|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
(Reuters) - A top Zimbabwean bishop accused African leaders on
Friday of ignoring state-backed violence in his country, saying young people
were being turned into violent instruments of President Robert Mugabe's
Last month African leaders backed Mugabe at a meeting of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), asking the West to lift sanctions
against the economically crippled country.
Pius Ncube, the Catholic archbishop of Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo,
said Mugabe's government had brainwashed young Zimbabweans in training camps
run by his ruling ZANU-PF party, teaching as many as 50,000 youths to
Ncube, long an outspoken critic of Mugabe's government, said African leaders
had refused to speak out in the misguided belief they must unite against
'neo-colonial' pressure from former ruler Britain and other Western nations.
"It is mob psychology by African leaders. They have become totally blinded
to the abuse of human rights," Ncube told a Johannesburg news conference.
"Pressure should be brought upon Mugabe to stop this abuse...which is
killing off the souls of young people."
Reports of increasing violence by youth militias come as Zimbabwe sinks
deeper into its worst political and economic crisis since independence in
With inflation riding at close to 400 percent and critical shortages of food
and fuel, Zimbabwe's downward spiral has been exacerbated by political
tensions which critics attribute to Mugabe's increasingly authoritarian
RAPED AND TORTURED
Ncube was flanked by ex-militia members who told how they raped, tortured
and even murdered alleged ZANU-PF opponents.
Government critics including the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
say Mugabe's government has used graduates of its national youth service
programme in violent campaigns against opposition supporters, especially
ahead of elections.
The government denies the allegations and says the programme is about
One former militiaman, 19-year-old Wesley, told how he and 100 others, high
on marijuana and beer, attacked a white-owned farm near Beitbridge on the
South African border in April 2001.
"We surrounded the farm and after entering the house we tortured him (the
farmer). After that his wife was raped and we raped his daughters. They were
seven and 12 and the small one was around four years old," Wesley said.
The youths, some armed with AK-47s, then locked the family inside the house
and lobbed petrol bombs through windows.
"The family didn't survive, we burned them all. I feel terrible for the
things I have done," Wesley said.
South African Catholic Bishop Kevin Dowling said Africa's response to
Zimbabwe would test its commitment to human rights, adding: "Fundamentally,
it is in the hands of (South African President) Thabo Mbeki and SADC not to
pussy-foot around but go to Robert Mugabe and tell him 'The game is up. Get
Jail for Zim black marketeers
04/09/2003 22:30 - (SA)
Harare - Illegal foreign currency dealers in Zimbabwe's second
Bulawayo are to be sentenced to jail with hard labour as part of a clampdown
on thriving black market deals, state television said on Thursday.
Twelve dealers have already been sentenced to two months in prison with one
month suspended, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported.
Bulawayo is a key centre for unauthorised foreign currency deals, many of
them arranged by female members of an apostolic church sect. Previously
offenders were fined.
"We want at all costs to clean the city of Bulawayo of these (dealers),"
police spokesperson Smile Dube told ZBC.
Zimbabwe is suffering from a critical shortage of foreign currency on the
official market where rates are much lower than on the streets.
Last month the US dollar reached a reported height of Z$6 500 on the
parallel market. The official government rate is Z$824 to the greenback.
The government of President Robert Mugabe is trying to stamp out the black
market and last month withdrew the foreign currency trading licence of a
local merchant bank, accusing it of carrying out illegal deals.
Elephants relocated to Mozambican park
September 05, 2003, 06:04 AM
The relocation of animals from the Kruger National Park to the Limpopo
National Park in Mozambique is well under way. The Kruger Park has relocated
a family of at least seven elephants to Mozambique as part of the
establishment of the cross border Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP).
The park is to become the biggest conservation area in the world, stretching
across the South African, Mozambican and Zimbabwe borders. The elephants
have been allocated a 35 000 hectare sanctuary, in an operation of nearly 1
000 animals to stock the Mozambican side of the new cross-border Greater
Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
The translocation of animals started three years ago after the three
countries entered into an agreement of understanding. The bigger project is
to dismantle the border fence to allow the free movement of animals.
For three years, the Peace Park Foundation will spearhead the translocation
of the elephants including other wild animals. Professor Willem van Riet,
the head of the foundation, says that the dismantling of the borders will
see the birth of the world's largest conservation area.
The Kruger Park is said to be producing elephants at a rate of a thousand a
year. Authorities have been debating how to tackle the over-population
problem. Hector Magome, the director for conservation at Sanparks, says
managing the elephant population at the KNP is a challenge. Meanwhile,
Fernando Sumbana, the Mozambican Tourism Minister, says the initiative will
boost the three countries' tourism and economies.
Absa, one of South Africa's largest banking groups, has also pumped $1
million into the project.
JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE
FOOD SECURITY COMMUNIQUE - September 4, 2003
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
FOOD SECURITY IN ZIMBABWE
Isn't it ironical that the President can jet off to a UN Conference on
Desertification while his state sponsored "Operation clean Sweep" ensures
the total destruction of commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe and with it the
widespread suffering and starvation of millions Zimbabweans.
The SADC leaders who choose to support the tyrannical regime and ignore the
desperate plight of the majority of Zimbabweans should read the July 2003
report by FOSENET (NGO Food Security Network).
Some points from the report:-
FOSENET members subscribe that food distribution in Zimbabwe must be based
on a platform of ethical principles that derive from international
· The improvement of food availability from local harvests begun to plateau
in July, forewarning future shortages in late 2003.
· Many districts reported that food needs would become severe by October
· There has been a significant increase in the reported price of GMB maize
from Z$580/50kg to Z$13,000/50kgs.
· Food relief was reported to have stopped in 54% of districts.
· Parallel market prices have escalated to an upper price range of
Z$10,000/10kg, a 136% increase on May prices.
· Districts predicted that with poor local stocks relief needs would
increase in late 2003. Communities were however most concerned about the
continued problems in accessing production inputs to move from relief to
· While support is needed for critical inputs for production in the 2003/4
season, no reports were made of such inputs being organized.
