Reporter Last updated: 09/17/2004 11:53:15 ZIMBABWE'S police chief has
fired a rare warning at ruling Zanu PF militants and publicly rebuked a
Cabinet minister for leading a reign of terror in Makoni.
In a rare
attack on the culture of violence which Zimbabwean authorities have
previously sought to deny, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri said his
force had received a clear instruction from President Robert Mugabe to clamp
down on violence.
It was not possible to immediately establish whether
Chihuri would proceed to implement his new policy of zero tolerance on
ruling party militants who have been accused of terrorising opposition
activists by internmational human rights groups and the
Chihuri's tough line comes hot on the heels of the adoption
of new Sadc election guidelines by Zimbabwe to ensure a free and fair
election during the parliamentary polls in March next year.
of the ZRP are under instruction from the Politiburo (Zanu PF's supreme
decision making body) to have zero tolerance of any situation or activities
which they perceive as contributing to violence," Chihuri told the official
Herald newspaper on Friday.
"As we proceed towards the 2005 parliamentary
elections, there have already been acts of inter and intra-party political
violence in parts of the country. We implore Zanu PF political aspirants to
campaign peacefully and direct their supporters to do the same. At the same
time, peace-loving citizens are urged to separate themselves from Zanu PF
thugs and groups of war veteran criminals," added Chihuri.
reserved his harshest criticism for Corruption Minister Didymus Mutasa whom
the Herald describes as going "beserk" in Makoni where he is campaigning to
represent Zanu PF at the March polls. The paper adds that he has a "new
found love of karate sidekicks" who are allegedly terrorising Mutasa's Zanu
PF challengers ahead of primary elections.
Chihuri threatened to unleash
Chimanimani MP Roy Bennett on Mutasa, an apparent tongue-in-cheek reference
to a brawl in Parliament two months ago during which Mutasa was felled by
Bennett after a physical brawl involving Justice Minister Patrick
Chihuri revealed that several Zanu PF youths had been arrested
since the start of the year, with eight being picked up since the beginning
of this month for committing acts of violence.
"Let me categorically
restate that any type of violence will not be condoned in the country. The
police will strive to ensure that despite political tensions being fomented
by some individual politicians, peace-loving citizens will be able to go
about their lawful day-to-day activities unhindered," he warned.
new Sadc guidelines to dictate election procedures among Sadc countries were
designed to ensure full participation of citizens in the electoral process,
freedom of association, political tolerance and regular elections as
provided for by national constitutions.
Ray Matikinye Last updated: 09/17/2004 10:19:44 BULAWAYO- Forty-five
kilometers east of Masvingo, the first settler town in Zimbabwe lies one of
the two mines that produced a fifth of the world's finest chrysotile
Almost equidistant from a mine which employs 1 900 workers at
Mashava, lies yet another asbestos mine in Zvishavane, where close to 3 500
are employed. Both mines had, with a good measure of success, withered the
storm of an international call to ban the mineral blamed for causing
Both mines symbolized the groundbreaking of an indigenous
entrepreneur into the mining sector too.
Yet again both mines share
an identical fate. They are emblematic of Zimbabwe's skewed indigenization
policy. They amply illustrate how the country's indigenization programme has
faltered on its test-run owing to the pitfalls of political
The saga surrounding the two mines seems to prove true that
ageless adage: "A mine is a hole in the ground with a fool at the bottom and
a liar at the top."
Gutsy entrepreneur, Mutumwa Mawere took over the
twin mines in 1994 after President Mugabe put on the kibosh on Zanu PF
kingmaker and former army general Solomon Mujuru's bid for Zimbabwe chrome
producer, Zimbabwe Mining and Steel Company (ZIMASCO).
crowed after the acquisition of Shabanie and Mashaba Mines (SMM,) hailing
Mawere's business deal as "a first in post independent Zimbabwe in line with
government's indigenization policy."
Over time the acquisition has become
an icon for how the indigenization thrust could be easily swindled by those
with connections in high places, as has been custom with all other purported
attempts at empowering Zimbabwean indigenous people.
