THE situation could not get much
worse. We now have a government that is
determined to inflict policies that
are causing hardship and even starvation
in order to spite the opposition and
punish perceived critics.
Zanu PF supporters have been burning crops
across the country. But they are
unable to see — or choose to ignore — the
connection between wheat
destruction and increases in bread prices. Bread
production is under threat
from a number of sources. The cost of production
But shortages caused by land invasions and deliberate burning of
That Zanu PF’s top businessmen can’t see the
connection and were last week
filmed threatening bread manufacturers should
come as no surprise.
These are the same people who have run virtually
every business they have
acquired into the ground. Their economic “expertise”
is evident at Crittall
Hope, G&D Shoes, Belmont Leather and
How have workers fared at these companies? We need to know because
Mugabe said on Monday his supporters would be taking over firms
could no longer run on a profitable basis.
acquisition of luxurious vehicles by the new owners of certain
companies seems unrelated to their management performance. Will this
pattern across the country?
How has the government performed in
the management of its own companies? How
have Noczim, the PTC, Air Zimbabwe,
Zisco, Zesa and Affretair fared?
What has Mugabe’s record been to date in
managing an economy? Is Zimbabwe’s
GDP any higher than it was in 1990 or at
Independence? Are the majority of
people any better off? What are the figures
for unemployment, inflation and
debt? Has the government succeeded in
tackling these problems?
A concerted attempt is being made by the ruling
party’s propaganda machine
to blame whites for all the country’s problems.
But are whites responsible
for a pattern of borrowing, spending and printing
money that has seen
inflation skyrocket? Are whites responsible for the
plunder of Noczim and
pillaging of the War Victims Compensation
Those Zanu PF supporters responsible for systematic theft at their
companies, Zexcom and Sancorp, are today appointing themselves managers
companies that can no longer cope with being forced to operate
At least Mugabe has been honest enough to admit he was
economic reform in the 1990s. But nobody should be fooled by
argument that Esap failed because it was unsuited to Zimbabwe’s
Esap’s basic requirement was that the government should spend
wisely. That the parastatals were a burden upon the fiscus and
needed to be
liberated so their productive potential could serve the country
as a whole
and not just provide a field of sheltered employment for Mugabe’s
Esap also proposed that Zimbabwe should live within its
means. In other
words, it should operate a leaner and more efficient public
freeing up business to grow and create jobs.
evident to everybody now, that project was sabotaged by those
implement it. The government continued to spend money
hand-over-fist on the
military and on salaries and perks for an army of
cabinet ministers, their
deputies and hangers on, many of whom would not
last a day in a
In order to sustain this reckless pattern of
unproductive spending, it
borrowed from the money market. This in turn
fuelled inflation. The budget
deficit ballooned as government refused to get
its house in order because it
wanted to go on purchasing support.
was a textbook case of how not to run an economy. Meanwhile,
Namibia, Mozambique and Mauritius were forging ahead on the basis
policies declared unsuitable for Zimbabwe!
Mugabe is directly
responsible for the economic collapse this country now
stares in the face.
His belief that a corrupt and unreconstructed state can
run a modern economy
is at the root of our problems.
But in addition to a record of
incompetence we now have punitive policies
designed to teach the electorate a
lesson. The occupation of farms and
destruction of crops, accompanied by
malignant terrorism by Mugabe’s
supporters, is designed to punish white
farmers for allegedly supporting the
MDC. Farm workers are also victims of a
policy aimed at cleansing the
countryside of opposition support.
a head of state returns to the failed policies of the past and resorts
open war on the businesses, farms and livelihoods of his citizens, it
clear he has reached his endgame. His declaration at Heroes Acre on
was an admission of failure in terms of arguments and ideas.
doesn’t have any left apart from apportioning blame to others. From now
will fight it out with the rest of the country. History tells us who
wins those encounters.
PRESIDENT Mugabe seems to have used
the burial of Clement Muchachi to make
one of his now customary
scorched-earth speeches. Refusing to acknowledge
that his economic and
political policies have been a disaster for the
country, he told the
gathering at the Heroes Acre on Monday that his
government was ready to take
over companies forced to close down by
insurmountable cost escalations and
the recently imposed price controls.
“Those businesses which want to
withhold products or close down may go ahead
and do so,” Mugabe
“We will as a state take over any businesses that are closed ...
and we will
reorganise them with the workers, and at least the socialism we
can start operating,” he said.
So the whole process of
land-grabbing, it now appears, is part of a Great
Leap Forward towards
socialist collectivisation of agriculture.
We have the president’s full
confession that he was insincere about economic
reform in the 1990s — just as
we suspected at the time.
Indeed, the Herald’s headline, “Esap dumped”,
was several years old!
Just as his ally China is embarking upon market
reforms and liberating the
full potential of its people, Mugabe is heading in
the opposite direction.
What does he hope to achieve through these policy
First it was socialism, which in essence was a time of
wealth-accumulation for the ruling class while the ordinary people
slogans amidst poverty.
Then, 10 years ago, we thought
government had realised the foolishness of
its ways when it embarked on
economic reforms, although we soon realised it
had been dragged kicking and
screaming to make this paradigm shift after the
command economy had failed to
deliver the goods of growth and
employment-creation. But no, we must return
to socialism although it has
failed the world over. North Korea is living on
food handouts from its
neighbours. One million people have died of
starvation. Anybody recall the
“Juche Idea” which the Herald extolled at the
As the saying goes: “Fools step in where angels fear to tread”. And
will only cause more suffering for the ordinary people while our
lootocracy creams off what goods are left. They have already been
Why does Mugabe think his supporters and the war
veterans can run companies?
How successful have the war veterans been in
running their own? What is the
record of Zexcom and Sancorp, apart of course
from being plundered by
Phillip Chiyangwa has been in the
vanguard of those making menacing calls on
factories. What is his record as a
businessman in Bulawayo? What happened to
G&D Shoes? What happened to
Crittall Hope and his tourism project in Zvimba?
Which Natives have benefited
from Native Investments? And what happened to
latest development looks like a heaven-sent opportunity for certain
seize hitherto successful businesses having first run down their
they don’t even know what populist means!
In a sure sign that the Abuja
honeymoon is over Mugabe returned to his old
stories about the British
intercepting fuel at sea. He blamed commercial
farmers for running a campaign
to discredit the Abuja accord.
But then he extolled the Model A2
resettlement scheme which is the most
egregious violation of Abuja
imaginable. It provides for thousands of plots
on commercial farms which will
be occupied in flat contravention of the
agreement. It is little wonder
donors have refused to come forward with
In an official
acknowledgement that no money can be expected under the
the Sunday Mail last weekend ran a lead story on how
the British were
dragging their heels. Up until then we had been told that
the Abuja agreement
had wrong-footed the MDC; that the international
community were coming on
board to join Zanu PF’s land reform programme and
everything was now
proceeding in accordance with the law.
Nothing could have been further
from the truth. All the evidence now points
to a continuing campaign of
illegal land occupations.
Politicians and government officials are
helping themselves to farms,
farmers and their workers are forbidden to
produce crops, and the police
continue to do nothing in response.
High Court order issued by Justice Moses Chinhengo to Police
Chihuri and other government agents to curb lawlessness in
allow farmers to operate freely has been
Meanwhile, war veterans are practising extortion on a grand
scale across the
country extracting millions of dollars from farmers in order
workers who have been forcibly displaced.
