Zim's poor suffer as price of bread rises
September 22 2005 at
Harare - The price of bread has increased dramatically in
worsening hardships for the poorest in society, a private
While the government last month set the
price of bread at ZIM$7 500 (about
28 US cents) per loaf, it is now selling
for at least ZIM$13 000 (about
R3,17) a loaf, the Daily Mirror said after
carrying out a survey in the
varieties of bread are selling for between ZIM$25 000 and
ZIM$32 000 (about
R7,80) per loaf, the paper said.
"We have received reports of bread going
up to ZIM$25 000. What we
understand is that the price of bread is
controlled and it is illegal for
bakeries to increase prices," Tonderai
Mukeredzi, the public relations
manager of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
(CCZ) told the paper.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis, with
inflation at over 265
percent and prices of commodities ratcheting up on a
Manufacturers in the country blame shortages of inputs and
for most of the price hikes.
The marketing manager
of a bakery was quoted by the paper as saying bakers
are having to source
diesel, which is used to fire their ovens, on the black
market for prices
way above the official selling price.
Last month bakers said bread would
have to retail at ZIM$12 000 a loaf to
earn a 20 percent return.
the authorities were said to be against a hike of that margin.
bread sold at ZIM$4 500 (17 US cents) a loaf. - Sapa-dpa
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 11:35 PM
Why Freedom and Democracy are Important.
Talking to a
Zimbabwean who had just come home from a trip abroad, I was
struck by what he
said about the freedom he saw in many developed countries.
He said it came as
a bit of a shock to realize how repressive the situation
is here at home and
the extent to which he had accepted as "normal" the loss
of his own personal
freedom and democratic rights.
Whatever those who support the Mugabe
regime might say, they simply cannot
deny that over the past decade, we have
lost most of the very rights that
the liberation war was fought for. We no
longer enjoy "one person, one vote"
democracy; we no longer have the right to
meet and discuss issues without
restraint and we have lost our freedom of
expression and the media.
Why should we take this seriously? Just because
western governments have
some sort of ideological hang up about these issues?
Or just because they
are contained in many of the global agreements that are
now enshrined in
things like the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of
No, while all of this has some importance and relevance, in
fact the real
value of these things is found in what they can deliver to
and how they can change their lives for the
Most developed States value these principles and characteristics
own societies because they were secured only after centuries of
conflict. Those who came up in the world as a result of
these principles to the way they govern themselves are in
Take Ms. Rice as an example. A black
American woman from a rural background
in the deeply racist southern States
of the USA, she is the product of 200
years of struggle in the USA to take
the rights of black Americans from the
slave ship to the White House. It was
not easy, it cost lives, it took
courage, and it took time. But at the end of
the process we have Ms. Rice -
a brilliant and cultured person who has held
several very senior posts in
the United States and now is arguably the most
powerful woman in the world.
100 years ago - even 50 years ago, this was
unimaginable. She knows that she
owes her education and opportunities not to
chance but to the deep changes
wrought in the USA by men and women who gave
their lives for Martin Luther's
dreams. For that reason she supports the
drive by the US to try and give all
nations and peoples the same rights that
brought her own liberation and
Without personal freedom
and democratic rights countries can never hope to
break the shackles of
poverty and inequality in their societies. Only a
truly democratic system can
curb the excesses of the State, corrupt
political and administrative leaders.
Only a truly free society can create
the conditions where the vitality and
abilities of its peoples can be
harnessed for development and growth. No one
has a bigger stake in this
struggle than the poor and disadvantaged. The rich
and powerful can always
find a way to get ahead and protect their interests -
not so if you are
marginalized and poor.
So when we call for a
restoration of our rights in Zimbabwe - it's a call
just to give us back what
were seen as the main objectives of the struggle
for majority rule and
personal freedoms in colonial Africa. If we could
achieve that I have no
doubt in my mind that development and a better
quality of life will follow
for the majority - but especially the poor and
struggle for human and political rights in Africa just a sham? An
to bring freedom and democracy to African countries but simply
to grab power
away from the colonial minority so that this power could then
be used for
personal enrichment and greed? From where I sit it certainly
looks like that
and for this the Mugabe regime has a lot to answer for. Not
just to those of
us who have lived through this nightmare, but also to those
who died that
these rights might be secured for the majority. Without
individual freedoms, underwritten by the rule of law, Africa
can make no
progress in the fight against poverty and deprivation.
There are sound
reasons why people who live in genuine democracies do not
starve of hunger.
We have half our population teetering on the edge of
starvation and the State
claims this is the product of drought. Not at all -
last season was not a bad
one here in the main cropping zones. Ours is a
drought of good governance,
not rainfall. Our Minister of Agriculture, a man
aptly named Made, is again
claiming that we are headed for an "abundant
harvest". The man has no
credibility at all and we wonder how on earth he
ever managed to graduate
from some University somewhere. We are going into
this coming wet season with
very little prospect of more than a tiny
proportion of our needs being met
from our own production.
As for the rule of law, the specter of Didymus
Mutasa, our Minister of State
Security, going around the country saying that
they are going to strip all
remaining "white" farmers of their land and
assets and are going to ignore
bilateral investment guarantee agreements, is
very helpful to our drive to
restore confidence and invite investment! Quite
clearly he has no fear of
the electorate, and for good reason, he and his
masters have become experts
at subverting our fragile democracy since they
This government must know that statements like these by
Made and Mutasa
simply confirm the status of this regime as a rogue regime
intensifies its isolation and slide into the category of a
Governments that go around tearing up legally binding
regard for the consequences simply cannot be taken
seriously in any
international forum. The consequences of such acts for the
region are so
serious that they defy computation.
