September 2004: Tensions over land and race, which have already contributed
much to Zimbabwe's political and economic collapse, are rising in South
Africa as well. New approaches are needed if they are not to push tempers to
the boiling point across all southern Africa.
Blood and Soil: Land,
Politics and Conflict Prevention in Zimbabwe and South Africa*, a new
book-length report released today by the International Crisis Group, offers
those approaches along with a detailed analysis of the issues. The product
of intensive field research with widespread consultations ranging from farm
workers to senior government officials, Blood and Soil examines the
challenges of land policy and redistribution in both countries and places
them within their social, political, economic and historical
Resolving the challenge of land will be central to
getting Zimbabwe back on its feet when that nation eventually experiences a
change of government.
"For all the understandable international outrage
over seizures of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, the biggest losers of the
land program have been black Zimbabweans -- black farm workers, black
members of the opposition, and all those who were not part of the ruling
party elite", says John Norris, Special Adviser to the President of ICG.
"There are tremendous historical injustices that need to be dealt with in
both Zimbabwe and South Africa, but Zimbabwe has demonstrated the deadly
dangers of exploiting land redistribution for blatantly political
Blood and Soil provides a balanced assessment of the claims and
counterclaims about responsibility for the catastrophic situation in
Zimbabwe and offers practical policy suggestions for ways forward by
identifying the contours of a post-Mugabe land approach.
Soil also provides a comprehensive agenda for reinvigorating the land reform
process in South Africa.
"South Africa still has time to get it right on
land reform and avoid future land-related violence and insecurity", says
John Prendergast, also a Special Adviser with ICG. "The government, farmers,
and donors can take practical steps to accelerate the current land reform
program, contribute to poverty reduction, and reduce landlessness. The
stakes are enormous, with implications throughout southern
Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) 32 (0) 485 555 946
Jennifer Leonard (Washington) 1-202-785 1601
September 17, 2004 Posted to the web September 17,
Police yesterday issued a stern warning to people who
engage in political violence ahead of the 2005 polls, saying they would be
dealt with thoroughly.
Police Commissioner Cde Augustine Chihuri said
all cases of a criminal nature, even where politics is the motive, would
continue to be thoroughly investigated and purveyors of such violence would
be hauled before the courts to answer for their criminal deeds.
said the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) would engage head-on and with the
necessary legal and physical force at its disposal those involved in public
"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.
"In these acts of criminality, life has been
threatened and property damaged. This barbaric type of political activism in
which youths are used as cannon fodder should cease
"Members of the ZRP are under instruction to have zero
tolerance of any situation or activities which they perceive as contributing
to violence," said Cde Chihuri.
He said several youths were arrested
last month while eight others were picked up this month following some
"We implore 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 such individuals
and groups of criminals," said Cde Chihuri.
The Police Commissioner said
law-abiding citizens would only have themselves to blame should they be
confused for political criminals whose modus operandi police were now
"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
"It remains the duty of the police to maintain
law and order during any time of the year, including periods leading to
national elections. The police force, as the law enforcement agency, is not
going to abdicate from this constitutional
Politically motivated violence has of late been reported
in some parts of the country with property worth millions of dollars
destroyed in Makoni last week.
President Mugabe has already called
upon police to ensure that next year's elections are conducted in a peaceful
and tranquil environment as the country would be under the international
Speaking at a police pass-out parade in July, the President
said the observance and maintenance of peace and calm was crucial since the
country's detractors would, as usual, seek to misrepresent the situation and
the electoral process in the country.
Last month, police welcomed the
Southern African Development Community (Sadc) principles and guidelines on
the conduct of democratic elections and said they would ensure the country's
parliamentary elections are conducted in a peaceful manner.
Heads of State and Governments approved the rules, standards and criteria
regulating elections in the region at their summit in Mauritius.
principles and guidelines are aimed at ensuring full participation of
citizens in the electoral process, freedom of association, political
tolerance and regular elections as provided for by national
It is encouraging to see that someone has bothered to start some kind
of protest against the PTC charge hikes. For those of you who just shrug
your shoulders and say that is just the way things are in Zimbabwe, please do
not read on, ….and have a nice day!
For those who do give a damn, read
on and make you protest in whichever way you think
To those of you who are responsible for the payment of Tel-One
telephone accounts, (which have started arriving today)please seriously
consider writing to the General Manager of Tel-One within the next few days
to COMPLAIN IN THE VERY STRONGEST TERMS against the unfair, unjustified
and exhorbitant telephone rates increases which have come into
What we need is a massive and strong protest against the
unjustified and astronomical telephone charge increases introduced by
Tel-One. The unit charges have been increased overnight from $120 to $585, a
This is justified by neither the current rate of
inflation nor an improvement in the quality of service provided.
comparison, fixed land-line operators overseas have cut their rates by
an average of 50% over the last couple of years. It would appear therefore
that these increases are the result of either pure greed or
It is likely that several businesses will not be able to
sustain such unrealistic increases and will have to close down. At a time
when the Governor of the Reserve Bank is trying, quite successfully, to
control inflation in Zimbabwe, the latest measure is tantamount to
These telephone charge increases will doubtlessly
have a 'domino' effect on all businesses, like fuel price increases do, and
you can expect other charges/fees/rates and subscriptions to increase in
order to off-set these!
Let's try to be united in protest against these
----- Original Message ----- From: "Trudy
Stevenson" Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:41 AM
address for complaints regarding the phone call increase.
Please find below the list of Section 7's published in the Herald today, 17th
There is also a Section 8 Lot 14 in todays Herald, this
comprises 129 properties. This list will be sent out on Monday 20th
September 2004. JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE URGENT LEGAL COMMUNIQUÉ - 17th
OF APPLICATION FOR CONFIRMATION OF SECTION 8 ORDER IN TERMS OF SECTION 7 (3)
OF THE LAND ACQUISITION ACT CHAPTER 20:10
TAKE NOTICE that an application
for the confirmation of the acquisition order issued in respect of the
following farms has been filed in the Administrative Court at Harare and that
the Respondent and any holder of real rights over the said farm are required
to lodge their objections within 5 days after the publication of this notice
failure to which the matter shall be set down unopposed without any further
A copy of the application is available for collection at
Applicant's undersigned legal practitioner of record's address between Monday
to Friday from 8am to 4pm.
J L NKOMO Minister of Special Affairs in
the Office of the President and Cabinet in Charge of Lands, Land Reform
c/o CIVIL DIVISION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S
OFFICE Applicant's Legal Practitioners 2nd Floor, Block "A" New Govt.
Complex Cnr Samora Machel AVe/Fourth
St. HARARE _______________________________________________
SECTION 7 17TH SEPTEMBER 2004 Hartley 1. 2195/86. Oldham Estates P/L:
Hartley: Oldson Estate "A": 7 602.2200ha: LA 3344/03
.7481/86. Prangmere Farm P/L: Lomagundi: Prangmere: 1042,2698 ha:
LA 4287/04 3. 6502/84: Fletchers P/L: Lomagundi: Chingomo of Gurungwe:
937,4176 ha: LA 4264/04 4. 2025/91: Mission Vlei Farm (Private) Limited:
Lomagundi: Mission Vlei: 559,6075 ha: LA 4474/04 5. 4861/91. Dedi Farm
P/L: Lomagundi: Mwonga: 902,1191 ha: LA 4493/04 6. 7164/72. Anthony Ellis
Howland: Lomagundi: Remainder of Birkdale Estate: 2023,3224 ha: LA
457/04 7. 3446/94. Mvurachena Enterprises P/L: Lomagundi: Remainder of
Mvurachena Estate: 711,2734 ha: LA 4307/04 8. 4806/91. PTA Farming P/L:
Lomagundi: Bassett: 518,0221 ha: LA 4353/04 9. 126/82. Maruchi & Cesare
Lomagundi: Mzira Farm: 692,0666 ha: LA 4344/04 10. 2521/61 Norwe Farms
(Private) Limited: Lomagundi: Remainder of Morwe of Birkdale Estate: 958,6930
ha: LA 4490/04 11. 4573/80. H W Smithyman and Company P/L: Lomagundi: Laroe
of Gurungwe: 1215,0346 ha: LA 4519/04 12. 5756/56 Blue Grass Farms P/L:
Lomagundi: Andrea: 1186,7333 morgen: LA 4521/04
1060/86. Sherwood Farm (Private) Limited: Makoni: Ferncarry: 850,5224 ha: LA
4409/04 14. 2193/94. Pebworth Estate P/L: Makoni: Farm 6 of Lawrencedale
Estate: 1 013,7291 ha: LA 4256/04 15. 447/84. C W Van Der Linden:
Makoni: Remainder of Castle Kop: 1 570,5972 ha: LA 4272/04 16. 5879/70.
Siverbow (Private) Limited: Makoni: Farm "Early Mo" 455,6676 ha: LA
4316/04 17. 6109/87 Normavalarie V Dum, Neville Clayton Tapson, John
Granville Tapson, Anthea Jon Koly Brenda, Elizabeth James, Dephne Vivian Ball
and Estate Late Rosalind Varvis Adamd Makoni: Remainder of Diana: 1
590,8571 ha: LA 4315/04 18. 1271/96. G I Balance (Private) Limited :
Makoni: Remainder of Ripple Mead: 725,7751 ha: LA 4261/04 19. 1696/62
Kenneth Charles Ziehl Makoni: Remaining Extent of Recondite: 2 136,4329
acres: LA 4413/04
Mazoe 20. 6496/69 Ruwanga (Private) Limited:
Mazoe: Ruwanga: 3 042,9340 acres: LA 4354/04 21. 4982/94 Mewrose
Properties (Private) Limited Mazoe: Remainder of Erin: 1 287,3138 ha: LA
4300/04 22. 2504/95. Putney Enterprises (Private) Limited: Mazoe: Remainder
of Avontuue: 814,3973 ha: LA 4335/04
Melsetter 23. 3420/51. The
Wattle Company Limited: Melsetter: Hearthfield: 3243 morgen 547 square roods:
LA 4279/04 24. 6617/72: Millgrove (Private) Limited: Melsetter: Remaining
Extent of Mermaid's Grotto: 931,4706 ha: LA 4339/04
121/90. Bonora Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Bonora of Nuanetsi Ranch A:
4 935,2572 ha: LA 4455/04 26. 120/90. Dykersrus Ranch (Private) Limited
Nuanetsi: Dykersrust of Nuanetsi Ranch A 5 098,7037 ha: LA 4449/04 27.
3209/94. J C Kotze and Son (Private) Limited Nuanetsi: Nuanetsi Ranch A: 1
644,1503 ha: LA 4266/04 28. 9002/71. Edenvale Ranch (Private) Limited:
Nuanetsi: Jubula of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 819,7612 ha: LA 4373/04 29.
1895/81. Andre Eugene Fourie: Nuanetsi: Lot 1 of Quagga Pan Ranch of Nuanetsi
Ranche: 2 943,1275 ha: LA 4463/04 30. 569/72. Mopane Ranching Company
(Private) Limited Nuanetsi: Lot 1 of Sembwe of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 4 254,7060
ha: LA 4418/04 31. 1052/87. Solomondale (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 1
of Wanezi Block A: 1 436,2075 ha: LA 4510/04 32. 1119/85. Hendrik
Boshoff: Nuanetsi: Lot 10 of Lot 1 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 6 070,5856
ha: LA 4483/04 33. 1394/98. Rudolph Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot
10 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 829,5989 ha: LA 4390/04 34. 1394/98.
Rudolph Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot 12 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche
A: 981,7393 ha: LA 4431/04 35. 1818/82. James Henry Edwards Nuanetsi: Lot
17 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 11 927,005 ha: LA 4443/04 36. 1394/98. Rudolph
Erasmus Van Den Heever: Nuanetsi: Lot 19 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A:
820,4304 ha: LA 4340/04 37. 99/81. Joseph Ernest Alain Faydherbe Nuanetsi:
Lot 19 of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 7 043,5958 ha: LA 4255/04 38. 7438/95. Maria
Johanna Barnard Nuanetsi: Lot 2 of Mkumi Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 4692,6900
HA: LA 4374/04 39. 4910/72. Cawoods Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot
21A of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 14712,8968 ha: LA 4263/04 40 4729/91. Raymond
Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 22 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 853,5739 ha: LA
4499/04 41. 4729/97. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 25 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi
Ranche A: 943,3104 ha: LA 4481/04 42. 7992/88. De Vos Ranching (Private)
Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 26 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 872,2679 ha: LA
4502/04 43. 5377/90. De Vos Ranching (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 27 of
Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 889,0915 ha: LA 4430/04 44. 7992/88. De Vos
Ranching (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 28 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A:
813,1890 ha: LA 4302/04 45. 376/63. Edenvale Ranch (Private) Limited:
Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 28 354,5703 acres: LA
4282/04 46. 7050/86. Rio Enterprises (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of
Mukumi Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 2 292,7327 ha: LA 4405/04 47. 1091/60.
Umjanjele Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 3 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 33
113,75764 acres: LA 4422/04 48. 6852/94. Bull Barrow Enterprises (Private)
Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 34 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 810,8498 ha: LA
4460/04 49. 1477/97. Louis Johannes Foord: Nuanetsi: Lot 36 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 810,5237 ha: LA 4321/04 50. 5923/70. Sheba Ranch
(Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 39 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 1
045,0693 ha: LA 4445/04 51. 5924/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited:
Nuanetsi: Lot 40 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 953,0142 ha: LA
4404/04 52. 1991/92. Illunga Estates (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot
43A Nuanetsi Ranche A: 5 147,8939 ha: LA 4362/04 53. 7062/94. George
Arthur Viljoen: Nuanetsi: 5 445,8956 ha: LA 4355/04 54. 1609/99. Christina
Catharina Langenhoven: Nuanetsi: Lot 49A Nunaetsi Ranche A: 9 514,0779 ha: LA
4301/04 55. 7061/94. George Arthur Viljoen: Nuanetsi: Lot 50A Nunaetsi
Ranche A: 2 646,1056 ha: LA 4271/04 56. 6409/83. Mateke Hills Safaris
(Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 6 of Lot 1 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranch A: 6
074,3238 ha: LA 4500/04 57. 834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris
(Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 6 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 793,3321
Ha: LA 4419/04 58. 5922/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 63
of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 811,0429 ha: LA 4421/04 59. 5922/70.
Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 62 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche
A: 813,0111 ha; LA 4424/04 60. 5925/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited:
Nuanetsi: Lot 67 of Lot 12 of Nunaetsi Ranch A: 5 082,5387 ha: LA
4254/04 61. 5926/70. Sheba Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 68 of Lot
12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 4 591,6203 ha: LA 4506/04 62. 5472/94 Mateke
Hills Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 69 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi
Ranche A: 3 264,4311 ha: LA 4289/04 63. 834/91. Nyavasha Ranching &
Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 7 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A:
854,3431 ha: 4472/04 64. 4729/91. Raymond Roth: Nuanetsi: Lot 71 of Lot 12
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 753,0012 ha: LA 4412/04 65. 4791/92. Raymond Roth:
Nuanetsi: Lot 72 of Lot 112 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 841,5431 ha: LA
4265/04 66. 5451/93. Junction Estates (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 8 of
Lot 1of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 073,9828 ha: LA 4253/03 67.
