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

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Daily News online edition

      Zanu PF thugs beat up prosecutor

      Date:16-Sep, 2004

      FIVE Zanu PF militants in Rusape belonging to a radical group beat up
Tirivanhu Mutyasira, a court

      prosecutor stationed at the Rusape Magistrates Court for allegedly
making submissions against the group members who face public violence,
malicious injury to property and grievous bodily harm (GBH) charges.

      The militants were part of the 31 that were arrested by the police
last month for attacking and severely injuring supporters of a rival Zanu PF
cadre who challenged Didymus Mutasa in the forthcoming Zanu PF primary
elections set for next month.

      They faced new charges of violating their bail conditions by engaging
in more public violence and

      assaulting the court official and other witnesses.

      Mutasa is the Member of Parliament for Makoni North, the Zanu PF
secretary for external affairs and also the Minister of Anti-Corruption and

      Mutyasira did not deny the reports but insisted he was safer without
saying anything concerning the matter.

      "I do not think it is appropriate to discuss the issue in the press,"
Mutyasira said. "Talk to the police for details."

      Rusape police spokesman only identified as Assistant Inspector Nyazema
was not available for comment. Mutyasira was assaulted by the Zanu PF
militants commonly identified as the "Chinyavada" group who are loyal to

      According to court officials at the Rusape Magistrates' Court, a
policeman submitted before

      magistrate Mark Dzira that the Zanu PF militants had assaulted the
prosecutor and pleaded with the

      magistrate to tighten their bail conditions for the safety of

      Thirty-one members of the militant group appeared before magistrate
Dzira on Friday for a remand hearing into their political violence case.

      Allegations against the 31 ruling party supporters are that on August
21 and 22, while in Makoni North, the group, acting in common purpose
attacked other Zanu PF supporters loyal to retired Major James Kaunye in
Mayo, Headlands and Rusape in Makoni East to try to force them to stop
giving their support to Kaunye.

      It is further alleged that the militants injured Lucia Chitura, the
Zanu PF district co-ordinator for Makoni District, Kaunye, the aspiring Zanu
PF candidate for Makoni North, George Ngirazi, a war veteran loyal to
Kaunye, Florence Mhiripiri, the wife of aspiring Makoni East MP Nathaniel
Punish Mhiripiri and several other people numbering to about 70.

      Violence broke out in Rusape, Mayo and Headlands when Mutasa, Shadreck
Chipanga, the MP for Makoni East, Zanu PF deputy chairman for Manicaland
Province who is also the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs led a five-truck
convoy on a looting spree that left several people injured.

      Chipanga faces Mhiripiri in the ruling party's primary elections.

      Mutasa paid a total of $7, 8 million in bail for his supporters. Dzira
granted them bail on condition that they did not commit similar offences,
not to interfere with state witnesses and to report twice at Rusape and
Headlands Police Stations depending on where one lived.

      But five of them defied the court conditions and proceeded to unleash
a fresh terror campaign against the victims of their initial violence
including the attack on the court official, leading to their re-arrest by
the police.

      They were detained for three days and were only released on Friday on
similar bail but changed

      conditions. The five now have to report three days at the nearest
police station and might be remanded in custody if they continued causing
terror in the Manicaland district. They will re-appear in court on Friday.

      Among the 31 Zanu PF militants arrested were national army deserter
Maxwell Chinzambwa, a war veteran, Everisto Bosha, a businessman who runs
Chovhakaira Bookshop in the town, Kudzi Chipanga, the son of Chipanga's
brother, Albert Nyakuedza, the chairman of the Makoni Rural District
Council, the Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairman for
Makoni District and also the regional manager for the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) in Rusape.
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Zim online

Thurs 16 September 2004

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's teachers are threatening to go on strike to press
the government to increase their salaries by 1 000 percent.

      In a memo to its more than 150 000 members, the Zimbabwe Teachers'
Association told teachers to brace up for action after the government
ignored a September 15 deadline to review salaries.

      "All teachers should brace up for any eventuality as the government
has failed to heed our demand for a 1 000 percent salary increase," the
union's memo read in part. The union is the biggest representative body for
teachers in Zimbabwe.

      Union officials yesterday refused to say when exactly they were
planning to call the strike only saying they were going to make a public
announcement in due course.

      Individual teachers interviewed by ZimOnline said they expected their
leaders to call the strike within the next three weeks.

      "We will definitely be going on strike in the next two or three weeks.
These people are not taking us seriously and we will resort to the only
language they have understood over the years," said a teacher at one Harare
high school, who did not want to be named.

      Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere could not be reached for comment
on the issue.

      Strikes by the country's teachers for more pay and better working
conditions have become almost an annual ritual.

      Teachers take home between Z$450 000 and Z$800 000 per month.
According to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, an average family of five
needs Z$1.4 million a month to survive.

      A strike by teachers would throw into chaos public school examinations
set to be begin in a fortnight. ZimOnline

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Zim online

Red Cross told to cut food aid quantities to orphans
Thurs 16 September 2004

      BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe government is understood to have asked the Red
Cross to reduce the quantity of food aid distributed to orphans and people
living with HIV/AIDS in the country's Matabeleland North and South

      The Red Cross, one of the few Non-Governmental Organisations still
allowed by Harare to feed hungry people in the region, was handing out a
nutritional package of 50 kilogrammes of the staple mealie-meal and other
foodstuffs per month to deserving families.

      Sources told ZimOnline the organisation was now distributing only 10kg
of mealie-meal per month to the families following the government's
instruction to reduce quantities.

      Public relations officer for the organisation Varaidzo Dongozi
yesterday could neither confirm nor deny that the organisation had reduced
aid to HIV/AIDS patients and orphans on government orders. She would only
say: "We reduced the package for some factors that affected our operations.
I cannot tell you the reasons now."

      Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana who authorises the
Non-Governmental Organisations that feed hungry Zimbabweans could not be
reached for comment on the matter.

      Matabeleland South Governor Angeline Masuku said there were many
families in the province without adequate food but said the government was
working out ways of feeding them.

      She said: "We are looking into ways by which we can help them as
government. Most of these NGOs are just going to town with these claims
because they have been stopped after meddling in politics."

      Some of the families now receiving reduced food aid from the Red Cross
said they were finding it difficult to survive as they harvested little or
nothing last season and were dependent on his organisation for food.

      55-year old Njabulo Moyo of Mtshabezi village in Matabeleland
province, said: "We did not harvest anything from our fields due to low
rainfall last year, how then can we manage to live on only 10kg of
mealie-meal without relish? As for me, I have six grandchildren orphaned by
Aids who need nutritious food."

      Another villager Ndumiso Dube said he hoped the government would
"change its stance" and allow more food to be given to hungry people in his
Halale village in Matobo district, about 60 kilometres south-west of
Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo.

      Mugabe and his government have told international food aid groups to
take their help elsewhere because Zimbabwe harvested enough food last season
to feed itself.

      The government estimates that the country harvested 2.4 million tonnes
of the staple maize last season. But the United Nations and other
independent food experts say the government at most reaped one million
tonnes of maize, which is 800 000 tonnes less than the 1.8 million tonnes
required to see the country through to the next harvest. ZimOnline

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Business Day

New body dodges Harare minefield

International Affairs Editor

ZIMBABWE will not be on the agenda at the Pan African Parliament's first
session that gets under way in Midrand today. Nor is the country likely to
be discussed much before the session ends.

During its three-week session the parliament will mostly discuss rules and

The body's recently elected president, Tanzanian Gertrude Mongella, believes
the parliament is part of a "new era" for the continent, "which shows a
maturity in the democratic process".

Mongella's priorities for the parliament are greater African integration,
gender issues, and dealing with Africa's wars and conflicts, excluding

She does believe that the Darfur crisis in Sudan has to be a priority but
says, "there is no room for failure on Darfur".

The parliament will only have consultative powers. After five years heads of
state will define its legislative powers. The aim, according to the
parliament's protocol, is for the body to have full legislative powers and
to be elected by universal adult suffrage.

The five-year period should give African leaders enough time to consider the
work of the parliament before making any commitments about its powers.

The absence of legislative powers does not trouble Mongella, who has been an
MP since 1980. She has also been a teacher, cabinet minister and diplomat.

Mongella says most legislatures spend a great deal of time on such matters
as supervision and attempts to make governments accountable. "The overall
oversight role is most crucial and this is what we want to build on," she
says. "For me the making of laws can come later."

Where that oversight role will begin and end is not clear. The parliament
could well exercise oversight on African Union (AU) institutions, but doing
so over countries could be more difficult.

Mongella wants a parliament that is not afraid to represent the views of the
people. But this could be difficult . Only 14 of Africa's 53 countries are
democracies and not all Pan African Parliament delegations are fully
representative of their country's political diversity.

Whether or not the parliament represents the popular political views across
the continent, it is likely to emerge as a lobbying focus for causes across

It is a natural point at which political, development, human rights and
other groups can direct their lobbying efforts for the continent. This will
probably mean many non-government organisations will increase their staffs
and open new offices in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, is
planning to deliver a petition at the opening today to ask the parliament to
help bring about free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

But Zimbabwe is not a high priority issue for Mongella. Her position echoes
that of leaders of the AU's southern African region on Zimbabwe.

"The problem of every country will be solved by its own people first," she

And the problem of Zimbabwe, she says, is bound up in the colonial land
dispensation. The opposition in the country stresses that the real problem
lies in the elections of recent years . As interest in Zimbabwe "has been
raised more outside the continent" than within, Mongella says it is not
among her priorities for discussion in the new parliament.

The Pan-African Parliament's first sitting will open this morning at
Gallagher Estate in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, when drumming, dancing,
singing, praying and many speeches will be seen and heard.

The opening session will cost South African taxpayers R7,3m, while the
administrative and rental costs are estimated at about R61m.

These items are to be included in next year's national budget.

Sep 16 2004 07:33:04:000AM Jonathan Katzenellenbogen Business Day 1st

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Business Day

Mugabe eyes manufacturing sector


HARARE - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe Wednesday said his government
will soon move on to control the manufacturing sector a day after announcing
the state would demand half-ownership of the country's mines.
"We want to control the mining sector, we want to control the manufacturing
sector," Mugabe was quoted as saying by state television.

Zimbabwe's manufacturing sector, which had previously contributed
significantly to the gross national output, export earnings and employment,
has in recent years shrunk due to galloping inflation, shortages foreign
exchange, electricity and at times fuel.

The manufacturing sector has recorded falling turnovers alongside the mining
and agriculture sectors.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe industries reported last year that in real
terms investment in the sector had dropped by more than half in 2002
compared to the previous year, with several firms closing shop and many jobs

Mugabe, whose government has controversially taken over thousands of
white-owned farms in the past four years for redistribution to new black
farmers, on Monday said Zimbabweans did not yet enjoy "absolute ownership"
of natural resources.

"We are going to demand that government be given 50% shares in the mines,"
he was quoted by a state daily.