I despair of the
United Nations, the AU and the SADC who seem unable to come
to grips with the
reality of the situation here and the seriousness of it
for the ordinary man
and woman in Zimbabwe and regional States. This is not
an issue for the UK,
the EU or the USA. It does not impact on them and does
not affect their
direct interests. Yet they seem to take more interest and
concern about the
situation here than those who have the power, the
responsibility and direct
interests to intervene. To intervene, not on the
side of the "whites" or the
"haves" but on the side of those nameless
millions who suffer every day under
the heel of Mugabe's tyranny.
Bulawayo, 22 September
The Hellhole of Mugabe’s Prisons
as told to Revd Dr
Interview with Roy Bennett, former MP for Chimanimani,
The interview was conducted in London on August 6, 2005, by Revd Dr
The 90-minute interview was a wide-ranging discussion of prison
conditions, human rights in Zimbabwe, faith, and politics. What follows is a verbatim transcript, track
“If an asylum seeker from the UK were sent back, first of all is it
safe to send them back? How would they
be treated? And if they were put into
prison, what kind of treatment would they receive?”
“Martine, you know the conditions of life in Zimbabwe is [sic] causing
anyone in Zimbabwe to leave and get a life anywhere else. If any of those people had a history of
political activism, they would definitely face victimization on their return to
Zimbabwe through imprisonment, torture, and suppression.
There’s no doubt about that; that’s absolutely 100 percent
To draw the line between who is a political activist and who is not
is very difficult because everybody is suffering because of political
victimization. So, with the situation
that pertains in Zimbabwe, it is definitely not safe and not a good idea to send
people back there.
And those people don’t want to be here in the first place. The reason that they are here is because they
can’t stay at home. So, if anything,
what the government of Great Britain should be doing is speaking out very loudly
about the situation in Zimbabwe, putting as much pressure as they can on the
surrounding neighbours of Zimbabwe, for democracy and freedom to return to the
people of Zimbabwe, then every asylum seeker living in the UK will go home and
they won’t have a problem with having those people here.
So, that is the answer.
That is the solution to the situation.
But, to send people back under the current circumstances is
certainly inhuman and would subject those people to human rights
Saving Zimbabwe’s Children
The Methodist Recorder September
ã Revd Dr Martine Stemerick
Sheba picks up Lillian, an HIV+ baby
who lived at the Bulawayo Shelter with, her 25-year old mother.
Sheba Dube Providence
Orphans and Caregivers’
When Sheba reached down to pick up Lillian*, the baby stopped
crying and smiled. Sheba has that effect
on children – somehow they seem to know they are in safe hands. [* All of the children’s names have been
Sheba Dube, the founder of Providence Orphans and Caregivers’
Trust, is a 52-year old grandmother whose unpaid work has aided thousands of
children in Bulawayo and rural Matabeleland.
Working out of a closet-sized office at Bulawayo’s Main Street Methodist
Church, Sheba is a magnet for starving and abused children throughout the
Blessing*, Lillian’s 25-year old mother, had been forced by poverty
into street work in order to support her baby.
When Lillian died in May, Blessing was devastated by what seemed to be
the end to her family. But in a
miraculous turn of events, Blessing was reunited last week with Sarah, her
youngest sister, and four other siblings.
In Filabusi, some 60 kilometres outside of Bulawayo, social workers
had noticed 8-year old Sarah* living on the streets. In the aftermath of Mugabe’s cruel campaign
of destroying people’s homes and informal businesses, the social workers
wondered if the little girl had become separated from her parents. In fact, Sarah is an
When her husband died, Sarah’s mother had taken the five children
into the remote countryside outside of Filabusi, to a farm once owned by a
wealthy white landowner in the days before Zimbabwe’s independence. There she knew of some workers’
cottages: broken down, without roofs,
but somewhere that this ailing mother could bring her five children and no one
would disturb them. The mother died,
leaving the youngsters in the care of her 20-year old daughter, Ivonne.* Honour* (15), Tendai* (12), Jude* (10), and
Sarah* (8) were living like animals: no
food, no blankets, squatting on their haunches with arms wrapped around
themselves to keep in a bit of body heat in the cold of Zimbabwe’s winter. The only advantage to the dilapidated hovel
was its proximity to a river and the fact that the children were not being
bullied by youth militia, the police, or the dreaded CIO.
Once 8-year old Sarah found her way into Filobusi, the child came
to the attention of social workers, who noted that Sarah was living off whatever
scraps she could forage. When they
determined the child was not in school, they picked the girl up and questioned
her. But Social Services could not help
her: Filabusi has no funds for food,
shelter, clothes or school fees for orphans.
“If anyone will take the children, we will provide a certificate
promising to bear the cost of funeral expenses for the children if they die,”
said the officials. But they did have one word of hope: ‘Go to Bulawayo and find Main Street
Methodist Church. There is a ‘gogo’
(grandmother) who helps children.’
When 8-year old Sarah walked in, there she found Blessing, whom
Sheba had brought to the office to help answer the phones. The Bulawayo Shelter feed their clients a bit
of porridge in the morning, and a scanty meal at night: in the daytime, clients are expected to go
out and work for food or a bit of spending money. Sheba isn’t paid, so she could not offer
Blessing a salaried position, but perhaps with a bit of training and some office
skills, Blessing might be able to find a job.
