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

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe seizes US$2.68 million from SA-owned firm
Fri 16 September 2005

      HARARE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), desperate to raise hard
cash for critical imports, has seized US$2.68 million belonging to South
African-owned Hippo Valley Estates alleging the sugar growing firm violated
Foreign Exchange Control regulations.

      Hippo Valley, which is one of Zimbabwe's biggest sugar producing
firms, is owned by South African mining giant, Anglo American Corporation.

      In a report on the sugar firm's operations during the first half of
the year, chairman Godfrey Gomwe said the central bank on August 12
instructed Hippo's bankers to surrender the hard cash allegedly because the
company had failed to declare the money within the prescribed period.

      Under foreign currency control regulations, exporters should liquidate
their hard cash earnings within 30 days.

      Gomwe said: "On August 12 2005, the RBZ directed that US$2.68 million
be liquidated from the company's foreign currency account (FCA) on the
ground the Company's banker had violated Exchange Control Regulations with
respect to the liquidation of FCA balances within the specified period."

      The Hippo chief, who insisted his company did not breach exchange
regulations, said the seizure of the money would, "adversely impact the
company's ability to import critical inputs and thus seriously undermine

      Zimbabwean firms have seen production tumbling over the last six years
to about 40 percent of capacity in large part because of shortages of forex
to import raw materials, machinery and spare parts.

      The acute foreign currency crunch has also caused shortages of food,
electricity, fuel, essential medical drugs and other basic commodities
because there is no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers.

      The government has defaulted on debt repayments to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and other creditors also because of the hard cash
crisis. But Harare last month paid US$120 million to the IMF to avoid
expulsion from the Fund. Insiders said the RBZ raided corporate FCAs to
raise part of the money paid to the IMF.

      Central bank governor Gideon Gono has however vehemently denied the
charge insisting the money paid to the Bretton Woods institution was raised
from what he simply described as "internal resources." - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

White farmer pressure group urges Zimbabwe to appeal for food aid
Fri 16 September 2005

      HARARE - The white farmer Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG) has
called on President Robert Mugabe and his government to immediately appeal
for food aid, dismissing as "fictitious and scurrilous" government claims
that Zimbabwe had enough food stocks.

      JAG chairman John Worswick, said Harare should appeal to the United
Nations for help while clearing all bureaucratic obstacles to food aid
flowing into the country.

      He said: "The government should make an immediate formal appeal for
food assistance with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and
deviate from its stance of restricting food relief, which has seen the likes
of South African Council of Churches (SACC) being frustrated by the state's
red tape."

      Mugabe, whose controversial seizure of white farms is largely blamed
for food shortages in Zimbabwe over the past five years, refuses to make a
formal appeal for aid although he last June personally assured WFP boss
James Morris that his government would accept help from the UN food organ
and other relief agencies.

      The veteran leader, who initially denied the country was facing severe
food shortages, is adamant his cash-strapped government has enough resources
to feed all hungry Zimbabweans.

      Zimbabwe's food situation remains at best mysterious after Agriculture
Ministry permanent secretary Simon Pazvakavambwa last week told a business
congress that the country was left with only three weeks' supply of food.

      Pazvakavambwa's claim was however met with fiery denials from several
senior government officials who accused him of lying about the country's
food security situation.

      Worswick, whose organisation puts the number of hungry Zimbabweans at
between four and six million, said evidently plummeting production levels
across the agricultural sector made the government's food sufficiency claims
hard to believe.

      "Fundamentals such as seed, fertilizers, and fuel are in acute short
supply and very expensive, the worst scenario since independence thus making
food security assurances by the government illusionary", he said.

      Intelligence minister Didymus Mutasa, who oversees food aid
procurement and distribution, was quoted by state media as saying the
government was importing about 15 000 tonnes per week from South Africa.

      But food security experts were quick to dismiss Mutasa's assurances
saying that even quantities the government minister claimed were coming into
the country fell far short of the more than 37 000 tonnes the country
requires per week.

      Zimbabwe is grappling its worst ever food and economic crisis blamed
by many on misrule by Mugabe's government. - ZimOnline
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15 September 2005

Public advisory

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been particularly touched by the plight of
workers and ordinary people hit by an unending fuel shortage that he has
decided to join millions of Zimbabweans now walking across the country to
conduct their businesses.

With effect from Friday, 16 September 2005, Mr. Tsvangirai shall be walking
from his Strathaven home in Avondale West to and from his office at Harvest
House in Nelson Mandela Avenue, central Harare until the situation improves.

Personally, Mr. Tsvangirai has tried unsuccessfully to get fuel for the past
month. He has had to depend on friends and well wishers who have equally
been affected by the crippling shortages of fuel in Zimbabwe.

Harare has completely dried up of any supplies, even at the stations where
fuel is being sold at US dollar-denominated prices.

Mr. Tsvangirai believes there shall be no end to the current Zimbabwean
crisis as long as the Robert Mugabe regime and Zanu PF remain firmly holed
in a denial mode.

Without food, without fuel, without foreign currency, and without friends,
the Mugabe regime has gone full circle back to the dark days when
Zimbabweans were forced to fight for their rights against colonialism.
Zimbabweans are experiencing the impact and uncertainty of the darkest hour,
which, as you all know comes before dawn.

Mr. Tsvangirai believes the Zimbabwean dictatorship no longer possesses the
wherewithal and resolve to cling on power. What remains is for the people to
muster the tools at their disposal and push the regime and its parasitic
bureaucracy to realize the emergencies confronting the nation and pave the
way for a new beginning, a new Zimbabwe.

The MDC can no longer counsel patience among the people. Zimbabweans who see
the crisis in this country must stand up, organize and protect themselves
against the current form of violence and abuse, says Mr. Tsvangirai.

T. W. Bango

Spokesperson to the President.

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Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Operation Murambatsvina - The Suffering Continues
Sokwanele Report: 15 September 2005

In her report of 18th July the UN Special Envoy, Mrs Anna Tibaijuka,
concluded "Operation Murambatsvina has precipitated a humanitarian crisis of
immense proportions."  After noting the 700,000 people who had had lost
either their homes, their sources of livelihood or both, and the further 2.4
million indirectly affected in varying degrees, she added:

"The humanitarian consequences . are enormous. It will take several years
before the people and society as a whole can recover. There is an immediate
need for the Government of Zimbabwe to recognise the virtual state of
emergency that has resulted, and to allow unhindered access by the
international and humanitarian community to assist those who have been
affected.  Priority needs include shelter and non-food items, food and
health support services."

Rather than acknowledging their despicable crime the Mugabe regime has tried
to rubbish the Special Envoy's report.  Rather than setting up a massive
relief operation they prefer to remove the damning evidence from sight by
the simple expedient of forcing the unfortunate victims out from the towns
where their homes and premises were destroyed into rural wastelands.  Yet
notwithstanding their shrill denial and the urgent cover-up, it seems that
Mugabe for one is not convinced that the bluff will work. Only this week he
withdrew the invitation to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, to come and
see for himself.

In order to re-visit one of the sites of massive destruction and assess the
continuing cost in terms of human suffering, one of our reporters travelled
to Victoria Falls this week. Despite being mentally prepared for the worst
he was still shocked by what he saw there, and the stories he heard
first-hand from some of the victims and those in the community, particularly
the local pastors, who have taken up their cause.