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 14 September

Roaming the country of their birth

Godwin Gandu

About 100 families have been evicted from Porta Farm, 25km south of the
Zimbabwean capital Harare, and their houses have been razed in defiance of a
high court order. The farm is located in President Robert Mugabe's
constituency of Zvimba. The evictees claim they are paying the price for
pressing their parliamentarian - Mugabe's sister Sabina - to build a proper
settlement with running water, boreholes and schools. The Mail & Guardian
witnessed three truckloads of families being ferried to a location 65km
away, where there is no shelter or water. Community leader Khumbulani
Khumalo said he doesn't know "what wrong they have done", but many of the
evictees believe they have been removed from Zvimba because they are
unlikely to vote for Sabina Mugabe. The settlement was established as a
"transit camp" after police rounded up vagrants and squatters ahead of the
Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in Harare in 1991. The city had to be
"clean" for the visiting officials. During the land invasions that preceded
the 2000 elections, farm workers fleeing the war veterans and youth militia
also settled on Porta Farm.

Richard Banda is one of those who sought refuge here. He said hundreds of
other displaced farm workers fled to rural areas while others tried to
survive in Harare. "Some have become thieves, others are genuinely still
seeking employment, but the majority has become squatters in Harare." A
report released by Refugees International (RI) last month said: "Zimbabwe's
land reform programme and [its accompanying] intimidation and harassment
have created an internally displaced population of more than 150 000 former
farm workers and have also caused thousands to flee their country". It
added: "To further compound the issue, authorities have increasingly
restricted access to farming areas ... making it difficult for the displaced
and other vulnerable groups to access humanitarian assistance. "Many have no
access to water, shelter, food, medical care, sanitation services and
education ... Authorities are actively closing down any avenues of access
[to humanitarian assistance]."

The RI report found that the land reform process has also negatively
impacted on the livelihood of some of the beneficiaries, formerly landless
people or the so-called "new settlers". They have been unable to fully use
their land owing to a lack of essential agricultural inputs such as draught
power, quality seeds and fertilizer and funds to pay for labour. They are
unable to retain the necessary working force of farm workers, the RI report
said. Only a few farm workers have continued to work on a permanent basis,
usually on reduced wages. Many workers have stayed on the farms because they
have no alternatives. "When the new settlers came, they threatened to evict
us if we complained about conditions," one farm worker told RI. Another
said: "Our relations with the new settlers are not good." NGOs have been
prevented from providing food assistance. "If we have food aid, they tell us
we must leave the farm. They know we will not work for them if we are not
starving," an "internally trapped" worker told RI.

Female workers are at more risk. Many men left the farms in search of work,
leaving their families behind. Women left without income have resorted to
sex work or relationships with the new foremen and settlers to guarantee
food for their children. Many former farm workers have turned to short-term
or seasonal contracts, piecework on other farms or activities such as gold
panning and hunting of game for commercial sales. Many skilled farm foremen
have followed commercial farmers to their new farms in neighbouring
countries. About one-fifth of the former farm workers were descendants of
migrant workers from neighbouring Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. They have
no identity documents. They have nowhere to go and to compound their
situation they are denied humanitarian and food aid in Zimbabwe. According
to RI: "The government refuses to acknowledge that people are being forcibly
displaced, claiming that they had a choice to leave or not." The government
defines them as "mobile vulnerable populations". The nature of forced
displacement in Zimbabwe, according to RI, "corresponds with the
internationally recognised legal definition of internal displacement".
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Zim harvests 'going well'
16/09/2004 09:25  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe has well under half of the more than two million tonnes of
grain predicted by the government for the season as it passed the halfway
mark for harvests, the country's sole grain managing agency said on

The southern African country told international donors in May it would not
need emergency food aid this year because it expected a bumper harvest of
2.4 million tonnes of maize under its controversial four-year land reform

"Currently we have 298,000 tonnes. This is the maize we are holding in our
depots," Colonel Samuel Muvuti, chief executive officer at the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) told a parliamentary committee.

He said a total of 750 000 tonnes were expected to be collected by the
season's end in March next year, adding that the rest of produce would be
retained by farmers for their own consumption.

Safe position

Muvuti did not explain the deficit or whether the country would import grain
to make up the predicted numbers.

"It might be too early for me to say there is need to import, and how much,"
said Muvhuti in response to questions from lawmakers.

"I am not saying there would not be any need for importation, but ...we can
say we are in a relatively safe position," he added.

President Robert Mugabe insisted in a television interview in May that his
country's citizens were not hungry.

"Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked," he said.

The 2.4 million tonnes predicted for the harvest, which surpasses the
national annual requirement of two million tonnes, has been described by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as "absurd" and meant to win
votes ahead of next year's parliamentary elections.

'Same as last year'

An aid agency official said the food "situation is more or less going to be
as it was last year, but perhaps worse because of inflation. Many people
will not afford to buy maize".

Asked by members of parliament if GMB had checked on media reports that
people have died of hunger in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo,
Muvhuti dismissed the claims, saying the city had "more grain stocks than
any other town in the country."

He said police had investigated the deaths and concluded that no one had
died of starvation in Bulawayo. He tried to shift blame on any food
shortages to distribution problems.

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New Zimbabwe

Zim scrambles to clarify Mugabe mine-grab policy

By Agencies
Last updated: 09/16/2004 10:51:53
REPORTS of statements by Zimbabwe's president in the government's Herald
newspaper were misquotes according to a senior government official.

On Monday the government controlled daily Herald, quoted Zimbabwean
president Robert Mugabe as saying: "We are going to demand that government
be given 50 percent shares in the mines."

Tinaye Chigudu, the permanent secretary of mines and mines development in
Zimbabwe, told Mineweb the newspaper was "twisting words to sell more
 copies". "I have not known a situation where government policy is announced
by one individual," says Chigudu.

The secretary says he had not got hold of the president's office as yet, but
said he believes Mugabe was talking about "idle land" and prospecting order
rights. "These people own the rights to this land and are doing nothing on
it," he said, "It is something we have been talking about."

Although the ministry feels more ownership should be acquired on this land,
he said no official ownership stake has been decided on yet.

"We have sent a dummy bill to all the stakeholders in the industry, they
have three weeks to reply with their proposals," says Chigudu.

Earlier this year, a draft bill was leaked to the public. If that draft were
to have been ratified by parliament, 49 percent ownership in the country's
minesould have to be transferred into the hands of Zimbabweans. Chigudu says
this bill was drafted by the previous secretary and was thrown out by
parliament -
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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele Comment

15 September 2004

The capital city finds itself woefully short of water again with little hope of an early end to the suffering of the residents.  The state media conveyed the unwelcome news to the nation on Friday (10th September).  The City Council – or what is left of a city authority following the protest withdrawal of MDC Councilors – has decided to introduce swingeing water cuts on a regular basis to northern and southern suburbs.  Suburbs from Gunhill to Waterfalls, from Chisipite to Ruwa, will be restricted to a 6 hour supply each day.  Water will be disconnected from 3.00 pm. to 8.30 a.m. the following day. 


The immediate cause of the water cuts is the low level of the city’s reservoirs which simply cannot keep up with the steadily rising demand.  However shortages have become an increasing problem in recent years due to the aging water reticulation equipment at the Morton Jaffray Water Works, and the lack of foreign exchange to purchase replacement equipment or even the chemicals used in water treatment.  This was a looming problem to which the formerly MDC-administered Council repeatedly drew the government’s attention, but instead of helping, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Dr Ignatius Chombo, chose to obstruct all the Council’s efforts to deal with the problem. As Harare residents know well, to their cost, Chombo’s real agenda was to bring to naught the Council’s efforts in this and every other well-meaning endeavour, in order to demonstrate the ZANU PF myth that an MDC administration could not succeed, and to justify any subsequent strong-arm intervention.  It was in protest against these bullying tactics that the MDC Councilors resigned en masse last month.


In the result Harare’s water woes continue unabated.  The city’s public relations manager, Mr Leslie Gwindi, did his best to put a positive gloss on the harsh new measures, saying he hoped the new system would ease the problems currently being experienced by residents.  This was apparently a reference to the random cuts of 24 hours and more in the water supplies to which residents had become accustomed.  But small comfort for those hundreds of thousands of working residents who are away from their homes during the 6 hour period when supplies are supposed to be available, that is between 9 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.  One wonders when they will be able to take a shower, have a bath or even flush the toilet.  Perhaps Zimbabwe’s capital city will soon be acquiring a reputation, not for a particular style or ambience so much as for a distinctive pong.  And so much for what was once called “Sunshine City”, capital of the “Jewel of Africa”.  


Ah well.  Harare residents should not complain. After all they had the temerity to vote overwhelmingly for the MDC both in the parliamentary and local government elections ! That kind of treasonous activity cannot go unpunished.



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WOZA women
Write: Box FM701, Famona, Bulawayo Ph: 011-213-885 / 091 300456 Fax 09-72546
(Photo - WOZA women show their LOVE sign - most of the women in the picture
will participate in the walk)
Press Statement 15 September 2004

Women of Zimbabwe Arise, a community based civic movement for Zimbabwean
women, announce that final preparations are underway to conduct a 439
kilometer sponsored walk to raise a welfare fund for activists. WOZA along
with the community activists are facing an uncertain future if the NGO Bill
goes through parliament on 5 October 2004.

Final meetings have been held in secret in Bulawayo and Harare to confirm
participants and the starting date. 44 participants have committed to
attempt the full walk whilst 180 others will undertake at least 60 km over 2
day slots. We are in a position to announce that by next week this time the
march will be well underway and public statements will be issued at this

Some family members of WOZA women in the Police and Youth Militia have asked
us to TIP TOE through certain areas so they can avoid seeing us. WOZA Women,
their mothers, sisters and grandmothers have called on the Zimbabwe Republic
Police to demonstrate that they too can show compassion and allow the fund
raising venture to go ahead unhindered and even to sponsor participants.
Over 300 WOZA women have been arrested for trivial issues like handing out
red roses, making tea, calling for a lowering of food prices and on 19 June
over 72 women were arrested on World Refugee Day. It is therefore a strategy
to ensure the walk gets underway before an repressive behaviour from the
regime can be played out.

Several Civic and Church partners have confirmed their support and
participation of this initiative.

There is a Zulu saying - Uthinte Umfazi Uthinte Imbokodo - 'You strike a
woman and you have struck a rock'! We regard the NGO Bill in its current
format, as an attempt to strike women through WOZA. The women of WOZA are
saying we will not be struck in this way!

Since WOZA began in 2002, women have spoken out and participated, they have
had a taste of the freedom of expression and assembly. The leaders and
activists have had their appetites whetted and they want more not less
communication and action. WOZA cannot let the Bill kill our spirit of

As it is drafted now, this Bill will kill instead of bringing us more LIFE.
It affects the caring people who help us with food when we are hungry,
medicine when we are sick, development, which gives us opportunities. Civic
Society organisations give us knowledge. KNOWLEDGE is POWER so the Bill
wants to make us powerless.

The Bill is due to become a law in October and over 200 community activists
will loose a source of income. Their families and the orphans they care for
will suffer hardship. After consulting with members, Mother WOZA has decided
to conduct a sponsored walk to raise money for the welfare of activists and
put across our message of protest. Over 200 volunteers have stepped forward
to each walk 60 kilometers, with some wanting to walk all the way to Harare,
439 kilometers. The walk will be conducted with 6 teams of 30 with each team
doing 2 days.

