week's emotional announcement by President Mugabe that multi-national oil
companies should import fuel because his government will not continue
"cracking its head" on how to source foreign currency for fuel which is
subsequently sold to the multi-national companies which, in turn, sell it at
a profit was a thinly veiled admission of failure by a man who once said
no-one else could manage this country's economy better
Mugabe told an economic gathering in Gweru that it
made no sense for his government to "crack its head" importing fuel,
incurring losses and yet oil companies with well-built and attractive service
stations sell the commodity at a profit.
He said the companies
did not experience "headaches and stomach aches" he experiences because of
"cracking" his head about fuel supplies for the nation.
for 22 years he had been having what he termed tomfoolery, and wondered for
how much longer he could continue "superintending an institution of
His remarks must have surprised a large number of
people who have been closely following the goings-on at the State oil
company, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim), its debts and
allegations of possible fraud, and fuel that went missing at the Mozambican
port of Beira.
The speech exposed how Mugabe's administration is
either a one-man affair or a real "institution of tomfoolery", as he himself
Calls and suggestions have been made since 1980 by various
parties, including prominent economic opinion-makers, that the government
should close down Noczim and let private enterprise import fuel as was the
case before Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on
11 November, 1965.
Each time that suggestion was made, Mugabe's
government strongly opposed it, saying that petrol and other fuels were
strategic commodities which should not be controlled by private business
corporations lest they, the corporations, sabotage the country's security and
The rationale was, of course, a piece of "tomfoolery" in
that the vast majority of governments throughout the world do not get
directly or indirectly involved in the importation of fuels. That is done,
like most other goods, by appropriate business enterprises. The argument made
economic sense only to the economically senseless.
The Zanu PF
administration's psychology seemed to have been that if Noczim's predecessor
served the Smith regime successfully, it would do likewise for the government
of Zimbabwe. The Zanu PF leadership lost sight of the fact that the Smith
regime's era was characterised by virtual universal hostility as represented
by United Nations economic sanctions and the fuel embargo against the UDI
It was vital for that regime to create an administrative
apparatus to ensure the procurement of fuels by hook or crook. That need fell
off with Zimbabwe's achievement of independence in 1980. That apparatus
should have been dismantled, and a normal business environment created to
Mugabe's habit of pointing an accusing finger at other
people or organisations but himself whenever there is a national problem, is
a major personality weakness of this man who, in 1980, was a political
darling not only of most Zimbabweans, but of most Third World
Today, he sees multi-national oil companies profiting from
his administration's "aches". What should they do? Sell the fuels at a
What he should emphasise is his government's folly to try and
get into trading because a government's duty is to administer, and not to buy
and sell. It is only a very few national requirements, such as arms, that
should be procured by an arm of a government.
to "tomfoolery" was most significant, and can be applied to other parastatals
and some government departments such as the police force which has been
turned into an arm of Zanu PF.
Instead of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police paying their undivided professional attention to the protection and
promotion of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, they are now concerned more with
the protection and promotion of Zanu PF interests against those of opposition
parties, especially the MDC.
It is sheer "tomfoolery" for a
national police force to adopt a partisan modus operandi because that
prejudices them against some segments of the nation whose Constitution they
must vigorously uphold at all times. Zimbabwe is constitutionally a
multi-party state, and it is the duty of the police, the judiciary and other
arms of the State to acknowledge and respect that fact.
piece of "tomfoolery" in Zimbabwe occurs with incredible regularity in the
country's ministries of education where teachers are treated with disdain and
How can a ministry remain as silent as a grave
when its servants are terrorised and harassed by people some of whom do not
appreciate the value of the services provided by those professional servants?
That silence is worse than "tomfoolery", to say the least.
does the Zimbabwean government find it just and acceptable to suspend, sack
and punish some of the country's teachers, while granting some (university
lecturers) their just demands? What is the rationale behind that type of
We also come across a lot of "tomfoolery" in
parastatals such as the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company(Zupco), a company
whose transport services used to be second to none a few years ago. What has
Rather, what has it not done? Zupco has dismally failed to
upgrade its vehicles and modernise services to cope with both competition and
demand. Instead, it has remained rooted in the past millennium when the rest
of the corporate world has moved with the times into the new
We also come across a great deal of "tomfoolery" in the
National Railways of Zimbabwe, a massively loss-making parastatal whose
services are characterised by thievery and shoddy delivery.
former Posts and Telecommunications Corporation is yet another institution
where a great deal of "tomfoolery" was experienced a couple of years ago when
some form of restructuring led to retrenchments involving unbelievable
bonanzas of golden handshakes which the parastatal
The latest piece involved the State-run
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, where several hundred employees were laid
off, only for the financially gasping organisation to give them millions of
dollars in severance packages.
I have always deeply wondered how
a highly educated group of people such as those comprising Mugabe's Cabinet
can fail so palpably to run such a small country as Zimbabwe.
But now, Mugabe's speech at Gweru on 30 October 2002 seems to explain why. It
would appear that these people seldom, if ever, seriously put their heads
together to analyse the real causes and effects of the
country's socio-economic problems.
They are obviously no more
than superficial, public rally speech-makers.
Do you remember
Mugabe's Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made,
boasting that he had flown over the country and had established that there
was enough maize for the nation?
If that was not unadulterated
"tomfoolery", nothing is. But he is still holding his portfolio in Mugabe's
Mugabe's speech has also revealed that he and his
ministers are very, very slow thinkers. If they were not, they could have
seen the wisdom of winding up Noczim years ago, and let the fuel sector be
run by appropriate companies, and in that way save the nation billions of
As it is now, Zimbabwe's socio-economic life is grinding
to a halt - all because of an inefficient government led by an audible
paranoid, a person who is so disillusioned about his ego that he sees
persecutors in his shadow.