“Sarah!” Blessing turned as white as a ghost. Sarah and her siblings are Blessing’s
Sheba went this week to Filabusi and found the other youngsters in
an area so remote that there are no roads to the hut where they were
staying. After meeting with the Chief
and Social Services, Sheba got permission to take the children to Bulawayo,
where she added them to the seven other orphans she is already fostering in her
own home. Blessing’s brothers and
sisters were as thin as rails, encrusted with dirt and lice, and desperately
hungry. But after baths and haircuts,
the youngsters settled comfortably in front of the television set. And when it came time for bed, Sheba got out
her best linen and wrapped them in that:
she had no other blankets to keep them warm.
Sheba’s home is too small for 5 more children. Even without these
new orphans, every nook and cranny of Sheba’s flat is filled with 7 well-behaved
girls: from Patience, Sheba’s 25 year-old talented daughter and
second-in-command, to the youngest of her orphans, Owami, aged
So Sheba turned to her own mother, a faith-filled 68-year old widow
who lives 5 kilometres from Avoca, the remote village where Sheba and her
siblings grew up. Mrs. Dube is currently
caring for one orphaned niece in a house with many bedrooms.
“If I can provide food for the children, and uniforms and school
fees, could they stay with you?” Sheba asked her aging mother. “That’s what I’m living for,” was the prompt
reply. Sheba’s mother cannot walk far
enough to go to her favourite Methodist chapel, which meets in the little school
house in Avoca. So, instead she fixes
tea and has a Bible class for seven small children who come every morning at
breakfast time to her home. Her pastor,
the grandson of Matthew Rusike who founded a famous orphanage in Epworth,
outside of Harare, pays her regular visits.
Providence Orphans and
Caregivers Trust provides food, uniforms, and school
fees for many of the HIV+ children and AIDS orphans of Avoca, Filabusi, and
Mzinyathi. The charity is given an
office by Main Street Methodist Church but funding to support the orphans and
the widowed grannies who care for the children must be raised. A grant from MRDF helped buy blankets and
food last year. Donations can be sent to Alvaston Methodist Church – The
Send donations to: Alvaston
Methodist Church – The Zimbabwe Fund
C/O Revd Dr Martine
137 Shardlow Road
Alvaston, Derby DE24 0JR, UK
Medical News Today
Leaders of Zimbabwean Religious Sects Call for End to
Polygamy To Fight
AIDS, Issue Policy Document on Epidemic
Leaders of two of Zimbabwe's indigenous Christian sects have called
followers to abandon the practice of polygamy to fight the spread
HIV/AIDS, Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail reports (Tikiwa, Sunday Mail, 9/18). The
leaders of the affiliated sects issued a 23-page policy document on HIV/AIDS
after a meeting last week (Associated Press, 9/18). The document was drafted
by members of the Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in
Zimbabwe, which is an umbrella group of Apostolic and Zionist churches made
up of more than 70 bishops from each of the country's 10 provinces (Sunday
Mail, 9/18). The document calls for the abolition of polygamy, child
marriage and inheritance of brothers' widows, which the sects previously
approved. "There is a danger that if the husband cannot satisfy the wives,
they will be tempted to look for sex outside the marriage, or one of the
partners may be infected and this will increase the risk of contracting and
spreading HIV," according to the document (Associated Press, 9/18). The
Zimbabwean government called the move historic in the fight against the
epidemic (Sunday Mail, 9/18). Sect members wishing to marry within their
churches will be urged to obtain HIV tests and counseling and reveal their
status to their partner (Xinhua People's Daily Online,
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free service of
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory
Board Company and
Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
Mail & Guardian
Mob evicts farm manager in Zimbabwe
22 September 2005 06:05
A white commercial farmer
was chased off his land in Zimbabwe and the
manager of a coffee plantation
was beaten up by gun-toting men, the owners
of the properties told Agence
France Presse (AFP) on Thursday.
Allan Warner, a South African farm
manager, received 12 stitches on his head
after he was beaten up by a group
of about 15 armed men at a coffee farm
near the town of Chipinge, in
"We were on the farm on Wednesday morning when we
were attacked by a group
of militia armed with a Uzi automatic gun," said
coffee farmer David
"Shots were fired and a farm
manager was attacked with a steel pipe,
resulting in him having to get 12
stitches," Wilding-Davies, a Canadian
investor who bought the Ashanti coffee
farm in 2000, told AFP by telephone.
Another commercial farmer in the
area, Gideon Mostert, who earlier this year
won a stay of execution against
an eviction order, said he was told to "go
off the land".
packed up all my belongings and have moved," he added, saying that
living in a trailer-home in the town of Chipinge, about 430km
the capital Harare.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said that "he
was unaware of any
incidents in Chipinge".
He said the only case
reported was that of a white farmer who was assaulted
last month and added
that the case was currently before the courts.
Zimbabwe has since 2000
seized about 4 000 farms and redistributed them to
new farmers under its
land reform programme, which aims at redressing
colonial imbalances when
white farmers owned most of the country's arable
controversial constitutional amendment approved by President Robert Mugabe
earlier this month allows the state to assume ownership of farms immediately
after a property has been listed for expropriation, making it impossible for
white farmers to seek legal redress.
Fewer than 500 white farmers
remain in the country. The white Commercial
Farmers' Union (CFU) has
condemned the incidents and urged authorities to
"stop this campaign of
assault and harassment of its members and blatant
flouting of international
CFU spokesperson Kim Devlin said however that "at the
moment it appears that
the incidents were isolated".