Mawere's case is
also illustrative. It illustrates how the bigwigs in Zanu PF are intolerant
of cronies and protégés they deem to have prospered and flourished beyond
their initial expectations.
Mawere became an instant business mogul
acquiring diverse businesses that ranged from bolt manufacturing, steel
works, agricultural concerns, retail outlets and established a bank not much
out of business acumen or entrepreneurial skills but out of exploiting an
indigenization program steeped in political patronage.
businessman has become a fugitive, running away from a collapsing empire in
a proverbial case of having two many pokers in the fire.
other Zimbabwean business peers who have made South Africa and other
countries in the diaspora their home after fleeing political persecution for
spurning political sponsorship, Mawere ran with the hares and hunted with
the hounds. He profited from Zanu PF patronage system to build a vast
business empire in record time.
At a time when government made it
mandatory that all minerals be marketed through the Minerals Marketing
Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), Mawere was allowed to market his own product
outside the parastatal. He always asserted he was a businessman, not a
politician although he benefited immensely from political connections to
secure bank loans in scarce foreign currency.
His business empire
allegedly owed the state $350 billion.
A South African company under his
belt also allegedly owes US$18 million in unremitted proceeds from the sale
of asbestos outside the MMC.
Mawere's fortunes turned for the worse when
he looked down on a junior post in Masvingo Zanu PF provincial executive. A
fortnight after doing so, hordes of militant Zanu PF youths invaded one of
his empire's farms claiming they were land-short. Observers said Mawere saw
ugly side of his mentors and fled.
But Mawere's ill luck has given
Mugabe a plum excuse to fulfill his desire to partially nationalize the
mining sector. This is despite a record littered with failures when he
formed the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation to initiate state entry
into the mining sector. Mines such as Kamativi, and Mangura under the ZMDC
stable have closed down, making thousands of workers jobless.
says his government is not going to seize the mines arbitrary but will
negotiate with the owners for a major shareholding in those mines. "We are
going to demand that government be given 50 per cent shares in the mines. We
cannot recognize absolute ownership of our resources. That must be
Mining is one of Zimbabwe's most vital economic sectors,
and one of the few sources of foreign currency left in the midst of an
economic crisis following the collapse of the once robust agricultural
UZ's Graduate School of Business and Management analyst, Prof
Tony Hawkins, said Mugabe's remarks were damaging to the economy. "These
statements do not inspire confidence, and are damaging to the economy,"
Hawkins said.Zimbabwe has a wide range of minerals and was a major world
producer of gold, diamonds, platinum, chrome, asbestos and lithium. Until
the last four years when production plummeted.
According to mining
experts the country used to be the continent's third largest producer of
gold, after SA and Ghana, but output has since dropped from 30 tons a year
to 12 tons last year. Gold mining is, however, recovering thanks to a number
of incentives introduced by Zimbabwe's central bank and is expected to
produce an output of 22 tons this year.
International mining consultant
John Hollaway said: "Every time the government gets involved in the mining
industry, it loses."
It still remains to be seen whether the age-old
adage about mines being a holes in the ground with fools at the bottom and
liars at the top will withstand the test of time.
