|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Johannesburg - Zimbabwe will have to fulfil five
conditions for re-admission
to the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon said yesterday. Speaking at a press
conference in Johannesburg, the Commonwealth Secretary-General expressed his
hope that the issue of Zimbabwe would not dominate the heads of government
meeting in Abuja in December, but conceded that the meeting may well be
overshadowed by the continuing political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
McKinnon said that the Zimbabwe government would have to:
Engage in real and constructive dialogue with the opposition MDC
Repeal repressive laws against journalists and the media
End harassment of the opposition
Address the issues
of electoral malpractice raised by Commonwealth observers
at the 2002 presidential and 2000 parliamentary elections
Engage with both the UN
and the Commonwealth with regard to lawful and
transparent land reform.
The first four issues, McKinnon pointed out, were similar to
on Nigeria when it was suspended under the Abacha regime. On whether Mugabe
might be invited to attend CHOGM in an individual capacity, McKinnon said
that the position was official and Mugabe would definitely not be attending.
President Obasanjo, host of the December meeting in Nigeria, has already
said he was unwilling to extend an invitation. McKinnon denied that the
Zimbabwe issue had split the Commonwealth purely on racial lines. He said
that even though Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain were in favour
of Zimbabwe's continued suspension, a number of Africa countries, and other
Commonwealth members, were also against Zimbabwe's re-admission until there
had been real progress towards democracy.
From Business Day (SA), 16 October
Zimbabwean firms feel crunch
Jobs lost, output falls as 60% of companies say they made no
1300 workers were retrenched in Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector
last year and 249 companies closed nationwide as the economy continued to
contract under the punitive environment. According to an industrial survey
of 2002, released by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)
yesterday, industrial output during the period under review increased just
0,7%, reflecting the dramatic drop in productivity. The CZI is the country's
largest industrial association grouping for small- and large-scale
manufacturers, most of which are based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's traditional
industrial hub. The survey shows that in the first quarter of this year, 62
workers were retrenched from the engineering, food and allied industries
sector. It contains a sample of data from 43 companies, workers' councils,
industrial associations and quasigovernmental organisations such as the
Central Statistical Office and the Zimbabwe Investment Centre. The survey
reveals that exports in the manufacturing sector fell 17% last year, as the
fixed exchange rate system reduced the export competitiveness of the
country's products and services. An analysis of the reasons behind the
company closures reveals that most of the firms were hit by shortages of
foreign currency, high operating costs, reduced demand, competition from
imports, and a lack of raw materials.
The industrial body said there had been a considerable decline in investment
at company level, with 60% of the sampled businesses saying that they had
not made any form of investment during the period under review. In a report
accompanying the survey, the CZI called for an urgent review of the
government's exchange rate policy, to enable industry to generate foreign
currency and channel it through official coffers. "For that to be possible,
the exchange rate has to be clear and dependable. The exchange rate should
be managed in accordance with macroeconomic fundamentals," the confederation
said. At the moment the country has different exchange rates for different
sectors of the economy. Other recommendations contained in the report
include the removal of price controls on nonbasic goods and the deregulation
of the energy sector, to improve the supply of fuel. Industry is awaiting
the announcement of the 2004 national budget next month, although critics
doubt President Robert Mugabe's government will find a solution to
invigorate the economy. In the past the government has ignored studies
originating in the private sector. Traditionally, industry and agriculture
have been the mainstay of Zimbabwe's economy. Current and past economic
difficulties are blamed partly on disruptions in the commercial farming
sector, caused by the government's land reform programme
Utete land report
Njabulo Ncube Bulawayo Bureau Chief
10/16/2003 9:06:42 AM (GMT +2)
THE Presidential Land Review Committee has drastically revised
downwards the official number of people that have benefited from the
controversial land reform programme which has since run into a wall of
negative sentiment after it coincided with a dip into an unprecedented
This not only compromises the country’s food security situation, but
also has a negative impact on the feeble economy as agriculture has, for
some time, had the biggest single sectoral contribution to the country’s
gross domestic product (GDP).
Prior to the fast-track land reform, agriculture used to contribute
about 17 percent of the country’s GDP ahead of manufacturing which had
slumped to 15 percent from 24 percent.
The report, finalised last August but still yet to be made public,
says that 127 192 households were resettled under the A1 model, which is
suitable for small-scale farming. Only 7 260 households were given pieces of
land under the A2 scheme meant for commercial agriculture compared to about
50 000 black farmers that were supposed to benefit under the scheme.
Officially, 300 000 people were supposed to have been resettled under
the just completed land reform process during which the government had
reportedly acquired 11 million hectares of farmland.
The report seems to vindicate widely-held concerns that the land
reform, which was led by fighters of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle in 2000
amid a wave of violence that ignited a rash of brutal and savage murders in
some instances, has not benefited as many people as it was intended to.
The Utete Committee took up the high pressure job of auditing the land
reform early this year as government, under heavy moral pressure to unravel
allegations of multiple farm ownership by influential politicians sought to
restore credibility to the process.
While the number of resettled black farmers could easily sustain local
consumption and leave surpluses for export, what had been particularly
worrying was the slow take-up.
For example, the take-up rate for the A2 model scheme in Manicaland
was as low as 42 percent with the dry Matabeleland South region registering
a commendable 100 percent.
Although the take-up rate for the A1 scheme was 97 percent, this did
not help much because the national average take-up was reportedly stuck at
The resettled families were allocated a combined hectarage of 6 429
894 between July 2000 and July 2003 split as 4 231 080 hectares (A1 model)
and 2 198 814 hectares (A2 model).
About 2 652 farms were acquired compulsorily under the A1 model with
the A2 scheme taking up 1 672 farms as of July 31, 2003.
The committee established that of the 3 500 displaced white commercial
farmers, 1 323 white farmers had been left with
1 175 607 hectares or 1377 farms as at July 31, 2003.
"The total land holding under this category constitutes about 3
percent of land in the country, excluding land held by corporate entities.
The presence or otherwise of these farmers on the land could not in all
cases be verified at the time of the compilation of the Report," reads part
of the report.
"As the committee went about its work, it could not fail to be struck
by the number and the variety of legal issues that still required a
resolution in respect of the acquiring procedures; the allocation of land to
beneficiaries especially under the A2 model; the assessment of the value of
improvements; and ownership and access to moveable assets on the farms.
Inevitably, the governmental machinery for administering these matters was
taxed to the limit.
"Above all, there was a major contradiction observed as between the
1992 Land Acquisition Act as amended, which provides for the compulsory
acquisition of land, and the provision embedded in the constitution, which
requires that such acquisitions be confined by the administrative court.
This contradiction ought to be removed."
On farm workers, the report said a number of them were among the
resettled but others had secured employment with the new farmers. There were
also others who opted to either return to their countries of origin or to
their rural homes in and around Zimbabwe. A third category of the farm
workers remained on the farms, "pending a determination of their fate by
The report also reveals that the total number of farms in the country
supplied by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
officials was 8 758, while the total number of farms established by the
District Collection Teams was 9 135.
Out of the 8 758 farms, 6 422 had been gazetted, while 1 012 farms had
been delisted by July 31 2003. About 367 farms were listed as "unofficially"
The report states that there were instances where some provincial or
district officials "acted, ultra vires, by, for example, allocating land to
individuals of their choice or by delaying or failing to forward letters of
offer of land to successful applicants for plots demarcated for the A2".
Although the report mentions, among other things, the issue of
multiple farm ownership, Zimbabweans who had kept their powder dry ahead of
the publication of the report hoping for a full disclosure, will be
disappointed because this part of the report is silent on the identity of
those who own more than one farm.
Year-on-year inflation rate scales new heights
10/16/2003 9:12:07 AM (GMT +2)
THE year-on-year rate of inflation is continuing to scale new heights,
breaking a record 455.6 percent last month.
At 455.6 percent, the annualised rate of inflation rate for September
has put on 29 percentage points on the August rate of 426.6 percent.
Inflation, which measures the general rise in prices of goods and
services, has been identified as the biggest challenge facing Zimbabwe
The rate has been on an upward spiral since June last year amid
predictions that it could breach the 1 000 percent mark by the end of this
Most analysts have, however, revised their predictions to below 700
percent citing flaws in the method used by the Central Statistical Office
(CSO) in computing the figure.
The upward surge in inflation from 18.8 percent in 1997 is attributed
to the backlash triggered by the devaluation of the local currency.
The free-fall in the value of the Zimbabwe dollar has caused a wave of
price increases that has left consumers poorer. At least 70 percent of
Zimbabwe’s 13 million or so people are now classified as poor.
According to the CSO, the 29 percentage points upward move on the
August inflation rate was caused by increases in the price of beverages,
meat, bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables.
Non-food prices accounted for the biggest increase of 289.7 percentage
points as measured on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with non-food items
weighing 165.9 percentage points.