For how long shall the nation endure
his "institution of tomfoolery?"
Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 06:48 GMT Bishop calls on
Mugabe to quit
Reports say Mugabe's supporters are
seizing food aid
Donkin BBC correspondent recently in Zimbabwe
A leading Zimbabwean churchman has called on President
Robert Mugabe to stand down because his controversial land reform programme is
ruining the country's economy and putting millions at risk of hunger.
The Bishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, says black farmworkers are the real victims
when white farms are handed over to government supporters.
Mugabe, he says, seems ready to starve his own people to keep power.
Travelling around Zimbabwe you cannot miss the effects of Robert
Mugabe's land reforms:
a.. Lorries are loaded with goods
hastily cleared from their homes by white farmers
commercial farms have now become 200
c.. Up to one million black
farmworkers who do not share in the re-distribution sleep rough or in refugee
Most settlers moving onto white lands do not have the seeds,
the tools or the know-how to grow crops so land lies bare and unploughed in this
sowing season. Everywhere queues for basic foods like maize and bread
get longer daily.
Aid effort hampered
The Bishop of
Bulawayo told the BBC that Zimbabwe's economy was in tatters, with both
professional people and the poor leaving the country in droves because of Mr
He said the president did not care if his people starved
and he should stand down.
Aid agencies have already warned that up
to six million Zimbabweans face severe hunger because of drought.
They will admit privately that land reform has hastened a crisis but will not
criticise the government publicly because it is drawing up laws to restrict,
even ban, their operations if food is not distributed as it sees fit.
That means it goes to government supporters, the evidence shows.
Ernest Moyowangu Chuma, missing from duty for eight months, is reported to be
detained without charge at Francistown State Prison.
He has been
detained since July, when he fled to Botswana after allegedly being tortured
for being a member of the MDC.
Chuma fled the country soon after
the controversial March presidential election.
In Botswana, he
met two Zimbabwean corporals from Bulawayo's Llewelyn Barracks also detained
by the Botswana authorities.
They had escaped to the United
Nations' Dukwe refugee camp after they were allegedly interrogated by the
army's counter-intelligence branch for the same accusations - MDC
Corporals Irvine Ndou and Peter Kwanele Ntini are still
at Dukwe refugee camp but are not under arrest.
It has also
emerged that Chuma is not being ill-treated and is being kept in prison in
his civilian clothes.
He is reportedly waiting to be cleared to
obtain refugee status.
At first it was alleged that Chuma could
have been sent by the Zimbabwean authorities to spy on Ntini and Ndou and was
not a genuine asylum seeker. The authorities accused him of lying that he was
escaping from political victimisation in Zimbabwe.
Superintendent Julius Thupe, the officer-in-charge of Francistown State
Prison, yesterday said he could not comment on Chuma's issue.
Thupe said: "I am not allowed to give news to any paper. I cannot give you
anything about that issue, even if you were a local reporter."
months ago, former army spokesperson, Mbonisi Gatsheni, said the army did not
know Chuma's whereabouts but that he was still wanted for being absent
without official leave.
Gathseni said then: "Chuma is a deserter.
We do not know where he is. The army has no information about people who have
run away to seek political asylum."
Ntini and Ndou were students
in an environmental health course at the Medical Training School at Llewellyn
Barracks in Bulawayo, when their difficulties began.
presidential election while the two soldiers were on field attachment in
rural Matabeleland, they were allegedly visited by members of the military
intelligence who accused them of being MDC members.
Ndou and Ntini
escaped to Dukwe, which they wanted to use as a transit point on their way to
seeking refugee status in foreign countries, far from Africa.
be understandable if there was deep scepticism among Africa watchers about
the universal acceptance among African leaders of the provision for peer
review as part of the New Plan for African Development (Nepad).
Certainly, it came as no surprise to many that only 12 out of the 50-odd
members of the African Union agreed last Sunday to subject their governments
to monitoring for performance and democracy.
This key requirement
for countries to qualify for the promised development aid from the West was
never going to be easy for many African leaders to accept. Zimbabwe, for
instance, would fail miserably if such monitoring was conducted
The government is sceptical of Nepad, anyway,
basically because of its reliance on Western aid.
has set itself on a political course against the West, with the United States
this week threatening to do more than just protest against the unfair
distribution of food aid.
It is wrong-headed of the government to
believe that there are no Zimbabweans who are aggrieved by the use of food
aid as a political weapon, and that the accusation by the West is without
It is just as wrong for the government to believe that
all the criticism and condemnation of its political and economic blunders
is confined to, or is influenced by, the West.
millions of Zimbabweans facing starvation who blame the government for their
miserable situation. They don't need the West to tell them when their empty
stomachs are rumbling from hunger.
Instead of stubbornly seeing a
Western spy under every bed, the government ought to open its eyes to the
consequences of its policies. On Nepad, it must put the welfare of the people
before that of its political survival.