Background : WOZA means 'Come forward'.  By women for women and with women,
across race, colour, creed, class or political persuasion. Empowering women
to be courageous, caring, committed and in communication with their

Jenni Williams Mobile (+263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885 Or Fax (+2639) 72546
Magodonga Mahlangu  Mobile (+263) 91 362 668

Donations in kind to 8A Jason Moyo Street Between Connaught Ave/ M. Ndlovu
Street Bulawayo (please help, we still need food items, walking shoes sizes
5 to 8 (even 2nd hand), sleeping bags, Diesel, Buddie Cards (airtimes can be
bought and the secret number sent to any of the WOZA numbers, Small Buckets,
Torches , Sugar/Tea Leaves/ Powder Milk, Super cools, Cooking Oil, Mealie
Meal and Rice , Three legged Cooking Pots, Firewood / Gas/ Cooler Boxes.

Donations to Zimbabwean Bank Accounts:
WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE TRUST : Kingdom Bank Bulawayo Branch 12324 Account
WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE : Central African Building Society Account
Please email us to confirm deposit and contact details in
order to confirm and thank you!
Crisis coalition South African Office have also indicated their willingness
to receive donations, please email Dolly - for


WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE - WOZA (A registered Trust) P.O. Box FM 701 Famona
Bulawayo Mobile 011 213 885

The NGO Bill is due to become a law in October and over 200 community
activists will loose a source of income. Their families and the orphans they
care for will suffer hardship. WOZA is conducting a sponsored walk to raise
money for the welfare of activists. Members will each walk 60 kilometers,
with some attempting to walk all the way. Please donate or sponsor us to
help lessen the suffering caused by this unjust law. As it is drafted now,
this Bill will KILL instead of bringing us more LIFE. IT affects us, and the
caring people who help us with food when we are hungry, medicine when we are
sick, development, which gives us opportunities. NGO's and Civic Society
organisations give us knowledge. KNOWLEDGE is POWER so the Bill wants to
make us powerless.

Name of Member you would like to sponsor....................



The names of those willing to attempt the whole 439 km Walk to Harare -
other names of those doing 60 km are not given:
Berita 40 yrs / Siphethangani 30 yrs / Phanankosi 25 yrs / Susan 32 yrs /
Karen 20 yrs / Clerah 40 yrs / Enemiah 58 yrs / Violet 45 yrs / Sipho 34 yrs
/ Sehliselo 30 yrs / Musole 38 yrs /
Ester 60 yrs / Juliet 40 yrs / Thobekile 24 yrs / Eneles 43 yrs /Thoko 36
yrs /Shingirai 43 yrs / Maria 35 yrs / Patricia 32 yrs / Letisiwe 34 yrs /
Zuzile 34 yrs /Silingiwe 26 yrs /Perpetua 37 yrs / Anastazia 47 yrs /
Thalita 60 yrs /Donanary 41 yrs /Elizabeth 49 yrs /Mavis 50 yrs /
Regina 54 yrs /Shyline 30 yrs /Norah 47 yrs /Nolwandle 21 yrs /Sibusisiwe 28
yrs /Ellen 43 yrs
Lucky 37 yrs /Rosemary 40 yrs /Rejoice 38 yrs /Sinini 33 yrs /Siphiwe 33 yrs
/Selina 45 yrs /
Magodonga 31 yrs /Jennifer 42 yrs /Rebecca  /Precious /Mrs P Ndlovu 49 yrs

Those people wishing to deposit donations directly can do so to the
following Zimbabwean Bank Accounts:
WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE TRUST : Kingdom Bank Bulawayo Branch 12324 Account
WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE : Central African Building Society Account
Please email us to confirm deposit and contact details in
order to confirm and thank you!
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      MDC turns on the heat

      Njabulo Ncube
      9/16/2004 7:02:04 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which considers
government-mooted electoral law reforms as nothing but a camouflage, has
reportedly embarked on an intensive lobbying of regional leaders to
ratchet-up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to expedite political reforms
in the country.

      It emerged this week that the opposition party, which has since
suspended participation in any future elections until government adopts
regional guidelines and principles on free and fair elections, will soon
embark on a regional sojourn to explain its reasons for boycotting elections
to Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders.

      Impeccable party insiders said the MDC, which has flatly refused to be
taken in by the proposed electoral reforms, describing them as piecemeal,
would soon be dispatching delegations to all the SADC members to debunk
ruling ZANU PF "posturing" that the government was genuinely reforming the
country's electoral laws.

      The MDC, which is led by former trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai,
claims that the electoral reforms so far suggested by government are nothing
more than a window-dressing exercise to deceive the regional leaders.

      The sources said the MDC, which has maintained that Zimbabweans have
not been allowed to freely organise on the basis of their political
convictions, would then use the opportunity to stir up feelings over the
issue hoping that pressure would inexorably rise on the government, which
stands accused of digging in its heels on political reform.

      They said the MDC, which has kept the nation guessing about its
participation in the crucial parliamentary polls slated for March next year,
believes that the SADC leaders could prevail over President Mugabe, whose
hatred for alleged European and western interference is well documented.

      There is no love lost between the Zimbabwean government and the United
Kingdom and its western allies. Since allegations of a violence tainted
election campaign in the 2000 parliamentary poll and the presidential
election of 2002, the West's instinct had been to work against the
government of President Mugabe, which they accuse of now having a democratic
deficit. The government however maintains that it is the West's political
yardstick and not its stance which has changed.

      "This is why the MDC is intensifying its campaign in SADC, and not the
UK or the United States of America to explain its reasons for threatening to
stay away from the 2005 plebiscite, which should be held in line with
guidelines and principles governing democratic elections adopted by SADC
member states in Mauritius last month," said a party insider.

      The tour in and around SADC comes amid revelations that Pretoria has
expressed its disappointment at the latest turn of events in Zimbabwe's
political sphere when the regional grouping had agreed in Mauritius for the
full participation of opposition parties in elections.

      Observers in South Africa said President Thabo Mbeki had hoped Harare
would be reined in by the enforcement of the SADC guidelines and principles
on elections.

      Mbeki has acted as broker in the delicate five-year political impasse
in Harare, pitting President Mugabe's ZANU PF and the MDC, but his
widely-criticised "quiet diplomacy" has come to naught.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, confirmed his party's envisaged
SADC mission. He said: "We want to make the regional leaders understand our
stance and the real situation on the ground so that the leaders are not
hoodwinked by the Mugabe regime. ZANU PF wants regional leaders to believe
that Mugabe is reforming, which is entirely not true."

      The MDC's decision to boycott all future elections in the country
unless the government implemented the norms and standards agreed at
Mauritius has drawn mixed reactions from within and outside Zimbabwe's

      The opposition is adamant that there would never be any free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe with repressive legislation such as the Public Order
and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
still in the statute books. The SADC Protocol, among other requirements,
calls for equal access to the public media and freedom for all political
parties to campaign freely.

      The government has gazetted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill and
plans to push it through Parliament next month without consultation with the

      Analysts said bulldozing the electoral reforms without consulting
other participants, in this case the main opposition MDC, violated the
spirit of the SADC principles and guidelines on staging of democratic

      "The party leadership has fully briefed diplomats. What is left and is
being finalised is to tour the SADC region and inform the leaders and civic
groups there about these perceived reforms meant to mislead regional leaders
into believing that the Mugabe regime is reforming," added the MDC insider
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      $200bln windfall for ex-political prisoners

      Njabulo Ncube
      9/16/2004 7:02:30 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government could soon lavish a $200 billion compensation windfall
on former political prisoners, detainees and restrictees who participated in
the 1970s liberation war, seven years after a similar award to former
combatants wreaked havoc on the fiscus.

      A Bill paving the way for the compensation of ex-political prisoners,
restrictees and detainees of Zimbabwe's war of liberation is likely to be
gazetted next Friday, amid revelations the government could fork out $10
million each to a 20 000-strong group of former war victims, among other

      Impeccable government sources told The Financial Gazette yesterday
that the law authorising the payment of gratuities to the ex-political
prisoners, restrictees and detainees would certainly be enacted when
Zimbabwe's Parliament resumes sitting next month.

      Parliament officials indicated that the proofs for the Ex-Political
Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Bill were at the Government Printers
while independent sources said the Bill would be gazetted next Friday.

      Paul Mangwana, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, also confirmed to this newspaper yesterday that the law was in the
offing, adding that the draft Bill had long been considered by the

      Mangwana said through the law, government would award a monthly
pension, education and medical allowances. The education and medical
allowances would also be availed to dependants of the former political
prisoners, restrictees and detainees.

      Mangwana, however, declined to discuss the financial implications of
doling out unbudgeted funds to the former prisoners, restrictees and
detainees, a rag-tag grouping considered by President Robert Mugabe's
critics as part of the government's shock-troops in the same league with the
war veterans.

      "Government is giving them (ex-political prisoners, restrictees and
detainees) compensation through an Act of Parliament. The Bill should be
passed into law when Parliament gets back to business as from October 5,
2004," said Mangwana.

      "It is not a matter of demands, we are giving them benefits and those
that we feel are entitled to gratuities will get them. I cannot give you any
figures on the amount of gratuities to be paid because the Act does not
provide figures," he said.

      However, representatives of the Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners,
Restrictees and Detainees Association (ZEPPREDA) disclosed that they had
demanded a one-off payment of $10 million each, a monthly pension of $5
million each, free education for children, burial assistance and land.

      They said although between 5 000 and 6 000 members had been vetted,
the total figure of likely beneficiaries hovered around 20 000 people that
had been registered through out the country's 10 political provinces.

      They added that the government had indicated it would meet most of
their demands, especially the financial aspects.

      The group contends it played a key role in the country's liberation,
complementing combatants, and has long complained of being disregarded by
government in terms of compensation.

      Zimbabwe's war veterans, led by the late Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi,
arm-twisted the government in 1997 until the state pumped out about $2.7
billion as compensation.

      Sources also said payments for those already vetted were likely to be
effected before Christmas, barring any complications in the vetting of
would-be recipients.

      "We expect the Bill from the Government Printers anytime. There is a
likelihood that it will be gazetted next Friday unless there are delays
being experienced at the printers," said a government source.

      Vetting of the ex-political prisoners, restrictees and detainees is
being done through prison records.

      The sources said it was likely the government would agree to the
demands of the grouping, which is a key political organ in the ZANU PF
scheme of things, considering that parliamentary elections were less than
seven months away.
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      Embattled Mawere finds refuge in the US

      Felix Njini
      9/16/2004 7:02:57 AM (GMT +2)

      FUGITIVE maverick businessman Mutumwa Mawere, on the run from
Zimbabwean authorities who are after his scalp for violating the country's
exchange control regulations, is understood to have slipped through the
United States of America's so-called targeted sanctions net and sought
sanctuary in that country.

      Mawere, a former officer with the Washington-based International
Finance Corporation, is wanted by the Zimbabwean authorities to answer
charges of externalising more than Z$300 billion in hard currency.

      Highly placed sources said the defiant Johannesburg-based businessman
who also holds South African citizenship, is now based in the US despite
sanctions slapped on him in 2002.

      That year the US government, which has not made secret its dislike for
President Robert Mugabe, imposed a travel ban on senior members of the
government and those closely associated with them. On February 22 2002,
President George Bush signed the proclamation suspending the entry into the
US "as immigrants or non-immigrants those persons who America deemed to be
threatening Zimbabwe's democratic institutions". Mawere was barred from
entering the US because of his suspected ZANU PF connections.

