder in Camec, was wanted by the authorities of
South Africa for fraud and theft. Rautenbach had ostensibly sold Boss Mining
(concessions 467 and 469) and also concessions 1590-1605 to Camec.
As a further example of a due diligence failure, the report also referred to
Ruashi Mining (concessions 627, 578, and 72), noting that Niko Shefer,
"ex-convict and currently indicted by the authorities of South Africa, is
the controlling shareholder of Ruashi Mining". Under cover of layers of
entities, including Sentinelle Global Investments, Shefer "sold" Ruashi to
Metorex, and later realized benefits to the tune of around $400m, according
to individuals familiar with the situation. The Camec and Metorex
concessions are clearly among the most vulnerable in the DRC: Camec is
already fighting its case in the courts of Lubumbashi, the capital of
Katanga Province, host of the DRC's copper-cobalt riches. Camec's would-be
concessions can be traced back to the DRC's 1997-2003 war, under the
Zimbabwe military's notorious Operation Sovereign Legitimacy (Osleg). For
its part, Metorex has steadfastly refused comment of any kind on the quality
of title of its Ruashi concession, now the group's major money spinner.
The cases for many other DRC mining concessions are better looking. In April
this year, a memorandum by DRC mines minister Martin Kabwelulu effectively
resuscitated the controversial commission report by Christophe Lutundula,
filed in mid-2005. The Kabwelulu memorandum made it clear that no mining
contracts would be "annulled". Lutundula, an experienced politician from the
opposition, was appointed as chairman of a commission into mining contracts;
work started at the end of May 2004, and focused on investigations into
selected mining contracts signed between 1996 and 2003. The final report was
deposed at the Bureau of the National Assembly in June 2005, where it
lingered. Even after Lutundula filed his report in mid-2005, the DRC
government dished out a series of concessions involving giant mining assets
in Katanga and the Kasaď. Katanga Mining's Kamoto agreement was ratified by
presidential decree on August 4 2005; Nikanor's titles were similarly
ratified on October 13 2005, and the Tenké Fungurumé agreements on October
Another presidential decree in October 2005 confirmed three memorandums of
agreement of diamond parastatal Société Miničre de Bakwanga (MIBA) with
three private companies, De Beers, DGI Mining, and Nizhne-Lenskoye,
apparently concerning mining licenses for a massive surface area of more
than 35 000 square kilometers. Today Tenké Fungurumé is 24.75% held by
Lundin Mining, 57.75% by Freeport McMoRan, with the balance of 17.5% in the
hands of La Générale des Carričres et des Mines (Gécamines). Tenké Fungurumé
is under construction, with commercial production planned for the first half
of 2009. Tenké Fungurumé is a greenfields operation; Katanga Mining's Kamoto
and Nikanor's KOV are brownfields, to which Katanga Mining and Nikanor have
committed $424m and $1.8bn, respectively, in redevelopment finance. Freeport
McMoRan recently stated that capital costs at Tenké Fungurumé had increased
to $900m from $650m previously, reflecting various inflationary pressures
and scope changes. Some $157m in capital costs had been incurred through
September 30 2007.
Senior mining groups such as Freeport McMoRan rely on legislative and
multiple other certainties before committing to huge projects, and display
the highest standards of corporate governance. In much the same vein, it's
unthinkable that the various DRC exploration concessions held by BHP
Billiton are anything but proper. The same can be said of the exploration
concessions held by Gold Fields and the more advanced interests AngloGold
Ashanti holds in the DRC's far north east. Similar positive comments can be
articulated for First Quantum, the most experienced listed miner on the
adjoining DRC and Zambia copper belts. There is no question, however, that a
good number of DRC concessions are rotten to the core. The final outcome of
the DRC mining review is going to have a major impact on the country's
standing as to its quality as an investment destination. In a recent
investment rating risk by Chubb regarding resource rich countries, the DRC
ranked a lowly 25th of 32 possible positions.
In practice, it's going to be difficult to shove all the blame on the
private sector. The Lutundula commission noted that the likes of Gécamines
"approved joint ventures whose objective is to create new companies with
private partners, which, in other words, contributes to their own
disappearance". In some cases, the commission argued, "the management
committees of the public enterprises that initiate and proceed with
negotiations - in which the Kinshasa authorities interfere a lot - lack
transparency, collaboration and cohesion". There is ample evidence of
various peccadilloes by both private sector and public sector interests.
