Thursday 04 October 2007
By Patricia Mpofu
HARARE - Zimbabwe's civil servants have given President Robert Mugabe's
government up to Friday to agree to peg salaries to the breadline or face a
Public school teachers and state doctors have already been on strike for the
past week demanding massive salary increments to cushion them from a severe
economic crisis marked by the world's highest inflation of more than 6 000
percent, rising poverty and shortages of every essential commodity.
The breadline or poverty datum line is estimated at $16.7 million while the
lowest paid government worker earns about $500 000 per month.
Cecilia Alexander-Khowa, president of the Public Service Association (PSA)
that represents government workers outside the uniformed forces, told
ZimOnline that public servants - among the worst paid workers in the
country - felt "betrayed by the government" and were pushing for industrial
Alexander-Khowa said: "The PSA leadership is under pressure from the general
civil service to go on an industrial action because of the insensitiveness
of the employer . . . therefore, the PSA would like to give the employer a
chance up to Friday to conclude negotiations positively or risk a strike
Mariyawanda Nzuwa, chairman of the government's Public Service Commission
that employs all public workers was not immediately available for comment on
Critics say Mugabe has plunged Zimbabwe deeper into economic turmoil by
ordering public institutions and private businesses to stop raising wages
and prices without government approval in a desperate bid to tame runaway
Teachers numbering about 90 000 on Monday abandoned schools and have vowed
not to resume duties until the government hikes salaries to Z$32 million
from the present $2.9 million.
There has been little or no learning at all at most public schools across
the country with many children opting to stay home because there are no
teachers at school.
Public hospitals, barely functional at the best of times because of an acute
shortage of both essential drugs and staff, have been without doctors since
September when state doctors began striking for more pay.
State doctors want salaries hiked to $120 million up from the present $6
million earned by a junior doctor.
Public hospitals that are the source of health services for the majority of
Zimbabweans are turning away patients except only those with
For example, authorities at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, the biggest
referral centre in the country, had a notice posted on the messages board
informing members of the public there were no doctors at the hospital.
The notice read: "Doctors have gone on an indefinite strike with effect from
September 20, 2007. As a result only dire cases will be attended to."
There were long, winding queues of patients at the hospital waiting to be
helped by the skeletal staff that was in attendance yesterday. Some patients
could be seen milling around the hospital grounds while others lay on
benches inside the causality department as they waited for treatment.
Meanwhile, lecturers at state universities have also indicated they plan to
go on strike to press for huge salary increments ranging between 300 and 1
Zimbabwe has since 1999 been grappling with an agonising political and
economic meltdown, critics blame on repression and mismanagement by Mugabe.
Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from Britain, denies
mismanaging the country and instead says the West has sabotaged the economy
as punishment for his seizure of white-owned farms to give to landless
blacks. - ZimOnline
Thursday 04 October 2007
By Thulani Munda
HARARE - Zimbabwe will now launch an ambitious five-year economic recovery
plan in 2009 to allow more time for consultations between the government and
stakeholders although questions abound whether the comatose economy could
hold on for that long.
Launch of the Zimbabwe Economic Development Strategy (ZEDS) has been
postponed three times since August, including last week when an Economic
Development Ministry official told journalists and business leaders gathered
for the event that the government wanted to consult the "political
leadership" before launching the blueprint.
Economic Development Minister Sylvester Nguni told parliamentarians and
provincial governors at the first of the consultative meetings that the
medium-term economic blueprint would be launched in 2009 and run until 2013.
"ZEDS is a five-year medium term strategy, integrating macroeconomic,
structural, sectoral and social considerations of the nation and laying out
a set of wealth creation and poverty reduction measures and strategies.
Zimbabwe should emerge a great, united, strong, democratic and prosperous
nation with a high quality of life for all by the year 2020," the minister
He however admitted that the country's economic situation had reached
alarming levels, forcing his ministry to adopt a participatory approach in
its planning processes.
The government would be consulting all stakeholders over the next three
months to get their input on projects they wanted prioritised.
ZEDS is expected to spearhead the country's economic revival after nearly a
decade of recession triggered by the violent removal of former white farmers
from their properties which led to foreign currency shortages and fuel and
power supply bottlenecks.
Over the past 17 years, Zimbabwe has come up with no less than seven
These include the International Monetary Fund-sanctioned Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme in 1990, Vision 2020, Zimbabwe Programme For Economic
and Social Transformation in 1998, the Millennium Economic Recovery Plan in
2001, the National Economic Recovery Plan of 2003, the 10-Point Plan and
last year's much-hyped National Economic Development Priority Programme
Launched with great excitement in April 2006, the NEDPP was the latest
blueprint touted by the government as the panacea to the country's economic
At the time of the NEDPP launch, the government claimed that there was
strong private sector participation in the programme, then seen as the
answer to the problems of hyperinflation, unstable currency and low foreign
The country has been operating without an economic blueprint since the end
of the NEDPP, which was supposed to be a short-term stabilisation programme
that sought to restore economic stability through the implementation of
quick-win strategies in the last six months of 2006.
Permanent secretary for economic development Judith Katerere said teams of
experts had been appointed to lead various thematic groups as part of the
"The ZEDS document will be formulated through a broad-based and extensive
nationwide consultative and participatory process by all key stakeholders
i.e government, civil society, private sector and UN agencies and other
development partners," she said.
The thematic sectors include infrastructure development, transport and
communications, HIV and AIDS, social services delivery, macroeconomic
stabilisation and growth and agriculture, rural development and
"These are short-term stabilisation measures that are being worked on to
deal with the current economic problems," she said.
She sought to downplay the worries about implications of another delay in
having a comprehensive stabilisation programme at a time when economic
conditions are very fluid and emanding urgent action.
"In the meantime, medium term planning of the economy is itself a key
solution to the recurrent economic crisis to deal with the declining
economy, declining savings and investment, macro-economic instability
characterised by hyperinflation, negative real interest rates and an
The country's Gross Domestic Product is estimated to have contracted by
between 30 percent and 40 percent since 2000 while inflation is still the
highest in the world at nearly 6 600 percent and a foreign exchange crisis
has led to acute shortages of food, fuel and electricity.
The legislators accused the government of paying lip service to previous
consultations, charging that nobody would take the Harare authorities
seriously as they embark on the three-month exercise.
"Zimbabwe is not Harare, Zimbabwe is not Bulawayo. Zimbabwe is Dande and
Manjola. Zimbabwe is not in hotels and conference centres. Let's go where
Zimbabwe is to look at children walking long distances on foot to school. We
must see them walking," Matabeleland South provincial governor Angeline
Masuku challenged Nguni. - ZimOnline
Thursday 04 October 2007
By Hendricks Chizhanje
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government on Wednesday said Britain had no right to
criticize the country's human rights record as the former colonial power had
committed worse crimes against the southern Africa nation in the past.