This is of
course all Britain’s fault according to the Sunday Mail.
government has not yet taken any steps to implement the Abuja
rekindling memories of unfulfilled pledges at the 1998 donor
wrote Munyaradzi Huni, Jonathan Moyo’s chief mouthpiece at
“There is still room for the British to come back into Zimbabwe’s
reform programme,” a government source was quoted as saying. “But if
squander this chance then it will take time for them to come back
“Even some political scientists” have added their voices, we are
saying Britain should start making moves to show its willingness
implement the programme. And one of those famous fictional diplomats
conjured up to say: “It now seems as if Zimbabwe is the only one in the
that is fighting hard to make sure the agreement is a
There is something profoundly delusional about all this.
Britain and other
donors have not agreed to sign up to a land “reform”
programme that involves
violence, plunder and crop-burning; that proceeds on
an ad hoc basis
according to President Mugabe’s electoral needs.
“political scientists” turned out to be Professor Sam Moyo of Sapes
“government had the big task of creating a consensus among
Exactly what steps has the government made in that
direction? And who
discarded the 1998 agreement with donors and the
The state media has misled the Zimbabwean public. Abuja refers
to the need to restore the rule of law and for land reform to be
in a fair, just and sustainable manner. It does not require
provide funds until that has been done.
implementation of the land reform can only be meaningful and
carried out with due regard to human rights, rule of law,
democratic principles,” the Commonwealth foreign ministers
commitment of the government of Zimbabwe is therefore crucial to
Why were those details missing from Huni’s article? Why
spokesman assume the rest of the world is going to give
Zimbabwe money when
the ruling party is sabotaging agricultural
self-sufficiency and has if
anything intensified farm occupations?
the pictures of burnt-out farm houses with the possessions of their
scattered on the ground continued to appear around the world last
President’s Office put out a statement drawing attention to
Article 12 of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which
everyone is entitled to protection against arbitrary
interference in his/her
personal affairs and those of his/her family and
No, this was
not an ironic commentary on the violent dispossessions that
have become a
hallmark of Zanu PF’s land campaign where people have been
evicted from the homes they built over a lifetime and their
looted. It was a defence of Grace Mugabe against a newspaper
less-than-distinguished exam results at the University of
tutor, it should be noted, is the president himself.
Up until Monday,
when the government reacted with such bile to the Standard’
s story, we felt
slightly sorry for Grace. It must be rather difficult
accompanying your tutor
on overseas trips and then, while he is free to
sample the night life of
exotic locations, having to stay locked up in your
hotel room writing essays
on The Three Comedies.
“His Excellency is too great a teacher to be
cheapened by such vulgar
sniping,” a spokes man claimed, adding that Mugabe
had “seen many
Zimbabweans through their studies from as far back as his days
There then followed some “vulgar sniping” at the
Standard’s editor who, it
was suggested, had benefited from Rhodesian rule —
although we were not told
“Clearly the editor of this
sub-standard (Get it?) tabloid sought nothing
but maximum embarrassment and
hurtful injury to the honour, integrity and
reputation of the First Family,”
the spokesman haughtily declared.
First Family? Is that an institution
recognised by our constitution? Had we
heard of it before 1996?
all sounded rather like one of those lettres de cachet issued by a
king in response to some real or imagined case of lèse majesté by
The Bastille beckoned.
pointed out that George Charamba, to whom questions about the
had been addressed, was out of the country on the president’s
tour of Asia
when the questions were submitted.
So what? Does everything come to a
stand-still when the president goes on
tour? Do the courtiers accompanying
him at public expense not delegate the
few responsibilities they
Lawrence Kamwi, the First Lady’s press officer, was pparently
assist”. Why? What is he paid to do exactly? But at least his
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we
were informed by the indignant
presidential spokesman, also protects the
privacy of correspondence. Could
he therefore explain why mail is routinely
opened by officers from the
President’s Office as US State Department reports
on Zimbabwe have drawn
attention to year after year.
liked the threat to review all scholarships tenable at
Does this mean British taxpayers won’t have to support
people like George
Charamba on courses at the University of Wales?
Despite all that academic
training he still can’t spell the name of Jacobean
Addmore Tshuma, we gather, is currently at City University in
London on some
scheme cooked up by his boss. He is already disseminating his
propaganda from the metropole without even a break for
We learn that in line with the growing affectation of the court
Sun King, Charamba was recently elevated to the post of “Secretary
. The Sunday Mail disclosed this last weekend after publishing one
’s literary excursions.
Our warm congratulations. This
weekend’s homework: What lessons does Ben
Jonson’s work hold for comic
dramatists in the Department of Information?
Congratulations also to
Shepherd Mutamba on his appointment to ZBC as
editor-in-chief in the Newsnet
division. The Zimbabwe Independent announced
the move on August 3. But he has
taken a while getting there.
Finally, Muckraker can reveal the true story
behind the “First Family’s”
attempts to improve their education.
must have been clear to anybody listening to the president’s speech at
Acre on Monday, he is doing a PhD in Economics, University of
Grace is his tutor!
Eric Bloch Column
LAST week witnessed much of
the Zimbabwean population in a frenzied state of
joy and ecstasy, for
government had, in a fit of madness, yielded to the
pressures of bodies such
as the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, to the very
evident increasing poverty
nationwide, and to a recognition of the severely
repercussions as would arise for the ruling party if it
failed to address the
That so many of the populace were in a state of near
derangement of delight
at the development was not surprising for, on the one
hand, prices of almost
everything have soared continuously for more than four
years, especially so
over the last nine months.
More and more have
become impoverished and unable to make ends meet. Thus,
any action of
government which would bring the cost of living down and
increases, had inevitably to be well received.
On the other hand, the
ecstatic reception accorded the introduction of price
undoubtedly also attributable to the baseless allegations
and industry of consumer exploitation, of which many
consumers had become
Politicians, senior executives of the Consumer Council, the
war veterans and
others have recurrently alleged that the business community
leeches who, driven by greed, will exact ever more from them, in
disregard of the inability of most to meet their
Those in government have readily fuelled that perception by
irrational and unfounded attacks on the private sector to divert
attention from the fact that it is government that has destroyed the
and is almost the entire cause of the calamitous inability of most to
pace with inflation.
(Whilst they continuously castigate
privately-owned businesses for price
increases which they allege are
unjustified, they are remarkably silent when
state-owned newspapers increase
Maybe that silence is because they do not perceive those
newspapers to be
They are equally silent when Zesa, a
government parastatal, seeks yet
another 30% increase. They do not comment on
massive increases in charges by
the postal and telecommunications parastatal,
or when the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe is accorded increases of between
60 and 75%, albeit
subsequently reduced by a token 2,5%! They do not react to
1 000% increases
in charges to study at state universities.
words, if the private sector increases prices, it is
unnecessary avarice and contempt for the masses! When
government does it, it
is an inevitable necessity pursued for the communal
When the captains of commerce and industry increase prices, they
counter effects of competition by resorting to cartel strategies;
government and its parastatals do it, it is in the public interest. And,
any event, the public must accept it because of the quasi-monopolistic
of most of the arms of government.
Price increases are claimed
to be politically-motivated, designed to
collapse the government. Presumably
that applies equally to private sector
price increases, and to those imposed
by the public sector!
Most manufacturers have had no alternative but to
increase prices, and to do
so regularly, for failure to do so could only
cause the demise of their
enterprises. Much focus of the press and of the
proponents of price controls
has been upon the impact of parallel market
funding of imports.