Earlier this year, for instance, Moto Gold Mines was known to some
specialist investors as the world's hottest gold stock. But it seemed
inevitable that the stock would run into some kind of trouble for outlining
nearly 20m ounces of gold resources in the far north eastern part of the
DRC, in Orientale province, just outside the Ituri "province", after the
proclamation of James Kazini, a warlord, in 1999. Today, Moto Gold rates as
one of the worst performing gold stocks in the world, following various
spats with various individuals connected, directly or indirectly, with DRC
parastatal Okimo (L'Office des Mines d'or de Kilo-Moto).
Nyasa Times, Malawi
Mabuchi Ngwira on 06 November, 2007 10:54:00
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and its regional partners
says Zimbabweans are migrating into other countries due to political
instability and 42 percent of those flooding into the country are escaping
A research; 'The displacement of Zimbabweans into Malawi and the
Implications for poverty eradication Efforts' conducted in April 2007 by the
organisation further says 11.5 percent of Zimbabweans left because of
political instability while 8 percent fled in fear of political persecution.
CHRR says its findings reveal that 52.4 percent of Malawians view the
migration of the Zimbabweans as beneficial to the country, while 28.6
percent think the situation was negatively affecting the country like
increased prostitution and HIV prevalence rate. Malawi businesses seem to be
main beneficiaries as they can acquire Zimbabwean goods on the cheap prices
on the local market.
CHRR Programme Officer, Veronica Njikho said the migrating Zimbabweans have
created immerse problems to Malawi and need to be addressed quickly by both
the government and other stakeholders.
Njikho cited the monopoly in getting employment favouring Zimbabweans
especially in companies originally from Zimbabwe.
"The coming in of Zimbabwean companies has aggravated the problem as they
are only employing their countrymen against the already increasing levels of
unemployed in the country," said Njikho.
The issue of Malawi passports obtained by most Zimbabweans aggravated
corruption at the Department of Immigration.
"Most of them have counterfeit Malawian passports which they claim to be
original and use them to go to other countries such as United Kingdom," she
Njikho therefore expressed doubt if Malawi would be on course to achiving
the Millenuin Development Goals considering the challenges at hand brought
by the migrating Zimbabweans, urging government to come up with stringent
measures to control the situation.
The Department of Immigration concedes that the majority of those crossing
the boarders into Malawi are Zimbabweans, who bribe officials to access the
CHRR has made recommendations to government to advocate at Southern African
Development Community (SADC) regional levels to treat the crisis in Zimbabwe
with urgency as it impacted negatively on the SADC's goal on poverty
"Also to engage the Zimbabwe Government into talks to ensure that respect of
human rights of its people regardless of political loyalty and opinion,"
said CHRR Civic Education Officer Levi Mvula, who called for debate within
the civil society organisation on how best Malawi could responde to the
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition led the study with its regional partners;
CHRR in Malawi and Southern Africa Legal Assistance Network of Zambia and
the Botswana Centre for Human Rights with an objective of gathering
information on the extent of displacement of Zimbabweans and the
implications on poverty reduction strategy.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
06 November 2007
The Zimbabwe School Examination Council has proposed to print school
certificates in the country because it lacks the foreign exchange required
to print them abroad.
Already under fire for failing to hold secondary exams in a timely manner,
the council will seek parliamentary approval for the move, sources close to
The council is two years behind in delivering certificates. Candidates for
university are only getting results slips, which are easy to falsify.
Higher-education candidates have also had trouble getting transcripts,
though these don't require special paper.
VOA was unable to obtain comment from ZIMSEC Director Happy Ndanga.
But opposition lawmaker Fidelis Mhashu, a member of the parliamentary
education committee, said the ZIMSEC chief last week acknowledged in a
committee hearing that his organization has run into severe problems and
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe President Takavafira Zhou told
reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that ZIMSEC's track
record raises questions about its proposal to print the sensitive
By Carole Gombakomba
06 November 2007
Officials of the faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai have complained that the formation has been
unfairly treated by elements of the media amidst divisions over the
leadership of its women's wing.
One Tsvangirai MDC faction official spoke of a ""total onslaught in the
media" - but observers said divisions within the faction were not fabricated
Faction policy coordinator Eddie Cross said in an e-mailed circulated
Tuesday that the image of the MDC in the media is "driven by a variety of
political interests who are all committed to ensuring that the MDC does not
win the next election".
Faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party is not blaming the media for its
problems, but is concerned that certain issues have been distorted or blown
out of proportion.
Advocacy Coordinator Abel Chikomo of the Media Monitoring Project of
Zimbabwe said that while state media have not been objective in their
reporting on the trouble in the faction, the general picture drawn by the
media indicates all is not well there.