· Increasing numbers of people are moving between districts to secure food.
40% of districts reported people moving out of areas where there is
political discrimination in food access or where farm workers have lost
Comments from people interviewed in the survey:-
· `Since relief food has stopped coming people are starving' Chikomba
· `There is a change. GMB in the past month is supplying Border Gezi youths
tuckshops'. Mutare Urban
· `There have been no GMB deliveries since January' Makoni District
· `People are being forced by the Government to sell to the GMB' Hwedza
· `GMB is only supplying the police or ex-combatants' Gweru Urban
· `Prices are too much. For everyone access is a problem because of lack of
funds' Chikomba District
· `Community leaders have tried to lobby with authorities to extend relief
food to urban areas but there is no solution in sight' Bulawayo
Time is running out for the people of Zimbabwe.
55 cattle die at Moyana’s farm
THE Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals (ZNSPCA) wants former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Kombo Moyana
prosecuted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, following the
death of at least 55 cattle at his Harare farm.
The cattle are said to have died due to neglect and malnutrition.
ZNSPCA officials said the cattle,
from a herd of about 300, had died
in the past week on Moyana’s Olympia Farm in Borrowdale because of the
shortage of grazing pasture and water.
"This is serious neglect for which there is no excuse,
and we are
going to see that Moyana is prosecuted under the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals Act," Meryl Harrison, the ZNSPCA national co-ordinator, said during
a tour of the farm this week. The maximum fine under the Act is $20 000 or
six months in prison or both.
"We want the owner
of the farm to face charges for the deaths of the
55 head of cattle separately. He must be charged with 55 counts of breaching
the Act," Harrison said.
She said the ZNSPCA and the Department of Veterinary
compiling a comprehensive report on the situation on the farm, which they
will forward to Borrowdale Police Station.
Contacted for comment, Moyana said the matter had only been brought to
his attention yesterday morning.
"I have only been made aware of
what is happening at the farm this
morning and I have sent my manager to investigate the matter," he said.
Harrison said the Department
of Livestock and Veterinary Services
should have been alerted of the situation at Olympia Farm while there was
still time to save the cattle.
"The cattle have been dying at the farm on a daily
basis since last
week and the owner has not raised the alarm," Harrison told the Daily News.
When this reporter visited the farm on
Wednesday, about 15 cattle were
lying dead in a veld and at least five others were struggling to stand. "We
have discovered there is no water or hay to feed the animals and no action
was being taken to save them," Harrison said.
Stir Mugabe with prayer, Ncube urges Zimbabweans
BRUNAPEG, Plumtree – Archbishop Pius Ncube has called on Zimbabweans
and Roman Catholics all over the world to pray for President Robert Mugabe’s
government to acknowledge and resolve the crisis facing the country.
Ncube, who is the head of the Catholic Church in
addressing people who converged at St Anne’s Mission for the church’s golden
jubilee, commemorating 50 years of the Roman Catholic Church’s religious,
educational and health services in the Plumtree and Matobo districts.
"As believers in the healing power of prayer,
you should pray for the
leadership of the government of Zimbabwe to realise that this country is in
a crisis. People are dying of hunger, but they do not want to hear about it.
"So pray for them so that they may
realise that they were not elected
to sit up there and forget about the welfare of the people. They are busy
spreading fear instead of working to stop the hunger that has caused so much
death throughout the country," Ncube, an outspoken critic of the government,
told local and international guests.
He also called on churches to pray for an end to the
culture of fear
and hero-worshipping of ruling ZANU PF leaders.
"This government threatens and rubbishes anyone who
repression and subjugation of people. But as Christians, we should not be
afraid. In fact, we should continue to speak out against injustice,
regardless of the threats and intimidation."
golden jubilee celebration was attended by members of the Roman
Catholic Church dioceses in the Gauteng province of South Africa,
representatives from the eighteen outstations affiliated to the Brunapeg St
Anne’s Parish and spread throughout the Plumtree and Matobo districts of
Established in 1952, the St Anne Parish now runs a
mission school and
hospital in Brunapeg.
ordained officers have served in the parish and the
establishment of the out-stations is one of the church’s major achievements
in the service of the communities in the two districts.
The station has also produced
a large number of nurses, doctors and
to mission services, the Brunapeg hospital station is also
feeding an estimated 25 000 young and aged people in five wards of the
Pump breakdown puts $15 million crop at risk
CHIREDZI – About 300 families face food shortages at Chilonga
irrigation scheme in Chiredzi because of the breakdown of water pumps that
has resulted in the wilting of winter crops worth millions of dollars, it
was learnt this week.
The water pumps broke down five months ago and have not been repaired.
Several farmers who
had planted a variety of crops, including maize
and wheat, told the Daily News that they risked losing crops worth over $15
million because the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) had failed to
repair the pumps.
The ZINWA is mandated with overseeing water provision to
around the country.
Lisenga Mushani, a farmer at the
irrigation scheme, said some of the
crops had already wilted because of the high temperatures experienced in the
lowveld area in the past few weeks.
"The crops we had planted for winter cropping have
already wilted and
this has affected our farming. Now we don’t know what to do in future
because farming is our sole means of survival," Mushani said.
"We appealed to the government to help us, but nothing
has been done
The farmers said their irrigation
pumps had been taken to the premises
of the ZINWA for repairs, but had not been sent back to them.
ZINWA area manager Albert Mare
confirmed that the irrigation pumps had
not been repaired, saying the organisation had no foreign currency to import
the parts needed to repair the equipment.
"We have been failing to repair the pumps due to
lack of foreign
currency. The pumps are big, so we are actually sourcing foreign currency to
import some parts required to repair them," he said.
He however said that the ZINWA board was expecting to
foreign currency that could be used to import parts for the irrigation
pumps, which would then be returned to their owners.