834/91. Nyavasha Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 8 of
Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 869,3599 ha: LA 4311/04 68. 834/91. Nyavasha
Ranching & Safaris (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Lot 9 of Lot 12 of
Nuanetsi Ranche A: 869,35ha: LA 4498/04 69. 4780/74. Louwrens Broers
(Eindoms) Beperk: Nuanetsi: Mbavirira Estate: 8 499,3521 ha; LA
4433/04 70. 1478/97. Frederik Jacobus Van Der Sande: Nuanetsi: Nandice
Ranch A: 9 506,2557 ha; LA 4239/04 71. 833/65. Lowveldt Farms (Private)
Limited: Nuanetsi: Nkomati of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 2 368,2867 ha: LA
4507/04 72. 1673/72. De La Rey Beyers Fourie Geldenhuys: Nuanetsi:
Remaining Extent of Lot 1 of Lot 12 of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 085,5040 ha: LA
4386/04 73. 3500/86. Firmandale (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Remaining
Extent of Quagga Pan Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranch: 5 277,3216 ha: LA
4230/04 74. 147/65. Mopane Ranching Company (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi:
The Remaining Extent of Sembwe of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 410,6641 ga: LA
4494/04 75. 331/85. L & L Ranchers (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Rutenga
Estate: 14 167,4681 ha: LA 4503/04 76. 5492/86. Chipangali Estates
(Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Solomon Landgoed Ranch of Nuanetsi Ranche: 10
484,9766 ha: LA 4417/04 77. 3421/73. Jacobus Cornelius Wartington:
Nuanetsi: Sonop of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 8 347,3360 ha: LA 4270/04 78.
9622/88. C P Investments (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: The Remainder of
Steimarcoe A: 3 958,700 ha: LA 4501/04 79. 6797/73. B J B Ranch (Private)
Limited: Nuanetsi: Tinnor of Nunentsi Ranch A: 6 307,55 ha: LA
4346/04 80. 6797/73. B J B Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Tipperary
of Nuanetsi Ranche A: 6 341,3620 ha: LA 4229/04 81. 7326/87. Umfula
Ranch (Private) Limited: Nuanetsi: Van Beeck's Hulp of Umfula Ranch of
Nuanetsi Ranch A: 2 012,7013 ha: LA 4495/04
Shamva 82. 2152/95. Gllt
Adge Pigs (Private) Limited: Shamva: Aburndalte: 69,8062 ha: LA
4576/04 83. 6651/85. Douglyn Farm (Private) Limited: Shamva: Remainder
of Didsbury: 73,8618 ha: LA 4285/04
Sipolilo 84. 3078/82. Daniel
Andries Swart: Sipolilo: Norwi: 914,8969 ha: LA 4512/04 85. 7614/86.
Peter Benard Bowen: Sipolilo: Nyamseve: 1224,6730 ha: LA 4471/04 86.
079/91. Brendon Inglis: Sipolilo: Nyamfuta: 1324,2443 ha: LA 4414/04 87.
9387/87. D B Hewitt P/L Sipolilo: Mongondo Estate: 3485,7120 ha:
LA 4358/04 88. 5712/94. D N Gallow P/L: Sipolilo: Nyavuti: 1395,6782 ha:
LA 4382/04 89. 3606/79. Muir of Ord Farms P/L: Sipolilo: Miur of Ord:
1138,1070 ha: LA 4245/04 90. 6897/79. J P Crouch P/L: Sipolilo: Camsasa:
1114,2873 ha: ;A 4286/04 91. 2422/87. Andrew Richard Verney Evans Sipolilo:
Kelston Park: 998,7168 ha: LA 4505/04 92. 9213/2000. Cumberland Farm
P/L: Sipolilo: Brandon: 1511,9567 ha: LA 4233/04 93. 19194/61. Michael
Barry McGrath: Sipolilo: Siyalima: 1916,2046 ha: LA 4487/04 94. 392/87.
Mbada Farming (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Marirambada: 818,5744 ha: LA
4407/04 95. 2439/95. W J Hughes (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Ternanog:
1527,2921 ha: LA 4357/04 96. 3656/93. Tiaseka Farm (Private) Limited:
Sipolilo: Tiaseka: 1140,7771 ha: LA4359/04 97. 5571/96. John Hamilton
Taffs: Sipolilo: Brooklands: 924,3463 ha: LA 4423/04 98. 3208/82.
Neville Dawson Pearce: Sipolilo: Remainder of Dande: 1215,7439 ha: LA
4492/04 99. 6374/84. Penlands (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Penrose:
1765,4116 ha: LA 4456/04 100. 1852/98. Harvey James (Private) Limited:
Sipolilo: Nyalungwe: 775,7682 ha: LA 4303/03 101. 949430/90. Griff
Enterprises (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Chireingwe: 684,2860 ha: LA
4452/04 102. 2438/95. Hughes and Games (Private) Limited: Sipolilo:
Taikoo: 1063,6751 ha: LA 4304/04 103. 8035/94. Blue Star Investments
P/l: Sipolilo: Bpnheim: 1479,8404 ha: LA 4231/04 104. 1058/93. Rusumbi
Farm P/L: Sipolilo: Rusumbi: 1029,0860 ha: LA 4367/04 105. 548/98. David
A J Lilford P/L: Sipolilo: The Remainder of Gurungwe: 1268,4169 ha: LA
4395/04 106. 391/87. Mbada Farming P/L: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Gomo: 575,4351
ha: LA 4328/04 107. 440/96. Manovi Farm P/L: Sipolilo: Manovi: 1252,4417
ha: LA 4334/04 108. 288/76. Daisy Christina Maureen Kennedy: Sipolilo:
Nyadopia: 753,8576 ha: LA 4275/04 109. 4734/84. Alexander Martin
Anderson: Sipolilo: Nainital: 842,4128 ha: LA 4361/04 110. 1351/73. Disi
P/L: Sipolilo: Remaining Extent of Disi Estate: 2624,7483 ha: LA
4292/04 111. 6984/88. Alan MacLaggen Jack: Sipolilo: Woma: 693,8184 ha:
LA 4332/04 112. 3102/82. David Frederick Dolphin: Sipolilo: Mount
Fatigue: 2508,6633 ha: LA 4492/04 113. 6791/88. Impinge Farm (Private)
Limited: Sipolilo: Remainder of Impinge Ranche: 4 792,9600 ha: LA
4476/04 114. 306/96. Cracklehill enterprises (Private) Limited: Sipolilo:
Lot 1 of Norwe of Birkdales Estate: 477,6783 ha: LA 4411/04 115.
1350/73. John Strong (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Disi Estate: 2
397,8735 ha: LA 4333/04 116. 6789/88. Kazilo Farms (Private) Limtied:
Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Impinge Ranche: 941.000 ha: LA 4497/04 117. 6790/88.
Mwembezi Farms (Private) Limited: Sipolilo: Lot 2 of Impinge Ranche: 1
134,000 ha: LA 34438/04 118. 8430/96. N D Carter Farming (Private) Limited:
Sipolilo: Lot 1 of Nyabonda: 393,4340 ha: LA 4509/04
143/61. Dikanayi Estates P/L: Umtali: Delamore Portion of Clare Estate Ranch:
1 467,9376 morgen: LA 4296/04 120. 2689/81. MM De Kock & Sons P/L:
Umtali: Remaining Extent of Heimat of Clare Estate Ranch: 1 185,8508 ha: LA
4401/04 121. 8174/99. Varmland Investments P/L: Umtali: Beestkraal of
Clare Estate Ranch: 1 176,4862 ha: LA 4578/04 122. 6141/94. Anthony
James Waterkeyn and Juliet Anne Virginia Waterkeyn: Umtali: Lot 1 of Maonza:
297,0721 ha: LA 4434/04 123. 9801/98. Hedon Tours P/L: Umtali: Easatland A:
128,5293 ha: LA 4488/04 124. 1346/85. Stonewall P/L: Umtali:
Wallacedale: 1 627,3843 ha: LA 4511/04 125. 6559/74. J & R Roballo
Estates P/L: Umtali: Mount Shalom of Clare Estate Ranch: 2 381,2700 ha: LA
Urungwe 126. 5314/68. Stan Sheppard (Private) Limited:
Urungwe: Lot 1 of Rodges: 1 499,9783 acres: LA 3735/04 127. 1303/89. New
Haven (Private) Limited: Urungwe: New Haven of Gremlin: 412,7045 ha: LA
3498/03 128. 956/68. Weigall and Pickard (Private) Limtied: Urungwe: Lot 1
of Shambatungwe: 1 253,3788 acres: LA 3738/04 129. 5224/86. Algehide Farm
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: R/E of Woodlands: 368,6400 ha: LA
3573/03 130. 11963/98. Orr Farming (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Lot 2 of
Longueil: 511,6497 ha: LA 3739/04 131. 7540/88. R H W Howes P/L:
Urungwe: Tengwe 91: 694/7740 ha: LA 3708/03 132. 5538/69. Ruwanzi Ranch
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Ruwanzi: 17 483,6944 acres: LA 3620/03 133.
1173/82. William B Smith: Urungwe: Avalon: 603,22 ha: LA 3359/03 134.
7647/72. J W Lowe: Urungwe: Bonanza Estate: 580,4381 ha: LA 3679/03 135.
2119/96. Dentrow Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dentrow Estate: 962,3647
ha: LA 3660/03 136. 4832/82. Nicholas Philip Wiggins: Urungwe: Tengwe 75:
212,5892 ha: LA 3410/03 137. 9521/87. B Stirrup (Private) Limited:
Urungwe: Tengwe 74: 208,4206 ha: LA 3412/03 138. 184/93 Good Hope Farm
P/L: Urungwe: Good Hope Estate: 1 253,6645 ha: LA 3699/03 139. 7973/94.
Dixie Farm (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dixie: 931,0738 ha: LA
3725/04 140. 6264/91. E & S Flight Farming P/L: Urungwe: St Brendans:
585,65 ha: LA 3616/03 141. 6354/81. J M Du Preez P/L: Urungwe:
Shambatungwe: 731,7628 ha: LA 3624/03 142. 4653/93. Tobengwe Estates
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Kupinga: 395,7620 ha: LA 3675/03 143.
3906/74. Hugh Bernard Royston: Urungwe: Lot 1 of Coldomo of Nassau Estate:
580,4123 ha: LA 3731/04 144. 6738/87. Clive Richard Boddy: Urungwe: Tengwe
76: 677,1957 ha: LA 3639/03 145. 7523/81. Michael W Champ: Urungwe:
Horison: 964,1100 ha: LA 3664/03 146. 1129/89. D S Brannigan: Urungwe:
Remainder of Matikas: 221,6059 ha: LA 3666/03 147. 7973/94. Dixie Farm
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Dixie: 931,0738 ha: LA 3725/04 148. 9912/89.
Ian Alcock Private Limited: Urungwe: Tengwe 93: 1056,6486 ha: LA
3642/03 149. 4477/76. Tolleen Smith: Urungwe: Nyarenda: 1 529,3876 ha: LA
3677/03 150. 5226/93. Josh Farming (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Lot 1 of
Brockley of Nassau Estate: 457,6069 ha. LA 4425/04 151. 4493/00 Ruggick
Enterprises (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Omamda: 439,7399 ha: LA
4441/04 152. 1932/85. Gypsy Investments (Private) Limited: Urungwe:
Gremlin Estate: 1 599,2091 ha: LA 4268/04 153. 4853/70. Amore Estates
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Garahanga: 3 613,3863 acres: LA 4461/04 154.
557/94. Glenoros Investments (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Drift Wood: 295,0400
ha: LA 4330/04 155. 1694/75. James Andres Beattie: Urungwe: Dendera Estate:
508,1043 ha: LA 4402/04 156. 9161/90. Sangeni Estates (Private) Limited:
Urungwe: Chobeni: 303,3799 ha: LA 4520/04 157. 1043/99. J H Watt and
Sons (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Buttervant Estate: 1 253,1189 ha; LA
4387/04 158. 5358/80. Kingsley Markley Eswards: Urungwe: BroAcres: 1
169,8572 ha: LA 4259/04 159. 3802/81. Wenney Estate (Private) Limited:
Urungwe: Andrilen: 611,3800 ha: LA 4293/04 160. 183/88. M A Carpenter
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Thurlaston: 890,7582 ha: LA 4504/04 161.
622/94. Catharina. Pretorius Widow: Urungwe: Toekoms Estate: 660,1387 ha: LA
4356/04 162. 9643/89. Donald Farming Entprises (Private) Limited: Urungwe:
Yeadon Estate: 936,7083 ha: LA 4240/04 163. 6845/70. Nyamanda Farm
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Remainder of Chelvern Estate: 572,3074 ha: LA
4345/04 164. 912/97. C and S Wrrett (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Remaining
Extent of Rowangoma: 535,57755 ha: LA 4388/04 165. 6465/95. Chris
Sheherd Enterprises (Private) Limted: Urungwe: Nyamanda: 1 061,5230 ha LA
4410/04 166. 5656/89. Weninda A Stud (Private) Limited: Urungwe: Little Gem
of Chilvern Estate: 439,3800 ha: LA 4484/04 167. 1117/89. Leith Bray
(Private) Limited: Urungwe: Meidon Estate: 1 088,3668 ha: LA
JAG Hotlines: (091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need
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OPINION September 17, 2004 Posted to the web September 17,
Dr. Shakespeare K Chigwerewe Harare
I FOUND Tawanda
Kanhema and Nelson Chenga's feature on deforestation of July 21 2004 to be
very informative and in many ways interesting.
The article clearly
pointed out that nowhere in Zimbabwe is the problem of deforestation and,
therefore, environmental deterioration, more noticeable than in the communal
areas that generally have high population densities and growth rates, poor
soils and low rainfall.
The situation is likely to worsen in the future
unless effective intervention strategies are implemented in the communal
areas as soon as possible.
Informative as it was, the generality of
Dr Shumba's strategies to combating forest depletion such as "beekeeping and
the growing of energy woodlots to preserve forests and reduce pressure on
indigenous woods" demonstrated lack of substantive understanding of the
underlying causes of forest depletion in Zimbabwe, its context and its
As I see it, solutions in general should not, like painkillers,
address symptoms only, but should root out the underlying
Much of the indigenous forest depletion occurs in the communal
areas, where two main factors are at the root of the problem: clearing for
agriculture and fuelwood harvesting.
Clearing for agricultural
production precedes fuelwood harvesting, and is the primary cause of forest
depletion in many communal areas. Solutions to the problem of forest
depletion, in my opinion, fall into three complementary holistic categories,
namely, reconciling the needs of agricultural production and adequate wood
supplies in the communal and resettlement areas through better resource
planning and use at the village level, increasing wood supply through
afforestation, agroforestry and indigenous woodland management programmes
and substituting alternative fuels such as solar energy and biogas for
The main emphasis in combating deforestation should be in respect
of Agroforestry Woodland Management and Alternative Substitute Fuels for
These are the most lucrative intervention strategies with the
highest returns on investment; the Forestry Commission is better off
vigorously pursuing these strategies than the age-old strategy of rural
afforestation - the so called "energy woodlot approach".
It is true
that Rural Afforestation has played a significant role in the fight against
deforestation, it is definitely a strategy which the Forestry Commission
cannot afford to ignore, but at the same time, it is not a programme that
should dominate the strategy mix as returns on investment from this strategy
are very low.
The most attractive option for increasing fuelwood supply
in the communal areas and resettlement areas with a wood surplus such as
some districts of Matabeleland North would be through effective management
of the existing indigenous woodland and not "energy woodlots".
would require the implementation of proper management regimes and
promulgation of appropriate institutional arrangements.
cost of wood from this source would be the lowest. This should constitute
one of the Forestry Commission's primary intervention programmes and
responsibilities as it is the most cost-effective intervention strategy on
the supply side. It enhances the productivity of the traditional fuelwood
resource with preferred fuelwood species.
At the same time, its
preservation is ecologically important and preferable. Only limited
programmes of woodland management have been carried out in Zimbabwe and
details of management prescriptions need to be verified for each woodland
However, given the data on stand and stock characteristics from the
biomass inventory and the potential magnitude of the fuelwood deficit
arising in some catchment areas, it is felt that a pilot management
programme should at least be implemented on a trial basis.
programme could involve reserve forests in all the provinces to be managed
by the Forestry Commission and would also provide management of non-reserved
woodlands by village communities. This latter management system is new in a
formal sense though traditional integrated management of woodlands existed
in some areas under the old tribal system such as the Norumedzo scheme in
Bikita where the local people manage the woodland for the end use of
It is important that villagers be brought back into mainstream
management of woodlands under the technical guidance and regulatory control
of albeit the Forestry Commission.