Harare was reacting to reports by the British Press suggesting Premier
Gordon Brown may have lost his campaign to prevent President Robert Mugabe
from attending a Europe-Africa summit in Portugal in December and may
instead push for the summit to discuss the worsening human rights situation
Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said Harare would instead push to
have Britain listed on the agenda of the European Union (EU)-Africa summit
over its gross human rights violations against Zimbabweans during colonial
"It (human rights violations) is none of his (Brown) business. Britain has
committed several human rights violations, which we can enumerate. Britain
or any EU member should look at their own backyard first," said Ndlovu,
among the hawks in Mugabe's government.
Brown has indicated he will boycott the Lisbon summit of Mugabe is invited
but it is still unclear whether may send a lower-level delegation to the
Reports from Europe yesterday suggested that Portugal might invite Mugabe
despite an EU travel ban on the Zimbabwean leader. The reports also
suggested that a proposal last week by Brown for the EU to appoint a special
envoy to Zimbabwe had received lukewarm response and was likely to flop.
Ndlovu said instead of Harare being censured for human rights violations it
is Britain that should be hauled over the coals at the Portugal summit for
advocating the imposition of targeted sanctions on Mugabe and senior
government officials that were hurting ordinary people.
"The worst human rights violation is to deprive people of basic commodities
through sanctions imposed by Britain. Britain should be on the agenda for
making the people suffer," Ndlovu said.
Relations between Harare and London have been strained since 2000 after
Mugabe sanctioned the violent seizure of white-owned farms for
redistribution to landless blacks.
Mugabe, 83 and in power since the country's independence from Britain 27
years ago, accuses London of leading an international vilification campaign
against his government aimed at ousting it from power. Britain denies the
charge. - ZimOnline
October 4, 2007
BY CHENGE MAHOMVA | WAWONA
I wish that the conflict in Zimbabwe would be given the advantage of being
labeled "The Zimbabwean Genocide." Perhaps then this country would meet the
criteria for sustained international outcry and a cavalry of righteous
student groups armed with colored armbands (or, at the very least, ribbons).
Maybe then the struggle for life that ordinary Zimbabwean experiences would
be noted and addressed.
Talking to some students here, I get the impression that some feel genocide
is synonymous with blood-drenched violence and the presence of two distinct
groups of "good people" and "bad people." To understand the situation in
Zimbabwe, though, one has to step away from that notion. I want to make it
clear here though, that I am not challenging the atrocities of or trying to
take anything away from , other genocides that have been marked by extreme
Zimbabwe has its own silent unconventional genocide. Firstly, there are no
machetes or AK47s being used to inflict extreme violence. The weapon of
choice is starvation. It's as though the hunger pains of the Zimbabwean
citizenry are used against it to maintain submissive behavior towards the
Though starvation seems like an unlikely tool, it is painfully effective. It
preoccupies the Zimbabwean mind with a single basic thought: "Where will I
get my next meal?" The urgency and potency of this survivalist thought
leaves little room for any ideas of revolution or the overthrowing the
Shopping for basic food in Zimbabwe has become a physically and mentally
draining black market affair in which the wheelers and dealers are everyone
from grandmothers to children. In 2005, legislation was passed that made
vending (selling produce on the roadsides to other civilians) illegal. If
you have any concept of Africa, you will know that vending in marketplaces
and along roadsides is like an outdoor version of Macy's. Only this time,
the goods range from sizzling roasted maize to Muthis (medicine) made from a
variety of smelly earthy items. You would also understand that it is these
breezy shopping malls that used to financially support a large percentage of
Zimbabweans. But, in more recent times, the high unemployment rate has
created a new generation of desperately entrepreneurial citizens, creatively
adapting to the every changing law.
The illegal method of shopping goes as follows:
1. As a customer you would remove your cap from your head and turn it over
your head as if you were fanning the top. This is a signal that you are
looking to buy goods - different vendors require different signals from
2. Once you and your vendor have made contact you would hand over a
handkerchief filled with a crisp Z$200, 000 bill. At least the Zimbabwean
government understands that hyperinflation can result in people carrying
brief cases of money or bulky pockets. This year they introduced a new
Z$200, 000 bill.
3. The vendor will inconspicuously sneeze, accept the handkerchief and
4. Later the vendor will return and place at your feet a bulky newspaper
bundle filled with the illicit goods - five tomatoes.
There is a more legal way to shop, of course, but it has its own dilemmas
and is equally draining.
That process would entail:
1. Waking up you and your child up at a ludicrously early time in order to
start your long walk to a grocery store.
2. On the trek, in loving, motherly coos and ahhs, you would fill your child's
head with bewildering stories of mythical beings. Your child's favorite
story would be of the long rectangular vehicle that would pick people up at
one destination and drop them off very close to their next destination. The
fuel crisis in Zimbabwe is so bad that there is no longer enough fuel to
maintain a dedicated bus service. Buses in Zimbabwe are rare and riding one
within the city is a luxury that only the lucky experience.
3. Upon arriving at the supermarket you would walk up an aisle and notice
one strikingly common feature - it's empty. In a bid to reduce
hyperinflation, legislature was passed in 2007 that forced all merchants to
sell certain goods at less than 50 percent of their value.
Which merchants want to sell goods at an automatic loss? None.
Which merchants are still producing goods? Very few.
So what is available to buy in the majority of supermarkets? Close to
Hyperinflation adds to the insane nature of existence in Zimbabwe, and it is
not uncommon that prices could change twice in one day. I've woken up and
bought bread for Z$4300 in the morning and then Z$5000 in the evening. One
new sick twist to this lunacy is that you can now have the money to buy
goods but there are simply no goods to buy.
This concept of starvation being used as a tool may seem new to you, but it
is a weapon that has been used before in other African countries. It's as
though every morning the question a Zimbabwean asks is, "Do I spend my time
trying to find food or trying to start a revolution?" Very few choose the
The second perplexing feature to the Zimbabwean situation comes into play
when we ask - who are the "good people" and the "bad people?" It's difficult
to answer because the Zimbabwean population isn't divided by jarring racial,
cultural or religious lines. The majority of Zimbabweans suffer communally
under the leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic
Front. Perhaps the best way to describe this is to consider Zimbabwe to be a
battle between the "haves," the leaders in government and their allies, and
the "have nots," the rest of the citizenry. While the majority of citizens
struggle to shop daily, it's not uncommon for the ministers to shop in South
Africa, the neighboring blossoming country. It's that classic African double
standard where the leaders make the bed and force the citizens to sleep in
I have purposefully given a general idea of the current situation, in the
hope that you will join me for the rest of the semester in discovering more
about my country. If genocide is correctly defined as the deliberate mass
killing of a specific group do you think Zimbabwe meets the criteria? I know
where I stand.