Because currency for essential imports has not been
available in the money
market, business has been unable to import other than
by obtaining the
foreign exchange at high cost in the alternative parallel
market, and that
has increased production and operational costs.
has been just one element of the cost increases that have
producers and distributors. Almost all of them were faced with
increases or employee cost of living adjustments in
Almost all salaries and wages in the economy increased in
Electricity charges have increased several times, and very
over the past approximately a year. Fuel prices were
increased. Funding of imports has escalated borrowings,
charges, as has the financing of higher volumes, in value
terms, of debtors
and stocks, due to the inflation that has characterised
Zimbabwe for four
Each business has found that all its
suppliers, whether of goods or of
services, have similarly had to increase
their prices and as a result, the
costs of repairs and maintenance, printing
and stationery, insurance, legal
services, accountancy and audit fees,
packaging and so forth have all risen
An endless chain
reaction of cost increases has become established, not
because of undue
hunger for profits beyond a fair return on capital, but
has failed to address the fundamental causes of
Zimbabwean inflation, and has
steadfastly aided and abetted economic
decline, causing the inflation to
Those alleging profiteering cite the failure of industry to
temporary reductions in parallel market rates with a lowering of
That disregards other compensatory cost
increases, and ignores that the
lower exchange rates prevailed for a few
weeks, when previously imported
stocks were still the basis of
Similarly, they cite instances of traders increasing prices on
ignoring that even if the cost of those stocks had not
increased, the costs
of holding and selling the stocks had, by way of higher
wages and overheads.
All these factors have been disregarded, not only by
the man on the street
who may be unaware of them, but also by government,
which should know
better. Instead, insanity reigns supreme and
heavy-handedly, maximum prices
have been imposed, and in most instances those
prices must result in losses
(not only on goods already in stock purchased at
higher prices, but also on
The cost of producing a loaf
of bread is greater than the legislated maximum
selling price. The same is
true of many other basic commodities. Government’
s ill-considered solution
to that problem is that the costs of inputs such
as wheat, will also be
But its intents of such controls are in respect of certain
only, and not all inputs (which, if attempted, would create
In the same week as government prescribed the bread
selling price, it
gazetted increased wages for employees in the baking
industry, and Zesa
proposed a 30% increase in electricity charges!
Controlling the price of
inputs such as wheat will result in reduced
production of such inputs.
Farmers cannot continuously grow wheat at a
The consequence must be discontinued production of essential
therefore, country-wide shortages depriving the consumers of
needs, at any price.
Discontinued production must cause
business closures and unemployment, and
must impact upon the viability of
downstream and support enterprises within
the economy. Diminished sales will
also reduce the revenue flow to the
Black market trading in
products in short supply will trigger further
inflation. Further economic
decline is inevitable. War veterans and the
Consumer Council have often
threatened consumer boycotts of commerce and
industry, but enterprise may
shortly have little alternative but to boycott
heavy-handed solution of the Ministry of Industry and International
that any as violate the price controls, and any that discontinue
will be taken over by the state. So much for government’s
In practice, the state has neither the fiscal nor the
skill and resources to
operate all the businesses as most fail if they comply
with price controls
and continue operations.
State takeover, which is
in any event beyond the scope of prevailing law,
will undoubtedly result in a
permanent closure of many enterprises, with all
It must be anticipated that such takeovers will cause as
litigation, economic prejudice and alienation of
international support as
did government’s misguided and mismanaged land
acquisition programme. But of
course, when the further nail has been driven
into the economy through the
destruction of industry and of commerce,
government can always seek another
demonstrations of approbation by consumers, heavily emphasised
by the state’s
propaganda machine, especially by the state-controlled media,
will soon be
replaced by new demonstrations — those of anger and of distress
shortages and the further inflation that looms ahead.
demonstrations may well develop into food riots, into civil unrest,
racial and political conflict. But government is deliberately oblivious
this. Its attitude is that it will deal with today’s problem today,
tomorrow’s problem tomorrow (or the day after!), even if tomorrow’s
is caused by the solution to today’s.
It panders to public
opinion, irrespective of how ill-informed that may be,
and irrespective of
the consequences, and in disregard of potentially more
destructive, solutions, dooms the economy to greater decline
to increased hardships.
Zimbabwe to import wheat from Brazil
that Zimbabwe was planning to import 144,000 tonnes of wheat from Brazil in
order to meet a shortfall in wheat production in Zimbabwe. The first shipment is
expected this week, with further imports expected running for the next year.
Most bakeries likely to close, says Zimbabwe industry group
October 19 2001 at 10:34AM
Harare - The
Zimbabwe government's efforts to fix bread prices could force many bakeries to
close and cost thousands of people their jobs, industry officials warned on
"Most likely almost all the bakeries will close" if they were forced to
sell bread below cost, said Jacob Dube, an official of the Confederation of
On the same day, the government announced that official inflation had risen
last month to a record high of 83,3 percent.
Increases in the prices of food, medical care, carbonated and alcoholic
drinks, clothing and footwear were the main reason for the inflation rate's rise
from 76 percent in August, the state Central Statistical Office said on
Calculations of official inflation are based on the prices of a basket of
essential goods. Independent studies have shown increases of up to 200 percent
this year on the price of medicine, motor spares, tyres and some food.
With inflation exploding, the government ordered price cuts last week of 5
to 15 percent on basic foods in an effort to curb inflation. Most other prices,
including the cost of electric power and transportation, were not pegged.
The government cut the price of a loaf of bread by 14 percent, fixing it at
Z$48,40 (about R5).
However, it cost at least Z$52 to produce a loaf and deliver it to stores,
If they were forced to sell bread below cost, bakers would lose Z$1,8
million a day and many bakeries would close, taking thousands of scarce jobs
"Most likely almost all the bakeries will close if this is not remedied,"
Analysts said that if companies were forced out of business because of the
fixed prices on staple food, it could lead to shortages and black marketeering,
pushing inflation up even further.
The country's main bakeries have already cut production and on Wednesday
food stores reported intermittent deliveries. Many sold out early in the day.
One store was secretly selling loaves for more than the fixed price.
Trade and industry ministry officials said they were discussing possible
government subsidies on wheat supplies in continuing talks with millers and
It was not clear how the heavily indebted government would raise the money
President Robert Mugabe said on Monday that Zimbabwe was abandoning
market-led economic policies and returning to a socialist-style economy.
He also vowed to punish firms caught overpricing.
The trade and industry ministry said on Wednesday it had assigned 130 price
inspectors to enforce price controls across the country.
Industry officials said that under the price controls the government
practised for its first decade after independence in 1980, the price of raw
materials was also fixed. These prices are not fixed at present.
"If this price control is to work, we have to look at the whole price
chain," said Titus Ncube, a spokesperson for the private Grain Millers'
Milling executives have predicted shortages in supplies of maize within
about six weeks.
Zimbabwe has said it would need to import about 400 000 tons of maize over
the next six months, starting shipments from South Africa as early as next
Invasions Sabotage Timber Industry
October 19, 2001
Posted to the web October 19,
THE government's failure to respect
its stated position that agro-industrial
land will not be designated for
resettlement will impact negatively on the
economy as a whole, it emerged
The most notable casualty to date has been Border Timbers in
With an annual turnover of $1,2 billion, the company has seen
half of its 48
000-hectare timber estate pegged for resettlement by war
veterans and Zanu
"The Abuja agreement specifically
states that no further invasions will take
place, but what we are seeing here
are more and more people coming to settle
on land which is supposed to be
agro-industrial," said John Gadzikwa, the
managing director at Border
"Of concern is the fact that the District Development Fund, the
army are all actively assisting these settlers to move onto land
should not be designated.
"This is happening at a time when one
would have expected government to be
actively working on growing the export
sector, rather than forcing it to
retreat," he said.
exports rough sawn timber to regional markets of South
Zambia and Mozambique. Overseas it exports pine and board
products to Asia,
Europe and Australia.
