The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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      Zimbabwe says raised IMF funds, others sceptical
      Thu Sep 1, 2005 7:05 PM GMT

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has raised $120 million in a last-minute bid to
avoid expulsion from the IMF, leaving analysts wondering on Thursday where
President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped government had secured the funds.

Zimbabwe announced the payment to the International Monetary Fund late on
Wednesday ahead of an IMF meeting in Washington on September 9 to discuss
the possible expulsion of the southern African country for a total of $295
million in unpaid arrears.

Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono told the official Herald newspaper on
Thursday that Zimbabwe -- mired in its worst economic crisis in decades -- 
had raised the funds from foreign exchange within the country.

"This is a modest payment meant to demonstrate our sincerity with respect to
our international obligations," Gono said.

Gono said the payment was raised from exporters, who are required to sell
part of their foreign exchange earnings to the central bank at supervised
auctions, along with inflows from Zimbabweans based abroad and locals
working for foreign-owned organisations, whose salaries are paid in foreign

Economic analysts were sceptical, noting that Zimbabwe has seen desperate
shortages of foreign exchange that have already caused serious fuel

They said overseas Zimbabweans, an important source of foreign exchange,
were still largely bringing their money into the country through the black
market where it can fetch double the official exchange rate.

"The whole thing does not ring true, bearing in mind the figures Gono
himself gave from the diaspora were pretty low. There's still a huge gap
between what is going in and flowing out," said Anthony Hawkins, an
economics professor at the University of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe's relations with western countries have soured over his seizure of
white-owned farms for blacks and charges that his ruling ZANU-PF party has
rigged recent elections.

Once the breadbasket of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe now sees regular food
shortages while inflation has soared into triple digits and unemployment
stands at more than 70 percent.

After six years of recession, the economy has shrunk by nearly a third.


Zimbabwe has been talking to South Africa about a possible loan to help it
with the IMF payment, along with purchases of food and fuel, and Gono said
the discussions were still ongoing.

Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa told state television on Thursday that
Zimbabwe had told South Africa it would not accept any political conditions
on the loan.

"We are negotiating but we have told them that we will not accept any
political conditions, and that these negotiations are not the right platform
for politics," he said in remarks made in the local Shona language.

The Herald newspaper separately said it understood South Africa had been
contemplating a payment of US$100 million directly to the IMF.

But a source in President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party said the
current IMF payment was partly covered by money from China, which Mugabe has
courted as his relations with the West deteriorate.

Mugabe paid an official visit to China in July, and while he returned to
Harare with only a handful of public commitments from Beijing some analysts
say China may be playing a more active role behind the scenes.

Gono told the Herald that Zimbabwe's payment was no guarantee it would not
face expulsion from the IMF on September 9, a position echoed by other
economic analysts.

"The reality about this IMF vote is that it's a political vote and you have
to bear in mind that Western countries who have clashed with Mugabe have a
bigger vote," one analyst who asked not to be identified told Reuters.

"At the end of the day it's up to them whether they want to keep us in or

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Mugabe can still be tried at the International criminal court

      By Tichaona Sibanda
      01 September 2005

      International pressure is mounting for Robert Mugabe to be indicted by
the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity.
Although Zimbabwe is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court,
Australia and New Zealand have already set in motion plans to push the
United Nations to refer Mugabe to the ICC for possible prosecution.
Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, said although it may be
difficult to bring Mugabe to the Hague, it was worth a try.

      Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Namibia's National Society for
Human Rights Phil ya Nangoloh is urging all other UN member states,
including the five UN security council permanent members to support the
Australia-New Zealand move.

      He said a new democratic government in Zimbabwe can actually ask the
ICC to indict Mugabe and prosecute him in the Hague or even prosecute him

      SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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Zim Online

Mugabe pays IMF
Thu 1 September 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe earlier this week made a surprise US$120 million
payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a bid to avoid expulsion
from the fund over an outstanding US$295 million debt, authoritative sources
told ZimOnline last night.

      Ministry of Finance officials speaking on condition they were not
named said the money was provided by China although the official line in
Harare was that it was raised locally.

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa would not confirm or deny the payment
when contacted for comment last night but said he would issue a statement on
the matter today. "We will issue a statement tomorrow (today) on the IMF,"
Murerwa said.

      The IMF board meets on September 9 and was expected to decide whether
to expel Zimbabwe for nonpayment of debt. But the board is unlikely to
recommend expulsion after Harare paid nearly half of the outstanding amount.

      Expulsion would have hastened the total collapse of Zimbabwe's
crisis-sapped economy with creditors rushing to seize the southern African
nation's assets.

      According to the sources President Robert Mugabe's government was
still negotiating with South Africa for a US$500 million loan it had offered
to help Harare pay off the IMF and to also buy food and fuel. But they said
the mood especially among hardliners in Harare was that: "South Africa can
go to hell if it insisted on political conditions for the loan."

      "It is people like Gono (Gideon, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor)
and Murerwa who are pushing for the South African deal saying the country
needs all the help it can get," said one government official.

      Gono and Industry and International Trade permanent secretary
Christian Katsande arrived in South Africa yesterday to negotiate with the
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) a loan facility for the importation of fuel and

      The two Zimbabwean officials, who are reciprocating a visit to Harare
last week by RMB officials over the same deal, are expected to offer the
merchant bank gold mines as security for the loan, whose amount was yet
unclear by last night.

      Unconfirmed reports suggested Gono and Katsande would also meet South
African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni to discuss Pretoria's loan offer.

      Pretoria, whose leverage on Harare appears undercut after the Chinese
gave Mugabe money to pay the IMF, had among other pre-conditions demanded
that the veteran Zimbabwean leader reopens dialogue with the opposition to
find a sustainable and democratic solution to his country's crisis.

      Mugabe publicly rejected the condition saying he would rather talk to
British Premier Tony Blair who he says is the principal behind Zimbabwe's
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.

      South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
yesterday conceded her government may not have as much leverage on Zimbabwe
telling Parliament in Cape Town that Pretoria could not force Harare to
accept its money.

      Dlamini-Zuma also told South African legislators that Harare had
already made a payment to the IMF. ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe offers South African bank gold mines as cover
Thu 1 September 2005

      HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and
International Trade secretary, Christian Katsande, arrived in South Africa
on Thursday to offer gold mines to the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) as cover for
a hard cash loan to import fuel and food, ZimOnline established.

      Zimbabwe approached RMB last week for a loan facility to import maize
to avert starvation threatening four million people or nearly half of the
country's 11 600 000 people. President Robert Mugabe's cash-strapped
administration also wants foreign currency to end biting fuel shortages
threatening to bring crisis-sapped Zimbabwe to a complete halt.

      Gono and Katsande's visit was in reciprocation to a visit to Harare
last week by officials of the South African Bank to discuss the loan deal.

      RBZ officials speaking on condition they were not named said Gono and
Katsande, who are scheduled to return to Harare today, were expected to
provide finer details requested by RMB, chiefly the issue of security cover
for the loan.

      "RMB has asked for a comprehensive security profile, Gono and Katsande
are going to offer some gold mines to match the South Africans' demands," an
RBZ executive privy to the negotiations said last night.

      Energy Minister Mike Nyambuya refused to take questions on the matter
when contacted by ZimOnline last night.

      According to sources the only possible hurdle to the loan deal being
sealed was if RMB declined the mines being offered by Harare. It was not
possible to establish which mines Zimbabwe was offering or exactly how much
it was seeking from the South African merchant bank.

      Zimbabwe requires about US$100 million a month to import petroleum
products and would require several millions more in hard cash to pay for
food imports.

      The country has rich mineral deposits including the second largest
known deposits of platinum. But similar deals in the past with Libyan firms
under which Zimbabwe offered cheap mining investment opportunities in
exchange for oil collapsed after the Arab firms later demanded hard cash

      As at the end of last year, the Zimbabwe government through its oil
utility, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, owed a total US$171 million to
several Libyan, Iranian and South African oil firms.

      A US$500 million loan offer by South Africa to Zimbabwe to help the
country pay off debts to the International Monetary Fund as well as to
import food and fuel is hanging in the balance because Harare is unhappy
with some political conditions attached to the loan.

      South Africa wants Mugabe to commit to reviving dialogue with the
opposition to find a democratic solution to Zimbabwe's crisis before it can
releaser fund to his government.

      The veteran Zimbabwe leader, blamed by many for ruining his country's
once prosperous economy, has rejected calls to reopen dialogue with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, saying he would
rather talk to British Premier Tony Blair who he claims is the principal
behind the MDC.  ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Zimbabwe slams Australia and New Zealand
Thu 1 September 2005

      HARARE - The Zimbabwe government last night slammed Australia and New
Zealand for calls to drag President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his
ruling ZANU PF party to The Hague, saying this showed the West's desperation
to effect regime change in the southern African nation.

      Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday said they were lobbying the
United Nations Security Council to indict Zimbabwean Mugabe and his
government in the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

      Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that, because
Zimbabwe was not a party to the court, Mugabe could only be indicted with a
reference from the UN Security Council.

      "We know that this is being done to punish Zimbabwe for taking land
from their kith and kin (white farmers) but it does not deter us at all,"
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa told ZimOnline yesterday.

      "We know that they will not succeed in their efforts to remove
President Mugabe, that will never happen," Mutasa added.

      On Tuesday ZANU-PF MPs rammed through constitutional amendments that
will enable Harare to nationalise all land grabbed from white farmers,
create a Senate and allows authorities to seize passports from citizens
deemed to be calling for sanctions against the government.

      Human rights groups immediately condemned the amendments, saying they
would further curtail already eroded freedoms in Zimbabwe.

      Australia , New Zealand together with the European Union and United
States have imposed travel restrictions on Mugabe and his top officials
because of alleged human rights abuses.

      Only recently, the Harare administration cracked down on what it calls
illegal settlements in a move that rights groups say has left up to 300,000
homeless. A UN report on the exercise said up to 700, 000 people were left
without shelter although Harare puts the figure at 120,000.

      But Downer however admitted that getting a resolution to indict Mugabe
through the UN Security Council would be difficult since Mugabe enjoys the
support of most African and developing nations. ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Court issues warrant of arrest for former top official of Mugabe's party
Thu 1 September 2005

      HARARE - A Zimbabwe court on Wednesday issued a warrant of arrest for
former top official of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party and
one of the country's richest businessmen, James Makamba, after he failed to
turn up for a hearing.

      Makamba, who last year spent more than six months in jail awaiting
trial for illegally trading in scarce foreign currency, was set to appear
before the Harare magistrate's court for a routine remand hearing on renewed
charges of contravening the Exchange Control Act.

      But Makamba, who was once a member of ZANU PF's key central committee
as well as its chairman in its stronghold Mashonaland Central province, was
not at court when his name was called out which led the court to issue a
warrant for his arrest.

      Although Makamba was last year convicted on his own plea of guilty to
six counts of illegally dealing in foreign currency amounting to US$133 000,
ZANU PF insiders insisted his was targeted by the police more because of
suspicion by President Robert Mugabe that he was having an affair with his
young wife, Grace.

      Both Makamba and Mugabe's office have never commented on the
suggestions the businessman, who is related to second Vice-President Joyce
Mujuru, was being persecuted because of suspicions he may have had an affair
with the President's wife.

      The charges Makamba is facing were revived after the Supreme Court
rescinded a High Court judgment, which last August set the
politician-turned-businessman free.

      Makamba was earlier this month reported to have fled to South Africa
to settle. But the businessman, who owns several large investments in
Zimbabwe including the country's third mobile phone network, denied he had
fled and said he would return to Harare on time for his court appearance.

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IPS News

Who Deserves a Seat on New Human Rights Council?
Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 31 (IPS) - When the United States, one of the
self-declared champions of human rights, ran for a seat in the 53-member
U.N. Human Rights Commission back in May 2001, it suffered a humiliating
defeat and was ousted from the panel for the first time since its creation
in 1947.

The resentment against Washington was so intense that many of the members
who publicly pledged their votes to the United States reneged on their
promises privately -- and got away with it.

The reason: voting in U.N. elections, including for the Human Rights
Commission, is traditionally by secret ballot. And it is virtually
impossible to figure out who among the 191 member states voted for which

Now the United States is spearheading a campaign to disband the commission
and replace it with a new Human Rights Council to be elected directly by the
191-member General Assembly by a two-thirds majority.

If the proposal is eventually approved by member states, those elected to
the new council will be expected to "undertake to abide by human rights
standards in their respect, protection and promotion of human rights".

The United States believes that by laying down stringent conditions, it
would be possible to bar countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe and Libya -- all
of them accused of human rights violations at one time or another -- from
finding a seat in the new council.

But one Asian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that the
United States may itself be a casualty judging by its poor record on human
rights -- particularly following its global war on terrorism.

"As expected, if elections are by secret ballot, the United States may
possibly fail to get a seat in the new council because U.N. member states
will get an opportunity to express their true feelings -- at voting time,"
he added. "For the United States, it's a political gamble."

But Jim Paul, executive director of the New York-based Global Policy Forum,
which closely monitors the United Nations, is sceptical -- although he
concedes that the U.S. human rights record in recent years has not been

"If the United States is shut out of the new council, that "would be poetic
justice", he said.

"But I doubt that would happen, despite the fact that human rights
organisations have been quite harsh critics of the United States' human
rights record and have even called for U.S. leaders to be brought to trial,"
he added.

"Everyone who is a fair judge of these matters recognises that the United
States is a major human rights violator, largely because of its conduct
outside its borders. But there will be tremendous pressure on member states
to see the emperor is fully clothed, even if he is utterly naked," Paul told

Governments will worry that by not electing the United States, they will
further weaken the United Nations. They will also be concerned about their
bilateral relations with Washington, he added.

John Bolton, the controversial new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
has placed high priority on the creation of the Human Rights Council, which
was one of the proposals in a plan of action for the reform of the world

This proposed plan -- officially called "the outcome document" -- was to
have been approved by some 170 world leaders at the upcoming U.N. summit
Sep. 14-16.

But Bolton's attempt to drastically change the outcome document, including
some 750 amendments, has put the entire exercise in jeopardy.

Still, even if most of the other proposals to revitalise the United Nations
are shot down, the United States wants to salvage the Human Rights Council.

A "core group" of countries, representing all geographical regions, is
currently working behind closed doors to come up with a compromise document
acceptable to all 191 member states.

The proposal for a new council, which is also being discussed by the core
group, has strong support from a coalition of some 15 international human
rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch,
the Association for the Prevention of Torture, the International Commission
of Jurists, Lutheran World Federation, the Quakers and International Service
for Human Rights.

Last week the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
reiterated its support for the new body, urging member States "to commit to
establishing a strong and effective Human Rights Council".

"The IHF insists that, in the negotiations to be held in coming days, the
existing draft provisions on the Human Rights Council must not be weakened,
but -- at least -- retained in their present form", Aaron Rhodes, IHF
executive director, said in a statement released here.

To the extent possible, stronger language should be included on this issue
in the outcome document, e.g. to require that those elected to the new body
have made concrete efforts to demonstrate their dedication to human rights;
to provide that the proposed peer review is implemented through a process
that is transparent and draws on a broad number of sources; and to extend
the means for civil society participation, he added.

Most important, Rhodes said, the summit outcome document should lay down a
solid framework for the establishment of a Human Rights Council and spell
out a clear timeline for completing the reforms.

"This will ensure that constructive discussions can be held in the
post-summit period to determine the exact mandate and modalities of the new
body," he added.

The proposal for the creation of a Human Rights Council was made by
Secretary-General Kofi Annan as part of a restructuring of the world body.

Paul of Global Policy Forum said that a secret ballot for elections to the
new council may not afford much comfort, given the U.S. propensity to bug
U.N. foreign missions with electronic devices.

Many reasons will be put forward to justify a vote for Washington's
membership, he said, pointing out that U.S.-based media companies "will be
howling about a conspiracy to exclude the world's foremost human rights

"I wish the elections to the council could be based on fair and even-handed
criteria, but it will be, as always, heavily influenced by political
considerations," Paul said.

"And, at the end of the day, where are the member states that deserve
membership based on an unsullied (human rights) record? It may be obvious
that the United States should be excluded, but who should be included? No
wonder there is no checklist of membership criteria because few would
qualify," he added. (END/2005)
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Tehran Times

Iranian firm to invest in assembly plant in Zimbabwe

BEIJING (People's Daily Online) - A Harare-based Iranian company, Eternity
Star Motors, is set to invest in a multi-billion-dollar assembly plant in
Zimbabwe to manufacture motorized tillers and other agricultural equipment,
local newspaper The Herald reported on Wednesday.

The company's Chairman Hassan Jafari was quoted as saying on Tuesday the
deal already sailed through and the Iranian company, which also produces
motor bikes and car gearboxes, had shown keen interest in the joint
motorized power tiller project.

"The company has shown interest in coming up with a joint venture on the
tiller and other agricultural equipment and with their knowledge and
capital, they will assist us to produce the Mitsubishi Technology licensed
tillers," Jafari said.

He said the equipment to set up the assembly plant was coming from Iran and
the assembly line was expected to be completed within two months.

Jafari also said the company expects to export some of their products, which
costs 300 million Zimbabwean dollars (about 12,500 dollars) together with
its attachments, to neighboring countries.

The company also launched its own brands of motor bikes in Africa that will
be assembled in Zimbabwe under the brand name "Tiri Tese".

Iran has been one of the leading supporters to Zimbabwe's agricultural
revolution and has contributed immensely towards its development.

The volume of trade between the two nations is expected to increase to 1.5
billion dollars by 2010.

The bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Iran have resulted in strong
partnership agreements being forged.
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ABC, Australia
Thursday, September 1, 2005. 12:25pm (AEST)
Nowhere to go: It is estimated that 1 million people have been made homeless by the demolition progr

Nowhere to go: It is estimated that 1 million people have been made homeless by the demolition program. (ABC TV)

Zimbabwe demolitions leave thousands in limbo

In Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, almost 75,000 people have been made homeless by what the Government calls its slum clean up campaign but opponents call politically-motivated destruction.

Many of these men, women and children are now at serious risk of starvation and disease after being scattered into the countryside.

There is little evidence of the new homes promised by the Government, only continued intimidation of those trying to help people who are desperate and hungry.

Just a few minutes from his home in central Bulawayo, Opposition MP David Coltart examines what remains of a large township.

"So this was a home destroyed and you can see that this was not a shack built up overnight," Mr Coltart said.

Once, 2,500 people lived in the township but now there is only rubble left.

The people have been dispersed in the Government's demolition campaign, Operation Restore Order.

"You can see from the plants, the crops that have been planted here that this would probably have been a home of some people for several years and in some cases people had lived in this area for 25 years and were evicted on two or three hours' notice," Mr Coltart said.

Mr Coltart has just returned to Zimbabwe from Australia, where he was trying to publicise the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans, who have lost their homes and livelihoods.

The campaign is ostensibly to clean up slums and crime but is more likely designed to crush the Government's political opponents.

Since the Opposition for Democratic Change MP returned, the situation has worsened. The aftermath of the demolition campaign may be worse than the event itself.

"Many people are living out in the open," Mr Coltart said.

"I've had reports just this week of grandmothers, of young children, of pregnant mothers still sleeping out in the open because they have been taken out into the rural areas where there are no homes."

No government help

In and around Bulawayo about 75,000 people have been made homeless by the Government's flattening of townships.

Joseph is one of the lucky ones because he has been able to find some temporary shelter for his family.

But he says there has been no help from authorities, who have promised new homes for those displaced in the demolitions.

"How can I say to the Government because I have not even seen any government, since we arrived here, since we were there, everybody was crying," Joseph said.

"Not me, but everybody was crying. There was no help."

Church aid

Joseph and his family now rely on the church for food and clothing, but their place of worship was also crushed by the bulldozers.

Mr Coltart says it is hard to imagine looking at the site that there was once a church there.

"Despite the protestations of people that this was in fact a place of worship, the police came in an utterly destroyed it in the space of a couple of hours," he said.

Reverend Albert Chatindo, from the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, was forced to watch as his pride and joy was pulled down.

"We have given them food and clothing and blankets in winter and so on, so they were like my blood relatives," Reverend Chatindo said.

"We grew to love each other so much. We were so close. I really, I don't easily cry but when the day in question in winter, seeing the children and so on, I really, I cried. Most of them were also crying."

"I've had reports... of grandmothers, of young children, of pregnant mothers still sleeping out in the open."

Now Reverend Chatindo and other church workers are battling intimidation from authorities to support those who lost everything in the Government campaign.

"It is very, very difficult. You know, you live in fear, fear of intimidation, fear of accusation, being accused for working against the authorities," he said.

In some instances, they are battling just to find those who have been dumped in the countryside and to keep them alive.

"I don't know if you have heard that so far we have lost five people who died," the Reverend said.

"The worst was one old man, you know because he was living in the bush. He fell sick and died there and no-one saw him.

"When we discovered, the ants had already eaten out the eyes out and they were now on the lips.

"It's a terrible situation and only us, the field workers, get to know these situations, but not everybody else knows."

Members of the foreign media, including the ABC, are normally banned from Zimbabwe.

But the ABC's Africa Correspondent, Zoe Daniel, was granted accreditation to cover the cricket and then made secret visits to people and places affected by the demolitions.

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Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 10:00 PM
Subject: Voting Record - Constitution Amendment (17) Bill - Committee Stage

Below is the Order Paper Voting Record for the 4 Clauses where the the House divided and individual votes were recorded during the Committee Stage of the Bill - Clause 2 - Land acquisition and removal of access to courts, Clause 3 - removal of freedom of movement, Clause 7 - the Senate - and Clause 21 - removal of right to vote from permanent residents.
Note that there were some mistakes in the Order Paper printed, and unfortunately we only have the uncorrected Order Paper, but it gives an indication.




On Clause 2, (Land and removal of access to courts)

From Order paper: NB there are mistakes on the Order Paper.


AYES – 53  Butau D.,  Bushu Chief S.,  Chapfika D.,  Charumbira Chief. F.Z.,   Chigwedere A.S.,  Chikomba L.,  Chimutengwende C.C., Chimamasa P.A.,  Chihota P.C.,  Chombo I.M.C.,  Dandawa Chief. T.M.,  Gumbo J.M.,  Kangai K.M.,  Kanzama F.,  Kasukuwere S.,  Kaukonde R.J.,  Machaya J.M.K.,  Madubeko J.,  Majange C.,  Makova C.W.,  Malinga A.M.,  Maluleke T.H.,  Mangwana M.P.,  Masawi E.S.,  Matimba K.M.,  Matonga B.,  Matshalaga O.,  Matutu T.,  Maziriri E.,  Machingura O.C.,  Mudzimurema Chief PM.,  Mugabe L., Mugabe S.,  Muguti E.,  Musa C.J.,  Mutiwekuziva K.K.,  Mutomba W..,  Nyambuya M.R.,  Parirenyatwa D.P.,  Rusere T.,  Samkange N.,  Sekeramayi S.T.,  Shamu W.K.,  Ziyambi Z.W.I.,  Tellers: J.M. Gumbo and C.Pote. (48)

Clause 3 (Removal of freedom of movement)

AYES – 59: Baloyi A.,Bidi Chief N.S D.,  Bushu Chief S., Chandengenda D.J.,  Chidarikire F. E., Chigudu T.,  Charumbira Chief. F.Z.,  Chimombe Chief G.M.,  Chigwedere A.S.,  Chikomba L., Chininga T.S., Chiwewe W., Chimutengwende C.C., Chimamasa P.A.,  Chihota P.C.,  Chombo I.M.C., Damasane A.,  Dandawa Chief. T.M.,  Gabuza J.B.,  Gumbo J.M., Kadzima P.,  Kangai K.M.,  Kanzama F.,  Kasukuwere S.,  Kaukonde R.J., Katsande A., Mabika Chief J. Machirori S.,  Made J.M.,  Majange C.,  Makova C.W., Malaba Chief N.C., Malisa Chief C.,  Maluleke T.H., Marumahoko R.,  Masawi E.S., Masuku A., Matimba K.M.,  Matonga B.,  Matshalaga O.,  Matutu T.,  Maziriri E.,  Machingura O.C.,  Mudzimurema Chief. M.P.,  Mugabe L., Mugabe S.,  Muguti E.,  Musa C.J.,  Mutiwekuziva K.K.,  Mutomba W..,  Nyambuya M.R.,  Parirenyatwa D.P.,  Rusere T.,  Samkange N.,  Sekeramayi S.T.,  Shamu W.K.,  Ziyambi Z.W.I.,  Tellers: J.M. Gumbo and C.Pote. (62

Clause 7 (Senate)

AYES – 63: Baloyi A.,Bidi Chief N.S D., Buka F.,  Bushu Chief S., Chandengenda D.J.,  Chidarikire F. E., Chigudu T.,  Charumbira Chief. F.Z.,  Chimombe Chief G.M.,  Chigwedere A.S.,  Chikomba L., Chininga T.S., Chiwewe W., Chimutengwende C.C., Chimamasa P.A.,  Chihota P.C.,  Chombo I.M.C., Damasane A.,  Dandawa Chief. T.M.,  Gabuza J.B.,  Gumbo J.M., Kadzima P.,  Kangai K.M.,  Kanzama F.,  Kasukuwere S.,  Kaukonde R.J., Katsande A., Mabika Chief J. Machirori S.,  Made J.M.,  Majange C.,  Makova C.W., Malaba Chief N.C., Malisa Chief C.,  Maluleke T.H., Marumahoko R.,  Masawi E.S., Masuku A., Matimba K.M.,  Matonga B.,  Matshalaga O.,  Matutu T.,  Maziriri E.,  Machingura O.C.,  Mudzimurema Chief. M.P.,  Mugabe L., Mugabe S.,  Muguti E.,  Musa C.J.,  Mutiwekuziva K.K.,  Mutomba W..,  Nyambuya M.R.,  Parirenyatwa D.P.,  Rusere T.,  Samkange N.,  Sekeramayi S.T.,  Shamu W.K.,  Ziyambi Z.W.I.,  Tellers: J.M. Gumbo and C.Pote. (63)

Clause 21: (Removal of Permanent Residents’ franchise)

AYES – 68: Baloyi A.,Bidi Chief N.S D.,  Bushu Chief S., Chandengenda D.J.,  Chidarikire F. E., Chigudu T.,  Charumbira Chief. F.Z.,  Chimombe Chief G.M.,  Chigwedere A.S.,  Chikomba L., Chininga T.S., Chiwewe W., Chimutengwende C.C., Chimamasa P.A.,  Chihota P.C.,  Chombo I.M.C., Damasane A.,  Dandawa Chief. T.M.,  Gumbo J.M., Kadzima P.,  Kangai K.M.,  Kanzama F.,  Kasukuwere S.,  Kaukonde R.J., Katsande A., Mabika Chief J. Machirori S.,  Made J.M.,  Majange C.,  Makova C.W., Malaba Chief N.C., Malisa Chief C.,  Maluleke T.H., Marumahoko R.,  Masawi E.S., Masuku A., Matimba K.M.,  Matonga B.,  Matshalaga O.,  Matutu T.,  Maziriri E.,  Machingura O.C.,  Mudzimurema Chief. M.P.,  Mugabe L., Mugabe S.,  Muguti E.,  Musa C.J.,  Mutiwekuziva K.K.,  Mutomba W..,  Nyambuya M.R.,  Parirenyatwa D.P.,  Rusere T.,  Samkange N.,  Sekeramayi S.T.,  Shamu W.K.,  Ziyambi Z.W.I.,  Tellers: J.M. Gumbo and C.Pote. (65)

Clause 2 (land and removal of access to courts)

NOES – 29: Bhebhe, A, Biti T.T.,  Chamisa N.,  Chebundo B.,  Chimbaira G.,  Coltart D.,  Gabbuza, G, Gwetu M.,  Madzimure W.,  Madzore P.,  Malinga A.M.,  Mashakada T.,  Matamisa E.E.,  Matutu T.,  Mguni N.,  Mhashu F.,  Moyo J.N.,  Mpariwa P.,  Mubau T.,  Mukahlera T.L.A.,  Mungofa P.,  Mushoriwa E.,  Mutsekwa, Ncube, FD, G, Ndlovu M.M.,  Shoko G.M.,  Sibanda J.G.,  Sibindi T.,  Sikhala J.,  Stevenson B.G.,  Zwizwai M.  Tellers: I.T. Gonese and T. Khupe.

Clause 3 (removal of freedom of movement

NOES – 29: Bhebhe, A, Biti T.T.,  Chamisa N.,  Chebundo B.,  Chimbaira G.,  Coltart D.,  Gwetu M.,  Madzimure W.,  Madzore P.,  Malinga A.M.,  Mashakada T.,  Matamisa E.E.,  Matutu T.,  Mguni N.,  Mhashu F.,  Moyo J.N.,  Mpariwa P.,  Mubau T.,  Mukahlera T.L.A.,  Mungofa P.,  Mushoriwa E.,  Mutsekwa, Ncube, FD, G, Ndlovu M.M.,  Shoko G.M.,  Sibanda J.G.,  Sibindi T.,  Sikhala J.,  Stevenson B.G.,  Zwizwai M.  Tellers: I.T. Gonese and T. Khupe. (30)

Clause 7 (Senate)

NOES – 31: Biti T.T.,  Chamisa N.,  Chebundo B.,  Chimbaira G.,  Coltart D.,  Gwetu M.,  Madzimure W.,  Madzore P.,  Malinga A.M.,  Mashakada T.,  Matamisa E.E.,  Matutu T.,  Mguni N.,  Mhashu F.,  Moyo J.N.,  Mpariwa P.,  Mubau T.,  Mukahlera T.L.A.,  Mungofa P.,  Mushoriwa E.,  Mutsekwa, Ncube, FD, G, Ndlovu M.M.,  Shoko G.M.,  Sibanda J.G.,  Sibindi T.,  Sikhala J.,  Stevenson B.G.,  Zwizwai M.  Tellers: I.T. Gonese and T. Khupe. (31)

Clause 21 ((Removal of Permanent Residents’ franchise)

NOES – 30: Biti T.T.,  Chamisa N.,  Chebundo B.,  Chimbaira G.,  Coltart D.,  Gwetu M.,  Madzimure W.,  Madzore P.,  Malinga A.M.,  Mashakada T.,  Matamisa E.E.,  Matutu T.,  Mguni N.,  Mhashu F.,  Moyo J.N.,  Mpariwa P.,  Mubau T.,  Mukahlera T.L.A.,  Mungofa P.,  Mushoriwa E.,  Mutsekwa, Ncube, FD, G, Ndlovu M.M.,  Shoko G.M.,  Sibanda J.G.,  Sibindi T.,  Sikhala J.,  Stevenson B.G.,  Zwizwai M.  Tellers: I.T. Gonese and T. Khupe. (30)
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      Attack on democracy

      Njabulo Ncube
      9/1/2005 8:40:37 AM (GMT +2)

      IN what is widely seen as an apparent attack on democracy, ZANU PF
this week used its dubious parliamentary majority to railroad controversial
constitutional amendments as New Zealand and Australia pushed for the
indictment of President Robert Mugabe and his government in the
International Court.

      Determined ZANU PF legislators, helped by non-constituency Members of
Parliament and chiefs, voted 103 against 29 for the opposition to amend the
country's constitution for the 17th time since independence in 1980 in a
move roundly condemned by both the local and international communities.
      The amendments, now awaiting President Mugabe's signature to become
law, strip commercial farmers of the right to challenge land seizures
instituted by the government to redress past historical injustices.
      In short, the loss of property rights under the 17th amendment of the
constitution effectively nationalises all land in the country and renders
useless at least 5 000 court challenges that were before the courts.
      Under the provisions of the new amendments, people perceived to be
enemies of the state will be barred from travelling abroad as the new law
allows the withdrawal of passports. Those who have one or more foreign
parents and hold permanent residence status but not full citizenship would
also be disenfranchised.
      The amendments also provide for the establishment of a 65-member
Senate, which critics say President Mugabe wants to set up to accommodate
his loyalists, especially Sithembiso Nyoni who was recently demoted as
minister of small to medium enterprises. Fifty members of the senate will be
elected, while the rest will be traditional chiefs and presidential
      Sources said yesterday President Mugabe envisaged senatorial elections
by October.
      Paul Themba Nyathi, the Movement for Demo-cratic Change (MDC)
spokesman, described the ame-ndments as representing a flagrant disregard
for democratic rights, standards and processes.
      "A constitution should be a symbol of national consensus. This
consensus can only be established if a constitution is formulated in full
consultation with the people," said Nyathi.
      The MDC secretary for information and publicity slammed plans to
re-introduce a bicameral parliament, an institution abolished in 1987 after
the creation of an executive presidency, saying the cash-strapped
government, presently scouting for aid to buy fuel and grain, had no
resources to bankroll an enlarged legislative house.
      "The creation of the Senate is in no way a move to improve legislative
oversight. It has simply been created as an extension of presidential
patronage, aimed at soothing bruised egos within the ruling party," said
Nyathi, adding: "This is a sad day for democracy. For the MDC and the people
of Zimbabwe, the amended constitution is nothing but a politically partisan
document, totally lacking in legitimacy. Its contribution will be an
intensification of the crisis in Zimbabwe."
      The Law Society of Zimbabwe added its voice in condemning the
amendments, describing them as "an assault to democracy and a mockery of the
      In a statement, the National Association of Non-Governmental
Orga-nisations also weighed in, rejecting the way ZANU PF tampered with the
co-nstitution without broad consultation.
      Canberra and Welling-ton, long accused of pressing for regime change
in Zimbabwe, moved with speed on Tuesday, lobbying for the indictment of
President Mugabe and his government who are adamant the new law, which
analysts described as a "rape on democracy", is urgently needed to complete
the what they say is a "Third Chimurenga" and thwart alleged terrorist
      Alexander Downer, the Australian Foreign Minister who together with
his New Zealand counterpart has for the past few years mounted a campaign to
isolate Harare, said because Zimbabwe was not a party to the International
Criminal Court, President Mugabe could only be indicted with a reference
from the United Nations Security Council.
      "I very much hold the view that as a country, which is party to the
International Criminal Court and bearing in mind the simply horrific things
happening in Zimbabwe . . . that it worth a try to get an indictment,"
Downer told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television.
      The Australian foreign minister, however, admitted it would be
difficult to get an indictment through the UN Security Council. In the past
it has been a daunting task for Presi-dent Mugabe's opponents to establish a
consensus in the UN Security Council to censure the Zimbabwean strongman
after being blocked by China and other Third World countries.
      Downer added: "We have started a process of talking with some members
of the Security Council. I think it's best to describe the response as
cautious. I think the US position, the British position and the French
position is one of wanting a bit more time to consider the issue. Nobody has
given a commitment yet to take this forward. I know it's going to be

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      Govt to sink $800 billion into HCC

      Chris Muronzi
      9/1/2005 8:41:13 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government, which admits it is broke, will have to spend $800
billion to follow its rights in Hwange Colliery Company's (HCC) rights
issue, which now aims to raise $2 trillion from the original target of $1

      There are also concerns that the National Social Security Authority
(NSSA), a key shareholder in the country's sole coal producer, might also
struggle to raise funds for its own rights, given new requirements that
compel the authority to have 35 percent of the value of its investment
portfolio in prescribed assets.
      The new measures, which have caused a three-week long impasse on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and also look set to derail the rights offer,
mean NSSA, like other pension funds, will have to sell a massive chunk of
its assets.
      CBZ Holdings Limited and the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) have
been named as the possible underwriters of the colliery's rights issue,
slated for later this month.
      Analysts have questioned the capacity of local financial institutions
to underwrite a transaction of HCC's magnitude. The rights offer is aimed at
financing various mining projects at HCC, settle loans and boost the group's
working capital position. The financial institutions could not readily
comment on the issue.
      Over a trillion dollars would go towards boosting capital expenditure
within the group. According to available figures, about $473 billion is
estimated to be sunk into the opencast venture while an underground project
is set to take over $600 billion.
      "Although they are no serious commitments made yet, several banks
including ZABG and CBZ have shown interest in the underwriting position. The
amount is a moving target, mainly a function of the exchange rate and the
question that has arisen is whether there is capacity on this market (local)
to underwrite that size of a transaction. But government is a major
shareholder so they can just print their allocation, Van Hoogstraten is also
there so he will have to convert some pounds to follow his rights. The two
will not want to be diluted because of Hwange's potential and its strategic
nature, but where will Hwange get the funds even if they get the local
currency equivalent," said an investment analyst.
      Should HCC be able to win key support from shareholders and also get a
lead in the capital raising exercise, availability of foreign currency to
proceed with vital projects might pose problems for the group.
      HCC has been battling to raise only US$25 million for some time since
last year owing to hard currency shortages in the country.
      Godfrey Dzinomwa, managing director of the colliery company, declined
to comment on the rights issue, saying his company would issue statements in
due course.
      Hwange indicated early this year that the group had plans to raise
over $1 trillion but changes on the exchange rate have seen the figure going
up within the same period.
      "The existing foreign currency denominated debt will continue to
present huge exchange risk to the company. Owing to a lack of investment in
plant and equipment, the consequent down time will continue to adversely
affect Hwange Colliery's income generating capacity; and the company's
working capital position will continue to be negative," a source in HCC
      Although no official comment could be obtained from HCC, the same
people said the total figure of the rights issue would be affected by the
movement of foreign exchange. Government, who are the major shareholders in
the company, has indicated its intention to follow its rights. The state
holds over 38 percent of the company's total issue stock.

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      Zim dollar yet to find its real value

      Hama Saburi
      9/1/2005 8:44:50 AM (GMT +2)

      A BADLY bruised Zimbabwe dollar - under siege since the infamous black
Friday of November 1997 - is yet to find its true value with huge losses
suffered in recent weeks pointing to the urgent need to ring-fence its
failing defence mechanism.

      Since January, the battered local unit has been on a freefall against
major currencies with pundits predicting it might end the eventful year
trading at around $35 000 on the official market against the United States
      The Zimdollar - yielding to a yawning demand-supply disequilibrium and
resurgent inflation - has come down with a thud from around $5 900 in
January, settling briefly at $10 800 around June before plunging further
downhill to $17 500 in July.
      But more was still to come. The unit suffered another waterloo shortly
before last month's visit by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team,
raising speculation the latest crash could have been meant to placate the
global lender that has repeatedly asked Harare to abide by the rules of
free-market forces. The IMF board of directors is meeting on Friday next
week to discuss Harare's arrears and future in the institution.
      As at the last auction, the unit traded at $24 500 against the US
dollar, although it is fetching a huge premium on the illegal parallel
      Best Doroh, an economist, said the insatiable appetite for scarce
foreign exchange coupled with the widening inflation differentials between
Zimbabwe and its trading partners, has put the Zimdollar under extreme
      A hazy inflation outlook offers no reprieve for the Zimdollar, with
the July rate of inflation amassing a record 90.5 percentage points to 254.8
percent from 164 percent the previous month. This has pushed the central
bank further from its 80 percent December target.
      "I don't think we are there yet, look at inflation, which is going
up," Doroh said, dismissing suggestions that the local unit could have
anchored at the correct level.
      "We believe this is the start of a policy to allow the exchange rate
to move freely in line with purchasing power parity," Reuters quoted
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Luxon Zembe saying. "But
without balance of payments support to stabilise the economy, the results
will be short term. Our industry has been battered and has no capacity to
generate enough foreign currency."
      Bids received on the foreign currency auction established by the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) early last year have overwhelmed the
resources offered by the central bank, which has done its best under the
      As of July, the central bank was processing on average 6 000 to 10 000
bids per auction with a value ranging from US$150 million to US$200 million
against $12.5 million on offer.
      While resubmissions, splitting of proforma invoices and use of
different suppliers for same invoices inflated the bids, there is no denying
that the Zimdollar would find it difficult to hold faced with the myriad
      Witness Chinyama, another local economist, said unless the country
gets it right on the elusive export and inflation front, the local currency
would fail to hold against major international currencies and its defence
mechanism would continue giving in.
      The consequences have been too ghastly to contemplate for a country
that is so dependent on imported raw materials.
      Exporters, who would earn more Zimbabwe dollars from their receipts,
have had little to smile about as production costs have risen rapidly owing
to cost-push inflation.
      "The depreciation is there to make exports viable, but exports alone
are not enough. We also need to augment export earnings with foreign direct
investments. The currency can stabilise when we have enough foreign exchange
reserves. Right now the exchange rate can go through the roof because there
is a shortage. It is no longer a question of inflation alone, but these
shortages as well. Only about six percent of the bids are getting foreign
currency on the auction and this means that we need to bridge the shortage
so our currency can in future respond to inflation differentials," said
      Central bank figures show that foreign exchange inflows for the first
six months amounted to US$630 million compared to US$141.1 million during
the same period last year.
      The improved foreign exchange inflows saw the RBZ increase the amount
offered on the foreign exchange auction from US$11 million per auction to
US$12.5 million since June.
      Analysts said the long-term solution was to re-engage foreign donors,
particularly the IMF, which is crucial in releasing balance of payments
support to stabilise the fragile economy.
      Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since
independence 25 years ago, largely triggered by seizures of white-owned
farms for the resettlement of landless blacks.
      Allegations of vote rigging have also isolated the former British
colony, with donors and institutions such as the IMF withholding funding.
Six years of recession have left the once thriving economy on the brink of
collapse, with unemployment at over 70 percent.

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      Tungamirai death causes crisis

      Felix Njini
      9/1/2005 8:43:34 AM (GMT +2)

      A LEADERSHIP crisis has emerged in ZANU PF's strife-torn Masvingo
province, with the ruling party's old guard panicking at the prospect of
ambitious Young Turks gaining greater influence following the death of
Josiah Tungamirai.

      ZANU PF insiders said the party was now in a quandary over who to
"baptise as the overseer" in the politically turbulent province.
      Tungamirai, a retired air marshal and minister of indigenisation who
had emerged as the soul of the ruling party in the fractious province, died
last week.
      Tensions over leadership come after outspoken former ZANU PF Masvingo
provincial chairman Dzikamai Mavhaire, who was once suspended for calling on
President Robert Mugabe "to go", has staged a dramatic comeback and is
reportedly regaining his political clout in the area.
      Among those touted as the "front-runners" for the godfather tag in the
province are retired Zimbabwe National Army Commander Vitalis Zvinavashe and
Chiredzi North Member of Parliament Celine Pote.
      Insiders who fear the battle to succeed Tungamirai could be hijacked
by camps involved in the tussle to succeed President Mugabe, who has hinted
at retiring in 2008, said the deaths of vice president Simon Muzenda and the
former air marshal had reduced the old guard's influence in the province.
      Tungamirai was seen more as aligned to retired army general Solomon
Mujuru's camp, which fought a bitter war against former ZANU PF secretary
for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa for the party's second
vice-presidency, which was won by Joice Mujuru.
      "They are all very weak. Zvinavashe is afraid of the people, he is not
a politician. (Mai) Pote is relatively unknown and (Stan) Mudenge is not in
the best of health," said a ZANU PF insider.
      "Even the one who will be baptised leader from the top will just be a
figurehead. At the moment there are no front-runners, which is the same
situation in Matabeleland," said the insider.
      In Matabeleland, where the ZANU PF leadership is accused of appointing
political stooges with little support on the ground, the party has lost
ground to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
      ZANU PF's grip is also slipping in Manicaland province because of lack
of strong leadership. In the Midlands province, the sidelining of the
provincial executive sympathetic to presidential hopeful Mnangagwa has
plunged the whole province into chaos.
      "In the Midlands, a civil war is raging, (Rugare) Gumbo versus
Mnangagwa," said ZANU PF insiders.
      Zvinavashe this week said he was in the dark on the leadership
succession issue. "I have not been told anything so I cannot comment," he
said in a terse response.
      Elliot Manyika, the ZANU PF political commissar, refused to shed light
on the leadership crisis in Masvingo.
      "It is a question of timing, it's not even a week since the man
(Tungamirai) passed away and you are already talking of succession," Manyika

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      Zimbabwean bureaucrats in a class of their own

      Rangarirai Mberi
      9/1/2005 8:44:10 AM (GMT +2)

      WHEN President Robert Mugabe warned at the weekend about shadowy
characters amongst us - "treachery from within" designed to destroy this
great country - his opponents charged he was "hallucinating". But on
Tuesday, The Herald provided hard evidence on its front page.

      After eight months, 50 000 new number plates and a handy $30 billion
in the kitty, government has made a U-turn on the much vaunted issue of new
Zambian-like vehicle registration plates. The reason for this latest
reversal is earth shattering. Apparently, some bright-spark forgot to add
two letters to the new plates.
      "So the introduction of the 'ZW' inscription which is an
internationally recognised acronym for Zimbabwe is not a reaction to the
press reports or a result of any form of complaint by the Zambian
authorities," Allowance Sango, the registrar of the Central Vehicle
Registrar (CVR), explained, helpfully clearing the air for the state daily.
      Then there was, on the same front page a story about Education
Minister Aeneas Chigwedere, reversing his earlier decree backdating school
fees at government schools to January.
      "All fees are for the present and future only and not for the past as
well," Chigwedere philosophised. He demanded that school authorities
immediately refund those who had already paid the backdated fees. This was
contrary to an earlier directive from his ministry raising fees by about 1
000 percent, backdated to the first term.
      A picture of a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officer
probing a meteorite with a ballpoint pen aptly rounded off an entertaining
front page.
      Chigwedere's latest false step and the mess at the CVR show where the
real "enemies from within" are hiding. It's in government's own inability to
competently hold a consistent line on policy, resulting in frequent policy
reversals in recent times - many of them comical, but mostly criminal and
      Government has never disclosed how much it paid for the imported
number plate equipment, touting the gear as an investment that would vault
Zimbabwe into the hi-tech world. But the billions in taxpayer dollars used
to purchase the equipment, and further amounts spent actually using it, now
count for nothing because someone discovered too late that their original
plan did not work. The new plates looked a bit too Zambian, it has now been
noticed, and they had no "ZW" on them either.
      The list of damaging policy turnabouts keeps getting longer. Recently,
after running themselves ragged chasing illegal foreign currency dealers,
shouting themselves hoarse against "economic saboteurs" stashing foreign
currency in their pillows, and detaining people for up to a year for illegal
possession of Bush-currency, government officials had a change of heart.
Now, there are "no questions asked".
      Nearly two years ago, government shut down bureaux de change, accusing
them of stoking the black market. Today, foreign currency barons sleep easy
in the knowledge that a desperate government now sees them as saviours.
      Simba Makoni left his post as finance minister in 2003 after what he
called, in a recent interview with The Financial Gazette, "differences on
broad policy, on our approach to the direction of economic policy for the
country". Many narrow the rift down to Makoni's push for devaluation,
strongly rejected by President Mugabe as "bookish economics" he so despises.
      But in the last three months, government has allowed a cumulative
devaluation of more than 75 percent to the current $24 500 on the US dollar.
      Two weeks ago, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa announced a new tax on
gross share sales, and the stock exchange has stalled for three weeks. The
new withholding tax is a reincarnation of the capital gains tax that
government dropped five years ago after conceding it was unworkable.
      "One wonders what has changed since then, when the government saw the
tax as impractical, and now, to warrant the introduction of a similar tax,"
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chief executive Emmanuel Munyukwi told The Financial
Gazette last week.
      Government itself would argue in its defence that all governments
change policy. But most changes are made so government policies remain
relevant, not because of sudden realisation that earlier policy positions
were taken on inept advice or, as at CVR, because someone just forgot to add
two letters.
      Last month, Canada's top comedians awarded their bureaucrats the
"World's Dumbest" award, saying they had surpassed those in the US and
proved they were "world class in terms of dumb decisions".
      Zimbabwe's bureaucrats would remind the Canadians to stop bragging -
until they have three different number plate types out all at once.

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      OPINION: Chigwedere's dubious distinction

      Mavis Makuni
      9/1/2005 8:45:29 AM (GMT +2)

      EDUCATION, Sport and Culture Minister Aeneas Chigwedere has earned the
dubious distinction of being the only member of Cabinet whose hare-brained
ideas have been regularly derided and rejected not only by ordinary
Zimbabweans but also by his colleagues in the ruling party and parliament.

      It seems that since taking over as Minister of Education, Sport and
Cul-ture about five years ago, he has chosen to hide his light under a
      Given his reputation as a renowned educationist and historian,
Chigwe-dere has proved a letdown from month to month. Instead of taking the
bull by the horns to tackle the ills besetting the education system, he
seems to have decided to cause more chaos by deliberately going out of his
way to dismantle the few functional structures and systems left in the
      In 2001, faced with a complete shambles in his ministry characterised
by an acute shortage of textbooks, dila-pidated infrastructure at government
schools, rampant corruption and inefficiency at the Zimbabwe Schools
Examinations Council (ZIMSEC), and many other irregularities, Chigwedere
resorted to diversionary tactics. That was when he announced the first of
the "'revolutionary" changes he re-garded as priorities in his "vision" to
transform and improve the standard of education and its delivery.
      Chigwedere arbitrarily decreed that all schools with inappropriate
colonial names were to come up with new indigenous ones by January 31 2002.
He warned that his ministry would impose names on those schools that failed
to comply. "Each school has to have an indigenous name or a Zimbabwean
name", he declared, stressing that there was "no compromise as far as we are
      But despite breathing fire and brimstone, this was the first of
Chigwedere's retrogressive ideas to die a natural death after being
universally rejected. Schools have kept their old names for historical and
other reasons. However, undaunted by this embarrassing rebuff and unable or
unwilling to learn any lessons, Chigwedere announced his next pet project in
May 2002.
      In an apparent sudden flash of insight, the minister decreed that all
school children in Zimbabwe would wear one identical uniform and that old
uniforms would gradually be phased out by December 2004. What a hue and cry
Chigwedere sparked with this idea, harking back to the days of Chairman Mao
in China when the whole population turned out in the dull-coloured Mao
      Chigwedere was forced to drop the idea after critics from all sectors
of society roundly condemned it.
      Opponents of the idea expressed outrage and pointed out that the
one-uniform concept was reminiscent of communist dictatorships. Parents
pointed out that the wearing of one common uniform would only cause
confusion as schools would lose their individual identities. Chigwedere was
reminded that instead of focusing on such petty matters he should
concentrate on addressing burning issues such as improving the quality of
education and the conditions of service of teachers.
      If Zimbabweans expected the minister to stand back and reflect after
bowing to the pressure of "people power" on this matter, they were in for an
unpleasant surprise.
      With the one school uniform fiasco still fresh in people's minds,
Chigwe-dere caused more sparks to fly when he high-handedly closed 45
private schools in May 2004. His initial gripe was that the schools had
effected exorbitant fee increases without his ministry's approval.
      Explanations from the concerned schools' officials that the increases
were necessary to keep up with the country's galloping inflation fell on
deaf ears as the minister dug in his heels. Accusing the schools of being
the last bastions of racial discrimination, he called in the police to
barricade the entrances to these institutions and ordered the arrest of some
      But as usual, instead of resulting in any discernible benefit to
anyone, all that this ruckus achieved was to confuse and inconvenience 30
000 children who attend these schools. They could not attend lessons for
weeks and some were traumatised by the sight of armed riot police on their
school premises.
      Unusually, even President Robert Mugabe was obliged to speak out when
he slammed Chigwedere for directing his energies towards trivial matters
instead of tackling important issues such as implementing the
recommendations of the Nziramasanga Commission. This body was constituted in
the 1990s to look into problems affecting the education system and made
recommendations on the way forward. None of the recommendations have been
      In other countries a minister guilty of such bungling, poor judgment,
sparking endless clashes with stakeholders and failure to deliver, would
voluntarily offer to resign or be dropped. But alas in Zimbabwe such a
lacklustre performance is not only tolerated but rewarded.
      It is infuriating that despite all his clowning, Chigwedere can
actually thumb his nose at his critics. As far as he is concerned, the fact
that he retained his portfolio when President Mugabe reshuffled his Cabinet
after the March general elections is a pat on the back and an expression of
confidence in his effectiveness!
      And he seems emboldened and determined to continue on his chosen path
of playing the role of a spoiler rather than a facilitator. Still not
prepared to change his hostile attitude towards private schools despite the
tenuousness of the rationale behind his stance, Chigwedere has dreamt up the
Education Act Amendment Bill. The amendments proposed in this document would
give government control over private schools. This would enable the Ministry
of Education, Sport and Culture to decree what fees and levies these schools
should charge and oversee the recruitment of staff.
      Chigwedere, who has been accused of rushing the proposed amendments to
Cabinet without consulting the ruling party's politburo and other
stakeholders, has angered his parliamentary colleagues. The ZANU PF
legislators have joined teachers, private school trusts, parents'
associations, labour unions and ordinary Zimba-bweans in vehemently opposing
the Bill. Where does Chigwedere go from here? Is this the last the nation
will hear of his counterproductive and unrealistic ideas?
      Highly unlikely, if past events are anything to go by. The minister is
certain to come up with another weird idea if he fails to push this Bill
through the legislative assembly.
      Remember how, out of the blue, he announced that Zimbabwe would have a
national dress by the end of last year? The idea was once again greeted with
scorn and disbelief at the man's failure to get his priorities right. But
watching Chigwedere over the years, it seems that as far as he is concerned
merely announcing these "revolutionary changes" regardless of whether or not
they are viable and practical shows he is doing his job. Alas, he is not the
only government minister to have adopted this modus operandi. And therein
lies the tragedy for this country.

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      Glimmer of hope

      9/1/2005 8:22:37 AM (GMT +2)

      UP until this week, speculation had swirled about Zimbabwe's imminent
expulsion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The international
monetarists were widely expected to slam the door on Zimbabwe at their
crucial Board meeting next week.

      Crisis-hit Zimbabwe and the Bretton Woods twins have over the past
decade had a turbulent relationship over a number of issues. Which is why
critical IMF balance of payments support to Zimbabwe has been on ice for
close to a decade now.
      Among others, the issues the two sides have been haggling over
include: firstly, the Southern African country's intransigence over its
arrears to the IMF which incensed the lender; and secondly, the fact that
Zimbabwe has not been implementing broad and sound structural reforms around
the management of interest and exchange rates as well as the budget deficit,
all of which impact on inflation and the stability of the economy in
      It seemed as if fences had irretrievably broken down and could
therefore not be mended. Sceptics felt that it was just a matter of time
before Zimbabwe, whose credit rating had, to all intents and purposes, been
reduced to junk status, was written off by the IMF, which no longer had the
country in its global plans.
      This was until the events of this week when Zimbabwe placated the IMF
by paying US$120 million to put paid to any precipitous action by the Fund
and what could have been an inglorious exit from the most influential
international lender.
      Although the threat of expulsion from the IMF might have provoked a
muted response from some ZANU PF politicians who have a head-in-the-sand
ostrich mentality, the generality of long-suffering Zimbabweans must have
heaved a collective sigh of relief on learning that the country has, at the
longest last, met a significant part of its obligations to the Fund. This is
moreso given that the country has also kept pace with its payment
commitments to two other key institutions, the World Bank and the African
Development Bank, both of whom were this week paid US$4.5 million apiece to
bring the country's committed payments up to date for the quarter ending
September 2005.
      That a little sunshine is breaking through the dark clouds for what
could be a deeper rapprochement between the IMF and Zimbabwe is cause for
celebration, although sceptics might say not just yet! And indeed cautious
monetary authorities also warned that the paint is still wet for Zimbabwe to
lean against the wall - meaning the country is not out of the woods yet. And
we couldn't agree more. Be that as it may, this week's developments are an
encouraging sign that Zimbabwe might just be able to save its membership
within the key institution.
      We will not pretend, as would the politicians, whom nobody seems to
take seriously anymore, that Zimbabwe's political and socio-economic life
would remain unshaken with or without the IMF balance of payments support
because nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is
that explusion would threaten the egg-shell veneer of stability the country
is enjoying. This is moreso if the expulsion was to happen at this irksome
moment when the economy has touched off an unprecedented meltdown and the
country has lost a whole raft of friends, credibility and prestige.
      We have said it before and we will say it again. We do not accept the
mystique of the IMF nor do we hold any particular brief for some of its
outworn shibboleths. But the harsh reality, whether we like it or not, is
that it is a key and influential institution from which international
financiers take their cue.
      Expulsion would therefore send a damning and ominous signal to the
international financier community that Zimbabwe has its needle well and
truly stuck. And this would be a red flag that would not escape the
attention of these financiers. It would, as surely as the sun rises from the
east and sets in the west, stiffen the hands of those other financiers who
had been sitting on the fence. Resultantly no one would want to touch
Zimbabwe even with a barge pole because IMF support is widely seen as a seal
of approval. The situation obtaining in Zimbabwe today provides telling and
luminous evidence of this.
      This is why we feel that the pleasantly surprising payment of the
US$120 million is a confidence-bolstering move which is the clearest sign
yet that Zimbabwe cherishes its membership of the IMF. The move should start
the incipient process of re-integrating the increasingly ostracised Zimbabwe
into the community of nations. And that is as it should be because,
metaphorically, no country is an island.

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      Mugabe gave us the go-ahead to travel

      9/1/2005 8:20:44 AM (GMT +2)

      EDITOR - I am really appalled by the fact that on top of government's
failures to provide for the Zimbabwean masses they are even thinking of
making it harder to get a passport by introducing new, stereotyped laws.

      I would like to quote our Hounourable President when he addressed us
in 1991 at Rufaro Stadium on Workers' Day. I quote: "Musarambe muchishora
hurumende kuti haisi kutipa mabasa . . . wanayi zvekuzviitira . . ." This is
what he told the people of Zimbabwe when the economy was actually starting
to collapse.
      After this people started going to Botswana, South Africa and Namibia
to make an honest life.
      On the other hand, the country was producing so many graduates but
there were no jobs and they were encouraged to start their own businesses
but unfortunately there was no enough funding for such ventures.
      People then started going to the UK because life there was perceived
to be much better. The government failed to equip hospitals and doctors left
for South Africa, Botswana, the UK and even the US. The government gave a
deaf ear to the people of Zimbabwe's cries for help and they resorted to a
peaceful means of moving on with life.
      So why is the government pushing for prohibitive laws that will make
things tougher for people who are already in a very desperate situation?
      Having said this, why then is the government thinking of forcing
people to stay in Zimbabwe against their will? Can I have some answers to my
questions because the Zimbabwean government has failed to create jobs for
its own people and they have found an alternative.
      The President gave us the go-ahead to travel outside the country and
fend for ourselves. So why should the government now turn around and say
that people going abroad is a threat to the security of the country?
      The governent must come clean on this because it is not good to see
people suffering when there is absolutely nothing to give them.
      Create employment and an efficient health system and we will be more
than ready to come back home.

      Farai Dhula

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      Companies reel from frequent rate hikes

      Rangarirai Mberi
      9/1/2005 8:06:44 AM (GMT +2)

      A COMMON thread is running through the "outlook" section of company
results this reporting season - a shared fear of more damage to earnings
from even faster increases in interest rates, already touching 19-month
highs after a recent run of rate hikes by the central bank.

      Bank lending has hit 300 percent, up from around 80 percent at the
start of the year. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) cut the key bank rate
in January to 95 percent, but has effected five rate hikes since then -
including two recent hikes that came within hours of each other to take the
accommodation rate to 270 percent.
      The rate hikes are the central bank's remaining weapon against
resurgent inflation, but the downside has been a surge in lending rates that
has placed a further burden  on an industry already hit by ever-rising
production costs.
      Suppliers have been offering limited credit terms, anxious to protect
their own loan books, forcing companies to borrow commercially to finance
working capital.
      Banks, including top tier players CBZ and Barclays, are sounding a
cautious tone on lending.
      According to FBC Holdings (FBCH), the high interest rates seen in
recent months have "made commercial (as opposed to concessionary) lending to
customers untenable".
      Pre-tax profit, up a restrained 31 percent to $88.6 billion, had come
"against a backdrop of curtailed lending" and sharp and unpredictable
changes in interest rates.
      FBCH's provisions are down to $6.5 billion from $22 billion in the
2004 first half, but this is only because the banking group had a massive
provision of $64.1 billion at the end of last year.
      At Kingdom Financial Holdings, group chief executive officer Franky
Kufa says the institution has over recent months been "weeding out" what he
called high risk accounts, and will in the last half-year follow a selective
and conservative lending policy.
      Net provisions went up more than 500 percent over the prior half year
to $18 billion, as the full impact of the massive rate hikes of 2004 spilt
over into the new-year.
      "A number of companies are still distressed due to high interest
rates. The rise in interest rates necessitates aggressive positioning. What
sort of business would yield you more than 300 percent in this current
environment?" Kufa asked.
      MBCA Bank Limited had net non-performing loans of $4.8 billion, but
said its exposure to depositors, on a sectoral basis, was not significantly
      Last week, Barclays announced an increase in its minimum lending rates
to 250 percent on Monday, but raised the rate again a day later to 270
percent. On the same day, Zimbank raised its own rate to 275 percent.
Kingdom charges 285 percent for its loans, while the rate at NMB Bank is 297
      African Banking Corporation (ABC) Zimbabwe, which is in a strong
liquidity position, has deliberately restrained the growth of its loan book
as a precaution against the heightened risk of default.
      "The loan book has not grown substantially as a result of a
conservative approach to credit and the high cost of borrowing," ABC says in
its results for the six months to June.
      Cafca, the country's largest cable maker, saw its news of improved
export earnings blighted by numbers revealing high gearing levels.
Short-term debt stands at $9.9 billion, but with shareholders' funds of
$10.3 billion, Cafca's net gearing ratio is alarmingly high at 90 percent.
The company paid $3 billion to lenders during the half-year.
      Another example of the damage that high rates are having on business
is seen at Celsys, which last year stunned the market with surging growth at
its C-phone payphone business, but whose growth is now severely stunted by
      The sparkle of last year has been dimmed by a huge interest charge,
the result of high borrowings that Celsys has failed to shake off since
      The technology company, which also prints cellular recharge cards and
security documents, made a $26.4 billion writedown on the debtors' book. An
interest charge of $10.5 billion cut through earnings, leaving an
attributable loss of $19.7 billion at the half-year.

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      Stockfeed prices shoot up

      Rangarirai Mberi
      9/1/2005 8:05:21 AM (GMT +2)

      THE continued weakening of the local currency has triggered a sharp
rise in stockfeed prices as manufacturers turn to expensive imported
substitutes in the wake of chronic raw materials shortages. The local unit
tumbled from $10 800 in March to $17 500 against the greenback in July,
before plunging further to $24 500 last month.

      National Foods (Natfoods), the leading stockfeed supplier in Zimbabwe,
has admitted facing what it said were "dramatic pressures on raw material
costs", which it has to pass on to the farmers. An official at Agrifoods, a
division of Natfoods, warned of a significant increase in stockfeed prices
as manufacturers battle constant fluctuations in importation prices. "We are
unable to give an exact figure for the prices of any of our products because
they are likely to change in the space of a week," an official at Agrifoods
told The Financial Gazette this week. Shortages of local and imported raw
material has affected the supply of stockfeed since early May, but the
Agrifoods official said his company expected supplies to improve over the
next quarter as the company has begun importing raw materials from the
region. "This month and in the following month, we hope to start operating
at full capacity, as we are now importing soya beans and maize from South
Africa and Zambia, unlike in the period from May up to mid-July." Natfoods,
in its interim report, said it is facing "dramatic inflationary pressures"
on the cost of raw materials, which it says will be the greatest challenge
going into the last half of the year. "Availability of raw materials is a
growing concern both for imported stocks and locally produced goods, such as
packaging, soya beans, cotton seed, wheat and maize," Natfoods said. Foreign
currency problems have hampered the supply of stockfeed. The Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe has devalued the Zimbabwe dollar by a cumulative 75 percent in
three months to the present level of $24 100 against the United States
dollar, but the local currency is even lower on the black market where most
companies have been sourcing foreign currency due to short supply on the
official market. According to Natfoods, its foreign currency allocations
from the central bank's currency auction are down 73 percent from the six
months ended December 31 2004. The rising costs of stockfeed have led to
higher prices of beef, dairy and poultry products.

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      RBZ reintroduces 30-day treasury bills

      Chris Muronzi
      9/1/2005 8:08:52 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) reintroduced 30-day treasury bills
(TBs) last week, seeking over $150 billion after failing to win support from
investors on long-term paper amid concerns of rising inflation.
      The central bank came to the market last Wednesday with three tenders
of 30-day bills. In the first tender, $36.9 billion was allotted at 221
percent, $59 billion in the second at 223.9 percent, while $55 billion was
allotted for the third at 224.9 percent. The 30-day tender represents a
turnabout in policy by the RBZ. In April, the authorities suspended all
trade in short term instruments and replaced them with long term paper, but
the bills failed to attract much interest. Authorities at the bank had felt
that the move would check speculative positioning while making it easier for
them to manage money market liquidity. However, after a series of long term
paper failed to attract significant subscriptions, the central bank
reintroduced 91-day bills. Dealers say there has been little interest in
longer-term bills from investors, worried by the trend in inflation.
Inflation surged to 254.8 percent in July, a record 90.4 percentage point
jump from the June rate of 164.3 percent. Dealers see more participation on
the new short-term TBs. "It's an interesting development. The timing of the
bills is such that they will mature just as the August inflation figures
come out. Investors are increasingly taking a short term view on
investment," a dealer said this week. The policy turnaround has been seen as
further confirmation that government coffers have run dry, and as a sign of
concern by RBZ at the inflation rate, which it wants to rein in to 80
percent by December. The weaker appetite for 91-day TBs is despite the RBZ
raising rates to an average of 270 percent. Dealers have also shown concern
at the unpredictable nature of RBZ liquidity management, citing a recent
development where there had been a difference of over 60 percent between on
morning 91-day bill tender and another issued in the afternoon. Other
dealers say the latest treasury instruments are likely to spell doom for the
equities market, which is already in a crisis after new requirements on
pension funds that has caused a massive share overhang and a new tax on
traded shares that threatens the viability of brokers.

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      Why does Zimbabwe need 'big brothers'?

      9/1/2005 8:13:28 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE'S sovereignty has been proclaimed from the rooftops as loudly
and as often as possible. One would have to be from another planet not to
know that the most noticeable difference between our country and the rest is
the belief of the leadership in sovereignty as a panacea for all ills.

      But as battle-weary Zimbabweans have learnt through bitter experience,
the much-vaunted sovereignty, far from being of any use in their constant
struggle for economic survival, does not make an iota of a difference. On
the contrary, the louder the leadership shouts about it, the harder life
seems to become, not just for the ordinary person but even for the
government itself.
      For quite sometime now, it seems to have become imperative for
President Robert Mugabe, upon his return home from his regular foreign
trips, to pay tribute to "friendly countries" for supporting Zimbabwe's
cause or for helping to thwart moves to have the country put on the agendas
of particular summits, committees or organs of international organisations
such as the United Nations.
      Not long ago the President was paying fulsome tribute to China,
Tanzania and Russia for blocking moves by Britain and its allies to have the
issue of the controversial clean-up exercise known as Restore
Order/Murambatsvina placed on the agenda of the United Nations Security
Council. This was after UN Special Envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, had pointed out
the serious shortcomings of the exercise in a report she compiled after
spending a fortnight in Zimbabwe
      These anomalies that Tibaijuka's report drew attention to are not
figments of her imagination but objective realities affecting the lives of
hundreds of thousands of people. The government of Zimbabwe will not address
these issues at home, alleging as usual that those who express concerns over
the unfairness, harshness, or insensitivity of its actions are puppets of
Western imperialists. By painting everyone who differs with it with the same
brush, President Mugabe's government has been able to disregard the views of
the entire populace and proceed as though everything is normal. For how long
can such a fraudulent position be sustained?
      Listening to the President singing the praises of "friendly
countries," that endorse his government's refusal to be accountable to its
own people feels like having a dagger driven through my heart. It is like
having surgery without an anaesthetic.
      As an ordinary person struggling to keep my head above water in the
prevailing harsh economic and politically noxious environment, I do not see
why I should applaud these people for prolonging my suffering.
      The leaders of these countries are no different from President Thabo
Mbeki, who has used his "quiet diplomacy" trick all these years to covertly
express solidarity with the ruling elites in this country.
      But how long can the Zimbabwean government avoid facing up to its
international obligations by hiding behind the skirts of these allies?
      If ordinary Zimbabweans are to take the rhetoric about sovereignty
seriously, surely the government should show that it has enough muscle to
hold its own on the international stage. The fact that the government needs
"big brothers" like Nigeria and South Africa to shield it from facing up to
its responsibilities makes a mockery of the constant chest beating about
this country's determination never to be "a colony again".
      This country may not be a colony again in the literal and original
sense of the word but it is definitely now beholden to new "masters" in more
complex and costly ways. This is too high a price to pay for pride.
      For the sake of maintaining the pretence that this country can go it
alone, the government is being treated like a naughty child to be restrained
in public by adults (friendly states).
      These "Big Brother" countries definitely do not have the interests of
the ordinary people at heart. If they did, they would not be so keen to
shield the government from facing scrutiny in regional and international
forums unless they knew it had something to hide.

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      That season has come again

      Jonathan Kadzura
      9/1/2005 8:21:59 AM (GMT +2)

      THIS time what will be Zimbabwe's loud excuse? Assuming that the good
Lord blesses us with a perfect rainy season, can we surely say that the
country is ready and geared to take advantage of its expanded agricultural

      As Zimbabweans, we must learn to own up. The power to change our fate
is always in our hands. The decision to take full responsibility as a
sovereign state is also unquestionably ours and we fought and won it. What
we do with it remains the challenge as a lot of people remain on the banks
of economic activity.
      For the most, our need to import food is a result of a drought that
did not just hit Zimbabwe but most of the region. However, the government
was the first to acknowledge that we could have done better with irrigation
schemes and that the nation should by now have learnt better that we are
able to go through times as hard as these without having to import basic
      This is not the right time to wonder, nor is it the right time to make
forecasts, but if we did not, who should do so for us?
      Only a few months from now we will be into our rainy and biggest
agricultural season, when our staple food is generally grown by both urban
and rural families, apart from the old and new commercial farmers. We have
with time moved away from those beautiful years when our seed was simply
recycled from our crops and our composts were opened up for the new season.
We have now moved to the times of tested seed and recommended fertilisers, a
good idea but a bit inconvenient at this stage of our development.
      Some people might choose to politicise this simple fact and refuse to
accept that in the short term this move has disadvantaged us because many
people now believe that their recycled seed is not good enough and therefore
not worth planting in the absence of the tested seed. Equally, the use of D
fertiliser was not as common until just recently, with most rural people
useing mufudze or the traditional cattle, goats, sheep manure and prepared
      Perhaps, while the country is going through these hard times, it might
be an idea to encourage people to use these traditional methods that have
fed this country for time immemorial. It is good to move with technology,
but sometimes it is better to contend with what you have.
      Inputs remain a major issue because tillage power continues to be in
short supply. In my view, we all know too much about what is wrong but tend
to spend a lot of time talking about who is to blame instead of solving the
real challenges.
      Against this simple background, a few questions come to mind, such as
the appropriateness of those who today are sitting on the very fertile A2
farms. I agree with the government's position that if you have not produced
before for whatever reason, please surrender the land back to the state.
Refusal or resistance to this humble request by the government is, in my
view, tantamount to economic sabotage.
      I think the minister responsible for agriculture must tell the nation
honestly how much seed we have in the country, how much D fertiliser is in
the country, and how much AN fertiliser we have. Having done this, those who
are able to bring in these products must be allowed to do so for as long as
they legally import them through the seed or fertiliser houses in order to
ensure the quality and suitability of these inputs.
      The people must know how much we need of each of these inputs. These
issues are not security issues but potential business opportunities for the
      In my view, imports control for quality purposes can easily be
monitored, severe penalties being imposed on those who might try to cheat
the country by importing fake products.
      At reasonable prices, people will offer to import these products. Look
at the queues at the foreign currency-only fuel pumps. There is a bigger
security risk in not disclosing these statistics when again we are hit by
famine that we cannot attribute to the weather.
      It must also be understood that weather-induced starvation at the
scale of the past years is also soon coming into question. The relevant
ministries must now begin to take responsibility. We cannot take for granted
that it will be business as usual when we go back to the people with excuses
they are already used to.
      Questions are already being asked about the dams that are not being
utilised all over the country. Questions are being asked about the boreholes
that remain in disrepair, about the rivers that show no promise of use
through smaller tunnels diverted for agricultural applications throughout
the country. These are the issues. They are not a secret but a public
nuisance which nobody seems to take seriously as they ravage our economy.
      Did I hear right on Sunday, August 21, that Governor Samkange said (or
did he say so?) that the dreaded Operation Murambatsvina is finally going to
visit A2 farmers? I sincerely hope I heard what I did, because if it is
true, I will live to see the day. However, if it is not so, I apologise to
the governor of Mashonaland West.
      Murambatsvina, particularly on the A2 farms, would not be a health but
an economic factor which should target all those hangers-on who claim to
have letters of offer when they are, in fact, carrying fraudulent documents
and, in some instances, show utter intransigence and complete disrespect for
government policy on resettlement.
      Governor, if I heard you right, I salute you.
      Mashonaland West is surely the country's bread basket, but is
performing dreadfully because everyone is everywhere. One cannot help
hearing stories told by the landless about who has how many farms because he
is a chef or a chef's relative. The country, like the President himself, is
tired of such double standards on land.
      I think it would be a good idea to publish the true identities of
those who benefited from the A2 land distribution exercise in each province
and exactly where they are. After all, they benefited from a national asset
out of trust and national confidence invested in them that they would
produce food for the country.
      The lists that were published during the exercise were understandably
inaccurate because of the massive movements taking place at the time.
      Also on August 21, the minister of policy implementation said he was
tired of hearing the most spoken word in Zimbabwe - "turnaround". We now
want to hear about the fact that we have taken off, as the minister said.
      --- Jonathan Kadzura is a farmer and economic commentator

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            PRESS RELEASE

      Government must take Zimbabwe to task at UN

            Following calls from Australia's foreign minister for tough
action against Robert Mugabe, Shadow Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell
echoed the need for the international community to take a stand against
Zimbabwe's criminal government. He said:

            "Our Government should take Zimbabwe to the Security Council
immediately. The Government's refusal to do this is unconscionable.

            "The desire to help Africa out of poverty, malnutrition and
disease is inextricably linked to the need to be honest and straightforward
about those African leaders who are letting Africa down.

            "There is a moral duty on the Presidents of South Africa and
Tanzania to speak out about what is happening in Zimbabwe, in the interests
of ordinary Zimbabweans whose property, livelihood and homes are being
bulldozed in a flagrant breach of their human rights."

            Andrew Mitchell MP

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IMF mum on Zim expulsion threat
01/09/2005 16:06  - (SA)

Washington - The International Monetary Fund stayed tight-lipped on Thursday
on Zimbabwe's possible expulsion from the world lender after the crisis-hit
African country repaid some of its IMF debts.

The IMF took note that Zimbabwe on Monday had repaid $120m of its arrears
but said President Robert Mugabe's government still owes it about $174m
dating back four years.

The IMF board will meet on September 9 to consider an annual review of
Zimbabwe's economy "as well as the possible issue of compulsory withdrawal",
the organisation said in a brief statement.

"An IMF staff mission is currently in Harare to review recent economic
developments and prospects. The mission is also preparing a report for the
IMF executive board," it said.

An IMF official refused to be drawn on whether the partial repayment of
Zimbabwe's debt had eased the climate, saying further comment would come
only after next week's board meeting.

The trip by the IMF team currently in Zimbabwe was extended by two days and
ended ON Wednesday. The mission is due to fly out on Friday.

Zimbabwe Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono said ON Thursday the repayment of
part of the IMF debt did not automatically avert the country's threatened
expulsion from the global lender.

"We are a guilty party from a technical point of view," he was quoted as
saying by the state-run Herald newspaper.

"All we can do is to plead mitigatory circumstances to our arrears situation
and pray that the jury will see for itself how genuine our efforts at
self-correction are."

Gono said the repayment came possibly from a "positive response from some of
our exporters and holders of free funds in response to some of the
turnaround initiatives ... in particular the favourable exchange rate

But South Africa's Business Day newspaper on Thursday said it came from
"undeclared foreign exchange reserves which could be seen by the IMF as a
serious violation of its rules on transparent presentation of key data".

If expelled, Zimbabwe would be only the second country to be thrown out of
the IMF after the former Czechoslovakia in 1954.

Foreign critics and domestic opposition parties accuse Mugabe squarely for
being responsible for the country's devastating economic decline,
characterised by triple-digit inflation and sky-high unemployment.

But Mugabe's government has blamed drought and sanctions by the European
Union and the United States for the country's plight.

Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by 30% in the past four years following the
seizures in 2000 of about 4 500 white-owned commercial farms which sent
agricultural production plummetting.

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US $120 million keeps IMF at bay, but food crisis still looms

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - In a surprise move cash-strapped Zimbabwe
has paid off a substantial part of its arrears to the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), but economists are raising questions over the government's
capacity to import enough maize to feed up to 4 million people facing food

Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono told the official Herald newspaper that
the government had paid back US $120 million of the US $295 million it owed,
saying the funds had been sourced from exporters and holders of free funds.

"This is a modest payment, meant to demonstrate our sincerity with respect
to our international obligations," he said. The announcement came just days
before a crucial 9 September meeting of the IMF's executive board to discuss
Zimbabwe's possible expulsion over outstanding debt.

Harare-based economist Denis Nikisi told IRIN that although the government
may have accrued some forex from exporters, he doubted that it had been able
to raise a sufficient sum internally.

"Inflows from Zimbabweans living abroad may have contributed as well but, by
and large, it is unlikely that those funds, coupled with the proceeds from
exporters, would have been enough to pay the IMF such a large amount,"
Nikisi explained.

He speculated that President Robert Mugabe's recent trade and investment
visit to China may have paid off, contrary to media reports that the
president had returned home largely empty-handed.

"Mugabe likely agreed to a number of tradeoffs during his visit to China in
exchange for the cash. However, it remains to be seen if there is any more
left over to buy food for the country," Nikisi commented.

Zimbabwean authorities have refused to appeal for international aid to stave
off widespread food shortages, insisting instead that the government has the
capacity to import the 1.2 million mt required to fill the food gap.

Samuel Muvhuti, chief executive officer of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),
the official purchasing agent, told IRIN on Thursday the country was
bringing in grain at an average rate of 120,000 mt a month from various
sources, mostly private dealers in South Africa.

"We are well connected to our suppliers in South Africa and other parts of
the world - so far we have imported over 300,000 mt. More grain is still
coming in," said Muvhuti.

He refused to disclose the budget allocation for grain procurement, saying
the information was between the GMB and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which
manages the allocation.

Murerwa freed grain trading in Zimbabwe earlier this month, announcing that
the state-owned GMB would no longer enjoy a monopoly, and scrapped duties on
maize and wheat imports.

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RBZ Scraps Gold Support Price

The Herald (Harare)

September 1, 2005
Posted to the web September 1, 2005


THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has with immediate effect scrapped the gold
support price as a consequence of the re-allignment in the exchange rate.

Central bank governor Dr Gideon Gono announced yesterday that producers were
now benefiting from the higher exchange rate, presently pegged at $24 000 to
the United States dollar, thus rendering the support price obsolete.

"Henceforth, therefore, all gold trading will be effected at the auction
exchange rate, allowing monetary and fiscal authorities enough headroom to
consolidate the budgetary implications of support rendered prior to the
realignment in the exchange rate," said Dr Gono.

Furthermore, beginning 2006, the cotton support price will be set aside in
January next year as the auction exchange rate would become the guiding
parameter in setting the cotton prices.

Cotton producers and cotton-buying houses would thus be expected to enter
into selling agreements that would value cotton deliveries taking into
account the benefits of the realigned exchange rate.

"This way, the growers of the 'white gold' come to realise and benefit from
the export nature of their produce," said Dr Gono.

It would appear the central bank has embarked on a deliberate policy to
terminate support facilities following the upward adjustment of the exchange

In July the gold support price had been increased to $230 000 per gramme
from $175 000. More benefits would now be yielded through the new exchange

In his July monetary policy statement the governor also scrapped the tobacco
support price following the upward adjustment of the exchange rate.

Tobacco growers have since expressed their happiness with the new
arrangement. Furthermore, the export facility under which firms borrowed at
a concessionary 5 percent interest was also scrapped last month following
the realignment of the exchange rate.

Industry representatives fully supported this move. Dr Gono also reiterated
that the Agricultural Sector Productivity Enhancement Facitlity (ASPEF)
would remain in place until December next year at a special interest rate of
20 percent per annum.

"As monetary authorities we wish to reiterate that disbursements under the
agriculture support facility are being done under a rigorous screening and
strict post-lending inspection framework to plug off any attempts to
arbitrage and abuse funds accessed under the facility."