Inflation as measured from food items, which are prone to transitory
shocks, was recorded at 419 percent, a decrease of 68.3 percent from last
month. Non-food items were, however, up 78.2 percentage points on the August
rate of 395.9 percentage points.
Harare economist David Mupamhadzi said weights of both food and
non-food items on the CPI should be reviewed to reflect the situation on the
The government has already started toying around with the idea of
reintroducing controls to restrain escalating prices, which have left
Mupamhadzi said while controls would artificially put a lid on prices,
the parallel market would, however, worsen.
In other words, CSO inflation figures will continue to lag real
South Africa tightens visa requirements
10/16/2003 9:07:32 AM (GMT +2)
SOUTH Africa has for the second time in two months tightened its visa
requirements to curb the influx of Zimbabweans visiting that country and
ease congestion at the local office.
Locals are now required to pay a surety cash guarantee deposit of R1
000 or the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent. Previously, Zimbabweans were required
to deposit only $300 000 before travelling to South Africa.
Although the local unit is officially pegged at $118 against the South
African currency, it is trading at slightly over $700. Zimbabwe is currently
experiencing a foreign currency crunch in the face of a faltering export
The South African High Commission said those willing to pay in foreign
currency should provide proof that the money was sourced from a local bank.
The new requirements apply to holiday as well as business travellers.
The new visa requirements are meant to restrict entry into South
Africa, which is now home to an estimated 30 000 locals.
Most Zimbabweans are going down south in search of a better life owing
to the current harsh economic environment in the country. A number of them
are now staying in South Africa as illegal immigrants, living in constant
fear of being deported.
Figures released from South Africa in 2000 indicate that 26 742
Zimbabweans were deported in 2000, 19 932 in 2001 and 18 033 last year. —
MIC to explain why it turned down ANZ bid to register
10/16/2003 9:10:51 AM (GMT +2)
THE Administrative Court will today hear arguments by the Media
Information Commission (MIC) on why it turned down an application for
registration by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of
The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday.
Earlier, a High Court judge had granted ANZ permission to publish
their newspapers pending registration by the MIC, but the commission
immediately turned down the newspaper group’s application.
This resulted in ANZ filing court papers with the administrative court
for the MIC to explain how it arrived at that decision.
On September 12, the government controversially
closed the two ANZ
titles after the Supreme Court ruled that they were operating outside the
law and needed to register with the MIC.
ANZ has in the meantime decided to re-launch the newspaper from South
Africa on the Internet.
The administrative court may make a ruling on the matter today or
postpone it to a later date.
are hoping for a more generous budget that offers real
incentives to exporters and the productive sector, which are central to
Exporters in particular, would welcome a reduction in the portion of
earnings remitted at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) at the ruling
A lower export threshold for companies participating in the Export
Processing Zones would boost the number of foreign exchange earners.
In its budget proposals, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI) said the use of duty free certificates should cover the importation of
diesel in view of the deregulation of the fuel industry.
The RBZ should also lower the percentage of foreign currency remitted
into its coffers from the current 50 percent to 30 percent, to improve
"Conditions for access to the portion of foreign currency that
companies are allowed to retain should be relaxed. We propose that
verification of the use of the foreign currency by the RBZ be done ex-post
"We recommend the review of the export facility to be undertaken on
quarterly basis as promised when the facility was announced.
"This is important if export competitiveness is to be maintained," CZI
Due to the erosion in free tax bands, CZI has proposed an increase in
non-taxable income and the widening of subsequent tax bands.
Companies exporting at least 60 percent of their turnover in value
added products should also pay reduced income tax as part of the export
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) said Murerwa should
craft a realistic budget that is sensitive to the compelling need to contain
ZNCC acting economist Sam Mapungwana said the budget would be
incomplete without "clear economic stabilisation policy measures on
inflation, exchange rate and interest rate policy".
"Policy-making in Zimbabwe has had a reputation for sudden policy
reversals and unpredictable regulatory environment.
"A mercurial high-risk environment invites short-term investors, who
would not contribute to the long term growth of Zimbabwe," said Mapungwana.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said budgetary
allocations based on historical votes do not work adding that the government
should focus on core issues, such as the provision of health, education and
"At the moment the State's role is too wide, giving the impression
that it wants to do everything. In other countries, the government focuses
on policy issues, leaving implementation to existing agencies such as
parastatals," said Wellington Chibebe ZCTU secretary-general.
Chibhebhe said the labour union was also pressing for the restoration
of the bureau de change to improve foreign currency inflows.
Labour also suggested that since at least 80 percent of Zimbabweans
were affected by the drought, more resources should be poured towards food
To avoid perennial supplementary budgets, the Finance Ministry should
insist on strict monitoring of the national budget by the relevant
parliamentary committee and other stakeholders.
CZI said there should be a greater consistency and uniformity in the
implementation of economic policies.
"Economic management is currently characterised by mistrust and lack
of consistency and uniformity in the application of policies. An example is
the implementation of price controls, which saw parastatals such as ZESA
(Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority), Air Zimbabwe, and NRZ (National
Railways of Zimbabwe) increasing their charges without going through the TNF
(Tripartite Negotiating Forum) process," CZI said.
"The Government has not fully embraced the culture of consultation
with stakeholders, resulting in the implementation of ad-hoc measures that
have a damaging effect on business viability. The Government has also been
slow at implementing agreed measures, resulting in the unfulfilled
expectations and frustrations amongst stakeholders."
Prospects for ZANU PF, MDC talks fade
10/16/2003 9:19:26 AM (GMT +2)
Analysts said the ruling ZANU PF is prepared to drag the issue about
the resumption of dialogue with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
until the party clears the tricky succession issue.
The general feeling within ZANU PF, which has ruled Zimbabwe since
independence from Britain in 1980, is that the two parties are currently at
sea in terms of their ideologies, hence the talks, just as had happened in
the past, are doomed to collapse even before they start.
Interest within ZANU PF has shifted to the succession debate which has
already created division within the party. It is argued that it would be
easier for whoever is handed the baton stick by President Robert Mugabe to
win the hearts of the international community.
The international community, led by Britain, the United States of
America and Australia, has been tightening the screws on the embattled
79-year-old guerrilla leader’s regime ever since it embarked on the
controversial land reform.
Constitutional law expert and political analyst Lovemore Madhuku said
it makes sense for ZANU PF to be clear on President Mugabe’s political
future before the talks because any dialogue with the MDC would focus on the
ruling party leader’s style of governance.
"Dialogue will definitely hinge on his (President Mugabe) retirement.
The MDC must not be academic about the whole process. The reality on the
ground is that a way has to be paved for his retirement before talking and
ZANU PF wants to be clear about that," said Madhuku.
"That’s politics. Any leader can leave politics with his ideas as long
as he believes in them, but if the MDC wants to change President Mugabe,
then they have got another thing coming because they will not be able to
Failure to resuscitate dialogue between the MDC and ZANU PF could
worsen the economic crisis that caused at least 250 company closures last ye
ar and scores of job losses. The resultant poverty is unlikely to improve
ZANU PF’s acceptance in the urban areas, where the party has lost support.
In fact, ravaging poverty could make it difficult for ZANU PF to
maintain the rural vote, which it has kept closely guarded by blocking the
opposition from campaigning in outlying areas.
With prospects for the resumption of talks fading, analysts said the
MDC, which is challenging President Mugabe’s disputed election in court,
should not sit back but rather exploit emerging weaknesses within ZANU PF.
"ZANU PF has thrived on causing division within the opposition and it
is sad that the MDC has not been as innovative," said an observer.
Although the opposition’s use of mass stay-aways and successful
lobbying for biting sanctions that have resulted in travel restrictions
against ZANU PF’s top officials has worked, fresh strategies should
Jockeying for President Robert Mugabe’s post accelerated following the
death three weeks ago of his confidante and ZANU PF chief strategist, vice
President Simon Vengai Muzenda.
Potential candidates tipped for the top post include speaker of
Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ZANU PF national chairman, John Nkomo,
former Finance Minister Simba Makoni and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a political commentator, said both the MDC and
ZANU PF were not serious about the talks. While agreeing that the death of
Muzenda had put a damper on the resumption of talks, Dzinotyiwei said the
lack of urgency within both parties was the biggest impediment.
"I don’t believe the debate on Mugabe’s succession is the main cause
for stalling dialogue. It’s just that there is no clear sense of urgency on
both parties," he said.
At Muzenda’s burial at the national shrine, President Mugabe for the
first time made conciliatory remarks to the MDC, which gave him a run for
his money in last year’s hotly contested presidential election.
Critics said overtures by President Mugabe were nothing other than
Contrary to his usual vitriol against the opposition, President
Mugabe, in an unusual about-turn, described the MDC leadership as "sons of
MDC’s national spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said despite several
public statements by ZANU PF leaders on the likelihood of revamping
political talks, nothing concrete was happening on the ground.
"Despite all these statements, there has been nothing tangible yet
because as long as ZANU PF is pre-occupied with Mugabe’s succession, we will
not get anywhere," Nyathi said.