The ZANU PF blitzkrieg swept through the town on May 30th.   In July  a team
of five pastors from Bulawayo, who were already providing food and shelter
to over a thousand victims in their own city, made a "solidarity visit" to
their colleagues in Victoria Falls.  This visit helped to strengthen the
resolve of the church leaders in Victoria Falls whose courage had failed
them for a moment when one of their number was arrested by the police for
expressing too close an interest in the plight of the homeless.  Now the
pastors from the two centres visited the ZRP together.  The initial
reception to their visit was hostile and suspicious but eventually  the
pastors won a grudging measure of respect, for the police gave them
permission to move through the devastated areas, talk to the victims and
assess the level of pastoral need.  What they saw disturbed them profoundly.

Chinotimba is an established, high-density township. It comprises several
hundred long-standing dwellings occupied by settled tenants. Such was the
extent of the housing shortage in the town however that on almost every plot
there was - before the Mugabe tsunami -  a temporary shack standing
alongside the authorised dwelling. Every shack was occupied by a local
resident who would otherwise have been homeless.  When Mugabe's storm troops
moved through the area they destroyed every shack in their path.  The
pastors could see the outcome for themselves.  In every remaining small,
two-bedroomed house they visited they found at least 3 families - a minimum
of ten people crowded into each.  And adjacent to each house,  in the open,
where once a temporary shelter had stood, they discovered fifteen or so
homeless people would creep back in the evening to sleep. In many cases
these were the same tenants who had now lost what limited protection they
once enjoyed from the cold and damp.
 The team of pastors observed that many of those living in these squalid,
overcrowded conditions and sleeping under the stars, were sick.  Some, they
were told, had already died of exposure.  During their visit to one home
they found a corpse awaiting collection for burial.

Next the pastors visited "DRC", a new township in the making.  Prior to
Operation Murambatsvina the plots had already been allocated to tenants.
Water and sewage services had been connected up.  The tenants had been
granted leases and were paying rent for the sites while they started
building their approved houses.  Given the harsh economic conditions
prevailing it was not surprising that for most the rate of progress was
slow.  When any money or materials was available they would buy what they
could and proceed with the building.  The erection of the structures went on
piecemeal and more slowly than the tenants would have wished, but that was
hardly their fault.  The pastors were shown some of the rent cards issued by
the local authority.  Their evolving structures were formally approved and
legal.  Yet again when Mugabe's uniformed thugs came to the site they
flattened every single structure, however far construction had proceeded.
Approximately 2,000 people were affected
 by this violent and unlawful action in this area alone.

In other residential areas adjacent to the small commercial centre of the
town the pastors encountered some 350 now homeless residents whose dwellings
had been smashed and burnt to the ground.  Again these people were the legal
owners of the dwellings.  Not only were they able to produce legal documents
establishing their title; they also had receipts for the rent paid.  When
the pastors interviewed them in mid winter they were sleeping out in the
open.  They were, observed the pastors, very bitter at the government which
had treated them in this callous, inhuman (and illegal) fashion.

In the pastors' own assessment some 4,000 dwellings and places of work were
destroyed in Victoria Falls during Operation Murambatsvina.  (In our earlier
report of June 15 we estimated the number rendered homeless at 60,000)

Such was the level of suffering in the community uncovered by the church
leaders in July.  In the ensuing weeks the pastors from Bulawayo remained in
contact with their counterparts in Victoria Falls, and towards the end of
August they made a further visit to the once prosperous holiday resort.
They found that the plight of the homeless was even worse than on their
first visit.

This time the pastors discovered that, following further sweeps of the
townships by Mugabe's thugs, many of the homeless had retreated to the bush
two or three kilometres outside the town.  There they found close to a
thousand homeless men, women and children sleeping rough in the bush.  These
poor people had no shelter, food, water or toilet facilities.  Most were
unemployed but some were still trying to hold down a job in the town while
living in these appalling and unsanitary conditions.  All were at risk from
the wild life that occasionally strayed through the bush, including monkeys,
baboons, buffalo and elephants.   Experience had taught them that the
buffalo were most to be feared.   Again those reduced to this pitiful
existence expressed great bitterness and anger at the government which had
visited this misery upon them.

The pastors were also shown over three warehouses in the small industrial
area adjacent to Victoria Falls.  To their horror they discovered that the
warehouses had been converted from industrial to residential use -
unofficially.  Each warehouse had now become home to a large number of
otherwise homeless men who were still in employment.  The minimum number in
each was 45.  Access to the warehouses was barred to all women, including
wives and family members. Any females seen in the vicinity were immediately
chased away.  When the men of God who visited these dismal premises raised
questions about the impact of such living conditions upon family life and
public morality, they received no satisfactory answers.  Word was that the
owner of the warehouses has demanded $ 4 million per month for each, saying
how the money was raised and how many men had to be crowded in to achieve
this return, was not his concern.  The whole operation is of course totally

The pastors who spoke to our reporter were clearly angry and disgusted by
the conditions to which the victims of Operation Murambatsvina have been
subjected. They were also deeply concerned for the future welfare of these
people.   On the surface it might appear that the situation has improved
because there are only a few people still living in the bush now.  But this
is only because of the regime's forced repatriation programme which has seen
over 900 of those previously living in the bush around the town, moved back
to their so-called "rural homes", the link with which in many cases is no
more than a name on an identity document.    Food packs were supplied by the
church to some of the homeless before their forcible removal, but these will
only last a few weeks at best.  And then what ?

What provision has been made by this heartless regime - indeed what
provision will they allow others (who do have a heart) to make - for the
tens of thousands of victims now being unceremoniously dumped in remote
rural areas, without food, water, shelter or employment ?

Anna Tibaijuka was right.  The humanitarian consequences of this despicable
programme of destruction and forced migration are enormous, and it will take
several years before the people and society as a whole can recover.  What is
more, that time will only begin to run once the issue is addressed seriously
by those in power and there is a massive, coordinated response to the
humanitarian disaster.  And that process has not yet even begun.

September 14, 2005


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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zim in serious power crisis

Shame Makoshori
issue date :2005-Sep-16

KARIBA South hydro-electricity plant and the Hwange Thermal Power Station
face collapse unless they are urgently refurbished.
Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission Commissioner-General, Mavis
Chidzonga told Vice-President Joice Mujuru in Harare yesterday that the two
stations were using obsolete equipment, with technicians at Kariba now
afraid to service the plant.
Chidzonga said since the construction of the Kariba Power Station in 1953,
it had been minimally refurbished - leaving the infrastructure in a
precarious state.
She called for immediate government intervention, or else the country would
soon face serious power blackouts.
Chidzonga said the government must allocate foreign currency to the plant so
that spares can be imported.
"Kariba has a big problem. It is now dangerous even for staff to go into the
plant. The infrastructure is too old and it requires urgent attention,"
Chidzonga told Mujuru.
"Last week, we had a delegation that visited the power station and
technicians did not allow them to stay in there for too long because they
were afraid. We are in a big problem, Your Excellency."
Kariba generates 750 megawatts.
Chidzonga said the Hwange Power station, which generates 780 megawatts, was
also in a sorry state.
"Hwange also has problems which, if not solved, may also cause a serious
blackout because the equipment there was last replaced in 1987. We have to
carry out expansion
 works so that we reach the generation capacity required.
"By the year 2007, the region will not be able to export power to Zimbabwe,"
Chidzonga said.
She added that Zimbabwe was the largest importer of electricity in the
Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
Zesa Holdings imports 32 percent of the country's power requirements from
South Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Chidzonga said despite the country's poor electricity generation capacity,
at least 20 percent of the power is wasted.
Turning to the issue of electricity tariffs, the ZERC chief said while her
institution realised the need to peg power prices with vulnerable groups in
mind, there was need to charge economical charges that would keep the
troubled Zesa Holdings afloat.
Industry, she added, had called for regular supplies of electricity even at
higher tariffs.
In response, Mujuru said Zesa Holdings was not a company that government
could afford to ignore, but pointed out that a number of foreign investors
had shunned the parastatal because of red tape.
"Foreign investors have previously been identified but we request too much
information. Yes, they are looking for opportunities but they end up looking
as if they committed a crime, that is our weakness," Mujuru said.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zesa Holdings needs overhaul

Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Sep-16

THE unbundling of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) into a
holding company incorporating five subsidiaries has created operational
problems for the power company. The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory
Commission (ZERC) yesterday said that the problems called for urgent
government attention.
Briefing Vice President Joice Mujuru of the challenges that the commission
had identified in its five months of operation yesterday, ZERC
Commissioner-General, Mavis Chidzonga said in some instances, the holding
company was moving away from its portfolio to encroach into the operations
of the five entities.
The holding company's mandate was to be the custodian of government shares
and implement policies.
"We are working well with Zesa, but the company has manyFrom Page 1
 challenges brought about by the unbundling. The holding company is even
expanding at a faster rate than its subsidiaries and this is inhibiting the
viability of the subsidiaries," she said.
She added that these challenges could only be solved if the structure of the
company was re-examined.
Added another commissioner: "We want Zesa to function well and create room
for the private players but the company has to be restructured so that its
subsidiaries are not affected by the resultant competition. We should also
revisit the Act governing the operations of Zesa to keep it in line wit the
developments at the company."
Zesa is currently importing 32 percent of its requirements from three
regional power utilities.
The vice president promised to look into all the issues outlined in a
documented presented to her by ZERC.
She indicated that she would invite both the Zesa top brass and ZERC to come
up with a proper appreciation of the operations of the entity.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Shortage of commodities major headache for CSO

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Sep-16

THE shortage of some commodities on the market is presenting a major
challenge to the International Prices Comparison (IPC) study that the
Central Statistical Office is carrying out in conjunction with other
countries in the world.
CSO acting director Moffat Nyoni yesterday said that the shortage would
affect accuracy of the data being collected.
"Non-availability of commodities is presenting a bigger challenge than the
rapid changes in prices," he said. "It poses problems in the computations
that we have to make."
The country has over the past two years experienced a shortage of basic
commodities, among them sugar, mealie-meal and salt.
Zimbabwe joined other countries in the world in the IPC study, which is used
to measure the purchasing power of national currencies in different
countries throughout the world.
Some countries also use it to determine salaries for their diplomats serving
in different countries.
Nyoni said since the study involved comparing prices of certain commodities
over a period of 12 months, there was need to have the same products every
He said shortages during some periods made it difficult to produce accurate
data, as it was not possible to find the averages for the period under
There had been concerns that the escalating inflation would affect results
of the study with some commentators arguing that the information would not
reflect a true picture of the situation in the country.
"Even if prices change many times, we can still find an average by adding
the totals for 12 months and dividing by 12," he said.
Nyoni said at least 145 enumerators from his office were in the field
collecting data for this month.
He said data that was collected was sent to the African Development Bank for
consolidation with that from other African countries and onward transmission
to the World Bank where the study was being coordinated.
All the countries in Africa, except Eritrea and Libya, are involved in the

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Harare plans to get rid of vendors in city centre

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Sep-16

THE Harare City Council has come up with a plan of action to rid the city
centre of vendors, touts and street people who have resurfaced on the
streets following the winding up of Operation Restore Order in July, an
official said. The council's public relations manager, Leslie Gwindi, said
the council held a meeting with other agencies on Wednesday to discuss the
issue and seek assistance to carry out the exercise. "We are going to
immediately put into action a plan to get rid of illegal vendors, touts and
street people from the city centre," he said.  Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya on
Tuesday told the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government that the
council was striving to enforce the relevant by-laws to address the problem
of street people and illegal vendors, but was being hampered by the shortage
of municipal police.
He said of the 800 municipal police the council employed, about 200 were
suffering from ill-health, which compromised the effective execution of
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No Exit Visas But Critics Beware - Zimbabwe Justice Minister
      15 September 2005

Justice Minister Patrick Chinimasa denied Thursday in an interview with VOA
that the government intends to introduce exit visas for citizens wishing to
travel abroad.

Mr. Chinimasa said a constitutional amendment recently passed by parliament
and signed into law by President Robert Mugabe allows the government to
seize passports from individuals deemed to have tarnished the country's
image while abroad.

The justice minister said Harare will not draw up a list of people whose
passports are to be seized. But if individuals "continue" to criticize
Harare while outside the country, the government will pass enabling
legislation providing for the seizure of passports.

Mr. Chinimasa denied the government was targeting the Movement for
Democratic Change or other critics of the ZANU-PF government. He said the
amendment should be taken as a warning signal that could be followed by more
specific action.

But a spokesman for the opposition party said the government's move to
restrict the movement of citizens already represent a gross abuse of human

MDC Legal Secretary David Coltart told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that passage of the travel amendment was an anomaly.
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In Zimbabwe's Latest Fuel Crisis, a Country Running on Fumes By Carole
      15 September 2005

Zimbabwe's worst-ever fuel crisis is getting even worse with many areas
totally dry.

Reports say even the black market is struggling for supply, and cars and
buses are rapidly disappearing from the streets. Service stations run by
Comoil and Exor, licensed to sell fuel for dollars and other hard
currencies, are also out.

Comoil Executive Chairman Savious Kasukuwere, who is also member of
parliament for Mount Darwin, a town about 400 kilometers north of Harare,
the capital, declined to comment on the crisis, saying he is no longer
executive chairman of the fuel firm.

Businesses and consumers are feeling the drought. Reporter Carole Gombakomba
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe interviewed Shane Mtetwa, a taxi driver in
Chegutu, 80 kilometers west of Harare, who has not been able to find
gasoline for two weeks.
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Despite Slaps at West, Some Find Mugabe UN Speech Tame By Blessing Zulu
      15 September 2005

Under pressure from United Nations officials to request and accept
humanitarian aid, President Mugabe in remarks to the U.N. General Assembly
reproached the West and the U.N. itself for what he characterized as
interference in a sovereign state's affairs.

He also said U.N. members need to go back to the organization's founding
principles if they are to attain the Millennium Development Goals for
reducing poverty and other ills in the developing world. Mr. Mugabe
attributed his own country's failure to reach those objectives to drought,
floods, HIV-AIDS and Western economic sanctions.

"In reviewing the progress made towards the attainment of the Millennium
Development Goals, we must have the courage beyond the mere posturing that
is characterized by name-calling, finger-pointing and false accusations," he

Mr. Mugabe deplored "situations where a few countries by virtue of their
privileged positions, by virtue of their wealth and military might, dictate
the agenda for everybody else." In a reference to the U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq, he spoke of "a coalition of evil."