The extension approach should,
therefore, also incorporate changing of the mindset of the users of the
forests and make them understand the management processes and also become
participants in the planning and decision-making processes in the woodland
The potential substitutes for fuelwood are
electricity and paraffin. The role of substitute fuels in supplying energy
to rural households in Zimbabwe is limited by their availability in communal
and resettlement areas and the high cash outlays required in relation to
The most viable option would be to increase fuelwood
supply through programmes that would enable farmers to incorporate tree
planting into their farm plans and decisions relating to resource
However, the shortage of land, especially in the communal areas,
places severe constraints on Dr Shumba's "energy woodlot type" of tree
Furthermore, most people in wood-deficit communal areas do not
have the required resources to purchase the inputs, i.e., seedlings, fencing
wires etc., imperative for the establishment of "energy woodlots".
my opinion, a support fund to purchase inputs is necessary to push-start
Agroforestry could provide a long-term solution to the
principal cause of deforestation in Zimbabwe through competition for land
between crop/livestock production and trees.
It is projected that the
proportion of area cultivated in communal and resettlement areas would rise
in keeping with population growth and that more marginal land would be
cultivated, causing the disappearance of tree cover and soil
Similarly, it is recognised that programmes such as rural
afforestation would alleviate the problem of fuelwood supply, but would not
on their own stop deforestation if the clearance for land for agricultural
use continued unabated in the communal and resettlement
Agroforestry provides the complementarity between agriculture and
forestry while minimising the competition between them.
this regard, agroforestry is much more than a "programme aimed at marrying
trees to agriculture".
However, there are no proven packages in Zimbabwe.
The Forestry Commission should not have abandoned the Agroforestry Extension
Pilot Programme initiated by the former Forestry Extension
This programme should be resuscitated through initiation of
research and pilot schemes in strategic locations that will have ripple
effects to the target communities. These should essentially entail the
development and testing of agroforestry systems in communal areas and
resettlement areas, the development of wildlife management and utilisation
schemes to integrate wildlife management with forestry
Efficient production and utilisation of forest products
should be pursued through a free market framework that encourages
competition among participants in the production of wood and wood
The forestry sub-sector is one of the few sectors of the
Zimbabwean economy in which there are no price controls.
measure is intended to stimulate the development of efficient forest
industries to supply domestic markets and, where appropriate,
However, due to foreign exchange constraints and
self-sufficiency considerations, forest industries supplying the domestic
market are de facto protected.
On the other hand, exporters encourage
access to foreign markets by public and private enterprises through various
incentives including foreign exchange retention.
the planting of fast-growing species, is an appropriate approach to
increasing the supply of fuelwood to rural people and relieving pressure on
the natural vegetation.
It is, however, "a knee-jerk" strategy that has
been overused by the Forestry Commission. Its primary objective is to
replace the wood cut in wood- deficit communal and resettlement areas and to
supply fuelwood to the rural population and farming community as well as
arrest soil erosion in the long term.
The Forestry Commission should
not implement this programme as if it is a panacea for all the deforestation
in Zimbabwe, but should do so in tandem with other strategies like
agroforestry and woodland management.
This strategy should focus on the
communal areas with a serious wood deficit and serious soil erosion
especially in and around Seke, Mutoko, some areas around Masvingo and to the
south and west of Mutare.
I would like to conclude by saying that a great
many of our conflicts arise directly out of the decline and deterioration of
resources and ignorance about the tools we have to manage them leading to
endless "quick-fix solutions".
Like Lowani Ndlovu said in an article
he wrote for The Sunday Mail some time ago when coming up with solutions for
any problem, deforestation included, it is important to evaluate the process
of deforestation, and demonstrate substantive understanding of its
underlying causes, its context as well as its sub-text otherwise what looks
like a perfect solution today will show up as a product of insufficient
MDC to gain access to TV Itai Dzamara GOVERNMENT
has ordered Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) to allocate airtime on
radio and television to opposition political parties ahead of next year's
general election, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.
minister Patrick Chinamasa confirmed this week that ZBH would soon start
allocating political parties airtime to articulate their policies ahead of
next year's election.
"We are working on creating a conducive electoral
framework in line with the Sadc principles. This will include equal access
to the public media by all political parties and programmes will be
introduced on television and radio soon," Chinamasa said.
part of government's efforts to reform the electoral system in the country
in line with Southern African Development Community (Sadc) principles ahead
of the general election scheduled for March.
However, opposition parties
have dismissed the move, saying it is an attempt by the ruling party to
hoodwink the world whilst the public media continues to campaign against
The public broadcaster has in recent years become a crude
instrument of the ruling party, abandoning professional standards to
denigrate the opposition.
Sources in Zanu PF this week said the politburo
had recently agreed that ZBH must offer airtime to other political parties
in line with the Mauritius protocol agreed by Sadc heads of state last
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general Welshman
Ncube yesterday dismissed Zanu PF's announcement to give his party access to
the airwaves as mere posturing.
"This is part of the unstructured
responses coming from the ruling party. What we need is a public media that
is accessible to all political parties all the time, not just 10 days before
the election date," Ncube said.
"It is meaningless for government to
appropriate the public media in favour of Zanu PF for many years and then
pretend to open up to the opposition with only a few months before the
Democratic Party leader Wurayayi Zembe said: "No, our rights
are not dependent on the benevolence of Zanu PF. We dismiss as rubbish this
claim by Zanu PF that it will open up the public media to opposition
parties. Access to the public media is every citizen's right enshrined in
the constitution. So we can't be hoodwinked by Zanu PF that has been denying
us that right."
. . it's a smokescreen - Ncube Dumisani Muleya THE
opposition Movement for Democratic Change has slammed government's proposed
legislation on electoral reform, saying it did not meet even the most
rudimentary standards of democracy. It said the reforms were a smokescreen
behind which "the same old institutions and faces who stand accused of
electoral fraud" would remain in place.
Appointments to the Delimitation
Commission made this week reinforced the "military element" in elections,
the party said.
MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said the reforms
were a "smoke-and-mirrors" act by Zanu PF to appear as if it was complying
with the regional standards for elections while actually manipulating the
Southern African Development Community (Sadc)
heads of state last month adopted principles and guidelines governing
democratic elections that call for free and fair polls. The principles
forbid "the perpetration of electoral fraud, rigging and other illegal
Ncube said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Bill
gazetted last Friday was a sham because it woefully failed to address the
The Bill proposes an independent electoral
commission; voting in one day instead of two; use of transparent ballot
boxes; and counting of ballots at polling stations. The ZEC will run all
elections and referendums.
But Ncube said the proposed changes were
simply meant to give legitimacy to a profoundly flawed electoral process
which did not "meet even the most rudimentary standards of democratic
"The ZEC will in theory be in charge of the elections but
practically nothing will change. It will only have legal responsibility but
no effective control," Ncube said. "At the end of the day the same old
institutions and faces who stand accused of electoral fraud and manipulation
will remain in place."
The MDC said Zanu PF functionaries and the
army would remain in charge of the electoral process despite "make-believe"
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede's office will remain involved
in elections. Retired army officers will continue to hold sway in electoral
The army reportedly played a key role during the hotly-disputed
2002 presidential election, especially at the National Command
The MDC said the "military element" in the electoral process was
this week reinforced by appointments to the Delimitation
Justice George Chiweshe, a former army judge
advocate-general, and Job Whabira, ex-Defence permanent secretary, were
appointed to the commission together with two others. The opposition
described Chiweshe and Whabira as partisan.
The ESC is chaired by
Sobusa Gula Ndebele, a former military intelligence officer, and has as its
chief elections officer, Kennedy Zimondi, a retired lieutenant colonel.
Zimondi replaced Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba who was in charge during the
The introduction of reforms through an Act of Parliament -
as opposed to a constitutional amendment - means that the current Electoral
Supervisory Commission (ESC) will remain there. Zanu PF decided to introduce
changes through a Bill because the MDC refused to support the "piecemeal"
The opposition wanted the changes to be tied to other broad
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said the ESC
would continue to perform its current functions of supervising elections,
while the ZEC would conduct the polls.
The chairman of the ZEC will
be appointed by President Robert Mugabe in consultation with - and not the
approval of - the Judicial Services Commission, something the MDC is
vehemently opposed to.
Committee to show govt misrepresented grain
stocks Itai Dzamara THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and
Agriculture is expected to present before the House a report exposing the
hollowness of government's claims that the country has sufficient food after
the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO)
failed to produce proof.
GMB chief executive officer, Samuel Muvuti,
on Wednesday told the portfolio committee that the country had 298 000
tonnes of grain but was still expecting more deliveries from all over the
"We currently have 298 000 tonnes in our silos but we are
expecting more to come from across the country," Muvuti said in response to
questions by the committee.
Government has been claiming that the
country has harvested 2,4 million tonnes of grain from last season's
Muvuti declined to commit himself on the country's food security,
saying it wasn't the role of the GMB and instead said the CSO should be able
to answer the question.
Chairman of the portfolio committee, Zanu PF
legislator for Zhombe, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube yesterday said they were
waiting for documents from the GMB to support the figure of 298 000 tonnes.
Ncube said the committee, which has moved across the country to physically
assess the food situation, would then compile a report.
"We want to
have the documentation from GMB to verify the figure as well as their
projections, which suggest that more is still coming," Ncube said. "After
that we will compile a report, including the figures regarding the quantity
of seeds sold last season as well as hectares put under grain. We have to
submit our report first week of October when the House resumes
The CSO has failed to submit statistics to the committee
which sent questions in June requesting information on the amount of grain
harvested this year.
Undenge eyes parly seat Augustine Mukaro SAMUEL
Undenge, the pro-Zanu PF economic analyst, has joined the struggle for the
right to contest next year's general election on a ruling-party ticket
against one of the opposition's most popular candidates, the Zimbabwe
Independent heard this week.
Highly placed sources in Manicaland said
Undenge is currently attempting to wrestle Chimanimani constituency from the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s Roy Bennett.
"Two weeks ago,
Undenge accompanied by another Zanu PF supporter, Tafataona Mahoso, made a
surprise appearance at the United Baptist Church (UBC) annual conference at
Biriiri Secondary School in Chimanimani to launch his political career,"
UBC Bishop Joshua Nguweni Dube confirmed that Undenge and
Mahoso were part of the delegation at this year's conference.
two were part of the delegation," Dube said. "We accepted their attendance
of the conference because they were raised in our church by their parents in
UBC officials who attended the conference said when Undenge
and Mahoso appeared everyone waited anxiously to hear what the two were up
"Bishop Dube, a former governor of Manicaland, introduced the two
'doctors' by saying 'the learned sons of the province had come back to
"Knowing their umbilical attachment with the ruling party,
church members waited for the two men to deliver confessions about their
lives in their long absence," officials said.
The officials said the
two hardly attended any church sessions, but used the conference time to
meet as many people as possible to announce Undenge's intention to contest
the Chimanimani parliamentary seat in 2005 on a Zanu PF ticket.
turned out that Undenge was using the conference as a support-sounding
mission before he could come back on a campaign mission," officials
Mahoso yesterday confirmed that he attended the UBC conference in
Chimanimani but questioned why that would generate the interest of a
"I attend all kinds of conferences," Mahoso said. "I am
alumini to many schools which I attended and whenever I go there I am
introduced therefore this should not be an issue."
that Undenge also attended the UBC conference but was quick to point out it
was coincidental that they were in the same place at the same
"We did not plan to travel together with Dr Undenge. About his
political ambitions, you can ask him because we never discussed that
matter," he said.
Undenge could not be reached for comment. Dube would
not confirm that Undenge would be vying for Chimanimani constituency.
Mercenaries' ordeal exposes hell in Zim prisons Gift
Phiri THE assault by prison guards on some of the 67 "mercenaries" jailed at
Chikurubi Maximum Prison throws a spotlight on inhuman treatment that
prisoners are subjected to in the country's prisons.
During the six
months that the "soldiers of fortune" have been remanded at Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison, they have experienced an appalling existence in a
prison that breaches every international human rights convention and many
It is alleged that the 12 prison officers, who
appeared in court last Friday, jointly charged in common cause, assaulted
the suspects using open hands and batons. They are alleged to have forced
the suspects to remove their clothes before assaulting them.
were berated by the officers as having "superior-being" attitudes. In their
court testimonies the suspects said the officers constantly yelled at them.
During the Heroes and Defence Forces holidays, prison authorities allegedly
confiscated their parcels that had been legally admitted into the
Prison sources said the ill-treatment of prisoners was
generally prevalent in all of the country's 41 jails. They said the
situation was exacerbated by the severe shortage of food that has resulted
in prisoners missing some meals. The Independent was told that the situation
was equally serious in remand prisons. People with relatives remanded in
custody were being asked to bring them meals, as there was no food to cater
for the swelling numbers of people remanded in custody everyday. The
officers said suspects in remand prisons were being served a single meal a
Both the prisons and the remand prisons were said to be struggling
to cope financially and prisoners were being forced to supply their own
soap, toothpaste and other toiletries, all of which are supposed to be
supplied by the state.
It was not possible to obtain comment from the
Zimbabwe Prison Service public relations officer Elizabeth Banda as she was
said to be out. Calls to her mobile phone went unanswered.
homosexual activities also abound in the prisons as some long-serving
prisoners were said to be luring newer inmates with food.
crisis in prisons is fuelling homosexuality and with the threats posed by
Aids, this is just a cocktail for disaster," a prison officer said.
years ago there was a public uproar after government suggested that condoms
be distributed to inmates. The idea was promptly discarded.
said the prisons have become so overcrowded that inmates are literally
"sleeping on top of each other".
A recent parliamentary report stated
that facilities designed to handle 16 000 inmates were now handling 25 000.
There was a general amnesty last year that saw hundreds of prisoners being
released countrywide through the presidential prerogative of mercy. But
hardly a year down the line, the prisons are again full owing to the soaring
COALITION of civil society organisations yesterday asked the Pan African
Parliament to ratchet up pressure on Zimbabwe to help entrench democracy in
the crisis-ridden country.
In a petition delivered to the South
African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jeremiah Ndou, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
demanded an immediate end to human rights abuse, the repeal of repressive
legislation, restoration of the rule of law, and the restoration of economic
and political freedoms.
Reports from South Africa said 300 Zimbabwean
protesters carrying placards reading "We need food not violence", "Democracy
now", and "Restore our basic freedoms" toyi-toyied outside the Gallagher
Estate in Midrand yesterday morning, interrupting the opening ceremony of
the parliament. A petition handed out by the protesters spoke of a "chronic
democratic deficit" in Zimbabwe.
The petition, delivered by women
activists, draws the attention of the Speaker to the massive human rights
abuses in Zimbabwe.
"Women have been raped by the youth militia and they
have been the hardest hit by lack of food in Zimbabwe," the petition says.
"Women's rights must be respected. Women must be treated with dignity and
respect. Use of food as a political weapon against opponents must
The coalition calls for an end to political violence. It also
demands that police and security forces be impartial in carrying out their
duties. The group calls for the repeal of a raft of legislation that it says
subjugates civil liberties.
"We demand the repeal of the Public Order
and Security Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
Broadcasting Services Act and the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
Act in their entirety so as to provide full freedom and equitable access to
the media," the petition says.
"The NGO Bill that seeks to ban all NGOs
(dealing with governance) must not be allowed to take effect."
coalition also demanded that free and fair regular elections based on the
principle of universal suffrage be conducted in Zimbabwe. The group further
seeks the immediate restoration and respect of people's fundamental freedoms
of assembly and association, and freedom of the media.
"Abusers of these
rights must be tried under properly constituted courts of law with
jurisdiction," the coalition said. - Staff Writers.
Zupco fails to buy 250 buses Conrad Dube ZIMBABWE
United Passenger Company (Zupco)'s bid to acquire 250 new buses has been
scuttled by its failure to raise the $150 billion demanded by three
companies awarded the tender.