"We are exactly where we were three years ago. Nothing has changed. We
have announced our negotiating team in readiness for the talks and what have
they done? Nothing. We hope the church leaders at the forefront of trying to
make ZANU PF see the urgency and need for talks will succeed, otherwise we
will not move an inch in the right direction. For now there is nothing going
on in that direction."
Special Affairs Minister in the President’s Office John Nkomo is,
however, on record saying talks were going on at various levels in political
and social circles.
Nkomo said: "We are discussing with everybody at various levels
including churches and other institutions. We have remained committed to the
resumption of talks . . . ZANU PF is talking to other people either
individually or in groups. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be a
breakthrough soon. What may be left now is the pronouncement of the
Axe up for war veterans who assaulted Mhlanga
10/16/2003 9:17:16 AM (GMT +2)
THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA)
said it will discipline about 10 war veterans who assaulted the
association's secretary-general Endy Mhlanga in Harare last week.
Mhlanga was assaulted at the High Court on allegations of looting
about $65 million from the Zimbabwe Ex-combatants Investment Foundation,
where hundreds of war veterans had invested their gratuities. Mhlanga denies
the allegations insisting that the assault was meant to soil his image ahead
of the ZNLWVA congress to be held in Mutare in November.
Acting war veterans’ chairman Patrick Nyaruwata described the
behaviour by war veterans as "uncalled for".
"Disciplinary measures are definitely going to be taken against those
who ambushed the secretary-general," he said.
"That was a very serious offence and not only are they going to be
suspended, some may even be expelled from the association for instigating
such an act."
Nyaruwata said internal investigation were still underway to identify
The association is likely to face resistance from other war veterans
who told The Financial Gazette this week that they would derail the congress
should the aggrieved war veterans be suspended or expelled. They said
Mhlanga should account for his actions.
"Let me tell Nyaruwata that if that happens, the congress will not
take place," said a disgruntled ex-combatant.
"That’s our money they are playing around with. If his hands are not
dirty, then why protect Mhlanga? He must be warned that the congress would
not take off until everyone involved in looting our funds has been brought
before the justice system.
'AIPPA amendments cosmetic'
Cyril Zenda Staff Reporter
10/16/2003 9:18:32 AM (GMT +2)
AMENDMENTS to the draconian Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA) are largely cosmetic and fall short of addressing the
concerns of journalists practising in Zimbabwe, legal and media experts said
Analysts who were expecting a major facelift of the Act, seen as too
repressive, said the amendments dwelt mainly on replacing a few sections of
the Act, which had been struck off by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
The police have arrested several journalists on different charges
since the enactment of AIPPA last year, but there has been no prosecution.
"It is my considered view that apart from changes to Section 80, the
amendments were so superficial as to fail to change the character of AIPPA,"
said lawyer Sternford Moyo of Scanlen & Holderness.
Moyo’s law firm represented the Independent Journalists Association of
Zimbabwe (IJAZ) in its Supreme Court challenge which resulted in Section 80
of the Act being struck down as unconstitutional.
Section 80 of the law made it a criminal offence for a journalist to
write and publish "falsehood".
IJAZ mounted a constitutional challenge arguing that the section
violated the rights of journalists.
The Supreme Court ruled in May this year that the section was, indeed,
unconstitutional as it took away the rights of journalists.
Amendments to the section remove criminal liability for unintentional
contravention of the law to which no fault or moral blameworthiness or other
form of turpitude can be attached.
"AIPPA remains objectionable and inconsistent with what one expects in
a democratic society. Its character as an obstacle to free flow of
information, ideas and beliefs remains," said Moyo, who is also the
president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
Constitutional law expert and chairman of Public Law at the University
of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Madhuku, said the amendments to AIPPA were cosmetic as
they do not make any significant changes to the widely abhorred law.
"The amendments do not change AIPPA much because the fundamental
features of the law, which were objectionable from the beginning, are still
there," said Madhuku.
Madhuku said the amendments did not seek to accommodate the strong
objections to the requirement for journalist and media houses to register
and also on the composition and unlimited powers of the Media Information
Commission, among others.
"Apart from that section that has been declared unconstitutional by
the court, there are hardly any significant changes made to AIPPA. The law
largely remains the same," Madhuku said.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Eddison Zvobgo,
this week refused to comment on the latest amendments despite the May 2003
Supreme Court ruling, saying it was sub judice to do so as the matter was
still before the courts.
Zvobgo, the former ZANU PF legal supremo, openly excoriated the law in
Parliament during its draft process, saying it was a suppressive piece of
legislation. This led to some refinements.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) president Matthew Takaona said
there was nothing to celebrate on the new amendments as the union still
expected further changes to make AIPPA more acceptable.
"Although it may be necessary to have a law governing journalists, we
are agitating for more changes because this law, in its present form,
violates the rights of journalist," Takaona said.
"The law gives too much powers to the MIC. It actually silences
journalists," said the ZUJ president.
"The amendments make the law no better at all," said Wilbert Mandinde,
the legal officer for the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of
"The definition of a journalist, for example, means almost everyone
will have to register with the MIC and even the definition of a mass media
service is just too broad . . . it doesn’t help at all."
Stop the rot
9:25:00 AM (GMT +2)
Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption watchdog, last
week released a damning report on the shocking level of corruption in
Zimbabwe which it said was one of the countries showing worsening levels of
Although the TI report underlines how the cancer of corruption has
spread like wild fire through the fabric of the Zimbabwean society and
should therefore be a wake-up call, the most likely immediate reaction to
revelations of the worse-than-feared levels of corruption in Zimbabwe is
that of denial even though there is luminous evidence to buttress the TI
findings. The reason for this is that as the implications of the sentiments
expressed by the TI report sink in, pressure simultaneously rises for
Zimbabwe to nip the problem in the bud.
However, it is imperative to note that much as we might not agree with
the sentiments of the TI's headline-grabbing report, we have to appreciate
that perception is everything in investment and business decisions. Instead
of shifting into the denial mode, we have to acknowledge the existence of
this problem for us to be able to solve it.
In any case, the country's leadership has since, though mainly through
veiled references, acknowledged that corruption has now reached alarming
levels in Zimbabwe.
The country is now feeling its knock-on effect on the economy. It has
tempered investor enthusiasm and in the process weighed down the economy by
choking-off business that could otherwise have come to Zimbabwe. We have to
face it head on to reassure circumspect investors and avert a further
deepening of the crisis of confidence that might be sparked by the TI
We do not believe that Zimbabwe is incapable of tackling the problem
which, if left unchecked, will certainly add strain to the country's
credibility as a reliable investment destination. That is why we feel that
the government should expedite the roll-out of anti-corruption measures. The
promulgation of the long proposed legislation against corruption should
therefore be prioritised.
This should be an integral part of a concerted national effort to
repair the country's badly damaged image and return to a situation where
international fund managers and investment advisors have Zimbabwe as their
key pick among favourable investment destinations.
We take cognisance of the fact that there is need for political will
to deal with this menace that threatens to reduce Zimbabwe to a banana
republic. This means that trying to stem out the deep-seated corruption will
by no means be easy both in perception and reality but the task is not
insurmountable. Where there is a will, there is a way.
10/16/2003 9:27:03 AM (GMT
JOURNALISM in Zimbabwe has become very easy. Easy like a cook breaking
eggs! Why not, with this new "stock market' where many practitioners have
mastered and perfected the art of trading in diaries? Actually there is now
a bourse for diaries, you only need to know where it is found. Don't ask!
What we are saying here is that a growing number of journalists are no
longer surviving by their own instincts, but by eavesdropping on other
newsrooms to hear which story this reporter is working on, which story this
other good reporter is working on and after that, try to pursue the stories
themselves. But a diary thief will never develop a story idea half as good
as the person who would have first conceived it.
Lots of people are willing to be used in this eavesdropping game . . .
half-starving student journalists who are willing to sell even their
grandmothers for a loaf of bread, bored secretaries terribly over-worked and
criminally under-paid, randy male journalists dying to endear themselves to
incompetent female journalists in the next newsroom . . . you name it!
Then there is a crop of tired senior journalists no longer capable of
conceiving a single story idea and who therefore have to survive on swapping
stolen diaries. This is the most dangerous lot because in most cases, they
are trusted and are therefore privy to the entire newsroom diary.
In the past, it was not amusing for student journalists from the same
class but attached to different news organisations to phone each other
looking for diaries. But it becomes more worrisome when very senior
journalists would want to build their careers around stolen story ideas.
Information reaching CZ is that so serious is business on this market
that others - in order to defend that tricked contract - are willing to even
pay some of these juniors who are able to leak other journalists' diaries to
them! This is unethical and should stop. Please! It's abominable! For now no
LAST week former ZIPRA intelligence secretary Tarcisius Swazini Ndlovu
passed on. Curiously, it took the mandarins in the ZANU PF politburo about a
week to grudgingly make up their minds about the late freedom fighter's hero
By then, his family had lost all patience and had proceeded to bury
him at Lady Stanley cemetery in Bulawayo.
