International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: September 18, 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe: A draft constitutional amendment critics say further
consolidates the ruling party's power passed a hurdle in parliament Tuesday,
but Zimbabwe's main opposition spoke of progress elsewhere toward easing
Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis.
In a preliminary step Tuesday, the amendment was cleared for a vote before
parliament, controlled by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, according
to Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the main opposition faction led by Morgan
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change lacked the votes to block it,
but Chamisa said the decision not to put up a token fight was a gesture of
goodwill, and that Tuesday's pointed to progress in South African-mediated
talks between it and the government.
The Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, had reported earlier Tuesday
it understood agreements had been reached between the government and
opposition on constitutional matters, among other issues. It did not
elaborate, but said a recent meeting of the ruling party had "noted with
satisfaction" progress in the South African-mediated talks.
Mugabe is under pressure to make concessions because of the collapsing
economy, with acute shortages and inflation that, according to the
International Monetary Fund, may hit 100,000 percent by the end of the year.
Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who is also the main
government negotiator in the talks with the opposition, presented the
amendment bill Tuesday.
Among other provisions, it would allows Parliament to nominate a successor
for president in the event Mugabe, the only ruler since independence in
1980, dies in office or leaves because of ill health or retirement. Critics
say that would allow Mugabe to choose his successor.
The existing constitution allows for a vice president to take over
day-to-day running of the government ahead of a new presidential polls
within 90 days of Mugabe's departure.
The amendment also would combine presidential and parliamentary elections
for the first time in 2008, effectively reducing Mugabe's current term from
six to five years, equivalent to the life of the Harare parliament. Mugabe,
though, was expected to run again in 2008.
The amendment also would enlarge the upper house, or Senate, from 66 members
to 84 and the regular Parliament chamber, known as the House of Assembly,
from 150 to 210 members. Critics say that could allow Mugabe to put more of
his people in Parliament.
MDC spokesman Chamisa said his party's acceptance of the amendment was a
"bold step to show our commitment to a process that will result in a new
Chamisa said the "Mugabe regime has acceded to the idea" that there was a
need for constitutional reform in order for there to be free and fair
elections next year.
"And as result there has to be instruments and institutions necessary to
achieve the resolution of the crisis," he said, adding that this meant the
establishment of an independent electoral body as well as the relaxing of
Officials from both sides, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, had hinted the government
would ease sweeping security laws that prevent free political activity and
require police clearance, rarely granted, for opposition rallies,
demonstrations and political meetings. The relaxing of draconian media laws
The opposition is said to have set aside its demand for a new constitution
to enable free and fair elections to be held in March, settling instead for
reforms to existing electoral laws that favor the ruling party and a
possible postponement of the national polls to June to allow time for
reforms to be worked out.
MDC spokesman Chamisa said his side's approach "is some kind of compromise
as it deviates from a total redress of the constitution."
"It is a shift that is meant to unlock future process in terms of arriving
at a new dispensation," he said.
Zimbabwe media have reported that Mbeki met on Saturday in the South African
capital Pretoria with both leaders of the splintered Movement for Democratic
Change, although there has been no official confirmation of this. The Herald
said it was "reliably informed" that the negotiating teams had also met
without the South African facilitators.
Tue 18 Sep 2007, 16:25 GMT
By Nelson Banya and MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe said on Tuesday it had made gains in
taming its sky-high inflation, but an influential think-tank warned the
African nation faced collapse if the West did not back South African-led
talks to resolve the crisis.
President Robert Mugabe's government, which ordered businesses to freeze
prices of milk, bread and other items in June as part of radical
anti-inflation programme, announced prices rose by 6,592.8 percent on an
annualised basis in August.
Although an improvement on the 7,634.8 percent rate in July, the data did
little to change the perception that the once prosperous country was on the
verge of a total economic meltdown and would continue to have the world's
It also underscored the importance of talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which began earlier
this year after international outrage over Mugabe's violent crackdown on
South African President Thabo Mbeki agreed to oversee the negotiations,
which are aimed at smoothing the way for free elections next year, at the
behest of the Southern African Development Community, a group that includes
"It is critical that all international actors close ranks behind the Mbeki
mediation," the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG), said in a
report that urged Western nations to back the initiative.
It added that the sanctions imposed by Britain and other nations on Mugabe
and his inner circle had failed to budge the veteran Zimbabwean leader, who
it said could use repression and patronage to maintain political but not
"Six months before scheduled elections, Zimbabwe is closer than ever to
complete collapse," said the ICG.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said the international community must
pressure African leaders to intervene more effectively in the crisis.
"By now it ought to be clear that the softly softly approach, quiet
diplomacy has not worked at all and we want something a little more
forthright, a little more categorical," he told ITV news in London.
"To say if such and such doesn't happen by such and such a timeline, such
and such will be the consequences."
The ongoing South Africa-mediated talks appeared to bear some fruit on
Tuesday when the MDC agreed to back a constitutional amendment bill allowing
Mugabe to anoint a successor after the measure was watered down to limit his
power to appoint members of parliament.
The compromise cleared the way for parliament, currently controlled by
Mugabe, to elect a new president should the incumbent fail to serve a full
term. Analysts said Mugabe was now free to pick a loyalist as a successor
and possibly rule from the sidelines.
The 83-year-old Zimbabwean leader, however, has said he will seek another
term as president in 2008 despite the deepening economic crisis that has
prompted millions of Zimbabweans to seek work and shelter in South Africa
and neighbouring nations.
Many of those still in Zimbabwe are forced to resort to a booming black
market to survive.
The informal economy has grown since June when Mugabe's government imposed
the price freeze.
Store owners responded by refusing to restock shelves, worsening the chronic
shortages that have become a staple of life.
Families stocked up on items fearing they would no longer be available and
black-marketeers hoarded daily necessities to sell at vast profit when they
were no longer available at the shops.
"Inflation has come down on a technicality because of the price controls,
but in reality people are buying goods on the black market at a premium,"
David Mupamhadzi, a leading economic commentator, said after the release of
the inflation data.
The government's Central Statistics Office (CSO) attributed the improved
inflation figures to a sharp slowdown in prices for food and non-alcoholic
beverages, both of which were targeted in Mugabe's price freeze campaign.
As part of the effort to enforce the new price regime, police fanned out
across the country, fining and arresting thousands of business owners for
violating the regulations.
Mugabe, who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980, also
accused some executives of trying to sabotage the price controls in league
with Britain and other Western powers, who he says are trying to oust his
"With price controls in place, it was to be expected that the inflation
figure would come down, but inflationary pressures remain very high in the
economy," said Brains Muchemwa, an economist with banking group Genesis.