The Hawke's Bay Zimbabwean migrant family that lost its father
and husband in a road crash on Monday may be forced to leave the country
under New Zealand immigration laws. Leon Oosthuizen, 44, was killed
instantly when the van he was driving was involved in a collision with a
truck on Pakowhai Road. Mr Oosthuizen, his wife Margie, and their four young
children Lendl, 17, Jessica, 14, Hannah, 11 and Byron, 8, arrived in Hawke's
Bay in February last year and bought the Redskins Nursery between Clive and
Hastings five months later. Mr and Mrs Oosthuizen had 12-month work
permits. The four children had student visas. In July last year the
Oosthuizens applied for a long-term business visa, the first step to gaining
residency in New Zealand. The family's visa application was declined three
times before being finally accepted in June this year. Ron Massey,
economic development manager for Napier City Council, met the Oosthuizens in
May and helped them prepare a business plan and their successful visa
application. A long-term business visa is obtained by a person who can show
he or she is making "reasonable progress in setting up their business". If
the visa is approved the applicant will be granted a work permit that
expires after nine months. Before the nine months expires the applicant can
apply for a further work permit to take his or her stay up to a total of
three years. As the long-term business visa expires the visa holder can apply
for residency. "If they're declined they're supposed to leave. Where are
they supposed to go? Effectively these people are refugees. And the
Oosthuizens are not alone," Mr Massey said. Mr Massey said it may be
possible for Mrs Oosthuizen to apply to become the family's principal
applicant and continue to run the business. "If she did that I think she'd
bolt in," Mr Massey said, "but if, for some reason she cannot carry on the
business, it could be a different story". "I remember Leon telling me 'I've
lost 20 years of my life and I've got some catching up to do'. He was like a
bull at a gate. A marvellous guy. I'll be there for Margie and the kids and
I will make sure everything works out for them," Mr Massey said. A friend
of the Oosthuizens, and another Zimbabwean migrant, Serge de la Rey, said
there was no way back for Zimbabweans. "Zimbabwe was not a liveable place
anymore. In Zimbabwe we had the joke: what is the difference between the
Titanic and Zim? Answer: there is none except that they had electricity on
the Titanic," Mr de la Rey said. "Zimbabwe is a sunken ship. There is no
future and no way back and we as Zimbabwean immigrants are ... shipwrecked.
For Leon New Zealand was not just a chance, it was a conscious choice,as it
was for all of us," he said. Mr de la Rey said New Zealand was the better for
having the Oosthuizens, a hard-working and loving family that had made
several contributions to the Hawke's Bay community in just the 18 months
they had been here. "Margie is among other things a PTA member of both St
Patrick's School and Sacred Heart College. But now not only the breadwinner
is gone but also the principal applicant for the permit to stay and work in
New Zealand has vanished. Margie and the children face an uncertain future.
What if the NZ Immigration authorities don't see the case? Where could they
go?" Mr de la Rey said. "The support from ex-Zimbabweans/South Africans,
the parishoners from St Pat's, Thomas More and St Mary's, the ACC and all
the other new Kiwi friends alike - is overwhelming. It shows the network
that the Oosthuizens have built over the past few months and how much they
are loved and appreciated by all people they have met," he
said. Zimbabwean Simmy Knott, who settled in Hawke's Bay with her husband
Mike and their family in 2002, said returning to Zimbabwe "would not be an
option" if the Oosthuizen family were forced to leave New Zealand. "I would
say that it's not an option for the family - they would not be able to
afford to go back" she said. Mrs Knott said inflation in Zimbabwe was now
running at more than 600 percent, making it extremely costly for Margie and
her children to set up a new life. "Even if they were allowed back in, they
wouldn't be able to have a life really." The New Zealand Immigration
Service was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press. A date
has yet to be set for Mr Oosthuizen's funeral.
JAG JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Updated 16th September 2004
Please send any
classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to: JAG Job
Opportunities firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advert Received 10th September 2004
1. Lady Cashier
for city restaurant - open 6 days a week - must have experience of stock
control. 2.Domestic/Gardner single accommodation available - Avondale
area MUST HAVE traceable references.
Telephone 091 311 251. (9 am -
Received 11th September 2004
Teaching opportunity at Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time Nursery School is looking for a lovely,
fun-loving but gentle, qualified Infants or Junior School trained teacher for
January 2005. We would also be interested if you are a Nursery School
We are all ex-teachers and work well together. It is
a very happy school and we are well equipped and have a good infrastructure.
We provide a well organized working environment and good conditions of
The school has four classes and the teacher who we need to
replace is emigrating at the end of the year. We are trying to find the right
lady, one who is dedicated and enthusiastic in her approach.