How many times have we told these ex-PF ZAPU people that the so-called
unity they were tricked into entering with the wily ZANU PF is no unity at
Can they now see it for themselves? If it was a former ZANLA
intelligence chief who had died, would it have taken a week for those ZANU
PF politburo members to decide?
Most of the people who sit in that useless ZANU PF organ think that
hero status is a privilege especially reserved for them and no one else. Was
it necessary for Ndlovu's former colleagues in the struggle to lose their
dignity licking ZANU PF fat cats so that they can please accord him national
We know that there are some people in this party who think space may
run out before their turn comes, so they have to be very stingy with
national hero status. But we have seen in the past -when there was good
political mileage to make - some people who did not even deserve district
hero status being fast-tracked to the national shrine!
AND South Africa's high commissioner to Zimbabwe Jeremiah Ndou thought
what we have been telling them is happening on the farms were all lies, so
he had to go and see it for himself. Good. And we are pleased to know that
he now has first hand information to tell "quiet diplomacy" Pretoria.
He really got a feel of how it is like to live in Zimbabwe. He was
very fortunate in that Cde Joseph Chinotimba was just not in the area and
also that he did not get close to Themba Mliswa's farm.
We expect his counterparts from Mozambique, Namibia and Angola to try
it as well instead of being led to that same farm in Mashonaland Central
where they are told things are alright in Zimbabwe.
FINALLY CZ would like to know from Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo whether he was quoted correctly in
the state media this week when he reportedly said he would release US$150
000 to ZUPCO for the tired public transporter to buy 50 new buses.
If he was quoted correctly, we would like to know which exchange rate
he will be using because at the official rate, US$150 000 is only $123
million and this is not enough to buy one good bus, unless one is buying it
Where can one get a bus for US$3 000 at the official rate? If one were
to divide $123 million by 50, which is the number of buses Chombo wants to
buy for Bright Matonga, then that effectively mean he is budgeting about
$2.4 million for each bus. Are these signs of some sickness somewhere
because the amount is not even enough to buy non-runner 1962 Datsun Pulsar,
let alone a Marcopolo!
This shows the lack of seriousness with which misrulers of this
country claim to be trying to solve our problems.
Perspectives on the future of Africa
10/16/2003 9:26:15 AM (GMT +2)
Continued from last week
In August 1999 an organisation calling itself the African World
Reparations and Repatriation Truth commission (AWRRTC) met in Accra, Ghana,
and demanded a cool $777 trillion in compensation for the crimes committed
against Africa and people of African descent during the slave and colonial
eras. The moment it was reported that the AWRRTC had demanded $777 trillion
in reparation for slavery and colonialism in Africa, cynics, both African
and non-African, began to cast doubts on the claim "$777 trillion? Crazy!"
some people said.
The reparations movement admits that it is very difficult to place a
value on the over 50 million Africans enslaved, let alone the prejudice
caused by colonial exploitation of Africa.
In other words, the $777 trillion figure must be seen as a
metaphorical sum, whose outlandish size goes merely to show the immense size
of the crime that has been committed against African people. Nothing can
compensate Africans for the suffering that slavery and colonialism inflicted
upon them for 500 years. Sums of money can be subject of negotiations, so
Reparations activists point out that in fact Africans have very good
precedents to follow in terms of negotiation reparations. For instance, on
August 24 1999, a group of Jewish organisations met with German firms to
negotiate reparations - worth $20 billion - regarding Jews driven by the
Nazis to German firms for use as slave labourers during the Second World
The companies included top names such as Volkswagen, BMW, Deutsche
Bank, BASF, Daimler-Chrysler, Siemens and Dresdner Bank. So seriously were
the companies taking the Jews' claims that they were being represented at
the negotiations by the former German Economics Minister, Count Otto
How many Jews are involved? Whatever their precise numbers, they can
not come to within a thousandth of the countless millions of Africans that
were sent across the Atlantic in the 400 years that the slave trade lasted.
Yet the Jews are asking for $20 billion. And yet no one is laughing at Jews
for demanding "a crazy" figure in compensation, so the reparations activists
In fact, they further argue, in 1998, even the ultra-secretive Swiss
banks were forced out of the shelter of their country's banking secrecy laws
and to "vomit" to holocaust victims and their descendants, $1.25 billion in
respect of "dormant" accounts held by dead Jews.
The money had been (mis)appropriated by the banks after it became
clear that the Nazis had murdered the account holders in gas chambers.
Barclays Bank in England has also reached a settlement with the Jews
about money seized from accounts by Barclays branches in France. New claims
keep surfacing all the time.
The advocates of reparations argue that although these claims are
relevant to Africa's demands, they are not as important as the new climate
that has been created in the international community for the detection and
punishment of crimes against humanity. This school of thought points that at
the end of the Second World War, the victors set up the Nuremburg Trials to
try captured Nazis for "crimes against humanity". It did not occur to them,
however, that other crimes against humanity had been committed before the
Second World War.
To them, neither the slave trade, not king Leopold's acrocities in the
Congo, nor the German massacres in Namibia amounted to "crimes against
humanity". But it was they who established the precedent of trying people
for crimes against humanity and it is upon that precedent that Africa's case
can be based.
Contrary to popular wisdom, the cause for reparations to Africa is a
claim founded in international law and justice. If this were merely an
appeal to the conscience of the white world, it would be misconceived, for
while there have been many committed individuals and movements of solidarity
in the white world, its political and economic centres have evidenced a
ruthless lack of conscience when it comes to black and African peoples.
One international lawyer who thinks the African demand for reparations
does not cause insurmountable problems in international law is the British
jurist, Lord Anthony Gifford, who is currently practising as an
attorney-at-law in Jamaica.
Lord Gifford presented a paper on reparations to the first conference
ever to be held on the subject in Africa. This was in Abuja in April 1993
and was financed by the winner of Nigeria's June 1993 elections, Chief
In his submission Lord Gifford argued that international law
recognises that those who commit crimes against humanity must make
reparation. There is no legal barrier to prevent those who still suffer the
consequences of such crimes from claiming reparations even though the crimes
were committed against their ancestors.
In Lord Gifford's words, "the claim would be brought on behalf of all
Africans, in Africa and in the Diaspora, who suffer the consequences of the
crime, through the agency on an appropriate representative body. The claim
would be brought against the governments of those countries which promoted,
and were enriched by the African slave trade and the institution of slavery.
The amount of the claim would be assessed by experts in each aspect of life
and in each region affected by the institution of slavery. The claim, if not
settled by agreement, would ultimately be determined by a special
international tribunal recognised by all parties."
The iniquities perpetrated against African people today - whether in
Britain and the USA by racist attacks and by systems of discrimination - are
the continuing consequences, the "damages" as lawyers would say, flowing
from the 400 years long atrocity of the slave system.
Indeed, if the world accepts, as I do, the truth of three
propositions: that the mass kidnap and enslavement of Africans was the most
wicked criminal enterprise in recorded human history; that no compensation
was ever paid by any of the perpetrators to any of the sufferers; and that
the consequences of the crime continue to be massive, both in terms of the
enrichment of the descendants of the perpetrators, and in terms of the
impoverishment of Africa and the descendants of Africans, then the justice
of the claim for reparations is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
One pro-reparations journalist added that sceptics who might say that
was all very true in theory, but in practice there was no mechanism to
enforce the claim, or no willingness of the white world to recognise it,
need to be reminded of the Latin legal maxim: ubi jus, ubi remedium: where
there is a right there must be a remedy. An injustice without a remedy is
abhorred by lawyers like a vacuum is abhorred by nature.
Lord Gifford points out that once the claim is well founded in legal
principle, and well recognised by the international community, remedies and
mechanism will be found.
Even so, given the unique, massive and multi-faceted nature of the
claim, international jurists will be needed who can show corresponding
creativity and imagination.
This school of thought also argues that international law has never
been static. New structures have often been devised to give effect to
recognised principles. The Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal is a manifestation
of new legal thinking which brought a measure of justice following the
atrocities of Nazism. The international court of Justice (ICJ), where states
can settle disputes with each other by law rather than by war, was unknown
at the start of the 20th century.
After going through Lord Gifford's paper, one African journalist
remarked that "in the light of such an informed opinion from a white man,
what is one to say to the Africans who think that the whole reparations idea
is a no-brainer?"
So this school of thought is very much alive in Africa and there are
various interest groups which are pushing hard for the recognition of this
claim although these groups seem to have failed to make much impact at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development held in South Africa a few years
Isaya Muriwo Sithole is a Harare-based legal practitioner
Economic woes claim 250 companies
Godfrey Marawanyika Senior Reporter
10/16/2003 9:05:41 AM (GMT +2)
THE harsh economic downturn, described as the worst to hit Zimbabwe so
far, claimed about 250 companies last year, resulting in scores of workers
joining the swelling streets, a study conducted by the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) revealed.