      Sources said Mawere was spotted "having a good time" this week at a
dinner in New York in the presence of his Zimbabwean friends. Mawere, whose
erstwhile colleagues in ZANU PF accuse of hunting with the hounds and
running with the hares, refused to discuss this latest development.

      "Mawere was in New York this week. He used his connections to get
sanctuary in the US. His fallout with ZANU PF and the Zimbabwean government
appears to have worked to his advantage," said a source, adding that Mawere
had pleaded persecution from the ZANU PF-led Zimbabwean government to US

      News of his entry into the US comes after Mawere successfully fought
against extradition from South Africa to Zimbabwe where he is facing charges
of foreign currency externalisation.

      Prior to becoming chairman of Virgin Islands-domiciled Africa
Resources Limited (ARL), Mawere has worked for the World Bank in various

      When contacted this week for comment, a close business associate of
Mawere said: "Why should Zimbabwean papers be interested in his whereabouts
when he doesn't belong here? He is where he should be."

      The controversial businessman came into the limelight in the mid-90s
when he became the first black businessman to acquire a mining empire.
Mawere, through ARL, bought Africa Associated Mines, the holding company for
Shabanie Mashava Mines. Through ARL, Mawere had established a diversified
group of companies involved not only in mining but also in the industrial,
construction materials, agricultural and financial services sectors.

      Critics do not however credit the phenomenal growth of his empire to
any exceptional business acumen. They instead attribute Mawere's perceived
success in business to sufficient backing from an influential politician.

      The government, whose anti-graft crusade has seen many Zimbabwean
business executives fleeing the country, has said it is taking over the
ostracised business mogul's business empire.

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      New law shocks business sector

      Nelson Banya
      9/16/2004 7:03:24 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S most recent legal contrivance, the Presidential Powers
(Temporary Measures) (Reconstruction of State-indebted Insolvent Companies)
Regulations of 2004, is not just a mouthful, but, according to analysts,
could prove to be a handful too.

      The regulations, which, like their anti-corruption forerunners, have
caused no small degree of consternation among the ranks of captains of
industry and commerce, have already been effectively used against businesses
linked to embattled empowerment proponent Mutumwa Mawere.

      However, analysts and observers have cautioned that this could
culminate in Zimbabwe having another "anti-business" law on its statute

      The temporary presidential measures, which have a six-month life,
normally evolve into law to enforce regulations that would have been hastily
put together by the executive.

      Tony Hawkins, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe's Graduate
School of Management, said the regulations were just the latest addition to
a litany of bad laws.

      "There are many laws, not just this, that are inimical to investment.
This issue, though, as it relates to Mutumwa Mawere, is a complicated one.

      "It's not just that the firms are indebted to the state, but are being
said to have broken the law. In normal circumstances, they (the state)
should go to court for recourse," Hawkins said.

      The presidential measures on state-indebted insolvent firms have seen
SMM Holdings, the parent company of most of Mawere's business interests,
being slapped with a reconstruction order, which, according to the novel
regulations, entails the appointment by the justice minister of
administrators who would assume all executive authority of the firm while
the management structures become redundant.

      Mawere's FSI Agricom Holdings Limited, which has extensive interests
in the agricultural secotr, has also been put under reconstruction.

      The regulations also give the administrator, who is answerable to the
justice minister, powers, among others, to issue shares to the state or
divide them, as well as to cancel any shares currently held by any member of
the firm under reconstruction.

      Section 21 of the measures makes provision for the nomination, by the
minister, of persons to hold shares in reconstructed companies on behalf of
the state, while sub-section 3 refers to the disposal of the shares held by
the state in the reconstructed firms.

      Persons deemed culpable in the circumstances leading to the insolvency
of the firm will also forfeit all shares, rights and interests in, or claim
upon, the company under reconstruction.

      Apart from heightened political risk emanating from a deepening
political and economic crisis, Zimbabwe's laws have been widely seen to be
unfriendly to new, particularly foreign, investment.

      The controversial land redistribution, which the government embarked
on in 2000, coupled with sporadic violent political clashes, particularly at
election time, have earned the country, once a great African hope, a
negative investment profile.

      According to a World Bank report on Doing Business (2004), it takes an
average 96 days to launch a business in Zimbabwe, going through a 10-step
process, against a regional average of 64 days, with an 11-step procedure.

      The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
countries' average is a six-step process taking 25 days.

      The OECD bloc is made up of most of the industrialised countries of
Europe and North America.

      It costs new businesses the equivalent of 304.7 percent of gross
national income (GNI) per capita to start up in Zimbabwe, against a regional
average of 223.8 percent and eight percent for OECD countries.

      However, Zimbabwe's minimum capital requirements (53 percent of GNI
per capita) are more in line with OECD levels (44.1 percent of GNI per
capita) against a regional average of 254.1 percent.

      On the human resources front, Zimbabwe has the least rigid hiring
conditions, working hours, firing conditions and costs, compared to the
region and the OECD countries.

      Questions have also been raised over the ability of the government to
oversee the revival of the troubled firms, a responsibility the new
regulations thrust upon it, given the government's woeful record with state
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      Matonga under threat

      Staff Reporter
      9/16/2004 7:03:56 AM (GMT +2)

      BRIGHT Matonga's continued reign at the Zimbabwe United Passenger
Company (ZUPCO) is in jeopardy as it has emerged that a clique of ZANU PF
heavyweights is baying for his blood after he announced his candidature in
the forthcoming ruling party primaries for Kadoma East.

      The race for the Kadoma East constituency has spilled over to the
beleaguered public transport utility, which is wholly owned by the

      Sources said prominent ZANU PF bigwigs were determined to eject
Matonga from the hot seat because they suspect that Matonga could use ZUPCO
to gain poltical mileage in the constituency, which is experiencing
transport problems.

      They said political tension between Matonga and the ZANU PF officials
was also working against the operations of ZUPCO, whose operations have been
pathetic over the years.

      ZUPCO deputy chairman, Justin Mutasa said Matonga, a virtual political
novice, had not formally communicated to the board that he wanted to contest
in Kadoma East.

      "We have had the information through rumours. As the board we would
expect him to communicate to us formally. If we receive that official
communication we will then act accordingly," said Mutasa.

      Matonga, who yesterday refused to comment on his political ambitions,
will battle it out for the constituency against the Minister of Labour,
Public Service and Social Welfare, Paul Mangwana.

      A former sports reporter for the British Broadcasting Corporation
(BBC) appointed to head ZUPCO, Matonga has publicly stated his intentions to
wrestle the constituency from Mangwana, a lawyer for the past 19 years.

      But pressure is mounting on Matonga to "forget" the Kadoma East seat
to give Mangwana a soft landing pad in the forthcoming ZANU PF primaries to
be held in October.

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      Inflation downward spiral continues

      Staff Reporter
      9/16/2004 7:04:19 AM (GMT +2)

      THE annualised rate of inflation has continued to abate and stood at
314.4 percent in August, down by 48.5 percentage points from 362.9 percent
recorded in July, according to latest official figures released by the
Central Statistical Office (CSO).

      Month on month inflation, which has been ticking up in recent months,
also slowed down significantly, from 9.5 percent in July, to 5.3 percent
last month.

      The decline has been attributed to a slowdown in both food and
non-food inflation.

      Food inflation, which accounted for 120.6 percentage points to the
annualised figure, stood at 320.4 percent, 58 percentage points less than in

      Non-food inflation also declined by 42.7 percentage points, to 310.8

      Economic analysts have noted, however, that the recent fuel price
increases, which were not factored into the August data, have bid up
inflationary pressures in September.

      "The trend is still downwards, showing it is sustainable. However, the
figures did not factor in the fuel and general price increases which came
towards the end of the month.

      "However, all in all, the target is achievable," Best Doroh, principal
economist at financial group Finhold, said.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has targeted a year end rate of
inflation of between 170 percent and 200 percent, which analysts now agree
is well in sight.

      The central bank is also projecting a double-digit inflation figure by
the end of 2005 and a return to single digit inflation thereafter.

      RBZ governor Gideon Gono, who was appointed in December 2003, has
religiously pursued a tight monetary policy while gradually slackening
exchange control restrictions, a measure which has seen the dollar
stabilising against major currencies, whose inflow have also improved

      Gono introduced a foreign currency auction system in January and this
has had the effect of allowing more hard currencies to flow into the formal,
as opposed to the grey, economy while the dollar, which was in free-fall
last year, has stabilised somewhat.

      The local unit is currently trading at just over $5 600 to the
greenback, having traded at about $7 000 to the United States dollar last
year, at the peak of parallel market activity.

      However, developments in the crucial petroleum industry, where
intermittent supply threatens the return to near optimal levels of
production, could derail the central bank's anti-inflation crusade.

      Fuel shortages, a major bane of the Zimbabwean economy since the
economic recession set in five years ago, have re-emerged in recent weeks,
coinciding with oil pump price hikes whose impact will be reflected in the
September inflation data.

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      30 000 jobs at risk. . . . as Asians flood market with cheap goods

      Charles Rukuni
      9/16/2004 7:07:09 AM (GMT +2)

      The advert was crude. The government probably thought it was in bad
taste. But workers in the clothing, leather and textile industries must have
welcomed it as appropriate.

      The advert, which appeared in The Chronicle of July 27, read: "Nxa
ugqoke'zako zhing-zhong unjengo muntu ongagqo-kanga. Unqunu!"

      Loosely translated, this meant: "When you are wearing zhing-zhong, you
are like a person who is naked."

      The full-colour advert, placed by the leading cash chain of a Zimbabwe
Stock Exchange-listed retail group, showed a man smartly dressed in a blue
shirt and brown trousers accompanied by a woman in a smart red dress
laughing at a naked couple.

      It must have upset some authorities because, on July 29, it was
replaced by a more "acceptable" advert. The new advert showed a happy family
of five, the average Zimbabwean family, of father mother and three children,
one boy and two girls.

      The message was more subtle: "With us you are number 1. Quality
fashion, quality service, quality prices. No wonder our customers feel on
top of the world. Shop at Number 1 Stores and you could soon be on top."

      Though the initial advert appeared to be a slap in the face of the
government's "Look-East" policy, most workers in the clothing, leather and
textile industries probably agreed with it because cheap, and usually poor
quality, Asian products that are flooding the market are putting up to 30
000 jobs at risk.

      The workers are so incensed that they are organising a fashion contest
to raise $9 million to launch a "Buy Zimbabwe Campaign" aimed at not only
urging Zimbabweans to buy local products, but to keep the Zimbabwean
clothing industry alive and save jobs.

      The contest will be staged in the capital next month.

      Fred Mpofu, general secretary of the National Union of the Clothing
Industry, said his union was so worried about the future of the clothing
industry that it had approached the National Employment Council for the
Clothing Industry to lobby the government to protect the industry.

      "Right now, competition from Asian products, especially those from
China, is grossly unfair," Mpofu said. "If you go to Sokusile in Nkulumane,
you can buy a Chinese shirt for $14 000. You can hardly get a locally
manufactured shirt for less than $100 000.

      "With the present economic hardships people are facing, they have very
little choice. The clothes are very colourful, and even if they don't last,
they help one fill in the gap."

