Friday, September 16, 2005;
Posted: 5:52 p.m. EDT (21:52 GMT)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- The United
States plans to slap tough travel sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe, members of his government and their extended families, a senior U.S.
official said Friday. The move is aimed at further isolating Mugabe and is a
sign of growing U.S. impatience with Zimbabwe, whose relations with the West
are at an all-time low because of human rights abuses.
Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said the U.S. Treasury
was putting the final touches to an order that would bar Mugabe, his senior
officials and their families from visiting the United States.
visas for study purposes would also be affected.
"We are continuing to
try to call attention to the human rights abuses, that the last election was
not fair and that there was not a level playing field there," Frazer, a
former U.S. ambassador to South Africa, said on the sidelines of the U.N.
General Assembly in New York.
Mugabe has been at the gathering, where he
spoke earlier this week.
Last month, Washington froze the U.S. assets of
26 Zimbabwean farms and businesses it said were controlled by key members of
Mugabe's government, accusing them of undercutting democracy.
taking punitive action that targeted Mugabe and his Cabinet, U.S. officials
said Washington would continue to provide food aid and other humanitarian
assistance to Zimbabwe, which is suffering its worst economic crisis since
independence from Britain 25 years ago.
The latest crisis was triggered
by government seizures of white-owned farms for resettlement of landless
blacks and allegations of vote rigging in the last election.
what may be taking place within the political context of that government,
President Bush is not going to allow people to starve or to face those kinds
of abuses," said Cindy Courville, special assistant to President Bush on
Last month, the United States sent 73,500 tons of food
aid to southern Africa with much of that expected to go to Zimbabwe, where
about half of the rural population is estimated to need emergency
On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be
meeting South African President Thabo Mbeki. Frazer said Zimbabwe would be a
topic during their talks.
Mbeki has in the past been accused of being
too supportive of Mugabe and not taking strong enough action against South
Just a single
fire engine keeps going in the city without fuel From Jan Raath
HARARE is a city grinding to a halt for
lack of fuel. The Zimbabwean capital has just enough petrol to keep one fire
engine running. Prison officers have been unable to drive
prisoners to court this week, there have been no refuse collections for a
month, ambulances can be seen queueing outside dry petrol stations and
thousands of taxis and buses lie idle because they have nothing to run
Yesterday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, walked the four miles from his
home to his Harare office in a gesture of solidarity with the tens of
thousands of Zimbabweans for whom there is no longer any public transport.
He said: "This is an intolerable situation. We cannot continue to endure
this . . . The Government must realise it has turned Zimbabwe into what it
Zimbabwe's deepening fuel crisis is not
immediately obvious. At peak hours there is still enough traffic on the
roads to cause congestion. But those vehicles are mostly running on black
market petrol that sells for about 200,000 Zimbabwe dollars (£5) per litre -
eight times the official price.
At that price Zimbabweans
buy no more than they have to. In half a mile yesterday I came across three
vehicles stranded by the roadside after running out of
The true scale of the crisis was revealed this week
by Nomutsa Chideya, clerk of the city council, who said that the situation
was so bad that all the fire brigade had left was a quarter tank of fuel in
one fire engine. "If there is an emergency, we won't be able to attend," he
said. "We have to pray there will not be a crisis.
have not received diesel for the past four weeks. We are not able to attend
to any sewerage or water pipe bursts because all our vehicles are
Council sources confirmed that there had been no
refuse collection for more than a month. Mr Chideya said that the city
council had been forced to buy 10,000 litres of diesel on the black market.
"We will face the consequences later. At the moment we will have to deal
with the situation."