South Africa's President
Thabo Mbeki had initially objected to the inclusion of good, clean government
as an integral aspect of the peer review monitoring process. Many leaders,
including President Mugabe, must hold the same position.
scrutiny of how clean and fair the government is would prove disastrous for
Zimbabwe and other countries, where government is mostly of, by and for the
Many African governments are headed by leaders who
somehow want to perpetuate their rule even if, physically, this would be
unwise. The example of Kenya's aging Daniel arap Moi is a poignant
Although he has signalled his intention to step down, he
appears to want to ensure that his style of government, including the
sporadic corruption, will continue under Uhuru Kenyatta, his would-be
The opposition, for the first time in many years, has
rallied behind one presidential candidate, Mwai Kibaki. If there is a free
and fair presidential election, the chances are that Kibaki will succeed Moi
Like Zimbabwe, Kenya alienated many Western donors
and the international donor agencies because of Moi's iron-fisted rule and
the endemic corruption in high places. Many such countries and agencies
have withheld assistance until there is a return to sound,
Good, clean governance is too high a
mountain to climb for many African countries who, nevertheless, pretend to be
committed to fighting poverty among their people.
they would receive aid to fight poverty and underdevelopment but would, in
return, have to ensure there was an end to corruption and the brutal
treatment of political parties, the judiciary, the churches, the media, the
legal fraternity and other groups or individuals who hold different views
That is Zimbabwe in a microcosm: intolerance of
dissent. What is so tragic, for Zimbabwe and the other African countries
which eschew true pluralism, is that only for the sake of continuing in power
until kingdom come they will let their own people starve to
Why should they feel alarmed when other countries, perhaps
with altruistic intentions or even with their own enlightened self-interests
at heart, threaten to act against them?
Sovereignty which places
little value on human life is not worth the paper it is written on.
present sad wrangling in the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) marks an
ignominious end to a century of progress and development. That this has been
brought about by the actions of yet another unstable African
dictator clinging to power is sad. It is, however, indicative of the problems
facing all efforts at development and the alleviation of poverty on the
It is my contention that real development can only take
place when those involved are residents and citizens of a country. Foreign
aid agencies and development programmes come and go, leaving nothing
A few local people get richer than they
ever expected and a few foreigners acquire a good sun tan or some interesting
tropical diseases. Otherwise, nothing changes. Often, matters get worse
because naive foreigners often emphasise the growing of cash crops at the
expense of food self-sufficiency.
In fact this seems very
logical to them, since they all come from countries with cash economies. Cash
crops are indeed vital in Africa, but only after a country is self-sufficient
in food production.
Commercial agriculture is now dead in Zimbabwe.
It has been stated that 95 percent of all commercial farms have been
"seized", a polite euphemism for stolen and distributed to Zanu PF
supporters. As most of these supporters are already wealthy it is obvious
that they have no aptitude for farming, otherwise they would have bought and
farmed their own land years ago.
Instead we see "cellphone
farmers" who visit their acquired estates on weekends and holidays and have
no conception at all as to what large-scale farming is all about. These farms
will produce nothing, owned and run as they are by unqualified absentee
landlords. Those farms that have been divided up into small plots will also
not produce anything for the nation, because the new owners know nothing of
even subsistence farming.
They may just be able to sustain
themselves in a good year, though even this is very unlikely. Commercial
agriculture is very different from small-scale or subsistence
It is as different as a supermarket is from a tuckshop or
rural store. Both have their place, both fulfil a need but they are very
different. Some small-scale farmers may eventually graduate to larger farms,
but the peasant farmers never will. It is commercial agriculture with its
irrigation, fertiliser and crop management that produces the bulk of the food
to feed the urban population. It is almost solely the producer of
export cash crops such as tobacco, flowers, and paprika.
I admit to
being a little confused as to what the retiring executive of the CFU thought
they could achieve by negotiating with a group that has sworn to destroy
them. Nearly 95 percent of all farms have been confiscated with no valid
compensation, and they still want to negotiate? I hope that what they have
done and are still doing was from honourable though possibly mistaken
conviction, because to think otherwise would be a
There will always be collaborators and
sell-outs in any group; we can see them emerging now. I read recently of a
farmer who thought he had made a "deal" with Elliot Manyika, only to have it
all go horribly wrong. It is said that an honourable politician is a
politician who when bought, stays bought.
The Mafia too is said
to honour an agreement. Unfortunately our own politicians do not even live up
to the ethical standards of la Cosa Nostra. Consequently, we will see an
increasing number of farmers "dealing" with their local warlord in an effort
to preserve their way of life. This situation is dangerous, because they
become totally expendable.
There is talk of "profit-sharing" where
the warlord takes an ever-increasing cut of the profit from the farmer who
owns and works the farm. Elsewhere, this is called paying protection money.
Some can do it, I cannot. I do not have the stomach for it.
barefaced audacity is mind-boggling. Your property is stolen so that it can
be given to the thief's supporters and you are expected to pay off your
workers, made redundant by the very people who have stolen
It is a criminal offence to remove your own
property because it must be preserved intact for the thieves! It is a
criminal offence to burn down your own house in impotent rage, because it
must be preserved so the thieves can move into it. It is now not possible
even to take your machinery out of the country, bought and paid for by you,
in order to start afresh in another country.
And what about the
workers? Again the cunning of the "party" comes to the fore: make the farmer
pay compensation to the workers so that they can have a huge party, get drunk
or hire a bevy of women.
What about next year? What about the
future? What about work in the future? The "party" knows full well that
exceedingly few peasants think more than a day ahead. Nor do
Will these people be "given" any of the stolen land? They at
least have worked the land. Not likely, as they are suspected of supporting
the MDC and therefore a chance of a better life ahead.
As I see
it, farmers now have three choices. Move, retire or deal. To move is
difficult if you cannot take your machinery.