Felix Chiramba, another farmer at Chilonga, said: "We
fear that our
families are going to starve to death as we rely solely on this irrigation
scheme, especially in this time of drought.
If our pumps are not repaired in time, then it means disaster for us."
He added: "We hardly receive food aid from local and
organisations, so we only rely on the crops we farm. So, if our pumps are
repaired, we can’t survive."
About 300 families
occupy about 141 hectares of land under irrigation
at the Chilonga irrigation scheme. The farmers grow maize, cotton,
groundnuts, vegetables, tomatoes and several other cash crops.
From Godfrey Mutimba
Sugar deal not so sweet
MOZAMBICAN law enforcement agents last month confiscated 200
kilogrammes of sugar allegedly taken into Mozambique by four senior police
officers, in violation of a Zimbabwean government ban against exporting the
basic commodity because of shortages.
Investigations by the Daily News revealed that the
four officers, who
are based in Chipinge, ferried 300 kilogrammes of sugar to Chimoio in
Mozambique, even though they had not obtained an export permit as they are
required to by the law.
The government banned the
export of commodities such as sugar,
mealie-meal and cooking oil in 2001 because of shortages of the basic
Revenue Authority official yesterday said the ban was still
effective and that sugar could only be taken out of the country after an
export licence was granted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The 300 kgs of sugar
taken into Mozambique were supposed to be
bartered for rice.
The sugar was allegedly taken through Rutanda border post in Cashel
Valley using a police Defender truck, and was exchanged for rice on 1
The police officers were allegedly led by a
who was based in Rusape and was the acting officer commanding Chipinge
district at the time. They included an Inspector Mutitsakwa, Assistant
Inspector Chimuriwo and an unidentified officer, all from Chipinge.
The four were apprehended by police officers in
the Guarde Fronteiro
unit, which is responsible for patrolling the Mozambian border, and which
confiscated 200 kgs of the sugar after the local law enforcement agents
failed to produce an export licence.
Chagwedera is said to have appealed to senior Mozambican police
officials to facilitate the release of the sugar, saying some of it belonged
to Killian Mandisodza, a high-ranking official in Mutare.
Mandisodza is an
assistant commissioner and the officer commanding the
crime section in Manicaland province.
The Mozambican police yesterday confirmed
that they handled a case
involving Chagwedera and three other officers who exchanged sugar for rice
Tendai Watson, a
Mozambican police officer who handled the matter and
is based at Sussundenga police station in Chimoio, said the sugar was
released after the intervention of the police commander at Sussundenga
police station, Nato Mashava.
He told the Daily News: "The commander personally
intervened to make
sure that the sugar was released because your officers had said that some of
the sugar belonged to Commander Mandisodza.
"Since we were all policemen, we felt we could not
difficult for them. Commander Nato then personally helped the policemen to
get their sugar back."
refused to comment on the matter, demanding to
know the source of the Daily News’ information.
"Who told you about that? I will not say
anything about the matter
until you tell me who told you about it. Anyway, talk to Mandisodza. He was
my boss," said Chagwedera before switching off his mobile phone.
Mutitsakwa said he was not allowed to talk to the
Press and it was not
possible to secure comment from Chimuriwo.
Mandisodza denied any knowledge of the case, saying:
cross into Mozambique on business on numerous occasions, and I cannot count
on my fingers how many times I have authorised such business trips. But I am
not aware of the case you are referring to. I don’t think I was involved in
any such trip."
Police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment
Mashava was not available for comment as he was said to be out of the
However, Watson said Mashava undertook to recover the confiscated
sugar on behalf of the Zimbabwean officers and convinced a market trader,
identified only as Modesta, to give Chagwedera’s group 300 kgs of rice in
exchange for the 100 kgs of sugar. The remaining 200 kgs were to be
delivered to him from the border post at a later date. Watson said two
unnamed police officers from Chipinge had visited Sussundenga two weeks ago
to ensure that the confiscated 200 kgs of sugar were handed over to the
trader, Modesta. "They have cleared their debt. We don’t have any problems
with them anymore. In fact, two officers from Chipinge came here last week
and Modesta was here to collect his sugar from them," said Watson.
By Farai Mutsaka Chief Reporter
Mugabe not ill, says government
THE government yesterday dismissed as mischievous foreign news
reports alleging that President Robert Mugabe is seriously ill and is
expected to seek urgent medical treatment in Iran for a urological ailment.
to South Africa’s News24, Mugabe, who has been attending a
United Nations conference on desertification in Cuba, was scheduled to fly
direct from Havana to Tehran for treatment before returning home.
on News24 said: "Sources in Harare say his urologist will
accompany him when he goes to Iran for treatment. He was previously treated
for the same problem in Malaysia after receiving throat cancer therapy in
But Regis Chikoore, a Press secretary in the Department of Information
and Publicity, yesterday dismissed the reports, saying they were "mischief."
"It is mischief on the part of the writer. We are
kept abreast of what
is happening in Cuba and some of it is even coming out in the media," said
Chikoore. "There is no truth in that report. It is mere creation of an
event. It’s total fiction. Even what they are saying about Comrade Muzenda
is all false."
News24 reported that
Vice-President Simon Muzenda had been on life
support since the weekend and would remain on the machines until Mugabe’s
return to Zimbabwe.
Muzenda was admitted to Harare’s Parirenyatwa
Hospital for an
undisclosed ailment last month.
New strategies needed
THE impatience of Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) leaders
and indeed the majority of Zimbabwe’s hard-pressed workers who are now
plotting yet more mass action to push the government to end the cash crisis
affecting workers, is understandable.
The ruling ZANU PF party, with its
"couldn’t-care-less" attitude, has
scorned every attempt by labour and other stakeholders to engage it in
honest and transparent dialogue to find a solution. Not only to the cash
shortage, but the other myriad crises that have reduced Zimbabwe to a nation
of paupers and beggars.
The Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), which was supposed to be a
platform of mutual co-operation for labour, business and the government,
failed because of ZANU PF and the government’s strange belief that they, and
they alone, have a monopoly on patriotism and wisdom.
occasions, the TNF would agree on one thing only for the
government to act differently because it would be politically expedient to
The National Economic Consultative Forum, set up earlier
than the TNF
and also tasked to cobble up a plan to pull Zimbabwe out of crisis, also
failed because of the government’s "know-it-all" attitude.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the
Chamber of Commerce have in the past complained that they are consulted by
the government but their suggestions and ideas are largely ignored.
And in the past few weeks, President Robert Mugabe and
ZANU PF have
worked hard to derail an initiative by Zimbabwe’s church leaders to revive
dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to arrive at a solution and to find a negotiated settlement to
the country’s political and economic crisis.
Be that as it may, the ZCTU, MDC or anybody else cannot resort to mass
job stayaways simply because ZANU PF and its government are refusing to
Job stayaways as a strategy to push the government
to move one way or
the other have clearly outlived their effectiveness.
The ZCTU shut down industry and commerce across
Zimbabwe in March, but
the government did not give an inch, maintaining the fuel price hikes the
labour body wanted reversed.
secretary-general Wellington Chibhebhe and his colleagues in the
umbrella union body must know that come the end of the mass action the cash
shortage and all the other painful shortages will still be with us.
cannot be reasonably disputed, even by ZANU PF and the government,
that Zimbabwe is ripe for change.
That Zimbabweans have so far not
risen en masse to free themselves
from dictatorship may be a testament of how brutal the system that is
oppressing them is.
But it is also
an indictment against the methods and strategies such
as mass action used by their leaders in the ZCTU and elsewhere!
Clearly what is
needed, Mr Chibhebhe, are new, innovative and brave
strategies to confront a selfish ruling elite that is prepared to protect,
by any means necessary, the loot it has acquired over23 years of plunder.
Reconciliation is not easy at all
IT is always good for a writer to hear readers’ response to his or
Sometimes the writer will ask friends. Of course,
most of your friends
will praise your work when you are within earshot. The friend who will give
you constructive criticism is a real friend and a rare one.
Since such friends are so rare, I keep my ears open and
maybe even ask
a question if I see someone in a commuter omnibus reading my latest.
Last week, I got an earful of comment: "It is all very
well for this
Mandebvu to suggest we let the Old Man stay in State House, brick up the
gates and just continue life without him.
might be a good idea if that one old man was the whole problem,
but what about all his relatives on Little England and those other farms?"
Thank you for the reminder, my friend.
You are quite right, but didn’t I say in that article that the cronies
and hangers-on would need a different treatment?
reconciliation, but that isn’t easy and doesn’t mean letting
all the villains go free.
After all, one reason for the poisoned atmosphere we
breathing for the last three years is that the Lancaster House agreement
brought us neither justice nor reconciliation.
Yes, we heard that speech about reconciliation, but did he know what
the word means? Did the people he offered it to understand?
Did either side realise that real reconciliation is hard work?
example, the ZANU PF branch in our village collapsed in 1981.
One reason was that the chairman, with other district leaders, recruited the
local white farmers into the party.
The farmers got ZANU PF help to keep
their workers in line. ZANU PF,
at least in our district, wasn’t asking the farmers to change.
They only needed to pay generously to
support the party. The farmers
didn’t try to change. They just exploited ZANU PF patronage and didn’t mind
paying for it.
reconciliation would have involved both sides changing
When we get the change we are all waiting for
(some of us are even
working for it), we will need real change and real reconciliation. A Truth
and Reconciliation Commission on the South African model would be a good
There are so many guilty people
that we can’t afford to punish them
all. The bitterness of court cases would be with us for years.
On the other hand, forgiveness doesn’t
come cheap. A wise man once
said: "Always forgive your enemies: nothing annoys them so much."
If you offer forgiveness to someone who
doesn’t admit he’s done wrong,
he’s likely to feel insulted. Then if you have suffered as so many people
have suffered in Zimbabwe in the past three years (not to mention the
Gukurahundi massacres and the violence of earlier elections), you do want
the guilty to admit their guilt and make some sign they are sorry. Then you
may be able to face the difficult task of really forgiving them.
It isn’t good enough to just say "sorry". If
any of the damage can be
undone, you want to see it undone.
If you lost a leg or a relative, they can’t be given back to you, but
you will want to see a sign that they want to make up for your loss somehow.
If you lost a house, you have every right to expect some help to build a new
one. There have been a lot of houses lost, cattle, ploughs and other
necessities. There have been far too many relatives lost, and legs and eyes,
so we can’t expect anything like full compensation. But we can expect, when
we get a chance to sort this mess out, that the guilty people will admit
their guilt and do what they can to undo the damage they have done. They
certainly must not be left to profit from their evil deeds. If they will
admit their guilt, do what they can to put it right and ask for forgiveness,
then we should be generous and forgive them. That way we can start life
again together. Forgiveness is never easy. It usually means that we accept
rather less than we might demand in strict justice, and, of course, there is
no way we can measure compensation for the suffering we have felt. But if we
were to insist on a strict interpretation of justice, then people can always
argue about what is due in strict justice. That is how lawyers make their
money, and have you ever seen a poor lawyer? So we must not push justice or
retribution too far, or we will be producing more bitterness and resentment
that can only break out in more trouble, if not for us, for the next
generation. Yes, we, the victims, will need to be generous. Of course, if
any of the guilty will not admit their guilt and show some sign of sorrow,
then they must be taken to court and tried with the full rigour of the law
for their crimes. But ¡if we really want to rebuild Zimbabwe, we should try
hard to avoid that. I will never forget how hard and with what pain
Archbishop Tutu tried to get Winnie Mandela to admit and show some regret
for the crimes of her "football club". He failed, and his failure left him
in tears. If we meet with anyone as hard-hearted as Winnie Mandela was
there, we too should weep for our failure. There is no joy in punishing
By Magari Mandebvu
RBZ acts on interest rates
A CUT this week in the premium on the repo rate for unsecured and
secured borrowing by commercial banks from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) has forced interest rates to tumble to below 100 percent.