Crippling fuel shortages in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo have
almost all essential services to a halt, the mayor said on
Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube said Bulawayo's entire fleet of municipal
off the road, and burst sewerage and water pipes were left
Only five of the city's 12 ambulances were able to run at the
the number of fire engines has also been reduced, the opposition
for Democratic Change (MDC) mayor said.
services of council are not being carried out," Ndabeni-Ncube
that this was impacting heavily on the welfare of the city's
Bulawayo, with its wide tree-lined avenues and low-rise
buildings, is not the only city to be badly affected by
Last week the capital Harare was
reported to have only one fire engine on
the road with just a quarter tank
of fuel left. Municipal authorities said
they were being forced to buy fuel
on the black market to keep municipal
this month the government hiked the price of diesel and petrol by
100%, but the measure has not improved availability. As fuel
scarcer, it is reportedly being sold on the black market for as much
Z$120 000 ($4,61) a litre.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of economic crisis,
marked by acute shortages of
foreign currency needed to import essential
requirements like fuel.
The privately-owned Daily Mirror earlier reported
that the price of bread
had increased dramatically. While the government
last month set the price of
bread at Z$7 500 (28 US cents) per loaf, it was
now selling for at least
Z$13 000 (50 US cents).
varieties of bread are selling for between Z$25 000 and
Z$32 000 (96 US
cents, $1,23) per loaf, the paper said.
"We have received reports of
bread going up to Z$25 000. What we understand
is that the price of bread is
controlled and it is illegal for bakeries to
increase prices," Tonderai
Mukeredzi, the public relations manager of the
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
(CCZ) told the paper.
Last month bakers said bread would have to retail
at Z$12 000 a loaf to earn
a 20% return. But the authorities were said to be
against a hike of that
Previously bread sold at Z$4 500 (17
US cents) a loaf. - Sapa-AFP, Sapa-DPA
Dawn raid signals the final clearance of white
September 22, 2005
After years of resisting President
Robert Mugabe's violent campaign to rid
Zimbabwe of white farmers, David
Wilding-Davies believed he had survived the
In what looks like the start of the final clearance of Zimbabwe's
white farmers, Mugabe's security forces launched a dawn raid
discharging volleys of automatic fire against Wilding-Davies, his
African manager and a neighbour in Chipinge district in south-eastern
Wilding-Davies was attacked by a group of about 15 armed
militia when he
went to assist his manager, Allan Warner, 53, who had been
knocked to the
ground and was being kicked and pummelled by the
Wilding-Davies said a member of the Central Intelligence
operates out of Mugabe's office, led the
"It was an incredibly unpleasant experience. It began suddenly as
walking to work.
"We are presently harvesting coffee worth
about US$300 000 for export to
Both men are still in pain
but were treated and discharged by the local
coffee grower and dairy farmer, was attacked several hours
apparently by the same group, but escaped into the night and was
in the Dutch Reformed Church in Chipinge.
"We were warned last week that
Chipinge would soon be cleared of white
farmers," said Trevor Gifford,
chairman of the Coffee Growers' Association
are about 80 of us here, the largest group of white farmers left in
and we were informed another eight more will be done before the
Most of Chipinge's remaining commercial farmers have given
up or had up to
two thirds of their land confiscated, but are doggedly
hanging in there.
They grow the only remaining coffee in Zimbabwe, about
3 000 tons, down from
16 000 before land invasions began.
A member of
the Canadian equestrian team in the 1988 Olympic Games,
his wife Amy fell in love with Chipinge's misty hills
during a backpacking
holiday in 1998. He gave up his job as a horse trainer
in British Columbia,
bought the farm Ashanti with foreign currency and a
year later had planted
50 hectares of coffee.
"Zimbabwe was a different country then, we were
welcomed and worked hard and
are supposed to have protection from the
government because we are
Yesterday Commercial Farmers'
Union president Doug Taylor-Freeme said:
"Developments on the ground where
farmers are beaten up and evicted indicate
that the threat of a final mop-up
of remaining white farmers has begun even
though Zimbabwe ... desperately
needs the foreign currency they earn."
About 3 500 or 90% of white
commercial farmers have been forced out by
Mugabe and his cronies since
From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 2:48 AM
Subject: Cost of forest fires - response from RSA
Message from a timber producer in RSA
We’re battling the same thing. The core problem is
incompetence of government (local and provincial) and the desperation and
lawlessness which follows this. The 1823ha of forests destroyed in Zim will
cost the local economy at least R20 million per year for a minimum of 25 years
if they are replaced, which is unlikely in Zim as who is going to invest 25 to
30 years into the future under the current political scenario. That means a
loss of around R500 million or US$80 million.
Medical News Today
HIV/AIDS Contributing to Rising Hunger in Southern
22 Sep 2005
Approximately 10.7 million people are facing
famine in Zimbabwe, Malawi,
Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique, in
part because of high HIV/AIDS
prevalence rates, South Africa's Sunday
Independent reports. "Hunger has
once again returned to haunt Southern
Africa," Michael Huggins, U.N. World
Food Programme regional spokesperson,
said, adding, "We need urgent
assistance now to avert a major catastrophe."