Millions in Zimbabwe face rising poverty and unemployment, with joblessness
around 80 percent, and those with jobs have to queue for hours to get to
work or buy scarce basic foodstuffs.
The misery and a new measure to impose a wage freeze has prompted the
Congress of Trade Unions to call a two-day strike starting on Wednesday.
A national work boycott fizzled earlier this year in the face of threats of
a crackdown by security forces. (additional reporting by Jeremy Lovell in
Tue 18 Sep 2007, 11:25 GMT
By Michael Georgy
JOHANNESBURG, Sep 18 (Reuters) - Western powers should back South African
mediation as the only real chance of stopping Zimbabwe's collapse, an
influential think-tank said on Tuesday.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said Western sanctions
had failed and attacks on President Robert Mugabe by London and Washington
Mediation by South African President Thabo Mbeki "offers the only realistic
chance to escape a crisis that increasingly threatens to destabilise the
region," the ICG said in a report.
"It is critical that all international actors close ranks behind the Mbeki
A grouping of southern African nations has mandated Mbeki to secure a deal
on constitutional reform between Mugabe and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change ahead of March 2008 presidential and parliamentary polls.
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) says Mbeki has made
progress. But Western diplomats disagree.
The ICG said SADC must resolve internal differences about how hard to press
Mugabe into retirement.
Mugabe, 83 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, faces few
political challenges. His opponents are weak and international efforts to
undermine him have had little impact.
"Western sanctions -- mainly targeting just over 200 members of the
leadership with travel bans and asset freezes -- have proven largely
symbolic," said the ICG.
"And general condemnations from the UK and U.S. if anything (are)
counter-productive because they help Mugabe claim he is the victim of
The ICG said the opportunity should be seized to influence Mugabe as he
comes under mounting economic pressure.
"Through repression and patronage, Mugabe can still control politics but not
the deteriorating economy -- including runaway inflation -- which is hurting
the region more than ever before," the report said.
"Unease about the crisis's impact is mounting across southern Africa and may
override constraints that previously prevented determined action."
Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most prosperous countries, suffers the
world's highest inflation rate, officially put at 6,592 percent, chronic
food and fuel shortages and 80 percent unemployment.
Mugabe denies destroying the economy with policies like seizing white-owned
farms for landless blacks, widely blamed for crippling the agriculture
sector. He says the West has sabotaged the Zimbabwe economy in retaliation
for farm seizures.
"Six months before scheduled elections, Zimbabwe is closer than ever to
complete collapse," said the ICG.
Mugabe, who also denies charges of widespread human rights abuses, has been
manoeuvring to tighten his grip on power.
His government has introduced a bill to give blacks majority ownership of
foreign firms. Parliament, dominated by his ruling ZANU-PF, is due to debate
a constitutional bill that would allow Mugabe to pick a successor if he
chose to retire.
"Some SADC leaders remain Mugabe supporters, and there is a risk the
organisation will accept cosmetic changes that further entrench the status
quo," the report said.
News from Kubatana - 18 September, 2007
The ZCTU has called for a stay away Wednesday and Thursday, 19 and 20
September. At Kubatana, we were flooded with a wide range of responses to
our newsletter and SMS asking people's thoughts on the stay away, what
others were saying, and whether they would be participating. Here are just a
few of the many comments we've received. Send us your views on
email@example.com and contribute to the discussion. Kubatana.net ~ You
add, we multiply!
Supporting it, not coming to work, enough is enough.
There is no need for people to come into town for any kind of demonstration.
People should stay in their respective residential places and demonstrate
Don't think it will be a success. People are tired of stay aways.
I don't support the stay away because it has never worked before. It is said
it is foolish to try the same thing and expect different results. Can ZCTU
think strategies that are constructive. Zimbabweans want solutions not
"scapegoat" ideas. ZCTU/NCA are always pointing fingers and have paperwork
solutions. What positive things have they done to bring reformation and
transformation in this country. When they was Murambatsvina, can I ask how
many of these NCA/ZCTU leaders even housed one family or looked for decent
shelter for them. If they did so, I certainly did not hear about it.
I know ZCTU/NCA travel a lot out of the country, can't they forge relations
outside so that we have raw materials coming in. Bring in influential/expert
people (non-political) come in to help solve our economic crisis. E.g. bring
in a banker who has a CV of what we are currently going through and has
managed to make a turnaround in his country. I know of a few individuals
(who are Zimbabweans) who have come together to help the health ministry.
They have just brought in a container of medical equipment and drugs to
distribute for free. This is going to make a difference and go a long way.
Selfish gains is not what we want. We want reformation and transformation in
this nation. Just because our president is unpopular is no excuse for better
things not to happen. May God help us.
Yes and all my friends want to stay away in order to make a statement.
My workplace will be open as we are 50% gov't but I'll be staying away
together with my friends. Teachers must never attempt to go to work!
Lets stay away and show that we are not happy with what's going on!
Need to be clear on the objective of the stay away.
We, with all my friends are supporting it, i urge all people from every
sector to support it, so that it will send a clear message. Lets go for
I suggest that we all wear white, black and red regalia one chosen day of
the week till the next elections. It was easier and noble to wear one colour
but the last time we wore red T-shirts before the elections we attracted the
wrath of the green militia. So this time around it will be difficult for
them to single out all people wearing three different colours say every
I have to work, should a doctor strike? Other people are afraid of
repercussions, they may have no job to come back to. A Catch-22.
The strikes never seem to take off. Some do some don't. Some know some
don't. Each union must work in concert.
A new form of resistance can be by people hee-hawing (like donkeys) very
loudly in the street to show their utter contempt for the regime.
It seems this strategy of stay away has already shown its failure - I don't
know what the objective is or what its likely to achieve. Rather use the
ubiquitous workers for anonymous tip offs (whistle blowing) for both
violation and complicity - name and shame.
The first step would be to inform the workers of their rights in terms of
international law as enshrined in the International Convention on Human
Rights and its covenants - emphasizing the liability for beneficial or
silent complicity. This can be equally applied to direct human rights
violations like buying luxury cars instead of buying food (the car
manufacturer is liable) or the local media failing to report - Mr editor,
you do realise, of course, that you are complicit, you step out of Zimbabwe,
you may be held liable under international law! the same applies to the
Chief of Police.
They are rationing bread and the general public waits patiently whilst
police and army personnel push in to the front willingly served by the
staff. This is in flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration on Human
Rights breaches of these rights entail liability under international law.