Chenge is a first-year. You can reach her at email@example.com.
By Patience Rusere
03 October 2007
The Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a broad opposition coalition, said Wednesday
that it will engage the ruling party as well as the political opposition to
express its misgivings about the crisis resolution process mediated by South
African President Thabo Mbeki and a constitutional amendment parliament
recently passed with bipartisan support.
The civic group's general council in Harare to discuss where civil society
stands in the evolving political situation. Save Zimbabwe spokesman Pastor
Ray Motsi, who chaired the meeting, said the group intends to hold a
"national people's convention" so that its members can decide how they wish
to proceed in the months ahead.
Motsi said the possibility of launching a new political party was raised.
The country is headed for local, general and presidential elections slated
for March 2008.
But Motsi dismissed reports members of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign were
calling for the expulsion of the Movement for Democratic Change from their
National Constitutional Assembly Director Ernest Mudzengi, whose group has
sharply criticized the MDC for backing the constitutional amendment, told
reporter Patience Rusere that no major decisions would be made without
By Blessing Zulu & Carole Gombakomba
03 October 2007
Zimbabwe's Ministry of Economic Development is coming up with a new strategy
to rescue the economy, and hoping to wrest policy-making power back from the
Joint Operations Command, a military-led committee, and various ad hoc task
Ministry Permanent Secretary Judith Kateera told parliamentarians, governors
and traditional chiefs Wednesday that the new five-year economic development
strategy aims to reduce poverty and bring marginalized groups into the
But opposition members and economists voiced skepticism the policy can
Finance and economic affairs spokesman Tapiwa Mashakada of the Movement for
Democratic Change faction of Morgan Tsvangirai said Harare is great at
issuing high-sounding economic blueprints but not very good at bringing them
Sources in the economics ministry said the Joint Operations Command, which
unites the military, the Central Intelligence Organization and other
security forces, opposes the plan, preferring more populist measures like
the price-cutting drive launched several months ago with disastrous effects
as store shelves were emptied.
But the deepening crisis and regional pressure have weakened its hand,
sources said. The Southern African Development Community has asked for an
economic plan so it can decide how best to help economically while promoting
a political solution.
Economic Development Minister Sylvester Nguni told reporter Blessing Zulu of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the plan is currently being formulated.
Economist Eric Bloch said no turnaround is possible without taking painful
measures, urging Harare to stop blaming everyone but itself for the present
Meanwhile, an "indigenization" and empowerment bill that would allow the
government to take a 51% stake in all white-owned business awaits only the
signature of President Robert Mugabe to become the law of the land, despite
warnings it is a mistake.
Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Minister Paul Mangwana said any
white Zimbabwean who owns a business, even if it was established after
independence in 1980, must prove that he or she is indigenous and was
victimized by colonialism.
Critics of the legislation, tabled in June, say it has moved at a
"dangerously fast pace."
Opposition economics spokesman Mashakada told reporter Carole Gombakomba
that the "indigenization" legislation will deal a fatal blow to investor
Economist John Robertson said the opposition's failure to effectively oppose
the bill made it easy for the ruling party to ram it through both houses of
The ruling party wields a two-thirds majority in the lower house.
'There is something terribly wrong and sick in this society, there is a
cancer that has to be removed. And only you can do that.'
"Bash them," the highest authority in the land told the forces of law and
order - and that is what they are doing. Meet one of their victims: she is a
widowed grandmother in her early fifties, without any political ambitions.
She is solely preoccupied with feeding and keeping her family alive. Some
weeks ago she was about to board a commuter bus in town to go back to her
high-density suburb when the police was chasing some NCA members. Since she
was talking to one of them she was detained like the rest. At the central
police station they were taken to a secluded spot and systematically,
cruelly beaten up. She passed out and woke up in hospital. She underwent an
operation and, though now back home, is still not fully recovered. She
hobbles about her house and yard, but has not ventured any further yet.
This was not just a freak accident or the result of some "over-enthusiasm".
This revealed the attitude of the authorities towards the common people.
Anyone is a potential enemy. They beat them first and ask questions later.
They have no respect for the people, no concern for their welfare, no sense
of responsibility for the common good. Even after almost three decades they
have not unlearned the violence and aggression that became ingrained habits
in the bush war, instead they are passing them on to the new generation.
We are told that there are some quite "decent" people in the ruling party
who would never do a thing like that. Yes, but they let others do it in
their name. If they are really so "decent" then they should distance
themselves from such inhumanity, go and apologize to this grandmother who
may be a fellow church member, and pay compensation (not that money can
really make up for the deep humiliation and suffered!).
The Catholic Bishops are well aware of the situation: "In Zimbabwe today,
there are Christians on all sides of the conflict; and there are many
Christians sitting on the fence..They are all baptised, sit and pray and
sing together in the same church.While the next day, outside the church, a
few steps away, Christian state agents, policemen and soldiers assault and
beat peaceful, unarmed demonstrators and torture detainees. This is the
unacceptable reality on the ground, which shows much disrespect for human
life and falls far below the dignity of both the perpetrator and the victim"
(ZCBC, Easter Pastoral Letter, 'God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed', n. 3).
There is a fundamental flaw in our republic, some basic fault of design. We
need to go back to the drawing board. For the State "the common good of its
people is the whole meaning of its existence," the Bishops said on the eve
of Independence 1980. The primacy of the common good over all other
considerations of power and sectional interests has never been realised in
Things went wrong right at the start. "Soon after Independence, the power
and wealth of the tiny white Rhodesian elite was appropriated by an equally
exclusive black elite, some of whom have governed the country for the past
27 years through political patronage. Black Zimbabweans today fight for the
same basic rights they fought for during the liberation struggle" (ZCBC,
Easter 2007, n.18).
Sometimes we see on ZTV historical film clips of Rhodesian policemen with
Alsatians chasing and beating Blacks. Ask that grandmother whether she sees
any difference between being beaten by a Rhodesian or a Zimbabwean
"We call on those who are responsible for the current crisis in our country
to repent and listen to the cry of their citizens" (ZCBC, Easter 2007, n.
26). Repentance means a change of heart, a complete turn-around, a new way
of thinking and acting.