Downstream Border supplies the furniture industry
with wood, and the
industry exports value-added products to foreign markets
earning in excess
of a billion dollars in foreign currency a year.
concern to all of us is that government is unaware of the threat, not
foreign currency earnings that the designation poses, but to the
industry as a whole," Gadzikwa said.
"A misplaced fire from the settlers
right now, for example, would burn up
the whole forestry industry in Zimbabwe
as Border Timbers is bordered by
Forestry Commission land and wattle
plantations. This could be cataclysmic
for Zimbabwe," he said.
Timbers would this month be sending a three-man delegation to the
States to assure clients that Zimbabwe's timber industry was not
Competitors from South Africa were reportedly going around the world
all potential clients of the death of the industry in Zimbabwe and
inability of Border Timbers to meet future orders.
The invasion had also
resulted in shareholder Radar Holdings putting a stop
to any new investment
at Border Timbers.
"The Radar board is unwilling to sanction any major
capital investment in
projects where the payback is 15 to 20 years ahead if
it would appear that
Border Timbers is unlikely to be operating at the
current levels in 15 to 20
years time," said Radar Investments group managing
director Chris Schofield.
Heinrich von Pezold, whose company has owned
the other 50% share in Border
Timbers since 1992, said they had decided to
invoke the Germany/Zimbabwe
Investment Protection Agreement to protect their
"We have taken note that our assets are now at risk and have
right to seek arbitration under the protection of the
Investment Protection Agreement," Von Pezold
"Damages that have already happened on the estate have to be
What is obvious however is that Manicaland's economy is
going to be highly
affected by the decline in business at Border Timbers,"
Von Pezold said.
"Businesses dealing with Border are all inter-linked,
and if one goes down
all collapse, there is a domino effect," he
Donors, Government in New Clash
October 19, 2001
Posted to the web October 19,
THE United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), the agency expected to take
a lead in mobilising resources for
Zimbabwe's land reform under the Abuja
agreement, has once again proposed an
alternative approach which in effect
requires Harare to drop the
internationally condemned fast-track policy.
UNDP administrator Mark
Malloch Brown last month wrote to the government
laying out international
expectations before multi-lateral donors will fund
the land reform
The contents of Malloch Brown's letter are not new but they
have poured cold
water on President Mugabe's hopes that the Abuja agreement
international acceptance of his land policy and that donors would
on board waving large cheques.
The indications are that the
UNDP would like the 1998 land donors conference
resolutions dusted off and
tried once more.
UNDP resident representative Victor Angelo in an
interview on Wednesday
confirmed the world body had sent a letter to Foreign
minister Stan Mudenge
as a follow-up to the loosely-worded Abuja
The government responded to the letter on Tuesday but Angelo was
to furnish details of Zimbabwe's response.
"The letter (from
Zimbabwe) is being discussed as we speak," said Angelo.
"I cannot give
you details about the contents but I can say that the
government did not
answer all the issues raised in the letter. It is a
delicate matter at the
moment," he said.
Yesterday, Angelo was locked in marathon meetings with
diplomats from Sadc,
donor countries and G77 members to acquaint them with
the latest diplomatic
initiative to save the situation in
The move is thought necessary as an air of mistrust between
London has started to build up again with Zimbabwe saying Britain
moving to implement the Abuja agreement. The UNDP however says
successful implementation of the agreement hinges on the willingness
Zimbabwe to be flexible and accept recommendations from the
In its letter to government the UNDP said it
wanted to send another
technical team to Zimbabwe to assess the current
agrarian reform under the
fast-track exercise. Angelo said the international
community was not really
aware of what was happening on the ground,
especially regarding the number
of people who have been resettled and their
productivity. "We have to come
up with an assessment of the situation on the
ground," said Angelo.
"We have to find out what is happening on the
farms...We hear 30 000 or 60
000 and some say 100 000 farmers have been
resettled but these are just
numbers - we have to ensure that there is
accurate information," he said.
Angelo said the UNDP had indicated in the
letter that after the assessment
stakeholders - the government, farmers and
donors - had to agree on a
general framework which would then be developed
into a fully-fledged land
reform programme with the support of multi-lateral
Observers said the strategy adopted by the UNDP mirrored the
views of key
Western donors, including the European Union and former colonial
Britain, which had all made it clear that they would not put their
into the current government land policy.
The key donors want a
structured exercise which would be implemented in
stages with results
evaluated. Before they could be involved, sources said,
the donors would want
a proper audit of the government's fast-track scheme,
hence the UNDP's
request to send a technical team.
"The donors cannot just make a leap in
the dark because they have taxpayers'
money to account for," said a Western
Police Crack Down On Newspaper Vendors
October 19, 2001
Posted to the web October 19,
POLICE this week intensified their
arrests of newspaper vendors in the city
centre in a move expected to leave
hundreds of vendors jobless.
The police action will be seen as yet
another ploy by the embattled
government of President Robert Mugabe to gag
the free flow of information
ahead of the presidential election next
While other papers have also been targeted, the Zimbabwe
Independent and the
Standard have been the hardest-hit.
police this week denied any political motive behind the clampdown,
vendors said mostly took place on Fridays, the day the Independent,
other publications, hits the streets.
"It's a clean-up of Harare based on
the city council by-laws," said police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena.
said it was not a deliberate move to drive out newspaper vendors but
it was aimed at all traders including vendors of air-time cards.
police are making contradictory statements as to which laws they are
to enforce. Vendors said a CID officer, a Mr Shumba, told them police
arresting vendors in terms of the Road Traffic Act which did not allow
to obstruct the smooth movement of traffic.
He said this also included
human traffic, making it an offence to sell on
pavements and anywhere else
This contradicted Bvudzijena's statement that "the police
have no problems
with vendors on pavements".
Asked why ZRP moved to
arrest vendors instead of municipal police,
Bvudzijena said they were there
to protect the laws of the country
irrespective of which institution made the
"Municipal police can still arrest but it's us who are supposed to
and protect the laws and prosecute the offenders," he
Police appear to be enforcing the city by-laws selectively because
mealie vendors on Prince Edward St, where newspapers have been
continue to do a brisk trade. Fruit, sweets and cigarette
vendors have not
been affected across the city.
companies have expressed concern at the move, which
they said affected their
Graham Gandari, Publications Distribution's circulation
officer, said the
police clampdown had significantly reduced their
"We have noticed this happens mostly on Fridays. The selection of
the day of
their operations raises a lot of questions," said
"It's like they don't want to see us in the city which is an
situation as we make a living from selling papers". He gave as an
the fate of Tichaona Gwashira, who has made a living from vending in
Street for the past six years.
He said arrested vendors were
made to pay an admission of guilt fine of $100
if arrested in the city or
$200 for those found on intersections.
Gandari said last Friday 15
vendors were arrested and 10 more were arrested
on Wednesday for vending
without a licence and for allegedly blocking
is complicated by the fact that the City Council is not
licences," said Gandari.
He said what surprised him was that when he
approached the City Council, he
was referred to a health
"What do newspapers have to do with health issues?" asked
A spokesperson for the City Council said they were not issuing
licences at the moment except hawkers' licences which forbid vendors
selling in the CBD.
Independent publisher and chief executive
Trevor Ncube said by their action,
the police were affecting the livelihood
of the young people employed as
"This is a very sad
new situation happening as it comes at a time when the
rate of unemployment
is high," said Ncube.
"These are young people trying to earn an honest
day's wage and the police
are preventing them doing so," he
"This is the same police force that is totally incapable of, or
do its job of maintaining law and order in this country but they
for innocent people.