The cut, which became
effective on Wednesday, came after a five-week
silence from the RBZ on the direction of interest rates.
The repo rate is the rate at which
commercial banks borrow overnight
from the central bank. The premium on unsecured money was cut to five
percent from 20 percent and that on unsecured money dropped from a high of
40 percent to 10 percent.
RBZ statement seen by the Business Daily said: "With effect from
today (4 September 2003) secured lending from the RBZ will be 70 percent,
that is REPO rate plus five percent, and unsecured lending will be 75
percent, that is REPO rate plus 10 percent."
Officials from Harare discount
houses said the RBZ’s rate cut was a
desperate interventionist move to put a tight cap on surging interest rates,
which had shot up to a high of 140 percent in the past few days.
A dealer at Bard Discount House
said the company’s call rate had
dropped to 95 percent from 110 percent yesterday, while Interfin was quoting
75 percent from 120 percent.
Intermarket was offering 75 percent on the call rate,
down from 130
percent the previous day. Money market rates had been climbing steadily over
the past month, in spite of President Robert Mugabe’s declaration at the
opening of Parliament in late July that interest rates would come down
Rates hovered between 70
percent and 75 percent early yesterday, but
firmed to between 80 percent and 85 percent later in the day. Dealers were
offering between 80 percent and 85 percent for overnight accommodation.
"We have not really seen a
stable rate at the moment, but we expect
the rates to stabilise and move up significantly as there has been a lot of
resistance from traders," said a dealer from a local asset management
The dealer said the market was yet to adjust at sustainable levels.
high premium imposed on borrowing had initially been introduced
with a view to discourage borrowing from the central bank.
But due to
increased inflationary demand for banks to square up their
overnight positions, banks were willing to pay the high rates because they
had little choice.
The latest move by the RBZ, according to dealers, will
to now borrow from the central bank cheaply and discourage intra-bank
lending, which had resulted in rates going up.
However, dealers said excessive borrowing from the RBZ by commercial
banks would feed into increasing money supply growth, which was
But the dealers said with the RBZ having
little room to manoeuvre, it
had to address the issue of interest rates first and the issue of money
supply growth at a later stage.
government has in the past three years increasingly resorted to
the local banking sector for borrowing because of the suspension of funds
from multilateral institutions and international donors.
Syfrets Corporate and Merchant Bank will next week
re-tender for petrofin bills after it failed to raise $38.9 billion on
Wednesday due to high interest rates quoted by bidders.
The lowest bid attracted a
premium of 70.75 percent and the highest
bid attracted a premium of 134 percent, while Syfrets was expecting around
official with Syfrets Corporate said the rates "were too high and
we have had to reject all the bids we had received".
By Conrad Dube
Senior Business Reporter
Cash shortage reduces output
ZIMBABWE’S industry and commerce have been hard hit by a severe cash
crisis that is being dramatised by increased worker tardiness and
absenteeism that is threatening output, business executives said this week.
official with the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) said
the problem was now so critical that employers on Tuesday met with
representatives of the central bank to discuss the cash shortages and their
"We had a meeting with the RBZ
(Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) to try and
explain to them the problems most employers are facing," an EMCOZ official
who declined to be named told the Business Daily.
The EMCOZ official said it was no longer
feasible for most employers
to pay weekly and monthly wages using cheques, which was adversely affecting
"Banks no long accept
third-part cheques from companies and paying
wages using traveller’s cheques is very tedious," the official added.
The cash crisis, partly
blamed on inflation and foreign currency
shortages, has forced banks to ration money, with some limiting their
clients to as little as $2 000 a day. This is forcing most workers to queue
for cash at their banks every day in an attempt to collect as much money as
possible to facilitate daily transactions.
Business executives said this had resulted in
many workers reporting
late for duty, while others were not coming to work at all.
A worker who spoke to the Business Daily from a cash queue
Harare city centre said: "I cannot work for months without being able to
access my cash from the banks. The whole of this week I will not go to work
until I raise enough cash to pay my rentals and for other crucial
In a bid to prevent increased
tardiness and absenteeism from affecting
production, some employers have resorted to not banking their daily takings,
in violation of new regulations that prohibit individuals and traders from
holding on to more than $5 million in cash a day.
Company officials said they were withholding
their takings so that
they could pay their workers in cash.
"If we don’t give our employees enough cash, our production will
definitely go down," said a Harare supermarket owner.
But analysts said
those businesses that were holding on to cash were
fuelling the cash shortages, which have made it difficult for industry and
commerce to undertake daily transactions.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce (ZNCC) chief executive,
Luckymore Zinyama, said most of the ZNCC’s members were failing to perform
many of their daily activities because of the cash shortages.
"Cash is part of the working capital of most
companies and its
unavailability is suppressing the country’s national output," he told the
He added that many
suppliers and other businesses were no longer
accepting cheques and "plastic money", making it difficult for companies to
procure essential goods. Economists said the informal sector was the worst
affected by the crisis because all of its transactions were on a cash basis.
all the transactions in the informal sector are conducted on
cash basis and the growing shortages of hard cash are a mortal blow to most
of the activities in the sector," said Ranga Mandaza, an analyst at Century
He added that the informal sector had no
facilities for the use of
plastic money or cheques, making it difficult for operators to conduct
The analysts said it was
crucial for all stakeholders to come up with
sustainable solutions to the crisis. Albert Makoche, an economist at the
University of Zimbabwe, noted: "There is need for permanent solutions to
eliminate this cash crisis, instead of playing around with temporary
measures that cascade into other problems in the near future."
The government has introduced traveller’s
cheques to alleviate the
cash shortages, but many retailers are refusing to accept them. According to
the Finance Ministry, billions of dollars’ worth of new $1 000 and $500
notes will also be injected into the system in the next few weeks to ease
But analysts say once these
new notes are in circulation, they will
also soon be in short supply because of rising inflation and hoarding.