We need a new constitution which spells out human rights and gives courts
the authority to enforce them, and stops the abuse of power by never giving
anyone unlimited power. But even more is needed: a new attitude towards our
fellow citizens, respect for their dignity as persons, as human beings
'created in the image of God'.
Was not this what so deeply humiliated the people as owners of the land that
they were not given this respect by the 'settlers'? Was not this what
exasperated them to such an extent that they opted for armed resistance? And
what they craved has still not been achieved if you ask that woman in her
Those "responsible for the current crisis in our country" will of course try
to justify themselves by blaming Britain, the western powers, 'imperialists
and neo-colonialists' and their alleged interference in our economy (e.g. "sanctions").
We can only say to them: please grow up, become real, don't lie to
yourselves and us. If police are cruelly beating up harmless passers-by (or
even democratic activists) as a matter of intimidation and terror, that has
nothing to do with foreign "imperialism". This is your responsibility and
nobody else's. - Oskar Wermter SJ
."clearly delusional" say analysts
Zimbabwe needs a staggering R1.43 billion this year alone to feed three
million starving people, as the disastrous effects of Zanu (PF)'s insane
price war policies begin to emerge.
This comes amid Zimbabwe's worst foreign currency crisis and reports that
the government has decided to introduce an ambitious new economic programme
focusing on increased agricultural production.
Under the proposed economic recovery programme, unveiled by Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono on Monday, government has introduced a raft of
incentives, including paying farmers in foreign currency to stimulate
In the past, government has attempted using threats of repossessing farms
seized from whites from unproductive new black farmers. But faced with an
election next year, government is now dangling a carrot of US$200 per ton
for maize delivered to the GMB. Similar incentives have been introduced for
wheat, soya beans and sugar bean farmers.
Gono said about 100,000ha of land would be put under irrigation for maize
production and was expected to yield about 400,000 tons.
He said he expected basic commodities to be full in the shops again in three
to four weeks. Analysts have described Gono's projections as "clearly
The programme boasts it will create over 1 million jobs. But bankers said
the figures given were "optimistic but highly unreliable" because the
country was facing a very serious crisis.
A senior banking analyst said radical policy changes were needed to arrest
the economic meltdown, and prospects of recovery over the remainder of 2007
remained bleak, aggravated by a plethora of challenges.
"It is inescapable that Zimbabwe will, over the next 12 months, face an
acute cereal deficit, closure of which requires at least US$300 million," he
said. - Chief Reporter
The stand off between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions on
the one hand and civic groups on the other, has led to serious manoeuvres
towards establishing a new political party, The Zimbabwean can reveal.
A section of the MDC leadership opposed to party president Morgan Tsvangirai's
position of supporting the bill is understood to have started deliberating
with civic society leaders over the possibility of forming a new political
Senior officials within Tsvangirai's party say the contentious issue of
adopting the amendment and concurring with Zanu (PF) was not adequately
solved by the time it passed through parliament on the 18th of last month.
"There was serious debate and it appeared the majority of party leaders were
opposed to Tsvangirai's position - which him and Tendai Biti only seemed to
appreciate," a source said. "We went to parliament and voted for it simply
because it had been adopted as the party position, but some of us were
totally opposed to it. It is true our colleagues in civil society approached
us and suggested the formation of another party, but it has not gone far."
This paper has it on good authority that Tsvangirai faced a torrid time
persuading party leaders to support the amendment. The leadership held a
fiery meeting at its headquarters, Harvest House, that lasted close to three
hours before MPs went to the house of assembly.
Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa this week confirmed efforts to establish a
Third Force but tried to downplay the role of members from his party.
"People have the right to form political parties, including those in civil
society but its not easy particularly now when we should be focussed on
ending the crisis in this country. Any attempts at giving birth to another
formation or party outside of the people's movement, the MDC, will be
futile," he said. - Itai Dzamara
Lack of basics highlights economic collapse
HARARE - People across the country woke up this weekend to face the hard
reality of a hike in the price of bread - a standard loaf now sells at
Z$200,000, up from Z$73,000.
Industry and International Trade minister Obert Mpofu, who also chairs the
Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation, slammed the
increase, indicating he would order a reversal of the price immediately.
Mpofu said government had recently acceded to the bakers' demands to
increase the price from Z$30,000 to Z$73,000 and the latest hike was
unwarranted and illegal.
"It's unfortunate they have chosen not to associate my ministry in the
decision. That increase is mischievous and we won't allow it," Mpofu said,
adding the official price of bread remained at Z$73,000.
Seven years ago, shortly before the country's inflation began to rise, a
loaf of white bread cost Z$5.10.
The chain of price hikes began when the government increased the price at
which it buys wheat from farmers. Last week, the government increased the
wheat producer price from Z$217,933 to Z$42m per tonne, claiming the move
was aimed at bringing back viability to wheat farmers.
The chair of the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe Vincent Mangoma
said that since Friday, millers had put up the price of flour sold to bakers
by 868 per cent. Bakers were simply passing the increase on to consumers.
Mpofu's Taskforce had not responded to an appeal from the National Bakers
Association for an increase in the price of bread, he said.
"In the absence of that response, bakers have resolved to effect the
Z$200,000 price. If the government refuses to increase the price, most
bakeries will close and thousands of workers would have to be retrenched. It's
a life and death issue," he said.
A regime of rigorously policed price controls has failed to check inflation,
as manufacturers stopped producing goods at prices that were not viable, and
the black market took over the supply of most basic commodities.
To dodge price controls, bakers altered the baking process - sometimes
adding a few sesame seeds to the crust - to make loaves 'fancy bread', which
was not covered by price laws.
Supplies of locally grown winter wheat were forecast to be 85,000 tonnes
this year, a third down on last year's output. Government is also failing to
pay for 32,000 tonnes of imported wheat that has been docked at the
Mozambique port of Beira for the past two months.
Finance minister Samuel Mumbengegwi complained earlier this month that
farmers had only ploughed a quarter of the 78,000ha for wheat growing
expected by the government.
The seizure of many of the country's once thriving commercial farms has been
listed by the United Nations as a major factor in the famine affecting about
a quarter of Zimbabwe's 12m people.
Before the seizures, the farmers - most of them white - regularly produced
400,000 tonnes of wheat a year.
The government's failure to pay neighbouring countries for imports of
electricity is also worsening the already small winter wheat crop, according
to an economist for the Commercial Farmers' Union.
Electricity supply by the state-run power utility was down to 30 per cent of
capacity, he said.