"We think that the police are being
used as an instrument by politicians who
are intolerant of press freedom in
this country. This appears to be the
government's latest weapon of muzzling
the press," he said.
Daily News chief executive Muchadeyi Masunda said
the police's selective
application of the law gave the impression there were
behind the action.
"This is one of the most
ill-advised and ill-conceived moves by the police,"
as much as the police would want to enforce the law, they should do it
human face and also consult other concerned parties if they want to
the law so strictly," he said.
Masunda said one of their vendors was
picked up on Wednesday in Borrowdale
while on his way to deliver papers to
subscribers. He was thrown into cells
at Borrowdale police station until he
paid the required fine.
"Police are using a sledge hammer to swat a fly,"
Financial Gazette publisher and chief executive Elias Rusike
said he could
not comment as he had already sought legal advice on the
"The issue is now in the hands of our lawyers," he
The Daily News
CFU predicts major famine in Zimbabwe
8:30:46 AM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor
the former breadbasket of southern Africa, is about to face a
Maize reserves are expected to run out during
the middle of November, the
Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), has
The CFU Matabeleland regional president, Mac Crawford, said while
was the staple diet of the majority of the population in Zimbabwe
there were reports of shortages in Matabeleland, the Midlands and
The Famine Early Warning System Network warned in its latest
that the country only had 233 000 tonnes of maize as of
this would be depleted by November.
Crawford, the government’s estimate of the country’s
requirement of 200 000
tonnes to avert the famine, is conservative in the
extreme. “I believe that
600 000 tonnes is nearer the mark,” said Crawford.
“This means that the
southern regions in particular will run out of maize in
the latter half of
November. The government, on the other hand, has stated
that the stocks will
last until the end of February, or the beginning of
to the Monthly Food Security Update Summary of 25 September 2001
the Zimbabwe Grain Producers Association, official maize stocks at
metric tonnes as of mid-September, were down by 41 percent from the
level of 393 000 metric tonnes in April.
“At this time of the year, we
see the largest draw-down, 170 000 metric
tonnes a month, on the maize
supplies as there is nothing left in the rural
Dr Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
agreed there will be shortages but said his ministry was unable to pay
maize imported from neighbouring South Africa due to critical
“We also believe that 600 metric tonnes of
tobacco has not been able to
reach the tobacco floors this season because of
the land invasions and this
would have provided the country with much-needed
foreign currency,” he said.
South African traders said they were willing
to export about 100 000 tonnes
to Zimbabwe but would release the supplies
after Zimbabwe had paid.
“We have yet to see evidence of the government
placing any orders into
neighbouring states like South Africa, to draw on its
maize supplies,” said
Crawford. “So far, all it has done is to try to source
maize on the local
market and make the Grain Marketing Board, the sole buyer
and seller of
maize and wheat.
“Of concern to us in particular, is the
southern region of Zimbabwe. Without
the orders having been placed already,
the logistics of getting the required
maize here with the transport system
available, will be impossible. It just
cannot cope with the grain required to
meet the national consumption.”
Sylvester Tsikisayi, the Zimbabwe Farmers
Union director, said his
association was still assessing the food security
situation and would not
say whether or not the country needed immediate
Reasons for the lower than expected production in maize are the
prices offered by the Zimbabwe government for maize in the
resulting in less farmers growing the crop, and the past 18
months of often
violent farm invasions, where farmers have been prevented
from planting, or
have been evicted from their properties.
addition, farmers in communal and small-scale farming areas
production because they could not purchase inputs, while the maize
some areas was negatively affected by poor or excessive rains.
The Daily News
Zimbabwe Defence Industries failing to pay its
10/19/01 8:59:46 AM (GMT +2)
THE Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI), the government’s sole
manufacturer, says it is broke and cannot pay its workers at its small
On Monday, the ZDI gave 50 of its workers one
week to decide whether they
wanted to be retrenched or to have their working
week shortened to three
But the workers, mostly machine
operators based at the company’s Elphida
farm in Domboshava, said there was
no proof that the company was broke as
they were supplying the Zimbabwe
National Army and the Democratic Republic
of Congo with expensive war
The workers said the company was reneging on a collective
agreement to increase their salaries, reached in July with the
Employment Council for the Engineering and Steel
“We make blank cartridges for the army. We have supplied mortar
cartridges, uniforms and food rations to the DRC, yet the company
the DRC and the ZNA are not paying in time but there is no way of
they are telling the truth,” said one worker.
ordered that salaries for the lowest paid machine operators be
hiked from $3
600 to $7 050 but the company has refused to adhere to that
The ZDI general manager, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, could not
for comment on Wednesday.
On Monday the company gave the
workers letters to choose between voluntary
retirement or a three-day working
work. The other option is to let
management apply for exemption from the
“We cannot raise money in the immediate future to comply with the
bargaining agreement. This is not out of choice but the company is
a stage of bankruptcy,” the letter reads in part.
“This must be
clear in everybody’s mind that we do not want to terminate
employment, but that the situation is beyond our control.”
said they had refused the company’s proposals and had returned
given to them to sign.
In 1999, the ZDI fired 44 workers for contravening
the Official Secrets Act
by leaking confidential information about the
company to the Press.
The Daily News
ZCTU warns MPs over price controls
AM (GMT +2)
By Columbus Mavhunga
COLIN Gwiyo, the acting
secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade
Unions (ZCTU), has warned
workers to be wary of politicians seeking to
“politicise” the issue of price
Three Zanu PF MPs, Philip Chiyangwa, Saviour Kasukuwere and
went around factories and shops in Harare last week to check
on whether they
were complying with the new prices gazetted by the
Gwiyo said the MPs should not involve themselves in the
running of industry,
saying he saw no reason for them to visit the
“Workers should be on guard against such conduct by the MPs,” said
“They want to take over firms under dubious means . . . yet
that the firms they have taken over are not
Chiyangwa hit the headlines last year when his former
and leather firm, G and D Shoes, failed to pay its
workers and to service
its debts resulting in the retrenchment of 400
Gwiyo said if the MPs were genuinely keen to keep prices low,
then they must
declare what their firms had done in that regard.
week, the government introduced price controls on bread, maize
margarine, beef, pork, sugar, chicken, soap, salt and fresh
The government said it was cushioning the consumers against
were forming cartels to profiteer.
The Daily News
EU sets sanctions deadline for Zimbabwe
8:54:11 AM (GMT +2)
By Ngoni Chanakira Business
Zimbabwe’s D-Day comes up on 29 October when the European Union
to decide whether or not to slap economic sanctions against
The EU’s Working Group of the Council
met on Tuesday and Wednesday this
week, and said the Zimbabwean crisis would
be debated and decided on 29
Glenys Kinnock, a Member of the
European Parliament representing Wales, said
a resolution on Zimbabwe had now
been prepared for the Joint Parliamentary
She said the
resolution was being “polished up” and would be discussed by
Kinnock said: “The Working Group of the Council
of the European Union met.
We remain hopeful that President Robert Mugabe
will agree to a mission from
the Commonwealth, including British Minister,
“I will continue to call for the implementation of Article 96
29th the onus is now on the European Union.”
calls for full economic sanctions to be slapped on Zimbabwe.
On 6 September,
the EU called for economic sanctions to be imposed on the
the government of causing the economic and political
problems bedevilling the
The sanctions included a travel ban on Mugabe to any EU
freeze on all his assets held in EU countries as well as
the suspension of
economic aid to the country.
Mugabe has denied that
he has any properties overseas.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stan
Mudenge, and the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity in the
President’s Office, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, have accused the EU of trying to
sabotage Zimbabwe through sanctions.