Inflation, which rose 399.5 percent in the year to July, is making it
necessary for Zimbabweans to use large amounts of money to buy even the most
By Stanley Taderera Business Reporter
Life has become so hard for ordinary Zimbabweans.
The working class is now failing to afford the basic daily needs.
Some of us are even failing to afford transport to report for duty at our
In the meantime, the elite upper
class are even better able to afford
luxurious lifestyles. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting
cash shortages are having a negative impact on the poor
who rely on cash for all their daily transactions.
To solve the problems at hand,
the government of Zimbabwe, in
collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, should put in place
measures to curb the deteriorating situation in the land. Below are a few
- We could regulate our prices and salaries in United States dollars,
After that, we would devalue our local currency to
match the rates on
the parallel market.
exchange rate should now be monitored such that it always
matches the parallel rate. Employee salaries and prices would be fixed in US
dollars and would only be adjusted when the exchange rate changed.
stop reviewing prices and salaries since they would be
determined by the exchange rate. This way, the people’s buying power would
not be eroded whenever the local currency devalues. This measure would force
industry to stop putting pressure on the government to devalue the dollar
because each time the dollar is devalued, salaries would rise.
Salaries are a variable that employers do not want changed
upwards, therefore this would oblige industry to keep the local currency
The government would be required to alter
their tax tables so that
they would not over-tax people and organisations. If we look at today’s
situation, anyone earning below $300 000 per month should not be taxed. It
follows that the minimum wage should be around $300 000.
- After these changes, we could experience a severe
shortage of cash,
which would be easy to sort out. The rule of thumb is: The highest currency
denomination must be able to purchase a small basket of provisions in a
grocery shop and printing money must be profitable business.
For example, it costs around $50 000 these days to
buy a small basket
of groceries. It follows that we should already be printing $50 000 notes.
We should now phase out any money below $100. To be precise, we should have
money denominations of less than $5 000 being in coins and made out of cheap
material, such as aluminium.
When we have implemented the above measures, we would go on to
create a solid infrastructure that promotes steady economic growth. Examples
of steps we could take are: refurbishing our road and rail networks,
upgrading telephone networks and opening research stations that are easily
accessible to the ordinary citizen of the land at no cost.
The government could
then make available funds to assist inventors to
open small manufacturing industries.
Stipulation denying us cash
The recent stipulation by Beverley Building Society that clients can
only transact business at branches where their account was opened (save for
those who are out of town) has led to nightmares in accessing one’s
The powers that be in their misguided wisdom chose to
such as proximity to a particular branch.
case in point is my experience of 23, 25 and 26 August 2003, when I
could not access cash at Selous Avenue Branch, when the Robert Mugabe and
Fourth Street branches were operating.
The fact that Selous Avenue Branch
(head office) had no cash or
cheques by 10 am on 26 August 2003 is a clear indication that getting
service at own branch only is unworkable.
Beverley should revisit their unreasonable
stipulation. Perhaps they
would care to comment.
Zimbabwean faces rape charges in New Zealand
AUCKLAND – A Zimbabwean man has been charged with rape, kidnapping
and infecting another person with the HIV virus in Auckland.
The charges were laid against the accused when he
appeared in the
Auckland District Court on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old has lived in Auckland since 2001.
He faced two
charges of rape and one each of kidnapping and infecting
with the disease human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which can lead to AIDS.
The infection charge carries a maximum term of 14 years in jail.
He is also
charged with wounding with reckless disregard to cause
grievous bodily harm, criminal nuisance, assaulting a female, threatening to
kill and stealing a motor vehicle.
He was remanded in custody to appear again next week.
He was arrested on Friday, after police investigated
Auckland City police spokeswoman
Noreen Hegarty would not comment
further, except to say that investigations were still continuing.
The accused was unemployed, although it
is understood he was working
at the Sky City Casino as a dealer until recently.
The New Zealand Herald spoke to one of his Zimbabwean
would not be named, but said the accused came to New Zealand as a refugee.
Black and white Zimbabweans have been fleeing
President Robert Mugabe’
s regime and many have come to New Zealand.
The man said the accused rarely spoke of his past,
except to say that
he had been an artist.
The man said he
met the accused through the small circle of Zimbabwean
blacks who regularly socialised in Auckland, among whom he was popular.
often take a car for a day trip, or party at the flat they
shared with other Zimbabweans.
"He liked to party," the man said. "He is a good
guy . . . a good
He said the accused had moved out
to live somewhere else with a "Kiwi"
Franklin, the clinical director of the Auckland Sexual Health
Service, said it was rare for people to spread HIV deliberately.
commonly it’s unknown and when they find out they’re HIV
positive, most people are reasonably responsible."
He said the clinic dealt
with only about one case every few years
where it had to contact people who had sex with an HIV-infected person.
Franklin said he did not
know how many people had had sex with the
"In terms of the people who may have had unprotected sex with him, it’
s an important and serious health risk, but for Auckland, we are much more
at risk from the uncontrolled state of sexually transmitted infections." –
New Zealand Herald
Zimbabwe protests Botswana electric fence
9/5/2003 12:13:32 PM (GMT +2)
BOTSWANA government remained defiant Tuesday saying that it is going
ahead with the construction of an electric fence along the border with
Zimbabwe despite looming diplomatic frictions.
construction works for the fence started in October last year and
the intention is to complete it by June next year," acting Director of
Veterinary Services, Dr. Musa Fanakiso said.
The planned fence will cover a distance of 500 kilometres and will be
2.4 metres high. It is meant to control the spread of Food and Mouth Disease
(FMD) from Zimbabwe to Botswana. In the last two years,
Botswana has had two FMD outbreaks originating from Zimbabwe, which
has been undergoing an economic and political crisis.
The outbreaks have seen the Botswana beef industry losing millions in
terms of lost exports and destroyed cattle.
"The fence would be cutting across the livestock areas and it starts
from Tuli Circle up to Zibanana. The intention of the fence is to control
animal health diseases," Fanakiso added.
However, Zimbabwe has claimed that "Botswana is trying to create
another Gaza Strip" by constructing an electric fence which will kill
illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe. Botswana is faced with a major immigration
problem because of the Zimbabwean crisis.
"We have recently stepped up border patrols in a bid to contain the
problem," Immigration Officer responsible for the north, Oliver Toteng told
"We are repatriating at least 2,500 illegal Zimbabweans a month,"
Toteng said but added: "The people that we are send back home come back
immediately after repatriation."
Government has expressed concern that the repatriation exercise is
likely to cost more than a million pula this year.
Sunday Times (SA)
Zimbabwe youth exploited for Zanu-PF
Friday September 05, 2003 16:40 - (SA)
The youth of Zimbabwe were being sacrificed to keep the country's ruling
party, Zanu-PF, in power, according to a report by the Solidarity Peace
The trust is an organisation of South African and Zimbabwean bishops and
compiled the report based on state-controlled and independent media reports,
training material from youth militia camps, interviews with those tortured
by the militia and the youth militia themselves.
The national youth service training programme, introduced two years ago and
now referred to by the Zimbabwean government as compulsory, "masquerades as
a youth training scheme that imparts useful skills and patriotic values,"
said the report.
"The reality is a paramilitary training programme for Zimbabwe's youth with
the clear aim of inculcating blatantly anti-democratic, racist and
According to the report, "The youth militia have... become one of the most
commonly reported violators of human rights, with accusations against them
including murder, torture, rape and destruction of property."
"They have been blatantly used by Zanu-PF as a campaign tool, being given
impunity and implicit powers to mount roadblocks, disrupt MDC (Movement for
Democratic Change) rallies, and intimidate voters."
Anglican Archbishop of Matabeleland and member of the Solidarity Peace
Trust, Pius Ncube, said: "Up to 50,000 people have gone through such
The report maintained: "Having been thoroughly brain-washed, the youth
militias are deployed to carry out whatever instructions they receive from
their political commissars, on the understanding that they will never be
called to account by this regime for any of their deeds.
"...many of them have become victims of human rights' abuses themselves in
the course of training.
"The most conspicuous example of this abuse is the rape and multiple rape of
young girls by the boys undergoing training with them, and by their military
"The resulting pregnancies and infections with sexually-transmitted
diseases, including HIV, not only devastate the lives of the youth concerned
but are creating a terrible legacy for the nation," the report stated.
"Three former youth militia members spoke to reporters, on condition of
anonymity as they were allegedly sought by Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence
Organisation for escaping from the country.
Thabo, 22, said he was involved in the killing of Halaza Sibindi, the
chairman of the MDC in Tsholotsho, 150 kilometres north of Matabeleland.
In January 2002 they beat Sibindi to death with crowbars, iron bars and
sjamboks, in front of his sons and daughters.
He said he had come to South Africa because the things he was promised when
he joined the militia - land, money, a better future - never happened.
But the situation in South Africa is not easy for refugees.
Thabo has no relatives, no money and no job and lives on the streets.
He is also severely traumatised by what he has been through, but is unlikely
to receive counselling.
"If my country is going to be ok, I'm going back," he said.
Eighteen-year-old Wesley was taken from school to join the militia when he
was 15-years-old. He escaped to South Africa some months ago.
He told reporters he had raped and petrol-bombed white farmers. Wesley
described being involved in an incident when 100 youth militia surrounded
"Jaco's Farm" in Beit Bridge.
Twenty-five of the youth entered the premises. They tortured the farmer,
raped his wife and two daughters, aged four and 12, then burnt them all to
"We were told the farmer was from the MDC. I feel very terrible for the
things that I was doing," he said.
Debbie, 19, said she was forced to join the militia, otherwise her aunt's
house where she was staying would be burnt down.
She was taken to a training centre, about 40 kilometres from Bulawayo, where
she was woken at 3am, and made to run 20 kilometres.
If they fainted or stopped, they were thoroughly beaten, she said.
They trainees would then do physical exercises and sing revolutionary songs.
"We shared a room with the boys and at night they would rape us the whole
night," she said.
If anyone reported the rape, their leader ... would bring out his gun and
tell them he was going to shoot them, because anyone complaining of rape
belonged to the MDC, she said.
Debbie fell pregnant, and has a one-year-old baby. She was HIV-positive. She
did not know who the father of her baby was or the HIV-status of her child.
Ncube said "In the end does politics matter? All that matters is food,
shelter, a future for your children and peace at night when you sleep".
Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, also a member of the Solidarity Peace
Movement told reporters: "I find it absolutely shameful that our South
African government leaders will in the name of quiet diplomacy turn a blind
eye to this affront against human dignity.
"If our African leadership is truly concerned about the ideals of Nepad...
Zimbabwe is the test case," he said.
Zimbabwe Bank stripped of licence
September 05, 2003, 11:09 AM
The Reserve bank of Zimbabwe is cracking its whip on the country's banks
that have been caught dealing in foreign currency on the black market. The
NMB Bank, listed on both the Zimbabwe and London Stock Exchanges, has been
the first casualty of the crackdown, being stripped of its forex-dealing
licence, denying it a major revenue driver.
The Central Bank has been under political pressure to show its teeth on
banks flouting the law. However, analysts have warned the move to shake-up
the banks could ruffle the financial sector- still doing well despite an
ailing economy. Analysts say the Reserve Bank itself has equally been a
player on the black market, buying foreign currency outside the official
price as it battled to raise money for diplomatic missions abroad on behalf
of the government.
Exceptional half year profits by almost all banks this year set tongues
wagging with many in government describing the billion dollar profits as
obscene, profiteering in a sea of poverty.
