Washington, Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund won't resume a $170 million loan program to Zimbabwe, citing the economy's ``rapid deterioration'' and the government's failure to stem violence on its commercial farms.
``Land reform should be implemented in an orderly manner,'' to ``minimize the potential for large losses in agricultural output, employment and export earnings,'' the fund said in a statement issued from Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.
Paulo Neuhaus, assistant director for the IMF's Africa department, just wrapped up a three-week mission to the southern African country.
Senior Zimbabwean officials are in Washington this week trying to stop Congress from opposing loans from the IMF and World Bank over President Robert Mugabe's inaction during months of invasions of white-owned farms by blacks identified as veterans of Zimbabwe's war of independence.
Zimbabwe's government condoned those invasions, which came to a head in the run-up to June parliamentary elections. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change mounted the strongest challenge ever to Mugabe's Zanu PF party, winning 58 seats in the 150-seat parliament.
In April, the IMF held off on the loan program, citing the government's failure to enact strict spending cuts. This week's mission in Harare included further discussion of balancing the budget while retaining a social safety net, the fund said.
There must be ``clear progress'' on cutting a budget deficit running at 23 percent of gross domestic product, economic reforms, and ``improving governance'' before assistance is resumed, the report said.
Economists are concerned that Zimbabwe's economy, already beset by inflation and unemployment greater than 60 percent, could collapse if Mugabe continues to sanction the violent seizure of 3,000 white-owned farms.
In Washington yesterday, Simbi Veke Mubako, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the U.S., said the government had no intention of halting what he calls its ``resettlement'' program.
``We are on a fast track to resettle 150,000 families,'' he said.
Reuters - Sep 13 2000 1:01PM ET
BERLIN, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Following are the country rankings in anti-graft group Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published in Berlin on Wednesday. The CPI is based on a three-year rolling average of surveys of business people, risk analysts and the public, with a maximum possible score of 10 (highly clean) and a minimum of zero (highly corrupt). COUNTRY SCORE 1. Finland 10.0 2. Denmark 9.8 3. New Zealand 9.4 Sweden 9.4 5. Canada 9.2 6. Iceland 9.1 Norway 9.1 Singapore 9.1 9. Netherlands 8.9 10. United Kingdom 8.7 11. Luxembourg 8.6 Switzerland 8.6 13. Australia 8.3 14. USA 7.8 15. Austria 7.7 Hong Kong 7.7 17. Germany 7.6 18. Chile 7.4 19. Ireland 7.2 20. Spain 7.0 21. France 6.7 22. Israel 6.6 23. Japan 6.4 Portugal 6.4 25. Belgium 6.1 26. Botswana 6.0 27. Estonia 5.7 28. Slovenia 5.5 Taiwan 5.5 30. Costa Rica 5.4 Namibia 5.4 32. Hungary 5.2 Tunisia 5.2 34. South Africa 5.0 35. Greece 4.9 36. Malaysia 4.8 37. Mauritius 4.7 Morocco 4.7 39. Italy 4.6 Jordan 4.6 41. Peru 4.4 42. Czech Republic 4.3 43. Belarus 4.1 El Salvador 4.1 Lithuania 4.1 Malawi 4.1 Poland 4.1 48. South Korea 4.0 49. Brazil 3.9 50. Turkey 3.8 51. Croatia 3.7 52. Argentina 3.5 Bulgaria 3.5 Ghana 3.5 Senegal 3.5 Slovak Republic 3.5 57. Latvia 3.4 Zambia 3.4 59. Mexico 3.3 60. Colombia 3.2 Ethiopia 3.2 Thailand 3.2 63. China 3.1 Egypt 3.1 65. Burkina Faso 3.0 Kazakhstan 3.0 Zimbabwe 3.0 68. Romania 2.9 69. India 2.8 Philippines 2.8 71. Bolivia 2.7 Cote dIvoire 2.7 Venezuela 2.7 74. Ecuador 2.6 Moldova 2.6 76. Armenia 2.5 Tanzania 2.5 Vietnam 2.5 79. Uzbekistan 2.4 80. Uganda 2.3 81. Mozambique 2.2 82. Kenya 2.1 Russia 2.1 84. Cameroon 2.0 85. Angola 1.7 Indonesia 1.7 87. Azerbaijan 1.5 Ukraine 1.5 89. Yugoslavia 1.3 90. Nigeria 1.2
Bloomberg News - Sep 12 2000 6:01PM
In this issue :
From Business Day (SA), 13 September
Grenade attack at MDC's office
HARARE - Political violence has struck Zimbabwe's capital with a hand grenade attack on the main opposition party, the MDC‚Äôs, headquarters on its first anniversary. No one was injured in the blast on Monday, but the attack marked a shift in the political violence that has wracked the country this year, from villages, farms and poor townships into the capital itself. The June elections which swept the MDC into parliament were preceded by months of violence and intimidation directed at rural opposition supporters in a campaign of terror MDC leaders insist was orchestrated by President Robert Mugabe.