Documents in the possession of the
Zimbabwe Independent show that Zupco's plans to revive its fleet have been
affected by lack of funding, although government had initially promised
Controversy has rocked the transport parastatal, with chief
executive officer Bright Matonga resigning under unclear circumstances after
reports of financial audits unearthed anomalies, the documents
Most of the $150 billion is required to pay foreign suppliers in
hard currency for body kits and components.
According to minutes of a
special meeting on August 23, the board accepted Matonga's resignation after
he failed to provide satisfactory responses to issues relating to Zupco's
"The board had a closed session where they discussed in detail
issues relating to the audit report and resolved to accept the resignation
of the chief executive (Matonga) and to task the human resources committee
to consider the proposed package," the minutes of the meeting chaired by
Professor Charles Nherera said. The board also resolved that the financial
controller, Perpetual Ndekwere, act as chief executive.
yesterday refused to comment referring all questions to Nherera. Nherera
said Matonga was on leave until September 30.
According to tender
documents obtained by the Independent dated July 30, the state procurement
board awarded the tender to supply the buses to Deven Engineering (Pvt) Ltd,
W Dahmer & Co (Pvt) Ltd, and Zimbabwe Motor Distributors (Pvt) Ltd
Deven and ZMD were to supply 40 Mercedes Benz 1722 model buses
apiece, each costing $644 million and $590 million respectively while W
Dahmer would supply 170 Scania F94 buses at $610 451 050 each.
also turned out that the Zupco board ignored the procurement committee's
re-commendations on the tenderers. The committee had unanimously agreed to
award the tender to Gift Investments, importing from Kenya General
"This should assist in meeting the targeted dates for supply
of the buses," the procurement committee said in its minutes of a meeting
dated July 5.
The committee agreed that the buses from Gift Investments
were the most suitable and were the cheapest. Gift Investments wanted to
supply Isuzu conventional buses at a cost of $549 million each.
three companies that were awarded the tender asked to be paid between 50%
and 80% upfront, which Zupco has failed to raise.
It is now feared the
local companies might not meet the deadline for the supply of the buses. At
least 150 buses were to be delivered by September 30 and the remaining 100
by December 31.
Matonga, who was set free by a magistrate's court last
month after being accused of corruption involving $1,25 billion, was
expected to hand over the reins to Ndekwere at an unspecified
The state accused Matonga of buying 48 Scania Marcopolo buses from
Pioneer Motor Company (PMC) without board approval.
chief executive (Matonga) should conduct an initial handover/takeover with
the acting chief executive (Ndekwere) and to avail himself as and when he is
required to continue to provide information that might be necessary," the
It also resolved to send two chief operating officers,
Clever Zvingwe and Ben Mauchaza, on forced leave with immediate effect to
facilitate investigations arising from the external audit report.
Kunzvi Dam project stalls Itai Dzamara GOVERNMENT'S
multi-billion-dollar Kunzvi Dam project, which earlier this year was
expected to commence in April, is still to take off amid reports that the
$150 billion tender floated last year had no takers.
A visit to Kunzvi
Dam site last week revealed that there is virtually nothing to show for the
project, which has been on the cards for several years.
was mooted three years ago in a bid to solve water problems affecting Harare
and its satellite towns, which get supplies from the heavily polluted Lake
Incessant water cuts have been affecting most areas of the
capital city at a time the Harare City Council is struggling to procure
water treatment chemicals. Kunzvi Dam, which would have less pollution risk,
was expected to alleviate the water problems faced by
Questions sent to theMinister of Rural Re-sources and Water
De-velopment, Joyce Mujuru, had not been answered by yesterday. However, an
official from the ministry, Vavarirai Choga, this week said the project was
yet to take off due to lack of funding.
"The issue of funding is the
one that has been stalling progress but the project is still on the cards,"
A guard at the dam site in Goromonzi last weekend said there had
only been a few visits by government officials to the site, with Mujuru at
one stage having promised that bulldozers were coming soon to start
Government floated the $150 billion tender in December last year
after the first tender, floated in March 2002, had flopped without any
takers coming forward. The first tender had valued the construction cost at
$21 billion but rising inflation saw the cost sharply rise to $150 billion
as of January this year.
In addition to the funds needed for dam
construction, more funds would be required for the construction of a
pipeline as well as supply of water treatment chemicals. The tender for the
construction of the pipeline, which was to have been issued by July this
year, was not floated due to lack of movement on the bigger project.
Barclays loses Kondozi equipment Augustine
Mukaro BARCLAYS Bank of Zimbabwe has failed to recover billions of dollars
worth of equipment invested in Kondozi Farm in Odzi, which was taken over by
the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) earlier this
Highly placed sources said although the High Court had granted
Barclays an order to repossess the equipment on the farm, the bank had been
blocked from effecting the order.
"Arda sought political intervention
on the matter, forcing Barclays to instruct its lawyers to put the case in
abeyance pending negotiations," sources said.
"Arda chief Joseph
Matowanyika was the first to plead with the bank not to effect the High
Court order as the quasi-government agricultural arm was interested in
acquiring most of the equipment," a source said.
"When the negotiations
failed to yield results, Arda approached the presidency to intervene. Up to
now Barclays has not instructed its lawyers to effect the order, a clear
indication that the bank has succumbed to political pressure and given up on
the equipment," the source said.
Arda was reportedly interested in
tractors, fresh produce transporting trucks, irrigation equipment and the
crop packaging machines. To date no equipment has been recovered from
Kondozi Farm and Arda is using it for its day-to-day operations.
sources said independent evaluators were dispatched to Kondozi to put a
price on the equipment which Arda wants. Barclays then set conditions for
payment for the equipment.
Matowanyika was not available for comment
at the time of going to press yesterday. But the sources said Barclays was
forced to settle for a lopsided deal after it failed to get a deposit
upfront, which it originally wanted.
The High Court first granted
Barclays an order to repossess all movable farm equipment at Kondozi Farm in
May and it was confirmed in July.
Movable assets listed in the order
included an ERF 30-tonne truck, two-tonne forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks,
10 Jialing motor cycles, 15 Same tractors, six Nissan Diesel UD 90 chassis
& cab trucks, three Nissan Cabstar four tonne trucks, two Nissan 2,7
S/cab trucks, and two Nissan 2,7 Hardbody D/Cabs.
Kondozi was still
expected to pay about $5 billion for the listed assets.
seizure of Kondozi farm by Zanu PF through Arda and the abrupt closure of
the horticultural concern adversely affected the company's financiers,
Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and the African Banking Corporation which
had collectively invested about $37 billion in the project.
granted by Justice Charles Hungwe in May placed all the movable assets at
Kondozi under judicial attachment and barred Arda from using or tampering
with the equipment.
GOVERNMENT has set its
sights on acquiring two foreign-owned farms on the pretext that they are
owned by former NMB managing director Dr Julius Makoni whom the government
considers a fugitive from justice.
It however emerged this week that the
farms in question - Aberfoyle Estate and Eastern Highlands Plantations - do
not belong to Makoni. They are in fact owned by Plantation & General
plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
reported on Tuesday that government wanted to acquire the two properties in
Nyanga, together with other farms belonging to another former NMB director,
Makoni, Zimuto and the NMB's deputy managing director
James Mushore fled the country six months ago to escape arrest on charges of
externalising $30 billion. They indicated at the time they would not return
to Zimbabwe as long as they were not guaranteed a fair
Investigations by the Zimbabwe Independent this week revealed
that the two farms in the Eastern Highlands are not owned by Makoni.
Plantation & General plc, in a statement to the Independent on
Wednesday, confirmed it owned the two properties.
"I can confirm that
Eastern Highlands Plantations Ltd is owned by Plantation & General
Investments plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with a range
of international shareholders," said Plantation & General spokesman,
"Our reaction to the Zimbabwe government's compulsory
acquisi-tion notice will be to appeal against it in the prescribed
"Perhaps I should add that we will appeal on the assumption that the
government of Zimbabwe does wish to encourage foreign investment in
Zimbabwe, especially companies which will manufacture for export and which
made their investments during the time that the present government has been
in office," he said.
Located in the Honde Valley, the 1 800-hectare
Eastern Highlands Plantations produces tea and washed arabica coffee. Its
two tea factories at Zindi and Wamba produce a black CTC
Plantation & General bought Aberfoyle tea and coffee estates in
1999 after acquiring the whole of the share capital of Heathleigh
Investments Ltd, which owned the majority interest in the estate. The estate
adjoins Eastern Highlands Plantations.
An agriculturalist in Nyanga
questioned the suitability of the farms for acquisition.
there is a scam here," he said. "Someone wants those properties and is
rushing to acquire them using the excuse that they are owned by a 'criminal'
who has not yet been charged with any wrong-doing.
"Tea estates, perched
as they are on slopes of mountains, are not suitable for resettlement, which
is why they have never had settlements on them," he said. - Staff
Settlers evicted, homes torched Augustine
Mukaro THE Ibo in Nigeria say when a leopard wants to eat its young ones, it
first accuses them of smelling like a goat. In Zimbabwe when Zanu PF wants
to evict its supporters, it accuses them of illegally settling themselves.
That was the fate of Porta Farm settlers.
Porta Farm, a squatter
settlement of 14 years, was demolished last month because government wants
to use the farm for sewerage disposal.
This week it was Inkomo Farm near
Darwendale, where A1 resettled farmers had their homes set ablaze. They were
forced to leave so that the farm can be reallocated to A2
The squatters said five Nissan UD trucks full of soldiers and
riot police raided the farm in the early hours of Tuesday and ordered
everyone to leave before setting the makeshift homesteads on fire. Most of
the homesteads were still smoldering on Wednesday.
When a Zimbabwe
Independent news crew visited the farm on Wednesday afternoon it was
informed the riot police and army had left around 1pm.
The families had
been on the farm since 2000 when farm invasions started.
Scenes on the
farm on Wednesday resembled a war zone, with the whole farm up in smoke as
huts were burning.
Like refugees, the squatters could be seen carrying
their belongings to the nearest highway to catch a lift back to wherever
they originally came from. Some said they had nowhere to go.
estimated 600 families have been rendered homeless as Zanu PF clears Inkomo
Farm to create room for its top functionaries and hangers-on.
Chikosi, one of the evicted new farmers, accused government of cheating and
abusing landless peasants to occupy farms for the benefit of a selected
"I came here in the year 2000 just as the farm invasions started and
spearheaded the eviction of the white farmer who used to own this property.
I invested all I had on this property and now I am being kicked out with
nothing," Chikosi fumed.
"I feel cheated and abused. Government
encouraged us to invade this farm. They even sent land officers to subdivide
the farm for us. Around 600 families were given six-hectare plots and that
is what we have been farming on over the past four years."
woman who identified herself only as Mbuya Muchenje broke into tears as the
Independent crew approached the shell of her proud homestead of four
"Government has killed me. Building this home has eaten all my
energy and I won't be in a position to start anything again. If government
had told me that I won't be settling here permanently, I wouldn't have
wasted my time," said Muchenje.
She said police and soldiers sent to
evict them were demanding offer letters from the settlers.
didn't government talk of those letters before calling for countrywide farm
invasions? We just followed government orders."
The evicted farmers who
spoke to the Independent indicated that Inkomo Farm was earmarked for the
resettlement of a selected group of people.
"Police are telling us that
the farm is earmarked for A2 farmers with money.
"We are however trying
to make representations to the highest office so that we can be allocated
another farm or even retain these plots," Chikosi said.
Inkomo Farm used
to be owned by Jim Black and his sons and was ranged amongst the top beef
producing farms in the country.
In the year 2000 Zanu PF, in what was
seen as a desperate attempt to win the elections, called on landless
peasants and war veterans to invade white-owned commercial farms.
MDC shows defiant official the door Itai
Dzamara THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leadership in Murehwa
district has expelled a member who defied a decision to suspend
participation in elections when he filed his papers at the nomination court
for a council by-election. He has since withdrawn his
Peace Benza filed his nomination papers two weeks ago for the
by-election in Murehwa Ward 1 set for September 25. Speaking to this paper
last week, Benza defended his decision - which came hard on the heels of a
resolution by the MDC national executive to suspend participation in all
elections because of violence and other anomalies.
Paul Themba Nyathi, this week said the decision by the Murehwa district
leadership to expel Banza would be considered by the party's disciplinary
committee before it could be ratified by the national
"The normal disciplinary action will be taken. The MDC
leadership in Murehwa will have to pass the recommendation that he (Benza)
be expelled to the disciplinary committee and the matter will then go to the
national leadership level," Nyathi said.
The MDC Murehwa district
committee last week decided to expel Benza. However, the aspiring councillor
said he had filed his papers out of conviction and a desire to prove a point
to Zanu PF. "They burnt my house and tortured me. I wanted to prove to them
that I can defeat them in elections," Benza said.
He withdrew his
nomination on Wednesday.
The MDC national executive announced three weeks
ago the decision to suspend participation in elections, citing the continued
use of violence and repressive laws by Zanu PF as well as what the
opposition says is government's unwillingness to implement electoral
Celebrations end in agony for party
supporters Augustine Mukaro DESPITE the fact that the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) managed to commemorate its fifth anniversary
without disturbances at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare over the weekend, the
celebrations were restricted to the official venues. Outside the glare of
media publicity, MDC supporters were reportedly beaten up by Zanu PF
Reports reaching the Zimbabwe Independent show that MDC
supporters travelling to and from the venue were forced to hide their party
regalia. Some were allegedly abducted and tortured by Zanu PF militias
deployed throughout Harare.
Two victims of Zanu PF militia, Jabusile
Shumba and Brighton Makunike, told of horrendous experiences at the hands of
Zanu PF militias who abducted them and Kuwadzana police officers to whom
they were later handed over. Their crime was that they were seen putting on
"We were approached by 11 militias who were wearing
T-shirts inscribed 'National youth service, a commitment to serving the
nation'," Shumba said.
"They force-marched us to a secluded place which
we suspect is being used as a torture base in Kuwadzana. We were beaten with
an iron bar on our buttocks, toes were burnt with matches and our genitals
were pulled downwards," a visibly traumatised Shumba.
took over six hours until we were helplessly lying on the ground," said
Makunike as he struggled to sit down.
"At around 0300 hrs, the militias
handed us over to the police who took us to Kuwadzana 2 Police Station. The
police officers took over the beatings. They also forced us to carry metal
coffins from one place to the other until six in the morning," he
The two allege that they were not allowed to communicate with
relatives and lawyers.
"We were later charged under the Miscellaneous
Offences Act," Makunike said. "Our crime was 'conduct likely to provoke
breach of peace'. We paid $25 000 fine each in the early hours of
Officials at MDC offices said they were compiling more
complaints of violence from their supporters who were harassed by Zanu PF
militias after the rallies over the weekend.
The officials said the
harassment of MDC supporters was enough indication that a lot still had to
be done to level the political playing field before they commit themselves
to participating in next year's election.
Sadc electoral protocol undergoes test Gift
Phiri THE Southern African Development Community (Sadc) principles and
guidelines governing elections stand little chance of being implemented in
all 13 member states in forthcoming elections.
While some countries
have used the same principles as those adopted at the Sadc summit in
Mauritius in August, others are yet to comply with the regional principles
on how to conduct free and fair elections.
Elections are due in several
countries in the region such as Botswana (October), Mozambique (December),
Namibia (November/December) Democratic Republic of Congo (next year), and
Zimbabwe in March. President Thabo Mbeki who chairs the Sadc Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security has said that southern African countries that
do not abide by the protocol might be kicked out of the regional
Mbeki is tasked with ensuring that forthcoming elections in the
region are free and fair. Political analysts said Zimbabwe and DRC were
unlikely to comply with the Sadc principles. They, however, said a lot
depended on the attitude of the sitting governments.
democratic elections, not well-rooted in some southern African nations, are
"old hat" in Botswana where voters are expected to cast their ballots in
October to choose a new president and 40 MPs to govern them for the next
An Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been in place
for some time. A spokesperson for the IEC was recently quoted in a Botswana
paper asserting the electoral body's independence.