We try to
match the pay package to that of teachers at Infant and Junior School level
at any of the private schools.
This is an ideal job, if you have small
children, or if you are looking for total job satisfaction.
phone Rosy van der Westhuizen (Headmistress) 091 216 730
or Andy Kristiansen (mother) 091 315 455 or School
premises (answer/fax) 776470 e-mail email@example.com ______________________________________________
Advert Received 14th September 2004
Farm Manager Wanted Area:
Wedza Tobacco, Maize and labour handling skills essential. Package highly
negotiable depending on skills and experience. Traceable references
preferred. Interested parties to contact : (022) 2054 (Farm
office) (022) 2449 (Lodge
office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ______________________________________________
Advert Received 15th September 2004
Vacancy for Safari Camp
Manager Situated in Matabeleland Mature husband and wife couple Sober
habits, self disciplined and self motivated Regular visitors include
schoolchildren requiring exposure to life skills training, team building
courses and leadership skills On site accommodation Stable position,
comfortable living environment
Interested applicants please contact (in
the first instance) Debby Nicholl on 04 498264 / 442872 or e-mail your
contact details including landline, cellphone and e-mail address My e mail
contact address is email@example.com ______________________________________________
Advert Received 16th September 2004
Jane Swanepoel - Executive
Assistant (Recently returned from overseas)
30 years working
experience, seeking employment in Msasa /Greendale / N. suburbs - mornings
only if possible!
Computer literate - Windows (Word, Excel, etc).
Administration / sales / marketing / advertising / PR Basic bookkeeping
(Pastel or manual) banking, cash book / TB, petty cash, salaries, wages.
Efficient, reliable, hardworking and enjoys a challenge. Copy of CV available
when required. Please call Jane on 4-492566 or 091-301125 or e-mail private
address firstname.lastname@example.org --------------------------------------------------------------------------- For
the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact email@example.com
SANCTIONS CRIPPLE ZIMBABWE DEFENCE FORCES Fri 17 September
HARARE - Sanctions have crippled the Zimbabwe Defence Forces
with the force unable to buy spares for equipment purchased from Western
countries, the government said this week.
Most of the weapons
and equipment used by Zimbabwe's air force and army were bought from Western
countries that have imposed targeted sanctions against the Zimbabwe
government. The defence forces also inherited a huge Western-manufactured
arsenal at independence in 1980.
Ministry of Defence deputy
secretary for policy and procurement Mike Tichafa Karakadzai said: "We have
been affected by sanctions like most local industries because most of our
equipment was acquired from the West. We cannot get spares or after sales
service for all this equipment."
The European Union, United States,
Switzerland, Australia and Canada have banned military sales to Zimbabwe
over Harare's failure to uphold human rights, democracy and its
controversial land policies.
The Western countries have also banned
President Robert Mugabe and top officials of his government from visiting
Karakadzai said Western arms manufacturers had
undertook to provide back-up services and spares but were now unable to do
so because of the sanctions imposed on the country.
army is said to have lost weapons and equipment worth billions of dollars in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it was helping that country's
government fight off an armed rebellion that was backed by Uganda and
Krakadzai said in the meantime the force had used proceeds
from United Nations peace-keeping missions to purchase vehicles from Japan,
which has not imposed sanctions on Harare. ZimOnline
Grain Marketing Board receives paltry 298 000 tonnes of maize
from farmers Fri 17 September 2004
HARARE - Zimbabwe's Grain
Marketing Board this week said it had so far received only 298 000 tonnes of
maize from farmers, more than three months after harvesting was
Zimbabwe requires 1.8 million tonnes of maize to carry
it through to the next harvest in March. By this time the state-run Board,
which under the law is the only institution allowed to trade in staple food
crops such as maize and wheat, should have collected more than twice the
amount it says it has in its granaries.
Board chief executive
officer Samuel Muvuti last Wednesday told Parliament's Portfolio Committee
on Lands and Agriculture that he was hopeful farmers will deliver more
maize. But he refused to give assurance to the committee that there will be
enough food for the country.