To retire may seem
attractive, but with inflation heading for 1 000 percent how do you preserve
the value of your money? You cannot invest it in the stock market because
industry is collapsing. You cannot bank it because of the negative real
Perhaps the best way is to turn it into real money
and hang on to that? Of course, you can cut a deal if you have the stomach
for it, but that has its hazards too. Those you are dealing with are 100
percent untrustworthy and you are very likely to end up losing
everything anyway. Then there is the prospect of life after Zanu PF, when
dealers are not likely to be looked upon kindly.
would never let go of my title deeds, because in the long run they will
establish legal ownership. The current "laws" are patently illegal and will
not stand up in an international court or in the future, when the rule of law
is restored. I am not sure whether legal action in Zimbabwe's courts has any
validity, because many of the judges are accused of receiving stolen land.
However, such action in respected foreign courts would indeed be a legitimate
THE Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), currently
rocked by divisions has launched an "ABC plan", an effort to promote unity
within the union, spruce up its relationship with the government, and with
farmers in other unions.
The CFU launched the plan at a time when
the union president, Colin Cloete, and director, David Hasluck, resigned from
their positions last week following sustained pressure from the disgruntled
Some of the members who pressed Cloete and Hasluck to
resign, wanted the two to either resign or call for a vote to choose between
litigation or dialogue with the government in dealing with farm
There are two clear divisions within the union: one arm
calls for dialogue with the government, while the other advocates for
litigation in handling farm evictions.
Cloete and Hasluck were
calling for dialogue before they resigned. About 95 percent of the CFU's 4
300 members have been slapped with evictions notices, despite the fact that
some of them own single farms.
The CFU council launched the "ABC
plan" at a closed meeting in Harare on Tuesday night and about 200 commercial
farmers attended. In a statement, a CFU spokesperson said: "The plan is
a broad-based, strategic document that promotes unity in diversity and
encompasses the needs of all CFU members regardless of whether they are
farming or not. It takes into account the needs of the government, the new
farmers and other farmers' unions in Zimbabwe."
Out of the 2 900
commercial farmers issued with eviction orders this year, 30 percent have
left the country, while the rest have either remained on the farms or now
live in towns.
In the statement, CFU vice-president Doug
Taylor-Freeme said the union now awaited feedback from members who were asked
to fill in slips for their opinions and contributions.
covers, the bigger picture of the agriculture sector, building of
infrastructure, food resources and networks and the creation of a conducive
climate to farm and for compensation.
WELSHMAN Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, yesterday said the European Union
(EU)-Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) ministers' meeting in
Maputo, Mozambique, should focus attention on the deteriorating situation in
Zimbabwe, which is negatively affecting the region.
Ncube said Dr
Stan Mudenge, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who left for the Maputo summit
yesterday, should be censured and reminded that President Mugabe was "an
illegitimate leader" of Zimbabwe.
"Mugabe's irresponsible and
violent actions are a scar on the Sadc region and potentially pose a threat
to the stability of neighbouring states, in particular Mozambique and
Botswana," Ncube said.
"We sincerely hope that EU-Sadc ministers
use this opportunity to focus their minds on the regional implications of the
crisis in Zimbabwe and not sweep Zimbabwe under the carpet as part of a
strategic sacrifice to make progress on other issues. Any discussion on
democracy, peace and stability cannot ignore the crisis in Zimbabwe. "The
summit in Maputo was originally scheduled for Copenhagen, Denmark. The EU
initially said Zimbabwe would not be allowed to take part in the
deliberations, since its leaders are facing targeted sanctions for human
The EU buckled and gave in to pressure from Sadc
leaders, who threatened to boycott the meeting if Zimbabwe was not allowed to
A compromise was eventually struck, with the summit being
relocated to Maputo.
Ncube said yesterday the crisis in Zimbabwe
was not about land, but about the legitimacy of Mugabe who controversially
won the presidential election.
"Mugabe's policies will create an
unmanageable and potentially destabilising refugee crisis in neighbouring
countries and haemorrhage the foreign investment needed to help sustain
economic growth within the region," Ncube said.
officials in Mashonaland West Province yesterday defended the nomination and
subsequent election as councillor of Patrick Bayana for Ward 21 in the
September rural district council elections despite him having a criminal
According to the Rural District Councils Act, a person
shall be disqualified from being nominated as a candidate if he has been
convicted of an offence involving dishonesty in connection with any funds or
other property. Bayana appeared in court at Chegutu Magistrates' Court
facing charges of theft on 25 November 1985 and was convicted.
John Mafa, the vice-chairman of Zanu PF in Mashonaland West
province, yesterday said they were now discouraging primary elections when
selecting party candidates because it divided the party.
who is the chairman of Chegutu Rural District Council, confirmed there was
disgruntlement from some people when Bayana was introduced at the meeting
held at Dombwe Hall on 1 November.
"One person at the meeting, a Mr
Chakoma said Bayana was not a party member and had a criminal record," he
said. "But Bayana is the councillor for Ward 21. He is working with his
people and they are happy with him. People can say anything."
Mafa said even if Bayana had a criminal record, there was a time limit when a
person was suspended from participating in elections.
James Tetani, from the Chegutu council confirmed the meeting took place. He
said: "Whoever leaked this story to you is trying to destroy the
Sources at the meeting alleged that Mafa ordered the party
faithfuls in Chegutu to support Bayana despite his record.
Bayana was given an option of a five-day prison term or a $5 fine. He opted
for the fine and the receipt number, according to court records,
According to the court record, Reference Number CH
938/85, Bayana was arrested by the Selous police on 19 November 1985 for
stealing a plough share and supporting bolts and two cartons of matches from
Msengezi Co-operative Store, where he was employed.
Phillip Chiyangwa, the Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West, under which
Chegutu falls, said he was unaware Bayana had a criminal record. "I still
have to meet all the new councillors. I understand that candidates are first
screened at district level," he said.
trial of six MDC supporters accused of killing Cain Nkala, a Bulawayo war
veteran leader, opens in the Harare High Court on Monday with 23 State
witnesses expected to testify.