The study, which shows the extent to which the once robust local
economy has given in to a four-year economic recession blamed on
mismanagement, noted that six companies in the engineering sector were also
at the brink of closure or had filed for liquidation.
While the number of companies which closed shop last year (249) is
less than the 400 entities that went under in the previous year, analysts
quickly pointed out this week that the reduction was not a result of
improved macro-economic conditions.
In fact, the economic conditions have deteriorated further and were
beginning to affect neighbouring economies.
Analysts said companies are adopting survival strategies to steer
their operations through the hostile trading environment dramatised by
shortage of foreign currency, coal, cash and intermittent electricity cuts,
hence the reduction in closures.
"It should be pointed out that this figure represents an
underestimation of the happenings in the manufacturing sector in 2003.
"This is because some firms simply closed shop without giving
information to the relevant authorities. In addition, no response was
obtained from the textile sub-sector," CZI noted in its report.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
sponsored the study.
Of the 249 company closures, nine were in the furniture sector, 12
(leather industry), seven (printing industry), 98 (engineering sector),
three (chemical industry), five (radio and television) and two from the
The motor vehicle industry, which has been affected by the influx of
cheap second hand cars and the shortage of foreign exchange, emerged as the
worst-hit with 113 closures.
The report said the manufacturing sector, which is struggling to cope
with high costs of production, has declined over the years in terms of its
contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). In 1986, the manufacturing
sector contributed 25 percent of the GDP but the figure has come down
heavily to 14 percent.
A total of 1 343 workers were retrenched in manufacturing sector.
Twenty-three employees were axed in the food and allied industries,
while the engineering industry shed 40 jobs during the first quarter of this
The report said 430 workers were retrenched in the leather industry,
engineering (311), clothing (150), printing (117), chemical industry (40),
and radio and television (21).
The study enables the industrial representative body to advocate for
an improved operating environment for business enterprises.
For the straight five years running the country's economy has been in
recession with no immediate sing of recovery.
TIMB set to extend tobacco selling season
10/16/2003 9:32:24 AM (GMT +2)
THE tobacco selling season, which has been punctuated by high drama,
could be extended to give farmers more time to mop up the remaining crop and
improve Zimbabwe's fast declining import cover.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) had set October 17
2003 as the final date for tobacco deliveries to Zimbabwe's three auction
floors - Burley Marketing Zimbabwe, the Tobacco Sales Floor and the Zimbabwe
Tobacco Auction Centre.
An official from TIMB said the timetable was likely to be extended to
give farmers more time to deliver the crop, which is the country's single
largest foreign currency earner.
"Industry players are likely to conduct a clean-up sale if they feel
that all the tobacco has not been delivered to the auction floors by October
17. There is an ongoing heated debate over the price of tobacco and this
could be affecting the delivery of tobacco to the auction floors," the
The tobacco selling season has been another dramatic one as evidenced
by the low tobacco deliveries during the first few weeks and the closure of
the floors during the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Movement for
Democratic Change-organised mass stayaways.
Farmers have been withholding their crop to press the government into
reviewing the export support price. It is believed that some of the farmers
could only deliver the crop once the export price support scheme has been
The tobacco rate is currently pegged at $824 to the US$1, while the
daily prices averaged US$2.80 over the past week, up from US$1.58 when the
season kicked off on April 28.
As of this week, only 75 million kilogrammes had been sold out of an
anticipated crop of 100 million kilogrammes.
Analysts have indicated that Zimbabwe could fail to reach the targeted
100 million kgs of flue-cured tobacco sales by at least 30 percent when the
season closes this month.
Tobacco accounts for 35 percent of Zimbabwe's total foreign currency
earnings, contributing 12 percent to Gross Domestic Product, which is the
total value of goods produced by a country.
Meanwhile, the Tobacco Growers' Trust of Zimbabwe has given $10
billion to the Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union (ICFU) to fund tobacco
growing among its 15 000 members.
ICFU president Davison Mugabe said the money would finance the
purchase of inputs and the payment of labour.
THE composition of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) was yesterday
challenged in court as
it emerged that publishers are not represented as required by the draconian
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
This emerged at the beginning of the hearing of the appeal
by the Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) over the refusal by MIC to grant it an
Advocate Eric Matinenga, who was
representing ANZ pointed out to MIC
chairman Tafataona Mahoso that his commission was improperly constituted.
Matinenga asked Mahoso, a
government appointee, to explain how the three
representatives from media
houses were nominated.
According to AIPPA, four of the
seven members of the commission are
appointed by the Minister of
Information and Publicity and the other three are nominated by publishers,
advertisers and journalists.
The other members of the
commission are Rino Zhuwarara, Pascal Mukondiwa,
Sephath Mlambo, Jonathan
Mupenduka, Mahoso, Alpinos Makoni and Mrs D. Ruzvidzo.
Asked about this anomaly, Mahoso said the appointments were
done by the
minister and that he had no powers over it.
Matinenga's heads of arguments before the President of the
Court Majuru, aided by assessors Tendai Joseph Chari and Augustine Timbe
were based on the alleged bias by Mahoso.
argued that Mahoso's attitude towards ANZ, publishers of The Daily News,
were well-documented in
his articles published in the government-owned media.
In response Mahoso said: "After noting the public
declarations, we also
noted that the transitional
arrangements made by the Minister were generous. Two weeks after the expiry
of the 31 December 2002
deadline given by the minister, the ANZ went to the Supreme Court.
We felt the commission could not violate the Act by giving ANZ
Asked how they arrived at their decision not to grant ANZ a licence, Mahoso
said he and three other
commissioners convened a meeting on 19 September.
The meeting followed a Supreme
Court ruling on 11 September which ordered
ANZ to register with MIC
because its operations were illegal.
He said during their
deliberations they were aware that they were dealing
with an applicant who had "recklessly defied the law for eight and half
Matinenga also pointed out to the court that the Act
did not give the
minister powers to extend the period of registration.
Other issues raised by Advocate Matinenga were the
basis on which Mahoso and
the other three commissioners denied ANZ an operating licence without giving
The Daily News was ordered to close by the police on Friday 12 September and
most of its computers and office equipment were seized. Nearly 20
journalists were subsequently charged for working without being accredited
by MIC as required under AIPPA. Meanwhile, the hearing continues in the
Administrative Court on Friday. Staff Reporter
Zim media controller laughed at
16/10/2003 19:33 - (SA)
Harare - The head of Zimbabwe's state-controlled media watchdog
was subjected to damaging questioning in the high court on Thursday as he
tried to justify his decision to ban the Daily News, the country's largest
selling and only independent daily newspaper.
Tafataona Mahoso, chairperson of the media and information commission, was
laughed at in the administrative court packed with journalists from the
now-closed newspaper, drank constantly from a glass of water, let his voice
sink to a whisper when asked difficult questions and repeatedly had to be
told by the judge to answer questions put to him by the newspaper's lawyers.
The administrative court, a branch of the high court, sat on Thursday to
hear the Daily News' appeal against its banning by the commission.
However, lawyers pointed out that in terms of notorious new press laws which
also established the media commission last year, the court's only power is
to refer the case back to the commission and ask it to review its decision.
Mahoso said the commission had decided to refuse the paper a licence as it
was an "illegal" organisation. He pointed to statements by its owners,
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), that it would refuse to register
with the commission because the law, the "Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy" Act, was unconstitutional.
He became evasive when he was asked by advocate Eric Matinenga if the Daily
News had ever been convicted of a crime.
Another reason he gave for the commission's refusal to licence the newspaper
was that it had employed a journalist with a criminal conviction for
"criminal libel" against the government in 200.
Not a court of law
Mahoso was silent when asked if he was aware that the journalist had
appealed against the conviction, but had not yet had his appeal heard.
"Do you accept you are not a court of law?" Matinenga asked him. The supreme
court, dominated by pro-Mugabe judges, earlier this year heard the Daily
News' appeal against the law, but on September 11 said it refused to hear
the charges that it violated rights to freedom of expression and instead
told ANZ it had to apply for registration with the commission. The ruling
was followed a day later by the police raid.
Mahoso gave evidence that no formal minutes were taken in the meeting where
the Daily News fate was decided. Four of the seven members of the commission
were present, although he said the decision was "unanimous".
He said it was "irrelevant" that the closing of the newspaper was depriving
access to information to almost a million of its readers daily, twice as
many as the state-run Herald, the government chief print propaganda organ.
"You obviously are not being clear or you are deliberately not telling the
truth," Matinenga accused him. The hearing continues on Friday.
Commonwealth stands firm on Zimbabwe
ZIMBABWE's suspension from the Commonwealth councils was unlikely to be
lifted before the 54member body held its annual summit in December,
Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon said yesterday.
However, the continuing crisis in the southern African country will not be
allowed to overshadow the Commonwealth Heads of Government and State Meeting
(Chogm), set for December 5 in Abuja, McKinnon told a press briefing.
"Regarding Zimbabwe, Commonwealth countries have proposed that the meeting
is all about development and democracy," he said on the last day of a
four-country African tour.