"It is getting out of hand now," said MDC administrator David Chimhini, who was at the scene yesterday assessing the damage. The attack happened about 11.15pm on Monday when someone threw a grenade over the fence at the MDC building, said James Rupiya and Marksom Ndebele, the two guards on duty at the time. The blast blew out the glass in windows and doors in front of the building and shattered a car window. Police found bits of grenade shell scattered around the courtyard among the shards of glass. Chimhini said police told him they believed the grenade might have been old or malfunctioning because the blast was not as strong as it could have been.
Asked if the MDC had any suspicions about who was behind the attack, Chimhini said: "Don't ask me an obvious question." Police declined to comment. The MDC won nearly half of all contested seats in parliamentary elections in June. About 34 people have died in political violence in the past six months. Violence on white-owned farms has continued since the election, targeting mainly black farm workers who are accused of supporting the MDC and their employers. In April, a bomb was hurled at the building housing the independent Daily News, damaging an art gallery on the ground floor. In late July the editor of the paper was targeted for assassination by Zimbabwe's secret service. However, the hired assassin lost his nerve and confessed to his intended victim.
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 13 September
Zanu-PF accused of grenade attack
Johannesburg - Political tension rose sharply in Zimbabwe yesterday after a hand grenade was thrown at the headquarters of the main opposition party, the MDC in the centre of the capital, Harare. The late-night explosion shattered the building's windows and damaged parked cars, but no one was hurt. The MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai and supported by many of the white farmers whose land is being seized by President Robert Mugabe's government, won nearly half the seats in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections in June. Prof Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary, blamed the attack on Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF. He said: "They and their security forces are the only people interested in attacking us and trying to intimidate us. "They have been abducting and intimidating our people throughout the rural areas. This attack is their way of trying to intimidate us and our followers in the urban areas, where we have the majority support."
The MDC cites numerous incidents where its supporters have been murdered and attacked by "war veterans" occupying white farms. The squatters say they are mostly paid supporters of Zanu-PF. David Chimhini, the MDC administrator, said: "They throw up roadblocks and search everybody on buses and in taxis for anything which might link them to us. This is the first time they have tried these intimidation tactics in the urban areas."
From The Daily News, 12 September
Commercial farmers vow not to plant crops
THE CFU has said its members will not plant crops during the forthcoming agricultural season if the government goes ahead with the acquisition of the 3 000 farms on which it intends to resettle people under the fast-track programme. There could be a serious food shortage if the commercial farmers, who produce 40 percent of the staple maize crop, do not plant this year. Commercial banks have already said they would not advance loans to the commercial farmers this year as the properties they used as collateral were threatened with acquisition. The CFU vice-president responsible for commodities, Colin Cloete, last week pleaded with the government at the union's annual congress: "The gazetting and financial ruin of 3 000 farming businesses in this country absolutely cannot be sustained by this economy."
Cloete said 70 percent of the 4 300 commercial farmers had their farms listed out of the more than 2 000 commercial farms that have been gazetted. The government has published lists of farms to be acquired this year under its fast-track land reform programme. Cloete said: "Confidence within the commercial agricultural industry has been severely damaged and farming is viewed as high risk more than ever before." In June this year, several farm properties were damaged by war veterans demonstrating on the commercial farms. Commercial maize producers have said they would reduce production by 60 percent as a result of the farm occupations, land acquisition and lack of a liberalised maize market. Small-scale farmers said they too would reduce maize production because of high input costs and poor maize prices.
Wheat producers have said they would reduce wheat production by 23 percent because of lack of confidence in the industry, disturbances caused by farm invasions and fuel shortages. Zimbabwe would then have to increase its wheat imports, using scarce foreign reserves. At least 75 000 tonnes of wheat worth US$12 million (about $600 million) would be required next year, according to Cloete. Commercial beef producers were said to be embarking on a destocking exercise as cattle thefts had increased, while others feared there would be no space for their cattle after the acquisition of the 3 000 farms by government. Cloete said agricultural commodities next year would be expensive to the consumer as there would be severe shortages.