      Mpofu said a number of clothing factories in Bulawayo, such as Ascot
and Label, were already feeling the pinch. They were either retrenching
workers or had gone on three-day working weeks.

      He said, however, it was not only the clothing industry that had been
adversely affected. The textile and leather industries were equally in

      Albert Gwala, vice-president of the Zimbabwe Textile and Allied
Workers Union, said there was no way Zimbabwean companies could match
competition from the Asian products.

      "China has several advantages over us. It has easy access to cheap raw
materials, it enjoys cheap labour and has modern technology. We cannot
compete against them," he said.

      "We are not saying they should not trade with us, but if they want to
help us, they should not supply the same products that we are able to
supply. They should supply us with raw materials so that we can in turn
manufacture cheaper products. Or they could export products that we are not
able to produce locally, like they did with the natural hair factory."

      Gwala said the future of thousands of workers was at stake because the
cheap Asian goods flooding the market affected the weaving industry, the
spinning industry, the clothing industry, shoe manufacturers, producers of
leather goods such as handbags and travel goods.

      "We are talking about approximately 30 000 jobs. With our extended
family support system, this means over a hundred thousand people could be
affected," Gwala said.

      There is a growing feeling that while "communist" China was reputed
for teaching people how to fish, "capitalist" China is now supplying the
fish. But it does not seem to be content with this. It now wants to take
over the market.

      A joke doing the rounds in Bulawayo says the Chinese policy is now:
"Zhanga zhii zhako zhaa zhangu." (What was yours is now mine).

      But some people feel that Asian countries, and China in particular,
are not to blame. Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Luxon
Zembe said the Zimbabwean government was squarely to blame because it had
the onus to protect its people, local industry and jobs.

      He said the government should not be looking at things from a
short-term point of view because the future of the nation was at stake.

      "We are not saying to hell with China, but we are saying let us have
fair competition."

      Zembe said the government had a moral obligation to protect local
industry and had to make sure that its people were not prejudiced by
whatever competition it exposed them to.

      "The government must put the country first. It should look at the
impact of imported goods on the economy of the country. It should look at
whether it is offering fair competition to its industry. It should also look
at whether it is offering its people fair value for their money.

      "When people are desperate, as they are at the moment, they will go
for whatever they can get with the little they have," Zembe said.

      "But while the goods they buy might appear cheap, they will be very
costly at the end of the day.

      "Firstly, they don't last, which means people have to replace them
more frequently. Secondly, people in local industry lose their jobs, so they
will not have that little they had at the end of the day. When people lose
their jobs, you create social problems, and social problems lead to unrest."

      Zembe said the government should consider introducing targeted tariffs
to protect local industry and save jobs, adding that organisations like the
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe should launch "Buy Zimbabwe Campaigns" to
encourage people to buy local products because they were of better quality
and to educate them that the so-called cheap goods were expensive at the end
of the day.

      "People must look at quality and value for money. You can buy a cheap
shirt but it will only last you two months, but a quality local product will
last you three years. So, at the end of the day, you lose money by buying
cheap products."

      Gwala said the government should seriously consider protecting local
industry because there was a danger of turning the country into a nation of

      "Just look at our neighbour, South Africa . . . they are protecting
their industry to the hilt. Why can't we do the same?"
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      The rise, escape and fall of Mawere

      Hama Saburi
      9/16/2004 7:07:41 AM (GMT +2)

      THE belief that it is a curse for any businessman to be associated
with politicians rings true of Mutumwa Mawere, whose businesses are fast
collapsing around him.

      The sudden demise of Mawere's vast business interests, stretching
across all the major sectors of the economy, has baffled many people who
closely followed the meteoric rise of the former International Finance
Corporation employee.

      Right from the start, Mawere appeared to have struck the right chord,
as his empire grew in leaps and bounds without raising much sweat.

      It had always been suspected, but denied, that Mawere leveraged his
success on influence-peddling ZANU PF bigwigs who have since abandoned him
in his hour of need.

      What with the unusual US$60 million government guarantee doled out in
1998 to facilitate the purchase of his Shabanie Mashaba Mines (SMM) and the
seven-year privilege to market asbestos fibre, which was however, cancelled
in March this year under unclear circumstances?

      Observes say it was only in May this year that it became apparent the
maverick businessman's fine run had come to an end. It all started with
Mawere's arrest in South Africa at the request of the Zimbabwean
authorities, who are still keen to quiz the Africa Resources Limited (ARL)
chairman on allegations of prejudicing the state of more than $300 billion.

      While Mawere successfully challenged a request to have him extradited
to Zimbabwe at a Randburg magistrate's court, that could not stop the
onslaught on his troubled empire, which is fast collapsing like a deck of

      Two months later, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa specified Mawere
along with three NMBZ Holdings directors Julius Makoni, James Mushore and
Francis Zimuto who fled Zimbabwe in March after the police indicated they
wanted to question them in connection with allegations of externalising the
equivalent of $30 billion in foreign currency.

      And this month, the government took over the running of SMM in terms
of the recently gazetted Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
(Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies) Regulations 2004
under the guise of preventing its collapse and saving jobs.

      Since then, the fortunes of Mawere's businesses have been hanging by
the thread with stocks in which the businessman has some interests dropping
sharply on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

      The demise of Mawere's empire is arguably the second high profile
disintegration in post-independent Zimbabwe after the Roger Boka debacle,
way back in 1998.

      Boka, a fearless and sometimes controversial luminary in black
economic empowerment issues, caused tremors in the banking sector after the
collapse of his United Merchant Bank, which suffered serious financial

      The late Boka, was however worth a fraction of Mawere's troubled
empire, that has grown to become the bedrock of the Zimbabwean economy
through its vast interests in banking, insurance, mining, agriculture,
manufacturing and engineering sectors.

      It is the expansive nature of Mawere's tentacles that may continue to
reverberate long after the state has seized some of his businesses.

      But who is Mawere and where did he go wrong?

      Way back in March 1996, an article headlined "Black businessman buys
mining empire" appeared in The Financial Gazette. The expose, ironically
authored by the embattled legislator for Makonde, Kindness Paradza, who ran
into problems after purchasing the weekly Tribune from Mawere and is now
clutching at the straws of political survival, marked Mawere's entry into
the limelight.

      Paradza wrote then: "An unknown Zimbabwean businessman, Mutumwa
Mawere, has secured more than half a billion dollars to buy four local
mining and construction subsidiaries of a British-based international
automotive components and engineering conglomerate."

      Mawere first came to prominence when he acquired SMM in a
headline-grabbing deal. His hitherto unknown deal-making and negotiating
prowess saw him take over Zimbabwe's sole asbestos producer without paying a

      His deal-making dexterity saw Mawere acquiring a significant stake in
high-flying assets such as Schweppes Limited, CFI Holdings, and ZimRe
Holdings. He is also a major investor in General Beltings, Steelnet,
Turnall, Fidelity Life, NicozDiamond, First Banking Corporation, Ukubambana
Kubatana Investments, FSI Holdings, Tube and Pipe, Textbook Sales, Firstel
and Hastt Zimbabwe.

      Observes say the ease with which the business magnate got favours from
government could have rang some bells for Mawere.

      It would appear, they say, there were some powerful politicians that
had doled out government facilities to Mawere hoping they had him on a

      But alas, Mawere thought he was clever, they said and decided to go it
alone, hence the retribution from his "godfathers" who have since waged a
war of attrition.

      Others suspect Mawere could have pressed the self-destruct button by
refusing to dine with ZANU PF bigwigs when he rejected his appointment in
absentia as the ruling party provincial secretary for Masvingo last year.

      He was quoted as saying: "I did not know anything about those
elections. Why should a person be elected to a post without his or her

      "The decision to give me the post without even consulting me only
succeeded in throwing me into speculative limelight, and this cannot be

      Mawere opted to play it safe, and declined interest in politics
insisting he was merely a businessman with no allegiance to any political

      Yet others see the government move as a blessing in disguise. They
said the unparalleled growth enjoyed by Mawere over the years had to stop
somewhere for it was being financed by cash from sister companies in the

      Hence, when interest rates started creeping up, Mawere's empire ran
into liquidity problems, with some of the companies caught up in a web of
expensive loans.

      Ideally, observers say, Mawere wanted to control major players in the
financial services sector namely the Financial Holdings Limited (Finhold),
which owns the Zimbabwe Banking Corporation and Scotfin Limited, as well as
First Banking Corporation (FBC) to carry the cash-starved business through.

      The monetary authorities, however, moved at a much faster pace than he
had anticipated resulting in an excessive interest bill that drove his
empire against the wall.

      In the meantime, his attempts to wrestle control at FBC and at Finhold
failed and that saw him failing to commandeer resources into his companies.

      Yet others argue that Mawere had created more enemies than friends,
because of his insatiable appetite for empire building.

      They said he had done very little to empower his directors, let alone
the workers, who were virtually getting tired of his empty promises. His
fallout with long-time allies namely John Mkushi, Godfrey Gomwe, Hillary
Munyati and Edwin Manikai worsened his situation.

      Mawere has also had his fair share of controversy.

      For instance in 2001 he fought the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation after the national broadcaster breached its contract by taking
his programme, Talk to the Nation, off the air without notice.

      Earlier in 2002, Mawere had taken the government-owed Privatisation
Agency of Zimbabwe to court after it had reversed the decision to spin off
two Astra Industries subsidiaries.

      But despite his differences with the establishment, the outside world
always took him to be part and parcel of Zimbabwe's ruling elite.

      In 2002, Mawere joined the list of ZANU PF members and government who
were slapped with targeted sanctions by the European Union after being
accused of crimes against humanity.
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      Controversy-courting cleric

      Mavis Makuni
      9/16/2004 7:08:24 AM (GMT +2)

      In a recent interview on the BBC programme HARDTalk, Archbishop Pius
Ncube was asked whether he did not consider himself a voice in the
wilderness in view of the fact that he seemed to be the only Roman Catholic
cleric who regularly speaks out against the government of President Robert

      The archbishop replied that different people adopted different
approaches to solving problems and he had chosen to speak up as long as the
political crisis in Zimbabwe remained unresolved.

      "I will not shut up," he declared.

      Ncube's determination to speak his mind has made him one of the most
controversial figures in Zimbabwe today. He has been engaged in a
long-running verbal feud with the head of state, President Mugabe, and the
government in general.

      He has been branded a puppet of the British and Americans and accused
of trying to reverse the gains made since Zimbabwe attained independence in

      Hardly a month goes by without brickbats being flung at the churchman.

      In July, ZANU PF secretary for information and publicity Nathan
Shamuyarira described the archbishop as "an obnoxious liar and propagandist
paid by racist imperialists".

      This was after the cleric had claimed while addressing journalists in
Johannesburg that next year's parliamentary elections would not be free and
fair. Ncube alleged that the government would use food to buy votes.

      "We have a dictator who does not care about his own people and who
tells lies and twists things
      . . . There will be no free and fair elections in Zimbabwe as long as
the present conditions persist," he was quoted as saying

      Ironically, most of the archbishop's passionate statements about the
situation in Zimbabwe are in turn dismissed as falsehoods by the government.

      He has been accused of fabricating a story to the effect that 10 000
supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Matabeleland
had been deliberately starved to death by the ruling party. He has been
challenged to produce evidence to prove his claim.