High HIV/AIDS prevalence
causes many households to spend limited funds on
health care instead of
agriculture, and a lack of human capacity because of
the disease is one of
many factors threatening food security in the region,
according to the
Independent. In Malawi -- which has an HIV prevalence rate
of about 24% --
about four million of its 11 million people are in need of
assistance, and one million are children under age five, UNICEF
representative for Malawi Aida Girma said. In Lesotho, more than
people are estimated to need food aid in the next year, and of the
2.2 million residents, about 30% have HIV (Peta et al., Sunday
9/18). Many HIV-positive people cannot work because of their
situation that "is affecting their household economy," Mads
director for WFP in Lesotho, said, adding that "people are
just going to go
hungry" (SABC News, 9/18). Blue Cross and Blue Shield
"Reprinted with permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org. You can
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The Kaiser Daily
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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board
Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
Mimosa Project to Boost Zimbabwe
Business Day (Johannesburg)
Posted to the web September 22, 2005
IMPALA Platinum (Implats) and Aquarius Platinum, who
have a joint venture operation at the Mimosa platinum mine in Zimbabwe, have
agreed to go ahead with a $14m expansion of Mimosa's operations.
yesterday that the investment was a positive sign for the Zimbabwean economy,
which had attracted little foreign investment in the past few years as a result
of uncertainties over property ownership, runaway inflation and currency
The expansion would be funded from Mimosa's own cash resources
and a $10m loan from the Merchant Bank of Central Africa.
It would raise
Mimosa's annual production capacity to 168750 platinum group metal (PGM) ounces,
from 135000 PGM ounces at present.
This was the fourth expansion at Mimosa,
and it had an estimated payback period of eight months. Full production should
be reached by next June.
Apart from its stake in Mimosa, Implats also owns a
substantial stake in Zimplats, whose board is considering an $80m expansion of
its underground operations and concentrator.
But a final decision on the
expansion is awaiting clarity from Zimbabwe's government on the bilateral trade
agreement between SA and Zimbabwe.
Implats director Les Paton said
yesterday a feasibility study on the Zimplats expansion project was under way,
and should be completed by the end of the year.
Zimplats had considered
building a smelter, but this would be a long-term project as the Zimplats
smelter was not running at full capacity. The expanded output from Mimosa would
continue to be treated at Implats' South African smelter.
Zim's Central Bank Goes After Exporters
Business in Africa
September 22, 2005
Posted to the web September 22,
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which is now
owed more than US$200 million by
exporting companies in that country, has
published a list of the top 1 000
defaulters and has given them one week to
pay up or face prosecution.
The exporters owe the bank US$212.7 million -
enough to meet the country's
fuel needs for almost four months - of which
US$110.7 million is owed by
delinquent exporters "who have literally gone
The central bank has given all the exporters up to Friday
(September 30) to pay up or face prosecution. It says it has
list so that relevant stakeholders can intervene and take
to make sure their companies pay up.
companies owe the biggest amount with US$26.7 million being
US$55.7 million overdue. A total of 187 companies are still
active while 73
are said to be in hiding.
Zimbabwe Sugar Sales owes the highest amount of
US$10.8 million but is still
active. Surprisingly one of the agricultural
companies reported to be in
hiding is the Forestry Commission, a parastatal,
which owes US$1.1 million.
Manufacturing companies currently owe US$34.3
million and an additional
US$49.1 million that is overdue. The bulk, 730,
are, however, still active
while 131 are reported to be in hiding.
majority of the companies, however, owe small amounts of less than US$1
million, each, with only two companies, Aurex and Zimbabwe Spinners and
Weavers owing more than that.
Aurex owes US$4.8 million while Zimbabwe
Spinners and Weavers owes US$2.4
Mining companies owe nearly
US$22 million with US$18 million being current
and US$3.7 million
Tobacco companies owe just over US$23 million with US$22.6 million
current. Only US$633 580, owed by three small companies, is
The bulk of the money is owed by one company, Dimon Zimbabwe, but it
active. The company has not remitted US$16.1 million.
companies owe the least amount of just over US$2 million of which
million is overdue.
Though the amount owed looks small, it is a lot of money
for a country with
a teetering economy, galloping inflation and an acute
shortage of fuel.
Only last week the Harare City Council said its services,
ambulance services, had been crippled because of the shortage
The prison services has complained that it cannot take prisoners to
because of the shortage of fuel.
The price of fuel on the black
market has soared with some selling it for as
much as Z$100 000 a litre. The
official price is Z$23 300 a litre for petrol
and Z$20 800 for
The shortage of fuel has brought urban transport to a standstill. The
commuter taxis on the roads are overcharging claiming that they are
fuel on the black market.
Police said this week that they arrested
770 commuter taxis in just two days
now reported to be operating at 30% of its capacity. The
price of the few
products available in stores has soared with inflation
reaching 265% last
Central bank governor, Gideon Gono, initially aimed to see inflation
between 20% and 50% by the end of this year. He revised the figure
between 80% and 100%, but analysts say he will be lucky if it ends at
anything below 200%.
Reality seems to now have caught up Gono who was
touted as a turn-around
expert, whose motto was "failure is not an
He told heads of parastatals and senior government officials
there was no way the country could earn foreign currency
"We can only generate foreign currency through trade and no
amount of crying
will result in the governor producing foreign currency," he
But so far, all the incentives he has introduced including the
of the local currency which is now trading officially at Z$26
000 to the
greenback, have failed to boost trade or turn around the
Instead, they only seem to have fuelled the insatiable
Zimbabwe eyes increase in coal production
HARARE, Sept. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwe's main coal
Colliery, is shortly expected to unveil a 2 trillion
(about 81.6 million US dollars) rights issue, the biggest
history, to finance a number of capital projects to increase
officials said on Thursday.
The officials, speaking on
condition of anonymity citing the delicate
stage of negotiations, said the
funds were principally meant to increase the
colliery's coal output from the
current 300,000 tons a month to around
They said the
company was currently engaged in delicate talks with
foreign ones, and shareholders, among other stakeholders,
to tie up the
rights issue, expected in coming weeks.