Muvuti said: "Our reserves currently
have 298 000 tonnes of grain but we are still expecting more. I can't assure
anything on the issue of the country's food security. It is not the role of
the GMB. All I can say is that the situation looks hopeful."
The parliamentary committee is probing Zimbabwe's food situation after the
government and international and local food relief groups gave conflicting
figures about agricultural production last season.
Mugabe and his government, who have told food aid groups to take their help
elsewhere, say the country will harvest 2.4 million tonnes of
The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP), whose crop
assessment team was kicked out of Zimbabwe in May, says despite improved
harvests this year, 2.5 million Zimbabweans will still require food aid.
Another food security agency, the Southern African Food Survey, said
Zimbabwe would harvest only about 900 000 tonnes of maize this year, which
is far less than the quantities required to feed the country.
The government's Central Statistical Office (CSO) has also said the country
will harvest about 500 000 tonnes of maize.
ZANU PF legislator and
chairman of the parliamentary committee, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, yesterday
refused to divulge details of his committee's findings on the country's food
He told ZimOnline: "We will submit our report next month
when the house convenes and that is after compiling all the information
regarding seeds and hectarage for last year. We have assessed the situation
all over the country and have established the real position (regarding food
Government grabs giant sugar estate Fri 17 September
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has gazetted for acquisition,
Mkwasine Estate, which is jointly owned by South Africa's Anglo American
Corporation and Tongaat Hullet.
The 11 500 hectare sugar estate
was issued with a Section 8 order on July 23. The order gives management and
staff at the estate 90 days to wind up operations and vacate the
Mkwasine, which is tucked in Zimbabwe's sugar growing
south eastern lowveld, was last month also issued with a Section 7 order,
which allows owners of the estate permission to contest in court the
government's bid to take over the property.
Anglo owns a stake
in Mkwasine through its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Hippo Valley Estates, while
Tongaat is represented through its local subsidiary, Triangle
Hippo Valley, which also grows sugar, was already under a
Section 5 order, which is a formal notice by the government that it wants to
acquire the property under its land redistribution programme.
Anglo's chairman in Zimbabwe, Godfrey Gomwe, said in a statement: "Hippo
Valley Estates remains listed under Section 5 but representations with the
relevant authorities to secure a de-listing of both properties (Hippo and
Mkwasine) are ongoing."
Gomwe said Anglo was taking appropriate
legal action to prevent the government from acquiring its properties. He did
No comment on the matter was available from Tongaat.
Mkwasine, which at the moment has 4 600 hectares under sugarcane, produces
between 475 000 and 500 000 tonnes of cane ever year. The cane is grown
Although the government initially said it was not
going to seize timber, tea and sugar estates, it appears to have backtracked
on the promise with several estates now targeted for acquisition by the
Agricultural production in Zimbabwe has fallen by 60 percent
in the last three years largely because of the government's land reform
programme where black peasant farmers were resettled on former white-owned
farms with no resources or skills to maintain production. ZimOnline
SA to tighten law on mercenary activities Fri 17 September
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa will amend its Foreign Military
Assistance Act to ban its citizens from working in any capacity for
The Act, passed in 1988, already bars
South Africans from working as soldiers for mercenary firms. The proposed
changes to the law will prohibit South Africans from taking up even menial
jobs such as working as drivers or cooking staff for mercenary
A draft of the amendments will be submitted to
Parliament's portfolio committee on defence, chaired by academic, Kader
South African citizens, mostly remnants of the former
apartheid army's 32 Battalion, have wrecked havoc across Africa working as
soldiers of fortune in most of the continent's hot spots.
Earlier this year, a mini-army of 70 mercenaries, all of them either South
African citizens or holders of that country's passports, were arrested in
Zimbabwe on their way to Equatorial Guinea to topple that country's
President Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo.