Attention should be paid to how the staff and the boss might be implicated
(legally or morally) in the action or inaction of others, directly or
indirectly and through beneficial or silent complicity. Chapter and verse:
"Decisions on the availability of products or the allocation should be taken
without discrimination or regard to arbitrary preferences."
So if the boss stepped out of a plane onto international soil he could get
nailed. Also because of the knock on effect he might find it becoming
increasingly difficult to access finance, markets and supplies as those
international organizations may in turn be implicated (legally or morally)
in the action or inaction of others, directly or indirectly and through
beneficial or silent complicity so maybe they won't want to do business with
This stuff is powerful and its very exciting. If it was up to me I would
cancel the stay away and take this paradigm shift. Publishing a regularly
update list of direct International Law violators and the complicit using a
very successful tactic from elsewhere - "Name and Shame". They were amazed
at how effective this was even against organizations deemed to be powerful
and uncaring. Even if the violators themselves couldn't care less, somewhere
along the line there may be a critical link in their needs or wants that
does not want to be implicated (legally or morally).
The Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe and
The NGO Network Alliance Project
PO Box GD 376
September 18 2007 at 11:45AM
Johannesburg - African leaders may have to guarantee Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution and safeguard his wealth
if they are to persuade him to step down, a top think-tank said on Tuesday.
The International Crisis Group warned time had already run out to
ensure fair elections next year but said the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) could still exert pressure on Mugabe and his security
chiefs if they were assured of a "soft landing".
"In exchange, Mugabe would have to retire at the end of his term
(March 2008), and the security establishment would have to accept political
reforms and free and fair elections," said an ICG report released in South
The report said incentives could include "immunity from prosecution
for Mugabe and other senior Zanu-PF officials" as well as "guarantees, at
least to a specified level, that the accumlated wealth, including land, of
Mugabe, his family, and other members of the establishment will be secure".
"The incentives that may be needed to achieve these outcomes are
likely to be controversial, though not necessarily among Zimbabweans, who
want above all an end to their nightmare," it added.
South African President Thabo Mbeki was tasked by SADC leaders this
year with mediating between Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union -
Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party and the opposition ahead of elections which
are due next year.
The ICG however said that the talks had faced "significant hurdles"
with Zimbabwe's parliament set to change the existing electoral boundaries
in a way that would increase the ruling party's chances of victory.
"The increase in parliamentary seats is not justified by demographic
growth. It is a calculated strategy to reconfigure parliament to make it
more amenable and guarantee the status quo will last beyond Mugabe's own
rule," it said.
A voter registration programme had triggered plausible charges that
the government was "in effect rigging the polls in advance" while divisions
within the oppostion had also increased the likelihood of a Zanu-PF victory.
"A divided opposition offers Zanu-PF the prospect of an easy electoral
victory, while harming its own bargaining power in the SADC mediation," it
The 83-year-old Mugabe is seeking a seventh term in office next year
at a time when Zimbabwe is struggling with the world's highest rate of
inflation and an unemployment rate of around 80 percent.
Mugabe has rejected suggestions that he go into exile at the end of
his current term, blaming the country's woes on Western sanctions imposed
after he allegedly rigged his 2002 re-election.
He has been accused by the West of multiple human rights abuses during
his 27-year rule and the European Union and United States have frozen
overseas bank accounts held by Mugabe and his closest allies.
Business Day (Johannesburg)
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe is prepared to make only insignificant
concessions that do not dilute his power during talks between his ruling
Zanu (PF) and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mugabe's unwillingness to concede ground in talks for meaningful reforms to
end Zimbabwe's political and economic problems came to light during Zanu
(PF)'s critical politburo meeting held in Harare early this month.
The politburo meeting, chaired by Mugabe, defined the rules of engagement
and the parameters for the talks for the first time. Zanu (PF) officials who
had been largely kept in the dark about the talks until two weeks ago were
told whatever agreement came out the process would not change anything.
Mugabe's hitherto undisclosed position means Zanu (PF) is negotiating in bad
faith despite its efforts to appear as if it is genuinely engaged with the
MDC in talks in SA to end Zimbabwe's protracted crisis.
Zanu (PF)'s position on the talks further complicates President Thabo
Mbeki's role as talks facilitator. Mbeki, who is facing all sorts of
obstacles, is under mounting pressure to wring an agreement out of the
current process, having failed to do so on two occasions in 2002 and 2003-
Inside sources said Zanu (PF) agreed at its politburo meeting after a
briefing on the talks by its main negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa, that the
party would not make any major concessions during negotiations.
Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche form Zanu (PF)'s negotiating team, while
Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti represent the MDC. Ncube and Biti are
assisted by Priscilla Misihairabwi.
The talks are chaired by SA's Provincial and Local Government Minister
Sydney Mufamadi, who is assisted by director-general in the Presidency the
Rev Frank Chikane, and Mbeki's legal adviser, Mujanku Gumbi.
Chinamasa, Mugabe's point man on the talks, revealed during the politburo
meeting that issues to which Zanu (PF) had already agreed were
inconsequential in the broad scheme of things because they would not affect
Mugabe's grip on power and his bid for re-election next year.
It is understood that Chinamasa said Zanu (PF) should support Mbeki during
the talks because he had been very helpful to the party in several respects.
This is the same position taken by the Zanu (PF) central committee meeting
on March 30 after Mbeki became mediator.
Chinamasa said Zanu (PF) had agreed to abolish appointed MPs in the lower
house of parliament; to have the presidential, parliamentary and municipal
elections held concurrently on one day, and to have the polls postponed from
March to June next year if necessary.
Zanu (PF) is also giving ground on debate on the bill of rights and death
penalty, among other things such as slightly amending repressive laws, which
do not open the floodgates for a new constitutional dispensation.
It is said Mugabe told his party that whatever had been agreed on "does not
hurt us at all". Mugabe and Chinamasa's remarks are said to have shown party
officials that the idea of the talks is at best to buy time or at worst to
make concessions that do not affect Mugabe's battle to cling to power. The
talks are expected to end in mid-October.
Chinamasa also made it clear that Zanu (PF) would not agree to the need for
a new constitution. Mugabe had publicly said he did not want a new
constitution after Mbeki had started his mediation.
This means Zanu (PF) has rejected the main item on the agenda for the talks.
However, the ruling party would make small concessions on the electoral
laws, repressive security legislation, media regulations and the political
SW Radio Africa (London)
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
The former Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube who resigned his post over
allegations of adultery, is reported to have thrown his hat into the
political ring and it's been alleged that he will challenge Robert Mugabe in
next year's elections.