"But we don't want the meeting overshadowed by Zimbabwe," he added.
Harare was suspended from the Commonwealth's decisionmaking councils last
year over its human rights record, and after President Robert Mugabe was
reelected in polls widely condemned as rigged.
McKinnon listed five farreaching changes that would have to take place in
Zimbabwe for its Commonwealth suspension to be reconsidered: national
reconciliation and dialogue; the repeal or amendment of laws that prejudice
press freedoms and peaceful assembly; an end to the systematic harassment of
the political opposition and civil groups; active responses to
recommendations made by Commonwealth election observer groups; and
engagement on land reforms with the Commonwealth and the United Nations
ZTA's Innovative Ways of Marketing Zim Welcome
October 16, 2003
Posted to the web October 16, 2003
It is true that the recovery of our country's tourism industry has been
hindered by the barrage of negative publicity in the wake of our just and
legitimate land reforms.
Thus, in the context of our revolution in Zimbabwe, the distinction between
politics and economics has never been blurred as now. The West's antipathy
towards our land reform programme has spawned hostile propaganda designed to
entrench political uncertainties in so far as our long-term economic and
political goals are concerned.
The UK and US governments have gone a step further, availing their
respective intelligence agencies - the M15 and the CIA - with millions of
pounds and dollars to fund the activities of reactionary forces and other
bandit groups that are hostile to our Government and its pan-African
leadership. Clearly, therefore, the US-led EU countries are fighting an
economic war against us on an issue that is purely ideological, and are
using their influence in international monetary institutions to withhold
loans from us so they can throw our economy into chaos.
Thus, we find the MDC mouthpieces in Zimbabwe telling us to reverse the land
reform programme, and by that implying we should give back Zimbabwean land
to the "whites". And so now the hostile Western media is writing a lot about
Zimbabwe's flagging tourism industry!
Yet, the reality is that Zimbabwe is showing that there are many ways in
which a good job to circumvent the imperialists can be done - as many ways,
in fact, as there are persons to whom the task of doing a good job of it can
Taking the lead is the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, which continues to
demonstrate that in these problems can be found the greatest opportunities
for charting our own paths to development.
ZTA and other stakeholders in the tourism industry are confronting these
challenges in the most innovative and revolutionary ways ever thought
possible in the circumstances, exploring and pursuing all the possible
alternatives to unlock the regeneration of this most lucrative sector of the
country's economy and, in the process, sidestepping the imperialist
impediments to the revival of the country's tourism industry.
The ZTA master plan, which the authority's chief executive, Dr Jokonya,
revealed to me, recognises that Zimbabwe's chances of making headway lie in
us pruning to the pith of necessity our business dealings with the
traditional tourism markets of the West, and to turn decisively to Far and
South East Asian countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia,
Indonesia, and Singapore, and to Persian and African markets.
Typically, the oppositional forces of doom and despair are already telling
us that Zimbabwe will not succeed in the Asian markets because we have
nothing in common with the Asians. Of course, this reluctance to deviate
from a given status quo - the "big brother West" mentality - is typical
reactionary thinking, and reflects a colonial mindset that derives from a
tradition of looking up towards the West for help.
The truth of the matter is that if we let tradition freeze our minds, new
ideas cannot sprout, progress is blocked and creative power is stultified.
Indeed, nothing grows on ice and this, perhaps, in part explains why the
political leaders who think neo-imperialism cannot be defeated (Museveni,
Mogae) will fail because their minds are closed to creative ways to bring
about the downfall of imperialists.
ZTA is proceeding regardless, and has embraced innovative approaches to
It is promoting Zimbabwe as a safe and exciting tourist destination, and to
diversifying and broadening the country's market reach and the servicing of
domestic, regional, continental, and global customers.
Thus, we're heading to the Far East, and this decision is deliberate and
selective: it represents a shift in emphasis from Western markets to a
greater focus on those in Asia.
There is absolutely no doubt that in recommending that Zimbabwe prunes to
the pith of necessity its dealings with the traditional Western trade and
tourism routes and placing emphasis on the domestic tourism market and
regional partnerships, ZTA recognises that Zimbabwe will not thrive at home
unless we take full advantage and control of the tremendous opportunities
ZTA's pan-African policy commitments are most welcome, especially because
the deprivations we suffer today, in Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in
general, are largely a result of Britain and its Western partners pursuing
exploitatively racist policies in their bid to bring about commercial ruin
to our country.
In imposing sanctions on us and, at the same time, mount a concerted
propaganda war against Zimbabwe, the West is trying to stymie our
participation in all forms of world trade, to isolate us and, generally, to
restrict our economic investments - both domestic and foreign.
l To be continued
l Chinondidyachii Mararike is a lawyer, writer, political analyst, and
secretary-general of Davira Mhere.
For status, Africa's trading with the Western world is regulated by one of
the most unjust instruments of imperialist global governance: the World
Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
Even they, the imperialists, accept that this is so. And the same
Europeans - who 'developed' and expanded their international trade through
warfare and the marching of their legions in prolonged imperialist wars and
battles in Africa and every part of the non-Western world - have for far too
long dictated to us.
In Zimbabwe, our government has taken a bold stand against imperialists who
bring death and destruction into the African continent. Our ZANU-PF
government is sticking to its revolutionary pan-African agenda. We are going
to follow the policies we are following. Period. We recognise that neither
Chaminuka nor Mashayamombe, not Chiweshe or Nyashanu even, put in place the
trade relations that subsist between African countries on one hand, and
Britain and her US-led EU Western partners on the other.
By understanding Africa's perennial political and economic problems,
patriotic and conscious Zimbabweans realise that the West's attempts to
sabotage our economy are based on Western leaders' belief that the Caucasian
world constitutes the whole world, and too that on this one, the
imperialists are as mistaken as they have always been on everything else.
Fortunately, Africans are no longer looking at the world through the
equivalent of Western-supplied red sunglasses without even being aware they
are wearing them.
Revolutionaries in ZTA explain the causes of Africa's social and economic
problems in terms of historical and contemporary economic and political
realities, and as solutions they re-think strategies on how best to change
the main structures, systems and processes of contemporary world politics
and international relations. And so in saying 'no' to exploitative trade
relations with the West, no to traitors, no to imperialists, our Government
and the ZTA sure recognise that every time a man says 'no' to anyone
attempting to subjugate his fellows, it is for the sake of the present and
the future that such sacrifices are made.
It may just seem common sense to us and not at all complicated but what is
happening in Africa is that our theoretical assumptions are implicit rather
than explicit. The only way for Africa to decide which of the millions of
possible facts to look at, and possible alternatives to pursue, is by
adhering to some simplifying device which reflect the facts and alternatives
that matter the most to us. I call this a theory.
In this context, a theory is not simply some grand formal model suffused
with hypotheses and assumptions; rather it is some kind of simplifying
device that allows for decisions to be made as to which facts matter and
which do not, and the alternatives to explore. Thus the fact Zimbabwe is not
asking for any help or assistance from the West arises from our recognition
that for us to run to the West would be the equivalent of us crouching under
the wings of a windmill in search of sound sleep!
On the contrary, Zimbabwe rejects the premises upon which African countries
trade with the West, and by rejecting colonial-based trade ties with London,
Brussels, Copenhagen, Washington DC, Berlin, and Paris, ZTA contributes to
the dignity of the liberationist spirit. That is why it is important for
Zimbabwe to create and penetrate new trade and tourism markets, the Asian
markets in the Far East, and ply them. We have the power to expand without
limits. We are the masters. We speak in terms of the present and the future.
The Far East has over 400 million consumers with disposable incomes at least
equal to the rich-world average - markets large enough to warrant our
attention. The greater need for us to turn to the Asian markets arises from
our recognition that the West is currently pursuing a strategy to deny us
international trade opportunities and thus deprive us of export revenue
needed to import necessary products that will keep our industries going.
The obvious strategic outlook that this policy entails involve closer
business collaboration in opening up alternative markets for the country's
tourism industry and, in tandem with a programme of accelerated
indigenisation in the tourism industry, cultivate reciprocal responsiveness
and a more listening to each other between and among all stakeholders,
taking into account the national needs, and of the small and big businesses
The emphasis, according to Dr Jokonya, is to use different promotional
tools - such as advertising, sales promotion, personnel selling, publicity
through various channels such as the radio, televisions, websites,
newspapers, meetings, summits, conferences, summits - to promote Zimbabwe at
various forums, especially through Zimbabwe Embassies, Tourism Managers and
trade representatives, to establish direct relationships with clients in
order to initiate immediate and measurable responses, and to supply what
This, therefore, calls for policy-makers to consider market issues in
relation to national policies and that, therefore, decisions that may appear
to be in the domestic purview can have dramatic effects abroad and vice
versa, and any policy decisions or measures either at home or abroad or vice
versa should be seen in light in terms of reciprocal repercussions.