They say the move is meant to topple
Mugabe’s 21-year-old government.
Kinnock said if intensive diplomatic
negotiations between Zimbabwe and the
EU currently taking place did not bear
fruit, drastic action would be taken.
Kinnock said: “The EU will have no
choice but to take a tough stance against
Mugabe, since he will clearly have
violated all tenets of European,
Commonwealth and other international
organisations and should, therefore, be
isolated by the international
Continued violation of the Abuja Agreement will also to be
discussed by the
EU parliamentarians on 29 October.
Mugabe engages Libyan special unit
A CRACK unit of Libyan intelligence officers is in the country to beef
President Robert Mugabe’s security and intelligence system as the
lurches towards the 2002 presidential election, now only five months
the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
Intelligence sources told
the Independent this week that over 20 Libyan
nationals were booked at a
local hotel and could be seen driving around in
government vehicles. They are
understood to be re-training intelligence
personnel and President Mugabe’s
close security unit.
As the presidential poll draws near, Mugabe is wary
over his security in the
event of losing the do-or-die election that pits his
38-year-old Zanu PF
party against the two-year-old opposition Movement for
The Libyans’ role in the election has been
unclear, though suspicions abound
that they could play a crucial role in
perpetuating the reign of Muammar
Gaddafi’s closest ally in the southern
African region if the vote went
“As far as I know, they
are just involved with monitoring and improving the
security of Mugabe who
envies Gaddafi’s intelligence network,” a source
The team will
be in the country up to the time of the presidential election
“There are strong fears that something terrible could befall Mugabe
loses. There is need to ensure his maximum security,” the source
A British paper this week said “hundreds of Libyan troops”, part of
s elite forces, “known for their terror tactics, were being housed
locations scattered across the country”.
Telegraph, quoting intelligence sources, said there was a growing
intelligence officers turning against Mugabe, forcing him to turn
The Libyans were to be issued with Zimbabwean passports
Registrar-General’s office to help Mugabe’s presidential election
the paper said.
Other press reports from South Africa
suggest that Pagad, a Libyan-funded
vigilante group which campaigns against
drug lords on the Cape Flats, would
be unleashed on the white commercial
farmers in a terror campaign.
The development takes place at a time when the
country has mortgaged itself
to Libyans after it sought a US$340 million loan
to purchase fuel.
The Independent reported recently that the Libyans were
going to acquire
major stakes in the country’s two financial institutions and
a major hotel
group in addition to receiving 8 000ha of land for industrial
Zanu PF MP Closes Mine
Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)
Posted to the web October 19, 2001
ZANU PF MP for Mutoko North David Chapfika is defying a
granted by the Ministry of Labour to Ruenya Granite Co in
the company to resuscitate operations at the closed mine
after war veterans
halted operations in April.
Chapfika is understood
to have encouraged the workers to approach the
President's Office sourcing
funds to run the mine.
Ruenya Granite finance director Lynda Scott
yesterday confirmed that
management was being denied entry to the quarry
despite the Ministry of
Labour order granting them the right to commence
operations which ceased on
The attack on the granite mine
was the first such invasion of a non-farm
business by President Robert
"Chapfika is behind the closure of the quarry and is
"We went to the quarry twice after the
order was granted on October 3 but
were still denied entry."
said the closure of the mine had resulted in the multi-million dollar
losing a significant number of customers and exports worth over
million in the past six months.
"For now no-one in the management is
willing to go to that place until law
and order prevails," she
Scott said management had also written to government about how its
been defied by Chapfika and the workers.
"I don't know why
Chapfika is getting involved in a private company," she
said before operations could commence, there was need to take stock
equipment "as we understand 20 000 litres of diesel and several other
of equipment were stolen".
A company vehicle and computers also
went missing during the height of the
skirmishes. Another company vehicle was
commandeered to carry ruling party
supporters to rallies organised by
"We had to pay over $50 000 to repair one of our vehicles
non-licensed drivers," Scott said.
Chapfika yesterday said:
"We are closely following the issue.
"We are continuing to have meetings
with dumped workers as it's a question
of corporate irresponsibility on the
part of the management and we have to
find a workable solution to protect the
welfare of workers."
He denied having a personal interest in the quarry
despite having instructed
workers to write to the President's Office sourcing
money to run the mine.
Chapfika claims that management had plans to move
out to neighbouring
Namibia and start business there.
the alleged relocation plans: "We were the only company
quarries in other countries and operations in Namibia
where one of our
directors, Mr Smith, is temporarily managing operations
started last year
before the closure of Ruenya.
"Smith's involvement in Namibia has got
nothing to do with Ruenya and we as
management have no plans to move out,"
According to the disposal order granted by the Ministry of
its Labour Relations Officer, Helen Sibanda of the Marondera
unlawful job action which commenced on May 12 should "be
forthwith" and operations should start with effect from October
"The employer should be given access to the quarry and start
the 4th of October, 2001 without interference from the eight
disciplined in terms of the code of conduct," wrote Sibanda
authority in favour of Ruenya management.
Scott said an
employer should be allowed to institute disciplinary action
against the eight
employees in terms of the National Employment Council
Bargaining Agreement and code of conduct.
"If the employer is not given
access to the quarry by the employees, dispose
of those employees who
continue to defy this order," Sibanda ruled in the
order settling the
Zim/SA in diplomatic tiff
Friction between South Africa and Zimbabwe, which first surfaced at
September 11 Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit in
intensified this week with a war of words between officials on either
of the Limpopo.
Fuelling the row, high-level sources said, is a
growing perception in
Pretoria that President Mugabe, in retaliation for the
he received in Harare last month, is supporting the Pan
(PAC)’s agenda of land invasions modelled on Zanu PF’s
Despite being a negligible party in electoral terms, the PAC
has been given
red-carpet treatment in Harare and provided extensive state
for its land agenda.
PAC officials, who expressed
support for land invasions in Zimbabwe during a
visit to Harare in August,
are set to return soon for further talks with
their traditional Zanu PF
South African war veterans, reportedly raising funds for
Mugabe’s re-election next year, are also thought to be
backing Harare in its
diplomatic spat with Pretoria.
A meeting is due
this month in South Africa between regional ex-combatants
and the land issue
is expected to feature prominently.
Sources said Mbeki’s robust stance in
regional initiatives over the Zimbabwe
crisis, particularly his encouragement
of meetings with civil society, have
Since the Sadc
taskforce Harare meeting, the already fraught diplomatic
Pretoria and Harare have further deteriorated.
disguising themselves as “analysts” in the official
media, have attacked
Mbeki to undermine his policies, especially on land.
They claim that while
refusing to speak to the opposition in South Africa on
the land issue, he is
only too prepared to meet Zimbabwe’s Movement for
Sources said Mugabe and his advisors resent Mbeki because he has
the revolutionary solidarity stance which Mugabe has used to
isolation. Harare also does not like Pretoria’s meetings with
the MDC, a
party it alleges represents foreign interests.
explain the resuscitation of relations with the PAC which were
after a Cape Town bomb attack in 1993.
Despite energetic efforts by
Pretoria to explain the deportation of illegal
Zimbabwean farm workers as
“routine”, analysts say the move should be seen
in terms of a deteriorating
Harare and Pretoria — albeit indirectly — this week
exchanged fire over the
Zimbabwe, through its propaganda
mouthpieces, claimed South Africa wanted to
sabotage its land reform through
the deportations and threatened to seize
more land to resettle the deportees.
It also said whites were influencing
Mbeki’s government on this matter
despite clear evidence that Northern
Province farmers were helping their
workers to appeal against the move.