The fuel shortage is crippling
Zimbabwe's industry, too. Last week, Patison Sithole, the chief executive of
the country's only sugar refinery, said that it had halted exports. It has
stopped receiving deliveries of coal needed for the refining process because
the National Railways of Zimbabwe does not have the diesel to move the
Farmers' unions said that the country was facing the
worst agricultural season since independence in 1980. Already devastated by
President Mugabe's mass land grab, the farming industry is facing
unprecedented disaster because what little fertiliser, seed and crop
chemicals are available cannot be delivered for lack of
Air travel is frequently disrupted. A German diplomat
recently had to scrounge lifts on each leg of a three-stop trip with Air
Zimbabwe because there was no jet fuel.
crisis is now entering its sixth year. Economists say that it has never been
so bad and can only worsen as the economy deteriorates and hard currency
earnings needed to import fuel grow scarcer.
Government appears to be juggling its dwindling resources ever more
desperately. Last week Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank governor, said that
funds earmarked for fuel imports had been temporarily diverted to make a
partial repayment on the country's debt to the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF was threatening to expel Zimbabwe.
Mike Davies, the
chairman of the Combined Harare Residents' Association, said that Harare's
ambulances may have run dry, "but you can bet that the tanks of Sekesayi
Makwavarara are full".
Mrs Makwavarara, a Mugabe loyalist who
heads the commission that runs Harare, is awaiting a US$27,000 (£15,000)
allocation from the central bank for an official visit to Moscow. That sum
would pay for 35,000 litres of fuel, more than the Harare council's monthly
needs, said Mr Davies.
Mugabe spurned loan 'in fury over conditions' By David
Blair in Johannesburg (Filed: 17/09/2005)
President Robert Mugabe
rejected South Africa's offer of emergency cash to bail out Zimbabwe's
collapsing economy and "humiliated" his officials when they presented him
with a draft rescue package, it emerged yesterday.
Mr Mugabe was
"apoplectic" when he learned of the stringent conditions attached to a loan
from South Africa.
The conditions are believed to have included Mr Mugabe
being required to open talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, repeal a series of repressive laws and implement ambitious economic
A senior western diplomat said that Mr Mugabe's rejection of
this offer had "exasperated" President Thabo Mbeki's government. But he
added that South Africa would continue to refrain from public criticism of
The loan would have covered Zimbabwe's debts of £160 million
with the International Monetary Fund.
About one third of the
country's economy has been wiped out in the past five years and inflation
runs at 265 per cent.
When Zimbabwe opened talks with South Africa, it
faced expulsion from the IMF, a measure that has not been taken against any
country for five decades.
But the western diplomat said that Mr Mugabe
had "furiously" cast aside the outcome of weeks of negotiations carried out
by Gideon Gono, the governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, Herbert Murerwa,
the finance minister, and their South African counterparts.
president deliberately "humiliated" Mr Gono and Mr Murerwa by making them
read out the conditions before adamantly rejecting them, the diplomat
Mr Mugabe's aides were left to try to find a way of preventing
Zimbabwe's expulsion from the International Monetary Fund.
Harare said that the Reserve Bank raided the foreign currency accounts of
exporters, seizing american dollars and paying for them in the worthless
local currency. One mining company is reported to have lost £5
These draconian measures, together with other devices,
succeeded in raising £65 million. This was handed over to the IMF on Aug 31,
in time for the organisation's executive board meeting last
That gathering decided to defer Zimbabwe's expulsion for another
six months. The country still owes the IMF £95 million.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Zimbabwe's embattled and isolated leader
said Friday that his government will take a stake in privately operated
mining enterprises in the mineral-rich southern African nation, but he does
not intend to nationalize the industry as he has commercial
In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with The Associated
Press, Robert Mugabe claimed his people - including hundreds of thousands
made homeless by a recent controversial slum clearance and others facing
famine because of disastrous land reform - are ``very, very
Mugabe, 81, who has ruled since a guerrilla war brought
independence 25 years ago, said he plans to retire when his term expires in
2008 and live between the countryside and the city, farming and
He spoke in a 75-minute interview at the U.N. World Summit,
which he said he was pleased to have attended even though it produced ``very
little by way of expectations'' toward promised goals to fight poverty and
eliminate trade tariffs.
For that he blamed the United States, saying
it should not be allowed to derail the agenda of dozens of other nations
``just because they are the strongest and wealthiest. The United Nations
isn't owned by them.''
