The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Scotsman

Betrayed 'veterans' declare war on Mugabe


THEY are Zimbabwe's "black bourgeoisie", the elite of Robert Mugabe's power
base now taking over the country's finest farms which were "liberated" from
their white owners.

Thousands of so-called war veterans are being kicked off the prime land to
make way for the president's cronies and friends in a move which militants
in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) warn could send the
country into civil war and ethnic cleansing.

MDC representative in the UK, Dr Brighton Chireka, told Scotland on Sunday:
"Mugabe has declared war on the very people who kept him in power after he
was so heavily defeated in a referendum four years ago.

"The war veterans were used to get rid of 4,500 white farmers and the
country was told that those farms belong to local people.

"Now Mugabe has chased off squatters and war veterans and is handing over
once productive commercial farms to a collection of fat cats - the new black
bourgeoisie which is made up of his family, his friends, sycophantic
soldiers, policemen and crooked businessmen from the ruling party, Zanu

"This signals the start of our Fourth Chimurenga and I dread to think what
will happen next."

Chimurenga is a Shona word for war. The first was when tribes rose up
against white rule in the 1890s: the second was when 35,000 blacks lost
their lives between 1972-1979 fighting Ian Smith to end Rhodesia, and the
third was announced by Mugabe when he launched his infamous farm invasions
in 2000.

"We have worked and prayed to avoid this situation, but it's going to be
hard, perhaps impossible, to hold the young turks in our organisation who
are demanding immediate action against a clever dictator who has brought our
country to the edge of ruin."

These explosive words came as thousands of black squatters, most of them
from Malawi and Mozambique, huddled together for protection along pot-holed
roads leading from the capital to Bulawayo and various parts of Mashonaland,
where about 80% of Zimbabwe's 11.8 million people live.

They are existing on handfuls of grain and mouthfuls of water in cardboard
boxes and their only other protection at the start of the rainy season,
which turns pot-holed roads into rivers, is plastic sheeting.

Chireka said: "Robert Mugabe used so-called war veterans to invade farms,
terrorise landowners and remove almost 500,000 black farm workers who are
today fending for themselves as hand-to-mouth gold panners, vendors of
stolen firewood and odd-job men.

"Many of those people are from outside our borders and Mugabe says they have
no right to be in Zimbabwe. He wants to rid the country of foreigners. The
ethnic cleansing started with whites because they supported the MDC, but it
hasn't ended.

"Reports say that once productive farms have been turned into dustbowls and
now Mugabe wants to give an impression that he's going to make farms
productive again by handing them over to his cronies. People are asking,
'Why did we fight against white rule in Rhodesia. All Mugabe has done is
replace a minority white clique with a black minority clique'."

Mugabe's spokesman is a leading Zimbabwean intellectual from the west of the
country, Dr Jonathan Moyo. He is known locally as the "Dr Goebbels of

Moyo has told Zanu (PF) businessmen that the first stage of the "land
ownership war" was won when 4,500 farmers left the land and started new
lives either in Britain, South Africa, Zambia or parts of the Commonwealth
keen to gain the expertise of men and women known as some of the finest corn
and tobacco farmers in the world.

MDC activist Dr Patrick Musami, who left Zimbabwe after seeing the country's
medical services collapse in the mid-1990s, said: "Mugabe wants to establish
an African form of feudalism.

"He's like some old African chief who believes he can control people through
an elaborate patronage system. But millions of angry young urbanites in
run-down and disgustingly poor and unhealthy townships are saying, 'No more.
Enough is enough'.

"Graduates can't get jobs. Inflation is now 600% and 90% of people live on
less than one US dollar a day. Yes, there will be a civil war between the
haves and the have-nots. The eviction of black squatters from farms at the
start of the 2004 rainy season is the straw that broke the Zimbabwean camel's

Meanwhile, a global think-tank has warned that if South Africa and Zimbabwe
do not take concrete steps to tackle land reform issues in a way that places
land into the hands of ordinary people, racial problems could explode
throughout the southern African region.

The report, 'Blood and Soil in Southern Africa', says that in South Africa
small farmers are being excluded from land reform efforts and the poorest
are missing out, as had happened in Zimbabwe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Independent (UK)

ICC report to damn Zimbabwe 'rebels'
By Stephen Brenkley
10 October 2004

The official report into allegations of racism by Zimbabwe's rebel white
cricketers is likely to reject their claims. It could also turn the tables
by citing examples of their own prejudiced behaviour.

The report has been written but will not be released until next weekend at
the International Cricket Council's board meeting in Lahore. But it is
understood that the players, who have been in dispute with the Zimbabwe
Cricket Union since April, will receive scant backing.

England's tour of Zimbabwe for five one-day matches next month will go
ahead. If the lawyers' report next week sides with the ZCU, those opposing
the trip will find their argument reduced.

Although the row between the ZCU and the players has dragged on, its effect
on the world game should not be underestimated. The ICC have often been a
fragile alliance of the major cricketing nations, but any upheld suggestions
of racism could undermine the way the game is run. This was merely
reinforced yesterday when an inquiry was launched into claims of racial
overtones in South Africa's dressing room made by two disaffected players.

Sympathy for the rebels was widespread when the dispute was provoked by the
ZCU's treatment of the captain, Heath Streak, who claimed to have been
sacked. The goodwill towards the players, most of whom have now left
Zimbabwe, has been gradually eroded. The ICC have been frustrated by their
intransigent approach to the hearing and to the disputes procedure, which
should resume after next weekend.

Zimbabwe's former team got on, but there are suspicions in some quarters
that senior white players, who had failed to establish themselves in
international cricket, resented the prospect of being replaced by young,
untried black players. This caused friction on the Australian tour last
October. For one Test the team contained only two black members; now there
are only two white players.

The hearing in Harare a fortnight ago was abandoned after the aggrieved
players refused to give evidence with ZCU officials present. The ZCU refused
to accede to a request not to attend. The two-man panel of the Indian
solicitor-general Goolam Vahanvati and South African judge Steven Majiedt,
barely managed to conceal their criticism of the players. They proceeded on
written evidence.

The ICC meeting will also discuss the international structure - which will
ironically involve Zimbabwe's likely status - and whether to move their
headquarters from London to Dubai or Malaysia. The British government have
offered tax concessions for them to stay, but Dubai has offered the world
for them to go.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Msika wants Moyo out - 'Mafikizolos don't deserve positions in Zanu PF'
By Savious Kwinika

BULAWAYO - VICE President Joseph Msika says he has advised President Robert
Mugabe that elevating Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo and war veterans'
leader, Jabulani Sibanda, to Zanu PF's Central Committee and Politburo was a

Msika told The Standard on Thursday that Moyo and Sibanda were "mafikizolos"
who didn't deserve such positions in the ruling party.

Msika told The Standard: "I told President Mugabe that these boys are like
misguided missiles which can attack the one triggering them. Their wrong
doings are now clearly known by the Central Committee. These boys behave
like renegades. President Mugabe must be wary of these

Of the two, Msika singled out the war veterans' leader as "dangerous".

"After all, this boy does not have a clear record of war credentials. We
sent him to Angola for training but cease-fire came earlier than expected.
The Zanu PF constitution is clear on who should be part of the Central
Committee and it is only those who have worked for the party for a long
time," Msika said.

On Sunday, Msika was at Gumtree Business Centre in Bulawayo where he told
Matabeleland based members of the Central Committee and Politburo that time
had come for the party to deal decisively with the two.

Msika, seething with anger, stressed the need to deal with the two. He
accused them of disregarding, belittling and disobeying former ZAPU

"We are going to take drastic measures against these people. After all, they
are fake freedom fighters. These people never participated in the armed
struggle but they are always causing commotion in Zanu PF.

"What boggles the mind is that these mafikizolos have found their way into
both the Central Committee and Politburo yet they are not from Zanu PF
structures such as cells, branches, wards, districts and provincial," said

He added: "I don't know who the hell Jabulani Sibanda is. He is not a
genuine war veteran after all. I am even surprised how he was voted national
chairman of war veterans when he had been booted out of the Zanu PF
provincial chairmanship in Bulawayo," Msika said.

The Vice President accused the war veterans' leader and Moyo of being
"renegades", who are frantically working towards ousting the veteran
politicians in Matabeleland region.

Both Moyo and Sibanda intend to contest the ruling party's primary

Moyo is likely to square up with Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo,
while Sibanda will challenge Matabeleland North Governor, Obert Mpofu.

On Friday the war veterans' leader told The Standard that the Matabeleland
politburo and Central Committee Members, who lost elections to MDC during
the 2000 parliamentary elections were seeking scapegoats.

"Some of these politburo and central committee members lost the support of
the people, that is why they lost dismally to the opposition MDC in the 2000
parliamentary elections.

"Instead of asking themselves where they went wrong and why the people of
Bulawayo and the entire Matabeleland region had abandoned them, they are
busy looking for enemies. That's a big shame," Sibanda said.

He added: "I admit that most of these Politburo and Central Committee
members from Matabeleland region used to have the support of the people but
went overboard and started believing that they were royalty and could not be
challenged. If they continue believing that they can not be challenged, then
they have to rethink."

Sibanda said he was dismayed to note that there were attempts to stop him
from taking part in elections.

"Right now they are busy setting new rules to try and bar new blood from
entering politics. For example, they are saying whoever has less than five
years of provincial or district politics should not be appointed Politburo
or Central Committee member. That's hogwash," Sibanda said.

Moyo could not be reached for comment yesterday. He was said to be in
Chimoio attending the much-hyped Zimbabwe-Mozambique Solidarity Gala.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Global Fund rejects Zimbabwe's final appeal
By Bertha Shoko

ZIMBABWE'S appeal to have the Global Fund reconsider its application for a
US$218 grant meant for HIV/Aids intervention programmes has been rejected,
dashing plans by the government to roll out an Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART)
to more than 1.8 million people living with HIV/Aids.

Jon Liden, head of communications at the Global Fund, said on Thursday that
Zimbabwe's appeal, had again failed to get approval from the board because
of "technical weaknesses".

The country's appeal was in two parts, one covering its application for
HIV/Aids funding and the other ocusing on TB. Zimbabwe's two appeals were
among thirteen others, which were considered.

"Of these, three grants were recommended for funding. The two Zimbabwe
grants applications were not among these three," Liden said.

"The Board decided today (Thursday) to approve the three recommended grants
(Niger, malaria; Russia, TB, and Uzbekistan, TB). Zimbabwe will therefore
have to apply again in Round Five."

Liden said though the date for the submissions for Round Five had not yet
been set it was likely that it would be announced at the upcoming Global
Fund Board meeting to be held in Arusha, Tanzania, in November.

Liden dismissed reports that Zimbabwe was being sidelined on political
grounds, saying there were no political considerations in approving grants.