Unconfirmed reports say Ncube will head a new party and is already locked in
meetings with the Zimbabwe African People's Union Federal party (ZAPU-FP)
and the Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (PUMA) over a possible formation.
A report by regional publication First Post says, 'Pius is determined to
fight Mugabe on the political front. All along he has been supporting other
candidates, but none of them has been able to topple Mugabe. So this time he
is taking the bull by the horns.' The publication approached Ncube who
neither confirmed nor denied the story saying, 'I will issue a statement to
answer your questions very soon.' Ncube is said to have won the sympathy of
over 60 community based organisations that put their weight behind the Pius
Ncube Solidarity Coalition.
Sister Tshabalala from the cathedral in Bulawayo told Newsreel that they
were not aware of any such moves by the former Archbishop. We were told that
Ncube still works at the cathedral offices and so far there had been no talk
of him forming or joining a political party. Ncube was not reachable the
whole day as he was taking part in prayers for priests in the diocese. A
source close to Ncube said he might call a press conference to either dispel
or confirm the swelling rumours about his possible entry into full time
Speaking from Bulawayo another of our contacts Zenzele, says he doubts Ncube
will enter the political arena. Various political parties are trying to woo
the former archbishop into running for a parliamentary seat in forthcoming
parliamentary elections, but Ncube has so far declined. He is more likely to
be involved in civil society organisations than political parties Zenzele
argued. Being a churchman would compromise his standing if he aligned
himself with a particular political party. There are several church
groupings Ncube can play a key role in and those close to him say that is
likely to be his chosen route.
INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP - NEW REPORT
Zimbabwe: A Regional Solution?
Pretoria/Brussels, 18 September 2007: The international community must fully support the regional initiative to save Zimbabwe from complete collapse and prevent the destabilisation of southern Africa.
Zimbabwe: A Regional Solution?,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the role of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in facilitating a negotiated political solution for the increasingly desperate country, which faces elections in six months. Inflation in Zimbabwe is now impossibly high, and a quarter of the population has now fled. A military-led campaign to slash prices has produced acute food and fuel shortages, and state-sponsored violence continues unabated. Though the SADC initiative is fragile, South Africa and the other regional countries offer the only real hope.
“If they act decisively, SADC’s leaders can prove that ‘African solutions to African problems’ is indeed a viable concept, not merely rhetoric with which to forestall unwanted Western interference,” says Crisis Group President Gareth Evans.
Following a government crackdown on the opposition in early March 2007, the SADC mandated South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), with the objective of securing agreement on constitutional reform ahead of the March 2008 elections. The regime’s request for a rescue package gives the regional initiative crucial leverage if SADC is willing to use it, but the challenges remain daunting. While President Robert Mugabe outmanoeuvred rivals to gain the ZANU-PF nomination for a new term, the MDC is bitterly divided. Some SADC leaders continue to support Mugabe, and there is a risk the organisation would accept cosmetic changes that would further entrench the status quo.
International actors must close ranks behind the Mbeki mediation. SADC should extend an aid package and ask the West to lift its sanctions only in exchange for full ZANU-PF cooperation and implementation of reforms that will allow free and fair elections in 2008. If such cooperation is not forthcoming, SADC should refuse to endorse any election not a product of the mediation and be prepared to isolate Mugabe and his regime.
The regional body should also enlist a panel of retired African presidents to help Mbeki and convince Mugabe to retire in 2008. The wider international community should make detailed preparations to contribute to Zimbabwe’s recovery if the mediation succeeds, but also be ready to apply tougher sanctions if it collapses.
“The next few months present a moment of truth,” says Andebrhan Giorgis, Crisis Group Senior Adviser. “SADC has the capacity to reverse a downward spiral that threatens the region’s stability, but they must be prepared to support the initiative they have begun and Mbeki’s mandate.”
The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation covering some 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
SW Radio Africa (London)
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
Bread shortages that were already critical due to a serious shortage of
flour are to become even worse after the second largest baking company in
Zimbabwe shut down its main plant on Monday.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said workers were sent home for a minimum
period of 2 weeks while the company reassesses the situation. The news comes
less than 2 weeks after the largest baking company Lobels, closed its main
plant in Bulawayo. Many companies are closing due to the price controls
imposed by government that force them to operate at a loss.
Muchemwa said Bakers Inn was spending about Z$70,000 to produce each loaf of
bread and was being forced to sell at the gazetted price of Z$22,000, less
than half the cost of production. Flour shortages, compounded with the
ongoing power cuts and water shortages, also contributed to the company's
production woes. Muchemwa told us the main plant on Coventry Road in Harare
and another large outlet on Simon Muzorodze were both shut as of Monday.
Muchemwa said he had not been able to find any bread for 2 weeks now. He
explained that many ordinary families cannot afford the black market prices
for a loaf. What was once a daily morning ritual to have tea and bread, has
now become a luxury.
Government has not explained how companies are expected to survive under
these regulations and last week introduced new regulations that give the
state powers to take over companies that have stopped producing. Muchemwa
said many companies are closing, and pointed to the clothing giant Edgars
which closed many branches recently.
As experts predicted, the government's policies have caused the demise of
many private companies that were still surviving in Zimbabwe. The experts
say this is all part of government's plan to take over private industry, the
way it took over agriculture, through the so called land reform programme.
ZANUPF FORCIBLY BURIES MURAMBATSVINA VICTIM AS POLICE DISRUPT FUNERAL
Armed Anti-Riot police on Saturday stormed a Solidarity Funeral service
organized by the Combined Harare Residents association. The service had been
meant to assist a victim of operation Murambatsvina who died last week on
Thursday in Mbare. The victim had lay dead in a makeshift home made of
plastic shacks where she had been living since May 2005.
60 CHRA activists were arrested and detained at Harare Central Police
station and had to be released on fines later the same evening. CHRA
condemns the illegal arrest of its members and the heavy beating of its
Secretariat members during the detention of its activists. This shows the
heavy handedness of the security forces in the country.