President Mugabe's thinly veiled attacks at the Western powers and the UN
did not go unnoticed. But one foreign affairs expert said the speech was
relatively tame compared to previous U.N. addresses by the Zimbabwean head
of state.

International affairs expert Innocent Sithole, a former editor of the Mirror
newspaper in Harare, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that he thinks Mr. Mugabe chose his words with care because he
wants to mend diplomatic fences.

In Harare, the spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
said Mr. Mugabe's speech was a rehash of old rhetoric and excuses for

Paul Themba Nyathi told Studio 7 reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele that he
rejected the reasons Mr. Mugabe gave having fallen short of national
development objectives.

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New Zimbabwe

The MDC and the culture of prevarication

By Innocent Chofamba Sithole
Last updated: 09/16/2005 08:03:47
THE MDC is increasingly coming across as a motley of antithetical interests
whose main bond was a desire to exploit the 'moment for democratic change'
that presented itself in the upsurge of opposition to the ruling Zanu PF at
the turn of the millennium.

Nothing illustrates this more than the party's agonising over whether or not
to participate in the general election in March and, more recently, the
current indecisive stance with respect to participation in the senate
elections scheduled later in the year. What is clearly apparent is the lack
of intra-party consensus on core principles on the basis of which a coherent
guiding strategy should be devised.

For those who have closely followed the party's game plan in the last three
years, the breakdown of the 'democratic movement' (MDC plus civil society
allies) became quite glaring since the aftermath of the highly contested
2002 presidential election. Convinced that the 'moment for democratic
change' still held, the MDC made the unusual decision to press for the
singular objective of a re-run of the disputed polls. This decision seemed
feasible and convenient at the time. Mass anger directed at the ruling party
over the apparent electoral fraud was at boiling point, and western
resentment of the Mugabe government was both fierce and total. In the MDC's
calculation, nothing could surely rescue this beleaguered regime from such a
determined combination of popular domestic opposition and diplomatic
strangulation by 'those that govern our globe'.

No, not even South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and other African elites could
smother this pivotal moment with their diplomatic interventions. And yet
they did. It all started with the MDC's demobilisation of its mass movement
in favour of doing a 'Lancaster House' with Zanu PF at the behest of Mbeki
and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo. They reckoned that if this failed they
would approach the newly repackaged - and now more 'patriotic' - bench to
challenge Mugabe's legitimacy. The MDC also chose to deviate from the core
principle on the basis of which the amorphous social forces within civil
society had come together with the common objective of playing midwife to a
new, democratic Zimbabwe.

It should be remembered here that constitutional reform was deduced to be
the elementary objective without whose achievement the struggle for a
democratic Zimbabwe would be stillborn. It was, therefore, not an accident
of history that the first political formation Morgan Tsvangirai came to lead
after the ZCTU was the National Constitutional Assembly. And yet when the
MDC approached the negotiation table they had as their main legal demand
piecemeal electoral law reform as a preparatory step for re-running the
presidential election.

To begin with, the negotiation route was naively optimistic and the demand
for legal reforms outside of wholesale constitutional reform was dangerously
opportunistic. The NCA was left flailing its arms in exasperation as the MDC
pursued a strategy informed primarily and almost exclusively by the desire
to take over the reins of the unreformed state from Robert Mugabe and Zanu
PF. Many remember the NCA's desperate protestations in full-page newspaper
adverts countering the MDC's minimalist legal reform and election re-run
agenda with calls for a complete constitutional overhaul 'now!' The MDC
rebutted with platitudes about their commitment to a new constitution but
made it unequivocally clear that this would come after the party had assumed

Effectively, and for similar power-political calculations, the MDC was in
consensus with Zanu PF's pronouncement that constitutional reform was not a

With the collapse of the inter-party talks (to be fair, they never really
took off), the MDC was left brandishing its legal challenge to
Mugabe's legitimacy as its most potent political weapon. They still brandish
it to this day, only a mere two and half years from the next
Presidential election and by which time Mugabe himself would have pretty
much completed the preface to his memoirs!

Having earlier demobilised its raring charges, the MDC found its way back to
the mass action route, albeit 15 months after the disputed presidential
election! Zimbabweans were told to spill into the streets in June 2003 in
what was to be the 'final push' against Mugabe's regime.

Ironically, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube had some months earlier
discounted the mass action route in a national newspaper interview saying:
"We are a sensitive party, we will not send people to die on the streets."
In essence, the failure of the MDC's 'final push' did not owe itself to the
robust response of the state apparatus, for that was predictable and
therefore a redundant factor in the party's strategic planning. Rather, it
lay in the opposition party's prevarication on the option to seize the
Machiavellian moment immediately after the elections and champion a mass
action programme with the demand for wholesale, people-driven constitutional
reform at its core. The 'final push' was thus tantamount to striking the
hammer when the iron had gone cold (Zvanzi naMacheso simbi inorohwa

The drawn-out dilly-dallying over participating or boycotting this year's
general elections was yet more evidence of the strategic constipation
plaguing the MDC. The decision to finally put their head on the guillotine
(announcing participation eight weeks before the poll must surely be
considered electoral suicide) was, in my view, less out of political bravery
than it was a sign of the deep-seated fear of floating in uncertain
political limbo following the election boycott. In short, either the boycott
threat rested on no substantive strategic alternative, or intra-party
consensus failed to yield on those options that were proffered. An earlier
and swifter decision on the matter surely could have revived the enthusiasm
of its supporters and ensured the party survived the kind of rout that it
eventually suffered.

But it is the latest hair-splitting over the Senate elections that comes
across as even more ludicrous. For those within the MDC who are pushing for
a boycott, how do they reconcile this position to their party's presence in
one chamber of the House? As long as they sit in the Lower House the Senate
will be part of them since the two work together. It does not make sense to
attend one and boycott the other.

The MDC should consider a boycott only within the context of a total
withdrawal from parliament altogether, for that is the only way in which it
sounds free of contradiction. A policy of cherry-picking elections in which
to participate hardly makes for coherence in principle. If at all, it leaves
MDC supporters more confused and disillusioned.

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New Zimbabwe

Political capital needed for economic revival

Dr Alex Magaisa presents the argument that in addition to the much sought
after political transformation, it is also necessary to confront the
deep-rooted structural deficiencies affecting the Zimbabwean economy whose
genesis pre-date the post-2000 chaos. Dr Magaisa scrutinises the IMF's
approach to Zimbabwe and argues that the postponement of the decision to
suspend Zimbabwe enables the IMF to maintain useful leverage over Zimbabwe.


By Dr Alex T. Magaisa
Last updated: 09/16/2005 08:01:48
THE IMF last week decided to postpone for six months the decision on whether
or not to expel Zimbabwe from its membership. I wrote before that decision
that regardless of political differences between different groups in the
country, the expulsion of Zimbabwe was nothing to advocate for or celebrate
because it would simply worsen conditions for the generality of the people.