Increased awareness of and involvement with international marketing require
managers to be aware of the role of Government and also to be able to work
in ways that will likely promote, advance and attain national marketing
goals. This allows the ZTA to give full play to the increased and continuous
interaction between government and other stakeholders in the development of
a viable international marketing strategy as this enables representatives
abroad to communicate with a global market within the framework of this
Zimbabwe is a rich country, and Africa is a rich continent. We need to
convert these riches into wealth in the same way that the poor Western
countries have turned Africa's riches into the wealth from which the
Europeans continue to benefit, and have done so for far too long to the
extent today they have the cheek to tell us we deserve aid from them.
NEPAD, AID, IMF-inspired assistance, and World Bank schemes are mere
'colours' with which the West seeks to paint the African-European-African
economic landscape. This makes it possible for the West to pretend they do
not really need Africa, need Zimbabwe - yet the reverse is true.
Thus, the strategy that ZTA is pursuing amounts to a total rejection of the
imperialist view of a unipolar world, of a world that starts and ends in the
West. Africa's world encompasses the whole world, and it starts and ends in
© Chinondidyachii Mararike is a lawyer, writer, political analyst, and
Secretary-General of Davira Mhere (15.10.2003)
Four ANZ Journalists Charged
Media Institute of Southern Africa
October 16, 2003
Posted to the web October 16, 2003
Four more journalists from the Daily News have been charged
by the police
for practising without accreditation as required by the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIIPA).
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has confirmed that four
Bulawayo based journalists, Chris Gande, Oscar Nkala, Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu
and Grey Chitika are the latest to be charged under AIPPA.
The four bring the total
number of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
journalists arrested under AIPPA to twenty after sixteen have already been
charged for operating without accreditation.
The journalists were charged for violating section 80(1)(3) which compels
every practising journalist to accredit with the Media and Information
The police recorded warned and cautioned statements from the four
journalists and would proceed by way of summons.
The Zimbabwean government closed the privately owned Daily News on Friday,
September 12, 2003, for failing to register with the country's Media and
Information Commission (MIC) under the Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Act (AIPPA). Section 66 of AIPPA says that all media houses must
register with the MIC.
The ban follows a Supreme Court ruling on September 11, 2003, that the paper
was operating illegally.
On September 25 2003, MISA appealed to the MIC to approve all applications
for registration from journalists working for the Daily News as their
applications should not be linked to that of their employer. MISA pointed
out that failure to register these journalists is in violation of their
rights to freedom of association. Journalists should be able to obtain their
licences separately from that of their employer as they should be able to
work for any employer or even freelance, MISA said.
Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights in SADC, states that
every individual shall be free to choose and engage in an occupation of that
person's choice. For that reason all media practitioners have a right to
work, to pursue productive endeavour, to engage in voluntary contracts, and
to the proceeds of their labour. No individual, and by extension - no
government - has the right to restrict an individual's freedom to choose his
or her employer, given that they are not impinging on the rights of others,
MISA pointed out.
MISA maintains that AIPPA is undemocratic and places severe restrictions on
the type of information journalists can report. The AIPPA gives the
government wide powers to decide who can practice journalism in the country,
while foreign media companies are prohibited from owning local outlets. In
addition, the act creates the MIC to monitor press complaints. The
influential chair of the commission is handpicked by the Minister of
Zimbabwe court hears newspaper appeal for license
By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE, Oct. 16 — Lawyers for Zimbabwe's only independent
daily newspaper --
closed last month for violating strict press laws -- told a court on
Thursday the state media commission overstepped its authority by denying it
Police shut the offices of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ),
publisher of the Daily News, on September 16 after the Supreme Court ruled
the paper was illegal because it was published without the license required
by Zimbabwe's new media regulations.
While the high court said it would permit the newspaper to resume
publication pending the outcome of its license application, this was swiftly
rejected by the government-appointed media commission.
On Thursday, ANZ lawyer Eric Matinenga said media commission chairman
Tafataona Mahoso had no reason to deny permission to the Daily News -- one
of the most widely read newspapers in the country and a frequent critic of
President Robert Mugabe.
''I suggest to you that by denying the applicant registration you
seriously misdirected yourself,'' Matinenga told an appeal hearing at
Harare's Administrative Court.
Mahoso, in turn, said the commission had rejected the application
because it was both too late and insincere.
''We were dealing with an applicant who was not only eight and a half
months late in applying but had actually demonstrated publicly that it did
not wish to apply,'' he said.
The Daily News began publishing in 1999 and has been critical of
Mugabe's government as the country grapples with an economic and political
crisis widely blamed on official mismanagement since independence from
Britain in 1980.
The paper had initially refused to register for a license to protest
against the laws, introduced soon after the veteran leader's controversial
election as president last year and seen aimed at silencing government
The government argues the law is meant to restore professionalism in
The Daily News is Zimbabwe's only private daily paper but there are a
number of local private weekly newspapers and monthly magazines also
critical of the government.
Mugabe, 79, denies mismanaging the country and in turn accuses local
and foreign opponents of sabotaging Zimbabwe's economy to punish his
government for seizure of white-owned commercial farms for landless blacks.
CSO Inflation Figures Inaccurate
October 16, 2003
Posted to the web October 16, 2003
THE credibility of inflation figures churned by the Central Statistical
Office (CSO) has suffered a hammer blow because of damaging black market for
almost every commodity including cash, which has deformed pricing
Analysts this week said the non-availability of some of the commodities that
constitute the Consumer Price Index (CP1) on the formal market has rendered
futile attempts by the CSO to compute accurate year-on-year inflation
CSO captures most of the information from the formal market, which has
suffered the backlash of price controls introduced in September 2001
resulting in manufacturers and traders diverting most of the products into
the illegal parallel market where they fetch higher prices.
The latest PriceWater-houseCoopers (PWC) inflation series estimates that
Zimbabwe's inflation could be running at nearly twice what the government's
official statistics show.
Although the rate of inflation for August scaled an all-time-high 426.6
percent in August, economist have for some time, doubted the accuracy of the
According to the online Zimbabwe Financial News (Zfn), economists have
queried CSO figures because several price-controlled goods included in the
"basket" are only available at black market prices.
The official CPI survey, said Zfn, also does not directly measure the price
of fuel, which has risen more than 3 000 percent since severe shortages
started in November last year.
The CSO's series measures "vehicle running costs" and "public transport",
which values petrol at the special "strategic" price of $450. The
contribution to the overall index is also fairly lightly weighted at 6.6
"The official price of petrol was increased by 60 percent at the beginning
of the month to $1 980 a litre, but few people get it for that.
"Companies have for the better part of the past year been importing their
own fuel at around US$0.40 a litre, but the majority have to source fuel
from black market at $2 500 to $3 500 a litre.
"The situation has, however, eased in recent weeks with several garages
openly selling petrol at $2 600 a litre. This time last year, petrol was $74
a litre," said Zfn.
Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited chief economist, Witness Chinyama told
The Financial Gazette that it has become difficult to plan ahead in view of
doubts surrounding the accuracy of inflation figures.
"Policy makers would have problems because we now have a situation where you
say things are not as bad and so the response by government will be slow
until things get out of control," he said.
Analysts said CSO would also have problems in getting reliable information
on the black market because of the price distortion. Besides, it is an
The government, which has been blasted for running down the economy, is also
comfortable with a lower inflation rate to enhance its chances of staying in
Trust Holdings Limited (THL) chief economist David Mupamhadzi said the
calculation of inflation has always been a problem in an economy driven by
the parallel market.
Mupamhadzi said the dual pricing system for fuel has also caused distortions
and one wonders which of the two prices the CSO is using in calculating
The THL economist, who estimates inflation to reach 650 percent by year-end,
said: "It will take time before we reach a realistic inflation figure
because people are now used to the black market and some have developed
empires from that market."
"We should also point out that we need to revise the weighting of our basket
because there are some items that were suitable during normal time which
have since lost their relevance," said Mupamhadzi.
The International Monetary Fund, which has been backing economic reforms in
Zimbabwe until 1999, last year forecast official inflation to hit 522
percent by the end of this year as the government printed money to fund its
Money supply statistics lag the inflation by around 6 months currently. The
most recent figures released were for March and showed broad money supply
growth (M3) accelerating by 20.8 percent from February to stand 206.7
percent on the year previous.
PWC's survey showed that the rise over the past year has been driven mainly
by plus-1000 percent increases in food and consumables. Two retail groups
canvassed by This Day also put their "basket of goods" inflation at 800
percent to 850 percent at the end of the third quarter.
According to PWC, meat prices were up 1029 percent on the year, fruit and
vegetables increased 1208 percent, and consumables rose 1443 percent.
Airfares, which drove much of the increase last year, were up 284 percent.
PWC calculates the index on a quarterly basis and shows just what happens
when the market or "parallel" rate (in government-speak) moves.
According to Zfn, high-income inflation was recorded at 705 percent
year-on-year at the end of the September quarter, with a family of four
requiring $89.42 million (R751.400 at official rates; R137.569 at black
market rates) to survive.