Sixteen of them are police officers,
while two are Nkala's widow, Sikhumbuzo, and daughter, Zenzele.
Three affidavits from doctors will be produced in court, according to court
They include one which disputes allegations that one
suspect, Khethani Sibanda, was bitten on the arm by Nkala when he was
abducted from his home. Nkala was allegedly abducted from his Magwegwe West
home in Bulawayo on 5 November last year. He was subsequently murdered and
buried in a shallow grave at Norwood Farm near Solusi University, about 40km
out of Bulawayo.
The State alleges Nkala was murdered to avenge the
death of Patrick Nabanyama, an MDC activist abducted from his home before the
June 2000 parliamentary election. Nabanyama has not been seen since and is
Six war veterans positively identified as having
abducted Nabanyama were acquitted of murder in June this year.
five-member legal defence team represents the six now facing charges of
kidnapping and murdering Nkala.
They include Bulawayo lawyers
Josphat Tshuma and Nicholas Mathonsi, with Pearson Nherere, Dipak Mehta and
Edith Mushore from Harare coming in as the instructing
Initially, 14 people were arrested in connection with
Nkala's murder and that of Limukani Luphahla, a Zanu PF activist in
The six who remain charged are Khethani Sibanda, Sonny
Masera, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the MP for Lobengula-Magwegwe, Army Zulu,
Remember Moyo and Sazini Mpofu Sibanda.
In July, the State
defied High Court and Supreme Court orders to release Sibanda, Moyo and Mpofu
The other eight suspects were freed after the State failed
to prove they had a case to answer as there was no evidence linking them to
But the State has refused to release three of the
suspects, Dulini-Ncube, Zulu and Masera despite not having evidence linking
them to the crime.
The State is relying on a statement made by
Sibanda, which he later denied making, during the bail application of Simon
Spooner, saying he had made it under duress.
initially been implicated in the murder.
PROFESSOR Graham Hill, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
has said there will be no end-of-first semester examinations for students
because of the continuing strike by lecturers.
In a statement, Hill
said: "Where courses have lost three weeks-plus of teaching, there will be no
end-of-first semester examinations. Arrangements will be made to hold the
examinations at the beginning of the second semester in March
About 900 university lecturers went on strike early in
October demanding improved working conditions, salary adjustments,
commensurate with their qualifications and equal to the rate of
Donald Mashingaidze, the acting president of the
Association of University Teachers (AUT) has on several occasions demanded
that the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education put their pledges to
the disgruntled lecturers on paper.
Hill said the University
Council received a report at a meeting held last Saturday that the executive
of the AUT, lecturers' representatives, agreed to return to work on
He said at the meeting, Dr Swithun Mombeshora, the Minister
of Higher and Tertiary Education, assured the AUT that the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development had been co-operative in addressing the
"Mombeshora assured the lecturers that
substantial progress had been made so far and an announcement would be made
following the national budget to be presented to Parliament on 14 November,"
He said they were concerned with the continued strike by
the lecturers, contrary to their alleged agreement to return to
He said: "This development is very disturbing especially
given the fact that students have now spent more than three weeks without
lectures and examinations start on 19 November. This situation has serious
implications on the academic calendar and the financial resources of the
On Monday, UZ students, concerned with the unending
strike by their lecturers, held a meeting to discuss their
The meeting was however interrupted by UZ security guards
who pulled Students Executive Council leaders who were addressing the
students, from the podium.
This enraged the students who
attacked the guards. Some riot policemen, who had been watching the situation
from a distance, threw tear-gas and students retaliated.
student leaders were injured in the ensuing melee.
THE eviction of
the Karangas in Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province have intensified
with reports that several homes belonging to MDC supporters were burnt in
recent weeks allegedly at the instigation of an MP from the ruling Zanu
Nobbie Dzinzi, the MP for Muzarabani, has been implicated as
the mastermind behind the evictions Dzinzi denies the
The MP allegedly addressed a rally at Gunduza Business
Centre on 20 September and encouraged his supporters to evict the Karangas,
because they allegedly spread MDC politics in the province.
Yesterday, eight MDC activists, including two teachers from Chadereka Primary
School, described the situation in Muzarabani as "ethnic
"The situation should be stopped now. Muzarabani is
hell. The country will regret it." said Joe Chamba, 38.
was the deputy headmaster at Chadereka Primary School until 29 September when
he was forcibly ousted by Zanu PF supporters who accused him of belonging to
"My life was saved by people who informed me just before
the attack that I would be abducted and taken to Chimoio base and be killed,"
he said. "I escaped to Chief Hwata's area."
He said in October,
Zanu PF supporters went to his rural home in Chadereka and burnt down his
home and stole four goats, five bags of groundnuts and 15
Rabson Masiya, another teacher at Chadereka Primary
School whose home is at Marisamhuka village in Muzarabani has also fled the
area. "They ordered me to leave the school and the area with nothing.
They aid the Karangas, had benefited from a Korekore
Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman refused to comment on
the alleged evictions of Karangas from Muzarabani.
brother, Boniface, said he escaped from Muzarabani's Marisamhuka village
following a crackdown on villagers by Zanu PF militants and war veterans in
September. The Masiyas are originally from Bikita in Masvingo.
He said the youths were led by Nelson Changata, a so-called war veteran
leader in the area who ordered them to go to Britain or to Harare, "where the
MDC had support".