Among the projects lined up will
be the development of phase two of its
new underground mine opened recently,
where vast new reserves of coal have
"We are coming
to the market with the nation's biggest rights issue and
scrambling to have a slice of the cake," an official said.
"At the end,
you will have a new-look Hwange which will be vibrant and
strong," said the
The colliery, which is listed on the Zimbabwe and Johannesburg
exchanges, has embarked on a range of capital projects, including
re-equipment, to lift itself from the murky waters of under-performing
state-owned firms. The company's major stockholder is the government.
It has a virtual national monopoly in coal production, although in
years it has come under criticism for failing to meet domestic
particularly from tobacco farmers.
The officials said when the
recapitalization projects planned are
completed, Hwange Colliery will not
only be able to meet national coal
demand of 320,000 tons a month, it would
have at least 230,000 tons in
monthly surplus for export. Enditem
Kuwait News Agency
to provide 11.5 million pounds of aid to Africa |
UK pledges to provide
11.5 million pounds of aid to Africa
LONDON, Sept 22 (KUNA) -- The British government on Thursday
pledged to provide 11.5 million pounds of aid to ease the shortage of food in a
number of countries in southern Africa.
Secretary of State for
International Development Hilary Benn said in a statement that funds will be
used in purchasing food and providing financial aid for 7.5 million people in
Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, where people are suffering from
shortage of food.
British humanitarian aid to Africa, after today's
announcement, reached 56.
5 million pounds.
Benn urged the
European Union to exert more efforts to provide more aid to Africa.
2005, the United Kingdom provided what is worth of 45 million pounds in
humanitarian aid to a number of countries in southern Africa, including Malawi
and Zimbabwe. (end) eg.
'Airzim Losing Out in Cargo Business'
September 22, 2005
Posted to the web September 22,
MUCH work needs to be done to revive to full capacity the
and national railways and maintain smooth operations for
the development of
the country, a senior Government official said this
In an interview, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr
Christopher Mushohwe, said Air Zimbabwe was losing a lot of business
particularly in the area of cargo, as the country did not have enough planes
to engage in that kind of business.
Mr Mushohwe said on several
occasions, essential cargo was left behind in
China and Dubai owing to the
national airline's limited capacity.
"There are not enough suitable planes at
Air Zimbabwe that, for instance,
can fly all the way to Europe where we have
significant business. We require
more types of craft to specifically
handlecargo," Mr Mushohwe said.
The airline needed at least two additional
extended long-range aircraft, two
medium-range planes to cover regional
routes and two cargo aircraft to make
an impact as a cargo carrier. Mr
Mushohwe said the airline had a lot of
potential to make it in the cargo
business as long as its concerns were
"There is a lot of work
that needs to be done even in the planning and
administration area to avoid
some decisions that make the airline
unnecessarily lose money by, for
example, flying only four passengers all
the way to Dubai," Mr Mushohwe
He said although at the moment the Government had no foreign currency
purchase more aircraft there is hope that the situation can be
"We are aware that our airline's strength lies in its clean safety
owing to the high quality of engineers the country produces which the
airline employs. My ministry is gradually doing something about the foreign
currency issue through negotiating with other friendly countries such as
China, Iran and India regarding securing other aircraft."
The Ministry of
Transport and Communications was also trying to turn around
Railways of Zimbabwe, which had been run down owing to poor
over the years.
"The NRZ is still using equipment and other locomotives that
their lifespan and now there is need to replace these," he
Mr Mushohwe said out of 6 000 high-rise wagons only 3 000 were
"The biggest challenge common in all sectors at the moment
accessing foreign currency to purchase new spare parts for our
that are still fairly new and to even go as far as buying new
Mr Mushohwe said.
Among his ministry's long-term plans was
to improve communication networks
for rural residents who faced perennial
problems when it comes to commuting
between adjacent villages, ferrying the
sick to health facilities and
transporting their farm produce to urban
United States Will Not Abandon Ordinary Zimbabweans to "Tyranny"
Food aid worth $300 million since 2002 will be expanded, U.S.
By Jim Fisher-Thompson
Washington File Staff Writer
Washington – Even though President Robert Mugabe's unraveling of democracy in
Zimbabwe is drawing U.S. sanctions,"ordinary" citizens -- victims of his
wrecking the national economy -- will continue to be supported by the United
States regardless of politics, pledged Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
African Affairs Tom Woods.
Woods made his comments at a September 20 policy discussion on the growing
political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, sponsored by the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
He began by quoting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who recently called
Mugabe's Zimbabwe "an outpost of tyranny." He said Mugabe's ruling party, the
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), "would lose a free
and fair election, we all know that."
How could it be otherwise, he asked, with 70 percent unemployment and
inflation of over 250 percent? Unfortunately for the people of Zimbabwe, he
said, "the economic free fall won't stop until democratic change occurs."
Woods said, "ZANU-PF leaders must pay a personal price for wrecking democracy
in Zimbabwe." He added that the U.S. State Department is looking at expanding
already existing visa sanctions against Mugabe's regime. "We will [also] work
with like-minded governments around the world to keep Mugabe isolated and under
pressure," the official said.
"Although isolating Mugabe and his regime is a key goal," Woods said, he
hastened to add that "ordinary Zimbabweans must not be caught in the crossfire.
So we will maintain and if necessary expand programs to address HIV/AIDS and
food insecurity," the latter caused in large part by Mugabe's policy of land
seizures that have crippled Zimbabwe's agricultural infrastructure.