CHRA is saddened to report that ZANUPF thugs on Sunday 16 September at
about 14:00 forced some of the family members to retrieve the body of the
late Memory Jiriguru at Nyaradzo Funeral Services and buried it at Mabvuku
cemetery. The Solidarity service and assistance that had been organized by
CHRA has thus been interrupted. Some of the family members who were not part
of the service came to CHRA offices to report the sad event that has
Meanwhile some of the CHRA members who were assisting in mobilizing
Murambatsvina victims and Mbare residents to participate in the service are
on the run as ZANUPF thugs in the area are in search of them. The thugs have
threatened to deal with them for organizing people to participate in CHRA
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is appalled by the levels
of repression in the country. CHRA urges Mbare residents to be vigilant in
these trying times as the political temperature continues to heighten. To
the bereaved family members who have been denied an opportunity to burry
their own CHRA sends its condolences and wishes the late Memory Jiriguru
rest in the lord's peace. We are appalled that it is now illegal to conduct
funeral services in Zimbabwe . This is reminiscent of what happened to NCA
activist Mr. Gift Tandare whose family members were also denied an
opportunity to burry him.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House Third Floor
Mobile : 0912638401
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
SW Radio Africa (London)
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
WOZA leader, Magodonga Mahlangu was arrested this morning at 8am in Bulawayo
having come into town to do shopping.
She has been held all day in the Law and Order section of Bulawayo Central
Police Station and it is now clear that she will be held overnight. On
arriving at Central, Mahlangu was served with a summons for a court
appearance on 27th September. She was also told that the bosses of Law and
Order wanted to question her. She has not been charged however and as she
was being held in the same room as ZCTU members, it is suspected that her
arrest and detention is linked to the planned ZCTU strike on 19th and 20th.
Human rights lawyers were in attendance through the day and reported that
she is in good spirits. There is concern for her well being however given
the various death threats made against her in the recent past and given the
brutal beatings that ZCTU members received yesterday in Harare.
SW Radio Africa (London)
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
The president of the University of Zimbabwe students union, Lovemore
Chinoputsa, and his Secretary General Fortune Chamba were arrested Tuesday
during a demonstration on campus that demanded a resolution to problems
Benjamin Nyandoro, a programmes officer in the students union, said the two
were brutally assaulted by campus security guards before being handed over
to the police. Chinoputsa called for a general meeting to discuss the plight
of students who are being denied accommodation in halls of residence.
Students want the hostels that were shut down last semester to be re-opened.
Over 4000 were kicked out at short notice during a clampdown that critics
say was meant to keep a lid on student activism.
After the meeting students left the hall heading towards the Vice
Chancellors office, demanding that he address them. It was during this march
that plain-clothes security guards who were part of the marchers arrested
Chinoputsa and the Chamba. The students were later handed over to police who
took them to Avondale Police station in Harare. Lawyers who got access to
the two say Chinoputsa is badly bruised as he received indiscriminate
beatings all over his body. Tempers are high on campus after the university
allegedly connived with city health authorities to declared the hostels
unsuitable for human habitation.
This was seen as attempt to circumvent a High Court order instructing the
university to reopen the hostels. The students are now calling on the UZ to
either open the hostels or renovate them. There are reports some desperate
students are sleeping inside the waiting room at Harare's central railway
station, while others are at the mercy of high rental charges in areas like
Mt Pleasant and surrounding suburbs.
HARARE (AFP) - Seventeen Zimbabwean police officers have been arrested on
charges of corruption and trading in diamonds while guarding a mine in the
country's eastern district, police said Tuesday.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said three of the suspects were found with
30 diamonds when they were arrested last Saturday.
The other 14 had on them cash ranging from 144,000 Zimbabwe dollars (4,800
US dollars) to 45.6 million Zimbabwe dollars which they could not account
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to confirm the arrest of 17 police
officers on suspicion of having illegally dealt in diamonds or alternatively
engaging in corrupt activities at Chiadzwa diamond site in Manicaland,"
Mandipaka told the state-run Herald.
"The offences were committed during their tour of duty and the members who
chose the criminal path were arrested on September 15," he said.
As well as facing disciplinary hearings, the "errant members" would appear
in court to answer criminal charges, said Mandipaka.
According to central bank governor Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe is losing 40-50
million US dollars every week through the smuggling of precious minerals.
Xinhua News Agency
Date: 18 Sep 2007
HARARE, Sept 18, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Zimbabwe is targeting to import
800,000 tons of basal and top dressing fertilizers as it moves towards
averting the looming shortage of the critical farming input ahead of the
forthcoming season, local media reported on Tuesday.
Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo was quoted by The Herald as saying, "We
are targeting 400,000 tons of basal fertilizers and another 400,000 tons of
a combination of ammonium nitrate and urea. "
This allays fears that Zimbabwe was likely to experience a critical shortage
of fertilizer in this summer cropping season which kicked off this month.
Key sectors of the economy such as manufacturing depend on agriculture for
their raw materials.
"Everyone is geared up and we are happy with the cooperation we are getting
from all stakeholders such as banks and our local producers," he said.
He could not be drawn into revealing the source market or the value of the
targeted tonnage citing "confidentiality."
Zimbabwe last year imported fertilizer from China and South Africa.
Gumbo said strategies were being pursued to finance and boost the capacity
of the local industry.
So far, the Grain Marketing Board has distributed fertilizer to all its
depots which would be ready for collection by farmers "in the near future."
An official with a local fertilizer-producing firm stressed the need for the
government to treat the issue "as the matter of urgency."
Fertilizer companies were currently operating at 30 percent capacity,
according to industry players.
Government plans to put 3.2 million hectares under maize, small grains,
cotton and oil seeds during the 2007-08 farming season.
September 18 2007 at 03:39PM
Harare/Johannesburg - Power-starved Zimbabwe has had to buy more than
130 generators for use by struggling tobacco, horticulture and dairy
farmers, reports said on Tuesday.
Power cuts are wreaking havoc on farming activities, despite earlier
assurances from authorities that residential areas were being starved of
power for up to 17 hours daily to ensure a regular supply to farmers.
Now the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has stepped in to purchase 131
generators, the official Herald daily reported.
Agricultural Mechanisation Minister Joseph Made claimed power cuts
were not a purely Zimbabwean problem.
"The issue of power cuts is not unique to Zimbabwe," it is a problem
the world over, he said.
The generators will go a long way towards averting some of the
problems created by power cuts.
Farmers trying to grow a desperately-needed wheat crop in eastern
Zimbabwe complain they have been unable to irrigate the cereal.
Zimbabwe does not have the resources to maintain and develop its
ageing electricity infrastructure, and is deeply indebted to some regional
suppliers. Theft of transmission oil from power stations for resale as a
diesel substitute is a constant problem.
State radio meanwhile reported Zimbabwe was importing 800 000 tons of
fertiliser in a bid to avert shortages after three local companies involved
in making fertiliser shut down in July due to the incessant power cuts. -
:: The Southern African
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
HARARE - As the reality of a planned legislation to place the majority
share of all listed firms in the hands of indigenous blacks sinks in,
business leaders and sober minds in the ruling Zanu PF party are warning of
serious damage to Zimbabwe's already strained economy.