From The Daily News, 12 September
War veterans accused of killing man on farm
WAR veterans and Zanu PF supporters occupying Danckwerts Farm near the Harare International Airport are alleged to have murdered a man before setting him alight nearly three weeks ago. Police in Hatfield yesterday confirmed they were investigating the murder. The police said the dead man's papers were lost in the fire, making it difficult for either the police or his relatives to positively identify the deceased man. The remains are still at the Harare Central hospital mortuary. War veterans and Zanu PF supporters from around Harare descended on the farm on 18 April.
Dave Chigovare, the farm manager, said the remains of the man were found near the farmhouse nearly three weeks ago. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition. The fire allegedly spread to a larger section of the farm, destroying property worth $170 000, he said. Chigovare said he felt that his life was in danger from the ex-fighters and squatters from Epworth who were accusing him of having sold out following the demolition of their makeshift shacks by police about a month ago. He said almost every week he filed reports of harassment and physical threats at Hatfield police station, but so far no action had been taken to bring the culprits to book. Scores of squatters have erected more than 40 new plastic shacks on the farm. Chigovare said there was likely to be an outbreak of diseases as there were no sanitary facilities at the site where the squatters had built their shacks.
From The Daily News, 12 September
Mawere mum on investment funds
Mystery surrounds the use to which a fund spearheaded by businessman Mutumwa Mawere, chairman of Africa Resources Limited (ARL), put the much publicised R125 million in investment capital raised in Johannesburg three years ago. The money, the equivalent of $937,5 million in local currency, was raised through Africa Resources Investment Limited Fund (ARIL), which Mawere, then resident in Johannesburg, launched in 1997, amid much pomp and ceremony. Mawere subsequently returned to Zimbabwe and aligned himself with Zanu PF, particularly in the run-up to the June parliamentary election, when he became one of the party‚Äôs strategists and king-makers. Working together with fellow businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, now Member of Parliament for Chinhoyi, and retired journalist Kindness Paradza, the trio campaigned for the take-over by former Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, now Speaker of Parliament, of the position of Zanu PF chairman from Joseph Msika. The bid failed and John Nkomo ascended to the party‚Äôs number three position.
While Mawere has assumed a very visible profile in politics and business since his return, regularly appearing on television and in newspaper columns, he hardly says anything publicly about the ARIL initiative. The trust, with a planned capitalisation of R125 million, sold shares to expatriate Zimbabweans living in South Africa and elsewhere. Mawere announced the formation of ARIL, a trust aimed at spearheading the acquisition of companies in the country by indigenous Zimbabweans, one year after he took over SMM Holdings Limited. The South African registration number of the fund was 97/06364/06. This initiative was launched reportedly upon realisation that non-resident Zimbabweans were considered more as a brain drain to the country than as potential investors.
When the trust was launched at a lavish breakfast in a five-star Johannesburg hotel in February 1997, shares sold for R500 each. The glamorous function was attended by President Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, then South African President, and their First Ladies Grace Mugabe and Gracia Machel-Mandela. Also gracing the occasion were Prince Muzi Dhlamini of Swaziland, married to Mandela‚Äôs daughter, Zenani, scores of prominent businesspeople, as well as government officials from SADC. There has been no further publicity about the fund since Mawere parted ways with business partner and then project manager, Denny Marandure, who still operates from South Africa. Marandure alleged that ARIL failed to raise the funds originally projected and that information released to potential shareholders about the amount raised had been misleading.
According to documents in our possession, ARIL, which received Mugabe‚Äôs blessing, was set up primarily to make equity and equity-related investments in southern Africa‚Äôs emerging opportunities. "The fund has R125 million available for investment," the launch document said. "The fund will invest in management buy-outs and buy-ins, expansion capabilities for companies with significant growth prospects, replacement capital investments and joint venture investments with foreign companies seeking to establish operations in the region. ARIL will also seek investment opportunities in privatisation transactions."
After the fund was launched, Mawere said there was "confusion" between his company, ARL, and ARIL, to which he was a "special advisor". He said ARIL was a government initiative created as a special purpose vehicle to act as a transition holder of assets in companies whose acquisitions had been government-facilitated. ARL, on the other hand, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, acquired African Associated Mines (AAM), the holding company for Shabanie and Mashaba Mines (SMM), Tube and Pipe (Pvt) Ltd and Turnall (Pvt) Ltd, whose market capitalisation in 1996 was estimated at $2,5 billion. The mining giant was acquired from Turner and Newell plc of Britain as a going concern. Mawere was to pay off the $600 million in monthly instalments of about $50 million spread over 12 months up to March/April since buying the company. The government of Zimbabwe provided guarantees. Attempts by The Daily News over the past week to obtain comment from Mawere on the status of his much heralded ARIL initiative drew blanks. Yesterday Mawere was said to have departed for New York, on business.