The men have since been
sentenced to jail in Harare while another 12 of their colleagues who were
arrested in Equatorial Guinea are on trial there. ZimOnline
Highway Africa to Table African Media Position Statement
Africa News Agency (Grahamstown)
PRESS RELEASE September 16,
2004 Posted to the web September 16, 2004
Over 350 journalists, media workers and public relations
practitioners gathered in Grahamstown, South Africa, for the 8th Highway
Africa Conference are expected to come up with a strong statement on
Africa's media position on the Information Society by Saturday.
statement will present the African media position on the Declaration of
Principles and Action Plan of the first phase of the World Summit on
Information Society (WSIS), held in December 2003 in Geneva,
Tambu Madzimure, a representative of South African
Communications for Development (SACOD) and one of the delegates responsible
for drafting the statement, said both documents had not given enough
attention to the "power media have in developing an inclusive Information
Society that looks into the needs of African issues".
She noted that
African position had been under-represented during the Geneva WSIS Phase
because of financial constraints and that the Tunisia phase of the WSIS was
bound to be similar. She said, "Our position is always taken up by others on
our behalf, without our presence."
Highway Africa aims to change that.
"We believe that this conference, as the largest gathering of African
journalists, provides all those media practitioners who cannot afford to
attend big summits a chance to put across their inputs on the Information
Society," Madzimure said.
Chris Kabwato, director of Highway Africa,
contends that the key role media play in the bridging of the digital divide
between the developed and developing world and in achieving an inclusive
global Information Society was not given "due recognition" during the WSIS
Kabwato said the media group at the Geneva Summit was "crying for
recognition" of their key role in the development of an Information
Despite heated debate, however, the media's role had been
"watered down", from that of being a stakeholder like governments, business
and civil society, to that of playing an "essential role in the development
of Information Society," said Kabwato.
ANALYSIS September 16, 2004 Posted to the web
September 16, 2004
David Musoke Geneva
The United Nation's
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva attracted about 175
political leaders, but only a small percentage of these came from
Some 4900 representatives of 660 NGOs and more than 600 business
representatives also joined the Summit, again with little representation
Despite the poor showing, Africa's needs were discussed
and debated on a variety of platforms. According to Emrakeb Assefa, an
Ethiopian journalist who covered the Geneva summit with the Highway Africa
News Agency (HANA), "Africa's agenda was motivated by the fact that the
information revolution has bypassed millions of Africa's population,
creating a digital divide that has hindered development".
the UN Secretary-General, said during WSIS that this gap will not disappear
on its own unless Africans are directly involved in WSIS
So did Africa make any juicy deals from Geneva, or was it
just a PR exercise? Steven Lang, executive producer with the South African
Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is sceptical.
was OK you are the rich guys, and we are the poor guys. Here are our issues.
So what are you going to do for us now?" Lang explains.
"And even if the
North considered the South, some Africa governments are so suspicious of
this 'new media' and 'information society' thing. They interpret it as
control," added Lang.
However, Chris Kabwato, director of Highway Africa,
is more optimistic, saying he does not agree that WSIS was a mere talk shop.
"Of course it wasn't just talk," he says. "Think of WSIS as an
agenda-setting function, where Africans lobby for critical Information
Communication Technologies (ICT) issues."
The flourishing of the
dotcom environment and the massive use of wireless technology mean issues
like Internet governance, and who should own and manage financial mechanisms
to develop potential Third World ICT infrastructures, still top the
Africa, led by Senegal, proposed the idea of the
Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) to help poorer nations expand their
Backed by some of Africa's poorest nations, the
DSF was one of the major sources of conflict at the WSIS and discussion of
the issue was postponed to the second phase in Tunisia.
development, the post-Geneva months have seen many ICT activities born in
Africa. Earlier this year, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
(CTO) came up with the Nairobi Accord to encourage all involved in the WSIS
process to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Action
WSIS Youth Nigeria, an electronic platform for Nigerian and other
West African youths participating in WSIS, has been created.
second phase of this summit is expected to have a bigger African
representation. It will be hosted by Tunisia, with emphasis on assessing the
progress made on the developmental issues that Africa forwarded and adopting
any further plan of action.