A year ago the figure was $11.1 million and in September 2001, the sum
required was $4.369 million, said Zfn.
"However, on a US dollar basis, there has been almost no change over the
year, with the cost of living pegged at US$14.903 compared with US$14.802
last year. A high-income family is defined as one with two children
attending private school, a wife with a car, a flight for the family to
Johannesburg every year with US$2.000 of spending money," Zfn said.
"The Zimbabwe dollar lost half of its value in the third quarter of 2003 and
in the following 3 month period, prices jumped 117 percent in the quarter.
The rate was fairly static, in fact it appreciated slightly, but then
started to slide again when the tobacco-selling season started in April.
"Having fallen back from the fourth quarter of last year, it accelerated
once more from 25 percent in the first quarter, to 51 percent in the three
months to June, and then leaped to 104 percent in September. Quite the most
obvious losers in the whole equation were domestic workers, whose salaries
were up a paltry 278 percent from a year earlier.
"Many wealthy Zimbabweans pay their domestics more than the minimum wage,
which was recently set at just over $12,000 for the most lowly paid - about
the equivalent of a 10kg bag of mealie meal.
"The shortcomings of an annual salary of $144.000 are also shown up in two
new inflation categories calculated by PWC. For middle and low-income
earners, PWC suggests the two groups would require $27.3 million and $3.859
million to live.
"Inflation was running at 111 percent in the 3 months to September for
middle income earners and at 89 percent for those at the bottom of the
spectrum," argued Zfn.
Extract from an item printed in The Guardian.................
Yesterday in parliament
Thursday October 16, 2003
Zimbabwe's inflation rate has hit 450% and the country is running out of
local as well as foreign currency, the leader of the Lords, Lady Amos, said.
Replying to calls for further pressure on Robert Mugabe's government, she
said: "The British government's relationship with the Zimbabwe government is
such that very often what we say is not taken seriously."
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE
COMMUNIQUES - October 16, 2003
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNIQUE
I would be very grateful if you could do whatever you can to publicise
this: Beatrice is one of the finest lawyers in Zimbabwe, and has been
feisty in representing those who are under unlawful attack from the Mugabe
regime, including Andy Meldrum of the UK newspaper The Guardian, who was
illegally deported recently because of his strong reporting of what the
regime was doing. She is currently representing the Daily News, the
country's last independent daily newspaper, which was shut down by the
police last month, to widespread outrage - the newspaper was due to have a
court hearing today. So she is strong defender of the freedom of the
press. She is a council member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, which is a
member organisation of the IBA.
She has been brutally attacked by police, leaving her with heavy bruising
and cuts on her face and body. She had called the police for assistance
after being carjacked for the second time in 11 days. Instead of assisting
her, the police then violently attacked her, in a police car and
subsequently in Borrowdale police station. They accused her of being under
the influence of alcohol, but made no attempt to breathalyse her. Following
the beatings, no medical assistance was provided nor was she taken to
On learning of the attack, the IBA has immediately contacted Khembo Mohadi,
Minister of Home Affairs, expressing our deep concern for her safety. We
have asked that he investigate the attacks urgently and bring the
perpetrators to justice. We have reminded him and his government of their
obligations under international law (see below).
This is a further frightening development in the downward spiral of
Zimbabwean institutions. We are absolutely outraged at this attack, and
the further evidence it gives of the collapse of the rule of law. It is a
particularly graphic demonstration of the role of the police in abetting
the abandonment of law, instead of fulfilling their duty to offer people
protection, and again it appears to be cynically targeted against those
like Beatrice Mtetwa who show such deep commitment to protecting the legal
rights of fellow Zimbabweans.
If you would like to contact the President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe,
Sternford Moyo, for comment, please phone him on:
Mobile: 263 11 600 854
Office: 263 4702 561
Extracts from the letter of 15 October of Emilio Cardenas, President of the
IBA, to the Minister of Home Affairs, Zimbabwe:
The IBA is extremely concerned that Beatrice Mtetwa is being harassed as a
result of carrying out her professional duties as a lawyer. The IBA would
like to respectfully remind you of your obligation to under international
law. Article 23 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of
Lawyers states, "Lawyers, like other citizens are entitled to freedom of
expression, belief, association and assembly." Similarly, Article 17
states that, "Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of
discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the
Furthermore, the IBA would also like to remind you of your obligations
under Article 16 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which
states: "Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all
of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment
or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their
clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not
suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or
other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognised
professional duties, standards and ethics."
Having become party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights (1966), Zimbabwe has a duty to uphold the provisions of the Covenant
and to not thwart its fundamental purposes. Article 19(2) of the Covenant
states: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right
shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of
all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print,
in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice." We
respectfully remind you that the ICCPR is recognised as a principle of
customary international law.
The IBA is extremely concerned for the health and safety of lawyer Beatrice
Mtetwa and shocked at her appalling treatment at the hands of the police.
On behalf of the IBA, I respectfully request that you investigate the
attacks against her immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice. I
would appreciate to be informed about the outcome of your investigation. I
also urge you to take necessary measures to ensure that such clear acts of
intimidation against human rights defenders do not take place again.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
WHAT WILL THE RAIN BRING?
Last night it rained.
First there was lightning lots of it. The dogs were scared and so were the
kids, but one thing that we all noticed was the smell - rain.
The thunder came closer and closer and then - it rained.
It was only about five millimeters but it carried all the sounds sights
smells magic hope energy and promise that it has since the first life
started on earth.
What makes the first rainstorm so special? I grew up on a farm and the
magic always impressed me. Suddenly there was new energy and purpose on the
Having learnt everything that I know about farming from my farther and his
generation, the one thing that he always insisted on was that we must be
ready for the rain. A farmer that is not ready for the rain cannot have a
good season, but if you are ready you could win. In farming there has
always been an element of risk, but you could prepare yourself beforehand
for most of the eventualities.
This year I wont be ready for the rain. But then the rain cannot help me
because I am no longer on my farm.
Rain brings change and change brings hope.
Am I ready for change? Are we ready for change?
If change will bring compensation are we ready for compensation?
If change will ensure Rule of Law are we ready?
If change will bring a new future for commercial agriculture are we ready?
If change brings accountability do we have the facts?
If change will bring justice will we part of the process?
The JAG Loss Claim Document is a toolbox that contains all the tools
necessary to ensure that you are ready for change.
If you have done your JAG Loss Claim Document then you are ready for
The 25 facilitators that were trained are becoming more urgently engaged in
the process and the facilitators in Harare are now fully booked and having
to turn farmers away.
Not all of these people are active and personal commitments must be
respected, some of them can only do three farmers at a time. We ask farmers
to be patient but to ensure that your documents are processed as soon as
possible to give others an opportunity to get their documents done.
All farmers that have handed their documents in to the office will be
contacted personally during the next month to ensure that the document is
complete and updated.
If there are any areas or individual farmers that wish to be trained as
facilitators please get in touch with the office either by phone or e-mail.
It is a fact that change will come. Just like the rain. You can all smell
JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
email@example.com with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.
Letter 1: Re: Farmers in Touch
This is two years too late for my family. Where were you when we needed
you? The so-called database should have been done in 2000 when the first
farmers were murdered and CFU knew we were all in trouble. All the
necessary information could have been collected when we had operating FA's,
after all the FA's were being fed with information on a daily basis,
remember the daily security communiqués!!!
The most important point however is that there is already an operating and
useful "Farmer in Touch" and that is JAG. Why form another organisation,
surely now is the time to consolidate and unite? You do not need to
re-invent the wheel.
I have to reiterate that CFU did absolutely nothing to help us when we were
still members and were in deep trouble and danger on a daily basis, in
spite of the fact that you were perfectly aware of exactly what was going
on, so what could CFU FIT possibly do for us now! We sorted ourselves out
and got involved with JAG as soon as they got organised. CFU where have you
Julia Burdett Claydon Farm P/L, relocated to Harare since April 2002
Letter 2: Displaced Farmers
Gentlemen and I hope some ladies too:
We have been asked by James Maberly, the instigator and force behind
Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust (ZAWT), whether the Business Link could
put together a short programme that might help those farmers who have not
yet found alternative occupations. From meetings that he held on a recent
trip to Zim he felt many of these people need to evaluate their options and
perhaps shift away from the despondency that may be afflicting several of
I understand ZAWT would provide funding for the major portion, if not all,
of the costs associated with this undertaking.
Before putting together a detailed curriculum our concern is how to contact
the people that may be interested. We need to know how many there may be
and more about their particular circumstances. If this is to get off the
ground we would like to set the groundwork before Christmas.
Any suggestion on how to contact potentially interested parties or how they
might best be helped would be very much appreciated. I look forward to
hearing from you either by phone (below) or by email.
SD Parsons PO Box CH 967 Chisipite Zimbabwe Phone 263 4 495532 Fax 263 4
494283 Cell 263 91 23 1724
All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice