HARARE - Dozens of women were arrested in
Zimbabwe on Tuesday as they neared the end of a more than 400-kilometre
protest march between Harare and the second city of Bulawayo, a spokeswoman
for the marchers said.
A police spokesman could not immediately confirm
Jenni Williams of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) said all
but four of 62 women had been arrested in the town of Norton, southwest of
the capital Harare for staging a street demonstration.
the police this morning said WOZA was demonstrating in the street," said
Williams via telephone from the town. "There's four of us not arrested," she
Thirty-five of the women activists began their march more than a
week ago to the capital Harare from the southern city of Bulawayo, which is
440 kilometres from Harare.
Another 27 had driven out from Harare to
join them late Monday for the last leg of the march.
They were due to
walk into the capital Wednesday to stage a peaceful protest outside
parliament buildings against a proposed new law banning foreign human rights
groups from operating in Zimbabwe and cutting off outside funding for local
groups engaged in similar work.
The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill,
which has been widely condemned by rights groups at home and abroad, is due
to be brought before parliament early next month, when it is likely to pass
Williams, who has been marching with the women from Bulawayo to
Harare, was not arrested on Tuesday because she had gone to find food for
the group at the time of their arrest.
She said the women were being
held at a police station in the town of Selous, also southwest of
IT has been announced
that the government has seized 40 farms around Harare. It intends to turn
them into housing estates.
Some of the farms were owned by a
company which bred chickens on a very large commercial scale. Others were
owned by an international cigarette manufacturing company.
names of these companies will long be remembered for contributing to the
creation of thousands of jobs and providing consumers with attractive
Like many other free enterprise ventures, the
companies were victims of an economy so mismanaged they decided to scale
down or cease their operations altogether.
The take-over of the
farms by the government is a symbol, not of the success of the agrarian
reform programme, but of its dismal failure.
For a country once
hailed as the breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe is converting farms into
There is something utterly absurd about this
The government will inevitably deny that this is
another political gimmick. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, Zanu PF is
hoping to regain all the urban seats it lost to the MDC in
Giving Harare residents a chance to own residential stands
near the city is obviously going to attract people hard-pressed for housing
in the overcrowded capital.
Zanu PF hopes all this gratitude
will translate into votes come March 2005. There is, however, the
imponderable likelihood that the voters could be fickle: they might decide
it's not generous enough for them to change their political
It's a chance Zanu PF has to take, although its
well-tried alternative of violence cannot be ruled out
But the transformation of these farms must surely spell a
drop in agricultural productivity. As most people have understood it, the
agrarian reform programme is designed to boost farm production.
But here we have the government actually preferring urban housing to farming
- as if there was no need to enhance agricultural productivity as a major
component of foreign currency generation.
How a government saddled
with a heavy foreign debt and not earning much foreign currency is going to
raise the capital to service the stands is difficult to
But as this is mostly a political venture, we can imagine
the government overcoming that hurdle easily, and saddling the taxpayer with
more bills for the future.
Voters must know that Zanu PF is a
past master of promising them the moon at election time, but delivering
selectors today announced their one-day squads to tour Zimbabwe and South
Africa this winter. Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick were both rested
for the Zimbabwe leg of the trip, and while Ashley Giles was given the
option to rest too, he chose to make himself available.
includes four players new to one-day internationals: Ian Bell, Simon Jones,
Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior. Flintoff, Giles, Trescothick and Steve
Harmison (who opted out of the Zimbabwe trip on moral grounds last week)
have all been included in the 15-man squad for the one-dayers in South
Africa in the New Year, along with Worcestershire's Kabir Ali.
Gough, written off by many after some lacklustre performances in the recent
Chanmpions Trophy, gets another chance to prolong his dream of playing in
the 2007 World Cup. David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors,
explained that Gough had a lot to offer the younger bowlers, and would be
keen to show that his recent dip in form wasn't terminal.
African-born Pietersen, 24, only becomes eligible for full England selection
at the end of October, so has been rushed into the side at the first
opportunity following several productive seasons with Nottinghamshire.
Prior, 22, who was also born in South Africa, impressed on tour with England
A last winter, and has had another good season with the bat for Sussex, for
whom he also keeps wicket.
The concessions made by the ECB management
regarding Flintoff and Trescothick had a trade-off, and that was that
Michael Vaughan led the side. "As the ECB is a member of the global cricket
family, we have a duty to protect the integrity of the international game
and ensure that the level of competition on any England tour is not diluted
by the wholesale resting of players without good reason," said David Morgan,
the ECB's chairman. "After carefully considering the matter, Michael has
chosen to lead the team in Zimbabwe mindful of his responsibilities both to
his fellow players and to the long-term future of cricket in this country.
He deserves great credit for doing so.
"Neither the ECB nor the
captain condones the situation in Zimbabwe and I would like to re-emphasise
that the team will not be involved in state functions during this
"Under normal circumstances, I would have welcomed an extended
break after a long international season," Vaughan explained. "But the
England team and the game as a whole are faced with an extraordinary
situation in undertaking this tour to Zimbabwe. I am proud to be captain of
my country and I feel that I have a duty to my team-mates to lead the team
on this tour. It has taken me considerable time and effort to come to this
decision, but ultimately it was my choice and one that I stand
"While I certainly do not condone what is happening in Zimbabwe, I do
not want to shirk my responsibilities as England captain and would not want
to let the burden of captaincy fall onto another player's
England will play two warm-up matches in Namibia ahead of the
England squad to tour Zimbabwe Michael Vaughan
(capt), Vikram Solanki, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Kevin
Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Geraint Jones (wk), Gareth Batty, Ashley Giles,
Simon Jones, Alex Wharf, Darren Gough, James Anderson.
squad for South Africa Michael Vaughan (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Vikram
Solanki, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff,
Geraint Jones (wk), Gareth Batty, Kabir Ali, Ashley Giles, Alex Wharf,
Darren Gough, Steve Harmison, James Anderson.
England team will not attend state functions in Zimbabwe Tue
28 September, 2004 16:19
By John Mehaffey
LONDON, Sept 28
(Reuters) - England's cricketers will not attend any state functions during
their tour of Zimbabwe in November, England Cricket Board (ECB) chairman
David Morgan said on Tuesday.
In a statement on the ECB's website Morgan
said neither the board nor captain Michael Vaughan condoned the situation in
the African state.
"I would like to re-emphasise that the team will not
be involved in state functions during this tour," Morgan
Britain has campaigned for Commonwealth sanctions against Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe because of his redistribution of white-owned farms
to landless blacks and his 2002 re-election in a poll which international
observers said was gravely flawed.
Vaughan was named on Tuesday to
lead a 14-man squad for the five one-day internationals in Zimbabwe,
although he said he would have welcomed a break after a long international
Steve Harmison, the world's top-ranked bowler, asked the
selectors to omit him from the tour for political reasons. Batsman Andrew
Strauss expressed reservations but was named in the squad.
proud to be captain of my country and feel that I have a duty to my team
mates to lead the team on this tour," Vaughan said.
"While I certainly do
not condone what is happening in Zimbabwe, I do not want to shirk my
responsibilities as England captain and would not want to let the burden of
responsibility to fall on another player's shoulders."
Last year England,
captained by Vaughan's predecessor Nasser Hussain, pulled out of a World Cup
one-day match in Zimbabwe because of what the ECB said were security
In March the International Cricket Council said any country
refusing to fulfil their tour obligations for anything other than security
reasons or governmental direction would face a minimum $2 million fine and
The position was further
complicated in June when Zimbabwe agreed to postpone their remaining tests
this year after a dispute in which their cricket board sacked 15 of the
country's leading white players.
The conflict started on April 2 when
Heath Streak was dismissed as national captain after questioning the
composition of the selection panel.
Fourteen of his team mates aligned
themselves with Streak and the group demanded arbitration on his removal
from the captaincy and the composition of the selection board.
ICC will hold a three-day hearing, starting on Wednesday, in Harare into
allegations that the team was being selected on racial grounds.
his forthcoming autobiography, Hussain is highly critical of both the ICC
and the ECB over their roles at the World Cup.
In a passage quoted in
the Daily Mail on Tuesday, Hussain said ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed
had treated the team dismissively by speaking to them for only half an hour
to explain his viewpoint.
He said the ECB and its chief executive Tim
Lamb had then used "emotional blackmail" to try to force the team to play in
"At one point Lamb broke down and cried in front of me,"
Hussain said. "A number of our players and officials disliked him. He would
always say the wrong thing."
Hussain said the ECB had then changed
tack when they were told that protesters in Zimbabwe represented a genuine
threat to the team's safety.
"They insisted on saying we had made our
decision purely on safety grounds but it wasn't like that," he said. "Safely
was a consideration but the decision was made overwhelmingly for moral
Hearing into racism begins
28/09/2004 18:10 - (SA)
Harare - Several of the white
former Zimbabwe cricketers who were sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
earlier this year will make opening statements alleging ZCU racism when a
formal hearing ordered by the International Cricket Council gets under way
here on Wednesday.
Their evidence will be preceded by an
opening statement from attorney Chris Venturas, who has represented the 15
players in dispute with ZCU ever since the removal of national captain Heath
Streak six months ago.
And at some stage he will give
evidence of a private nature to allege racism against him personally by ZCU
The players wanted a leading advocate, Adrian de
Bourbon, but were unable to afford him.
The ZCU is
expected to be represented by advocate Chris Andersen, who has been briefed
by their own attorney and former president Alwyn
The hearing, which is expected to take at least
two days, will be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Harare, and
will be not be open to the media and public.
Mapfumo's controversial album frozen out of
By Showbiz Reporter Last updated: 09/28/2004
22:56:33 THOMAS Mapfumo's latest album Chaputika, released in Zimbabwe last
Friday, has been banned from state radio for its lyrics interpreted as
critical of President Robert Mugabe's regime.
The album, whose
release was delayed for months, has been snapped-up from the music shelves,
and by noon on Saturday, an intial 15 000 CDs put out on Friday had been
finished, according to early figures released by Metro Record
Only one less controversial track has been played on all the
ZBC's radio stations, and a Radio Zimbabwe DJ told us: "It doesn't
necessarily have to be an instruction from the top. Most of the guys here
practise self-censorship and everyone is scared of playing that
The 10-track album has been described as an artistic triumph by
music critics. The album is a mixture of old Mapfumo classics and new songs
all recorded during a live performance before a sell-out crowd in Milton
Previous attempts to record the new album failed
after album material twice disappeared at a Harare recording
Probably the most controversial song on the album, the number 5
track Masoja neMapurisa (Soldiers and Police) opens with the line
"Mamvemveeee!", another Mapfumo classic which was banned from the airwaves.
In the song, Mapfumo asks an unnamed politician, thought to be President
Mugabe, what he would do if the police and soldiers that he has been sending
to beat up innocent civilians suddenly refused to take his
"Tinotizira kure vasatibata/Tinotizira kunyika dzavamwe (We will
flee so that they don't catch us/We will seek sanctuary in foreign lands),"
the politician responds in the chorus.
He then reminds the politician
of the fate of African dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko [Zaire (now DRC)] and
Idi Amin (Uganda) who both died in exile after the collapse of their
Rodreck Chipezeze, of Quality Video and Film
Productions UK, the producers of the album, said: "It has been well received
in Zimbabwe and more copies are being released to the record bars." The
album CHAPUTIKA is on sale at Spinalong, Express and Edgars Stores. In the
UK the album is already out and is available from Sterns Music in London (http://www.sternsmusic.co.uk).
Alternatively you can contact 02075824343 or 07968129345
aspect of the Zimbabwe tour has been mired in controversy, which even the
selection process did not escape.
The selectors - David Graveney,
Rod Marsh and Geoff Miller - together with the coach, Duncan Fletcher,
originally came up with a squad of players which, they felt, was strong
enough to beat the badly depleted Zimbabwe team.
would also serve England's priority to rest jaded, key players.
One of these was Michael Vaughan, the captain.
For David Morgan,
the chairman of the board, this was one step too far.
right to say that England is part of a global cricketing community and,
therefore, responsible for sending the strongest possible team.
But Vaughan has been on the 'go' - just like Andrew Flintoff, Marcus
Trescothick and Ashley Giles - since February.
For the chairman
of the board to overrule the selectors and coach, who were implementing
their responsibility in planning for the long-term benefit of the England
team, is extraordinary.
However, there have been a number of times
these past six months when the ECB really should have taken a step back, and
viewed the situation from a more realistic situation in order to obtain a
The ECB's handling of the whole Zimbabwe
issue has been weak, in order to appease the ICC
It is true the
ECB's relationship with other members of the International Cricket Council
is poor, to put it mildly.
The leaking of Des Wilson's document,
which gave guidelines of how England might opt out of tours on moral or
political grounds, was disastrous, and was the last straw for a number of
But the ECB's handling of the whole Zimbabwe issue
has been weak, in order to appease the ICC, and the players have been left
in the front line even though the board claimed it would not put them in
that difficult position again.
Even the warm-up to the series
The South African cricket board apparently refused to
cooperate with England's desire to practice in Johannesburg.
This could be a decision that could be deeply embarrassing to them if the
ICC's inquiry into racism within Zimbabwean cricket substantiates the
allegations made by Heath Streak and his fellow white players.
Memories of the highly successful sporting boycott against South Africa
appear to have faded fast within that country's new cricket
So, England will head for Namibia instead, and
play two games there before travelling for Harare on 24 November for a
series that nobody - other than the cash-strapped Zimbabwe Cricket Union -
appears to want.
And which, in cricketing terms, promises to be
Zim soothes panic run on banks 28/09/2004 15:23 -
Harare - The state central bank tried to stem panic withdrawals
from several troubled banks on Tuesday, saying it won't let the finance
houses collapse, state radio reported.
A run on banks has been
triggered by a September 30 deadline set by the Reserve Bank for all
financial institutions to declare their capital reserves and show they have
enough liquidity to continue operating, or face being shut
State radio quoted Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono saying banks
showing inadequate capital reserves will be helped to "regularize in a
manner that is non-disruptive".
Central bank officials would work
with shareholders, directors and managers to keep troubled institutions
afloat by recapitalising them, he said.
"The market is therefore being
advised to continue conducting banking business in a calm manner ... The
deadline would not translate into a free-fall Armageddon for the banking
system as some have been speculating," Gono said.
A rush for cash
emptied many automatic teller machines in Harare during the weekend. Some
lines have formed outside banks during business hours since the closure on
Thursday of the locally owned Trust Bank.
The central bank put Trust Bank
under the curatorship of an independent accounting expert and said its
assets were being frozen for six months.
Three other locally owned banks
have been closed while being put under fiscal supervision this year, with
central bank-appointed curators sent in to try and resuscitate
The central bank said Trust Bank's own plans to seek new investors
and shore up its viability had failed.
Trust Bank is one of a dozen
local banks licensed to black owners after the government said it wanted to
break a banking monopoly traditionally held by the main international
In a total of 41 banking institutions, including loan funds and
small asset management firms, six are under the supervision of curators and
two are being wound up by liquidators.
Gono last week told a
parliamentary committee on the economy that another nine institutions were
expected not to be able to meet the September 30 deadline to show they had
minimum capital reserves of Zim$10bn (R12m).
Zimbabwe is suffering its
worst economic crisis since independence with an inflation rate of 314%, the
highest in the world, and soaring unemployment.
Since 2000, the
agriculture-based economy has been crippled by the often violent seizure of
thousands of white-owned commercial farms.
Shortages of gasoline, food,
hard currency and even local bank notes spurred speculation that gave
finance houses a boom.
Businessmen were borrowing money to invest in
cars, scarce imports, building materials and hard currency in expectation of
quick profits as prices rose with inflation.
But a sudden drop in
consumer demand, coupled with sharply rising interest rates at the end of
last year, left many speculators unable to repay their bank loans.
Zim hotels 'full of spies' 28/09/2004 13:52 -
Media 24 Africa Bureau
Zimbabwe's hotels and resorts,
which are surviving only because of workshops and congresses, are now coming
under threat by security police who use the establishments to spy on members
of non-governmental organisations and opposition groups.
investigation by Zimbabwe's weekly newspaper, The Standard, revealed that
holiday resorts at Mutirikwi lake were often visited by Central Intelligence
Organisation members and the so-called Green Bombers, Zanu-PF youth
They visit the resorts in the hope of tracking down members of the
Movement for Democratic Changes (MDC), the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade
Unions and NGOs such as the National Constitutional Assembly, which is
lobbying for a new constitution.
Hotel staff told The Standard they
were particularly concerned about the regular visits of CIO members and the
Green Bombers as their presence frightened off visitors.
week three CIO members, who I can identify, stormed into the hotel looking
for union officials, who they said were here for a seminar," said one staff
"Attempts to keep them out of the conference hall were useless
and shortly afterwards our guests left the hotel. This isn't good for the
The number of visitors to Zimbabwe dropped by 36%
in the first half of this year. However, the government is now trying to
attract tourists from Asian countries, including China.
PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI'S TUESDAY MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF
Zimbabweans live with the crude fact that the past five
years have turned our entire national resource base into dead capital. Land
no longer has any economic value. Labour, despite its high quality,
impressive literacy levels and agility, lies untapped,
With 85 percent unemployment, labour has indeed become a
dead economic resource.
Highly mechanised farms, expensive farm
machinery, first class hotels, lodges and holiday facilities, developed
conservancies and wildlife sanctuaries, well-equipped hospitals and a glossy
mining, manufacturing and service infrastructure stands idle. We all know
that our base is wasting away; plenty of dead capital in our
That this should have been allowed to happen in a country
once generally described as the jewel of Africa beggars belief, the more so
since the wounds have been self-inflicted.
We have witnessed
our country slide into a subsistence economy in short space of five years.
Nobody disputes the fact that we have joined the ranks of failed states.
And, indications are that unless we stop the rot through a national
resistance project, we risk slipping further into disparate hunter-gatherer
communities, led by senile warlords using an outdated nationalistic ideology
as a survival tool.
The reality reads like high-grade fiction:
our gross domestic product is down by half from US$8,4 billion to US$4,1
billion; our productive population lost an estimated four million active,
young adults to the Diaspora; food availability is down 60 percent; exports
down to a third of the 1999 levels; life expectancy down from 59 to 33
years; tourism dropped 80 percent of its traditional market share; industry
is tottering at 30 percent capacity; the list is endless.
me point out that in the five-year political chaos, close to two million
people were displaced by the regime's land reform exercise. Compare that to
a mere 130 000 who were officially resettled.
so-called farmers, who were misled and used in driving out white farmers and
pave the way for fake Zanu PF victories in two previous elections,
insecurity reigns supreme as their mud huts and measly possessions are being
torched and destroyed daily to make way for the ruling
A major casualty of Zanu PF's emotional behaviour and
political greed has been the job-creation sectors of our
Opportunities were shut out overnight as terrified
investors scurried for cover; as tourists felt so frightened to sample out
world-class products; and as established businesses, especially in
agriculture and agro-industry were hounded out, all in the name of
correcting historical backlogs and imbalances.
000 people who benefited from agro-industrial units like Kondozi were pushed
back to their villages in Marange (Manicaland) -- hungry, hopeless and
confused - all for a worthless political victory.
productive sectors have been on a downward trend since 1999, this has had a
serious effect on the general welfare of the majority of
The primary economic barometer of the country's
standard of living (per capita income) has declined substantially since
then. The extent of the decay can best be illustrated by the fact that in
1999, workers campaigned for a minimum wage of Z$5 000. Today, they need $1
500 000 to scrap through a normal month.
Given the above
undisputed facts, our calls for a new start, a new beginning and a new
Zimbabwe show us the only way forward. At the centre of our economic and
reconstruction plans is the need to knock-down and restructure government,
to institutionalise participatory decision-making and to devolve of power in
order to ring fence our nation against costly political mistakes such as
what we witnessed in the past five years.
Our objective is to see
a secure society with full employment, a society that enjoys universal
benefits and rights. Our objective is to place solid safeguards for job
security as a first step towards total empowerment.
Mugabe and Zanu PF sought to do was to drive everybody away from the current
international industrialisation thrust to a subsistence way of life. No
nation has ever progressed through that route. The global trend supports the
movement of people from the land to industry, towards exports and to
Agriculture, which has been the
mainstay of the economy in terms of foreign currency generation (34 percent
attributed to tobacco), 30 percent of total employment and food
self-sufficiency has suffered the greatest knock. We shall fight hard to
revive that sector as a matter of urgency in order to increase the labour
absorptive capacity of the industry.
The manufacturing sector
contributed 25 percent to GDP in 1980 and was one of the most advanced and
diversified industrial sectors in sub Saharan Africa, has not been spared in
the economic downturn. The sector registered negative year to year growth
from 1999 to this day, shedding off hundreds of thousands of workers in the
Our economic policy realises the severity of the crisis.
Our policy seeks to address our immediate stabilisation and reconstruction
needs as a basis for a comprehensive industrialisation strategy through
which jobs and growth shall be sustained in the long term. The level of
unemployment here is a national disaster, a national
We have job creation plan that will see an upsurge in
new formal-sector jobs within the first year of assuming power. Through
macro-economic stability, we shall provide a favourable environment for the
resumption of savings and investment in our country.
environment shall open-up opportunities for the construction industry, a
major source of employment alongside agriculture. The reconstruction phase
will call for increased labour as we put together our damaged infrastructure
and new facilities for a nation emerging from a war-like
We shall support initiatives from small businesses
with access to capital, through training, input supply and other services to
encourage job creation.
The revival of tourism will see our
resorts and holiday destinations spring to life once more, attracting and
accommodating thousands of job-seekers and increasing our foreign exchange
inflows. With such a development comes with advances in the transport, food,
art and craft industries.
Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and
commerce and industry shall be the major beneficiary of a new
There will be early opportunities in the mining
industry, while recovery in commercial agriculture and the manufacturing
sector - the two extremely damaged in the past five years - could be more
protracted unless we get sufficient balance of payment
The key to the re-generation of faith and confidence in
a new Zimbabwe rests with the restoration of the rule of law and the
protection of private property rights -- principles to which we are
religiously committed as a party.
We shall mount an
immigration and resettlement campaign for the prime minds of our estimated
four million nationals plying their trade in foreign lands. That campaign
has among its elements a relocation package, assured employment and
associated benefits to reduce our reliance of expatriates and to reduce our
To absorb the shocks of the current damage, our
initial stabilisation challenge shall be to tackle the nexus of inflation,
interest rates and exchange rates in order to steady prices, encourage
savings and restore sanity on the market.
re-gain its former position in Africa, dismantle the present economic
structure which favours a male-dominated formal sector and harness all our
national resources for development. We must make a fresh
Former workers of the Gold
Mining and Minerals Development Trust have dragged Reserve Bank governor
Gideon Gono to the labour court in a bid to determine their status at the
Gono allegedly shut down the Gold Mining and Minerals
Development Trust after he told 22 workers of the trust that he would employ
them in a new trust he was scheduled to establish.
He is yet to
establish the new trust.
The trust was responsible for sourcing
gold from mines and acted as an agent between the RBZ and Fidelity Printers
which buys gold from miners.
The trust was also responsible for
gathering minerals data for the RBZ, projecting how much gold mines would
produce during a set period of time. It provided statistics for the RBZ. The
RBZ paid the salaries of the trust's workers.