A Zanu PF aspiring councillor, Felix Chikandwa, a
Karanga, was allegedly stripped of his "victory" in the Zanu PF primary
elections for allegedly being an MDC supporter.
won the primaries against the incumbent councillor Sarudzai Keche, a
Korekore, but his victory was allegedly overturned by the ruling party
leadership on account of his ethnicity.
Tariro Shumba, an MDC
spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that "ethnic cleansing" was rife and needed
urgent government attention.
Shumba said: "Most MDC activists in
Muzarabani have escaped to various parts of the country after receiving death
threats. The MDC is trying to find alternative accommodation for
Philip Makwara, 32, Ramos Mukaro, both of Nzungu village,
Evangelista Makurumure, 23 of Dzonya village, Samuel Masiya, 31 were others
who fled their homes after they were accused of being Karangas in an area
indigenous to the Korekore people.
The MDC activists allegedly
spent 11 days at Gunduza, Gumboreshumba Primary School and Chimoio bases set
up by Zanu PF.
The victims said they made several reports at
Chadereka Police base to a Constable Mukuna but nothing was
Nathan Shamuyarira, the Zanu PF national secretary for
information and publicity, denied any knowledge of the alleged ethnic
cleansing in Muzarabani.
"I would need more information before l
can make any comment. I have not heard of that. It could be coming from
people manufacturing information," he said.
THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) is urging consumers
to stop buying beef for a week starting next Monday to force a price
reduction as most families say they can no longer afford it.
boycott is aimed at pressing the government to scrap increases in the prices
of basic commodities. The price of beef went up by 100 percent from Monday at
a time when the country faces its worst economic crisis, coupled with rampant
shortages of basic commodities.
Elizabeth Nerwande, the CCZ's
director, said yesterday: "We have called for the boycott with effect from
Monday next week. All along we have not been calling for boycotts, but the
situation has gone out of hand - an increase of 100 percent is too
She said such hikes were likely to encourage crimes such
as stocktheft. She said the CCZ, together with other interested
groups, would lobby Parliament to pass into law the Product Liability Act to
maintain checks on unreasonable price increments.
senior manager, Victor Chisi, said the boycott would run from 11 to 17
November. "Consumers need to make a point," he said. "They need to go this
far in sacrificing and assuming their responsibilities of solidarity, to make
their situation heard and addressed."
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been given a 20% salary increase, his
second pay rise this year, a newspaper reported yesterday. Government
ministers and legislators from Mugabe's ruling ZanuPF, as well
as parliamentarians from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), will also receive pay increases.
The paper quoted a government
notice published last week announcing that Mugabe's annual salary would be
increased to Z1,6m from Z1,3m.
Mugabe, who received a pay increase in
February, will have the latest salary increment backdated to July, the paper
Zimbabwe is in the middle of its worst economic crisis with
inflation close to 140%. About 80% of Zimbabweans live in poverty.
Sapa-AFP Nov 06 2002 12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st Edition
Top official says administration is
considering defying Mugabe and delivering food to starving opposition
Andrew Meldrum in Harare Thursday November 7, 2002 The
The US government warned yesterday that it might take
"intrusive, interventionist measures" to deliver food aid directly to
millions of famine-hit Zimbabweans if President Robert Mugabe continues to
starve his political opponents. Washington is considering measures that
would challenge Zimbabwe's sovereignty, the Guardian was told by Mark
Bellamy, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa. Such
drastic measures are being studied because the Mugabe regime is aggravating
the effects of a region-wide famine by blocking food from areas which support
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), he added.
have to be prepared to take some very intrusive, interventionist measures to
ensure aid delivery to Zimbabwe," Mr Bellamy said by telephone from
The plan was disclosed in the Zimbabwean state-owned Herald
newspaper under the headline "US plans to invade Harare".
for Mr Mugabe said other African countries should take heed of "the mad talk
of intrusive and interventionist challenges to Zimbabwe's sovereignty. Today
it is about Zimbabwe. Heaven knows who is next", he said.
Mr Bellamy, who
develops US policy on Africa, said: "We have disturbing reports of food being
used as a political weapon by the Mugabe government, of food aid being
diverted and food being denied to millions of
"For the sake of those hungry people it may be
necessary for us to undertake intrusive delivery and monitoring of food. The
dilemmas in the next six months may bring us face to face with Zimbabwe's
He said Mr Mugabe was "holding his people hostage the way
Saddam Hussein is holding his people hostage".
Mr Mugabe and other
Zimbabwean officials deny using aid as a political weapon. They maintain that
food relief is distributed freely and fairly.
The government has however
outlawed the private importation of food, leaving the state grain marketing
board with a monopoly on the importation and wholesale deliveries of the
staple maize meal. Aid agencies and government critics claim that this gives
the marketing board a stranglehold on food availability throughout the
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development has failed to get
permission to import 100 tonnes of food aid, which sits at the Beitbridge
border post with South Africa. The MDC has also been refused permission to
The marketing board's depots refuse to sell maize meal to
people identified as opposition supporters, according to accounts from across
the country. In addition, police roadblocks stop the MDC and ordinary
individuals from transporting all but the smallest parcels of maize meal to
hungry areas, numerous witnesses claim.
Mr Bellamy refused to specify
what the US could do to deliver food aid to Zimbabweans against the will of
the government, but said the Bush administration was "considering all
approaches". Aid experts suggested the possibility of air drops, such as in
Sudan and to Kurdish rebels in Iraq.