While opinions about the value of WSIS
vary, the next few months will see Africa's initiatives being measured by
its congruence with post-WSIS global public opinion.
Herald Reporter ZIMBABWE
and China have signed a co-operation agreement under which the Asian country
has pledged to further strengthen economic co-operation and explore new
areas to consolidate the two countries' good relations.
The agreement was
signed on Monday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Stan Mudenge and
that country's Minister of Commerce, Mr Bo Xilai at the end of the Sixth
Session of the Joint Commission on Economic, Technical and Trade
Co-operation between the two countries in Beijing.
Cde Mudenge is leading
a high level multi-sectoral delegation comprising of four Cabinet ministers,
senior bankers and other senior Government officials.
spokesperson Mrs Paverline Musaka said the discussions focussed on the
projects identified by the two countries as critical to enhance economic
She said the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to
further strengthen bilateral co-operation particularly in the mining,
agriculture, transport, communications health education energy and power
development and the manufacturing sector.
The Chinese government, Mrs
Musaka said, reiterated its commitment to assist Zimbabwe with technical
assistance and expertise, much needed in transforming the agricultural
sector and to provide training and create the framework for increased
investment and trade between the two countries.
Both sides expressed full
satisfaction with the outcome of the Joint Commission.
Cde Mudenge is
being accompanied by the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cde
Joseph Made, Minister of Energy and Power Development, Cde July Moyo,
Minister of Transport and Communication, Cde Chris Mushowe, Deputy Minister
of Finance Cde David Chapfika, Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono and
other senior Government officials.
Zimbabwe and China enjoy bilateral
relations which date back to the liberation struggle which brought
The Asian country gave Zimbabwe technical and
moral support during that time.
Reporter ZIMBABWE is going through difficult times caused by the country's
detractors unhappy with its land reforms, Vice-President Cde Msika said
He said this when he met visiting Angolan Minister of Social
Communications Mr Hendrik Vaal Neto at his Munhumutapa office in
Cde Msika said the detractors, who include former colonial power
Britain, were working through the local opposition, the MDC.
later told journalists that his discussions with Cde Msika centred on a
number of issues, including co-operation in the field of
Zimbabwe and Angola on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to enhance co-operation in the field of
The agreement entails the promotion of co-operation in
social communication, development policies that include the harmonisation of
laws and instruments in means of communication, content production and
development of the investment regime in communication between the two
Mr Neto said there was a need to strengthen links between the
two countries, especially in the field of communication, which he described
as the best tool to have "our people informed".
He also briefed Cde
Msika on the reconstruction of Angola whose infrastructure was destroyed
during nearly three decades of civil war.
He said co-operation with
Zimbabwe in the reconstruction process was greatly needed.
ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Joaquim Delemos said the MOU on information was of
crucial importance because exchanges in information would help demystify a
lot of negative things said about the region.
He said there was a
deliberate ploy to distort reality by the Western media to fulfil selfish
Mr Neto was accompanied by the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo, who later saw him off to
Though the banner
headline in the state-owned Herald newspaper, "Fuel queues resurface", may
well prove little more than a hiccup, it does pinpoint an underlying malaise
- that many of the official claims of economic recovery are based more on
wishful thinking than on real achievements. Claims to have stabilised the
exchange rate (true) mean little when at last week's auctions the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe was unable to supply more than 18% of foreign currency
demand. Even official sources have distanced themselves from earlier claims
of a 2,4 Mt grain harvest; they now say it is unlikely to exceed 1 Mt. And
with forecast wheat production at 130 000 t, imports of up to 300 000 t will
be needed over the next nine months. Business is complaining about growing
shortages of imported raw materials, spares and components. When the tobacco
sales ended last week, only 64,5m kg of leaf had been sold - less than half
the crop in 1990 and 75% down on the record of 237m kg in 2000. The state
media report projections of a huge increase in the crop next year, but
industry sources say this week's issue of tobacco bills to finance the
2004/2005 crop is too little and too late.