He said Africa's 52 votes at the U.N. - more than
a quarter of all votes - and the Non-Aligned Movement's more than 100 member
votes should be mobilized to ensure that the ``very important, sacrosanct
goals'' are not dismissed.
Mugabe also railed against the U.S.-led
war in Iraq: ``Iraq was attacked and attacked in violation of international
law. ... They went on this rampage, on this campaign, which has destabilized
Iraq, on the basis of lies,'' he said.
With globalization and the
fall of the Soviet Union, ``the world is fast becoming a world in which
small states are threatened by the bigger ones, by the
Mugabe himself has been the subject of international
condemnation. His government is accused of stealing elections, most recently
in April, and of gross human rights abuses to suppress opposition.
a national level, Mugabe said his government would take a share in private
mining enterprises because it wants its people to benefit from their own
natural resources. He said he expects companies currently mining in
Zimbabwe, including the multinational Anglo American, to understand that
``We just want to be partners. We are not doing anything
unusual, and this is the practice in many countries,'' he
Zimbabwe mines coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper,
iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin and platinum group metals as well as
diamonds, emeralds and semiprecious stones.
``What we intend to do is
for the state to have a stake in the production of some of our minerals -
gold, platinum, diamonds,'' he said. ``We are behind countries like Botswana
Mugabe also said he has signed several agreements for
state-owned Chinese companies to mine in Zimbabwe under joint ventures with
He said he has no plans to nationalize the industry, as
he had threatened to do when he first was elected and dreamed of created a
one-party Marxist state.
Tandayi Motsi VICE PRESIDENT Cde Joice Mujuru yesterday said all
beneficiaries of land reform found under-utilising their farms are saboteurs
who should lose those properties.
Addressing farmers at the Cotton
Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) National Grower of the Year Awards ceremony,
Cde Mujuru, a successful farmer herself, said it was distressing and
unacceptable that some farmers had become perennial beggars and not worthy
and recognised producers in their own right.
"If you are not farming
properly, this is sabotage at its highest level," she said. "What pains us
is that the farmers are not producing at the farms yet they are the first to
beg for assistance from the Government."
The Government, Cde Mujuru said,
had concluded the land question through the promulgation of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe (No 17) Amendment Act and it was now up to the farmers to
reciprocate that enabling move by utilising the land.
The Act bars
courts from hearing appeals challenging the acquisition of commercial farms
that would have been identified and repossessed by the State for
Vice President Mujuru said new farmers not committed to
farming as a business should go back to communal areas and pave way for
those who had serious intentions to work the land
"Musana unenge unemabhaudhi usingagone kurima.
Chirisiyirawoka vamwe nokuti isu hatidi kuverenga mbeva nanamudune. Aiwa,
tinoda kuverenga mbeva chaidzo vanamudune tokandira vanakitsi (If you are
not up to the task and demands of farming, leave it to those with the
dedication and skills. We want farmers who work the land for maximum
production, not incompetents and idlers who just sit and do nothing)," she
Cde Mujuru then questioned the figure produced by Zimbabwe Farmers'
Union (ZFU) president Mr Silas Hungwe that the organisation had a
countrywide membership of one million.
Expressing her doubts over the
figure, the Vice President said if there were indeed a million small-scale
and communal farmers under the ZFU, Zimbabwe would not be facing the current
food shortages because such a large number was capable of feeding the entire
She further emphasised that farmers should not wait for or look
up to the Government alone for assistance but should also work out ways and
means to help themselves.
"We have lost our respect through begging
and we must produce our own food. The poverty in Zimbabwe is
She urged the financial sector to recognise the new reality on
the ground by extending funding and input schemes to the newly-resettled
Turning to the cotton industry, Cde Mujuru said the Cottco
inputs credit scheme was perhaps the most visible element of business
partnership. She applauded the company for investing in the
The challenge to Cottco, she said, was to disseminate
information and distribute new varieties to farmers so that Zimbabwe keeps
abreast with the world.