The AFP reports that members of a parliamentary committee debating the
controversial Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill were told by
business leaders last week that the proposed law was both ill-timed and
At the same time, The Mail & Guardian newspaper reports that in a move
that is likely to rankle President Robert Mugabe, his own legislators on
Wednesday summoned the Deputy Minister for Industry and International Trade,
Phenias Chihota, to a party caucus meeting where he was told to "revise
price controls'' and stop "disruption [to] business".
The legislators warned the government to "stop this nonsense" or the
ruling party could actually lose next year's elections if the government
goes ahead with the plan to force a 51% local ownership of all foreign
Cain Mpofu, chief executive of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce (ZNCC), said the correction of the historical imbalances should
have been tackled by Mugabe's government when the former British colony
gained independence in 1980.
"It, however, must be appreciated that 27 years down the road there
has been an evolution and there is now significant change in ownership of
business in Zimbabwe," Mpofu told the MPs.
"The timing, therefore, does not appear appropriate for the following
reasons: the economy is in a tail spin, international perception about
proprietary rights protection in Zimbabwe is at its lowest and inflation is
the highest in the world.
"There is a likelihood of a 30 percent drop in foreign direct
investment following passage of the proposed act. A decline in gross
domestic product is also to be anticipated after implementation of the
indigenisation programme," he added.
Jack Murehwa, president of the Chamber of Mines, said the government
should not try to force through changes of ownership. "Government should
facilitate the operations of the sector and not impose themselves on the
sector operations," he said.
"Where ownership has to change hands, this should be on voluntary and
fair market values."
The Zanu PF caucus is expected to meet a Cabinet task force on price
controls this week to register its concern.
A Zanu PF legislator from Manicaland province, who declined to be
named, told the Mail and Guardian: "We are likely to lose next year's
elections if they don't revise their policies. There is nothing on the
shelves; people are going for days without bread, cooking oil, even sugar
and soft drinks."
The heated meeting, which lasted four hours, saw at least 10
legislators severely criticising the deputy minister. Among the most
outspoken legislators were Masvingo Province Senator, Dzikamai Mavhaire, the
Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Walter Mzembi, Zanu PF chief whip Joram
Gumbo and Deputy Minister for Local Government Morris Sakabuya.
"We told him they should go back to the drawing board; companies are closing
down and people are losing jobs. This nonsense should stop and we are
listening to what the people are saying," an anonymous MP said.
Mugabe has told Parliament in the past that multinationals were trying to
effect a regime change by increasing prices of basic food commodities to
foment civil unrest. More than a thousand business people and company
executives have been arrested and sentenced to community service for defying
Zanu PF parliamentarians fear that current shortages will make their lives
difficult in the forthcoming presidential, parliamentary and municipal
"We can't take the risk of losing elections by keeping quiet," the
parliamentary source said. "The risks are high. Many feel they may be voted
out in the elections because [of] the shortages and the looming food
crisis," he added.
While Mugabe maintains his government is a victim of international
sanctions, economists in Zimbabwe say the crisis is man-made.
Presenting his US$142-million supplementary budget last week, Finance
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the "withdrawal of international lines
of credit, absence of balance of payments support, disinvestment by foreign
firms, [lack of] foreign currency for the importation of raw materials,
equipment, fuel and electricity continue to affect the operations of key
sectors of the economy".
Meanwhile, Panashe Chitumba, head of risk management at local bank Stanbic,
said that, given Zimbabwe's economic woes, there may be challenges in
mobilising sufficient local funds to enable the purchase of shareholdings in
the foreign-owned banks.
"Acquisition of equity in foreign-owned entities, without sufficient
funding, has the danger of being seen negatively as expropriation," he said.
Zimbabwe's banking sector comprises 14 commercial banks, five merchant
banks, four building societies, four discount houses and one finance house
which is already indigenised. Only four of the 28 banks are international.
Last month, Indigenisation Minister, Paul Mangwana said he expected the Bill
to sail through parliament without much resistance. The Draft Bill, which is
now before the parliament's legal committee, has raised fears among
foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe that they will soon lose
control of their firms.
Some of the firms dually listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and London
Securities Exchange include Old Mutual, NMB Bank and mining firm Hwange.
Multi-national firms that may be affected by the policy, first unveiled in
June, include Barclays Bank, Bindura Nickel Corporation and mining giant Rio
In June, Mugabe warned that his government would seize and nationalise firms
he said were profiteering excessively in a bid to incite Zimbabweans to
revolt against the state. Zimbabwe currently has the world's highest rate of
inflation of more than 7 600 percent, as well as an unemployment rate of
around 80 percent.
Deborah Summers, politics editor
Tuesday September 18, 2007
The UN was today urged to set up special fund to finance Zimbabwe's
transition from the Mugabe regime to a new government.
Michael Moore, the Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesman, used his
set piece speech to the party's autumn conference in Brighton to condemn the
corruption of Robert Mugabe's government.
"Now is the time for the international community to create a financial trust
fund and a United Nations transition team for the time when Mugabe is
finally gone," he said.
His comments come a day after the Lib Dem leader, Sir Menzies Campbell,
called on the UN to intervene in the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mr Moore added: "We sit numb and cowed on the sidelines, watching a country
rich in humanity and once bountiful in its resources, plundered and laid low
by the corruption of the Mugabe regime.
"The Archbishop of York is right to call time on British policy towards
Zimbabwe. His righteous anger gives a lead to us all...
"The time is long overdue for us to tighten the sanctions on Mugabe and his
Mr Moore said that whatever the threats from others in Africa, Mugabe should
not be allowed to attend Europe's summit with the African Union later this
"The time has come to cry 'enough'," he said.
At the weekend, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, launched a fierce
attack on Mr Mugabe and called for Britain to lead sanctions against his
Writing in the Observer, he likened Mr Mugabe to the former Ugandan dictator
"Mugabe is the worst kind of racist dictator," he wrote. "The appalling
poverty suffered by those who queue daily for bread in southern Harare is a
world apart from the shops, boutiques and sprinkled lawns of northern
Harare, where Mugabe's supporters live in palatial surroundings.
"Having targeted the whites for their apparent riches, Mugabe has enacted an
awful Orwellian vision, with the once oppressed taking on the role of the
oppressor and glorying in their totalitarian abilities."
Mr Moore also paid a heart-felt tribute to Lord Tim Garden, the party's
defence spokesman in the Lords, who died last month.
"He was a great liberal, a true internationalist and a dear friend and
mentor to so many of us," he said.