"I would like to
stress the IEC's independence. Our job is to run the election in its
entirety. As an independent body we talk about issues, not politics," the
Political analyst Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro said
Botswana was a model of democracy.
"They have held elections
generally regarded as free and fair since their independence, with no
violence and no abuse of state apparatus," Mukonoweshuro said. "To all
intents and purposes, Botswana is a leading democracy in the
The opposition parties that include the Botswana Congress
Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Alliance Movement
(BAM) and a few smaller parties, have equal access to the public
The country's sole daily paper, the Daily News, a tabloid
published by the Ministry of Information, recently published the manifestos
of the three main parties in a centre-spread. The government-controlled
Botswana Press Association and Radio Botswana also cover opposition parties.
There are a few small commercial radio stations that carry mostly music. On
the other hand, there are four lively and very independent commercial weekly
tabloids that publish considerable political news as well as a mix of other
Foreign minister Mompati Merafhe said Botswana was
poised to hold "good and free and fair elections" in
"Everything on our side is running smoothly. We keep by the
provisions of the law," he said.
Since the adoption of the Sadc
protocol, the Mozambique election campaign has reportedly been "running
smoothly, without violence, and with general goodwill - although with little
enthusiasm, already pointing to a low turnout". The country is running
notices advising its foreign-based citizens to register to vote. The
election is scheduled for December.
Reports say the government has
already issued an order that coverage by the national Radio Mozambique be
balanced, and fair coverage is given to all players in the election to
ensure that everything is done in the true spirit of the Sadc
The state-owned press is however said to be biased toward
Frelimo but it has started giving coverage to the opposition Renamo. The
government has repeatedly said that electoral laws should be approved by
both main parties in the assembly and not by a 51% majority.
in Zimbabwe Coalition chairman Brian Kagoro said Mozambique was a salutary
"Mozambique has a background of recent conflict," Kagoro said. "But
the opposition Renamo has been accommodated as the official opposition.
Rarely do we hear that Renamo MPs have been treated with the contempt and
disrespect that local MPs are treated with."
Minister of State
Administration, Jose Chichava, has promised that before the election there
will be electoral law reforms in line with the Sadc guidelines.
country has started discussions to discard the CNE (Comissão Nacional de
Eleições; (National Election Commission) and (Secretariado Técnico de
Administração Eleitoral; (Technical Secretariat for Electoral
Administration) that have been running elections.
However, not all
Sadc members are necessarily on the right track. President Robert Mugabe has
been criticised by the international community for draconian laws that
incapacitate the opposition. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) has vowed to boycott all elections until the government meets the
regional election standards, ends political violence and repeals repressive
media and security laws.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been lobbying
the 13 member countries of Sadc to force Zimbabwe to conform to the election
protocols signed by Mugabe in August.
"Sadc must prove it has teeth.
Sadc must push Mugabe to honour his word, and to do so early enough for us
to have our elections in March," Tsvangirai said.
Since signing the
protocol at the Sadc summit in Mauritius, the Zimbabwean government has
announced a series of planned electoral reforms, but the opposition says
they don't go far enough to conform to the regional
Mukonoweshuro said Zimbabwe was unlikely to fully comply
with the Sadc principles on elections.
"Zimbabwe cannot pretend to be
implementing any meaningful reforms when the root of survival of this
government is legislation that does not belong in a democracy," he
"Firstly, they should repeal Posa (Public Order and Security Act)
and Aippa (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act). I don't
think implementing the guidelines should be left to the free will of the
government alone. The opposition should also play a leading role and I don't
see that happening."
Mukonoweshuro pointed out that while Namibia's
leadership shared Zanu PF's revolutionary profile, the country would adopt
"Yes, the leadership is radical in posture,"
Mukonoweshuro said. "But it is not engaged in the level of repression that
their Zimbabwean counterparts are engaged in. They are likely to embrace the
protocol. The real problem is the growth of the opposition. And Namibia is
not bad in its treatment of the opposition."
In the DRC, democracy
and elections have never seen the light of day and newly established norms
on electoral procedures stand little hope of being implemented in the near
Despite delays in the legislature, United Nations officials say
general elections in the DRC could still be held in 2005 in line with last
year's all-inclusive peace agreement that ended nearly five years of war in
the vast central African country.
"Most of the laws governing the
conduct of elections remain to be enacted," William Swing, head of the UN
Mission in the DRC, said.
Mauritius Prime Minister Paul Berenger, who is
also the new chairperson of Sadc, said the guidelines were an expression of
the region's commitment to democracy and freedom.
"We have observed
the holdingof successful elections in Malawiand South Africa early this
year," he said in his closing remarks at the Mauritius summit. "Later this
year Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia will be going to the polls. The United
Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe are expected to hold elections next year.
This is indeed a clear expression of the region's commitment to
Govt doles out money it doesn't have Shakeman
RECENT moves by government to pour money into troubled parastatals
and the expropriation of private businesses is unsustainable and likely to
bloat the national debt, analysts have said. It is also likely to put paid
to what prospects for foreign investment remained.
say the government is draining its coffers, which are already running dry
due to over-expenditure and fiscal indiscipline, in a bid to prop up
parasitic state corporations that have a record of non-performance. They
have also castigated the move to take over troubled private companies,
arguing that the government has proven that it is not capable of running a
viable business. The chaos in the debt-ridden parastatals gives credence to
Business analyst Anthony Hawkins says the
government is making a huge mistake by dishing out unbudgeted funds to
parastatals and troubled private companies.
"It is clear that the
government will have to print more money in order to sustain this level of
expenditure," Hawkins said. He said this would push inflation up and further
drag the country into recession.
"We are grappling with a suffocating
debt and these loans will only make it worse." Over the past three months
more than $2 trillion has been advanced to the productive sector and other
troubled companies, a move which government says is meant to boost an
economy which is in its fifth year of recession.
Last week government
ratcheted up its debt by giving $50 billion to Zesa Holdings, the power
utility which has been struggling to find its feet. The troubled Zimbabwe
Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) also received a $30 billion lifeline from
Many more parastatals are likely to feed from the same
trough on the grounds that they are being "turned around". Already Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has promised to give the
Agricultural and Rural Development Authority $25 billion, the National
Railways of Zimbabwe $20 billion, Zupco $10 billion, Air Zimbabwe $7,5
billion and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings $7,5 billion. Local
authorities are entitled to $20 billion each for infrastructural
development. All these companies and local authorities are unlikely to pay
back the money if past experience is anything to go by.
ZB Holdings have also successfully lobbied government to take over their
crippling debts. As has become the norm since Independence, the government
willingly took over Zupco's $30 billion debt to Metropolitan Bank and ZB
Holdings' arrears to local banks. Another $100 billion has been doled out to
Shabane Mashava Mine (SMM), the hub of Mutumwa Mawere's business empire,
which has become the latest takeover target for government.
analysts have said this level of corporate indulgence is a recipe for
disaster, as it will sink the country deeper into debt and add to the burden
on taxpayers. Latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe show that
domestic debt is hovering around $1,4 trillion and is likely to increase
drastically if the government continues to bail out state
The foreign debt has also continued to soar as Zimbabwe
lags behind with its arrears to multilateral organisations like the Bretton
Woods institutions. The country owes US$290 million to the International
Monetary Fund. The Reserve Bank has said that 30% of the US$778,6 million
that came into Zimbabwe through Homelink and export revenues was used to
The budget deficit has also increased on the back of
over spending. Currently Zimbabwe has a budget deficit of $830 billion.
Government anticipates GDP will shed a further 5% but independent analysts
believe it will shrink by 8%. About 70% of the population is said to be
living below the poverty datum line.
Parastatals account for a
large chunk of the debt. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the chairperson of
the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, says parastatals are draining
the fiscus. She blamed government for continuing to tolerate
maladministration and corruption in the parastatals. This,
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, had seen the government abusing taxpayers' money
through loan advances and guarantees to the companies.
waste of national resources to give money to parastatals that are riddled
with corruption and mismanagement," she said. "Most of these monies were
unbudgeted for and it means borrowing from local banks or printing notes all
of which lead to debt and inflation. This is abuse of taxpayers' money and
should not be allowed to continue."
A debt management report compiled
by the Public Accounts Committee in 2002 reveals that parastatals are at the
core of the country's debt crisis. There are more than 30 state companies
all of which benefit from the fiscus in one way or another. The report
recommended, among other things, that government stops being the guarantor
for parastatal loans. It also recommended that these companies be made
accountable for their losses.
As if to show that it has learnt
nothing from previous mistakes, the government has started nationalising
Mawere's companies under the guise of saving jobs. This is likely to see the
government digging deeper into its pocket to prop up these companies, a
scenario which analysts say only worsens the country's debt
The analysts say instead of injecting funds the government
should have identified new investors to save the companies.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said that government sought to maintain a dead man's
grip on industry instead of playing a facilitator's role in economic
"This is a control man-ia government which does not
realise that by seeking to take over companies through injection of capital,
it is only piling up debts. The government cannot run a business. Their role
is to facilitate business development and not run them," she said.
Government has failed to run its own businesses due to bureaucracy and
The Zimbabwe Min-ing Development Corporation
(ZMDC), a state-affiliated mining company which used to own a number of
mines in Zimbabwe, has gone under. Sabi Mine, a state company in Mberengwa,
has also collapsed. It is these clear examples of failure that have led to
widespread protests from economists and business community whenever
government wants to take over a company. An economist with a local bank said
this was the same impulsive spending that worsened the budget
"We have a government that is desperate to be seen to be
doing something. And to give this impression they spend more than they
have," the economist said. "The victims of this uncontrolled spending are
the taxpayers. No wonder we are heavily taxed. It's not a government debt
but a national one. Government has no money of its own. That money comes
from the taxpayer."
THIS week President Mugabe dumped another instalment of corrosive
policy on the nation when he announced the government would force its way
into acquiring a 50% shareholding in all mines. Mugabe, addressing
students at Moleli High School, was engaging in his habit of making policy
on the hoof. He said government would demand a shareholding in mining
companies. He believes participating from within is the best means of
"We are going to demand that government be given 50% shares in
mines," he told the students. "We cannot recognise absolute ownership of our
resources. No, that must be corrected." He said countries such as
Botswana had walked the same route.
But the Botswana model has been
carefully crafted to ensure that there is a mutually beneficial relationship
between the government and private investors. The 1999 Mines and Minerals
Act which revised the 1977 legislation in Botswana was fashioned to make
government participation in new developments more attractive to
The legislation ensures the government of Botswana
participates in ventures through equity and board representation. Generally,
for large projects government participation falls within the range of 15% to
25% issued free. The government exercises minimum control on business
operations and management is left entirely to the private-sector
While the Botswana government retains the right to acquire a
minority interest in new mines, this is generally up to a maximum of 15%,
and is on commercial terms with the state paying its pro-rata share of costs
incurred. We wonder if this is the t
emplate Zimbabwe's rulers would
work with when they demand participation in mining ventures. There are also
doubts about the Zimbabwe government's ability to pay for its shareholding
in the capital-intensive mining sector. No investor would want to
benevolently cede a 50% stake. The trend worldwide is that governments
should create the right environment for capital and not try to run
Mugabe believes however that involvement of the state in
the operation of mines will increase efficiency and counter multinational
companies accused of underhand dealings in mineral exports. He is wrong
and this fallacy poses a major threat to recovery in the mining industry
which accounted for about 30% of export earnings four years ago.
alleged underhand dealings in the mining sector constitute a key component
in Mugabe's ever-lengthening list of scapegoats for the country's economic
meltdown. Missing from the list however is his government's contribution to
the morass. We would like to remind the president that the near collapse of
the mining sector stems largely from poor macro-economic policies in which
the skewed exchange rate was employed for extended periods despite urgent
calls for review.
By fixing the exchange rate at an
unrealistically low level, the government ensured mines earned less money
than they should have for their exports, yet their domestic costs were going
up in sync with inflation which peaked at 623% in January.
worryingly is the idea of government trying to run mines. No one should be
fooled into believing that the government will be able to run mines any
better than it has run other state enterprises over the past 24 years.
State-owned corporations have a record of inefficiency, graft and debt that
mirrors that of government itself.
Until just recently,
government has declined to push them into producing audited results. Instead
quangos have become nests of political patronage, playing the black market
at will and serving as key contributors to national debt. Then there is the
burden they impose of taxpayers.
The Zambian government in the
euphoria of self-rule nationalised copper mines using the spurious premise
that Zambians had to enjoy the national resource. That piece of the national
cake was never shared as the mines were run down and production fell.
Zambians became poorer than they were in 1964.
The process was
reversed in the last decade and mines have gone back to multinationals. A
lesson for Zimbabwe's control freaks!
This is not the first time that
Mugabe has threatened the mining industry. Just before the 2000
parliamentary election he told a South African newspaper that mines were
next. This was met with indignation from large investors in that sector who
described Mugabe's threats as "unhelpful" and
Disastrous the gung-ho grab-and-go policy has
indeed been. The destabilisation of the agricultural sector can only be
replicated in the mining sector with dire consequences for the
The government should tell us what has happened to Mhangura
Copper Mine which was run by the inept Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation (ZMDC). The country is still waiting for copper ore from the
Democratic Republic of Congo to be processed at ZMDC smelters.
need to know how many carats of diamonds the country is mining in the DRC
and who is picking up the cheque.
The country needs a mining
policy which inspires investor confidence, guarantees employment creation
and replenishes foreign currency reserves. Not one that sends mining
companies looking for opportunities elsewhere, unemployment figures doubling
and forex evaporating.
THE Zimbabwean economy is so extensively regulated and
political actions are so directed to address symptoms instead of causes,
that policies aimed at addressing some economic or sociological objectives
often act in direct conflict with many others.
reluctance to evaluate thoroughly the probable consequences of any policy or
action results in immense prejudices to the very economy which it is desired
to protect, stimulate and grow. The examples are manifold to an extent that
space constraints preclude all being cited. However, there are some, which
are so incongruous and incomprehensible that they should be aired. Some of
the foremost relate to government's declared objectives of assuring the
maximum of healthcare for all at the minimum of cost, but where the
prevailing fiscal polices have a diametrically opposite
In order to contain health costs, government very rightly
does not impose any customs duties upon the importation of pharmaceuticals.
However, if a Zimbabwean pharmaceutical manufacturer imports materials
required as ingredients to produce pharmaceuticals, these materials attract
duty. The effects are several.
Firstly, the imposition of the
duty inevitably increases the cost of the pharmaceuticals payable by the
consumer in outright conflict with government's stated intent of containing
health costs. Secondly, the effect in many instances is to render the
imported pharmaceuticals cheaper than those locally manufactured, resulting
in greater than necessary outflows of foreign exchange - so critically
required for other purposes and diminished viability for the local producers
with consequential declining employment and downstream economic
But the illogicality of policies in relation to health goes
further. With absolute justification, government sought to ensure that the
rendition of healthcare should not attract value added tax, in order that
healthcare costs not be inflated. But in order to achieve this, government
legislated VAT exempt status for healthcare instead of providing that such
services would attract VAT at a zero rate. The first reaction must be that
exempt and zero-rated statuses have the identical effect in that the patient
does not pay VAT.
However, in practice that is not the case.
Where a service provider is supplying VAT-exempt products or services, he
cannot recover VAT charged to him by his suppliers by offsetting such VAT
against charged VAT. If, however, his products and services are zero-rated,
he can do so, and therefore receives a refund of the VAT borne by him. In
the absence of such recovery, he necessarily builds the VAT paid by him into
his charges, and therefore the patient pays more for the health
If government genuinely wishes to minimise healthcare cost
of the populace, it will amend the legislation to provide that such costs
are VAT zero-rated. The same situation applies to educational expenses.