      Last month, President Mugabe upped the tempo against Ncube when he
gave the church leader a tongue-lashing during the funeral of former
Matabeleland South provincial governor Mark Dube at the National Heroes

      Eulogising Dube as a hero who had made sacrifices to liberate Zimbabwe
from colonial rule, President Mugabe warned Zimbabweans to be on the lookout
for traitors "who sup and dine with the devil".

      Delivering a familiar punch line, the President said Dube would never
have gone "to invite Blair to please come and invade his motherland, the
same satanic way Archbishop Pius Ncube and his opposition colleagues do

      A fortnight later the sparks were flying again, this time at the
installation of the new Archbishop of Harare, the Right Reverend Robert
Chris Ndlovu.

      On that occasion the President slammed the behaviour of clergymen who
embarked on anti-Zimbabwe crusades in Britain and the United States.

      Ncube, who was in attendance, visited the United Kingdom in July. He
claimed during that trip that political repression and economic hardships
had reached such high proportions that they could spark civil strife. He was
also accused of exaggerating Zimbabwe's inflation rate to 1 000 percent
during an interview with Sky News. Inflation peaked at 623 percent in
January this year and has been easing since then.

      The rift between the head of state and head of the Catholic Church in
Matabeleland is the more intriguing given the fact that the two men belong
to the same church. Indeed, relations were once so warm that the President
officiated at the archbishop's installation six years ago.

      It seems hard to believe now, but at that time President Mugabe
described the churchman as "this son of the soil who has distinguished
himself". These days, the President has no such kind words

      The church leader first stirred a hornet's nest about a year after he
took over as archbishop. This was in July 1999 when the Pastoral Council of
the Catholic Church, of which he was president, passed a resolution to use
Ndebele as the main language during services.

      This move was widely seen as being tribalistic and discriminatory
against Shona and English speakers, a charge vigorously denied by the

      His first major clash with the government surfaced shortly before the
2002 presidential elections when, while addressing a campaign rally in
Lupane, President Mugabe called on the archbishop to step down.

      This was after the head of state had accused the cleric of frustrating
government efforts to upgrade St Luke's Hospital, a Roman Catholic health
facility in the district, into a provincial hospital.

      "We don't want to create trouble with men of God but I think
Archbishop Ncube has gone too far," the President said.

      He challenged the cleric, who he accused of supporting the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, to come out in the open and declare his
political affiliation.

      Since then, it has been rare for a month to go by without "the man of
God" being blasted or ridiculed in a blaze of headlines in the official
media. He has been accused of joining forces with the Roman Catholic Church
in South Africa and the South African Council of Churches in campaigning for
sanctions to be imposed against Zimbabwe.

      In January last year the archbishop irked government officials by
allegedly helping the British Broadcasting Corporation to clandestinely film
a documentary about the politicisation of food aid.

      The BBC, which is banned from reporting from Zimbabwe, was said to
have sent "undercover agents" posing as tourists to collect evidence to
prove that the government had allowed genocide to be committed in
Matabeleland during disturbances in the 1980s.

      Ncube has also provoked government's wrath over his involvement in the
setting up of "safe houses" to cater for victims of political violence in
Zimbabwe and his opposition to the national youth training programme.

      A notable aspect of this war of words between the head of the Catholic
Church in Matabeleland and the state is that no matter how ferocious the
verbal attack may be, the cleric rarely bothers to issue statements refuting
the charges levelled against him.

      But who is this outspoken man who consistently raises the hackles of
many in government every time he opens his mouth in public?

      Pius Alick Mvundla Ncube was born in Filabusi, Matabeleland South, 58
years ago. He grew up herding cattle like all other boys from peasant

      He attended a Presbyterian primary school in the Mbogwane area near
Bulawayo to which his family relocated while he was still a child. He
completed his upper primary schooling at St Patrick's primary school in
Makokoba in 1962.

      Ncube proceeded to Chikwingizha secondary school in Gweru in 1963.
After completing his secondary education he studied theology and philosophy
at Chishawasha seminary near Harare. He earned his Licentiate at the Vatican
in Rome in 1973.

      He served as a priest at St Joseph's Mission in Kezi, Empandeni and
Embakwe missions in Plumtree and in various capacities in Bulawayo until his
appointment as archbishop.

      It seems that right from the word go, the archbishop had definite
views vis-a-vis the church and politics. He told a newspaper interviewer two
weeks before his installation that he believed "religion has a strong claim
in politics".
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      NSSA cooking the books?

      Nelson Banya
      9/16/2004 7:06:26 AM (GMT +2)

      IS the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) cooking the books and
shading the truth?

      That is the question after the Comptroller and Auditor General's
office has, for the second time in as many years, withheld its opinion on
the authority's books, citing material misstatements.

      The controversy-dogged NSSA runs the government's compulsory
pay-as-you-go pension scheme which came on stream in the last half of 1994
amid stiff resistance from industry and commerce.

      New auditor-general Mildred Chiri, who succeeded the long-serving Eric
Harid in February, qualified the statutory body's financial statements for
the year 2002, citing the same reasons Harid was not satisfied with the
accounts for the period between 1998 and 2001.

      "I conducted my audit in accordance with International Standards on
Accounting. Those standards require that I plan and perform the audit to
obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free of
material misstatements.

      "Contribution income is apportioned on an arbitrary basis of 75
percent for the Pension and Other Benefits Scheme and 25 percent for the
Workers Compensation Insurance Fund. This apportionment is in contravention
of section 28 of the National Social Security Act, Chapter 17.04, which
stipulates that all contributions should be paid to the Scheme and all
premiums to the Fund," Chiri stated in her report, dated April 26.

      She added that contribution income was being accounted for on a cash
basis, resulting in the scheme not accounting for contribution debtors as it
only recognised contributions received.

      "Claims costs recognised in the financial statement are only those
reported and actually incurred. This policy distorts the claims amount as
claims incurred but not reported are not taken cognisance of by way of, for
example, setting up provision for claims incurred but nor reported based on
the Scheme's experience of the levels of such claims.

      "Because of the significance of the matters discussed above, I do not
express any opinion on the financial statements," Chiri stated.

      In 2002, contributions towards the National Pensions Scheme amounted
to $3.81 billion, while premium income stood at $1.07 billion.

      NSSA's investments amounted to $19 billion at the close of the
financial year.

      Financial analysts have long expressed concern on the lack of proper
information systems at NSSA, whose effect has filtered through to affect the
statutory pensions body's accounts.

      Lloyd Kazunga, a Harare-based financial analyst, said the fact that
auditors had qualified NSSA's accounts in successive years without the
authority doing anything to rectify the problem showed the lack of
accountability plaguing the country's biggest pensions body.

      "The board was supposed to rectify the problems highlighted by the
auditors and revamp the accounting system.

      "NSSA is the biggest pensions institution in the country, taking
contributions from across the spectrum, so it has to be accountable. The
public's interests have to be protected here, more than in some of the
private institutions where we have seen the authorities rightly stepping in
to ensure that public funds are accounted for.

      "NSSA is paying measly pensions because of some underperforming
investments. No one has really benefited from NSSA," Kazunga said.

      NSSA board chairman Edwin Manikai said his board took note of the
auditor-general's qualification of the 2002 accounts, but stressed that the
arbitrary apportionments would continue.

      "The arbitrary apportionment of 75 percent to the Pension and Other
Benefits Scheme and 25 percent to the Workers Compensation Insurance Fund
will continue to be a qualification until such time as we have commissioned
a new IT (information technology) system which will be able to allocate
money between schemes as provided for by law.

      "We expect the system to be in place by end of 2005," Manikai said.

      Acting NSSA general manager Amod Takawira said lack of an efficient
information system remained one of the authority's major weaknesses.

      "This area, as last year, remains a major challenge to the authority.
After the termination of the IT design contract, the authority could not
find any local company to complete the claims processing project.

      "However, on the recommendation of the ILO (International Labour
Organisation) expert on social security administration, the authority
abandoned the project as there was evidence that the system was not
compatible with other hardware servers," Takawira said.

      With regards to NSSA's debtors, Manikai said it was virtually
impossible to come up with a comprehensive list of debtors, despite the
deployment of compliance inspectors by the authority, as there was no single
source of employer data in the country.

      "Employers on our database are those who willingly registered or were
registered following investigations by our compliance inspectors. We do not
have inspectors to cover the whole country (and) therefore we cannot confirm
at any one time that all employers in Zimbabwe have been registered. This is
a problem area not only for NSSA, but for all statutory bodies that require
contributions from or through employers," Manikai said.

      He, however, said the authority would, starting with the 2003
financial statements, make provisions for unpaid claims.

      NSSA is notorious for producing its accounts long after its financial
year has elapsed, in contravention of the governing Act, which states that
the board should submit the statements within six months of the June 30
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      Made bungles

      9/16/2004 7:41:06 AM (GMT +2)

      DESPITE the unpredictable rainfall pattern and intermittent droughts,
Zimbabwe was for years known as the regional breadbasket. It had a robust
agricultural sector, which anchored a reassuringly resilient and stable
economy that stood in stark contrast with the stagnation and misery in its
northern and eastern neighbours and indeed most of the so-called Third World

      Sadly though, the country now cuts a different image. It has been
reduced to a basket case characterised by a swift contagion of uncertainty.
This can be explained in terms of the current state of the agricultural
sector, which leaves a painful impression. Indeed the shrunken state of the
economy is a mirror reflection of the collapse of the agricultural sector.
Most frightening though is that the situation could just get worse if the
uncertainty surrounding the availability of seed is not urgently resolved.

      We are quite aware that those who, not without reason, have in the
past warned of chaos in the agricultural sector have predictably drawn sharp
attacks as saboteurs bent on causing alarm and despondency from all-knowing
government apologists who not only exhibit arrogance and self-conceit but
are also known for their endless swirl of polemics. They paint a
rosier-than-real picture of the situation in agriculture by engaging in an
orgy of self-congratulation about the supposed success of the most radical
change in land ownership on the African continent.

      We however have to categorically state here that we are not
questioning the rationale nor the need to address historical injustices and
inequality through land reform which the government itself admits has been
fraught with abuse, especially by politicians with bloated self-interests.
But we are afraid the back-to-the-land idealism could, given the setbacks
such as biting shortages of key inputs, fail to provide the optimum
opportunity to achieve its objectives - guaranteed food security and
economic empowerment.

      In fact the economic fallout of the chaos and confusion concerning
seed prices at this late hour wrought by upside-down priorities and lack of
forward planning on the part of the responsible government arms could be,
for want of a better word, incalculable. That key stakeholders are still
haggling over prices and retailers do not have the seed on their shelves as
yet is cause for great concern. It could spell absolute disaster for
Zimbabwe's agriculture.

      The gravity of the situation is demonstrated by the eleventh hour
appointment of a Cabinet Task Force to oversee preparations for the coming
agricultural season which unfortunately is coming into being when it could
just be too little too late. Was it necessary to appoint the task force,
which itself is fraught with conflict of interest as some of the ministers
are seed growers who might be part of those who were last year implicated in
side-marketing? Isn't this emblematic of everything wrong with the way
government has been handling some critical national issues? What has the
responsible ministry been doing for this to be left until so late? Indeed
the mind boggles especially given that agricultural input shortages have
spilled over from previous years.