South African Home Affairs
director-general Billy Masentlha said in an
interview that it was disturbing
to note officials were associating
themselves with “unfortunate”
“(Zimbabwe’s) Government has been making unfortunate statements
on the basis
of propaganda and rumour,” he said. “Most of the things that
have been said
about this matter are just not true.”
official media reports that 8 000 Zimbabwean farm workers
“slipped” out of
South Africa to avoid deportation were unfounded.
“It’s an absolute lie, a
total fabrication,” he said.
“The fact is the courts have ordered (that)
we should have an out-of-court
settlement and we have given farmers until the
end of this week to argue
their case. Next week we will provide them with a
There are 10 152 Zimbabwean farm workers in South
Africa’s Northern Province
currently working on 94 properties — not 15 000 as
the Zimbabwe state media
has been claiming. The total number of farm workers
in the Northern
Province — including South Africans and other foreigners is —
Despite the widening diplomatic rift, Masentlha denied his
playing tit for tat.
“We are not deporting Zimbabweans
alone. We are deporting illegal immigrants
from South Africa including the
farm workers. How many Mozambicans,
Malawians, Zambians, Nigerians and others
do we deport on a daily basis?” he
Masentlha said South Africa
wants to end the exploitation of what he termed
the Zimbabwe “slave market”
by its farmers while creating jobs for
Zimbabwe fails to take up free satellite facility
From Matthew Takaona in Port Said, EGYPT
ZIMBABWE has failed to
take up an offer by Egypt to use that country’s
satellite facilities for free
to disseminate information worldwide, the
chairman of Egypt’s State
Information Authority, Mr Nabil Osman, said here
told The Herald in an interview that the offer, which was put on
the table in
1999, had still not been taken up.
If taken, Zimbabwe would have a rare
opportunity to disseminate information
on culture and development news to the
rest of the world free of charge, he
Egypt launched Nilesat,
Africa’s first-ever satellite, in 1998. The
satellite, which is located in
orbit seven degrees west, has the capability
to give coverage to 90 percent
of the world.
The satellite is already broadcasting 120 TV channels and
addition to 32 radio channels, said Mr Osman.
He said the
offer was made under African co-operation and was tabled at a
ministers of information in 1999.
The satellite was launched at a cost of
US$42 million ($2, 5 billion).
"Egypt looked at a number of things before
making this free offer.
"The first one was that Africa is always seen
through the eyes of the West
because of the dominance of that media on the
"The second was to fight globalisation through the
preservation of our
"The biggest weapon that this continent
has against capitalism and
globalisation is to preserve and stand proud of
our cultures. We are
swallowed the moment our cultures are
"We can fight through culture. Our offer was to enable
Zimbabwe and other
African countries the opportunity to export their
cultures," said Mr Osman.
Zimbabwe had since the appointment of Professor
Jonathan Moyo as Minister of
State for Information and Publicity taken steps
to preserve and promote its
A law making it mandatory to have
70 percent local content on radio and
television station programmes was put
The promotion of local theatre and drama groups was being
both in the informal sector and schools, with people being
opportunity to go and perform outside the country.
information centre, the second-largest in the world, had also been built
Egypt. It was built at a cost of more than $5 billion.
and the Arab
country was once again inviting African countries to use
Government to allocate land to immigrants
(Strange use of
the word "immigrants" - Ed. B)
From Masvingo Bureau
The Government will
allocate land to the estimated 8 000 Zimbabwe immigrants
ejected out of South
African farms through illegal exits over the weekend,
the Minister of Lands
and Agriculture, Cde Joseph Made, said yesterday.
He said the Government
was also urgently looking into relief food, blankets
and sanitary conditions
for about 2 000 immigrants who are still stranded
along the 260km border
stretch in Beitbridge.
"A major decision has been taken by the Government
to allocate land to all
those who need it among those ejected from South
"They are indeed coming back home under very difficult
circumstances but we
must tap their experience in agriculture and use that
Cde Made told journalists in Masvingo
He said the former South African farm workers would be
according to their districts of origin, hence the need for the
acquire more land to accommodate them.
"These are our
people and we should give them maximum support.
"We are really looking at
their situation more urgently and we have to
acquire more land.
of them are still stranded at the border and we have to move in with
food, blankets and stabilise their situation," said Cde Made.
estimated 8 000 Zimbabwean farm workers moved out of South Africa over
weekend through illegal exit points, hoping to return as soon as
situation in that country calmed down.
They were provided with
transport by their employers who also told them to
return after the
Government’s crackdown on illegal immigrants eases.
Most of the farm
workers had not earned their wages when they were ejected
and are now
scrounging for food handouts.
This happened before the farmers and the
South African Government reached an
out of court settlement, giving the
workers a temporary reprieve.
The South African Government had given a
Sunday deadline for the deportation
of all Zimbabwean immigrants in the
northern province and the farmers took
heed fearing the R25 000 (Z$225 000)
Escalating costs of medical care,drugs...Government control
THE Government has been urged to urgently look
at ways of controlling the
escalating costs of hospitalisation and essential
drugs to protect poor
Several people who spoke to The Herald
on Tuesday expressed disgust at the
increase in hospital fees and drugs,
saying many people were now dying at
home as they could not afford health
The few that could manage paying for health care at lower levels
clinics were only able to pay the fee there, but failed to buy
Some of the people even suggested that the 2002
budget should give priority
to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to
improve the appalling
situation in hospitals.
Others said they would
want the budget to show sensitivity to the health and
social needs of
children and women.
They were reacting to a story carried by The Herald
suffering that poor patients were going through as hospitals
demanding exorbitant deposits before admitting a
Parirenyatwa Hospital, for instance, was now charging $21 000
for an adult
and $10 600 for a child on admission. Private hospitals like The
Clinic, for example, demanded $150 000 upfront and the fee was
Hospitals currently operating on shoe-string budgets
had no choice and
wanted to ensure that those who could afford to pay do
The Department of Social Welfare, which used to cater for some of the
patients, exhausted its budget allocation early this year.
owes Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals more than $40 million and several
millions of dollars to other Government health institutions.
Union for the Public Sector of Zimbabwe yesterday said
quickly move in to control the price of drugs and
Referring to a two-week old baby who was almost
turned away from
Parirenyatwa on Saturday after her parents failed to raise
deposit, NUPSZ secretary-general Mr Pesanai Maza-mbani described
situation as disappointing.
He said it was not fair that innocent
children were being denied their
rights to good health because their parents
could not afford paying the
"What we now see is the
commercialisation of the health sector. This means a
shift from a human
life-serving mission to a money-spinning business entity.
It is shocking that
a hospital bed now costs more than a hotel bed and
breakfast," said Mr
A domestic worker in Harare’s Cranborne area, Ms Bathsheba
not believe it when she received a $50 442,32 bill from
Hospital after her 10-year-old daughter, Chipo, was admitted
from June 6 to
June 26 this year after suffering serious burns.
total figure, $22 320 is hospitalisation fees and the rest was for
procedures performed on her. The bill, however, does not reflect
Ms Jokonya yesterday said that her daughter was
still very ill.
She was planning to take her to her rural home than back
to hospital. She
even failed to take her daughter for check ups, fearing she
would be asked
to pay more money.
"She still needs a lot of care but I
cannot go back to the hospital because
the bill will keep on increasing. I do
not know whether they will accept her
when I have not settled the bill. I am
planning to send her to Chihota on
Saturday because I have no accommodation
here in town," she said.
Chipo is staying with a relative in Chitungwiza.
Her stomach is swelling and
she is in excruciating pain.
Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenya-twa said
Government was concerned with such high costs as evidenced by the move
control the cost of basic commodities, including generic
Reiterating that no patient should be turned away from health
because they cannot afford to pay, Dr Parirenyatwa said he would
visiting some of the hospitals to get a true picture of the situation
He said children under five years, pregnant women and
the elderly above 65
years were liable to free treatment in Government
hospitals from district
Meanwhile, P and O Nedlloyd,
a shipping company with offices in Harare,
recently transported from Malaysia
704 boxes of syringes for two Salvation
consignment was a special donation from the Salvation Army in Malaysia
people living with Aids at Howard Hospital in Chiweshe and
Hospital in Matabeleland South.
P and O Nedlloyd general
manager for Central Africa Mr Andrew Kuster said
his company had offered to
transport the consignment free of charge after
realising the critical need
for such commodities in the country.
"We agreed to bear the cost of the
freight as a gesture of our support to
their humanitarian activities," said
P and O Nedlloyd has been operating in Zimbabwe since February
Fraudulently acquired plots repossessed
THE Government has repossessed land from some senior Zanu-PF officials
civil servants, who had fraudulently allocated themselves more than one
each in Hwange, the Governor of Matabeleland North, Cde Obert Mpofu,
Cde Mpofu said that a special land resettlement
committee he set up after
dissolving the Hwange Land Resettlement Committee
had repossessed the land.
"The irregular allocations slowed the pace of
resettlement but the special
committee is now giving land to people who
deserve it because the original
process had ignored them," Cde Mpofu
The district administrator for Lupane, Mr Isaac Ndebele, is the
the special resettlement committee. Ms Irene Chimwanza, former
administrator for Hwange who chaired the district land
committee that was dissolved, resigned after the land scandal
The Provincial Land Acquisition Task Force unearthed
irregularities in the
allocations of land by the officials in July. The
committee listed 10
beneficiaries who included a member of the Zanu-PF
Politburo, a central
committee member, local government officials and other
Cde Mpofu said people would be
resettled under a unique wildlife
utilisation-based model that was being
worked out by the Department of
Agricultural Technical and Extension Services
in conjunction with the
Department of National Parks and Wildlife
Cde Mpofu said under the model, groups of farmers would be
given land to
engage in wildlife ranching and run safari operations.
Deputy registrar of banks faces trial
THE deputy registrar of banks, financial institutions and the
exchange, Francis Mambo Rwenhamo, allegedly demanded almost $15
both in cash and kind, as an inducement to register a bank for a
Zanu-PF MP, Cde Great Makaya, the High Court heard
Rwenhamo, who was also the chief economist for the then
Ministry of Finance,
is facing trial at the High Court on a charge of
corruption and two other
corruption charges with an alternative of breaching
the Official Secrets
Rwenhamo is alleged to have demanded $1,125
million cash, two 10-tonne
trucks valued at $10 million, a tractor worth $3
million and a twin-cab
truck valued at $600 000, to register Prime Bank which
was being promoted by
But in his defence outline,
Rwenhamo, who is being represented by Advocate
Moses Mtombeni instructed by
Mr Cosmas Mukwesha of Mtombeni, Mukwesha and
Associates, denied having
approached the former MP as alleged.
It is the State’s case against
Rwenhamo that between November 1997 and March
last year, he took advantage of
his position and approached Cde Makaya who
was looking for a licence to
operate the bank.
It is alleged that Rwenhamo indicated that the bank
would only be operated
if Cde Makaya paid the bribe.
As a result, Cde
Makaya allegedly paid $80 000 in cash and surrendered a
To confirm that he was processing the application, Rwenhamo is
have brought the entire file for Prime Bank application to
Kentucky Hotel in
Harare where he met Cde Makaya and showed him a joint
memorandum, which was
being reviewed for approval.
It is also the
State’s case that later, when Cde Makaya was notified of the
cancel his bank’s licence, Rwenhamo claimed that he would be
able to rescue
He later showed Cde Makaya a letter from the Attorney General’s
Metropolitan Bank, contrary to the Official Secrets
Subsequently, Cde Makaya reported the matter to the police and
arrested in a trap after receiving $5 000, according to the
Responding to the allegations, Rwenhamo told Justice Mungwira and
Major Misheck Nyandoro and Mrs Evelyn Shava that during his contact
Makaya, he conducted himself in a professional manner.
denied demanding the inducement as alleged and claimed that he bought
Nissan Hardbody pick-up for $125 000 from a Mr Peter Dimitrijevic on
"Any other arrangements (Cde) Great Makaya is alleging
in respect of the
pick- up truck are not only false but complete
Rwenhamo denied that he went to Kentucky Hotel with a work
file to show Cde
Makaya a joint memorandum.
He also denied showing the
former MP a letter from Metropolitan Bank whose
contents, he said, he was not
even aware of.
In respect of the trap, Rwenhamo said he had no reason to
seek a bribe from
Cde Makaya since the licence had already been
He said the money he received from Cde Makaya was a genuine
loan to be paid
back "but unbeknown to him (Rwenhamo) Great Makaya
deliberately in a
clandestine manner set him up,’’ said his
Rwenhamo further denied standing in the way of Prime Bank in its
to obtain a licence.
GMB scheme needs cooperation
ALL farmers need to borrow to get a crop into the ground yet the banks find
it almost impossible to service smallholders. No bank will support a newly
So the Government is stepping in, lending money through the Grain Marketing
Board, the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and the Farmers Development Trust.
The GMB has just received $5,6 billion for disbursement.
The scheme builds on the lessons of the past. It is obvious that the
Government and the GMB want the money used wisely and want the minimum possible
number of defaulters.
First, farmers have to form groups in order to qualify. This is a
well-known method in many countries to ensure that the better farmers can be
identified quickly. Groups of good farmers are usually very reluctant to allow
the lazy and incompetent to join them since they want to keep their credit
Secondly, groups will be vetted. Here we hope that the GMB will use
whatever help Agritex can give. Agritex officers usually have a pretty good idea
of what is going on in their district and can usually make a good assessment of
whether a farmer will or will not produce a reasonable crop given the expected
rainfall. They also know who seeks and follows advice and who could not really
Thirdly, the loans are not cash. They are the actual inputs of seed and
fertiliser. This solves two problems. The obvious one, but the rarer one, is the
borrower who borrows for inputs but spends the money on other things. He will
not be able to and the grouping of farmers should hinder those who sell their
The more common, but less obvious problem with cash loans, is that the
farmer still has to buy and move his inputs. Sometimes inputs are unavailable,
at least locally.
The GMB will ensure that these are available when needed and ensure that
they are close enough to the farmers for easy transport.
This scheme appears to have been largely adopted from the highly-successful
operations used for several years by Cottco and several of the private
Cottco and a small group of imaginative vegetable wholesalers were derided
when they started lending commercially to communal farmers. After all they had
no real security. Yet their schemes, by following the rules the GMB is now
adopting, have worked well. Shareholders and owners of these firms are happy.
There is nothing political about this. It simply involves finding honest
and hard-working smallholder farmers, trusting them and helping them. Both sides
make good money and everyone is happy.
The one slightly worrying factor is whether the GMB is set up for rapid
decision making and for rapid action. There is less than a month left before the
first farmers should be planting.
This does not give the GMB a lot of time to vet farmer groups and
distribute the first batch of inputs. This is why we hope that the GMB will not
hesitate to call on Agritex and any other body that can help.
And everyone should help. Regardless of what anyone thinks of resettlement,
it has happened and it is essential that it works. Otherwise Zimbabwe will be
short of food.
The imaginative GMB scheme is ambitious but can easily work, so long as
everyone co-operates and does their share.