Since taking office last
December, Zimbabwe's economic supremo and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono
has created a sense of economic stabilisation and recovery. But his
short-run achievement in slowing year-on-year inflation and maintaining a
stable (but uncompetitive) exchange rate are under threat. There has been
little if any export response outside the gold mining sector, where the
central bank is paying a subsidy equivalent to US$80/oz. The monthly rate of
inflation has doubled since April, while the Reserve Bank's lending to the
banking sector has risen 20-fold in less than a year to Z$4 trillion or 17%
of GDP. The economy urgently requires foreign capital. Gono is hoping that
the March 2005 parliamentary elections will reopen access to international
capital. He knows that if the elections are ignored by the international
community, he will have to rethink many of his policies. In threatening to
boycott the polls unless government follows Southern African Development
Community election rules, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai has put Harare on the spot. An election boycott
would make it impossible for the government to claim a popular mandate.
Government says the MDC is simply running scared . Last week, Zanu PF won
Seke near Harare in an unopposed by-election, meaning that it is one seat
short of the two-thirds majority it needs to amend the constitution. But
that would only convince investors that the crisis has deepened.
claims ruling party's influence on drawing up constituencies gives it an
advantage Harare Correspondent
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe
has deployed more personnel with a military background to the electoral
process ahead of next year's election.
Mugabe this week appointed former
soldiers to a team to demarcate electoral constituencies.
is comprised of judge George Chiweshe, Job Whabira, Charles Mukora and
Maclean Bhala. They will to draw up the boundaries of constituencies before
the crucial election.
The appointment of Chiweshe and Whabira has been
seen as an attempt to militarise the electoral process. Chiweshe is a former
army officer, while Whabira is a former defence ministry permanent
Chiweshe will chair of the delimitation commission, a
constitutional body which will draw up the boundaries of Zimbabwe's 120
constituencies in the run-up to the election.
Opposition parties have
complained of gerrymandering in the delimiting of constituencies. They claim
the ruling party influences the delineation of boundaries to give itself an
Zimbabwe's professional bureaucracy and state security
agencies, such as the intelligence and prisons services, are run by former
soldiers. Retired army officers and those who are still serving have been
widely reported as key elements of the electoral process, deployed to ensure
that Mugabe's party remains in power .
One of the key electoral
bodies in Zimbabwe, the Electoral Supervisory Commission, is also run by
people with military backgrounds.
Commission chairman Sobusa Gula-Ndebele
is a former military intelligence officer, while the organisation's chief
election officer, Kennedy Zimondi, is a retired
Zimondi replaced Brig Douglas Nyika, who was the
chief election officer during the hotly disputed 2002 presidential election
won by Mugabe.
It was reported that there were at least 66 army officers
of various ranks deployed in the electoral process during the 2002 election.
The current Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Constantine Chiwenga, was
reported to have actively campaigned for Mugabe during the 2002
There was controversy over the army's postal votes as the officers
were said to have been forced to vote for the incumbent leader. After the
2002 election, some army officers deserted the force, claiming they were
being victimised for allegedly supporting or voting for opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC chief
narrowly lost the election to Mugabe by 400000 ballots, amid allegation of
violence and vote-rigging.
That election result is being contested in the
courts, although the case has been dragging on since April
Meanwhile, about 50 women from the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe
Arise demonstrated outside the South African embassy in Harare on yesterday,
calling for an end to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
protest songs and carrying banners calling for an end to harsh press and
public order laws, the women tied red ribbons on the embassy's perimeter
fence in "memory of those killed and starved to death by the Zimbabwe
regime", said the organisation's head, Jenni Williams.
She said the
demonstration was timed to coincide with the opening of the Pan African
Parliament in Midrand. "We're here to tell (South African President Thabo)
Mbeki that we are going to end his quiet diplomacy in this country. We want
The demonstration, which lasted for half an hour, ended
peacefully when the women dispersed before police arrived. With Sapa