      How in God's name is the government failing to realise that, fed up
with its strong-arm tactics of forcing seed houses to sell their products at
uneconomic prices, the seed producers have scaled back on their production
in Zimbabwe and instead bolstered production at their operations dotted
around the region, beats us. All this means is that Zimbabwe could be left
with very little choice if any, but to import seed. Hence the general
consensus that government should have made long term contingency plans for
the production of seed by institutions such as ARDA. Otherwise, if local
production of seed is not guaranteed then the land reform is doomed and the
economy which depended on agriculture will continue to lurch from one crisis
to another. Yet it was hoped that a turnaround in agriculture, which
previously had the single biggest sectoral contribution to the country's
gross domestic product, could soothe the economy's running sore.

      This situation, which could have been avoided, should be blamed
squarely on shoddy planning by the relevant government departments,
especially the blundering Ministry of Agriculture headed by Joseph Made. The
sad story of the erstwhile self-sufficient country's agriculture proves that
no plan is worth the paper it is written on until it starts you doing
something, that is if the ministry had a plan at all.

      Indeed Made's ministry seems bereft of the vision, capacity, nay
willpower and zeal to demystify the neo-colonial notion that foresight,
planning and execution of modern and scientific agricultural practice was a
preserve of farmers drawing and hailing only from the old order. As such the
new farmers are left devastated with a psychology of impotence and pessimism
against a background of empty sloganeering and administrative blundering.
And naturally we face today, the spectre of new farmers of little means
holding on to large tracts of land they are unable to use but would
inevitably destroy through deforestration and environmental degradation.
This will provide a perfect backdrop to a tragic and disastrous failure of
small-scale commercial agriculture in this country, with devastating
consequences on local economic pride and promise.

      As it is, with very little productivity taking place, land reform is
neither improving the economic standing of most of the beneficiaries nor is
it adding value to the national economy, despite its potential. That is why
we said in our editorial of May 22 2003 that given the teething but
avoidable problems besetting the agrarian reforms, for now, it would seem
like the farmers were given cheques they cannot cash.

      This will unfortunately do little to demystify the terrible aura
surrounding the emotive land issue. Not to mention its net effect on the
intended guaranteed food security, the reformation and revival of the
economy and the democratic renewal of the country through the restoration of
honour and dignity to those who were historically marginalised.

      This is why we feel that the all-important Agriculture Ministry should
be run by authoritative and trusted visionaries who will not only be able to
find a modus vivendi with key stakeholders but also clearly outline measures
for the improvement of agriculture and for the social protection of farmers.
This is moreso especially at this time when Zimbabwe is hoping for a new
generation of public services.
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                  ...and now to the Notebook

                  9/16/2004 7:43:17 AM (GMT +2)

                  SO our ambitious microscopic opposition party, ZANU
(Ndonga), has joined the national galamania? We are made to understand that
they are threatening to throw a good one shortly in memory of their late
leader, The Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.

                  Not surprising at all considering that this gala thing is
a brainchild of one person whose history dates back to the days when Sithole
sold out the liberation struggle. Ever heard that this person used to help
in the propaganda department of the late politician's party? So can it be
surprising at all that this party also has a taste for galas?

                  AND there is this one. Last week one Zim company made its
mid-year results announcement. And it called for an analysts briefing. Also
attending the event were business and financial journos and other

                  One sports journalist called "Mhofu" (ex-ZBC), now working
for a foreign radio station, decided that there was no harm in inviting
himself there in order to have one or two free beers.

                  Come question and answer time after the presentation of
the results, vaMhofu boldly asked: "I understand you last month listed on
the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has that brought any dividends to you?"

                  The other journalists could not find anywhere to hide as
they cringed in embarrassment for every person who cares to know elementary
financial and economic journalism will tell you that a company doesn't get
dividends from being listed . . . and it is not the company that gets
dividends . . . there is a word called shareholder . . . there is a lot

                  And what made the embarrassment even worse is that our
clever sports journalist was politely told that the company in question has
been listed on three bourses - JSE, ZSE and London Stock Exchange - for more
than 20 years! We wonder where vaMhofu had done his research! Isn't it
always good to confine ourselves to areas we know better than to advertise
the thickness of our ignorance trying to portray ourselves as know-alls?

                  IT appears like it will be a long time before the
popularity of our golden girl, Kirsty Coventry, dies down. Sure, because
from the look of things, Zimbabweans are just crazy about the proud
achievements of the Athens triple medallist and they are now suggesting that
since our galamanic nation has failed to hold a musical gala in her honour,
something else should be done.

                  And this is the suggestion from one of Kirsty's fans. He
says the only way to honour the golden girl is to have as many TV programmes
on swimming as possible so as to inspire the youths to take up the sport.

                  And the suggestion is this: ZBC, or whatever it wants to
be called these days, as a public broadcaster should start having programmes
such as: Talking Swimming with Supa, Around the Pool, Swimming Pool Watch
and Behind the Pool with Tazzen Mandizvidza, Face the Pool with Masimba
Musariri and our lovely Patricia Mabviko-Musanhu will also give us Breaking
New Swimming Records!

                  With Charles Mabika out of the picture, maybe on Wednesday
nights someone may try to present another programme - This is Swimming!

                  Doesn't this sound like a patriotic suggestion?

                  CZ hopes that his colleagues at the state-controlled media
learnt something from the recent incident involving veteran sports
commentator Charles Mabika - that the regime, like America, has no permanent
friends, but interests . . . one can be used and, like a condom, disposed of
so cheaply anytime.

                  If someone can be cashiered on unpatriotic grounds for
innocently commentating on exactly what is happening in a soccer match, then
we wonder what could happen if one is found out to be stringing for VOA's
Studio 7.

                  And no matter how hard you work, if someone thinks they
have used you enough, you will still go . . . they should all know it . . .
including those ones being posted to Windhoek!

                  THE Daily Mirror (September 6 2004) carried a story in
which it reported that two accomplices "stole a sheep, slaughtered and
shared the pork (sic) meat amongst themselves".

                  And to think that all along we have been made to believe
that meat from sheep is called mutton. Could this be a harbinger that some
local farmers have made inroads in genetic engineering? Moreover, I was
under the impression that you slaughtered an animal and not the meat.

                  Talk about putting your foot in your mouth, or subs
sleeping on the job.

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      'Look-east' policy fails to bear fruit

      Felix Njini
      9/16/2004 7:12:06 AM (GMT +2)

      BITING sanctions and economic stagnation caused by sharp falls in
foreign direct investment (FDI) from the West saw Zimbabwe adopting a
"look-east" policy but, four years on, the much-vaunted investment from
"friendlier" Asia has failed to go beyond rhetoric.

      Meaningful trade between Zimbabwe and Malaysia, China, Indonesia,
Libya and Iran among others has failed to bolster the country's frail
economy, a state which government critics blame on official corruption and

      Trade deals, always announced amid pomp and fanfare, with some
"friendlier" nations have floundered. Analysts attribute this to Zimbabwe's
incapability to meet contractual obligations. The government has remained
tight-lipped on trade statistics with Asia.

      Zimbabwe's economy requires a long time to dismantle trade links
established with some western economies, analysts noted.

      Economists said that the government's "look-east" policy was a
charade, a damp squib, and a face-saver adopted in the midst of a maelstrom
induced by a series of ruinous economic policies.

      Real trade remains with the European Union (EU) and the United States,
analysts say.

      China, the 21st century's fastest growing economic powerhouse, was
still a long way off to substitute the maligned west as Zimbabwe's major
trading partner, the analysts pointed out.

      "Traditional markets still account for virtually all of Zimbabwe's
trade. We need to redirect our efforts to Asia but we have not been able to
do that," said a local economist.

      Statistics from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) indicate that
Zimbabwe's total trade, excluding the sale of gold, grew eight-fold from
$8.2 billion to $62.4 billion between1990 and 1997.

      This represented an annual growth rate of 33.7 percent. Including gold
sales, the rise in the level of trade was from $8.8 billion to $66.8

      Analysts attributed the eight-fold increase to trade liberalisation
policies under the structural adjustment programmes launched in 1991 after a
decade of state-led development initiatives.

      The growth trend has gone down as the anticipated Asian-Zimbabwe trade
boom failed to materialise.

      "If this economic growth trend had continued, the economy would be
better off," said the economist.

      In 1990, the exchange rate was Z$0.38 to the United States dollar. It
fell to Z$5.05 in 1991 and by 1997, it stood at Z$18.6 to the greenback.

      As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), exports rose from 20
to 30 percent, imports from 21 to 33 percent and the trade deficit from 1.4
to 6.4 percent, the CSO said.

      "At the moment there are no bilateral trade agreements with Asia.
Business needs to have quotas, firm product supply arrangements and
predictable markets," said the economist.

      Zimbabwe's total exports rose from $3.6 billion in 1990 to $56 billion
in 1997.

      Exports to the EU accounted for $9.3 billion, United Kingdom $2.8
billion, Germany $1.9 billion, US $1.4 billion, Japan $1.5 billion.

      Regional trading partner South Africa, which has maintained solid ties
with the Zimbabwean economy, accounted for $3.2 billion.

      Zimbabwe had a combined import bill of nearly $17 billion with the EU,
UK, Germany and the US.

      "The Zimbabwean economy was structurally designed to link with
European economies. The equipment, spare parts, the technology bears a link
to Western manufacturers. That is a factor which is being overlooked in the
Asian thrust," said the economist.

      During the seven-year period from 1990, Zimbabwe's exports to China
rose from $62.9 million to $215 million, Malaysia from $2 million to $213
million, Indonesia from $16 million to $298 million, Singapore $11.5 million
to $141.1 million and Libya from $1.1 million to $13.4 million

      "This was the time when Zimbabwe was supposed to have made headway
with the countries which played a role during the war. That never happened.
The solution does not lie in running away from our markets but in
diversifying to new ones while consolidating our presence in the traditional
ones," the economist said.

      Government has tried to play down its isolation.

      Billions of dollars have been gobbled up in numerous trips to Asia to
try and get market access to no avail.

      Like a cornered animal, the Zimbabwe government has reacted venomously
to suggestions of resuming normal ties with the Western world.

      "We need to try and develop trade in all corners. Attempts into
Malaysia, Libya, Indonesia have failed mostly because of the failure to
pay," said economic commentator Eric Bloch.

      "There has been a tremendous drop in business with Iran, Kuwait,
Libya, Malaysia and North Korea. Trade dwindled because these countries
failed to find any benefit in continuing business with Zimbabwe," Bloch

      Statistics indicate that FDI has declined by 95 percent from US$98
million in 1995 to US$4.5 million in 2003.

      Portfolio investment has also shrunk by 83 percent from US$64 million
in 1995 to US$10.8 million in 2003.

      Grants have also shrivelled by 78 percent from US$167 million in 1995
to only US$36.1 million last year.

      Zimbabwe's exports have continued to decline and lag behind imports
since 2001, when Zimbabwe's isolation from the international community

      Exports declined by 38.6 percent from US$2.2 billion in 2000 to US$1.4
billion in 2003.

      To compound this, Zimbabwe's import bill has increased by 10 percent
from US$1.9 billion in 2000 to US$2.1 billion in 2003.