UNITED STATES CONTINUES TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AID
Working with the United Nations, Woods said, "we've made generous pledges to
support WFP [World Food Program] programs in Zimbabwe. And since 2002 alone,
the United States has spent $300 million on food assistance for Zimbabwe,
feeding a country that used to feed itself and the region.
"What a terrible waste of resources, but we'll continue to do it because we
don't play politics with food and we don't play politics with our HIV/AIDS
assistance," he said.
More recently, Woods told his CSIS audience, "we responded to [Mugabe's]
‘Operation Restore Order’ by pledging more than $2 million to support relief for
IDPs [internally displaced persons]. We'll see what more we can do."
Operation Restore Order was a Mugabe program begun last April that forced
250,000 residents in Harare and other cities from their homes, which were then
destroyed by the government. Human-rights groups roundly condemned what was
described as an urban renewal scheme by the government, but was actually the
forced removal of citizens, many of whom supported the opposition in the
country's last election.
In a June 16 statement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned
the campaign as a "heavy-handed crackdown on the poor" that could not be
"justified" and would not reverse Zimbabwe's economic decline.
On the political front, Woods said, "We will work with U.N. Secretary-General
[Kofi] Annan and with the government of South Africa to encourage the government
of Zimbabwe to cooperate with the international community and find solutions to
Zimbabwe's political, economic and humanitarian crises.
"Unfortunately, the struggle for democratic restoration will not be easy or
quick," he said. "Mugabe remains strong and is a hero to many Africans. So our
policies must look past the short term."
More optimistically, Woods said: "Time -- and, I would add, the overall trend
lines throughout Africa -- are on the side of democracy. If we are steadfast,
keep faith with democratic forces, Zimbabwe will be restored to its place as a
constructive, democratic member of the international community."
For additional information on U.S. support for democratic reform in Africa,
and Human Development.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information
Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Mail & Guardian Online
Zim authorities deny threats to seize
22 September 2005
Zimbabwe authorities on Wednesday denied earlier press reports that
Bank Governor Gideon Gono had issued a threat to seize maize from
The reports had said Gono had suggested the launch of
"Operation Bring Back
Maize" to force people to hand over their maize stocks
state-controlled Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
[collected] will be able to fill our silos," Gono was quoted as
But Walter Mzembi, a ruling-party lawmaker and
chairperson of a
parliamentary committee on land, told state radio that
Gono's comments had
not been correctly reported.
"In this instance, I
can say with 100% certainty that the statements that
were attributed to the
Reserve Bank Governor, honourable Gono, are not
correct at all," Mzembi
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change warned on Wednesday
plans to seize maize from individuals would only lead to
Maize, a national staple, is in
short supply. The United Nations's World
Food Programme estimates a quarter
of Zimbabwe's 12-million people will need
food aid by next March. --
Deportation fear of drowned man
DIVERS: Police search for the
A YOUNG man who appeared to commit suicide in front of scores
of office workers was an asylum seeker facing possible deportation.
Edmore Ngwenya, 26, from Zimbabwe, drowned at Salford Quays. As reported in
the M.E.N. last week, he disappeared after stepping into the Manchester Ship
Canal near Exchange Quay.
Police have referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission
after officers tried in vain to rescue him.
An inquest into Mr Ngwenya's death was opened and adjourned yesterday. He was
born in Zimbabwe and had been living in Pembroke Street, Langworthy,
He was spotted standing on chains attached to the side of the canal.
Police were called and for five minutes two officers tried to coax him away.
But after giving them his age and first name, and telling them he was from
Zimbabwe, he stepped into the water.
Officers tried to use a belt as a lifeline as he remained on the surface for
two minutes while office workers watched helpless from windows.
As soon as he went under, one officer went in and dived down twice to try to
Witness Fergus Pryce, estates manager for Exchange Quay, is now arranging for
life buoys to be installed at the site.
A Home Office spokesman refused to comment on the case.
In July, the government's policy of deporting failed Zimbabwean asylum
seekers was questioned when a High Court judge called for a halt until possible
dangers they faced were assessed.
About 40 Zimbabweans detained across Britain went on hunger strike. The
government imposed a temporary freeze on deportations until October.
Emma Ginn, of the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, said:
"We're not surprised by yet another death, and neither should the Home Office
be. The asylum determination process is little more than a
Friday 5:15 to 5:30am on Medium Wave
Football Association Marketing Manager Joseph Kawundura and Taru Simbi from
ZimEvents were instrumental in bringing Caps United and Highlanders to the
United Kingdom for a friendly match in Bradford. Lance Guma talks to them on
‘Behind the Headlines.’ Highlanders won the match 1-0 but a lot of other
battles remain to be won. Will the players go back home to Zimbabwe given
reports some might abscond and seek asylum? Just what were the conditions for the issuing
of visas by the British High Commission? Were ticket prices too high and choice
of venue too far from most people? Or did they rely too much on Internet media
SW Radio Africa
ANALYSIS: Zimbabwe to sink deeper into the mire, warn
Fri 23 September 2005
HARARE — Zimbabweans should brace for more economic hardships in the next few
months as all indicators point to a further battering of business conditions,
massive job losses and a massive slide in living standards.
experts say options have narrowed for the beleaguered Harare authorities, adding
that the next three months could prove critical for an economy that has endured
five years of dramatic decline unseen outside a war zone.