Cde Mujuru encouraged Cottco and others in
the industry to continue investing in research and development for the
country to achieve the maximum returns on cotton seed production for its
She challenged the company and the industry as a whole to boost
production, saying Cottco should surpass its target of 400 000 tonnes of
cotton a year in the immediate term and 500 000 tonnes in the medium term so
as to fully use the available ginning capacity.
Mujuru said, had a vision and thrust to put in place measures that
stimulated investor confidence.
"We believe that high quality standards
from planting to dispatch of lint to overseas customers, is the only
guarantee for a successful industry that exports a high quality product. It
is, therefore, in that context that we will review your submissions," she
Speaking at the same occasion, Cottco managing director Mr
Happymore Mapara said the company would strive to increase financial
assistance to farmers in order for them to procure inputs.
welcomed competition from other players in the industry, saying this was
healthy for the sector.
However, he said the competition had also come
with threats as not all the current 15 players in the industry were
committed to the production of the cotton.
Mr Mapara said Cottco was
keen to value-add on its products and plans to expand the existing ginning
plant were at an advanced stage.
Gokwe Chireya Member of Parliament Cde
Leonard Chikomba (Zanu-PF) scooped the Large-Scale Cotton Grower of the Year
Award while the Small-Scale Cotton Grower of the Year Award went to Mr Risai
Rutanhire of Muzarabani.
For their efforts, Cde Chikomba and Mr Rutanhire
walked away with a floating trophy each and an assortment of other prizes
that included cotton fertiliser and seed.
Speaking after being
crowned, Cde Chikomba, who is both a businessman and a farmer, paid tribute
to Cottco for grooming him.
"The real wealth is in the land and I urge
other new farmers to commit themselves to serious farming," he said.
RICHARD J. NORTON: Yes, it can get worse in
The Providence Journal
Published: September 16,
2005 Last Modified: September 16, 2005 at 11:40 AM
(SH) - It is no
secret that Zimbabwe - unless you happen to be President Robert Mugabe - has
long been a very bad place in which to live.
Mugabe, a former
guerrilla leader in the struggle against Ian Smith's white-supremacist
(Rhodesian) government, came to power as prime minister in 1980. He has
since been the country's sole ruler, becoming president in 1987.
he took the reins of power, Zimbabwe was a showcase of progress. It was a
major food exporter, its telephone system was rated the best in Africa and
its rich mineral resources promised economic growth and sustained
All that changed under Mugabe, who came to personify the
adage of the corrupting nature of power. In an effort to carry out land
reform, Mugabe broke up primarily white-owned farms and redistributed the
acreage, mainly to veterans of his guerrilla years. The result was an
ever-increasing torrent of white flight and farm failure.
Zimbabwe is a food importer, grocery shelves are often bare and the specter
of famine is constant.
Mugabe has also dabbled in military adventurism.
Scenting opportunity in the politically destabilized Democratric Republic of
the Congo, Mugabe's forces entered into a war from 1998 to 2002. The fiscal
cost of the operation was staggering, draining hundreds of millions from the
The story is the same in nearly every sector of
Zimbabwean life. AIDS is rampant, inflation (now at 255 percent a year) is
skyrocketing and unemployment may be as high as 70 percent. Mugabe's failure
to meet budgetary goals has resulted in suspension of International Monetary
Fund support, and the value of the Zimbabwean dollar has sunk to a record
Even the black-rhinoceros population, once at its greatest abundance
in Zimbabwe, has been reduced by 90 percent, because of the government's
inability to prevent poaching. Mineral extraction has not been accompanied
by environmental safeguards, causing an increase in heavy-metal
Mugabe's protests to the contrary, Zimbawe's woes are not
solely due to the country's colonial legacy. Zimbabwe's history did, indeed,
present it with significant challenges - most of which were shared by other
African states - but the death spiral of one of Africa's most promising
states is largely of his own making.
Remember: Mugabe has had more
than a generation to show some progress.