"There is no power for irrigation on the farms," he said. "If nothing is
done to augment the supply, this will affect the performance of winter
BY CHIEF REPORTER
HEADLANDS - Zimbabwe's few remaining white farmers have defied a government
deadline for them to leave their land by Monday midnight, with many finding
a frail hope of reprieve in a pending court ruling.
Only a handful of the 220 farmers now liable for eviction under President
Robert Mugabe's land-seizure laws said they expected imminent arrest,
despite the threat of a two-year prison sentence for remaining in their
Human rights groups said one white farmer was beaten by squatters on his
farm in central Zimbabwe on Monday morning, but did not release further
In the absence of Mugabe, who retuned from New York from the UN General
Assembly Monday, government officials have been giving mixed messages on
what action the farmers can expect.
Joseph Msika, the vice-president, summoned Defence Forces commander
Constantine Chiwenga last week to implore him to halt any further farm
seizures especially by troops.
Special Affairs minister responsible for Land Reform Didymus Mutasa openly
ignored Msika by insisting that white farmers who have been ordered to leave
should vacate the farms or risk arrest
"All those defying the orders will be arrested and dealt with by police,"
Mutasa said Monday. "It is fairly straightforward as far as I am concerned."
The orders followed legislation that came into force through a
Constitutional Amendment to speed up the land-grabbing program. A 45-day
notice to stop work was given to 220 of the 400 or so remaining farmers out
of Zimbabwe's formerly 4,500 white farmers. They were given another 45 days
to leave their land, which expired on October 1.
Hundreds of farmers defied the first deadline by continuing to farm, but 50
have been summoned to the courts.
The High Court reserved judgement last week in a lengthy court battle
involving Charles Lock, a white farmer in Headlands, who is arguing that a
senior army official, Brigadier General Mujaji, could not seize his farm
because he had already ceded two thirds of his property for resettlement. He
has five court orders stating he should stay. But still he has been told to
leave with virtually nothing.
Justice Charles Hungwe is set to hand down judgement in the matter this
Justice for Agriculture officials said this week that some farmers had
already been evicted by government thugs, despite being protected by law.
"All we're trying to do is to establish our rights within the law. If the
government is not prepared to respect those rights, it will only highlight
its illegality," said a JAG spokesman.
Beatrice Mtetwa, president of the Zimbabwe Bar Association, said she doubted
whether the rule of law would prevail on the farmers' side.
According to one independent estimate, Zimbabwean and other banks and
financial institutions stand to lose nearly £2bn in loans to evicted
Mugabe says his land reform programme is a necessary righting of historical
wrongs, whereby British colonisers seized 90 percent of Zimbabwe's most
productive land. But with the president's cronies primarily standing to gain
from the programme, Zimbabwe's opposition politicians, and many poor
Zimbabweans, describe it as theft.
Agricultural output has been halved by the seven-year crisis, compounding
the effects of a recent drought in the south.
By the end of the year, the UN world food programme predicts that more than
six million Zimbabweans will be on food aid.
"Land reform is important, but is secondary to feeding the country," said
Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic
ZIMTA joins strike
HARARE - Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere, a key ally of President
Robert Mugabe, has been asked to resign by teachers union leaders as weeks
of protests by state educators intensified across the country.
A go-slow led by teachers demanding wage increases turned into a full-scale
strike two weeks ago. The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), which
represents 55,000 secondary and primary school teachers, has now joined the
strike, saying the demands of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ) were resonating with its membership.
PTUZ Secretary General Raymond Majongwe requested Chigwedere to step down.
"If Chigwedere cannot take care of teachers, then he must step down. He has
no business being in office," Majongwe told The Zimbabwean. A communication
to this effect was sent to the minister but there had been no reply.
Teachers have a base salary of Z$2m, the equivalent of US$5 a month.
Teachers have shot down a 100 percent salary hike offered by the government
and have said they will settle for nothing less than Z$15m, plus a Z$5.2m
housing allowance and Z$4m transport allowance.
"We feel sad for the students who have to go without classes.but it is the
government that is to blame," said Majongwe. "The government has the express
responsibility of ending this strike if it can pay teachers a reasonable
salary. It is part of its terms of governance to cater for civil servants,
teachers included, but it has dismally failed so far.
We.welcome ZIMTA, who have finally seen that negotiations with this
government do not work."
The strike is posing a stiff political challenge to President Mugabe -
himself a teacher by profession - six months ahead of Zimbabwe's general
MUTARE - State security agents on Friday night disrupted a Zimrights public
meeting, claiming the participants were attacking President Robert Mugabe.
Key speakers included outspoken former Zanu (PF) secretary-general Edgar
'Twoboy' Tekere and Catholic Bishop Patrick Mutume.
The topic under discussion was, 'Are the 2008 elections a panacea to the
crisis in Zimbabwe?'
According to sources, CIO agents and police stopped the meeting as Tekere
was criticising the MDC for joining hands with Zanu (PF) on the 18th
"He reminded people of the Matabeleland massacres, the Rashiwe Guzha
disappearance, and the severe beatings of MDC official Grace Kwinje and
other top leaders such as Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa and Sekai
Holland at the hands of Zanu (PF)," said a participant.
Both Tekere and Mutume were unavailable for a comment when CAJ News called
on Saturday. Police refused to comment on the matter. About 150 people had
turned up for the
- CAJ News
We welcome the news of further agreement between The Movement for
Democratic Change and Zanu (PF) reportedly brokered by the South African
mediators in Kariba at the weekend.
However, the concessions that appear to have been wrung from the Zanu (PF)
negotiators during Mugabe's absence at the United Nations need to be seen in
order to be believed.
For far too long now, and at unspeakable cost to our own and future
generations, Zimbabweans have seen Mugabe "indicate right and turn left". He
has unashamedly lied at so many public forums - national, regional and
international - on so many occasions that it is extremely difficult for us
to believe him now.
However, we welcome any progress and will continue to hope against all odds
that somehow a resolution to our nightmare will be found.
We salute all the participants for their commitment to the process and pray
that now, with the stakes so very high for so many innocent people, they
will at last be convicted of the need to put the country and people of
Zimbabwe first. May they put aside all selfish ambition and do the right
thing. It is never too late for that.
There is one aspect of the entire mediation process that is disturbing,
however. We would like to appeal to the mediators, yet again, to be more
inclusive in their approach. This appeal has been made to Thabo Mbeki on
numerous occasions, but has fallen on deaf ears.
The people of Zimbabwe need to be involved in the negotiations. This is our
future that is being settled. Our very lives are at stake here, and the
lives of our children. At the very least we should receive regular,
official, progress reports - preferably from Mbeki himself.