"At the very least we need to see
aggressive, assertive monitoring to ensure that food is being distributed
fairly throughout Zimbabwe, in an even-handed, humanitarian way," Mr Bellamy
said. "We may have to make hard choices. We will press for food to be
distributed freely in all areas of the country. We cannot take government
assurances at face value, we must monitor it and confirm it for
Washington provides about 50% of the food aid being
distributed in Zimbabwe by the UN world food programme.
until recently considered the breadbasket of southern Africa, but Mr Mugabe's
violent and chaotic land seizures, combined with drought, have resulted in a
crippling food shortage.
Zimbabwe is by far the worst affected of the six
southern African countries threatened with famine. Of the 14 million people
at risk of starvation throughout southern Africa, 6.7 million are Zimbabwean,
nearly half the country's population.
Washington's hard stance comes
after other warnings from the Bush administration. The US representative to
the UN food and agricultural organisation, Tony Hall, visited Zimbabwe last
month and criticised the government for preventing respected international
charities, such as Save the Children and Oxfam, from distributing food
The US does not consider Mr Mugabe to be the "democratically
legitimate leader of his country", Walter Kansteiner, US assistant secretary
of state for Africa, said.
He cited widespread state-sponsored
violence in the March presidential election, and evidence of large-scale
November 6, 2002 Posted to the web November 6,
Correspondent in Masvingo
NESHURO District Hospital in
Mwenezi has been operating without a doctor for almost six months after
suspected Zanu PF supporters including a top party official chased the doctor
away for allegedly supporting the MDC.
The doctor, identified only as
Ringirai, was forced to flee the hospital after a group of suspected Zanu PF
supporters threatened to beat him up.
Since Ringirai's forced
departure no doctors are willing to be deployed at the only referral district
health institution in the area because they are afraid of suffering the same
The hospital is currently manned by nurses and scores of seriously
ill villagers are transferred to Masvingo Provincial Hospital where there
Zanu PF supporters accused the doctor of giving
preferential treatment to patients suspected to be MDC
Some villagers in the area have expressed concern over the
sudden departure of the doctor saying they now have to travel long distances
to seek medical attention.
Charles Muzenda, a Mwenezi businessman
said: "Zanu PF people want to involve politics in every department, no matter
how crucial it might be.
"We are now suffering because of a mistake made
by some people who had their own interests.
"Probably they want a
doctor with a Zanu PF card, which is not possible. The doctor was a
professional man. "The problem is with the local Zanu PF leadership,
including the senior official who chased him away."
Enias Musungashe, a
Mwenezi resident said: "It does not make any sense to chase a doctor away
because even those Zanu PF activists fall ill. It shows how barbaric some of
these Zanu PF youths are."
Tapuwa Magure, the Masvingo provincial medical
director, could not be reached for comment yesterday since he was reported to
be out of office.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
yesterday confirmed the doctor was chased away but refused to give
"The doctor is no longer there and no one is willing to be
deployed at the hospital. He was chased away for political reasons," said the
Watchdog postpones release of Zim human rights
report Mthulisi Mathuthu THE recent session of the African Commission on
Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) which was held in Banjul from October
17-23, postponed the release of the report of the commission's findings on
alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
The report will now be tabled
at the commission's next session in Niger. It has emerged that ACHPR was
forced to postpone the release of the much-awaited report to May next year
after the Gambian government reduced the days of the session from the
original 15 to seven due to financial constraints.
The report is
eagerly awaited in Zimbabwe following the ACHPR fact finding team's admission
in June that they had received 20 kilograms of evidence of human rights
Noel Kututwa of the Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa who
attended the meeting in Gambia said the postponement of the report led to an
outcry from the Zimbabwean delegation.
"The delegation from the
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum was not pleased with the postponement of its
communication to the next session," said Kututwa.
government, blamed for massive human rights violations, failed to send the
permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice, David Mangota, to the Banjul
meeting as previously agreed.
Human rights NGOs were represented by
Albert Musarurwa of the Legal Resources Foundation, Arnold Tsunga of the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and Blessing Chimhini who is the forum's
head of legal unit.
The 32nd ACHPR session called on all African
countries to ratify treaties which outlaw torture such as the UN Convention
against Torture and accession to the establishment of the International
Criminal Court (ICC).
ANGOLA, SWAZILAND, ZIMBABWE: Human Rights Watch calls for intervention in
region IRINnews Africa, Wed 6 Nov 2002
JOHANNESBURG, - Ahead of the upcoming
ministerial meeting between the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
and the European Union (EU) in Maputo, Mozambique, Human Rights Watch has
called for urgent action on several crises in the region.
group pointed to Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland as countries where rights
abuses needed to be addressed. The EU/SADC meeting takes place on
"It is vital that the SADC take unambiguous and
decisive actions on human rights issues. Only then will the organisation's
stated commitments to human rights be taken seriously," Bronwen Manby, Human
Rights Watch deputy director for Africa, said in a statement on
The EU-SADC meeting "should pursue actions against
Swaziland's highly oppressive monarchy" as "civil liberties are basically
non-existent and civil society is severely restricted in
"The monarchy also maintains tight control over the
media," said Manby.
A constitution had been in development since
1996 but it was widely believed that the monarchy would use it to permanently
enshrine its absolute power and to prevent future political
Chief Justices of the SADC region recently issued a
statement concerning threats to the independence of the judiciary after
senior government officials attempted to interfere with court proceedings on
the alleged abduction of a young woman, by royal aides, to become the
king's 10th wife.
In Angola "despite the ceasefire implemented
this year and ongoing peace efforts, 1.7 million internally displaced people
[IDPs] remain at substantial risk of abuse by government officials as well as
demobilised soldiers", Human Rights Watch said.
agencies had repeatedly stressed the need for greater support for Angola's
IDPs but both the United Nations and the EU had "done little to ameliorate
the situation", the group charged.