"Zimbabwe's proposals were reviewed by the Global Funds Technical Review
Panel, which consists of independent experts from all over the world," Liden

"Their mandate is to look only at the technical aspects of any proposal.
They placed the Zimbabwean proposals in Category Three (Encouraged to
re-submit) due to technical weaknesses with the proposals.

"The Global Fund's sole concern in approving grants is that results are
achievable and that the grant money will benefit all those who need the
assistance," he said.

Liden said the Global Fund fully recognised the needs in Zimbabwe and was
confident the Fund would eventually be able to finance large-scale
interventions to prevent and provide treatment for HIV/Aids, TB and malaria
in Zimbabwe.

The Minister of Health and Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, could not be
reached for comment.

The Global Fund is an independent organisation set up to mobilise resources
for the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids throughout the
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Farm evictions provoke public anger
By our own staff

JOHN and Sophia Mudzingwa were among thousands of people who participated in
the violent and chaotic land invasions which claimed the lives of scores of
commercial farmers and other Zimbabweans since 2 000.

The Mudzingwa family left their rural home in Mashonaland West and set up
shop at Little England farm about 35km from Harare along Chinhoyi Road. Then
they moved all their belongings to the new home.
However, four years down the line, the couple and their children have lost
all their worldly possessions except for a handful of clothes and a few
kitchen utensils.

The evictions of thousands of villagers from the farms they occupied have
provoked a public outcry and outrage.

Human rights, farming organisations and land experts have condemned the
evictions of peasants who had settled on farms across the country during
land invasions, spearheaded by war veterans and Zanu PF youths.

Critics of the evictions say they are ill-timed and will have a negative
bearing on the national food output because they are being carried out when
farmers are preparing for cropping and when school children are about to
write their end of year examinations.

The evictions are most prevalent in Mashonaland East and West, Matabeleland
North as well as Masvingo provinces.

John said: "We had so much faith in the land reform exercise as we thought
after more than 20 years of independence, the government was finally
honouring its pledge to give land to the black majority. However, our hopes
have been dashed and what is cruel is that the government sent soldiers and
policemen to set our houses at Little England on fire."

He said as Zanu PF supporters they were disappointed with the government's

Mudzingwa and his family are not alone in their predicament. Thousands of A1
farmers have had their houses torched by the police with the majority of
cases being reported in Mashonaland West province.

The official word is that the settlers had moved onto farms ear-marked for
A2 model farms.

Justice for Agriculture vice chairman, John Worswick, told The Standard in
an interview last week: "What happened at Little England is also taking
place in Mhangura where A1 farmers are being removed reportedly to make way
for some senior people in the security services.

"Members of the police have already started evicting settlers from the
farms. There has been a brief lull because they ran out of fuel. Most of the
settlers are from Gokwe and they are being told to go back where they came

Social scientist, Professor Gordon Chavhunduka, said the chaos on the farms
was an indication that the ordinary people were used to invade farms with
the bigger plan being to resettle the elite.

"The pattern that has emerged is very clear: only the rich and powerful who
have no idea about farming are being given farms. The whole exercise was
only meant to benefit a few chosen people. The genuine land hungry people
were only used to pave the way for the powerful before being evicted as is
happening now."

He said the current levels of disgruntlement stemming from the evictions
would continue to exist until the land issue was properly resolved.

"What the government is creating is a fertile breeding ground of discontent
and there could be uprisings in future because of problems associated with
land hunger," Chavhunduka warned.

Deputy police commissioner, Godwin Matanga was on Friday quoted in the media
confirming that he would lead a committee to evict "illegal" settlers.

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development chairman, Jonah Gokova, said the
evictions were causing unnecessary suffering of the people of Zimbabwe,
already feeling the pinch because of the current economic meltdown.

"People are being forced into a desperate situation motivated by greed. This
has caused unnecessary human suffering, which is against Christian
principles and it is an abuse of human rights.

Gokova said government was inconsiderate of the students who are supposed to
write examinations this month as some of them might fail to write. "They are
just reckless," he said.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association director, Munyaradzi Bidi also blasted the
government for negating its obligations, which include ensuring security of
its citizens and also the rights of children.

"To a maximum extent, the fundamental rights of children have not been
considered. The right to live is inherent, so if one destroys a child's
shelter there is no upholding of that right," said Bidi.

He said failure by farmers to harvest any crop will not only affect the
farmers but also the common people, who rely on their produce.

"Many people will not have enough food to last them until the next farming
season. This makes us question the intellect of the government because it
has forced its people to abandon the primary goal of ensuring that there is
enough food in the country," said Bidi.

Roy Chinanga, one of the new farmers from Zvimba in Mashonaland West
Province, a victim of the evictions, expressed outrage over the latest

But land expert Professor Sam Moyo said the evictions were necessary to
enable proper relocation for the farmers.

"Its not all farmers who are being evicted but those who had settled in
farms planned for A2 farmers. Apart from that the number of farms is
insignificant," said Moyo, who dismissed the argument that the evictions
would result in low food production in the country.

He said most of those who were being evicted had settled on the farms for
residential purposes and not farming. "So there is need to resettle them."

Moyo, however, urged the government to assist the displaced families
including the school children, who had registered for examinations as well
as those who were farming.

Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) executive director, Kwenda Dzavira shared
Moyo's views. He said the evictions were meant to regularise the process of
haphazard farm invasions because they were chaotic and uncoordinated.

"These evictions are meant to put the whole exercise in order," said
Dzavira. He said there was never a time that was appropriate adding that
those who have been affected will catch up with others.

Davison Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union (ZCFU)
refused to comment on the current spate of farm evictions.

"I am not in a position to give an opinion on that," said Mugabe, whose
organisation is rival to the white-dominated Commercial Farmers' Union
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Gono fires top official over Trust - As new forex bond fails to attract
By Valentine Maponga and Rangarirai Mberi

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has fired a top division
chief, Olivia Chaora, over an alleged information leak on Trust Bank,
sources said.

Chaora, Division Chief of Financial Markets, Banking Operations and National
Payments Systems Department, was dismissed days after reportedly informing
colleagues that the central bank was about to place Trust Bank under
curatorship, sources told StandardBusiness.
The sources said Chaora had been accused of divulging classified information
to troubled financial institutions exposed to Trust Bank after board
meetings by the central bank ahead of the bank's closure on September 23.

"She was accused of misconduct and having acted unprofessionally by
discussing secret information from the board meetings to troubled financial
institutions," said the source.

Chaora has been with the RBZ for more than 15 years and was one of the first
black clerks at the central bank at independence from Britain in 1980. She
could not be reached for a comment last week.

Gono's latest action mirrors the decisions he made early this year, when he
sought the dismissal of key RBZ figures he claimed were disloyal to him.

The governor has in the past accused some of his officers for working
against his reforms and has threatened them with dismissal in internal memos
on a number of occasions.

In one of the memos sent to the RBZ staff, Gono said he was not going to
tolerate anyone who would not follow his orders and a number of officials
have been served with marching orders.

Meanwhile, the RBZ's US$10 million one-year bond has failed to attract
market interest, finance industry players have said.

They attributed the under-subscription to perceptions of exchange risk and
the general uncertainty on the financial markets.

"I don't think investors were ever going to trust the Zimbabwean exchange
rate to hold stable. A wrong swing of the exchange rate and the investor is
left holding the can," a bank executive familiar with the tender said.

"Weighed against perceived government risk, the rate offered was not
competitive enough on the world markets, " the executive said.

There was no official comment from central bank on Chaora or as to how much
it had raised from the bond, but an RBZ official conceded that market
reception to the paper had "not been as positive as we earlier expected".

The forex bond was floated late last month, and is the RBZ's latest attempt
to replenish the country's badly depleted foreign currency reserves.
Proceeds of the bond were also expected to improve Zimbabwe's stop-start
fuel imports, the RBZ said at the tender, and provide funding for other
essential imports.

The bond has fallen flat despite the bank's sweeteners in the form of a
12-month London inter-bank Offer Rate and a 6 % interest payable on bond

Economists and market players last week pushed the RBZ for a fresh issue,
this time without a closing date, saying the offer period for the failed
bond had been too short. Non-residents willing to take up the bonds would
not have had time to put in their offers, the economists said.

Subscription amounts for the bonds were set at a minimum of US$100 and
payment was to be made in multiples of US$100, 200, 500, 1 000, 5 000 and 10

Further attractions placed on the bond were guarantees by central bank that
the bond would be redeemable on maturity and that full settlement of
principal plus interest would be made in hard currency. The bonds were
freely tradable among investors, a further caveat that also failed to coax
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Marondera shooting: army negligent
By Caiphas Chimhete

ZIMBABWE National Army (ZNA) soldiers who fired live bullets at the
Marondera Agricultural Show last month, injuring 15 people, two of them
seriously, were negligent in their duties and will soon appear before a
military tribunal.

ZNA director of public relations, Lieutenant Colonel Aggery Ushe, told The
Standard last week that investigations into the Marondera shooting were
complete and "a number" of soldiers were found negligent in carrying out
their duties.
They would appear before a military tribunal soon, he said.

"I can confirm that the probe is complete. It was found out that it was a
case of negligence on the part of the soldiers. As a result, a number of
serving members are going to be prosecuted," said Ushe, who declined to give
the exact number of soldiers involved and their names.

However, The Standard is reliably informed that at least five soldiers, who
fired the shots and their immediate supervisors, face prosecution.

The ZNA spokesperson also declined to divulge what really took place on
September 18, when soldiers fired live bullets during a mock battle in
Marondera, injuring 15 people.

"At the moment I can't give the nitty-gritties of the findings because the
documents are still with our legal team at the army headquarters but I can
assure you that they will be made public," Ushe said.

He insisted that the soldiers failed to inspect their guns before
demonstrations as prescribed.

Sources, however, disclosed to The Standard that the three soldiers, who
fired the live bullets, accuse their colleagues of sabotaging them. But
Ushe, dismissed the allegations of sabotage saying that it was a clear case
of negligence.

Ushe said the probe team, whose members he refused to name, had recommended
thorough training for soldiers handling arms at civilian gatherings as well
as insistence on rigorous inspection before demonstrations.

"As you know, this is the first time a thing of this nature has happened
since independence. We are going to take preventative measures. The probe
recommended proper training and thorough inspection," said Ushe.

The ZNA official said the army had not finalised the issue of compensating
the victims. So far they have only paid medical bills of those who were
injured when soldiers fired live ammunition at the Marondera Agricultural
Show last month.

Those who were critically injured were referred to Harare's Parirenyatwa
Hospital for specialist treatment while the others were treated at Marondera

The Marondera shooting has dented the image of the ZNA, once regarded the
most disciplined, best-trained and equipped army in the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Teachers threaten industrial action
By Rutendo Mawere

THE Zimbabwe Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has given the
Ministry of Education Sport and Culture two weeks notice to review the
conditions of services of teachers or face a crippling industrial action.