Many Zimbabweans feel that neither the ruling party nor the main opposition
fully represents their interests adequately. Hence the rise during the past
decade of a vigorous and diverse civil society, that has amply demonstrated
its credentials, its capabilities and its commitment to the welfare of the
They MUST be involved. Please.
Standfirst: Britain has at hand at least one tool to single-handedly bring
Mugabe to heel. It is to forbid financial transfers from Britain to
BY WILLIAM SAUNDERSON-MEYER
The British government seems to have lost the plot over Zimbabwe. Britain
has to decide whether it wants to parade on the moral high ground or whether
it wants to help to restore democracy to that blighted, sad little country.
To refuse to attend the European Union African summit if President Robert
Mugabe attends, may make British Prime Minister Gordon Brown feel virtuous,
but it does less than nothing to lance the pus-filled sore of the Zimbabwean
despot's rule. If he wants to achieve the latter, Britain has to engage with
Zimbabwe, no matter how unpleasant the prospect.
First prize would be that Britain's engagement with Zimbabwe were similar to
the Iraqi invasion. Goodness knows, Robert Gabriel Mugabe deserves a
peremptory regime change as much as Saddam Hussein did. Given Britain's
faltering Iraqi adventure and Zimbabwe's lack of oil, such a robust
intervention is unfortunately not going to happen.
Instead Britain's contribution to solving the Zimbabwe problem has been a
lot of hot air and a limited programme of travel and financial sanctions
aimed at Zanu (PF )politicians. All that this has achieved is to force
Mugabe to jet to Malaysia for recreational shopping, instead of Harrods, and
for children of the elite to go to South Africa instead of the United States
or Australia for their education.
The ineffective British policy of snubbing Mugabe has also had the perverse
effect of giving African politicians an excuse - rallying against what is
perceived as neo-colonial interference - to support Mugabe, for once, on an
issue of principle. And there is a point of principle here: were attendance
at European Union, United Nations, or African Union gatherings to be
restricted to those with unimpeachable democratic credentials, there would
be a lot of empty seats. To start with, most African countries, not only
Zimbabwe, would be excluded.
The Lisbon meeting would be the first in seven years. Plans for an EU-Africa
summit in 2003 were put on hold after Britain and other EU states refused to
attend if Mugabe did, because of his record of rights abuses and the rigging
Four years have passed, the misery in Zimbabwe has increased exponentially,
and Mugabe remains as entrenched as ever. Since the tactic of isolating
Mugabe has failed, it is time to try something different: either use a
bigger stick or dig around for some carrots.
Britain has at hand at least one tool to single-handedly bring Mugabe to
heel. It is to forbid financial transfers from Britain to Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean government is depends on hard currency remittances of around
US$2bn a year from Zimbabweans abroad to keep afloat. There are at least
half a million Zimbabweans in the UK and to close down this critical support
conduit would bring Mugabe to his knees in weeks rather than months.
Admittedly, this would also have a devastating but at least short-term
effect on the thousands of families that rely on the remittances to survive.
On the other hand, the British, Commonwealth and European initiatives on
Zimbabwe have done nothing more than extend the pain over half a dozen years
without bringing an end to Mugabe's tyranny any closer.
It might have two secondary politically useful effects. Firstly, it would
increase the flow of Zimbabwean refugees to South Africa and by putting
frightening pressure on SA's social infrastructure it might at last compel
President Thabo Mbeki to put pressure on Mugabe. Secondly, those Zimbabweans
unable to leave the country might stiffen their resistance to Mugabe.
There is a moderate alternative. Support Mbeki in his diplomatic initiative,
however flawed it might be, and engage directly with Mugabe.
The vitriol that Mugabe directs towards Britain is at least partly because
he is deep in his heart an Anglophile who has been scorned. Whatever Brown
does - whether it to be the carrot or stick - the new prime minister has the
opportunity of breaking from the failed policies of his predecessor. -
Jaundiced Eye column, first published in The Star.
Zimbabweans in Harare continued during this past week to roam the streets in
search of basic commodities. There was no sign of any slight improvement -
despite assurances by the Zanu (PF) regime that 1000 tonnes of wheat arrived
in the country more than a week ago.
Minister of several things from land reform to security, and lately food
availability, Didymus Mutasa came out on national television promising that
the country would be getting wheat deliveries "soon". A week later, the
state-controlled media outlets told us that 1000 tonnes of wheat had arrived
in the country - Monday of last week.
Unless the regime wants us to believe that a full week is not enough for
millers to process the wheat and have flour available on the market, all
these claims were pure lies.
This is not surprising. The chief commander, Robert himself, was recently
repeating his lies and hypocrisy at the highest level of international
diplomacy, the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Something is
really wrong with Mugabe because for him to choke with emotion and fight a
cold war with George Bush as if all is well in his Zimbabwe, could only take
another lunatic to understand.
Mugabe bragged about how he struggled, if not "died" for this country and
boasted that Ian Smith is here, farming. Some silly jokes are hardly funny!
How can he expect the Smith mantra to sell when he knows the whole world is
aware of the murder and brutality his terror troops unleashed on many white
farmers since 2000 in order to take away land and give it to the ruling
Was it missed by Mugabe and the clowns in his team of handlers how he
contradicted himself by initially saying Bush and company had pushed a
regime-change agenda using "surrogates" in this country (an apparent
reference to the MDC) and then thanking Thabo Mbeki for brokering talks
between Zanu (PF) and the same MDC? And, isn't it the same old Mugabe who
has all along declared that he would never talk to the MDC?
All these factors compel us to conclude that the old man is as broke on
ideas and senses as is the economy of this country he has ruined
shamelessly. Christopher Dell's prediction of a total collapse within six
months since June now appears to have been too optimistic. -
HARARE - A spokesman for a pro-democracy group agitating for a new
constitution was still held in police custody Tuesday, six days after he was
arrested in Masvingo while addressing a Youth Forum meeting.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesperson Maddock Chivasa was
still held in the filthy Masvingo Central Police Station where he has
reportedly been denied access to food and legal representation.
Masvingo police were not immediately available for comment. But his lawyers
said no charges had been levelled against him.
Chivasa was arrested while on a rural outreach program under the Zimbabwe
Youth Forum banner. The organization was on a national offensive, engaging
in civic and voter education of the youth across the country.
There are unconfirmed reports that police were claiming the meeting was not
cleared by police.
Meanwhile, plain clothes police last Saturday arrested the National
University of Science and Technology (NUST) Students Representative Council
vice president Mehluli Dube and charged him with treason.