The workers have
now taken their case to the Labour Court for a legal determination on their
Information supplied to The Daily News Online indicates
that as soon as he came in as the RBZ governor, he allegedly vowed to remove
all the people who had worked for subsidiary companies of the RBZ because
they were part of the old system of "incompetence and
A senior worker at the now defunct Gold Mining and
Minerals Development Trust said Gono made it abundantly clear to them that
he would punish them.
Gono allegedly told the board of trustees
chaired by Nhlanhla Masuku that he had dissolved the mining trust and was
forming a successor trust to collaborate with his monetary policy
The Gold Mining and Minerals Development Trust were
founded by the former RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba.
been forced to close down our four regional offices in Kwekwe, Bulawayo,
Mutare and the head office in Harare," the employee said. "The main reason
is that we owe our creditors several millions of dollars in unpaid rentals
and telephone bills. They have started attaching our property."
The official said the governor had asked them to submit a working budget for
the year so that he could facilitate the payment of their salaries. They
submitted their budget but the last disbursement of money from the RBZ was
The workers have not been paid since June.
According to the official, their predicament came about as a result of
Gono's "vindictive behavuiour" towards former RBZ workers, including
The official said the understanding was that the RBZ
would give funds for mining development programmes.
Gono's claims that he dissolved our trust, all the workers in Harare still
report for duty because our contracts have not been terminated. Those in the
regions no longer go because they have been barred by the messengers of
court after over three months default on paying rentals. They have been
thrown out of their offices. More property is set to be attached."
The official said the last meeting they held with Gono and his team from the
RBZ was in April when they agreed to form a successor trust and requested
them to submit a salary bill, promising to continue working with
"Gono then claimed he wanted a meeting with our chairman
but later reneged on that pledge," the official said. "That was the last we
heard from Gono. As workers we have now taken our case to the Labour Court
for an urgent hearing.
"We are told that the hearing is within
a fortnight. The basis of our court action is that the workers are being
discharged without being given notices of termination, without salaries and
without their contracts being terminated."
On Sunday, Masuku
refused to comment on the issue. He said: "I do not need the media to be
writing on this matter. I am flying out of Zimbabwe and I do not have time
to talk to you about the trust. Why is it news to you?"
members in the Masuku-led trust are Violet Madzimbamuto, Chief Cyprian
Malisa, Doctor Shandral Mandal, Samuel Ngwenya, Doctor Nyepudzai Nyangulu
and Engineer Charles Chipato.
Fortune Chasi, the RBZ spokesman was
yesterday said to be out of his office when The Daily News Online sought his
The workers' lawyer Tendai Biti was yesterday not
available for comment. The other lawyer only identified as Machingauta was
unavailable for comment.
Harare may fail to raise $49 billion to
revamp city's water infrastructure
HARARE - The Harare city council is unlikely to raise $49
billion on the market needed to upgrade its crumbling water infrastructure
because its accounts are in tatters, the city's residents association has
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairman, Mike
Davies told the Daily News Online it would be difficult, if not impossible
for the to city borrow money because its accounts had not been audited for
"It's unlikely that they will be able to raise the money.
What is most likely to happen is that the government will direct certain
financial institutions to purchase bonds from the city of Harare," Davies
The government last week granted the city council authority
to borrow $49 billion so that it can revamp its water infrastructure
following weeks of water cuts and related problems in the city.
Davies said whichever way the money was raised, residents would bear the
costs in interest rates and this was unwarranted in the face of
He said pumping money into the Harare
city council would not help the water crisis in the city unless the crisis
of governance that the city and the government were facing were
"We need to sort out the politics before we can sort out
the technical side," Davies said.
He said in the absence of a
democratically elected council, city residents could not support the local
authority financially or in any other way.
The decisions made
at Town House, Davies said, were not legitimate as they "are made by Chombo,
Mangwende, Chideya and Makwavarara their puppet."
is the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
Witness Mangwende is the Governor for Harare province, Nomutsa Chideya is
the town clerk while Makwavarara is the acting mayor.
been without a substantive mayor since last year following the firing of
Elias Mudzuri. It is operating with only four councilors after several
councillors were suspended on flimsy grounds and the remainder resigned in
solidarity with their colleagues.