While media reports indicate that the IMF postponed the decision because
Zimbabwe had made some frantic efforts to pay part of the arrears earlier in
the week, I think that there is more to it than this explanation provides.
In my view, the IMF and other interested parties knew that there were two
possibilities: either to postpone the decision and maintain some leverage
over Zimbabwe or to expel Zimbabwe and lose that leverage. They knew and
rightly so, that by making the last minute payments the Zimbabwe government
was in a desperate situation and needs the IMF membership, regardless of
rhetoric suggesting otherwise.

Having established this through the threat of expulsion, there was really no
incentive for the IMF to expel Zimbabwe at this time and throw away an
opportunity to influence change in economic policy and most probably, the
political climate. We know what happened to the Commonwealth after
suspending Zimbabwe - that body has virtually lost its leverage over the
Zimbabwe government and no longer has the capacity to exert formal influence
in Zimbabwe through its structures. Sometimes the threat of expulsion or
suspension can be more effective than expulsion itself. Thus notwithstanding
the reasons proffered, the IMF postponed the decision in order to maintain
watch over Zimbabwe and to guide it through threats and conditions out of
its present quagmire. It was therefore more prudent not to expel Zimbabwe
last week and one hopes that if Zimbabwe can carry out its commitments,
perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The key question therefore centres on the Zimbabwe government's response to
the moratorium that it has been given by the IMF. However, at another level
it is also important for the IMF to engage constructively with Zimbabwe so
that the mistakes of the past relationship are not repeated. I reiterate the
argument that the problem within the political discourse pertaining to
Zimbabwe is that in the eagerness to see the back of the ruling party, there
is a tendency to turn a blind eye to some of the key factors that are also
responsible for the country's predicament. It seems to me that in the
presence of the visible shortcomings of the Zimbabwe government and the
ruling party over the last five years, it has been so easy to forget the
role of the IMF/World Bank (hereafter "the Bretton Woods Institutions") and
its impact on the economy in the 1990s. A large portion of the thorny
problems faced today germinated during the 1990s and have only flourished in
recent years as a result of the chaotic and ill-conceived government
policies and actions. Unless we tackle those fundamental weaknesses, it is
unlikely that economic salvation will be delivered simply by a change of
government alone. Alongside advocating for political transformation, there
must also be adequate attention towards those fundamental weakness.

For the purpose of this article it is important to recognise multiple and in
some cases complex issues that arise from the relationship between the
Bretton Woods institutions and Zimbabwe that require critical analysis. It
could help us to understand the origin of the debt problem, economic
downturn and the political pressure that was met with brute force in the
recent years. In this context, I refer to the disastrous Economic Structural
Adjustment Programme (ESAP) of the 1990s and highlight the argument that
besides the much-desired political transformation, it is necessary to
confront the deep-rooted structural deficiencies in our economy.

It is generally believed that though conservative, the economy of Zimbabwe
in the 1980s was performing relatively well. Despite the socialist rhetoric
of the government, studies show that it actually maintained the economic
set-up that had sustained Smith's Rhodesia in 1970s era of sanctions. The
capitalist system prospered with the import-substitution industrial sector
to combat the impact of sanctions and the economy was generally cushioned
through a protectionist regime. The manufacturing, agricultural and mining
sectors were allowed to flourish and the currency was protected by the
exchange rate policy that was in place.

But given the changes at the regional and global levels with the end of the
Cold War and fall of apartheid in South Africa, the economic policies were
considered to be unsustainable. The gospel of free market economics was in
vogue and could not be ignored. Therefore, in 1991 Zimbabwe responded to the
common call at the time and launched ESAP to liberalise the economy. It was
expected that liberalisation would open up the economy to market forces,
promote competition and innovation, attract foreign direct investment and
create jobs. But Zimbabwe was also advised that these beautiful results
would come at a price and many will recall the catchphrase at the time,
which advised people that it was "Time to tighten your belts". People were
advised that it would only be for a temporary period, whereafter things
would stabilise. I must say that though still in high school at the time and
with little knowledge of economics and the wider world, I never quite
understood how it would be possible that the hordes of people being made
redundant through retrenchments and returning to the rural areas with their
chigumuro (redundancy package) would be employed again at some stage
especially given the numbers that were being churned out of the education
system. Today though I have read and seen the world, I am still to be
convinced that this actually works.

As we now know, the beautiful results did not materialise as previously
adverstised. In fact as, Saunders wrote in 1996, "While suffering over the
last five years proved even more intense, widespread and chronic than the
state initially predicted, the pay-offs did not materialise. Five years on,
most of the government's promises remain unfulfilled, while the hardship of
the ordinary Zimbabweans seems without end". Without end indeed, as we now

Now, the point here is not to spite the Bretton Woods institutions or to
sanitise the policies and actions of the Zimbabwe government over the last
five years. It is that in this struggle, we must never forget that there are
various factors and actors involved. For a start we should never forget that
the chief architects of so-called reforms under ESAP were the Bretton Woods
institutions. They are significant players in the global economy but they
are not saints either. Under ESAP, the expected foreign direct investment
did not materialise and the jobs that were lost through the retrenchments
were hardly replaced, leading of course to the increasing levels of
unemployment. Zimbabwe opened its markets and products were dumped from
everywhere including South Africa, killing companies in the textile sector
such as Cone Textiles and related industries.

Of course because it lacks coherent policies and hardly learns from history,
the Zimbabwe is today also flooded with cheap Chinese imports, doing further
ham to local industry. Nonetheless, given the well-documented origins of the
problems under ESAP, it is somewhat astonishing to read simplistic
assertions in the media, which seem to attribute the origin of all the
problems faced today in Zimbabwe to the most recent chaos since 2000. In
fact other than large-scale food shortages arising largely from an
ill-conceived and messy land redistribution policy, most of the structural
economic problems were already in existence before 2000. The recent chaos
has simply exercerbated the situation by reducing international confidence
in the country but the roots of the problems go far and deeper.

And it is also during the 1990s period that debt increased in the face of
diminishing growth levels and reckless public spending. Some studies
indicate that the growing debt was partly caused by ESAP-connected
borrowing, which was encouraged by donors and the Bretton Woods
institutions. These institutions continued to lend when it may have been
prudent to curb the borrowing.

But there was also another problem and this was a key factor in the failure
of ESAP- failure of the government to curb excessive spending. The civil
service was still overstaffed, bureaucracy remained the order of the day and
inefficiencies increased. To satisfy its spending, the government continued
to borrow from both the domestic and foreign markets. But another key
problem also began to show prominently in the late 1990s.

The failures of ESAP affected the capacity of the government to deliver key
social services, create employment for the thousands of school levers and
generally satisfy the people's interests. Retrenchees returned to the rural
areas and the value of their packages was eroded over short space of time.
The socio-economic hardships resulted in political pressure due to people's
disenchantment. In turn the government began to make reckless and ill-timed
concessions to interest groups such as war-veterans who in 1997 were paid
massive amounts of money that had not been budgeted. We recall also that in
1998/99 Zimbabwe witnessed the first widespread job stay-aways and sometimes
violent demonstrations across the cities.