      Zimbabwe's trade deficit has shot up by 72 percent from a negative
US$218 million in 2001 to a negative US$768 million last year.

      Against clear evidence of continued stagnation, President Robert
Mugabe has maintained that there is an "ongoing socio-economic turnaround"
and an "evident revival of the economy".

      Government ministers have also parroted President Mugabe's calls to
end "neo-colonial dependence syndrome" by cutting ties with businesses from
Britain, the EU and US.

      President Mugabe believes there is better business in the burgeoning
Third World regions.

      "This neo-colonial dependence syndrome has been our repeated ruin.
Traditional business enterprises, which have shaped and defined our thrust
are, in the majority of cases, unambitious subsidiaries of major companies
in South Africa, Britain and America, caught in a time warp and hopelessly
hidebound," President Mugabe is on record as saying.

      Analysts dismiss this as sheer arrogance from a leader whose economy
has benefited immensely from the same Western countries.

      Economists said there was a need for Zimbabwean business to grab the
pickings in the traditional markets while there are still pickings to be

      "China is promising to be one of the world's biggest economies. There
is likelihood that in five years it would have overtaken the US. However
there is no trade between Zimbabwe and China, what is there is akin to
dumping. It amounts to Chinese products prejudicing local manufacturers. In
the end China is likely to be disillusioned," Bloch said.

      He blamed Zimbabwe for looking for deals where only itself would

      "That is not trade, it has to be two way. We benefited from Malaysia
but Malaysia did not benefit," Bloch said.

      "Let us open up the economy to the whole world. Let us stop pretending
we do not need the international community," Bloch [ends here...]
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      'Zim has potential to show its farming prowess'

      Zitha Dube
      9/16/2004 7:27:16 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S agricultural industry needs to come up with practical
measures to fully utilise its potential, it has been noted.

      Delegates to a recent workshop on sustainability of agricultural banks
who comprised a representative of the Bank of Zambia, Francis Muma, said
Zimbabwe had the potential to show its agricultural prowess.

      Of concern to the visiting team from across the continent was that
although Zimbabwe craves to enhance its agricultural base, it does not have
the money to fully fund agriculture.

      Therefore, this has caused a decline in production.

      Muma said there was need for governments, farmers and other
stakeholders to come together and devise methods of funding agricultural

      This, he said, would go a long way in building a strong agricultural
industry as cheap money would be made available.

      "However, follow-ups should be made to ensure the money is put to good
use and repaid accordingly," said Mumba.

      The chief executive officer of Agricultural Development Bank of
Zimbabwe (Agribank), Sam Malaba, said the country required more than a
trillion Zimbabwean dollars to fully fund all agricultural projects.

      "Government and the RBZ, through Agribank, gave farmers concessionary

      "Now, together with a couple of other banks we are raising money for
tobacco farmers. Our target is $250 billion by November."

      However, the money that has since been received from government and
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is not enough for a single crop.

      In October 2003, the RBZ made available $60 million to lend to farmers
at 15 percent per annum while in January the government injected $150
billion into Agribank to lend to farmers at 30 percent per annum.

      The three-day workshop, meant to come up with measures to sustain the
agricultural industry, was organised by African Rural and Credit Association
(AFRACA), the central bank and Agribank.

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      Minister Made determined to blunder on

      9/16/2004 7:43:58 AM (GMT +2)

      HERE we go again. As was the case last year, farmers once again face
an imminent agricultural planting season without access to the most
important input - seed.

      I was flabbergasted to read in the press last week that the Minister
of Agriculture and Rural Development, Joseph Made, was, at this late hour,
yet to reach an agreement with seed producers on a pricing structure.

      "The season is here and there is every reason for farmers to be
worried because of the unavailability of seed. We will announce the outcome
of the meeting in due course," Made was quoted as saying. Is this man
serious? Is this now familiar cop-out of a statement supposed to be the
minister's way of inspiring new farmers to work hard this season?

      What is the minister doing holding last-ditch talks at the last minute
when he should have been in constant contact and dialogue with seed
producers throughout the past year?

      I find it hard to believe that after experiencing a similarly chaotic
and uncertain situation with regard to inputs last season, the minister did
not make contingency plans for the current planting season. Does the
minister never learn any lessons about making plans ahead for eventualities?

      It would seem that the only contingency plan that was in place to
ensure the delivery on time of seed maize and other crop varieties to
farmers was to resort to strong-arm tactics to whip the commodity producers
into line.

      But not surprisingly, the government's order that seed producers who
were seeking increases should revert to old prices did not do the trick.

      It, in fact, backfired when the concerned establishments withdrew
their stocks. They argued, reasonably by any yardstick, that selling their
products at the old prices did not make business sense because they would be
doing so at a loss. And so we are back to square one.

      Hopefully, Made and his ministry will learn an important lesson from
this. Arbitrary government decrees have no place in a free market economy
and should not be regarded as an acceptable substitute for proper planning
and consultation with stakeholders. I am not an economic expert but I think
it is a perversity for any entrepreneur to be in business to make a loss. I
admire those service providers who have been honest enough to point out that
they are not charitable organisations when pressured by one or other arm of
government to undermine their prospects for running profitable enterprises.

      God help us as a country if the government succeeds in inculcating a
loss-making culture in our business people by imposing operating conditions
that are only convenient and beneficial to the state.

      The government is not helpless. How can it justify resorting to
forcing private enterprises to shoulder the burden of what should really be
government subsidies for agricultural inputs?

      In the case at hand, if the government believes that new farmers
cannot afford the market prices of agricultural inputs, why does it not
intervene to help by introducing a subsidy?

      While I am aware of the argument that the government alone cannot do
everything, I can also identify a million non-productive initiatives in
which the state could make cutbacks. Funds released from these non-priority
areas could then be re-channelled towards vital sectors such as agriculture.

      Some time ago, I read in a weekly newspaper, a story to the effect
that the government was to spend $500 million on the refurbishment of youth
militia training camps.

      The National Youth Service Training programme is a controversial
scheme perceived by many Zimbabweans as not bringing about any positive
national benefits but only grief and anguish.

      Does it make sense therefore, to pour millions into such a non-starter
at the expense of agriculture, which the government itself says is the
backbone of this country's economy?

      It is even more bewildering for the government to splurge hundreds of
millions of dollars on a new publishing venture to 'counter' propaganda
supposedly emanating from South Africa. It leaves me in the depths of total
despair to realise that all this is being done because an alert South
African Sunday newspaper has published well researched and irrefutable
reports about the conspicuous consumption of some government ministers.
These are individuals who were either caught on extravagant fly-by-night
shopping sprees in South Africa or building opulent mansions in the same

      The concerned individuals felt particularly embarrassed and chastened
by these stories because they exposed the hypocrisy of their preaching
sacrifice and austerity for the rest of us while they themselves drowned in
wealth and luxury. Why should national priorities be subordinated to the
vanities of such individuals?

      The Agriculture and Rural Development Minister is, on his part, well
known for his wide-off-the-mark crop forecasts and the amateurish methods he
uses to make these fictitious projections. But despite all the fun that has
been poked at this ineptitude, Made seems determined to continue plodding
along as before. This means that as long the minister is un-bothered by his
inability to undertake serious strategic thinking and planning, agricultural
planting seasons will continue to be characterised by chaos, panic and

      Unfortunately the minister's bungling will continue to have a ripple
effect throughout the agricultural industry.
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      RBZ decision gave birth to Homelink

      9/16/2004 7:38:45 AM (GMT +2)

      This is a new weekly column in which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
explains what Homelink is all about, tries to correct any misunderstandings
there may be about it and answers questions, that may arise in relation to

      IT was the decision by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to put in place a
money transfer system to enable Zimbabweans living abroad to send money home
safely, reliably, quickly and conveniently that gave birth to

      Homelink-Kumusha-Ekhaya is a concept or slogan that has been used to
make people aware of the new money transfer system. It has become a brand
name used to popularise this system that helps link Zimbabweans abroad with
their families at home by providing them with a safe means of sending money

      The Homelink system links Zimbabweans abroad not only with their
families but with their country. It can be used to invest money in property
or interest-bearing instruments, such as the new Diaspora Bonds.

      It also enables Zimbabweans abroad to contribute to their country's
economic turnaround and economic development at the same time as they are
sending money to their families or for their own investment purposes.

      The money they send home through a money transfer agency that is part
of the Homelink system is paid out to the recipients in Zimbabwe dollars.
The foreign currency equivalent is made available to the foreign currency
auction. It becomes part of the foreign currency which companies and
individuals bid for, the bulk of which goes to companies that require it for
productive purposes and essential imports.

      When the system was introduced payment was allowed in either foreign
or local currency. However, abuse of this privilege by some people who asked
for payment in foreign currency and then sold it on the black market,
resulted in this privilege being withdrawn.

      Prior to the introduction of the Homelink money transfer system
Zimbabweans were sending money home chiefly through various illegal
channels. Some were defrauded in the process. Sometimes the money took weeks
to reach home. Sometimes only part of it arrived home. Sometimes none of it
reached the intended recipients.

      Often the foreign currency never left the country from which it was
sent. It was banked in somebody's foreign account and the Zimbabwean
recipients were paid out in Zimbabwean dollars out of funds already in
Zimbabwe. The country was thus deprived of the foreign currency that could
have helped pay for essential imports.

      The foreign currency went instead to help enrich those who had foreign
accounts, who effectively externalised their funds by paying the
beneficiaries of these illegal money transfers out of their Zimbabwean funds
in return for foreign currency being paid into their foreign account abroad.

      The new money transfer system established by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe and popularised under the Homelink brand name is designed to
guarantee safe, reliable, fast and convenient money transfers and to ensure
that the foreign currency does reach Zimbabwe and becomes available for sale
on the foreign currency auction.

      To guarantee this, the Reserve Bank has insisted on certain conditions
that money transfer agencies registered with it have to abide by. These
include insurance to cover money transferred through them, partnerships with
reputable international money transfer organisations and ensuring they
always have sufficient cash on hand to be able to pay the equivalent in
Zimbabwe dollars of the money sent electronically to them.

      The conversion rate used in calculating the Zimbabwe equivalent of the
money sent is the auction rate or the new diaspora floor price of Z$5 600 to
the US dollar, whichever is higher. At present the diaspora rate is higher
than the auction rate.

      No commission is charged by money transfer agencies in Zimbabwe on
money sent through them. There is no tax or any other charge payable either.

      Those sending the money will, however, be charged commission by the
agencies in their country of residence through which they send the money.
The commission varies according to the charges established by different
money transfer organisations, making it worth shopping around for a
competitive commission rate.

      By asking their relatives abroad to send them money through a money
transfer agency which has an agreement with a licensed money transfer agency
in Zimbabwe, people can be sure of the money reaching them swiftly and
safely and at the same time help the country's economy, as the foreign
currency involved will become available to the foreign currency auction.

      This is also a lawful means of transferring money home, kumusha,
ekhaya. The risks of being caught dealing on the black market or
externalising funds is therefore avoided.

      In this weekly column it is hoped to respond to questions and queries
that people have. Anyone who has questions they would like to see dealt with
in this column can send them by e-mail to or by post to
Homelink Column, Box MP97, Mount Pleasant, Harare.

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