PTUZ is demanding among other things, a cost of living adjustment for its
members and improved conditions of service for rural teachers currently
facing accommodation problems.
Speaking at the World Teachers' Day commemoration held on Tuesday, the
President of the PTUZ, Takavafira Zhou, said it was high time teachers were
rewarded for the important role they play in society.

Zhou said : "Ninety-nine percent of teachers in this country have resigned
'mentally' and are in the field 'physically' because the poor conditions of
service do not provide incentives for them to do their work whole heartedly.

"Teachers earn below the poverty datum line and have fallen under the group
exonerated from paying tax. There is need for their conditions of service to
be reviewed because we are certainly not being rewarded accordingly."

Also speaking at the commemoration, George Kawenda, a member of the general
council of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) lamented the plight
of rural teachers.

He said :"Teachers are essential players in promoting quality education,
advocate for and are catalysts of change and they deserve to be respected
but the environment in the country has proved difficult for teachers to
operate especially the rural teacher.

"Rural teachers have been subjected to political violence, torture and job
insecurity especially during the 2002 elections with most of them fleeing to
urban centres."

One victim of political violence, Farai Mapfuwu, narrated the ordeal he
faced in 2002 while working as a temporary teacher in Gokwe.

He said: "I was labelled a traitor and accused of teaching politics at the
school. I was visited by some youths who tortured and verbally abused me and
threatened me with death. I had no option but to leave Gokwe."

He said teachers wanted the forthcoming parliamentary elections to be free
of violence. Zimbabwe is expected to hold its next polls in March 2005.

This year's World Teachers Day is being celebrated under the theme:
"Education Under Threat."
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Donation to Rushinga Rushinga

THE Canadian Embassy has donated more than $110 million towards the
establishment of three nutritional farming plots in order to promote food
security in Rushinga district. David Karingamupembe, one of the community
leaders who are behind the Murova Nutritional garden at Kasenzi village,
said a number of HIV/Aids patients in the area were dying because of hunger.

"From this garden we are going to be able to feed our patients in the
community as well as the orphans. We have also planted traditional herbs in
order to complement expensive HIV/ Aids drugs," Karingamupembe said.

John Schram, the Canadian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, who officially launched
the nutritional gardens said:"Canada is happy to be associated with a
project that mobilises communities to improve their own situation with the
natural resources at hand."- Own Staff
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

'No economic benefit to Museveni's visit'
By Foster Dongozi

THE visit to Zimbabwe by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda last
week had little to do with economic issues but could have been part of
unfolding political developments in south eastern Africa, analysts have

However, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) President, Patison
Sithole, said based on his observations, the visit by the Ugandans was
purely for investment purposes.

"I can only comment based on my experiences during President Museveni's
visit. He visited companies like Dairiboard, some factories and attended a
business exhibition at the Sheraton and those who see the visit in another
light are entitled to their opinions."

Sithole said there was a lot of potential for trade between the two

"We were made to understand by the Ugandan delegation that the potential for
trade is there. They are interested in agro equipment and they do not have a
sophisticated manufacturing sector, Zimbabwe could export processed foods to
Uganda," Sithole said.

But economic consultant, John Robertson said: "There is nothing significant
economically about the visit by the Ugandan President because the two
countries produce similar products like coffee, tea, tobacco and sugar.
Zimbabwe will not import tea from Uganda while the Ugandans will not import
tea from Zimbabwe. In terms of trade, the two countries are competitors."

Robertson said there was little prospect of any trade between the two
countries because they had identical economies adding that the visit could
have been more at political or social level.

"Maybe Museveni wanted advice on how to remain in power for a long time,
while the two may be realising they need each other's support," Robertson

The visit by the Ugandan strongman caught many by surprise because the two
countries backed rival factions during the civil war in the Democratic
Republic of Congo whose mineral wealth was plundered by the invading armies.

Uganda does not have an embassy in Harare, a clear indication that the
country does not see any basis for solid relations with Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Luckson Zembe said the visit
caught them by surprise.

"It was something that just came up. We were told that the guys (Ugandans)
are around and so we will have to try and establish if there is any
potential for trade. The fact that our economies are almost identical on the
agricultural side naturally creates limitations in terms of trade but we
would naturally have to focus on manufactured products, which we could
export to Uganda."

Museveni is a darling of the USA and visits to Africa by former US president
Bill Clinton and President George W Bush have seen them visiting Kampala
while avoiding Harare like the plague.

It therefore puzzled many observers when the soldier-turned- president made
some verbal attacks on his Western benefactors.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary for economic affairs, Tendai
Biti, said political trends in southern, eastern and central Africa were

He said: "Museveni and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan Head of State are not as
close as they were during the DRC war in as much as Mugabe is not close to
the younger Kabila than he was to the elder Kabila."

Biti said because of Zimbabwe's isolation, from the international community,
the country was desperate to host foreign Heads of State.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

                        Police probe CIO agents
                        By Savious Kwinika

                        BULAWAYO - Police in Bulawayo have opened dockets on
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives, who allegedly kidnapped,
tortured and severely assaulted four Zanu PF youths they mistook for
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists, police sources have

                        The four Zanu PF youths are Mandlenkosi Sibanda,
Madlenkosi Luphahla, Tisunge Botomani and Nkosilathi Gama. All are from
                        On September 30, 2004, the CIO operatives assaulted
the youths all over their bodies with sticks, electric cables and belts.
They were detained at Mpilo General Hospital overnight for treatment.

                        Impeccable police sources, who spoke to The Standard
on condition of anonymity, said Bulawayo police had opened the dockets
against the three CIO operatives and that investigations were at an advanced

                        "When the CIO operatives assaulted these youths they
thought they were beating up and torturing MDC activists only to be shocked
the following day after learning that they were Zanu PF.

                        "As police we will act according to the Zimbabwe
laws and we hope justice shall prevail," said the police source.

                        Bulawayo Provincial Intelligence Officer (PIO),
Innocent Chibaya, declined to comment referring all questions to Nicholas
Goche, the Minister of State Security.

                        "I can't say the allegations are true or false but
the right person to talk to is Goche," Chibaya said.

                        Goche could not be reached for comment by the time
of going to press.

                        The torture of the youths did not go down well with
Vice-President Joseph Msika, who immediately ordered investigations into the
conduct of the CIO.

                        Confirming the youths did not belong to his party,
MDC Bulawayo spokesperson, Victor Moyo, said there was panic and confusion
in the Zanu PF structures as they attacked each other.

                        "Imagine if it was the MDC youths tortured,
kidnapped and severely assaulted, do you think the Vice-President would have

                        "Now that they have mistakenly attacked youth
members from their party, they are seeing that violence is unacceptable,"
Moyo said.

                        Police Spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka yesterday said
he was not aware of the incident.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

War vets' leader in court for attempted murder
By our own Staff

MUTARE - The case of Manicaland war veterans' leader James Kaunye, who is
accused of attempting to kill John Muringanise, a Rusape resident, resumed
on Wednesday last week with the magistrate remanding the Makoni North
parliamentary hopeful out of custody to January 12 next year.

Magistrate Hlekani Mwayera presided over the case while Mike Tembo appeared
for the State.
The court heard that in November 2002 Kaunye and Muringanise had a dispute
after a shop in Rusape belonging to war veterans' leader was burnt down.
Kaunye allegedly threatened to kill Muringanise after the incident.

It is alleged that on November 13, 2002 Kaunye went to the Muringanise's
house accompanied by four Zanu PF activists.

When Muringanise saw them coming he assumed they had come to kill him as had
been promised by Kaunye and as a result, he armed himself with a spear.

The State says Kaunye's accomplices, George Mukundu, Fidelis Kangwere, Mary
Nyaude and Chipo Marindire allegedly incited the war veteran who was armed
with a gun to kill Muringanise.

Kaunye then allegedly shot Muringanise once in his lower left leg, injuring
him in the process.

The war veteran was subsequently arrested and police recovered an AK rifle
used to commit the alleged offence.

Kaunye faces another count of unlawfully purchasing or acquiring a firearm.

Akisai Dhliwayo of Mugadza, Mazengero and Dhliwayo law firm is representing
Kaunye, who is eyeing the Makoni North seat, which is held by
Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Minister, Didymus Mutasa.

About two months ago his desire to challenge Mutasa, a Zanu PF heavyweight,
resulted in violent clashes in Makoni North in which several people were
severely assaulted and properties worth million of dollars destroyed.

Kaunye himself was also severely beaten by Mutasa's supporters.

A committee comprising police officers and security agents set up to
investigate the violence has since submitted its findings to the Attorney
General and President Robert Mugabe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zimpost,Tel One workers on strike
By our own Staff

WORKERS from Tel One and Zimpost have again downed tools to protest failure
by management to award them increments as ordered in March by an arbitrator.

Washington Sansole, the arbitrator ruled that the lowest Tel One worker be
paid a net of $861 241 so as to cushion them from hyperinflation.
He also ordered Tel One to pay its workers transport, housing, lunch and
telephone allowances. However, the management has appealed against his

Workers from Tel One told The Standard they were unhappy with the way the
issue was being handled.

"We have been in and out of the courts on several occasions and nothing has
happened in terms of the salary increments issue. The management is
deliberately suppressing our grievances by taking us to court each time we
want to negotiate salaries," one worker said.

Communications and Allied Services Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CASWUZ) acting
general secretary Sam Musiwokuwaya said they had failed to reach an
agreement with management.

"The management unilaterally implemented the award at 100% less than had
been given by the arbitrator," Musiwokuwaya said in a statement.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

MDC election co-ordinator dies
By our own staff

NOMORE Sibanda, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) national
election co-ordinator, has died. Sibanda (39) died on Tuesday at Avenues
Clinic in Harare after complaining of a severe headache.

Maxwell Zimuto, the MDC information officer, said Sibanda fell ill while in
the United States of America where he had gone to familiarise himself with
the country's electoral processes for a month.
A family spokesperson, Walter Sibanda, said: "It was a shock to the family
because when he left he was not ill. We have been robbed of a caring member
of the family."

Sibanda is survived by his wife, Mavis Musakwa, and four children - Tendai,
Blessing, Vimbai and Maxwell.

He was buried in Murehwa on Friday.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Chombo orders change of names in Masvingo
By our own Staff

MASVINGO - DR Ignatious Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing, has ordered the city of Masvingo to change all
schools, buildings and street names that the ministry believes are colonial,
council officials have told The Standard.

Chombo gave August 27, 2004 as the deadline to assume names of post
independence, revolutionary and indigenous features and characters. The city
is yet to implement the directive.
"We failed to meet the deadline simply because we felt that we should first
consult the local residents," said the Masvingo executive mayor, Engineer
Alois Chaimiti, in an interview with The Standard.

Acting Masvingo city council chamber secretary, Lovemore Tanyanyiwa, said
the residents were yet to finalise suggestions of new names for schools,
streets and buildings.

"We are a democratic council and we have since consulted with our residents
in this issue in order to help us find new names. As council, we comply with
the government laws, so we will do that," said Tanyanyiwa.