Government claims to strive to minimise the costs of education to such an
extent that the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture has no qualms at
destroying the viability of at least 46 private schools! But despite such
claims, it exempts educational costs from VAT, instead of zero-rating them,
thereby increasing the aggregate costs of the educationalists, and hence
increasing the amounts, they must remove from those they
Yet another marked example of anomaly within the customs
duty and tariff regime is in respect of clothing and textiles. For many of
such products, the rate of duty is a ludicrous $100 per kg (often less than
$50 per T-shirt), but if a local manufacturer of clothing or textiles
imports essential manufacturing imports, inclusive of certain yarns,
dyestuffs, and machine spares, he is subjected to onerous import duties
rendering his products uncompetitive in the domestic markets. This
circumstance is presently particularly prevalent with Zimbabwe awash with
Chinese textiles, clothing and footwear, imported at a fraction of local
Their lower cost is partially because in many
instances the products are factory seconds and rejects, because of massive
subsidies and incentives from the Chinese government, and because of the
ridiculously low rates of duty applicable to such imports. Failure by
government to address this anomaly must result in the failure of numerous
factories, with resultant massive unemployment and many other negative
Another anomaly of rapidly growing, very real and
justified concern is that whilst Zimbabwe desperately wants to increase its
foreign exchange generation through exports, it is fast destroying its
exporters. It first did so by its heavy-handed approach to land reform,
resulting in a near total collapse of agriculture to levels of less than 25%
of those of only three years ago. Then it did likewise to the tourism
industry by sullying Zimbabwe's international image through its disregard
for the fundamentals of human rights, to such an extent that tourism
declined very considerably to levels of only 10% of those of a few years
And now all other exporters are fast approaching the point of
collapse. They are confronted with continuous and massively rising costs,
including wage increments - often at least once a quarter - at levels
significantly above the rate of inflation. The cost escalations are not
confined to wages but include imports indirectly sourced through the
parallel market, in the absence of alternative supplies, escalations in
energy charges, fuel prices, and much else. But the exporters are not
enabled to counter those rapidly increasing costs by being accorded currency
exchange rate movements commensurate with the extent of cost
Instead, the exchange rates are, through the "controlled"
foreign currency auctions, virtually static. In June and July, the
compounded monthly inflation approximated 20%. In the same period, the
exporter enjoyed an exchange rate increase of less than 5%, and therefore
the export yield declined, in gross terms, by at least 15%. If that trend
continues, almost all exporters will soon be out of business! If that
occurs, Zimbabwe's foreign exchange inflows will be minimal, and in such
event the rise in inflation will be gargantuan as compared to that which
would be triggered by an exchange movement at realistic levels.
of the most evident anomalies that prevailed until last December was that
parastatals had the tacit approval and acquiescence of government and the
Reserve Bank to source foreign exchange in the parallel
However, since then, those in the private sector who did
likewise in the belief that it was lawful, in view of the example set by the
state, and in order to keep their businesses alive, have been vilified and
subjected to prosecutions and punitive fines. Since last December, the
parastatals discontinued their patronage of the parallel market, but they
could afford to do so as, pursuant to the monetary policies, they could
source their foreign exchange requirements from the Reserve Bank at
$824:US$1 (as compared to having previously paid up to $7 000:US$1 in the
The parastatals were, and still are, being
subsidised by those exporters who are being obligated to surrender portion
of their export proceeds to the Reserve Bank at that spurious
That subsidisation is enforced in complete disregard for the
devastatory effects upon exporter viability, and like disregard for the
discriminatory and unjust imposition upon exporters to sustain the
operations of the parastatals.
Still another of the anomalies is
that Zimbabwe has a Ministry of Anti-Corruption, but after it was brought
into existence almost a year ago, only a negligible number of instances of
prosecutions in the courts exist (exclusive of those relating to parallel
market trading, initiated by the National Economic Conduct Inspectorate,
which falls under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development). When
will Zimbabwe witness the prosecution of those identified years ago by the
Chidyausiku Commission of Enquiry into abuse of the War victims Compensation
Fund, or accused of corruption within Noczim and the Grain Marketing Board,
amongst many others? Instead, corruption continues to be a catalyst of
'Living in Harare a nightmare," ran the headline of the Herald
Comment on Saturday. The editorial was not about expensive rentals or
muggings. It was about poor service delivery by the
"Nothing just seems to be working - from provision of water,
lighting, maintenance of roads and other services which council is obliged
to render to its residents," ran the Comment. That is the reality we have
come to expect. Where we differ with the Herald is the source of our
"There seems to be a determination to destroy the capital
city - and no one should blame political interference in these matters,"
came the lame defence.
One cannot fail to sense that the editor
is fighting his own conscience to defend the indefensible. Surely there
would be no need to defend politicians if there were no political
interference. Why has Ignatious Chombo made himself the unelected mayor of
Harare? Why have MDC councillors been denied the right to run the affairs of
Harare as mandated by voters? Why were they denied the right to consult with
ratepayers that they serve? What is Witness Mangwende doing? Does Pikirayi
Deketeke seriously believe defending his political masters is more important
than addressing the concerns of ratepayers and laying the blame squarely
where it belongs - at Chombo's door?
Meanwhile, what is Chombo doing
about the chaos going on at Whitecliffe farm that has become an eyesore to
every visitor driving from Bulawayo into the capital city? Is he unaware of
who is in charge of the latest shanty town along High Glen Road near Marimba
police station? We are talking about squatter settlements mushrooming all
over the city with no sanitary facilities whatsoever. Will the sun ever rise
again over the Sunshine City? In its lead story on Monday the Herald said the
Harare city council had been allowed to borrow about $49 billion for water
and infrastructural development. But the figures quickly mutated beyond
Part of the letter supposedly signed by Local Government
minister Chombo said Harare had been allowed "to raise $48 570 215 billion
(sic) from the domestic market". The paper said "$2 339 000 billion (sic)
would be used for the construction of an 18-megalitre/day BNR plant and
expansion of existing capacity at Crowborough sewage works". Can somebody
help with interpreting those figures. Does Zimbabwe have that kind of money
in the first place?
We were interested to read about how blind
Zimbabweans were until the Malaysians came to our rescue. President Robert
Mugabe told students at Moleli Secondary School in Zvimba on Sunday that it
had taken government a very long time to realise there was corruption in the
financial sector because previous management at the RBZ were victims of
Western economics. As such they didn't know what was happening in the
financial sector, Mugabe disclosed.
To get to the bottom of the
crisis, said the president, he had to take new Reserve Bank governor Gideon
Gono to Malaysia "so that he could learn how" that country had pulled out of
a similar crisis. They were shocked by what they discovered after their
magical trip to the East, Mugabe confessed. Meanwhile, we all along thought
Gono was his own man doing his own diagnosis about the nation's multifaceted
crisis. But it turned out to be Mahathir? And in Zimbabwe's case who was the
evil George Soros spearheading speculative attacks on our currency? Tony
Blair, we presume.
Still on corruption, how is Mugabe going to
explain the award of fuel import licences to so-called non-existent
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe revealed last week that
enough foreign currency had been made available for companies to import
fuel. But by last weekend most garages were virtually dry. It turned out
that most of the more than 70 companies who were getting foreign currency to
import fuel didn't have physical addresses or distribution networks. The
question to ask is how were they issued with licences? Are these not clear
symptoms of corrupt activities?
Now Zanu PF's own mouthpiece, The
Voice, claims much of the foreign currency sourced from the Reserve Bank's
auction system could have been used to trade on the black market to purchase
luxury vehicles or to buy properties. We assumed since it was so soon after
the debacle of dubious asset management companies the RBZ and its parent
ministry would be more circumspect in issuing licences for purposes of
Shouldn't Mugabe be taking Gono back to Malaysia for
more learning? And some of those briefcase companies are advertising fuel in
the public media everyday. There is certainly something bigger than the RBZ
wants us to believe here.
Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo seems to have
hit the nail on the head in his diagnosis of the source of Zimbabwe's
problems. This is what he said in his weekly column in The Voice on Sunday:
"A functioning economy is a handy tool of politics. However, our situation
requires that we turn our politics into tools for the revival of the
economy. Placing sole responsibility for economic recovery on the central
bank would not only be irresponsible but dishonest."
everybody else in Zanu PF appears in public to foolishly believe the Mugabe
mantra that there is nothing wrong with our politics; that Gono will
single-handedly solve all our problems or that China will revive our economy
alone? Is this some form of epiphany that could result in the party being
more "responsible" and less "dishonest", we wonder?
Spare a thought for
newly sworn-in member of the Delimitation Commission, Job Whabira. The
former Defence permanent secretary on Tuesday looked like a jester plucked
from a circus for the ceremony at the president's palace, if his dressing on
Newsnet is anything to go by.
Muckraker's colleagues reckon Whabira,
shown on ZTV clad in a "specially designed" scarlet suit, would have made
Jojo the Clown green with envy if he had remembered to wear the clown's big
red nose. He could have done with a pair of earrings and a pony tail
Then there was another clown called Goodson Nguni who thinks
Britain is the MDC. Asked by Cleo Tsimba whether the MDC might change its
mind and participate in next year's election, Nguni said that decision would
come from the UK in December. He said the MDC had no mandate to make a
decision outside of Tony Blair. Never mind that the MDC made it clear its
decision on whether to take part or not would depend on whether government
had met to the full the Sadc guidelines and principles on the holding of
free and fair elections.
Newsnet should make a distinction
between analysts and clowns. It has not talked to a single analyst since
Jonathan Moyo took over the reins four years ago.
The Soviets who run
the so-called Sunday News, which never manages to publish any news worth
reading but carries letters from people signing themselves "J Stalin", have
been incandescent with rage over the Warriors' failure to fulfil the state
plan assigned to them.
On the day of the fateful World Cup qualifier
nearly two weeks ago, the paper produced a Comment confidently claiming the
Super Eagles would "crash this afternoon in Harare".
Warriors' impending victory was all part of a momentum built up by Kirsty
Coventry, we were told. "Coventry's achievement underlined Zimbabwe's new
status as a growing force in the world of sport and no doubt all roads lead
to the National Stadium today amid huge national optimism that head coach
Rahman Gumbo will lead his troops to victory," the paper
Alas, it was not to be. And hell had no fury like a state
"It just will not be enough for Warriors
team manager Rafiq Adam to resign," another Uncle Joe given to purges
fulminated last weekend. "And it will not be enough to fire the hopeless
coaches Rahman Gumbo and Brenna Msiska.
"Even firing the team captain
Peter Ndlovu, which is now inevitable, will not be enough. Heads must roll
and the whole Zifa lot must be shown the door.When all is said and done,
Zifa failed the nation."
Was it Zifa that failed the nation or
ministerial puppets trying to get us to believe that political meddling in
football and reaping where they failed to sow in swimming has led to
Zimbabwe becoming a "growing force" in the world of sport? More a growing
We had a similar performance last weekend from Sunday News editor
Brezhnev Malaba who reported Pravda-style from Victoria Falls on the launch
of the Southern Times.
"Western media propagandists and the
unrepentant apartheid press will no longer enjoy a monopoly in the
dissemination of information in Southern Africa, the people of the region
have boldly declared." But it didn't end there. "The people of Africa have
spoken," Brezhnev proclaimed. "The era of racist hate and discredited
falsehoods is long gone."
Any reader turning to Uncle Joe's column
may think that forecast was a little premature. And we admired the way "the
people of the region" - ie all five buyers of the threadbare new publication
- had been transformed into "the people of Africa" in the space of a
The "apartheid press" had failed in its "silly attempts" to
scupper the project, we were told by Cde Brezhnev. But we don't recall any
attempts to block this self-defeating project to launch yet another dreary
Moyo mouthpiece. What we do recall is the black-run Sunday Times saying the
new publication couldn't use their name. And they seem to have won their
But imperialists, colonialists and apartheid-pressers should
not relax. Inspired by what Brezhnev describes as "assertive Africans
trodding (sic) on the repugnant history of colonial oppression", a new
project is being hatched, we are led to understand. Victoria Falls will soon
be renamed the Victory Falls to mark the people's victory over colonial
Now that should be just the tonic the tourism sector
needs. Keep up the "trodding" guys!
The Chronicle last Friday
dutifully carried a front-page picture of Information minister Jonathan Moyo
handing over three computers worth $69,4 million to Avoca High School Lower
Sixth pupils in Godlwayo. What we don't understand is why these computers
cost so much in the first place. A quick reference to the Herald's
classifieds for the same day tells us that the most expensive models on
offer range from $8,5 million to $12,5 million. A top-of-the-range laptop
goes for $9,5 million. While we appreciate the Chronicle is obliged to engage
in embellishment from time to time, especially when promoting the minister's
election bid, it cannot be unaware of the going price for equipment of this
At one time, despite all the manipulation that took place elsewhere
in the Herald, it was possible to trust their court reports. That hasn't
been the case for a while now.
A good illustration was available on
Saturday following Friday's sentencing of Simon Mann and his "mercenary"
associates. Most of the report was accurate and provided useful detail. But
then this sentence was smuggled in: "The men were arrested and the plane
seized in March when the terror squad landed in Harare to buy arms on their
way to take part in a coup in Equatorial Guinea." Is that what they were
convicted of: being part of a "terror squad" planning to "take part in a
coup in Equatorial Guinea"? Weren't those charges the state failed to
We recall most of them pleading guilty to offences under the
Immigration and Aviation Acts, and Mann being sentenced under Posa for
arms-related offences. But the Equatorial Guinea connection was never
The Herald claimed on Wednesday that the plane the men arrived
on, which was impounded, was carrying a consignment of AK47 assault rifles,
KPM light machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons
among other items. Was this established in court? Had the weapons been
loaded aboard the plane?
While it is all too easy for the press to reach
conclusions about what the suspected mercenaries may have been up to,
drawing on damning reports from Malabo and Cape Town, is it right for
newspapers in their court reports to convict them of offences they were not
actually convicted of in court? At the end of the day, the state did achieve
one thing. It has acquired an aircraft worth between US$3 million and $5
million at no charge.
Could we soon see the Boeing 727 ferrying
passengers on AirZim's Beijing route or decked out as Zimbabwe's Airforce
One? Together with the US$180 000 taken off the plane, it would seem as if
Zimbabwe is not doing too badly from its encounter with the "dogs of
Parastatals have a key role to play in the economic turnaround
process, Zimra boss Gershem Pasi believes.
"Our overall performance
and contribution to the nation's economy has not always been consistent and
That's putting it mildly. These parasitic institutions have
been centres of economic destabilisation. Now they will be miraculously
"turned around" despite having the same old crew on board. Minister of
State responsible for state enterprises Rugare Gumbo said parastatals should
formulate "guidelines and principles" on how they should be
Evidently nobody had thought of this before. And nobody has thought
of the obvious solution to the current mess at AirZim, Noczim, NRZ, Zesa,
Zisco and Zupco: get rid of them and all their hangers on! Gumbo had a
solution: another workshop! "We want to come up with a home-brewed
strategy," he said. Rugare: Why not a strategy that has worked everywhere
else in the world rather than one that has failed here? It's a no
Muckraker was intrigued to read comments made by new ANC Youth
League president Fikile Mbalula, published in the Sunday Times last
weekend. He was asked if he took President Robert Mugabe's line that problems
in Zimbabwe were all Britain's fault.
"The politics of Zimbabwe.are
about primarily issues of democracy. And the willingness of the ruling Zanu
PF party to engage its opponents," he replied. Asked if he had been
listening to Archbishop Pius Ncube, he said: "Yes. He gives an account of
the material conditions they find themselves in. It is basically
Although Mbalula insisted that Zimbabweans must find a
solution to their own problems and Britain should play its part in providing
compensation for land, this was not exactly the message of solidarity some
may have hoped for. Indeed, when foreign dignitaries were asked at the Youth
League congress to stand and identify themselves, cheers for the Zanu PF
delegate turned to laughter, reports say, when it was seen how old he
Quelea birds gobble wheat crop Ngoni Chanakira The
quelea bird, coming at a time when bread has become unaffordable, is now
threatening the country's poorwheat crop.