Given the state of affairs in
Zimbabwe, it is hard to imagine that things could get worse. Yet to do so
would underestimate Mugabe. Recent events have shown that the limit of his
capacity to inflict pain on his people has yet to be
Mugabe's latest depredation was titled "Operation Murambatsvina"
- "murambatsvina" being a Shona word for "drive out trash." Described as
part urban renewal and part anti-crime effort, Operation Murambatsvina was
little more than a two-month military campaign to demolish poor townships
and evict the families living there. The operation was carried out, often at
gunpoint, by Zimbabwean police, army personnel and members of the "Green
Bombers" - musclemen for Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
Of course, Zimbabwe
lacks any means of resettling these displaced people, and they have been
ordered to find new homes and employment in the country. This is bound to
increase the number of Zimbabwean refugees, who are already a major source
of concern to both neighboring South Africa and Botswana.
than a desire to clean up the neighborhood motivated Mugabe in Operation
Murambatsvina. It seems that the razed neighborhoods were hotbeds of
political opposition to the ZANU-PF party; by knocking them down, Mugabe not
only dealt out some political retribution but also further weakened his
internal opponents. Operation Murambatsvina also eliminated some
black-market money dealers, confiscating their cash in the process. As a
result, more Zimbabweans may now be forced to do business with official
banks - increasing Mugabe's control over his plummeting currency.
United Nations has reacted to Mugabe's "urban-renewal" efforts with
surprising bluntness. U.N. envoy Anna Tibaijuka has condemned Operation
Murambatsvina as a violation of international law and a state abuse of human
rights. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also condemned Mugabe's
actions, and has called upon other African leaders to speak out against
What should be done?
Part of the answer lies with the
African Union - which is, as usual, reluctant to act against Mugabe.
Although beset with issues ranging from dealing with coup leaders in
Mauritania to peacekeeping efforts in Sudan, the African Union should still
lead the world community in responding to Mugabe.
A spectrum of
actions could be employed: freezing all external money belonging to Mugabe
and his wife, Grace, as well as other high-ranking ZANU-PF officials;
banning Zimbabwean cricket and soccer teams, symbols of national pride, from
international competition; increasing economic sanctions against Zimbabwe;
banning trade in Zimbabwean oil and minerals until internal conditions
improve. In short, Zimbabwe must become a pariah state until Mugabe leaves
Rice will undoubtedly keep up the pressure on Mugabe, but the
political reality is that, lacking significant levers of influence over
Mugabe, the United States will be unlikely to effect change in Zimbabwe.
That task belongs to the African Union. African leaders whom Mugabe still
listens to, especially South African President Thabo Mbeki, need to tell the
former guerrilla fighter that it is time to go.
To date, Mbeki and
other leaders in the region have been slow to take on Mugabe. This is
understandable. Mugabe's legacy as an anti-colonialist, the similar
challenges other African leaders have faced and a desire to advance regional
interests through cooperation have all contributed to their
Still, even his former friends should now see that Mugabe
has gone too far.
Richard J. Norton is a professor of national-security
affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. The views here are his own and do not
necessarily reflect those of the college, the Navy or the Defense
Zimbabweans Plan Demonstration at UN Against Mugabe Rule By Francois
Nsengiyumva Washington 16 September 2005
North American Foundation for a Free Zimbabwe, a not-for-profit organization
in the United States, said it would demonstrate for two days at the United
Nations in New York starting Saturday to urge international action against
the Harare administration.
Foundation spokesman Handle Mlilo spoke with
reporter Francois Nsengiyumva of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe about what his
group hoped to achieve.
While Zimbabwe's deteriorating political and
economic crisis has hindered its efforts to reach development goals, other
factors have also come into play, says one prominent Zimbabwean political
analyst. Actionaid Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager Brian Kagoro says
these factors slowing development have affected all Southern
Mr. Kagoro, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya, but until recently
worked in Harare as the head of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said that
while countries around Zimbabwe are achieving decent growth rates,
statistics mask deeply entrenched poverty.
Mr. Kagoro shared his
analysis with Studio 7 reporter and host Chris Gande.