The government began to waver as far as its debt repayments were concerned
and by 1999 the IMF had suspended Zimbabwe from its balance of payments
support programme. In short, a relationship that had flowered in 1991 with
Zimbabwe's adoption of the fashionable ESAP began to sour to the point were
last week, Zimbabwe was on the brink of expulsion. The Bretton-Woods
institutions had thought that unlike other African countries, Zimbabwe would
be a beautiful experiment. But it failed. The causes of failure were many
and while the government shoulders the bulk of the blame, the thought that
the Bretton Woods institutions share some of the responsibility is

As we now know, economic failure led to political pressure and demand for
political space by civil society and interest groups. Sadly, instead of
accommodating demands of civil society, the government decided it was
necessary to thwart its claims. Civil society wanted a share in the policy
making process. But the government felt threatened and the desire for
political survival dictated its conduct rather than opening up its
structures for mass participation. And the repression tarnished the country's
profile, worsened the economic conditions and this is where we are today.

What therefore, is to be done?

I have made the brief historical assessment in order to place our current
problems into context. My lawyering skills can only allow me to go that far
and I suppose better equiped economic historians serve us better. The aim
however, is to demonstrate that what we need is more than a simple
transformation at the political level. We require a clear identification of
the structural deficiencies in the economy, including at the very basic
level, a key understanding of the role of the state in the economy. It has
not escaped the attention of some observers that the trade unionists now in
opposition were some of the staunch opponents of ESAP in the 1990s and did
not have kind words for the Bretton-Woods institutions at the time. It would
be interesting and useful to get a clear articulation of their position in
relation to the economic policies led by these international financial

In my view, there are various credible criticisms against these bodies but
despite that fact, at this stage we are too hamstrung and we cannot dismiss
them as unnecessary. In any event, the fact that Zimbabwe made frantic
payments demonstrates our desperation and that we need them at this time.
Loss of membership would have drastic repercussions, including negative
signals to other lending institutions ands investors that we are not
creditworthy. It would lead to total breakdown. Our position as a country is
such that we need their assistance, though in my view, there is need at a
general level of the developing countries acting in concert, to negotiate a
more viable relationship with them. The failures of SAPs in the developing
world have largely been blamed on the fact that the programmes were not
tailored according to prevailing conditions in the respective countries.

There are two key things that are lacking today, which Saunders also
identified in 1996: Firstly, government's lack of political capital to
institute reforms and the lack of coherent and consistent policies to
implement changes. The shortage of political capital is worse now given the
contested election outcomes and the perceived lack of legitimacy in parts of
the international community. This is a huge handicap to the government's
attempts turnaround the economy even though it controls parliament. It is
difficult to see how in the current global environment the current
government can really generate the desired political capital without
engaging in some internal organic change of its own. The negative
international profile and loss of confidence is directly connected to the
character of the current system, regardless of their conviction in the
rightness of their actions.

But even besides reclaiming political capital, there is need to address the
economic policies and policy-making and implementation generally. One of the
key reasons for the failure of the agriculture is that in pursuing the
chaotic land redistribution exercise, there was no proper agricultural
policy to sustain the new system. Land was simply taken because it was "our
land", without putting into place measures to retain productivity. No wonder
there are insufficient inputs, inadequate equipment, lack of capital and
five years after the takeovers, once productive land is now lying fallow.
Given that in the last 20 years Zimbabwe had experienced severe droughts
occasionally, there should have been a policy to promote irrigation and
other infrastructure to accompany redistribution. Famine is not simply the
result of natural disasters. As the renowned economist Amartya Sen has
demonstrated through research in Asia, famine usually arises because on lack
of proper planning on the part of the persons in charge. With proper
planning, the effects of natural disasters such as drought can be mitigated.

Also, there is too much contradiction at the policy level. Ever since the
fall of ESAP, there have been a number of economic blueprints most of which
are heard only at the time of launching. There seems to be a celebration of
launching policy and not the results of those policies. To what extent does
the formulation of policy involve all stakeholders? When policies are put in
motion and rescinded soon after, it brings confusion to the market and shows
lack of research and consultation. On the one hand someone says no more
relations with the West and we look East and on the other hand another key
person is saying we need the Western support. The IMF grants Zimbabwe a
moratorium and key officials applaud but others emerge with scathing attacks
against the same institution. It does not portray the existence of the
political will to change things and foster a more productive relationship.
As I have stated, there is substance in criticisms against the IMF, but it
is necessary to know when and how to articulate it. In any event, such
contradictions increase the confusion about the direction the country is
taking. It is like a football team in which every time after the striker
scores a goal the defenders conspire to score two own goals.

In conclusion, we should not maintain a superficial assessment of Zimbabwe's
economic difficulties in which we see the problems as arising exclusively
during the last five years and that simple political change will resolve
everything. The economic difficulties have deep-seated roots. It also
involves working out a proper relationship with the Bretton Woods
institutions. We need to work out the debt, some of which arose during that
disastrous ESAP era. But more importantly, the government needs to acquire
sufficient political capital, which at present is arguably in short supply
making it difficult for it to make any significant changes. It also needs to
redefine its approach to policy-making - must involve the people and have
coherent, clear and sustainable polices which are properly implemented and
regularly reviewed. These are the two key elements for revival that whoever
is in charge of the country needs: political capital and coherent policies.
Dr Magaisa is a lawyer specialising in Economic and Financial Services Law.
He is also a columnist for the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper. He
acknowledges the use of an article by Richard Saunders, written in 1996
entitled Zimbabwe: ESAP's Fables in Souther Africa Report Archive Vol 11 No.
2. However, he takes all responsibility for the contents of this article. He
can be contacted at

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The Herald

UNDP pledges to provide farming inputs

Herald Reporter
THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged to assist
Zimbabwe in acquiring key agricultural inputs for the forthcoming farming

Addressing journalists soon after meeting the Minister of Agriculture, Cde
Joseph Made, yesterday, UN Resident Co-ordinator in Zimbabwe Dr Agostinho
Zaccarias said the support would go a long way in fostering a successful

"Our focus is on the next agricultural season and we undertook to help the
ministry with support in seed, fertiliser and chemical availability to
Zimbabwe," Dr Zaccarias said.

He added that this was the key area that would make the country's next
agricultural season successful.

Dr Zaccarias said he hoped to continue having more dialogue and exchange of
views with the Government in the future.

"We have also agreed that we will put what we have discussed into a document
that will guide us in implementing some of the programmes," he said.

Cde Made said the ministry would work together with the UNDP in efforts to
enhance the country's agricultural productivity.

He added that the ministry was already working together with the UNDP on
various other programmes, especially in dealing with highly contagious
diseases such as foot-and-mouth, which attacks cattle, and Newcastle, which
decimates poultry.

The minister stressed that there was need for seed farmers to strengthen
production of seed so that the country does not import.

Cde Made urged seed houses to start making seed available to farmers for the
approaching farming season, adding that it was critical for farmers to get
the seed before the onset of the rainy season.

"Seed is now available and should start being delivered to retail outlets
and closer to farmers, especially those in the remote areas," he said after
meeting Zimbabwe Seed Traders' Association (ZSTA) officials.

Pannar Seed director and chairman of ZSTA, Mr Themba Nkatazo, cited fuel
shortages as one of the major impediments in delivering seed to farmers.

"We are happy with the new prices of seed and we have enough seed in our

"We have already started delivering seed to some outlets all over the
country, but the fuel shortages are affecting our deliveries," he said.

He said fuel shortages were a challenge not only to the seed houses, but
also to farmers who are failing to deliver their wheat and barley.