While government insists
that the food situation is not threatened by the withdrawal of the donor
community due to political differences with Zimbabwe, the Ministry of
Agriculture yesterday confirmed that the quelea bird was now threatening
Insiders said the ministry had run out of the chemical to kill the
birds that can destroy thousands of hectares of wheat in
Zimbabwe's wheat crop, like all other commodities, has been
In 2000 the country produced 45 000 hectares of
wheat, while in 2001 it produced 56 000 hectares - the largest crop so
In 2002 the country produced 25 000 hectares of wheat and last year
Zimbabwe produced a paltry 10 000 hectares.
The figures were supplied
by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and include A2
Yesterday the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that it was
inviting interested companies to urgently procure 3 000 litres of fenthion
chemical or a suitable alternative for the control of quelea birds, which it
said had begun to damage the wheat crop.
A senior ministry official
told businessdigest that government was prepared to pay the business
executives on delivery in Zimbabwe dollars for the
Companies, especially indigenous ones, are now jostling for
the lucrative tender which has been labeled "top priority" by the
cash-strapped government in its bid to stop the birds from destroying what
is already a poor harvest.
"Yes, I can confirm that we are asking
companies to tender for the supply of fenthion chemical or any suitable
alternative for the control of quelea birds which are destroying our wheat
crop," an official said yesterday. "We cannot allow these birds to destroy
what is already a very poor crop."
This week leading food manufacturer
and distributor National Foods Ltd (Natfoods) said the limited availability
of local wheat was supplemented with imports to maintain volumes.
company said it had to go cap in hand to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for
foreign currency to import wheat and avert "serious shortages of flour and
Interest in Homelink wanes Shakeman Mugari THE
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s "Homelink" facility launched earlier this
year to mop up foreign currency in the diaspora is fast losing favour with
Zimbabweans scattered around the world, analysts and money transfer agency
officials have said.
The initiative is being shunned because of the
unattractive rates offered on the central bank's auction floors. Zimbabweans
in the diaspora have since turned to private individuals who are
facilitating their foreign currency transactions at parallel market
The British pound and the United States dollar have remained
largely stagnant on the RBZ's controlled auction market. This has seen the
parallel market rate rally on the back of perennial shortages.
money transfer agency operator with a branch in London who recently visited
the country said all was not well in the Homelink plan. He said on average
the London branch receives 30 enquiries a day from Zimbabweans in the
diaspora but only one transaction is finally processed.
"There is now an
even stronger parallel market network between people in London and
Zimbabwe," said the official last week.
He said there was rampant black
market activity abroad, which is now undermining the Homelink
"A number of MTAs in the United Kingdom are reported to have
closed shop owing to the serious black market activities which have
sidelined their business because of the low exchange rates being offered,"
He said of major concern to citizens scattered throughout the
diaspora was the huge gap between the parallel and auction rate.
Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading at $5 611: US$1, which contrasts with
the parallel market rate of $7 400: US$1.
Analysts say this gap is
likely to continue widening unless the central bank devalues the dollar to
match the parallel market rate.
Government is, however, unwilling to do
this saying it could result in escalating bills for electricity supplies
from neighbouring countries.
"It's a network of people in London who have
contacts with people in Zimbabwe who have foreign accounts," the MTA
official said. "Zimbabweans deposit the foreign currency into the FCA and
the recipient is paid in Zimdollars but at the parallel market
Analysts blame the policy framework for Homelink's
Economic advisor to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Eddie Cross said Homelink was operating in an unstable economy.
gap between the Homelink rate and the parallel market is too big to ignore.
That is why it has failed to achieve the desired results," Cross said. "The
framework is not conducive. Government needs to look into other ways to
boost the export sector."
It is estimated that Zimbabweans abroad have
the capacity to send more that US$70 million a month.
however, not been achieved owing to the stagnant rate on the market and also
resistance from citizens in the diaspora.
HIPPO Valley Estates Ltd
(Hippo) says because cane yields have declined by 10% Zimbabwe will face
reduced sugar production for the current year.
The company this week said
its Mkwasine Estate was issued with a fresh Section 8 Order on July 23 which
was followed up by a Section 7 Order, making production very
Thousands of commercial farmers countrywide have been issued
with Section 7s and 8s and are undecided on whether to continue farming when
such cases occur.
This has resulted in production declining in
virtually all sectors of the country's agricultural
"Appropriate legal action is being taken," Hippo said. "Hippo
Valley Estates remains listed under Section 5. Representations are ongoing
with the relevant authorities to secure a de-listing of both
The company said the dispute between some commercial cane
farmers and some A2 cane farmers on the ownership of cane delivered during
the 2003 milling season was still to be resolved by the High
"All proceeds received to-date in respect of the disputed cane for
the 2003 crop, amounting to $4,34 billion, have been paid over to the High
Court in accordance with the provisions of the interpleader proceedings,"
It said due to lower rates of evaporation occasioned by lower
mean temperatures and shorter periods of sunshine, cane yield had declined
by 10% compared with budget.
"This will inevitably result in reduced
sugar production for the current year," Hippo said. - Staff Writer.
NATIONAL Foods Holdings Ltd (Natfoods) says the limited
availability of wheat last year had to be supplemented with imports to
maintain sufficient volumes in its floor division.
distributor and manufacturer said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) needed
to jump in and bail the company out through the productive sector finance
facility made available to struggling firms.
Firms repay the loans at a
rate of 30%.
Natfoods said the foreign currency for imports was made
available to "avert serious shortages of flour and thus bread".
said maize mill capacity utilisations remained well below desirable levels
and raw material availability for the production of maize-meal was still
negligible, although up on last year.
For the half-year ending June 30
Natfoods made a net profit of $27,5 billion, which was 245% up on the
Turnover increased by 544% to $236,8 billion on the back
of volume increases in all divisions except general trading, stockfeeds and
"The company is focussed on keeping volumes at profitable
levels but this will remain an issue in the medium-term as shortages of
local raw materials make the company more reliant on imports where adequate
foreign currency has been difficult to obtain," Natfoods said.
have continued to rise on a monthly basis with significant pressure coming
from employees, particularly where increases are negotiated at industry
level. Many costs which have exceeded inflation on a year basis and have
outstripped the growth in turnover, have been outside the company's control,
straining margins in an environment where it is difficult to increase prices
to the consumer."
The company said sales volumes of cooking oil had
improved and it had managed through pre-season contracts with soyabean
farmers, to purchase a significant share of locally available
"It is expected that these will shortly be supplemented by crude
oil imports," it said.
Natfoods is now the country's largest local
supplier of rice into the market.
Other types of rice have, however,
flooded the market from the Far East and Malaysia which is sometimes much
cheaper than the local product.
Natfoods said stockfeeds sales volumes
during the first quarter of 2004 continued to deteriorate and reached
unprofitable levels. - Staff Writer.
Water crisis hits property sector Ngoni
Chanakira THE water crisis facing Harare and its surrounding areas has begun
to delay the progress of construction projects that have now become white
It has also affected the development of water schemes in
various suburbs underway such as in Monavale, Bluff Hill, Snake Park and
Zimre Park in Harare.
Harare's director of works Psychology Chiwanga
recently said the capital city was facing a serious water crisis caused by
"poor planning of urban settlements".
The capital city now needs to
borrow $50 billion to restore water to parts of the city which gets just six
hours' supply a day.
The water crisis has resulted in projects stopping
mid-way such as the Joina Development Centre in Harare's central business
district as well as various housing schemes scattered throughout the
Some residents have been riled by the delay in the construction
of their homes due to the water shortage.
"We bought the properties
and paid hundreds of millions of dollars, but to-date we hear that not even
roads have been constructed on the site," said Rodgers Svovah, currently
based in the United Kingdom.
He said the delays could also be due to
"greedy developers more concerned about making money from
"We are about to complete our payments and yet there are no
houses to be delivered at the end of the transactions. We do not even have
The Harare City Council, which this week first mooted and
then shelved its idea of water rationing, has now gone cap in hand to
government for the $50 billion for the dilapidated water reticulation
Ignatious Chombo is the minister responsible for all
Unlike the Bulawayo City Council whose water source is
upstream and, therefore, uses less purification chemicals, the Harare City
Council "sits on" its water source and is, therefore, forced to use eight
chemicals in the treatment process.
These are powdered activated
carbon, liquid aluminium sulphate, white hydrated lime, sodium silicate,
chlorine gas, anhydrous ammonia, sulphuric acid and ECOL
Chiwanga said while government had allocated Council $10,7 billion
under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) for various water and
sewer related projects, it needed a further $48 billion.
however, does not have borrowing powers after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor Gideon Gono threw out its requests for funding, requesting the
municipality to first produce "externally audited accounts".
their unfavourable creditworthy status, however, it remains to be seen
whether they will be able to access the required funds from the open
market," Chiwanga said. "The supply of water to Harare and its environs
continues to provide challenges to the local authority and government, as
efforts are made to seek a sustainable resolution and ensure the consistent
supply of uncontaminated water."
He said factors that affected the
quality of the treated water included algae, the clogging of filters which
result in increased backwash frequency, as well as the increased desludging
Other contributory factors include pollution, the
corrosion of concrete civil works, increased wear and tear of mechanical
equipment and increased chemical usage.
Harare currently draws its
water from four dams on the Manyame River, namely Chivero and Manyame both
of which are owned by Council (83%) and government (17%), Harava which is
wholly-owned by Council and Seke.
"In addition to the yield from the said
dams the water supply to the City of Harare is supplemented by the
reintroduction of treated waste (recycled) water into the water sources,"
Chiwanga said. "It is now generally accepted that the water demand of the
metropolitan exceeds the safe yield of these water sources, hence the
tendering of the Kunzwi Dam and Pipeline Project."
Svovah pointed out
that there were many projects that had been stalled including the Warren
Park/Belvedere West schemes, as well as the Snake Park project, where
individuals had resorted to building on stands that do not have water and a
proper reticulation system.
Chiwanga said studies had shown that there
were 32 major polluters to Harare's water sources with 11 of these
facilities belonging to council.
"Unfortunately the water treatment
plants were not designed to cope with the poor quality of water associated
with the water sources, thus the consistent breakdowns," Chiwanga
He said the Morton Jaffrey Number 1 Waterworks was commissioned in
1953, Number 2 in 1972, Number 3 in 1994 while Prince Edward Works was
commissioned in 1928.
These dams are able to supply Harare with a
total of 704 megalitres of water daily but are only supplying 533
He said what was now needed urgently was the establishment of
a Harare utility company wholly-owned by council which would allow for an
independent body to focus solely on issues pertaining to the supply of water
to the Harare metropolitan area.
IT had never
occurred to me that kapenta fish and Mazoe crush could be special dietary
requirements for Zimbabweans in the diaspora. When a colleague learnt that I
was due to travel to the United Kingdom, he was quick to place a special
order from home: kapenta fish, Mazoe crush and biltong.
fish, which appear on menu cards as a starter or more commonly as protein
substitutes to the malnourished, are a coveted delicacy. The colleague tells
me that some diasporans know how many of the little creatures can fit in a
200g packet. They are cooked in strictly set portions - in groups of 20 for
my bachelor colleague - and perhaps washed down with a glass of the orange
drink to satisfy the nostalgia.
I delivered liberal quantities of the
fish to those who have run away from poor governance here. Most of them do
not have nice things to say about Zimbabwe and I wondered whether our
information merchants could ever counter this torrent of
I was in London last week to attend a Public Administration
International programme on Government: Image and Information. This provided
useful insight into the mind of a spin-doctor. Contributions from senior
government spokesmen from the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East and
Eastern Europe were crucial in comparing how different governments handle
the media. There was also a senior civil servant from Botswana whose
government is trying to fend off a relentlessly hostile press from
Presentations by politicians, senior correspondents and editors
- mainly on the United Kingdom experience - and contributions from various
countries present in the end gelled into the conclusion that the
relationship between politicians and the media was vital to effective
There were catch phrases like: "Politicians complaining about
the media are like fishermen complaining about the sea."
Foglia, a London-based Colombian diplomat who has dedicated her life to
cleansing her country of the bad-boy image arising from drug wars, was
spot-on on how governments can deal with a bad press.
"The only way to
fix a bad press is by fixing the problems at home," she said. Defending
internationally condemned ills would not help much.
Many speakers could
not complete their presentations without mentioning Alistair Campbell, the
former Number 10 Downing Street sultan of spin who left the political scene
exhausted by his encounter with the BBC.
Despite his spin-doctoring the
war on Iraq has remained a sore point for Tony Blair which the media love to
prod and open up.
Dr Martyn Bond - the programme director - said
spin-doctors did not have a long shelf-life.
"The value of the
spokesman is being constantly eroded as he sometimes has to carry the blame
on behalf of the boss," he said. "The spokesman lasts as long as the boss
lasts but he usually falls first."
Indeed, Campbell fell first after he
became the news. The moral of Campbell's fall is, when the spinner becomes
the story it is time to stop spinning. There is a similarly excoriated
spinner who has become the news closer to home. Will he beat his boss in the
fall from grace? It's a close race!
Perhaps the most insightful
presentation came from former editor of the Observer, Professor Donald
Trelford. His colourful rendition included his editorship of the Times of
Malawi and his brushes with Kamuzu Banda who accused him of supporting his
political foe, Henry Chipembere.
The most interesting part of his career
was in 1984 when he came to Zimbabwe to interview prime minister Robert
Mugabe and ended up in Matabeleland where he came face to face with the
Fifth Brigade bloodbath.
Trelford, who prefaced his presentation by
saying "news is what government does not want you to read", said
arrangements for the Mugabe interview were hijacked by business tycoon and
Lonrho boss Tiny Rowland. The businessman who had bought the Observer in
1981 was close to Mugabe. Trelford said the Mugabe interview was
"disastrously dull" although the Zimbabwean leader did not mince his words
about the need to crush the "rebellion".
"The solution is a military
one," he told Trelford. "Their grievances are unfounded. The verdict of the
voters was cast in 1980. They should have accepted defeat
Nothing much has changed 20 years later!
Trelford said his
experience in Matabeleland offered him a better story, which he produced in
the Observer on his return to London. Tiny Rowland, he said, was livid when
the story came out. So was Mugabe.
Rowland, who described Trelford as an
incompetent reporter, rushed to the press to denounce his story about the
"I take full responsibility for what in my view
was discourteous, disingenuous and wrong in the editor of a serious
newspaper widely read in Africa," he told the world. He announced that
Trelford would be dismissed.
But Trelford survived the chop and lived to
tell the tale of an episode of immense drama illustrating a clash between a
proprietor's commercial interests and an editor's quest for editorial
A tale of agony and hope By John Robertson The
Battle for Zimbabwe - The Final Countdown By Geoff Hill Published by Zebra
Press, Cape Town. Price in Zim: $194 300.
READERS on the journey through
this agonising story of Zimbabwe's descent into a totalitarian nightmare
would have to be forgiven for losing heart, but an undeniable hint of
optimism is captured in this book's subtitle, The Final Countdown. Whether
the countdown has actually started might still be an open question, but as
Geoff Hill says, it is important to understand how things developed if we
have any hope of creating a better future for all Zimbabweans.
book chronicles in graphic detail the conduct of Zimbabwe's ruling party
through the 24 years of its control. More than half the book concentrates on
events since 1997 as the party responded to a series of challenges to its
authority. The first of these came from war veterans, who caught President
Robert Mugabe off guard. Those that followed came from the successes of the
first significant opposition party since Independence and from legal
challenges to the land acquisition policies that were mounted by commercial
The War Veterans Association was the driving force behind the
move to break up the country's thriving commercial farms and to allocate
small plots of land free to the veterans and to hundreds of thousands of
peasants. The initiative they took forced into place the process of evicting
thousands of commercial farmers, and when this action was challenged in the
courts, a new constitution that was intended to give the ruling party the
legal right to capture land was proposed.