Schools likely to change names include Hellen McGhie Primary School,
Victoria Junior School and Victoria High School. Streets like Hofmeyer and
Hughes, among others could be in line for new names.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zimbabwe betrays ideals of the revolution

THE forced removals of villagers from farms by the very people who
encouraged the invasions and occupations in 2000 mark a new height in
cynicism and betrayal of the ideals of the liberation struggle.

What has been happening on occupied farms in Mashonaland East and West,
Masvingo and Matabeleland provinces in recent weeks is a monumental tragedy
that best captures the bitter experience of post independence rule in this
At the beginning of 2000 the government instigated villagers to invade and
occupy commercial farms, saying equitable land distribution was at the core
of the struggle for independence.

Amid chants of "ivhu kuvanhu", "People First", "the land is the economy" and
"Third Chimurenga", the government allowed villagers to settle anywhere they
liked. The police were rendered powerless. The government vowed there would
be no going back.

However, in recent weeks the same government has brought in police details
to oversee mass evictions of the villagers it encouraged to resort to
lawlessness. But the bitter irony now is the resemblance in approach to the
settlers when they were ejecting indigenous people from their ancestral
lands under the Land Apportionment Act in order to open up vast farmlands
for commercial farmers.

The brutality of settler colonial administration can never be excused
although it was not unexpected of those determined to subjugate the
indigenous people of this country, but the brutality of one of our own is
unparalleled, treacherous and unforgivable. It is the worst form of
oppression and could be sowing and watering the seeds of future conflict in
this country. This is blatant hijacking of the revolution.

The scale of the evictions, dispossessions and human rights abuses is
incomparable, while the silence from domestic and international rights
organisations is perplexing. It is as if the villagers have absolutely no
rights at all.

What is happening as a result of the mass evictions is a covert agenda to
concentrate the ownership of land in the hands of an elitist political group
and protégés who have decided to secure their future by transforming
Zimbabwe into a private property, where the majority will exist at the
pleasure of a new landed class.

The struggle for independence is thus reduced to a struggle by blacks to
supplant whites in order to perpetrate and perpetuate the injustices that
were synonymous with settler administration and for which it came to be
violently despised.

Despite three audits and mounting evidence that the political elite in this
country are multiple farm owners, the government has elected to ignore this
evidence and instead has chosen to victimise villagers it encouraged to
invade and occupy farms since 2000.

Ironically, the one lesson to emerge from all this is that the government is
finally admitting that its land reform programme has been an unmitigated
disaster and needs to be scrapped, while it returns to the drawing board.

What is also tragic about the evictions is that senior leaders from the
struggle, who ideally should comprise the guardians of the ideals of the
revolution, see these things and yet remain silent, as if they have been
rendered impotent by a bitter power struggle.

John Nkomo, who is the Minister of Special Affairs responsible for Lands,
Land Reform and Resettlement, keeps referring issues about the evictions to
provincial governors as if governors suddenly have the power to veto
directives from central government. Failure to put his foot down and to
demand an immediate end to the evictions is all the more puzzling especially
given that he is the chairman of the ruling Zanu PF party.

There is a paralysis of indecision even in a case where it is obvious
potential voter support is being squandered. The opposition is being gifted
an election chance by the ruling party!

One possible explanation for all this and the lack of decisive response by
the government, on behalf of the villagers being evicted, could be that if
land invasions and occupations were indeed spearheaded by former freedom
fighters, then what is being witnessed is the emergence of a schism between
ruling politicians and war veterans. This could lead to the emergence of a
political force drawing its support from war veterans, but still within the
ruling party.

Last week The Standard reported that more war veterans will be fielded as
candidates challenging senior Zanu PF officials in the run up to next year's
March parliamentary elections. The chairman of the War Veterans Association,
Jabulani Sibanda, attributed this unprecedented development to the
"reawakening of the revolutionary spirit" among former freedom fighters.

The government ministers and senior ruling party officials who are
threatened by the war veterans' decision could have hatched a strategy to
disrupt the power base of the former freedom fighters by scattering people
who are likely to vote for ex-combatants.

Dispersing the people who invaded and occupied former commercial farms would
thwart the plans by former freedom fighters. People who move out of
constituencies could encounter problems in voting for candidates put forward
by the war veterans, thus securing victory for the status quo.

The evictions have serious implications. The villagers have children who
were due to write their qualifying examinations this year. The evictions
will mean a wasted year for hundreds of school children. But there is also
the issue of disruptions to farming activities with the possibility that
this could adversely impact on food production. The villagers will have
neither the resources to buy inputs nor the land to grow food. The
government may have created a class of people it will need to feed in the
immediate and medium term.

The evictions suggest that the "agrarian reform" has become a scramble for
land by the political elite and that the government has stopped pretending
that it cares or ever cared about ordinary people.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Avoid imperial condoms
Over The Top

TROUBLED central Africans were alarmed to read in the nation's least
favourite "news" paper that a visiting dignitary had pronounced that Aids
was hard to get - still more alarmed to hear that you have to "work hard to
get it."

Of course, accuracy has never been considered important on the Daily Horrid,
so it could well be that the Ugandan's remarks were taken out of context.
Actually, even that might be a generous interpretation. They may have simply
been made up.

Still, it was an interesting take on a pandemic that threatens to sweep
through the world's poorest continent. On the one hand, hungry and troubled
central Africans hear their most equal of all comrades shunning desperately
needed food because no one wants it forced down their throats - Ugandans are
learning that their own leader doesn't want condoms forced. well, this is a
family paper so there's no need to go any further.

Food and condoms, the Horrid wants us to believe, are imperialist weapons
foisted on a continent struggling to free itself from the shackles of
colonialism. It rarely mentions the shackles of poverty, corruption,
violence and disease, of course.

Still, never mind. If the Ugandan leader truly said these things, then he is
talking through his curious hat and is about the most irresponsible man to
have pronounced on the subject since his colleague Thabo Mbeki made
similarly foolish remarks. And if he didn't, then the Horrid surely needs to
be censured for reckless irresponsibility - not to mention appalling

Over The Top believes there are draconian laws designed for just this sort
of censure, though in fairness they were drafted to clamp down on the
independent press rather than the fawning State media.

So . out of a moral responsibility, this paper can point out that imperial
condoms are a good thing. Actually, they're about the only good thing the
West has ever done for this continent - aside from shunned food aid. If
imperialism had always come in the form of rubber items in cardboard boxes,
we'd probably be a lot better off than we are now.

And if the leaders of Africa honestly don't want them, then they are truly
out of touch with the people who didn't elect them - which in many cases is
about 90 percent of the population.

Instead these leaders bang on about changing people's behaviour and reducing
the need for condoms. It's pure nonsense, of course, because as most
troubled central Africans know, what else is there to do? They control the
television and the newspapers; going out is prohibitively expensive, petrol
is hard to find and money is worthless. With every other avenue for pleasure
and the pursuit of happiness closed, they now want to interfere in the one
area of life where they truly have no business. To many, it is the final

The only truth troubled, world weary central Africans need to know is that
condoms save lives. Listening to the silly babbling of incoherent
politicians, on the other hand, costs lives.

Of course, in the interest of fair play, the incoherent politician in
question may never have said anything of the sort - but Zany's paper said it
and Over The Top is wondering whether this constitutes misrepresenting

Or does someone have to not have their head chopped off at the neck to get a
story wrong? Will the reporter be deported, we wonder? Don't hold
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard


Poaching is rife

ON allegations that there is rampant poaching in the Matetsi area, Morris
Mtsambiwa, director-general of Zimbabwe's Parks and Wildlife Management
Authority, said illegal hunting was not widespread.

"On farms it was a problem up to a year ago, but new farmers are seeking
quotas. We appreciate information on illegal hunting and will investigate
it," he said. Mtsambiwa, when are you going to wake up to the fact that we
might be already too late to save our national heritage?

Nkalanga Ndlovu

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard


Let down by our own

AFTER 1980 I had hoped that Zimbabwe would become the paradise on earth that
our politicians promised us. That is why I voted for the black President,
Robert Mugabe. Twenty-four years later I feel betrayed.

How can some one over eighty years old claim to have all the faculties to
run a country, in spite of all the mess around us?
In 1990 I left a well-run white company (to date the company has grown from
strength to strength) to join a black run company. The company is not doing
well and is on the verge of collapse. Those at the bottom left it (including
myself) but senior management has not changed a bit. To them no one can run
the company better than them and this is in spite of all the mess around it.
It amazes me.

In 2000 I thought it was OK to support the land reform. Yes, I did support
that black farmer who took land without bloodshed. Now I need food but
cannot get it. I feel cheated.

In 2002, I could have opened a current account for my new company with
Standard Chartered Bank. I ignored the advice of my friends and went
indigenous. On Friday September 24, 2004, I felt betrayed as I mourned my
$4,45 million, which is going to be lost in a black owned bank I trusted so

Where do I go from here? Everything we touch turns to dust.
Zvinongobhururuka sechamupupuri (everything is just swept away). In spite of
the tried and tested ways of running businesses we seem to be wanting to
reinvent the wheel all the time. After messing up everything, our salvation
lies in white curators. Why can't we engage them to run these companies so
that we do what we are really good at - working for someone else!

Have I lost hope? No I still have hope in the MDC. I have faith in their
leader. I also have hope in businessmen like Strive Masiyiwa. The day they
will let me down is the day I will leave this country for good!


Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard


TelOne rate increases ridiculous

I WISH to register my strong objection to the continued escalation of costs
without any improvement in service in the telephone system.

This comes at a time when we are being told that "inflation" is being
brought under control, you increase rates from $120,00 a unit to $585,00 a
unit (387,5% increase) ... not to mention the effect of inclusion of VAT
which brings the cost to $672,75 a unit.
Has anyone thought how this is going to affect costs generally with
businesses having to increase prices to cope with telephone charges, fuel
price increases and other inputs which will be affected by these same
increases? ... a merry-go-round!

In may offices, staff prefer to sit on the phone to their friends as opposed
to serving customers and this includes when one is waiting for attention in
Tel-one offices.

Our telephone account is 454% higher than last month and so somebody is
going to pay for that.

It is obvious that Government will not try to control this since they too
are benefiting from the huge increase in revenue in the form of VAT.

Could you please explain the reasons for the increase or is it a case of
"while the cow stands still ... keep milking?" In most other countries, the
cost of telecommunications is coming down. Are you in competition with
Zim-Post with their postal rates which have resulted in empty Post Offices?

J G Palmer

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard


Mugabe's donations should not be seen as an act of charity

ALLOW me space to make an observation on a strange but frequent occurrence
that appears to engulf Zimbabwe especially in the run up to elections.

There has been a spate of announcements in the "Moyo bulletin" about
"donations" from the President to schools in the form of buses and computer
My dilemma is in the context of these so called donations. According to the
Oxford Dictionary, a donation is "the action or contract by which a person
transfers the ownership of a thing from himself to another, as a free gift."
I find it perplexing that the provision of such equipment to schools, which
they should have by right, anyway, is highlighted as an act of goodwill by
the President.