They are predicting a final push to the ground on the crisis-sapped economy
between now and December unless the authorities acknowledge the shortcomings of
their policies and embark on a recovery programme that allows the return of free
market forces to instil investor confidence.
According to the analysts,
under current conditions the exchange rate of the Zimbabwe dollar against the
United States greenback is likely to hit Z$100 000 to one US dollar by the end
of October on the parallel market and around Z$120 000 by year-end. The illegal
but thriving parallel market is the only sure source of hard cash for both
business and individuals in Zimbabwe.
Pressure on the embattled
Zimbabwe dollar is expected to come from an anticipated peak demand for scarce
foreign currency and deteriorating economic fundamentals.
that the parallel exchange rate could approach $100 000 to the US dollar by the
end of next month at the rate events are unfolding,” said independent economist
consultant John Robertson.
The greenback traded between Z$65 000 and
Z$78 000 on the parallel market on Wednesday this week while the South African
rand exchanged hands for between Z$9 000 and Z$11 000 on the same
The economists said pressure on the local dollar was expected to
mount in the coming months as most manufacturers and retailers stock up for the
annual factory shut downs and the festive season, respectively. Higher demand
for foreign currency was also anticipated from the government for food, fuel and
“The situation is particularly severe this year because,
as we have already seen, it doesn’t look like the country has enough hard
currency to meet even the food imports on their own,” said an economist with a
top Harare bank, who did not want to be named.
The central Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this month paid part of the country’s arrears with the
International Monetary Fund using “free funds” from exporters. The payment,
amounting to US$120 million, left a huge funding gap in terms of meeting the
requirements of manufacturers whose operations rely on imported raw
“This essentially means that US$120 million of what might
have been industrial imports have been delayed, a situation that will push most
manufacturers into the market looking for foreign currency to import raw
materials to keep their plants going,” said Robertson.
He noted that
several jobs could be on the line unless the situation was urgently addressed. A
number of companies could be forced to close shop before year-end or might not
open after the annual shutdown in December. Unemployment in Zimbabwe is
currently above 70 percent.
A recent study by the Zimbabwe National
Chamber of Commerce showed that about 80 percent of Zimbabwean companies had
reported zero growth during the first half of 2005.
“The present fuel
crisis is expected to make the operating environment worse not only from the
standpoint that most companies rely on the commodity to get things going, but
that they are now competing with fuel companies for allocations from the foreign
exchange auction,” said the bank economist.
Zimbabwe is currently
experiencing a severe fuel crisis that has left most commuters stranded as bus
operators join queues for the scarce commodity. The shortage of fuel has also
triggered a spate of price increases across the country as manufacturers and
retailers pass on the higher costs of procuring the commodity on a thriving
The price of bread this week rose from about Z$7 500 a
loaf to between Z$13 000 and Z$25 000 a loaf, with bakers citing the high cost
The RBZ has admitted that the country faces an even worse
food crisis next year, estimating maize production next season at 750 000
tonnes, which is less than half the 1.8 million tonnes Zimbabwe consumes
Zimbabwe is already grappling severe food shortages with a
quarter of its 12 million people in urgent need of more than one million tonnes
of food aid or they will starve.
“Since 2002 our output for maize has
been below national requirements with output for 2005/2006 estimated at about
750 000 tonnes,” the bank said in a document submitted to Parliament’s portfolio
committee on agriculture earlier this week.
This would be the second
lowest maize output in 10 years. The lowest was in the 2001/2002 season at the
height of President Robert Mugabe’s chaotic farm seizure programme when the
country reaped 605 000 tonnes of its main staple food.
are seen exerting greater pressure on the RBZ’s fight against inflation, pegged
at 265 percent in August, but expected to reach 450 percent by
The analysts warned that continued pressure on prices of goods
and services, coupled with careless utterances by senior government and ruling
ZANU PF party officials, would scuttle all attempts by the RBZ to restore sanity
to the foreign exchange market.
RBZ governor Gideon Gono would have, in
keeping with a promise made to the IMF, to constantly adjust the Zimbabwe dollar
exchange on the official auction market.
“But given events elsewhere in
the economy and the political landscape, such efforts will not help in
normalising the situation because there are conflicting signals from those in
power on the direction they wish to take in terms of economic management,” the
bank economist said. - ZimOnline
AIDS decimates Zimbabwe’s teachers
Fri 23 September
|HARARE - More than 500 teachers died last year because
of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses while the scourge has already claimed 362 teachers
in the first seven months of this year alone, according to a survey by the
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).|
In a report entitled
“AIDS-related Deaths Among Teachers” dated September 19 2005 but made available
to ZimOnline on Thursday, the PTUZ said HIV/AIDS was decimating the teacher
population at an alarming rate at a time the public education sector was already
facing collapse after years of under-funding and neglect.
secretary general Raymond Majongwe said while teachers were among the best
informed on ways of preventing or contracting HIV or how to live with the virus
when infected, the lack of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for infected teachers
especially at schools in remote rural areas was behind the higher death rate
among the profession.
Majongwe accused the government of channelling
funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and antiretroviral drugs to the security forces
while neglecting teachers.
"The National Aids Council has released
funds to the army, the police and the prison services but there are no specific
funds or programmes for teachers," he said.
But council spokeswoman
Madeline Dube said the state was funding anti-HIV/AIDS programmes for all
community groups including teachers through AIDS committees established in every
district across the country.
She said teachers should channel requests
for funding for programmes specific to their sector through the
Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in
the world. Food shortages plus a five-year economic recession have only helped
exacerbate the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is killing more than 2 000 people in the
southern African nation every week. - ZimOnline