Treason in Zimbabwean carries a death penalty. The treason charges stem from
alleged subversive subversive statements made by Dube at a Crisis Coalition
meeting held in Gwanda two months ago.
Dube reportedly told the public meeting that "Mugabe is definitely going and
would be either removed by the ballot or the bullet."
Police arrested Dube at an All Stakeholder Constitutional Conference held in
Bulawayo Saturday. They indicated they had mounted a massive manhunt for
him. Dube is being represented by top lawyers Arnold Tsunga and Dzikamai
Machingura. - Chief Reporter
BY BAYETHE ZITHA
BULAWAYO - Police authorities are reportedly shielding junior officers who
shot and killed two innocent civilians in Zimbabwe's biggest city this
month, as no dockets have been opened against them.
Two Bulawayo men, Collin Siziba (23) and Misheck Gumbo (31), were shot dead
in two separate incidents.
Siziba was the first to be shot by members of the Criminal Investigation
Department's Vehicle Theft Squad, who said they suspected him of being an
The police officers, driving a Toyota double cab vehicle with South African
number plates, blocked Siziba's vehicle (a BMW, also bearing South African
number plates) in the high-density suburbs of the city on September 6.
Most armed robbers drive South African-registered vehicles. Siziba and his
United Kingdom-based brother, who had travelled to Bulawayo to visit their
relatives, feared the lawmen were armed robbers and tried to flee.
After a high-speed chase that took them to the city centre, police shot the
unarmed Siziba in the neck while he was sitting in the passenger seat. His
brother, who had been driving, had abandoned the vehicle and fled. Siziba
died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.
A few days later, on 15 September, police shot Misheck Gumbo, a reveller at
a shebeen in Pumula high-density suburb, after he allegedly boasted he could
pay them a bribe equal to their salaries.
An angry police officer is said to have taken out his gun and shot Gumbo in
the chest, killing him instantly.
Gumbo's relatives are now suing police for Z$30 billion.
"We cannot just sit and watch while police behave like a Mafia gang. They
have to meet the costs we incurred in burying our relative and also
compensate us for that loss," said a Gumbo family spokesman.
Police sources this week revealed to The Zimbabwean that no docket had been
opened, after authorities directed that they should not be taken to court.
"The two boys were arrested and detained for three days and released at the
instigation of the provincial commanders. The chefs are guarding against a
situation whereby these officers will be prosecuted and found guilty. This
will then mean that their families can successfully sue the organisation, so
the decision is a financial rather than a legal one. I can safely tell you
that nothing will happen to any of the concerned members," said a senior
police officer stationed at the Bulawayo provincial headquarters.
He identified the two junior police officers who killed Gumbo as Constables
Zivago and Arutura, both of whom have two years service, while Assistant
Inspector Frank Mbano allegedly killed Siziba.
Police national spokesman, Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, confirmed
that the three police officers were still active in their duties, claiming
that police were still investigating the two cases.
Sources at police headquarters in Harare have revealed that more than 15
similar murders have been swept under the carpet.
"Including Gift Tandare, we have recorded about 15 such murders in the whole
country, with Harare (seven) and Midlands (five) provinces recording the
highest number. Nothing has been done to the offending officers and they are
still serving," said a source.
A democracy or not?
EDITOR - Is Zimbabwe a democracy or not? If it is then what can be done to
make it a better democracy? If it isn't then what can be done to make it
Democracy is the rule of the people by the people for the people. The
fundamental features of democracies include government based on majority
rule and the consent of the governed, the existence of free and fair
elections, the protection of political minorities, respect for basic human
rights, equality before the law, due process, and political pluralism.
These Utopian conditions of democracy apply only in a world which has no
competition. Human beings respect each other as long as their ambitions
don't converge at a common object. Once they do then there is always that
rush to be the first to reach the destination and definitely the
satisfaction of having outpaced the other cannot be underestimated. So can
there ever be a rule of the people by the people for the people where there
is competition for resources?
FREEMAN FORWARD CHARI, Zimbabwe Youth Movement
Keep up the struggle
EDITOR - It is sad to note that the cause of justice for which we are
fighting is being undermined to such a great extent by the Mugabe
sychophants (police). The only solution for us is to keep up the fight. We
must do so in the knowledge that some day we shall overcome. That day is not
far from now.
It is common knowledge that whoever tries to impede a revolutionary tide
whose time has come will one day be washed away. Let them continue harassing
the innocent cadres in the struggle. 'The race is not for the swift but for
those who endure the test'.
Please pass my regards to all those colleagues and Cadres who have fallen
victim to this evil regime. I salute them! Keep up the struggle: It is our
birth right after all!
BRILLIANT MUTABARUKA MHLANGA, Zimbabwe
The wages of sin
EDITOR - It boggles the mind to note that there are people who have always
continued to talk about Zimbabwean problems from 2000! Were these people in
Zimbabwe when Mugabe started his human slaughter in the early eighties? Or
does it mean that those so butchered then deserved it or they were less
human hence even subsequent marginalization throughout?
To me, such people are beneficiaries of the callous Mugabe's governance and
should not stop us from demanding our long overdue freedom. Events like
Murambatsvina, which affected both Shonas and Ndebeles alike, should not
overshadow daylight slaughter of the Ndebeles.
Let's start from the very beginning where things went bad in order to reach
a common standpoint from which to address Zimbabwean problems.
At the onslaught of Gukurahundi, Robert Mugabe, Enos Nkala, Perence Shiri
and many others were at the forefront, but what was the composition of the
soldiers and agents who actually carried out the butchering? What did the
parents and relatives of those murderers say about that evil? An answer to
this will go a long way in solving the crisis. None of them ever spoke
Ndebele, of course. It's understood that they were Zimbabweans who spoke
only Shona and targeted Ndebeles only because even those Shonas in central
committee of ZAPU that was linked to the so-called dissidents were
Anyone claiming that in Zimbabwe Ndebeles and Shonas are united is a
dangerous hypocrite and an unrepentant liar. Tongogara wanted to unite them
but was killed for that. Joshua Nkomo wanted it but died in agony that it
could not happen as he was labelled 'Father of dissidents' not 'Father
The issue of Gukurahundi is a very deep and thorny one. It is the Ndebeles
themselves who should decide what to do with the murderers, not all other
voices we are hearing. That will never promote any healing. The Ndebeles
should be allowed to say what they feel about it and what they want about
it. Anyone clever enough to speak for them without their acknowledgement or
consent only adds salt to a gaping wound. The wages of sin is death - not
pardon, Mr. Tsvangirai! Innocent people, particularly in Matabeleland, have
voted MDC since its formation but continue to suffer because MDC has run out
ANDREA SIBANDA (Secretary General -MFP), Matabeleland
We cannot go it alone
EDITOR - I still have my reservations about the wisdom of the MDC decision
in supporting the passage of the 18th Amendment, but I feel that the desire
to see the resolution of the current crisis in Zimbabwe means we should try
and listen to the arguments being put forward by the MDC.