Among the duties of the President is to ensure that all schools in the
country are properly equipped, and it raises eyebrows when "donations" of
equipment are done to a few selected, politically strategic schools.

By the way, where are these donations coming from? Most of these reports are
not clear on this point even though they all heavily point to the fact that
the President has dug into his savings, and out of his kindness and goodwill
decided to make a donation to these poor schools. This may be swallowed by
the poor kids who get a supplementary feeding of the imaginary
Blair/Bush/MDC conspiracy combinations whenever they are presented with
these "gifts", but you cannot fool the whole population. I believe most
people will be aware that these are proceeds from the government coffers
which we all work hard to fill, if they are not donations from "our friends"
in the Far East.

The portrayal of these actions as acts of goodwill falls into the same
category as those which have led to some people in the rural areas labelling
donations from other NGOs as "Mugabe's this" and "Mugabe's that" ("Fetiraiza
yaMugabe", "Chibage chaMugabe", etc). These are designed to hoodwink the
gullible and should be condemned in the strongest terms. I would not be
surprised if those computers end up being called "Macomputer aMugabe"

Since the President is supposed to be the figure-head or father of the
nation, this is analogous to a father donating basic things to his children.
We could then have had headlines like, "Father donates toys to his
(favourite) child (Kutama)", "Father donates school uniform to his son",
"Father donates computer to his daughter", etc. Fortunately, most fathers
work hard to provide for the basic needs of their families, and do not
provide these as selective, highlighted, donations.

It is sad and unfortunate though, that even such a simple task (providing
the basic needs of your family) is a very difficult thing to achieve these
days, thanks to the actions of the President and his colleagues.

If these are driven by a veiled attempt to buy votes, most schools must
surely be praying to have an election every week (and that there is no
violence accompaning the elections, of course!).

Sorobhi Chimusoro

United Kingdom
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Willowvale abandons exports
By Rangarirai Mberi

WILLOWVALE Mazda Motor Industries says it has failed to export vehicles as
earlier planned because foreign currency shortages have pushed production
down to 20% of capacity.

Ben Khumalo, MD of the country's largest car assembler, however said plans
to export had not been frozen completely. Exports still featured in
Willowvale's long-term view, he said.
"Unfortunately we cannot at present afford to export. The amounts of foreign
currency we are accessing at the auctions are not sufficient for us even to
meet local demand," Khumalo told StandardBusiness on Wednesday.

Willowvale had earlier this year expressed plans to begin vehicle exports to
Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique and Malawi. The plan to export had been encouraged
by stronger production figures at the beginning of the year. Output in
February was up from the 2003 monthly average of 160 units to between 230
and 300.

However, the assembler's failure to access sufficient hard money at central
bank's foreign currency auctions has seen production dropping further below
capacity throughout the year.

Willowvale requires more than US$3 million to operate at full capacity,
officials said, but the company's bids at the auction have reaped an average
of US$900 000 a month. Weak forex supply into Zimbabwe has seen the Reserve
Bank rejecting 85% of all bids at the auctions over the past month.

Full capacity at Willowvale is 45 units a shift, which translates to 800
units a month. However, only 20% of this capacity is currently being
exploited due to the low supply of funds to import kits for assembly,
Khumalo said.

Willowvale has since taken a view that whatever supply of foreign currency
the company is able to get from the RBZ will buy kits to assemble vehicles
for the local market.

"We would rather first meet local demand," Khumalo said. "You can imagine
the outcry that would result if we began to export before we satisfied the
local market."

Khumalo, however, said Willowvale realised that it would ultimately have to
export in order to raise its own revenue and help to fully expend capacity.

Production at Willowvale has never recovered after Japan withdrew export
credit insurance cover on Willowvale in 2000, resulting in Japanese supplier
Itochu suspending shipment of completely knocked down kits to the company.

Willowvale assembles Mazda cars and has also recently assembled tractors on
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

RBZ in new move to prop up Homelink
By Kumbirai Mafunda

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), unhappy with reception of its ill-timed
Homelink facility, has dispatched another team to once again entice
Zimbabweans living abroad to remit critically needed foreign currency to the
crisis-racked southern African country, Standard Business has established.

High-level sources told Standard Business that the Homelink delegation -
headed by Herbert Nkala, the former RTG CEO and chairman of the bank's
publicity and communication committee - left the country for Washington a
fortnight ago at the same time central bank Governor Gideon Gono slipped out
of the country.

Gono is attending the two-week long 2004 annual meeting of the World Bank
and the IMF in the US capital.

From Washington the team will visit Zimbabweans in the UK on their way back
home. Informed sources say the approach this time has been altered possibly
to avoid embarrassment and chaos, which characterised previous outreach
meetings where Gono met intolerance head-on to the extend of sometimes being
booed off the stage.

The Nkala-led team, sources indicated, will target pin-pointed investment
consortiums in the UK and the US and promote investment opportunities
abundant in Zimbabwe.

It also wants Zimbabweans to subscribe to the recently introduced Foreign
Currency Bonds.

"The team is no longer going to crowds but to investment groups," a source

Zimbabwe is battling severe foreign currency shortages punctuated by energy
outages and the inability to import enough fuel, medical drugs and raw

So far, cumulative foreign currency inflows from the Diaspora through the
Homelink system amount to about US$36 million, that is, including cash
purchases executed by banks.

However, this is a far cry from the projected US$300 million, which
authorities had hoped to reap within a month.

Although payouts in foreign currency were increasing in the months from
April, they stagnated in July when Gono announced a change in the original
mode of payout that authorised recipients to collect the money in their
currency of choice.

The decision to limit foreign exchange transactions to the Zimbabwean dollar
equivalent has promoted the emergence of the parallel market as relatives
try to circumvent the official channels.

"People are resentful now. That is what happens when you have price controls
on currencies," says independent economic analyst John Robertson.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Will Zimbabweans ever learn?
Sundaytalk with Pius Wakatama

A few weeks ago city dwellers from Harare hit a big bonanza. They drove
along the Chinhoyi road in their dozens and bought cattle, goats and
chickens at give-away prices.

These were being sold by hundreds of peasant farmers who had been forcibly
removed from Little England and Inkomo farms where they were resettled
during the so-called "fast track land reform programme". After four years of
hard toil, while singing Zanu PF "revolutionary" songs these people are now
The Sunday Mirror of September 26, 2004 described the situation thus:
"Several hundreds of families were displaced after government ordered the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to forcibly evict the families on the two
farms on the pretext that the new farmers were illegally occupying the

"The families were left stranded, as government had not looked for
alternative places to resettle the evictees before proceeding to torch the
settlers' homes.

"With no running water and other sanitary facilities, a major health
disaster is looming as the families are currently camped by the roadside
where they can be seen cooking their meals, while the children dice with
death as they play on the Harare-Chinhoyi highway.

"Cattle, goats and chickens can be seen roaming along the road, while the
evicted settlers seem to have no clue where to go."

The terrible plight of these peasants left me with mixed feelings. On one
hand I felt pity for them. I also felt anger at a government that could be
so cruel and heartless to the extent of burning down the dwellings of loyal
citizens and driving them to live in the open when the summer rains will be
upon us any day now.

It is true that the families had invaded and settled on the farms illegally
but at whose instigation? I remember clearly when the people of Svosve, in
Marondera first invaded white owned farms. They had carried out the
invasions in desperation. They were overcrowded on rocky non-productive
land. Their pleas to government for re-settlement had gone unheeded for over
two decades. They had therefore taken the law into their own hands and
resettled themselves on white-owned farmland from where they had been
forcibly evicted in the 1930s.

I was there when a delegation of government ministers, led by the late
Vice-President Simon Muzenda, visited Svosve and told the peasants in no
uncertain terms, that what they had done was illegal. They advised them to
leave the farms until they were resettled legally and in an orderly manner.
The late Chief Svosve was advised to make a list of those who wanted to be
resettled. For years nothing happened.

While President Mugabe was out of the country on one of his many trips, more
farm invasions took place all over the country. People were clearly fed up
with his government's inaction over the land issue. The people had fought
for the land, above all things, but the government seemed to have its
priorities set elsewhere.

Vice President Joseph Msika, that great prevaricator, and the then Minster
of Home Affairs, Dumiso Dabengwa, ordered the invaders to leave the farms or
face arrest.

At this time, people were totally fed up with the Zanu PF government. There
was inaction on the land issue; corruption in high places and the economy
was in tatters. They, as well as white commercial farmers, flocked to join
the newly formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, a young firebrand trade unionist.

When Mugabe saw this he was livid with all kinds of emotions. He could see
that his days in power were numbered. When he came back from his trip he
cleverly saw an opportunity to woo back the people, especially the
land-hungry peasants, as well as punish white commercial farmers who were
now the backbone of the MDC's financial support. He countermanded his
vice-president and minister by assuring those who invaded white commercial
farms that they would not be arrested. He dug up the past colonial sins of
the whites and encouraged black Africans to "strike fear into the hearts of
all whites".

From then on all hell broke loose, so to say. This hell the president dubbed
"The Third Chimurenga". White farmers lived in this hell as they were
beaten, tortured, killed and thrown out of their productive farms. The
president had declared war on his own citizens. There was nobody to protect
them for even the forces of law and order were against them and their black

The Little England and Inkomo farm evictions are but a tip of the iceberg.
Thousands of people who were resettled on white owned farms are being
forcibly removed countrywide to make way for A2 farmers who are, in actual
fact, Zanu PF chefs and favoured businessmen.

I have never bothered to comment on the rambling and incoherent writings of
one, Lowani Ndlovu. However, I just have to totally agree with what he said
in The Sunday Mail of October 3, 2004. The truth was so clear this time that
even his usually befuddled mind could not help but grasp it.

He said: "So far the policy implementation of the farm evictions has been
just disastrous not only because it has been blatantly callous and virtually
inhuman but also because it has been unlawful and certainly contrary to
publicly stated government policy. Many of the victims of these evictions
have been wittingly or unwittingly reminded of colonial and UDI evictions.
That is why there is a growing chorus of anger and outrage at the evictions.

"If these evictions are necessary, they are certainly being done the wrong
way. In politics and particularly in policy implementation, the wrong way of
doing the right thing is just not acceptable but also dangerous because it
always increases the risk of making the right thing wrong. So, what is right
can end up being wrong if the method of implementation is wrong."

I would have expressed Lowani's sentiments more succinctly but what really
counts is the thought behind the words. What he is, in fact, saying is that
there is now a growing chorus of anger and outrage at the Zanu PF instigated
evictions. This is why if it would put in place the SADC protocol on
elections, it would certainly lose to the MDC which now has the support of
the majority of Zimbabweans. Lowani further says what is right can end up
wrong if the method of implementation is wrong. This is what some of us
"neocols" as Lowani calls us, have been saying about the land reform
programme. We are not against the policy but against its unplanned, chaotic
and violent method of implementation. There is hope for you yet Lowani. Soon
you will see the whole truth and ditch your beloved Zanu PF for the more
sensible and pragmatic MDC.