Nothing negative' about being realistic on Zimbabwe
ONE of the most grating issues of SA's postapartheid era is having to evade
or sidestep preconceived notions that seem to attach themselves willy-nilly
to your identity, and particularly your race.
This often has surprising effects, as South Africans try to juggle their
identities against the preconceptions that may or may not exist in the minds
of their countrymen.
It is a really curious effect, and the results are sometimes truly weird.
For example, the conventional wisdom is (or seems to be) that most black
South Africans are (or should be) "positive". Whites are the opposite (just
witness Tony Leon and his ilk!).
I have never been sure whether, as a matter of statistical fact, this is
true. Sometimes it appears to me that the reality is exactly the opposite.
Whites sometimes seem to me to be so determinedly positive (if they were
not, why would they still be living here?) and blacks are casually
disillusioned (if not, why do the opinion polls suggest rising political
But whether or not the notion is valid as an empirical fact, its mere
existence as a belief seems to shape the societal fault lines around which
South Africans must gear their lives.
What brings this to mind is a contribution to the Zimbabwe debate by one of
SA's canniest fund managers, Jeremy Gardiner from Investec Asset Management.
Zimbabwe seems to be one of the touchstone issues determining whether you
fall into the "positive" or "negative" category, whether you are optimistic
or pessimistic, or even whether you are black or white.
Gardiner makes a refreshing contribution to the debate because his is aimed
at exploding the "doomsday" scenarios that so often crop up (or apparently
crop up in the minds of people who believe other people believe these
things). And yet he argues "positively" and with a dedication to the topic
that suggest an overly acute insight into the contrary arguments.
Notwithstanding his "positive", the dangers seem very close at hand.
Gardiner argues there are a number of myths associated with SA's response to
Zimbabwe; that quiet diplomacy means SA agrees with what is happening in
Zimbabwe, that political leaders and parties are close, that SA's government
has done nothing, and that SA is heading the same direction.
"If ever there was a time when SA was actually heading in the same direction
as Zimbabwe, it was in the late 1980s. This was when we also had a leader
who used to wag a finger at the rest of the world. Land invasions and forced
removals were legislated. We had a security force not dissimilar to Mugabe's
war veterans, and an economy isolated from the rest of the world. Those were
dark days indeed."
The point is well made. But SA is underestimating the dangers that economic
implosion in Zimbabwe poses, as well as ignoring the dangers of the foreign
policy miscalculation that this underestimation implies.
I remember a story a CEO of a small mining house once told about his
interaction with a president of an African nation in which he wanted to set
The president was explaining some of the difficulties of African politics,
and made this point: the weakness of African institutions and constitutional
orders often meant even democratically elected leaders were politically
vulnerable to any number of snake oil salesmen posing as politicians
promising a better life for all.
So opposition of any description was viewed as a "threat" and vigorously
stamped out, even by administrations that might consider themselves
However, stamping out opposition weakens the institutions of the society
further, as it splits and divides groups of citizens. It forces opposition
underground, encourages cross-border, military opposition and creates a
spiral of decline, which takes with it that country and its neighbours too.
Isn't this the short-hand version of the disaster of the Liberian region?
For South Africans, safe in the relative size of our economy, Zimbabwe is an
interesting debating topic. But for Botswana, with only 1-million people, an
implosion in Zimbabwe, with 15million people, is a potential disaster that
could materially affect its citizens' lives.
The Batswana have all but won a hard-fought battle out of poverty and into
relative prosperity in a continent moving in the opposite direction. This
remarkable feat is now threatened by waves of economic refugees, and already
relations between both countries are very tense, whatever they pretend to
say in public.
Similar issues apply to Mozambique and Zambia.
There may indeed be valid reasons for "quiet diplomacy", but validity does
not change the political momentum and dynamics of the moment. Of course,
this raises the question: what should SA do, and can it realistically do
more than it is already doing?
Frankly, it is manifestly obvious SA could be more attentive, more
proactive, and more diplomatically creative than it is now or has been. But
please, I would hate for you to categorise me as "negative" just on this
account. I'm "positive" promise.
Cohen is chief reporter.
Herbs possible to reverse AIDS symptoms: Zimbabwean expert
www.chinaview.cn 2003-09-06 01:57
HARARE, Sept. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- HIV/AIDS sufferers
might soon be
getting relief through natural remedies as research increasingly centers on
the benefits of herbs in the search for a cure for the pandemic, a
Zimbabwean herbal medicines expert here said on Friday.
Richard Ngwenya who runs a natural-medicine surgery seems to have
found natural medicines that reverse the symptoms of HIV/AIDS.
Ngwenya has a herb farm where he grows various plants which he
uses to cure chronic diseases which include HIV/AIDS, asthma, diabetes,
ulcers, arthritis, meningitis and cancer.
Ngwenya then said HIV/AIDS could be treated but wrong
treatmentcaused the continued suffering of the people.
"These so called untreated chronic illnesses can be cured but bad
information, bad treatment, fake hygiene, fake nutrition are some of the
causes of continued illnesses," he said.
"When one comes here the first thing we do is to give him a diet
sheet so as to advise on good nutrition, the lack of which isone of the
causes of illnesses. Medication makes 10 percent of thesolution, nutrition
85 percent and education takes the other five percent," he said.
He said medicine had been hiding the source and cure of
cancer,leprosy, sexually transmitted diseases and many other diseases.
He accused the medical fraternity of being stuck in tradition.
Anti-retroviral drugs, according to Ngwenya, caused blood
coagulation and therefore they did not help much.
The answer, according to Ngwenya, is to de-acidify the body as
fungi caused high acidity levels in the body.
"One has to avoid milk, yeast and high acidic foods so that
the body can have a pH range of 7.6-7.8," he said.
Ngwenya, a former freedom fighter, learned about herbal medicines
in the former Soviet Union, United States of America andMexico.
HIV/AIDS has caused untold suffering to the world and the lack of
a substantive cure has worsened its impact.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare about 2
million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and about 3,000 succumb
to the pandemic each week. Enditem