The MDC still have not convinced me but I am not writing them off. This is
where I think the decision by civic society to engage on a parallel process
naming the MDC as an enemy is not the right thing. While the MDC may have
been wrong, their actions seem to me to have been motivated by a desire to
stop the suffering of the people.
For civic society to say that they are going to force Mugabe to change the
constitution by public protests and lobbying SADC leaders is simplistic.
Everyone knows that the NCA has been campaigning for a new constitution for
more than eight years now. Apart from the 2000 referendum nothing much has
come from the work of NCA.
I am, therefore, persuaded by the thinking that civic society needs
political partners if they are to make any head way in addressing the
people's quest for freedom and economic prosperity. I am not making excuses
for the MDC but rather I am arguing that the approach adopted by civic
society to go it alone is unlikely to lead anywhere. Can those in civic
society guarantee that theirs is the best course of action and that it will
bring results? The MDC should also be under no illusion that they can go it
The New Zimbabwe project requires that all people work together with each
group acknowledging the possibility that they could be wrong. I counsel that
in this case both sides - civic society and MDC - refrain from declaring war
against each other and direct their efforts at dislodging Mugabe and his
evil regime. A united front will achieve results. Let this not be a power
game because the people of Zimbabwe are suffering.
NYENGETERAI GIDI, Harare
Makoni for president
EDITOR - The selection of Simba Makoni to the presidential race will bring
sanity into Zimbabwe political landscape. I am supportive to the idea of
bringing a neutral person who has the support of all Zimbabweans. General
Solo is right! It does not necessarily mean Simba will make the country back
into track, but he will bring sanity and restoration of order and peace . He
can also afford an inch of economic growth because his job will be to bring
sanity and respect of the law.
MAFUTA MUJACHU, Harare
We support our leaders
EDITOR - We, as MDC Pretoria, stand by the stance taken by our leaders, as
far as the amendment bill No 18 is concerned.
In trying times like this we think it is imperative to support and trust our
leadership, as we are the very people who put them where they are, in order
to deliberate on issues on our behalf.
This is the time they need our support as they are just but our messengers,
so if we turn against them, it defies the logic of them representing us. We
don't want to create a situation where by we are our own stumbling-block on
our own way.
We appeal to all stake holders in the Save Zimbabwe Campaign and all
democratic forces to approach this issue with a great deal of scruple for
the sake of progress. But on the other hand we don't deny constructive
criticism is a good warning whistle as we are dealing with a treacherous
monster - Zanu (PF).
To our leadership we are saying:- We are behind you, when it gets tougher,
always remember to come back to the people. We remain resolute in giving
you the support that you deserve.
CHARLES NZOMBE, Pretoria
Why are we so scared?
EDITOR - This is a serious call to all patriotic Zimbabweans. Why are
Zimbabweans such a scared bunch? Have we no pride, dignity, and self worth
and self respect any more? Do we not want, even if it is far off, a better
tomorrow for our children. How did we all get to this point?
We as a nation have had to see our children flee, to lands very foreign to
them. Why have we become so docile and afraid, to stand up to the Pensioner?
That old man, the one that still dyes his hair pitch black.
If we are still hoping and waiting for God, SADC, COMESA, NEPAD, the African
Leadership the AU the UN, or even the cunning Thabo Mbeki, to come to our
rescue, then we will hope, wait and pray forever.
We must all face reality that we are all on our own, we have been and always
will be. Zimbabweans must collectively get up and start to sow unrest.
I urge all Zimbabweans not to be silent, the hour has come, lets us cause a
Tsunami. Zimbabweans who are sick and tired, and have had enough of been
made refugees in they own country.
WE can no longer wait we must be forceful and take back what is rightfully
ours, our beautiful Zimbabwe.
JOHANNA CHARLES, by email
Salute the teachers
EDITOR - We gather that ZIMTA's membership of some 58 000 teachers is to go
on strike this week.
Zimbabweans everywhere will surely acknowledge the fact that the teachers
have risen to the occasion and realised that Zanu needs to be brought into
line and taught a lesson.
Zimbabwe's teachers have the greatest of all responsibilities bestowed upon
them - as custodians of giving the children of Zimbabwe a rounded education.
On Monday October 1st, teachers will give Zimbabwe and its children an
historical lesson about democratic principles.
They have chosen to not allow schooling to interfere with true education -
we salute them.
EDITOR - This Zanu (PF) government has a propensity for shooting itself in
the foot. I put it to you: Who needs sanctions to destroy the economy when
you have Obert Mpofu, Paul Mangwana and Didymus Mutasa in charge of
government policy? A few weeks ago Obert and Didymus launched 'Operation
Dzikisa Mutengo' which resulted in the unaffordable basic commodities
completely disappearing from the shelves. Then Didymus went on the
diesel-chasing escapade to Chinhoyi with a pseudo spirit medium in search of
the scarce fuel. As if to outdo himself he then takes over a farm which
hosts one of the few functional primary schools because he wants to allocate
the farm to his crony and lawyer.
The future of the school is definitely in doubt if what is happening to all
the institutions on the resettled farms is anything to go by. An
indigenisation bill has recently been passed in parliament compelling
foreign businesses to sell at least half of their stock to indigenous black
people. Paul Mangwana says it is a revolution - Fourth Chimurenga may be?
Like third chimurenga before it this latest project will only benefit Zanu
(PF) big wigs because they are the only people with that kind of money.
Ordinary Zimbabweans are struggling to feed their families. Where will they
get money to buy shares? As if to emphasise how serious he is Mangwana then
tells 'foreign owned' banks that they can leave the country because
indigenous banks can do everything that they are doing.
He seems to forget that Governor Gono muzzled most of the locally owned
financial institutions out of business but more importantly that the reason
why Zimbabwe is in the doldrums is because it has no international
relations. I totally agree with the people who say Zanu (PF) is the
sanctions debilitating the Zimbabwean economy. Honestly with this kind of
leadership who needs sanctions to make sure that the economy is in free
fall? Amongst them - Mugabe, Mangwana, Mutasa and Mpofu - have everything
needed to snuff life out of any economy. So imagine what happens when they
are joined by the rest of their colleagues in cabinet.