Mr Nkatazo appealed to the Government to give priority to seed farmers in
foreign currency allocations for buying chemicals required in the industry
so that they could meet targets.

This would provide the country with surplus seed for export next year.
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The Herald

Industry owes RBZ US$150 million, says Gono

Herald Reporter
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday accused
some captains of industry of hypocrisy, saying they were continually
attacking the central bank for not doing enough to raise foreign currency
yet a number of companies owe the State monetary authority a total
unremitted amount of US$150 million, which is long overdue.

Addressing heads of parastatals and senior Government officials at an
interfacing workshop in Harare, Dr Gono said various sectors of the economy
were not remitting foreign currency to the central bank.

"The agricultural sector owes us close to US$8 million, manufacturing US$17
million, mining US$52 million, tobacco US$15 million," he said.

"We will be pursuing those with overdue amounts."

The governor said the services and other sectors of the economy also owed
the bank substantial amounts in foreign currency.

Parastatals, he said, were central in efforts to turn around the economy
since they contributed about 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Out of the $12 trillion that had been set aside by the central bank for
parastatals and local authorities under the Productive Sector Facility
(PSF), about $2,4 trillion had been disbursed for working capital and
development projects.

Intended beneficiaries of the facility had failed to access the funds owing
to various reasons, which include poor procurement policies and lack of
transparent corporate governance.

Dr Gono said future disbursements of the PSF funds would be made through the
newly-established Infrastructural Development Bank.

Responding to issues raised by some of the parastatal heads, the governor
said without trading, there was no way the country could generate foreign

"We can only generate it (foreign currency) through trade and no amount of
crying will result in the governor producing foreign currency," he said.

Dr Gono said the fight against inflation should not be left to the RBZ and
the Government alone, but all stakeholders should be involved.
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The Herald

Mujuru blasts lazy ministers

Herald Reporter
VICE PRESIDENT Cde Joice Mujuru yesterday lambasted some Government
ministers and top civil servants for being lazy and for developing a habit
of sitting on urgent files, effectively scuttling efforts being made to
turnaround the economy.

Addressing heads of parastatals and senior Government officials at an
interfacing workshop in Harare, Cde Mujuru said some Government ministries
were taking ages to action files that needed urgent attention.

"Some files are gathering dust in the ministry offices and parastatal heads
should approach my office if the files are not actioned within five days,"
she said amid applause.

"If you have found some doors in Government closed and you are constrained
because the relevant Government departments are a hindrance, my door is

Cde Mujuru said as the Vice-President in charge of parastatals, she had
initiated a programme of mid-year reviews on the performance of parastatals
to be subsequently followed by annual reviews.

"I can reassure you that I am not doing that exercise as a ritual. I am
determined to get a fair assessment of the real issues that you face and I
commit myself to putting the results of my evaluation to good use. Mark my
words," she said.

Parastatals, said Cde Mujuru, were the first and last lines of defence and
should, therefore, never be the weakest link in the chain.

Thus, the challenges which the country was facing required that parastatals
be headed by committed, honest, resolute and diligent people.

The Vice President said chief executives and board members of parastatals
should interface with Government; and if they felt that the policies which
they were being instructed to implement were not workable, they should point
this out and offer alternative solutions.

"There are some who do not want to take advice and if they are told 'please
close your trouser's zip or sort out your dress properly because your
petticoat is overlapping' they do not take it kindly, but my door is open
for you," she said.

Parastatals, Cde Mujuru said, should contribute meaningfully to economic
development and if there were any hurdles which they were facing, these
should be surmounted amicably.

The Vice-President said there was need for unity of purpose among
Zimbabweans by putting national interests first irrespective of one's
political affiliation.

"On national issues, we Zimbabweans behave like a naked teacher wearing an
apron who then turns to write on the blackboard while the back is not
covered and is exposed to the children," she said.

Cde Mujuru said parastatals were the backbone of any vibrant economy, hence
their poor performance could spell doom for the economy.

Parastatals, she said, should implement the policies of the ruling party and
the Government because one of the reasons for the public enterprises being
on the receiving end was the absence of a shared vision.

"The performance of parastatals reflects on the ruling party.

"As your principals and, indeed, the ruling party, we expect you to
diligently transform such broad policy pronouncements by the party into
actionable programmes that add value to the livelihood of our people," Cde
Mujuru said.

"The time for endless discussion of policies that yields no tangible results
for the ordinary man and woman is over. Our watchword and, indeed, our
battle cry should henceforth be action, action and more action."

She said a lot of Government policies were either being disregarded or were
being implemented in a half-baked manner.

The Vice-President blasted some parastatal heads she said were bent on
building fiefdoms for themselves while others were involved in costly
litigation or poorly crafted public relations exercises through the national

"Let me take this opportunity to encourage all of you here present to
undertake a very serious introspection and make up your minds as to whether
you believe you are up to the job you have been given and you are fully
committed to implement the party and Government vision and should you have
any doubts in your mind, I will gratefully accept your resignation," Cde
Mujuru said.

Representatives of the parastatals told Cde Mujuru that some of the public
companies were not producing the positive results because nepotism was at
work in the appointment of some chief executives or board members and such
incumbents subsequently failed to execute their duties.

"Most boards are appointed on the technical 'know-who', not know-how, hence
they are not delivering the expected results.

"Some of them do not even understand the party's (Zanu-PF) manifesto," said
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Cde Karikoga Kaseke.

Other participants said the Government was not consulting the parastatals in
the formulation of some of the policies and it was important that they
should have an input in such formulation to make it result in an easy and
transparent implementation process.

Some parent ministries were accused of employing divide-and-rule tactics
within parastatals in order to settle personal scores with boards that would
have fallen out of favour with them.

The representatives said some of the policies which they were being directed
to implement by the parent ministries were not written on paper and were
being changed from time to time, but if the implementation process failed
the public enterprises would be on the receiving end.

In response, Cde Mujuru castigated senior Government officials who abused
their authority by instilling fear in their subordinates.

"Freedom exists, but there is freedom that can be perceived in the context
of taking advantage of the situation and this becomes ultra-freedom," she

The Vice-President said the appointment of chief executive officers and
board members of parastatals should be based on merit and not nepotism.

"We should give someone a job according to ability, even in parastatals. How
can one person be on more that 10 boards? Haugonewo kuti ndakwana here? (Can't
you say I have enough on my hands as it is?)," Cde Mujuru said.

She said some Zimbabweans were very good at self-destruction as they were
crying that there was no foreign currency in the country yet some
unscrupulous elements were smuggling gold outside the country.

"This country is not poor, but the people are the ones who are poor in the
brain. Where do we expect (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon) Gono
to produce the green dollar from?" Cde Mujuru asked.

It was sad, she said, to note that some heads of parastatals were ashamed to
be identified with the Government yet the State was the major shareholder in
the public entities.

Cde Mujuru said there was need for the ruling party's manifesto to be
distributed to senior staff at the public enterprises in order for them to
be familiar with it.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of State for Public and
Interactive Affairs, Cde Chen Chimutengwende, said Zimbabweans should remain
united in defending the country's sovereignty in order to counter heightened
demonisation of the country by its enemies.

Cde Chimutengwende said Zimbabwe was not getting enough tourists because of
negative propaganda, which was being published in overseas media, thereby
scaring away visitors to the country.