When this constitution was
defeated in a referendum, the ruling party set in motion a train of events
that was designed to prevent new challenges from ever again threatening the
domination of the party. Geoff Hill traces a path through the subsequent
months and lays bare the raw brutality of a regime that saw no reason to set
limits to the methods it could use to subjugate an unarmed
When Zanu PF's constitutional proposals were rejected, the
2000 parliamentary election was a few months away, but the party had time to
pass into law the land acquisition clauses that had generated most of the
opposition to the proposals.
With active support from the police and
the army, war veterans and their supporters were then empowered to forcibly
evict farmers and their families, and at the same time urban communities
were punished for supporting the opposition party. Effectively, the right to
the protection of the law was withdrawn from those perceived to be trying to
oppose government decisions.
Zimbabwe is not treated in isolation. Hill
weaves into his tapestry the records of many other African countries where
brutality and oppression became the authorities' standard responses to
Taken together with the harsh dictatorships that emerged almost
everywhere in Africa, the result becomes a backdrop against which Zanu PF's
excesses in Zimbabwe start to appear fairly normal. This, suggests Hill,
helps to explain why international reactions against Zanu PFs early
excesses, particularly the devastating Matabeleland Gukurahundi episode,
were muted, if they were discernible at all.
Gukurahundi is estimated
to have cost between 10 000 and 30 000 lives as Zanu PF made its concerted
attempt to break the spirit of the Ndebele.
Diplomats and foreign
governments seemed eager to dismiss the massacre as the price that had to be
paid for unity, but the atrocities committed came back into public
consciousness when a full report was finally published in 1998, 14 years
after the event. Those in charge of the campaign are still in office, as are
those who authorised it. Now, Bosnia and Kosovo have caused changes to the
concept of accountability and, with Milosevic behind bars, the scene has
From the lack of any reaction to the Gukurahundi episode when it
happened, and the unfinished business that it has since become, Hill traces
two of the characteristics of Zanu PF rule: first the party's belief in its
absolute impunity, and now that accountability is rearing its head, its
determination never to relinquish power.
The first real threat to its
political power emerged in the form of the Movement for Democratic Change.
When this party won a significant number of seats in the 2000 parliamentary
election, Zanu PF's self-preservation instincts and its violent origins
quickly returned to prominence.
Hill offers a condensed, but
comprehensive background history of the country in the first 80 pages, and
provides a detailed account of the Zanu PF's talent for violence in the next
200 pages. Stage by stage, each reaction to the mounting challenge to the
ruling party's authority is explained and each new layer of control over the
opposition party's freedom of movement, civil rights and access to publicity
Dozens of the attacks on victims of the resulting oppression
and intimidation are described in detail and the account is made all the
more appalling by the consistent record of success that Mugabe's supporters
have had in running rings around their opponents, detractors and
So profound has been the devastation that if a genuine recovery
is to be achieved, many basic institutions will need to be rebuilt. Among
other facilities, the public health services have all but collapsed and will
need to be restored, commercial agriculture has to be re-established and the
seriously damaged education system has to be put back on its
Signposts to where we are now were very much in evidence a few
years ago. Hill quotes a 2002 statement from the Minister of Justice,
Patrick Chinamasa, in which he claimed that non-governmental organisations
were bent on the overthrow of Zanu PF and they were "disguising their
activities in semantics such as human rights, democracy and promoting civil
Now, a Bill that will impose stringent controls on all NGOs
awaits its passage into law. Soon, fearsome penalties could be inflicted on
anyone caught providing for the material, mental, physical or social needs
of distressed persons or families or even animals if they haven't first
registered their organisation with government.
Hill covers a range of
topics that will bring memories flooding back for many readers. Remember
Willowgate? Capital Radio? The war over cellphone licences? The looting of
the War Victims Compensation Fund? These and many other events are described
and put into their historical context.
Along with encapsulated facts
about the country's early history, the book also deals with events such as
the more recent fuel crises, the banknote scarcity, Congo timber concessions
and the deeply negative interest rates that allowed government to capture
the bulk of the country's savings. The causes and effects of these and many
other crucial issues show the many ways that Zanu PF has tried to profit
from their engineered distortions or to deflect the costs onto
However, the destruction has also consumed the country's
resources very much more rapidly than its diminishing productive sectors can
replace them. Like everything else, the wealth redistribution process has
Like many Zimbabweans, Hill was intrigued by the mysterious
death of Bulawayo war veterans leader, Cain Nkala. He spent more than a year
investigating the murder and the book includes a fascinating account of
Nkala's last hours. Eye-witness testimonies have been pieced together with
court reports and police evidence and his thoughts on how the murder was
committed, and by whom, could shed new light on the case when it is
re-opened, as it surely must be.
Hill has produced a record of events
that will keep alive the consequences of misrule. Hopefully it will help
prevent deviant behaviour from developing elsewhere and also help to bring
to book those who can still be held to account.
Mercenary coup in Zanu PF By Chido Makunike IN
Western countries Christmas time is the traditional season to exchange
gifts. In Zimbabwe a new tradition that is emerging is the amazing
generosity of politicians at election time.
If one were naive, one
would think that election time would be when those who aspire to elective
office, or to being re-elected, would brush up their manifestos in an effort
to sell themselves to the electorate as the best candidates for the offices
they were interested in. But election manifestos and well-thought out plans
of what one hopes to accomplish during their time in office take work that
may be beyond the ability of some of our politicians. It is so much easier
to try to beg, borrow or steal money and other resources with which to try
to simply buy off large segments of the population.
This may seem
absurd and offensive to a discerning and sophisticated voter, but in a
society where economic hardship is keenly felt by many of the most
vulnerable voters, attempted vote-buying cannot be ruled out as an effective
tactic to give some of our less scrupulous politicians an edge over their
We saw many examples of this during the last parliamentary
election, and there are early signs that we will see more in the next one a
few months away. For instance, in 2000 some aspiring MPs wantonly stretched
the limits of good taste and electoral legality by offering various
"inducements" to the mostly rural electorate that cheapened and compromised
the whole political process. Controversial, brazen and shameless as the
offers of money to the voters were, they helped to push some onto the
political gravy train.
I don't know what "benefits" have accrued to
the voters in the affected constituencies from having such characters as MPs
for the last five years, but all the signs are that it has been a rather
good and beneficial tenure for "honourable" MPs themselves!
It is no
wonder one senior official lamented how the ruling party has been
prostituted by self-serving mafikizolo fifth columnists! I have also noted
how gifts are flying all over Tsholotsho constituency as several big
political egos position themselves to be its MP in the next parliament.
Mugabe propagandist Jonathan Moyo, who seems to have also appointed himself
to the position of "more Zanu PF than anybody else" would seem to have a
head start over the other aspiring candidates.
He is aggressive and
ruthless in a way that often seems worrying, and would appear to have
mysteriously bottomless pockets.
He has donated blankets and computers to
various groups of his would-be constituents, among many other gifts. Moyo's
generosity is splashed in the state media he controls with equal generosity,
often accompanied by a glossy colour portrait of a benevolently smiling
younger Moyo, perhaps taken five or 10 years ago, carefully casting him on
the mould of the dashing young saviour of Tsholotsho!
If you divide
the purported values of the computers and blankets he has donated by their
number, you find that they are all apparently top dollar, top of the range
luxury items! Either that or the values we are given are completely
fictitious, pure propaganda of a type we have become rather accustomed to
since Moyo and George Charamba began running the department of "information
As to where all the money is coming from, that question
only betrays that those who ask it are ordinary working stiffs struggling in
Zimbabwe's tough times. If you were a passenger of a minister on the Mugabe
gravy train, you would not ask such silly questions. While those out of
favour may be jailed for months with no legal recourse for miscellaneous
crimes, if you are a flavour-of-the-month minister you can sell your South
African house without anyone asking where and how you got the money to buy
it in the first place, and what you did with the presumably "external" funds
you received from selling it!
Zanu PF enforcer Joseph Chinotimba has
reportedly done rather well for himself since being used so effectively
during the last election to strike terror in Zanu PF and Mugabe opponents.
He has reportedly "won" some lucrative state service tenders from which in
less than five years he has made enough money to be in a position to donate
"gifts" to the voters of the Glen Norah he would like to be MP of to the
tune of $250 million, including hundreds of pairs of shoes and a
Although apparently doing very well materially, Chinotimba longs
to be taken seriously and is making his second attempt to become a ruling
party MP, thereby extending his tenure and security on the gravy
From the huge, free front page campaign colour picture of the
benevolent Chinotimba, helpfully featured by the Herald, it looked like the
shoes were used, making a certain cynic question the value attached to the
donation. Perhaps the sums were done using the same generous calculator used
to value Moyo's donations! And hmm, I wonder how candidates like Moyo and
Chinotimba are so brazenly able to use the state media to help their
campaigns with free publicity? I smell a rat here somewhere.
the Chinotimba jokes that continue to fly back and forth by cell-phone SMS
and email, Glen Norah is going to become a laughing stock if Chinotimba
somehow works his way to being its MP. He might have been a fearsome and
effective enforcer of terror for Zanu PF, but to imagine him as a serious MP
given his buffoonery is a little difficult!
But all this just
illustrates the levels to which the formerly great Zanu PF has sunk. Yes
sir, it's the age of the fifth columnist mafikizolos in Zanu PF, forget
about principle and the good of the nation! The mercenaries we must most
worry about are no longer Western dogs of war, but those among us!
Makunike is a regular columnist of the Zimbabwe Independent
Playing with numbers in parliament By Trudy
Stevenson IF you really want to impress someone, quote statistics. Statistics
can prove anything, manipulated the way you want, and few dare challenge the
figures - at least in public.
Just so the voting pattern in
parliament. "All those in favour say "Aye". Those against say "No". "I think
the Ayes have it. Yes, the Ayes have it. The Bill is therefore
On really contentious matters when a division is called,
members line up and are carefully counted and recorded as voting Aye or No,
and the figures are quoted in both Hansard and the media.
all those occasions in this Fifth Parliament (2000-2005) the majority has
been clearly Zanu PF, and so an increasing array of Bills reducing citizens'
rights in clear contravention of the Constitution and the oath of loyalty
sworn by all members have sailed through to become law: the Public Order and
Security Act (Posa), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(Aippa), the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Act, the Rural Land Occupiers
(Prevention from Eviction) Act, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the
Acquisition of Farm Equipment or Material Act, the Broadcasting Services
Act, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Amendment) Act and the Bank Use
Promotion and Anti Money-Laundering Act.
Not forgetting of course passing
the budget every year despite vigorous protests, setting up privileges
inquiries into opposition members' behaviour while failing to do so for
members of the ruling party, overturning some motions and passing others
.the list goes on.
Yet the number of votes in every case is subject to
question, for the simple reason that 39 people sitting in the House faced
High Court challenges to their June 2000 general election result, and
judgements only started being handed down in January 2001. Of these, seven
MDC petitions were successful, but the Zanu PF MPs have appealed to the
Supreme Court and remain sitting and voting in parliament until those
appeals are heard and judgement handed down.
Eleven were dismissed
and the Zanu PF wins confirmed, but of those six have appealed and await
hearing. Five have not yet been completed. Sixteen petitioners did not
proceed for various reasons: the petitioner or the "winner" died, one
disappeared, some came to agreement with the "winner", some just became
exasperated with the inordinate delays.
Of the 40 election petitions,
only one was brought by a Zanu PF candidate against the MDC "winner" in
Seke, where sadly Ben Tumbare-Mutasa recently died and the challenger,
Phineas Chihota, "won unopposed", so cannot proceed with his court appeal.
Apart from one Zimbabwe Union of Democrats petition against a result also
contested by MDC which was not proceeded with, the rest - 38 - were all
filed by MDC candidates against Zanu PF "winners".
Do not forget in this
number game that the courts themselves have been in considerable disarray
since 2000, with judges leaving, being intimidated, arrested and dismissed,
and with unheard-of mishaps such as tapes of the court records being stolen
from a locked office in the High Court, as happened in the Tsvangirai v
Suppose all 38 Zanu PF and one MDC "challenged MPs"
voted, and suppose their elections are found to be irregular, so that their
votes should in fact not be included in the totals. I do not believe there
has been a single Bill or motion passed with a majority of as many as 38.
Now add the 38 to the MDC vote, bearing in mind that in fact the MDC could
have had as many as 38 extra MPs in parliament at the beginning. The
implication is that all of those Bills and motions would not have been
Let us, however, be fair and admit that it is most unlikely that
all the "challenged MPs" would have voted at any time. Suppose that only
half of them voted; 19. Even then, the Bills and motions would have failed.
I cite for example the vote in June this year on Philip Chiyangwa's motion
on "Actions by the MDC" when the House divided with 53 Ayes (Zanu PF) and 25
Noes (MDC). The result would have been 34 Ayes and 44 Noes, and the motion
would not have been adopted.
Even where there was no division but the
volume of the Ayes and Noes, clearly the MDC side would in every case have
been louder and its members would have challenged any pronouncement that
their side had lost.
What does it all mean? It means, unfortunately, that
most of what has happened in parliament could be cancelled, because
everything has been based on false premises. It means in particular that not
one of those iniquitous Bills would have been passed.
including members of parliament - would not be harassed and arrested by
police because of their misinterpretation of Posa (I am the first to admit
that the Act is not quite as draconian as the ZRP's misinterpretation of
"notification" to mean "permission").
They would be able to assemble,
discuss, demonstrate, march and generally enjoy their constitutional right
to freedom of assembly, movement and speech without interference.
Independent and foreign journalists would be going about their business
without hindrance and we would all be able to read the Daily News, the
Tribune and possibly several new papers. We would be able to listen to
Capital Radio and Radio Dialogue, watch Joy TV and probably have several new
choices. Just imagine!
The entire fast track land resettlement programme
would have been done properly under rule of law with due notice,
compensation, etc. Government, chefs, so-called war vets or whoever would
not have been able to "acquire" farm equipment without payment or
possibility of recourse to the courts.
Zimbabwe would not be short of
food. We would not have scared away both investors and producers, and we
would have foreign currency reserves from agricultural exports. Indeed, our
economy would be strong and we would have three million extra brains,
currently drained into the diaspora, here at home building our
The implications go on and on - and the enormity of what has
happened in the parliament of Zimbabwe and its repercussions on the people
of Zimbabwe begins to dawn upon us.
Now let us go back to the
original numbers - 38 + 1. Supposing that parliament had not started sitting
until those 38 + 1 challenges had been settled, and it was found that
perhaps half - 19 - should not have won and their opposing candidates - MDC
- were declared the winners. This would have meant that the MDC had won 57 +
19 - 1 = 75 seats, against 44 to Zanu PF. So the MDC would in fact have won
the general election, having a majority in the House of 120 elected seats.
However, since Mugabe still had another two years as president, he still
retained the power to appoint directly or indirectly 30 members (governors,
chiefs and non-constituency MPs), so Zanu PF would have had 74, the MDC
would have had 75 and Zanu-Ndonga would have retained its 1 seat. A very
close thing indeed!
Suppose instead that all 38 challenges were upheld.
MDC would have had 57 + 38 - 1 = 94 seats, Zanu PF 26 elected + 30 appointed
= 56. Here the MDC would have been in a clear majority in the House, and
even Mugabe's appointed cabinet would have been defeated at the vote in the
House, so that his "government" should properly have resigned at the first
instance of this, if not before (ie refuse to be appointed, as happens so
often in Italy, etc).
What is the solution? In my view, we should not
simply shrug our shoulders and accept the injustice of what has happened to
Zimbabwe without a fight. It is not enough to say that there will be a
special court for the next election to deal with election petitions within
six months - welcome though that change would be. Many thousands, indeed
millions of Zimbabweans, have suffered injustice because of the serious
anomalies arising out of this numbers game in parliament - and the
deliberate delays and manipulation of the just-ice system by the
I submit that, without interference, our courts could have
dealt with those election petitions within a year at most, and our country
might be a very different place from the very sorry state it is in
Trudy Stevenson is MDC member of parliament for Harare North.