In a wide-ranging speech Mr Moore said Britain's foreign policy needed an
"We will not judge the government by how cleverly it rebrands itself," he
said. "But by its commitment to a different type of foreign policy."
Mr Moore reiterated his call for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq
within six months, maintained that military action in Iran would be "utter
folly" and urged greater international leadership in Darfur.
On Europe, he again insisted there should be a referendum not on the on the
EU reform treaty but about whether Britain should remain in Europe.
18th Sep 2007 16:43 GMT
By Latin-America Human Rights Groups
The role of the UN Human Rights Council in the face of the human rights
crisis in Zimbabwe
"The inaction of the International Community regarding the human rights
crisis in Zimbabwe might be a result of ignorance, indifference or
Zimbabwean human rights defender, victim of police abuses
We, Latin-American human rights organizations, comprised on a cross-regional
campaign for human rights in Zimbabwe, urge that the UN Human Rights Council
(HRC) acts, in its current 6th session, in the face of the grave human
rights crisis in this country, according to its mandate to "address
situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic
violations, and make recommendations thereon" .
The human rights violations have increased constantly in the last seven
years in Zimbabwe. The population daily faces extreme poverty, police
violence against civil society organizations and human rights defenders, and
also persecution against members of the opposition.
The reactions of the international community and multilateral organisms have
been, so far, too shy and reactive.
In March 2008, Zimbabweans will elect their new president and therefore the
international community must draw its attention to the long tradition of
human rights violations in pre-electoral periods in this country.
We reinforce that the Council's credibility depends on its ability to
provide quick and effective response to human rights violations. These
responses must be result-oriented towards the relief of the victims of human
According to the High Commissioner Mrs. Louise Arbour in her statement
delivered in the Human Rights Council in September 13th 2007, the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has been facing challenges to send
human rights experts to Zimbabwe.
We are certain that the most appropriate remedies for the Zimbabwean crisis
must be taken through democratic actions, since democracy is a sine qua non
condition to the respect of human rights.
In this sense, we believe and request that:
I) The Human Rights Council contributes to guarantee free and fair elections
in Zimbabwe in March 2008.
II) There is no real democracy without freedom of expression, opinion and
association and full respect to civil, political, economic, social and
cultural rights. We urge the Council to act to guarantee the end of human
rights violations in Zimbabwe through the creation of follow-up mechanisms
of the country´s situation and encouraging the deployment of OHCHR human
rights experts to Zimbabwe.
III) Last, but not least, we ask thematic special rapporteurs to request to
visit Zimbabwe in order to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on
the human rights situation in the country.
We can not allow the inaction of the HRC to be seen as a result of
ignorance, indifference or complicity.
Furthermore, we expect that the Council accomplish its mandate and firmly
assume a position in favor of the Rule of Law and respect of human rights in
the African country.
Backgound on the situation in Zimbabwe
a) In May 2005, the government began Operation Murambatsvina, a program of
massive evictions that left more than 700,000 people homeless. The evictions
especially affected the most vulnerable groups, such as women, children,
elderly individuals, and people living with HIV that had their treatment
interrupted. Anna Tibaijuka, UN Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General,
visited Zimbabwe to evaluate the impact of the operation and reported that
it was undertaken in an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with
indifference to any human suffering, and in many cases, disrespecting
applicable national and international norms . Although the UN Special Envoy
called upon the government to bring the responsible to justice and to find
compensatory mechanisms to the victims, the government did not implement any
of these recommendations. The resettlement program after the operation is
yet to meet the needs of those affected (out of 700,000 affected, less then
10,000 new houses were built).
b) There was a deterioration of the human rights situation since March 2007,
when about 500 human rights defender and members of civil society were
arrested under abusive use of force and had no access to basic rights, such
as legal defense. Although being victims of torture, the detainees had no
medical assistance as well.
What did the former UN Human Rights Commission and the UN Human Rights
Council have done up to now in the face the Zimbabwean human rights crisis?
1. The former Commission on Human Rights was called to act in this issue on
three sessions (2002, 2003 and 2004), but the no-action motion mechanism
silenced the organ for these three years. The silence on the suffering of
the Zimbabwean people is unjustified and incomprehensive. We hope that the
Council does not follow the same irresponsible path.
2. During its 4th Session, some countries of the UN Human Rights Council,
briefly raised the issue of the Zimbabwean situation during one of the
interactive dialogues. However, no concrete action or measures were taken
and no follow up of the discussions was scheduled.
BAZ decries restrictive broadcasting law as impediment to licensing new
In a revealing and first time acknowledgment of the restrictive nature of
the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ), says its hands are tied as no new broadcasting players can come into
the scene under the present regulatory environment.
Giving evidence before the Portfolio Committee on Transport and
Communications on Monday 17 August, BAZ Chief Executive Officer Obert
Muganyura says the authority, set under the BSA, has failed to license new
players as no potential private players can meet the "stringent criteria".
"We gave the projection that we would by this time have licensed new
players on the understanding that the Broadcasting Services Act would have
been amended but it has not yet", said the Muganyura to the
The stringent requirements in the BSA which Muganyura described as
problematic include a ban on foreign funding and ownership, restrictions on
the number of national free to air private broadcasters that can be licensed
as well as the restrictions placed on ownership of frequency transmitters.
The BSA provides that only the government owned company, Transmedia can own
frequency transmitters and all new players have to line up to do business
with Transmedia. As the situation stands in Zimbabwe, Transmedia is failing
to provide adequate services to one TV station, the state owned Zimbabwe
Television as well as to four FM radio stations, all owned by the state
through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
MISA-Zimbabwe notes that the revelations by BAZ on the democratic
deficiencies in the BSA as well as the political procrastination of the
government in amending the BSA further points to the fact that the ruling
party and its government are bent on maintaining their total grip on the
broadcast media. Missing in the statement from BAZ is its total lack of
independence to make decisions as its plays only a secretarial role to the
Minister of Information and Publicity. Without an independent regulatory
authority guaranteed by law, the job of the BAZ will remain at the whims of
The prevailing situation places Zimbabwe in a unique position in Southern
Africa where it is the only country with a virtual state monopoly in
broadcasting. It should be noted that the closure of broadcasting space to
new players is a political decision and act meant to safeguard the interest
of the ruling elite hence the defiance of expert advice and calls by
citizens and civic society for the industry to be opened to new players. As
Zimbabwe faces elections next year, it should become clear to all that no
democratic free and fair elections can be held in an environment where only
one political party has access to the broadcasts media.