I said the present farm evictions leave me with mixed feelings. Though I
feel pity for the evictees, I also remember the evils these same people
perpetrated on white farmers and their black workers.

They were merciless while cunning politicians anxious to grab the land
goaded them. Now their work is done they can be thrown away like bad
rubbish. I am inclined to say: "Tsvatu waro - you had it coming."

The Chewa people say: "Chaona munzako chapita. Mawa chizaona iwe."
Translated, this means: "Don't gloat over your neighbour's misfortunes.
Tomorrow it will be you." Will Zimbabweans ever learn?

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Zanu PF downplays SADC poll principles
By Foster Dongozi

ZIMBABWE's commitment to the SADC Protocol on principles governing
democratic elections has been thrown into doubt after Zanu PF chairman and
Cabinet minister, John Nkomo, described the electoral guidelines as "a mere
broad thrust" depicting a common vision.

In addition, Information Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, last weekend
vowed that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would not be
given access to the State media.
In an interview with The Standard, Nkomo, who is the Minister of Special
Affairs in the President's Office Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement said: "It is up to the individual member countries to find ways
of implementing the guidelines by taking into account the situation on the
ground. We are a member of SADC but remember we got our independence in a
different way from how other member countries became independent. We are
called Zimbabwe and other members have their own different names."

Asked if the government was prepared to implement conditions allowing
opposition parties to hold rallies without police barring them or accessing
the State media, the combative Nkomo retorted: "Don't champion anybody's
cause. The Movement for Democratic Change is just making unnecessary noise
which always costs them dearly in the end. Zimbabwe is a democracy and
people are free to talk to each other."

The Sunday Mail quoted Professor Moyo rubbishing the call to give the
opposition access to the State media, saying it was "disloyal" to Zimbabwe.

"Until and unless we have a loyal opposition, it will not be possible for
them to have access to the public media. If among political parties you get
some which are not loyal to the country; not loyal to the history of the
country; not loyal to our democracy, not loyal to our flag and not loyal to
our anthem, then you are bound to have problems."

The US-educated minister said the youth in the country now believed foreign
universities were better than local institutions of higher learning.

The MDC has been flighting advertisements in which it says the government
has not observed any of the SADC guidelines except that which calls for the
holding of elections at regular intervals.

Political analysts have warned that Zimbabwe's total commitment to the SADC
Protocol was debatable and that the country could have signed the Protocol
to avoid regional isolation.

The Protocol calls for equal opportunities for all political parties to
access the State media but with only six months to go before the March 2005
general election, the MDC says it only appears in the state media when it is
being attacked or ridiculed.

Zanu PF officials have accused MDC members of harassing journalists from the
State media wishing to cover their rallies.

Although there is a principle which calls for freedom of association, the
MDC says police have so far barred them from addressing 12 rallies.

The SADC Protocol also calls for full participation of citizens in the
political process but the MDC says the gazetting of the NGO Bill would
severely curtail the operations of organizations working in the areas of
governance and human rights, including voter education.

In addition, while Mozambicans resident in Zimbabwe have been registering to
vote in the December elections, Zimbabweans in the diaspora are not likely
to be registered to vote.

The MDC secretary for legal affairs, David Coltart, said the government had
shown that it had no intention of implementing the electoral guidelines.

He said: "So far there is not a single sign that the Zanu PF government
wants to level the playing field. If anything, there seems to be a clear
determination to create an electoral environment that is contrary to the
SADC standards. This is evidenced by the gazetting of the NGO Bill, the
appointment of a partisan Delimitation Commission and the gazetting of the
Zimbabwe Election Commission Bill whose head would be hand-picked by
President Robert Mugabe, an interested party in any election."

Responding to Moyo's claims that MDC was not a loyal opposition, Coltart

"We are certainly not loyal to Zanu PF but we are loyal to Zimbabweans as we
have the interests of the country at heart.

"It is ironic that Professor Moyo should say that because in his book
entitled Voting for Democracy, he pointed out that the electoral playing
field was not even because opposition parties could not access the State

He said the statements made by Nkomo and Moyo were the clearest indications
that the Government did not respect the SADC Protocol and had no intention
to implement the principles and guidelines.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Standard

Sikhala battles for political survival
By Walter Marwizi

THREE years ago, St Mary's MP Job Sikhala was at the forefront of a nasty
battle with marauding Zanu PF militias in Bikita West, out in full force to
intimidate rural folk into voting for Zanu PF.

In one encounter, Sikhala, then the MDC security chief, fled into the
mountains with militias loyal to the late Chenjerai Hunzvi in hot pursuit.
As the 2005 parliamentary elections approach, Sikhala is finding himself
engaged in a different but decisive battle that may shape his political

This time, the battleground isn't a dry and patched rural constituency where
Zanu PF militias terrorise opponents. It's St Mary's constituency in
Chitungwiza, a stronghold of the MDC.

Sikhala is battling to remain an MDC MP and in the process, has committed
himself to fight anyone in the opposition party who wants him out of the

While the majority of fellow MDC legislators have been confirmed as official
candidates for the 2005 elections, Sikhala is yet to be nominated as the
opposition party's official candidate, raising fears among the St Mary's
folk that the top leaders want to impose a candidate on them.

MDC insiders speak of daggers being drawn against Sikhala, who belongs to
the young generation of MDC cadres regarded as "troublesome and
disrespectful" to party leaders, keen to consolidate their positions. These
are mainly leaders with a trade unionist background.

Among many other things, Sikhala and the other young MDC cadres crossed
paths with influential members of the party when they decided not to
campaign for James Makore, the official candidate. Makore was allegedly
imposed on the electorate, despite protests from supporters who wanted all
the aspiring MPs to go through the rigours associated with primary

When the by election was held, Makore lost to Zanu PF's Christopher Chigumba
in a result that shocked many party stalwarts.

Apart from Makore's case, Sikhala was also reported to have openly clashed
with party chairman, Isaac Matongo, at a meeting called to review the
party's dismal performance in Zengeza.

After that incident, political analysts say, the young politician's future
in the MDC has increasingly become tenuous.

Sikhala was soon caught up in intra-party clashes which prompted the MDC to
set up a commission of inquiry into the problems besetting Chitungwiza
province under which St Mary's constituency falls. Analysts, though,
dismissed it as a move aimed at building a case against Sikhala that would
be used against him during the confirmation exercise.

Among other things the commission, headed by MDC legislator Esaph Mdlongwa,
was to investigate clashes in St Mary's that involved Sikhala.

Several months later now, nothing has been said about the report and Sikhala
can only guess about his future as MDC MP. Earlier he had been made to
believe that he would go through the vetting exercise once the commission
had presented its findings to the MDC leadership.

However, the youth leader, says he cannot leave his political future to
chance. "I am ready to fight, even if it means going it alone," he told
thousands of cheering supporters in St Mary's recently.

"I don't rule out a Biafra here in Chitungwiza," he declared, to wild
applause from the audience, estimated to be 10 000 who braved the hot
temperatures to listen to Sikhala.

These were mainly youths and old poor people, who form the bulk of
inhabitants in St Mary's constituency - one of the poorest suburbs in

After the rally they trooped to Sikhala's house where they gathered to plot
strategies they could employ to ensure the constituency remained
impenetrable to candidates imposed from the top.

"It's a serious matter and we have to fight for the wishes of the people to
prevail in St Mary's," said an old woman who sat cross-legged under a tree,
a few metres away from Sikhala's residence.

Paying school fees, assisting the poor and disadvantaged with food,
transport to ferry their bodies at funerals and at times meeting all funeral
costs has endeared Sikhala to many in the impoverished constituency.

Besides, the St Mary's folk, many of whom have borne the brunt of Zanu PF
militias, have greatly benefited from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of
Torture Victims (Ceretov), set up last year by Sikhala and other survivors
of torture .

The folk, just like many from other parts of the country who have sought
assistance from Ceretov have been counselled and assisted to start income
generating projects.

"We will stand by our MP. He was with us when the final push was called and
we were harassed and arrested together. Now how can we dessert him?" said
Magura Maruta, a vendor at Huruyadzo business centre.

Sikhala himself has been arrested at least 18 times in the past three years.
At one point, he was held without being charged, interrogated and then
driven to an unknown destination where he was beaten and tortured for eight
hours, and then given poison to drink.

The rally had been one of a series of meetings called by Sikhala as he
intensifies his drive for grassroots support in the face of opposition from
the top leadership of the opposition MDC.

And indeed there are signs that St Mary's could be real test case for
democracy for a party, which seeks to unseat a regime accused of imposing
candidates, among other things.

Only three weeks ago, angry party supporters, besieged Harvest House, the
party headquarters, demanding the ouster of Matongo as the party's national

The elderly men and women from St Mary's and other areas accused Matongo of
imposing his friends and relatives on the electorate.

One of the demonstrators told The Standard that the national executive was
operating more like Zanu PF by failing to uphold principles of democracy.

"They are more dictatorial than Zanu PF, the party that we are fighting.
They want to impose a candidate in St Mary's like they did in Zengeza," said
one of the demonstrators.

Asked to comment on the allegation that he had imposed a new Chitungwiza
provincial executive that will ensure Sikhala is not confirmed as the MDC's
candidate, Matongo said:

"I only intervened when I was told by the district chairpersons in the
province about the need to fill up the gaps after a number of the committee
members had died. That is what we did, I do not see any problem with that."

And these days as Sikhala readies himself for any eventuality, he is meeting
his constituents regularly psyching them up for a looming battle with the
party leadership.

"Come hell, come thunder, we will meet them at the polls in St Mary's," said
the tough talking Sikhala.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Sunday Times (SA), 10 October

Tsvangirai to hear treason verdict this week

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will learn his fate on
treason charges on Friday. High Court Judge Paddington Garwe and his
assessors are due to hand down their verdict on whether Tsvangirai, leader
of the Movement for Democratic Change, plotted to assassinate President
Robert Mugabe in December 2001. The charges are based on allegations by
Mugabe's Canadian publicist, Ari Ben-Menashe, that Tsvangirai asked for his
help to assassinate Mugabe. Tsvangirai claims he was framed. There are fears
that if he is convicted the country will plunge into chaos. University of
Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku said that if he was convicted
Tsvangirai might not be able to continue as MDC leader. That could trigger
political events with far-reaching consequences for the MDC and Zimbabwe.
"If Tsvangirai is convicted, that will not necessarily bar him from
contesting for political office except for the time when he is serving his
sentence," Madhuku said. There have been widespread rumours that the ruling
Zanu-PF wants to see Tsvangirai behind bars to stop him running for
president in 2008. Parliamentary elections are to be held next March.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 10 October

Mugabe wins by-election by default

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's ruling party held on to a parliamentary
seat, winning a by-election by default after the main opposition party
boycotted the poll to demand electoral reforms, election officials said on
Saturday. Ruling Zanu PF candidate Walter Mzembi was declared the unopposed
winner of the by-election in the Masvingo district of southern Zimbabwe, a
seat left vacant after the death on August 22 of the ruling party's
69-year-old founder, Eddison Zvobgo. Masvingo constituency registrar
Ignatius Mushangwe declared Mzembi (41) the winner after a second candidate
from the little-known Zimbabwe Youths in Alliance party failed to submit
adequate poll nomination papers by the Friday deadline, state radio
reported. Mzembi's entry to the 150-seat Parliament does not change the
power balance. Zvobgo had held the seat for the ruling party since
independence from Britain in 1980.