"Human Rights Watch is
especially concerned by reports that some people have been forced to return
to their areas of origin despite the ongoing danger in those regions," said
However, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Angola, Eric de Mul,
told IRIN that such comments were "ill-informed and unhelpful".
"If they [Human Rights Watch] want to have a better idea of what UN agencies
are doing [in Angola] they should make a little effort to come and talk to us
and find out," De Mul said.
Human Rights Watch said the EU had
specifically pledged support for rehabilitation and reintegration efforts and
called on the EU to renew this commitment at the meeting in
The group also urged SADC and the EU to "speak out publicly
and privately against the violence and harassment that had
characterised Zimbabwean elections".
In recent weeks, a
parliamentary by-election in Matabeleland South was marred by allegations of
intimidation of the opposition and there were reports of government forces
harassing NGOs and the media.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum
had reported 58 murders in political violence during 2002.
"Those present at the Maputo meeting should work towards a quick intervention
before the situation gets even worse," Manby added.
Zimbabwe to lose $160m in Lankan arms deal
by Bandula Jayasekara - The Island
The Island:According to
a recent report in the Financial Gazette, the Zimbabwe Defence Industries
(ZDI) could lose nearly $160 million dollars because a middleman it engaged
five years ago to run weapons to Sri Lanka on its behalf has refused to
forward monies paid for the supplies. The Financial Times has established
that the Sri Lankan army, which made a down payment of about $99 million for
the weapons, is said to have also refused to pay the outstanding
According to the report the ZDI in 1997 contracted a South
Korean company, Kolon International, to move thousands of rounds of mortar
bombs and other contraband to the Sri Lankan army which urgently needed the
bombs to repel an offensive by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The ZDI had entered the deal with the Singapore branch of the Korean firm.
The Sri Lankans had paid US$1.8 million (about $99 million at the
current official exchange rate) as down payment for the consignment. But
Kolon did not transfer the money to ZDI, saying it had used the money to
pay commissions to Sri Lankan army officials who had facilitated the arms
The report added that efforts by the ZDI to recover
its monies from Kolon have hit a brick wall after a Singapore law firm Katter
Hwang & Partner, hired in 1999 by the Zimbabwean company to take the
Koreans to the International Arbitration Centre, refused last year to handle
the matter almost at the eleventh hour. The Gazette says it could not be
established why the Singaporean lawyers turned down the ZDI
ZDI chief executive Tshinga Dube had confirmed the botched-up
arms supply deal. A retired Zimbabwe army colonel, Dube has said that Sri
Lankan army officers had recommended Kolon to the Zimbabweans and he
suspected that the Asians might have acted in collusion to rip off
The Sri Lankan government is also refusing to pay the
outstanding debt for the bombs. While another lot of bombs valued at about
$45 million and destined for Colombo was reportedly intercepted at sea by the
LTTE in 1997, Dube had told the Financial Gazette that ZDI had successfully
sent other consignments to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankans are refusing to pay
even for the bombs they have received. Dube had added that Investigations by
Interpol on the missing bombs, which an Israeli company known only as Bentso
was shipping to Colombo on behalf of ZDI, have not yielded anything.
According to Dube the ZDI was now working on suing the Israeli firm for the
lost weapons. Sri Lankan defence correspondent Iqbal Athas was the first to
break the story on the missing arms shipment in his weekly defence column in
The Sunday Times at the time.
Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 23:24 GMT Zimbabwe
accuses US of invasion threat
Reports say Mugabe's
supporters seized food aid
Zimbabwe has accused the United States
of planning to invade the country under the pretext of guaranteeing the
distribution of food aid. The accusation - carried by a state-owned
newspaper - comes after remarks in a newspaper interview in which US State
Department official Mark Bellamy was quoted as saying America might have to take
"very intrusive interventionist measures" to ensure food aid was delivered.
The United States is planning to invade Zimbabwe
within the next six months on the pretext of bringing aid relief
Herald newspaper Opposition groups and aid agencies
have accused Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of only allowing the foreign aid
to reach his own supporters.
Nearly seven million Zimbabweans face
starvation after a drop in maize production, which critics have blamed on Mr
Mugabe's expropriation of white-owned farms.
Government has said the decline in agricultural output is due to a lengthy
Herald newspaper ran a front page story on Wednesday accusing America of
plotting against Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans face starvation
"The United States is
planning to invade Zimbabwe within the next six months on the pretext of
bringing aid relief to people who were allegedly being denied food on political
grounds," it said.
It follows reports that supporters of the
ruling Zanu-PF party seized emergency food aid ahead of a crucial by-election
last month and were only distributing supplies to people with party membership
The UN's World Food Programme indefinitely suspended its
food aid deliveries in a Harare district as a result.
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge told state television that reports that the aid
was blocked were "a fandango of a fairy tale of lies" concocted by opponents of
An unnamed Zimbabwe
Government spokesman was quoted as telling the Herald that any US plans to
invade were "mad talk".
Mugabe's land policies for food shortages
little fellow [Mark Bellamy] was either blank, mad or both, and if he was
speaking for his government the same will apply to it," he was quoted as saying.
US officials denied America had any intention of invading
Zimbabwe, but said food aid must not be used as a political tool.
"No US Government official has made such a threat. We believe that only the
people of Zimbabwe can solve their nation's problems," the US embassy in Harare
said in a statement.
Zimbabwe, like southern Africa as a whole, is
in the throes of a severe food shortage.
Currently some four and a
half million Zimbabweans need food aid, a number which is expected to soar to
6.7 million by next March.