For any questions, queries or comments please contact,
Research and Information Officer
Media Institute of Southern Africa - Zimbabwe
84 McChlery Ave
P.O Box HR 8113
Tel: 263 4 776165 / 746838
The Herald (Harare) Published by the government of Zimbabwe
18 September 2007
Posted to the web 18 September 2007
THE two dialysis machines which hundreds of people with renal failure in
Bulawayo and surrounding areas rely on have broken down again putting the
lives of patients at risk.
The machines broke down last week, less than two months after they were
Kidney failure patients from Matabeleland North and South, Midlands and
Masvingo provinces are the worst affected as they have not had any dialysis
sessions since the machines broke down last week. A patient who refused to
be named said he feared for his life as he could not do other activities
because his body was swollen.
"We have not been dialysed at all for more than two weeks. Right now I
cannot work or do other activities because my body is swollen from fluid
"We are going to die if nothing is done about the situation very soon," he
The hospital's chief executive officer, Dr Lindiwe Mlilo, confirmed that the
dialysis machines broke down last week.
"The two dialysis machines that were working broke down last week. Our
technicians have failed to repair them.
"Patients who need dialysis are being referred to Mater Dei hospital."
Sep 18 2007 07:04 AM
Chris Muronzi - Finweek's Harare correspondent
Harare - Love women in hot panties or tight sexy jeans? If so, Zimbabwe is
not your ideal place.This is because hot panties could now be a thing of the
past in Zimbabwe after the foreign currency starved Zimbabwean government
added underwear and lingerie to the list of luxury items now attracting a
foreign currency duty.A statutory instrument, the Customs and Excise
(Designation of Luxury) amendment notice that came into effect last Friday
expanded the list of what the embattled government deemed as "luxury
items".Although Zimbabwe released a list of literally hundreds of other
products that will be considered luxury items, and for which duty in foreign
currency will have to be paid, the inclusion of underpants was an
extraordinary one. Footwear and underwear for both men and women described
vividly in detail; names bras, panties, hosiery, and even girdles, veils,
gloves and ties. The list did not however include cuffs, whips and
blindfolds.Duty for all types of carpeting, "refrigerators of a household
type", cookers, bed linen, blankets - excluding, surprisingly, electric
blankets - will also be charged in foreign currency.According to the
instrument, duty for most clothing will be charged at 60% of its value, plus
at US$10 per kilogramme. Goods such as bed linen will attract duty of 50%,
plus the US$10 per kg. Fridges and cookers will be charged at 60% and US$45
per item.The new instrument was gazetted after Finance Minister Samuel
Mumbengegwi said he would expand the list of goods attracting a foreign
currency duty a few weeks ago during his supplementary budget
presentation.This comes after President Robert Mugabe's government earlier
this year slapped foreign currency duty payment on the importation of motor
vehicles, saying cars were luxury items, and that their importation was
hurting the local motor industry.The move to impose a foreign currency duty
was meant to bolster foreign currency revenue while discouraging motor
vehicle imports.Zimbabwe is facing a severe shortage of foreign currency
after the IMF withdrew Balance of Payments support after the troubled
government refused to live by the fund's rules. - Fin24
Standfirst : The MDC's Information and Publicity Department this week
resumes this column, which regularly names and shames individuals who are
abetting the Zanu (PF) regime in undermining the people's rights and
derailing the train of freedom and democracy.
The MDC believes that such individuals must face trial in the new Zimbabwe
for crimes against humanity and for prolonging the life of a regime now
unpopular with the people. The following people, in their individual
capacities, are part of a large list that we will be publishing, of
personalities who stand guilty of various crimes such as murder, brutality,
assaults and other heinous and criminal acts that the cornered regime is
using to suppress and oppress the people of Zimbabwe.
This week, we name and shame the police officers in the notorious Law and
Order Section who were responsible for the brutal torture, illegal detention
and assault of over 30 MDC activists who spent over three months in prison.
In the new Zimbabwe, the wheels of justice will be fitted back on the train
of democracy and the following individuals should have honest answers on
what they were doing to fellow countrymen when this nation needed men and
women of conscience; men and women who value the sanctity of human life,
human rights and basic freedoms.
1. Assistant Commissioner Musarashana Mabunda - comes from the Chibuwe area
in Chipinge ward 6. Married with 6 children. An elder of the ZAOGA church.
2. Superintendent J. Chani
3. Detective Assistant Inspector Shoko
4. Detective Inspector Mapuranga
5. Detective Inspector Tapera Ranjisi
6. Detective Sergeant Baya
7. Detective Inspector Elliot Muchada
8. Detective Inspecor Chimbetete
9. Detective Linachi
10. Detective Mutisi
11. Detective Kambanje
12. Detective Inspector Kasu (Marondera)
13. Detective Inspecor Hungwe
14. Detective Inspector Zimunya (Also known as Lobo)
15. Detective Inspector George Renso
16. Sergeant Tsopotsa (Marimba police station)
17. Constable Makaza
18. Detective Inspector Nhema
19. Detective Inspector Rangwani
20. Detective Inspector Ngena
21. Detective Edmore Mahoba
Crime committed - torture and brutality, between 24 March-7 April 2007.
These officers brutally assaulted and tortured over 30 MDC activists in
police custody at Harare Central Police station. The activists were accused
of receiving training in insurgency and terrorist activities as well as
orchestrating a spate of petrol bombings in major cities. The State later
withdrew charges against some of the activists but they had received serious
permanent injuries and had spent more than two months in prison.
These officers denied the MDC activists and officials food, visits by
relatives and medical and legal assistance for more than three days. In
particular, Ass Commissioner Mabhunda, Superintendent Chani, Detectives
Chimbetete, Kambanje and Zimucha drove Ian Makone out of Harare Central,
blindfolded him and took him somewhere along Mhondoro road and frog marched
him into a bush where a gun was held to his head.
Detective Mutisi and Kambanje placed MDC activist Ishmael Kauzani into a
coffin where they had just pulled out a body all in the hope of forcing him
to sign an affidavit incriminating others. Mabunda and Muchada bought new
clothes for Kauzani after the ones he had got torn during the barbaric
torture and brutal assaults. It was Rangwani who allegedly shot Phillip
Katsande. Part of Katsande's left lung has since collapsed after the
shooting. The general treatment of all these tortured activists was a
violation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Convention Against Torture,
the African Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other
Kenyan photojournalist Antony Kaminju travelled to Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, where he witnessed the city's dwellers struggling to get by.
The economic crisis has pushed inflation above 7,500%, and rising.
As power cuts have become more frequent, candles light workplaces, restaurants and homes come nightfall. The capacity of the country's ageing power plants has declined because of lack of investment, attributed to the lack of foreign currency.