It was the second election in a month that Zimbabwe's main opposition party
had sat out in protest. In September, the ruling party won an unopposed seat
in the Seke district after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) announced it will boycott all future elections until the government
reforms unfair electoral laws, ends political violence and repeals
repressive media and security laws. The opposition won 57 of the 120 elected
seats in the last national Parliament vote in 2000, but has lost six in
special elections since then. Under the Constitution, Mugabe appoints 30 of
the 150 lawmakers, giving the ruling party an overwhelming majority.
Independent observers said the 2000 election and a presidential vote in 2002
were swayed in favour of Mugabe and his party by intimidation and vote
rigging. The Zanu PF party holds 98 of 150 seats in Parliament -- two short
of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution. A tiny
opposition group, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Ndonga party, has one

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has demanded the government meet regional
electoral standards of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community,
which include the formation an independent commission to oversee future
polls, replacing the state-appointed body that now organises elections. The
government has promised some electoral reforms, but the opposition has
dismissed them as cosmetic changes that still allow Mugabe and ruling-party
lawmakers to appoint members of the supervisory commission. Zimbabwe has
been racked by political and economic troubles since February 2000, when
Mugabe was resoundingly defeated in a referendum on a new Constitution that
would have entrenched his rule. The seizure of thousands of white-owned
farms for handing over to blacks after the referendum disrupted the
agriculture-based economy and led to record unemployment and inflation.
Mugabe, who says the land seizures were to correct colonial-era
land-ownership imbalances, accused white landowners of financing the main
opposition party and his opponents in the referendum campaign.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zim police stop evictions of black farmers
          October 10 2004 at 02:54PM

      Harare, Zimbabwe - Police have stopped evicting black farmers settled
on formerly white-owned land after a court ordered the government to clarify
the farmers' status, the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper reported.

      At least 900 black farmers who were resettled under the nation's land
redistribution program have been evicted in recent weeks from farming
districts around Harare after government officials said they were not
correctly located under the programme.

      The evicted farmers claim the expulsions are part of turf wars between
local ruling party officials and other politicians.

      At one resettled farm about 100km north-west of Harare, riot police
last month drove off more than 400 families from small plots they had
occupied for three years. Police torched most of the shacks and huts.

            Police torched most of the shacks and huts
      The High Court on Wednesday ordered police to halt the evictions and
allow ousted families to return. The court ordered the government to resolve
the allocation of the plots or make alternative arrangements to resettle
affected families.

      The Sunday Mail said new farmers on at least seven formerly
white-owned properties were evicted.

      It quoted a spokesperson for one group of evictees, Solomon Mangwende,
saying police had not left the farms.

      "Police are still at the farms but they are no longer forcing anyone
to leave. We have now resumed our activities," he said.

      President Robert Mugabe's government has seized about 5 000
white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks since 2000, saying it aims to
correct what it calls unfair land ownership by whites that has continued
after the colonial era ended with independence from Britain in 1980.

      Many of the evicted white farmers won court orders restraining the
government and ruling party militants during the often violent seizure

      But most of those court orders were ignored by police and district

      The land programme has crippled the agriculture-based economy,
triggering the worst economic and political crisis since independence.

      Annual inflation of 314 percent is the highest rate in the world.
Unemployment has soared among Zimbabweans already suffering worsening
poverty and acute shortages of food and essential imports, including
gasoline. - Sapa-AP

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Thinking caps on for life after Mugabe

    October 10 2004 at 05:04PM

By Santosh Beharie

What happens after Robert Mugabe? Nobody knows or seems to care, says author Geoff Hill, who, in the past four months, has travelled the world in search of answers.

Hill, the best-selling author of The Battle for Zimbabwe and correspondent for the Washington Times, believes that it is essential to start planning for the post-Mugabe era.

Speaking on the Wham (What happens after Mugabe) factor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, on Thursday, Hill said the danger that existed in Zimbabwe was that no one would be ready when change came.

"The international community has no plans in place to rebuild the economy, agriculture or the media, nor to bring back the four million exiles who have fled Zimbabwe. I have likened the situation to a dog chasing a car and catching one - what does it do with it when it does?" said Hill.

During the past four months, Hill has been on speaking tours of Britain, the US and Australia. He delivered an address to the Royal Institute for International Affairs at Chatham House, London, ahead of the December Commonwealth meeting in Abuja.

In July, he was invited to Washington DC to address the prestigious Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. In September, he addressed the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

"I'm trying to reach out to anyone with the funds and the necessary expertise, like NGOs and the G7, to come on board and help plan a blueprint to rebuild Zimbabwe, because so far there have only been talk shops," said Hill, who stressed that he had no allegiance to either President Mugabe's regime or Morgan Tsvangarai's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

He says the debate about bringing change to Zimbabwe seems to be centred less in Southern Africa and more in London, Brussels and Washington, where regular calls are made for an end to the rule of Mugabe.

"Yet, those in favour of regime change have yet to announce any plans - let alone budgets - for putting Zimbabwe back together when Mugabe goes." The task is formidable, he says, when it comes to rebuilding what used to be one of Africa's biggest economies. At a glance:

  • Law and order has broken down and the police are

  • Inflation is running at more than 600% and could reach a figure as high as 1 000% this year;

  • Seven out of 10 adults are unemployed;

  • The state-run youth militia have set up a terror network across the nation;

  • Commercial farming has collapsed in the wake of the government's coercive land reform programme and food agencies estimate that three-quarters of the population don't have enough to eat;

  • There is virtually no public health system in a country where 3 000 people die every week from Aids;

  • More than 500 000 skilled Zimbabweans have moved to Britain and an estimated two million now live in South Africa. In addition 70% to 90% of all university graduates are believed to be working outside the country.

    Hill's passion for Zimbabwe is clear. Having grown up in Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, he became fluent in the Shona language.

    In October 1980, he joined The Manica Post newspaper in the eastern Zimbabwe town of Mutare. After the nationalisation of the press in 1982, he moved to Australia and spent eight years with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

    In 1997, Hill and his Burundi-born wife, Hope, returned to Zimbabwe, where he worked as a writer and hosted music programmes on FM radio.

    In 2002, he moved to Johannesburg, where he is Africa correspondent for newspapers in London and Washington.

    Over the past three years, Hill has interviewed hundreds of ordinary Zimbabweans, as well as members of the Mugabe government, the opposition and some of the two million exiles now living in South Africa.

    Released late last year, his bestselling book, The Battle for Zimbabwe, is said to have generated more press than any other non-fiction title published in South Africa this year.

    More than 75% of the 8 000 print run was sold out within the first 12 weeks and he has been commissioned to write a sequel on the Wham factor.

    Hill argues that the total costs of setting this "tragic" country back on course will run into billions and that donor countries should already be funding research to map out future plans.

    "In Britain and South Africa, training schemes could be set up right now for young, exiled Zimbabweans in fields as diverse as justice, agriculture, teaching and journalism.
    "Sadly, there seems to be lots of talk and few cheques. When the time comes, let's hope those who have been shouting the loudest for change will be willing to meet the bills," he says.

    Over the past two years, while researching his book on Zimbabwe, the question most people asked Hill was: will what has happened there be repeated in South Africa?

    "My own view is that it won't. The logic being that, just because Uganda fell under the tyranny of Idi Amin didn't mean that neighbouring states like Kenya and Tanzania followed suit and started butchering their people.

    "The Zimbabwean crisis is very much a product of Mugabe's need to stay in power long after the electorate has tired of him. But, if similar circumstances do ever emerge in South Africa, my worry is that we won't see them coming."

      • This article was originally published on page 17 of AFP on October 10, 2004
  • Back to the Top
    Back to Index

    Plea for Help!!! - Coronation Cottages Comfort Fund - fund raising project

    Come and join in, have fun and support those that unselfishly go out of
    their way to assist those less fortunate than ourselves.

    A Rhyme you might be interested in!!

    Coronation  Cottages  Comfort  Fund

    Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  Obey this call,
    From far and wide:  Come one!  Come All!
    A banquet to hold do we intend
    Of Medieval theme and trend.

    In October, on the sixteenth day,
    Come join the fun and revelry.
    At the college of the Brothers Christian
    At the hour of eight, will begin the feasting.

    For this event, tickets will be sold,
    Eat, drink and be merry and be ye bold.
    Assemble ye there- and be ye hearty,
    Come!  Lords and Ladies, join the party.

    Our aid is comfort to give, where we may
    Needs are great in this age and day.
    The funds we raise help only a few,
    That is why we appeal to you.

    Our thanks to you:  Our thanks indeed,
    You helpeth us help those in need.
    That we are obliged, be in no doubt.
    Again our thanks to you go out.

    Dated this the thirteenth day of September, in the year 2004 Anno Domini.

    For further information and the purchase of tickets for this event, please
    contact Coronation Cottages Comfort Fund Chairperson, Judy Ross 011419335 or
    Penny Graham 091221699.  Thank you in anticipation of your generosity.
    Donations can be collected.  Banquet tickets are on sale as from 30th
    September, at a cost of $100 000,00 per person.
    Back to the Top
    Back to Index

    UNDP statement in Chronicle 8 October 2004


    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe would like
    to express its rejection of the article "UN pulls out Zim rep"
    published in the Sunday Mail of 3 October 2004, concerning its
    Resident Representative in Zimbabwe, Mr J. Victor Angelo. The story
    was unfortunate and misleading. As a matter of fact Mr Angelo was
    appointed UNDP Resident Representative for Zimbabwe in September 2000
    for a four-year term, which he is currently serving out. He still
    remains UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator as well
    as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe.

    Contrary to the information contained in the above article, Mr Angelo
    has not been recalled but has in fact been elevated to the level of
    Assistant Secretary General of the UN by the Secretary General, Mr
    Kofi Annan. This is in recognition of the excellent work he has
    carried out during his career with the UN. At the time that he is
    expected to assume his new responsibilities within the UN, Mr Angelo
    will follow the normal departure protocols.