"Tourists who read the propaganda onslaught against Zimbabwe are frightened
to come and visit. We have to defend ourselves and respond in a
sophisticated level and kutuka (hitting back by rebuking) is part of it," he

Minister without Portfolio Cde Elliot Manyika, who organised the workshop,
said it was unfortunate that some heads of important organisations such as
parastatals still had the mentality that nothing would succeed in the
country without the whites.

He said some detractors were even of the view that the land reform programme
would fail without the help of the whites.

"Each time you open your mouth to criticise the Government, think first. We
make mistakes yes, but it is through dialogue that those can be rectified,"
he said.

State Enterprises, Anti-Monopolies and Anti-Corruption Minister Cde Paul
Mangwana, speaking at the same occasion, said parastatal boards should know
that they pay allegiance to the nation.

He said Government expected a healthy relationship to exist between
parastatal boards and line ministries.

"You find a situation where the chairman of the board hesitates to see the
minister. If we do that, we have lost it all," he said.

Cde Mangwana said parastatals should perform and be run along commercial
lines instead of always draining resources from Government.

The Minister of State for Policy Implementation in the Office of the
President and Cabinet, Cde Webster Shamu, said there was need for constant
interaction between the ruling party, Government and parastatals in order to
have the same focus.

"While Government, which is a product of the party, did interact with
parastatals, albeit in solo fashion as each ministry tended to supervise
parastatals falling directly under it, there was never an opportunity
provided for the party and its Government parastatals to examine their
relationship, to seek a clear understanding of policies, principles and
ideology so projects and programmes can be better implemented,'' he said.
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Cape Times

      UN statistics a big reality check, showing up ANC's misrule
      September 16, 2005

      The human Development Report recently released by the UN Development
Programme (UNDP) provides statistical data showing that, in the last 11
years in South Africa, life expectancy has dropped, income inequality has
increased and levels of educational enrolment have declined dramatically.

      The statistics speak for themselves. Peter Fabricius is somewhat off
the mark, therefore, in accusing me of making hay with these statistics:
"Africa's elite have been enriching themselves at the expense of the poor"
(September 12).

      This report has received far too little publicity. Indeed it is one of
the most important indicators of how things have changed for most people
during South Africa's first decade of democracy.

      In 1995 South Africa ranked 89th out of 174 countries on the UNDP's
Human Development Index (HDI). By 2003 - the year for which the most recent
data is available - we had slipped more than 30 places to rank 120th out of
177 countries.

      South Africa has slipped down the rankings both in absolute and
relative terms.

      The highest score on the HDI is one and the lowest, nought. South
Africa's HDI has consistently declined over the last decade: from 0.742 in
1995 to 0.696 in 2000 to 0.658 in 2003. This signals an 11% decrease between
1995 and 2003.

      At least two countries which previously ranked below us - China and
Indonesia - have overtaken us.

      Significantly, South Africa is identified as one of only 18 countries
whose rating fell between 1990 and 2003.

      Fabricius is right to emphasise the impact of HIV/Aids.
      Life expectancy dropped from 53 years in the period 1995-2000 to 49
years in the period 2000-2005. The HIV prevalence rate among those aged 15
to 49 was 21% in 2003.

      The HDI report also makes it clear that the government is failing
alarmingly to stem the tide of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

      Not only is life becoming shorter, it is also becoming more unequal.

      On the Gini index, which measures levels of inequality between 0
(perfect equality) and 100 (perfect inequality), South Africa scored 57.8
based on data captured in 2000. This places us in the same league as Zambia
(52.6 in 1998) and Zimbabwe (56.8 in 1995).

      According to the UNDP, the richest 10% of the South African population
had a 44.7% share of total income or consumption in 2000, while the poorest
10% of the population had only 1.4%.

      Probably the most depressing element of the UNDP report is the drop in
educational enrolment. The proportion of Grade 1 learners who reach Grade 5
declined from 75% in 1990/1991 to 65% in 2001/2002. This is something that
the government could and should have prevented.

      These statistics provide incontrovertible proof that the ANC's
programme of socio-economic transformation is failing to deliver the better
life for all promised to the electorate in 1994.

      Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) may have benefited a
politically-connected elite but it has widened the income inequality gap and
failed to empower the poor.

      The government's flirtation with HIV/Aids dissidents and its ongoing
failure to roll out anti-retroviral treatment timeously and adequately have
worsened the Aids crisis.

      The thrust of the ANC's educational policy is entirely misguided. All
the reliable indicators (from international studies, to our drop-out rate,
to matric exemptions) suggest that we have not improved over the past 10
years, and that we are going backwards in some areas.
      The UNDP report confirms this.

      The ANC's policy failures are mutually reinforcing. If children don't
receive a proper education, they don't acquire the skills to lift
themselves - and their children - out of poverty.

      If sensible healthcare policies are not in place, or not properly
implemented, the poor are the first to suffer the consequences of rampant

      The UNDP report provides a timely and startling reality-check.
      South Africa can ill-afford another 10 years of ANC misrule.
      Helen Zille MP
      DA National Spokesperson

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New Zimbabwe

Makamba said to seek asylum in Britain

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 09/16/2005 10:39:21
MEGA RICH Zimbabwean business mogul James Makamba is seeking asylum in
Britain, barely three weeks after a Zimbabwean magistrate issued a warrant
for his arrest, it was claimed Thursday.

The Telecel boss owns a multi-million pound-property in the lush
Knightsbridge area of London and would be settling there, sources said last

Makamba -- rumoured to have bedded President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace -- 
was due before a Harare magistrate at the end of August but gave the hearing
a miss after staying put in South Africa where he had gone on a business

He was later spotted by reporters in the upmarket Sandton surburb of
Johannesburg in the company of another wanted fugitive businessman, Mutumwa

A bid to extradite Mawere failed as he is now a South African citizen.

The weekly Financial Gazette newspaper, quoting sources, said Makamba -- a
former MP and Zanu PF central committee member -- had engaged London-based
immigration law firm Chipatiso and Company Solicitors, to pursue his asylum

The paper said political activist and lawyer, Yvonne Mahlunge, who is at
Chipatiso and Company held meetings with Makamba this week. However,
Mahlunge flatly denied meeting Makamba and declined further comment to the
Financial Gazette.

Mahlunge had not responded to an interview request by New last

Makamba joins a host of rich fugitives, mainly bankers, who have skipped the
country to escape graft charges. These include former NMBZ executives,
Julius Makoni, James Mushore, Otto Chekeche and Francis Zimuto. Intermarket
group founder Nicholas Vingirai, Mthuli Ncube of Barbican Bank, Gilbert
Muponda of ENG Capital, Dipak Pandya, Jayant Josh and his brother Manharlal.

In a recent interview, Makamba told a journalist: "Why do they continue to
pursue me? There are more serious issues to deal with, the economic crisis.
It warrants more attention. Why are they interested in Makamba? The
intention must be evil!"

Makamba already faces a battle to retain his shareholding at the cellular
telephony company, Telecel Zimbabwe, where government big wigs have stepped
up efforts to oust him.

Sources say there is an escalating campaign to seize Makamba's properties,
with his major shareholding in Telecel the first target. He has already shut
his supermarket in Mazowe, claiming Central Intelligence Organisation
officials were trying to muscle him out of business.

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