Dr Gono stressed that the transitory setbacks caused by drought and the
exogenous effects of the global fuel price increases "should thus not shrink
our resolve and determination to steer our great nation towards
macro-economic stability, economic growth and prosperity".

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New Zimbabwe

The right to revolt against tyranny

By Adv. Lucas Nkomo
Last updated: 09/02/2005 00:47:11
FOLLOWING the State's withdrawal before plea of the second criminal charge
of treason against him, MDC party leader Morgan Tsvangirai issued a
statement at a media conference wherein he discussed the situation in
Zimbabwe and the way forward.

In the last paragraph of the full text of the statement published by on 3 August 2005, Tsvangirai declared that "We shall be
taking the people's wishes to our international partners and the entire
international community to nudge them to help us find a lasting solution to
our problems"

In the last sentence of that paragraph Morgan Tsvangirai had to mince his
words thus: "If, as Mugabe says, no other option is available to resolve the
crisis, let us hope that he refrains from pushing the people to the wall and
force them to try out something else".

That Morgan Tsvangirai had to use guarded language to express the hope that
Mugabe "refrains from pushing the people to the wall and force them to try
out something else" may be sad testimony that the Mugabe regime's use of the
law to persecute its political opponents has taken its toll: no more clarion
calls for Mugabe to go peacefully or else he will be removed violently; or
calls for a "Final Push" to get rid of the regime. In the struggle for a
just and democratic society in Zimbabwe currently, there is a glaring and
lamentable dearth of inspired leadership courage and resolve such as that
displayed by Nelson Mandela in his famous 1964 speech from the dock during
the Revonia treason trial: "But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die"; or Fidel Castro in 1953: "Condemn me. It does not matter.
History will absolve me".

Despite the Mugabe regime's perverse use of the law as an instrument of
terror and tyranny, there is a recognised right of a people to resort to
rebellion against tyranny and oppression. International law, political
morality and even Christian doctrine all recognise that the people have an
inalienable right to resort to rebellion against tyranny in certain
circumstances. It is hoped that this general exposition of the right to
resort to rebellion against tyranny with particular focus on the Zimbabwean
situation will fortify and inform the resolve of those in the forefront of
the struggle for political change even on the face of criminal charges of

That governments can become criminal governments is beyond question -
Hitler's Third Reich and Mugabe's Zanu PF, to name only two examples, are
cases in point. Governments can prosecute criminals, but when, as in
Zimbabwe currently, a government engages in criminal acts against its own
citizens, what recourse do its citizens have? What recourse, as a last
resort, do the people have against a regime that has effectively outlawed
all lawful and peaceful means of effective struggle against its tyranny?

The issue of what recourse, as a last resort, is available to a people
oppressed by a tyrant exercised the minds of legal and political
philosophers for Centuries and led to the articulation of the notion that
human beings have certain natural rights which are inalienable; that the end
and design of civil government cannot be to deprive the people of their
liberty or take away their freedom, but, on the contrary, the true design of
civil government is to protect the people in the enjoyment of liberty.

On that score, it followed that tyranny and arbitrary power are utterly
inconsistent with and subversive of the very end and design of civil
government. Consequently, the authority of a tyrant is of itself null and
void, for it is impossible that any individual, or even the greatest number
of people, can confer a right upon another of which they themselves are not
possessed; that is, no body of people can justly and lawfully authorise any
person to tyrannise over and oppress fellow-creatures.

It is therefore recognised that once a government abuses the people it is
supposed to represent by adopting tyrannical and capricious rule, such
government forfeits its right to legitimately rule the people and the people
have a legitimate right, as a final recourse, to renounce all submission to
its rule and revolt against it.

The recognition and legitimation of the people's right to resort to
rebellion against tyranny is embodied in international human rights
instruments. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United
Nations General Assembly in 1948, in the third paragraph of the preamble,
declares that it is essential that human rights should be protected by the
rule of law, "if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last
resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression".

The African [Banjul] Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights adopted by the
Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) in 1986, in Article 20(2)
and (3), confers colonized or oppressed people with the right to "liberate
themselves by resorting to any means recognised by the international
community". The Charter further enjoins State parties to it to assist the
oppressed in their liberation struggle.

It is therefore plain that recourse to rebellion against oppression by a
post-independence regime like Mugabe's ZANU (PF) is, in the wording of the
African Charter, a "means recognised by the international community" as
expressed in the third preambular paragraph of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights confirms the
universal recognition of the right to resort to rebellion against tyranny
and oppression, and its status as a self-evident and inalienable human right
that cannot be transferred, waived, forfeited, usurped, or lost through
failure to exercise or assert it. There was therefore no need for Morgan
Tsvangirai to disguise his warning that Mugabe may force people to rebel
against his oppressive regime.

Consequently, it is generally accepted that the duty to submit to just and
lawful governance is founded upon the obligation to promote the general
good; and the same obligation to promote the general good obligates the
people to zealously oppose tyranny. No person can be a good member of
society who is not as zealous to oppose tyranny as he or she is ready to
obey lawful authority. As Reverend Samuel West in his 1776 sermon on the
right to rebel against governors asserted, a slavish submission to tyranny
is proof of a sordid and base mentality which is devoid of generous human
sentiments and tender regard for mankind.

While the act of rebellion at times entail resorting to violent action, it
is at times regarded as morally legitimate to take violent action against a
tyrant in a situation where such violence can reasonably be expected to
relieve much greater harm and suffering than it causes.

The concept of human rights asserts an entitlement on the part of the rights
bearer and an obligation on the part of society to incorporate that
entitlement into its system of values and laws. It is therefore imperative,
as a future guarantee that Zimbabwe will never be a tyranny again, that
consideration be given to a constitutionally entrenched right to have
recourse to rebellion against tyranny and oppression. Arguably, the tendency
of governments towards tyranny and oppression of their citizens cannot be
kept in check unless governments have some fear of the people's collective
right, entrenched in the Constitution, of recourse to rebellion against such
tyranny and oppression.

The entrenchment of such a right in the Constitution will not only
incorporate a right that is already recognised in international human rights
instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights, as all the other rights in the
current Constitution are, but will also have the crucial effect of
countervailing the State's institutional monopoly of force and violence. As
one of the 17th Century legal philosophers on the subject, John Locke,
asserted, "this doctrine of a power in the people of providing for their
safety anew is the best fence against rebellion" because a government that
respects the people's ability to form a new government is a government that
understands the limits of its own power.

The call for such a constitutional right in Zimbabwe must not therefore be
mistaken for a call for the entrenchment of the Hobbesian state of nature,
namely that of occasional war of all against all. Instead, it is a right
that can arguably be regulated in the same manner that the right to resort
to the use of force between states is regulated under public international

In its hour of triumph, the American Revolution of 1776 consecrated the
right to rebel against tyranny in the Declaration of Independence, in the
following telling terms: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness; That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That
whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the
Right of the People to alter or abolish it and institute a new Government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such
form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and

The French Revolution of 1789 culminated in a Declaration of the Rights of
Man that bequeathed the right to rebel to future generations in equally
forthright terms: "When the government violates the rights of the people,
insurrection is for them the most sacred of rights and the most imperative
of duties".

It is worth noting that those who resorted to rebellion against the
oppression of the Rhodesian colonial regime, in their hour of triumph, that
is, the negotiations that ended the hostilities and brought about the
Lancaster House constitution; failed to legitimise the right to resort to
rebellion against oppression by enshrining it in the constitution. It is
hoped that Zimbabweans will not repeat the same omission in their hour of
triumph against the ZANU (PF) regime. Never again should a regime have sole
monopoly of force and violence.
Advocate Nkomo is a Zimbabwean lawyer based in Canada

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New Zimbabwe

Constitutional reform and the MDC mess

By Tawanda Hove
Last updated: 09/02/2005 00:43:27
THE authoritarianism of Zanu PF has once again held sway and will only
accelerate Zimbabwe's race to the bottom.

And what the MDC's solution is as said by the former MP Themba Nyathi, "We
trust regional leaders will take note of today's developments and reconsider
the merits of existing policy approaches towards the Zimbabwe question."

How many times does the region have to fool you to understand the message
that they are trying to get into your obstinate heads - it is only when
there is a shift in the balance of forces in Zimbabwe that the region and
the international community will act?

Regional solidarity is important so is international solidarity, but
remember Burma, remember Chile, remember China, remember Mauritania,
remember Pakistan, there are no democratic governments in these countries
yet the international community still engages them. There is need to shift
the balance of forces in Zimbabwe and then the international community will
act. We know what the Zanu PF government has been responsible for but we
must question the MDC's response to the constitutional debate in Zimbabwe.

After the February 2000 NO Vote campaign, the MDC has always made the
constitutional reform agenda peripheral. They have failed to hold or build a
definitive national front with the NCA and other people who have been
arguing and saying that the constitution is what is fundamentally wrong. Te
MDC has argued that it is a political movement, their agenda was clear, to
capture state power and not to check it like the work of civil society.

The argument that they are a political party and that the business of the
political party was to capture power has been turned on its head by Zanu PF.
Not only was this an empty and impoverished argument but it reflected the
weaknesses of the MDC, it fails to build tactical alliances and despite many
meetings with civic society, the MDC was arrogant and never willing to be
humble enough to mobilise around constitutional reform.

Now they have been exposed and Zanu PF is playing yo-yo with them and their
response is to 'walk on the streets' with no people. This is the biggest
joke of Zimbabwean politics. Imagine this scene of an almost motley crew of
MPs marching on the streets of Harare with no following in your territory.
Surely no one is supposed to take them seriously. MPs who cannot even
mobilize their constituencies to either march with them or at least stay
home. What is the meaning of 'movement' then? A political movement is
distinguished by one and one thing only, and it is that is composed of a
mass of people and that there is motion, there is movement towards
somewhere. The opposition is behaving like a spoilt brat, this is Africa, it
s not Scandinavia where opinion is regarded highly. In Africa, social
transformation will only be guaranteed by mass pressure and mass political
action, they must know that unless the balance of forces has shifted then
they will remain in a stalemate, out of power and invite more intra-party

We now even hear that the Tsvangirai's home has now been turned into another
"Mereki' where praise singers and clueless people gather to chant how its
difficult to deal with Zanu PF. We will not turn to the third force because
it has already consumed itself by the type of ethno-nationalists that it is
rallying behind its motley cause but the MDC must be reclaimed by the
Hove writes from South Africa

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Old Mutual confirms ownership of stake in Zimbabwean media group
09.01.2005, 11:18 AM

STOCKHOLM (AFX) - Old Mutual PLC, the London-listed insurer that is in talks
to acquire Swedish counterpart Skandia Insurance Co Ltd, has confirmed that
it holds a stake in Zimbabwean media group Zimbabwe Newspapers.

According to a report on Swedish radio earlier today, Old Mutual's stake in
the group, majority-owned by the Zimbabwean government and seen as
supportive of Robert Mugabe's regime, was cited by some Skandia directors as
a potential obstacle to the deal during talks last weekend.

An Old Mutual spokeswoman said the company held a 19 pct stake in Zimbabwe
Newspapers, equivalent to about 0.2 pct of assets under management at its
South African division.

'We have had operations in Zimbabwe for 50 years and have very loyal
customers there. We feel we have a duty to support them,' she said.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on Swedish radio reports that Old Mutual
will launch a formal bid for Skandia today or tomorrow.

'Discussions are continuing,' she said.

On Monday, Old Mutual said it had outlined a proposed offer of 42 skr per
share for Skandia during talks with the company and its shareholders,
valuing the Swedish insurer at about 43 bln skr (3.1 bln stg).

It said an offer at that price, to be paid 40 pct in cash and 60 pct in
shares, would be acceptable to mOld Mutual confirms ownership of stake in
Zimbabwean media group
09.01.2005, 11:18 AM

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