    During his term of Office in Zimbabwe, he has been instrumental in
    helping the country to mobilise more than US$500 million to address
    humanitarian challenges. Under his leadership the UN has launched
    several appeals to the international community in support of Zimbabwe'
    s humanitarian needs, placing greater emphasis on the most vulnerable

    Since 2000, UNDP has greatly increased its core contribution to
    Zimbabwe from US$7.1 million in 2000 to more than US$34 million in
    2004. The majority of these funds went to institutional strengthening
    of most government ministries and departments. UNDP approved more than
    37 new projects in all sectors and has provided support to a number of
    key government ministries. The Office also provides critical support
    to several forums for dialogue such as the National Economic
    Consultative Forum and the Tripartite Negotiation Forum as well as the
    recently completed national conference on HIV/AIDS. In 2002, the UNDP
    Office sponsored the production of a CD Rom by the NECF that was
    officially launched by the Government of Zimbabwe highlighting the
    opportunities available in economic management and empowerment.

    On the land reform issue, UNDP has invested a lot of energy and
    resources in support of various dialogue processes aimed at finding a
    sustainable solution to historical imbalances in land distribution.
    UNDP is also supporting the second national Poverty Assessment Survey
    (PASS II), which is being carried out by government and that will
    serve as a basis to formulate a national strategy to fight poverty. In
    addition, UNDP has provided valuable support to government on the
    enhancement of an indigenisation policy as part of economic
    empowerment and poverty eradication. Furthermore, the office has been
    supporting the development of the country's national Human Development
    Reports, the latest of which is focused on the challenges of HIV and
    AIDS in Zimbabwe. This report has provided a useful forum for debate
    and information dissemination on this subject. In an effort to help
    bridge the digital divide, UNDP is collaborating with the national
    authorities in undertaking an e-readiness survey that will be used as
    a basis to formulate a coherent national strategy to promote
    information and communication technologies in Zimbabwe. More recently
    in August 2004, Mr Angelo joined the Ministry of Industry and
    International Trade in the launch of the TradeMap, a product that will
    help the country in the identification and access to export markets.

    It is unfortunate that the article referred to above does not mention
    any of these achievements of Mr Angelo in the areas of development
    assistance to the country.

    In conclusion, UNDP would like to emphasise that Mr Angelo has not
    been working in collaboration with any one specific political party
    and has not been engaged in any activity contrary to the mandate of
    the UN in Zimbabwe.

    Back to the Top
    Back to Index

    Zimbabwe Mirror

    Anti-corruption crusade under scrutiny
    Tawanda Majoni/Muchena Zigomo/Phillip Chidavaenzi

    The government-initiated war on corruption seems to be in limbo, following
    the apparent failure by state arms to adequately investigate high-level
    crimes that are suspected to have contributed to the meltdown of the economy
    over the years.

    Almost nine months after the first suspected "economic fugitives" fled the
    country, mystery still shrouds the progress, if any, made so far in bringing
    the criminals to book.

    This has provoked doubt and concern in the country over the capacity of
    government to deal with systematic and entrenched crimes.

    Following recent reports of the sighting of Intermarket Holdings founder and
    former chief executive Nicholas Vingirai at the Zimbabwean embassy in South
    Africa, concerns have resurfaced regarding how a wanted "criminal" could
    "waltz" into a government building and then walk away free despite frenzy
    about his whereabouts back home.

    Vingirai, who the police claimed was in Britain, is said to have processed
    his travel documents at the embassy before flying to the United Kingdom,
    where he has since sought refuge.

    The nature in which embattled ENG Capital director Gilbert Muponda slipped
    out of the country en route to the United States while out on bail has also
    brought to the fore glaring inadequacies in the crime investigation system.

    While government has expressed a passionate commitment to bringing the
    fugitives to book, the state's efforts in this regard have been
    unconvincing, with speculation now rife that some state agents have had a
    strong hand in assisting the criminals' flight. When government set up the
    ministry of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies in the Office of the
    President, analysts contended that the ministry was "nothing but a façade"
    that was only aimed at targeting politically incorrect individuals.

    Although government has persistently denied this theory, its continued
    sloppiness in effectively policing the corrupt and criminal elements appears
    to point to a sliver of truth behind the sentiments.

    At the time that NMB chief executive Julius Makoni skipped the country, the
    police expressed confidence that his colleagues, Otto Chekeche, James
    Mushore and Francis Zimuto, were still in the country and would be nabbed
    "within two days".

    The three however conveniently escaped before the police could get hold of
    them, raising further questions as to whether there was no complicity with
    some high-level officials, even within the police force itself, who
    facilitated their escape.

    Under normal circumstances, analysts say, the security forces would have
    easily ensured that the blacklisted bankers would not have got a chance to
    flee, as immigration officials should have been notified and security at the
    country's entry points tightened.

    The anti-corruption drive against economic crimes, mostly the
    externalisation of foreign currency and underhand dealings in the banking
    sector, started in earnest at the beginning of this year, raising hope among
    members of the public that it would lead to a significant clean-up.

    High-profile figures, among them cabinet minister Chris Kuruneri and
    businessman-cum-politician, James Makamba, were arrested. The fact that they
    were aligned to the ruling party engendered the feeling that the clean-up
    exercise was genuine.However, questions were asked when a presidential
    amendment was made to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, making it
    possible to arrest and detain suspects for a period of 21 days during which
    investigations would be made.

    It was argued that the amendment was unconstitutional, as the liberties of
    persons were compromised through arrests and detention on a prima facie
    basis. Kuruneri, who was arrested in a huff, still remains in custody even
    though the State seems to have no strong case against him, while Makamba was
    acquitted on some of the charges that had been preferred against him about
    seven months after his arrest.

    A legal expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, blamed Zimbabwe's
    justice system for the "comedy" taking place in the fight against

    "It would be simplistic to just say the police are failing to arrest
    suspected criminals. "The whole saga has to do with the justice system in
    its broad sense. I have heard some people say the suspected criminals like
    Vingirayi ran away because they have something to hide.

    "They could, but who wants to loiter around to be arrested and then spend
    months in custody before his case can be investigated. Thus, the so-called
    fugitives could be running away out of fear, a trend that is disturbing in
    that justice is failing to prevail. "In any case, in some of the cases, the
    countries that these people have fled to say they are innocent until proven
    guilty," he said, in apparent reference to Mutumwa Mawere who a South
    African court said had no case to answer in relation to allegations made by
    Harare that he had externalised money. Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies
    minister, Didymus Mutasa, has persistently decried the lack of co-operation
    from foreign authorities, which he accused of sheltering the criminals.

    Speaking at a recent anticorruption seminar hosted by the National Economic
    Consultative Forum (NECF), Mutasa complained that British authorities were
    not co-operating on the issue of extraditing people who have externalised
    foreign currency using various tricks.

    President Robert Mugabe also echoed Mutasa's sentiments during his address
    to the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York where he said:
    "Our efforts (to fight corruption) have, however, experienced some setbacks
    as some countries, particularly in the developed West, provide safe havens
    for fugitive economic saboteurs from our country." The "fugitive"
    businessmen who have fled the country include Vingirayi, ENG director
    Gilbert Muponda, Mthuli Ncube of Barbican Holdings, Otto Chekeche, James
    Mushore, Julius Makoni, and Francis Zimuto of National Merchant Bank of
    Zimbabwe, William Mudekunye of Finhold and Mutumwa Mawere, the owner of
    Africa Resources Limited.

    Although there had been widespread speculation that all of the fugitives had
    sought refuge in the UK, which the Zimbabwe government accused of harbouring
    them, it has since emerged that the Zimbabwe authorities were not sure of
    the exact whereabouts of the criminals, with several of them now believed to
    be based in South Africa where they are already employed. The lack of
    accountability and "shady practices" in Zimbabwe's political fraternity have
    culminated in several calls for the declaration of a code, in which
    political leaders and holders of key civil offices, in addition to captains
    in the corporate world, would declare their assets and be forced to account
    for the wealth they accrue while in office.

    Eyebrows have persistently been raised over where some civil servants,
    parliamentarians and cabinet ministers, have managed to acquire the wealth
    they have, which does not match their salaries.

    South African national and provincial legislators, for instance, are
    required to declare their wealth and properties. Recently, there was a
    public outcry when it was discovered that some of them had failed to do so.

    A number of local politicians have come under intense criticism for sinister
    and underhand practices, which have undermined the importance of political
    office. In an earlier interview with Sunday Mirror, Mutasa admitted that no
    one could claim to be clean.

    Government authorities, it is charged, have always displayed a half-hearted
    approach to fighting corruption, a tendency that critics say has contributed
    to the spread of the malaise.

    Outspoken former legislator, Margaret Dongo told the Sunday Mirror that the
    indifferent attitude betrayed the relevant authorities' corrupt nature and
    the corruption steeped in government systems.

    "I doubt if the anti-graft war is going to succeed. "The implementers
    themselves are corrupt and it is a case of sending a thief to guard a
    suspected guard. "What is needed is to weed out corruption from the ranks of
    those who are in power, and in this case, those people come from Zanu PF,
    the ruling party.

    "We have heard that a lot of underhand dealings were taking place within the
    party's companies, and this vindicates the claim that the rulers themselves
    are the ones who need a doctor.

    "More disturbingly, we have not been told what came out of the
    investigations that were carried out to find out how individuals were
    abusing the party's companies and, as far as I am concerned, the whole
    racket has already been swept under the carpet. Is this not like (George)
    Bush talking of peace when his hands are full of blood?" said Dongo.

    She added that it was surprising that despite the hype that accompanied the
    war on corruption at the beginning of this year, "no heads have rolled",
    saying the crusade could be a window-dressing gimmick for political mileage.

    She took a swipe at Mutasa, saying he was not fit to be in charge of the
    anti-corruption ministry in the wake of reports that he has been involved in
    political violence in his constituency in Manicaland province.

    Mutasa has however denied any involvement in the violence reportedly pitting
    his supporters against those of his rivals. "Corruption is not only about
    stealing money. It is a systemic phenomenon that also manifests itself in
    the way a person conducts himself or herself," said Dongo.

    In 1986, several ministers were implicated in what has come to be known as
    the Willowgate Scandal, a scam in which the fingered authorities abused a
    car scheme with Willowvale Motor Industries by buying vehicles at a
    subsidised rate before selling them off at exorbitant prices.

    At the time, public outcries were voiced when the high level figures all
    secured a presidential pardon despite being heavily implicated in the
    country's greatest ever fraud case.

    The on-going land reform programme, ostensibly implemented to redress
    colonial land imbalances, has also not been spared the graft, with
    widespread reports that many politicians and their proxies abused the
    programme and grabbed excessive farmland at the expense of other more needy

    Despite several commissions that have been put in place to review the
    programme and repeated calls by President Mugabe for those with excessive
    farms to surrender them, nothing much has come out of it. "The land reform
    saga reflects the level of corruption within government. People are being
    evicted from farms that, it would not be surprising, are intended for people
    who already have several other farms," said Dongo.

    Back to the Top
    Back to Index